Themed collection Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts Recent HOT Articles
Validation of a modified IDEXX defined-substrate assay for detection of antimicrobial resistant E. coli in environmental reservoirs
Antimicrobial resistant organisms can be transmitted to humans through multiple environmental pathways. Monitoring these organisms in multiple environmental reservoirs is an important step towards mitigating adverse health impacts.
Nitrogen fixing bacteria facilitate microbial biodegradation of a bio-based and biodegradable plastic in soils under ambient and future climatic conditions
We discovered a biological mechanism supporting microbial degradation of bio-based poly(butylene succinate-co-adipate) (PBSA) plastic in soils under ambient and future climates.
Evaluation of iodide chemical ionization mass spectrometry for gas and aerosol-phase per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) analysis
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) can be measured in real time in gas and aerosol using iodide chemical ionization mass spectrometry (CIMS).
Exploring controls on perfluorocarboxylic acid (PFCA) gas–particle partitioning using a model with observational constraints
The atmospheric fate of perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs) has attracted much attention in recent decades due to the role of the atmosphere in global transport of these persistent chemicals.
Aqueous processing of water-soluble organic compounds in the eastern United States during winter
The uptake of WSOCg from biomass burning into ALW results in compounds that remain in the particle phase upon drying.
Iodine emission from the reactive uptake of ozone to simulated seawater
We suggest a re-evaluation of two reaction rate constants to be able to better model iodine emission from the ozonolysis of iodide in the presence of chloride.
Kinetics of oligomer-forming reactions involving the major functional groups present in atmospheric secondary organic aerosol particles
Measurements of the kinetics of accretion reactions involving organic compounds typical of those present in atmospheric aerosol particles demonstrate the potential importance of peroxyhemiacetal and ester formation in a single organic phase and in phase-separated organic/aqueous mixtures containing a sulfuric acid catalyst.
Formation pathways of aldehydes from heated cooking oils
We studied the mechanisms of cooking oil decomposition that lead to emission of aldehydes, an important group of air pollutants, from food cooking.
Real-time measurements of product compounds formed through the reaction of ozone with breath exhaled VOCs
Human presence can affect indoor air quality because of secondary organic compounds formed upon reactions between gaseous oxidant species, e.g., ozone (O3), hydroxyl radicals (OH), and chemical compounds from skin, exhaled breath, hair and clothes.
Photodegradation of polyolefin thin films in simulated freshwater conditions
Polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) are commonly used polyolefins, which have resulted in their accumulation in the environment, and can photodegrade in freshwater systems.
Legacy and emerging airborne per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) collected on PM2.5 filters in close proximity to a fluoropolymer manufacturing facility
Large fluoropolymer manufacturing plants are major sources of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the environment; we measured legacy and emerging PFAS in air to provide insights into near-source PFAS profiles.
Indoor partitioning and potential thirdhand exposure to carbonyl flavoring agents added in e-cigarettes and hookah tobacco
The residents are likely to experience harmful thirdhand exposure due to the indoor partitioning of flavoring agents added to the e-cigarettes and hookah tobacco.
Recovery of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances after solvent evaporation
Presented data shows that vacuum evaporative concentration of PFAS standards can cause class-specific loss of material that can be mitigated via recovery steps.
Atomistic insights into the hydrodefluorination of PFAS using silylium catalysts
Fluorochemicals are a persistent environmental contaminant that require specialized techniques for degradation and capture.
Emerging investigator series: ozone uptake by urban road dust and first evidence for chlorine activation during ozone uptake by agro-based anti-icer: implications for wintertime air quality in high-latitude urban environments
In this study, we report the heterogeneous chemistry of ozone with urban road dust and anti-icer. We present a novel pathway for chlorine activation during ozone uptake by anti-icer and discuss its potential air quality impacts in cold-climate urban regions.
The dependence of soot particle ice nucleation ability on its volatile content
The removal of volatile content enhances the ice nucleation of soot particles by increasing the particle porosity and surface wettability.
Are cosmetics a significant source of PFAS in Europe? product inventories, chemical characterization and emission estimates
Estimates of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) emission from the use of cosmetics in Europe.
Phase state of organic aerosols may limit temperature-driven thermodynamic repartitioning following outdoor-to-indoor transport
Monte Carlo simulations suggest that organic aerosol repartitioning during transport indoors is often kinetically limited due to a low bulk diffusivity, but liquid and some semisolid particles can achieve equilibrium repartitioning during indoor particle lifetimes.
Sucralose as an oxidative-attenuation tracer for characterizing the application of in situ chemical oxidation for the treatment of 1,4-dioxane
We test the use of sucralose as an oxidative-attenuation tracer to characterize the impact of ISCO for treatment of 1,4-dioxane in groundwater.
Fate-directed risk assessment of chemical mixtures: a case study for cedarwood essential oil
The fate-directed risk assessment helps evaluate whether the risk assessment of known constituents is representative for an entire UVCB.
A food web bioaccumulation model for the accumulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in fish: how important is renal elimination?
We present a whole-body aquatic food web bioaccumulation model for perfluoroalkyl acids and two alternatives. Results highlight structure-dependent mechanisms, including phospholipid partitioning, blood plasma protein binding, and renal elimination.
Metal (hydr)oxide surface precipitates and their effects on potassium sorption
Surface precipitation has been shown to occur on rapid time scales in clay and metal oxide mineral systems.
Concentrations and isomer profiles of hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDDs) in floor, elevated surface, and outdoor dust samples from Basrah, Iraq
Within-room (between elevated surface dust and floor dust) and within-home (between indoor and outdoor dust) spatial variability in concentrations of HBCDDs were observed.
Mercury in air and soil on an urban-rural transect in East Africa
Spatially resolved atmospheric gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) concentrations from an urban area in the Southern Hemisphere are reported for the first time.
Comparability of semivolatile organic compound concentrations from co-located active and passive air monitoring networks in Europe
Passive and active air-sampling results from 10 years of monitoring for 28 semivolatile organic compounds at six sites across Europe are compared and recommendations for interpreting passive air-sampler results are offered.
Development of a PFAS reaction library: identifying plausible transformation pathways in environmental and biological systems
We have developed reaction libraries for predicting transformation products of PFAS in a variety of environmental and biological reaction systems.
Graphical tools for the planning and interpretation of polyurethane foam based passive air sampling campaigns
Charts display the length of the linear uptake period, the time to equilibrium, and the loss of depuration compounds for the PUF-PAS. Required are only the length, temperature, and wind speed of deployment and the chemical partitioning properties.
Spatial distribution and biogeochemistry of redox active species in arctic sedimentary porewaters and seeps
Schematic showing how voltammetric microelectrodes were used to profile arctic lake sediments, where different locations contained different distributions of redox-active species.
The Sea Spray Chemistry and Particle Evolution study (SeaSCAPE): overview and experimental methods
The SeaSCAPE campaign replicated the marine atmosphere in the laboratory to investigate the links between biological activity in the ocean and the properties of primary sea spray aerosols, volatile organic compounds, and secondary marine aerosols.
Abiotic reduction of 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO) and other munitions constituents by wood-derived biochar through its rechargeable electron storage capacity
Quantitative conversion of NTO to ATO by reduced wood biochar can occur repeatedly through recharging of the biochar's electron storage capacity.
Groundwaters in Northeastern Pennsylvania near intense hydraulic fracturing activities exhibit few organic chemical impacts
Hydrogeologic transport contributes to limited organic chemical contamination in a region of intense gas extraction, even 10 years post-development.
Investigation of perfluoroalkyl substances in proglacial rivers and permafrost seep in a high Arctic watershed
We measured perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in proglacial rivers and along a non-glacial freshwater continuum to investigate the role of snow and ice melting in their transport and fate within the Lake Hazen watershed (82° N).
Aerobic biotransformation of a novel highly functionalized polyfluoroether-based surfactant using activated sludge from a wastewater treatment plant
We incubated a novel fluorosurfactant with wastewater treatment plant sludge and identified smaller PFAS biotransformation products with lower bioaccumulation potential compared to the starting material.
Characterizing photochemical ageing processes of microplastic materials using multivariate analysis of infrared spectra
PCA model of ATR-FTIR spectra discriminates plastic types and predicts photochemical age under long-term natural and artificial weathering conditions.
Surface-water/groundwater boundaries affect seasonal PFAS concentrations and PFAA precursor transformations
Aqueous PFAS concentrations fluctuate seasonally and precursor concentrations rapidly decline within the surface-water/groundwater boundary, indicating that transport through this boundary can affect spatial and temporal PFAS composition.
Screening the baseline fish bioconcentration factor of various types of surfactants using phospholipid binding data
Measured membrane lipid–water distribution ratios (DMLW) circumvent unreliable KOW values for surfactants in tier 1 screening for the bioconcentration potential.
Challenges and policy implications of long-term changes in mass absorption cross-section derived from equivalent black carbon and elemental carbon measurements in London and south-east England in 2014–2019
This paper concludes that mass absorption cross-section (MAC) values in London, UK have changed over time. It provides possible explanations and highlights implications for the interpretation of long-term trends.
Kinetics of the oxidation of ammonia and amines with hydroxyl radicals in the aqueous phase
The aqueous phase oxidation of ammonia and alkyl amines by OH is pH-dependent and can impact their atmospheric lifetime.
Atmospheric mercury sources in a coastal-urban environment: a case study in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Fugitive emissions of mercury from unknown point and/or nonpoint sources are underestimated in current inventories.
Emerging investigator series: human CYP2A6 catalyzes the oxidation of 6:2 fluorotelomer alcohol
The human polymorphic enzyme CYP2A6 is primarily responsible for catalyzing the oxidation and activation of one PFAS, the 6:2 fluorotelomer alcohol.
Aerosol dynamics modeling of sub-500 nm particles during the HOMEChem study
Application of an aerosol dynamics model to estimate emission rates and fates of sub-500 nm particles in a test house.
Concentrations of halogenated flame retardants and polychlorinated biphenyls in house dust from Lagos, Nigeria
Levels of PCBs and some PBDEs in Lagos house dust have declined, demonstrating the efficacy of restrictions on these chemicals. In contrast, deca-BDE levels show no clear decline; implying its more recent restriction has yet to be fully effective.
Indoor black carbon and brown carbon concentrations from cooking and outdoor penetration: insights from the HOMEChem study
Black carbon and brown carbon emissions were investigated for different indoor activities and during periods of no activity in a test house as a part of the HOMEChem study.
Particle characterisation and bioaccessibility of manganese in particulate matter in silico- and ferromanganese smelters
(1) Physicochemical characterisation of single particles collected in an FeMn/SiMn furnace hall. (2) Bioaccessibility of manganese in particulate matter tested in terms of dissolution in Gamble solution.
Ionization selectivity of electrospray and atmospheric pressure photoionization FT-ICR MS for petroleum refinery wastewater dissolved organic matter
ESI and APPI were highly complementary for characterizing refinery wastewater dissolved organic matter.
Emerging investigator series: a holistic approach to multicomponent EXAFS: Sr and Cs complexation in clayey soils
Strontium and caesium are fission products of concern at many nuclear legacy sites. In this study we used a novel approach to EXAFS spectra to determine the details of Cs and Sr surface complexation in clayey soils.
The effect of plastic additives on Shewanella oneidensis growth and function
Plastic waste has the potential for significant consequences on various ecosystems; yet, there are gaps in our understanding of the interaction of bacteria with polymer additives.
Refinement and extension of COSMO-RS-trained fragment contribution models for predicting the partition properties of C10–20 chlorinated paraffin congeners
New COSMO-RS-trained fragment contribution models provided quantum chemically based predictions for a range of chlorinated paraffin congener groups and mixtures regarding partition properties and their temperature dependence.
Risk assessment of soil heavy metal contamination at the census tract level in the city of Santa Ana, CA: implications for health and environmental justice
Soil-based risk assessment shows a U.S. city to exceed federal acceptable risk levels for both non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic health outcomes in many areas, with total risk and soil contamination being correlated with socioeconomic factors.
Emerging investigator series: municipal wastewater as a year-round point source of neonicotinoid insecticides that persist in an effluent-dominated stream
Municipal wastewater effluent is a significant year-round point source of neonicotinoids to a temperate-region wastewater effluent-dominated stream, leading to ecological exposure conditions of concern that persist downstream.
PFOS dominates PFAS composition in ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) collected across North Carolina nearly 20 years after the end of its US production
Quarterly PFOS concentrations (pg m−3) in ambient PM2.5 in North Carolina, US. Highest concentrations were measured during July–September.
Characterization of inhalation exposure to gaseous elemental mercury during artisanal gold mining and e-waste recycling through combined stationary and personal passive sampling
Stationary and personal passive sampling provides complementary information on the inhalation exposure to gaseous elemental mercury among Norwegian e-waste workers, and Ghanaian artisanal gold miners and community members.
Divergent response of heavy metal bioavailability in soil rhizosphere to agricultural land use change from paddy fields to various drylands
The heavy metal pollution induced by agricultural land use change has attracted great attention.
Assessment of emerging polar organic pollutants linked to contaminant pathways within an urban estuary using non-targeted analysis
Non-targeted analysis of polar organic pollutants using high resolution/accurate mass (HR/AM) mass spectrometry has been conducted in waters of San Francisco (SF) Bay to assess occurrence of emerging contaminants and inform future monitoring and management activities.
About this collection
Here is a collection of recent Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts articles which have been classified as ‘HOT articles’ due to receiving particularly high scores at peer review.