This study aimed to investigate the chemical composition and potential sources of PM10 as well as assess the potential health hazards it posed to school children. PM10 samples were taken from classrooms at a school in Kuala Lumpur's city centre (S1) and one in the suburban city of Putrajaya (S2) over a period of eight hours using a low volume sampler (LVS). The composition of the major ions and trace metals in PM10 were then analysed using ion chromatography (IC) and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), respectively. The results showed that the average PM10 concentration inside the classroom at the city centre school (82µg/m(3)) was higher than that from the suburban school (77µg/m(3)). Principal component analysis-absolute principal component scores (PCA-APCS) revealed that road dust was the major source of indoor PM10 at both school in the city centre (36%) and the suburban location (55%). The total hazard quotient (HQ) calculated, based on the formula suggested by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), was found to be slightly higher than the acceptable level of 1, indicating that inhalation exposure to particle-bound non-carcinogenic metals of PM10, particularly Cr exposure by children and adults occupying the school environment, was far from negligible.
Lansium domesticum peel (LDP), a waste material generated from the fruit consumption, was evaluated as a biosorbent for nickel removal from aqueous media. The effects of dosage, contact time, initial pH, initial concentration and temperature on the biosorption process were investigated in batch experiments. Equilibrium data were fitted by the Langmuir, Freundlich, Temkin and Dubinin-Radushkevich models using nonlinear regression method with the best-fit model evaluated based on coefficient of determination (R(2)) and Chi-square (χ(2)). The best-fit isotherm was found to be the Langmuir model exhibiting R(2) very close to unity (0.997-0.999), smallest χ(2) (0.0138-0.0562) and largest biosorption capacity (10.1mg/g) at 30°C. Kinetic studies showed that the initial nickel removal was rapid with the equilibrium state established within 30min. Pseudo-second-order model was the best-fit kinetic model indicating the chemisorption nature of the biosorption process. Further data analysis by the intraparticle diffusion model revealed the involvement of several rate-controlling steps such as boundary layer and intraparticle diffusion. Thermodynamically, the process was exothermic, spontaneous and feasible. Regeneration studies indicated that LDP biosorbent could be regenerated using hydrochloric acid solution with up to 85% efficiency. The present investigation proved that LDP having no economic value can be used as an alternative eco-friendly biosorbent for remediation of nickel contaminated water.
Concentrations of the heavy metals copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), zinc (Zn), lead (Pb) and nickel (Ni) were determined in the liver, gills and muscles of tilapia fish from the Langat River and Engineering Lake, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia. There were differences in the concentrations of the studied heavy metals between different organs and between sites. In the liver samples, Cu>Zn>Ni>Pb>Cd, and in the gills and muscle, Zn>Ni>Cu>Pb>Cd. Levels of Cu, Cd, Zn and Pb in the liver samples from Engineering Lake were higher than in those from the Langat River, whereas the Ni levels in the liver samples from the Langat River were greater than in those from Engineering Lake. Cd levels in the fish muscle from Engineering Lake were lower than in that from the Langat River. Meanwhile, the Cd, Zn and Pb levels in the fish muscle from the Langat River were lower than in that from Engineering Lake, and the Ni levels were almost the same in the fish muscle samples from the two sites. The health risks associated with Cu, Cd, Zn, Pb and Ni were assessed based on the target hazard quotients. In the Langat River, the risk from Cu is minimal compared to the other studied elements, and the concentrations of Pb and Ni were determined to pose the greatest risk. The maximum allowable fish consumption rates (kg/d) based on Cu in Engineering Lake and the Langat River were 2.27 and 1.51 in December and 2.53 and 1.75 in February, respectively. The Cu concentrations resulted in the highest maximum allowable fish consumption rates compared with the other studied heavy metals, whereas those based on Pb were the lowest. A health risk analysis of the heavy metals measured in the fish muscle samples indicated that the fish can be classified at one of the safest levels for the general population and that there are no possible risks pertaining to tilapia fish consumption.
Experiments were conducted to remove heavy metals (Cr, Cd, Pb, Cu and Zn) from urban sewage sludge (SS) amended with spent mushroom compost (SMC) using worms, Lumbricus rubellus, for 105 days, after 21 days of pre-composting. Five combinations of SS/SMC treatments were prepared in triplicate along with a control for each treatment in microcosms. Analysis of the earthworms' multiplication and growth and laboratory analysis were conducted during the tenth and fifteenth week of vermicomposting. Our result showed that the final biomass of earthworms (mg) and final number of earthworms showed significant differences between treatments i.e. F=554.70, P=0.00 and F=729.10, P=0.00 respectively. The heavy metals Cr, Cd and Pb contained in vermicompost were lower than initial concentrations, with 90-98.7 percent removal on week ten. However, concentrations of Cu and Zn, that are considered as micronutrients, were higher than initial concentrations, but they were 10-200-fold lower than the EU and USA biosolid compost limits and Malaysian Recommended Site Screening Levels for Contaminated Land (SSLs). An increment of heavy metals were recorded in vermicompost for all treatments on week fifteen compared to week ten, while concentration of heavy metals in earthworms' tissue were lower compared to vermicompost. Hence, it is suggested that earthworms begin to discharge heavy metals into their surroundings and it was evident that the earthworms' heavy metals excretion period was within the interval of ten to fifteen weeks.
Three 1-(2-hydroxyethyl)-3-alkylimidazolium chloride room temperature ionic liquids (ILs) [2OHimC(n)][Cl]; (n=0, 1, 4) have been synthesized from the appropriate imidazole precursors and characterized by IR and NMR spectroscopies and elemental analysis. Their anti-microbial activities were investigated using the well-diffusion method. The viabilities of Escherichia coli, Aeromonas hydrophila, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica as a function of IL concentrations were studied. The minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and EC₅₀ values for the present ILs were within the concentration range from 60 to 125 mM and 23 to 73 mM. The anti-microbial potencies of the present ILs were compared to a standard antibiotic, gentamicin. The finding affords additional perspective on the level of ILs toxicity to aquatic lifeforms and yet, this characteristic can be readily harnessed to detect microbial growth and activity.
Adsorption capacity of an agricultural waste, palm-tree fruit stones (date stones), for phenolic compounds such as phenol (Ph) and p-nitro phenol (PNPh) at different temperatures was investigated. The characteristics of such waste biomass were determined and found to have a surface area and iodine number of 495.71 m2/g and 475.88 mg/g, respectively. The effects of pH (2-12), adsorbent dose (0.6-0.8 g/L) and contact time (0-150 min) on the adsorptive removal process were studied. Maximum removal percentages of 89.95% and 92.11% were achieved for Ph and PNPh, respectively. Experimental equilibrium data for adsorption of both components were analyzed by the Langmuir, Freundlich and Tempkin isotherm models. The results show that the best fit was achieved with the Langmuir isotherm equation with maximum adsorption capacities of 132.37 and 161.44 mg/g for Ph and PNPh, respectively. The kinetic data were fitted to pseudo-first order, pseudo-second order and intraparticle diffusion models, and was found to follow closely the pseudo-second order model for both components. The calculated thermodynamic parameters, namely ΔG, ΔH, and ΔS showed that adsorption of Ph and PNPh was spontaneous and endothermic under examined conditions.
This study examined the potential of artificial neural network (ANN) modeling to infer timing, route and dose of contaminant exposure from biomarkers in a freshwater fish. Hepatic glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity and biliary concentrations of BaP, 1-OH BaP, 3-OH BaP and 7,8D BaP were quantified in juvenile Clarias gariepinus injected intramuscularly or intraperitoneally with 10-50 mg/kg benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) 1-3 d earlier. A feedforward multilayer perceptron (MLP) ANN resulted in more accurate prediction of timing, route and exposure dose than a linear neural network or a radial basis function (RBF) ANN. MLP sensitivity analyses revealed contribution of all five biomarkers to predicting route of exposure but no contribution of hepatic GST activity or one of the two hydroxylated BaP metabolites to predicting time of exposure and dose of exposure. We conclude that information content of biomarkers collected from fish can be extended by judicious use of ANNs.
This study investigated the dose-dependent and time-course effects of intramuscular (i.m.) and intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) on the biomarkers EROD activity, GST activity, concentrations of BaP metabolites in bile, and visceral fat deposits (Lipid Somatic Index, LSI) in African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Intraperitoneal injection resulted in 4.5 times higher accumulation of total selected biliary FACs than i.m. injection. Hepatic GST activities were inhibited by BaP via both injection methods. Dose-response relationships between BaP injection and both biliary FAC concentrations and hepatic GST activities were linear in the i.p. injected group but nonlinear in the i.m. injected fish. Hepatic EROD activity and LSI were not significantly affected by BaP exposure by either injection route. We conclude that i.p. is a more effective route of exposure than i.m. for future ecotoxicological studies of PAH exposure in C. gariepinus.
Abundance and diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates as well as physico-chemical parameters were investigated in five rivers of the Juru River Basin in northern Peninsula Malaysia: Ceruk Tok Kun River (CTKR), Pasir River (PR), Permatang Rawa River (PRR), Kilang Ubi River (KUR), and Juru River (JR). The physico-chemical parameters and calculated water quality index (WQI) were significantly different among the investigated rivers (ANOVA, P<0.05). The WQI classified CTKR, PR, and JR into class III (slightly polluted). However, PRR and KUR fell into class IV (polluted). High diversity and abundance of macroinvertebrates, especially the intolerant taxa, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera, were observed in the least polluted river, CTKR. Decreasing abundance of macroinvertebrates followed the deterioration of river water quality with the least number of the most tolerant taxa collected from PR. On the basis of composition and sensitivity of macroinvertebrates to pollutants in each river, the highest Biological Monitoring Working Party (BMWP) index score of 93 was reported in CTKR (good water quality). BMWP scores in PRR and JR were 38.7 and 20.1, respectively, classifying both of them into "moderate water quality" category. Poor water quality was reported in PR and KUR. The outcome of the multivariate analysis (CCA) was highly satisfactory, explaining 43.32% of the variance for the assemblages of macroinvertebrates as influenced by 19 physical and chemical variables. According to the CCA model, we assert that there were three levels of stresses on macroinvertebrate communities in the investigated rivers: Level 1, characterized of undisturbed or slightly polluted as in the case of CTKR; Level 2, characterized by a lower habitat quality (the JR) compared to the CTKR; and Level 3 showed severe environmental stresses (PRR, PR, and KUR) primarily contributed by agricultural, industrial, and municipal discharges.
This reconnaissance study of radon concentrations in the Great Cave of Niah in Sarawak shows that in relatively deep pits and trenches in surficial deposits largely covered by protective shelters with poor ventilation, excavators are working in a micro-environment in which radon concentrations at the ground surface can exceed those of the surrounding area by a factor of > x 2. Although radon concentrations in this famous cave are low by world standards (alpha track-etch results ranging from 100 to 3075 Bq m(-3)), they still may pose a health risk to both excavators (personal dosemeter readings varied from 0.368 to 0.857 mSv for 60 days of work) and cave occupants (1 yr exposure at 15 h per day with an average radon level of 608 Bq m(-3) giving a dose of 26.42 mSv). The data here presented also demonstrate that there is considerable local variation in radon levels in such environments as these.
The concentrations of Cu, Pb, and Zn in the crystalline style (CS) and in the remaining soft tissues (ST) of the green-lipped mussel Perna viridis from 10 geographical sites along the coastal waters off peninsular Malaysia were determined. The CS, compared with the remaining ST, accumulated higher levels of Cu in both contaminated and uncontaminated samples, indicating that the style has a higher affinity for the essential Cu to bind with metallothioneins. The similar pattern of Cu accumulation in the different ST of mussels collected from clean and Cu-contaminated sites indicated that the detoxification capacity of the metallothioneins had not been overloaded. For Pb, higher levels of the metal in the CS than in the remaining ST were found only in mussels collected from a contaminated site at Kg. Pasir Puteh. This indicated a tissue redistribution of Pb due to its binding to metallothioneins for Pb detoxification and the potential of the CS as an indicator organ of Pb bioavailability and contamination. For Zn, the above two phenomena were not found since no obvious patterns were observed (lower levels of Zn in the CS than in the remaining ST) in contaminated and uncontaminated samples due to the mechanism of partial regulation. Generally, all the different STs studied (foot, mantle, gonad, CS, gill, muscle, and byssus) are good biomonitoring tissues for Cu and Pb bioavailabilities and contamination. Among these organs, the CS was found to be the best organ for biomonitoring Cu. The present data also suggest the use of the tissue redistribution of Pb in P. viridis as an indicator of Pb bioavailability and contamination in coastal waters.
A study of the impacts of anthropogenic activities on the distribution and biodiversity of benthic macroinvertebrates and water quality of the Langat River (Peninsular Malaysia) was conducted. Four pristine stations from the upstream and 4 stations at the downstream receiving anthropogenic impacts were selected along the river. For 4 consecutive months (March-June 1999), based on the Malaysian DOE (Malaysia Environmental Quality Report 2000, Department of Environment, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment Malaysia. Maskha Sdn. Bhd. Kuala Lumpur, 86pp; Malaysia Environmental Quality Report 2001, Department of Environment, Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment Malaysia) water quality index classes, the upstream stations recorded significantly (P<0.05) higher Biological Monitoring Working Party scores and better water quality indices than those of the downstream. The total number of macrobenthic taxa and their overall richness indices and diversity indices were significantly (P<0.05) higher at the upstream stations (54 taxa) than at the downstream stations (5 taxa). The upstream of the Langat River was dominated by Ephemeroptera and chironomid dipterans while other orders found in small quantities included Trichoptera, Diptera, Plecoptera, Odonata, Ephemeraptera, Coleoptera, and Gastropoda. On the other hand, the downstream of the river was mainly inhabited by the resistant Oligochaeta worms Limnodrilus spp. and Branchiodrilus sp. and Hirudinea in small numbers. The relationships between the physicochemical and the macrobenthic data were investigated by Pearson correlation analysis and multiple stepwise regression analysis. These statistical analyses showed that the richness and diversity indices were generally influenced by the total suspended solids and the conductivity of the river water. This study also highlighted the impacts of anthropogenic land-based activities such as urban runoff on the distribution and species diversity of macrobenthic invertebrates in the downstream of the Langat River. The data obtained in this study supported the use of the bioindicator concept for Malaysian rivers. Some sensitive (Trichopteran caddisflies and Ephemeraptera) and resistant species (Oligochaeta such as Limnodrilus spp.) are identified as potential bioindicators of clean and polluted river ecosystems, respectively, for Malaysian rivers.
The uptake and elimination of copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), and zinc (Zn) by the amphipod Hyalella azteca during exposure to the metals singly and in various combinations was examined in controlled laboratory experiments. In single metal exposures the accumulation of all metals was rapid and increased with exposure time. Copper elimination was slower compared to that for zinc and for cadmium no elimination was detected after 5 days in clean water. In the two-metal mixtures it appears that the presence of one metal influenced the bioconcentration of the other, since the bioconcentration factor (BCF) for copper was higher in the presence of cadmium than in the presence of zinc and in the case of cadmium, the decrease of K(1) values from cadmium single exposure to the binary and tertiary mixtures suggests possible inhibition of cadmium uptake by the other metals. In the case of the three-metal mixture the situation is less clear, with both increased and decreased BCFs recorded, in comparison to single-metal and two-metal mixtures, suggesting both stimulation and inhibition of metal accumulation.
Three species of tropical estuarine invertebrates were exposed to copper sulfate and cadmium chloride to investigate their potential as test specimens for sediment toxicity assays in the South-east Asian regions. The larvae of the reef sea urchin (Diadema setosum), the oyster (Crassostrea iradalei), and the mud crab (Scylla seratta Forskall) were used in the 48-hr assays with copper and cadmium as reference toxicants. In addition the sea urchin were tested for end point measurements at different stages of the larval development and a 60-min sperm bioassay. The study revealed that the sea urchin first cleavage, which is an assay end point and which takes place about 1 hr after fertilization, was the most sensitive stage for both toxicants, with copper being more toxic than cadmium. Sensitivity comparisons between the three invertebrate larvae revealed the mud crab zoea larvae to be most sensitive for cadmium with an LC50 value of 0.078 microgram/ml, while the sea urchin was more sensitive for copper, with EC50 values of 0.01 microgram/ml at the first cleavage stage and 0.04 microgram/ml at the pluteus larva stage. All the invertebrates tested gave responses that made them suitable test organisms for metal bioassays in the tropical estuarine environment.
The distributions of Cu, Zn, and Pb concentrations in the selected soft tissues (foot, cephalic tentacle, mantle, muscle, gill, digestive caecum, and remaining soft tissues) and shells of the mud-flat snail Telescopium telescopium were determined in snails from eight geographical sites in the south-western intertidal area of Peninsular Malaysia. Generally, the digestive caecum compared with other selected soft tissues, accumulated higher concentration of Zn (214.35+/-14.56 microg/g dry weight), indicating that the digestive caecum has higher affinity for the essential Zn to bind to metallothionein. The shell demonstrated higher concentrations of Pb (41.23+/-1.20 microg/g dry weight) when compared to the selected soft tissues except gill from Kuala Sg. Ayam (95.76+/-5.32 microg/g dry weight). The use of different soft tissues also can solve the problem of defecation to reduce error in interpreting the bioavailability of heavy metals in the intertidal area.
In this study, modified polyethersulfone (PES) and cellulose acetate (CA) membranes were used in the treatment of car wash effluent using ultrafiltration. Hydrophilic sulfonated poly ether ether ketone (SPEEK) and bentonite as nanoclay were used as additives for the PES and CA membrane modification. Performances of modified membranes were compared with commercial PES membrane with 10kDa molecular weight cut off (MWCO). The influencing parameters like stirrer speed (250-750rpm) and transmembrane pressure (100-600kPa) (TMP) were varied and their effects were studied as a function of flux. In the treatment of car wash effluent, a higher permeate flux of 52.3L/m(2)h was obtained for modified CA membrane at TMP of 400kPa and stirrer speed of 750rpm. In comparison with modified PES membrane and commercial PES membrane, modified CA membranes showed better performance in terms of flux and flux recovery ratio. The highest COD removal (60%) was obtained for modified CA membrane and a lowest COD removal (47%) was observed for commercial PES membrane. The modified membranes were better at removing COD, turbidity and maintained more stable flux than commercial PES membrane, suggesting they will provide better economic performance in car wash effluent reclamation.
Recently noted that the methylene blue cause severe central nervous system toxicity. It is essential to optimize the methylene blue from aqueous environment. In this study, a comparison of an optimization of methylene blue was investigated by using modified Ca(2+) and Zn(2+) bio-polymer hydrogel beads. A batch mode study was conducted using various parameters like time, dye concentration, bio-polymer dose, pH and process temperature. The isotherms, kinetics, diffusion and thermodynamic studies were performed for feasibility of the optimization process. Freundlich and Langmuir isotherm equations were used for the prediction of isotherm parameters and correlated with dimensionless separation factor (RL). Pseudo-first order and pseudo-second order Lagegren's kinetic equations were used for the correlation of kinetic parameters. Intraparticle diffusion model was employed for diffusion of the optimization process. The Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) shows different absorbent peaks of Ca(2+) and Zn(2+) beads and the morphology of the bio-polymer material analyzed with Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The TG & DTA studies show that good thermal stability with less humidity without production of any non-degraded products.
In this study, laundry wastewater filtration was studied using hydrophilic polyvinylpyrollidone (PVP) modified polyethersulfone (PES) ultrafiltration membranes. The performances of PES/PVP membranes were assessed using commercial PES membrane with 10kDa in ultrafiltration. Operating parameters The influence of transmembrane pressure (TMP) and stirring speed on laundry wastewater flux was investigated. A higher permeate flux of 55.2L/m(2)h was obtained for modified PES membrane with high concentration of PVP at TMP of 500kPa and 750rpm of stirring speed. The separation efficiencies of membranes were also studied with respect to chemical oxygen demand (COD), total dissolved solids (TDS), turbidity and conductivity. Results showed that PES membrane with 10% of PVP had higher permeate flux, flux recovery and less fouling when compared with other membranes. Higher COD and TDS rejection of 88% and 82% were also observed for modified membranes due to the improved surface property of membranes. This indicated that modified PES membranes are suitable for the treatment of surfactant, detergent and oil from laundry wastewater.
In vitro Lead (Pb(2+)) binding capacity of two probiotic bacteria strains, namely Bifidobacterium longumBB79 and Lactobacillus pentosusITA23, was assessed following incubation with the intestinal contents (IC) of laying hens. Results of this study demonstrated that IC treatment significantly enhanced (P<0.01) Pb(2+) binding capacity of both bacterial strains. Fourier transform infrared analysis indicated that several functional groups (O-H or N-H, C-H, C˭O, C-O, and C-O-C) on the bacteria cell wall involved in metal ion binding were altered after IC incubation, and new groups appeared between the 3700cm(-1) and 4000cm(-1)bands. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that after incubation with IC, unidentified IC components created new binding sites on the bacterial cell surface. These particles also changed the mechanism of Pb(2+) binding of the two strains from intracellular accumulation to extracellular adsorption.
Box-Behnken model of response surface methodology was used to study the effect of adsorption process parameters for Rhodamine B (RhB) removal from aqueous solution through optimized large surface area date stone activated carbon. The set experiments with three input parameters such as time (10-600min), adsorbent dosage (0.5-10g/L) and temperature (25-50°C) were considered for statistical significance. The adequate relation was found between the input variables and response (removal percentage of RhB) and Fisher values (F- values) along with P-values suggesting the significance of various term coefficients. At an optimum adsorbent dose of 0.53g/L, time 593min and temperature 46.20°C, the adsorption capacity of 210mg/g was attained with maximum desirability. The negative values of Gibb(')s free energy (ΔG) predicted spontaneity and feasibility of adsorption; whereas, positive Enthalpy change (ΔH) confirmed endothermic adsorption of RhB onto optimized large surface area date stone activated carbons (OLSADS-AC). The adsorption data were found to be the best fit on the Langmuir model supporting monolayer type of adsorption of RhB with maximum monolayer layer adsorption capacity of 196.08mg/g.