Department Environmental Chemistry

On the trail of pollutants

Our research team studies the presence, distribution and fate of organic pollutants in the aquatic environment. The focus of our research is on substance flux from urban areas and from agriculture, and the main tools that we use for this work are trace analysis, field and laboratory studies and modelling.

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Foto: Eawag

MS2field - Complex analysis technology automated and packed on wheels

June 9, 2021
MS2field explained in brief... click here  to watch the YouTube video.

Switzerland News - Mitholz Ammunition Depot Toxic traces in the water

March 3, 2021
Traces of toxic explosive compounds such as TNT and its transformation products were found downstream of the former ammunition storage site in Mitholz. Plans for site remediation and the complex hydrogeology of the Kander valley raise concerns about future water contamination.
See reporting  on Swiss television. Only available in Swiss German.

Photo: Eawag, Urs Schönenberger
Here, water from several inlet shafts converges before flowing directly into the nearby stream. (Photo: Eawag, Urs Schönenberger)

Shortcuts lead to greater pesticide contamination

November 3, 2020
In agricultural areas, large volumes of water from fields, roads and paths drain directly into streams via manholes and other forms of artificial drainage. These shortcuts also transport pesticides into surface waters – and, according to a new study, in significantly larger quantities than was previously assumed. read more


Sediementcore from Greifensee (Photo: Eawag, Schmid)
Sediementcore from Greifensee
(Photo: Eawag, Schmid)

Early Recognition of Pollutants in Soils and Sediments

September 02, 2020
Researchers from Agroscope, Eawag and ETH have developed a method for the comprehensive detection of organic pollutant residues in soils and sediments. Initial results show that, in addition to known substances, there are also a number of substances detected for the first time.  read more

Latest publications

Staudacher, P.; Brugger, C.; Winkler, M. S.; Stamm, C.; Farnham, A.; Mubeezi, R.; Eggen, R. I. L.; Günther, I. (2021) What agro-input dealers know, sell and say to smallholder farmers about pesticides: a mystery shopping and KAP analysis in Uganda, Environmental Health, 20, 100 (19 ), doi:10.1186/s12940-021-00775-2, Institutional Repository
Carles, L.; Wullschleger, S.; Joss, A.; Eggen, R. I. L.; Schirmer, K.; Schuwirth, N.; Stamm, C.; Tlili, A. (2021) Impact of wastewater on the microbial diversity of periphyton and its tolerance to micropollutants in an engineered flow-through channel system, Water Research, 203, 117486 (14 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2021.117486, Institutional Repository
Hansen, W. A. H.; Schlünssen, V.; Jørs, E.; Sekabojja, D.; Ssempebwa, J. C.; Mubeezi, R.; Staudacher, P.; Fuhrimann, S.; Hansen, M. R. H. (2021) Precision and accuracy of FEV1 measurements from the Vitalograph copd-6 mini-spirometer in a healthy Ugandan population, PLoS One, 16(6), e0253319 (11 pp.), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0253319, Institutional Repository
von Arb, C.; Stoll, S.; Frossard, E.; Stamm, C.; Prasuhn, V. (2021) The time it takes to reduce soil legacy phosphorus to a tolerable level for surface waters: what we learn from a case study in the catchment of Lake Baldegg, Switzerland, Geoderma, 403, 115257 (12 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2021.115257, Institutional Repository