Combustion processes are responsible for the vast majority of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that enter the environment. This review presents and discusses some of the factors that affect the production (type of fuel, amount of oxygen, and temperature) and environmental fate (physicochemical properties, biodegradation, photodegradation, and chemical oxidation) of combustion-derived PAHs. Because different combustion processes can yield similar assemblages of PAHs, apportionment of sources is often a difficult task. Several of the frequently applied methods for apportioning sources of PAHs in the environment are also discussed.
Marine oil spills affect the environment, economy, and quality of life for coastal inhabitants. This article presents a method of X-band marine radar oil-spill identification by considering the marine radar images of the 2010 Dalian 7-16 accident. The Prewitt operator was improved and a linear interpolation was proposed to suppress co-channel interferences. In addition, a model of a gray-intensity-correcting matrix is proposed to smooth a whole image, thus displaying the oil film more intuitively. Furthermore, a contrast-limited adaptive histogram equalization method was used to increase the contrast inside and outside the oil film. Moreover, the local adaptive thresholding method was improved to segment the oil spills. The results show that the proposed method is an improvement on similar previous approaches for this task when employing X-band marine radar images. The proposed method can provide technical and theoretical bases for emergency response, damage assessment, and liability identification of oil spills.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) along with inorganic gases such as sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ), nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ), and ozone (O 3 ) levels were found in the atmosphere of the Kemerburgaz region where environmental issues became a major concern due to nearby incineration plant and waste disposal facility in Istanbul. Ten sampling locations were selected considering possible sources in the study area. The sampling areas were classified as suburban, industrial, rural, and background regions. Sampling campaigns were carried out for four-week periods from March 2011 to August 2012 in all locations. Elevated concentrations of BTEX around roads and the industrial locations indicated that vehicle exhaust and industrial activities were the main sources of these pollutants in the region. Concentrations of NO 2 were also high around roads. A much more uniform distribution was observed for SO 2 during sampling periods. However higher levels were observed at suburban locations due to the use of coal for local heating especially during winter. Ozone concentrations were low at the industrial locations and roadsides, but high in suburban and rural locations downwind from the sources. The results of these organic and inorganic gases meet the national limit values. Furthermore, a lifetime risk assessment methodology was used to evaluate the potential adverse health effects of BTEX. The mean cancer risk level for benzene was estimated to be 7.71E-07 that is lower than assigned acceptable risk level of 1.0E-04. Toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes were lower than the specified level of 1.0 with respect to mean non-carcinogenic risks. The findings reveal that determined BTEX emissions do not pose a health threat to residents in the studied region.
Indian statutes identify twelve different types of biomedical wastes and give the treatment and disposal options for each. Since it is not possible for every generator of biomedical waste to go for their own treatment and disposal facility, the small-scale generators take the service of centralized treatment and disposal facilities available to them on payment. In the state of Kerala in India, where the basic health indicators match those of many developed countries, the centralized biomedical waste treatment facility is run by Indian Medical Association (IMA), Kerala, under the banner IMAGE (IMA Goes Eco-Friendly) at a place called "Kanjikode" in the Palakkad District. The facility receives biomedical waste from around 4500 hospitals across the State and an equal number of medical laboratories. The plant incinerates the incinerable waste and the other kind of waste are disinfected and decontaminated. The residual ash and dried sludge are then moved to the landfill area. Recently, the facility was in the middle of a controversy due to the alleged health hazards it posed to the surrounding population. An environmental forensic investigation was carried out at the site to establish the merits of the allegation. The reported study is a part of the investigation where groundwater was analysed for the presence of heavy metals. As the biomedical waste contain heavy metals like Zn, Pb, Cd, Cr, and Hg, the presence of these were analysed to establish contamination of groundwater by the facility. The study area is bounded by Malampuzha dam and Korayar river. Groundwater contaminant transport modelling was done for a 3430 m × 3960 m area surrounding the waste treatment facility using Visual MODFLOW and MODPATH. Ground water flow direction and particle pathlines were computed to track the movement of contaminants. Groundwater samples were collected from the area shown to be polluted by the model, if metals were discharged by the facility, and also from outside this area. Water samples were collected conforming to the guidelines in the "Pollution Crime Forensic Investigation Manual" published by INTERPOL. The collected water samples were tested for heavy metal concentration using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). The water sample analysis showed that the groundwater is not contaminated by heavy metal discharge from the biomedical treatment facility.