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Innovative biodiagnosis meets chemical structure elucidation – Novel tools in effect directed analysis to support the identification and monitoring of emerging toxicants on a European scale

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New solutions for water pollution

Preventing or limiting pollution of surface water sources by industry is challenging due to the many kinds of pollutants being introduced into the environment. Researchers worked to equip a new generation of researchers with skills and tools to solve the problem.

Climate Change and Environment

Industrial and agricultural activities have led to a slew of chemical pollutants in most surface water sources. There are so many pollutants, in fact, that efforts at matching specific pollutants to detrimental effects to the environment are failing. The EU-funded EDA-EMERGE (Innovative biodiagnosis meets chemical structure elucidation – Novel tools in effect directed analysis to support the identification and monitoring of emerging toxicants on a European scale) initiative was established to train the next generation of environmental scientists to monitor and manage toxic pollutants in European river basins. Another goal was to understand surface water contamination and its impact on the natural environment. EDA-EMERGE developed several new biodiagnostic tools to detect hormone-influencing compounds. The researchers also simplified chemical identification by using a new software tool. Scientists made significant progress in developing bioanalytical tools. They were able to develop biological assays to identify and monitor endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The team developed standard operating procedures for bioassays and chemical screens for around 300 potentially contaminating compounds. EDA-EMERGE organised an intensive training programme in which students were taught sampling and sample preparation techniques. They also learned how to use conventional and novel biodiagnostic and chemical analysis tools. The project conducted a successful European Demonstration Programme (EDP) in which team members were able to identify new toxicants not included in pollutant lists. The EDP was carried out in four separate European river basins.

Keywords

Pollution, surface water, pollutants, EDA-EMERGE, toxicants, river basins, biodiagnostic

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