On 21st – 23rd June 2016, the Environmental Compliance Institute (ECI) through its regional network – the East African Network for Environmental Compliance & Enforcement (EANECE) – hosted a regional workshop on Toxicological Risk Assessment. The workshop was held in Nairobi and brought together 45 scientists with expertise in toxicology, pharmacology and environmental science with diverse backgrounds in academia, research, industry, governmental regulatory agencies, policy and media. Participants were drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Zambia.
The objective of the workshop was to introduce East African scientists in the area of toxicology/environmental science to contemporary concepts of risk assessment with special focus on a subject that is of great relevance and concern in the region, i.e., pesticides. In addition, the workshop sought to establish the basis for an East African network on toxicology/risk assessment (East African Society of Toxicology).
Over the three days of the workshop, various topics were covered in three broad sessions including the general introduction to risk assessment, endocrine disrupting chemicals and, risk assessment case studies and regulation. The presenters were experts with longstanding experience in the field of toxicology and risk assessment including Prof. Herman Autrup (President, IUTOX) Prof. Mary Gulumian (NIOH S. Africa)., Dr. Emmanuela Testai (ISS, Italy) and Dr. Sabitha Papineni (Dow Agro Sciences, USA). The workshop was made possible through partnership with the International Union of Toxicology (IUTOX) and CropLife Africa Middle East and was funded by a grant from the American Chemistry Council Foundation.
One key outcome out of the workshop was the resolution to pursue the establishment of an East African Society of Toxicology. A Taskforce to be coordinated by ECI was set up to oversee the formation and registration of the Society. In addition, participants called for the organization of more sessions in risk assessment to enhance the capacity of scientists from the region.