Thursday, October 3, 2019

Health and Environmental Risks of the Near Future

The “Statement on emerging health and environmental issues” identified and reviewed the potential environment-health priorities of the near future, considering the novelty of the stressor or process, the scale, and severity of possible impacts and the anticipated increasing importance over time.

Some emerging issues -like do-it-yourself synthetic biology, gene editing to control pests or virtual reality- are of high interest for the future of our living environment, however, they are out-of-scope for this series of articles which aims at discussing chemical toxicological risks and their governance.

Emerging issues directly relevant to toxicological risk assessment:
  • E-cigarettes: Introduced in the early 2000s e-cigarette may expand and become ”fashionable”, especially among adolescents. In the meanwhile, this habit may bring about significant exposure to nicotine, as well as to other chemicals including poorly investigated flavorings as well as metals.
  • Drinking water disinfection by-productsNew and modified drinking water treatments, such as advanced oxidation processes, are being used to remove contaminants; this development is fostered by climate changes which may lower the availability of clean water sources. It is recognized that disinfection methods interact with substances in water, leading to by-products. 
  • Nanoparticles from Building MaterialsNanomaterials are found in a number of construction products, e.g., surface coatings, concrete, insulation. Environmental release may occur during crumbling, renovation or demolition processes and/or recycling, land-filling, and incineration technologies. The toxicology and ecotoxicology of nanoparticles still present many uncertainties and exposure scenarios from building materials should be built-up: a characterization of risk should then support new, ad hoc regulations.
  • Pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs: Their loads in wastewater increase as a result of increased use of legal, illicit and counterfeit drugs and of population aging. Wastewater treatments may not completely remove drugs and their metabolites and by-products.
  • Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS): Widespread in the environment, very persistent, yet, still receiving limited attention by regulators. The recent assessment of PFOS and PFOA by EFSA  pointed out concerns for adverse effects on metabolic, immune and reproductive functions as well as for dietary exposure; however, many more emerging PFAS await evaluation.
  • Chemicals in recycled materials: An issue that might complicate the EU-wide strategies toward a circular economy. Interest in the circular economy and therefore in recycling has increased considerably. One problem is that the recycled products and materials may contain hazardous substances that pose risks to the environment, consumers, and/or workers.
  • Microbiome: Has a modulating role between environmental factors and the health status; changes in the human microbiome are being linked to a broad array of health disorders, including neurological, oncologic and autoimmune conditions. Important scientific efforts are most welcome to better characterize the inter-relationships among exposure to environmental stressors, microbiome changes and onset of adverse health effects.

Monday, September 30, 2019

How plants regulate their body temperatures:Implications for climate change science

The temperature at and near the Earth’s surface is rising, much to the consternation of the world.
Terrestrial life, including humans, is almost all restricted to a biofilm of few tens of meters above and below the surface. That life-supporting film, the biosphere, has, by comparison with the atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere, the greatest historical, seasonal and daily variation in environmental conditions, including temperature, moisture, solar radiation, atmospheric disturbances, electromagnetic fluxes, and chemical composition. Life forms have adapted to those wide swings in environmental conditions and notably to temperature.
It is well recognized that the diversity, abundance, and activities of terrestrial life are influenced by two main climatic factors, temperature and water availability. Warmth and water favor life. Environmental temperatures may be too cold or too hot to allow certain life forms to thrive. Environmental moisture has more complex direct and indirect effects on life. There are, additionally, other environmental factors (e.g. salinity, pH, the nature of substrates) that influence life. Global concern for climate change invokes the effects of the atmospheric build-up of greenhouse gases. Global climate change influences all those factors as life’s diversity, distribution, abundance, and activities are affected. The effects of global climate change on life are mostly inferred from general meteorology without much consideration for the actual environmental conditions close to the ground (micrometeorology) and within life forms (biometeorology). Micrometeorology and biometeorology must be applied to refining scientific understanding of the extent and consequences of climate change.
Numerous means for the mitigation of the effects of climate change are advocated and instituted. Strategies range in scale from macro to micro; from direct intervention on atmospheric chemistry (reducing the influx of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, cloud seeding), indirect environmental amelioration (irrigation, reafforestation, smoke smudging), to genetic manipulations (cold, heat, drought and pest tolerant crops and livestock). Plant thermoregulation and its consequences are hardly understood in terms of climate change.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Air Pollution is connected to nervousness and self-destructive thoughts in children

Air pollution might be related with expanded emotional wellness issue like nervousness and discouragement in children. Environmental Health Perspectives diary, found that momentary presentation to high ambient air pollution compared with a rise in visits to the youngsters' mental crisis office.

Done more than five years, the examination said there was past proof connecting harmful particulate issue with expanded mental disorders in grown-ups, yet that this impact on kids' emotional wellness has not yet been inspected.

The minute particles, which are smaller than 2.5 micrometers in breadth, can stop profound into the lungs and go into different organs and the circulation system. They cause disturbance, irritation and can prompt respiratory issues, while longer term introduction can even reason disease and coronary failure.

They additionally found that youngsters in distraught areas or less access to human services, were progressively helpless against the mental impacts of pollution spikes - especially the disarranges of tension and self-destructive contemplations.

Sunday, September 22, 2019


We welcome you to the "Environmental Toxicology Congress 2020" which includes keynote speakers, oral and poster presentations and exhibitions around the world.
For details, visit :https://bit.ly/2kWPBcX

#environment #toxicology #health #climatechange #globalwarming



Friday, May 17, 2019

Climate Change and the impact on Human Health




Climate change will have multiple effects on human health, especially the vector-borne and waterborne infectious diseases.

Climate change is occurring as a result of an imbalance between incoming and outgoing radiation in the atmosphere. The solar radiations enter the atmosphere which is then absorbed by the greenhouse gases which is then cannot be effectively removed from the atmosphere because of deforestation. This process generates heat. Due to which the hydrological cycle will be altered, as a result, some geographic area will have more rainfall, and some drought, and severe weather events including heat waves and storms. Climate change is expected to have a considerable impact on the infectious diseases that are transmitted by insect vectors and through contaminated water.

Insect vectors tend to be more active at higher temperatures. For example, tropical mosquitoes such as Anopheles species, which transmit malaria, require temperatures above 16°C to complete their life cycles.

Like vector-borne diseases, waterborne infectious diseases are also strongly affected by climate. During times of drought, water scarcity results in poor sanitation, and much of the population can be exposed to potentially contaminated water.

It is predicted that by 2030 there will be 10% more diarrheal disease than there would have been with no climate change and that it will primarily affect the health of young children.



Monday, May 13, 2019

Drinking Water Crisis Update: Supplies in 43 States Found Contaminated with Harmful PFAS Chemicals



Millions of people across the U.S. have been exposed to toxic PFAS chemicals in their drinking water, according to a new report from Northeastern University and the Environmental Working Group.

The report found that at least 610 sites in 43 states were contaminated with the fluorinated compounds known as PFAS chemicals as of March 2019, including the drinking water systems for around 19 million people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to PFAS chemicals can lead to increased risk of cancer as well as immune, behavioral and reproductive health issues.

Based on the new data, Michigan tops the list of states with the most contaminated sites on the map with 192, followed by California with 47 and New Jersey with 43. PFAS contamination was found at 117 military bases across the country, due to use in aviation-grade firefighting foam. The U.S Department of Defense officials estimate that it will cost $2 billion to clean up the contamination at all bases in the U.S., Military Times reported.

"This should be frightening to all Americans in many ways," David Andrews, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group, told CBS News. "These chemicals ... don't break down in our body and they don't break down in our environment and they actually stick to our blood. So, levels tend to increase over time."

PFAS chemicals have been manufactured since the 1940s and are used in a wide range of consumer products, including cosmetics, paint, adhesives, food packaging, furniture and cleaning products, as well as water, oil and grease repellants, HuffPost reported. Because they take thousands of years to break down, PFAS chemicals easily find their way into drinking water, lakes and rivers, and wildlife. The CDC says that basically, everyone in the U.S. has some level of PFAS chemicals in their blood, usually due to consuming contaminated water or food.



Friday, May 10, 2019

Radical desalination approach may disrupt the water industry



Off-grid Solar Desalination

Hypersaline brines - water that contains high concentrations of dissolved salts and whose saline levels are higher than ocean water -- are a growing environmental concern around the world. Very challenging and costly to treat, they result from water produced during oil and gas production, inland desalination concentrate, landfill leachate (a major problem for municipal solid waste landfills), flue gas desulfurization wastewater from fossil-fuel power plants, and effluent from industrial processes.
If hypersaline brines are improperly managed, they can pollute both surface and groundwater resources. But if there were a simple, inexpensive way to desalinate the brines, vast quantities of water would be available for all kinds of uses, from agriculture to industrial applications, and possibly even for human consumption.

A Columbia Engineering team led by Ngai Yin Yip, assistant professor of earth and environmental engineering, reports that they have developed a radically different desalination approach -- "temperature swing solvent extraction (TSSE)" -- for hypersaline brines. The study, published online in Environmental Science & Technology Letters, demonstrates that TSSE can desalinate very high-salinity brines, up to seven times the concentration of seawater. This is a good deal more than reverse osmosis, the gold-standard for seawater desalination, and can hold handle approximately twice seawater salt concentrations.