The 4th Asina–Pacific International Conference on Pollutant Analysis
and Control, Beijing, China,
October 10–14, 2007


The 4th Asian-Pacific International Conference on Pollutants’ Analysis and Control (APICPAC 4) was held from October 10-14, 2007, in Xi Jiao Hotel (Beijing). APICPAC 4 was sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Chinese Society of Environmental Science, and organized by the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences (RCEES, CAS) and the International Association of Environmental Analytical Chemistry (IAEAC).

The conference was chaired by Professor Xiao-quan Shan (RCEES) and co-chaired by Professor Joan Albaiges (IAEAC). The local organizing committee was chaired by Professor Jin-Ming Lin (Tsinghua University).

The Conference continued the series established by the IAEAC in 1996 when APICPAC 1 was held in Singapore. This was the first international event on pollutant analyses and control in SE Asia organized by the leading institutions in the field and was a successful challenge. Then, APICPAC 2 and 3 took place in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) in 2003 and in Bangkok (Thailand) in 2005, respectively, providing the adequate scientific and social environment for local scientists to discuss new developments in the field, share experiences and results with international experts.

Following the tradition, the Conference moved to China, to Beijing, the capital of the most populous country in the world where during the past 30 years the fast growth of industrial production and economy has led to serious environmental pollution problems. The Conference was well-timed as the Chinese government has made pollution control an official goal and has recognized that measures to counteract further ecological degradation taken in other developed nations can be useful for China too.

Consequently, the selected topics of the Conference, aimed at these goals, were:
1. Recent advances in environmental analytical chemistry;
2. New approaches for improving the current knowledge of environmental processes;
3. Ecotoxicology of metals and organic pollutants, especially emerging endocrine disruptors and nanoparticles in the environment;
4. Engineering-oriented water, air and soil pollution control and abatement techniques.

The Conference was attended by more than 150 participants of 10 countries, who presented 122 scientific communications, as oral lectures and poster presentations. Plenary lectures were given by Professors Joan Albaiges (Spain), Gillian Greenway (UK), Koen Janssens (Belgium), Joseph Pignatello (USA), Paul Worsfold (UK), Kazuichi Hayakawa (Japan), Joseph Tarradellas (Switzerland), JM Fu (China), XY Tang (China), XB Xu (China) and JU Qu (China). 
In addition, a total of 16 scientists from Japan, Korea and China were invited to give keynote lectures. The plenary and keynote lectures covered different aspects of environmental interest, such as recent development of environmental analytical chemistry, metals speciation, new approaches to environmental monitoring, the occurrence and fate of toxic persistent pollutants in air and water, development of biomarkers for early detection of biological effects, as well as overviews on protection and restoration techniques.

Extended reference was made in the presentations to specific problems of the Chinese environment, such as the biogeochemistry of organic contaminants in Pearl River, ozone pollution in large cities of China, long range atmospheric transport of carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals in East Asia, the arsenic problem in drinking water, and the Olympic Games and the environment.
At the end, the lively oral and poster sessions illustrated, among others, the significant progress of the Chinese science in upgrading the technical capabilities for a better control and management of the environmental quality.

The Roland W. Frei Award for the best poster presentation by a young scientist was given to Miss Yan Li from the Nankai University for her contribution entitled “Responses of glutathione and associated antioxidative enzymes to mercury stress in Scenedesmus quadricuada”. A Diploma was also given to Mr. Luo Jianping from RCEES, for his development of a biomimetic triolein-embedded cellulose acetate membrane sampler for assessing accumulation and toxicity of hydrophobic organic contaminants.

The IAEAC is very much indebted to the Organizing Committee for the excellent organization of the event and the warm atmosphere provided. Besides the coffee breaks, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) were included in the registration that contributed significantly to the informal gathering and mutual knowledge of people.

The decision to hold this conference in Beijing made also a good chance for scientists from other countries to learn more about China, and particularly about Beijing, so rich in historical and cultural sites. During centuries, until the formation of a republic in 1911, Beijing was the seat of emperor’s dynasties, notably the Ming and Qing ones, which left around a large number of precious buildings and monuments. Before and after the Conference some of participants had the opportunity to visit the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace or Temple of Heaven, all declared as part of the world cultural heritage by UNESCO. And the vanishing Hutongs and their square courtyards, that through hundreds of years have become a symbol of the Beijng’s life.
The city genuinely fascinates the visitors making them experience Chinese cultural life and a society in the process of transformation. The city was also, these days, under a hectic activity of preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.