Investigation Units

Basic Sciences

Environmental Pollution Research Center, (CICA, for its acronym in Spanish)

Through scientific research, it determines the degree of anthropogenic and natural environmental pollution. It develops own methodologies, evaluates and adapts international methods for the analysis of contaminants to adapt them to the working conditions of laboratories in Latin America. It provides technical services, advising and consulting.


  • To describe the levels of environmental pollution in Costa Rica and develop strategies to contribute to the prevention and mitigation of pollution and to the improvement of the quality of life of its inhabitants

Main functions

  • To conduct basic research to determine the levels of contamination by pesticides, heavy metals and other contaminants, and their associated toxicity, in different compartments of the natural and artificial physical environment of our country.
  • To generate information about pollution levels in different compartments of our country’s natural and artificial physical environment (water, air, soil, food).
  • To disseminate research results and the Center’s work in discussion forums and through written information.
  • To cooperate with the public and private entities and civil society in monitoring the environment.
  • To perform quality analysis in accordance with national and international standards, making evident the technical competence of the center.



  • Water quality analysis
  • Analysis of heavy metals
  • Analysis of pesticide residues in different matrices (waters, sediments, plants)
  • Sampling of environmental compartments
  • Ecotoxicology tests
  • Bioremediation studies