The need for chemical pollution intervention has never been greater.

World over, pollution kills three times as many people as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

This burden disproportionally affects low and middle-income countries, where pollution can account for one in four deaths. In terms of the impact of chemicals on the environment, the world has seen an average 69% drop in mammal, bird, fish, reptile, and amphibian populations since 1970.

To address this crisis, the University of Birmingham launches its Centre for Environmental Research and Justice (CERJ). This centre brings together academic expertise across three university colleges – Life and Environmental Sciences, Arts and Law, Medical and Dental Sciences – with an ambitious mission to help remedy harm to human health and the environment caused by pollution.

CERJ’s interdisciplinary approach will diverge from traditional research efforts and funding mechanisms, which artificially divide global problems into research silos. Instead, CERJ aims to proactively uncover – and ultimately break – the chains of cause and effect that link chemicals to human suffering and environmental depredations. 

The CERJ academic team will comprise of over 20 staff, specialising in research at the interface of Precision Toxicology and environmental governance.

Precision Toxicology is an emerging scientific approach to environmental justice and health protection by establishing causation between chemicals and their adverse health effects, while environmental governance attempts to address the societal costs of chemical pollution. By combining recent innovations in both science and governance, the new Centre holds the promise of developing and implementing remedies that support defensive structures against chemical hazards.

In addition to further building upon this substantial existing portfolio, CERJ will create and deliver new education modules, placement years, and digital and in-person courses for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, providing unique advanced opportunities for the next generation of toxicologists.


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