Title: EU-wide environmental monitoring of Persistent Organic Pollutants using butter as biomonitoring matrix
Citation: SETAC Europe 21st Annual Meeting p. 41-42
Publisher: SETAC Europe
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC61920
URI: http://milano.setac.eu/embed/Milan/AM11_extended_abstracts_1.pdf
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Lipids are good matrices to accumulate many persistent organic pollutants (POPs) due to the lipophilic nature of these chemicals. Dairy products are easily accessible and available world-wide and analysis of this matrix reflects the contamination level of the environmental compartment from which they derive.The Stockholm Conventions and the Global Monitoring Plan (GMP) encourage the production of monitoring data to effectively evaluate the presence of the POPs in all regions, in order to identify changes in levels over time, as well as to provide information on their regional and global environmental transport. Suitable sample matrix is needed to measure the temporal and spatial distribution of the priority POPs, which are both intentional and unintentionally released to the environment. Passive sample techniques have been applied to the GMP monitoring activities to assess the global long range transport of POPs. The data produced by passive samplers have been shown to correspond to the more advanced active air sampler. The advantage with passive air sampling is that no advanced equipment demanding electricity is needed. The samplers can therefore be set up everywhere, even at remote areas. But still some education of the personnel is needed to operate the sampler. Aspects such as wind direction, temperature and sampling time are crucial to register and incorporate into the calculations. In this study we demonstrate the feasibility to use another passive sample approach for screening purposes, i.e. animal lipids such as butter. The advantages to use butter as biomonitoring matrix are several; due to the lipophilic and persistent properties of POPs they are bioaccumulated in lipid rich matrix; butter reflects the contamination level of the environmental compartment from which they derive due to well known transfer factors; butter is available in almost all geographic regions and is cheap and easily accessible; moreover, this biomonitor is well buffered against temporal variations. The air-grass-cow transfer factors are available from controlled experiments. Hence it remains to verify the correlation in the field in order to assess ambient air quality. The POP levels of 160 samples from Europe have been analyzed and will be evaluated together with available air data to establish a correlation between air contamination and dairy products (assuming minimal commercial feed contamination influence).
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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