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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Science in the News

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

  • Editorial 2018-12-11
  • Chemical fractionation of heavy metals in fine particulate matter and their health risk assessment through inhalation exposure pathway 2018-12-11

    Abstract

    Samples of PM2.5 were collected from an urban area close to a national highway in Agra, India and sequentially extracted into four different fractions: water soluble (F1), reducible (F2), oxidizable (F3) and residual fraction (F4) for chemical fractionation of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and lead (Pb). The metals were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy in each fraction. The average mass concentration of PM2.5 was 93 ± 24 μg m−3.The total concentrations of Cr, Pb, Ni, Co, As and Cd in fine particle were 192 ± 54, 128 ± 25, 108 ± 34, 36 ± 6, 35 ± 5 and 8 ± 2 ng m−3, respectively. Results indicated that Cd and Co had the most bioavailability indexes. Risk Assessment Code and contamination factors were calculated to assess the environmental risk. The present study evaluated the potential Pb hazard to young children using the Integrated Exposure Uptake Biokinetic Model. From the model, the probability density of PbB (blood lead level) revealed that at the prevailing atmospheric concentration, 0.302 children are expected to have PbB concentrations exceeding 10 μg dL−1 and an estimated IQ (intelligence quotient) loss of 1.8 points. The predicted blood Pb levels belong to Group 3 (PbB < 5 μg dL−1). Based on the bioavailable fractions, carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks via inhalation exposure were assessed for infants, toddlers, children, males and females. The hazard index for potential toxic metals was 2.50, which was higher than the safe limit (1). However, the combined carcinogenic risk for infants, toddlers, children, males and females was marginally higher than the precautionary criterion (10−6).

  • Effects of steel slag and biochar amendments on CO 2 , CH 4 , and N 2 O flux, and rice productivity in a subtropical Chinese paddy field 2018-12-07

    Abstract

    Steel slag, a by-product of the steel industry, contains high amounts of active iron oxide and silica which can act as an oxidizing agent in agricultural soils. Biochar is a rich source of carbon, and the combined application of biochar and steel slag is assumed to have positive impacts on soil properties as well as plant growth, which are yet to be validated scientifically. We conducted a field experiment for two rice paddies (early and late paddy) to determine the individual and combined effects of steel slag and biochar amendments on CO2, CH4, and N2O emission, and rice productivity in a subtropical paddy field of China. The amendments did not significantly affect rice yield. It was observed that CO2 was the main greenhouse gas emitted from all treatments of both paddies. Steel slag decreased the cumulative CO2 flux in the late paddy. Biochar as well as steel slag + biochar treatment decreased the cumulative CO2 flux in the late paddy and for the complete year (early and late paddy), while steel slag + biochar treatment also decreased the cumulative CH4 flux in the early paddy. The biochar, and steel slag + biochar amendments decreased the global warming potential (GWP). Interestingly, the cumulative annual GWP was lower for the biochar (55,422 kg CO2-eq ha−1), and steel slag + biochar (53,965 kg CO2-eq ha−1) treatments than the control (68,962 kg CO2-eq ha−1). Total GWP per unit yield was lower for the combined application of steel slag + biochar (8951 kg CO2-eq Mg−1 yield) compared to the control (12,805 kg CO2-eq Mg−1 yield). This study suggested that the combined application of steel slag and biochar could be an effective long-term strategy to reduce greenhouse gases emission from paddies without any detrimental effect on the yield.