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Isotopic fingerprints solutions to environmental studies: a new company for technological innovation and consulting specialized in source identification, discrimination and tracing of pollutants in the environment using isotopes


Environmental pollution is a topic of great concern to several sectors of society and is directly linked to efforts improving public health and combating climate. Gradually improving environmental legislation in Brazil and other countries in South America, has led industries to review their emission processes and to remediate contaminated areas by their activities. Identifying the pollutant sources and developing approaches and techniques to achieve are fundamental to pin point the responsible industries. Using isotopic fingerprinting has proven very successful and is based on the distinct isotopic compositions of different pollutant sources. This approach is well established with Pb and Sr isotopes and new isotope systems for other metals such as Zn and Cu are being developed in research. The isotopic compositions of these elements are measured by multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS). To date, no company in Brazil offers consultancy or conducts research in the area of metal isotopes and source tracing and only selected research centers provide Pb, Sr, Zn and Cu isotopic analysis. As a consequence, there are few specialists in this area, and environmental professionals know little about this powerful approach. The aim of this project is stablishing a company that provides consulting and research services of isotopic fingerprints to the industries and companies of environmental advising. (AU)

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