| March 2016
Estimates suggest that more than 2 billion people could be suffering from micronutrient deficiencies. 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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| March 2016
Given the fact that by 2050 more than 80% of the European population will be living in cities (United Nations, 2014), the quality of the urban environment is becoming an important issue in the 21st century. continue reading...
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Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health
Rapid industrialization and urbanization have contaminated air and soil by heavy metals and metalloids from biogenic, geogenic and anthropogenic sources in many areas of the world, either directly or indirectly. A case study was conducted in three different microenvironments, i.e., residential sites, official sites and official sites; for each sites, we choose two different locations to examine the elemental concentration in fine particulate matter and soil and health risk assessment. The concentration values of heavy metals and metalloid in the air and soil in the Agra region were measured using inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrophotometry. The exposure factor and health risk assessment for carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects due to heavy metals and metalloid contaminants have been calculated for both children and adults by following the methodology prescribed by USEPA. For the elements As, Cr, Cd, Ni and Pb selected for the carcinogenic health risk assessment, the calculated results lie above the threshold ranges. We observed the lifetime exposure to heavy metals through mainly three pathways, ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact of soil and air from that particular area. Therefore, the overall hazard quotient (HQ) values for children are more than that of adults. The assessment of health risk signifies that there were mainly three exposure pathways for people: ingested, dermal contact and inhalation. The major exposure pathway of heavy metals to both children and adults is ingestion. The values of HQ are higher than the safe level (=1), indicating a high risk exists in present condition. Meanwhile, HQs value for children is higher than that for adults, indicating that children have higher potential health risk than adults in this region.
Kashin–Beck disease (KBD), which is still active and severe in the Tibetan Plateau, is considered to be a kind of selenium (Se)-deficient disease. Highland barley as the most popular staple food in the Tibetan Plateau is one of the dominant Se sources for local people. To improve Se levels in crops in the Tibetan Plateau KBD area, the distribution and translocation of Se from soil to highland barley in both non-KBD and KBD endemic areas were investigated. The results showed that Se levels in highland barley were too low to meet the minimum requirements of human for daily intake of Se. The total Se concentrations of highland barley fractions in KBD areas were lower than that in non-KBD areas (grain P = 0.238; straw P = 0.087; root P = 0.008). However, no significant difference was observed in corresponding cultivated soil Se between the two areas (P = 0.993). The calculation of Se transfer factors indicated that the restricting step for Se translocation was from soil to root. Water-soluble, exchangeable and fulvic acid-bound Se fractions in the soil are key species dominating in this transfer process, according to their significant correlations with root Se. Se transfer from soil to root significantly increases as the pH value of soil increases (P = 0.007), and soil organic matter content decreases (P = 0.019). The information obtained may have considerable significance for proposing effective agricultural measures to increase grain Se in KBD endemic areas.
Maize (Zea mays L.) has been widely adopted for phytomanagement of cadmium (Cd)-contaminated soils due to its high biomass production and Cd accumulation capacity. This paper reviewed the toxic effects of Cd and its management by maize plants. Maize could tolerate a certain level of Cd in soil while higher Cd stress can decrease seed germination, mineral nutrition, photosynthesis and growth/yields. Toxicity response of maize to Cd varies with cultivar/varieties, growth medium and stress duration/extent. Exogenous application of organic and inorganic amendments has been used for enhancing Cd tolerance of maize. The selection of Cd-tolerant maize cultivar, crop rotation, soil type, and exogenous application of microbes is a representative agronomic practice to enhance Cd tolerance in maize. Proper selection of cultivar and agronomic practices combined with amendments might be successful for the remediation of Cd-contaminated soils with maize. However, there might be the risk of food chain contamination by maize grains obtained from the Cd-contaminated soils. Thus, maize cultivation could be an option for the management of low- and medium-grade Cd-contaminated soils if grain yield is required. On the other hand, maize can be grown on Cd-polluted soils only if biomass is required for energy production purposes. Long-term field trials are required, including risks and benefit analysis for various management strategies aiming Cd phytomanagement with maize.