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.

 

 

Keep up to date

Submit Content

Members can keep in touch with their colleagues through short news and events articles of interest to the SEGH community.

Science in the News

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

  • Geophagy among East African Chimpanzees: consumed soils provide protection from plant secondary compounds and bioavailable iron 2019-12-01

    Abstract

    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.

  • Accumulation of uranium and heavy metals in the soil–plant system in Xiazhuang uranium ore field, Guangdong Province, China 2019-12-01

    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

    This case study was performed to determine whether the pollutants in water of urban park could bring health risk to human engaging in water-related activities such as swimming and provide evidence demonstrating the critical need for strengthened recreational water resources management of urban park. TN, NH4+-N, TP, Cu, Mn, Zn, Se, Pb, As, Cd and Cr(VI) contents were determined to describe the spatial distribution of contaminations; sources apportionment with the method of correlation analysis, factor analysis and cluster analysis were followed by health risk assessment for swimmers of different age groups. The results reveal that element contents in all sites do not exceed Chinese standard for swimming area and European Commission standard for surface water; all detected elements except Cr(VI) have a tendency to accumulate in the location of lake crossing bridge; Mn and Zn are considered to have the same pollution source including geogenic and anthropogenic sources by multivariable analysis. Carcinogenic risks of different age groups descend in the same order with non-carcinogenic risks. Among all elements, Zn and Mn contribute the lowest non-carcinogenic risk (5.1940E-06) and the highest non-carcinogenic risk (7.9921E-04) through skin contact pathway, respectively. The total average personal risk for swimmers in swimming area is 1.9693E-03, and this site is not suitable for swimming. Overall, it is possible that swimmers are exposed to risk via the dermal route when carrying out water-related activities, it is recommended that necessary precautions and management should be taken in other similar locations around the world.