ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1818.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: algae wastes; biosorption; technologically valuable metal ions; wastewater; decontamination processes
Online: 28 November 2023 (13:38:12 CET)
In the context of circular economy that recommends the most efficient use of waste, algae wastes have a huge potential for valorisation. In this study, algae wastes obtained after alkaline extraction of active compounds from two types of marine algae (green algae – Ulva sp. and red algae – Callithamnion sp.), were used as biosorbents to remove metal ions from aqueous effluents. Their efficiency in the biosorption processes was tested for Zn(II), Cu(II) and Co(II) ions, considered technologically valuable metal ions. The batch mono-component experiments performed under optimal conditions (pH = 5.0; 4.0 g biosorbent/L; 22 ± 1C), showed that more than 75 % of the metal ions are removed when their initial concentration is less than 1.25 mmol/L. The very good fit of the experimental data with the pseudo-second order kinetic model and Langmuir isotherm model, and the high values obtained for the maximum biosorption capacity (qmax: Cu(II) (0.52 mmol/g) > Zn(II) (0.41 mmol/g) > Co(II) (0.39 mmol/g) for G-AWB, and qmax: Cu(II) (1.78 mmol/g) > Zn(II) (1.72 mmol/g) > Co(II) (1.66 mmol/g) for R-AWB) highlights the potential use of these biosorbents to remove such technologically valuable metal ions from industrial wastewater. This possibility was tested using industrial wastewater samples obtained from the metal coating industry. Quantitative removal (> 91 %) of Zn(II), Cu(II) and Co(II) ions was obtained when their initial concentration was adjusted to 50 mg/L. Also, the rapid and efficient desorption of these metal ions from loaded-biosorbents, by simple treatment with small volumes of HNO3 (10-1 mol/L), further emphasizes the possibility of their recovery and reuse in the technological circuit. The results included in this study indicate that algae wastes have the potential to be used in industrial effluents decontamination processes and opens new perspectives for the implementation of circular economy principles.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1467.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: microplastics, polyethylene, polystyrene, polypropylene, characterization, identification, FT-IR, Raman, Somesul Mic River
Online: 23 November 2023 (04:54:42 CET)
Microplastics (MPs) pollution has become a persisting problem over the last decades and a critical issue for environmental protection and human health. In this context any scientific data able to reveal the MPs presence and to improve the characterization and identification in different systems is valuable. The aim of this paper was to assess available techniques for determining MPs in real freshwater samples and subsequently to highlight the occurrence and type of MPs in the study case area (Somesul Mic River). The specific objectives of the study were: i) MPs separation and visual characterization; ii) microscopic analyses and morphological characterization of MPs; iii) Raman and FT-IR spectroscopic identification of MPs. MPs sampling was performed from the fresh water and sediment using planktonic nets and sieves with different mesh sizes (20 to 500µm). After digestion with hydrogen peroxide, the MPs characterization was performed using both classical microscopic techniques as well as scanning electron microscopy (SEM). For the MPs identification, Raman and FT-IR spectrometry techniques were used. Large (1-5 mm) and small (1 µm to 1 mm) MPs were observed in the shape of fibers, fragments, foam, foils and spheres in various colors (red, green, blue, purple, pink, white, black, transparent, opaque). Polymers were identified related to scientific literature and reference spectra. The presence of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS) was registered for all sampling point. The MPs laboratory investigations have raised some issues regarding the identification of MPs particles with the size smaller than 500µm, being characterized especially under microscope. Small MPs particle dispersed on cellulose filter were identified using micro-Raman spectroscopy highlighting the same type of polymers. The results showed that both spectrometric methods Raman or FT-IR confirm the identification of the same type of polymers. No differences were registered between the sampling points due to the widespread presence of MPs. The sediments samples presented a greater abundance compared to the water samples. Overall, it is necessary to continue the optimization of the MPs separation protocol and identification according to the complexity of samples, mainly due to the limitation and lack of spectral databases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1436.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Gadolinium; Contrast Agent; ICP-MS; Chemical Stability
Online: 22 November 2023 (14:17:12 CET)
Gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCA) are complexes, highly stable in vivo, used in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), administered in patients and then eliminated via renal, passing through wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) before being discarded in the receiving medium, without apparent removal. In this study, it was studied if different exposure periods to several environmental parameters (solar radiation, different salinities, temperatures and pH) will influence the stability of these complexes, namely, the Gd-DOTA. Gd-DOTA solutions were processed in a seaFAST-pico saline matrix pre-concentration and elimination system and Gd concentrations were determined by ICP-MS. Results showed that the complex remained stable in fresh, brackish and saline water environments, even when exposed to extreme temperatures (40ºC) or slightly acidic to basic conditions (6-10), for an exposure period of 96h. A small increase in the free Gd concentration was observed after 18 days when exposed to pH<4, in all tested salinities (0, 18 and 36 PSU), with a degradation increase of up to 29%, after 5 weeks of exposure in freshwater. When exposed to direct solar radiation a low Gd-DOTA degradation (4%) was observed after 24h at salinity 18 PSU and remained constant until the end of the exposure period (96h), while the remaining salinities showed negligible values.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1388.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: HBCD; occurrence and distribution; environmental media
Online: 22 November 2023 (06:30:08 CET)
Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) was most important flame retardant in Expanded Polystyrene foam and Extruded Polystyrene foam in the past forty years in the world. China was the major producer and user of HBCD, and the total HBCD production was about 0.3 million tons. Although HBCD has been completely banned in China in 2021 because of its long-range transport, bioaccumulation and toxicity, there's still a lot of residues in environment. Therefore, we reviewed multiple studies concerning the distribution of HBCD in diverse environmental matrices, such as air, dust, soil, water, sediment and biota. Results revealed that HBCD levels in different environments in China present a geographical variation and were at high level compared with other countries. In all environmental media, relatively high HBCD concentrations have been found in industrial and urban areas. Industrialization and urbanization are two important factors that influence the concentration and distribution of HBCD in the environment. In terms of isomer, γ-HBCD was the dominant isomer in soil, water, and sediment, while in the biota, α-HBCD was the predominant isomer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1307.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: water contamination; fertilizer; degradation product; flatworm; regeneration; phototaxis
Online: 21 November 2023 (10:03:42 CET)
The widespread use of the herbicide glyphosate has resulted in the global presence of its degra-dation product, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), in the global environment. AMPA is commonly found in water bodies, including freshwater systems. We investigated the effects of chronic and acute AMPA exposure on the survivorship, regenerative abilities, and locomotion of the brown planarian (Girardia tigrina), a water-dwelling flatworm commonly found in freshwa-ter ecosystems. We exposed planarians to two concentrations of AMPA, consistent with the high and low ranges of concentrations observed in US water systems. We measured endpoints includ-ing survivorship, regenerative abilities of head and tail segments, eyespot regeneration, and swimming speed. Compared to the control group, we found that planarians chronically exposed to AMPA exhibited (1) modestly reduced survivorship while regenerating and (2) slower regen-eration from the tail segment. No significant differences were observed in intact body growth during chronic exposure. Our findings highlight the potential ecological impacts of AMPA con-tamination on planarian populations. Understanding the effects of AMPA exposure on planarians contributes to our understanding of the ecological consequences of glyphosate use in freshwater ecosystems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1222.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Ambient air; PM2.5; Gravimetric method; WHO guideline; Health risk assessment
Online: 20 November 2023 (07:41:28 CET)
This study determined the temporal variation of PM2.5 in ambient air in Thohoyandou and further assessed the associated health risks. The levels of PM2.5 were quantified for a period of 1 year (April 2017-April 2018) using the gravimetric method. There was no significant difference (P-value = 0.18) in concentrations of both PM2.5 samples collected during weekdays (11.29 µg.m-3) and weekends (9.86 µg.m-3). However, higher concentrations of PM2.5 were measured in spring and the lowest was measured in summer. The cancer risk obtained for PM2.5 (2.21 × 10−5, 3 × 10-4, and 5 × 10-4 for infants, children, and adults respectively) in the outdoor air of Thohoyandou has exceeded the limit values by the USEPA and WHO, implying a significant risk for the whole population. For non-carcinogenic risks, the HQ values were 2.60, 4.81, and 2.60 for infants, children, and adults respectively. The HQ value >1 indicates a non-carcinogenic risk to the residents in Thohoyandou and a higher risk to children. Moreover, PM2.5 in Thohoyandou is responsible for 0.15% and 0.13% of deaths resulting from cardiovascular disease and lung cancer respectively for adults above 30 years. PM2.5 is causing adverse health effects in Thohoyandou as deduced from the health risk assessment. Therefore, it is recommended that further epidemiological studies be conducted in Thohoyandou to estimate the burden of disease due to exposure to particulate matter and suitable controlling policies be arranged to reduce particulate matter.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1210.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Particulate matter; air quality; toxicity potential; pollution sources; health risks and regulatory measures
Online: 20 November 2023 (07:40:26 CET)
This study presents a comprehensive assessment of indoor particulate matter (PM) concentrations, focusing on PM1, PM2.5, and PM10 in five Primary Health Centers (PHCs): Arakale, Federal College of Agriculture (FECA), Iju, Oba-Ile, and Owode within Akure Local Government Areas in Nigeria. The primary novelty of this research lies in its detailed exploration of the toxicity potential of these PM fractions, providing valuable insights into the local air quality and associated health risks. The study assesses the health implications by calculating the toxicity potential (TP), Relative Risk (RR), Excess Risk (ER), and Attributable Fractions (AF) for cardiopulmonary and lung cancer mortality. The results reveal varying RR values for all-cause mortality, with Arakale showing a slight elevation (RR: 1.061), indicating potential health risks. ER values for cardiopulmonary mortality range from 14.728±7.25 to 19.04±0.38, emphasizing the substantial excess risk associated with long-term PM2.5 exposure. The study also uncovers AF for cardiopulmonary mortality ranging between 11.03±0.31 to 19.22±0.04, underscoring the significant contribution of PM to cardiovascular and respiratory health risks. Similarly, AF for lung cancer mortality ranges from 10.03±0.012 to 17.13±0.10, highlighting the substantial association between PM2.5 exposure and lung cancer risk. These findings underscore the urgent need for targeted air quality management strategies and public health interventions in the studied locations to mitigate the heightened health risks associated with particulate matter pollution. The calculated RR, ER, and AF values offer crucial insights into the complex relationship between PM exposure and adverse health outcomes, providing a foundation for informed decision-making and future research endeavors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1110.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: BiOBr-TiO2-attapulgite; ternary composites; photocatalysis; visible light; xanthates.
Online: 16 November 2023 (13:27:28 CET)
The novel ternary composites, BiOBr-TiO2-attapulgite (BTA), were synthesized using a simple hydrothermal and water-bath method, exhibiting excellent photocatalytic performance to mul-tiple xanthates. For BTA photocatalyst, TiO2 and BiOBr were uniformly loaded on the surface of acid-activated attapulgite. As a widely used collector in mining processes, sodium ethyl-xanthate (SEX) was selected as the target pollutant due to its high toxicity. The BTA ternary photocatalyst demonstrated significantly higher adsorption and photocatalytic degradation performance compared to TiO2 nanoparticles, BiOBr nanosheets, and BiOBr-TiO2 heterojunction. Structural characterization and experimental results indicated that the exceptional photocatalytic degrada-tion efficiency of BTA was mainly attributed to the formation of heterojunction between BiOBr and TiO2, as well as the presence of additional active adsorption sites provided by attapulgite. Free radical scavenging experiments and EPR results confirmed that the photogenerated holes were the predominant active species to photodegrade SEX throughout the entire experiment. The LC-MS results provided insight into potential degradation pathways of SEX. This research demonstrates that BTA, as a novel triple composite material, achieves rapid and complete degradation to 20 mg/L SEX within 20 min. This work presents a novel approach to synthesize mineral-based photo-catalysts, which have broad prospects for application in flotation wastewater treatment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0263.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Brick kiln emission; Ecological & environmental impacts; Human health impacts; Socio-economic consequences
Online: 3 November 2023 (16:29:42 CET)
The brick manufacturing sector in Bangladesh is experiencing rapid growth, leading to notable environmental and health concerns. The primary objective of this research is to examine the Savar Upazila, a region of significant economic significance owing to its favorable brick manufacturing conditions and proximity to Dhaka city. Brick kilns, among other sources, constitute significant contributors to air pollution. The study utilized primary and secondary data to examine brick kiln emissions' effects on the surrounding area's environment and public health. The collection of primary data was conducted in multiple zones within Savar Upazila, which is home to a significant number of brick kilns. The utilization of secondary data provided valuable insights regarding the toxic pollutants discharged by these kilns and the corresponding health risks they pose. The participants provided accounts of various health ailments, such as dermatological conditions, optical difficulty, and respiratory complications, further aggravated by brick kilns' incidents. The prevalence of crop losses, soil degradation, and reduced agricultural yields was confirmed by 74% of the respondents. The trees and crops in the surrounding area experienced adverse effects due to the deposition of dust particles. During periods of inactivity, the concentrations of sulfur oxide (SOx) were between 6 and 9 times lower compared to periods of operation. Similarly, nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels were observed to be 4 to 6 times lower during non-operational phases. The degradation of water quality in adjacent bodies has been attributed to the deposition of dust and ash originating from brickfields, resulting in substantial repercussions on aquaculture. A significant proportion of participants indicated experiencing diverse health issues, notwithstanding the employment prospects generated by brick kilns, thereby underscoring the adverse consequences on both the environment and the local economy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0171.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: nanoplastics, uptake, toxicity, trophic transfer, algae, cyanobacteria, Daphnia, EPS, ecocorona
Online: 2 November 2023 (11:06:20 CET)
The present review critically examines the advancements in the past 5 years concerning the re-search on the bioavailability of the nanoplastics (NPLs) to freshwater plankton. With a specific emphasis on two bioavailability components: uptake availability and toxico-availability, we dis-cuss the recent progress in the understanding of the adsorption, absorption, trophic transfer and biological effects in phyto- and zooplankton induced by NPLs exposure. The influence of the plankton on the NPLs bioavailability via excretion of the biomolecules and formation of eco-corona is also examined. In spite of the important research developments, there are still con-siderable knowledge gaps with respect to NPLs biouptake and trophic transfer by plankton, as well as a potential adverse effect in natural aquatic systems. As plankton play a critical role in primary production, nutrient cycling and food web structure, understanding the interaction be-tween NPLs and plankton is essential in assessing the potential implications of the nanoplastics pollution for aquatic ecosystem biodiversity and services.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1980.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Uranium; In-situ leaching; Reactive transport model; Capture zone; Streamline; pollution control
Online: 31 October 2023 (08:12:28 CET)
Acid in-situ leaching (ISL) is a common approach to the recovery of uranium in the subsurface. As some toxic and harmful substances might be produced by the chemical reactions among the injected sulphuric acid, the groundwater, and the porous media during leaching processes, the pollution control of the mining plan for ISL is important. In this study, a three-dimensional reactive transport modeling (3DRTM) was applied to decide the pollution control mining plan, considering the partial penetration through wellbore in confined aquifer and complex chemical reactions between main minerals. Based on the 3DRTM, different pumping ratio and non-uniform injection schemes were compared. The results show that the preferential pollution control mining plan is non-uniform injection ratio equal 0.1. By analyzing the characteristics of water table and streamline, it is concluded that the scheme has a strong hydraulic capture effect. In this scheme, the concentration of UO22+, H+, SO42- obtained by 3DRTM is lower. The inner well injection rate is 194.09 m3/d, the outer well injection rate is 158.89 m3/d, and the pumping rate is 264.00 m3/d. A reasonable suggestion is to adopt non-uniform injection mining mode in ISL.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0491.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Transport emissions; Roads; CO2; Developing Countries
Online: 25 October 2023 (12:54:46 CEST)
Air pollution is a global issue, and the transportation sector is recognized as the third-largest contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Vehicles emit a range of chemical compounds as a direct result of the combustion process. The nature and quantity of these emissions depend on the vehicle's characteristics, road, and local weather conditions. As a result, these emissions require special attention due to the adverse effects contributing to global warming and significantly impacting human health. In this regard, diagnosing and monitoring air quality is crucial for understanding the nature and quantity of emissions generated by various sources. However, in developing countries, the necessary inputs, and data for conducting such analyses are not always available. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to estimate emissions specifically generated from road operations. To achieve this, HDM-4 calculation tool is utilized to quantitatively estimate these emissions. This tool was applied in Baja California, Mexico, on the Centinela-La Rumorosa highway. The results obtained show that annually, 372.5 tons of pollutant emissions are generated, composed of HC, CO, CO2, NOx, Par, SO2, and PB, covering a mere 128 kilometers of length within a state road network spanning 11,429 kilometers. This highlights the necessity of implementing strategies to reduce emissions or the environmental impact generated by vehicular operations on roads in developing countries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1470.v1
Online: 24 October 2023 (07:55:49 CEST)
Abstract: This article explores the intricate relationship between environmental degradation, specifically air pollution, and economic growth in the Sultanate of Oman spanning the period from 1990 to 2022. We employ cointegration and vector error correction models to uncover both short- and long-term dynamics in the association between air pollution and economic growth. Fur-thermore, Granger causality analysis is utilized to investigate the causal links between these crucial variables. This data encompasses factors related to environmental quality and various control variables. The empirical results unveil a sustained long-term cointegration connection between the variables. Additionally, our findings highlight a statistically significant positive impact of economic growth and energy consumption on CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the short-term analysis reveals an annual adjustment of approximately 14.1% in N2O emissions dis-equilibrium. The Granger causality study indicates unidirectional causal relationships involving N2O emissions, economic growth, and CO2 emissions. The implications of these findings for Oman's policy landscape are substantial. To effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is imperative for Oman to establish robust climate change policies. Additionally, the government can play a pivotal role in encouraging and endorsing the use of renewable energy sources, such as green hydrogen, as a promising alternative to traditional oil and gas resources.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0498.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Natural radioactivity; Water; Sediment; environmental implications; North Africa
Online: 9 October 2023 (11:56:38 CEST)
Natural radioactivity of 238U, 232Th and 40K for water and sediment samples collected from Sidi Salem dam (Tunisia) and Aïn Dalia dam (Algeria) were measured using TERRA detector of rays (gamma, beta, and alpha), Gamma-ray spectrometry and atomic absorption spectroscopy were used to analyze the levels of radionuclides and heavy metals, respectively. Heavy metals (Fe, Pb, Zn, Ni, Cu, Cr and Cd) and associated health risks in surface water and sediment of dams have been investigated in this study. The mean activity concentrations in the water samples were 1.72±0.01, 0.068±0.01 and 94.6±1.04 Bql-1 for 238U, 232Th and 40K respectively (Tunisia dam) and were 1.9± 0.24, 0.09±0.01 and 131.43±1.03 Bql-1 for 238U, 232Th and 40K respectively (Algeria dam). The mean activity concentration of 238U, 232Th and 40K measured in the sediment samples were 2.67±0.01, 0.18±0.012 and 197.87±2.01 Bqkg-1 respectively (Tunisian dam) and were 4.34±0.05, 0.27±0.05 and 287.61±3.34 Bqkg-1 respectively (Algeria dam). The activity concentration of 40K was higher than that of 238U and 232Th for the water and sediment samples. The mean activity concentrations follow the order 40K > 238U > 232Th. The mean concentrations of the heavy metals decreased in this order Fe > Pb > Zn > Ni > Cr > Cu > Cd. All measured activity concentrations and estimated radiological parameters were below world permissible limit values. Therefore, there may be no serious immediate radiological health burden on the environment and the people using the damage.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0402.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Pollution; Phytoremediation; Plants; PM mitigation; Deposition; Foliage; Morphological traits; Par-ticulate matter
Online: 9 October 2023 (09:03:16 CEST)
Spectacularly, particulate matter pollution influences human health by aggravating numerous diseases and causing premature deaths. In order to eliminate its concentration in the ambient air, plant species can act as natural bio-filters and capture, degrade, and metabolize air pollutants inside their foliage. In a study carried out at three sites with different pollution levels and plant types. The immobilization efficiency of Particulate Matter (PM) was investigated in the leaves of three species (shrub, climber, and herb) in the southwestern of Japan with a time gap of 14 days. Two healthy mature leaf samples of each specimen were carefully collected and analyzed using the gravimetric analytical method. A significant quantity of PM in three-size fractions with aerodynamic diameters ranging between (0.1-100 μm) was captured inside the leaf foliage of the analyzed species. Fine particles (2.5 -10 μm) dominated the highest portion of the PM deposition captured by the analyzed species with 70.6 μg.cm-2(39.5%). Shrub species represented with Elaeagnus pungens proved to be the most efficient species among the analyzed species. Leaf traits such as grooves, trichomes, roughness, and margin are considered key factors associated with positive PM deposition, whereas the total surface area of the leaves had no direct correlation to PM deposition.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0295.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Pollution; Honeybee; Oxidative stress biomarkers; Pesticides, PAHs
Online: 6 October 2023 (05:55:03 CEST)
Bees have long been used as a bioindicator of environmental quality. They have the capacity to bio-accumulate various pollutants in cities such as PAHs and heavy metals, but they are also very sensitive to other pollutants in rural areas such as pesticides. The lethal and sub-lethal impacts of pesticides on bees have been extensively studied. However, studies often focus on a single molecule at a same time and rarely on a cocktail of pesticides. The oxidant stress in response to metals and NOx was also measure, but no studies were engaged on the impact of PAHs on honeybees. The aim of this study was to measure the oxidative stress in bees in response to the chronic ingestion of a mixture of pesticides (representative of pollutants in rural areas) on the first hand and a mixture of PAHs (representative of pollutants in urban areas) on the other hand, compared to a control group. We also wanted to determine whether this tool is effective in detecting environmental measures aimed at reducing pollution in urban and rural areas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1972.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: heavy metals; uranium; contaminated food
Online: 28 September 2023 (10:12:51 CEST)
The rapid technological development of society determined increased demand for safe potable water and food resources. Unfortunately, this progress causes complex environmental pollution, that is continuously challenging the scholars’ community. Therefore, it is important to chemically analyze the food for a better understanding of pollution-spreading mechanisms. Our study is focused on food analysis originating from Vatra Dornei City, which belongs to Suceava County in the Bukovina region of Romania. It represents a well-known Romanian spa and ski resort in the northern parts of the Oriental Carpathians Mountains. The mountain region owns a lot of mineral resources, mainly consisting of mineral and sparkling waters, uranium, manganese, copper, pyrite, chalcopyrite, polymetallic ores, baryte, gold and silver-bearing orebodies, etc. The present contribution aims to point out the results obtained from the analysis of soil, water and food samples collected from the local markets. The food samples consisted of lettuce, spinach, apples, pork (smoked) chicken meat (raw), milk and cheese. Last year the survey was conducted over six months. The results highlighted that the mining activities carried out during time caused environmental pollution with uranium and heavy metals due to the waste heaps’ weathering phenomena and tailing ponds’ presence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0772.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: removal; contamination; FTIR; regulatory standards; receiving bodies; tourist city
Online: 13 September 2023 (05:46:59 CEST)
Contamination by microplastics (MP) in aquatic ecosystems is largely due to the release of millions of these particles from treated effluents from Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP). Due to the lack of policies and regulations that establish criteria for the control and elimination of MP from WWTP effluents, this research evaluated the presence of MP for particle sizes of 38 and 150 µm in influents and effluents from three WWTP in the port of Acapulco, Mexico. Using optical microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) techniques, the MP detected were polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). MP removal efficiencies of 82.5 to 98.7% (38 µm) and 86.8 to 97.5% (150µm) were obtained; the MP average daily emissions to the receiving bodies of these three WWTPs were in the ranges of 9.5 x 106 - 4.70 x 108 particles and the annual emissions in the range of 3.05 x 109 - 1.72 x 1011 particles. This work reveals the urgency of implementing regulatory policies to avoid the continuous emission of MP to aquatic ecosystems from WWTPs in Acapulco, Mexico.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0801.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Plastic Waste Management; Land-Based Sources; Microplastics; Tap and Drinking Water
Online: 13 September 2023 (02:56:07 CEST)
The growing population with changing consumption patterns in developing countries is causing significant challenges with regards to solid waste management. Plastic wastes are particularly problematic, with single-use plastics leaking into the environment, including the marine environment, at an unprecedented rate. Approximately 80 percent of ocean plastics come from land-based sources or about 8 million tons are dumped into the ocean every year. Thailand was identified as one of the top 10 countries ranked by mass of mismanaged plastic wastes, with more than 60,000 tons per year entering the ocean through multiple outlets, including rivers. In the environment, plastic wastes can be degraded into small sizes (less than 5 mm), called microplastics (MPs), which could contaminate the ecosystems and the food chain, including foodstuffs and water supply. Tap water samples collected from a water supply treatment plant and Academic Institutions 1 and 2 in central Thailand were found to contain MPs about 304 ±90, 270 ±109 and 386 ±102 particles/L, respectively. In addition, MPs concentrations of 211 ±70 and 122 ±60 particles/L were also found in drinking water samples collected from commercial bottled water and membrane filtration water, respectively. The MPs sizes of 0-50 µm were most abundant in both the tap and drinking water samples whose shapes were mainly fragments and fiber. These data indicated potential health risks to the people who consume these water sources, and recommendations for health impacts minimization were proposed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0607.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: ammonia; emission modelling; emission inventory; random forest
Online: 11 September 2023 (05:26:24 CEST)
Ammonia is an atmospheric pollutant, predominantly emitted from agriculture, leading acidification and eutrophication of soil and water and contributing to secondary PM2.5. The implementation of accurate emission inventories with high spatial and time resolution plays a fundamental role in the development of air modelling simulation and in the impact assessment of actions for air quality improvement. The development and release of new algorithms and the increase of data availability are supporting the implementation of machine learning approaches in environmental and air quality data analysis. In this paper we present a methodology developed by the application of the Random Forest algorithm to bottom-up local emission inventories of ammonia to validate annual time series of ammonia emissions and calculate high resolution temporal profiles. The model has been trained and tested by the hourly measurements of ammonia concentrations and atmospheric turbulence parameters starting from a constant emission scenario. The initial values of emissions are calculated based on a bottom-up emission inventory detailed at the municipal basis and considering a circular area of about 4 km radius centered on measurement sites. By comparing predicted and measured concentrations, the emissions are modified, the model's training and testing are repeated, and the model converges to a very high performance in predicting ammonia concentrations and establishing an hourly time changing emission profile. The site-specific emissions profiles, estimated by the proposed methodology, clearly show a nonlinear relation with measured concentrations and allow to identify the effect of atmospheric turbulence on pollutant accumulation. The estimated time series well confirm the available data of the emission inventories and the monthly emission profiles have been compared with estimated data from satellite.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0583.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Agricultural surface pollution; Yangtze River Economic Zone; spatial and temporal characteristics; threshold effect
Online: 8 September 2023 (09:00:39 CEST)
In order to better realize rural revitalization, this paper analyzes the spatial and temporal char-acteristics and influencing factors of agricultural surface source pollution in the Yangtze River Economic Belt from the three perspectives of government, enterprise and agriculture by using the spatial Durbin model and the dynamic GMM method in the period of 2006-2021, and further re-searches the threshold characteristics of the distortion of the factor market on the agricultural surface source pollution under the different strengths of environmental regulation. The results show that there is a positive spatial correlation between agricultural surface pollution in the Yangtze River Economic Belt, and government environmental regulation, input factor market distortion and labor force transfer all have a significant impact on agricultural surface pollution. Among them, factor market distortion has a significant spatial spillover effect on agricultural surface pollution in the Yangtze River Economic Zone, and has a significant single-threshold ef-fect on environmental regulation. Accordingly, the government should strengthen environmental regulation, continuously improve the agricultural factor market mechanism, and pay attention to the construction of talents to provide support for rural revitalization.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0521.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: natural rubber; concentrated latex manufacturing; environmental impacts
Online: 7 September 2023 (11:43:49 CEST)
Sri Lanka is a top producer of premium quality concentrated latex (CL), which becomes a base material for dipped rubber products such as gloves and condoms. The processing of CL is resource-intensive, requiring significant amounts of energy, fuel, water, and chemicals. This process leads to various environmental issues such as wastewater pollution, malodor, and greenhouse gas emissions. Several environmental life cycle assessments (ELCA) have been conducted at international and local levels to address the aforesaid issues. However, ELCAs encapsulating different environmental impact areas on CL processing in Sri Lanka are absent. The study revealed that electricity usage was the main hotspot of the environmental burden, significantly impacting Abiotic depletion (fossil fuels), Global warming potential, Ozone layer depletion, Photochemical oxidation, and Acidification. Heavy reliance on coal in the Sri Lankan power grid was identified as the root of this trend. The study suggested two viable options to mitigate the environmental impact: installing inverters to centrifuge separators and solar systems in the factories. The second option was deemed more effective, reducing Acidification, Photochemical oxidation, and Global Warming Potential by approximately 37%, 36%, and 28%, respectively. Relevant officials may immediately consider these improvement options and collaborate to pave the way to a sustainable natural rubber industry.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0494.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Emerging pollutants in Uganda; East Africa; Pharmaceuticals; Personal care products; Heavy metals, Pesticides; microplastics; persistent organic pollutants; PFAs.
Online: 7 September 2023 (09:25:39 CEST)
Emerging pollutants pose significant threats to Uganda's ecosystems and public health amidst rapid urbanization, industrial growth, and intensified agriculture. This systematic review comprehensively assessed these pollutants by analyzing existing Ugandan literature and research studies, revealing various types in different environmental compartments. These pollutants, including pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides, industrial chemicals, heavy metals, radionuclides, biotoxins, disinfection byproducts, hydrocarbons, and microplastics, originate from urban, industrial, and agricultural regions. Wastewater and improper waste disposal are major contributors. From an initial search of 794 articles across multiple databases such as PubMed, African Journal Online (AJOL), Web of Science, Science Direct, and Google Scholar, 138 were found relevant. The review underscores potential ecological and health impacts, including antibiotic resistance, endocrine disruption, and carcinogenicity. Existing monitoring and regulation efforts are discussed, alongside the need for specific regulations, improved data collection, and public awareness campaigns. Recommendations include advanced wastewater treatment, sustainable agriculture, and source control measures. Emphasis is placed on further research to address knowledge gaps and develop effective policies and interventions. Uganda can mitigate these risks by implementing comprehensive monitoring, robust regulations, and sustainable practices, safeguarding the environment and public health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0362.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: ambient air pollutants; community health; environmental health literacy; knowledge, attitude, and perception (KAP); multivariate analysis
Online: 6 September 2023 (03:52:57 CEST)
Despite air pollution being a leading cause of health issues in developing nations, public awareness and understanding of local air quality remains notably low. The present study assesses the perception, attitude, and environmental knowledge of local air pollution among adult urban residents (n=870) in a city with leading air pollution rates among cities of emerging economies: Astana, Kazakhstan. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was employed to investigate the causal relationship between perceived air quality, environmental literacy, and willingness to pay (WTP) for environmental protection. Findings indicate over 40% of residents neither consider the city being highly polluted nor recognize the association between air quality and adverse health outcomes, correlated with a generally low level of environmental literacy. The age, education, and health status of the participants significantly affected (p<.001) their level of environmental knowledge and awareness. The SEM analysis indicates that knowledge is the major determinant in improving public awareness and perception of local air pollution (path value=0.626). Moreover, a close association between WTP and environmental attitude was also evident (path value=0.533). The findings of the present study may provide valuable insights for healthcare professionals, environmental researchers, and governmental institutions for implementing more effective public interventions to protect local air quality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0275.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Metals in PM; Dynamic Light Scattering measurement; microscopic analysis; PM concentrations; inhalable-, thoracic-, and alveolar-sized particles
Online: 5 September 2023 (08:34:06 CEST)
The objective of this research is to analyze metal elements like Na (sodium), Mg (magnesium), Al (aluminum), Si (silicon), Pb (lead), K (potassium), Ca (calcium), and Fe (iron) found in dust particles within two distinct areas from which the sampling has been done. First sampling was taken from the road verge of a highly trafficked road section, while the second sampling was done in a residential garden area 90 m away from the road. Several metal elements have been detected, with a high difference for Silicon Si, which present higher concentrations in the dust sampled from the road verge area. Pb has only been detected in the samples taken from the road verge, which could be explained by residual remnants from old lead gasoline, and wheel weights. Additionally, airborne particulate matter (PM) concentrations have been measured, during the same episode, in comparison between the road verge and the garden area, presenting a substantial difference in the concentration levels, deducing that dense vegetation is protecting and blocking a majority of airborne PM. A literature highlight of health effects of different metal elements and PM concentrations is presented.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0197.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Intrusive noise; signal detection theory; acoustic standard; acoustic disputes
Online: 4 September 2023 (14:25:46 CEST)
In forensic acoustics, a possible area of analysis is represented by unwanted sound that 1 is perceived as a source of intrusion or disturbance within a certain auditory context. This context 2 is defined as the "auditory scene" and refers to the set of sounds present in a specific environment. 3 The presence of unwanted sounds in the auditory scene can cause a wide range of negative effects, 4 including disturbance, discomfort, moral or immoral harm, and other types of negative impact on the 5 health and well-being of individuals exposed to noise. In 2022, the technical specification UNI/TS 6 11844:2022 dedicated to the measurement and analysis of intrusive noise was published. The standard 7 introduces the concept of intrusive noise and defines its calculation methods based on environmental 8 measurements. The purposes of this technical specification is to provide an objective support to 9 methods already in used in acoustic disputes, where the assessment of the annoyance of a noise is 10 often a subjective evaluation of the technician. This work delves into the application to some real 11 cases, identifying the potentiality and the limits of the standardized method.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0135.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Carbon footprint; life-cycle analysis; net zero; lumbar microdiscectomy; artificial intelligence
Online: 4 September 2023 (08:29:01 CEST)
The operating theatre represents a key contributor to healthcare-derived emissions. Here, we outline the carbon footprint of a lumbar microdiscectomy at our regional unit in Greater Manchester, with the use of AI technology. In doing so, we aim to define the extent of the environmental impact and identify carbon hotspots for sustainable change. Our unit of analysis covered the start of the patient journey into hospital through to the final outpatient appointment. Publicly available and locally sourced data was used. An inventory analysis of two lumbar microdiscectomies was conducted. Each item was categorised reconciled against our AI-powered ‘CO2 analysis’ database. Kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent (kg CO2e) was chosen as the primary measure of impact. An average lumbar microdiscectomy at our trust generates 477.73kg CO2e. The operation (173.89kg CO2e, 36.40%) and the inpatient stay (144.67kg CO2e, 30.28%) constituted the biggest contributors. Single-use intraoperative equipment contributed to over three-quarters of the total emissions from the operation. By defining the environmental burden of elective spinal surgery, we have identified carbon hotspots to target for sustainable change. Substituting polluting elements for carbon-friendly alternatives and challenging the single-use culture, modern healthcare systems can help pave the way to a ‘net zero’ healthcare system.
TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0111.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: miniaturized monitors; Arduino; air quality; air pollution; exposure assessment; low-cost monitor
Online: 3 September 2023 (13:52:18 CEST)
This publication aims to disseminate a step-by-step process that walks through the conceptualization and building of a low-cost (~ $150 monitoring device for airborne fine particulate matter (PM2.5), based on miniaturized sensors and components. Details on the implementation of the hardware and software are provided which facilitate the data acquisition, capture and analysis. The central components and their setup discussed in what follows include: the sensor device (called “P.ALP” – Ph.D. Air quality Low-cost Project), Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and R code (open-access software). A monitoring device for PM2.5, using low-cost sensors and technologies was successfully conceptualized, designed, and implemented. The P.ALP monitoring system was designed and developed to be a basic device, which can be further customized and implemented using the wide range of low-cost sensors available on the market.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1994.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Crude oil-contaminated Soil; PAHs; Bioluminescent bacteria; Ecotoxicity assessment
Online: 29 August 2023 (13:16:06 CEST)
The oil spilled from the Gulf war caused land pollution and various petroleum compounds. Among petroleum compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are known for toxicity, and have been designated as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and endocrine disrupting substances by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). According to the USEPA, toxic equivalents quotient (TEQ), and mutagenic equivalents quotient (MEQ) can be calculated by multiplying the toxic equivalency factor (TEF) and mutagenic equivalency factor (MEF) by the concentration of PAHs. The USEPA calculates the relative TEF for other PAHs by setting the TEF value of benzo(a)pyrene, which is highly toxic, to 1. Relative MEF is also calculated in the same way. In this study, the TPH concentrations of crude oil-contaminated soils collected from the Burgan in Kuwait were measured to be 5, 8, and 20% and TEQ and MEQ of the soils were calculated by multiplying the 16 PAHs concentrations measured for each sample by TEF and MEF, respectively. When the TPH concentration was increased by 4 times from 5% to 20%, the TEQ was increased by about 9 times and the MEQ was increased by about 10 times. Therefore, it was concluded that as the TPH concentration increases, the carcinogenicity and mutation rate increase greatly. In addition, ecotoxicity assessment was performed using luminescent bacteria to compare the relationship between the calculated TEQ and MEQ and actual ecotoxicity, and benzo(a)pyrene among 16 PAHs showed a coefficient of determination of 0.95. In this study, ecotoxicity in PAHs-contaminated environment can be estimated by analyzing benzo(a)pyrene as a representative substance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1908.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Bio-magnification; Bio-accumulation; degassing; methyl-mercury; fish physiology
Online: 29 August 2023 (09:01:55 CEST)
Mercury toxicity significantly threatens aquatic ecosystems, particularly impacting fish populations and human well-being. This article exposes the effects of mercury contamination on aquatic life and their habitats. Mercury primarily originates from natural degassing and anthropogenic activities and accumulates in aquatic organisms, most notably in predatory fish, through bio-accumulation and bio-magnification. This bio-accumulation, driven by microbial transformation to methyl-mercury, leads to elevated concentrations in top-level predators. The consequences of mercury exposure on fish physiology are stunted growth, reproductive impairments, and compromised immunity, with potential ramifications for population dynamics and ecosystem resilience. This study delves into specific impacts of mercury on fish, ranging from bone deformities to liver damage, developmental anomalies, neurotoxic effects, and disruptions in reproductive systems. The interplay between ecological, physiological, and human health effects underscores the need for a comprehensive understanding of mercury's underlying mechanisms. Monitoring mercury levels in aquatic systems emerges as a crucial strategy for ensuring fish populations' health and ecosystems' sustainability. Urgent collaborative efforts are imperative to address this global concern, promote harmonious coexistence between human activities and aquatic environments, and secure the availability of safe and nutritious fish for future generations. In conclusion, this article highlights the urgent necessity for targeted interventions and informed decision-making to mitigate the influence of mercury contamination on aquatic ecosystems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1570.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Asian dust; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; long-range transportation
Online: 23 August 2023 (03:35:05 CEST)
Asian dust (AD) events and total suspended particle (TSP) was observed at Kanazawa University Wajima Air Monitoring Station (KUWAMS), a Japanese background site, during the East Asian winter monsoon periods (from November to May of the following year) from 2010 to 2021. Nine kinds of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined in each TSP sample. In this study, a total of 54 AD events were observed. According to the different pathways of long-range transportation, AD events were divided into AD-high (transported at higher altitude, around 4000 m) and AD-low (transported at lower altitude, around 2500 m). The TSP concentrations in-creased sharply in the AD and was higher in AD-high (39.8 ± 19.5 μg/m³) than that in AD-low (23.5 ± 10.5 μg/m³). While AD didn’t have significant effect on ΣPAHs characteristic variation, as ΣPAHs concentration in non-AD periods, AD-high, AD-low were 543 ± 374, 404 ± 221, 436 ± 265 pg/m³, respectively. PAHs compositions were also consistent. As a result, TSP concentration was affected by the input air mass transported at higher altitude from the desert region while PAHs concentration was under the impact of air mass at lower altitude which carried the PAHs emitted from fossil fuels and biomass combustion in northeastern China. Moreover, the health risks of PAHs were calculated by inhalation lifetime cancer risk which ranged from 10−6 to 10−5 ng/m3, in-dicating a potential carcinogenic risk at KUWAMS during the East Asian winter monsoon period.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0771.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Bisphenol A; removal from water; ultrasound methods; additional compounds; degradtion efficiency; mineralisation efficiency
Online: 9 August 2023 (10:33:13 CEST)
Bisphenol-A (BPA) represents an important co-monomer for obtaining polycarbonate, epoxy resins, flame retardants, in paint, and other chemicals products. Products containing BPA are widely used, and thus, we can find it in the environment: in the air, in the soil, in natural surface water and in sediments, underground water in landfills, and in wastewater. BPA disturbs human and animals’ health. This influences the enzymatic, androgenic, neurological, liver and reproductive systems at different stages of human life: like in fetal stage, children and adults’ stages. Taking these inconveniences into account, it is very important to remove BPA from water. Ultrasonic technology can be considered a verry sustainable and efficient method to remove BPA from water. The advantages of this method is easy to implement on existing water treatment and purification facilities, it does not produce residual compounds that produce sludge, the time required for degradation is of the order of 1-2 hours and the level of degradation is very high. In this work, we presented the studies on the efficiency of ultrasonics under air atmosphere on the degradation of BPA. The influence of the frequency and of some additional compounds such as carbon tetrachloride, FeSO4 7H2O (FS), and ethyl anthraquinone (EAC) was studied. Three different frequencies were used: 1146 KHz, 864 KHz, 580 KHz, at a power of 50 W. It was identified the efficiency of BPA degradation over a period of 60 minutes, with sampling every 15 minutes. Using the LC-MS/MS technique, the degradation compounds were identified that result from the application of ultrasound processes. Pathways of BPA degradation were also proposed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0652.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: bisphenol analogs; BPA; microalgae; biomarkers; Phaeodactylum tricornutum
Online: 9 August 2023 (03:11:39 CEST)
Bisphenol A analogs (BPA analogs) are emerging contaminants with a rising production caused by the replacement of BPA with these compounds. The increased production of BPA analogs is leading to an increased release into various ecosystems, including sea. The aim of this study was to evaluate the biological effects of BPA analogs on a primary producer, the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum Bohlin. Three different BPA analogs (BPAF, BPF, and BPS) and their mixture were tested at the environmental relevant concentration of 300 ng/L. Growth curve, cell size and several biomarkers of oxidative stress and oxidative damage were measured. Our results indicated that the tested compounds caused alteration of the growth and induced oxidative stress altering many antioxidant enzymes. However, no oxidative damages were observed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0547.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: microplastics; rheology; saliva; mucus
Online: 8 August 2023 (09:35:00 CEST)
The level of air pollution by nano and microparticles raises rapidly. One of the methods of human exposure to nanoparticles is through inhalation. Indoor environments contain airborne plastic particles, primarily from synthetic textiles, leading to unintended inhalation or occupational exposure. In outdoor environments, exposure could happen through breathing in contaminated aerosols from ocean waves or airborne fertilizer particles from dried wastewater treatments. Airborne particles affect human health in various ways and they also act directly on the epithelium and its mucus layer after deposition in the mouth and respiratory system. Exposure via ingestion to microplastics present in the various environmental compartments may occur either directly or indirectly via the food chain or drinking water. The aim of the study was to determine the influence of plastic microparticles on the rheology of mucus and saliva, and thus on their functioning. The artificial mucus and saliva, as and plastic nanoparticles (namely PS – polystyrene and PE - polyethylene) were used in experiments. The rheological properties of saliva and mucus were determined with the use of an oscillatory rheometer, at various temperatures (namely 36.6 C and 40 C, what corresponds to the case of healthy and ill human) The results were compared with those obtained for pure saliva and mucus. The influence of the presence of the particles on the parameters of the constituitive viscosity equations was studied. The presence of plastic micro- and nanoparticles in the saliva and mucus may interfere with their physiological functions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0572.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: pesticides; photodegradation; half-life; leaching; vertical migration
Online: 8 August 2023 (03:50:11 CEST)
Abstract: The migration and transformation of pesticides in the environment will have an impact on the ecosystem. This study collected greenhouse soil from Shouguang, Shandong Province, and studied the photodegradation and leaching of 17 common pesticides in the soil. The results of photodegradation experiments showed that the degradation rate of certain pesticides was increased in the light environment, compared with that in the dark controls. The light half-lives of emamectin benzoate, pyraclostrobin, and metalaxyl were all shorter than their respective dark half-lives, indicating that their residues in soil were greatly affected by light. The leaching experiment showed that the leaching potential of the leachable pesticides was: nitenpyram ≫ metalaxyl > acetamiprid > carbendazim > diethofencarb ≈ chlorantraniliprole > isoprothiolane > oxadixyl > boscalid ≈ tebuconazole > hexaconazole. Pesticides that are easy to leach but not easy to degrade, such as chlorantraniliprole and metalaxyl, have a high potential risk of groundwater pollution, and more degradation technologies should be used to reduce their pollution risk. The study on photodegradation and vertical migration behavior of various pesticides in this study was conducive to providing references for the agricultural use and pollution control of pesticides.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0227.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Aquaculture nutrition; Phosphorus pollution, Sustainability; Eutrophication
Online: 3 August 2023 (14:20:01 CEST)
Legislation and interest to protect and restore freshwater and marine ecosystems from aquaculture's environmental impact is global. However, aquaculture induced eutrophication continues to be a major environmental issue. Open freshwater fish farms in particular, providing fish with phosphorus-rich feeds pollute aquatic ecosystems since water soluble phosphorus, uneaten feed, feces, and metabolic waste from farmed fish increase phosphorus concentration in the adjacent waters. Several intestinal enzymes, transporters, and regulating factors are implicated in dietary phosphorus retention of farmed fish. For example, alkaline phosphatase and other transporters help the anterior intestine absorb phosphorus, while pH, calcium, and vitamin D affect these enzymes and transporters. Intestinal morphology and gut microbiome may also affect this process. Reducing phosphorus pollution from open-flow fish farms requires a thorough understanding of processes that affect nutrient retention and absorption as well as of the impact of dietary factors, anti-nutritional substances, and intestinal morphology. Optimizing feed composition, adding functional feed ingredients, and managing gut health can reduce phosphorus release and improve aquaculture sustainability. Processing and functional feed additives can mitigate anti-nutritional factors and, addressing these issues will reduce aquaculture's environmental impact, ensuring aquatic ecosystem health and global food security
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.2122.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: bisphenol A; adsorption; activated carbon; zeolite clinoptilolite; sustainable materials; water treatment
Online: 1 August 2023 (03:32:55 CEST)
Bisphenol A is a remarkable chemical compound for its many applications mainly in the plastics industry, but also for its toxic effects on the environment and human health. BPA (4,4-isopropylidenediphenol) is an anthropogenic compound, moderately soluble in water (120 – 300 mg/l) at room temperature, and highly soluble in alkaline solutions, ethanol and acetone. BPA can bioconcentrate, bioaccumulate and biomagnify through food webs until it reaches humans. To prevent this, effective strategies are sought to allow its removal from the environment, through physico-chemical or enzymatic methods, advanced oxidation, adsorption and biodegradation, ultrasonic degradation. This article shows a comparative study regarding adsorption of BPA on Active carbon and zeolitic tuff, ZTC. In this paper, the characterization of the zeolitic tuff Rupea adsorbent, was carried out from an elemental and mineralogical point of view, pore size and elemental distribution, using SEM, EDAX, and XRD analysis. The pore size varies from 30 nm to 10 µm, atomic ratio Si/Al≥4, and the 80 % of mineralogical composition represent Ca Clinoptilolite zeolites Ca Clinoptilolite zeolite ((Na1.32K1.28Ca1.72Mg0.52)(Al6.77Si29.23O72)(H2O)26.84). Also, a comparative study of the adsorbtion capacity of bisphenol A from synthetic solutions on activated carbon type - Norit GAC 830 W, GAC, as well as on Clinoptilolite-type zeolitic tuff, ZTC, Rupea, was carried out. The experiments were carried out at a temperature of 20 ºC, a pH of 4.11; 6.98 and 8.12, and ionic strength being assured using KCl of 0.01 M, and 0.1 M. The adsorption capacities of GAC and ZTC tend to 115 mg/g and 50 mg/g respectively, at 8.12 pH and ionic strength of 0 M. The Langmuir mathematical model most faithfully describes the adsorption equilibrium of BPA. The maximum adsorption capacity for both adsorbents increases with increasing pH, and decreases with increasing ionic strength.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1537.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Long-term Observations; Trace Elements; Seasonal variation; Atmospheric pollutants
Online: 25 July 2023 (10:17:40 CEST)
The atmospheric concentrations of sodium, aluminum, silicon, sulphur, chlorine, potassium, calcium, titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, nickel, copper, zinc, bromine and lead were measured in air filters at the Finnish Meteorological Institute station, in Helsinki, Finland, during a period of 44 years (1962-2005). The mean annual concentrations were calculated and are presented from the lowest values to the highest ones Cr<Ni<Ti<Br<V<Mn<Cu<Zn<Cl<Al<Fe<K<Ca<Na<Pb<Si<S. Most of the elements (Fe, Si, Ti, K, Ca, Zn, Br, Pb, V, Ni, S, Cr, Na, Al, Cl) present higher values during spring and winter season while in summer the elements (Ti, Ca, S, Na) are found in higher concentrations. There is a strong correlation between the elements (V-Ni, Si-Pb, Fe-Ca, V-Cr, Si-K, K-Ca, Fe-Ti, K-Na, Si-Ca, V-S), indicating their common source. The identification of the sources of trace elements was performed based on positive matrix factorization analysis, using SoFi software. Four PM sources were identified: road dust (due to usage of leaded fuel), heavy oil combustion/secondary sulfates, traffic emissions and natural dust (soil). For the total of 44 years studied, significant decreases in concentrations were observed for all trace elements, most of which were over 50%: Na (-74%), Al (-86%), Si (-88%), S (-82%), K (-82%), Ca (-89%), Ti (-80%), V (-89%), Cr (-82%), Mn (-77%), Fe (-77%), Ni (-61%), Zn (-72%), Pb (-95%). The current data are consistent with previous air studies covering the whole territory of Finland. Finally, a significant decline has been observed in the majority of the elemental concentrations since the end of 70s, underlying the effectiveness of different environmental policies that have been applied during the last decades.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1513.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: biochar; coal mining; heavy metals; remediation; seed balls
Online: 24 July 2023 (08:28:43 CEST)
Globally, open-pit coal mining is associated with severe land use impact and contamination of soil and water resources with heavy metals. Thus, in growing economies like India, where coal is a significant energy source, the heavy metals contamination of soil and water become ubiquitous. Remediation of such a large stretch of mined-out land is a major challenge and a costly process for the mining industry. In recent years, the application of biochar for the remediation of such heavy metals-contaminated soil has been widely practiced. However, applying biochar and cultivating plants in field conditions becomes challenging. This study uses a unique remediation approach by developing biochar-bentonite-based seed balls encapsulating Shorgham grass seeds at their core for application in the contaminated soil. The seed ball was developed by using the bentonite biochar composite in varying weight fractions of 0.5 – 5 % with respect to the kaolinite, whose fractions in the seed ball also varied at one, three, and five parts. The seed balls were applied to the pots containing 3 kg of heavy metals contaminated soil for a pot-culture study in a polyhouse for a period of four months. Initial soil analysis results indicated that the mine soil samples showed poor nutrient and organic matter content and were contaminated with heavy metals such as Ni, Zn, Cr, and Cd. Post-pot-culture soil analysis results indicated that the application of seed balls containing five fractions of biochar composite with its combination with three and five-weight fractions of kaolinite showed substantial improvement in the pH, available nutrients, organic matter content, soil enzymes, and overall soil fertility index compared to the controlled study and other cases. The same combination of seed balls also significantly reduced the plant-available fractions of Ni, Zn, Cr, and Cd in the soil and the translocation of these heavy metals from the rhizosphere zone to the grass’s aerial parts, indicating stabilization of heavy metals within the soil matrix. Moreover, the application of seed balls also substantially improved the plant physiology and reduced the release of stress hormones such as proline and glutathione within the plant cells indicating improvement in the plant’s biotic and abiotic stress factors. Thus, the application of seed balls in heavy metals contaminated soils, particularly over a large stretch of land, could be a low-cost and viable remediation technique.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1269.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: energy usage; health issues; pro-environmental behavior; TPB framework; Kyrgyzstan; coal-based energy; renewable sources; decarbonization; Paris Agreement; Central Asia; energy costs; air pollution awareness; attitudes; sustainable energy sources; communication strategies; citizen action; Paris Agreement; Theory of Planned Behavior
Online: 19 July 2023 (08:20:58 CEST)
Background: This study examines the relationship between energy usage, health issues, and pro-environmental behavior (PEB) in Kyrgyzstan, amidst the country's commitment to transition from coal-based energy to renewable sources in line with the Paris Agreement. The purpose is to investigate citizens' attitudes towards PEB and their intentions to engage in environmentally friendly actions, focusing on gas, electricity, and coal. Methods: Drawing upon the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) framework, a survey was conducted among 1,455 respondents to explore attitudes towards PEB and energy sources' impact on health issues. Results: Decarbonization efforts in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia are in their early stages, with coal remaining a primary energy source. The study emphasizes the importance of governmental policies and citizen action in achieving decarbonization goals. Rising electricity costs outweigh the increase in indirect energy costs for food, posing challenges for households in adapting to changing energy dynamics. Conclusions: Targeted interventions and communication strategies are crucial to promote pro-environmental behavior and facilitate the transition to sustainable energy sources. Understanding the relationships between health concerns, air pollution awareness, PEB, and energy source choices can inform policymakers and organizations in their efforts to ensure a sustainable and healthy future for Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian countries.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1298.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: artiﬁcial neural networks; machine learning; environmental protection; air pollution; atmosphere; pollutants emission prediction; forecasting; data security
Online: 19 July 2023 (07:17:31 CEST)
Environmental monitoring systems play a crucial role in assessing environmental quality, detecting limits exceedances, and predicting potential ecological episodes. These systems rely on the measurement of various variables at specific locations and time intervals over an extended period. The concept of environmental monitoring encompasses the assessment of health and safety issues for public and environmental health purposes. Pollution of the atmosphere and water, climate change, and natural disasters are among the consequences of continuous industrial and municipal development and human interference in natural ecosystems. To address these challenges and to protect human lives and the environment, with a special concern on mitigating the ecological effects of industrial development, advanced technical solutions, including the technologies associated with artificial intelligence (artificial neural networks ANNs, machine learning ML) have been developed. These technologies offer powerful tools for analysing the vast amount of data collected by monitoring systems and extracting valuable insights. By applying ANNs and machine learning algorithms, environmental monitoring systems can effectively process and interpret the measured variables to assess environmental quality. Despite challenges and limitations, such as data quality and interpretability of AI models, ongoing research and interdisciplinary collaboration are paving the way for the successful implementation of AI in environmental monitoring, ultimately supporting informed decision-making and sustainable resource management.While several review papers have explored the theory of artificial intelligence (AI), here I aim to review the application of ANNs and ML, in environmental aspects, specifically in automotive and industrial emissions toxicity measurements, as well as atmospheric pollution prevention. By examining the potential of AI in these domains, the paper contributes to understanding the role of advanced technologies in environmental monitoring and protection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0321.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: AirBeam2; indoor air; fine particulate matter; seasonal variations; sensor; COVID-19
Online: 5 July 2023 (12:32:38 CEST)
Air pollution is a leading cause of death in the United States, and is associated with adverse health outcomes, including increased vulnerability to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The AirBeam2 was used to measure particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller (PM2.5), to investigate differences between indoor and ambient levels at seven private homes in New York during and after the COVID-19 lockdown. Measurements taken in 2020 winter, spring and fall and in fall 2022 showed that 90% of the time, indoor PM2.5 levels exceeded outdoor levels both during and after the COVID-19 lockdown, p = 0.03, and exceeded safety levels. Higher indoor PM2.5 levels attributed to little or no ventilation from cooking and smoke in the kitchen and basements, were significantly greater in fall than in winter. Higher ambient PM2.5 levels were attributed to vehicular traffic at a street-facing sampling site. PM2.5 sources identified in this study may help in devising control strategies to improve indoor air quality (IAQ), and consequently alleviate respiratory health effects. These findings may be used as a basis for in-house modifications including natural ventilation and use of air purifiers to reduce exposures, mitigate future risks, and prevent potential harm to vulnerable residents.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0135.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: PurpleAir; low-cost sensor; PM2.5; IDW; Kriging
Online: 4 July 2023 (04:19:19 CEST)
Regulatory monitoring networks are often too sparse to support community-scale PM2.5 exposure assessment while emerging low-cost sensors have the potential to ﬁll in the gaps. Recent advances in air quality monitoring have produced portable, easy-to use, low-cost, sensor-based monitors, which has given a new dimension to the air pollutant monitoring and has democratized the air quality monitoring process by making monitors and results directly available at community level. This study used PurpleAir(c) sensors for PM2.5 assessment in California, USA. Evaluation of PM2.5 from sensors included Quality Assurance & Quality Control (QAQC) procedures, assessment with respect to reference monitored PM2.5 concentrations, and formulation of a decision support system integrating these observations using geostatistical techniques. The hourly and daily average observed PM2.5 concentrations from PurpleAir monitors followed the trends of observed PM2.5 at regulatory monitors. PurpleAir monitored PM2.5 also captured the peak PM2.5 concentrations due to incidents like forest fire. In comparison with reference monitored PM2.5 levels, it was found that PurpleAir PM2.5 concentrations were mostly higher. The most important reason for PurpleAir higher PM2.5 concentrations was the inclusion of moisture or water vapor as aerosol in contrast to measurements of PM2.5 excluding water content in FEM/FRM and non-FEM/FRM monitors. On long term assessment (2016-2020), R2 was between 0.54 and 0.86 at selected collocated PurpleAir and regulatory monitors for hourly PM2.5 concentrations. Past research studies have been conducted for mostly shorter time periods (<3-4 months) that resulted in higher R2 values between 0.80 to 0.98. This study aims to provide reasonable estimations of PM2.5 concentrations with high spatiotemporal resolutions based on statistical models using PurpleAir measurements. The methods of Kriging and IDW, geostatistical interpolation techniques, showed similar spatio-temporal patterns. Overall, this study revealed that low-cost, sensor based PurpleAir sensors could be effective and reliable tools for episodic and long-term ambient air quality monitoring.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1749.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Microplastics; ecotoxicology; marine pollution; contaminants of emerging concern, chronic toxicity.
Online: 26 June 2023 (05:33:01 CEST)
Glitter particles are considered a model of microplastics, which are used in a wide range of products. In this study, we evaluated the toxicity of green and white glitter dispersions on the embryonic development of the sea urchins Echinometra lucunte, Arbacia lixula, and the mussel Perna perna. The Toxicity Identification and Evaluation (TIE) approach was used to identify possible chemicals related to toxicity. Glitter dispersions were prepared using 0.05% ethanol. The tested dispersions ranged from 50 to 500 mg/L. The white glitter was composed of a vinyl chloride-methyl acrylate copolymer. The effective concentrations of green glitter to 50% embryos (EC50) were 246.1 (235.8 – 256.4) mg/L to A. lixula, 23.0 (20.2 - 25.8) mg/L to P. perna and 105.9 (61.2 - 150.2) mg/L, whereas the EC50 of white glitter to E. lucunter was 272.2 (261.5 – 282.9) mg/L. The EC50 for P. perna could not be calculated; however, the lowest effect concentration was 10 mg/L. The filtered suspension of green glitter had Ag levels exceeding the legal standards for marine waters. TIE showed that metals, volatiles, and oxidant compounds contribute to toxicity. The results showed that glitter may adversely affect marine organisms; however further studies are necessary to determine its environmental risks.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1430.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Covid-19; mortality; PM2.5; air pollution; Europe
Online: 20 June 2023 (10:45:53 CEST)
Rationale: The possible effect of Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5 of diameter 10 and 2.5 µm respectively) levels on Covid-19 mortality is now well established. However, time-evolution of Covid-19 mortality according to PM2.5 levels has been scarcely investigated. Aim: To understand this relationship at the European level for the period 2020 (beginning) - 2022 (end). Methods: 16 representative locations in Europe (81 million people) with heterogeneous levels of PM2.5 (µg.m-3), from low to high. PM2.5 levels were assessed by various methods, and Covid-19 mortality was reported by Johns Hopkins University. Results: The trend of Covid-19 mortality vs. PM2.5 levels varied among locations. Overall, the estimated mean value was of a 40±20% mortality increase per 1 µg.m-3 PM2.5 increase. The stronger the positive gradient of the PM peak, the stronger the positive gradient of the Covid-19 mortality. Exposure to several PM peaks during about a 2-month period was the main contributor to Covid-19 mortality increases. Conclusion: Our data confirm a temporal relation between PM2.5 exposure and Covid-19 mortality, considering a 2-month integration-time for pollution events. Number-concentrations of PM should be used in the future rather than the PM2.5 mass-concentrations (µg.m-3) with the consideration of PM composition to better explain this finding.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0240.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: deep learning; PM10; environmental forecasting; chaotic time series; Arctic
Online: 5 June 2023 (05:04:24 CEST)
In this study, we present a statistical forecasting framework and assess its efficacy using a range of established machine learning algorithms for predicting Particulate Matter (PM) concentrations in the Arctic, specifically in Pallas (FI), Reykjavik (IS), and Tromso (NO). Our framework leverages historical ground measures and 24-hour predictions from 9 models provided by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) to provide PM predictions for the following 24 hours. Furthermore, we compare the performance of various memory cells based on artificial neural networks (ANN), including recurrent neural networks (RNNs), gated recurrent units (GRUs), long short-term memory networks (LSTMs), echo state networks (ESNs), and windowed multi-layer perceptrons (MLPs), which are commonly employed in time series forecasting tasks. Irrespective of the chosen memory cell type, our results demonstrate that the proposed framework consistently outperforms the CAM models in terms of mean squared error (MSE), with average improvements ranging from 25% to 40%. Additionally, we investigate the impact of outliers on the overall model performance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2036.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Multi-generation; Net Reproductive Rate (R0); Hatching delay; lifespan; acetylcholinesterase
Online: 30 May 2023 (04:20:02 CEST)
Two monophyletic Daphnia species (Daphnia magna and D. similis) were exposed to a sub-lethal concentration of Pb (50 µg/L) for nine generations under two food regimes (usual and restricted) and analysed for acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, hatching delay and lifespan, and Net Reproductive Rate (R0) at subcellular, individual and population levels, respectively. At the sixth generation, Pb acclimated neonates were moved to a clean media for three more generations to check for recovery. D. magna showed no Pb effect on Net Reproductive Rate (R0). However, Pb stimulated reproduction, reduced lifespan and decreased AChE activity. Hatching delay and lifespan did not improve during the recovery process, indicating genetic adaptation. Food restriction reduced R0, lifespan, delayed hatching, and increased AChE activity; opposite outcomes were shown for D. similis. Full recovery shown by R0 suggests a physiological acclimation of D. similis. Under food restriction, the animals exhibited a reduction of R0 and lifespan, delayed hatching and increased AChE activity; however, with no Pb effect. The recovery process under food restriction showed that D. similis might not cope with Pb exposure, indicating failed recovery. Such outcomes indicate that a model species' sensitivity may not represent another's sensitivity.
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/preprints202305.1032.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: nitrate; fluoride; hazard index; groundwater; Saudi Arabia
Online: 15 May 2023 (10:49:42 CEST)
High nitrate and fluoride contamination in groundwater cause a variety of disorders, including methemoglobinemia, teratogenesis, and dental and skeletal fluorosis. The present work assesses the non-carcinogenic health risks posed by nitrate and fluoride in infants, children, and adults using the USEPA method. Groundwater samples were collected from 36 wells and boreholes in three central Saudi Arabia study areas. Nitrate concentrations varied from 0.70 to 47.00 mg/L. None of the 36 studied boreholes had nitrate levels that exceeded WHO guidelines (50.00 mg/L). Fluoride ranged from 0.63 to 2.00 mg/L, and 30.55% of the fluoride samples (11 out of 36) exceeded the WHO recommendations for acceptable drinking water (1.5 mg/L). The average hazard index (HI) values for adults, children, and infants were 0.99, 2.59, and 2.77, respectively. Water samples surpassed the safety level of 1 for adults, children, and infants at 44.44, 97.22, and 100%, respectively. Accordingly, water samples from Jubailah and a few from Wadi Nisah may expose infants, children, and adults to non-cancer health concerns. Infants and children are more vulnerable to non-carcinogenic health risks than adults, possibly due to their lower body weight.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0948.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: pollution; environment; sand; DBP; DEHP; Maltese shoreline; anthropogenic activities
Online: 12 May 2023 (13:19:19 CEST)
DBP and DEHP are two of the most common plasticisers used in modern industries, which have aroused a major concern over their ubiquitous occurrence and hazardous environmental effects. This study presents the first data of phthalates’ occurrence and distribution in the Maltese shoreline sand. DBP and DEHP occurrences’ was investigated in three busy and secluded beaches, respectively. Analytical determination involved quantifying DBP and DEHP from 75 samples using UPLC-MS/MS through triple repeatability. The concentrations ranged between 0.0095–0.07034 µg/g and <LOQ–0.0977 µg/g for DBP and DEHP, respectively. Statistical analysis of the comparison of phthalates in different beaches demonstrated that the occurrence of DBP and DEHP in Maltese shoreline sand varies. The differences in the occurrence of phthalates were attributed to the beaches’ topography and anthropogenic pressures. Analysis of the effects of anthropogenic activities on the occurrence of phthalates showed a positive association. Distribution analysis showed that DBP and DEHP exhibit an uneven distribution along the shoreline. Conversely, different distributions were observed at distances away from the sea. The uneven distributions observed were associated with anthropogenic activities, different chemodynamic properties and wave action. Cluster analysis was performed to prove the interactions between the phthalates’ concentrations and the characteristics of the beaches.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0892.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: air pollution; environmental regulation; industrial structure; PVAR model; Moderating effect
Online: 12 May 2023 (05:19:58 CEST)
Air pollution is an important factor affecting human health and daily life. Chinese government is making vigorous efforts to control air pollution. The upgrading of industrial structure is a problem-solving tool in environment and economic growth cases. This paper aims to explore the relationships among environmental regulation, the upgrading of industrial structure and air pollution. The PVAR (Panel Vector Auto Regression) model and moderation effect model has been used to conduct empirical analysis based on panel data of 30 provinces in China from 2004 to 2020. The results of analysis indicate (1) the environmental regulation can significantly reduce the air pollution, but the deterioration of air quality could not effectively influence environmental regulations. (2) The upgrading of industrial structure can weaken the air pollution and air pollution hinders the upgrading of industrial structure. (3) With the improvement of environmental regulation, the industrial structure is constantly upgraded, but the upgrading of the industrial structure has a negative effect on the improvement of environmental regulation. (4) The upgrading of industrial structure can positively moderate the influence of environmental regulation on air pollution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0769.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: carbon nanotubes; graphene; fullerene; nanotoxicology; bioassay; growth rate inhibition; flow cytometry; nanoparticles; oxidative stress; environmental fate
Online: 10 May 2023 (14:49:02 CEST)
This work is related to the environmental toxicology risk assessment and evaluation of possible transformation of carbon-based nanomaterials (CNMs) after the contact with marine microalgae. The materials used in the study represent common and widely applied multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs), fullerene (C60), graphene (Gr), and graphene oxide (GrO). The toxicity was evaluated as growth rate inhibition, esterase activity, membrane potential, and reactive oxygen species generation changes. The measurement was performed with flow cytometry after 3, 24, 96 h, and 7 days. Biotransformation of nanomaterials were evaluated after 7 days of microalgae cultivation with CNMs by FTIR and Raman spectroscopy. The calculated toxic level (EC50 in mg/L, 96 h) of ued CNMs reduced in the following order: CNTs (18.98) > GrO (76.77) > Gr (159.40) > C60 (414.0). Oxidative stress and membrane depolarization was the main toxic action of CNTs and GrO. At the same time, Gr and C60 decreased the toxic action with time and had no negative impact on microalgae even at concentration of 125 mg/L. Moreover, C60 and Gr after seven days of the contact with microalgae cells obtained structural deformations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0738.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: carbon nanomaterials; graphene family materials; bioassay; nanotoxicology; ecotoxicology; flow cytometry; growth rate inhibition
Online: 10 May 2023 (10:36:24 CEST)
The growing production and application of carbon-based nanomaterials (CNMs) represent possible risks for aquatic systems. However, the variety of CNMs with different physical and chemical properties, and different morphology complicated the understanding of their potential toxicity. This paper aims to evaluate and compare the toxic impact of four most common CNMs, namely multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs), fullerene (C60), graphene (Gr), and graphene oxide (GrO) in marine microalgae Porphyridium purpureum. The microalgae cells were exposed to the CNMs for 96 h and measured by flow cytometry. Based on the obtained results, we determined no observed effect level (NOEL), calculated EC10 and EC50 concentrations for growth rate inhibition, esterase activity, membrane potential, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation changes for each tested CNMs. According to the sensitivity (growth rate inhibition) of P. purpureum, the used CNMs can be listed in following order: CNTs > GrO > Gr > C60. The toxicity of CNTs was significantly higher than the toxic effect of the other used CNMs and only this sample caused increase of ROS generation in microalgae cells. This effect caused by trace metal residuals in CNTs and high affinity between particles and microalgae associated with the presence of exopolysaccharide coverage on P. purpureum cells.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0702.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: air pollution; disease burden; YLLs; YLDs; health inequalities; productivity loss
Online: 10 May 2023 (08:04:40 CEST)
The aim of the research presented here is to assess the magnitude of the burden of health limitations resulting from air pollution on the world's economies. This burden was determined by the estimated number of premature years of life lost (YLLs) or health lost (YLDs) due to air pollution-related diseases in the working-age population. Attention was drawn to the problem of existing inequalities in the global burden of national economies with different income levels. The hypothesis of a persistently high level of inequality was verified on the basis of an analysis of the convergence process in a group of 204 countries over the period 1990-2019. The results obtained indicate a strong variation in the level of health constraints caused by air pollution. The analysis of the catch-up process of the least advantaged countries (highest level of health constraints due to air pollution) did not show a positive convergence effect in the study group.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0460.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: pesticides; organochlorines; organophosphates; chromatography; shrimp; food safety; seafood; pollution
Online: 8 May 2023 (05:54:07 CEST)
A review of pesticide residues detected in shrimp species of the Mexican Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts is presented. Most studies focus on monitoring organochlorine (OC) and organophosphate (OP) pesticides. The evaluated areas are mainly located in the northwestern zone of Mexico. Studies analyzing pesticides levels in shrimp of Mexico correspond to commercially important species, such as: Penaeus vannamei, Penaeus stylirostris, Farfantepenaeus duorarum, and Trachypenaeus similis pacificus. Extraction methods (sample preparation, extraction technique, solvent, and clean-up procedures) are presented, as well as chromatography and detector type used to quantify the analytes in the shrimp samples from the different ecosystems evaluated. Given that there is an under-evaluation of pesticides residues presence, there was a greater contribution of studies directed to geographical areas in the northwest of the country, with a monitoring gap in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as in the southern zone, considering that there are states that are among the main shrimp-producing entities. Hence, it is necessary to carry out recent evaluations, since the most current information is 17 years out of date, so presented data may not be a reflection of the current situation in the country.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0238.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: wastewater; river water; groundwater; migration species; bottom sediments; modeling
Online: 4 May 2023 (08:36:06 CEST)
The development of mineral deposits causes changes that are comparable to natural exogenous geological processes, and in local areas of intensive mining activity prevail over them. In this article, a diamond deposit is selected, developed by quarries of great depth, and a forecast is made of the impact of drainage water discharge on changes in the composition of surface water and bottom sediments during the entire period of development of the deposit. Modeling was per-formed according to various scenarios, taking into account changes in the total dissolved solids of groundwater from 0.5 to 21.7 g/kg H2O. Thermodynamic calculations were carried out using the HCh software package. The role of dissolved organic carbon in the migration of chemical elements and the effect of DOC on the precipitation of chemical elements from mixing solutions is given. It has been established that fulvic acid completely binds to Fe in the Fe(OH)2FA– complex in all types of natural waters and under all mixing scenarios. With humic acid, such a sharp competitive complex formation does not occur. It is distributed among the various elements more evenly. It was determined that the mass of precipitating iron in the presence of DOC decreases by 18-27%, and its precipitation in winter is more intense. In contrast to Fe, precipitation of Ca, Mg, and C from solution with DOC is higher in summer, and there are more of them in solution in winter. This study contributed to a better understanding of the behavior of heavy metals in surface waters and sediments under anthropogenic pressures in order to improve the sustainable management of water resources in the face of anthropogenic activities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0136.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: PM2.5; health vulnerability; air quality; map; public source
Online: 3 May 2023 (10:47:37 CEST)
PM2.5 levels affect human health. However, its relationship with other health vulnerability determinants has not been sufficiently explored. Furthermore, public access to PM2.5 datasets, linkable to health statistics, is not available. We built a georeferenced database and map of annual mean PM2.5 emissions and air concentrations values in Argentina in 2010 and explored their correlations with other health vulnerability determinants. We obtained data for montlhy PM2.5 values emissions and air concentrations in Argentina from public sources. We evaluated health vulnerability by the “Sanitary Vulnerability Index (SVI)”. Non-parametric correlations between variables below 0.22, corresponding to a R2=5%, were deemed meaningless. PM2.5 emissions concentrated in urban and intensive agricultural areas of Argentina. PM2.5 air concentrations were acceptable (≤10 microg/m3) in only 15% of the Argentinean territory, respectively. The correlation between air concentration of PM2.5 and human emission was meaningless. Emissions, but not air concentrations correlated >0.22 with indicators of human activity. SVI correlated meaninglessly with PM2.5 air concentration. In conclusion, PM2.5 levels were above acceptable levels in 85% of the Argentinian territory in 2010. The lack of meaningful correlations between PM2.5 and SVI suggest that these coefficients might be used in combination to assess health vulnerability. Further research is warranted.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0701.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: low-cost sensors; particle number concentration; laboratory study; fine particles; particulate matter; air pollution
Online: 21 April 2023 (09:10:07 CEST)
Low-cost particulate matter (PM) sensors offer an excellent opportunity to improve our knowledge about this type of pollution. Their size and their cost, which support multi-node network deployment, along with their temporal resolution, enable them to report fine spatio-temporal resolution for a given area. These sensors have known issues across performance metrics. Generally, the literature focuses on the PM mass concentration reported by these sensors but some models of sensors also report particle number concentrations (PNC) segregated into different PM size bins. In this study, 8 units of each Alphasense OPC-R1, Plantower PMS5003 and Sensirion SPS30 have been exposed, under controlled conditions, to short-lived peaks of PM generated using two different combustion sources of PM, exposing the sensors to different particle size distributions to quantify and better understand the low cost sensors performance across a range of relevant environmental ranges. The PNC reported by the sensors were analysed. This study showed that there is added value in directly using the PNC reported by the sensors instead of the mass concentrations, which could aid the efforts to calibrate these sensors to a known accuracy. It demonstrated that all sensors tested here could track the fine temporal variation of PNC, that the Alphasense OPC-R1 could closely follow the variations of size distribution between the two sources of PM, and it showed that particle size distribution and composition are more impactful on the sensors measurement than relative humidity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0675.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: MARPOL Annex VI, emissions from ocean going vessels, remote emission monitoring, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ECA, air quality measurements.
Online: 21 April 2023 (07:08:58 CEST)
Air pollution is a leading cause of death worldwide, and has a profound impact on the planet's climate and ecosystems. A substantial portion of air pollution is attributable to Ocean Going Vessels (OGVs). In light of this, international regulations have been put in place to mitigate air pollutant emissions from OGVs. While studies have indicated that these regulations can create significant health, environmental, and economic benefits, there remains a research gap regarding their specific impact on enhancing air quality. The aim of this study is to investigate how the implemented regulations have affected air quality in the Southern North Sea. The study found that the international regulations on ship emissions have successfully led to a decline in SO2 emissions from OGVs in the Southern North Sea, which resulted in a reduction of ambient SO2 concentrations inland, leading to positive effects on public health and the environment. However, it was projected that their proportion is tend to increase in the following years. Moreover, the study revealed that Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) present significant concerns. They were significantly more frequently found to be non-compliant, and more alarmingly, they emit notably higher average levels of SO2. It also turned out that international regulations in the southern North Sea have less effect on the reduction of NOx emissions from OGVs than expected. The NOx emissions from OGVs will even account for an alarming 40% of the total domestic NOx emissions for the Belgian Region by 2030.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0659.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Polluted technosol; compost; biochar; combined application; Arabidopsis thaliana
Online: 21 April 2023 (02:43:01 CEST)
A combination of compost and biochar has been proven to be a promising strategy to immobilize metal(loid)s and improve soil properties. To the best of our knowledge, no study has been conducted to investigate the effect of biochar and compost combination administered at different rates on mining technosol. Thus, we investigated the effect of different rates of compost (20%, 40%, 60% w/w) in combination with biochar (0%, 2%, 6% w/w) on soil physiochemical properties and the mobility of arsenic (As) and lead (Pb), the ability of Arabidopsis thaliana (ecotype Columbia-0) to grow and accumulate metal(loid)s. All modalities improved pH and electrical conductivity, stabilized Pb and mobilized As, but only the mixture of 20% compost and 6% biochar improved plant growth. Plants in all modalities showed a significant reduction in root and shoot Pb concentrations compared to the non-amended technosol. Whereas, As shoot concentration was significantly lower for plants in all modalities (except with 20% compost only) compared to non-amended technosol. For root As, plants in all modalities showed no significant reduction except for the mixture of 20% compost and biochar. Overall, the mixture of 20% compost with 6% biochar represents the optimum combination for improving plant growth and As uptake.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0442.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: spatial variation; PM2.5; PurpleAir; PM2.5_alt; coefficient of divergence; FEM; FRM; low-cost monitors
Online: 27 March 2023 (04:01:55 CEST)
Spatial variation of indoor and outdoor PM2.5 within three states for a 5-year period is studied using regulatory and low-cost PurpleAir monitors. Most of these data were collected in an earlier study1 investigating the relative contribution of indoor-generated and outdoor-infiltrated particles to indoor exposures. About 260 regulatory monitors and ~10,000 outdoor and ~4,000 indoor PurpleAir monitors are included. Daily mean PM2.5 concentrations, correlations, and coefficients of divergence (COD) are calculated for pairs of monitors at distances ranging from 0 (collocated) to 200 km. We use a transparent and reproducible open algorithm that avoids use of the proprietary algorithms provided by the manufacturer of the sensors in PurpleAir PA-I and PA-II monitors. The algorithm is available on the PurpleAir API website under the name “PM2.5_alt”. This algorithm is validated using several hundred pairs of regulatory and PurpleAir monitors separated by up to 0.5 km. The PM2.5 spatial variation outdoors is homogeneous with high correlations to at least 10 km, as shown by the COD index under 0.2. There is also a steady improvement in outdoor PM2.5 concentrations with increasing distance from the regulatory monitors. The spatial variation of indoor PM2.5 indoors is not homogeneous even at distances <100 m. We document substantial differences between Federal Reference Methods (FRM) and Federal Equivalent Methods (FEM).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0436.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Heavy metals; microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP); co-precipitation; calcite; vaterite
Online: 27 March 2023 (03:26:14 CEST)
Heavy metal contamination is listed among the most alarming threats to the environment and human health. The detrimental effects of heavy metals in the natural environment span from a reduction of biodiversity to toxic effects on marine life - through microplastic born heavy metals -, to impairment of microbial activity in the soil, and to detrimental effects on animal reproduction. A host of different chemical and biological technologies have been proposed to alleviate environmental contamination by heavy metals. Relatively less attention has been paid to the microbial precipitation of heavy metals, as a side mechanism of the most general process of microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP). This process is currently receiving a great deal of interest from both a theoretical and practical standpoint, because of its possible practical applications in concrete healing and soil consolidation, and its importance in the more general framework of microbial induced mineral precipitation. In this study, we analyse the ability of the marine bacteria Vibrio harveyi in co-precipitating CaCO3 minerals, together with Cd, Cr, Pb, and Zn added in form of nitrates, from solutions containing CaCl2. The precipitated carbonatic minerals were a function of the different heavy metals present in the solution. The process of co-precipitation appears to be rather effective and fast, as the concentrations of the 4 heavy metals were reduced in 2 days by 97.2%, on average, in the solutions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0137.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: integrated assessment modelling; PM2.5 concentrations; exceedance of WHO guideline
Online: 8 February 2023 (02:41:56 CET)
Integrated assessment modelling (IAM) has been successfully used in the development of international agreements to reduce transboundary pollution in Europe, based on the GAINS model of IIASA. At a national level in the UK a similar approach has been taken with the UK Integrated Assessment Model, UKIAM, superimposing pollution abatement measures and behavioural change on energy projections designed to meet targets set for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and allowing for natural and imported contributions from other countries and shipping. This paper describes how UKIAM has been used in development of proposed targets for reduction of fine particulate PM2.5 in the Environment Act, exploring scenarios encompassing different levels of ambition up to 2050 with associated health and other environmental benefits. There are two PM2.5 targets, an annual mean concentration target setting a maximum concentration to be reached by a future year, and a population exposure reduction target with benefits for health across the whole population. The work goes further, to also demonstrate links to social deprivation. There is a strong connection between climate measures aimed at reducing net GHG emissions to zero by 2050 and future air quality, which may be positive or negative, as illustrated by sectoral studies for road transport where electrification of the fleet needs to match the evolution of energy production, and for domestic heating where use of wood for heating is an air quality issue. UKIAM has been validated against air pollution measurements and other modelling, but there are many uncertainties including future energy projections. New work is beginning to link UKIAM directly with the TIMES model addressing future energy projections, to explore different uptake scenarios for hydrogen production and use with respect to air quality.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0024.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: sustainability; socio-technical transitions; contingency theory
Online: 2 February 2023 (02:55:56 CET)
With a worldwide growing concern for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their impact on human health and the environment, transportation has become a central theme in mitigation, responsible for 14% of human GHG emissions. To build endurance to climate change, transportation services must adapt to the current scenario and act quickly to avert future changes. Deeply rooted changes in socio-technical systems will be necessary to achieve significant CO2 reduction and secure the well-being of future generations. This study's objective is to comprehensively review the current state of carbon mitigation in the transportation sector. This is done through a systematic literature review engrained in the socio-technical transition theory and the structural theory of contingency. Twenty-six review papers covering 2,983 original articles are selected for full-text examination concerning carbon emissions in transportation. Enablers, barriers, benefits, disadvantages and metrics in carbon emissions reduction are identified, and a comprehensive framework is built. Results provide a view of the current sustainability scenario in transportation and allow a better understanding of the factors influencing carbon emission initiatives in transportation and its outcomes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0184.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: plastic contamination; cotton; gin; textile; round module; mitigation efforts; textile mills
Online: 19 January 2023 (08:26:21 CET)
Plastic contamination is a burning issue costing the global cotton and textile industries billions of dollars annually. Any time plastics from different sources end up in a cotton lint bale, the value to the textile mills plummets significantly. Various industry players have therefore made a concerted effort to find lasting solutions to the menace posed by plastic to cotton profitability and sustainability. Nevertheless, until now, there have been no up-to-date comprehensive documents detailing the numerous and ever-growing efforts committed to solving this challenge. Therefore, this article provides a detailed yet compact review of this highly dynamic subject matter. First, it puts into perspective plastic contamination in the cotton and textile industries. Then, the cotton value chain is subdivided into phases from pre-cultivation to textile mills. The root causes of plastic contamination are discussed in each stage, followed by discussions of some already developed and emerging solutions in response to the challenge by the affected industries and researchers. Concluding from the author’s perspective, the paper makes projections for the future directions of plastic mitigation efforts within the cotton and textile industries. This article also infers from the reviewed literature that research on finding alternative materials to plastic as module wrap, the development of new, effective, and all-condition plastic sensing techniques for ginning and spinning equipment, and standardized protocols for UAV in-field surveys of plastic trash are some of the areas that will be beneficial to finding a permanent solution to the challenge.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0504.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: low-cost sensors; portable device; environmental monitoring; gas concentrations; dairy barn; photoacoustic infrared spectroscope
Online: 28 November 2022 (08:28:49 CET)
The increasing regulatory pressure to monitor and reduce GHG emissions and air pollutants requires cost-effective methods for their surveillance. The most common technique used for scientific investigations on gas concentration monitoring in barns are accurate but expensive and with a complex maintenance. This research study analysed the potential use of a low-cost portable measurement devices for the measurement of ammonia (NH3) and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in an open dairy barn. A comparison between gas concentrations acquired at different heights from the floor by using portable devices and those acquired by a photoacoustic infrared multigas spectroscope (i.e., reference measurement) in the same sampling locations was carried out to determine the precision of the low-cost portable devices. The performance of low-cost portable devices was statistically analysed by the application of the one-way analysis of variance, correlation analysis and regression analysis. The results showed a significant difference between gas concentration values at various heights from the floor for both NH3 and CO2. The correlations between concentrations acquired by the low-cost portable device and the INNOVA were statistically significant (r=0.83; P<0.001) for gas concentrations monitored at 0.4 m from the floor. Compared with the reference measurement device, the low-cost devices were effective in the monitoring of NH3 concentrations at 0.40 m from the floor though it underestimated them in the barn at increasing of the height from the floor, whereas the device was not adequate for CO2 concentrations. In detail, the relative measurement error of the low-cost devices compared to INNOVA was reduced close to the floor during NH3 concentration measurements. Within these limitations, this device could be useful for monitoring NH3 concentration in the barn and to assess variation in NH3 concentrations mainly related to the animal occupied zone. Further efforts are needed in this field of research to identify low-cost device that could simplify emission estimation from open dairy barns.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0232.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Air Quality; Urban air quality; air quality measurement systems
Online: 26 April 2022 (09:57:05 CEST)
Urban air quality is increasingly becoming a cause for concern for the health of the human population. The poor air quality is already wreaking havoc in major cities of the world, where serious health issues and reduction of average human life by a factor of years are reported. The air quality in developing countries can become worse as they undergo development. The urban air quality varies non-linearly depending upon the various factors such as land use, industrialization, waste disposal, traffic volume, etc. To address this problem, it is necessary to look at the plethora of available literature from multiple perspectives such as types and sources of pollutants, meteorology, urban mobility, urban planning and development, health care, economics, etc. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive survey of the state-of-the-art in urban air quality. We first review the fundamental background on air quality and present the emerging landscape of urban air quality. We then explore the available literature from multiple urban air quality measurement projects and provides the insights uncovered in them. We then take a look at the sources that are significantly contributing to polluting the air quality. Finally, we highlight open issues and research challenges in dealing with urban air pollution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0205.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: pollutants; microplastics; heavy metals; PAH; pesticide residues; medical waste
Online: 21 April 2022 (10:53:10 CEST)
A quality marine ecosystem if it is free from GTP contaminants. Accuracy and caution are needed in the exploitation of marine resources as marine tourism destinations so that in the future, there will be no ecological hazards that cause chain effects, not only on aquatic ecosystems but also on humans. This article identifies exposure to GTP (MP, PAH, PR, HM, MW) in marine ecosystems in the MTA area and BCI waters. The combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis methods uses a combination of analytical instruments and mathematical formulas. The search results show the average total abundance of MP in seawater and fish samples (5.47 units/m3) and (7.03 units/m3), respectively, while in sediment and sponge samples (8.18 units/m3) and (8.32 units/m3). Based on the analysis of the polymer structure, it was identified that the dominant light group MP (PE, PP and PS), followed by PA and PC. Several PAH pollutants were identified in the samples, especially NL types found in all samples, followed by PN and AZ. BCI sea waters are suspected to be exposed to MW and PR. Pollutants of Pb+2 and Cu+2 around BCI were successfully calculated with average concentrations in seawater 0.164 mg/L and 0.294 mg/L, respectively, while in fish, 1.8110 µg/g and 2,452 µg/g, respectively. Based on these findings, the BCI area is not recommended as a marine tourism destination.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0211.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: air pollution; microenvironment; public health; PM2.5; black carbon; active transport
Online: 15 March 2022 (11:34:12 CET)
The Particulate Matter (PM), particles of variable but small diameter could penetrate the respiratory system via inhalation, causing respiratory and/or cardiovascular diseases. This study aims to evaluate the association of environmental particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon (BC) with respiratory health and physical activity in users traveling by transportation modes over four roads in Bogotá. This was a mixed-method study, in 300 healthy participants, based on a convergent parallel design. Including a descriptive qualitative component focused on asserting the individual perception of air pollution by semi-structured interviews and a cross-sectional study measuring the individual exposure to PM2.5 and BC to evaluate the pulmonary function by spirometry. The analysis included concurrent triangulation and a Poisson regression. This study provides integration of air pollution exposure variables and respiratory health effects in different transport microenvironments. To our knowledge, this is the first mixed-methods study focused on PM2.5, BC, and respiratory health effects in a city above 2.000 meters above sea level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0504.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Atmosphere pollution; atmosphere contamination; hazardous substances; particulate matters; cancerogenic substances; automotive vehicles
Online: 31 December 2021 (10:52:33 CET)
The article analyzes two existing social, technical and economic problems which the world community shall focus on and pay special attention to.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0137.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Environmental diseases; Air pollution; Fine dust; Living environment; Satisfaction; Policy
Online: 8 September 2021 (10:11:40 CEST)
Background: Particulate matter and urban air pollution affect the human body and can lead to death. Epidemiological studies should consider the exposure to pollutants and the diverse responses of individuals depending on their sensitivity to the pollutants. Methods: In this study, air pollution measurements were obtained hourly at measuring stations operated by the national and local governments to increase the reliability of the measured values. A β-ray absorption method was used to analyze the measurements of fine dust and determine the particulate matter content. Results: The air pollution data were log-converted to enable the comparison of data from different time periods. The comparison was made, focusing on the period of Seoul's fine dust policy. As a result, the cancer incidence rate also decreased after the policy. The data on individual characteristics were obtained from a survey of Seoul citizens conducted from 2015 to 2016 and using indicators such as the quality of life and social trust of Seoul citizens. Concludions: The survey on the living environment and residence indicated that 80% of the heads of households were men. Women had a greater dissatisfaction than men with the residential, economic, and social environments. The survey questions on well-being were related to the internal and external environment such as air pollution, noise, and fine dust.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0686.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: asthma; outdoor air pollution; particulate matter; sulfur dioxide; hydrogen sulfide
Online: 28 June 2021 (16:33:30 CEST)
Clairton, Pennsylvania, is home to the largest coke works facility in the United States (US). On 24 December 2018, a large fire occurred at this facility and damaged pollution control equipment. Although repairs were not completed for several months, production continued at pre-fire capacity and daily emissions increased by 24 to 35 times, with multiple exceedances of monitored levels of outdoor air pollution (OAP). The aim of this study was to objectively evaluate the impact of this industrial incident and resultant OAP exceedances on asthma morbidity. We assessed pre-fire and post-fire rate ratios (RR) of outpatient and emergency department (ED) visits for asthma exacerbations among nearby adult residents. Pre-fire versus post-fire RRs increased for both visit types: RR = 1.82 (95% CI: 1.30, 2.53; p < 0.001) and 1.84 (95% CI: 1.05, 3.22; p = 0.032) for outpatient and ED visits, respectively. Additionally, total visit rates increased on days with OAP exceedances: RR = 2.47 (95% CI: 1.52, 4.01; p < 0.0001), 1.58 (95% CI: 1.00, 2.48; p = 0.048) and 1.79 (95% CI: 1.27, 2.54; p = 0.001) for PM2.5, SO2, and H2S exceedance days, respectively. These results show a near doubling of acute visits for asthma exacerbations in nearby adult residents during this industrial incident and underscore the need for prompt remediation and public notification of OAP exceedances to prevent adverse health impacts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0588.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Air Pollution; STURLA; Urban Structure; Mobile Monitoring; Spatial Prediction
Online: 21 April 2021 (16:49:09 CEST)
Understanding the relationships between land cover/urban structure patterns and air pollutants is key to sustainable urban planning and development. In this study, we employ a mobile monitoring method to collect PM2.5 and BC data in the city of Philadelphia, PA during the summer of 2019 and apply the Structure of Urban Landscapes (STURLA) methodology to examine relationships between urban structure and atmospheric pollution. We find that, while PM2.5 and BC vary by STURLA class, many of the differences in pollutant concentrations between classes are not significant. However, we also find that the proportions in which STURLA components are present throughout the urban landscape can be used to predict urban air pollution. Among frequently sampled STURLA classes, gpl hosted the highest PM2.5 concentrations on average (16.60 ± 4.29 µg/m3), while tgbwp hosted the highest BC concentrations (2.31 ± 1.94 µg/m3). Furthermore, STURLA combined with machine learning modeling was able to correlate PM2.5 (R2= 0.68, RMSE 2.82 µg/m3) and BC (R2 = 0.64, RMSE 0.75 µg/m3) concentrations with the urban landscape and spatially interpolate concentrations where sampling did not take place. These results demonstrate the efficacy of the STURLA methodology in modeling relationships between air pollution and land cover/urban structure patterns.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0240.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Oil exploration and exploitation, Gas flaring, Environmental pollution, PAH sources, Incremental lifetime cancer risk
Online: 9 March 2021 (07:23:38 CET)
The frequent incidents of oil spills and other forms of pollution arising from crude oil exploration and exploitation (OEE) in the Niger Delta have caused several investigations on Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) pollution. This study aimed at developing a comprehensive report on PAH pollution and its human health risks recorded in the Niger Delta. Studies were extracted from Google Scholar, PubMed, and ResearchGate using a defined selection criterion. The quality of each study was assessed using the Newcastle – Ottawa Scale. Thirty-eight studies were selected with the majority reporting on PAH pollution in aquatic environments. Across all the selected studies, the total number of PAHs recorded ranged from 7 to 28 PAH congeners. Also, PAH potential sources reported in the studies were of pyrogenic and petrogenic sources. PAH concentrations recorded in water, sediment, aquatic organisms (fish and shrimp), soil, dust, and crop samples ranged from below detection limit (BDL) to 450 ± 117.9 mg/L, BDL to 1821.5 mg/kg, 0.005 to 1.098 mg/kg, ND to 4154 ± 3461 mg/kg, 165.1 to 1012 mg/kg, and 0.020 to 3.37 mg/kg, respectively. Majority of the selected studies reported PAH levels which were higher than the permissible limits. Incremental Lifetime Cancer Risk (ILCR) assessment of PAHs in samples ranged from low to high via ingestion and dermal routes of exposure to humans. It is recommended that the Federal Government of Nigeria promotes environmentally friendly operations of OEE. Future studies should focus on PAH pollution in farmlands, ambient air and the associated human and ecological health risks.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0051.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: water microbiology; ecotoxicology; Danube; wastewater; ichthyofauna; pollution indicators
Online: 4 January 2021 (15:00:04 CET)
Water and water habitats are essential to life and to the wellness of the communities that rely on them, as the Danube river is subject to human impact and vice versa, periodic surveys are required to determine the status of its pollution levels. In this work we used known microbiological indicators as well as physico-chemical ones to assess the ecotoxicological status of the Danube river from eleven locations partially forming the “Romanian–Bulgarian Danube Sector”. Most of the microbial communities found, and their densities, could be explained by point and diffuse sources scattered along the sector such as discharged household and farm wastewater, as well as nearby agricultural areas where fertilizers have been used and then leaked in the water stream during rainfalls. However, microbial data on non-point sources that lead to diffuse pollution of surface waters could be linked to such parameters and furthermore shown a slight correlation with the current status of fish communities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0563.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Lagos lagoon; plastics; FTIR; pyrolysis GC-MS; sedimentology
Online: 26 August 2020 (06:30:56 CEST)
Microplastics are a fast emerging group of contaminants. Their worldwide occurrence in water, sediment, and aquatic fauna raises questions and concerns as to their probable effects on aquatic life and ecology. This study investigates for the first time presence, abundance, and types of microplastics in water and sediment from a lagoon bordering the large urban agglomeration of Lagos in Nigeria, and renders additional information about grain size and sediment composition. Water and sediment samples were collected from four locations in the Lagos lagoon and a tributary. The abundance and distribution of microplastics in four range classes were determined for the sampled locations. Plastic particles were counted using digital microscopy, and identified with FTIR and pyrolysis GC-MS. The abundance of microplastics ranged from 310-2319 microplastic particles/kg in sediment, and 139-303 particles/m3 in water. The large discrepancy in the sediments can be explained by sediment characteristics as more microplastics were detected in the fine-grained sediments of Makoko. Fibres were the predominant shape found in all samples followed by fragments and few films whereas spheres were missing. Fibres were more abundant in water (92.6 %) than in sediments (32.5 %) while more fragments and foils occurred in sediments. The most commonly used polymers polypropylene and polyethylene were also the most detected ones in both matrices. Compared to other studies in Nigeria, our findings especially in the coarser sediments were lower while the fine-grained site revealed similar results.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0553.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: bioavailability, heavy metals, BCR extraction, lagoon, sediments
Online: 23 July 2020 (11:47:24 CEST)
Heavy metals have been implicated as Lagoon pollutants from sources such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing industries and waste water treatment works. A study was carried out in the University of Lagos lagoon to investigate the seasonal bioavailability of the heavy metal contaminants Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn. The physical parameters pH, redox potential, temperature, TDS and conductivity were measured on site. Dried sediment samples were extracted using the Community Bureau of Reference (BCR) sequential procedure and analysed by ICP-OES. A certified reference material (CRM), BCR 701 (lake sediment) was used for quality assurance with recoveries ranging between 80-120%. Statistical analysis (ANOVA) showed that there was a significant difference between metal distribution in the dry and wet seasons. Cu, Pb and Zn were in the available fractions (carbonate, Fe/Mn oxide and organic). Cu was highest in the Fe/Mn oxide and organic fractions. This indicated that an increase in organic matter and reducing agents will avail the Cu. Zn was distributed in all fractions while Pb was found in the Fe/Mn oxide fraction (3.93- 21.3 %). Results showed that the bioavailability of Cu, Pb and Zn was high. Metal bioavailability by BCR indicates a potential risk of pollution in lagoon sediments as the available metals exceeded the permissible Sediment Quality Assessment Guidelines (SQAG’s) from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0236.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: trace metals; mine drainage remediation; zinc; red media; biochar
Online: 11 July 2020 (09:36:40 CEST)
The river Teign in Devon has come under scrutiny for failing to meet Environmental Quality Standards for ecotoxic metals due to past mining operations. A disused mine known as Bridford Barytes mine, has been found to contribute a significant source of Zn, Cd and Pb to the river. Recently, studies have been focused on the remediation of such mine sites using low-cost treatment methods to help reduce metal loads to the river downstream. Red mud is a waste product from the aluminium industry, the utilization of this resource has proven an attractive low-cost treatment method for adsorbing toxic metals. Adsorption kinetics and capacity experiments reveal metal removal efficiencies of up to 70% within the first 2 hours when red mud is applied in pelletized form. Biochar is another effective adsorbent with the potential to remove >90% Zn using agricultural feedstock. Compliance of the Teign has been investigated by analysing dissolved metal concentrations and bioavailable fractions of Zn to assess if levels are of environmental concern. By applying a Real-World Application Model, this study reveals that compressed pellets and agricultural biochar offer an effective, low-cost option to reducing metal concentrations and thus improving the quality of the river Teign.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0188.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: ozone; OMI; seasonal variations; satellite remote sensing
Online: 12 April 2020 (09:14:12 CEST)
India is one of the large sources of the anthropogenic pollutants and their increasing emission due to the recent economic growth in India. In this study we analyzed the annual and seasonal behaviors of ozone (O3) gas using satellite remote sensing dataset from the sources Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) over India region from 2006-2015. The study focuses on the seasonal behaviors of O3 gas i.e., monthly, seasonal, annual mean variations of trace gas and also trend analysis of O3 gas and comparison of the seasonal behavior of the ozone gas by trend analysis were assessed. In this study we also taken eleven cities to show the increment and decrement in four seasons of O3 gas by taking 2006 as a base year and investigate the behaviors of gases during (2007-2015) years. Higher concentrations of O3 south-to-north gradient, indicating the variations due to the impact of emissions and local meteorology. Ozone concentrations were higher during the warmer months. However, in winter season lowest concentration of O3 seen due to the less amount of heat and due to cold days and ozone holes in the stratosphere. Instead, total O3 concentrations rises over Delhi, Lucknow and Kolkata due to large population density, high traffic emission, highly polluted air and larger industrial activities.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0364.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Covid-19; infection rate; air pollution; lockdown; China
Online: 24 March 2020 (14:54:49 CET)
Background: Covid-19 was first reported in Wuhan, China in Dec 2019. Since then, it has been transmitted rapidly in China and the rest of the world. While Covid-19 transmission rate has been declining in China, it is increasing exponentially in Europe and America. Although there are numerous studies examining Covid-19 infection, including an archived paper looking into the meteorological effect, the role of outdoor air pollution has yet to be explored rigorously. It has been shown that air pollution will weaken the immune system, and increase the rate of respiratory virus infection. We postulate that outdoor air pollution concentrations will have a negative effect on Covid-19 infections in China, whilst lockdowns, characterized by strong social distancing and home isolation measures, will help to moderate such negative effect. Methods: We will collect the number of daily confirmed Covid-19 cases in 31 provincial capital cities in China during the period of 1 Dec 2019 to 20 Mar 2020 (from a popular Chinese online platform which aggregates all cases reported by the Chinese national/provincial health authorities). We will also collect daily air pollution and meteorology data at the city-level (from the Chinese National Environmental Monitoring Center and the US National Climatic Data Center), daily inter-city migration flows and intra-city movements (from Baidu). City-level demographics including age distribution and gender, education, and median household income can be obtained from the statistical yearbooks. City-level co-morbidity indicators including rates of chronic disease and co-infection can be obtained from related research articles. A regression model is developed to model the relationship between the infection rate of Covid-19 (number of confirmed cases/population at the city level) and outdoor air pollution at the city level, after taking into account confounding factors such as meteorology, inter- and intra-city movements, demographics, and co-morbidity and co-infection rates. In particular, we shall study how air pollution affects infection rates across different cities, including Wuhan. Our model will also study air pollution would affect infection rates in Wuhan before and after the lockdown. Expected findings: We expect there be a correlation between Covid-19 infection rate and outdoor air pollution. We also expect that reduced intra-city movement after the lockdowns in Wuhan and the rest of China will play an important role in reducing the infection rate. Interpretation: Infection rate is growing exponentially in major cities worldwide. We expect Covid-19 infection rate is related to the air pollution concentration, and is strongly dependent on inter- and intra-city movements. To reduce the infection rate, the international community may deploy effective air pollution reduction plans and social distancing policies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0125.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: microorganisms; microplastics; biogeochemical cycles; plastic degradation; food webs
Online: 11 October 2019 (04:05:54 CEST)
Microorganisms drive the biogeochemical cycles that link abiotic and biotic processes in the aqueous environment and are intricately associated with plastic debris. The detection of microplastics in water and sediment introduces new concerns as small particle size allows for yet unconsidered pathways for plastics in the food web and element cycles. In this review, we present current knowledge of microbe-plastic interactions and summarize the potential impact of biogeochemical processes on plastic distribution, cycling, transport, and sedimentation. We explore how microbe-plastic interactions influence the exposure of consumers to plastics and plastic degradation products. Key methods used to elucidate biofilm development, microbial biodegradation, and plastic detection in the aqueous environment are discussed. Finally, we comment on potential future questions and research directions needed to further define the role of microorganisms in the environmental fate of microplastics.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: smoking; air pollution; health communication; population attributable fraction; copd; emphysema; relative risks
Online: 10 October 2019 (04:47:10 CEST)
A recent study found that a 3ppb increase in O3 ambient concentration was associated with an increased progression of 0.18 percentage points in percent emphysema and that such increase was equal to smoking 20 cigarettes per day for 29 years. A simple estimation of population attributable fraction shows that COPD diagnoses due to smoking are actually 30 times more than those attributed to a 3 ppb increment in O3 concentration. Labelling ozone pollution as the new smoking may distort perception of the risks and hinder proper response to real life threatening risk such as smoking.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0067.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: bisphenol analogues; colloids; suspended particulate matter; environmental risk; water diversion project
Online: 6 August 2019 (04:09:58 CEST)
Because of the widespread use of bisphenol analogues (BPs) as the alternatives to bisphenol A (BPA), they have attracted considerable attention for health risk in aquatic ecosystems. The occurrence and distribution of six BPs were researched in soluble phase (< 5 kDa), colloidal phase (5 kDa to 1 µm) and suspended particulate matter (SPM > 1 µm) in a water diversion project of Nanjing, China. Except for bisphenol Z, all BPs were detected in the two or three phases, the total concentrations of detected BPs were 161-613 ng/L, 5.19-77.2 ng/L and 47.5-353 ng/g for the soluble phase, colloidal phase and SPM, respectively. Among the detected compounds, BPA still the dominant BPs in the soluble and colloidal phases, followed by BPS, while BPAF was the major contaminant in SPM, followed by BPA. The mean contribution proportions of colloids were 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than SPM, suggesting that colloids have an obvious impact on regulating BPs’ environmental behaviors. In terms of spatial distribution, although the water diversion project could reduce the pollution levels of BPs, which might further affect the ecological security of the Yangtze River.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0036.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: bisphenol analogues; colloids; suspended particulate matter; environmental risk; water diversion project
Online: 5 August 2019 (03:21:46 CEST)
Owing to the widespread use of bisphenol analogues (BPs) as bisphenol A (BPA) alternatives, they have been recognized to constitute a health risk for aquatic ecosystems. The occurrence and distribution of six BPs were investigated in the truly dissolved phase (< 5 kDa), colloidal phase (5 kDa to 1 µm) and suspended particulate matter (SPM > 1 µm) in a water diversion project of Nanjing, China. With the exception of bisphenol Z, all BPs were detected in at least two phases, the total concentrations of detected BPs were 161-613 ng/L, 5.19-77.2 ng/L and 47.5-353 ng/g for the truly dissolved phase, colloidal phase and SPM, respectively. Among the detected compounds, BPA still the dominant BPs in the truly dissolved phase and colloidal phase, followed by BPS, while BPAF was the major contaminant in SPM, followed by BPA. The mean contribution proportions of colloids were 1-2 orders of magnitude greater than that of SPM, suggesting that colloids play an important role in regulating the environmental behaviors of BPs. In terms of spatial distribution, although the water diversion project could reduce the pollution levels of BPs, which might further affect the ecological security of the Yangtze River.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0208.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Beijing; surface water; organic pollution; health risk assessment
Online: 16 May 2019 (10:37:11 CEST)
The study of the distribution and health risk assessment is meaningful to provide basic data for environmental management．To investigate the pollution of potential toxic organics and their health risk to human beings, water samples were collected at 7 sites of main surface water of Beijing during wet and dry seasons respectively. The targeted 92 organics were detected, including phthalates (PAEs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and phenols. The results showed that: there were 56 organics detected out, and the number ratios of detected compounds to the total compounds of the same kind increased as the following: VOCs, phthalates, phenols, PAHs. 8 VOCs were detected in wet season, and 3 in dry season. The concentration of 2,2-Dichloropropane was highest as 10.62ug/L, while the concentrations of other VOCs were below 5ug/L; There were 11 phthalates detected during dry season. The content of Bis(2-methoxyethyl) phthalate was highest as 188.47ng/L; 17 phenols were found in samples during wet season, and the highest concentration was 1244.73ng/L for 4-nitrophenol; PAHs could be detected in all samples, and the detected compounds and the corresponding average concentrations were higher in wet seasons than those in dry seasons, which indicated that non-point pollution was possibly the main pollution source. The health risk assessment of the detected 56 pollutants by using a model from US EPA showed that, the risk caused by the four kinds of toxic organics in this study was in the acceptable ranges.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0227.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: coal fly ash; leachates; chemical species; pot culture experiments; translocation; bioconcentration
Online: 9 November 2018 (03:12:39 CET)
This study evaluated the physicochemical, mineralogical properties, mobile chemical species’ bioavailability and translocation in Brassica juncea and Spinacea oleracea L plants of a South African coal fired power utility. Coal fly ash (CFA) disposal is associated with various environmental and health risks including air, soil, surface and ground water pollution due to the leaching of toxic chemical species; these ends up in food webs affecting human health, while repeated inhalation causes bronchitis, silicosis, hair loss and lung cancer. The morphology, chemical, and mineralogical composition of CFA were determined using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray Diffraction, respectively. In pot culture experiments, S. oleracea L and B. juncea plants were grown in three sets of pots containing CFA (set 1), soil (set 2) and a mixture of CFA plus soil at ratio 1:1 (50% CFA: 50% soil) (set 3), while no plants were grown in set 4 as a control for the leachate samples. SEM showed that surface morphology of CFA has a lower degree of sphericity with irregular agglomerations of many particles. The XRF results revealed that CFA contains 43.65%, 22.68% and 10.89% of SiO2, Al2O3 and Fe2O3 respectively which indicate that the CFA is an alumino-silicate material. While XRD showed that the coal CFA contains mullite as a major phase followed by quartz mineral phases. Chemical species such as Fe, Mn, B, Ba and Zn were accumulated highly in most parts of the plant species. However, B. juncea showed higher potential to accumulate chemical species as compared to S. oleracea L. The bioconcentration and translocation factors (BF and TF) showed that B. juncea was the most effective in terms of bioconcentration and translocation of most of the chemical species. This indicates that B. juncea has potential in application for phytoremediation of CFA dumps and could contribute to remediation of CFA dumps and reduction of potential health and environmental impacts associated with CFA.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0633.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Vitoria, Espírito Santo Bay; geochemical analysis
Online: 26 October 2018 (12:53:17 CEST)
The Bay of Espirito Santo is located in the Espírito Santo State, in the eastern part of Brazil. It is surrounded by the city of Vitoria on one side and by the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Superficial sediments of Espirito Santo Bay were analyzed at 12 (western shallow silt sediments) + 8 (eastern sandy sediments and relatively deep sampling stations) = 20 uniformly distributed sampling points where geochemical analysis was performed. Nineteen elements were analyzed: Mo, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ag, Ni, Mn, Fe, As, U, Th, Sr, Cd, Sb, Bi, V, Cr, Ba, and Al. This selection was made based on the most representative heavy metals present in this area and according to the results obtained from the geochemical analysis. Their concentrations were compared with metal contamination benchmarks like Screening Quick Reference Tables (SQuiRTs), Effects Range-Low (ERLs) and Effects Range-Median (ERMs), TELs (Threshold Effects Levels), PELs (Probable Effects Levels), ERM (Effects range median), and AETs (Apparent Effects Thresholds). Results indicate that there is no particular pollution condition able to alter the condition of any part of this water body. The Authors conclude that the Espirito Santo Bay is only moderately polluted and some elements are virtually absent.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0559.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Vitoria; Espírito Santo Bay; geochemical analysis
Online: 24 October 2018 (09:09:01 CEST)
The Bay of Espirito Santo is located in the Espírito Santo State, in the eastern part of Brazil. It is surrounded by the city of Vitoria on one side and by the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Superficial sediments of Espirito Santo Bay were analyzed at 12 (western shallow silt sediments) + 8 (eastern sandy sediments and relatively deep sampling stations) = 20 uniformly distributed sampling points where geochemical analysis was performed. Nineteen elements were analyzed: Mo, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ag, Ni, Mn, Fe, As, U, Th, Sr, Cd, Sb, Bi, V, Cr, Ba, and Al. This selection was made based on the most representative heavy metals present in this area and according to the results obtained from the geochemical analysis. Their concentrations were compared with metal contamination benchmarks like Screening Quick Reference Tables (SQuiRTs), Effects Range-Low (ERLs) and Effects Range-Median (ERMs), TELs (Threshold Effects Levels), PELs (Probable Effects Levels), ERM (Effects range median), and AETs (Apparent Effects Thresholds). Results indicate that there is no particular pollution condition able to alter the condition of any part of this water body. The Authors conclude that the Espirito Santo Bay is only moderately polluted and some elements are virtually absent.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0471.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: PM, air pollution, maternal exposure, airways disease
Online: 28 August 2018 (10:05:54 CEST)
Air pollution has become a growing invisible killer in recent years and is major cause of morbidity and mortality globally. India stands 10th among the highly polluted countries with an average PM10 level of 134μg/m3 per year. It is also reported that 99% of India's population comes across air pollution level that exceed the World Health Organization Air Quality Guideline (AQG), PM2.5 permissible levels of 10 μg/m3. Maternal exposure to air pollution has a serious health outcome to the offspring because it can affect embryonic phases of development during the gestation period. Fetus is more prone to air pollution effect during embryonic developmental phases due to oxidative stress as antioxidant mechanisms are lacking at that stage. Any injury during this vulnerable period (embryonic phase) will have long-term impact on offspring health both in early and later in life. Epidemiological studies have revealed that maternal exposure to air pollution increases the risk of developing airways disease in offspring due to impaired lung development in utero. In this review, we discuss cellular mechanisms involved in maternal exposure to air pollution and how it can impact development of airways disease in offspring. Better understanding of these mechanisms in context of maternal exposure to air pollution can offer newer avenue to prevent development of airways disease in offspring.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0394.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: fine dust pollution; ozone layer and climate change; global environmental problems, statistical reasoning, air pollution assessment, desertification, particulate matter (PM)
Online: 22 August 2018 (10:22:38 CEST)
Abstract: The frequency and intensity of air pollution are two of most critical issues the world faces in dealing with global environmental problems. They are both important areas that need to be improved. Our previous research  examines the assessment of fine dust pollution in Baekryeong island by statistical reasoning through one specific example of inland city (Yanggu) in Republic of Korea; however, given that Baekryeong Island is a remote island, there has been little focus on in-depth examination of its effect on the high density of fine dust in Baekryeong Island. The purpose of this article is twofold: (i) to examine the effect of a remote island on the high density of fine dust on Baekryeong Island using statistical reasoning and to provide a more specific statistical basis for the claim that one of the non-negligible factors influencing the high density of fine dust on Baekryeong Island is the geographic proximity to China; and (ii) to present brief discussion of fundamental cause of fine dust and global air pollution issues, which are not discussed in .
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0004.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: aerosols; Particulate Matter (PM); PM2.5; nanoparticles; toxicity; source; Organ-on-a-Chip (OoC)
Online: 1 May 2018 (09:54:13 CEST)
The air is not the same as thousands and hundreds of years ago. In the air, suspended particles originate from natural phenomena like dust storms or volcanic activities, as well as anthropogenic pollutants such as fuel engine exhaust and everyday activities at home. The total particles in the air can be classified by sizes, such as PM10, PM2.5 or ultrafine particles. However, there are many other important factors in addition to the particle size, influencing the particle behavior and affecting our health. The surface area, chemical and biological composition, aspect ratio, and the charge are all factors characteristic of particles. OoC microfluidic chips are very useful for the pollutant toxicity measurements on various body tissues. A better understanding of pollutants will help to trace these to the potential sources. The data from the on-the-ground and satellite monitoring can be integrated into models, helping to predict and prevent pollution exposure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0089.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: PM10; Exposure; Health risk assessment; Makkah
Online: 14 December 2017 (11:06:18 CET)
The current study aimed to: i) Monitor levels of PM10, at Shebika, Haram, Masfala, Azizia, Awali and Mina in Makkah city, KSA during the period of 01 Shawwal 1436H – 27 Rabi Al-Awwal 1437H, by using LVS instruments; and; 2) assess health risk (non-cancer and cancer risks) on humans (children and adult) exposed to PM10 in ambient air of Makkah city.The results showed that: the high PM10 levels were found in Haram site, while the lower levels were found in Awali site. These levels were lower than that set for PM10 by PME (Daily limit of 340 µg/m3). Vehicles emissions and constructions sources may be the main source of PM10 levels in Makkah city. The human health risk assessments showed that: the daily exposure doses of PM10 were ranked in the order: Ding > Ddermal > Dinh for children and adult in Makkah city. Ingestion of PM10 particles was the main exposure pathway for both children and adults. The HIs and cancer risk values were within the safe level, indicating that (non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic) risks for humans exposed to PM10 in Makkah city were negligible.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201707.0069.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: waste management; waste minimization; recycling; rural district municipalities; community residents; households; satisfaction levels; willingness to recycle; waste separation; municipal solid waste; benefits and barriers
Online: 25 July 2017 (05:14:07 CEST)
Whereas waste management research has focused on mostly urban municipalities in South Africa, not much is known about the current performance of waste management services from the perspective of community residents in rural municipalities. This study reports on the status and effectiveness of waste management practices from the perspective of community residents in the Umkhanyakude and Zululand Districts in the rural areas of the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. Making use of structured questionnaires, primary data was obtained by interviewing 333 respondents representing households in the study area. Results have revealed several shortfalls in the provision of municipal waste management services, except for solid waste removal from households (66%), and management of landfill sites (41%). The degree of dissatisfaction for waste management services rendered was very high (97.3%). Furthermore, the majority (61.4%) of respondents were not willing to participate in waste segregation due to lack of appropriate knowledge and infrastructure. The study also pinpointed some benefits associated with waste minimization, as well as barriers constraining effective waste recycling. Based on these findings, there is a dire need for transforming current waste management practices toward increased recycling rates by creating more environmental awareness and a supporting infrastructure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201612.0128.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: forestry production; carbon dioxide emissions; ARDL; Granger-causality; Ghana; econometrics
Online: 26 December 2016 (10:06:54 CET)
In this study, the causal-effect between carbon dioxide emissions and forestry production and trade was investigated in Ghana by employing a data spanning from 1961 to 2014 by using the VECM and ARDL model. Evidence of the long-run equilibrium relationship in the VECM shows that, a 1% increase in veneer sheet production reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 1.47% in the long-run. There was evidence of a bidirectional causality between carbon dioxide emissions and veneer sheet production, carbon dioxide emissions and wood charcoal production, and a unidirectional causality running from carbon dioxide emissions to wood fuel production and plywood production to carbon dioxide emissions. Evidence from the long-run equilibrium relationship in the ARDL model shows that; a 1% increase in plywood production will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 0.17% in the long-run, a 1% increase in sawnwood production will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 0.17% in the long-run, a 1% increase in wood charcoal production will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 0.36% in the long-run and a 1% increase in wood fuel production will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 0.37% in the long-run.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201609.0107.v1
Online: 27 September 2016 (11:34:40 CEST)
Reducing the levels of toxic chemicals that cause adverse health and environmental impacts is a challenge for the international community. There is a need of a global strategy. Indeed, too often the problems associated to the exposure of chemical substances is recognized a posteriori, in the presence of consequences already observed. The prediction of the likely effects of chemical exposure on human health is based on classical tests with animals, which are time and money consuming, may deviate from an accurate prediction towards humans, and arises ethical concerns. Regulations are now considering the adoption of in silico (or computational) methods, which can be used for prioritizing substances according to the probability to be toxic for the biosphere. Several initiatives have prioritized chemicals, typically based according to some criteria, such as chemicals which may be endocrine disruptors, or persistent, bioaccumulative, or toxic (PBT). However, these initiatives focused on a certain range of adverse properties, and covered a certain number of substances only. We applied a set of largely validated and widely used predictive methods to large collections of chemicals: (i) to about 340,000 with a defined function, and (ii) to about 6 millions, which have been synthetized. The aim of this study is to quantify the putative impact of existing and future chemicals on towards human health, ecological and environment properties. The impact on the environment is the cause of major concern. This is the case of pesticides and hazardous, which is quite expected; however, also pharmacologically active candidate compounds of natural origin may have a high level of ecotoxicity. Pesticides and hazardous are also the categories of higher concern for humans, followed by pharmaceuticals. The pesticides and the hazardous are the categories of higher concern also on the environmental point of view. The results of our analysis could be the basis for the identification of new safety rules.