A new publication in the Australasian Bulletin of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Chemistry (ABEEC) found that dust samples, collected in the DustWatch monitoring project, hold important clues about the movement of persistant organic pollutants around Australia. DustWatch is a national citizen scientist program that sees volunteers collect dust from strategic locations around Australia. The program was establish to maintain a dust collection service after many Bureau of Meteorology weather stations went automatic. The study, headed by Dr Julia Jasonsmith an Environmental Chemist and Director at Murrang Earth Sciences, used samples from a site near Mildura, Victoria, found families of POPs in the samples, which varied in concentration and through time.
The study also highlighted the potential of DustWatch samples to identify long-term trends of contaminant transport around Australia. There are 4,300 samples in the DustWatch collection dating back to 1990, meaning that there are historical trends waiting to be uncovered!
Read more about it, and find our other ABEEC articles on our publications page.
Dust may be an important vector for persistent organic pollutants in Australia.
Australia recently banned the mercury-based pesticide Shirtan, but is yet to ratify the Minamata Convention which aims to protect human and environmental health from mercury emissions. Dr …