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Last updateTue, 28 Mar 2023 5pm

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Pollutants in the environment: 30-40 years from the ban to reach non-harmful levels

R+D CSIC 30 years

In the last three decades, scientists have make great progress in the detection of various pollutants in the environment and in living organisms. Pollutant accumulation in humans and animals (fish, dolphins, whales, birds, sea turtles, among others) has been demonstrated, as well as their distribution in the food chain, and scientists study their effects.

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Climatic change and ecology

30 years of R+D CSIC

In 1990 the first IPCC report on climate change was presented. What has changed in these years? Among other things, scientists found out the limits of vegetation to sequester CO2, and have study how it influences the nitrogen/phosphorus balance and other soil elements. Also, a recent work has revealed that Arctic temperatures are reaching a critical threshold.

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New suspects: sunscreens and parabens

R+D CSIC 30 years

Sunscreens are a recent addition to the list of pollutants to monitor. Thirty years ago, the technology to detect them and the techniques to see their effect on living organisms did not exist, but neither was there any thought of looking for them. The exponential growth of personal care and hygiene products incorporating sunscreens has triggered research into them.

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Technology to encapsulate toxic mining waste in mine backfill cement

A study demonstrates the potential of encapsulation in cement to manage mining waste containing antimony, a toxic pollutant considered a priority by the European Union. The research has transformed a toxic waste into a non-toxic waste suitable for mine backfilling.

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Oestrogens, illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals in wastewater

R+D CSIC 30 years

In 1998, scientists found out the first evidence that fish in European rivers were being "feminised" by oestrogenic pollutants in wastewater. Today, wastewater monitoring has methods to detect oestrogens, illicit drugs, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, antibiotics...

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