Dear Subscriber !

Welcome to the first issue of EVISA's Speciation Newsletter in the New Year 2008.

The first important meeting of scientists working in the field of speciation analysis this year is already history (The Winter Conference on Plasma Spectrochemistry just finished), but many others will follow.

One of the major conferences related to trace element speciation - the 4th International Conference on Trace Element Speciation in Biomedical, Nutritional and Environmental Sciences- will take place in Munich, May 25-29. Please recognize that the deadline for submitting regular contributions is January 15 (today!). You should not miss this event that has a long history!

A very hot discussion is going on in the USA about the possible causes of autisms (see the News section). Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that at least 1 in 150 children continued to suffer from autism in the United States. Trace metal species (e.g. organo -mercury compounds) have often been considered to play a role (either via environmentally exposure or by side effects of ingredients of vaccines. Interestingly such discussion is totally missing in Europe!?  Does the problem not exist in Europe?


EVISA is keeping you updated  with what is going on in speciation analysis. In this section you will find news about the most current research results, about trends, legal issues and informations from manufacturers in the field of speciation analysis.

With all the links to further information and publications the News archive is a valuable collection of "hot topics" in speciation analysis. We continuously update even former news with new links and information so that all news are actual all the time.

Species-specific isotope dilution analysis has been adopted as an official method under US legislation
As announced in the Federal Register from January 3, 2008 species-specific isotope dilution analysis method for speciation analysis has been adopted as an official method in the United States as a part of the set of methods described under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (US RCRA) in the chapter SW-846.

New California study concludes that thimerosal seems not to be the major cause for autism
Background:Autism is a neurological disorder that affects learning and social interaction ability in children. Because mercury is a very potent neuro toxin, it came into the focus of toxicologists as a possible cause for autism. Since the mercury compound thimerosal has been used as a preservative in vaccines, it has been speculated that vaccines containing the chemical somehow could play a role in autism. The new study:The study period in question lasted from 1995 to 2007. It concludes that removing thimerosal from recommended infants vaccines as a precautionary measure in March 2001 had no effect on reducing the number of children suffering from autism."If thimerosal exposure is a primary cause of autism, then the prevalence of autism would be predicted to decrease, as young children's exposure to thimerosal has sharply decreased to its lowest levels in decades," said lead author Robert Schechter, a medical officer with the California Department of Health Services.Ideally if there was a link between autism and thimerosal, then autism rates should have declined after 2001. That has unfortunately not happened. There were 0.6 autism cases per 1,000 live births in 1995. This number jumped to 4.1 cases per 1,000 live births in 2007.Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that at least 1 in 150 children continued to suffer from autism in the United States. Number wise 300,000 children aged 4 to 17 had the disorder in 2004.“You cannot use this data to rule out thimerosal as a factor. What you can say is there may be -- and probably are -- other environmental triggers that play a role. It is probable that exposure to these other factors may be increasing,” said Sally Bernard, co-founder and executive director of SafeMinds, an organization that advocates “sensible action for ending mercury-induced neurological disorders.”Comment:Unfotunately, again this study fails to be fully convincing because of some limitations: Epidemiological studies done by people who are part of the immunization program have a major credibility problem.The Study of California Department of Public Health for example claims that "some" flu shots still contain thimerosal. Actually, out of 132 million doses of flu vaccine for the 2007-08 flu season, 8 million doses are thimerosal free. That means 94% contain the full amount of thimerosal. Stating that "some" contain thimerosal is a very deceptive statement at best.Critics will say that California has banned thimerosal containing flu shots for pregnant women and infants. This ban took effect in 2006. However, the ban was lifted last year because of shortage of thimerosal free shots. If a pregnant woman got a flu shot in 2001 and her child followed the flu shot recommendations, the baby/fetus would have received six flu shots with the full amount of thimerosal by the year 2005. This hardly represents the claim that no thimerosal containing vaccines were given after 2001. Vaccines with "trace" amounts of thimerosal are supposed to contain less than 1 microgram of mercury per 0.5 ml dose. This is equal to a concentration of 2000 micrograms per liter and would be classified by EPA as hazardous waste. For the toxicologists mercury is a neurotoxin which depending on the mercury form (species) being present has a wide range of toxicological effects, including neurodevelopment disorders such as autism. Organomercury compounds, such as Thimerosal, are very toxic mercury compounds. Before somebody declares thimerosal containing vaccines safe, he should have a good explanation for such statement, considering the following facts:0.5 parts per billion (ppb) mercury = Kills human neuroblastoma cells (Parran et al., Toxicol Sci 2005; 86: 132-140).2 ppb mercury = U.S. EPA limit for drinking water (http://www.epa.gov/safewater/contaminants/index.html#mcls).200 ppb mercury = level in liquid the EPA classifies as hazardous waste (http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/mercury/regs.htm#hazwaste)25,000 ppb mercury = Concentration of mercury in multi-dose, Hepatitis B vaccine vials, administered at birth from 1991-2001 in the U.S.50,000 ppb mercury = Concentration of mercury in multi-dose DTP and Haemophilus B vaccine vials, administered 8 times in the 1990's to children at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months of age. Current "preservative" level mercury in multi-dose flu, meningococcal and tetanus (7 and older) vaccines. The new study Robert Schechter, Judith K. Grether, Continuing Increases in Autism Reported to California's Developmental Services System: Mercury in Retrograde, Arch. Gen. Psychiatry, 65/1 (2008) 19-24. Related Studies: M.C. Desoto, R.T. Hitlan, Blood Levels of Mercury Are Related to Diagnosis of Autism: A Reanalysis of an Important Data Set, J. Child Neurol., 22/11 (2007) 1308-1311. DOI: 10.1177/0883073807307111 Philippe Grandjean, Philip J. Landrigan, Developmental neurotoxicity of industrial chemicals, The Lancet, Nov. 8, 2006; Vol. 368: online edition.  DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69665-7  Raymond F. Palmer, Steven Blanchard, Zachary Stein, David Mandell, Claudia Miller, Environmental mercury release, special education rates, and autism disorder: an ecological study of Texas, Health & Place,  12/2 (2006) 203-209. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2004.11.005 Gayle C. Windham, Lixia Zhang, Robert Gunier, Lisa A. Croen, Judith K. Grether, Autism Spectrum Disorders in Relation to Distribution of Hazardous Air Pollutants in the San Francisco Bay Area, Environ. Health Perspect., 114/9 (2006) 1438-1444. doi:10.1289/ehp.9120 Robert Nataf, Corinne Skorupka, Lorene Amet, Alain Lam, Porphyrinuria in childhood autistic disorder: Implications for environmental toxicity, Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol., 214 (2006) 99-108. doi:10.1016/j.taap.2006.04.008 H.R. Andersen, J.B. Nielsen, P. Grandjean, Toxicologic evidence of developmental neurotoxicity of environmental chemicals, Toxicology, 144 (2000) 121-127. doi:10.1016/S0300-483X(99)00198-5For more related studies please consult earlier EVISA News ! Related News Scholars & Rogues, January 11, 2008: Science, reporting and the new California report on autism and thimerosal EVISA News, October 9, 2007: New CDC study on the effect of thimerosal exposure on neuropsychological characteristics of children is fueling the debate about the origin of autism Wired Science, Brandon Keim, October 3, 2007: When is a Conflict of Interest a Conflict? Arthur Allen, The Huffington Post, September 30, 2007: Congress Finds Nothing Underhanded About CDC's Thimerosal Work Wired Science, Brandon Keim, September 28, 2007: Thimerosal Question Deserved Better Answer From CDC David Kirby, The Huffington Post, September 26, 2007: CDC: Mercury in Vaccines Damaged Your Child. Or Not. Wired Science, Brandon Keim, September 26, 2007: Thimerosal Didn't Fry Children's Brains, New Study Says EVISA News, November 16, 2006: A silent pandemic: Industrial chemicals are impairing the brain development of children worldwide OpEdNews, May 13, 2006: Bush Uses FDA To Shield Big Pharma From Lawsuits EVISA News, May, 3, 2006: Texas Study Relates Autism to Environmental Mercury ( 03.05.2006 )  EVISA News, March 24, 2006: Mercury Containing Preservative Alters Immune Function  EVISA News, March 24, 2006: American lawmakers initiate mercury probe for vaccines EVISA News, April 24, 2005: New results about toxicity of thimerosal  EVISA News, February 11, 2005: New findings about Thimerosal Neurotoxicity  last time modified: January, 14, 2008

The effect of thermal treatment on the arsenic speciation in food
Scientists from the Institute for Agrochemistry and Food Technology in Burjassot, Spain have summarized the research about the influence of preservation and cooking on the arsenic speciation in food. In general food processing may alter the concentration of arsenic in both directions, e.g. by leaching, transformation and contamination.

With a list of about 50 current entries EVISA is informing you about interesting events and keeps you updated with their deadlines. By consulting our list of deadlines you won't miss the opportunity for early registration at reduced fee or the chance to submit your contribution in time.
 more infos...

Please do not hesitate to inform us in case that your conference related to speciation analysis is missing in our Agenda.

Location: Tel-Aviv, Israel
Date: 22.01.2008 - 23.01.2008

Location: Geilo, Norway
Date: 27.01.2008 - 31.01.2008

HTC-10 & ExTech-10
Location: Site Oud Sint-Jan, Bruges (Belgium)
Date: 28.01.2008 - 01.02.2008

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Date: 02.03.2008 - 07.03.2008

Analytica: 21st International Trade Fair for Instrumental Analysis, Laboratory Technology and Biotechnology with analytica Conference
Location: Munich, Germany
Date: 01.04.2008 - 04.04.2008

Currently there is no short course scheduled. However, EVISA and its members are able to organize short courses upon request from customers.
If you are interested in training, please directly contact EVISA.


EVISA provides information about open positions for Ph.D. students, PostDocs and permanent staff in the field of speciation. Looking to fill a vacancy or needing a new career challenge? Either way this service is FREE. Many laboratories and research facilities (from Greenland to Crete) have already found their highly educated stuff through this service by EVISA. If you would like to post an open position here, please contact us at info@speciation.net !


National Oceanograpy Centre, Southampton: Iron biogeochemistry and ocean acidification


Marie Curie Research Training Network on Geogenic Chemicals in Groundwaters and Soils
AquaTRAIN is inviting applications for 12 early stage researcher posts (all of which may lead to the award of a PhD or European PhD) and for 3 experienced researcher (post-doctoral research assistant) posts.

The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK: Speciation of U and Th in groundwater
The Department of Earth Sciences at The Open University (Milton Keynes, UK) has an open position for a PHD student in the project "Speciation of U and Th in groundwater: challenging ‘established wisdom’ in U-series dating of authigenic minerals".


University of Southern Denmark: Functionalised gel coated microsensors for dynamic metal speciation analysis
The work involves application of electrochemical techniques to dynamic metal speciation analysis with functionalized microelectrodes to obtain information on the reactivities and fluxes of metal species.

Trent University: Selenium speciation in sediments and its impact on mercury availability
The Metalloid Speciation & Geochemistry research group at Trent University is looking for a post-doctoral researcher to study selenium speciation in sediments, and the mechanisms of selenium interaction with mercury. Through funding from industrial stakeholders, we will investigate the mobility and fate of selenium deposited in sediments, and how the encountered selenium species might interact with simultaneously present mercury species, using state-of-the-art analytical speciation methods in combination with geochemical laboratory and field experiments.

Marie Curie Research Training Network on Geogenic Chemicals in Groundwaters and Soils
AquaTRAIN is inviting applications for 12 early stage researcher posts (all of which may lead to the award of a PhD or European PhD) and for 3 experienced researcher (post-doctoral research assistant) posts.

Trent University: Selenium speciation in flue gas scrubber waters
The Metalloid Speciation & Geochemistry research group at Trent University is looking for a post-doctoral researcher to study selenium speciation in flue gas scrubber waters at coal-fired power plants. Through funding from industrial stakeholders, we will identify and quantify major Se species in these process waters, using state-of-the-art analytical speciation methods in combination with geochemical and synthetic laboratory experiments.

Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and Colloid Science, Wageningen University NL, Postdoc position in ECODIS
We are looking for a candidate with (i) an internationally acknowledged PhD in environmental analytical/physical chemistry, (ii) experience with dynamic speciation methodology, and (iii) knowledge of bioaccumulation processes.


Actlabs, Ancaster, Canada: Analytical supervisor and laboratory technicians
Activation Laboratories Ltd (Actlabs) has a number of openings in its ICP/MS and ICP/OES departments. Actlabs positions are in its Ancaster, Ontario, Canada laboratory (suburb of Hamilton and 80 km west of Toronto).

UC Davis Interdisciplinary Center for Plasma Mass Spectrometry: Full-time support of an MC-ICP-MS instrument
The UC Davis Interdisciplinary Center for Plasma Mass Spectrometry announces an immediate opening for a full-time technical position in support of the Multicollector Inductively-Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (MC-ICPMS).


EVISA's directory of scientist is a versatile tool to facilitate contact with scientists in the field of speciation and related sciences. The directory is fully searchable for names, addresses, research topics etc.  You should bookmark this directory as an always up-to-date address book. (In order to hinder SPAM robots for collecting the E-mail accounts, we hide them in a special format).

More than 250 active scientists in the field of speciation analysis already joined the directory. Join this great directory that is extensively linked to all tye of other information on this site, such as homepages, conferences and literature.

If your entry is still missing in this directory, please contact us at info@speciation.net.


EVISA'S discussion forum provides an open room to talk, to reach others with similar interests, and to find answers to your burning questions. goto forum


EVISA provides an easy access to external information. Our database contains more than 1450 links to relevant information from numerous top scientific resources spread over the whole Web. The database is searchable both via full-text and categories such as elements, type of species and type of information. We are permanently updating our links section.

If your web site is missing here, please e-mail your link information to info@speciation.net.


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