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

  • Characteristics of PM 2.5 , CO 2 and particle-number concentration in mass transit railway carriages in Hong Kong 2016-06-20


    Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and particle-number concentrations (PNC) were monitored in train carriages on seven routes of the mass transit railway in Hong Kong between March and May 2014, using real-time monitoring instruments. The 8-h average PM2.5 levels in carriages on the seven routes ranged from 24.1 to 49.8 µg/m3, higher than levels in Finland and similar to those in New York, and in most cases exceeding the standard set by the World Health Organisation (25 µg/m3). The CO2 concentration ranged from 714 to 1801 ppm on four of the routes, generally exceeding indoor air quality guidelines (1000 ppm over 8 h) and reaching levels as high as those in Beijing. PNC ranged from 1506 to 11,570 particles/cm3, lower than readings in Sydney and higher than readings in Taipei. Correlation analysis indicated that the number of passengers in a given carriage did not affect the PM2.5 concentration or PNC in the carriage. However, a significant positive correlation (p < 0.001, R 2 = 0.834) was observed between passenger numbers and CO2 levels, with each passenger contributing approximately 7.7–9.8 ppm of CO2. The real-time measurements of PM2.5 and PNC varied considerably, rising when carriage doors opened on arrival at a station and when passengers inside the carriage were more active. This suggests that air pollutants outside the train and passenger movements may contribute to PM2.5 levels and PNC. Assessment of the risk associated with PM2.5 exposure revealed that children are most severely affected by PM2.5 pollution, followed in order by juveniles, adults and the elderly. In addition, females were found to be more vulnerable to PM2.5 pollution than males (p < 0.001), and different subway lines were associated with different levels of risk.

  • Excessive fluoride consumption increases haematological alteration in subjects with iron deficiency, thalassaemia, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency 2016-06-18


    Excessive fluoride consumption leads to accelerated red blood cell death and anaemia. Whether that increases the haematological alteration in subjects with haematological disorders (iron deficiency, thalassaemia, and G-6-PD deficiency) is still unclear. The fluoride in serum and urine and haematological parameters of students at Mae Tuen School (fluoride endemic area) were analysed and compared to those of students at Baan Yang Poa and Baan Mai Schools (control areas). Iron deficiency, thalassaemia, and G-6-PD deficiency were also diagnosed in these students. The students at Mae Tuen School had significantly (P < 0.001) higher levels of mean fluoride in the serum and urine than those in control areas. In both control and fluoride endemic areas, students with haematological disorders had significantly lower levels of Hb, Hct, MCV, MCH, and MCHC than those without haematological disorders. Moreover, the lowest levels of Hb, MCH, and MCHC were observed in the students with haematological disorders who live in the fluoride endemic area. Thus, the excessive fluoride consumption increased haematological alteration in subjects with iron deficiency, thalassaemia, and G-6-PD deficiency and that may increase the risk of anaemia in these subjects.

  • Health risk assessment of potentially harmful elements and dietary minerals from vegetables irrigated with untreated wastewater, Pakistan 2016-06-18


    In the developing world, vegetables are commonly grown in suburban areas irrigated with untreated wastewater containing potentially harmful elements (PHEs). In Pakistan, there is no published work on the bioaccessibility aspect of PHEs and dietary minerals (DMs) in sewage-irrigated soil or the vegetables grown on such soils in Pakistan. Several industrial districts of Pakistan were selected for assessment of the risk associated with the ingestion of vegetables grown over sewage-irrigated soils. Both the total and bioaccessible fraction of PHEs (Cd, Co, Cr, Ni, and Pb) and DMs (Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Ca, Mg, and I) in soils and vegetable samples were measured. The concentrations of these PHEs and DMs in sewage-irrigated and control soils were below published upper threshold limits. However, compared to control soils, sewage irrigation over the years decreased soil pH (7.7 vs 8.1) and enhanced dissolved organic carbon (1.8 vs 0.8 %), which could enhance the phyto-availability of PHEs and DMs to crops. Of the PHEs and DMs, the highest transfer factor (soil to plant) was noted for Cd and Ca, respectively. Concentrations of PHEs in most of the sewage-irrigated vegetables were below the published upper threshold limits, except for Cd in the fruiting portion of eggplant and bell pepper (0.06–0.08 mg/kg Cd, dry weight) at three locations in Gujarat and Kasur districts. The bioaccessible fraction of PHEs can reduce the context of dietary intake measurements compared to total concentrations, but differences between both measurements were not significant for Cd. Since the soils of the sampled districts are not overly contaminated compared to control sites, vegetables grown over sewage-irrigated soils would provide an opportunity to harvest mineral-rich vegetables potentially providing consumers 62, 60, 12, 104, and 63 % higher dietary intake of Cu, Mn, Zn, Ca, and Mg, respectively. Based on Fe and vanadium correlations in vegetables, it is inferred that a significant proportion of total dietary Fe intake could be contributed by soil particles adhered to the consumable portion of vegetables. Faecal sterol ratios were used to identify and distinguish the source of faecal contamination in soils from Gujranwala, Gujarat, and Lahore districts, confirming the presence of human-derived sewage biomarkers at different stages of environmental alteration. A strong correlation of some metals with soil organic matter concentration was observed, but none with sewage biomarkers.