Exploring Sustainable Technologies in the Elimination of Obsolete Pesticides: The LIFE SURFING Proje

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Miércoles 7 de febrero

IES San Isidoro de Sevilla


The economic and demographic growth of the second half of the 20th century required obtaining more crops in less time and with greater success. This led to the use of substances that could combat insect pests and ensure greater agricultural production. Thousands of tons of substances with this pesticidal activity were manufactured and applied in large doses worldwide. Over time, it has been found that many of these substances have proven to be highly toxic to the environment and human health. Their manufacture has been banned, but they persist in the environment as they are not naturally eliminated, remaining for decades and contaminating soils, rivers, and groundwater. The pollution created near the production factories is especially serious, as the production of these obsolete pesticides generated thousands of tons of toxic waste, which was dumped in the surroundings without proper control measures. Among these obsolete pesticides is Lindane (gamma isomer of hexachlorocyclohexane), toxic and carcinogenic, included in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which, in addition to banning its production, promotes the elimination of this compound as soon as possible. The INPROQUIMA research group of the Complutense University of Madrid collaborates in several applied research projects for the sustainable elimination of pollution generated by Lindane residues, such as the LIFE SURFING Project, coordinated by the Government of Aragon, where oxidants and surfactants have been successfully used in the elimination of these residues in the Bailín landfill in Sabiñánigo, Huesca https://lifesurfing.eu/. We will explain how lindane and its residues have reached the soil and groundwater in this area and the technologies that can be successfully applied for their sustainable removal. We will also discuss how to promote 'Green Chemistry' to avoid these problems in the future.