Professor Stuart Harrad

Professor Stuart Harrad

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Professor of Environmental Chemistry

Contact details

Address
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Stuart is an environmental chemist whose research addresses all aspects of the environmental sources, fate and behaviour of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). He has particular interests in human exposure to POPs with a focus on indoor pathways. He is also active in research that explores the environmental forensics utility of chirality.

Stuart is part of the Birmingham Plastics Network, an interdisciplinary team of more than 40 academics working together to shape the fate and sustainable future of plastics.  This unique team brings together chemists, environmental scientists, philosophers, linguists, economists, and experts in many other fields, to holistically address the global plastics problem.

Biography

Professor Harrad gained his BSc in Applied Chemistry from De Montfort University in 1984. He then moved to the University of East Anglia where he completed an MSc in Analytical Chemistry in 1985, and his PhD on Levels and Sources of PCDD/Fs in UK soils in 1989. After several postdoctoral appointments in both the USA and UK, he took up his present post in September 1994. He heads a National Network on Persistent Organic Pollutants, sits on the International Advisory Board of the Annual International Symposia on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants and chaired the 28th such symposium in Birmingham, August 17-22, 2008.

Teaching

Stuart makes a significant contribution to the delivery of the BSc Environmental Science degree programme. He is module leader for:

  • GGM221 Environmental Transfer Processes, and
  • GGM341 Environmental Protection

He contributes to GGM109 Environmental Chemistry and Physics

He teaches on several other MSc programmes both within and external to GEES

Postgraduate supervision

Stuart Harrad’s specific research foci are: the assessment of human exposure and the significance of indoor contamination; and the exploitation of the chiral properties of POPs. His current research projects include:

Utilising the chiral properties of POPs as a tool for furthering understanding of their environmental sources, fate and behaviour
Assessing human exposure to POPs (internal and external)
Elucidating pathways via which brominated flame retardants migrate from products into indoor dust
Environmental fate and behaviour of POPs in UK lakes
Emissions of brominated micropollutants from steel making
Emissions of brominated flame retardants associated with the treatment of waste electronics, furnishings and building materials

Professor Harrad welcomes enquiries from prospective doctoral researchers in his areas of interest.

Research

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), particularly polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), perfluorinated substances (PFSs), hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs), “novel” brominated flame retardants (NBFRs) and dioxins. Specific foci are:

  • Assessment of human exposure;
  • The significance of indoor contamination;
  • The exploitation of the chiral properties of POPs to provide new insights into their sources, environmental fate and behaviour

Current Research:

  • Utilising the Chiral Properties of POPs as a Tool for Furthering Understanding of their Environmental Sources, Fate and Behaviour
  • Assessing Human Exposure to POPs both internal (e.g. human milk, blood) and external via inhalation, dust ingestion, and diet
  • Elucidating pathways via which brominated flame retardants migrate from products into indoor dust (part of the INFLAME project “Indoor Contamination with Flame Retardant Chemicals: Causes and Impacts”
  • Environmental fate and behaviour of POPs in UK lakes
  • Emissions of brominated micropollutants from steel making
  • Emissions of Brominated Flame Retardants Associated with the Treatment of Waste Electronics, Furnishings and Building Materials

Past and present funding for Dr Harrad’s research programme comes from: AEA Technology, the Big Lottery Fund, the European Commission, the European Science Foundation, the Food Standards Agency, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Leverhulme Trust, the Royal Society, Corus plc, Unilever, Defra, the Department of Health, the West Midlands Office of the National Health Service Executive, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. At any one time, Dr. Harrad’s research group usually contains a number of overseas PhD students sponsored by government agencies within their own countries. Examples of such countries are: China, Egypt, Germany, Thailand, Iran, Mexico, Australia and Brunei. The Harrad group also welcomes research visitors from overseas, with previous visitors from countries such as Spain, Sri Lanka and Puerto Rico making an important contribution to our research.

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Stubbings, WA, Abdallah, M, Misiuta, K, Onwuamaegbu, U, Holland, J, Smith, L, Parkinson, C, McKinlay, R & Harrad, S 2021, 'Assessment of brominated flame retardants in a small mixed waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) plastic recycling stream in the UK', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 780, 146543. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146543

Akinrinade, OE, Stubbings, WA, Abdallah, MA-E, Ayejuyo, O, Alani, R & Harrad, S 2022, 'Atmospheric concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, brominated flame retardants, and novel flame retardants in Lagos, Nigeria indicate substantial local sources', Environmental Research, vol. 204, no. Part B, 112091. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.112091

Pawar, G, Papadatou- Soulou, E, Mason, J, Muhammed, R, Watson, A, Cotter, C, Abdallah, M, Harrad, S, Mackie, C, Arien, T, Inghelbrecht, S & Batchelor, H 2021, 'Characterisation of fasted state gastric and intestinal fluids collected from children', European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, vol. 158, pp. 156-165. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2020.11.010

Akinrinade, OE, Stubbings, WA, Abou-Elwafa Abdallah, M, Ayejuyo, O, Alani, R & Harrad, S 2021, 'Concentrations of halogenated flame retardants and polychlorinated biphenyls in house dust from Lagos, Nigeria', Environmental Science Processes and Impacts . https://doi.org/10.1039/d1em00316j

Peters, LI, Rose, NL, Yang, H, Klánová, J, Moehring, T & Harrad, S 2021, 'Temporal trends in radiometrically dated sediment cores from English lakes show polybrominated diphenyl ethers correlate with brominated but not mixed bromo/chloro dioxins and furans', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 762, 143118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143118

Fatunsin, O, Oluseyi, T, Drage, D, Abdallah, M, Turner, A & Harrad, S 2020, 'Children's exposure to hazardous brominated flame retardants in plastic toys', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 720, 137623. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137623

Abdallah, M, Wemken, N, Drage, D, Cellarius, C, Cleere, K, Morrison, J, Daly, S, Coggins, M & Harrad, S 2020, 'Concentrations of perfluoroalkyl substances in human milk from Ireland: Implications for adult and nursing infant exposure', Chemosphere, vol. 246, 125724. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.125724

Wemken, N, Drage, D, Cellarius, C, Cleere, K, Morrison, J, Daly, S, Abdallah, M, Tlustos, C, Harrad, S & Coggins, M 2020, 'Emerging and legacy brominated flame retardants in the breast milk of first time Irish mothers suggest positive response to restrictions on use of HBCDD and Penta- and Octa-BDE formulations', Environmental Research, vol. 180, 108805. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.108805

Tongue, ADW, Fernie, KJ, Harrad, S, Drage, DS, McGill, RAR & Reynolds, SJ 2020, 'Interspecies comparisons of brominated flame retardants in relation to foraging ecology and behaviour of gulls frequenting a UK landfill', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 764, no. 2021, 142890. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142890

Harrad, S, Drage, D, Sharkey, M & Berresheim, H 2020, 'Leaching of decabromodiphenyl ether and hexabromocyclododecane from fabrics under simulated landfill conditions', Emerging Contaminants, vol. 6, pp. 33-38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emcon.2019.12.005

Review article

Gbadamosi, MR, Abdallah, MA-E & Harrad, S 2021, 'A critical review of human exposure to organophosphate esters with a focus on dietary intake', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 771, 144752. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144752

Al-Omran, LS, Harrad, S & Abou-Elwafa Abdallah, M 2021, 'A meta-analysis of factors influencing concentrations of brominated flame retardants and organophosphate esters in indoor dust', Environmental Pollution, vol. 285, 117262. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117262

Ma, Y, Stubbings, WA, Abdallah, MA-E, Cline-Cole, R & Harrad, S 2022, 'Formal waste treatment facilities as a source of halogenated flame retardants and organophosphate esters to the environment: a critical review with particular focus on outdoor air and soil', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 807, no. Part 1, 150747. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150747

Ma, Y, Stubbings, WA, Cline-Cole, R & Harrad, S 2021, 'Human exposure to halogenated and organophosphate flame retardants through informal e-waste handling activities - A critical review', Environmental Pollution, vol. 268, no. Part A, 115727. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115727

Onoja, S, Nel, HA, Abdallah, MAE & Harrad, S 2022, 'Microplastics in freshwater sediments: analytical methods, temporal trends, and risk of associated organophosphate esters as exemplar plastics additives', Environmental Research, vol. 203, 111830. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.111830

View all publications in research portal

Expertise

People's exposure to persistent toxic organic chemicals e.g. via inhalation and ingestion of dust and food; measuring levels of these chemicals; sources of persistent toxic chemicals, particularly in indoor environments

Expertise

Exposure to persistent toxic organic chemicals, inhalation and ingestion of dust and food; measuring levels of these chemicals; sources of persistent toxic chemicals, particularly in indoor environments

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