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1.
Sustainability ; 14(18):11135, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-2010281

ABSTRACT

Studies conducted in the last four years show conflicting findings on the role of the environment in the survival, stability, and transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Based on the current evidence, the factors that affect the severity of COVID-19 include host interaction, environmental stability, virus volume, stability, transmission, social interactions, and restriction measures. Moreover, the persistence of the virus depends on different environmental conditions, videlicet temperature, humidity, pH, salinity, and solar radiation. The outbreak of respiratory viruses is related mainly to temperature and humidity, and geographical locations (latitude). In SARS-CoV-2, mainly temperature and humidity seem to play a fundamental role. Moreover, studies have indicated that social health factors such as equitable health systems, hygiene, and underlying diseases have played a pivotal role in the incidence and outbreak of COVID-19. Therefore, addressing health issues associated with reducing SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks plays an essential role in global health. In contrast, the environmental stimuli of the COVID-19 outbreak are mainly unknown. Given the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to understand the stimuli to respond quickly to emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants while implementing long-term and sustainable control strategies. This review discusses the role of environmental factors and health conditions in the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2.

2.
Environmental Chemistry Letters ; : 1-22, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1998330

ABSTRACT

Almost all aspects of society from food security to disease control and prevention have benefited from pharmaceutical and personal care products, yet these products are a major source of contamination that ends up in wastewater and ecosystems. This issue has been sharply accentuated during the coronavirus disease pandemic 2019 (COVID-19) due to the higher use of disinfectants and other products. Here we review pharmaceutical and personal care products with focus on their occurrence in the environment, detection, risk, and removal. Supplementary Information The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10311-022-01498-7.

3.
Environ Res ; 214(Pt 2): 113931, 2022 Jul 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1965612

ABSTRACT

In this editorial piece, the Editors of the Virtual Special Issue (VSI) "The environment, epidemics, and human health" comment on the papers accepted for publication, which were selected after peer-reviewing among all those manuscripts submitted to the Special Issue. In view of the title of the VSI, it is clear that its aim goes beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to explore relations among environmental aspects, any kind of epidemics, and human health. However, COVID-19 is still hitting as a global and current main issue, causing that manuscripts dealing with this disease and the SARS-CoV-2 virus are of high relevance in the whole set of research papers published.

4.
Heliyon ; 8(7): e09859, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914441

ABSTRACT

Menstrual hygiene waste management has received lack of attention and hence it has been poorly investigated, mainly due to its association to social and cultural aspects of a natural process, that is often surrounded of entrenched stigma and taboos. Therefore, data about quantities and full lifecycle of the generated waste are often not available or suffer of large incertitude. However, this argument represents a relevant and critical issue, not only for the health of the women, their equality, and dignity, but also possible associated environmental concerns. This work highlights the necessity and the urgency to face the problems associated with menstrual hygiene waste, which cannot be still considered only relegated to low-income countries. It gives the dimension of the waste associated to migrants in the incoming areas, which is often neglected in sanitation program implementation. This work also describes the existing knowledge gaps and suggests some actions to implement in the next future. In the pandemic context, menstrual hygiene needs urgent attention, also to understand the possible implication of this waste, generated for example in refugees' camps, in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and to prevent eventual unknown environmental issues connected with the reconvention of some factories from the production of menstrual hygiene products to facemasks manufacture.

5.
Front Immunol ; 13: 921483, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1903033

ABSTRACT

Although COVID-19 has captured most of the public health attention, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has not disappeared. To prevent the escape of resistant microorganisms in animals or environmental reservoirs a "one health approach" is desirable. In this context of COVID-19, AMR has probably been affected by the inappropriate or over-use of antibiotics. The increased use of antimicrobials and biocides for disinfection may have enhanced the prevalence of AMR. Antibiotics have been used empirically in patients with COVID-19 to avoid or prevent bacterial coinfection or superinfections. On the other hand, the measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 could have reduced the risk of the emergence of multidrug-resistant microorganisms. Since we do not currently have a sterilizing vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus may still multiply in the organism and new mutations may occur. As a consequence, there is a risk of the appearance of new variants. Nature-derived anti-infective agents, such as antibodies and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), are very promising in the fight against infectious diseases, because they are less likely to develop resistance, even though further investigation is still required.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents , COVID-19 , Animals , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Anti-Infective Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Infective Agents/therapeutic use , Antimicrobial Peptides , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines , Drug Resistance, Bacterial , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Environ Res ; 212(Pt A): 113193, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757324

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted several countries, with also some differences at local levels. When lockdown restrictions were imposed, the concentrations of some air pollutants were reduced, as reported in some other cities in the world. This was often considered a positive by-product of the pandemic. However, often literature reporting the connection of air quality (AQ) and lockdown, suffers of limited and incomplete data analysis, not considering, for example, some confounding factors. This work presents a methodology, and the results of its application, to assess the impact of pandemic restrictions on AQ (in particular nitrogen oxides, NO2 and particulate matter, PM10) in spring 2020 in Brescia, located in one of the most affected areas in terms of virus diffusion and in one of the most polluted areas in Europe (Po Valley, Italy). In particular, the proposed methodology integrates data and AQ modelling simulations to distinguish between the changes in the PM10 and NO2 pollutants concentration that occurred due to the restriction measures and due to other factors, like spatial-temporal characteristics (for example the seasonality), meteorological factors, and governmental actions that were introduced in the past to improve the air quality. Results show that NO2 is strongly dependent to traffic emission. On the contrary, although the expected decrease in PM10 concentrations, the results highlight that the reduction of transport emission would not help to avoid severe air pollution, due to the other pollution sources that contribute to its origin. The results presented for the first time in this work are of particular interest because they may be used as a basis to investigate in more details the sources that can impact on the air quality in Brescia, with the aim to propose effective measures able to reduce it.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/analysis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cities , Communicable Disease Control , Environmental Monitoring/methods , Humans , Nitrogen Dioxide/analysis , Particulate Matter/analysis , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Materials (Basel) ; 15(6)2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742539

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic suddenly changed the lifestyle of billions of people. Face masks became indispensable to protect from the contagion providing a significant environmental impact. The aim of this work is to propose possible solutions to decrease masks' impact on the environment. For this reason, different masks (surgical and fabric) were considered, and the CO2 emissions associated with the mask materials production were calculated. Carbon Footprint (CF) for each material composing the masks was evaluated through the database Ces Selector 2019. The software Qgis (version 2.18.20) allows us to elaborate the CO2 emissions maps for each Italian region. Finally, for surgical masks, which are often imported from abroad, the CF related to transport was considered. It results that fabric masks are a sustainable solution to prevent contagion. The total CO2 emission associated with the use of fabric masks from the beginning of the pandemic (March 2020) to December 2021 resulted in about 7 kton compared to 350 kton for surgical masks.

8.
Environ Res ; 204(Pt B): 112098, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433212

ABSTRACT

The extraordinariness of COVID-19 occurred in a world that was completely unprepared to face it. To justify this, sometimes literature proposes positive associations between concentrations of some air pollutants and SARS-CoV-2 mortality and infectivity. However, several of these studies are affected by incomplete data analysis and/or incorrect accounts of spread dynamics that can be attributed to respiratory viruses. Based on separate analyses involving all the USA states and globally all the world countries suffering from the pandemic, this communication shows that commercial trade seems to be a good indicator of virus spread, being proposed as a surrogate of human-to-human interactions. The results of this study strongly support the conclusion that this new indicator could result fundamental to model (and avoid) possible future pandemics, strongly suggesting dedicated studies devoted to better investigate its significance.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/analysis , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Environ Res ; 203: 111839, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340650

ABSTRACT

This review discusses the techniques available for detecting and inactivating of pathogens in municipal wastewater, landfill leachate, and solid waste. In view of the current COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 is being given special attention, with a thorough examination of all possible transmission pathways linked to the selected waste matrices. Despite the lack of works focused on landfill leachate, a systematic review method, based on cluster analysis, allows to analyze the available papers devoted to sewage sludge and wastewater, allowing to focalize the work on technologies able to detect and treat pathogens. In this work, great attention is also devoted to infectivity and transmission mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, the literature analysis shows that sewage sludge and landfill leachate seem to have a remote chance to act as a virus transmission route (pollution-to-human transmission) due to improper collection and treatment of municipal wastewater and solid waste. However due to the incertitude about virus infectivity, these possibilities cannot be excluded and need further investigation. As a conclusion, this paper shows that additional research is required not only on the coronavirus-specific disinfection, but also the regular surveillance or monitoring of viral loads in sewage sludge, wastewater, and landfill leachate. The disinfection strategies need to be optimized in terms of dosage and potential adverse impacts like antimicrobial resistance, among many other factors. Finally, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogenic microorganisms in sewage sludge, wastewater, and landfill leachate can hamper the possibility to ensure safe water and public health in economically marginalized countries and hinder the realization of the United Nations' sustainable development goals (SDGs).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Water Pollutants, Chemical , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Solid Waste/analysis , Waste Disposal Facilities , Waste Water , Water Pollutants, Chemical/analysis
10.
Environ Res ; 201: 111606, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340647

ABSTRACT

The title of the Virtual Special Issue (VSI) "SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogenic microorganisms in the environment", clearly indicates a main focus not only on the virus causing the current pandemic, but also on other pathogenic microorganisms and their spatial and temporal dynamics in environmental compartments. Overall, the VSI has received more than 100 submissions relating to most of the possible fields connected to the pandemic, many of them of high scientific value. A rigorous peer-reviewing process has been carried out, with a panel of experts making a great work to evaluate that important number of submissions. As a result, those manuscripts reaching the highest scientific standards were selected for publication. We think that the papers included constitute a set of high-quality contributions, which should help to improve the overall scientific perspective regarding this crucial issue. In this piece, the Editors comment some issues on the papers accepted for publication, and include additional reflections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pandemics
11.
Environ Res ; 202: 111681, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309225

ABSTRACT

On January 30, 2020, COVID-19 outbreak, detected for the first time in Wuhan (China), was declared by WHO a Public Health Emergency. In a strongly connected world, the consequent slowdown of the Chinese economy contributed to disrupt the global supply chains of several products. In a post-pandemic scenario, the expected rapid increase in demand of critical raw materials (associated with the transition to more green energy sources), coupled with the problems that some mining activities are relegated only in certain countries and regions, must be considered in a sustainable perspective. This work analyses the literature about (critical) raw materials and COVID-19, not only to present the impact of the pandemic on their supply, but also to propose some actions that should be pursued in a post-pandemic renaissance scenario, to increase raw materials availability, with great attention to most critical ones, in the frame of circular economy principles. The post-pandemic possibilities are evaluated and suitable actions are suggested to secure the raw materials availability for the foreseen increase of investments in crucial and strategic sectors, in accord with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The proposed actions can be summarized as policy, strategy, economy, and technology activities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Energy-Generating Resources , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sustainable Development
12.
Environ Res ; 197: 111126, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1172442

ABSTRACT

There a lot of review papers addressing specific COVID-19 research sectors, then devoted to specialists. This review provides an in-depth summary of the available information about SARS-CoV-2 and the corresponding disease (also known as COVID-19), with a multi-disciplinary approach. After the paper introduction, the first section treats the virological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2, the medical implications of the infection, and the human susceptivity. Great attention is devoted to the factor affecting the infection routes, distinguishing among the possible human-to-human, environmental-to-human, and pollution-to-human transmission mechanisms. The second section is devoted to reporting the impact of SARS-CoV-2 not only on the healthcare systems but also on the economy and society. The third section is devoted to non-pharmaceutical behaviours against COVID-19. In this context, this review section presents an analysis of the European second wave allowing not only to focalize the importance of some restrictions, but also the relevance of social acceptance of some measures. The data reassumed in this work are very useful for interdisciplinary researchers that work in a team to find the basic available information about all the aspects connected with this pandemic (from virus diffusion mechanism to health information, from economic and social impacts to measures to reduce the pandemic spread), with great attention to social acceptance of restriction measures and of vaccines (that currently results to be insufficient to achieve community immunity). Then, this review paper highlights the fundamental role of the trans-multi-disciplinary research that is devoted not only to understand the basics of the pandemic to propose solutions but has also the commitment to find strategies to increase population resilience. For this aim, the authors strongly suggest the establishment of an international health-care trans-multi-disciplinary workforce devoted to investigate, mitigate, and control also future viral events.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Molecules ; 26(5)2021 Mar 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1129756

ABSTRACT

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been proposed to give a possible future to humankind. Due to the multidimensional characteristic of sustainability, SDGs need research activities with a multidisciplinary approach. This work aims to provide a critical review of the results concerning sustainable materials obtained by Italian researchers affiliated to the National Interuniversity Consortium of Materials Science and Technology (INSTM) and their contribution to reaching specific indicators of the 17 SDGs. Data were exposed by using the Web of Science (WoS) database. In the investigated period (from 2016 to 2020), 333 works about sustainable materials are found and grouped in one of the following categories: chemicals (33%), composites (11%), novel materials for pollutants sequestration (8%), bio-based and food-based materials (10%), materials for green building (8%), and materials for energy (29%). This review contributes to increasing the awareness of several of the issues concerning sustainable materials but also to encouraging the researchers to focus on SDGs' interconnections. Indeed, the mapping of the achievements can be relevant to the decision-makers to identify the opportunities that materials can offer to achieve the final goals. In this frame, a "Sustainable Materials Partnership for SDGs" is envisaged for more suitable resource management in the future.


Subject(s)
Biocompatible Materials , Sustainable Development , Energy-Generating Resources , Environmental Pollutants/chemistry , Environmental Pollutants/isolation & purification , Food , Goals , Italy
14.
Environ Res ; 188: 109775, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597830

ABSTRACT

This communication aims to advocate a more coordinate activity mainly between medical and environmental scientists to clarify some confusing information related to airborne diffusion mechanisms of COVID-19. In this frame it is suggested that parameters other than environmental pollution (accounting for pollution-to-human transmission mechanisms), as for example parameters involving commercial exchanges (accounting for human-to-human transmission mechanisms), should be considered to better justify the difference in the initial diffusion of virus in Italy.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , Diffusion , Humans , Interdisciplinary Research , Italy , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Environ Res ; 188: 109814, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-593490

ABSTRACT

After COVID-19 initial diffusion in Europe in March 2020, research has suggested a direct correlation between environmental pollution and contagion dynamics (i.e., environment-to-human pollution), thereby indicating that mechanisms other than human-to-human transmission can explain COVID-19 diffusion. However, these studies did not consider that complex outcomes, such as a pandemic's diffusion patterns, are typically caused by a multiplicity of environmental, economic and social factors. While disciplinary specialties increase scholars' attitudes of concentrating on specific factors, neglecting this multiplicity during a pandemic crisis can lead to misleading conclusions. This communication aims to focus on certain limitations of current research about environmental-to-human COVID-19 transmission and shows the benefit of an interdisciplinary, multi-dimensional approach to understand the geographical diversity of contagion diffusion patterns.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , Europe , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
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