SETAC North America 44th Annual Meeting, Louisville, Kentucky (and online), 12–16 November 2023

Radioecology-related sessions; Submit abstracts by 24th May 2023

Radioecology related sessions

Track 5 (Environmental Risk Assessment) - Considering Ecosystem Approaches to Characterize Effects of Ionizing Radiation, Including Changes in Ecosystem Services

Chairs: Lawrence Kapustka , Carmel Mothersill

Over the past decade, members of the International Union of Radioecology and SETAC have explored the rationale for using an ecosystems approach to evaluate the effects of ionizing radiation in various settings.  These settings range from mining sites where radioactive minerals are extracted, to processing sites, nuclear power plant emissions, and accidents.  The focus of these efforts has been to provide greater ecological realism to the evaluations, especially in areas characterized by having complex social-ecological systems.  In addition, the ecosystem approach is aligned with the stated protection goals and so provides better information to decision makers than the traditional reference animal and plant (RAP) approach.

Members of the IUR-SETAC working group have conducted laboratory and field studies on mechanisms of action, environmental distribution of radionuclides, measures and projection of received doses in plants and wildlife, as well as social implications of radiation releases into environments. In every instance where there are releases of ionizing radiation into the environment, there are many other stressors that influence the severity of outcomes.  Projecting risks, or alternatiely managing for safety, requires consideration of changes in climate, severity of storm events, co-contaminants, and land use practices of the associated human communities. 

In this session, we are seeking laboratory or field studies as well as theoretical studies that advance our collective knowledge toward protection of human and ecological receptors that may be exposed to ionizing radiation.  This includes studies that provide information about changes in ecosystem services resulting from exposures to ionizing radiation.

Track 1 (Environmental Toxicology and Stress Response) - Assessing environmental behavior and effects of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM)

Chairs: Amy MacIntosh , Sarah Donaher

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) consists of radioactive elements primarily from the uranium and thorium decay chains and are naturally present in the environment at low concentrations. Anthropogenic activities such as oil and gas extraction, mining, and consumer product manufacturing can enhance environmental NORM concentrations; the ensuing Technologically Enhanced NORM (TENORM) poses potential health risks to human populations as well as non-human biota and ecosystems. This session will present current and future advances in our understanding of the environmental and ecotoxicity of NORM to flora and fauna and discuss options to improve our understanding of environmental mobility and risk management to assist industry stakeholders and raise public awareness.