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Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health
- Natural concentrations and reference values for trace elements in soils of a tropical volcanic archipelago 2016-10-25
Fernando de Noronha is a small volcanic archipelago in the Southern Atlantic, some 350 km NE of the city of Natal in NE Brazil. These remote volcanic islands represent a largely pristine environment, distant from sources of anthropogenic contamination. This study was carried out to determine the natural concentrations of Ag, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, V and Zn in the A and B horizons of soils of Fernando de Noronha. The aims of the study were twofold: determine whether there is a relationship between the bedrock geology and soils and to establish quality reference values for soils from Fernando de Noronha. Soil samples were subjected to acid digestion by the USEPA method 3051A, and metals were determined by inductively coupled plasma emission spectrophotometry. The results showed that the trace element distribution largely reflects the geochemistry of the underlying volcanic rocks of the Remedios and Quixaba Formations. The results demonstrate that the concentrations of Ba, Cr, Zn, Ni and Cu from the soils of the volcanic Fernando de Noronha archipelago are higher than those found in soils from continental Brazil. However, concentrations of Ni, Cu and Co are lower in soils of the archipelago as compared to other volcanic islands throughout the world. The elevated trace element concentrations of the volcanic parent material of Fernando de Noronha soils seem to be the main factor governing the relatively high natural concentrations of trace elements.
- Assessment of organochlorine pesticide contamination in waterbirds from an agricultural region, Central China 2016-10-25
Twenty-one organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were measured in the muscle of six predominant waterbird species from Jianghan Plain, Hubei Province, Central China. Among OCPs, DDTs were the most prevalent compounds, with average concentration ranging from 31.1 to 1445 ng/g lipid weight. Little egrets (Egretta garzetta) and Chinese pond herons (Ardeola bacchus) showed significantly higher concentrations of OCPs (p < 0.05) due to their dietary habits and migratory patterns. There were no statistically significant differences (p > 0.05) for most OCPs between sex and age groups. The accumulation profiles of HCHs and DDTs suggested that these OCPs in Jianghan Plain were largely derived from historical usage. Risk assessment indicated that heptachlor could be likely to pose adverse health effects on people consuming ducks in Jianghan Plain.
- Potentially harmful elements in house dust from Estarreja, Portugal: characterization and genotoxicity of the bioaccessible fraction 2016-10-22
Due to their behavioral characteristics, young children are vulnerable to the ingestion of indoor dust, often contaminated with chemicals that are potentially harmful. Exposure to potentially harmful elements (PHEs) is currently exacerbated by their widespread use in several industrial, agricultural, domestic and technological applications. PHEs cause adverse health effects on immune and nervous systems and can lead to cancer development via genotoxic mechanisms. The present study is an integrated approach that aims at assessing the genotoxicity of bioaccessible PHEs following ingestion of contaminated house dust. A multidisciplinary methodology associating chemical characterization of five house dust samples, extraction of the bioaccessible PHEs in gastric extracts by the unified BARGE method, determination of the bioaccessible fraction and in vitro genotoxicity of gastric extracts in adenocarcinoma gastric human (AGS) cells was developed. The five gastric extracts induced dose-dependent genotoxicity in AGS cells. Copper (bioaccessible concentration up to 111 mg/kg) was probably the prevalent PHE inducing primary DNA damage (up to 5.1-fold increase in tail DNA at 0.53 g/l of gastric extract). Lead (bioaccessible concentration up to 245 mg/kg) was the most prevalent PHE inducing chromosome-damaging effects (r = 0.55; p < 0.001 for micronucleated cells induction). The association of principal component analysis and Spearman’s correlations was decisive to understand the chromosome-damaging properties of the bioaccessible PHEs in AGS cells. This methodology could be used on a larger-scale study to provide useful information for science-based decision-making in regulatory policies, and a better estimation of human exposure and associated health risks.