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Apr 15

Environmental testing: Getting the measure of success

Environmental testingPollution is a global issue, with interconnected environmental and health consequences. Outdoor air pollution at current levels in the UK makes a significant contribution to mortality. It has a greater burden, in terms of estimated total population survival time, than the mortality impacts of environmental tobacco smoke or road traffic accidents[i].

Water polluted with heavy metals from industrial processes can result in birth defects or cause cancer. Microbial pollutants can result in infectious diseases through drinking contaminated water and although the quality of our water has improved dramatically over the past few decades, only 27% of our water-bodies in England are currently classified as being of ‘good status’ under new standards set down by the EU Water Framework Directive[ii].

In the latest issue of Laboratory News, we explore how European environmental legislation covers a vast array of pollutants but question how robust the standards are that they are founded upon. The two-page feature outlines the challenge to analytical chemists to fully characterise measurement procedures and explains how metrology is a key component of this. It describes the work that LGC is undertaking in its role as the UK designated National Measurement Institute for chemical and bio-measurement to tackle these measurement challenges.

Visit the Laboratory News website to the read the feature.

 

[i] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/304641/COMEAP_mortality_effects_of_long_term_exposure.pdf

[ii] https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/improving-water-quality

 

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