SEGH Articles

The SEGH 2016 conference was a great success!!

26 January 2017
SEGH Brussels
110 delegates from 22 countries attended the meeting. Amongst them, 34 students actively participated, whom 5 received an EAG grant (covering the registration fee). 114 abstracts were reviewed by the scientific committee and accepted after potential corrections. The scientific programme was intense, including 59 talks and 55 posters. 
Four keynote speakers were invited: Prof. Reto Gieré from University of Pennsylvania (USA) , Prof. Montserrat Filella from Université de Genève (Switzerland), Prof. Elijah Petersen from NIST (USA), Prof. Vincent Balter from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon (France) covering a large range of subjects like : Assessment of environmental and health impacts of airborne particulate matter;Nanoparticle reference materials; Criticity of trace elements in the current and future environments; Cancer-driven (Cu, Zn) isotopic fractionation.
A field-trip organized in the Liège's area ended the conference: the visit of the peat bogs from the Hautes-Fagnes - precious archives of the atmospheric deposits through the Holocene, was followed by the visit of the slag heaps surrounding Liège, which record a strong fingerprint of the metallurgical industries but currently develop a natural new ecosystem with specific metal-tolerant plants.
Three awards were distributed at the end of the event to: 
- Sebastiaan van de Velde (SEGH Best Oral)
- Alice Jarosikova (SEGH Best Poster)
- T. Gabriel Enge (Malcolm Brown Award for outstanding young scientist)
See the SEGH website for more details and articles on the works performed by the SEGH 2016 young scientist medalists.
The city of Brussels was extremely welcoming with a sunny weather and the conference venue was a convivial open space where delegates have deeply appreciated to lunch, discover Belgian beers, and overall initiate lively scientific discussions. 
In summary, the SEGH 2016 conference in Brussels has reached its initial objectives and even exceeded them; this annual conference provided a real scientific platform of high-quality for exchanges between complementary environment and health related disciplines: geochemistry, ecotoxicology, earth sciences, medicine, epidemiology, laboratory technologies and methodologies.
This would not have been possible without the organisation team from ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and the precious contributions from all the participants. Thank you very much to all delegates!
Looking forward to seeing you in China in 2017.
Nadine Mattielli.
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Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health

  • Iodine deficiency status in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region: a systematic review 2017-02-21


    Iodine deficiency is a global public health issue because iodine plays a major role in the thyroid hormone synthesis and is essential for normal neurological development. This review summarizes the publications on iodine status in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) countries. All related studies available in main national and international databases were systematically searched using some specific keywords to find article published between 1909 and 2015. The prevention of iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs) in the WHO EMR countries is currently under control without significant side effects. Mild to severe IDDs exist in some countries of the Middle East, due to lack of effective iodine supplementation program, but the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Bahrain and Tunisia have achieved the goal of universal salt iodization. Overall, despite enormous efforts to control IDDs, still IDD remains a serious public health problem in some countries of the region, requiring urgent control and prevention measures.

  • Effect of chemical amendments on remediation of potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs) and soil quality improvement in paddy fields 2017-02-17


    Remediation of potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs) in paddy fields is fundamental for crop safety. In situ application of chemical amendments has been widely adapted because of its cost-effectiveness and environmental safety. The main purpose of this research was to (1) evaluate the reduction in dissolved concentrations of cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) with the application of chemical amendments and (2) monitor microbial activity in the soil to determine the remediation efficiency. Three different chemical amendments, lime stone, steel slag, and acid mine drainage sludge, were applied to paddy fields, and rice (Oryza sativa L. Milyang 23) was cultivated. The application of chemical amendments immobilized both Cd and As in soil. Between the two PTEs, As reduction was significant (p < 0.05) with the addition of chemical amendments, whereas no significant reduction was observed for Cd than that for the control. Among six soil-related variables, PTE concentration showed a negative correlation with soil pH (r = −0.70 for As and r = −0.54 for Cd) and soil respiration (SR) (r = −0.88 for As and r = −0.45 for Cd). This result indicated that immobilization of PTEs in soil is dependent on soil pH and reduces PTE toxicity. Overall, the application of chemical amendments could be utilized for decreasing PTE (As and Cd) bioavailability and increasing microbial activity in the soil.

  • Monitoring and risk assessment of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in agricultural soil from two industrialized areas 2017-02-14


    For monitoring and risk assessment, levels and distributions of Σ29 PCBs in paddy soil samples collected from Gwangyang (10 sites) and Ulsan (20 sites), heavily industrialized cities in Korea, were investigated using high-resolution gas chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry. Overall, total concentrations of Σ29 PCBs in Gwangyang (216.4–978.6 pg g−1 dw) and Ulsan (273.8–1824.1 pg g−1 dw) were higher than those (106.6–222.6 pg g−1 dw) in agricultural soil from Anseong in Korea. The TEQ (toxic equivalency) values from Gwangyang (0.06–0.40 ng TEQ kg−1 dw) and Ulsan (0.06–0.22 ng TEQ kg−1 dw) were higher than those (0.04–0.11 ng TEQ kg−1 dw) in Anseong but lower than the WHO threshold level (20 ng TEQ kg−1). However, one of the most toxic congeners, PCB 126, gave the highest concentration, possibly posing a risk to the biota. Seven indicator PCB congeners contributed to 50–80% of the total concentration of Σ29 PCBs, indicating the 7 PCBs can be used as valuable indicators for monitoring. The principal component analysis and cluster analysis for the homologue profiles of PCBs indicated that all the samples from both cities had the similar PCB contamination patterns, and the major sources of the PCB contamination were most likely from the usage of Aroclor 1254 than those of Aroclors 1242 and 1260. These PCB technical mixtures were possibly significantly used by various industries including iron and steel industries in Gwangyang and petrochemical and shipbuilding industries in Ulsan.