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Karlsruhe, Germany

For the assessment of increased PM10 concentrations in air, focus is placed on road traffic as pollutant source. As exceedances of the daily limit value of 50 μg/m3 mainly occur in the winter months, it is indicative that the cause should also be looked for amongst the emissions of small and medium sized heating systems and in particular by the wood stoves which are widespread amongst private households. For this measurement project two monitoring stations which are similarly influenced by road traffic, but which however differ in their PM10 concentrations, were selected. One monitoring station lies in a rural, the other in an urban environment. During an approximately one year measurement campaign the PM10 concentration together with selected organic and inorganic components were analysed. With the aid of specific indicator substances which are contained in the particulate matter it was deduced that the proportion of PM10 due to wood burning stoves in the colder seasons can reach 30%, whereby the contribution in the rural environment was higher than in the urban environment. Source

Brenner B.,Arbeits und Umweltmedizin | Walser S.,Arbeits und Umweltmedizin | Hormansdorfer S.,Arbeits und Umweltmedizin | Tesseraux I.,Landesanstalt fur Umwelt | And 2 more authors.
Hygiene + Medizin | Year: 2013

There are still no causal relationships between bioaerosol-emissions from intensive animal production units and diseases of residents living in the neighbourhood of these facilities. However, more and more studies suggest adverse health effects. This is often discussed in the course of licensing procedures. The environmental health assessment may be performed on the basis of the guideline VDI 4250 Blatt 1 (draft, 2011) "Bioaerosole und biologische Agenzien -Umweltmedizinische Bewertung von Bioaerosol- Immissionen - Wirkungen mikrobieller Luftverunreinigungen auf den Menschen". According to the evaluation scheme of the directive it is undesirable in preventive terms that the natural background concentration is significantly exceeded in the neighbourhood due to plant-specific immissions. Measurements necessary for the assessment of the real concentrations are usually not available. Alternatively, air dispersion calculations are used. The local natural background concentrations - for total bacterial or fungal counts - have been derived from a range of values in the literature. Within this estimation approach uncertainties or inaccuracies exist concerning emission rates and specific bio- aerosol characteristics. Therefore, verifying the predicted bioaerosol concentrations by actual measurements after the beginning of operating the plants may be necessary in doubtful cases. However, due to lack of health related threshold values the health relevance of these bioaerosols cannot be quantified. Therefore, emission-limiting measures are usually not legally claimable. Source

Berner Z.A.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Puchelt H.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Noltner T.,Landesanstalt fur Umwelt | Kramar U.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Sedimentology | Year: 2013

Authigenic pyrite grains from a section of the Lower Toarcian Posidonia Shale were analysed for their trace-element contents and sulphur-isotope compositions. The resulting data are used to evaluate the relationship between depositional conditions and pyrite trace-element composition. By using factor analysis, trace-elements in pyrite may be assigned to four groups: (i) heavy metals (including Cu, Ni, Co, Pb, Bi and Tl); (ii) oxyanionic elements (As, Mo and Sb); (iii) elements partitioned in sub-microscopic sphalerite inclusions (Zn and Cd); and (iv) elements related to organic or silicate impurities (Ga and V). Results indicate that trace-element contents in pyrite depend on the site and mechanism of pyrite formation, with characteristic features being observed for diagenetic and syngenetic pyrites. Diagenetic pyrite formed within anoxic sediments generally has a high heavy metals content, and the degree of pyritization of these elements increases with increasing oxygen deficiency, similar to the degree of pyritization of reactive Fe. The highest gradient in the increase of the degree of trace element pyritization with bottom-water oxygenation was found for the elements Ni Source

Feiler U.,Federal Institute of Hydrology | Ratte M.,ToxRat Solutions GmbH | Arts G.,Wageningen University | Bazin C.,INSAVALOR Division POLDEN | And 20 more authors.
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2014

A whole-sediment toxicity test with Myriophyllum aquaticum has been developed by the German Federal Institute of Hydrology and standardized within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ISO 16191). An international ring-test was performed to evaluate the precision of the test method. Four sediments (artificial, natural) were tested. Test duration was 10 d, and test endpoint was inhibition of growth rate (r) based on fresh weight data. Eighteen of 21 laboratories met the validity criterion of r≥0.09 d-1 in the control. Results from 4 tests that did not conform to test-performance criteria were excluded from statistical evaluation. The inter-laboratory variability of growth rates (20.6%-25.0%) and inhibition (26.6%-39.9%) was comparable with the variability of other standardized bioassays. The mean test-internal variability of the controls was low (7% [control], 9.7% [solvent control]), yielding a high discriminatory power of the given test design (median minimum detectable differences [MDD] 13% to 15%). To ensure these MDDs, an additional validity criterion of CV≤15% of the growth rate in the controls was recommended. As a positive control, 90mg 3,5-dichlorophenol/kg sediment dry mass was tested. The range of the expected growth inhibition was proposed to be 35±15%. The ring test results demonstrated the reliability of the ISO 16191 toxicity test and its suitability as a tool to assess the toxicity of sediment and dredged material. Environ Toxicol Chem 2014;33:662-670. © 2013 SETAC. Source

Gebhardt H.,Landesanstalt fur Umwelt | Rammert U.,Landesamt fur Landwirtschaft | Schroder W.,University of Vechta | Wolf H.,Hessisches Landesamt fur Umwelt und Geologie
Umweltwissenschaften und Schadstoff-Forschung | Year: 2010

Background, aim and scope The use of biomonitoring is proposed for the identification, assessment and documentation of climate change impacts on the biosphere as requested in the German "National Adaptation Strategy" (BMU 2009), because • this method succeeds to present climatic changes in especially sensitive areas of Germany including their habitats, ecosystems, and species, • it can reveal relevant information about the migration and dispersal of new pests and diseases threatening humans, animals and plants, • it can provide politicians with information, documents and a basis for decision support to assess climate change impacts and • it is possible to develop new and to evaluate the effectiveness of existing adaptive measures. It is proposed to use the term .,climate biomonitoring" for biomonitoring methods that are able to indicate climate change effects. For several reasons (e.g. unified methods, common data basis, cost reduction) all federal states should participate in it. Today, bioindication is an indispensable method for the early detection of changes in the biosphere, giving information about special hazards (early warning system). Climate biomonitoring preferably makes use of already existing monitoring systems and data collections. Materials and methods Climate biomonitoring refers back to accepted and tested methods of bioindication to assess environmental changes. Existing methods are enhanced and supplemented in order to meet the particular needs for the indication of climate change conditions. On the basis of an evaluation of relevant and actual monitoring programs on state and national level we identify relevant impacts of climate change and programs providing relevant data, and we propose evaluation methods. Additionally, other data sources are described, that may enable further in depth assessments. Results An overview table systematically lists the monitoring programs on national and state level and shows their relevance for an assessment of climate change impacts on the biosphere. The relevance of the proposed approach is shown by an overview about the data sources as well as a presentation of first evaluation results. The need for further research and development and proposals for an enhancement of data provision and data exchange are given. Examples for the use and optimization of the method as well as further possibilities of development and ways to close knowledge gaps will be elaborated in further publications. Discussion This method provides the basis for a description of the changes caused by climate change as well as the development of scenarios and prognoses for a future assessment of climate change impacts. Furthermore, the secondary effects of climate change can be assessed using bioindication, especially the effectiveness of adaptation measures. For some climate bioindicators, the causal link between climate change effects and indicator response are sufficiently proven (eg. the reaction of spring time plant phenology), other cases still require cause effect studies to separate climate effects from those of other agents. The findings from climate biomonitoring are meant to be the basis for activities in order to develop both adequate strategies for adaptation and measures to avoid or to mitigate the effects of climate change. Also an appropriate advice for politicians, information of the public and the fulfillment of reporting obligations are intended. Conclusions Climate biomonitoring is shown to be an efficient method to demonstrate climate change impacts in especially sensitive areas of Germany concerning habitats, biocenoses and species distribution. First evaluations have already proven effects of climate change on the biotic environment. Since several years already, plant phenology provides valuable background data. It is possible to supplement these background data by joining them spatially with data from other relevant monitoring programs and other information (like topographic data). This enables us to identify and assess climate change based effects in disease dispersal and other phenomena as well as the evaluation of measures. Recommendations and perspectives It is recommended to secure a harmonized application of this method by the federal agencies and the state level actors, to improve the exchange of data and methods, to identify, access and use additional data sources, to develop the method further, and to publish respective results and knowledge. Since climate biomonitoring offers many advantages it may be assumed that it will be established internationally as a solid method of assessing the impacts of climate change on our living environment. © 2010 Springer-Verlag. Source

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