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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(5)2022 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736925

ABSTRACT

The Calluna vulgaris L. that dominated coastal heathlands of Western Europe were for millennia managed by regular burning cycles for improved grazing. Most places in Norway this practice has, however, been neglected over the last 5-7 decades, resulting in accumulation of above ground biomass including degenerated Calluna and successional fire-prone species, e.g., native juniper (Juniperus communis) and exotic blacklisted Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). Today, in dry periods, the heathland represents a fire threat to the increasing number of homes in the wildland-urban interface (WUI), as exemplified by the June 2021 Sotra Island WUI fire. The fire burned 700 ha of encroached heathlands, destroyed three buildings, and threatened settlements. In the present study, the Sotra fire was investigated to understand the fire development and analyse possible risk reducing measures. Photographic material obtained during the fire, weather conditions prior to and during the fire, involved fire fuel, fire spread mechanisms, firefighting response, and possible consequences under slightly changed circumstances were analysed. Compared to previous fires in coastal Norway, the Sotra fire represents a step change in fire development including, e.g., pyrocumulus-like clouds, fire whirls, and fire spread 270 m across a fjord. Preventive measures based on the local context are analysed, including engaging voluntary communities to remove fire-prone fuel, e.g., juniper and Sitka, to create defensible space. Moreover, strategic fire breaks in the terrain, e.g., well-managed heathland strengthening existing fuel breaks, e.g., lakes, cultivated fields, naked rock, and roads, are recommended. Mechanical cutting is suggested as a short-term measure while fenceless grazing may represent a long-term solution to prevent regrowth. During a period of record high energy prices, this may provide free of charge firewood and make way for future local food production, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, while reducing the fire risk.


Subject(s)
Fires , Juniperus , Wildfires , Biomass , Conservation of Natural Resources/methods
2.
Bioresour Technol ; 348: 126798, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1664684

ABSTRACT

In this work, the co-processing of waste surgical masks, waste motor oil, and biomass was investigated to reduce the environmental impacts of the increasing medical-derived plastic pollution as well as to elucidate its effect on the production of chemicals . The results showed high yields towards an oily product with an interesting hydrocarbon content in the diesel range. Furthermore, although the initial waste motor oil had a high sulfur content, the oily products showed a low sulfur content, that was logically distributed in the solid and gas phases. In addition, all oily products presented HHVs ​​higher than 44 MJ/Kg, with cetane indices, densities, and viscosities lower than those of petroleum-derived diesel. This work could impact on the management of waste surgical masks and the joint recovery of everyday waste towards high value-added products.


Subject(s)
Masks , Petroleum , Biomass , Oils , Plastics
3.
J Environ Public Health ; 2021: 7112548, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622110

ABSTRACT

Background: Most of the households in developing countries burn biomass fuel in traditional stoves with incomplete combustion that leads to high indoor air pollution and acute respiratory infections. Acute respiratory infection is the most common cause of under-five morbidity and mortality accounting for 2 million deaths worldwide and responsible for 18% of deaths among under-five children in Ethiopia. Although studies were done on acute respiratory infections, the majority of studies neither clinically diagnose respiratory infections nor use instant measurement of particulate matter. Methods: The community-based cross-sectional study design was employed among under-five children in Jimma town from May 21 to June 7, 2020. A total of 265 children through systematic random sampling were included in the study. The data were collected using a pretested semistructured questionnaire and laser pm 2.5 meter for indoor particulate matter concentration. Associations among factors were assessed through correlation analysis, and binary logistic regression was done to predict childhood acute respiratory infections. Variables with p-value less than 0.25 in bivariate regression were the candidate for the final multivariate logistic regression. Two independent sample t-tests were done to compare significant mean difference between concentrations of particulate matter. Results: Among 265 under-five children who were involved in the study, 179 (67.5%) were living in households that predominantly use biomass fuel. Prevalence of acute respiratory infections in the study area was 16%. Children living in households that use biomass fuel were four times more likely to develop acute respiratory infections than their counterparts (AOR: 4.348; 95% CI: 1.632, 11.580). The size of household was significantly associated with the prevalence of acute respiratory infections. Under-five children living in households that have a family size of six and greater had odds of 1.7 increased risk of developing acute respiratory infections than their counterparts (AOR: 1.7; 95% CI: 1.299, 2.212). The other factor associated with acute respiratory infection was separate kitchen; children living in households in which there were no separate kitchen were four times at increased risk of developing acute respiratory infection than children living in households which have separate kitchen (AOR: 4.591; 95% CI: 1.849, 11.402). The concentration of indoor particulate matter was higher in households using biomass fuel than clean fuel. There was statistically higher particulate matter concentration in the kitchen than living rooms (t = 4.509, p ≤ 0.001). Particulate matter 2.5 concentrations (µg/m3) of the households that had parental smoking were significantly higher than their counterparts (AOR: 20.224; 95% CI: 1.72, 12.58). Conclusion: There is an association between acute respiratory infections and biomass fuel usage among under-five children. Focusing on improved energy sources is essential to reduce the burden and assure the safety of children.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor , Respiratory Tract Infections , Air Pollution, Indoor/statistics & numerical data , Biomass , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Humans , Particulate Matter/analysis , Particulate Matter/toxicity , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/etiology
4.
J Hazard Mater ; 427: 128139, 2022 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587273

ABSTRACT

Increased worldwide consumption of antiviral drugs (AVDs) amid COVID-19 has induced enormous burdens to the existing wastewater treatment systems. Microalgae-based bioremediation is a competitive alternative technology due to its simultaneous nutrient recovery and sustainable biomass production. However, knowledge about the fate, distribution, and interaction of AVDs with microalgae is yet to be determined. In this study, a concentration-determined influence of AVD oseltamivir (OT) was observed on the biochemical pathway of Chlorella sorkiniana (C.S-N1) in synthetic municipal wastewater. The results showed that high OT concentration inhibited biomass growth through increased oxidative stress and restrained photosynthesis. Nevertheless, complete OT removal was achieved at its optimized concentration of 10 mg/L by various biotic (82%) and abiotic processes (18.0%). The chemical alterations in three subtypes of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) were primarily investigated by electrostatic (OT +8.22 mV vs. C.S-N1 -18.31 mV) and hydrophobic interactions between EPS-OT complexes supported by secondary structure protein analysis. Besides, six biodegradation-catalyzed transformation products were identified by quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometer and by density functional theory. Moreover, all the TPs exhibited log Kow ≤ 5 and bioconcentration factor values of < 5000 L/kg, meeting the practical demands of environmental sustainability. This study broadens our understanding of microalgal bioadsorption and biodegradation, promoting microalgae bioremediation for nutrient recovery and AVDs removal.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chlorella , Microalgae , Biomass , Humans , Oseltamivir , SARS-CoV-2 , Waste Water
5.
Mar Pollut Bull ; 174: 113175, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1531642

ABSTRACT

The Yellow Sea, characterized as a high-productivity ecosystem, is considered to be significantly attributable to high nutrient supply via atmospheric deposition. We observed a significant decline in phytoplankton biomass (~30%) over the Yellow Sea during February-May 2020 (period of COVID-19 lockdown effect) compared to the same period in 2015-2019 (period of no effect of COVID-19 lockdown). Several possible factors, such as variations in irradiance, vertical mixing, and river discharges, were not major contributors. Through the analysis of transportation and the constituents of atmospheric pollutants from Northern China (main source regions) to the Yellow Sea, we suggest that the decline in phytoplankton biomass over the Yellow Sea is mainly attributed to decreased atmospheric nutrient deposition due to the COVID-19 lockdown effect, because of decreased anthropogenic emissions in Northern China. Thus, attention should be focused on the Yellow Sea ecosystem response to increasing anthropogenic activities by lifting the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Phytoplankton , Biomass , China , Communicable Disease Control , Ecosystem , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526862

ABSTRACT

Despite a surge of RNA virome sequencing in recent years, there are still many RNA viruses to uncover-as indicated by the relevance of viral dark matter to RNA virome studies (i.e., putative viruses that do not match to taxonomically identified viruses). This study explores a unique site, a high-rate algal pond (HRAP), for culturing industrially microalgae, to elucidate new RNA viruses. The importance of viral-host interactions in aquatic systems are well documented, and the ever-expanding microalgae industry is no exception. As the industry becomes a more important source of sustainable plastic manufacturing, a producer of cosmetic pigments and alternative protein sources, and a means of CO2 remediation in the face of climate change, studying microalgal viruses becomes a vital practice for proactive management of microalgae cultures at the industrial level. This study provides evidence of RNA microalgal viruses persisting in a CO2 remediation pilot project HRAP and uncovers the diversity of the RNA virosphere contained within it. Evidence shows that family Marnaviridae is cultured in the basin, alongside other potential microalgal infecting viruses (e.g., family Narnaviridae, family Totitiviridae, and family Yueviridae). Finally, we demonstrate that the RNA viral diversity of the HRAP is temporally dynamic across two successive culturing seasons.


Subject(s)
Microalgae/virology , Phylogeny , Ponds , RNA Viruses/classification , Water Microbiology , Animals , Biodiversity , Biomass , Metagenome , Pilot Projects , RNA Viruses/genetics , Rotifera/virology , Seasons , Water
7.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21415, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506470

ABSTRACT

Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars adapted to specific environments and resistant to prevalent pathogens are preferred for obtaining high yield. This study aimed to identify wheat genotypes with superior grain yield (GY) and yield associated traits from 168 genotypes of International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center's 13th Stem Rust Resistance Screening Nursery evaluated over two seasons during 2019 and 2020 under high disease pressure of both stem rust (SR) and yellow rust (YR) in a 21 × 8 α-lattice design with 3 replications in Kenya. Effects due to seasons were significant for YRAud, SRAud, 1000-kernel weight (TKW), days to heading (DH), plant height (PH) and number of spikelets spike-1 (SS), while genotypes and genotypes × season interaction effects were significant for all traits except number of kernels spike-1. Respectively, heritability values of 0.95, 0.93, 0.87, 0.86, 0.77 and 0.75 were observed for area under disease progress curve for SR (SRAud), YR (YRAud), TKW, DH, biomass (BM) and GY. Path analysis showed positive direct effects on GY via PH, SS, BM, and TKW. Biplot analysis identified 16 genotypes with superior desirable traits GY, BM and harvest index. The SR contributed the highest reduction in GY and TKW while YR contributed the most reduction in BM. These identified genotypes with superior GY combined with adequate resistance to both SR and YR are potentially valuable resources for improvement of locally adapted wheat cultivars.


Subject(s)
Edible Grain/genetics , Plant Diseases/genetics , Triticum/genetics , Alleles , Animals , Aphids , Basidiomycota/genetics , Biomass , Bread , Climate , Genome-Wide Association Study , Genotype , Kenya , Phenotype , Quantitative Trait Loci , Regression Analysis , Seasons , Temperature , Zea mays
8.
J Bras Pneumol ; 47(5): e20210219, 2021.
Article in English, Portuguese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486867

ABSTRACT

This review study aimed to determine the relationship between exposure to smoke from biomass burning in the Amazon rain forest and its implications on human health in that region in Brazil. A nonsystematic review was carried out by searching PubMed, Google Scholar, SciELO, and EMBASE databases for articles published between 2005 and 2021, either in Portuguese or in English, using the search terms "biomass burning" OR "Amazon" OR "burned" AND "human health." The review showed that the negative health effects of exposure to smoke from biomass burning in the Amazon have been poorly studied in that region. There is an urgent need to identify effective public health interventions that can help improve the behavior of vulnerable populations exposed to smoke from biomass burning, reducing morbidity and mortality related to that exposure.


Subject(s)
Rainforest , Smoke , Biomass , Brazil , Humans , Smoke/adverse effects
9.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(17)2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403592

ABSTRACT

Globally, household and ambient air pollution (HAAP) leads to approximately seven million premature deaths per year. One of the main sources of household air pollution (HAP) is the traditional stove. So-called improved cookstoves (ICS) do not reduce emissions to levels that benefit health, but the poorest communities are unlikely to have access to cleaner cooking in the medium term. Therefore, ICS are being promoted as an intermediate step. This paper summarises the current evidence on the ICS available to the global poorest, utilising data from the Clean Cookstoves Catalog and systematic review evidence from the field. The cheapest stoves offer little reduction in HAP. Only one ICS, available at US$5 or less, (the canarumwe) minimally reduced pollutants based on ISO testing standards and no studies included in the systematic reviews reported tested this stove in the field. We recommend field testing all ICS as standard, and clear information on stove characteristics, sustainability, safety, emissions efficiency, in-field performance, affordability, availability in different settings, and the ability of the stove to meet community cooking needs. In addition, ICS should be promoted alongside a suite of measures, including improved ventilation and facilities to dry wood, to further reduce the pollutant levels.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor , Air Pollution , Household Articles , Air Pollution, Indoor/analysis , Biomass , Cooking , Particulate Matter/analysis
10.
Environ Monit Assess ; 193(9): 618, 2021 Sep 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1391917

ABSTRACT

Recent studies concluded that air quality has improved due to the enforcement of lockdown in the wake of COVID-19. However, they mostly concentrated on the changes during the lockdown period, and the studies considering the consequences of de-escalation of lockdown are inadequate. Therefore, we investigated the changes in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) during the pre-lockdown, strict lockdown, unlocking, and post-lockdown scenarios. In addition, we assessed the influence of meteorology, mobility, air mass transport, and biomass burning on PM2.5 using Google's mobility data, back trajectory model, and satellite-based fire incident data. Average PM2.5 concentrations in Ghaziabad, Noida, and Faridabad decreased by 60.70%, 63.27%, and 60.40%, respectively, during the lockdown. When compared with the preceding year (2019), the reductions during the shutdown period (25 March-31 May) were within the range of 36.34-44.55%. However, considering the entire year, this reduction in PM2.5 is momentary, and a steady increase in traffic density and industrial operations within cities during post-lockdown reflects a potent recovery of aerosol level, during which the average mass of PM2.5 three- to four-folds higher than the lockdown period. Back trajectories and fire activity results showed that biomass burning in the nearby states (Haryana and Punjab) influence aerosol load. We conclude that a partial lockdown in the event of a sudden surge in pollution would be a beneficial approach. However, reducing fossil fuel consumption and switching to more environmentally friendly energy sources, developing green transport networks, and circumventing biomass burning are efficient ways to improve air quality in the long term.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/analysis , Biomass , Cities , Communicable Disease Control , Environmental Monitoring , Humans , Meteorology , Particulate Matter/analysis , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Life Sci Alliance ; 4(1)2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389961

ABSTRACT

Viruses rely on their host for reproduction. Here, we made use of genomic and structural information to create a biomass function capturing the amino and nucleic acid requirements of SARS-CoV-2. Incorporating this biomass function into a stoichiometric metabolic model of the human lung cell and applying metabolic flux balance analysis, we identified host-based metabolic perturbations inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 reproduction. Our results highlight reactions in the central metabolism, as well as amino acid and nucleotide biosynthesis pathways. By incorporating host cellular maintenance into the model based on available protein expression data from human lung cells, we find that only few of these metabolic perturbations are able to selectively inhibit virus reproduction. Some of the catalysing enzymes of such reactions have demonstrated interactions with existing drugs, which can be used for experimental testing of the presented predictions using gene knockouts and RNA interference techniques. In summary, the developed computational approach offers a platform for rapid, experimentally testable generation of drug predictions against existing and emerging viruses based on their biomass requirements.


Subject(s)
Host-Pathogen Interactions , Lung , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Replication , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Biomass , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Culture Media/chemistry , Culture Media/metabolism , Glycolysis/physiology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Host-Pathogen Interactions/physiology , Humans , Lung/cytology , Lung/metabolism , Metabolic Flux Analysis , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Systems Biology , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/physiology
12.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 11119, 2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328852

ABSTRACT

To analyse the cause of the atmospheric PM2.5 pollution that occurred during the COVID-19 lockdown in Nanning, Guangxi, China, a single particulate aerosol mass spectrometer, aethalometer, and particulate Lidar coupled with monitoring near-surface gaseous pollutants, meteorological conditions, remote fire spot sensing by satellite and backward trajectory models were utilized during 18-24 February 2020. Three haze stages were identified: the pre-pollution period (PPP), pollution accumulation period (PAP) and pollution dissipation period (PDP). The dominant source of PM2.5 in the PPP was biomass burning (BB) (40.4%), followed by secondary inorganic sources (28.1%) and motor vehicle exhaust (11.7%). The PAP was characterized by a large abundance of secondary inorganic sources, which contributed 56.1% of the total PM2.5 concentration, followed by BB (17.4%). The absorption Ångström exponent (2.2) in the PPP was higher than that in the other two periods. Analysis of fire spots monitored by remote satellite sensing indicated that open BB in regions around Nanning City could be one of the main factors. A planetary boundary layer-relative humidity-secondary particle matter-particulate matter positive feedback mechanism was employed to elucidate the atmospheric processes in this study. This study highlights the importance of understanding the role of BB, secondary inorganic sources and meteorology in air pollution formation and calls for policies for emission control strategies.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/analysis , Environmental Monitoring/methods , Gases/analysis , Particulate Matter/analysis , Biomass , COVID-19 , China , Dust/analysis , Environmental Monitoring/instrumentation , Environmental Pollution/analysis , Mass Spectrometry/instrumentation , Meteorology , Vehicle Emissions/analysis
13.
Faraday Discuss ; 226: 112-137, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253998

ABSTRACT

Air quality in megacities is significantly impacted by emissions from vehicles and other urban-scale human activities. Amid the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in January 2020, strict policies were in place to restrict people's movement, bringing about steep reductions in pollution activities and notably lower ambient concentrations of primary pollutants. In this study, we report hourly measurements of fine particulate matter (i.e., PM2.5) and its comprehensive chemical speciation, including elemental and molecular source tracers, at an urban site in Shanghai spanning a period before the lockdown restriction (BR) (1 to 23 Jan. 2020) and during the restriction (DR) (24 Jan. to 9 Feb. 2020). The overall PM2.5 was reduced by 27% from 56.2 ± 40.9 (BR) to 41.1 ± 25.3 µg m-3 (DR) and the organic carbon (OC) in PM2.5 was similar, averaged at 5.45 ± 2.37 (BR) and 5.42 ± 1.75 µgC m-3 (DR). Reduction in nitrate was prominent, from 18.1 (BR) to 9.2 µg m-3 (DR), accounting for most of the PM2.5 decrease. Source analysis of PM2.5 using positive matrix factorization modeling of comprehensive chemical composition, resolved nine primary source factors and five secondary source factors. The quantitative source analysis confirms reduced contributions from primary sources affected by COVID-19, with vehicular emissions showing the largest drop, from 4.6 (BR) to 0.61 µg m-3 (DR) and the percentage change (-87%) in par with vehicle traffic volume and fuel sale statistics (-60% to -90%). In the same time period, secondary sources are revealed to vary in response to precursor reductions from the lockdown, with two sources showing consistent enhancement while the other three showing reductions, highlighting the complexity in secondary organic aerosol formation and the nonlinear response to broad primary precursor pollutants. The combined contribution from the two secondary sources to PM2.5 increased from 7.3 ± 6.6 (BR) to 14.8 ± 9.3 µg m-3 (DR), partially offsetting the reductions from primary sources and nitrate while their increased contribution to OC, from 1.6 ± 1.4 (BR) to 3.2 ± 2.0 µgC m-3 (DR), almost offset the decrease coming from the primary sources. Results from this work underscore challenges in predicting the benefits to PM2.5 improvement from emission reductions of common urban primary sources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Carbon/analysis , Particulate Matter/analysis , Biomass , COVID-19/virology , Carbon/chemistry , China , Cluster Analysis , Environmental Monitoring/methods , Humans , Nitrates/analysis , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
14.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(4): e1008860, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175370

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is posing an unprecedented threat to the whole world. In this regard, it is absolutely imperative to understand the mechanism of metabolic reprogramming of host human cells by SARS-CoV-2. A better understanding of the metabolic alterations would aid in design of better therapeutics to deal with COVID-19 pandemic. We developed an integrated genome-scale metabolic model of normal human bronchial epithelial cells (NHBE) infected with SARS-CoV-2 using gene-expression and macromolecular make-up of the virus. The reconstructed model predicts growth rates of the virus in high agreement with the experimental measured values. Furthermore, we report a method for conducting genome-scale differential flux analysis (GS-DFA) in context-specific metabolic models. We apply the method to the context-specific model and identify severely affected metabolic modules predominantly comprising of lipid metabolism. We conduct an integrated analysis of the flux-altered reactions, host-virus protein-protein interaction network and phospho-proteomics data to understand the mechanism of flux alteration in host cells. We show that several enzymes driving the altered reactions inferred by our method to be directly interacting with viral proteins and also undergoing differential phosphorylation under diseased state. In case of SARS-CoV-2 infection, lipid metabolism particularly fatty acid oxidation, cholesterol biosynthesis and beta-oxidation cycle along with arachidonic acid metabolism are predicted to be most affected which confirms with clinical metabolomics studies. GS-DFA can be applied to existing repertoire of high-throughput proteomic or transcriptomic data in diseased condition to understand metabolic deregulation at the level of flux.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , Algorithms , Biomass , Bronchi/metabolism , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Computational Biology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Metabolic Flux Analysis/statistics & numerical data , Metabolic Networks and Pathways/genetics , Metabolomics , Pandemics , Phosphorylation , Protein Interaction Maps , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Transcriptome
15.
Nano Lett ; 21(2): 1017-1024, 2021 01 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1028800

ABSTRACT

Bioaerosols, including infectious diseases such as COVID-19, are a continuous threat to global public safety. Despite their importance, the development of a practical, real-time means of monitoring bioaerosols has remained elusive. Here, we present a novel, simple, and highly efficient means of obtaining enriched bioaerosol samples. Aerosols are collected into a thin and stable liquid film by the unique interaction of a superhydrophilic surface and a continuous two-phase centrifugal flow. We demonstrate that this method can provide a concentration enhancement ratio of ∼2.4 × 106 with a collection efficiency of ∼99.9% and an aerosol-into-liquid transfer rate of ∼95.9% at 500 nm particle size (smaller than a single bacterium). This transfer is effective in both laboratory and external ambient environments. The system has a low limit of detection of <50 CFU/m3air using a straightforward bioluminescence-based technique and shows significant potential for air monitoring in occupational and public-health applications.


Subject(s)
Aerosols , Bacteria/isolation & purification , Environmental Monitoring/instrumentation , Environmental Monitoring/methods , Air Microbiology , Biomass , Limit of Detection , Luminescence , Nanoparticles , Particle Size , Public Health , Surface Properties , Temperature
16.
Faraday Discuss ; 226: 112-137, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-989971

ABSTRACT

Air quality in megacities is significantly impacted by emissions from vehicles and other urban-scale human activities. Amid the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in January 2020, strict policies were in place to restrict people's movement, bringing about steep reductions in pollution activities and notably lower ambient concentrations of primary pollutants. In this study, we report hourly measurements of fine particulate matter (i.e., PM2.5) and its comprehensive chemical speciation, including elemental and molecular source tracers, at an urban site in Shanghai spanning a period before the lockdown restriction (BR) (1 to 23 Jan. 2020) and during the restriction (DR) (24 Jan. to 9 Feb. 2020). The overall PM2.5 was reduced by 27% from 56.2 ± 40.9 (BR) to 41.1 ± 25.3 µg m-3 (DR) and the organic carbon (OC) in PM2.5 was similar, averaged at 5.45 ± 2.37 (BR) and 5.42 ± 1.75 µgC m-3 (DR). Reduction in nitrate was prominent, from 18.1 (BR) to 9.2 µg m-3 (DR), accounting for most of the PM2.5 decrease. Source analysis of PM2.5 using positive matrix factorization modeling of comprehensive chemical composition, resolved nine primary source factors and five secondary source factors. The quantitative source analysis confirms reduced contributions from primary sources affected by COVID-19, with vehicular emissions showing the largest drop, from 4.6 (BR) to 0.61 µg m-3 (DR) and the percentage change (-87%) in par with vehicle traffic volume and fuel sale statistics (-60% to -90%). In the same time period, secondary sources are revealed to vary in response to precursor reductions from the lockdown, with two sources showing consistent enhancement while the other three showing reductions, highlighting the complexity in secondary organic aerosol formation and the nonlinear response to broad primary precursor pollutants. The combined contribution from the two secondary sources to PM2.5 increased from 7.3 ± 6.6 (BR) to 14.8 ± 9.3 µg m-3 (DR), partially offsetting the reductions from primary sources and nitrate while their increased contribution to OC, from 1.6 ± 1.4 (BR) to 3.2 ± 2.0 µgC m-3 (DR), almost offset the decrease coming from the primary sources. Results from this work underscore challenges in predicting the benefits to PM2.5 improvement from emission reductions of common urban primary sources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Carbon/analysis , Particulate Matter/analysis , Biomass , COVID-19/virology , Carbon/chemistry , China , Cluster Analysis , Environmental Monitoring/methods , Humans , Nitrates/analysis , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
17.
Faraday Discuss ; 226: 9-52, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-963090

ABSTRACT

Urbanization is an ongoing global phenomenon as more and more people are moving from rural to urban areas for better employment opportunities and a higher standard of living, leading to the growth of megacities, broadly defined as urban agglomeration with more than 10 million inhabitants. Intense activities in megacities induce high levels of air pollutants in the atmosphere that harm human health, cause regional haze and acid deposition, damage crops, influence air quality in regions far from the megacity sources, and contribute to climate change. Since the Great London Smog and the first recognized episode of Los Angeles photochemical smog seventy years ago, substantial progress has been made in improving the scientific understanding of air pollution and in developing emissions reduction technologies. However, much remains to be understood about the complex processes of atmospheric oxidation mechanisms; the formation and evolution of secondary particles, especially those containing organic species; and the influence of emerging emissions sources and changing climate on air quality and health. While air quality has substantially improved in megacities in developed regions and some in the developing regions, many still suffer from severe air pollution. Strong regional and international collaboration in data collection and assessment will be beneficial in strengthening the capacity. This article provides an overview of the sources of emissions in megacities, atmospheric physicochemical processes, air quality trends and management in a few megacities, and the impacts on health and climate. The challenges and opportunities facing megacities due to lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic is also discussed.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution/analysis , Biomass , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cities , Climate Change , Gases/chemistry , Humans , Particulate Matter/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Vehicle Emissions
18.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int ; 28(13): 15755-15767, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-947052

ABSTRACT

This study seeks to dissect the basic factors that can elucidate the efficiency and innovation in biomass utilization to control carbon dioxide (CO2) emission and economic growth nexus particularly at the time that the worldwide CO2 emission is at an all-time high and COVID-19 is ravaging the word. We use data principally from the World Bank Indicators covering the period 1990-2016 to study the nexus among biomass utilization, economic growth, and CO2 emission based on the moderating role of biotechnology in China. On the basis of the results of our preliminary tests, we apply the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) for this analysis and employ the nonlinear autoregressive distributed lag (NARDL) as a robust check and also deploy the vector error correction model (VECM) to determine the direction of causality. We find that long-run relationship exists among the factors in this study. We additionally find that biotechnology has a critical but negative relationship with CO2 emission in China. Through hierarchical multiple regression analysis and PROCESS macro for mediation, moderation, and conditional process, we establish that biotechnology significantly moderates the relationship between biomass utilization and CO2 emission in China. Again, we discover that biomass utilization significantly decreases CO2 emission in China. Through the ARDL, NARDL, and VECM, we find empirical support for the growth hypothesis in China. We conduct a series of diagnostic tests that prove the robustness of our estimates. Based on our empirical evidence, this study recommends that China seeks sustainable economic development and environmental sustainability simultaneously by prioritizing biomass utilization and biotechnological innovation in the country.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Economic Development , Biomass , Carbon Dioxide/analysis , China , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Eur J Clin Invest ; 50(10): e13382, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-706530

ABSTRACT

In barely nine months, the pandemic known as COVID-19 has spread over 200 countries, affecting more than 22 million people and causing over than 786 000 deaths. Elderly people and patients with previous comorbidities such as hypertension and diabetes are at an increased risk to suffer a poor prognosis after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Although the same could be expected from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), current epidemiological data are conflicting. This could lead to a reduction of precautionary measures in these patients, in the context of a particularly complex global health crisis. Most COPD patients have a long history of smoking or exposure to other harmful particles or gases, capable of impairing pulmonary defences even years after the absence of exposure. Moreover, COPD is characterized by an ongoing immune dysfunction, which affects both pulmonary and systemic cellular and molecular inflammatory mediators. Consequently, increased susceptibility to viral respiratory infections have been reported in COPD, often worsened by bacterial co-infections and leading to serious clinical outcomes. The present paper is an up-to-date review that discusses the available research regarding the implications of coronavirus infection in COPD. Although validation in large studies is still needed, COPD likely increases SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and increases COVID-19 severity. Hence, specific mechanisms to monitor and assess COPD patients should be addressed in the current pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , Biomass , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Disease Susceptibility , Environmental Exposure/statistics & numerical data , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Humans , Pandemics , Particulate Matter , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/genetics , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Smoke , Smoking/epidemiology , Smoking/immunology
20.
Environ Res ; 186: 109586, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-116311

ABSTRACT

Evidence supports the link between air pollution and COVID-19 and thus it is likely that exposure to biomass smoke is associated with COVID-19. The poor, including refugees and migrant workers staying in fragile conditions, are most vulnerable. An outbreak of COVID-19 in a place where the concept of physical distancing is next to impossible could easily overwhelm the public health system. It is thus essential to understand the consequences of being exposed to smoke in relation to COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution , Biomass , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , Incineration , SARS-CoV-2 , Smoke
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