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GLIN==> New Great Lakes funding supports research into deposition and impacts of toxic substances

New Great Lakes funding supports research into deposition and impacts of toxic substances


The Great Lakes Air Deposition (GLAD) program has announced more than $1 million in funding for new research activities to identify and reduce atmospheric inputs of toxic substances to the Great Lakes.


The nine research projects are expected to significantly advance efforts to reduce toxic substances in the Great Lakes. In particular, it is anticipated that the 2006 suite of GLAD-sponsored projects will greatly improve researchers’ ability to model the transport of persistent toxic substances in the region’s atmosphere and the path of these chemicals through the Great Lakes ecosystem.


Although concentrations of many substances in Great Lakes water and fish continue to exceed established risk thresholds, efforts to achieve further reductions are limited by the difficulty of identifying and reducing remaining sources of pollution, many of which reach the lakes through the atmosphere. The GLAD program’s goal is to identify atmospheric sources of toxic substances to the region’s waters and to determine the patterns of emission, transport, deposition and accumulation of these substances within the food chain. Continued advances in this area are needed to allow the formulation of scientifically valid approaches for identifying and reducing toxic sources to adequately protect the environment and human health.


With funding from the GLAD program, researchers at the Ohio University, SUNY-Fredonia and the University of Michigan will prepare models to determine the relationship of mercury emissions to deposition within the region. Other research teams at the University of Minnesota and Syracuse Research Corporation will develop multimedia modeling tools for screening emerging chemicals and for assessing uncertainty in model predictions, respectively.


Other funded projects include work at Michigan Technological University to develop and apply improved techniques for measuring toxic substance deposition. Measurements of mercury runoff from urban surfaces during rains will be conducted at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. A team at the University of Michigan will determine the emission rates of flame retardant chemicals from buildings. In addition, The Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services will lead efforts to study the detrimental and protective health impacts from frequent consumption of Great Lakes fish.


The GLAD program is coordinated by the Great Lakes Commission in cooperation with the air quality control agencies of the eight Great Lakes states, and with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For more information on the GLAD program or sponsored projects, visit www.glc.org/glad or contact: Jon Dettling, Great Lakes Commission, 734-971-9135 or dettling@glc.org.