Study Examines Dangers of Chemical Compounds in Great Lakes

Dec 4, 2012

A new study explores the effects of emerging contaminants on the Great Lakes.

UWM postdoctoral researcher Matt Dellinger is studying how certain compounds end up in the Great Lakes - and what impact they could have on ecological and human health.

The Great Lakes hold 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater and - increasingly, a host of worrisome chemical compounds known as "contaminants of emerging concern." According to the Alliance for the Great Lakes, those compounds can originate from everyday products – from shampoos to textiles to home furnishings. The Chicago-based organization released a report last week titled "Keeping Great Lakes Water Safe: Priorities for Protecting against Emerging Contaminants."

WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence sat down with a local scientist to learn more about the issue. Matt Dellinger recently completed his PhD dissertation on contaminants of emerging concern and human health risks associated with them. He describes himself as a "human ecological health risk assessor."

The Alliance for the Great Lakes recently put out a new report on dangerous compounds found in our freshwater lakes.

Dellinger is a postdoctoral researcher in Dept. Biological Sciences, working in the aquatics ecology lab at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.