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Indirect method of assessing environmental health based on the impact of mining of solid minerals

The degradation of the environment releases metals such as Lead that is very dangerous to the health of people in communities where mining activity is taking place.


Predictive framework for estimating exposure of birds to pharmaceuticals.

Abstract: Here we present and evaluate a framework for estimating concentrations of pharmaceuticals over time in wildlife feeding at wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The framework is composed of a series of predictive steps involving the estimation of pharmaceutical concentration in wastewater, accumulation into wildlife food items, uptake by wildlife with subsequent distribution into, and elimination from, tissues. As many pharmacokinetic parameters for wildlife are unavailable for the majority of drugs in use, a read-across approach was employed using either rodent or human data on absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME). Comparison of the different steps in the framework, against experimental data for the scenario where birds are feeding on a WWTP contaminated with fluoxetine, showed that: estimated concentrations in wastewater treatment works were lower than measured concentrations; concentrations in food could be reasonably estimated if experimental bioaccumulation data are available; and that read-across from rodent data worked better than human to bird read-across. The framework provides adequate predictions of plasma concentrations and of elimination behavior in birds, but yields poor predictions of distribution in tissues. We believe the approach holds promise, but it is important that we improve our understanding of the physiological similarities and differences between wild birds and domesticated laboratory mammals used in pharmaceutical efficacy/safety trials, so that the wealth of data available can be applied more effectively in ecological risk assessments. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Pub.: 16 Feb '17, Pinned: 05 Sep '17

Biomonitoring of the environmental genotoxic potential of emissions from a complex of ceramic industries in Monte Carmelo, Minas Gerais, Brazil, using Tradescantia pallida.

Abstract: The micronucleus (MN) test and analysis of heavy metal biological accumulation in Tradescantia pallida (T. pallida) were bioassays used to assess the genotoxic potential of emissions from a complex of ceramic industries into the atmosphere in a city in Brazil that is considered a national reference source for roof tile production. The ceramic industry emission-exposed T. pallida plants were biomonitored during the dry season, in June, July, and August 2013. In addition to the contaminated monitoring site, a reference site in a peri-urban area was utilized, for comparative purposes. Genotoxicity assessments were determined monthly, while heavy metal bioaccumulation was measured at the end of the total exposure period. The MN frequency was significantly greater in T. pallida plants exposed in the ceramic industry emission monitored area compared to the reference site, and highest MN rates were observed in July and August. With respect to heavy metal bioaccumulation in T. pallida leaves, cadmium (Cd) and chromium (Cr) concentrations were significantly higher in plants at the ceramic industry emission monitoring site. Thus, in relation to the parameters assessed, T. pallida was found to be sensitive to atmospheric contamination by heavy metals attributed to ceramic products emissions generated by the ceramic industry, confirming that this plant species may be employed as a reference organism in biomonitoring studies.

Pub.: 29 Jan '16, Pinned: 05 Sep '17

Health hazards and heavy metals accumulation by summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) cultivated in contaminated soils.

Abstract: The present study was carried out to investigate the heavy metal concentration accumulated by summer squash cultivated in contaminated soil and their health hazards for public consumers at south Cairo Province, Egypt. Soil and plants were sampled from contaminated and reference farms, using 1 m(2) quadrats, for biomass estimation and nutrient analysis. The daily intake of metals (DIM) and health risk index (HRI) were estimated. Significant differences in soil variables (except As) between contaminated and reference sites were recognized. Summer squash showed remarkable reduction in fresh and dry biomass, fruit production, and photosynthetic pigments under pollution stress. The inorganic and organic nutrients in the aboveground and belowground parts showed significant reduction in contaminated site. In addition, higher concentrations of heavy metals were accumulated in the edible parts and roots more than shoots. The bioaccumulation factor of summer squash for investigated metals was greater than 1, while the translocation factor did not exceed unity in both contaminated and reference sites. The DIM for all investigated metals in the reference site and in the contaminated site (except Fe and Mn) did not exceed 1 in both adults and children. However, HRI of Ni and Mn in the reference site and Pb, Cd, Cu, Ni, Fe, Mn, and Zn in the contaminated one exceeded unity indicating great potential to pose health risk to the consumers. The author recommends that people living in the contaminated area should not eat large quantities of summer squash, so as to avoid excess accumulation of heavy metals in their bodies.

Pub.: 28 Jun '16, Pinned: 05 Sep '17

Levels of heavy metals in wetland and marine vascular plants and their biomonitoring potential: A comparative assessment.

Abstract: The present study investigated the levels of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn in the seagrasses Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa, and in the wetland macrophytes Phragmites australis, Arundo donax, Typha domingensis, Apium nodiflorum, and Nasturtium officinale. Results showed that the bioaccumulation capacity from sediments, translocation, total levels in plant tissues, and bioindication of metals in sediments, are generally species-specific. In particular, the patterns of metals in the aquatic plants studied were overall independent of ecology (coasts vs wetlands), biomass, anatomy (rhizomatous vs non rhizomatous plants), and life form (hemicrytophytes vs hydrophytes). However, marine phanerogams and wetland macrophytes shared some characteristics such as high levels of heavy metals in their below-ground organs, similar capacity of element translocation in the rhizosphere, compartmentalization of metals in the different plant organs, and potential as bioindicators of Cu, Mn and Zn levels in the substratum. In particular, the present findings indicate that, despite ecological and morphological similarities, different plant species tend to respond differently to exposure to heavy metals. Furthermore, this seems to result from the species individual ability to accumulate and detoxify the various metals rather than being attributed to differences in their ecological and morpho-anatomical characteristics.

Pub.: 05 Nov '16, Pinned: 05 Sep '17

Air pollution tolerance index and heavy metal bioaccumulation in selected plant species from urban biotopes.

Abstract: This research was carried out on plants Taraxacum officinale, Plantago lanceolata, Betula pendula and Robinia pseudoacacia growing in urban biotopes with different levels of heavy metal contamination in the city of Dąbrowa Górnicza (southern Poland). Based on the pollution index, the highest heavy metal contamination was determined in the site 4 (connected with industry emitters) and 6 (high traffic). The metal accumulation index (MAI) values ranged within the biotopes in Dąbrowa Górnicza between 7.3 and 20.6 for R. pseudoacacia, 4.71-23.1 for P. lanceolata, 4.68-28.1 for T. officinale and 10.5-27.2 for B. pendula. Increasing tendency in proline content in biotopes connected with high traffic was found in the leaves of investigated plants (except R. pseudoacacia). Similar tendency was observed for ascorbic acid content in the foliage of the plants as well as in T. officinalle in stands connected industrial emission. Non-protein thiols content increased especially in the leaves of R. pseudoacacia in biotopes with high traffic emissions as well as in T. officinale in stands connected with industry. The mean values of APTI (Air Pollution Tolerance Index) within the city of Dąbrowa Górnicza for investigated plants were found in the following ascending order P. lanceolata < R. pseudoacacia < B. pendula < T. officinale. Among the investigated plants B. pendula and T. officinale may be postulated as appropriate plants in urban areas with considerable soil and air contamination, especially with heavy metals. The results indicate that species deemed tolerant according to APTI are suitable plants in barriers areas to combat atmospheric pollution.

Pub.: 02 Jun '17, Pinned: 05 Sep '17