Themed collection Recent Open Access Articles
To be or not to be degraded: in defense of persistence assessment of chemicals
Characterizing the degradation behavior of chemicals in the environment is a key component of chemical hazard and risk assessment.
Unraveling biogeochemical complexity through better integration of experiments and modeling
A more ubiquitous use of process-based models will enhance the information gained from biogeochemical experimentation through both, a more rigorous interpretation of acquired data and the optimal design of future experiments.
The high persistence of PFAS is sufficient for their management as a chemical class
While per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of synthetic organic substances with diverse structures, properties, uses, bioaccumulation potentials and toxicities, nearly all PFAS are highly persistent.
Perspectives of genetically engineered microbes for groundwater bioremediation
Bacteria degrading 1,2,3-trichloropropane were constructed by genetic engineering and may be applicable for groundwater bioremediation, following the example of 1,2-dichloroethane.
Connecting environmental exposure and neurodegeneration using cheminformatics and high resolution mass spectrometry: potential and challenges
A multi-disciplinary perspective on connecting chemistry, exposure and medical information to “neurotoxicity” for mass spectrometry-based environmental assessment, including multiple interactive resources for readers to use and explore.
Why is high persistence alone a major cause of concern?
High persistence has important implications for chemicals regulation and management.
Can the Stockholm convention address the spectrum of chemicals currently under regulatory scrutiny? Advocating a more prominent role for modeling in POP screening assessment
Applying POP screening to a large chemical domain requires less reliance on individual criteria and more on integrated assessment with models.
Environmental significance of trace elements in the Athabasca Bituminous Sands: facts and misconceptions
The distribution of trace elements (TEs) in the bituminous sands is dichotomous: V, Ni, Mo, Se and Re are found predominantly in the bitumen fraction, and all other TEs in the mineral fraction.
Assessing and managing environmental hazards of polymers: historical development, science advances and policy options
Approaches to regulatory assessment and management of polymers are reviewed and opportunities for improvements are highlighted based on a critical appraisal of current science on their environmental fate and effects.
Influences of climate change on long-term time series of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Arctic and Antarctic biota
Time series of contaminants in the Arctic are an important instrument to detect emerging issues and to monitor the effectiveness of chemicals regulation. Climate change can affect the link between primary emissions and concentrations in Arctic wildlife.
Climate change influence on the levels and trends of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and chemicals of emerging Arctic concern (CEACs) in the Arctic physical environment – a review
Direct and indirect effects of climate change influence contaminant sources, transport, re-distribution and circulation in the physical environment of the Arctic. Linkages of such observations to Arctic ecosystem exposure and effects are needed.
The influence of global climate change on accumulation and toxicity of persistent organic pollutants and chemicals of emerging concern in Arctic food webs
Global climate change-driven shifts in physical and ecological processes may alter POPs concentrations in Arctic food webs.
Influence of climate change on persistent organic pollutants and chemicals of emerging concern in the Arctic: state of knowledge and recommendations for future research
Future climate change in the Arctic will lead to loss of ice, snow and permafrost, increasing human activity and development, and changes in wind and ocean circulation patterns, that could alter the pathways, distribution and fate of contaminants.
A review of simulation experiment techniques used to analyze wildfire effects on water quality and supply
This review covers 40 laboratory- and plot-scale wildfire and rainfall simulation experiments which focus on wildfire hydrologic and water quality effects, guiding future researchers in the optimal design of their own simulation experiments.
Critical review of antibiotic resistance genes in the atmosphere
Our critical review compares ARG profiles in the atmosphere across different locations and discusses characterization methods, atmospheric transport, and future research questions.
A review of microplastic fibres: generation, transport, and vectors for metal(loid)s in terrestrial environments
Synthetic fibre release is an important source of microplastics to agricultural soils, through the application of sewage sludge. Microplastics are potential vectors for the transport of sorbed metal(loid)s from wastewater to soils and organisms.
Occurrence, human exposure, and risk of microplastics in the indoor environment
Pathways of human exposure to MPs and associated risks.
Review of ecotoxicological studies of widely used polystyrene nanoparticles
With polystyrene nanoparticles being widely used in various applications, there is a great need for deeper knowledge on the safety, fate and biological effects of these particles on both individual living organisms and the whole ecosystems.
Battling the known unknowns: a synoptic review of aquatic plastics research from Australia, the United Kingdom and China
A synoptic review of aquatic plastics research from Australia, the United Kingdom and China is presented, highlighting (a) key research and management challenges, and (b) a need to converge on standardised methods and bioindicator species to make global comparisons more reliable.
Finding essentiality feasible: common questions and misinterpretations concerning the “essential-use” concept
The essential-use concept is a tool that can guide the phase-out of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and potentially other harmful substances of concern.
The fate of plastic in the ocean environment – a minireview
The fate of plastic in the ocean is influenced by physical, chemical and biological stressors. These cause fragemntation and the formation of micro and nanoplastics but also degradation of plastics.
Can determination of extractable organofluorine (EOF) be standardized? First interlaboratory comparisons of EOF and fluorine mass balance in sludge and water matrices
The first step towards the urgently needed standardization of EOF methods for PFAS-total assessment is presented in this interlaboratory study.
Molecular speciation controls arsenic and lead bioaccessibility in fugitive dusts from sulfidic mine tailings
Mine tailings are sources of metal(loid)-rich particulate matter (PM), particularly in dry climates. Inhaled or ingested PM bioavailability and toxicity depends on the solid phase speciation and the rate of PM dissolution.
Near-source hypochlorous acid emissions from indoor bleach cleaning
Cleaning surfaces with sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) bleach can lead to high levels of gaseous chlorine (Cl2) and hypochlorous acid (HOCl); these have high oxidative capacities and are linked to respiratory issues.
Quantum chemical calculation of the vapor pressure of volatile and semi volatile organic compounds
Quantum chemistry based calculation methods enable the reliable prediction of the vapor pressure of molecules with rather general structure and are particularly valuable for non-rigid substances with low volatilities.
The dependence of soot particle ice nucleation ability on its volatile content
The removal of volatile content enhances the ice nucleation of soot particles by increasing the particle porosity and surface wettability.
Persistent, mobile, and toxic plastic additives in Canada: properties and prioritization
Prioritization of PMT plastic additives based on their in silico retention in wastewater treatment plants and physical–chemical property space.
Ferrihydrite transformations in flooded paddy soils: rates, pathways, and product spatial distributions
The rate and pathway of ferrihydrite transformation in soil depends on the properties of the soil pore water and diffusion processes.
Heteroaggregation of PS microplastic with ferrihydrite leads to rapid removal of microplastic particles from the water column
Heteroaggregation of microplastic and ferrihydrite leads to sedimentation and therefore removal of microplastic from the water column.
Quantification and physical analysis of nanoparticle emissions from a marine engine using different fuels and a laboratory wet scrubber
A marine test-bed diesel engine was used to study how international fuel sulfur content (FSC) regulations and wet scrubbing can affect physical properties of submicron exhaust particles.
Pinus nigra bark from a mercury mining district studied with high resolution XANES spectroscopy
HR-XANES data suggest that atmospheric (gaseous) elemental mercury (Hg(0)g) is transformed to inorganic Hg(II)-sulphides at the bark surface and subsurface, and further transformed to organic Hg-dithiolate phases at increasing depth inside the bark.
Are cosmetics a significant source of PFAS in Europe? product inventories, chemical characterization and emission estimates
Estimates of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) emission from the use of cosmetics in Europe.
Hydrobiogechemical interactions in the hyporheic zone of a sulfate-impacted, freshwater stream and riparian wetland ecosystem
Biogeochemical cycling of S, Fe, and C in the hyporheic zone is influenced by dynamic hydrologic conditions.
Thallium adsorption onto phyllosilicate minerals
We studied the extent and mode of thallium adsorption onto several phyllosilicate minerals. Thallium, in analogy to cesium, strongly adsorbs onto micaceous phyllosilicates in soils and sediments via complexation in siloxane cavities.
Evaluating atmospheric mercury (Hg) uptake by vegetation in a chemistry-transport model
We study the uptake of atmospheric mercury by vegetation in a chemical transport model and available observations. Due to the importance of this sink in the global mercury cycle, perturbations to forested areas can elevate mercury risks.
Selenium concentration in herring from the Baltic Sea tracks decadal and spatial trends in external sources
We link selenium concentrations in herring muscle and liver spanning four decades and twenty stations along the Swedish coastline to spatio-temporal variability in deposition and riverine source loads.
Demystifying mercury geochemistry in contaminated soil–groundwater systems with complementary mercury stable isotope, concentration, and speciation analyses
A holistic multi-analyses (led by Hg stable isotope analysis), multi-media, multi-site approach to improving contaminated site Hg geochemistry, particularly process tracing.
Physicochemical characterization of particulate matter in a cement production plant
Characterization of particulate matter with regards to size distribution, phase composition and mixing state at various locations at a cement plant.
Early and late cyanobacterial bloomers in a shallow, eutrophic lake
Monitoring of a critical drinking water source reveals not all cyanobacteria that bloom can be detected using the chl-a/biomass relationship. Here we illustrate a shift from N-fixing Dolichospermum to a previously undetected autumn Planktothrix bloom.
Performance evaluation of a 3D-printed sharp-cut cyclone
Sharp-Cute Cyclones (SSCs) are frequently employed as particle separators in aerosol metrology. Here we report on the manufacturing of a cost-effective SCC by 3D-printing, and on the comparison of its performance against a metallic counterpart.
Fate-directed risk assessment of chemical mixtures: a case study for cedarwood essential oil
The fate-directed risk assessment helps evaluate whether the risk assessment of known constituents is representative for an entire UVCB.
A food web bioaccumulation model for the accumulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in fish: how important is renal elimination?
We present a whole-body aquatic food web bioaccumulation model for perfluoroalkyl acids and two alternatives. Results highlight structure-dependent mechanisms, including phospholipid partitioning, blood plasma protein binding, and renal elimination.
Investigating the dynamics of methylmercury bioaccumulation in the Beaufort Sea shelf food web: a modeling perspective
We used a modeling approach to explore how toxicokinetics and food-web trophodynamics affect MeHg bioaccumulation in the Beaufort Sea shelf.
A pilot study on extractable organofluorine and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in water from drinking water treatment plants around Taihu Lake, China: what is missed by target PFAS analysis?
Mass balance analysis of organofluorine in raw and treated water revealed that at least 68% of EOF could not be explained by target PFAS. Ultra-short PFAS (TFA, PFPrA, TFMS, PFEtS and PFPrS) contributed to 6% to 89% of ∑PFAS.
Concentrations and isomer profiles of hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDDs) in floor, elevated surface, and outdoor dust samples from Basrah, Iraq
Within-room (between elevated surface dust and floor dust) and within-home (between indoor and outdoor dust) spatial variability in concentrations of HBCDDs were observed.
Mercury in air and soil on an urban-rural transect in East Africa
Spatially resolved atmospheric gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) concentrations from an urban area in the Southern Hemisphere are reported for the first time.
Emerging investigator series: aqueous-phase processing of atmospheric aerosol influences dissolution kinetics of metal ions in an urban background site in the Po Valley
Fog processing of atmospheric aerosol enhances the solubility and the dissolution kinetics of particle-bound metal ions.
Comparability of semivolatile organic compound concentrations from co-located active and passive air monitoring networks in Europe
Passive and active air-sampling results from 10 years of monitoring for 28 semivolatile organic compounds at six sites across Europe are compared and recommendations for interpreting passive air-sampler results are offered.
Surface properties and rising velocities of pristine and weathered plastic pellets
Theoretical predictions overestimate experimental rising velocities, especially for less spherical (heavily weathered) pellets.
The influence of hardness at varying pH on zinc toxicity and lability to a freshwater microalga, Chlorella sp.
Zinc is an essential element for aquatic organisms, however, activities such as mining and refining, as well as zinc's ubiquitous role in modern society can contribute to elevated environmental concentrations of zinc.
Implications of sample treatment on characterization of riverine dissolved organic matter
We compared how FTICR-MS characterization of riverine dissolved organic matter varied across four sample pre-treatment and instrument ionization methods to provide guidelines for future researchers utilizing FTICR-MS in environmental analyses.
Screening of pesticide distributions in foods of animal origin: a matrix-based approach for biotransfer factor modeling of grazing mammals
A matrix-based approach implemented in the PBK model helps perform high-throughput simulation of residue levels in foods of animal origin.
Graphical tools for the planning and interpretation of polyurethane foam based passive air sampling campaigns
Charts display the length of the linear uptake period, the time to equilibrium, and the loss of depuration compounds for the PUF-PAS. Required are only the length, temperature, and wind speed of deployment and the chemical partitioning properties.
A review of PFAS fingerprints in fish from Norwegian freshwater bodies subject to different source inputs
Fingerprints associated with long-range atmospheric transport, production of paper products, and use of aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) were identified.
Occurrence and stability of ptesculentoside, caudatoside and ptaquiloside in surface waters
The illudane glycosides ptesculentoside, caudatoside and ptaquiloside from bracken ferns (Pteridium sp.) are found in surface waters, follow the same hydrolysis rate law and express similar stability.
Groundwaters in Northeastern Pennsylvania near intense hydraulic fracturing activities exhibit few organic chemical impacts
Hydrogeologic transport contributes to limited organic chemical contamination in a region of intense gas extraction, even 10 years post-development.
Surface-water/groundwater boundaries affect seasonal PFAS concentrations and PFAA precursor transformations
Aqueous PFAS concentrations fluctuate seasonally and precursor concentrations rapidly decline within the surface-water/groundwater boundary, indicating that transport through this boundary can affect spatial and temporal PFAS composition.
Challenges and policy implications of long-term changes in mass absorption cross-section derived from equivalent black carbon and elemental carbon measurements in London and south-east England in 2014–2019
This paper concludes that mass absorption cross-section (MAC) values in London, UK have changed over time. It provides possible explanations and highlights implications for the interpretation of long-term trends.
Temperature-induced diurnal redox potential in soil
Temperature variability controls the extent of the diel EH measured under quasi-stationary conditions in soils and sediments.
Investigating the origin and tissue concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in seafood and health risk in Niger Delta, Nigeria
The origin, tissue concentration, and health risk of PAH contaminants in three economically important species of seafood, including catfish, prawns, and periwinkles from the crude oil-impacted Niger Delta region, were investigated.
Concentrations of halogenated flame retardants and polychlorinated biphenyls in house dust from Lagos, Nigeria
Levels of PCBs and some PBDEs in Lagos house dust have declined, demonstrating the efficacy of restrictions on these chemicals. In contrast, deca-BDE levels show no clear decline; implying its more recent restriction has yet to be fully effective.
Determination of acrolein in ambient air and in the atmosphere of environmental test chambers
Acrolein is released by several sources into indoor air. As it impacts human health, an easy-to-handle, fast and robust method with low detection limits is needed.
Suspect and non-target screening of ovarian follicular fluid and serum – identification of anthropogenic chemicals and investigation of their association to fertility
This work shows the applicability of non-target screening for prioritizing environmental contaminants in the ovarian follicular fluid, identifying both substances associated to embryo quality and with high calculated hazard to humans.
Insights into the factors influencing mercury concentrations in tropical reservoir sediments
Significantly lower total mercury concentrations were observed in sediments in larger (∼1300 km2) compared to smaller reservoirs (<100 km2), suggesting reservoir size to be a critical driver of the amount of Hg accumulating in the sediments.
Particle characterisation and bioaccessibility of manganese in particulate matter in silico- and ferromanganese smelters
(1) Physicochemical characterisation of single particles collected in an FeMn/SiMn furnace hall. (2) Bioaccessibility of manganese in particulate matter tested in terms of dissolution in Gamble solution.
Polyvinyl chloride in consumer and environmental plastics, with a particular focus on metal-based additives
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is one of the most widely used thermoplastics but is also a material of concern because of the generation and release of harmful chemicals during its life cycle.
Water–rock interaction and the concentrations of major, trace, and rare earth elements in hydrocarbon-associated produced waters of the United States
Comparisons of hydrocarbon-produced waters from multiple basins and experiments using multiple shales illustrate water–rock interaction influence on produced water chemistry.
Uptake of perfluorinated alkyl acids by crops: results from a field study
Variability of plant uptake of PFAAs from soil is explored with measured uptake factors for 13 PFAAs in 4 crops.
Introducing a nested multimedia fate and transport model for organic contaminants (NEM)
Nesting allows a new global modelling tool to combine computational efficiency with the fine spatial resolution required for many applications.
Factors affecting the mixed-layer concentrations of singlet oxygen in sunlit lakes
[1O2]SS within lake epilimnia are highly affected by epilimnion depth and are barely affected by DOC concentration within the lake.
About this collection
Please see below for recent Open Access papers published in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts.