Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 70 in total

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  1. Vibol S, Hashim JH, Sarmani S
    Environ Res, 2015 Feb;137:329-37.
    PMID: 25601736 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2014.12.001
    The research was carried out at 3 study sites with varying groundwater arsenic (As) levels in the Kandal Province of Cambodia. Kampong Kong Commune was chosen as a highly contaminated site (300-500μg/L), Svay Romiet Commune was chosen as a moderately contaminated site (50-300μg/L) and Anlong Romiet Commune was chosen as a control site. Neurobehavioral tests on the 3 exposure groups were conducted using a modified WHO neurobehavioral core test battery. Seven neurobehavioral tests including digit symbol, digit span, Santa Ana manual dexterity, Benton visual retention, pursuit aiming, trail making and simple reaction time were applied. Children's hair samples were also collected to investigate the influence of hair As levels on the neurobehavioral test scores. The results from the inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analyses of hair samples showed that hair As levels at the 3 study sites were significantly different (p<0.001), whereby hair samples from the highly contaminated site (n=157) had a median hair As level of 0.93μg/g, while the moderately contaminated site (n=151) had a median hair As level of 0.22μg/g, and the control site (n=214) had a median hair As level of 0.08μg/g. There were significant differences among the 3 study sites for all the neurobehavioral tests scores, except for digit span (backward) test. Multiple linear regression clearly shows a positive significant influence of hair As levels on all the neurobehavioral test scores, except for digit span (backward) test, after controlling for hair lead (Pb), manganese (Mn) and cadmium (Cd). Children with high hair As levels experienced 1.57-4.67 times greater risk of having lower neurobehavioral test scores compared to those with low hair As levels, after adjusting for hair Pb, Mn and Cd levels and BMI status. In conclusion, arsenic-exposed school children from the Kandal Province of Cambodia with a median hair As level of 0.93µg/g among those from the highly contaminated study site, showed clear evidence of neurobehavioral effects.
  2. Phan K, Kim KW, Hashim JH
    Environ Res, 2014 Nov;135:37-41.
    PMID: 25262072 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2014.07.031
    We investigated relationship of arsenicosis symptoms with total blood arsenic (BAs) and serum albumin (SAlb) of residents in the Mekong River basin of Cambodia. We found that arsenicosis patients had significantly higher BAs and lower SAlb than asymptomatic villagers (Mann-Whitney U test, p<0.01). Arsenicosis symptoms were found to be 76.4% (1.764 times) more likely to develop among individuals having an SAlb≤44.3gL(-1) than among those who had an SAlb>44.3gL(-1) (OR=1.764, 95% CI=0.999-3.114) and 117.6% (2.176 times) as likely to occur among those with BAs>5.73µgL(-1) than for those having BAs≤5.73µgL(-1) (OR=2.176, 95% CI=1.223-3.872). Furthermore, a significant negative correlation was also found between BAs and SAlb (rs (199)=-0.354, p<0.0001). As such, this study suggests that people with low SAlb and/or high BAs are likely to rapidly develop arsenicosis symptoms.
  3. Lim YA, Lai MM, Mahdy MA, Mat Naim HR, Smith HV
    Environ Res, 2009 Oct;109(7):857-9.
    PMID: 19664767 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2009.07.007
    We used a combined microscopy-molecular approach to determine the occurrence and identities of waterborne Giardia sp. cysts isolated from 18 separate, 10l grab samples collected from a Malaysian zoo. Microscopy revealed that 17 of 18 samples were Giardia cyst positive with concentrations ranging from 1 to 120 cysts/l. Nine (52.9%) of the 17 cyst positive samples produced amplicons of which 7 (77.8%) could be sequenced. Giardia duodenalis assemblage A (6 of 7) and assemblage B (1 of 7), both infectious to humans, were identified at all sampling sites at the zoo. The presence of human infectious cysts raises public health issues, and their occurrence, abundance and sources should be investigated further. In this zoo setting, our data highlight the importance of incorporating environmental sampling (monitoring) in addition to routine faecal examinations to determine veterinary and public health risks, and water monitoring should be considered for inclusion as a separate element in hazard analysis, as it often has a historical (accumulative) connotation.
  4. Clark CS, Rampal KG, Thuppil V, Roda SM, Succop P, Menrath W, et al.
    Environ Res, 2009 Oct;109(7):930-6.
    PMID: 19656507 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2009.07.002
    In 2006 a report on the analysis for lead in 80 new residential paints from four countries in Asia revealed high levels in three of the countries (China, India and Malaysia) and low levels in a fourth country (Singapore) where a lead in paint regulation was enforced. The authors warned of the possible export of lead-painted consumer products to the United States and other countries and the dangers the lead paint represented to children in the countries where it was available for purchase. The need for a worldwide ban on the use of lead in paints was emphasized to prevent an increase in exposure and disease from this very preventable environmental source. Since the earlier paper almost 300 additional new paint samples have been collected from the four initial countries plus 8 additional countries, three from Asia, three from Africa and two from South America. During the intervening time period two million toys and other items imported into the United States were recalled because the lead content exceeded the United States standard. High lead paints were detected in all 12 countries. The average lead concentration by country ranged from 6988 (Singapore) to 31,960ppm (Ecuador). One multinational company sold high lead paint in one country through January 2007 but sold low lead paint later in 2007 indicating that a major change to cease adding lead to their paints had occurred. However, the finding that almost one-third of the samples would meet the new United States standard for new paint of 90ppm, suggests that the technology is already available in at least 11 of the 12 countries to produce low lead enamel paints for domestic use. The need remains urgent to establish effective worldwide controls to prevent the needless poisoning of millions of children from this preventable exposure.
  5. Clark CS, Rampal KG, Thuppil V, Chen CK, Clark R, Roda S
    Environ Res, 2006 Sep;102(1):9-12.
    PMID: 16782088
    Worldwide prohibitions on lead gasoline additives were a major international public health accomplishment, the results of which are still being documented in parts of the world. Although the need to remove lead from paints has been recognized for over a century, evidence reported in this article indicates that lead-based paints for household use, some containing more than 10% lead, are readily available for purchase in some of the largest countries in the world. Sixty-six percent of new paint samples from China, India, and Malaysia were found to contain 5000 ppm (0.5%) or more of lead, the US definition of lead-based paint in existing housing, and 78% contained 600 ppm (0.06%) or more, the limit for new paints. In contrast, the comparable levels in a nearby developed country, Singapore, were 0% and 9%. In examining lead levels in paints of the same brands purchased in different countries, it was found that some brands had lead-based paints in one of the countries and paints meeting US limits in another; another had lead-free paint available in all countries where samples were obtained. Lead-based paints have already poisoned millions of children and likely will cause similar damage in the future as paint use increases as countries in Asia and elsewhere continue their rapid development. The ready availability of lead-based paints documented in this article provides stark evidence of the urgent need for efforts to accomplish an effective worldwide ban on the use of lead in paint.
  6. Afroz R, Hassan MN, Ibrahim NA
    Environ Res, 2003 Jun;92(2):71-7.
    PMID: 12854685
    In the early days of abundant resources and minimal development pressures, little attention was paid to growing environmental concerns in Malaysia. The haze episodes in Southeast Asia in 1983, 1984, 1991, 1994, and 1997 imposed threats to the environmental management of Malaysia and increased awareness of the environment. As a consequence, the government established Malaysian Air Quality Guidelines, the Air Pollution Index, and the Haze Action Plan to improve air quality. Air quality monitoring is part of the initial strategy in the pollution prevention program in Malaysia. Review of air pollution in Malaysia is based on the reports of the air quality monitoring in several large cities in Malaysia, which cover air pollutants such as Carbon monoxide (CO), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Ozone (O3), and Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM). The results of the monitoring indicate that Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) are the predominant pollutants. Other pollutants such as CO, O(x), SO2, and Pb are also observed in several big cities in Malaysia. The air pollution comes mainly from land transportation, industrial emissions, and open burning sources. Among them, land transportation contributes the most to air pollution. This paper reviews the results of the ambient air quality monitoring and studies related to air pollution and health impacts.
  7. Karami A, Omar D, Lazorchak JM, Yap CK, Hashim Z, Courtenay SC
    Environ Res, 2016 Nov;151:313-320.
    PMID: 27522569 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.08.006
    Influence of waterborne butachlor (BUC), a commonly used pesticide, on morphometric, biochemical, and molecular biomarkers was evaluated in juvenile, full sibling, diploid and triploid African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Fish were exposed for 21 days to one of three concentrations of BUC [mean measured µg/L: 22, 44 or 60]. Unexposed (control) triploids were heavier and longer and had higher visceral-somatic index (VSI) than diploids. Also, they had lighter liver weight (HSI) and showed lower transcript levels of brain gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), aromatase (cyp191b) and fushi tarazu-factor (ftz-f1), and plasma testosterone levels than diploids. Butachlor treatments had no effects, in either diploid or triploid fish, on VSI, HSI, weight or length changes, condition factor (CF), levels of plasma testosterone, 17-β estradiol (E2), cortisol, cholesterol, or mRNA levels of brain tryptophan hydroxylase (tph2), forkhead box L2 (foxl2), and 11 β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-hsd2). Expressions of cyp191b and ftz-f1 in triploids were upregulated by the two highest concentrations of BUC. In diploid fish, however, exposures to all BUC concentrations decreased GnRH transcription and the medium BUC concentration decreased ftz-f1 transcription. Substantial differences between ploidies in basal biomarker responses are consistent with the reported impaired reproductive axis in triploid C. gariepinus. Furthermore, the present study showed the low impact of short term exposure to BUC on reproductive axis in C. gariepinus.
  8. Karami A, Romano N, Galloway T, Hamzah H
    Environ Res, 2016 Nov;151:58-70.
    PMID: 27451000 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.07.024
    Despite the ubiquity of microplastics (MPs) in aquatic environments and their proven ability to carry a wide variety of chemicals, very little is known about the impacts of virgin or contaminant-loaded MPs on organisms. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the impacts of virgin or phenanthrene (Phe)-loaded low-density polyethylene (LDPE) fragments on a suite of biomarker responses in juvenile African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Virgin LDPE (50 or 500µg/L) were preloaded with one of two nominal Phe concentrations (10 or 100µg/L) and were exposed to the fish for 96h. Our findings showed one or both Phe treatments significantly increased the degree of tissue change (DTC) in the liver while decreased the transcription levels of forkhead box L2 (foxl2) and tryptophan hydroxylase2 (tph2) in the brain of C. gariepinus. Exposure to either levels of virgin MPs increased the DTC in the liver and plasma albumin: globulin ratio while decreased the transcription levels of tph2. Moreover, MPs modulated (interacted with) the impact of Phe on the DTC in the gill, plasma concentrations of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), total protein (TP), albumin, and globulin, and the transcription levels of fushi tarazu-factor 1 (ftz-f1), gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), 11 β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-hsd2), and liver glycogen stores. Results of this study highlight the ability of virgin LDPE fragments to cause toxicity and to modulate the adverse impacts of Phe in C. gariepinus. Due to the wide distribution of MPs and other classes of contaminants in aquatic environments, further studies are urgently needed to elucidate the toxicity of virgin or contaminant-loaded MPs on organisms.
  9. Cheng Z, Li HH, Wang HS, Zhu XM, Sthiannopkao S, Kim KW, et al.
    Environ Res, 2016 Oct;150:423-30.
    PMID: 27372065 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.06.011
    Phthalate esters are used in a wide variety of consumer products, and human exposure to this class of compounds is widespread. Nevertheless, studies on dietary exposure of human to phthalates are limited. In this study, to assess the daily intakes of phthalate esters and the possible adverse health impacts, different food samples were collected from three areas of Cambodia, one of the poorest countries in the world. The ∑phthalate ester concentrations in Kampong Cham, Kratie and Kandal provinces ranged from 0.05 to 2.34 (median 0.88) μgg(-1), 0.19-1.65 (median 0.86) μgg(-1) and 0.24-3.05 (median 0.59) μgg(-1) wet weight (ww), respectively. Di-2-Ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP) were the predominant compounds among all foodstuffs. The estimated daily intake (EDI) of phthalate esters for the general population in Kampong Cham, Kratie and Kandal was 34.3, 35.6 and 35.8μgkg(-1) bw d(-1), respectively. The dietary daily intake of DEHP, benzylbutyl phthalate (BBP) and di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) in Kampong Cham, Kratie and Kandal were below the tolerable daily intakes (TDI) imposed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and reference doses (RfD) imposed by The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Rice contributed the greatest quantity of DEHP to the daily intake in Cambodia so may deserve further exploration. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the occurrence and the daily intakes of phthalate esters in Cambodia.
  10. Mirzaei M, Bekri M
    Environ Res, 2017 Apr;154:345-351.
    PMID: 28161426 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.01.023
    Climate change and global warming as the key human societies' threats are essentially associated with energy consumption and CO2 emissions. A system dynamic model was developed in this study to model the energy consumption and CO2 emission trends for Iran over 2000-2025. Energy policy factors are considered in analyzing the impact of different energy consumption factors on environmental quality. The simulation results show that the total energy consumption is predicted to reach 2150 by 2025, while that value in 2010 is 1910, which increased by 4.3% yearly. Accordingly, the total CO2 emissions in 2025 will reach 985million tonnes, which shows about 5% increase yearly. Furthermore, we constructed policy scenarios based on energy intensity reduction. The analysis show that CO2 emissions will decrease by 12.14% in 2025 compared to 2010 in the scenario of 5% energy intensity reduction, and 17.8% in the 10% energy intensity reduction scenario. The results obtained in this study provide substantial awareness regarding Irans future energy and CO2 emission outlines.
  11. Hiew BYZ, Lee LY, Lai KC, Gan S, Thangalazhy-Gopakumar S, Pan GT, et al.
    Environ Res, 2019 01;168:241-253.
    PMID: 30321737 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.09.030
    Pharmaceutical residues are emerging pollutants in the aquatic environment and their removal by conventional wastewater treatment methods has proven to be ineffective. This research aimed to develop a three-dimensional reduced graphene oxide aerogel (rGOA) for the removal of diclofenac in aqueous solution. The preparation of rGOA involved facile self-assembly of graphene oxide under a reductive environment of L-ascorbic acid. Characterisation of rGOA was performed by Fourier transform infrared, scanning electron microscope, transmission electron microscopy, nitrogen adsorption-desorption, Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. The developed rGOA had a measured density of 20.39 ± 5.28 mg/cm3, specific surface area of 132.19 m2/g, cumulative pore volume of 0.5388 cm3/g and point of zero charge of 6.3. A study on the simultaneous interactions of independent factors by response surface methodology suggested dosage and initial concentration as the dominant parameters influencing the adsorption of diclofenac. The highest diclofenac adsorption capacity (596.71 mg/g) was achieved at the optimum conditions of 0.25 g/L dosage, 325 mg/L initial concentration, 200 rpm shaking speed and 30 °C temperature. The adsorption equilibrium data were best fitted to the Freundlich model with correlation coefficient (R2) varying from 0.9500 to 0.9802. The adsorption kinetic data were best correlated to the pseudo-first-order model with R2 ranging from 0.8467 to 0.9621. Thermodynamic analysis showed that the process was spontaneous (∆G = - 7.19 to - 0.48 kJ/mol) and exothermic (∆H = - 12.82 to - 2.17 kJ/mol). This research concluded that rGOA is a very promising adsorbent for the remediation of water polluted by diclofenac.
  12. Ahmed Bhuiyan M, Rashid Khan HU, Zaman K, Hishan SS
    Environ Res, 2018 01;160:398-411.
    PMID: 29065379 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.10.013
    The aim of this study is to examine the impact of air pollutants, including mono-nitrogen oxides (NOx), nitrous oxide (N2O), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on ecological footprint, habitat area, food supply, and biodiversity in a panel of thirty-four developed and developing countries, over the period of 1995-2014. The results reveal that NOx and SO2 emissions both have a negative relationship with ecological footprints, while N2O emission and real GDP per capita have a direct relationship with ecological footprints. NOx has a positive relationship with forest area, per capita food supply and biological diversity while CO2 emission and GHG emission have a negative impact on food production. N2O has a positive impact on forest area and biodiversity, while SO2 emissions have a negative relationship with them. SO2 emission has a direct relationship with per capita food production, while GDP per capita significantly affected per capita food production and food supply variability across countries. The overall results reveal that SO2, CO2, and GHG emissions affected potential habitat area, while SO2 and GHG emissions affected the biodiversity index. Trade liberalization policies considerably affected the potential habitat area and biological diversity in a panel of countries.
  13. Perkins AN, Inayat-Hussain SH, Deziel NC, Johnson CH, Ferguson SS, Garcia-Milian R, et al.
    Environ Res, 2019 02;169:163-172.
    PMID: 30458352 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.10.018
    Currently, there are >11,000 synthetic turf athletic fields in the United States and >13,000 in Europe. Concerns have been raised about exposure to carcinogenic chemicals resulting from contact with synthetic turf fields, particularly the infill material ("crumb rubber"), which is commonly fabricated from recycled tires. However, exposure data are scant, and the limited existing exposure studies have focused on a small subset of crumb rubber components. Our objective was to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of a broad range of chemical components of crumb rubber infill using computational toxicology and regulatory agency classifications from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to inform future exposure studies and risk analyses. Through a literature review, we identified 306 chemical constituents of crumb rubber infill from 20 publications. Utilizing ADMET Predictor™, a computational program to predict carcinogenicity and genotoxicity, 197 of the identified 306 chemicals met our a priori carcinogenicity criteria. Of these, 52 chemicals were also classified as known, presumed or suspected carcinogens by the US EPA and ECHA. Of the remaining 109 chemicals which were not predicted to be carcinogenic by our computational toxicology analysis, only 6 chemicals were classified as presumed or suspected human carcinogens by US EPA or ECHA. Importantly, the majority of crumb rubber constituents were not listed in the US EPA (n = 207) and ECHA (n = 262) databases, likely due to an absence of evaluation or insufficient information for a reliable carcinogenicity classification. By employing a cancer hazard scoring system to the chemicals which were predicted and classified by the computational analysis and government databases, several high priority carcinogens were identified, including benzene, benzidine, benzo(a)pyrene, trichloroethylene and vinyl chloride. Our findings demonstrate that computational toxicology assessment in conjunction with government classifications can be used to prioritize hazardous chemicals for future exposure monitoring studies for users of synthetic turf fields. This approach could be extended to other compounds or toxicity endpoints.
  14. Chowdhury MA, Shuvho MBA, Shahid MA, Haque AKMM, Kashem MA, Lam SS, et al.
    Environ Res, 2021 01;192:110294.
    PMID: 33022215 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110294
    The rapid spread of COVID-19 has led to nationwide lockdowns in many countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has played serious havoc on economic activities throughout the world. Researchers are immensely curious about how to give the best protection to people before a vaccine becomes available. The coronavirus spreads principally through saliva droplets. Thus, it would be a great opportunity if the virus spread could be controlled at an early stage. The face mask can limit virus spread from both inside and outside the mask. This is the first study that has endeavoured to explore the design and fabrication of an antiviral face mask using licorice root extract, which has antimicrobial properties due to glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) and glycyrrhizin (GL). An electrospinning process was utilized to fabricate nanofibrous membrane and virus deactivation mechanisms discussed. The nanofiber mask material was characterized by SEM and airflow rate testing. SEM results indicated that the nanofibers from electrospinning are about 15-30 μm in diameter with random porosity and orientation which have the potential to capture and kill the virus. Theoretical estimation signifies that an 85 L/min rate of airflow through the face mask is possible which ensures good breathability over an extensive range of pressure drops and pore sizes. Finally, it can be concluded that licorice root membrane may be used to produce a biobased face mask to control COVID-19 spread.
  15. Peng W, Ma NL, Zhang D, Zhou Q, Yue X, Khoo SC, et al.
    Environ Res, 2020 12;191:110046.
    PMID: 32841638 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110046
    Locusts differ from ordinary grasshoppers in their ability to swarm over long distances and are among the oldest migratory pests. The ecology and biology of locusts make them among the most devastating pests worldwide and hence the calls for actions to prevent the next outbreaks. The most destructive of all locust species is the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria). Here, we review the current locust epidemic 2020 outbreak and its causes and prevention including the green technologies that may provide a reference for future directions of locust control and food security. Massive locust outbreaks threaten the terrestrial environments and crop production in around 100 countries of which Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are the most affected. Six large locust outbreaks are reported for the period from 1912 to 1989 all being closely related to long-term droughts and warm winters coupled with occurrence of high precipitation in spring and summer. The outbreaks in East Africa, India and Pakistan are the most pronounced with locusts migrating more than 150 km/day during which the locusts consume food equivalent to their own body weight on a daily basis. The plague heavily affects the agricultural sectors, which is the foundation of national economies and social stability. Global warming is likely the main cause of locust plague outbreak in recent decades driving egg spawning of up to 2-400,000 eggs per square meter. Biological control techniques such as microorganisms, insects and birds help to reduce the outbreaks while reducing ecosystem and agricultural impacts. In addition, green technologies such as light and sound stimulation seem to work, however, these are challenging and need further technological development incorporating remote sensing and modelling before they are applicable on large-scales. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the 2020 locust outbreak is the worst in 70 years probably triggered by climate change, hurricanes and heavy rain and has affected a total of 70,000 ha in Somalia and Ethiopia. There is a need for shifting towards soybean, rape, and watermelon which seems to help to prevent locust outbreaks and obtain food security. Furthermore, locusts have a very high protein content and is an excellent protein source for meat production and as an alternative human protein source, which should be used to mitigate food security. In addition, forestation of arable land improves local climate conditions towards less precipitation and lower temperatures while simultaneously attracting a larger number of birds thereby increasing the locust predation rates.
  16. Salahuddin M, Habib MA, Al-Mulali U, Ozturk I, Marshall M, Ali MI
    Environ Res, 2020 12;191:110094.
    PMID: 32846170 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110094
    This study employs dynamic panel data for 34 Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) countries for the period 1984-2016 to estimate the effects of renewable energy on environmental quality measured by three indicators, namely, per capita CO2 emissions, energy intensity (EI) and Aggregate National Savings (ANS). The study leveraged a battery of second-generation econometric tests and estimation and causality methods to obtain the coefficients between the regressed and the regressors. Results reveal that use of renewable energy reduces CO2 emissions and energy intensity while it enhances ANS. Economic growth still seems to be expensive for the region as it stimulates CO2 emissions. However, it has a positive effect on ANS. As expected, fossil fuels exacerbate CO2 emissions and energy intensity. FDI is found to be detrimental for the environment of SSA region with its positive significant coefficient on CO2 emissions. Financial development is reported to reduce CO2 emissions. Some causal links between variables are also noted.
  17. Razzaq A, Sharif A, Aziz N, Irfan M, Jermsittiparsert K
    Environ Res, 2020 Dec;191:110189.
    PMID: 32919963 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110189
    This study draws the link between COVID-19 and air pollution (ground ozone O3) from February 29, 2020 to July 10, 2020 in the top 10 affected States of the US. Utilizing quantile-on-quantile (QQ) estimation technique, we examine in what manner the quantiles of COVID-19 affect the quantiles of air pollution and vice versa. The primary findings confirm overall dependence between COVID-19 and air pollution. Empirical results exhibit a strong negative effect of COVID-19 on air pollution in New York, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania; especially at medium to higher quantiles, while New Jersey, Illinois, Arizona, and Georgia show strong negative effect mainly at lower quantiles. Contrarily, COVID-19 positively affects air pollution in Pennsylvania at extreme lower quantiles. On the other side, air pollution predominantly caused to increase in the intensity of COVID-19 cases across all states except lower quantiles of Massachusetts, and extreme higher quantiles of Arizona and New Jersey, where this effect becomes less pronounced or negative. Concludingly, a rare positive fallout of COVID-19 is reducing environmental pressure, while higher environmental pollution causes to increase the vulnerability of COVID-19 cases. These findings imply that air pollution is at the heart of chronic diseases, therefore the state government should consider these asymmetric channels and introduce appropriate policy measures to reset and control atmospheric emissions.
  18. Gasull M, Pumarega J, Kiviranta H, Rantakokko P, Raaschou-Nielsen O, Bergdahl IA, et al.
    Environ Res, 2019 02;169:417-433.
    PMID: 30529143 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.11.027
    BACKGROUND: The use of biomarkers of environmental exposure to explore new risk factors for pancreatic cancer presents clinical, logistic, and methodological challenges that are also relevant in research on other complex diseases.

    OBJECTIVES: First, to summarize the main design features of a prospective case-control study -nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort- on plasma concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and pancreatic cancer risk. And second, to assess the main methodological challenges posed by associations among characteristics and habits of study participants, fasting status, time from blood draw to cancer diagnosis, disease progression bias, basis of cancer diagnosis, and plasma concentrations of lipids and POPs. Results from etiologic analyses on POPs and pancreatic cancer risk, and other analyses, will be reported in future articles.

    METHODS: Study subjects were 1533 participants (513 cases and 1020 controls matched by study centre, sex, age at blood collection, date and time of blood collection, and fasting status) enrolled between 1992 and 2000. Plasma concentrations of 22 POPs were measured by gas chromatography - triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). To estimate the magnitude of the associations we calculated multivariate-adjusted odds ratios by unconditional logistic regression, and adjusted geometric means by General Linear Regression Models.

    RESULTS: There were differences among countries in subjects' characteristics (as age, gender, smoking, lipid and POP concentrations), and in study characteristics (as time from blood collection to index date, year of last follow-up, length of follow-up, basis of cancer diagnosis, and fasting status). Adjusting for centre and time of blood collection, no factors were significantly associated with fasting status. Plasma concentrations of lipids were related to age, body mass index, fasting, country, and smoking. We detected and quantified 16 of the 22 POPs in more than 90% of individuals. All 22 POPs were detected in some participants, and the smallest number of POPs detected in one person was 15 (median, 19) with few differences by country. The highest concentrations were found for p,p'-DDE, PCBs 153 and 180 (median concentration: 3371, 1023, and 810 pg/mL, respectively). We assessed the possible occurrence of disease progression bias (DPB) in eight situations defined by lipid and POP measurements, on one hand, and by four factors: interval from blood draw to index date, tumour subsite, tumour stage, and grade of differentiation, on the other. In seven of the eight situations results supported the absence of DPB.

    CONCLUSIONS: The coexistence of differences across study centres in some design features and participant characteristics is of relevance to other multicentre studies. Relationships among subjects' characteristics and among such characteristics and design features may play important roles in the forthcoming analyses on the association between plasma concentrations of POPs and pancreatic cancer risk.

  19. Ren T, Chen N, Wan Mahari WA, Xu C, Feng H, Ji X, et al.
    Environ Res, 2021 Jan;192:110273.
    PMID: 33002505 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110273
    Pot experiments were conducted to investigate the influence of biochar addition and the mechanisms that alleviate Cd stress in the growth of tobacco plant. Cadmium showed an inhibitory effect on tobacco growth at different post-transplantation times, and this increased with the increase in soil Cd concentration. The growth index decreased by more than 10%, and the photosynthetic pigment and photosynthetic characteristics of the tobacco leaf were significantly reduced, and the antioxidant enzyme activity was enhanced. Application of biochar effectively alleviated the inhibitory effect of Cd on tobacco growth, and the alleviation effect of treatments is more significant to the plants with a higher Cd concentration. The contents of chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and carotenoids in the leaves of tobacco plants treated with biochar increased by 9.99%, 12.58%, and 10.32%, respectively, after 60 days of transplantation. The photosynthetic characteristics index of the net photosynthetic rate increased by 11.48%, stomatal conductance increased by 11.44%, and intercellular carbon dioxide concentration decreased to 0.92. Based on the treatments, during the growth period, the antioxidant enzyme activities of tobacco leaves comprising catalase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and malondialdehyde increased by 7.62%, 10.41%, 10.58%, and 12.57%, respectively, after the application of biochar. Our results show that biochar containing functional groups can effectively reduce the effect of Cd stress by intensifying the adsorption or passivation of Cd in the soil, thereby, significantly reducing the Cd content in plant leaves, and providing a theoretical basis and method to alleviate soil Cd pollution and effect soil remediation.
  20. Munir M, Ahmad M, Rehan M, Saeed M, Lam SS, Nizami AS, et al.
    Environ Res, 2021 02;193:110398.
    PMID: 33127396 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110398
    This study focused on producing high quality and yield of biodiesel from novel non-edible seed oil of abundantly available wild Raphnus raphanistrum L. using an efficient, recyclable and eco-friendly copper modified montmorillonite (MMT) clay catalyst. The maximum biodiesel yield of 83% was obtained by base catalyzed transesterification process under optimum operating conditions of methanol to oil ratio of 15:1, reaction temperature of 150 °C, reaction time of 5 h and catalyst loading of 3.5%. The synthesized catalyst and biodiesel were characterized for their structural features and chemical compositions using various state-of-the-art techniques, including x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (1H, 13C) and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. The fuel properties of the biodiesel were estimated including kinematic viscosity (4.36 cSt), density (0.8312 kg/L), flash point (72 °C), acid value (0.172 mgKOH/g) and sulphur content (0.0002 wt.%). These properties were compared and found in good agreement with the International Biodiesel Standards of American (ASTM-951, 6751), European Committee (EN-14214) and China GB/T 20828 (2007). The catalyst was re-used in five consecutive transesterification reactions without losing much catalytic efficiency. Overall, non-edible Raphnus raphanistrum L.. seed oil and Cu doped MMT clay catalyst appeared to be highly active, stable, and cheap contenders for future biofuel industry. However, detailed life cycle assessment (LCA) studies of Raphnus raphanistrum L. seed oil biodiesel are highly recommended to assess the technical, ecological, social and economic challenges.
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