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Little is known about the potential complications that may arise from the use of coastal foraminifera for radiocarbon (14C) dating. The aim of this study is to report the fortuitous finding of 14C-dated Haynesina germanica individuals picked from two sediment cores (Pertuis Charentais, France), which appeared 2500–2000 years older than their expected age of deposition. Stratigraphical and micropaleontogical evidence have ruled out the possible effect of reworking of calcareous tests from previous strata. Similar anomalous 14C ages were obtained on abundant lignocellulose debris recovered from the cores, which are supplied by rivers flowing into the study area. Given that H. germanica is an infaunal species, we hypothesize that in-situ living individuals acquired the 14C-depleted isotopic signature of lignocellulose debris within the sediment prior to definitive burial, following an unexplored pathway of carbon transfer between the two compartments. Based on the literature, we propose a plausible explanation, which involves bacterial communities living in the study area. This putative role of bacteria may have considerable importance for past and future studies of Holocene environmental changes in coastal environments. Further work is now needed to explore this hypothesis with more robust, direct evidence based on comprehensive geochemical, geochronological and microbiological studies.
While the Theragāthā contains only ten verses attributed to the Elder Kāludāyi, the Pali commentaries ascribe a further two sets of verses to him. The present article aims to carry out a detailed survey of these verses, which have so far received no scholarly attention, as a contribution to the understanding of the formation of Kāludāyi's verses in the canon and their paracanonical legacy. In this paper, the additional verses of Kāludāyi that appear in the commentaries are critically analysed in light of all other utterances attributed to him, in the canon as well as in the commentaries. The style, syntax, and wordings of specific stanzas of both series will be taken into consideration so as to evaluate their antiquity and their literary quality. When dealing with the rhetorical devices adapted in the stanzas, some Sanskrit poems are also taken into account.
Concentrations of total organic carbon (TOC), total petroleum hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were determined in 84 near-surface soils (5–20cm depth) taken from a 255km2 area of Glasgow in the Clyde Basin, UK, during July 2011. Total petroleum hydrocarbon range was 79–2,505mgkg–1 (mean 388mgkg–1; median 272mgkg–1) of which the aromatic fraction was 13–74 % (mean 44 %, median 43 %) and saturates were 28–87 % (mean 56 %, median 57 %). ∑16 PAH varied from 2–653mgkg–1 (mean 32.4mgkg–1; median 12.5mgkg–1) and ∑31 PAH range was 2.47–852mgkg–1 (mean 45.4mgkg–1; median 19.0mgkg–1). ∑PCBtri-hepta range was 2.2–1052μgkg–1 (mean 32.4μgkg–1; median 12.7μgkg–1) and the ∑PCB7 range was 0.3–344μgkg–1 (mean 9.8μgkg–1; median 2.7μgkg–1). The concentration, distribution and source of the persistent organic pollutants were compared with those found in urban soils from other cities and to human health assessment criteria for chronic exposure to chemicals in soil. Total concentrations encountered were generally similar to other urban areas that had a similar industrial history. Benzo[a]pyrene concentrations were assessed against four different land use scenarios (irrespective of current land use) using generic assessment criteria resulting in six of 84 samples exceeding the residential criteria. Isomeric PAH ratios and relative abundance of perylene suggest multiple and environmentally modified pyrogenic PAH sources, inferred to be representative of diffuse pollution. ∑PCB7 concentrations were exceeded in 10 % of sites using the Dutch target value of 20μgkg–1. PCB congener profiles were environmentally attenuated and generally dominated by penta-, hexa- and hepta-chlorinated congeners.
Surface sediments from a 160-km stretch of the River Clyde, Scotland, were analysed for persistent organic pollutants to investigate distribution, source and environmental effect. Glasgow's urban tributaries polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) ranged from 2.3 to 4226mgkg–1, total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) 72 to 37879mgkg–1 and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) 3 to 809μgkg–1, which were more polluted than the upper River Clyde PAH that ranged from 0.1 to 42mgkg–1, TPH 3 to 260mgkg–1 and PCB 2 to 147μgkg–1. Intermediate values of the inner Clyde estuary PAH ranging from 0.6 to 30mgkg–1, and PCB ranging from 5 to 130μgkg–1, were attributed to point sources and sediment transfer from the urban tributaries. Comparison with sediment quality criteria suggested possible adverse effects on aquatic biota. PAH isomeric ratios confirmed a pyrolytic source throughout the Clyde and benzo[a]pyrene/benzo[g,h,i]perylene ratios >0.6 confirmed that upper, urban and estuarine domains all to a lesser or greater extent accumulated PAH from traffic emissions. The degree of chlorination determined from PCB homologues differed in each of the three domains, suggesting variable source or that the process aerobic/anaerobic degradation varied in each of the three domains. The anthropogenic impact of the city of Glasgow can be quantified in that the urban tributary sediment mean values were 60 (PAH), 33 (TPH) and 11 (PCB) times higher than the rural upper Clyde counterpart.
Surface sediments (n=85) from a 160-km river-estuarine transect of the Clyde, UK, were analysed for total mercury (Hg), saturated hydrocarbons and unresolved complex mixtures (UCMs) of hydrocarbons. Results show that sediment-Hg concentration ranges from 0.01 to 1.38mgkg–1 (mean 0.20mgkg–1) and a spatial trend in Hg-content low–high–low–high, from freshwater source, to Glasgow, to estuary, is evident. In summary, sediment-Hg content is low in the upper Clyde (mean of 0.05Hg mgkg–1), whereas sediments from the Clyde in urbanised Glasgow have higher Hg concentrations (0.04 to 1.26mgkg–1; mean 0.45mgkg–1), and the inner estuary sediments contain less Hg (mean 0.06mgkg–1). The highest mean sediment Hg (0.65mgkg–1) found in the outer estuary is attributed to historical anthropogenic activities. A significant positive Spearman correlation between Hg and total organic carbon is observed throughout the river estuary (0.86; P<0.001). Comparison with Marine Scotland guidelines suggests that no sites exceed the 1.5mgkg–1 criterion (Action Level 2); 22 fall between 0.25 and 1.5mgkg–1 dry wt. (Action Level 1) and 63 are of no immediate concern (<0.25mgkg–1 dry wt.). Saturated (n-alkane) hydrocarbons in the upper Clyde are of natural terrestrial origin. By contrast, the urbanised Glasgow reaches and outer estuary are characterised by pronounced and potentially toxic UCM concentrations in sediments (380–914mg/kg and 103–247mgkg–1, respectively), suggesting anthropogenic inputs such as biodegraded crude oil, sewage discharge and/or urban run-off.
Footprint has become a common term in environmental research in Antarctica, yet after 25 years there is still no certainty about what it refers to. In relation to Antarctica, the closest definition has been ‘the spatial extent and intensity of disturbance’. Yet there is still confusion around what a ‘disturbance’ footprint is actually measuring. This is evident within Committee for Environmental Protection documents, in which there have been over 80 mentions of footprint, with at least eight different meanings, since 1998. To improve clarity in its use by both scientists and policymakers, we first examine the development of the term footprint, how it has been applied, and its usefulness in applications such as interpreting ‘minor or transitory’ activities. We then identify and define a suite of footprint types (disturbance, building, contamination, non-native species, noise, visual, visitation, risk, carbon, ecological, and human), with the aim of developing a common understanding of what the term refers to. Our goal is to ensure the concept of footprint can be a useful environmental tool to facilitate progressing environmental protection.
Contamination of foods with extrinsic (soil) Fe is common in developing countries. However, the bioavailability of this extrinsic Fe and the extent to which it contributes to Fe nutrition remains unknown. The present study compared the bioavailability of laboratory- and field-threshed teff (Eragrostisis tef (Zucc) Trotter) to evaluate the bioavailablity of extrinsic soil Fe that resulted from the traditional threshing of the staple grain. Using sequential extraction, Fe was fractionated and its solubility was evaluated. The contribution of the additional extrinsic (soil) Fe to the Hb regeneration of Fe-depleted rats was evaluated using a rat Hb depletion–repletion assay. Weanling male Wistar rats (n 24) were fed Fe-deficient diet for 21 d, and were then repleted for 14 d with diets: either laboratory-threshed teff (35 mg Fe/kg; n 8), field-threshed teff (35 mg intrinsic Fe/kg+ 120 mg soil Fe/kg; n 8), or FeSO4 (control; n 8). Fe content of field-threshed teff (29·4 mg/100 g) was four times greater than that of the laboratory-threshed (6·7 mg/100 g) teff (P<0·05). Soil contamination significantly increased the exchangeable, acid-soluble and reducible fractions obtained after sequential extraction. The relative biological value of the field-threshed teff (88 %) was higher than that of the laboratory-threshed (68 %) teff (P<0·05). Soil Fe can contribute to Hb regeneration in Fe-deficient rats. Considering that contamination of foods with soil is common in Ethiopia and other developing countries, it needs to be accounted for in the design and implementation of fortification programmes to prevent excessive intakes. Human studies are needed to confirm the present findings.
Early on August 2, 2014, in the city of Toledo, Ohio, a media alert informed the public that traces of microcystin, a hazardous toxin, had been detected in the drinking water. The warning stated that residents should not drink, boil, or even touch the contaminated water. A water crisis of this magnitude was recognized to pose a potentially serious and significant impact on patient care and safety in health care environments. ProMedica Toledo Hospital’s Emergency Operation Plan addressed 3 critical issues: safe water availability, alternate cleaning solutions, and preparations for a prolonged crisis. This report details some of the lessons learned throughout the response to the crisis: particularly, because the impact was county-wide which affected other hospitals who used the same vendors, alternate water sources should have been secured in advance; the courier service was vital to delivery of supplies and moving equipment to alternate areas for sterilization processes; and finally, communication with staff and patients was jeopardized by external media outlets. Changes to the emergency plan considering these unanticipated aspects proved useful in a later incident and should be considered by all health care facilities as water emergency policies and procedures are created and reviewed. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:666–668)
Campylobacteriosis, the most frequent bacterial enteric disease, shows a clear yet unexplained seasonality. The study purpose was to explore the influence of seasonal fluctuation in the contamination of and in the behaviour exposures to two important sources of Campylobacter on the seasonality of campylobacteriosis. Time series analyses were applied to data collected through an integrated surveillance system in Canada in 2005–2010. Data included sporadic, domestically-acquired cases of Campylobacter jejuni infection, contamination of retail chicken meat and of surface water by C. jejuni, and exposure to each source through barbequing and swimming in natural waters. Seasonal patterns were evident for all variables with a peak in summer for human cases and for both exposures, in fall for chicken meat contamination, and in late fall for water contamination. Time series analyses showed that the observed campylobacteriosis summer peak could only be significantly linked to behaviour exposures rather than sources contamination (swimming rather than water contamination and barbequing rather than chicken meat contamination). The results indicate that the observed summer increase in human cases may be more the result of amplification through more frequent risky exposures rather than the result of an increase of the Campylobacter source contamination.
To achieve a reliable radiocarbon (14C) date for an object, any contamination that may be of a different age must be removed prior to dating. Samples that have been conserved with treatments such as adhesives, varnishes or consolidants can pose a particular challenge to 14C dating. At the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU), common examples of such substances encountered include shellac, the acrylic polymers Paraloid B-67 and B-72, and vinyl acetate-derived polymers (e.g. PVA). Here, a non-carbon-containing absorbent substrate called Chromosorb® was deliberately contaminated with a range of varieties or brands of these conservation treatments, as well as two cellulose nitrate lacquers. A selection of chemical pretreatments was tested for their efficiency at removing them. While the varieties of shellac and Paraloid tested were completely removed with some treatments (water/methanol and acetone/methanol/chloroform sequential washes, respectively), no method was found that was capable of completely removing any of the vinyl acetate-derived materials or the cellulose nitrate lacquers. While Chromosorb is not an exact analog of archaeological wood or bone, for example, this study suggests that it may be possible to remove aged shellac and Paraloid from archaeological specimens with standard organic solvent-acid-base-acid pretreatments, but it may be significantly more difficult to remove vinyl acetate-derived polymers and cellulose nitrate lacquers sufficiently to provide reliable 14C dates. The four categories of conservation treatment studied demonstrate characteristic FTIR spectra, while highlighting subtle chemical and molecular differences between different varieties of shellac, Paraloid and cellulose nitrate lacquers, and significant differences between the vinyl acetate derivatives.
Contamination of feedstuffs and ingredients with heavy metals poses a major problem for animal health and the transmission of toxic substances within the human food chain, as these elements can be accumulated into meat, egg and milk products. This paper reports on the levels of the three metals, arsenic, cadmium and lead, that exceed EU permitted levels, within premixes and complete feeds (total of 3417 samples) destined for a variety of animal species and taken from different countries during the period 2009–2016. For this period, 20% of all samples were contaminated at levels above the EU limit. In complete feed, ruminants were at the highest risk of exposure with 47% of samples being contaminated. Lead posed the major risk for minerals and cadmium posed the highest risk for premixes during the sampling period. When compared by country, contamination levels varied widely, with the highest contamination determined for Canada with 50% of samples being above the EU limit. To mitigate problems with heavy metals in animal feeds, due diligence in terms of sampling and testing is a necessary tool to evaluate level of risk. Research has shown that trace minerals can be sources of these heavy metals so the industry should be more diligent regarding their provider's quality guarantees. In addition, feeds identified with contamination should not be fed to animals to ensure that these heavy metal toxins are not passed into edible food products, thus providing safety in the food chain.
The main objective of this report is to present the dating process routinely applied to different types of samples at the Laboratoire de Mesure du Carbone 14 (LMC14). All the results and protocols refer to our procedures over the last 5 years. A description of the sorting and chemical pretreatments of the samples as well as the extraction and graphitization of CO2 are reported. Our last study concerning the degradation of the blank level according to the storage time of the targets between graphitization and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurement is also presented. This article also provides information on how to submit a valid laboratory sample. We give details relating to sampling procedures on site as well as contamination issues relative to the 14C dating methodology.
Information on the dissipation of clomazone, imazapyr, and imazapic in paddy water under different irrigation system is not available in the literature. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of two irrigation systems (intermittent (IF) and continuous (CF) flood) on the dissipation of clomazone, imazapyr, and imazapic in paddy water. Imazapic was the least persistent herbicide in paddy water, with DT50-values of approximately 3 and 5d under CF and IF, respectively. Imazapyr required a two-fold increase in time to reach its half-life in water in contrast to imazapic, with DT50-values of approximately 6 and 11d under CF and IF, respectively. Clomazone showed the highest DT50-values, varying between 7 to 21d under CF and IF, respectively. Imazapyr and imazapic dissipation was faster under CF, while clomazone was not affected. This investigation found that the dissipation behaviors of herbicides vary under different rice irrigation regimes. Thus changes in irrigation management, as will be required to produce more rice grain with less water to avoid future scarcity, should consider impacts of flood management on herbicide persistence and environmental behavior.
The introduction of soybean and cotton traits with resistance to synthetic auxin herbicides has led to an increase in concern over the off-target movement of dicamba and 2,4-D. A direct-mail survey was sent to Missouri pesticide applicators in January of 2016 to understand current herbicide application practices and applicator knowledge and awareness of the new synthetic auxin technologies. Completed surveys were returned by 2,335 applicators, representing approximately 11% of the state’s registered pesticide applicators. Survey data reported herein provides information regarding current pesticide applicator knowledge and practices and highlights areas that need more emphasis during applicator training. Overall, survey respondents were familiar with physical drift and methods to minimize that risk. However respondents were less familiar with volatility and temperature inversions, which can each influence off-target herbicide movement. Of the 427 commercial applicators and 1,535 noncommercial applicators who answered questions regarding volatility, 81% and 74% respectively, recognized that high temperatures can contribute to a herbicide’s ability to volatilize. However, only 48% and 39% understood that a herbicide’s vapor pressure influences volatility. Answers from the survey indicate further education is needed on the synthetic auxin technologies, such as what herbicides can be used with each technology, proper methods for inspecting and cleaning spray equipment, and the importance of reading herbicide labels. When asked whether applicators were aware of the new 2,4-D-resistant and dicamba-resistant traits, 76% of 443 commercial applicators and only 40% of 1,713 noncommercial applicators selected “yes.” Additionally, survey results suggests that current methods aimed to facilitate communication among producers and applicators, such as FieldWatch and Flag the Technology, may not be successfully adopted, at least in Missouri. Findings from this survey can be utilized to enhance training of pesticide applicators in preparation for the synthetic auxin herbicide technologies.
Synthetic rubbers, synthetic plastic polymers (polyvinyl chlorides [PVC]), polyurethane blends, and polyethylene blends make up modern-day agricultural spray hoses. The objective of this study was to determine whether agricultural hose types would differ with respect to 3,6-dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid (dicamba) sequestration. Field and greenhouse studies were conducted to evaluate the sequestration potential of dicamba within five agricultural hose types when cleaned with different cleanout procedures. Rinsate solutions were applied to soybean, which was used as a bio-indicator to test for cleanout efficiency. Differences among hose types and cleanout procedures exist with observations including soybean injury, height reduction, dry matter, yield, and part per million by volume (ppmv) analyte retained. The makeup of PVC polyurethane-blend and synthetic rubber–blend hoses increased retention of dicamba analyte when compared with the polyethylene blend hose. No differences were observed after the addition of ammonia to the cleanout solution when compared with water alone. Differences in a hose type’s ability to sequester the dicamba analyte may have more to do with the hose’s internal chemical composition, manufacturing process, and composition breakdown. Scanning electron microscopy revealed imperfections in new PVC polyurethane and synthetic rubber hoses that eventually lead to inner wall depletion of these hose types. This is in contrast to what was found in the polyethylene-blend hose type, in which the inner wall is smooth and free of imperfections.
At INFN-LABEC (Florence, Italy), a new pretreatment for radiocarbon dating based on chloroform has been recently set up. This method aims to remove the synthetic resins used for artwork restoration, which otherwise could alter the original 14C content. The present study characterizes the efficiency of the process when applied to wood. We have verified whether the effectiveness of the pretreatment depends on the number of extractions in chloroform. We prepared samples by applying different volumes of Paraloid B-72®, one of the most widespread products used in restoration, on poplar wood of known age. Contaminated samples were artificially aged in a climatic chamber. A fraction from each sample was collected before any treatment and after respectively 1, 2, 3, and 4 extractions in chloroform, and 14C dating by AMS, the resin appears to be already removed after the first two extractions. Furthermore, the extracted mixtures of chloroform and possible removed Paraloid were measured by FTIR spectroscopy, the results of which confirmed the 14C results. The efficiency of the pretreatment was also verified on historical wooden materials that had been previously restored. In these cases, a higher number of extractions is required, suggesting a careful approach when dealing with “real” artworks.
Substances enriched with radiocarbon can easily contaminate samples and laboratories used for natural abundance measurements. We have developed a new method using wet chemical oxidation for swabbing laboratories and equipment to test for 14C contamination. Here, we report the findings of 18 months’ work and more than 800 tests covering studies at multiple locations. Evidence of past and current use of enriched 14C was found at all but one location and a program of testing and communication was used to mitigate its effects. Remediation was attempted with mixed success and depended on the complexity and level of the contamination. We describe four cases from different situations.
A series of experiments was carried out previously on board of the International Space Station in ‘EXPOSE-R’, a multi-user expose facility, provided by European Space Agency attached to the external surface of the Russian Segment. In one experiment, spores of microorganisms and species of higher plant seeds, in heat-sealed polymer bags were irradiated by solar radiation passed through MgF2 windows in a high space vacuum. After sample exposure, it was found that in many cases the inner surfaces of windows were contaminated. Analysis of the contamination revealed the presence of chemical groups CH2, CH3, NH, OH, C═O, Si–CH3 (Demets et al. in 2015). Their presence in deposits was explained by photofixation of gaseous precursors – some of the vapours of glues and additives in polymeric materials in the core facility of ‘Expose-R’. Carbon-, oxygen- and silicon-containing groups may be deposited from outer intrinsic atmosphere. This atmosphere is connected with sample compartments and core facility. However, the presence of NH groups on inner surfaces of windows was not expected. This paper shows that the process responsible for carbon-, nitrogen- and oxygen-containing group formation can be a photopolymerization of caprolactam, which is released from the outer Nylon 6 layer of polymer bags under Solar vacuum ultraviolet radiation.
The present study aimed to assess the safety of gluten-free bakery products for consumption by coeliac patients.
In the current exploratory cross-sectional quantitative study, a total of 130 samples were collected from twenty-five bakeries in Brasilia (Brazil). For the quantification of gluten, an ELISA was used. The threshold of 20 ppm gluten was considered as the safe upper limit for gluten-free food, as proposed in the Codex Alimentarius.
The results revealed a total of 21·5 % of contamination among the bakery products sampled. Sixty-four per cent of the bakeries sold at least one contaminated product in our sample.
These findings represent a risk for coeliac patients since the ingestion of gluten traces may be sufficient to adversely impact on their health.
Given the centrality of utopia to the African literary and postcolonial imaginary, science fiction by African writers offers a unique opportunity to explore and critique the sociopolitical salience of imagined African futures. Through a close reading of three short stories in the AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers Vol I (2012) anthology, I illustrate how generic science fiction utopias prove to be much too sterile when applied to an African context and thus do not amount to a viable and sustainable future. Making use of tropes of contagion, there is a clear desire to demonstrate that the human impulse is, in many ways, contrary to the objectives of neat utopias and these stories subsequently seek to “contaminate” the notion of utopia itself. Overall, I suggest that this is indicative of a shifting postcolonial landscape that needs to more carefully weigh the price of its utopias.