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Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology attempts to provide concise, critical reviews of timely advances, philosophy and significant areas of accomplished or needed endeavor in the total field of xenobiotics, in any segment of the environment, as well as toxicological implications.



Letter to the Editor

James Fish

A Global Perspective of Fine Particulate Matter Pollution and Its Health Effects

Fine particulate matter (PM) in the ambient air is implicated in a variety of human health issues throughout the globe. Regulation of fine PM in the atmosphere requires information on the dimension of the problem with respect to variations in concentrations and sources. To understand the current status of fine particles in the atmosphere and their potential harmful health effects in different regions of the world this review article was prepared based on peer-reviewed scientific papers, scientific reports, and database from government organizations published after the year 2000 to evaluate the global scenario of the PM2.5 (particles <2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter), its exceedance of national and international standards, sources, mechanism of toxicity, and harmful health effects of PM2.5 and its components. PM2.5 levels and exceedances of national and international standards were several times higher in Asian countries, while levels in Europe and USA were mostly well below the respective standards. Vehicular traffic has a significant influence on PM2.5 levels in urban areas; followed by combustion activities (biomass, industrial, and waste burning) and road dust. In urban atmosphere, fine particles are mostly associated with different health effects with old aged people, pregnant women, and more so children being the most susceptible ones. Fine PM chemical constituents severely effect health due to their carcinogenic or mutagenic nature. Most of the research indicated an exceedance of fine PM level of the standards with a diverse array of health effects based on PM2.5 chemical constituents. Emission reduction policies with epidemiological studies are needed to understand the benefits of sustainable control measures for fine PM mitigation.
Arideep Mukherjee, Madhoolika Agrawal

A Review of the Environmental Degradation, Ecotoxicity, and Bioaccumulation Potential of the Low Molecular Weight Polyether Polyol Substances

“Polyalkylene glycol” is the name given to a broad class of synthetic organic chemicals which are produced by polymerization of one or more alkylene oxide (epoxide) monomers, such as ethylene oxide (EO) and propylene oxide (PO), with various initiator substances which possess amine or alcohol groups. A generalization of this polymerization reaction is illustrated in Fig. 1.
Thomas Schupp, Tom Austin, Charles V. Eadsforth, Bart Bossuyt, Summer M. Shen, Robert J. West

Impacts of Sublethal Mercury Exposure on Birds: A Detailed Review

Mercury is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant known to accumulate in, and negatively affect, fish-eating and oceanic bird species, and recently demonstrated to impact some terrestrial songbirds to a comparable extent. It can bioaccumulate to concentrations of >1 μg/g in tissues of prey organisms such as fish and insects. At high enough concentrations, exposure to mercury is lethal to birds. However, environmental exposures are usually far below the lethal concentrations established by dosing studies.
The objective of this review is to better understand the effects of sublethal exposure to mercury in birds. We restricted our survey of the literature to studies with at least some exposures >5 μg/g. The majority of sublethal effects were subtle and some studies of similar endpoints reached different conclusions. Strong support exists in the literature for the conclusion that mercury exposure reduces reproductive output, compromises immune function, and causes avoidance of high-energy behaviors. For some endpoints, notably certain measures of reproductive success, endocrine and neurological function, and body condition, there is weak or contradictory evidence of adverse effects and further study is required. There was no evidence that environmentally relevant mercury exposure affects longevity, but several of the sublethal effects identified likely do result in fitness reductions that could adversely impact populations. Overall, 72% of field studies and 91% of laboratory studies found evidence of deleterious effects of mercury on some endpoint, and thus we can conclude that mercury is harmful to birds, and the many effects on reproduction indicate that bird population declines may already be resulting from environmental mercury pollution.
Margaret C. Whitney, Daniel A. Cristol


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Systemische Notwendigkeit zur Weiterentwicklung von Hybridnetzen

Die Entwicklung des mitteleuropäischen Energiesystems und insbesondere die Weiterentwicklung der Energieinfrastruktur sind konfrontiert mit einer stetig steigenden Diversität an Herausforderungen, aber auch mit einer zunehmenden Komplexität in den Lösungsoptionen. Vor diesem Hintergrund steht die Weiterentwicklung von Hybridnetzen symbolisch für das ganze sich in einer Umbruchsphase befindliche Energiesystem: denn der Notwendigkeit einer Schaffung und Bildung der Hybridnetze aus systemischer und volkswirtschaftlicher Perspektive steht sozusagen eine Komplexitätsfalle gegenüber, mit der die Branche in der Vergangenheit in dieser Intensität nicht konfrontiert war. Jetzt gratis downloaden!