Here you will find lots of useful information from our friends in the EPA ELEVATE project, including videos and posters that can help you explore one particular aspect of the ReelLIFE SCIENCE topic ‘Our Amazing Planet‘ – that is Environmental Pollution. 

ELEVATE is a collaborative project between the National University of Ireland Galway and the University of Birmingham, and is sponsored by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In ELEVATE, we measure levels in indoor air and floor dust of selected chemicals listed as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) under the UNEP Stockholm Convention in common environments i.e. homes, cars, offices and schools.

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are a group of chemicals that are not easily degraded and so can accumulate and persist for long periods of time in the environment. Some POPs were produced for industrial use or were generated as by-products of industrial activities.

In ELEVATE, we measure Brominated flame retardants (BFRs), used widely to flame-proof electronic goods, furniture, and other textiles and Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) used to make carpets, paper and packaging stain and water repellent.

Currently, the health effects of many of these chemicals are not fully understood, however evidence suggests that they are toxic to humans. Our study, as a first step, will measure how much of these chemicals are present in different environments such as the home, car, office and in the school classroom. We will collect different types of samples to analyse for POPs:

  • Air – A passive air sampler with a polyurethane foam filter will be used.
  • Dust – A special nylon sock will be used for dust collection.
  • Water – Tap water will be collected in a glass bottle.

You can download our specially designed Pollutant Information Leaflets below for more information about pollution and how it can be reduced:

You may also be interested in this short animated video from the EPA about the perils of backyard burning:

Feel free to use any of the information above from our friends in EPA ELEVATE to help you make your ReelLIFE SCIENCE ‘Our Amazing Planet‘ video.

You can also get in touch with EPA ELEVATE to see how you can take part in their research by visiting