MSc: Mr. Vincent Lal - Institute of Applied Science
Degree: Master of Science in Chemistry
Researcher: Mr. Vincent Lal
Thesis title: Monitoring for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Fiji's environment.
Principal Supervisor: Prof. William Aalbersberg ;
Co-supervisor: Prof. Jochen Mueller
Persistent Organic Pollutants or POPs are harmful chemicals that persistent in the environment long after their use or are formed accidently; hence have the ability to cause injury to the environment and human beings. Their affinity for lipids is one way it bioaccumulates and cause potential risk to organisms at all levels of the food chain. Being semi-volatile compounds, POPs are able to migrate and hence disperse on a global scale. Due to these risk factors, the United Nations under the Stockholm Convention agreed to ban the use and production of all POPs, especially the twelve listed as the “dirty dozen”, including pesticides like DDT and accidentally formed products like dioxins. Most of the data on POPs levels have come from developed countries. In the Pacific Islands, including Fiji there is almost no research data and little is known about levels, sources, formation or transfer of POPs in Fiji’s Environment.
The aim of this project is to find the concentration or levels of POPs like DDT, PCBs, PBDEs, dioxins and furans in ambient air, sediment and soil across Fiji Islands.
The significance of this study is to establish a baseline data on the levels of POPs in ambient air, sediment and soil in Fiji Islands and so fill in important data gaps on POPs level in Fiji.