From exposures to mitigation strategies: Assessing complex contaminant mixtures in wastewater and drinking water


Event details

Date 21.05.2024
Hour 10:0011:00
Speaker Carsten Prasse, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Whitening School of Engineering and the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Carsten obtained his PhD in Chemistry at the Federal Institute of Hydrology in Koblenz, Germany, under the guidance of Dr. Thomas Ternes in 2012. After completing postdoctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley, he joined Johns Hopkins University in 2018. His research is focusing on the fate of contaminants in the water cycle with the focus on the identification of previously unknown organic chemicals and their transformation products. Prioritizing which compounds are most threatening to human and environmental health is a great challenge given the large number of anthropogenic chemicals. To tackle this problem, his research group is developing of new methodologies to detect unknown toxic compounds in water based on their interaction with biomolecules. He is a recipient of the dissertation award of the German Water Chemistry Society and a U.S. NSF CAREER development grant (2022).
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English

Prof. Carsten Prasse
Department of Environmental Health and Engineering
Johns Hopkins University

Drinking water and wastewater treatment systems designed to mitigate chemical exposures are challenged in their efficacy by the increasingly complex chemical mixtures present in source waters due to an expanding list of over 100,000 chemicals in commercial use worldwide. Engineered and natural processes can further transform these chemicals, leading to an even higher number of chemicals in the water cycle. Current treatment solutions are not adequate to protect human and environmental health because they rely on chemical-by-chemical assessments and regulations that rarely consider complex mixtures. Moreover, approaches that help prioritize identification and treatment of the most toxic chemicals are widely missing. As a result, unintended, adverse environmental and human health impacts of treatment or regulation decisions often become evident long after populations are exposed to toxic chemicals. There is a pressing need for approaches that identify and subsequently treat those chemicals that are of highest concern for human and environment health. In this seminar, I will discuss how novel approaches, such as reactivity-directed analysis (RDA), enable the prioritization and identification of toxic chemicals in complex mixtures. Together with mechanistic studies investigating chemical transformation mechanisms, these approaches can help characterize the formation of toxicologically relevant transformation products and support treatment design to minimize their formation.

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free
  • This event is internal


  • Prof. Tamar Kohn

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