21 research outputs found

    Ultra-trace element characterization of the central Ottawa River basin using a rapid, flexible, and low-volume ICP-MS method

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    Ultra-trace (<1 ng g-1) rare earth elements and yttrium (REE+Y) and high field strength element (HFSE) geochemistry of freshwater can constrain element sources, aqueous processes in hydrologic catchments, and the signature of dissolved terrestrial fluxes to the oceans. This study details an adapted method capable of quantifying ≥38 elements (including all REE+Y, Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf, Mo, W, Th, U) with minimal sample preparation in natural water aliquots as low as ≤2 mL. The method precision and accuracy are demonstrated using measurement of the National Research Council – Conseil national de recherches Canada (NRC-CNRC) river water certified reference material (CRM) SLRS-6 sampled from the Ottawa River (OR). Data from SLRS CRM are compared to those of new, filtered (HREE-enriched REE+Y patterns, small natural positive Y and Gd anomalies, and negative Eu and Ce anomalies. These REE+Y features are coherent downstream in the OR apart from amplification of Eu and Ce anomalies during REE removal/dilution. The OR samples capture a downstream decrease in sparingly soluble HFSE (Th, Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf), presumably related to their colloid-particulate removal from the dissolved load, accompanied by crustal Zr/Hf (32.5 ± 5.1) and supercrustal Nb/Ta (25.1 ± 7.7) ratios. Subcrustal Th/U (0.17-0.96) and supercrustal Mo/W (12.0-74.5) ratios in all ORB waters indicate preferential release and aqueous solubility of U>Th and Mo>W, with the latter attributed primarily to preferential W adsorption on soil or upstream aquatic (oxy)(hydr)oxide surfaces

    Trace element and Pb isotope fingerprinting of atmospheric pollution sources: A case study from the east coast of Ireland

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    Unravelling inputs of multiple air pollution sources and reconstructing their historic contribution can be a difficult task. Here, new trace metal concentrations and Pb isotope data were combined for a radionuclide (210Pb-241Am) dated peat core from the Liffey Head bog (LHB) in eastern Ireland in order to reconstruct how different sources contributed to the atmospheric pollution over the past century. Highest enrichments in the heavy metals Pb, Cu, Ag, Sn, and Sb, together with a Pb isotope composition (206Pb/204Pb: 18.351 ± 0.013; 206Pb/207Pb: 1.174 ± 0.012) close to that of the Wicklow mineralisation demonstrates significant aerial influx of heavy metals from local mining and smelting activities during the 19th century until ca. 1940s. A dramatic compositional shift defined by elevated Co, Cr, Ni, Mo, Zn, and V enrichments and a sharp transition towards unradiogenic 206Pb values (206Pb/204Pb: 18.271 ± 0.013–17.678 ± 0.006; 206Pb/207Pb: 1.170 ± 0.012–1.135 ± 0.007) is documented from the 1940s until ca. 2000. These are attributed to the atmospheric impact of fossil fuels and especially leaded petrol, modelled to have contributed between 6 and 78% to the total Pb pollution at this site. The subsequent turn to a more radiogenic Pb isotope signature since 2000 in Ireland is clearly documented in the investigated archive (206Pb/204Pb: 17.930 ± 0.006; 206Pb/207Pb: 1.148 ± 0.007) and reflects the abolishment of leaded petrol. However, there remains a persisting and even increasing pollution in Ni, Mo, Cu, and especially Zn, collectively originating from countrywide use of fossil fuels(peat, coal, heating oil, and unleaded vehicle fuels) for domestic and industrial purposes. This illustrates the continued anthropogenic influence on important natural archives such as bogs in Ireland despite the phase-out of leaded petrol

    Real-time investigation of skin blood flow changes induced by topical capsaicin

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    Capsaicin induces a localized inflammatory process known as neurogenic inflammation upon its topical administration on the skin, due to the release of various neuropeptides from the cutaneous sensory nerve endings. In this study, we investigated real-time skin blood flow changes that occur in neurogenic inflammation induced by topical capsaicin by means of in vivo reflectance confocal microscopy. 27 healthy subjects (15 women and 12 men, mean age ± Standard Deviation: 22.62±4.47) were administered topical capsaicin solution (Capsaicin group) or immersion oil (Control group) on the dorsal side of their non-dominant hand. At different time intervals during administration (0, 10, 25, and 40 minutes), cutaneous blood flow was evaluated using reflectance confocal microscopy and compared between the two groups. Blood flow values were higher during topical capsaicin, with significant increase after 25 (P=0.0160, Dunn’s multiple comparisons test) and 40 minutes (P=0.0132, Dunn’s multiple comparisons test) after its administration when compared with the initial 0 min value. Furthermore, the differences in the blood flow changes between the two groups were significant at 25 min (P=0.0182, Dunn’s multiple comparisons test) and 40 min (P=0.0296, Dunn’s multiple comparisons test) after capsaicin administration. Reflectance confocal microscopy allows in vivo, real-time evaluation of cutaneous blood flow changes within the capsaicin-induced inflammation, and this method might serve as a research model to test neurovascular reactivity. </p

    Combined zinc-lead isotope and trace-metal assessment of recent atmospheric pollution sources recorded in Irish peatlands

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    Atmospherically-fed Earth surface archives such as ombrotrophic peatlands, lake sediments, and ice consistently show an upward increase in Zn concentrations of hitherto unclear origin. Here, we present a combined stable Zn isotope and trace element (Zn, Cd, Ni, Cu, Cr, V, Ta, Pb) dataset for a historically polluted, near-urban bog (Liffey Head) from the east coast of Ireland. This peat record is compared to an archive from a rural site at the west coast of Ireland (Brackloon Wood). Both archives show a clear near-surface increase in Zn deposition, accompanied by periodic deposition in Cr, Ni, Mo, and V suggesting a co-genetic origin of these elements. In the Liffey Head site, biologic upward distillation of nutrients can be excluded as the origin of the elemental enrichments. The differences in the excess metal ratios between the two sites (e.g., Zn/Cd of 426?1564, east, and 77?106, west) are attributed to a higher contribution from traffic emissions (diesel, petrol) and oil-burning at the near-urban site, and dominant atmospheric influence from solid fossil fuel combustion emissions (e.g., mixed fuel, coal and wood) at the rural site. The Zn isotope composition in the historically-polluted Liffey Head bog evolved from ?66/64ZnJMC-Lyon values of 0.72???0.03? in the peat accumulated during the 19th century to lighter ratios (0.18???0.03?) towards the top of the monolith (i.e., recent). Zinc-isotope ratios are positively correlated with excess metal/Cd ratios and also with 206Pb/207Pb, collectively fingerprinting the gradual change from a mining-dominated to a traffic-dominated atmospheric pollution at the east coast over the past century. A prevalent input, interpreted to represent combustion emissions from diesel engines, is observed for the past 15 years. Combined with trace elements and radiogenic Pb isotopes, the information obtained with the Zn isotope systematics adds towards an in-depth characterisation of the pollution signals