Environment International

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 0160-4120
Publications
Concentration of unconjugated BPA in serum from ten individuals. The first results were published in Gyllenhammar et al. (2012) using a SPE-HPLC-MS/MS method. In order to check the repeatability of the results, serum from the same individual but from two other aliquots were analysed with the present method (UPLC-MS/MS). The aliquots were stored in −20 °C or −70 °C.
BPA concentration in serum from two individuals after blood sampling using BD Venflon™ intravenous cannula (BD Medical Surgical Systems) taken in three separate tubes in a se- quence.
Article
In this study serum levels of bisphenol A (BPA) were investigated in primiparous women from Uppsala County, Sweden, sampled 3weeks after delivery 1996-2011, in both yearly pools of serum (n=39, temporal trend study) and in 208 individual samples also present in the pools. Possible contamination risks of BPA from blood sampling equipment and sample tubes, as well as from handling of the samples were evaluated. The unconjugated form of BPA was analyzed using a UPLC-MS/MS method with a limit of quantification (LOQ) of 0.2ng/ml. The results show that the levels of unconjugated BPA generally were <0.2ng/ml. The sampling equipment used when taking blood samples from the women and the tubes used for storage and processing of samples did not show any detectable BPA leakage. In the first analysis of the serum samples, unconjugated BPA levels ≥0.2ng/ml were found in 12% of the individual samples and in 21% of the trend samples. However, in reanalyses of individual serum samples from the same aliquot or from new aliquots, samples with BPA levels ≥0.2ng/ml in the first analysis did not have quantifiable BPA levels. Moreover, 11% of BPA spiked calibration samples (over 200) had higher levels than could be explained by the random error of the method. Thus BPA contamination of the biobanked samples probably occurred randomly during sample handling, pooling and processing. Equipment used for sampling of children and repeated blood sampling were leaking BPA. The results show the difficulties in analyzing compounds where samples are easily contaminated from exogenous sources. It also points out that it is questionable to use biobanked samples unless absence of BPA contamination from the sampling and storage materials, and during handling of the samples, can be proven.
 
Article
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and their metabolites are environmental chemical contaminants which can produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) by auto-oxidation of di-hydroxy PCBs as well as the reduction of quinones and redox-cycling. We investigate the hypothesis that 2-(4-chlorophenyl)benzo-1,4-quinone (4-Cl-BQ), a metabolite of 4-chlorobiphenyl (PCB3), induced ROS-signaling inhibits cellular proliferation. Monolayer cultures of exponentially growing asynchronous human non-malignant prostate epithelial cells (RWPE-1) were incubated with 0-6 μM of 4-Cl-BQ and harvested at the end of 72 h of incubation to assess antioxidant enzyme expression, cellular ROS levels, cell growth, and cell cycle phase distributions. 4-Cl-BQ decreased manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) activity, protein, and mRNA levels. 4-Cl-BQ treatment increased dihydroethidium (DHE) fluorescence, which was suppressed in cells pretreated with polyethylene glycol conjugated superoxide dismutase (PEG-SOD). The increase in ROS levels was associated with a decrease in cell growth, and an increase in the percentage of S-phase cells. These effects were suppressed in cells pretreated with PEG-SOD. 4-Cl-BQ treatment did not change the protein levels of phosphorylated H2AX at the end of 72 h of incubation, suggesting that the inhibition in cell growth and accumulation of cells in S-phase at the end of the treatments were probably not due to 4-Cl-BQ induced DNA double strand break. These results demonstrate that MnSOD activity and ROS-signaling perturb proliferation in 4-Cl-BQ treated in vitro cultures of human prostate cells.
 
Article
Two major antifouling biocides used worldwide, Irgarol 1051 and diuron, and their degradation products in Shoreham Harbour and Brighton Marina, UK were studied during 2003-2004. The highest concentrations of Irgarol 1051 were 136 and 102 ng L(-1) in water and 40 and 49 ng g(-1) dry weight in sediments for Shoreham Harbour and Brighton Marina, respectively. As the degradation product of Irgarol 1051, M1 was also widespread, with the highest concentration of 59 ng L(-1) in water and 23 ng g(-1) in sediments in Shoreham Harbour, and 37 ng L(-1) in water and 5.6 ng g(-1) in sediments in Brighton Marina. The target compounds showed enhanced concentrations during the boating season (May-July), when boats were being re-painted (January-February), and where the density of pleasure crafts was high. Overall, the concentration of Irgarol 1051 decreased significantly from late 2000 to early 2004, indicating the effectiveness of controlling its concentrations in the marine environment following restricted use. Diuron was only detected in 14% of water samples, and mostly absent from sediment samples.
 
Article
A major fraction of trace metals transported by rivers is associated with sediments, especially during flooding, when erosion and resuspension increase sediment loads. Upon contact with seawater in estuaries, changes in ionic strength and pH may remobilise trace metals from sediment surfaces into more bioavailable forms. The objective of the present work was to investigate time-dependent interactions between trace metals and freshwater sediments and their potential remobilisation upon contact with seawater. Two river sediments (one organic and one inorganic) were labelled with 109Cd2+, 65Zn2+ and 54Mn2+ radioactive tracers for periods up to 6 months. Sorption of tracers occurred rapidly (> or = 80% sorption, < 1 h), followed by a slower approach to pseudoequilibrium. Kd(6 months) were estimated as 460, 480 and 2200 ml/g (inorganic sediment) compared to 5300, 4000 and 1200 ml/g (organic sediment) for 109Cd, 65Zn and 54Mn, respectively. Remobilisation of tracers from labelled sediments was studied using sequential extractions. Artificial seawater extracts simulated an estuarine environment. Subsequent extractions provided information about more strongly sorbed tracer fractions within sediments. Remobilisation of 109Cd by seawater was significant (> 65%) and least affected by sediment type or freshwater labelling time. Redistribution of Cd to strongly bound phases was minimal (4% and 1% of 109Cd in strongly oxidisable fractions). Seawater remobilisation of 65Zn was significantly greater from the organic sediment (54%) compared to the inorganic sediment (8%), where a large fraction of 65Zn (14%) became irreversibly bound. Similarly, more 54Mn was remobilised by seawater from the organic sediment than the inorganic sediment (66% and 3% remobilised, respectively), i.e., 54Mn became more strongly bound in the inorganic sediment. A simple three-box model, based on first-order differential equations, was used to describe the interaction between tracers in spiked freshwater and two operationally defined sediment fractions ("seawater exchangeable" and "seawater unexchangeable") up to 6 months of freshwater labelling. Model simulations were fitted to experiment data and apparent rate constants were calculated using numerical optimisation methods. Sorption ratios from modelling data (i.e., k1/k2) were greater for organic compared to inorganic sediments, while fixation ratios were higher in inorganic sediments. In conclusion, trace metals can be remobilised from sediments on contact with seawater in estuaries. High organic content in sediments increased initial sorption of tracers but inhibited redistribution to more strongly bound fractions over time, resulting in greater remobilisation of tracers when in contact with seawater.
 
Article
Although polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) production, and new uses for PCBs, was halted in the 1970s in the United States, PCBs continue to be used in closed systems and persist in the environment, accumulating in fatty tissues. PCBs are efficacious inducers of drug metabolism and may increase oxidative events and alter many other biochemical and morphologic parameters within cells and tissues. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a single, very low dose of PCB 126 (3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl), a coplanar, dioxin-like PCB congener and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonist, on redox status, metals homeostasis, antioxidant enzymes, and cellular morphology. To examine these parameters, male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a purified AIN-93 basal diet containing 0.2 ppm selenium for two weeks, then administered a single i.p. injection of corn oil (5 ml/kg body weight) or 1µmol PCB 126/kg body weight (326µg/kg body weight) in corn oil. Rats were maintained on the diet for an additional two weeks before being euthanized. This dose of PCB 126 did not alter feed intake or growth, but significantly increased liver weight (42%) and hepatic microsomal cytochrome P-450 (CYP1A) enzyme activities (10-40-fold increase). Hepatic zinc, selenium, and glutathione levels were significantly decreased 15%, 30%, and 20%, respectively, by PCB 126. These changes were accompanied by a 60% decrease in selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase activity. In contrast, hepatic copper levels were increased 40% by PCB 126. PCB 126-induced pathology was characterized by hepatocellular hypertrophy and mild steatosis in the liver and a mild decrease in cortical T-cells in the thymus. This controlled study in rats fed a purified diet shows that even a single, very low dose of PCB 126 that did not alter feed intake or growth, significantly perturbed redox and metals homeostasis and antioxidant and enzyme levels in rodent liver.
 
Article
Several reports have indicated that low level of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure can adversely affect a multitude of physiological disorders and diseases in in vitro, in vivo, and as reported in epidemiological studies. This investigation is focused on the possible contribution of two most prevalent PCB congeners in vitro in developing toxicities. We used PCBs 138 and 153 at the human equivalence level as model agents to test their specificity in developing toxicities. We chose a global approach using oligonucleotide microarray technology to investigate modulated gene expression for biological effects, upon exposure of PCBs, followed by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA), to understand the underlying consequence in developing disease and disorders. We performed in vitro studies with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), where PBMC cells were exposed to respective PCBs for 48 h. Overall, our observation on gene expression indicated that PCB produces a unique signature affecting different pathways, specific for each congener. While analyzing these data through IPA, the prominent and interesting disease and disorders were neurological disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, as well as endocrine system disorders, genetic disorders, and reproductive system disease. They showed strong resemblances with in vitro, in vivo, and in the epidemiological studies. A distinct difference was observed in renal and urological diseases, organisimal injury and abnormalities, dental disease, ophthalmic disease, and psychological disorders, which are only revealed by PCB 138 exposure, but not in PCB 153. The present study emphasizes the challenges of global gene expression in vitro and was correlated with the results of exposed human population. The microarray results give a molecular mechanistic insight and functional effects, following PCB exposure. The extent of changes in genes related to several possible mode(s) of action highlights the changes in cellular functions and signaling pathways that play major roles. In addition to understanding the pathways related to mode of action for chemicals, these data could lead to the identification of genomic signatures that could be used for screening of chemicals for their potential to cause disease and developmental disorders.
 
Article
The production ban of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) technical mixtures has left the erroneous impression that PCBs exist only as legacy pollutants. Some lower-chlorinated PCBs are still being produced and contaminate both indoor and ambient air. To inform PCB risk assessment, we characterized lung uptake, distribution, metabolism and excretion of PCB11 as a signature compound for these airborne non-legacy PCBs. After delivering [(14)C]PCB11 to the lungs of male rats, radioactivity in 34 major tissues and 5 digestive matter compartments was measured at 12, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 720min postexposure, during which time the excreta and exhaled air were also collected. [(14)C]PCB11 and metabolites in lung, liver, blood, digestive matter, urine, feces, and adipose tissues were extracted separately to establish the metabolic profile of the disposition. [(14)C]PCB11 was distributed rapidly to all tissues after 99.8% pulmonary uptake and quickly underwent extensive metabolism. The major tissue deposition of [(14)C]PCB11 and metabolites translocated from liver, blood and muscle to skin and adipose tissue 200min postexposure, while over 50% of administered dose was discharged via urine and feces within 12h. Elimination of the [(14)C]PCB11 and metabolites consisted of an initial fast phase (t½=9-33min) and a slower clearance phase to low concentrations. Phase II metabolites dominated in liver blood and excreta after 25min postexposure. This study shows that PCB11 is completely absorbed after inhalation exposure and is rapidly eliminated from most tissues. Phase II metabolites dominated with a slower elimination rate than the PCB11 or phase I metabolites and thus can best serve as urine biomarkers of exposure.
 
Article
Fully brominated diphenyl ether, decabromodiphenyl ether (DBDE), is one of the most widely used brominated flame retardants worldwide. Little data is available about the metabolic fate of DBDE in animal models and nothing at all about the extent of foetal exposure. In this work, pregnant Wistar rats were force-fed with 99.8% pure [14C]-DBDE over 96 h at a late stage of gestation (days 16 to 19). More than 19% of the administered dose was recovered in tissues and carcasses, demonstrating efficient absorption of DBDE despite its high molecular weight and low solubility. The highest concentrations of DBDE residues were found in endocrine glands (adrenals, ovaries) and in the liver, with lower values recorded for fat. In all tissue extracts, most of the radioactivity was associated with unchanged DBDE. The use of high-grade purity [14C]-DBDE allowed quantification of several metabolites present both in maternal tissues and in foetuses. These biotransformation products accounted for 9-27% of the extractable radioactivity in tissues and 14% of that in foetuses. Three nona-BDEs and one octa-BDE were identified by LC-APPI/MS. The unequivocal characterisation of a hydroxylated octa-BDE isolated from liver was confirmed by NMR. In rat, the main metabolic pathways of DBDE are debromination and oxidation. DBDE, and very likely most of its metabolites, are able to cross the placental barrier in rat. Metabolic profiles, obtained in vivo for the first time, demonstrated the presence of DBDE and major biotransformation products in endocrine glands as well as in foetuses. The biological activity of these metabolites still needs to be assessed in order to better understand the potential toxicity of DBDE.
 
Article
An understanding of congener specific cellular absorption of PCBs is important to the study of the organ specific body burden of an individual and to their toxic effects. We have previously demonstrated that single PCB congeners induce cytotoxicity, as evidenced by decreased cellular viability and accelerated apoptotic death. There is very little, if any, information available on the differences in toxicity due to the nature of absorption of PCBs in different cells. To obtain such information human liver (HepG2) cells (in medium with 10% FBS) were exposed to 70 μM of both PCB-153 (non-coplanar hexachlorobiphenyl) and PCB-77 (coplanar tetrachlorobiphenyl), and human kidney (HK2) cells in serum free medium were exposed to 80 and 40 μM of PCB-153 and PCB-77 respectively, according to their LC(50) values in these cells. Medium and cells were collected separately at each time interval from 30 min to 48 h, and PCB concentrations were analyzed in both by GC-MS using biphenyl as an internal standard following hexane:acetone (50:50) extraction. We also performed trypan blue exclusion, DNA fragmentation and fluorescence microscopic studies in assessing cell viability and apoptotic cell death. About 40% of PCB-153 (35 μM, 50% of the maximum value) was detected in HepG2 cells within 30 min, and it reached its highest concentration at 6h (60 μM), concomitant with the PCB depletion in the medium (5 μM). For PCB-77, the highest concentrations within the cells were reached at 3h. However, the absorption levels of PCB-153 and PCB-77 in HK2 cells reached their peaks at 3 and 6h respectively. Exposure of human liver and kidney cells to PCB-153 and PCB-77 caused accelerated apoptotic cell death in a time-dependent manner. The studies demonstrated that (1) liver cells initiate the absorption of PCBs much faster than kidney cells; however, the concentration reaches its maximum level much earlier in kidney cells; (2) both PCB-153 and PCB-77 induced enhanced apoptotic death in liver and kidney cells; and (3) kidney cells are more vulnerable to PCBs based on the results of apoptosis and cellular viability, even with almost similar absorption or tissue burden of PCBs.
 
Article
Concentrations, composition and interrelationships of selenium and metallic elements (Ag, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Ga, Mn, Mo, Pb, Rb, Sb, Sr, Tl, V and Zn) have been examined in muscle and organ meats of Red Deer hunted in Poland. The analytical data obtained were also discussed in terms of Se supplementation and deficit to Deer as well as the benefits and risk to humans associated with the essential and toxic metals intake resulting from consumption of Deer meat and products. These elements were determined in 20 adult animals of both sexes that were obtained in the 2000/2001 hunting season from Warmia and Mazury in the north-eastern part of Poland. The whole kidneys contained Ba, Cd, Cr, Ga, Pb, Se, Sr and Tl at statistically greater concentrations than liver or muscle tissue from the same animal. Liver showed statistically greater concentrations of Ag, Co, Cu, Mn and Mo than kidneys or muscle tissue, and muscle tissue was richer in Zn, when compared to the kidneys or liver. Cs and Rb were similarly distributed between all three tissue types, while V was less abundant in liver than kidneys or muscle tissue. There were significant associations between some metallic elements retained in Red Deer demonstrated by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the data set. In organ and muscle meats (kidneys, liver and muscle tissue considered together) the first principal component (PC1) was strongly influenced by positively correlated variables describing Se, Ba and Cd and negatively correlated variables describing Ag, Co, Cs, Mn, Pb, Tl and V; PC2, respectively, by Cu, Mn and Mo (+) and Zn (−); PC3 by Ga (+) and PC4 by Sb (+). Selenium occurred in muscle tissue, liver and kidneys at median concentrations of 0.13, 0.19 and 4.0 mg/g dry weight, respectively. These values can be defined as marginally deficient (
 
Article
Alteration of DNA methylation is a major epigenetic mechanism associated with the effects of nongenotoxic carcinogens. We evaluated the effects of two environmental pollutants, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), 17-beta oestradiol (E(2)) as well as 5-aza 2' deoxycytidine (5AdC) on global DNA methylation levels (5-methyl 2' deoxycytidine) in the liver and gonads of the three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). HBCD at 30 and 300 ng/L of water did not produce statistically significant differences in global genomic methylation in liver of female stickleback. On the other hand, the methylation inhibitor, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, significantly lowered hepatic global methylation levels in these fish by 14% (P<0.05). The naturally occurring oestrogen, 17-beta oestradiol (E(2)) at 100 ng/L also decreased global DNA methylation levels in female liver but this effect was not statistically significant. In contrast, both E(2) and 5AdC caused statistically significant (P<0.001 and P<0.01 respectively) global genomic hypermethylation in the gonads of male sticklebacks although the increase seen in the female gonads was not statistically significant. The male gonad effect though unexplained may potentially be an indirect response to hypomethylation in other tissues (such as the liver) and may have important implications regarding oestrogenic effects in fish. The contrasting effects of HBCD and E(2) on global DNA methylation in stickleback should contribute to the integrated risk assessment of these environmental chemicals.
 
Article
Few multi-city studies in Asian developing countries have examined the acute health effects of ambient nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)). In the China Air Pollution and Health Effects Study (CAPES), we investigated the short-term association between NO(2) and mortality in 17 Chinese cities. We applied two-stage Bayesian hierarchical models to obtain city-specific and national average estimates for NO(2). In each city, we used Poisson regression models incorporating natural spline smoothing functions to adjust for long-term and seasonal trend of mortality, as well as other time-varying covariates. We examined the associations by age, gender and education status. We combined the individual-city estimates of the concentration-response curves to get an overall NO(2)-mortality association in China. The averaged daily concentrations of NO(2) in the 17 Chinese cities ranged from 26 μg/m(3) to 67 μg/m(3). In the combined analysis, a 10-μg/m(3) increase in two-day moving averaged NO(2) was associated with a 1.63% [95% posterior interval (PI), 1.09 to 2.17], 1.80% (95% PI, 1.00 to 2.59) and 2.52% (95% PI, 1.44 to 3.59) increase of total, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortality, respectively. These associations remained significant after adjustment for ambient particles or sulfur dioxide (SO(2)). Older people appeared to be more vulnerable to NO(2) exposure. The combined concentration-response curves indicated a linear association. Conclusively, this largest epidemiologic study of NO(2) in Asian developing countries to date suggests that short-term exposure to NO(2) is associated with increased mortality risk.
 
Article
Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were determined in the sediment and in several species (European flounder,Platichthys flesus; common sole, Solea solea; Chinese mitten crab,Eriocheir sinensis; shore crab, Carcinus maenas; brown shrimp,Crangon crangon; blue mussel, Mytilus edulis and bristle worms,Polychaeta) from 7 locations in the Scheldt estuary (SE, the Netherlands–Belgium). Overall POP levels in the sediment were low. The average PCB and PBDE concentrations were respectively 31.5 and 115 ng/g dry weight (dw). The highest sediment loads were measured in the vicinity of Antwerp (368 ng PCBs/g dw),a location with intense harbor and industrial activities. Pollution concentrations in the tissues of biota were species-specific. European flounder reached the highest contamination levels (from 12.9 to285 ng PCBs/g ww, from 0.25 to 3.97 ng PBDEs/g ww). The lowest tissue loads were measured in brown shrimp (from 3.27 to 39.9 ngPCBs/g ww, from 0.05 to 0.47 ng PBDEs/g ww). The PCB congener profile in most of the species was similar to the pattern found in the sediment. PCB 153 was the most abundant congener (16.5–25.7% in biota, 10.4% in sediment). In the sediment, the total amountof PBDEs consisted of more than 99% of BDE 209. Congener BDE 47had the highest concentrations in all sampled species (38.5–70.1%).Sediment POP loadings and tissue concentrations were poorly correlated,indicating that a simple linear or non-linear relationship is insufficient to describe this relationship, possible caused by the complexity of the bioaccumulation processes and the variability in exposure.Because of the high PCB levels, regular consumption of fish and seafood, especially mussels, from the Scheldt estuary should be avoided.
 
Summary of points of departure for hepatotoxicity and reproductive toxicity. Doses represent NOAELs if not stated otherwise. For congeners lacking data, read-across ex- trapolation from the closest most conservative congener on a molar basis has been performed. Original congener-specific data is marked in bold.
Article
Humans are simultaneously exposed to a multitude of chemicals. Human health risk assessment of chemicals is, however, normally performed on single substances, which may underestimate the total risk, thus bringing a need for reliable methods to assess the risk of combined exposure to multiple chemicals. Per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs) is a large group of chemicals that has emerged as global environmental contaminants. In the Swedish population, 17 PFASs have been measured, of which the vast majority lacks human health risk assessment information. The objective of this study was to for the first time perform a cumulative health risk assessment of the 17 PFASs measured in the Swedish population, individually and in combination, using the Hazard Index (HI) approach. Swedish biomonitoring data (blood/serum concentrations of PFASs) were used and two study populations identified: 1) the general population exposed indirectly via the environment and 2) occupationally exposed professional ski waxers. Hazard data used were publicly available toxicity data for hepatotoxicity and reproductive toxicity as well as other more sensitive toxic effects. The results showed that PFASs concentrations were in the low ng/ml serum range in the general population, reaching high ng/ml and low μg/ml serum concentrations in the occupationally exposed. For those congeners lacking toxicity data with regard to hepatotoxicity and reproductive toxicity read-across extrapolations was performed. Other effects at lower dose levels were observed for some well-studied congeners. The risk characterization showed no concern for hepatotoxicity or reproductive toxicity in the general population except in a subpopulation eating PFOS-contaminated fish, illustrating that high local exposure may be of concern. For the occupationally exposed there was concern for hepatotoxicity by PFOA and all congeners in combination as well as for reproductive toxicity by all congeners in combination, thus a need for reduced exposure was identified. Concern for immunotoxicity by PFOS and for disrupted mammary gland development by PFOA was identified in both study populations as well as a need of additional toxicological data for many PFAS congeners with respect to all assessed endpoints.
 
Article
17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2) is a synthetic hormone, which is a derivative of the natural hormone, estradiol (E2). EE2 is an orally bio-active estrogen, and is one of the most commonly used medications for humans as well as livestock and aquaculture activity. EE2 has become a widespread problem in the environment due to its high resistance to the process of degradation and its tendency to (i) absorb organic matter, (ii) accumulate in sediment and (iii) concentrate in biota. Numerous studies have reported the ability of EE2 to alter sex determination, delay sexual maturity, and decrease the secondary sexual characteristics of exposed organisms even at a low concentration (ng/L) by mimicking its natural analogue, 17β-estradiol (E2). Thus, the aim of this review is to provide an overview of the science regarding EE2, the concentration levels in the environment (water, sediment and biota) and summarize the effects of this compound on exposed biota at various concentrations, stage life, sex, and species. The challenges in respect of EE2 include the extension of the limited database on the EE2 pollution profile in the environment, its fate and transport mechanism, as well as the exposure level of EE2 for better prediction and definition revision of EE2 toxicity end points, notably for the purpose of environmental risk assessment.
 
Article
Specimens of the limpet Patella aspera were collected from a clean, coastal marine site and a contaminated estuary on the south coast of Portugal. The shells were analysed individually for their minor (Mg, Sr) and trace element (Fe, Mn, Zn) content. Mean concentrations of these elements in the shell of P. aspera were 4651, 1318, 35.8, 29.9 and 5.5 microg g(-1), respectively. The elemental concentrations exhibited both a marked intra- and inter-population variability. Despite the variability within individual populations, significant differences in the trace element composition were apparent between the shells taken from the two sites. Small shells (< 2 g) provided the best resolution between sites for both manganese and iron. Differences in zinc were best resolved for larger shells. The shell of P. aspera has an extraordinarily high magnesium concentration, which is insensitive to gross salinity differences, and a trace metal assemblage that can be interpreted in terms of environmental exposure. On these grounds, it is recommended that the shell of P. aspera is a tissue for potential use in environmental trace metal monitoring.
 
Article
Single-species tests allow the assessment of chronical effects of endocrine disruptors on organisms under laboratory conditions. In the current study, three-generation tests with Ceriodaphnia reticulata and Sida crystallina were carried out to examine the influence of the synthetic hormone 17alpha-ethinylestradiol (EE) on the reproduction of these cladoceran species. For each species, six different concentrations (10-500 microg/l EE) and two controls were tested with eight replicates for a duration of 4 weeks. The test was initiated by transferring one neonate individual into a test vessel which was incubated under standardized conditions. Every 2 days, the medium was renewed and life history parameters such as survivorship of the adults and juveniles, clutch size, first appearance and number of produced offspring were investigated. Acute toxicity tests showed that C. reticulata (EC50 (24 h) 1814 microg/l) was more sensitive towards the substance compared to S. crystallina (EC50 (24 h) >4100 microg/l). The juvenile phase of S. crystallina was significantly shorter at concentrations above 100 microg/l EE. For C. reticulata, 17alpha-ethinylestradiol caused a higher mortality of the newly hatched juveniles at EE concentrations above 200 microg/l. No effects were found for mortality of adult animals, birth rate, number of juveniles per female and net reproduction rate of S. crystallina and C. reticulata. Thus, sublethal effects on parental generation exposed to EE lead to disturbances in reproduction and to affection of their offspring. Negative consequences for the population dynamic cannot be excluded, e.g. the decrease of a population.
 
Article
Estrogens-sulphates such as 17beta-estradiol-3-sulphate and estrone-3-sulphate are excreted by livestock in the urine. These conjugates are precursors to the free counterparts 17beta-estradiol and estrone, which are endocrine disrupting chemicals. In this study microcosm laboratory experiments were conducted in three pasture soils from New Zealand to study the aerobic degradation and metabolite formation kinetics of 17beta-estradiol-3-sulphate at three different incubation temperatures. The degradation of 17beta-estradiol-3-sulphate followed a first-order kinetic and the temperature dependence of the rate constants was sufficiently described by the Arrhenius equation. Degradation was different between the three investigated soils and the rate constants across the soils were significantly correlated to the arylsulphatase activity at 7.5 and 15 degrees C. Estrone-3-sulphate and 17beta-estradiol were identified as primary metabolites and estrone as a secondary metabolite. Results suggest arylsulphatase activity originating from soil microbial biomass is the main driver for the degradation of 17beta-estradiol-3-sulphate.
 
Article
The effects of 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) on fish became a matter of concern, since significant levels of this hormone were detected in the aquatic environment released mainly by domestic sewage treatment plants. In this perspective, the current study was focused on E(2) effects upon biotransformation, stress and genotoxic responses of juvenile Dicentrarchus labrax L. (sea bass). Fish were exposed to E(2) during 10 days in two different ways: water diluted (200 ng/L or 2,000 ng/L) and i.p. injected (0.5 mg/kg or 5 mg/kg). A battery of biological responses was evaluated: liver ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) and alanine transaminase (ALT) activities, liver somatic index (LSI), plasma cortisol, glucose and lactate concentrations, as well as erythrocytic nuclear abnormalities (ENA). All the exposure conditions induced endocrine disruption, measured as plasma cortisol decrease, and genotoxicity, measured as ENA increase. Thus, no differences were detected either between different exposure routes or tested concentrations. Concerning liver EROD and ALT activities, as well as plasma glucose and lactate concentrations no differences were found between treated and control groups. LSI was the only parameter to respond differently in the two exposure routes, as only E(2) water diluted induced a significant increase in this hepatic indicator.
 
Article
Juvenile Dicentrarchus labrax L. (sea bass) were exposed to water diluted 17beta-estradiol (E2) (200 ng/L and 2000 ng/L) and treated with intraperitoneal (i.p) injection E2 (0.5 mg/kg and 5 mg/kg) during 10 days in order to study its genotoxicity and peroxidative damage, measured as gill, blood, liver and kidney DNA integrity decrease using DNA strand breaks assay as well as liver, gill and kidney lipid peroxidation (LPO) respectively. Juvenile sea bass gill DNA integrity was significantly decreased for all E2 exposure conditions. However, no differences were detected either between different exposure routes or tested concentrations. Blood DNA integrity was significantly decreased by E2 5 mg/kg as well as by both water diluted E2 exposure conditions. The highest E2 dose (5 mg/kg) also promoted liver DNA integrity decrease. Liver and gill LPO significantly increased at the highest E2 i.p treatment. An increasing trend of gill and liver LPO, though statistically insignificant, was observed in D. labrax exposed to water diluted E2 in both tested concentrations. The current results demonstrated that DNA damage in juvenile sea bass is affected by the E2 exposure conditions, such as water diluted E2 versus i.p E2 injection since i.p E2 injection promoted higher genotoxicity effect, in terms of affected organs than water diluted E2. Moreover, the organ sensitivity to E2 was different, since gill showed more susceptibility than blood, liver and kidney. Concerning kidney LPO and DNA integrity no differences were found between treated and controls juvenile sea bass groups.
 
Article
Eighteen Dutch soils were extracted in aqueous solutions at varying pH. Extracts were analyzed for Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn by ICP-AES. Extract dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was also concentrated onto a macroreticular resin and fractionation into three operationally defined fractions: hydrophilic acids (Hyd), humic acids (HA) and fulvic acids (FA). In this manner, change in absolute solution concentration and relative percentage for each fraction could be calculated as a function of extraction equilibrium pH. The soils were also analyzed for solid phase total organic carbon and total recoverable metals (EPA Method 3051). Partitioning coefficients were calculated for the metals and organic carbon (OC) based on solid phase concentrations (less the metal or OC removed by the extraction) divided by solution concentrations. Cu and Pb concentrations in solution as a function of extract equilibrium pH are greatest at low and high pH resulting in parabolic desorption/dissolution curves. While processes such as proton competition and proton promoted dissolution can account for high solution metal concentrations at low pH, these processes cannot account for higher Cu and Pb concentrations at high pH. DOC increases with increasing pH, concurrently with the increase in Cu and Pb solution concentrations. While the absolute concentrations of FA and HA generally increase with increasing pH, the relative proportional increase is greatest for HA . Variation in HA concentrations spans three orders of magnitude while FA concentrations vary an order of magnitude over the pH range examined. Correlation analysis strongly suggests that HA plays a major role in increasing the concentration of solution Cu and Pb with increasing pH in the 18 soils studied. The percentage of the OC that was due to FA was nearly constant over a wide pH range although the FA concentration increased with increasing pH and its concentration was greater than that of the HA fraction at lower pH values (pH = 3-5). Thus, in more acidic environments, FA may play a larger role than HA in governing organo-metallic interactions. For Cd, Ni, and Zn, the desorption/dissolution pattern shows high metal solution concentrations at low pH with slight increases in solution concentrations at extremely high pH values (pH>10). The results presented here suggest that the effects of dissolved organic carbon on the mobilization of Cd, Ni, and Zn may only occur in systems governed by very high pH. At high pH, it is difficult to distinguish in this study whether the slightly increased solution-phase concentrations of these cations is due to DOC or hydrolysis reactions. These high pH environments would rarely occur in natural settings.
 
Article
A long-term biomonitoring study was carried out in the Lagoon of Venice (North-East Italy) with the aim of evaluating variations in biological responses to environmental stress in estuarine bivalves. Two different species, the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and the clam Tapes philippinarum, both widespread in the Lagoon, were studied in several sites. Two cellular biomarkers: lysosomal membrane stability in digestive cells and thickness of digestive epithelia, were evaluated in native organisms (on a seasonal basis), and in organisms which have been transferred from a reference site to several differently influenced ones. Results indicate that, to some extent, both test and organisms were able to highlight site-specific differences, but the effects of pollution were generally more easily detected by reduction in lysosomal stability than by reduction in digestive tubule epithelium. Further findings show that the inherent variability of a number of natural parameters, particularly in the reference sites, produced less effective results when biological responses in the reference organisms were compared with the polluted ones. The assessment of the two conditions was most valuable when they referred to the 25-75% range of values comprised within the seasonal medians, recorded respectively in control and polluted sites. Impaired from steady states were most effectively distinguished when the control values were medians from two reference locations. Lately, the overall results indicate that both biomarkers are more suitably deployed through the translocation approach, revealing it to be more sensitive than traditional biomonitoring, at least in the sense that it may overcome problems related to the adaptation of native organisms to sub lethal chronic pollution levels.
 
Article
The paper undertakes a preliminary investigation into the relationship between water quality and urbanization as well as the changing patterns of land use within Shanghai. Longitudinal changes to water quality at various points along the course of the Huangpu River are analysed and compared to changes in the rates of urbanization and changes in land uses. The results reveal that rapid urbanization corresponds with rapid degradation of water quality. It also shows that urban land uses are positively correlated with the decline in water quality. A regression model shows that close to 94% of the variability in water quality classifications is explained by industrial land area. The paper concludes with the need for comprehensive land use planning as a way of protecting valuable water resources.
 
(a) Locations of precipitation recording stations in North Carolina. Observations from 76 stations were used in the precipitation analyses. (b) Locations of temperature recording stations in North Carolina. Observations from 50 stations were used for the temperature analyses. 
(a) Precipitation trends for the winter season over the period 1949 – 1998. Linear slopes are in inches per year. Generally, there is an increase in precipitation across the state during the winter. (b) Precipitation trends for the spring season. Linear slopes across the state are slightly positive or negative, but generally are near zero. (c) Precipitation trends for the summer season. Slopes across North Carolina are generally negative. While the slopes in the Southern Coastal Plain are positive, there is a significant negative trend in the central and Northern Coastal Plain. (d) Precipitation trends for the fall season. Slopes are positive across most of North Carolina. Highest positive trends are in the southern mountains. (e) Annual precipitation slopes. The scale of precipitation trends is increased since the annual precipitation is the sum of all four seasons. Precipitation across all season is increasing across most of the state, with decreases in the Northern Coastal Plain. 
(a) Minimum temperature trends for the winter season over the period 1949 – 1998. Trends along the Southern Coast and Northern Piedmont are negative, while positive trends are in parts of the southern mountains. (b) Minimum temperature trends for the spring season over the 50-year study period. The greatest negative slopes are in the Southern Coastal Plain and the Northern Coastal Plain. Most of the state has trends near zero. (c) Minimum temperature trends for the summer season over the period 1949 – 1998. The mountains and Piedmont generally have experienced an increase in minimum temperatures. (d) Minimum temperature trends over the 50-year period for the fall season. Positive linear trends are evident in the mountains, central, and southern Piedmont, and the central and Northern Coastal Plain. (e) Annual minimum temperature trends for the period 1949 – 1998. Generally, warming of minimum temperatures has been experienced in the southern mountains and parts of the Piedmont. Cooling is most evident along the southern coast and the Northern Piedmont. 
(a) Maximum temperature trends for the winter season over the period 1949 – 1998. Negative trends dominate the piedmont and northern mountains. (b) Maximum temperature trends for the spring season over the 50-year study period. Negative linear trends are evident in most of the Piedmont and mountain regions. (c) Maximum temperature trends for the summer season over the period 1949 – 1998. Linear trends are generally near zero statewide. Positive trends are evident along the coast. (d) Maximum temperature trends over the 50-year period for the fall season. Negative slopes are seen in the Piedmont and positive linear trends along the coast. (e) Annual maximum temperature trends for the period 1949 – 1998. Generally, the Piedmont and Northern Mountains are seeing a cooling trend in maximum temperatures. Nominal warming trends are seen just along the coast. 
Article
North Carolina has one of the most complex climates in the United States (U.S.). Analysis of the climate in this state is critical for agricultural and planning purposes. Climate patterns and trends in North Carolina are analyzed for the period 1949-1998. Precipitation, minimum temperature, and maximum temperature are analyzed on seasonal and annual time scales using data collected from the National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Network. Additionally, changes in patterns of occurrence of the last spring freeze and first fall freeze are investigated. Linear time series slopes are analyzed to investigate the spatial and temporal trends of climate variability in North Carolina. Spatial analysis of climate variability across North Carolina is performed using a geographic information system. While most trends are local in nature, there are general statewide patterns. Precipitation in North Carolina has increased over the past 50 years during the fall and winter seasons, but decreased during the summer. Temperatures during the last 10 years are warmer than average, but are not warmer than those experienced during the 1950s. The warm season has become longer, as measured by the dates of the last spring freeze and first fall freeze. Generally, the last 10 years were the wettest of the study period. These conclusions are consistent with earlier studies that show that the difference between the maximum and minimum temperatures is decreasing, possibly due to increased cloud cover and precipitation. Similarly, these results show that temperature patterns are in phase with the North Atlantic Oscillation and precipitation patterns appear to be correlated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
 
Article
We are studying participants selected from the Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS), a longitudinal birth cohort of over 20,000 California pregnancies between 1959 and 1967, for associations between maternal body burden of organochlorine contaminants and thyroid function. We designed a pilot study using 30 samples selected among samples with high and low PCB concentrations to evaluate the feasibility of measuring OH-PCBs in the larger study population. GC-ECD and GC-NCI/MS were used to determine PCBs and OH-PCBs as methyl derivatives, respectively. Maternal serum levels of Sigma11PCBs and Sigma8OH-PCB metabolites varied from 0.74 to 7.99 ng/mL wet wt. with a median of 3.05 ng/mL, and from 0.12 to 0.98 ng/mL wet wt. with a median of 0.39 ng/mL, respectively. Average concentrations of Sigma8OH-PCB metabolites in the high PCB group were significantly higher than those in the low PCB group (p < 0.05). The levels of OH-PCB metabolites were dependent on PCB levels (r = 0.58, p < 0.05) but approximately an order of magnitude lower (p < 0.05). The average ratio of Sigma8OH-PCBs to Sigma11PCBs was 0.14 +/- 0.08. The primary metabolite was 4-OH-CB187 followed by 4-OH-CB107. Both of these metabolites interfere with the thyroid system in in vitro, animal, and human studies. OH-PCBs were detectable in all archived sera analyzed, supporting the feasibility to measure OH-PCB metabolites in the entire cohort.
 
Article
Temporal trends of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DL-PCBs) in mothers' milk are still quite rare. Data are particularly scarce when it comes to concentrations from the last decade, 2000 and onwards. The aims of the present study were to assess temporal trends of PCDD, PCDF and DL-PCB in mothers' milk from Stockholm, 1972-2011 and to compare the results with previous analysis of some of the older samples. The samples were analyzed by high resolution GC/MS and results were statistically evaluated for the periods, 1972-2011 and 2002-2011. The rate of which ∑PCDDs, ∑DL-PCBs and the ∑TEQ are decreasing (on pg/g fat WHO-TEQ2005) is higher in the last decade compared to the 40year period, 1972-2011. A similar trend is indicated, but not confirmed, for ∑TEQ of PCDFs, probably due to too many PCDF congeners below LOQ in the period 2002-2011. Concentrations of ∑PCDDs, ∑PCDFs, ∑DLPCBs and ∑TEQ, all expressed as pg/g fat on TEQ-WHO2005-basis, show a statistically significant decline over time, 5.8-6.8% per year, 1972-2011. The last ten years the annual declines for ∑PCDDs, ∑DL-PCBs and ∑TEQ are 9.2-11% and for ∑PCDF, 5.4%. Congener specific trend analysis, 2002-2001, of PCDDs and DL-PCBs showed the same pattern, while the PCDF congeners showed no such general trend. The results from the re-analysis showed good agreement with slightly lower ∑TEQ1998 pg/g fat concentrations in six out of seven samples and mean difference of 13% in ∑TEQ1998. The study shows that time series can be elongated from previous studies, as long as the sample population remains the same.
 
Article
The widespread presence of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), and perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS) in human general populations and their slow elimination profiles have led to renewed interest in understanding the potential human neonatal exposures of perfluoroalkyls (PFAs) from consumption of human milk. The objective of this study was to evaluate the concentrations of PFOS, PFHxS, and PFOA in pooled human milk samples obtained in Sweden between 1972 and 2008 (a period representing the most significant period of PFA production) and to see whether the time trend of these analytes parallels that indicated in human serum. Chemical analysis of PFOS, PFHxS, and PFOA was performed on pooled Swedish human milk samples from 1972 to 2008 after methodological refinements. The 20 samples which formed the 2007 pool were also analyzed individually to evaluate sample variations. Analyses were performed by HPLC-MS/MS. Due to the complexities of the human milk matrix and the requirement to accurately quantitate low pg/mL concentrations, meticulous attention must be paid to background contamination if accurate results are to be obtained. PFOS was the predominant analyte present in the pools and all three analytes showed statistically significant increasing trends from 1972 to 2000, with concentrations reaching a plateau in the 1990s. PFOA and PFOS showed statistically significant decreasing trends during 2001-2008. At the end of the study, in 2008, the measured concentrations of PFOS, PFHxS, and PFOA in pooled human milk were 75 pg/mL, 14 pg/mL, and 74 pg/mL, respectively. The temporal concentration trends of PFOS, PFHxS, and PFOA observed in human milk are parallel to those reported in the general population serum concentrations.
 
Article
Longitudinal biomonitoring studies can provide unique information on how human concentrations change over time, but have so far not been conducted for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in a background exposed population. The objectives of this study were to determine: i) serum PFAS time trends on an individual level; ii) relative compositions and correlations between different PFASs; and iii) assess selected PFAS concentrations with respect to periodic (calendar year), age and birth cohort (APC) effects. Serum was sampled from the same 53 men in 1979, 1986, 1994, 2001 and 2007 in Northern Norway and analysed for 10 PFASs. APC effects were assessed by graphical and mixed effect analyses. The median concentrations of perfluorooctane sulphonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) increased five-fold from 1979 to 2001 and decreased by 26% and 23%, respectively, from 2001 to 2007. The concentrations of PFOS and PFOA peaked during 1994-2001 and 2001, respectively, whereas perfluorohexane sulphonic acid (PFHxS) increased to 2001, but did not demonstrate a decrease between 2001 and 2007. Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA) displayed increasing trends throughout the entire study period (1979-2007). Although PFOS comprised dominating and stable proportions of PFAS burdens during these years, the contributions from PFOA and PFHxS were considerable. The evaluation of APC effects demonstrated that calendar year was the dominating influence on concentrations of PFOA, PFUnDA, and PFOS, although time-variant and weaker associations with age/birth cohort were indicated. The concentration changes of 10 PFASs in the repeated measurements from 1979 to 2007 demonstrated divergent time trends between the different PFASs. The temporal trends of PFASs in human serum during these 30years reflect the overall trends in historic production and use, although global transport mechanisms and bioaccumulation potential of the different PFASs together with a varying extent of consumer exposure influenced the observed trends. Sampling year was the strongest descriptor of PFOA, PFUnDA and PFOS concentrations, and the calendar-year trends were apparent for all birth year quartiles. Discrepancies between the trends in this current longitudinal study and previous cross-sectional studies were observed and presumably reflect the different study designs and population characteristics.
 
Article
In 1981, a Petrol-Lead Phase-Out Program (PLPOP) was launched in Taiwan for the abatement of environmental lead emissions. The present study was intended to examine whether the high Petrol-Lead Emission Areas (PLEA) would result in an increase in the incidence rate of brain cancer based on a national data bank. The national brain cancer incidence data was obtained from the Taiwan National Cancer Registry. Age standardized incidence rates were calculated based on the 2000 WHO world standard population, and gasoline consumption data was obtained from the Bureau of Energy. The differences in the trend tests for age-standardized incidence rates of brain cancer between high, median, low, and small PLEA were analyzed. A significant increase was found from small to high PLEA in age-standardized incidence rates of brain cancer. By taking six possible confounders into account, the age-standardized incidence rates for brain cancer were highly correlated with the median and high PLEA by reference to the small PLEA. After being adjusted for a number of relevant confounders, it could be concluded that high PLEA might result in an increase in the incidence rate of brain cancer resulting from high lead exposures.
 
Article
Three groups of POPs — DDT, HCH and PCBs were monitored in early human milk for 27 years (1982–2009), as a measure of environmental pollution in the same geographic region (South Bačka, Voyvodina, Serbia). Measurements were performed using ECD GC Varian 3400. Concetrations of DDT and HCH had general decreasing trend from 1982 to 2009. However, the concentrations of both groups of compounds showed small rises in 1994. Concentrations of PCBs had general decreasing trend from 1982 to 2009 — smooth and steep only till 1994 and with two small peaks in 2003 and 2009. The latest estimated daily intake of DDT and HCH was well below the EU upper limit for pesticides in food intended for infants and small children. Although the estimated daily intake of PCBs was far below the upper limit for daily milk products in Serbia, its increase in 2003 and 2009 is a clear indication of environmental influx of these compounds after the 1994 measurements. The likely explanation for such POP profiles in South Bačka could have been a series of negative environmental impacts escalating in 1999, after which four hot spots were identified in Serbia (Novi Sad, Pančevo, Bor and Kragujevac) by UNEP. The results of this monitoring showed that although a long standing environmental presence of POPs has a decreasing trend, their occasional output in the environment may cause bioaccumulation and biomagnification in human organisms which already start in the neonatal age through mother–child transfer via human milk.
 
Article
Ozone trends in Hong Kong were assessed from the ozone data recorded at three urban stations and one station in the new development area. Three parameters were selected as the robust trend indicators in the study: monthly mean, monthly averaged daily 1-h maximum, and number of annual hours > 120 microg m(-3). As the ozone data displayed obvious seasonal variation, using deseasonalized monthly average parameters to estimate the ozone trends could smooth out the influence of seasonal fluctuations. The detection of an increase of more than 10% per year in ozone concentration at one station was particularly alarming. Effects of meteorological factors, control programmes of ozone precursors, and long-range transport on the ambient ozone level were examined in the study.
 
Article
A selection of PBDE congeners was analyzed in pooled blubber samples of pilot whale (Globicephala melas), ringed seal (Phoca hispida), minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) and Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus), covering a time period of more than 20 years (1986-2009). The analytes were extracted and cleaned-up using open column extraction and multi-layer silica gel column chromatography, and the analysis was performed on a GC-MS system operating in the NCI mode. The highest PBDE levels were found in the toothed whale species pilot whale and white-sided dolphin, and the lowest levels in fin whales and ringed seals. One-sided analyses of variance (ANOVA) followed by Tukey comparisons of means were applied to test for differences between years and sampling areas. Due to inter-year sampling variability, only general comparisons of PBDE concentrations between different sampling areas could be made. Differences in PBDE concentrations between three sampling periods, from 1986 to 2007, were evaluated in samples of pilot whales, ringed seals, white-sided dolphins and hooded seals. The highest PBDE levels were found in samples from the late 1990s or beginning of 2000, possibly reflecting the increase in the global production of technical PBDE mixtures in the 1990s. The levels of BDE #153 and #154 increased relative to the total PBDE concentration in some of the species in recent years, which may indicate an increased relative exposure to higher brominated congeners. In order to assess the effect of measures taken in legally binding international agreements, it is important to continuously monitor POPs such as PBDEs in sub-Arctic and Arctic environments.
 
Article
Thirty-seven addled peregrine falcon eggs collected in South Greenland between 1986 and 2003 were analysed for their content of the organochlorine compounds polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyl tricloroethane (DDT) and its degradation products, hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) isomers and hexachlorobenzene (HCB). PCBs and DDT (including metabolites) were by far the most abundant OC groups, with median concentrations of 55 and 40 microg/g lw, respectively. The concentrations were high in an Arctic context, but similar to previously reported levels from Alaska and Norway and slightly lower than concentrations measured in eggs from industrialised regions. Geographical differences may be of importance, considering the migration of peregrine falcons and their prey. SigmaHCH and HCB had median concentrations of 0.39 and 0.17 microg/g lw, respectively. On average, DDE accounted for 97% of SigmaDDT, but was below critical levels for eggshell thinning. All compound groups showed a weak decreasing trend over the study period, which was statistically significant for HCB and close to being significant for SigmaHCH. The weak decrease of SigmaPCB and SigmaDDT is different from other time trend studies from Greenland, usually showing a more pronounced decrease in the beginning of the study period, followed by a certain stabilisation in recent years.
 
Article
A comprehensive worldwide literature review of blood levels of dioxins and dioxin-like compounds in non-exposed adult general populations was performed. The studies published in 1989-2010 reporting information on polychlorinated dibenzo-para-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), non-ortho-PCBs (nPCBs), mono-ortho-PCBs (mPCBs) levels and Toxic Equivalencies (TEQs, a summary weighted measure of their combined toxicity) were reviewed. TEQs were calculated using as standard the most recent WHO 2005 reevaluation of Toxic Equivalency Factors (TEFs). Weighted multiple regression analyses adjusted for year, subject's age, type of sample analyzed, method used for values below detection limit, and central tendency measure used were performed for each congener and standardized TEQs (log-transformed). We identified 187 studies regarding 29,687 subjects of 26 countries. Year of blood collection ranged from 1985 to 2008. The studies reporting congener levels 161. In adjusted analyses, European countries showed higher levels of most dioxin-like congeners and TEQs. A strong positive association of subjects' age with most congeners and with TEQ values was found, confirming previous findings. Significant decreases over time (1985-2008) were documented for PCCDs, PCDFs, and TEQs including their contributions. No significant decrease was found for non-ortho-PCBs, notably PCB 126. Only some mono-ortho-PCBs showed clear significant declines. Accordingly, TEQs including only PCB contribution did not decrease over time. In interpreting these findings, it should be considered that for dioxin-like PCBs the analysis period was shorter (17 years), since these compounds were first measured in 1992.
 
Article
Depleted uranium (DU) is a by-product of the 235U radionuclide enrichment processes for nuclear reactors or nuclear weapons. DU in the metallic form has high density and hardness as well as pyrophoric properties, which makes it superior to the classical tungsten armour-piercing munitions. Military use of DU has been recently a subject of considerable concern, not only to radioecologists but also public opinion in terms of possible health hazards arising from its radioactivity and chemical toxicity. In this review, the results of uranium content measurements in different environmental samples performed by authors in Kuwait after Gulf War are presented with discussion concerning possible environmental and health effects for the local population. It was found that uranium concentration in the surface soil samples ranged from 0.3 to 2.5 microg g(-1) with an average value of 1.1 microg g(-1), much lower than world average value of 2.8 microg g(-1). The solid fallout samples showed similar concentrations varied from 0.3 to 1.7 microg g(-1) (average 1.47 microg g(-1)). Only the average concentration of U in solid particulate matter in surface air equal to 0.24 ng g(-1) was higher than the usually observed values of approximately 0.1 ng g(-1) but it was caused by the high dust concentration in the air in that region. Calculated on the basis of these measurements, the exposure to uranium for the Kuwait and southern Iraq population does not differ from the world average estimation. Therefore, the widely spread information in newspapers and Internet (see for example: [CADU NEWS, 2003. http://www.cadu.org.uk/news/index.htm (3-13)]) concerning dramatic health deterioration for Iraqi citizens should not be linked directly with their exposure to DU after the Gulf War.
 
Article
A method was developed for simultaneous analysis of perfluoroalkane sulfonic acids (PFSAs) and their sulfonamide-based precursors (perfluoroalkane sulfonamidoacetic acids (FASAAs), sulfonamides (FASAs), and sulfonamidoethanols (FASEs)) in fish muscle. Extraction was performed with acetonitrile followed by a clean-up and fractionation step and instrumental analysis by UPLC/MS/MS and GC/MS. Time trends of PFSAs and their precursors in herring muscle samples originating from the Kattegat at the west coast of Sweden were investigated covering the years 1991–2011. The following analytes were detected, all with decreasing or unchanged trends between 1991 and 2011: Perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS, below the method detection limit (
 
Top-cited authors
Lidia Morawska
  • Queensland University of Technology
Rattan Lal
  • The Ohio State University
Adrian Covaci
  • University of Antwerp
Ki-Hyun Kim
  • Hanyang University
Gyula Oros
  • Hungarian Academy of Sciences