The Contamination of heavy metals and metalloids in biomass and waste fuels: Comparative characterization and trend estimation study, published on the The Science of the total environment, aims to explain a topic that should be of primary importance for the leaders of our countries, as energy saving should also provide for a lower environmental impact, unlike what happens today.
In the study we can read: "The use of contaminated biomass and waste fuels is essential for waste management, waste to energy (WtE) and mitigating carbon emissions. The contamination of heavy metals and metalloids is specially concerned by environmental regulation and waste to energy processes.
In this study, comparative characterization is performed for three typical contaminated biomass and waste fuels. ie recycled woods, combustible municipal solid waste, and industrial and commercial wastes. The contamination characteristics are further analyzed using statistical methods (eg significance, correlation, profile and principal component analyzes) to identify specific contamination features, relations among the contaminants and potential contamination sources.
Contamination trend is estimated based on the continuously monitoring fuel qualities, the driving forces for regulating and reduction of the contaminations, and potential changes in major contamination sources. The comparativ and characterization combined with statistical analyzes provides a better way to understand the contamination mechanisms.
The approach can also relate the fuel contamination with the contamination sources and their changes for trend estimation. Generally, the toxic heavy metals and metalloids are expected to be significantly reduced due to stricter regulations, but there is no general trend for the reduction of other metals and metalloids because of the complicated changes in contamination sources and waste recycling streams in the near future."
Does wildfires smoke exposure have negative cardiovascular effect?
The study: Cardiovascular health impacts of wildfire smoke exposure, published on the Particle and fiber toxicology, tries to explain what could be the effects on humans of prolonged exposure to smoke caused by fires.
Due to mankind and the climate crisis, fires are breaking out more and more often, putting biodiversity, flora, fauna and human beings at risk. In the study we can read: "In recent years, wildland fires have occurred more frequently and with increased intensity in many fire-prone areas.
In addition to the direct life and economic losses attributable to wildfires, the emitted smoke is a major contributor to ambient air pollution, leading to significant public health impacts. Wildfire smoke is a complex mixture of particulate matter (PM), gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds.
PM from wildfire smoke has a high content of elemental carbon and organic carbon, with lesser amounts of metal compounds. Epidemiological studies have consistently found an association between exposure to wildfire smoke (typically monitored as the PM concentration) and increased respiratory morbidity and mortality wildfire smoke exposure have not established a conclusive link between wildfire smoke exposure and adverse cardiovascular effects is review, we systematically evaluate published epidemiological observations, controlled clinical exposure studies, and toxicological studies focusing on evidence of wildfire smoke exposure and cardiovascular effects, and identify knowledge gaps.
Improving exposure assessment and identifying sensitive cardiovascular endpoints will serve to better understand the association between exposure to wildfire smoke and cardiovascular effects and the mechanisms involved. Similarly, filling the knowledge gaps identified in this review will better define adverse cardiovascular health effects of exposure to wildfire smoke, thus informing risk assessments and potentially leading to the development of targeted interventional strategies to mitigate the health impacts of wildfire smoke." Some examples of the cause of fires can be: open flames (e.g.
welding operations), incandescent particles (embers), coming from a pre-existing fire (e.g. brazier), sparks of electrical origin, electric discharges, sparks of electrostatic origin, sparks caused by an impact or rubbing, contact with surfaces and hot spots, temperature rise due to gas compression, chemical reactions in general.