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                               13 January 1999

UNU to hold Symposium on pollution in East Asia
by endocrine disruptor compounds

The United Nations University’s (UNU) project on Environmental Monitoring and Analysis in the East Asian Region will hold a symposium entitled “Environmental Governance and Analytical Techniques – Environmental Issues Related to EDC Pollution in East Asia” on 9–10 February 1999 at the UNU Headquarters from 09.30 to 17.30 hours. This symposium will also mark the successful completion of this three-year project sponsored by the Shimadzu Corporation.

The purpose of this symposium is to highlight the issues related to pollution by Endocrine Disruptor Compounds (EDCs) in the coastal areas of the East Asian region. These coastal areas are particularly at risk of pollution from land-based sources, which can be many and varied. In this context, of most concern are the EDC pollutants which are intrinsically resistant to natural degradation processes and persist in the environment for a long time. EDCs include a broad range of chemicals that can interfere with the normal functioning of hormones in controlling growth, reproduction, and body metabolism in humans and animals. Ongoing research has revealed that several animal species in the coastal hydrosphere have suffered adverse health effects from exposure to EDCs. This symposium will also mark the UNU’s commitment to continue working in this area in accordance with the UN’s “Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities,” adopted in Washington in 1995.

Leading experts from several organizations will present their most recent research on the subject. These include representatives and researchers from: OECD, UNEP, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Chemical Industry Institute of Technology (CIIT), University of California (Davis), Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan Environment Agency, Japan’s National Institute for Resources and Environment (NIRE) and some Japanese universities.

This symposium is being organized by UNU in partnership with the Shimadzu Corporation and the International Association for Environmental Analytical Chemistry (IAEAC).

The symposium on 9 February is open to the public and admission is free; advance registration is required. Simultaneous English-Japanese interpretation will be provided. Participation on 10 February is by invitation only.

Media representatives are cordially invited to attend.

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For further information, please contact UNU Public Affairs Section.
Tel.: (03) 5467-1243, 1246     Fax: (03) 3406-7346

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