Microplastic in the environment, Laboratory in the city, water examination challenges, perfluorised hydrocarbon research – WESSLING Hungary Kft., as a bronze sponsor, participates in this year’s Ökoindustria Expo with a virtual stand, interesting and actual presentations. Come and visit us!
The international trade fair traditionally organised by the Association of Environmental Enterprises presents the latest results and innovations of the Hungarian environmental industry – this year, as an online event.
WESSLING Hungary Kft. has been conducting high level environmental examinations for almost 30 years, which closely connect to the topics of the fair: circular economy, remediation and brown field investments, eco-innovations, green mobility, energy efficiency, renewable energy, protection of water, water and waste water management, attitude formation.
At out virtual stand, we present our services, you can watch laboratory videos and find other useful information. Besides, we have prepared four presentations about the actual environmental challenges from the point of view of the laboratory.
One of the greatest environmental challenges: examination of perfluorised hydrocarbons
Perfluorised and polyfluorised hydrocarbons (PFAS substances) are widely used in everyday life. They can be found in clothes, food packaging, hand creams, and their most important application area is fire protection. The main feature of these substances is that they are both water and oil resistant, such as Teflon, which also belongs to this substance family – the presentation starts at 11:00 on the first day of the Ökoindustria Expo, on 28th April 2021. The presentation is titled: One of the most dynamically developing segments of environmental protection: research of perfluorised and polyfluorised hydrocarbons (PFAS substances).
There are more and more comprehensive and long term toxicological examinations of these substances, which have discovered that these substances may be carcinogenic. In case of some more widely used PFAS substances (for example perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)) the human epidemiological examinations found a link between exposition and high cholesterol level, high liver enzyme level, thyroid gland disorders and other harmful deteriorations.
The environmental examination of these substances is of key importance. The sampling procedures and analytical methods have continuously been developing, though they face many challenges. The basic feature of the substances is similar, but the industry produces very variable components. The individual determination of the more thousands of compounds is not a realistic goal, the examination requires compromises and standardisation – says Palotai Zoltán, head of business branch.
Microplastic in the environment: a more and more significant problem
Global plastic production is growing even now, in 2018 altogether 359 million tons of plastic was produced in the world. Nowadays it is clearly evident that a significant part of the plastic waste gets into the natural ecosystems, waters, where their biological degradation does not happen. What is more, due to UV radiation, their chain structure is broken into smaller parts. Microplastic is the material created this way which is smaller than 5 mm.
Accidental consumption of microplastic with the normal food may induce inflammation in the digestion system of wild animals, and microplastic may get into the circulatory system and the tissues thus creating a risk for the whole food chain. The hazard is even more enhanced by the substances leaking into the waters and having toxic and endocrine disrupting effects. The surface of these substances may also contain organic contaminants.
The more intensive research of the contamination of marine environment started in the last decade, while fresh water systems got less attention. However, the presence of microplastic has been discovered in European standing and flowing waters, their sediments, and in cleaned wastewater. A major problem is that there are no standardised international methods for sampling and for the preparation of samples.
The experts of WESLSING Hungary Kft. launched microplastic research in the past years to remedy these deficiencies. On the one hand, the research provides data about the contamination of the lakes and rivers of Hungary, an on the other hand, the sampling and sample preparation method development contributes to the standardisation of microplastic examination. Bordós Gábor, project manager will give a presentation on this topic on the second day of the fair, 29 April, at 11:00.
Laboratory in the city. How can the laboratory help the local government?
Where and how can an independent laboratory help the local government? The cooperation between an independent laboratory and the town of Gyomaendrőd has shown the many areas: the surface water, thermal water was tested, the noise pollution of the railway line was measured, the locally caught fish and the locally grown buckthorns serving as the raw material for local products were also examined. The experts of WESSLING Knowledge Center, who conducted the tests in the framework of social responsibility, may offer important help to several local governments. The presentation of Filep Zoltán, head of the environment analytics branch and head of the laboratory, will be at 14:00 on 29th April.
What are the consequences of the European water directive for the laboratories?
The new water directive of the Commission of the European Union requires the examination of more, new organic compounds than before. It is expected that until 2025 the European legislation will require the sum parameter examination of about 4500 perfluorised hydrocarbons for the protection of the geological formation. Naturally, besides the new testing methods, a method needs to be developed or adapted for the determination of individual molecules. Such compound is for example BPA (bisphenol-A), of which leaching into the geological layer shall be monitored. The laboratory of WESSLING Hungary Kft, Environmental Protection Branch, routinely conducts the measurement of perfluorised octyl-sulphonic acids with LC/MS/MS technique.
Dr. Szigeti Tamás János, business development director will give a presentation titled Laboratory challenges of the EU water directive on 30th April 2021, between 10:35-10:50, in the framework of the water theme day organised by Waterscope Zrt.
We will also take part in several so-called panel discussions about different topics: Professional organisations in the water sector (participant: Palotai Zoltán), Smart monitoring of surface waters (participant: Bordós Gábor), Smart devices in the water sector (participant: Debreceni Csaba).
Join our virtual cocktail rooms! Browse our publications and websites, and watch our introductory films!