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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## 34th SEGH International Conference: Geochemistry for Sustainable Development

Victoria Falls, Zambia

02 July 2018

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## Science in theNews

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

• Fertilizer usage and cadmium in soils, crops and food 2018-06-23

### Abstract

Phosphate fertilizers were first implicated by Schroeder and Balassa (Science 140(3568):819–820, 1963) for increasing the Cd concentration in cultivated soils and crops. This suggestion has become a part of the accepted paradigm on soil toxicity. Consequently, stringent fertilizer control programs to monitor Cd have been launched. Attempts to link Cd toxicity and fertilizers to chronic diseases, sometimes with good evidence, but mostly on less certain data are frequent. A re-assessment of this “accepted” paradigm is timely, given the larger body of data available today. The data show that both the input and output of Cd per hectare from fertilizers are negligibly small compared to the total amount of Cd/hectare usually present in the soil itself. Calculations based on current agricultural practices are used to show that it will take centuries to double the ambient soil Cd level, even after neglecting leaching and other removal effects. The concern of long-term agriculture should be the depletion of available phosphate fertilizers, rather than the negligible contamination of the soil by trace metals from fertilizer inputs. This conclusion is confirmed by showing that the claimed correlations between fertilizer input and Cd accumulation in crops are not robust. Alternative scenarios that explain the data are presented. Thus, soil acidulation on fertilizer loading and the effect of Mg, Zn and F ions contained in fertilizers are considered using recent $$\hbox {Cd}^{2+}$$ , $$\hbox {Mg}^{2+}$$ and $$\hbox {F}^-$$ ion-association theories. The protective role of ions like Zn, Se, Fe is emphasized, and the question of Cd toxicity in the presence of other ions is considered. These help to clarify difficulties in the standard point of view. This analysis does not modify the accepted views on Cd contamination by airborne delivery, smoking, and industrial activity, or algal blooms caused by phosphates.

• Effects of conversion of mangroves into gei wai ponds on accumulation, speciation and risk of heavy metals in intertidal sediments 2018-06-23

### Abstract

Mangroves are often converted into gei wai ponds for aquaculture, but how such conversion affects the accumulation and behavior of heavy metals in sediments is not clear. The present study aims to quantify the concentration and speciation of heavy metals in sediments in different habitats, including gei wai pond, mangrove marsh dominated by Avicennia marina and bare mudflat, in a mangrove nature reserve in South China. The results showed that gei wai pond acidified the sediment and reduced its electronic conductivity and total organic carbon (TOC) when compared to A. marina marsh and mudflat. The concentrations of Cd, Cu, Zn and Pb at all sediment depths in gei wai pond were lower than the other habitats, indicating gei wai pond reduced the fertility and the ability to retain heavy metals in sediment. Gei wai pond sediment also had a lower heavy metal pollution problem according to multiple evaluation methods, including potential ecological risk coefficient, potential ecological risk index, geo-accumulation index, mean PEL quotients, pollution load index, mean ERM quotients and total toxic unit. Heavy metal speciation analysis showed that gei wai pond increased the transfer of the immobilized fraction of Cd and Cr to the mobilized one. According to the acid-volatile sulfide (AVS) and simultaneously extracted metals (SEM) analysis, the conversion of mangroves into gei wai pond reduced values of ([SEM] − [AVS])/f oc , and the role of TOC in alleviating heavy metal toxicity in sediment. This study demonstrated the conversion of mangrove marsh into gei wai pond not only reduced the ecological purification capacity on heavy metal contamination, but also enhanced the transfer of heavy metals from gei wai pond sediment to nearby habitats.

• Cytotoxicity induced by the mixture components of nickel and poly aromatic hydrocarbons 2018-06-22

### Abstract

Although particulate matter (PM) is composed of various chemicals, investigations regarding the toxicity that results from mixing the substances in PM are insufficient. In this study, the effects of low levels of three PAHs (benz[a]anthracene, benzo[a]pyrene, and dibenz[a,h]anthracene) on Ni toxicity were investigated to assess the combined effect of Ni–PAHs on the environment. We compared the difference in cell mortality and total glutathione (tGSH) reduction between single Ni and Ni–PAHs co-exposure using A549 (human alveolar carcinoma). In addition, we measured the change in Ni solubility in chloroform that was triggered by PAHs to confirm the existence of cation–π interactions between Ni and PAHs. In the single Ni exposure, the dose–response curve of cell mortality and tGSH reduction were very similar, indicating that cell death was mediated by the oxidative stress. However, 10 μM PAHs induced a depleted tGSH reduction compared to single Ni without a change in cell mortality. The solubility of Ni in chloroform was greatly enhanced by the addition of benz[a]anthracene, which demonstrates the cation–π interactions between Ni and PAHs. Ni–PAH complexes can change the toxicity mechanisms of Ni from oxidative stress to others due to the reduction of Ni2+ bioavailability and the accumulation of Ni–PAH complexes on cell membranes. The abundant PAHs contained in PM have strong potential to interact with metals, which can affect the toxicity of the metal. Therefore, the mixture toxicity and interactions between diverse metals and PAHs in PM should be investigated in the future.