Gastric cancer mortality incidence data registered in two different areas of Eastern Transylvania (Roumania) were reported related to 325,000 inhabitants from the period of 1951-1972. The findings were compared to some geographical environmental factors deriving from an area of 13,300 km with 905,700 inhabitants. A 2-3.5 times larger incidence of gastric cancer (75-140 per 100,000/year) was found in some selected geographical areas of the intermontane depressions of Gheorgheni and Ciuc in comparison to hilly area of Transylvanian Tableland. The difference might be explained by some unknown environmental gastric cancer risk factors. Of the natural factors, the presence of magmatic substrata shows a significant degree of correlation. The main pedological factor seems to be badly drained pseudoglyied podzolic and peaty soils of low pH and high content of organic matter. Sofs drinking waters also may be involved as risk factor. High altitude, cold climate determining a restricted assortiment of cultivated plants, the successive production of vegetal and animal food on the same soil for livelong periods and several generations, especially in isolated rural areas, seem to represent gastric cancer risk factors. According to authors' opinion a survey of the high-risk population selected on the basis of the environmental factors, especially of the persons suffering from gastric disorders considered today possible precursors of gastric cancer, may offer some progress in detecting early gastric malignancy in the future.
An extensive amount of literature on linkages between the in-stream physical environment and river benthic macroinvertebrates reports a number of relationships across multiple spatial scales. We analyzed data on different spatial scales to elucidate the linkages between different measurements of hydromorphological degradation and commonly used macroinvertebrate indices. A regression analysis of 1049 sites from 3 countries revealed that the strongest relationship between a biotic metric--average score per taxon--and physiochemical variables (R2 = 0.61) was obtained with a multiple regression model that included concentration of total phosphorus and percent arable land in the catchment, as well as hydromorphological quality variables. Analyses of 3 data sets from streams primarily affected by hydromorphological degradation showed an overall weak relationship (max R2 = 0.25) with the River Habitat Survey data of 28 Swedish streams, whereas moderate (R2 approximately 0.43) relationships with more detailed measurements of morphology were found in 2 Danish studies (39 and 6 streams, respectively). Although evidence exists in the literature on the importance of physical features for in-stream biota in general and macroinvertebrates specifically, we found only relatively weak relationships between various measures of hydromorphological stress and commonly used macroinvertebrate assessment tools. We attribute this to a combination of factors, including 1) the mixed nature of pressures acting on the majority of river reaches, 2) scaling issues (spatial and temporal) when relating habitat surveys to macroinvertebrate assessments, and 3) the scope of commonly used macroinvertebrate assessment systems (mainly focusing on water chemistry perturbation, such as eutrophication and acidification). The need is urgent to develop refined and updated biological assessment systems targeting hydromorphological stress for the use of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) and national water-related policies.
The purpose of the present study was to examine the association of the incidence and severity of primary pulmonary tuberculosis with the anomalies of physical factors (geomagnetic field, gamma-radiation, radon emanation) above the local earth's crustal fractures (LECF) on the territory of Surgut. Analyzing the findings indicated the significant prevalence of both the rates of total primary morbidity of pulmonary tuberculosis and its exudative forms and the predominance of bacterial isolating patients among the residents in the area of LECF versus the continuum. Antituberculosis therapeutic-and-prophylactic measures should be planned, by taking into account the regional features of the state of anomalous physical fields.
In this paper, we present the first comprehensive long-term record of preanthropogenic rates of atmospheric mercury accumulation in dated peat deposits for the High Arctic of Canada. Geochemical studies of two peat hummocks from Bathurst Island, Nunavut reveal substantial inputs from soil dust (titanium), marine aerosols (bromine), and mineral-water interactions (uranium). Mercury, however, was supplied to these peat mounds exclusively by atmospheric deposition. Mercury concentration measurements and age dating of the peat profiles indicate rather constant natural "background" mercury flux of ca. 1 microgram per square meter per year from 5900 to 800 calibrated years BP. These values are well within the range of the mercury fluxes reported from other Arctic locations, but also by peat cores from southern Canada that provide a record of atmospheric Hg accumulation extending back 8000 years. Thus, preanthropogenic Hg fluxes in the Arctic were not significantly different from atmospheric Hg fluxes in the temperate zone. In preindustrial times, therefore, the High Arctic was no more important as a sink for global atmospheric mercury than was the temperate zone.
Comment In: Environ Sci Technol. 2005 Feb 1;39(3):908-9; author reply 910-215757358
This paper reviews problems connected to the use of the deep-sea and sub-sea geological formations for carbon sequestration. We will focus on the risks and dangers involved in using this kind of large-scale engineering approach, which is not yet fully tested, to combat global warming. We will not provide a complete discussion on the technologies involved, but concentrate on a few principal questions, such as the responsibility of environmental scientists involved in this research. We will also discuss carbon sequestration in relation to the precautionary approach. We argue that there may be a place for large-scale engineering attempts, but this should be the last rather than the first option.
A cohort of 54,128 men who worked in Ontario mines was observed for mortality between 1955 and 1986. Most of these men worked in nickel, gold, or uranium mines; a few worked in silver, iron, lead/zinc, or other ore mines. If mortality that occurred after a man had started to mine uranium was excluded, an excess of carcinoma of the lung was found among the 13,603 Ontario gold miners in the study (standardised mortality ratio (SMR) 129, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 115-145) and in men who began to mine nickel before 1936 (SMR 141, 95% CI 105-184). The excess mortality from lung cancer in the gold miners was confined to men who began gold mining before 1946. No increase in the mortality from carcinoma of the lung was evident in men who began mining gold after the end of 1945, in men who began mining nickel after 1936, or in men who mined ores other than gold, nickel, and uranium. In the gold mines each year of employment before the end of 1945 was associated with a 6.5% increase in mortality from lung cancer 20 or more years after the miner began working the mines (95% CI 1.6-11.4%); each year of employment before the end of 1945 in mines in which the host rock contained 0.1% arsenic was associated with a 3.1% increase in lung cancer 20 years or more after exposure began (95% CI 1.1-5.1%); and each working level month of exposure to radon decay products was associated with a 1.2% increase in mortality from lung cancer five or more years after exposure began (95% CI 0.02-2.4%). A comparison of two models shows that the excess of lung cancer mortality in Ontario gold miners is associated with exposure to high dust concentrations before 1946, with exposure to arsenic before 1946, and with exposure to radon decay products. No association between the increased incidence of carcinoma of the lung in Ontario gold miners and exposure to mineral fibre could be detected. It is concluded that the excess of carcinoma of the lung in Ontario gold miners is probably due to exposure to arsenic and radon decay products.
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An east-west regional gradient in cardiovascular mortality was found within seven counties in mid-Sweden during the years 1969-1983. The mortality differences were of considerable magnitude for ischaemic heart disease (IHD) as well as for stroke. In previous reports, in which the distribution of risk factors among middle-aged men was presented, the moderate variation among the communities could not explain the mortality variation. Water hardness has previously been reported to be inversely related to cardiovascular mortality in several countries. In this paper, water samples from all 76 communities in seven counties were analysed in relation to mortality rates from IHD and stroke for men and women. Water hardness (Ca+Mg and other minor constituents), and the sulphate and bicarbonate concentrations of the drinking water were inversely related to IHD as well as stroke mortality. The water factors were also inversely related to non-fatal IHD even when account was taken of the age variation and the traditional risk factors as measured by a postal questionnaire. Variation of the water factors accounted for 41% of the variation in IHD mortality rate and 14% of the variation in stroke mortality rate over the 76 communities.
The typical method of radon mapping usually used in most countries is the presenting of average radon concentrations in dwellings for districts or regions. Sometimes the maps of radon concentrations in the soil or maps of percentage above the reference level also demonstrated. Such approach not always can be used for identification of the regions with high probability of radon exposure above the reference levels where the population density is low. The combination of archive geological data and the results of representative radon survey allow estimating the typical parameters of radon concentration distribution for selected categories of buildings (multi-storey or rural type houses) situated in geological zones with the different radon potential. In this case it is possible to give grounds for the necessary level of radon protection measures in the new buildings constructed in this region. The use of such approach in Ural region of Russia is demonstrated.