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Special Issue "Feature Paper in Environmental Chemistry and Technology"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Daniela Varrica
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e del Mare (DiSTeM) Via Archirafi 36, 90123 Palermo, Italy
Interests: different aspects of environmental geochemistry; ranging from hydrogeochemistry to air; water and soil pollution in volcanic; mining and anthropic areas
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The mid-twentieth century and the beginning of this new century are characterized by rapid technological development which has led to tragic consequences for the environment. Environmental contamination from metals and metalloids has increased significantly worldwide in the past few decades due to urbanization and industrialization. Their negative environmental impacts are evident in terms of air, water, and land pollution due to emission of toxic pollutants. It is now necessary to try to combine the environment that surrounds us with technological progress. As one great writer said, “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for” (Ernest Hemingway).

This Special Issue aims to scrutinize the different aspects of environmental problems in different fields ranging from geology to chemistry, to biology, to engineering, in order to evaluate the behavior, the transport of some chemicals in different environmental spheres, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere, the transfers from one sphere to the other, and the possibility of developing new technologies to protect the environment. Although the scientific community is continually looking for the identification of relevant indicators, to assess the impacts on human health of ingestion and assimilation of chemical substances, the question is far from being resolved. However, biomonitoring studies could be considered as the building block to evaluate possible effects of chronic low environmental exposure, always remembering that safeguarding the environment in which we live is linked to safeguarding human health.

Prof. Dr. Daniela Varrica
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Environmental geochemistry
  • Environmental chemistry
  • Environmental engineering
  • Environmental geology
  • Biochemistry and biogeochemistry
  • Environmental pollution
  • Water
  • Soils
  • Biomonitoring

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Feature Paper in Environmental Chemistry and Technology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10874; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph182010874 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 198
Abstract
Attention to the environment and its problems has undergone unprecedented growth in recent years [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Paper in Environmental Chemistry and Technology)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Article
Vinyl-Asbestos Floor Risk Exposure in Three Different Simulations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2073; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18042073 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Vinyl floors are widely used in public areas for their low cost and easy cleaning. From 1960 to 1980, asbestos was often added to improve vinyl floor performances. The Italian Ministerial Decree (M.D.) 06/09/94 indicates asbestos vinyl tiles as non-friable materials and, therefore, [...] Read more.
Vinyl floors are widely used in public areas for their low cost and easy cleaning. From 1960 to 1980, asbestos was often added to improve vinyl floor performances. The Italian Ministerial Decree (M.D.) 06/09/94 indicates asbestos vinyl tiles as non-friable materials and, therefore, few dangerous to human health. This work aims to check through three different experimental tests if asbestos floor tiles, after decades of use, maintain their characteristics of compactness and non-friability. The effect of a small stone fragment stuck in the sole of rubber shoes was reproduced by striking the vinyl floor with a crampon. A vinyl tile was broken into smaller pieces with the aid of pliers to simulate what normally happens when workers replace the floors or sample it to verify the presence of asbestos. The third test reproduced the abrasion of the tile surface due to the dragging of furniture or heavy materials or sand grains that remain attached to the soles of shoes. The tests were carried out in safe conditions, working under an extractor hood with a glove box. Airborne sampling in the hood obtained the concentration of asbestos fibers produced in each test. The simulation tests performed confirms the possible release of fibers if the vinyl tiles are cut, abraded or perforated, as indicated by the Italian M.D. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Paper in Environmental Chemistry and Technology)
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Article
Zinc Based Metal-Organic Frameworks as Ofloxacin Adsorbents in Polluted Waters: ZIF-8 vs. Zn3(BTC)2
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1433; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041433 - 03 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1054
Abstract
Two different zinc-based metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) were investigated to remove one of the most used fluoroquinolone antibiotic, Ofloxacin (OFL), from polluted water. The most common zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) and the green Zn(II) and benzene-1,3,5-tri-carboxylate (Zn3(BTC)2) were prepared through [...] Read more.
Two different zinc-based metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) were investigated to remove one of the most used fluoroquinolone antibiotic, Ofloxacin (OFL), from polluted water. The most common zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) and the green Zn(II) and benzene-1,3,5-tri-carboxylate (Zn3(BTC)2) were prepared through a facile synthetic route and characterized by means of Fourier-Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Spectroscopy, X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRPD), and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analyses. The two MOFs were compared in terms of both adsorption and kinetic aspects under real conditions (tap water, natural pH). Results showed that OFL was adsorbed in remarkable amounts, 95 ± 10 and 25.3 ± 0.8 mg g−1 on ZIF-8 and Zn3(BTC)2, respectively, following different mechanisms. Specifically, a Langmuir model well described the ZIF-8 profile, while for Zn3(BTC)2, cooperative adsorption occurred. Moreover the kinetic results were quite different, pseudo-second-order and sigmoidal, respectively. The suitability of ZIF-8 and Zn3(BTC)2 as adsorbent phases for water depollution was tested on tap water samples spiked with OFL 10 µg L−1. The obtained removal efficiencies, of 88% for ZIF-8 and 72% for Zn3(BTC)2, make these materials promising candidates for removing fluoroquinolone antibiotics (FQs) from polluted waters, notwithstanding their limited reusability in tap water, as demonstrated by in-depth characterization of the two MOFs after usage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Paper in Environmental Chemistry and Technology)
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Article
Geochemical Behaviors of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) in Karst Soils under Different Land-Use Types: A Case in Yinjiang Karst Catchment, Southwest China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 502; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18020502 - 09 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 886
Abstract
The geochemical characteristics of rare earth elements (REEs) can be employed to identify the anthropogenic and natural influence on the distributions of REEs in soils. A total of 47 soil samples from the three soil profiles of the secondary forest land, abandoned cropland, [...] Read more.
The geochemical characteristics of rare earth elements (REEs) can be employed to identify the anthropogenic and natural influence on the distributions of REEs in soils. A total of 47 soil samples from the three soil profiles of the secondary forest land, abandoned cropland, and shrubland in the Yinjiang county of Guizhou province, southwest China, were collected to determine the contents and distribution of REEs in the soil environment. The total REEs (ΣREE) contents in different soil profiles are in the following sequence: secondary forest land (mean: 204.59 mg·kg−1) > abandoned cropland (mean: 186.67 mg·kg−1) > shrubland (mean: 139.50 mg·kg−1). The ratios of (La/Gd)N and (Gd/Yb)N ranged from 0.62 to 1.00 and 1.18 to 2.16, which indicated that the enrichment of the medium rare earth elements (MREEs) was more obvious than that of the light rare earth elements (LREEs) and the heavy rare earth elements (HREEs). The phenomenon could be attributed to the preferential absorption of MREEs by fine particles and the substitution of Ca2+ by MREEs. Most soil samples were characterized by the negative Ce anomalies (anomalies values: 0.30–1.10) and positive Eu anomalies (anomalies values: 0.43–2.90). The contents of REEs in the profiles of secondary forest land and shrubland were mainly regulated by soil pH and Fe contents while clay content and agricultural activities were the main controlling factors in the soil profile of abandoned cropland. This study highlights the role of agricultural activities in affecting the distributions of REEs in karst soils, which could provide some insights for the protection of the soil environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Paper in Environmental Chemistry and Technology)
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Article
Evidence of Low-Habitat Contamination Using Feathers of Three Heron Species as a Biomonitor of Inorganic Elemental Pollution
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7776; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17217776 - 23 Oct 2020
Viewed by 649
Abstract
The concentration of 12 elements (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, and Zn) has been investigated in the feathers of three species of Ardeidae, namely the Grey Heron Ardea cinerea, the Little Egret Egretta garzetta, and [...] Read more.
The concentration of 12 elements (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, and Zn) has been investigated in the feathers of three species of Ardeidae, namely the Grey Heron Ardea cinerea, the Little Egret Egretta garzetta, and the Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis, all breeding at a colony located in the southern Padana Plain (NW Italy). This study is a first step for an evaluation of possible direct effects of these elements on chicks’ survival and growth rate. Fe, Zn, Cu, and Mn were in the range 7–69 mg Kg−1, while lower levels of Pb, Ni, As, and Se (0.27–1.45 mg Kg−1) were measured. Co, Cd, and Cr were close to the method detection limits (MDLs) in all the species. The measured concentrations of the most abundant trace elements, such as Zn and Cu, seem to reflect the geochemical pattern of the background (running water and soil), while Hg concentration is lower and it appears to be biomagnified, particularly in Grey Heron feathers. Its concentration is higher in adults than in chicks, and it differs among the three species, as it is closely related to the fish-based dietary pattern. The measured trace elements’ concentrations are below the threshold levels in all the heron species, and consequently, harmful and acute effects on the local population are unlikely; the conservation status of herons populations in northern Italy is probably more affected by other factors, such as climate changes, altered aquatic environment, and, consequently, food quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Paper in Environmental Chemistry and Technology)
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