ACID DEPOSITION MONITORING AND RESEARCH
The Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET) was established in 2001 with the Philippines as one of the 13 participating countries. The Environmental Management Bureau serves as the National Center and implements the various activities of EANET. These activities include monitoring of five environmental media which are wet deposition, dry deposition, soil/vegetation, inland aquatic environment and catchment-scale, and are implemented by the Environmental Research and Laboratory Services Division (ERLSD) following a set of monitoring guidelines and technical manuals.
Other EANET activities include implementation of quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) activities; implementation of technical support and capacity building activities; promotion of research and studies related to acid deposition and air pollution problems; promotion of public awareness activities; and other relevant activities such as cooperation and exchange of information and experiences with other regional and international networks/initiatives.
ASSESSMENT OF LEVELS OF DIOXINS AND FURANS IN AIR, WATER, SOIL AND FOOD SAMPLES
This study aims to provide data from laboratory measurements of the existing levels of dioxins and furans in different environmental media (e.g., air, water, and soil) collected from specific areas in the country and establish background levels of such Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) under local conditions. Investigation on the behavior of dioxins and furans in such matrices will then be undertaken as basis for future policies and regulations.
In addition, with one of the exposure routes for humans to such pollutants being through ingestion as POPs bioaccumulate and biomagnify in the food chain, food samples will also be surveyed for levels of dioxins and furans.
These are just the initial plans for dioxins and furans monitoring which will be possible with the establishment of the first Dioxins and Furans Laboratory in the Philippines under the EMB Central Office.
POTENTIAL ECOLOGICAL RISK OF POLLUTED RIVER
The study aims to assess the potential ecological risk posed by heavy metal contamination in a water body. Such is an active area of research since metals have persistent and accumulative properties in the food chain and pose a great potential of causing adverse effects to ecological and human health. Industrial activity is one of the major sources of anthropogenic release of metals, which can have different fates in the environment. Examples include attachment to different types of sediment grains and releasing back to the water column and cause contamination, with such type of metals, unlike naturally-occurring, mineral-bound metals, are much more bioavailable and mobile, have a greater tendency to cause negative impacts.
As such, understanding the distribution, and subsequent potential risks can greatly assist in effectively managing such metals in the environment, especially in crafting responsive and appropriate policies that are grounded on scientific data.
Assessing heavy metal contamination for such purposes will normally require speciation of heavy metals to better understand the mechanisms and the forms to be regulated. This provides additional information as to their mobility, bioavailability and toxicity, but the procedures involved is a limiting factor in maximizing the results. As such, analysis of total metal concentrations has been used to provide the necessary data for the same application; with the data being used in different approaches developed for ecological risk assessments.
This study aims to conduct this ecological risk assessment using Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF), a multivariate statistical method, along with Principal Component Analysis and Cluster Analysis for source apportionment, to generate an assessment of the Pasig River, initially, which can be expanded to other aquatic systems, to better establish current contamination status of the water body that may be used by decision-makers on impending land development projects, environmental protection strategies, etc.
TOXICITY ASSESSMENT OF RIVER SEDIMENTS
The study on Toxicity Assessment of River Sediment aims to generate initial baseline toxicity data which are valuable inputs in environmental criteria/guidelines formulation in the Philippines. The generated data can also be used to complement physical and chemical characterization of the aquatic environment as well as a tool for decision making related to protection of the environment and human health.
This study is initially conducted in the fourteen stations of the Pasig River Unified Monitoring Stations (PRUMS) where sediment samples were collected. Toxicity of sediment samples were assessed through a 6-day direct-contact sediment toxicity test using benthic ostracod crustacean (Heterocypris incongruens) to determine sub-lethal (growth inhibition) and lethal effects (mortality) of these sediment samples to the test organisms.
Test description and schematic diagram for the above-mentioned test are accessible at (Insert Ostracod)