Where Science Stops, and Action Starts

Part of the Emerging Topics in Ecotoxicology book series (ETEP, volume 3)


Economists have traditionally cast wildlife in the role of an “externality”, a neutral background that does not formally interact with the day-to-day business of human affairs. Yet by the time Apollo astronauts had returned with pictures of a lonely earth hanging in space, many of us concluded that there are no externalities. We inhabit a natural world that can be all too relevant to our everyday lives, however much we might try to ignore this fact. The species sharing this world can become susceptible to poisons of our making, toxic agents that might carry profound ­economic significance for us, but fatal consequences for a variety of plants and animals.


Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Precautionary Principle Environment Canada Neutral Background Natural Resource Defense Council 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Butt C et al (2006) Rapid response of Arctic ringed seals to changes in perfluoroalkyl production. Environ Sci Technol 41(1):42–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Butterworth-Heinemann et al (2001) The precautionary principle: a critical appraisal. Cato Institute, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  3. Carson R (1962) Silent spring. Haughton Mifflin, BostonGoogle Scholar
  4. Commission of the European Communities (2000) Communication from the commission on the precautionary principle. Commission of the European Communities, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  5. Eskenazi B et al (2009) The pine river statement: human health consequences of DDT Use. Environ Health Perspect 117(9):1359–1367Google Scholar
  6. Giesy J et al (2001) Global distribution of perfluorooctane sulfonate in wildlife. Environ Sci Technol 35(7):1339–1342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Government of Canada (2003) A framework for the application of precaution in science-based decision making about riskGoogle Scholar
  8. Hayes T et al (2002) Hermaphroditic, demasculinized frogs after exposure to the herbicide atrazine at low 808 ecologically relevant doses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 99:5476–5480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Leopold A (1949) A sand county Almanac. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Meadows D et al (1972) The limits to growth. The New American Library, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Ministerial Declaration of the Second International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea, ILM, 835, 25 November 1987; found on-line at http://www.seas-at-risk.org/1mages/1987%20London%20Declaration.pdf and in Morris, Julian (2000) Rethinking risk and the precautionary principle
  12. Mooney C (2005) The republican war on science. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  13. Sarewitz D (2004) How science makes environmental controversies worse. Environmental Sci Policy 7:385–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Sass J, Devine J (2004) The center for regulatory effectiveness invokes the data quality act to reject published studies on atrazine toxicity. Environ Health Perspect 112(1):A18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Tozzi J et al (2004) Data quality act: response from the center for regulatory effectiveness. Environ Health Perspect 112(1):A18–A19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law 106–554)Google Scholar
  17. Tren R, Bate R (2001) Malaria and the DDT story. The Institute of Economic Affairs, LondonGoogle Scholar
  18. UNEP (1992) Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3–14 June 1992, A/CONF.151/26 (Vol. I)Google Scholar
  19. vom Saal F et al (2008) Baby’s toxic bottle. The Work Group for Safe MarketsGoogle Scholar
  20. Welshons W et al (2006) Large effects from small exposures. III. Endocrine mechanisms mediating effects of bisphenol A at levels of human exposure. Endocrinology 147(Suppl 6):S56–S69CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OttawaCanada

Personalised recommendations