Capacity Building exercise for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) analysis in the South Pacific

IAS Laboratory Research Assistant Vincent Lal

Vincent Vishant Lal, a research assistant with the Institute of Applied Sciences had a recent research / training attachment (July 2007 until January 18) at the University of Queensland, National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology (NCRET) and the Australian Government Analytical Laboratory (AGAL) in Sydney under an Australian government research initiative.

This forms part of the on-going commitment by the Institute of Applied Sciences in contributing towards an expansion in Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) research in the South Pacific region. The institute is involved in monitoring pesticides and PCBs in environmental (air, sediment, soil, water) as well as biological matrices (human milk, food products).The recent capacity building exercise follows a string of persistent organic pollutants projects initiated by UNEP/GEF and conference presentations and short training at the Free University of Amsterdam and RELETOX in Czech Republic.

The activities undertaken by the IAS research assistant under collaborative research initiatives will significantly contribute to an increased capacity in relation to analyzing and generating reliable data through better quality control, quality assurance and collaborative interlaboratory research. It will also help in generating baseline data for Fiji Islands on (POPs) like dioxin, furans, Polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDE) polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other dioxin-like PCBs. The methods developed will be adopted by IAS laboratory, therefore, contributing towards an expansion in IAS capacity to screen for a variety of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) compounds.