Pesticides, Persistent and Volatile Organic Pollutants in the Environment

The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia (2002-2006)

Principal Investigator: Vlasta Drevenkar

The aim of the project is to investigate the relationship between physico-chemical properties of selected organic micropollutants and their distribution and fate in the environment and in humans. The studied compounds are widely spread organochlorine and triazine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/F), chlorophenols, and volatile chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons.
The studies are focused on:

  • the analysis of persistent organochlorine compounds in air, atmospheric particles, coniferous tree needles, soil/sediments, and waters, partition of compounds between gas (air) and solid (particles) phase, absorption in needles, and possible biomagnification in air/needles/soil system;
  • occurrence and mobility of chloro-, methylthio- and methoxytriazine herbicides and their dealkylated/hydroxylated degradation products in water and soil environments;
  • sorption behaviour of triazine compounds and chlorophenols in soils/sediments and mechanisms of sorption interactions;
  • origins and levels of volatile chlorinated (dichloromethane, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, tri- and tetrachloroethylene) and aromatic (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene isomers) hydrocarbons in drinking water and indoor air in the Zagreb city;
  • assessment of human exposure to organochlorine pesticides, PCB, PCDD/F by their analysis in milk and serum and evaluation of long-term variations in exposure of general population in Croatia;
  • assessment of sensitive and specific bioindicators of human exposure to triazine herbicides (atrazine) by analysis of specific urinary metabolites in occupationally exposed persons;
  • assessment of the exposure of the urban (Zagreb) general population to volatile chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons by analysis of urinary excreted species and correlation with pollutant levels in drinking water and air.