Department Environmental Chemistry

Chlorothalonil puts strain on water supply February 20, 2020

Degradation products of the fungal agent chlorothalonil are found widely in groundwater on the Swiss Plateau, even in places where it is used as drinking water. Dealing with these substances is becoming a challenge for waterworks. There is a wide range between rash immediate measures and concealing the problem. An Eawag fact sheet serves to contribute to an objective discussion and longer-term strategies. read more

 

Contact

Prof. Dr. Juliane Hollender Head of Department Tel. +41 58 765 5493 Send Mail

Pesticides Transformation products pollute groundwater August 15, 2019

Swiss groundwater contains numerous pesticide degradation products. This has been discovered by an extensive screening by Eawag and ETH Zurich. The transformation products (metabolites) originate predominantly from pesticides from agriculture. read more

 

Contact

Prof. Dr. Juliane Hollender Head of Department Tel. +41 58 765 5493 Send Mail

Getting into murky waters: Blue-green algae produce cocktail of potential toxins March 26, 2019

Freshwater lakes are teeming with blue-green algae that produce a heady cocktail of substances. Little is known as yet about the health risks associated with these substances, although a review of the literature by Eawag scientist Elisabeth Janssen has now revealed some potentially harmful effects. read more

 

Contact

Dr. Elisabeth Janssen Senior Scientist / group leader Tel. +41 58 765 5428 Send Mail

Surprising discovery of pollutants in gammarids December 3, 2018

Amphipods in Swiss waters are exposed to insecticides, pharmaceutical residues and other trace substances, and accumulate these in their bodies. However, when water-treatment plants are upgraded, practically no trace substances are found in these organisms according to a new study carried out by Eawag researchers. read more

 

Contact

Prof. Dr. Juliane Hollender Head of Department Tel. +41 58 765 5493 Send Mail

Eawag water experts contributing to a new online course 02. November 2017

Christian Stamm and Alfred Johny Wüest are lecturing along with other academics and practitioners in a new online course on “Water in Switzerland”, run by the University of Zurich. The course, addressed to the public, examines how this element affects various aspects of life in Switzerland. Read more

Contact

Dr. Christian Stamm Deputy Head of Department Tel. +41 58 765 5565 Send Mail

26. Oktober 2017 Determining when Anthropocene epoch starts

Humans have so profoundly altered the Earth that, some scientists argue, our current geologic epoch requires a new name: the Anthropocene. But defining the precise start of the era is tricky. Would it begin with the spread of domesticated farm animals or the appearance of radioactive elements from nuclear bomb tests? Scientists report in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology a method to measure levels of human-made contaminants in sediments that could help pinpoint the Anthropocene’s onset. Read more

Contact

Prof. Dr. Juliane Hollender Head of Department Tel. +41 58 765 5493 Send Mail

12. Oktober 2017 Pesticides: long-term persistence in soils

According to a study funded by the Federal Office for the Environment, pesticides or transformation products can persist in soils for a decade or more. In the study, Eawag and Agroscope scientists analysed topsoil samples collected from 14 agricultural sites between 1995 and 2008 as part of the Swiss Soil Monitoring Network programme. Read more 

Contact

Prof. Dr. Juliane Hollender Head of Department Tel. +41 58 765 5493 Send Mail

20. August 2017 Degradation of pharmaceuticals through sunlight in the water...

The degradation of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in surface waters is accelerated by sunlight. The presence of organic matter affects photochemical degradation significantly. How the various processes are interconnected was presented in our current publication. read more

Contact

Dr. Elisabeth Janssen Senior Scientist / group leader Tel. +41 58 765 5428 Send Mail

01. Juni 2017 The scientists investigated water chemistry and biology in reaches upstream and downstream of WWTPs

Micropollutants enter rivers and streams in effluents discharged from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). As well as having adverse impacts on individual species, these substances appear to alter aquatic ecosystem functions, such as litter decomposition. This was shown by a research project launched by Eawag in view of the planned upgrade of selected Swiss WWTPs to reduce micropollutant loads. The effects of the first upgrades are already evident. Read more 

Contact

Dr. Christian Stamm Deputy Head of Department Tel. +41 58 765 5565 Send Mail

01. Februar 2017 Kathrin Fenner appointed as Professor ad personam at University of Zurich

Kathrin Fenner was appointed as extraordinary professor ad personam in the field of environmental chemistry. Kathrin Fenner is group leader in the department of Environmental Chemistry at Eawag. She graduated in Chemistry at the University of Zurich and obtained her PhD at the Department of Chemistry of ETH Zurich.

Additionally, she achieved a postgraduate degree in Industrial Management and Manufacturing and in 2010 she received the venia legendi in Environmental Chemistry at ETH Zurich. The topic of her habilitation thesis was “Exposure assessment for organic contaminants - Improving scope and accuracy”. Kathrin Fenner was visiting researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA, and visiting researcher with an SNF Fellowship for Advanced Researchers at the University of Minnesota, USA.

Related Links:
Department of Chemistry, University of Zurich

Contact

Prof. Dr. Kathrin Fenner Senior scientist / group leader Tel. +41 58 765 5085 Send Mail