This study determined the source contribution of PM2.5 (particulate matter <2.5 μm) in air at three locations on the Malaysian Peninsula. PM2.5 samples were collected using a high volume sampler equipped with quartz filters. Ion chromatography was used to determine the ionic composition of the samples and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used to determine the concentrations of heavy metals. Principal component analysis with multilinear regressions were used to identify the possible sources of PM2.5. The range of PM2.5 was between 10 ± 3 and 30 ± 7 µg m(-3). Sulfate (SO4 (2-)) was the major ionic compound detected and zinc was found to dominate the heavy metals. Source apportionment analysis revealed that motor vehicle and soil dust dominated the composition of PM2.5 in the urban area. Domestic waste combustion dominated in the suburban area, while biomass burning dominated in the rural area.
This study examined the concentration of heavy metals in 13 fish species. The results indicated that shellfish species (clams) have the highest metal concentrations, followed by demersal and pelagic fishes. The mean concentration of metals in clams are Zn 88.74 ± 11.98 µg/g, Cu 4.96 ± 1.06 µg/g, Pb 1.22 ± 0.19 µg/g, Cd 0.34 ± 0.04 µg/g dry wt. basis, whereas the same measure in fish tissues was 58.04 ± 18.51, 2.47 ± 1.21, 0.58 ± 0.27 and 0.17 ± 0.08 µg/g dry wt. basis. The concentrations of heavy metals in clams and fish tissues were still lower than the maximum allowable concentrations as suggested by the Malaysian Food Act (1983) and are considered safe for local human consumption.
Metallothionein (MT) concentrations in gill and liver tissues of Oreochromis mossambicus were determined to assess biological response of fish to levels of some metals. Metal concentrations in gill and liver tissues of O. mossambicus ranged from 0.6 to 2.6 for Cd, 16 to 52 for Zn, 0.5 to 17 for Cu and 2 to 67 for T-Hg (all in μg/g wet weight, except for T-Hg in ng/g wet weight). Accumulation of Cd, Zn, Cu and Hg (μg/g wet weight) in the liver and gills of O. mossambicus were in the order of liver > gills. The concentrations of Cd, Zn, Cu and Hg in fish tissues were correlated with MT content. The increases in MT levels from the reference area Puchong Tengah compared to the polluted area Kampung Seri Kenangan were 3.4- and 3.8-fold for gills and livers, respectively. The results indicate that MT concentrations were tissue-specific, with the highest levels in the liver. Therefore, the liver can act as a tissue indicator in O. mossambicus in the study area.
A study has been conducted to determine the composition of surfactants in runoff water in the semi-urban area of Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia. Runoff samples were collected from five different locations with contrasting functional activities and the colorimetric method was used to analyze the concentrations of surfactants as methylene blue active substances (MBAS) for anionic surfactants and as disulphine blue active substances (DBAS) for cationic surfactants. The results showed that the highest surfactant concentrations of MBAS and DBAS in runoff water were recorded in the samples collected at the residential area, with the concentrations of 3.192 ± 0.727 and 0.170 ± 0.028 μmol/L, respectively. Anionic surfactants as MBAS were found to dominate the concentration of surfactants in both runoff and rainwater. The concentrations of both anionic and cationic surfactants in runoff water were recorded as being higher than in rainwater.
This study aims to determine the composition and sources of particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 10 μm or less (PM10) in a semi-urban area. PM10 samples were collected using a high volume sampler. Heavy metals (Fe, Zn, Pb, Mn, Cu, Cd and Ni) and cations (Na(+), K(+), Ca(2+) and Mg(2+)) were detected using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, while anions (SO4 (2-), NO3 (-), Cl(-) and F(-)) were analysed using Ion Chromatography. Principle component analysis and multiple linear regressions were used to identify the source apportionment of PM10. Results showed the average concentration of PM10 was 29.5 ± 5.1 μg/m(3). The heavy metals found were dominated by Fe, followed by Zn, Pb, Cu, Mn, Cd and Ni. Na(+) was the dominant cation, followed by Ca(2+), K(+) and Mg(2+), whereas SO4 (2-) was the dominant anion, followed by NO3 (-), Cl(-) and F(-). The main sources of PM10 were the Earth's crust/road dust, followed by vehicle emissions, industrial emissions/road activity, and construction/biomass burning.
A short-term investigation on the chemical composition of rainwater was carried out at five selected sampling stations in Kuantan district, Pahang, Malaysia. Sampling of rainwater was conducted by event basis between September and November 2011. Rainwater samples were collected using polyethylene containers and the parameters measured were cations (sodium, potassium, ammonium, calcium and magnesium) and anions (chlorides, nitrates and sulphates). The average pH value for rainwater samples was 6.0 ± 0.57 in which most of the sampling sites exhibited pH values >5.6. Calcium and sulphate were the most abundant cation and anion, respectively, whilst the concentrations of other major ions varied according to sampling location.
Wilting, especially of the leaves, was observed as an initial symptom of arsenate [As(V)] to Ludwigia octovalvis (Jacq.) P. H. Raven. The plants tolerated As(V) levels of 39 mg kg⁻¹ for as long as 35 days of exposure. After 91 days, the maximum concentration of As uptake in the plant occurred at As(V) concentration of 65 mg kg⁻¹ while As concentration in the stems, roots and leaves were 6139.9 ± 829.5, 1284.5 ± 242.9 and 1126.1 ± 117.2 mg kg⁻¹, respectively. In conclusion, As(V) could cause toxic effects in L. octovalvis and the plants could uptake and accumulate As in plant tissues.
Livers and muscles of swamp eels (Monopterus albus) were analyzed for bioaccumulation of heavy metals during the plowing stage of a paddy cycle. Results showed heavy metals were bioaccumulated more highly in liver than muscle. Zinc (Zn) was the highest bioaccumulated metal in liver (98.5 ± 8.95 μg/g) and in muscle (48.8 ± 7.17 μg/g). The lowest bioaccumulated metals were cadmium (Cd) in liver (3.44 ± 2.42 μg/g) and copper (Cu) in muscle (0.65 ± 0.20 μg/g). In sediments, Zn was present at the highest mean concentration (52.7 ± 2.85 μg/g), while Cd had the lowest mean concentration (1.04 ± 0.24 μg/g). The biota-sediment accumulation factor (BSAF) for Cu, Zn, Cd and nickel (Ni) in liver tissue was greater than the corresponding BSAF for muscle tissue. For the three plowing stages, metal concentrations were significantly correlated between liver and muscle tissues in all cases, and between sediment and either liver or muscle in most cases. Mean measured metal concentrations in muscle tissue were below the maximum permissible limits established by Malaysian and U.S. governmental agencies, and were therefore regarded as safe for human consumption.
This study aimed to find the association between urinary aflatoxin M(1) level and milk and dairy products consumption. Of 160 morning urine samples collected, aflatoxin M(1) was detected in 61.3 % samples (n = 98) [mean ± SD = 0.0234 ± 0.0177 ng/mL; range = 0-0.0747 ng/mL]. Of these positive samples, 67.3 % (n = 66) had levels above the limit of detection. Respondents with intake of milk and dairy products above median (67.79 g/day) had significantly high level of AFM(1) compared to those with low intake. A significant and positive association (φ = 0.286) was found between milk and dairy products consumption and urinary aflatoxin M(1) level.
In this study, the ranges of pollutants found in the soft tissues of Perna viridis collected from Kg. Masai and Kg. Sg. Melayu, both located in the Straits of Johore, were 0.85-1.58 μg/g dry weight (dw) for Cd, 5.52-12.2 μg/g dw for Cu, 5.66-8.93 μg/g dw for Ni and 63.4-72.3 μg/g dw for Zn, and 36.4-244 ng/g dry weight for ∑PAHs. Significantly (p < 0.05) higher concentrations of Cd, Cu, Ni, Zn and ∑PAHs in the mussels were found in the water of a seaport site at Kg. Masai than a non-seaport site at Kg. Sg. Melayu population. The ratios of low molecular weight/high molecular weight hydrocarbons (2.94-3.42) and fluoranthene/pyrene (0.43-0.45) in mussels from both sites indicated the origin of the PAHs to be mainly petrogenic. This study has demonstrated the utility of using the soft tissues of P. viridis as a biomonitor of PAH contamination and bioavailability in the coastal waters of Peninsular Malaysia.
Toxic cyanobacteria blooms are increasing in magnitude and frequency worldwide. However, this issue has not been adequately addressed in Malaysia. Therefore, this study aims to better understand eutrophication levels, cyanobacteria diversity, and microcystin concentrations in ten Malaysian freshwater lakes. The results revealed that most lakes were eutrophic, with total phosphorus and total chlorophyll-a concentrations ranging from 15 to 4270 µg L(-1) and 1.1 to 903.1 µg L(-1), respectively. Cyanobacteria were detected in all lakes, and identified as Microcystis spp., Planktothrix spp., Phormidium spp., Oscillatoria spp., and Lyngbya spp. Microcystis spp. was the most commonly observed and most abundant cyanobacteria recorded. Semi-quantitative microcystin analysis indicated the presence of microcystin in all lakes. These findings illustrate the potential health risk of cyanobacteria in Malaysia freshwater lakes, thus magnifying the importance of cyanobacteria monitoring and management in Malaysian waterways.
Urban environmental quality is vital to be investigated as the majority of people live in cities. However, given the continuous urbanization and industrialization in urban areas, heavy metals are continuously emitted into the terrestrial environment and pose a great threat to human. In this study, a total of 76 urban surface soil samples were collected in the Klang district (Malaysia), and analyzed for total and bioavailable heavy metal concentrations by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry. Results showed that the concentrations of bioavailable heavy metals declined in the order of Al, Fe, Zn, Cu, Co, Cd, Pb, and Cr, and the concentrations of total heavy metals declined in the order of Fe, Al, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cr, Co, and Cd. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that heavy metals could be grouped into three principal components, with PC1 containing Al and Fe, PC2 comprising Cd, Co, Cr, and Cu, and PC3 with only Zn. PCA results showed that PC1 may originate from natural sources, whereas PC2 and PC3 most likely originated from anthropogenic sources. Health risk assessment indicated that heavy metal contamination in the Klang district was below the acceptable threshold for carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks in adults, but above the acceptable threshold for carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks in children.
Glutathione-S-Transferase (GST) and metallothionein are important biomarker endpoints in studying the effect of Cd exposure. The purpose of this research was to study the correlation between hepatic GST and metallothionein with hepatic Cd in wild Fejervarya limnocharis exposed to environmental Cd. Results showed that frogs from contaminated sites had significantly higher hepatic metallothionein (3.58 mg/kg wet weight) and GST activity (0.259 μmol/min/mg total protein) than those from the reference site (2.36 mg/kg wet weight and 0.157 μmol/min/mg total protein respectively). There was a significantly positive correlation between hepatic Cd and GST activity (r = 0.802, p = 0.009) but not between hepatic Cd and metallothionein (r = 0.548, p = 0.139). The results concluded that while frogs from the contaminated site had higher GST and metallothionein, only GST showed significant positive correlation with hepatic Cd levels, indicating that hepatic GST activity may be used as a biomarker endpoint.
A baseline study was carried out to assess the metal concentrations and microbial contamination at selected Lake waters in and around Miri City, East Malaysia. Sixteen surface water samples were collected at specific Lakes in the environs of major settlement areas and recreational centers in Miri City. The Physico-chemical parameters [pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC) and Dissolved Oxygen (DO)], metals (Fe, Mn, Cu, Cd, Ni and Zn) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) were analysed. The concentrations of Fe, Mn and Ni have been found to be above the permissible limits of drinking water quality standards. The metals data have also been used for the calculation of heavy metal pollution index. Higher values of E. coli indicate microbial contamination in the Lake waters.
The distribution of total petrogenic hydrocarbon was investigated in the subsurface water of Setiu Wetland from July to October 2008. The concentration was quantified by UV-fluorescence spectroscopy and ranged from 4 to 121 μg/L (mean 60 ± 41 μg/L). Higher total petrogenic hydrocarbon concentrations were found in area with high boating activities suggesting that the contribution is likely related to fossil fuel combustion. The present study also revealed that the total petrogenic hydrocarbon values are still lower that those reported in Malaysian coastal waters.
The concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil samples were measured at five different sites within Klang Valley, Malaysia. The results showed that the total concentrations of the fourteen priority PAHs ranged from 64 to 155 μg/kg. Irrespective of the land use, all the measured soil PAH concentrations in this study were significantly lower than that found in soil samples in temperate regions. The profile of PAHs in the soils was dominated by the LMW PAHs. The PAHs in Klang Valley soils originated from pyrogenic sources, with a combination of petroleum and biomass combustion in vehicles, industries and non-point sources.
Present study was conducted to evaluate current status of trace elements contamination in the surface sediments of the Johor Strait. Iron (2.54 +/- 1.24%) was found as the highest occurring element, followed by those of zinc (210.45 +/- 115.4 microg/g), copper (57.84 +/- 45.54 microg/g), chromium (55.50 +/- 31.24 microg/g), lead (52.52 +/- 28.41 microg/g), vanadium (47.76 +/- 25.76 microg/g), arsenic (27.30 +/- 17.11 microg/g), nickel (18.31 +/- 11.77 microg/g), cobalt (5.13 +/- 3.12 microg/g), uranium (4.72 +/- 2.52 microg/g), and cadmium (0.30 +/- 0.30 microg/g), respectively. Bioavailability of cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, arsenic and cadmium were higher than 50% of total concentration. Vanadium, copper, zinc, arsenic and cadmium were found significantly different between the eastern and western part of the strait (p < 0.05). Combining with other factors, Johor Strait is suitable as a hotspot for trace elements contamination related studies.
The effects of initial oil concentration and the Corexit 9500 dispersant on the rate of bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons were investigated with a series of ex-situ seawater samples. With initial oil concentrations of 100, 500, 1,000 and 2,000 mg/L, removal of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) with dispersant were 67.3%, 62.5%, 56.5% and 44.7%, respectively, and were 64.2%, 55.7%, 48.8% and 37.6% without dispersant. The results clearly indicate that the presence of dispersant enhanced crude oil biodegradation. Lower concentrations of crude oil demonstrated more efficient hydrocarbon removal. Based on these findings, bioremediation is not recommended for crude oil concentrations of 2,000 mg/L or higher.
Surface sediments along the south of Caspian Sea were collected to evaluate the contamination of heavy metals. The result ranged (μg/g, Fe% dw): Pb(13.06-33.48); Ni(18.01-69.63); Cd(0.62-1.5); Zn(30.11-87.88); Cu(5.86-26.37) and Fe(1.8-4%) respectively. Cadmium showed higher EF when compared to other sites. Geoaccumulation Index value for Cd in most stations was classified as moderately contaminated and moderately to strongly contaminated, as well as the average of I(geo) of Cd (1.77 ± 0.35) suggested that surface sediments of Caspian coast were moderately polluted by this metal. The result of the Pearson correlation showed that there were significant positive associations between Ni, Cd and Zn (r = 0.44-0.76; p < 0.01).
Weathered crude oil (WCO) removals in shoreline sediment samples were monitored for 60 days in bioremediation experimentation. Experimental modeling was carried out using statistical design of experiments. At optimum conditions maximum of 83.13, 78.06 and 69.92% WCO removals were observed for 2, 16 and 30 g/kg initial oil concentrations, respectively. Significant variations in the crude oil degradation pattern were observed with respect to oil, nutrient and microorganism contents. Crude oil bioremediation were successfully described by a first-order kinetic model. The study indicated that the rate of hydrocarbon biodegradation increased with decrease of crude oil concentrations.