SEGH Articles

Geochemistry for Sustainable development: Victoria Falls, Zambia

04 March 2018
Abstracts are now due for 9th March if you would like to be considered for an oral presentation. Please do hurry and submit your abstracts.

34th SEGH International Conference on Geochemistry for Sustainable development

Avani Victoria Falls Resort, Livingstone Zambia 2-7th July 2018.

Abstracts are now due for 9th March if you would like to be considered for an oral presentation.  Please do hurry and submit your abstracts, don't wait until after the deadline!  Consideration for oral and poster presentations will be undertaken by the scientific committee 12-16th March.  However, we will consider poster abstracts until April 13th.

Please view the conference website for details https://segh2018.org/

Preparations for the conference are well underway, some of which were described in the last web article in November SEGH november article. You can find information regarding travel arrangements, accommodation, social events and suggestions for independent activities in the vicinity of Victoria Falls on https://segh2018.org

We have formulated a comprehensive social programme including the ice-breaker-registration, two poster evenings, each with drinks, food and music and the conference dinner (Boma) which will be held on the banks of the Zambezi in site of the edge of Victoria Falls. A braai (barbecue) will be provided at the Boma along with entertainment including traditional dancing and music. These activities are included within the registration fee with support from sponsors.  So far we have Agilent Technologies, Trace2O-Wagtech and Chemetrix signed up as official sponsors, with others in the process of signing up.

 

As a reminder, the key themes of the conference are:

Theme 1. Industrial and Urban Development

Theme 2. Agriculture

Theme 3. Health

Theme 4. Technologies

More information around these themes can be found on the conference webpage.

 

You will find additional information about the conference venue, location, how to get to Livingstone, surrounding town and opportunities for experiencing the natural wonder of Victoria Falls.  In addition, we have posted some information on suggestions for local accommodation for a range of budgets to which we will keep you updated as we confirm discounts with local accommodation via: https://segh2018.org/ , twitter on @SocEGH, @segh2018, www.segh.net updates and member emails.  If you have not already viewed the conference website, you will find information for registration and submission of abstracts.  Delegate payments will be handled in two ways.  Zambian nationals and sponsors to pay via the Zambian online shop, international delegates and sponsors to pay via the International online shop which will connect to the SEGH secure payment function using SagePay. Bank transfers can be made on request.

July 3-5th will comprise of conference presentations, whilst the 6th July will be offered to delegates as a free training day.  Details are shown on the conference website, please feel free to suggest other ideas or volunteer to run small working groups. On the 7th July will be a field trip to visit an African cultural centre, Agricultural research station and finish with a sunset cruise on the Zambezi.  We just ask for a contribution to the lunch on the fieldtrip and payment for the cruise, which includes a buffet and drinks.

Training day – tutorials are planned for the 6th July free of charge. Tutorials will include:

Epidemiology & health statistics – Dr Valerie McCormack from the International Agency for Research on Cancer-WHO will lead on a tutorial for epidemiology and health statistics (2 hours).  Dr Alex Stewart (retired) Public Health England will provide a following tutorial on the use of environmental and public health datasets (1 hour).

Stable Isotope tracers – Dr Andi Smith, British Geological Survey (1 hour)

Laboratory Quality Assurance – Dr Michael Watts & Mr Elliott Hamilton, British Geological Survey (1 hour)

Introduction to QGIS (freeware) – Dr Daniel Middleton IARC-WHO & Dr Louise Ander British Geological Survey (3 hours)

Introduction to the R platform for statistics - Professor Murray Lark, University of Nottingham/British Geological Survey (3 hours)

 

We look forward to seeing you beside the Victoria Falls known as Mosi-Oa-Tunya, in Livingstone, Zambia.


By Michael Watts, Moola Mutondo, Kenneth Maseka and Godfrey Sakala

Chair of organising committee

Prof. Kenneth Maseka, Copperbelt University

Organising committee

Dr Michael Watts, British Geological Survey

Dr Moola Mutondo, Copperbelt University

Dr Godfrey Sakala, Zambia Agriculture Research Institute

 

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

  • Arsenic exposure and perception of health risk due to groundwater contamination in Majuli (river island), Assam, India 2019-07-19

    Abstract

    Island populations are rarely studied for risk of arsenic (As) poisoning. As poisoning, multimetal contamination and people’s perceptions of health risks were assessed on India’s Majuli Island, the largest inhabited river island in the world. This holistic approach illustrated the association of groundwater contamination status with consequent health risk by measuring levels of inorganic arsenic (iAs) in groundwater, borehole sediment and biological samples (hair, nails and urine). Piper and Gibbs’s plots discerned the underlying hydrogeochemical processes in the aquifer. Demographic data and qualitative factors were evaluated to assess the risks and uncertainties of exposure. The results exhibited significant enrichment of groundwater with As, Mn and Fe along with significant body burden. Maximum Hazard Index values indicated severe non-carcinogenic health impacts as well as a significantly elevated risk of cancer for both adults and children. Most (99%) of the locally affected population did not know about the adverse health impacts of metal contamination, and only 15% understood bodily ailments and health issues. Various aspects of the island environment were used to elucidate the status of contamination and future risk of disease. A projection showed adverse health outcomes rising significantly, especially among the young population of Majuli, due to overexposure to not only As but also Ba, Mn and Fe.

  • The contents of the potentially harmful elements in the arable soils of southern Poland, with the assessment of ecological and health risks: a case study 2019-07-19

    Abstract

    Agricultural soil samples were collected from the areas where edible plants had been cultivated in southern Poland. The PHE content decreased in proportion to the median value specified in brackets (mg/kg d.m.) as follows: Zn (192) > Pb (47.1) > Cr (19.6) > Cu (18.8) > Ni (9.91) > As (5.73) > Co (4.63) > Sb (0.85) > Tl (0.04) > Cd (0.03) > Hg (0.001) > Se (< LOQ). No PHE concentrations exceeded the permissible levels defined in the Polish law. The PHE solubility (extracted with CaCl2) in the total concentration ranged in the following order: Fe (3.3%) > Cd (2.50%) > Ni (0.75%) > Zn (0.48%) > Cu (0.19%) > Pb (0.10%) > Cr (0.03%). The soil contamination indices revealed moderate contamination with Zn, ranging from uncontaminated to moderately contaminated with Pb, and, practically, no contamination with other PHEs was identified. The ecological risk indices revealed that soils ranged from uncontaminated to slightly contaminated with Zn, Pb, As, Cu, and Ni. The PCA indicated natural sources of origin of Co, Cu, Hg, Sb, Zn, Cr, and Pb, as well as anthropogenic sources of origin of Cd, Ni, As, and Tl. The human health risk assessment (HHRA) for adults and children decreased in the following order of exposure pathways: ingestion > dermal contact > inhalation of soil particles. The total carcinogenic risk values for both adults and children were at the acceptable level under residential (1.62E−05 and 6.39E−05) and recreational scenario (5.41E−06 and 2.46E−05), respectively, as well as for adults in agricultural scenario (1.45E−05). The total non-carcinogenic risk values for both adults and children under residential scenario (1.63E−01 and 4.55E−01, respectively), under recreational scenario (2.88E−01 and 6.69E−01, respectively) and for adults (1.03E−01) under agricultural scenario indicated that adverse health effects were not likely to be observed. Investigated soils were fully suitable for edible plant cultivation.

  • Using human hair and nails as biomarkers to assess exposure of potentially harmful elements to populations living near mine waste dumps 2019-07-17

    Abstract

    Potentially harmful elements (PHEs) manganese (Mn), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) were measured in human hair/nails, staple crops and drinking water to ascertain the level of exposure to dust transference via wind and rain erosion for members of the Mugala community living near a mine waste dump in the Zambian Copperbelt. The mean PHE concentrations of hair in decreasing order were Zn (137 ± 21 mg/kg), Cu (38 ± 7 mg/kg), Mn (16 ± 2 mg/kg), Pb (4.3 ± 1.9 mg/kg), Ni (1.3 ± 0.2 mg/kg) and Cr (1.2 ± 0.2 mg/kg), Co (0.9 ± 0.2 mg/kg) and Cd (0.30 ± 0.02 mg/kg). Whilst for toenails the decreasing order of mean concentrations was Zn (172 ± 27 mg/kg), Cu (30 ± 5 mg/kg), Mn (12 ± 2 mg/kg), Pb (4.8 ± 0.5 mg/kg), Ni (1.7 ± 0.14 mg/kg) and Co (1.0 ± 0.02 mg/kg), Cr (0.6 ± 0.1 mg/kg) and Cd (0.1 ± 0.002 mg/kg). The concentration of these potentially harmful elements (PHEs) varied greatly among different age groups. The results showed that Mn, Co, Pb, Cd and Zn were above the interval values (Biolab in Nutritional and environmental medicine, Hair Mineral Analysis, London, 2012) at 0.2–2.0 mg/kg for Mn, 0.01–0.20 mg/kg for Co, < 2.00 mg/kg for Pb, < 0.10 mg/kg for Cd and 0.2–2.00 mg/kg for Zn, whilst Ni, Cu and Cr concentrations were within the normal range concentrations of < 1.40 mg/kg, 10–100 mg/kg and 0.1–1.5 mg/kg, respectively. Dietary intake of PHEs was assessed from the ingestion of vegetables grown in Mugala village, with estimated PHE intakes expressed on a daily basis calculated for Mn (255), Pb (48), Ni (149) and Cd (33) µg/kg bw/day. For these metals, DI via vegetables was above the proposed limits of the provisional tolerable daily intakes (PTDIs) (WHO in Evaluation of certain food additive and contaminants, Seventy-third report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, 2011) for Mn at 70 µg/kg bw/day, Pb at 3 µg/kg bw/day, Ni and Cd 5 µg/kg bw/day and 1 µg/kg bw/day, respectively. The rest of the PHEs listed were within the PTDIs limits. Therefore, Mugala inhabitants are at imminent health risk due to lead, nickel and cadmium ingestion of vegetables and drinking water at this location.