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Sample records for environmentally relevant levels

  1. Exposure to environmentally-relevant levels of ozone negatively influence pollen and fruit development.

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Colin; Stabler, Daniel; Tallentire, Eva; Goumenaki, Eleni; Barnes, Jeremy

    2015-11-01

    A combination of in vitro and in vivo studies on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. Triton) revealed that environmentally-relevant levels of ozone (O3) pollution adversely affected pollen germination, germ tube growth and pollen-stigma interactions - pollen originating from plants raised in charcoal-Purafil(®) filtered air (CFA) exhibited reduced germ tube development on the stigma of plants exposed to environmentally-relevant levels of O3. The O3-induced decline in in vivo pollen viability was reflected in increased numbers of non-fertilized and fertilized non-viable ovules in immature fruit. Negative effects of O3 on fertilization occurred regardless of the timing of exposure, with reductions in ovule viability evident in O3 × CFA and CFA × O3 crossed plants. This suggests O3-induced reductions in fertilization were associated with reduced pollen viability and/or ovule development. Fruit born on trusses independently exposed to 100 nmol mol(-1) O3 (10 h d(-1)) from flowering exhibited a decline in seed number and this was reflected in a marked decline in the weight and size of individual fruit - a clear demonstration of the direct consequence of the effects of the pollutant on reproductive processes. Ozone exposure also resulted in shifts in the starch and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) content of fruit that were consistent with accelerated ripening. The findings of this study draw attention to the need for greater consideration of, and possibly the adoption of weightings for the direct impacts of O3, and potentially other gaseous pollutants, on reproductive biology during 'risk assessment' exercises.

  2. Environmentally relevant microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, K; Baker, P W

    2000-01-01

    The development of molecular microbial ecology in the 1990s has allowed scientists to realize that microbial populations in the natural environment are much more diverse than microorganisms so far isolated in the laboratory. This finding has exerted a significant impact on environmental biotechnology, since knowledge in this field has been largely dependent on studies with pollutant-degrading bacteria isolated by conventional culture methods. Researchers have thus started to use molecular ecological methods to analyze microbial populations relevant to pollutant degradation in the environment (called environmentally relevant microorganisms, ERMs), although further effort is needed to gain practical benefits from these studies. This review highlights the utility and limitations of molecular ecological methods for understanding and advancing environmental biotechnology processes. The importance of the combined use of molecular ecological and physiological methods for identifying ERMs is stressed.

  3. Changing Environmentally Relevant Behaviour.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gudgion, T. J.; Thomas, M. Pugh

    1991-01-01

    Considered is the role of psychology in helping to change those human behaviors which have deleterious environmental effects. The foremost conclusion is that behavioral psychology can offer practical techniques for such change, yet there are indications that enduring behaviors may be better realized through the intrinsic motivation maintained by…

  4. Repository environmental parameters and models/methodologies relevant to assessing the performance of high-level waste packages in basalt, tuff, and salt

    SciTech Connect

    Claiborne, H.C.; Croff, A.G.; Griess, J.C.; Smith, F.J.

    1987-09-01

    This document provides specifications for models/methodologies that could be employed in determining postclosure repository environmental parameters relevant to the performance of high-level waste packages for the Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP) at Richland, Washington, the tuff at Yucca Mountain by the Nevada Test Site, and the bedded salt in Deaf Smith County, Texas. Guidance is provided on the identify of the relevant repository environmental parameters; the models/methodologies employed to determine the parameters, and the input data base for the models/methodologies. Supporting studies included are an analysis of potential waste package failure modes leading to identification of the relevant repository environmental parameters, an evaluation of the credible range of the repository environmental parameters, and a summary of the review of existing models/methodologies currently employed in determining repository environmental parameters relevant to waste package performance. 327 refs., 26 figs., 19 tabs.

  5. AN APPROACH TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF MODELS TO QUANTITATIVELY ASSESS THE EFFECTS OF EXPOSURE TO ENVIRONMENTALLY RELEVANT LEVELS OF ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    An approach to the development of quantitative models to assess the effects of exposure to environmentally relevant levels of endocrine disruptors on homeostasis in adults.

    Ben-Jonathan N, Cooper RL, Foster P, Hughes CL, Hoyer PB, Klotz D, Kohn M, Lamb DJ, Stancel GM.
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  6. COMPARING ENVIRONMENTALLY RELEVANT PCBS TO TCDD

    EPA Science Inventory

    COMPARING ENVIRONMENTALLY RELEVANT PCBS TO TCDD. D E Burgin1, J J Diliberto2 and L S Birnbaum3.1UNC, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; 2USEPA/ORD/NHEERL, ETD, RTP, NC, USA

    Environmental exposures to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) always occur as part of a complex mixture. ...

  7. Exposure of silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) to environmentally relevant levels of cadmium: hematology, muscle physiology, and implications for stock enhancement in the Xiangjiang River (Hunan, China).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ting; Zhang, Yu; Li, DeLiang; Xiao, TiaoYi; Li, Jie

    2013-01-01

    Cadmium is a non-essential metal with a wide distribution that has severe toxic effects on aquatic animals. Changes in hematology and muscle physiology were examined in silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) exposed to environmentally relevant levels of cadmium (0.01 mg L(-1)) for 96 h. Cadmium exposure induced significant increases in the red blood cell count, and in the plasma concentrations of cortisol, glucose, and lactate. This suggests that the dose of cadmium was sufficient to cause stress, possibly associated with impaired gas exchange at the gills. There were no changes in hemoglobin concentration or plasma protein concentration. Significant decreases in muscle energy fuels (ATP and glycogen), and increases in muscle lactate persisted until the end of the exposure period, respectively. The changes in muscle lactate and protein in silver carp differed from those observed in response to exposure of fish to cadmium and heavy metals in other studies. The study highlights the importance of selecting unpolluted release sites with suitable water conditions for the survival of newly released individuals for stock enhancement of the Xiangjiang River.

  8. Environmental Factors Impacting Bone-Relevant Chemokines

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Justin T.; Schneider, Andrew D.; Katchko, Karina M.; Yun, Chawon; Hsu, Erin L.

    2017-01-01

    Chemokines play an important role in normal bone physiology and the pathophysiology of many bone diseases. The recent increased focus on the individual roles of this class of proteins in the context of bone has shown that members of the two major chemokine subfamilies—CC and CXC—support or promote the formation of new bone and the remodeling of existing bone in response to a myriad of stimuli. These chemotactic molecules are crucial in orchestrating appropriate cellular homing, osteoblastogenesis, and osteoclastogenesis during normal bone repair. Bone healing is a complex cascade of carefully regulated processes, including inflammation, progenitor cell recruitment, differentiation, and remodeling. The extensive role of chemokines in these processes and the known links between environmental contaminants and chemokine expression/activity leaves ample opportunity for disruption of bone healing by environmental factors. However, despite increased clinical awareness, the potential impact of many of these environmental factors on bone-related chemokines is still ill defined. A great deal of focus has been placed on environmental exposure to various endocrine disruptors (bisphenol A, phthalate esters, etc.), volatile organic compounds, dioxins, and heavy metals, though mainly in other tissues. Awareness of the impact of other less well-studied bone toxicants, such as fluoride, mold and fungal toxins, asbestos, and chlorine, is also reviewed. In many cases, the literature on these toxins in osteogenic models is lacking. However, research focused on their effects in other tissues and cell lines provides clues for where future resources could be best utilized. This review aims to serve as a current and exhaustive resource detailing the known links between several classes of high-interest environmental pollutants and their interaction with the chemokines relevant to bone healing. PMID:28261155

  9. Low environmentally relevant levels of bioactive xenobiotics and associated degradation products cause cryptic perturbations of metabolism and molecular stress responses in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Serra, Anne-Antonella; Nuttens, Andréïna; Larvor, Vanessa; Renault, David; Couée, Ivan; Sulmon, Cécile; Gouesbet, Gwenola

    2013-07-01

    Anthropic changes and chemical pollution confront wild plant communities with xenobiotic combinations of bioactive molecules, degradation products, and adjuvants that constitute chemical challenges potentially affecting plant growth and fitness. Such complex challenges involving residual contamination and mixtures of pollutants are difficult to assess. The model plant Arabidopsis thaliana was confronted by combinations consisting of the herbicide glyphosate, the fungicide tebuconazole, the glyphosate degradation product aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), and the atrazine degradation product hydroxyatrazine, which had been detected and quantified in soils of field margins in an agriculturally intensive region. Integrative analysis of physiological, metabolic, and gene expression responses was carried out in dose-response experiments and in comparative experiments of varying pesticide combinations. Field margin contamination levels had significant effects on plant growth and metabolism despite low levels of individual components and the presence of pesticide degradation products. Biochemical and molecular analysis demonstrated that these less toxic degradation products, AMPA and hydroxyatrazine, by themselves elicited significant plant responses, thus indicating underlying mechanisms of perception and transduction into metabolic and gene expression changes. These mechanisms may explain observed interactions, whether positive or negative, between the effects of pesticide products (AMPA and hydroxyatrazine) and the effects of bioactive xenobiotics (glyphosate and tebuconazole). Finally, the metabolic and molecular perturbations induced by low levels of xenobiotics and associated degradation products were shown to affect processes (carbon balance, hormone balance, antioxidant defence, and detoxification) that are likely to determine environmental stress sensitivity.

  10. Effects of Environmentally Relevant Levels of Perfluorooctane Sulfonate on Clinical Parameters and Immunological Functions in B6C3F1 Mice

    PubMed Central

    Fair, Patricia A.; Driscoll, Erin; Mollenhauer, Meagan A. M.; Bradshaw, Sarah G.; Yun, Se Hun; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Bossart, Gregory D.; Keil, Deborah E.; Peden-Adams, Margie M.

    2012-01-01

    In the first part of a series of studies to account for perfluoroocatane sulfonate (PFOS)-induced sheep red blood cell (SRBC)-specific IgM antibody suppression in mice, a survey of clinical and immunotoxicological endpoints were examined. Adult female B6C3F1 mice were exposed orally for 28 days to a total administered dose of 0, 0.1, 0.5, 1, or 5 mg PFOS/kg. Uterus wet weight was significantly decreased compared to control at the 5 mg/kg dose. No indication of wasting syndrome, malnutrition, alteration of thyroid homeostasis, or signs of overt toxicity were observed. Numbers of splenic CD19+/CD21−, CD19+/CD21+, B220+/CD40+, CD4+/CD154−, CD4+/CD154+, and MHC-II+ cells were not altered. Additionally, ex vivo IL-4, IL-5, and IL-6 production by in vitro anti-CD3- or phorbol myristate acetate-stimulated CD4+ T-cells were not affected. Ex vivo IL-6 production by B-cells was significantly increased by in vitro stimulation with either anti-CD40 or lipopolysaccharide. Increased IL-6 production by B-cells was the most sensitive endpoint assessed resulting in alterations at the lowest dose tested (0.1 mg/kg TAD) following anti-CD40 stimulation. Further studies are required to characterize effects on inflammatory markers such as IL-6 at environmentally relevant concentrations of PFOS and to determine the key events associated with PFOS-induced IgM suppression to address potential human health risks. PMID:21261439

  11. Developing an Environmental Currency Relevant to People

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA (and others worldwide) wanted to more fully include environmental attributes in decision making but there was no systematic approach that defined and organized the environment to identify and potentially quantify those environmental attributes that humans required, valued, or...

  12. HUMAN BIOMONITORING TO LINK ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE TO BIOLOGICALLY RELEVANT DOSE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The abstract and presentation on Human Biomonitoring to Link Environmental Exposure to Biologically Relevant Dose describes the use of biomarkers of exposure, biomarkers of current health state, and biomarker measurements. The abstract and presentation focuses on how biomarkers ...

  13. Environmentally relevant concentrations of microplastic particles influence larval fish ecology.

    PubMed

    Lönnstedt, Oona M; Eklöv, Peter

    2016-06-03

    The widespread occurrence and accumulation of plastic waste in the environment have become a growing global concern over the past decade. Although some marine organisms have been shown to ingest plastic, few studies have investigated the ecological effects of plastic waste on animals. Here we show that exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of microplastic polystyrene particles (90 micrometers) inhibits hatching, decreases growth rates, and alters feeding preferences and innate behaviors of European perch (Perca fluviatilis) larvae. Furthermore, individuals exposed to microplastics do not respond to olfactory threat cues, which greatly increases predator-induced mortality rates. Our results demonstrate that microplastic particles operate both chemically and physically on larval fish performance and development.

  14. Towards policy relevant environmental modeling: contextual validity and pragmatic models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miles, Scott B.

    2000-01-01

    "What makes for a good model?" In various forms, this question is a question that, undoubtedly, many people, businesses, and institutions ponder with regards to their particular domain of modeling. One particular domain that is wrestling with this question is the multidisciplinary field of environmental modeling. Examples of environmental models range from models of contaminated ground water flow to the economic impact of natural disasters, such as earthquakes. One of the distinguishing claims of the field is the relevancy of environmental modeling to policy and environment-related decision-making in general. A pervasive view by both scientists and decision-makers is that a "good" model is one that is an accurate predictor. Thus, determining whether a model is "accurate" or "correct" is done by comparing model output to empirical observations. The expected outcome of this process, usually referred to as "validation" or "ground truthing," is a stamp on the model in question of "valid" or "not valid" that serves to indicate whether or not the model will be reliable before it is put into service in a decision-making context. In this paper, I begin by elaborating on the prevailing view of model validation and why this view must change. Drawing from concepts coming out of the studies of science and technology, I go on to propose a contextual view of validity that can overcome the problems associated with "ground truthing" models as an indicator of model goodness. The problem of how we talk about and determine model validity has much to do about how we perceive the utility of environmental models. In the remainder of the paper, I argue that we should adopt ideas of pragmatism in judging what makes for a good model and, in turn, developing good models. From such a perspective of model goodness, good environmental models should facilitate communication, convey—not bury or "eliminate"—uncertainties, and, thus, afford the active building of consensus decisions, instead

  15. Environmentally Relevant Inoculum Concentrations Improve the Reliability of Persistent Assessments in Biodegradation Screening Tests.

    PubMed

    Martin, Timothy J; Snape, Jason R; Bartram, Abigail; Robson, Aidan; Acharya, Kishor; Davenport, Russell J

    2017-03-07

    Standard OECD biodegradation screening tests (BSTs) have not evolved at the same rate as regulatory concerns, which now place an increased emphasis on environmental persistence. Consequently, many chemicals are falsely assigned as being potentially persistent based on results from BSTs. The present study increased test duration and increased inoculum concentrations to more environmentally relevant levels to assess their impact on biodegradation outcome and intratest replicate variability for chemicals with known environmental persistence. Chemicals were assigned to potential persistence categories based on existing degradation data. These more environmentally relevant BSTs (erBSTs) improved the reliability of persistence assignment by reducing the high variability associated with these tests and the occurrence of failures at low inoculum concentrations due to the exclusion of specific degraders. Environmental fate was determined using a reference set of (14)C-labeled compounds with a range of potential environmental persistences, and full mass balance data were collated. The erBST correctly assigned five reference chemicals of known biodegradabilities to their appropriate persistence category in contrast to a standard OECD Ready Biodegradation Test (RBTs, P < 0.05). The erBST was significantly more reproducible than an OECD RBT (ANOVA, P < 0.05), with more consistent rates and extent of biodegradation observed in the erBST.

  16. The effects of space relevant environmental factors on halophilic Archaea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leuko, Stefan; Moeller, Ralf; Rettberg, Petra

    Within the last 50 years, space technology has provided tools for transporting terrestrial (microbial) life beyond Earth's protective shield in order to study its responses to selected conditions of space. Microorganisms are ubiquitous and can be found in almost every environment on Earth. They thrive and survive in a broad spectrum of environments and are true masters in adapting to rapidly changing external conditions. Although microorganisms cannot actively grow under the harsh conditions of outer space or other known planets, some microorganisms might be able to survive for a time in space or other planets as dormant, inactive spores or in similar desiccation-resistant resting states, e.g., enclosed in halite crystals or biofilms. Halite crystals are the realm of halophilic Archaea as they have adapted to life at extreme salt concentrations. They can stay entrapped in such crystals for millions of years without losing viability and therefore the family Halobacteriaceae belongs to the group of microorganisms which may survive space travel or may even be found on other planets. Several members of this family have been utilized in space relevant experiments where they were exposed to detrimental environmental conditions such as UV-C radiation, vacuum, temperature cycles (+60(°) C and -25(°) C) and heavy iron bombardment (150 MeV He, 500 MeV Ar and 500 MeV Fe ions). The viability was evaluated by colony forming unit (cfu) counts as well as with the LIFE/DEAD kit. Results revealed that UV-C radiation (up to 1.000 J/m (2) ) has a considerable effect on the viability, whereas the other tested parameters inflict little damage onto the organisms. Repair of UV-C inflicted damage is efficient and several DNA damage repair genes are up-regulated following exposure. Halophilic archaea display a strong resistance against heavy iron bombardment, with dosages of up to 2.000 Gy 500 MeV Fe ions needed to establish a visible effect on the vitality. Genomic integrity after

  17. Environmental Conservation for Development and the Relevant Role of Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Budowski, Gerardo

    Environmental education must be shaped to generate universal involvement in environmental aspects of life, in all political systems. It is absurd for political systems to attempt to adapt ecological factors to fit the underlying political assumptions; political philosophy must become consistent with ecological truths. In the developing nations it…

  18. Environmental Perception as a Diagnostic Probe of Environmental Complexity Levels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freitas, Mirlaine R.; Macedo, Renato L. G.; Freitas, Matheus P.; Nunes, Cleiton A.; Venturin, Nelson

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Educational methods to diagnose and improve the level of environmental conception are required. The present work reports a methodology based on studies about the environmental perception of a university public, divided into general students and those related to the forest sciences, who are involved with disciplines and researches related…

  19. Internationalisation and Standardisation of European Environmental Assessment. Relevance to India

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gazzola, Paola; Jha-Thakur, Urmila

    2009-01-01

    This paper discusses the rationale underlying "PENTA", an EU funded Erasmus Mundus project. In doing so, it explores the challenges of internationalising and standardising European environmental assessment (EA) practice and education to a third country audience, looking at India as a case study. It is argued that the EU EA Directives are…

  20. Mixtures of environmentally relevant endocrine disrupting chemicals affect mammary gland development in female and male rats.

    PubMed

    Mandrup, Karen Riiber; Johansson, Hanna Katarina Lilith; Boberg, Julie; Pedersen, Anne Stilling; Mortensen, Mette Sidsel; Jørgensen, Jennifer Solgaard; Vinggaard, Anne Marie; Hass, Ulla

    2015-07-01

    Estrogenic chemicals are able to alter mammary gland development in female rodents, but little is known on the effects of anti-androgens and mixtures of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) with dissimilar modes of action. Pregnant rat dams were exposed during gestation and lactation to mixtures of environmentally relevant EDCs with estrogenic, anti-androgenic or dissimilar modes of action (TotalMix) of 100-, 200- or 450-fold high end human intake estimates. Mammary glands of prepubertal and adult female and male offspring were examined. Oestrogens increased mammary outgrowth in prepubertal females and the mRNA level of matrix metalloproteinase-3, which may be a potential biomarker for increased outgrowth. Mixtures of EDCs gave rise to ductal hyperplasia in adult males. Adult female mammary glands of the TotalMix group showed morphological changes possibly reflecting increased prolactin levels. In conclusion both estrogenic and anti-androgenic chemicals given during foetal life and lactation affected mammary glands in the offspring.

  1. Transport of Fluorescently Labeled Hydroxyapatite Nanoparticles in Saturated Granular Media at Environmentally Relevant Concentrations of Surfactants

    EPA Science Inventory

    Little is known about the mobility of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in granular media at environmentally relevant concentration of surfactant, which represents a critical knowledge gap in employing ENPs for in-situ remediation of contaminated groundwater. In this study, transpo...

  2. Considerations of Environmentally Relevant Test Conditions for Improved Evaluation of Ecological Hazards of Engineered Nanomaterials

    EPA Science Inventory

    Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are increasingly entering the environment with uncertain consequences including potential ecological effects. Various research communities view differently whether ecotoxicological testing of ENMs should be conducted using environmentally relevant ...

  3. Designing a Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship for the Intrinsic Metabolic Clearance of Environmentally Relevant Chemicals

    EPA Science Inventory

    Toxicokinetic models serve a vital role in risk assessment by bridging the gap between chemical exposure and potentially toxic endpoints. While intrinsic metabolic clearance rates have a strong impact on toxicokinetics, limited data is available for environmentally relevant chemi...

  4. Ecological relevance of Sentinels' biomarker responses: a multi-level approach.

    PubMed

    Seabra Pereira, Camilo D; Abessa, Denis M S; Choueri, Rodrigo B; Almagro-Pastor, Victor; Cesar, Augusto; Maranho, Luciane A; Martín-Díaz, María Laura; Torres, Ronaldo J; Gusso-Choueri, Paloma K; Almeida, João E; Cortez, Fernando S; Mozeto, Antonio A; Silbiger, Helcy L N; Sousa, Eduinetty C P M; Del Valls, Tommas Angel; Bainy, Afonso C D

    2014-05-01

    In response to the need for more sensitive and rapid indicators of environmental quality, sublethal effects on the lowest levels of biological organization have been investigated. The ecological relevance of these responses assumes a prevailing role to assure effectiveness as indicator of ecological status. This study aimed to investigate the linkages between biomarker responses of caged bivalves and descriptive parameters of macrobenthic community structure. For this purpose a multi-level environmental assessment of marine and estuarine zones was performed in São Paulo coast, Brazil. Multivariate analysis was applied to identify linkages between biological responses and ecological indices, as well as to characterizing the studied stations. Individuals of the marine mussel Perna perna caged along Santos Bay showed signs of oxidative stress, lysosomal membrane destabilization, histological alterations and reduced embryonic development. The estuarine oyster Crassostrea rhizophorae caged along Santos Port Channel showed alterations on biotransformation enzymes and antioxidant system, DNA damage and lysosomal membrane destabilization. The benthic community analysis showed reduced richness and diversity in the same areas of the Santos bay and estuary where biomarker responses were altered. Our results revealed that xenobiotics are inducing physiological stress, which may lead to changes of the benthic community structure and deterioration of the ecological status over time. Integrating biomarker responses and ecological indexes improved certainty that alterations found at community level could be related to xenobiotic as stressors, which was very useful to improve the discriminatory power of the environmental assessment.

  5. Toxicological responses in halophyte Suaeda salsa to mercury under environmentally relevant salinity.

    PubMed

    Wu, Huifeng; Liu, Xiaoli; Zhao, Jianmin; Yu, Junbao

    2012-11-01

    Mercury is a highly risky heavy metal contaminant in intertidal zones in the Yellow River Delta (YRD). Suaeda salsa is a native halophyte in the YRD. In this work, we investigated the toxicological effects of mercury (20μgL(-1)) in S. salsa under environmentally relevant salinity (500mM). The metabolic responses included the increased amino acids and decreased succinate, fructose, glucose, fumarate and ferulate in above-ground part of S. salsa exposed to mercury. The expression levels of INPS, CMO, BADH, CAT and GPx were elevated in above-ground part of S. salsa after combined Hg and salinity exposure. Increased activities of antioxidant enzymes including SOD, POD and CAT were uniquely observed in salinity-treated samples. Our results indicated potential oxidative stresses and disturbances in protein bio-degradation and energy metabolism induced by mercury in S. salsa. Additionally, both synergistic and antagonistic effects were observed in S. salsa exposed to combined mercury and salinity.

  6. Ranking initial environmental and human health risk resulting from environmentally relevant nanomaterials.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Niall; Cummins, Enda

    2010-01-01

    As nanomaterials find increased application in commercial and industrial products and processes so too the potential for release of these novel materials into the environment increases. The characteristics of these materials also may result in novel toxicological actions related to their nanoscale, which will have implications on their ecotoxicological and toxicological limits of exposure and eventual regulation. A framework for nanomaterial risk assessment on regulatory, ecotoxicological and toxicological bases developed from recent exposure and toxicity studies is presented. The release of nanoscale TiO(2), Ag and CeO(2) to the atmosphere and surface waters is assessed against provisional toxicological bench mark doses (BMDs) and critical effect doses (CEDs) developed from best available data. Predicted levels of nanomaterial release to surface waters and the atmosphere resulted in regulatory risk rankings of moderate concern based on worst case provisional regulatory limits. Inhalation and ingestion risk rankings were of very low concern based on the provisional inhalation and ingestion toxicity BMDLs and CEDLs determined for the nanomaterials in question. More toxicological data is needed on nanoscale CeO(2) inhalation to develop a true dose response as in vitro cytotoxicity studies yielded an inhalation risk ranking of lower concern. The moderate to high ecotoxicological risk rankings posed by the release of nanoscale TiO(2) and Ag to surface waters highlights the need for guidance and restriction on the usage and disposal of commercial products containing nanomaterial. The risk rankings presented in this assessment give a first indication of the relative risks posed by the usage and release of these materials into the environment and indicate what materials require further investigation into their nano-specific toxicological actions. As more nano-relevant toxicity studies are published, end-points and risk levels related to nano-specific toxicity actions may

  7. Intergenerational equity and environmental restoration cleanup levels.

    SciTech Connect

    Hocking, E. K.; Environmental Assessment

    2001-01-01

    The United States Department of Energy environmental restoration program faces difficult decisions about the levels of cleanup to be achieved at its many contaminated sites and has acknowledged the need for considering intergenerational equity in its decision making. Intergenerational equity refers to the fairness of access to resources across generations. Environmental restoration cleanup levels can have unintended and unfair consequences for future generations access to resources. The potentially higher costs associated with using low, non-risk-based cleanup levels for remediation may divert funding from other activities that could have a greater beneficial impact on future generations. Low, non-risk-based cleanup levels could also result in more damage to the nation's resources than would occur if a higher cleanup level were used. The loss or impairment of these resources could have an inequitable effect on future generations. However, intergenerational inequity could arise if sites are not completely restored and if access to and use of natural and cultural resources are unfairly limited as a result of residual contamination. In addition to concerns about creating possible intergenerational inequities related to selected cleanup levels, the tremendous uncertainties associated with sites and their restoration can lead site planners to rely on stewardship by default. An ill-conceived stewardship program can contribute to intergenerational inequity by limiting access to resources while passing on risks to future generations and not preparing them for those risks. This paper presents a basic model and process for designing stewardship programs that can achieve equity among generations.

  8. Behavioural and physiological responses of birds to environmentally relevant concentrations of an antidepressant

    PubMed Central

    Bean, Tom G.; Boxall, Alistair B. A.; Lane, Julie; Herborn, Katherine A.; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Arnold, Kathryn E.

    2014-01-01

    Many wildlife species forage on sewage-contaminated food, for example, at wastewater treatment plants and on fields fertilized with sewage sludge. The resultant exposure to human pharmaceuticals remains poorly studied for terrestrial species. On the basis of predicted exposure levels in the wild, we administered the common antidepressant fluoxetine (FLUOX) or control treatment via prey to wild-caught starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) for 22 weeks over winter. To investigate responses to fluoxetine, birds were moved from their group aviaries into individual cages for 2 days. Boldness, exploration and activity levels showed no treatment effects but controls and FLUOX birds habituated differently to isolation in terms of the concentration of corticosterone (CORT) metabolites in faeces. The controls that excreted higher concentrations of CORT metabolites on day 1 lost more body mass by day 2 of isolation than those which excreted lower levels of CORT metabolites. CORT metabolites and mass loss were unrelated in FLUOX birds. When we investigated the movements of birds in their group aviaries, we found the controls made a higher frequency of visits to food trays than FLUOX birds around the important foraging periods of sunrise and sunset, as is optimal for wintering birds. Although individual variability makes interpreting the sub-lethal endpoints measured challenging, our data suggest that fluoxetine at environmentally relevant concentrations can significantly alter behaviour and physiology. PMID:25405964

  9. Physiological relevance of plant 2-Cys peroxiredoxin overoxidation level and oligomerization status.

    PubMed

    Cerveau, Delphine; Ouahrani, Djelloul; Marok, Mohamed Amine; Blanchard, Laurence; Rey, Pascal

    2016-01-01

    Peroxiredoxins are ubiquitous thioredoxin-dependent peroxidases presumed to display, upon environmental constraints, a chaperone function resulting from a redox-dependent conformational switch. In this work, using biochemical and genetic approaches, we aimed to unravel the factors regulating the redox status and the conformation of the plastidial 2-Cys peroxiredoxin (2-Cys PRX) in plants. In Arabidopsis, we show that in optimal growth conditions, the overoxidation level mainly depends on the availability of thioredoxin-related electron donors, but not on sulfiredoxin, the enzyme reducing the 2-Cys PRX overoxidized form. We also observed that upon various physiological temperature, osmotic and light stress conditions, the overoxidation level and oligomerization status of 2-Cys PRX can moderately vary depending on the constraint type. Further, no major change was noticed regarding protein conformation in water-stressed Arabidopsis, barley and potato plants, whereas species-dependent up- and down-variations in overoxidation were observed. In contrast, both 2-Cys PRX overoxidation and oligomerization were strongly induced during a severe oxidative stress generated by methyl viologen. From these data, revealing that the oligomerization status of plant 2-Cys PRX does not exhibit important variation and is not tightly linked to the protein redox status upon physiologically relevant environmental constraints, the possible in planta functions of 2-Cys PRX are discussed.

  10. LINK BETWEEN LOW-DOSE ENVIRONMENTALLY RELEVANT CADMIUM EXPOSURES AND ASTHENOZOOSPERMIA IN A RAT MODEL

    PubMed Central

    Benoff, Susan; Auborn, Karen; Marmar, Joel L.; Hurley, Ian R.

    2008-01-01

    Objective To define the mechanism(s) underlying an association between asthenozoospermia and elevated blood, seminal plasma and testicular cadmium levels in infertile human males using a rat model of environmentally relevant cadmium exposures. Setting University medical center andrology research laboratory. Animals Male Wistar rats (n = 60), documented to be sensitive to the testicular effects of cadmium. Interventions Rats were given ad libitum access to water supplemented with 14% sucrose and 0, 5, 50 or 100 mg/L cadmium for 1, 4 or 8 weeks being at puberty. Main outcome measure(s) Testicular cadmium levels were determined by atomic absorption, cauda epididymal sperm motility by visual inspection, and testicular gene expression by DNA microarray hybridization. Results Chronic, low dose cadmium exposures produced a time- and dose-dependent reduction in sperm motility. Transcription of genes regulated by calcium and expression of L-type voltage-dependent calcium channel mRNA splicing variants were altered by cadmium exposure. Expression of calcium binding proteins involved in modulation of sperm motility was unaffected. Conclusions A causal relationship between elevated testicular cadmium and asthenozoospermia was identified. Aberrrant sperm motility was correlated with altered expression of L-type voltage-dependent calcium channel isoforms found on the sperm tail, which regulate calcium and cadmium influx. PMID:18308070

  11. More than a Museum: Natural History is Relevant in 21st Century Environmental Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernandez, R. R.; Murphy-Mariscal, M. L.; Barrows, C. W.

    2015-12-01

    In the Anthropocene, the relevancy of natural history in environmental science is challenged and marginalized today more than ever. We tested the hypothesis that natural history is relevant to the fields of environmental science and ecology by assessing the values, needs, and decisions related to natural history of graduate students and environmental science professionals across 31 universities and various employers, respectively, in California. Graduate students surveyed (93.3%) agreed that natural history was relevant to science, approximately 70% believed it "essential" for conducting field-based research; however, 54.2% felt inadequately trained to teach a natural history course and would benefit from additional training in natural history (> 80%). Of the 185 professionals surveyed, all felt that natural history was relevant to science and "essential" or "desirable" in their vocation (93%). Our results indicate a disconnect between the value and relevancy of natural history in 21st century ecological science and opportunities for gaining those skills and knowledge through education and training.

  12. Review of Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment and Its Relevance to Environmental Regulators.

    PubMed

    Singer, Andrew C; Shaw, Helen; Rhodes, Vicki; Hart, Alwyn

    2016-01-01

    The environment is increasingly being recognized for the role it might play in the global spread of clinically relevant antibiotic resistance. Environmental regulators monitor and control many of the pathways responsible for the release of resistance-driving chemicals into the environment (e.g., antimicrobials, metals, and biocides). Hence, environmental regulators should be contributing significantly to the development of global and national antimicrobial resistance (AMR) action plans. It is argued that the lack of environment-facing mitigation actions included in existing AMR action plans is likely a function of our poor fundamental understanding of many of the key issues. Here, we aim to present the problem with AMR in the environment through the lens of an environmental regulator, using the Environment Agency (England's regulator) as an example from which parallels can be drawn globally. The issues that are pertinent to environmental regulators are drawn out to answer: What are the drivers and pathways of AMR? How do these relate to the normal work, powers and duties of environmental regulators? What are the knowledge gaps that hinder the delivery of environmental protection from AMR? We offer several thought experiments for how different mitigation strategies might proceed. We conclude that: (1) AMR Action Plans do not tackle all the potentially relevant pathways and drivers of AMR in the environment; and (2) AMR Action Plans are deficient partly because the science to inform policy is lacking and this needs to be addressed.

  13. Review of Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment and Its Relevance to Environmental Regulators

    PubMed Central

    Singer, Andrew C.; Shaw, Helen; Rhodes, Vicki; Hart, Alwyn

    2016-01-01

    The environment is increasingly being recognized for the role it might play in the global spread of clinically relevant antibiotic resistance. Environmental regulators monitor and control many of the pathways responsible for the release of resistance-driving chemicals into the environment (e.g., antimicrobials, metals, and biocides). Hence, environmental regulators should be contributing significantly to the development of global and national antimicrobial resistance (AMR) action plans. It is argued that the lack of environment-facing mitigation actions included in existing AMR action plans is likely a function of our poor fundamental understanding of many of the key issues. Here, we aim to present the problem with AMR in the environment through the lens of an environmental regulator, using the Environment Agency (England’s regulator) as an example from which parallels can be drawn globally. The issues that are pertinent to environmental regulators are drawn out to answer: What are the drivers and pathways of AMR? How do these relate to the normal work, powers and duties of environmental regulators? What are the knowledge gaps that hinder the delivery of environmental protection from AMR? We offer several thought experiments for how different mitigation strategies might proceed. We conclude that: (1) AMR Action Plans do not tackle all the potentially relevant pathways and drivers of AMR in the environment; and (2) AMR Action Plans are deficient partly because the science to inform policy is lacking and this needs to be addressed. PMID:27847505

  14. Organismal climatology: analyzing environmental variability at scales relevant to physiological stress.

    PubMed

    Helmuth, Brian; Broitman, Bernardo R; Yamane, Lauren; Gilman, Sarah E; Mach, Katharine; Mislan, K A S; Denny, Mark W

    2010-03-15

    Predicting when, where and with what magnitude climate change is likely to affect the fitness, abundance and distribution of organisms and the functioning of ecosystems has emerged as a high priority for scientists and resource managers. However, even in cases where we have detailed knowledge of current species' range boundaries, we often do not understand what, if any, aspects of weather and climate act to set these limits. This shortcoming significantly curtails our capacity to predict potential future range shifts in response to climate change, especially since the factors that set range boundaries under those novel conditions may be different from those that set limits today. We quantitatively examine a nine-year time series of temperature records relevant to the body temperatures of intertidal mussels as measured using biomimetic sensors. Specifically, we explore how a 'climatology' of body temperatures, as opposed to long-term records of habitat-level parameters such as air and water temperatures, can be used to extrapolate meaningful spatial and temporal patterns of physiological stress. Using different metrics that correspond to various aspects of physiological stress (seasonal means, cumulative temperature and the return time of extremes) we show that these potential environmental stressors do not always occur in synchrony with one another. Our analysis also shows that patterns of animal temperature are not well correlated with simple, commonly used metrics such as air temperature. Detailed physiological studies can provide guidance to predicting the effects of global climate change on natural ecosystems but only if we concomitantly record, archive and model environmental signals at appropriate scales.

  15. Impairment of the reproductive potential of male fathead minnows by environmentally relevant exposures to 4-nonylphenolf

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schoenfuss, H.L.; Bartell, S.E.; Bistodeau, T.B.; Cediel, R.A.; Grove, K.J.; Zintek, L.; Lee, K.E.; Barber, L.B.

    2008-01-01

    The synthetic organic compound 4-nonylphenol (NP) has been detected in many human-impacted surface waters in North America. In this study, we examined the ability of NP to alter reproductive competence in male fathead minnows after a 28 day flow-through exposure in a range of environmentally relevant concentrations bracketing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency toxicity-based NP chronic exposure criterion of 6.1 ??g NP/L. Exposure to NP at and above the EPA chronic exposure criterion resulted in an induction of plasma vitellogenin (VTG) within 14 days. However, 7 days after the cessation of exposure, VTG concentrations had dropped more than 50% and few males expressed VTG above the detection threshold. All of the morphological endpoints, including gonadosomatic index, hepatosomatic index, secondary sexual characters, and histopathology, were unaltered by all NP treatments. However, when NP-exposed male fish were allowed to compete with control males for access to nest sites and females, most treatments altered the reproductive competence of exposed males. At lower NP concentrations, exposed males out-competed control males, possibly by being primed through the estrogenic NP exposure in a fashion similar to priming by pheromones released from female fathead minnows. At higher NP exposure concentrations, this priming effect was negated by the adverse effects of the exposure and control males out-competed treated males. Results of this study indicate the complexity of endocrine disrupting effects and the need for multiple analysis levels to assess the effects of these compounds on aquatic organisms. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Responses of laboratory exposed catfish (Clarias gariepinus) to environmentally relevant concentrations of p,p'-DDT.

    PubMed

    Brink, Kerry; van Vuren, Johan; Bornman, Riana

    2012-11-01

    Technical grade DDT is annually sprayed for malaria control in many under developed countries world wide. Despite the controversy surrounding the use of DDT, minimal research concerning the effects on indigenous fish species in these areas has been conducted. In this study, the objectives were to identify some of the effects of sprayed p,p'-DDT on the common African sharptooth catfish species (Clarias gariepinus) under laboratory conditions. The effects were assessed by exposing specimens to three environmentally relevant concentrations of p,p'-DDT (0.66, 1.36 and 2.72 μg/l) for 21 days and analysing a suite of biomarkers in the plasma, gonads and body morphometrics. The biomarkers were specifically selected based on their practicality in developing countries, which could potentially be utilised for continued monitoring, and included alkali-labile phosphate (ALP), calcium, magnesium and zinc as the indirect measures of vitellogenin, gonadosomatic index, gonad mass manipulated using analysis of covariance, and condition factor. The results showed no significant (p<0.05) dose-dependent changes in the plasma, gonads and body condition of C. gariepinus, indicating that these species were not responsive to the p,p'-DDT concentrations when exposed sub-chronically. This lack of a response suggested that mature C. gariepinus are tolerant to 21 days exposure of low levels of p,p'-DDT.

  17. Metformin Exposure at Environmentally Relevant Concentrations Causes Potential Endocrine Disruption in Adult Male Fish

    PubMed Central

    Niemuth, Nicholas J; Jordan, Renee; Crago, Jordan; Blanksma, Chad; Johnson, Rodney; Klaper, Rebecca D

    2015-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are emerging contaminants that have been found ubiquitously in wastewater and surface waters around the world. A major source of these compounds is incomplete metabolism in humans and subsequent excretion in human waste, resulting in discharge into surface waters by wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent. One pharmaceutical found in particularly high abundance in recent WWTP effluent and surface water studies is metformin, one of the world's most widely prescribed antidiabetic drugs. Interactions between insulin signaling and steroidogenesis suggest potential endocrine-disrupting effects of metformin found in the aquatic environment. Adult fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) were chronically exposed to metformin for 4 wk, at 40 µg/L, a level similar to the average found in WWTP effluent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Genetic endpoints related to metabolism and endocrine function as well as reproduction-related endpoints were examined. Metformin treatment induced significant up-regulation of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) encoding the egg-protein vitellogenin in male fish, an indication of endocrine disruption. The present study, the first to study the effects of environmentally relevant metformin exposure in fathead minnows, demonstrates the need for further study of the endocrine-disrupting effects of metformin in aquatic organisms. Environ Toxicol Chem 2014;9999:1–6. © 2014 The Authors. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC. PMID:25358780

  18. Metformin exposure at environmentally relevant concentrations causes potential endocrine disruption in adult male fish.

    PubMed

    Niemuth, Nicholas J; Jordan, Renee; Crago, Jordan; Blanksma, Chad; Johnson, Rodney; Klaper, Rebecca D

    2015-02-01

    Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are emerging contaminants that have been found ubiquitously in wastewater and surface waters around the world. A major source of these compounds is incomplete metabolism in humans and subsequent excretion in human waste, resulting in discharge into surface waters by wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent. One pharmaceutical found in particularly high abundance in recent WWTP effluent and surface water studies is metformin, one of the world's most widely prescribed antidiabetic drugs. Interactions between insulin signaling and steroidogenesis suggest potential endocrine-disrupting effects of metformin found in the aquatic environment. Adult fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) were chronically exposed to metformin for 4 wk, at 40 µg/L, a level similar to the average found in WWTP effluent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Genetic endpoints related to metabolism and endocrine function as well as reproduction-related endpoints were examined. Metformin treatment induced significant up-regulation of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) encoding the egg-protein vitellogenin in male fish, an indication of endocrine disruption. The present study, the first to study the effects of environmentally relevant metformin exposure in fathead minnows, demonstrates the need for further study of the endocrine-disrupting effects of metformin in aquatic organisms.

  19. Altered pairing behaviour and reproductive success in white ibises exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of methylmercury

    PubMed Central

    Frederick, Peter; Jayasena, Nilmini

    2011-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is the most biologically available and toxic form of mercury, and can act as a powerful teratogen, neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor in vertebrates. However, mechanisms of endocrine impairment and net effects on demography of biota are poorly understood. Here, we report that experimental exposure of an aquatic bird over 3 years to environmentally relevant dietary MeHg concentrations (0.05–0.3 ppm wet weight) resulted in dose-related increases in male–male pairing behaviour (to 55% of males), and decreases in egg productivity (to 30%). Dosed males showed decreased rates of key courtship behaviours, and were approached less by courting females in comparison to control males. Within dosed groups, homosexual males showed a similar reduction when compared with dosed heterosexual males. We found an average 35 per cent decrease in fledgling production in high-dose birds over the study duration. These results are of interest because (i) MeHg exposure is experimentally tied to demographically important reproductive deficits, (ii) these effects were found at low, chronic exposure levels commonly experienced by wildlife, and (iii) effects on reproductive behaviour and sexual preference mediated by endocrine disruption represent a novel and probably under-reported mechanism by which contaminants may influence wild populations of birds. PMID:21123262

  20. Bioconcentration pattern and induced apoptosis of bisphenol A in zebrafish embryos at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Wu, Minghong; Pan, Chenyuan; Chen, Zhong; Jiang, Lihui; Lei, Penghui; Yang, Ming

    2017-03-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is a well-known endocrine-disrupting chemical that is ubiquitously present in the environment. In the present study, 4-h post-fertilization (hpf) zebrafish embryos were exposed to various environmentally relevant concentrations of BPA (0.1, 1, 10, 100, and 1000 μg/L) until 72 and 168 hpf, and the accumulation pattern of BPA and its potential to induce toxicity through apoptosis were determined. Compared to BPA concentrations in larvae at 168 hpf, BPA concentrations in embryos exposed until 72 hpf were at relatively higher levels (p < 0.05) with higher bioconcentration factor (BCF) values. The nonlinear fitting analysis indicated that the BCF values of BPA in fish embryos/larvae were significantly correlated to the log10-transformed BPA exposure concentrations in water in an inverse concentration-dependent manner. Fish accumulated more BPA as the exposure concentrations increased; however, their accumulation capacity of BPA declined and tended to be saturated in the high exposure groups of BPA. Moreover, caspase-3 activity was significantly induced upon BPA exposure at 0.1, 1, 10, and 100 μg/L BPA at 72 hpf, and also at 10 and 100 μg/L BPA at 168 hpf. Correspondingly, exposure to 10 and 100 μg/L of BPA significantly increased the DNA fragmentation in the extracted DNA at 168 hpf as determined by DNA ladder analysis. In addition, the expression patterns of four genes related to apoptosis including caspase-3, bax, p53, and c-jun were significantly up-regulated (p < 0.05) in fish embryos/larvae upon BPA exposure at 72 and 168 hpf. Our results revealed that low and environmentally relevant concentrations of BPA could be significantly accumulated in zebrafish and induced apoptosis with involvement of the regulation of caspase-3 and other apoptosis-related genes.

  1. Designing at Scale: Lessons in Relevance, Quality, and Equity from ChangeScale, a Bay Area environmental education collaborative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babcock, E.

    2015-12-01

    The best environmental education equips people with the know-how and drive to create healthy communities and a healthy planet. While there are many wonderful organizations providing environmental learning, ensuring quality, cultural relevance and equity of access remains an elusive goal--especially if environmental education organizations work in isolation. Organizations across 12 counties in the Bay Area have come together to create a different model. They have founded ChangeScale, a regional collaborative dedicated to providing high quality environmental education to hundreds of thousands of youth---by working together. ChangeScale's work involves setting up school district-level partnerships, providing technical assistance to local environmental education networks, and training environmental educators across the region. In this talk, the presenter, who is a founding member and steering committee chair for ChangeScale, will outline the challenges of working at a regional scale with dozens of organizations. She will share the processes ChangeScale has used to develop a business plan and build membership. She will conclude by sharing the short term and long term potential impacts of working collectively for environmental literacy in the Bay Area.

  2. Effects of glyphosate at environmentally relevant concentrations on the growth of and microcystin production by Microcystis aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Quan; Zhou, Hang; Li, Zhe; Zhu, Jianqiang; Zhou, Cong; Zhao, Meirong

    2016-11-01

    The use of glyphosate, which is a well-known sterilant herbicide, has been growing rapidly because the area under the cultivation of genetically modified crops that are tolerant to this herbicide has increased. Glyphosate can enter into aquatic systems through many different ways. However, information on the potential risks of glyphosate at environmentally relevant levels to aquatic systems is still limited. In this study, we selected the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa FACHB-905 (M. aeruginosa) as a model organism to evaluate the effects of glyphosate at environmentally relevant concentrations on the former's growth and microcystin (MC) production. Our results show that low levels of glyphosate stimulate the growth of M. aeruginosa. Subsequently, there was significant increase in the total MC-LR and intracellular MC-LR, but not in extracellular MC-LR, after exposure to 0.1-2 mg/L of glyphosate. The increase in total MC-LR is mainly due to the effects of glyphosate on the cell density of M. aeruginosa. The data provided here show that low level of glyphosate in a water body is a potential environmental risk factor that stimulates the growth and enhances MC production in M. aeruginosa, which should arouse great concern.

  3. Potential CERCLA reauthorization issues relevant to US DOE`s Environmental Restoration Program

    SciTech Connect

    Siegel, M.R.; McKinney, M.D.; Jaksch, J.A.; Dailey, R.L.

    1993-02-01

    The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) is currently scheduled to be reauthorized in 1994. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has a significant stake in CERCLA reauthorization. CERCLA, along with its implementing regulation, the National Contingency Plan (NCP), is the principal legal authority governing DOE`s environmental restoration program. The manner in which CERCLA-related issues are identified, evaluated, and dispatched may have a substantial impact on DOE`s ability to conduct its environmental restoration program. A number of issues that impact DOE`s environmental restoration program could be addressed through CERCLA reauthorization. These issues include the need to (1) address how the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) should be integrated into DOE CERCLA actions, (2) facilitate the streamlining of the Superfund process at DOE sites, (3) address the conflicts between the requirements of CERCLA and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) that are especially relevant to DOE, (4) examine the criteria for waiving applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs) at DOE sites, and (5) delineate the appropriate use of institutional controls at DOE sites.

  4. Environmentally relevant exposure to 17α-ethinylestradiol affects the telencephalic proteome of male fathead minnows

    PubMed Central

    Martyniuk, Christopher J.; Kroll, Kevin J.; Doperalski, Nicholas J.; Barber, David S.; Denslow, Nancy D.

    2010-01-01

    Estrogens are key mediators of neuronal processes in vertebrates. As such, xenoestrogens present in the environment have the potential to alter normal central nervous system (CNS) function. The objectives of the present study were 1) to identify proteins with altered expression in the male fathead minnow telencephalon as a result of low level exposure to 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), and 2) to better understand the underlying mechanisms of 17β-estradiol (E2) feedback in this important neuroendocrine tissue. Male fathead minnows exposed to a measured concentration of 5.4 ng EE2/L for 48 hours showed decreased plasma E2 levels of approximately 2-fold. Of 77 proteins that were quantified statistically, 14 proteins were down-regulated after EE2 exposure, including four histone proteins, ATP synthase, H+ transporting subunits, and metabolic proteins (lactate dehydrogenase B4, malate dehydrogenase 1b). Twelve proteins were significantly induced by EE2 including microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT), astrocytic phosphoprotein, ependymin precursor, and calmodulin. MAPT showed an increase in protein abundance but a decrease in mRNA expression after EE2 exposure, suggesting there may be a negative feedback response in the telencephalon to decrease mRNA transcription with increasing MAPT protein abundance. These results demonstrate that a low, environmentally relevant exposure to EE2 can rapidly alter the abundance of proteins involved in cell differentiation and proliferation, neuron network morphology, and long term synaptic potentiation. Together, these findings provide a better understanding of the molecular responses underlying E2 feedback in the brain and demonstrate that quantitative proteomics can be successfully used in ecotoxicology to characterize affected cellular pathways and endocrine physiology. PMID:20381887

  5. Relevance of Bt toxin interaction studies for environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    De Schrijver, Adinda; De Clercq, Patrick; de Maagd, Ruud A; van Frankenhuyzen, Kees

    2015-12-01

    In recent years, different Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin-encoding genes have been combined or 'stacked' in genetically modified (GM) crops. Synergism between Bt proteins may occur and thereby increase the impact of the stacked GM event on nontarget invertebrates compared to plants expressing a single Bt gene. On the basis of bioassay data available for Bt toxins alone or in combination, we argue that the current knowledge of Bt protein interactions is of limited relevance in environmental risk assessment (ERA).

  6. Studies of the surface reactivity of metal oxyhydroxides and sulfides with relevance to environmental chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierre-Louis, Andro-Marc

    With the benefits of an ever increasing advance of industrialization around the globe come formidable environmental problems. Three environmental problems that have relevance to the research described in this thesis are the 1) buildup of atmospheric CO2 gas through the burning of fossil fuels, 2) eutrophication of aquatic systems, and 3) the acidification of environments from acid mine drainage (AMD) resulting from coal-mining activities. In particular research is presented in this thesis that investigated the surface chemistry of CO2 and phosphate (PO43-) on a suite of environmentally relevant iron oxyhydroxide materials and the chemistry of phospholipid molecules on environmentally relevant iron sulfide surfaces to suppress AMD. To develop a microscopic understanding of the surface chemistry of the different systems, an array of experimental and computational techniques were used in the research. Techniques included X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic adsorption, X-ray diffraction, scanning transmission microscopy with electron dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (STEM/EDS), ion chromatography (IC), and attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR). Results from the latter technique were interpreted with the aid of density function theory (DFT) calculations. Iron oxyhydroxides, which consisted of ferrihydrite (FeOOH), goethite (α-FeOOH), ferrimagnetic ferrihydrite (FerriFh), and aluminum-doped iron oxyhydroxide (content from 0-100 mol%) were synthesized and studied before and after exposure to gaseous CO2, CO32-, and PO43- species. FeOOH and mixed Al/Fe oxyhydroxide surfaces showed high affinities for the formation of carbonate and bicarbonate species upon exposure to gaseous CO2. Within the Al/Fe oxyhydroxide circumstance, a low Al level of incorporation in the iron oxyhydroxide structure caused a slight increase in surface area and increase in the amount of oxyanion (e.g., CO32- or PO43-) adsorption up to an Al level of 30 mol%. Significant

  7. Chronic ZnO-NPs exposure at environmentally relevant concentrations results in metabolic and locomotive toxicities in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chi-Wei; Li, Shang-Wei; Hsiu-Chuan Liao, Vivian

    2017-01-01

    ZnO nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) are emerging contaminants that raise the concerns of potential risk in the aquatic environment. It has been estimated that the environmental ZnO-NPs concentration is 76 μg/l in the aquatic environment. Our aim was to determine the aquatic toxicity of ZnO-NPs with chronic exposure at environmentally relevant concentrations using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Two simulated environmentally relevant mediums-moderately hard reconstituted water (EPA water) and simulated soil pore water (SSPW)-were used to represent surface water and pore water in sediment, respectively. The results showed that the ZnO-NPs in EPA water has a much smaller hydrodynamic diameter than that in SSPW. Although the ionic release of Zn ions increased time-dependently in both mediums, the Zn ions concentrations in EPA water increased two-fold more than that in SSPW at 48 h and 72 h. The ZnO-NPs did not induce growth defects or decrease head thrashes in C. elegans in either media. However, chronic exposure to ZnO-NPs caused a significant reduction in C. elegans body bends in EPA water even with a relatively low concentration (0.05 μg/l); similar results were not observed in SSPW. Moreover, at the same concentrations (50 and 500 μg/l), body bends in C. elegans were reduced more severely in ZnO-NPs than in ZnCl2 in EPA water. The ATP levels were consistently and significantly decreased, and ROS was induced after ZnO-NPs exposure (50 and 500 μg/l) in EPA water. Our results provide evidences that chronic exposure to ZnO-NPs under environmentally relevant concentrations causes metabolic and locomotive toxicities implicating the potential ecotoxicity of ZnO-NPs at low concentrations in aquatic environments.

  8. An integrated proteomic and metabolomic study on the chronic effects of mercury in Suaeda salsa under an environmentally relevant salinity.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoli; Wu, Huifeng; Ji, Chenglong; Wei, Lei; Zhao, Jianmin; Yu, Junbao

    2013-01-01

    As an environmental contaminant, mercury is of great concern due to its high risk to environmental and human health. The halophyte Suaeda salsa is the dominant plant in the intertidal zones of the Yellow River Delta (YRD) where has been contaminated by mercury in some places. This study aimed at evaluating the chronic effects of mercury (Hg(2+), 20 µg L(-1)) and the influence of an environmentally relevant salinity (NaCl, 500 mM) on mercury-induced effects in S. salsa. A total of 43 protein spots with significant changes were identified in response to Hg(2+), salinity and combined Hg(2+) and salinity. These proteins can be categorized into diverse functional classes, related to metabolic processes, photosynthesis, stress response, protein fate, energy metabolism, signaling pathways and immunosuppression. Metabolic responses demonstrated that Hg(2+) could disturb protein and energy metabolisms in S. salsa co-exposed with or without salinity. In addition, both antagonistic and synergistic effects between Hg(2+) and salinity were confirmed by differential levels of proteins (magnesium-chelatase and ribulose-l,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) and metabolites (valine, malonate, asparagine, glycine, fructose and glucose) in S. salsa. These findings suggest that a combination of proteomics and metabolomics can provide insightful information of environmental contaminant-induced effects in plants at molecular levels.

  9. An Integrated Proteomic and Metabolomic Study on the Chronic Effects of Mercury in Suaeda salsa under an Environmentally Relevant Salinity

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaoli; Wu, Huifeng; Ji, Chenglong; Wei, Lei; Zhao, Jianmin; Yu, Junbao

    2013-01-01

    As an environmental contaminant, mercury is of great concern due to its high risk to environmental and human health. The halophyte Suaeda salsa is the dominant plant in the intertidal zones of the Yellow River Delta (YRD) where has been contaminated by mercury in some places. This study aimed at evaluating the chronic effects of mercury (Hg2+, 20 µg L−1) and the influence of an environmentally relevant salinity (NaCl, 500 mM) on mercury-induced effects in S. salsa. A total of 43 protein spots with significant changes were identified in response to Hg2+, salinity and combined Hg2+ and salinity. These proteins can be categorized into diverse functional classes, related to metabolic processes, photosynthesis, stress response, protein fate, energy metabolism, signaling pathways and immunosuppression. Metabolic responses demonstrated that Hg2+ could disturb protein and energy metabolisms in S. salsa co-exposed with or without salinity. In addition, both antagonistic and synergistic effects between Hg2+ and salinity were confirmed by differential levels of proteins (magnesium-chelatase and ribulose-l,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) and metabolites (valine, malonate, asparagine, glycine, fructose and glucose) in S. salsa. These findings suggest that a combination of proteomics and metabolomics can provide insightful information of environmental contaminant-induced effects in plants at molecular levels. PMID:23696864

  10. An aggregate analysis of personal care products in the environment: Identifying the distribution of environmentally-relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, Zachary R; Blaney, Lee

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 3-4 decades, per capita consumption of personal care products (PCPs) has steadily risen, resulting in increased discharge of the active and inactive ingredients present in these products into wastewater collection systems. PCPs comprise a long list of compounds employed in toothpaste, sunscreen, lotions, soaps, body washes, and insect repellants, among others. While comprehensive toxicological studies are not yet available, an increasing body of literature has shown that PCPs of all classes can impact aquatic wildlife, bacteria, and/or mammalian cells at low concentrations. Ongoing research efforts have identified PCPs in a variety of environmental compartments, including raw wastewater, wastewater effluent, surface water, wastewater solids, sediment, groundwater, and drinking water. Here, an aggregate analysis of over 5000 reported detections was conducted to better understand the distribution of environmentally-relevant PCP concentrations in, and between, these compartments. The distributions were used to identify whether aggregated environmentally-relevant concentration ranges intersected with available toxicity data. For raw wastewater, wastewater effluent, and surface water, a clear overlap was present between the 25th-75th percentiles and identified toxicity levels. This analysis suggests that improved wastewater treatment of antimicrobials, UV filters, and polycyclic musks is required to prevent negative impacts on aquatic species.

  11. Oil Recovery from Water under Environmentally Relevant Conditions Using Magnetic Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Mirshahghassemi, Seyyedali; Lead, Jamie R

    2015-10-06

    Large oil spills and oily wastewater discharges from ships and industrial activities can have serious impacts on the environment with potentially major economic impacts. Current oil remediation techniques are inefficient and may have deleterious environmental consequences. However, nanotechnology offers a new route to potentially remediate oil pollution. In this study, a cheap and facile hydrothermal method was developed to synthesize polyvinylpyrrolidone-coated magnetite nanoparticles to separate a reference MC252 oil from oil-water mixture under environmentally relevant conditions. Fluorescence and Proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy results showed near 100% oil removal from oil-water mixture in the ultrapure water under optimum condition. Based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry data, approximately 100% of lower molecular mass alkanes (C9-C21) were removed within 10 min of magnetic separation and by increasing the separation time to 40 min, greater than 67% of C22-25 alkanes were removed. Moreover, nanoparticles removed near 100% oil from synthetic seawater solutions in the presence and absence of fulvic acid showing excellent oil removal capacity of the nanoparticles under different conditions. Results show that these nanoparticles can be utilized to remove oil over a short time with a high removal efficiency under environmentally relevant conditions.

  12. Manipulating Sensory and Phytochemical Profiles of Greenhouse Tomatoes Using Environmentally Relevant Doses of Ultraviolet Radiation.

    PubMed

    Dzakovich, Michael P; Ferruzzi, Mario G; Mitchell, Cary A

    2016-09-14

    Fruits harvested from off-season, greenhouse-grown tomato plants have a poor reputation compared to their in-season, garden-grown counterparts. Presently, there is a gap in knowledge with regard to the role of UV-B radiation (280-315 nm) in determining greenhouse tomato quality. Knowing that UV-B is a powerful elicitor of secondary metabolism and not transmitted through greenhouse glass and some greenhouse plastics, we tested the hypothesis that supplemental UV-B radiation in the greenhouse will impart quality attributes typically associated with garden-grown tomatoes. Environmentally relevant doses of supplemental UV-B radiation did not strongly affect antioxidant compounds of fruits, although the flavonol quercetin-3-O-rutinoside (rutin) significantly increased in response to UV-B. Physicochemical metrics of fruit quality attributes and consumer sensory panels were used to determine if any such differences altered consumer perception of tomato quality. Supplemental UV-A radiation (315-400 nm) pre-harvest treatments enhanced sensory perception of aroma, acidity, and overall approval, suggesting a compelling opportunity to environmentally enhance the flavor of greenhouse-grown tomatoes. The expression of the genes COP1 and HY5 were indicative of adaptation to UV radiation, which explains the lack of marked effects reported in these studies. To our knowledge, these studies represent the first reported use of environmentally relevant doses of UV radiation throughout the reproductive portion of the tomato plant life cycle to positively enhance the sensory and chemical properties of fruits.

  13. The effect of environmentally relevant conditions on PVP stabilised gold nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Hitchman, Adam; Smith, Gregory H Sambrook; Ju-Nam, Yon; Sterling, Mark; Lead, Jamie R

    2013-01-01

    Nanoparticles are a major product from the nanotechnology industry and have been shown to have a potentially large environmental exposure and hazard. In this study, sterically stabilised polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) 7 nm gold nanoparticles (NPs) were produced and characterised as prepared by surface plasmon resonance (SPR), size and aggregation, morphology and surface charge. Changes in these properties with changes in environmentally relevant conditions (pH, ionic strength, Ca concentration and fulvic acid presence) were quantified. These sterically stabilised NPs showed no aggregation with changes in pH or inorganic ions, even under high (0.1 M) Ca concentrations. In addition, the presence of fulvic acid resulted in no observable changes in SPR, size, aggregation or surface chemistry, suggesting limited interaction between the PVP stabilised nanoparticles and fulvic acid. Due to the lack of aggregation and interaction, these NPs are expected to be highly mobile and potentially bioavailable in the environment.

  14. Supramolecular Chemistry of Selective Anion Recognition for Anions of Environmental Relevance

    SciTech Connect

    Bowman-James, K.; Wilson, G.; Moyer, B. A.

    2004-12-11

    This project involves the design and synthesis of receptors for oxoanions of environmental importance, including emphasis on high level and low activity waste. Target anions have included primarily oxoanions and a study of the basic concepts behind selective binding of target anions. A primary target has been sulfate because of its deleterious influence on the vitrification of tank wastes

  15. CHANGES IN GENE EXPRESSION PROFILE FOLLOWING SHORT-TERM EXPOSURE TO AN ENVIRONMENTALLY RELEVANT MIXTURE OF PHAHS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Changes in gene expression profile following short-term exposure to an environmentally relevant mixture of PHAHs
    Polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (PHAH) including, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDS) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans...

  16. Human health and the environment: Predicting plasma protein binding and metabolic clearance rates of environmentally relevant chemicals.

    EPA Science Inventory

    In silico methods provide a rapid, inexpensive means of screening a wide array of environmentally relevant pollutants, pesticides, fungicides and consumer products for further toxicity testing. Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models bridge the gap between in vitro as...

  17. Pollen Contaminated With Field-Relevant Levels of Cyhalothrin Affects Honey Bee Survival, Nutritional Physiology, and Pollen Consumption Behavior.

    PubMed

    Dolezal, Adam G; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Miller, W Allen; Bonning, Bryony C; Toth, Amy L

    2016-02-01

    Honey bees are exposed to a variety of environmental factors that impact their health, including nutritional stress, pathogens, and pesticides. In particular, there has been increasing evidence that sublethal exposure to pesticides can cause subtle, yet important effects on honey bee health and behavior. Here, we add to this body of knowledge by presenting data on bee-collected pollen containing sublethal levels of cyhalothrin, a pyrethroid insecticide, which, when fed to young honey bees, resulted in significant changes in lifespan, nutritional physiology,and behavior. For the first time, we show that when young, nest-aged bees are presented with pollen containing field-relevant levels of cyhalothrin, they reduce their consumption of contaminated pollen. This indicates that, at least for some chemicals, young bees are able to detect contamination in pollen and change their behavioral response, even if the contamination levels do not prevent foraging honey bees from collecting the contaminated pollen.

  18. Toxicological effects of environmentally relevant lead and zinc in halophyte Suaeda salsa by NMR-based metabolomics.

    PubMed

    Wu, Huifeng; Liu, Xiaoli; Zhao, Jianmin; Yu, Junbao; Pang, Qiuying; Feng, Jianghua

    2012-11-01

    Lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) are two typical metal contaminants with high levels in both seawater and sediment in the intertidal zones of the Bohai Sea. Suaeda salsa is the pioneer halophyte plant in the intertidal zones of the Bohai Sea. In the present work, the short (1 week) and long term (1 month) toxicological effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of Pb and Zn were characterized in S. salsa using NMR-based metabolomics combined with antioxidant enzyme activities. After metal exposure for 1 week, no significant metabolic responses were detected in root tissues of S. salsa. The significant metabolic responses included the increase of isocaproate, glucose and fructose, and decrease of malate, citrate and sucrose in root tissues of S. salsa exposed to Pb for 1 month. The increased phosphocholine and betaine, and decreased choline were uniquely found in Zn-exposed samples. The metabolic changes including decreased malate, citrate and sucrose were detected in both Pb and Zn-exposed groups. These metabolic biomarkers revealed that both Pb and Zn exposures could induce osmotic stress and disturbances in energy metabolism in S. salsa after exposures for 1 month. Overall, this work demonstrates that metabolomics can be used to elucidate toxicological effects of environmentally relevant metal contaminants using halophyte S. salsa as the bioindicator.

  19. Mapping Environmental Inequalities Relevant for Health for Informing Urban Planning Interventions—A Case Study in the City of Dortmund, Germany

    PubMed Central

    Flacke, Johannes; Schüle, Steffen Andreas; Köckler, Heike; Bolte, Gabriele

    2016-01-01

    Spatial differences in urban environmental conditions contribute to health inequalities within cities. The purpose of the paper is to map environmental inequalities relevant for health in the City of Dortmund, Germany, in order to identify needs for planning interventions. We develop suitable indicators for mapping socioeconomically-driven environmental inequalities at the neighborhood level based on published scientific evidence and inputs from local stakeholders. Relationships between socioeconomic and environmental indicators at the level of 170 neighborhoods were analyzed continuously with Spearman rank correlation coefficients and categorically applying chi-squared tests. Reclassified socioeconomic and environmental indicators were then mapped at the neighborhood level in order to determine multiple environmental burdens and hotspots of environmental inequalities related to health. Results show that the majority of environmental indicators correlate significantly, leading to multiple environmental burdens in specific neighborhoods. Some of these neighborhoods also have significantly larger proportions of inhabitants of a lower socioeconomic position indicating hotspots of environmental inequalities. Suitable planning interventions mainly comprise transport planning and green space management. In the conclusions, we discuss how the analysis can be used to improve state of the art planning instruments, such as clean air action planning or noise reduction planning towards the consideration of the vulnerability of the population. PMID:27420090

  20. Mapping Environmental Inequalities Relevant for Health for Informing Urban Planning Interventions-A Case Study in the City of Dortmund, Germany.

    PubMed

    Flacke, Johannes; Schüle, Steffen Andreas; Köckler, Heike; Bolte, Gabriele

    2016-07-13

    Spatial differences in urban environmental conditions contribute to health inequalities within cities. The purpose of the paper is to map environmental inequalities relevant for health in the City of Dortmund, Germany, in order to identify needs for planning interventions. We develop suitable indicators for mapping socioeconomically-driven environmental inequalities at the neighborhood level based on published scientific evidence and inputs from local stakeholders. Relationships between socioeconomic and environmental indicators at the level of 170 neighborhoods were analyzed continuously with Spearman rank correlation coefficients and categorically applying chi-squared tests. Reclassified socioeconomic and environmental indicators were then mapped at the neighborhood level in order to determine multiple environmental burdens and hotspots of environmental inequalities related to health. Results show that the majority of environmental indicators correlate significantly, leading to multiple environmental burdens in specific neighborhoods. Some of these neighborhoods also have significantly larger proportions of inhabitants of a lower socioeconomic position indicating hotspots of environmental inequalities. Suitable planning interventions mainly comprise transport planning and green space management. In the conclusions, we discuss how the analysis can be used to improve state of the art planning instruments, such as clean air action planning or noise reduction planning towards the consideration of the vulnerability of the population.

  1. Improving landscape-level environmental impact evaluations.

    SciTech Connect

    Walston, L.J.; LaGory, K.E.; Vinikour, W.; Van Lonkhuyzen, R.L.; Cantwell, B.

    2012-04-01

    New spatial data and advancements in GIS tools allow much more comprehensive and quantitative analyses of the large datasets required when making programmatic evaluations of the ecological effects of proposed activities that cover a large area or region. Understanding the environmental impacts of proposed human developments is critical to making appropriate siting decisions and designing mitigation strategies to reduce impacts on important resources. Impact analyses conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) or Environmental Assessments (EAs) are intended to determine the resource-specific impacts of proposed activities of federal agencies and their alternatives using the best available information. Impacts to ecological resources are often a primary focus of these analyses. Information used in NEPA analyses include some measure of the known or probable presence of plants and wildlife in the project area, with special emphasis placed on threatened, endangered, and other special-status species. Site-specific information pertaining to ecological resources is usually easier to obtain for small-scale activities such as a local facility, road, or transmission upgrade project, where the ability to conduct fieldwork is more often feasible. However, site-specific data is more difficult-and sometimes impossible-to obtain for proposed activities that could affect a large area or region. These types of analyses often are considered in programmatic NEPA documents, in which a federal agency evaluates the implementation of a broad program or plan. Under these programmatic evaluations, the exact location and size of developments are often not known. Because obtaining quantitative information for ecological resources at such large spatial scales is difficult, programmatic impact evaluations typically rely on sketchy or partial information such as recorded species occurrences, species ranges, and general habitat

  2. Heteroaggregation of titanium dioxide nanoparticles with model natural colloids under environmentally relevant conditions.

    PubMed

    Praetorius, Antonia; Labille, Jérôme; Scheringer, Martin; Thill, Antoine; Hungerbühler, Konrad; Bottero, Jean-Yves

    2014-09-16

    The heteroaggregation of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) with natural colloids (NCs), which are ubiquitous in natural surface waters, is a crucial process affecting the environmental transport and fate of ENPs. Attachment efficiencies for heteroaggregation, α hetero, are required as input parameters in environmental fate models to predict ENP concentrations and contribute to ENP risk assessment. Here, we present a novel method for determining α hetero values by using a combination of laser diffraction measurements and aggregation modeling based on the Smoluchowski equation. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs, 15 nm) were used to demonstrate this new approach together with larger silicon dioxide particles (SiO2, 0.5 μm) representing NCs. Heteroaggregation experiments were performed at different environmentally relevant solution conditions. At pH 5 the TiO2 NPs and the SiO2 particles are of opposite charge, resulting in α hetero values close to 1. At pH 8, where all particles are negatively charged, α hetero was strongly affected by the solution conditions, with α hetero ranging from <0.001 at low ionic strength to 1 at conditions with high NaCl or CaCl2 concentrations. The presence of humic acid stabilized the system against heteroaggregation.

  3. BEST: Bilingual environmental science training: Kindergarten level

    SciTech Connect

    1996-03-01

    This booklet is one of a series of bilingual guides to environmental-science learning activities for students to do at home. Lesson objectives, materials required, procedure, vocabulary, and subjects integrated into the lesson are described in English for each lesson. A bilingual glossary, alphabetized by English entries, with Spanish equivalents in both English and Spanish, follows the lesson descriptions, and is itself followed by a bibliography of English-language references. This booklet includes descriptions of six lessons covering the senses of touch and sight, the sense of smell, how to distinguish living and non-living things, cell structures, the skeletal system, and the significance of food groups. 8 figs.

  4. Campylobacter species in animal, food, and environmental sources, and relevant testing programs in Canada.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hongsheng; Brooks, Brian W; Lowman, Ruff; Carrillo, Catherine D

    2015-10-01

    Campylobacter species, particularly thermophilic campylobacters, have emerged as a leading cause of human foodborne gastroenteritis worldwide, with Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli, and Campylobacter lari responsible for the majority of human infections. Although most cases of campylobacteriosis are self-limiting, campylobacteriosis represents a significant public health burden. Human illness caused by infection with campylobacters has been reported across Canada since the early 1970s. Many studies have shown that dietary sources, including food, particularly raw poultry and other meat products, raw milk, and contaminated water, have contributed to outbreaks of campylobacteriosis in Canada. Campylobacter spp. have also been detected in a wide range of animal and environmental sources, including water, in Canada. The purpose of this article is to review (i) the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. in animals, food, and the environment, and (ii) the relevant testing programs in Canada with a focus on the potential links between campylobacters and human health in Canada.

  5. Systematic testing of Gaussian and complete basis set methods with dispersion corrections for environmentally relevant clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemke, Kono H.

    2014-11-01

    Results are presented demonstrating the ability of CBS-x and Gn theory to predict energies for non-covalently bound complexes, both uncorrected and upon implementation of dispersion-sensitive DFT. CBS-QCI/APNO performs best among uncorrected methods (MUE 0.88 kcal mol-1), while G4 (MUE 1.05 kcal mol-1) and CBS-QB3 (MUE 1.13 kcal mol-1) provide energies close to that of CBS-QCI/APNO, but at a reduced cost. Inclusion of B2PLYP-D and B97-D as well as M0N-2X type functionals into G4 and CBS-QB3 results in improved binding energies. From a comparison with CCSD(T)/CBS results, M05-2X/CBS-QB3 structures and binding energies provide a cost-effective and accurate description of environmentally relevant non-covalent interactions.

  6. Clobetasol propionate causes immunosuppression in zebrafish (Danio rerio) at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Hidasi, Anita O; Groh, Ksenia J; Suter, Marc J-F; Schirmer, Kristin

    2017-04-01

    Synthetic glucocorticoids (GCs) are potential endocrine disrupting compounds that have been detected in the aquatic environment around the world in the low ng/L (nanomolar) range. GCs are used as immunosuppressants in medicine. It is of high interest whether clobetasol propionate (CP), a highly potent GC, suppresses the inflammatory response in fish after exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations. Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge was used to induce inflammation and thus mimic pathogen infection. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to ≤1000nM CP from ~1h post fertilization (hpf) to 96 hpf, and CP uptake, survival after LPS challenge, and expression of inflammation-related genes were examined. Our initial experiments were carried out using 0.001% DMSO as a solvent vehicle, but we observed that DMSO interfered with the LPS challenge assay, and thus masked the effects of CP. Therefore, DMSO was not used in the subsequent experiments. The internal CP concentration was quantifiable after exposure to ≥10nM CP for 96h. The bioconcentration factor (BCF) of CP was determined to be between 16 and 33 in zebrafish embryos. CP-exposed embryos showed a significantly higher survival rate in the LPS challenge assay after exposure to ≥0.1nM in a dose dependent manner. This effect is an indication of immunosuppression. Furthermore, the regulation pattern of several genes related to LPS challenge in mammals supported our results, providing evidence that LPS-mediated inflammatory pathways are conserved from mammals to teleost fish. Anxa1b, a GC-action related anti-inflammatory gene, was significantly down-regulated after exposure to ≥0.05nM CP. Our results show for the first time that synthetic GCs can suppress the innate immune system of fish at environmentally relevant concentrations. This may reduce the chances of fish to survive in the environment, as their defense against pathogens is weakened.

  7. Antidepressants at environmentally relevant concentrations affect predator avoidance behavior of larval fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas).

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Furlong, Edward T.; Barber, Larry B.; Meghan R. McGee,; Megan A. Buerkley,; Matthew L. Julius,; Vajda, Alan M.; Heiko L. Schoenfuss,; Schultz, Melissa M.; Norris, David O.

    2009-01-01

    The effects of embryonic and larval exposure to environmentally relevant (ng/L) concentrations of common antidepressants, fluoxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, and bupropion (singularly and in mixture) on C-start escape behavior were evaluated in fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Embryos (postfertilization until hatching) were exposed for 5 d and, after hatching, were allowed to grow in control well water until 12 d old. Similarly, posthatch fathead minnows were exposed for 12 d to these compounds. High-speed (1,000 frames/s) video recordings of escape behavior were collected and transferred to National Institutes of Health Image for frame-by- frame analysis of latency periods, escape velocities, and total escape response (combination of latency period and escape velocity). When tested 12 d posthatch, fluoxetine and venlafaxine adversely affected C-start performance of larvae exposed as embryos. Conversely, larvae exposed for 12 d posthatch did not exhibit altered escape responses when exposed to fluoxetine but were affected by venlafaxine and bupropion exposure. Mixtures of these four antidepressant pharmaceuticals slowed predator avoidance behaviors in larval fathead minnows regardless of the exposure window. The direct impact of reduced C-start performance on survival and, ultimately, reproductive fitness provides an avenue to assess the ecological relevance of exposure in an assay of relatively short duration.

  8. Antidepressants at environmentally relevant concentrations affect predator avoidance behavior of larval fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Painter, M.M.; Buerkley, M.A.; Julius, M.L.; Vajda, A.M.; Norris, D.O.; Barber, L.B.; Furlong, E.T.; Schultz, M.M.; Schoenfuss, H.L.

    2009-01-01

    The effects of embryonic and larval exposure to environmentally relevant (ng/L) concentrations of common antidepressants, fluoxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, and bupropion (singularly and in mixture) on C-start escape behavior were evaluated in fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Embryos (postfertilization until hatching) were exposed for 5 d and, after hatching, were allowed to grow in control well water until 12 d old. Similarly, posthatch fathead minnows were exposed for 12 d to these compounds. High-speed (1,000 frames/s) video recordings of escape behavior were collected and transferred to National Institutes of Health Image for frame-by-frame analysis of latency periods, escape velocities, and total escape response (combination of latency period and escape velocity). When tested 12 d posthatch, fluoxetine and venlafaxine adversely affected C-start performance of larvae exposed as embryos. Conversely, larvae exposed for 12 d posthatch did not exhibit altered escape responses when exposed to fluoxetine but were affected by venlafaxine and bupropion exposure. Mixtures of these four antidepressant pharmaceuticals slowed predator avoidance behaviors in larval fathead minnows regardless of the exposure window. The direct impact of reduced C-start performance on survival and, ultimately, reproductive fitness provides an avenue to assess the ecological relevance of exposure in an assay of relatively short duration. ?? 2009 SETAC.

  9. An environmentally relevant organochlorine mixture impairs sperm function and embryo development in the porcine model.

    PubMed

    Campagna, Céline; Guillemette, Christine; Paradis, René; Sirard, Marc-André; Ayotte, Pierre; Bailey, Janice L

    2002-07-01

    We evaluated the effects of an environmentally relevant mixture of more than 15 organochlorines on the development of pig oocytes and sperm during in vitro fertilization (IVF). Oocytes were cocultured with sperm in IVF medium containing increasing concentrations of an organochlorine mixture, similar to that found in women of highly exposed populations. Exposure to the organochlorine mixture diminished oocyte penetration rates and polyspermy in a linear manner. The mixture did not affect rates of cleavage nor development to multicell embryos. However, rates of development to the blastocyst stage were lower at the highest concentration at which oocyte penetration was observed. The same experiment was performed using oocytes that were preexposed during in vitro maturation. This greater exposure to the mixture also reduced penetration in a dose-response manner and affected polyspermy. Frozen-thawed pig sperm were also cultured in IVF medium containing the same organochlorine concentrations. Sperm motility parameters were immediately reduced in a dose-dependent manner by the organochlorines, followed by diminished viability 2 h later. From these results, it appears that reduced sperm quality would account for decreases in fertilization, polyspermy, and blastocyst formation. These results suggest that exposing porcine oocytes and sperm to an environmentally pertinent organochlorine mixture in vitro disrupts the oocyte block to polyspermy, sperm fertility, and further embryonic development, and supports recent concerns that such pollutants harm reproductive health in humans and other species.

  10. Assessing the potential risks to zebrafish posed by environmentally relevant copper and silver nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Chio, Chia-Pin; Chen, Wei-Yu; Chou, Wei-Chun; Hsieh, Nan-Hung; Ling, Min-Pei; Liao, Chung-Min

    2012-03-15

    The manufacture of large quantities of engineered nanomaterials (NMs) may lead to unintended contamination of aquatic ecosystems. Biologically based monitoring techniques need to be developed to detect these emerging NMs. The purpose of this study was to develop a risk-based probability model to predict the potential hazards of nanoecotoxicity toward aquatic organisms posed by waterborne copper and silver nanoparticles (Cu/Ag NPs). Published experimental evidence based on Cu/Ag NP-zebrafish (Danio rerio) systems was adopted as the study data. A Hill model was used to reconstruct a concentration-mortality response profile. A cumulative Weibull predictive model was employed to estimate exposure thresholds. The derived probabilistic model can predict the potential risk of environmentally relevant Cu/Ag NPs for major Taiwanese rivers with predicted environmental concentrations of 0.06 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.01-0.92) mgL(-1) for Cu NPs and 0.04 (0.01-0.11) mgL(-1) for Ag NPs. The results indicated that estimated thresholds were 0.10-0.48mgL(-1) (95% CI) for Cu NPs and 2.69-2.73mgL(-1) for Ag NPs. The probabilities of a risk quotient (RQ) of >1 ranged 17%-81% for zebrafish exposed to Cu NPs. This study found that Ag NP exposure scenarios posed no significant risks to zebrafish (RQ≪0.1).

  11. Sublethal effects on wood frogs chronically exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of two neonicotinoid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Stacey A; Richardson, Sarah D; Dalton, Rebecca L; Maisonneuve, France; Trudeau, Vance L; Pauli, Bruce D; Lee-Jenkins, Stacey S Y

    2017-04-01

    Neonicotinoids are prophylactically used globally on a variety of crops, and there is concern for the potential impacts of neonicotinoids on aquatic ecosystems. The intensive use of pesticides on crops has been identified as a contributor to population declines of amphibians, but currently little is known regarding the sublethal effects of chronic neonicotinoid exposure on amphibians. The objective of the present study was to characterize the sublethal effect(s) of exposure to 3 environmentally relevant concentrations (1 μg/L, 10 μg/L, and 100 μg/L) of 2 neonicotinoids on larval wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) using outdoor mesocosms. We exposed tadpoles to solutions of 2 commercial formulations containing imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, and assessed survival, growth, and development. Exposure to imidacloprid at 10 μg/L and 100 μg/L increased survival and delayed completion of metamorphosis compared with controls. Exposure to thiamethoxam did not influence amphibian responses. There was no significant effect of any treatment on body mass or size of the metamorphs. The results suggest that current usage of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam does not pose a threat to wood frogs. However, further assessment of both direct and indirect effects on subtle sublethal endpoints, and the influence of multiple interacting stressors at various life stages, is needed to fully understand the effects of neonicotinoids on amphibians. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1101-1109. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.

  12. Model Organisms Retain an “Ecological Memory” of Complex Ecologically Relevant Environmental Variation

    PubMed Central

    Beer, Karlyn D.; Wurtmann, Elisabeth J.; Pinel, Nicolás

    2014-01-01

    Although tractable model organisms are essential to characterize the molecular mechanisms of evolution and adaptation, the ecological relevance of their behavior is not always clear because certain traits are easily lost during long-term laboratory culturing. Here, we demonstrate that despite their long tenure in the laboratory, model organisms retain “ecological memory” of complex environmental changes. We have discovered that Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1, a halophilic archaeon that dominates microbial communities in a dynamically changing hypersaline environment, simultaneously optimizes fitness to total salinity, NaCl concentration, and the [K]/[Mg] ratio. Despite being maintained under controlled conditions over the last 50 years, peaks in the three-dimensional fitness landscape occur in salinity and ionic compositions that are not replicated in laboratory culturing but are routinely observed in the natural hypersaline environment of this organism. Intriguingly, adaptation to variations in ion composition was associated with differential regulation of anaerobic metabolism genes, suggesting an intertwined relationship between responses to oxygen and salinity. Our results suggest that the ecological memory of complex environmental variations is imprinted in the networks for coordinating multiple cellular processes. These coordination networks are also essential for dealing with changes in other physicochemically linked factors present during routine laboratory culturing and, hence, retained in model organisms. PMID:24413600

  13. A guideline for the identification of environmentally relevant, ionizable organic molecule species.

    PubMed

    Schaffer, Mario; Licha, Tobias

    2014-05-01

    An increasing number of organic compounds detected today in the aquatic environment are ionizable and, therefore, partially or permanently charged (ionic) under the pH conditions encountered in these systems. For evaluating their environmental behavior, which strongly depends on the charge state, the identification of functional groups together with their correct assignment of the respective acidic or basic dissociation constants (pKa) is essential. Despite the growing concern and increasing awareness for ionizable compounds, contradicting and/or confusing information regarding their acid/base properties can be regularly found in the literature, especially when complex structures are encountered. Therefore, we provide a simplified, general, and comprehensive guideline for the identification of ionizable functional groups in organic compounds combined with the correct assignment of their respective pKa values. Beside the explicit definition of basic terms, several tables with more than 30 of the most frequently encountered ionizable compound classes, including their typical pKa value ranges are the centerpiece of the proposed procedure. The straight forward application of the guideline is successfully shown for several environmentally relevant compounds as example.

  14. Toxicological hazard induced by sucralose to environmentally relevant concentrations in common carp (Cyprinus carpio).

    PubMed

    Saucedo-Vence, Karinne; Elizalde-Velázquez, Armando; Dublán-García, Octavio; Galar-Martínez, Marcela; Islas-Flores, Hariz; SanJuan-Reyes, Nely; García-Medina, Sandra; Hernández-Navarro, María Dolores; Gómez-Oliván, Leobardo Manuel

    2017-01-01

    Sucralose (SUC) is an artificial sweetener that is now widely used in North American and Europe; it has been detected in a wide variety of aquatic environments. It is considered safe for human consumption but its effects in the ecosystem have not yet been studied in depth, since limited ecotoxicological data are available in the peer-reviewed literature. This study aimed to evaluate potential SUC-induced toxicological hazard in the blood, brain, gill, liver and muscle of Cyprinus carpio using oxidative stress biomarkers. Carps were exposed to two different environmentally relevant concentrations (0.05 and 155μgL(-1)) for different exposure times (12, 24, 48, 72 and 96h). The following biomarkers were evaluated: lipid peroxidation (LPX), hydroperoxide content (HPC) and protein carbonyl content (PCC), as well as the activity of antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). SUC was determined by high pressure liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry techniques (HPLC)-MS/MS. Results show a statically significant increase in LPX, HPC, PCC (P<0.05) especially in gill, brain and muscle, as well as significant changes in the activity of antioxidant enzymes in gill and muscle. Furthermore, the biomarkers employed in this study are useful in the assessment of the environmental impact of this agent on aquatic species.

  15. Environmentally relevant concentrations of ammonium perchlorate inhibit development and metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Goleman, Wanda L; Urquidi, Lina J; Anderson, Todd A; Smith, Ernest E; Kendall, Ronald J; Carr, James A

    2002-02-01

    We determined whether environmentally relevant concentrations of ammonium perchlorate alter development and metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis. Eggs and larvae were exposed to varying concentrations of ammonium perchlorate or control medium for 70 d. Most treatment-related mortality was observed within 5 d after exposure and was due in large part to reduced hatching success. The 5- and 70-d median lethal concentrations (LC50s) were 510 +/- 36 mg ammonium perchlorate/L and 223 +/- 13 mg ammonium perchlorate/L, respectively. Ammonium perchlorate did not cause any concentration-related developmental abnormalities at concentrations below the 70-d LC50. Ammonium perchlorate inhibited metamorphosis in a concentration-dependent manner as evident from effects on forelimb emergence, tail resorption, and hindlimb growth. These effects were observed after exposure to ammonium perchlorate concentrations in the parts-per-billion range, at or below concentrations reported in surface waters contaminated with ammonium perchlorate. Ammonium perchlorate significantly inhibited tail resorption after a 14-d exposure in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Committee (EDSTAC) Tier I frog metamorphosis assay for thyroid disruption in amphibians. We believe that ammonium perchlorate may pose a threat to normal development and growth in natural amphibian populations.

  16. Bisphenol A exposure at an environmentally relevant dose induces meiotic abnormalities in adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chuan; Duan, Weixia; Zhang, Lei; Xu, Shangcheng; Li, Renyan; Chen, Chunhai; He, Mindi; Lu, Yonghui; Wu, Hongjuan; Yu, Zhengping; Zhou, Zhou

    2014-01-01

    Whether environmental exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) may induce reproductive disorders is still controversial but certain studies have reported that BPA may cause meiotic abnormalities in C. elegans and female mice. However, little is known about the effect of BPA on meiosis in adult males. To determine whether BPA exposure at an environmentally relevant dose could induce meiotic abnormalities in adult male rats, we exposed 9-week-old male Wistar rats to BPA by gavage at 20 μg/kg body weight (bw)/day for 60 consecutive days. We found that BPA significantly increased the proportion of stage VII seminiferous epithelium and decreased the proportion of stage VIII. Consequently, spermiation was inhibited and spermatogenesis was disrupted. Further investigation revealed that BPA exposure delayed meiosis initiation in the early meiotic stage and induced the accumulation of chromosomal abnormalities and meiotic DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in the late meiotic stage. The latter event subsequently activated the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-related protein kinase (ATM). Our results suggest that long-term exposure to BPA may lead to continuous meiotic abnormalities and ultimately put mammalian reproductive health at risk.

  17. Sublethal health effects in laboratory rodents from environmentally relevant exposures to oil sands contaminants.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Estival, Jaime; North, Michelle A; Smits, Judit E G

    2015-12-01

    Increasing activity of oil sands extraction and processing in northern Alberta is marked by ongoing controversy about the nature and extent of associated environmental impacts. Bitumen contains a mixture of toxic chemicals, including metals and residual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), whose release into the environment poses a distinct risk to the surrounding environment, plus wildlife and human health. In the present study, the authors evaluated several subclinical biomarkers of exposure and effect to mixtures of metals (Pb, Cd, and Hg) and/or PAHs (3 alkylated forms) at environmentally relevant concentrations (100-fold and 10-fold higher than the maximum dissolved concentrations found in snow, to simulate a worst-case scenario), using laboratory mice as a model for future studies of small mammals in the wild. Both metals and alkyl-PAHs exposure were associated with 1) increased relative liver, kidney, and spleen size; 2) alterations in the homeostasis of the antioxidant vitamins A and E in liver; and 3) compromised glutathione redox status in testes, with results also indicating synergistic interactions from co-exposure. The combination of morphometric and oxidative stress biomarkers provide reliable and sensitive measures of the response to contaminant exposure in a mammalian model, suggesting associated physiological costs. Based on the present experimental study, the authors propose that wild small mammals will prove to be valuable sentinel species reflecting sublethal health effects from oil sands-related contaminants. The present study's results also present a basis for the interpretation of future field data.

  18. Photooxidation of the Antimicrobial, Nonribosomal Peptide Bacitracin A by Singlet Oxygen under Environmentally Relevant Conditions.

    PubMed

    Lundeen, Rachel A; Chu, Chiheng; Sander, Michael; McNeill, Kristopher

    2016-08-16

    Bacitracin is a mixture of nonribosomal peptides (NRPs) that is extensively used as an antibiotic in both human and veterinary medicine. Despite its widespread use over the past six decades, very few studies have addressed the environmental fate of bacitracin and zinc-bacitracin complexes. In this study, the photochemical transformation of bacitracin components (i.e., cyclic dodecapeptides) in the aquatic environment was investigated. A high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS)-based approach enabled monitoring of the photochemical degradation kinetics of individual bacitracin components, investigation of the relative contribution of reactive oxygen species (e.g., singlet oxygen, (1)O2) in dissolved organic matter-sensitized photoreactions, and identification of oxidative modifications in bacitracin photoproducts. The results of this study support the hypothesis that indirect photochemical oxidation of the histidine (His) residue by (1)O2 is a major degradation pathway for bacitracin A, the most potent congener of the mixture. Furthermore, the photooxidation rate of bacitracin A with (1)O2 decreased upon bacitracin A coordination with Zn(2+), demonstrating that the photochemistry of metal-bound His is different from that of metal-free His. Overall, these results provide insight into the fate of bacitracin components in the aquatic environment and highlight the potential of utilizing this HRMS-based methodology to study transformations of other environmentally relevant NRPs.

  19. Susceptibility of Alloy 22 to Environmentally Assisted Cracking in Yucca Mountain Relevant Environments

    SciTech Connect

    Estill, J C; King, K J; Fix, D V; Spurlock, D G; Hust, G A; Gordon, S R; McCright, R D; Rebak, R B; Gordon, G M

    2002-01-30

    In its current design, the high level nuclear waste containers will include an external layer of Alloy 22 (Ni-22Cr-13Mo-3W-3Fe). Since over their life-time the containers may be exposed to multi-ionic aqueous environments, a potential degradation mode of the outer layer could be environmental assisted cracking (EAC). The objective of the current research work was to quantify the susceptibility of Alloy 22 to EAC in a several environmental conditions including solution composition, temperature and electrochemical potential. The susceptibility to EAC was evaluated using the constant deformation technique, the compact specimen--low cycle fatigue method and the slow strain rate test (SSRT). The alloy was tested in the wrought mill annealed (MA) and in the as-welded conditions. Results show that Alloy 22 was extremely resistant to EAC in a wide range of environmental conditions. Using SSRT, Alloy 22 was found susceptible to EAC in one electrolyte at one temperature and at one electrochemical potential.

  20. County-level environmental quality and associations with cancer incidence

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cancer has been associated with individual ambient environmental exposures such as PM2.5 and arsenic. However, the role of the overall ambient environment is not well-understood. A novel county-level Environmental Quality Index (EQI) was developed for all U.S. counties (n=3,141)...

  1. Environmental Education Inservice Training Packet for the Intermediate Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Upper Mississippi River ECO-Center, Thomson, IL.

    The inservice teacher training packet, developed with help from the environmental education program of the Upper Mississippi River ECO-Center, is designed to help intermediate-level teachers develop teaching skills which will enable them to introduce environmental or outdoor education to their students and develop those concepts, attitudes, and…

  2. Exposure to an environmentally relevant mixture of brominated flame retardants affects fetal development in Sprague-Dawley rats.

    PubMed

    Berger, Robert G; Lefèvre, Pavine L C; Ernest, Sheila R; Wade, Michael G; Ma, Yi-Qian; Rawn, Dorothea F K; Gaertner, Dean W; Robaire, Bernard; Hales, Barbara F

    2014-06-05

    Brominated flame retardants are incorporated into a wide variety of consumer products and are known to enter into the surrounding environment, leading to human exposure. There is accumulating evidence that these compounds have adverse effects on reproduction and development in humans and animal models. Animal studies have generally characterized the outcome of exposure to a single technical mixture or congener. Here, we determined the impact of exposure of rats prior to mating and during gestation to a mixture representative of congener levels found in North American household dust. Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a diet containing 0, 0.75, 250 or 750mg/kg of a mixture of flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers, hexabromocyclododecane) from two weeks prior to mating to gestation day 20. This formulation delivered nominal doses of 0, 0.06, 20 and 60mg/kg body weight/day. The lowest dose approximates high human exposures based on house dust levels and the dust ingestion rates of toddlers. Litter size and resorption sites were counted and fetal development evaluated. No effects on maternal health, litter size, fetal viability, weights, crown rump lengths or sex ratios were detected. The proportion of litters with fetuses with anomalies of the digits (soft tissue syndactyly or malposition of the distal phalanges) was increased significantly in the low (0.06mg/kg/day) dose group. Skeletal analysis revealed a decreased ossification of the sixth sternebra at all exposure levels. Thus, exposure to an environmentally relevant mixture of brominated flame retardants results in developmental abnormalities in the absence of apparent maternal toxicity. The relevance of these findings for predicting human risk is yet to be determined.

  3. Nitrite- and Nitrate-Dependent Methanotrophs - Environmental Detection and Relevance in Freshwater Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ettwig, K. F.

    2014-12-01

    Humans continue to have an enormous impact on global C and N cycles. While a clear stimulation of methane emissions through human activities is evident, the role of also increasingly released nitrogenous compounds as electron acceptors for microbial methane oxidation is not well constrained. We have developed diverse methods for environmental detection of nitrate(NO3-)- and - predominantly - nitrite(NO2-)-dependent methanotrophs, which have been applied to several freshwater environments. In contrast to most metabolically flexible heterotrophic denitrifiers, the microorganisms responsible for methane-dependent nitrate/nitrite reduction seem to be specialized to use methane only, grow slowly and employ pathways different from each other and from model organisms, which necessitate new approaches for the assessment of their environmental relevance. Nitrite-dependent methane oxidation is carried out by bacteria of the NC10 phylum, whereas nitrate-dependent methane oxidizers are close relatives of methanogenic archaea and sulfate-dependent anaerobic methanotrophs (ANME-2). Laboratory enrichment cultures of the nitrite-reducing methanotroph Methylomirabilis oxyfera (NC10 phylum) have formed the basis for its genetic and physiological characterization and the development of several independent methods for its sensitive detection. M. oxyfera differs from all known microorganisms by encoding an incomplete denitrification pathway, in which the last 2 steps, the reduction of NO via N2O to N2, apparently is replaced by the dismutation of NO to N2 and O2. The intracellularly produced O2 is used for methane oxidation via a methane monooxygenase, analogously to the phylogenetically unrelated proteobacterial methanotrophs. But unlike in proteobacteria, C is not assimilated from methane, but rather CO2, with important consequences for the interpretation of environmental isotope labelling studies. In addition, M. oxyfera is characterized by a distinct PLFA profile, including

  4. Effects of environmentally relevant mixtures of major ions on a freshwater mussel.

    PubMed

    Ciparis, Serena; Phipps, Andrew; Soucek, David J; Zipper, Carl E; Jones, Jess W

    2015-12-01

    The Clinch and Powell Rivers (Virginia, USA) support diverse mussel assemblages. Extensive coal mining occurs in both watersheds. In large reaches of both rivers, major ion concentrations are elevated and mussels have been extirpated or are declining. We conducted a laboratory study to assess major ion effects on growth and survival of juvenile Villosa iris. Mussels were exposed to pond water and diluted pond water with environmentally relevant major ion mixtures for 55 days. Two treatments were tested to mimic low-flow concentrations of Ca(2+), Mg(2+), [Formula: see text] , [Formula: see text] , K(+) and Cl(-) in the Clinch and Powell Rivers, total ion concentrations of 419 mg/L and 942 mg/L, respectively. Mussel survival (>90%) and growth in the two treatments showed little variation, and were not significantly different than in diluted pond water (control). Results suggest that major ion chronic toxicity is not the primary cause for mussel declines in the Clinch and Powell Rivers.

  5. Ru(III) catalyzed permanganate oxidation of aniline at environmentally relevant pH.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Zhang, Ying; Wang, Hui; Guan, Xiaohong

    2014-07-01

    Ru(III) was employed as catalyst for aniline oxidation by permanganate at environmentally relevant pH for the first time. Ru(III) could significantly improve the oxidation rate of aniline by 5-24 times with its concentration increasing from 2.5 to 15 μmol/L. The reaction of Ru(III) catalyzed permanganate oxidation of aniline was first-order with respect to aniline, permanganate and Ru(III), respectively. Thus the oxidation kinetics can be described by a third-order rate law. Aniline degradation by Ru(III) catalyzed permanganate oxidation was markedly influenced by pH, and the second-order rate constant (ktapp) decreased from 643.20 to 2.67 (mol/L)⁻¹sec⁻¹ with increasing pH from 4.0 to 9.0, which was possibly due to the decrease of permanganate oxidation potential with increasing pH. In both the uncatalytic and catalytic permanganate oxidation, six byproducts of aniline were identified in UPLC-MS/MS analysis. Ru(III), as an electron shuttle, was oxidized by permanganate to Ru(VI) and Ru(VII), which acted the co-oxidants for decomposition of aniline. Although Ru(III) could catalyze permanganate oxidation of aniline effectively, dosing homogeneous Ru(III) into water would lead to a second pollution. Therefore, efforts would be made to investigate the catalytic performance of supported Ru(III) toward permanganate oxidation in our future study.

  6. Effects of tributyltin (TBT) on Xenopus tropicalis embryos at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Guo, Suzhen; Qian, Lijuan; Shi, Huahong; Barry, Terence; Cao, Qinzhen; Liu, Junqi

    2010-04-01

    Tributyltin (TBT) has been widely used as a biocide in antifouling paints and is a known endocrine disrupting chemical. In this paper, we exposed embryos of Xenopus tropicalis to 50-400ngL(-1) tributyltin chloride. TBT significantly decreased the survival rate, reduced the body length and retarded the development of embryos after 24, 36 and 48h of exposure. These effects of TBT were concentration- and time-dependent. Embryos treated with TBT showed multiple malformations. The most obvious alterations were abnormal eyes, enlarged proctodaeum, narrow fins, and skin hypopigmentation. Enlarged proctodaeum and narrow fins were mainly observed after 36 and 48h of exposure. The loss of eye pigmentation or the absence of external eyes occurred after 24 and 36h of exposure, while extended lenses or edemas of eyes were more commonly observed after 48h of exposure. Additional malformations included: small anterior region of heads, pericardial edemas, enlarged trunks, and bent tails. These results suggested that TBT is very toxic to X. tropicalis embryos at environmentally relevant concentrations.

  7. TLR4 is a target of environmentally relevant concentration of lead.

    PubMed

    Luna, Ana L; Acosta-Saavedra, Leonor C; Martínez, Marcela; Torres-Avilés, Nallely; Gómez, Rocío; Calderón-Aranda, Emma S

    2012-11-15

    Lead (Pb) alters the susceptibility to different pathogens suggesting that macrophage-mediated defense mechanisms, through activation of toll-like receptors (TLRs), may be affected by Pb. The aim of this study was to test whether activation of TLR4 is a targeted molecule to the effect of environmentally relevant Pb concentrations (0.05, 0.5 and 5μg/dL). The function of macrophages activated through TLR4 was evaluated using as TLR4 ligand lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) from two different pathogens: Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. Pb induced proliferation, increased the NO(-) baseline, IL-1β and IL-6 secretion. Interestingly, Pb exposure induced differential effects on cells stimulated with the two LPS used: in macrophages stimulated with LPS from E. coli, Pb caused an early decrease in proliferation, increase NO(-) production, and decrease IL-6 and TNF-α secretion; in macrophages stimulated with LPS from S. typhimurium, Pb decreased proliferation after 36h, induced a biphasic effect on NO(-) production, and enhance the secretion of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α. Results suggest that TLR4 is a target for the Pb effect, which up to 5.0μg/dL affect immune competence against pathogens, dependent on the bacterial species. This effect may be attributable to structural differences that determine LPS affinity for TLR4.

  8. The environmental behaviour of polychlorinated phenols and its relevance to cork forest ecosystems: a review.

    PubMed

    McLellan, Iain; Carvalho, Mariana; Silva Pereira, Cristina; Hursthouse, Andrew; Morrison, Calum; Tatner, Paul; Martins, Isabel; San Romão, M Vitória; Leitão, Maria

    2007-10-01

    Pentachlorophenol (PCP) has been used as a herbicide, biocide and preservative worldwide since the 1930s and as a result, extensive and prolonged contamination exists. The environmental impact increases when its many degradation products are taken into consideration. A number of chloroanisols and their related chlorophenols have been found in cork slabs collected from Portuguese oak tree forests before stopper manufacturing, and contamination by PCP and polychlorinated anisole (PCA) has been detected in Canadian forests. It is suggested that the use of polychlorinated phenols, in particular PCP, is thought to be a cause of the cork taint problem in wine, a major socio-economic impact not only for industry but on sensitive and highly biodiverse ecosystems. It also highlights particular issues relating to the regional regulation of potentially toxic chemicals and global economics world wide. To fully understand the impact of contamination sources, the mechanisms responsible for the fate and transport of PCP and its degradation products and assessment of their environmental behaviour is required. This review looks at the current state of knowledge of soil sorption, fate and bioavailability and identifies the challenges of degradation product identification and the contradictory evidence from field and laboratory observations. The need for a systematic evaluation of PCP contamination in relation to cork forest ecosystems and transfer of PCP between trophic levels is emphasised by discrepancies in bioaccumulation and toxicity. This is essential to enable long term management of not only transboundary contaminants, but also the sustainable management of socially and economically important forest ecosystems.

  9. Clinical Relevance of Environmental Factors in the Pathogenesis of Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Genetic factors contribute for about 70% to 80% and environmental factors for about 20% to 30% to the pathogenesis of autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). Relatives of AITD patients carry a risk to contract AITD themselves. The 5-year risk can be quantified by the so-called Thyroid Events Amsterdam-score, based on serum thyroid-stimulating hormone, thyroid peroxidase (TPO)-antibodies and family history. Subjects at risk may ask what they can do to prevent development of AITD. This review summarizes what is known about modulation of exposure to environmental factors in terms of AITD prevention. To stop smoking decreases the risk on Graves disease but increases the risk on Hashimoto disease. Moderate alcohol intake provides some protection against both Graves and Hashimoto disease. Low selenium intake is associated with a higher prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity, but evidence that selenium supplementation may lower TPO antibodies and prevent subclinical hypothyroidism remains inconclusive. Low serum vitamin D levels are associated with a higher prevalence of TPO antibodies, but intervention studies with extra vitamin D have not been done yet. Stress may provoke Graves hyperthyroidism but not Hashimoto thyroiditis. Estrogen use have been linked to a lower prevalence of Graves disease. The postpartum period is associated with an increased risk of AITD. Taking together, preventive interventions to diminish the risk of AITD are few, not always feasible, and probably of limited efficacy. PMID:27184015

  10. Antioxidant responses in Meretrix meretrix exposed to environmentally relevant doses of tributyltin.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhouying; Chen, Yixin; Zhao, Yang; Zuo, Zhenghong; Chen, Mei; Wang, Chonggang

    2005-07-01

    The effects on reduced glutathione (GSH) levels, glutathione-S-transferases (GST) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities of digestive gland in Meretrix meretrix exposed to tributyltin (TBT) at environmental levels (0.1, 1, 10ng/L as Sn), in experimental condition, were evaluated. The GST activities in 0.1ng/L groups were significantly elevated after exposure for 2 days, and were significantly inhibited after exposure to 10ng/L TBT for 8 and 20 days. The GPx activities were mainly induced by TBT exposure, except the GPx activities in 10ng/L groups were significantly inhibited after exposure for 2 days. The GSH content was significantly decreased with prolonged exposure. The GSH content, GST and GPx activities in all exposure groups, transferred to clean recovery tanks for 20 days, were recovered to the level corresponding to that of the control group. Taken together, our present studies indicate that exposure to TBT may induce strong production of reactive oxygen species in the clams.

  11. Exposure of Female Rats to an Environmentally Relevant Mixture of Brominated Flame Retardants Targets the Ovary, Affecting Folliculogenesis and Steroidogenesis.

    PubMed

    Lefèvre, Pavine L C; Berger, Robert G; Ernest, Sheila R; Gaertner, Dean W; Rawn, Dorothea F K; Wade, Michael G; Robaire, Bernard; Hales, Barbara F

    2016-01-01

    Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are incorporated into various consumer products to prevent flame propagation. These compounds leach into the domestic environment, resulting in chronic exposure and contamination. Pregnancy failure is associated with high levels of BFRs in human follicular fluid, raising serious questions regarding their impact on female reproductive health. The goal of this study is to elucidate the effects of an environmentally relevant BFR mixture on female rat ovarian functions (i.e., folliculogenesis and steroidogenesis). A BFR dietary mixture formulated to mimic the relative BFR congener levels in North American house dust was administered to adult female Sprague-Dawley rats from 2 to 3 wk before mating until Gestational Day 20; these diets were designed to deliver nominal doses of 0, 0.06, 20, or 60 mg/kg/day of the BFR mixture. Exposure to BFRs triggered an approximately 50% increase in the numbers of preantral and antral follicles and an enlargement of the antral follicles in the ovaries of the dams. A significant reduction in the expression of catalase, an antioxidant enzyme, and downregulation of the expression of insulin-like factor 3 (Insl3) and 17alpha-hydroxylase (Cyp17a1) were observed in the ovary. In addition, BFR exposure affected steroidogenesis; we observed a significant decrease in circulating 17-hydroxypregnenolone and an increase in testosterone concentrations in BFR-exposed dams. Thus, BFRs target ovarian function in the rat, adversely affecting both folliculogenesis and steroidogenesis.

  12. Gestational and Early Postnatal Exposure to an Environmentally Relevant Mixture of Brominated Flame Retardants: General Toxicity and Skeletal Variations.

    PubMed

    Tung, Emily W Y; Yan, Han; Lefèvre, Pavine L C; Berger, Robert G; Rawn, Dorothea F K; Gaertner, Dean W; Kawata, Alice; Rigden, Marc; Robaire, Bernard; Hales, Barbara F; Wade, Michael G

    2016-06-01

    Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are stable environmental contaminants known to exert endocrine-disrupting effects. Developmental exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) is correlated with impaired thyroid hormone signaling, as well as estrogenic and anti-androgenic effects. As previous studies have focused on a single congener or technical mixture, the purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of gestational and early postnatal exposure to an environmentally relevant mixture of BFRs designed to reflect house dust levels of PBDEs and hexabromocyclododecane on postnatal developmental outcomes. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to the PBDE mixture from preconception to weaning (PND 21) through the diet containing 0, 0.75, 250, and 750 mg mixture/kg diet. BFR exposure induced transient reductions in body weight at PND 35 in male and from PND 30-45 in female offspring (250 and 750 mg/kg). Liver weights (PND 21) and xenobiotic metabolizing enzyme activities (PND 21 and 46) were increased in both male and female offspring exposed to 250 and 750 mg/kg diets. Furthermore, serum T4 levels were reduced at PND 21 in both,male and female offspring (250 and 750 mg/kg). At PND 21, Serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) was decreased in males exposed to 750 mg/kg dietat, and females exposed to 250 and 750 mg/kg diets. At PND 46 ALP was significantly elevated in males (250 and 750 mg/kg). Variations in the cervical vertebrae and phalanges were observed in pups at PND 4 (250 and 750 mg/kg). Therefore, BFR exposure during gestation through to weaning alters developmental programming in the offspring. The persistence of BFRs in the environment remains a cause for concern with regards to developmental toxicity.

  13. Transport of fluorescently labeled hydroxyapatite nanoparticles in saturated granular media at environmentally relevant concentrations of surfactants

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Dengjun; Su, Chuming; Liu, Chongxuan; Zhou, Dongmei

    2014-05-01

    Hydroxyapatite nanoparticle (nHAP) is being used to remediate soils and aquifers contaminated with metals and radionuclides; however, the mobility of nHAP is still poorly understood in subsurface granular environments. In this study, transport and retention kinetics of alizarin red S (ARS)-labeled nHAP were investigated in water-saturated quartz sand at low concentrations of surfactants: sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (SDBS, an anionic surfactant, 0–50 mg L–1) and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB, a cationic surfactant, 0–5 mg L–1). Both surfactants were found to have a marked effect on the electrokinetic properties of ARS-nHAP and, consequently, on their transport and retention behaviors. Transport of nanoparticles (NPs) increased significantly with increasing SDBS concentration, largely because of enhanced colloidal stability and reduced aggregate size arising from enhanced electrostatic, osmotic, and elastic-steric repulsions between ARS-nHAP and sand grains. Conversely, transport decreased significantly in the presence of increasing CTAB concentrations due to reduced surface charge and consequential enhanced aggregation of the NPs. Osmotic and elastic-steric repulsions played only a minor role in enhancing the colloidal stability of ARS-nHAP in the presence of CTAB. Retention profiles of ARS-nHAP exhibited hyperexponential-shapes (decreasing rates of retention with increasing distance) for all conditions tested, and became more pronounced as CTAB concentration increased. The phenomenon was attributed to the aggregation and ripening of ARS-nHAP in the presence of surfactants, particularly CTAB. Overall, the present study suggests that surfactants at environmentally relevant concentrations may be an important consideration in employing nHAP for engineered in-situ remediation of certain metals and radionuclides in contaminated soils and aquifers.

  14. Short-term effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of EDC mixtures on Mytilus galloprovincialis digestive gland.

    PubMed

    Canesi, Laura; Borghi, Cristina; Ciacci, Caterina; Fabbri, Rita; Lorusso, Lucia Cecilia; Vergani, Laura; Marcomini, Antonio; Poiana, Giulio

    2008-05-30

    Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), including both natural estrogens and estrogenic chemicals, are almost ubiquitous in the aquatic environment. In the marine bivalve Mytilus galloprovincialis different estrogenic compounds, both individually and in mixtures, were shown to affect the immune function both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, individual estrogens, the natural estrogen 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) and the xenoestrogen bisphenol A (BPA), have been recently demonstrated to alter functional parameters and gene expression in mussel digestive gland, a tissue that plays a central role in metabolism and in nutrient distribution to the gonad during gamete maturation, with possible consequences on gametogenesis. In this work, the possible effects of a synthetic mixture of EDCs on the digestive gland were evaluated. The mixture contained seven estrogenic chemicals (17beta-estradiol, 17alpha-ethynyl estradiol, mestranol (MES), nonylphenol, nonylphenol monoethoxylate carboxylate (NP1EC), BPA, benzophenone (BP)), in proportions similar to those previously found in water samples of a coastal lagoon. Mussels were injected with different concentrations of the mixture (approximate nominal concentrations of total EDCs: 0.0177, 0.177, 1.77 and 177 ng/g dw) and tissues sampled 24 h post-injection. The mixture induced significant changes in lysosomal biomarkers (lysosomal membrane stability (LMS), neutral lipid (NL) and lipofuscin (LF) accumulation) as well as in the activities of catalase, glutathione transferase (GST), and of the glycolytic enzymes phosphofructokinase (PFK) and pyruvate kinase (PK). Moreover, downregulation of the gene transcription for the Mytilus estrogen receptor MeER1 isoform and for catalase, as evaluated by quantitative RT-PCR, were observed. Significant changes in lysosomal biomarkers, enzyme activities and gene transcription were also recorded at 72 h post-injection. The results demonstrate that short-term exposure to environmentally relevant

  15. Cumulative toxicity of an environmentally relevant mixture of nine regulated disinfection by-products in a multigenerational rat reproductive bioassay

    EPA Science Inventory

    CUMULATIVE TOXICITY OF AN ENVIRONMENTALLY RELEVANT MIXTURE OF NINE REGULATED DISINFECTION BY-PRODUCTS IN A MULTIGENERATIONAL RAT REPRODUCTIVE BIOASSAY J E Simmons, GR. Klinefelter, JM Goldman, AB DeAngelo, DS Best, A McDonald, LF Strader, AS Murr, JD Suarez, MH George, ES Hunte...

  16. Polychlorinated Biphenyl Sources, Emissions and Environmental Levels in School Buildings

    EPA Science Inventory

    Characterize levels of PCBs in air, dust, soil and on surfaces at six schoolsApply an exposure model for estimating children’s exposures to PCBs in schoolsEvaluate which routes of exposure are likely to be the most importantProvide information relevant for developing manage...

  17. Environmental influence on trace element levels in human hair

    SciTech Connect

    Limic, N.; Valkovic, V.

    1986-12-01

    Trace element content of human hair depends on many factors. It has been shown by a large number of investigators that environmental factors play an important role. Elements from air particulates, water, shampoo or other media get incorporated into the hair structure. Here a model is proposed in which different contributions to trace element levels in human hair are factorized and the environmental contribution to the radial and longitudinal concentration profiles can be calculated. With the proper understanding of environmental contamination, hair analysis has better chances of being used as a diagnostic tool.

  18. Free and Open Source GIS Tools: Role and Relevance in the Environmental Assessment Community

    EPA Science Inventory

    The presence of an explicit geographical context in most environmental decisions can complicate assessment and selection of management options. These decisions typically involve numerous data sources, complex environmental and ecological processes and their associated models, ris...

  19. Environmental management systems at the industrial park level in China.

    PubMed

    Geng, Yong; Côté, Raymond

    2003-06-01

    Environmental management systems (EMSs), such as International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001, can be used as a tool in China by industrial park managers to improve their environmental performance. This article uses the case of the Dalian Economic and Technological Development Zone (DETDZ) to show how to establish a comprehensive environmental management system (CEMS) according to the ISO 14001 standard at the industrial park level by considering local realities. The particularly interesting feature of this case study is the use of a CEMS (in this case, ISO 14001) by the administrative group of the DETDZ to develop a more comprehensive approach to the wide range of environmental issues that they face in running the zone. In essence the goal is to address many of the issues at the level of the zone. The incentives, benefits, and barriers associated with implementing ISO 14001 are described. However, implementation of an EMS should not be thought of as the ultimate objective for an industrial park's environmental management. The next steps include encouraging further public participation and taking an integrated approach leading to an industrial ecosystem, which can realize better environmental performance at the industrial park level.

  20. A Study of the Environmental Risk Perceptions and Environmental Awareness Levels of High School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anilan, Burcu

    2014-01-01

    This descriptive research was conducted to determine the levels of environmental risk perceptions and environmental awareness of high school students in Eskisehir. High school students in the towns Tepebasi and Odunpazari in the 2010-2011 school years constitute the universe of the research. The sample of the research is composed of 413 high…

  1. Environmental Studies and Environmental Science at GCE '0' and 'A' Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gayford, Christopher G.

    1983-01-01

    Reports on environmental studies/science at General Certificate of Examination (GCE) ordinary ("0") and advanced ("A") levels. Questionnaires were used to survey teachers (focusing on their professional training and why they teach environmental studies/science courses) and to determine the relationship between environmental…

  2. Determination of carbon-14 in environmental level, solid reference materials.

    PubMed

    Blowers, Paul; Caborn, Jane; Dell, Tony; Gingell, Terry; Harms, Arvic; Long, Stephanie; Sleep, Darren; Stewart, Charlie; Walker, Jill; Warwick, Phil E

    2011-10-01

    An intercomparison exercise to determine the (14)C activity concentrations in a range of solid, environmental level materials was conducted between laboratories in the UK. IAEA reference materials, C2, C6 and C7, and an in-house laboratory QA material were dispatched in 2006 to ten laboratories comprising of members of the Analyst Informal Working Group (AIWG) and one other invited party. The laboratories performed the determinations using a number of techniques, and using the results each one was evaluated in terms of levels of precision, sensitivity and limits of detection. The results of the study show that all techniques are capable of successfully analysing (14)C in environmental level materials, however, a shortage of certified environmental reference materials exists. The suitability of the IAEA reference materials and other material for use as reference materials was also assessed.

  3. Regulatory standards applicable or relevant to the independent Hanford environmental surveillance and oversight program

    SciTech Connect

    King, S.E.; Hendrickson, P.L.; Siegel, M.R.; Woodruff, M.G. ); Belfiglio, J.; Elliott, R.W. )

    1990-03-01

    The authors reviewed federal and state statutes and regulations, as well as Department of Energy (DOE) orders and other guidance material, for potential applicability to the environmental surveillance program conducted for the Hanford site by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL). There are no federal or state statutes or regulations which are directly applicable to the environmental surveillance program. However, other regulatory schemes, while not directly applicable to the environmental surveillance program, are important insofar as they are indicative of regulatory concern and direction. Because of the evolving nature of environmental regulations, this area needs to be closely monitored for future impact on environmental surveillance activities. 9 refs.,

  4. Nanoparticle dispersion in environmentally relevant culture media: a TiO2 case study and considerations for a general approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horst, Allison M.; Ji, Zhaoxia; Holden, Patricia A.

    2012-08-01

    Nanoparticle exposure in toxicity studies requires that nanoparticles are bioavailable by remaining highly dispersed in culture media. However, reported dispersion approaches are variable, mostly study-specific, and not transferable owing to their empirical basis. Furthermore, many published approaches employ proteinaceous dispersants in rich laboratory media, both of which represent end members in environmental scenarios. Here, a systematic approach was developed to disperse initially agglomerated TiO2 nanoparticles (Aeroxide® TiO2 P25, Evonik, NJ; primary particle size range 6.4-73.8 nm) in oligotrophic culture medium for environmentally relevant bacterial toxicity studies. Based on understanding particle-particle interactions in aqueous media and maintaining environmental relevance, the approach involves (1) quantifying the relationship between pH and zeta potential to determine the point of zero charge of select nanoparticles in water; (2) nominating, then testing and selecting, environmentally relevant stabilizing agents; and (3) dispersing via "condition and capture" whereby stock dry powder nanoparticles are sonicated in pre-conditioned (with base, or acid, plus stabilizing agent) water, then diluted into culture media. The "condition and capture" principle is transferable to other nanoparticle and media chemistries: simultaneously, mechanically and electrostatically, nanoparticles can be dispersed with surrounding stabilizers that coat and sterically hinder reagglomeration in the culture medium.

  5. The Effects of Relevance and Confidence Strategies on Writing Apprehension, Motivational Levels, and Writing Performance on Undergraduate Composition Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spain, Linda Monk

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated writing apprehension, motivational levels, and writing performance of 68 undergraduates enrolled in four freshman composition courses during one semester. Participants in the treatment groups received relevance, confidence, or a combination of relevance and confidence motivational strategies based on Keller's ARCS model. In…

  6. Bringing policy relevance and scientific discipline to environmental risk assessment for genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Herman, Rod A; Garcia-Alonso, Monica; Layton, Raymond; Raybould, Alan

    2013-09-01

    Although public opinion is important in deciding what is valued by society, governments have determined that scientific expertise is required to evaluate potential environmental effects of genetically modified (GM) crops. We suggest how to evaluate rigorously the environmental effects of GM crops in the context of a scientific investigation. Following a disciplined scientific approach to environmental risk assessment (ERA) for GM crops should help resolve controversy in identifying and addressing risk.

  7. Postnatal testosterone levels and disorder relevant behavior in the second year of life.

    PubMed

    Saenz, Janet; Alexander, Gerianne M

    2013-09-01

    The objective of the current study was to investigate the relationship between testosterone collected at 3-4 months of age and sex-linked disorder-relevant behaviors in the second year of life. Eighty-four children participated at 3-4 (when salivary testosterone levels were obtained and second to fourth digit ratios were measured) and 18-24 months of age (when behavioral ratings of aggression and verbal ability were coded from two 8-min play sessions). Parents also completed the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment, and the four subscales (Internalizing, Externalizing, Dysregulation, and Autism Spectrum Disorder) were used to indicate child specific problems. Greater postnatal testosterone levels in early infancy were predictive of more male-typical behaviors in the second year of life (i.e., more autism spectrum behaviors, less time vocalizing, and more Internalizing Problems). These results support the hypothesis that early infancy may be another critical period for the development of gender-linked behavior.

  8. International safeguards relevant to geologic disposal of high-level wastes and spent fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Pillay, K.K.S.; Picard, R.R.

    1989-01-01

    Spent fuels from once-through fuel cycles placed in underground repositories have the potential to become attractive targets for diversion and/or theft because of their valuable material content and decreasing radioactivity. The first geologic repository in the US, as currently designed, will contain approximately 500 Mt of plutonium, 60,000 Mt of uranium and a host of other fissile and strategically important elements. This paper identifies some of the international safeguards issues relevant to the various proposed scenarios for disposing of the spent fuel. In the context of the US program for geologic disposal of spent fuels, this paper highlights several issues that should be addressed in the near term by US industries, the Department of Energy, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission before the geologic repositories for spent fuels become a reality. Based on US spent fuel discharges, an example is presented to illustrate the enormity of the problem of verifying spent fuel inventories. The geologic disposal scenario for high-level wastes originating from defense facilities produced a practicably irrecoverable'' waste form. Therefore, safeguards issues for geologic disposal of high-level waste now in the US are less pressing. 56 refs. , 2 figs.

  9. Using environmental heterogeneity to plan for sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Elizabeth A; Nibbelink, Nathan P

    2017-02-27

    Environmental heterogeneity is increasingly being used to select conservation areas that will provide for future biodiversity under a variety of climate scenarios. This approach, termed "conserving nature's stage" (CNS), assumes that environmental features will respond to climate change more slowly than biological communities, but is CNS effective when the stage is changing as rapidly as the climate? We tested the effectiveness of CNS to select conservation sites in salt marshes in coastal Georgia, USA, where environmental features will change rapidly due to sea level rise (SLR). We calculated species diversity using distributions of a group of seven bird species with a wide variety of niches within Georgia salt marshes. Environmental heterogeneity was assessed across six landscape gradients (e.g., elevation, salinity, and patch area). We selected sites with high environmental heterogeneity using two approaches: a site complementarity approach ("Environmental Diversity" [ED]) and an approach that favors local environmental heterogeneity ("Environmental Richness" [ER]). We found that ER-selected sites could predict present-day species diversity better than randomly selected sites (up to an 8.1% improvement), while also being resilient to areal loss from SLR, and providing habitat to a particularly at-risk species. ED-selected sites did not perform well (no better or worse than random) in terms of predicting species diversity and will not be resilient to SLR. Despite the discrepancy between the two approaches, CNS is a viable strategy for conservation site selection in salt marshes, and potentially other coastal areas where SLR will affect environmental features, but performance may depend on the magnitude of geological changes caused by SLR. Our results indicate that conservation planners using CNS that had heretofore ignored low-lying coasts (due to concerns of SLR) could include coastal ecosystems in regional planning strategies. This article is protected by

  10. Nanoscale zerovalent iron (nZVI) at environmentally relevant concentrations induced multigenerational reproductive toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ying-Fei; Chen, Pei-Jen; Liao, Vivian Hsiu-Chuan

    2016-05-01

    Nanoscale zerovalent iron (nZVI) is widely used with large scale for environmental remediation for in situ or ex situ applications. The potential impact of nZVI on biota at environmentally relevant concentrations needs to be elucidated. In this study, the reproductive toxicities of three irons species: carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC)-stabilized nZVI, nanoscale iron oxide (nFe3O4), and ferrous ion (Fe(II)aq) in the soil-dwelling nematode Caenorhabditis elegans were examined. In addition, the generational transfer of reproductive toxicity of CMC-nZVI on C. elegans was investigated. The results showed that CMC-nZVI, nFe3O4, and Fe(II)aq did not cause significant mortality after 24 h exposure at the examined concentrations. Reproductive toxicity assays revealed that CMC-nZVI, nFe3O4, and Fe(II)aq significantly decreased offsprings in parental generation (F0) in accompany with the increased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, the reproductive toxicity of CMC-nZVI at environmentally relevant concentrations was transferrable from the F0 to the F1 and F2 generations, but then recovered in the F3 and F4 generations. Further evidence showed that total irons were accumulated in the F0 and F1 generations of C. elegans after CMC-nZVI parental exposure. This study demonstrated that environmentally relevant concentrations of CMC-nZVI induced multigenerational reproductive toxicity which can be ascribed to its high production of ROS in F0 generation, toxicity of Fe(II)aq, and iron accumulation in C. elegans. Since nZVI is widely used for environmental remediation, considering the multigenerational toxicity, this study thus implicates a potential environmental risk of nZVI-induced nanotoxicity in the environment.

  11. Environmental Studies. The Construction of an 'A' Level Syllabus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carson, S. McB.

    In response to the increasing social concern for the quality of the environment and its conservation, and the need to ensure that all pupils in their final years of schooling be brought to share that concern, teachers in Hertfordshire, England, have constructed an 'A' level curriculum or syllabus of environmental studies for the sixth form. Based…

  12. META-ANALYSIS OF THE LIFE STYLE FACTORS RELEVANT TO ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS FOR THE AGING POPULATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The goal of this U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study is to characterize activity patterns, physiological changes, and environmental exposures for the aging population. Meta analysis was performed on more than 2000 reviewed articles to evaluate the lifestyle factors ...

  13. Environmentally relevant impacts of nano-TiO2 on abiotic degradation of bisphenol A under sunlight irradiation.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wei; Shan, Guoqiang; Wang, Shanfeng; Zhu, Lingyan; Yue, Longfei; Xiang, Qian; Zhang, Yinqing; Li, Zhuo

    2016-09-01

    Understanding the effects of nano-TiO2 particles on the environmental behaviors of organic pollutants in natural aquatic environments is of paramount importance considering that large amount of nano-TiO2 is being released in the environment. In this study, the effect of nano-TiO2 on the degradation of bisphenol A (BPA) in water was investigated under simulated solar light irradiation. The results indicated that nano-TiO2 at environmentally relevant concentration (1 mg/L) could significantly facilitate the abiotic degradation of BPA (also at low concentration) under mild solar light irradiation, with the pseudo first-order rate constant (kobs) for BPA degradation raised by 1-2 orders of magnitude. As reflected by the inhibition experiments, hydroxyl radicals (OHs) and superoxide radical species were the predominant active species responsible for BPA degradation. The reaction was affected by water pH, and the degradation rate was higher at acidic or alkaline conditions than that at neutral condition. Humic acid (HA) also affected the reaction rate, depending on its concentration. At lower concentration (the mass ratio of HA/nano-TiO2 was 0.1:1), HA improved the dispersion and stability of nano-TiO2 in aquatic environment. As a result, the yield of OHs by nano-TiO2 under sunlight irradiation increased and BPA degradation was facilitated. When the HA concentration increased, a coating of HA formed on the surface of nano-TiO2. Although nano-TiO2 became more stable, the light absorption by nano-TiO2 was significantly reduced due to the strong light absorption of the HA coated on the surface. As a consequence, the yield of OH decreased and BPA degradation was depressed. The results imply that nano-TiO2 at low concentration may distinctly mediate BPA degradation, and can contribute to the natural attenuation of some organic pollutants in aquatic environment with low level of HA. However, this process would be significantly reduced in the presence of high level of HA.

  14. Genes, epigenetic regulation and environmental factors: which is the most relevant in developing autoimmune diseases?

    PubMed

    Costenbader, Karen H; Gay, Steffen; Alarcón-Riquelme, Marta E; Iaccarino, Luca; Doria, Andrea

    2012-06-01

    Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease, have complex pathogeneses and likely multifactorial etiologies. The current paradigm for understanding their development is that the disease is triggered in genetically-susceptible individuals by exposure to environmental factors. Some of these environmental factors have been specifically identified, while others are hypothesized and not yet proven, and it is likely that most have yet to be identified. One interesting hypothesis is that environmental effects on immune responses could be mediated by changes in epigenetic regulation. Major mechanisms of epigenetic gene regulation include DNA methylation and histone modification. In these cases, gene expression is modified without involving changes in DNA sequence. Epigenetics is a new and interesting research field in autoimmune diseases. We review the roles of genetic factors, epigenetic regulation and the most studied environmental risk factors such as cigarette smoke, crystalline silica, Epstein-Barr virus, and reproductive hormones in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease.

  15. Relevance of lipopolysaccharide levels in HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment: the Neuradapt study.

    PubMed

    Vassallo, Matteo; Dunais, Brigitte; Durant, Jacques; Carsenti-Dellamonica, Helene; Harvey-Langton, Alexandra; Cottalorda, Jacqueline; Ticchioni, Michel; Laffon, Muriel; Lebrun-Frenay, Christine; Dellamonica, Pierre; Pradier, Christian

    2013-08-01

    Contributory factors to HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) have been shown to include age, co-morbid infections, medication toxicity, virological, genetic and vascular mechanisms, as well as microbial translocation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is suspected to trigger monocyte activation and increase trafficking of infected cells into the brain. In this study, our aim was to assess the degree of neurocognitive impairment in a group of randomly selected HIV-infected patients and investigate potential risk factors, including LPS plasma levels. Furthermore, we evaluated the relevance of LPS as a potential marker for screening patients with mild neurocognitive impairment. LPS plasma levels were compared among patients with HAND and those with no HAND. As LPS has also been shown to be elevated in hepatitis C co-infection, the analysis was stratified according to the presence or not of hepatitis C virus (HCV) co-infection. Differences between groups were evaluated using chi-square tests and Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric tests. Stepwise logistic regression was performed to identify independent risk factors for HAND in the subgroups of HCV-positive and negative patients. A p value <0.05 was considered significant. Analyses were conducted using SPSS® software. From December 2007 to July 2009, 179 patients were tested (mean age 44, 73 % male, 87 % on treatment, 30 % HCV co-infected, median CD4 504/ml and 67 % with viral load below 40 copies/ml). HAND was identified in 40/179 patients (22 %), the majority displaying asymptomatic neurocognitive impairment or mild neurocognitive disorder. Univariate analysis showed that age, illicit drug use, hepatitis C co-infection, prior AIDS-defining events, CD4/CD8 ratio and LPS plasma levels were significantly associated with HAND. The median LPS level was 98.2 pg/ml in the non-HAND group versus 116.1 pg/ml in the HAND group (p < 0.014). No differences were found in LPS values between subgroups of impairment. There was a

  16. Gas-phase organics in environmental tobacco smoke: 2. Exposure-relevant emission factors and indirect exposures from habitual smoking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singer, Brett C.; Hodgson, Alfred T.; Nazaroff, William W.

    Sorption of emitted gas-phase organic compounds onto material surfaces affects environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) composition and exposures indoors. We have introduced a new metric, the exposure relevant emission factor (EREF) that accounts for sorptive uptake and reemission to give the mass of individual ETS constituents available for exposure over a day in which smoking occurs. This paper describes month-long experiments to investigate sorption effects on EREFs and potential ETS exposures under habitual smoking conditions. Cigarettes were smoked in a 50-m 3 furnished room over a 3-h period 6-7 days per week, with continuous ventilation at 0.3, 0.6, or 2.1 h -1. Organic gas concentrations were measured every few days over 4-h "smoking", 10-h "post-smoking" and 10-h "background" periods. Concentration patterns of volatile ETS components including 1,3-butadiene, benzene and acrolein were similar to those calculated for a theoretical non-sorbing tracer, indicating limited sorption. Concentrations of ETS tracers, e.g. 3-ethenylpyridine (3-EP) and nicotine, and lower volatility toxic air contaminants including phenol, cresols, and naphthalene increased as experiments progressed, indicating mass accumulation on surfaces and higher desorption rates. Daily patterns stabilized after week 2, yielding a steady daily cycle of ETS concentrations associated with habitual smoking. EREFs for sorbing compounds were higher under steady cycle versus single-day smoking conditions by ˜50% for 3-EP, and by 2-3 times for nicotine, phenol, cresols, naphthalene, and methylnaphthalenes. Our results provide relevant information about potential indirect exposures from residual ETS (non-smoker enters room shortly after smoker finishes) and from reemission, and their importance relative to direct exposures (non-smoker present during smoking). Under the conditions examined, indirect exposures accounted for a larger fraction of total potential exposures for sorbing versus non-sorbing compounds

  17. Omics of the marine medaka (Oryzias melastigma) and its relevance to marine environmental research.

    PubMed

    Kim, Bo-Mi; Kim, Jaebum; Choi, Ik-Young; Raisuddin, Sheikh; Au, Doris W T; Leung, Kenneth M Y; Wu, Rudolf S S; Rhee, Jae-Sung; Lee, Jae-Seong

    2016-02-01

    In recent years, the marine medaka (Oryzias melastigma), also known as the Indian medaka or brackish medaka, has been recognized as a model fish species for ecotoxicology and environmental research in the Asian region. O. melastigma has several promising features for research, which include a short generation period (3-4 months), daily spawning, small size (3-4 cm), transparent embryos, sexual dimorphism, and ease of mass culture in the laboratory. There have been extensive transcriptome and genome studies on the marine medaka in the past decade. Such omics data can be useful in understanding the signal transduction pathways of small teleosts in response to environmental stressors. An omics-integrated approach in the study of the marine medaka is important for strengthening its role as a small fish model for marine environmental studies. In this review, we present current omics information about the marine medaka and discuss its potential applications in the study of various molecular pathways that can be targets of marine environmental stressors, such as chemical pollutants. We believe that this review will encourage the use of this small fish as a model species in marine environmental research.

  18. Environmental factors associated with blood lead levels in Venezuelan children.

    PubMed

    Rojas, M; Squillante, G; Medina, E; de Rojas, O; Sarmiento, A

    2000-06-01

    A preliminary study explored the relative contribution of residential sources of lead exposure on mentally challenged children who attend "special education" institutions (GI) compared to a group of age and sex matched school children (G2). We captured descriptive information and analyzed demographic variables, personal and household information, medical effects, environmental exposure factors, and children habits. Home paint, dust, soil, and water sampling was conducted and blood lead (BPb) levels determined. Eighteen G1 and 20 G2 children were studied. The mean G1 BPb was 16.9 +/- 7.9 microg/dl and was significantly higher than that in G2. Fifty percent of G1 children had PbB >20 microg/dl and 72.2% were >10 microg/dl. Low muscular strength, decreased osteotendinose reflexes, fine and gross motricity, deficient equilibrium, and hipotonic muscular tone coincided with >18 microg/dl BPb levels. In 61.1% of G1 homes paint lead levels were higher than permissible levels and 33.3% had dust lead exceeding that level. The high BPb levels in G1 probably resulted from ingestion of household paint, dust, and soil via "hand-to-mouth" activity. Environmental exposure to lead can be an important source of lead intake by infants and children and could affect neurological development. This study provides new insights currently unavailable for these children in Venezuela.

  19. Changes in the growth, but not the survival, of American kestrels (Falco sparverius) exposed to environmentally relevant polybrominated diphenyl ethers.

    PubMed

    Fernie, Kim J; Laird Shutt, J; Ritchie, Ian J; Letcher, Robert J; Drouillard, Ken; Bird, David M

    2006-08-01

    Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDEs) concentrations are increasing exponentially in biota. We studied the growth of American kestrel (Falco sparverius) nestlings exposed in ovo and during development to environmentally relevant PBDE congeners and concentrations. Eggs within each clutch, divided between groups by laying sequence, were injected into the air cell at 19 days of incubation with safflower oil or penta-BDE congeners BDE-47, -99, -100, and -153 dissolved in safflower oil (18.7 microg total sigmaPBDEs/egg), approximating current levels in Great Lakes herring gulls. The measured proportions of BDE congeners found in the dosing oil were 56.4% of BDE-47; 27.2% of BDE-99; 24.8% of BDE-100; and 0.6% of BDE-153. For 29 days, nestlings were orally gavaged daily with the same sigmaPBDE mixture (15.6 +/- 0.3 ng/g body weight/day). Relative congener abundances in the dosing mixture compared to the carcasses suggest biotransformation of BDE-47; BDE-183 was also detected. PBDE exposure did not affect hatching or fledging success. PBDE-exposed nestlings were larger (weight, bones, feathers) as they gained weight more quickly and ate more food, the latter in association with their SigmaPBDE body burdens. BDE-100 was most influential on nestling growth, being positively associated with size, weight gain, and food consumption. Increasing concentrations of BDE-183 and -153 were related to longer bones, and BDE-99 to longer feathers. The larger size of the PBDE-exposed birds may be detrimental to their bone structure and have excessive energetic costs. The repeated relationships with BDE-100 and growth may be important for wild Falconidae, since this is the predominant penta-BDE congener in these raptors.

  20. The effects of environmental enrichment on depressive- and anxiety-relevant behaviors in socially isolated prairie voles

    PubMed Central

    Grippo, Angela J.; Ihm, Elliott; Wardwell, Joshua; McNeal, Neal; Scotti, Melissa-Ann L.; Moenk, Deirdre A.; Chandler, Danielle L.; LaRocca, Meagan A.; Preihs, Kristin

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Social isolation is associated with depression, anxiety and negative health outcomes. Environmental enrichment, including environmental and cognitive stimulation with inanimate objects and opportunities for physical exercise, may be an effective strategy to include in treatment paradigms for affective disorders as a function of social isolation. In a rodent model – the socially monogamous prairie vole – we investigated the hypothesis that depression- and anxiety-related behaviors following social isolation would be prevented and remediated with environmental enrichment. Methods Experiment 1 investigated the preventive effects of environmental enrichment on negative affective behaviors when administered concurrently with social isolation. Experiment 2 investigated the remediating effects of enrichment on negative affective behaviors when administered following a period of isolation. Behaviors were measured in 3 operational tests: open field; forced swim test; and elevated plus maze. Results In isolated prairie voles, enrichment prevented depression- (immobility in FST, group × housing interaction, P=0.049) and anxiety-relevant behaviors (exploration in open field, group × housing interaction, P=0.036; exploration in elevated plus maze, group × housing interaction, P=0.049). Delayed enrichment also remediated these behaviors in isolated animals (immobility in forced swim test, main effect of housing, P=0.001; exploration in open field, main effect of housing, P=0.047; exploration in elevated plus maze, main effect of housing, P=0.001), and was slightly more effective than physical exercise alone in remediating anxiety-relevant behaviors. Conclusions These findings provide insight into the beneficial effects of an enriched environment on depression- and anxiety-relevant behaviors using a translational rodent model of social isolation. PMID:24804886

  1. Effects of Environmentally Relevant Concentrations of Bisphenol A on the Fathead Minnow

    EPA Science Inventory

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is a wide-spread environmental contaminant of concern due, in part, to possible effects on the vertebrate hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, including activation of the estrogen receptor (ER). There is a reasonable amount of toxicological information fo...

  2. A Culturally Relevant Agricultural and Environmental Course for K-12 Teachers in Hawaii

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sylva, Traci; Chinn, Pauline; Kinoshita, Charles

    2010-01-01

    A Hawaiian cultural-based agricultural and environmental science professional development course was transformed based on the precepts of situated learning in communities of practice, and offered to K-12 teachers. In this article we describe the format and content of the transformed course based on lessons learned from previous years offered to…

  3. Isotopes in geobiochemistry: tracing metabolic pathways in microorganisms of environmental relevance with stable isotopes.

    PubMed

    Adrian, Lorenz; Marco-Urrea, Ernest

    2016-10-01

    Stable isotopes are flexibly used as tracers to investigate environmental processes, microorganisms responsible for environmental transformations, syntrophic relationships in consortia, and metabolic pathways. With the advent of widely accessible high-resolution, highly accurate and sensitive mass spectrometers connected to liquid chromatography (LC-MS/MS) and the explosion of microbial genome sequence information the options to apply stable isotope tracers to geobiochemical topics have multiplied. With methods at hand to analyze biochemical pathways and enzymatic functions of yet-uncultivated microorganisms even in mixed cultures, a wide field of new discoveries can be expected. Applications rely both on the high sensitivity to detect trace amounts of biological material in slow or non-growing cultures and on the high multi-dimensional resolution of LC-MS/MS to allow the separation of complex samples and to retrieve phylogenetic information. Challenges and examples of stable isotope applications to describe geobiochemical processes are reviewed. Overall, the potential is not yet sufficiently deployed.

  4. A Response to Scott's Concerns about the Relevance of Environmental Education Research: Applying Social-Ecological Systems Thinking and Consilience to Defining Research Goals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krasny, Marianne E.

    2009-01-01

    In William Scott's plenary address at the World Environmental Education Conference, he expressed concerns about the relevance of environmental education research in a world facing global environmental and demographic change. In responding to Scott's concerns, I argue that addressing challenges related to development and the environment requires…

  5. Ecologically relevant geomorphic attributes of streams are impaired by even low levels of watershed effective imperviousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vietz, Geoff J.; Sammonds, Michael J.; Walsh, Christopher J.; Fletcher, Tim D.; Rutherfurd, Ian D.; Stewardson, Michael J.

    2014-02-01

    Urbanization almost inevitably results in changes to stream morphology. Understanding the mechanisms for such impacts is a prerequisite to minimizing stream degradation and achieving restoration goals. However, investigations of urban-induced changes to stream morphology typically use indicators of watershed urbanization that may not adequately represent degrading mechanisms and commonly focus on geomorphic attributes such as channel dimensions that may be of little significance to the ecological goals for restoration. We address these shortcomings by testing if a measure characterizing urban stormwater drainage system connections to streams (effective imperviousness, EI) is a better predictor of change to ecologically relevant geomorphic attributes than a more general measure of urban density (total imperviousness, TI). We test this for 17 sites in independent watersheds across a gradient of urbanization. We found that EI was a better predictor of all geomorphic variables tested than was TI. Bank instability was positively correlated with EI, while width/depth (a measure of channel incision), bedload sediment depth, and frequency of bars, benches, and large wood were negatively correlated. Large changes in all geomorphic variables were detected at very low levels of EI (< 2-3%). Excess urban stormwater runoff, as represented by EI, drives geomorphic change in urban streams, highlighting the dominant role of the stormwater drainage system in efficiently transferring stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces to the stream, as found for ecological indicators. It is likely that geomorphic condition of streams in urbanizing watersheds, particularly those attributes of ecological relevance, can only be maintained if excess urban stormwater flows are kept out of streams through retention and harvesting. The extent to which EI can be reduced within urban and urbanizing watersheds, through techniques such as distributed stormwater harvesting and infiltration, and the

  6. Low impact of exposure to environmentally relevant doses of 226Ra in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) embryonic cells.

    PubMed

    Olsvik, Pål A; Berntssen, Marc H G; Hylland, Ketil; Eriksen, Dag Ø; Holen, Elisabeth

    2012-07-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether (226)Ra, a radionuclide present in produced water from oil platforms in the North Sea and other offshore drilling areas, could affect vulnerable early life stages of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Blastula-stage embryonic cells (EC) from fertilized eggs of Atlantic cod were isolated and exposed to environmental relevant concentrations of (226)Ra and transcription of selected genes quantified. The results showed a weak, but significant up-regulation of GPx3 and HSP70 transcripts after 48 h of exposure to 2.11 Bq/L. In EC exposed to three (226)Ra concentrations (2.11, 23 and 117 Bq/L) for 12 h, metallothionein, HSP90AA, thioredoxin and caspase 8 were significantly up-regulated in cells exposed to 117 Bq/L, whereas thioredoxin was also significantly up-regulated in EC exposed to 23 Bq/L. When EC were exposed to the same (226)Ra concentrations for 48 h, only heme oxygenase was significantly up-regulated in the 23 Bq/L exposure group. The results suggest that environmentally relevant activities of (226)Ra may induce oxidative stress and apoptosis in fish ECs. Exposure of Atlantic cod EC to Cd, selected as a model toxicant, supported the ability of EC around blastula stage to respond to toxicants by altered transcription. Due to dilution, environmentally relevant concentrations of radionuclides present in produced water would be expected to pose a minor threat to early life stages of fish.

  7. Effects of dissolved organic matter (DOM) at environmentally relevant carbon concentrations on atrazine degradation by Chelatobacter heintzii SalB.

    PubMed

    Cheyns, Karlien; Calcoen, Jasper; Martin-Laurent, Fabrice; Bru, David; Smolders, Erik; Springael, Dirk

    2012-09-01

    The dissolved organic matter (DOM) is the term used for organic components of natural origin present in the soil solution and is probably the most available C-source that primes microbial activity in subsoils. Contrasting effects of organic C components on pesticide degradation have been reported; however, most studies have used model organic compounds with compositions and concentrations which differ substantially from those found in the environment. Degradation of atrazine (AT) by Chelatobacter heintzii SalB was monitored in liquid batch assays in the absence or presence of well-defined model C compounds (glucose, gluconate and citrate) as model DOM (mDOM) or complex, less-defined, environmental DOM solutions (eDOM: isolated humic substances, soil and plant residue extracts) at environmentally relevant concentrations. Glucose significantly increased AT degradation rate by more than a factor of 8 at and above 2.5 mg C L( - 1). Optical density measurements showed that this stimulation is related to microbial growth. Gluconate and citrate had no effects unless at non-relevant concentrations (1,000 mg DOC L( - 1)) at which stimulations (gluconate) or inhibitions (citrate) were found. The effects of eDOM added at 10 mg DOC L( - 1) on AT degradation were generally small. The AT degradation time was reduced by factors 1.4-1.9 in the presence of humic acids and eDOM from soils amended with plant residues; however, no effects were found for fulvic acids or eDOM from a soil leachate solution or extracted from unamended peat or forest soil. In conclusion, DOM supplied as both mDOM and eDOM did not inhibit AT degradation at environmentally relevant concentrations, and stimulation can be found for selected DOM samples and this is partly related to its effect on growth.

  8. Environmental tobacco smoke and canine urinary cotinine level

    SciTech Connect

    Bertone-Johnson, Elizabeth R. Procter-Gray, Elizabeth; Gollenberg, Audra L.; Ryan, Michele B.; Barber, Lisa G.

    2008-03-15

    Epidemiologic studies of companion animals such as dogs have been established as models for the relationship between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and cancer risk in humans. While results from these studies are provocative, pet owner report of a dog's ETS exposure has not yet been validated. We have evaluated the relationship between dog owner's report of household smoking by questionnaire and dog's urinary cotinine level. Between January and October 2005, dog owners presenting their pet for non-emergency veterinary care at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, were asked to complete a 10-page questionnaire measuring exposure to household ETS in the previous 24 h and other factors. A free-catch urine sample was also collected from dogs. Urinary cotinine level was assayed for 63 dogs, including 30 whose owners reported household smoking and 33 unexposed dogs matched on age and month of enrollment. Urinary cotinine level was significantly higher in dogs exposed to household smoking in the 24 h before urine collection compared to unexposed dogs (14.6 ng/ml vs. 7.4 ng/ml; P=0.02). After adjustment for other factors, cotinine level increased linearly with number of cigarettes smoked by all household members (P=0.004). Other canine characteristics including age, body composition and nose length were also associated with cotinine level. Findings from our study suggest that household smoking levels as assessed by questionnaire are significantly associated with canine cotinine levels.

  9. Environmental monitoring of low-level radioactive waste disposal facility

    SciTech Connect

    Shum, E.Y.; Starmer, R.J.; Young, M.H.

    1989-12-01

    This branch technical position (BTP) paper on the environmental monitoring program for a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility provides general guidance on what is required by Section 61.53 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) of applicants submitting a license application for such a facility. In general, the environmental monitoring program consists of three phases: preoperational, operational, and postoperational. Each phase of the monitoring program should be designed to fulfill the specific objectives defined in the BTP paper. During the preoperational phase, the objectives of the program are to provide site characterization information, to demonstrate site suitability and acceptability, to obtain background or baseline information, and to provide a record for public information. During the operational phase, the emphasis on measurement shifts. Monitoring data are obtained to provide early warning of releases and to document compliance with regulations, the dose limits of 10 CFR Part 61, or applicable standards of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Data are also used to update important pathway parameters to improve predictions of site performance and to provide a record of performance for public information. The postoperational environmental monitoring program emphasizes measurements to demonstrate compliance with the site-closure requirements and continued compliance with the performance objective in regard to the release of radionuclides to the environment. The data are used to support evaluation of long-term effects on the general public and for public information. Guidance is also provided in the BTP paper on the choice of which constituents to measure, setting action levels, relating measurements to appropriate actions in a corrective action plan, and quality assurance.

  10. Applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs) for remedial actions at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant: A compendium of environmental laws and guidance. Environmental Restoration Program

    SciTech Connect

    Etnier, E.L.; Eaton, L.A.

    1992-03-01

    Section 121 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 specifies that remedial actions for cleanup of hazardous substances found at sites placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must comply with applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs) or standards under federal and state environmental laws. To date, the US Department of Energy (DOE) Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) has not been on the NPL. Although DOE and EPA have entered into an Administrative Consent Order (ACO), the prime regulatory authority for cleanup at PGDP will be the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This report supplies a preliminary list of available federal and state ARARs that might be considered for remedial response at PGDP in the event that the plant becomes included on the NPL or the ACO is modified to include CERCLA cleanup. A description of the terms ``applicable`` and ``relevant and appropriate`` is provided, as well as definitions of chemical-, location-, and action-specific ARARS. ARARs promulgated by the federal government and by the state of Kentucky are listed in tables. In addition, the major provisions of RCRA, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and other acts, as they apply to hazardous and radioactive waste cleanup, are discussed.

  11. Using magnetically responsive tea waste to remove lead in waters under environmentally relevant conditions.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Siang Yee; Choi, Siwon; Dien, Vivian; Sow-Peh, Yoke Keow; Qi, Genggeng; Hatton, T Alan; Doyle, Patrick S; Thio, Beng Joo Reginald

    2013-01-01

    We report the use of a simple yet highly effective magnetite-waste tea composite to remove lead(II) (Pb(2+)) ions from water. Magnetite-waste tea composites were dispersed in four different types of water-deionized (DI), artificial rainwater, artificial groundwater and artificial freshwater-that mimic actual environmental conditions. The water samples had varying initial concentrations (0.16-5.55 ppm) of Pb(2+) ions and were mixed with the magnetite-waste tea composite for at least 24 hours to allow adsorption of the Pb(2+) ions to reach equilibrium. The magnetite-waste tea composites were stable in all the water samples for at least 3 months and could be easily removed from the aqueous media via the use of permanent magnets. We detected no significant leaching of iron (Fe) ions into the water from the magnetite-waste tea composites. The percentage of Pb adsorbed onto the magnetite-waste tea composite ranged from ∼70% to 100%; the composites were as effective as activated carbon (AC) in removing the Pb(2+) ions from water, depending on the initial Pb concentration. Our prepared magnetite-waste tea composites show promise as a green, inexpensive and highly effective sorbent for removal of Pb in water under environmentally realistic conditions.

  12. Characterizing photochemical transformation of aqueous nC60 under environmentally relevant conditions.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Yu Sik; Li, Qilin

    2010-04-15

    Engineered nanomaterials may undergo transformation upon interactions with various environmental factors. In this study, photochemical transformation of aqueous nC60 was investigated under UVA irradiation. nC60 underwent photochemical transformation in the presence of dissolved O2, resulting in surface oxygenation and hydroxylation as demonstrated by XPS and ATR-FTIR analyses. The reaction followed a pseudo-first order rate law with the apparent reaction rate constant of 2.2 x 10(-2) h(-1). However, the core of the nanoparticles remained intact over 21 days of irradiation. Although no mineralization or dissolution of nC60 was observed, experiments using fullerol as a reference fullerene derivative suggested likely dissolution and partial mineralization of nC60 under long-term UVA exposure. Aquatic humic acid reduced nC60 transformation kinetics presumably due to scavenging of reactive oxygen species. Results from this study imply that photochemical transformation is an important factor controlling nC60 physical and chemical properties as well as its fate and transport in the natural aqueous environment. In addition, changes in nC60 surface chemistry drastically reduced C60 extraction efficiency by toluene, suggesting that the existing analytical method for C60 may not be applicable to environmental samples.

  13. Glucocorticoid activity detected by in vivo zebrafish assay and in vitro glucocorticoid receptor bioassay at environmental relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qiyu; Jia, Ai; Snyder, Shane A; Gong, Zhiyuan; Lam, Siew Hong

    2016-02-01

    Glucocorticoids are pharmaceutical contaminants of emerging concern due to their incomplete removal during wastewater treatment, increased presence in aquatic environment and their biological potency. The zebrafish is a popular model for aquatic toxicology and environmental risk assessment. This study aimed to determine if glucocorticoids at environmental concentrations would perturb expression of selected glucocorticoid-responsive genes in zebrafish and to investigate their potentials as an in vivo zebrafish assay in complementing in vitro glucocorticoid receptor bioassay. The relative expression of eleven glucocorticoid-responsive genes in zebrafish larvae and liver of adult male zebrafish exposed to three representative glucocorticoids (dexamethasone, prednisolone and triamcinolone) was determined. The expression of pepck, baiap2 and pxr was up-regulated in zebrafish larvae and the expression of baiap2, pxr and mmp-2 was up-regulated in adult zebrafish exposed to glucocorticoids at concentrations equivalent to total glucocorticoids reported in environmental samples. The responsiveness of the specific genes were sufficiently robust in zebrafish larvae exposed to a complex environmental sample detected with in vitro glucocorticoid activity equivalent to 478 pM dexamethasone (DEX-EQ) and confirmed to contain low concentration (0.2 ng/L or less) of the targeted glucocorticoids, and possibly other glucocorticoid-active compounds. The findings provided in vivo relevance to the in vitro glucocorticoid activity and suggested that the environmental sample can perturb glucocorticoid-responsive genes in its original, or half the diluted, concentration as may be found in the environment. The study demonstrated the important complementary roles of in vivo zebrafish and in vitro bioassays coupled with analytical chemistry in monitoring environmental glucocorticoid contaminants.

  14. Target-Specific Capture of Environmentally Relevant Gaseous Aldehydes and Carboxylic Acids with Functional Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Campbell, McKenzie L; Guerra, Fernanda D; Dhulekar, Jhilmil; Alexis, Frank; Whitehead, Daniel C

    2015-10-12

    Aldehyde and carboxylic acid volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present significant environmental concern due to their prevalence in the atmosphere. We developed biodegradable functional nanoparticles comprised of poly(d,l-lactic acid)-poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(ethyleneimine) (PDLLA-PEG-PEI) block co-polymers that capture these VOCs by chemical reaction. Polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) preparation involved nanoprecipitation and surface functionalization with branched PEI. The PDLLA-PEG-PEI NPs were characterized by using TGA, IR, (1) H NMR, elemental analysis, and TEM. The materials feature 1°, 2°, and 3° amines on their surface, capable of capturing aldehydes and carboxylic acids from gaseous mixtures. Aldehydes were captured by a condensation reaction forming imines, whereas carboxylic acids were captured by acid/base reaction. These materials reacted selectively with target contaminants obviating off-target binding when challenged by other VOCs with orthogonal reactivity. The NPs outperformed conventional activated carbon sorbents.

  15. Isotopically modified silver nanoparticles to assess nanosilver bioavailability and toxicity at environmentally relevant exposures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Croteau, Marie-Noële; Dybowska, Agnieszka D.; Luoma, Samuel N.; Misra, Superb K.; Valsami-Jones, Eugenia

    2014-01-01

    A major challenge in understanding the environmental implications of nanotechnology lies in studying nanoparticle uptake in organisms at environmentally realistic exposure concentrations. Typically, high exposure concentrations are needed to trigger measurable effects and to detect accumulation above background. But application of tracer techniques can overcome these limitations. Here we synthesised, for the first time, citrate-coated Ag nanoparticles using Ag that was 99.7 % 109Ag. In addition to conducting reactivity and dissolution studies, we assessed the bioavailability and toxicity of these isotopically modified Ag nanoparticles (109Ag NPs) to a freshwater snail under conditions typical of nature. We showed that accumulation of 109Ag from 109Ag NPs is detectable in the tissues of Lymnaea stagnalis after 24-h exposure to aqueous concentrations as low as 6 ng L–1 as well as after 3 h of dietary exposure to concentrations as low as 0.07 μg g–1. Silver uptake from unlabelled Ag NPs would not have been detected under similar exposure conditions. Uptake rates of 109Ag from 109Ag NPs mixed with food or dispersed in water were largely linear over a wide range of concentrations. Particle dissolution was most important at low waterborne concentrations. We estimated that 70 % of the bioaccumulated 109Ag concentration in L. stagnalis at exposures –1 originated from the newly solubilised Ag. Above this concentration, we predicted that 80 % of the bioaccumulated 109Ag concentration originated from the 109Ag NPs. It was not clear if agglomeration had a major influence on uptake rates.

  16. Effects of environmentally-relevant mixtures of four common organophosphorus insecticides on the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Al Naggar, Yahya; Wiseman, Steve; Sun, Jianxian; Cutler, G Christopher; Aboul-Soud, Mourad; Naiem, Elsaied; Mona, Mohamed; Seif, Amal; Giesy, John P

    2015-11-01

    We assessed whether exposure to environmentally-relevant mixtures of four organophosphorus insecticides (OPs) exerted adverse effects on honey bees. Adult and worker bees were orally exposed for five days under laboratory conditions to mixtures of four insecticides, diazinon, malathion, profenofos and chlorpyrifos at two concentrations. Concentration in the mixtures tested were equivalent to the median and 95th centile concentrations of the OPs in honey, as reported in the literature. Effects on survival, behavior, activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and expression of genes important in detoxification of xenobiotics and immune response were examined. Survival of worker bees was not affected by exposure to median or 95th centile concentrations of the OPs. Activity of AChE was significantly greater in worker bees exposed to the 95th centile concentration mixture of OPs compared to the median concentration mixture. Expression of genes involved in detoxification of xenobiotics was not affected by treatment, but the abundance of transcripts of the antimicrobial peptide hymenoptaecin was significantly greater in worker honey bees exposed to the median concentration mixture. Results suggest that short-term exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of a mixture of OPs do not adversely affect worker honey bees.

  17. Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements (ARARs) for Remedial Action at the Oak Ridge Reservation: A compendium of major environmental laws. Environmental Restoration Program

    SciTech Connect

    Etnier, E.L.; McDonald, E.P.; Houlberg, L.M.

    1993-07-01

    Section 121 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 specifies that remedial actions for cleanup of hazardous substances must comply with applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARS) or standards under federal and state environmental laws. The US Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) was placed on the National Priorities List by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on November 21, 1989, effective December 21, 1989. As a result of this listing, DOE, EPA, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation have signed a Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) for the environmental restoration of the ORR. Section XXI(F) of the FFA calls for the preparation of a draft listing of all ARARs as mandated by CERCLA {section}121. This report supplies a preliminary list of available federal and state ARARs that might be considered for remedial response at the ORR. A description of the terms ``applicable`` and ``relevant and appropriate`` is provided, as well as definitions of chemical-, location-, and action-specific ARARS. ARARs promulgated by the federal government and by the state of Tennessee are listed in tables. In addition, the major provisions of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air and other acts, as they apply to hazardous waste cleanup, are discussed. In the absence of ARARS, CERCLA {section}121 provides for the use of nonpromulgated federal criteria, guidelines, and advisories in evaluating the human risk associated with remedial action alternatives. Such nonpromulgated standards are classified as ``to-be-considered`` (TBC) guidance. A ion of available guidance is given; summary tables fist the available federal standards and guidance information. In addition, the substantive contents of the DOE orders as they apply to remediation of radioactively contaminated sites are discussed as TBC guidance.

  18. The Ivory Tower and the Community: A New Approach to Emphasizing the Relevance of Environmental Science Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuff, K. E.; Corazza, L.

    2006-12-01

    Over the past eight years we have developed and implemented several U.C. Berkeley-based outreach programs that provide opportunities for grades nine through eleven students in the East San Francisco Bay Area to gain skills and understandings that increase their capacity to enroll and perform successfully in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses in the future, which enhances their capacity to decide to pursue STEM careers. A common element of these programs is the opportunity they provide participants to engage in environmental science research projects that are directly linked to relevant, real-world environmental problems and issues facing their communities. Analysis of evidence gleaned from questionnaires, interviews and specific assessment instruments indicates that these programs have consistently achieved a high degree of success in that they have: significantly increased participants' understanding of the process and nature of science; enhanced their intellectual self-confidence with regard to STEM; developed deeper appreciation of how scientific research can contribute to the maintenance of healthy local environments; developed a greater interest in participating in STEM-related courses of study and after school programs; and improved attitudes toward STEM. These results corroborate recent research studies that indicate a close relationship between educational activities that promote the perception of STEM as being relevant and the ability to foster development of deeper conceptual understandings among teens. Moreover, they support the notion that providing opportunities for students to develop personal connections with particular issues discussed, and real-world STEM experiences that make STEM more relevant and interesting can help to bring about changes in attitude, which is a key component in improving STEM learning and understanding particularly among urban youth. Overall, our work suggests that in order for a given STEM

  19. Monensin is not toxic to aquatic macrophytes at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    McGregor, Erin B; Solomon, K R; Hanson, M L

    2007-11-01

    Monensin, a common livestock feed additive, has been detected in surface waters around areas of intensive agriculture. The effect of this ionophore antibiotic on floating (Lemna gibba) and submersed (Myriophyllum spicatum, Elodea canadensis, Egeria densa) freshwater macrophytes was investigated under seminatural field conditions using 12,000 l of outdoor microcosms. Exposure concentrations of 0, 12, 25, 50, and 100 mug/l (n = 3) were evaluated over a 35-day period. Submersed plants were grown individually in 115-ml plastic "cone-tainers" and assessed for various growth and pigment end points. E. canadensis and M. spicatum also were grown in assemblages to represent model populations and two-species communities. Few statistically significant differences from control organisms were observed for any of the monitored end points. Overall, monensin is deemed unlikely to cause toxicity in freshwater macrophytes at current environmental concentrations. However, the ability to characterize toxicity in macrophytes is based partially on the relative growth rates (RGRs) of the plants. The greater the RGR, the more sensitive the assay may be to contaminants. The RGRs of E. canadensis and M. spicatum grown in model populations and communities were found to be significantly higher than the RGRs of plants grown individually. This implies that the "cone-tainer" method, although simple and easy to perform, may underestimate toxicity in simulated field studies.

  20. Transcriptional response of the archaeal ammonia oxidizer Nitrosopumilus maritimus to low and environmentally relevant ammonia concentrations.

    PubMed

    Nakagawa, Tatsunori; Stahl, David A

    2013-11-01

    The ability of chemoautotrophic ammonia-oxidizing archaea to compete for ammonia among marine microorganisms at low ambient concentrations has been in part attributed to their extremely high affinity for ammonia, but as yet there is no mechanistic understanding of supporting metabolism. We examined transcription of selected genes for anabolic functions (CO2 fixation, ammonia transport, and cell wall synthesis) and a central catabolic function (ammonia oxidation) in the thaumarchaeon Nitrosopumilus maritimus SCM1 growing at two ammonia concentrations, as measured by combined ammonia and ammonium, one well above the Km for ammonia oxidation (∼500 μM) and the other well below the Km (<10 nM). Transcript levels were generally immediately and differentially repressed when cells transitioned from ammonia-replete to ammonia-limiting conditions. Transcript levels for ammonia oxidation, CO2 fixation, and one of the ammonia transport genes were approximately the same at high and low ammonia availability. Transcripts for all analyzed genes decreased with time in the complete absence of ammonia, but with various rates of decay. The new steady-state mRNA levels established are presumably more reflective of the natural physiological state of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and offer a reference for interpreting message abundance patterns in the natural environment.

  1. Transcriptional Response of the Archaeal Ammonia Oxidizer Nitrosopumilus maritimus to Low and Environmentally Relevant Ammonia Concentrations

    PubMed Central

    Stahl, David A.

    2013-01-01

    The ability of chemoautotrophic ammonia-oxidizing archaea to compete for ammonia among marine microorganisms at low ambient concentrations has been in part attributed to their extremely high affinity for ammonia, but as yet there is no mechanistic understanding of supporting metabolism. We examined transcription of selected genes for anabolic functions (CO2 fixation, ammonia transport, and cell wall synthesis) and a central catabolic function (ammonia oxidation) in the thaumarchaeon Nitrosopumilus maritimus SCM1 growing at two ammonia concentrations, as measured by combined ammonia and ammonium, one well above the Km for ammonia oxidation (∼500 μM) and the other well below the Km (<10 nM). Transcript levels were generally immediately and differentially repressed when cells transitioned from ammonia-replete to ammonia-limiting conditions. Transcript levels for ammonia oxidation, CO2 fixation, and one of the ammonia transport genes were approximately the same at high and low ammonia availability. Transcripts for all analyzed genes decreased with time in the complete absence of ammonia, but with various rates of decay. The new steady-state mRNA levels established are presumably more reflective of the natural physiological state of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and offer a reference for interpreting message abundance patterns in the natural environment. PMID:23995944

  2. Selective uptake and biological consequences of environmentally relevant antidepressant pharmaceutical exposures on male fathead minnows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schultz, M.M.; Painter, M.M.; Bartell, S.E.; Logue, A.; Furlong, E.T.; Werner, S.L.; Schoenfuss, H.L.

    2011-01-01

    Antidepressant pharmaceuticals have been reported in wastewater effluent at the nanogram to low microgram-per-liter range, and include bupropion (BUP), fluoxetine (FLX), sertraline (SER), and venlafaxine (VEN). To assess the effects of antidepressants on reproductive anatomy, physiology, and behavior, adult male fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) were exposed for 21 days either to a single concentration of the antidepressants FLX, SER, VEN, or BUP, or to an antidepressant mixture. The data demonstrated that exposure to VEN (305. ng/L and 1104. ng/L) and SER (5.2. ng/L) resulted in mortality. Anatomical alterations were noted within the testes of fish exposed to SER and FLX, both modulators of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Additionally, FLX at 28. ng/L induced vitellogenin in male fish-a common endpoint for estrogenic endocrine disruption. Significant alterations in male secondary sex characteristics were noted with single exposures. Effects of single compound exposures neither carried over, nor became additive in the antidepressant mixtures, and reproductive behavior was not affected. Analysis of brain tissues from the exposed fish suggested increased uptake of FLX, SER and BUP and minimal uptake of VEN when compared to exposure water concentrations. Furthermore, the only metabolite detected consistently in the brain tissues was norfluoxetine. Similar trends of uptake by brain tissue were observed when fish were exposed to antidepressant mixtures. The present study demonstrates that anatomy and physiology, but not reproductive behavior, can be disrupted by exposure to environmental concentrations of some antidepressants. The observation that antidepressant uptake into fish tissues is selective may have consequences on assessing the mode-of-action and effects of these compounds in future studies. ?? 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  3. Selective uptake and biological consequences of environmentally relevant antidepressant pharmaceutical exposures on male fathead minnows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schultz, Melissa M.; Painter, Meghan M.; Bartell, Stephen E.; Logue, Amanda; Furlong, Edward T.; Werner, Stephen L.; Schoenfuss, Heiko L.

    2011-01-01

    Antidepressant pharmaceuticals have been reported in wastewater effluent at the nanogram to low microgram-per-liter range, and include bupropion (BUP), fluoxetine (FLX), sertraline (SER), and venlafaxine (VEN). To assess the effects of antidepressants on reproductive anatomy, physiology, and behavior, adult male fathead minnows (Pimeplwles promelas) were exposed for 21 days either to a single concentration of the antidepressants FLX, SER, VEN, or BUP, or to an antidepressant mixture. The data demonstrated that exposure to VEN (305 ng/L and 1104 ng/L) and SER (5.2 ng/L) resulted in mortality. Anatomical alterations were noted within the testes of fish exposed to SER and FLX, both modulators of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Additionally, FLX at 28 ng/L induced vitellogenin in male fish—a common endpoint for estrogenic endocrine disruption. Significant alterations in male secondary sex characteristics were noted with single exposures. Effects of single compound exposures neither carried over, nor became additive in the antidepressant mixtures, and reproductive behavior was not affected. Analysis of brain tissues from the exposed fish suggested increased uptake of FLX, SER and BUP and minimal uptake of VEN when compared to exposure water concentrations. Furthermore, the only metabolite detected consistently in the brain tissues was norfluoxetine. Similar trends of uptake by brain tissue were observed when fish were exposed to antidepressant mixtures. The present study demonstrates that anatomy and physiology, but not reproductive behavior, can be disrupted by exposure to environmental concentrations of some antidepressants. The observation that antidepressant uptake into fish tissues is selective may have consequences on assessing the mode-of-action and effects of these compounds in future studies.

  4. Features of Microglia and Neuroinflammation Relevant to Environmental Exposure and Neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Kraft, Andrew D.; Harry, G. Jean

    2011-01-01

    Microglia are resident cells of the brain involved in regulatory processes critical for development, maintenance of the neural environment, injury and repair. They belong to the monocytic-macrophage lineage and serve as brain immune cells to orchestrate innate immune responses; however, they are distinct from other tissue macrophages due to their relatively quiescent phenotype and tight regulation by the CNS microenvironment. Microglia actively survey the surrounding parenchyma and respond rapidly to changes such that any disruption to neural architecture or function can contribute to the loss in regulation of the microglia phenotype. In many models of neurodegeneration and neurotoxicity, early events of synaptic degeneration and neuronal loss are accompanied by an inflammatory response including activation of microglia, perivascular monocytes, and recruitment of leukocytes. In culture, microglia have been shown to be capable of releasing several potentially cytotoxic substances, such as reactive oxygen intermediates, nitric oxide, proteases, arachidonic acid derivatives, excitatory amino acids, and cytokines; however, they also produce various neurotrophic factors and quench damage from free radicals and excitotoxins. As the primary source for pro-inflammatory cytokines, microglia are implicated as pivotal mediators of neuroinflammation and can induce or modulate a broad spectrum of cellular responses. Neuroinflammation should be considered as a balanced network of processes whereby subtle modifications can shift the cells toward disparate outcomes. For any evaluation of neuroinflammation and microglial responses, within the framework of neurotoxicity or degeneration, one key question in determining the consequence of neuroinflammation is whether the response is an initiating event or the consequence of tissue damage. As examples of environmental exposure-related neuroinflammation in the literature, we provide an evaluation of data on manganese and diesel exhaust

  5. Enrofloxacin at environmentally relevant concentrations enhances uptake and toxicity of cadmium in the earthworm Eisenia fetida in farm soils.

    PubMed

    Li, Yinsheng; Tang, Hao; Hu, Yingxiu; Wang, Xiuhong; Ai, Xiaojie; Tang, Li; Matthew, Cory; Cavanagh, Jo; Qiu, Jiangping

    2016-05-05

    Individual and combined effects of enrofloxacin (EF) and cadmium (Cd) on the earthworm Eisenia fetida at environmentally relevant concentrations were investigated. EF is a veterinary antibiotic; Cd is an impurity in phosphatic fertiliser. For both, residues may accumulate in farm soils. In laboratory tests, over 98% of spiked EF was adsorbed by farm soils, with a half-life >8 weeks. However, earthworms absorbed less than 20% of spiked EF. Earthworms in soil with EF concentration 10 mg kg(-1) soil experienced transient oxidative stress and exhibited reduced burrowing activity and respiration after an 8-week exposure; EF at 0.1 and 1.0 mg kg(-1) soil did not elicit toxicity symptoms. When both were added, Cd did not affect EF uptake, but each increment of spiked EF increased Cd bioaccumulation and associated oxidative stress of earthworms, and also caused decreased burrow length and CO2 production. However, metallothionein induction was not affected. The enhanced toxicity of Cd to earthworms in the presence of EF at low environmental concentrations may have implications for the health and reproductive success of earthworm populations and highlights the importance of understanding effects of antibiotic contamination of farm soils, and of awareness of environmental effects from interaction between multiple contaminants.

  6. Environmentally relevant xenoestrogen tissue concentrations correlated to biological responses in mice.

    PubMed Central

    Ulrich, E M; Caperell-Grant, A; Jung, S H; Hites, R A; Bigsby, R M

    2000-01-01

    The effects of xenoestrogens have been extensively studied in rodents, generally under single, high-dose conditions. Using a continuous-release, low-dose system in ovariectomized mice, we correlated the estrogenic end points of uterine epithelial height (UEH) and vaginal epithelial thickness (VET) with concentrations of two organochlorine pesticide isomers in fat and blood. Silastic capsules containing a range of doses of either ss-hexachlorocyclohexane (ss-HCH) or o, p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (o,p'-DDT) were implanted subcutaneously, and animals were killed after 1 week. Average blood levels achieved by the various doses were 4.2-620 ng/mL for o,p'-DDT and 5.0-300 ng/mL for ss-HCH. Fat concentrations of o,p'-DDT and ss-HCH correlated linearly to blood levels (o,p'-DDT, r(2) = 0.94; ss-HCH, r(2) = 0.83). Fat concentrations (nanograms per gram of tissue) were higher than blood concentrations (nanograms per milliliter) by 90 +/- 5- and 120 +/- 9-fold (mean +/- SE) for o, p'-DDT and ss-HCH, respectively. The VET ranged from 12 +/- 0.9 microm in controls to 114 +/- 8 microm in treated animals, and was correlated to blood levels of either treatment compound. The UEH ranged from an average of 7.7 +/- 0.3 microm in controls to 26 +/- 2 microm in high-dose o,p'-DDT-treated animals. The UEH was also correlated with ss-HCH concentration, but it plateaued at approximately 11 microm at the highest doses. The lowest blood concentrations that produced statistically significant increases in VET or UEH were 18 +/- 2 ng/mL o,p'-DDT and 42 +/- 4 ng/mL ss-HCH. These values are within the same order of magnitude of blood concentrations found in some human subjects from the general population, suggesting that human blood concentrations of these organochlorines may reach estrogenic levels. PMID:11049819

  7. Estradiol and endocrine disrupting compounds adversely affect development of sea urchin embryos at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Roepke, Troy A; Snyder, Mark J; Cherr, Gary N

    2005-01-26

    Environmental endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are a wide variety of chemicals that typically exert effects, either directly or indirectly, through receptor-mediated processes, thus mimicking endogenous hormones and/or inhibiting normal hormone activities and metabolism. Little is known about the effects of EDCs on echinoderm physiology, reproduction and development. We exposed developing sea urchin embryos (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Lytechinus anamesus) to two known EDCs (4-octylphenol (OCT), bisphenol A (BisA)) and to natural and synthetic reproductive hormones (17beta-estradiol (E2), estrone (E1), estriol (E3), progesterone (P4) and 17alpha-ethynylestradiol (EE2)). In addition, we studied two non-estrogenic EDCs, tributyltin (TBT) and o,p-DDD. Successful development to the pluteus larval stage (96 h post-fertilization) was used to define EDC concentration-response relationships. The order of compound potency based on EC50 values for a reduction in normal development was as follows: TBT(L. anamesus)>OCT>TBT(S. purpuratus)>E2>EE2>DDD>BisA>P4>E1>E3. The effect of TBT was pronounced even at concentrations substantially lower than those commonly reported in heavily contaminated areas, but the response was significantly different in the two model species. Sea urchin embryos were generally more sensitive to estrogenic EDCs and TBT than most other invertebrate larvae. Stage-specific exposure experiments were conducted to determine the most sensitive developmental periods using blastula, gastrula and post-gastrula (pluteus) stages. The stage most sensitive to E2, OCT and TBT was the blastula stage with less overall sensitivity in the gastrula stage, regardless of concentration. Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) were added to the experiments individually and in combination with estrogenic EDCs to interfere with potential receptor-mediated actions. Tamoxifen, a partial ER agonist, alone inhibited development at concentrations as low as 0.02 ng

  8. Burial Level Change Defines a High Energetic Relevance for Protein Binding Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhenhua; He, Ying; Wong, Limsoon; Li, Jinyan

    2015-01-01

    Protein-protein interfaces defined through atomic contact or solvent accessibility change are widely adopted in structural biology studies. But, these definitions cannot precisely capture energetically important regions at protein interfaces. The burial depth of an atom in a protein is related to the atom's energy. This work investigates how closely the change in burial level of an atom/residue upon complexation is related to the binding. Burial level change is different from burial level itself. An atom deeply buried in a monomer with a high burial level may not change its burial level after an interaction and it may have little burial level change. We hypothesize that an interface is a region of residues all undergoing burial level changes after interaction. By this definition, an interface can be decomposed into an onion-like structure according to the burial level change extent. We found that our defined interfaces cover energetically important residues more precisely, and that the binding free energy of an interface is distributed progressively from the outermost layer to the core. These observations are used to predict binding hot spots. Our approach's F-measure performance on a benchmark dataset of alanine mutagenesis residues is much superior or similar to those by complicated energy modeling or machine learning approaches.

  9. The Relevance of Social Theory in the Practice of Environmental Management.

    PubMed

    Meissner, Richard

    2016-10-01

    In this paper I argue that the dominance of certain paradigms and theories on policies can have an influence on the value added by impact assessments. A link exists between paradigms and theories and policies and consequently the practices humans develop to tackle real world problems. I also argue that different types of thinking (contained in paradigms and theories) need to be integrated, at least at the scientific level, to enhance our understanding of social phenomena. This in turn can have a positive influence on policy processes that follow impact assessment recommendations. I am not arguing for the adoption of theoretical positions by practitioners, Instead, I contend that if impact assessments are informed by a variety of paradigms and theories, the policy practitioner might have a better understanding of the issue and the moral choices he or she needs to make. I will highlight the connection between theory and policies with practical examples from the social impact assessment of the De Hoop Dam, which was constructed on the Steelpoort River. I also argue for an integration of different theories to give a deeper understanding of real world problems.

  10. Chronic exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of PCB causes reproductive toxicity in mink

    SciTech Connect

    Brunstroem, B.; Oerberg, J.; Lund, B.O.; Athanasiadou, M.

    1995-12-31

    Female mink (Mustela vison) were exposed to the technical PCB preparation Clophen A50 (0.3 or 0.1 mg/animal/day) in the feed for 18 months, including two reproduction seasons. Isomer-specific PCB-analysis of the technical mixture was made and the concentrations of toxic equivalents (TEQs) in the feed were calculated. In addition, Clophen A50 was separated into two fractions, one containing the non and mono-ortho-chlorinated PCB congeners (planar fraction) and the other containing congeners with 2-4 chlorines in ortho-position (non-planar fraction). Animals in two separate groups were exposed daily to these individual fractions extracted from 0.3 mg Clophen A50. No effect on the reproduction outcome was observed during the first reproduction season. However, reduced birth weights were noted in the kits born to animals treated with 0.3 mg Clophen A50 per day. The reproductive performance was seriously affected in the second season. Only 39% of the females exposed to 0.3 mg Clophen A50 per day whelped, compared with 93% in the control group. All whelps in the group exposed to the high dose of Clophen A50 died within 1 day after birth. Kit survival and growth were reduced also in the group treated with the low dose of Clophen A50. Treatment with the non and mono-orthochlorinated PCB congeners strongly reduced kit survival and body weight gain. Only 8% of the kits survived until 2 weeks of age. It is concluded that the non and monoortho-chlorinated PCB congeners were responsible for the major part of the reproductive toxicity caused by Clophen A50. PCB residue concentrations in the mink, determined at the end of the experiment, were within the range of the levels that have been observed in wild mink in Sweden.

  11. Effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of metallic compounds on the flatfish Scophthalmus maximus: biomarkers of neurotoxicity, oxidative stress and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Bruno; Brandão, Fátima; Sérgio, Tânia; Rodrigues, Sara; Gonçalves, Fernando; Correia, Alberto Teodorico

    2014-06-01

    Flatfish species, such as the turbot (Scophthalmus maximus), are common targets for toxic effects, since they are exposed through the food chain (ingestion of contaminated preys) and are in direct contact with the waterborne contaminant and sediments. Furthermore, these fish species live in close proximity to interstitial water that frequently dissolves high amounts of contaminants, including metals. Despite this significant set of characteristics, the present knowledge concerning flatfish contamination and toxicity by metals is still scarce. To attain the objective of assessing the effects of metals on a flatfish species, S. maximus specimens were chronically exposed to lead, copper and zinc, at ecologically relevant concentrations, and biochemical (oxidative stress: catalase and glutathione S-transferases activities, and lipid peroxidation; neurotoxicity: cholinesterase activity) parameters were assessed on selected tissues (gills and liver). Copper had no significant effects on all tested parameters; lead was causative of significant increases in liver GSTs activities and also in lipoperoxidation of gill tissue; exposure to zinc caused a significant increase in catalase activity of gill tissue. None of the tested metals elicited noteworthy effects in terms of neurotoxicity. The obtained results showed that only the metal lead is of some environmental importance, since it was able to cause deleterious modifications of oxidative nature at relevant concentrations.

  12. Vintage-level energy and environmental performance of manufacturing establishments

    SciTech Connect

    Boyd, G.A.; Bock, M.J.; Neifer, M.J.; Karlson, S.H.; Ross, M.H.

    1994-05-01

    This report examines the relationship between an industrial plant`s vintage and its energy and environmental performance. Basic questions related to defining vintage and measuring the effects of the manufacturing industry`s vintage distribution of plant-level capacity and energy intensity are explored in general for six energy-intensive sectors (paper, chlorine, nitrogenous fertilizer, aluminum, steel, and cement) at the four-digit standard industrial classification (SIC) level and in detail for two sectors (steel and cement). Results show that greenfield (i.e., newly opened) plants in the paper, steel, and cement industries exhibit low fossil fuel intensities. These results are consistent with expectations. New plants in the paper and steel industries, where processes are undergoing electrification, exhibit high electricity intensities. An analysis of a subsector of the steel industry -- minimills that use scrap-based, electric arc furnaces -- reveals a decline in electricity intensity of 6.2 kilowatt-hours per ton for each newer year of installed vintage. This estimate is consistent with those of engineering studies and raises confidence that analyses of vintage effects in other industries could be conducted. When a vintage measure is assigned on the basis of investment data rather than trade association data, the vintage/performance relationship results for the cement industry are reasonably robust; thus, the analysis of vintage and performance could be extended to sectors for which only US Bureau of the Census data are available.

  13. Relevance of Education and Intelligence at the National Level for the Economic Welfare of People

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rindermann, Heiner

    2008-01-01

    Cognitive abilities are important for the economic and non-economic success of individuals and societies. For international analyses, the collection of IQ-measures from Lynn and Vanhanen was supplemented and meliorated by data from international student assessment studies (IEA-Reading, TIMSS, PISA, PIRLS). The cognitive level of a nation is highly…

  14. Measurement and evaluation of the environmental noise levels in the urban areas of the city of Nis (Serbia).

    PubMed

    Prascevic, Momir R; Mihajlov, Darko I; Cvetkovic, Dragan S

    2014-02-01

    The environmental noise level represents one of the key factors of life quality in urban areas of modern cities. A continuous monitoring of the noise levels and the analysis of results have become a necessity when we discuss a possible recovery of those areas with high levels of noise pollution, and particularly, those zones which were designed for specific activities, e.g., areas around hospitals and schools. The city of Nis, Serbia, owing to the permanent long-term noise monitoring, possesses a database containing figures related to the noise levels at relevant locations in the city, which can serve as a basis for an analysis of the change of conditions, their tendencies in the future, and recognizing factors which influence the danger of noise pollution. The paper involves an analysis of the environmental noise level collected during the previous years.

  15. Quantitative analysis of receptor tyrosine kinase-effector coupling at functionally relevant stimulus levels.

    PubMed

    Li, Simin; Bhave, Devayani; Chow, Jennifer M; Riera, Thomas V; Schlee, Sandra; Rauch, Simone; Atanasova, Mariya; Cate, Richard L; Whitty, Adrian

    2015-04-17

    A major goal of current signaling research is to develop a quantitative understanding of how receptor activation is coupled to downstream signaling events and to functional cellular responses. Here, we measure how activation of the RET receptor tyrosine kinase on mouse neuroblastoma cells by the neurotrophin artemin (ART) is quantitatively coupled to key downstream effectors. We show that the efficiency of RET coupling to ERK and Akt depends strongly on ART concentration, and it is highest at the low (∼100 pM) ART levels required for neurite outgrowth. Quantitative discrimination between ERK and Akt pathway signaling similarly is highest at this low ART concentration. Stimulation of the cells with 100 pM ART activated RET at the rate of ∼10 molecules/cell/min, leading at 5-10 min to a transient peak of ∼150 phospho-ERK (pERK) molecules and ∼50 pAkt molecules per pRET, after which time the levels of these two signaling effectors fell by 25-50% while the pRET levels continued to slowly rise. Kinetic experiments showed that signaling effectors in different pathways respond to RET activation with different lag times, such that the balance of signal flux among the different pathways evolves over time. Our results illustrate that measurements using high, super-physiological growth factor levels can be misleading about quantitative features of receptor signaling. We propose a quantitative model describing how receptor-effector coupling efficiency links signal amplification to signal sensitization between receptor and effector, thereby providing insight into design principles underlying how receptors and their associated signaling machinery decode an extracellular signal to trigger a functional cellular outcome.

  16. Quantitative Analysis of Receptor Tyrosine Kinase-Effector Coupling at Functionally Relevant Stimulus Levels*♦

    PubMed Central

    Li, Simin; Bhave, Devayani; Chow, Jennifer M.; Riera, Thomas V.; Schlee, Sandra; Rauch, Simone; Atanasova, Mariya; Cate, Richard L.; Whitty, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    A major goal of current signaling research is to develop a quantitative understanding of how receptor activation is coupled to downstream signaling events and to functional cellular responses. Here, we measure how activation of the RET receptor tyrosine kinase on mouse neuroblastoma cells by the neurotrophin artemin (ART) is quantitatively coupled to key downstream effectors. We show that the efficiency of RET coupling to ERK and Akt depends strongly on ART concentration, and it is highest at the low (∼100 pm) ART levels required for neurite outgrowth. Quantitative discrimination between ERK and Akt pathway signaling similarly is highest at this low ART concentration. Stimulation of the cells with 100 pm ART activated RET at the rate of ∼10 molecules/cell/min, leading at 5–10 min to a transient peak of ∼150 phospho-ERK (pERK) molecules and ∼50 pAkt molecules per pRET, after which time the levels of these two signaling effectors fell by 25–50% while the pRET levels continued to slowly rise. Kinetic experiments showed that signaling effectors in different pathways respond to RET activation with different lag times, such that the balance of signal flux among the different pathways evolves over time. Our results illustrate that measurements using high, super-physiological growth factor levels can be misleading about quantitative features of receptor signaling. We propose a quantitative model describing how receptor-effector coupling efficiency links signal amplification to signal sensitization between receptor and effector, thereby providing insight into design principles underlying how receptors and their associated signaling machinery decode an extracellular signal to trigger a functional cellular outcome. PMID:25635057

  17. Ultra Low Level Environmental Neutron Measurements Using Superheated Droplet Detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Fernandes, A.C.; Felizardo, M.; Girard, T.A.; Kling, A.; Ramos, A.R.; Marques, J.G.; Prudencio, M.I.; Marques, R.; Carvalho, F.P.

    2015-07-01

    Through the application of superheated droplet detectors (SDDs), the SIMPLE project for the direct search for dark matter (DM) reached the most restrictive limits on the spin-dependent sector to date. The experiment is based on the detection of recoils following WIMP-nuclei interaction, mimicking those from neutron scattering. The thermodynamic operation conditions yield the SDDs intrinsically insensitive to radiations with linear energy transfer below ∼150 keVμm{sup -1} such as photons, electrons, muons and neutrons with energies below ∼40 keV. Underground facilities are increasingly employed for measurements in a low-level radiation background (DM search, gamma-spectroscopy, intrinsic soft-error rate measurements, etc.), where the rock overburden shields against cosmic radiation. In this environment the SDDs are sensitive only to α-particles and neutrons naturally emitted from the surrounding materials. Recently developed signal analysis techniques allow discrimination between neutron and α-induced signals. SDDs are therefore a promising instrument for low-level neutron and α measurements, namely environmental neutron measurements and α-contamination assays. In this work neutron measurements performed in the challenging conditions of the latest SIMPLE experiment (1500 mwe depth with 50-75 cm water shield) are reported. The results are compared with those obtained by detailed Monte Carlo simulations of the neutron background induced by {sup 238}U and {sup 232}Th traces in the facility, shielding and detector materials. Calculations of the neutron energy distribution yield the following neutron fluence rates (in 10{sup -8} cm{sup -2}s{sup -1}): thermal (<0.5 eV): 2.5; epithermal (0.5 eV-100 keV): 2.2; fast (>1 MeV): 3.9. Signal rates were derived using standard cross sections and codes routinely employed in reactor dosimetry. The measured and calculated neutron count rates per unit of active mass were 0.15 ct/kgd and 0.33 ct/kg-d respectively. As the major

  18. Inland waterway ports nodal attraction indices relevant in development strategies on regional level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinu, O.; Burciu, Ş.; Oprea, C.; Ilie, A.; Rosca, M.

    2016-08-01

    Present paper aims to propose a set of ranking indices and related criteria, concerning mainly spatial analysis, for the inland waterway port, with special view on inland ports of Danube. Commonly, the attraction potential of a certain transport node is assessed by its spatial accessibility indices considering both spatial features of the location provided by the networks that connect into that node and its economic potential defining the level of traffic flows depending on the economic centers of its hinterland. Paper starts with a overview of the critical needs that are required for potential sites to become inland waterway ports and presents nodal functions that coexist at different levels, leading to a port hierarchy from the points of view of: capacity, connection to hinterland, traffic structure and volume. After a brief review of the key inland waterway port ranking criterion, a selection of nodal attraction measures is made. Particular considerations for the Danube inland port case follows proposed methodology concerning indices of performance for network scale and centrality. As expected, the shorter the distance from an inland port to the nearest access point the greater accessibility. Major differences in ranking, dependent on selected criterion, were registered.

  19. Chronic exposure to environmental levels of tribromophenol impairs zebrafish reproduction

    SciTech Connect

    Deng Jun; Liu Chunsheng; Yu Liqin; Zhou Bingsheng

    2010-02-15

    Tribromophenol (2,4,6-TBP) is ubiquitously found in aquatic environments and biota. In this study, we exposed zebrafish embryos (F{sub 0}; 2'''' days post-fertilization, dpf) to environmental concentration (0.3 mug/L) and a higher concentration (3.0 mug/L) of TBP and assessed the impact of chronic exposure (120 dpf) on reproduction. TBP exposure did not cause a significant increase in the malformation and reduction in the survival in the F{sub 0}-generation fish. After TBP exposure, the plasma testosterone and estradiol levels significantly increased in males and decreased in females. The transcription of steroidogenic genes (3beta-HSD, 17beta-HSD, CYP17, CYP19A, CYP19B) was significantly upregulated in the brain and testes in males and downregulated in the brain and ovary in females. TBP exposure significantly downregulated and upregulated the expression of VTG in the liver of female and male fish, respectively. Meanwhile, TBP exposure altered the sex ratio toward a male-dominant state. The F{sub 1}-generation larvae exhibited increased malformation, reduced survival, and retarded growth, suggesting that TBP in the aquatic environment has significant adverse effects on fish population.

  20. Remote sensing of landscape-level coastal environmental indicators.

    PubMed

    Klemas, V V

    2001-01-01

    Advances in technology and decreases in cost are making remote sensing (RS) and geographic information systems (GIS) practical and attractive for use in coastal resource management. They are also allowing researchers and managers to take a broader view of ecological patterns and processes. Landscape-level environmental indicators that can be detected by Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and other remote sensors are available to provide quantitative estimates of coastal and estuarine habitat conditions and trends. Such indicators include watershed land cover, riparian buffers, shoreline and wetland changes, among others. With the launch of Landsat 7, the cost of TM imagery has dropped by nearly a factor of 10, decreasing the cost of monitoring large coastal areas and estuaries. New satellites, carrying sensors with much finer spatial (1-5 m) and spectral (200 narrow bands) resolutions are being launched, providing a capability to more accurately detect changes in coastal habitat and wetland health. Advances in the application of GIS help incorporate ancillary data layers to improve the accuracy of satellite land-cover classification. When these techniques for generating, organizing, storing, and analyzing spatial information are combined with mathematical models, coastal planners and managers have a means for assessing the impacts of alternative management practices.

  1. A Study on Environmental Knowledge Level of Primary Students in Turkey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gökdere, Murat

    2005-01-01

    The education system in Turkey has responded promptly to the need for environmental education (EE). However, the existing lack of relevant research may limit the functionality of EE programs in Turkey. In this study, the goal was to develop an environmental conscious database that would allow effective planning of EE. Specifically, the study was…

  2. Toxic effects of pesticide mixtures at a molecular level: their relevance to human health.

    PubMed

    Hernández, Antonio F; Parrón, Tesifón; Tsatsakis, Aristidis M; Requena, Mar; Alarcón, Raquel; López-Guarnido, Olga

    2013-05-10

    Pesticides almost always occur in mixtures with other ones. The toxicological effects of low-dose pesticide mixtures on the human health are largely unknown, although there are growing concerns about their safety. The combined toxicological effects of two or more components of a pesticide mixture can take one of three forms: independent, dose addition or interaction. Not all mixtures of pesticides with similar chemical structures produce additive effects; thus, if they act on multiple sites their mixtures may produce different toxic effects. The additive approach also fails when evaluating mixtures that involve a secondary chemical that changes the toxicokinetics of the pesticide as a result of its increased activation or decreased detoxification, which is followed by an enhanced or reduced toxicity, respectively. This review addresses a number of toxicological interactions of pesticide mixtures at a molecular level. Examples of such interactions include the postulated mechanisms for the potentiation of pyrethroid, carbaryl and triazine herbicides toxicity by organophosphates; how the toxicity of some organophosphates can be potentiated by other organophosphates or by previous exposure to organochlorines; the synergism between pyrethroid and carbamate compounds and the antagonism between triazine herbicides and prochloraz. Particular interactions are also addressed, such as those of pesticides acting as endocrine disruptors, the cumulative toxicity of organophosphates and organochlorines resulting in estrogenic effects and the promotion of organophosphate-induced delayed polyneuropathy.

  3. Longevity-relevant regulation of autophagy at the level of the acetylproteome.

    PubMed

    Mariño, Guillermo; Morselli, Eugenia; Bennetzen, Martin V; Eisenberg, Tobias; Megalou, Evgenia; Schroeder, Sabrina; Cabrera, Sandra; Bénit, Paule; Rustin, Pierre; Criollo, Alfredo; Kepp, Oliver; Galluzzi, Lorenzo; Shen, Shensi; Malik, Shoaib A; Maiuri, Maria Chiara; Horio, Yoshiyuki; López-Otín, Carlos; Andersen, Jens S; Tavernarakis, Nektarios; Madeo, Frank; Kroemer, Guido

    2011-06-01

    The acetylase inhibitor, spermidine and the deacetylase activator, resveratrol, both induce autophagy and prolong life span of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans in an autophagydependent fashion. Based on these premises, we investigated the differences and similarities in spermidine and resveratrol-induced autophagy. The deacetylase sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and its orthologs are required for the autophagy induction by resveratrol but dispensable for autophagy stimulation by spermidine in human cells, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and C. elegans. SIRT1 is also dispensable for life-span extension by spermidine. Mass spectrometry analysis of the human acetylproteome revealed that resveratrol and/or spermidine induce changes in the acetylation of 560 peptides corresponding to 375 different proteins. Among these, 170 proteins are part of the recently elucidated human autophagy protein network. Importantly, spermidine and resveratrol frequently affect the acetylation pattern in a similar fashion. In the cytoplasm, spermidine and resveratrol induce convergent protein de-acetylation more frequently than convergent acetylation, while in the nucleus, acetylation is dominantly triggered by both agents. We surmise that subtle and concerted alterations in the acetylproteome regulate autophagy at multiple levels.

  4. Structural characterization of environmentally relevant ternary uranyl citrate complexes present in aqueous solutions and solid state materials.

    PubMed

    Basile, Madeline; Unruh, Daniel K; Flores, Erin; Johns, Adam; Forbes, Tori Z

    2015-02-14

    Organic acids are important metal chelators in environmental systems and tend to form soluble complexes in aqueous solutions, ultimately influencing the transport and bioavailability of contaminants in surface and subsurface waters. This is particularly true for the formation of uranyl citrate complexes, which have been utilized in advanced photo- and bioremediation strategies for soils contaminated with nuclear materials. Given the complexity of environmental systems, the formation of ternary or heterometallic uranyl species in aqueous solutions are also expected, particularly with Al(iii) and Fe(iii) cations. These ternary forms are reported to be more stable in aqueous solutions, potentially enhancing contaminant mobility and uptake by organisms, but the exact coordination geometries of these soluble molecular complexes have not been elucidated. To provide insight into the nature of these species, we have developed a series of geochemical model compounds ([(UO(2))(2)Al(2)(C(6)H(4)O(7))(4)](6-) (U(2)Al(2)), [(UO(2))(2)Fe(2)(C(6)H(4)O(7))(4)](6-) (U(2)Fe(2)-1) and [(UO(2))(2)Fe(2)(C(6)H(4)O(7))(4)(H(2)O)(2)](6-) (U(2)Fe(2)-2) and [(UO(2))(2)Fe(4)(OH)(4)(C(6)H(4)O(7))(4)](8-) (U(2)Fe(4))) that were characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction and vibrational spectroscopy. Mass spectroscopy was then employed to compare the model compounds to species present in aqueous solutions to provide an enhanced understanding of the ternary uranyl citrate complexes that could be relevant in natural systems.

  5. POPTOX: Population-level responses of an amphipod to contaminated marine sediments and other environmental stresses

    SciTech Connect

    DeWitt, T.H. |

    1994-12-31

    Experimental measurements of population-level responses are useful to environmental management in two ways: (1) to estimate the fitness of populations in an ecological-risk study, and (2) to evaluate the ecological relevance of shorter-term acute and chronic toxicity tests that use the same test species. An experimental system was developed for modeling the population-level responses of the burrowing, estuarine amphipod, Leptocheirus plumulosus, to environmental stresses, including chemical contamination. Replicate cohorts of newborn amphipods were exposed to natural and anthropogenic (PAH-contaminated sediment) stresses under static-renewal conditions over periods varying up to their full life-span. The amphipods were periodically removed from the sediment, censused, measured, and returned alive to the exposure chamber; the resulting life-history data were used to develop age-based, matrix-algebraic, population-projection models. Preliminary experiments revealed that an exposure period of 12 weeks with a sampling frequency of 2 weeks was sufficient to model the population dynamics of this amphipod. This experimental system may also be,used to study the interaction between anthropogenic stresses and ecological stresses under controlled and long-term exposures.

  6. Level of environmental threat posed by horticultural trade in Cactaceae.

    PubMed

    Novoa, Ana; Le Roux, Johannes J; Richardson, David M; Wilson, John R U

    2017-01-11

    Ornamental horticulture has been identified as an important threat to plant biodiversity and the major pathway for plant invasions worldwide. In this context, the family Cactaceae is particularly interesting and challenging for three main reasons-it is considered the fifth most threatened major taxonomic group in the world; several cactus species are amongst the most widespread and damaging invasive species; and Cactaceae is one of the most popular horticultural plant groups. Based on CITES trade data and the eleven main auction sites selling cacti on the internet we document a substantial global trade from and to almost all continents. While less than 20 % of this trade involves threatened species, and less than 3% involves known invasive species, many species are sold without a valid scientific name. Importantly, however, hardly any of the globally traded cacti are collected from wild populations. In order to provide an in-depth look at the dynamics of the industry, we surveyed the businesses involved in the cactus trade in South Africa (one of the main hotspots of cactus trade and invasions). Despite a large commercial network, all South African imports (of which only 15 % and 1.5 % were of species listed as threatened and invasive, respectively) came from the same source. We purchased seeds of every available species and, based on DNA-barcoding techniques, could only identify 24 % of the species to genus level. If trade restrictions are placed on the small proportion of cacti that are invasive and there is no major increase in harvesting of native populations, the commercial cactus horticultural trade will pose a negligible environmental threat. However, there are currently no effective methods for easily identifying which cacti are traded, and both the illicit harvesting of cacti from the wild and the informal trade in invasive taxa pose on-going conservation challenges. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  7. Cork stoppers as an effective sorbent for water treatment: the removal of mercury at environmentally relevant concentrations and conditions.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Cláudia B; Oliveira, Joana R; Rocha, Luciana S; Tavares, Daniela S; Silva, Carlos M; Silva, Susana P; Hartog, Niels; Duarte, Armando C; Pereira, E

    2014-02-01

    The technical feasibility of using stopper-derived cork as an effective biosorbent towards bivalent mercury at environmentally relevant concentrations and conditions was evaluated in this study. Only 25 mg/L of cork powder was able to achieve 94 % of mercury removal for an initial mercury concentration of 500 μg/L. It was found that under the conditions tested, the efficiency of mercury removal expressed as equilibrium removal percentage does not depend on the amount of cork or its particle size, but is very sensitive to initial metal concentration, with higher removal efficiencies at higher initial concentrations. Ion exchange was identified as one of the mechanisms involved in the sorption of Hg onto cork in the absence of ionic competition. Under ionic competition, stopper-derived cork showed to be extremely effective and selective for mercury in binary mixtures, while in complex matrices like seawater, moderate inhibition of the sorption process was observed, attributed to a change in mercury speciation. The loadings achieved are similar to the majority of literature values found for other biosorbents and for other metals, suggesting that cork stoppers can be recycled as an effective biosorbent for water treatment. However, the most interesting result is that equilibrium data show a very rare behaviour, with the isotherm presenting an almost square convex shape to the concentration axis, with an infinite slope for an Hg concentration in solution around 25 μg/L.

  8. Sublethal effects of the beta-blocker sotalol at environmentally relevant concentrations on the New Zealand mudsnail Potamopyrgus antipodarum.

    PubMed

    Feiner, Mona; Laforsch, Christian; Letzel, Thomas; Geist, Juergen

    2014-11-01

    Monitoring sublethal effects of pharmaceuticals on nontarget species in aquatic environments has become an important topic in ecotoxicology, yet few studies have been conducted concerning the effects of beta-blockers on aquatic organisms. The present study investigated the effects of the beta-blocker sotalol (SOT) at 3 environmentally relevant concentrations on life-history traits of the New Zealand mudsnail Potamopyrgus antipodarum. Based on the pharmacodynamic properties of SOT, the authors hypothesized reduced numbers of embryos in the brood pouches, decelerated growth of adult snails, and smaller size of neonates, but no effect on mortality rates of adults. Contrary to the hypothesis, the total number of embryos was significantly higher after 56 d of exposure at nominal concentrations of 0.05 µg/L and 1.0 µg/L by 107% and 73%, respectively. No differences in embryo numbers were observed at earlier time-points. Therefore, the mode of action seems to be an extension of the reproductive period rather than an increase of the embryo production. Furthermore, our results indicate a hormetic dose-response relationship, because no effects were observed at the highest test-concentration (6.5 µg/L). Mortality, growth of adult snails, and neonate sizes were not affected by the beta-blocker. Given the strong influence on reproduction, the effects of sublethal concentrations of SOT and other beta-blockers deserve better consideration in ecotoxicological risk assessment.

  9. Environmentally Relevant Concentrations of Atrazine and Ametrine Induce Micronuclei Formation and Nuclear Abnormalities in Erythrocytes of Fish.

    PubMed

    Botelho, R G; Monteiro, S H; Christofoletti, C A; Moura-Andrade, G C R; Tornisielo, V L

    2015-11-01

    A rapid and sensitive method using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry triple quadrupole direct aqueous injection for analysis of atrazine and ametrine herbicides in surface waters was developed. According to the validation method, water samples from six different locations in the Piracicaba River were collected monthly from February 2011 to January 2012 and injected into a liquid chromatographer/dual mass spectrometer without the need for sample extraction. The method was validated and shown to be precise and accurate; limits of detection and quantification were 0.07 and 0.10 µg L(-1) for atrazine and 0.09 and 0.14 µg L(-1) for ametrine. During the sampling period, concentrations of atrazine ranged from 0.11 to 1.92 µg L(-1) and ametrine from 0.25 to 1.44 µg L(-1). After analysis of the herbicides, Danio rerio were exposed a range of concentrations found in the river water to check the induction of micronuclei and nuclear abnormalities (NAs) in erythrocytes. Concentrations of atrazine and ametrine >1.0 and 1.5 µg L(-1), respectively, induced MN formation in D. rerio. Ametrine was shown to be more genotoxic to D. rerio because a greater incidence of NAs was observed compared with atrazine. Therefore, environmentally relevant concentrations of atrazine and ametrine found in the Piracicaba River are dangerous to the aquatic biota.

  10. DNA alterations triggered by environmentally relevant polymetallic concentrations in marine clams Ruditapes philippinarum and polychaete worms Hediste diversicolor.

    PubMed

    Dedeh, Amina; Ciutat, Aurélie; Tran, Damien; Bourdineaud, Jean-Paul

    2014-11-01

    We exposed marine clams (Ruditapes philippinarum) and aquatic worms (Hediste diversicolor) to environmentally relevant concentrations of two metal mixtures each containing three divalent metals [(C₁ in µg/L) cadmium (Cd) 1, mercury (Hg) 0.1, and lead (Pb) 4] and [C₂ in µg/L) Cd 17, Hg 1.1, and Pb 55]. Animals collected in the Arcachon Bay were exposed for 8 days in microcosms made up of a mixed biotope consisting of a water column and natural marine sediment both taken up from the Arcachon Bay. Bioaccumulation analysis showed a significant increase of Cd, Hg, and Pb in clams, particularly at C₂ concentration in the water column reaching, in soft body, 2.3 ± 0.3 µg Cd/g, 0.7 ± 0.2 µg Hg/g, and 45 µg Pb/g dry weight (dw). DNA alterations and upregulation of the cox1 mitochondrial gene were also observed in clam gill after exposure to the metal blend. For worms exposed to the C₂ metal blend, DNA alterations and significant increase of Cd and Hg concentrations were observed reaching 0.5 ± 0.1 µg Cd/g and 2 ± 0.6 µg Hg/g dw.

  11. Environmentally relevant concentrations of DE-71 and HBCD alter eggshell thickness and reproductive success of American kestrels.

    PubMed

    Fernie, Kim J; Shutt, J Laird; Letcher, Robert J; Ritchie, Ian J; Bird, David M

    2009-03-15

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and total alpha-hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) are flame-retardant additives that are commonly used in household and commercial applications. PBDE congeners, which are comprised of technical mixtures such as DE-71, are globally persistent and their concentrations are increasing in many species. Captive American kestrels (Falco sparverius) were exposed by diet to vehicle (safflower oil), or one of two environmentally relevant concentrations of DE-71 and unintentionally to HBCD. This exposure resulted in the birds laying eggs that contain PBDE and HBCD concentrations currently found in wild herring gull (Larus argentatus) and peregrine falcon (F. peregrinus) eggs, and compared to control kestrels, resulted in delayed egg laying and smaller eggs being laid, caused thinner eggshells and differential weight loss during embryonic development, and reduced fertility and reproductive success. The thickness of the eggshell declined as the concentrations of all measured PBDE and the total amount of a-HBCD congeners (except BDE-183 and BDE-209) increased; increasing concentrations of BDE-153, BDE-154, BDE-28, BDE-17, delayed egg laying, reduced eggshell mass (plus sigmaPBDEs), and reduced fledging success (BDE-153 and BDE-154 only). BDE-153 is the dominant congener recently found in peregrine eggs. The results of this study are consistent with the PBDE-associated brood reduction in wild European peregrines and may partially explain the decline of kestrels in North America.

  12. The Effects of Mothers' Educational Levels on University Students' Environmental Protection Commitments and Environmental Behaviors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saraçli, Sinan; Yilmaz, Veysel; Arslan, Talha

    2014-01-01

    Problem Statement: The damage caused by recent environmental problems has led to increased environmental concerns and the development of environment-friendly consumption behaviours in almost every society. Environment-friendly consumption involves the consideration of environmental benefits by minimizing any damage done to the environment at all…

  13. Studies of Corrosion Resistant Materials Being Considered for High-Level Nuclear Waste Containment in Yucca Mountain Relevant Environments

    SciTech Connect

    McCright, R.D.; Ilevbare, G.; Estill, J.; Rebak, R.

    2001-12-09

    Containment of spent nuclear fuel and vitrified forms of high level nuclear waste require use of materials that are highly corrosion resistant to all of the anticipated environmental scenarios that can occur in a geological repository. Ni-Cr-Mo Alloy 22 (UNS N60622) is proposed for the corrosion resistant outer barrier of a two-layer waste package container at the potential repository site at Yucca Mountain. A range of water compositions that may contact the outer barrier is under consideration, and a testing program is underway to characterize the forms of corrosion and to quantify the corrosion rates. Results from the testing support models for long term prediction of the performance of the container. Results obtained to date indicate a very low general corrosion rate for Alloy 22 and very high resistance to all forms of localized and environmentally assisted cracking in environments tested to date.

  14. The Materials Used and the Pupils Involved in Environmental Studies and Environmental Science at GCE 'O' and 'A' Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gayford, Christopher

    1984-01-01

    Discusses types of students and materials and resources used in O- and A-level environmental studies and environmental science courses. Indicates that these subjects are very susceptable to the attitudes of teachers (as shown by their willingness to produce satisfactory materials) and by the motivation of students. (JN)

  15. Characterization and environmental relevance of oil water preparations of fresh and weathered MC-252 Macondo oils used in toxicology testing.

    PubMed

    Sandoval, Kathia; Ding, Yan; Gardinali, Piero

    2017-01-15

    results from high-energy preparations needs to be further evaluated. When the TPAHs concentrations of all preparations at all loadings were compared with the publicly available water-column data for samples analyzed during and after the DWH incident response they all ranked above the vast majority of the 10,828 samples reported. Until a better characterization of all the available DWH water column individual-component chemistry data is produced the question of environmental relevance and the pursuit of toxicological studies under more realistic conditions continues to be a significant challenge that should be further explored.

  16. Immunomodulation of Mytilus hemocytes by individual estrogenic chemicals and environmentally relevant mixtures of estrogens: in vitro and in vivo studies.

    PubMed

    Canesi, Laura; Lorusso, Lucia Cecilia; Ciacci, Caterina; Betti, Michele; Rocchi, Marco; Pojana, Giulio; Marcomini, Antonio

    2007-02-15

    Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are almost ubiquitous in the aquatic environment. In the marine bivalve Mytilus the natural estrogen 17beta-estradiol (E2) and different EDCs have been recently demonstrated to affect the function of the immune cells, the hemocytes. The effects were Tamoxifen-sensitive and were mediated by rapid modulation of kinase-mediated transduction pathways. In this work we compared the in vitro effects of individual estrogenic chemicals (E2, EE: 17alpha-ethynyl estradiol; MES: mestranol; NP: nonylphenol; NP1EC: nonylphenol monoethoxylate carboxylate; BPA: bisphenol A; BP: benzophenone) on hemocyte parameters: lysosomal membrane stability (LMS), phagocytosis, lysozyme release. LMS was the most sensitive effect parameter, showing a decreasing trend at increasing concentrations of estrogens. EC50 values obtained from LMS data were utilized to calculate the estradiol equivalency factor (EEF) for each compound; these EEFs allowed for an estimation of the estrogenic potential of a synthetic mixture with a composition very similar to that previously found in waters of the Venice lagoon. Concentrated mixtures significantly affected hemocyte parameters in vitro and the effects were prevented by Tamoxifen. Significant effects of the mixture were also observed in vivo, at longer exposure times and at concentrations comparable with environmental exposure levels. The results indicate that Mytilus immune parameters can be suitably utilized to evaluate the estrogenic potential of environmental samples.

  17. Effects of nanomolar copper on water plants--comparison of biochemical and biophysical mechanisms of deficiency and sublethal toxicity under environmentally relevant conditions.

    PubMed

    Thomas, George; Stärk, Hans-Joachim; Wellenreuther, Gerd; Dickinson, Bryan C; Küpper, Hendrik

    2013-09-15

    Toxicity and deficiency of essential trace elements like Cu are major global problems. Here, environmentally relevant sub-micromolar concentrations of Cu (supplied as CuSO4) and simulations of natural light- and temperature cycles were applied to the aquatic macrophyte Ceratophyllum demersum. Growth was optimal at 10nM Cu, while PSII activity (Fv/Fm) was maximal around 2 nM Cu. Damage to the PSII reaction centre was the first target of Cu toxicity, followed by disturbed regulation of heat dissipation (NPQ). Only after that, electron transport through PSII (ΦPSII) was inhibited, and finally chlorophylls decreased. Copper accumulation in the plants was stable until 10nM Cu in solution, but strongly increased at higher concentrations. The vein was the main storage site for Cu up to physiological concentrations (10nM). At toxic levels it was also sequestered to the epidermis and mesophyll until export from the vein became inhibited, accompanied by inhibition of Zn uptake. Copper deficiency led to a complete stop of growth at "0"nM Cu after 6 weeks. This was accompanied by high starch accumulation although electron flow through PSII (ΦPSII) decreased from 2 weeks, followed by decrease in pigments and increase of non photochemical quenching (NPQ). Release of Cu from the plants below 10nM Cu supply in the nutrient solution indicated lack of high-affinity Cu transporters, and on the tissue level copper deficiency led to a re-distribution of zinc.

  18. Exposure of Female Rats to an Environmentally Relevant Mixture of Brominated Flame Retardants Targets the Ovary, Affecting Folliculogenesis and Steroidogenesis1

    PubMed Central

    Lefèvre, Pavine L.C.; Berger, Robert G.; Ernest, Sheila R.; Gaertner, Dean W.; Rawn, Dorothea F.K.; Wade, Michael G.; Robaire, Bernard; Hales, Barbara F.

    2015-01-01

    Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are incorporated into various consumer products to prevent flame propagation. These compounds leach into the domestic environment, resulting in chronic exposure and contamination. Pregnancy failure is associated with high levels of BFRs in human follicular fluid, raising serious questions regarding their impact on female reproductive health. The goal of this study is to elucidate the effects of an environmentally relevant BFR mixture on female rat ovarian functions (i.e., folliculogenesis and steroidogenesis). A BFR dietary mixture formulated to mimic the relative BFR congener levels in North American house dust was administered to adult female Sprague-Dawley rats from 2 to 3 wk before mating until Gestational Day 20; these diets were designed to deliver nominal doses of 0, 0.06, 20, or 60 mg/kg/day of the BFR mixture. Exposure to BFRs triggered an approximately 50% increase in the numbers of preantral and antral follicles and an enlargement of the antral follicles in the ovaries of the dams. A significant reduction in the expression of catalase, an antioxidant enzyme, and downregulation of the expression of insulin-like factor 3 (Insl3) and 17alpha-hydroxylase (Cyp17a1) were observed in the ovary. In addition, BFR exposure affected steroidogenesis; we observed a significant decrease in circulating 17-hydroxypregnenolone and an increase in testosterone concentrations in BFR-exposed dams. Thus, BFRs target ovarian function in the rat, adversely affecting both folliculogenesis and steroidogenesis. PMID:26607716

  19. New techniques of low level environmental radiation monitoring at JLab

    SciTech Connect

    P. Degtiarenko, V. Popov

    2010-07-01

    We present the first long-term environmental radiation monitoring results obtained using the technique of pulse mode readout for the industry-standard Reuter-Stokes RSS-1013 argon-filled high pressure ionization chambers (HPIC). With novel designs for the front-end electronics readout and customized signal processing algorithms, we are capable of detecting individual events of gas ionization in the HPIC, caused by interactions of gammas and charged particles in the gas. The technique provides enough spectroscopic information to distinguish between several different types of environmental and man-made radiation. The technique also achieves a high degree of sensitivity and stability of the data, allowing long-term environmental radiation monitoring with unprecedented precision.

  20. Effects of the boscalid fungicide Filan® on the marine amphipod Allorchestes compressa at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Vu, Hung T; Keough, Michael J; Long, Sara M; Pettigrove, Vincent J

    2016-05-01

    Fungicides are widely used in agriculture to control fungal diseases. After application, fungicides can be transported offsite to surface and groundwater and ultimately enter estuarine and marine environments. The presence of fungicides in the marine environment may pose risks to marine organisms, but little is known about fungicide effects on these organisms, especially invertebrates. The present study investigated the effects of the commonly used boscalid fungicide Filan® on life history traits, feeding rate, and energy reserves (lipid, glycogen, and protein content) of the marine amphipod Allorchestes compressa over 6 wk under laboratory conditions. Amphipods were exposed to 3 concentrations of Filan (1 μg, 10 μg, and 40 μg active ingredient [a.i.]/L), with 5 replicates per treatment. Lipid content and reproduction were the most sensitive measures of effect, with lipid content reduced by 53.8% at the highest concentration. Survival, growth, and other energy reserves of amphipods were also negatively affected by Filan, and the effects were concentration dependent. Antennal deformities were incidentally observed on the amphipods at a concentration of 40 μg a.i./L. The results of the present study indicate comprehensive effects of the boscalid fungicide Filan on A. compressa at environmentally relevant concentrations. The decline or absence of A. compressa in marine ecosystems could impair the ecosystem function because of their important role in trophic transfer and nutrient recycling. The authors' results suggest that even though the use of fungicides is often regarded as posing only a minor risk to aquatic organisms, the assessment of their long-term effects is critical.

  1. Gene expression profiling to identify the toxicities and potentially relevant human disease outcomes associated with environmental heavy metal exposure.

    PubMed

    Korashy, Hesham M; Attafi, Ibraheem M; Famulski, Konrad S; Bakheet, Saleh A; Hafez, Mohammed M; Alsaad, Abdulaziz M S; Al-Ghadeer, Abdul Rahman M

    2017-02-01

    Heavy metals are the most commonly encountered toxic substances that increase susceptibility to various diseases after prolonged exposure. We have previously shown that healthy volunteers living near a mining area had significant contamination with heavy metals associated with significant changes in the expression of some detoxifying genes, xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes, and DNA repair genes. However, alterations of most of the molecular target genes associated with diseases are still unknown. Thus, the aims of this study were to (a) evaluate the gene expression profile and (b) identify the toxicities and potentially relevant human disease outcomes associated with long-term human exposure to environmental heavy metals in mining area using microarray analysis. For this purpose, 40 healthy male volunteers who were residents of a heavy metal-polluted area (Mahd Al-Dhahab city, Saudi Arabia) and 20 healthy male volunteers who were residents of a non-heavy metal-polluted area were included in the study. Total RNA was isolated from whole blood using PAXgene Blood RNA tubes and then reversed transcribed and hybridized to the gene array using the Affymetrix U219 GeneChip. Microarray analysis showed about 2129 genes were identified and differentially altered, among which a shared set of 425 genes was differentially expressed in the heavy metal-exposed groups. Ingenuity pathway analysis revealed that the most altered gene-regulated diseases in heavy metal-exposed groups included hematological and developmental disorders and mostly renal and urological diseases. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction closely matched the microarray data for some genes tested. Importantly, changes in gene-related diseases were attributed to alterations in the genes encoded for protein synthesis. Renal and urological diseases were the diseases that were most frequently associated with the heavy metal-exposed group. Therefore, there is a need for further studies to validate these

  2. Single and combined toxicity of pharmaceuticals at environmentally relevant concentrations in Daphnia magna--a multigenerational study.

    PubMed

    Dietrich, Sabine; Ploessl, Florian; Bracher, Franz; Laforsch, Christian

    2010-03-01

    Pharmaceuticals are continuously discharged into the environment, resulting in the chronic exposure of aquatic organisms to these compounds. In this multigenerational study, we examined the influence of four pharmaceuticals (carbamazepine (CBZ), diclofenac (DIC), 17alpha-ethinylestradiol (EE2) and metoprolol (MET)) as single substances and as a drug mixture at environmentally relevant concentrations on life-history and morphological parameters over six generations of the cladoceran Daphnia magna. Detectable effects of the used pharmaceuticals occured in the first observed generation, followed by an acclimation period and a recurrence of drug effects in later generations: daphnids exposed to MET were affected by the pharmaceutical, resulting in a decreased body length at first reproduction in the generations F0, F3 and F4 and in a reduced number of offspring in the generations F0 and F4. Similar effects were observed in daphnids exposed to EE2. DIC delayed age at first reproduction in the F0 and F2 generations and increased the body length of neonates in the generations F1 and F5. Daphnids exposed to CBZ showed a delay in the age at first reproduction for the F0 generation only. The drug mixture reduced the age at first reproduction of daphnids in the F0 and F2 generation and increased the body length at first reproduction in the generations F0 and F3. Neither the single drugs nor the pharmaceutical mixture influenced the successive generations of D. magna in a steady way. Thus, multigenerational studies are necessary to prevent insufficient assessments on the impact of pharmaceuticals in aquatic ecosystems.

  3. 24 CFR 35.1225 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.1225 Section 35.1225 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Tenant-Based Rental Assistance § 35.1225 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level... as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the designated party shall complete a...

  4. 24 CFR 35.1225 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.1225 Section 35.1225 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Tenant-Based Rental Assistance § 35.1225 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level... as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the designated party shall complete a...

  5. 24 CFR 35.730 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.730 Section 35.730 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Project-Based Assistance § 35.730 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level. (a... subpart applies has been identified as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the...

  6. 24 CFR 35.730 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.730 Section 35.730 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Project-Based Assistance § 35.730 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level. (a... subpart applies has been identified as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the...

  7. 24 CFR 35.1225 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.1225 Section 35.1225 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Tenant-Based Rental Assistance § 35.1225 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level... as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the designated party shall complete a...

  8. 24 CFR 35.325 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.325 Section 35.325 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... environmental intervention blood lead level. If a child less than 6 years of age living in a federally assisted dwelling unit has an environmental intervention blood lead level, the owner shall immediately conduct...

  9. 24 CFR 35.325 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.325 Section 35.325 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... environmental intervention blood lead level. If a child less than 6 years of age living in a federally assisted dwelling unit has an environmental intervention blood lead level, the owner shall immediately conduct...

  10. 24 CFR 35.1130 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.1130 Section 35.1130 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Public Housing Programs § 35.1130 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level. (a... been identified as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the PHA shall complete a...

  11. 24 CFR 35.325 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.325 Section 35.325 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... environmental intervention blood lead level. If a child less than 6 years of age living in a federally assisted dwelling unit has an environmental intervention blood lead level, the owner shall immediately conduct...

  12. 24 CFR 35.1130 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.1130 Section 35.1130 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Public Housing Programs § 35.1130 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level. (a... been identified as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the PHA shall complete a...

  13. 24 CFR 35.1130 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.1130 Section 35.1130 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Public Housing Programs § 35.1130 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level. (a... been identified as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the PHA shall complete a...

  14. 24 CFR 35.730 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.730 Section 35.730 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Project-Based Assistance § 35.730 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level. (a... subpart applies has been identified as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the...

  15. 24 CFR 35.325 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.325 Section 35.325 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... environmental intervention blood lead level. If a child less than 6 years of age living in a federally assisted dwelling unit has an environmental intervention blood lead level, the owner shall immediately conduct...

  16. 24 CFR 35.1225 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.1225 Section 35.1225 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Tenant-Based Rental Assistance § 35.1225 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level... as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the designated party shall complete a...

  17. 24 CFR 35.1130 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.1130 Section 35.1130 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Public Housing Programs § 35.1130 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level. (a... been identified as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the PHA shall complete a...

  18. 24 CFR 35.730 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.730 Section 35.730 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Project-Based Assistance § 35.730 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level. (a... subpart applies has been identified as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the...

  19. 24 CFR 35.325 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.325 Section 35.325 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... environmental intervention blood lead level. If a child less than 6 years of age living in a federally assisted dwelling unit has an environmental intervention blood lead level, the owner shall immediately conduct...

  20. 24 CFR 35.1225 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.1225 Section 35.1225 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Tenant-Based Rental Assistance § 35.1225 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level... as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the designated party shall complete a...

  1. 24 CFR 35.730 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.730 Section 35.730 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Project-Based Assistance § 35.730 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level. (a... subpart applies has been identified as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the...

  2. 24 CFR 35.1130 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.1130 Section 35.1130 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... STRUCTURES Public Housing Programs § 35.1130 Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level. (a... been identified as having an environmental intervention blood lead level, the PHA shall complete a...

  3. Evaluation of diagnostic relevance of mRNA levels in peripheral blood: predictive value for mortality in hemodialysis patients.

    PubMed

    Füth, Reiner; Herder, Christian; Förster, Stefan; Müller-Scholze, Sylvia; Kruse, Niels; Rieckmann, Peter; Heinig, Antonia; Koenig, Wolfgang; Scherbaum, Werner A; Kolb, Hubert; Martin, Stephan

    2004-09-21

    In clinical practice, diagnosis and risk prediction are usually based on the analysis of serum or plasma proteins whereas gene expression analysis is not used on a routine basis. In order to compare the diagnostic and predictive relevance of serum protein and peripheral blood mRNA levels, we determined cytokine levels of end-stage renal failure patients undergoing hemodialysis. These patients face a high mortality mainly due to acceleration of atherosclerosis and subsequent severe vascular events. mRNA expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF alpha was significantly elevated in hemodialysis patients and further increased after 2 h of dialysis treatment. In contrast, gene expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine TGF beta was significantly decreased. Patients who died during the observation period of 36 months had significantly increased mRNA levels of TNF alpha and decreased TGF beta mRNA expression at baseline. Survival analysis indicated that increased TNF alpha mRNA levels (P < 0.02) and TNF alpha/TGF beta mRNA ratios (P < 0.001) predict mortality. The corresponding cytokines in serum showed some association with disease, but serum concentrations neither changed during hemodialysis nor predicted mortality. This study shows that gene expression patterns of circulating leukocytes may present an important new diagnostic tool to predict clinical outcome in patients with inflammatory vascular diseases.

  4. Comparing the environmental footprints of home-care and personal-hygiene products: the relevance of different life-cycle phases.

    PubMed

    Koehler, Annette; Wildbolz, Caroline

    2009-11-15

    An in-depth life-cycle assessment of nine home-care and personal-hygiene products was conducted to determine the ecological relevance of different life-cycle phases and compare the environmental profiles of products serving equal applications. Using detailed data from industry and consumer-behavior studies a broad range of environmental impacts were analyzed to identify the main drivers in each life-cycle stage and potentials for improving the environmental footprints. Although chemical production significantly adds to environmental burdens, substantial impacts are caused in the consumer-use phase. As such, this research provides recommendations for product development, supply chain management, product policies, and consumer use. To reduce environmental burdens products should, for instance, be produced in concentrated form, while consumers should apply correct product dosages and low water temperatures during product application.

  5. An Explorative Study on Environmental Literacy among the Secondary Level Students in Bangladesh

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sarkar, Md. Mahbub Alam; Ara, Quazi Afroz Jahan; Raihan, Jahir; Ozaki, Koji

    2008-01-01

    This study was intended to explore the environmental literacy among the secondary level students of Bangladesh. Specifically, it was designed to: i) determine environmental knowledge of the secondary students, ii) explore their environmental attitude, iii) find out their environment related practices, and iv) explore school's environment-friendly…

  6. Cardiovascular actions of cadmium at environmental exposure levels

    SciTech Connect

    Kopp, S.J.; Glonek, T.; Perry, H.M. Jr.; Erlanger, M.; Perry, E.F.

    1982-08-27

    A low intake of dietary cadmium induces specific dose-dependent functional and biochemical changes in the cardiovascular tissues of rats. Maximum changes occur when the cadmium intake is 10 to 20 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. The changes reflect the accumulation of critical concentrations of cadmium in the cardiovascular tissues. The biologic activity of cadmium is demonstrated for intakes that approach those of the average American adult exposed to the usual environmental concentrations of the element but not to industrial concentrations. The sensitivity of the cardiovascular system to low doses of cadmium could not be anticipated by extrapolation from data on exposure to high concentrations of cadmium. The data support the hypothesis that ingested or inhaled environmental cadmium may contribute to essential hypertension in humans.

  7. Effects of chronic exposure to an environmentally relevant mixture of brominated flame retardants on the reproductive and thyroid system in adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Ernest, Sheila R; Wade, Michael G; Lalancette, Claudia; Ma, Yi-Qian; Berger, Robert G; Robaire, Bernard; Hales, Barbara F

    2012-06-01

    Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are incorporated into a wide variety of consumer products, are readily released into home and work environments, and are present in house dust. Studies using animal models have revealed that exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) may impair adult male reproductive function and thyroid hormone physiology. Such studies have generally characterized the outcome of acute or chronic exposure to a single BFR technical mixture or congener but not the impact of environmentally relevant BFR mixtures. We tested whether exposure to the BFRs found in house dust would have an adverse impact on the adult male rat reproductive system and thyroid function. Adult male Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to a complex BFR mixture composed of three commercial brominated diphenyl ethers (52.1% DE-71, 0.4% DE-79, and 44.2% decaBDE-209) and hexabromocyclododecane (3.3%), formulated to mimic the relative congener levels in house dust. BFRs were delivered in the diet at target doses of 0, 0.02, 0.2, 2, or 20 mg/kg/day for 70 days. Compared with controls, males exposed to the highest dose of BFRs displayed a significant increase in the weights of the kidneys and liver, which was accompanied by induction of CYP1A and CYP2B P450 hepatic drug-metabolizing enzymes. BFR exposure did not affect reproductive organ weights, serum testosterone levels, testicular function, or sperm DNA integrity. The highest dose caused thyroid toxicity as indicated by decreased serum thyroxine (T4) and hypertrophy of the thyroid gland epithelium. At lower doses, the thickness of the thyroid gland epithelium was reduced, but no changes in hormone levels (T4 and thyroid-stimulating hormone) were observed. Thus, exposure to BFRs affected liver and thyroid physiology but not male reproductive parameters.

  8. Human-relevant levels of added sugar consumption increase female mortality and lower male fitness in mice.

    PubMed

    Ruff, James S; Suchy, Amanda K; Hugentobler, Sara A; Sosa, Mirtha M; Schwartz, Bradley L; Morrison, Linda C; Gieng, Sin H; Shigenaga, Mark K; Potts, Wayne K

    2013-01-01

    Consumption of added sugar has increased over recent decades and is correlated with numerous diseases. Rodent models have elucidated mechanisms of toxicity, but only at concentrations beyond typical human exposure. Here we show that comparatively low levels of added sugar consumption have substantial negative effects on mouse survival, competitive ability, and reproduction. Using Organismal Performance Assays--in which mice fed human-relevant concentrations of added sugar (25% kcal from a mixture of fructose and glucose, modeling high fructose corn syrup) and control mice compete in seminatural enclosures for territories, resources and mates--we demonstrate that fructose/glucose-fed females experience a twofold increase in mortality while fructose/glucose-fed males control 26% fewer territories and produce 25% less offspring. These findings represent the lowest level of sugar consumption shown to adversely affect mammalian health. Clinical defects of fructose/glucose-fed mice were decreased glucose clearance and increased fasting cholesterol. Our data highlight that physiological adversity can exist when clinical disruptions are minor, and suggest that Organismal Performance Assays represent a promising technique for unmasking negative effects of toxicants.

  9. Recent progress in the genetics and epigenetics of paraoxonase: why it is relevant to children’s environmental health

    PubMed Central

    Holland, N; Lizarraga, D; Huen, K

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of review Children are more susceptible to exposures in utero and during early childhood that may result in developmental problems and chronic diseases. Novel discoveries in the field of molecular epidemiology which can help explain susceptibility to exposures and disease will be demonstrated using the multifunctional enzyme paraoxonase (PON1) as an example. Recent findings The broad PON1 variability in humans, partly due to differences in genetics and age, can confer differential susceptibility because this enzyme can detoxify organophosphate pesticides and has antioxidant properties. Epigenetics plays a significant role in the mediation of the effects of environmental exposure on human health and is hypothesized to be a major contributing factor to the early-life origins of adult disease. Studies highlighted in this review demonstrate the relationship of PON1 polymorphisms with microRNA binding in addition to a link between DNA methylation in the transcriptional regulatory region with changes in PON1 enzyme levels. Other important methodologies such as ancestry informative markers and lactonase activity can enhance studies involving PON1. Summary This PON1 model demonstrates that integrating genetic and epigenetic factors as well as other novel methodologies can improve our understanding of important susceptibility factors linked to pediatric disease. PMID:25635583

  10. Behavioral response of manatees to variations in environmental sound levels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miksis-Olds, J. L.; Wagner, T.

    2011-01-01

    Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) inhabit coastal regions because they feed on the aquatic vegetation that grows in shallow waters, which are the same areas where human activities are greatest. Noise produced from anthropogenic and natural sources has the potential to affect these animals by eliciting responses ranging from mild behavioral changes to extreme aversion. Sound levels were calculated from recordings made throughout behavioral observation periods. An information theoretic approach was used to investigate the relationship between behavior patterns and sound level. Results indicated that elevated sound levels affect manatee activity and are a function of behavioral state. The proportion of time manatees spent feeding and milling changed in response to sound level. When ambient sound levels were highest, more time was spent in the directed, goal-oriented behavior of feeding, whereas less time was spent engaged in undirected behavior such as milling. This work illustrates how shifts in activity of individual manatees may be useful parameters for identifying impacts of noise on manatees and might inform population level effects. ?? 2010 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

  11. Genetic and environmental impacts on DNA methylation levels in twins.

    PubMed

    Yet, Idil; Tsai, Pei-Chien; Castillo-Fernandez, Juan E; Carnero-Montoro, Elena; Bell, Jordana T

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetics describes the study of cellular modifications that can modify the expression of genes without changing the DNA sequence. DNA methylation is one of the most stable and prevalent epigenetic mechanisms. Twin studies have been a valuable model for unraveling the genetic and epigenetic epidemiology of complex traits, and now offer a potential to dissect the factors that impact DNA methylation variability and its biomedical significance. The twin design specifically allows for the study of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors, and their potential interactions, on epigenetic profiles. Furthermore, genetically identical twins offer a unique opportunity to assess nongenetic impacts on epigenetic profiles. Here, we summarize recent findings from twin studies of DNA methylation profiles across tissues, to define current knowledge regarding the genetic and nongenetic factors that influence epigenetic variation.

  12. Plant-based FRET biosensor discriminates environmental zinc levels.

    PubMed

    Adams, Joshua P; Adeli, Ardeshir; Hsu, Chuan-Yu; Harkess, Richard L; Page, Grier P; Depamphilis, Claude W; Schultz, Emily B; Yuceer, Cetin

    2012-02-01

    Heavy metal accumulation in the environment poses great risks to flora and fauna. However, monitoring sites prone to accumulation poses scale and economic challenges. In this study, we present and test a method for monitoring these sites using fluorescent resonance energy transfer (FRET) change in response to zinc (Zn) accumulation in plants as a proxy for environmental health. We modified a plant Zn transport protein by adding flanking fluorescent proteins (FPs) and deploying the construct into two different species. In Arabidopsis thaliana, FRET was monitored by a confocal microscope and had a 1.4-fold increase in intensity as the metal concentration increased. This led to a 16.7% overall error-rate when discriminating between a control (1μm Zn) and high (10mm Zn) treatment after 96h. The second host plant (Populus tremula×Populu salba) also had greater FRET values (1.3-fold increase) when exposed to the higher concentration of Zn, while overall error-rates were greater at 22.4%. These results indicate that as plants accumulate Zn, protein conformational changes occur in response to Zn causing differing interaction between FPs. This results in greater FRET values when exposed to greater amounts of Zn and monitored with appropriate light sources and filters. We also demonstrate how this construct can be moved into different host plants effectively including one tree species. This chimeric protein potentially offers a method for monitoring large areas of land for Zn accumulation, is transferable among species, and could be modified to monitor other specific heavy metals that pose environmental risks.

  13. (CALIFORNIA) META-ANALYSIS OF THE LIFE STYLE FACTORS RELEVANT TO ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS FOR THE AGING POPULATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The goal of this U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Aging Initiative study is to characterize activity patterns, physiological changes, and environmental exposures for the aging population. Meta-analysis was performed on more than 2000 reviewed articles to evaluate the l...

  14. Environmentalism and low-level waste-the aftermath

    SciTech Connect

    Pastorelle, P.J.

    1995-05-01

    Radical Environmentalists, anxious to shut down nuclear power, are directing efforts against the disposal of low-level radioactive wastes (contaminated coveralls, tools, paper, plastic, glass, etc.). The rationals is that if nuclear power facilities cannot dispose of their waste streams, eventually they may have to stop operating. This article discusses the political and practical issues surrounding this approach.

  15. Toxicity of CeO₂ nanoparticles on a freshwater experimental trophic chain: A study in environmentally relevant conditions through the use of mesocosms.

    PubMed

    Bour, Agathe; Mouchet, Florence; Cadarsi, Stéphanie; Silvestre, Jérôme; Verneuil, Laurent; Baqué, David; Chauvet, Eric; Bonzom, Jean-Marc; Pagnout, Christophe; Clivot, Hugues; Fourquaux, Isabelle; Tella, Marie; Auffan, Mélanie; Gauthier, Laury; Pinelli, Eric

    2016-01-01

    The toxicity of CeO2 NPs on an experimental freshwater ecosystem was studied in mesocosm, with a focus being placed on the higher trophic level, i.e. the carnivorous amphibian species Pleurodeles waltl. The system comprised species at three trophic levels: (i) bacteria, fungi and diatoms, (ii) Chironomus riparius larvae as primary consumers and (iii) Pleurodeles larvae as secondary consumers. NP contamination consisted of repeated additions of CeO2 NPs over 4 weeks, to obtain a final concentration of 1 mg/L. NPs were found to settle and accumulate in the sediment. No effects were observed on litter decomposition or associated fungal biomass. Changes in bacterial communities were observed from the third week of NP contamination. Morphological changes in CeO2 NPs were observed at the end of the experiment. No toxicity was recorded in chironomids, despite substantial NP accumulation (265.8 ± 14.1 mg Ce/kg). Mortality (35.3 ± 6.8%) and a mean Ce concentration of 13.5 ± 3.9 mg/kg were reported for Pleurodeles. Parallel experiments were performed on Pleurodeles to determine toxicity pathways: no toxicity was observed by direct or dietary exposures, although Ce concentrations almost reached 100 mg/kg. In view of these results, various toxicity mechanisms are proposed and discussed. The toxicity observed on Pleurodeles in mesocosm may be indirect, due to microorganism's interaction with CeO2 NPs, or NP dissolution could have occurred in mesocosm due to the structural complexity of the biological environment, resulting in toxicity to Pleurodeles. This study strongly supports the importance of ecotoxicological assessment of NPs under environmentally relevant conditions, using complex biological systems.

  16. Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity to Metals of Environmental Burden in Patients with Takotsubo Syndrome – Is There a Clinical Relevance?

    PubMed Central

    Manousek, Jan; Stejskal, Vera; Kubena, Petr; Jarkovsky, Jiri; Nemec, Petr; Lokaj, Petr; Dostalova, Ludmila; Zadakova, Andrea; Pavlusova, Marie; Benesova, Klara; Kala, Petr; Miklik, Roman; Spinar, Jindrich; Parenica, Jiri

    2016-01-01

    Objective Takotsubo syndrome (TS) is a heart condition characterised by a sudden transient left ventricular dysfunction; its pathophysiology is probably associated with elevated levels of catecholamines but the exact mechanism is not known as yet. Literature and clinical experience suggest that TS affects persons with various comorbidities. This pilot work aims to evaluate the frequency of comorbidities with potential pathological immune reactivity, and to evaluate the potential association between TS and hypersensitivity to metals assessed by LTT-MELISA®. Methodology, Results A total of 24 patients (23 women, 1 man) with a history of TS attack and 27 healthy controls were evaluated. Hypersensitivity was evaluated by a lymphocyte transformation test (LTT-MELISA®); a questionnaire of environmental burden was used to select evaluated metals. A total of 19 patients (79%) had at least one condition that might potentially be associated with pathological immune reactivity (autoimmune thyroid disease, drug allergy, bronchial asthma, cancer, contact dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis). Hypersensitivity to metals was identified significantly more frequently in TS patients than in healthy controls (positive reaction to at least one metal was identified in 95.8% of TS patients and in 59.3% of controls; p = 0.003); the difference was statistically significant for mercury (45.8% and 14.8%, respectively; p = 0.029). Conclusion Our work shows that conditions with pathological immune reactivity occur frequently in TS patients, and our data suggest a possible association between TS and hypersensitivity to metals (mercury in particular) evaluated by LTT-MELISA®. We also suggest that apart from the triggering stress factor, potential existence of other serious conditions should be considered when taking medical history of TS patients. PMID:27824862

  17. Study of genetic damage in the Japanese oyster induced by an environmentally-relevant exposure to diuron: evidence of vertical transmission of DNA damage.

    PubMed

    Barranger, A; Akcha, F; Rouxel, J; Brizard, R; Maurouard, E; Pallud, M; Menard, D; Tapie, N; Budzinski, H; Burgeot, T; Benabdelmouna, A

    2014-01-01

    Pesticides represent a major proportion of the chemical pollutants detected in French coastal waters and hence a significant environmental risk with regards to marine organisms. Commercially-raised bivalves are particularly exposed to pollutants, among them pesticides, as shellfish farming zones are subject to considerable pressure from agricultural activities on the mainland. The aims of this study were to determine (1) the genotoxic effects of diuron exposure on oyster genitors and (2) the possible transmission of damaged DNA to offspring and its repercussions on oyster fitness. To investigate these points, oysters were exposed to concentrations of diuron close to those detected in the Marennes-Oleron Basin (two 7-day exposure pulses at 0.4 and 0.6 μg L(-1)) during the gametogenesis period. Genomic abnormalities were characterized using two complementary approaches. The Comet assay was applied for the measurement of early and reversible primary DNA damage, whereas flow cytometry was used to assess the clastogenic and aneugenic effect of diuron exposure. Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Samplers (POCIS) were used in exposed and assay tanks to confirm the waterborne concentration of diuron reached during the experiment. The results obtained by the Comet assay clearly showed a higher level of DNA strand breaks in both the hemocytes and spermatozoa of diuron-exposed genitors. The transmission of damaged genetic material to gamete cells could be responsible for the genetic damage measured in offspring. Indeed, flow cytometry analyses showed the presence of DNA breakage and a significant decrease in DNA content in spat from diuron-exposed genitors. The transmission of DNA damage to the offspring could be involved in the negative effects observed on offspring development (decrease in hatching rate, higher level of larval abnormalities, delay in metamorphosis) and growth. In this study, the vertical transmission of DNA damage was so highlighted by subjecting oyster

  18. Effects of Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) Phosphate on Growth, Reproduction, and Gene Transcription of Daphnia magna at Environmentally Relevant Concentrations.

    PubMed

    Li, Han; Su, Guanyong; Zou, Ming; Yu, Liqin; Letcher, Robert J; Yu, Hongxia; Giesy, John P; Zhou, Bingsheng; Liu, Chunsheng

    2015-11-03

    The synthetic flame retardant tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCIPP) has been frequently detected in natural waters, and its maximum concentration ever reported is 377 ng/L. However, information on the adverse effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of TDCIPP on aquatic organisms are totally unknown. In this study, <12-h old water fleas, D. magna, were exposed to concentrations of 0, 65±7.1, 550±33, or 6500±1400 ng/L TDCIPP, and dose- and time-dependent effects on reproduction and development were evaluated. Sequences of genes of D. magna were obtained from the National Center for Biotechnology Information and were used to develop PCR arrays for D. magna. Arrays were then used to study transcriptional responses of D. magna to TDCIPP. Exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of TDCIPP significantly decreased fecundity as well as length of F0 and F1 generations. Transcriptional responses showed that, of the 155 genes tested, expressions of 57 genes were significantly changed, and some changes occurred following exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations (i.e., 65±7.1 and 550±23 ng/L). Furthermore, pathways related to protein synthesis and metabolism and endocytosis were considered to be significantly affected in a dose- and time-dependent manner and might be responsible for TDCIPP-induced reproductive and developmental toxicities.

  19. Estimating population health risk from low-level environmental radon

    SciTech Connect

    Fisher, D.R.

    1980-01-01

    Although incidence of respiratory cancer is directly related to inhalation of radon and radon daughters, the magnitude of the actual risk is uncertain for members of the general population exposed for long periods to low-level concentrations. Currently, any such estimate of the risk must rely on data obtained through previous studies of underground-miner populations. Several methods of risk analysis have resulted from these studies. Since the breathing atmospheres, smoking patterns, and physiology are different between miners and the general public, overestimates of lung cancer risk to the latter may have resulted. Strong evidence exists to support the theory of synergistic action between alpha radiation and other agents, and therefore a modified relative risk model was developed to predict lung cancer risks to the general public. The model considers latent period, observation period, age dependency, and inherent risks from smoking or geographical location. A test of the model showed excellent agreement with results of the study of Czechoslovakian uranium miners, for which the necessary time factors were available. The risk model was also used to predict lung cancer incidence among residents of homes on reclaimed Florida phosphate lands, and results of this analysis indicate that over the space of many years, the increased incidence of lung cancer due to elevated radon levels may be indisgtinguishable from those due to other causes.

  20. Environmental Security: United Nations Doctrine for Managing Environmental Issues in Military Actions. Volume 2. Selected International Treaties, Conventions and Protocols that Address Environment-Related Issues. Selected International Organizations Relevant to Environmental Security

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-07-01

    including, but not be limited to: 1) The common seas; 2) Land-resources and land-based pollution; 3) Tropical rain forests ; 4) Air quality; and 5...ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY THREATS 1. Ozone layer depletion 2. Global climate change (rising sea level, changing rain distribution) due to greenhouse gas...and earthquake-prone zones) and in ecologically sensitive zones (certain forest , desert, wetland and marine environments) 20. Human migration as

  1. Blood lead and cadmium levels and relevant factors among children from an e-waste recycling town in China

    SciTech Connect

    Zheng Liangkai; Wu Kusheng; Li Yan; Qi Zongli; Han Dai; Zhang Bao; Gu Chengwu; Chen Gangjian; Liu Junxiao; Chen Songjian; Xu Xijin; Huo Xia

    2008-09-15

    Background: Primitive electronic waste (e-waste) recycling is ongoing in Guiyu, and thus toxic heavy metals may keep on threatening to the health of local children. Some related factors may contribute to the elevation of blood lead levels (BLLs) or blood cadmium levels (BCLs). Objective: To investigate the children's BLLs and BCLs in Guiyu and Chendian as compare to discuss the effects of primitive e-waste recycling activities on children's health. Methods: Two hundred and seventy-eight children less than 8 years who lived in Guiyu and Chendian were observed, and their BLLs and BCLs were determined by graphite atomizer absorption spectrophotometer. Questionnaire survey for risk factors was also performed and data were analyzed using spearman correlation analyses and logistic regression analyses. Results: Children living in Guiyu had significantly higher BLLs and BCLs as compared with those living in Chendian (p<0.01). In Guiyu, 70.8% of children (109/154) had BLLs>10 {mu}g/dL, and 20.1% of children (31/154) had BCLs>2 {mu}g/L, compared with 38.7% of children (48/124) had BLLs>10 {mu}g/dL and 7.3% of children (9/124) had BCLs>2 {mu}g/L in Chendian (p<0.01, respectively). We also observed a significant increasing trend in BLLs with increasing age in Guiyu (p<0.01). Mean height of children in Guiyu was significantly lower than that in Chendian (p<0.01). The risk factors related to children's BLLs and BCLs mainly included father's engagement in the work related to e-waste, children's residence in Guiyu and the amount of time that children played outside near the road everyday. Conclusions: There are close relationships between the BLLs, BCLs in children and the primitive e-waste recycling activities in Guiyu. Environmental pollution, especially lead pollution, has threatened the health of children living around e-waste recycling site.

  2. A review of occupational safety and health issues relevant to the Environmental Restoration Program: Selected case histories and associated issues

    SciTech Connect

    Lesperance, A.M.; Siegel, M.R.; McKinney, M.C.

    1994-08-01

    Since the 1940s, US Department of Energy (DOE) sites have been used for nuclear materials processing and production, warhead testing, and weapons research and development. These activities have resulted in extensive environmental contamination. DOE has established a goal to cleanup and restore the groundwater, soils, sediments, and surface water at its facilities across the nation. To achieve this goal, many workers will be needed to conduct the cleanup. These workers will need training and will be required to follow occupational safety and health (OSH) regulations and guidelines. Compliance with the OSH regulations and guidelines will have an anomous influence on the schedule, money, and technology needed for environmental restoration. Therefore, one area that must be considered in the early stages of long-term planning is the impact of OSH issues on the environmental restoration process. The DOE Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management has requested that the Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) investigate the impact of these issues on the environmental restoration process.

  3. Developing a Successful State-Level Environmental Education Organization: A Nationwide Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smaldone, David; Dey, Shannon E.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to conduct a nationwide assessment of state-level environmental education (EE) organizations to determine the components that are essential to the establishment and success of these organizations. E-mail surveys were used to collect data from North American Association for Environmental Education state affiliates, and…

  4. Impact of a University-Level Environmental Studies Class on Students' Values

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMillan, Emily E.; Wright, Tarah; Beazley, Karen

    2004-01-01

    This study evaluates the impact of an introductory university-level environmental studies class on the environmental values of students. Interviews and questionnaires were used to determine whether values changed or developed after taking the class. Three stage unstructured interviews were conducted throughout the academic year. Questionnaires…

  5. p,p'-DDE Induces Gonadal Intersex in Japanese Medaka (Oryzias latipes) at Environmentally Relevant Concentrations: Comparison with o,p'-DDT.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jianxian; Wang, Chen; Peng, Hui; Zheng, Guomao; Zhang, Shiyi; Hu, Jianying

    2016-01-05

    Previous studies have reported high body burdens of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolites in wild fishes worldwide. This study evaluated the adverse effects of 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)-ethylene (p,p'-DDE) and o,p'-DDT on gonadal development and reproduction by exposing transgenic Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) from hatch for 100 days. While both p,p'-DDE and o,p'-DDT induced intersex in male medaka, the lowest observable effective concentration (LOEC) of o,p'-DDT was 57.7 ng/g ww, about 5-fold lower than that (272 ng/g ww) of p,p'-DDE. Since LOECs of both chemicals were comparable to the body concentrations in wild fish, DDT contamination would likely contribute to the occurrence of intersex observed in wild fish. Exposure to o,p'-DDT resulted in much higher expression of vitellogenin in liver of males than p,p'-DDE, accordant with the higher potency of o,p'-DDT than p,p'-DDE to induce intersex. This phenomenon could be partly explained by the significantly elevated levels of 17β-estradiol in plasma of males exposed to o,p'-DDT, in addition to its estrogenic activity via the estrogen receptor. Significantly lower fertilization (p = 0.006) and hatchability (p = 0.019) were observed in the 13 intersex males. This study for the first time demonstrated the induction of intersex and reproductive effects of p,p'-DDE and o,p'-DDT at environmentally relevant concentrations.

  6. 24 CFR 35.830 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.830 Section 35.830 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... intervention blood lead level. (a) Risk assessment. Within 15 days after being notified by a public health... an environmental intervention blood lead level, HUD shall complete a risk assessment of the...

  7. 24 CFR 35.830 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.830 Section 35.830 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... intervention blood lead level. (a) Risk assessment. Within 15 days after being notified by a public health... an environmental intervention blood lead level, HUD shall complete a risk assessment of the...

  8. 24 CFR 35.830 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.830 Section 35.830 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... intervention blood lead level. (a) Risk assessment. Within 15 days after being notified by a public health... an environmental intervention blood lead level, HUD shall complete a risk assessment of the...

  9. 24 CFR 35.830 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.830 Section 35.830 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... intervention blood lead level. (a) Risk assessment. Within 15 days after being notified by a public health... an environmental intervention blood lead level, HUD shall complete a risk assessment of the...

  10. 24 CFR 35.830 - Child with an environmental intervention blood lead level.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... intervention blood lead level. 35.830 Section 35.830 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary... intervention blood lead level. (a) Risk assessment. Within 15 days after being notified by a public health... an environmental intervention blood lead level, HUD shall complete a risk assessment of the...

  11. OCCURRENCE OF HIGH-LEVEL AMINOGLYCOSIDE RESISTANCE IN ENVIRONMENTAL ISOLATES OF ENTEROCOCCI

    EPA Science Inventory

    High-level resistance fo aminoglycosides was observed in environmental isolates of enterococci. Various aquatic habitats, including agricultural runoff, creeks, rivers, wastewater, and wells, were analyzed. Strains of Enterococcus faecalis, e.faecium, E. gallinarum, and other Ent...

  12. The Delivery System of Environmental Education at the Tertiary Level in the Asia-Pacific Region.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sato, Masahisa; Bhandari, Bishnu; Abe, Osamu

    2001-01-01

    Analyzes the delivery system of environmental education at the tertiary level in relation to higher education attendance rate. Describes the characteristics of the delivery system in countries such as China, India, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia. (Author/MM)

  13. Co-operation in Environmental Education at the Tertiary Level in the Asia-Pacific Region.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sato, Masahisa; Bhandari, Bishnu; Abe, Osamu

    2001-01-01

    Analyzes the co-operation in environmental education at the tertiary level with regard to sub-regions, which include North-East Asia, South-East Asia, South Asia, and the South Pacific. (Contains 17 references.) (YDS)

  14. The Interface of Environmental and Humane Education as an Emerging and Relevant Dialogue: A Point of View from Brazil

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castellano, Maria; Quirino de Luca, Andrea; Sorrentino, Marcos

    2011-01-01

    This article addresses the interface between environmental and humane education, as a theoretical and practical emerging field in Brazil. We begin by presenting conceptual similarities that, in our view, underpin and justify the need for a growing connection between the two fields of research and educational practice. We then describe an…

  15. DETERMINATION OF PHENOLS IN ENVIRONMENTALLY RELEVANT MATRICES WITH THE USE OF LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY WITH AN ENZYME ELECTRODE DETECTOR

    EPA Science Inventory

    A simple and rapid assay using HPLC with a tyrosinase-containing carbon paste electrode (Tyr-CPE) detector is demonstrated for the detection of phenol, p-cresol, p-methoxyphenol, and p-chlorophenol in environmental matrices. These compounds were measured in contaminated aqueous...

  16. Carboxylic acid functionalization prevents the translocation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes at predicted environmentally relevant concentrations into targeted organs of nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nouara, Abdelli; Wu, Qiuli; Li, Yinxia; Tang, Meng; Wang, Haifang; Zhao, Yuliang; Wang, Dayong

    2013-06-01

    Carboxyl (-COOH) surface modified multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs-COOH) can be used for targeted delivery of drugs and imaging. However, whether MWCNTs-COOH at environmentally relevant concentrations exert certain toxic effects on multicellular organisms and the underlying mechanisms are still largely unclear. In the present study, we applied the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to evaluate the properties of MWCNTs-COOH at environmentally relevant concentrations by comparing the effects of MWCNTs and MWCNTs-COOH exposure on C. elegans from L1-larvae to adult at concentrations of 0.001-1000 μg L-1. Exposure to MWCNTs could potentially damage the intestine (primary targeted organ) at concentrations greater than 0.1 μg L-1 and functions of neurons and reproductive organ (secondary targeted organs) at concentrations greater than 0.001 μg L-1. Carboxyl modification prevented the toxicity of MWCNTs on the primary and the secondary targeted organs at concentrations less than 100 μg L-1, suggesting that carboxyl modification can effectively prevent the adverse effects of MWCNTs at environmentally relevant concentrations. After exposure, MWCNTs-COOH (1 mg L-1) were translocated into the spermatheca and embryos in the body through the primary targeted organs. However, MWCNTs-COOH (10 μg L-1) were not observed in spermatheca and embryos in the body of nematodes. Moreover, relatively high concentrations of MWCNTs-COOH exposed nematodes might have a hyper-permeable intestinal barrier, whereas MWCNTs-COOH at environmentally relevant concentrations effectively sustained the normally permeable state for the intestinal barrier. Therefore, we elucidated the cellular basis of carboxyl modification to prevent toxicity of MWCNTs at environmentally relevant concentrations. Our data highlights the key role of biological barriers in the primary targeted organs to block toxicity formation from MWCNTs, which will be useful for the design of effective prevention strategies against

  17. Level 1 environmental assessment of cupola emissions at the Tioga Foundry

    SciTech Connect

    Menzies, K.T.; Adams, J.W.; Thrun, K.E.

    1984-01-01

    Sampling and analysis was undertaken to characterize and quantify particulate, organic and inorganic chemical concentrations in gaseous effluents downstream of an afterburner (AFB) or stack air addition (SAA) system in a cupola at the Tioga Casting Company in Owego, New York. The US Environmental Protection Agency/Industrial Environmental Research Laboratory (EPA/IERL) Level 1 environmental assessment procedures were used to determine if the level of pollutants present differed when using the AFB versus the SAA control device for reduction of carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations.

  18. Applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs) for remedial actions at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant: A compendium of environmental laws and guidance

    SciTech Connect

    Etnier, E.L.; Eaton, L.A. )

    1992-03-01

    Section 121 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 specifies that remedial actions for cleanup of hazardous substances found at sites placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must comply with applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs) or standards under federal and state environmental laws. To date, the US Department of Energy (DOE) Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) has not been on the NPL. Although DOE and EPA have entered into an Administrative Consent Order (ACO), the prime regulatory authority for cleanup at PGDP will be the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This report supplies a preliminary list of available federal and state ARARs that might be considered for remedial response at PGDP in the event that the plant becomes included on the NPL or the ACO is modified to include CERCLA cleanup. A description of the terms applicable'' and relevant and appropriate'' is provided, as well as definitions of chemical-, location-, and action-specific ARARS. ARARs promulgated by the federal government and by the state of Kentucky are listed in tables. In addition, the major provisions of RCRA, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and other acts, as they apply to hazardous and radioactive waste cleanup, are discussed.

  19. Environmental levels of Linear alkylbenzene Sulfonates (LAS) in sediments from the Tagus estuary (Portugal): environmental implications.

    PubMed

    Hampel, M; Canário, J; Branco, V; Vale, C; Blasco, J

    2009-02-01

    Sediments from the Tagus estuary (Portugal) were collected at 40 stations in July and December 2004. Total LAS concentrations ranged between 0.03 and 17.76 mg LAS.kg(-1) dry weight in July, and between 0.09 and 9.57 mg LAS.kg(-1) in December. Highest LAS concentrations were found at the upper northern part of the estuary, coincident with the localisation of an important waste water treatment station. According to the Predicted No Effect Concentration (PNEC) of 8.1 mg.kg(-1) derived for this compound, Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) identified a hazard for the ecosystem at the station with the highest LAS concentration, and similar results are obtained by Equilibrium Partitioning Method (EPM). Nevertheless, LAS concentrations decreased significantly between samplings in the stations with the highest LAS concentrations in July, whereas increased LAS concentrations at adjacent stations were found in December. In the remaining stations, LAS concentrations were up to three orders of magnitude lower, representing no hazard for the sediment community.

  20. NEA Research and Environmental Surveillance Programme related to sea disposal of low-level radioactive waste

    SciTech Connect

    Ruegger, B.; Templeton, W.L.; Gurbutt, P.

    1983-05-01

    Sea dumping operations of certain types of packaged low and medium-level radioactive wastes have been carried out since 1967 in the North-East Atlantic under the auspices of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency. On the occasion of the 1980 review of the continued suitability of the North-East Atlantic site used for the disposal of radioactive waste, it was recommended that an effort should be made to increase the scientific data base relating to the oceanographic and biological characteristics of the dumping area. In particular, it was suggested that a site specific model of the transfer of radionuclides in the marine environment be developed, which would permit a better assessment of the potential radiation doses to man from the dumping of radioactive waste. To fulfill these objectives a research and environmental surveillance programme related to sea disposal of radioactive waste was set up in 1981 with the participation of thirteen Member countries and the International Laboratory for Marine Radioactivity of the IAEA in Monaco. The research program is focused on five research areas which are directly relevant to the preparation of more site-specific assessments in the future. They are: model development; physical oceanography; geochemistry; biology; and radiological surveillance. Promising results have already been obtained and more are anticipated in the not too distant future. An interim description of the NEA dumping site has been prepared which provides an excellent data base for this area (NEA 1983).It includes data in bathymetry, isopycnal topography, local and larger scale currents, sediment distribution and sedimentary processes, hydrochemistry, deep ocean biology and results of radiochemical analyses of sea water, sediments and biological materials. The modelling work is also well advanced allowing comparison of results obtained from different codes. After integration of the models, sensitivity analyses will provide indications for future research needs.

  1. Impact of TiO₂ and ZnO nanoparticles at predicted environmentally relevant concentrations on ammonia-oxidizing bacteria cultures under ammonia oxidation.

    PubMed

    Luo, Zhuanxi; Qiu, Zhaozheng; Chen, Zheng; Du Laing, Gijs; Liu, Aifen; Yan, Changzhou

    2015-02-01

    Increased application of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles (nano-TiO2 and nano-ZnO) raises concerns related to their environmental impacts. The effects that such nanoparticles have on environmental processes and the bacteria that carry them out are largely unknown. In this study, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) enrichment cultures, grown from surface sediments taken from an estuary wetland in Fujian Province, China, were spiked with nano-TiO2 and nano-ZnO (with an average size of 32 and 43 nm, respectively) at predicted environmentally relevant concentrations (≤2 mg L(-1)) to determine their impacts on ammonia oxidation and the mechanisms involved. Results showed that higher nano-TiO2 concentrations significantly inhibited ammonia oxidation in enrichment cultures. It is noteworthy that the average ammonia oxidation rate was significantly correlated to the Shannon index, the Simpson's index, and AOB abundance. This suggested that ammonia oxidation inhibition primarily resulted from a reduction of AOB biodiversity and abundance. However, AOB biodiversity and abundance as well as the average ammonia oxidation rate were not inhibited by nano-ZnO at predicted environmentally relevant concentrations. Accordingly, an insignificant correlation was established between biodiversity and abundance of the AOB amoA gene and the average ammonia oxidation rate under nano-ZnO treatments. AOB present in samples belonged to the β-Proteobacteria class with an affinity close to Nitrosospira and Nitrosomonas genera. This suggested that identified impacts of nano-TiO2 and nano-ZnO on ammonia oxidation processes can be extrapolated to some extent to natural aquatic environments. Complex impacts on AOB may result from different nanomaterials present in aquatic environments at various ambient conditions. Further investigation on how and to what extent different nanomaterials influence AOB diversity and abundance and their subsequent ammonia oxidation processes is therefore

  2. Inhibition of cholinesterase activity by soil extracts and predicted environmental concentrations (PEC) to select relevant pesticides in polluted soils.

    PubMed

    Meza, Juan C Sanchez; Perez, Pedro Avila; Salin, Manuel Borja; Salazar, Victor F Pacheco; Lapoint, Tom

    2010-04-01

    The correlation of predicted environmental concentrations (PEC) with cholinesterase activity inhibition detected in soil extracts was determined. PEC was derived from organophosphate (OP) and carbamate (CA) compounds applied to a flower crop area. Samples of surface soil (0 - 30 cm in depth) and subsurface soil (30 to 60 cm in depth) were taken from a flower crop area in which OP pesticides such as acephate ((RS)-N-[methoxy(methylthio)phosphinoyl]acetamide), dimethoate (2-dimethoxyphosphinothioylthio-N-methylacetamide) and methyl parathion (O,O-dimethyl O-4-nitrophenyl phosphorothioate), and CA pesticides such as carbendazim (methyl benzimidazol-2-ylcarbamate), carbofuran (2,3-dihydro-2,2-dimethylbenzofuran-7-yl methylcarbamate) and methomyl (S-methyl (EZ)-N-(methylcarbamoyloxy) thioacetimidate) were applied for two years. Weekly loads of these pesticides were registered to estimate the annual load of each compound. Physicochemical analysis and relative inhibition of cholinesterasic activity were measured for each soil sample. PEC values were estimated with Pesticide Analytical Model (PESTAN), a leach model, for each pesticide using soil sample data obtained from physicochemical analysis. From all pesticides tested, only acephate and methomyl showed a significant correlation (p < 0.01) between PEC values and inhibition cholinesterase activity of soil extracts. These results suggest that inhibition of cholinesterase activity observed in soil extracts is produced mainly by these two pesticides. Further studies could be developed to measure acephate and methomyl concentrations to reduce their environmental impact.

  3. A relevant exposure to a food matrix contaminated environmentally by polychlorinated biphenyls induces liver and brain disruption in rats.

    PubMed

    Ounnas, Fayçal; Privé, Florence; Lamarche, Fréderic; Salen, Patricia; Favier-Hininger, Isabelle; Marchand, Philippe; Le Bizec, Bruno; Venisseau, Anais; Batandier, Cécile; Fontaine, Eric; de Lorgeril, Michel; Demeilliers, Christine

    2016-10-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous environmental contaminants present in dietary fats. Most studies evaluating PCB effects have been conducted with a single compound or a mixture of PCBs given as a single acute dose. The purpose of this study was to evaluate in vivo PCB toxicity in a realistic model of exposure: a low daily dose of PCBs (twice the tolerable daily intake (TDI)), chronically administered (8 weeks) to rats in contaminated goat milk. Liver and brain PCB toxicities were investigated by evaluating oxidative stress status and mitochondrial function. PCB toxicity in the liver was also estimated by transaminase enzymatic activity. This study shows that even at low doses, chronic PCB exposure resulted in a statistically significant reduction of mitochondrial function in liver and brain. In the liver, oxygen consumption in the condition of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production (state 3) decreased by 22-29% (p < 0.01), according to the respiratory substrates. In the brain, respiratory chain complexes II and III were reduced by 24% and 39%, respectively (p < 0.005). The exposed rats presented higher lipid peroxidation status (+20%, p < 0.05) and transaminase activity (+30%, p < 0.05) in the blood. Thus, our study showed that exposure of rats to a daily realistic dose of PCBs (twice the TDI in a food complex mixture of environmental origin) resulted in multiple disruptions in the liver and brain.

  4. Xanthan Exopolysaccharide: Cu(2+) Complexes Affected from the pH-Dependent Conformational State; Implications for Environmentally Relevant Biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Causse, Benjamin; Spadini, Lorenzo; Sarret, Géraldine; Faure, Adeline; Travelet, Christophe; Madern, Dominique; Delolme, Cécile

    2016-04-05

    The conformational impact of environmental biopolymers on metal sorption was studied through Cu sorption on xanthan. The apparent Cu(2+) complexation constant (logK; Cu(2+) + L(-) ↔ CuL(+)) decreased from 2.9 ± 0.1 at pH 3.5 to 2.5 ± 0.1 at pH 5.5 (ionic strength I = 0.1). This behavior is in apparent contradiction with basic thermodynamics, as usually the higher the pH the more cations bind. Our combined titration, circular dichroism and dynamic light scattering study indicated that the change observed in Cu bond strength relates to a conformational change of the structure of xanthan, which generates more chelating sites at pH 3.5 than at pH 5.5. This hypothesis was validated by the fact that the Cu sorption constants on xanthan were always higher than those measured on a mixture of pyruvic and glucuronic acids (logK = 2.2), which are the two constitutive ligands present in the xanthan monomer. This study shows the role of the structural conformation of natural biopolymers in metal bond strength. This finding may help to better predict the fate of Cu and other metals in acidic environmental settings such as aquatic media affected by acid mine drainage, as well as peats and acidic soils, and to better define optimal conditions for bioremediation processes.

  5. Estimated pKa values for the environmentally relevant C1 through C8 perfluorinated sulfonic acid isomers.

    PubMed

    Rayne, Sierra; Forest, Kaya

    2016-10-14

    In order to estimate isomer-specific acidity constants (pKa) for the perfluorinated sulfonic acid (PFSA) environmental contaminants, the parameterization method 6 (PM6) pKa prediction method was extensively validated against a wide range of carbon oxyacids and related sulfonic/sulfinic acids. Excellent pKa prediction performance was observed for the carbon oxyacids using the PM6 method, but this approach was found to have a severe positive bias for sulfonic/sulfinic acids. To overcome this obstacle, a correlation was developed between non-adjusted PM6 pKa values and the corresponding experimentally obtained/estimated acidity constants for a range of representative alkyl, aryl and halogen-substituted sulfonic acids. Application of this correction to the PM6 values allows for extension of this computational method to a new acid functional group. When used to estimate isomer-specific pKa values for the C1 through C8 PFSAs, the modified PM6 approach suggests an adjusted pKa range from -5.3 to -9.0, indicating that all members of this class of well-known environmental contaminants will be effectively completely dissociated in aquatic systems.

  6. The relevance of large scale environmental research infrastructures from the point of view of Ethics: the case of EMSO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favali, Paolo; Beranzoli, Laura; Best, Mairi; Franceschini, PierLuigi; Materia, Paola; Peppoloni, Silvia; Picard, John

    2014-05-01

    EMSO (European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory) is a large-scale European Research Infrastructure (RI). It is a geographically distributed infrastructure composed of several deep-seafloor and water-column observatories, which will be deployed at key sites in European waters, spanning from the Arctic, through the Atlantic and Mediterranean, to the Black Sea, with the basic scientific objective of real-time, long-term monitoring of environmental processes related to the interaction between the geosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere. EMSO is one of the environmental RIs on the ESFRI roadmap. The ESRFI Roadmap identifies new RIs of pan-European importance that correspond to the long term needs of European research communities. EMSO will be the sub-sea segment of the EU's large-scale Earth Observation program, Copernicus (previously known as GMES - Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) and will significantly enhance the observational capabilities of European member states. An open data policy compliant with the recommendations being developed within the GEOSS initiative (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) will allow for shared use of the infrastructure and the exchange of scientific information and knowledge. The processes that occur in the oceans have a direct impact on human societies, therefore it is crucial to improve our understanding of how they operate and interact. To encompass the breadth of these major processes, sustained and integrated observations are required that appreciate the interconnectedness of atmospheric, surface ocean, biological pump, deep-sea, and solid-Earth dynamics and that can address: • natural and anthropogenic change; • interactions between ecosystem services, biodiversity, biogeochemistry, physics, and climate; • impacts of exploration and extraction of energy, minerals, and living resources; • geo-hazard early warning capability for earthquakes, tsunamis, gas-hydrate release, and slope

  7. A review of occupational safety and health issues relevant to the environmental restoration program: Selected case histories and associated issues

    SciTech Connect

    Lesperance, A.M.; Siegel, M.R.; McKinney, M.D.

    1992-10-01

    This report describes a study conducted by Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) to determine the impact of occupational safety and health (OSH) issues on the environmental restoration process at US Department of Energy sites. PNL selected three remediation projects to study: (1) the 618-9 Burial Ground Expedited Removal Action at the Hanford Site, (2) the Chemical Consolidation Interim Response Action at the Weldon Spring Site, (3) and the 200 West Area Carbon Tetrachloride Expedited Removal Action and VOC-Arid Integration Demonstration at the Hanford Site. The first two case studies involve sites where a remediation activity has been complete. The third case study involves a remediation activity in its early stages of development. This study identifies OSH issues related to actual cleanup, time, documentation, training, and technology development. These issues need to be considered by DOE before making long-term planning efforts. Section 4.0 of this report describes recommendations for addressing these issues.

  8. Annotated bibliography of environmentally relevant investigations of uranium mining and milling in the Grants Mineral Belt, northwestern New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Otton, James K.

    2011-01-01

    Studies of the natural environment in the Grants Mineral Belt in northwestern New Mexico have been conducted since the 1930s; however, few such investigations predate uranium mining and milling operations, which began in the early 1950s. This report provides an annotated bibliography of reports that describe the hydrology and geochemistry of groundwaters and surface waters and the geochemistry of soils and sediments in the Grants Mineral Belt and contiguous areas. The reports referenced and discussed provide a large volume of information about the environmental conditions in the area after mining started. Data presented in many of these studies, if evaluated carefully, may provide much basic information about the baseline conditions that existed over large parts of the Grants Mineral Belt prior to mining. Other data may provide information that can direct new work in efforts to discriminate between baseline conditions and the effects of the mining and milling on the natural environment.

  9. Improving environmental performance through unit-level organizational citizenship behaviors for the environment: A capability perspective.

    PubMed

    Alt, Elisa; Spitzeck, Heiko

    2016-11-01

    Organizational citizenship behaviors for the environment (OCBEs) are increasingly advocated as a means of complementing formal practices in improving environmental performance. Adopting a capability perspective, we propose that a firm's employee involvement capability translates into environmental performance through the manifestation of unit-level OCBEs, and that this relationship is amplified by a shared vision capability. In a cross-country and multi-industry sample of 170 firms, we find support for our hypotheses, shedding light on contextual determinants of OCBEs, and on how firms may engender a positive relationship between top-down environmental initiatives and bottom-up behaviors.

  10. Radiological background levels found on glass fiber filters used for low-level environmental surveillance air sampling

    SciTech Connect

    Althouse, P. E.

    1998-09-16

    Environmental surveillance of low-level radioactive particles in air requires a thorough understanding of low-level techniques and air sample collection media. High-volume air sampling for radioactive particles around Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) employs glass-fiber filters that are analyzed for gross alpha and gross beta activity and for specific isotopes. This study was conducted to determine the activities of radionuclides contained in blank glass-fiber filters. Data from this study provided a partial explanation of differences between current reported concentrations of radionuclides in air and those reported historically when cellulose filters were used in the LLNL monitoring effort.

  11. Differential binding of cytokines to environmentally relevant particles: a possible source for misinterpretation of in vitro results?

    PubMed

    Kocbach, A; Totlandsdal, A I; Låg, M; Refsnes, M; Schwarze, P E

    2008-01-30

    Inflammation is considered as a key event in adverse health effects associated with exposure to ambient particulate matter. The inflammatory potential of particles is often compared using in vitro cell systems, where the particle-induced release of pro-inflammatory cytokines is measured. A major concern in these assays is the potential of particles to bind cytokines, which may lead to an underestimation of the inflammatory potential. We therefore investigated the cytokine binding to a selection of particle samples, including particles collected from outdoor sources (wood combustion, traffic) and particles commonly used to model environmental sources (ultrafine carbon black, diesel, quartz), for a range of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-8). Furthermore, the influence of serum proteins and particle- and cytokine concentrations on the cytokine binding was studied. Cytokines primarily bound to carbonaceous particles (up to 85%), not to mineral particles. Furthermore, depending on the type of cytokine, the cytokine binding could be reduced partly or completely by adding serum proteins to the cell growth medium or particle suspensions. Based on these observations we recommend either to adjust culturing and exposure conditions to prevent cytokine binding, or to adjust the measured cytokine release by application of correction factors obtained from cytokine binding experiments.

  12. Assessing environmental impacts of genetically modified plants on non-target organisms: The relevance of in planta studies.

    PubMed

    Arpaia, Salvatore; Birch, A Nicholas E; Kiss, Jozsef; van Loon, Joop J A; Messéan, Antoine; Nuti, Marco; Perry, Joe N; Sweet, Jeremy B; Tebbe, Christoph C

    2017-04-01

    In legal frameworks worldwide, genetically modified plants (GMPs) are subjected to pre-market environmental risk assessment (ERA) with the aim of identifying potential effects on the environment. In the European Union, the EFSA Guidance Document introduces the rationale that GMPs, as well as their newly produced metabolites, represent the potential stressor to be evaluated during ERA. As a consequence, during several phases of ERA for cultivation purposes, it is considered necessary to use whole plants or plant parts in experimental protocols. The importance of in planta studies as a strategy to address impacts of GMPs on non-target organisms is demonstrated, to evaluate both effects due to the intended modification in plant phenotype (e.g. expression of Cry proteins) and effects due to unintended modifications in plant phenotype resulting from the transformation process (e.g. due to somaclonal variations or pleiotropic effects). In planta tests are also necessary for GMPs in which newly expressed metabolites cannot easily be studied in vitro. This paper reviews the scientific literature supporting the choice of in planta studies as a fundamental tool in ERA of GMPs in cultivation dossiers; the evidence indicates they can realistically mimic the ecological relationships occurring in their receiving environments and provide important insights into the biology and sustainable management of GMPs.

  13. Impaired maturation, fertilization, and embryonic development of porcine oocytes following exposure to an environmentally relevant organochlorine mixture.

    PubMed

    Campagna, C; Sirard, M A; Ayotte, P; Bailey, J L

    2001-08-01

    The reproductive health risks related to exposure to persistent organic pollutants in the environment remain controversial. This debate is partly because most studies have investigated only one or two chemicals at a time, whereas populations are exposed to a large spectrum of persistent chemicals in their environment. Using the pig as a toxicological model, we hypothesized that exposing immature cumulus-oocyte complexes to an organochlorine mixture during in vitro maturation (IVM) would adversely affect oocyte maturation, fertilization, and subsequent embryo development. This organochlorine mixture mimics that which contaminates the Arctic marine food chain. Cumulus-oocyte complexes were cultured in IVM medium containing increasing concentrations of the organochlorine mixture, similar to that found in women of highly exposed populations. Organochlorines reduced the quality of cumulus expansion and the viability of cumulus cells in a dose-response manner. The proportion of apoptotic cumulus cells also increased due to organochlorine exposure. Half of the oocytes were fixed after insemination, and the remainders were cultured for 8 days. Concentrations of organochlorines did not affect the rates of oocyte degeneration, sperm penetration, and development to morula. However, incidence of incompletely matured oocytes increased and polyspermy rate decreased, both in a dose-response manner with increasing organochlorine concentrations. Blastocyst formation and number of cells per blastocyst declined with organochlorine concentration. Exposing porcine cumulus-oocyte complexes to an environmentally pertinent organochlorine mixture during IVM disturbs oocyte development, supporting recent concerns that such pollutants harm reproductive health in humans and other mammalian species.

  14. Effect of environmentally-relevant concentrations of nonylphenol on sexual differentiation in zebrafish: a multi-generational study

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Dong; Chen, Qi; He, Ning; Diao, Pan-pan; Jia, Li-xing; Duan, Shun-shan

    2017-01-01

    Nonylphenol (NP) is a persistent environmental chemical that can disrupt the organism’s endocrine system, and is detected in the surface water and sea. In this study, we investigated whether NP can alter transcriptional expression of sexual differentiation-related genes. Three generations of zebrafish were exposed to 0, 2, 20 and 200 μg·L−1 of NP, and transcriptional expression of sexual differentiation genes were assessed in 10, 20 and 40 dpf in the F1 and F2 generations. Growth of zebrafish exposed to 200 μg·L−1 of NP was inhibited at 125 dpf in the F1 generation. 20 μg·L−1 of NP resulted in 80% females in the F1 generation, but had no effect on the F2 generation. In terms of the sexual differentiation genes, the transcriptional expression of cyp19a1a and esr1 genes were upregulated in 20 μg·L−1 of NP in the F1 generation. But expression of the sexual differentiation genes were not affected in the F2 generation. Overall, NP could affect sexual differentiation and gene transcriptional expression in the F1 generation. The tolerance of contaminant in the offsprings was improved at low concentration. PMID:28230098

  15. Effect of environmentally-relevant concentrations of nonylphenol on sexual differentiation in zebrafish: a multi-generational study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Dong; Chen, Qi; He, Ning; Diao, Pan-Pan; Jia, Li-Xing; Duan, Shun-Shan

    2017-02-01

    Nonylphenol (NP) is a persistent environmental chemical that can disrupt the organism’s endocrine system, and is detected in the surface water and sea. In this study, we investigated whether NP can alter transcriptional expression of sexual differentiation-related genes. Three generations of zebrafish were exposed to 0, 2, 20 and 200 μg·L‑1 of NP, and transcriptional expression of sexual differentiation genes were assessed in 10, 20 and 40 dpf in the F1 and F2 generations. Growth of zebrafish exposed to 200 μg·L‑1 of NP was inhibited at 125 dpf in the F1 generation. 20 μg·L‑1 of NP resulted in 80% females in the F1 generation, but had no effect on the F2 generation. In terms of the sexual differentiation genes, the transcriptional expression of cyp19a1a and esr1 genes were upregulated in 20 μg·L‑1 of NP in the F1 generation. But expression of the sexual differentiation genes were not affected in the F2 generation. Overall, NP could affect sexual differentiation and gene transcriptional expression in the F1 generation. The tolerance of contaminant in the offsprings was improved at low concentration.

  16. Measurements of activation induced by environmental neutrons using ultra low-level gamma-ray spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Martínez Canet, M J; Hult, M; Köhler, M; Johnston, P N

    2000-03-01

    The flux of environmental neutrons is being studied by activation of metal discs of selected elements. Near the earth's surface the total neutron flux is in the order of 10(-2) cm(-2)s(-1), which gives induced activities of a few mBq in the discs. Initial results from this technique, involving activation at ground level for several materials (W, Au, Ta, In, Re, Sm, Dy and Mn) and ultra low-level gamma-ray spectrometry in an underground laboratory located at 500 m.w.e., are presented. Diffusion of environmental neutrons in water is also measured by activation of gold at different depths.

  17. Relevance of F-Specific RNA Bacteriophages in Assessing Human Norovirus Risk in Shellfish and Environmental Waters

    PubMed Central

    Hartard, C.; Banas, S.; Loutreul, J.; Rincé, A.; Benoit, F.; Boudaud, N.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) are the main cause of shellfish-borne gastroenteritis outbreaks. In the absence of routine technical approaches allowing infectious particles to be detected, this viral pathogen is currently targeted by genome research, leading to difficult interpretations. In this study, we investigated the potential of F-specific RNA bacteriophages (FRNAPH) as fecal and viral contamination indicators in shellfish and water from a local harvesting area. FRNAPH were also used as microbial source tracking tools. Constraints imposed by detection limits are illustrated here by the detection of infectious FRNAPH in several samples in the absence of FRNAPH genomes. The opposite situation was also observed, likely explained by the persistence of the genomes being greater than infectivity. Similar considerations may be applied to HuNoVs, suggesting that HuNoV genome targeting is of limited relevance in assessing infectious risks. While FRNAPH did not provide any benefits compared to Escherichia coli as fecal pollution indicators in water, novel observations were made in shellfish: contrary to E. coli, a seasonal trend of infectious FRNAPH concentrations was observed. These concentrations were higher than those found in water, confirming bioaccumulation in shellfish. This study also underlines a relationship between the presence of HuNoV genomes and those of human-specific FRNAPH subgroup II (FRNAPH-II) in shellfish collected throughout Europe. Further research should be undertaken to evaluate FRNAPH potential as an indicator of the presence of infectious HuNoVs. To this end, shellfish involved in HuNoV-caused gastroenteritis outbreaks should be analyzed for the presence of infectious FRNAPH-II. IMPORTANCE This work provides new data about the use of F-specific RNA phages (FRNAPH) as a tool for evaluating fecal or viral contamination, especially in shellfish. In our case study, FRNAPH did not provide any benefits compared to E. coli as fecal pollution

  18. Utilizing platforms for the observation of chemical transformations to surface-bound noble metal nanoparticles in environmentally relevant conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glover, Richard David

    Nanoparticles are increasingly incorporated into consumer products because of their unique, size-dependent properties. Although these properties are commercially appealing, data are lacking regarding the fate and reactivity of nanoparticles once incorporated into materials. This information gap prevents accurate assessment of hazards that these materials potentially present to consumers and the environment. To address this concern, new research is needed to investigate the reactivity and transformations of nanoparticles. This dissertation describes the use of an electron transparent characterization platform to observe nanoparticle transformations. Nanoparticles were tethered to the surface of an analysis platform, exposed to a variety of conditions, and evaluated for reactivity and response. The characterization of silver nanoparticles revealed the generation of new daughter nanoparticles on surfaces in ambient humid conditions. Our observations showed that the transport of material is highly dependent on relative humidity and that pH equilibria drives the deposition of new particles and degradation. We discovered, by applying these findings to macro-silver objects, that bulk silver generates new nanoparticles on surfaces. This illuminated the possibility of other, yet undiscovered, naturally occurring nanoparticles. In the second model system, 1.5 nm gold nanoparticles were tethered by a robust metal oxide bond from the terminal group of the stabilizing ligand. This strategy facilitated precise control over thiol ligand removal using a dilute ozone oxidation. Tracking particle oxidation over time allowed us to gain unprecedented control over core exposure, size maintenance, and surface tethering. This platform was also utilized as a proof-of-concept for direct observation of transformations in complex media. Ligand and core transformations were monitored in a variety of biologically relevant conditions using tethered nanoparticles. Morphological and chemical

  19. Heritability of seed weight in Maritime pine, a relevant trait in the transmission of environmental maternal effects

    PubMed Central

    Zas, R; Sampedro, L

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative seed provisioning is an important life-history trait with strong effects on offspring phenotype and fitness. As for any other trait, heritability estimates are vital for understanding its evolutionary dynamics. However, being a trait in between two generations, estimating additive genetic variation of seed provisioning requires complex quantitative genetic approaches for distinguishing between true genetic and environmental maternal effects. Here, using Maritime pine as a long-lived plant model, we quantified additive genetic variation of cone and seed weight (SW) mean and SW within-individual variation. We used a powerful approach combining both half-sib analysis and parent–offspring regression using several common garden tests established in contrasting environments to separate G, E and G × E effects. Both cone weight and SW mean showed significant genetic variation but were also influenced by the maternal environment. Most of the large variation in SW mean was attributable to additive genetic effects (h2=0.55–0.74). SW showed no apparent G × E interaction, particularly when accounting for cone weight covariation, suggesting that the maternal genotypes actively control the SW mean irrespective of the amount of resources allocated to cones. Within-individual variation in SW was low (12%) relative to between-individual variation (88%), and showed no genetic variation but was largely affected by the maternal environment, with greater variation in the less favourable sites for pine growth. In summary, results were very consistent between the parental and the offspring common garden tests, and clearly indicated heritable genetic variation for SW mean but not for within-individual variation in SW. PMID:25160045

  20. Heritability of seed weight in Maritime pine, a relevant trait in the transmission of environmental maternal effects.

    PubMed

    Zas, R; Sampedro, L

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative seed provisioning is an important life-history trait with strong effects on offspring phenotype and fitness. As for any other trait, heritability estimates are vital for understanding its evolutionary dynamics. However, being a trait in between two generations, estimating additive genetic variation of seed provisioning requires complex quantitative genetic approaches for distinguishing between true genetic and environmental maternal effects. Here, using Maritime pine as a long-lived plant model, we quantified additive genetic variation of cone and seed weight (SW) mean and SW within-individual variation. We used a powerful approach combining both half-sib analysis and parent-offspring regression using several common garden tests established in contrasting environments to separate G, E and G × E effects. Both cone weight and SW mean showed significant genetic variation but were also influenced by the maternal environment. Most of the large variation in SW mean was attributable to additive genetic effects (h(2)=0.55-0.74). SW showed no apparent G × E interaction, particularly when accounting for cone weight covariation, suggesting that the maternal genotypes actively control the SW mean irrespective of the amount of resources allocated to cones. Within-individual variation in SW was low (12%) relative to between-individual variation (88%), and showed no genetic variation but was largely affected by the maternal environment, with greater variation in the less favourable sites for pine growth. In summary, results were very consistent between the parental and the offspring common garden tests, and clearly indicated heritable genetic variation for SW mean but not for within-individual variation in SW.

  1. Relevance of Education and Intelligence at the National Level for Health: The Case of HIV and AIDS

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rindermann, Heiner; Meisenberg, Gerhard

    2009-01-01

    Studies at the individual level have shown a negative effect of education and intelligence on risky behavior. The same has been demonstrated for risky sexual behavior and for HIV-infection rates in sub-Saharan Africa. In path analyses at the country data level, cognitive abilities (seen as depending on education) show a strong negative effect on…

  2. Environmentally relevant concentrations of galaxolide (HHCB) and tonalide (AHTN) induced oxidative and genetic damage in Dreissena polymorpha.

    PubMed

    Parolini, Marco; Magni, Stefano; Traversi, Irene; Villa, Sara; Finizio, Antonio; Binelli, Andrea

    2015-03-21

    Synthetic musk compounds (SMCs) are extensively used as fragrances in several personal care products and have been recognized as emerging aquatic pollutants. Among SMCs, galaxolide (HHCB) and tonalide (AHTN) are extensively used and have been measured in aquatic ecosystems worldwide. However, their potential risk to organisms remains largely unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate whether 21-day exposures to HHCB and AHTN concentrations frequently measured in aquatic ecosystems can induce oxidative and genetic damage in Dreissena polymorpha. The lipid peroxidation (LPO) and protein carbonyl content (PCC) were measured as oxidative stress indexes, while the DNA precipitation assay and the micronucleus test (MN test) were applied to investigate genetic injuries. HHCB induced significant increases in LPO and PCC levels, while AHTN enhanced only protein carbonylation. Moreover, significant increases in DNA strand breaks were caused by exposure to the highest concentrations of HHCB and AHTN tested in the present study, but no fixed genetic damage was observed.

  3. Lifestyle/environmental factors and blood cadmium levels in hypertensive and normotensive individuals.

    PubMed

    Fontana, S A; Boulos, B M

    1986-12-01

    Cadmium is a non-essential trace metal presently found at environmental concentration far exceeding its natural occurrence, to which human populations are exposed form diverse sources. Animals exposed chronically to subtoxic cadmium levels develop hypertension, yet human studies are inconclusive. In the present study, the relationship between lifestyle/environment factors and blood cadmium levels was investigated. Black females aged 50-75 years were chosen from university clinics and community settings (30 normotensives and 32 hypertensives). Questionnaires giving environmental, lifestyle and other date were collected. Cadmium blood levels were determined by atomic absorption spectophotometry; and results indicated a high degree of precision and accuracy for the cadmium analytical technique which was used. No significant differences were found in cadmium blood levels between groups.

  4. An Environmental Chemistry Experiment: The Determination of Radon Levels in Water.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Welch, Lawrence E.; Mossman, Daniel M.

    1994-01-01

    Describes a radiation experiment developed to complement a new environmental chemistry laboratory curriculum. A scintillation counter is used to measure radon in water. The procedure relies on the fact that toluene will preferentially extract radon from water. Sample preparation is complete in less than 90 minutes. Because the level of…

  5. Probing the Natural World, Level III, Teacher's Edition: Environmental Science. Intermediate Science Curriculum Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonar, John R., Ed.; Hathway, James A., Ed.

    This is the teacher's edition of one of the eight units of the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS) for level III students (grade 9). This unit and its activities focuses on environmental pollution and hazards. Optional excursions are suggested for students who wish to study an area in greater depth. An introduction describes the problem…

  6. Can Eco-Schools Improve Elementary School Students' Environmental Literacy Levels?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozsoy, Sibel; Ertepinar, Hamide; Saglam, Necdet

    2012-01-01

    This study was conducted to investigate the effects of eco-schools on elementary school students' environmental literacy levels. Data of the study were gathered from 316 students enrolled to two elementary schools. One of the schools was determined as experimental group (n = 156) and students attending this school received eco-school application.…

  7. 77 FR 58416 - Comparative Environmental Evaluation of Alternatives for Handling Low-Level Radioactive Waste...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-20

    ...Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) is issuing for public comment the Draft Comparative Environmental Evaluation of Alternatives for Handling Low-Level Radioactive Waste Spent Ion Exchange Resins from Commercial Nuclear Power...

  8. Validating Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) for the AP® Environmental Science Exam

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reshetar, Rosemary; Kaliski, Pamela; Chajewski, Michael; Lionberger, Karen

    2012-01-01

    This presentation summarizes a pilot study conducted after the May 2011 administration of the AP Environmental Science Exam. The study used analytical methods based on scaled anchoring as input to a Performance Level Descriptor validation process that solicited systematic input from subject matter experts.

  9. Nature of Environmental Education in Bangladesh: A School Level Assessment with Reference to the National Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chowdhury, M. A. Taiyeb

    2014-01-01

    This paper attempts to identify the nature of formal environmental education in Bangladesh at school level with particular reference to the national curriculum. The main objective of the study is to assess the contents of the school textbooks for each standard, and to see whether the diversified themes covered are a good representation of…

  10. Differential sensitivities of bone marrow, spleen and thymus to genotoxicity induced by environmentally relevant concentrations of arsenite.

    PubMed

    Xu, Huan; McClain, Shea; Medina, Sebastian; Lauer, Fredine T; Douillet, Christelle; Liu, Ke Jian; Hudson, Laurie G; Stýblo, Miroslav; Burchiel, Scott W

    2016-11-16

    It is known in humans and mouse models, that drinking water exposures to arsenite (As(+3)) leads to immunotoxicity. Previously, our group showed that certain types of immune cells are extremely sensitive to arsenic induced genotoxicity. In order to see if cells from different immune organs have differential sensitivities to As(+3), and if the sensitivities correlate with the intracellular concentrations of arsenic species, male C57BL/6J mice were dosed with 0, 100 and 500ppb As(+3)via drinking water for 30d. Oxidation State Specific Hydride Generation- Cryotrapping- Inductively Coupled Plasma- Mass Spectrometry (HG- CT- ICP- MS) was applied to analyze the intracellular arsenic species and concentrations in bone marrow, spleen and thymus cells isolated from the exposed mice. A dose-dependent increase in intracellular monomethylarsonous acid (MMA(+3)) was observed in both bone marrow and thymus cells, but not spleen cells. The total arsenic and MMA(+3) levels were correlated with an increase in DNA damage in bone marrow and thymus cells. An in vitro treatment of 5, 50 and 500nM As(+3) and MMA(+3) revealed that bone marrow cells are most sensitive to As(+3) treatment, and MMA(+3) is more genotoxic than As(+3). These results suggest that the differential sensitivities of the three immune organs to As(+3) exposure are due to the different intracellular arsenic species and concentrations, and that MMA(+3) may play a critical role in immunotoxicity.

  11. Environmentally relevant concentrations of ammonium perchlorate inhibit thyroid function and alter sex ratios in developing Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Goleman, Wanda L; Carr, James A; Anderson, Todd A

    2002-03-01

    Embryos and larvae of the South African frog Xenopus laevis were exposed to ammonium perchlorate (AP) or control medium for 70 d. The dosage levels (59 ppb, 14,140 ppb) bracketed a range of perchlorate concentrations measured in surface waters at the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant (LHAAP) in Karnack, Texas, USA. The experiment also included a 28-d nontreatment recovery period to assess the reversibility of AP effects. There were no significant effects of AP on mortality or hatching success. There were no effects of AP on developmental abnormalities such as bent/asymmetric tails or edema. Ammonium perchlorate inhibited forelimb emergence, the percentage of animals completing tail resorption, and hindlimb development during the 70-d exposure period. Only the upper AP concentration reduced whole-body thyroxine content, whereas both concentrations caused significant hypertrophy of the thyroid follicular epithelium. Both concentrations of AP caused a skewed sex ratio, significantly reducing the percentage of males at metamorphosis. The effects of AP on metamorphosis and thyroid function were reversed during the 28-d nontreatment recovery period. We conclude that AP inhibits thyroid activity and alters gonadal differentiation in developing X. laevis. These effects were observed at concentrations at or below concentrations reported in surface waters contaminated with ammonium perchlorate, suggesting that this contaminant may pose a threat to normal development and growth in natural amphibian populations.

  12. Short and long term bystander effect induction by fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas, Rafinesque, 1820) injected with environmentally relevant whole body doses of 226Ra.

    PubMed

    Smith, Richard W; Seymour, Colin B; Mothersill, Carmel E

    2013-12-01

    Bystander effect induction by fathead minnows injected with environmentally relevant doses of (226)Ra was investigated. Twenty four h and 6 months after injection with a single dose of 21, 210 or 2100 μBq, fin tissue samples emitted a pro-apoptotic signal, which reduced the clonogenic survival of an apoptosis sensitive reporter cell line. Twenty four h and 10 weeks after injection explants from non-injected bystander fish, swum with the injected fish, also emitted a pro-apoptotic signal. However 6 months after injection the bystander fish to 21 and 210 μBq injected fish emitted an anti-apoptotic signal. This demonstrates that extremely low dose irradiation can have effects outside of the irradiated fish. This has implications for population and ecosystem responses to contamination.

  13. Vulnerability-Based Spatial Sampling Stratification for the National Children’s Study, Worcester County, Massachusetts: Capturing Health-Relevant Environmental and Sociodemographic Variability

    PubMed Central

    Downs, Timothy J.; Ogneva-Himmelberger, Yelena; Aupont, Onesky; Wang, Yangyang; Raj, Ann; Zimmerman, Paula; Goble, Robert; Taylor, Octavia; Churchill, Linda; Lemay, Celeste; McLaughlin, Thomas; Felice, Marianne

    2010-01-01

    Background The National Children’s Study is the most ambitious study ever attempted in the United States to assess how environmental factors impact child health and development. It aims to follow 100,000 children from gestation until 21 years of age. Success requires breaking new interdisciplinary ground, starting with how to select the sample of > 1,000 children in each of 105 study sites; no standardized protocol exists for stratification of the target population by factoring in the diverse environments it inhabits. Worcester County, Massachusetts, like other sites, stratifies according to local conditions and local knowledge, subject to probability sampling rules. Objectives We answer the following questions: How do we divide Worcester County into viable strata that represent its health-relevant environmental and sociodemographic heterogeneity, subject to sampling rules? What potential does our approach have to inform stratification at other sites? Results We developed a multivariable, vulnerability-based method for spatial sampling consisting of two descriptive indices: a hazards/stressors exposure index (comprising three proxy variables), and an adaptive capacity/sociodemographic character index (five variables). Multivariable, health-relevant stratification at the start of the study may improve detection power for environment–child health associations down the line. Eighteen strata capture countywide heterogeneity in the indices and have optimal relative homogeneity within each. They achieve comparable expected birth counts and conform to local concepts of space. Conclusion The approach offers moderate to high potential to inform other sites, limited by intersite differences in data availability, geodemographics, and technical capacity. Energetic community engagement from the start promotes local stratification coherence, plus vital researcher–community trust and co-ownership for sustainability. PMID:20211802

  14. Effects of chronic exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of waterborne depleted uranium on the digestive tract of zebrafish, Danio rerio.

    PubMed

    Augustine, Starrlight; Pereira, Sandrine; Floriani, Magali; Camilleri, Virginie; Kooijman, Sebastiaan A L M; Gagnaire, Béatrice; Adam-Guillermin, Christelle

    2015-04-01

    Uranium is a naturally occurring element, but activities linked to the nuclear fuel cycle can increase background levels in the surrounding waters. For this reason it is important to understand how this affects organisms residing in the water column. The objective of this study was to assess histopathological effects of uranium on the gut wall of a widely used model organism: zebrafish, Danio rerio. To this end we exposed zebrafish to 84 and 420 nM depleted uranium for over a month and then examined the histology of intestines of exposed individuals compared to controls. The gut wall of individuals exposed to 84 and 420 nM of uranium had large regions of degraded mucosa. Using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) coupled to energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy microanalysis (EDX) we found that uranium induced a decrease in the amount of calcium containing mitochondrial matrix granules per mitochondria. This is suggestive of perturbations to cellular metabolism and more specifically to cellular calcium homeostasis. TEM-EDX of the gut wall tissue further showed that some uranium was internalized in the nucleus of epithelial cells in the 420 nM treatment. Fluorescent in situ hybridization using specific probes to detect all eubacteria was performed on frozen sections of 6 individual fish in the 84 nM and 420 nM treatments. Bacterial colonization of the gut of individuals in the 420 nM seemed to differ from that of the controls and 84 nM individuals. We suggest that host-microbiota interactions are potentially disturbed in response to uranium induced stress. The damage induced by waterborne uranium to the gut wall did not seem to depend on the concentration of uranium in the media. We measure whole body residues of uranium at the end of the experiment and compute the mean dose rate absorbed for each condition. We discuss why effects might be uncoupled from external concentration and highlight that it is not so much the external concentration but the dynamics of

  15. Low-level waste management alternatives and analysis in DOE`s programmatic environmental impact statement

    SciTech Connect

    Gerstein, J.S.

    1993-03-01

    The Department of Energy is preparing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Program. The PEIS has been divided into an Environmental Restoration section and a Waste Management section. Each section has a unique set of alternatives. This paper will focus on the waste management alternatives and analysis. The set of alternatives for waste management has been divided into waste categories. These categories are: high-level waste, transuranic waste, low-level waste, low-level mixed waste, greater-than-class C and low-level waste from commercial sources, hazardous waste, and spent nuclear fuel. This paper will discuss the alternatives and analytical approach that will be used to evaluate these alternatives for the low-level waste section. Although the same alternatives will be considered for all waste types, the analysis will be performed separately for each waste type. In the sections that follow, information will be provided on waste management configurations, the analysis of waste management alternatives, waste types and locations, facility and transportation activities, the facility and transportation impacts assessment, and the compilation of impacts.

  16. Ecological performance of red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) larvae exposed to environmental levels of the insecticide malathion.

    PubMed

    Del Carmen Alvarez, Maria; Fuiman, Lee A

    2006-05-01

    Malathion is a highly soluble organophosphate insecticide that is widely used in agriculture and mosquito eradication campaigns. Fish species, such as red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), that use seagrass beds as nursery areas could be affected by runoff waters contaminated with malathion. We exposed red drum larvae at the size they reach in estuarine nursery areas to environmentally realistic and sublethal levels of malathion (0, 1, and 10 microg/L). We evaluated the effects of such exposure on ecologically significant behaviors (routine swimming and predator evasion), growth, and resting metabolism. Malathion exposure to relatively low but ecologically realistic concentrations did not affect routine behavior, escape behavior, resting metabolic rate, or growth, indicating that reported environmental levels may be safe for young fishes. However, a recent substantial increase in the use of malathion may elevate surface-water concentrations to levels above those tested in the present study.

  17. Establishing the Biological Relevance of Dipentyl Phthalate Reductions in Fetal Rat Testosterone Production and Plasma and Testis Testosterone Levels

    EPA Science Inventory

    Phthalate esters (PEs) constitute a large class of compounds that are used for many consumer product applications. Many of the C2-C7 di-ortho PEs reduce fetal testicular hormone and gene expression levels in rats resulting in adverse effects seen later in life but it appears that...

  18. Momentum sequence and environmental climate influence levels of perceived psychological momentum within a sport competition.

    PubMed

    Briki, Walid; Markman, Keith D; Coudevylle, Guillaume; Sinnapah, Stéphane; Hue, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the influence of momentum sequence (positive vs. negative) and environmental climate (hot-wet vs. neutral) on supporters' (i.e. virtual observers') reported levels of perceived psychological momentum (PM) during a simulated cycling competition. Participants supported one of two competing cyclists involved in a race that was displayed on a screen in a lecture hall. The race scenario was manipulated so that the supported cyclist appeared to undergo either a positive or negative momentum sequence. In addition, participants were either exposed to a hot-wet environmental climate or to a neutral environmental climate while observing the race scenario. According to the results, reported levels of PM were higher in the positive momentum sequence condition than in the negative momentum sequence condition, consistent with the notion that supporters' PM is influenced by a positivity bias, and reported levels of PM were also found to be higher in the hot-wet climate condition than in the neutral climate condition, consistent with the notion that environmental climate is a contextual factor that influences PM through the operation of a causal augmenting mechanism.

  19. Australia’s first national level quantitative environmental justice assessment of industrial air pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakraborty, Jayajit; Green, Donna

    2014-04-01

    This study presents the first national level quantitative environmental justice assessment of industrial air pollution in Australia. Specifically, our analysis links the spatial distribution of sites and emissions associated with industrial pollution sources derived from the National Pollution Inventory, to Indigenous status and social disadvantage characteristics of communities derived from Australian Bureau of Statistics indicators. Our results reveal a clear national pattern of environmental injustice based on the locations of industrial pollution sources, as well as volume, and toxicity of air pollution released at these locations. Communities with the highest number of polluting sites, emission volume, and toxicity-weighted air emissions indicate significantly greater proportions of Indigenous population and higher levels of socio-economic disadvantage. The quantities and toxicities of industrial air pollution are particularly higher in communities with the lowest levels of educational attainment and occupational status. These findings emphasize the need for more detailed analysis in specific regions and communities where socially disadvantaged groups are disproportionately impacted by industrial air pollution. Our empirical findings also underscore the growing necessity to incorporate environmental justice considerations in environmental planning and policy-making in Australia.

  20. Integrated analysis of transcript-level regulation of metabolism reveals disease-relevant nodes of the human metabolic network.

    PubMed

    Galhardo, Mafalda; Sinkkonen, Lasse; Berninger, Philipp; Lin, Jake; Sauter, Thomas; Heinäniemi, Merja

    2014-02-01

    Metabolic diseases and comorbidities represent an ever-growing epidemic where multiple cell types impact tissue homeostasis. Here, the link between the metabolic and gene regulatory networks was studied through experimental and computational analysis. Integrating gene regulation data with a human metabolic network prompted the establishment of an open-sourced web portal, IDARE (Integrated Data Nodes of Regulation), for visualizing various gene-related data in context of metabolic pathways. Motivated by increasing availability of deep sequencing studies, we obtained ChIP-seq data from widely studied human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Interestingly, we found that association of metabolic genes with multiple transcription factors (TFs) enriched disease-associated genes. To demonstrate further extensions enabled by examining these networks together, constraint-based modeling was applied to data from human preadipocyte differentiation. In parallel, data on gene expression, genome-wide ChIP-seq profiles for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ, CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (CEBP) α, liver X receptor (LXR) and H3K4me3 and microRNA target identification for miR-27a, miR-29a and miR-222 were collected. Disease-relevant key nodes, including mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAM), were exposed from metabolic pathways predicted to change activity by focusing on association with multiple regulators. In both cell types, our analysis reveals the convergence of microRNAs and TFs within the branched chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolic pathway, possibly providing an explanation for its downregulation in obese and diabetic conditions.

  1. Environmentally relevant concentrations of arsenite and monomethylarsonous acid inhibit IL-7/STAT5 cytokine signaling pathways in mouse CD3+CD4-CD8- double negative thymus cells.

    PubMed

    Xu, Huan; Lauer, Fredine T; Liu, Ke Jian; Hudson, Laurie G; Burchiel, Scott W

    2016-04-15

    Environmental arsenic exposure is a public health issue. Immunotoxicity induced by arsenic has been reported in humans and animal models. The purpose of this study was to evaluate mechanisms of As(+3) and MMA(+3) toxicity in mouse thymus cells. Because we know that MMA(+3) inhibits IL-7 signaling in mouse bone marrow pre-B cells, we studied the influence of As(+3) and MMA(+3) on T cell development in the thymus at the earliest stage of T cell development (CD4-CD8-, double negative, DN) which requires IL-7 dependent signaling. We found in a DN thymus cell line (D1) that a low concentration of MMA(+3) (50 nM) suppressed IL-7 dependent JAK1, 3 and STAT5 signaling. As(+3) suppressed STAT5 and JAK3 at higher concentrations (500 nM). Cell surface expression of the IL-7 receptor (CD127) was also suppressed by 50 nM MMA(+)3, but was increased by 500 NM As(+3), indicating possible differences in the mechanisms of action of these agents. A decrease in cyclin D1 protein expression was observed in D1 cells exposed to As(+3) at 500 nM and MMA(+3) starting at 50 nM, suggesting that arsenic at these environmentally-relevant doses suppresses early T cell development through the inhibition of IL-7 signaling pathway.

  2. Environmental Assessment Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, low-level and mixed waste processing

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-06-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA), DOE/EA-0843, for the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) low-level and mixed waste processing. The original proposed action, as reviewed in this EA, was (1) to incinerate INEL`s mixed low-level waste (MLLW) at the Waste Experimental Reduction Facility (WERF); (2) reduce the volume of INEL generated low-level waste (LLW) through sizing, compaction, and stabilization at the WERF; and (3) to ship INEL LLW to a commercial incinerator for supplemental LLW volume reduction.

  3. The Association between Exposure to Environmental Bisphenol A and Gonadotropic Hormone Levels among Men

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jianping; Shi, Huijuan; Zhu, Jiang; Liu, Xiaoqin; Wang, Jian; Miao, Maohua; Yuan, Wei

    2017-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is an extensively used chemical with endocrine disrupting properties. Although animal and in vivo studies have suggested possible effects of BPA on levels of gonadotropic hormones, human studies are limited and inconclusive. The study examined whether environmental BPA exposure was associated with gonadotropic hormones levels in men. A total of 560 men aged 18–55 years were recruited from Sandu County, Guizhou Province, China. We collected urine samples for measurement of BPA, and blood samples for measurement of reproductive hormones. We examined serum levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and total testosterone (T). Relative risk (RR) was obtained by log-binominal regression to explore the association between urinary BPA level and hormone levels. BPA was detected in 70.4% of urine samples, with a geometric mean of 0.50 μg/gCr. Men with detectable levels of BPA had a 1.52-fold increased risk of having a high LH level (>75th percentile) when compared with men with undetectable levels of BPA, after adjustment for potential confounders (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04–2.21). The association persisted and slightly intensified among current smokers (adjusted RR (aRR) = 1.76, 95%CI: 1.05–2.95), while it weakened among non-smokers (aRR = 1.17, 95%CI: 0.69–1.96). Urinary BPA level was associated with an increased FSH level among smokers (aRR = 1.64, 95%CI: 1.01–2.67). Urinary BPA level was inversely associated with total T level among males with body max index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2 although this association was of borderline significance (aRR = 0.52, 95%CI: 0.26–1.05). In conclusion, environmental exposure to BPA was associated with increased serum levels of LH and FSH in male smokers, along with decreased serum levels of total T in men with BMI≥25 kg/m2. These findings suggest that the effects of environmental BPA exposure on hormone levels might be modified by smoking and BMI. PMID:28085949

  4. Speciation, Dissolution, and Redox Reactions of Chromium Relevant to Pretreatment and Separation of High-Level Tank Wastes

    SciTech Connect

    Clark Sue B.; Dhanpat Rai; Linfeng Rao

    2005-04-20

    Chromium, one of the problematic elements in tank sludges, is considered the most important constituent in defining the total volume of high-level radioactive waste (HLW) glass. Current sludge washing processes (e.g. caustic leaching, 3 M NaOH) are not effective in removing Cr. This inefficient removal would result in production of an unacceptably large volume of HLW glass and thus a tremendous increase in the cost of waste disposal. This proposed research seeks to develop fundamental data for chromium (Cr) reactions that are not currently available but are essential for developing effective methodologies for removing Cr form high-level waste (HLW). Our objectives are to study (1) the dissolution of several solid phases (e.g., CrOOH, Cr2O3(c), Cr(OH)3, and Fe and Cr, binary hydroxides, identified to be important from sludge leaching studies) in highly alkaline solutions and in the presence of other electrolytes (e.g., carbonate, phosphate, sulfate, nitrite), and (2) the effect of the nature of Cr solid phases and aqueous species on their redox reactivity with a variety of potential oxidants (e.g., H2o2, persulfate, O2, and ferrate). This information will provide critical support for developing enhanced pretreatment strategies for removing Cr from HLW and will achieve a major cost reduction HLW disposal.

  5. Geoecology: a county-level environmental data base for the conterminous United States

    SciTech Connect

    Olson, R.J.; Emerson, C.J.; Nungesser, M.K.

    1980-09-01

    The Geoecology Data Base represents a unique compilation of computerized environmental data for research and development needs. Environmental assessment and planning for energy development require rapid access to data at appropriate spatial and temporal scales. In the Environmental Sciences Division (ESD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), we have developed an integrated data base of diverse environmental resource information from extant sources. Data are stored at the county level of resolution for the conterminous United States with some data available for subcounty units within larger, more diverse eastern counties. The Geoecology Data Base contains selected data on terrain and soils, water resources, forestry, vegetation, agriculture, land use, wildlife, air quality, climate, natural areas, and endangered species. Basic files on human population are also included to complement the environmental files. Data are stored in metric-SI units. The Geoecology Data Base is currently fulfilling diverse ongoing research needs while it is being expanded and updated as needs and new data are identified. This report is both a documentation and a user's guide to the Geoecology Data Base. It describes the Data Base design, illustrates applications, provides examples of accessing the Data Base, and gives general information on the data set contents.

  6. Environmental radiation monitoring of low-level wastes by the State of Washington

    SciTech Connect

    Conklin, A.W.; Mooney, R.R.; Erickson, J.L.

    1989-11-01

    The Washington State Department of Health, as the state`s regulatory agency for radiation, monitors several forms of low-level radioactive wastes. The monitoring is done to assess the potential impact on the environment and on public health. The emphasis of the monitoring program is placed on the solid and liquid wastes from defense activities on the Hanford Reservation, commercial wastes at the site located on leased land at Hanford and uranium mill tailings in Northeastern Washington. Although not classified as low-level waste, monitoring is also periodically conducted at selected landfills and sewage treatment facilities and other licensees, where radioactive wastes are known or suspected to be present. Environmental pathways associated with waste disposal are monitored independently, and/or in conjunction with the waste site operators to verify their results and evaluate their programs. The Department also participates in many site investigations conducted by site operators and other agencies, and conducts it`s own special investigations when deemed necessary. Past investigations and special projects have included allegations of adverse environmental impact of I-129, uranium in ground water, impacts of wastes on the agricultural industry, radioactivity in seeps into the Columbia River from waste sites, identifying lost waste sites at Hanford, differentiating groundwater contamination from defense versus commercial sources, and radioactivity in municipal landfills and sewers. The state`s environmental radiation monitoring program has identified and verified a number of environmental problems associated with radioactive waste disposal, but has, to date, identified no adverse offsite impacts to public health.

  7. How environmental conditions affect canopy leaf-level photosynthesis in four deciduous tree species

    SciTech Connect

    Bassow, S.L.; Bazzaz, F.A.

    1998-12-01

    Species composition of temperate forests vary with successional age and seems likely to change in response to significant global climate change. Because photosynthesis rates in co-occurring tree species can differ in their sensitivity to environmental conditions, these changes in species composition are likely to alter the carbon dynamics of temperate forests. To help improve their understanding of such atmosphere-biosphere interactions, the authors explored changes in leaf-level photosynthesis in a 60--70 yr old temperate mixed-deciduous forest in Petersham, Massachusetts (USA). Diurnally and seasonally varying environmental conditions differentially influenced in situ leaf-level photosynthesis rates in the canopies of four mature temperate deciduous tree species: red oak (Quercus rubra), red maple (Acer rubrum), white birch (Betula papyrifera), and yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis). The authors measured in situ photosynthesis at two heights within the canopies through a diurnal time course on 7 d over two growing seasons. They simultaneously measured a suite of environmental conditions surrounding the leaf at the time of each measurement. The authors used path analysis to examine the influence of environmental factors on in situ photosynthesis in the tree canopies.

  8. Will environmental interventions affect the level of mastery motivation among children with disabilities? A preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Waldman-Levi, Amiya; Erez, Asnat Bar-Haim

    2015-03-01

    Children with developmental disabilities tend to demonstrate lower levels of mastery motivation in comparison with typically developing children. The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of physical and social environmental interventions on the mastery motivation of children with disabilities. Participants included 19 children (from two classes) with disabilities between the ages of 2-4 years from an educational rehabilitation centre. The Individualized Assessment of Mastery Motivation was used to assess the level of mastery motivation; the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale - Revised and the Teacher-Child Interaction Observation were used to assess the physical and social environments. A counterbalance study design was used such that the children from the two classes received two phases of intervention, social and physical environmental interventions. The study's results point to the advantage of the social intervention, over the physical one, in improving the child's mastery motivation. However, the results lend support for the efficacy of using both aspects of environmental changes to the overall persistent score. The study findings, although preliminary, demonstrate the efficacy of providing both social and physical environmental interventions to improve mastery motivation.

  9. The environmental light influences the circulatory levels of retinoic acid and associates with hepatic lipid metabolism.

    PubMed

    Pang, Wenqiang; Li, Chunying; Zhao, Yue; Wang, Shiming; Dong, Wei; Jiang, Pengjiu; Zhang, Jianfa

    2008-12-01

    Environmental light is involved in the regulation of photochemical reaction in mouse retina. It remains unclear whether light-mediated increase in all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) synthesis in retina will result in altering the circulatory levels of ATRA and regulating downstream gene expression and physiological function. Here we showed circulatory levels of ATRA decreased in mice under constant darkness and elevated by light exposure. Fat gene pancreatic lipase-related protein 2 (mPlrp2) and its partner procolipase (mClps), but not hepatic lipase (mHl), activated in livers for responding to lack of light illuminating. Light-triggered alterations in circulatory ATRA levels regulated ecto-5'-nucleotidase gene expression by retinoic acid receptor retinoic acid receptor-alpha and modulated 5'-AMP levels in blood and were associated with mPlrp2 and mClps expression in the livers. Mice deficient in adenosine receptors displayed mPlrp2 and mClps expression in livers under 12-h light, 12-h dark cycles. Caffeine blocked adenosine receptors and induced hepatic mPlrp2 and mClps expression in wild-type mice. Mice activated in hepatic mPlrp2 and mClps expression lowered hepatic and serum lipid levels and markedly elevated circulatory levels of all-trans retinol. Our results suggest environmental light influence hepatic lipid homeostasis by light-modulated retinoic acid signaling associated with mPlrp2 and mClps gene expression in livers.

  10. The effect of fusion-relevant helium levels on the mechanical properties of isotopically tailored ferritic alloys

    SciTech Connect

    Hankin, G.L.; Hamilton, M.L.; Gelles, D.S.

    1997-04-01

    The yield and maximum strengths of an irradiated series of isotopically tailored ferritic alloys were evaluated using the shear punch test. The composition of three of the alloys was Fe-12Cr-1.5Ni. Different balances of nickel isotopes were used in each alloy in order to produce different helium levels. A fourth alloy, which contained no nickel, was also irradiated. The addition of nickel at any isotopic balance to the Fe-12Cr base alloy significantly increased the shear yield and maximum strengths of the alloys, and as expected, the strength of the alloys decreased with increasing irradiation temperature. Helium itself, up to 75 appm over 7 dpa appears to have little effect on the mechanical properties of the alloys.

  11. Pharmacological Levels of Withaferin A (Withania somnifera) Trigger Clinically Relevant Anticancer Effects Specific to Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Szarc vel Szic, Katarzyna; Op de Beeck, Ken; Ratman, Dariusz; Wouters, An; Beck, Ilse M.; Declerck, Ken; Heyninck, Karen; Fransen, Erik; Bracke, Marc; De Bosscher, Karolien; Lardon, Filip; Van Camp, Guy; Berghe, Wim Vanden

    2014-01-01

    Withaferin A (WA) isolated from Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) has recently become an attractive phytochemical under investigation in various preclinical studies for treatment of different cancer types. In the present study, a comparative pathway-based transcriptome analysis was applied in epithelial-like MCF-7 and triple negative mesenchymal MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells exposed to different concentrations of WA which can be detected systemically in in vivo experiments. Whereas WA treatment demonstrated attenuation of multiple cancer hallmarks, the withanolide analogue Withanone (WN) did not exert any of the described effects at comparable concentrations. Pathway enrichment analysis revealed that WA targets specific cancer processes related to cell death, cell cycle and proliferation, which could be functionally validated by flow cytometry and real-time cell proliferation assays. WA also strongly decreased MDA-MB-231 invasion as determined by single-cell collagen invasion assay. This was further supported by decreased gene expression of extracellular matrix-degrading proteases (uPA, PLAT, ADAM8), cell adhesion molecules (integrins, laminins), pro-inflammatory mediators of the metastasis-promoting tumor microenvironment (TNFSF12, IL6, ANGPTL2, CSF1R) and concomitant increased expression of the validated breast cancer metastasis suppressor gene (BRMS1). In line with the transcriptional changes, nanomolar concentrations of WA significantly decreased protein levels and corresponding activity of uPA in MDA-MB-231 cell supernatant, further supporting its anti-metastatic properties. Finally, hierarchical clustering analysis of 84 chromatin writer-reader-eraser enzymes revealed that WA treatment of invasive mesenchymal MDA-MB-231 cells reprogrammed their transcription levels more similarly towards the pattern observed in non-invasive MCF-7 cells. In conclusion, taking into account that sub-cytotoxic concentrations of WA target multiple metastatic effectors in therapy

  12. Time-related dynamics of variation in core clock gene expression levels in tissues relevant to the immune system.

    PubMed

    Mazzoccoli, G; Sothern, R B; Greco, A; Pazienza, V; Vinciguerra, M; Liu, S; Cai, Y

    2011-01-01

    Immune parameters show rhythmic changes with a 24-h periodicity driven by an internal circadian timing system that relies on clock genes (CGs). CGs form interlocked transcription-translation feedback loops to generate and maintain 24-h mRNA and protein oscillations. In this study we evaluate and compare the profiles and the dynamics of variation of CG expression in peripheral blood, and two lymphoid tissues of mice. Expression levels of seven recognized key CGs (mBmal1, mClock, mPer1, mPer2, mCry1, mCry2, and Rev-erbalpha) were evaluated by quantitative RT- PCR in spleen, thymus and peripheral blood of C57BL/6 male mice housed on a 12-h light (L)-dark (D) cycle and sacrificed every 4 h for 24 h (3-4 mice/time point). We found a statistically significant time-effect in spleen (S), thymus (T) and blood (B) for the original values of expression level of mBmal1 (S), mClock (T, B), mPer1 (S, B), mPer2 (S), mCry1 (S), mCry2 (B) and mRev-Erbalpha (S, T, B) and for the fractional variation calculated between single time-point expression value of mBmal1 (B), mPer2 (T), mCry2 (B) and mRev-Erbalpha (S). A significant 24-h rhythm was validated for five CGs in blood (mClock, mPer1, mPer2, mCry2, mRev-Erbalpha), for four CGs in the spleen (mBmal1, mPer1, mPer2, mRev-Erbalpha), and for three CGs in the thymus (mClock, mPer2, mRev-Erbalpha). The original values of acrophases for mBmal1, mClock, mPer1, mPer2, mCry1 and mCry2 were very similar for spleen and thymus and advanced by several hours for peripheral blood compared to the lymphoid tissues, whereas the phases of mRev-Erbalpha were coincident for all three tissues. In conclusion, central and peripheral lymphoid tissues in the mouse show different sequences of activation of clock gene expression compared to peripheral blood. These differences may underlie the compartmental pattern of web functioning in the immune system.

  13. Effects of high CO2 levels on dynamic photosynthesis: carbon gain, mechanisms, and environmental interactions.

    PubMed

    Tomimatsu, Hajime; Tang, Yanhong

    2016-05-01

    Understanding the photosynthetic responses of terrestrial plants to environments with high levels of CO2 is essential to address the ecological effects of elevated atmospheric CO2. Most photosynthetic models used for global carbon issues are based on steady-state photosynthesis, whereby photosynthesis is measured under constant environmental conditions; however, terrestrial plant photosynthesis under natural conditions is highly dynamic, and photosynthetic rates change in response to rapid changes in environmental factors. To predict future contributions of photosynthesis to the global carbon cycle, it is necessary to understand the dynamic nature of photosynthesis in relation to high CO2 levels. In this review, we summarize the current body of knowledge on the photosynthetic response to changes in light intensity under experimentally elevated CO2 conditions. We found that short-term exposure to high CO2 enhances photosynthetic rate, reduces photosynthetic induction time, and reduces post-illumination CO2 burst, resulting in increased leaf carbon gain during dynamic photosynthesis. However, long-term exposure to high CO2 during plant growth has varying effects on dynamic photosynthesis. High levels of CO2 increase the carbon gain in photosynthetic induction in some species, but have no significant effects in other species. Some studies have shown that high CO2 levels reduce the biochemical limitation on RuBP regeneration and Rubisco activation during photosynthetic induction, whereas the effects of high levels of CO2 on stomatal conductance differ among species. Few studies have examined the influence of environmental factors on effects of high levels of CO2 on dynamic photosynthesis. We identified several knowledge gaps that should be addressed to aid future predictions of photosynthesis in high-CO2 environments.

  14. Environmental urban lead exposure and blood lead levels in children of Mexico City.

    PubMed

    Romieu, I; Carreon, T; Lopez, L; Palazuelos, E; Rios, C; Manuel, Y; Hernandez-Avila, M

    1995-11-01

    Lead contamination is now a leading public health problem in Mexico. However, there are few data on the lead content of various environmental sources, and little is known about the contribution of these sources to the total lead exposure in the population of children residing in Mexico City. We conducted a cross-sectional study in a random sample of 200 children younger than 5 years of age who lived in one of two areas of Mexico City. Environmental samples of floor, window, and street dust, paint, soil, water, and glazed ceramics were obtained from the participants' households, as well as blood samples and dirt from the hands of the children. Blood lead levels ranged from 1 to 31 micrograms/dl with a mean of 9.9 micrograms/dl (SD 5.8 micrograms/dl). Forty-four percent of the children 18 months of age or older had blood lead levels exceeding 10 micrograms/dl. The lead content of environmental samples was low, except in glazed ceramic. The major predictors of blood lead levels were the lead content of the glazed ceramics used to prepare children's food, exposure to airborne lead due to vehicular emission, and the lead content of the dirt from the children's hands. We conclude that the major sources of lead exposure in Mexico City could be controlled by adequate public health programs to reinforce the use of unleaded gasoline and to encourage production and use of unleaded cookware instead of lead-glazed ceramics.

  15. Environmental urban lead exposure and blood lead levels in children of Mexico City.

    PubMed Central

    Romieu, I; Carreon, T; Lopez, L; Palazuelos, E; Rios, C; Manuel, Y; Hernandez-Avila, M

    1995-01-01

    Lead contamination is now a leading public health problem in Mexico. However, there are few data on the lead content of various environmental sources, and little is known about the contribution of these sources to the total lead exposure in the population of children residing in Mexico City. We conducted a cross-sectional study in a random sample of 200 children younger than 5 years of age who lived in one of two areas of Mexico City. Environmental samples of floor, window, and street dust, paint, soil, water, and glazed ceramics were obtained from the participants' households, as well as blood samples and dirt from the hands of the children. Blood lead levels ranged from 1 to 31 micrograms/dl with a mean of 9.9 micrograms/dl (SD 5.8 micrograms/dl). Forty-four percent of the children 18 months of age or older had blood lead levels exceeding 10 micrograms/dl. The lead content of environmental samples was low, except in glazed ceramic. The major predictors of blood lead levels were the lead content of the glazed ceramics used to prepare children's food, exposure to airborne lead due to vehicular emission, and the lead content of the dirt from the children's hands. We conclude that the major sources of lead exposure in Mexico City could be controlled by adequate public health programs to reinforce the use of unleaded gasoline and to encourage production and use of unleaded cookware instead of lead-glazed ceramics. PMID:8605853

  16. Experimental exposure of juvenile savannah monitors (Varanus exanthematicus) to an environmentally relevant mixture of three contaminants: effects and accumulation in tissues.

    PubMed

    Ciliberti, Alexandre; Martin, Samuel; Ferrandez, Eric; Belluco, Sara; Rannou, Benoit; Dussart, Céline; Berny, Philippe; de Buffrenil, Vivian

    2013-05-01

    Using varanids as indicators of pollution in African continental wetlands was previously proposed. The present study aimed at understanding experimentally how monitors absorb and accumulate pollutants and how they are affected. The relevance of non-destructive sampling was also evaluated. Savannah monitors (Varanus exanthematicus) were orally exposed during 6 months to a mixture of lead, 4,4'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (4,4'-DDT) and chlorpyrifos-ethyl (CPF) or to the vehicle only. Proportionally to their mass, exposed monitors received the same dose: 20 then 10 mg lead kg(-1), 2 then 0.5 mg CPF kg(-1) and 4 mg 4,4'-DDT kg(-1). Individuals surviving contamination were euthanized after 4 or 6 months of experiment. Tissues were analysed for lead by atomic absorption spectrophotometry and for DDT and CPF by gas chromatography. Exposed monitors absorbed all three pollutants but only lead (essentially in bone, tail tips and phalanxes) and 4,4'-DDT plus its main metabolites (essentially in fat and liver) accumulated. CPF killed ten individuals. Clear correlations occurred between the total quantity of lead or 4,4'-DDT administered and concentrations in tissues. Tail tips and skin samples are recommended non-destructive indicators for lead and organochlorine pesticides contamination, respectively. This work confirms that monitors can be used as relevant indicators of environmental pollution by lead and organochlorine pesticides. Although varanids withstand heavy lead and DDT contamination, our results suggest that CPF can be lethal at very low doses to the herpetofauna and emphasize the importance of considering all taxa in impact assessment studies, including reptiles.

  17. Structured Multi-level Data Fusion and Modelling of Heterogeneous Environmental Data for Future Internet Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabeur, Zoheir; Chakravarthy, Ajay; Bashevoy, Maxim; Modafferi, Stefano

    2013-04-01

    The rapid increase in environmental observations which are conducted by Small to Medium Enterprise communities and volunteers using affordable in situ sensors at various scales, in addition to the more established observatories set up by environmental and space agencies using airborne and space-borne sensing technologies is generating serious amounts of BIG data at ever increasing speeds. Furthermore, the emergence of Future Internet technologies and the urgent requirements for the deployment of specific enablers for the delivery of processed environmental knowledge in real-time with advanced situation awareness to citizens has reached paramount importance. Specifically, it has become highly critical now to build and provide services which automate the aggregation of data from various sources, while surmounting the semantic gaps, conflicts and heterogeneity in data sources. The early stage aggregation of data will enable the pre-processing of data from multiple sources while reconciling the temporal gaps in measurement time series, and aligning their respective a-synchronicities. This low level type of data fusion process needs to be automated and chained to more advanced level of data fusion services specialising in observation forecasts at spaces where sensing is not deployed; or at time slices where sensing has not taken place yet. As a result, multi-level fusion services are required among the families of specific enablers for monitoring environments and spaces in the Future Internet. These have been intially deployed and piloted in the ongoing ENVIROFI project of the FI-PPP programme [1]. Automated fusion and modelling of in situ and remote sensing data has been set up and the experimentation successfully conducted using RBF networks for the spatial fusion of water quality parameters measurements from satellite and stationary buoys in the Irish Sea. The RBF networks method scales for the spatial data fusion of multiple types of observation sources. This

  18. Editor's Highlight: Interactive Genotoxicity Induced by Environmentally Relevant Concentrations of Benzo(a)Pyrene Metabolites and Arsenite in Mouse Thymus Cells.

    PubMed

    Xu, Huan; Lauer, Fredine T; Liu, Ke Jian; Hudson, Laurie G; Burchiel, Scott W

    2016-11-01

    Arsenic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposures affect many people worldwide leading to cancer and other diseases. Arsenite (As(+3)) and certain PAHs are known to cause genotoxicity. However, there is limited information on the interactions between As(+3) and PAHs at environmentally relevant concentrations. The thymus is the primary immune organ for T cell development in mammals. Our previous studies showed that environmentally relevant concentrations of As(+3) induce genotoxicity in mouse thymus cells through Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibition. Certain PAHs, such as the metabolites of benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), are known to cause DNA damage by forming DNA adducts. In the present study, primary mouse thymus cells were examined for DNA damage following 18 hr in vitro treatments with 5 or 50 nM As(+3) and 100 nM BaP, benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-dihydrodiol (BP-Diol), or benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-dihydrodiol-9,10-epoxide (BPDE). An interactive increase in genotoxicity and apoptosis were observed following treatments with 5 nM As (+)  (3 )+( )100 nM BP-diol and 50 nM As (+)  (3 )+( )100 nM BPDE. We attribute the increase in DNA damage to inhibition of PARP inhibition leading to decreased DNA repair. To further support this hypothesis, we found that a PARP inhibitor, 3,4-dihydro-5[4-(1-piperindinyl) butoxyl]-1(2H)-isoquinoline (DPQ), also interacted with BP-diol to produce an increase in DNA damage. Interestingly, we also found that As(+3) and BP-diol increased CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 expression, suggesting that increased PAH metabolism may also contribute to genotoxicity. In summary, these results show that the suppression of PARP activity and induction of CYP1A1/CYP1B1 may act together to increase DNA damage produced by As(+3) and PAHs.

  19. Environmental noise levels affect the activity budget of the Florida manatee

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miksis-Olds, Jennifer L.; Donaghay, Percy L.; Miller, James H.; Tyack, Peter L.

    2005-09-01

    Manatees inhabit coastal bays, lagoons, and estuaries because they are dependent on the aquatic vegetation that grows in shallow waters. Food requirements force manatees to occupy the same areas in which human activities are the greatest. Noise produced from human activities has the potential to affect these animals by eliciting responses ranging from mild behavioral changes to extreme aversion. This study quantifies the behavioral responses of manatees to both changing levels of ambient noise and transient noise sources. Results indicate that elevated environmental noise levels do affect the overall activity budget of this species. The proportion of time manatees spend feeding, milling, and traveling in critical habitats changed as a function of noise level. More time was spent in the directed, goal-oriented behaviors of feeding and traveling, while less time was spent milling when noise levels were highest. The animals also responded to the transient noise of approaching vessels with changes in behavioral state and movements out of the geographical area. This suggests that manatees detect and respond to changes in environmental noise levels. Whether these changes legally constitute harassment and produce biologically significant effects need to be addressed with hypothesis-driven experiments and long-term monitoring. [For Animal Bioacoustics Best Student Paper Award.

  20. Association of Campylobacter spp. levels between chicken grow-out environmental samples and processed carcasses.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Matthew W; Eifert, Joseph D; Ponder, Monica A; Schmale, David G

    2014-03-01

    Campylobacter spp. have been isolated from live poultry, production environments, processing facilities, and raw poultry products. Environmental sampling in a poultry grow-out house, combined with carcass rinse sampling from the same flock, may provide a relative relationship between pre- and postharvest Campylobacter contamination. Air samples, fecal/litter samples, and feed/drink line samples were collected from 4 commercial chicken grow-out houses in western Virginia between September 2011 and January 2012. Birds from each sampled house were the first flock slaughtered the following day and were then sampled by postchill carcass rinses. Campylobacter, from postenrichment samples, was detected in 27% (32/120) of house environmental samples and 37.5% (45/120) of carcass rinse samples. All environmental sample types from each house included at least one positive sample except the house 2 air samples. The sponge sample method was found to have a significantly higher (P < 0.05) proportion of Campylobacter-positive samples (45%) than the fecal/litter samples (20%) and air samples (15%) when sample types of all the houses were compared. The proportion positive for the fecal/litter samples postenrichment, for each flock, had the highest correlation (0.85) to the proportion of positive carcass rinse samples for each flock. Environmental samples from house 1 and associated carcass rinses accounted for the largest number of Campylobacter positives (29/60). The fewest number of Campylobacter positives, based on both house environmental (4/30) and carcass rinse samples (8/30), was detected from flock B. The results of this study suggest that environmental sampling in a poultry grow-out house, combined with carcass rinse sampling from the same flock, have the potential to provide an indication of Campylobacter contamination and transmission. Campylobacter qualitative levels from house and processing plant samples may enable the scheduled processing of flocks with lower

  1. Environmental risks of radioactive discharges from a low-level radioactive waste disposal site at Dessel, Belgium.

    PubMed

    Batlle, J Vives I; Sweeck, L; Wannijn, J; Vandenhove, H

    2016-10-01

    The potential radiological impact of releases from a low-level radioactive waste (Category A waste) repository in Dessel, Belgium on the local fauna and flora was assessed under a reference scenario for gradual leaching. The potential impact situations for terrestrial and aquatic fauna and flora considered in this study were soil contamination due to irrigation with contaminated groundwater from a well at 70 m from the repository, contamination of the local wetlands receiving the highest radionuclide flux after migration through the aquifer and contamination of the local river receiving the highest radionuclide flux after migration through the aquifer. In addition, an exploratory study was carried out for biota residing in the groundwater. All impact assessments were performed using the Environmental Risk from Ionising Contaminants: Assessment and Management (ERICA) tool. For all scenarios considered, absorbed dose rates to biota were found to be well below the ERICA 10 μGy h(-1) screening value. The highest dose rates were observed for the scenario where soil was irrigated with groundwater from the vicinity of the repository. For biota residing in the groundwater well, a few dose rates were slightly above the screening level but significantly below the dose rates at which the smallest effects are observed for those relevant species or groups of species. Given the conservative nature of the assessment, it can be concluded that manmade radionuclides deposited into the environment by the near surface disposal of category A waste at Dessel do not have a significant radiological impact to wildlife.

  2. Low-Volatility Model Demonstrates Humidity Affects Environmental Toxin Deposition on Plastics at a Molecular Level.

    PubMed

    Hankett, Jeanne M; Collin, William R; Yang, Pei; Chen, Zhan; Duhaime, Melissa

    2016-02-02

    Despite the ever-increasing prevalence of plastic debris and endocrine disrupting toxins in aquatic ecosystems, few studies describe their interactions in freshwater environments. We present a model system to investigate the deposition/desorption behaviors of low-volatility lake ecosystem toxins on microplastics in situ and in real time. Molecular interactions of gas-phase nonylphenols (NPs) with the surfaces of two common plastics, poly(styrene) and poly(ethylene terephthalate), were studied using quartz crystal microbalance and sum frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy. NP point sources were generated under two model environments: plastic on land and plastic on a freshwater surface. We found the headspace above calm water provides an excellent environment for NP deposition and demonstrate significant NP deposition on plastic within minutes at relevant concentrations. Further, NP deposits and orders differently on both plastics under humid versus dry environments. We attributed the unique deposition behaviors to surface energy changes from increased water content during the humid deposition. Lastly, nanograms of NP remained on microplastic surfaces hours after initial NP introduction and agitating conditions, illustrating feasibility for plastic-bound NPs to interact with biota and surrounding matter. Our model studies reveal important interactions between low-volatility environmental toxins and microplastics and hold potential to correlate the environmental fate of endocrine disrupting toxins in the Great Lakes with molecular behaviors.

  3. Response of Lemna gibba L. to high and environmentally relevant concentrations of ibuprofen: Removal, metabolism and morpho-physiological traits for biomonitoring of emerging contaminants.

    PubMed

    Di Baccio, D; Pietrini, F; Bertolotto, P; Pérez, S; Barcelò, D; Zacchini, M; Donati, E

    2017-04-15

    The increasing worldwide consumption of pharmaceuticals and personal care products such as ibuprofen (IBU) is leading to the widespread and persistent occurrence of these chemicals and their transformation products in soils and waters. Although at low concentrations, the continuous discharge of these micropollutants and the incomplete removal by the actual wastewater treatments can provoke accumulation in the environment with risks for the trophic chain. Non-target organisms as duckweed can be used for the environmental monitoring of pharmaceutical emerging contaminants. In this work, plants of Lemna gibba L. were exposed to high (0.20 and 1mgL(-1)) and environmentally relevant (0.02mgL(-1)) concentrations of IBU to investigate their removal and metabolization capacity. The main oxidized IBU metabolites in humans (hydroxy-IBU and carboxy-IBU) were determined in the intact plants and in the growth solutions, together with non-destructive physiological parameters and phytotoxic indicators. The IBU uptake increased with the increasing of IBU concentration in the medium, but the relative accumulation of the pharmaceutical and generation of hydroxy-IBU was higher in presence of the lower IBU treatments. Carboxy-IBU was not found in the plant tissue and solutions. The changes observed in growth and photosynthetic performances were not able to induce phyto-toxic effects. Apart from a mean physical-chemical degradation of 8.2%, the IBU removal by plants was highly efficient (89-92.5%) in all the conditions tested, highlighting the role of L. gibba in the biodegradation of emerging contaminants.

  4. Interethnic differences in the relevance of CYP2C9 genotype and environmental factors for diclofenac metabolism in Hispanics from Cuba and Spain.

    PubMed

    Llerena, A; Alvarez, M; Dorado, P; González, I; Peñas-LLedó, E; Pérez, B; Cobaleda, J; Calzadilla, L R

    2014-06-01

    The aims of this study were to evaluate the diclofenac metabolism in Hispanics from Cuba and Spain and its relation to ethnicity, CYP2C9 genotypes and environmental factors. Diclofenac hydroxylation capacity (concentration ratios of diclofenac/metabolites in 8-h urine) was studied in 160 Cuban (classified as 76 Cuban-Whites-CWs and 84 Cuban-Mestizos-CMs) and 148 Spaniard (SPs) healthy volunteers. Diclofenac and its main metabolites, 4'-hydroxy (OH), 3'-OH and 5-OH diclofenac, and CYP2C9*2 to *6 and *8 alleles were also determined in 132 and 128 CWs and CMs, respectively. Gender, tobacco, caffeine and ethanol consumption were also evaluated. The mean diclofenac/4'-OH diclofenac ratio was higher in CMs (0.72±0.25) than in CWs (0.64±0.20; P<0.05) and SPs (0.57±0.26; P<0.001). The mean diclofenac/4'-OH diclofenac ratio was higher (P<0.05) in subjects with CYP2C9*1/*3 (0.77±0.19; n=22) and CYP2C9*1/*8 (0.93±0.33; n=4) genotypes than with CYP2C9*1/*1 (0.65±0.24; n=90). Environmental factors did not seem to influence the diclofenac metabolism in these populations. The present findings show for the first time interethnic differences between Hispanic groups in urinary diclofenac/4'-OH diclofenac ratios, and the relevance of CYP2C9*3 and CYP2C9*8 alleles.

  5. Annoyance from Road Traffic, Trains, Airplanes and from Total Environmental Noise Levels.

    PubMed

    Ragettli, Martina S; Goudreau, Sophie; Plante, Céline; Perron, Stéphane; Fournier, Michel; Smargiassi, Audrey

    2015-12-29

    There is a lack of studies assessing the exposure-response relationship between transportation noise and annoyance in North America. Our aims were to investigate the prevalence of noise annoyance induced by road traffic, trains and airplanes in relation to distance to transportation noise sources, and to total environmental noise levels in Montreal, Canada; annoyance was assessed as noise-induced disturbance. A telephone-based survey among 4336 persons aged >18 years was conducted. Exposure to total environmental noise (A-weighted outdoor noise levels-LAeq24h and day-evening-night equivalent noise levels-Lden) for each study participant was determined using a statistical noise model (land use regression-LUR) that is based on actual outdoor noise measurements. The proportion of the population annoyed by road traffic, airplane and train noise was 20.1%, 13.0% and 6.1%, respectively. As the distance to major roads, railways and the Montreal International Airport increased, the percentage of people disturbed and highly disturbed due to the corresponding traffic noise significantly decreased. When applying the statistical noise model we found a relationship between noise levels and disturbance from road traffic and total environmental noise, with Prevalence Proportion Ratios (PPR) for highly disturbed people of 1.10 (95% CI: 1.07-1.13) and 1.04 (1.02-1.06) per 1 dB(A) Lden, respectively. Our study provides the first comprehensive information on the relationship between transportation noise levels and disturbance in a Canadian city. LUR models are still in development and further studies on transportation noise induced annoyance are consequently needed, especially for sources other than road traffic.

  6. Contrasting correlation patterns between environmental factors and chlorophyll levels in the global ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Jianfeng; Durant, Joël. Marcel; Stige, Leif Chr.; Hessen, Dag Olav; Hjermann, Dag Øystein; Zhu, Lin; Llope, Marcos; Stenseth, Nils Chr.

    2015-12-01

    In this study we analyze large-scale satellite-derived data using generalized additive models to characterize the global correlation patterns between environmental forcing and marine phytoplankton biomass. We found systematic differences in the relationships between key environmental drivers (temperature, light, and wind) and ocean chlorophyll in the subtropical/tropical and temperate oceans. For the subtropical/tropical and equatorial oceans, the chlorophyll generally declined with increasing temperature and light, while in temperate oceans, chlorophyll was best explained by bell-shaped or positive functions of temperature and light. The relationship between chlorophyll and wind speed is generally positive in low-latitude oceans and bell shaped in temperate oceans. Our analyses also demonstrated strong and geographically consistent positive autoregressive effects of chlorophyll from 1 month to the next and negative autoregressive effects for measurements 2 months apart. These findings imply possibly different regional phytoplankton responses to environmental forcing, suggesting that future environmental change could affect the tropical and temperate upper ocean chlorophyll levels differently.

  7. Relevancy 101

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lynnes, Chris; Newman, Doug

    2016-01-01

    Where we present an overview on why relevancy is a problem, how important it is and how we can improve it. The topic of relevancy is becoming increasingly important in earth data discovery as our audience is tuned to the accuracy of standard search engines like Google.

  8. County-level environmental quality is differentially associated with individual- and county-level infant mortality by race

    EPA Science Inventory

    Human health is affected by simultaneous exposure to stressors and amenities, but research typically considers single exposures. In order to account for multiple ambient environmental conditions, we constructed an Environmental Quality Index (EQI) using principle components analy...

  9. Predicting aqueous solubility of environmentally relevant compounds from molecular features: a simple but highly effective four-dimensional model based on Project to Latent Structures.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Feng; Gulliver, John S; Simcik, Matt F

    2013-09-15

    The aqueous solubility (log S) of xenobiotic chemicals has been identified as a key characteristic in determining their bioaccessibility/bioavailability and their fate and transport in aquatic environments. We here explore and evaluate the use of a state-of-the-art data analysis technique (Project to Latent Structures, PLS) to estimate log S of environmentally relevant chemicals. A large number (n = 624) of molecular descriptors was computed for over 1400 organic chemicals, and then refined by a feature selection technique. Candidate predictor descriptors were fitted to data by means of PLS, which was optimized by an internal leave-one-out cross-validation technique and validated by an external data set. The final (best) PLS model with only four variables (AlogP, X1sol, Mv, and E) exhibited noteworthy stability and good predictive power. It was able to explain 91% of the data (n = 1400) variance with an average absolute error of 0.5 log units through the solubilities span over 12 orders of magnitude. The newly proposed model is transparent, easily portable from one user to another, and robust enough to accurately estimate log S of a wide range of emerging contaminants.

  10. Photodegradation behaviour of sethoxydim and its comercial formulation Poast(®) under environmentally-relevant conditions in aqueous media. Study of photoproducts and their toxicity.

    PubMed

    Sevilla-Morán, Beatriz; Calvo, Luisa; López-Goti, Carmen; Alonso-Prados, José L; Sandín-España, Pilar

    2017-02-01

    Photolysis is an important route for the abiotic degradation of many pesticides. However, the knowledge of the photolytic behaviour of these compounds and their commercial formulations under environmentally-relevant conditions are limited. The present study investigated the importance of photochemical processes on the persistence and fate of the herbicide sethoxydim and its commercial formulation Poast(®) in aqueous media. Moreover, the effect of important natural water substances (nitrate, calcium, and ferric ions) on the photolysis of the herbicide was also studied. The results showed that additives existing in the commercial formulation Poast(®) accelerated the rate of photolysis of sethoxydim by a factor of 3. On the contrary, the presence of nitrate and calcium ions had no effect on the photodegradation rate while ferric ions resulted in an important decrease in the half-life of sethoxydim possibly due to the formation of a complex. Different transformation products were identified in the course of sethoxydim irradiation and the effect of experimental conditions on their concentrations was investigated. Finally, Microtox(®) test revealed that aqueous solutions of sethoxydim photoproducts increased the toxicity to the bacteria Vibrio fischeri.

  11. The use and acceptance of Other Scientifically Relevant Information (OSRI) in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Patricia L; Willett, Catherine E

    2014-02-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) currently relies on an initial screening battery (Tier 1) consisting of five in vitro and six in vivo assays to evaluate a chemical's potential to interact with the endocrine system. Chemical companies may request test waivers based on Other Scientifically Relevant Information (OSRI) that is functionally equivalent to data gathered in the screening battery or that provides information on a potential endocrine effect. Respondents for 47 of the first 67 chemicals evaluated in the EDSP submitted OSRI in lieu of some or all Tier 1 tests, seeking 412 waivers, of which EPA granted only 93. For 20 of the 47 chemicals, EPA denied all OSRI and required the entire Tier 1 battery. Often, the OSRI accepted was either identical to data generated by the Tier 1 assay or indicated a positive result. Although identified as potential sources of OSRI in EPA guidance, Part 158 guideline studies for pesticide registration were seldom accepted by EPA. The 93 waivers reduced animal use by at least 3325 animals. We estimate 27,731 animals were used in the actual Tier 1 tests, with additional animals being used in preparation for testing. Even with EPA's shift toward applying 21st-century toxicology tools to screening of endocrine disruptors in the future, acceptance of OSRI will remain a primary means for avoiding duplicative testing and reducing use of animals in the EDSP. Therefore, it is essential that EPA develop a consistent and transparent basis for accepting OSRI.

  12. PERSONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RISK FACTORS SIGNIFICANTLY ASSOCIATED WITH ELEVATED BLOOD LEAD LEVELS IN RURAL THAI CHILDREN.

    PubMed

    Swaddiwudhipong, Witaya; Kavinum, Suporn; Papwijitsil, Ratchadaporn; Tontiwattanasap, Worawit; Khunyotying, Wanlee; Umpan, Jiraporn; BoonthuM, Ratchaneekorn; Kaewnate, Yingyot; Boonmee, Sasis; Thongchub, Winai; Rodsung, Thassanee

    2014-11-01

    A community-based study was conducted to determine personal risk factors and environmental sources of lead exposure for elevated blood lead levels (≥ 10 µg/dl, EBLLs) among rural children living at the Thailand-Myanmar border in Tak Province, northwestern Thailand. Six hundred ninety-five children aged 1-14 years old were screened for BLLs. Environmental specimens for lead measurements included samples of water from the streams, taps, and household containers, house floor dust, and foods. Possible lead release from the cooking ware was determined using the leaching method with acetic acid. The overall prevalence of EBLLs was 47.1% and the geometric mean level of blood lead was 9.16 µg/dl. Personal risk factors significantly associated with EBLLs included being male, younger age, anemia, and low weight-for-age. Significant environmental risk factors were exposure to a lead-acid battery of solar energy system and use of a non-certified metal cooking pot. Some families whose children had high BLLs reported production of lead bullets from the used batteries at home. About one-third of the house dust samples taken near batteries contained lead content above the recommended value, compared with none of those taken from other areas and from the houses with no batteries. The metal pots were safe for cooking rice but might be unsafe for acidic food preparation. Both nutritional intervention and lead exposure prevention programs are essential to reduce EBLLs in this population.

  13. Health and environmental risk-related impacts of actinide burning on high-level waste disposal

    SciTech Connect

    Forsberg, C.W.

    1992-05-01

    The potential health and environmental risk-related impacts of actinide burning for high-level waste disposal were evaluated. Actinide burning, also called waste partitioning-transmutation, is an advanced method for radioactive waste management based on the idea of destroying the most toxic components in the waste. It consists of two steps: (1) selective removal of the most toxic radionuclides from high-level/spent fuel waste and (2) conversion of those radionuclides into less toxic radioactive materials and/or stable elements. Risk, as used in this report, is defined as the probability of a failure times its consequence. Actinide burning has two potential health and environmental impacts on waste management. Risks and the magnitude of high-consequence repository failure scenarios are decreased by inventory reduction of the long-term radioactivity in the repository. (What does not exist cannot create risk or uncertainty.) Risk may also be reduced by the changes in the waste characteristics, resulting from selection of waste forms after processing, that are superior to spent fuel and which lower the potential of transport of radionuclides from waste form to accessible environment. There are no negative health or environmental impacts to the repository from actinide burning; however, there may be such impacts elsewhere in the fuel cycle.

  14. Environmental behaviour and ecotoxicity of quantum dots at various trophic levels: A review.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Thiago Lopes; Mestre, Nélia C; Sabóia-Morais, Simone Maria Teixeira; Bebianno, Maria João

    2017-01-01

    Despite the wide application of quantum dots (QDs) in electronics, pharmacy and nanomedicine, limited data is available on their environmental health risk. To advance our current understanding of the environmental impact of these engineered nanomaterials, the aim of this review is to give a detailed insight on the existing information concerning the behaviour, transformation and fate of QDs in the aquatic environment, as well as on its mode of action (MoA), ecotoxicity, trophic transfer and biomagnification at various trophic levels (micro-organisms, aquatic invertebrates and vertebrates). Data show that several types of Cd-based QDs, even at low concentrations (levels is highly dependent on its physico-chemical properties, environmental conditions, concentration and exposure time, as well as, species, while UV irradiation increases its toxicity. The state of the art regarding the MoA of QDs according to taxonomic groups is summarised and illustrated. Accumulation and trophic transfer of QDs was observed in freshwater and seawater species, while limited biomagnification and detoxification processes were detected. Finally, current knowledge gaps are discussed and recommendations for future research identified. Overall, the knowledge available indicates that in order to develop sustainable nanotechnologies there is an urgent need to develop Cd-free QDs and new "core-shell-conjugate" QD structures.

  15. ISO 14 001 at the farm level: analysis of five methods for evaluating the environmental impact of agricultural practices.

    PubMed

    Galan, M B; Peschard, D; Boizard, H

    2007-02-01

    Faced with society's increasing expectations, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) review considers environmental management to be an ever more critical criterion in the allocation of farm subsidies. With the goal of evaluating the environmental friendliness of farm practices, France's agricultural research and extension services have built a range of agricultural/environmental diagnostic tools over recent years. The objective of the present paper is to compare the five tools most frequently used in France: IDEA, DIAGE, DIALECTE, DIALOGUE and INDIGO. All the tools have the same purpose: evaluation of the impact of farm practices on the environment via indicators and monitoring of farm management practices. When tested on a sample of large-scale farms in Picardie, the five tools sometimes produced completely different results: for a given farm, the most supposedly significant environmental impacts depend on the tool used. These results lead to differing environmental management plans and raise the question of the methods' pertinence. An analysis grid of diagnostic tools aimed at specifying their field of validity, limits and relevance was drawn up. The resulting comparative analysis enables to define each tool's domain of validity and allows to suggest lines of thought for developing more relevant tools for (i) evaluating a farm's environmental performance and (ii) helping farmers to develop a plan for improving practices within the framework of an environmental management system.

  16. Independent Maternal and Fetal Genetic Effects on Midgestational Circulating Levels of Environmental Pollutants

    PubMed Central

    Traglia, Michela; Croen, Lisa A.; Lyall, Kristen; Windham, Gayle C.; Kharrazi, Marty; DeLorenze, Gerald N.; Torres, Anthony R.; Weiss, Lauren A.

    2017-01-01

    Maternal exposure to environmental pollutants could affect fetal brain development and increase autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk in conjunction with differential genetic susceptibility. Organohalogen congeners measured in maternal midpregnancy blood samples have recently shown significant, but negative associations with offspring ASD outcome. We report the first large-scale maternal and fetal genetic study of the midpregnancy serum levels of a set of 21 organohalogens in a subset of 790 genotyped women and 764 children collected in California by the Early Markers for Autism (EMA) Project. Levels of PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) and PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ether) congeners showed high maternal and fetal estimated SNP-based heritability (h2g) accounting for 39–99% of the total variance. Genome-wide association analyses identified significant maternal loci for p,p′-DDE (P = 7.8 × 10−11) in the CYP2B6 gene and for BDE-28 (P = 3.2 × 10−8) near the SH3GL2 gene, both involved in xenobiotic and lipid metabolism. Fetal genetic loci contributed to the levels of BDE-100 (P = 4.6 × 10−8) and PCB187 (P = 2.8 × 10−8), near the potential metabolic genes LOXHD1 and PTPRD, previously implicated in neurodevelopment. Negative associations were observed for BDE-100, BDE153, and the sum of PBDEs with ASD, partly explained by genome-wide additive genetic effects that predicted PBDE levels. Our results support genetic control of midgestational biomarkers for environmental exposures by nonoverlapping maternal and fetal genetic determinants, suggesting that future studies of environmental risk factors should take genetic variation into consideration. The independent influence of fetal genetics supports previous hypotheses that fetal genotypes expressed in placenta can influence maternal physiology and the transplacental transfer of organohalogens. PMID:28235828

  17. Spatial Relationship Quantification between Environmental, Socioeconomic and Health Data at Different Geographic Levels

    PubMed Central

    Saib, Mahdi-Salim; Caudeville, Julien; Carre, Florence; Ganry, Olivier; Trugeon, Alain; Cicolella, Andre

    2014-01-01

    Spatial health inequalities have often been analyzed in terms of socioeconomic and environmental factors. The present study aimed to evaluate spatial relationships between spatial data collected at different spatial scales. The approach was illustrated using health outcomes (mortality attributable to cancer) initially aggregated to the county level, district socioeconomic covariates, and exposure data modeled on a regular grid. Geographically weighted regression (GWR) was used to quantify spatial relationships. The strongest associations were found when low deprivation was associated with lower lip, oral cavity and pharynx cancer mortality and when low environmental pollution was associated with low pleural cancer mortality. However, applying this approach to other areas or to other causes of death or with other indicators requires continuous exploratory analysis to assess the role of the modifiable areal unit problem (MAUP) and downscaling the health data on the study of the relationship, which will allow decision-makers to develop interventions where they are most needed. PMID:24705362

  18. Access to environmental resources and physical activity levels of adults in Hawaii

    PubMed Central

    Geller, KS; Nigg, CR; Ollberding, NJ; Motl, RW; Horwath, C; Dishman, RK

    2012-01-01

    Purpose Examine associations between physical activity (PA) and spatial accessibility to environmental PA resources in Hawaii. Methods Metabolic equivalents (METs) of mild, moderate, and strenuous PA were compared for accessibility to environmental PA resources within a population-based sample of Hawaiian adults (n=381). Multiple linear regression estimated differences in PA levels for residing further from a PA resource or residing in an area with a greater number of resources. Results No associations were found in the total sample. Analyses within subsamples stratified by ethnicity revealed that greater spatial accessibility to a PA resource was positively associated with strenuous PA among Caucasians (p=0.04), but negatively associated with moderate PA among Native Hawaiians (p=0.00). Conclusion The lack of association in the total sample may be a consequence of Hawaii’s unique environment. Results of stratified sample analyses are unique, providing groundwork for future examinations within parallel environments and among similar ethnic groups. PMID:22500037

  19. Validated methodology for quantifying infestation levels of dreissenid mussels in environmental DNA (eDNA) samples

    PubMed Central

    Peñarrubia, Luis; Alcaraz, Carles; Vaate, Abraham bij de; Sanz, Nuria; Pla, Carles; Vidal, Oriol; Viñas, Jordi

    2016-01-01

    The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha Pallas, 1771) and the quagga mussel (D. rostriformis Deshayes, 1838) are successful invasive bivalves with substantial ecological and economic impacts in freshwater systems once they become established. Since their eradication is extremely difficult, their detection at an early stage is crucial to prevent spread. In this study, we optimized and validated a qPCR detection method based on the histone H2B gene to quantify combined infestation levels of zebra and quagga mussels in environmental DNA samples. Our results show specific dreissenid DNA present in filtered water samples for which microscopic diagnostic identification for larvae failed. Monitoring a large number of locations for invasive dreissenid species based on a highly specific environmental DNA qPCR assay may prove to be an essential tool for management and control plans focused on prevention of establishment of dreissenid mussels in new locations. PMID:27966602

  20. Explicit control of adaptive automation under different levels of environmental stress.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Jürgen; Kao, Chung-Shan; Wastell, David; Nickel, Peter

    2011-08-01

    This article examines the effectiveness of three different forms of explicit control of adaptive automation under low- and high-stress conditions, operationalised by different levels of noise. In total, 60 participants were assigned to one of three types of automation design (free, prompted and forced choice). They were trained for 4 h on a highly automated simulation of a process control environment, called AutoCAMS. This was followed by a 4-h testing session under noise exposure and quiet conditions. Measures of performance, psychophysiology and subjective reactions were taken. The results showed that all three modes of explicit control of adaptive automation modes were able to attenuate the negative effects of noise. This was partly due to the fact that operators opted for higher levels of automation under noise. It also emerged that forced choice showed marginal advantages over the two other automation modes. Statement of Relevance: This work is relevant to the design of adaptive automation since it emphasises the need to consider the impact of work-related stressors during task completion. During the presence of stressors, different forms of operator support through automation may be required than under more favourable working conditions.

  1. Practical ranges of loudness levels of various types of environmental noise, including traffic noise, aircraft noise, and industrial noise.

    PubMed

    Salomons, Erik M; Janssen, Sabine A

    2011-06-01

    In environmental noise control one commonly employs the A-weighted sound level as an approximate measure of the effect of noise on people. A measure that is more closely related to direct human perception of noise is the loudness level. At constant A-weighted sound level, the loudness level of a noise signal varies considerably with the shape of the frequency spectrum of the noise signal. In particular the bandwidth of the spectrum has a large effect on the loudness level, due to the effect of critical bands in the human hearing system. The low-frequency content of the spectrum also has an effect on the loudness level. In this note the relation between loudness level and A-weighted sound level is analyzed for various environmental noise spectra, including spectra of traffic noise, aircraft noise, and industrial noise. From loudness levels calculated for these environmental noise spectra, diagrams are constructed that show the relation between loudness level, A-weighted sound level, and shape of the spectrum. The diagrams show that the upper limits of the loudness level for broadband environmental noise spectra are about 20 to 40 phon higher than the lower limits for narrowband spectra, which correspond to the loudness levels of pure tones. The diagrams are useful for assessing limitations and potential improvements of environmental noise control methods and policy based on A-weighted sound levels.

  2. Practical Ranges of Loudness Levels of Various Types of Environmental Noise, Including Traffic Noise, Aircraft Noise, and Industrial Noise

    PubMed Central

    Salomons, Erik M.; Janssen, Sabine A.

    2011-01-01

    In environmental noise control one commonly employs the A-weighted sound level as an approximate measure of the effect of noise on people. A measure that is more closely related to direct human perception of noise is the loudness level. At constant A-weighted sound level, the loudness level of a noise signal varies considerably with the shape of the frequency spectrum of the noise signal. In particular the bandwidth of the spectrum has a large effect on the loudness level, due to the effect of critical bands in the human hearing system. The low-frequency content of the spectrum also has an effect on the loudness level. In this note the relation between loudness level and A-weighted sound level is analyzed for various environmental noise spectra, including spectra of traffic noise, aircraft noise, and industrial noise. From loudness levels calculated for these environmental noise spectra, diagrams are constructed that show the relation between loudness level, A-weighted sound level, and shape of the spectrum. The diagrams show that the upper limits of the loudness level for broadband environmental noise spectra are about 20 to 40 phon higher than the lower limits for narrowband spectra, which correspond to the loudness levels of pure tones. The diagrams are useful for assessing limitations and potential improvements of environmental noise control methods and policy based on A-weighted sound levels. PMID:21776205

  3. Relevance of Bacteroidales and F-specific RNA bacteriophages for efficient fecal contamination tracking at the level of a catchment in France.

    PubMed

    Mauffret, Aourell; Caprais, Marie-Paule; Gourmelon, Michèle

    2012-08-01

    The relevance of three host-associated Bacteroidales markers (HF183, Rum2Bac, and Pig2Bac) and four F-specific RNA bacteriophage genogroups (FRNAPH I to IV) as microbial source tracking markers was assessed at the level of a catchment (Daoulas, France). They were monitored together with fecal indicators (Escherichia coli and enterococci) and chemophysical parameters (rainfall, temperature, salinity, pH, and turbidity) by monthly sampling over 2 years (n = 240 water samples) and one specific sampling following an accidental pig manure spillage (n = 5 samples). During the 2-year regular monitoring, levels of E. coli, enterococci, total F-specific RNA bacteriophages, and the general Bacteroidales marker AllBac were strongly correlated with one another and with Rum2Bac (r = 0.37 to 0.50, P < 0.0001). Their correlations with HF183 and FRNAPH I and II were lower (r = 0.21 to 0.29, P < 0.001 to P < 0.0001), and HF183 and enterococci were associated rather than correlated (Fisher's exact test, P < 0.01). Rum2Bac and HF183 enabled 73% of water samples that had ≥ 2.7 log(10) most probably number (MPN) of E. coli/100 ml to be classified. FRNAPH I and II enabled 33% of samples at this contamination level to be classified. FRNAPH I and II complemented the water sample classification obtained with the two Bacteroidales markers by an additional 8%. Pig2Bac and FRNAPH III and IV were observed in a small number of samples (n = 0 to 4 of 245). The present study validates Rum2Bac and HF183 as relevant tools to trace fecal contamination originating from ruminant or human waste, respectively, at the level of a whole catchment.

  4. Species traits and environmental conditions govern the relationship between biodiversity effects across trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Spooner, Daniel E; Vaughn, Caryn C; Galbraith, Heather S

    2012-02-01

    Changing environments can have divergent effects on biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships at alternating trophic levels. Freshwater mussels fertilize stream foodwebs through nutrient excretion, and mussel species-specific excretion rates depend on environmental conditions. We asked how differences in mussel diversity in varying environments influence the dynamics between primary producers and consumers. We conducted field experiments manipulating mussel richness under summer (low flow, high temperature) and fall (moderate flow and temperature) conditions, measured nutrient limitation, algal biomass and grazing chironomid abundance, and analyzed the data with non-transgressive overyielding and tripartite biodiversity partitioning analyses. Algal biomass and chironomid abundance were best explained by trait-independent complementarity among mussel species, but the relationship between biodiversity effects across trophic levels (algae and grazers) depended on seasonal differences in mussel species' trait expression (nutrient excretion and activity level). Both species identity and overall diversity effects were related to the magnitude of nutrient limitation. Our results demonstrate that biodiversity of a resource-provisioning (nutrients and habitat) group of species influences foodweb dynamics and that understanding species traits and environmental context are important for interpreting biodiversity experiments.

  5. Species traits and environmental conditions govern the relationship between biodiversity effects across trophic levels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spooner, D.E.; Vaughn, C.C.; Galbraith, H.S.

    2012-01-01

    Changing environments can have divergent effects on biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships at alternating trophic levels. Freshwater mussels fertilize stream foodwebs through nutrient excretion, and mussel species-specific excretion rates depend on environmental conditions. We asked how differences in mussel diversity in varying environments influence the dynamics between primary producers and consumers. We conducted field experiments manipulating mussel richness under summer (low flow, high temperature) and fall (moderate flow and temperature) conditions, measured nutrient limitation, algal biomass and grazing chironomid abundance, and analyzed the data with non-transgressive overyielding and tripartite biodiversity partitioning analyses. Algal biomass and chironomid abundance were best explained by trait-independent complementarity among mussel species, but the relationship between biodiversity effects across trophic levels (algae and grazers) depended on seasonal differences in mussel species' trait expression (nutrient excretion and activity level). Both species identity and overall diversity effects were related to the magnitude of nutrient limitation. Our results demonstrate that biodiversity of a resource-provisioning (nutrients and habitat) group of species influences foodweb dynamics and that understanding species traits and environmental context are important for interpreting biodiversity experiments. ?? 2011 Springer-Verlag.

  6. Environmental urban lead exposure and blood levels in children of Mexico City

    SciTech Connect

    Romieu, I.; Carreon, T.; Lopez, L.

    1995-11-01

    Lead contamination is now a leading public health problem in Mexico. However, there are few data on the lead content of various environmental sources, and little is known about the contribution of these sources to the total lead exposure in the population of children residing in Mexico City. We conducted a cross-sectional study in a random sample of 200 children younger than 5 years of age who lived in one of two areas of Mexico City. Environmental samples of floor, window, and street dust, paint, soil water, and glazed ceramics were obtained from the participants` households, as well as blood samples and dirt from the hands of the children. Blood lead levels ranged from 1 to 31 {mu}g/dl with a mean of 9.9 {mu}g/dl (SD 5.8 {mu}/dl). Forty-four percent of the children 18 months of age or older had blood lead levels exceeding 10 {mu}g/dl. The lead content of environmental samples was low, except in glazed ceramic. The major predictors of blood lead levels were the lead content of the glazed ceramics used or prepare children`s food, exposure to airborne lead due to vehicular emission, and the lead content of the dirt from the children`s hands. We conclude that the major sources of lead exposure in Mexico City could be controlled by adequate public health programs to reinforce the use of unleaded gasoline and to encourage production and use of unleaded cookware instead of lead-glazed ceramics. 18 refs., 5 tabs.

  7. Genetic and Environmental Determinants of Plasma Total Homocysteine Levels: Impact of Population-wide Folate Fortification

    PubMed Central

    Nagele, Peter; Meissner, Konrad; Francis, Amber; Födinger, Manuela; Saccone, Nancy L.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives Folate metabolism is an important target for drug therapy. Drug-induced inhibition of folate metabolism often causes an elevation of plasma total homocysteine (tHcy). Plasma tHcy levels are influenced by several non-genetic (e.g., folate intake, age, smoking) as well as genetic factors. Over the last decade, several countries have implemented a nation-wide folate fortification program of all grain products. This investigation sought to determine the impact of folate fortification on the relative contribution of environmental and genetic factors to the variability of plasma tHcy. Methods Two cohorts were compared in this study, one from the U.S. (with folate fortification, n=281), and one from Austria (without folate fortification, n=139). Several environmental factors as well as previously identified gene variants important for tHcy levels (MTHFR C677T, MTHFR A1298C, MTRR A66G) were examined for their ability to predict plasma tHcy in a multiple linear regression model. Results Non-genetic, environmental factors had a comparable influence on plasma tHcy between the two cohorts (R2 ~ 0.19). However, after adjusting for other covariates, the tested gene variants had a substantially smaller impact among patients from the folate fortified cohort (R2= 0.021) compared to the non-folate fortified cohort (R2= 0.095). The MTHFR C677T polymorphism was the single most important genetic factor. Male gender, smoking and folate levels were important predictors for non-folate fortified patients; age for folate fortified. Conclusions Population-wide folate fortification had a significant effect on the variability of plasma tHcy and reduced the influence of genetic factors, most importantly the MTHFR 677TT genotype, and may be an important confounder for a personalized drug therapy. PMID:21597397

  8. Fixed versus dynamic orientations in environmental learning from ground-level and aerial perspectives.

    PubMed

    Shelton, Amy L; Pippitt, Holly A

    2007-05-01

    Ground-level and aerial perspectives in virtual space provide simplified conditions for investigating differences between exploratory navigation and map reading in large-scale environmental learning. General similarities and differences in ground-level and aerial encoding have been identified, but little is known about the specific characteristics that differentiate them. One such characteristic is the need to process orientation; ground-level encoding (and navigation) typically requires dynamic orientations, whereas aerial encoding (and map reading) is typically conducted in a fixed orientation. The present study investigated how this factor affected spatial processing by comparing ground-level and aerial encoding to a hybrid condition: aerial-with-turns. Experiment 1 demonstrated that scene recognition was sensitive to both perspective (ground-level or aerial) and orientation (dynamic or fixed). Experiment 2 investigated brain activation during encoding, revealing regions that were preferentially activated perspective as in previous studies (Shelton and Gabrieli in J Neurosci 22:2711-2717, 2002), but also identifying regions that were preferentially activated as a function of the presence or absence of turns. Together, these results differentiated the behavioral and brain consequences attributable to changes in orientation from those attributable to other characteristics of ground-level and aerial perspectives, providing leverage on how orientation information is processed in everyday spatial learning.

  9. Relationship between environmental tobacco smoke and urinary cotinine levels in passive smokers at their residence.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyojin; Lim, Youngwook; Lee, Seokju; Park, Soungeun; Kim, Changsoo; Hong, Cheinsoo; Shin, Dongchun

    2004-01-01

    Studies of the health effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) using measured air concentrations are subject to bias. Cotinine, a nicotine metabolite detected in urine, has been recommended as a quantitative measure of nicotine intake and thus as a marker for ETS exposure in humans. The aim of this study was to correlate home indoor ETS levels with passive smokers' urinary cotinine levels. The urinary cotinine concentrations of 57 non-smoking women who spend >19 h a day at home and the nicotine levels in their living room air were measured over a period of 24 h. Nicotine and urinary cotinine levels were analyzed using GC/MS and HPLC/UV, respectively. In addition, information was collected regarding the smoking habits of the subjects' families. A significant correlation was found between the nicotine levels in indoor air and the urinary cotinine to creatinine ratio of the passive smokers. The smoking habits of the subjects' family members were also correlated to the urinary cotinine levels of the passive smokers.

  10. EVALUATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE LEVELS IN ABUJA MUNICIPALITY USING MOBILE PHONES

    PubMed Central

    Ibekwe, T.; Folorunso, D.; Ebuta, A.; Amodu, J.; Nwegbu, M.; Mairami, Z.; Liman, I.; Okebaram, C.; Chimdi, C.; Durogbola, B.; Suleiman, H.; Mamven, H.; Baamlong, N.; Dahilo, E.; Gbujie, I.; Ibekwe, P.; Nwaorgu, O.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Noise remains a nuisance which impacts negatively on the physical, social and psychological wellbeing of man. It aggravates chronic illnesses like hypertension and other cardiopulmonary diseases. Unfortunately, increased activities from industrialization and technological transfers/drifts have tumultuously led to increased noise pollution in most of our fast growing cities today and hence the need for concerted efforts in monitoring and regulating our environmental noise. Objective: To assess the equivalent noise level (Leq) in Abuja municipality and promote a simple method for regular assessment of Leq within our environment. Method: This is a cross-sectional community based study of the environmental Leq of Abuja municipality conducted between January 2014 and January 2016. The city was divided into 12 segments including residential, business and market areas via the Abuja Geographic Information System. The major markets were captured separately on a different scale. Measurements were taken with the mobile phone softwares having validated this with Extech 407730 digital sound level meter, serial no Z310135. Leq(A) were measured at different points and hours of the day and night. The average Leq(A) were classified according to localities and compared with WHO standard safety levels. Results: LeqD ranged 71-92dB(A); 42-79dB(A) and 69-90dB(A) in business/ parks, residential and market places respectively. The Night measurements were similar 18dB(A)-56dB(A) and the day-night Leq(A)=77.2dB(A) and 90.4dB(A) for residential and business zones. Conclusion: The night noise levels are satisfactory but the day and day-night levels are above the recommended tolerable values by WHO and therefore urgently call for awareness and legislative regulations. PMID:28337089

  11. Reevaluation of 1999 Health-Based Environmental Screening Levels (HBESLs) for Chemical Warfare Agents

    SciTech Connect

    Watson, Annetta Paule; Dolislager, Fredrick G

    2007-05-01

    This report evaluates whether new information and updated scientific models require that changes be made to previously published health-based environmental soil screening levels (HBESLs) and associated environmental fate/breakdown information for chemical warfare agents (USACHPPM 1999). Specifically, the present evaluation describes and compares changes that have been made since 1999 to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) risk assessment models, EPA exposure assumptions, as well as to specific chemical warfare agent parameters (e.g., toxicity values). Comparison was made between screening value estimates recalculated with current assumptions and earlier health-based environmental screening levels presented in 1999. The chemical warfare agents evaluated include the G-series and VX nerve agents and the vesicants sulfur mustard (agent HD) and Lewisite (agent L). In addition, key degradation products of these agents were also evaluated. Study findings indicate that the combined effect of updates and/or changes to EPA risk models, EPA default exposure parameters, and certain chemical warfare agent toxicity criteria does not result in significant alteration to the USACHPPM (1999) health-based environmental screening level estimates for the G-series and VX nerve agents or the vesicant agents HD and L. Given that EPA's final position on separate Tier 1 screening levels for indoor and outdoor worker screening assessments has not yet been released as of May 2007, the study authors find that the 1999 screening level estimates (see Table ES.1) are still appropriate and protective for screening residential as well as nonresidential sites. As such, risk management decisions made on the basis of USACHPPM (1999) recommendations do not require reconsideration. While the 1999 HBESL values are appropriate for continued use as general screening criteria, the updated '2007' estimates (presented below) that follow the new EPA protocols currently under development are also

  12. Sleep Disturbance from Road Traffic, Railways, Airplanes and from Total Environmental Noise Levels in Montreal.

    PubMed

    Perron, Stéphane; Plante, Céline; Ragettli, Martina S; Kaiser, David J; Goudreau, Sophie; Smargiassi, Audrey

    2016-08-11

    The objective of our study was to measure the impact of transportation-related noise and total environmental noise on sleep disturbance for the residents of Montreal, Canada. A telephone-based survey on noise-related sleep disturbance among 4336 persons aged 18 years and over was conducted. LNight for each study participant was estimated using a land use regression (LUR) model. Distance of the respondent's residence to the nearest transportation noise source was also used as an indicator of noise exposure. The proportion of the population whose sleep was disturbed by outdoor environmental noise in the past 4 weeks was 12.4%. The proportion of those affected by road traffic, airplane and railway noise was 4.2%, 1.5% and 1.1%, respectively. We observed an increased prevalence in sleep disturbance for those exposed to both rail and road noise when compared for those exposed to road only. We did not observe an increased prevalence in sleep disturbance for those that were both exposed to road and planes when compared to those exposed to road or planes only. We developed regression models to assess the marginal proportion of sleep disturbance as a function of estimated LNight and distance to transportation noise sources. In our models, sleep disturbance increased with proximity to transportation noise sources (railway, airplane and road traffic) and with increasing LNight values. Our study provides a quantitative estimate of the association between total environmental noise levels estimated using an LUR model and sleep disturbance from transportation noise.

  13. Global marine pollutants inhibit P-glycoprotein: Environmental levels, inhibitory effects, and cocrystal structure

    PubMed Central

    Nicklisch, Sascha C. T.; Rees, Steven D.; McGrath, Aaron P.; Gökirmak, Tufan; Bonito, Lindsay T.; Vermeer, Lydia M.; Cregger, Cristina; Loewen, Greg; Sandin, Stuart; Chang, Geoffrey; Hamdoun, Amro

    2016-01-01

    The world’s oceans are a global reservoir of persistent organic pollutants to which humans and other animals are exposed. Although it is well known that these pollutants are potentially hazardous to human and environmental health, their impacts remain incompletely understood. We examined how persistent organic pollutants interact with the drug efflux transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp), an evolutionarily conserved defense protein that is essential for protection against environmental toxicants. We identified specific congeners of organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers that inhibit mouse and human P-gp, and determined their environmental levels in yellowfin tuna from the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, we solved the cocrystal structure of P-gp bound to one of these inhibitory pollutants, PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ether)–100, providing the first view of pollutant binding to a drug transporter. The results demonstrate the potential for specific binding and inhibition of mammalian P-gp by ubiquitous congeners of persistent organic pollutants present in fish and other foods, and argue for further consideration of transporter inhibition in the assessment of the risk of exposure to these chemicals. PMID:27152359

  14. The NEA research and environmental surveillance programme related to sea disposal of low-level radioactive waste

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rugger, B.; Templeton, W. L.; Gurbutt, P.

    1983-05-01

    Sea dumping operations of certain types of packaged low and medium level radioactive wastes have been carried out since 1967 in the North-East Atlantic under the auspices of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency. On the occasion of the 1980 review of the continued suitability of the North-East Atlantic site used for the disposal of radioactive waste, it was recommended that an effort should be made to increase the scientific data base relating to the oceanographic and biological characteristics of the dumping area. In particular, it was suggested that a site specific model of the transfer of radionuclides in the marine environment be developed, which would permit a better assessment of the potential radiation doses to man from the dumping of radioactive waste. To fulfill these objectives a research and environmental surveillance program related to sea disposal of radioactive waste was set up in 1981 with the participation of thirteen Member countries and the International Laboratory for Marine Radioactivity of the IAEA in Monaco. The research program is focused on five research areas which are directly relevant to the preparation of more site specific assessments in the future. They are: model development; physical oceanography; geochemistry; biology; and radiological surveillance. Promising results have already been obtained and more are anticipated in the not too distant future. An interim description of the NEA dumping site has been prepared which provides an excellent data base for this area.

  15. Impairment of vitamin D metabolism due to environmental cadmium exposure, and possible relevance to sex-related differences in vulnerability to the bone damage

    SciTech Connect

    Tsuritani, Ikiko; Honda, Ryumon; Ishizaki, Masao; Yamada, Yuichi ); Kido, Teruhiko; Nogawa, Koji )

    1992-12-01

    To determine whether depleted serum 1[alpha],25-dihydroxyvitamin D (VD) concentrations are associated with cadmium (Cd)-induced renal damage, the relationships between four indices of renal function and two indicators of bone metabolism, that is, serum VD and parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations, were analyzed in 30 male and 44 female subjects exposed to environmental Cd. Also, these associations were compared in male and female subjects to evaluate sex-related differences in vulnerability to the bone damage observed in Cd-exposed persons. Serum VD decreased significantly with declines in creatinine clearance and percentage tubular reabsorption of phosphate, and with increases in serum creatinine and serum [beta][sub 2]-microglobulin ([beta][sub 2]m) concentrations in the female subjects exposed to Cd, but not in the male subjects. The correlation between serum VD and PTH levels was also significant only in the females. Correlation coefficients between serum [beta][sub 2]m and VD and those between serum PTH and VD in both sexes were significantly different. These results suggest that renal damage due to Cd exposure leads to the decreases in the serum VD level and increases in serum PTH level, and that the more marked changes in serum VD and PTH in the women may play a role in the development of sex-related differences in Cd-induced bone injury.

  16. Increased Interleukin-17F is Associated with Elevated Autoantibody Levels and More Clinically Relevant Than Interleukin-17A in Primary Sjögren's Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Gan, Yuzhou; Zhao, Xiaozhen; He, Jing; Liu, Xu; Li, Yun

    2017-01-01

    Th17 related immune response is pathogenic in primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS). However, the role of IL-17F, one potent inflammatory member of IL-17 family cytokines in pSS, has not been specifically defined. We recruited one hundred and nine pSS patients and forty-two healthy controls and their serum levels of IL-17A and IL-17F were determined by multiplex cytokine assays. White blood cell, red blood cell, neutrophil, lymphocyte, IgM, IgG, C3, C4, RF, ANA, anti-SSA antibody, and anti-SSB antibody were measured by standard laboratory techniques. EULAR Sjögren's syndrome disease activity index (ESSDAI) score was also evaluated accordingly. We found that IL-17F was significantly increased in pSS patients. Elevated levels of IL-17F were associated with increased IgG and IgM, higher titers of ANA and anti-SSA antibodies, and reduction of C3 and C4. Patients with higher disease activity also showed higher serum IL-17F levels. However, serum IL-17A was only increased in patients with longer disease duration and showed few correlation with clinical and laboratory features in pSS patients. In conclusion, IL-17F was correlated with increased autoantibody levels and disease activity in pSS and is more clinically relevant than IL-17A. PMID:28210632

  17. Seasonal levels of the major American cockroach allergen per a 9 (arginine kinase) in Bangkok and their relevance for disease severity.

    PubMed

    Tungtrongchitr, Anchalee; Sookrung, Nitat; Indrawattana, Nitaya; Sae-Lim, Jenjira; Puduang, Somchai; Phonrat, Benjaluk; Wanachiwanawin, Darawan; Chaicumpa, Wanpen

    2009-03-01

    Monitoring the levels of cockroach (CR) allergen in the environment has medical relevance as a clear dose response relationship between CR allergen exposure, sensitization and hospitalization has been reported. In this study, a cross-sectional survey of the levels of a major American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) allergen, i.e. Per a 9 (arginine kinase) in dust samples collected in various seasons throughout the year 2007 from 76 houses of CR allergic Thai patients in the Bangkok metropolitan area were determined. A monoclonal antibody-polyclonal antibody (MAb-PAb) based-sandwich ELISA was used. The MAb was specific to Per a 9 and the PAb was raised in a rabbit against the crude extract of P. americana. The detection limit of the assay was 122 pg of the allergen or 0.024 microg per gram of fine dust powder. The concentrations of Per a 9 were found to be highest during the winter months and lowest in summer. The levels of this CR allergen had a direct correlation with disease exacerbation; i.e. the majority of the CR allergic patients had their most severe clinical manifestations during winter. Moreover, the CR allergen levels were found to be higher in wood based-houses than in concrete houses.

  18. Environmental accounting on a communal level: A tool to support environmental management and decision-making by communal executives.

    PubMed

    Kröger, G; Pietsch, J; Ufermann, K

    1999-01-01

    Starting from an ecological perspective of urban-industrial areas, environmental accounting is used to analyse and to evaluate which environmental impacts are the result of communal activities (e.g. the results of different kinds of water supply systems). Therefore, the anthropogenic fluxes, the changing quality of areas as well as the processes between the environmental fields are taken into account. The approach is based on methodical elements of te Life Cycle Analysis and the Environmental Impact Assessment. Looking at the 'urban systems' within the communal activities, 'ecological modelling' gives us a new and fuller picture of the spatial and temporal character of urban metabolism. The approach supports the perception of cumulative effects and the postponement of environmental problems and opens new horizons for process-oriented environmental planning within the community. Greater efficiency and a decrease in costs can be arrived at by leaving 'end of the pipe' strategies; opportunities for a better planning process and measures for different individuals and organisations can be drawn up. A data base which acts as a 'support system' implements the computer-aided approach to environmental accounting.

  19. Environmentally-relevant concentrations of atrazine induce non-monotonic acceleration of developmental rate and increased size at metamorphosis in Rhinella arenarum tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Brodeur, Julie C; Sassone, Alina; Hermida, Gladys N; Codugnello, Nadia

    2013-06-01

    Despite of the various studies reporting on the subject, anticipating the impacts of the widely-used herbicide atrazine on anuran tadpoles metamorphosis remains complex as increases or decreases of larval period duration are almost as frequently reported as an absence of effect. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of environmentally-relevant concentrations of atrazine (0.1, 1, 10, 100, and 1000μg/L) on the timings of metamorphosis and body size at metamorphosis in the common South American toad, Rhinella arenarum (Anura: bufonidae). None of the atrazine concentrations tested significantly altered survival. Low atrazine concentrations in the range of 1-100μg/L were found to accelerate developmental rate in a non-monotonic U-shaped concentration-response relationship. This observed acceleration of the metamorphic process occurred entirely between stages 25 and 39; treated tadpoles proceeding through metamorphosis as control animals beyond this point. Together with proceeding through metamorphosis at a faster rate, tadpoles exposed to atrazine concentrations in the range of 1-100μg/L furthermore transformed into significantly larger metamorphs than controls, the concentration-response curve taking the form of an inverted U in this case. The no observed effect concentration (NOEC) was 0.1μg atrazine/L for both size at metamorphosis and timings of metamorphosis. Tadpoles exposed to 100μg/L 17β-estradiol presented the exact same alterations of developmental rate and body size as those treated with 1, 10 and 100μg/L of atrazine. Elements of the experimental design that facilitated the detection of alterations of metamorphosis at low concentrations of atrazine are discussed, together with the ecological significance of those findings.

  20. Progress report on the results of testing advanced conceptual design metal barrier materials under relevant environmental conditions for a tuff repository

    SciTech Connect

    McCright, R.D.; Halsey, W.G.; Van Konynenburg, R.A.

    1987-12-01

    This report discusses the performance of candidate metallic materials envisioned for fabricating waste package containers for long-term disposal at a possible geological repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Candidate materials include austenitic iron-base to nickel-base alloy (AISI 304L, AISI 316L, and Alloy 825), high-purity copper (CDA 102), and copper-base alloys (CDA 613 and CDA 715). Possible degradation modes affecting these container materials are identified in the context of anticipated environmental conditions at the repository site. Low-temperature oxidation is the dominant degradation mode over most of the time period of concern (minimum of 300 yr to a maximum of 1000 yr after repository closure), but various forms of aqueous corrosion will occur when water infiltrates into the near-package environment. The results of three years of experimental work in different repository-relevant environments are presented. Much of the work was performed in water taken from Well J-13, located near the repository, and some of the experiments included gamma irradiation of the water or vapor environment. The influence of metallurgical effects on the corrosion and oxidation resistance of the material is reviewed; these effects result from container fabrication, welding, and long-term aging at moderately elevated temperatures in the repository. The report indicates the need for mechanisms to understand the physical/chemical reactions that determine the nature and rate of the different degradation modes, and the subsequent need for models based on these mechanisms for projecting the long-term performance of the container from comparatively short-term laboratory data. 91 refs., 17 figs., 16 tabs.

  1. Do relationships between environmental attributes and recreational walking vary according to area-level socioeconomic status?

    PubMed

    Sugiyama, Takemi; Howard, Natasha J; Paquet, Catherine; Coffee, Neil T; Taylor, Anne W; Daniel, Mark

    2015-04-01

    Residents of areas with lower socioeconomic status (SES) are known to be less physically active during leisure time. Neighborhood walkability has been shown to be related to recreational walking equally in low and high SES areas. This cross-sectional study tested whether associations of specific environmental attributes, measured objectively and subjectively, with walking for recreation were moderated by area-level SES. The data of the North West Adelaide Health Study collected in 2007 (n = 1500, mean age 57) were used. Self-reported walking frequency was the outcome of the study. Environmental exposure measures included objectively measured walkability components (residential density, intersection density, land use mix, and net retail area ratio) and perceived attributes (access to destinations, neighborhood esthetics, walking infrastructure, traffic/barriers, and crime safety). Participants' suburbs were categorized into low and high SES areas using an indicator of socioeconomic disadvantage. Low SES areas had lower scores in residential density, neighborhood esthetics, walking infrastructure, traffic/barriers, and crime safety. Recreational walking was associated with residential density, access to destinations, esthetics, traffic/barriers, and crime safety. Effect modification was observed for two attributes (out of nine): residential density was associated with walking only in low SES areas, while walking infrastructure was associated with walking only in high SES areas. The associations of neighborhood environmental attributes with recreational walking were largely consistent across SES groups. However, low SES areas were disadvantaged in most perceived environmental attributes related to recreational walking. Improving such attributes in low SES neighborhoods may help close socioeconomic disparities in leisure time physical activity.

  2. Agriculture, Levels 1-4. Agriculture & Commercial Horticulture, Levels 1-4. Commercial Horticulture, Levels 1-3. Environmental Conservation, Levels 2-4. National Vocational Qualifications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Business and Technology Education Council, London (England).

    Britain's National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are work qualifications that measure what an employee or potential employee can do as well as how much he or she knows and understands about a particular job. Used as written proof of usable workplace skills that can be put to profitable use by an employer, NVQs range from basic Level 1, for…

  3. Phthalate esters in water and sediments of the Kaveri River, India: environmental levels and ecotoxicological evaluations.

    PubMed

    Selvaraj, Krishna Kumar; Sundaramoorthy, Gomathy; Ravichandran, Praveen Kumar; Girijan, Girish Kumar; Sampath, Srimurali; Ramaswamy, Babu Rajendran

    2015-02-01

    Phthalate esters are well known for their environmental contamination and toxicological effects as "endocrine disruptors." In this study, environmental levels of phthalate esters and ecotoxicological risk assessments were performed in one of the major rivers in India, the Kaveri. Water and sediment samples were collected during 2010-2012 representing the major stretch of the river and extracted by solid-phase and ultrasonic methods, respectively, and analyzed for six major phthalates by using a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer. The analytical recovery for phthalates in water and sediment ranged from 79 to 121%. Results indicated that diethyl phthalate (DEP) and dimethyl phthalate were found in every sample, whereas butylbenzyl phthalate and diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) were detected in 92% of the water samples. Likewise, in sediment samples, DEP was found most often (94%). The total phthalates in water samples ranged from 313 to 1,640 ng/l, whereas in sediments it was 2 to 1,438 ng/g dw (dry weight) with DEHP having the highest concentration. Human health risk assessment based on drinking water consumption showed no potential risk for phthalates and also DEHP levels were safe with respect to USEPA guideline (6,000 ng/l). Further, DEHP and di-n-octyl phthalate levels in water were expected to pose little threat to sensitive organisms in the riverine ecosystem as per ECOSAR chronic values. In case of sediment, the DEHP concentration was well above the USEPA sediment guideline value. To our knowledge, this is the first study to describe the levels and ecotoxicological risks of phthalates in Kaveri River, India.

  4. Developing methods to assess and predict the population and community level effects of environmental contaminants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Emlen, John M.; Springman, Kathrine R.

    2007-01-01

    The field of ecological toxicity seems largely to have drifted away from what its title implies—assessing and predicting the ecological consequences of environmental contaminants—moving instead toward an emphasis on individual effects and physiologic case studies. This paper elucidates how a relatively new ecological methodology, interaction assessment (INTASS), could be useful in addressing the field's initial goals. Specifically, INTASS is a model platform and methodology, applicable across a broad array of taxa and habitat types, that can be used to construct population dynamics models from field data. Information on environmental contaminants and multiple stressors can be incorporated into these models in a form that bypasses the problems inherent in assessing uptake, chemical interactions in the environment, and synergistic effects in the organism. INTASS can, therefore, be used to evaluate the effects of contaminants and other stressors at the population level and to predict how changes in stressor levels or composition of contaminant mixtures, as well as various mitigation measures, might affect population dynamics.

  5. 78 FR 59729 - Final Comparative Environmental Evaluation of Alternatives for Handling Low-Level Radioactive...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-27

    ... alter any important attribute of the resource. Moderate. The environmental effects are sufficient to noticeably alter, but not destabilize important attributes of the resource. Large. The environmental effects... Commission. Aby Mohseni, Deputy Director, Environmental Protection and Performance Directorate, Division...

  6. Anthropometric, environmental, and dietary predictors of elevated blood cadmium levels in Ukrainian children: Ukraine ELSPAC group

    SciTech Connect

    Friedman, Lee S. . E-mail: lfriedman@tspri.org; Lukyanova, Elena M.; Kundiev, Yuri I.; Shkiryak-Nizhnyk, Zoreslava A.; Chislovska, Nataliya V.; Mucha, Amy; Zvinchuk, Alexander V.; Oliynyk, Irene; Hryhorczuk, Daniel

    2006-09-15

    No comprehensive data on sources or risk factors of cadmium exposure in Ukrainian children are available. In this we measured the blood levels of cadmium among 80 Ukrainian children and evaluated sources of exposure. A nested case-control study from a prospective cohort of Ukrainian 3-year-old children was conducted. We evaluated predictors of elevated blood cadmium using a multivariable logistic regression model. The model included socioeconomic data, parent occupation, environmental tobacco smoke, hygiene, body-mass index, and diet. Dietary habits were evaluated using the 1992 Block-NCI-HHHQ Dietary Food Frequency survey. Elevated cadmium was defined as blood levels in the upper quartile (>=0.25{mu}g/L). The mean age for all 80 children was 36.6 months. Geometric mean cadmium level was 0.21{mu}g/L (range=0.11-0.42{mu}g/L; SD=0.05). Blood cadmium levels were higher among children taking zinc supplements (0.25 vs 0.21{mu}g/L; P=0.032), children who ate sausage more than once per week (0.23 vs 0.20; P=0.007) and children whose fathers worked in a by-product coking industry (0.25 vs 0.21; P=0.056). In the multivariable model, predictors of elevated blood cadmium levels included zinc supplementation (adjusted OR=14.16; P<0.01), father working in a by-product coking industry (adjusted OR=8.50; P=0.03), and low body mass index (<14.5; adjusted OR=5.67; P=0.03). This is the first study to indicate a strong association between elevated blood cadmium levels and zinc supplementation in young children. Whole-blood cadmium levels observed in this group of Ukrainian children appear to be similar to those reported in other Eastern European countries.

  7. Analysis of environmental issues related to small-scale hydroelectric development. III. Water level fluctuation

    SciTech Connect

    Hildebrand, S.G.

    1980-10-01

    Potential environmental impacts in reservoirs and downstream river reaches below dams that may be caused by the water level fluctuation resulting from development and operation of small scale (under 25MW) hydroelectric projects are identified. The impacts discussed will be of potential concern at only those small-scale hydroelectric projects that are operated in a store and release (peaking) mode. Potential impacts on physical and chemical characteristics in reservoirs resulting from water level fluctuation include resuspension and redistribution of bank and bed sediment; leaching of soluble organic matter from sediment in the littoral zone; and changes in water quality resulting from changes in sediment and nutrient trap efficiency. Potential impacts on reservoir biota as a result of water level fluctuation include habitat destruction and the resulting partial or total loss of aquatic species; changes in habitat quality, which result in reduced standing crop and production of aquatic biota; and possible shifts in species diversity. The potential physical effects of water level fluctuation on downstream systems below dams are streambed and bank erosion and water quality problems related to resuspension and redistribution of these materials. Potential biological impacts of water level fluctuation on downstream systems below dams result from changes in current velocity, habitat reduction, and alteration in food supply. These alterations, either singly or in combination, can adversely affect aquatic populations below dams. The nature and potential significance of adverse impacts resulting from water level fluctuation are discussed. Recommendations for site-specific evaluation of water level fluctuation at small-scale hydroelectric projects are presented.

  8. Prospective Turkish Elementary Science Teachers' Knowledge Level about the Greenhouse Effect and Their Views on Environmental Education in University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kisoglu, Mustafa; Gürbüz, Hasan; Erkol, Mehmet; Akar, Muhammed Said; Akilli, Mustafa

    2010-01-01

    The fundamental factor of environmental education is teachers who are well-informed about environmental issues. This research aimed to determine prospective Turkish elementary science teachers' knowledge level about causes, consequences and reducing of the greenhouse effect and to investigate the effect of gender, information source and membership…

  9. Detecting drawdowns masked by environmental stresses with water-level models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Garcia, C.A.; Halford, K.J.; Fenelon, J.M.

    2013-01-01

    Detecting and quantifying small drawdown at observation wells distant from the pumping well greatly expands the characterized aquifer volume. However, this detection is often obscured by water level fluctuations such as barometric and tidal effects. A reliable analytical approach for distinguishing drawdown from nonpumping water-level fluctuations is presented and tested here. Drawdown is distinguished by analytically simulating all pumping and nonpumping water-level stresses simultaneously during the period of record. Pumping signals are generated with Theis models, where the pumping schedule is translated into water-level change with the Theis solution. This approach closely matched drawdowns simulated with a complex three-dimensional, hypothetical model and reasonably estimated drawdowns from an aquifer test conducted in a complex hydrogeologic system. Pumping-induced changes generated with a numerical model and analytical Theis model agreed (RMS as low as 0.007 m) in cases where pumping signals traveled more than 1 km across confining units and fault structures. Maximum drawdowns of about 0.05 m were analytically estimated from field investigations where environmental fluctuations approached 0.2 m during the analysis period.

  10. Detecting Drawdowns Masked by Environmental Stresses with Water-Level Models

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, CA; Halford, KJ; Fenelon, JM

    2013-01-01

    Detecting and quantifying small drawdown at observation wells distant from the pumping well greatly expands the characterized aquifer volume. However, this detection is often obscured by water level fluctuations such as barometric and tidal effects. A reliable analytical approach for distinguishing drawdown from nonpumping water-level fluctuations is presented and tested here. Drawdown is distinguished by analytically simulating all pumping and nonpumping water-level stresses simultaneously during the period of record. Pumping signals are generated with Theis models, where the pumping schedule is translated into water-level change with the Theis solution. This approach closely matched drawdowns simulated with a complex three-dimensional, hypothetical model and reasonably estimated drawdowns from an aquifer test conducted in a complex hydrogeologic system. Pumping-induced changes generated with a numerical model and analytical Theis model agreed (RMS as low as 0.007 m) in cases where pumping signals traveled more than 1 km across confining units and fault structures. Maximum drawdowns of about 0.05 m were analytically estimated from field investigations where environmental fluctuations approached 0.2 m during the analysis period. PMID:23469925

  11. Telomere length in children environmentally exposed to low-to-moderate levels of lead

    SciTech Connect

    Pawlas, Natalia; Płachetka, Anna; Kozłowska, Agnieszka; Broberg, Karin; Kasperczyk, Sławomir

    2015-09-01

    Shorter relative telomere length in peripheral blood is a risk marker for some types of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Several environmental hazards appear to shorten telomeres, and this shortening may predispose individuals to disease. The aim of the present cross-sectional study was to assess the effect of environmental exposure to lead on relative telomere length (rTL) in children. A cohort of 99 8-year-old children was enrolled from 2007–2010. Blood lead concentrations (B-Pb) were measured by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry, and blood rTL was measured by quantitative PCR. The geometric mean of B-Pb was 3.28 μg/dl (range: 0.90–14.2), and the geometric mean of rTL was 1.08 (range: 0.49–2.09). B-Pb was significantly inversely associated with rTL in the children (r{sub S} = − 0.25, p = 0.013; in further analyses both log-transformed-univariate regression analysis β = − 0.13, p = 0.026, and R{sup 2}adj 4%; and β = − 0.12, p = 0.056 when adjusting for mothers' smoking during pregnancy, Apgar score, mother's and father's ages at delivery, sex and mother's education, R{sup 2}adj 12%, p = 0.011). The effect of lead remained significant in children without prenatal tobacco exposure (N = 87, r{sub S} = − 0.24, p = 0.024; in further analyses, β = − 0.13, p = 0.029, and R{sup 2}adj 4%). rTL was not affected by sex, the concentrations of other elements in the blood (i.e., cadmium and selenium concentrations), or oxidative injury parameters (total antioxidant status, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances). Lead exposure in childhood appears to be associated with shorter telomeres, which might contribute to diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. The inverse association between blood lead level and the telomeres in children emphasizes the importance of further reducing lead levels in the environment. - Highlights: • This cross-sectional study analyzes the association between environmental lead exposure

  12. Clinical relevance of circulating mucosal-associated invariant T cell levels and their anti-cancer activity in patients with mucosal-associated cancer

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Hye-Mi; Park, Ki-Jeong; Kim, Tae-Jong; Kwon, Yong-Soo; Kee, Hae Jin; Kim, Jung-Chul; Kee, Seung-Jung; Park, Yong-Wook

    2016-01-01

    Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are an antimicrobial MR1-restricted T cell subset and play an important role in immune defense response to bacteria. However, little is known about the role of MAIT cells in cancer. The aims of this study were to examine the level and function of MAIT cells in cancer patients and to evaluate the clinical relevance of MAIT cell levels. Ninety-nine patients with cancer and 20 healthy controls were included in this study. Circulating MAIT cell levels were significantly reduced in patients with mucosal-associated cancers (MACs), such as gastric, colon and lung cancers, but their capacities for IFN-γ, IL-17, or TNF-α production were preserved. This MAIT cell deficiency was significantly correlated with N staging and carcinoembryonic antigen level. Percentages of MAIT cells were significantly higher in cancer tissue than in peripheral blood and immunofluorescent labeling showed MAIT cell infiltration into colon cancer tissues. Circulating MAIT cells exhibited high levels of CCR6 and CXCR6, and their corresponding chemokines, such as CCL20 and CXCL16, were strongly expressed in colon cancer tissues. Activated MAIT cells not only had lymphokine-activated killer activity, but they also had direct cytotoxicity on K562 cells via degranulation of granzyme B and perforin. This study primarily demonstrates that circulating MAIT cells are reduced in MAC patients due to migration to mucosal cancer tissues and they have the potential to kill cancer cells. In addition, this circulating MAIT cell deficiency is related to the degree of cancer progression in mucosal tissues. PMID:27517754

  13. Environmental factors and teenagers' personalities: The role of personal and familial Socio-Cultural Level.

    PubMed

    Menardo, Elisa; Balboni, Giulia; Cubelli, Roberto

    2017-02-24

    Environmental (e.g., socio-cultural context), individual (e.g., genetic makeup), and interpersonal (e.g., caregiver-children relationships) factors can play a crucial role in shaping the development of the teenagers' personality. In this study, we focused on the Socio-Cultural Level that designates the set of preferences, knowledge, and behaviors that characterize an individual's way of life and depend on his or her cultural, social, and economic resources. We studied the relationship between Socio-Cultural Level (personal, maternal, and paternal) and Big Five personality traits of 191 teenagers living in the same geographical area. Results showed that Socioeconomic Status (i.e., parental education level and occupational prestige), which is the only dimension generally measured in investigations on Socio-Cultural Level, was not related with personality. In contrast, Cultural Capital and Social Capital were associated with different personality traits. Personal Cultural Capital was related to Openness to experience of boys and girls and to Extraversion of girls; personal Social Capital was related to Extraversion of girls, Emotional stability of boys, and Agreeableness of both boys and girls; maternal Cultural Capital was associated with Openness to experience of daughters. Overall, the personality of teenagers was more related to their own Cultural and Social Capital than to the Cultural and Social Capital of their parents. Moreover, the relationship between Cultural Capital and Social Capital of boys/girls and of fathers/mothers was moderate in strength. It seems that parents influence the development of personality of their teenagers indirectly, their Socio-Cultural Level shaping the Socio-Cultural Level of their sons and daughters.

  14. Development of Low-Level Environmental Sampling Capabilities for Uranium at Brazilian and Argentine Laboratories by ABACC

    SciTech Connect

    Guidicini, Olga M.; Hembree, Doyle M.; Carter, Joel A.; Olsen, Khris B.; Hayes, Susan M.; Whitaker, Michael

    2003-07-01

    This paper discusses the results of the latest exercises to demonstrate that laboratories in both Argentina and Brazil have the capability to measure both the amount and isotopic composition of urnaium at the levels expected in typical environmental samples.

  15. Pesticide levels and environmental risk in aquatic environments in China--A review.

    PubMed

    Grung, Merete; Lin, Yan; Zhang, Hua; Steen, Anne Orderdalen; Huang, Jun; Zhang, Gan; Larssen, Thorjørn

    2015-08-01

    China is one of the largest producers and consumers of pesticides in the world today. Along with the widespread use of pesticides and industrialization, there is a growing concern for water quality. The present review aims to provide an overview of studies on pesticides in aquatic environments in China. The levels in the water, sediment and biota were scored according to a detailed environmental classification system based on ecotoxicological effect, which is therefore a useful tool for assessing the risk these compounds pose to the aquatic ecosystem. Our review reveals that the most studied areas in China are the most populated and the most developed economically and that the most frequently studied pesticides are DDT and HCH. We show maps of where studies have been conducted and show the ecotoxicological risk the pesticides pose in each of the matrices. Our review pinpoints the need for biota samples to assess the risk. A large fraction of the results from the studies are given an environmental classification of "very bad" based on levels in biota. In general, the risk is higher for DDT than HCH. A few food web studies have also been conducted, and we encourage further study of this important information from this region. The review reveals that many of the most important agricultural provinces (e.g., Henan, Hubei and Hunan) with the largest pesticide use have been the subject of few studies on the environmental levels of pesticides. We consider this to be a major knowledge gap for understanding the status of pesticide contamination and related risk in China. Furthermore, there is also a lack of studies in remote Chinese environments, which is also an important knowledge gap. The compounds analyzed and reported in the studies represent a serious bias because a great deal of attention is given to DDT and HCH, whereas the organophosphate insecticides dominating current use are less frequently investigated. For the future, we point to the need for an organized

  16. Sleep Disturbance from Road Traffic, Railways, Airplanes and from Total Environmental Noise Levels in Montreal

    PubMed Central

    Perron, Stéphane; Plante, Céline; Ragettli, Martina S.; Kaiser, David J.; Goudreau, Sophie; Smargiassi, Audrey

    2016-01-01

    The objective of our study was to measure the impact of transportation-related noise and total environmental noise on sleep disturbance for the residents of Montreal, Canada. A telephone-based survey on noise-related sleep disturbance among 4336 persons aged 18 years and over was conducted. LNight for each study participant was estimated using a land use regression (LUR) model. Distance of the respondent’s residence to the nearest transportation noise source was also used as an indicator of noise exposure. The proportion of the population whose sleep was disturbed by outdoor environmental noise in the past 4 weeks was 12.4%. The proportion of those affected by road traffic, airplane and railway noise was 4.2%, 1.5% and 1.1%, respectively. We observed an increased prevalence in sleep disturbance for those exposed to both rail and road noise when compared for those exposed to road only. We did not observe an increased prevalence in sleep disturbance for those that were both exposed to road and planes when compared to those exposed to road or planes only. We developed regression models to assess the marginal proportion of sleep disturbance as a function of estimated LNight and distance to transportation noise sources. In our models, sleep disturbance increased with proximity to transportation noise sources (railway, airplane and road traffic) and with increasing LNight values. Our study provides a quantitative estimate of the association between total environmental noise levels estimated using an LUR model and sleep disturbance from transportation noise. PMID:27529260

  17. Environmental monitoring for a low-level radioactive waste management facility: Incinerator operations

    SciTech Connect

    Tries, M.A. |; Chabot, G.E.; Ring, J.P.

    1996-09-01

    An environmental monitoring program has been developed for Harvard University, Southborough campus, to access the local environmental concentrations of radionuclides released in incinerator effluents. The campus is host to the University`s low-level radioactive waste management facility, which consists of 6,000 drum capacity decay-storage buildings; a 250 drum capacity decay-storage freezer; and a controlled-air incinerator. Developmental considerations were based on the characteristics and use of the incinerator, which has a capacity of 8 tons per day and is operated at 5% of the time for the volume reduction of Type 0 and Type 4 wastes contaminated with a variety of radionuclides used in biomedical research-some in microsphere form. Monitoring was established for air, leafy vegetation, leaf-litter, and surface soil media. Field sampling was optimized regarding location and time based on the action of atmospheric, terrestrial, and biotic transport mechanisms. Preliminary results indicate transient concentrations of {sup 3}H and {sup 125}I in vegetation directly exposed to the dispersing plume. Measurable particulate depositions have not been observed. 52 refs., 3 figs., 14 tabs.

  18. Influence of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident on Spanish environmental radioactivity levels.

    PubMed

    Baeza, A; Corbacho, J A; Rodríguez, A; Galván, J; García-Tenorio, R; Manjón, G; Mantero, J; Vioque, I; Arnold, D; Grossi, C; Serrano, I; Vallés, I; Vargas, A

    2012-12-01

    This paper presents measurements of the effect of the atmospheric radioactive release from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station at three sites belonging to the Spanish environmental monitoring system. Measured values varied depending on the locations of the sites in Spain and their respective climatic characteristics. (134)Cs, (136)Cs, (137)Cs, (131)I, and (132)Te activity concentrations in filter samples were studied and associated levels of (131)I fallout were estimated from wet and dry deposition. Particulate aerosol activity concentrations ranges, in μBq/m(3), were 1.63-3080 ((131)I), 2.8-690 ((137)Cs), 1.3-620 ((134)Cs) and 3.6-330 ((132)Te), while the associated (131)I fallout was roughly estimated to be less than 20 Bq/m(2), Gaseous (131)I was also detected and the (131)I-gaseous/(131)I-total ratio increased at the three stations from approximately 0.75 at the end of March to 0.85-0.9 during the first few days of April. Finally, the presence of (131)I in some crucial parts of the food chain was also studied. (131)I was detected in samples from goat's and cow's milk (maximum levels of 1.11 Bq/L) and in broadleaf plants (maximum level 1.42 Bq/kg).

  19. Radial-interval linear programming for environmental management under varied protection levels.

    PubMed

    Tan, Qian; Huang, Guo H; Cai, Yanpeng

    2010-09-01

    In this study, a radial-interval linear programming (RILP) approach was developed for supporting waste management under uncertainty. RILP improved interval-parameter linear programming and its extensions in terms of input reasonableness and output robustness. From the perspective of modeling inputs, RILP could tackle highly uncertain information at the bounds of interval parameters through introducing the concept of fluctuation radius. Regarding modeling outputs, RILP allows controlling the degree of conservatism associated with interval solutions and is capable of quantifying corresponding system risks and benefits. This could facilitate the reflection of interactive relationship between the feasibility of system and the uncertainty of parameters. A computationally tractable algorithm was provided to solve RILP. Then, a long-term waste management case was studied to demonstrate the applicability of the developed methodology. A series of interval solutions obtained under varied protection levels were compared, helping gain insights into the interactions among protection level, violation risk, and system cost. Potential waste allocation alternatives could be generated from these interval solutions, which would be screened in real-world practices according to various projected system conditions as well as decision-makers' willingness to pay and risk tolerance levels. Sensitivity analysis further revealed the significant impact of fluctuation radii of interval parameters on the system. The results indicated that RILP is applicable to a wide spectrum of environmental management problems that are subject to compound uncertainties.

  20. Association of Children’s Urinary CC16 Levels with Arsenic Concentrations in Multiple Environmental Media

    PubMed Central

    Beamer, Paloma I.; Klimecki, Walter T.; Loh, Miranda; Van Horne, Yoshira Ornelas; Sugeng, Anastasia J.; Lothrop, Nathan; Billheimer, Dean; Guerra, Stefano; Lantz, Robert Clark; Canales, Robert A.; Martinez, Fernando D.

    2016-01-01

    Arsenic exposure has been associated with decreased club cell secretory protein (CC16) levels in adults. Further, both arsenic exposure and decreased levels of CC16 in childhood have been associated with decreased adult lung function. Our objective was to determine if urinary CC16 levels in children are associated with arsenic concentrations in environmental media collected from their homes. Yard soil, house dust, and tap water were taken from 34 homes. Urine and toenail samples were collected from 68 children. All concentrations were natural log-transformed prior to data analysis. There were associations between urinary CC16 and arsenic concentration in soil (b = −0.43, p = 0.001, R2 = 0.08), water (b = −0.22, p = 0.07, R2 = 0.03), house dust (b = −0.37, p = 0.07, R2 = 0.04), and dust loading (b = −0.21, p = 0.04, R2 = 0.04). In multiple analyses, only the concentration of arsenic in soil was associated with urinary CC16 levels (b = −0.42, p = 0.02, R2 = 0.14 (full model)) after accounting for other factors. The association between urinary CC16 and soil arsenic may suggest that localized arsenic exposure in the lungs could damage the airway epithelium and predispose children for diminished lung function. Future work to assess this possible mechanism should examine potential associations between airborne arsenic exposures, CC16 levels, lung function, and other possible confounders in children in arsenic-impacted communities. PMID:27223295

  1. High level waste tank closure project: ALARA applications at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.

    PubMed

    Aitken, Steven B; Butler, Richard; Butterworth, Steven W; Quigley, Keith D

    2005-05-01

    Bechtel BWXT Idaho, Maintenance and Operating Contractor for the Department of Energy at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, has emptied, cleaned, and sampled six of the eleven 1.135 x 10(6) L high level waste underground storage tanks at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center, well ahead of the State of Idaho Consent Order cleaning schedule. Cleaning of a seventh tank is expected to be complete by the end of calendar year 2004. The tanks, with associated vaults, valve boxes, and distribution systems, are being closed to meet Resource Conservation and Recovery Act regulations and Department of Energy orders. The use of remotely operated equipment placed in the tanks through existing tank riser access points, sampling methods and application of as-low-as-reasonably-achievable (ALARA) principles have proven effective in keeping personnel dose low during equipment removal, tank, vault, and valve box cleaning, and sampling activities, currently at 0.03 Sv.

  2. Activation of biologically relevant levels of reactive oxygen species by Au/g-C3N4 hybrid nanozyme for bacteria killing and wound disinfection.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhenzhen; Dong, Kai; Liu, Zhen; Zhang, Yan; Chen, Zhaowei; Sun, Hanjun; Ren, Jinsong; Qu, Xiaogang

    2017-01-01

    As common reactive oxygen species, H2O2 is widely used for bacterial inactivation and wound disinfection. However, the concentrations used are always higher than physiological levels, which frequently result in potential toxicity to healthy tissue and even delay wound healing. Here we report highly efficient nanozyme hybrids that are capable of activating biologically relevant concentrations of H2O2 for defending bacterial infections. The integration of AuNPs with ultrathin graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) provides excellent peroxidase-activity, which can catalyze the decomposition of H2O2 to OH radicals much more efficiently, allowing the use of bio-safety levels of H2O2 for the first time. Furthermore, our system not only exhibits striking bactericidal performance against both DR Gram-negative and DR Gram-positive bacteria, but also shows high efficiency in breaking down the existing DR-biofilms and prevented formation of new biofilms in vitro. More importantly, in vivo experiments indicate that our system could significantly prevent bacterial infections and accelerate the healing rate of wounds.

  3. An Environmental Education Approach to the Training of Middle Level Teachers: A Prototype Programme. Environmental Education Series 30.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marcinkowski, Thomas J.; And Others

    This document describes the design, content, and methods of a teacher education program (TEP) with a specialization in environmental education (SEE), intended to prepare teachers for middle schools. The SEE is also suggested as inservice for staff members. Part 1 presents the goals of the TEP and translates these goals into learner objectives. It…

  4. The potential of individual based population models to extrapolate effects measured at standardized test conditions to relevant environmental conditions--an example for 3,4-dichloroaniline on Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Preuss, Thomas G; Hammers-Wirtz, M; Ratte, H T

    2010-11-01

    In current risk assessment ecotoxicological biotests (e.g.Daphnia reproduction test) are used to assess the potential impact of xenobiotics on ecosystems. The effects of chemicals and pesticides on populations of non-target organisms in the field depend not only on the exposure and the toxicity, but also on other factors such as life history characteristics. The effects of 3,4-dichloroaniline (3,4-DCA) measured with standardized test procedures, namely the Daphnia immobilisation test (OECD 202) and Daphnia reproduction test (OECD 211), were extrapolated to the population level using an individual-based Daphnia magna population model (IDamP) integrating only the effects on mortality and reproduction. The application of IDamP to extrapolate the effects on population levels was tested on two different population datasets, differing in the start population as well as in the feeding regime. The simulation results were compared to data derived from population experiments under semi-static and flow-through conditions. The IDamP model with an integrated toxicity module was able to predict the effects of 3,4-DCA on the population level under constant laboratory conditions for both datasets. This modelling approach was used to establish concentration-response relationships for 3,4-DCA on the population level. For this purpose two endpoints, the population capacity and the extinction probability, were calculated for different food levels. It turned out that the concentration-response relationship of the population capacity was less influenced by food supply, whereas for daphnid populations exposed to 3,4-DCA the extinction risk was twice as high with lower (environmental relevant) food supply. For both endpoints the lowest EC(50) was calculated to be 25 and 35 µg l(-1). The calculation of concentration-effect relationships on the population level by using a modelling approach provides a tool to extrapolate from effects derived from lab experiments to effects on the

  5. Hookah (Shisha, Narghile) Smoking and Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). A Critical Review of the Relevant Literature and the Public Health Consequences

    PubMed Central

    Chaouachi, Kamal

    2009-01-01

    Hookah (narghile, shisha, “water-pipe”) smoking is now seen by public health officials as a global tobacco epidemic. Cigarette Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) is classically understood as a combination of Side-Stream Smoke (SSS) and Exhaled Main-Stream Smoke (EMSS), both diluted and aged. Some of the corresponding cigarette studies have served as the scientific basis for stringent legislation on indoor smoking across the world. Interestingly, one of the distinctive traits of the hookah device is that it generates almost no SSS. Indeed, its ETS is made up almost exclusively by the smoke exhaled by the smoker (EMSS), i.e. which has been filtered by the hookah at the level of the bowl, inside the water, along the hose and then by the smoker’s respiratory tract itself. The present paper reviews the sparse and scattered scientific evidence available about hookah EMSS and the corresponding inferences that can be drawn from the composition of cigarette EMSS. The reviewed literature shows that most of hookah ETS is made up of EMSS and that the latter qualitatively differs from MSS. Keeping in mind that the first victim of passive smoking is the active smoker her/himself, the toxicity of hookah ETS for non-smokers should not be overestimated and hyped in an unscientific way. PMID:19440416

  6. Relevance of serum nitric oxide levels and the efficacy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors treatment on premature ejaculation: decreased nitric oxide is associated with premature ejaculation.

    PubMed

    Otunctemur, A; Ozbek, E; Kirecci, S L; Ozcan, L; Dursun, M; Cekmen, M; Ozdogan, H K

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the relevance of serum nitric oxide levels and the efficacy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) treatment on premature ejaculation. Sixty married men (aged 20-50) with lifelong premature ejaculation and forty healthy men (aged 24-48) as control group were included in this study. The patients were evaluated by intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IELT) for premature ejaculation (PE). IELT<1 min is accepted PE. Patients with diabetes mellitus, chronic disorders or erectile dysfunction and heavy smokers were excluded. All patients were evaluated with history, physical examination, International Index of Erectile Dysfunction-5 (IIEF-5) score and IELT by stopwatch method. Nitric oxide levels were measured by Griess reaction, and all samples were frozen at -80 °C. Patients were randomly categorised 4 group to receive fluoxetine 20 mg day(-1) (Group 1), paroxetine 20 mg day(-1) (Group 2), sertraline 50 mg day(-1) (Group 3) and healthy control (Group 4) for 4 weeks. Baseline and post-treatment findings were compared between the four groups. At the end of 4 weeks, in fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline groups mean IELT values showed a statistically significant improvement from the baseline values (P < 0.001, P < 0.001, P = 0.03; respectively). Baseline and 1st month follow-up mean IIEF scores were 24.5 and 23.05, 24.70 and 23.60 (P < 0.05) in group 1 and group 3 respectively; also 23.09 and 23.32 (P > 0.05) in group 2. Baseline serum NO levels were 31.8, 30.44, 30.8 and 42.84 in fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline and healthy control groups respectively. NO levels were statistically lower in patients with PE. After treatment of fluoxetine, paroxetine and sertraline, NO levels were increased baseline (35.8, 36.4, 38.08) (P < 0.05). Our findings indicated that PE is associated with decreased serum NO levels. After the SSRI treatment increased, NO may retard ejaculation presumably by central

  7. Influences of environmental noise level and respiration rate on the accuracy of acoustic respiration rate monitoring.

    PubMed

    Yabuki, Shizuha; Toyama, Hiroaki; Takei, Yusuke; Wagatsuma, Toshihiro; Yabuki, Hiroshi; Yamauchi, Masanori

    2017-02-07

    We tested the hypothesis that the environmental noise generated by a forced-air warming system reduces the monitoring accuracy of acoustic respiration rate (RRa). Noise levels were adjusted to 45-55, 56-65, 66-75, and 76-85 dB. Healthy participants breathed at set respiration rates (RRset) of 6, 12, and 30/min. Under each noise level at each RRset, the respiration rates by manual counting (RRm) and RRa were recorded. Any appearance of the alarm display on the RRa monitor was also recorded. Each RRm of all participants agreed with each RRset at each noise level. At 45-55 dB noise, the RRa of 13, 17, and 17 participants agreed with RRset of 6, 12, and 30/min, respectively. The RRa of 14, 17, and 16 participants at 56-65 dB noise, agreed with RRset of 6, 12, and 30/min, respectively. At 66-75 dB noise, the RRa of 9, 15, and 16 participants agreed with RRset of 6, 12, and 30/min, respectively. The RRa of one, nine, and nine participants at 76-85 dB noise agreed with RRset of 6, 12, and 30/min, respectively, which was significantly less than the other noise levels (P < 0.05). Overall, 72.9% of alarm displays highlighted incorrect values of RRa. In a noisy situation involving the operation of a forced-air warming system, the acoustic respiration monitoring should be used carefully especially in patients with a low respiration rate.

  8. Critical review of the analysis of brominated flame retardants and their environmental levels in Africa.

    PubMed

    Brits, Martin; de Vos, Jayne; Weiss, Jana M; Rohwer, Egmont R; de Boer, Jacob

    2016-12-01

    World-wide, the prevalence of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) is well documented for routine analysis of environmental and biological matrices. There is, however, limited information on these compounds in the African environment and insufficient information on the analytical approaches used to obtain data. This paper presents a review on BFR levels in the African environment and the various analytical methodologies specifically applied in Africa for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polybrominated biphenyls and alternative-BFRs. The analyses include liquid sample preparation using liquid-liquid and solid phase extraction and solid sample preparation involving Soxhlet extraction, with ultrasound-assisted extraction increasingly being applied. Instrumental detection techniques were limited to gas chromatography coupled with electron capture detector and electron impact ionisation with single quadrupole mass spectrometers. Information on congener profile prevalence in indoor dust, soil, aquatic environment (water, sediment, and aquatic organisms), eggs, wastewater treatment plant compartments, landfills (leachate and sediment) and breast milk are presented. Although PBDEs were inconsistently detected, contamination was reported for all investigated matrices in the African environment. The manifestation in remote regions indicates the ubiquitous prevalence and long-range transport of these compounds. Levels in sediment, and breast milk from some African countries were higher than reported for Asia and Europe. Due to limited data or non-detection of alternative-BFRs, it is unclear whether banned formulations were replaced in Africa. Most of the data reported for BFR levels in Africa were obtained in non-African laboratories or in South Africa and formed the basis for our discussion of reported contamination levels and related methodologies.

  9. The Effects of Multiple Intelligences Instructional Strategy on the Environmental Awareness Knowledge and Environmental Attitude Levels of Elementary Students in Science Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bas, Gökhan

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the research was to investigate the effects of Multiple Intelligences strategy and traditional methods of instruction on elementary students' environmental awareness knowledge levels and their attitudes towards the environment. The pre/post-test control group research model was used in this study. The research was carried out in…

  10. Environmental Health: High-level Strategy and Leadership Needed to Continue Progress toward Protecting Children from Environmental Threats. Report to Congressional Requesters. GAO-10-205

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stephenson, John B.

    2010-01-01

    Exposure to toxic chemicals or environmental pollutants may harm the health of the nation's 74 million children and contribute to increases in asthma and developmental impairments. In 2007, 66 percent of children lived in counties exceeding allowable levels for at least one of the six principal air pollutants that cause or aggravate asthma,…

  11. Do outdoor environmental noise and atmospheric NO2 levels spatially overlap in urban areas?

    PubMed

    Tenailleau, Quentin M; Bernard, Nadine; Pujol, Sophie; Parmentier, Anne-Laure; Boilleaut, Mathieu; Houot, Hélène; Joly, Daniel; Mauny, Frédéric

    2016-07-01

    The urban environment holds numerous emission sources for air and noise pollution, creating optimum conditions for environmental multi-exposure situations. Evaluation of the joint-exposure levels is the main obstacle for multi-exposure studies and one of the biggest challenges of the next decade. The present study aims to describe the noise/NO2 multi-exposure situations in the urban environment by exploring the possible discordant and concordant situations of both exposures. Fine-scale diffusion models were developed in the European medium-sized city of Besançon (France), and a classification method was used to evaluate the multi-exposure situations in the façade perimeter of 10,825 buildings. Although correlated (Pearson's r = 0.64, p < 0.01), urban spatial distributions of the noise and NO2 around buildings do not overlap, and 30% of the buildings were considered to be discordant in terms of the noise and NO2 exposure levels. This discrepancy is spatially structured and associated with variables describing the building's environment. Our results support the presence of several co-existing, multi-exposure situations across the city impacted by both the urban morphology and the emission and diffusion/propagation phases of each pollutant. Identifying the mechanisms of discrepancy and convergence of multi-exposure situations could help improve the health risk assessment and public health.

  12. Environmental Lectures at the Campus Universitari de la Mediterrania, Teaching at European/Worldwide level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redondo, J. M.; Babiano, A.; Fraunie, P.; Blanes, N.

    2009-04-01

    Since 1997, the Campus Universitari de la Mediterrania, an independent institution created jointly by the Vilanova i la Geltru City council, The Politechnic University of Catalonia (at Barcelona) and the Generalitat (Local Goverment) of Catalonia. Has organized different types of summer schools at different levels of speciality ranging from cultural and continuing education to advanced post-doctoral level. The number of students has risen from 300 to about a thousand, with many students being able to transfer ETCS credits gained at CUM to other institutions or universities. In the ambit of environmental sciences and engineering, at least two courses (typically one week / 20-30 hours of lectures) and 2 workshops (2-3 days 16-20 hours of seminars) have been organized since 1999. Funding from a variety of sources, ERCOFTAC, EGU, NATO, etc.. including Socrates/Erasmus European Union Grants allow to gather groups of enthusiastic master and phD students with world wide lecturers to focus on specific subjets such as Ocean Mixing, Bioacoustics, Turbulence, Astrophysics, Climate change, turbulence modelling, etc..

  13. Population-level thermal performance of a cold-water ectotherm is linked to ontogeny and local environmental heterogeneity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hossack, Blake R.; Corn, P. Stephen; , Winsor H. Lowe; , Molly A. H. Webb; , Mariah J. Talbott; , Kevin M. Kappenman

    2013-01-01

    5. Our experiments with a cold-water species show that population-level performance varies across small geographic scales and is linked to local environmental heterogeneity. This variation could influence the rate and mode of species-level responses to climate change, both by facilitating local persistence in the face of change

  14. Progress in High-Level Waste Tank Cleaning at the Idaho National Environmental and Engineering Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Lockie, K. A.; McNaught, W. B.

    2002-02-26

    The Department of Energy Idaho Operations Office (DOE-ID) is making preparations to close two underground high-level waste (HLW) storage tanks at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) to meet Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations and Department of Energy (DOE) orders. Closure of these two tanks is scheduled for 2004 as the first phase in closure of the eleven 300,000 gallon tanks currently in service at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC). Design, development, and deployment of a remotely operated tank cleaning system were completed in August 2001. The system incorporates many commercially available components, which have been adapted for application in cleaning high-level waste tanks. The system also uses existing waste transfer technology (steam-jets) to remove tank heel solids from the tank bottoms during the cleaning operations. By using this existing transfer system and commercially available equipment, the cost of developing custom designed cleaning equipment can be avoided. Remotely operated directional spray nozzles, automatic rotating wash balls, video monitoring equipment, decontamination spray-rings, and tank specific access interface devices have been integrated to provide a system that efficiently cleans tank walls and heel solids in an acidic, radioactive environment. This system is also compliant with operational and safety performance requirements at INTEC. Through the deployment of the tank cleaning system, the INEEL High Level Waste Program has demonstrated the capability to clean tanks to meet RCRA clean closure standards and DOE closure performance measures. The tank cleaning system deployed at the INTEC offers unique advantages over other approaches evaluated at the INEEL and throughout the DOE Complex. The system's ability to agitate and homogenize the tank heel sludge will simplify verification-sampling techniques and reduce the total quantity of samples required to

  15. Nitrogen and Oxygen Isotopes of Low-Level Nitrate in Groundwater For Environmental Forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.

    2009-05-01

    Sources of nitrate in water from human activities include fertilizers, animal feedlots, septic systems, wastewater treatment lagoons, animal wastes, industrial wastes and food processing wastes. Nitrogen and Oxygen isotopic analysis of nitrate in groundwater is essential to source identification and environmental forensics as nitrate from different sources carry distinctly different N and O isotopic compositions. Nitrate is extracted from groundwater samples and converted into AgNO3 using ion exchange techniques. The purified AgNO3 is then broken down into N2 and CO for N and O isotopic measurement. Since nitrate concentrations in natural ground waters are usually less than 2 mg/L, however, such method has been limited by minimum sample size it requires, in liters, which is highly nitrate concentration dependent. Here we report a TurboVap- Denitrifier method for N and O isotopic measurement of low-level dissolved nitrate, based on sample evaporation and isotopic analysis of nitrous oxide generated from nitrate by denitrifying bacteria that lack N2O- reductase activity. For most groundwater samples with mg/L-level of nitrate direct injection of water samples in mLs is applied. The volume of sample is adjusted according to its nitrate concentration to achieve a final sample size optimal for the system. For water samples with ug/L-level of nitrate, nitrate is highly concentrated using a TurboVap evaporator, followed by isotopic measurement with Denitrifier method. Benefits of TurboVap- Denitrifier method include high sensitivity and better precision in both isotopic data. This method applies to both freshwater and seawater. The analyses of isotopic reference materials in nitrate-free de-ionized water and seawater are included as method controls to correct for any blank effects. The isotopic data from groundwater and ocean profiles demonstrate the consistency of the data produced by the TurboVap-Denitrifier method.

  16. Phylogenetic relationships of Proboscoida Broch, 1910 (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa): Are traditional morphological diagnostic characters relevant for the delimitation of lineages at the species, genus, and family levels?

    PubMed

    Cunha, Amanda F; Collins, Allen G; Marques, Antonio C

    2017-01-01

    Overlapping variation of morphological characters can lead to misinterpretation in taxonomic diagnoses and the delimitation of different lineages. This is the case for hydrozoans that have traditionally been united in the family Campanulariidae, a group known for its wide morphological variation and complicated taxonomic history. In a recently proposed phylogenetic classification of leptothecate hydrozoans, this family was restricted to a more narrow sense while a larger clade containing most species traditionally classified in Campanulariidae, along with members of Bonneviellidae, was established as the suborder Proboscoida. We used molecular data to infer the phylogenetic relationships among campanulariids and assess the traditional classification of the family, as well as the new classification scheme for the group. The congruity and relevance of diagnostic characters were also evaluated. While mostly consistent with the new phylogenetic classification of Proboscoida, our increased taxon sampling resulted in some conflicts at the family level, specially regarding the monophyly of Clytiidae and Obeliidae. Considering the traditional classification, only Obeliidae is close to its original scope (as subfamily Obeliinae). At the genus level, Campanularia and Clytia are not monophyletic. Species with Obelia-like medusae do not form a monophyletic group, nor do species with fixed gonophores, indicating that these characters do not readily diagnose different genera. Finally, the species Orthopyxis integra, Clytia gracilis, and Obelia dichotoma are not monophyletic, suggesting that most of their current diagnostic characters are not informative for their delimitation. Several diagnostic characters in this group need to be reassessed, with emphasis on their variation, in order to have a consistent taxonomic and phylogenetic framework for the classification of campanulariid hydrozoans.

  17. Assessment of potential risk levels associated with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reference values.

    PubMed Central

    Castorina, Rosemary; Woodruff, Tracey J

    2003-01-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) generally uses reference doses (RfDs) or reference concentrations (RfCs) to assess risks from exposure to toxic substances for noncancer health end points. RfDs and RfCs are supposed to represent lifetime inhalation or ingestion exposure with minimal appreciable risk, but they do not include information about the estimated risk from exposures equal to the RfD/RfC. We used results from benchmark dose modeling approaches recently adopted for use in developing RfDs/RfCs to estimate the risk levels associated with exposures at the RfD/RfC. We searched the U.S. EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database and identified 11 chemicals with oral RfDs and 12 chemicals with inhalation RfCs that used benchmark dose modeling. For assessments with sufficient model information, we found that 16 of 21 (76%) of the dose-response models were linear or supralinear. We estimated the risk from exposures at the established RfDs and RfCs for these chemicals using a linear dose-response curve to characterize risk below the observed data. Risk estimates ranged from 1 in 10,000 to 5 in 1,000 for exposures at the RfDs, and from 1 in 10,000 to 3 in 1,000 for exposures at the RfCs. Risk estimates for exposures at the RfD/RfC values derived from sublinear dose-response curves ranged from 3 in 1,000,000,000 to 8 in 10,000. Twenty-four percent of reference values corresponded to estimated risk levels greater than 1 in 1,000; 10 of 14 assessments had points of departure greater than the no-observed-adverse-effect levels. For policy development regarding management of cancer risks, the U.S. EPA often uses 1 in 1,000,000 as a de minimis risk level. Although noncancer outcomes may in some instances be reversible and considered less severe than cancer, our findings call into question the assumption that established RfD and RfC values represent negligibly small risk levels. PMID:12896853

  18. Environmental assessment for the off-site volume reduction of low-level radioactive waste from the Savannah River Site

    SciTech Connect

    1995-07-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) (DOE/EA-1061) for the proposed off-site volume reduction of low-level radioactive wastes (LLW) generated at the Savannah River Site (SRS), near Aiken, South Carolina. Based on the analyses in the EA, DOE has determined that the proposed action is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. Therefore, the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) is not required, and DOE is issuing this Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).

  19. Increasing Safety and Reducing Environmental Damage Risk from Aging High-Level Radioactive Waste Tanks

    SciTech Connect

    Steffler, Eric D.; McClintock, Frank A.; Lam, Poh-Sang; Williamson, Richard L.; Lloyd, W. R.; Rashid, Mark M.

    2003-06-01

    There exists a paramount need for improved understanding the behavior of high-level nuclear waste containers and the impact on structural integrity in terms of leak tightness and mechanical stability. The current program aims to develop and verify models of crack growth in high level waste tanks under accidental overloads such as ground settlement, earthquakes and airplane crashes based on extending current fracture mechanics methods. While studies in fracture have advanced, the mechanics have not included extensive crack growth. For problems at the INEEL, Savannah River Site and Hanford there are serious limitations to current theories regarding growth of surface cracks through the thickness and the extension of through-thickness cracks. We propose to further develop and extend slip line fracture mechanics (SLFM, a ductile fracture modeling methodology) and, if need be, other ductile fracture characterizing approaches with the goal of predicting growth of surface cracks to the point o f penetration of the opposing surface. Ultimately we aim to also quantify the stress and displacement fields surrounding a growing crack front (slanted and tunneled) using generalized plane stress and fully plastic, three-dimensional finite element analyses. Finally, we will investigate the fracture processes associated with the previously observed transition of stable ductile crack growth to unstable cleavage fracture to include estimates of event probability. These objectives will build the groundwork for a reliable predictive model of fracture in the HLW storage tanks that will also be applicable to standardized spent nuclear fuel storage canisters. This predictive capability will not only reduce the potential for severe environmental damage, but will also serve to guide safe retrieval of waste. This program was initiated in November of 2001.

  20. Increasing Safety and Reducing Environmental Damage Risk from Aging High-Level Radioactive Waste Tanks

    SciTech Connect

    Steffler, Eric D.; McClintock, Frank A.; Lam, Poh-Sang; Lloyd, W. R.

    2002-06-01

    There exists a paramount need for improved understanding the behavior of high-level nuclear waste containers and the impact on structural integrity in terms of leak tightness and mechanical stability. The current program, which at the time of this writing is in its early stages, aims to develop and verify models of crack growth in high level waste tanks under accidental overloads such as ground settlement, earthquakes and airplane crashes based on extending current fracture mechanics methods. While studies in fracture have advanced, the mechanics have not included extensive crack growth. For problems at the INEEL, Savannah River Site and Hanford there are serious limitations to current theories regarding growth of surface cracks through the thickness and the extension of through-thickness cracks. We propose to further develop and extend slip line fracture mechanics (SLFM, a ductile fracture modeling methodology) and, if need be, other ductile fracture characterizing approaches with the goal of predicting growth of surface cracks to the point of penetration of the opposing surface. We also aim to quantify the stress and displacement fields surrounding a growing crack front (slanted and tunneled) using generalized plane stress and fully plastic, three-dimensional finite element analyses. Finally, we will quantify the fracture processes associated with the previously observed transition of stable ductile crack growth to unstable cleavage fracture to include estimates of event probability. These objectives will build the groundwork for a reliable predictive model of fracture in the HLW storage tanks that will also be applicable to standardized spent nuclear fuel storage canisters. This predictive capability will not only reduce the potential for severe environmental damage, but will also serve to justify life extension through retrieval of waste. This program was initiated in November of 2001.

  1. Lead contamination and transfer in urban environmental compartments analyzed by lead levels and isotopic compositions.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xin; Sun, Yuanyuan; Ding, Zhuhong; Zhang, Yun; Wu, Jichun; Lian, Hongzhen; Wang, Tijian

    2014-04-01

    Lead levels and isotopic compositions in atmospheric particles (TSP and PM2.5), street dust and surface soil collected from Nanjing, a mega city in China, were analyzed to investigate the contamination and the transfer of lead in urban environmental compartments. The lead contents in TSP and PM2.5 are significantly higher than them in the surface soil and street dust (p < 0.05). The enrichment factor using the mass ratio of lead to the major crustal elements (Al, Sr, Ti and Fe) indicates significant lead enrichment in atmospheric particles. The plots of (206)Pb/(207)Pb vs.(208)Pb/(206)Pb and (206)Pb/(207)Pb vs. 1/Pb imply that the street dust and atmospheric particles (TSP and PM2.5) have very similar lead sources. Coal emissions and smelting activities may be the important lead sources for street dust and atmospheric particles (TSP and PM2.5), while the deposition of airborne lead is an important lead source for urban surface soil.

  2. Laboratory Rodent Diets Contain Toxic Levels of Environmental Contaminants: Implications for Regulatory Tests

    PubMed Central

    Rocque, Louis-Marie; Spiroux de Vendômois, Joël; Séralini, Gilles-Eric

    2015-01-01

    The quality of diets in rodent feeding trials is crucial. We describe the contamination with environmental pollutants of 13 laboratory rodent diets from 5 continents. Measurements were performed using accredited methodologies. All diets were contaminated with pesticides (1-6 out of 262 measured), heavy metals (2-3 out of 4, mostly lead and cadmium), PCDD/Fs (1-13 out of 17) and PCBs (5-15 out of 18). Out of 22 GMOs tested for, Roundup-tolerant GMOs were the most frequently detected, constituting up to 48% of the diet. The main pesticide detected was Roundup, with residues of glyphosate and AMPA in 9 of the 13 diets, up to 370 ppb. The levels correlated with the amount of Roundup-tolerant GMOs. Toxic effects of these pollutants on liver, neurodevelopment, and reproduction are documented. The sum of the hazard quotients of the pollutants in the diets (an estimator of risk with a threshold of 1) varied from 15.8 to 40.5. Thus the chronic consumption of these diets can be considered at risk. Efforts toward safer diets will improve the reliability of toxicity tests in biomedical research and regulatory toxicology. PMID:26133768

  3. Evaluation of environmental levels of aromatic hydrocarbons in gasoline service stations by gas chromatography.

    PubMed

    Periago, J F; Zambudio, A; Prado, C

    1997-08-22

    The volume of gasoline sold in refuelling operations and the ambient temperature, can increase significantly the environmental levels of aromatic hydrocarbon vapours and subsequently, the occupational risk of gasoline service station attendants, specially in the case of benzene. We have evaluated the occupational exposure to aromatic hydrocarbons by means of personal-breathing-zone samples of gasoline vapours in a service station attendant population. This evaluation was carried out using diffusive samplers, in two periods at quite different temperatures (March and July). A significant relationship between the volume of gasoline sold during the shift and the ambient concentration of benzene, toluene, and xylenes was found for each worker sampled. Furthermore a significant difference was found between the time-weighted average concentration of aromatic compounds measured in March, with ambient temperatures of 14-15 degrees C and July, with temperatures of 28-30 degrees C. In addition, 20% of the population sampled in the last period were exposed to a time-weighted average concentration of benzene above the proposed Threshold Limit Value of 960 micrograms/m(3) of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).

  4. Laboratory Rodent Diets Contain Toxic Levels of Environmental Contaminants: Implications for Regulatory Tests.

    PubMed

    Mesnage, Robin; Defarge, Nicolas; Rocque, Louis-Marie; Spiroux de Vendômois, Joël; Séralini, Gilles-Eric

    2015-01-01

    The quality of diets in rodent feeding trials is crucial. We describe the contamination with environmental pollutants of 13 laboratory rodent diets from 5 continents. Measurements were performed using accredited methodologies. All diets were contaminated with pesticides (1-6 out of 262 measured), heavy metals (2-3 out of 4, mostly lead and cadmium), PCDD/Fs (1-13 out of 17) and PCBs (5-15 out of 18). Out of 22 GMOs tested for, Roundup-tolerant GMOs were the most frequently detected, constituting up to 48% of the diet. The main pesticide detected was Roundup, with residues of glyphosate and AMPA in 9 of the 13 diets, up to 370 ppb. The levels correlated with the amount of Roundup-tolerant GMOs. Toxic effects of these pollutants on liver, neurodevelopment, and reproduction are documented. The sum of the hazard quotients of the pollutants in the diets (an estimator of risk with a threshold of 1) varied from 15.8 to 40.5. Thus the chronic consumption of these diets can be considered at risk. Efforts toward safer diets will improve the reliability of toxicity tests in biomedical research and regulatory toxicology.

  5. Wild boars (Sus scrofa) as bioindicators of environmental levels of selenium in Poland.

    PubMed

    Nowakowska, E; Pilarczyk, B; Pilarczyk, R; Tomza-Marciniak, A; Bąkowska, M; Marciniak, A

    2016-12-01

    The objective of the study was to determine selenium content in selected organs (liver, kidney) of wild boars from different regions of Poland. Materials for the study were obtained from 28 sites located in 16 provinces of Poland. Selenium concentrations in organs were determined using spectrofluorometric methods after wet mineralization in HNO3 and HClO4 mixture. Mean selenium concentrations in the investigated wild boars from Poland were 0.230 μg/g wet weight in the liver and 1.327 μg/g w.w. in the kidneys. Hepatic and nephric Se concentrations ranged from 0.036-0.626 μg/g w.w. and 0.322-4.286 μg/g w.w., respectively. Selenium concentrations in the wild boars differed considerably according to geographical location. Concentrations of selenium were highest in wild boars from south-eastern provinces and lowest in animals from northern provinces. Most of Poland's area is environmentally deficient in this trace element, as evidenced by marginal selenium levels in the organs of the wild boars.

  6. [Mercury levels in humans under conditions of environmental pollution by mercury-containing industrial waste].

    PubMed

    Larionova, T K

    2000-01-01

    Hygienic monitoring of lead, cadmium, and mercury as environmental pollutants should include the analysis of adverse human and environmental effects. The hygienic investigations of environmental pollution with gold-mining waste involved measurements of Hg in the water, soil, foodstuffs and human biological materials. Hg was found in the biological substrata of both industrial workers and the general population since they eat the products of animals and plants from the polluted area.

  7. Environmental Proteomics: a Paradigm Shift in Characterizing Microbial Activities at the Molecular Level

    PubMed Central

    Keller, Martin; Hettich, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Summary: The increase in sequencing capacity led to a new wave of metagenomic projects, enabling and setting the prerequisite for the application of environmental proteomics technologies. This review describes the current status of environmental proteomics. It describes sample preparation as well as the two major technologies applied within this field: two-dimensional electrophoresis-based environmental proteomics and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based environmental proteomics. It also highlights current publications and describes major scientific findings. The review closes with a discussion of critical improvements in the area of integrating experimental mass spectrometry technologies with bioinformatics as well as improved sample handling. PMID:19258533

  8. Environmental proteomics: a paradigm shift in characterizing microbial activities at the molecular level.

    PubMed

    Keller, Martin; Hettich, Robert

    2009-03-01

    The increase in sequencing capacity led to a new wave of metagenomic projects, enabling and setting the prerequisite for the application of environmental proteomics technologies. This review describes the current status of environmental proteomics. It describes sample preparation as well as the two major technologies applied within this field: two-dimensional electrophoresis-based environmental proteomics and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based environmental proteomics. It also highlights current publications and describes major scientific findings. The review closes with a discussion of critical improvements in the area of integrating experimental mass spectrometry technologies with bioinformatics as well as improved sample handling.

  9. Parallel structure among environmental gradients and three trophic levels in a subarctic estuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Speckman, S.G.; Piatt, J.F.; Minte-Vera, C. V.; Parrish, J.K.

    2005-01-01

    1999, when fish community structure changed markedly in lower Cook Inlet. Capelin (Mallotus villosus), walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma), and arrowtooth flounder (Atheresthes stomias) were caught farther north than in previous years. Waters were significantly colder and more saline in 1999, a La Nina year, than in other years of the study. Interannual fluctuations in environmental conditions in lower Cook Inlet did not have substantial effects on zooplankton community structure, although abundance of individual taxa varied significantly. The abundance and distribution of chlorophyll α, zooplankton and forage fish were affected much more by spatial variability in physical oceanography than by interannual variability. Our examination of physical-biological linkages in lower Cook Inlet supports the concept of "bottom-up control," i.e., that variability in the physical environment structures higher trophic-level communities by influencing their distribution and abundance across space.

  10. Monitoring environmental controls on salt-marsh foraminifera in Tuckerton, NJ: implications for sea-level research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Jennifer; Khan, Nicole; Shaw, Timothy; Garcia-Artola, Ane; Dura, Tina; Horton, Ben

    2016-04-01

    Salt-marsh foraminifera have been widely used as proxies to reconstruct sea-level trends because their modern distribution is strongly linked with tidal elevation, and they are relatively abundant and have a high preservation potential in intertidal sediments. To determine former sea levels, the relation between contemporary foraminifera and their controlling environmental variables must be determined and the influence of post-depositional changes elucidated. Duration and frequency of tidal exposure, while the dominant control, is not the only environmental variable controlling the distribution of foraminifera. Complex interactions between organisms and their environment factor into foraminifera species distributions and these factors will vary over space and time. Here we present preliminary results of a spatial and temporal ecological study to monitor short-term, seasonal, and interannual variations in salt-marsh foraminifera assemblages along a salinity gradient of an intertidal zone of New Jersey, USA. The temporal nature is beneficial in recording potential lags in response to changes in environmental conditions compared with one-time sampling. Live foraminifera assemblage samples are compared with measured environmental parameters (porewater chemistry, porewater nutrients, tidal inundation, grain size) and experiments (bioturbation, overwash deposit, and infaunal) to determine the controlling environmental variables on foraminifera and how these variables and the foraminifera assemblages change through time. Ultimately, this multi-year monitoring experiment provides a more comprehensive understanding of environmental controls on salt-marsh foraminifera and will provide a background data set of salt-marsh foraminifera to compare with future studies and with sampling after large events such as storms. A greater understanding of salt-marsh foraminifera in their environment will contribute to sea-level reconstructions. Since sea-level records use the distribution

  11. Teacher Candidates' Perception Level of Environmental Pollutant and Their Risk Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oztas, Fulya; Kalipci, Erkan

    2009-01-01

    It is generally accepted that the environmental education deals with a wide range of environmental experiences, methods and processes. Teaching the subject of the environment should not be considered as an easy task. It should not only cover pure ecology education; but also include the citizenship responsibilities and the problems that are sourced…

  12. Hazard Characteristics and Patterns of Environmental Injustice: Household-Level Determinants of Environmental Risk in Miami, Florida.

    PubMed

    Grineski, Sara E; Collins, Timothy W; Chakraborty, Jayajit; Montgomery, Marilyn

    2016-10-19

    Limited systematic comparative knowledge exists about patterns of environmental injustices in exposure to varied natural and technological hazards. To address this gap, we examine how hazard characteristics (i.e., punctuated event/suddenness of onset, frequency/magnitude, and divisibility) influence relationships between race/ethnicity, nativity, socioeconomic status (SES), older age, housing tenure, and residential hazard exposure. Sociodemographic data come from a random sample survey of 602 residents of the tricounty Miami Metropolitan Statistical Area (Florida). Hazard exposure was measured using spatial data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Air Toxics Assessment, and the Emergency Response Notification System. We specified generalized estimating equations (GEEs)-which account for sociospatial clustering-predicting 100-year flood risk, acute chemical accidental releases, and chronic cancer risk from air toxics from all and on-road mobile sources. We found that for punctuated, sudden onset events, some socially advantaged people were significantly at risk. Racial/ethnic minority variables were significant predictors of greater exposure to the three technological hazards, while higher SES was associated with 100-year flood risk exposure. Black and foreign-born Hispanic residents, and white and U.S.-born Hispanic residents, shared nearly identical risk profiles. Results demonstrate the complexities found in human-hazard associations and the roles of hazard characteristics in shaping disparate risk patterns.

  13. Environmental Trends in Geologic Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pestrong, Raymond

    1970-01-01

    Considers strategies for developing college level introductory environmental geology courses, emphasizing relevance to local surroundings, Considers graduate studies in this field, but does not recommend the establishment of an environmental geology department at this time. Reviews the responsibilities the geology department has to the community…

  14. Satellite Altimetry And Radiometry for Inland Hydrology, Coastal Sea-Level And Environmental Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tseng, Kuo-Hsin

    In this study, we demonstrate three environmental-related applications employing altimetry and remote sensing satellites, and exemplify the prospective usage underlying the current progressivity in mechanical and data analyzing technologies. Our discussion starts from the improved waveform retracking techniques in need for altimetry measurements over coastal and inland water regions. We developed two novel auxiliary procedures, namely the Subwaveform Filtering (SF) method and the Track Offset Correction (TOC), for waveform retracking algorithms to operationally detect altimetry waveform anomalies and further reduce possible errors in determination of the track offset. After that, we present two demonstrative studies related to the ionospheric and tropospheric compositions, respectively, as their variations are the important error sources for satellite electromagnetic signals. We firstly compare the total electron content (TEC) measured by multiple altimetry and GNSS sensors. We conclude that the ionosphere delay measured by Jason-2 is about 6-10 mm shorter than the GPS models. On the other hand, we use several atmospheric variables to study the climate change over high elevation areas. Five types of satellite data and reanalysis models were used to study climate change indicators. We conclude that the spatial distribution of temperature trend among data products is quite different, which is probably due to the choice of various time spans. Following discussions about the measuring techniques and relative bias between data products, we applied our improved altimetry techniques to three environmental science applications with helps of remote sensing imagery. We first manifest the detectability of hydrological events by satellite altimetry and radiometry. The characterization of one-dimensional (along-track) water boundary using former Backscattering Coefficient (BC) method is assisted by the two-dimensional (horizontal) estimate of water extent using the Moderate

  15. A DOE contractor`s perspective of environmental monitoring requirements at a low-level waste facility

    SciTech Connect

    Ferns, T.W.

    1989-11-01

    Environmental monitoring at a low-level waste disposal facility (LLWDF) should, (1) demonstrate compliance with environmental laws; (2) detect any spatial or temporal environmental changes; and (3) provide information on the potential or actual exposure of humans and/or the environment to disposed waste and/or waste by-products. Under the DOE Order system the LLWDF site manager has more freedom of implementation for a monitoring program than either the semi-prescriptive NRC, or the prescriptive EPA hazardous waste programs. This paper will attempt to compare and contrast environmental monitoring under the different systems (DOE, NRC, and EPA), and determine if the DOE might benefit from a more prescriptive system.

  16. Environmental acidification is not associated with altered plasma corticosterone levels in the stream-side salamander, Desmognathus ochrophaeus.

    PubMed

    Woodley, Sarah K; Freeman, Peter; Ricciardella, Lauren F

    2014-05-15

    As environments become increasingly altered due to anthropogenic factors, interest is growing in how endocrine systems respond to pollution and environmental degradation. Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) are a type of stress hormones that are released upon activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and have widespread effects throughout the body. We tested the hypothesis that exposure to environmental acidification is associated with altered levels of plasma GCs in adult, stream-side Allegheny Mountain dusky salamanders (Desmognathus ochrophaeus). We compared plasma corticosterone (CORT) in salamanders living in 9 streams that differed in pH. Although capture and handling induced a robust increase in plasma CORT in all populations of salamanders, we discerned no significant effect of environmental pH on baseline CORT or handling-induced CORT levels. In a laboratory study, low pH decreased salamander locomotory activity compared to acid-neutral controls, but there was no effect of pH on plasma CORT. Decreased locomotory activity is a common amphibian response to stress, indicating that low pH has adverse effects on Allegheny Mountain dusky salamanders. Overall, we conclude that the effects of environmental pH on salamander behavior and other potential responses are not mediated by changes in plasma CORT levels. We discuss alternative explanations for our results and describe difficulties involved in searching for relationships between plasma GCs and environmental degradation.

  17. Detection and Quantification of Silver Nanoparticles at Environmentally Relevant Concentrations Using Asymmetric Flow Field–Flow Fractionation Online with Single Particle Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

    EPA Science Inventory

    The presence of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in aquatic environments could potentially cause adverse impacts on ecosystems and human health. However, current understanding of the environmental fate and transport of AgNPs is still limited because their properties in complex enviro...

  18. Examining Different Regions of Relevance: From Highly Relevant to Not Relevant.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spink, Amanda; Greisdorf, Howard; Bateman, Judy

    1998-01-01

    Proposes a useful concept of relevance as a relationship and an effect on the movement of a user through the iterative stages of their information seeking process, and that users' relevance judgments can be plotted on a Three-Dimensional Spatial Model of Relevance Level, Degree and Time. Discusses implications for the development of information…

  19. Relevance of breast cancer hormone receptors and other factors to the efficacy of adjuvant tamoxifen: patient-level meta-analysis of randomised trials

    PubMed Central

    Early Breast Cancer Trialists' Collaborative Group (EBCTCG)

    2011-01-01

    Summary Background As trials of 5 years of tamoxifen in early breast cancer mature, the relevance of hormone receptor measurements (and other patient characteristics) to long-term outcome can be assessed increasingly reliably. We report updated meta-analyses of the trials of 5 years of adjuvant tamoxifen. Methods We undertook a collaborative meta-analysis of individual patient data from 20 trials (n=21 457) in early breast cancer of about 5 years of tamoxifen versus no adjuvant tamoxifen, with about 80% compliance. Recurrence and death rate ratios (RRs) were from log-rank analyses by allocated treatment. Findings In oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease (n=10 645), allocation to about 5 years of tamoxifen substantially reduced recurrence rates throughout the first 10 years (RR 0·53 [SE 0·03] during years 0–4 and RR 0·68 [0·06] during years 5–9 [both 2p<0·00001]; but RR 0·97 [0·10] during years 10–14, suggesting no further gain or loss after year 10). Even in marginally ER-positive disease (10–19 fmol/mg cytosol protein) the recurrence reduction was substantial (RR 0·67 [0·08]). In ER-positive disease, the RR was approximately independent of progesterone receptor status (or level), age, nodal status, or use of chemotherapy. Breast cancer mortality was reduced by about a third throughout the first 15 years (RR 0·71 [0·05] during years 0–4, 0·66 [0·05] during years 5–9, and 0·68 [0·08] during years 10–14; p<0·0001 for extra mortality reduction during each separate time period). Overall non-breast-cancer mortality was little affected, despite small absolute increases in thromboembolic and uterine cancer mortality (both only in women older than 55 years), so all-cause mortality was substantially reduced. In ER-negative disease, tamoxifen had little or no effect on breast cancer recurrence or mortality. Interpretation 5 years of adjuvant tamoxifen safely reduces 15-year risks of breast cancer recurrence and death. ER status was the

  20. Can Parasites Really Reveal Environmental Impact?

    EPA Science Inventory

    This review assesses the usefulness of parasites as bioindicators of environmental impact. Relevant studies published in the past decade were compiled; factorial meta-analysis demonstrated significant effects and interactions between parasite levels and the presence and concentra...

  1. Environmental and social determinants of youth physical activity intensity levels at neighborhood parks in Las Vegas, NV.

    PubMed

    Coughenour, Courtney; Coker, Lisa; Bungum, Tim J

    2014-12-01

    Parks can play an important role in youth activity. This study used observational data to evaluate the relationship of environmental and social determinants to youth physical activity intensity levels in Las Vegas neighborhood parks. System for observing play and leisure activity in youth was used to code activity levels as sedentary, walking, or vigorous in five low-income and five high-income parks. Environmental determinants included amenities, incivilities, size, high-speed streets, sidewalk condition, and temperature. Social determinants included percent minority and Hispanic, gender, and income. A multinomial logistic regression model was performed. We observed 1,421 youth, 59% male, 41% female; 21% were sedentary, 38% walking, and 41% vigorous. Males were more likely to be observed walking (OR 1.42) and vigorous (OR 2.21) when compared to sedentary. High-speed streets (OR 0.76), sidewalks condition (OR 0.34), and low-income neighborhoods (OR 0.07) was associated with decreased odds of vigorous activity; incivilities (OR 1.34) and amenities (OR 1.27) were associated with greater odds of being vigorous. Environmental and social determinants are associated with physical activity intensity levels at parks. Stakeholders should ensure quality parks, as they relate to physical activity levels in youth. Understanding environmental and social determinants that influence physical activity at parks is critical to utilizing their full potential in an effort to combat childhood obesity.

  2. Draft Genome Sequences of Biosafety Level 2 Opportunistic Pathogens Isolated from the Environmental Surfaces of the International Space Station.

    PubMed

    Checinska Sielaff, Aleksandra; Singh, Nitin K; Allen, Jonathan E; Thissen, James; Jaing, Crystal; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2016-12-29

    The draft genome sequences of 20 biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) opportunistic pathogens isolated from the environmental surfaces of the International Space Station (ISS) were presented. These genomic sequences will help in understanding the influence of microgravity on the pathogenicity and virulence of these strains when compared with Earth strains.

  3. Using screening level environmental life cycle assessment to aid decision making: A case study of a college annual report

    EPA Science Inventory

    Purpose – In this study we compare the life cycle environmental impacts of the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ current printed annual report to a version distributed via the Internet. This case study demonstrates how a screening level life cy...

  4. Determination of State-Trait Anxiety Levels of University Students during the Learning Process of Global Environmental Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oluk, Sami; Ozuredi, Ozlem; Sakaci, Tansel

    2009-01-01

    This descriptive study is to determine anxiety levels of university students during the learning process of global environmental problems. The scope of the research is composed of 39 students. Data were collected via a state-trait anxiety inventory. Trait anxiety inventory was applied both before and after the study whereas, state anxiety…

  5. Engaging Students in Environmental Research Projects: Perceptions of Fluency with Innovative Technologies and Levels of Scientific Inquiry Abilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ebenezer, Jazlin; Kaya, Osman Nafiz; Ebenezer, Devairakkam Luke

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this mixed-method study was to investigate the changes in high school students' perceptions of fluency with innovative technologies (IT) and the levels of students' scientific inquiry abilities as a result of engaging students in long-term scientific research projects focusing on community-based environmental issues. Over a span of…

  6. Estimating Genetic and Environmental Influences on Depressive Symptoms in Adolescence: Differing Effects on Higher and Lower Levels of Symptoms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rende, Richard; Slomkowski, Cheryl; Lloyd-Richardson, Elizabeth; Stroud, Laura; Niaura, Raymond

    2006-01-01

    We estimate the relative effect sizes of genetic and environmental influences on both higher and lower levels of depressive symptoms with attention to persistence over a 1-year period in the genetically informative subsample of adolescents participating in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Shared environmental…

  7. Domains of environmental quality are differentially associated with adverse birth outcomes by levels of urban-rural status

    EPA Science Inventory

    Human health is affected by exposures operating from multiple domains across level of urbanicity. To accommodate this, we constructed an environmental quality index(EQI) using data from five domains (air, water, land, built, sociodemographic) for each United States (U.S.) county;...

  8. Associations of Social-Environmental and Individual-Level Factors with Adolescent Soft Drink Consumption: Results from the SMILE Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Bruijn, Gert-Jan; Kremers, Stef P. J.; de Vries, Hein; van Mechelen, Willem; Brug, Johannes

    2007-01-01

    Adolescent obesity is positively associated with soft drink consumption. We investigated the association of social-environmental and individual-level factors with soft drink consumption in a Dutch adolescent sample. Data were gathered in a longitudinal Dutch adolescent sample (n = 208, 62% girls). Soft drink consumption, social cognitions from the…

  9. Draft Genome Sequences of Biosafety Level 2 Opportunistic Pathogens Isolated from the Environmental Surfaces of the International Space Station

    PubMed Central

    Checinska Sielaff, Aleksandra; Singh, Nitin K.; Allen, Jonathan E.; Thissen, James; Jaing, Crystal

    2016-01-01

    The draft genome sequences of 20 biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) opportunistic pathogens isolated from the environmental surfaces of the International Space Station (ISS) were presented. These genomic sequences will help in understanding the influence of microgravity on the pathogenicity and virulence of these strains when compared with Earth strains. PMID:28034853

  10. Mapping Research Activities and Technologies for Sustainability and Environmental Studies--A Case Study at University Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hara, Keishiro; Uwasu, Michinori; Kurimoto, Shuji; Yamanaka, Shinsuke; Umeda, Yasushi; Shimoda, Yoshiyuki

    2013-01-01

    Systemic understanding of potential research activities and available technology seeds at university level is an essential condition to promote interdisciplinary and vision-driven collaboration in an attempt to cope with complex sustainability and environmental problems. Nonetheless, any such practices have been hardly conducted at universities…

  11. Determination of Pre-Service Science Teachers' Level of Awareness of Environmental Ethics in Relation to Different Variables

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keles, Özgül; Özer, Nilgün

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the current study is to determine the pre-service science teachers' awareness levels of environmental ethics in relation to different variables. The sampling of the present study is comprised of 1,023 third and fourth year pre-service science teachers selected from 12 different universities in the spring term of 2013-2014 academic…

  12. Environmental permits and approvals plan for high-level waste interim storage, Project W-464

    SciTech Connect

    Deffenbaugh, M.L.

    1998-05-28

    This report discusses the Permitting Plan regarding NEPA, SEPA, RCRA, and other regulatory standards and alternatives, for planning the environmental permitting of the Canister Storage Building, Project W-464.

  13. Plant-plant interactions, environmental gradients and plant diversity: a global synthesis of community-level studies

    PubMed Central

    Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T.

    2015-01-01

    Previous syntheses on the effects of environmental conditions on the outcome of plant-plant interactions summarize results from pairwise studies. However, the upscaling to the community-level of such studies is problematic because of the existence of multiple species assemblages and species-specific responses to both the environmental conditions and the presence of neighbors. We conducted the first global synthesis of community-level studies from harsh environments, which included data from 71 alpine and 137 dryland communities. Here we: i) test how important are facilitative interactions as a driver of community structure, ii) evaluate whether the frequency of positive plant-plant interactions across differing environmental conditions and habitats is predictable, and iii) assess whether thresholds in the response of plant-plant interactions to environmental gradients exists between “moderate” and “extreme” stress levels. We also used those community-level studies performed across gradients of at least three points to evaluate how the average environmental conditions, the length of the gradient studied, and the number of points sampled across such gradient affect the form and strength of the facilitation-environment relationship. Over 25% of the species present were more spatially associated to nurse plants than expected by chance in both alpine and dryland areas, illustrating the high importance of positive plant-plant interactions for the maintenance of plant diversity. Facilitative interactions were more frequent, and more related to environmental conditions, in alpine than in dryland areas, perhaps because drylands are generally characterized by a larger variety of environmental stress factors and plant functional traits. The frequency of facilitative interactions in alpine communities peaked at 1000 mm of annual rainfall, and globally decreased with elevation. The frequency of positive interactions in dryland communities decreased globally with water

  14. An initial assessment of spatial relationships between respiratory cases, soil metal content, air quality and deprivation indicators in Glasgow, Scotland, UK: relevance to the environmental justice agenda.

    PubMed

    Morrison, S; Fordyce, F M; Scott, E Marian

    2014-04-01

    There is growing interest in links between poor health and socio-environmental inequalities (e.g. inferior housing, crime and industrial emissions) under the environmental justice agenda. The current project assessed associations between soil metal content, air pollution (NO2/PM10) and deprivation and health (respiratory case incidence) across Glasgow. This is the first time that both chemical land quality and air pollution have been assessed citywide in the context of deprivation and health for a major UK conurbation. Based on the dataset 'averages' for intermediate geography areas, generalised linear modelling of respiratory cases showed significant associations with overall soil metal concentration (p = 0.0367) and with deprivation (p < 0.0448). Of the individual soil metals, only nickel showed a significant relationship with respiratory cases (p = 0.0056). Whilst these associations could simply represent concordant lower soil metal concentrations and fewer respiratory cases in the rural versus the urban environment, they are interesting given (1) possible contributions from soil to air particulate loading and (2) known associations between airborne metals like nickel and health. This study also demonstrated a statistically significant correlation (-0.213; p < 0.05) between soil metal concentration and deprivation across Glasgow. This highlights the fact that despite numerous regeneration programmes, the legacy of environmental pollution remains in post-industrial areas of Glasgow many decades after heavy industry has declined. Further epidemiological investigations would be required to determine whether there are any causal links between soil quality and population health/well-being. However, the results of this study suggest that poor soil quality warrants greater consideration in future health and socio-environmental inequality assessments.

  15. Fleet Level Environmental Evaluation of Emission Taxing Scheme and Biofuel: A Combined Optimization and Multi-Actor Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Jou-Mei

    The Fleet Level Environmental Evaluation Tool (FLEET) can assess environmental impacts of various levels of technology and environmental policies on fleet-level carbon emissions and airline operations. FLEET consists of different models to mimic airlines' behaviors and a resource allocation problem to simulate airlines' aircraft deployments on their networks. Additionally, the Multiactors Biofuel Model can conduct biofuel life-cycle assessments and evaluate biofuel developments and assess the effects of new technology on biofuel production costs and unit carbon emissions as well. In addition, the European Union (EU) initiated an Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) in the European Economic Area, while International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is designing a Global Market-Based Measure (GMBM) scheme to limit civil aviation fleet-level carbon emissions after 2021. This work integrates the FLEET and the Multiactors Biofuel Model together to investigate the interactions between airline operations, biofuel production chains, and environmental policies. The interfaces between the two models are bio-refinery firm profit maximization problem and farmers' profits maximization problem. The two maximization problems mimic the bio-refinery firms and farmers behaviors based on environmental policies, airlines performances, and biofuel developments. In the current study, limited impacts of biofuels on fleet-level emissions due to the inconsistency between biofuel demand and feedstock resource distributions and feedstock supplies were observed. Furthermore, the main driving factor for biofuel developments besides newer technologies was distinguished. Conventional jet fuel prices have complex impacts on biofuel developments because conventional jet fuel prices increase biofuel prices and decrease potential biofuel demands at the same time. In the end, with simplified EU ETS and ICAO GMBM models, the integrated tool represents that EU ETS model conducts lower emissions in a short

  16. A program-level management system for the life cycle environmental and economic assessment of complex building projects

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Chan-Joong; Kim, Jimin; Hong, Taehoon; Koo, Choongwan; Jeong, Kwangbok; Park, Hyo Seon

    2015-09-15

    Climate change has become one of the most significant environmental issues, of which about 40% come from the building sector. In particular, complex building projects with various functions have increased, which should be managed from a program-level perspective. Therefore, this study aimed to develop a program-level management system for the life-cycle environmental and economic assessment of complex building projects. The developed system consists of three parts: (i) input part: database server and input data; (ii) analysis part: life cycle assessment and life cycle cost; and (iii) result part: microscopic analysis and macroscopic analysis. To analyze the applicability of the developed system, this study selected ‘U’ University, a complex building project consisting of research facility and residential facility. Through value engineering with experts, a total of 137 design alternatives were established. Based on these alternatives, the macroscopic analysis results were as follows: (i) at the program-level, the life-cycle environmental and economic cost in ‘U’ University were reduced by 6.22% and 2.11%, respectively; (ii) at the project-level, the life-cycle environmental and economic cost in research facility were reduced 6.01% and 1.87%, respectively; and those in residential facility, 12.01% and 3.83%, respective; and (iii) for the mechanical work at the work-type-level, the initial cost was increased 2.9%; but the operation and maintenance phase was reduced by 20.0%. As a result, the developed system can allow the facility managers to establish the operation and maintenance strategies for the environmental and economic aspects from a program-level perspective. - Highlights: • A program-level management system for complex building projects was developed. • Life-cycle environmental and economic assessment can be conducted using the system. • The design alternatives can be analyzed from the microscopic perspective. • The system can be used to

  17. The Effects of Information Concerning the Attributes of Concept Instances and Recall of Relevant Subconcepts on the Level of Mastery of Certain Geometric Concepts. Working Paper 45.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marten, Barbara Jones

    This paper is a master's thesis reporting research on the effects of two instructional variables, recall of relevant subconcepts and information regarding the attributes of the concept instances on immediate concept learning, transfer and retention. Three sets of instructions were written varying in the amount and type of information given. These…

  18. Seasonal variation in airborne endotoxin levels in indoor environments with different micro-environmental factors in Seoul, South Korea.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Sung Ho; Park, Dong Jin; Park, Wha Me; Park, Dong Uk; Ahn, Jae Kyoung; Yoon, Chung Sik

    2016-02-01

    This study evaluated the variation over a year in airborne endotoxin levels in the indoor environment of five university laboratories in Seoul, South Korea, and examined the micro-environmental factors that influenced endotoxin levels. These included temperature, relative humidity, CO2, CO, illumination, and wind velocity. A total of 174 air samples were collected and analyzed using the kinetic limulus amebocyte lysate assay. Endotoxin levels ranged from <0.001 to 8.90EU/m(3), with an overall geometric mean of 0.240EU/m(3). Endotoxin levels showed significantly negative correlation with temperature (r=-0.529, p<0.001), CO2 (r=-0.213, p<0.001) and illumination (r=-0.538, p<0.001). Endotoxin levels tended to be higher in winter. Endotoxin levels in laboratories with rabbits were significantly higher than those of laboratories with mice. Multivariate regression analysis showed that the environmental factors affecting endotoxin levels were temperature (coefficient=-0.388, p<0.001) and illumination (coefficient=-0.370, p<0.001). Strategies aimed at reducing airborne endotoxin levels in the indoor environments may be most effective if they focus on illumination.

  19. Environmental relevance of laboratory-derived kinetic models to predict trace metal bioaccumulation in gammarids: Field experimentation at a large spatial scale (France).

    PubMed

    Urien, N; Lebrun, J D; Fechner, L C; Uher, E; François, A; Quéau, H; Coquery, M; Chaumot, A; Geffard, O

    2016-05-15

    Kinetic models have become established tools for describing trace metal bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms and offer a promising approach for linking water contamination to trace metal bioaccumulation in biota. Nevertheless, models are based on laboratory-derived kinetic parameters, and the question of their relevance to predict trace metal bioaccumulation in the field is poorly addressed. In the present study, we propose to assess the capacity of kinetic models to predict trace metal bioaccumulation in gammarids in the field at a wide spatial scale. The field validation consisted of measuring dissolved Cd, Cu, Ni and Pb concentrations in the water column at 141 sites in France, running the models with laboratory-derived kinetic parameters, and comparing model predictions and measurements of trace metal concentrations in gammarids caged for 7 days to the same sites. We observed that gammarids poorly accumulated Cu showing the limited relevance of that species to monitor Cu contamination. Therefore, Cu was not considered for model predictions. In contrast, gammarids significantly accumulated Pb, Cd, and Ni over a wide range of exposure concentrations. These results highlight the relevance of using gammarids for active biomonitoring to detect spatial trends of bioavailable Pb, Cd, and Ni contamination in freshwaters. The best agreements between model predictions and field measurements were observed for Cd with 71% of good estimations (i.e. field measurements were predicted within a factor of two), which highlighted the potential for kinetic models to link Cd contamination to bioaccumulation in the field. The poorest agreements were observed for Ni and Pb (39% and 48% of good estimations, respectively). However, models developed for Ni, Pb, and to a lesser extent for Cd, globally underestimated bioaccumulation in caged gammarids. These results showed that the link between trace metal concentration in water and in biota remains complex, and underlined the limits of

  20. Environmental and complexation effects on the structures and spectroscopic signatures of organic pigments relevant for cultural heritage: the case of Alizarin and Alizarin-Mg(II)/Al(III) complexes

    PubMed Central

    Carta, Luciano; Biczysko, Malgorzata; Bloino, Julien; Licari, Daniele; Barone, Vincenzo

    2015-01-01

    An integrated computational approach allowed an unbiased analysis of optical and structural properties of alizarin-based pigments, which can be directly compared with experimental results. Madder lake pigments have been modeled by Mg(II)- and Al(III)-coordinated alizarin taking into account solvation and metal-linkage effects, responsible for colour modifications. Moreover, different environmental conditions have been analyzed for free alizarin, showing in all cases semi-quantitative agreement with experimental spectroscopic data (UV-VIS). Our results point out the ability of in silico approaches to unravel the subtle interplay of stereo-electronic, dynamic, and environmental effects in tuning the physico-chemical properties of pigments relevant for cultural heritage. PMID:24424261

  1. Long-term exposure to gold nanoparticles accelerates larval metamorphosis without affecting mass in wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Fong, Peter P; Thompson, Lucas B; Carfagno, Gerardo L F; Sitton, Andrea J

    2016-09-01

    Nanoparticles are environmental contaminants of emerging concern. Exposure to engineered nanoparticles has been shown to have detrimental effects on aquatic organisms. The authors synthesized gold nanoparticles (18.1 ± 3.5 nm) and tested their effects on time to and weight at metamorphosis in wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpoles, a species known to be sensitive to environmental stressors. Continuous exposure to all concentrations of gold nanoparticles (0.05 pM, 0.5 pM, and 5 pM in particles) for up to 55 d significantly reduced time to metamorphosis by as much as an average of 3 d (p < 0.05). However, exposure to gold nanoparticles had no effect on tadpole mass at metamorphosis. The approximately 18-nm gold nanoparticles used were metastable in dechlorinated tap water, resulting in a change in surface charge and aggregation over time, leading to negatively charged aggregates that were on the order of 60 nm to 110 nm. Nanoparticle aggregation could exacerbate the effect on time to metamorphosis. To the authors' knowledge, the present study is the first report on the effect of engineered nanoparticles of any kind on life-history variables in an amphibian, a taxonomic group that has been declining globally for at least 25 yr. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2304-2310. © 2016 SETAC.

  2. The inducibility of human cytochrome P450 1A by environmental-relevant xenobiotics in the human hepatoma derived cell line HepG2.

    PubMed

    Rudzok, Susanne; Schmücking, Eike; Graebsch, Carolin; Herbarth, Olf; Bauer, Mario

    2009-11-01

    Overexpression of the CYP1 family, independent of gender, is focal to the evaluation of the risk of human cancer. We have analysed the ability of 17 anthropogenic environmental xenobiotics widely used in Europe within households and agriculture to induce the human cytochrome P450 1A (CYP1A) in the human hepatoma derived cell line HepG2. The xenobiotics were potent to concomitantly induce both CYP1A mRNA and CYP1A activity in a dose-response relationship. Exceptions were shown by the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos and the imidazole fungicide prochloraz in high concentrations which were capable of both inhibiting the basal or abolishing the initially induced CYP1A activity, respectively. A CYP1A induction has been shown for the first time by the aromatic xenobiotics irgasan, permethrin and azoxystrobin, the nonaromatic tributyltinoxide and for humans by the piperonylbutoxide. The xenobiotics additionally differed by their induced CYP1A isoenzyme pattern. A pronounced CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 mRNA induction was given by the phenyl urea herbicide diuron and benzodiazole insecticide piperonylbutoxide, respectively. In conclusion, out of the environmental xenobiotics, we described new members of human CYP1A inducers which extend chemical structures of biotransformation activators.

  3. Approaches to Measuring the Extent and Impact of Environmental Change in Three California Community-Level Obesity Prevention Initiatives

    PubMed Central

    Samuels, Sarah E.; Rauzon, Suzanne; Yoshida, Sallie C.; Schwartz, Pamela M.; Boyle, Maria; Beery, William L.; Craypo, Lisa; Solomon, Loel

    2010-01-01

    Despite growing support among public health researchers and practitioners for environmental approaches to obesity prevention, there is a lack of empirical evidence from intervention studies showing a favorable impact of either increased healthy food availability on healthy eating or changes in the built environment on physical activity. It is therefore critical that we carefully evaluate initiatives targeting the community environment to expand the evidence base for environmental interventions. We describe the approaches used to measure the extent and impact of environmental change in 3 community-level obesity-prevention initiatives in California. We focus on measuring changes in the community environment and assessing the impact of those changes on residents most directly exposed to the interventions. PMID:20935262

  4. Environmental assessment for Trench 33 widening in 218-W-5 Low-Level Burial Ground, Hanford Site, Richland, Washington

    SciTech Connect

    1997-07-01

    This environmental assessment (EA) has been prepared to assess potential environmental impacts associated with the US Department of Energy`s proposed action: to widen and operated the unused Trench 33 in the 218-W-5 Low-Level Burial Ground. Information contained herein will be used by the US Department of Energy, Richland Operations Office Manager, to determine if the Proposed Action is a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. If the Proposed Action is determined to be major and significant, an environmental impact statement will be prepared. If the Proposed Action is determined not to be major and significant, a Finding of No significant Impact will be issued and the action may proceed.

  5. A low cost multi-level sampling device for synchronous aseptic collection of environmental water samples.

    PubMed

    McCormick, Michael L; Banishki, Nikola; Powell, Sarah; Rumack, Amy; Garrett, Jinnie M

    2014-10-01

    We describe a simple device for the aseptic collection of environmental water samples at high spatial resolution to depths of 50m. To demonstrate the utility of this technique we present geochemical and archaeal community data from samples collected throughout the water column of a stratified lake.

  6. Environmental monitoring at the Barnwell low level radioactive waste disposal site

    SciTech Connect

    Ragan, F.A.

    1989-11-01

    The Barnwell site has undergone an evolution to achieve the technology which is utilized today. A historical background will be presented along with an overview of present day operations. This paper will emphasize the environmental monitoring program: the types of samples taken, the methods of compiling and analyzing data, modeling, and resulting actions.

  7. Water: A Vital Resource. Environmental Education Supplementary Instructional Guide. Sixth Grade Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Donald B.; And Others

    Water related activities for sixth-grade students are presented as one possible way to incorporate environmental education into the existing curriculum of Hawaii schools. Designed as an interdisciplinary approach, the activities integrate numerous thematic and subject areas to teach that fresh water is a limited but vital natural resource. Topics…

  8. Activities for Studying Streams, Grade Level 5-6. Environmental Education Series, Bulletin No. 247-A.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD.

    This bulletin is one in a series of environmental education activity guides for grades K-12, developed and field-tested by teachers in the Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools. Primarily for use in the middle grades four through six, the guides are not intended to constitute complete units in themselves. They are, rather, a compilation of…

  9. Screening-level assays for potentially human-infectious environmental Legionella spp.

    EPA Science Inventory

    In spite of the fact that Legionella species can be isolated from nonclinical settings, there is no standard method to determine whether environmental legionellae may be infectious to humans. In this study, an in vivo murine model of pneumonia and three in vitro proliferation as...

  10. Activities for Studying Weather, Grade Level 4-6. Environmental Education Series, Bulletin No. 247-C.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD.

    This bulletin is one in a series of environmental education activity guides for grades K-12, developed and field-tested by teachers in the Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools. Primarily for use in the middle grades four through six, the guides are not intended to constitute complete units in themselves. They are, rather, a compilation of…

  11. Use of Reciprocal Peer Tutoring Technique in an Environmental Control Systems Course at an Undergraduate Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Choudhury, I.

    2002-01-01

    Construction science students in an environmental control course (n=153) engaged in reciprocal peer tutoring. The technique had a significant positive effect on performance, and students felt that it forced them to apply content and provided review and practice opportunities. (Contains 12 references.) (SK)

  12. Activities for Studying Wildlife, Grade Level 4-6. Environmental Education Series, Bulletin No. 247-B.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD.

    This bulletin is one in a series of environmental education activity guides for grades K-12, developed and field-tested by teachers in the Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools. Primarily for use in the middle grades four through six, the guides are not intended to constitute complete units in themselves. They are, rather, a compilation of…

  13. Key Concepts of Environmental Sustainability: Knowledge and Confidence Levels of FCS Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harden, Amy J.; Friesen, Carol A.; Thompson, Nancy E.

    2014-01-01

    Family and consumer sciences (FCS) is a logical discipline to promote environmental sustainability within the family because it is recognized as helping people make informed decisions about the well-being of individuals and their relationships and resources to achieve optimal quality of life.The objective of this article was to measure the…

  14. Individual to community-level faunal responses to environmental change from a marine fossil record of Early Miocene global warming.

    PubMed

    Belanger, Christina L

    2012-01-01

    Modern climate change has a strong potential to shift earth systems and biological communities into novel states that have no present-day analog, leaving ecologists with no observational basis to predict the likely biotic effects. Fossil records contain long time-series of past environmental changes outside the range of modern observation, which are vital for predicting future ecological responses, and are capable of (a) providing detailed information on rates of ecological change, (b) illuminating the environmental drivers of those changes, and (c) recording the effects of environmental change on individual physiological rates. Outcrops of Early Miocene Newport Member of the Astoria Formation (Oregon) provide one such time series. This record of benthic foraminiferal and molluscan community change from continental shelf depths spans a past interval environmental change (≈ 20.3-16.7 mya) during which the region warmed 2.1-4.5°C, surface productivity and benthic organic carbon flux increased, and benthic oxygenation decreased, perhaps driven by intensified upwelling as on the modern Oregon coast. The Newport Member record shows that (a) ecological responses to natural environmental change can be abrupt, (b) productivity can be the primary driver of faunal change during global warming, (c) molluscs had a threshold response to productivity change while foraminifera changed gradually, and (d) changes in bivalve body size and growth rates parallel changes in taxonomic composition at the community level, indicating that, either directly or indirectly through some other biological parameter, the physiological tolerances of species do influence community change. Ecological studies in modern and fossil records that consider multiple ecological levels, environmental parameters, and taxonomic groups can provide critical information for predicting future ecological change and evaluating species vulnerability.

  15. Individual to Community-Level Faunal Responses to Environmental Change from a Marine Fossil Record of Early Miocene Global Warming

    PubMed Central

    Belanger, Christina L.

    2012-01-01

    Modern climate change has a strong potential to shift earth systems and biological communities into novel states that have no present-day analog, leaving ecologists with no observational basis to predict the likely biotic effects. Fossil records contain long time-series of past environmental changes outside the range of modern observation, which are vital for predicting future ecological responses, and are capable of (a) providing detailed information on rates of ecological change, (b) illuminating the environmental drivers of those changes, and (c) recording the effects of environmental change on individual physiological rates. Outcrops of Early Miocene Newport Member of the Astoria Formation (Oregon) provide one such time series. This record of benthic foraminiferal and molluscan community change from continental shelf depths spans a past interval environmental change (∼20.3-16.7 mya) during which the region warmed 2.1–4.5°C, surface productivity and benthic organic carbon flux increased, and benthic oxygenation decreased, perhaps driven by intensified upwelling as on the modern Oregon coast. The Newport Member record shows that (a) ecological responses to natural environmental change can be abrupt, (b) productivity can be the primary driver of faunal change during global warming, (c) molluscs had a threshold response to productivity change while foraminifera changed gradually, and (d) changes in bivalve body size and growth rates parallel changes in taxonomic composition at the community level, indicating that, either directly or indirectly through some other biological parameter, the physiological tolerances of species do influence community change. Ecological studies in modern and fossil records that consider multiple ecological levels, environmental parameters, and taxonomic groups can provide critical information for predicting future ecological change and evaluating species vulnerability. PMID:22558424

  16. A Screening-Level Approach for Comparing Risks Affecting Aquatic Ecosystem Services over Socio-Environmental Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, T. C.; Conde, D.; Villamizar, S. R.; Reid, B.; Escobar, J.; Rusak, J.; Hoyos, N.; Scordo, F.; Perillo, G. M.; Piccolo, M. C.; Zilio, M.; Velez, M.

    2015-12-01

    Assessing risks to aquatic ecosystems services (ES) is challenging and time-consuming, and effective strategies for prioritizing more detailed assessment efforts are needed. We propose a screening-level risk analysis (SRA) approach that scales ES risk using socioeconomic and environmental indices to capture anthropic and climatic pressures, as well as the capacity for institutional responses to those pressures. The method considers ES within a watershed context, and uses expert input to prioritize key services and the associated pressures that threaten them. The SRA approach focuses on estimating ES risk affect factors, which are the sum of the intensity factors for all hazards or pressures affecting the ES. We estimate the pressure intensity factors in a novel manner, basing them on the nation's (i) human development (proxied by Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, IHDI), (ii) environmental regulatory and monitoring state (Environmental Performance Index, EPI) and (iii) the current level of water stress in the watershed (baseline water stress, BWS). Anthropic intensity factors for future conditions are derived from the baseline values based on the nation's 10-year trend in IHDI and EPI; ES risks in nations with stronger records of change are rewarded more/penalized less in estimates for good/poor future management scenarios. Future climatic intensity factors are tied to water stress estimates based on two general circulation model (GCM) outcomes. We demonstrate the method for an international array of six sites representing a wide range of socio-environmental settings. The outcomes illustrate novel consequences of the scaling scheme. Risk affect factors may be greater in a highly developed region under intense climatic pressure, or in less well-developed regions due to human factors (e.g., poor environmental records). As a screening-level tool, the SRA approach offers considerable promise for ES risk comparisons among watersheds and regions so that

  17. Common deregulated gene expression profiles and morphological changes in developing zebrafish larvae exposed to environmental-relevant high to low concentrations of glucocorticoids.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qiyu; Li, Caixia; Gong, Zhiyuan; Chan, Eric Chun Yong; Snyder, Shane A; Lam, Siew Hong

    2017-04-01

    Synthetic glucocorticoids have been detected in environmental waters and their biological potency have raised concerns of their impact on aquatic vertebrates especially fish. In this study, developing zebrafish larvae exposed to representative glucocorticoids (dexamethasone, prednisolone and triamcinolone) at 50 pM to 50 nM from 3 h post-fertilisation to 5 days post-fertilisation were investigated. Microarray analysis identified 1255, 1531, and 2380 gene probes, which correspondingly mapped to 660, 882 and 1238 human/rodent homologs, as deregulated by dexamethasone, prednisolone and triamcinolone, respectively. A total of 248 gene probes which mapped to 159 human/rodent homologs were commonly deregulated by the three glucocorticoids. These homologs were associated with over 20 molecular functions from cell cycle to cellular metabolisms, and were involved in the development and function of connective tissue, nervous, haematological, and digestive systems. Glucocorticoid receptor signalling, NRF2-mediated oxidative stress response and RAR signalling were among the top perturbed canonical pathways. Morphological analyses using four transgenic zebrafish lines revealed that the hepatic and endothelial-vascular systems were affected by all three glucocorticoids while nervous, pancreatic and myeloid cell systems were affected by one of them. Quantitative real-time PCR detected significant change in the expression of seven genes at 50 pM of all three glucocorticoids, a concentration comparable to total glucocorticoids reported in environmental waters. Three genes (cry2b, fbxo32, and klhl38b) responded robustly to all glucocorticoid concentrations tested. The common deregulated genes with the associated biological processes and morphological changes can be used for biological inference of glucocorticoid exposure in fish for future studies.

  18. Long-term effects of environmentally relevant doses of 2,2',4,4',5,5' hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB153) on neurobehavioural development, health and spontaneous behaviour in maternally exposed mice

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are widespread in the environment, human food and breast milk. Seafood is known to contain nutrients beneficial for the normal development and function of the brain, but also contaminants such as PCBs which are neurotoxic. Exposure to non-coplanar PCBs during brain development can disrupt spontaneous behaviour in mice and lead to hyperactive behaviour. Humans are chronically exposed to the highest relative levels of organochlorines in early childhood during brain development, though usually at doses which do not give clinical symptoms of toxicity. This study aimed to elucidate the developmental and behavioural effects of 2,2',4,4',5,5' hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB153) in mice, mimicking human exposure during gestation and lactation. Methods Environmentally relevant doses of PCB153 were added to the experimental diets. Feed concentrations were approximately 0.5, 6.5, and 1500 μg PCB153/kg feed, representing a realistic and a worst case scenario of frequent consumption of contaminated fish. The study also investigated the effects of maternal nutrition, i.e. a standard rodent diet versus a high inclusion of salmon. Mice pups were examined for physical- and reflex development, sensorimotor function and spontaneous behaviour from five days after birth until weaning. A selection of pups were followed until 16 weeks of age and tested for open field behaviour and the acoustic startle response (ASR) with prepulse inhibition (PPI). Blood thyroid hormones and liver enzymes, blood lipids and PCB153 content in fat were examined at 16 weeks. Statistical analyses modelled the three way interactions of diet, PCB exposure and litter size on behaviour, using generalized linear models (GLM) and linear mixed effect models (LME). The litter was used as a random variable. Non-parametric tests were used for pair wise comparisons of biochemical analyses. Results Litter size consistently influenced pup development and behaviour. Few lasting PCB153

  19. Continental-level population differentiation and environmental adaptation in the mushroom Suillus brevipes.

    PubMed

    Branco, Sara; Bi, Ke; Liao, Hui-Ling; Gladieux, Pierre; Badouin, Hélène; Ellison, Christopher E; Nguyen, Nhu H; Vilgalys, Rytas; Peay, Kabir G; Taylor, John W; Bruns, Thomas D

    2017-04-01

    Recent advancements in sequencing technology allowed researchers to better address the patterns and mechanisms involved in microbial environmental adaptation at large spatial scales. Here we investigated the genomic basis of adaptation to climate at the continental scale in Suillus brevipes, an ectomycorrhizal fungus symbiotically associated with the roots of pine trees. We used genomic data from 55 individuals in seven locations across North America to perform genome scans to detect signatures of positive selection and assess whether temperature and precipitation were associated with genetic differentiation. We found that S. brevipes exhibited overall strong population differentiation, with potential admixture in Canadian populations. This species also displayed genomic signatures of positive selection as well as genomic sites significantly associated with distinct climatic regimes and abiotic environmental parameters. These genomic regions included genes involved in transmembrane transport of substances and helicase activity potentially involved in cold stress response. Our study sheds light on large-scale environmental adaptation in fungi by identifying putative adaptive genes and providing a framework to further investigate the genetic basis of fungal adaptation.

  20. Notes from the field: severe environmental contamination and elevated blood lead levels among children - Zambia, 2014.

    PubMed

    Caravanos, Jack; Fuller, Richard; Robinson, Stephan

    2014-11-07

    Lead poisoning can have devastating health consequences, especially for children, with childhood lead exposure estimated to contribute to 600,000 new cases globally of children with intellectual disabilities every year. Lead exposure is entirely preventable, yet is estimated to account for 0.6% of the global burden of disease, with the highest burden in developing regions. Kabwe, the second largest city in Zambia with a population of approximately 203,000, is located in Zambia's Copperbelt. During 1904-1994, lead mining and smelting operations contaminated the soil in residential areas, but no extensive environmental health assessment was completed. In 2003, the World Bank funded the Copperbelt Environmental Project to assist the Government of Zambia in addressing environmental health problems related to the mining sector. Components of the project included removal of mining waste materials, soil remediation, resident evacuation, and treatment of lead-exposed children. During July 22-28, 2014, a team from PureEarth/Blacksmith Institute, the City University of New York School of Public Health, and Green Cross Switzerland conducted extensive surface soil testing and blood lead testing of children in six communities adjacent to the now-closed Kabwe mines and smelters.

  1. Environmental variability and acoustic signals: a multi-level approach in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Medina, Iliana; Francis, Clinton D

    2012-12-23

    Among songbirds, growing evidence suggests that acoustic adaptation of song traits occurs in response to habitat features. Despite extensive study, most research supporting acoustic adaptation has only considered acoustic traits averaged for species or populations, overlooking intraindividual variation of song traits, which may facilitate effective communication in heterogeneous and variable environments. Fewer studies have explicitly incorporated sexual selection, which, if strong, may favour variation across environments. Here, we evaluate the prevalence of acoustic adaptation among 44 species of songbirds by determining how environmental variability and sexual selection intensity are associated with song variability (intraindividual and intraspecific) and short-term song complexity. We show that variability in precipitation can explain short-term song complexity among taxonomically diverse songbirds, and that precipitation seasonality and the intensity of sexual selection are related to intraindividual song variation. Our results link song complexity to environmental variability, something previously found for mockingbirds (Family Mimidae). Perhaps more importantly, our results illustrate that individual variation in song traits may be shaped by both environmental variability and strength of sexual selection.

  2. Ground level environmental protein concentrations in various ecuadorian environments: potential uses of aerosolized protein for ecological research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staton, Sarah J.R.; Woodward, Andrea; Castillo, Josemar A.; Swing, Kelly; Hayes, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    Large quantities of free protein in the environment and other bioaerosols are ubiquitous throughout terrestrial ground level environments and may be integrative indicators of ecosystem status. Samples of ground level bioaerosols were collected from various ecosystems throughout Ecuador, including pristine humid tropical forest (pristine), highly altered secondary humid tropical forest (highly altered), secondary transitional very humid forest (regrowth transitional), and suburban dry montane deforested (suburban deforested). The results explored the sensitivity of localized aerosol protein concentrations to spatial and temporal variations within ecosystems, and their value for assessing environmental change. Ecosystem specific variations in environmental protein concentrations were observed: pristine 0.32 ± 0.09 μg/m3, highly altered 0.07 ± 0.05 μg/m3, regrowth transitional 0.17 ± 0.06 μg/m3, and suburban deforested 0.09 ± 0.04 μg/m3. Additionally, comparisons of intra-environmental differences in seasonal/daily weather (dry season 0.08 ± 0.03 μg/m3 and wet season 0.10 ± 0.04 μg/m3), environmental fragmentation (buffered 0.19 ± 0.06 μg/m3 and edge 0.15 ± 0.06 μg/m3), and sampling height (ground level 0.32 ± 0.09 μg/m3 and 10 m 0.24 ± 0.04 μg/m3) demonstrated the sensitivity of protein concentrations to environmental conditions. Local protein concentrations in altered environments correlated well with satellite-based spectral indices describing vegetation productivity: normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (r2 = 0.801), net primary production (NPP) (r2 = 0.827), leaf area index (LAI) (r2 = 0.410). Moreover, protein concentrations distinguished the pristine site, which was not differentiated in spectral indices, potentially due to spectral saturation typical of highly vegetated environments. Bioaerosol concentrations represent an inexpensive method to increase understanding of environmental changes, especially in densely vegetated

  3. 1H-NMR METABOLOMICS ANALYIS OF ZEBRAFISH (DANIO RERIO) EXPOSED TO THE ENVIRONMENTALLY-RELEVANT EDC 17 ALPHA-ETHINYLESTRADIOL (EE2)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Elevated levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have been reported in waterways worldwide and have been shown to affect numerous aspects of development, behavior, reproduction, and survival in various fish species. We have examined the effects of the synthetic steroid 1...

  4. Ecological genomics meets community-level modelling of biodiversity: mapping the genomic landscape of current and future environmental adaptation.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Matthew C; Keller, Stephen R

    2015-01-01

    Local adaptation is a central feature of most species occupying spatially heterogeneous environments, and may factor critically in responses to environmental change. However, most efforts to model the response of species to climate change ignore intraspecific variation due to local adaptation. Here, we present a new perspective on spatial modelling of organism-environment relationships that combines genomic data and community-level modelling to develop scenarios regarding the geographic distribution of genomic variation in response to environmental change. Rather than modelling species within communities, we use these techniques to model large numbers of loci across genomes. Using balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera) as a case study, we demonstrate how our framework can accommodate nonlinear responses of loci to environmental gradients. We identify a threshold response to temperature in the circadian clock gene GIGANTEA-5 (GI5), suggesting that this gene has experienced strong local adaptation to temperature. We also demonstrate how these methods can map ecological adaptation from genomic data, including the identification of predicted differences in the genetic composition of populations under current and future climates. Community-level modelling of genomic variation represents an important advance in landscape genomics and spatial modelling of biodiversity that moves beyond species-level assessments of climate change vulnerability.

  5. Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility project. Appendix A, Environmental and regulatory planning and documentation: Draft

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-04-01

    Mixed and low-level wastes generated at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) are required to be managed according to applicable State and Federal regulations, and Department of Energy Orders that provide for the protection of human health and the environment. The Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility Project was chartered in 1991, by the Department of Energy to provide treatment capability for these mixed and low-level waste streams. The first project task consisted of conducting engineering studies to identify the waste streams, their potential treatment strategies, and the requirements that would be imposed on the waste streams and the facilities used to process them. This report, Appendix A, Environmental & Regulatory Planning & Documentation, identifies the regulatory requirements that would be imposed on the operation or construction of a facility designed to process the INEL`s waste streams. These requirements are contained in five reports that discuss the following topics: (1) an environmental compliance plan and schedule, (2) National Environmental Policy Act requirements, (3) preliminary siting requirements, (4) regulatory justification for the project, and (5) health and safety criteria.

  6. Environmental assessment for the treatment of Class A low-level radioactive waste and mixed low-level waste generated by the West Valley Demonstration Project

    SciTech Connect

    1995-11-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently evaluating low-level radioactive waste management alternatives at the West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) located on the Western New York Nuclear Service Center (WNYNSC) near West Valley, New York. The WVDP`s mission is to vitrify high-level radioactive waste resulting from commercial fuel reprocessing operations that took place at the WNYNSC from 1966 to 1972. During the process of high-level waste vitrification, low-level radioactive waste (LLW) and mixed low-level waste (MILLW) will result and must be properly managed. It is estimated that the WVDP`s LLW storage facilities will be filled to capacity in 1996. In order to provide sufficient safe storage of LLW until disposal options become available and partially fulfill requirements under the Federal Facilities Compliance Act (FFCA), the DOE is proposing to use U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed and permitted commercial facilities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Clive, Utah; and Houston, Texas to treat (volume-reduce) a limited amount of Class A LLW and MLLW generated from the WVDP. Alternatives for ultimate disposal of the West Valley LLW are currently being evaluated in an environmental impact statement. This proposed action is for a limited quantity of waste, over a limited period of time, and for treatment only; this proposal does not include disposal. The proposed action consists of sorting, repacking, and loading waste at the WVDP; transporting the waste for commercial treatment; and returning the residual waste to the WVDP for interim storage. For the purposes of this assessment, environmental impacts were quantified for a five-year operating period (1996 - 2001). Alternatives to the proposed action include no action, construction of additional on-site storage facilities, construction of a treatment facility at the WVDP comparable to commercial treatment, and off-site disposal at a commercial or DOE facility.

  7. Toxicity of TiO2 nanoparticles on soil nitrification at environmentally relevant concentrations: Lack of classical dose-response relationships.

    PubMed

    Simonin, Marie; Martins, Jean M F; Le Roux, Xavier; Uzu, Gaëlle; Calas, Aude; Richaume, Agnès

    2017-03-01

    Titanium-dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2-NPs) are increasingly released in agricultural soils through, e.g. biosolids, irrigation or nanoagrochemicals. Soils are submitted to a wide range of concentrations of TiO2-NPs depending on the type of exposure. However, most studies have assessed the effects of unrealistically high concentrations, and the dose-response relationships are not well characterized for soil microbial communities. Here, using soil microcosms, we assessed the impact of TiO2-NPs at concentrations ranging from 0.05 to 500 mg kg(-1 )dry-soil, on the activity and abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB), and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (Nitrobacter and Nitrospira). In addition, aggregation and oxidative potential of TiO2-NPs were measured in the spiking suspensions, as they can be important drivers of TiO2-NPs toxicity. After 90 days of exposure, non-classical dose-response relationships were observed for nitrifier abundance or activity, making threshold concentrations impossible to compute. Indeed, AOA abundance was reduced by 40% by TiO2-NPs whatever the concentration, while Nitrospira was never affected. Moreover, AOB and Nitrobacter abundances were decreased mainly at intermediate concentrations nitrification was reduced by 25% at the lowest (0.05 mg kg(-1)) and the highest (100 and 500 mg kg(-1)) TiO2-NPs concentrations. Path analyses indicated that TiO2-NPs affected nitrification through an effect on the specific activity of nitrifiers, in addition to indirect effects on nitrifier abundances. Altogether these results point out the need to include very low concentrations of NPs in soil toxicological studies, and the lack of relevance of classical dose-response tests and ecotoxicological dose metrics (EC50, IC50…) for TiO2-NPs impact on soil microorganisms.

  8. Environmental assessment for Sandia National Laboratories/New Mexico offsite transportation of low-level radioactive waste

    SciTech Connect

    1996-09-01

    Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico (SNL/NM) is managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company. SNL/NM is located on land owned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) within the boundaries of the Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The major responsibilities of SNL/NM are the support of national security and energy projects. Low-level radioactive waste (LLW) is generated by some of the activities performed at SNL/NM in support of the DOE. This report describes potential environmental effects of the shipments of low-level radioactive wastes to other sites.

  9. Surface morphology of Diplodon expansus (Küster, 1856; Mollusca, Bivalvia, Hyriidae) gill filaments after exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of atrazine herbicide.

    PubMed

    Nogarol, Larissa Rosa; Brossi-Garcia, Ana Luiza; Fontanetti, Carmem Silvia

    2012-06-01

    Brazilian endemic species Diplodon expansus (Küster, 1856) is found in freshwater bodies in the country's southeast, in large anthropogenic influence regions especially with an extensive agriculture emphasis. One of the main pesticides used in the species occurrence region is the atrazine herbicide, which has a great contamination potential in the aquatic environment. Therefore, several studies into its toxicity in aquatic systems have been developed. However, the tested concentrations are usually very high and rarely found in the environment and the short-term exposure responses in other aquatic organisms such as native bivalves are still scarce. Thus, this study sought to consider the potential effects of environmentally realistic concentrations of atrazine herbicide on the surface morphology of gill filaments of the bivalve D. expansus under laboratory-controlled conditions after short-term exposure. None of the animals died before the end of the experiment. The main alterations were observed on the frontal surface of filaments, which include mucus accumulation, cilia loss, and disruption. Mucus increased secretion and accumulation in the frontal filaments region preceded as a protective mechanism. Cilia loss and disruption on the frontal surface of the gill filament indicated that ciliated frontal cells were more sensitive to atrazine exposure and these alterations may cause gills functional damages, compromising the uptake of food particles and respiration. Therefore, higher sublethal concentrations of atrazine may compromise the survival and consequently the population of D. expansus in agriculture areas after a longer period of continuous exposure.

  10. Sedimentary environmental change induced from late Quaternary sea-level change in the Bonaparte Gulf, northwestern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishiwa, Takeshige; Yokoyama, Yusuke; Miyairi, Yosuke; Ikehara, Minoru; Obrochta, Stephen

    2016-12-01

    Low-latitude continental shelves, mixed siliciclastic-carbonate sedimentary systems, provide an understanding of sedimentary environments driven by paleoclimatological processes. The Bonaparte Gulf, northwestern Australian continental shelf, is among the widest in the world, ranging to 500 km, with shallow carbonate terraces and platforms that were exposed during periods of lower sea level. The dominant sediments type switches between carbonate and siliciclastic over a sea-level cycle. However, the mechanism of sedimentary environmental change in the Bonaparte Gulf is not clearly understood. Here, we present a record of sedimentary environmental change from ca. 24 to 35 ka that is related to sea-level variability and exposure of carbonate terraces and platforms. Multi-proxy data from a marine sediment core show a sea-level change induced switch in sedimentary environment from siliciclastic to carbonate-dominated sedimentation during the last glaciation. Radiocarbon ages constrain the timing of this switch to ca. 26 ka, associated with a local sea-level fall of -90 m.

  11. Histopathological effects of chronic aqueous exposure to bis(tri-n-butyltin)oxide (TBTO) to environmentally relevant concentrations reveal thymus atrophy in European flounder (Platichthys flesus).

    PubMed

    Grinwis, G C M; Wester, P W; Vethaak, A D

    2009-10-01

    Although the use of tributyltin in antifouling paints has been banned, this compound is still a serious pollutant of the marine environment. This paper describes a unique study in which European flounder (Platichthys flesus) were chronically (8 months) exposed to bis(tri-n-butyltin)oxide (TBTO) in the water under controlled laboratory conditions. Residue levels in selected tissues (liver, muscle) and general health status indices were measured and the effects on several organs (gills, liver, mesonephros, ovary/testis, spleen, and gastrointestinal tract) were examined histopathologically. Additionally, morphometric analysis of the thymus was performed. The major finding is that exposure of flounder to 5 microg TBTO/l over a period of 8 months, resulting in body burdens comparable to high field levels, induced significant reduction of thymus volume, possibly affecting immunocompetence of the animals. Chronic exposure of European flounder to tributyltin is therefore likely to affect the general health status of this species in heavily polluted aquatic environments.

  12. ENVIRONMENTAL MANGANESE: GUIDELINE EXPOSURE LEVELS, EVIDENCE OF HEALTH EFFECTS AND RESEARCH NEEDS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Introduction. The ubiquitous element, manganese (Mn), is an essential nutrient, but toxic at excessive exposure levels. The US EPA, therefore, set guideline levels for Mn exposure through inhalation (reference concentration-RfC=0.05 g/m3) and ingestion (reference dose-RfD=0.14 m...

  13. Environmental radioactivity levels in the Cumberland River at the Hartsville Nuclear Project site, 1975-1982

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-07-01

    Samples of surface water taken from the Cumberland River during the period from 1975 through 1982 exhibited radioactivity levels less than 1% of the maximum permissible concentrations published by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Radioactivity concentrations reported herein are typical of natural radioactivity levels with slight indications of influences from fallout of radioactivity from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing.

  14. Relevance of Post-Stroke Circulating BDNF Levels as a Prognostic Biomarker of Stroke Outcome. Impact of rt-PA Treatment.

    PubMed

    Rodier, Marion; Quirié, Aurore; Prigent-Tessier, Anne; Béjot, Yannick; Jacquin, Agnès; Mossiat, Claude; Marie, Christine; Garnier, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    The recombinant form of tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) is the only curative treatment for ischemic stroke. Recently, t-PA has been linked to the metabolism of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a major neurotrophin involved in post-stroke neuroplasticity. Thus, the objective of our study was to investigate the impact of rt-PA treatment on post-stroke circulating BDNF levels in humans and in animals. Serum BDNF levels and t-PA/plasmin activity were measured at hospital admission and at up to 90 days in stroke patients receiving (n = 24) or not (n = 14) rt-PA perfusion. We investigated the relationships between serum BDNF with concurrent t-PA/plasmin activity, neurological outcomes and cardiovascular scores at admission. In parallel, serum BDNF levels and t-PA/plasmin activity were assessed before and after (1, 4 and 24h) the induction of ischemic stroke in rats. Our study revealed higher serum BDNF levels and better neurological outcome in rt-PA-treated than non-treated patients. However, serum BDNF levels did not predict stroke outcome when the whole cohort of stroke patients was analyzed. By contrast, serum BDNF levels when measured at admission and at day 90 correlated with cardiovascular scores, and those at day 1 correlated with serum t-PA/plasmin activity in the whole cohort of patients whereas no association could be found in the rt-PA-treated group. In rats devoid of cardiovascular risk, no difference in post-stroke serum BDNF levels was detected between rt-PA- and vehicle-treated animals and no correlation was found between serum BDNF levels and t-PA/plasmin activity. Overall, the data suggest that serum BDNF levels may not be useful as a prognostic biomarker of stroke outcome and that endothelial dysfunction could be a confounding factor when serum BDNF levels after stroke are used to reflect of brain BDNF levels.

  15. Relevance of Post-Stroke Circulating BDNF Levels as a Prognostic Biomarker of Stroke Outcome. Impact of rt-PA Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Rodier, Marion; Quirié, Aurore; Prigent-Tessier, Anne; Béjot, Yannick; Jacquin, Agnès; Mossiat, Claude; Marie, Christine; Garnier, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    The recombinant form of tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) is the only curative treatment for ischemic stroke. Recently, t-PA has been linked to the metabolism of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a major neurotrophin involved in post-stroke neuroplasticity. Thus, the objective of our study was to investigate the impact of rt-PA treatment on post-stroke circulating BDNF levels in humans and in animals. Serum BDNF levels and t-PA/plasmin activity were measured at hospital admission and at up to 90 days in stroke patients receiving (n = 24) or not (n = 14) rt-PA perfusion. We investigated the relationships between serum BDNF with concurrent t-PA/plasmin activity, neurological outcomes and cardiovascular scores at admission. In parallel, serum BDNF levels and t-PA/plasmin activity were assessed before and after (1, 4 and 24h) the induction of ischemic stroke in rats. Our study revealed higher serum BDNF levels and better neurological outcome in rt-PA-treated than non-treated patients. However, serum BDNF levels did not predict stroke outcome when the whole cohort of stroke patients was analyzed. By contrast, serum BDNF levels when measured at admission and at day 90 correlated with cardiovascular scores, and those at day 1 correlated with serum t-PA/plasmin activity in the whole cohort of patients whereas no association could be found in the rt-PA-treated group. In rats devoid of cardiovascular risk, no difference in post-stroke serum BDNF levels was detected between rt-PA- and vehicle-treated animals and no correlation was found between serum BDNF levels and t-PA/plasmin activity. Overall, the data suggest that serum BDNF levels may not be useful as a prognostic biomarker of stroke outcome and that endothelial dysfunction could be a confounding factor when serum BDNF levels after stroke are used to reflect of brain BDNF levels. PMID:26469350

  16. Genome and Phenotype Microarray Analyses of Rhodococcus sp. BCP1 and Rhodococcus opacus R7: Genetic Determinants and Metabolic Abilities with Environmental Relevance

    PubMed Central

    D’Ursi, Pasqualina; Milanesi, Luciano; Di Canito, Alessandra; Zampolli, Jessica; Collina, Elena; Decorosi, Francesca; Viti, Carlo; Fedi, Stefano; Presentato, Alessandro; Zannoni, Davide; Di Gennaro, Patrizia

    2015-01-01

    In this paper comparative genome and phenotype microarray analyses of Rhodococcus sp. BCP1 and Rhodococcus opacus R7 were performed. Rhodococcus sp. BCP1 was selected for its ability to grow on short-chain n-alkanes and R. opacus R7 was isolated for its ability to grow on naphthalene and on o-xylene. Results of genome comparison, including BCP1, R7, along with other Rhodococcus reference strains, showed that at least 30% of the genome of each strain presented unique sequences and only 50% of the predicted proteome was shared. To associate genomic features with metabolic capabilities of BCP1 and R7 strains, hundreds of different growth conditions were tested through Phenotype Microarray, by using Biolog plates and plates manually prepared with additional xenobiotic compounds. Around one-third of the surveyed carbon sources was utilized by both strains although R7 generally showed higher metabolic activity values compared to BCP1. Moreover, R7 showed broader range of nitrogen and sulphur sources. Phenotype Microarray data were combined with genomic analysis to genetically support the metabolic features of the two strains. The genome analysis allowed to identify some gene clusters involved in the metabolism of the main tested xenobiotic compounds. Results show that R7 contains multiple genes for the degradation of a large set of aromatic and PAHs compounds, while a lower variability in terms of genes predicted to be involved in aromatic degradation was found in BCP1. This genetic feature can be related to the strong genetic pressure exerted by the two different environment from which the two strains were isolated. According to this, in the BCP1 genome the smo gene cluster involved in the short-chain n-alkanes degradation, is included in one of the unique regions and it is not conserved in the Rhodococcus strains compared in this work. Data obtained underline the great potential of these two Rhodococcus spp. strains for biodegradation and environmental decontamination

  17. Inflammatory Cytokines and White Blood Cell Counts Response to Environmental Levels of Diesel Exhaust and Ozone Inhalation Exposures

    PubMed Central

    Stiegel, Matthew A.; Pleil, Joachim D.; Sobus, Jon R.; Madden, Michael C.

    2016-01-01

    Epidemiological observations of urban inhalation exposures to diesel exhaust (DE) and ozone (O3) have shown pre-clinical cardiopulmonary responses in humans. Identifying the key biological mechanisms that initiate these health bioindicators is difficult due to variability in environmental exposure in time and from person to person. Previously, environmentally controlled human exposure chambers have been used to study DE and O3 dose-response patterns separately, but investigation of co-exposures has not been performed under controlled conditions. Because a mixture is a more realistic exposure scenario for the general public, in this study we investigate the relationships of urban levels of urban-level DE exposure (300 μg/m3), O3 (0.3 ppm), DE + O3 co-exposure, and innate immune system responses. Fifteen healthy human volunteers were studied for changes in ten inflammatory cytokines (interleukins 1β, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12p70 and 13, IFN-γ, and TNF-α) and counts of three white blood cell types (lymphocytes, monocytes, and neutrophils) following controlled exposures to DE, O3, and DE+O3. The results show subtle cytokines responses to the diesel-only and ozone-only exposures, and that a more complex (possibly synergistic) relationship exists in the combination of these two exposures with suppression of IL-5, IL-12p70, IFN-γ, and TNF-α that persists up to 22-hours for IFN-γ and TNF-α. The white blood cell differential counts showed significant monocyte and lymphocyte decreases and neutrophil increases following the DE + O3 exposure; lymphocytes and neutrophils changes also persist for at least 22-hours. Because human studies must be conducted under strict safety protocols at environmental levels, these effects are subtle and are generally only seen with detailed statistical analysis. This study indicates that the observed associations between environmental exposures and cardiopulmonary effects are possibly mediated by inflammatory response mechanisms. PMID:27058360

  18. Assessing toxicity of copper, cadmium and chromium levels relevant to discharge limits of industrial effluents into inland surface waters using common onion, Allium cepa bioassay.

    PubMed

    Hemachandra, Chamini K; Pathiratne, Asoka

    2015-02-01

    Toxicity of copper, cadmium and chromium relevant to established tolerance limits for the discharge of industrial effluents into inland surface waters was evaluated by Allium cepa bioassay. The roots of A. cepa bulbs exposed to Cu(2+) (3 mg L(-1)) individually or in mixtures with Cd(2+) (0.1 mg L(-1)) or/and Cr(6+) (0.1 mg L(-1)) exhibited the highest growth inhibition, mitotic index depression and nuclear abnormalities. Root tip cells exposed to Cr(6+) or Cd(2+) alone or in mixture displayed significant chromosomal aberrations in comparison to the controls. EC50s for root growth inhibition followed the order Cu(2+) < Cd(2+) < Cr(6+) indicating greater toxicity of copper. The results show that the industrial effluent discharge regulatory limits for these metals need to be reviewed considering potential cyto-genotoxicity to biological systems.

  19. Enterprise-Level Motivations, Regulatory Pressures, and Corporate Environmental Management in Guangzhou, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Shui-Yan; Li, Pansy Honying; Fryxell, Gerald E.; Lo, Carlos Wing-Hung

    2015-09-01

    This study examines the effects of internal motivations and external pressures on the integration of environmental management (EM) practices within manufacturing operations in China. The moderating role of perceptions toward the regulatory process is also considered along with comparisons between wholly Chinese-owned and foreign-owned enterprises. From a sample of 131 manufacturing companies in the Guangzhou area, it was found that the salience of fees and fines has a strong positive influence on perceptions toward the regulator (the local Environmental Protection Bureau, EPB). This also has a positive effect on perceptions toward regulations themselves for foreign-owned enterprises. Business-case motivations for EM positively shape enterprise perceptions toward regulations, whereas risk-reduction motivations have a negative effect on perceptions toward regulations in foreign-owned enterprises. Enterprise perceptions toward the regulatory process have direct effects on the integration of EM practices in wholly Chinese-owned enterprises, but in opposite directions. While positive perceptions toward regulations have positive influence, positive perceptions toward regulators (i.e., the EPB) negatively affect it. Overall, these results indicated that promoting the adoption of EM practices depends on convincing business leaders that EM practices contribute to profit making. The regulatory process can potentially promote these practices, but measures need to be taken to ensure that the regulator is not co-opted by the regulated, especially in wholly Chinese-owned enterprises.

  20. Enterprise-Level Motivations, Regulatory Pressures, and Corporate Environmental Management in Guangzhou, China.

    PubMed

    Tang, Shui-Yan; Li, Pansy Honying; Fryxell, Gerald E; Lo, Carlos Wing-Hung

    2015-09-01

    This study examines the effects of internal motivations and external pressures on the integration of environmental management (EM) practices within manufacturing operations in China. The moderating role of perceptions toward the regulatory process is also considered along with comparisons between wholly Chinese-owned and foreign-owned enterprises. From a sample of 131 manufacturing companies in the Guangzhou area, it was found that the salience of fees and fines has a strong positive influence on perceptions toward the regulator (the local Environmental Protection Bureau, EPB). This also has a positive effect on perceptions toward regulations themselves for foreign-owned enterprises. Business-case motivations for EM positively shape enterprise perceptions toward regulations, whereas risk-reduction motivations have a negative effect on perceptions toward regulations in foreign-owned enterprises. Enterprise perceptions toward the regulatory process have direct effects on the integration of EM practices in wholly Chinese-owned enterprises, but in opposite directions. While positive perceptions toward regulations have positive influence, positive perceptions toward regulators (i.e., the EPB) negatively affect it. Overall, these results indicated that promoting the adoption of EM practices depends on convincing business leaders that EM practices contribute to profit making. The regulatory process can potentially promote these practices, but measures need to be taken to ensure that the regulator is not co-opted by the regulated, especially in wholly Chinese-owned enterprises.

  1. Molecular-Level Investigations of Nucleation Mechanisms and Kinetics of Formation of Environmental Nanoparticles

    SciTech Connect

    Young-Shin Jun; Glenn A. Waychunas

    2007-04-19

    Environmental nanoparticles are often poorly-crystalline or metastable structures, whose kinetics of formation and growth are poorly understood. Further, the sorption or growth of nanoparticles on mineral surfaces may control the mineral surface's reactivity and modify its ability to influence contaminant transport. Due to the characteristic length scale, a holistic understanding of the nucleation mechanisms and kinetics of nanoparticle formation on mineral surfaces is difficult to achieve with traditional methodology. In this work, our intent is to determine the molecular nature of nucleation on surfaces, the kinetics of surface nucleation and growth, and the effect of crystal surface topology using new synchrotron-based techniques. We have approached these objectives by: (1) combining state-of-the-art crystal-truncation rod diffraction (CTR) and grazing incidence x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (GIXAS) techniques to investigate the three-dimensional molecular-scale geometry of silicate monomer sorption on the r-plane of hematite; and (2) developing a new grazing-incidence small angle x-ray scattering (GISAXS) setup at SSRL (0.08 nm{sup -1} < q < 8 nm{sup -1}) to explore the initial development of environmental nanoparticles on various mineral surfaces. This study also includes complementary techniques such as atomic force microscopy (AFM), bulk SAXS, dynamic light scattering (DLS), XRD, and TEM.

  2. Environmental assessment for DOE permission for off-loading activities to support the movement of commercial low level nuclear waste across the Savannah River Site

    SciTech Connect

    1995-02-01

    This environmental assessment investigates the potential environmental and safety effects which could result from the land transport of low level radioactive wastes across the Savannah River Plant. Chem-Nuclear Systems operates a low level radioactive waste burial facility adjacent to the Savannah River Plant and is seeking permission from the DOE to transport the waste across Savannah River Plant.

  3. Neurodevelopmental Consequences of Low-Level Thyroid Hormone Disruption Induced by Environmental Contaminants

    EPA Science Inventory

    Inadequate levels of thyroid hormone during critical developmental periods lead to stunted growth, mental retardation, and neurological 'cretinism'. Animal models of developmental thyroid hormone deficiency mirror well the impact of severe insults to the thyroid system. However, ...

  4. Check on level of environmental contamination by mercury and cleanup of Abetina Mining area (Grosseto-Italia)

    SciTech Connect

    Belardi, G.; Marabini, A.M.; Passariello, B.

    1996-12-31

    The purpose of the study was to check on the level of environmental contamination and to design a project for cleaning up the Abetina Mine area at Piancastagnaio (Grosseto, Italy). Contamination of this area had occurred during the mining and treatment of cinnabar (HgS) over a prolonged period. The aim of the project is to remove the sources of contamination or render them harmless. Mining of the Piancastagnaio deposit started in 1840, mercury metal being extracted from the ore by thermal treatment. Together with Spain, Italy was the first country to produce this metal and was the world leader in this field between 1936 and 1943. Though mercury production in the Monte Amiata region of Tuscany ceased in 1974 the ensuing environmental impact is very evident, taking the form of rusty old mining and processing works, plus waste tips which still contain considerable amount of mercury even after the ore had been subject to thermal extraction treatment. The research which has been conducted included mapping the area to identify the main sources of mercury and arsenic pollution, as well as the level of environmental contamination. Mercury and arsenic values in excess of 16,000 and 150 ppm respectively are encountered in the most highly-contaminated places. 11 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs.

  5. Environmental Assessment for the Closure of the High-Level Waste Tanks in F- & H-Areas at the Savannah River Site

    SciTech Connect

    N /A

    1996-07-31

    This Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared by the Department of Energy (DOE) to assess the potential environmental impacts associated with the closure of 51 high-level radioactive waste tanks and tank farm ancillary equipment (including transfer lines, evaporators, filters, pumps, etc) at the Savannah River Site (SRS) located near Aiken, South Carolina. The waste tanks are located in the F- and H-Areas of SRS and vary in capacity from 2,839,059 liters (750,000 gallons) to 4,921,035 liters (1,300,000 gallons). These in-ground tanks are surrounded by soil to provide shielding. The F- and H-Area High-Level Waste Tanks are operated under the authority of Industrial Wastewater Permits No.17,424-IW; No.14520, and No.14338 issued by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC). In accordance with the Permit requirements, DOE has prepared a Closure Plan (DOE, 1996) and submitted it to SCDHEC for approval. The Closure Plan identifies all applicable or relevant and appropriate regulations, statutes, and DOE Orders for closing systems operated under the Industrial Wastewater Permits. When approved by SCDHEC, the Closure Plan will present the regulatory process for closing all of the F- and H-Area High Level Waste Tanks. The Closure Plan establishes performance objectives or criteria to be met prior to closing any tank, group of tanks, or ancillary tank farm equipment. The proposed action is to remove the residual wastes from the tanks and to fill the tanks with a material to prevent future collapse and bind up residual waste, to lower human health risks, and to increase safety in and around the tanks. If required, an engineered cap consisting of clay, backfill (soil), and vegetation as the final layer to prevent erosion would be applied over the tanks. The selection of tank system closure method will be evaluated against the following Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) criteria described in 40

  6. Water Level Fluctuations of Lake Enriquillo and Lake Saumatre in Response to Environmental Changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poteau, D.; Romero Luna, E. J.; Walter, M. T.; Steenhuis, T. S.

    2011-12-01

    The water levels of Lake Saumatre in Haiti and Lake Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic have been increasing continuously for the past 5-10 years. As result roads and lake shore agriculture are flooded and there is an interest in determining the causes of the continuous lake growth and finding solutions to reverse the trend Various theories haven proposed for growth of the lakes such as climate change and deforestation. Deforestation would affect the hydrological balance by means of changing infiltration rates. To examine the temporal variations in the lake, the lake surface areas during the past 30 years were obtained from available satellite data and converted into volumes. These lake surface areas showed a steady increase starting in 2003 for Lake Saumatre and in 2008 for Lake Enriquillo. Land cover change obtained by means of remote sensing for the years of 1986 and 2010 showed no significant change and could therefore be ruled out as a cause for the lake levels increases. A simple water balance model that had been validated for monsoon climates matched the lake level volumes fluctuations well for the last 30 years including the recent rise in lake levels. Thus the lake level increases could be directly related to the greater precipitation starting some 10 years ago. The difference in starting time of lake level rise between the two lakes could be explained by a larger storage capacity in the a Lake Enriquillo watershed compared to the Lake Saumatre watershed

  7. Environmental levels, toxicity and human exposure to tributyltin (TBT)-contaminated marine environment. a review. b_antizar@hotmail.com.

    PubMed

    Antizar-Ladislao, Blanca

    2008-02-01

    Tributyltin (TBT) is a toxic chemical used for various industrial purposes such as slime control in paper mills, disinfection of circulating industrial cooling waters, antifouling agents, and the preservation of wood. Due to its widespread use as an antifouling agent in boat paints, TBT is a common contaminant of marine and freshwater ecosystems exceeding acute and chronic toxicity levels. TBT is the most significant pesticide in marine and freshwaters in Europe and consequently its environmental level, fate, toxicity and human exposure are of current concern. Thus, the European Union has decided to specifically include TBT compounds in its list of priority compounds in water in order to control its fate in natural systems, due to their toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative and endocrine disruptive characteristics. Additionally, the International Maritime Organization has called for a global treaty that bans the application of TBT-based paints starting 1 of January 2003, and total prohibition by 1 of January 2008. This paper reviews the state of the science regarding TBT, with special attention paid to the environmental levels, toxicity, and human exposure. TBT compounds have been detected in a number of environmental samples. In humans, organotin compounds have been detected in blood and in the liver. As for other persistent organic pollutants, dietary intake is most probably the main route of exposure to TBT compounds for the general population. However, data concerning TBT levels in foodstuffs are scarce. It is concluded that investigations on experimental toxicity, dietary intake, potential human health effects and development of new sustainable technologies to remove TBT compounds are clearly necessary.

  8. Bisphenol A (BPA) in China: a review of sources, environmental levels, and potential human health impacts.

    PubMed

    Huang, Y Q; Wong, C K C; Zheng, J S; Bouwman, H; Barra, R; Wahlström, B; Neretin, L; Wong, M H

    2012-07-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA), identified as an endocrine disruptor, is an industrially important chemical that is used as a raw material in the manufacture of many products such as engineering plastics (e.g., epoxy resins/polycarbonate plastics), food cans (i.e., lacquer coatings), and dental composites/sealants. The demand and production capacity of BPA in China have grown rapidly. This trend will lead to much more BPA contamination in the environmental media and in the general population in China. This paper reviews the current literature concerning the pollution status of BPA in China (the mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) and its potential impact on human health. Due to potential human health risks from long-term exposure to BPA, body burden of the contaminant should be monitored.

  9. Environmental monitoring report for commercial low-level radioactive waste disposal sites (1960`s through 1990`s)

    SciTech Connect

    1996-11-01

    During the time period covered in this report (1960`s through early 1990`s), six commercial low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) disposal facilities have been operated in the US. This report provides environmental monitoring data collected at each site. The report summarizes: (1) each site`s general design, (2) each site`s inventory, (3) the environmental monitoring program for each site and the data obtained as the program has evolved, and (4) what the program has indicated about releases to off-site areas, if any, including a statement of the actual health and safety significance of any release. A summary with conclusions is provided at the end of each site`s chapter. The six commercial LLRW disposal sites discussed are located near: Sheffield, Illinois; Maxey Flats, Kentucky; Beatty, Nevada; West Valley, New York; Barnwell, South Carolina; Richland, Washington.

  10. Climate-related environmental stress in intertidal grazers: scaling-up biochemical responses to assemblage-level processes

    PubMed Central

    Cappiello, Mario; Del Corso, Antonella; Lenzarini, Francesca; Peroni, Eleonora; Benedetti-Cecchi, Lisandro

    2016-01-01

    Background Organisms are facing increasing levels of environmental stress under climate change that may severely affect the functioning of biological systems at different levels of organization. Growing evidence suggests that reduction in body size is a universal response of organisms to global warming. However, a clear understanding of whether extreme climate events will impose selection directly on phenotypic plastic responses and how these responses affect ecological interactions has remained elusive. Methods We experimentally investigated the effects of extreme desiccation events on antioxidant defense mechanisms of a rocky intertidal gastropod (Patella ulyssiponensis), and evaluated how these effects scaled-up at the population and assemblage levels. Results With increasing levels of desiccation stress, limpets showed significant lower levels of total glutathione, tended to grow less and had reduced per capita interaction strength on their resources. Discussion Results suggested that phenotypic plasticity (i.e., reduction in adults’ body size) allowed buffering biochemical responses to stress to scale-up at the assemblage level. Unveiling the linkages among different levels of biological organization is key to develop indicators that can anticipate large-scale ecological impacts of climate change. PMID:27781156

  11. Lichens as indicators of elevated levels of environmental lead in Utah Valley, Utah. [Rhizoplaca melanophthalma

    SciTech Connect

    St. Clair, L.L.; Rushforth, S.R.; Newberry, C.C. )

    1990-01-01

    Utah Valley, Utah is a high elevation mountain valley with a moderate population and a large aged integrated steel mill. Fine particulate pollution (PM{sub 10}) levels in the valley are among the highest din the US, particularly during winter inversion periods. Utah Valley also has high levels of carbon monoxide. The local bureau of air quality monitored ambient air lead in Utah Valley for several years through the 1980s. Values as high as 1.35 g/m{sup 3} were noted from this monitoring. Such levels are 90% of the federal ambient air standard of 1.5 g/m{sup 3}. Lichens have long been recognized as bioindicators for heavy metals. Reports of high concentrations of lead in lichen thalli were common prior to the development and use of unleaded fuels. Since that time, lead concentrations in lichen thalli have generally decreased. Recent studies indicate lichen lead levels from clean air areas in the western US range from 10 to 25 ppm. Studies of the umbilicate saxicolous lichen Rhizoplaca melanophthalma in Utah Valley indicate lead levels between 188 and 200 ppm. Excess lead in Utah Valley likely originates from the steel mill and from the high number of vehicles still using leaded fuels.

  12. Manatee (Trichechus manatus) vocalization usage in relation to environmental noise levels.

    PubMed

    Miksis-Olds, Jennifer L; Tyack, Peter L

    2009-03-01

    Noise can interfere with acoustic communication by masking signals that contain biologically important information. Communication theory recognizes several ways a sender can modify its acoustic signal to compensate for noise, including increasing the source level of a signal, its repetition, its duration, shifting frequency outside that of the noise band, or shifting the timing of signal emission outside of noise periods. The extent to which animals would be expected to use these compensation mechanisms depends on the benefit of successful communication, risk of failure, and the cost of compensation. Here we study whether a coastal marine mammal, the manatee, can modify vocalizations as a function of behavioral context and ambient noise level. To investigate whether and how manatees modify their vocalizations, natural vocalization usage and structure were examined in terms of vocalization rate, duration, frequency, and source level. Vocalizations were classified into two call types, chirps and squeaks, which were analyzed independently. In conditions of elevated noise levels, call rates decreased during feeding and social behaviors, and the duration of each call type was differently influenced by the presence of calves. These results suggest that ambient noise levels do have a detectable effect on manatee communication and that manatees modify their vocalizations as a function of noise in specific behavioral contexts.

  13. Environmental forcing on life history strategies: Evidence for multi-trophic level responses at ocean basin scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suryan, Robert M.; Saba, Vincent S.; Wallace, Bryan P.; Hatch, Scott A.; Frederiksen, Morten; Wanless, Sarah

    2009-04-01

    Variation in life history traits of organisms is thought to reflect adaptations to environmental forcing occurring from bottom-up and top-down processes. Such variation occurs not only among, but also within species, indicating demographic plasticity in response to environmental conditions. From a broad literature review, we present evidence for ocean basin- and large marine ecosystem-scale variation in intra-specific life history traits, with similar responses occurring among trophic levels from relatively short-lived secondary producers to very long-lived apex predators. Between North Atlantic and North Pacific Ocean basins, for example, species in the Eastern Pacific exhibited either later maturation, lower fecundity, and/or greater annual survival than conspecifics in the Western Atlantic. Parallel variations in life histories among trophic levels also occur in adjacent seas and between eastern vs. western ocean boundaries. For example, zooplankton and seabird species in cooler Barents Sea waters exhibit lower fecundity or greater annual survival than conspecifics in the Northeast Atlantic. Sea turtles exhibit a larger size and a greater reproductive output in the Western Pacific vs. Eastern Pacific. These examples provide evidence for food-web-wide modifications in life history strategies in response to environmental forcing. We hypothesize that such dichotomies result from frequency and amplitude shifts in resource availability over varying temporal and spatial scales. We review data that supports three primary mechanisms by which environmental forcing affects life history strategies: (1) food-web structure; (2) climate variability affecting the quantity and seasonality of primary productivity; (3) bottom-up vs. top-down forcing. These proposed mechanisms provide a framework for comparisons of ecosystem function among oceanic regions (or regimes) and are essential in modeling ecosystem response to climate change, as well as for creating dynamic ecosystem

  14. Environmental forcing on life history strategies: Evidence for multi-trophic level responses at ocean basin scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Suryan, Robert M.; Saba, Vincent S.; Wallace, Bryan P.; Hatch, Scott A.; Frederiksen, Morten; Wanless, Sarah

    2009-01-01

    Variation in life history traits of organisms is thought to reflect adaptations to environmental forcing occurring from bottom-up and top-down processes. Such variation occurs not only among, but also within species, indicating demographic plasticity in response to environmental conditions. From a broad literature review, we present evidence for ocean basin- and large marine ecosystem-scale variation in intra-specific life history traits, with similar responses occurring among trophic levels from relatively short-lived secondary producers to very long-lived apex predators. Between North Atlantic and North Pacific Ocean basins, for example, species in the Eastern Pacific exhibited either later maturation, lower fecundity, and/or greater annual survival than conspecifics in the Western Atlantic. Parallel variations in life histories among trophic levels also occur in adjacent seas and between eastern vs. western ocean boundaries. For example, zooplankton and seabird species in cooler Barents Sea waters exhibit lower fecundity or greater annual survival than conspecifics in the Northeast Atlantic. Sea turtles exhibit a larger size and a greater reproductive output in the Western Pacific vs. Eastern Pacific. These examples provide evidence for food-web-wide modifications in life history strategies in response to environmental forcing. We hypothesize that such dichotomies result from frequency and amplitude shifts in resource availability over varying temporal and spatial scales. We review data that supports three primary mechanisms by which environmental forcing affects life history strategies: (1) food-web structure; (2) climate variability affecting the quantity and seasonality of primary productivity; (3) bottom-up vs. top-down forcing. These proposed mechanisms provide a framework for comparisons of ecosystem function among oceanic regions (or regimes) and are essential in modeling ecosystem response to climate change, as well as for creating dynamic ecosystem

  15. Growth and development of Leghorn pullets subjected to abrupt changes in environmental temperature and dietary energy level.

    PubMed

    Leeson, S; Caston, L J

    1991-08-01

    Four trials were conducted to note the response of pullets to changes in environmental temperature and energy level at 56 days of age. In each trial, birds were fed diets providing either 2,500 or 3,000 kcal ME/kg throughout rearing, or with a single diet change from 2,500 to 3,000 and 3,000 to 2,500 kcal ME/kg occurring at 56 days. Each of the four diet scenarios was tested with six replicate caged groups each containing 10 pullets. In Trials 1 and 2 environmental temperature was maintained at 18 and 30 C, respectively, to 126 days. In Trials 3 and 4, temperature was changed at 56 days from 18 to 30 C and 30 to 18 C, respectively. Regardless of environmental temperature conditions, diet change per se had minimal effect on growth and development. Rather dietary energy level used from 56 to 126 days had the greatest effect on growth, with birds fed the highest energy content diet generally being heaviest. However, this effect was not significant (P greater than .05) in all trials, which is probably related to a lack of effect on energy intake under such conditions. Final body weight was more closely associated with energy intake than with protein intake and energy intake was maximized when high-energy diets were used after 56 days of age. Consumption of high-energy diets after 56 days, regardless of trial conditions, always resulted in increased carcass fat content at 126 days. It was concluded that abrupt and major changes in environmental temperature or dietary energy as used in these trials have little deleterious effect on pullet development. Conditions prevailing during later stages of growth have a far greater effect than changes per se in these parameters.

  16. The Water Footprint as an indicator of environmental sustainability in water use at the river basin level.

    PubMed

    Pellicer-Martínez, Francisco; Martínez-Paz, José Miguel

    2016-11-15

    One of the main challenges in water management is to determine how the current water use can condition its availability to future generations and hence its sustainability. This study proposes the use of the Water Footprint (WF) indicator to assess the environmental sustainability in water resources management at the river basin level. The current study presents the methodology developed and applies it to a case study. The WF is a relatively new indicator that measures the total volume of freshwater that is used as a production factor. Its application is ever growing in the evaluation of water use in production processes. The calculation of the WF involves water resources (blue), precipitation stored in the soil (green) and pollution (grey). It provides a comprehensive assessment of the environmental sustainability of water use in a river basin. The methodology is based upon the simulation of the anthropised water cycle, which is conducted by combining a hydrological model and a decision support system. The methodology allows the assessment of the environmental sustainability of water management at different levels, and/or ex-ante analysis of how the decisions made in water planning process affect sustainability. The sustainability study was carried out in the Segura River Basin (SRB) in South-eastern Spain. The SRB is among the most complex basins in Europe, given its special peculiarities: competition for the use, overexploitation of aquifers, pollution, alternative sources, among others. The results indicate that blue water use is not sustainable due to the generalised overexploitation of aquifers. They also reveal that surface water pollution, which is not sustainable, is mainly caused by phosphate concentrations. The assessment of future scenarios reveals that these problems will worsen if no additional measures are implemented, and therefore the water management in the SRB is environmentally unsustainable in both the short- and medium-term.

  17. Laser-induced damage threshold tests of ultrafast multilayer dielectric coatings in various environmental conditions relevant for operation of ELI beamlines laser systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ďurák, Michal; Velpula, Praveen Kumar; Kramer, Daniel; Cupal, Josef; Medřík, Tomáš; Hřebíček, Jan; Golasowski, Jiří; Peceli, Davorin; Kozlová, Michaela; Rus, Bedřich

    2017-01-01

    Increasing the laser-induced damage resistance of optical components is one of the major challenges in the development of Peta-watt (PW) class laser systems. The extreme light infrastructure (ELI) beamlines project will provide ultrafast laser systems with peak powers up to 10 PW available every minute and PW class beams at 10 Hz complemented by a 5-TW, 1-kHz beamline. Sustainable performance of PW class laser systems relies on the durability of the employed optical components. As part of an effort to evaluate the damage resistance of components utilized in ELI beamlines systems, damage thresholds of several optical multilayer dielectric coatings were measured with different laser parameters and in different environments. Three coatings were tested with 10 Hz and 1 kHz pulse repetition rates, and the effect of a cleaning treatment on their damage resistance was examined. To explore the damage threshold behavior at different vacuum levels, one coating was subject to tests at various residual gas pressures. No change of damage threshold in a high vacuum with respect to ambient pressure was recorded. The effect of the cleaning treatment was found to be inconsistent, suggesting that development of the optimal cleaning treatment for a given coating requires consideration of its specific properties.

  18. Evaluation of Groundwater Impacts to Support the National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Assessment for the INL Remote-Handled Low-Level Waste Disposal Project

    SciTech Connect

    Annette Schafer, Arthur S. Rood, A. Jeffrey Sondrup

    2011-12-23

    Groundwater impacts have been analyzed for the proposed remote-handled low-level waste disposal facility. The analysis was prepared to support the National Environmental Policy Act environmental assessment for the top two ranked sites for the proposed disposal facility. A four-phase screening and analysis approach was documented and applied. Phase I screening was site independent and applied a radionuclide half-life cut-off of 1 year. Phase II screening applied the National Council on Radiation Protection analysis approach and was site independent. Phase III screening used a simplified transport model and site-specific geologic and hydrologic parameters. Phase III neglected the infiltration-reducing engineered cover, the sorption influence of the vault system, dispersion in the vadose zone, vertical dispersion in the aquifer, and the release of radionuclides from specific waste forms. These conservatisms were relaxed in the Phase IV analysis which used a different model with more realistic parameters and assumptions. Phase I screening eliminated 143 of the 246 radionuclides in the inventory from further consideration because each had a half-life less than 1 year. An additional 13 were removed because there was no ingestion dose coefficient available. Of the 90 radionuclides carried forward from Phase I, 57 radionuclides had simulated Phase II screening doses exceeding 0.4 mrem/year. Phase III and IV screening compared the maximum predicted radionuclide concentration in the aquifer to maximum contaminant levels. Of the 57 radionuclides carried forward from Phase II, six radionuclides were identified in Phase III as having simulated future aquifer concentrations exceeding maximum contaminant limits. An additional seven radionuclides had simulated Phase III groundwater concentrations exceeding 1/100th of their respective maximum contaminant levels and were also retained for Phase IV analysis. The Phase IV analysis predicted that none of the thirteen remaining

  19. Environmentally relevant bouts of cooling stimulate corticosterone secretion in free-living eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) nestlings: potential links between maternal behavior and corticosterone exposure in offspring.

    PubMed

    Lynn, Sharon E; Kern, Michael D

    2014-01-15

    In vertebrates, exposure to stressful stimuli or to elevated glucocorticoids early in development can contribute to phenotypic variation that may have significant fitness consequences. In species with altricial young, offspring may be partially buffered from elevations in glucocorticoids by a period of low glucocorticoid responsiveness to stressors coupled with high levels of parental care. Because altricial young depend heavily on their parents for warmth, parental brooding behavior could buffer offspring from glucocorticoid exposure associated with cooling. We studied eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) with two goals: (1) to determine whether an experimental drop in body temperature such as that which might occur when a brooding female is off the nest was sufficient to stimulate glucocorticoid secretion in young chicks, and (2) to examine the extent to which chicks experienced such bouts of cooling in the field. We subjected chicks to treatments simulating nest temperatures while females were brooding or absent from the nest. We also recorded chick surface temperatures and ambient temperatures at nests during the first week of the brood period. Reductions of surface temperature of less than 10°C significantly elevated corticosterone secretion in chicks as young as 5days old, and thermal and hormonal responses of chicks to cooling increased in an age-dependent manner. One quarter of broods experienced repeated, natural bouts of cooling of this magnitude or greater in the nest. Our data suggest that natural variations in maternal brooding patterns can result in differential exposure of offspring to glucocorticoids, and this may have important phenotypic consequences later in life.

  20. Environmentally Relevant Chronic Low-Dose Tritium and Gamma Exposures do not Increase Somatic Intrachromosomal Recombination in pKZ1 Mouse Spleen.

    PubMed

    Bannister, Laura; Serran, Mandy; Bertrand, Lindsey; Klokov, Dmitry; Wyatt, Heather; Blimkie, Melinda; Gueguen, Yann; Priest, Nicholas; Jourdain, Jean-René; Sykes, Pamela

    2016-12-01

    The toxicity of tritium is a public health concern given its presence and mobility in the environment. For risk predictions using radiological protection models, it is essential to allocate an appropriate radiation weighting factor (WR). This in turn should be consistent with the observed relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of tritium beta radiation. Although the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) currently recommends a WR of 1 for the calculation of committed effective dose for X rays, gamma rays and electrons of all energies, including tritium energies, there are concerns that tritium health risks are underestimated and that current regulatory tritium drinking water standards need revision. In this study, we investigated potential cytotoxic and genotoxic effects in mouse spleen after one month and eight months of chronic exposure to low-dose tritiated water (HTO). The dose regimes studied were designed to mimic human chronic consumption of HTO at levels of 10 kBq/l, 1 MBq/l and 20 MBq/l. The total doses from these radiation exposures ranged from 0.01 to 180 mGy. We also compared the biological effects of exposure to HTO with equivalent exposure to external whole-body (60)Co gamma rays. Changes in spleen weight and somatic intrachromosomal recombination (DNA inversions) in spleen tissue of pKZ1(Tg/+) mice were monitored. Our results showed no overall changes in either spleen organ weights and no increase mouse splenic intrachromosomal recombination frequencies, indicating that current drinking water standards for tritium exposure in the form of HTO are likely to be adequately protective against cytotoxic and genotoxic damage in spleen. These results demonstrate no evidence for cytotoxicity or genotoxicity in mouse spleen following chronic exposures to HTO activities (or equivalent gamma doses) up to 20 MBq/L.

  1. Environmental Assessment Offsite Thermal Treatment of Low-Level Mixed Waste

    SciTech Connect

    N /A

    1999-05-06

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Richland Operations Office (RL) needs to demonstrate the economics and feasibility of offsite commercial treatment of contact-handled low-level mixed waste (LLMW), containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBS) and other organics, to meet existing regulatory standards for eventual disposal.

  2. Environmental contaminants of emerging concern in seafood--European database on contaminant levels.

    PubMed

    Vandermeersch, Griet; Lourenço, Helena Maria; Alvarez-Muñoz, Diana; Cunha, Sara; Diogène, Jorge; Cano-Sancho, German; Sloth, Jens J; Kwadijk, Christiaan; Barcelo, Damia; Allegaert, Wim; Bekaert, Karen; Fernandes, José Oliveira; Marques, Antonio; Robbens, Johan

    2015-11-01

    Marine pollution gives rise to concern not only about the environment itself but also about the impact on food safety and consequently on public health. European authorities and consumers have therefore become increasingly worried about the transfer of contaminants from the marine environment to seafood. So-called "contaminants of emerging concern" are chemical substances for which no maximum levels have been laid down in EU legislation, or substances for which maximum levels have been provided but which require revision. Adequate information on their presence in seafood is often lacking and thus potential risks cannot be excluded. Assessment of food safety issues related to these contaminants has thus become urgent and imperative. A database (www.ecsafeseafooddbase.eu), containing available information on the levels of contaminants of emerging concern in seafood and providing the most recent data to scientists and regulatory authorities, was developed. The present paper reviews a selection of contaminants of emerging concern in seafood including toxic elements, endocrine disruptors, brominated flame retardants, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and derivatives, microplastics and marine toxins. Current status on the knowledge of human exposure, toxicity and legislation are briefly presented and the outcome from scientific publications reporting on the levels of these compounds in seafood is presented and discussed.

  3. Environmental Influences on Preschoolers' Physical Activity Levels in Various Early-Learning Facilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vanderloo, Leigh M.; Tucker, Patricia; Johnson, Andrew M.; Burke, Shauna M.; Irwin, Jennifer D.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This study aimed to: (a) compare the phy