Category Archives: Environmental toxicology

Subjects of interest to Investigative Chemistry or Inorganics.
Includes any environmental context (except AIR, see AIR POLLUTION AND ANALYSIS) example: soil, water, clinical matrices, heavy metals, mining wastes, oil spills, contamination, pesticides.

Spotlight on forensics

ABC Brisbane Radio 612 Interview 18 September 2014

Forensic science has never been so glamorous.
Crime shows like CSI, NCIS, Bones and Sherlock have helped make the science behind crime busting intriguing.
Which is probably a double-edged sword for real scientists….it’s great to have some professional acknowledgement but it gets a little frustrating hearing “but they did it on CSI”.
Wikipedia actually names the term the “CSI effect”, also known as the “CSI infection” or “CSI syndrome” – which refers to the impact the exaggerated potrayal of forensic science has on public perception.
So what’s it really like to be a forensic scientist, and what exactly do they do?
Kelly spoke to Greg Shaw (pictured), the Director of Forensic and Scientific Services for Queensland Health. She also spoke to Dr Bradley Schatz, a forensic computer scientist.

Link to Interview

Does evidence on fumes stack up?

The Australian John Ross 15 September 2014

NATURALLY occurring dust plays a greater role than traffic fumes in triggering asthma, a new study suggests.  Laboratory experiments by the University of NSW have found that “fine” particles from traffic fumes do not cause the type of damage to the cells lining the airways that is normally associated with asthma. But “coarse” particles do.

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UM study finds air pollution harmful to young brains

(The University of Montana 9 September 2014) Pollution in many cities threatens the brain development in children.Findings by University of Montana Professor Dr. Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas, M.A., M.D., Ph.D., and her team of researchers reveal that children living in megacities are at increased risk for brain inflammation and neurodegenerative changes, including Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

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Hazelwood mine fire pollution blamed for 11 deaths

ABC News | 7:30 Victoria Sarah Farnsworth, Madeleine Morris, Rhiana Whitson 13 September 2014

There is a high probability that 11 deaths after the Hazelwood coal mine fire were caused by air pollution, a leading expert says.

Adrian Barnett, from the Queensland University of Technology, analysed official Births, Deaths and Marriages data, which was obtained by 7:30 and was not seen by the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry

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Ammonium nitrate still at truck crash scene: explosives examiners

Brisbane Times September 9, 2014  Tony Moore

Highly-volatile ammonium nitrate remains at the scene of a B-Double truck explosion on the Mitchell Highway in south-west Queensland.

The scene will remain under the control of the Department of Natural Resources Mines until Friday.

Ethanol fireplaces: The underestimated risk

(Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft 3 September 2014) Ethanol fireplaces are becoming more and more popular. However, they are not only highly combustible — in the past, severe accents have occurred repeatedly with decorative fireplaces. The devices also pollute the air in the rooms. This has been proven by a recent Fraunhofer study. Wood-burning ovens are also on the testing block.

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Lowering coal-fired power plant emissions may have saved 1,700 lives in 1 year

(American Chemical Society 3 September 2014) After scoring a Supreme Court victory this spring, the Environmental Protection Agency can move forward with its strategy to cut air pollution from coal-fired power plants in several states — and new research suggests the impact could be lifesaving. Scientists assessed the effects of one state’s prescient restrictions on plant emissions in a report in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. They estimated that the state’s legislation prevented about 1,700 premature deaths in 2012.

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