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Volume 1, No. 1 was published in July, 1994, and focused on research related to the fate and transport of toxic substances. This issue covers research related to the effects of toxics. Contributors include investigators associated with the cooperating organizations as well as invited guests. This issue is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide the readers with an inventory of effects- related research. It is a collection of articles which paints a picture of the complexity of the issues and some of the ways we have for asking relevant questions and seeking answers. This review assumes that the public policy implications of the presence of toxic chemicals in the environment is in itself important. In that spirit, this issue begins by looking at two fascinating and interrelated policy debates which arise out of conflicting interpretations of the known and suspected effects of toxic chemicals in the Great Lakes environment: the “ecosystem approach” to policy formulation and environmental management and the recent calls for a ban on the use of chlorine as an industrial feedstock.