People rarely consider where their tap water comes from, or how much of it is actually available. At the same time, it is people who are most often responsible for water pollution. Problems involving the contamination of water-supply areas in Poland are scrutinized by an “intervention team” of experts at the Polish Hydrogeological Survey.
The results of studies on the air pollution and on the natural sedimentation from the atmosphere in the South Shetlands are (Admiralty Bay) are presented. The amount of dust in the air varied from 0.11 to 10.90 μg x m-3 (the mean being 3.70 μg x m-3). The total amount of substances transported from the atmosphere in the Admiralty Bay region was estimated at 12.7t x km-2 per year, whereas the precipitation transports some 2.5 t x km-2 per year in this region. Preliminary data on the contents of Cu. Cd. Co. Ni. Pb and Zn in the samples of surface waters, snow and rain in the region of the Admiralty Bay are presented and compared with the results of the authors.
Measurements of pollutants scavenged from air masses over southern Svalbard in summer precipitation are presented. Rainfall was sampled in July and August 2002 at Calypsobyen, Bellsund. Specific conductivity (SpC) and pH were measured and ion concentrations were determined by ion chromatography. Ions of marine origin were subtracted, assuming that all chlorides were of marine origin. The FLEXTRA trajectory model was applied to discover the sources of air masses arriving at Svalbard and track the paths of pollutant transport. Average (v/w) rainfall pH was 4.94, mean SpC amounted to 34.8 µS cm-1. Total dissolved solids concentration (TDS) ranged from 12.6 to 67 mg L-1, with ions of marine origin (Cl-, Na+, Mg2+) prevailing. Rains with the highest percentage of marine salts occurred with winds from the East at above average velocities. Non-sea salt (nss) sulphate concentrations ranged from 0.5 µeq L-1 to 23 µeq L-1, (v/w) average was 17 µeq L-1. Nitrate concentrations ranged from 0 to 24 µeq L-1. The highest concentrations of nss-SO42- and NO3- were measured on 25 August, when the highest rainfall occurred (27 mm) and pH was the lowest (4.65). Rainfall at Calypsobyen deposited 194 kg km-2 of acidifying anions and 263 kg km-2 of base cations over the recording period. The polluted air masses were mostly from northern and central Europe. Rainfalls scavenging air masses formed over Greenland and Norwegian Seas displayed similar concentrations, being probably polluted by SOx and NOx from ship emissions.
The coastal zone and estuaries of Quang Ninh and Hai Phong have great potential not only for economic development but also for protection and conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem. Nowadays, due to industrial, agricultural and anthropogenic activities signs of water pollution in the region have been found. The level of surface water pollution can be determined by traditional methods through observatory stations. However, a traditional approach to determine water contamination is discontinuous, and thereby makes pollution assessment of the entire estuary very difficult. Nowadays, remote sensing technology has been developed and widely applied in many fields, for instance, in monitoring water environments. Remote sensing data combined with information from in-situ observations allow for extraction of polluted components in water and accurate measurements of pollution level in the large regions ensuring objectivity. According to results obtained from Spot-5 imagery of Quang Ninh and Hai Phong, the extracted pollution components, like BOD, COD and TSS can be determined with the root mean square error, the absolute mean error and the absolute mean percentage error (%): ±4.37 (mg/l) 3.86 (mg/l), 27%; ±55.32 (mg/l), 48.30 (mg/l), 14%; and ±32.90 (mg/l), 23.38 (mg/l), 28%; respectively. Obtained outcomes guarantee objectivity in assessing water contaminant levels in the investigated regions and show the advantages of remote sensing applications in Resource and Environmental Monitoring in relation to Water – Air – Land.
Microbiological and chemical analysis of air was carried out on the area of landfill of wastes other than inert or hazardous. The landfill covers 20 ha and 40 000 Mg of wastes is deposited annually. Municipal waste is not segregated at the landfill. The research was conducted in April, May and November 2012. Number of the psychrophilic and mesophilic bacteria and fungi was estimated by a culture-based method. Quantitative determination of sulfur compounds and meteorological and olfactrometric examinations were also carried out. Chemical analysis was conducted with a Photovac Voyager portable gas chromatograph. Air samples were collected at 5 points. The largest group of microbes were psychrophilic bacteria, especially in summer. The highest concentration of hydrogen sulfide and other odorants was found at leachate tank and landfill body. According to the Polish Standard for the assessment of atmospheric air pollution the air in the area of the landfill is classified as not contaminated and sporadically moderately contaminated. In spring and summer the number of microscopic fungi was increased also in control samples.
This article aims to discuss the notion of environmental damage under the CLC 1992 and FUND 1992 as stated in the new Guidelines for Presenting Claims for Environmental Damage prepared by the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds. That approach is contrasted with the solution adopted in the United States of America under the OPA. Particular attention is given to the problems of compensation for lost services of the environment, as well as providing alternative environment as a restoration measure. The judgments of French and Spanish courts in the Erika and Prestige cases are discussed, raising questions as to suitability of the CLC 1992/FUND 1992 system.
A plenum window with incorporation of Helmholtz resonators in between two glass panes was tested in a reverberation room. The effects of jagged flap on reducing strength of diffracted sound was also investigated in the present studies where white, traffic and construction noises were examined during each set of experiment. When the noise source was located at the central line of the plenum window, the plenum window with Helmholtz resonators was able to mitigate 8.5 dBA, 8.9 dBA and 8.2 dBA of white, traffic and construction noises, respectively, compared with the case of without window. These amounts of noises that attenuated by the plenum window were slightly higher than the case where noise source was diverged 30º away from the plenum window. The effects of jagged flaps on the acoustical performance of the plenum window were negligible. The Helmholtz resonators had the best performance in the frequency region between 900 Hz to 1300 Hz where in this frequency range, the plenum window with Helmholtz resonators was able to attenuate additional 1.7 dBA, 1.9 dBA and 1.6 dBA of white, traffic and construction noises, respectively, compared with the case of without resonators.
The aim of this paper is to present characteristics, toxicity and environmental behavior of nanoparticles (NPs) (silver, copper, gold, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, iron oxide) that most frequently occur in consumer products. In addition, NPs are addressed as the new aquatic environmental pollutant of the 21st century. NPs are adsorbed onto particles in the aquatic systems (clay minerals, fulvic and humic acids), or they can adsorb environmental pollutants (heavy metal ions, organic compounds). Nanosilver (nAg) is released from consumer products into the aquatic environment. It can threaten aquatic organisms with high toxicity. Interestingly, copper nanoparticles (Cu-NPs) demonstrate higher toxicity to bacteria and aquatic microorganisms than those of nanosilver nAg. Their small size and reactivity can cause penetration into the tissues and interfere with the metabolic systems of living organisms and bacterial biogeochemical cycles. The behavior of NPs is not fully recognized. Nevertheless, it is known that NPs can agglomerate, bind with ions (chlorides, sulphates, phosphates) or organic compounds. They can also be bound or immobilized by slurry. The NPs behavior depends on process conditions, i.e. pH, ionic strength, temperature and presence of other chemical compounds. It is unknown how NPs behave in the aquatic environment. Therefore, the research on this problem should be carried out under different process conditions. As for the toxicity, it is important to understand where the differences in the research results come from. As NPs have an impact on not only aquatic organisms but also human health and life, it is necessary to recognize their toxic doses and know standards/regulations that determine the permissible concentrations of NPs in the environment.
Trichloroethene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE) are chemical compounds which pose a serious threat for human health. Their specific properties make it possible that these substances may linger in soil and water for many years. These are the reasons why wells with water designed for drinking purposes have been subject of monitoring since 2006. This paper presents the results of monitoring research conducted in the soil-water environment within the framework in third phase of an ecological audit of land. The ecological audit of land made it possible to identify the cause and degree of the degradation, and helped formulate rationale for remedy decisions pertaining to the land (remediation/reclamation). The objective of the paper was to determine the pollution status of the soil-water environment and, subsequently, monitor (in years 2008-2010) the contents of the hazardous substances, namely trichloroethene and tetrachloroethene, within the area of the potential impact of metallurgical plant located in borders of the Main Underground Water Reservoir Wierzbica-Ostrowiec (GZWP 420) in in voivodeship Świętokrzyskie.
The last two decades have brought a significant modernization in methods of cultivation in greenhouses. Soilless cultures, isolated from soils, have become a common practice, similarly as fertigation (fertilization + irrigation) installations, although most of them are applied in the open system (with no recirculation), where excess nutrient solution is removed straight to soil. This situation was the reason why it was decided to conduct studies, extended over a period of many years, on the estimation of environmental pollution caused by discharged drainage waters containing mineral fertilizers in economically important cultures in Poland (anthurium, tomato, cucumber). On the basis of the chemical composition of drainage waters and amounts of nutrient solution spillway from culture beds data were estimated concerning pollution of the soil medium by the nutrient solution. The level of pollution was dependent on nutrient requirements of crops and the length of the vegetation period. The highest environmental pollution is caused by intensive tomato growing (in kg·month·ha-1): N-NO3 (up to 245), K (up to 402), Ca (up to 145) and S-SO4 (up to 102). A lesser threat is posed by metal microelements: Fe (up to 2.69), Mn (up to 0.19), Zn (up to 0.52) and Cu (up to 0.09). Lower contamination of the natural environment is generated in cultures with lower nutrient requirements (anthurium) and in the case of culture on organic substrates. With an increase in ecological awareness of producers recirculation systems should be implemented in the production practice, in which drainage waters do not migrate directly to soil, but are repeatedly used to feed crops.
The concentrations of Cu, Mn, Ni and Zn in the soil and litterfall, as well as influx of the elements to the soils with litterfall were studied in a mixed beech-pine-spruce stand in northern Poland during the years 2007–2009. Annual influx of litterfall to the soil amounted from 3.234 to 4.871 t/ha. Beech, pine and spruce litterfall contributed in total litterfall in 50.8−70.1%, 11.4−11.9% and 1.6−24.0% respectively. The following average annual concentrations of heavy metals in total litterfall during the 3-year study period were noticed: 2469.3–3469.2 mg Mn/kg, 153.6–160.8 mg/kg Zn, 8.0–14.3 mg Ni/kg and 5.0–6.8 mg Cu/kg. In general, the concentrations of Mn and Cu were higher in beech litterfall in comparison to pine and spruce. The contents of Zn and Ni in beech, pine and spruce litterfall were comparable. Annual influx of metals to the soil with litterfall was: 10341.6–14422.4 g/ha Mn, 460.3–748.1 g/ha Zn, 37.4–66.6 g/ha Ni and 20.2–31.8 g/ha Cu. The fluxes were higher for Mn, Zn and Ni, and comparable for Cu in relation to those observed in other beech, pine, spruce and mixed stands in northern Europe.
Previous studies concerning the categorisation method have been based on short daytime measure- ments. These studies demonstrated urban-noise stratification in the daytime. Nevertheless, legislation and standards refer to noise estimation throughout the day. This paper presents the first attempt to apply the categorisation method to indicators obtained through long-term measurements. The study was conducted in Plasencia, Extremadura (Spain) which has approximately 41,500 inhabitants. First, we conducted a stratification of the roads using the categorisation method. Second, long-term measurements (approxi- mately one week) were conducted at different sampling locations across different categories of streets. The results were analysed by category. Moreover, the profile of the noise-level variation was analysed during the day. The results revealed a stratification of sound levels measured across the different categories. Furthermore, we found health risks due to the noise levels in this town. Short-term measurements were also conducted to complete the categorisation method suitability analysis.
The Timok River (202 km long, 4547 km2 basin area) is located in East Serbia. It is a right tributary of the Danube River and one of the most polluted watercourses in Serbia. On the basis of the data provided by the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia, the paper presents an analysis of water quality and pollution using the combined physico-chemical WPI index (Water Pollution Index) calculated for two periods - 1993-96 and 2006-2009 at four hydrological stations: Zaječar-Gamzigrad (Crni Timok River), Zaječar (Beli Timok River), Rgotina (Borska Reka River) and Čokonjar (Timok River). The following parameters were taken into consideration: dissolved O2, O2 saturation, pH, suspended sediments, Five Day Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD5), Chemical Oxygen Demand (CODMn), nitrites, nitrates, orthophosphates, ammonium, metals (Cu, Fe, Mn, Hg, Ni, Zn, Cd), sulphates and coliform germs. The average WPI values were calculated for the observed periods based on the comparison of the annual average values of the listed parameters and defined standard values for the I water quality class (according to the Regulation on the Hygienic Acceptability of Potable Water of the Republic of Serbia). The highest pollution degree was recorded in the Borska Reka River, where heavy metal levels (especially manganese and iron) were significantly increased. These metals are indicators of inorganic pollution (primarily caused by copper mining). Also, increased values of the organic pollution indicators (ammonium, coliform germs, Five-Day Biological Oxygen Demand - BOD5) in the Borska Reka and the Timok rivers are the result of uncontrolled domestic wastewater discharge.
Theory and practice of environmental protection in the case of foundries in Europe and Asia • Experience resulting from the cooperation with the foundries in a few European countries, China and India • Phenomena and factors affecting the pollution of the natural environment and the implementation of measures aiming at the environmental protection Every specialist dealing with foundry processes and their impact on environmental pollution must have encountered in their professional careers numerous situations in which the theory of environmental protection confronts the stark reality. The discrepancy between theory and practice can particularly be noticed in foundry engineering in developing countries where the contrasts between different countries and casting plants are extremely striking. The comparison of working conditions in European and Asian foundries provides a vast scope for further observations and analyses. Environmental protection seems not only a concern of manufacturers of castings, but also of their customers whose opinion exerts a significant influence on both the acceptability of working conditions and on the approach to environmental pollution adopted in metal casting industry. The article presents a number of examples of various outlooks on environmental issues in foundries manufacturing a wide range of cast steel and cast iron castings, where different technologies and production processes are applied.
Beach pollution is one of the most common hazards in present-day anthropogenic environments. Even in the remote Svalbard Archipelago, pollution impacts the beach system and can pose environmental threats. The significant increase in human activity observed in Svalbard over the last 20–30 years has resulted in a visible change in the amount of coastal pollution. A 5 km long transect of modern beach developed along Calypsostranda (Recherchefjorden, Bellsund) was surveyed in the summer of 2015 in order to characterize the beach pollution. During the survey 296 pieces of trash were found on beach surface. 82% of found trash was plastic, followed by glass (8%), and metal (5%). The comparison with previous pollution survey showed the significant increase of plastic waste in local beach environment. Similar problem has been recently recorded in other parts of Svalbard suggesting an urgent need for coastal pollution monitoring.
Heavy metal pollutants in the leachate of waste landfill are a potential threat to the environment. In this study, the feasibility of using municipal sewage sludge as barrier material for the containment of heavy metal pollutants from solid waste landfills was evaluated by compaction test and hydraulic conductivity test concerning compaction property, impermeability and heavy metal retardation. Results of the compaction test showed that the maximum dry density of 0.79 g·cm−3 was achieved at the optimum water content of about 60%. The hydraulic conductivities of compacted sewage sludge permeated with synthetic heavy metal solutions were in the range of 1.3×10−8 – 6.2×10−9 cm·s−1, less than 1.0 ×10−7cm·s−1 recommended by regulations for barrier materials. Chemical analyses on the effluent from the hydraulic conductivity tests indicated that the two target heavy metals, Zn and Cd in the permeants were all retarded by compacted sewage sludge, which might be attributed to the precipitation and adsorption of heavy metal ions. The results of this study suggest that specially prepared material from sewage sludge could be used as a barrier for waste landfills for its low permeability and strong retardation to heavy metal pollutants.
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) originating from agrochemical industries have become an urgent environmental problem worldwide. Ordinary kriging, as an optimal geostatistical interpolation technique, has been proved to be sufficiently robust for estimating values with finite sampled data in most of the cases. In this study, ordinary kriging interpolation integrate with 3D visualization methods is applied to characterize the monochlorobenzene contaminated soil for an agrochemical industrial site located in Jiangsu province. Based on 944 soil samples collected by Geoprobe 540MT and monitored by SGS environmental monitoring services, 3D visualization in terms of the spatial distribution of pollutants in potentially contaminated soil, the extent and severity of the pollution levels in different layers, high concentration levels and isolines of monochlorobenzene concentrations in this area are provided. From the obtained results, more information taking into account the spatial heterogeneity of soil area will be helpful for decision makers to develop and implement the soil remediation strategy in the future.