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Prevalence of Toxocara canis eggs in dog faeces from public places of Florence, Italy

Abstract

To determine whether canine faecal contamination may represent a source of environmental contamination with Toxocara canis eggs within the urban area of Florence, a total number of 754 dog faeces were collected in 7 public places and examined by routine floatation technique during one-year period. The total prevalence of intestinal nematode eggs was 8.6 %. Trichuris vulpis (4.6 %) eggs were the most prevalent followed by T. canis (3.6 %) and Ancylostomidae (1.7 %) eggs. Mixed infections included T. canis/T. vulpis (0.7 %), Ancylostomidae/T. canis (0.4 %), and Ancylosto-midae/T. vulpis (0.3 %). Total prevalence of intestinal nematode eggs was significantly higher in spring than in winter (OR = 2.06). Our results indicate a low prevalence of T. canis eggs suggesting that dog faeces left on soil are unlikely to cause high environmental contamination with T. canis eggs in the town of Florence.

Open access
Thallium Toxicity in Humans

Thallium Toxicity in Humans

Thallium is a naturally occurring trace element, widely distributed in the earth's crust, but at very low concentrations. It does not have a known biological use and does not appear to be an essential element for life. It has been considered one of the most toxic heavy metals.

Occasionally, there are reports on thallium poisoning as results of suicide or murder attempt or accident. The main threat to humans is through occupational exposure, environmental contamination, and accumulation in food, mainly in vegetables grown on contaminated soil. Increasing use in emerging new technologies and demanding high-tech industry constantly raise concern about exposure risk to all living organisms. Thallium is considered a cumulative poison that can cause adverse health effects and degenerative changes in many organs. The effects are the most severe in the nervous system. The exact mechanism of thallium toxicity still remains unknown, although impaired glutathione metabolism, oxidative stress, and disruption of potassium-regulated homeostasis may play a role. The lack of data about mutagenic, carcinogenic, or teratogenic effects of thallium compounds in humans calls for further research.

Open access
Dioxin Analysis of Bee Pollen Pellets Collected by Apis mellifera L. in Rural Area of Turkey

Abstract

Bee pollen, an important bee product, is harvested as a food supplement for humans, so it must be safe in terms of toxic components for consumption. The aim of this study is to determine the amounts of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs) and non dioxin-like PCBs (ndl-PCBs) in the bee pollen pellets of Apis mellifera L. collected from Çankırı, located in the central Anatolia region of Turkey, between June and July 2014. Six types of pollen belonging to four families: Centaurea triumfettii L. - Asteraceae family; Brassica spp. L. - Brassicaceae family; Cistus spp. L. - Cistaceae family; Onobrychis spp. L., Hedysarum spp. L. and Trifolium spp. L. - Fabaceae family, were determined through microscopic analysis. Dioxin and PCB congeners were determined in a pooled bee pollen sample and all the results were found lower than the European Union regulatory limits for other foods. To the best of our knowledge, this is among the first studies on dioxin analysis in bee pollen worldwide.

Open access
Prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus and antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus in public transport in Bratislava, Slovakia

Abstract

There is evidence that the transmission of Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus between the community and environmental surfaces still exists. Even the means of this transmission remain uncertain, the public transport system may serve as a potential source of different bacteria, and the contact with contaminated public surfaces may increase the risk for bacterial diseases emergence. This study aimed to investigate S. aureus contamination on Bratislava’s public transport vehicles. Forty samples of hand-touched surfaces were collected during December 2015 and March 2017 by using surface sampling method. S. aureus was detected in all analysed swabs. Simultaneously, antibiotic resistance of S. aureus from swabs was evaluated. Of 40 samples, only 23 % did not contain S. aureus resistant to some of 10 analysed antibiotics. On the other hand, the severe prevalence of highly resistant S. aureus to penicillin, methicillin, ampicillin, and cefoxitin was confirmed. 15 % of isolates displayed resistance to at least three antimicrobial classes. The amount of S. aureus was not significantly influenced by the lines or by the analysed surface (grabs rails or on-board stop buttons). However, there was a statistically significant effect of year period, both between samples from December and March and between samples from the same month but different year. The study confirmed the widespread occurrence of resistant S. aureus in public transport vehicles in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Open access
Ecological Safety of the Baltic Sea in the Aspects of Corrosive Reprocessing of Containers with Toxic Warfare Agents

Abstract

Issue of Corrosion of chemical ammunition dumped in Baltic Sea after WW2 is actual because of recent accidents involving contamination of fish, burns of fishermen and uncautious beach – goers by substances released from chemical ammunition show the need of taking counteractions. This poses a question, if extraction of these dangerous cartridges is possible in safe way without unsealing containers and releasing chemical measures into the environment. The aim of this paper is to examine corrosion rate of chemical munitions materials (in mm/year). This rate allows valuation of time period in which chemical containers remain sealed. In addition paper presents analysis of possibility of safe extraction of chemical ammunition without environment contamination.

Open access
The Honey as a Bioindicator of the Environment

Abstract

Monofloral rape, sunflower, linden and acacia honeys as well as honeys sampled within and around the Austrian towns Vienna and Linz, as well as in rural areas in Lower Austria, were analysed for main and trace elements. The results were tested to be used as indication of urban dust exposure. Main elements of the ash are K, P, and B, which are specific for plant origin. Ash based data correct for dilutions by the sugar matrix. They showed enrichments of Cu, Zn and Mo, whereas the contaminant elements Cd, Pb and Co were found at about the same levels as expectable in dust. Ash-based Al, Fe, Cr and Li were much lower than soil levels obtainable from aqua regia. Among the monofloral honey samples, the effect of adjacent soil was largest for Mn. Most differences between rural areas and urban areas in Vienna and Linz were within experimental errors, both per sample weight and per ash weight. In cases honey samples are considered to trace contaminations, the additional use of ash-based data is recommended.

Open access
Mushrooms as Biomonitors of Heavy Metals Contamination in Forest Areas

Abstract

The aim of the research was to assess the level of contamination with heavy metals (manganese, iron, nickel, copper, zinc, cadmium and lead) in two forest areas selected in different places in Poland: the first one in the Swietokrzyskie Province (forests of the Staporkow Forest Division) and the second one in the Opolskie Province (forests of the Kup Forest Division). The degree of contamination of these forest areas with analytes was found using edible large-fruited mushrooms naturally occurring there - the research was carried out using passive biomonitoring method. Heavy metals in mushrooms (separately in stems and hats) as well as in soil samples were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry with excitation in flame (F-AAS). The obtained results were interpreted by assessing the degree of contamination of forest areas on the basis of concentrations of heavy metals in mushrooms. The obtained results indicate an increased accumulation of heavy metals in hats than in mushrooms stems. On the basis of the obtained data, significant contamination of forest areas with selected heavy metals was also found. This is confirmed by the possibility of using mushrooms as biomonitors in passive biomonitoring of forest areas, which are heavy metal accumulators. In the interpretation of the test results, the phytocumuling factor (PF) was also used. The degree of accumulation of heavy metals, from given forest areas - from soil to mushrooms - was assessed on the basis of determined PF coefficients. In addition, good bioavailability of the analysed analytes by mushrooms was found. Additionally, on the basis of the conducted studies, the possibility of mushroom consumption was assessed - they are not suitable for consumption due to the fact that the permissible concentration standards of heavy metals contained in mushrooms were exceeded.

Open access
Environmental Contamination of Flue-Cured Tobacco with Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Insecticides

Abstract

Indirect contamination of tobacco by DDT, TDE, endrin, dieldrin, and toxaphene was investigated under field conditions. Levels of DDT + TDE in soil ranged from << 0.01 to 0.18 ppm, and those in cured leaves ranged from 0.11 to 1.69 ppm. The lower stalk position at the major test location generally had greater concentrations of DDT + TDE than the middle and upper positions, but distribution of these insecticides among leaf positions was variable for other locations. Residues of DDT in the bottom stalk position were positively correlated with those in the soil. Plant-bed soils did not appear to be a major source of DDT + TDE residues in cured tobacco. Residues of endrin and dieldrin were near or below the limit of detection (0.01 ppm) in soil and cured leaf. Residues of toxaphene ranged from << 0.1 to 4.7 ppm in soil and << 0.3 to 7.7 ppm on tobacco. Toxaphene residues in the bottom and top stalk positions were positively correlated with residues in soil. Contamination by toxaphene appeared to be attributable to uptake from soil and to movement of the insecticide as drift or vapour through the air.

Open access
Environmental contamination with phthalates and its impact on living organisms

Abstract

The relevant literature was reviewed to identify phthalate sources in the environment and problems resulting from phthalate contamination of soil and water. Phthalate properties responsible for their toxicity for living organisms were identified, and the effects of phthalates on humans and animals were described. Special emphasis was placed on the effects of exposure to phthalates on human health. Phthalates are readily released into the environment and create a risk of exposure for humans and other living organisms. They are characterized by reproductive toxicity in humans and animals, they can cause infertility and reproductive problems in males. Phthalates are more toxic in young children, which are much more susceptible to phthalate exposure, including fetal life. Phthalates are used in numerous industries, and they are very difficult to eliminate from our daily surroundings.

Open access
Sorption ability of the soil and its impact on environmental contamination

ABSTRACT

From the physical point of view, soil is a heterogenic polydisperse system. It often becomes a place of a secondary contamination during extinguishing uncontrolled areal fires in nature. Foam extinguishing agents (FEAs), used at these events, basically contain surface active substances and perfluorinated compounds. These tend to be captured in the soil matrix due to their specific properties. Contaminants could be partly flushed out with rainwater, which causes several times dilution of contamination and lower ecotoxic activity. However in the dry season, foam solution infiltrates into the bed soil without any dilution. This study deals with the direct influence of soil the sorption complex on ecotoxicity of five selected FEAs, i.e. Expyrol F 15, Finiflam F 15, Moussol APS F 15, Pyrocool B and Sthamex F 15. The substances tested were prepared in concentration of work solution and then applied on standard soil matrix LUFA 2.3. For experimental purposes, a column infiltration apparatus was designed and compiled. Filtrates were collected and then tested using the plant organisms Sinapis alba and Allium cepa L. The study compared ecotoxicologic effects of filtrates with an original work solution. Moussol APS F 15 seems to be the least ecotoxic of the FEAs tested. A direct influence of soil sorption complex onto ecotoxicity reduction was also established. This finding demonstrates the sorption ability of soil particles and ion exchange activity of the soil matrix. It is a positive finding for biota of aquatic environment, yet at the expense of those in soil

Open access