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.

Algal problem a blooming worry at Fairfield Waters freshwater lake

Townsville Bulletin VICTORIA NUGENT  November 21, 2014

RESIDENTS are being warned to stay out of a freshwater lake at Fairfield Waters after a toxic blue-green algae killed 21 fish.
Water tests were carried out this week after a resident contacted Townsville City Council about the floating fish.
Deputy mayor Vern Veitch said algal blooms were common in the city’s lake during hot weather when water levels dropped.

Read more

Clive Palmer’s Yabulu nickel refinery handed environment protection order over dust issues

Townsville Bulletin TONY RAGGATT  November 21, 2014

CLIVE Palmer’s Yabulu nickel refinery has been issued with an environmental protection order to minimise dust causing a nuisance to residents living near the plant.
Also, the State Government’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection will send samples of dust to the Queensland Health department to test for any risk to public health.
“As Queensland’s environmental regulator, EHP is taking seriously the issue of increased dust in the suburbs of Black River and Purono Park, and is investigating possible sources,” a department spokesman said in a statement.

Read more

Coral spawning: Researchers use annual Great Barrier Reef event to test for pollution effects

ABC News 18 November 2014

Marine researchers have been using the annual spawning event on the Great Barrier Reef to test for the effects of dredge spoil and pesticides on coral reproduction.

The release of millions of coral larvae into reef waters provided a chance to replenish and regrow reefs that had been damaged or destroyed.

But researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science said they were worried poor water quality could threaten the survival prospects of the larvae.

Study finds six toxic flame-retardants in humans

ScienceAlert Australia Neha Karl 13 November 2014

It might be time to buy that eco-friendly couch after all. Scientists have found flame-retardant chemicals – that are commonly added to furniture – are slowly making their way into your body.

Read more

View the fulltext open-access article

Inhaling gas from helium balloons no laughing matter, it can kill

News Corp Australia Network Sue Dunlevy 15 November 2014

In a new advertising campaign beginning on Sunday night, which is backed by gas suppliers BOC and ELGAS, actor Michael Caton, who played Darryl Kerrigan in 1997 film The Castle, will warn inhaling the gas from a helium balloon could be fatal.

More than 79 Australians were found to have died from inhaling the gas between July 2005 and December 2009, an increase of 163%, a 2011 study in the Journal of Forensic Sciences found.

Read more

View the fulltext of the JFS article (QH staff only)

E-cigarettes accidentally approved by TGA, left on register for two months

ABC News Elise Worthington 14 November 2014

A controversial device that can be used to inhale liquid nicotine was approved and left on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods for two months before the mistake was realised. In an embarrassing slip-up the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) allowed three electronic cigarette – or e-cigarette – products to be listed as “medical devices”, with one application stating the intended purpose of the device is to “be used as a quit smoking aid”.

Read more

Study finds laundry detergent pods, serious poisoning risk for children

(Nationwide Children’s Hospital 10 November 2014) Laundry detergent pods began appearing on US store shelves in early 2010, and people have used them in growing numbers ever since. The small packets can be tossed into a washing machine without ever having to measure out a liquid or powder. The convenience, though, has come with risks for young children.

Read EurekAlert Summary