| April 2014
During the 1st two weeks in March Dr Andy Marriott and Dr Simon Chenery visited India to foster ties between India and UK environmental scientists. continue reading...
SEGH was established in 1971 to provide a forum for scientists from various disciplines to work together in understanding the interaction between the geochemical environment and the health of plants, animals, and humans. We recognise the importance of interdisciplinary research. SEGH members represent expertise in a diverse range of scientific fields, such as biology, engineering, geology, hydrology, epidemiology, chemistry, medicine, nutrition, and toxicology.
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| April 2014
Should we reduce our emphasis on the toxic elements? Is it time to go back to the future? continue reading...
| April 2014
As a rapidly developing passive sampling method for the labile forms of chemicals in waters, sediments and soils, the diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) technique has significant advantages over conventional methods: in situ measurement, time averaged concentrations and high spatial resolution. continue reading...
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Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health
We investigated selected chlorinated pollutants (β-HCH, γ-HCH, DDDs, DDEs, o,p′-DDT, p,p′-DDT, heptachlor, aldrin, dieldrin, and endrin) in the Lahore and the Sialkot districts of Pakistan, using eggs of cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) collected during May and June 2007. The pollutant with highest level and frequency was ΣDDT, followed by β-HCH, γ-HCH, heptachlor, aldrin, dieldrin, and endrin in descending order. The concentration(s) were significantly higher in Sialkot heronry for all the pollutants (except p,p′-DDT) than in Lahore. The values for DDTs, β-HCH, γ-HCH, and heptachlor were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the egg(s) than in sediment(s) and in the chicks’ diet, due to biomagnification. Among DDTs analogues, p,p′-DDD was the major contaminant with >60 % of total DDT burden, reflecting the widespread aged as well as recent use of DDT as well as anaerobic degradation (DDD/DDE > 1 in many cases) in the nearby paddy soils. In few samples, p,p′-DDT/(DDD + DDE) > 0.5 suggested the recent emission patterns from surrounding contaminated areas of demolished DDT units and obsolete pesticide stores. The higher levels of HCHs (i.e., β-HCH) in the samples collected from Sialkot indicate exposure from long-term agricultural use. Overall, concentrations of all studied POPs were less than the threshold levels known to affect reproduction. Nevertheless, total DDTs and/or HCHs burdens in some eggs contained concentrations of greater than what would educe adverse effects on birds. This is among few studies on OCPs exposure to avian species, which provide the evidence of Pakistan’s contribution toward the Global POPs emission.
The objectives of the study are to present a critical review of the 238U, 234U, 235U, 226Ra and 210Pb levels in water samples from the EPA studies (U.S. EPA in Abandoned uranium mines and the Navajo Nation: Red Valley chapter screening assessment report. Region 9 Superfund Program, San Francisco, 2004, Abandoned uranium mines and the Navajo Nation: Northern aum region screening assessment report. Region 9 Superfund Program, San Francisco, 2006, Health and environmental impacts of uranium contamination, 5-year plan. Region 9 Superfund Program, San Franciso, 2008) and the dose assessment for the population due to ingestion of water containing 238U and 234U. The water quality data were taken from Sect. “Data analysis” of the published report, titled Abandoned Uranium Mines Project Arizona, New Mexico, Utah–Navajo Lands 1994–2000, Project Atlas. Total uranium concentration was above the maximum concentration level for drinking water (7.410–1 Bq/L) in 19 % of the water samples, while 238U and 234U concentrations were above in 14 and 17 % of the water samples, respectively. 226Ra and 210Pb concentrations in water samples were in the range of 3.7 × 10−1 to 5.55 × 102 Bq/L and 1.11 to 4.33 × 102 Bq/L, respectively. For only two samples, the 226Ra concentrations exceeded the MCL for total Ra for drinking water (0.185 Bq/L). However, the 210Pb/226Ra ratios varied from 0.11 to 47.00, and ratios above 1.00 were observed in 71 % of the samples. Secular equilibrium of the natural uranium series was not observed in the data record for most of the water samples. Moreover, the 235U/totalU mass ratios ranged from 0.06 to 5.9 %, and the natural mass ratio of 235U to totalU (0.72 %) was observed in only 16 % of the water samples, ratios above or below the natural ratio could not be explained based on data reported by U.S. EPA. In addition, statistical evaluations showed no correlations among the distribution of the radionuclide concentrations in the majority of the water samples, indicating more than one source of contamination could contribute to the sampled sources. The effective doses due to ingestion of the minimum uranium concentrations in water samples exceed the average dose considering inhalation and ingestion of regular diet for other populations around the world (1 μSv/year). The maximum doses due to ingestion of 238U or 234U were above the international limit for effective dose for members of the public (1 mSv/year), except for inhabitants of two chapters. The highest effective dose was estimated for inhabitants of Cove, and it was almost 20 times the international limit for members of the public. These results indicate that ingestion of water from some of the sampled sources poses health risks.
Groundwater used for drinking and cooking was analysed for fluoride (F), and health surveys were conducted in Bodh Gaya, Amas and Bankebazaar blocks of the Gaya district, Bihar, India. Amas and Bankebazaar blocks were F endemic areas with mean F = 2.36 ± 0.23 mg/L (N = 27). Bodh Gaya was considered as control area with mean F = 0.59 ± 0.03 mg/L (N = 11). Health survey showed that more than 50 % of adults and more than 55 % of children had complaints of gastro-intestinal (GI) disturbances in the F endemic areas, while less than 20 % of adults and less than 10 % of children complained of GI problems in the control areas. Haematological analyses were conducted on age- and sex-matched fluorotic subjects (N = 93) of F endemic areas, and non-fluorotic subjects (N = 52) of control area showed lowered haemoglobin, haematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin, and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration in the fluorotic subjects, suggesting the occurrence of anaemia in the fluorotic subjects.