Temporal variation of Synechococcus, its production (μ) and grazing loss (g) rates were studied for 2 years at nearshore stations, i.e. Port Dickson and Port Klang along the Straits of Malacca. Synechococcus abundance at Port Dickson (0.3-2.3 × 10(5) cell ml(-1)) was always higher than at Port Klang (0.3-7.1 × 10(4) cell ml(-1)) (p 0.25), but nutrient and light availability were important factors for their distribution. The relationship was modelled as log Synechococcus = 0.37Secchi - 0.01DIN + 4.52 where light availability (as Secchi disc depth) was a more important determinant. From a two-factorial experiment, nutrients were not significant for Synechococcus growth as in situ nutrient concentrations exceeded the threshold for saturated growth. However, light availability was important and elevated Synechococcus growth rates especially at Port Dickson (F = 5.94, p 0.30). In nearshore tropical waters, an estimated 69 % of Synechococcus production could be grazed.
Decision-makers require useful tools, such as indicators, to help them make environmentally sound decisions leading to effective management of hazardous wastes. Four hazardous waste indicators are being tested for such a purpose by several countries within the Sustainable Development Indicator Programme of the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development. However, these indicators only address the 'down-stream' end-of-pipe industrial situation. More creative thinking is clearly needed to develop a wider range of indicators that not only reflects all aspects of industrial production that generates hazardous waste but considers socio-economic implications of the waste as well. Sets of useful and innovative indicators are proposed that could be applied to the emerging paradigm shift away from conventional end-of-pipe management actions and towards preventive strategies that are being increasingly adopted by industry often in association with local and national governments. A methodological and conceptual framework for the development of a core-set of hazardous waste indicators has been developed. Some of the indicator sets outlined quantify preventive waste management strategies (including indicators for cleaner production, hazardous waste reduction/minimization and life cycle analysis), whilst other sets address proactive strategies (including changes in production and consumption patterns, eco-efficiency, eco-intensity and resource productivity). Indicators for quantifying transport of hazardous wastes are also described. It was concluded that a number of the indicators proposed could now be usefully implemented as management tools using existing industrial and economic data. As cleaner production technologies and waste minimization approaches are more widely deployed, and industry integrates environmental concerns at all levels of decision-making, it is expected that the necessary data for construction of the remaining indicators will soon become available.
Seagrass is a valuable marine ecosystem engineer. However, seagrass population is declining worldwide. The lack of seagrass research in Malaysia raises questions about the status of seagrasses in the country. The seagrasses in Lawas, which is part of the coral-mangrove-seagrass complex, have never been studied in detail. In this study, we examine whether monthly changes of seagrass population in Lawas occurred. Data on estimates of seagrass percentage cover and water physicochemical parameters (pH, turbidity, salinity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen) were measured at 84 sampling stations established within the study area from June 2009 to May 2010. Meteorological data such as total rainfall, air temperature, and Southern Oscillation Index were also investigated. Our results showed that (i) the monthly changes of seagrass percentage cover are significant, (ii) the changes correlated significantly with turbidity measurements, and (iii) weather changes affected the seagrass populations. Our study indicates seagrass percentage increased during the El-Nino period. These results suggest that natural disturbances such as weather changes affect seagrass populations. Evaluation of land usage and measurements of other water physicochemical parameters (such as heavy metal, pesticides, and nutrients) should be considered to assess the health of seagrass ecosystem at the study area.
Rapid development and industrialization in Southeast (SE) Asia has led to environmental pollution, potentially exposing the general population to environmental contaminants. Human biomonitoring (HBM), measurement of chemical and/or their metabolites in human tissues and fluids, is an important tool for assessing cumulative exposure to complex mixtures of chemicals and for monitoring chemical exposures in the general population. While there are national HBM programs in several developed countries, there are no such national programs in most of the SE Asian countries. However, in recent years there has been progress in the field of HBM in many of the SE Asian countries. In this review, we present recent HBM studies in five selected SE Asian countries: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand. While there is extensive HBM research in several SE Asian countries, such as Thailand, in other countries HBM studies are limited and focus on traditional environmental pollutants (such as lead, arsenic and mercury). Further development of this field in SE Asia would be benefited by establishment of laboratory capacity, improving quality control and assurance, collaboration with international experts and consortiums, and sharing of protocols and training both for pre-analytical and analytical phases. This review highlights the impressive progress in HBM research in selected SE Asian countries and provides recommendations for development of this field.
In this paper, we present the effect of varying humidity levels on the electrical parameters and the multi frequency response of the electrical parameters of an organic-inorganic composite (PEPC+NiPc+Cu2O)-based humidity sensor. Silver thin films (thickness ~200 nm) were primarily deposited on plasma cleaned glass substrates by the physical vapor deposition (PVD) technique. A pair of rectangular silver electrodes was formed by patterning silver film through standard optical lithography technique. An active layer of organic-inorganic composite for humidity sensing was later spun coated to cover the separation between the silver electrodes. The electrical characterization of the sensor was performed as a function of relative humidity levels and frequency of the AC input signal. The sensor showed reversible changes in its capacitance with variations in humidity level. The maximum sensitivity ~31.6 pF/%RH at 100 Hz in capacitive mode of operation has been attained. The aim of this study was to increase the sensitivity of the previously reported humidity sensors using PEPC and NiPc, which has been successfully achieved.
Illuminance level in the softcopy image viewing room is a very important factor to optimize productivity in radiological diagnosis. In today's radiological environment, the illuminance measurements are normally done during the quality control procedure and performed annually. Although the room is equipped with dimmer switches, radiologists are not able to decide the level of illuminance according to the standards. The aim of this study is to develop a simple real-time illuminance detector system to assist the radiologists in deciding an adequate illuminance level during radiological image viewing. The system indicates illuminance in a very simple visual form by using light emitting diodes. By employing the device in the viewing room, illuminance level can be monitored and adjusted effectively.
A study of the water quality changes of Chini Lake was conducted for 12 months, which began in May 2004 and ended in April 2005. Fifteen sampling stations were selected representing the open water body in the lake. A total of 14 water quality parameters were measured and Malaysian Department of Environment Water Quality Index (DOE-WQI) was calculated and classified according to the Interim National Water Quality Standard, Malaysia (INWQS). The physical and chemical variables were temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO), conductivity, pH, total dissolved solid (TDS), turbidity, chlorophyll-a, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solid (TSS), ammonia-N, nitrate, phosphate and sulphate. Results show that base on Malaysian WQI, the water in Chini Lake is classified as class II, which is suitable for recreational activities and allows body contact. With respect to the Interim National Water Quality Standard (INWQS), temperature was within the normal range, conductivity, TSS, nitrate, sulphate and TDS are categorized under class I. Parameters for DO, pH, turbidity, BOD, COD and ammonia-N are categorized under class II. Comparison with eutrophic status indicates that chlorophyll-a concentration in the lake was in mesotrophic condition. In general water quality in Chini Lake varied temporally and spatially, and the most affected water quality parameters were TSS, turbidity, chlorophyll-a, sulphate, DO, ammonia-N, pH and conductivity.
Matched MeSH terms: Environmental Monitoring/methods; Environmental Monitoring/statistics & numerical data
The basic aim of this work is (1) to review and present practically operational requirements for a sustainability assessment of marine environment, such as describing the monitoring process, research approaches, objectives, guidelines, and indicators and (2) to illustrate how physico-chemical and biological indicators can be practically applied, to assess water and sediment quality in marine and coastal environment. These indicators should meet defined criteria for practical usefulness, e.g. they should be simple to understand and apply to managers and scientists with different educational backgrounds. This review aimed to encapsulate that variability, recognizing that meaningful guidance should be flexible enough to accommodate the widely differing characteristics of marine ecosystems.
Emerging pollutants known as endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) are a contemporary global issue, especially in aquatic ecosystems. As aquaculture production through mariculture activities in Malaysia supports food production, the concentration and distribution of EDCs in estuarine water ecosystems may have changed. Therefore, this current study aims to prepare a suitable and reliable method for application on environmental samples. Besides, this study also presented the occurrence of EDCs pollutant in Pulau Kukup, Johor, where the biggest and most active mariculture site in Malaysia takes place. Analytical methods based on a combination of solid-phase extraction with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (Solid-phase extraction (SPE)-LC-MS/MS) have been modified and optimised to examine the level of targeted EDCs contaminant. In the current study, this method displays high extraction recovery for targeted EDCs, ranging from 92.02% to 132.32%. The highest concentration detected is diclofenac (<0.47-79.89 ng/L) followed by 17β-estradiol (E2) (<5.28-31.43 ng/L) and 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2) (<0.30-7.67 ng/L). The highest percentage distribution for the targeted EDCs in the current study is diclofenac, followed by EE2 and dexamethasone with the percentages of 99.44%, 89.53% and 73.23%, respectively. This current study can be a baseline assessment to understand the pollution profile of EDCs and their distribution in the estuarine water of the mariculture site throughout the world, especially in Malaysia. Owing to the significant concentration of targeted EDCs detected in water samples, the need for further monitoring in the future is required.
Despite the growing demand of tourism in Malaysia, there are no resolute efforts to develop beaches as tourist destinations. With no incentives to monitor public beaches or to use them in a sustainable manner, they might eventually degenerate in quality as a result of influx of pollutants. This calls for concerted action plans with a view to promoting their sustainable use. The success of such plans is inevitably anchored on the availability of robust quality monitoring schemes. Although significant efforts have been channelled to collation and public disclosure of bacteriological quality data of rivers, beach water monitoring appears left out. This partly explains the dearth of published information related to beach water quality data. As part of an on-going nation-wide surveillance study on the bacteriological quality of recreational beaches, this paper draws on a situation analysis with a view to proffering recommendations that could be adapted for ensuring better beach water quality in Malaysia.
Blast operations in the vicinity of residential areas usually produce significant environmental problems which may cause severe damage to the nearby areas. Blast-induced air overpressure (AOp) is one of the most important environmental impacts of blast operations which needs to be predicted to minimize the potential risk of damage. This paper presents an artificial neural network (ANN) optimized by the imperialist competitive algorithm (ICA) for the prediction of AOp induced by quarry blasting. For this purpose, 95 blasting operations were precisely monitored in a granite quarry site in Malaysia and AOp values were recorded in each operation. Furthermore, the most influential parameters on AOp, including the maximum charge per delay and the distance between the blast-face and monitoring point, were measured and used to train the ICA-ANN model. Based on the generalized predictor equation and considering the measured data from the granite quarry site, a new empirical equation was developed to predict AOp. For comparison purposes, conventional ANN models were developed and compared with the ICA-ANN results. The results demonstrated that the proposed ICA-ANN model is able to predict blast-induced AOp more accurately than other presented techniques.
In many regions of the world, biodiversity surveys are not routinely conducted prior to activities that lead to land conversion, such as development projects. Here we use top-down methods based on global range maps and bottom-up methods based on macroecological scaling laws to illuminate the otherwise hidden biodiversity impacts of three large hydroelectric dams in the state of Sarawak in northern Borneo. Our retrospective impact assessment finds that the three reservoirs inundate habitat for 331 species of birds (3 million individuals) and 164 species of mammals (110 million individuals). A minimum of 2100 species of trees (900 million individuals) and 17 700 species of arthropods (34 billion individuals) are estimated to be affected by the dams. No extinctions of bird, mammal, or tree species are expected due to habitat loss following reservoir inundation, while 4-7 arthropod species extinctions are predicted. These assessment methods are applicable to any data-limited system undergoing land-use change.
Most developing countries, particularly Indonesia, will be facing problems of sludge pressure in the next decades due to the increase in practices of legal and illegal logging as well as land and water demands. Consequently, they will also be facing the challenges of soil erosion and sludge management due to increased quantities of sludge coming from several potential sources, such as activated sludge, chemical sludge, fecal sludge and solid wastes as well as erosion and sedimentation. Although the government of Indonesia has enacted laws and policies to speed up the implementation of the programs and activities related to sludge management, the detailed practice concepts in implementing the programs need to be identified. Discussion of role-sharing amongst the related government agencies, private institutions and other stakeholders is urgent for clarifying the participation of each party in the next years to come. This paper proposes a management approach and level of responsibilities in sludge management. Implementation of zero DeltaQ, zero DeltaS and zero DeltaP policies needs to be adopted by local and central governments. Application of sludge on the agricultural lands and other uses will promote sustainable development.
Threats to beaches have accelerated the coastal destruction. In recent decades, geotextile tubes were used around the world to prevent coastal erosion, to encourage beach nourishment, and to assist mangrove rehabilitation. However, the applications of geotextile tube in sandy and muddy coasts have different concerns as the geological settings are different. Applications of geotextile tubes in sandy beaches were mainly to prevent coastline from further erosion and to nourish the beach. However, for the muddy coasts, mangrove rehabilitation and conservation were additional concerns in coastal management schemes. The mangrove forests are natural barriers which can be found on the muddy coasts of many tropical countries. In this paper, the viability of geotextile tubes in sandy and muddy beaches was analysed. The advantages and disadvantages of the utilization of geotextile tubes in coastal management were discussed based on the experiences from the tropical countries such as Mexico, Malaysia, and Thailand. From the case studies, impressive improvements in coastal restoration after installation of geotextile tubes were shown. Based on the discussion, several recommendations to improve the application of geotextile tubes were suggested in this paper.
This study was conducted to determine the composition of surfactants in the sea-surface microlayer (SML) and atmospheric aerosol around the southern region of the Peninsular Malaysia. Surfactants in samples taken from the SML and atmospheric aerosol were determined using a colorimetric method, as either methylene blue active substances (MBAS) or disulphine blue active substances (DBAS). Principal component analysis with multiple linear regressions (PCA-MLR), using the anion and major element composition of the aerosol samples, was used to determine possible sources of surfactants in atmospheric aerosol. The results showed that the concentrations of surfactants in the SML and atmospheric aerosol were dominated by anionic surfactants and that surfactants in aerosol were not directly correlated (p>0.05) with surfactants in the SML. Further PCA-MLR from anion and major element concentrations showed that combustion of fossil fuel and sea spray were the major contributors to surfactants in aerosol in the study area.
The humidity sensing characteristics of different sensing materials are important properties in order to monitor different products or events in a wide range of industrial sectors, research and development laboratories as well as daily life. The primary aim of this study is to compare the sensing characteristics, including impedance or resistance, capacitance, hysteresis, recovery and response times, and stability with respect to relative humidity, frequency, and temperature, of different materials. Various materials, including ceramics, semiconductors, and polymers, used for sensing relative humidity have been reviewed. Correlations of the different electrical characteristics of different doped sensor materials as the most unique feature of a material have been noted. The electrical properties of different sensor materials are found to change significantly with the morphological changes, doping concentration of different materials and film thickness of the substrate. Various applications and scopes are pointed out in the review article. We extensively reviewed almost all main kinds of relative humidity sensors and how their electrical characteristics vary with different doping concentrations, film thickness and basic sensing materials. Based on statistical tests, the zinc oxide-based sensing material is best for humidity sensor design since it shows extremely low hysteresis loss, minimum response and recovery times and excellent stability.
Tourism-related activities such as the heavy use of boats for transportation are a significant source of petroleum hydrocarbons that may harm the ecosystem of Langkawi Island. The contamination and toxicity levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) in the sediments of Langkawi were evaluated using sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) and toxic equivalent factors. Ten samples were collected from jetties and fish farms around the island in December 2010. A gas chromatography/flame ionization detector (GC/FID) was used to analyse the 18 PAHs. The concentration of total PAHs was found to range from 869 ± 00 to 1637 ± 20 ng g⁻¹ with a mean concentration of 1167.00 ± 24 ng g⁻¹, lower than the SQG effects range-low (3442 ng g⁻¹). The results indicated that PAHs may not cause acute biological damage. Diagnostic ratios and principal component analysis suggested that the PAHs were likely to originate from pyrogenic and petrogenic sources. The toxic equivalent concentrations of the PAHs ranged from 76.3 to 177 ng TEQ/g d.w., which is lower compared to similar studies. The results of mean effects range-median quotient of the PAHs were lower than 0.1, which indicate an 11% probability of toxicity effect. Hence, the sampling sites were determined to be the low-priority sites.
The understanding of how the sediment deposit thickness influences the incipient motion characteristic is still lacking in the literature. Hence, the current study aims to determine the effect of sediment deposition thickness on the critical velocity for incipient motion. An incipient motion experiment was conducted in a rigid boundary rectangular flume of 0.6 m width with varying sediment deposition thickness. Findings from the experiment revealed that the densimetric Froude number has a logarithmic relationship with both the thickness ratios ts/d and ts/y0 (ts: sediment deposit thickness; d: grain size; y0: normal flow depth). Multiple linear regression analysis was performed using the data from the current study to develop a new critical velocity equation by incorporating thickness ratios into the equation. The new equation can be used to predict critical velocity for incipient motion for both loose and rigid boundary conditions. The new critical velocity equation is an attempt toward unifying the equations for both rigid and loose boundary conditions.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in indoor air were investigated at 39 private residences in Selangor State, Malaysia to characterize the indoor air quality and to identify pollution sources. Twenty-two VOCs including isomers (14 aldehydes, 5 aromatic hydrocarbons, acetone, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene) were collected by 2 passive samplers for 24h and quantitated using high performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Source profiling based on benzene/toluene ratio as well as statistical analysis (cluster analysis, bivariate correlation analysis and principal component analysis) was performed to identify pollution sources of the detected VOCs. The VOCs concentrations were compared with regulatory limits of air quality guidelines in WHO/EU, the US, Canada and Japan to clarify the potential health risks to the residents. The 39 residences were classified into 2 groups and 2 ungrouped residences based on the dendrogram in the cluster analysis. Group 1 (n=30) had mainly toluene (6.87±2.19μg/m3), formaldehyde (16.0±10.1μg/m3), acetaldehyde (5.35±4.57μg/m3) and acetone (11.1±5.95μg/m3) at background levels. Group 2 (n=7) had significantly high values of formaldehyde (99.3±10.7μg/m3) and acetone (35.8±12.6μg/m3), and a tendency to have higher values of acetaldehyde (23.7±13.5μg/m3), butyraldehyde (3.35±0.41μg/m3) and isovaleraldehyde (2.30±0.39μg/m3). The 2 ungrouped residences showed particularly high concentrations of BTX (benzene, toluene and xylene: 235μg/m3 in total) or acetone (133μg/m3). The geometric mean value of formaldehyde (19.2μg/m3) exceeded an 8-hour regulatory limit in Canada (9μg/m3), while those in other compounds did not exceed any regulatory limits, although a few residences exceeded at least one regulatory limit of benzene or acetaldehyde. Thus, the VOCs in the private residences were effectively characterized from the limited number of monitoring, and the potential health risks of the VOCs exposure, particularly formaldehyde, should be considered in the study area.