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Development of an active-passive sampling device for monitoring bioavailable pollutants in water.

Concentrations of metals (e.g. Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb Zn) and organic compounds (e.g. pesticides, flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, POP) in aquatic ecosystems have been increasing in the last several decades as a result of urban spread, farming and industrial activities. Water monitoring programs are used to assess the quality of aquatic ecosystems and verify compliance with environmental quality standards. However, the use of inadequate tools for assessing pollutant concentrations in water often result in inaccurate evaluations of ecological risk. Current approaches used for water quality monitoring either measure the total dissolved concentration of a pollutant, which has shown to be a poor predictor of ecological risk, or make large use of organisms for biological testing. This proposal aims to create and test the technology required to develop a new generation of monitoring devices capable of measuring the fraction of pollutants present in the water that is relevant for ecological risk assessment, that is, the fraction of pollutants available for assimilation in the organism and that could potentially cause toxicity. This device will be practical to transport and use on site, and will be capable of autonomously measure a wide range of pollutants in water over long periods (from days to weeks). This will significantly reduce costs related to field work operations and laboratory analyses. The new technology will contribute to more robust and reliable water quality assessments.
Date:1 Apr 2019  →  30 Mar 2020
Disciplines:Aquatic chemistry, Environmental impact and risk assessment