Are Complex Mixtures a New Type of Pollutants – EPFR Example
With the advancement of the technology and scientific tools more is known about environmental pollutants, sources of their emission and their environmental fate. At the same time it is becoming evident that a holistic approach to the pollutants as complex mixture systems is desired. This is a result of a molecular and nano-level synergy between different components of the emitted materials, which result in un-anticipated environmental and biological responses.
One of the examples of such complex mixtures is a Radical-Particle system. T his newly discovered pollutants called Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals exhibit unique properties resulting from the radical nature of the organic species and have been found to have prominent health effects. The reactivity of EPFR system in both environment and in physiological conditions is different compared to combined effects of all EPFR component as well as the effects of each component separately.
Originally discovered in the combustion borne particulate matter, interaction between the metal oxide clusters and aromatic compounds that produce EPFRs have been found to extend far beyond combustion systems. EPFRs presence in the soils contaminated with hydrocarbons or in the tar ball material resulting from oil spills indicates the potential of EPFRs to be formed spontaneously in the environment. In such way, a new independent system is formed that can be considered a separate pollutant entity.
Due to the synergy of the components, it is impossible to study their impacts as separate species. To understand the interrelation and potential synergy effects, a bottom-up approach is recommended. Using a scientific method and gradual introduction of different components of the studied mixture a synergy profile can be created based on the observed change in chemical properties and environmental effects in relation to the sum of the effects of each component.
Slawo, Lomnicki ( presenting )
Louisiana State University
Department of Environmental Science and
LSU Superfund Research Center
Contribution proposed for: oral presentation