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Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology publishes authoritative reviews on the occurrence, effects, and fate of pesticide residues and other environmental contaminants. It will keep you informed of the latest significant issues by providing in-depth information in the areas of analytical chemistry, agricultural microbiology, biochemistry, human and veterinary medicine, toxicology, and food technology.



Vertical and Long-Range Transport of Persistent Organics in the Atmosphere

Persistent or semivolatile organic compounds (SOC) are found today in pristine areas far from the production and use of products containing these substances. Ample evidence has been given in the literature that even in remote areas compounds with low vapor pressures can be found, indicating the long-range transport of semivolatile organic pollutants to locally source-free regions. For example, PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and C9-C28 alkanes have been measured in air over the oceans (Jury et al. 1987). Toxaphene and chlordane have been found in Nordic countries in spite of the fact that these compounds have hardly been used in these countries (Andersson et al. 1988). Uptake of SOC in terrestrial biota in Scandinavia is said to be governed by atmospheric transport (Larsson et al. 1990). Apparently, these phenomena result from transport of such compounds over long distances. This transport is believed to take place mainly in the air medium, particularly in the troposphere, as a result of the relatively long residence times of SOC in the atmosphere.
Pim de Voogt, Bo Jansson

Phytotoxicity of Herbicide Vapor

It has been known for more than 40 years, since the introduction of modern herbicides, that certain compounds can produce phytotoxic vapor during and after spray application (Baskin and Walker 1953; Zimmerman et al. 1953) and thus contaminate sensitive crops and natural vegetation. These volatile herbicides do not belong to one specific chemical type or category of use, but are often, although not exclusively, either an ester-based formulation or intended for soil incorporation. One advantage of herbicides formulated as esters is that they are generally more efficacious than the equivalent salt formulation due to the higher solubility of nonpolar compounds in the waxes of the leaf surface, which in turn leads to increased uptake and hence phytotoxicity. The result is that the same degree of weed control can be achieved with a smaller amount of ester-based herbicide than is possible with the salt. Another advantage of ester formulations is that they can be tank-mixed with other pesticides so that a crop can be sprayed with the minimum number of operations. Herbicide vapor itself may play a role in weed control because it is probably well-distributed in the crop canopy immediately after application and thus available for assimilation by weeds that were not adequately sprayed. In the case of soil-incorporated herbicides, vapor may facilitate the distribution through soil air spaces (Hance et al. 1973), as well as contribute to long-term weed control by its slow release from soil (Swann and Behrens 1972).
Victor G. Breeze

Hazards from Pathogenic Microorganisms in Land-Disposed Sewage Sludge

Municipal sewage sludge is a complex mixture of organic and inorganic compounds of biological and mineral origin that are removed from wastewater and sewage in sewage treatment plants. Sludge is a by-product of physical (primary treatment), biological (activated sludge, trickling filters, or rotating biological contractors), and physiochemical (precipitation with lime, ferric chloride, or alum) treatment of wastewater. Many of the pathogenic microorganisms present in raw wastewaters will find their way into municipal sludges. Treatment of these sludges by anaerobic or aerobic digestion and/or dewatering will reduce the number of pathogens, but significant numbers will remain. The type of treatment will determine the concentrations and relative risk of disposal.
Timothy M. Straub, Ian L. Pepper, Charles P. Gerba

Remediation of Contaminated Sediments in the Laurentian Great Lakes

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system (Laurentian Great Lakes) extends more than 3200 km inland from the Atlantic Ocean to almost the midpoint of the North American continent. The basic character of the Great Lakes was established during the last glacial retreat in North America, some 10–12 thousand years ago (Hough 1958). There are five large lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario) drained through interconnecting channels or rivers (St. Marys River, the Straits of Mackinac, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, the Niagara River, and the St. Lawrence River). Combined, this complex has a total surface water area of 246,000 km2, volume of 23,000 km3, and total basin area (land and water) of 774,000 km2. These lakes represent one of the largest bodies of freshwater on Earth, containing approximately 18% of the world’s surface-flowing freshwater. The U.S.-Canada border bisects four of the lakes; however, Lake Michigan is located wholly in the U.S. (Fig. 1).
Michael A. Zarull, Alena Mudroch

Cholinesterases of Aquatic Animals

Cholinesterases (ChE) were discovered in 1906 (Hunt and Taveaux 1906). In 1943, a hypothesis was advanced that two types of enzymes exist, referred to as “true cholinesterases” and “pseudocholinesterases.” According to the latest nomenclature, they correspond to two groups: acetylcholinesterase-acetylcholine-acetylhydrolase [EC, acetylcholinesterase (AChE)] and cholinesterase-acylcholine-acylhydrolase [EC, butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE)] (Dikson and Webb 1982; Nomenclature of Enzymes 1979).
V. I. Kozlovskaya, F. L. Mayer, O. V. Menzikova, G. M. Chuyko


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