Chemicals in the home: assessment of the challenge for wastewater treatment

Theme: Environmental Hazards & Pollution

Primary Supervisor:

Mark Scrimshaw

Institute of Environment, Health and Societies, Brunel

Mark Scrimshaw's Profile Picture

Project Description:

There are increasing challenges in ensuring that water quality in UK rivers meets the standards set by the Water Framework Directive. The UK water industry has investigated the occurrence of over 70 chemicals in wastewaters discharged to rivers, finding that many chemicals exceeded existing or proposed environmental quality standards.

It is increasingly believed that many of these chemicals originate from the home, rather than from industrial discharges. This project will investigate the use of chemicals in the home, and will identify if domestic uses make a significant contribution to the amount in the environment. Such information will help the regulatory bodies responsible for developing control strategies for chemicals.

The work will involve desktop studies to identify chemicals and products of possible concern (targeted analysis) and will subsequently involve laboratory work using mass spectrometric methods to determine both target and non-target chemicals.

Policy Impact of Research:

The work will have an impact in the field of water policy in the UK and Europe, where the costs of meeting environmental quality standards are of increasing concern.

It will inform the UK water industry and regulator on possible options for control of chemicals.

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