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Tropical Environment, Biology, and Technology

Trop. Environ. Biol. Technol. , Vol. 1 Iss. 1 (2023) – 5 articles

			View Vol. 1 Iss. 1 (2023)

Published: 25 June 2023
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Open Access Articles
Occurrence of Microplastics in Kemena River and Niah River of Sarawak, Malaysia
by Danny Jau Karing, Milani Anggiani, Linh Thi Thuy Cao, Mohamed El-shaammari

Trop. Environ. Biol. Technol. 2023, 1(1), pp 1-13;

Microplastics in freshwater have been identified as a significant contributor to plastic pollution in marine environments. However, the effect of urbanization on the quantity and spatial dispersion of microplastics in freshwater ecosystems of Sarawak and Malaysia remains unclear. The primary objectives of this study are to investigate the quantity and distribution of microplastics in water and riverbank sediments, as well as to analyze the properties of microplastic particles in the Kemena and Niah rivers. The selection of these rivers was based on the presence of commercial, residential, and industrial areas along their lengths. A total of 24 water and soil sediment samples were collected from three different sites along the Kemena and Niah rivers. The concentration of microplastics in water samples ranged from 60 to 128 items per liter, while sediment samples ranged from 46 to 76 items per liter. The sediment samples also contained microplastics ranging from 21 to 40 and 45 to 125 items per kilogram. Microplastics were observed in various forms, including fibers, films, foam, and fragments, in both water and soil sediment samples. The majority of microplastics were between 0.1 and 1 mm in size, with blue being the most common color observed in river water and transparent in sediment samples. The ATR-FTIR spectrum analysis indicated the presence of four distinct polymers: polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS), polycarbonate (PC), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This study provides valuable information on the abundance, distribution, chemical composition, and physical properties of microplastics in the Kemena and Niah rivers. Full text

Implementation of Soil Washing in Remediation of Contaminated Soil
by Wei Sheng Choong, Risky Ayu Kristanti, Wilawan Khanitchaidecha, Mehmet Emre, Mihaela Albescu

Trop. Environ. Biol. Technol. 2023, 1(1), pp 36-46;

Many human anthropogenic activities, including as deforestation, fossil fuel combustion, industrialisation, and solid waste production, have contaminated and endangered the entire environmental ecosystem in this age of pollution. Recently, heavy metal contamination in soil particles has attracted the attention of governments around the world, as many agricultural farmlands are contaminated with heavy metal pollutants such as copper, nickel, cobalt, iron, and lead, which have negatively impacted crop development. In addition, long-term exposure of the human body to heavy metals will cause severe illnesses, including neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic diseases. These contaminated soils are extremely tough and demanding to remediate. Soil washing is one of the most effective, rapid, and straightforward ways for decontaminating heavy metal-contaminated soil. The primary purpose of soil washing is to clean the sand and gravel fractions while concentrating contaminants in the clay and silt fractions. This will aid in the removal of heavy metal particles from the soil and their transfer to the washing solution. This study will examine the fate and transport of heavy metal contaminants as well as the many forms of soil washing mechanisms. In addition, the obstacles of implementing soil washing as well as its advantages and disadvantages were explored. Further research and possibly new directions, in addition to the possibility of soil washing, would also be discussed. Full text

Occurrence of Microplastics in Drinking Water in South East Asia: A Short Review
by Wei Xuen New, Risky Ayu Kristanti, Helena Manik, Yureana Wijayanti, Daniel A. Adeyemi

Trop. Environ. Biol. Technol. 2023, 1(1), pp 14-24;

This study reviews the levels and sources of microplastics in drinking water in Southeast Asia, assessing potential risks to human health and the environment, evaluating water treatment processes, and identifying remediation strategies to reduce microplastic pollution. Southeast Asia is home to nine of the ten most plastic-polluted rivers in the world, discharging vast amounts of plastic waste into the sea, causing adverse effects on marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Microplastics have become a global environmental issue and are found in various sources of drinking water, including tap water, plastic and glass bottled drinking water, treated water, and both single-use and returnable plastic bottled drinking water. Ingesting microplastics can cause physical damage and chemical toxicity, leading to health problems such as inflammation, DNA damage, and cancer. The study discusses physical, chemical, and biological methods for remediation, which have benefits and drawbacks and may not be effective in all situations. More research is needed to understand the extent of microplastic pollution in Southeast Asia and develop effective remediation strategies. Eliminating microplastics from the environment is necessary to protect ecosystems, wildlife, and human health. Full text

Utilization of Green Materials and Technology for Sustainable Construction in Malaysia
by Yu Yan Lau, Gaurav Talukdar, Hasti Widyasamratri, Jie Wang, Mohamed El-shaammari

Trop. Environ. Biol. Technol. 2023, 1(1), pp 47-66;

The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of the construction industry on the environment in Malaysia and propose strategies for mitigating its adverse effects through the adoption of sustainable building techniques. The study recognizes the importance of a healthy ecosystem in promoting health conditions, improving living standards, and ensuring a sustainable future for the nation. However, the recent population expansion has placed increased pressure on Malaysia's building industry and infrastructure, resulting in environmental degradation caused by the construction sector. To address this issue, the study examines the overall framework of ecological management implemented in Malaysia's construction industry. It evaluates key aspects of construction management, including the formulation and implementation of environmental policies, the involvement of stakeholders in decision-making processes, and the effective management of construction waste. Additionally, the study conducts a comprehensive assessment of specific regulations and guidelines pertaining to construction waste, water contamination, and air pollution, all of which are prevalent issues in Malaysia's construction activities. Furthermore, the study highlights the benefits of using green materials in construction to minimize environmental impact and enhance overall quality of life. It explores the implementation of green technologies in Malaysia, considering their advantages and disadvantages within the local context. By doing so, the study aims to provide insights into the challenges faced in the widespread adoption of green technologies, taking into account the perspectives of the government, economy, society, and available resources. Ultimately, the study emphasizes the need for collaboration among all stakeholders to address environmental damage effectively. It stresses the importance of an inclusive approach, ensuring that no one is left behind in the efforts to rectify the situation and prevent further deterioration of the environment. By taking proactive measures and implementing sustainable building techniques, it is hoped that the construction industry in Malaysia can contribute to a greener and more sustainable future for the nation. Full text

Microplastic Ingestion in Aquatic Animals in South East Asia
by Apollonia Huei Jhe Lim, Risky Ayu Kristanti, Edy Endrotjahyo, Nguyen Thi Thanh Thao, Daniel A. Adeyemi

Trop. Environ. Biol. Technol. 2023, 1(1), pp 25-35;

The study aimed to review the ingestion of microplastics by aquatic animals in the South East Asia and the impacts of this ingestion on the environment, human health, and species health, as well as to explore technologies for remediation. Microplastic particles range in size from 1 to 5 microns and are the result of the breakdown of larger, original plastic particles. Microplastic was defined in 2011, but the majority of people did not view it as a serious pollutant or act accordingly. Microplastic is a serious pollutant that has prompted increased research and experimentation since 2005. Microplastics are so small that they can enter the tissues and organs of aquatic animals. Malaysia produces a quantity of plastic waste and receives plastic waste from other countries for disposal. The effects of microplastic on aquatic animals have been studied in relation to the ecosystem cycle and food chain. The presence of microplastic in aquatic animals has detrimental effects on the environment, human health, species health, and the ecosystem. Physical, chemical, and biological technologies are provided, as well as a combination of two technologies, for the remediation of microplastic, which aids in the removal of microplastic from the environment and the reduction of microplastic in aquatic animals. These technologies aim to reduce the concentration of microplastics in water bodies, preventing their ingestion by aquatic animals. However, their efficiency in tropical regions may vary, depending on the specific environmental conditions. It requires continued research, policy, and public awareness to mitigate the impacts of microplastics on the environment and human health. In addition, microplastics generate some challenges and opportunities for reducing microplastics' impact on humans and the environment in the future. Full text