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.

Still no answers on toxic lead levels found in NT children’s blood

ABC News 3 February 2016

More than a year after children in three Northern Territory communities were found with elevated levels of lead in their blood, the NT Health Department says the cause has still not been identified.

Single molecule detection of contaminants, explosives or diseases now possible

(Penn State 11 January 2016) A technique that combines the ultrasensitivity of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) with a slippery surface invented by Penn State researchers will make it feasible to detect single molecules of a number of chemical and biological species from gaseous, liquid or solid samples. This combination of slippery surface and laser-based spectroscopy will open new applications in analytical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, environmental monitoring and national security.

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Two sites at Garbutt shown to be contaminated with toxic lead

Townsville Bulletin January 22, 2016

A GARBUTT property once used to dismantle batteries has been blamed for causing the lead poisoning of a neighbouring business owner.
However, although the current property user, international materials giant Arrium, has instituted a dust management plan, a spokesman for the conglomerate has rejected testing results that show the site is dangerous.
According to a report commissioned by Townsville City Council, the results of soil samples taken from both the Arrium site, used by its OneSteel Recycling division, and the neighbouring property, occupied by Townsville Demolitions, are well over the so-called Health Investigation Limit for lead.
The report, conducted by Pacific Environment Ltd and dated December 2014, states: “A potential human health risk is present and further action and/or investigation should be performed.”

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Lead exposure linked to ADHD in kids with genetic mutation

Association for Psychological Science 8 January 2016

Exposure to small amounts of lead may contribute to ADHD symptoms in children who have a particular gene mutation, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“This research is valuable to the scientific community as it bridges genetic and environmental factors and helps to illustrate one possible route to ADHD. Further, it demonstrates the potential to ultimately prevent conditions like ADHD by understanding how genes and environmental exposures combine,” says lead researcher Joel Nigg, professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the OHSU School of Medicine.

The analysis showed a heightened association between lead exposure and ADHD symptoms — particularly hyperactivity-impulsivity — in those with the HFE C282Y gene mutation, present in approximately 10 percent of US children.

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Chemistry: Four elements added to periodic table

BBC News 4 January 2016

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) formally added four chemical elements to the periodic table on 30 December 2015.  A team of Russian and American researchers had provided sufficient evidence to claim the discovery of elements 115, 117 and 118.

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Who, What, Why: How do elements get their names?

UGA research links inorganic mercury exposure to damaged cell processes

(University of Georgia 22 December 2015) University of Georgia research has found that inorganic mercury, which was previously thought to be a less harmful form of the toxic metal, is very damaging to key cell processes.

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Fracking plays active role in generating toxic metal wastewater, Dartmouth study finds

(Dartmouth College 15 December 2015) The production of hazardous wastewater in hydraulic fracturing is assumed to be partly due to chemicals introduced into injected freshwater when it mixes with highly saline brine naturally present in the rock. But a Dartmouth study investigating the toxic metal barium in fracking wastewater finds that chemical reactions between injected freshwater and the fractured shale itself could play a major role.

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