Science of the Total Environment, The (v.424, #C)

Use of iron oxide nanomaterials in wastewater treatment: A review by Piao Xu; Guang Ming Zeng; Dan Lian Huang; Chong Ling Feng; Shuang Hu; Mei Hua Zhao; Cui Lai; Zhen Wei; Chao Huang; Geng Xin Xie; Zhi Feng Liu (1-10).
Nowadays there is a continuously increasing worldwide concern for the development of wastewater treatment technologies. The utilization of iron oxide nanomaterials has received much attention due to their unique properties, such as extremely small size, high surface-area-to-volume ratio, surface modifiability, excellent magnetic properties and great biocompatibility. A range of environmental clean-up technologies have been proposed in wastewater treatment which applied iron oxide nanomaterials as nanosorbents and photocatalysts. Moreover, iron oxide based immobilization technology for enhanced removal efficiency tends to be an innovative research point. This review outlined the latest applications of iron oxide nanomaterials in wastewater treatment, and gaps which limited their large-scale field applications. The outlook for potential applications and further challenges, as well as the likely fate of nanomaterials discharged to the environment were discussed.► The review outlined latest applications of iron oxide nonmaterials in wastewater treatment. ► The outlook for potential applications and further challenges was also provided. ► The likely fate of the nanomaterials discharged to the environment was addressed.
Keywords: Iron oxide nanomaterials; Wastewater treatment; Nanosorbents; Photocatalysts; Immobilization carriers;

The potential effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) emitted by GSM mobile phones on subjective symptoms, well-being and physiological parameters have been investigated in many studies. However, the results have been ambiguous. The current meta-analysis aims to clarify whether RF-EMF have an influence on well-being in self-reported sensitive persons, as well as in non-sensitive people. A literature search revealed 17 studies including 1174 participants. The single effects for various subjective and objective outcomes were meta-analytically combined to yield a single population parameter. Dependant variables were subjective (e.g. headaches) and objective parameters (e.g. heart rate variability) of well-being. The results show no significant impact of short-term RF-EMF exposure on any parameter. Future research should focus on the possible effects of long-term exposure.► We conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate potential effects of electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones on well-being. ► 17 studies and 1174 participants were included. ► No effects on subjective (e.g. headache) or objective (e.g. heart rate variability) were found.
Keywords: Electromagnetic fields; Mobile phones; Well-being; Symptoms; Short-term exposure;

Timely assessment of the aggregate health of small-area human populations is essential for guiding the optimal investment of resources needed for preventing, avoiding, controlling, or mitigating exposure risks. Seeking those interventions yielding the greatest benefit with respect to allocation of resources is essential for making progress toward community sustainability, promoting social justice, and maintaining or improving health and well-being. More efficient approaches are needed for revealing cause-effect linkages between environmental stressors and human health and for measuring overall aggregate health of small-area populations. A new concept is presented – community health assessment via Sewage Chemical Information Mining (SCIM) – for quickly gauging overall, aggregate health status or trends for entire small-area populations. The approach – BioSCIM – would monitor raw sewage for specific biomarkers broadly associated with human disease, stress, or health. A wealth of untapped chemical information resides in raw sewage, a portion comprising human biomarkers of exposure and effects. BioSCIM holds potential for capitalizing on the presence of biomarkers in sewage for accomplishing any number of objectives. One of the many potential applications of BioSCIM could use various biomarkers of stress resulting from the collective excretion from all individuals in a local population. A prototype example is presented using a class of biomarkers that measures collective, systemic oxidative stress — the isoprostanes (prostaglandin-like free-radical catalyzed oxidation products from certain polyunsaturated fatty acids). Sampling and analysis of raw sewage hold great potential for quickly determining aggregate biomarker levels for entire communities. Presented are the basic principles of BioSCIM, together with its anticipated limitations, challenges, and potential applications in assessing community-wide health. Community health assessment via BioSCIM could allow rapid assessments and intercomparisons of health status among distinct populations, revealing hidden or emerging trends or disparities and aiding in evaluating correlations (or hypotheses) between stressor exposures and disease.► New concept proposed for gauging the overall health of small-area human populations. ► BioSCIM uses Sewage Chemical-Information Mining to measure biomarkers in sewage. ► Real-time, low-cost assessment of community-wide heath is possible. ► Isoprostanes (biomarkers of oxidative stress) are identified as targets for BioSCIM. ► Panel of orthogonal biomarkers with complementary properties may broaden usefulness.
Keywords: Exposure assessment; Sewage epidemiology; Public health; Oxidative stress; Isoprostanes; Biomarkers;

Sewage sludge fertiliser use: Implications for soil and plant copper evolution in forest and agronomic soils by Nuria Ferreiro-Domínguez; Antonio Rigueiro-Rodríguez; M. Rosa Mosquera-Losada (39-47).
Fertilisation with sewage sludge may lead to crop toxicity and environmental degradation. This study aims to evaluate the effects of two types of soils (forest and agronomic), two types of vegetation (unsown (coming from soil seed bank) and sown), and two types of fertilisation (sludge fertilisation and mineral fertilisation, with a no fertiliser control) in afforested and treeless swards and in sown and unsown forestlands on the total and available Cu concentration in soil, the leaching of this element and the Cu levels in plant. The experimental design was completely randomised with nine treatments and three replicates. Fertilisation with sewage sludge increased the concentration of Cu in soil and plant, but the soil values never exceeded the maximum set by Spanish regulations. Sewage sludge inputs increased both the total and Mehlich 3 Cu concentrations in agronomic soils and the Cu levels in plant developed in agronomic and forest soils, with this effect pronounced in the unsown swards of forest soils. Therefore, the use of high quality sewage sludge as fertiliser may improve the global productivity of forest, agronomic and silvopastoral systems without creating environmental hazards.► Sewage sludge increased the concentration of Cu in the soil and plants. ► Soil Cu levels never exceeded the maximum set by regulations, if sewage use was based on N crop needs. ► High quality sewage sludge improves productivity without environmental risk.
Keywords: Agroforestry; Heavy metals; Leaching; Sowing; Afforestation; Pinus radiata;

Examining nocturnal railway noise and aircraft noise in the field: Sleep, psychomotor performance, and annoyance by Eva-Maria Elmenhorst; Sibylle Pennig; Vinzent Rolny; Julia Quehl; Uwe Mueller; Hartmut Maaß; Mathias Basner (48-56).
Traffic noise is interfering during day- and nighttime causing distress and adverse physiological reactions in large parts of the population. Railway noise proved less annoying than aircraft noise in surveys which were the bases for a so called 5 dB railway bonus regarding noise protection in many European countries.The present field study investigated railway noise-induced awakenings during sleep, nighttime annoyance and the impact on performance the following day. Comparing these results with those from a field study on aircraft noise allowed for a ranking of traffic modes concerning physiological and psychological reactions.33 participants (mean age 36.2 years ± 10.3 (SD); 22 females) living alongside railway tracks around Cologne/Bonn (Germany) were polysomnographically investigated. These data were pooled with data from a field study on aircraft noise (61 subjects) directly comparing the effects of railway and aircraft noise in one random subject effects logistic regression model. Annoyance was rated in the morning evaluating the previous night.Probability of sleep stage changes to wake/S1 from railway noise increased significantly from 6.5% at 35 dB(A) to 20.5% at 80 dB(A) LAFmax. Rise time of noise events had a significant impact on awakening probability. Nocturnal railway noise led to significantly higher awakening probabilities than aircraft noise, partly explained by the different rise times, whereas the order was inversed for annoyance. Freight train noise compared to passenger train noise proved to have the most impact on awakening probability. Nocturnal railway noise had no effect on psychomotor vigilance.Nocturnal freight train noise exposure in Germany was associated with increased awakening probabilities exceeding those for aircraft noise and contrasting the findings of many annoyance surveys and annoyance ratings of our study. During nighttime a bonus for railway noise seems not appropriate.► Railway noise leads to higher awakening probabilities than aircraft noise. ► Aircraft noise is more annoying than railway noise evaluating the previous night. ► Freight train noise is more sleep disturbing than passenger train noise. ► During nighttime a bonus for railway noise seems not appropriate.
Keywords: Railway noise; Aircraft noise; Awakening reaction; Sleep; PVT; Annoyance;

Industrial pollution and pleural cancer mortality in Spain by Gonzalo López-Abente; Pablo Fernández-Navarro; Elena Boldo; Rebeca Ramis; Javier García-Pérez (57-62).
Pleural cancer mortality is an acknowledged indicator of exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma mortality but in 15%–20% of cases no exposure can be recalled. In the past, asbestos was used in many industries and it is still found in many installations. Our objective was to ascertain whether there might be excess pleural cancer mortality among populations residing in the vicinity of Spanish industrial installations that are governed by the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive and the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Regulation and report their emissions to air. An ecological study was designed to examine pleural cancer mortality at a municipal level (8098 Spanish towns) over the period 1997–2006, during which 2146 deaths were registered. We conducted an exploratory “near vs. far” analysis to estimate the relative risks (RRs) of towns situated at a distance of < 2 km from installations. This analysis was repeated for each of the 24 industrial groups. RR and their 95% credible intervals (95% CIs) were estimated on the basis of a Poisson conditional autoregressive Bayesian model with explanatory variables. Integrated nested Laplace approximations were used as a Bayesian inference tool. Analysis showed statistically significant RRs in both sexes in the vicinity of 7 of the 24 industrial groups studied (RR, 95% CI), namely, biocide facilities (2.595, 1.459–4.621), ship-building (2.321, 1.379–3.918), glass and mineral fibre production (1.667, 1.041–2.665), non-hazardous waste treatment (1.737, 1.077–2.799), galvanising (1.637, 1.139–2.347), organic chemical plants (1.386, 1.075–1.782) and the food and beverage sector (1.255, 1.006–1.562). In the proximity of sources pertaining to the biocide, organic chemical and galvanising sectors, the risk was seen to be rising among men and women, a finding that could indicate airborne environmental exposure. These results support that residing in the vicinity of IPPC-registered industries that release pollutants to the air constitutes a risk factor for pleural cancer.► Pleural cancer is an indicator of exposure to asbestos. ► Some specific industries may have been the responsible for the releases of asbestos. ► There are still many materials which in addition to containing asbestos are pervasive. ► To reside near pollutant industries could be a risk factor for pleural cancer.
Keywords: Epidemiology; Mesotheliomas; Industrial pollution; Environmental pollution/prevention and control; Asbestos;

Multi-trace element levels and arsenic speciation in urine of e-waste recycling workers from Agbogbloshie, Accra in Ghana by Kwadwo Ansong Asante; Tetsuro Agusa; Charles Augustus Biney; William Atuobi Agyekum; Mohammed Bello; Masanari Otsuka; Takaaki Itai; Shin Takahashi; Shinsuke Tanabe (63-73).
To understand human contamination by multi-trace elements (TEs) in electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) recycling site at Agbogbloshie, Accra in Ghana, this study analyzed TEs and As speciation in urine of e-waste recycling workers. Concentrations of Fe, Sb, and Pb in urine of e-waste recycling workers were significantly higher than those of reference sites after consideration of interaction by age, indicating that the recycling workers are exposed to these TEs through the recycling activity. Urinary As concentration was relatively high, although the level in drinking water was quite low. Speciation analysis of As in human urine revealed that arsenobetaine and dimethylarsinic acid were the predominant As species and concentrations of both species were positively correlated with total As concentration as well as between each other. These results suggest that such compounds may be derived from the same source, probably fish and shellfish and greatly influence As exposure levels. To our knowledge, this is the first study on human contamination resulting from the primitive recycling of e-waste in Ghana. This study will contribute to the knowledge about human exposure to trace elements from an e-waste site in a less industrialized region so far scantly covered in the literature.► Exposure status of trace elements in e-waste recycling workers was assessed in Ghana. ► Concentrations of Fe, Sb, and Pb in urine of e-waste workers were significantly higher than those of the reference subjects. ► This study is the first to investigate human contamination arising from primitive recycling of e-waste arguably from Africa.
Keywords: Trace elements; E-waste; Urine; As speciation; Agbogbloshie; Ghana;

Arsenic is a human carcinogen and can activate epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in human cell lines. As EGFR is associated with the occurrence of cancers, we conducted a study to evaluate whether serum EGFR may increase in liver cancer patients, particularly in those with exposure to arsenic. We recruited 100 patients of liver cancer and 100 age- and sex-matched controls in Taiwan and determined EGFR levels in sera by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The patients had higher EGFR levels (668.1 vs. 243.1 fmol/mL, p  < 0.01), and after adjusting for hepatitis B and C, they still had an average EGFR level 406.1 fmol/mL higher than that of the controls (p  < 0.01). When we compared 22 patients residing in an endemic area of arsenic intoxication to 22 age- and sex-matched patients residing outside the area, we found that patients from the endemic area had higher EGFR levels (882.8 vs. 511.6 fmol/mL, p  = 0.04). We concluded that EGFR is over-expressed in patients of liver cancer, particularly in those with exposure to arsenic, and therefore, serum EGFR level is not only a potential biomarker of liver cancer, but also a potential biomarker of cancers associated with arsenic exposure.► Epidermal growth factor is associated with the occurrence of various cancers. ► Arsenic can activate epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in human cell lines. ► Patients of liver cancer had higher EGFR levels than controls without liver cancer. ► Among liver cancer patients, those with arsenic exposure had higher EGFR levels. ► Serum EGFR is a potential biomarker of liver cancer and cancers caused by arsenic.
Keywords: Arsenic; Liver cancer; Epidermal growth factor receptor; Drinking water; Biomarker;

Human health risk assessment of air emissions from development of unconventional natural gas resources by Lisa M. McKenzie; Roxana Z. Witter; Lee S. Newman; John L. Adgate (79-87).
Technological advances (e.g. directional drilling, hydraulic fracturing), have led to increases in unconventional natural gas development (NGD), raising questions about health impacts.We estimated health risks for exposures to air emissions from a NGD project in Garfield County, Colorado with the objective of supporting risk prevention recommendations in a health impact assessment (HIA).We used EPA guidance to estimate chronic and subchronic non-cancer hazard indices and cancer risks from exposure to hydrocarbons for two populations: (1) residents living >½ mile from wells and (2) residents living ≤½ mile from wells.Residents living ≤½ mile from wells are at greater risk for health effects from NGD than are residents living >½ mile from wells. Subchronic exposures to air pollutants during well completion activities present the greatest potential for health effects. The subchronic non-cancer hazard index (HI) of 5 for residents ≤½ mile from wells was driven primarily by exposure to trimethylbenzenes, xylenes, and aliphatic hydrocarbons. Chronic HIs were 1 and 0.4. for residents ≤½ mile from wells and >½ mile from wells, respectively. Cumulative cancer risks were 10 in a million and 6 in a million for residents living ≤½ mile and >½ mile from wells, respectively, with benzene as the major contributor to the risk.Risk assessment can be used in HIAs to direct health risk prevention strategies. Risk management approaches should focus on reducing exposures to emissions during well completions. These preliminary results indicate that health effects resulting from air emissions during unconventional NGD warrant further study. Prospective studies should focus on health effects associated with air pollution.► We estimate health risks of air emissions from unconventional natural gas development. ► We compare risks between two residential populations. ► Estimated health risks are greatest for residents nearest wells during completions. ► Risk assessment can be used in HIA to direct risk mitigation strategies. ► Health effects from unconventional natural gas development warrant further study.
Keywords: Natural gas development; Risk assessment; Air pollution; Hydrocarbon emissions;

Incorporating bioaccessibility into human health risk assessments of heavy metals in urban park soils by Xiao-San Luo; Jing Ding; Bo Xu; Yi-Jie Wang; Hong-Bo Li; Shen Yu (88-96).
Contaminants in urban soils can directly pose significant human health risks through oral ingestion, particle inhalation, and dermal contact, especially for children in public parks. Both non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks of heavy metals (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) were characterized in 40 surface soils (exposed lawns) from 14 urban parks in Xiamen, China. Results based on total metal concentrations may overestimate the actual risks in comparison with oral bioaccessibility assessment that were estimated by a simplified physiologically based extraction test (SBET). After considering the soil-specific bioaccessibility (Cd > Cu > Pb > Mn > Zn > Co ~ Ni > Cr), the non-cancer hazard of Pb to children via oral ingestion should be a consideration though its Hazard Index (HI) was below one. The overall cancer risks to adults still exceeded the target value 10− 6, mainly contributed by Cr (93.8%) and Pb (6.19%) via dermal contact (68.3%) and oral ingestion (30.4%). To produce a more realistic estimation for human health risks of metal contamination in urban soils, a framework combining land use type and bioaccessibility is recommended and thereby should be applied for the derivation of risk-based, site-specific soil guidelines.► Total content based assessment of soil metals may overestimate their health risks. ► Metal bioaccessibility should be incorporated into urban soil risk assessments. ► Land use types affect human health risks of contaminated soils significantly. ► Non-cancer hazard of soil Pb to children via oral ingestion is still a key issue. ► Cancer risks were mainly contributed by Cr and Pb via dermal and oral pathways.
Keywords: Metal contamination; Human health risk assessments; Oral bioaccessibility; Exposure pathways; Land use type; Urban park soil;

In Canada there is increasing concern about potential effects of industrial activities on wildlife and human health. In an interdisciplinary study concentrations of inorganic (metals, metalloids) and organic (PCBs, organochlorine pesticides) contaminants, and parasitic infections of lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) from Montreal and Reindeer lakes, Saskatchewan, were investigated to assess human health risk related to fish consumption. In both lakes contamination of fish with chemical substances and compounds, respectively, were very low and often close to detection limits. Lake whitefish parasite communities consisted of 15 (Montreal Lake) and 12 (Reindeer Lake) species most of which were found in the intestinal tract. Many parasite species showed seasonal differences in prevalence and/or mean intensity of infection. None of the identified parasites are known to be human-pathogenic and overall, whitefish from both locations can be considered safe and healthy food. Nevertheless, women of child-bearing age and young children should limit their consumption to 3 and 2 meals, respectively, of Reindeer Lake whitefish per week to minimize potentially harmful exposure to mercury. As well, intestines of Montreal Lake fish should be removed prior to fish consumption if large parasite cysts containing a yet unidentified cestode species are detected.► Metal contamination of lake whitefish from Montreal and Reindeer lakes is low. ► Concentrations of organochlorine pesticides and PCBs in whitefish muscle are negligible. ► No human-pathogenic fish parasites were identified. ► Attention should be paid to mercury levels and large parasite cysts attached to the intestine. ► Overall, whitefish is a healthy food source and health risks related to fish consumption are minor.
Keywords: Whitefish; Contaminants; Parasites; Mercury; Human health risk; Saskatchewan;

Soil ingestion rates in the order of 400 mg d− 1 have been proposed and considered plausible for use in human health risk assessments (HHRA) of Aboriginal populations and justified by qualitative assessments of the traditional subsistence activities that could enhance soil ingestion. The purpose of this study was to assess and document the subsistence activities and food consumption practiced by a First Nation Community living in a wilderness community in Canada to allow for a comparison with the previous qualitative assessments of Aboriginal populations and a quantitative mass balance tracer element study of the community conducted concurrently. An ethno-cultural survey was conducted of the Xeni Gwet'in First Nations community living in the Nemiah Valley, approximately 230 km west of Williams Lake, British Columbia. The community diet was observed to consist mainly of fish and big game, and was supplemented by berries and roots. Outdoor cultural gatherings, hunting and food gathering trips and sporting events, with their attendant potential for enhanced soil exposure, were observed to be an important facet of community life. The survey concluded that a significant portion of the Xeni Gwet'in practise a lifestyle similar to the subsistence lifestyles of other indigenous communities, where soil exposure scenarios in the order of hundreds of mg d− 1 have been proposed.► An ethno-cultural survey was conducted of the Xeni Gwet'in community in the Nemiah Valley, British Columbia, Canada. ► The diet was predominated with fish and big game, and supplemented by berries and roots. ► The subsistence lifestyle of the Xeni Gwet'in First Nation is conducive to enhanced soil ingestion.
Keywords: Soil ingestion; Aboriginal; Diet; Exposure assessment; Subsistence lifestyle;

The relatively few soil ingestion studies underpinning the recommended soil ingestion rates for contaminated site human health risk assessments (HHRAs) that have been conducted to date assessed soil ingestion in children living in urban or suburban areas of the United States, and to a lesser extent, Europe. However, the lifestyle of populations living in North American urban and suburban environments is expected to involve limited direct contact with soil. Conversely, many populations, such as indigenous and Aboriginal peoples residing in rural and wilderness areas of North America and worldwide, participate in activities that increase the frequency of direct contact with soil. Qualitative exposure of Aboriginal populations inhabiting wilderness areas suggest that high levels of soil ingestion may occur that are many times greater than those recommended by regulatory agencies for use in HHRAs. Accordingly, a study of subjects selected from a wilderness community in Canada was conducted using mass balance tracer methods to estimate soil ingestion and the results compared with previous soil ingestion studies and regulatory guidelines for the soil ingestion rates used in HHRA of contaminated sites. A pilot study of 7 subjects living in the Nemiah Valley of British Columbia was conducted over a 3-week period. The mean soil ingestion rate estimated in this study using the 4 elemental tracers with the lowest food-to-soil ratios (i.e., Al, Ce, La, Si), was observed to be approximately 75 mg d− 1 (standard deviation 120 mg d− 1), the median soil ingestion rate was 50 mg d− 1, and the 90th percentile was 211 mg d− 1. These soil ingestion rate estimates are higher than the soil ingestion estimates currently recommended for HHRAs of adults, and higher than those obtained in most previous studies of adults. However, the estimates are lower than the earlier qualitative assessments of subsistence lifestyles.► A mass balance soil ingestion study was conducted of an Aboriginal community. ► 4 tracers with the lowest food to soil ratio (Al, Si, La and Ce) were used to calculate soil ingestion. ► The mean soil ingestion rate was 75 mg d− 1, the median was 50 mg d− 1, and the 90th percentile was 211 mg d− 1. ► The soil ingestion rates are generally higher than previous studies of adults. ► Controlling the tracer intake from food improved the precision of the soil ingestion estimates.
Keywords: Soil ingestion; Risk assessment; Mass balance estimates; Soil tracers; Aboriginal; Indigenous people;

In laboratory experiments on leached chernozem contaminated by kerosene (1–15 wt.%), germination of 50 plants from 21 families (cultivated and wild, annual and perennial, mono- and dicotyledonous) as affected by kerosene type and concentration and plant features was determined. Tested plants formed three groups: more tolerant, less tolerant, and intolerant, in which relative germination was more than 70%, 30–70% and less than 30%, respectively. As parameters of soil phytotoxicity, effective kerosene concentrations (EC) causing germination depression of 10%, 25% and 50% were determined. EC values depended on the plant species and varied in a wide range of kerosene concentrations: 0.02–7.3% (EC10), 0.05–8.1% (EC25), and 0.2–12.7% (EC50). The reported data on germination in soils contaminated by oil and petrochemicals were generalized. The comparison showed that at very high contamination levels (10 and 15%) kerosene was 1.3–1.6 times more phytotoxic than diesel fuel and 1.3–1.4 times more toxic than crude oil, and at low (1 and 2%) and medium (3 and 5%) levels the toxicity of these contaminants was close differing by a factor of 1.1–1.2. Tolerance of plants to soil contamination had a species-specific nature and, on the average, decreased in the following range of families: Fabaceae (germination decrease of 10–60% as compared to an uncontaminated control) >  Brassicaceae (5–70%) >  Asteraceae (25–95%) >  Poaceae (10–100%). The monocotyledonous species tested were characterized as medium- and low-stable to contamination, whereas representatives of dicotyledonous plants were met in all groups of tolerance. Tested wild plants, contrary to reference data on oil toxicity, were more sensitive to kerosene than cultivated. No correlation was observed between degree of plant tolerance to kerosene and mass of seeds. The evidence indicates factors as structure and properties of testa, structure of germ, type of storage compounds, and type of seed germination (underground or aboveground) are more important.► We studied germination of 50 plants in kerosene-contaminated leached chernozem. ► It decreased in the range of families: Fabaceae  >Brassicaceae  >Asteraceae  >Poaceae. ► Tested wild plants were more sensitive to kerosene than cultivated. ► The degree of plant tolerance did not correlate to the mass of seeds. ► Structure of testa and germ and type of storage compounds were more important.
Keywords: Kerosene; Soil contamination; Plants; Seed germination; Soil phytotoxicity; Tolerance;

Haemocytic leukemia in Prince Edward Island (PEI) soft shell clam (Mya arenaria): Spatial distribution in agriculturally impacted estuaries by Annette Muttray; Carol Reinisch; Jason Miller; William Ernst; Patricia Gillis; Melanie Losier; James Sherry (130-142).
Intensive farming of potatoes in Prince Edward Island (PEI) relies on the repeated and widespread application of fertilizers and pesticides. In PEI the main potato farming areas are in close proximity and drain directly to estuaries. Runoff from high agricultural activity watersheds could impact benthic organism health in the depositional zone of downstream estuaries. The estuarine filter feeder Mya arenaria (soft-shell clam) could be particularly vulnerable to both particle-adsorbed and water soluble contaminants. M. arenaria is susceptible to haemocytic leukemia. In May 2009, we established that heavily proliferated leukemia (HPL) prevalence was generally higher in PEI estuaries located downstream of high intensity potato farming (Dunk and Wilmot estuaries) watersheds than in estuaries downstream of lower intensity areas. Using Mab-1E10 based immunocytochemistry we observed that leukemic haemocytes from the Dunk and Wilmot estuaries were 1E10 negative whereas those from the Ox/Sheep estuary (low potato farming intensity) were 1E10 positive. The expression of genes in the p53 tumour suppressor pathway enabled us to differentiate groups of leukemic and normal M. arenaria, validating our diagnoses. In October 2009, we confirmed that HPL prevalence was elevated in the Dunk and Wilmot estuaries compared to reference (Souris River). Moreover, leukemia prevalence declined with distance from the river mouths along transects through the Dunk and Wilmot estuaries. The pesticides ß-endosulfan and α-endosulfan were detected in surface sediments from the Dunk and Wilmot estuaries, but not in sediments from either the Souris River or several other lower intensity potato farming watersheds. Our study provides evidence of an association between intensity of potato farming and prevalence of clam leukemia at downstream estuaries in PEI.► We examined leukemia prevalence in PEI clams Mya arenaria. ► Prevalence was generally higher downstream of high intensity potato farming. ► Leukemia prevalence declined with distance from source in two impacted estuaries. ► Proteins, gene expression and immunology confirm diagnosis of disease. ► Intensive potato farming may contribute to prevalence of clam leukemia in PEI.
Keywords: Mya arenaria; Haemocytic leukemia; Agricultural contaminants; Gene expression; p53; Prince Edward Island;

Effects of in vivo chronic exposure to pendimethalin/Prowl 400® on sanitary status and the immune system in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) by Morgane Danion; Stéphane Le Floch; Rami Kanan; François Lamour; Claire Quentel (143-152).
The in vivo effects of the herbicide active substance (AS) pendimethalin (alone and with Prowl 400® adjuvant) were evaluated on sanitary status i.e. the health status with regard to chemical pollution and on the physiological state via the immune system in rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Four nominal exposure conditions were tested: i) control (C), ii) AS at 500 ng L− 1 (P500), iii) AS at 800 ng L− 1 (P800) and iv) Prowl 400® at 500 ng L− 1 (Pw). After a 28 day exposure period (D28), 10 fish were sampled for each condition and 10 other after a 15 day recovery period in clean fresh water (D43). Pendimethalin concentrations in the exposure water and muscles were followed. White blood cell counts, differential leucocyte counts, cell mortality and phagocytosis activity were measured. Haemolytic alternative complement activity, lysozyme concentration and stress parameters were analyzed.The resulting concentration of pendimethalin in the exposure water was lower than the expected concentration. At D28, the concentration quantified in the contaminated fish was negligible in comparison with the Reference Dose for Oral Exposure estimated by US-EPA's Integrated Risk Information System. Leucopenia was noted in all contaminated fish. A decrease in phagocytosis activity and ACH50 was also observed in contaminated fish by P800 and Pw. Disturbed lysozyme activity was noted only in fish exposed to Pw. Furthermore, during exposure to a similar concentration of pendimethalin, the commercial product seemed to be more immunotoxic than the AS alone. Finally, at D43, the effects proved reversible for sanitary status while immunity was still disturbed in contaminated fish by P800 and Pw.► A bioconcentration of pendimethalin was found in fish flesh affecting the sanitary status. ► Specific and nonspecific immune systems were disturbed after chronic exposure to pendimethalin. ► After a recovery period, fleshes were depurated while immunity parameters did not return to basal levels. ► The commercial product was more immunotoxic than pendimethalin alone.
Keywords: Pendimethalin; Bioconcentration; Leucocytes; Phagocytosis; ACH50; Oncorhynchus mykiss;

A 105 cm sediment core from the Derwent River (Tasmania, Australia) was collected in 2004 and was characterised considering both physical (loss on ignition at 550 °C and grain size) and chemical (Fe, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb concentrations, Pb isotope ratios and 210Pb dating) properties. The core was analysed to (i) investigate the historical profiles of some important elements associated with the Risdon zinc refinery adjacent to the Derwent River, (ii) determine Pb isotopic signatures of sediment samples, and (iii) assess the veracity of Pb isotope ratios as indicators of contaminant Pb input. Extractable metal concentrations were (all values as mg kg− 1, non-normalised for grain size) Fe: 20,000–35,000, Zn: 42–4500, Pb: 5–1090, Cu: 13–141, and Cd: 1–31; with a close correlation between Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb. Metal enrichment factors (normalised to Al) were Pb: 0.9–144, Zn: 0.8–93, Cd: 0.8–30, Cu: 0.8–8.9 and Fe: 0.9–1.3, confirming anthropogenic contributions of Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd to the sediments. The onset of metal contamination above background levels occurred at a depth between 43 and 49 cm, with maximum concentrations noted near 20 cm for Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb. Lead isotope ratios were determined in sediments using sector field ICP-MS, and were found to be 36.5–38.8, 16.5–18.7 and 1.07–1.20 for 208Pb/204Pb, 206Pb/204Pb and 206Pb/207Pb ratios, respectively. Major Australian ores processed at the refinery over the previous ~ 90 years include those from Broken Hill, Rosebery, Mt Isa, Elura, Hellyer and Century deposits. Anthropogenic impact by Pb with Broken Hill type isotopic ratio was initially evident in the core at 43–49 cm. The introduction of Rosebery and Elura ores to the refinery was also clearly noted. Pb isotope ratios further highlight that the Derwent River has been exposed to a greater impact by anthropogenic Pb in comparison to other major Tasmanian rivers, namely the Huon and Tamar.►Chemical and physical properties of a Derwent River sediment core were measured. ►Metal concentrations were Zn: 42–4500, Pb: 5–1090, Cu: 13–141, and Cd: 1–31 mg kg− 1. ►Enrichment factors were Pb: 0.9–144, Zn: 0.8–93, Cd: 0.8–30, Cu: 0.8–8.9. ►Pb isotope ratios reflected ores processed by the local zinc refinery.
Keywords: Derwent River; Sediment core; Zinc refinery; Metals; Pb isotope ratios; 210Pb dating;

The evidence from epidemiological studies on the association between exposure to traffic and aircraft noise and hypertension and ischemic heart disease has increased during the recent years. Both road traffic and aircraft noise increase the risk of high blood pressure. Environmental noise mapping, as per the 2002/49/EC Directive, is an obligation of all European Union (EU) member states. In the framework of the present article a complete Strategic Noise Mapping research and Action Noise Plans assessment and evaluation are presented and aim to access land use management as an effective tool for protection from aircraft noise. The case of the Larnaka International Airport in Cyprus, a typical Mediterranean airport, (considered as a “large airport” according to the above EU Directive and the recent Cyprus Legislation Law No. 224(Ι)/2004), is presented. In this paper a review of both assessment and action implementation procedures focusing on the dominant – in the area – aircraft traffic noise is presented, with emphasis to (a) a full calculation of Strategic Noise Map (SNM) scenarios of actual and future airport operation using the ECAC.CEAC Doc 29 methodology for both EU common indicators Lden and Lnight in scales of 5 dB, (b) a full evaluation of results with emphasis to the Larnaka greater area land uses and the exposure of inhabitants in residences in various levels of environmental noise, and (c) a full evaluation of Noise Action Plans (NAP) introducing especially a new land use management scheme for the future Larnaka Town Land Use Plan.► Aircraft noise is an important parameter of degradation of the soundscape environment in the immediate area of airports. ► In Mediterranean countries climatic conditions and outdoor life style are strongly connected with noise annoyance. ► Larnaka Airport future extension plans (2 parallel runways) were assessed and a Noise Action Plan proven necessary. ► Traffic scenarios for year 2018 up to a long term future scenario of a max. of 166,000 movements/year were calculated. ► Land use planning measures were proven an adequate tool for managing annoyance related to environmental noise.
Keywords: Aircraft noise; Strategic noise maps; Noise action plans; Larnaka Airport; Environmental noise; Environmental management;

Contamination of benzotriazole ultraviolet stabilizers in house dust from the Philippines: Implications on human exposure by Joon-Woo Kim; Tomohiko Isobe; Govindan Malarvannan; Agus Sudaryanto; Kwang-Hyeon Chang; Maricar Prudente; Shinsuke Tanabe (174-181).
Seven compounds of benzotriazole ultraviolet stabilizers (BUVSs) were determined in house dust samples collected from a residential area (Malate: n = 17) and municipal dumping area (Payatas: n = 20) in the Philippines. Total concentrations of the 7 BUVSs in house dust ranged from ND (not detected) to 1020 ng/g in Malate and ND to 277 ng/g in Payatas. Among the target compounds, the most abundant BUVS was UV-234, with a median value of 84 ng/g (ND-813 ng/g) in Malate and 41 ng/g (ND-212 ng/g) in Payatas, respectively. Significantly higher concentrations of UV-326 (p < 0.01) and UV-327 (p < 0.05) were found in house dust samples from Malate than those from Payatas, suggesting that the household products are the major sources of contamination in the indoor microenvironment. The estimated daily intakes (EDIs) of BUVSs through house dust ingestion in the Philippines were two to four orders of magnitude lower than the guideline values. However, the EDI of 5 BUVSs for toddlers in this study was 5 times higher than those for adults, suggesting that toddlers are at higher risk. House dust may be an important exposure route of UV-234 (88%) and UV-326 (69%) in worst-case scenarios, which using high dust ingestion and worst-case exposure (P95). To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study on BUVSs in house dust samples from Asian developing countries and reporting the occurrence of UV-234 and UV-320 in dust samples.► Benzotriazole UV stabilizers were determined in house dusts from the Philippines. ► This is the first study on BUVS contamination in house dust from Southeast Asia. ► Most of BUVSs were detected in all the samples, suggesting ubiquitous contamination. ► Among the 7 targeted BUVSs, UV-234 and UV-328 were the dominant compounds. ► EDIs of BUVSs through house dust ingestion were lower than the guideline values.
Keywords: BUVSs; House dust; Human exposure; Philippines;

Natural versus anthropogenic inhalable aerosol chemistry of transboundary East Asian atmospheric outflows into western Japan by Teresa Moreno; Tomoko Kojima; Xavier Querol; Andrés Alastuey; Fulvio Amato; Wes Gibbons (182-192).
The eastward transport of aerosols exported from mainland Asia strongly influences air quality in the Japanese archipelago. The bulk of the inhalable particulate matter (PM10) in these intrusions comprises either natural, desert-derived minerals (mostly supermicron silicates) or anthropogenic pollutants (mostly submicron sulphates), in various states of mixing. We analyse PM10 collected in Kumamoto, SW Japan, during three contrasting types of aerosol intrusions, the first being dominated by desert PM which became increasingly mixed with anthropogenic components as time progressed, the second being a relatively minor event mixing fine, distal desert PM with anthropogenic materials, and the third being dominated by anthropogenic pollutants. Whereas the chemistry of the natural mineral component is characterised by “crustal” elements (Si, Al, Fe, Mg, K, Li, P, Sc, V, Rb, Sr, Zr, Th, lanthanoids), the anthropogenic component is rich in secondary inorganic compounds and more toxic metallic elements (NH4 +, SO4 2−, As, Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, Sn, Bi, Sb, and Ge). Some desert-dust (Kosa) intrusions are more calcareous than others, implicating geologically different source areas, and contain enhanced levels of NO3 , probably as supermicron Ca(NO3)2 particles produced by chemical reaction between NOx pollutants (mostly from industry and traffic) and carbonate during atmospheric transport. The overall trace element chemistry of aerosol intrusions into Kumamoto shows low V/Rb, low NO3 /SO4 2−, enhanced As levels, and unfractionated La/Ce values, which are all consistent with anthropogenic sources including coal emissions rather than those derived from the refining and combustion of oil fractionates. Geographically dispersed, residual sulphatic plumes of this nature mix with local traffic (revealed by OC and EC concentrations) and industrial emissions and dissipate only slowly, due to the dominance of submicron accumulation mode PM which is atmospherically persistent, and raise questions over the chronic health effects of breathing finely respirable sulphatic aerosol containing enhanced amounts of toxic metals.► Transboundary transport of aerosols from mainland Asia damages air quality in Japan. ► Desert-derived supermicron dusts mix with traffic and industry-derived submicron pollutants. ► Anthropogenic outflows create atmospherically persistent metalliferous sulphate hazes. ► Low V/Rb and NO3 /SO4 2−, high As, and unfractionated La/Ce implicate coal emissions.
Keywords: Transboundary aerosols; SW Japan; Kosa; Metalliferous sulphate PM10; Coal emissions;

Strengthening the link between climate, hydrological and species distribution modeling to assess the impacts of climate change on freshwater biodiversity by C. Tisseuil; M. Vrac; G. Grenouillet; A.J. Wade; M. Gevrey; T. Oberdorff; J.-B. Grodwohl; S. Lek (193-201).
To understand the resilience of aquatic ecosystems to environmental change, it is important to determine how multiple, related environmental factors, such as near-surface air temperature and river flow, will change during the next century. This study develops a novel methodology that combines statistical downscaling and fish species distribution modeling, to enhance the understanding of how global climate changes (modeled by global climate models at coarse-resolution) may affect local riverine fish diversity. The novelty of this work is the downscaling framework developed to provide suitable future projections of fish habitat descriptors, focusing particularly on the hydrology which has been rarely considered in previous studies. The proposed modeling framework was developed and tested in a major European system, the Adour–Garonne river basin (SW France, 116,000 km2), which covers distinct hydrological and thermal regions from the Pyrenees to the Atlantic coast. The simulations suggest that, by 2100, the mean annual stream flow is projected to decrease by approximately 15% and temperature to increase by approximately 1.2 °C, on average. As consequence, the majority of cool- and warm-water fish species is projected to expand their geographical range within the basin while the few cold-water species will experience a reduction in their distribution. The limitations and potential benefits of the proposed modeling approach are discussed.► We model the hydro-climatic impacts of climatic change on riverine fish distribution. ► The framework combines statistical downscaling and fish species distribution modeling. ► The downscaling framework explicitly models fish species habitat suitability. ► Most fish species in SW France should expand their geographical range in the future. ► The proposed methodology has a wide range of applications for climate change impact studies.
Keywords: Global change; Stream fish; Niche-based model; Downscaling; Hydrology; Climate;

Environmental changes and macroinvertebrate responses in Patagonian streams (Argentina) to ashfall from the Chaitén Volcano (May 2008) by María Laura Miserendino; Miguel Archangelsky; Cecilia Brand; Luis Beltrán Epele (202-212).
On May 2nd of 2008 the Chaitén Volcano (Chile, 42°50′S and 72°39′W) erupted explosively producing a strong emission of volcanic ash. As a result of this eruption wide areas on the Argentinean side became covered by ashes. In order to investigate the effects of ashfall on environmental features, water quality and macroinvertebrate communities we conducted a study on 10 rivers affected by ash deposition in their hydrographic basins. Sites were visited seasonally (June 2008–March 2010) and results were compared with data obtained from previous research projects. Measures of pH, conductivity, oxygen content, main nutrients, and total suspended solids (TSS) were taken. Macroinvertebrate samples were obtained from riffles and pools. Community attributes were measured and metrics were calculated. A strong and significant increase in TSS values at most sites was recorded and although the peak diminished rapidly during the following months, resuspension and remobilization of ash continue even 20 months after. No significant changes in pH, conductivity and nutrients, comparing with data previous to the ashfall, were detected. Most rivers showed a strong diminution on macroinvertebrate density and richness, being small rivers more severely affected than the big ones. Correspondence analysis based on abundance data allows distinguishing preeruption from posteruption dates at five rivers. Density data and species richness showed low values in March of 2010, indicating that the community was not completely recovered at some sites. At least 25 taxa resulted significantly and negatively affected. Increased mortality could be related to several factors such as habitat deterioration, food quality diminution, interference with breathing mechanisms and with other physiological and morphological characteristics. Specific-taxa responses on the recolonization process were related to dispersal mechanisms and specific strategies.► Ashfall impact on water quality, environmental features and macroinvertebrates. ► Natural and unpredictable disturbances on freshwater ecosystem in Patagonia. ► Attributes of macroinvertebrate communities: composition, richness, abundance. ► Macroinvertebrate responses to environmental disturbances. ► Habitat deterioration, food quality diminution, interference with breathing mechanisms.
Keywords: Disturbance; Eruption; Sedimentation; Insects; Volcanic ash; Macroinvertebrate community;

Rainwater harvesting systems cannot only supplement on-site water needs, but also reduce water runoff and lessen downstream flooding. In this study, an existing analytic model for estimating the runoff in urban areas is modified to provide a more economical and effective model that can be used for describing rainwater harvesting. This model calculates the rainfall–runoff reduction by taking into account the catchment, storage tank, and infiltration facility of a water harvesting system; this calculation is based on the water balance equation, and the cumulative distribution, probability density, and average rainfall–runoff functions. This model was applied to a water harvesting system at the Seoul National University in order to verify its practicality. The derived model was useful for evaluating runoff reduction and for designing the storage tank capacity.► Evaluation of the rainfall–runoff reduction efficiency of RWH system. ► Establishment of the water balance equation in RWH system in the storage tank. ► To provide the basis of rainwater storage tank volume decision
Keywords: Rainwater harvesting system; Rainwater storage tank; Urban water management; Dormitory;

Using the INCA-Hg model of mercury cycling to simulate total and methyl mercury concentrations in forest streams and catchments by M.N. Futter; A.E. Poste; D. Butterfield; P.J. Dillon; P.G. Whitehead; A.P. Dastoor; D.R.S. Lean (219-231).
We present a new, catchment-scale, process-based dynamic model for simulating mercury (Hg) in soils and surface waters. The Integrated Catchments Model for Mercury (INCA-Hg) simulates transport of gaseous, dissolved and solid Hg and transformations between elemental (Hg0), ionic (Hg(II)) and methyl (MeHg) Hg in natural and semi-natural landscapes. The mathematical description represents the model as a series of linked, first-order differential equations describing chemical and hydrological processes in catchment soils and waters which we believe control surface water Hg dynamics. The model simulates daily time series between one and 100 years long and can be applied to catchments ranging in size from < 1 to ~ 10,000 km2. Here we present applications of the model to two boreal forest headwater catchments in central Canada where we were able to reproduce observed patterns of stream water total mercury (THg) and MeHg fluxes and concentrations. Model performance was assessed using Monte Carlo techniques. Simulated in-stream THg and MeHg concentrations were sensitive to hydrologic controls and terrestrial and aquatic process rates.
Keywords: Mercury; Methylmercury; Catchment model; INCA; Dorset; Forest stream biogeochemistry;

Fate of cyanobacteria and their metabolites during water treatment sludge management processes by Lionel Ho; Jennifer Dreyfus; Justine Boyer; Todd Lowe; Heriberto Bustamante; Phil Duker; Tass Meli; Gayle Newcombe (232-238).
Cyanobacteria and their metabolites are an issue for water authorities; however, little is known as to the fate of coagulated cyanobacterial-laden sludge during waste management processes in water treatment plants (WTPs). This paper provides information on the cell integrity of Anabaena circinalis and Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii during: laboratory-scale coagulation/sedimentation processes; direct filtration and backwashing procedures; and cyanobacterial-laden sludge management practices. In addition, the metabolites produced by A. circinalis (geosmin and saxitoxins) and C. raciborskii (cylindrospermopsin) were investigated with respect to their release (and possible degradation) during each of the studied processes. Where sedimentation was used, coagulation effectively removed cyanobacteria (and intracellular metabolites) without any considerable exertion on coagulant demand. During direct filtration experiments, cyanobacteria released intracellular metabolites through a stagnation period, suggesting that more frequent backwashing of filters may be required to prevent floc build-up and metabolite release. Cyanobacteria appeared to be protected within the flocs, with minimal damage during backwashing of the filters. Within coagulant sludge, cyanobacteria released intracellular metabolites into the supernatant after 3 d, even though cells remained viable up to 7 d. This work has improved the understanding of cyanobacterial metabolite risks associated with management of backwash water and sludge and is likely to facilitate improvements at WTPs, including increased monitoring and the application of treatment strategies and operational practices, with respect to cyanobacterial-laden sludge and/or supernatant recycle management.► Coagulation removed cyanobacteria without an additional exertion on coagulant demand. ► During a stagnation period in direct filtration intracellular metabolites were released. ► Cyanobacterial cells were not damaged during backwashing of the filters. ► In coagulant sludge, cyanobacteria released intracellular metabolites into the supernatant.
Keywords: Coagulation; Cyanobacteria; Cylindrospermopsin; Geosmin; Saxitoxin; Sludge;

Recent increases in manganese (Mn) concentrations in surface waters, including drinking water supplies, have triggered renewed interest in its geochemical behaviour in freshwater systems. This study, involving analysis of bottom sediments and ultrafiltered water (stream, loch and sediment porewater) samples, identified changes in aqueous phase speciation of Mn upon entering the loch waters and during its transit from the inflow to the outflow of Loch Bradan, a drinking water reservoir in SW Scotland. Diffusion out of the bottom sediments during calm periods or mixing of porewaters with loch water during resuspension events also released Mn into the overlying waters. Although 65% Mn was in colloidal form (3 kDa–0.2 μm) in the main streamwater inflow at the western end, 57–66% was present in the < 3 kDa fraction in the proximal loch waters, at least partly as a result of the release of Mn2+ from the bottom sediments. Towards the outflow at the eastern end, however, the increase in the amount of Mn associated with large organic colloids (100 kDa–0.2 μm) correlated with the speciation of Mn in the bottom water and the bottom sediment porewaters. While the inflow waters do have some impact upon Mn speciation at the western end of the loch, it appears that within-loch processes have a greater impact on Mn speciation near the outflow. These findings emphasise the importance of understanding the geochemical controls on Mn behaviour in aquatic systems: it is clear that although Mn may be present as truly dissolved Mn2+ in some parts of the loch, it can also be associated to a significant extent (35–47%) with large organic colloids. These findings are important not only with respect to water treatment but also in terms of understanding the likely consequences of climatic change which may exacerbate losses of Mn from the bottom sediments.►Aqueous phase transfer of Mn from western basin sediments across the loch. ►Terrestrial DOC in streamwater influences the speciation of Mn therein. ►Loch water Mn speciation is partly influenced by that in the main inflows. ►Mn diffusion out of sediments occurs under non-turbulent conditions. ►Mn2+ and/or Mn in large colloidal form are released from loch bottom sediments.
Keywords: Manganese; Organic colloids; Diffusion; Sediments; Resuspension;

Carbonaceous and ionic compositional patterns of fine particles over an urban Mediterranean area by St. Pateraki; V.D. Assimakopoulos; A. Bougiatioti; G. Kouvarakis; N. Mihalopoulos; Ch. Vasilakos (251-263).
A carefully designed experimental study based on the monitoring of fine airborne particles, was carried out at three different locations (suburban background, traffic-industrial, coastal background) of an urban Mediterranean area, the Athens Basin. Understanding of the PM2.5 and PM1 nature has an important policy implication. In total, five hundred and nineteen samples were chemically analyzed with respect to carbonaceous (organic/elemental carbon) and ionic (NH4 +, K+, Mg2 +, Ca2 +, NO3 , Cl, SO4 2 −) species. The dataset consists one of the very few in the Mediterranean which simultaneously deals with the carbonaceous and ionic components of fine aerosol fractions, especially for PM1. Daily PM2.5 averages often exceeded the E.U. limit values, with their mass being mainly composed of PM1. The most important constituents of secondary particles were SO4 2 − and organic carbon, with both accounting for 56.4%–64.3% and 60.5%–62.3% of the total PM2.5 and PM1 mass, respectively. Regional sources, marine/crustal elements, combustion sources and traffic were indicated by factor analysis as the greatest contributors to the mass of both PM2.5 and PM1 fractions, accounting for 85.3% and 83.6%, respectively of the total variance in the system. It is worthy to note, the key role of the prevailing atmospheric conditions to the configuration of the obtained picture of the particulate pollution.► One of the very few Mediterranean PM2.5, PM1 ionic and carbonaceous species datasets. ► Factor analysis indicated 4 sources. ► PM fractions are mainly composed of sulfates and organic carbon. ► Aerosols patterns are related to both regional and local sources. ► Atmospheric conditions have obvious impact on the pollution picture of an area.
Keywords: PM2.5; PM1; Ions; Carbon; Meteorology; Mediterranean urban area;

Stabilization of carbon in composts and biochars in relation to carbon sequestration and soil fertility by N.S. Bolan; A. Kunhikrishnan; G.K. Choppala; R. Thangarajan; J.W. Chung (264-270).
There have been increasing interests in the conversion of organic residues into biochars in order to reduce the rate of decomposition, thereby enhancing carbon (C) sequestration in soils. However energy is required to initiate the pyrolysis process during biochar production which can also lead to the release of greenhouse gasses. Alternative methods can be used to stabilize C in composts and other organic residues without impacting their quality. The objectives of this study include: (i) to compare the rate of decomposition among various organic amendments and (ii) to examine the effect of clay materials on the stabilization of C in organic amendments. The decomposition of a number of organic amendments (composts and biochars) was examined by monitoring the release of carbon-dioxide using respiration experiments. The results indicated that the rate of decomposition as measured by half life (t1/2) varied between the organic amendments and was higher in sandy soil than in clay soil. The half life value ranged from 139 days in the sandy soil and 187 days in the clay soil for poultry manure compost to 9989 days for green waste biochar. Addition of clay materials to compost decreased the rate of decomposition, thereby increasing the stabilization of C. The half life value for poultry manure compost increased from 139 days to 620, 806 and 474 days with the addition of goethite, gibbsite and allophane, respectively. The increase in the stabilization of C with the addition of clay materials may be attributed to the immobilization of C, thereby preventing it from microbial decomposition. Stabilization of C in compost using clay materials did not impact negatively the value of composts in improving soil quality as measured by potentially mineralizable nitrogen and microbial biomass carbon in soil.Stabilization of compost using clay materials (e.g. allophane) enhances carbon sequestration in soils.Display Omitted► Comparison of decomposition rate between composts and biochars. ► Heavy metals influence the decomposition of composts in soils. ► A novel approach using clay materials to enhance carbon stabilization in composts. ► The C stabilized composts enhance soil quality and add to the long-term soil C pool.
Keywords: Organic amendments; Heavy metals; Immobilization; Decomposition; Mineralizable nitrogen; Microbial biomass carbon;

Some insights into the relationship between urban air pollution and noise levels by Ki-Hyun Kim; Duy Xuan Ho; Richard J.C. Brown; J.-M. Oh; Chan Goo Park; In Cheol Ryu (271-279).
The relationship between noise and air pollution was investigated in eight different districts across Seoul, Korea, between September and November 2010. The noise levels in each district were measured at both roadside and non-roadside locations. It was found that the maximum levels of noise were generally at frequencies of around 1000 Hz. The equivalent noise levels (L eq), over all districts, averaged 61.4 ± 7.36 dB which is slightly lower than the noise guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO) of 70 dB for industrial, commercial, traffic, and outdoor areas. Comparison of L eq levels in each district consistently indicates that noise levels are higher at roadside sites than non-roadside sites. In addition the relative dominance of noise during daytime as compared to nighttime was also apparent. Moreover, the results of an analysis relating sound levels with air pollutant levels indicate strongly that the correlation between these two parameters is the strongest at roadside sites (relative to non-roadside sites) and during nighttime (relative to daytime). The results of our data analysis point to a positive, but complex, correlation between noise levels and air pollution.► The effects of noise are known to have the potential to cause non-auditory health problems. ► Sound and air quality levels were investigated to explain their relationship in various respects. ► Noise pollution was evaluated against air pollution across different urban settings.
Keywords: Noise pollution; Air pollution; Diurnal; Spatiotemporal; Seoul; Korea;

Drugs of abuse in urban groundwater. A case study: Barcelona by Anna Jurado; Nicola Mastroianni; Enric Vàzquez-Suñé; Jesus Carrera; Isabel Tubau; Estanislao Pujades; Cristina Postigo; Miren López de Alda; Damià Barceló (280-288).
This study is concerned with drugs of abuse (DAs) and their metabolites in urban groundwater at field scale in relation to (1) the spatial distribution of DAs in Barcelona's groundwater, (2) the depth of the groundwater samples, (3) the presence of DAs in recharge sources, and (4) the assessment of the fate of DAs in Barcelona aquifers. To this end, 37 urban groundwater samples were collected in the city of Barcelona and a total of 21 drugs were analyzed including cocainics, amphetamine-like compounds, opioids, lysergics and cannabinoids and the prescribed drugs benzodiazepines. Overall, the highest groundwater concentrations (around 200 ng/L in SAP-4) and the largest number of detected DAs were found in zones basically recharged by a river that receives large amounts of effluents from waste water treatment plants (WWTPs). In contrast, the urbanized areas yielded not only lower concentrations but also a much smaller number of drugs, which suggests a local origin. In fact, cocaine and its metabolite were dominant in more prosperous neighborhoods, whereas the cheaper MDMA was the dominant DA in poorer districts. Measured concentrations were consistently smaller than those estimated from the waste water fraction in groundwater samples, suggesting that DAs undergo removal processes in both reducing and oxidizing conditions.► Urban groundwater contamination by drugs of abuse (DAs). ► DAs in urban groundwater were detected in levels of nanograms per liter. ► The largest number of DAs were found when the aquifer is recharged by a river. ► DAs undergo removal processes in the aquifer under different redox conditions.
Keywords: Drugs of abuse; Urban groundwater; Mixing ratios; Removal processes; Barcelona;

Acid–base accounting assessment of mine wastes using the chromium reducible sulfur method by Russell Schumann; Warwick Stewart; Stuart Miller; Nobuyuki Kawashima; Jun Li; Roger Smart (289-296).
The acid base account (ABA), commonly used in assessment of mine waste materials, relies in part on calculation of potential acidity from total sulfur measurements. However, potential acidity is overestimated where organic sulfur, sulfate sulfur and some sulfide compounds make up a substantial portion of the sulfur content.The chromium reducible sulfur (CRS) method has been widely applied to assess reduced inorganic sulfur forms in sediments and acid sulfate soils, but not in ABA assessment of mine wastes. This paper reports the application of the CRS method to measuring forms of sulfur commonly found in mine waste materials. A number of individual sulfur containing minerals and real waste materials were analyzed using both CRS and total S and the potential acidity estimates were compared with actual acidity measured from net acid generation tests and column leach tests. The results of the CRS analysis made on individual minerals demonstrate good assessment of sulfur from a range of sulfides. No sulfur was measured using the CRS method in a number of sulfate salts, including jarosite and melanterite typically found in weathered waste rocks, or from dibenzothiophene characteristic of organic sulfur compounds common to coal wastes.Comparison of ABA values for a number of coal waste samples demonstrated much better agreement of acidity predicted from CRS analysis than total S analysis with actual acidity. It also resulted in reclassification of most samples tested from PAF to NAF. Similar comparisons on base metal sulfide wastes generally resulted in overestimation of the acid potential by total S and underestimation of the acid potential by CRS in comparison to acidity measured during NAG tests, but did not generally result in reclassification. In all the cases examined, the best estimate of potential acidity included acidity calculated from both CRS and jarositic S.► Chromium reducible sulfur (CRS) assessment of acid forming potential of mine wastes. ► CRS measures a large variety of metal sulfides. ► CRS does not measure sulfates or organic sulfur. ► CRS is very useful for assessment of coal wastes with high organic sulfur content. ► CRS underestimates acid potential of weathered wastes.
Keywords: Acid rock drainage; Chromium reducible sulfur; Acid base accounting; Coal wastes; Base metal sulfide wastes;

This paper describes the use of passive sampling systems and surrogate surfaces for monitoring atmospheric mercury (Hg) concentrations and dry deposition, respectively, in Florida,USA. Although this area has been reported to have low air concentrations, wet deposition values, reported by the Mercury Deposition Network, are some of the highest in the United States, and little is known about the magnitude of dry deposition to the region. To address this uncertainty, dry deposition of gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM) was estimated based on data collected using surrogate surfaces and through the application of a dry deposition model that utilized Tekran® Mercury Analyzer data for three sites (Davie near Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Pensacola) over a year (July 2009-July 2010). Passive sampler systems for monitoring GOM and total gaseous mercury (TGM) concentrations were also deployed. In general, higher surrogate surface deposition, and GOM and TGM passive sampler uptake were observed at the DVE location. Across all sites, empirically derived dry deposition was higher than that determined using modeled values. Tekran® Instrument derived GOM concentrations, as well as modeled deposition rates, followed the same seasonal and spatial patterns as that measured by the samplers, however there were some spatial and temporal trends captured by the samplers that were not seen in the Tekran® derived data. Results indicate that these samplers may be applied to identify spatial and temporal trends in air Hg concentrations and potential deposition at sites with low and fairly constant GOM concentrations as reported by the Tekran® system (2–8 pg m- 3). When viewed collectively, trends in sampler and Tekran® derived data also suggest the potential for different forms of GOM in air. Using empirical and modeled values, dry deposition in Florida during the year of this study could account for 1.5 to 14% of total annual Hg deposition (wet + dry).► Surrogate surfaces allow for measurement of potential GOM deposition. ► Passive Hg samplers show spatial and temporal patterns of air concentrations. ► Dry deposition could account for 14% of Hg input to Florida. ► Collective use of samplers points towards different forms of GOM.
Keywords: gaseous oxidized mercury; dry deposition; surrogate surfaces; passive samplers;

Coupling geochemical and biological approaches to assess the availability of cadmium in freshwater sediment by Aymeric Dabrin; Cyrielle L. Durand; Jeanne Garric; Olivier Geffard; Benoit J.D. Ferrari; Marina Coquery (308-315).
Sediments are considered as a sink for metals, and the assessment of metal bioavailability for benthic organisms represents a great challenge. Diffusive Gradient in Thin films (DGT), developed to measure labile metals in aquatic media, have more recently been applied to sediment. Nevertheless, few studies have determined the relation between measurements from DGT and bioaccumulation in different benthic organisms. The aim of our work was to determine if labile metal measured by DGT in sediment is representative of bioavailable metal for benthic organisms. We focused our work on Cd and chose to use the diversity of ecological traits from different organisms to better understand the measurement given by DGT. We exposed simultaneously DGT and 3 macroinvertebrates species (the chironomid, Chironomus riparius; the amphipod, Gammarus fossarum; the mudsnail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum) to a natural sediment Cd-spiked at environmental relevant concentrations. The nature of sediment-bound Cd was also determined by means of sequential extractions in order to better interpret DGT measurements. Cadmium concentrations were determined in DGT and in the 3 organisms after one week of exposure. Results provided by DGT indicated that Cd was poorly released from particulate phase to pore water, suggesting that Cd measured by DGT was representative of the pore water labile fraction. Sequential extractions showed that the percentage of Cd bound to carbonate fraction increased simultaneously with Cd-spiking level; hence, this Cd fraction was poorly reactive to supply DGT demand. Cadmium accumulation rates were similar between DGT measurements and P. antipodarum, suggesting that labile Cd in pore waters was representative of bioavailable Cd for this species. Cadmium accumulation rates in C. riparius were higher than in DGT, demonstrating that C. riparius can mobilize Cd bound to carbonate phase. G. fossarum showed the lowest Cd accumulation rates, suggesting that they were mainly exposed to Cd from overlaying waters.► DGT and 3 benthic organisms were exposed to Cd-spiked sediments. ► Cd measured by DGT in sediment was mainly represented by labile Cd from pore waters. ► Cd bound to the carbonate phase was poorly reactive to supply DGT demand. ► Particulate Cd was a better predictor of Cd accumulated in C. riparius than DGT ► DGT measurement in this sediment reflected Cd accumulated in P. antipodarum.
Keywords: Spiked-sediment; Cadmium; DGT; Bioaccumulation; Macroinvertebrates; Ecological traits;

Factors influencing blood mercury levels of inhabitants living near fishing areas by Ching-Chang Lee; Jung-Wei Chang; Hsin-Yi Huang; Hsiu-Ling Chen (316-321).
Methylmercury (MeHg), a well-known neuro-toxicant, is usually emitted by industrial and other man-made activities; it is ingested with seafood and shellfish, and accumulates in the human body. The aim of this study was to compare the differences in blood levels of total mercury (T-Hg) and MeHg in residents of 4 coastal sites and 4 inland sites around Taiwan. Meanwhile, the potential question is warranted to find out the association between dietary intake and MeHg accumulation. We found that coastal residents had significantly higher mean blood T-Hg levels (mean: 16.1 μg/L, range: 0.9–184.9 μg/L) than inland residents (mean: 11.8 μg/L, range: 0.8–146.6 μg/L). The same was for blood MeHg levels: coastal residents (mean: 16.5 μg/L, range: 0.9–184.9 μg/L), inland residents (mean: 11.8 μg/L, range: 2.1–133.4 μg/L). These elevated levels were positively associated with seafood and shellfish consumption. However, the nature of their residential area may also be an important factor, because the highest T-Hg and MeHg levels were found in residents of a relatively non-industrialized area. To protect vulnerable population—especially children and pregnant women—it is important to know whether locally caught or raised and consumed fish has any source of Hg and MeHg pollution.► The coastal residents had higher blood T-Hg levels than inland residents. ► MeHg levels in of coastal residents were related to eating seafood and shellfish. ► The highest T-Hg and MeHg levels were found in the least industrialized area. ► Local mining operations or disposal of personal computers have Hg contamination.
Keywords: Total mercury; Methylmercury; Blood; Coastal and inland inhabitants; Fish consumption; Industrial pollution;

Mercury accumulation in peatbogs at Czech sites with contrasting pollution histories by M. Zuna; V. Ettler; O. Šebek; M. Mihaljevič (322-330).
Mercury (Hg) concentrations and accumulation patterns were studied in 210Pb-dated peat cores from three ombrotrophic sites in the Czech Republic with contrasting emission histories (Novodomské rašeliniště, ND, and Bílá Smědá, BS, in the polluted northern parts of the country, and Jezerní slať, JS, in a relatively pristine southern part of the Czech Republic). The Hg concentration varied significantly between sites. Whereas the sites in the northern part of the Czech Republic yielded a range of higher Hg concentrations (50–750 μg kg− 1 for ND and 30–600 μg kg− 1 for BS), a Hg concentration range of 40–220 μg kg− 1 was reported at JS. At the northern localities, the highest Hg concentrations were detected at depths of 5–10 cm, corresponding to the period between the early 1960s until the late 1980s. In contrast, the highest Hg values at JS were observed at a depth of 10–15 cm, corresponding to the period between the early 1950s and the early 1970s. The maximum Hg accumulation rates were approximately 2 × higher at the northern localities (ND: 106 μg m− 2  yr− 1, BS: 90 μg m− 2  yr− 1, JS: 43 μg m− 2  yr− 1). Although a decrease in the Hg concentration can be observed in the youngest segments of all the peat cores, a slight increase in Hg accumulation rates in the most recent peat segments (living Sphagnum moss) has been reported for all three sites (40–44 μg m− 2  yr− 1), which is approximately 2 × higher than in peat bogs in western and northern Europe. This observation may either be related to a real recent increase in Hg emissions in Central Europe (active coal mining and burning and limited Hg pollution control in thermal power plants) or could indicate a preferential Hg binding mechanism in the living moss at the surface of the peat.► Hg accumulation rates (ARHg) in peat reflect differences in pollution history. ► At all the Czech sites, maxima in ARHg were between the 1950s and 1980s. ► The ARHg significantly correlated with the Pb accumulation rates. ► A slight increase in ARHg was observed in the most recent peat segments. ► High recent ARHg reflect emissions from intensive coal burning in Central Europe.
Keywords: Mercury; Peat bogs; Accumulation; Atmospheric deposition; Czech Republic;

Methylmercury (MeHg) is the most poisonous form of mercury (Hg) and it enters the human body primarily through consumption of Hg contaminated fish. Sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) are major producers of MeHg in anoxic sediments. The dsrAB gene was isolated from freshwater fish pond sediments. Sequence analyses showed that the SRB in sediments was mainly composed of Desulfobulbus propionicus and Desulfovibrio vulgaris. The two species of SRB were cultured from freshwater sediments. The addition of inorganic Hg to these freshwater sediments caused an increase in MeHg concentrations at 30 days incubation. MeHg levels were sensitive to sulfate concentrations; a medium sulfate level (0.11 mg/g) produced higher levels than treatments lacking sulfate addition or when amended with 0.55 mg/g. Assessment of bacterial levels by PCR measurements of microbial DNA indicated that the MeHg levels were correlated with cell growth. ► Desulfobulbus propionicus and Desulfovibrio vulgaris were found in sediment. ► Low sulfate concentration is optimal to facilitate Hg methylation. ► Increased MeHg concentrations were linked to bacterial growth.
Keywords: Methylmercury; Sulfate reducing bacteria; Sulfate amendment; DNA quantification;

Many tonnes of compost are generated per year due to door step composting of both garden and kitchen waste. Whilst there are commercial outlets for the finer grade of compost (< 10 mm) in plant nurseries, there is little demand for the coarser material (> 25 mm). This paper reports part of a WRAP-sponsored (Waste Resources Action Programme) study which investigated the potential for green (GC) and mixed green and food (MC) composts to be incorporated into Sustainable Drainage (SUDS) devices such as swales, and replace the topsoil (TS) onto which turf is laid or grass seed distributed. However, it is not known whether compost can replace TS in terms of pollutant remediation, both the trapping of polluted particulates and in dealing with hydrocarbons such as oil, but also from a biofilm development and activity perspective. Using laboratory based experiments utilising leaching columns and an investigation of microbiological development in the composts studied, it was found that many of the differences in performance between MC and GC were insignificant, whilst both composts performed better in terms of pollutant retention than TS. Mixed compost in particular could be used in devices where there may be oil spillages, such as the lorry park of a Motorway Service Area due to its efficiency in degrading oil. Samples of GC and MC were found to contain many of the bacteria and fungi necessary for an active and efficient biofilm which would be an argument in their favour for replacement of TS and incorporation in swales.► Dissolved and particulate-associated pollutants did not appear in compost effluent. ► Composts contained many bacteria and fungi associated with pollutant degradation. ► Compost performed equally as well as topsoil, in some cases better. ► Mixed compost may have slightly better oil degrading properties than green compost.
Keywords: Green compost (GC); Mixed compost (MC); Topsoil (TS); Sustainable Drainage (SUDS); Swale; Biofilm;

Impact of organic and inorganic nanomaterials in the soil microbial community structure by Verónica Nogueira; Isabel Lopes; Teresa Rocha-Santos; Ana L. Santos; Graça M. Rasteiro; Filipe Antunes; Fernando Gonçalves; Amadeu M.V.M. Soares; Angela Cunha; Adelaide Almeida; Newton N.C.M. Gomes; Ruth Pereira (344-350).
In this study the effect of organic and inorganic nanomaterials (NMs) on the structural diversity of the soil microbial community was investigated by Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis, after amplification with universal primers for the bacterial region V6–V8 of 16S rDNA. The polymers of carboxylmethyl-cellulose (CMC), of hydrophobically modified CMC (HM-CMC), and hydrophobically modified polyethylglycol (HM-PEG); the vesicles of sodium dodecyl sulphate/didodecyl dimethylammonium bromide (SDS/DDAB) and of monoolein/sodium oleate (Mo/NaO); titanium oxide (TiO2), titanium silicon oxide (TiSiO4), CdSe/ZnS quantum dots, gold nanorods, and Fe/Co magnetic fluid were the NMs tested. Soil samples were incubated, for a period of 30 days, after being spiked with NM suspensions previously characterized by Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) or by an ultrahigh-resolution scanning electron microscope (SEM). The analysis of similarities (ANOSIM) of DGGE profiles showed that gold nanorods, TiO2, CMC, HM-CMC, HM-PEG, and SDS/DDAB have significantly affected the structural diversity of the soil bacterial community.► Organic and inorganic nanomaterials on soil microbial community. ► Structural diversity was investigated by Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis. ► All the organic nanomaterials, TiO2 and gold nanorods significantly affected the structural diversity.
Keywords: Soil bacterial community; Structural diversity; Nanomaterials; PCR-DGGE analysis;

Thyroid hormones are vital to a host of human physiological functions in both children and adults. Exposures to chemicals, including chlorpyrifos, have been found to modify thyroid signaling at environmentally relevant levels in animal studies. The aim of this study was to examine circulating T4 and TSH levels in relation to urinary concentrations of 3, 5, 6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPY), a metabolite of the organophosphorus insecticides chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl, using data from individuals 12 years and older from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). NHANES datasets from 1999 to 2000 and 2001–2002 were combined, and individuals with thyroid disease, those taking thyroid medications, and pregnant women were excluded (N = 3249). Multivariable linear regression models for relationships between log-transformed urinary TCPY and serum total T4 or log (TSH) were constructed adjusting for important covariates. Models were stratified by sex and a categorical age variable (12–18, 18–40, 40–60, and > 60 years). In male participants, an interquartile range (IQR) increase in urinary TCPY was associated with statistically significant increases in serum T4 of 3.8% (95th CI 0.75 to 7.0) among those 12–18 years of age and 3.5% (95th CI 0.13 to 7.0) in the 18–40 year age group, relative to median T4 levels using unweighted models. An IQR increase in TCPY was also associated with decreases in TSH of 10.7% (− 18.7–2.05) among men 18–40 years old and 20.0% (95th CI − 28.9 to − 9.86) among men > 60 years old. Conversely, urinary TCPY was positively associated with TSH in females > 60 years of age. Further research to confirm these findings, elucidate mechanisms of action, and explore the clinical and public health significance of such alterations in thyroid hormones is needed.► Urinary TCPY is a biomarker of the common organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos. ► TCPY was associated with higher T4 among males aged 12–< 18 and 18–< 40 years of age. ► TCPY also associated with a suggestive decrease in TSH among men 18–< 40 years old. ► Contradicting associations were found for TSH among men and women > 60 years old.
Keywords: Biomarker; Endocrine disruption; Exposure; Pesticides; Human;

Nicotine traces detected in bottled mineral water by Francisco Maraver; Francisco Armijo; Iluminada Corvillo; Iciar Vazquez (356-357).
Keywords: Nicotine; Pharmaceuticals; Bottled water;

Response to the letter to the editor by Maraver et al. (2012). Nicotine traces detected in bottled mineral water by M. Catalá; S. González Alonso; Y. Valcárcel; J.C. Montero (358-359).
Keywords: Nicotine; Pharmaceuticals; Bottled water; Underground water;