Biomonitoring of water and air samples using genotoxicity tests and the development of a strategy supporting regulation

Project Details


Industrial and domestic emissions, agriculture, exhausts etc. contribute to the generation of environmental pollutants. People are generally exposed to complex mixtures of chemicals rather than to pure compounds.
Characterisation and quantification of complex mixtures is much more difficult in comparison with the analysis of pure compounds. Health risk assessment gets complicated because biological effects can be triggered at a variety of endpoints. This project studies environmental mixtures and their biological impact, considering endpoints related to genetic toxicology.

Genetic toxicology includes every toxic effect associated with genetic material (DNA). Adverse health effects resulting from genetic damage comprise cancer, teratogenic effects and premature ageing. Therefore, indication of a genetic risk is extremely important to protect human health.
This project emphasises the use of bioassays for biomonitoring 1st surface water and industrial effluents, 2nd inhalable ambient particulate matter, 3rd a human population.
For analysis of genotoxicity, the use of bioassays is an essential completion to the usual chemical assessments. Hence, effects can be measured from complex mixtures that can not or insufficiently be characterised by existing chemical analyses. Bioassays directly reproduce the bio-availability of pollutants present in a sample or a region. The use of bioassays renders a more generalised image of possible pollution.
Effective start/end date15/10/9914/10/03

Flemish discipline codes

  • Biological sciences


  • in vitro tests
  • genotoxicity
  • environmental pollution
  • cancer