Review

Tracking complex mixtures of chemicals in our changing environment

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Science  24 Jan 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6476, pp. 388-392
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay6636

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Abstract

Chemicals have improved our quality of life, but the resulting environmental pollution has the potential to cause detrimental effects on humans and the environment. People and biota are chronically exposed to thousands of chemicals from various environmental sources through multiple pathways. Environmental chemists and toxicologists have moved beyond detecting and quantifying single chemicals to characterizing complex mixtures of chemicals in indoor and outdoor environments and biological matrices. We highlight analytical and bioanalytical approaches to isolating, characterizing, and tracking groups of chemicals of concern in complex matrices. Techniques that combine chemical analysis and bioassays have the potential to facilitate the identification of mixtures of chemicals that pose a combined risk.

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