SEGH Articles

Report 9th ISEG, Aveiro, Portugal

07 November 2012
SEGH members were delighted to attend and participate in the 9th International Symposium on Environmental Geochemistry organised by staff from the University of Aveiro held during 15th - 22nd of July, 2012.

 

SEGH members were delighted to attend and participate in the 9th International Symposium on Environmental Geochemistry organised by staff from the University of Aveiro held during 15th - 22nd of July, 2012.

The local organising committee and international scientific committee was chaired by Professor Eduardo Anselmo Ferreira da Silva (Geosciences Department, Aveiro University, Portugal), supported by colleagues from across the University and by the IAGC - International Association of Geochemistry, the SEGH - Society of Environmental Geochemistry and Health and the IMGA - International Medical Geology Association, which were represented in the event by Clemens Reimann (President of the IAGC), Xiang-dong Li (President of SEGH), Andrew Hursthouse (European Chair of SEGH) and José Centeno (Chairman of the IMGA). The conference was sponsored by:

 

  • ·         GeoBioTec Research Unit
  • ·         Cesam Research Centre
  • ·         Delta Cafés
  • ·         PLM
  • ·         Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
  • ·         TAP Portugal

The conference involved four pre-conference short-courses, a scientific program (plenary lectures, oral and poster presentations) of 5 days and a post-conference field trip.

The eight plenary sessions provided a wide range of topics across environmental geochemistry interests including:

  • “Environmental health impact of legacy uranium mining in Portugal” by Fernando Carvalho,
  • “Challenges in Environmental geochemistry & health: health and its costs and future research priorities?” a joint platform presentation by Alex Stewart and Andrew Hursthouse,
  • “Geochemical reactivity and risk assessment: from scientific data to policy applications” by Paul Römkens
  • “Petroleum contamination assessment and bio-remediation processes” by Joan Albaiges,
  • “Remediation of municipal waste waters by artificial wetlands” by Joan Bayona,
  • “The role of geostatistics in environmental epidemiology” by Pierre Goovaerts.

From the 259 abstracts submitted to the conference, 128 were selected for oral presentations and 131 for poster. Over 250 participants representing 37 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, The Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam), have attended the conference.

 

The sessions were organized according to the following themes:

1-Geochemical records of environmental changes: climate changes and human activities

Convener: Jonh Farmer, Malin Kylander and François de Vleeschouwer

2-Sustainability in Mining and Related Environmental Issues

3-Geochemistry and Health & Medical Geology

4-Environmental Toxicology & Epidemiology

5-Environmental contamination and remediation

6-Water resources and aquatic environments

7-Biogeochemistry of trace elements, organic pollutants and radio-nuclides

8-Environmental Analytical Geochemistry

9-Modelling Environmental Systems: GIS platforms and Data Analysis

10-Perception and communication of environmental health risks and social inequality

11- Observatoire Hommes-Milieux (OHM) Special session

Forty participants attended to the “Nanomaterials, Environment and Health”, "Arsenic and Mercury in the Environment", "Human bioaccessibility of potentially harmful elements in the solid phase: risk assessment aspects of using bioaccessibility data" and "International Short Course on Medical Geology Health and Earth ‐ Building a Safer Environment" short-courses, and twenty participated in the field-trip to the uranium mines.

About 100 participants attended to the Conference Dinner at the Aliança Cellars where delegates were treated to a tour of a remarkable display of art and rock and mineral specimens collected by the company.

During the meeting six prizes were awarded to post-graduation students, 3 for the best oral presentations and 3 for the best posters. Short articles on the winning presentations will follow on the SEGH website.

Finally, discussions amongst the board members of the supporting Societies agreed a mechanism to jointly promote the ISEG conference series and news of the venue of the next meeting will be made available shortly.

Professor Andrew Hursthouse

European Chair for SEGH

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

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    Geophagy, the intentional consumption of earth materials, has been recorded in humans and other animals. It has been hypothesized that geophagy is an adaptive behavior, and that clay minerals commonly found in eaten soil can provide protection from toxins and/or supplement micronutrients. To test these hypotheses, we monitored chimpanzee geophagy using camera traps in four permanent sites at the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda, from October 2015–October 2016. We also collected plants, and soil chimpanzees were observed eating. We analyzed 10 plant and 45 soil samples to characterize geophagic behavior and geophagic soil and determine (1) whether micronutrients are available from the soil under physiological conditions and if iron is bioavailable, (2) the concentration of phenolic compounds in plants, and (3) if consumed soils are able to adsorb these phenolics. Chimpanzees ate soil and drank clay-infused water containing 1:1 and 2:1 clay minerals and > 30% sand. Under physiological conditions, the soils released calcium, iron, and magnesium. In vitro Caco-2 experiments found that five times more iron was bioavailable from three of four soil samples found at the base of trees. Plant samples contained approximately 60 μg/mg gallic acid equivalent. Soil from one site contained 10 times more 2:1 clay minerals, which were better at removing phenolics present in their diet. We suggest that geophagy may provide bioavailable iron and protection from phenolics, which have increased in plants over the last 20 years. In summary, geophagy within the Sonso community is multifunctional and may be an important self-medicative behavior.

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    Abstract

    Plants that have grown for many years in the special environmental conditions prevailing in mining areas are naturally screened and show strong capacity to adapt to their environment. The present study investigated the enrichment characteristics of U and other heavy metals (As, Cu, Pb, Mn, Mo, Zn, Cd, Co, and Ni) in the soil–plant system in Xiazhuang uranium mine. Four dominant plants (Castanopsis carlesii, Rhus chinensis, Liriodendron chinense, and Sapium discolor) and soil samples were collected from the mined areas, unmined areas, and background areas away from the ore field. U, As, Cu, Pb, Mn, Mo, Zn, Cd, Co, and Ni concentrations were analyzed by ICP-MS. The results demonstrate that (1) The highest concentrations of U (4.1–206.9 mg/kg) and Pb (43.3–126.0 mg/kg) with the geoaccumulation index (Igeo) greater than 1 show that they are the main soil pollutants in the research area. (2) The biological accumulation coefficient (LBAC) values for Cd, Mn, and Cu are greater than zero in S. discolor, L. chinense, and C. carlesii and these three plants indicate that they can be used for remediation of the soil in the ore field. (3) R. chinensis inhibits the accumulation of heavy metals and shows sensitive pigment responses to the accumulation of U in the leaves. L. chinense has the strongest enrichment effect on heavy metals but exhibits weak biochemical responses under U stress. C. carlesii demonstrates strong adaptation to U and can maintain healthy pigment characteristics in case of high U enrichment. (4) S. discolor, L. chinense, C. carlesii and R. chinensis have strong tolerance to U toxicity and different biochemical responses.

  • Distribution, sources and health risk assessment of contaminations in water of urban park: A case study in Northeast China 2019-12-01

    Abstract

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