Environmental Forensics for Persistent Organic Pollutants

1st Edition

Editors: Gwen O'Sullivan Court Sandau
Print ISBN: 9780444594242
eBook ISBN: 9780444594518
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 9th December 2013
Page Count: 424
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Environmental forensics is a combination of analytical and environmental chemistry, which is useful in the court room context. It therefore involves analytical studies and both data interpretation and modelling connected with the attribution of pollution events to their causes. 

Of all the pollutants released into the environment by human activity, Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are among the most dangerous. They are highly toxic, causing an array of adverse effects, including disease, birth defects among humans and animals, and death. Specific effects can include cancer, allergies, and hypersensitivity; damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems; reproductive disorders; and disruption of the immune system

This book represents a compilation of the state of art in environmental forensics in relation to persistent organic pollutants (POP's). Through the presentation of case studies, from leading international experts, real world issues including the allocation of responsibility for release into the environment will be solved through the application of advance analytical and scientific techniques.

Table of Contents


List of Contributors

Chapter 1. Brief Overview: Discovery, Regulation, Properties, and Fate of POPs

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Brief History

1.3 Chemistry and Properties of POPs

1.4 Environmental Behavior

1.5 How to Use This Book


Chapter 2. Environmental Regulation and Litigation

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Regulations

2.3 Legal Proceedings in the United States

2.4 Legal Proceedings in Canada

2.5 Conclusions


Chapter 3. Analytical Methodology of POPs

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Extraction

3.3 Sample Extract Cleanup

3.4 Chromatography

3.5 Instrumental Analysis

3.6 Quality Assurance/Quality Control

3.7 Method Development/Validation

3.8 Accreditation

3.9 Calibration

3.10 Applications

3.11 Isotope Ratios of POPs


Chapter 4. Sample Collection and Management for Environmental Forensic Investigations

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Protocols and Standards

4.3 Quality Systems

4.4 Data Verification, Validation, and DQAs

4.5 Analytical Planning

4.6 Personnel

4.7 Documentation and Sample Control

4.8 Audio–Visual Evidence

4.9 Sample Containment and Transport

4.10 Transfer of Sample Custody

4.11 Data Acquisition

4.12 Conclusions


Chapter 5. Biomonitoring for POPs

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Toxicokinetics of POPs—Overview

5.3 Developments in Analytical Chemistry Required for Sensitive Biomonitoring

5.4 Characterizing General Population Exposure Levels to Provide Reference Values for Assessment of Other Populations

5.5 Biomonitoring as a Tool to Study Populations with Elevated Exposures

5.6 Food Contamination Incidents

5.7 Environmental Exposure Pathways


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© Elsevier 2014
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Hardcover ISBN:

About the Editor

Gwen O'Sullivan

Dr. O’Sullivan is an environmental chemist whose technical expertise includes environmental chemistry, environmental forensics, and contaminated land and groundwater. Dr. O’Sullivan earned a BSc in Environmental Sciences from University of Limerick, and a PhD from the Environmental Engineering Research Center within the department of Engineering at Queen’s University of Belfast. She has worked on numerous projects including the development of technologies and remedial actions plans for the treatment of petroleum hydrocarbon, chlorinated solvent, and saline impacted sites. She has also designed and managed environmental forensics investigations involving compounds of concern including drilling fluids, petroleum hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans, methane, and nitrates. She has also authored several successful research grant applications to major research councils, both nationally and internationally.

Affiliations and Expertise

Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Court Sandau

Dr. Sandau is an analytical environmental chemist with expertise in environmental forensics investigations, biomonitoring, data quality and data validation, legal sampling, and expert witness and litigation support. Dr. Sandau obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario and his PhD from Carleton University. Dr. Sandau has developed and validated numerous analytical methodologies to quantify many different chemical contaminants and written standard operating procedures to meet the stringent criteria of laboratory governing bodies. Dr. Sandau specializes in evaluating and establishing strict quality assurance and quality control for investigations involving analytical data from sampling techniques and strategies to third party data validation. Dr. Sandau’s experience includes working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At CDC, Dr. Sandau managed a laboratory responsible for the analytical toxicology and exposure assessment of humans to environmental contaminants. He has been involved in numerous epidemiological studies (including recruiting public participation) examining the impact of chemical contaminants on cancer, endocrine function, brain development, and other measures of health impacts. Previously, Dr. Sandau worked at the National Wildlife Research Center measuring contaminants in environmental and wildlife samples with the purpose of examining the biomagnification, biotransformation, and toxicological effects of priority pollutants in the arctic and Great Lakes food webs. Dr. Sandau is currently the sole proprietor of Chemistry Matters and is an Adjunct Professor in the Engineering Department at the University of Calgary where he lectures on the subject of environmental forensics.

Affiliations and Expertise

Chemistry Matters, Calgary, Alberta, Canada


"...the editors and contributors do a good job of describing a very rapidly growing field from all sides, starting with early insecticides, including Aldrin and DDT. Summing Up: Recommended."--CHOICE Reviews Online, 'Oct 14

"The book is clearly written and comprehensive. The information in book represents a significant advancement in the forensic sciences and while specific to POPs, is applicable to the forensic investigation of many contaminants of concern." --Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry,July 2014
"Biological and environmental scientists, almost exclusively from the anglophone Atlantic explain the theories and processes for identifying natural or artificial organic compounds in the environment that resist biological, chemical and photolytic degradation; and identifying the source of the compound with enough assurance that polluters can be convicted."--ProtoView.com, April 2014