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Monte Porzio Catone, Italy

In order to ascertain water quality for human consumption, the evaluation of trace and ultra-trace elements in drinking waters of two Italian cities, Rome and Florence, is investigated together with the potabilization processes involved and the relative human exposure to the contaminants. Through a multi-elemental detection with no chemical treatment using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis and Proton-Induced X-ray Emission the concentration of 40 elements is determined. Basically, the concentrations of the investigated parameters in drinking waters were within the permissible limits of the World Health Organization drinking water quality guidelines and the Water Pollution Control legislation of Italian authorities. The Rome drinking water shows a chemical water composition quite similar to uncontaminated natural water: potentially toxic elements (e.g., Cr, Hg, Ni, and Sb) are present at very low concentrations whereas the levels of nutritionally essential elements are adequate and low levels of I and Se cannot be considered a cause of deficiency diseases. A multivariate statistical approach was used to identify both the origins and correlations among elements and the six different apportionments contributing to the water supply in Rome. For the drinking waters distributed in Florence, the element levels show a sufficiently good situation, except for Al (range 103-267 μg/L) that is present at reasonable concentrations for almost the entire population due to the hard potabilization procedure involving aluminum salts. The values of Metal Index (MI), that helps to quickly evaluate the overall quality of drinking waters, show a good drinking water quality in Rome (Fe is the only element to be considered critical) whereas in Florence the situation is influenced by Al levels. No relevant differences are found among Rome and Florence water composition and other Italian and world potable waters.This study can be considered a useful reference for studies aimed to highlighting toxicological, nutritional and environmental disease patterns. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Avino P.,DIPIA Inc | Capannesi G.,ENEA | Renzi L.,ENEA | Rosada A.,ENEA
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety

The possibility to have reference values in clinical chemistry is really important and hair is an ideal tissue for tracing human health conditions. This study performed on 131 hair samples of high school students gives a better knowledge of element levels (i.d., As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, S, Sb, Se, Sn and Zn) in subjects not exposed to specific contamination. A nuclear analytical technique, Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis, has been employed for determining such species. These data can be used as tentative reference values in human hairs. The ratios among metals give important considerations on the general aspect of human health: the reference value represents an evaluation of the essential metabolic functions whereas an imbalance could be a factor influencing the rising of some pathologies, even if it is not an index of particular metabolic deficiency. A comparison with Italian studies shows a good agreement whereas some little discrepancies are evident with International studies. Further, a statistical approach (cluster analysis, Canonical Discriminant Analysis) was applied for determining the reference values. Taking in account these reference values a relationship with the environmental and pollutant compartments was studied confirming the starting hypothesis. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

Baciocchi R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Berardi S.,DIPIA Inc | Verginelli I.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Journal of Hazardous Materials

Clean-up of contaminated sites is usually based on a risk-based approach for the definition of the remediation goals, which relies on the well known ASTM-RBCA standard procedure. In this procedure, migration of contaminants is described through simple analytical models and the source contaminants' concentration is supposed to be constant throughout the entire exposure period, i.e. 25-30 years. The latter assumption may often result over-protective of human health, leading to unrealistically low remediation goals. The aim of this work is to propose an alternative model taking in account the source depletion, while keeping the original simplicity and analytical form of the ASTM-RBCA approach. The results obtained by the application of this model are compared with those provided by the traditional ASTM-RBCA approach, by a model based on the source depletion algorithm of the RBCA ToolKit software and by a numerical model, allowing to assess its feasibility for inclusion in risk analysis procedures. The results discussed in this work are limited to on-site exposure to contaminated water by ingestion, but the approach proposed can be extended to other exposure pathways. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Russo M.V.,University of Molise | Avino P.,DIPIA Inc | Cinelli G.,University of Molise | Notardonato I.,University of Molise
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

This paper shows an analytical methodology based on solid-phase extraction by XAD-2 adsorbent and gas chromatography (GC) coupled with nitrogen-phosphorus (NPD) and ion-trap mass spectrometry detectors (ITMS) in negative chemical ionization (NCI) mode analyses for investigating organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) at trace levels (in nanograms per cubic meter) in the atmosphere: in particular, we set up a procedure for analyzing 38 OPs. For the analytical methodology linearity responses have been obtained in GC-NPD (r>0.9982) and GC-NCI/ITMS (r>0.9974) in a large linearity range (0.10-500 pg μL -1 in both cases) whereas the limits of detection range between 0.01 and 0.03 pg μL-1 in both the techniques with a relative standard deviation (RSD) below 9.0 in both cases. Particular attention has been devoted to investigate the effect of different solvents (n-hexane, benzene, chloroform, carbon disulfide, acetonitrile) on the OP recovery as well the breakthrough volumes have been evaluated (100 % recovery up to 4,286 Lg-1). The study has also investigated the OP recoveries at different sampling flow rates (1.5 and 2.0 L min-1) for determining the optimal conditions for sample collection. Finally, the whole approach has been successfully applied to real samples collected in four different areas in the Molise region (Central Italy) during different seasons: the results show that parathion-ethyl, dimethoate, omethoate, and malathion are present in all periods at low levels (ranging between 70 and 10 ng m-3): their levels in such periods can be correlated with spraying as well atmospheric conditions favoring the dispersion/accumulation of these pollutants © 2012 Springer-Verlag. Source

Buonanno G.,University of Cassino and Southern Lazio | Stabile L.,University of Cassino and Southern Lazio | Avino P.,DIPIA Inc | Belluso E.,University of Turin
Waste Management

Waste combustion processes are responsible of particles and gaseous emissions. Referring to the particle emission, in the last years specific attention was paid to ultrafine particles (UFPs, diameter less than 0.1μm), mainly emitted by combustion processes. In fact, recent findings of toxicological and epidemiological studies indicate that fine and ultrafine particles could represent a risk for health and environment. Therefore, it is necessary to quantify particle emissions from incinerators also to perform an exposure assessment for the human populations living in their surrounding areas.To these purposes, in the present work an experimental campaign aimed to monitor UFPs was carried out at the incineration plant in San Vittore del Lazio (Italy). Particle size distributions and total concentrations were measured both at the stack and before the fabric filter inlet in order to evaluate the removal efficiency of the filter in terms of UFPs. A chemical characterization of UFPs in terms of heavy metal concentration was performed through a nuclear method, i.e. Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA), as well as a mineralogical investigation was carried out through a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) equipped with an Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS) in order to evaluate shape, crystalline state and mineral compound of sampled particles.Maximum values of 2.7×10 7part.cm -3 and 2.0×10 3part.cm -3 were found, respectively, for number concentration before and after the fabric filter showing a very high efficiency in particle removing by the fabric filter. With regard to heavy metal concentrations, the elements with higher boiling temperature present higher concentrations at lower diameters showing a not complete evaporation in the combustion section and the consequent condensation of semi-volatile compounds on solid nuclei. In terms of mineralogical and morphological analysis, the most abundant compounds found in samples collected before the fabric filter are Na-K-Pb oxides followed by phyllosilicates, otherwise, different oxides of comparable abundance were detected in the samples collected at the stack. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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