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Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts

Wolfgang Larisch, Kai-Uwe Goss
We have extended a recently published toxicokinetic model for fish (TK-fish) towards the oral up-take of contaminants. Validation with hydrophobic chemicals revealed that diffusive transport through aqueous boundary layers in the gastro-intestinal tract and in the blood is the limiting process. This process can only be modelled correctly if facilitated transport by albumin or bile micelles through these boundary layers is accounted for. In a case study we have investigated the up-take of a super hydrophobic chemical, Dechlorane Plus...
December 13, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
J Aguilar-Carrillo, M Villalobos, T Pi-Puig, I N Escobar-Quiroz, F M Romero
Jarosite [KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6] minerals are effective scavengers of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) and are abundant, for example, in acid rock/mine drainage scenarios. The retention process is highly relevant for environmental attenuation of heavy metals and metalloids since these are usually highly soluble and thus mobile under acidic conditions. We investigated both macroscopically and at the molecular scale the extent and the effects of concomitant incorporation of As(v) and Pb(ii) into synthetic jarosite at different As/Pb starting molar ratios, using XRD-Rietveld, SEM, ATR-FTIR spectroscopy and wet chemistry...
December 11, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Paola Gramatica, Ester Papa, Alessandro Sangion
The hazard of chemicals in the environment is inherently related to the molecular structure and derives simultaneously from various chemical properties/activities/reactivities. Models based on Quantitative Structure Activity Relationships (QSARs) are useful to screen, rank and prioritize chemicals that may have an adverse impact on humans and the environment. This paper reviews a selection of QSAR models (based on theoretical molecular descriptors) developed for cumulative multivariate endpoints, which were derived by mathematical combination of multiple effects and properties...
December 11, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Elham Shirazi, Kelly G Pennell
Vapor intrusion (IV) exposure risks are difficult to characterize due to the role of atmospheric, building and subsurface processes. This study presents a three-dimensional VI model that extends the common subsurface fate and transport equations to incorporate wind and stack effects on indoor air pressure, building air exchange rate (AER) and indoor contaminant concentration to improve VI exposure risk estimates. The model incorporates three modeling programs: (1) COMSOL Multiphysics to model subsurface fate and transport processes, (2) CFD0 to model atmospheric air flow around the building, and (3) CONTAM to model indoor air quality...
December 6, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Marlene Ågerstrand, Mattheus Brenig, Martin Führ, Julian Schenten
Regulatory hazard and risk assessments of chemical substances have to include all reliable and relevant data to be credible and complete. However, screening the literature for appropriate studies and extracting data is burdensome. Therefore, reducing impediments by making data easily and readily accessible to risk assessors could result in more comprehensive hazard and risk assessments. In this paper, we study WikiPharma, a database that aggregates ecotoxicity data for pharmaceuticals, extracted from peer-reviewed studies...
December 5, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
S Zubair Hossain, Kevin G Mumford, Allison Rutter
Diluted bitumen (dilbit) spilled to rivers has the potential to sink and become trapped in coarse bed sediments. Hyporheic flow through the river bed can then lead to the dissolution of hydrocarbons from this trapped oil, and subsequent risks to water quality and aquatic life. It is important to understand the concentrations of dissolved hydrocarbons in water, relative to aqueous solubility, that may result from mass transfer under these conditions, particularly under conditions where coarse sediments lead to faster hyporheic flow that could promote rate-limited mass transfer conditions...
December 4, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Alexander Sopilniak, Roy Elkayam, Ovadia Lev
The oxidation of ammonium in the vadose zone of soil aquifer systems is discussed and examined by detailed analysis of the depth profiles of dissolved oxygen, nitrate and ammonium concentrations in the vadose zone of a soil-aquifer treatment (SAT) system of a municipal wastewater treatment system of the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Nitrification kinetics and ammonium adsorption capacity studies show that neither the nitrification rate nor the ammonium adsorption capacity controls the capacity of the Shafdan SAT system for ammonium removal...
December 1, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Tom M Nolte, Kevin Pinto-Gil, A Jan Hendriks, Ad M J Ragas, Manuel Pastor
Microbial biomass and acclimation can affect the removal of organic chemicals in natural surface waters. In order to account for these effects and develop more robust models for biodegradation, we have compiled and curated removal data for un-acclimated (pristine) surface waters on which we developed quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs). Global analysis of the very heterogeneous dataset including neutral, anionic, cationic and zwitterionic chemicals (N = 233) using a random forest algorithm showed that useful predictions were possible (Qext2 = 0...
December 1, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Richard J C Brown, Peter M Harris
A new method for predicting the frequency of extreme air quality events is proposed. The method is based on knowing the number of times a pollutant is measured at different concentrations during a period of data collection and fitting this data to a Weibull-type function. Extrapolation of the function to higher concentrations then allows the frequency of extreme events that did not occur during the collection period to be predicted, albeit with an unspecified uncertainty. Prediction of the frequency of events over a given concentration, which was exceeded during the period of data collection, has also been performed assuming Poisson statistics...
November 28, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Xiuling Yin, Yingming Xu, Rong Huang, Qingqing Huang, Zhonglei Xie, Yanming Cai, Xuefeng Liang
Remediation of heavy metal polluted agricultural soil is essential for human health and ecological safety and remediation mechanisms at the microscopic level are vital for their large-scale utilization. In this study, natural sepiolite was employed as an immobilization agent for in situ field-scale remediation of Cd-contaminated paddy soil and the remediation mechanisms were investigated in terms of soil chemistry and plant physiology. Natural sepiolite had a significant immobilization effect for bioavailable Cd contents in paddy soil, and consequently could lower the Cd concentrations of brown rice, husk, straw, and roots of rice plants by 54...
November 27, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Allison M Jensen, Todd M Scanlon, Ami L Riscassi
Wildfires alter forested ecosystems, which include large stores of mercury (Hg) and organic carbon, two compounds that are closely linked in vegetation, soils, and streamwater. Studies have shown that wildfires release elevated levels of mercury to the atmosphere which can be locally redeposited and leave charred organic material (vegetation and litter) on the soil surface. Both can contribute to the elevated mobilization of Hg into lakes and streams. However, no studies have conducted a detailed examination of hydrological transport of Hg following a wildfire...
November 17, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
K R Miner, J Blais, C Bogdal, S Villa, M Schwikowski, P Pavlova, C Steinlin, C Gerbi, K J Kreutz
Northern Hemisphere alpine glaciers have been identified as a point of concentration and reemergence of legacy organochlorine pollutants (OCPs). In this review, we compile a selection of published literature combining long-range, global atmospheric transport and distribution-based compartmental environmental flux models, as well as data from glacial meltwater, ice core, crevasse and proglacial lake sediment studies. Regional studies of ice and meltwater in alpine glaciers of the northern latitudes show similarities in sample deposition profiles and concentration due to chemical atmospheric residence time, precipitation type and glacier flow rates...
November 15, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Chris Money
The process for undertaking exposure assessments varies dependent on its purpose. But for exposure assessments to be relevant and accurate, they are reliant on access to reliable information on key exposure determinants. Acquiring such information is seldom straightforward and can take significant time and resources. This articles examines how the application of tiered and targeted approaches to information acquisition, within the context of European human health risk assessments, can not only lead to improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of the process but also in the confidence of stakeholders in its outputs...
November 15, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Kendra I Brown, Katherine E Graham, Jeffrey A Soller, Alexandria B Boehm
Beaches often receive fecal contamination from more than one source. Human sources include untreated sewage as well as treated wastewater effluent, and animal sources include wildlife such as gulls. Different contamination sources are expected to pose different health risks to swimmers. Genetic microbial source tracking (MST) markers can be used to detect bacteria that are associated with different animal sources, but the health risks associated with a mixture of MST markers are unknown. This study presents a method for predicting these health risks, using human- and gull-associated markers as an example...
November 8, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Jing You, Huizhen Li
Aquatic ecosystems have been suffering from contamination by multiple stressors. Traditional chemical-based risk assessment usually fails to explain the toxicity contributions from contaminants that are not regularly monitored or that have an unknown identity. Diagnosing the causes of noted adverse outcomes in the environment is of great importance in ecological risk assessment and in this regard effect-directed analysis (EDA) has been designed to fulfill this purpose. The EDA approach is now increasingly used in aquatic risk assessment owing to its specialty in achieving effect-directed nontarget analysis; however, a lack of environmental relevance makes conventional EDA less favorable...
November 8, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Solrunn Hansen, Evert Nieboer, Natalia Bravo, Inger Økland, Silvinia Matiocevich, Marisa Viviana Alvarez, Stein Tore Nilsen, Joan O Grimalt, Jon Øyvind Odland
The EMASAR study is the first study to describe the body burden of OCs in Argentinian women after delivery. In total, 698 maternal serum samples from Salta (n = 498) and Ushuaia (n = 200) were collected in 2011-2012 and analyzed for a total of 7 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 12 pesticide-related compounds. Only 11 of the compounds had detection rates above 60% in one or both places. Compared with Ushuaian women, those from Salta exhibited higher lipid-adjusted concentrations of p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDT, β-HCH, and PCB 118 (p ≤ 0...
November 3, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Nicholas J Herkert, Scott N Spak, Austen Smith, Jasmin K Schuster, Tom Harner, Andres Martinez, Keri C Hornbuckle
Passive air samplers equipped with polyurethane foam (PUF-PAS) are frequently used to measure persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in ambient air. Here we present and evaluate a method to determine sampling rates (RS), and the effective sampling volume (Veff), for gas-phase chemical compounds captured by a PUF-PAS sampler deployed anywhere in the world. The method uses a mathematical model that requires only publicly available hourly meteorological data, physical-chemical properties of the target compound, and the deployment dates...
November 2, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Xiaofeng Cao, Jie Wang, Dalin Jiang, Jinhua Sun, Yi Huang, Shengji Luan
The establishment of numeric nutrient criteria is essential to aid the control of nutrient pollution and for protecting and restoring healthy ecological conditions. However, it's necessary to determine whether regional nutrient criteria can be defined in stream ecosystems with a poor ecological status. A database of periphytic diatom samples was collected in July and August 2011 and 2012. In total 172 samples were included in the database with matching environmental variables. Here, percentile estimates, nonparametric change-point analysis (nCPA) and Threshold Indicator Taxa ANalysis (TITAN) were conducted to detect the reference conditions and ecological thresholds along a total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) gradient and ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) for the development of nutrient criteria in the streams of the Lake Dianchi basin...
November 1, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Roman Ashauer, Tjalling Jager
As ecotoxicologists we strive for a better understanding of how chemicals affect our environment. Humanity needs tools to identify those combinations of man-made chemicals and organisms most likely to cause problems. In other words: which of the millions of species are at risk from pollution? And which of the tens of thousands of chemicals contribute most to the risk? We identified our poor knowledge on physiological modes of action (how a chemical affects the energy allocation in an organism), and how they vary across species and toxicants, as a major knowledge gap...
November 1, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Chiheng Chu, Dimitrios Stamatelatos, Kristopher McNeill
Natural peptidic thiols play numerous important roles in aquatic systems. While thiols are known to be susceptible to sensitized photoreaction, the photochemical transformation of thiols in surface waters remains largely unknown. This study systematically assessed the photochemical transformation of naturally occurring thiols, including arginylcysteine (RC), γ-glutamylcysteine (γEC), glutathione (GSH), and phytochelatin (PC) in solutions containing dissolved organic matter (DOM). The results show that all thiols underwent rapid indirect photochemical transformation...
November 1, 2017: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
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