Special Issue "Waste Management, Air Quality, Pollutant Dispersion, Human Health Impact"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Deborah Panepinto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering (DIATI), Polytechnic of Turin, I-10129 Turin, Italy
Interests: air quality; climate change mitigation; odors; biomethane; health impact assessment; carbon footprint; waste management; wastewater treatment plants
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Marco Ravina
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering (DIATI), Polytechnic of Turin, I-10129 Turin, Italy
Interests: air quality; pollutant dispersion modelling; GHG emissions; odors; biomethane; health impact assessment; carbon footprint
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Elena Magaril
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Economics, Ural Federal University, Mira str, 19-418A, 620002 Ekaterinburg, Russia
Interests: environmental sustainability; energy efficiency; environmental management; motor fuels; petroleum refining
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The interactions between humans and their physical surroundings have been extensively studied in the recent past, and the result is that there are many human activities that influence the environment.

Pollution is defined as the introduction into the environment of substances harmful to humans and other living organisms. Human activities have an adverse effect on the environment, and air pollution has various health effects.

In order to improve environmental quality (from the point of view of local air quality and also from the point of view of greenhouse gas emissions), waste prevention, reuse, and valorization must be realized. Waste management must thus be linked with air quality assessment, studies of pollutant dispersion, and analyses of human health impacts, with risk assessments.

This Special Issue aims to discuss strategy frameworks that integrate waste management, air quality assessment, pollutant emission and dispersion calculation, and the evaluation of the impacts on human health. A wide range of national and local approaches could be implemented, taking into account the actual situation, with sharing of the best practices.

The following themes would be of particular interest (note that this list is not exhaustive):

  • Waste (municipal and industrial) prevention, reuse, recovery and valorization;
  • New waste management strategies: COVID-19 concern;
  • Analysis of air quality;
  • Analysis of pollutant emission dispersion from different kinds of treatments/plants;
  • Analysis of the human health impact linked to the previous aspects.

We invite you to contribute to this issue by submitting comprehensive reviews, case studies, or research articles. Papers selected for this Special Issue are subject to a rigorous peer review procedure, with the aim of the rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications.

Prof. Dr. Deborah Panepinto
Dr. Marco Ravina
Prof. Dr. Elena Magaril
Guest Editors

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

  • waste management
  • by-products
  • circular economy
  • air pollution
  • climate change
  • pollutant emission dispersion
  • human health impact
  • risk analysis
  • environmental impact
  • complex systems

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Utilization of Alkali-Activated Lead–Zinc Smelting Slag for Chromite Ore Processing Residue Solidification/Stabilization
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 9960; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18199960 - 22 Sep 2021
Viewed by 445
Abstract
Lead–zinc smelting slag (LZSS) is regarded as a hazardous waste containing heavy metals that poses a significant threat to the environment. LZSS is rich in aluminosilicate, which has the potential to prepare alkali-activated materials and solidify hazardous waste, realizing hazardous waste cotreatment. In [...] Read more.
Lead–zinc smelting slag (LZSS) is regarded as a hazardous waste containing heavy metals that poses a significant threat to the environment. LZSS is rich in aluminosilicate, which has the potential to prepare alkali-activated materials and solidify hazardous waste, realizing hazardous waste cotreatment. In this study, the experiment included two parts; i.e., the preparation of alkali-activated LZSS (pure smelting slag) and chromite ore processing residue (COPR) solidification/stabilization. Single-factor and orthogonal experiments were carried out that aimed to explore the effects of various parameters (alkali solid content, water glass modulus, liquid–solid ratio, and initial curing temperature) for alkali-activated LZSS. Additionally, compressive strength and leaching toxicity were the indexes used to evaluate the performance of the solidified bodies containing COPR. As a result, the highest compressive strength of alkali-activated LZSS reached 84.49 MPa, and when 40% COPR was added, the strength decreased to 1.42 MPa. However, the leaching concentrations of Zn and Cr from all the solidified bodies were far below the critical limits (US EPA Method 1311 and China GB5085.3-2007). Heavy-metal ions in LZSS and COPR were immobilized successfully by chemical and physical means, which was detected by analyses including environmental scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive spectrometry, Fourier transform infrared spectrometry, and X-ray diffraction. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Green Coffee-Roasting Biogas with Modeling Valorization of Possible Solutions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 6947; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17196947 - 23 Sep 2020
Viewed by 739
Abstract
According to the European Union Directive 2009/28/EC, the goals of obtaining 20% of all energy requirements from renewable sources and a 20% reduction in primary energy use must be fulfilled by 2020. In this work, an evaluation was performed, from the environmental and [...] Read more.
According to the European Union Directive 2009/28/EC, the goals of obtaining 20% of all energy requirements from renewable sources and a 20% reduction in primary energy use must be fulfilled by 2020. In this work, an evaluation was performed, from the environmental and energy point of view, of anaerobic digestion as a valid solution for the treatment of the byproducts obtained from the coffee-roasting process. In particular, thermophilic anaerobic digestion tests were carried out. Output values from the laboratory were used as input for the MCBioCH4 model to evaluate the produced flow of biogas and biomethane and two different biogas valorization alternatives, namely, the traditional exploitation of biogas for heat/energy production and biomethane conversion. The results of the preliminary simulation showed that a full-scale implementation of the coffee waste biogas production process is technically feasible and environmentally sustainable. Furthermore, the performed analysis validates a general methodology for energy production compatibility planning. Full article
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Article
Assessment of COVID-19 Waste Flows During the Emergency State in Romania and Related Public Health and Environmental Concerns
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5439; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17155439 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3232
Abstract
This paper provides a rapid assessment method of potentially infectious waste flow related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Romania focusing on the emergency state (from 16 March to 14 May 2020) where a national lockdown was in force with restrictive and [...] Read more.
This paper provides a rapid assessment method of potentially infectious waste flow related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Romania focusing on the emergency state (from 16 March to 14 May 2020) where a national lockdown was in force with restrictive and social distancing measures concerning population mobility and economic activities. Medical and municipal waste management systems are critical services in combating the virus spread in the community. This assessment is useful due to poor available data of medical waste flow in environmental reports and it covers COVID-19 patients, quarantined, and self-isolated persons as the main potential infectious waste sources. The proposed model estimates that COVID-19 related waste flow is 4312 t at the national level from 25 February to 15 June of which 2633 t in the emergency state period. This assessment is correlated with deficiencies of medical and municipal waste management systems in Romania before the COVID-19 pandemic as stress factors of public health and environment. This study points out the main challenges of waste operators and reveals some best practices during this pandemic crisis. Based on the results and discussion section, several recommendations are proposed to COVID-19 waste-related issues and points out the crucial role of the reliable medical and municipal waste database in managing such biologic hazards at national and EU levels. Monitoring of COVID-19 waste flow through such models are important for decision-makers, particularly in low and middle-income countries which are facing waste management deficiencies and gaps in waste statistics, to reduce other contamination risks or related environmental threats. Full article
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Article
Waterborne Exposure of Paclobutrazol at Environmental Relevant Concentration Induce Locomotion Hyperactivity in Larvae and Anxiolytic Exploratory Behavior in Adult Zebrafish
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4632; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17134632 - 27 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1188
Abstract
The available arable land is unable to fulfill the food production need of rapidly the exponentially growing human population in the world. Pesticides are one of those different measures taken to meet this demand. As a plant growth regulator to block gibberellin, paclobutrazol [...] Read more.
The available arable land is unable to fulfill the food production need of rapidly the exponentially growing human population in the world. Pesticides are one of those different measures taken to meet this demand. As a plant growth regulator to block gibberellin, paclobutrazol (PBZ) is used excessively throughout the world to promote early fruit setting, and to increase seed setting which might be harmful because PBZ is a very stable compound; therefore, it can bioaccumulate into the food chain of an ecosystem. In the present study, we discovered unexpected effects of PBZ on zebrafish larvae and adult behaviors by challenging them with low dose exposure. Zebrafish larvae aged 4 days post-fertilization (dpf) were exposed for 24 h at 10 µg/L (0.01 ppm) and 100 µg/L (0.1 ppm) of PBZ, respectively, and adults were incubated at 100 µg/L (0.1 ppm) and 1000 µg/L (1 ppm) concentrations of PBZ, respectively, for fourteen days. After incubation, the locomotor activity, burst, and rotation movement for the larvae; and multiple behavioral tests such as novel tank exploration, mirror biting, shoaling, predator avoidance, and social interaction for adult zebrafish were evaluated. Brain tissues of the adult fish were dissected and subjected to biochemical analyses of the antioxidant response, oxidative stress, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and neurotransmitter levels. Zebrafish larvae exposed to PBZ exhibited locomotion hyperactivity with a high burst movement and swimming pattern. In adult zebrafish, PBZ resulted in anxiolytic exploratory behavior, while no significant results were found in social interaction, shoal making, and predator avoidance behaviors. Interestingly, high dose PBZ exposure significantly compromised the innate aggressive behavior of the adult fish. Biochemical assays for oxidative stress, antioxidant response, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) showed significant reductions in their relative contents. In conclusion, for the first time, our behavior assays revealed that chronic PBZ exposure induced behavioral alterations in both larvae and the adult zebrafish. Because PBZ is a widely-used plant growth regulator, we suggest that it is necessary to conduct more thorough tests for its biosafety and bioaccumulation. Full article
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Review

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Review
Analysis of the Emergent Climate Change Mitigation Technologies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6767; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18136767 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 623
Abstract
A climate change mitigation refers to efforts to reduce or prevent emission of greenhouse gases. Mitigation can mean using new technologies and renewable energies, making older equipment more energy efficient, or changing management practices or consumer behavior. The mitigation technologies are able to [...] Read more.
A climate change mitigation refers to efforts to reduce or prevent emission of greenhouse gases. Mitigation can mean using new technologies and renewable energies, making older equipment more energy efficient, or changing management practices or consumer behavior. The mitigation technologies are able to reduce or absorb the greenhouse gases (GHG) and, in particular, the CO2 present in the atmosphere. The CO2 is a persistent atmospheric gas. It seems increasingly likely that concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will overshoot the 450 ppm CO2 target, widely seen as the upper limit of concentrations consistent with limiting the increase in global mean temperature from pre-industrial levels to around 2 °C. In order to stay well below to the 2 °C temperature thus compared to the pre-industrial level as required to the Paris Agreement it is necessary that in the future we will obtain a low (or better zero) emissions and it is also necessary that we will absorb a quantity of CO2 from the atmosphere, by 2070, equal to 10 Gt/y. In order to obtain this last point, so in order to absorb an amount of CO2 equal to about 10 Gt/y, it is necessary the implementation of the negative emission technologies. The negative emission technologies are technologies able to absorb the CO2 from the atmosphere. The aim of this work is to perform a detailed overview of the main mitigation technologies possibilities currently developed and, in particular, an analysis of an emergent negative emission technology: the microalgae massive cultivation for CO2 biofixation. Full article
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