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  1. Zahidi I, Wilson G, Brown K, Hou FKK
    J Health Pollut, 2020 Dec;10(28):201207.
    PMID: 33324504 DOI: 10.5696/2156-9614-10.28.201207
    Background: Rivers are susceptible to pollution and water pollution is a growing problem in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) with rapid development and minimal environmental protections. There are universal pollutant threshold values, but they are not directly linked to river activities such as sand mining and aquaculture. Water quality modelling can support assessments of river pollution and provide information on this important environmental issue.

    Objectives: The objective of the present study was to demonstrate water quality modelling methodology in reviewing existing policies for Malaysian river catchments based on an example case study.

    Methods: The MIKE 11 software developed by the Danish Hydraulic Institute was used to model the main pollutant point sources within the study area - sand mining and aquaculture. Water quality data were obtained for six river stations from 2000 to 2015. All sand mining and aquaculture locations and approximate production capacities were quantified by ground survey. Modelling of the sand washing effluents was undertaken with the advection-dispersion module due to the nature of the fine sediment. Modelling of the fates of aquaculture deposits required both advection-dispersion and Danish Hydraulic Institute ECO Lab modules to simulate the detailed interactions between water quality determinants.

    Results: According to the Malaysian standard, biochemical oxygen command (BOD) and ammonium (NH4) parameters fell under Class IV at most of the river reaches, while the dissolved oxygen (DO) parameter varied between Classes II to IV. Total suspended solids (TSS) fell within Classes IV to V along the mid river reaches of the catchment.

    Discussion: Comparison between corresponding constituents and locations showed that the water quality model reproduced the long-term duration exceedance for the main body of the curves. However, the water quality model underestimated the infrequent high concentration observations. A standard effluent disposal was proposed for the development of legislation and regulations by authorities in the district that could be replicated for other similar catchments.

    Conclusions: Modelling pollutants enables observation of trends over the years and the percentage of time a certain class is exceeded for each individual pollutant. The catchment did not meet Class II requirements and may not be able to reach Class I without extensive improvements in the quality and reducing the quantity of both point and non-point effluent sources within the catchment.

    Competing Interests: The authors declare no competing financial interests.

  2. Rauf AU, Mallongi A, Daud A, Hatta M, Al-Madhoun W, Amiruddin R, et al.
    J Health Pollut, 2021 Jun;11(30):210616.
    PMID: 34268002 DOI: 10.5696/2156-9614-11.30.210616
    Background: Cement plants generate particulate matter (PM) across processes from raw material preparation to packaging. The presence of total suspended particulates (TSP) coming out of the stack causes a high accumulation of dust in residential areas. Human exposure to TSP could affect human health and wellbeing.

    Objectives: The present study aims to evaluate concentrations of TSP and to estimate the health risks of TSP exposure through the inhalation pathway in communities surrounding a private cement industry in Maros regency, Indonesia.

    Methods: Total suspended particulates were collected using a high-volume air sampler (HVAS) at five locations. Samples were taken by grab sampling for 24 hours. The SCREEN3 program was used to view the maximum range and distribution of pollutants based on the geographical, stack profiles and meteorological factors in the study area. Hazard quotient (HQ) was used to estimate non-carcinogenic risks of TSP in surrounding communities.

    Results: Total suspended particulate concentrations were measured with a maximum value of 133.24 μg/m3 and a minimum value of 18.48 μg/m3. This maximum value exceeds the minimum acceptable level from Canadian National Ambient Air Quality Objectives (C-NAAQOs). The non-carcinogenic risks from the inhalation pathway were low except for location 3 (HQ>1) across all locations.

    Conclusions: The cement plant may significantly contribute to total TSP concentrations in air and may potentially have adverse effects on human health. Communities near the cement plant are vulnerable to TSP exposure and measures are needed to reduce TSP in Maros regency, Indonesia.

    Participant Consent: Obtained.

    Ethics Approval: This study was approved by the Health Research Ethics Committee of Hasanuddin University with protocol number 28920093022.

    Competing Interests: The authors declare no competing financial interests.

  3. Palihakkara CR, Dassanayake S, Jayawardena C, Senanayake IP
    J Health Pollut, 2018 Mar;8(17):14-19.
    PMID: 30524845 DOI: 10.5696/2156-9614-8.17.14
    Background: Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a major environmental impact associated with the mining industry. Elevated acidic conditions resulting from the discharge of AMD into the surrounding environment can cause heavy metals to dissolve and transport through water streams and accumulate in the aquatic environment, posing a risk to the health of living organisms. There have been several novel approaches in the remediation of AMD involving passive treatment techniques. The constructed treatment wetland approach is a passive remediation option that has proven to be a cost effective and long-lasting solution in abating toxic pollutant concentrations.

    Objectives: The present study investigates the applicability of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), a tropical aquatic plant with reported heavy metal hyper-accumulation in microcosm floating wetland treatment systems designed to remediate AMD with copper (Cu) and cadmium (Cd) concentrations exceeding threshold limits.

    Methods: Twelve water hyacinth samples were prepared with varying concentrations of Cu (1 mg/L, 2 mg/L, 4 mg/L) and Cd (0.005 mg/L, 0.01 mg/L, 0.02 mg/L). Water samples of 5 ml each were collected from each sample at 24-hour intervals for analysis with an atomic absorption spectrometer.

    Results: Plant growth varied according to Cu and Cd concentrations and no plants survived for more than 14 days. There was a significant discrepancy in the rate at which the Cd concentrations abated. The rate of reduction was rapid for higher concentrations and after 24 hours a substantial reduction was achieved. There was a reduction in Cu concentration after the first 24-hour period, and after the next 24-hour period the concentrations were again elevated in the samples at initial concentrations of 2 mg/L and A4 mg/L. 4 mg/L Cu concentration was shown to be toxic to the plants, as they had low accumulations and rapid dying was evident.

    Conclusions: Water hyacinth has the capability to reduce both Cu and Cd concentrations, except at an initial concentration of 4 mg/L of Cu, which was toxic to the plants.

    Competing Interests: The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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