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Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health

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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SEGH Articles

Capacity strengthening in field collections and laboratories for geochemical sampling and public health in Western Kenya

| March 2019

Here David Samoie, Odipo Osano and Diana Menya discuss geochemical sampling in western Kenya.  continue reading...

Aquaculture: Pathway to food security in Kenya: Continuing the Research

| March 2019

Dr Andrew Marriott (Centre for Environmental Geochemistry, BGS) tells us about the impact of his project investigating aquaculture and food security in Lake Victoria, Kenya. In addition, he discusses how he's been communicating the results and potential future research.  continue reading...

A human health risk assessment framework to improve the management of potentially toxic elements in informally recycled waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE)

| February 2019

Dr Alessandra Cesaro, University of Salerno and Professor Andrew Hursthouse, University of the West of Scotland assess the human health risk of potentially toxic elements in informally recycled waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE)  continue reading...

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

  • Unraveling prevalence and public health risks of arsenic, uranium and co-occurring trace metals in groundwater along riverine ecosystem in Sindh and Punjab, Pakistan 2019-03-23

    Abstract

    The current study focuses on the understanding of contamination status, distribution, source apportionment and health perspectives of arsenic (As), uranium (U) and other co-occurring trace metals in the groundwater samples collected along the major rivers in Sindh and Punjab provinces, Pakistan. ICP-MS analysis revealed that the concentrations of As in the groundwater in Sindh and Punjab ranged from 0.2 to 81.1 µg/L (n = 38) and 1.1 to 501.1 µg/L (n = 110), respectively. Importantly, this study is the first evidence of U contamination in the groundwater samples in Pakistan, which revealed the concentrations of U at from 0.8 to 59.0 and 0.1 to 556.0 µg/L respectively, in Sindh and Punjab. Moreover, the concentrations of Sr and Mn exceeded the WHO limits in the current study area. Anthropogenic activities such as urbanization, direct dispose of industrial, agricultural waste into waterways and extensive use of pesticides and fertilizers might be the main sources of elevated levels of total dissolved solids and electrical conductivity, which increased the mobilization of As, U and Sr in the groundwater samples. Human health risk assessment parameters such as average daily dose, hazard quotient (HQ) and cancer risk indicated severe risks of As and U in the study area. The HQ values of As and U in Punjab were observed at 69.6 and 7.7, respectively, implying the severity of the health risks associated with consumption of contaminated groundwater for drinking purposes. In a nutshell, proactive control and rehabilitation measures are recommended to eradicate trace metals associated groundwater contamination in the targeted areas to avoid future worst scenarios.

  • Sediment information on natural and anthropogenic-induced change of connected water systems in Chagan Lake, North China 2019-03-23

    Abstract

    This study discusses changes in connected water systems in Chagan Lake induced by the interference of natural and human activities, based on the analysis of sediment characteristics. In this study, the following sediment characteristics were investigated in the lake area, the natural supply area, and the lake drainage area: mineral composition; particle size distribution; magnetic susceptibility; nutrient content; content of isotopes δ13Corg and δ15N; and content of heavy metals and of metallic oxides. The results showed that silicate minerals quartz, orthoclase, and anorthose were abundant in the whole lake water system. Quartz accumulated more easily in the lake area, while carbonate masses in the lake mainly came from the Huolinhe River. Moving from the lake area to the water diversion and drainage areas, fine particles clearly decreased, while coarse particles significantly increased due to the increase in hydraulic erosion. The main sources of nutrients and of organic matter are: the residual of the drainage from the Qianguo irrigated areas; the surrounding villages and the tourist area; and the decomposition of aquatic organisms. A large number of anthropogenic heavy metals, such as Hg, Cu, and As, were accumulated in the artificial water diversion area and in the farmland drainage area. This study indicates that recovering the original connected water system during the wet season, while at the same time enhancing water supply during the dry season could improve the ecological quality of Chagan Lake.

    Graphical abstract

  • Zinc biofortification of cereals—role of phosphorus and other impediments in alkaline calcareous soils 2019-03-22

    Abstract

    Alkaline calcareous soils are deficient in plant nutrients; in particular, phosphorus (P) and zinc (Zn) are least available; their inorganic fertilizers are generally applied to meet the demand of crops. The applied nutrients react with soil constituents as well as with each other, resulting in lower plant uptake. Phosphorus availability is usually deterred due to lime content, while Zn availability is largely linked with alkalinity of the soil. The present manuscript critically discusses the factors associated with physicochemical properties of soil and other interactions in soil–plant system which contribute to the nutrients supply from soil, and affect productivity and quality attributes of cereals. Appropriate measures may possibly lessen the severity of nutritional disorder in cereal and optimize P and Zn concentrations in grain. Foliar Zn spray is found to escape most of the soil reactions; thus, Zn bioavailability is higher either through increase in grain Zn or through decrease in phytate content. The reactivity of nutrients prior to its uptake is deemed as major impediments in Zn biofortification of cereals. The article addresses physiological limitation of plants to accumulate grain Zn and the ways to achieve biofortification in cereals, while molecular mechanism explains how it affects nutritional quality of cereals. Moreover, it highlights the desirable measures for enhancing Zn bioavailability, e.g., manipulation of genetic makeup for efficient nutrient uptake/translocation, and also elucidates agronomic measures that help facilitate Zn supply in soil for plant accumulation.