June 26, 2015 by Ed Stutt

I’ve just returned from the 31st International Conference of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health, held in the capital of the Slovak Republic, where I presented a poster on the ‘Prioritisation of Contaminated Sites’ in conjunction with LEAP Environmental and Mole Valley District Council. The poster highlighted the lessons learned from 15 years experience of the UK contaminated land regime and presented methodology for prioritising the worst sites based on knowledge of land use and ranking of chemical hazards. This prioritisation could be implemented on a local or national scale in countries that are only recently starting to deal with their legacy of past industrial activities, the resulting contamination and the threats that it may pose to human health and the environment.

The conference was attended by over 100 delegates, representing 25 countries, including a large contingent from China who gave a series of very interesting presentations highlighting the environmental and health impacts from their country’s very sudden and intensive industrial and economic growth. Keynote lectures also covered the health effects from drinking soft water versus hard water, the association between geochemical markers and health deprivation indices, trace elements role as micronutrients and a pan-European study of urban allotment gardens.