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.

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.

Cost of managing contaminated land in Queensland to rise, impact farmers and developers

ABC Rural 29 September 2015

Queensland farmers and developers could soon be paying thousands of dollars extra if they want to manage contaminated land.

Properties that contain old cattle and sheep dip sites, or legacy mines, are just some examples of farms that can be considered contaminated.

Currently, property owners wanting to have their land taken off the Contaminated Land Register (CLR) can do so if they provide scientific evidence to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

However, as of Wednesday, the required contaminated land investigation documents will also need to be approved by an auditor, independent of the department.

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Cyanide ponds from abandoned mine could spill into Murray-Darling Basin; farmers fear ‘catastrophe’

ABC News 30 September 2015

Queensland authorities fear a series of ponds containing heavy metals and cyanide could overflow from an abandoned mining site and spill into a nearby river in the Murray-Darling Basin.

An internal government document obtained by the ABC warns that as little as 40 millimetres of rain could cause a discharge from the silver mine near Texas on the Queensland-New South Wales border.

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How mercury contamination affects reptiles in the Amazon basin

EurekAlert 21 September 2015

Mercury contamination in water and on land is of worldwide concern due to its toxic effects on ecosystems and human health. Mercury toxicity is of particular concern to reptiles because they are currently experiencing population declines. Also, reptiles are ideal indicators of mercury contamination in aquatic environments because they are long lived and occupy diverse habitats.

In a new study, researchers assessed uptake of mercury in 2 species of turtle and 2 species of caiman (which are related to alligators) in a remote Amazonian basin. The team uncovered the presence of mercury in reptiles in the region despite its remote location but found that the concentrations of mercury were typically below World Health Organization guidelines for consumption. While the reptiles are generally safe for consumption (which is common among Amazonian people), the liver levels of mercury were higher than recommended levels for pregnant women and children. The investigators suspect that reptiles may have evolved a way to eliminate mercury faster than they accumulate it.

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2015 4th International Conference on Environment, Chemistry and Biology (ICECB 2015)

19th to 21st November 2015Auckland, New Zealand

ICECB 2015 is sponsored by the Asia-Pacific Chemical, Biological & Environmental Engineering Society (APCBEES). It is one of the leading international conferences for presenting novel and fundamental advances in the fields of Environment, Chemistry and  Biology. It also serves to foster communication among researchers and practitioners working in a wide variety of scientific areas with a common interest in improving Environment, Chemistry and  Biology related techniques.

Visit conference website

Introduction to CKN Resources – Training Webinar

Tuesday 15 September 3:30 pm

This 45 minute session will get you started with researching using CKN resources. We’ll cover how to search effectively across multiple resources with a single search; find evidence-based information; locate individual journals; and utilise specific resources suitable for your area of interest. We’ll also cover setting up alerts to monitor the latest research; and mobile access via your phone or tablet.

Click here to register


You’ll need to sign-on to attend before the training commences by following the on-screen instructions. Once you have registered, the session information will be emailed to you from WebEx via a ‘meeting invitation’. You will need the information in this email to join the session. Please join the session 10-15 minutes before the start time.

Before you attend the session, we suggest you test that your computer is ‘capable’ of joining a WebEx meeting by going to this webpage and joining the test meeting:

  • If WebEx Meeting Centre or ActiveX need to be installed on your computer, you may need ‘Administrator Rights’ to do this – so we suggest you test this well in advance of the session.
  • For the session, you will need a computer with an internet connection, and either a headset (with earphones and a microphone) OR a telephone to dial in for the audio.
  • If you have a slow/unreliable internet connection, we recommend that you dial in using a telephone to avoid problems with audio. Follow the instructions once you register.
  • If you have technical difficulties with WebEx, please call the toll free technical support number on 1800 129 278 (toll-free) or +61 2 8223 9710.

Low-level arsenic exposure before birth associated with early puberty and obesity

EurekAlert 28 August 2015

Female mice exposed in utero, or in the womb, to low levels of arsenic through drinking water displayed signs of early puberty and became obese as adults, according to scientists from the National Institutes of Health. The finding is significant because the exposure level of 10 parts per billion used in the study is the current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standard, or maximum allowable amount, for arsenic in drinking water. The study, which appeared online August 21 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, serves as a good starting point for examining whether low-dose arsenic exposure could have similar health outcomes in humans.

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