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

Keep up to date

SEGH Events

Submit Content

Members can keep in touch with their colleagues through short news and events articles of interest to the SEGH community.

Science in the News

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

  • Assessment of radon concentration and heavy metal contamination in groundwater of Udhampur district, Jammu & Kashmir, India 2017-10-16


    Radon concentration was measured in water samples of 41 different locations from Udhampur district of Jammu & Kashmir, India, by using RAD7 and Smart RnDuo monitor. The variation of radon concentration in water ranged from 1.44 ± 0.31 to 63.64 ± 2.88 Bq L−1, with a mean value of 28.73 Bq L−1 using RAD7 and 0.64 ± 0.28 to 52.65 ± 2.50 Bq L−1, with a mean value of 20.30 Bq L−1 using Smart RnDuo monitor, respectively. About 17.07% of the studied water samples recorded to display elevated radon concentration above the reference range suggested by United Nation Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiations (UNSCEAR). The mean annual effective dose of these samples was determined, and 78.95% samples were found to be within the safe limits set by World Health Organisation (WHO) and European Council (EU). The study revealed good agreement between the values obtained with two methods. Heavy metals (Zn, Cd, Fe, Cu, Ni, As, Hg, Co, Pb and Cr) were determined in water samples by microwave plasma atomic emission spectrometer, and their correlation with radon content was also analysed.

  • Detecting the effects of coal mining, acid rain, and natural gas extraction in Appalachian basin streams in Pennsylvania (USA) through analysis of barium and sulfate concentrations 2017-10-13


    To understand how extraction of different energy sources impacts water resources requires assessment of how water chemistry has changed in comparison with the background values of pristine streams. With such understanding, we can develop better water quality standards and ecological interpretations. However, determination of pristine background chemistry is difficult in areas with heavy human impact. To learn to do this, we compiled a master dataset of sulfate and barium concentrations ([SO4], [Ba]) in Pennsylvania (PA, USA) streams from publically available sources. These elements were chosen because they can represent contamination related to oil/gas and coal, respectively. We applied changepoint analysis (i.e., likelihood ratio test) to identify pristine streams, which we defined as streams with a low variability in concentrations as measured over years. From these pristine streams, we estimated the baseline concentrations for major bedrock types in PA. Overall, we found that 48,471 data values are available for [SO4] from 1904 to 2014 and 3243 data for [Ba] from 1963 to 2014. Statewide [SO4] baseline was estimated to be 15.8 ± 9.6 mg/L, but values range from 12.4 to 26.7 mg/L for different bedrock types. The statewide [Ba] baseline is 27.7 ± 10.6 µg/L and values range from 25.8 to 38.7 µg/L. Results show that most increases in [SO4] from the baseline occurred in areas with intensive coal mining activities, confirming previous studies. Sulfate inputs from acid rain were also documented. Slight increases in [Ba] since 2007 and higher [Ba] in areas with higher densities of gas wells when compared to other areas could document impacts from shale gas development, the prevalence of basin brines, or decreases in acid rain and its coupled effects on [Ba] related to barite solubility. The largest impacts on PA stream [Ba] and [SO4] are related to releases from coal mining or burning rather than oil and gas development.

  • Toxic effects of oxytetracycline and copper, separately or combined, on soil microbial biomasses 2017-10-12


    The production of commercial livestock and poultry often involves using with antibiotics and feed additives, such as oxytetracycline (OTC) and copper (Cu). These are often excreted into the soil by animal feces; hence, combined pollutants may contaminate the soil. To evaluate single and combined toxic effects of OTC and Cu on the soil ecology, changes in quantities of bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes in the soil were studied over a 28-d incubation period by a plate count method, microbes numbers counted on days 7, 14, 21, and 28. Abundances of ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) gene expression by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) in soil samples also were tested by real-time polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCRs) on day 21. The results revealed that the numbers of bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes and amoA genes copies of AOA and AOB were reduced seriously by exposure to Cu (1.60 mmol/kg). Similarly, the combined pollution treatments (mole ratios of OTC: Cu was 1:2, 1:8, and 1:32) also had inhibitory effect on bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes numbers and amoA gene copies of AOA and AOB; the inhibitory rate was on obvious growth trend with the increasing mole ratios. Effects from single OTC pollution were found on bacteria (days 7 and 14), fungi (days 7, 14, 21, and 28), and AOA-amoA gene copies (day 21), with promotion at a low concentration (0.05 mmol/kg) and suppression at higher concentrations (0.2 and 0.8 mmol/kg). Also, numbers of bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes decreased with longer culture times. Combining OTC and Cu led to a higher inhibition of soil microbes than when either chemical was used alone. However, there was no significant relationship between single and combined toxic chemicals because of their complicated interactions, either antagonistic or synergistic. The results also indicated the sensitivity of bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes on toxic chemicals existed difference and that the AOA were more tolerant than the AOB to these chemicals.