SEGH Articles

SEGH review of meetings

01 January 2013
Review of SEGH meetings and conferences reported in EGAH.

Earlier you responded to a request to complete our questionnaire about your experience at the annual meetings of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health, for which we thank you. You kindly gave us your name for acknowledgement in the paper.

You will be pleased to know that the paper has been published, in Environmental Geochemistry and Health this month:

Stewart AG, Worsley A, Holden V, Hursthouse AS. Evaluating the impact of interdisciplinary networking in Environmental Geochemistry and Health: Reviewing SEGH conferences and workshops. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, Special edition. 2012; 34(6): 653-664. DOI: 10.1007/s10653-012-9487-6. PMID: 23014882.


The Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health (SEGH) is a forum for multidisciplinary interaction relating the geochemical environment to health. With national funding, SEGH identified collaborative opportunities through the MULTITUDE series of workshops (2007–2011). We reviewed the meetings by electronic questionnaire (39 % response). Smaller meetings saw most returning delegates, suggesting networking and personal interaction is a key positive feature of SEGH; 31 % of practitioners and 25 % of academics participated in more than one meeting. Collaboration between SEGH participants resulted in joint funding (13 academics, 4 practitioners, 1 other) and joint papers (19, 5, 3). Evidence of behavioural change was seen in comments in five themes regarding the impacts of the conferences: support for current direction; impact on education practice (academics); new approaches; networking; multidisciplinary work. Multidisciplinary meetings and resulting networking were seen as having real value by many respondents, who encouraged further active pursuit of these activities. SEGH is eager to continue these activities which transform research, education and practice, resulting in a better understanding of the structure and processes comprising the broad geochemical environment on health. Comments showed the value and strength of small, well-organised conferences, bringing together a mixed group of disciplines, both research and applied, in a relaxed atmosphere. The absence of serious negative critique along with clear, positive comments suggests that there is a substantial level of support for, and even pleasure in, SEGH multidisciplinary conferences and workshops over the past years. It is encouraging that annual European conferences are viewed as such a positive achievement.


Thank you again for your participation in the survey and review of the meetings of the society.



You may be interested to know that subscriptions to the society are now renewable, at £40.00 for full membership, £20.00 for student membership and £17.00 for members who do not wish to access the journal.

Part of your membership fee goes towards the upkeep of the SEGH website and the maintenance of the online payment option. This has proved to be completely secure and successful and the easiest and quickest method of paying subscriptions. We, along with SagePay, who store our financial cardholder information, are fully compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) which means that your personal data is stored to the highest possible professional safety standard.

Therefore, if possible please renew your membership via the SEGH website:

Please note, online payments are handled by SagePay and will be charged in £GBP, but you will be billed in your local currency. If renewal online is not possible, we are still accepting bank transfers or cheques. Please get in touch by email for full details.

2013 Conference

Plans are also well in hand for the 29th International SEGH Conference in Toulouse, France 8th - 12th July, 2013, organised by EcoLab (Laboratoire Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement). You will notice from the website that there are excellent registration concessions for SEGH members.

2013 Conference website:

Dr Alex G Stewart
Consultant in Health Protection Cheshire & Merseyside Health Protection Unit, UK / International Board Member SEGH

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Science in the News

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

  • Editorial 2018-12-11
  • Chemical fractionation of heavy metals in fine particulate matter and their health risk assessment through inhalation exposure pathway 2018-12-11


    Samples of PM2.5 were collected from an urban area close to a national highway in Agra, India and sequentially extracted into four different fractions: water soluble (F1), reducible (F2), oxidizable (F3) and residual fraction (F4) for chemical fractionation of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and lead (Pb). The metals were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy in each fraction. The average mass concentration of PM2.5 was 93 ± 24 μg m−3.The total concentrations of Cr, Pb, Ni, Co, As and Cd in fine particle were 192 ± 54, 128 ± 25, 108 ± 34, 36 ± 6, 35 ± 5 and 8 ± 2 ng m−3, respectively. Results indicated that Cd and Co had the most bioavailability indexes. Risk Assessment Code and contamination factors were calculated to assess the environmental risk. The present study evaluated the potential Pb hazard to young children using the Integrated Exposure Uptake Biokinetic Model. From the model, the probability density of PbB (blood lead level) revealed that at the prevailing atmospheric concentration, 0.302 children are expected to have PbB concentrations exceeding 10 μg dL−1 and an estimated IQ (intelligence quotient) loss of 1.8 points. The predicted blood Pb levels belong to Group 3 (PbB < 5 μg dL−1). Based on the bioavailable fractions, carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks via inhalation exposure were assessed for infants, toddlers, children, males and females. The hazard index for potential toxic metals was 2.50, which was higher than the safe limit (1). However, the combined carcinogenic risk for infants, toddlers, children, males and females was marginally higher than the precautionary criterion (10−6).

  • Effects of steel slag and biochar amendments on CO 2 , CH 4 , and N 2 O flux, and rice productivity in a subtropical Chinese paddy field 2018-12-07


    Steel slag, a by-product of the steel industry, contains high amounts of active iron oxide and silica which can act as an oxidizing agent in agricultural soils. Biochar is a rich source of carbon, and the combined application of biochar and steel slag is assumed to have positive impacts on soil properties as well as plant growth, which are yet to be validated scientifically. We conducted a field experiment for two rice paddies (early and late paddy) to determine the individual and combined effects of steel slag and biochar amendments on CO2, CH4, and N2O emission, and rice productivity in a subtropical paddy field of China. The amendments did not significantly affect rice yield. It was observed that CO2 was the main greenhouse gas emitted from all treatments of both paddies. Steel slag decreased the cumulative CO2 flux in the late paddy. Biochar as well as steel slag + biochar treatment decreased the cumulative CO2 flux in the late paddy and for the complete year (early and late paddy), while steel slag + biochar treatment also decreased the cumulative CH4 flux in the early paddy. The biochar, and steel slag + biochar amendments decreased the global warming potential (GWP). Interestingly, the cumulative annual GWP was lower for the biochar (55,422 kg CO2-eq ha−1), and steel slag + biochar (53,965 kg CO2-eq ha−1) treatments than the control (68,962 kg CO2-eq ha−1). Total GWP per unit yield was lower for the combined application of steel slag + biochar (8951 kg CO2-eq Mg−1 yield) compared to the control (12,805 kg CO2-eq Mg−1 yield). This study suggested that the combined application of steel slag and biochar could be an effective long-term strategy to reduce greenhouse gases emission from paddies without any detrimental effect on the yield.