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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    Abstract

    The objective of this study was to examine whether long-term exposure to low-dose volatile organic compounds (VOCs) will have an effect on the health of non-occupational population. A total of 499 non-occupational participants aged more than 18 that live around Jilin Petrochemical Industrial Zone were chosen by stratified cluster random sampling. Their blood VOCs’ levels, hematological parameters and urine indicators together with detailed questionnaire data were used to find possible relationships using binary logistic regression analysis. The detection rate of benzene in the blood was high in the non-occupational population around the industrial area, and it even reached 82.3% in males but no significant difference was recorded between male and female population. In addition, trichloroethane (male: 33.2% V female: 21.7%; p = 0.002), carbon tetrachloride (males: 20.3% V females: 7.5%; p < 0.001) and trichlorethylene (male: 34.9% V female: 24.7%; p = 0.004) all showed significant differences in gender, and without exception, the prevalence of males was higher in these three VOCs than of females. The changes in red blood cell (RBC), hematocrit (HCT) and basophils are correlated with carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethylene and chloroform, respectively. And RBC, HCT and basophils are statistically significant in male compared with female of the study population. The increase in trichlorethylene was associated with an increase of 1.723% (95% CI 1.058–2.806) in HCT. The increase in carbon tetrachloride showed a more significant correlation with an increase of 2.638% in RBC count (95% CI 1.169–5.953). And trichloromethane led to a 1.922% (95% CI 1.051–3.513) increase in basophils. The changes in urinary WBC, urine ketone (KET) and urinary bilirubin (BIL) showed significant correlation with benzene, carbon tetrachloride and dibromochloromethane, respectively. The correlation in females is more significant than in males. The increase of benzene in the female population increased urinary leukocyte count by 2.902% (95% CI 1.275–6.601). The effect of carbon tetrachloride on KET was particularly pronounced, resulting in an increase of 7.000% (95% CI 1.608–30.465). Simultaneously, an increase in dibromochloromethane caused an increase of 4.256% (95% CI 1.373–13.192) in BIL. The changes in RBC, HCT and basophils can only serve as an auxiliary indicator for disease diagnosis, so they have no significant clinical significance. However, the alteration of urinary WBC, KET and BIL has great clinical significances, and it is suggested that the monitoring of the above indicators from low-dose long-term exposure be strengthen in this area.

  • Interannual variation in grassland net ecosystem productivity and its coupling relation to climatic factors in China 2019-01-08

    Abstract

    Grassland, as an important part of land cover, plays an important role in the global carbon cycle and carbon balance. Net ecosystem productivity (NEP) is a key indicator of the carbon cycle process and an important factor in assessing ecosystem security and maintaining ecosystem balance. In this paper, Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator (BEPS) combining meteorological data, leaf area index, and land cover type data were used to simulate the grassland NEP of China from 1979 to 2008. This model was also used to analyze the responses to changes in climate factors, interannual variation in carbon conversion efficiency, drought stress coefficient, and water use efficiency of grassland in China. Results showed that from 1979 to 2008, the mean annual grassland NEP was 13.6 g C/m2 with weak carbon sinks. The grassland NEP distribution increased from northwest to southeast across China. Regions with NEP of > 0 (C sink) accounted for 73.1% of the total grassland area of China. The total C sequestration reached 26.6 Tg yearly, and grassland NEP was positive from 1979 to 2008. The annual changing characteristics were analyzed. Grassland NEP was positive with carbon sink from June to September, which was negative with carbon source in the remaining months. The carbon conversion efficiency and water use efficiency of the grassland increased significantly within 30 years. NEP showed positive correlation with precipitation (accounting for 74.2% of the total grassland area was positively correlated) but weakly positive correlation with temperature (50.2% of the case). Furthermore, significant positive correlation was found between grassland NEP and precipitation, especially in northeastern and central Inner Mongolia, northern Tianshan of Xinjiang, southwestern Tibet, and southern Qinghai Lake.

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    Abstract

    Humic waters (HW) are globally unique, deep underground, dark-brown waters containing humic acids, and they present numerous therapeutic activities including anti-inflammatory. In the present study, we use HW from source in Poland. Diabetes has become an epidemic and is a risk factor of cardiovascular diseases. Hyperglycemia in diabetes is responsible for damaging of the endothelium and increases inflammation on the surface of the vascular lining. The inflammatory process in diabetes is associated with the secretion of inflammatory cytokines by endothelial cells, e.g., tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), and with the reduction of cell proliferation. In the study, we used cultures of endothelial cells (HUVEC line—human umbilical vein endothelial cells) with the addition 30 mM/L of glucose in the culture medium which imitated the conditions of uncontrolled diabetes. The addition of HW in the proper volume to the culture medium causes reduction of inflammation by significant decrease in inflammatory cytokines such as TNFα and IL-6 and also leads to enhancement of the cell proliferation. It appears that the adverse effects of hyperglycemia on vascular endothelial cells may be corrected by addition of humic water. The above promising results of in vitro tests provide an opportunity to the possible use of humic water in the supportive treatment of endothelial dysfunction disorders in diabetes. However, this issue requires further clinical research.