Special Issue "Physical Agents: Measurement Methods, Modelling and Mitigations"

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Gaetano Licitra
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Pisa, Via Santa Maria, 53, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy
Interests: noise pollution; noise mapping; action plan; physical agents
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Mauro Magnoni
Website
Guest Editor
ARPA Piemonte, Ivrea, Italy
Dr. Giovanni D’Amore
Website
Guest Editor
ARPA Piemonte, Ivrea, Italy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Physical agents (noise, vibration, ionizing, and non-ionizing radiation) are playing an increasing role in environmental protection and health. Urban noise and vibrations disturb hundreds of millions of citizens, causing measurable health effects. The, recently published, WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region, showed stronger evidence of cardiovascular and metabolic effects. Modeling has a relevant role to determine noise exposure, according to the 49/2002/CE directive guides mitigation process in the actions plans due by law. Noise sources characterization and emission measurement methods take advantage of new techniques and instrumentations, such as beamforming, array detectors, etc. Big data processing and distributed sensor networks will enable tremendous improvement in spatial and temporal knowledge of sound levels. Human perception of and response to noise provide another perspective in the evaluation of annoyance and open new roads to understand how to design new spaces for the public.

Among physical agents, ionizing radiation is certainly by far the most harmful threat for public health. Actually, the adverse effects of human exposure to the radiation emitted by radionuclides or by X-ray equipment were already well recognized at the beginning of the XX century. Radioprotection principles are well established and the legislation of most States are all based on very common recommendations and standards. Regarding this matter, an important role is held by ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection) a prestigious non-governmental organization composed of international eminent experts. The Recommendations ICRP, periodically issued, are usually the guidelines for updating the legislation all over the world. Today, the most prominent issues in the field of ionizing radiation are the managing of radioactive wastes, especially related to the decommissioning of nuclear power plants and the exposure to natural radioactivity (NORM and radon). However, the study of ionizing radiation and in particular of environmental radioactivity, cannot be limited to radioprotection issues: The presence of natural and artificial radioisotopes in the environment was proven to be a very powerful tool for a better understanding of the complex dynamics in the atmosphere and in all the biosphere components.

Exposure to non-ionizing radiation is a widespread theme that includes extremely low frequencies (ELF) electric and magnetic fields and radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF). Regarding ELF and RF fields there is a great concern regarding the possible effects of mobile phone use or living near infrastructure such as power lines, radio base stations, and broadcasting towers. The rapid growth and development of telecommunication technology enhancing the urgency of setting up new methods to evaluate human exposure. With the upcoming standardization of 5G radio access technologies, there is a clear need to develop RF EMF exposure assessment. Two of the main technical standard bodies, the IEC and IEEE, are working to harmonize electromagnetic field safety compliance assessment standards for 5G devices. Furthermore, a revision of the current ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) Guidelines for limiting exposure to radio frequencies will soon be published and the new limits will be established on the basis of recent advances in the scientific knowledge on radiofrequency health effects.

Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause many adverse effects on health, such as skin cancer and cataracts and is the most important environmental risk factor for the development of non melanoma skin cancer. Accurate measurements of solar UV radiation are needed to evaluate exposure of people and workers. High quality ground base measurements are useful also to track the changes of solar UV due to the depletion of the ozone layer. UV exposure assessment by personal dosimeters or spectrometric measurements of solar UV irradiance are challenging themes in the field of protection against UV radiation.

In this Special Issue, the best 13 papers presented in the VII National Conference on Physical Agents in Stresa (Lago Maggiore, Italy) and invited by the scientific committee will be published after the international review process. The Special Issue will also collect other papers from the conference and from the international scientific community. These papers will follow the standard journal review process.

A large number of research topics could be considered as valid submissions, as related to all the previously mentioned issues. Authors are invited to submit their works related, but not limited, to the following topics:

  • Noise action plan
  • Transportation noise mitigation
  • Policies and good practices for traffic management, noise planning
  • Noise control
  • Industrial noise remediation
  • Evaluation of mitigation action performance
  • Physical agents: models and algorithms for source characterization and outdoor sound propagation
  • Environmental radioactivity
  • Radon and NORM
  • Optical radiations
  • Extremely low frequency fields
  • Radio and TV electromagnetic fields
  • 5G
  • Electromagnetic fields and health effects

Prof. Dr. Gaetano Licitra
Dr. Mauro Magnoni
Dr. Giovanni D’Amore
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. Environments 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 1000 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.

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Procedure for Fifth Generation (5G) Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Measurement and Maximum Power Extrapolation for Human Exposure Assessment
Environments 2020, 7(3), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7030022 - 17 Mar 2020
Abstract
The fifth generation (5G) technology has been conceived to cover multiple usage scenarios from enhanced mobile broadband to ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC) to massive machine type communications. However, the implementation of this new technology is causing increasing concern over the possible impact on [...] Read more.
The fifth generation (5G) technology has been conceived to cover multiple usage scenarios from enhanced mobile broadband to ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC) to massive machine type communications. However, the implementation of this new technology is causing increasing concern over the possible impact on health and safety arising from exposure to electromagnetic field radiated by 5G systems, making imperative the development of accurate electromagnetic field (EMF) measurement techniques and protocols. Measurement techniques used to assess the compliance with EMF exposure limits are object to international regulation. The basic principle of the assessment is to measure the power received from a constant radio frequency source, typically a pilot signal, and to apply a proper extrapolation factor. This kind of approach is standardized for 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies, but is still under investigation for 5G technology. Indeed, the use of flexible numerologies and advanced Time Division Duplexing (TDD) and spatial multiplexing techniques, such as beam sweeping and Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO), requires the definition of new procedures and protocols for EMF measurement of 5G signals. In this paper a procedure for an accurate estimation of the instant maximum power received from a 5G source is proposed. The extrapolation technique is based on the introduction of proper factors that take into account the effect of the TDD and of the sweep beam in the measured value of the 5G signal level. Preliminary experimental investigation, based on code domain measurement of appropriate broadcast channels, and carried out in a controlled environment are reported, confirming the effectiveness of the proposed approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Agents: Measurement Methods, Modelling and Mitigations)
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Open AccessArticle
Seasonal Variability of the Acoustic Climate of Ski Resorts in the Aosta Valley Territory
Environments 2020, 7(3), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7030018 - 25 Feb 2020
Abstract
The Aosta Valley is an alpine region in north-west Italy that is characterized by a high level of naturalness, with extensive uninhabited areas that are distant from artificial sound sources. The Aosta Valley Regional Environmental Protection Agency (ARPA-VdA) has been particularly sensitive to [...] Read more.
The Aosta Valley is an alpine region in north-west Italy that is characterized by a high level of naturalness, with extensive uninhabited areas that are distant from artificial sound sources. The Aosta Valley Regional Environmental Protection Agency (ARPA-VdA) has been particularly sensitive to the preservation of the soundscape, which is considered an integral part of the landscape, since the laws on noise pollution were first introduced. The nature of the ski areas in the Aosta mountains, which undergoes changes throughout the year, is surely of great importance, especially during the winter season, when the number of visitors is particularly high. In fact, during the winter, the sounds of nature are replaced by those produced by recreation and sports activities. Mountain and snow tourism, which are developed in sensitive environmental contexts in the Aosta Valley, are sectors of immense social and economic importance. Much of this tourism takes place in ski resorts. Three mountain areas with different characteristics, in terms of attendance and recreational/sport activities, have been examined in this paper, as part of a collaboration between ARPA-VdA and the Politecnico di Torino. Acoustic measurements were performed in order to identify the seasonal variations of sound emissions from both natural and anthropic sound sources. In addition to the standard environmental acoustic descriptors foreseen by European legislation (LAeq, Ln, Lden, etc.), the harmonica (IH) index, which provides a quantitative evaluation of the acoustic quality on a zero to ten numerical scale, was used to qualify the acoustic climate of the three areas. The results presented in the paper provide useful information on a relevant subject—the preservation of the acoustic quality of a mountain area of touristic importance—which has been scarcely investigated so far. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Agents: Measurement Methods, Modelling and Mitigations)
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Open AccessArticle
Port Noise and Complaints in the North Tyrrhenian Sea and Framework for Remediation
Environments 2020, 7(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7020017 - 24 Feb 2020
Abstract
Compared to the other relevant noise sources such as railways, roads, and airplanes, the regulation regarding port noise is lagging behind. The absence of specific laws is likely one of the main causes of the increasingly high number of complaints reported by the [...] Read more.
Compared to the other relevant noise sources such as railways, roads, and airplanes, the regulation regarding port noise is lagging behind. The absence of specific laws is likely one of the main causes of the increasingly high number of complaints reported by the citizens living nearby the ports. At the same time, scientific literature concerning the impact of port noise and its mitigation is not so widespread and only a few studies are available at the moment. However, the volume of maritime traffic has increased in the last years and consequently, Port Authorities are required to assess the impact of port operations on the city soundscape without using specific directives or guidelines. In this context, the INTERREG Maritime programme projects RUMBLE, MON ACUMEN, and REPORT aim to fill this gap, by investigating the state-of-the-art of port noise in the north Tyrrhenian sea and developing helpful instruments. Data were collected via a survey sent to the Port Authorities, local environmental protection agencies and universities involved in the projects. The survey was focused on monitoring systems, previous measurement campaigns, noise maps, and citizens’ complaints already taken. The results confirmed both a lack of awareness among residents and authorities and the absence of actions aimed at reducing port noise. In this framework, the difficulties encountered by the Port Authorities in managing the ports sustainably are highlighted. An underestimation of citizens’ exposure to noise in port areas could be expected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Agents: Measurement Methods, Modelling and Mitigations)
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Open AccessArticle
Measurements of 22Na in the Atmosphere: Ground Level Activity Concentration Values from Wet and Dry Deposition Samples
Environments 2020, 7(2), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7020012 - 11 Feb 2020
Abstract
Sodium-22 (22Na, half-life 2.603 years) is a cosmogenic radionuclide mainly produced in the stratosphere by nuclear spallation reactions of cosmic rays on 40Ar. Due to the very low concentration levels normally reached in the environment, 22Na poses no significant [...] Read more.
Sodium-22 (22Na, half-life 2.603 years) is a cosmogenic radionuclide mainly produced in the stratosphere by nuclear spallation reactions of cosmic rays on 40Ar. Due to the very low concentration levels normally reached in the environment, 22Na poses no significant radioprotection threats: actually, the effective doses delivered to humans can hardly exceed a few nSv per year, a very negligible value. However, the measurements of this radionuclides can be very interesting for atmospheric circulation and climatic studies. Unfortunately, the difficulty of 22Na detection, due to its very low concentration levels, has prevented the gathering of large and widespread time series of this radionuclide. In this paper, a method for the retrospective measurements of 22Na in the atmosphere, starting from the gamma spectra (hyperpure germanium detectors (HPGe) detectors) of wet and dry deposition samples stored in our databases is proposed and validated. The method was applied to spectra samples gathered in the context of the Italian National Radioactivity Monitoring Network (RESORAD) and allowed the detection of the very low atmospheric activity concentration values of 22Na present at ground level. The results obtained with the new method are discussed and compared for validation with the available experimental values. Finally, some possible applications to environmental studies are also highlighted and suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Agents: Measurement Methods, Modelling and Mitigations)
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Open AccessArticle
Use of Fertilizers in Agriculture: Individual Effective Dose Estimate
Environments 2020, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7010007 - 14 Jan 2020
Abstract
Natural radioactivity might be present in fertilizers above ordinary levels, in particular for 40K and for the radionuclides of the 238U series. A modeling evaluation of the individual effective dose deriving from the use of fertilizers in agriculture is presented here. [...] Read more.
Natural radioactivity might be present in fertilizers above ordinary levels, in particular for 40K and for the radionuclides of the 238U series. A modeling evaluation of the individual effective dose deriving from the use of fertilizers in agriculture is presented here. Dose assessment is useful in the transposition of Directive 2013/59/Euratom, which rules the individual exposure to commodities containing radionuclides of natural origin, such as fertilizers. The following input data have been considered for this study: the amount of fertilizers used in the region of Veneto and in Italy; the utilized agricultural area (to estimate the density of spread fertilizers); and, the average values of activity concentrations in fertilizers for 40K and 238U series radionuclides, derived from scientific literature. The individual effective dose was evaluated while using the Resrad calculation model, making assumptions on the characteristics of the interested soil. This study is focused on the region of Veneto, where the use of fertilizers is higher with respect to the rest of Italy, such providing a more conservative estimate of the individual effective dose to the population. The results show that the estimated individual effective dose values do not exceed few µSv per year. The category that most contributes to the dose is that of compound fertilizers and radon and 40K are the most significant radionuclides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Agents: Measurement Methods, Modelling and Mitigations)
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Open AccessArticle
A Review of Radioactive Wastes Production and Potential Environmental Releases at Experimental Nuclear Fusion Facilities
Environments 2020, 7(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7010006 - 09 Jan 2020
Abstract
The development of experimental nuclear fusion facilities and the systems connected to them currently involves the operation (or advanced design) of some large plants in the national territory. Devices such as neutron generators and plasma focus systems are also included. The machines developed [...] Read more.
The development of experimental nuclear fusion facilities and the systems connected to them currently involves the operation (or advanced design) of some large plants in the national territory. Devices such as neutron generators and plasma focus systems are also included. The machines developed to test the main components of these systems such as neutral beam generators (Neutral Beam Injector) and the experimental plants for thermonuclear fusion, mainly in the Tokamak configuration (toroidal geometry), are in the list. These applications are characterized by high neutron fluxes of high energy (typically 2.5 and 14 MeV from deuterium-deuterium and deuterium-tritium fusion reactions, respectively). They involve the production of radionuclides in the components of the machines and in the fluids used for targets’ cooling and in the primary containments. In many cases, the atmosphere of the rooms containing these structures is activated and may be affected by the dispersion of powders that are more or less radioactive. The present work addresses the issues mentioned so far, taking into consideration the real cases relating to the devices and the facilities in operation, under construction, and in the advanced design phase. The conclusions highlight the critical aspects related to the management of these types of waste, as well as the low or very low environmental impact, from a radiological point of view, of the examined facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Agents: Measurement Methods, Modelling and Mitigations)
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Open AccessArticle
Selective Electromagnetic Measurements of 4G Signals: Results of an Italian National Intercomparison
Environments 2020, 7(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7010005 - 09 Jan 2020
Abstract
In June 2016, with the aim of ensuring a global improvement in the performance of the Italian System of the Environmental Agencies (SNPA) and its homogeneity on the national territory, an intercomparison circuit (IC) was planned and conducted concerning the measurements of electromagnetic [...] Read more.
In June 2016, with the aim of ensuring a global improvement in the performance of the Italian System of the Environmental Agencies (SNPA) and its homogeneity on the national territory, an intercomparison circuit (IC) was planned and conducted concerning the measurements of electromagnetic fields associated with Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile communications, which were very recently introduced at that time. The intercomparison circuit, designed and built according to the criteria of ISO 17043, was organized as part of a consolidated collaboration between the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) and the Piedmont Regional Agency for Environmental Protection (Arpa Piemonte). The results obtained, preceded by a brief description of the entire process of organization and analysis, are the subject of this work. The IC covered in particular: the narrow band measurement procedures used in the field; the choice of decoding, measurement and extrapolation of the synthesis result; the response of the instrumentation, limited to the models in the field. The site chosen by the organizers, primarily characterized through measurements and theoretical evaluation of the field, is the roof of the Lingotto Building in Turin. A total of 27 groups participated in the circuit: 25 SNPA departments (including the organizers Arpa Piemonte and ISPRA) and 2 private labs. All participants provided the results. The outcome of the comparison was decidedly positive: only 2 participants, for whom a joint assessment of possible causes will also be illustrated (according to ISO 5725:2), achieved significantly different results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Agents: Measurement Methods, Modelling and Mitigations)
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Open AccessArticle
Solar UV Irradiance in a Changing Climate: Trends in Europe and the Significance of Spectral Monitoring in Italy
Environments 2020, 7(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7010001 - 18 Dec 2019
Abstract
Review of the existing bibliography shows that the direction and magnitude of the long-term trends of UV irradiance, and their main drivers, vary significantly throughout Europe. Analysis of total ozone and spectral UV data recorded at four European stations during 1996–2017 reveals that [...] Read more.
Review of the existing bibliography shows that the direction and magnitude of the long-term trends of UV irradiance, and their main drivers, vary significantly throughout Europe. Analysis of total ozone and spectral UV data recorded at four European stations during 1996–2017 reveals that long-term changes in UV are mainly driven by changes in aerosols, cloudiness, and surface albedo, while changes in total ozone play a less significant role. The variability of UV irradiance is large throughout Italy due to the complex topography and large latitudinal extension of the country. Analysis of the spectral UV records of the urban site of Rome, and the alpine site of Aosta reveals that differences between the two sites follow the annual cycle of the differences in cloudiness and surface albedo. Comparisons between the noon UV index measured at the ground at the same stations and the corresponding estimates from the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) forecast model and the ozone monitoring instrument (OMI)/Aura observations reveal differences of up to 6 units between individual measurements, which are likely due to the different spatial resolution of the different datasets, and average differences of 0.5–1 unit, possibly related to the use of climatological surface albedo and aerosol optical properties in the retrieval algorithms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Agents: Measurement Methods, Modelling and Mitigations)
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Open AccessArticle
Survey on Electromagnetic Interference in Weather Radars in Northwestern Italy
Environments 2019, 6(12), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6120126 - 16 Dec 2019
Abstract
Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) is one of the main issues in weather radar community. Data quality and post-processing algorithm, such as quantitative precipitation estimation and hydrometeor classification, are often affected by interferences. C-band radars share their operational frequency band with Radio Local Area [...] Read more.
Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) is one of the main issues in weather radar community. Data quality and post-processing algorithm, such as quantitative precipitation estimation and hydrometeor classification, are often affected by interferences. C-band radars share their operational frequency band with Radio Local Area Network (RLAN) and Wireless Area Network (WLAN), which may cause harmful interferences in radar systems. Nowadays, in northwestern Italy, the X-band weather radar managed by Arpa Piemonte is also receiving interfering signals. This work aims to introduce the RFIs phenomena affecting both C-band and X-band weather radars in Piemonte region, Italy. A preliminary method to detect the interfering sources at C-band is discussed, cross-checking data available in the regional database of electromagnetic sources and in-field measurements. A six-day measurement campaign was performed using the X-band radar as receiving antenna to collect an extensive dataset of interfering signals. The polarimetric features of the acquired RFI dataset are presented. The X-band RFIs show a day–night pattern, likely caused by human-related activities. The growth of wireless telecommunication systems, such as HiperLAN in northwestern Italy, and the continuous demand of electromagnetic spectrum portions make the understanding of electromagnetic interferences in weather radars the primary concern to ensure the data quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Agents: Measurement Methods, Modelling and Mitigations)
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Open AccessArticle
Workers with Active Implantable Medical Devices Exposed to EMF: In Vitro Test for the Risk Assessment
Environments 2019, 6(11), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6110119 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
The occupational health and safety framework identifies workers with an active implantable medical device (AIMD), such as a pacemaker (PM) or an implantable defibrillator (ICD), as a particularly sensitive risk group that must be protected against the dangers caused by the interference of [...] Read more.
The occupational health and safety framework identifies workers with an active implantable medical device (AIMD), such as a pacemaker (PM) or an implantable defibrillator (ICD), as a particularly sensitive risk group that must be protected against the dangers caused by the interference of electromagnetic field (EMF). In this paper, we describe the results of in vitro testing/measurements performed according to the EN50527-2-1:2016 standard, for the risk assessment of employees with a PM exposed to three EMF sources: (1) An electrosurgical unit (ESU); (2) a transcranial stimulator (TMS); and (3) an arc welder. The ESU did not affect the PM behavior in any of the configurations tested. For the TMS and the arc welder, interference phenomena were observed in limited experimental configurations, corresponding to the maximum magnetic field coupling between the EMF source and the implant. The in vitro measurements presented can be considered an example of how the specific risk assessment for a worker with a PM can be performed, according to one of the methodologies proposed in the EN50527-2-1:2016, and can be used as scientific evidence and literature data for future risk assessments on the same EMF sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Agents: Measurement Methods, Modelling and Mitigations)
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Open AccessReview
Control Experiences Regarding Clearable Materials from Nuclear Power Plants and Nuclear Installations: Scaling Factors Determination and Measurements’ Acceptance Criteria Definition
Environments 2019, 6(11), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6110120 - 17 Nov 2019
Abstract
Arpa Piemonte has been carrying out, for a long time, controls on clearable materials from nuclear power plants to verify compliance with clearance levels set by ISIN (Ispettorato Nazionale per la Sicurezza Nucleare e la Radioprotezione - National Inspectorate for Nuclear Safety and [...] Read more.
Arpa Piemonte has been carrying out, for a long time, controls on clearable materials from nuclear power plants to verify compliance with clearance levels set by ISIN (Ispettorato Nazionale per la Sicurezza Nucleare e la Radioprotezione - National Inspectorate for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection) in the technical prescriptions attached to the Ministerial Decree decommissioning authorization or into category A source authorization (higher level of associated risk, according to the categorization defined in the Italian Legislative Decree No. 230/95). After the experience undertaken at the “FN” (Fabbricazioni Nucleari) Bosco Marengo nuclear installation, some controls have been conducted at the Trino nuclear power plant “E. Fermi,” “LivaNova” nuclear installation based in Saluggia, and “EUREX” (Enriched Uranium Extraction) nuclear installation, also based in Saluggia, according to modalities that envisage, as a final control, the determination of γ-emitting radionuclides through in situ gamma spectrometry measurements. Clearance levels’ compliance verification should be performed for all radionuclides potentially present, including those that are not easily measurable (DTM, Difficult To Measure). It is therefore necessary to carry out upstream, based on a representative number of samples, those radionuclides’ determination in order to estimate scaling factors (SF), defined through the logarithmic average of the ratios between the i-th DTM radionuclide concentration and the related key nuclide. Specific radiochemistry is used for defining DTMs’ concentrations, such as Fe-55, Ni-59, Ni-63, Sr-90, Pu-238, and Pu-239/Pu-240. As a key nuclide, Co-60 was chosen for the activation products (Fe-55, Ni-59, Ni-63) and Cs-137 for fission products (Sr-90) and plutonium (Pu- 238, Pu-239/Pu-240, and Pu-241). The presence of very low radioactivity concentrations, often below the detection limits, can make it difficult to determine the related scaling factors. In this work, the results obtained and measurements’ acceptability criteria are presented, defined with ISIN, that can be used for confirming or excluding a radionuclide presence in the process of verifying clearance levels’ compliance. They are also exposed to evaluations regarding samples’ representativeness chosen for scaling factors’ assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Agents: Measurement Methods, Modelling and Mitigations)
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Open AccessConference Report
Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure: Some Observations and Considerations, Focusing on Some Italian Experiences, on Cancer Risk, and Primary Prevention
Environments 2020, 7(2), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7020010 - 22 Jan 2020
Abstract
Solar ultraviolet radiation may cause acute and chronic health effects on the skin, eyes, and also on the immune system. Actinic keratosis, non-melanoma skin cancers, and malignant melanoma are the main long-term adverse skin effects. In the white population, the most common type [...] Read more.
Solar ultraviolet radiation may cause acute and chronic health effects on the skin, eyes, and also on the immune system. Actinic keratosis, non-melanoma skin cancers, and malignant melanoma are the main long-term adverse skin effects. In the white population, the most common type of cancer worldwide is skin cancer, and the incidence of this cancer has increased during the last decades. The most important risk factor responsible for this trend seems to be Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR). IARC has classified UVR as being carcinogenic to humans. UV radiation exposure is ubiquitous; to study skin cancer risk, it is important to take into account the fact that UV exposure may occur both for occupational activities but also during vacation or recreational activities. Furthermore, exposure to artificial UVR such as those emitted by artificial devices, classified by IARC as carcinogenic to humans, is also to be considered. Due to the prominent role of UVR, primary prevention of skin cancer is very suitable, because when following specific rules this risk factor can be reduced. The incidence rate of skin cancer is higher in people with fair skin. Outdoor workers exposed to solar UVR are at risk of developing skin cancer, particularly non-melanoma skin cancers, and welders exposed to artificial UVR are at risk of developing ocular melanoma. A specific project on solar UVR risk in outdoor workers in Tuscany, Italy, has shown that outdoor workers had an unsatisfactory sun protection behaviour. The project demonstrates the complexity of studying UVR exposure and recommended the need for prevention programs. Risk increases with increasing ambient solar radiation and with unsafe behaviours in the sun or when using artificial UVR (e.g., sunbeds). Effective prevention strategies have to be adopted both for the outdoor workers and for the general population exposed to UVR. A standardized program of proven efficacy, such as that implemented in Australia, should also be implemented in other countries. All these strategies could contribute to the aim of decreasing the morbidity and mortality of cancers associated with this exposure. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of UVR exposure risk, particularly occupational risk, and to give some elements to understand the complexity of the relation between UVR exposure and cancer risk, as well as to outline primary prevention measures, focusing also on Italian experiences that could be useful for providing additional elements of knowledge on this topic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Agents: Measurement Methods, Modelling and Mitigations)
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