Wood decay is addressed continuously within the wood industry through use and development of wood preservatives. The increasing awareness on the negative effects of many chemicals towards the environment is causing political restrictions in their use and creating more urgent need for research on green alternatives. This paper discusses some of the possible natural extracts for wood preserving applications and compares the analytical methods available for testing their behavior and efficiency against decay fungi. The results indicate that natural extracts have interesting chemical constituents that delay fungal growth but vary in efficiency depending on the chemical concentration and substrate used. Results also suggest that presence and redistribution of preservatives in wood during exposure trials can be assessed by spectral imaging methods although standardized methods are not available. This study concludes that, in addition to the many standard methods available, there is a need to develop new faster methods for screening potential preservative formulation while maintaining the comparability and relevance of results.
The objective of our study is to investigate UV exposure in Finland through sample measurements as a typical case study in summer and winter. We measured UV-BC weighted radiation and calculated a daily dose, which is about 100–150 times the Finnish exposure limit value in summer and 1–6 times in winter. The measured ultraviolet indices varied from 0 to 7 (scale 0–18), which is less than the values obtained in countries that are located farther south from Tampere latitude of 61 degrees. In wintertime, the UV exposure was modest compared to summertime, 50–150 mW/m2 and about 1–5 mW/m2 in summer and winter, respectively. However, technical means to manage UV exposure in Scandinavia are also needed in summer- and springtime.
Recently, damage to domestic facilities by strong winds and typhoons are growing. Therefore, this study focused on sign structure among various vulnerable facilities. The evaluation of the wind fragility was carried out considering the destruction of the anchor, which is one of the various failure modes of the sign structure. The performance evaluation of the anchor was carried out to derive the wind fragility. Two parameters were set and four anchor types were selected to perform the pull-out and shear tests. The resistance capacity was estimated based on the experimental results. Wind loads were estimated using Monte Carlo simulation method. Based on these results, we derived the wind fragility according to anchor type and wind exposure category. Finally, the evaluation of the wind fragility was performed according to the experimental parameters such as anchor length and anchor diameter. This study shows that the depth of anchor was more significant for the safety of structure compare to diameter of anchor.
The need for national space legislation is pivotal, particularly in light of the fact that in recent years space activities have grown immensely both in volume and diversity. Countries are progressively developing capabilities in space exploration and scientific discoveries, market their capabilities to manufacture satellites, provide launch services from their facilities and are looking to privatize and commercialize their space resources. Today, nations are also seeking to comprehend the technological and financial potential of the private sector and are considering to share their financial burdens with them and to limit their exposures to risks, but they are lagging behind in legal framework in this regard. In the perspective of these emerging developments, it is therefore, felt that national space legislation should be enacted with the goal of building and implementing a vibrant and transparent legal framework at the national level to hasten investments and to ensure growth in this capital intensive - highly yield strategic sector. This study looks at (I) the international legal framework that governs space activities; (II) motivation behind making national space laws; and (III) the need for national space legislation. The paper concludes with some recommendations with regards to the conceivable future direction for national space legislation, in particular space empowered sub-areas for countries.
Corrosion behaviour of hypereutectic Al-19Si automotive alloy in different pH=1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13 environments was carried out using conventional gravimetric measurements and was complemented by resistivity, optical micrograph, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray analyzer (EDX) investigations. Gravimetric analysis confirmed that the highest corrosion rate is shown at pH 13 followed by pH 1. Minimum corrosion occurs in the pH range of 3.0 to 11 due to establishment of passive layer on the surface. The highest corrosion rate at pH 13 is due to the presence of sodium hydroxide in the solution which dissolves the surface oxide film at a steady rate. At pH 1, it can be attributed that the presence of aggressive chloride ions serves to pick up the damage of the passive films at localized regions. With varying exposure periods by both, the environment complies with the normal corrosion rate profile that is an initial steep rise followed by a nearly constant value of corrosion rate. Resistivity increases in case of pH 1 solution for the higher pit formation and decreases at pH 13 due to formation of thin film. The SEM image of corroded samples immersed in pH 1 solution clearly shows pores on the surface and in pH 13 solution, and the corrosion layer seems more compact and homogenous and not porous.
Recently, damages due to typhoons and strong wind are on the rise. Considering this issue, we evaluated the performance of soundproofing walls based on the strong wind fragility by means of numerical analysis. Among the components of the soundproof wall, aluminum frame was the most vulnerable member, thus we have considered different section of aluminum frame in the determination of wind fragility. Wind load was randomly generated using Monte Carlo Simulation method. Moreover, limit state was based on the test standard of road construction soundproofing wall. In this study, the strong wind fragility was determined by considering the influence factors of wind exposure category, soundproof wall’s installation position, and shape of aluminum frame section. Results of this study could be used to determine the section shape of the frame that has high resistance to the wind during construction of the soundproofing wall.
In order to study environmental contamination by cytostatic drugs in Portugal hospitals, sampling campaigns were conducted in three hospitals in 2015 (112 samples). Platinum containing drugs and fluorouracil were chosen because both were administered in high amounts. The detection limit was 0.01 pg/cm² for platinum and 0.1 pg/cm² for fluorouracil. The results show that spills occur mainly on the patient`s chair, while the most referenced occurrence is due to an inadequately closed wrapper. Day hospitals facilities were detected as having the largest number of contaminated samples and with higher levels of contamination.
Today's challenging business environment, with unpredictable demand and volatility, requires a supply chain strategy that handles uncertainty and risks in the right way. Even though inventory models have been previously explored, this paper seeks to apply these concepts on a practical situation. This study involves the inventory replenishment problem, applying techniques that are mainly based on mathematical assumptions and modeling. The primary goal is to improve the retailer’s supply chain processes taking store differences when setting the various target stock levels. Through inventory review policy, picking piece implementation and minimum exposure definition, we were able not only to promote the inventory reduction as well as improve sales results. The inventory management theory from literature review was then tested on a single case study regarding a particular department in one of the largest Latam retail chains.
The Ko Samui district of Surat Thani province is located in the high amounts of equivalent uranium in the ground surface that is the source of radon. Our research in the Ko Samui district aimed at comparing the indoor radon concentrations between dwellings and workplaces. Measurements of indoor radon concentrations were carried out in 46 dwellings and 127 workplaces, using CR-39 alpha-track detectors in closed-cup. A total of 173 detectors were distributed in 7 sub-districts. The detectors were placed in bedrooms of dwellings and workrooms of workplaces. All detectors were exposed to airborne radon for 90 days. After exposure, the alpha tracks were made visible by chemical etching before they were manually counted under an optical microscope. The track densities were assumed to be correlated with the radon concentration levels. We found that the radon concentrations could be well described by a log-normal distribution. Most concentrations (37%) were found in the range between 16 and 30 Bq.m-3. The radon concentrations in dwellings and workplaces varied from a minimum of 11 Bq.m-3 to a maximum of 305 Bq.m-3. The minimum (11 Bq.m-3) and maximum (305 Bq.m-3) values of indoor radon concentrations were found in a workplace and a dwelling, respectively. Only for four samples (3%), the indoor radon concentrations were found to be higher than the reference level recommended by the WHO (100 Bq.m-3). The overall geometric mean in the surveyed area was 32.6±1.65 Bq.m-3, which was lower than the worldwide average (39 Bq.m-3). The statistic comparison of the geometric mean indoor radon concentrations between dwellings and workplaces showed that the geometric mean in dwellings (46.0±1.55 Bq.m-3) was significantly higher than in workplaces (28.8±1.58 Bq.m-3) at the 0.05 level. Moreover, our study found that the majority of the bedrooms in dwellings had a closed atmosphere, resulting in poorer ventilation than in most of the workplaces that had access to air flow through open doors and windows at daytime. We consider this to be the main reason for the higher geometric mean indoor radon concentration in dwellings compared to workplaces.
In this paper, a review of different mathematical models which can be used as prediction tools to assess the time to crack reinforced concrete (RC) due to corrosion is investigated. This investigation leads to an experimental study to validate a selected prediction model. Most of these mathematical models depend upon the mechanical behaviors, chemical behaviors, electrochemical behaviors or geometric aspects of the RC members during a corrosion process. The experimental program is designed to verify the accuracy of a well-selected mathematical model from a rigorous literature study. Fundamentally, the experimental program exemplifies both one-dimensional chloride diffusion using RC squared slab elements of 500 mm by 500 mm and two-dimensional chloride diffusion using RC squared column elements of 225 mm by 225 mm by 500 mm. Each set consists of three water-to-cement ratios (w/c); 0.4, 0.5, 0.6 and two cover depths; 25 mm and 50 mm. 12 mm bars are used for column elements and 16 mm bars are used for slab elements. All the samples are subjected to accelerated chloride corrosion in a chloride bath of 5% (w/w) sodium chloride (NaCl) solution. Based on a pre-screening of different models, it is clear that the well-selected mathematical model had included mechanical properties, chemical and electrochemical properties, nature of corrosion whether it is accelerated or natural, and the amount of porous area that rust products can accommodate before exerting expansive pressure on the surrounding concrete. The experimental results have shown that the selected model for both one-dimensional and two-dimensional chloride diffusion had ±20% and ±10% respective accuracies compared to the experimental output. The half-cell potential readings are also used to see the corrosion probability, and experimental results have shown that the mass loss is proportional to the negative half-cell potential readings that are obtained. Additionally, a statistical analysis is carried out in order to determine the most influential factor that affects the time to corrode the reinforcement in the concrete due to chloride diffusion. The factors considered for this analysis are w/c, bar diameter, and cover depth. The analysis is accomplished by using Minitab statistical software, and it showed that cover depth is the significant effect on the time to crack the concrete from chloride induced corrosion than other factors considered. Thus, the time predictions can be illustrated through the selected mathematical model as it covers a wide range of factors affecting the corrosion process, and it can be used to predetermine the durability concern of RC structures that are vulnerable to chloride exposure. And eventually, it is further concluded that cover thickness plays a vital role in durability in terms of chloride diffusion.
The estimation of accumulated radiation doses in people professionally exposed to ionizing radiation was performed using methods of biological (chromosomal aberrations frequency in lymphocytes) and physical (radionuclides analysis in urine, whole-body radiation meter, individual thermoluminescent dosimeters) dosimetry. A group of 84 "A" category employees after their work in the territory of former Semipalatinsk test site (Kazakhstan) was investigated. The dose rate in some funnels exceeds 40 μSv/h. After radionuclides determination in urine using radiochemical and WBC methods, it was shown that the total effective dose of personnel internal exposure did not exceed 0.2 mSv/year, while an acceptable dose limit for staff is 20 mSv/year. The range of external radiation doses measured with individual thermo-luminescent dosimeters was 0.3-1.406 µSv. The cytogenetic examination showed that chromosomal aberrations frequency in staff was 4.27±0.22%, which is significantly higher than at the people from non-polluting settlement Tausugur (0.87±0.1%) (р ≤ 0.01) and citizens of Almaty (1.6±0.12%) (р≤ 0.01). Chromosomal type aberrations accounted for 2.32±0.16%, 0.27±0.06% of which were dicentrics and centric rings. The cytogenetic analysis of different types group radiosensitivity among «professionals» (age, sex, ethnic group, epidemiological data) revealed no significant differences between the compared values. Using various techniques by frequency of dicentrics and centric rings, the average cumulative radiation dose for group was calculated, and that was 0.084-0.143 Gy. To perform comparative individual dosimetry using physical and biological methods of dose assessment, calibration curves (including own ones) and regression equations based on general frequency of chromosomal aberrations obtained after irradiation of blood samples by gamma-radiation with the dose rate of 0,1 Gy/min were used. Herewith, on the assumption of individual variation of chromosomal aberrations frequency (1–10%), the accumulated dose of radiation varied 0-0.3 Gy. The main problem in the interpretation of individual dosimetry results is reduced to different reaction of the objects to irradiation - radiosensitivity, which dictates the need of quantitative definition of this individual reaction and its consideration in the calculation of the received radiation dose. The entire examined contingent was assigned to a group based on the received dose and detected cytogenetic aberrations. Radiosensitive individuals, at the lowest received dose in a year, showed the highest frequency of chromosomal aberrations (5.72%). In opposite, radioresistant individuals showed the lowest frequency of chromosomal aberrations (2.8%). The cohort correlation according to the criterion of radio-sensitivity in our research was distributed as follows: radio-sensitive (26.2%) — medium radio-sensitivity (57.1%), radioresistant (16.7%). Herewith, the dispersion for radioresistant individuals is 2.3; for the group with medium radio-sensitivity — 3.3; and for radio-sensitive group — 9. These data indicate the highest variation of characteristic (reactions to radiation effect) in the group of radio-sensitive individuals. People with medium radio-sensitivity show significant long-term correlation (0.66; n=48, β ≥ 0.999) between the values of doses defined according to the results of cytogenetic analysis and dose of external radiation obtained with the help of thermoluminescent dosimeters. Mathematical models based on the type of violation of the radiation dose according to the professionals radiosensitivity level were offered.
This paper explores the need for a national baseline study on understanding the level of cyber security situational awareness among primary and secondary school students in Malaysia. The online survey method was deployed to administer the data collection exercise. The target groups were divided into three categories: Group 1 (primary school aged 7-9 years old), Group 2 (primary school aged 10-12 years old), and Group 3 (secondary school aged 13-17 years old). A different questionnaire set was designed for each group. The survey topics/areas included Internet and digital citizenship knowledge. Respondents were randomly selected from rural and urban areas throughout all 14 states in Malaysia. A total of 9,158 respondents participated in the survey, with most states meeting the minimum sample size requirement to represent the country’s demographics. The findings and recommendations from this baseline study are fundamental to develop teaching modules required for children to understand the security risks and threats associated with the Internet throughout their years in school. Early exposure and education will help ensure healthy cyber habits among millennials in Malaysia.
The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-dependent pathway is the major intracellular signaling pathway implemented in both short- and long-term memory formation in the hippocampus which is the most studied brain structure because of its well documented role in learning and memory. However, little is known about the effects of RF-EMR exposure on NMDA receptor signaling pathway including activation of protein kinases, notably Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha (CaMKIIα). The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acute and chronic 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure on both passive avoidance behaviour and hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and its phosphorylated form (pCaMKIIα). Rats were divided into the following groups: Sham rats, and rats exposed to 900 MHz RF-EMR for 2 h/day for 1 week (acute group) or 10 weeks (chronic group), respectively. Passive avoidance task was used as a behavioural method. The hippocampal levels of selected kinases were measured using Western Blotting technique. The results of passive avoidance task showed that both acute and chronic exposure to 900 MHz RF-EMR can impair passive avoidance behaviour with minor effects on chronic group of rats. The analysis of western blot data of selected protein kinases demonstrated that hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and pCaMKIIα were significantly higher in chronic group of rats as compared to acute groups. Taken together, these findings demonstrated that different duration times (1 week vs 10 weeks) of 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure have different effects on both passive avoidance behaviour of rats and hippocampal levels of selected protein kinases.
On 21st November, 2016, an outbreak of foodborne illness occurred after a buffet lunch served during a stakeholders’ consultation meeting held in Accra. An investigation was conducted to characterise the affected people, determine the etiologic food, the source of contamination and the etiologic agent and to implement appropriate public health measures to prevent future occurrences. A retrospective cohort study was conducted via telephone interviews, using a structured questionnaire developed from the buffet menu. A case was defined as any person suffering from symptoms of foodborne illness e.g. diarrhoea and/or abdominal cramps after eating food served during the stakeholder consultation meeting in Accra on 21st November, 2016. The exposure status of all the members of the cohort was assessed by taking the food history of each respondent during the telephone interview. The data obtained was analysed using Epi Info 7. An environmental risk assessment was conducted to ascertain the source of the food contamination. Risks of foodborne infection from the foods eaten were determined using attack rates and odds ratios. Data was obtained from 54 people who consumed food served during the stakeholders’ meeting. Out of this population, 44 people reported with symptoms of food poisoning representing 81.45% (overall attack rate). The peak incubation period was seven hours with a minimum and maximum incubation periods of four and 17 hours, respectively. The commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (97.73%, 43/44), vomiting (84.09%, 37/44) and abdominal cramps (75.00%, 33/44). From the incubation period, duration of illness and the symptoms, toxin-mediated food poisoning was suspected. The environmental risk assessment of the implicated catering facility indicated a lack of time/temperature control, inadequate knowledge on food safety among workers and sanitation issues. Limited number of food samples was received for microbiological analysis. Multivariate analysis indicated that illness was significantly associated with the consumption of the snacks served (OR 14.78, P < 0.001). No stool and blood or samples of etiologic food were available for organism isolation; however, the suspected etiologic agent was Staphylococcus aureus or Clostridium perfringens. The outbreak could probably be due to the consumption of unwholesome snack (tuna sandwich or chicken. The contamination and/or growth of the etiologic agent in the snack may be due to the breakdown in cleanliness, time/temperature control and good food handling practices. Training of food handlers in basic food hygiene and safety is recommended.
This paper examines vulnerability assessment of water resources in a semi-arid basin using the 4-step approach. The vulnerability assessment framework is developed to study the water resources vulnerability which includes the creation of GIS-based vulnerability maps. These maps represent the spatial variability of the vulnerability index. This paper introduces the 4-step approach to assess vulnerability that incorporates a new set of indicators. The approach is demonstrated using a framework composed of a precipitation data for (1975–2010) period, temperature data for (1965–2010) period, hydrological model outputs and the water resources GIS data base. The vulnerability assessment is a function of three components such as exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. The current water resources vulnerability is assessed using GIS based spatio-temporal information. Rainfall Coefficient of Variation, monsoon onset and end date, rainy days, seasonality indices, temperature are selected for the criterion ‘exposure’. Water yield, ground water recharge, evapotranspiration (ET) are selected for the criterion ‘sensitivity’. Type of irrigation and storage structures are selected for the criterion ‘Adaptive capacity’. These indicators were mapped and integrated in GIS environment using overlay analysis. The five sub-basins, namely Arjunanadhi, Kousiganadhi, Sindapalli-Uppodai and Vallampatti Odai, fall under medium vulnerability profile, which indicates that the basin is under moderate stress of water resources. The paper also explores prioritization of sub-basinwise adaptation strategies to climate change based on the vulnerability indices.
This study aims at contributing to the characterization of the process of biological incorporation of chromium by two benthonic species, the macroalgae Ulva sp. and the aquatic macrophyte Ruppia maritima, to subsidize future activities of monitoring the contamination of aquatic biota. This study is based on laboratory experiments to characterize the incorporation kinetics of the radiotracer 51Cr in two oxidation states (III and VI), under different salinities (7, 15, and 21 ‰). Samples of two benthonic species were collected on the margins of Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), acclimated in the laboratory and subsequently subjected to experiments. In tests with 51Cr (III and IV), it was observed that accumulation of the metal in Ulva sp. has inverse relationship with salinity, while for R. maritima, the maximum accumulation occurs in salinity 21‰. In experiments with Cr(III), increases in the uptake of ion by both species were verified. The activity of Cr(III) was up to 19 times greater than the Cr(VI). As regards the potential for accumulation of metals, a better sensitivity of Ulva sp. for any chromium tri or hexavalent forms was verified, while for the Cr(VI) it will require low salinities and longer exposure (>24h). For R. maritima, the results showed the uptake of Cr(VI) increase along with time (>20h), because this species is more resistant for the hexavalent form and useful for any salinity as well.
Tropical cyclone is one among the worst natural hazards that results in a trail of destruction causing enormous damage to life, property, and coastal infrastructures. In a global perspective, the Indian Ocean is considered as one of the cyclone prone basins in the world. Specifically, the frequency of cyclogenesis in the Bay of Bengal is higher compared to the Arabian Sea. Out of the four maritime states in the East coast of India, Odisha is highly susceptible to tropical cyclone landfall. Historical records clearly decipher the fact that the frequency of cyclones have reduced in this basin. However, in the recent decades, the intensity and size of tropical cyclones have increased. This is a matter of concern as the risk and vulnerability level of Odisha coast exposed to high wind speed and gusts during cyclone landfall have increased. In this context, there is a need to assess and evaluate the severity of coastal risk, area of exposure under risk, and associated vulnerability with a higher dimension in a multi-risk perspective. Changing climate can result in the emergence of a new hazard and vulnerability over a region with differential spatial and socio-economic impact. Hence there is a need to have coastal vulnerability projections in a changing climate scenario. With this motivation, the present study attempts to estimate the destructiveness of tropical cyclones based on Power Dissipation Index (PDI) for those cyclones that made landfall along Odisha coast that exhibits an increasing trend based on historical data. The study also covers the futuristic scenarios of integral coastal vulnerability based on the trends in PDI for the Odisha coast. This study considers 11 essential and important parameters; the cyclone intensity, storm surge, onshore inundation, mean tidal range, continental shelf slope, topo-graphic elevation onshore, rate of shoreline change, maximum wave height, relative sea level rise, rainfall distribution, and coastal geomorphology. The study signifies that over a decadal scale, the coastal vulnerability index (CVI) depends largely on the incremental change in variables such as cyclone intensity, storm surge, and associated inundation. In addition, the study also performs a critical analysis on the modulation of PDI on storm surge and inundation characteristics for the entire coastal belt of Odisha State. Interestingly, the study brings to light that a linear correlation exists between the storm-tide with PDI. The trend analysis of PDI and its projection for coastal Odisha have direct practical applications in effective coastal zone management and vulnerability assessment.
Microgravity is known to be a major abiotic stress in space which affects plants depending on the duration of exposure. In this work, tomatoes seeds were exposed to long hours of simulated microgravity condition using a one-axis clinostat. The seeds were sown on a 1.5% combination of plant nutrient and agar-agar solidified medium in three Petri dishes. One of the Petri dishes was mounted on the clinostat and allowed to rotate at the speed of 20 rpm for 72 hours, while the others were subjected to the normal gravity vector. The anatomical sections of both clinorotated and normal gravity plants were made after 72 hours and observed using a Phase-contrast digital microscope. The percentage germination, as well as the growth rate of the normal gravity seeds, was higher than the clinorotated ones. The germinated clinorotated roots followed different directions unlike the normal gravity ones which grew towards the direction of gravity vector. The clinostat was able to switch off gravistimulation. Distinct cellular arrangement was observed for tomatoes under normal gravity condition, unlike those of clinorotated ones. The root epidermis and cortex of normal gravity are thicker than the clinorotated ones. This implied that under long-term microgravity influence, plants do alter their anatomical features as a way of adapting to the stress condition.
A wide range of health effects among occupants are associated with the exposure to bioaerosols from fungal sources. Although the accurate role of these aerosols in causing the symptoms and diseases is poorly understood, the important effect of bioaerosol exposure on human health is well recognized. Thus, there is a need to determine all of the contributing factors related to the concentration of fungi in indoor air. In this study, we reviewed and summarized the different factors affecting the concentrations of viable fungi in school buildings. The literature research was conducted using Pubmed and Google Scholar. In addition, we searched the lists of references of selected articles. According to the literature, the main factors influencing the concentration of viable fungi in the school buildings are moisture damage in building structures, the season (temperature and humidity conditions), the type and rate of ventilation, the number and activities of occupants and diurnal variations. This study offers valuable information that can be used in the interpretation of the fungal analysis and to decrease microbial exposure by reducing known sources and/or contributing factors. However, more studies of different local factors contributing to the human microbial exposure in school buildings—as well as other type of buildings and different indoor environments—are needed.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are a group of widely used drugs for the treatment of rheumatoid diseases and to relieve pain and inflammation due to their analgesic anti-pyretic and anti-inflammatory properties. The therapeutic and many of the toxic effects of NSAIDs result from reversible inhibition of enzymes in the cyclooxygenase (COX) group. In the present investigation the effect of the drug on the concentration of lipids, and on the activity of the enzymes i.e. acid and alkaline phosphatase, GOT, GPT and lipid peroxidase were studied. There was a significant enhancement in the activities of both acid and alkaline phosphatase after 21 days of treatment. Proportionate increase in the MDA contents was observed after different days of diclofenac treatment. Cellular damage in the liver resulted in decrease in the activity of both GOT (Glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase) and GPT (Glutamate pyruvate transaminase) in both low and high dose groups. Significant decrease in the liver contents was also observed in both dose groups.
The main sources of soil pollution due to petroleum contaminants are industrial processes involve crude oil. Soil polluted with crude oil is toxic for plants, animals, and humans. Human exposure to the contaminated soil occurs through different exposure pathways: Soil ingestion, diet, inhalation, and dermal contact. The present study research is focused on soil contamination with heavy metals as a consequence of soil pollution with petroleum products. Human exposure pathways considered are: Accidentally ingestion of contaminated soil and dermal contact. The purpose of the paper is to identify the human health risk (carcinogenic risk) from soil contaminated with heavy metals. The human exposure and risk were evaluated for five contaminants of concern of the eleven which were identified in soil. Two soil samples were collected from a bioremediation platform from Muntenia Region of Romania. The soil deposited on the bioremediation platform was contaminated through extraction and oil processing. For the research work, two average soil samples from two different plots were analyzed: The first one was slightly contaminated with petroleum products (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) in soil was 1420 mg/kgd.w.), while the second one was highly contaminated (TPH in soil was 24306 mg/kgd.w.). In order to evaluate risks posed by heavy metals due soil pollution with petroleum products, five metals known as carcinogenic were investigated: Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), ChromiumVI (CrVI), Nickel (Ni), and Lead (Pb). Results of the chemical analysis performed on samples collected from the contaminated soil evidence soil contamination with heavy metals as following: As in Site 1 = 6.96 mg/kgd.w; As in Site 2 = 11.62 mg/kgd.w, Cd in Site 1 = 0.9 mg/kgd.w; Cd in Site 2 = 1 mg/kgd.w; CrVI was 0.1 mg/kgd.w for both sites; Ni in Site 1 = 37.00 mg/kgd.w; Ni in Site 2 = 42.46 mg/kgd.w; Pb in Site 1 = 34.67 mg/kgd.w; Pb in Site 2 = 120.44 mg/kgd.w. The concentrations for these metals exceed the normal values established in the Romanian regulation, but are smaller than the alert level for a less sensitive use of soil (industrial). Although, the concentrations do not exceed the thresholds, the next step was to assess the human health risk posed by soil contamination with these heavy metals. Results for risk were compared with the acceptable one (10-6, according to World Human Organization). As, expected, the highest risk was identified for the soil with a higher degree of contamination: Individual Risk (IR) was 1.11×10-5 compared with 8.61×10-6.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of aggressive environment on the flexural properties of halloysite nanotubes-polyester nanocomposites. Results showed that the addition of halloysite nanotubes into polyester matrix was found to improve flexural properties of the nanocomposites in dry condition and after water-methanol exposure. Significant increase in surface roughness was also observed and measured by Alicona Infinite Focus optical microscope.
Exposure to ionizing radiation has been found to induce changes in poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) homopolymers. The high dose gamma irradiation process induces the formation of C=C and C=O bonds in its [CH2-CF2]n main chain. The irradiation also provokes crosslinking and chain scission. All these radio-induced defects lead to changes in the PVDF crystalline structure. As a consequence, it is common to observe a decrease in the melting temperature (TM) and melting latent heat (LM) and some changes in its ferroelectric features. We have investigated the possibility of preparing nanocomposites of PVDF with graphene oxide (GO) through the radio-induction of molecular bonds. In this work, we discuss how the gamma radiation interacts with the nanocomposite crystalline structure.
This web based project focuses on continuing corporate education and improving workers' skills in Brazilian radioactive facilities throughout the country. The potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) shall contribute to improve the global communication in this very large country, where it is a strong challenge to ensure high quality professional information to as many people as possible. The main objective of this system is to provide Brazilian radioactive facilities a complete web-based repository - in Portuguese - for research, consultation and information, offering conditions for learning and improving professional and personal skills. UNIPRORAD is a web based system to offer unified programs and inter-related information about radiological protection programs. The content includes the best practices for radioactive facilities in order to meet both national standards and international recommendations published by different organizations over the past decades: International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN). The website counts on concepts, definitions and theory about optimization and ionizing radiation monitoring procedures. Moreover, the content presents further discussions related to some national and international recommendations, such as potential exposure, which is currently one of the most important research fields in radiological protection. Only two publications of ICRP develop expressively the issue and there is still a lack of knowledge of fail probabilities, for there are still uncertainties to find effective paths to quantify probabilistically the occurrence of potential exposures and the probabilities to reach a certain level of dose. To respond to this challenge, this project discusses and introduces potential exposures in a more quantitative way than national and international recommendations. Articulating ICRP and AIEA valid recommendations and official reports, in addition to scientific papers published in major international congresses, the website discusses and suggests a number of effective actions towards safety which can be incorporated into labor practice. The WEB platform was created according to corporate public needs, taking into account the development of a robust but flexible system, which can be easily adapted to future demands. ICTs provide a vast array of new communication capabilities and allow to spread information to as many people as possible at low costs and high quality communication. This initiative shall provide opportunities for employees to increase professional skills, stimulating development in this large country where it is an enormous challenge to ensure effective and updated information to geographically distant facilities, minimizing costs and optimizing results.
Polymers exposed to laser or plasma treatment or modified with different wet methods which enable the introduction of nanoparticles or biologically active species, such as amino-acids, may find many applications both as biocompatible or anti-bacterial materials or on the contrary, can be applied for a decrease in the number of cells on the treated surface which opens application in single cell units. For the experiments, two types of materials were chosen, a representative of non-biodegradable polymers, polyethersulphone (PES) and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) as biodegradable material. Exposure of solid substrate to laser well below the ablation threshold can lead to formation of various surface structures. The ripples have a period roughly comparable to the wavelength of the incident laser radiation, and their dimensions depend on many factors, such as chemical composition of the polymer substrate, laser wavelength and the angle of incidence. On the contrary, biopolymers may significantly change their surface roughness and thus influence cell compatibility. The focus was on the surface treatment of PES and PHB by pulse excimer KrF laser with wavelength of 248 nm. The changes of physicochemical properties, surface morphology, surface chemistry and ablation of exposed polymers were studied both for PES and PHB. Several analytical methods involving atomic force microscopy, gravimetry, scanning electron microscopy and others were used for the analysis of the treated surface. It was found that the combination of certain input parameters leads not only to the formation of optimal narrow pattern, but to the combination of a ripple and a wrinkle-like structure, which could be an optimal candidate for cell attachment. The interaction of different types of cells and their interactions with the laser exposed surface were studied. It was found that laser treatment contributes as a major factor for wettability/contact angle change. The combination of optimal laser energy and pulse number was used for the construction of a surface with an anti-cellular response. Due to the simple laser treatment, we were able to prepare a biopolymer surface with higher roughness and thus significantly influence the area of growth of different types of cells (U-2 OS cells).