Assessment of Air Pollution around Mining Area

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 July 2022) | Viewed by 4195

Special Issue Editors


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Faculty of Engineering, CERENA - FEUP, Research Center for Natural Resources and the Environment, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Interests: soil science; environmental radioactivity; environmental chemistry; mining engineering; environmental engineering; groundwater; remediation technologies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Center for Natural Resources and the Environment (CERENA-FEUP), Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, R. Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465, Porto, Portugal
Interests: occupational exposure; environmental health; risk assessment; indoor radon exposure; mitigation techniques

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Guest Editor
Associated Laboratory for Energy, Transports and Aeronautics, (PROA-LAETA), Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Interests: safety engineering; risk assessment; risk management; industrial ergonomics; industrial hygiene; occupational health; accident costs; human engineering; mining project
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Air pollution has become a growing concern in the past few years with an increasing number of acute air pollution episodes in many places worldwide. The accumulation of potentially hazardous or toxic chemicals in the environment represents a substantial risk of people being exposed to fine particles penetrating deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system. In mining areas, different situations may contribute to air pollution. Several mining activities can create unacceptable dust exposure if not appropriately controlled. The toxicity of the dust depends on the type of ore being mined, the exposure, and the consequent impacts on the proximity of environmental receptors. High concentrations of arsenic, lead, and radionuclides tend to pose the most significant risk. Abandoned mines are a recurrent problem for nearby communities. Different airborne contamination sources may be present (such as tailings) and be continuously dispersed by wind to the surrounding environment, affecting flora, fauna, water, air and soil. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of the chemical, physical and biological processes is essential for assessing the extension and effects of air pollution around mining areas, which should be based on a holistic approach.

This Special Issue of Atmosphere will open a broad debate on issues related to air pollution in mining areas. Research results, practical experiences, alternatives, and new approaches are welcome, dealing with i) tools and techniques for air pollution studies and their applications in airborne contaminants dispersion, transport and fate (including radionuclides), iii) contaminant distribution, bioavailability, and uptake, iv) data mining and air pollution, v) characterization, assessment, and monitoring of airborne contaminants, vi) chemical/toxicological/biological measurements of airborne pollutants, vii) modelling, viii) climate change impacts, ix) impact of mining and industrial activities on air quality, x) ecological and human health risk assessment, and xi) occupational and environmental exposure.

Prof. Dr. Maria de Lurdes Dinis
Dr. Ana Sofia Silva
Prof. Dr. João dos Santos Baptista
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • air pollution
  • toxicology
  • exposure
  • radionuclides
  • metals
  • health impacts
  • exposure modelling
  • dispersion modelling
  • occupational exposure
  • risk assessment

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 2112 KiB  
Article
Reducing Mercury Emission Uncertainty from Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Using Bootstrap Confidence Intervals: An Assessment of Emission Reduction Scenarios
by Delia Evelina Bruno, Francesco De Simone, Sergio Cinnirella, Ian Michael Hedgecock, Francesco D’Amore and Nicola Pirrone
Atmosphere 2023, 14(1), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14010062 - 29 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1885
Abstract
Atmospheric mercury emission scenarios from artisanal and small-scale gold mining for 56 tropical and subtropical countries have been elaborated and assessed for their comparative significance. A multi-step quantitative method that yields narrow and robust confidence intervals for mercury emission estimates was employed. Firstly, [...] Read more.
Atmospheric mercury emission scenarios from artisanal and small-scale gold mining for 56 tropical and subtropical countries have been elaborated and assessed for their comparative significance. A multi-step quantitative method that yields narrow and robust confidence intervals for mercury emission estimates was employed. Firstly, data on gold production for different years, the ratio of mercury used in the different amalgamation processes, and ancillary input parameters were retrieved from official and unofficial sources, and their potential for emission reduction examined. Then, a Monte Carlo method to combine the data and generate mercury emission samples was used. These samples were processed by a non-parametric re-sampling method (bootstrap) to obtain robust estimates of mercury emissions, and their 95% confidence intervals, both for the current state and for the emission scenarios designed in this study. The artisanal and small-scale gold mining mercury emission (to the atmosphere) estimates agree with those reported in the Global Mercury Assessment 2018; however, the overall uncertainty is reduced from roughly 100% in the Global Mercury Assessment (779.59 tons/y; uncertainty range: 361.07–1197.97) to 27% (1091.93 tons/y; confidence interval at 95% level of confidence: 964.54–1219.77) in this study. This is a substantial outcome since the narrowing of the confidence intervals permits a more meaningful evaluation of the different emission scenarios investigated, which otherwise, given the broad uncertainty of other estimates, would have led only to vague conclusions in a study of this nature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Air Pollution around Mining Area)
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15 pages, 6577 KiB  
Article
Characteristics and Source Analysis of PM1 in a Typical Steel-Industry City, Southwest China
by Huibin Shi, Xin Cheng, Jinjin Wang, Zijing Li and Yi Huang
Atmosphere 2022, 13(8), 1304; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13081304 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1522
Abstract
Mining activities have led to severe air pollution problems while they make great contributions to economic construction. Therefore, as a typical steel-industry city in southwest China, Panzhihua, its air pollution has received extensive attention. The characteristics of PM1 in different functional areas [...] Read more.
Mining activities have led to severe air pollution problems while they make great contributions to economic construction. Therefore, as a typical steel-industry city in southwest China, Panzhihua, its air pollution has received extensive attention. The characteristics of PM1 in different functional areas of Panzhihua from 2018 to 2019, and the changes of its microstructure and potentially toxic elements (PTEs) and the sources of PM1 were analyzed. The results showed that the mass concentrations of PM1 in the heavy pollution area of Nongnongping (NNP) and the complex industrial pollution area of Hemenkou (HMK) were 12.12–145.30 μg/m3 and 14.38–67.02 μg/m3, respectively. Seasonal PM1 mass concentrations in the two functional areas could be arranged in the following order: winter > autumn > spring > summer. The main particle types in PM1 were fly ash, soot, sulphate particles, aluminosilicate particles and metal particles. Potential sources of PM1 in Panzhihua included coal burning, biomass combustion, automobile exhaust and mining activities. At the same time, the average concentrations of PTEs at NNP were also higher than those at HMK because of smelting activities. Enrichment factor analysis showed that most of the PTEs came from human sources. The results could provide theoretical guidance for environmental management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Air Pollution around Mining Area)
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