Special Issue "Ecological and Health Risk of Soils, Sediments, and Water Contamination"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water and One Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 August 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Zeng-Yei Hseu
Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There has long been concern about the issue of soil, sediment, and water pollution by various contaminants worldwide. The contaminants pose potential threats to the environment and can damage human health through various exposed pathways, such as direct ingestion, dermal contact, diet through the food chain, inhalation, and oral intake. However, the contamination of soil and sediment related to water quality need a comprehensive approach to provide a reference for policy decisions in the remediation processes. Therefore, it is very important to understand the ecological and health risk for sustaining natural resources and ecosystems.

The Special Issue aims to gather high-quality papers emphasizing different aspects and findings of risk assessment for ecological and human health through soil, sediment, and water contamination.

Submitted contributions will go through a peer review process performed by independent reviewers. Original case studies and review papers are invited for publication in this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Zeng-Yei Hseu
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. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 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

  • Soil contamination
  • Sediment contamination
  • Water contamination
  • Remediation
  • Ecological risk
  • Human health risk
  • Risk assessment

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Ecological and Health Risk of Soils, Sediments, and Water Contamination
Water 2020, 12(10), 2867; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102867 - 15 Oct 2020
Abstract
Soils, sediments, and water require careful stewardship for the planet’s security to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) set from the United Nations. However, the contamination of these natural resources can damage ecological and human health, and thus we need a comprehensive approach [...] Read more.
Soils, sediments, and water require careful stewardship for the planet’s security to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) set from the United Nations. However, the contamination of these natural resources can damage ecological and human health, and thus we need a comprehensive approach to provide a remediation reference for the SDGs. The aim of this Special Issue (SI) was to gather the papers emphasizing different aspects and findings of the contamination processes, remediation techniques, and risk assessment of soils, sediments, and water. The Guest-Editor of this SI collected seven papers dealing with biochar application for the reduction in soil nutrient leaching by Kuo et al. and for the immobilization of soil cadmium by Chen et al. Their works contributed to not only sustain soil functions but also to prevent sediments and water from contamination. Moreover, in situ stabilization by environmentally compatible approach is a green remediation of sediments such as thin-layer capping for freshwater and estuary sediments by Ou et al. and Ch’ng et al., respectively. Bioassays including microbiological response and enzyme activities were used to test water quality by Martín et al. and Aljahdali et al., in addition to the finding of antibiotic-degrading bacterial strains reported by Yang et al. in sewage sludge. These papers may aid to update and incorporate new views and discussion for the SDGs. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Effect of Gold Mining on the Water Quality in Monterrey, Bolívar (Colombia)
Water 2020, 12(9), 2523; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092523 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Gold mining uses chemicals that are discharged into rivers without any control when there are no good mining practices, generating environmental and public health problems, especially for downstream inhabitants who use the water for consumption, as is the case in Monterrey township, where [...] Read more.
Gold mining uses chemicals that are discharged into rivers without any control when there are no good mining practices, generating environmental and public health problems, especially for downstream inhabitants who use the water for consumption, as is the case in Monterrey township, where the Boque River water is consumed. In this study, we evaluate Boque River water quality analyzing some physicochemical parameters such as pH, heavy metals, Hg, and cyanide; bioassays (Lactuca sativa, Hydra attenuata, and Daphnia magna), mutagenicity (Ames test), and microbiological assays. The results show that some physicochemical parameters exceed permitted concentrations (Hg, Cd, and cyanide). D. magna showed sensitivity and L. sativa showed inhibition and excessive growth in the analyzed water. Mutagenic values were obtained for all of the sample stations. The presence of bacteria and somatic coliphages in the water show a health risk to inhabitants. In conclusion, the presence of Cd, Hg, and cyanide in the waters for domestic consumption was evidenced in concentrations that can affect the environment and the health of the Monterrey inhabitants. The mutagenic index indicates the possibility of mutations in the population that consumes this type of water. Bioassays stand out as an alert system when concentrations of chemical contaminants cannot be analytically detected. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Biodegradation of Amoxicillin, Tetracyclines and Sulfonamides in Wastewater Sludge
Water 2020, 12(8), 2147; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082147 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The removal of antibiotics from the aquatic environment has received great interest. The aim of this study is to examine degradation of oxytetracycline (OTC), tetracycline (TC), chlortetracycline (CTC), amoxicillin (AMO), sulfamethazine (SMZ), sulfamethoxazole (SMX), sulfadimethoxine (SDM) in sludge. Four antibiotic-degrading bacterial strains, SF1 [...] Read more.
The removal of antibiotics from the aquatic environment has received great interest. The aim of this study is to examine degradation of oxytetracycline (OTC), tetracycline (TC), chlortetracycline (CTC), amoxicillin (AMO), sulfamethazine (SMZ), sulfamethoxazole (SMX), sulfadimethoxine (SDM) in sludge. Four antibiotic-degrading bacterial strains, SF1 (Pseudmonas sp.), A12 (Pseudmonas sp.), strains B (Bacillus sp.), and SANA (Clostridium sp.), were isolated, identified and tested under aerobic and anaerobic conditions in this study. Batch experiments indicated that the addition of SF1 and A12 under aerobic conditions and the addition of B and SANA under anaerobic conditions increased the biodegradation of antibiotics in sludge. Moreover, the results of repeated addition experiments indicated that the efficiency of the biodegradation of antibiotics using the isolated bacterial strains could be maintained for three degradation cycles. Two groups of potential microbial communities associated with the aerobic and anaerobic degradation of SMX, AMO and CTC in sludge were revealed. Twenty-four reported antibiotics-degrading bacterial genera (Achromobacter, Acidovorax, Acinetobacter, Alcaligenes, Bacillus, Burkholderia, Castellaniella, Comamonas, Corynebacterium, Cupriavidus, Dechloromonas, Geobacter, Gordonia, Klebsiella, Mycobacterium, Novosphingobium, Pandoraea, Pseudomonas, Rhodococcus, Sphingomonas, Thauera, Treponema, Vibrio and Xanthobacter) were found in both the aerobic and anaerobic groups, suggesting that these 24 bacterial genera may be the major antibiotic-degrading bacteria in sludge. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reduction of Nutrient Leaching Potential in Coarse-Textured Soil by Using Biochar
Water 2020, 12(7), 2012; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12072012 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Background: Loss of nutrients and organic carbon (OC) through leaching or erosion may degrade soil and water quality, which in turn could lead to food insecurity. Adding biochar to soil can effectively improve soil stability, therefore, evaluating the effects of biochar on [...] Read more.
Background: Loss of nutrients and organic carbon (OC) through leaching or erosion may degrade soil and water quality, which in turn could lead to food insecurity. Adding biochar to soil can effectively improve soil stability, therefore, evaluating the effects of biochar on OC and nutrient retention and leaching is critical. Methods: We conducted a 42-day column leaching experiment by using sandy loam soil samples mixed with 2% of biochar pyrolyzed from Honduran mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) wood sawdust at 300 °C (WB300) and 600 °C (WB600) and a control sample. Leaching was achieved by flushing the soil column on day 4 and every week during the 42-day experiment and adding a water volume for each flushing equivalent to the field water capacity. Results: Biochar application increased the final soil pH and OC, NH4+-N, NO3-N, available P concentrations but not exchangeable K concentrations. In particular, WB600 exhibited superior performance in alleviating soil acidification; WB300 engendered high NO3-N concentrations. Biochar application effectively retained water in soil and inhibited the leaching of the aforementioned nutrients and dissolved OC. WB300 reduced NH4+-N and K leaching by 30%, and WB600 reduced P leaching by 68%. Conclusions: Biochar application can improve nutrient retention and reduce the leaching potential of soils and connected water bodies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Aqueous Mercury Removal with Carbonaceous and Iron Sulfide Sorbents and Their Applicability as Thin-Layer Caps in Mercury-Contaminated Estuary Sediment
Water 2020, 12(7), 1991; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071991 - 14 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the Hg removal efficiency of iron sulfide (FeS), sulfurized activated carbon (SAC), and raw activated carbon (AC) sorbents influenced by salinity and dissolved organic matter (DOM), and the effectiveness of these sorbents as thin layer caps on Hg-contaminated [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the Hg removal efficiency of iron sulfide (FeS), sulfurized activated carbon (SAC), and raw activated carbon (AC) sorbents influenced by salinity and dissolved organic matter (DOM), and the effectiveness of these sorbents as thin layer caps on Hg-contaminated sediment remediation via microcosm experiments to decrease the risk of release. In the batch adsorption experiments, FeS showed the greatest Hg2+ removal efficiencies, followed by SAC and AC. The effect of salinity levels on FeS was insignificant. In contrast, the Hg2+ removal efficiency of AC and SAC increased as increasing the salinity levels. The presence of DOM tended to decrease Hg removal efficiency of sorbents. Microcosm studies also showed that FeS had the greatest Hg sorption in both freshwater and estuary water; furthermore, the methylmercury (MeHg) removal ability of sorbents was greater in the freshwater than that in the estuary water. Notably, for the microcosms without capping, the overlying water MeHg in the estuary microcosm (0.14−1.01 ng/L) was far lesser than that in the freshwater microcosms (2.26−11.35 ng/L). Therefore, Hg compounds in the freshwater may be more bioavailable to microorganisms in methylated phase as compared to those in the estuary water. Overall, FeS showed the best Hg removal efficiency, resistance to salinity, and only slightly affected by DOM in aqueous adsorption experiments. Additionally, in the microcosms, AC showed as the best MeHg adsorber that help inhibiting the release of MeHg into overlying and decreasing the risk to the aqueous system. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Using Mixed Active Capping to Remediate Multiple Potential Toxic Metal Contaminated Sediment for Reducing Environmental Risk
Water 2020, 12(7), 1886; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071886 - 01 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this study, kaolinite, carbon black (CB), iron sulfide (FeS), hydroxyapatite (HAP), and oyster shell powder (OSP) were selected as potentially ideal amendments to immobilize metals in sediment, including Ni, Cr, Cu, Zn, and Hg. In aqueous batch experiments, the five adsorbents were [...] Read more.
In this study, kaolinite, carbon black (CB), iron sulfide (FeS), hydroxyapatite (HAP), and oyster shell powder (OSP) were selected as potentially ideal amendments to immobilize metals in sediment, including Ni, Cr, Cu, Zn, and Hg. In aqueous batch experiments, the five adsorbents were tested for capturing the five potential toxic metals individually at various concentrations. HAP and OSP showed the largest removal efficiencies towards Ni (OSP: 76.47%), Cr (OSP: 100.00%), Cu (HAP: 98.39%), and Zn (HAP: 64.56%), with CB taking the third place. In contrast, FeS and CB played a more significant role in Hg removal (FeS: 100.00%; CB: 86.40%). In the modified six-column microcosm experiments, five mixing ratios based on various considerations using the five adsorbent materials were tested; the water samples were collected and analyzed every week for 135 days. Results showed that caps including CB could immobilize the release of Hg and methylmercury (MeHg) better than those with FeS. More economical caps, namely, with a higher portion of OSP in the mixed capping, could not reach comparable effects to those with more HAP for immobilizing Ni, but performed almost the same for the other four metals. All columns with active caps showed greater metal immobilization as compared to the controlled column without caps. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Amendment of Husk Biochar on Accumulation and Chemical Form of Cadmium in Lettuce and Pak-Choi Grown in Contaminated Soil
Water 2020, 12(3), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030868 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
(1) Background: Cadmium (Cd) accumulated in vegetables not only affects their growth but can also enter the human body via food chains and lead to various illnesses. Plants can decrease the toxicity by changing the chemical forms of Cd, which include inorganic (F [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Cadmium (Cd) accumulated in vegetables not only affects their growth but can also enter the human body via food chains and lead to various illnesses. Plants can decrease the toxicity by changing the chemical forms of Cd, which include inorganic (FE), water-soluble (FW), pectate- and protein-integrated (FNaCl), undissolved phosphate (FHAc), oxalate (FHCl), and residual forms (FR). Among them, FE and FW chemical forms show higher mobility to translocate upward from roots to shoots compared with the others. (2) Methods: Different varieties or cultivars of lettuce and pak-choi were grown in Cd-contaminated soils amended with husk biochar (BC) to replenish nitrogen to the recommended amount and also to raise the soil pH value. (3) Results: More than 73% of the accumulated Cd in the edible organs was compartmentalized in FE chemical form in both leafy vegetables regardless of treatments. In comparison with control, the application of BC decreased the Cd concentrations and bioconcentration factors in the roots and shoots of two leafy vegetables at different growth periods in general. The chemical form and bioaccessible fraction of Cd in the edible blanching tissues were used to calculate the risk of oral intake. The vegetable-induced hazard quotients of lettuce and pak-choi were acceptable, except for pak-choi grown in control without applying BC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Metallic Pollution and the Use of Antioxidant Enzymes as Biomarkers in Bellamya unicolor (Olivier, 1804) (Gastropoda: Bellamyinae)
Water 2020, 12(1), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010202 - 10 Jan 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Industrial and domestic discharges of effluent is one of the major causes of heavy metal pollution in aquatic ecosystems. Samples of benthic sediment and freshwater mollusc Bellamya unicolor were collected from 5 sites in the River Kaduna to determine heavy metal concentration, their [...] Read more.
Industrial and domestic discharges of effluent is one of the major causes of heavy metal pollution in aquatic ecosystems. Samples of benthic sediment and freshwater mollusc Bellamya unicolor were collected from 5 sites in the River Kaduna to determine heavy metal concentration, their ecological risk, and antioxidant enzymes activities in Bellamya unicolor. The results revealed the level of pollution based on heavy metal concentrations across the sites in the order S5 > S3 > S4 > S1 > S2. The ecological risk factor (ErF) revealed that Cd made the highest contribution to pollution, recording the highest ErF (2206.41). Moreover, the results of correlation base multivariate analysis showed that urban and industrial waste were the sources of Cu and Pb in the River Kaduna. The significant positive correlation between metal concentration and antioxidants catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) was established, with maximum activities of antioxidants at site S5. Results from this study have revealed potential ecological risk as a result of heavy metals pollution in the River Kaduna. Hence the need for approaches and policies be put in place to prevent the discharge of untreated industrial and domestic waste into this aquatic ecosystem. Full article
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