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Jan-June, 2024



Published Papers

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10448182

Genotoxicity and its Applications: Allium cepa as an Appropriate Testing Model

Genotoxicity, a term derived from "geno" (genetic) and "toxicity" (harmful effects), encompasses a range of adverse biological effects related to genetic material. These effects can manifest as DNA damage, mutations and chromosomal abnormalities which can have far-reaching consequences. In this short communication, we will go through the fundamentals of genotoxicity, its applications and suitability of Allium cepa as a model for assessing genotoxicity.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10448233

Spectroscopic Determination of Permethrin Insecticide in Environmental and Agricultural Samples using Leuco Crystal Violet Reagent

A new sensitive spectrophotometric method for the determination of permethrin insecticide in environmental and agricultural samples has been developed. The reaction mechanism is based on complexation followed by coupling of permethrin with leuco crystal violet (LCV). This method is based on the measurement of red shift of absorbance band of LCV in the UV-Visible region of 200-800 nm. The resulting complex absorption spectra was observed at λmax = 580 nm. The color of permethrin was changed from colorless to violet by the addition of LCV. The effects of various pesticides and metal ions on the selective determination of permethrin were also studied. The analytical parameters were improved and effectively employed for permethrin assessment in a variety of environmental samples including water, soil and vegetables. The purpose of the present research was to design a method for the color complexation determination of permethrin. We have employed LCV as a reagent to form a complex with permethrin. The limit of detection was 0.34 µg mL-1 and the limit of quantification was 1.06 µg mL-1. The Sandell’s sensitivity is found 0.29×107 µg cm-2 and molar absorptivity of the colored system is 3×10-5 L mol-1cm-1. The advantages of using present method are its simplicity, selectivity and sensitivity towards the analysis of permethrin using LCV in water, soil and vegetable samples.

DOI: 10.5284/zenodo.10448251

Measurement of Background Radiation at Oracle Plastics and Sacks Company in Makurdi, Benue State

The background radiation level of Oracle Plastics and Sacs were investigated and measured using the Radiation Alert Inspector. A total of seven (7) units/departments within the company were considered: marketing, clinic waiting room, entrance, sack section, leather/shopping bag, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and injection mould units, and data were obtained from those units. The investigation revealed that the mean exposure dose rate of the background radiation within the company was 0.019 ± 0.0062 µSv/hr, and the mean annual exposure dose equivalence was 0.17 ± 0.0028 mSv/yr. The global average natural dose of background ionizing radiation for exposure dose rate as recommended by UNSCEAR (2008) was 0.274 µSv/hr. The ICRP and UNSCEAR values of the annual effective dose equivalence were 1.00 mSv/yr and 20.00 mSv/yr for individual in general public and occupational workers respectively as recommended by the organization. The average activity concentration measured from different sections ranged from 9.017 Bq/Kg (Marketing and Injection Mould) to 21.322 Bq/Kg (Polyvinyl Chloride) with a mean value of 13.413 ± 4.742 while the estimated result of excess lifetime cancer risk ranged from 0.069 (Polyvinyl Chloride) to 0.161 (Marketing, sack section and the injection mould) with a mean value of 0.118 ± 0.040. The ELCR mean value was also found to be lower than the world average safe limit of 0.29. The ELCR mean value was also found to be lower than the world average safe limit of 0.29. The Company has low-level activity of background radiation compared to other such companies around the world.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10572993

Heavy Metal Analysis in the Ground Water of Kerio Valley Sub-Water Basin, Baringo County, Kenya

Water contamination in the Kerio valley basin has been attributed mainly to the mining activities along the valley, which include Fluorspar mining and exploration of hydrocarbons. Accordingly, the water environment in the region has come under extreme stress as a result of extensive mining industries and growing urbanization. This study focused on the contamination of borehole water by selected toxic heavy metals of environmental and public health concern. Considerably large volumes of wastewater from domestic, mining industries and municipal waste resulting from industrialization and urbanization are discharged into natural water bodies such as rivers and dams in this area, which ultimately seep into ground water systems. Groundwater samples were taken from boreholes near exploratory wells and several indicators of water quality were examined in groundwater samples which revealed very high concentrations of total dissolved solids, high electrical conductivity and relatively alkaline water. Eight heavy metals were analyzed in groundwater samples using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). The analytical results show that the groundwater has unusual high concentrations of lead varying from 0.26 to 10.72 ppm, cadmium ranged from 0.22 to 0.29 ppm, chromium ranged from 0.09 to 0.37 ppm while manganese had high concentration in KV1 and KV8 borehole water samples posting 1.52 and 1.86 ppm respectively. The indiscriminate disposal of hazardous waste water from industrial and mining areas could be the primary source of groundwater contamination. A comparison of groundwater results with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended levels show that the majority of borehole water sampling stations are significantly contaminated with heavy metals. Chromium, cadmium and lead have been found in borehole water samples. The main causes of contamination in this basin is industrial discharge, random disposal of hazardous waste water and the release of untreated municipal effluents into the soil, in addition to use of fertilizers in crop production.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10658483

Toxicological Aspects Related to Environmental Arsenic Exposure

Heavy metals can be described as those naturally occurring metals or metalloids which have considerably high atomic weight. Generally, Arsenic (As), Lead (Pb), Mercury (Hg), Cadmium (Cd) and Chromium (Cr) are regarded as heavy metals in matters concerning public health due to their significant ill effects on the environment. Heavy metals including arsenic result in biomagnification involving a significant increase in their concentration as we move from lower to higher trophic levels across the food chain up to humans. The toxic effects depend upon many factors like the chemical nature, route, duration and dose of exposure along with the age, gender, genetic makeup and nutritional status of the exposed animals. Arsenic exists both in organic and inorganic forms and is considered to be one of the systemic toxicants known to cause damage to multiple organs even at minuscule levels of exposure. Arsenic is a necessary ultra-trace element for various organisms and has several valuable industrial applications in the manufacturing of pesticides, pyrotechnics, semiconductor devices, solar cells, light-emitting diodes, integrated circuit chips, etc. On the other hand, arsenic is a major environmental pollutant and has also been listed as Category I carcinogen for humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Apart from its carcinogenic potential, arsenic also has mutagenic, teratogenic and epigenetic effects on various animals. This review briefly outlines the different modes of arsenic exposure, description of toxic effects of arsenic, its clinical manifestations and underlying molecular mechanisms as determined by various studies carried out on different animal models. Preventive measures for arsenicosis and various modes of treatment have also been discussed. Conclusively, environmental exposure to arsenic should be minimized by using appropriate protective gear and equipment, to reduce the associated health hazards.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10817994

Investigating the Levels of Depression and Anxiety Among Rag-pickers Working in Challenging Environmental Conditions from Multiple Districts in Uttar Pradesh, India

Rag-pickers play a crucial role in global waste management by salvaging recyclable materials from waste. Therefore, ensuring their occupational and environmental hygiene is vital not only for their well-being but also to mitigate potential environmental risks associated with waste handling. The present study intends to gauge and compare the levels of depression (using the PHQ-9 scale) and anxiety (using the GAD-7 scale) among rag-picking communities in four districts of Uttar Pradesh: Ghaziabad, Meerut, Baghpat and Hapur. A total of 797 participants were scanned: 544 rag-pickers and 253 non-rag-pickers. Statistical analysis revealed that the mean depression and anxiety levels of rag-pickers in both, Ghaziabad and Meerut, were significantly higher than that in the rag-picking communities from Baghpat and Hapur. Baghpat rag-pickers were significantly more depressed than those in Hapur, but the anxiety levels showed no significant difference. Ghaziabad’s and Meerut’s rag-pickers did not show any significant difference in the depression and anxiety levels. We further compared the above mood disorder scales between the rag-picking population and the non-rag-picking population (control population living in the same community) in each of the four districts separately. While Ghaziabad rag-pickers were found with significantly higher levels of depression and anxiety than the non-rag-picking population living there, rag-pickers in Baghpat and Hapur were found to suffer significantly lower levels of depression than the non-rag-picking population. We conclude with possible reasons for the above mentioned findings. Our study findings can inform the development of targeted policies and interventions aimed at improving the mental health of rag-pickers.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10908437

Nanoparticles in Aquatic Ecosystems: Origins, Destiny and Ecological Consequences

Aquatic ecosystems are facing an increasing amount of nanoparticles (NPs) due to their extensive use and unintentional leakage into the environment. The unique physical and chemical properties as well as the small size of NPs raise concerns about their possible effects on aquatic organisms and ecological processes. The review provides a thorough examination of the origins, destiny, and impacts of NPs in aquatic environments, utilizing a variety of scientific sources. Primary sources of NPs include consumer products, industrial procedures, and artificial NPs utilized in various applications. Subsequent to their release, NPs may undergo intricate processes such as surface modifications, aggregation, dissolution, or other transformations, intricately influencing their behavior and bioavailability. The modes of NP exposure, including ingestion, topical application, or gill absorption, can significantly impinge on the growth, reproduction, and physiological processes of aquatic species. Furthermore, the transformative capability of NPs extends to altering community structure, nutrient cycling, and primary production within ecosystems, thereby eliciting a cascading impact on higher trophic levels. A deep understanding of the complex relationships between NPs and aquatic ecosystems is crucial for accurately evaluating environmental issues and developing successful mitigation plans. Understanding the various effects of NPs on aquatic systems is crucial for promoting sustainable practices and protecting the ecological health of these important habitats.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10947956

Metagenomic Lipases and their Applications in the Food Industry

The metagenomic method allows researchers to capture a broader spectrum of microbial diversity compared to traditional culturing techniques. Frequently, a sustainable portion of microorganisms in the environment, which cannot be grown in a laboratory setting, are often overlooked. By directly isolating and sequencing genomic DNA from the environment with this nature, scientists can gain insights into the full extent of microbial diversity in natural habitats. Lipase enzymes work by catalyzing the hydrolysis of lipids, which are fats and oils, into their component molecules. Metagenomic lipase enzymes have a wide range of applications in the food industry, such as enhancing taste characteristics, refining texture, and prolonging the shelf life of various food products. These enzymes can be sourced from environmental samples, providing a wide range of novel and robust enzymes for applications such as cheese production, baking, and oil processing. Their ability to catalyze lipid hydrolysis makes them valuable tools for creating unique and innovative food products.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10963714

Impact of Nanotechnology on the Environment: A Review

The growing global population is causing an increase in energy and material consumption, which has an impact on the environment. Some of these repercussions include increased creation of solid waste, increased air pollution produced by automobiles and industrial facilities, contamination of surface and groundwater. Through the direct application of nanoparticles for the detection, prevention, and removal of pollutants as well as their indirect application through improved industrial design processes and the creation of environmentally friendly products, nanotechnology has the potential to improve the environment. Because of their enormous surface area and tiny size, nanoparticles exhibit greater reactivity. This property has many uses and advantages, but there are also potential hazards to workers and environmental safety. These dangers include the potential for long-term air suspension, build-up in the environment, ease of absorption, and harm to different bodily organs. This review has looked into how nanotechnology is used in water treatment, waste management, air pollution reduction, and nanomaterial safety.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10448219

Antibiogram And Microbial Carriage Of Campus Buses And Keke Napep Door Handles In Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University Makurdi

As people come in contact with surfaces like keyboards, office furniture, toilet doors, buses and keke door handles, there is a probability of picking up microbes deposited on them. This study is aimed at evaluating the antibiogram and microbial carriage of campus buses and keke napep door handles. Thirty swab samples were obtained from buses and keke napep door handles. The samples were taken to the laboratory where they were serially diluted and inoculated. Identification, characterization and biochemical analysis were done using standard microbiological methods. Fungal colonies were macroscopically and microscopically examined for morphology and appearance. Bacterial isolated were identified to be Staphylococcus spp., Proteus spp., Escherichia coli and Shigella spp. Fungi isolated were identified to be Aspergillus niger, Mucor spp., Aspergillus fumigates, Rhizopus spp. and Yeast spp. This study has shown that for both bacterial and fungal species, Staphylococcus spp.5(33.33%) and Aspergillus niger 2(50%) had the highest occurrence while Proteus spp. 1(6.67%), Aspergillus fumigates and Mucor spp. 1(14.29%) had the least occurrence. Results of susceptibility test carried out on bacteria isolates show Staphylococcus spp. was most susceptible to levofloxacin having 21.67 ± 2.89 mean zone of inhibition and was resistant to rifampicin which had no zone of inhibition. Furthermore, using Gram-negative disc, all the isolates were susceptible to the antibiotics used except Proteus spp. which showed resistance to ciporex and nalidixic acid. Data was further analyzed at P<0.05 using ANOVA. The analysis shows that there was no significant difference (P>0.05) in the susceptibility analysis. This study has shown that Campus Buses door handles have higher microbial carriage than keke door handles though both can serve as a means of microbial carriage and vehicle for the transmission of disease since they are associated with pathogenic organisms thus, hygienic measures should be taken to avoid the transmission of diseases by these public surfaces in which contact is constantly made with.

DOI: 10.5284/zenodo.10448243

Environmental Conservation based on Mamar System as Local Wisdom of West Timor, East Nusa Tenggara

Mamar is an adaptation strategy built by the Amarasi Community to overcome environmental conditions that do not provide a prosperous life. This study aims to analyze environmental conservation practices based on the Mamar system as local wisdom and related social structures as a mechanism for environmental conservation. Environmental conservation based on the Mamar system is implemented with mechanisms and approaches to the needs of local communities for the preservation of natural resources in the long and sustainable term. The local rules such as Nuni and Bunu played an important role in maintaining and preserving the Mamar System. In addition, local figures such as Mataf and Ketiut Po’an helped the local community to stick to the local values to preserve the Mamar area.

DOI: 10.5284/zenodo.10448257

Enzymatic Effect of Bio-Polishing of Different Types of Jute-Cotton Union Fabrics

Jute is natural fibers which are cheap, renewable and abundantly available in Bangladesh. Jute fibres are mainly used in the manufacturing of sacking and coarse cloths, carpets, and carpet backings. A small portion of jute fibres is used in apparel-making fabrics, usually blended with cotton fibres that provide cotton fabrics with high moisture absorbency as jute is one of the highest hygroscopic natural fibres (Ardon et al., 1996). They can be degraded by micro-organisms after their disposal. Natural fibres have distinct advantages during processing. Besides these advantages, natural fibre composites have some drawbacks which limit their wide-scale usage; such as they are not uniform like man-made fibres, and their properties can change batch-to-batch regarding their origin, growing and harvesting conditions. There are also compatibility problems between hydrophilic fibres and hydrophobic resin, which results in a poor fibre-matrix interface. Researchers attempted to solve the aforementioned problems of natural fibre composites to widen their usage. Most of them have tried to solve the interface problems through fibre modification by chemical or physical methods. These methods include NaOH treatment, graft copolymerization, acetylation, corona treatment etc. Enzymatic treatment of fibres is an alternative environment-friendly method that can be implemented instead of chemical methods which are in many cases harmful to the environment and worker’s health (Heikinheimo, 2002).

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10606203

Occurrence of Neoechinorhynchus sp. in Infected Organs of Lizardfish (Saurida undosquamis) in Misurata, Libya

The present study provides important insights into the existence and frequency of the Neoechinorhynchus sp. in the marine fish species Saurida undosquamis in Libya. A total of 192 specimens of Saurida undosquamis from the local market of Misurata city in Libya were collected. This extensive collection made possible a thorough investigation of the parasite's presence in this particular fish species. According to the present study, the prevalence rate of acanthocephalan helminths in Saurida undosquamis was found to be low. Out of the 192 fish specimens that were examined, only one specimen was found to be infected with Neoechinorhynchus sp. with an infection rate of 0.52%. The infected fish had an average parasite density of 4, indicating that there were four individual parasites in the fish. These parasites were found in both the anterior and posterior intestines of the infected fish. The seasonal study also revealed that the infections occurred during the winter season. This study may mark the first instance of the presence of Neoechinorhynchus sp. in Saurida undosquamis found in the coastal Mediterranean Sea waters of Misurata, Libya. The identification of a previously unknown parasite species in a new host and location significantly enhances our understanding of parasite diversity in the region. The low infection rates observed in Saurida undosquamis suggest that this fish species may not be a suitable host for the acanthocephalan Neoechinorhynchus sp. Understanding host-parasite interactions and the factors affecting infection rates is essential for comprehending the ecology and dynamics of the parasite. By documenting the presence and characteristics of the Neoechinorhynchus sp. parasite in Saurida undosquamis, the present study fills a gap in the available scientific literature.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10717758

Environmental Aspects of Lead Free Soldering and Study of Legislations Banning Lead Based Solders in Different Countries

Lead based solders have been in use for many years, but in recent times, they are being phased out. Lead based solders have generated environmental problems and the dissolved lead in soil is also poisonous and carcinogenic. This being the case, lead is being phased out in most countries. This paper is a review on the problems faced due to lead based solders and the legislations undertaken in various countries to tackle this problem. Legal steps have been taken in developed countries and some steps have been taken in India too. Legislations in USA, European Union, Japan and India have been discussed. A detailed view of legislations in different countries is discussed and the way forward is outlined. These steps would help to ensure that our environment is kept cleaner. It is hoped that these legislations would force researchers to discover more and more lead free alloys in the future.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10818120

Increasing Air Pollution and Its Associated Effects on Human Health

The growing menace of air pollution is becoming a matter of concern day by day. Pollution is the introduction of harmful substances or products into the environment. Air is getting polluted from the burning of fuel, industrial emissions, etc. There have been several fatal episodes since the early 1930s worldwide due to air pollution. Air pollution can adversely affect human health. There are many harmful diseases associated with such extreme air pollution including cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. In the present review paper, several sources of air pollution have been identified concerning their harmful effects. Both indoor and outdoor pollution have been taken into account. Considering the different agents responsible for such menace, some preventive measures have also been proposed regarding increasing pollution.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10908478

A Simple Electrical Technique to Demonstrate the Effect of Salting and Harmful Chemicals on Fresh Vegetables

The quality of vegetables for human consumption is greatly influenced by two primary factors, presence of harmful chemicals like insecticides/pesticides/chemical fertilizers and salting. Organic produce promotes sustainable use of natural resources and is a healthier option. Excessive salt stress is detrimental as it leads to the degradation of essential nutrients. A low cost experimental setup is designed that measures the electrical properties, namely resonance and bio impedance, of the organic and conventionally grown vegetables. The vegetables are excited by a low voltage ac source and their behavior is studied under varying frequency in the range 1khz to 600kHz. The results reveal that salinity and conventional methods of agriculture significantly alter the electrical properties of the raw vegetables. Monitoring the shift in the resonance frequency has proven to be an effective method for assessing the quality of the vegetables at the source level.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10949825

Acquisition and Conversion of Kamarajar Port into a Green Port by Chennai Port Authorities: A Case Study on Sustainable Operations

As part of a strategy that led it to purchase the Government's 67% stake in Kamarajar Port for $2,383 crore through a government-to-government disinvestment deal a year ago, the Chennai Port Trust has brought vessel-related charges and concession schemes for container ships on par with Kamarajar Port Ltd (located about 18km to the North). In order to effectively combat competition, prevent cargo from being diverted to the neighbouring private and non-major ports, and improve the total cargo volumes of the two ports, Chennai Port Authorities bought Kamarajar Port and made it a wholly-owned unit. The purpose of this case study is to identify the frequently cited sustainable environmental success factors of the Kamarajar Port acquisition by Chennai Port Trust, to describe them within the context of supporting evidence, and to compare the strength of the two ports within identified factors. The authors of this work provide a Terminal Decision Support Tool (TDST) for the construction of a container terminal that takes environmental effects and operational efficiency into account.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.11103687

Earthworm Diversity and Abundance in Various Cropping Systems under Conventional and Organic Farming

Earthworms form an integral part of the soil ecosystem, contributing to the development of soil structure, nutrient cycling, pedogenesis, water regulation and pollution remediation. The present study is an attempt to assess the earthworm abundance and diversity in the different cropping systems (basmati-wheat, basmati-chickpea, soybean-wheat, moong-wheat) under organic and conventional farming systems in the fields of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. The four earthworm species found during the study period are Metaphire posthuma, Lampito mauritti, Amynthas morrisi and Travoscolides chengannur which belong to two families - Megascolicidae and Octochateidae. Out of these Travoscolides chengannur was reported for the first time in Punjab. The results indicated that richer earthworm diversity is found in the organic farming systems as compared to the conventional farming systems. The annual overall abundance of earthworms in kharif season i.e. M. posthuma (61.75) was found in basmati rice-wheat, (62.75) in basmati rice-chickpea, (36.5) in soyabean-wheat, (43.5) in moong-wheat cropping systems in the organic farming. This abundance was higher as compared to the conventional farming as found (8.2) in basmati rice-wheat, (9.2) both in basmati rice-chickpea and soyabean-wheat, (8.2) in moong-wheat cropping systems (Rabi). The same trend was found for other species. The current study demonstrates that conventional farming management practices such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides negatively influence the earthworm population, which could explain the existence of fewer earthworm species in conventional fields.

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