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.

Lawyer urges more health testing as part of Oakey chemical contamination investigation

ABC News Ellie Sibson 9 October 2015

A lawyer representing Oakey residents affected by a chemical contamination at the local Army aviation base says more testing needs to be carried out, after the release of recent blood tests.
The Defence Force is investigating what effect toxic chemicals used in firefighting foam at the base had on the environment and human health.
It has commissioned blood tests on local residents who have been drinking bore water.
Lawyer Peter Shannon said some of those had come back with highly elevated levels of heavy metals.

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Ben-Gurion U. and MIT researchers develop rapid method for water, soil pathogen screening

EurekAlert  8-Oct-2015

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a highly sensitive, cost-effective technology for rapid bacterial pathogen screening of air, soil, water, and agricultural produce in as little as 24 hours.

According to Ezra Orlofsky Ph.D, who led the research while working on his doctorate at the BGU Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, “Rapid and reliable pathogen detection in field samples is critical for public health, security and environmental monitoring. Current methods used in food, water or clinical applications rely on labor and time-intensive culturing techniques while activities such as dairy farming, wastewater and runoff treatment necessitates real-time monitoring of pathogens in environment samples.”

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Link to abstract in Water, Air & Soil Pollution journal:

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Australia’s most dangerous streets revealed by school testing

The Sydney Morning Herald Catherine Armitage October 8, 2015

Accidents, illness, strangers: danger to children takes many forms. But, for brain damage caused by toxic mining metals, the streets closest to the mines in Broken Hill, Mount Isa and Port Pirie must rank as the most dangerous in Australia.
Children in these mining and smelting cities exposed to high levels of lead, arsenic and cadmium are more than twice as likely to have developmental delays than the national average, new research shows.
These children are at a much higher than average risk of lifelong neurobehavioural deficits. And those who live closest to the mines are at highest risk.

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Link to abstract in Environmental Pollution:

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This Queensland island is about to dry up, causing residents to bathe in and drink dirty water

The Courier Mail Megan Palin October 07, 2015

A TROPICAL island on the Great Barrier Reef is about to run out of water as its dams dry up and levels become so low that thousands of residents are forced to bathe in and drink contaminated water.
Many, including children and the elderly, have fallen ill; suffering nausea, diarrhoea and boils, since the water on Palm Island turned a “filthy, murky dark brown”, has been told.
Palm Island is located about 65km northwest of Townsville, off the coast of Queensland and home to about 4000 residents.

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Data used in Mount Isa environmental lead exposure study outdated public health director says

ABC News Zara Margolis 8 October 2015

A north Queensland public health director says he believes data used in a recent research paper on the management of environmental lead exposure in Mount Isa is out of date and misleading.
Earlier this week, the ABC reported on a study that cited almost 5 per cent of children under the age of five in Mount Isa had higher than recommended blood lead levels.
Dr Steven Donohue from the Mount Isa and Townsville Public Health Unit said that information was more than five years old and latest figures showed average blood lead levels in tested children were declining.

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Health expert questions efforts to manage Mount Isa lead exposure amid calls for more data

ABC News 6 October 2015

A north Queensland researcher says more data needs to be made available about environmental lead exposure in Mount Isa.

Public health expert Dr Malcolm Forbes has reviewed how government, industry and health officials have dealt with the issue, finding long-standing inconsistencies and a lack of available information.

He said about 5 per cent of children under the age of five in Mount Isa have higher than recommended blood lead levels, which was still too many.

Health warning renewed after two people treated in Tas hospital for shellfish poisoning

ABC News 6 October 2015

Two people have been hospitalised in Tasmania with paralytic shellfish poisoning after eating mussels they harvested from east coast areas affected by algal blooms.

A third person has also been treated.

All three became unwell after eating mussels from an area subject to a public health warning issued last week.

The Public Health department has advised against collecting or eating wild oysters, mussels, clams, pipis, scallops, abalone, rock lobster or crab from anywhere along the east coast.