Oral Presentation Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Australasia 2021

Assessing the risk of Emerging Contaminants in New Zealand (#12)

Louis A Tremblay 1 , Grant L Northcott 2 , Olivier Champeau 3 , Andrew Barrick 3 , Kirsty Smith 3 , Xavier Pochon 4 , James Ataria 3 , Izzie Alderton 5 , Virginia Baker 3 , Michael Stewart 6 , Graham Sevicke-Jones 7 , Frederic Leusch 8
  1. Cawthron Institute/University of Auckland, Nelson, NELSON, New Zealand
  2. Northcott Research Consultants Limited, Hamilton, New Zealand
  3. Cawthron Institute, Nelson, New Zealand
  4. Cawthron Institute/University of Auckland, Nelson, New Zealand
  5. ESR, Wellington, New Zealand
  6. Streamlined Environmental Ltd, Hamilton, New Zealand
  7. Landcare Research, Wellington, New Zealand
  8. Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia

Emerging organic contaminants (EOCs) are natural or manufactured chemicals. They can be used daily and released into the environment in significant quantities. Policy makers, the food industry, Māori and the wider community are increasingly concerned about the risk EOCs pose to human and receiving ecosystems health. Our interdisciplinary team of local Iwi, council, local and international scientists aims to better characterise the presence of EOCs in NZ and assess their risk to aquatic ecosystems. The research builds deeper understanding of the risks that EOCs pose to our unique taonga including their potential to induce antimicrobial resistance and accumulate in food.  EOCs are difficult to regulate as their effects are often associated with long-term exposure, rather than immediate rapid effects. Our research suggests the concentration of EOCs in wastes and receiving environments is similar to that reported in other developed countries. The approach uses passive sampler methodologies and effect-directed analysis (EDA) to identify persistent EOCs. We are using multi-generational methodologies and omics analysis to characterise mechanisms of toxicity and harm. We investigate the potential of EOCs to modulate anti-microbial resistance.  A National Strategy was developed to inform effective national policy and support Iwi, council and community action.