James Rice (Brown University SRP) and Jillian Goldfarb (Assistant Professor at UNH and former SRP Trainee) co-organized a scientific session at the 244th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition in Philadelphia, PA on Aug. 19-23, 2012. The title of the session was “Addressing the Complex Site: Chemistry, Toxicology, and Fate of Mixed Pollutants Across Environmental Media.” In all, 23 researchers presented their research and interacted with each other during the session. The session description is as follows: The environment is contaminated by an array of anthropogenic and biogenic pollutants ranging from elemental metals (e.g., arsenic, lead, mercury) to large organic compounds (e.g., PCBs, PAHs, dioxins). These contaminants rarely persist alone. Rather, they are generally found as components of complex mixtures such as chars and tars, vapor and particulate emissions, and municipal and industrial wastes. These multi-component mixtures simultaneously contaminate various environmental media including air, water, soil, and sediment. Hazardous waste sites (e.g., Superfund and Brownfield sites) are home to a myriad of mixed contaminants, yet our knowledge of the reactivity, human health effects, and fate and transport of these pollutant mixtures often stems from data on single compounds, which might not describe the behavior of a complex system, especially when interacting compounds are present. Neglecting or simplifying these potential interactions could result in misunderstood and/or underestimated hazards. This symposium is meant to shed light on issues, challenges, solutions, and on the future direction of the field of complex site characterization and pollutant behavior via presentation of both fundamental laboratory data and also of larger-scale field/pilot studies.
Addressing the Complex Site: Chemistry, Toxicology, and Fate of Mixed Pollutants Across Environmental Media
August 27th, 2012 by Linda C. Covington