The 14th International Congress on Combustion By-Products and Their Health Effects was held in Ume?, Sweden from June 14th to 17th, 2015. The Congress, mainly sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program and the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning, focused on the "Origin, fate and health effects of combustion-related air pollutants in the coming era of bio-based energy sources". The international delegates included academic and government researchers, engineers, scientists, policymakers and representatives of industrial partners. The Congress provided a unique forum for the discussion of scientific advances in this research area since it addressed in combination the health-related issues and the environmental implications of combustion by-products. The scientific outcomes of the Congress included the consensus opinions that: (a) there is a correlation between human exposure to particulate matter and increased cardiac and respiratory morbidity and mortality; (b) because currently available data does not support the assessment of differences in health outcomes between biomass smoke and other particulates in outdoor air, the potential human health and environmental impacts of emerging air-pollution sources must be addressed. Assessment will require the development of new approaches to characterize combustion emissions through advanced sampling and analytical methods. The Congress also concluded the need for better and more sustainable e-waste management and improved policies, usage and disposal methods for materials containing flame retardants.
Native oxy-PAHs, N-PACs, and PAHs in historically contaminated soils from Sweden, Belgium, and France: their soil-porewater partitioning behavior, bioaccumulation in Enchytraeus crypticus, and bioavailability.
Soil quality standards are based on partitioning and toxicity data for laboratory-spiked reference soils, instead of real world, historically contaminated soils, which would be more representative. Here 21 diverse historically contaminated soils from Sweden, Belgium, and France were obtained, and the soil-porewater partitioning along with the bioaccumulation in exposed worms (Enchytraeus crypticus) of native polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) were quantified. The native PACs investigated were polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and, for the first time to be included in such a study, oxygenated-PAHs (oxy-PAHs) and nitrogen containing heterocyclic PACs (N-PACs). The passive sampler polyoxymethylene (POM) was used to measure the equilibrium freely dissolved porewater concentration, Cpw, of all PACs. The obtained organic carbon normalized partitioning coefficients, KTOC, show that sorption of these native PACs is much stronger than observed in laboratory-spiked soils (typically by factors 10 to 100), which has been reported previously for PAHs but here for the first time for oxy-PAHs and N-PACs. A recently developed KTOC model for historically contaminated sediments predicted the 597 unique, native KTOC values in this study within a factor 30 for 100% of the data and a factor 3 for 58% of the data, without calibration. This model assumes that TOC in pyrogenic-impacted areas sorbs similarly to coal tar, rather than octanol as typically assumed. Black carbon (BC) inclusive partitioning models exhibited substantially poorer performance. Regarding bioaccumulation, Cpw combined with liposome-water partition coefficients corresponded better with measured worm lipid concentrations, Clipid (within a factor 10 for 85% of all PACs and soils), than Cpw combined with octanol-water partition coefficients (within a factor 10 for 76% of all PACs and soils). E. crypticus mortality and reproducibility were also quantified. No enhanced mortality was observed in the 21 historically contaminated soils despite expectations from PAH spiked reference soils. Worm reproducibility weakly correlated to Clipid of PACs, though the contributing influence of metal concentrations and soil texture could not be taken into account. The good agreement of POM-derived Cpw with independent soil and lipid partitioning models further supports that soil risk assessments would improve by accounting for bioavailability. Strategies for including bioavailability in soil risk assessment are presented.