Skip to main content

Overlooked Unresolved Toxic Organic Pollutants: Resolution, Identification, Measurement and Toxicity:OUTREACH

Objective

Organic pollution exceeds an area greater than that of France+Germany. Toxic, persistent, unresolved and unidentified, complex mixtures (UCMs) of organic chemicals are abundant all over the globe. These UCMs, which encompass a number of chemical classes, are outside present EU and world pollutant regulations. It is very important that these toxicants are identified, measured and their effects studied. Until recent work in my lab, few methods allowed such UCMs to be identified. Even now, we have only made studies of unresolved alkylated derivatives of benzene; there are numerous other unstudied classes of UCM chemicals widespread in the environment. These will be amenable to study by the new methods once optimised and new high throughput screening methods will then allow 10,000 chemicals per day to be tested for toxicity. In the present project, firstly, novel gas chromatography x gas chromatography-time of flight-mass spectrometry (GCxGC-ToF-MS) methods will be used to separate, identify and measure, novel UCM compounds isolated from water soluble fractions of a range of crude oils; secondly, the same methods will be used to identify previously UCM toxicants in polluted mussels collected from a range of global locations. Thirdly, representatives of each compound class will be synthesised and toxicities assayed using mussel feeding rates, amphipod reproduction and growth rates and fish hepatocyte assays. Finally, the UCMs, newly resolved and identified in polluted mussels will be isolated and fractionated by preparative high performance liquid chromatography and their toxicities assayed, in an effects-directed approach. This will establish definitively the range of compounds in the UCMs that are toxic, and will deliver new methods by which UCMs may be routinely assayed and no longer overlooked. The major outcome of this investigation will be much improved assessment of the effects of organic chemical pollutants on the health of the global coastal marine environment

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/fossil energy/gas
  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/environmental sciences/pollution

Call for proposal

ERC-2008-AdG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Host institution

UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH
Address
Drake Circus
PL4 8AA Plymouth
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 842 062
Principal investigator
Steven John Rowland (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
John Martin (Dr.)

Beneficiaries (3)

UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 842 062
Address
Drake Circus
PL4 8AA Plymouth
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Steven John Rowland (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
John Martin (Dr.)
NORSK INSTITUTT FOR VANNFORSKNING
Norway
EU contribution
€ 118 453,50
Address
Gaustadalleen 21
0349 Oslo
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Merete Johannessen Ulstein (Ms.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 39 484,50
Address
The Queen's Drive Northcote House
EX4 4QJ Exeter
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Enda Clarke (Dr.)