Themed collection Recent Open Access Articles
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.
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.
Passive air sampling for semi-volatile organic chemicals
A comprehensive and critical review of the state-of-knowledge on the sampling of trace organic contaminants from the atmosphere without the help of a pump.
Strategies for grouping per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to protect human and environmental health
Grouping strategies are needed for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), in part, because it would be time and resource intensive to test and evaluate the more than 4700 PFAS on the global market on a chemical-by-chemical basis.
Quantifying the efficiency and selectivity of organohalide dechlorination by zerovalent iron
The various types and definitions of efficiency and selectivity that are used to quantitate the performance of organohalide reduction by zerovalent iron are reviewed and compared.
The atmospheric chemistry of indoor environments
The review article summarizes the wide variety of atmospheric chemistry phenomena that occur indoors.
The concept of essential use for determining when uses of PFASs can be phased out
The concept of essential use is developed and applied to various uses of PFASs to determine the feasibility of elimination or substitution in each use category.
Illuminating the dark side of indoor oxidants
A review of the current understanding of oxidants and their precursors in indoor environments.
Isocyanic acid (HNCO) and its fate in the atmosphere: a review
Isocyanic acid (HNCO) has recently been identified in ambient air at potentially concerning concentrations for human health. Since its first atmospheric detection, significant progress has been made in understanding its sources and sinks.
Emerging investigator series: towards a framework for establishing the impacts of pharmaceuticals in wastewater irrigation systems on agro-ecosystems and human health
Use of reclaimed wastewater for agricultural irrigation is seen as an attractive option to meet agricultural water demands of a growing number of countries suffering from water scarcity.
Methane emissions: choosing the right climate metric and time horizon
We compare and make recommendations for the use of different climate metrics and time horizons with respect to methane emissions, applying to a case study of LNG as a shipping fuel.
Sunlight-mediated inactivation of health-relevant microorganisms in water: a review of mechanisms and modeling approaches
Inactivation occurs via direct and indirect processes in sunlit waters.
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.
Interactions with freshwater biofilms cause rapid removal of common herbicides through degradation – evidence from microcosm studies
We found that biofilms drive the removal of bentazone, metazachlor and metribuzin from water through rapid mineralization of these herbicides, rather than by their sorption and accumulation.
Levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in ski wax products on the market in 2019 indicate no changes in formulation
In the summer of 2019, eleven of the best-selling fluorinated ski wax products were purchased from one of Norway's largest sports stores and soon after analysed for a suite of 26 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Emerging per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in human milk from Sweden and China
Emerging per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were investigated in human milk from Stockholm (Sweden), and the cities of Shanghai, Jiaxing, and Shaoxing (China).
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.
Emerging investigator series: a holistic approach to multicomponent EXAFS: Sr and Cs complexation in clayey soils
Strontium and caesium are fission products of concern at many nuclear legacy sites. In this study we used a novel approach to EXAFS spectra to determine the details of Cs and Sr surface complexation in clayey soils.
Dynamic baselines for the detection of water quality impacts – the case of shale gas development
Shale gas, geothermal resources and CO2 storage require secure water storage at depth in the Earth. This study shows that the specific conductance of groundwater can be used to detect deep waters leaking from depth.
Fates and spatial variations of accumulation mode particles in a multi-zone indoor environment during the HOMEChem campaign
We report on significant spatial gradients of accumulation mode particles emitted during the HOMEChem campaign and assess particle loss pathways.
Anthropogenic influences on Zambian water quality: hydropower and land-use change
Hydropower dams along with urban and agricultural land-use changes are altering surface water quality in the Zambezi River Basin, Zambia. Field data reveal local impacts and point to monitoring needs for safeguarding water resources under pressure.
Refinement and extension of COSMO-RS-trained fragment contribution models for predicting the partition properties of C10–20 chlorinated paraffin congeners
New COSMO-RS-trained fragment contribution models provided quantum chemically based predictions for a range of chlorinated paraffin congener groups and mixtures regarding partition properties and their temperature dependence.
Risk assessment of soil heavy metal contamination at the census tract level in the city of Santa Ana, CA: implications for health and environmental justice
Soil-based risk assessment shows a U.S. city to exceed federal acceptable risk levels for both non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic health outcomes in many areas, with total risk and soil contamination being correlated with socioeconomic factors.
Characterising and communicating the potential hazard posed by potentially toxic elements in indoor dusts from schools across Lagos, Nigeria
PTEs measured in Lagos indoor dusts were higher than those reported from other Nigerian cities, and suggest PTE build up in recent years. However, the calculated risks factors were within acceptable limits for both children and adults.
Exploring variations of hexabromocyclododecane concentrations in riverine sediments along the River Medway, UK
Concentrations of HBCDD were measured in surface sediment samples collected along the course of the River Medway, UK, between Yalding and the mouth of the estuary at 40 different sites.
Frequency of use of household products containing VOCs and indoor atmospheric concentrations in homes
VOCs are used ubiquitously in consumer products. This population study investigates a wide-range of VOC concentrations indoors and links high butane concentrations with universal and frequent aerosol use.
Emerging investigator series: chemical and physical properties of organic mixtures on indoor surfaces during HOMEChem
Organic films on indoor surfaces serve as a medium for reactions and for partitioning of semi-volatile organic compounds and thus play an important role in indoor chemistry.
The fate of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances in a marine food web influenced by land-based sources in the Norwegian Arctic
Local point sources (mainly firefighting stations) and diffuse sources contributed to the exposure of PFAS to the marine food web near Longyearbyen on Svalbard. Certain PFOS substitutes showed a bioaccumulation potential in marine invertebrates.
Adsorption of double-stranded ribonucleic acids (dsRNA) to iron (oxyhydr-)oxide surfaces: comparative analysis of model dsRNA molecules and deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA)
Systematic adsorption studies reveal comparable adsorption characteristics of dsRNA and DNA to iron oxides, suggesting that information on DNA adsorption in soils can inform dsRNA fate predictions in environmental risk assessment of RNAi crops.
An overview of the uses of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
Systematic description of more than 200 uses of PFAS and the individual substances associated with each of them (over 1400 PFAS in total).
Modeling of 210Pb and 210Po radionuclide emissions from local power plants in central Poland
Due to the more volatile nature of 210Po in relation to 210Pb, an imbalance of activity concentrations in high temperature combustion processes can be observed, especially in fine particulates (diameter < 0.1, 0.2 and 0.5 μm).
Natural estrogens in surface waters of a catchment with intensive livestock farming in Switzerland
Agriculture is a source of natural estrogens such as 17β-estradiol in streams, but in our study concentrations never exceeded European environmental quality standards for more than a day.
Secondary organic aerosol tracers and related polar organic compounds between urban and rural areas in the Eastern Mediterranean region: source apportionment and the influence of atmospheric oxidants
The formation, abundance and sources of secondary organic aerosol markers and other related polar organic species were investigated at two Eastern Mediterranean sites.
Interannual, summer, and diel variability of CH4 and CO2 effluxes from Toolik Lake, Alaska, during the ice-free periods 2010–2015
CH4 and CO2 fluxes from Toolik Lake obtained for the first time with eddy covariance during ice-free periods 2010–2015.
Highly sensitive multi-residue analysis of veterinary drugs including coccidiostats and anthelmintics in pond water using UHPLC-MS/MS: application to freshwater ponds in Flanders, Belgium
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites formed by fungi growing on crops, which may end up in the aquatic environment through rainfall and surface runoff from (manure-amended) cropland, posing a potential environmental risk.
The importance of aromaticity to describe the interactions of organic matter with carbonaceous materials depends on molecular weight and sorbent geometry
DOM sorption by CMs is generally controlled by DOM aromaticity but complex sorbent surfaces with high porosity, curvatures and functional groups strongly reduce the importance of aromaticity for sorption.
A novel model concept for modelling the leaching of natural toxins: results for the case of ptaquiloside
Illustration of the processes considered in the model affecting toxin fate at the pedon-scale ( = ptaquiloside).
Surface precipitation of Mn2+ on clay minerals enhances Cd2+ sorption under anoxic conditions
Under anoxic conditions, clay minerals sorb dissolved Mn(II) predominantly by forming surface precipitates, which increase Cd sorption.
The ecological half-life of radiocesium in surficial bottom sediments of five ponds in Fukushima based on in situ measurements with plastic scintillation fibers
Ecological half-life (Teco) of 137Cs concentration over wide pond areas of surface sediments was evaluated from in situ monitoring with plastic scintillation fibers (PSF) between 2013 and 2019.
Multimodal X-ray microanalysis of a UFeO4: evidence for the environmental stability of ternary U(V) oxides from depleted uranium munitions testing
An environmentally aged (>25 years) radioactive particle of UFeO4 recovered from soil contaminated with munitions depleted uranium (DU) was characterised by microbeam multimodal synchrotron X-ray analysis.
Composition and photo-reactivity of organic matter from permafrost soils and surface waters in interior Alaska
Yedoma permafrost soils are especially susceptible to abrupt thaw due to their exceptional thickness and high ice content.
Secondary organic aerosol formation from evaporated biofuels: comparison to gasoline and correction for vapor wall losses
With an ongoing interest in displacing petroleum-based sources of energy with biofuels, we measure and model the formation and composition of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from organic compounds present in biofuels.
Cooking and electronic cigarettes leading to large differences between indoor and outdoor particle composition and concentration measured by aerosol mass spectrometry
This study assesses aerosol chemical composition PM1 (<1 μm) with the state-of-the-art techniques inside and outside of an occupied residence.
Interactions of ferrous iron with clay mineral surfaces during sorption and subsequent oxidation
Under anoxic conditions, clay minerals sorb dissolved Fe(II) predominantly by forming surface precipitates, which transform into Fe(III)-phases upon aeration.
Photochemical fate of quaternary ammonium compounds in river water
The photochemical fate of quaternary ammonium compounds in surface water is largely influenced by reaction with hydroxyl radicals.
Aging induced changes in ice nucleation activity of combustion aerosol as determined by near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy
Soot particles aged in acidic aqueous solutions reveal significantly enhanced ice nucleating activity.
Quantitative measures of myo-IP6 in soil using solution 31P NMR spectroscopy and spectral deconvolution fitting including a broad signal
Inositol phosphates, particularly myo-inositol hexakisphosphate (myo-IP6), are an important pool of soil organic phosphorus (P) in terrestrial ecosystems.
Temporal trends of suspect- and target-per/polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), extractable organic fluorine (EOF) and total fluorine (TF) in pooled serum from first-time mothers in Uppsala, Sweden, 1996–2017
Temporal trends (1996–2017) of suspect- and target-per/polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), extractable organic fluorine (EOF) and total fluorine (TF) were determined in first-time mothers from Uppsala, Sweden.
A simple field-based biodegradation test shows pH to be an inadequately controlled parameter in laboratory biodegradation testing
We developed a field-based biodegradation test based on OECD 309 which minimizes the need for laboratory resources. Significant differences in biodegradation rates were observed between parallel lab and field tests likely due to pH disparities.
A geospatially resolved database of hydraulic fracturing wells for chemical transformation assessment
A database to unify physicochemical parameters of oil and gas wells with chemical additive disclosures helps highlight chemical transformation potential across the United States with geospatial specificity, informing improved industrial practice and environmental assessment.
Determinants of serum concentrations of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in school children and the contribution of low-level PFAA-contaminated drinking water
In order to improve human health risk assessment of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs), demography/life-style/physiological factors and drinking water PFAA concentrations were investigated as possible determinants of child serum PFAA concentrations.
Insights into origins and function of the unexplored majority of the reductive dehalogenase gene family as a result of genome assembly and ortholog group classification
Classifying all reductive dehalogenase genes from organohalide respiring bacteria, including nine newly closed genomes, predicts function and conserved synteny within species.
Reduction of 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP): pathways and mechanisms from computational chemistry calculations
Lesser halogenated halocarbons such as 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP) are persistent under most conditions, but reductive beta-elimination favors complete dechlorination by hydrogenolysis of the allyl chloride intermediate.
Comprehensive screening of quaternary ammonium surfactants and ionic liquids in wastewater effluents and lake sediments
Quaternary ammonium compounds were found at substantial levels in wastewater effluents and sediment samples with wastewater treatment practices and usage rates determining their environmental prevalence.
Trends in heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls and toxicity from sediment cores of the inner River Thames estuary, London, UK
River islands (Ait or Eyot) within the inner tidal Thames serve as unique recorders of current and historical estuarine chemical pollution.
A global atmospheric chemistry model for the fate and transport of PFCAs and their precursors
Global model for the atmospheric chemistry of PFCA precursors.
Effects of surface tension time-evolution for CCN activation of a complex organic surfactant
Time-evolving partitioning effects on surface tension and bulk water activity cancel out in Köhler predictions of CCN activation of mixed NAFA–NaCl particles.
Emerging investigator series: use of behavioural endpoints in the regulation of chemicals
Suggestion for how the use of behavioral endpoints can improve in environmental risk assessment of chemicals.
About this collection
Please see below for recent Open Access papers published in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts.