Micro-pollutants are chemicals potentially causing adverse effects in organisms at concentrations as low as a few ng/L. They are found almost everywhere and comprise very different compounds, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides and industrial chemicals. Released by industry, households, or agriculture, micro-pollutants enter the environment and spread throughout the water ecosystem. Although most of them are partly degraded in the sewage treatment plant or in the water bodies, they are usually not completely removed. After being taken up by aquatic organisms or humans via contaminated water or food, micro-pollutants are transported to different tissues within the organism. Depending on the properties of the micro-pollutants and the biology of the target species, they may bio-accumulate, metabolized and eliminated or cause adverse effects. These effects may translate into alterations on a higher biological level such as disturbance of the reproduction of fish or even the balance in aquatic ecosystems.
This talk aims at contributing to the understanding of the fate and the potency of these contaminants, exemplified on the example of compounds with hormone-like activity, which are today considered as micro-pollutants of greatest concern.
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Prof. Patricia Holm, Professor of Ecology at the University of Basel, Switzerland
- Wednesday, 13 July 2011
- 12.15 p.m. - 1.30 p.m.
Seminar Room 3-5
Level 3, Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road