SEGH Articles

29th International Conference on Environmental Geochemistry and Health - Report from Toulouse

08 September 2013

The 29
th International Conference on Environmental Geochemistry and Health was held in Toulouse from July 8th to 12th 2013. More than 160 scientists from 36 countries attended the conference and presented their work to their colleagues. Moreover more than 90 new SEGH members were made during the week. Prestigious keynote speakers such as J. Nriagu, M. Cave, A. Kappler and R. Mason contributed to the high level of the conference, most of them participating actively in our three special sessions dedicated to arsenic in the Environment, mercury biogeochemistry and metal bioaccessibility. Springer and the SEGH awarded several students for their outstanding oral and poster presentation. Follow them soon on the SEGH website to (re-) discover their work!

The social events like the icebreaker, the typical South West banquet diner, the student off events and two exciting excursions in the Pyrénées Mountains completed the French tableau for a full experience and a successful conference.

We would like to thank once again all the wonderful people who helped us realising this conference as well as the delegates whom travelled from all around the world to share with us their new discoveries.

"Follow the Toulouse SEGH members on their facebook page:

See you in 2014 in Newcastle!

Picture 1: Listening to keynote J. Nriagu’s keynote on the Green Revolution

Picture 2: enjoying an animated outdoor poster session

Picture 3: The conference diner: foie gras and jazz !

 By F. De Vleeschouwer

Photos by N. Markovic



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Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health

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    Seasonal algal bloom, a water supply issue worldwide, can be efficiently solved by membrane technology. However, membranes typically suffer from serious fouling, which hinders the wide application of this technology. In this study, the feasibility of adding Ca2+ to control membrane fouling in coagulation–membrane treatment of algal-rich water was investigated. According to the results obtained, the normalized membrane flux decreased by a lower extent upon increasing the concentration of Ca2+ from 0 to 10 mmol/L. Simultaneously, the floc particle size increased significantly with the concentration of Ca2+, which leads to a lower hydraulic resistance. The coagulation performance is also enhanced with the concentration of Ca2+, inducing a slight osmotic pressure-induced resistance. The formation of Ca2+ coagulation flocs resulted in a looser, thin, and permeable cake layer on the membrane surface. This cake layer rejected organic pollutants and could be easily removed by physical and chemical cleaning treatments, as revealed by scanning electron microscopy images. The hydraulic irreversible membrane resistance was significantly reduced upon addition of Ca2+. All these findings suggest that the addition of Ca2+ may provide a simple-operation, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly technology for controlling membrane fouling during coagulation–membrane process for algal-rich water treatment.

  • Evaluation of the raw water quality: physicochemical and toxicological approaches 2019-04-13


    Environmental degradation has increased, mainly as a result of anthropogenic effects arising from population, industrial and agricultural growth. Water pollution is a problem that affects health, safety and welfare of the whole biota which shares the same environment. In Goiânia and metropolitan region, the main water body is the Meia Ponte River that is used for the abstraction of water, disposal of treated wastewater and effluents. In addition, this river receives wastewater from urban and rural areas. The aim in this present study was to evaluate the quality of raw water by some physical, chemical and toxicological tests. The physicochemical results found high levels of turbidity, conductivity, aluminum, phosphorus and metal iron, manganese, copper and lithium when compared to the standards of the Brazilian legislation. The values found of toxicity demonstrated a high degree of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity. Therefore, it was concluded that the Meia Ponte River has been undergoing constant environmental degradation, causing the poor quality of its waters. Thus, measures for the prevention and recovery should be adopted for the maintenance of the Meia Ponte River.

  • Review of the nature of some geophagic materials and their potential health effects on pregnant women: some examples from Africa 2019-04-11


    The voluntary human consumption of soil known as geophagy is a global practice and deep-rooted in many African cultures. The nature of geophagic material varies widely from the types to the composition. Generally, clay and termite mound soils are the main materials consumed by geophagists. Several studies revealed that gestating women across the world consume more soil than other groups for numerous motives. These motivations are related to medicinal, cultural and nutrients supplementation. Although geophagy in pregnancy (GiP) is a universal dynamic habit, the highest prevalence has been reported in African countries such as Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Nigeria, Tanzania, and South Africa. Geophagy can be both beneficial and detrimental. Its health effects depend on the amount and composition of the ingested soils, which is subjective to the geology and soil formation processes. In most cases, the negative health effects concomitant with the practice of geophagy eclipse the positive effects. Therefore, knowledge about the nature of geophagic material and the health effects that might arise from their consumption is important.