The toxicity of natural bioactive compounds

Bioactive compounds produced by plants or microorganisms can be just as toxic as any antropogenically-produced chemical. They are, however, rarely regulated to the same extend as industrially produced chemicals. Presently we work with saponin rich plant extracts approved as “biopesticides” in the U.S. and used for a range of purposes in the environment.

We investigate the fate and ecotoxicity of selected natural compounds suspected to cause adverse environmental effects and compare them to known industrially produced chemicals such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals. The aim is to elucidate whether these naturally produced compounds cause adverse environmental effects and to give guidance to how these effects can be mitigated.

The research is financed by the Chinese Scolarship Council.