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Topical Collection "Environmental Risk Assessment"

Editor

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Daniela Varrica

Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e del Mare (DiSTeM) Via Archirafi 36 - 90123 Palermo, Italy
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Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Several decades of research on fate and effects of chemicals in the environment have resulted in enhanced knowledge of the adverse effects of classes of pollutants of a widely varying nature. Combined with increased public and regulatory awareness on potential adverse ecological effects, regulatory activities have been implemented in order to safeguard the quality and quantity of our natural environment, and to protect essential functions of global, regional, and local ecosystems. Thereupon, impacts of combinations of pollutants and additional stressors on ecosystem functioning (like climate change, acidification, and nitrification) have been assessed and implemented in regulations. So far, most attention has been devoted to investigation of fate and effects of 'conventional' industrial chemicals such as hydrophobic organic compounds and metals. Driven by large-scale industrial developments, a plethora of novel chemical structures is being introduced into the environment, whilst information on the fate and adverse effects of these emerging chemicals is mostly lacking.

This collection is aimed at providing an opportunity to publish novel research findings related to the assessment and prediction of the fate and adverse effects of environmentally relevant chemicals, including 'conventional chemicals' like POPs, PBT-substances, and metals, as well as emerging chemicals like hydrophilic compounds (including perhalogenated chemicals), pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and nanomaterials. The collection will cover the whole chain of emissions–environmental fate–adverse effects–risk assessment–risk management.

Assoc. Prof. Daniela Varrica
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Risk assessment
  • Fate assessment
  • Effect assessment
  • Environment
  • Emerging chemicals
  • Metals
  • Organic pollutants
  • Pesticides
  • Hazard assessment
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Nanomaterials

Published Papers (42 papers)

2019

Jump to: 2018, 2017

Open AccessArticle
ATR–FTIR Spectral Analysis and Soluble Components of PM10 And PM2.5 Particulate Matter over the Urban Area of Palermo (Italy) during Normal Days and Saharan Events
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2507; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142507
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 26 June 2019 / Published: 13 July 2019
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Abstract
Several epidemiological studies have shown a close relationship between the mass of particulate matter (PM) and its effects on human health. This study reports the identification of inorganic and organic components by attenuated total reflectance-Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) analysis in PM10 and [...] Read more.
Several epidemiological studies have shown a close relationship between the mass of particulate matter (PM) and its effects on human health. This study reports the identification of inorganic and organic components by attenuated total reflectance-Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) analysis in PM10 and PM2.5 filters collected from three air quality monitoring stations in the city of Palermo (Sicily, Italy) during non-Saharan dust events and Saharan events. It also provides information on the abundance and types of water-soluble species. ATR-FTIR analysis identified sulfate, ammonium, nitrate, and carbonate matter characterized by vibrational frequencies at 603, 615, 670, and 1100 cm–1 (SO42–); at 1414 cm–1 (NH4+); at 825 and 1356 cm–1 (NO3); and at 713, 730, and 877 cm–1 (CO32–) in PM10 and PM2.5 filters. Moreover, aliphatic hydrocarbons were identified in the collected spectra. Stretching frequencies at 2950 cm–1 were assigned to CH3 aliphatic carbon stretching absorptions, while frequencies at 2924 and 2850 cm–1 indicated CH2 bonds. In filters collected during Saharan dust events, the analysis also showed the presence of absorbance peaks typical of clay minerals. The measurement of soluble components confirmed the presence of a geogenic component (marine spray and local rocks) and secondary particles ((NH4)2SO4, NH4NO3) in the PM filters. ATR-FTIR characterization of solid surfaces is a powerful analytical technique for identifying inorganic and organic compounds in samples of particulate matter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution and Potential Ecological Risk in Sewage Sludge from Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant Located in the Most Industrialized Region in Poland—Case Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2430; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132430
Received: 13 June 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 6 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
This study aimed to assess the pollution and potential ecological risk of seven heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in the sewage sludge collected from a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), located in the most industrialized region of Poland (Silesian [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the pollution and potential ecological risk of seven heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in the sewage sludge collected from a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), located in the most industrialized region of Poland (Silesian Voivodeship). The concentrations of heavy metals were determined using inductively coupled plasma optical spectrometry (ICP-OES) and cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry (CVAAS). The chemical forms (chemical speciation) of heavy metals were determined using the three-step chemical sequential extraction procedure, developed by the Community Bureau of Reference (BCR). To assess the pollution level and potential ecological risk, the following indices were used: Geoaccumulation Index (Igeo), Potential Ecological Risk Factor (ER), Individual Contamination Factor (ICF), Risk Assessment Code (RAC), and Ecological Risk Factor (ERF)—the author’s index. Sludge samples were collected at successive stages of processing. The results revealed that the activated sludge process and sludge thickening have a significant impact on heavy metal distribution, while anaerobic digestion and dehydration decrease their mobility. The most dominant metals in the sludge samples were Zn and Cu. However, the content of heavy metals in sewage sludge did not exceed the permissible standards for agricultural purposes. The concentrations of heavy metals bound to the immobile fractions exhibited higher concentrations, compared to those bound to mobile fractions (except Zn). The values of the total indices indicated that sludge samples were moderately to highly contaminated with Zn, Hg, Cd, Cu, and Pb, of which only Hg, Cd, and Cu posed a potential ecological risk, while according to the speciation indices, sludge samples were moderately to very highly polluted with Zn, Cu, Cd, Cr, and Ni, of which Zn, Ni, and Cd were environmentally hazardous. The obtained results proved that assessment of the pollution level and potential ecological risk of heavy metals in sewage sludge requires knowledge on both their total concentrations and their chemical forms. Such an approach will help prevent secondary pollution of soils with heavy metals, which may influence the reduction of health risks associated with the consumption of plants characterized by a high metal content. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Pb(II) and Cr(VI) Stress on Phosphate-Solubilizing Bacteria (Bacillus sp. Strain MRP-3): Oxidative Stress and Bioaccumulation Potential
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122172
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 18 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this work was to ascertain the effects of Pb(II) and Cr(VI) on bacterial growth, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT), as well as the localization of bioaccumulated heavy metals in a phosphate-solubilizing [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to ascertain the effects of Pb(II) and Cr(VI) on bacterial growth, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT), as well as the localization of bioaccumulated heavy metals in a phosphate-solubilizing bacterium. The results showed that the ROS increased from 1.4-fold to 1.8-fold of control under Pb(II) stress and decreased from 1.6-fold to 1.1-fold of control under Cr(VI) stress corresponding to metal concentrations (0.5–5 mmol·L−1). The SOD activities were ROS dependent; however, the CAT activities increased under both Pb(II) and Cr(VI) stress, from 11.4 to 21.8 U·mg−1 and 11.4 to 32.9 U·mg−1, respectively. Intra/extracellular accumulation were investigated by scanning transmission electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (STEM-EDS) and it was calculated that extracellular accumulated Pb accounted for 61.7–95.9% of the total accumulation, while extracellular accumulated Cr only accounted for up to 3.6% of the total accumulation. Attenuated total reflection/Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) analysis confirmed that the functional groups involved in those extracellular accumulation were not located in the loosely bound extracellular polysaccharides substances. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
XRD-Thermal Combined Analyses: An Approach to Evaluate the Potential of Phytoremediation, Phytomining, and Biochar Production
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 1976; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16111976
Received: 14 May 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 1 June 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
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Abstract
A method for evaluating the potential of reuse of biomasses for economic purposes is here presented starting from a case study. Juncus acutus plants and rhizospheres were harvested from abandoned Zn–Pb mine areas of southwest Sardinia (Italy). Thermogravimetry and Differential Thermal analyses were [...] Read more.
A method for evaluating the potential of reuse of biomasses for economic purposes is here presented starting from a case study. Juncus acutus plants and rhizospheres were harvested from abandoned Zn–Pb mine areas of southwest Sardinia (Italy). Thermogravimetry and Differential Thermal analyses were performed to evaluate the temperatures at which significant reactions occur. X-ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis was carried out on raw samples and on samples heated ex-situ (by a conventional diffractometer) or in-situ (by synchrotron-based diffraction). Raw samples mainly consist of quartz, phyllosilicates, and feldspars with minor amounts of sulfides, sulfates, and Fe, Pb, and Zn carbonates, concentrated in the rhizosphere. After heating, Zn and Fe oxides and willemite are observed in internal roots and stems, revealing the presence of these metals in the plant tissues. In-situ heating was less effective than ex-situ in revealing minor phases in organic samples, probably because the scarcity of oxygen within the sample holder did not allow the degradation of organic compounds and the oxidation of sulfides, resulting in a low quality XRD signal even if obtained with the high resolution ensured by a synchrotron light source. This method can be applied to plants from polluted sites for metal exploitation, and/or to biomasses from unpolluted sites for biochar production, since both applications take advantage of the knowledge of the minerals formed after heating. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Microalgae Brewery Wastewater Treatment: Potentials, Benefits and the Challenges
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 1910; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16111910
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 23 May 2019 / Accepted: 24 May 2019 / Published: 30 May 2019
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Abstract
Concerns about environmental safety have led to strict regulations on the discharge of final brewery effluents into water bodies. Brewery wastewater contains huge amounts of organic compounds that can cause environmental pollution. The microalgae wastewater treatment method is an emerging environmentally friendly biotechnological [...] Read more.
Concerns about environmental safety have led to strict regulations on the discharge of final brewery effluents into water bodies. Brewery wastewater contains huge amounts of organic compounds that can cause environmental pollution. The microalgae wastewater treatment method is an emerging environmentally friendly biotechnological process. Microalgae grow well in nutrient-rich wastewater by absorbing organic nutrients and converting them into useful biomass. The harvested biomass can be used as animal feed, biofertilizer, and an alternative energy source for biodiesel production. This review discusses conventional and current brewery wastewater treatment methods, and the application and potential of microalgae in brewery wastewater treatment. The study also discusses the benefits as well as challenges associated with microalgae brewery and other industrial wastewater treatments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Distribution, Source and Risk Assessment of Heavy Metal(oid)s in Water, Sediments, and Corbicula Fluminea of Xijiang River, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1823; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101823
Received: 21 April 2019 / Revised: 19 May 2019 / Accepted: 20 May 2019 / Published: 23 May 2019
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Abstract
A total of 43 water and sediment samples, and 34 Corbicula fluminea samples were collected in Xijiang River in southern China to determine the spatial distribution and sources of 12 metals/metalloids (V, Co, Cr, Ni, Cu, Mn, Zn, Cd, Pb, As, Sb, and [...] Read more.
A total of 43 water and sediment samples, and 34 Corbicula fluminea samples were collected in Xijiang River in southern China to determine the spatial distribution and sources of 12 metals/metalloids (V, Co, Cr, Ni, Cu, Mn, Zn, Cd, Pb, As, Sb, and Tl) and to assess the pollution levels and ecological risks of the pollutants. The results showed that the levels of the metals/metalloids (except for Tl) in the river water from almost all of the sampling sites met the Chinese national surface water quality standards. However, the concentrations of the metals/metalloids in the sediments exceeded the background values by a factor of 1.03–56.56 except for V, Co, and Mn, and the contents of Zn, Cd, and Pb in the Corbicula fluminea soft tissue exceeded the limits of the Chinese Category I food Quality Standards. The spatial distribution analysis showed that the concentrations of the contaminants in the lower reaches of Xijiang River were higher than in the upper reaches. The bioaccumulation factor (BAF), biota-sediment accumulation factor (BSF), geo-accumulation index (Igeo), and the potential ecological risk index (RI) were obtained to assess the pollution levels and ecological risks. The results indicated that Cu, Cd, and Zn were the most prone to bio-accumulation in the Corbicula fluminea soft tissue, and the lower reaches showed a much higher pollution level and risk than the upper reaches. The metals/metalloids in the sediments posed serious threat on the aquatic ecosystem, of which Cd, As, and Sb are the most risky contaminants. The results of principal component analysis (PCA) indicated Cr, Ni, Cu, Mn, Cd, Pb, and As in the sediments came from relevant industrial activities, and V and Co originated from natural sources, and Sb from mining activities, Zn and Tl came from industrial activities and mining activities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Contamination Evaluation and Source Identification of Heavy Metals in the Sediments from the Lishui River Watershed, Southern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030336
Received: 8 December 2018 / Revised: 1 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 January 2019 / Published: 25 January 2019
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Abstract
Seven heavy metals (Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pb) were measured in surface sediments from the Lishui River watershed, an area with increased soil erosion in China. The mean concentrations of heavy metals were 61.20 mg/kg (Cr), 757.15 mg/kg (Mn), 9.39 mg/kg [...] Read more.
Seven heavy metals (Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pb) were measured in surface sediments from the Lishui River watershed, an area with increased soil erosion in China. The mean concentrations of heavy metals were 61.20 mg/kg (Cr), 757.15 mg/kg (Mn), 9.39 mg/kg (Co), 25.31 mg/kg (Ni), 22.84 mg/kg (Cu), 91.66 mg/kg (Zn), and 40.19 mg/kg (Pb), respectively. The spatial distribution of heavy metals was site-specific, exhibiting a remarkably high level in the sampling stations with intense agricultural activities (Lixian) and industrial activities (Jinshi). Contamination indexes including contamination factor, pollution load index, nemerow multi-factor index, potential ecological risk index, and human health risk were used to assess the pollution degree of the river sediments. The results indicated the pollution degree of heavy metals decreased in the order of Mn > Pb > Zn > Cr > Cu > Ni > Co. Heavy metals resulted in non-pollution to moderate pollution, with low ecological risk and an acceptable carcinogenic risk caused by Cr and Ni for children and adults. Person’s correlation analysis and principal component analysis, coupled with cluster analysis, revealed that the sediments from the Lishui River were mainly influenced by two sources. Cr, Co, Ni, and Cu were mainly derived from natural sources, while Mn, Zn, and Pb originated from agricultural and industrial activities, mining, and vehicular traffic. Full article
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2018

Jump to: 2019, 2017

Open AccessArticle
Distribution, Sources, and Water Quality Assessment of Dissolved Heavy Metals in the Jiulongjiang River Water, Southeast China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2752; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122752
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 29 November 2018 / Accepted: 3 December 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this study, the concentration of eight dissolved heavy metals (Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Mo, Sb, and Ba) in 42 water samples from the Jiulongjiang River, southeast China, were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Multivariate statistical methods, including correlation [...] Read more.
In this study, the concentration of eight dissolved heavy metals (Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Mo, Sb, and Ba) in 42 water samples from the Jiulongjiang River, southeast China, were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Multivariate statistical methods, including correlation analysis (CA) and factor and principal component analysis (FA/PCA), were analyzed to identify the sources of the elements. Water quality index (WQI) and health risk assessment, including hazard quotient (HQ) and hazard index (HI), were used to evaluate water quality and the impacts on human health. Our results were compared with the drinking water guidelines reported by China, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), revealing that Ti, Mn, and Sb were not within approved limits at some sites and might be the main pollutants in the drainage basin. Based on the spatial distributions, Ti, Mn, Fe, Ni, and Mo showed good similarity, indicating that they might come from similar sources along the river. The CA results also showed that Ti, Mn, Fe, Ni, and Mo had a high correlation coefficient. The FA/PCA results identified three principal components (PC) that accounted for 79.46% of the total variance. PC 1 suggested that a mixed lithogenic and urban land source contributed to Ti, Mn, Fe, Ni, and Mo; PC 2 showed that Cr, Ni, and Mo were influenced by the discharge of industrial effluents; Sb had a strong loading on PC 3, which was controlled by mining activities. The results of the WQI indicated that the water in the Jiulongjiang River was basically categorized as excellent water, but the water quality levels in site W5 and N4 were poorer due to urban land use. Hazard quotient and HI values showed that Sb was a potential threat to human health, indicating that preventive actions should be considered in regard to mining activities in the upper reaches of Beixi stream. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Characteristics of Heavy Metals in Street Dust of Coal Railway Transportation Hubs: A Case Study in Yuanping, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2662; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122662
Received: 17 October 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 23 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
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Abstract
Coal is a vital basic energy source in China, and rail serving is its major mode of transportation. Heavy metals in street dust surrounding the coal railway do harm to the environment and pose a potential risk to human health. This paper aims [...] Read more.
Coal is a vital basic energy source in China, and rail serving is its major mode of transportation. Heavy metals in street dust surrounding the coal railway do harm to the environment and pose a potential risk to human health. This paper aims to identify the effects of coal transportation hubs on heavy metals in street dust. The geoaccumulation index and ecological risk index were used to assess the contamination levels of the following elements in Yuanping, Shanxi: arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn). The levels of contamination of these heavy metals in soils were compared to those in street dust, and the difference between the railway’s and mining’s impacts on dust’s heavy-metal concentrations was explored. The results indicated that Cr and Pb in street dust were mainly affected by coal railway transportation, and the interaction effect of coal railway transportation and mining was greater than either of them alone. A potential control and prevention zone for Cr and Pb extending 1 km to both sides of the railway was identified. This work proves that coal railway transportation has certain effect on heavy metals in street dust and provides a scientific approach for future environmental impact assessments of coal transportation via railway. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Accumulation of As, Cd, and Pb in Sixteen Wheat Cultivars Grown in Contaminated Soils and Associated Health Risk Assessment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2601; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112601
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 29 October 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
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Abstract
This study investigated the accumulation of As, Cd, and Pb in 16 wheat cultivars and the associated health risks for the inhabitants of Jiyuan, China. The results indicated that the concentrations of As, Cd, and Pb decreased in the order of root > [...] Read more.
This study investigated the accumulation of As, Cd, and Pb in 16 wheat cultivars and the associated health risks for the inhabitants of Jiyuan, China. The results indicated that the concentrations of As, Cd, and Pb decreased in the order of root > leaf > stem > grain. The concentrations of As, Cd, and Pb in wheat grains varied from 0.13 for Pingan8 to 0.34 mg kg−1 for Zhengmai7698, 0.10 for Luomai26 to 0.25 mg kg−1 for Zhengmai7698, and 0.12 for Zhoumai207 to 0.42 mg kg−1 for Zhengmai379, respectively. There were significant differences in the bioaccumulation factors of As, Cd, and Pb among the 16 wheat cultivars. Cd was more readily accumulated to higher levels than As and Pb in wheat. The Target Hazard Quotients (THQs) of Cd and Pb in the grains from 16 wheat cultivars were below 1, while As THQ exceeded 1. The lowest detrimental human health effects via wheat consumption were found in cultivar AY58 among the 16 wheat cultivars, with total THQs (TTHQs) of 1.82 for children and 1.60 for adults, suggesting that children absorb more heavy metals than adults and they are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of these metals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Projection of Future Extreme Precipitation and Flood Changes of the Jinsha River Basin in China Based on CMIP5 Climate Models
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2491; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112491
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 29 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4688 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Projecting future changes in extreme flood is critical for risk management. This paper presented an analysis of the implications of the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase (CMIP5) climate models on the future flood in the Jinsha River Basin (JRB) in Southwest China, [...] Read more.
Projecting future changes in extreme flood is critical for risk management. This paper presented an analysis of the implications of the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase (CMIP5) climate models on the future flood in the Jinsha River Basin (JRB) in Southwest China, using the Xinanjiang (XAJ) hydrologic model. The bias-corrected and resampled results of the multimodel dataset came from the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP). Relatively optimal general circulation models (GCMs) were selected with probability density functions (PDFs)-based assessment. These GCMs were coupled with the XAJ model to evaluate the impact of climate change on future extreme flood changes in the JRB. Two scenarios were chosen, namely: a midrange mitigation scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5, RCP4.5) and a high scenario (RCP8.5). Results show that: (1) The XAJ model performed well in simulating daily discharge and was suitable for the study area, with ENS and R2 higher than 0.8; (2) IPSL-CM5A-LR and MIROC-ESM-CHEM showed considerable skill in representing the observed PDFs of extreme precipitation. The average skill scores across the total area of the JRB were 0.41 to 0.66 and 0.53 to 0.67, respectively. Therefore, these two GCMs can be chosen to analyze the changes in extreme precipitation and flood in the future; (3) The average extreme precipitation under 20- and 50-year return period across the JRB were projected to increase by 1.0–33.7% under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 during 2020 to 2050. The Upper basin is projected to experience the largest increase in extreme precipitation indices, possibly caused by a warmer climate. The extreme flood under 20- and 50-year return period will change by 0.8 to 23.8% and −6.2 to 28.2%, respectively, over this same future period. Most of scenarios projected an increase during the near future periods, implying the JRB would be likely to undergo more flooding in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Arsenic and Heavy Metal Accumulation and Risk Assessment in Soils around Mining Areas: The Urad Houqi Area in Arid Northwest China as an Example
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2410; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112410
Received: 1 January 1970 / Revised: 18 October 2018 / Accepted: 27 October 2018 / Published: 30 October 2018
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Abstract
Mining activities make important contributions to economic growth, but they can also produce massive amounts of solid waste, such as tailings and metal accumulations. Taking the Urad Houqi mining area in Inner Mongolia as the study area, this study systematically assessed the contamination [...] Read more.
Mining activities make important contributions to economic growth, but they can also produce massive amounts of solid waste, such as tailings and metal accumulations. Taking the Urad Houqi mining area in Inner Mongolia as the study area, this study systematically assessed the contamination risk of arsenic and heavy metals in the soils of the study area and explored the contamination characteristics in a key polymetallic mining area. For the whole study area, based on the Nemerow comprehensive pollution method, almost half of the investigated sites were contaminated, and the most contaminated site was Urad Houqi Qianzhen Mineral Concentration Co., Ltd. (Bayannaoer, China), a cooperation between the lead and zinc mining industry. The assessment results indicated that Cd and As were the elements of greatest concern, followed by Pb, Cr and Hg. Particularly, for the typical Dongshengmiao mining area, when compared with the GB15618-1995 standard values, As, Zn and Cd posed the most serious contamination threat, while Cr and Ni exhibited clean conditions. In addition, the vertical distribution maps demonstrated that the contents of arsenic and metals in some soil profiles were correlated with sampling depth. Therefore, arsenic and heavy metals pose high threat to soil ecosystems in this area, there is encouragement for some control and remediation measures to be taken into effect. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Heavy Metal and Metalloid Contamination Assessments of Soil around an Abandoned Uranium Tailings Pond and the Contaminations’ Spatial Distribution and Variability
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2401; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112401
Received: 1 September 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 22 October 2018 / Published: 29 October 2018
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Abstract
To investigate the heavy metal and metalloid contamination of soil around a Huanan uranium tailings pond, abandoned in 1998, we defined a study area of 41.25 km2 by a natural boundary and targeted 5 elements’ (U, Mn, As, Pb, Cr) single contamination [...] Read more.
To investigate the heavy metal and metalloid contamination of soil around a Huanan uranium tailings pond, abandoned in 1998, we defined a study area of 41.25 km2 by a natural boundary and targeted 5 elements’ (U, Mn, As, Pb, Cr) single contamination and comprehensive pollution as the assessment contents. First, we collected 205 samples and evaluated them with the contamination factor (CF) method aiming at judging whether the single target element concentration exceeded the local background value and environmental quality standard. We obtained CF1 (the background value of a certain target element as the baseline value) and CF2 (the environmental quality standard for soils as the baseline value). Second, we evaluated the ecological risk of the key pollutant U with the risk assessment code (RAC) method, taking the 27 samples whose CF2 > 1 as examples and concluded that the environmental risk of U was relatively high and should arouse concern. Third, we selected comprehensive pollution index (CPI) to assess the compound pollution degree of five target elements. Fourth, we constructed the U contamination and CPI’s continuous distribution maps with spatial interpolation, from which we worked out the sizes and positions of slightly, moderately and strongly polluted zones. Finally, we analyzed the spatial variability of U and CPI with the aid of a geostatistical variogram. We deduced that the spatial variation of uranium was in close relationship with local topography, and probably precipitation was the driving force of U contamination diffusion, whereas CPI exhibited weak spatial dependence with random characteristics. The above work showed that 3.14 km2 soil near the pond was fairly seriously polluted, and the other 4 elements’ single contaminations were less serious, but the 5 target elements’ cumulative pollution could not be ignored; there were other potential pollution sources besides the uranium tailings pond. Some emergency measures should be taken to treat U pollution, and bioremediation is recommended, taking account into U’s high bioavailability. Further, special alerts should be implemented to identify the other pollution sources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Potentially Toxic Element Pollution Levels and Risk Assessment of Soils and Sediments in the Upstream River, Miyun Reservoir, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2364; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112364
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
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Abstract
This study focused on the Chao River and Baimaguan River located upstream of the Miyun Reservoir in Miyun District (Beijing, China). Soil and sediment samples were collected from the river and drainage basin. Total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and six potentially toxic elements including [...] Read more.
This study focused on the Chao River and Baimaguan River located upstream of the Miyun Reservoir in Miyun District (Beijing, China). Soil and sediment samples were collected from the river and drainage basin. Total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and six potentially toxic elements including cadmium, zinc, lead, chromium, arsenic, and copper, were analyzed in terms of concentration, potential ecological risk, and human health risk. The average concentrations of the six potentially toxic elements were all below the soil environmental quality standards for China. Cadmium was the most serious pollutant in both soils and sediments, at 2.58 and 3.40 times its background values. The contents of Cd and Pb were very closely related (p < 0.01) to total nitrogen concentrations in both soil and sediment samples. The potential ecological risks posed by Cd in the Chao and Baimaguan River soils were considerable and moderate, respectively. The historical iron ore mining and agricultural activity were identified as the primary sources of potentially toxic element pollution of soil and sediment in the Chao-Bai River in Miyun District. Human health risk assessment indicated that non-carcinogenic risks all fell below threshold values. The total carcinogenic risks due to Cr and As were within the acceptable range for both adults and children. This conclusion provides a scientific basis for the control of potentially toxic element pollution and environmental protection of the Miyun Reservoir in Beijing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Study of Using Piloti for Passive Climate Adaptability in a Hot-Summer and Cold-Winter City in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2202; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102202
Received: 22 August 2018 / Revised: 2 October 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 9 October 2018
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Abstract
There has been an insufficient study of passive climate adaptability that considers both the summer and winter season for the outdoor thermal environment of hot-summer and cold-winter cities. In this study, we performed a quantitative simulation to research the passive climate adaptability of [...] Read more.
There has been an insufficient study of passive climate adaptability that considers both the summer and winter season for the outdoor thermal environment of hot-summer and cold-winter cities. In this study, we performed a quantitative simulation to research the passive climate adaptability of a residential area, considering piloti as the main method for climate adaptation in a hot-summer and cold-winter city in China. Numerical simulations were performed with a coupled simulation method of convection, radiation, and conduction. A cubic non-linear k–ε model proposed by Craft et al. was selected as the turbulence model and three-dimensional multi-reflections of shortwave and longwave radiations were considered in the radiation simulation. Through the simulation, we found that setting the piloti at the two ends of the building was the optimal piloti arrangement for climate adaptation. Then the relationship between the piloti ratio (0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, and 80%) and the outdoor thermal environment was studied. It could be concluded that with the increasing piloti ratio, the wind velocity increased, the mean radiant temperature (MRT) decreased slightly, and the average standard effective temperature (SET*) decreased to 3.6 °C in summer, while in winter, with the increasing piloti ratio, the wind velocity, MRT, and SET* changed slightly. The wind environment significantly affected the SET* value, and the piloti ratio should be between 12% and 38% to avoid wind-induced discomfort. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Microplastics in Sediment and Surface Water of West Dongting Lake and South Dongting Lake: Abundance, Source and Composition
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2164; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102164
Received: 19 August 2018 / Revised: 20 September 2018 / Accepted: 29 September 2018 / Published: 1 October 2018
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Abstract
Microplastic pollution was investigated in sediment and surface water in West Dongting Lake and South Dongting Lake for the first time. The abundance of microplastics ranged from 616.67 to 2216.67 items/m3 and 716.67 to 2316.67 items/m3 in the lakeshore surface water [...] Read more.
Microplastic pollution was investigated in sediment and surface water in West Dongting Lake and South Dongting Lake for the first time. The abundance of microplastics ranged from 616.67 to 2216.67 items/m3 and 716.67 to 2316.67 items/m3 in the lakeshore surface water of West Dongting Lake and South Dongting Lake, respectively. The highest levels of microplastic pollution were found in the lakes’ outlets. In the lake center sites of the West Dongting Lake and South Dongting Lake, the abundance of microplastics ranged from 433.33 to 1500 items/m3 and 366.67 to 1566.67 items/m3, respectively. Meanwhile, the study found that in lakeshore sediment of West Dongting Lake and South Dongting Lake, microplastic concentrations ranged from 320 to 480 items/m3 and 200–1150 items/m3. Polystyrene (PS) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) were most common in the surface water and sediment samples, respectively. In addition, we suggest that the effects of polymer types in microplastics should be taken into account when considering abundance. This study can provide valuable points of reference to better understanding microplastic pollution in inland freshwater areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Speciation Variation and Comprehensive Risk Assessment of Metal(loid)s in Surface Sediments of Intertidal Zones
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102125
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 19 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
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Abstract
Speciation variation and comprehensive risk assessment of metal(loid)s (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) were investigated in surface sediments from the intertidal zones of the Yellow River Delta, China. Results showed that only the concentrations of As, Cd and Pb [...] Read more.
Speciation variation and comprehensive risk assessment of metal(loid)s (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) were investigated in surface sediments from the intertidal zones of the Yellow River Delta, China. Results showed that only the concentrations of As, Cd and Pb were significantly different between April and September (p < 0.01). In April, the residual fraction (F4) was predominant for As, Cr, Cu, Ni and Zn. However, the exchangeable and carbonate-associated fraction (F1) was dominant for Cd averaging 49.14% indicating a high environmental risk. In September, the F4 fraction was predominant and the F1 fraction was very low for most metal(loid)s except Cd and Mn. The geo-accumulation index (Igeo), the F1 fraction and potential ecological risk index (PERI) of most metal(loid)s were relatively low in surface sediments for both seasons. But Pb, As and Ni were between the threshold effect level (TEL)and the probable effect level (PEL) for 66.67%, 83.33% and 91.67% in April and As and Ni were between TEL and PEL for 41.67% and 91.67%, which indicated that the concentration of them was likely to occasionally exhibit adverse effects on the ecosystem. Although the Igeo, the F1 fraction or PERI of Cd in both seasons was higher at some sites, the results of sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) indicated that the biological effects of Cd were rarely observed in the studied area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Distribution and Contamination Assessment of Surface Heavy Metals off the Western Guangdong Province and Northeastern Hainan Island
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1897; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091897
Received: 29 July 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Abstract
Surface sediments collected from the continental shelf off the western Guangdong Province and northeastern Hainan Island are analyzed for selected heavy metals contents including Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, and As to determine spatial distribution, potential ecological risks, and sources. In addition, some [...] Read more.
Surface sediments collected from the continental shelf off the western Guangdong Province and northeastern Hainan Island are analyzed for selected heavy metals contents including Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, and As to determine spatial distribution, potential ecological risks, and sources. In addition, some of the controlling factors of heavy metals distribution are also discussed. The average heavy metals contents decrease in the order of Zn > Cr > Pb > Cu > As > Cd. The averaged pollution degree, as shown by the index of geo-accumulation (Igeo), decreases in the order of Zn > Cu > Pb > Cr > Cd > As. Due to the barrier of islands, the Igeo values of Zn, Pb, Cr, Cu, and Cd near the Hailing and Xiachuan Islands are larger than those in other areas. Meanwhile, the Igeo value of As near the coastal area off the estuary of Wanquan River is clearly larger than that in other areas. Based on the results of potential ecological risk index, Cd, Cu, and As should be paid more attention for the contamination risk in future. The results of Pearson correlation analysis and principal component analysis indicate that Zn, Cr, Pb, Cu, and Cd are mainly from the Pearl River and surrounding small rivers, whereas As originates from the Hainan Island. The grain size is one of the main controlling factors for heavy metals distribution, and the anthropogenic activity also plays an important role. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Concentration and Potential Ecological Risk of PAHs in Different Layers of Soil in the Petroleum-Contaminated Areas of the Loess Plateau, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1785; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081785
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 15 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
The three most representative areas of petroleum pollution on the Loess Plateau are the research subjects of this study. In this study, 16 priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined by the QuEChERS method combined with gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). The total [...] Read more.
The three most representative areas of petroleum pollution on the Loess Plateau are the research subjects of this study. In this study, 16 priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined by the QuEChERS method combined with gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). The total concentrations of ∑16PAHs in top layer soils (0–10 cm), middle layer soils (10–30 cm), and bottom layer soils (30–50 cm) ranged from 1010.67 to 18,068.80, 495.85 to 9868.56 and 213.16 to 12,552.53 μg/kg, with an average of 5502.44, 2296.94 and 2203.88 μg/kg, respectively. The 3-ring and 4-ring PAHs were the most prominent components in all soil samples. Meanwhile, the average value of ∑16PAHs decreased with the depth, from 5502.44 μg/kg (0–10 cm) to 2203.88 μg/kg (30–50 cm). The PAHs levels in the studied soils were heavily polluted (over 1000 μg/kg) according to the Soils Quality Guidelines and 95% of PAHs come from petroleum sources. Moreover, the total of PAHs in petroleum-contaminated soils was assigned a high ecological risk level. Toxic equivalency quantities (TEQs) indicated that PAHs in petroleum-contaminated soils presented relatively high toxicity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Target Risk Assessment of Potentially Toxic Elements in Farmland Soil Based on the Environment-Ecological-Health Effect
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061101
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 16 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
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Abstract
There are potential impacts of Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs) (e.g., Cd, Cr, Ni, Cu, As, Zn, Hg, and Pb) in soil from the perspective of the ecological environment and human health, and assessing the pollution and risk level of soil will play an [...] Read more.
There are potential impacts of Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs) (e.g., Cd, Cr, Ni, Cu, As, Zn, Hg, and Pb) in soil from the perspective of the ecological environment and human health, and assessing the pollution and risk level of soil will play an important role in formulating policies for soil pollution control. Lingyuan, in the west of Liaoning Province, China, is a typical low-relief terrain of a hilly area. The object of study in this research is the topsoil of farmland in this area, of which 71 soil samples are collected. In this study, research methods, such as the Nemerow Index, Potential Ecological Hazard Index, Ecological Risk Quotient, Environmental Exposure Hazard Analysis, Positive Matrix Factorization Model, and Land Statistical Analysis, are used for systematical assessment of the pollution scale, pollution level, and source of PTEs, as well as the ecological environmental risks and health risks in the study area. The main conclusions are: The average contents of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Zn, Ni, and Pb of the soil are 5.32 mg/kg, 0.31 mg/kg, 50.44 mg/kg, 47.05 mg/kg, 0.03 mg/kg, 79.36 mg/kg, 26.01 mg/kg, and 35.65 mg/kg, respectively. The contents of Cd, Cu, Zn, and Pb exceed the background value of local soil; Cd content of some study plots exceeds the National Soil Environmental Quality Standard Value (0.6 mg/kg), and the exceeding standard rate of study plots is 5.63%; the comprehensive potential ecological hazard assessment in the study area indicates that the PTEs are at a slight ecological risk; probabilistic hazard quotient assessment indicates that the influence of PTEs on species caused by Cu is at a slight level (p = 10.93%), and Zn, Pb, and Cd are at an acceptable level. For the ecological process, Zn is at a medium level (p = 25.78%), Cu is at a slight level (19.77%), and the influence of Cd and Pb are acceptable; human health hazard assessment states that the Non-carcinogenic comprehensive health hazard index HI = 0.16 < 1, indicating that PTEs in soil have no significant effect on people’s health through exposure; the PMF model (Positive Matrix Factorization) shows that the contribution rates of agricultural source, industrial source, atmospheric dust source, and natural source are 13.15%, 25.33%, 18.47%, and 43.05%, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Distribution of Arsenic and Risk Assessment of Activities on Soccer Pitches Irrigated with Arsenic-Contaminated Water
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1060; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061060
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 24 May 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this research was to estimate the risk of human exposure to arsenic due to sporting activities in a private soccer club in Mexico, where arsenic-contaminated water was regularly used for irrigation. For this purpose, the total concentration in the topsoil [...] Read more.
The aim of this research was to estimate the risk of human exposure to arsenic due to sporting activities in a private soccer club in Mexico, where arsenic-contaminated water was regularly used for irrigation. For this purpose, the total concentration in the topsoil was considered for risk assessment. This was accomplished through three main objectives: (1) measuring arsenic concentrations in irrigation water and irrigated soils, (2) determining arsenic spatial distribution in shallow soils with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) using geostatistical analysis, and (3) collecting field and survey data to develop a risk assessment calculation for soccer activities in the soccer club. The results showed that the average arsenic concentrations in shallow soils (138.1 mg/kg) were 6.2 times higher than the Mexican threshold for domestic soils (22 mg/kg). Furthermore, dermal contact between exposed users and contaminated soils accounted for a maximum carcinogenic risk value of 1.8 × 10−5, which is one order of magnitude higher than the recommended risk value, while arsenic concentrations in the irrigation water were higher (6 mg/L) than the WHO’s permissible threshold in drinking water, explaining the contamination of soils after irrigation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first risk study regarding dermal contact with arsenic following regular grass irrigation with contaminated water in soccer pitches. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Human Health Risk Assessment of Toxic Elements in Farmland Topsoil with Source Identification in Jilin Province, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 1040; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15051040
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 16 May 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
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Abstract
The presence of toxic elements in agricultural soils from anthropogenic activities is a potential threat to human health through the food chain. In this study, the concentration of toxic elements in 122 agricultural topsoil composite samples were determined in order to study the [...] Read more.
The presence of toxic elements in agricultural soils from anthropogenic activities is a potential threat to human health through the food chain. In this study, the concentration of toxic elements in 122 agricultural topsoil composite samples were determined in order to study the current status, identify their sources and assess the level of pollution and human health risk. The results showed that the mean concentrations of Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd, Hg and As in the farmland topsoil were 21.72, 15.09, 36.08, 0.2451, 0.0378 and 4.957 mg·kg−1, respectively. The spatial distribution showed that the soils were mainly contaminated by Cd, Pb and Hg in midwest Jilin but by Cu and As in the east. According to the pollution index (Pi), Nemerow integrated pollution index (PN) and Geo-Accumulation Index (Igeo), Cd and Pb were the main pollutants in the soils. The occurrence of these elements was caused by anthropogenic activities and they were concentrated in the Songyuan-Changchun-Siping economic belt. There is limited non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic health risk to humans. Principal component analyses suggest the Pb, Cd and Hg soil contamination was mainly derived from anthropogenic activities in the Midwest, but all examined toxic elements in the east were mainly due to geogenic anomalies and came from atmospheric deposition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Temporal Variation and Ecological Risk Assessment of Metals in Soil Nearby a Pb–Zn Mine in Southern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050940
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 30 April 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract
Metal contamination in soil from tailings induces risks for the ecosystem and for humans. In this study, the concentrations and ecological risks of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in soil contaminated by a tailing from Yangshuo (YS) lead and zinc (Pb–Zn) mine, which [...] Read more.
Metal contamination in soil from tailings induces risks for the ecosystem and for humans. In this study, the concentrations and ecological risks of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in soil contaminated by a tailing from Yangshuo (YS) lead and zinc (Pb–Zn) mine, which collapsed for more than 40 years, were determined in 2015. The mean concentrations of Zn, Pb, Cu, and Cd were 1301.79, 768.41, 82.60, and 4.82 mg/kg, respectively, which, with years of remediation activities, decreased by 66.9%, 61.7%, 65.4%, and 65.3% since 1986, but still exceed the national standards. From 1986 to 2015, soil pH increased significantly, with available concentrations of Zn, Pb, Cu and Cd decreasing by 13%, 81%, 77%, and 67%, respectively, and potential ecological risk indexes (Er) of the determined metals decreasing by more than 60%. Horizontally, total contents and percentages of available concentrations of Zn, Pb, Cu, and Cd decreased with the distance from the tailing heap in SD village, while pH values showed the reverse pattern. Vertically, Zn and Cd, Pb, and Cu showed similar vertical distribution patterns in the soil profiles. There was a slight downward migration for the determined metals in soil of M and H area and the mobility was in the order of Cd > Zn > Pb > Cu. It can be concluded that although concentrations and ecological risks of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in soil decreased significantly, SD village is still a high risk area, and the priority pollutant is Cd. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ecological Vulnerability Assessment Based on Fuzzy Analytical Method and Analytic Hierarchy Process in Yellow River Delta
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 855; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050855
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 21 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
The Yellow River Delta (YRD), located in Yellow River estuary, is characterized by rich ecological system types, and provides habitats or migration stations for wild birds, all of which makes the delta an ecological barrier or ecotone for inland areas. Nevertheless, the abundant [...] Read more.
The Yellow River Delta (YRD), located in Yellow River estuary, is characterized by rich ecological system types, and provides habitats or migration stations for wild birds, all of which makes the delta an ecological barrier or ecotone for inland areas. Nevertheless, the abundant natural resources of YRD have brought huge challenges to the area, and frequent human activities and natural disasters have damaged the ecological systems seriously, and certain ecological functions have been threatened. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the status of the ecological environment based on scientific methods, which can provide scientifically robust data for the managers or stakeholders to adopt timely ecological protection measures. The aim of this study was to obtain the spatial distribution of the ecological vulnerability (EV) in YRD based on 21 indicators selected from underwater status, soil condition, land use, landform, vegetation cover, meteorological conditions, ocean influence, and social economy. In addition, the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (FAHP) method was used to obtain the weights of the selected indicators, and a fuzzy logic model was constructed to obtain the result. The result showed that the spatial distribution of the EV grades was regular, while the fuzzy membership of EV decreased gradually from the coastline to inland area, especially around the river crossing, where it had the lowest EV. Along the coastline, the dikes had an obviously protective effect for the inner area, while the EV was higher in the area where no dikes were built. This result also showed that the soil condition and groundwater status were highly related to the EV spatially, with the correlation coefficients −0.55 and −0.74 respectively, and human activities had exerted considerable pressure on the ecological environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Extended Chemical Plant Environmental Protection Game on Addressing Uncertainties of Human Adversaries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 609; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040609
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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Abstract
Chemical production activities in industrial districts pose great threats to the surrounding atmospheric environment and human health. Therefore, developing appropriate and intelligent pollution controlling strategies for the management team to monitor chemical production processes is significantly essential in a chemical industrial district. The [...] Read more.
Chemical production activities in industrial districts pose great threats to the surrounding atmospheric environment and human health. Therefore, developing appropriate and intelligent pollution controlling strategies for the management team to monitor chemical production processes is significantly essential in a chemical industrial district. The literature shows that playing a chemical plant environmental protection (CPEP) game can force the chemical plants to be more compliant with environmental protection authorities and reduce the potential risks of hazardous gas dispersion accidents. However, results of the current literature strictly rely on several perfect assumptions which rarely hold in real-world domains, especially when dealing with human adversaries. To address bounded rationality and limited observability in human cognition, the CPEP game is extended to generate robust schedules of inspection resources for inspection agencies. The present paper is innovative on the following contributions: (i) The CPEP model is extended by taking observation frequency and observation cost of adversaries into account, and thus better reflects the industrial reality; (ii) Uncertainties such as attackers with bounded rationality, attackers with limited observation and incomplete information (i.e., the attacker’s parameters) are integrated into the extended CPEP model; (iii) Learning curve theory is employed to determine the attacker’s observability in the game solver. Results in the case study imply that this work improves the decision-making process for environmental protection authorities in practical fields by bringing more rewards to the inspection agencies and by acquiring more compliance from chemical plants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Geochemical Assessment and Spatial Analysis of Heavy Metals in the Surface Sediments in the Eastern Beibu Gulf: A Reflection on the Industrial Development of the South China Coast
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030496
Received: 10 February 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 10 March 2018 / Published: 12 March 2018
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Abstract
The Beibu Gulf (also named the Gulf of Tonkin), located in the northwest of the South China Sea, is representative of a bay suffering from turbulence and contamination associated with rapid industrialization and urbanization. In this study, we aim to provide the novel [...] Read more.
The Beibu Gulf (also named the Gulf of Tonkin), located in the northwest of the South China Sea, is representative of a bay suffering from turbulence and contamination associated with rapid industrialization and urbanization. In this study, we aim to provide the novel baseline levels of heavy metals for the research area. Concentrations of five heavy metals (i.e., Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd and Cr) were determined in surface sediments from 35 sites in the eastern Beibu Gulf. The heavy metal content varied from 6.72 to 25.95 mg/kg for Cu, 16.99 to 57.98 mg/kg for Pb, 73.15 to 112.25 mg/kg for Zn, 0.03 to 0.12 mg/kg for Cd, and 20.69 to 56.47 mg/kg for Cr, respectively. With respect to the Chinese sediment quality criteria, sediments in the eastern Beibu Gulf have not been significantly affected by coastal metal pollutions. The results deduced from the geoaccumulation index (Igeo) showed that the study area has been slightly polluted by Pb, which might be caused by non-point sources. Relatively high concentrations of Cu, Pb and Cd were found around the coastal areas of Guangxi province, the Leizhou Peninsula and the northwest coast of Hainan Island, whereas the highest concentrations of Zn and Cr were found on the northwest coast of Hainan Island. Spatial distribution patterns of the heavy metals showed that bioavailable fractions of Pb were higher than in the residual fractions, while Cu and Cd concentrations in exchangeable and carbonate fractions were relatively higher than those in the bioavailable fractions. Hierarchical clustering analysis suggested that the sampling stations could be separated into three groups with different geographical distributions. Accompanying their similar spatial distribution in the study area, significant correlation coefficients among Cu, Cd and Pb were also found, indicating that these three metals might have had similar sources. Overall, the results indicated that the distribution of these heavy metals in the surface sediments collected from the Beibu Gulf was complex. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Metalloid and Metal Contamination in Soils from Hainan, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030454
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 28 February 2018 / Published: 6 March 2018
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Abstract
The characterization of the concentrations and sources of metals and metalloids in soils is necessary to establish quality standards on a regional level and to assess the potential threat of metals to food safety and human health. A total of 8713 soil samples [...] Read more.
The characterization of the concentrations and sources of metals and metalloids in soils is necessary to establish quality standards on a regional level and to assess the potential threat of metals to food safety and human health. A total of 8713 soil samples throughout Hainan Island, China were collected at a density of one sample per 4 km2, and concentrations of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Se, and Zn were analyzed. The geometric mean values of the elements were 2.17, 0.60, 26.5, 9.43, 0.033, 8.74, 22.2, 0.26, and 39.6 mg·· kg−1 for As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Se, and Zn, respectively, significantly lower than the background values of Chinese soils with the exception of Se. Principal component analysis (PCA) suggested that multiple anthropogenic sources regulated the elemental compositions of the Hainan environment. Coal combustion and mining are important anthropogenic sources of metals for Hainan. The geochemical maps of elements in Hainan soils were produced using the Geographic Information System (GIS) method, and several hot-spot areas were identified. The ecological impact of As, Cd, Cu, Cr, Hg, Pb, Ni, and Zn pollution to the soils was extremely “low”. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Toxic Metal Distribution Characteristics and Health Risk between Cultured and Wild Fish Captured from Honghu City, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020334
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 14 February 2018
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Abstract
Honghu Lake, which listed in the “Ramsar Convention”, is the seventh largest freshwater lake in China and is regarded as one of the biggest freshwater product output areas in China. The toxic element distribution in cultured and wild fish and the corresponding health [...] Read more.
Honghu Lake, which listed in the “Ramsar Convention”, is the seventh largest freshwater lake in China and is regarded as one of the biggest freshwater product output areas in China. The toxic element distribution in cultured and wild fish and the corresponding health risks through fish consumption from Honghu area were investigated. The mean concentration in the muscle of cultured and wild fish (Carassius auratus and Ctenopharyngodon idellus) decreased in the order: Zn (18.94) > Cu (0.8489) > Cr (0.2840) > Pb (0.2052) and Zn (16.30) > Cr (1.947) > Cu (0.4166) > Pb (0.0525) > Cd (0.0060) (mean; mg/kg, wet weight). Scales (Multi factor pollution index (MPI) = 3.342) and the liver (MPI = 1.276) were regarded as the main accumulation tissues for cultured fish, and the bladder (MPI = 0.640) and intestine (MPI = 0.477) were regarded as the main accumulation tissues for wild fish. There were no obvious health risks associated with the consumption of cultured and wild fish based on the calculated results of the target hazard quotient (THQ), carcinogenic risk (CR), and estimated weekly intake (EWI). Pb and Cr were recognized as the major health risk contributors for inhabitants through wild and cultured fish consumption. Cultured fish had a greater health risk than wild fish based on the calculation results of THQ and CR. Muscle consumption resulted in more health risks than mixed edible tissues for cultured fish, but for wild fish, the conclusion was the opposite. Mixed fish (cultured:wild = 1:1) muscle consumption had relatively lower risks than the consumption of cultured or wild fish muscle separately. Consuming no more than 465 g/day (wet wt) of cultured fish muscle, 68 g/day (wet wt) of wild fish muscle, 452 g/day (wet wt) of mixed cultured fish edible tissues or 186 g/day (wet wt) of mixed wild fish edible tissues from the Honghu area can assure human health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
PM Origin or Exposure Duration? Health Hazards from PM-Bound Mercury and PM-Bound PAHs among Students and Lecturers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020316
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 27 January 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
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Abstract
This study assessed inhalation exposure to particulate matter (PM1)-bound mercury (Hgp) and PM1-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) among university students. For this purpose, simultaneous indoor (I) and outdoor (O) measurements were taken from two Polish technical universities [...] Read more.
This study assessed inhalation exposure to particulate matter (PM1)-bound mercury (Hgp) and PM1-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) among university students. For this purpose, simultaneous indoor (I) and outdoor (O) measurements were taken from two Polish technical universities (in Gliwice and Warsaw) located in distinct areas with respect to ambient concentrations and major sources of PM. The indoor geometric mean concentrations of Hgp were found to be 1.46 pg·m−3 and 6.38 pg·m−3 in Warsaw and Gliwice, while the corresponding outdoor concentrations were slightly lower at 1.38 pg·m−3 and 3.03 pg·m−3, respectively. A distinct pattern was found with respect to PAH concentrations with estimated I/O values of 22.2 ng·m−3/22.5 ng·m−3 in Gliwice and 10.9 ng·m−3/11.12 ng·m−3 in Warsaw. Hazard quotients (HQs) as a result of exposure to Hgp for students aged 21 ranged from 3.47 × 10−5 (Warsaw) to 1.3 × 10−4 (Gliwice) in terms of reasonable maximum exposure (RME). The non-cancer human health risk value related to Hgp exposure was thus found to be below the acceptable risk level value of 1.0 given by the US EPA. Daily exposure values for lecture hall occupants, adjusted to the benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) toxicity equivalent (BaPeq), were 2.9 and 1.02 ng·m−3 for the Gliwice and Warsaw students, respectively. The incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) values with respect to exposure to PM1-bound PAHs during the students’ time of study were 5.49 × 10−8 (Warsaw) and 1.43 × 10−7 (Gliwice). Thus, students’ exposure to indoor PAHs does not lead to increased risk of lung cancer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determining Exposure Factors of Anti-Fogging, Dye, Disinfectant, Repellent, and Preservative Products in Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020232
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
Reliable exposure factors are essential to determine health risks posed by chemicals in consumer products. We analyzed five risk-concerned product categories (anti-fogging, dye, disinfectant, repellent, and preservative products) for 13 products (three car anti-fogging products, a lens anti-fogging product, two car dye products, [...] Read more.
Reliable exposure factors are essential to determine health risks posed by chemicals in consumer products. We analyzed five risk-concerned product categories (anti-fogging, dye, disinfectant, repellent, and preservative products) for 13 products (three car anti-fogging products, a lens anti-fogging product, two car dye products, two drain disinfectants, an air conditioner disinfectant, a chlorine-based disinfectant, a fabric repellent, an insect repellent for food, and a wood preservative) considered to be of high risk in order to determine exposure factors via web surveys and estimation of amount of product. Among the 3000 participants (1482 (49%) men) aged ≥19 years, drain disinfectants were used most frequently (38.2%); the rate of usage of the other products ranged between 1.1–24.0%. The usage rates for the consumer products differed by sex, age, income, and education. Some consumer products such as car and lens anti-fogging products, chlorine-based disinfectants, fabric repellents, and drain disinfectants were regularly used more than once a month, while car dye products, air conditioner disinfectants, insect repellents for food, and wood preservatives were not regularly used owing to the specific product purposes and seasonal needs. Our results could be used for managing or controlling chemical substances in consumer products and conducting accurate exposure assessments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Trace Elements in Soils and Selected Agricultural Plants in the Tongling Mining Area of China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020202
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
The quality and safety of agricultural products from metal mining areas are of wide concern. In order to investigate the contents and health risks of trace elements in fruit vegetables planted in metal mining areas, 440 samples of fruit vegetables from 117 vegetable [...] Read more.
The quality and safety of agricultural products from metal mining areas are of wide concern. In order to investigate the contents and health risks of trace elements in fruit vegetables planted in metal mining areas, 440 samples of fruit vegetables from 117 vegetable plots were collected from Tongling mining area. Trace element contents in fruit vegetables and soil were measured. The results indicated that the total concentration of trace elements in some of the soil samples exceeded the Grade II national standard in China. Transfer factor (TF) of Cd was the highest (8.360), followed by Zn, Cu, As, and Pb. Estimated daily intake (EDI) of the trace elements, except Cd, were generally below the maximum tolerable daily intake (MTDI). The target hazard quotient (THQ) of Zn for children was more than 1 in some vegetables, suggesting potential health hazards for child population. Total target hazard quotient (TTHQ) of Cu and Zn were also more than 1 through consumption of all vegetables, indicating significant health risks. For both adults and children, hazard index (HI) was more than 1 for the consumption of vegetables. The findings reveal the health risks associated with the consumption of trace elements through the intake of selected vegetables in the population of Tongling. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Risk Assessment of Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs) Pollution at a Rural Industrial Wasteland in an Abandoned Metallurgy Factory in North China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010085
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 29 December 2017 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 6 January 2018
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Abstract
The potential toxic elements (PTEs) pollution problems in many rural industrial wastelands have been observed to be conspicuous. Therefore, 40 top soil samples were collected from the wasteland of a typical rural metallurgy factory in Baoding, China. The total concentrations of six key [...] Read more.
The potential toxic elements (PTEs) pollution problems in many rural industrial wastelands have been observed to be conspicuous. Therefore, 40 top soil samples were collected from the wasteland of a typical rural metallurgy factory in Baoding, China. The total concentrations of six key PTEs were measured. The soil properties and speciation of the PTEs were also identified. Extremely high concentrations of As, Cd, Pb, and Zn were observed in the surface soils. Using the PTEs concentration in the top soils of the rural industrial wasteland, the following indices of pollution were calculated: the pollution load index (PLI), the geo-accumulation Index (Igeo), the risk assessment code (RAC), and the health risk assessment (HRA). The analysis of the PLI and Igeo indicated that site #1 was relatively clean, while sites #2 and #3 were heavily polluted. The results of the RAC showed that PTEs in top soils at sites #2 and #3 were significantly increased (p <  0.05) for Cd and Zn. The HRA indicated that both As and Pb presented non-carcinogenic risks to children and adults at sites #2 and #3. Our findings can be a reference for risk prevention of industrially abandoned land in rural China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Heavy Metal Pollution and Ecological Assessment around the Jinsha Coal-Fired Power Plant (China)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1589; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121589
Received: 4 November 2017 / Revised: 3 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
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Abstract
Heavy metal pollution is a serious problem worldwide. In this study, 41 soil samples and 32 cabbage samples were collected from the area surrounding the Jinsha coal-fired power plant (JCFP Plant) in Guizhou Province, southwest China. Pb, Cd, Hg, As, Cu and Cr [...] Read more.
Heavy metal pollution is a serious problem worldwide. In this study, 41 soil samples and 32 cabbage samples were collected from the area surrounding the Jinsha coal-fired power plant (JCFP Plant) in Guizhou Province, southwest China. Pb, Cd, Hg, As, Cu and Cr concentrations in soil samples and cabbage samples were analysed to study the pollution sources and risks of heavy metals around the power plant. The results indicate that the JCFP Plant contributes to the Pb, Cd, As, Hg, Cu, and Cr pollution in nearby soils, particularly Hg pollution. Cu and Cr in soils from both croplands and forestlands in the study area derive mainly from crustal materials or natural processes. Pb, Cd and As in soils from croplands arise partly through anthropogenic activities, but these elements in soils from forestlands originate mainly from crustal materials or natural processes. Hg pollution in soils from both croplands and forestlands is caused mainly by fly ash from the JCFP Plant. The cabbages grown in the study area were severely contaminated with heavy metals, and more than 90% of the cabbages had Pb concentrations exceeding the permissible level established by the Ministry of Health and the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China. Additionally, 30% of the cabbages had As concentrations exceeding the permissible level. Because forests can protect soils from heavy metal pollution caused by atmospheric deposition, close attention should be given to the Hg pollution in soils and to the concentrations of Pb, As, Hg and Cr in vegetables from the study area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Heavy Metal Contamination and Health Risk Assessment in the Vicinity of a Tailing Pond in Guangdong, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1557; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121557
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to assess heavy metal contamination and health risks for residents in the vicinity of a tailing pond in Guangdong, southern China. Water, soil, rice, and vegetable samples were collected from the area in the vicinity of the [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to assess heavy metal contamination and health risks for residents in the vicinity of a tailing pond in Guangdong, southern China. Water, soil, rice, and vegetable samples were collected from the area in the vicinity of the tailing pond. Results showed that surface water was just polluted by Ni and As, while groundwater was not contaminated by heavy metals. The concentrations of Pb, Zn, Cu, Cd, Ni, and As in the paddy soil exceeded the standard values but not those of Cr. In vegetable soils, the concentration of heavy metals was above the standard values except for Ni and As. Soil heavy metal concentrations generally decreased with increasing distance from the polluting source. Leafy vegetables were contaminated by Pb, Cr, Cd, and Ni, while the non-leafy vegetables were contaminated only by Cr. There was a significant difference in heavy metal concentrations between leafy vegetables and non-leafy vegetables. Almost all the rice was polluted by heavy metals. Diet was the most significant contributor to non-carcinogenic risk, which was significantly higher than the safe level of 1. The total cancer risk was also beyond the safe range (10−6–10−4). Results revealed that there is a risk of potential health problems to residents in the vicinity of the tailing pond. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Microbial Risk Assessment of Tidal−Induced Urban Flooding in Can Tho City (Mekong Delta, Vietnam)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1485; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121485
Received: 15 October 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
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Abstract
Public health risks from urban flooding are a global concern. Contaminated floodwater may expose residents living in cities as they are in direct contact with the water. However, the recent literature does not provide much information about this issue, especially for developing countries. [...] Read more.
Public health risks from urban flooding are a global concern. Contaminated floodwater may expose residents living in cities as they are in direct contact with the water. However, the recent literature does not provide much information about this issue, especially for developing countries. In this paper, the health risk due to a flood event occurred in Can Tho City (Mekong Delta, Vietnam) on 7 October 2013 was investigated. The Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment method was used in this study. The data showed that the pathogen concentrations were highly variable during the flood event and exceeded water standards for surface water. Per 10,000 people in contact with the floodwater, we found Salmonella caused the highest number of infections to adults and children (137 and 374, respectively), while E. coli caused 4 and 12 cases, per single event, respectively. The results show that further investigations on health risk related to flood issues in Can Tho City are required, especially because of climate change and urbanization. In addition, activities to raise awareness- about floods, e.g., “living with floods”, in the Mekong Delta should also consider health risk issues. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Experimental and Modelling Strategy for Nanoparticle Toxicity Testing Enabling the Use of Small Quantities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1348; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111348
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 2 November 2017 / Published: 6 November 2017
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Abstract
Metallic nanoparticles (NPs) differ from other metal forms with respect to their large surface to volume ratio and subsequent inherent reactivity. Each new modification to a nanoparticle alters the surface to volume ratio, fate and subsequently the toxicity of the particle. Newly-engineered NPs [...] Read more.
Metallic nanoparticles (NPs) differ from other metal forms with respect to their large surface to volume ratio and subsequent inherent reactivity. Each new modification to a nanoparticle alters the surface to volume ratio, fate and subsequently the toxicity of the particle. Newly-engineered NPs are commonly available only in low quantities whereas, in general, rather large amounts are needed for fate characterizations and effect studies. This challenge is especially relevant for those NPs that have low inherent toxicity combined with low bioavailability. Therefore, within our study, we developed new testing strategies that enable working with low quantities of NPs. The experimental testing method was tailor-made for NPs, whereas we also developed translational models based on different dose-metrics allowing to determine dose-response predictions for NPs. Both the experimental method and the predictive models were verified on the basis of experimental effect data collected using zebrafish embryos exposed to metallic NPs in a range of different chemical compositions and shapes. It was found that the variance in the effect data in the dose-response predictions was best explained by the minimal diameter of the NPs, whereas the data confirmed that the predictive model is widely applicable to soluble metallic NPs. The experimental and model approach developed in our study support the development of (eco)toxicity assays tailored to nano-specific features. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatiotemporal Changes in Fine Particulate Matter Pollution and the Associated Mortality Burden in China between 2015 and 2016
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111321
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (3350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In recent years, research on the spatiotemporal distribution and health effects of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has been conducted in China. However, the limitations of different research scopes and methods have led to low comparability between regions regarding the mortality burden [...] Read more.
In recent years, research on the spatiotemporal distribution and health effects of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has been conducted in China. However, the limitations of different research scopes and methods have led to low comparability between regions regarding the mortality burden of PM2.5. A kriging model was used to simulate the distribution of PM2.5 in 2015 and 2016. Relative risk (RR) at a specified PM2.5 exposure concentration was estimated with an integrated exposure–response (IER) model for different causes of mortality: lung cancer (LC), ischaemic heart disease (IHD), cerebrovascular disease (stroke) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The population attributable fraction (PAF) was adopted to estimate deaths attributed to PM2.5. 72.02% of cities experienced decreases in PM2.5 from 2015 to 2016. Due to the overall decrease in the PM2.5 concentration, the total number of deaths decreased by approximately 10,658 per million in 336 cities, including a decrease of 1400, 1836, 6312 and 1110 caused by LC, IHD, stroke and COPD, respectively. Our results suggest that the overall PM2.5 concentration and PM2.5-related deaths exhibited decreasing trends in China, although air quality in local areas has deteriorated. To improve air pollution control strategies, regional PM2.5 concentrations and trends should be fully considered. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Risk Assessment Strategy for Nanomaterials
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1251; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101251
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 1 October 2017 / Accepted: 9 October 2017 / Published: 19 October 2017
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Abstract
An Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) for nanomaterials (NMs) is outlined in this paper. Contrary to other recent papers on the subject, the main data requirements, models and advancement within each of the four risk assessment domains are described, i.e., in the: (i) materials, [...] Read more.
An Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) for nanomaterials (NMs) is outlined in this paper. Contrary to other recent papers on the subject, the main data requirements, models and advancement within each of the four risk assessment domains are described, i.e., in the: (i) materials, (ii) release, fate and exposure, (iii) hazard and (iv) risk characterisation domains. The material, which is obviously the foundation for any risk assessment, should be described according to the legislatively required characterisation data. Characterisation data will also be used at various levels within the ERA, e.g., exposure modelling. The release, fate and exposure data and models cover the input for environmental distribution models in order to identify the potential (PES) and relevant exposure scenarios (RES) and, subsequently, the possible release routes, both with regard to which compartment(s) NMs are distributed in line with the factors determining the fate within environmental compartment. The initial outcome in the risk characterisation will be a generic Predicted Environmental Concentration (PEC), but a refined PEC can be obtained by applying specific exposure models for relevant media. The hazard information covers a variety of representative, relevant and reliable organisms and/or functions, relevant for the RES and enabling a hazard characterisation. The initial outcome will be hazard characterisation in test systems allowing estimating a Predicted No-Effect concentration (PNEC), either based on uncertainty factors or on a NM adapted version of the Species Sensitivity Distributions approach. The risk characterisation will either be based on a deterministic risk ratio approach (i.e., PEC/PNEC) or an overlay of probability distributions, i.e., exposure and hazard distributions, using the nano relevant models. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Concentration Levels, Pollution Characteristics and Potential Ecological Risk of Dust Heavy Metals in the Metropolitan Area of Beijing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101159
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 25 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 30 September 2017
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Abstract
This study aims to investigate the concentration levels, pollution characteristics and the associated potential ecological risks of the heavy metals found in dust in the metropolitan area of Beijing, China during the winter. Dust samples were collected at 49 different spatial locations of [...] Read more.
This study aims to investigate the concentration levels, pollution characteristics and the associated potential ecological risks of the heavy metals found in dust in the metropolitan area of Beijing, China during the winter. Dust samples were collected at 49 different spatial locations of Beijing’s metropolitan area from November 2013 to January 2014, in which the concentration levels of Cd, Cr, Pb, Cu, Zn, Ni, Co, V, Bi and Mo were measured by Elan DRC II type inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Test results showed that the concentrations of dust heavy metals Pb, Cr, Cu and Zn in the urban areas (147.1 mg·kg−1, 195.9 mg·kg−1, 239.2 mg·kg−1 and 713.2 mg·kg−1) were significantly higher than those in the suburbs (91.6 mg·kg−1, 125.1 mg·kg−1, 131.9 mg·kg−1 and 514.5 mg·kg−1). Enrichment factors and the geo-accumulation index were used to describe the pollution characteristics of dust heavy metals in urban and suburban areas. Results indicated that Zn and Cu were moderately polluting in both urban and suburban areas, Cd was severely polluting in urban areas and heavily polluting in the suburbs. Furthermore, potential ecological risk assessment revealed that the degrees of ecological harm of dust heavy metals were very strong in both urban and suburban areas, but especially in urban areas. The potential ecological risk of heavy metal Cd, whose single factor of ecological damage was extremely strong, accounted for about 90% of the total ecological risk. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Playing Chemical Plant Environmental Protection Games with Historical Monitoring Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101155
Received: 12 August 2017 / Revised: 26 September 2017 / Accepted: 27 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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Abstract
The chemical industry is very important for the world economy and this industrial sector represents a substantial income source for developing countries. However, existing regulations on controlling atmospheric pollutants, and the enforcement of these regulations, often are insufficient in such countries. As a [...] Read more.
The chemical industry is very important for the world economy and this industrial sector represents a substantial income source for developing countries. However, existing regulations on controlling atmospheric pollutants, and the enforcement of these regulations, often are insufficient in such countries. As a result, the deterioration of surrounding ecosystems and a quality decrease of the atmospheric environment can be observed. Previous works in this domain fail to generate executable and pragmatic solutions for inspection agencies due to practical challenges. In addressing these challenges, we introduce a so-called Chemical Plant Environment Protection Game (CPEP) to generate reasonable schedules of high-accuracy air quality monitoring stations (i.e., daily management plans) for inspection agencies. First, so-called Stackelberg Security Games (SSGs) in conjunction with source estimation methods are applied into this research. Second, high-accuracy air quality monitoring stations as well as gas sensor modules are modeled in the CPEP game. Third, simplified data analysis on the regularly discharging of chemical plants is utilized to construct the CPEP game. Finally, an illustrative case study is used to investigate the effectiveness of the CPEP game, and a realistic case study is conducted to illustrate how the models and algorithms being proposed in this paper, work in daily practice. Results show that playing a CPEP game can reduce operational costs of high-accuracy air quality monitoring stations. Moreover, evidence suggests that playing the game leads to more compliance from the chemical plants towards the inspection agencies. Therefore, the CPEP game is able to assist the environmental protection authorities in daily management work and reduce the potential risks of gaseous pollutants dispersion incidents. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Risk Assessment of Metals in Urban Soils from a Typical Industrial City, Suzhou, Eastern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14091025
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3310 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Risk of metals in urban soils is less studied, compared to that in other types of soils, hindering accurate assessment of human exposure to metals. In this study, the concentrations of five metals (As, Cd, Cr, Pb, and Hg) were analyzed in 167 [...] Read more.
Risk of metals in urban soils is less studied, compared to that in other types of soils, hindering accurate assessment of human exposure to metals. In this study, the concentrations of five metals (As, Cd, Cr, Pb, and Hg) were analyzed in 167 surface soil samples collected from Suzhou city and their potential ecological and human health risks were assessed. The mean concentrations of As, Cd, Pb, and Hg except Cr, were higher than the background values in Jiangsu Province. Metal concentrations varied among districts, where sites of high contamination showed a punctate distribution. Principal components and correlation analyses revealed that As, Pb, and Cd could originate from the same sources. The geo-accumulation (Igeo) and potential ecological risk indices (RI) were calculated and the relatively low values of Igeo (<0) and RI (<150) suggested generally low ecological risk. The noncarcinogenic risks of the metals were relatively low for Suzhou residents (i.e., average hazard index or HI: 0.1199 for adults and 0.5935 for children, <1), while the total carcinogenic risks (TCR) of Cr and As were acceptable (TCR in the range of 1.0 × 10−6 to 1.0 × 10−4). Children faced a higher threat than adults. Results of Monte-Carlo simulations were lower than those obtained from models using deterministic parameters. Of all the uncertain parameters, the ingestion rate and body weight were the most sensitive for adults and children, respectively, while As was an important factor for both. The results as well as the factors controlling risks of metals could help better understand the risks of metals in urban soils of industrial cities in China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Health Risks and Contamination Levels of Heavy Metals in Dusts from Parks and Squares of an Industrial City in Semi-Arid Area of China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080886
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 August 2017 / Published: 7 August 2017
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1277 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The contamination characteristics and health risk of barium (Ba), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), vanadium (V), zinc (Zn), arsenic (As), mercury (Hg), and cadmium (Cd) in samples of dust gathered from squares and parks of Baotou [...] Read more.
The contamination characteristics and health risk of barium (Ba), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), vanadium (V), zinc (Zn), arsenic (As), mercury (Hg), and cadmium (Cd) in samples of dust gathered from squares and parks of Baotou city, an industrial city situated in a semi-arid location of the northwest China were investigated. The contents of Ba, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, V, Pb, and Zn in the collected dust samples were determined using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, while the contents of As and Hg in the dust were investigated by use of the ICP-MS. Further, cadmium was quantified through the atomic absorption spectrometry. Levels of contamination of heavy metals analyzed in the dust samples were evaluated using the Geo-Accumulation index (Igeo) as well as through a Pollution Load Index (PLI). Their health risks to children and adults were evaluated based on the US EPA model of health risk. The findings portrayed that the mean concentrations of Ba, Co Cr, Cu, Pb, V, Cd, and Hg were elevated as compared with their local soil background values. Mean values of Igeo illustrate the order of Co > Cr> Cd > Hg > Pb > Cu > Ba > V > Ni > Mn > Zn > As. It was evident that dusts from the parks and squares were “unpolluted” to “moderately polluted”. Assessment of health risk depicts that ingestion is the foremost route of exposure in regard to the heavy metals, then the dermal adsorption follows. Hg exposure from dust might also set impending health threats to children. Besides, the cancer risks of Co, Cr, Ni, Cd, and As are considered to be within the presently tolerable range. Full article
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