This growing collection consists of scholarly works authored by ASU-affiliated faculty, students, and community members, and it contains many open access articles. ASU-affiliated authors are encouraged to Share Your Work in KEEP.

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Future of Wastewater Sensing Workshop Guide

Description

The Future of Wastewater Sensing workshop is part of a collaboration between Arizona State University Center for Nanotechnology in Society in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society,

The Future of Wastewater Sensing workshop is part of a collaboration between Arizona State University Center for Nanotechnology in Society in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Environmental Security, LC Nano, and the Nano-enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) Systems NSF Engineering Research Center. The Future of Wastewater Sensing workshop explores how technologies for studying, monitoring, and mining wastewater and sewage sludge might develop in the future, and what consequences may ensue for public health, law enforcement, private industry, regulations and society at large. The workshop pays particular attention to how wastewater sensing (and accompanying research, technologies, and applications) can be innovated, regulated, and used to maximize societal benefit and minimize the risk of adverse outcomes, when addressing critical social and environmental challenges.

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  • 2015-11-01

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Wastewater Treatment Plants as Chemical Observatories to Forecast Ecological and Human Health Risks of Manmade Chemicals

Description

Thousands of chemicals have been identified as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), but prioritizing them concerning ecological and human health risks is challenging. We explored the use of sewage treatment

Thousands of chemicals have been identified as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), but prioritizing them concerning ecological and human health risks is challenging. We explored the use of sewage treatment plants as chemical observatories to conveniently identify persistent and bioaccumulative CECs, including toxic organohalides. Nationally representative samples of sewage sludge (biosolids) were analyzed for 231 CECs, of which 123 were detected. Ten of the top 11 most abundant CECs in biosolids were found to be high-production volume chemicals, eight of which representing priority chemicals, including three flame retardants, three surfactants and two antimicrobials. A comparison of chemicals detected in nationally representative biological specimens from humans and municipal biosolids revealed 70% overlap. This observed co-occurrence of contaminants in both matrices suggests that the analysis of sewage sludge can inform human health risk assessments by providing current information on toxic exposures in human populations and associated body burdens of harmful environmental pollutants.

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  • 2014-01-16

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The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban

Description

The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban documents a consensus of more than 200 scientists and medical professionals on the hazards of and lack of demonstrated benefit from common uses

The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban documents a consensus of more than 200 scientists and medical professionals on the hazards of and lack of demonstrated benefit from common uses of triclosan and triclocarban. These chemicals may be used in thousands of personal care and consumer products as well as in building materials. Based on extensive peer-reviewed research, this statement concludes that triclosan and triclocarban are environmentally persistent endocrine disruptors that bioaccumulate in and are toxic to aquatic and other organisms. Evidence of other hazards to humans and ecosystems from triclosan and triclocarban is presented along with recommendations intended to prevent future harm from triclosan, triclocarban, and antimicrobial substances with similar properties and effects. Because antimicrobials can have unintended adverse health and environmental impacts, they should only be used when they provide an evidence-based health benefit. Greater transparency is needed in product formulations, and before an antimicrobial is incorporated into a product, the long-term health and ecological impacts should be evaluated.

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  • 2017-06-20

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Pharmaceuticals in the Built and Natural Water Environment of the United States

Description

The known occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the built and natural water environment, including in drinking water supplies, continues to raise concerns over inadvertent exposures and associated potential health risks in

The known occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the built and natural water environment, including in drinking water supplies, continues to raise concerns over inadvertent exposures and associated potential health risks in humans and aquatic organisms. At the same time, the number and concentrations of new and existing pharmaceuticals in the water environment are destined to increase further in the future as a result of increased consumption of pharmaceuticals by a growing and aging population and ongoing measures to decrease per-capita water consumption. This review examines the occurrence and movement of pharmaceuticals in the built and natural water environment, with special emphasis on contamination of the drinking water supply, and opportunities for sustainable pollution control. We surveyed peer-reviewed publications dealing with quantitative measurements of pharmaceuticals in U.S. drinking water, surface water, groundwater, raw and treated wastewater as well as municipal biosolids. Pharmaceuticals have been observed to reenter the built water environment contained in raw drinking water, and they remain detectable in finished drinking water at concentrations in the ng/L to μg/L range. The greatest promises for minimizing pharmaceutical contamination include source control (for example, inputs from intentional flushing of medications for safe disposal, and sewer overflows), and improving efficiency of treatment facilities.

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  • 2013-09-11

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Cord Blood Methylmercury and Fetal Growth Outcomes in Baltimore Newborns: Potential Confounding and Effect Modification by Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Selenium, and Sex

Description

Background: Methylmercury (MeHg) may affect fetal growth; however, prior research often lacked assessment of mercury speciation, confounders, and interactions.
Objective: Our objective was to assess the relationship between MeHg and

Background: Methylmercury (MeHg) may affect fetal growth; however, prior research often lacked assessment of mercury speciation, confounders, and interactions.
Objective: Our objective was to assess the relationship between MeHg and fetal growth as well as the potential for confounding or interaction of this relationship from speciated mercury, fatty acids, selenium, and sex.
Methods: This cross-sectional study includes 271 singletons born in Baltimore, Maryland, 2004–2005. Umbilical cord blood was analyzed for speciated mercury, serum omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (n-3 HUFAs), and selenium. Multivariable linear regression models controlled for gestational age, birth weight, maternal age, parity, prepregnancy body mass index, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, selenium, n-3 HUFAs, and inorganic mercury (IHg).
Results: Geometric mean cord blood MeHg was 0.94 μg/L (95% CI: 0.84, 1.07). In adjusted models for ponderal index, βln(MeHg) = –0.045 (g/cm[superscript 3]) × 100 (95% CI: –0.084, –0.005). There was no evidence of a MeHg × sex interaction with ponderal index. Contrastingly, there was evidence of a MeHg × n-3 HUFAs interaction with birth length [among low n-3 HUFAs, βln(MeHg) = 0.40 cm, 95% CI: –0.02, 0.81; among high n-3 HUFAs, βln(MeHg) = –0.15, 95% CI: –0.54, 0.25; p-interaction = 0.048] and head circumference [among low n-3 HUFAs, βln(MeHg) = 0.01 cm, 95% CI: –0.27, 0.29; among high n-3 HUFAs, βln(MeHg) = –0.37, 95% CI: –0.63, –0.10; p-interaction = 0.042]. The association of MeHg with birth weight and ponderal index was affected by n-3 HUFAs, selenium, and IHg. For birth weight, βln(MeHg) without these variables was –16.8 g (95% CI: –75.0, 41.3) versus –29.7 (95% CI: –93.9, 34.6) with all covariates. Corresponding values for ponderal index were –0.030 (g/cm[superscript 3]) × 100 (95% CI: –0.065, 0.005) and –0.045 (95% CI: –0.084, –0005).
Conclusion: We observed an association of increased MeHg with decreased ponderal index. There is evidence for interaction between MeHg and n-3 HUFAs; infants with higher MeHg and n-3 HUFAs had lower birth length and head circumference. These results should be verified with additional studies.

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  • 2016-06-26

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Lessons Learned from Probing for Impacts of Triclosan and Triclocarban on Human Microbiomes

Description

Despite increasing interest in the effects of triclosan and triclocarban on human biology, current knowledge is still limited on the impact of these additives to antimicrobial personal care products on

Despite increasing interest in the effects of triclosan and triclocarban on human biology, current knowledge is still limited on the impact of these additives to antimicrobial personal care products on the human microbiome. A carefully designed recent study published in mSphere by Poole and colleagues [A. C. Poole et al., mSphere 1(3):e00056-15, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mSphere.00056-15] highlights both the power of novel methodologies for microbiome elucidation and the longstanding challenge of employing small-cohort studies to inform risk assessment for chemicals of ubiquitous use in modern society.

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  • 2016-05-18

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Active Sampling Device for Determining Pollutants in Surface and Pore Water – the In Situ Sampler for Biphasic Water Monitoring

Description

We designed and evaluated an active sampling device, using as analytical targets a family of pesticides purported to contribute to honeybee colony collapse disorder. Simultaneous sampling of bulk water and

We designed and evaluated an active sampling device, using as analytical targets a family of pesticides purported to contribute to honeybee colony collapse disorder. Simultaneous sampling of bulk water and pore water was accomplished using a low-flow, multi-channel pump to deliver water to an array of solid-phase extraction cartridges. Analytes were separated using either liquid or gas chromatography, and analysis was performed using tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Achieved recoveries of fipronil and degradates in water spiked to nominal concentrations of 0.1, 1, and 10 ng/L ranged from 77 ± 12 to 110 ± 18%. Method detection limits (MDLs) were as low as 0.040–0.8 ng/L. Extraction and quantitation of total fiproles at a wastewater-receiving wetland yielded concentrations in surface water and pore water ranging from 9.9 ± 4.6 to 18.1 ± 4.6 ng/L and 9.1 ± 3.0 to 12.6 ± 2.1 ng/L, respectively. Detected concentrations were statistically indistinguishable from those determined by conventional, more laborious techniques (p > 0.2 for the three most abundant fiproles). Aside from offering time-averaged sampling capabilities for two phases simultaneously with picogram-per-liter MDLs, the novel methodology eliminates the need for water and sediment transport via in situ solid phase extraction.

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  • 2016-02-24

United States National Sewage Sludge Repository at Arizona State University-a new resource and research tool for environmental scientists, engineers, and epidemiologists

Description

Processed municipal sewage sludges (MSS) are an abundant, unwanted by-product of wastewater treatment, increasingly applied to agriculture and forestry for inexpensive disposal and soil conditioning. Due to their high organic

Processed municipal sewage sludges (MSS) are an abundant, unwanted by-product of wastewater treatment, increasingly applied to agriculture and forestry for inexpensive disposal and soil conditioning. Due to their high organic carbon and lipid contents, MSS not only is rich in carbon and nutrients but also represents a “sink” for recalcitrant, hydrophobic, and potentially bioaccumulative compounds. Indeed, many organics sequestered and concentrated in MSS meet the US Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of being persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT). In a strategic effort, our research team at the Biodesign Institute has created the National Sewage Sludge Repository (NSSR), a large repository of digested MSSs from 164 wastewater treatment plants from across the USA, as part of the Human Health Observatory (H2O) at Arizona State University (ASU). The NSSR likely represents the largest archive of digested MSS specimens in the USA. The present study summarizes key findings gleaned thus far from analysis of NSSR samples. For example, we evaluated the content of toxicants in MSS and computed estimates of nationwide inventories of mass produced chemicals that become sequestrated in sludge and later are released into the environment during sludge disposal on land. Ongoing efforts document co-occurrence of a variety of PBT compounds in both MSS and human samples, while also identifying a large number of potentially harmful MSS constituents for which human exposure data are still lacking. Finally, we summarize future opportunities and invite collaborative use of the NSSR by the research community. The H2O at ASU represents a new resource and research tool for environmental scientists and the larger research community. As illustrated in this work, this repository can serve to (i) identify and prioritize emerging contaminants, (ii) provide spatial and temporal trends of contaminants, (iii) inform and evaluate the effectiveness of environmental policy-making and regulations, and (iv) approximate, ongoing exposures and body burdens of mass-produced chemicals in human society.

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  • 2015-02-01

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Role of bicarbonate as a pH buffer and electron sink in microbial dechlorination of chloroethenes

Description

Background
Buffering to achieve pH control is crucial for successful trichloroethene (TCE) anaerobic bioremediation. Bicarbonate (HCO3−) is the natural buffer in groundwater and the buffer of choice in the laboratory

Background
Buffering to achieve pH control is crucial for successful trichloroethene (TCE) anaerobic bioremediation. Bicarbonate (HCO3−) is the natural buffer in groundwater and the buffer of choice in the laboratory and at contaminated sites undergoing biological treatment with organohalide respiring microorganisms. However, HCO3− also serves as the electron acceptor for hydrogenotrophic methanogens and hydrogenotrophic homoacetogens, two microbial groups competing with organohalide respirers for hydrogen (H2). We studied the effect of HCO3− as a buffering agent and the effect of HCO3−-consuming reactions in a range of concentrations (2.5-30 mM) with an initial pH of 7.5 in H2-fed TCE reductively dechlorinating communities containing Dehalococcoides, hydrogenotrophic methanogens, and hydrogenotrophic homoacetogens.
Results
Rate differences in TCE dechlorination were observed as a result of added varying HCO3− concentrations due to H2-fed electrons channeled towards methanogenesis and homoacetogenesis and pH increases (up to 8.7) from biological HCO3− consumption. Significantly faster dechlorination rates were noted at all HCO3− concentrations tested when the pH buffering was improved by providing 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid (HEPES) as an additional buffer. Electron balances and quantitative PCR revealed that methanogenesis was the main electron sink when the initial HCO3− concentrations were 2.5 and 5 mM, while homoacetogenesis was the dominant process and sink when 10 and 30 mM HCO3− were provided initially.
Conclusions
Our study reveals that HCO3− is an important variable for bioremediation of chloroethenes as it has a prominent role as an electron acceptor for methanogenesis and homoacetogenesis. It also illustrates the changes in rates and extent of reductive dechlorination resulting from the combined effect of electron donor competition stimulated by HCO3− and the changes in pH exerted by methanogens and homoacetogens.

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  • 2012-09-13

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Effective Strategies for Monitoring and Regulating Chemical Mixtures and Contaminants Sharing Pathways of Toxicity

Description

Traditionally, hazardous chemicals have been regulated in the U.S. on a one-by-one basis, an approach that is slow, expensive and can be inefficient, as illustrated by a decades-long succession of

Traditionally, hazardous chemicals have been regulated in the U.S. on a one-by-one basis, an approach that is slow, expensive and can be inefficient, as illustrated by a decades-long succession of replacing one type of organohalogen flame retardants (OHFRs) with another one, without addressing the root cause of toxicity and associated public health threats posed. The present article expounds on the need for efficient monitoring strategies and pragmatic steps in reducing environmental pollution and adverse human health impacts. A promising approach is to combine specific bioassays with state-of-the-art chemical screening to identify chemicals and chemical mixtures sharing specific modes of action (MOAs) and pathways of toxicity (PoTs). This approach could be used to identify and regulate hazardous chemicals as classes or compound families, featuring similar biological end-points, such as endocrine disruption and mutagenicity. Opportunities and potential obstacles of implementing this approach are discussed.

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  • 2015-08-28