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Ecosystem health and human well being: the mission of the international programme on plant bioassays

, : Ecosystem health and human well being: the mission of the international programme on plant bioassays. Mutation Research 426(2): 99-102

In a broad sense, since humans are ultimately a part of the ecosystem, we may conclude that ecosystem health encompasses human health. A preventative measure that detects the environmental hazards that infringe on human health should be established on a global scale. Plant bioassays, which are most sensitive in detecting genotoxicity of environmental agents, can serve as the first alert for the presence of environmental hazards in water, air, and soil-the essential elements of life. Three plant bioassays including the Allium/Vicia root test, the Tradescantia-Stamen-Hair-Mutation and Tradescantia-Micronucleus tests, which have been validated by the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), were selected to serve this purpose. The major activity of the International Programme on Plant Bioassays (IPPB) which was formerly sponsored by the IPCS has been devoted to the monitoring and testing of the genotoxicity of environmental pollutants using these three bioassays since 1996 after the hands-on workshop conducted in Qingdao, China. The general aim of this programme was not only to identify the substance and situations that may entail a significant risk to humans as proposed by ICPEMC and IAEMS but also by using these single, quick, and inexpensive plant bioassays to demonstrate the effects of pollution and to carry on environmental education to the general public at an early age. The monitoring network in China could be used as the model for a global scale study to aid in restoring ecosystem health. The Chinese policy is to identify the hazards and to eliminate the sources of pollution.


PMID: 10350578

DOI: 10.1016/s0027-5107(99)00048-2

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