SEGH Articles

Report 9th ISEG, Aveiro, Portugal

07 November 2012
SEGH members were delighted to attend and participate in the 9th International Symposium on Environmental Geochemistry organised by staff from the University of Aveiro held during 15th - 22nd of July, 2012.

 

SEGH members were delighted to attend and participate in the 9th International Symposium on Environmental Geochemistry organised by staff from the University of Aveiro held during 15th - 22nd of July, 2012.

The local organising committee and international scientific committee was chaired by Professor Eduardo Anselmo Ferreira da Silva (Geosciences Department, Aveiro University, Portugal), supported by colleagues from across the University and by the IAGC - International Association of Geochemistry, the SEGH - Society of Environmental Geochemistry and Health and the IMGA - International Medical Geology Association, which were represented in the event by Clemens Reimann (President of the IAGC), Xiang-dong Li (President of SEGH), Andrew Hursthouse (European Chair of SEGH) and José Centeno (Chairman of the IMGA). The conference was sponsored by:

 

  • ·         GeoBioTec Research Unit
  • ·         Cesam Research Centre
  • ·         Delta Cafés
  • ·         PLM
  • ·         Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
  • ·         TAP Portugal

The conference involved four pre-conference short-courses, a scientific program (plenary lectures, oral and poster presentations) of 5 days and a post-conference field trip.

The eight plenary sessions provided a wide range of topics across environmental geochemistry interests including:

  • “Environmental health impact of legacy uranium mining in Portugal” by Fernando Carvalho,
  • “Challenges in Environmental geochemistry & health: health and its costs and future research priorities?” a joint platform presentation by Alex Stewart and Andrew Hursthouse,
  • “Geochemical reactivity and risk assessment: from scientific data to policy applications” by Paul Römkens
  • “Petroleum contamination assessment and bio-remediation processes” by Joan Albaiges,
  • “Remediation of municipal waste waters by artificial wetlands” by Joan Bayona,
  • “The role of geostatistics in environmental epidemiology” by Pierre Goovaerts.

From the 259 abstracts submitted to the conference, 128 were selected for oral presentations and 131 for poster. Over 250 participants representing 37 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, The Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam), have attended the conference.

 

The sessions were organized according to the following themes:

1-Geochemical records of environmental changes: climate changes and human activities

Convener: Jonh Farmer, Malin Kylander and François de Vleeschouwer

2-Sustainability in Mining and Related Environmental Issues

3-Geochemistry and Health & Medical Geology

4-Environmental Toxicology & Epidemiology

5-Environmental contamination and remediation

6-Water resources and aquatic environments

7-Biogeochemistry of trace elements, organic pollutants and radio-nuclides

8-Environmental Analytical Geochemistry

9-Modelling Environmental Systems: GIS platforms and Data Analysis

10-Perception and communication of environmental health risks and social inequality

11- Observatoire Hommes-Milieux (OHM) Special session

Forty participants attended to the “Nanomaterials, Environment and Health”, "Arsenic and Mercury in the Environment", "Human bioaccessibility of potentially harmful elements in the solid phase: risk assessment aspects of using bioaccessibility data" and "International Short Course on Medical Geology Health and Earth ‐ Building a Safer Environment" short-courses, and twenty participated in the field-trip to the uranium mines.

About 100 participants attended to the Conference Dinner at the Aliança Cellars where delegates were treated to a tour of a remarkable display of art and rock and mineral specimens collected by the company.

During the meeting six prizes were awarded to post-graduation students, 3 for the best oral presentations and 3 for the best posters. Short articles on the winning presentations will follow on the SEGH website.

Finally, discussions amongst the board members of the supporting Societies agreed a mechanism to jointly promote the ISEG conference series and news of the venue of the next meeting will be made available shortly.

Professor Andrew Hursthouse

European Chair for SEGH

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

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    Abstract

    Assessment of street dust is an invaluable approach for monitoring atmospheric pollution. Little information is available on the size distribution of contaminants in street dusts and urban soils, and it is not known how the population density would influence them. This research was carried out to assess the size distribution of trace metal(loid)s in street dust and urban soil, and to understand how population density might influence the size-resolved concentration of metal(loid)s. Three urban areas with a high, medium and low population density and a natural area were selected and urban soil and street dust sampled. They were fractionated into 8 size fractions: 2000–850, 850–180, 180–106, 106–50, 50–20, 20–10, 10–2, and < 2 µm. The concentration of Pb, Zn, Cu, Cd, Cr, Ni, As, and Fe was determined, and enrichment factor and grain size fraction loadings were computed. The results indicated that the concentration of Pb, Zn, Cu, Cd, and Cr was highly size dependent, particularly for particles < 100 µm, especially for street dust. Low concentrations of Ni and As in street dust and urban soil were size and population density independent. Higher size dependency of the metals concentration and the higher degree of elemental enrichment in the street dust fractions than the urban soils indicate higher contribution of human-induced pollution to the dust. Findings also confirm the inevitability of size fractionation when soils or dusts are environmentally assessed, particularly in moderately to highly polluted areas. Otherwise, higher concentrations of certain pollutants in fine-sized particles might be overlooked leading to inappropriate decisions for environmental remediation.

  • Soil–plant system and potential human health risk of Chinese cabbage and oregano growing in soils from Mn- and Fe-abandoned mines: microcosm assay 2020-01-17

    Abstract

    In Portugal, many abandoned mines are often close to agricultural areas and might be used for plant food cultivation. Soils in the vicinity of two Mn- and Fe-abandoned mines (Ferragudo and Rosalgar, SW of Portugal) were collected to cultivate two different food species (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis (Lour.) Hanelt and Origanum vulgare L.). Chemical characterization of the soil–plant system and potential risk of adverse effects for human health posed by plants associated with soil contamination, based on the estimation of hazard quotient (HQ), were assessed in a microcosm assay under greenhouse conditions. In both soils, the average total concentrations of Fe and Mn were above the normal values for soils in the region and their concentration in shoots of both species was very high. Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis grew better in Ferragudo than in Rosalgar soils, and it behaved as an excluder of Cu, Mn, Fe, S and Zn in both soils. The HQ for Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn in the studied species grown on both soils was lower than unit indicating that its consumption is safe. The high Mn tolerance found in both species might be due in part to the high contents of Fe in the soil available fraction that might contribute to an antagonism effect in the uptake and translocation of Mn. The obtained results emphasize the need of further studies with different food crops before cultivation in the studied soils to assess health risks associated with high metal intake.

  • Concentration, fractionation, and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals and phosphorus in surface sediments from lakes in N. Greece 2020-01-13

    Abstract

    The presence of phosphorus (P) and heavy metals (HMs) in surface sediments originating from lakes Volvi, Kerkini, and Doirani (N. Greece), as well as their fractionation patterns, were investigated. No statistically significant differences in total P content were observed among the studied lakes, but notable differences were observed among sampling periods. HM contents in all lakes presented a consistent trend, i.e., Mn > Cr > Zn > Pb > Ni > Cu > Cd, while the highest concentrations were recorded in Lake Kerkini. Most of the HMs exceeded probable effect level value indicating a probable biological effect, while Ni in many cases even exceeded threshold effects level, suggesting severe toxic effects. P was dominantly bound to metal oxides, while a significant shift toward the labile fractions was observed during the spring period. The sum of potentially bioavailable HM fractions followed a downward trend of Mn > Cr > Pb > Zn > Cu > Ni > Cd for most lakes. The geoaccumulation index Igeo values of Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, and Zn in all lakes characterized the sediments as “unpolluted,” while many sediments in lakes Volvi and Kerkini were characterized as “moderately to heavily polluted” with regard to Cd. The descending order of potential ecological risk \(E_{\text{r}}^{i}\) was Cd > Pb > Cu > Ni > Cr > Zn > Mn for all the studied lakes. Ni and Cr presented the highest toxic risk index values in all lake sediments. Finally, the role of mineralogical divergences among lake sediments on the contamination degree was signified.