ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0058.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Needlestick and other sharp injuries; hospital-acquired infection; biological hazards; infection control; occupational hazards
Online: 3 March 2022 (08:13:53 CET)
Needlestick and other sharp injuries (NSIs) are critical occupational hazard for healthcare workers. Exposure to blood and body fluids through NSIs increases the risk of transmission of blood-borne pathogens among them. The objectives of this study were to estimate the one-year incidence of NSIs and investigate its associated factors among the healthcare workers in Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted between October and November 2021. A total of 361 healthcare workers participated in the survey from all over Saudi Arabia. The one-year incidence of NSIs among healthcare workers is estimated at 22.2%. More than half of the injury event (53.8%) was not reported to the authority by the healthcare worker. Incidence of NSIs was highest among the physicians (36%) and is followed by nurses (34.8%), dentists (29.2%), and medical technologists (21.1%). The likelihood of injury is higher (OR: 2.51; 95% CI: 1.04, 6.03) among the works aged 26 – 30 years compared to the 20 – 25 years age group and the workers directly deal with needles or other sharp objects while working (OR: 5.90; 2.69, 12.97). The high incidence rate of injury and low reporting rate highlight the needs of an education program targeting healthcare providers with higher risk.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0154.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: sustainability indicators; natural hazards; earthquake; ELECTRE
Online: 24 August 2017 (12:37:08 CEST)
Natural hazards such as earthquakes take place around the world and when combined with humans create natural disasters. Earthquakes, a form of natural hazard, have, in recent years, caused damage and destruction in many rural areas due to the lack of sustainability in political, economic, social, physical and operational criteria. Thus, to overcome the damage caused by earthquakes in rural areas, an assessment of sustainability status seems necessary to plan and strengthen in relation to the status of sustainability indicators. Data collection was performed through field methods and questionnaires. To test the hypothesis, T statistical methods, correlation method and F-test were performed using SPSS software (V22.0, IBM Corporation, Armonk, NY, USA). The results of the study showed that villages were at a low and undesirable level for all aspects, except social index in terms of sustainability. Comparisons showed that there was a significant mean difference among villages in terms of sustainability. The multi-criteria decision-making analysis has been considered and applied to a ranking of villages in terms of sustainability against the hazard of earthquakes. Finally, in order to improve the sustainability indicators of villages, some strategies have been presented.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0170.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Air pollution; environmental hazards; Volatile Organic Compounds
Online: 8 January 2021 (16:59:01 CET)
Air pollution is a serious global issue, responsible for approximately one in every nine deaths each year, ranking it among the greatest environmental hazards to human health. It is of particular concern in urban areas, where elevated pollutant concentrations and potential sufferers converge. Over one half of the world’s population presently lives in urban areas, and the urban population ratio is expected to reach 68% by 2050. Common air pollutants include particulate matter (PM), sulphur dioxide (SO2), ground-level ozone (O3), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO). While elevated rates of air pollution pose serious health risks for humans, outdoor plants can help reduce the harmful effects of air pollution by filtering and purifying the air around us.In this project Common Ivy, Aster and Miniature Andromeda plants were evaluated for air pollutant mitigation. In this study we developed a vegetation barrier model with the plant located in the middle of the greenhouse box, and air pollutant was sprayed on one side of the plant. Dispersion patterns of sprayed pollutants were tested with and without vegetation barrier. Measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2), Formaldehyde (HCHO), Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC), and Particulate Matter (PM2.5/PM10) were taken before spraying, then at 0 and 30 minutes after spraying, using both monitors.The results show mitigation rates (in 177 ft3 of air after 30 min): for TVOC the minimum reduction is 5 mg/m3; for HCHO, 1 mg/m3; for CO2, 2000 ppm; for PM2.5, 2000 ug/m3; and for PM10 it was 1000 ug/m3.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0212.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: 5G; health risks; EMP exposure; health hazards
Online: 8 August 2020 (17:56:06 CEST)
Recently there is a growing concern regarding potential health hazards linked with 5G deployment and radio frequency emitted by these stations. It becomes fundamentally important to scientifically address these concerns. In this paper, the health risks incorporated with 5G are discussed critically in the light of scientific work and debunk these tittle-tattles where required. We confute scientifically the “5G appeal”, discuss effects of 5G on health, its implications on privacy, pandemics, ecosystem and role of world health organization in fighting these narratives. Finally, we provide future direction to negate these false claims linked with 5G.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0332.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Adaptation; Climate change; Coastal hazards; Coastal ecosystems; Vulnerability
Online: 6 October 2023 (11:52:52 CEST)
Coastal ecosystems provide a wide range of goods and services for the lives of human beings and aquatic species. Nevertheless, climate-induced extreme events cause unprecedented impacts on these areas, instigating a reduction of aquatic goods and services, destruction of infrastructure, and loss of human lives. Hence, this review investigated the impacts of climate-induced coastal hazards and adaptation responses. A systematic review method was used to address the objectives of this literature review. The main data sources were Research Gate, Google Scholar, Scopus, Web of Science, and PubMed databases. A total of 40 research articles (2012-2023) were selected using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA 2020) methodology. The findings of this review revealed that Bangladesh was the leading country based on the number of studies published on the impacts of climate-induced coastal hazards and coastal adaptations (20%), followed by the USA, which accounts for about 15%. Sea-level rise, coastal flooding, and climate change and variability were the most studied climate-induced coastal hazards, each accounting for 55%, 52.5% and 52.5% respectively. Coastal hazards have had significant impacts on the fishery, water, coastal ecosystems and biodiversity, agriculture, tourism, and infrastructure sectors. Besides, they caused migration and death of humans and animals. About 35% of the articles explored the assessment of vulnerability to climate-induced hazards. Moreover, 32.5% of the articles investigated anticipated climate-induced hazards. Hard, soft, ecosystem-based, and hybrid adaptation measures were used to adapt to the impacts of diverse climate-induced coastal hazards. In conclusion, developing countries are more vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate-induced coastal hazards than developed countries. The coastal area’s vulnerability to climate change risks will continue unless all stakeholders act proactively. Thus, it is suggested that the adaptation policies of vulnerable coastal areas should give due attention to nature-based solutions to reduce the adverse impacts of coastal hazards sustainably.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0277.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: asbestos, hazards, rehabilitation, dispersion, risks, environmental, mine waste
Online: 5 October 2023 (10:46:07 CEST)
Derelict asbestos mine sites in South Africa pose a considerable risk to human, environmental and socio-economic health. Comprehensive mineralogical and geochemical datasets for the existing hazardous geological materials still exposed in Southern African derelict asbestos mines remain largely non-existent, as very little published and up-to-date literature is available. In this study three representative types of asbestos mineral fibres from derelict asbestos mines in Southern Africa, namely chrysotile from Havelock mine, amosite from Penge mine and crocidolite from Prieska mine are characterized mineralogically and geochemically to critically evaluate real-life hazards in rural and asbestos-fibre contaminated regions. The samples were examined using polarising light microscopy, X-ray fluorescence (major and trace elemental analysis), X-ray diffraction (including Rietveld refinement), specific surface area analyses and bio-durability tests. Data are discussed in view of their potential toxicities on both human health and the environment in the context of developing countries. Finally, information on the mineralogical and geochemical status of asbestos mine waste and its importance as baseline data for rehabilitation considerations is also evaluated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0138.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Debris-flow; Hazard; Ground Penetrating Radar; Mountain hazards
Online: 8 July 2022 (10:15:48 CEST)
Debris-flows are recurrent events on mountain- and hill- slopes, and they have been the object of numerous field investigations and sampling, however most of this work reposes on imagery and outcrop analysis, in such a way that there are still only a handful of studies investigating the internal architecture of these events’ deposits. In the present contribution, we aims at underneath the internal structure of a portion of a debris-flow deposit that was accessible in the aftermath of the 2018 heavy-rainfall debris-flows in Hiroshima Japan. Using a Ramac Pro-Ex GPR with 500 MHz and 800 MHz antenna, a set of longitudinal and transversal transects was used to characterize the deposit. The results demonstrated that a set of subhorizontal layers have filled the valley, and interacting with local terrace edges, these layers have piled up and overcome the obstacle. Across the valleys, a set of trough suggest the presence of channels that were also filled during the event. Finally, in the channel post-event, a set of radargram “cross-bedded units” shows that the final deposition in the channel was of a more dilute flow, typical of a Newtonian flow. This set of units was not to be found at the surface of the post-event pseudo-surface, suggesting that the flow ended as a debris-flow on this surface, and that it is only when the flow dug the final channel that the nature of the flow returned from debris-flow to Newtonian flow.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0360.v2
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Science Keywords: Household Disaster Preparation; Natural Hazards Mitigation; Prediction Model
Online: 2 November 2021 (12:57:04 CET)
Natural disasters are showing an increase in the magnitude, frequency, and geographic distribution. Studies have shown that individuals’ self-sufficiency, which largely depends on household preparedness, is very important for hazard mitigation in at least the first 72 hours following a disaster. However, for factors that influence a household’s disaster preparedness, though there are many studies trying to identify from different aspects, we still lack an integrative analysis on how these factors contribute to a household’s preparation. This paper aims to build a classification model to predict whether a household has prepared for a potential disaster based on their personal characteristics and the environment they located. We collect data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Household Survey in 2018 and train four classification models - logistic regression, decision trees, support vector machines, and multi-layer perceptron classifier models- to predict the impact of personal characteristics and the environment they located on household prepare for the potential natural disaster. Results show that the multi-layer perceptron classifier model outperforms others with the highest scoring on both recall (0.8531) and f1 measure (0.7386). In addition, feature selection results also show that among other factors, a household’s accessibility to disaster-related information is the most critical factor that impacts household disaster preparation. Though there is still room for further parameter optimization, the model gives a clue that we could support disaster management by gathering publicly accessible data.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0756.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Atmospheric Dispersion; Integral Model; Flammable Hazards; Flammable distances
Online: 31 March 2021 (10:11:28 CEST)
Integral atmospheric dispersion models are used widely for flammable hazard and its risk analysis. There is a widespread belief that flammable distances from these models are conservative when flammable ranges are calculated using the 0.5 lower flammability limits (LFL) concentration threshold. This is erroneous. This paper traces through the development of these models and the research that led to the Birch Guidance. It shows that the 0.5 LFL is a necessary factor to transform the results of dispersion models designed for environmental assessment to applications to flammable hazard assessment in quiescent conditions. Current applications do not take account of turbulence due to wind, large and small obstructions, etc. A set of simple guidance is given in the paper to manage flammable hazards based on results from atmospheric dispersion models, including topics for future research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0638.v1
Subject: Engineering, Transportation Science And Technology Keywords: Risk analysis; Fire hazards; Bayesian network; Ro-ro spaces
Online: 8 June 2023 (10:58:05 CEST)
This study probes the probabilistic features of major fire hazards in enclosed spaces to establish their importance to the occurrence of fires onboard ro-ro passenger ships and in turn to raise effective operational countermeasures. Distinct from the previous studies, the present research employs Bayesian Network (BN) analysis to determine the probabilities of fire hazards more effectively. The findings of the research include five critical basic events (BE) identified namely, vehicle engine fire (fuel system fault), vehicle electric fire (electrical equipment defect or short circuit), used car electrical fire, reefer units electrical fire (electrical appliances defects or short circuit), and cargo spontaneous combustion. Additionally, the risk of fire for lithium - ion battery powered vehicles is also highlighted in the process of BN analysis, which prompts the authors to propose preventive measures for mitigating the possibility of fire occurrence on this type of electric vehicles. It is hoped that these measures can be essential justifications for establishing relevant rules regarding carrying LIB vehicles in enclosed spaces on international level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0550.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geography Keywords: social vulnerability; natural hazards; spatial analysis; risk; severe weather; Mexico
Online: 10 October 2023 (05:44:43 CEST)
The spatial and temporal changes in social vulnerability to natural hazards in Mexico are analyzed. To this end, using census data from 2000, 2010, and 2020 and a statistical method, different indices were computed, and with a GIS-based approach, patterns of social vulnerability are examined. In addition, a risk assessment test for severe weather (thunderstorms, hailstorms, and tornadoes) is made out. The results show different common social vulnerability driving factors in the three analyzed years, with root causes that have not been addressed since the beginning of the century. Likewise, a wider gap between Mexico's most and least vulnerable populations is identified. The changes in spatial patterns respond to different historical situations, such as migration, urbanization, and increased population. Also, poverty, ethnicity, and marginalization factors located in very particular regions in Mexico have remained relatively the same in the last few years. These situations have strongly influenced the spatial-temporal distribution of vulnerability in the country. The role of social vulnerability in the disaster risk to extreme events such as thunderstorms, hailstorms, and tornadoes in Mexico is fundamental to understanding changes in disaster distribution at the national level, and it is the first step to generating improvements in integrated risk management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0312.v1
Subject: Engineering, Safety, Risk, Reliability And Quality Keywords: natural hazards; weather disasters; hydrometeorological fatalities; flooding; tornadoes; extreme temperatures
Online: 24 April 2018 (08:51:45 CEST)
Texas ranks first in number of natural hazard fatalities in the United States (U.S.). Based on data culled from the National Climatic Data Center databases from 1959 to 2016, the number of hydrometeorological fatalities in Texas have increased over the 58-year study period, but the per capita fatalities have significantly decreased. Spatial review found that flooding is the predominant hydrometeorological disaster in a majority of the Texas counties located in “Flash Flood Alley” and accounts for 43% of all hydrometeorological fatalities in the state. Flooding fatalities are highest on “Transportation Routes” followed by heat fatalities in “Permanent Residences”. Seasonal and monthly stratification identifies Spring and Summer as the deadliest seasons, with the month of May registering the highest number of total fatalities dominated by flooding and tornado fatalities. Demographic trends of hydrometeorological disaster fatalities indicated that approximately twice as many male fatalities occurred during the study period than female fatalities, but with decreasing gender disparity over time. Adults are the highest fatality risk group overall, children most at risk to die in flooding, and the elderly at greatest risk of heat-related death.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0574.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Wetlands; Biodiversity; Environmental Hazards; Water Quality; Al-Asfar Lake; Saudi Arabia
Online: 10 October 2023 (04:33:25 CEST)
Saudi Arabia consists mainly of desert land. However, it has big and small natural wetlands and artificial wetlands. Most of these wetlands are seen along the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf coastal regions. Al-Asfar Lake, located in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia, is one of the historical landmarks of Al-Ahsa province. The primary lake water source is agricultural drainage water, which some refer to as an artificial lake. This paper mainly aims to reflect shade on the wetlands in Saudi Arabia in general and to show in detail the environmental impacts of Al-Asfar Lake on the ecosystem and biodiversity of the study area. The analytical review of the previous studies conducted in Al-Asfar Lake was adopted in this article. Hence, the impact of the lake on the land-use system, water quality and biodiversity was illustrated as the main outputs of the review analysis. However, the sustainable management of Al-Asfar Lake requires the stakeholders to adopt the wetland ecosystem health concept, which might lead to improving the lake's environmental conditions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0477.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geochemistry And Petrology Keywords: Merapi Volcano; Indonesia; Natural Hazards; Disaster Risk and Point-cloud technology
Online: 29 August 2022 (08:34:39 CEST)
Spatial approach based on the deformation measurement of volcanic dome and crater rim is key to evaluate the activity of a volcano, such as Merapi volcano where associated disaster risk is regularly taking lives. Within this framework, this study aime to detect localized deformation and change in the summit area that has occurred concomitantly with the dome growth and explosion reported. The methodology was focused on two sets of data, one LiDAR-based dataset of 2012 and one UAV-dataset of 2014. The results show that during the period 2012-2014, the crater walls are 100 m to 120 m high above the crater floor at its maximum (North to East-South-East sector), while the West and North sector presents a topographic range of 40 to 80 m. During the period 2012 – 2014, the evolution of the crater rim around the dome is generally stable (no large collapse). The opening of a new vent on the surface of the dome has displaced an equivalent volume of 2.04 E+04 m3 corresponding to a maximum -9 m (+/- 0.9 m) vertically. This concludes that during the period 2012 – 2014 when the dome of Merapi experienced phreatic or phreatomagmatic explosions, the topography around the dome rose. This rise does not seem to be related to large wall collapses, and it is likely that modification in the subsurface have triggered those changes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0425.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: exposure; urban development; nightlights intensity; population distribution; natural hazards; remote sensing
Online: 21 October 2020 (09:35:17 CEST)
The assessment of the number of people exposed to natural hazards, especially in countries with strong urban growth, is difficult to be updated at the same rate as land use develops. This paper presents a remote sensing based procedure for quick updating the assessment of the population exposed to natural hazards. A relationship between satellite nightlights intensity and urbanization density from global available cartography is first assessed when all data are available. This can be used to extrapolate urbanization data at different time steps, updating exposure each time new nightlights intensity maps are available. As reliability test for the proposed methodology, the number of people exposed to riverine flood in Italy is assessed, deriving a probabilistic relationship between DMSP nightlights intensity and urbanization density from GUF database for the year 2011. People exposed to riverine flood are assessed crossing the population distributed on the derived urbanization density with flood hazard zones provided by ISPRA. The validation on reliable exposures derived from ISTAT data shows good agreement. The possibility to update exposure maps with higher refresh rate makes this approach particularly suitable for applications in developing countries, where exposure may change at sub-yearly scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0247.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: risk communication; resilience; psychometric paradigm; analytical hierarchal process.; risk perception; natural hazards
Online: 5 June 2023 (05:40:41 CEST)
Understanding how the public perceives various risks and hazards associated with our well-being and health is crucial for government and policymakers. The present research aimed to assess the public's perception of various risks and hazards associated with their well-being and health. The study combined two well-known approaches to risk assessment, namely, the analytical hierarchical process (AHP) and the psychometric paradigm. Seven risk attributes were chosen from the risk perception literature to evaluate 27 risks and hazard activities using a survey questionnaire developed based on the psychometric paradigm literature. The collected data was then analyzed using AHP to determine the priority weight for each risk attribute. The results showed that the most important risk attribute was voluntariness of risk, followed by chronic-catastrophic and newness of risk. Furthermore, the study found that natural hazards were ranked the highest, followed by refugee influx and fire hazards. In contrast, the mobile phone was perceived as the lowest type of risk. The findings can be used by policymakers to develop effective and sustainable risk communication strategies. Policymakers can use the research findings to create effective and sustainable risk communication strategies that help the government to inform and educate the public about potential risks, improve coordination among agencies and stakeholders, and enhance public trust in government decision-making.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1886.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: India; Urban; Climate Vulnerability; Disaster resilience; Climate hazards; Vulnerability Assess-ment framework
Online: 26 May 2023 (07:59:12 CEST)
There has been an increase in the inefficiencies of urban infrastructure services in Indian cities as a result of rapid and unplanned urbanization (UNDP, 2017). Indian cities have grown multidimensional as a result of massive industrializa-tion and technological spread backed by globalization impacting the early 2000. It has transformed the city fabric and the associated challenges. Therefore, an Urban Climate Vulnerability Assessment (UCVA) is needed to identify, target and recognize climate vulnerable urban cities, sectors, or populations. The UCVA framework consists of seven broad thematic indicators — physical, hazard, social, demographic, financial provisioning, infrastructure and admin-istration vulnerabilities, and their sub indicators to represent the climate vul-nerability of Indian cities. This assessment is for seven Indian cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Srinagar, Shillong, and Ahmedabad which were selected based on their geographical location, population, ecosystem types and hazards/ hazard trends to understand and assess the respective vul-nerabilities. The Assessment is done through a comprehensive approach using a robust and predictive qualitative framework. It helps in determining respec-tive risks and in improving community resilience to the climate hazards by in-tegrated planning and improved preparedness. UCVA can support as a deci-sion support mechanism for devising suitable mitigation and adaptation strategies for building urban climate resilience.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0323.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Climate Change; Modeling; Coastal Hazards; End Point Rate; Uncertainty Bathtub; Bruun Rule
Online: 16 February 2021 (13:30:10 CET)
This work assesses sea-level rise using three different models created on Free and Open-Source Software for Geographic Information System (FOSS4GIS). Based on regional projections of Special Report on Climate Change and Oceans and Cryosphere (SROCC) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the models were applied to a case of study on Rio Grande do Sul coast – Brazil under different sea-level rise scenarios by the end of this century. The End Point Rate for QGIS (EPR4Q), calculates a shoreline projection using End Point Rate method. The Uncertainty Bathtub Model (uBTM), analyses the sea-level rise impact by the uncertainty of sea-level projec-tions and vertical error of the Digital Elevation/Terrain Model (DEM/DTM). The Bruun Rule for Google Earth Engine Model (BRGM) predicts the shoreline position with sea-level rise, using topographic and bathymetric data from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Coastal Modelling System (SMC – Brazil), respectively. The results indicated a maximum shoreline retreat for 2100 of -502 m and -1727 m using EPR4Q and BRGM, correspondingly. The uBTM using the land-use of Mapbiomas showed a maximum of 44.57 km2 of urban area impacted by the sea-level flood. This research highlights the possibility of performing coastal management analysis in GIS environ-ment using non-commercial software.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1997.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: WRF-Chem model; Mount Etna; VOLDORAD-2B Doppler radar; volcanic ash cloud; aviation hazards
Online: 29 June 2023 (05:31:46 CEST)
Volcanic emissions (ash, gas, aerosols) dispersed in the atmosphere during explosive eruptions generate hazards affecting aviation, human health, air quality and the environment. We document for the first time the contamination of airspace by very fine volcanic ash due to sequences of tran-sient ash plumes from Mount Etna. The atmospheric dispersal of sub-10 μm (PM10) ash is mod-elled using the WRF-Chem model coupled online with meteorology and aerosols and offline with Mass Eruption Rates (MER) derived from near-vent Doppler radar measurements and inferred plume altitudes. We analyse two sequences of paroxysms with widely varied volcanological conditions and contrasted meteorological synoptic patterns in October–December 2013 and on 3-5 December 2015. We analyse the PM10 ash dispersal simulation maps in terms of time-averaged columnar ash density, concentration at specified flight levels averaged over the entire sequence interval, and daily average concentration during selected paroxysm days at these flight levels. The very fine ash from such eruption sequences is shown to easily contaminate the airspace around the volcano within a radius of about 1000 km in a matter of a few days. Synoptic patterns with relatively weak tropospheric currents lead to the accumulation of PM10 ash at a re-gional scale all around Etna. In this context, closely interspersed paroxysms tend to accumulate very fine ash more diffusively in the lower troposphere and in stretched ash clouds higher up in the troposphere. Low-pressure, high-winds weather systems tend to stretch ash clouds into ~100 km-wide clouds forming large-scale vortices 800-1600 km in diameter. Daily average PM10 ash concentrations commonly exceed the aviation hazard threshold up to 1000 km downwind from the volcano and up to the upper troposphere for intense paroxysms. Vertical distributions show ash cloud thicknesses in the range 0.7–3 km, and PM10 sometimes stagnating at ground level, represent a potential health hazard.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1328.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Fine particulate matter (PM2.5); air pollution; light pollution; environmental hazards; climate change; sustainable development
Online: 18 May 2023 (10:25:34 CEST)
The study aims to identify the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) hazard area, mitigation method, and possible sustainable development in a changing global climate. The critical environmental hazards are artificial light at night (ALAN) and air pollution with ambient PM2.5. People use nighttime outdoor environments for their needs, and the nocturnally migrating birds are attracted to urban ALAN during seasonal migration, which could increase the birds' exposure to PM2.5. A comparative study examines PM2.5 concentrations and the spatial correlation between ALAN and PM2.5 within urban versus rural areas. The author used the nighttime data of the artificial light on the Earth's surface and the PM2.5 level of concentration to estimate the extent of air pollution associated with PM2.5 in the ground-level atmosphere. The results can assist in determining the required PM2.5 control areas and designing and executing environmental conservation planning. Furthermore, the results of this study are not only beneﬁcial to understanding accurately the regional differences of spatiotemporal PM2.5 emission dynamics and helpful for proposing alleviation policies in air pollution control and providing scientiﬁc support for regional sustainable development in changing climate. The integrated hazards of ALAN and air pollution are most significant and likely to increase within the urban and decrease within rural areas. This study was undertaken by the first author and built upon the context of the academic, scientific, and technological challenges to identify the PM2.5 concentration in urban and rural areas and the expected outcomes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0629.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: accretion; adaptive responses; Bangladesh; erosion; floods; geophysical; hazards; river basin; river channel migration; resettlement.
Online: 20 April 2023 (08:01:29 CEST)
This study posits that for appropriately explaining the complex charland (mid-channel island) processes and formulating policy and planning measures, a comprehensive understanding of the dynamic characteristics of the geomorphological, ecological, and human systems holistically is essential. This is also valid for the territorial and maritime areas of Bangladesh. The objectives of this study are: (i) to analyze the salient features and characteristics of the geomorphological and riparian systems of the Bengal Delta; (ii) to analyze the evolutionary discourse of the legal systems concerning eroded (diluvion) and accreted (alluvion) land in Bangladesh; and (iii) to assess characteristics of coping and adaptation strategies of the charland inhabitants. The findings reveal that the delta-building processes, characterized by the dynamic shifts of river channels, and erosion and accretion of charlands have made the land and water systems of the territory very dynamic and unstable – resulting in consistent displacement of settlers and serious deterioration of their socioeconomic status. The historical evolution of land laws and regulations concerning the accreted land favoured vested interests. As no effective institutional framework and structure presently exists in Bangladesh for resettlement planning, formulation of a comprehensive national resettlement policy is therefore urgently needed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0410.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: social representations; natural hazard risk; Alpine hazards; risk communication; risk management; qualitative risk research;
Online: 16 November 2018 (13:35:01 CET)
The term “risk” is connoted with divergent meanings in natural hazard risk research and the practice of risk management. Whilst the technical definition is accurately defined, in practice, the term “risk” is often synonymously used with “danger”. Considering this divergence as a deficiency, risk communication often aims to correct laypersons’ understanding. We suggest in reference to Breakwell (2001) to treat the variety of meanings as a resource for risk communication strategies instead. However, there is no investigation so far, of what laypersons’ meanings of risk actually comprise. To address this gap, we examine the meanings of risk applying a social representations approach (Moscovici, 2001) in a qualitative case study design. Results of the study among inhabitants of Swiss mountain villages show that differences in meanings were found according to hazard experience and community size. We found commonly shared core representations, and single peripheral ones. We conclude with suggestions on how to make usage of the knowledge on SR in risk communication.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0048.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: emergency rainwater tanks; earthquake; Wellington; health hazards; drinking-water quality; E. coli; lead; zinc
Online: 13 October 2016 (05:41:48 CEST)
The greater Wellington region, New Zealand, is highly vulnerable to large earthquakes because it is cut by active faults. Bulk water supply pipelines cross the Wellington Fault at several different locations, and there is considerable concern about severe disruption of the provision of reticulated water supplies to households and businesses in the aftermath of a large earthquake. A number of policy initiatives have been launched encouraging householders to install rainwater tanks to increase post-disaster resilience. However, little attention has been paid to potential health hazards associated with consumption of these supplies. To assess health hazards for householders in emergency situations, six 200-litre emergency water tanks were installed at properties across the Wellington region, with five tanks being allowed to fill with roof-collected rainwater and one tank being filled with municipal tapwater as a control. Such tanks are predominantly set aside for water storage, and once filled, feature limited drawdown and recharge. Sampling from these tanks was carried out fortnightly for one year, and samples analysed for E. coli, pH, conductivity, a range of major and trace elements, and organic compounds, enabling an assessment of the evolution of water chemistry in water storage tanks over time. Key findings were that the overall rate of E.coli detections in the rain-fed tanks was 17.7%, which is low in relation to other studies. We propose that low incidences of E.coli may be due to biocidal effects of high zinc concentrations in tanks, originating from unpainted galvanised steel roof cladding. Lead concentrations were high compared to other studies, with 69% of rain-fed tank samples exceeding the World Health Organisation’s health-based guideline of 0.01 mg/L. Further work is required to determine risks of short-term consumption of this water in emergency situations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0344.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Nature-based solutions (NBS); Hydrometeorological hazards; PHUSICOS project; Implementation barriers; Flooding; Landslides; Avalanches; Rockfall; Europe
Online: 14 December 2020 (14:19:27 CET)
Nature Based Solutions (NBS) are becoming increasingly important in both the EU and individual countries' political agendas, as a sustainable means to reduce the risk posed by hydrometeorological hazards. However, as the use of NBS is increasing, a number of barriers regarding their practical implementation also becomes apparent. A number of review studies have summarized and classified barriers, mainly in urban settings. PHUSICOS is a H2020 Innovation Action to demonstrate the use of NBS in rural and mountain landscapes. Large scale demonstrator case sites with several sub-projects are established in Italy, Norway and in the French and Spanish Pyrenees. The present paper describes the project's NBS measures, and their experienced barriers, some of which have resulted in full cancellation of the planned interventions. Many of the barriers experienced in rural settings have the same root causes as the ones described from urban areas, and the main barrier-creating mechanisms are institutional factors, resistance among stakeholders and technical and economic issues. The key element, however, is lack of knowledge about the ability of NBS to deliver a series of co-benefits in addition to their risk-reducing effects, and that long-term thinking is required to see the effect of many of these co-benefits.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0395.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Innovation; Up-scaling; NBS Nature-based solutions (NBS); Hydrometeorological hazards; PHUSICOS project; Flooding; Landslides; Avalanches; Rockfall; Europe
Online: 16 December 2020 (08:33:57 CET)
Impact in the form of innovation and commercialisation is an essential component of publicly funded research projects. PHUSICOS, an H2020 Innovation Action project, aims at demonstrating the use of nature-based solutions for mitigating hydrometeorological hazards in rural and mountainous areas. The work program is built around key innovation actions, and each WP leader specifically responsible for nurturing innovation processes, maintaining market focus and ensuring relevance for the intended recipients of the project results. Key success criteria for PHUSICOS include up-scaling and mainstreaming of NBS to reach broader market access. An innovation strategy and supporting tools for implementing this within PHUSICS has been developed and key concepts forming the basis for this strategy are presented in this research note.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1160.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Water Science And Technology Keywords: Human exposure; high-risk environments; human health hazards; personal care products; pharmaceuticals; per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances; risk factors
Online: 16 June 2023 (03:16:14 CEST)
Emerging organic contaminants (EOCs) of anthropogenic origins are ubiquitous in environmental compartments, including aquatic systems. Thus, EOCs have attracted considerable research and public attention due to their potential human and ecological health risks. However, compared to other aquatic environments such as wastewater systems, comprehensive reviews focussing on the occurrence and human health risks of EOCs in drinking water systems are still lacking. Therefore, to address this knowledge gap, the current review posits that drinking water systems harbour a cocktail of toxic EOCs, which pose public health risks via multiple exposure routes. In the present review, global evidence is examined to track EOCs along the source-pathway-receptor-impact-mitigation (SPRIM) continuum. Evidence shows that, various groups of EOCs, including pharmaceuticals and personal care products, solvents, plasticizers, endocrine disrupting compounds, gasoline additives, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), food colourants, artificial sweeteners, and musks and fragrances, have been detected in drinking water systems. The anthropogenic sources of EOCs detected in drinking water systems, including wastewater systems and industrial emissions, are summarized. Further, the behaviour and fate of EOCs in the drinking water systems, including removal processes are discussed. Once in drinking water systems, human exposure to EOCs may occur via ingestion of contaminated drinking water and cooked foods, and possibly dermal contact and inhalation. The high-risk environments, and risk factors and behaviours predisposing humans to EOC exposure are discussed. Evidence on the human health risks of the various EOCs and a critique of the data are presented. Notably, besides inferential data, quantitative epidemiological evidence directly relating the occurrence of EOCs in drinking water systems to specific adverse human health outcomes is still scarce. Lastly, future research directions, including the need for quantitative public health risk assessment, and the application of emerging detection tools are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1608.v1
Subject: Engineering, Architecture, Building And Construction Keywords: Landscape Digital Twin; GIS; natural hazards; road; floods; landslide; risk analysis; open-source data; risk maps; socio-economic approach
Online: 25 July 2023 (03:31:45 CEST)
In the last decades, climate and environmental changes have highlighted the fragility and vulnerability of the landscape, especially in mountain areas where the effects are most severe. The strategy for hazard mitigation must deploy synergistic actions based on a thorough knowledge of the territory and its phenomena to enable integrated and effective land planning and management through suitable communication tools. This study promotes the methodological setup of a Landscape Digital Twin to establish a multi-disciplinary and multi-scalar hazards overview according to a matrix framework implementable over time and space. The original contribution to the research addresses a holistic vision that combines meaningfully qualitative with quantitative approaches to generate risk maps by integrating various indicators within a multi-hazard framework from the socio-economic perspective. This contribution presents road network risk analysis by exploiting flooding and landslide scenarios. The critical road segments or nodes most vulnerable or impacted by network performance and accessibility can be identified with minimal preprocessing from credible open-source sources. The method's applicability is tested in a Piedmont Region, northern Italy case study. The integration proposed will help generate comprehensive risk analysis maps that effectively portray the interconnectedness among natural hazards, infrastructure, and socio-economic factors fostering more resilient decision-making processes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0151.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Psychiatry And Mental Health Keywords: psychological distress; COVID-19 pandemic; health care workers; perceived risks; workplace relationship; support; training; workplace hazards; perceived barriers; job tension
Online: 11 July 2022 (07:40:12 CEST)
While the global COVID-19 pandemic has been widely acknowledged to affect the mental health of health care workers (HCWs), attention to measures that protect those on the front lines of health outbreak response has been limited. In this cross-sectional study, we examine workplace contextual factors associated with how psychological distress was experienced in a South African setting where a severe first wave was being experienced with an objective of identifying factors that can protect against HCWs experiencing negative impacts. Consistent with mounting literature on mental health effects, we found a high degree of psychological distress (57.4% above General Health Questionnaire cut-off value) and a strong association between perceived risks associated with the presence of COVID-19 in the healthcare workplace and psychological distress (adjusted OR = 2.35, p <.01). Our research indicates that both training (adjusted OR 0.41, 95% CI 0.21 – 0.81) and the reported presence of supportive workplace relationships (adjusted OR 0.52, 95% CI 0.27 – 0.97) were associated with positive outcomes. This evidence that workplace resilience can be reinforced to better prepare for the onset of similar outbreaks in the future suggests that pursuit of further research into specific interventions to improve resilience is well merited.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0124.v3
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: air pollution prediction; flue gas; mercury emissions; adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS); particle swarm optimization (PSO); ANFIS-PSO; hybrid machine learning model; data science; particulate matter; health hazards of air pollution; air quality
Online: 12 August 2019 (05:19:37 CEST)
Accurate prediction of mercury content emitted from fossil-fueled power stations is of utmost importance for environmental pollution assessment and hazard mitigation. In this paper, mercury content in the output gas of power stations’ boilers was predicted using an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) method integrated with particle swarm optimization (PSO). The input parameters of the model include coal characteristics and the operational parameters of the boilers. The dataset has been collected from 82 power plants and employed to educate and examine the proposed model. To evaluate the performance of the proposed hybrid model of ANFIS-PSO model, the statistical meter of MARE% was implemented, which resulted in 0.003266 and 0.013272 for training and testing, respectively. Furthermore, relative errors between acquired data and predicted values were between -0.25% and 0.1%, which confirm the accuracy of the model to deal nonlinearity and representing the dependency of flue gas mercury content into the specifications of coal and the boiler type.