Brian McCarry : Environmentalist of the Year – 2004

Brian McCarry is the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Environment and Health and the head of the chemistry department at McMaster University.

He has contributed his scientific training and unique expertise in the environmental chemistry of carcinogens such as dioxins, furans and PAHs in air, water and soil to aid our understanding and decision-making processes. As a result, he is one of the authoritative voices of air and sediment pollution prevention in the area.

A key strength of Brian is his ability to take the science of pollution and monitoring and translate it into language that everyone can understand. He brings together scientists, policy makers, citizens, business and all levels of government.

By looking at environmental health issues from all aspects, Brian has been able to draw attention, support and action for significant permanent changes that have improved air and water quality in Hamilton.

Brian was one of the founding members of the Hamilton Air Quality Initiative now known as Clean Air Hamilton. Brian has been the volunteer chair of this key organization for the last five years. He has also served on the Board of the Bay Area Restoration Council from 1997 to 2004 and as an active member of the implementation team for the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan. He chaired the toxic substances panel in the RAP update and has played a key role in efforts to find a solution to the remediation of contaminated sediments in Randle Reef.

His research activities included on-site monitoring during the Plastimet fire, and longer term research on the sources of airborne particulate matter (PM) in Hamilton and their impacts on human health. His efforts have contributed to the identification of effective actions that have reduced air pollution in the industrial areas of Hamilton.