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  1. Thomes MW, Vaezzadeh V, Zakaria MP, Bong CW
    Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2019 Nov;26(31):32672-32673.
    PMID: 31520373 DOI: 10.1007/s11356-019-06373-7
    The original publication of this paper contains a mistake. The correct image of figure 2 is shown in this paper.
  2. Thomes MW, Vaezzadeh V, Zakaria MP, Bong CW
    Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2019 Nov;26(31):31555-31580.
    PMID: 31440968 DOI: 10.1007/s11356-019-05936-y
    Southeast Asia has undergone rapid developments in terms of urbanization, economic and population growth. The progress in sewerage treatment infrastructure has not kept pace with such developments. The inadequacy and inefficiency of sewerage systems has prompted the release of untreated sewage into the aquatic environment of Southeast Asia causing many waterborne illnesses since surface water is utilized for recreational, agricultural and aquaculture purposes and, above all, as a source of water intake in Southeast Asia. This paper will review the current data on molecular markers of sewage pollution including sterols and linear alkylbenzenes (LABs) in Southeast Asian aquatic environment to clarify the state of sewage pollution and the competence of sewage treatment plants (STPs) in this area. Despite the importance of sewage pollution research in the region, the number of studies using molecular markers to trace the sources of sewage pollution is limited. So far, indicators of sewage pollution have been investigated in aquatic environments of Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Brunei among Southeast Asian countries. The concentrations and diagnostic ratios of faecal sterols and LABs show the release of untreated and primary treated urban waste into water bodies of these countries. Further studies are required to fill the data gaps in Southeast Asia and come to a better understanding of the trends of sewage pollution in this part of the world. Graphical abstract.
  3. Vaezzadeh V, Yi X, Rais FR, Bong CW, Thomes MW, Lee CW, et al.
    Mar Pollut Bull, 2021 Nov;172:112871.
    PMID: 34428623 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112871
    Concentrations, sources and interactions between black carbon (BC) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated in 42 sediment samples collected from riverine, coastal and shelf areas in Peninsular Malaysia. The concentrations of BC measured by benzene polycarboxylic acid (BPCA) method and PAHs showed broad spatial variations between the relatively pristine environment of the East coast and developed environment of the West and South coast ranging from 0.02 to 0.36% dw and 57.7 ng g-1 dw to 19,300 ng g-1 dw, respectively. Among diagnostic ratios of PAHs, the ratios of Ant/(Ant+Phe) and LMW/HMW drew the clearest distinctions between the East coast versus the West and South coast sediments indicating the predominance of petrogenic sources in the former versus pyrogenic sources in the latter. PAHs significantly correlated with BC and total organic carbon (TOC) in the sediments (p 
  4. Du P, Liu X, Zhong G, Zhou Z, Thomes MW, Lee CW, et al.
    PMID: 32023897 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17030889
    Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia play a major role in global drug trade and abuse. Use of amphetamine-type stimulants has increased in the past decade in Malaysia. This study aimed to apply wastewater-based epidemiology for the first time in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to estimate the consumption of common illicit drugs in urban population. Influent wastewater samples were collected from two wastewater treatment plants in Kuala Lumpur in the summer of 2017. Concentrations of twenty-four drug biomarkers were analyzed for estimating drug consumption. Fourteen drug residues were detected with concentrations of up to 1640 ng/L. Among the monitored illicit drugs, 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) or ecstasy had the highest estimated per capita consumptions. Consumption and dose of amphetamine-type stimulants (methamphetamine and MDMA) were both an order of magnitude higher than those of opioids (heroin and codeine, methadone and tramadol). Amphetamine-type stimulants were the most prevalent drugs, replacing opioids in the drug market. The prevalence trend measured by wastewater-based epidemiology data reflected the shift to amphetamine-type stimulants as reported by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Narcotics Cooperation Center. Most of the undetected drug residues were new psychoactive substances (NPSs), suggesting a low prevalence of NPSs in the drug market.
  5. Vaezzadeh V, Thomes MW, Kunisue T, Tue NM, Zhang G, Zakaria MP, et al.
    Chemosphere, 2021 Jan;263:128272.
    PMID: 33297216 DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128272
    Barnacles are ubiquitous in coastal ecosystems of different geographical regions worldwide. This is the first study attempting to assess the suitability of barnacles as bioindicators of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in coastal environments. Barnacles were collected from the coasts around Peninsular Malaysia and analyzed for POPs including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). Among POPs, PCBs showed the highest concentrations with elevated contributions of CB28 and CB153. As for PBDEs, BDE47 was the most frequently detected congener, while BDE209 was detected in barnacles from two stations in Port Klang and the levels reached up to >70% of total PBDE concentrations. Concentrations of OCPs detected in barnacles were in the order of CHLs > DDTs > HCHs > HCB and 4,4'-DDE and cis- and trans-chlordane were the predominant OCP compounds. A comparison with previous studies in Malaysia showed consistent levels of POPs. Green mussels collected from selected barnacles' habitats, for the sake of a comparison, showed almost similar profiles but lower concentrations of POPs. The spatial distribution of POPs observed in barnacles and comparison of POP levels and profiles with mussels indicated that barnacles can be useful bioindicators for monitoring POPs contamination in the coastal ecosystems.
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