New Pollutants, New Problems, New Chemistry Research
How do we maintain our way of life without poisoning ourselves and our environment?
We use chemicals extensively to improve our quality of life, but some chemicals, or their byproducts, are released into the environment where they may accumulate in humans and ecosystems. While much is known about how some chemicals behave and affect the environment, little is known about many others.
As Canada Research Chair in Environmental Toxicology, Dr. Charles Wong is investigating the environmental fate, transport and effects of chemical pollutants. Dr. Wong is particularly interested in emerging pollutants, about which little is known. These include flame retardants, pharmaceuticals and breakdown products.
We also know little about chiral pollutants, which are pairs of mirror-image forms that behave identically in the environment but which may have different biological effects and toxicity. Many pollutants are chiral, including pesticides such as DDT and such legacy chemicals as PCB.
Understanding how to measure these chemicals, and how they behave and act in the environment, will lead to better ways to protect the environment and our way of life from their negative effects.