ISTC announces June 5-6 Emerging Contaminants Conference

Nov. 30, 2017

Event to focus on impacts in the aquatic environment, including current research, policy implications, and education.


The Emerging Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment Conference 2018 (ECAEC18) will be held on June 5-6, 2018, at the I Hotel Conference Center in Champaign, IL. The organizers of the conference are the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois.

The call for abstracts will be made in January for both oral and poster presentations at the conference.

These contaminants are not themselves unusual — pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides, herbicides, endocrine disrupting compounds, and other chemicals.  The “emerging” concern is that many are now detected in trace amounts in numerous water bodies and in some drinking water, a number of them are not regulated, and their risk to human and ecosystem health is not well known. Such contaminants have become a particular emphasis of ISTC's research efforts over the past decade.

The conference will feature presentations and posters on the latest in emerging contaminant research, policies, and education.

Three keynote addresses have been scheduled:

  • Stefan Krause, professor and chair of ecohydrology and biogeochemistry, University of Birmingham, UK;
  • Rainer Lohmann, professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography; and
  • Xuefei Zhou, professor, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, China.

There will be a special session focused on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), which includes perfluorooctyl sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Last year, the U.S. EPA established health advisories for these commonly used compounds with persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic potential.

The conference will also offer plenty of opportunities for discussion and networking with those interested in all aspects of emerging contaminants in the aquatic environment.

Researchers, educators, businesses, government officials, regulatory agencies, policy makers, outreach and extension professionals, environmental groups, members of the general public, as well as medical, veterinary, and public health professionals are encouraged to attend the conference.

The conference is presented as part of a research project by the University of California, Riverside and the U of I funded by the National Science Foundation. Jinyong Liu, assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at UC Riverside, and Yujie Men, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at U of I, are principal investigators on the research project titled, "Cobalt-catalyzed Defluorination of Branched Perfluorinated Compounds."

The ECAEC18 conference website will be regularly updated as more information becomes available. For questions, please contact the conference coordinator: Elizabeth Meschewski.

#ECAEC18, @ISTCatUIUC, @UCRiverside, @ILINSeaGrant, @CEEatIllinois