Current Research Topics in Masunaga Laboratory

On-going research topics as of January 1, 2003 are listed below. 

Development of source identification/apportioning method of environmental pollutants.
Pollution sources of dioxins and PCBs pollution in the environment are analyzed by statistical approach using the detailed congener compositions of these compounds. 

Study on the behaviors and sources of dioxins in river water and coastal environment.
Detailed congener compositions of dioxins in river water and bay area are monitored. Their fates and sources are studied by the results of monitoring. 

Study on the current status and sources of PCB pollution in Japan and Korea.
Current status of PCB pollution in both Japan and Korea are studied through the congener specific analysis of the compounds. Their behaviors and sources are studied the results obtained.

Study on the behavior and effect of particle bound pollutants in air
Many kinds of unintentionally formed chemicals such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons are emitted from the combustion processes such as waste incinerators. Their occurrences in different particle size are monitored in air. Also particle size distributions of their toxic effects are estimated by bioassays. Effective control measures will be studied through the data obtained.

Bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in aquatic environment.
Occurrences of persistent organic pollutants such as chloroaromatic pesticides in aquatic biological samples are monitored in some lake areas. Their bioaccumulation mechanism will be studied by the data obtained.

Ecological risk assessment of dioxins on wild birds
Quantitative risk assessment method of pollutants on wild birds is studied taking dioxins as an example. The estimation method of future population of a kind of water bird of Tokyo Bay in different dioxin pollution levels was successfully accomplished. The method can be used an ecological risk assessment of chemical pollution.

Study on the estrogenic compounds in water environment.
Through both chemical analysis and bioassay, occurrence of estrogenic compounds in river water and characterization of the estrogenic activity are studied.

Study on the occurrence and effect of personal and animal pharmaceuticals in water environment.
Occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment is least studied. Thus, their concentrations are monitored in river waters. 

Study on the exposure of PCB metabolites and related compounds.
PCBs are metabolized into hydroxy-PCBs in biota and the metabolites are regarded as thyroid hormone disruptors. Thus, occurrence of hydroxy PCBs and related compounds and their effects will be studied.

Study of dioxin-like activity measured by bioassays.
Dioxin-like activity can be measured by reporter gene assay. Cause and meaning of the measured activity will be studied. 

Sources and behaviors of mercury in East Asia
Source of mercury, a toxic metal, has been little studied in Asia. The source inventory, both natural and human, will be constructed for the East Asia area. Also the trend of mercury pollution will be studied.

Study of a basin-wide management system using Geographical Information System (GIS)
A model that simulates agrochemical concentration in rivers based on the data of agrochemical use will be developed using GIS as fundamental system. Monitoring of agrochemical concentration in target rivers will be carried out to calibrate/validate the model.

Emission of global warming gases from house insulating material
Measuring method of CFC gases in house insulating material is developed. Also the estimation method of future emission of CFC gases will be studied.