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.

Women still find it tough to reach the top in science

The Conversation Sharon Bell 24 March 2015

Women are playing an increasing role in science today but there are still barriers that can prevent them from achieving success comparable to their male colleagues. This feeds the argument that there is a gender pay gap in earnings in science, although that doesn’t tell the full story of the challenges facing women scientists.

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For some kids, Easter egg hunts can lead to skin problems

(Wiley 16 March 2015) Some children and adults are allergic to nickel and develop rashes when they come in contact with it. They also may react to foods — including peanuts, chocolate, oats, and processed American cheese — that contain a significant amount of nickel.

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Increased use of zinc in pigs could be dangerous for humans

The Copenhagen Post Ray Weaver 1 March 2015

The use of zinc oxide among pig famers has tripled since 2005. The supplement helps pigs fight of some types of bacteria, but not the antibiotic resistant – and also zinc resistant – MRSA bacteria.  Hans Jørn Kolmos, a professor of microbiology at the University of Southern Denmark, called zinc use “an overlooked problem”.

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Support on toxic claims

Townsville Bulletin RACHEL AFFLICK  February 27, 2015

A NEW independent review has backed claims of toxic dust found in inner-city Townsville playgrounds.
Macquarie University Professor of Environmental Sciences Mark Taylor found potentially toxic levels of lead, arsenic, nickel and cadmium in four playgrounds last year, which were possibly caused by dust from ores exported through the port, but his research was rejected by a scientific analysis commissioned by the Port of Townsville earlier this month.
Now, a peer-reviewed journal has published Professor Taylor’s study, backing his contamination claims.
Prof Taylor said his study, published in Science of the Total Environment, had to pass a strict review process.

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Journal Abstract

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Agricultural scientists find growing oats effective way of removing heavy metal strontium from soil contaminated by nuclear fallout

ABC Rural Babs McHugh 12 Feb. 2015

Global scientists have had a breakthrough in the use of a common cereal crop to remove the heavy metal strontium from contaminated soil.
It is a further development in the process known as phytoremediation; using plants to rehabilitate land subject to toxic substances, including mining, construction and urban waste disposal.

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Link to abstract in International Journal of Phytoremediation

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Scientist stands by toxic dust findings

Townsville Bulletin RACHEL AFFLICK  February 05, 2015

A SCIENTIST who found potentially toxic dust levels in inner-city playgrounds is standing by his research despite a scathing Port of Townsville review of his study.
Macquarie University Professor of Environmental Sciences Mark Taylor said his study was not only accurate and extensively peer-reviewed but its findings had major implications for the community.
“It seems they’re trying to draw the discussion into a technical argument,” Prof Taylor said.
“It is disappointing that this important and longstanding public health issue is being turned into a game of ‘he said-she said’. The community complained for a long time about dust. The report is responding to community concerns and it confirms those concerns are valid.”

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Port tears down toxic dust study

Townsville Bulletin RACHEL AFFLICK  February 04, 2015

A PORT of Townsville review has found no convincing scientific evidence of toxic dust in four inner-city playgrounds.
The port authority yesterday gave the all-clear to Townsville playgrounds and attacked the methods and conclusions of a study suggesting toxic levels of lead, arsenic, nickel and cadmium – possibly caused by mining cores at the port – were detected at the sites.
Releasing the port’s independent investigation, Port of Townsville (POTL) CEO Ranee Crosby said playground users had no cause for concern.
“POTL has confidence in its monitoring, and also welcomes the results of an independent review being carried out by the State Government,” she said.

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ABC News report