Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

Rainer Lohmann on His Research on Toxic Chemicals in Our Environment and Our Future With Them

Air Dates: December 18-24, 2023

Persistent Organic Pollutants: you don’t need a Ph.D. in chemistry to recognize realize they are dangerous.  But Dr. Rainer Lohmann has been studying POPs for some time and their danger to the environment and human beings.

Lohmann’s research combines marine organic geochemistry and environmental chemistry to study recalcitrant organic compounds, including persistent organic pollutants on the molecular level.  He has led Superfund Research Center at the University of Rhode Island since 2018, one among roughly 20 nationwide.  The Center is a collaboration with scientists from Harvard University and the Silent Spring Institute.  It focuses on the Sources, Transport, Exposure and Effects of PFASs—poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances.  Lohmann has engaged decision-makers by working with scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada to advance the use of novel sampling devices to better characterize fluxes of organic pollutants in water and air.  Lohmann is currently one of several scientists from around the world coordinating the AQUA-GAPS program, a joint effort with the Czech Republic’s RECETOX initiative at Masaryk University, which conducts research and education around managing the environmental and health risks associated with the chemicals around us.  The AQUA-GAPS program promotes the use of passive samplers for legacy and emerging organic contaminants in the waters of the world is now underway.

On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Lohmann discusses the prevalence of POPs our environment, the current regulatory landscape and what we as individuals can do to limit exposure to them.

“Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 4:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a project of the Pell Center at Salve Regina University. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.