SEGH Articles

In Memoriam: Willard R Chappell PhD

24 November 2017
With great sadness we have learned of the death of Willard (Bill) Chappell on October 7, 2017.

In Memoriam

Willard R Chappell PhD

With great sadness we have learned of the death of Willard (Bill) Chappell  on October 7, 2017.

Bill was Professor (subsequently Professor Emeritus) of Physics and Preventive Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver (USA). Bill joined our society in 1988 and was elected Secretary/Treasurer for 1989 through 1991. He served on the Board from 1992 to 2004 in a special position as Task Force Chairman of the SEGH Arsenic Task Force.  The work of the Task Force led to the Arsenic Exposure and Health Problems conferences  in 1993, 1995, 1998, 2000 and 2002. In addition to the  conference proceedings three books (Arsenic Exposure and Health Effects, edited by Willard Chappell, Charles Abernathy and Rebecca Calderon) were published. These publications were very well received by the international research community and influenced the setting of drinking water standards for arsenic. In 2005 Bill Chappell's efforts were recognized by the (SEGH) Julian J. Chisolm, Jr. Award for Outstanding Leadership in Environmental  Geochemistry and Health.

In his academic life Bill, in addition to his activities as an educator and researcher,  was Chairman of the State of Colorado Governors Scientific Advisory Committee in 1974-1975 and Chairman of the United State Department of Energy Oil Shale Task Force from 1978-1982.  In the academic year 1983/1984 he had a sabbatical leave in England as Academic Visitor in London University's Imperial College.

Bill's father and mother Will and Mildred preceded him in death.  Bill is survived by two brothers, Robert Bruce Chappell and John Heizer.  Bill's wife Juanita Benetin, whom he married on March 5, 1981 their two children Ginger Ferguson and her Husband, Robert Snook, and Robert Lincoln Ferguson, Jr.

Those of us who were privileged to know him  remember him not only for his active leadership in our society but also for him as a person, as good company, as fun. He was best described as a bon viveur, amply living up to the dictionary definition as a person who likes going to parties and who enjoys good food and wine. He was reputed to know the best restaurants in cities throughout the world.

Brian E Davies and Bobby G Wixson (Past Presidents)

 

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

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    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.