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.

Abstract

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.

Subscriptions

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: www.segh.net.

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: http://segh2013.sciencesconf.org/

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