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Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health

SEGH was established in 1971 to provide a forum for scientists from various disciplines to work together in understanding the interaction between the geochemical environment and the health of plants, animals, and humans. We recognise the importance of interdisciplinary research. SEGH members represent expertise in a diverse range of scientific fields, such as biology, engineering, geology, hydrology, epidemiology, chemistry, medicine, nutrition, and toxicology.

 

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SEGH Articles

Capacity strengthening in field collections and laboratories for geochemical sampling and public health in Western Kenya

| March 2019

Here David Samoie, Odipo Osano and Diana Menya discuss geochemical sampling in western Kenya.  continue reading...

Aquaculture: Pathway to food security in Kenya: Continuing the Research

| March 2019

Dr Andrew Marriott (Centre for Environmental Geochemistry, BGS) tells us about the impact of his project investigating aquaculture and food security in Lake Victoria, Kenya. In addition, he discusses how he's been communicating the results and potential future research.  continue reading...

A human health risk assessment framework to improve the management of potentially toxic elements in informally recycled waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE)

| February 2019

Dr Alessandra Cesaro, University of Salerno and Professor Andrew Hursthouse, University of the West of Scotland assess the human health risk of potentially toxic elements in informally recycled waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE)  continue reading...

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Science in the News

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

  • Geochemistry of uranium and thorium in phosphate deposits at the Syrian coastal area (Al-Haffah and Al-Qaradaha) and their environmental impacts 2019-03-16

    Abstract

    The aim of this research was to study the geochemistry of uranium and thorium in phosphate deposits in the upper Cretaceous phosphate deposits in the Syrian coastal area. The study covered three sites, namely Ain Al-Tenah, Ain Laylon, and Al-Mhalbeh. Petrographical study showed that phosphate deposits are of nodular type with micrit to microspaite cement, containing siliceous bone residues, and green grains of glauconite, which are increasing in abundance and volume in the south toward Al-Mhalbeh, reflecting the formation of phosphate in a shallow marine environment. In addition, uranium concentration varied between 3 and 112 ppm in Ain Laylon, 4.2–17 ppm in Ain Al-Tenah and 5–61 ppm in Al-Mhalbeh. Thorium concentration varied between 0.2 and 7.5 ppm in Ain Laylon, 0.3–1.4 ppm in Ain Al-Tenah and 0.3–4.4 ppm in Al-Mhalbeh. The average Th/U ratio in the collected samples was within the range 0.04–0.08 except for five samples which exceeded the value 0.1. Moreover, the 226Ra/238U ratios are lower than unity in all samples, while the 210Pb/238U ratios ranged between 0.4 and 1.2 and the 210Pb/226Ra ratios were found to be higher than unity. On the other hand, the impact of leaching and mobility of uranium and thorium from deposits to the surrounding agriculture fields in the area has been studied using the Radium Equivalent Activity Index (Raeq). The equivalent radium activity was 102 Bq kg−1 in Ain Al-Tenah, 403 Bq kg−1 in Ain Laylon, 407 Bq kg−1 in Al-Mhalbeh and 749 Bq kg−1 in agricultural soil samples. However, the data reported in this study can be considered as a baseline data for the phosphate deposits at the coastal area.

  • Measurement of radon, thoron and their daughters in the air of marble factories and resulting alpha-radiation doses to the lung of workers 2019-03-15

    Abstract

    Concentrations of radon (222Rn) and thoron (220Rn) were measured in the air of different marble factories by using a nuclear track technique. The influence of the marble dust nature and ventilation on radon and thoron concentrations was investigated. It was observed that measured radon and thoron concentration ranged from 310 to 903 Bq m−3 and 6 to 48 Bq m−3, respectively. In addition, alpha-activities due to the unattached and attached fractions of 218Po and 214Po radon short-lived progeny were evaluated in the marble factories studied. Committed equivalent doses due to the attached and unattached fractions of 218Po and 214Po nuclei were evaluated in the lung tissues of marble factory workers. The dependence of the resulting committed equivalent dose on the concentration of the attached and unattached fractions of the 218Po and 214Po radionuclides and mass of the tissue was investigated. The resulting annual committed effective doses to the lung of marble factory workers due to the attached and unattached fractions of the 218Po and 214Po radionuclides were calculated. The obtained results show that about 80% of the global committed effective doses received by workers in the studied marble factories are due to the attached fraction of the 218Po and 214Po radon short-lived daughters from the inhalation of polluted air. Male workers spending 8 h per day (2080 h per year) in a marble factory receive a maximum dose of 34.46 mSv y−1 which is higher than the (3–10 mSv y−1) dose limit interval given by the ICRP. Good agreement was found between data obtained for the average effective dose gotten by using this method and the UNSCEAR and ICRP conversion dose coefficients.

  • Quantitative health risk assessment of inhalation exposure to automobile foundry dust 2019-03-14

    Abstract

    With a growing awareness of environmental protection, the dust pollution caused by automobile foundry work has become a serious and urgent problem. This study aimed to explore contamination levels and health effects of automobile foundry dust. A total of 276 dust samples from six types of work in an automobile foundry factory were collected and analysed using the filter membrane method. Probabilistic risk assessment model was developed for evaluating the health risk of foundry dust on workers. The health risk and its influencing factors among workers were then assessed by applying the Monte Carlo method to identify the most significant parameters. Health damage assessment was conducted to translate health risk into disability-adjusted life year (DALY). The results revealed that the mean concentration of dust on six types of work ranged from 1.67 to 5.40 mg/m3. The highest health risks to be come from melting, cast shakeout and finishing, followed by pouring, sand preparation, moulding and core-making. The probability of the risk exceeding 10−6 was approximately 85%, 90%, 90%, 75%, 70% and 45%, respectively. The sensitivity analysis indicated that average time, exposure duration, inhalation rate and dust concentration (C) made great contribution to dust health risk. Workers exposed to cast shakeout and finishing had the largest DALY of 48.64a. These results can further help managers to fully understand the dust risks on various types of work in the automobile foundry factories and provide scientific basis for the management and decision-making related to health damage assessment.