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.

Collapse at Clarence Colliery at Lithgow ‘equivalent to giant oil spill’, wilderness foundation says

ABC News 3 July 2015

Conservationists believe the collapse of a dividing wall at a coal mine in Lithgow is “equivalent to a giant oil spill”.

The NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) began investigating the incident yesterday and said at least 150 metres of the Wollangambe River was “showing signs of impact”.

The cause for the collapse at the Clarence Colliery is still unknown, as is the overall damage that might be done to the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, the boundary of which is within two kilometres of the mine.

Fetuses more vulnerable to some environmental contaminants penetrating into cord blood

(Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH) 25 June 2015) A new research featured in the Environmental Science and Technology published by the American Chemical Society suggests that the fetus is more vulnerable to some pollutants with certain properties because they penetrate further into the feto-maternal system. The research found that distributions of pollutants and the mechanisms of distributions vary depending on each pollutant’s physicochemical characteristics.

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Cocktail of chemicals trigger cancer — global taskforce calls for research into how everyday chemicals in our environment cause cancer

(Brunel University 23 June 2015) A global taskforce of 174 scientists from leading research centers across 28 countries studied the link between mixtures of commonly encountered chemicals and the development of cancer. The study selected 85 chemicals not considered carcinogenic to humans and found 50 supported key cancer-related mechanisms at exposures found in the environment today.

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Is phthalate alternative really safe?

(McGill University Health Centre 17 June 2015) A commonly used plasticizer known as DINCH, which is found in products that come into close contact with humans might not be as safe as initially thought. According to a new study from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, DINCH exerts biological effects on metabolic processes in mammals. The findings may have important implications since DINCH has been promoted by industry as a safe alternative to phthalate plasticizers.

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Bacteria could help clean groundwater contaminated by uranium ore processing

(Rutgers University 15 June 2015) A strain of bacteria that ‘breathes’ uranium may hold the key to cleaning up polluted groundwater at sites where uranium ore was processed to make nuclear weapons. A team of scientists discovered the bacteria in soil at an old uranium ore mill in Rifle, Colorado. The research is part of a US Department of Energy program to see if microorganisms can lock up uranium that leached into the soil years ago.

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GWRC Emerging Contaminants and Pathogens Workshop report

Water Research Australia News 25 June 2015

Stuart Khan from UNSW, currently on sabbatical in Germany, represented WaterRA at a recent GWRC workshop – “Fate and Occurrence of Emerging Contaminants and Pathogens” in Karlsruhe (Germany) in early June. He has prepared this report on the meeting.  Major identified themes included microplastics, antibiotic resistance, risk assessment, microbial indicators,
an emerging contaminants research prioritisation decision making framework; and support for the standardisation of molecular methods for pathogen assessment.

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‘No public health risk’ to proposed rat poison limits in pork

Brisbane Times Amy Remeikis 30 June 2015

Just a year ago the issue closed a Queensland piggery, but Australia’s food authority is considering a proposal that would allow pork products containing traces of rat poison, coumatetralyl, to be legally sold.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand may set temporary maximum limits for residue levels, reportedly of no more than 0.4 milligrams per kilogram, or parts per million, under the proposal being considered by the nation’s health ministers.

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