Category Archives: Heavy metals / trace elements

Environment and biological, Trace metals and heavy metals, trace elements in environmental samples, trace metals in biological materials.
Queensland focus.

Mount Isa lead emissions report delayed

ABC News Kate Stephens 15 April 2014

A report looking at ways lead emissions travel through the air in Mount Isa in north-west Queensland has been delayed by six months.

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Qld Government to keep close eye on tailings dams at Palmer nickel refinery

ABC News David Chen 15 April 2014

The Queensland Government says it will continue to monitor the water being released from tailings dams for toxic waste at Clive Palmer’s Yabulu nickel refinery near Townsville in the state’s north.

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Toxic nickel dam ‘full’: minister

Brisbane Times Tony Moore 14 April 2014

The toxic tailings dam at the Queensland Nickel plant near Townsville is “full” and may have over-flowed, Queensland’s Environment Minister Andrew Powell has been told.  The plant at Yabalu in Halifax Bay, 25 kilometres north of Townsville, is on the coastline and in a Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

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Clive Palmer’s mine defends dam

Yabulu refinery shut down over tailings spill

Palmer says sludge claim is just mud

Package of suspicious powder and liquid sparks alarm

Queensland Times 31 March 2014

STAFF at a Raceview company raised the alarm when they received a suspicious-looking package containing vials of powder and liquid.

Police and firemen investigated the parcel which had been sent from New Zealand. It was believed to have contained vials of unidentified liquids and powders, as well as keys.

Police cordoned off the business in Sonia Crt, as Fire and Rescue crews arrived in bio-hazard gear and took the vials for testing at the John Tonge Centre, Institute of Forensic Pathology and Biology.

It was confirmed that there had been no airborne contamination from the vials.

The New Zealand business from which the package had been sent was contacted, but officials said they knew nothing about the parcel and denied sending it.

Staff at the Raceview business said the package was also a mystery to them.

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Coal seam gas: EPA tells Santos to keep tabs on Pilliga radioactive water

Sydney Morning Herald Peter Hannam 12 March 2014

Environment regulators recommended Santos monitor radioactive elements in its future coal-seam gas operations in the Pilliga Forest despite not seeking such readings once unsafe levels of uranium were found in a contaminated aquifer.

On Tuesday, the Environment Protection Authority said it had not sought data on the levels of thorium, radon and radium – products of uranium – once Santos told it in March last year about leakage from a waste water pond. The aquifer was found to contain uranium at 20 times safe drinking levels and the EPA fined Santos $1500.

The three radioactive elements ”would only be tested for if there was an immediate threat to human health or the environment posed by the parent element uranium”, a spokeswoman for the EPA said. The decision that the site was safe was made within 24 hours of receiving the Santos-supplied results.

The readings ”should have rung alarm bells”, said Mariann Lloyd-Smith, a senior advisor for the National Toxics Network. ”It would have been sensible to go back and test the radioactivity of the water.”

Some metallic toys and low-cost jewelry present health risks for young children

(Polytechnique Montréal 5 Marc 2014) We know that babies and young children often put non-food items in their mouths, a behaviour that occasionally leads to swallowing of foreign objects. Metallic toys and low-cost jewelry oWe know that babies and young children often put non-food items in their mouths, a behavior that occasionally leads to swallowing of foreign objects. Metallic toys and low-cost jewelry often contain toxic substances such as lead and cadmium. Do these objects present a health risk for young children?ften contain toxic substances such as lead and cadmium. Do these objects present a health risk for young children?

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New research shows elevated mercury from in-ground wastewater disposal

(Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 10 March 2014) As towns across Cape Cod struggle with problems stemming from septic systems, a recent study by a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientist focuses on one specific toxic by-product: mercury. In a study of local groundwater, biogeochemist Carl Lamborg found microbial action on wastewater transforms it into more mobile, more toxic forms of the element.

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Santos fined after coal seam gas project contaminates aquifer ‘with uranium’

The Guardian AAP 8 March 2014

The NSW government should tear up an agreement with Santos to fast-track a coal seam gas project after the energy producer was fined for contaminating an aquifer, reportedly with uranium, the state opposition says.

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PLOS’ New Data Policy: Public Access to Data

PLOS Blogs Liz Silva 24 February 2014

Access to research results, immediately and without restriction, has always been at the heart of PLOS’ mission and the wider Open Access movement. However, without similar access to the data underlying the findings, the article can be of limited use. For this reason, PLOS has always required that authors make their data available to other academic researchers who wish to replicate, reanalyze, or build upon the findings published in our journals.

In an effort to increase access to this data, we are now revising our data-sharing policy for all PLOS journals: authors must make all data publicly available, without restriction, immediately upon publication of the article. Beginning March 3rd, 2014, all authors who submit to a PLOS journal will be asked to provide a Data Availability Statement, describing where and how others can access each dataset that underlies the findings. This Data Availability Statement will be published on the first page of each article.

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Selenium and vitamin E supplementation over recommended dietary intake may raise PC risk

(Oxford University Press 21 February 2014) In a large clinical trial testing dietary supplements for prostate cancer prevention, baseline selenium status (measured by toenail selenium concentration), in the absence of supplementation, was not associated with prostate cancer risk. However, when baseline toenail selenium concentrations were high, supplementation with high-dose selenium almost doubled the risk of high-grade prostate cancer risk among older men, according to a new study published Feb. 21 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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