| August 2014
The Society's journal Environmental Geochemistry & Health (EGAH), received good news recently with the announcement of a significant increase in its impact factor, now reaching 2.573. continue reading...
SEGH was established in 1971 to provide a forum for scientists from various disciplines to work together in understanding the interaction between the geochemical environment and the health of plants, animals, and humans. We recognise the importance of interdisciplinary research. SEGH members represent expertise in a diverse range of scientific fields, such as biology, engineering, geology, hydrology, epidemiology, chemistry, medicine, nutrition, and toxicology.
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| July 2014
The problem: mercury losses from informal gold mining and health risks to the miners (garimpeiros), gold traders and local riverine communities, by Past President Iain Thornton. continue reading...
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Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health
High incidence of chronic kidney disease of unknown aetiology (CKDU) in Sri Lanka is shown to correlate with the presence of irrigation works and rivers that bring-in ‘nonpoint source’ fertilizer runoff from intensely agricultural regions. We review previous attempts to link CKDU with As, Cd and other standard toxins. Those studies (e.g. the WHO-sponsored study), while providing a wealth of data, are inconclusive in regard to aetiology. Here, we present new proposals based on increased ionicity of drinking water due to fertilizer runoff into the river system, redox processes in the soil and features of ‘tank’-cascades and aquifers. The consequent chronic exposure to high ionicity in drinking water is proposed to debilitate the kidney via a Hofmeister-type (i.e. protein-denaturing) mechanism.
Organic compound tracers including n-alkanes, triterpane, sterane, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dicarboxylic acids of airborne particulate matter (PM10) were characterized for samples collected at five sites from July 2010 to March 2011 using GC/MS. Spatial and temporal variations of these organic tracers in PM10 were studied, and their sources were then identified respectively. Average daily concentrations of PM10 varied in different seasons with the trend of PM10 in winter (0.133 mg/m3) > autumn (0.120 mg/m3) > spring (0.103 mg/m3) > summer (0.098 mg/m3). Daily concentrations of n-alkanes (C11–C36) ranged from 12.11 to 163.58 ng/m3 with a mean of 61.99 ng/m3. The C max and CPI index of n-alkanes indicated that vehicle emissions were the major source in winter, while the contributions of high plant wax emissions became significant in other seasons. It was discovered that the main sources of triterpenoid and steranes were gasoline and diesel engine emissions. Concentrations of ∑15PAHs in PM10 also varied (12.25–58.56 ng/m3) in different seasons, and chrysene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(ghi) perylene and fluoranthene were the dominant components. In the four seasons, the concentration of ∑15PAHs was relatively higher at the northern site because of traffic congestion. The main source of airborne PAHs was traffic emissions and coal combustion. Average daily concentrations of dicarboxylic acids (C4–C10) in PM10 ranged from 12.11 to 163.58 ng/m3, of which azeleic acid was the major compound (0.49–52.04 ng/m3, average 14.93 ng/m3), followed by succinic acid (0.56–19.08 ng/m3, average 6.84 ng/m3). The ratio of C6/C9 showed that the major source in winter was biological, while the contributions of emissions from anthropogenic activities were much higher in summer.
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.