Effects of Mineral Elements on the Environment

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Earth Sciences and Geography".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021) | Viewed by 32157

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Special Issue Editors

GeoBioTec, Department of Geosciences, University of Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: environmental geochemistry; medical mineralogy; medical geology; international geochemical mapping; water quality; soil quality; dust quality; health risk assessment; heavy metals; potentially toxic elements; epidemiology; neurosciences
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School of Hydrology and Water Resources (Eco-hydrology Group), Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Ningliu Road No. 219, Nanjing 210044, China
Interests: microplastics; GHG emissions; water quality; water resources; environmental sustainability; forestry; carbon neutrality; biogeochemical cycling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The field of medical mineralogy and geochemistry is an emergent and extremely interdisciplinary area of study. Geochemistry and mineralogy play an essential role in cross-disciplinary research, with a view to understanding not just how humans and geomaterials interact, but also how inorganic solid precipitates are formed in vivo, both normally and pathologically. Research methods and strategies include studies of the solubility and stability of biomaterials within biofluids or their proxies and earth materials (i.e., studies of thermodynamic equilibrium), the kinetic study of apposite reactions that take place under conditions which are pertinent to human bodies, studies of molecular modelling and of the geospatial and statistical, the aim being an evaluation of how certain chronic diseases can be activated by environmental factors in certain individuals or populations with a genetic predisposition.

Medical mineralogy and geochemistry is acknowledged to be an important field, yet little attention has been paid to it by scientists, administrators, or the public. The aims of this volume are a) to focus on a selection of current challenges and research opportunities, and b) to encourage knowledge transfer between geochemists and mineralogists whose work concerns medical problems and medical scientists who study problems touching on biominerals and geomaterials.

Cases in point may comprise tooth and bone biomineralization, bioactive, biocompatible ceramics and their design for use in dental and orthopedic implants, artery calcification and kidney stone formation, the effect of inhaling dust particles on the lungs, developing biosensors via oxide-encapsulated living cells, the environmental transport of pathological viruses and prions, the potential environment–genetic link in neurodegenerative diseases, the pathological results of heavy metal contamination and speciation exposure pathways, and associated applications of tissue engineering.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Journal of Xenobiotics.

Dr. Marina Cabral Pinto
Dr. Amit Kumar
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Toxicology
  • rare earth elements
  • health risk
  • environmental chemistry
  • biogeochemical
  • ecological health
  • medical mineralogy
  • soil health

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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8 pages, 1254 KiB  
Article
Prediction of Long-Term Health Risk from Radiocesium Deposited on Ground with Consideration of Land-Surface Properties
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 4424; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11104424 - 13 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1562
Abstract
After the Fukushima Daiichi accident, there have been long controversial discussions on “how safe is safe?” between the authorities and the residents in the affected area. This controversy was partly attributable to the way the authorities made a judgement based on the annual [...] Read more.
After the Fukushima Daiichi accident, there have been long controversial discussions on “how safe is safe?” between the authorities and the residents in the affected area. This controversy was partly attributable to the way the authorities made a judgement based on the annual effective dose rate; meanwhile, many of the local residents have serious concerns about future consequences for their health caused by chronic radiation exposure, particularly of small children. To settle this controversy, the author presents an approach based on long-term cancer risk projections of female infants, i.e., the most radiosensitive group, following land contamination by radiocesium deposition into ground with different surface conditions; the land was classified into three categories on the basis of decaying patterns of radiation dose rate: “Fast”, “Middle”, and “Slow”. From the results of analyses with an initial dose rate of 20 mGy per year, it was predicted that the integrated lifetime attributable risk (LAR) of cancer mortality of a female person ranged by a factor of 2 from 1.8% (for the Fast area) to 3.6% (for the Slow area) that were clearly higher than the nominal risk values derived from effective dose estimates with median values of environmental model parameters. These findings suggest that accurate site-specific information on the behavioral characteristics of radionuclides in the terrestrial environment are critically important for adequate decision making for protecting people when there is an event accompanied by large-scale radioactive contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Mineral Elements on the Environment)
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18 pages, 1757 KiB  
Article
Estimation of Risk to the Eco-Environment and Human Health of Using Heavy Metals in the Uttarakhand Himalaya, India
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(20), 7078; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10207078 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 63 | Viewed by 4264
Abstract
In the modern era, due to the rapid increase in urbanization and industrialization in the vicinity of the Himalayas, heavy metals contamination in soil has become a key priority for researchers working globally; however, evaluation of the human and ecological risks mainly in [...] Read more.
In the modern era, due to the rapid increase in urbanization and industrialization in the vicinity of the Himalayas, heavy metals contamination in soil has become a key priority for researchers working globally; however, evaluation of the human and ecological risks mainly in hilly areas remains limited. In this study, we analyzed indices like the contamination factor (CF), degree of contamination (DC), enrichment factor (EF), geochemical index (Igeo), pollution ecological risk index (PERI), and pollution load index (PLI), along with cancer risk (CR) and hazard indices (HI), to ascertain the eco-environmental and human risks of using heavy metals in datasets collected from 168 sampling locations in Uttarakhand, India. The evaluation calculated of Igeo, EF, and CF suggests that represented soil samples were moderately contaminated and highly augmented with Rb, while PERI (75.56) advocates a low ecological risk. Further, PLI and DC (PLI: 1.26; DC: 36.66) show a possible health risk for the native population in the vicinity of the studied catchment. The hazard index (HI) is estimated greater than 1 (HI > 1) for Cr and Mn, representing a possible risk for cancer. However, adults are free from cancer risk, and other studied elements have been reported as noncarcinogenic. This assessment gives important information to policymakers, environmentalists, and foresters for taking mitigation measures in advance to mitigate the potential future risk of soil pollution on humans, ecology, and the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Mineral Elements on the Environment)
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22 pages, 13663 KiB  
Article
Identifying Groundwater Fluoride Source in a Weathered Basement Aquifer in Central Malawi: Human Health and Policy Implications
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(14), 5006; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10145006 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3174
Abstract
Consumption of groundwater containing fluoride exceeding World Health Organization (WHO) 1.5 mg/L standard leaves people vulnerable to fluorosis: a vulnerability not well characterised in Malawi. To evaluate geogenic fluoride source and concentration, groundwater fluoride and geology was documented in central Malawi where groundwater [...] Read more.
Consumption of groundwater containing fluoride exceeding World Health Organization (WHO) 1.5 mg/L standard leaves people vulnerable to fluorosis: a vulnerability not well characterised in Malawi. To evaluate geogenic fluoride source and concentration, groundwater fluoride and geology was documented in central Malawi where groundwater supplies are mainly sourced from the weathered basement aquifer. Lithological composition was shown as the main control on fluoride occurrence. Augen gneiss of granitic composition posed the greatest geological fluoride risk. The weathered basement aquifer profile was the main factor controlling fluoride distributions. These results and fluoride-lithology statistical analysis allowed the development of a graded map of geological fluoride risk. A direct link to human health risk (dental fluorosis) from geological fluoride was quantified to support science-led policy change for fluoride in rural drinking water in Malawi. Hazard quotient (HQ) values were calculated and assigned to specific water points, depending on user age group; in this case, 74% of children under six were shown to be vulnerable to dental fluorosis. Results are contrary to current standard for fluoride in Malawi groundwater of 6 mg/L, highlighting the need for policy change. Detailed policy recommendations are presented based on the results of this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Mineral Elements on the Environment)
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16 pages, 2671 KiB  
Article
Retrieval of Turbidity on a Spatio-Temporal Scale Using Landsat 8 SR: A Case Study of the Ramganga River in the Ganges Basin, India
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 3702; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10113702 - 27 May 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3004
Abstract
Nowadays, space-borne imaging spectro-radiometers are exploited for many environmental applications, including water quality monitoring. Turbidity is a standout amongst the essential parameters of water quality that affect productivity. The current study aims to utilize Landsat 8 surface reflectance (L8SR) to retrieve turbidity in [...] Read more.
Nowadays, space-borne imaging spectro-radiometers are exploited for many environmental applications, including water quality monitoring. Turbidity is a standout amongst the essential parameters of water quality that affect productivity. The current study aims to utilize Landsat 8 surface reflectance (L8SR) to retrieve turbidity in the Ramganga River, a tributary of the Ganges River. Samples of river water were collected from 16 different locations on 13 March and 27 November 2014. L8SR images from 6 March and 17 November 2014 were downloaded from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) website. The algorithm to retrieve turbidity is based on the correlation between L8SR reflectance (single and ratio bands) and insitu data. The b2/b4 and b2/b3 bands ratio are proven to be the best predictors of turbidity, with R2 = 0.560 (p < 0.05) and R2 = 0.726 (p < 0.05) for March and November, respectively. Selected models are validated by comparing the concentrations of predicted and measured turbidity. The results showed that L8SR is a promising tool for monitoring surface water from space, even in relatively narrow river channels, such as the Ramganga River. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Mineral Elements on the Environment)
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16 pages, 2224 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Phosphorus Removal from Wastewater Using RSPRC and a Novel Reactor
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 3629; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103629 - 24 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1864
Abstract
Fly ash and steel slag both have a good adsorption performance and many researchers have mixed the two to make effective adsorbents. Based on previous knowledge, activated clay is added in this study. In order to deep dephosphorize wastewater, two different industrial wastes [...] Read more.
Fly ash and steel slag both have a good adsorption performance and many researchers have mixed the two to make effective adsorbents. Based on previous knowledge, activated clay is added in this study. In order to deep dephosphorize wastewater, two different industrial wastes (steel slag, fly ash) are blended into activated clay as adsorption substrates, supplemented with a binder and foaming agent to prepare a Residue and Soil Phosphorus Removal Composite (RSPRC). This is prepared to carry out experimental research on the decolorization effect and phosphorus removal characteristics of RSPRC. Meanwhile, a self-developed concentric circular diversion wall adsorption reactor is implemented to study the effect of phosphorus removal. It is found that the addition of activated clay can significantly improve the phosphorus removal performance. The results suggest that the phosphorus concentration in the effluent from the reactor can be stably reduced to below 0.10 mg/L. The concentric circular diversion wall adsorption reactor and RSPRC will have broad application prospects in phosphorus removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Mineral Elements on the Environment)
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25 pages, 5346 KiB  
Review
The Processing of Calcium Rich Agricultural and Industrial Waste for Recovery of Calcium Carbonate and Calcium Oxide and Their Application for Environmental Cleanup: A Review
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 4212; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094212 - 06 May 2021
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 11704
Abstract
Every year a million tonnes of calcium rich agro and industrial waste are generated around the whole globe. These calcium rich waste like finger citron, shells of cockle, mussel, oysters etc., and egg shell are biological sources which have various organic compounds. The [...] Read more.
Every year a million tonnes of calcium rich agro and industrial waste are generated around the whole globe. These calcium rich waste like finger citron, shells of cockle, mussel, oysters etc., and egg shell are biological sources which have various organic compounds. The inorganic calcium rich waste includes gypsum, dolomite, sludge etc., which are produced in surplus amount globally. Most of these by-products are mainly dumped, while few are used for land-filling purposes which leads to the pollution. These agro and industrial by-products could be processed for the recovery of calcium carbonate and calcium oxide particles by physical and chemical method. The recovery of calcium carbonate and calcium oxide particles from such by products make them biocompatible. Moreover, the products are economical due to their synthesis from waste materials. Here, in this current review work we have emphasized on the all the calcium rich agro industries and industrial by products, especially their processing by various approaches. Further, we have also focused on the properties and application of such calcium carbonate and oxide particles for the remediation of organic and inorganic pollutants from the environments. The recovery of such particles from these byproducts is considered not only economical and eco-friendly but it also minimizes the pollution present in the form of solid waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Mineral Elements on the Environment)
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16 pages, 2327 KiB  
Review
Agro-Nanotechnology as an Emerging Field: A Novel Sustainable Approach for Improving Plant Growth by Reducing Biotic Stress
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 2282; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11052282 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 52 | Viewed by 5339
Abstract
In the present era, the global need for food is increasing rapidly; nanomaterials are a useful tool for improving crop production and yield. The application of nanomaterials can improve plant growth parameters. Biotic stress is induced by many microbes in crops and causes [...] Read more.
In the present era, the global need for food is increasing rapidly; nanomaterials are a useful tool for improving crop production and yield. The application of nanomaterials can improve plant growth parameters. Biotic stress is induced by many microbes in crops and causes disease and high yield loss. Every year, approximately 20–40% of crop yield is lost due to plant diseases caused by various pests and pathogens. Current plant disease or biotic stress management mainly relies on toxic fungicides and pesticides that are potentially harmful to the environment. Nanotechnology emerged as an alternative for the sustainable and eco-friendly management of biotic stress induced by pests and pathogens on crops. In this review article, we assess the role and impact of different nanoparticles in plant disease management, and this review explores the direction in which nanoparticles can be utilized for improving plant growth and crop yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Mineral Elements on the Environment)
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