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.

Brisbane waterways in poor heath

Brisbane Times Tony Moore 22 October 2014

Brisbane, you have a drinking problem.

The release of the 2014 Healthy Waterways report card contains the same major water supply lesson for Southeast Queensland that it did last year.

And the year before.

Australia’s “safe” pollution levels are so high they could cause thousands of deaths if met

Science Alert 17 October 2014

Australia’s lucky that it doesn’t have too many major pollution problems. But according to an expert from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia, that could change if the country follows the maximum daily limits, or ‘standards’, currently in place for six key outdoor pollutants – the kind that end up in our air and waterways.

These standards are put in place by Australia’s National Environment Protection Measures (NEPM) and Associate Professor Adrian Barnett, a health statistician from QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedial Innovation, says that many industries believe that these levels are therefore “safe” thresholds to meet for health.

However, Barnett has now used a computer model to calculate what the health effects would be if the level of five of the six pollutants rose to just below “safe” limits across the cities of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane – and it’s not safe at all.

“I’ve found that increasing pollution levels to just below the NEPM standards would cause the deaths of an extra 6,000 people each year – 2,600 in both Melbourne and Sydney and 800 in Brisbane,” said Barnett in a media release.

Threat of air pollution to worsen along with global warming, warns Climate Council

Sydney Morning Herald Peter Hannam 21 October 2014

Increased air pollution from bushfires is among the rising threats facing NSW residents as global warming makes blazes more likely, according to a new report by the Climate Council.

The council said air quality levels were 50 times worse than usual in the Sydney Basin during the Blue Mountains bushfires a year ago, with NSW Health reporting 228 people attending hospital with breathing difficulties.

Liquid detergent pods pose risk to children’s eye health

(Elsevier Health Sciences 7 October 2014) Liquid laundry and dishwasher detergent pods are an emerging source of chemical exposure in children. When squeezed or bitten into, these pods can burst and send detergent into the mouth, nose, and eyes. A new report published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus cautions that these products should be kept away from children because the bursting detergent pods can cause significant corneal injury.

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Living near major roads may increase risk of sudden cardiac death in women

(American Heart Association 13 October 2014) Living near a major road was associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death in women. Environmental exposure may increase heart disease risk as much as smoking, poor diet or obesity.

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Small spills at gas stations could cause significant public health risks over time

(Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health 7 October 2014) A new study suggests that drops of fuel spilled at gas stations — which occur frequently with fill-ups — could cumulatively be causing long-term environmental damage to soil and groundwater in residential areas in close proximity to the stations.

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HHS releases 13th Report on Carcinogens

(NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 2 October 2014) Four substances have been added in the US Department of Health and Human Services 13th Report on Carcinogens, a science-based document that identifies chemical, biological, and physical agents that are considered cancer hazards for people living in the United States. The new report includes 243 listings.

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