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Organic and inorganic contaminants in marine sediments off northern Mozambique

Results from the R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen environmental survey











FAO. 2020. Organic and inorganic contaminants in marine sediments off Northern Mozambique – Results from the R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen environmental survey. FAO EAF-Nansen Programme Report No. 18. Rome. 




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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    How to clean up pesticide contaminated soils
    Promising option: Bio- and phyto-remediation technologies
    2024
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    Around half the obsolete pesticides in the world can be found in the former Soviet Union, according to estimates, with a large portion currently sitting in Central Asia. Due to the mandatory application and oversupply of pesticides during the Soviet period – including pesticides that are banned today – there remain numerous landfills and agricultural land in the region contaminated with obsolete pesticides above safe health and use levels. The numbers and sizes of landfills differ from country to country, but what has remained the same throughout the years is that pesticides have been spread widely, leading to large-scale soil contamination in vast regions – including areas that contain villages and farmlands. The key to addressing this large-scale soil contamination by pesticides in the region is the soil remediation. However, considering the large areas and volumes involved, cleaning solutions must be economic.Soil remediation is a method used to remove, immobilize or transform pollutants from contaminated soils for the protection of human and animal health and the environment. Untreated contaminated soil poses numerous risks, depending on the contaminant, such as human health risks, ecosystem service disruptions, water resource pollution and biodiversity loss. Older pesticides were often based on a chemical group called persistent pollutants, which tend to accumulate in the food chain and cause serious long-term impacts. Through remediation processes, various soil pollutants – heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, persistent pollutants, pesticides and others – can be removed or transformed by certain microorganisms and plant species. Since bioremediation and phytoremediation are more environmentally friendly, sustainable and cost effective than other soil cleaning methods (e.g. excavation and incineration), they are among the best and cheapest options for addressing lightly polluted soils, especially in Central Asia.This leaflet is to introduce the concept of bio- and phyto- remediation technologies for the pesticide contaminated soils in Central Asia. These remediation technologies are very cost-effective methods for restoring contaminated soils compared to physical or chemical remediation methods. Its use case is mainly for low-contaminated soils where a short remediation time is not important. It can be implemented worldwide, especially when it relies on locally existing microorganisms. This leaflet aims to introduce these novel technologies for further implementations across the Central Asia.
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    Article
    Human dietary exposure to chemicals in sub-Saharan Africa: safety assessment through a total diet study 2020
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    Background Human dietary exposure to chemicals can result in a wide range of adverse health effects. Some substances might cause non-communicable diseases, including cancer and coronary heart diseases, and could be nephrotoxic. Food is the main human exposure route for many chemicals. We aimed to assess human dietary exposure to a wide range of food chemicals. Methods We did a total diet study in Benin, Cameroon, Mali, and Nigeria. We assessed 4020 representative samples of foods, prepared as consumed, which covered more than 90% of the diet of 7291 households from eight study centres. By combining representative dietary surveys of countries with findings for concentrations of 872 chemicals in foods, we characterised human dietary exposure. Findings Exposure to lead could result in increases in adult blood pressure up to 2·0 mm Hg, whereas children might lose 8·8–13·3 IQ points (95th percentile in Kano, Nigeria). Morbidity factors caused by coexposure to aflatoxin B1 and hepatitis B virus, and sterigmatocystin and fumonisins, suggest several thousands of additional liver cancer cases per year, and a substantial contribution to the burden of chronic malnutrition in childhood. Exposure to 13 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from consumption of smoked fish and edible oils exceeded levels associated with possible carcinogenicity and genotoxicity health concerns in all study centres. Exposure to aluminium, ochratoxin A, and citrinin indicated a public health concern about nephropathies. From 470 pesticides tested across the four countries, only high concentrations of chlorpyrifos in smoked fish (unauthorised practice identified in Mali) could pose a human health risk. Interpretation Risks characterised by this total diet study underscore specific priorities in terms of food safety management in sub-Saharan Africa. Similar investigations specifically targeting children are crucially needed.
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    Examining the applicability of UAV-based photogrammetry to assess sediment yield from small fire-affected forests
    XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022
    2022
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    Forest clearance after a fire is commonly implemented in fire-affected forests in South Korea, removing damaged vegetation and ash-litter layers. It undoubtedly affects hydrological processes, thereby leads to severe soil erosion to the downstream waterbodies such as stream, reservoir, dam. Therefore, accurate understanding of the magnitude of sediment yields is a prerequisite to implement the sediment control measures in the fire-affected region. Over the past decades, direct field measurement of sediment yields has been conducted over the world, particularly in South Korea. The traditional field survey has restricted to the application due to requiring a lot of labor and time and is only used to small and limited area. In this study, we tried to overcome the limitations of traditional approach by monitoring the sediment yield variations through images obtained from UAVs. For this purpose, direct field survey and UAV image-based photogrammetry were conducted on erosion control dams located in the downstream of mountain terrain. A comparison of sediment deposition in the dams were done to assess the applicability and reliability of UAV photogrammetry in forest sectors. The results show that UAV-derived photogrammetry technique can be considered as the alternative of field surveying when estimates the relief and terrain shape in a site where direct access and available resource are limited. This study may introduce a simple and accurate methodology for measuring soil loss and sediment yield on degraded mountain areas. Keywords: Monitoring and data collection ID: 3623072

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