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This website provides a platform for SEGH members to communicate their latest research and discussion topics with the rest of the SEGH community.  Authors of articles could highlight their latest research in peer reviewed publications, conferences and events, it provides an opportunity for research students to write about their latest work and a platform for general discussions within the SEGH community. 

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Science in the News

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

  • Investigation of severe water problem in urban areas of a developing country: the case of Dhaka, Bangladesh 2014-04-19

    Abstract

    The present study evaluated water supply geochemistry in Dhaka City, Bangladesh, to provide detailed trace level (subppb) water quality data that include major ions, low dissolved oxygen (DO) and toxic trace metals for sustainable development. Dhaka Groundwater, which almost uniformly meets the World Health Organization guideline, has become the preferred source. Due to groundwater depletion and an ever-increasing need to meet water demands by city residents, Dhaka water supply and sewerage authority has initiated the treatment of river water, despite the fact that very little is known about the geochemical structure, and trace metal content in the Dhaka water supply. Major ion composition of water samples was determined, and the results used to generate Stiff diagrams. The diagrams served to visually compare water from different sources based on units of mass/volume. Hydrochemical facies analysis showed supply ground and surface waters are comprised predominately of Ca–Na–Mg–HCO3 and Ca–Na–Mg–HCO3–Cl types. Spatial distribution of ions, and Na/Cl and Na/SiO2 molar ratio indicated that silicate weathering is the dominant geochemical process. Chemical data revealed that toxic Cr metal mobilization is associated with chemical hazards from the leather industry. The vulnerability of deep wells to contamination by As is governed by the geometry of induced groundwater flow paths and the geochemical conditions encountered between the shallow and deep regions of the aquifer. Quantifying total arsenic (As) and As from interlocking geochemical cycles (Fe, Mn) may assist in interpreting As dynamics in Dhaka well water. The surface source water was hypoxic to anoxic low DO associated with very high concentrations of biological oxygen demands, and electrical conductivity compared to industrial and non-industrial urban processes and standard activity guidelines. The results of this study should be applied to future research focused on the potential to improve water quality in urban and surrounding areas.

  • Fluoride concentrations in the pineal gland, brain and bone of goosander (Mergus merganser) and its prey in Odra River estuary in Poland 2014-04-18

    Abstract

    The aim of the study was to investigate fluoride concentrations in bone, brain and pineal gland of goosander Mergus merganser wintering in the Odra estuary (Poland) as well as in fish originating from its digestive tract. The fluoride concentrations were determined with potentiometric method. Medians of concentrations in goosander had the highest and the lowest values in pineal gland and brain (>760 and <190 mg/kg, respectively). Fluoride concentration in the pineal gland was significantly greater than in the bone and the brain of the duck. In fish, the fluoride concentration ranged from 37 to 640 mg/kg and significant correlation was revealed between the fluoride concentration and fish weight and length. Based on own results and data of other authors, a daily fluoride intake by the goosander in the Odra estuary was estimated at 15 mg. So high fluoride concentrations like in the duck have not been found in mammal brains.

  • Release of mobile forms of hazardous elements from glassworks fly ash into soils 2014-04-17

    Abstract

    The release of hazardous elements from the wastes of high-temperature processes represents a risk to the environment. We focused on the alteration of fly ash (FA) from glassworks collected from an electrostatic filter. FA contains elevated concentrations of Zn and Ba, among other elements. Overtime, small amounts of FA have been emitted from the factory and settled into the surrounding environment (soil). In order to assess the possible risks to the environment, samples of FA were placed in small nylon bags and deposited in 11 different soil horizons (containing diverse vegetation cover such as spruce and beech and also unforested areas). Samples of the FA in bags were exposed in the soils for 1 year. Then, the bags were collected, and the exposed soils in the direct vicinity of the FA bags were sampled. The total concentrations of Zn and Ba in the FA, as well as in the soil samples (original and exposed), were determined by ICP MS. The “mobile fraction” was determined as the exchangeable (acid extractable) fraction of the modified BCR sequential extraction procedure (SEP). The SEP results indicate that Zn and Ba may pose a potential environmental risk. Their concentrations in the first, most mobile, and bioavailable fraction increased in all the exposed soils. The most significant increases were observed in the upper soil horizons (litter and A horizon). The risk to the environment was evaluated on the basis of the Risk Assessment Code.