In the summers of 2001 and 2002, we quantitatively sampled human-biting flies in twelve sites located 1.6 to 63 km from a large copper-nickel smelter at Monchegorsk on the Kola Peninsula, Russia. We collected 429 specimens of three species of Ceratopogonidae, 92 specimens of seven species of Culicidae, 76 specimens of seven species of Tabanidae, and 4,788 specimens of 19 species of Simuliidae. Culicoides chiropterus was for the first time reported from the Kola Peninsula. Catches of Culicidae and Simuliidae decreased near the smelter, presumably due to the combined action of toxicity of pollutants, pollution-induced forest damage, and decline in vertebrate density. An abundance of Ceratopogonidae and Tabanidae, the size of the most common black fly species, Simulium pusillum, and the diversity of all families did not change along the pollution gradient.
The aims of this study were to investigate the combined effects of drought stress and copper pollution on enchytraeids under natural conditions in the field and to compare the results of laboratory toxicity tests with results of the field study. Such studies were conducted to increase the understanding of interactions between chemicals and natural stressors and assess the predictive value of standardized laboratory tests with enchytraeids. The combined effect of copper and summer drought on enchytraeids was investigated in an old copper-contaminated field site at Hygum, Denmark, in three areas with different copper burdens. Each area consisted of five plots, which were divided into two subplots: one control and one drought subplot in which precipitation was excluded for a 45-d period during summer. Enchytraeids were sampled in spring (before the enforced drought began) and in autumn (after recovery from drought). Clear effects of copper were evident in both the field and the laboratory experiment. The field population density and species composition was highly affected by copper at concentrations in the range 300 to 500 mg Cu/kg dry soil and higher. In particular, a greatly impoverished species diversity was found in the copper-polluted areas. The effects of copper in the field compared reasonably well with the results of the laboratory tests. Surprisingly, possible effects of summer drought in the field were not detected in the autumn sampling, perhaps because of rapid recovery of the enchytraeid populations in both unpolluted and copper-polluted areas.
Seedlings of black bindweed (Polygonum convolvulus L.) were transplanted to soil contaminated with copper sulfate at different dosages. These plants were followed until maturity under greenhouse conditions, and measures of mortality, growth, and reproduction were obtained from harvests 21, 34, and 105 days after the transplant. It was found that application of 125 mg Cu2+ kg-1 resulted in 1.7% lifetime mortality increasing to 100% at 500 mg kg-1. The mortality was dependent on exposure time. No further mortality was observed after 50 days. The population consisted of a relatively tolerant and a sensitive group. This was indicated by differences in lifetime of plants treated with 500 mg kg-1 and by a diversification in biomass of individuals dying from treatment with 315 mg kg-1. The plants surviving treatment had reduced biomass and seed production at dosages above 200 mg kg-1.
Brown trout (Salmo trutta) from two native populations from the Røros area in Central Norway, acclimated in mining-affected habitats to different levels of Cd/Zn and Cu, together with trout from a nearby unaffected river (reference) were transferred to a nearby lake with higher levels of Cu, Cd, and Zn than those in their respective native rivers. This experiment was conducted to gain information about the underlying resistance mechanisms developed in fish exposed to metal environments. The focus was on gill metal accumulation and transcription of the metal-responsive stress genes metallothionein-A (MT-A), Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), and heat shock protein 70 (HSP-70). The only shared response shown between the three groups after transfer were Cu accumulation and MT-A induction. The Cu-acclimated trout produced mucus to reduce the uptake of Cu into the gills. The MT-A levels were highest in the Cd/Zn-acclimated trout both before and after transfer. Before transfer, antioxidant transcription (SOD and GPx) was higher in gills of Cu-acclimated compared to the Cd/Zn-acclimated trout, but increased transcription of antioxidant stress genes was observed after transfer in both metal-acclimated groups. The metal-acclimated trout groups also showed an increase in the transcription of HSP-70. Compared to the reference population not previously exposed to metals, stress gene transcription increased faster in the metal-acclimated populations. The exception was induction of CAT, which appeared to be depressed after transfer in Cd/Zn-acclimated trout. The data indicate that acclimation to chronic metal exposure involves different strategies to cope with different metals and that these strategies involve both physiological mechanisms (mucus production) as well as metal-related stress gene transcription.
Acid precipitation may increase human exposure to several potentially toxic metals by increasing metal concentrations in major pathways to man, particularly food and water, and in some instances by enhancing the conversion of metal species to more toxic forms. Human exposures to methylmercury are almost entirely by way of consumption of fish and seafood. In some countries, intakes by this route may approach the levels that can give rise to adverse health effects for population groups with a high consumption of these food items. A possible increase in methylmercury concentrations in fish from lakes affected by acid precipitation may thus be of concern to selected population groups. Human exposures to lead reach levels that are near those associated with adverse health effects in certain sensitive segments of the general population in several countries. The possibility exists that increased exposures to lead may be caused by acid precipitation through a mobilization of lead from soils into crops. A route of exposure to lead that may possibly be influenced by acid precipitation is an increased deterioration of surface materials containing lead and a subsequent ingestion by small children. A similar situation with regard to uptake from food exists for cadmium (at least in some countries). Human metal exposures via drinking water may be increased by acid precipitation. Decreasing pH increases corrosiveness of water enhancing the mobilization of metal salts from soil; metallic compounds may be mobilized from minerals, which may eventually reach drinking water. Also, the dissolution of metals (Pb, Cd, Cu) from piping systems for drinking water by soft acidic waters of high corrosivity may increase metal concentrations in drinking water. Exposures have occasionally reached concentrations which are in the range where adverse health effects may be expected in otherwise healthy persons. Dissolution from piping systems can be prevented by neutralizing the water before distribution. Increased aluminum concentrations in water is a result mainly of the occurrence of Al in acidified natural waters and the use of Al chemicals in drinking water purification. If such water is used for dialysis in patients with chronic renal failure, it may give rise to cases of dialysis dementia and other disorders. A possible influence on health of persons with normal renal function (e.g., causing Alzheimer's disease) is uncertain and requires further investigation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
To assess disease mortality among people with exposure to metal-rich particulate air pollution.
We conducted a cohort study on mortality from 1981 to 2005 among 33,573 people living near a nickel/copper smelter in Harjavalta, Finland. Nickel concentration in soil humus was selected as an indicator for long-term exposure. Relative risks--adjusted for age, socioeconomic status, and calendar period--were calculated for three exposure zones.
The relative risks for diseases of the circulatory system by increasing exposure were 0.93 (95% confidence interval = 0.79 to 1.09), 1.20 (1.04 to 1.39), and 1.18 (1.00 to 1.39) among men and 1.01 (0.88 to 1.17), 1.20 (1.04 to 1.38), and 1.14 (0.97 to 1.33) among women. Exclusion of smelter workers from the cohort did not materially change the results.
Long-term environmental exposure to metal-rich air pollution was associated with increased mortality from circulatory diseases.
The effect of temperature on the heart rate (fH) of Carcinus maenas exposed to a sublethal nominal concentration (0.5 mg l(-1)) of copper is reported. Adult, intermoult males (4 cm carapace width) were collected from Stavanger Fjord (Norway) in August (seawater TEMPERATURE=17 degrees C) and maintained in the laboratory (fed ad libitum) at 5, 15 and 25 degrees C for 7 days. Following this holding period, crabs were exposed to waterborne copper at the same temperature. After 3 days of exposure, individual fH was measured using the non-invasive Computer Aided Physiological MONitoring system (CAPMON) method. Copper-exposed individuals demonstrated significantly increased fH compared with controls at 5 and 25 degrees C (P