SEGH Articles

2012 PBC-SEGH Joint Symposium on Environmental and Public Health Sciences

01 March 2013
2012 PBC-SEGH Joint Symposium on Environmental and Public Health perspectives: a brief description of abstracts is given.

The 2012 PBC (Pacific Basin Consortium for Environment and Health)-SEGH Joint Symposium was successfully held at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in Korea on 10-12 April 2012. This jointly ventured symposium was hosted by Professor Kyoung-Woong Kim (Member of SEGH Executive Board) and brought a new audience to the SEGH. It gave our members an opportunity to exchange ideas on new interesting perspectives, such as environmental and public health sciences. The selected articles were published in a special issue of ‘Reviews on Environmental Health’ from the symposiumA Brief description is given for each abstract, follow the link to read more.

Special issue: The 14th International Conference of the Pacific Basin Consortium for Environment and Health

Special vulnerability of children to environmental exposures

Sly, J. Leith / Carpenter, David O.

The environment in which fetal and childhood development occurs is very important. Unfortunately, poverty is a major risk factor for both exposures and childhood and later-life disease resulting from exposures to both environmental chemicals and infectious agents.

Improving access to adequate water and basic sanitation services in Indonesia

Haryanto, Budi / Sutomo, Sumengen

The development of water and basic sanitation services in Indonesia does not indicate any significant progress in the last two decades. The prevalence of water-borne diseases tends to increase yearly, which poses a risk for a population of over a million people. Therefore, it is not realistic to achieve the Millennium Development Goals target by 2015. Redefining approaches like providing integrated programs and action in water and sanitation services must be a priority to protect human health in Indonesia.

A framework for assessing and predicting the environmental health impact of infectious diseases: a case study of leptospirosis

Lau, Colleen / Jagals, Paul

The application of an integrated environmental health impact assessment (IEHIA) methodology to assess the health impact of an infectious disease was shown to enhance the ability to quantify associations between a disease agent and its health impact by taking into account the environmental drivers of transmission, human behaviour, socioeconomic factors, and the multiple pathways through which exposure and infection could occur.

Nanoparticles in the environment: stability and toxicity

Kim, Hyun-A / Choi, Yoo Jin / Kim, Kyoung-Woong / Lee, Byung-Tae / Ranville, James F.

This review presents a brief overview of the fate, behavior, and ecotoxicity of nanoparticles (NPs) in the environment. The fate and transport of NPs, which can be affected by various environmental conditions like light, pH, ionic strength, and type and concentration of cations, are important for the examination of the life cycle of NPs.

Nature’s cure for cleanup of contaminated environment – a review of bioremediation strategies

Prasad, Majeti Narasimha Vara / Prasad, Rajendra

Bioremediation technologies resting upon the vast potential of biodiversity for the monitoring and abatement of environmental pollution have been briefly reviewed.

Arsenic and human health: epidemiologic progress and public health implications

Argos, Maria / Ahsan, Habibul / Graziano, Joseph H.

Herein, we emphasize the role of recent genetic and molecular epidemiologic investigations of arsenic toxicity. Additionally, we discuss considerations for the public health impacts of arsenic exposure through drinking water with respect to primary and secondary prevention efforts.

Direct potable reuse of reclaimed wastewater: it is time for a rational discussion

Arnold, Robert G. / Sáez, Avelino E. / Snyder, Shane / Maeng, Sung Kyu / Lee, Changha / Woods, Gwendolyn J. / Li, Xiangdong / Choi, Heechul

Engineered solutions to relieve water stress are frequently based on the use of water of impaired initial quality. Chief among these impaired waters is reclaimed wastewater. For the most part, however, the breadth of both acceptable uses and use-dependent degree of treatment for reclaimed wastewater remain to be established.

Persistent toxic substances: sources, fates and effects

Wong, Ming H. / Armour, Margaret-Ann / Naidu, Ravi / Man, Ming

This article is an attempt to review the current status of Persistently Toxic Substances (PTS) in our environment, citing case studies in China and North America, and whether our existing drinking water treatment and wastewater treatment processes are adequate in removing them from water. Some management issues of these emerging chemicals of concern are also discussed.


Dr Michael Watts, SEGH Webmaster

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

  • Geospatial association between adverse birth outcomes and arsenic in groundwater in New Hampshire, USA 2014-10-19


    There is increasing evidence of the role of arsenic in the etiology of adverse human reproductive outcomes. Because drinking water can be a major source of arsenic to pregnant women, the effect of arsenic exposure through drinking water on human birth may be revealed by a geospatial association between arsenic concentration in groundwater and birth problems, particularly in a region where private wells substantially account for water supply, like New Hampshire, USA. We calculated town-level rates of preterm birth and term low birth weight (term LBW) for New Hampshire, by using data for 1997–2009 stratified by maternal age. We smoothed the rates by using a locally weighted averaging method to increase the statistical stability. The town-level groundwater arsenic probability values are from three GIS data layers generated by the US Geological Survey: probability of local groundwater arsenic concentration >1 µg/L, probability >5 µg/L, and probability >10 µg/L. We calculated Pearson’s correlation coefficients (r) between the reproductive outcomes (preterm birth and term LBW) and the arsenic probability values, at both state and county levels. For preterm birth, younger mothers (maternal age <20) have a statewide r = 0.70 between the rates smoothed with a threshold = 2,000 births and the town mean arsenic level based on the data of probability >10 µg/L; for older mothers, r = 0.19 when the smoothing threshold = 3,500; a majority of county level r values are positive based on the arsenic data of probability >10 µg/L. For term LBW, younger mothers (maternal age <25) have a statewide r = 0.44 between the rates smoothed with a threshold = 3,500 and town minimum arsenic concentration based on the data of probability >1 µg/L; for older mothers, r = 0.14 when the rates are smoothed with a threshold = 1,000 births and also adjusted by town median household income in 1999, and the arsenic values are the town minimum based on probability >10 µg/L. At the county level for younger mothers, positive r values prevail, but for older mothers, it is a mix. For both birth problems, the several most populous counties—with 60–80 % of the state’s population and clustering at the southwest corner of the state—are largely consistent in having a positive r across different smoothing thresholds. We found evident spatial associations between the two adverse human reproductive outcomes and groundwater arsenic in New Hampshire, USA. However, the degree of associations and their sensitivity to different representations of arsenic level are variable. Generally, preterm birth has a stronger spatial association with groundwater arsenic than term LBW, suggesting an inconsistency in the impact of arsenic on the two reproductive outcomes. For both outcomes, younger maternal age has stronger spatial associations with groundwater arsenic.

  • The arsenic contamination of rice in Guangdong Province, the most economically dynamic provinces of China: arsenic speciation and its potential health risk 2014-10-07


    Rice is a staple food in China, but it may contain toxic heavy metals. Hence, the concentrations of arsenic (As) species (AsIII, AsV, MMA and DMA) were evaluated in 260 rice samples from 13 cities of Guangdong Province, the most economically dynamic provinces of China. The levels of sum concentrations of As species in rice samples varied from non-detect to 225.58 ng g−1, with an average value of 57.27 ng g−1. The mean concentrations of the major As species detected in rice samples were in the order AsIII (34.77 ng g−1) > AsV (9.34 ng g−1) > DMA (8.33 ng g−1) > MMA (4.82 ng g−1). The rice samples of Guangdong Province were categorized as inorganic As type. Significant geographical variation of As speciation existed in rice samples of 13 cities of Guangdong Province by chi-square test (p < 0.05). The average human weekly intakes of inorganic As via rice consumption in Guangdong Province, southern China, were 1.91 µg kg−1 body weight. Hazard quotients of total As via rice consumption of adults in 13 cities ranged from 0.06 to 0.30, indicating the As contents in rice from Guangdong Province had no potential adverse impact on human health.

  • Selected papers from the 29th SEGH Conference on Environmental Geochemistry and Health 2014-10-01