Special Issue "Hazardous Waste and Human Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Andrew S Hursthouse
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
School of Computing, Engineering & Physcial Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, PA1 2BE UK
Interests: environmental geochemistry & health; risk assesment & communication; environmental and resource management; societal impact; urban devleopment and planning
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kerstin Kuchta
Website
Co-Guest Editor
Institute of Environmental Technology & energy Economics, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH)
Interests: Environmental Management; Solid Waste Management; Waste Treatment; Environmental Resources Management; Recycling; Life-Cycle Assessment; Resource Management; Waste; Electronic Waste; Civil Engineering; Environmental Engineering; Bioengineering; Environmental Impact Assessment; Renewable Energy
Prof. Dr. John Gulliver
Website
Co-Guest Editor
School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, University of Leicester and Visiting Professor, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK
Interests: effects of environmental pollution and health, use of geographical information science in studies of environment and health, environmental modelling (statistical approaches and dispersion modelling), exposure assessment, environmental epidemiology, risk assessment, personal monitoring, mitigation to promote healthy environments

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Waste management continues to dominate as one of the major societal challenges. It has been addressed to varying degrees across world economies and vast differences in response are found across regions and within social groups. Increasing interest in promoting circular economy has driven waste classifications and hierarchy to prioritise reduced production and recycling over incineration and landfilling. Whilst modern technology can significantly reduce emissions of hazardous substances, many examples exist of old generation facilities are in use or poorly managed, or informal uncontrolled dumping or open air burning of waste takes place. Often these practices affect marginalized social groups. We invite submissions of high quality review or primary research on aspects relevant to the management of hazardous wastes and identify links to human health protection, the assessment of impact of practices on health outcome, including methodological research on exposure modelling and assessments, and priorities for health impacts and their inequality.

Prof. Dr. Andrew Hursthouse
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • exposure
  • risk assessment
  • waste management
  • air pollution control
  • landfilling
  • open burning
  • health effects
  • illeagal waste shipment
  • informal sector

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Physical Properties on the Leaching of Potentially Toxic Elements from Antimony Ore Processing Wastes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2355; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132355 - 03 Jul 2019
Abstract
This study reports on the assessment of the impact of antimony mine wastes from Xikuangshan (XKS) Antimony Mine in Lengshuijiang City, Hunan Province. We focus on the leaching of a number of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) from residues from the processing of antimony [...] Read more.
This study reports on the assessment of the impact of antimony mine wastes from Xikuangshan (XKS) Antimony Mine in Lengshuijiang City, Hunan Province. We focus on the leaching of a number of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) from residues from the processing of antimony ore. The PTE content of ore processing waste and solutions generated by leaching experiments were determined for a suite of PTEs associated with the ore mineralization. These were Sb, As, Hg, Pb, Cd and Zn. As anticipated, high concentrations of the PTEs were identified in the waste materials, far exceeding the standard background values for soil in Hunan Province. For Sb and As, values reached >1800 mg·kg−1 and >1200 mg·kg−1, respectively (>600 and >90 times higher than the soil background). The leaching of Sb, As, Hg, Pb, Cd and Zn decreased with an increase in grain size and leachable portions of metal ranged between 0.01% to 1.56% of total PTE content. Leaching tests identified the release of PTEs through three stages: a. alkaline mineral dissolution and H+ exchanging with base cation; b. oxidation and acid production from pyrite and other reducing minerals; and c. the adsorption and precipitation of PTEs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hazardous Waste and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Potential of Remedial Techniques for Hazard Reduction of Steel Process by Products: Impact on Steel Processing, Waste Management, the Environment and Risk to Human Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2093; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122093 - 13 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The negative impact from industrial pollution of the environment is still a global occurrence, and as a consequence legislation and subsequent regulation is becoming increasingly stringent in response, in particular, to minimising potential impact on human health. These changes have generated growing pressures [...] Read more.
The negative impact from industrial pollution of the environment is still a global occurrence, and as a consequence legislation and subsequent regulation is becoming increasingly stringent in response, in particular, to minimising potential impact on human health. These changes have generated growing pressures for the steel industry to innovate to meet new regulations driving a change to the approach to waste management across the industrial landscape, with increasing focus on the principles of a circular economy. With a knowledge of the compositional profiles of process by-products, we have assessed chemical cleaning to improve environmental performance and minimise disruption to manufacturing processes, demonstrating re-use and recycling capacity. We show that with a knowledge of phase composition, we are able to apply stabilisation methods that can either utilise waste streams directly or allow manipulation, making them suitable for re-use and/or inert disposal. We studied blast furnace slags and Portland cement mixes (50%/50% and 30%/70%) with a variety of other plant wastes (electrostatic precipitator dusts (ESP), blast furnace (BF) sludge and basic oxygen furnace (BOF) sludge) which resulted in up to 90% immobilisation of hazardous constituents. The addition of organic additives i.e., citric acid can liberate or immobilise problematic constituents; in the case of K, both outcomes occurred depending on the waste type; ESP dust BF sludge and BOF fine sludge. Pb and Zn however were liberated with a 50–80% and 50–60% residue reduction respectively, which generates possibilities for alternative uses of materials to reduce environmental and human health impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hazardous Waste and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Influencing Young People’s Intention toward Municipal Solid Waste Sorting
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1708; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101708 - 15 May 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
With the rapid growth of urban economy and population in China, the output of municipal solid waste (MSW) has dramatically increased becoming a constant threat to residents’ living environment and health. The classification intention of residents plays a pivotal role in solving the [...] Read more.
With the rapid growth of urban economy and population in China, the output of municipal solid waste (MSW) has dramatically increased becoming a constant threat to residents’ living environment and health. The classification intention of residents plays a pivotal role in solving the problem of MSW disposal. While numerous studies have examined the classification behavior of MSW from the perspective of ordinary residents and households, few studies have attempted to understand young people’s sorting intention. The novelty of this research is to explore the determinants that affect young people’s intention toward municipal solid waste sorting (MSWS) by extending the predictive factors of environmental concern and personal moral obligation into the theory of planned behavior (TPB). A sample of 524 young respondents from Hebei Province in China were used to conduct a structural equation model (SEM) validation. The empirical results revealed that, according to the rankings of significance, personal moral obligation, perceived behavioral control, and subjective norm had positive influences on young people’s intention toward MSWS, while attitude and environmental concern did not. Furthermore, the multi-group comparison showed that, compared with the male and rural group, the intention of female and urban respondents to classify MSW was not affected by subjective norms. Some targeted managerial implications were ultimately proposed to promote young people’s intention toward MSWS. This study contributes to the existing knowledge system of MSWS by revealing the classification intention of young people as a group. The findings and implications provide the government with useful insights for encouraging young people to actively participate in MSWS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hazardous Waste and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Potential Environmental Impact of PAHs on Soil and Water Resources in Air Deposited Coal Refuse Sites in Niangziguan Karst Catchment, Northern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1368; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081368 - 16 Apr 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Long-term deposition of coal spoil piles may lead to serious pollution of soil and water resources in the dumping sites and surrounding areas. Karst aquifers are highly sensitive to environmental pollution. In this study, the occurrence and release/mobilization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) [...] Read more.
Long-term deposition of coal spoil piles may lead to serious pollution of soil and water resources in the dumping sites and surrounding areas. Karst aquifers are highly sensitive to environmental pollution. In this study, the occurrence and release/mobilization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in coal waste and coal spoils fire gas mineral (CSFGM) were evaluated by field and indoor investigations at Yangquan city, one of the major coal mining districts in the karst areas of northern China. Field investigations showed that dumping of coal waste over decades has resulted in soil and water pollution via spontaneous combustion and leaching of coal spoil piles. Indoor analysis revealed that the 2-ring and 3-ring PAHs contribute to 65–80% of the total PAHs in coal spoils, with naphthalene (Nap), Chrysene (Chr), and Phenanthrene (Phe) as the dominant compounds. Based on a heating/burning simulation experiment, the production of PAHs is temperature-dependent and mainly consists of low-ring PAHs: 2-ring, 3-ring, and part of the 4-ring PAHs. The PAHs in the leachate are light-PAHs (Nap, 20.06 ng/L; Phe, 4.76 ng/L) with few heavy-PAHs. The distribution modes of PAHs in two soil profiles suggest that the precipitation caused downward movement of PAHs and higher mobility of light-PAHs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hazardous Waste and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Determination of Metal Content of Waste Mobile Phones and Estimation of Their Recovery Potential in Turkey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050887 - 11 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Waste mobile phones constitute one of the fastest growing Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) types all over the world due to technological innovations and shortening of their life span. They contain a complex mix of various materials, such as basic metals, precious [...] Read more.
Waste mobile phones constitute one of the fastest growing Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) types all over the world due to technological innovations and shortening of their life span. They contain a complex mix of various materials, such as basic metals, precious metals and rare earth elements and represent an important secondary raw metal source. The main objectives of this study were to characterize the metal concentration of waste mobile phones by optimizing the inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES) operation parameters and estimate the metal recovery potential of waste mobile phones in Turkey. Therefore, selected mobile phone samples collected from a recycling center in Turkey were analyzed to determine their metal concentrations. Then, the theoretical recovery potentials of precious and rare earth metals from waste mobile phones were estimated for Turkey. The analytical methods optimized in this study can help further research activities to obtain comprehensive data for determination of the critical metals (precious metals and rare earth elements) in WEEE samples so that proper recycling and recovery strategies can be selected and implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hazardous Waste and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Soil Pollution Characteristics and Microbial Responses in a Vertical Profile with Long-Term Tannery Sludge Contamination in Hebei, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040563 - 15 Feb 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
An investigation was made into the effects of tannery sludge on soil chemical properties and microbial communities in a typical soil profile with long-term tannery sludge contamination, North China. The results showed that trivalent chromium (Cr(III)), ammonium, organic nitrogen, salinity and sulfide were [...] Read more.
An investigation was made into the effects of tannery sludge on soil chemical properties and microbial communities in a typical soil profile with long-term tannery sludge contamination, North China. The results showed that trivalent chromium (Cr(III)), ammonium, organic nitrogen, salinity and sulfide were the predominant contaminants in tannery sludge. Although the tannery sludge contained high chromium (Cr, 3,0970 mg/kg), the proportion of mobile Cr forms (exchangeable plus carbonate-bound fraction) only accounted for 1.32%. The X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results further demonstrated that the Cr existed in a stable state of oxides and iron oxides. The alkaline loam soil had a significant retardation effect on the migration of salinity, ammonium, Cr(III) and sulfide, and the accumulation of these contaminants occurred in soils (0–40 cm). A good correlation (R2 = 0.959) was observed between total organic carbon (TOC) and Cr(III) in the soil profile, indicating that the dissolved organic matter from sludge leachate promoted the vertical mobility of Cr(III) via forming Cr(III)-organic complexes. The halotolerant bacteria (Halomonas and Tepidimicrobium) and organic degrading bacteria (Flavobacteriaceae, Tepidimicrobium and Balneola) became the dominant microflora in the soil profile. High contents of salinity, Cr and nitrogen were the main environmental factors affecting the abundance of indigenous microorganisms in soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hazardous Waste and Human Health)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
WEEE Treatment in Developing Countries: Environmental Pollution and Health Consequences—An Overview
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(9), 1595; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16091595 - 07 May 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
In the last few decades, the rapid technological evolution has led to a growing generation of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Not rarely, it has been exported from industrialized to developing countries, where it represents a secondary source of valuable materials such [...] Read more.
In the last few decades, the rapid technological evolution has led to a growing generation of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Not rarely, it has been exported from industrialized to developing countries, where it represents a secondary source of valuable materials such as gold, copper, and silver. The recycling of WEEE is often carried out without any environmental and health protection. This paper reviews recent literature dealing with the informal treatment of WEEE in developing regions, gathering and analyzing data on concentration of both inorganic and organic pollutants in the environment. Open burning practices are revealed as most polluting ‘technology’, followed by mechanical treatment and leaching. Significant levels of pollutants have been detected in human bodies, both children and adults, working in or living in areas with informal WEEE treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hazardous Waste and Human Health)
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Open AccessReview
Waste Mismanagement in Developing Countries: A Review of Global Issues
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 1060; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16061060 - 24 Mar 2019
Cited by 29
Abstract
Environmental contamination due to solid waste mismanagement is a global issue. Open dumping and open burning are the main implemented waste treatment and final disposal systems, mainly visible in low-income countries. This paper reviews the main impacts due to waste mismanagement in developing [...] Read more.
Environmental contamination due to solid waste mismanagement is a global issue. Open dumping and open burning are the main implemented waste treatment and final disposal systems, mainly visible in low-income countries. This paper reviews the main impacts due to waste mismanagement in developing countries, focusing on environmental contamination and social issues. The activity of the informal sector in developing cities was also reviewed, focusing on the main health risks due to waste scavenging. Results reported that the environmental impacts are pervasive worldwide: marine litter, air, soil and water contamination, and the direct interaction of waste pickers with hazardous waste are the most important issues. Many reviews were published in the scientific literature about specific waste streams, in order to quantify its effect on the environment. This narrative literature review assessed global issues due to different waste fractions showing how several sources of pollution are affecting the environment, population health, and sustainable development. The results and case studies presented can be of reference for scholars and stakeholders for quantifying the comprehensive impacts and for planning integrated solid waste collection and treatment systems, for improving sustainability at a global level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hazardous Waste and Human Health)
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