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See detailDetermination of phenolic organohalogens in human serum from a Belgian population and assessment of parameters affecting the human contamination
Dufour, Patrice ULg; PIRARD, Catherine ULg; CHARLIER, Corinne ULg

in Science of the Total Environment (2017), 599-600

Many in vitro or in vivo studies highlighted the potential deleterious effects of phenolic organohalogenated compounds (POHs) on the health, particularly on the thyroid system homeostasis, however few ... [more ▼]

Many in vitro or in vivo studies highlighted the potential deleterious effects of phenolic organohalogenated compounds (POHs) on the health, particularly on the thyroid system homeostasis, however few large scale human epidemiological studies have been carried out, especially in Europe. Further studies monitoring the human contamination by POHs, the sources of exposure and the influence of these compounds on thyroid health are still needed. Therefore we determined the concentrations of 16 POHs (pentachlorophenol (PCP), tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), 4 bromophenols (BPs), 3 hydroxy-polybromodiphenylethers (OH-PBDEs) and 7 hydroxy-polychlorobiphenyls (OH-PCBs)) in serum from 274 people aged from 18 to 76 years old living in Liege (Belgium) and the surrounding area. A questionnaire about their alimentary habits, life style and home environment was also administered to the volunteers. The predominant compound measured in the population was PCP (median concentration of 593.0 pg mL−1). 4-OH-CB 107, 4-OH-CB 146 and 4-OH-CB 187 were detected in all samples and contributed for 75% of the sum of OH-PCBs (ΣOH-PCBs). The median measured in our population for ΣOH-PCBs was 143.7 pg mL−1. TBBPA and 2,4,6-tribromophenol were detected in 31% and 63.8% of the samples respectively while the detection frequency observed for the other BPs and the OH-PBDEs was close to zero. We computed multivariate regression models in order to assess the influence of demographic and lifestyle parameters on the PCP and ΣOH-PCBs contamination levels. Significant correlation was found between the PCP concentration and sex, smoker status, sea fish consumption and level of education, although the model seemed to be a poor (R2 = 0.14) predictor of the PCP concentration. The model computed for ΣOHPCBs was more explanatory (R2 = 0.61) and involved age, BMI and sea fish consumption. Finally, we assessed the parameters affecting the ΣOH-PCBs/ΣPCBs ratio. The model proposed involved age, BMI, smoker status and parent PCB level, and explained 41% of the variability of the ΣOH-PCBs/ΣPCBs ratio. [less ▲]

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See detailSize fractionation as a tool for separating charcoal of different fuel source and recalcitrance in the wildfire ash layer
Mastrolonardo, Giovanni ULg

in Science of the Total Environment (2017), 595

Charcoal is a heterogeneous material exhibiting a diverse range of properties. This variability represents a serious challenge in studies that use the properties of natural charcoal for reconstructing ... [more ▼]

Charcoal is a heterogeneous material exhibiting a diverse range of properties. This variability represents a serious challenge in studies that use the properties of natural charcoal for reconstructing wildfires history in terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that particle size is a sufficiently robust indicator for separating forest wildfire combustion products into fractions with distinct properties. For this purpose, we examined two different forest environments affected by contrasting wildfires in terms of severity: an eucalypt forest in Australia, which experienced an extremely severe wildfire, and a Mediterranean pine forest in Italy, which burned to moderate severity. We fractionated the ash/charcoal layers collected on the ground into four size fractions (>2, 2–1, 1–0.5, <0.5 mm) and analysed them for mineral ash content, elemental composition, chemical structure (by IR spectroscopy), fuel source and charcoal reflectance (by reflected-light microscopy), and chemical/thermal recalcitrance (by chemical and thermal oxidation). At both sites, the finest fraction (<0.5 mm) had, by far, the greatest mass. The C concentration and C/N ratio decreased with decreasing size fraction, while pH and the mineral ash content followed the opposite trend. The coarser fractions showed higher contribution of amorphous carbon and stronger recalcitrance. We also observed that certain fuel types were preferentially represented by particular size fractions. We conclude that the differences between ash/charcoal size fractions were most likely primarily imposed by fuel source and secondarily by burning conditions. Size fractionation can therefore serve as a valuable tool to characterise the forest wildfire combustion products, as each fraction displays a narrower range of properties than the whole sample. We propose the mineral ash content of the fractions as criterion for selecting the appropriate number of fractions to analyse. [less ▲]

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See detailDynamics and emissions of N2O in groundwater: A review
Jurado Elices, Anna ULg; Borges, Alberto ULg; Brouyère, Serge ULg

in Science of the Total Environment (2017), 584-585C

This work reviews the concentrations, the dynamics and the emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) in groundwater. N2O is an important greenhouse gas (GHG) and the primary stratospheric ozone depleting substance ... [more ▼]

This work reviews the concentrations, the dynamics and the emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) in groundwater. N2O is an important greenhouse gas (GHG) and the primary stratospheric ozone depleting substance. The major anthropogenic source that contributes to N2O generation in aquifers is agriculture because the use of fertilizers has led to the widespread groundwater contamination by inorganic nitrogen (N) (mainly nitrate, NO3−). Once in the aquifer, this inorganic N is transported and affected by several geochemical processes that produce and consume N2O. An inventory of dissolved N2O concentrations is presented and the highest dissolved concentration is about 18.000 times higher than air-equilibrated water (up to 4004 μg N L-1). The accumulation of N2O in groundwater is mainly due to denitrification and to lesser extent to nitrification. Their occurrence depend on the geochemical (e.g., NO3−, dissolved oxygen, ammonium and dissolved organic carbon) as well as hydrogeological parameters (e.g., groundwater table fluctuations and aquifer permeability). The coupled understanding of both parameters is necessary to gain insight on the dynamics and the emissions of N2O in groundwater. Overall, groundwater indirect N2O emissions seem to be a minor component of N2O emissions to the atmosphere. Further research might be devoted to evaluate the groundwater contribution to the indirect emissions of N2O because this will help to better constraint the N2O global budget and, consequently, the N budget. [less ▲]

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See detailFish habitat selection in a large hydropeaking river: Strong individual and temporal variations revealed by telemetry
Capra, Hervé; Plichard, Laura; Bergé, Julien et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2017), 578

Modeling individual fish habitat selection in highly variable environments such as hydropeaking rivers is required for guiding efficient management decisions. We analyzed fish microhabitat selection in ... [more ▼]

Modeling individual fish habitat selection in highly variable environments such as hydropeaking rivers is required for guiding efficient management decisions. We analyzed fish microhabitat selection in the heterogeneous hydraulic and thermal conditions (modeled in two-dimensions) of a reach of the large hydropeaking Rhône River locally warmed by the cooling system of a nuclear power plant. We used modern fixed acoustic telemetry techniques to survey 18 fish individuals (five barbels, six catfishes, seven chubs) signaling their position every 3 s over a three-month period. Fish habitat selection depended on combinations of current microhabitat hydraulics (e.g. velocity, depth), past microhabitat hydraulics (e.g. dewatering risk or maximum velocities during the past 15 days) and to a lesser extent substrate and temperature. Mixed-effects habitat selection models indicated that individual effects were often stronger than specific effects. In the Rhône, fish individuals appear to memorize spatial and temporal environmental changes and to adopt a “least constraining” habitat selection. Avoiding fast-flowing midstream habitats, fish generally live along the banks in areas where the dewatering risk is high. When discharge decreases, however, they select higher velocities but avoid both dewatering areas and very fast-flowing midstream habitats. Although consistent with the available knowledge on static fish habitat selection, our quantitative results demonstrate temporal variations in habitat selection, depending on individual behavior and environmental history. Their generality could be further tested using comparative experiments in different environmental configurations. [less ▲]

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See detailSources and fate of antimicrobials in integrated fish-pig and non-integrated tilapia farms
Li, Kang; Liu, Liping; Zhan et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2017), 595

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See detailOccurrence, fate and risk assessment of personal care products in river-groundwater interface
Serra-Roig, Mª Pau; Jurado Elices, Anna ULg; Diaz-Cruz, M. Silvia et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2016), 568

This work presents the occurrence and fate of selected personal care products (PCPs) in the urban river-groundwater interface. To this end, urban groundwater and river samples were collected in Sant Adrià ... [more ▼]

This work presents the occurrence and fate of selected personal care products (PCPs) in the urban river-groundwater interface. To this end, urban groundwater and river samples were collected in Sant Adrià del Besòs (NE of Spain) and a total of 16 PCPs were analyzed including benzophenone derivatives, camphor derivatives, p-aminobenzoic acid derivatives, triazoles and parabens in three different campaigns (from May 2010 to July 2014). These compounds reach the aquifer through the recharge of River Besòs that receives large amounts of effluents from waste water treatment plants. Results shown that most of compounds were not or barely detected (maximum concentrations around 30 ng/L) in groundwater samples during the different sampling campaigns. Only two triazoles, named as benzotriazole (BZT) and methyl benzotriazol (MeBZT) were found at high concentrations in groundwater samples (maximum concentration around 2000 ng/L). The fate of PCPs in the aquifer was assessed using mixing analysis considering the temporal variability of the River Besòs. Overall, measured groundwater concentrations were significantly much lower than those estimated by the mixing of the river water. This observation suggested that most of the PCPs are naturally removed when river water infiltrates the aquifer. However, some compounds were more persistent in the aquifer. These compounds were in descending order: the triazoles MeBZT and BZT followed by the camphor derivative 4MBC. The measured concentrations allowed us to assess the environmental risk posed by the selected UV-Fs (e.g. benzophenone derivatives) in the river-groundwater samples. Hazard Quotients (HQs) for diferent aquatic species were calculated in order to characterise the ecotoxicity potential of the studied compounds in the river-groundwater interface. HQ values will be presented and discussed in the presentation. [less ▲]

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See detailKey challenges and priorities for modelling European grasslands under climate change
Kipling, Richard P.; Virkajärvi, Perttu; Breitsameter, Laura et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2016), 566–567

Abstract Grassland-based ruminant production systems are integral to sustainable food production in Europe, converting plant materials indigestible to humans into nutritious food, while providing a range ... [more ▼]

Abstract Grassland-based ruminant production systems are integral to sustainable food production in Europe, converting plant materials indigestible to humans into nutritious food, while providing a range of environmental and cultural benefits. Climate change poses significant challenges for such systems, their productivity and the wider benefits they supply. In this context, grassland models have an important role in predicting and understanding the impacts of climate change on grassland systems, and assessing the efficacy of potential adaptation and mitigation strategies. In order to identify the key challenges for European grassland modelling under climate change, modellers and researchers from across Europe were consulted via workshop and questionnaire. Participants identified fifteen challenges and considered the current state of modelling and priorities for future research in relation to each. A review of literature was undertaken to corroborate and enrich the information provided during the horizon scanning activities. Challenges were in four categories relating to: 1) the direct and indirect effects of climate change on the sward 2) climate change effects on grassland systems outputs 3) mediation of climate change impacts by site, system and management and 4) cross-cutting methodological issues. While research priorities differed between challenges, an underlying theme was the need for accessible, shared inventories of models, approaches and data, as a resource for stakeholders and to stimulate new research. Developing grassland models to effectively support efforts to tackle climate change impacts, while increasing productivity and enhancing ecosystem services, will require engagement with stakeholders and policy-makers, as well as modellers and experimental researchers across many disciplines. The challenges and priorities identified are intended to be a resource 1) for grassland modellers and experimental researchers, to stimulate the development of new research directions and collaborative opportunities, and 2) for policy-makers involved in shaping the research agenda for European grassland modelling under climate change. [less ▲]

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See detailEnvironmental and economic benefits of variable rate nitrogen fertilization in a nitrate vulnerable zone
Basso, Bruno; Dumont, Benjamin ULg; Cammarano, Davide et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2016), 545/546

Agronomic input and management practices have traditionally been applied uniformly on agricultural fields despite the presence of spatial variability of soil properties and landscape position. When spatial ... [more ▼]

Agronomic input and management practices have traditionally been applied uniformly on agricultural fields despite the presence of spatial variability of soil properties and landscape position. When spatial variability is ignored, uniform agronomic management can be both economically and environmentally inefficient. The objectives of this study were to: i) identify optimal N fertilizer rates using an integrated spatio-temporal analysis of yield and site-specific N rate response; ii) test the sensitivity of site specific N management to nitrate leaching in response to different N rates; and iii) demonstrate the environmental benefits of variable rate N fertilizer in a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone. This study was carried out on a 13.6 ha field near the Venice Lagoon, northeast Italy over four years (2005–2008). We utilized a validated crop simulation model to evaluate crop response to different N rates at specific zones in the field based on localized soil and landscape properties under rainfed conditions. The simulated rates were: 50 kg N ha -1 applied at sowing for the entire study area and increasing fractions, ranging from 150 to 350 kg N ha -1 applied at V6 stage. Based on the analysis of yield maps from previous harvests and soil electrical resistivity data, three management zones were defined. Two N rates were applied in each of these zones, one suggested by our simulation analysis and the other with uniform N fertilization as normally applied by the producer. N leaching was lower and net revenue was higher in the zones where variable rates of N were applied when compared to uniform N fertilization. This demonstrates the efficacy of using crop models to determine variable rates of N fertilization within a field and the application of variable rate N fertilizer to achieve higher profit and reduce nitrate leaching. [less ▲]

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See detailAdapting SWAT hillslope erosion model to predict sediment concentrations and yields in large Basins
Vigiak, O.; Malagó, A.; Bouraoui, F. et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2015), 538

The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is used worldwide for water quality assessment and planning. This paper aimed to assess and adapt SWAT hillslope sediment yield model (Modified Universal Soil ... [more ▼]

The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is used worldwide for water quality assessment and planning. This paper aimed to assess and adapt SWAT hillslope sediment yield model (Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation, MUSLE) for applications in large basins, i.e. when spatial data is coarse and model units are large; and to develop a robust sediment calibration method for large regions. The Upper Danube Basin (132,000km2) was used as case study representative of large European Basins. The MUSLE was modified to reduce sensitivity of sediment yields to the Hydrologic Response Unit (HRU) size, and to identify appropriate algorithms for estimating hillslope length (L) and slope-length factor (LS). HRUs gross erosion was broadly calibrated against plot data and soil erosion map estimates. Next, mean annual SWAT suspended sediment concentrations (SSC, mg/L) were calibrated and validated against SSC data at 55 gauging stations (622 station-years). SWAT annual specific sediment yields in subbasin reaches (RSSY, t/km2/year) were compared to yields measured at 33 gauging stations (87station-years). The best SWAT configuration combined a MUSLE equation modified by the introduction of a threshold area of 0.01km2 where L and LS were estimated with flow accumulation algorithms. For this configuration, the SSC residual interquartile was less than +/-15mg/L both for the calibration (1995-2004) and the validation (2005-2009) periods. The mean SSC percent bias for 1995-2009 was 24%. RSSY residual interquartile was within +/-10t/km2/year, with a mean RSSY percent bias of 12%. Residuals showed no bias with respect to drainage area, slope, or spatial distribution. The use of multiple data types at multiple sites enabled robust simulation of sediment concentrations and yields of the region. The MUSLE modifications are recommended for use in large basins. Based on SWAT simulations, we present a sediment budget for the Upper Danube Basin. © 2015 The Authors. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of papyrus wetland encroachment on spatial and temporal variabilities of stream flow and sediment export from wet tropical catchments
Ryken, N.; Vanmaercke, Matthias ULg; Wanyama, J. et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2015), 511

During the past decades, land use change in the Lake Victoria basin has significantly increased the sediment fluxes to the lake. These sediments as well as their associated nutrients and pollutants affect ... [more ▼]

During the past decades, land use change in the Lake Victoria basin has significantly increased the sediment fluxes to the lake. These sediments as well as their associated nutrients and pollutants affect the food and water security of millions of people in one of Africa's most densely populated regions. Adequate catchment management strategies, based on a thorough understanding of the factors controlling runoff and sediment discharge are therefore crucial. Nonetheless, studies on the magnitude and dynamics of runoff and sediment discharge are very scarce for the Lake Victoria basin and the African Rift region.We therefore conducted runoff discharge and sediment export measurements in the Upper Rwizi, a catchment in Southwest Uganda, which is representative for the Lake Victoria basin. Land use in this catchment is characterized by grazing area on the high plateaus, banana cropping on the slopes and Cyperus papyrus L. wetlands in the valley bottoms. Due to an increasing population pressure, these papyrus wetlands are currently encroached and transformed into pasture and cropland. Seven subcatchments (358km2-2120km2), with different degrees of wetland encroachment, were monitored during the hydrological year June 2009-May 2010.Our results indicate that, due to their strong buffering capacity, papyrus wetlands have a first-order control on runoff and sediment discharge. Subcatchments with intact wetlands have a slower rainfall-runoff response, smaller peak runoff discharges, lower rainfall-runoff ratios and significantly smaller suspended sediment concentrations. This is also reflected in the measured annual area-specific suspended sediment yields (SYs): subcatchments with encroached papyrus swamps have SY values that are about three times larger compared to catchments with intact papyrus vegetation (respectively 106-137tonkm-2y-1 versus 34-37tonkm-2y-1). We therefore argue that protecting and (where possible) rehabilitating these papyrus wetlands should be a corner stone of catchment management strategies in the Lake Victoria basin. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigating apical adverse effects of four endocrine active substances in the freshwater gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis
Giusti, Arnaud ULg; Lagadic, Laurent; Barsi, Alpar et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2014), 493

The hermaphroditic gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis is proposed as a candidate species for the development of OECD guidelines for testing of the reprotoxicity of chemicals, including endocrine active ... [more ▼]

The hermaphroditic gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis is proposed as a candidate species for the development of OECD guidelines for testing of the reprotoxicity of chemicals, including endocrine active substances (EASs). Up to now, only a few putative EASs have been tested for their reproductive toxicity in this species. In this study, we investigate the effects of four EASs with different affinities to the vertebrate estrogen and androgen receptors (chlordecone as an estrogen; cyproterone acetate, fenitrothion and vinclozolin as anti-androgens) on the reproduction of L. stagnalis in a 21-day semi-static test. Testosterone and 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) were used as the reference compounds. The tested EASs had no significant effect on growth and survival at the tested concentration ranges (ng to μg/L). Classical reproduction endpoints (i.e., oviposition and fecundity) were not responsive to the tested chemicals, except for chlordecone and 17α-ethinylestradiol, which hampered reproduction from 19.6 μg/L and 17.6 μg/L, respectively. The frequency of polyembryonic eggs, used as an additional endpoint, demonstrated the effects of all compounds except EE2. The molecular pathways, which are involved in such reproduction impairments, remain unknown. Our results suggest that egg quality is a more sensitive endpoint as compared to other reproductive endpoints commonly assessed in mollusk toxicity tests. [less ▲]

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See detailHair Mercury and urinary cadmium levels in Belgian children and their mothers within the framework of the COPHES/DEMOCOPHES projects
PIRARD, Catherine ULg; Koppen, Gudrun; De Cremer, Koen et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2014), 472

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See detailBrominated and phosphorus flame retardants in White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla nestlings: Bioaccumulation and associations with dietary proxies (δ13C, δ15N and δ34S)
Eulaers, Igor; Jaspers, Veerle; Halley, Duncan et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2014), 478

Very little is known on the exposure of high trophic level species to current-use brominated (BFRs) and phosphorus flame retardants (PFRs), although observations on their persistence, bioaccumulation ... [more ▼]

Very little is known on the exposure of high trophic level species to current-use brominated (BFRs) and phosphorus flame retardants (PFRs), although observations on their persistence, bioaccumulation potential, and toxicity have been made. We investigated the accumulation of BFRs and PFRs, and their associations with dietary proxies (δ13C, δ15N and δ34S), in plasma and feathers of White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla nestlings from Trøndelag, Norway. In addition to accumulation of a wide range of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners in both plasma and feathers, all non-PBDE BFRs and PFRs could be measured in feathers, while in plasma only two of six PFRs, i.e. tris-(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate (TCIPP) and tris-(2,3-dichloropropyl) phosphate (TDCPP) were detected. PFR concentrations in feathers (0.95-3,000 ng g-1) were much higher than selected organochlorines (OCs), such as polychlorinated biphenyl 153 (CB 153; 2.3-15 ng g-1) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p’-DDE; 2.3-21 ng g-1), PBDEs (0.03-2.3 ng g-1) and non-PBDE BFRs (0.03-1.5 ng g-1). Non-significant associations of PFR concentrations in feathers with those in plasma (P≥0.74), and their similarity to reported atmospheric PFR concentrations, may suggest atmospheric PFR deposition on feathers. Most OCs and PBDEs, as well as tris(chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), tris(phenyl) phosphate (TPHP) and tri-(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBOEP) were associated to δ15N and/or δ13C (all P≤0.02). Besides δ15N enrichment, δ34S was depleted in nestlings from fjords, inherently close to an urbanised centre. As such, both may have been a spatial proxy for anthropogenic disturbance, possible confounding their use as dietary proxy. [less ▲]

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See detailPrimary production in a tropical large lake: The role of phytoplankton composition
Darchambeau, François ULg; Sarmento, Hugo; Descy, Jean-Pierre

in Science of the Total Environment (2014), 473-474

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See detailReconstructing historical atmospheric mercury deposition in Western Europe using: Misten peat bog cores, Belgium
Allan, Mohammed ULg; Le Roux, Gael; Sonke, Jeroen et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2013), 442

Four sediment cores were collected in 2008 from the Misten ombrotrophic peat bog in the Northern part of the Hautes Fagnes Plateau in Belgium. Total mercury (Hg) concentrations were analyzed to ... [more ▼]

Four sediment cores were collected in 2008 from the Misten ombrotrophic peat bog in the Northern part of the Hautes Fagnes Plateau in Belgium. Total mercury (Hg) concentrations were analyzed to investigate the intra-site variability in atmospheric Hg deposition over the past 1500 years. Mercury concentrations in the four cores ranged from 16 to 1100 μg kg− 1, with the maxima between 840 and 1100 μg kg− 1. A chronological framework was established using radiometric 210Pb and 14C dating of two cores (M1 and M4). Pollen horizons from these two cores were correlated with data from two additional cores, providing a consistent dating framework between all the sites. There was good agreement between atmospheric Hg accumulation rates in the four cores over time based on precise age dating and pollen chronosequences. The average Hg accumulation rate before the influence of human activities (from 500 to 1300 AD) was 1.8 ± 1 μg m− 2 y− 1 (2SD). Maximum Hg accumulation rates ranged from 90 to 200 μg m− 2 y− 1 between 1930 and 1980 AD. During the European–North American Industrial Revolution, the mean Hg accumulation rate exceeded the pre-Industrial values by a factor of 63. Based on comparisons with historical records of anthropogenic activities in Europe and Belgium, the predominant regional anthropogenic sources of Hg during and after the Industrial Revolution were coal burning and smelter Hg emissions. Mercury accumulation rates and chronologies in the Misten cores were consistent with those reported for other European peat records. [less ▲]

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See detailLevels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans and polychlorinated biphenyls in human milk from different regions of France
Focant, Jean-François ULg; Fréry, N; Bidondo, ML et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2013), 452-453

Wereport on the pilot study carried out before the start of the Elfe project (French longitudinal study from childhood). A total of 44 samples of mature human milk were collected at home 8 weeks after ... [more ▼]

Wereport on the pilot study carried out before the start of the Elfe project (French longitudinal study from childhood). A total of 44 samples of mature human milk were collected at home 8 weeks after delivery. A total of 7 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), 10 polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), 12 dioxin-like (DL) polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and 6 non dioxin-like (NDL)-PCBs were measured. For total TEQ (PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs), the geometric mean concentration was 17.81 pg TEQWHO05/g lipids. Relative PCDD, PCDF, and DL-PCB contributions to the arithmetic mean TEQWHO05 were 38%, 18%, and 44%, respectively. The use of TEFWHO05 instead of TEFWHO98 resulted in a 27% reduction of the total TEQ value. Although PCDD levels did not significantly change (less than 0.5% increase), PCDF and DL-PCB levels both decreased by 35% and 38%, respectively. Levels have been compared to data obtained during a previous non-reported national study conducted in 1998 (TEFWHO98) in French lactaria (n = 244). The mean of PCDD/Fs has decreased about 39.4% (18.8 pg TEQWHO98/g lipids in 1998 vs 11.4 pg TEQWHO98/g lipids in pilot study), respectively 41.5% for PCDDs (10.6 pg TEQWHO98/g lipids in 1998 vs 6.2 pg TEQWHO98/g lipids in pilot study) and 36.7% for PCDFs (7.9 pg TEQWHO98/g lipids in 1998 vs 5.0 pg TEQWHO98/g lipids in pilot study). For the sum of the 6 NDL-PCBs, the 2007 geometric mean concentration in milk was 176.3 ng/g lipids. The arithmetic mean lipid concentration in 2007 breast milk was 26.4 g/l (range from 6.0 to 46.7 g/l). A PCDD/F and DL-PCB daily intake was estimated to be 62.3 pg TEQWHO05/kg body weight per day (85.0 pg TEQWHO98/kg bodyweight per day) for a baby of 5 kg of bodyweight fed daily with 700 ml of maternal milk containing 25 g/l of lipids. [less ▲]

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See detailDioxin levels in fertilizers from Belgium: Determination and evaluation of the potential impact on soil contamination
Elskens, M; Pussemier, L; Dumortier, P et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2013), 454-455

Dioxins are harmful Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) to which humans are exposed mostly via the consumption of animal products. They can enter the food chain at any stage, including crop fertilization ... [more ▼]

Dioxins are harmful Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) to which humans are exposed mostly via the consumption of animal products. They can enter the food chain at any stage, including crop fertilization. Fertilizers belong to several categories: synthetic chemicals providing the essential elements (mostly N, P and K) that are required by the crops but also organic fertilizers or amendments, liming materials, etc. Ninety-seven samples of fertilizers were taken in Belgium during the year 2011 and analyzed after a soft extraction procedure for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DL-PCBs) using GC-IDHRMS. Only small qualitative differences could be observed between the main fertilizer categories since the PCDD:PCDF:DL-PCB average ratio obtained with the results expressed in WHO 2005-TEQ was often close to 30:30:40 (typically for sewage sludge) or 40:30:30 (typically for compost). The median dioxin levels determined were generally lower than recorded previously and were the highest for sewage sludge and compost (5.6 and 5.5 ng TEQ/kg dry weight (dw), respectively). The levels in other fertilizers were lower including manure for which the median value was only 0.2 ng TEQ/kg dw. Several fertilization scenarios relying on the use of those fertilizers were assessed taking into consideration the application conditions prevailing in Belgium. From this assessment it could be concluded that the contribution of fertilizers to the overall soil contamination will be low by comparison of other sources of contamination such as atmospheric depositions. At the field scale, intensive use of compost and sewage sludge will increase dramatically the dioxin inputs compared with other fertilization practices but this kind of immission to the soil will still be relatively low compared to the dioxin atmospheric depositions. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh accumulation of PCDD, PCDF, and PCB congeners in marine mammals from Brazil: a serious PCB problem
Dorneles, Paulo R; Sanz, Paloma; Eppe, Gauthier ULg et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2013), 463-464

Blubber samples from three delphinid species (false killer whale, Guiana and rough-toothed dolphin), as well as liver samples from franciscana dolphins were analyzed for dioxins and related compounds ... [more ▼]

Blubber samples from three delphinid species (false killer whale, Guiana and rough-toothed dolphin), as well as liver samples from franciscana dolphins were analyzed for dioxins and related compounds (DRCs). Samples were collected from 35 cetaceans stranded or incidentally captured in a highly industrialized and urbanized area (Southeast and Southern Brazilian regions). Dioxin-like PCBs accounted for over 83% of the total TEQ for all cetaceans. Non-ortho coplanar PCBs, for franciscanas (82%), and mono-ortho PCBs (up to 80%), for delphinids, constituted the groups of highest contribution to total TEQ. Regarding franciscana dolphins, significant negative correlations were found between total length (TL) and three variables, ΣTEQ-DRCs, ΣTEQ-PCDF and ΣTEQ non-ortho PCB. An increasing efficiency of the detoxifying activity with the growth of the animal may be a plausible explanation for these findings. This hypothesis is reinforced by the significant negative correlation found between TL and PCB126/PCB169 concentration ratio. DRC concentrations (ng/g lipids) varied from 36 to 3006, for franciscana dolphins, as well as from 356 to 30776, for delphinids. The sum of dioxin-like and indicator PCBs varied from 34662 to 279407 ng/g lipids, for Guiana dolphins from Rio de Janeiro state, which are among the highest PCB concentrations ever reported for cetaceans. The high concentrations found in our study raise concern not only on the conservation of Brazilian coastal cetaceans, but also on the possibility of human health problem due to consumption of fish from Brazilian estuaries. [less ▲]

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See detailRemoval of natural hormones in dairy farm wastewater using reactive and sorptive materials
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in Science of the Total Environment (2013), 461-462

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