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Special Issue "Emerging Contaminants VS. Legacy Pollutants: Their Impacts on the Environmental Integrity and Public Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Chihhao Fan

Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 10617, Taiwan
Website | E-Mail
Interests: river pollution control and water quality management; assessment of carrying capacity of water bodies; strategy for TMDL (total maximum daily load) implementation; watershed management; environmental chemistry; water and wastewater treatment; advanced oxidation processes; impact of macromolecule on AOP treatment efficiency; photo-catalytic oxidation of disinfection by-products in drinking water; transport and fate of environmental contaminants; quality assurance and conservation of agro-environment
Guest Editor
Dr. Hsiao-Yu Yang

Institute of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene, National Taiwan University College of Public Health, Taipei, Taiwan, No. 17 Xuzhou Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan
Website | E-Mail
Interests: occupation and environmental lung diseases; health risk of non-asbestiform asbestos; earlier diagnosis of asbestos-related diseases using GC/MS and sensor-array technology; cancer risk for talc exposure; aristolochic acids; noise-induced hearing loss; occupational kidney disease and urological cancer among Chinese herbalists exposed to herbs containing aristolochic acid
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Yu-Pin Lin

Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 10617, Taiwan
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 886-2-33663467
Fax: +86 2 23686980
Interests: spatial statistics and modeling in environmental and ecological systems; applications of GIS and remote sensing in environmental and ecological systems; freshwater monitoring and modeling; optimal environmental monitoring network design; landscape ecology in land-use management and planning; ecohydrology; groundwater modeling; land-use planning and modeling; soil heavy metal pollution assessment; multiscale analysis in environmental and ecological systems; system dynamic modeling in environmental systems; ecosystem services; system dynamic modeling; optimization techniques

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the years, modern technologies have brought our society into the next millennium with the expectation of a better and sustainable environment. All these diversified achievements in societal modernization have also complicated the encountered environmental difficulties, such as the discharges of various pollutants, which impact a great deal on environmental integrity. Environmental monitoring results indicate the advent and accumulation of emerging contaminants in addition to the already-prevailing legacy pollutants. In the literature, many studies have reported on the physiochemical characteristics of these pollutants, which may pose significant threats to biological and ecological communities. Their environmental distribution and possible entrance into food chain/web could have negative influence on the public health.

Without proper pretreatment, these discharged pollutants enter and accumulate in the environment. They impair the sustainable use of natural resources and deteriorate the environmental quality, as well as the safety of public health.

To mitigate such pollution, many efforts have been undertaken in the investigation of: (1) applicable technologies for contaminant removal to assure environmental quality, (2) the transport and distribution of concerning pollutants in the environment, and (3) risk assessment and management of the sustainable use of environmental resources related to emerging contaminants and legacy pollutants.

Asbestos is an important legacy pollutant. Though asbestos minerals with asbestiform structure are well-known carcinogens, many asbestos minerals exist in compacted masses and are recognized as non-asbestiform asbestos minerals. Non-asbestiform asbestos minerals are common in the construction, stone and jewelry industries, but the hazards are inconclusive. Though asbestos is gradually being banned in many countries, the effectiveness of a global ban and the management of asbestos-exposed subjects varies in different countries. This Special Issue welcomes original research about the effectiveness of new screening methods for asbestos-related lung diseases or reviews of international comparisons for asbestos control policy.

Prof. Dr. Chihhao Fan
Dr. Hsiao-Yu Yang
Prof. Dr. Yu-Pin Lin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Contaminant fate and transport
  • Environmental pollution
  • Public Health
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Emerging contaminants
  • Environmental restoration and sustainability

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Occurrence and Risk Assessment of PAHs in Surface Sediments from Western Arctic and Subarctic Oceans
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040734
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 12 April 2018
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Abstract
In the fourth Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition (from July to September, 2010), 14 surface sediment samples were collected from the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Canadian Basin to examine the spatial distributions, potential sources, as well as ecological and health risk assessment
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In the fourth Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition (from July to September, 2010), 14 surface sediment samples were collected from the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Canadian Basin to examine the spatial distributions, potential sources, as well as ecological and health risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The ∑PAH (refers to the sum of 16 priority PAHs) concentration range from 27.66 ng/g to 167.48 ng/g (dry weight, d.w.). Additionally, the concentrations of ∑PAH were highest in the margin edges of the Canadian Basin, which may originate from coal combustion with an accumulation of Canadian point sources and river runoff due to the surface ocean currents. The lowest levels occurred in the northern of Canadian Basin, and the levels of ∑PAH in the Chukchi Sea were slightly higher than those in the Being Sea. Three isomer ratios of PAHs (Phenanthrene/Anthracene, BaA/(BaA+Chy), and LMW/HMW) were used to investigate the potential sources of PAHs, which showed the main source of combustion combined with weaker petroleum contribution. Compared with four sediment quality guidelines, the concentrations of PAH are much lower, indicating a low potential ecological risk. All TEQPAH also showed a low risk to human health. Our study revealed the important role of the ocean current on the redistribution of PAHs in the Arctic. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Co-Processing Sewage Sludge in the Cement Kiln on PAHs, Heavy Metals Emissions and the Surrounding Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040698
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 April 2018 / Published: 8 April 2018
PDF Full-text (6519 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To understand the effects of co-processing sewage sludge in the cement kiln on non-criterion pollutants emissions and its surrounding environment, the flue gas from a cement kiln stack, ambient air and soil from the background/downwind sites were collected in the cement plant. Polycyclic
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To understand the effects of co-processing sewage sludge in the cement kiln on non-criterion pollutants emissions and its surrounding environment, the flue gas from a cement kiln stack, ambient air and soil from the background/downwind sites were collected in the cement plant. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals of the samples were analyzed. The results show that PAHs in flue gas mainly exist in the gas phase and the low molecular weight PAHs are the predominant congener. The co-processing sewage sludge results in the increase in PAHs and heavy metals emissions, especially high molecular weight PAHs and low-volatile heavy metals such as Cd and Pb in the particle phase, while it does not change their compositions and distribution patterns significantly. The concentrations and their distributions of the PAHs and heavy metals between the emissions and ambient air have a positive correlation and the co-processing sewage sludge results in the increase of PAHs and heavy metals concentrations in the ambient air. The PAHs concentration level and their distribution in soil are proportional to those in the particle phase of flue gas, and the co-processing sewage sludge can accelerate the accumulation of the PAHs and heavy metals in the surrounding soil, especially high/middle molecular weight PAHs and low-volatile heavy metals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Removal and Biodegradation of 17β-Estradiol and Diethylstilbestrol by the Freshwater Microalgae Raphidocelis subcapitata
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030452
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
PDF Full-text (3967 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Natural steroidal and synthetic non-steroidal estrogens such as 17β-estradiol (E2) and diethylstilbestrol (DES) have been found in natural water, which can potentially endanger public health and aquatic ecosystems. The removal and biodegradation of E2 and DES by Raphidocelis subcapitata were studied in bacteria-free
[...] Read more.
Natural steroidal and synthetic non-steroidal estrogens such as 17β-estradiol (E2) and diethylstilbestrol (DES) have been found in natural water, which can potentially endanger public health and aquatic ecosystems. The removal and biodegradation of E2 and DES by Raphidocelis subcapitata were studied in bacteria-free cultures exposed to single and mixture treatments at different concentrations for 96 h. The results showed that R. subcapitata exhibited a rapid and strong ability to remove E2 and DES in both single and mixture treatments by biodegradation. At the end of 96 h, the removal percentage of single E2 and DES achieved 82.0%, 80.4%, 74.6% and 89.9%, 73.4%, 54.1% in 0.1, 0.5, and 1.5 mg·L−1, respectively. With the exception of the 0.1 mg·L−1 treatment at 96 h, the removal capacity of E2 was more efficient than that of DES by R. subcapitata. Furthermore, the removal percentage of mixture E2 and DES achieved 88.5%, 82.9%, 84.3% and 87.2%, 71.8%, 51.1% in 0.1, 0.5, and 1.5 mg·L−1, respectively. The removal percentage of mixed E2 was significantly higher than that of the single E2. The presence of DES could accelerate the removal of E2 from the mixture treatments in equal concentrations. In addition, the removal was mainly attributed to the biodegradation or biotransformation process by the microalgae cells rather than simple sorption and accumulation in the cells. The microalgae R. subcapitata demonstrated a high capability for the removal of the E2 and DES indicating future prospects for its application. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Feasibility Study of Ammonia Recovery from Coking Wastewater by Coupled Operation of a Membrane Contactor and Membrane Distillation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030441
Received: 27 January 2018 / Revised: 24 February 2018 / Accepted: 28 February 2018 / Published: 3 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3164 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
More than 80% of ammonia (NH3) in the steel manufacturing process wastewater is contributed from the coking wastewater, which is usually treated by biological processes. However, the NH3 in the coking wastewater is typically too high for biological treatment due
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More than 80% of ammonia (NH3) in the steel manufacturing process wastewater is contributed from the coking wastewater, which is usually treated by biological processes. However, the NH3 in the coking wastewater is typically too high for biological treatment due to its inhibitory concentration. Therefore, a two-stage process including a hollow fiber membrane contactor (HFMC) and a modified membrane distillation (MD) system was developed and applied to reduce and recover NH3 from coking wastewater. The objectives of this paper are to evaluate different membrane materials, receiving solutions, and operation parameters for the system, remove NH3 from the coking wastewater to less than 300 mg N/L, which is amenable to the biological process, and recover ammonia solution for reuse. As a result, the polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) HFMC using sulfuric acid as a receiving solution can achieve a maximum NH3-N transmembrane flux of 1.67 g N/m2·h at pH of 11.5 and reduce NH3 in the coking wastewater to less than 300 mg N/L. The NH3 in the converted ammonium sulfate ((NH4)2SO4) was then recovered by the modified MD using ice water as the receiving solution to produce ≥3% of ammonia solution for reuse. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Degradation Investigation of Selected Taste and Odor Compounds by a UV/Chlorine Advanced Oxidation Process
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020284
Received: 14 January 2018 / Revised: 27 January 2018 / Accepted: 4 February 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
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Abstract
Taste- and odor-causing (T&O) compounds are a major concern in drinking water treatment plants due to their negative impacts on the safety and palatability of water supply. This study explored the degradation kinetics and radical chemistry of four often-detected T&O compounds, geosmin (GSM),
[...] Read more.
Taste- and odor-causing (T&O) compounds are a major concern in drinking water treatment plants due to their negative impacts on the safety and palatability of water supply. This study explored the degradation kinetics and radical chemistry of four often-detected T&O compounds, geosmin (GSM), 2-methylisoborneol (MIB), benzothiazole (BT), and 2-isobutyl-3-methoxypyrazine (IBMP), in the ultraviolet/chlorine (UV/chlorine) advanced oxidation process. All experiments were carried out in a 700 mL photoreactor and the process effectively degraded the investigated T&O compounds in a slightly acidic environment. The degradation of T&O decreased with increasing pH but slightly with decreasing chlorine dosage. When the pH increased from 6 to 8, the pseudo-first-order rate constants of GSM, MIB, BT, and IBMP dropped from 2.84 × 10−3, 2.29 × 10−3, 3.64 × 10−3, and 2.76 × 10−3 s−1 to 3.77 × 10−4, 2.64 × 10−4, 6.48 × 10−4, and 6.40 × 10−4 s−1, respectively. Increasing the chlorine dosage slightly accelerated the degradation of the investigated T&O compounds, but excessive hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite scavenged the HO• radicals and reactive chlorine species (RCS). Generally, HO• primarily contributed to the degradation of all of the investigated T&O compounds as compared to RCS. The degradation by RCS was found to be structurally selective. RCS could not degrade GSM, but contributed to the degradation of MIB, BT, and IBMP. The results confirmed that the proposed oxidation process effectively degraded typical T&O compounds in aqueous phase. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Asbestos Consumption in Mongolia: 1996–2014
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010136
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 6 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
PDF Full-text (505 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Asbestos is still used in Mongolia in the energy and construction sectors, among others. However, limited data is available on asbestos consumption and asbestos-related disease in Mongolia. The purpose of this paper is to present the available information on the importation of asbestos
[...] Read more.
Asbestos is still used in Mongolia in the energy and construction sectors, among others. However, limited data is available on asbestos consumption and asbestos-related disease in Mongolia. The purpose of this paper is to present the available information on the importation of asbestos into Mongolia. We used data on annual asbestos imports between 1996 and 2014 from Mongolian Customs Statistics and the National Council on Toxic and Hazardous Substances Affairs. The uses of this material are also presented with respect to chrysotile alone. Most asbestos is used for construction. Mongolia started using asbestos in the energy and construction industries as thermal insulation in 1961. Asbestos is still allowed for use in Mongolia under the Law on Toxic and Hazards Substances. There are no asbestos mines in Mongolia, and the manufacture of asbestos-containing materials does not take place there. Thus, asbestos is mainly imported from China and Russia. Mongolia used 44,422 metric tons of asbestos-containing materials between 1996 and 2014. In Mongolia, with the current use of asbestos, there will be a continuing risk of developing asbestos-related diseases from past use, and proper oversight of asbestos-involving activities and the safe removal and disposal of asbestos must be considered. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Acute Toxicity and Ecological Risk Assessment of Benzophenone-3 (BP-3) and Benzophenone-4 (BP-4) in Ultraviolet (UV)-Filters
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1414; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111414
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 4 November 2017 / Accepted: 6 November 2017 / Published: 19 November 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1286 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ultraviolet (UV)-absorbing chemicals (UV filters) are used in personal care products for the protection of human skin and hair from damage by UV radiation. Although these substances are released into the environment in the production and consumption processes, little is known about their
[...] Read more.
Ultraviolet (UV)-absorbing chemicals (UV filters) are used in personal care products for the protection of human skin and hair from damage by UV radiation. Although these substances are released into the environment in the production and consumption processes, little is known about their ecotoxicology effects. The acute toxicity and potential ecological risk of UV filters benzophenone-3 (BP-3) and benzophenone-4 (BP-4) on Chlorella vulgaris, Daphnia magna, and Brachydanio rerio were analyzed in the present study. The EC50 values (96 h) of BP-3 and BP-4 on C. vulgaris were 2.98 and 201.00 mg/L, respectively. The 48 h-LC50 of BP-3 and BP-4 on D. magna were 1.09 and 47.47 mg/L, respectively. The 96 h-LC50 of BP-3 and BP-4 on B. rerio were 3.89 and 633.00 mg/L, respectively. The toxicity of a mixture of BP-3 and BP-4 on C. vulgaris, D. magna, and B. rerio all showed antagonistic effects. The induced predicted no-effect concentrations of BP-3 and BP-4 by the assessment factor method were 1.80 × 10−3 and 0.47 mg/L, respectively, by assessment factor (AF) method, which were both lower than the concentrations detected in the environment at present, verifying that BP-3 and BP-4 remain low-risk chemicals to the aquatic ecosystem. Full article
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