Keynote Speakers

One Health, Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Arctic

Cynthia de Wit

Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University

Opening Ceremony | 18:00 | Plenary

Dr. Cynthia de Wit is professor in environmental science at the Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University. She first became involved in research on organic environmental contaminants at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in 1988 and from 1992 at Stockholm University within a national survey of polychlorinated dioxins and related chemicals. Her current research is focused on legacy and emerging flame retardants (brominated, chlorinated, organophosphate-based) in indoor and outdoor environments, including performing human exposure assessments for both adults and children. Other research interests include organohalogen chemicals in terrestrial as well as Baltic Sea food webs. She is a co-lead of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Expert Group of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) since 1994. In that role, she has been involved in leading four international assessment reports on persistent organic pollutants, including contaminants of emerging concern, in the Arctic.

Cynthia de Wit received her undergraduate education in biology and chemistry from the University of Kansas, USA and her Ph.D. in zoophysiology from the University of Lund, Sweden, in 1987.

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Can One Environment, One Health and Many Chemicals Be Sustainable?

Bjorn Hansen

Executive Director, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)

16:15–17:00 | Session Room 101

Bjorn Hansen is ECHA’s Executive Director and ECHA’s legal representative, in charge of the day-to-day management and all staff matters. Bjorn is ECHA’s second Executive Director with a mandate running from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2022.

After a post-doc in probability theory in Germany, he joined the European Commission in 1991. Working first at the European Chemicals Bureau at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Italy and then from 2003 in the Chemicals Unit of Directorate-General for the Environment in Belgium where he became Head of Unit in 2012. He already spent one year in ECHA from 2007-2008 as Director of Operations.

Bjorn was involved in the development of REACH and Classification, Labelling and Packaging

(CLP) from their very early days. He has been involved in international chemicals work since 1991, highlights being elected chair of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials and having chaired several contact groups at three consecutive UN triple Conference of the Parties (COPs).

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Environmental Pollutants and Health

Jorma Toppari

Professor of Physiology, University of Turku and Chief Physician of Pediatrics, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland

16:15–17:00 | Session Room 101

Jorma Toppari, MD, PhD, is Professor of Physiology in University of Turku and the Chief Physician of Pediatrics in Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland. He is also an adjunct Professor in the Department of Growth and Reproduction in University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Dr. Toppari has served in editorial boards of several endocrinological journals, including Endocrinology, and Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. He is the past president of the European Academy of Andrology. His contributions to the studies on endocrine disruption and environmental health are numerous – he has published over 400 articles on endocrinology, including as an author on the 2013 WHO-UNEP State of the Science of Endocrine Disruptors document and Endocrine Society’s 2015 Scientific Statement on Endocrine Disruptors. His H-index is 68 (ISI Web of Science).

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Innovation Where Everyone Wins: A Call for a New Dialogue in Environmental Toxicology, Chemistry and Risk Assessment

Juan Gonzalez Valero 

Head Sustainable & Responsible Business, Syngenta 

16:15–17:00 | Session Room 101

Dr. Juan Gonzalez Valero has worked at Syngenta since 2000, and is currently the Head of Sustainable and Responsible Business. He leads all operations related to integrating sustainability aspects into core business practices, including stewardship and the company’s “Good Growth Plan”. Alongside his current position, he is lecturing at the University of St. Gallen. 

Prior to his current position, Gonzalez Valero served as Head of Public Policy and Sustainability, Head of Ecological Risk Assessment, Head of Sustainable Use and Stewardship, and Head of Corporate Responsibility within Syngenta. He has also been Head Ecotoxicology at Novartis, and has served on the board of a number of non-profit organizations, among them the Fair Labor Association and the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 

Gonzalez Valero earned his PhD in Biology with specialization in Ecology and Environmental Toxicology, from the University of Hamburg in 1989.

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