In situ #measurement of #cesium-137 #contamination in #fruits from the northern #Marshall Islands (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

In situ measurement of cesium-137 contamination in fruits from the northern Marshall Islands

Carlisle E. W. Topping, Maveric K. I. L. Abella, Michael E. Berkowitz, Monica Rouco Molina, Ivana Nikolić-Hughes, Emlyn W. Hughes, and Malvin A. Ruderman

PNAS first published July 15, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1903481116

Contributed by Malvin A. Ruderman, May 15, 2019 (sent for review March 5, 2019; reviewed by Paul Cadden-Zimansky and Katrin Karbstein)

Related Articles: Radiation maps of ocean sediment from the Castle Bravo crater – Jul 10, 2019; Background gamma radiation and soil activity measurements in the northern Marshall Islands – Jul 10, 2019

 

Significance

The United States performed nuclear testing on Bikini and Enewetak Atolls in the northern Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958. Fallout from the largest test Bravo, detonated in 1954, spread over a large area, exposing to radiation not only land and ocean but also Marshallese people living in neighboring atolls, including Rongelap and Utirik. Cesium-137, present in the fallout, has a half-life of approximately 30 y and is readily absorbed by food crops, thus representing a health hazard for island inhabitants. In situ measurements of cesium-137 content were made for fruits from 11 islands on four atolls. Contamination remains above limits set by international safety standards in some measured fruits, and several islands display contamination from this human-made radionuclide.

 

Abstract

Radioactive contamination of fruits in the northern Marshall Islands, resulting from the US nuclear weapons testing program in the 1940s and 1950s, is still a human health concern, in particular pertaining to island population resettlement and the economic benefit from farming. Over 200 fruits, primarily coconuts and pandanus, were collected on 11 islands from four atolls in the northern Marshall Islands in 2017. The energy spectra from nuclear gamma decays were measured on a research vessel for each fruit in situ. From these recordings, the level of cesium-137 (137Cs) contamination was determined for individual fruits. Comparisons of the results are made to past studies and international food safety standards. There is a broad distribution of values, ranging from below detectable radiation levels to relatively high levels; safety concerns are largest for Bikini Island. A noticeable fraction of fruits from Bikini have significantly higher levels of 137Cs contamination compared with those from all other measured islands.

Marshall Islands – food – radiation – cesium-137 – Bikini

Keywords: Environmental pollution; Environmental disasters; Radiations; Radionuclides; Marhsall Islands; Food safety.

—–

Advertisements

#Radiation #maps of #ocean #sediment from the Castle Bravo #crater (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Radiation maps of ocean sediment from the Castle Bravo crater

Emlyn W. Hughes, Monica Rouco Molina, Maveric K. I. L. Abella, Ivana Nikolić-Hughes, and Malvin A. Ruderman

PNAS first published July 15, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1903478116

Contributed by Malvin A. Ruderman, May 14, 2019 (sent for review March 1, 2019; reviewed by David Kawall and Yury G. Kolomensky)

Related Articles: In situ measurement of cesium-137 contamination in fruits from the northern Marshall Islands – Jul 10, 2019; Background gamma radiation and soil activity measurements in the northern Marshall Islands – Jul 10, 2019

 

Significance

High-yield thermonuclear explosions cause enormous radioactive contamination to the environment. These “hydrogen bombs,” when tested on small islands in the ocean, vaporize the land and produce radionuclides that settle in the ocean sediment. Even decades later, significant contamination may remain in the sediment surface and deep into the sediment layers. Measuring the radioactive contamination of the crater sediment is a first step in assessing the overall impact of nuclear weapons testing on the ocean ecosystems. We find radiation levels orders of magnitude above background for plutonium-(239,240), americium-241, and bismuth-207 in the top 25 cm of sediment across the entire Bravo bomb crater, the location of the largest aboveground US nuclear weapons test.

 

Abstract

On March 1, 1954, the United States conducted its largest thermonuclear weapon test in Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands; the detonation was code-named “Castle Bravo.” Radioactive deposits in the ocean sediment at the bomb crater are widespread and high levels of contamination remain today. One hundred thirty cores were collected from the top 25 cm of surface sediment at ocean depths approaching 60 m over a ∼2-km2 area, allowing for a presentation of radiation maps of the Bravo crater site. Radiochemical analyses were performed on the following radionuclides: plutonium-(239,240), plutonium-238, americium-241, bismuth-207, and cesium-137. Large values of plutonium-(239,240), americium-241, and bismuth-207 are found. Comparisons are made to core sample results from other areas in the northern Marshall Islands.

Bravo crater – Bikini Island – cesium-137 – ocean sediment – plutonium

Keywords: Environmental pollution; Environmental disasters; Radiations; Radionuclides; Marshall Islands.

——

Background #gamma #radiation and #soil activity #measurements in the northern #Marshall Islands (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Background gamma radiation and soil activity measurements in the northern Marshall Islands

Maveric K. I. L. Abella, Monica Rouco Molina, Ivana Nikolić-Hughes, Emlyn W. Hughes, and Malvin A. Ruderman

PNAS first published July 15, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1903421116

Contributed by Malvin A. Ruderman, May 15, 2019 (sent for review March 1, 2019; reviewed by Joanna Kiryluk and Ernst Sichtermann)

Related Articles: Radiation maps of ocean sediment from the Castle Bravo crater – Jul 10, 2019; In situ measurement of cesium-137 contamination in fruits from the northern Marshall Islands – Jul 10, 2019

 

Significance

From 1946 to 1958, the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands, a remote constellation of atolls in the Pacific Ocean that was then a US trust territory. Two atolls, Bikini and Enewetak, were used as ground zero for the tests, which caused unprecedented environmental contamination and, for the indigenous peoples of the islands, long-term adverse health effects. In addition to the populations of Bikini and Enewetak, the people of Rongelap and Utirik were also affected by radioactive fallout from the largest nuclear test the United States has ever conducted, the Bravo test held March 1, 1954. This article presents a picture of current radiological conditions by examining external gamma radiation and soil radionuclide activity concentrations.

 

Abstract

We report on measurements of external gamma radiation on 9 islands in 4 atolls in the northern Marshall Islands, all of which were affected by the US nuclear testing program from 1946 to 1958 (Enjebi, Ikuren, and Japtan in Enewetak Atoll; Bikini and Enyu in Bikini Atoll; Naen in Rongelap Atoll; and Aon, Elluk, and Utirik in Utirik Atoll). We also report americium-241, cesium-137, plutonium-238, and plutonium-239,240 activity concentrations in the soil samples for 11 islands in 4 northern atolls (Enewetak, Japtan, Medren, and Runit in Enewetak Atoll; Bikini and Enyu in Bikini Atoll; Naen and Rongelap in Rongelap Atoll; and Aon, Elluk, and Utirik in Utirik Atoll) and from Majuro Island, Majuro Atoll in the southern Marshall Islands. Our results show low external gamma radiation levels on some islands in the Enewetak Atoll and Utirik Atoll, and elevated levels on Enjebi Island in the Enewetak Atoll, on Bikini Atoll, and on Naen Island in the Rongelap Atoll. We perform ordinary kriging on external gamma radiation measurements to provide interpolated maps. We find that radionuclides are absent from all Majuro soil samples, and that they are present at highest activity concentrations in samples from Runit and Enjebi islands (Enewetak Atoll), Bikini Island (Bikini Atoll), and Naen Island (Rongelap Atoll). We contextualize all results by making comparisons between islands and to various standards, as well as to regions of the world affected by nuclear accidents. We also discuss implications for informed decision-making by the Marshallese and local atoll governments and their people on issues pertaining to island resettlement.

Marshall Islands – cesium-137 – external gamma radiation – soil activity – plutonium

Keywords: Environmental pollution; Environmental disasters; Radiations; Radionuclides; Marshall Islands.

——-

Pervasive #Arctic #lead #pollution suggests substantial #growth in #medieval #silver production modulated by #plague, #climate, and #conflict (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Pervasive Arctic lead pollution suggests substantial growth in medieval silver production modulated by plague, climate, and conflict

Joseph R. McConnell, Nathan J. Chellman, Andrew I. Wilson, Andreas Stohl, Monica M. Arienzo, Sabine Eckhardt, Diedrich Fritzsche, Sepp Kipfstuhl, Thomas Opel, Philip F. Place, and Jørgen Peder Steffensen

PNAS first published July 8, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1904515116

Edited by Eric W. Wolff, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, and accepted by Editorial Board Member A. R. Ravishankara June 13, 2019 (received for review March 15, 2019)

 

Significance

Detailed lead pollution measurements in an array of 13 ice cores spanning nearly half the Arctic showed surprisingly similar temporal variability during the past 2 millennia until the Industrial Revolution. Lead pollution increased by 250- to 300-fold from the Early Middle Ages to the 1970s industrial peak, reflecting large-scale emissions changes from ancient European silver production, recent fossil fuel burning, and other industrial activities. Pronounced decadal-scale increases coincided with exploitation of new mining districts, technology development, and periods of economic prosperity, while decreases coincided with climate disruptions, famines, major wars, and plagues. Despite midlatitude pollution abatement policies that reduced Arctic lead pollution by >80% since the 1970s, recent levels remain 60-fold higher than at the start of the Middle Ages.

 

Abstract

Lead pollution in Arctic ice reflects large-scale historical changes in midlatitude industrial activities such as ancient lead/silver production and recent fossil fuel burning. Here we used measurements in a broad array of 13 accurately dated ice cores from Greenland and Severnaya Zemlya to document spatial and temporal changes in Arctic lead pollution from 200 BCE to 2010 CE, with interpretation focused on 500 to 2010 CE. Atmospheric transport modeling indicates that Arctic lead pollution was primarily from European emissions before the 19th-century Industrial Revolution. Temporal variability was surprisingly similar across the large swath of the Arctic represented by the array, with 250- to 300-fold increases in lead pollution observed from the Early Middle Ages to the 1970s industrial peak. Superimposed on these exponential changes were pronounced, multiannual to multidecadal variations, marked by increases coincident with exploitation of new mining regions, improved technologies, and periods of economic prosperity; and decreases coincident with climate disruptions, famines, major wars, and plagues. Results suggest substantial overall growth in lead/silver mining and smelting emissions—and so silver production—from the Early through High Middle Ages, particularly in northern Europe, with lower growth during the Late Middle Ages into the Early Modern Period. Near the end of the second plague pandemic (1348 to ∼1700 CE), lead pollution increased sharply through the Industrial Revolution. North American and European pollution abatement policies have reduced Arctic lead pollution by >80% since the 1970s, but recent levels remain ∼60-fold higher than at the start of the Middle Ages.

ice core – lead pollution – Arctic  – plague – Middle Ages

 

Footnotes

1 To whom correspondence may be addressed. Email: Joe.McConnell@dri.edu.

Author contributions: J.R.M. designed research; J.R.M., N.J.C., A.S., M.M.A., S.E., D.F., S.K., T.O., P.F.P., and J.P.S. performed research; J.R.M., N.J.C., A.I.W., and A.S. analyzed data; and J.R.M., N.J.C., A.I.W., and A.S. wrote the paper.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. E.W.W. is a guest editor invited by the Editorial Board.

This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1904515116/-/DCSupplemental.

Published under the PNAS license.

Keywords: Arctic; Environmental Pollution; Middle Age; Plague; Wars.

——

#Carbapenemase-producing #Enterobacteriaceae and #Aeromonas spp. present in #wastewater treatment #plant effluent and nearby surface waters in the #US (PLoS One, abstract)

[Source: PLoS One, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

OPEN ACCESS /  PEER-REVIEWED / RESEARCH ARTICLE

Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae and Aeromonas spp. present in wastewater treatment plant effluent and nearby surface waters in the US

Dimitria A. Mathys, Dixie F. Mollenkopf, Sydnee M. Feicht, Rachael J. Adams, Amy L. Albers, David M. Stuever, Susan V. Grooters, Gregory A. Ballash, Joshua B. Daniels, Thomas E. Wittum

Published: June 26, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218650

 

Abstract

Carbapenemase-producing bacteria (CPB) are rare, multidrug resistant organisms most commonly associated with hospitalized patients. Metropolitan wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) treat wastewater from large geographic areas which include hospitals and may serve as epidemiologic reservoirs for the maintenance or expansion of CPB that originate from hospitals and are ultimately discharged in treated effluent. However, little is known about the potential impact of these WWTP CPB on the local surface water and their risk to the public health. In addition, CPB that are present in surface water may ultimately disseminate to intensively-managed animal agriculture facilities where there is potential for amplification by extended-spectrum cephalosporins. To better understand the role of WWTPs in the dissemination of CPB in surface waters, we obtained samples of treated effluent, and both upstream and downstream nearby surface water from 50 WWTPs throughout the US. A total of 30 CPB with clinically-relevant genotypes were recovered from 15 WWTPs (30%) of which 13 (50%) serviced large metropolitan areas and 2 (8.3%) represented small rural populations (P < 0.05). Recovery of CPB was lowest among WWTPs that utilized ultraviolet radiation for primary disinfection (12%), and higher (P = 0.11) for WWTPs that used chlorination (42%) or that did not utilize disinfection (50%). We did not detect a difference in CPB recovery by sampling site, although fewer CPB were detected in upstream (8%) compared to effluent (20%) and downstream (18%) samples. Our results indicate that WWTP effluent and nearby surface waters in the US are routinely contaminated with CPB with clinically important genotypes including those producing Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) and New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM). This is a concern for both public health and animal agriculture because introduction of CPB into intensively managed livestock populations could lead to their amplification and foodborne dissemination.

___

Citation: Mathys DA, Mollenkopf DF, Feicht SM, Adams RJ, Albers AL, Stuever DM, et al. (2019) Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae and Aeromonas spp. present in wastewater treatment plant effluent and nearby surface waters in the US. PLoS ONE 14(6): e0218650. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218650

Editor: Zhi Zhou, Purdue University, UNITED STATES

Received: September 22, 2018; Accepted: June 6, 2019; Published: June 26, 2019

Copyright: © 2019 Mathys et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Availability: The data have been deposited with links to BioProject accession number PRJNA472583 in the NCBI BioProject database (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bioproject/).

Funding: Funding for this project was provided by the USDA NIFA award no. 2014-67005-21709 (TEW, JBD).

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Keywords: Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; Carbapenem; Enterobacteriaceae; Environmental pollution; USA:

——

Efforts to tackle #air #pollution should focus on #accountability (Lancet Resp Med., summary)

[Source: The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, full page: (LINK). Summary, edited.]

Efforts to tackle air pollution should focus on accountability

The Lancet Respiratory Medicine

Published: June 11, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(19)30177-8

___

World Environment Day, held on June 5, 2019, emphasised that health-care providers identify improvements in air quality as a public health priority. However, is the same focus seen among other groups, such as industry, governments, and individuals? Efforts by stakeholders, including policy makers, to improve air quality are gradually being implemented, but it is not always clear whether these efforts are meeting the recommended environmental and health standards, or being robustly monitored, or whether those responsible for delivering these standards will be held accountable should they not be met.

(…)

___

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Environmental Pollution; Public Health.

——

Local #pesticide use intensity conditions #landscape effects on #biological #pest control (Proc Roy Soc B., abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Local pesticide use intensity conditions landscape effects on biological pest control

B. Ricci, C. Lavigne, A. Alignier, S. Aviron, L. Biju-Duval, J. C. Bouvier, J.-P. Choisis,P. Franck, A. Joannon, S. Ladet, F. Mezerette, M. Plantegenest, G. Savary, C. Thomas, A. Vialatte and S. Petit

Published: 05 June 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.2898

 

Abstract

Complex landscapes including semi-natural habitats are expected to favour natural enemies thereby enhancing natural pest biocontrol in crops. However, when considering a large number of situations, the response of natural biocontrol to landscape properties is globally inconsistent, a possible explanation being that local agricultural practices counteract landscape effects. In this study, along a crossed gradient of pesticide use intensity and landscape simplification, we analysed the interactive effects of landscape characteristics and local pesticide use intensity on natural biocontrol. During 3 years, using a set of sentinel prey (weed seeds, aphids and Lepidoptera eggs), biocontrol was estimated in 80 commercial fields located in four contrasted regions in France. For all types of prey excepted weed seeds, the predation rate was influenced by interactions between landscape characteristics and local pesticide use intensity. Proportion of meadow and length of interface between woods and crops had a positive effect on biocontrol of aphids where local pesticide use intensity was low but had a negative effect elsewhere. Moreover, the landscape proportion of suitable habitats for crop pests decreased the predation of sentinel prey, irrespectively of the local pesticide use intensity for weed seeds, but only in fields with low pesticide use for Lepidoptera eggs. These results show that high local pesticide use can counteract the positive expected effects of semi-natural habitats, but also that the necessary pesticide use reduction should be associated with semi-natural habitat enhancement to guarantee an effective natural biocontrol.

 

Footnotes

Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4516268

Keywords: Environmental pollution; Pesticides; Biodiversity.

——