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Abstract  

Two programmes of work are described involving the measurement of environmental pollution over periods from two hours to many years. The long period measurements are deduced from neutron activation analysis of whole wood samples taken from individual tree rings for trees grown in various locations, and some results for cadmium, antimony and germanium levels are reported. In a second series of experiments the concentration of airborne particulate matter is being measured using a moving filter (streak sampler) technique to give a continuous record with two hour resolution. The filter samples are being analysed by proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and preliminary data is presented.

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Hair as a monitor for environmental pollution

Variations in element concentrations for different lead-processing workers and different washing methods of their hair

Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Author: S. Ohmori

Abstract  

Variations in concentration of elements with different washing methods of hair-EDTA Method and Acetone Method-and different lead work employees (lead processing workers and lead glass-making workers) were studied by nondestructive neutron activation analysis. The EDTA Method removed not only the external, elements bound by surface adhesion but also the internal elements, such as Mg and Ca, existing in hair. With the Acetone Method, Zn, As and Sb concentrations in hair of lead processing workers show very high values (>2) and Cd and Co concentrations in hair of both groups show high values (1<<2), except for Pb. This suggests the effect of environmental pollution in that factory.

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Acta Phytopathologica et Entomologica Hungarica
Authors: M. Jolánkai, Á. Tarnawa, K. Kassai, H. Nyárai and Zs. Szentpétery

Agriculture is highly affected by climate change. Climate change impacts may influence almost all fields of agricultural activities; production efficiency, quantitative and qualitative deterioration of crop yields produced for alimentary purposes, and determine post-harvest manifestation of agricultural products inducing hazard in the field of food safety, transport, storage and distribution. Soil-climatic conditions, amount and distribution of precipitation, anomalies and extremities of temperature as well as various manifestation of air movement from stand still to storms are some of the main factors that may influence agriculture. Pollution has been considered solely as the presence of unfavourable alien matter in the environment, but in reality pollution is far more than that. Agri-environmental pollution is largely independent of mankind, since many pollution or degradation processes may begin with no direct relationship to human activities. Soil degradation, or irreversible damage to natural ecosystems by climatic factors (drought, flood, water logging, salinity) are the most frequent consequences. Biological pollution, like weed infestation, epidemics and gradations, pollen allergy, the poisonous effect of mycotoxins on farm animals and humans, new pests and diseases, the emission of greenhouse gases, and biological factors which cause quality deterioration represent an increasing pressure on agri-environment. This paper is intended to give an overview of some research activities and their results in relation with climatic aspects of agri-environmental pollution in Hungary.

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Abstract  

Evergreen oak was chosen as a possible biological monitor of environmental pollution. It was shown that there is a direct relationship between the concentration of elements in leaves and the presence of pollution sources, i.e. the density of vehicular traffic.

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Environmental pollution and consumption of alcohol evoke various immunomodulations promoting the progress of different pathologies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of alcohol consumption intensity on the immune system functions of humans living in ecologically different regions, i.e. in a district polluted with industrial siftings (Trakai, n=270) and in a relatively clean district (Širvintos, n=250). In the Trakai cohort 96% and in Širvintos group 89% of persons consumed alcohol. With regard to alcohol consumption habits the immunohaematological indices were investigated in the following four groups: abstinents, light alcohol users, moderate alcohol users and alcohol abusers. We determined the compensatory mechanisms of immune system functions of moderate alcohol users and alcohol abusers in comparison with abstinents in the relatively clean Širvintos district. In the Trakai district polluted with industrial siftings such compensatory reactions where not found. Thus, damage to the immune system functions is not only an endogenous risk factor for many diseases, but also an indicator of organism injury. This investigation stated, that immunity disturbance in humans depends on alcohol consumption intensity and place of residence.

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Abstract  

Application of Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis for environmental pollution control is described. The paper gives details of both sampling and measurement procedures for air particulates and plant samples. Usability of the method is shown on some examples typical in for environment protection practice. For instance with simultaneous sampling of air in more than one place, one can identify the polluting source and determine the contribution of this source to the total level of local pollution as well. It is possible with the EDXRF to investigate short and long-term concentration variations of metals in air including the distance factor too. Analysis of plant samples was performed in order to evaluate the contribution of automotive traffic to environmental pollution in areas of national parks. Examples of application of the method described in the paper give evidence in favour of the EDXRF as a good tool for investigation of environmental pollution.

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Abstract  

Neutron activation analysis is one of the most extensively used methods for environmental studies due to its high sensitivity, precision, versatility and multielemental character. Cement factories at Helwan, south of Cairo, contribute substantially to environmental pollution. Determination of minor and trace-elements in dust particulates from the cement industrial areas has been performed to assess the air quality from an environmental and human health point of view. Soil-7 standard reference material from IAEA and SRM-1571 from NBS were used for quality assurance testing. The data obtained indicate there is an indication that the pollution could be hazardous to people living in and around the area surveyed.

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The LIFE 02ENV/RO/000461AIR-AWARE project is partly dedicated to research on the flora and invertebrate fauna of downtown Bucharest (Romania). In this area, products of local industrial pollution, heavy metals, SO 2 and powders in suspension exceed standard levels. The pilot zone is represented by two public parks in downtown Bucharest. Thysanopterological samples were collected from the herbaceous layer, on both weeds and ornamentals, following a transect approach. The preliminary results revealed a biodiversity that decreased from the park centres, which suffered the least air pollution, towards the edges of the parks, which were the most polluted. The dominant species was Frankliniella intonsa , which had high values for structural and functional indices, as well as morphological changes in body size, colour and antennae, all due to the air pollution. F. intonsa could be considered to be a very sensitive bioindicator of environmental pollution. Future analysis, however, may reveal whether Bagnalliella yuccae, F. intonsa or Haplothrips niger are more sensitive bioindicators for air pollution.

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Abstract  

Density metering instruments, based on the attenuation of gamma-rays, are used for non-intrusive monitoring of fluids, solids and gases. Applications include thickness gauging, fluid level indicators and determining the composition of two phase systems. This paper describes a study to investigate how the technology can be developed for environmental monitoring and control. Environmental pollutants, Zn and Pb, were selected for the initial study. A 3.7 GBq241 Am source was used to measure the sensitivity of the technique at 17, 20, 26 and 59.5 keV with a Ge planar semiconductor detector for optimum resolution of the photon energies. The optimum thickness for measurements using these four energies was 4 cm. The equipment was calibrated with a 2000 mg/l solution of zinc chloride and a 1000 mg/l solution of lead nitrate. A series of lower concentration solutions were measured to test the accuracy of the method, and demonstrated agreement with the actual concentrations within statistics. The sensitivity of the equipment was 100 mg/l for zinc and 50 mg/l for lead. The limitation to accuracy and precision was the stability of the counting equipment and theoretical detection limits of around 20–50 mg/l should be achieved if the stability of the electronics is improved.

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Abstract  

The purpose of this study was to use instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) to investigate the effectiveness of oak tree leaves as indicators of atmospheric pollution. Leaves were sampled from several different cities in southwestern Ontario, Canada and tested for 16 different trace elements (U, Dy, Ba, Ti, Sr, I, Br, Mg, Cu, Na, V, K, Al, Mn, Cl and Ca). The results show promise for the use of oak leaves as multielemental environmental monitors due to their apparent ability to reflect the overall pollution levels of the vicinity in which they grow. Oak leaves were found to be superior to both birch and maple leaves for monitoring most of the elements studied.

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