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

  • Cadmium contamination of soil and crops is affected by intercropping and rotation systems in the lower reaches of the Minjiang River in south-western China 2015-09-01


    Cadmium (Cd) accumulation and pollution in arable soils are particularly serious in the lower reaches of the Minjiang River in southwest of China. In this study, the remediation efficiency of Cd contamination in arable soils, the distribution pattern of Cd concentration in crops, and the food safety to humans of three typical cropping systems (S1: maize + sweet potato—Chinese cabbage, S2: maize + ginger—stem mustard, and S3: rice) were investigated and evaluated. After 1-year rotation, the percentage of Cd extracted by crops from the plough soil layer was observed in three system fields with the trend of S1 (2.30 %) > S2 (1.16 %) > S3 (0.21 %) and Cd extraction amount in crops was maximum in sweet potato, then in maize. The same kind of crop had the same pattern of Cd distribution in organs, and the edible parts generally accumulated less Cd amount than the inedible parts. Further, the grain crops were found to possibly be suitable one for using as phytoaccumulators of Cd contamination for farmlands. Direct consumption of these crops from the three systems would pose a high health risk to local inhabitants since it would result in the monthly intake of Cd (247 μg kg−1 body weight) being nearly 10 times higher than the recommended tolerable monthly intake (RTMI) (25 μg kg−1 body weight), resulting mainly from the consumption of vegetables rather than the grains, which would be potentially reduced by these foods being consumed by livestock firstly.

  • Current status of arsenic exposure and social implication in the Mekong River basin of Cambodia 2015-08-23


    To evaluate the current status of arsenic exposure in the Mekong River basin of Cambodia, field interview along with urine sample collection was conducted in the arsenic-affected area of Kandal Province, Cambodia. Urine samples were analyzed for total arsenic concentrations by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. As a result, arsenicosis patients (n = 127) had As in urine (UAs) ranging from 3.76 to 373 µg L−1 (mean = 78.7 ± 69.8 µg L−1; median = 60.2 µg L−1). Asymptomatic villagers (n = 108) had UAs ranging from 5.93 to 312 µg L−1 (mean = 73.0 ± 52.2 µg L−1; median = 60.5 µg L−1). About 24.7 % of all participants had UAs greater than 100 µg L−1 which indicated a recent arsenic exposure. A survey found that females and adults were more likely to be diagnosed with skin sign of arsenicosis than males and children, respectively. Education level, age, gender, groundwater drinking period, residence time in the village and amount of water drunk per day may influence the incidence of skin signs of arsenicosis. This study suggests that residents in Kandal study area are currently at risk of arsenic although some mitigation has been implemented. More commitment should be made to address this public health concern in rural Cambodia.

  • Boron and strontium isotope ratios and major/trace elements concentrations in tea leaves at four major tea growing gardens in Taiwan 2015-08-09


    Isotopic compositions of B and Sr in rocks and sediments can be used as tracers for plant provincial sources. This study aims to test whether tea leaf origin can be discriminated using 10B/11B and Sr isotopic composition data, along with concentrations of major/trace elements, in tea specimens collected from major plantation gardens in Taiwan. The tea leaves were digested by microwave and analyzed by multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS). The data showed significant variations in 87Sr/86Sr ratios (from 0.70482 to 0.71462), which reflect changes in soil, groundwater or irrigation conditions. The most radiogenic tea leaves were found at the Taitung garden and the least radiogenic ones were from the Hualien garden. The δ 11B was found to change appreciably (δ 11B = 0.38–23.73 ‰) which could be due to fertilizers. The maximum δ 11B was also observed in tea samples from the Hualien garden. Principal component analysis combining 87Sr/86Sr, δ 11B and major/trace elements results successfully discriminated different sources of major tea gardens in Taiwan, except the Hualien gardens, and this may be due to rather complicated local geological settings.