SEGH Articles

# SESEH Promotes Collaborations with China in Environment and Health

01 October 2012
The 2012 Sino-European Symposium on Environment and Health (SESEH 2012) was successfully held at the National University of Ireland, Galway during August 20 - 25, 2012.

This brand new conference has attracted a total number of 212 participants from a total number of 28 countries, including 53 students and 10 accompanying persons. Nearly half of the participants are Chinese, with the number of 93. Among them 77 are directly from China, and 16 are overseas Chinese. The number of participants from Ireland is 57, including 7 overseas Chinese studying or working in Ireland.

The SESEH 2012 provides an internationally leading platform for interaction between scientists, consultants, and public servants engaged in the multi-disciplinary areas of environment and health. With the fast economic growth, the importance of environment and health is widely recognized in China, and China welcomes international experts for collaboration. The aim of SESEH is to promote collaborations with China. This symposium provides an opportunity for a direct communication between experts from China and the rest of the world, and helps to foster and develop Microbiology, Pharmaceuticals, POPs and Pesticides, Sediment Pollution, Soil Remediation, Soil Threats, Smart Wastewater Treatment, and Water Quality.  There were international collaborations with China, the 2nd largest economy of the world.

The theme of environment and health is one of the most challenging issues that human beings are currently facing. With the economic development and improvement of our quality of life, the environment around us is under pressure, and often deteriorating. This has raised many questions that require answers: Is the air we breathe still fresh? Is the water we drink still clean? Is the food we eat still safe? This conference brings together international experts in Galway to discuss these questions. The themes cover a wide range of topics including: Advanced Medical Mineralogy, Air Quality, Bioavailability and bioaccessibility, Clays, Coal and Health, Cryptosporidium, Environmental Health, Environmental Health in Buildings, Environmental Management, Environmental Sensors, GIS and Quantitative Methods, Land Use and Soil Environment.

A total of 6 internationally leading experts serving as keynote speakers of SESEH 2012: Professors Ming-Hung Wong, Shu Tao, Xiaoying Zheng, Derek Clements-Croome, Jerome Nriagu, and William Manning. In addition, the world-renowned Medical Geology Short Course was successfully held as a pre-conference workshop of SESEH 2012, led by Dr. Jose Centeno, Dr. Olle Selinus, Dr. Bob Finkelman, and Dr. Maurice Mulcahy.

A special section in Environmental Pollution and a special issue in Environmental Geochemistry and Health are under preparation. One best student poster and two best student oral presentations were awarded.

Galway is a popular tourist destination, attracting more than 1 million international visitors annually. SESEH 2012 delegates and their accompanying persons have undoubtedly made a significant contribution to the local economy. Galway has provided SESEH 2012 delegates a good experience with its well preserved Irish tradition, hospitality and natural beauty.

The SESEH 2012 conference is co-organised by the GIS Centre, Ryan Institute of NUI Galway (http://www.ryaninstitute.ie/facilities/gis-centre), The Geographical Society of China (www.gsc.org.cn) and Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland (ISAI, www.esaiweb.org), supported by Ryan Institute of NUI Galway (www.ryaninstitute.ie), Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health (SEGH, www.segh.net), International Medical Geology Association (IMGA, www.medicalgeology.org), Geographical Society of Ireland (www.ucd.ie/gsi), Ireland Chinese Association of Environment, Resources & Energy (ICAERE, www.icaere.ie), National Centre for Geocomputation (ncg.nuim.ie), South China Institute of Environmental Sciences (http://www.scies.org/en) and Chinese Environmental Scholars & Professionals Network (http://www.cespn.net/english).

Dr Chaosheng Zhang, University of Ireland, Galway.

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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.