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Fatty Alcohols: Anthropogenic and Natural Occurrence in the Environment Authors: Stephen M Mudge, Scott E Belanger, Allen M Nielsen



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This book contains 168 pages.
Print publication date: 16 Oct 2008
Copyright year: 2009
Print ISBN: 978-0-85404-152-7
PDF eISBN: 978-1-84755-859-6

About this book

Fatty alcohols occur naturally in most organisms and can also be used in consumer products including detergents and cosmetics and all of these materials make their way to the sea eventually. These long chain alcohols can be used as biomarkers due to their distinctive source allocations although they have differential degradation rates across the range of chain lengths. Concern has been raised about their inputs from anthropogenic uses and this book seeks to set out the natural and industrial synthetic pathways, sources, signatures, concentrations in the environment, toxicity and eco-toxicity before summarising their impact. Their large scale synthesis for industrial uses puts them in the 'High Production Volume' category and they will need to be addressed in REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) - a new European legislation for chemicals and substances. There is no other book that considers the fatty alcohols from their production, environmental behaviour and potential toxicity viewpoint. The book, which is also well illustrated, presents for the first time environmental data from many locations around the world and discusses the anthropogenic contributions to these places.

Author information

Stephen M Mudge is currently at Bangor University, UK. After nearly six years of investigating radionuclides in the environment at Lancaster University, Stephen Mudge moved to Bangor University and began work on lipid biomarkers in the environment. In the past 20 years he has investigated the sources and dispersal of many contaminants, especially sewage derived materials, in marine and terrestrial environments. In 2003 he started the world's first degree on Environmental Forensics that utilises many of the chemical and statistical approaches developed over the years of investigation. Fatty alcohols have formed part of these analyses and while these compounds may be frequently measured, they are rarely reported. Scott Belanger is a Research Fellow in The Procter & Gamble Company corporate environmental safety organization. His research spans a wide range of topics including understanding the effects of consumer product chemicals in the environment at the levels of the organism to the ecosystem. He has assisted in several efforts to assess the environmental risk of alcohols and alcohol-derived surfactants in recent years frequently working with trade associations, academic partnerships, and the regulatory community on these affairs. Allen Nielsen is a recently retired microbiologist from the Research and Development Department of Sasol North America, Inc. His main focus during his thirty-one year career has been the environmental safety of petrochemical -derived surfactants which are used in consumer and industrial applications. In recent years he was focused on the environmental safety of alcohols and alcohol-derived surfactants.