Nitrogen accumulates in soils during the process of fertilizer addition to promote the plant growth. When the organic matter decomposes, the form of available nitrogen produced is in the form of nitrate, which is highly mobile. The most significant health effect of nitrate ingestion is methemoglobinemia in infants under six months of age (blue baby syndrome). The mobile nutrients, like nitrate nitrogen, are not stored in the soil as the available forms for the long periods and in large amounts. It depends on the needs for the crops such as vegetables. On the other hand, the vegetables will compete actively for nitrate nitrogen as a mobile nutrient and water. The mobile nutrients must be shared. The fewer the plants, the larger this share is for each plant. Also, this nitrate nitrogen is poisonous for the people who use these vegetables. Nitrate is converted to nitrite by the existing bacteria in the stomach and the Gastro-Intestinal (GI) tract. When nitrite is entered into the blood cells, it converts the hemoglobin to methemoglobin, which causes the anoxemia and cyanosis. The increasing use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, especially the fertilizers with nitrates compounds, which have been common for the increased production of agricultural crops, has caused the nitrate pollution in the (soil, water, and environment). They have caused a lot of damage to humans and animals. In this research, the nitrate accumulation in different kind of vegetables such as; green pepper, tomatoes, egg plants, watermelon, cucumber, and red pepper were observed in the suburbs of Mashhad, Neisabour, and Sabzevar cities. In some of these cities, the information forms of agronomical practices collected were such as; different vegetable crops fertilizer recommendations, varieties, pesticides, irrigation schedules, etc., which were filled out by some of our colleagues in the research areas mentioned above. Analysis of the samples was sent to the soil and water laboratory in our department in Mashhad. The final results from the chemical analysis of samples showed that the mean levels of nitrates from the samples of the fruit crops in the mentioned cities above were all lower than the critical levels. These fruit crop samples were in the order of: 35.91, 8.47, 24.81, 6.03, 46.43, 2.06 mg/kg dry matter, for the following crops such as; tomato, cucumber, eggplant, watermelon, green pepper, and red pepper. Even though, this study was conducted with limited samples and by considering the mean levels, the use of these crops from the nutritional point of view will not cause the poisoning of humans.
Recently PM-10 has become a social and global issue. It is one of major air pollutants which affect human health. Therefore, it needs to be forecasted rapidly and precisely. However, PM-10 comes from various emission sources, and its level of concentration is largely dependent on meteorological and geographical factors of local and global region, so the forecasting of PM-10 concentration is very difficult. Neural network model can be used in the case. But, there are few cases of high concentration PM-10. It makes the learning of the neural network model difficult. In this paper, we suggest a simple input balancing method when the data distribution is uneven. It is based on the probability of appearance of the data. Experimental results show that the input balancing makes the neural networks’ learning easy and improves the forecasting rates.
Coal mining is well known to cause considerable environmental impacts, including trace element contamination of soil. This study aimed to assess the trace element (As, Cd, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Zn) contamination of soil in the vicinity of coal mining activities, using the case study of Asam-asam River basin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia, and to assess the human health risk, incorporating total and bioavailable (water-leachable and acid-leachable) concentrations. The results show the enrichment of As and Co in soil, surpassing the background soil value. Contamination was evaluated based on the index of geo-accumulation, Igeo and the pollution index, PI. Igeo values showed that the soil was generally uncontaminated (Igeo ≤ 0), except for elevated As and Co. Mean PI for Ni and Cu indicated slight contamination. Regarding the assessment of health risks, the Hazard Index, HI showed adverse risks (HI > 1) for Ni, Co, and As. Further, Ni and As were found to pose unacceptable carcinogenic risk (risk > 1.10-5). Farming, settlement, and plantation were found to present greater risk than coal mines. These results show that coal mining activity in the study area contaminates the soils by particular elements and may pose potential human health risk in its surrounding area. This study is important for setting appropriate countermeasure actions and improving basic coal mining management in Indonesia.
Rapid growth of world population and widespread urbanization has remarkably increased the development of the construction industry which caused a huge demand for sand and gravels. Environmental problems occur when the rate of extraction of sand, gravels, and other materials exceeds the rate of generation of natural resources; therefore, an alternative source is essential to replace the materials used in concrete. Now-a-days, electronic products have become an integral part of daily life which provides more comfort, security, and ease of exchange of information. These electronic waste (E-Waste) materials have serious human health concerns and require extreme care in its disposal to avoid any adverse impacts. Disposal or dumping of these E-Wastes also causes major issues because it is highly complex to handle and often contains highly toxic chemicals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, beryllium, brominates flame retardants (BFRs), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and phosphorus compounds. Hence, E-Waste can be incorporated in concrete to make a sustainable environment. This paper deals with the composition, preparation, properties, classification of E-Waste. All these processes avoid dumping to landfills whilst conserving natural aggregate resources, and providing a better environmental option. This paper also provides a detailed literature review on the behaviour of concrete with incorporation of E-Wastes. Many research shows the strong possibility of using E-Waste as a substitute of aggregates eventually it reduces the use of natural aggregates in concrete.
Surface roughness is one of the key quality parameters of the finished product. During any machining operation, high temperatures are generated at the tool-chip interface impairing surface quality and dimensional accuracy of products. Cutting fluids are generally applied during machining to reduce temperature at the tool-chip interface. However, usages of cutting fluids give rise to problems such as waste disposal, pollution, high cost, and human health hazard. Researchers, now-a-days, are opting towards dry machining and other cooling techniques to minimize use of coolants during machining while keeping surface roughness of products within desirable limits. In this paper, a concept of using peltier cooling effects during aluminium milling operation has been presented and adopted with an aim to improve surface roughness of the machined surface. Experimental evidence shows that peltier cooling effect provides better surface roughness of the machined surface compared to dry machining.
Landfills present long-term threats to soil, air, groundwater and surface water due to the formation of greenhouse gases (methane gas and carbon dioxide) and leachate from decomposing garbage. The composition of leachate differs from site to site and also within the landfill. The leachates alter with time (from weeks to years) since the landfilled waste is biologically highly active and their composition varies. Mainly, the composition of the leachate depends on factors such as characteristics of the waste, the moisture content, climatic conditions, degree of compaction and the age of the landfill. Therefore, the leachate composition cannot be generalized and the traditional treatment models should be adapted in each case. Although leachate composition is highly variable, what different leachates have in common is hazardous constituents and their potential eco-toxicological effects on human health and on terrestrial ecosystems. Since leachate has distinct compositions, each landfill or dumping site would represent a different type of risk on its environment. Nevertheless, leachates consist always of high organic concentration, conductivity, heavy metals and ammonia nitrogen. Leachate could affect the current and future quality of water bodies due to uncontrolled infiltrations. Therefore, control and treatment of leachate is one of the biggest issues in urban solid waste treatment plants and landfills design and management. This work presents a treatment model that will be carried out "in-situ" using a cost-effective novel technology that combines solar evaporation/condensation plus forward osmosis. The plant is powered by renewable energies (solar energy, biomass and residual heat), which will minimize the carbon footprint of the process. The final effluent quality is very high, allowing reuse (preferred) or discharge into watercourses. In the particular case of this work, the final effluents will be reused for cleaning and gardening purposes. A minority semi-solid residual stream is also generated in the process. Due to its special composition (rich in metals and inorganic elements), this stream will be valorized in ceramic industries to improve the final products characteristics.
The deterioration of solid waste management in Baghdad city is considered as a great challenge in terms of human health and environment. Baghdad city is divided into thirteen districts which are distributed on both Tigris River banks. The west bank is Al-Karkh and the east bank is Al-Rusafa. Municipal Solid Waste Management is one of the most complicated problems facing the environment in Iraq. Population growth led to increase waste production and more load of the waste to the limited capacity infrastructure. The problems of municipal solid waste become more serious after the war in 2003. More waste is disposed in underground landfills in Baghdad with little or no concern for both human health and environment. The results showed that the total annually predicted solid waste is increasing for the period 2015-2030. Municipal solid waste in 2030 will be 6,427,773 tons in Baghdad city according to the population growth rate of 2.4%. This increase is estimated to be approximately 30%.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a very toxic air pollutant gas and it causes the greenhouse effect, photochemical smog, and acid rain, which threaten human health severely. Thus, the capture of SO2 gas is very important for the environment. Graphene which is two-dimensional material has excellent mechanical, chemical, thermal properties, and many application areas such as energy storage devices, gas adsorption, sensing devices, and optical electronics. Further, graphene oxide (GO) is examined as a good adsorbent because of its important features such as functional groups (epoxy, carboxyl and hydroxyl) on the surface and layered structure. The SO2 adsorption properties of the fibers are usually investigated on carbon fibers. In this study, potential adsorption capacity of GO fibers was researched. GO dispersion was first obtained with Hummers’ method from graphite, and then GO fibers were obtained via wet spinning process. These fibers were converted into a disc shape, dried, and then subjected to SO2 gas adsorption test. The SO2 gas adsorption capacity of GO fiber discs was investigated in the fields of utilization of different coagulation baths and reduction by hydrazine hydrate. As coagulation baths, single and triple baths were used. In single bath, only ethanol and CaCl2 (calcium chloride) salt were added. In triple bath, each bath has a different concentration of water/ethanol and CaCl2 salt, and the disc obtained from triple bath has been called as reference disk. The fibers which were produced with single bath were flexible and rough, and the analyses show that they had higher SO2 adsorption capacity than triple bath fibers (reference disk). However, the reduction process did not increase the adsorption capacity, because the SEM images showed that the layers and uniform structure in the fiber form were damaged, and reduction decreased the functional groups which SO2 will be attached. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) analyzes were performed on the fibers and discs, and the effects on the results were interpreted. In the future applications of the study, it is aimed that subjects such as pH and additives will be examined.
A wide range of health effects among occupants are associated with the exposure to bioaerosols from fungal sources. Although the accurate role of these aerosols in causing the symptoms and diseases is poorly understood, the important effect of bioaerosol exposure on human health is well recognized. Thus, there is a need to determine all of the contributing factors related to the concentration of fungi in indoor air. In this study, we reviewed and summarized the different factors affecting the concentrations of viable fungi in school buildings. The literature research was conducted using Pubmed and Google Scholar. In addition, we searched the lists of references of selected articles. According to the literature, the main factors influencing the concentration of viable fungi in the school buildings are moisture damage in building structures, the season (temperature and humidity conditions), the type and rate of ventilation, the number and activities of occupants and diurnal variations. This study offers valuable information that can be used in the interpretation of the fungal analysis and to decrease microbial exposure by reducing known sources and/or contributing factors. However, more studies of different local factors contributing to the human microbial exposure in school buildings—as well as other type of buildings and different indoor environments—are needed.
Ecological pollution is of great concern for human health and the environment. Numerous organic and inorganic pollutants usually discharged into the water caused carcinogenic or toxic effect for human and different life form. In this respect, this work aims to treat water contaminated by organic and inorganic waste using sorbent based on polystyrene. Therefore, two different series of adsorbent material were prepared; the first one included the preparation of polymeric sorbent from the reaction of styrene acrylate ester and alkyl acrylate. The second series involved syntheses of composite ion exchange resins of waste polystyrene and amorphous carbon thin film (WPS/ACTF) by solvent evaporation using micro emulsion polymerization. The produced ACTF/WPS nanocomposite was sulfonated to produce cation exchange resins ACTF/WPSS nanocomposite. The sorbents of the first series were characterized using FTIR, 1H NMR, and gel permeation chromatography. The thermal properties of the cross-linked sorbents were investigated using thermogravimetric analysis, and the morphology was characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The removal of organic pollutant was determined through absorption tests in a various organic solvent. The chemical and crystalline structure of nanocomposite of second series has been proven by studies of FTIR spectrum, X-rays, thermal analysis, SEM and TEM analysis to study morphology of resins and ACTF that assembled with polystyrene chain. It is found that the composite resins ACTF/WPSS are thermally stable and show higher chemical stability than ion exchange WPSS resins. The composite resin was evaluated for calcium hardness removal. The result is evident that the ACTF/WPSS composite has more prominent inorganic pollutant removal than WPSS resin. So, we recommend the using of nanocomposite resin as new potential applications for water treatment process.
The main sources of soil pollution due to petroleum contaminants are industrial processes involve crude oil. Soil polluted with crude oil is toxic for plants, animals, and humans. Human exposure to the contaminated soil occurs through different exposure pathways: Soil ingestion, diet, inhalation, and dermal contact. The present study research is focused on soil contamination with heavy metals as a consequence of soil pollution with petroleum products. Human exposure pathways considered are: Accidentally ingestion of contaminated soil and dermal contact. The purpose of the paper is to identify the human health risk (carcinogenic risk) from soil contaminated with heavy metals. The human exposure and risk were evaluated for five contaminants of concern of the eleven which were identified in soil. Two soil samples were collected from a bioremediation platform from Muntenia Region of Romania. The soil deposited on the bioremediation platform was contaminated through extraction and oil processing. For the research work, two average soil samples from two different plots were analyzed: The first one was slightly contaminated with petroleum products (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) in soil was 1420 mg/kgd.w.), while the second one was highly contaminated (TPH in soil was 24306 mg/kgd.w.). In order to evaluate risks posed by heavy metals due soil pollution with petroleum products, five metals known as carcinogenic were investigated: Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), ChromiumVI (CrVI), Nickel (Ni), and Lead (Pb). Results of the chemical analysis performed on samples collected from the contaminated soil evidence soil contamination with heavy metals as following: As in Site 1 = 6.96 mg/kgd.w; As in Site 2 = 11.62 mg/kgd.w, Cd in Site 1 = 0.9 mg/kgd.w; Cd in Site 2 = 1 mg/kgd.w; CrVI was 0.1 mg/kgd.w for both sites; Ni in Site 1 = 37.00 mg/kgd.w; Ni in Site 2 = 42.46 mg/kgd.w; Pb in Site 1 = 34.67 mg/kgd.w; Pb in Site 2 = 120.44 mg/kgd.w. The concentrations for these metals exceed the normal values established in the Romanian regulation, but are smaller than the alert level for a less sensitive use of soil (industrial). Although, the concentrations do not exceed the thresholds, the next step was to assess the human health risk posed by soil contamination with these heavy metals. Results for risk were compared with the acceptable one (10-6, according to World Human Organization). As, expected, the highest risk was identified for the soil with a higher degree of contamination: Individual Risk (IR) was 1.11×10-5 compared with 8.61×10-6.
Kefir is a traditional fermented refreshing beverage which is known for its valuable and beneficial properties for human health. Mainly yeast species, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains and fewer acetic acid bacteria strains live together in a natural matrix named “kefir grain”, which is formed from various proteins and polysaccharides. Different microbial species live together in slimy kefir grain and it has been thought that synergetic effect could take place between microorganisms, which belong to different genera and species. In this research, yeast and LAB were isolated from kefir samples obtained from Uludag University Food Engineering Department. The cell morphology of isolates was screened by microscopic examination. Gram reactions of bacteria isolates were determined by Gram staining method, and as well catalase activity was examined. After observing the microscopic/morphological and physical, enzymatic properties of all isolates, they were divided into the groups as LAB and/or yeast according to their physicochemical responses to the applied examinations. As part of this research, the antagonistic/synergistic efficacy of the identified five LAB and five yeast strains to each other were determined individually by disk diffusion method. The antagonistic or synergistic effect is one of the most important properties in a co-culture system that different microorganisms are living together. The synergistic effect should be promoted, whereas the antagonistic effect is prevented to provide effective culture for fermentation of kefir. The aim of this study was to determine microbial interactions between identified yeast and LAB strains, and whether their effect is antagonistic or synergistic. Thus, if there is a strain which inhibits or retards the growth of other strains found in Kefir microflora, this circumstance shows the presence of antagonistic effect in the medium. Such negative influence should be prevented, whereas the microorganisms which have synergistic effect on each other should be promoted by combining them in kefir grain. Standardisation is the most desired property for industrial production. Each microorganism found in the microbial flora of a kefir grain should be identified individually. The members of the microbial community found in the glue-like kefir grain may be redesigned as a starter culture regarding efficacy of each microorganism to another in kefir processing. The main aim of this research was to shed light on more effective production of kefir grain and to contribute a standardisation of kefir processing in the food industry.
The purpose of this study is to investigate Alahsa Governorate status and its vulnerability to generate urban heat islands. Alahsa Governorate is a famous oasis in the Arabic Peninsula including several oil centers. Extensive literature review was done to collect previous relative data on the urban heat island of Alahsa Governorate. Data used for the purpose of this research were collected from authorized bodies who control weather station networks over Alahsa Governorate, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. Although, the number of weather station networks within the region is very limited and the analysis using GIS software and its techniques is difficult and limited, the data analyzed confirm an increase in temperature for more than 2 °C from 2004 to 2014. Such increase is considerable whenever human health and comfort are the concern. The increase of temperature within one decade confirms the availability of urban heat islands. The study concludes that, Alahsa Governorate is vulnerable to create urban heat islands and more attention should be drawn to strategic planning of the governorate that is developing with a high pace and considerable increasing levels of urbanization.
Buildings cause a variety of loads on the environment due to activities performed at each stage of the building life cycle. Construction is the first stage that affects both the natural and built environments at different steps of the process, which can be defined as transportation of materials within the construction site, formation and preparation of materials on-site and the application of materials to realize the building subsystems. All of these steps require the use of technology, which varies based on the facilities that contractors and subcontractors have. Hence, environmental consequences of the construction process should be tackled by focusing on construction technology options used in every step of the process. This paper presents an environmental decision-making model for assessing on-site performances of subcontractors based on the construction technology options which they can supply. First, construction technologies, which constitute information, tools and methods, are classified. Then, environmental performance criteria are set forth related to resource consumption, ecosystem quality, and human health issues. Finally, the model is developed based on the relationships between the construction technology components and the environmental performance criteria. The Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process (FAHP) method is used for weighting the environmental performance criteria according to environmental priorities of decision-maker(s), while the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method is used for ranking on-site environmental performances of subcontractors using quantitative data related to the construction technology components. Thus, the model aims to provide an insight to decision-maker(s) about the environmental consequences of the construction process and to provide an opportunity to improve the overall environmental performance of construction sites.
Organic compounds in wastewaters coming from textile and pharmaceutical industry generated multiple harmful effects on the environment and the human health. One of them is the methyl orange (MeO), an azoic dye considered to be a recalcitrant compound. The heterogeneous photocatalysis emerges as an alternative for treating this type of hazardous compounds, through the generation of OH radicals using radiation and a semiconductor oxide. According to the author’s knowledge, catalysts such as TiO2 doped with metals show high efficiency in degrading MeO; however, this presents economic limitations on industrial scale. Black sand can be considered as a naturally doped catalyst because in its structure is common to find compounds such as titanium, iron and aluminum oxides, also elements such as zircon, cadmium, manganese, etc. This study reports the photocatalytic activity of the mineral black sand used as semiconductor in the discoloration of MeO by oxidation and reduction photocatalytic techniques. For this, magnetic composites from the mineral were prepared (RM, M1, M2 and NM) and their activity were tested through MeO discoloration while TiO2 was used as reference. For the fractions, chemical, morphological and structural characterizations were performed using Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-Ray (SEM-EDX), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis. M2 fraction showed higher MeO discoloration (93%) in oxidation conditions at pH 2 and it could be due to the presence of ferric oxides. However, the best result to reduction process was using M1 fraction (20%) at pH 2, which contains a higher titanium percentage. In the first process, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) was used as electron donor agent. According to the results, black sand mineral can be used as natural semiconductor in photocatalytic process. It could be considered as a photocatalyst precursor in such processes, due to its low cost and easy access.
The presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment and especially in water has gained increasing attention. They are included in emerging class of pollutants, and for most of them, legal limits have not been set-up due to their impact on human health and ecosystem was not determined and/or there is not the advanced analytical method for their quantification. In this context, the development of various advanced analytical methods for the quantification of pharmaceuticals in water is required. The electrochemical methods are known to exhibit the great potential for high-performance analytical methods but their performance is in direct relation to the electrode material and the operating techniques. In this study, two types of carbon-based electrodes materials, i.e., boron-doped diamond (BDD) and carbon nanofiber (CNF)-epoxy composite electrodes have been investigated through voltammetric techniques for the detection of naproxen in water. The comparative electrochemical behavior of naproxen (NPX) on both BDD and CNF electrodes was studied by cyclic voltammetry, and the well-defined peak corresponding to NPX oxidation was found for each electrode. NPX oxidation occurred on BDD electrode at the potential value of about +1.4 V/SCE (saturated calomel electrode) and at about +1.2 V/SCE for CNF electrode. The sensitivities for NPX detection were similar for both carbon-based electrode and thus, CNF electrode exhibited superiority in relation to the detection potential. Differential-pulsed voltammetry (DPV) and square-wave voltammetry (SWV) techniques were exploited to improve the electroanalytical performance for the NPX detection, and the best results related to the sensitivity of 9.959 µA·µM-1 were achieved using DPV. In addition, the simultaneous detection of NPX and fluoxetine -a very common antidepressive drug, also present in water, was studied using CNF electrode and very good results were obtained. The detection potential values that allowed a good separation of the detection signals together with the good sensitivities were appropriate for the simultaneous detection of both tested pharmaceuticals. These results reclaim CNF electrode as a valuable tool for the individual/simultaneous detection of pharmaceuticals in water.
Vector-borne diseases are transmitted to humans by mosquitos, sandflies, bugs, ticks, and other vectors. Some are re-transmitted between vectors, if the infected human has a new contact when his levels of infection are high. The vector is infected for lifetime and can transmit infectious diseases not only between humans but also from animals to humans. Some vector borne diseases are very disabling and globally account for more than one million deaths worldwide. The mosquitoes from the complex Culex pipiens sl. are the most abundant in Portugal, and we dispose in this moment of a data set from the surveillance program that has been carried on since 2006 across the country. All mosquitos’ species are included, but the large coverage of Culex pipiens sl. and its importance for public health make this vector an interesting candidate to assess risk of disease amplification. This work focus on ports and airports identified as key areas of high density of vectors. Mosquitoes being ectothermic organisms, the main factor for vector survival and pathogen development is temperature. Minima and maxima local air temperatures for each area of interest are averaged by month from data gathered on a daily basis at the national network of meteorological stations, and interpolated in a geographic information system (GIS). The range of temperatures ideal for several pathogens are known and this work shows how to use it with the meteorological data in each port and airport facility, to focus an efficient implementation of countermeasures and reduce simultaneously risk transmission and mitigation costs. The results show an increased alert with decreasing latitude, which corresponds to higher minimum and maximum temperatures and a lower amplitude range of the daily temperature.