Kersten VAN LANGENHOVE
Now Research & Grant Officer, VUB Research and Development office.
As a Post-Doctoral Researcher within the Analytical, Environmental & Geo-Chemistry lab at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, I was primarily active on the topic of endocrine disrupting and active compounds in aquatic environments using both in vitro reporter gene assays and chemical UHPLC-MS/MS tools for quantification and identification.
I obtained my Bachelor and Master degree from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and enrolled there also for a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Dr. ir. Marc Elskens. My research then was focussed on the method optimization of the CALUX bioassay and also on the implementation during a large scale study on PCDD/Fs and dioxin-like PCBs in sludges and general bio-waste applicable to agricultural land. In this project I cooperated with both CODA-CERVA and ULg for sample collection and GC-IDHRMS analysis of dioxins.
Aside from my professional career I am a member of the Royal Flemish Chemical Society (KVCV) and also of SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry). Within KVCV I am also an active volunteer in the youth section where we organize evening lectures, science days for the general public and scientific conferences for young researchers.
Spatial and temporal concentrations and activities of endocrine disrupting chemicals in river and waste water of the Brussels Capital Region and possible remediation.
Today, there is international concern regarding the effects of natural and synthetic chemicals on the health of humans and wildlife since these emerging pollutants are able to interfere and act upon the hormonal system. These so-called endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) or endocrine active chemicals (EACs) are of particular concern to aquatic ecosystems, because these compounds are present in almost all wastewater and treated wastewater effluents and in rivers receiving these effluents, ground water supplies, sea water, sediment and biota, and could be of major concern for urban river systems such as the Zenne River in Brussels, Belgium.
In this respect, the European Water Framework Directive (WFD), whose main objective was to obtain a good ecological and chemical status for all European water bodies by 2015, established a priority list of 33 new and 8 previously regulated chemical pollutants presenting a significant risk to or via the aquatic environment including several hormones and plasticizers that need to be monitored. Because of limitations using conventional chromatographic separation techniques and MS detection for some hormones, i.e. detection limit issues, bioassays such as CALUX for estrogens and aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonists can become very handy as a screening and monitoring tool for estrogenicity and dioxin-like toxicity.
Zenne River (Brussels, Belgium), Sludge and fertilizers, Sediment & soil
CALUX, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, pollution, AhR