Posted by: drazizul | June 22, 2011



Bioelectricity refers to electrical potentials and currents occurring within or produced by living organisms. It results from the conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy. Bioelectric potentials are generated by a number of different biological processes, and are used by cells to govern metabolism, to conduct impulses along nerve fibers, and to regulate muscular contraction.

Microbial Fuel Cell is a way to produce Bio-electricity by using the waste water as well as organic waste materials.

Posted by: drazizul | October 19, 2010

Biogas: New way to the Green Energy for Developing Nation

What is Biogas?

Biogas is a combustible mixture of gases produced by micro-organisms when livestock manure and other biological wastes are allowed to ferment in the absence of air in closed containers .

Major components of Biogas:

The major constituents of biogas are methane (CH4, 60 percent or more by volume) and carbon dioxide (CO2, about 35 percent); but small amounts of water vapor, hydrogen sulphide (H2S), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen (N2) are also present.

Uses of Biogas:

1. Biogas is mainly used as fuel, like natural gas, while the digested mixture of liquids and solids ‘bio-slurry’ and ‘bio-sludge’ are mainly used as organic fertilizer for crops.
2.Biogas methane can also be used as fuel for vehicles, and is the cleanest biofuel available. Cars run on biogas methane have been voted environmental cars of the year in 2005.  Thousands of them are already operating in Sweden, which has hundreds of filling stations supplied by community biogas digesters (Organic Waste-Powered Cars).
3. Biogas can be used in ovens and lamps to heat greenhouses and at the same time increase the carbon dioxide concentration to boost photosynthesis in the greenhouse plants and increase yields. Experiments in Shanxi Province have shown that increasing carbon dioxide four-fold between 6 and 8 am boosts yields by 67.2 percent .
4. Similarly, a biogas lamp gives both light and warmth to silkworm eggs increasing their rate of hatching as well as cocooning over the usual coal heating .
5. Biogas methane can also be used to make methanol, an organic solvent and important chemical for producing formaldehyde, chloromethane, organic glass, and compound fibre .
6. Finally, biogas can be used to prolong storage of fruit and grain . An atmosphere of methane and carbon dioxide inhibits metabolism, thereby reducing the formation of ethylene in fruits and grains. It also kills harmful insects, mould, and bacteria that cause diseases.

Typical Biogas plant for developing countries

In developing countries the Biogas plant could be implemented for generating the gas as a household green energy source. It will also solve the problem of organic waste management. The final product of the Biogas can be the source of organic fertilizer.

Posted by: drazizul | February 23, 2010

Message for Professor Hayashi

With Prof. Hayashi , Best Presentation award of ISLT 2006

Professor S. Hayashi is my Ph.D. supervisor (October 2004 to September 2007) in Saga University, Japan. First of all, I gratefully acknowledge my sincere veneration and indebtedness and profound gratitude and deep respect to Professor Hayashi for his continuous valuable guidance, helpful criticisms, useful suggestions and encouragement given throughout my PhD studies as well as after PhD. It is also a great honor and privilege for me to work with him and to share his valuable knowledge and expertise. I am a citizen of Bangladesh and I came to Saga University, Japan for my Ph.D. studies. I still remembered the moment when we first met each other. I was really so lucky to have him as my supervisor. He always advised me to do research by myself. It helped me to build up my confidence level for future. When I first came to Japan I was always felt my home country. He gave me guidance and courage all the time.
Prof. Hayashi inspired me to think about the Environment. He pushed me to read the Plan B. by Lester R. Brown. Then he again advised me to buy and read the book An inconvenient truth by Al Gore. It is Prof. Hayashi who helped me to think globally and act locally and personally. Now whenever I think to do some research I always try to implement the ethics of that…the First is environment. My dream is to build a better world for the future generations. The inspiration of Prof. Hayashi is always with me to do that.
There are lots of memories with him throughout my Ph.D. student life as well as after the graduation. One interesting experience which I want to share today is his love for doing research. In 2006, we all the lab members of Prof. Hayashi went to Kumamoto for mountain hiking. I was always little bit nervous as I did not have the previous experience for mountain hiking in my country I was excited. Anyway, in the day of mountain hiking it was suddenly became rainy day. We could not go outside from our cottage. Everybody was planning to play some indoor games or something which was enjoyable however Prof. Hayashi asked all of us to come and to carry out a day long discussion of our research!! We did it from morning to evening!!!
Another thing I want to share about the last year’s (October, 2009) Italy visits during the International Conference. We went to Rome to visit the Via Appia Antica. It was about to evening and we had to walk a long way to see the thousand years old roman road. The beautiful road made of old stones was as straight as a line on a paper. To see the monument during the day light he had to run about 4 km within 20 minutes as no car is permitted on that road. Prof. Hayashi made it in that time by running. It was amazing. I was surprised to see his enthusiasm and ability to do that. I will never forget his sweating but satisfied face after returning from that spot.
Professor S. Hayashi received the Iraj Zandi Award in recognition of his contributions to the field of solid waste technology and management in the twenty second international conference on solid waste technology and management which was held in Philadelphia, USA from March 18-21, 2007. I was so glad to hear that news and felt proud to be a student of him as that award is one of the best awards for the researchers who used to do research in solid waste technology and management in the world. I appreciate his vision and judgments for any actions. When I worked as a secretary general of IALT, I found him a real leader with a strong motivations and direction as an executive president of the International Association of Lowland Technology (IALT). He is one of the most ideal men I have ever met in my life. I wish him healthy and long life. At last I will say “ No time is the best time to say good bye, but while the time is over then it must say, Good bye..O genki de.”

Md.Azizul Moqsud, Ph.D.
(Former PhD Student of Prof. Hayashi from Bangladesh)
Institute of Lowland Technology
Saga University, Japan

Posted by: drazizul | January 14, 2010

Seismographs and Seismograms


Sensitive seismographs are the principal tool of scientists who study earthquakes. Thousands of seismograph stations are in operation throughout the world, and instruments have been transported to the Moon, Mars, and Venus.
Fundamentally, a seismograph is a simple pendulum. When the ground shakes, the base and frame of the instrument move with it, but intertia keeps the pendulum bob in place. It will then appear to move, relative to the shaking ground.
As it moves it records the pendulum displacements as they change with time, tracing out a record called a seismogram.
One seismograph station, having three different pendulums sensitive to the north-south, east-west, and vertical motions of the ground, will record seismograms that allow scientists to estimate the distance, direction, Richter Magnitude, and type of faulting of the earthquake. Seismologists use networks of seismograph stations to determine the location of an earthquake, and better estimate its other parameters. It is often revealing to examine seismograms recorded at a range of distances from an earthquake:

Posted by: drazizul | January 14, 2010

Lecture 8: Earthquake

Effects of soil liquefaction during the 1964 Niigata earthquake

An earthquake (also known as a tremor or temblor) is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust that creates seismic waves.
Earthquakes are recorded with a seismometer, also known as a seismograph.
At the Earth’s surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and sometimes displacing the ground.
When a large earthquake epicenter is located offshore, the seabed sometimes suffers sufficient displacement to cause a tsunami.
The shaking in earthquakes can also trigger landslides and occasionally volcanic activity.

Human Impacts
Earthquakes may lead to disease,
Lack of basic necessities,
Loss of life,
Higher insurance premiums,
General property damage,
Road and bridge damage, and
Collapse or destabilization (potentially leading to future collapse) of buildings.
Earthquakes can also precede volcanic eruptions, which cause further problems; for example, substantial crop damage

Seismographs and Seismograms

Sensitive seismographs are the principal tool of scientists who study earthquakes. Thousands of seismograph stations are in operation throughout the world, and instruments have been transported to the Moon, Mars, and Venus.
Fundamentally, a seismograph is a simple pendulum. When the ground shakes, the base and frame of the instrument move with it, but intertia keeps the pendulum bob in place. It will then appear to move, relative to the shaking ground.
As it moves it records the pendulum displacements as they change with time, tracing out a record called a seismogram.
One seismograph station, having three different pendulums sensitive to the north-south, east-west, and vertical motions of the ground, will record seismograms that allow scientists to estimate the distance, direction, Richter Magnitude, and type of faulting of the earthquake. Seismologists use networks of seismograph stations to determine the location of an earthquake, and better estimate its other parameters. It is often revealing to examine seismograms recorded at a range of distances from an earthquake:

Seismologists use a Magnitude scale to express the seismic energy released by each earthquake.

Richter Earthquake Magnitudes Effects,..
Less than 3.5 Generally not felt but recorded
3.5-5.4 Often felt, but rarely causes damage.
Under 6.0 At most slight damage to well-designed buildings. Can cause major damage to poorly constructed buildings over small regions.
6.1-6.9 Can be destructive in areas up to about 100 kilometers across where people live.
7.0-7.9 Major earthquake. Can cause serious damage over larger areas.
8 or greater Great earthquake. Can cause serious damage in areas several hundred kilometers across

Factors those Effect Earthquake
The effects of any earthquake depend on a number of factors. These factors are all of:
Intrinsic to the earthquake – its magnitude, type, location, or depth;
Geologic conditions where effects are felt – distance from the event, path of the seismic waves, types of soil, water saturation of soil; and
Societal conditions reacting to the earthquake – quality of construction, preparedness of populace, or time of day (e.g.: rush hour).

There are two :
1)Direct and
Direct effects are solely those related to the deformation of the ground near the earthquake fault itself.

Thus direct effects are limited to the area of the exposed fault rupture.

Since most seismic shaking is side-to-side, a shaken structure will undergo shear as this house front in Kobe did. Shear is the bending of right angles to other angles.

As it is much more difficult to shear a triangle than a rectangle, effective seismic design requires triangular bracing for shear strength.

This wooden house collapsed during the seismic shaking. It is likely that its heavy roof of ceramic tile created more shear force than its wood frame was built to resist. Tile roofs are popular in Japan.

The number of wood versus masonry buildings that collapsed in Kobe astonished most observers, as wood-frame structures are usually thought to be much better at resisting shear forces. Possibly the concrete house was better-designed and stronger even for its greater weight. The proportionally heavier tile roofs on wooden houses also might have been a factor.

Another anomaly was the large number of about 20-year-old high rise buildings that collapsed at the fifth floor.
The older version of the code they were built under allowed a weaker superstructure beginning at the fifth floor.

Debris choking streets was just one of the coincidences that made this earthquake so deadly.
Almost all utilities, roadways, railways, the port, and other lifelines to the city center suffered severe damage, greatly delaying rescue efforts. Most lifelines in Kobe were constructed 20-30 years ago, before the most modern construction standards were put into practice.

This elevated highway formed an inverted pendulum that the supporting columns were not able to restrain under shear during seismic shaking.

The vertical steel rods can hold the weight of the structure just fine when that weight is exerted straight down, as usual.
During seismic shaking much more steel wound around the rods horizontally can keep the column from breaking apart under the shear forces.
Stronger columns are more expensive to build.

Large sections of the main Hanshin Expressway toppled over. This was particularly likely where the road crossed areas of softer, wetter ground, where the shaking was stronger and lasted longer.

Many elevated structures were simply pulled apart by differential movements, here leaving the welded rails and ties suspended

Below one intersection a subway station collapsed, leaving the road above to sink unpredictably for months until it could be excavated.


The destruction of lifelines and utilities made it impossible for firefighters to reach fires started by broken gas lines.
Large sections of the city burned, greatly contributing to the loss of life

One of the reasons that areas of soft, water-saturated soil are hazardous is their potential to liquefy during strong seismic shaking.
The shaking can suspend sand grains in waterlogged soil so that they loose contact and friction with other grains.
Soil in a state of liquefaction has no strength and cannot bear any load.

Sandblow or Sandboil
A liquefied sand layer can shoot to the surface through cracks, forming a sandblow or sandboil, and depositing a characteristic lens of sand on the ground with a volcano-like vent in the center.
With all the material in the layer forced to the surface, the surrounding area sinks unevenly.

Entire levees, dams, and other water-saturated embankments can liquefy and flow apart during strong shaking

Tsunamis are long-wavelength, long-period sea waves produced by the sudden or abrupt movement of large volumes of water. In the open ocean the distance between wave crests can surpass 100 kilometers, and the wave periods can vary from five minutes to one hour. Such tsunamis travel 600-800 kilometers per hour, depending on water depth. Large waves produced by an earthquake or a submarine landslide can overrun nearby coastal areas in a matter of minutes. Tsunamis can also travel thousands of kilometers across open ocean and wreak destruction on far shores hours after the earthquake that generated them.
Ordinarily, subduction earthquakes under magnitude 7.5 on the Richter scale do not cause tsunamis, although some instances of this have been recorded. Most destructive tsunamis are caused by earthquakes of magnitude 7.5 or more.

Preparedness against Earthquake
1.Earthquake engineering,
2. Earthquake preparedness,
3. Seismic retrofit (including special fasteners, materials, and techniques),
4. Seismic hazard
5.Mitigation of seismic motion, and
6. Earthquake prediction.

Earthquake engineering is the study of the behavior of buildings and structures subject to seismic loading. It is a subset of both structural and civil engineering.

The main objectives of earthquake engineering are:
Understand the interaction between buildings or civil infrastructure and the ground.
Foresee the potential consequences of strong earthquakes on urban areas and civil infrastructure.
Design, construct and maintain structures to perform at earthquake exposure up to the expectations and in compliance with building codes[1].
A properly engineered structure does not necessarily have to be extremely strong or expensive.

Earthquake preparedness measures can be divided into:

Retrofitting and earthquake resistant designs of new buildings and lifeline structures (e.g. bridges, hospitals, power plants).
Response doctrines for state and local government emergency services.
Preparedness plans for individuals and businesses.
Building design and retrofitting
Personal preparedness

Posted by: drazizul | December 20, 2009

Lecture 7: Landslide

Landslide in Ymaguchi, Japan 2009

A landslide (or landslip) is a geological phenomenon which includes a wide range of ground movement, such as rock falls, deep failure of slopes and shallow debris flows, which can occur in offshore, coastal and onshore environments.
Although the action of gravity is the primary driving force for a landslide to occur, there are other contributing factors affecting the original slope stability.
Typically, pre-conditional factors build up specific sub-surface conditions that make the area/slope prone to failure, whereas the actual landslide often requires a trigger before being released.

Damage caused by landslide
block roads;
damage and destroy homes;
locally disrupt water mains, sewers, and power lines;
damage oil- and gas-production facilities.
Kill many people


Earth materials are subject to movement under the force of gravity:
– these are generally termed landslides, slope failure or mass wasting
when movement is strictly vertical it often called
when dominated by water (e.g like a slurry) they will be termed debris flows .

Landslides occur and can cause damage. Severe storms, earthquakes, volcanic activity, coastal wave attack, and wildfires can cause widespread slope instability. Landslide danger may be high even as emergency personnel are providing rescue and recovery services.
To address landslide hazards, several questions must be considered:
Where and when will landslides occur?
How big will the landslides be?
How fast and how far will they move?
What areas will the landslides affect or damage?
How frequently do landslides occur in a given area?
Answers to these questions are needed to make accurate landslide hazard maps and forecasts of landslide occurrence, and to provide information on how to avoid or mitigate landslide impacts.

Landsliding is controlled by the ratio of resisting to driving forces

Factor of safety (FS) for slope stability is equal to this
FS greater than 1 means slope considered stable
Driving forces are increased by:
steep slopes (gravitational driving force oriented more
parallel to slip planes)
increasing weight on a slope
Resisting forces are weakened

Causes of landslides

Landslides are caused when the stability of a slope changes from a stable to an unstable condition. A change in the stability of a slope can be caused by a number of factors, acting together or alone. Natural causes of landslides include:
groundwater (porewater) pressure acting to destabilize the slope
Loss or absence of vertical vegetative structure, soil nutrients, and soil structure (e.g. after a wildfire)
erosion of the toe of a slope by rivers or ocean waves
weakening of a slope through saturation by snowmelt, glaciers melting, or heavy rains
earthquakes adding loads to barely-stable slopes
earthquake-caused liquefaction destabilizing slopes (see Hope Slide)
volcanic eruptions

Man made cause
landslides are aggravated by human activities, Human causes include: deforestation, cultivation and construction, which destabilize the already fragile slopes
vibrations from machinery or traffic
earthwork which alters the shape of a slope, or which imposes new loads on an existing slope
in shallow soils, the removal of deep-rooted vegetation that binds colluvium to bedrock
Construction, agricultural or forestry activities (logging) which change the amount of water which infiltrates the soil.

Timber Harvesting: clear-cutting reduces transpiration,
increasing soil moisture content. Landslides often occur
in forested areas of the Pacic Northwest in spring after a
clear-cut is completed the prior fall
{ poor slope design (e.g. use slump as part of house pad,
{ excess irrigation
{ overloading slope via construction
{ cut-o toe of pre-historic landslide

Human causes
Land use change
Water management
Water leakage

Geological causes
Weak materials
Sensitive materials
Weathered materials
Sheared materials
Jointed or fissured materials
Adversely orientated discontinuities
Permeability contrasts
Material contrasts
Rainfall and snow fall

Morphological causes
Slope angle
Fluvial erosion
Wave erosion
Glacial erosion
Erosion of lateral margins
Subterranean erosion
Slope loading
Vegetation change

Physical causes
Intense rainfall
Rapid snow melt
Prolonged precipitation
Rapid drawdown
Volcanic eruption
Ground water changes
Soil pore water pressure
Surface runoff
Seismic activity

Triggers of landslides

In the majority of cases the main trigger of landslides is heavy or prolonged rainfall. Generally this takes the form of either an exceptional short lived event, such as the passage of a tropical cyclone or even the rainfall associated with a particularly intense thunderstorm or of a long duration rainfall event with lower intensity, such as the cumulative effect of monsoon rainfall in South Asia.
In the former case it is usually necessary to have very high rainfall intensities, whereas in the latter the intensity of rainfall may be only moderate – it is the duration and existing pore water pressure conditions that are important. The importance of rainfall as a trigger for landslides cannot be under-estimated.
A global survey of landslide occurrence in the 12 months to the end of September 2003 revealed that there were 210 damaging landslide events worldwide. Of these, over 90% were triggered by heavy rainfall. One rainfall event for example in Sri Lanka in May 2003 triggered hundreds of landslides, killing 266 people and rendering over 300,000 people temporarily homeless.


In many cold mountain areas, snowmelt can be a key mechanism by which landslide initiation can occur. This can be especially significant when sudden increases in temperature lead to rapid melting of the snow pack. This water can then infiltrate into the ground, which may have impermeable layers below the surface due to still-frozen soil or rock, leading to rapid increases in pore water pressure, and resultant landslide activity. This effect can be especially serious when the warmer weather is accompanied by precipitation, which both adds to the groundwater and accelerates the rate of thawing.

Water-level change
Rapid changes in the groundwater level along a slope can also trigger landslides. This is often the case where a slope is adjacent to a water body or a river. When the water level adjacent to the slope falls rapidly the groundwater level frequently cannot dissipate quickly enough, leaving an artificially high water table. This subjects the slope to higher than normal shear stresses, leading to potential instability. This is probably the most important mechanism by which river bank materials fail, being significant after a flood as the river level is declining (i.e. on the falling limb of the hydrograph) as shown in the following figures.

In some cases, failures are triggered as a result of undercutting of the slope by a river, especially during a flood. This undercutting serves both to increase the gradient of the slope, reducing stability, and to remove toe weighting, which also decreases stability.
For example, in Nepal this process is often seen after a glacial lake outburst flood, when toe erosion occurs along the channel. Immediately after the passage of flood waves extensive landsliding often occurs.
This instability can continue to occur for a long time afterwards, especially during subsequent periods of heavy rain and flood events.

Disaster Minimization
Simplest: identify hazard areas in advance and don’t allow building there

Consumer: before you buy on a slope, look for signs of sliding!

Zoning: establish grading codes, require engineering geology study before construction

a) Surface Drainage Control Works
The surface drainage control works are implemented to control the movement of landslides accompanied by infiltration of rain water and spring flows. The surface drainage control works include two major works: drainage collection works and drainage channel works. The drainage collection works are designed to collect surface flow by installing corrugated half pipes or lined U-ditches along the slopes, and then connected to the drainage channel. The drainage channel works are designed to remove the collected water out of the landslide zone as quickly as possible, and are constructed from the same materials as the drainage collection works. The surface drainage control works are often combined with the subsurface control works

The purpose of the subsurface drainage control works is to remove the ground water within the landslide mass and to prevent the inflow of ground water into the landslide mass from outside sources. The subsurface drainage control works include shallow and deep subsurface drainage control works.

Intercept Under Drains and Interceptor Trench Drains These systems are most useful to remove shallow ground water from up to 3m from the ground surface. The interceptor under drains contain impervious sheets at the bottom of the trench, and the gravels are wrapped with filter fabric and the drains are connected at groundsils and catch basin. Structurally, the interceptor trench drain is a combination of the interceptor under drain and surface drainage control, and are commonly used .

Horizontal Gravity Drains In order to remove the shallow groundwater within about 3m from ground surface, 30 to 50 m-long horizontal gravity drains are drilled. The pipes could be either perforated P.V.C. (polyvinyl chloride) or steel construction, and should be drilled at an angle of 10 to 15 degrees from the horizontal line .

Drainage Wells Drainage wells of up to 25m deep and at least 3.5m in diameter are excaveted within areas of concentrated ground water. A series of radially-positioned horizontal gravity drains with multi-levels are drilled to collect the ground water into the drainage wells where the water can be removed through drainage tunnels. They are constructed of either steel or reinfored concrete segment, and concrete is used at the well bottoms and the upper portion of the well .

The primary purpose of the drainage tunnels (which are constructed below the slide plane) is to remove collected water out of the landslide mass by interconnecting the drainage wells. Instead of excavating the drainage wells from the ground surface, they can be constructed upward from the drainage tunnels. The series of gravity drains drilled from the tunnel tends to increase the effectiveness of the drain system. This is the most effective and reliable drainage work where numerous ground water veins exist within the landslide mass Furthermore, this work is effective to maintain existing facilities. Generally, the diameter of the tunnel is between 1.8 and 2.5m, and the drainage channel is constructed along the invert.
c) Soil Removal Works
This is one of the methods where the most reliable results can be expected, and generally applies to small to medium sized landslides. Except for special cases, the soil removal is focused on the head portion the slide (Fig.46).
d) Buttress Fill Works
The buttress fill is placed at the lower portions of the landslide in order to counterweight the landslide mass. It is most effective if the soils generated by the soil removal works are used (Fig.47).
e) River Structures
Degradation and channel bank erosion reduce earth stability and often tends to induce slide activity. In such cases, check dams, groundsils and bank protection can be constructed to prevent further erosion.

Posted by: drazizul | December 6, 2009

Lecture 6: Soil contamination and Bioremediation of soil

Steps of Bioremediation

Soil Pollution due to man made reasons

Soil contamination typically arises from the rupture of underground storage tanks, application of pesticides, percolation of contaminated surface water to subsurface strata, oil and fuel dumping, leaching of wastes from landfills or direct discharge of industrial wastes to the soil. The most common chemicals involved are petroleum hydrocarbons, solvents, pesticides, lead and other heavy metals. This occurrence of this phenomenon is correlated with the degree of industrializations and intensities of chemical usage.

The concern over soil contamination stems primarily from health risks, from direct contact with the contaminated soil, vapors from the contaminants, and from secondary contamination of water supplies within and underlying the soil.
Mapping of contaminated soil sites and the resulting cleanup are time consuming and expensive tasks, requiring extensive amounts of geology, hydrology, chemistry and computer modeling skills.

Soil pollution in China

• The immense and sustained growth of the People’s Republic of China since the 1970s has exacted a price from the land in increased soil pollution. The State Environmental Protection Administration believes it to be a threat to the environment, to food safety and to sustainable agriculture.
• According to a scientific sampling,150 million mi (100,000 square kilometres) of China’s cultivated land have been polluted, with contaminated water being used to irrigate a further 32.5 million mi (21,670 square kilometres) and another 2 million mi (1,300 square kilometres) covered or destroyed by solid waste. In total, the area accounts for one-tenth of China’s cultivatable land, and is mostly in economically developed areas.
• An estimated 12 million tonnes of grain are contaminated by heavy metals every year, causing direct losses of 20 billion yuan (US$2.57 billion).

Soil pollution in the USA
The United States, while having some of the most widespread soil contamination, has actually been a leader in defining and implementing standards for cleanup. Other industrialized countries have a large number of contaminated sites, but lag the U.S. in executing remediation. Developing countries may be leading in the next generation of new soil contamination cases.
• Each year in the U.S., thousands of sites complete soil contamination cleanup, some by using microbes that “eat up” toxic chemicals in soil, many others by simple excavation and others by more expensive high-tech soil vapor extraction or air stripping. Efforts proceed worldwide to identify new sites of soil contamination.

Affects of soil pollution on Ecology

• Not unexpectedly, soil contaminants can have significant deleterious consequences for ecosystems. There are radical soil chemistry changes which can arise from the presence of many hazardous chemicals even at low concentration of the contaminant species. These changes can manifest in the alteration of metabolism of endemic microorganisms and arthropods resident in a given soil environment. The result can be virtual eradication of some of the primary food chain, which in turn have major consequences for predator or consumer species. Even if the chemical effect on lower life forms is small, the lower pyramid levels of the food chain may ingest alien chemicals, which normally become more concentrated for each consuming rung of the food chain.
• Many of these effects are now well known, such as the concentration of persistent DDT materials for avian consumers, leading to weakening of egg shells, increased chick mortality and potential extinction of species.
• Effects occur to agricultural lands which have certain types of soil contamination. Contaminants typically alter plant metabolism, most commonly to reduce crop yields. This has a secondary effect upon soil conservation, since the languishing crops cannot shield the Earth’s soil mantle from erosion phenomena. Some of these chemical contaminants have long half-lives and in other cases derivative chemicals are formed from decay of primary soil contaminants.

Cleanup options

1. Microbes can be used in soil cleanup
• Cleanup or remediation is analyzed by environmental scientists who utilize field measurement of soil chemicals and also apply computer models for analyzing transport and fate of soil chemicals. Thousands of soil contamination cases are currently in active cleanup across the U.S. as of 2006. There are several principal strategies for remediation:
2. Excavate soil and take it to a disposal site away from ready pathways for human or sensitive ecosystem contact. This technique also applies to dredging of bay muds containing toxins.

3. Aeration of soils at the contaminated site (with attendant risk of creating air pollution)

4. Thermal remediation by introduction of heat to raise subsurface temperatures sufficiently high to volatize chemical contaminants out of the soil for vapour extraction. Technologies include ISTD, electrical resistance heating (ERH), and ET-DSPtm.

5. Bioremediation, involving microbial digestion of certain organic chemicals. Techniques used in bioremediation include landfarming, biostimulation and bioaugmentating soil biota with commercially available microflora.
6. Extraction of groundwater or soil vapor with an active electromechanical system, with subsequent stripping of the contaminants from the extract.
7. Containment of the soil contaminants (such as by capping or paving over in place).
Information needed for Soil Pollution remediation
to clean up materials added to soil include:
1) Kind of material – organic or inorganic – is the material biodegradable, is the material dangerous to animals and humans,
2) how much material was added to the soil, will it overload the organisms in the soil;
3) C:N ratio of the material, are additional nutrients needed ( N & P)
4) Kind of Soil – will the soil be able to handle the material before groundwater is contaminated,
5) Growing conditions for the soil organisms – is it too cold, too wet etc.
6) How long has the material been on the site – is there evidence of environmental problems, is it undergoing decomposition.
7) Immediate danger to people and the environment – Urgency of the situation.

Bioremediation can be defined as any process that uses microorganisms, fungi, green plants or their enzymes to return the natural environment altered by contaminants to its original condition. Bioremediation may be employed to attack specific soil contaminants, such as degradation of chlorinated hydrocarbons by bacteria. An example of a more general approach is the cleanup of oil spills by the addition of nitrate and/or sulfate fertilisers to facilitate the decomposition of crude oil by indigenous or exogenous bacteria.

Overview and applications
Naturally occurring bioremediation and phytoremediation have been used for centuries. For example, desalination of agricultural land by phytoextraction has a long tradition. Bioremediation technology using microorganisms was reportedly invented by George M. Robinson. He was the assistant county petroleum engineer for Santa Maria, California. During the 1960’s, he spent his spare time experimenting with dirty jars and various mixes of microbes.
Bioremediation technologies can be generally classified as in situ or ex situ. In situ bioremediation involves treating the contaminated material at the site while ex situ involves the removal of the contaminated material to be treated elsewhere. Some examples of bioremediation technologies are bioventing, landfarming, bioreactor, composting, bioaugmentation, rhizofiltration, and biostimulation.
Land Farming is a bioremediation treatment process that is performed in the upper soil zone or in biotreatment cells. Contaminated soils, sediments, or sludges are incorporated into the soil surface and periodically turned over (tilled) to aerate the mixture.

There are a number of cost/efficiency advantages to bioremediation, which can be employed in areas that are inaccessible without excavation. For example, hydrocarbon spills (specifically, petrol spills) or certain chlorinated solvents may contaminate groundwater, and introducing the appropriate electron acceptor or electron donor amendment, as appropriate, may significantly reduce contaminant concentrations after a lag time allowing for acclimation.

• This is typically much less expensive than excavation followed by disposal elsewhere, incineration or other ex situ treatment strategies, and reduces or eliminates the need for “pump and treat”, a common practice at sites where hydrocarbons have contaminated clean groundwater.

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Posted by: drazizul | November 21, 2009

Lecture 5: Arsenic contamination of groundwater

Arsenic contamination of groundwater is a natural occurring high concentration of arsenic in deeper levels of groundwater, which became a high-profile problem in recent years due to the use of deep tubewells for water supply in the Ganges Delta, causing serious arsenic poisoning to large numbers of people. A 2007 study found that over 137 million people in more than 70 countries are probably affected by arsenic poisoning of drinking water.[1] Arsenic contamination of ground water is found in many countries throughout the world, including the USA. [2]
Approximately 20 incidents of groundwater arsenic contamination have been reported from all over the world. [3] Of these, four major incidents were in Asia, including locations in Thailand, Taiwan, and Mainland China.[4][5] South American countries like Argentina and Chile have also been affected. There are also many locations in the United States where the groundwater contains arsenic concentrations in excess of the Environmental Protection Agency standard of 10 parts per billion adopted in 2001. According to a recent film funded by the US Superfund, “In Small Doses”., millions of private wells have unknown arsenic levels, and in some areas of the US, over 20% of wells may contain levels that are not safe.
Arsenic is a carcinogen which causes many cancers including skin, lung, and bladder as well as cardiovascular disease.
Some research concludes that even at the lower concentrations, there is still a risk of arsenic contamination leading to major causes of death. A study was conducted in a contiguous six-county study area of southeastern Michigan to investigate the relationship between moderate arsenic levels and twenty-three selected disease outcomes. Disease outcomes included several types of cancer, diseases of the circulatory and respiratory system, diabetes mellitus, and kidney and liver diseases. Elevated mortality rates were observed for all diseases of the circulatory system. The researchers acknowledged a need to replicate their findings.[6]
A study preliminarily shows a relationship between arsenic exposure measured in urine and Type II diabetes. The results supported the hypothesis that low levels of exposure to inorganic arsenic in drinking water may play a role in diabetes prevalence.[7]
Arsenic in drinking water may also compromise immune function “Scientists link influenza A (H1N1) susceptibility to common levels of arsenic exposure”.

Contamination specific nations and regions
Bangladesh and West Bengal

The story of the arsenic contamination of the groundwater in Bangladesh is a tragic one. Many people have died from this contamination. Diarrheal diseases have long plagued the developing world as a major cause of death, especially in children. Prior to the 1970s, Bangladesh had one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. Ineffective water purification and sewage systems as well as periodic monsoons and flooding exacerbated these problems. As a solution, UNICEF and the World Bank advocated the use of wells to tap into deeper groundwater for a quick and inexpensive solution. Millions of wells were constructed as a result. Because of this action, infant mortality and diarrheal illness were reduced by fifty percent. However, with over 8 million wells constructed, it has been found over the last two decades that approximately one in five of these wells is now contaminated with arsenic above the government’s drinking water standard.
In the Ganges Delta, the affected wells are typically more than 20 m and less than 100 m deep. Groundwater closer to the surface typically has spent a shorter time in the ground, therefore likely absorbing a lower concentration of arsenic; water deeper than 100 m is exposed to much older sediments which have already been depleted of arsenic.[4][8]
Dipankar Chakraborti from West Bengal brought the crisis to international attention in 1995.[9] [10][11] Beginning his investigation in West Bengal in 1988, he eventually published, in 2000, the results of a study conducted in Bangladesh, which involved the analysis of thousands of water samples as well as hair, nail and urine samples. They found 900 villages with arsenic above the government limit.
Chakraborti has criticized aid agencies, saying that they denied the problem during the 1990s while millions of tube wells were sunk. The aid agencies later hired foreign experts, who recommended treatment plants which were not appropriate to the conditions, were regularly breaking down, or were not removing the arsenic.[12]
Chakraborti says that the arsenic situation in Bangladesh and West Bengal is due to negligence. He also adds that in West Bengal water is mostly supplied from rivers. Groundwater comes from deep tubewells, which are few in number in the state. Because of the low quantity of deep tubewells, the risk of arsenic patients in West Bengal is comparatively less. [13]
According to the World Health Organisation, “In Bangladesh, West Bengal (India) and some other areas, most drinking-water used to be collected from open dug wells and ponds with little or no arsenic, but with contaminated water transmitting diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid, cholera and hepatitis. Programmes to provide ‘safe’ drinking-water over the past 30 years have helped to control these diseases, but in some areas they have had the unexpected side-effect of exposing the population to another health problem—arsenic.” [14] The acceptable level as defined by WHO for maximum concentrations of arsenic in safe drinking water is 0.01 mg/L. The Bangladesh government’s standard is at a slightly higher rate, at 0.05 mg/L being considered safe. WHO has defined the areas under threat: Seven of the nineteen districts of West Bengal have been reported to have ground water arsenic concentrations above 0.05 mg/L. The total population in these seven districts is over 34 million, with the number using arsenic-rich water is more than 1 million (above 0.05 mg/L). That number increases to 1.3 million when the concentration is above 0.01 mg/L. According to a British Geological Survey study in 1998 on shallow tube-wells in 61 of the 64 districts in Bangladesh, 46% of the samples were above 0.01 mg/L and 27% were above 0.050 mg/L. When combined with the estimated 1999 population, it was estimated that the number of people exposed to arsenic concentrations above 0.05 mg/L is 28-35 million and the number of those exposed to more than 0.01 mg/L is 46-57 million (BGS, 2000). [14]
Throughout Bangladesh, as tube wells get tested for concentrations of arsenic, ones which are found to have arsenic concentrations over the amount considered safe are painted red to warn residents that the water is not safe to drink.
The solution, according to Chakraborti, is “By using surface water and instituting effective withdrawal regulation. West Bengal and Bangladesh are flooded with surface water. We should first regulate proper watershed management. Treat and use available surface water, rain-water and others. The way we’re doing at present is not advisable.”[13]
United States
There are many locations across the United States where the groundwater contains naturally high concentrations of arsenic. Cases of groundwater-caused acute arsenic toxicity, such as those found in Bangladesh, are unknown in the United States where the concern has focused on the role of arsenic as a carcinogen. The problem of high arsenic concentrations has been subject to greater scrutiny in recent years because of changing government standards for arsenic in drinking water.
Some locations in the United States, such as Fallon, Nevada, have long been known to have groundwater with relatively high arsenic concentrations (in excess of 0.08 mg/L).[15] Even some surface waters, such as the Verde River in Arizona, sometimes exceed 0.01 mg/L arsenic, especially during low-flow periods when the river flow is dominated by groundwater discharge.[16]
A drinking water standard of 0.05 mg/L (equal to 50 parts per billion, or ppb) arsenic was originally established in the United States by the Public Health Service in 1942. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studied the pros and cons of lowering the arsenic Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for years in the late 1980s and 1990s. No action was taken until January 2001, when the Clinton administration in its final weeks promulgated a new standard of 0.01 mg/L (10 ppb) to take effect January 2006.[17] The incoming Bush administration suspended the midnight regulation, but after some months of study, the new EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman approved the new 10 ppb arsenic standard and its original effective date of January 2006.[18]
Many public water supply systems across the United States obtained their water supply from groundwater that had met the old 50 ppb arsenic standard but exceeded the new 10 ppb MCL. These utilities searched for either an alternative supply or an inexpensive treatment method to remove the arsenic from their water. In Arizona, an estimated 35% of water-supply wells were put out of compliance by the new regulation; in California, the percentage was 38%.[19]
The proper arsenic MCL continues to be debated. Some have argued that the 10 ppb federal standard is still too high, while others have argued that 10 ppb is needlessly strict. Individual states are able to establish lower arsenic limits; New Jersey has done so, setting a maximum of 0.005 mg/L for arsenic in drinking water.[20]
A study of private water wells in the Appalachian mountains found that 6% of the wells had arsenic above the US MCL of 0.010 mg/L.[21].
Water purification solutions
Small-scale water treatment

Chakraborti claims that arsenic removal plants (ARPs) installed in Bangladesh by UNDP and WHO were a colossal waste of funds due to breakdowns, inconvenient placements and lack of quality control.[13]
A simpler and less expensive form of arsenic removal is known as the Sono arsenic filter, using 3 pitchers containing cast iron turnings and sand in the first pitcher and wood activated carbon and sand in the second.[22] Plastic buckets can also be used as filter containers.[23] It is claimed that thousands of these systems are in use can last for years while avoiding the toxic waste disposal problem inherent to conventional arsenic removal plants. Although novel, this filter has not been certified by any sanitary standards such as NSF, ANSI, WQA and does not avoid toxic waste disposal similar to any other iron removal process.
In the United States small “under the sink” units have been used to remove arsenic from drinking water. This option is called “point of use” treatment. The most common types of domestic treatment use the technologies of adsorption (using media such as Bayoxide E33, GFH, or titanium dioxide) or reverse osmosis. Ion exchange and activated alumina have been considered but not commonly used.
Large-scale water treatment
In some places, such as the United States, all the water supplied to residences by water utilities must meet primary (health-based) drinking water standards. This may necessitate large-scale treatment systems to remove arsenic from the water supply. The effectiveness of any method depends on the chemical makeup of a particular water supply. The aqueous chemistry of arsenic is complex, and may affect the removal rate that can be achieved by a particular process.
Some large utilities with multiple water supply wells could shut down those wells with high arsenic concentrations, and produce only from wells or surface water sources that meet the arsenic standard. Other utilities, however, especially small utilities with only a few wells, may have no available water supply that meets the arsenic standard.
Coagulation/filtration removes arsenic by coprecipitation and adsorption using iron coagulants. Coagulation/filtration using alum is already used by some utilities to remove suspended solids and may be adjusted to remove arsenic.
Iron oxide adsorption filters the water through a granular medium containing ferric oxide. Ferric oxide has a high affinity for adsorbing dissolved metals such as arsenic. The iron oxide medium eventually becomes saturated, and must be replaced.
Activated alumina is another filter medium known to effectively remove dissolved arsenic. It has also been used to remove undesirably high concentrations of fluoride.
Ion Exchange has long been used as a water-softening process, although usually on a single-home basis. It can also be effective in removing arsenic with a net ionic charge. (Note that arsenic oxide, As2O3, is a common form of arsenic in groundwater that is soluble, but has no net charge.)
Both Reverse osmosis and electrodialysis (also called electrodialysis reversal) can remove arsenic with a net ionic charge. (Note that arsenic oxide, As2O3, is a common form of arsenic in groundwater that is soluble, but has no net charge.) Some utilities presently use one of these methods to reduce total dissolved solids and therefore improve taste. A problem with both methods is the production of high-salinity waste water, called brine, or concentrate, which then must be disposed of.
SAR Technology: A new solution to this pressing problem has been proposed in the form of Subterranean Arsenic Removal (SAR) process where aerated groundwater is recharged back into the aquifer to create an oxidation zone which would coprecipitate iron & arsenic. The oxidation zone created by aerated water boosts the activity of the arsenic oxidizing microorganisms which can enzymatically oxidize arsenic from +3 to +5 state. Six such treatment plants, funded by the World Bank and constructed by Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission, Barrackpore are in full scale operation in West Bengal. Each plant has been delivering more than 3000 litres of arsenic & iron free water everyday to the rural people. The first community water treatment plant based on SAR technology was set up near Kolkata by a team of European and Indian engineers led by Dr. Bhaskar Sen Gupta of Queen’s University Belfast for TiPOT Consortium which was funded by the European Commission TiPOT. This technology is expected to provide a long term solution to arsenic contamination in groundwater and is targeted towards treatment of the aquifer as a whole. Moreover, this technology has been used in Germany for the past hundred years to remove iron from groundwater without any negetive effectSAR Technology.
A summary of SAR Technology, entitled ‘A simple chemical free arsenic removal method for community water supply – A case study from West Bengal, India’ has been published in Environmental Pollution Journal (Elsevier) by the TiPOT team. SAR Technology is a chemical and waste free solution to low cost arsenic removal from groundwater.
In November 2009, the Blacksmith Institute – New York & the Green Cross – Switzerland selected the SAR Technology as one of the 12 Cases of Cleanup & Success in their World’s Worst Polluted Places Report 2009. (Read the report here)The only other project from India that has been selected in this list is that of “Delhi Metro Rail Project & CNG Conversion of cars at Delhi”. Press releases are available at Scientific American &
Researchers from Bangladesh and the United Kingdom have recently claimed that dietary intake of arsenic adds a significant amount to total intake, where contaminated water is used for irrigation.

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Posted by: drazizul | November 10, 2009

Advanced Disaster Prevention Engineering: Lecture 3

Advanced Disaster Prevention Engineering
Lecture 3

Disaster due to solid waste mismanagement

A disaster is the tragedy of a natural or human-made hazard (a hazard is a situation which poses a level of threat to life, health, property, or environment) that negatively affects society or environment.
Developing countries suffer the greatest costs when a disaster hits – more than 95 percent of all deaths caused by disasters occur in developing countries, and losses due to natural disasters are 20 times greater (as a percentage of GDP) in developing countries than in industrialized countries.
A natural disaster is a consequence when a natural hazard (e.g., volcanic eruption or earthquake) affects humans.
The United Kingdom based charity Oxfam publicly stated that the number of people hit by climate-related disasters is expected to rise by about 50%, to reach 375 million a year by 2015.
1. Floods, 2. Tropical storms/Cyclones, 3. Earthquakes, 4.Volcanic eruptions
Man-made disaster
Disasters caused by human action, negligence, error, or involving the failure of a system are called man-made disasters. Man-made disasters are in turn categorized as technological or sociological. Technological disasters are the results of failure of technology, such as engineering failures, transport disasters, or environmental disasters. Sociological disasters have a strong human motive, such as criminal acts, stampedes, riots and war.

Top ten natural disasters according to death of people

Rank Event Location Date Death Toll (Estimate)
1. 1931 China floods
China July-November, 1931 1,000,000–4,000,000
2. 1887 Yellow River flood
China September-October, 1887 900,000–2,000,000
3. 1556 Shaanxi earthquake
Shaanxi Province, China
January 23, 1556
4. 1970 Bhola cyclone
November 13, 1970
5. 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake/tsunami
Indian Ocean December 26, 2004
6. 526 Antioch earthquake
Antioch, Byzantine Empire
May 20, 526
7. 1976 Tangshan earthquake
Tangshan, Hebei, China
July 28, 1976
8. 1920 Haiyuan earthquake
Haiyuan, Ningxia-Gansu, China December 26, 1920
9. 1839 India Cyclone
India November 25, 1839
10. 1975 Banqiao Dam flood
Zhumadian, Henan Province, China
August 7, 1975

Health impacts of solid waste
Modernization and progress has had its share of disadvantages and one of the main aspects of concern is the pollution it is causing to the earth – be it land, air, and water. With increase in the global population and the rising demand for food and other essentials, there has been a rise in the amount of waste being generated daily by each household. This waste is ultimately thrown into municipal waste collection centres from where it is collected by the area municipalities to be further thrown into the landfills and dumps. However, either due to resource crunch or inefficient infrastructure, not all of this waste gets collected and transported to the final dumpsites. If at this stage the management and disposal is improperly done, it can cause serious impacts on health and problems to the surrounding environment.
Waste that is not properly managed, especially excreta and other liquid and solid waste from households and the community, are a serious health hazard and lead to the spread of infectious diseases. Unattended waste lying around attracts flies, rats, and other creatures that in turn spread disease. Normally it is the wet waste that decomposes and releases a bad odour. This leads to unhygienic conditions and thereby to a rise in the health problems. The plague outbreak in Surat is a good example of a city suffering due to the callous attitude of the local body in maintaining cleanliness in the city. Plastic waste is another cause for ill health. Thus excessive solid waste that is generated should be controlled by taking certain preventive measures.

Impacts of solid waste on health
The group at risk from the unscientific disposal of solid waste include – the population in areas where there is no proper waste disposal method, especially the pre-school children; waste workers; and workers in facilities producing toxic and infectious material. Other high-risk group include population living close to a waste dump and those, whose water supply has become contaminated either due to waste dumping or leakage from landfill sites. Uncollected solid waste also increases risk of injury, and infection.
In particular, organic domestic waste poses a serious threat, since they ferment, creating conditions favourable to the survival and growth of microbial pathogens. Direct handling of solid waste can result in various types of infectious and chronic diseases with the waste workers and the rag pickers being the most vulnerable.
Exposure to hazardous waste can affect human health, children being more vulnerable to these pollutants. In fact, direct exposure can lead to diseases through chemical exposure as the release of chemical waste into the environment leads to chemical poisoning. Many studies have been carried out in various parts of the world to establish a connection between health and hazardous waste.
Waste from agriculture and industries can also cause serious health risks. Other than this, co-disposal of industrial hazardous waste with municipal waste can expose people to chemical and radioactive hazards. Uncollected solid waste can also obstruct storm water runoff, resulting in the forming of stagnant water bodies that become the breeding ground of disease. Waste dumped near a water source also causes contamination of the water body or the ground water source. Direct dumping of untreated waste in rivers, seas, and lakes result in the accumulation of toxic substances in the food chain through the plants and animals that feed on it.
Disposal of hospital and other medical waste requires special attention since this can create major health hazards. This waste generated from the hospitals, health care centres, medical laboratories, and research centres such as discarded syringe needles, bandages, swabs, plasters, and other types of infectious waste are often disposed with the regular non-infectious waste.
Waste treatment and disposal sites can also create health hazards for the neighbourhood. Improperly operated incineration plants cause air pollution and improperly managed and designed landfills attract all types of insects and rodents that spread disease. Ideally these sites should be located at a safe distance from all human settlement. Landfill sites should be well lined and walled to ensure that there is no leakage into the nearby ground water sources.
Recycling too carries health risks if proper precautions are not taken. Workers working with waste containing chemical and metals may experience toxic exposure. Disposal of health-care wastes require special attention since it can create major health hazards, such as Hepatitis B and C, through wounds caused by discarded syringes. Rag pickers and others who are involved in scavenging in the waste dumps for items that can be recycled, may sustain injuries and come into direct contact with these infectious items.

Occupational hazards associated with waste handling
Skin and blood infections resulting from direct contact with waste, and from infected wounds.
Eye and respiratory infections resulting from exposure to infected dust, especially during landfill operations.
Different diseases that results from the bites of animals feeding on the waste.
Intestinal infections that are transmitted by flies feeding on the waste.

Chronic diseases
Incineration operators are at risk of chronic respiratory diseases, including cancers resulting from exposure to dust and hazardous compounds.
Bone and muscle disorders resulting from the handling of heavy containers.
Infecting wounds resulting from contact with sharp objects.
Poisoning and chemical burns resulting from contact with small amounts of hazardous chemical waste mixed with general waste.
Burns and other injuries resulting from occupational accidents at waste disposal sites or from methane gas explosion at landfill sites.
Source – Adapted from UNEP report, 1996
Certain chemicals if released untreated, e.g. cyanides, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls are highly toxic and exposure can lead to disease or death. Some studies have detected excesses of cancer in residents exposed to hazardous waste. Many studies have been carried out in various parts of the world to establish a connection between health and hazardous waste.
The role of plastics
The unhygienic use and disposal of plastics and its effects on human health has become a matter of concern. Coloured plastics are harmful as their pigment contains heavy metals that are highly toxic. Some of the harmful metals found in plastics are copper, lead, chromium, cobalt, selenium, and cadmium. In most industrialized countries, colour plastics have been legally banned. In India, the Government of Himachal Pradesh has banned the use of plastics and so has Ladakh district. Other states should emulate their example.
Preventive measures
Proper methods of waste disposal have to be undertaken to ensure that it does not affect the environment around the area or cause health hazards to the people living there.
At the household-level proper segregation of waste has to be done and it should be ensured that all organic matter is kept aside for composting, which is undoubtedly the best method for the correct disposal of this segment of the waste. In fact, the organic part of the waste that is generated decomposes more easily, attracts insects and causes disease. Organic waste can be composted and then used as a fertilizer.
The Four Big Pollution Diseases of Japan (四大公害病 shidaikoukaibyou) were a group of manmade diseases all caused by environmental pollution due to improper handling of industrial wastes by Japanese corporations.[1] Although some cases of these diseases occurred as early as 1912, most occurred in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
Name of disease Cause Blame Year
Minamata disease
mercury poisoning
Chisso chemical factory
1932 – 1968
Niigata Minamata disease
mercury poisoning
Shōwa Electrical Works
Yokkaichi Asthma
sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide
air pollution in Yokkaichi
Itai-itai disease
cadmium poisoning
mining in Toyama Prefecture

Plague is a zoonotic disease circulating mainly among small animals and their fleas. The bacteria Yersinia pestis can also infect humans. It is transmitted between animals and humans by the bite of infected fleas, direct contact, inhalation and rarely, ingestion of infective materials. Plague can be a very severe disease in people, with a case-fatality ratio of 30%-60% if left untreated.

Why waste management is important
Waste that is not properly managed can create serious health or social problems in a community.
Pests and disease
Food waste attracts pests and vermin, like feral pigs and rats. These pests and vermin can start or spread disease in the community. Piles of old garden waste and pieces of old furniture left in yards can shelter vermin and help them to breed. Dengue fever can be spread by mosquitoes that breed in anything that can hold water, like inside old car tyres, litter and even old palm fronds lying on the ground!
Poison and pollution
Illegally dumped pesticides, motor oil and other chemicals can contaminate land, creeks, and water supplies. People drinking or swimming in polluted water can get sick. Councils are required by law to clean up land contaminated with chemicals that they dispose of. Chemical clean-ups can be very expensive.
Human waste and diseases
It is very important to keep human waste out of water supplies. Human waste (faeces, poo, kuma, urine, wee) contains diseases that make people sick. Human waste can get into the local water supplies from leaking septic tanks, releasing contaminated water from sewerage treatment plants, dirty nappies, leaking sewerage pipes and people using local creeks as a toilet.
Injury and disease
People can get diseases like tetanus and leptospirosis if they cut or scratch themselves on pieces of metal, nails or glass. Children can be seriously hurt by playing with old car batteries or household cleaners that they find lying around.
Litter can be a problem in any community. Broken bottles and tins, for example, can cause injury if people don’t put them into bins. Mosquitoes and other vectors can breed in water trapped in old tyres and bottles.
People are more likely to drop litter in places that already have litter lying around. If they see litter on the ground, they may think it is OK for them to also throw their litter on to the ground. Without providing ways for people to stop littering, the whole community can be affected because they don’t want to live in a dirty town.
As well as community awareness campaigns on litter, councils can reduce litter by providing permanent or temporary bins in places such as:
outside community stores
at sporting fields
at cultural and special events
in parks and other family gathering areas.
The bins should prevent animals or birds scavenging in the rubbish, and keep out rain and wind. Do a search on the Internet or in your local telephone directory for rubbish bins. There are many companies around Australia who can provide you with different sorts of bins.

Social and economic problems
Messy yards and streets can have a bad affect on the attitudes of local people. It can also be hard to get people – such as nurses and tradespeople – to work or live in a community where the environment looks untidy or unsafe.
People can get seriously sick from badly managed waste problems. If they have to leave the community to spend time in hospital, the patient and their families can be badly affected by the separation.
If waste is managed well, the cost of fixing problems does not become a burden on council finances.

Effects of Improper Waste Disposal
1. Many health problems have been associated with improper toxic waste disposal on behalf of companies and individuals alike. Many people who present health conditions have been exposed to high levels of toxic waste over an extended period of time through the pollution of groundwater, air and soil. The most common health problems include birth defects and cancers.
Arsenic Exposure
2. Arsenic is one common toxic waste that has caused a myriad of health problems. This toxic waste is most often disposed of by hospitals or manufacturing plants. Any contact with this toxic substance is dangerous. Arsenic can cause a number of health conditions in humans when it is improperly disposed of. Some of these conditions include certain types of cancers. Depending on the type of contact with this chemical, arsenic can cause skin cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer and cancer of the liver. Arsenic exposure can also cause internal bleeding, inflammation of the heart, changes in blood vessels in the heart and brain, gastrointestinal problems, kidney poisoning that leads to renal failure, elevation of liver enzymes, destruction of nerve cells leading to systemic disorders, spontaneous abortions, congenital malformations, irritation to the lining of the eyes/nose/throat, bone marrow depression, and changes in skin pigmentation or skin thickening (according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2008).
Dioxin Exposure
3. Dioxins are chlorinated hydrocarbons. Many plastics contain dioxins, so improperly disposing of these plastic substances or burning these substances can lead to toxic waste exposure. Not all dioxins contain the same levels of toxicity, but precaution should be taken when dealing with any materials that contain dioxins due to the dangers associated with the chemical, since all dioxins are known to some degree to cause health issues.

Some of these health issues include biochemical effects and cellular effects. These cellular effects include apoptosis, hypoplasia, hyperplasia, metaplasia, and neoplasia. Dioxcins are also carcinogenic, which means they can cause all sorts of cancers in individuals on their own without the need for another toxic element to aid the process along. Other confirmed human health issues known to be caused by dioxins include a skin disorder known as chloracne, mild liver damage, and peripheral nerve damage. Studies are still being done as of 2009 to confirm that other health issues such as respiratory cancers, prostate cancer, malignant tumors of the bone marrow, liver dysfunction, photosensitive skin, neurobehavorial development in infants, and men less likely to father a male child are caused by exposure to dioxins (according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2008).
Lead Exposure
4. Improperly disposing of lead materials, lead paint or other products that contain lead is another common example of improper toxic waste disposal. Exposure to lead has been known to cause many different health issues in individuals of all ages. To understand the list of possible health affects, you must first understand the acronyms for certain conditions. ALAD equals aminolevulinic acid dehydratase. EP stands for erythrocyte porphyrin. The acronym NCV stands for nerve conduction velocity. Finally, the acronym GFR signifies glomerular filtration rate.

Particular abnormal lead levels in children have been shown to cause health issues such as depressed ALAD activity, neurodevelopmental effects, sexual maturation, depressed levels of vitamin D, elevated EP, depressed NCV, depressed hemoglobin, and colic. In adults, the health issues proven to be caused by lead exposure include depressed GFR, elevated blood pressure, elevated EP in females, enzymuria or proteinuria, peripheral neuropathy, neurobehavorial effects, altered thyroid hormone, reduced fertility, and depressed hemoglobin. In elderly individuals, the health issues to be caused by lead exposure include depressed ALAD and neurobehavioral effects (according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2008).

Posted by: drazizul | September 2, 2009

Daily Note

Today is the 2nd day of September 2009.

Its officially Autumn in Japan however the summer heat is still prevailing outside. Today is 12 th Ramadan. Now-a-days the day time is quite larger than the average. I dont become much hungry rather than too much thirsty. At the end of the fasting, glasses of ice-cool water is tastier than anything. I have to finish many things/works today. So I am leaving this blog now. Hope to catch you later very soon!!
Have a nice day..

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