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:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned ... the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at ... fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent ... that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals ... also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association ... it will receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance ... 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain ... for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it ... the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... The Grove Investment Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations at its ... Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete system ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys by removing ... thus the treatment helps to keep the patient body,s electrolytes ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial healthcare expenditure ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... date financial data derived from varied research sources to present ... impact on the market during the next five years, including ... sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report provides ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 ... Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the ... announced today online at www.diabetesscholars.org by the ... diabetes stand in the way of academic and community ... Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and continues to advocate ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: