Archive for the ‘Themed Issues’ Category

HOT: sorption of nano-fullerene clusters in soil – hydrophillic or hydrophobic?

C60 molecules are well as hydrophobic compounds with a high KOC value.  But what happens when fullerene molecules are released into the environment?  

Mohsen Forouzangohar and Rai Kookana from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation have expanded on previous work that considered environmental C60 sorption on a purely molecular basis and assumed phase partitioning into soil organic matter is the main mechanism for the sorption of the hydrophobic C60 molecules.  They have shown that they may actually exist in the form of nano-C60 clusters in the environment – rather than as C60 molecules – and that hydrophobic interactions of this compound with soil organic matter are not likely to be the dominant mechanism governing its mobility in the environment.  Instead, net surface charge and hydrophilic interactions are expected to play a much more significant role, which could lead to much higher aqueous concentrations of the fullerenes in the environment than previously anticipated.

This interesting article is the cover article from our themed issue on Environmental Nanotechnology and it’s free to access for 6 weeks:

Sorption of nano-C60 clusters in soil: hydrophilic or hydrophobic interactions?
Mohsen Forouzangohar and Rai S. Kookana
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 1190-1194
DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00689K

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HOT article: assessing aquatic titanium dioxide nanomaterial exposure

As the use of nanoparticles in consumer and commercial products continues to rise, information on their effect on the environment is crucial.   Numerous studies have been conducted on nanoparticle toxicity but exposure studies have received, well, less exposure.

This paper offers a method for collecting and analysing titanium dioxide nanomaterials from municipal wastewater treatment plants – a major entry point of nanoparticles into aquatic environments. Paul Westerhoff (Arizona State University) and colleagues show that there is a clear possibility of TiO2 nanoparticles being released into the environment when conventional separation and filtration methods are used.  Microfiltration appears to reduce the levels of nanoparticles in the discharged effluent however.

Interestingly, the study also found that silica nanoparticles were present in much higher concentrations than TiO2, quantification of which were beyond the scope of this study, but are the subject of ongoing research.

This HOT article is part of our forthcoming themed issue on Environmental Nanotechnology and is free to access for 4 weeks.

Occurrence and removal of titanium at full scale wastewater treatment plants: implications for TiO2 nanomaterials
Paul Westerhoff, Guixue Song, Kiril Hristovski and Mehlika A. Kiser
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C1EM10017C

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HOT article: studying silver and cerium dioxide nanoparticle toxicity in Daphnia magna

This HOT article from Birgit Gaiser (Edinburgh Napier University) and colleagues presents a detailed study into the effect of silver and cerium dioxide nanoparticles on the common freshwater test organism Daphnia magna.

Both species of nanoparticles (NPs) are currently used extensively – silver in consumer products for their antibacterial properties, and cerium dioxide in slurries for silicon wafer planarization  – and usage is only expected to increase.  It is therefore essential to to assess their potentially damaging effects on the environment due to factors such as particle size, material, and concentration.  This study investigated acute and chronic toxicity of well characterised nano- and micron- sized particles in Daphnia magna, confirming the “nano-hypothesis” – that nano-sized particles were more toxic than equal concentrations of micron-sized particles (for Ag NPs).  Confirming previous studies, CeO2 NPs were only toxic at concentrations significantly above environmentally relevant levels.  The study also uncovered sub-lethal effects of silver nanoparticles, such as moulting and impaired growth of D. magna, which the authors hope will improve our understanding of the mechanism that causes toxic effects.

This HOT article is part of our forthcoming themed issue on Environmental Nanotechnology and is free to access for 4 weeks.  The careful characterisation of the nanoparticles makes this study particularly valuable – why not read Robert MacCuspie’s article on the challenges for physical characterization of silver nanoparticles which is also part of this themed issue.

Effects of silver and cerium dioxide micro- and nano-sized particles on Daphnia magna
Birgit K. Gaiser, Anamika Biswas, Philipp Rosenkranz, Mark A. Jepson, Jamie R. Lead, Vicki Stone, Charles R. Tyler and Teresa F. Fernandes
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C1EM10060B, Paper

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HOT article: the silver standard – challenges in characterising the environmental impact of silver nanomaterials

This HOT article reports a collaborative effort between the US Environmental Protection Agency and National Institute of Standards and Technology to facilitate intercomparison of sometimes conflicting environmental risk experiment results for silver nanoparticles.

Silver nanoparticles have become the most widely used of all nanoparticles reported in consumer products due to their well known antibacterial and antifungal properties, but with increased use comes increased concern – do they pose a health and safety or environmental risk?  There is a huge amount of literature data available on silver nanoparticles, but as there is no standard procedure for their manufacture, stabilization, or initial characterization it can be difficult for regulatory authorities to make comparisons between different datasets and thus draw meaningful conclusions.

Here, Robert MacCuspie and Kim Rogers et al. have analysed a range of silver nanoparticle materials with different analytical methods and initial dispersion conditions to demonstrate how measurement methods, agglomeration state and dispersion conditions influence the reported size distributions of said materials.  They also present an approach to developing routine screening for the nanomaterials.

This HOT article is part of our forthcoming themed issue on Environmental Nanotechnology and is free to access for 4 weeks.

Challenges for physical characterization of silver nanoparticles under pristine and environmentally relevant conditions
Robert I. MacCuspie, Kim Rogers, Manomita Patra, Zhiyong Suo, Andrew J. Allen, Matthew N. Martin and Vincent A. Hackley
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C1EM10024F, Paper

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JEM issue 4 now online – focussing on Asia/Pacific environmental science

The latest issue of JEM includes a collection of papers that resulted from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Asia/Pacific (SETAC A/P) 2010 meeting held in Guangzhou, China on June 4–7, 2010. The theme of this meeting was ‘‘Balance between economic growth and environmental protection: sustainability through better science’’, a subject close to the interests of JEM.  Take a look at the editorial from Eddy Y. Zeng, Jing You and Hefa Cheng which emphasizes the importance of sustaining healthy economic growth in the Asia/Pacific region, particularly in China,while directing substantial efforts toward environmental protection.

Featured on the outside front cover we have an article from Jing You (Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences) et al., on the problems associated with (often illegal) electronic waste disposal, specifically the short-range transport of contaminants released from unprotected recycling sites in China.

Short-range transport of contaminants released from e-waste recycling site in South China
Huizhen Li, Jinmei Bai, Yetian Li, Hefa Cheng, Eddy Y. Zeng and Jing You
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 836-843

On the inside front cover we have an article from Jes Jessen Rasmussen and colleagues at Aarhus University discussing how pesticides impact stream ecosystems by applying a novel approach of grouping streams according to predicted pesticide runoff contamination.

Local physical habitat quality cloud the effect of predicted pesticide runoff from agricultural land in Danish streams
Jes Jessen Rasmussen, Annette Baattrup-Pedersen, Søren Erik Larsen and Brian Kronvang
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 943-950

HOT articles in this issue:

The distribution of triclosan and methyl-triclosan in marine sediments of Barker Inlet, South Australia
Milena Fernandes, Ali Shareef, Rai Kookana, Sam Gaylard, Sonja Hoare and Tim Kildea
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 801-806

Geochemical characteristics of inorganic sulfur in Shijing River, South China
Yanqing Sheng, Guangyi Fu, Fanzhong Chen and Jing Chen
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 807-812

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the riverine and marine sediments of the Laizhou Bay area, North China
Xiaohui Pan, Jianhui Tang, Jun Li, Guangcai Zhong, Yingjun Chen and Gan Zhang
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 886-893

Application of a battery of biomarkers in mussel digestive gland to assess long-term effects of the Prestige oil spill in Galicia and the Bay of Biscay: Lysosomal responses
Larraitz Garmendia, Urtzi Izagirre, Miren P. Cajaraville and Ionan Marigómez
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 901-914

Incidence of organochlorine pesticides in soils of Shenzhen, China
Hong-Gang Ni, Shan-Ping Cao, Ling-Yun Ji and Hui Zeng
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 951-956

Protein adducts as biomarkers of exposure to aromatic diisocyanates in workers manufacturing polyurethane (PUR) foam
Kirsi Säkkinen, Jarkko Tornaeus, Antti Hesso, Ari Hirvonen, Harri Vainio, Hannu Norppa and Christina Rosenberg
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 957-965

Correlation of six anthropogenic markers in wastewater, surface water, bank filtrate, and soil aquifer treatment
Marco Scheurer, Florian Rüdiger Storck, Carola Graf, Heinz-Jürgen Brauch, Wolfgang Ruck, Ovadia Lev and Frank Thomas Lange
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 966-973

Xiaohui Pan, Jianhui Tang, Jun Li, Guangcai Zhong, Yingjun Chen and Gan Zhang

J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 886-893
DOI: 10.1039/C1EM10169B

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HOT article: hot spot or not? Polybrominated diphenyl ether contamination in Laizhou Bay examined

As part of our themed issue focussing on environmental science in Asia and the Pacific, this HOT article from Jianhui Tang , Gan Zhang and co-workers from Chinese Academy of Sciences laboratories looks at the impact of
polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). PBDEs are a class of brominated fire retardants (BFRs) that have attracted significant attention due to environmental and health concerns.

Despite the fact that some PBDEs (namely penta- and octa-BDEs) have been listed under the Stockholm Convention and banned in several countries, in China both production and consumption of some PBDE-containing brominated fire retardants have risen rapidly in recent years.  This study focuses on the Laizhou Bay area, which is home to the biggest manufacturing base for BFRs in China.  By sampling river and coastal sediment in the area they looked at the source and fate of PBDE contaminants in the area, discovering that BDE 209 is the predominant PBDE congener present.  Interestingly, however, overall PBDE concentrations were lower than other literature data from European and US ‘hot spots’.

Read more of this thoughtful and thorough study – which comes highly recommended by the referees – it’s currently free to access for four weeks.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the riverine and marine sediments of the Laizhou Bay area, North China
Xiaohui Pan, Jianhui Tang, Jun Li, Guangcai Zhong, Yingjun Chen and Gan Zhang
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 886-893
DOI: 10.1039/C1EM10169B

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HOT article: triclosan distribution down under

The anti-microbial agent triclosan has been used extensively in the last four decades, however concerns regarding its environmental impact on marine systems are relatively recent.

Milena Fernandes (South Australian Water Corporation) and co-workers investigated the distribution of wastewater-borne triclosan and its methylated derivative in surface sediments of a coastal inlet to determine the factors affecting transport and benthic preservation. The location studied is of interest as it is an important nursery habitat and provides sanctuary to a resident population of bottlenose dolphins.

Fernandes demonstrates that the pathways leading to dispersal are different for triclosan and methyl-triclosan discharged with wastewater, with triclosan having a larger area of impact. Triclosan accumulated in deeper sites containing finer sediment fractions, where in situ biological methylation was enhanced. Methyl-triclosan was absent from shallower sediments, potentially as a result of photodegradation of the parent compound.

This HOT article is part of our forthcoming SETAC themed issue focussing on Asia/Pacific environmental science and is free to access for 4 weeks.

The distribution of triclosan and methyl-triclosan in marine sediments of Barker Inlet, South Australia
Milena Fernandes, Ali Shareef, Rai Kookana, Sam Gaylard, Sonja Hoare and Tim Kildea
J. Environ. Monit.
, 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00612B

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HOT: review of persistent organic pollutants in Antarctica

HOT off the press – a review article by Susan Nash at Griffith University, one of JEM’s 2010 Emerging Investigators.

In this review Nash describes the challenges faced by the research community in obtaining accurate information on the impact of persistent organic pollutants in Antarctica.

It is increasingly recognised that the role of the Antarctic system in climate change processes cannot be ignored. POPs are considered a substantial risk to human and environmental health; it is therefore of great importance to understand their distribution across the globe, including areas that are hard to reach.

Nash gives a thorough overview of the research carried out in this field to date.  She outlines shortcomings in previous research efforts, glaring gaps in existing knowledge and gives a number of specific research recommendations which will hopefully help advance the field.

Read her recommendations online here:

Persistent organic pollutants in Antarctica: current and future research priorities
Susan Bengtson Nash
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00230E

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Announcing the themed issue on Environmental Nanotechnology

The Journal of Environmental Monitoring (JEM) is commissioning a special issue reporting significant recent advances in Environmental Nanotechnology for publication in May 2011. Professor Omowunmi Sadik, Director of the Center for Advanced Sensors & Environmental Systems (CASE) at the State University of New York at Binghamton, will be the Guest Editor of this issue.

Through this issue on Environmental Nanotechnology, JEM aims to give wide-spread exposure to current advances from leading investigators and to stimulate further progress in the field based on these new developments. JEM places special emphasis on environmental processes and impacts and contributions are sought (critical and tutorial reviews, full papers, and communications are all welcome) covering these areas.

The journal will begin accepting submissions immediately with an absolute, final submission deadline of January 10th 2011 to meet the May publication date.  Manuscripts can be submitted using our online submission service. Please state in your covering letter that your article was submitted in response to the Call for Papers for the themed issue on Environmental Nanotechnology.

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