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Lecture entitled “The Effect of Surface Active Agents (Surfactants) on the Aquatic Environment””

29 April 2020

As part of the cultural season of the Environmental Research Center

Dr. Rana Riyadh Khaleel-lecturer in the Department of Environmental Pollution-ERC presented a lecture online using the ZOOM platform on Tuesday, 28/4/2020 at 12:30 pm entitled “The Effect of Surface Active Agents (Surfactants) on the Aquatic Environment”. The lecturer stated that surface active agents, surfactants, are one of the types of organic pollutants that seep into the water systems as a result of disposing domestic wastes (due to the use of industrial detergents) and industrial wastes (due to industrial activity). These pollutants can cause many health problems, and thus becoming a source of concern in current time.

Surfactants are characterized by their ability to weaken the performance of conventional treatment methods where they play a negative role in the processes of biodegradation of organic components, denitification of ammonium nitrogen and activated sludge. Thus, expecting that these agents can pass through wastewater treatment units in conventional plants to the aquatic environment such as (rivers, lakes, and sediments) and so, affecting aquatic organisms (affecting the entire food chain) or plants (affecting physiological activities and metabolism in plants when these agents are absorbed on their surface or transferred through their roots) or land (soil) due to the discharge of wastewater sludge containing these agents. The bioaccumulation of these agents is an environmental having negative effects on the biological components of the ecosystem (such as toxicity and endocrine balance disorder) at which their nature are toxic and carcinogenic (whatever their concentration are very low).

 The lecturer recommended the necessity to study these agents and monitor their fate and behavior in the environment, and find appropriate methods to treat them at a level that is fit to the approved environmental standards.