Emerging pollutants in fish – Developing rational approaches for prioritisation from the perspective of mixture toxicology

Theme: Environmental Pollution

Main Supervisor:

Andreas Kortenkamp

Institute for the Environment, BRUNEL

Second Supervisor:

Rakesh Kanda

Institute for the Environment, BRUNEL

Project Description:

There is a mismatch between the thousands of chemicals reaching the aquatic environment and those considered as priority pollutants under the Water Framework Directive. These priority chemicals are usually well-researched chemicals, while other chemicals with toxic potential are not considered.

Furthermore, mixture effects of multiple pollutants are not considered. This mismatch can will be bridged by identifying new chemicals with toxic properties in the tissues of fish caught in European rivers and assessing their mixture effects.

Tissue extracts will be screened for toxic effects and active fractions subjected to cutting-edge chemical analytical technologies to reveal novel, previously unidentified chemicals. The combined effects of chemicals will be assessed, and those with the largest contribution to a mixture effect identified in order to arrive at a new re-prioritised list of toxic chemicals to be considered for regulation.

Policy Impact of Research:

New tools for setting priorities for aquatic pollutants are urgently required to underpin rational decision making both nationally and in Europe.

This project will contribute to this aim. This project benefits from the Institute’s role in several large-scale European-funded research projects.


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