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Science in the News
Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health
- Arsenic hazard in Cambodian rice from a market-based survey with a case study of Preak Russey village, Kandal Province 2015-04-17
This study comprises a market-based survey to assess the arsenic (As) hazard of Cambodian rice, encompassing rice from seven Cambodian provinces, comparisons with rice imported from China, Vietnam and Thailand, and assessments of 15 rice varieties. Rice samples (n = 157) were collected from four large markets in Kandal Province and analysed for As using inductively coupled mass spectrometry. The mean As concentration for Cambodian rice (0.185 µg g−1, range 0.047–0.771 µg g−1) was higher than that for imported rice from Vietnam and Thailand (0.162 and 0.157 µg g−1, respectively) with mean As concentrations highest in rice from Prey Veng Province resulting in a daily dose of 1.77 µg kg−1 b.w. (body weight) d−1. Between unmilled rice varieties, Cambodian-grown White Sticky Rice had the highest mean As concentration (0.234 µg g−1), whilst White Sticky Rice produced in Thailand had the lowest (0.125 µg g−1), suggesting that localised conditions have greater bearing over rice As concentrations than differences in As uptake between individual varieties themselves. A rice and water consumption survey for 15 respondents in the village of Preak Russey revealed mean consumption rates of 522 g d−1 of rice and 1.9 L d−1 of water. At water As concentrations >1000 µg L−1, the relative contribution to the daily dose from rice is low. When water As concentrations are lowered to 50 µg L−1, daily doses from rice and water are both generally below the 3.0 µg kg−1 b.w. d−1 benchmark daily limit for a 0.5 % increase in lung cancer, yet when combined they exceeded this value in all but three respondents.
- Ambient air particulates and particulate-bound mercury Hg(p) concentrations: dry deposition study over a Traffic, Airport, Park (T.A.P.) areas during years of 2011–2012 2015-04-10
The main purpose of this study was to monitor ambient air particles and particulate-bound mercury Hg(p) in total suspended particulate (TSP) concentrations and dry deposition at the Hung Kuang (Traffic), Taichung airport and Westing Park sampling sites during the daytime and nighttime, from 2011 to 2012. In addition, the calculated/measured dry deposition flux ratios of ambient air particles and particulate-bound mercury Hg(p) were also studied with Baklanov & Sorensen and the Williams models. For a particle size of 10 μm, the Baklanov & Sorensen model yielded better predictions of dry deposition of ambient air particulates and particulate-bound mercury Hg(p) at the Hung Kuang (Traffic), Taichung airport and Westing Park sampling site during the daytime and nighttime sampling periods. However, for particulates with sizes 20–23 μm, the results obtained in the study reveal that the Williams model provided better prediction results for ambient air particulates and particulate-bound mercury Hg(p) at all sampling sites in this study.
- Drinking water quality and chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu): synergic effects of fluoride, cadmium and hardness of water 2015-04-10
High prevalence of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) in some regions of the world is suspected mainly due to a toxin-mediated renal failure. We examined the incidence of CKDu and potable chemical water quality in a CKDu-affected region. This region has been identified as a high-risk zone for CKDu (location: latitude: 8.3500°–9.0000°, longitude: 80.3833°–81.3000°, North Central Province, NCP, Sri Lanka) by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, within this macro-region, small pockets of CKDu non-prevalence zones do exist; notably, the residents in those pockets consume spring water. Therefore, the drinking water quality of four areas, namely high-CKDu-prevalence areas (zone I), low-CKDu-prevalence area (zone II), the CKDu-free isolated pockets (zone III) and control areas (controls) were examined for F, Al, Cd, and As, and hardness and the statistical analysis were carried out to probe possible correlations among these parameters. The fluoride and hardness concentrations of water in zone III and control areas are much lower compared to zones I and II, and the water hardness is ~61 mg/L CaCO3. In zones I and II, the harness of drinking water is ~121–180 mg/L CaCO3; however, Al, Cd and As concentrations are almost comparable and below WHO recommendations. In most of the locations in zones I and II, the F concentration in drinking water is higher than the WHO recommendations. The peculiar distribution patterns of CKDu point to a synergic effect of trace elements in water for etiology of the disease.