The East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia faces the South China Sea and is vulnerable to oil pollution because of intense petroleum production activities in the area. The South China Sea is also a favored route for supertankers carrying crude oil to the Far East. Consequently, oil spills can occur, causing pollution and contamination in the surrounding areas. Residual oil spills stranded on coastal beaches usually end up as tar-balls. Elucidating the sources of tar-balls using a molecular marker approach is essential in assessing environmental impacts and perhaps settling legal liabilities for affected parties. This study utilizes a multimodal molecular marker approach through the use of diagnostic ratios of alkanes, hopanes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to determine the source, distribution and weathering of tar-balls. Hopane ratios (e.g., C29/C30, and summation C31-C35/C30 ratios) were used to identify the sources of tar-balls. The weathering effects were distinguished by using alkanes, namely the unresolved complex mixture (UCM) and low molecular weight/high molecular weight (L/H) ratios. Similarly, PAHs were also used for the determination of weathering processes undergone by the tar-balls. This multimodal molecular marker gave a very strong indication of the sources of tar-balls in this study. For example, 16 out of 17 samples originated from South East Asian Crude Oil (SEACO) with one sample from Merang, Terengganu originating from North Sea Oil (Troll). The TRME-2 sample may have come from a supertanker's ballast water discharge. The second possibility is that the tar-ball may have been transported via oceanographic currents. All 'weathered' sample characterizations were based on the presence of UCM and other ratios. The multimodal molecular marker approach applied in this study has enabled us to partially understand the transport behavior of tar-balls in the marine environment and has revealed insights into the weathering process of tar-balls.
Studies on marine debris have gained worldwide attention since many types of debris have found their way into the food chain of higher organisms. Thus, it is crucial that more focus is given to this area in order to curb contaminations in sea food. This study was conducted to quantify plastic debris buried in sand at selected beaches in Malaysia. Marine debris was identified according to size range and distribution, and this information was related to preventive actions to improve marine waste issues. For the purpose of this study, comparison of plastic waste abundance between a recreational beach and fish-landing beaches was also carried out, since the different beach types represent different activities that produce debris. Six beaches along the Malaysian coastline were selected for this study. The plastic types in this study were related to the functions of the beach. While recreational beaches have abundant quantities of plastic film, foamed plastic including polystyrene, and plastic fragment, fish-landing beaches accumulated line and foamed plastic. A total of 2542 pieces (265.30 g m(-2)) of small plastic debris were collected from all six beaches, with the highest number from Kuala Terengganu, at 879 items m(-2) on Seberang Takir Beach, followed by Batu Burok Beach with 780 items m(-2). Findings from studies of Malaysian beaches have provided a clearer understanding of the distribution of plastic debris. This demonstrates that commitments and actions, such as practices of the 'reduce, reuse, recycle' (3R) approach, supporting public awareness programmes and beach clean-up activities, are essential in order to reduce and prevent plastic debris pollution.
Leaf samples of tropical trees, i.e. Dryobalanops lanceolata (Kapur paji), Dipterocarpaceae and Macaranga spp. (Mahang), Euphorbiaceae were analyzed for 21 chemical elements. The pioneer Macaranga spp. exhibited higher concentrations for the majority of elements compared to the emergent species of Dryobalanops lanceolata, which was attributed to the higher physiological activity of the fast growing pioneer species compared to emergent trees. Lead showed rather high concentrations in several samples from the Bakam re-forestation site. This is suggested to be caused by emissions through brick manufacturing and related activities in the vicinity. A comparison of Dryobalanops lanceolata samples collected in 1993, 1995 and 1997 in the Lambir Hills National Park revealed that certain heavy metals, i.e. Co, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Ti showed higher values in 1997 compared to the previous years, which could indicate an atmospheric input from the haze caused by the extensive forest fires raging in Borneo and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Stepping into the new globalizes and paradigm shifted era, a huge revolution has been undergone by the electrochemical industry. From a humble candidate of the superconductor resources, today electrosorption has demonstrated its wide variety of usefulness, almost in every part of the environmental conservation. With the renaissance of activated carbon (AC), there has been a steadily growing interest in this research field. The paper presents a state of art review of electrosorption technology, its background studies, fundamental chemistry and working principles. Moreover, recent development of the activated carbon assisted electrosorption process, its major challenges together with the future expectation are summarized and discussed. Conclusively, the expanding of electrosorption in the field of adsorption science represents a potentially viable and powerful tool, leading to the superior improvement of pollution control and environmental preservation.
The disposal of industrial paper mill sludge waste is a big issue and has a great importance all over the world. A study was conducted to determine the chemical properties of recycled paper mill sludge (RPMS) and assess its possibilities for land application. RPMS samples were collected from six different paper mills in Malaysia and analyzed for physical and chemical properties, heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, (13)C-NMR spectra and for the presence of dioxins/furans. The RPMS was dewatered, sticky with a strong odour, an average moisture of 65.08%, pH 7.09, cation exchange capacity (CEC) 14.43 cmol (+) kg(-1), N 1.45, P 0.18, K 0.12, Ca 0.82, Mg 0.73, Na 0.76 and Al, 1.38%. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals levels were below the standard Class 2 limits. The dioxin and furan were in below the standard concentration of Class 1. The most prominent peak in the (13)C-NMR spectra of RPMS was centered at 31 ppm, proving the presence of methylene (-CH2) groups in long aliphatic chains, with lipids and proteins. The signal at 89 ppm and highly shielded shoulder at 83 ppm were due to presence of cellulose carbon C-4, and the peak at 63 and 65 ppm was due to the cellulose carbon spectrum. The RPMS therefore contains significant amount of nutrients with safe levels of heavy metals and PAHs for environment and can be used as a fertilizer and soil amendment for land application.
Ash produced from a hospital waste incinerator was treated using a high temperature melting process at 1200 degrees C. The quality of the produced slag was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), leaching tests and sequential chemical extraction of metals. The slag contained large amounts of SiO(2,) CaO, Al(2)O(3), Sn, Ni, Cu, Ba and B. XRD analysis revealed a moderate crystal structure for the melted slag and identified the main crystals as quartz (SiO(2)), kaolinite (Al(2)Si(2)O(5)(OH)(4)), albite (NaAlSi(3)O(8)) and gibbsite (Al(OH)(3)). The observed crystal structure assists in preventing the leaching of heavy metals from the slag. Furthermore, the leaching results found the produced slag to comply with disposal limits set by the US EPA. Results from sequential chemical extraction analysis showed that metals in the slag exhibited the strongest preference to be bound to the residual fraction (stable fraction), which is known to have very low leaching characteristics. Melting was found to stabilize heavy metals in hospital waste successfully and therefore it can be an acceptable method for disposal.
In this study, we analyzed hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyls (OH-PCBs) in urine of both PCB transport workers and PCB researchers. A method to monitor OH-PCB in urine was developed. Urine was solid-phase extracted with 0.1% ammonia/ methanol (v/v) and glucuronic acid/sulfate conjugates and then decomposed using β-glucuronidase/arylsulfatase. After alkaline digestion/derivatization, the concentration of OH-PCBs was determined by HRGC/HRMS-SIM. In the first sampling campaign, the worker's OH-PCB levels increased several fold after the PCB waste transportation work, indicating exposure to PCBs. The concentration of OH-PCBs in PCB transport workers' urine (0.55~11 μg/g creatinine (Cre)) was higher than in PCB researchers' urine (
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) occur as contaminants in different types of food predominantly from environmental pollution, food packaging and food processing and the levels found depend on the source of the contamination. PAHs emissions from automobile traffic and industry activities were shown to influence the PAHs levels and profiles in vegetables and fruits grown nearby. The present study was carried out to determine the levels of PAHs in samples of tomato, cabbage and apple, collected from six different places of urban and rural areas of plantation in Dhaka city. Eight PAHs listed in the priority pollutant of US Environment Protection Agency and regarded as carcinogens were analyzed in this study. The analytical method involved saponification with methanolic KOH, liquid-liquid extraction with cyclohexane, clean-up on silica gel column and determination by Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The mean levels of total PAHs were 9.50 μg/kg in tomato, 8.86 μg/kg in cabbage and 4.05 μg/kg in apple. Of the carcinogenic PAHs, benzo(a)anthracene was the most representative, being found in 89% of all samples analysed. Chrysene was not detected in any sample.
Heavy metals pollution has become a great threat to the world. Since instrumental methods are expensive and need skilled technician, a simple and fast method is needed to determine the presence of heavy metals in the environment. In this study, an inhibitive enzyme assay for heavy metals has been developed using crude proteases from Coriandrum sativum. In this assay, casein was used as a substrate and Coomassie dye was used to denote the completion of casein hydrolysis. In the absence of inhibitors, casein was hydrolysed and the solution became brown, while in the presence of metal ions such as Hg²⁺ and Zn²⁺, the hydrolysis of casein was inhibited and the solution remained blue. Both Hg²⁺ and Zn²⁺ exhibited one-phase binding curve with IC₅₀ values of 3.217 mg/L and 0.727 mg/L, respectively. The limits of detection (LOD) and limits of quantitation (LOQ) for Hg were 0.241 and 0.802 mg/L, respectively, while the LOD and LOQ for Zn were 0.228 and 0.761 mg/L, respectively. The enzyme exhibited broad pH ranges for activity. The crude proteases extracted from Coriandrum sativum showed good potential for the development of a rapid, sensitive, and economic inhibitive assay for the biomonitoring of Hg²⁺ and Zn²⁺ in the aquatic environments.
This paper reports the corrosivity and leaching behavior of CLSM made using two different industrial wastes i.e. bottom ash from an incineration facility and quarry dust. The leachate samples were derived from fresh and hardened CLSM mixtures, and studied for leaching and electrical resistivity. The release of various contaminants and the consequent environmental impact caused by the contaminants were studied by the measurement of contaminants in the bleed, in the leachate at 28 days, and on the leachate derived from crushed block and whole block leaching done over a period of 126 days. Results indicated that the CLSM mixtures are non corrosive; diffusion was the leaching mechanism; and the contaminants were found to be moderate to low mobility.
This work presents a study of human hair as a bio-indicator for detection of heavy metals as part of environmental health surveillance programs project to develop a subject of interest in the biomedical and environmental sciences. A total of 34 hair samples were analyzed that consisting of 29 samples from sanitation workers and five samples from students. The hair samples were prepared and treated in accordance to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recommendations. The concentrations of heavy metals were analyzed using the energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) technique by X-50 Mobile X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) at Oceanography Institute, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. The performance of EDXRF analyzer was tested by Standard Reference Material (SRM 2711) Montana Soil which was in good agreement with certified value within 14% deviations except for Hg. While seven heavy metals: Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se, and Sb were detected in both groups, three additional elements, i.e. As, Hg and Pb, were detected only in sanitation workers group. For sanitation workers group, the mean concentration of six elements, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Se, and Sb, shows elevated concentration as compared to the control samples concentration. Results from both groups were compared and discussed in relation to their respective heavy metals concentrations.
In this study, a rapid, specific and sensitive multi-residue method based on acetonitrile extraction followed by dispersive solid-phase extraction (d-SPE) clean-up was implemented and validated for multi-class pesticide residues determination in palm oil for the first time. Liquid-liquid extraction followed by low-temperature precipitation procedure was evaluated in order to study the freezing-out clean-up efficiency to obtain high recovery yield and low co-extract fat residue in the final extract. For clean-up step, d-SPE was carried out using a combination of anhydrous magnesium sulphate (MgSO(4)), primary secondary amine, octadecyl (C(18)) and graphitized carbon black. Recovery study was performed at two concentration levels (10 and 100 ng g(-1)), yielding recovery rates between 74.52% and 97.1% with relative standard deviation values below 10% (n = 6) except diuron. Detection and quantification limits were lower than 5 and 9 ng g(-1), respectively. In addition, soft matrix effects (≤±20%) were observed for most of the studied pesticides except malathion that indicated medium (20-50%) matrix effects. The proposed method was successfully applied to the analysis of suspected palm oil samples.
Incineration of industrial waste produces large quantities of bottom ash which are normally sent to secured landfill, but is not a sustainable solution. Use of bottom ash in engineering applications will contribute to sustainability and generate revenue. One way of using the industrial waste incineration bottom ash is in controlled low-strength material (CLSM). Use of bottom ash in CLSM has problems related to bleeding and excessive strength development and so an additive has to be used to control bleeding and strength development. The main objective of this research is to study the effect of kaolin addition on the performance of CLSM made using industrial waste incineration bottom ash. CLSM mixes were made with bottom ash, cement, and refined kaolin. Various tests were performed on the CLSM in fresh and hardened states including compressive strength, water absorption, California bearing ratio (CBR) and the tests for concentration of leachable substances on the bleed and leachate. The compressive strength of CLSM tested ranged from 0.11 to 9.86 MPa. CBR values ranged from 6 to 46, and water absorption values from 12 to 36%. It was shown that the addition of kaolin delayed the initial setting time of CLSM mixtures, reduced bleeding, lowered the compressive strength, and increased the values of water absorption, sorption, and initial surface absorption. The CLSM tested did not have corrosivity. It was shown that the hardened CLSM was non hazardous, and the addition of kaolin increased the concentration of heavy metals and salts in the bleed and leachate.
In this work the development of an inhibitive assay for copper using the molybdenum-reducing enzyme assay is presented. The enzyme is assayed using 12-molybdophosphoric acid at pH 5.0 as an electron acceptor substrate and NADH as the electron donor substrate. The enzyme converts the yellowish solution into a deep blue solution. The assay is based on the ability of copper to inhibit the molybdenum-reducing enzyme from the molybdate-reducing Serratia sp. Strain DRY5. Other heavy metals tested did not inhibit the enzyme at 10 mg l(-1). The best model with high regression coefficient to measure copper inhibition is one-phase binding. The calculated IC50 (concentration causing 50% inhibition) is 0.099 mg l(-1) and the regression coefficient is 0.98. The comparative LC50, EC50 and IC50 data for copper in different toxicity tests show that the IC50 value for copper in this study is lower than those for immobilized urease, bromelain, Rainbow trout, R. meliloti, Baker's Yeast dehydrogenase activity Spirillum volutans, P. fluorescens, Aeromonas hydrophilia and synthetic activated sludge assays. However the IC50 value is higher than those for Ulva pertusa and papain assays, but within the reported range for Daphnia magna and Microtox assays.
The accumulative partitioning of Pb and Cu in the Rhizophora apiculata was studied randomly in the Setiu mangrove forest, Terengganu. Samples of leaves, barks and roots were collected randomly from the selected studied species. Sediments between the roots of the sampled mangrove plants were also collected. The results from analysis for Rhizophora apiculata shows that the concentration of Pb and Cu were accumulated higher in root tissue compared to bark and leaf tissue but lower than surrounding sediment level. The average concentration of Cu for Rhizophora apiculata in leaf, bark, root and sediment was 2.73, 3.94, 5.21 and 9.42 mg I(-1), respectively. Meanwhile, the average concentration of Pb in leaf, bark, root and sediment was 1.43, 1.38, 2.05 and 11.66 mg l(-1), respectively. Results of concentration factors (CF) show that the overall the concentration of Pb and Cu were accumulated much higher in roots system of Rhizophora apiculata.
The occurrence of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in human blood is known to be widespread; nevertheless, the sources of exposure to humans, including infants, are not well understood. In this study, breast milk collected from seven countries in Asia was analyzed (n=184) for nine PFCs, including perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA). In addition, five brands of infant formula (n=21) and 11 brands of dairy milk (n=12) collected from retail stores in the United States were analyzed, for comparison with PFC concentrations previously reported for breast milk from the U.S. PFOS was the predominant PFC detected in almost all Asian breast milk samples, followed by perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS) and PFOA. Median concentrations of PFOS in breast milk from Asian countries varied significantly;the lowest concentration of 39.4 pg/mL was found in India, and the highest concentration of 196 pg/mL was found in Japan. The measured concentrations were similarto or less than the concentrations previously reported from Sweden, the United States, and Germany (median, 106-166 pg/mL). PFHxS was found in more than 70% of the samples analyzed from Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam, at mean concentrations ranging from 6.45 (Malaysia) to 15.8 (Philippines) pg/mL PFOA was found frequently only in samples from Japan; the mean concentration for that country was 77.7 pg/mL. None of the PFCs were detected in the infant-formula or dairy-milk samples from the U.S. except a few samples that contained concentrations close to the limit of detection. The estimated average daily intake of PFOS by infants from seven Asian countries, via breastfeeding, was 11.8 +/- 10.6 ng/kg bw/ day; this value is 7-12 times higher than the estimated adult dietary intakes previously reported from Germany, Canada, and Spain. The average daily intake of PFOA by Japanese infants was 9.6 +/- 4.9 ng/kg bw/day, a value 3-10 times greater than the estimated adult dietary intakes reported from Germany and Canada. The highest estimated daily intakes of PFOS and PFOA by infants from seven Asian countries studied were 1-2 orders of magnitude below the tolerable daily intake values recommended by the U.K. Food Standards Agency.
Statistical analysis of heavy metal concentrations in sediment was studied to understand the interrelationship between different parameters and also to identify probable source component in order to explain the pollution status of selected estuaries. Concentrations of heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Cd, Fe, Pb, Cr, Hg and Mn) were analyzed in sediments from Juru and Jejawi Estuaries in Malaysia with ten sampling points of each estuary. The results of multivariate statistical techniques showed that the two regions have different characteristics in terms of heavy metals selected and indicates that each region receives pollution from different sources. The results also showed that Fe, Mn, Cd, Hg, and Cu are responsible for large spatial variations explaining 51.15% of the total variance, whilst Zn and Pb explain only 18.93 of the total variance. This study illustrates the usefulness of multivariate statistical techniques for evaluation and interpretation of large complex data sets to get better information about the heavy metal concentrations and design of monitoring network.