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Science in the News

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

  • Occurrence of estrogens in water, sediment and biota and their ecological risk in Northern Taihu Lake in China 2015-02-01

    Abstract

    Occurrence of five estrogens, including estrone (E1), 17β-estradiol (E2), estriol (E3), 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2) and bisphenol A (BPA) in water, sediment and biota in Northern Taihu Lake, were investigated and their ecological risk was evaluated. Most of the target estrogens were widely distributed in the eight studied sampling sites, and their levels showed a regional trend of Gong Bay > Meiliang Bay > Zhushan Bay. The average concentrations of E1, E2, E3, EE2 and BPA ranged from 3.86 to 64.4 ng l−1, 44.3 to 64.1 μg kg−1 dry weight and 58.6 to 115 μg kg−1 dry weight in water, sediments and biota, respectively. In most cases, the average concentrations of BPA and E2 were higher than those of other estrogens. E1, E3 and EE2 were found to be accumulated in river snails with bioaccumulation factor values as high as 14,204, 35,327 and 20,127 l kg−1, respectively. E3 was also considered to be accumulated in clams. The evaluation of environmental risk showed that the occurrence of E2 and EE2 in lakes might pose a high risk to aquatic organisms. These findings provide important information for estrogen control and management in the studied area.

  • Can the use of medical muds cause genotoxicity in eukaryotic cells? A trial using comet assay 2015-02-01

    Abstract

    Despite the lack of knowledge of their exact effects, peloids (natural muds) are widely applied in clinical treatment and prevention of different diseases, especially in rheumatic and gynecological disorders or skin diseases. Primarily we have information on their inorganic components, but only limited data are available on the organic components and nothing on their mechanism of chemical action. The objective of the present study was to detect the DNA-damaging effects (possible genotoxic effect) of peloid samples using the single-cell comet assay on Long Evans rat lymphocytes, human lymphocytes, and Eisenia fetida coelomocytes. Rat and human lymphocytes were exposed to the in toto peloid samples, in vitro. The Eisenia cells were extracted from the coelom of animals kept in the intact peloid sample. An indicator derived from the DNA fluorescence intensity was used in the statistical evaluation. The predominantly organic (Hévíz) sample showed a significant alteration from the negative control in several cases, while the inorganic (Kolop) applied did not. A higher quantity of organic compounds may have an important role in the emergence of DNA damage. The results revealed that medical muds have not only positive health effects but can also contain substances with potential human toxicity risk. Our research provides essential steps towards the creation of a toxicity profile and the possible safe use of peloids as medicinal therapy.

  • Spatial variation of contaminant elements of roadside dust samples from Budapest (Hungary) and Seoul (Republic of Korea), including Pt, Pd and Ir 2015-02-01

    Abstract

    Roadside dusts were studied to explain the spatial variation and present levels of contaminant elements including Pt, Pd and Ir in urban environment and around Budapest (Hungary) and Seoul (Republic of Korea). The samples were collected from six sites of high traffic volumes in Seoul metropolitan city and from two control sites within the suburbs of Seoul, for comparison. Similarly, road dust samples were obtained two times from traffic focal points in Budapest, from the large bridges across the River Danube, from Margitsziget (an island in the Danube in the northern part of Budapest, used for recreation) as well as from main roads (no highways) outside Budapest. The samples were analysed for contaminant elements by ICP-AES and for Pt, Pd and Ir by ICP-MS. The highest Pt, Pd and Ir levels in road dusts were found from major roads with high traffic volume, but correlations with other contaminant elements were low, however. This reflects automobile catalytic converter to be an important source. To interpret the obtained multi-element results in short, pollution index, contamination index and geo-accumulation index were calculated. Finally, the obtained data were compared with total concentrations encountered in dust samples from Madrid, Oslo, Tokyo and Muscat (Oman). Dust samples from Seoul reached top level concentrations for Cd–Zn–As–Co–Cr–Cu–Mo–Ni–Sn. Just Pb was rather low because unleaded gasoline was introduced as compulsory in 1993. Concentrations in Budapest dust samples were lower than from Seoul, except for Pb and Mg. Compared with Madrid as another continental site, Budapest was higher in Co–V–Zn. Dust from Oslo, which is not so large, contained more Mn–Na–Sr than dust from other towns, but less other metals.