Managing the risk of emerging contaminants in New Zealand


Louis Tremblay

Friday October 18
2:30 – 3:30
Lecture Theatre E16
University of Canterbury

Emerging Contaminants (ECs) are natural or manufactured chemicals in household and personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and agrichemicals; their use and discharge are largely unregulated. ECs are used daily by individuals and industries globally with substantial amounts released into the environment. There are concerns about the risks ECs pose to the environment and our food. International research shows ECs are widespread and detrimental to the health and resilience of freshwater and marine ecosystems. EC contamination could pose a risk to our primary industry. I will cover the structure of the ECs MBIE project that includes a Strategy to Manage ECs in NZ and a National Advisory panel of experts from regional councils, government agencies, industry, and Māori will oversee the progress of the research to ensure that the goal of protecting NZ from ECs is achieved. The knowledge gaps on priority ECs make it challenging to develop threshold-based guideline values. I will cover current efforts to characterise the risk of ECs including novel modes of toxicity and potential for bioaccumulation and biomagnification and how this knowledge could be applied to develop national guidelines for water quality and waste application to land.

Louis Tremblay is an environmental toxicologist in the Coastal and Freshwater Group at the Cawthron Institute and a Senior Lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences of the University of Auckland. He is involved in the development of methodologies to characterise the effects of anthropogenic stressors on the receiving environment. His research involves assessment of the toxicity of contaminants and complex mixtures, like sewage effluent. Louis' main area of interest is the characterisation of the mechanisms of toxicity of microcontaminants on New Zealand receptor species using a range of methodologies like omics.

  • 18/10/2019
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  • 14:30 - 15:30
  • Lecture Theatre E16, University of Canterbury, Christchurch , NZ