Persistent, mobile (PM) substances are being recognised as serious threats to the safety of water resources. In many cases, drinking water supplies have to be purified using expensive technologies because of contamination by PM substances. The most famous examples of PM substances are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) but there are numerous others. This worldwide problem has triggered new policies and monitoring actions, and the European Green Deal contains a broad initiative for chemical and water regulations for PM substances.
As part of this effort, a new wide-reaching European Research project, called Zero Pollution of Persistent, Mobile substances (ZeroPM), will start in autumn 2021. Funded under the H2020 call “Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future: Research and innovation in support of the European Green Deal: Innovative, systemic zero-pollution solutions to protect health, environment and natural resources from persistent and mobile chemicals”, ZeroPM includes 15 partners and will run for 5 years. The project is led by the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) with Dr Sarah Hale as the Project Coordinator and Prof. Hans Peter Arp as co-coordinator. The Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) at the University of Luxembourg is involved in this project through its Environmental Cheminformatics research group.
Zero Pollution from Persistent, Mobile Substances
ZeroPM will interlink and synergise prevention, prioritisation and removal strategies to protect the environment and human health from PM substances. To do this, ZeroPM will establish an evidence-based multilevel framework to guide policy, technological and market incentives to minimise use, emissions and pollution of entire groups of PM substances.
ZeroPM will deliver policy improvements, an increase in business opportunities and competitiveness, an improved livelihood for EU citizens and beyond state-of-the-art methods, to prevent regrettable substitution and regrettable remediation of PM substance groups. ZeroPM will be the pathfinding project enabling the ambitions of the Chemical Strategy to become an on-the-ground reality, supporting the movement towards a zero pollution, toxic-free environment.
LCSB expertise for Environmental Cheminformatics and Open Science
The Environmental Cheminformatics group led by Associate Prof. Emma Schymanski will be involved in the Substance Grouping team of ZeroPM, collaborating with co-coordinator and work package lead Prof. Hans Peter Arp (NGI) and Dr Zhanyun Wang (ETH Zurich). The Substance Grouping team will look at ways to prioritise all groups of PM substances and transformation products on the global market for prevention and remediation prioritisation, integrating this information into open resources for maximal dissemination. “We are delighted that ZeroPM is launching soon and look forward to supporting the great breadth of expertise available in the project with our open science cheminformatics approaches to help achieve the Zero Pollution aim of the Commission,” explains Prof. Schymanski.
Fifteen partners from all over Europe
The ZeroPM is coordinated by the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute and the other partners are: Stockholm University (Sweden), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands), DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser (Germany), Milieu Law and Policy Consulting (Belgium), ChemSec (Sweden), German Environment Agency (Germany), ETH Zurich (Switzerland), University of Luxembourg (Luxembourg), University of the Aegean (Greece), TG Environmental Research (UK), Chalmers (Sweden), Norwegian Water Research Institute (Norway), University of Vienna (Austria) and Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine (Germany).