Tracking complex mixtures of chemicals in the human and eco-exposome

November 16, 2023

Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts has published a Themed Issue on the topic of “tracking complex mixtures of chemicals in the human and eco-exposome” this month. Our group has contributed with Zhizhen’s work on prioritizing chemical features in house dust and through a collaboration with Beate Escher on mixture effects in traditional food made from beluga whale blubber.

3rd manuscript on XAD-PAS Calibration Open for Peer Review

November 3, 2023

Yuening’s third manuscript on the calibration of the XAD-based passive air sampler is now open for peer review with Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. This one describes the results for the polycyclic aromatic compounds and our attempt to make sense of them.

Mechanistic Exposure Modelling for Molecular Formulae

October 16, 2023

Can we use mechanistic exposure simulations to prioritize molecular formulae of chemical features identified by non-target analysis? By performing high-throughput calculations on assemblies of plausible isomers for each formula, Zhizhen tested this idea on data generated during the analysis of house dust by Hui’s group. Read all about it in ESPI.


Naturally produced halogenated methoxylated benzenes are ubiquitous in the Canadian atmosphere

October 13, 2023

Measuring various brominated and chlorinated methoxybenzenes of both natural and anthropogenic origin in hundreds of atmospheric samples, we find them to be ubiquitous within Canada. Faqiang’s analysis of these data and what it means for the sources and environmental pathways of this group of compounds is described in a new paper that was just published in Science Advances.

Introducing the bioaccumulation module of NEM

October 9, 2023

Ingjerd has added the calculation of food chain bioaccumulation to the Nested Exposure Model and put it to the test with data on PCB contamination in fish and wildlife from Norwegian marine waters. This work has just been published in Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts.

Using the passive sampler to probe mercury emissions at e-waste handling sites in Pakistan

September 18, 2023

Mureed and Jabir, together with their colleagues, have used the passive air sampler to investigate whether different informal e-waste handling sites contribute to gaseous elemental mercury in the atmosphere. GEM was prevalent across several urban areas in Pakistan. Read more in Waste Management.

Jenny’s paper on TBECH published in Atmos. Chem. Phys.

September 12, 2023

The emerging brominated flame retardant (BFR) TBECH (1,2-dibromo-4-(1,2-dibromoethyl)cyclohexane) has never been produced or imported for use in Canada yet is found to be one of the most abundant gaseous BFRs in the Canadian atmosphere. The spatial and temporal variability of TBECH that we recorded suggest that the release from imported consumer products containing TBECH is the most likely explanation for its environmental occurrence in Canada. Read all about it in ACP.

Two new studies involving the passive air sampler for gaseous elemental mercury

September 11, 2023

A few days ago, two paper by collaborators were published that relied on the passive air sampler for GEM. Eric Roy and colleagues from the University of Massachusetts Lowell used a vertical gradient in a forest to probe to what extent the sampler can be used to assess air-surface exchange. Qing Luo and colleagues from Peking University measured the spatial variability of GEM within the city of Zhongshan to investigate the release of GEM from facilities manufacturing mercury-added products. Read about these studies in Chemosphere and Environmental Pollution, respectively.

Does a chemical have the potential for adverse effects as a result of long range transport?

August 29, 2023

Does it matter what metric for long range transport potential is applied, when screening large numbers of organic chemicals for POP-like environmental behaviour? Knut compared the traditional approach based on CTD, TE and POV with an approach based on the emissions fraction approach. Read about the outcome of the comparison in a new paper in Env. Sci.: Adv.

How volatile does a chemical have to be not to bioaccumulate in air-breathing animals?

July 15, 2023

We typically apply a log KOA threshold of 5 to determine whether a chemical can be exhaled so efficiently that is does not bioaccumulate in animals that respire air. But is that threshold applicable to all air-breathing organisms? Leslie used physiological data for a wide variety of species to find out. Read what we found out in ES&T.