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.

Concern for Townsville air quality as scrap metal yard fire releases thick, toxic smoke

ABC News David Chen 2 December 2015

Firefighters have spent the night battling a blaze in a scrap metal yard in Townsville, with authorities concerned the thick smoke could affect air quality in the city.   Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) Inspector Steven Knight said crews were continuing to carry out atmospheric testing, with concerns the smoke could cause irritation.

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Waters are more polluted than tests say

(Technical University of Munich (TUM) 30 November 2015) Bodies of water are ‘sinks’, and thereby bind contaminants particularly well. If even slightly toxic concentrations in water are to be detected, the growth and swimming behavior of small crustaceans and copepods should be used for ecotoxicological assessments. This was the conclusion of a scientist from the TUM, who carried out a number of studies on the subject. She also confirmed that it is more informative to test several substances on various aquatic species, rather than carrying out individual toxicity tests.

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Today’s disposable society: Pharmaceuticals and other contaminants of emerging concern

(Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 12 November 2015) An increasing amount of drugs taken by humans and animals make it into streams and waterways, and pharmaceutical pollution has had catastrophic ecosystem consequences despite low levels of concentration in the environment. The effect of pharmaceuticals and other contaminants of emerging concern on the environment will be addressed in a special issue of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

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View the three open-access articles here  or use the links below

Schoenfuss HL, Furlong ET, Philips PJ, Scott T, Kolpin DW, Cetkovic-Cvrlje M, Lesteberg KE, Rearick DC. 2015. Complex mixtures, complex responses: Assessing pharmaceutical mixtures using field and laboratory approaches

Batt AL, Kincaid T, Kostich MS, Lazorchak J, Olsen AR. 2015. Evaluating the extent of pharmaceuticals in United States surface waters using a national scale rivers and streams assessment survey

Masoner JR, Kolpin DW, Furlong ET, Cozzarelli IM, Gray JL. 2015. Landfill leachate as a mirror of today’s disposable society: Pharmaceuticals and other contaminants of emerging concern in final leachate from landfills in the conterminous United States.

European food regulator’s assessment of glyphosate finds herbicide ‘unlikely to cause cancer’

ABC News | ABC Rural Clint Jasper 13 November 2015

A controversial report from the EU’s food safety regulatory has cleared the way for the relicensing of the herbicide glyphosate – a key ingredient in RoundUp – across member countries.  The report’s key finding, that glyphosate is ‘unlikely to cause cancer’ stands in opposition to recent findings from the United Nations’ World Health Organisation.

Earlier this year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer came to an opposing conclusion, saying it was likely to cause cancer.

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$10 million sweetener on offer for community that agrees to host nuclear waste dump, as shortlist of sites revealed

ABC News 13 November 2015

The Federal Government is dangling a $10 million offer for the community that embraces Australia’s first nuclear waste dump, but has promised not to make a unilateral decision.

Overnight the Government released a shortlist of six sites nominated to store low-to-intermediate nuclear waste, with three of them located in South Australia.

The sites are Cortlinye, Pinkawillinie, and Barndioota in South Australia, Hale in the Northern Territory, Sallys Flat in New South Wales and Oman Ama in Queensland.

Gas search “polluted” properties

Courier Mail Michael Madigan 10 November 2015 p. 11

Environmental consultant Dr Phillip Matthew yesterday gave evidence in one of Australia’s biggest environmental prosecutions involving Linc Energy’s Coal Gasification site at Chinchilla

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Race royalty face massive fines as the council investigates toxic flow into lake

Gold Coast Bulletin ANDREW POTTS November 06, 2015

RACEHORSE owners who allow toxic effluent from their stables near the Gold Coast Turf Club to flow into a nearby waterhole have been threatened with fines of more than $200,000.
Mayor Tom Tate has ordered a city council investigation into properties neighbouring the racing precinct and says the state’s environment department will be called in if necessary.
This follows a move by the council to spend more than $85,000 to clean up the waterhole, dubbed “Black Swan Lake” which has been used for decades as a holding pond for effluent from the stables.

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