PNW-SETAC Conference

I participated in the 17th meeting of pacific north west chapter of society of environmental toxicology and chemistry(PNW-SETAC). It was from 27th -29th March 2008 at Oregon State University, Corvallis. It was a good opportunity to share my research findings to other folks there and learn something about what others are doing. Most of the talks and posters there were about toxicology and very few related to chemistry. I had poster presentation entitled "Particle phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the atmosphere of Raipur, India".

more about the organizer: http://chapters.setac.org/pnwrc/

Awards were distributed to best oral and poster presenters for students in undergraduate, masters and PhD programs.


What funny answers?

Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba is a senior leader of Nepali Congress party, a major party in Nepal's coalition government, also leading the government. He has served as a prime minister of Nepal three times. He has filed his candidacy from two constituencies. He was the chief person of selection committee of candidates for the constituent assembly election in his party and he has selected his wife Dr. Arju Deuba Rana as proportional candidate. In a recent interview for Kantipur media he has answered many questions. But I found following answers are so funny. They don't make any sense to the questions asked to him.

Q. Why are you contesting the polls from two constituencies?
Sher Bahadur Deuba:
Prachanda is also contesting from two constituencies. Madhav Nepal, too, has chosen two constituencies. This could be why my party colleagues asked me to contest the polls from two constituencies and I agreed. (He is doing same what others are doing. He doesn't know whether its wrong or right. no justification!!!!!!)

Q. Or was it because of the lack of confidence to win?
It’s not that. Girija babu, too, used to contest from two constituencies.(He should say he doesn't have confidence to win. Question was about whether he has confidence or not, he replied as what Girija babu used to do. May be he wants to show he is equivalent to Girija babu)

Q. Aren’t there any hurdles?
Don’t know. This is like asking if the sky will fall!(Is really having hurdles in election sky fall?)

Q. You were against nepotism in the past but your wife Arju Deuba’s name is in the party’s proportional candidates’ name list. What do you have to say about this? Deuba: After friends and colleagues asked me to keep her name, I said okay. Besides, she has also worked in the social sector. She is not just a housewife. Actually she didn’t have any desire to contest the elections nor did she ask for the ticket. Because everyone asked for it. (What a nonsense justification)

Q. Aren’t you dragging her into politics? Deuba: It’s not like that. When I’m not with her, she makes time to meet people and listen to them despite her busy schedule. The need for women has come, educated women are needed. It’s not that she doesn’t deserve it. She’s educated, has done a PHD.

Have your comment.


Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons-2

Health Effects

PAHs are found in air, water, snow, soil, vegetation, can travel thousands of miles and can persist in the environment for years. In previous blog I introduced PAHs and in this blog I am writing something about health effects of PAHs to humans.

Brick Kiln in Kathmandu valley, Nepal: A probable Source of PAHs

Exposure: Mainly you are exposed to PAHs through contaminated air. Urban air has much more higher concentration of PAHs than rural air. You may be exposed to PAHs in soil near hazardous waste sites or near areas where coal, wood, gasoline or other products have been burned. Low levels of PAHs have been found in some drinking water supplies in the United States.In the home, PAHs are present in tobacco smoke, smoke from wood burning stoves and fireplaces, creosote-treated wood products, and some foods. Barbecuing, smoking, or charring food over a fire greatly increases the amount of PAHs in the food. Other foods that may contain low levels of PAHs include roasted coffee, roasted peanuts, refined vegetable oil, grains, vegetables, and fruits. A variety of cosmetics and shampoos are made with coal tar and therefore contain PAHs. The PAH compound naphthalene is present in some mothballs.

Effects: The health effects that can be caused by exposure to PAHs depend on how much has entered the body, how long you have been exposed to PAHs, and how the body responds to PAHs.

Short-term health effects: It is not clear that PAHs cause short-term health effects. Other compounds commonly found with PAHs may be the cause of short-term symptoms such as eye irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and confusion.

Long-term health effects:Cataracts, kidney and liver damage, and jaundice. Repeated skin contact to the PAH naphthalene can result in redness and inflammation of the skin. Breathing or swallowing large amounts of naphthalene can cause the breakdown of red blood cells.Long-term exposure to low levels of some PAHs have caused cancer in laboratory animals. Benzo(a)pyrene is the most common PAH to cause cancer in animals.

more info