New opportunities for environmental health science researchers

21 Jun 2018

New instruments, lab and archiving spaces have provided researchers from the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS) with more capacity to address current and emerging environmental health challenges. 

The team from QAEHS recently relocated from Coopers Plains to the Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence (PACE) in Woolloongabba.

QAEHS Centre Director, Professor Kevin Thomas said the new facilities has allowed the team to continue to progress their work in understanding how and when exposure to chemicals occurs, how much chemical exposure there is, and importantly which chemicals exposure occurs from.

"This includes developing our sampling and archiving programs, to allow the rapid recognition and identification of emerging health risks," Professor Thomas said.

Within the lab spaces new instruments were installed including a new mass spectrometer and a new pyrolysis unit.

“We can characterise and quantify very small quantities of small plastic particles with the pyrolysis device.

“Micro and nanoplastics are small pieces of plastics that are known to pollute the environment but little is known about human exposure.

“We are working on developing methods to quantify human exposure via air, food and water.”

QAEHS researchers span across several areas at UQ including the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, Advanced Water Management Centre, School of Public Health, Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) and School of Communication and Arts.

“There are significant benefits now we are physically located closer to researchers from the School of Pharmacy, Translational Research Institute, Ecosciences Precinct and researchers based at other UQ campuses."