SEGH Articles

SEGH Representation - Scientific Events in Pakistan

10 January 2016
Dr Munir Zia gives an update on SEGH representation at two scientific events during 2015 in Pakistan


Dr Munir Zia represented SEGH at two of the following events during 2015 in Pakistan:

1. International Conference on Soil Sustainability and Food Security held at the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad (Nov 15-17)

2. International Workshop on Current status of fertilizer use in Pakistan (Nov 29-Dec 01)

Dr Munir Zia, R&D Coordinator for the Fauji Fertilizer Company in Pakistan, while representing SEGH, delivered an invited talk on “Health risk assessment of potentially harmful elements (PHEs) and dietary minerals (DMs) from soils and vegetables irrigated with wastewater” at the International Conference on Soil Sustainability and Food Security held at the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad, Pakistan. Scientists from Germany, Australia, and UAE also participated in the event that was inaugurated by the Federal Minister for Food Security.


Dr Munir Zia also represented SEGH at an International Workshop on  the Current status of Fertilizer use in Pakistan. The workshop in November 2015 was organised by the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad and the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) under the framework of the Consortium Research Programme on Water, Land and Ecosystems.



The main concern in agricultural production systems are the inefficient use of fertilizers and their impact on the environment. Improving fertilizer use efficiency requires a multi-disciplinary, multi-pronged approach in fertilizer and irrigation management, breeding, extension and policy interventions. The contrasting situation is the underuse of fertilisers where farmers are not achieving optimal yields because they cannot get access to or afford fertilizers. This workshop will highlight the problem of fertilizer mismanagement; its over, inappropriate and under use, and losses due to agricultural activities. This activity will help in the identification of areas for policy intervention to improve fertilizer distribution and management or regulate its use.

by Dr Munir Zia

R&D Coordinator Fauji Fertilizer Company, Pakistan

SEGH Representative in Pakistan

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

  • Genotoxic effects of PM 10 and PM 2.5 bound metals: metal bioaccessibility, free radical generation, and role of iron 2018-10-09


    The present study was undertaken to examine the possible genotoxicity of ambient particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) in Pune city. In both size fractions of PM, Fe was found to be the dominant metal by concentration, contributing 22% and 30% to the total mass of metals in PM10 and PM2.5, respectively. The speciation of soluble Fe in PM10 and PM2.5 was investigated. The average fraction of Fe3+ and Fe2+ concentrations in PM2.5 was 80.6% and 19.3%, respectively, while in PM2.5 this fraction was 71.1% and 29.9%, respectively. The dominance of Fe(III) state in both PM fractions facilitates the generation of hydroxyl radicals (·OH), which can damage deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA), as was evident from the gel electrophoresis study. The DNA damage by ·OH was supported through the in silico density functional theory (DFT) method. DFT results showed that C8 site of guanine (G)/adenine (A) and C6 site of thymine (T)/cytosine (C) would be energetically more favorable for the attack of hydroxyl radicals, when compared with the C4 and C5 sites. The non-standard Watson–Crick base pairing models of oxidative products of G, A, T and C yield lower-energy conformations than canonical dA:dT and dG:dC base pairing. This study may pave the way to understand the structural consequences of base-mediated oxidative lesions in DNA and its role in human diseases.

  • A systematic review on global pollution status of particulate matter-associated potential toxic elements and health perspectives in urban environment 2018-10-08


    Airborne particulate matter (PM) that is a heterogeneous mixture of particles with a variety of chemical components and physical features acts as a potential risk to human health. The ability to pose health risk depends upon the size, concentration and chemical composition of the suspended particles. Potential toxic elements (PTEs) associated with PM have multiple sources of origin, and each source has the ability to generate multiple particulate PTEs. In urban areas, automobile, industrial emissions, construction and demolition activities are the major anthropogenic sources of pollution. Fine particles associated with PTEs have the ability to penetrate deep into respiratory system resulting in an increasing range of adverse health effects, at ever-lower concentrations. In-depth investigation of PTEs content and mode of occurrence in PM is important from both environmental and pathological point of view. Considering this air pollution risk, several studies had addressed the issues related to these pollutants in road and street dust, indicating high pollution level than the air quality guidelines. Observed from the literature, particulate PTEs pollution can lead to respiratory symptoms, cardiovascular problems, lungs cancer, reduced lungs function, asthma and severe case mortality. Due to the important role of PM and associated PTEs, detailed knowledge of their impacts on human health is of key importance.

  • Interactions between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and epoxide hydrolase 1 play roles in asthma 2018-10-06


    Asthma, as one of the most common chronic diseases in children and adults, is a consequence of complex gene–environment interactions. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), as a group of widespread environmental organic pollutants, are involved in the development, triggering and pathologic changes of asthma. Various previous studies reported the critical roles of PAHs in immune changes, oxidative stress and environment–gene interactions of asthma. EPHX1 (the gene of epoxide hydrolase 1, an enzyme mediating human PAH metabolism) had a possible association with asthma by influencing PAH metabolism. This review summarized that (1) the roles of PAHs in asthma—work as risk factors; (2) the possible mechanisms involved in PAH-related asthma—through immunologic and oxidative stress changes; (3) the interactions between PAHs and EPHX1 involved in asthma—enzymatic activity of epoxide hydrolase 1, which affected by EPHX1 genotypes/SNPs/diplotypes, could influence human PAH metabolism and people’s vulnerability to PAH exposure. This review provided a better understanding of the above interactions and underlying mechanisms for asthma which help to raise public’s concern on PAH control and develop strategies for individual asthma primary prevention.