Team:SCUT-China A/Practice Silver




Guining Lu

    Professor of School of Environment and Energy, South China University of Technology

        "There are more metal mineral resources in the southwestern and southern China, in which the heavy metal pollution is also more serious. What we should pay attention to is that Cd, As, Pb, Hg, Cr are very common heavy metals pollution ions." Professor Lu said, "the most common heavy metal detection methods are Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) and Atomic Emission Spectrometry (AES). Both of these methods can detect ppm (parts per million) levels of heavy metal ions. Though the detection accuracy is high, both of these two methods require quite expansive equipment which is unaffordable for individuals and some small factories. The detection price of heavy meatal in a single sample given by the third party is about 250 RMB and the results usually need to wait for a week to come out which costs too much time for a daily operation factory."

Xiongwen Yang

    Professor, Advanced Engineer, Lawyer, at Law School of South China University of Technology & Research Center Director of Intellectual Property and Enterprise Development

        Professor Yang said,” Chinese law lacks the specific regulation about how to standardize the genetic engineering products and currently there is a regulation of genetic engineering safety playing a certain guiding role on the biological genetic engineering research, industrial production.”
        Genetic engineering safety regulation defines the scope of genetic engineering, including the recombinant DNA technology using carrier systems, and the use of physical or chemical methods to directly import heterologous DNA into organisms. However, cell fusion, protoplast fusion, traditional hybridization, mutagenesis, vitro fertilization, cell culture and embryo culture are not included. The regulation divides gene engineering work into four security levels according to the potential risk. Industrial production of genetic engineering and the release of genetic engineering recipient belong to level Ⅰ~Ⅲ and should be verified and approved by the relevant administrative departments and then submitted to the safety committee of the national genetic engineering for the record. The level Ⅳ work should be verified by the State Council and approved by the safety committee of the national genetic engineering. [1]
        Our work belongs to level Ⅰ~Ⅲ which means that we have to gain the approval of the relevant administrative departments when we decide to covert the project into industrial manufacture. Professor Yang also suggested us paying more attention to the popularization of biosafety to avoid the situation that the public rejected to use because of the confusion of bacteria.

Environmental Protection Administration in Zhongshan City

        We were honor to interview the Environmental Protection Administration in Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province for acquiring the policy about the environmental monitoring and the regulations of polluted water discharge.
        The official of the administration told us that electroplating and Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacture would produce wastewater with heavy metal ions. And inspectors would visit the factories to take sample checking whether the discharged wastewater reached the national drinking water safety standards. After our introduction of the project, the official said that the public and the factories can use it to detect the heavy metals in the water or soil as a mean of self-monitoring.


        In order to learn the public’s awareness status of heavy metal pollution, we conducted a survey with a total of 356 people participated in, most of whom were undergraduates over 18 years old.

        Our questionnaire included three parts: public attention to heavy metal pollution, public awareness of heavy metals and the status quo and demand of heavy metal science popularization.

Public Attention to Heavy Metal Pollution

        More than half of the respondents believed that the heavy metal pollution in nearby district was not severe and it was necessary for the public to learn more about the heavy metal pollution and repair status.

Public Awareness of Heavy Metals

The Status Quo and Demand of Heavy Metal Science Popularization

Q1: If you have a brochure in hand, what are you most interested in?
A. The source of heavy metal pollution
B. The damage of heavy metals causing to human body
C. The treatment of heavy metal poisoning
D. The means to detect the heavy metal
E. The repair measures of heavy metal pollution

        More than half of the respondents believed that the local government lacked heavy metal pollution prevention and propaganda work, indicating that there was a great demand for relevant propaganda. At the same time, the respondents in the "if you have access to heavy metal-related science propaganda, what you most want to know" expressed the need of knowledge of heavy metal poisoning, treatment, the damage to the human body, sources of pollution, and how to detect the heavy metals.
        To this end, we made the relevant popularization video, hoping to let the public learn more heavy metal-related knowledge, and apply it in life.


        Genetic engineering safety regulation.