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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 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 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
Cai; Phillips; Elliott et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2013), 461-462

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See detailBiomonitoring genotoxicity and cytotoxicity of Microcystis aeruginosa (Chroococcales, Cyanobacteria) using the Allium cepa test
Laughinghouse IV, Haywood ULg; Pra, D; Silva-Stenico, ME et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2012), 432

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See detailPotential Impact of Fertilization Practices on Human Dietary Intake of Dioxins in Belgium
Dumortier, Pierre ULg; Elskens, Marc; Focant, Jean-François ULg et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2012), 423

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See detailOrganochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls and trace elements in wild European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) off European estuaries
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Thomé, Jean-Pierre ULg; Lepage, Mario et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2011), 409(19), 3680-3686

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides like dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), aldrin, dieldrin and trace elements (Cd, Cu, Se, Pb, Zn and Hg ... [more ▼]

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides like dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), aldrin, dieldrin and trace elements (Cd, Cu, Se, Pb, Zn and Hg) were analysed in the muscle of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) sampled in Atlantic coastal regions near several important European river mouths (Gironde, Charente, Loire, Seine and Scheldt). High contamination levels were measured in the muscles of European sea bass sampled in the coastal regions near those river mouths (e.g. Σ ICES PCB=133–10,478 μg kg−1 lw and Hg=250–2000 μg kg−1 dw). The Scheldt and the Seine are still among the most contaminated estuaries in Europe. Each region presented their specific contamination patterns reflecting different sources due to the input of the respective rivers. As fish and fishery products are the main contributors of the total dietary intake of organochlorinated pollutants, regular consumption of European sea bass with the reported contamination levels may represent a significant exposure route for the general human population. [less ▲]

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See detailReproduction of European eel jeopardised by high levels of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs
Geeraerts, C.; Focant, Jean-François ULg; Eppe, Gauthier ULg et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2011), 409

ioxins, furans and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were analysed in muscle tissue from yellow phased European eel (Anguilla anguilla) from 38 sites in Belgium. Dioxin concentrations in eel ... [more ▼]

ioxins, furans and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were analysed in muscle tissue from yellow phased European eel (Anguilla anguilla) from 38 sites in Belgium. Dioxin concentrations in eel vary considerably between sampling locations, indicating that yellow eel is a good indicator of local pollution levels. Measured levels of dioxin-like PCBs are much higher than those of the dioxins and furans. In the majority of the sites, eel has levels considered to be detrimental for their reproduction. Field levels of dioxin and dioxin-like PCBs are therefore suggested as an additional causal factor contributing to the decline of the European eel. 42% of the sampling sites show especially dioxin-like PCB levels exceeding the European consumption level (with a factor 3 on average). Human consumption of eel, especially in these highly contaminated sites, seems unjustified. [less ▲]

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See detailErratum to "Do sewage treatment plant discharges substantially impair fish reproduction in polluted rivers?" [Sci. Total Environ. 372 (2007) 497-514]
Douxfils, J; Mandiki, R; Silvestre, F et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2011), 409(19), 4139

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See detailWhat do we know about effects of desert dust on air quality and human health in West Africa compared to other regions?
De Longueville, Florence ULg; Hountondji, Yvon ULg; Henry, Sabine et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2010), 409(1), 1-8

This study aims to compare, on the one hand, the geographical distribution of the desert dust source areas, their contribution to quantities emitted into the atmosphere, the trajectories and the ... [more ▼]

This study aims to compare, on the one hand, the geographical distribution of the desert dust source areas, their contribution to quantities emitted into the atmosphere, the trajectories and the quantities deposited, with on the other hand the areas of research interest focused on the desert dust impacts on air quality and/or human health. Based on a systematic review of the literature using the ISI Web of Knowledge database, we found 231 articles published over the last decade on the desert dust impacts on air quality. Of these, 48% concerned Asian dust and 39% Saharan dust, with the remaining 13% divided between the other dust source areas. However, only one of these studies addressed the worsening air pollution in West Africa, even though it is very close to the Sahara, the greatest contributor to the global dust budget. Moreover, there have been very few studies (41) looking at the direct links between desert dust and human health; in this context too, no interest has been shown in West Africa. Yet this region is also among the areas in which morbidity rates have been noted to be far higher than those found in other regions of the world, and where respiratory infections alone account for more than 20% of the causes of infant mortality. This survey highlights a clear imbalance between those areas most exposed to dust and the most studied areas in terms of dust impacts. Given these findings and the often alarming results published about other regions of the world, we advocate a revival of interest in research on West Africa in order to achieve a better understanding of the desert dust impacts on air quality and health among the populations of this region. [less ▲]

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See detailUnderstanding the gap between the estrogenicity of an effluent and its real impact into the wild
Nadzialek, Stéphanie; Vanparys; Van Der Heiden, Edwige ULg et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2010), 408(4), 812-821

To study the reliability between in vitro and in vivo data collected downstream 2 sewage treatment plants (STP) as well as from bleached kraft mill industry (BKME), 5 rivers (3 impacted and 2 references ... [more ▼]

To study the reliability between in vitro and in vivo data collected downstream 2 sewage treatment plants (STP) as well as from bleached kraft mill industry (BKME), 5 rivers (3 impacted and 2 references) were investigated in the Walloon region (southern of Belgium). For the in vitro part of the work, water samples were collected to measure the estrogenicity of the ‘out’ effluent compared to reference sample point by MCF-7 assay. Results indicated significant estrogenicity of effluents from STP and BKME and a weak estrogenicity in reference sites. However, estradiol equivalents (EEQ) estimated into rivers were probably too low to impact wild population. Chemical analysis of 13 compounds of interest indicated that extraction procedure used in this study gave low recoveries of estrogen-like xenobiotics, leading to probably under-estimated MCF-7 responses. Surprisingly, a full scan mode has revealed an unexpected compound in the sample of BKME which was: 7-isopropyl-1,1,4a-trimethyl-1,2,3,4a,9,10,10a-octahydrophenanthrene, a product of pulp mill manufacture. In parallel to in vitro, in vivo assessment of estrogenic impact of effluent was followed on the gudgeon (Gobio gobio). Samples were achieved during 2 different periods of the reproductive cycle, resting period (RP) and pre-spawning period (pSP). Unspecific physiological parameters to estrogenic exposure (gonadosomatic index and systematic testis cell counting) displayed no significant differences related to endocrine disruption of the reproductive tract, only differences were correlated with the reproductive state of fish (RP versus pSP). Concerning the potent biomarker of estrogen exposure, vitellogenin (vtg), only basal induction was revealed but not related to estrogenic exposure. Nevertheless, vtg over-expression was found for male fish presenting a feminization of the reproductive tract captured downstream the STP station of Wégnez in the Vesdre River. Intersexuality, another indicator of the estrogenicity impact in fish, was observed in every site. Actually, ovotestis was systematically formed by protoplasmic oocyte observed in low percentage in every group analysed (impacted and references). Moreover, in fish captured in Wégnez, oocyte diameter was significantly higher compared to the other groups. In this study, only moderate to none impact in population of gudgeon was noticed. Moreover, in this case no discrepancy between in vitro and vivo was viewed although both approaches revealed gaps in monitoring effluent incidence into the environment. We should remain careful in the interpretation when only partial approaches are used in order to characterize impact in the aquatic milieu. [less ▲]

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