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Journal of Environmental Geochemistry and Health


Environmental Geochemistry and Health is the Official Journal of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health.  The journal publishes original research papers, research notes and reviews across the broad field of environmental geochemistry.

  • Environmental geochemistry establishes and explains links between the chemical composition of rocks and minerals and the health of plants, animals and people.
  • Beneficial elements regulate or promote enzymatic and hormonal activity, whereas other elements may be toxic.
  • Bedrock geochemistry controls the composition of soil and hence that of water and vegetation.
  • Pollution arising from the extraction and use of mineral resources distorts natural geochemical systems.
  • Geochemical surveys of soil, water and plants show how major and trace elements are distributed geographically.
  • Associated epidemiological studies reveal the possibility of links between the geochemical environment and disease.
  • Experimental research illuminates the nature or consequences of natural geochemical processes.

High quality research papers or reviews dealing with any aspect of environmental geochemistry are welcomed.  Submission of papers which directly link health and the environment are particularly encouraged.  Papers may be theoretical, interpretative or experimental.  Authors shoud refer to for more information and authors' instructions.


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Science in the News

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

  • First records of metal concentrations in the Pacific oyster ( Crassostrea gigas ) from a Southwest Atlantic estuary 2018-11-16


    The Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) is one of the world’s most widespread bivalves and a suitable species for biomonitoring metals in coastal environments. In the present research, wild individuals were collected from an Argentinian estuary and the coastal beaches nearby. The concentrations of eight metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) were quantified in the soft tissues of the Pacific oyster. Among the metals, Cu, Fe and Zn reached the highest concentrations in the soft tissues over the rest of the elements. The results showed the highest values to be estuary related, with the beach site achieving the lowest values. These results possibly lie on the impact of human activities surrounding the estuary, as well as streams and rivers that outflow within it. Higher Cu and Zn levels, both port related, were mainly found toward the outer estuary. On the other hand, high levels of Cr, Fe and Mn were found toward the inner zone of the estuary, an area with sewage sludge from the cities located on the margins of the BBE. Regarding the potential risk to public health, Cu and Zn levels found in C. gigas were above national and international safety guidelines in 100% and 11% of the samples, respectively.

  • Distribution pattern and health risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the water and sediment of Algoa Bay, South Africa 2018-11-11


    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are amongst the pollutants of major concern in the terrestrial and aquatic habitats. They are mostly characterised by carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects. Distribution and potential health risks of sixteen priority PAHs in the water and sediment samples collected between December 2015 and June 2016 from Algoa Bay, South Africa, were evaluated. Water and sediment samples collected were extracted with liquid–liquid and soxhlet extraction methods, respectively, and then cleaned up using glass column loaded with silica gel. Final concentrations of the target PAHs were determined by gas chromatography interfaced with flame ionization detector. Results indicated that individual PAH concentrations in surface water, bottom water and sediment samples ranged from not detected (ND) to 24.66 µg/L, ND to 22.81 µg/L and ND to 5.23 mg/kg correspondingly. Total PAHs concentrations varied as 12.78–78.94 µg/L, 1.20–90.51 µg/L and 1.17–10.47 mg/kg in the three environmental matrices in that order. The non-carcinogenic risk was generally below 1, whereas risk indices (dermal contact) were above the acceptable limit of 1 × 10−4 in the water column, suggesting possible carcinogenic effects to humans, with adults being the most vulnerable. Similarly, highest contributions to TEQs and MEQs in the sediments were made by benzo(a)pyrene and dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, the two most toxic congeners, signifying the possibility of carcinogenicity and mutagenicity in humans. Diagnostic ratios of PAHs reflect a prevailing pyrogenic input all through. The pollution was albeit moderate, yet regular check is recommended to ensure safe and healthy environment for human and aquatic lives.

  • Potential exposure to metals and health risks of metal intake from Tieguanyin tea production in Anxi, China 2018-11-10


    The metal content of Tieguanyin tea from Anxi, Southeast China, was studied. Leaching experiments were designed based on the local tea-drinking habits, and tea infusions were prepared using three types of water and two methods of soaking tea. Twelve metals (Cd, As, Cr, Pb, Se, Sb, Ag, Tl, Cu, Zn, Be, and Ba) were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and a human health risk assessment was performed. The results showed that the quality of water used for steeping tea has a direct effect on the leaching concentrations of metals in the tea infusion and this effect can be reduced by using pure water or commercially available drinking water. Further, the two tea-soaking methods used by local residents can reduce the metal intake. The health risk assessment determined that the carcinogenic risk values of Cr, As, and Pb (Cr > Pb > As) were within an acceptable range (10−7–10−4); therefore, the concentrations of these metals in tea infusions do not pose substantial carcinogenic risk to tea drinkers. The results also indicate that the high concentrations of Tl in the tea infusions pose a substantial noncarcinogenic risk and may result from the dissolution characteristics of Tl and the water quality.