Connett, PhD: Curriculum
Updated August 2013.
Paul Connett is Professor Emeritus in Environmental Chemistry at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. For the past 30 years, Paul has put his scientific knowledge to work by helping (without fee) communities around the world understand the science of controversial issues like incineration and fluoridation. In addition to explaining the dangers of these practices he offers details of the alternatives.
B.A. (Honors) in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, England (1962).
Ph.D. in Chemistry from Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (1983).
1. Interaction of metals with biological systems (chromium, lead).
2. Build-up of dioxins in food chains.
3. Health Risk Assessment.
4. The problems, dangers and alternatives to incineration.
5. Resource management for a sustainable society (Zero Waste).
6. The toxicity of fluoride and the dangers of fluoridation.
33 years total. 4 years High School; 7 years Technical College, 22 years University level.
1983-2006, Chemistry Department, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY.
Paul's research on waste management has taken him to 49 states in the US, 7 provinces in Canada and 60 other countries. He was co-editor of the the newsletter Waste Not with his wife Ellen from 1988 to 2000. He has co-authored 6 peer reviewed and published articles on dioxin and numerous other articles on waste management. In the past 30 years he has given approximately 2500 public presentations. Ralph Nader said of Paul, “He is the only person I know who can make waste interesting." His most recent publication on waste is the book "The Zero Waste Solution" (Chelsea Green, 2013). Paul has also co-produced over 50 videotapes on waste management and a 10-part series on the dangers of dioxin.
Paul's other research interests have focussed on the mechanism of action of toxic substances on the body. These substances include PCDDs (dioxins), PCDFs (furans), PCBs, chromium VI, lead, and fluoride.
Paul has researched the literature on fluoride’s toxicity and the fluoridation debate for 17 years. He helped to found the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) at http://www.fluoridealert.org/.
In the summer of 2000 he was invited by the York University team, which reviewed fluoridation for the British government, to peer review their report. His critique can be found at http://www.fluoridealert.org/york-critique.htm
In October 2000, he was invited by the Irish government to present his views on fluoridation before the Fluoridation Forum, a panel established by the Irish Ministry of Health.
In June 2001, Paul (together with Dr. William Hirzy) was invited to debate proponents of fluoridation at the annual conference of the Association for Science in the Public Interest (ASIPI) in Richmond, Virginia. The proponents refused to participate in this debate.
In October, 2001, Paul was invited by the Japanese Society for Fluoride Research to address a meeting of their society in Tokyo.
In November 2001, Paul (together with Dr. Phyllis Mullenix) were invited by the American College of Toxicology to debate proponents, but they again refused. On both the above occasions Dr. Connett gave a presentation of the arguments against fluoridation in lieu of the debate.
In January of 2003, Paul presented a keynote address on a weight of evidence analysis of the impact on water fluoridation on bone quality at the XXVth Conference of the International Society for Fluoride Research held in Dunedin, New Zealand.
In March 2003, Paul was invited by the US EPA to present the opponent’s position in a one-on-one debate on fluoridation to be held at their annual Science Forum in Washington, DC, on May 6, 2003. Despite a six week effort by the organizers of this event, no scientist or official holding a pro-fluoridation position was willing to participate in this debate. In lieu of this debate, Paul provided a power-point presentation to a packed audience, which included 8 congressional aides, representatives from major environmental organizations, EPA officials and the media. The title of Paul's talk “ Fluoridation: The Undefendable Practice.”
On August 12, 2003, Paul gave an invited presentation to the US National Research Council committee reviewing the safety of the US EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for fluoride in drinking water.
On May 13, 2004, Paul gave an invited presentation on the dangers of fluoridation to the Irish Parliamentary Committee on Health and Children.
In 2005, Paul presented a paper on Fluoridation and Osteosarcoma to a conference organized by the International Society for Fluoride Research and held in Wiesbaden, Germany.
In 2007, Paul presented the case against fluoridation to a conference organized by the International Society for Fluoride Research and held in Beijing, China.
In 2008, Paul presented the case against fluoridation to a parliamentary committee in the Knesset, Israel.
In 2009, Paul was an invited panelist in three public fora organized by the South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) in Southampton, UK.
In 2010, Paul provided testimony in a public consultation organized by the Science Committee on Health and the Environmental Research (SCHER) of the EU in Brussels.
Papers on Dioxin co-authored with Tom Webster:
1987, An estimation of the relative human exposure to 2,3,7,8-TCDD emissions via inhalation and ingestion of cow’s milk. Chemosphere, 16, 2079-2084.
1989, Critical factors in the assessment of food chain contamination by PCDD/PCDF from incinerators. Chemosphere, 18, 1123-1129.
1989, Cumulative impact of incineration on agriculture: a screening procedure for calculating population risk. Chemosphere, 19, 597-602.
1990, The use of bioconcentration factors in estimating the 2,3,7,8-TCDD content of cow’s milk. Chemosphere, 20, 779-786.
1991, Estimating bioconcentration factors and half-lives in humans using physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling, Part 1: 2,3,7,8-TCDD. Chemosphere, 23, 1763.
1996, Dioxin emission inventories: the importance of large sources. Dioxin ‘96, Amsterdam, Aug. 12-16, 1996.
1997 An expanded version of the Dioxin ‘96 paper published in Chemosphere.
1990, Risk Assessment: A Public Health Hazard? Journal of Pesticide Reform, 10, 2631.
1991, Municipal Waste Incineration and Risk Analyses: The Need to Ask Larger Questions. Floridawatch Institute, P.O. Box 7211, Gainesville, FL 32605. 11 pages.
Papers on Waste Management:
1991, The Disposable Society, a chapter in Ecology, Economics and Ethics: The Broken Circle, Borman, F.H. and Kellert, S.R. (eds.), Yale University Press.
1994, Municipal Waste Incineration: Wrong Answer to the Wrong Question. Co-authored with Ellen Connett. The Ecologist, Jan-Feb 1994, 7 pages.
1997, Medical Waste Incineration: A Mismatch Between Problem and Solution. The Ecologist (Asia) 5 (2) 31-36, March/April 1997.
1997, Science Education, Overconsumption and Survival on a Finite Planet. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 3, 132-149, Boston University.
2001, A Citizens' Agenda for Zero Waste, Paul Connett and Bill Sheehan, available at http://www.grrn.org/zerowaste/community/citizens_agenda_4_zw.html.
Papers on Chromium:
1983, Connett, P.H. and Wetterhahn, K.E., Metabolism of the carcinogen chromate by cellular constituents, Structure and Bonding, 54, pp 93-124.
1984, Wetterhahn, K.E., Cupo, D.Y. and Connett, P.H., Metal Carcinogens: Metabolism and interaction with protein and DNA. Missouri’s 18th Annual Conference on Trace Substances in Environmental Health, June 4-7, 1984, ed. D.D. Hemphill pp 154-162.
1985, Connett, P.H. and Wetterhahn, K.E., In vitro reaction of the carcinogen chromate with cellular thiols and carboxylic acids, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 107, 4282-4288.
1986, Connett, P.H. and Wetterhahn, K.E., Reaction of chromium (VI) with thiols: pH dependence of chromium (VI) thio ester formation. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 108, 1842-1847.
Papers on Nucleic Acids:
1967, Madison J.T., Holley, R.W., Poucher, J.S. and Connett, P.H., Use of polynucleotide phosphorylase in the sequence determination of oligonucleotides. Biochem. Biophys. Acta, 145, 825.
Papers on Fluoride:
2006, Connett P, Water fluoridation: Critical difference was overlooked. British Medicalk Journal, Jun 16;322(7300):1486-7.
2006, Connett P, Water fluoridation--a public health hazard, Int J Occup Environ Health, Jan-Mar;12(1):88-91.
With Tom Webster, co-authored six papers on dioxin, presented at the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 16th International Symposia on Dioxin, held in Japan, Las Vegas, Sweden, Toronto, Germany, and The Netherlands. These papers have all been peer reviewed and published in Chemosphere.
1991, 1994, 1996: Co-organizer of the First, Second, and Third Citizens’ Conference on Dioxin, held in Chapel Hill, NC; St. Louis, MO; and Baton Rouge, LA, respectively.
2004: Co-organizer of the First Citizens Conference on Fluoride held at St. Lawrence University and at Akwesasne (July 30-August 2).
1988–2000, co-editor with wife Ellen Connett, of the newsletter Waste Not, published 48 times per year. Waste Not documented the incineration issue and other related issues (heavy metals, dioxin, etc.) that provided citizens the information they were not getting from the waste disposal industry and governmental agencies..
1986-1996: with Roger Bailey of Video-Active Productions, produced 41 videotapes on various aspects of waste management, including a 10 part series on dioxin. Over 5,000 of these tapes have been distributed worldwide.
1997-2006: Executive producer for Grassroots and Global Video; produced 26 videos tapes on environmental justice, waste issues and fluoride toxicity with several more in production.
1985–present, given over 2500 public presentations in 49 states in the U.S, 7 provinces in Canada and 60 other countries (Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dubai, El Salvador, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Guam, Guatemala, Guernsey, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, South Africa, Spain, St. Croix, St. Martin/St. Maarten, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Uruguay and Wales).
1998–1990: Member of advisory panel to the OTA (Office of Technology Assessment, Washington DC – an arm of the U.S. Congress) for their study of solid waste management in the U.S.
1989-1990: Member of the New York State Senate advisory panel on solid waste management.
1992–present: Editorial Advisory Board of E Magazine.
1995–1997: member of the "December" group, overseeing the reviewing stages of the US EPA’s "Reassessment of Dioxin."
1986–present in the following states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas.
1986–present, appeared on many national radio and TV programs, including: Donohue, McNeil–Lehrer Report, Frontline (PBS), Currents (PBS), All Things Considered (National Public Radio), As It Happens (CBC–Canada), Dispatches (Channel 4, UK), BBC–Radio, Here and Now (ITV–UK), and radio and TV interviews in most of the 47 countries visited.
1986: Award of Appreciation from the Ironbound Committee Against Toxic Waste, Newark, New Jersey.
1987: Public Citizenship Award presented by New York Public Interest Research Group.
1987: Citizen of the Year Award presented by the Canton Rotary Club, Canton, NY.
1988: The Giltz Award presented by St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY, for "outstanding service to the community."
1989: Special Appreciation Award from Citizens’ Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste Inc., Movement for Environmental Justice, Arlington, VA, along with Dr. Barry Commoner, Dr. Samuel Epstein, Dr. Peter Montague, and Ralph Nader.
1990: Conservationist of the Year with Ellen Connett, presented by the Environmental Planning Lobby, Albany, New York.
1992: Appointed Chair of the Environment by the Center for Creative Communications in Derry, Northern Ireland, as part of their Impact ‘92 program.
1997: Certificate of Recognition for Environmental Achievement from the New Jersey Environmental Federation, awarded to Paul and Ellen Connett, "In appreciation for your visionary commitment to protect and preserve our environment. Your Waste Not newsletter empowers us with knowledge and your extraordinary and selfless contribution to struggling people worldwide will continue to make ours a safer world now and into the twenty first century."
2000: First Annual GAIA (Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance) award, "Putting Out the Flames".
2008. Made an honorary citizen of Monte Maggiore in Italy in recognition of work on Zero Waste education and promotion.
2013. Made an honorary citizen of Grave in Chianti, Italy in recognition of work on Zero Waste education and promotion.
1983-1990: Weekly host of a one-hour radio program on North Country Public Radio, Canton, NY, entitled Hooked on Voices.
1992–1998: Weekly host of a 2-hour radio program on North Country Public Radio, entitled Music and Company.
1987: Ralph Nader: "Paul Connett is the only person I know who can make waste interesting."
1990: Louis Blumberg and Robert Gottlieb (authors of War on Waste) wrote in The Nation, 5-28-90, pp. 742-744:"Three of the most influential of the activist experts are Peter Montague, editor of "Rachel’s Hazardous Waste News," a provocative, informative and feisty weekly newsletter published from Princeton, New Jersey, and Paul and Ellen Connett, editors of "Waste Not", another weekly newsletter published from Canton, New York. These publications have become essential reading for community groups, making obscure documents and reports accessible, covering project battles and revealing information the waste industry would rather keep hidden..."