Lockdown Measures Which Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions With Little Negative Impact on Quality of Life

Niemi, M; Skelton, A; Noone, K; Olsson, MJ
2021 | Earth Future | 9 (5)
covid-19 , greenhouse-gas emissions , lockdown measures , quality of life
Lockdown measures in response to the new Covid-19 virus have caused the largest ever fall of annual greenhouse gas emissions. A key question that we attempt to answer in this study is which, if any, of these measures can be productively encouraged post-lockdown in efforts to sustain at least part of this reduction in emissions. Sweden is uniquely suited for our study because the voluntary nature of lockdown in Sweden allowed us to assess the level of compliance to recommendations and its effects on greenhouse gas emissions. First, we assessed the change of perceived quality of life (QOL) among 746 individuals from Stockholm region due to adhering to lockdown measures. Second, we calculated the associated change of annual per capita greenhouse emissions. We found that avoiding travel for work, avoiding purchasing, and avoiding restaurants had the least negative effect on QOL, and at the same time the largest positive effect on carbon dioxide equivalent (CO(2)e) emission reductions. We conclude that these are potential leverage points for stimulating behavioral change that has a positive climatic impact.

Chemical speciation of mercury, sulfur and iron in a dystrophic boreal lake sediment, as controlled by the formation of mackinawite and framboidal pyrite

Skyllberg, U; Persson, A; Tjerngren, I; Kronberg, RM; Drott, A; Meili, M; Bjorn, E
2021 | Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta | 294 (106-125)
aqueous-solutions , baltic sea , boreal lake , chemical speciation , hydrogen-sulfide , iron , isotope-dilution , k-edge xanes , mackinawite , mercury , mercury biogeochemistry , metacinnabar , methyl mercury , methylmercury , organic-matter , pyrite , ray-absorption spectroscopy , sulfur , wetland soils
The chemical speciation of mercury (Hg), methyl mercury (MeHg), sulfur and iron was investigated in the sediment and porewater of Lake Angessjon, a boreal, shallow (maximum depth 2.5 m), oligo-/dystrophic lake in northern Sweden. The lake receives terrestrial stream runoff from surrounding coniferous forest soils and peatlands having a low pH (4.6) and high concentrations of dissolved organic matter (DOM, annual average: 45 mg L-1), Fe (60 mu M), sulfate (105 mu M), inorganic Hg (1200 pM) and MeHg (250 pM). Sulfur K-edge XANES and Hg L-m-edge EXAFS spectroscopic measurements were used to characterize and quantify the sulfur speciation in the lake sediment at nine occasions, covering different seasons in the years of 2007 and 2009. In the surface sediment (0-3 cm) sulfate is reduced to zero-valent S and inorganic sulfide, that in turn reacts with Fe to form FeSm (mackinawite) and FeS2 (framboidal pyrite). The latter mineral becomes increasingly dominant by depth in the sediment. Thermodynamic modeling successfully predicted measured porewater concentrations of Hg in the sediment. Metacinnabar (beta-HgS) and Hg(NOM-RS)(2) complexes (the latter formed as a reaction between Hg(II) and thiol groups associated with natural organic matter, NOM-RSH) were the dominant forms of Hg(II) in the solid phase of sediments and Hg(II)-polysulfides (aq) dominated in the porewater. We argue that FeS m is a key component that indirectly controlled the Hg (II) speciation in the sediment by keeping the aqueous phase concentration of inorganic sulfide in the 0.5-2 mu M range throughout the year. Besides providing a pool of readily soluble inorganic sulfide for formation of beta-HgS(s), as demonstrated by previously reported EXAFS experiments, we further suggest FeS m may serve as a precursor for the formation of a more crystalline (less soluble) beta-HgS(s) phase than present in environments devoid of FeSm. Support for this was provided by comparing our results with previously reported thermodynamic modelling results of Hg(II) and MeHg solubility in organic soils devoid of FeSm. In more general terms, we suggest the presence or absence of FeSm, through its influence on the chemical speciation of Hg and MeHg, may be a key factor behind the variability in rates of Hg(II) and MeHg transformation processes, such as methylation, reduction and demethylation, reported for different environmental settings. (C) 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Suspect and non-target screening of ovarian follicular fluid and serum – identification of anthropogenic chemicals and investigation of their association to fertility

Hallberg, I; Plassmann, M; Olovsson, M; Holte, J; Damdimopoulou, P; Sjunnesson, YCB; Benskin, JP; Persson, S
2021 | Environ. Sci.-Process Impacts | 23 (10) (1578-1588)
bisphenol-a concentrations , contaminants , embryo score , exposure , infertility , mass spectrometry , perfluorinated chemicals , perfluoroalkyl , polychlorinated biphenyls , women
In this work, ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-high resolution (Orbitrap) mass spectrometry-based suspect and non-target screening was applied to follicular fluid (n = 161) and serum (n = 116) from women undergoing in vitro fertilization in order to identify substances that may be associated with decreased fertility. Detected features were prioritized for identification based on (i) hazard/exposure scores in a database of chemicals on the Swedish market and an in-house database on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); (ii) enrichment in follicular fluid relative to serum; and (iii) association with treatment outcomes. Non-target screening detected 20 644 features in follicular fluid and 13 740 in serum. Two hundred and sixty-two features accumulated in follicular fluid (follicular fluid: serum ratio >20) and another 252 features were associated with embryo quality. Standards were used to confirm the identities of 21 compounds, including 11 PFAS. 6-Hydroxyindole was associated with lower embryo quality and 4-aminophenol was associated with higher embryo quality. Overall, we show the complexity of follicular fluid and the applicability of suspect and non-target screening for discovering both anthropogenic and endogenous substances, which may play a role in fertility in women.

Permafrost Thaw Increases Methylmercury Formation in Subarctic Fennoscandia

Tarbier, B; Hugelius, G; Sannel, ABK; Baptista-Salazar, C; Jonsson, S
2021 | Environ. Sci. Technol. | 55 (10) (6710-6717)
availability , carbon , holocene development , mercury distribution , methylation rates , peatlands , pollution , ponds , stocks , tracer
Methylmercury (MeHg) forms in anoxic environments and can bioaccumulate and biomagnify in aquatic food webs to concentrations of concern for human and wildlife health. Mercury (Hg) pollution in the Arctic environment may worsen as these areas warm and Hg, currently locked in permafrost soils, is remobilized. One of the main concerns is the development of Hg methylation hotspots in the terrestrial environment due to thermokarst formation. The extent to which net methylation of Hg is enhanced upon thaw is, however, largely unknown. Here, we have studied the formation of Hg methylation hotspots using existing thaw gradients at five Fennoscandian permafrost peatland sites. Total Hg (HgT) and MeHg concentrations were analyzed in 178 soil samples from 14 peat cores. We observed 10 times higher concentrations of MeHg and 13 times higher %MeHg in the collapse fen (representing thawed conditions) as compared to the peat plateau (representing frozen conditions). This suggests significantly greater net methylation of Hg when thermokarst wetlands are formed. In addition, we report HgT to soil organic carbon ratios representative of Fennoscandian permafrost peatlands (median and interquartile range of 0.09 +/- 0.07 mu g HgT g(-1) C) that are of value for future estimates of circumpolar HgT stocks.

Fate of active pharmaceutical ingredients in a northern high-rate algal pond fed with municipal wastewater

Lindberg, RH; Namazkar, S; Lage, S; Ostman, M; Gojkovic, Z; Funk, C; Gentili, FG; Tysklind, M
2021 | Chemosphere | 271
algal biomass , alternative green treatment techniques , hydrophobicity driven removal , removal mechanisms
Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are vital to human health and welfare, but following therapeutic use, they may pose a potential ecological risk if discharged into the environment. Today's conventional municipal wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove APIs specifically, and various techniques, preferably cost-effective and environmentally friendly, are being developed and evaluated. Microalgae-based treatment of wastewater is a sustainable and low-cost approach to remove nutrients and emerging contaminants. In this study, a North Sweden high-rate algal pond (HRAP) using municipal untreated wastewater as medium, was investigated in terms of API distribution and fate. Three six-day batches were prepared during 18 days and a total of 36 APIs were quantified within the HRAP of which 14 were removed from the aqueous phase above 50% and seven removed above 90% of their initial concentrations. Twelve APIs of a hydrophobic nature were mostly associated with the algal biomass that was harvested at the end of each batch. HRAPs treatment successfully removed 69% of studied APIs (25 of 36 studied) in six day time. The distribution of various APIs between the aqueous phase and biomass suggested that several removal mechanisms may occur, such as hydrophobicity driven removal, passive biosorption and active bioaccumulation. (C) 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

The Baltic Sea: An ecosystem with multiple stressors

Dietz, R; Sonne, C; Jenssen, BM; Das, K; de Wit, CA; Harding, KC; Siebert, U; Olsen, MT
2021 | Environ Int | 147
baltic , biomarkers , health effects , mercury , pops
This introductory chapter to our Environment International VSI does not need an abstract and therefore we just include our recommendations below in order to proceed with the resubmission. Future work should examine waterbirds as food web sentinels of multiple stressors as well as Baltic Sea food web dynamics of hazardous substances and how climate change may modify it. Also, future work should aim at further extending the new frameworks developed within BALTHEALTH for energy and contaminant transfer at the population level (Des forges et al., 2018, Cervin et al., 2020/this issue Silva et al., 2020/this issue) and their long term effects on Baltic Sea top predators, such as harbour porpoises, grey seals ringed seals, and white-tailed eagles. Likewise, the risk evaluation conducted for PCB in connection with mercury on Arctic wildlife (Dietz et al., 2019, not a BONUS BALTHEALTH product) could be planned for Baltic Sea molluscs, fish, bird and marine mammals in the future. Finally, future efforts could include stressors not covered by the BONUS BALTHEALTH project, such as food web fluxes, overexploitation, bycatches, eutrophication and underwater noise.

Combining Headspace Solid-Phase Microextraction with Internal Benchmarking to Determine the Elimination Kinetics of Hydrophobic UVCBs

Suhring, R; Sjoholm, KK; Mayer, P; MacLeod, M
2021 | Environ. Sci. Technol. | 55 (16) (11125-11132)
chemical activity , equilibrium sampling , exposure , hs-spme , internal benchmarking , kinetic bcf , mixture analysis , suspect-screening analysis
Substances classified as unknown or variable composition, complex reaction products or biological origin (UVCB) present a challenge for environmental hazard and risk assessment. Here, we present a novel approach for whole-substance bioconcentration testing applied to cedarwood oil-an essential oil composed of volatile, hydrophobic organic chemicals. The method yields whole-body elimination rate constants for a mixture of constituents. Our approach combines in vivo dietary fish exposure with internal benchmarking and headspace solid-phase micro-extraction (HS-SPME) equilibrium sampling followed by suspect-screening analysis. We quantified depuration rate constants of 13 individual cedarwood oil constituents based on relative peak areas using gas chromatography (GC) coupled with Orbitrap-mass spectrometry (MS) and GC triple-quadrupole (QqQ)-MS. For seven constituents with available analytical standards, we compared the rate constants to the results obtained from solvent extraction, clean-up, and targeted GC-MS analysis. The HS-SPME sampling approach allowed for automated sample extraction and analyte enrichment while minimizing evaporative losses of the volatile target analytes and reducing matrix interferences from low-volatility organics. The suspect-screening analysis enabled the quantification of constituents without available analytical standards, while the internal benchmarking significantly reduced variability from differences in delivered dose and analytical variability between the samples.

Accelerating permafrost collapse on the eastern Tibetan Plateau

Gao, TG; Zhang, YL; Kang, SC; Abbott, BW; Wang, XM; Zhang, TJ; Yi, SH; Gustafsson, O
2021 | Environ. Res. Lett. | 16 (5)
climate change , permafrost , soil organic carbon , tibetan plateau
Permafrost collapse can rapidly change regional soil-thermal and hydrological conditions, potentially stimulating production of climate-warming gases. Here, we report on rate and extent of permafrost collapse on the extensive Tibetan Plateau, also known as the Asian Water Tower and the Third Pole. Combined data from in situ measurements, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), manned aerial photographs, and satellite images suggest that permafrost collapse was accelerating across the Eastern Tibetan Plateau. From 1969 to 2017, the area of collapsed permafrost has increased by approximately a factor of 40, with 70% of the collapsed area forming since 2004. These widespread perturbations to the Tibetan Plateau permafrost could trigger changes in local ecosystem state and amplify large-scale permafrost climate feedbacks.

Zeppelin-led study on the onset of new particle formation in the planetary boundary layer

Lampilahti, J; Manninen, HE; Nieminen, T; Mirme, S; Ehn, M; Pullinen, I; Leino, K; Schobesberger, S; Kangasluoma, J; Kontkanen, J; Jarvinen, E; Vaananen, R; Yli-Juuti, T; Krejci, R; Lehtipalo, K; Levula, J; Mirme, A; Decesari, S; Tillmann, R; Worsnop, DR; Rohrer, F; Kiendler-Scharr, A; Petaja, T; Kerminen, VM; Mentel, TF; Kulmala, M
2021 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 21 (16) (12649-12663)
aerosol , airborne measurements , boreal forest , formation events , ion , nucleation , po valley , size distribution , spectrometer , sulfuric acid
We compared observations of aerosol particle formation and growth in different parts of the planetary boundary layer at two different environments that have frequent new particle formation (NPF) events. In summer 2012 we had a campaign in Po Valley, Italy (urban background), and in spring 2013 a similar campaign took place in Hyytiala, Finland (rural background). Our study consists of three case studies of airborne and ground-based measurements of ion and particle size distribution from similar to 1 nm. The airborne measurements were performed using a Zeppelin inside the boundary layer up to 1000m altitude. Our observations show the onset of regional NPF and the subsequent growth of the aerosol particles happening almost uniformly inside the mixed layer (ML) in both locations. However, in Hyytiala we noticed local enhancement in the intensity of NPF caused by mesoscale boundary layer (BL) dynamics. Additionally, our observations indicate that in Hyytiala NPF was probably also taking place above the ML. In Po Valley we observed NPF that was limited to a specific air mass.

Screening the baseline fish bioconcentration factor of various types of surfactants using phospholipid binding data

Droge, STJ; Scherpenisse, P; Arnot, JA; Armitage, JM; McLachlan, MS; von der Ohe, PC; Hodges, G
2021 | Environ. Sci.-Process Impacts | 23 (12) (1930-1948)
alcohol ethoxylates , alkylbenzene sulfonate , cationic surfactants , environmental properties , ionizable organic-chemicals , liquid chromatography , metabolic biotransformation rates , quaternary ammonium-compounds , risk assessment , water partition-coefficients
Fish bioconcentration factors (BCFs) are commonly used in chemical hazard and risk assessment. For neutral organic chemicals BCFs are positively correlated with the octanol-water partition ratio (K-OW), but K-OW is not a reliable parameter for surfactants. Membrane lipid-water distribution ratios (D-MLW) can be accurately measured for all kinds of surfactants, using phospholipid-based sorbents. This study first demonstrates that D-MLW values for ionic surfactants are more than 100 000 times higher than the partition ratio to fish-oil, representing neutral storage lipid. A non-ionic alcohol ethoxylate surfactant showed almost equal affinity for both lipid types. Accordingly, a baseline screening BCF value for surfactants (BCFbaseline) can be approximated for ionic surfactants by multiplying D-MLW by the phospholipid fraction in tissue, and for non-ionic surfactants by multiplying D-MLW by the total lipid fraction. We measured D-MLW values for surfactant structures, including linear and branched alkylbenzenesulfonates, an alkylsulfoacetate and an alkylethersulfate, bis(2-ethylhexyl)-surfactants (e.g., docusate), zwitterionic alkylbetaines and alkylamine-oxides, and a polyprotic diamine. Together with sixty previously published D-MLW values for surfactants, structure-activity relationships were derived to elucidate the influence of surfactant specific molecular features on D-MLW. For 23 surfactant types, we established the alkyl chain length at which BCFbaseline would exceed the EU REACH bioaccumulation (B) threshold of 2000 L kg(-1), and would therefore require higher tier assessments to further refine the BCF estimate. Finally, the derived BCFbaseline are compared with measured literature in vivo BCF data where available, suggesting that refinements, most notably reliable estimates of biotransformation rates, are needed for most surfactant types.

Perinatal exposure to a glyphosate-based herbicide causes dysregulation of dynorphins and an increase of neural precursor cells in the brain of adult male rats

Cattani, D; Struyf, N; Steffensen, V; Bergquist, J; Zamoner, A; Brittebo, E; Andersson, M
2021 | Toxicology | 461
basal ganglia , dynorphin , glutamate , glyphosate-based herbicide , granule , growth , hippocampus , immunoreactivity , maldi ims , modulation , nestin , parkinsons-disease , steroids , substantia nigra , temporal-lobe
Glyphosate, the most used herbicide worldwide, has been suggested to induce neurotoxicity and behavioral changes in rats after developmental exposure. Studies of human glyphosate intoxication have reported adverse effects on the nervous system, particularly in substantia nigra (SN). Here we used matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) to study persistent changes in peptide expression in the SN of 90-day-old adult male Wistar rats. The animals were perinatally exposed to 3 % GBH (glyphosate-based herbicide) in drinking water (corresponding to 0.36 % of glyphosate) starting at gestational day 5 and continued up to postnatal day 15 (PND15). Peptides are present in the central nervous system before birth and play a critical role in the development and survival of neurons, therefore, observed neuropeptide changes could provide better understanding of the GBH-induced long term effects on SN. The results revealed 188 significantly altered mass peaks in SN of animals perinatally exposed to GBH. A significant reduction of the peak intensity (P < 0.05) of several peptides from the opioid-related dynorphin family such as dynorphin B (57 %), alpha-neoendorphin (50 %), and its endogenous metabolite des-tyrosine alpha-neoendorphin (39 %) was detected in the GBH group. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed a decreased dynorphin expression and showed a reduction of the total area of dynorphin immunoreactive fibers in the SN of the GBH group. In addition, a small reduction of dynorphin immunoreactivity associated with non-neuronal cells was seen in the hilus of the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Perinatal exposure to GBH also induced an increase in the number of nestin-positive cells in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus. In conclusion, the results demonstrate long-term changes in the adult male rat SN and hippocampus following a perinatal GBH exposure suggesting that this glyphosate-based formulation may perturb critical neurodevelopmental processes.

Compound-Specific Radiocarbon Analysis of Low Molecular Weight Dicarboxylic Acids in Ambient Aerosols Using Preparative Gas Chromatography: Method Development

Xu, BQ; Cheng, ZN; Gustafsson, O; Kawamura, K; Jin, B; Zhu, SY; Tang, TG; Zhang, BL; Li, J; Zhang, G
2021 | Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. | 8 (2) (135-141)
Low molecular weight dicarboxylic acids constitute a large fraction of atmospheric organic aerosols, which impact atmospheric radiative forcing and hence Earth's climate. Radiocarbon (C-14) is a unique approach to unambiguously distinguishing the relative contributions of biomass-derived and fossil sources. Here, we developed a compound-specific radiocarbon analysis (CSRA) method for individual dicarboxylic acids in atmospheric particulates. Specifically, the method starts with a dibutyl ester derivatization technique, followed by separation and harvesting of single compounds employing AIMS a preparative capillary gas chromatography in sufficient amounts for offline C-14 measurement with accelerator mass spectrometry. The optimized preparative steps yielded recoveries of >60% and purities of >99% for target molecules. The radiocarbon isotope compositions determined for reference standards taken through the entire method agree well with the original composition of each standard (R-2 = 0.9998). The applicability of the approach was demonstrated with ambient aerosol samples representing contrasting air mass regimes. This yielded two radically different yet system-consistent precursor sources. A minimum size of 50 mu g of C of ambient dicarboxylic acids is needed for credible C-14 measurement. The established method for CSRA of dicarboxylic acids demonstrates a new analytical dimension for studies of the source and evolution of atmospheric secondary organic aerosols.

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