Category Archives: Water analysis – Non-biological contamination

Focus on Queensland news.
Recycled water analysis, contamination by non-biological agents (eg, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, disinfection by-products, endocrine disrupters, environmental nutrients.
Journal articles have a broader geographic scope.

WWII mustard gas dumped off Cape Moreton

Brisbane Times Tony Moore April 17, 2015

More than 8000 tonnes of chemical weapons, mostly mustard gas, dumped off Moreton Island in 1945 after World War II pose little danger to the general public, according to the Department of Defence.
However the department says there has been no testing on the mustard gas shells, bombs, grenades and tear gas grenades that were dumped in deep water in two, five kilometre-wide dump zones on the ocean side of Cape Moreton.
And it remains unclear if any biological tests have ever been conducted in the nearby Cape Moreton Marine Park 70 years later.

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Herbicide levels exceed guidelines in three north Queensland creeks

ABC Rural News David Sparkes 16 April 2015

Water tests from three cane growing areas in Queensland have found herbicide chemical levels exceeding Australian guidelines.
The samples are from the Mackay, Whitsundays and Burdekin districts and the herbicides are diuron and atrazine.
Canegrowers Queensland published the information this week, after receiving updates from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

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Australian Academy of Science – Nominations for the 2016 honorific awards for scientific excellence are now open

Honorific Awards

Most honorific awards are open to any scientist normally resident in Australia. Nominations may be made by anyone in the scientific community, with the exception of the Macfarlane Burnet or the Matthew Flinders Medals and Lectures for which nominations may only be made by Academy Fellows.

Criteria and nomination forms are available under each individual award.  Awards are available for a range of disciplines including chemistry, physics, human genetics, and women in science, and include early and mid-career awards.

View the full-list of awards


Dayne Pratzky was an Australian battler who became an accidental coal seam gas mining activist

Gold Coast Bulletin Ryan Keen 12 April 2015THE Australian who has become the public face of those fighting against the powerful and lucrative coal seam gas industry admits he doesn’t actually enjoy the film documenting his battle. Read more

Atoms roam in search of a chemical mate

Sydney Morning Herald Peter Spinks 13 April 2015

The surprise discovery that some atoms roam around to form chemical bonds is set to turn the conventional world of chemistry on its head.

The Sydney chemists stumbled upon their findings while conducting research into why the atmosphere contains twice as many acids produced by plants – that is organic instead of industrial acids – than climate models predicted.

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Read summary in Chemistry World

Request the source article from Information & Research Services (QH Staff only)


Dumping dredge spoil on land may still threaten Great Barrier Reef, independent report says

ABC News Allyson Horn and Isobel Roe 25 March 2015

An independent report into the effects of dredging has warned on-land disposal of spoil could still threaten the Great Barrier Reef.
The report, commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, compiled all current knowledge about dredging and was written by a panel of 19 scientists and experts.
It said previous assumptions about the effect of “dredge plumes” on the Great Barrier Reef might have been underestimated.
The report found acids and salts could leech back into waters if not monitored correctly and that sediment could change the biological values of the World Heritage Area.

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Link to Synthesis…report


Chlorine use in sewage treatment could promote antibiotic resistance

(American Chemical Society 22 March 2015) Chlorine, a disinfectant used in most wastewater treatment plants, may be failing to eliminate pharmaceuticals from wastes. As a result, trace levels get discharged from the treatment plants into waterways. Now, scientists are reporting that chlorine treatment may encourage the formation of new, unknown antibiotics that could enter the environment, potentially contributing to the problem of antibiotic resistance. They will present the research at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Read EurekAlert Summary