Navigation Links
Model shows how façade pollutants make it into the environment
Date:12/9/2011

Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial additives in house paint are present in dangerous quantities in the Vauchre river basin in the city of Lausanne, says a study to be presented the 9th of December, at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference in San Francisco. Chemicals engineered to kill microorganisms, called biocides, are added to exterior paints in order to prevent molding and plant growth. Washed off of building facades during heavy rains, however, these chemicals can be wind up in soil, groundwater and river basins where they attack bacteria, fungi and algae at the bottom of the food chain. Researchers at EPFL's Ecological Engineering Laboratory have now modeled the flow of biocides from building faades into river basins with surprising accuracy, which could lead to stricter regulations for Switzerland and abroad.

In Switzerland, biocides are present in exterior paint on some 60% of buildings and they are common worldwide. The global demand on all biocides for use in industrial and consumer goods was estimated at US$6.4 billion in 2008. Certain antifouling biocides have been phased out of use on boat hulls after being proven toxic to marine life.

The mathematical tool developed by Sylvain Coutu at EPFL accurately predicts peak concentration levels in a local river of three biocides commonly found in industrial paint: DCMU, Terbutryn and Carbendazim. Coutu predicted the concentration of these biocides after four rainstorms during the spring of 2011 and compared the numbers to actual measurements taken from the river. The model proved accurate up to a couple of nanograms per liter, an impressive feat considering the variety and complexity of variables. The model's strength comes from its ability to simplify urban surface hydraulic behaviorshow water is channeled down streets and gutters or lawns and gardensand still remain extremely accurate.

"A true toxicology report should include peak levels of concentration after rainfall, and we have created the first model that takes them into account over a period of time," says Coutu.

Establishing a working model has the advantage of reproducibility as well as reducing dependency on expensive testing. Once a reliable model has been created it can be used in other regions, although the model needs to be adapted to the specific geography, for example the surface area of contaminated faades as well as the quick water drainage of urban surfaces. Once the input is determined and the dynamics of the hazardous substances reacting to rainfall are worked out, it is possible to estimate the concentrations of these substances to see if they exceed acceptable levels.

The biocides that reached the river basin in Switzerland did so in extremely small concentrations30 nanograms per liter, or 30 parts per trillion, of the chemical DCMU were present after heavy rains. DCMU is a common herbicide and algicide developed in the 1950s in Germany and the threshold concentration after which this substance is considered a threat for the environment is 20 nanograms per liter. DCMU is considered harmful and can potentially kill algae and other plantlife by inhibiting photosynthesis and thus depriving the organisms of energy. Biocides in general do not degrade easily, thus increasing their risk of moving up the food chain and making their way, in higher and higher concentrations, throughout the environment.

"While it may seem like a very small concentration, 20 nanograms is all that is needed to have an impact on the ecosystem since these chemicals are engineered to kill at very low doses," explains Coutu. Furthermore, the study also proves that water behavior in urban environments can be accurately modeled, opening the door to further toxicology studies for city ecosystems.


'/>"/>
Contact: Michael Mitchell
michael.mitchell@epfl.ch
41-798-103-107
Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Supercomputer reveals new details behind drug-processing protein model
2. Funding models not associated with better preventive care delivery
3. When errors improve performance: Model describes how experiences influence our perception
4. New Stanford model establishes guidelines for earlier cancer detection
5. UGA researchers develop first mouse model to study important aspect of Alzheimer’s
6. BMC selected spinal cord injury model system site by NIDRR
7. Probability model estimates proportion of women who survive breast cancer detected through screening
8. BU presents approach to access biorelevant structures by remodeling natural products
9. Researchers get $3 million National Institutes of Health grant for mathematical models of prostate cancer aggressiveness
10. Frazier Rehab, UofL earn $2.2 million grant for Spinal Cord Injury Model System
11. Molecular depth profiling modeled using buckyballs and low-energy argon
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Model shows how façade pollutants make it into the environment
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, ... ... in the patient payment industry today announced its strategic partnership with Connance, ... system workflows. , The two companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine to provide ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Battle Creek, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... abuse, joined as sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table ... held in honor of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women are confused ... endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate symptoms and ... help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The specialists at ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand ... project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s ... within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary ... Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. ... Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; ... for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a ... septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first ... integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... infection and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOS ANGELES , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... (NASDAQ: CAPR ), a biotechnology company ... first-in-class therapeutics, today announced that patient enrollment in ... progrEssion in Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its ... its enrollment in the third quarter of 2016, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Bracket , ... launch its next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) ... held on June 26 – 30, 2016 in ... first electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind to ... #715. Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: