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Vincenzo Torretta published an article in March 2018.
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(2012 - 2018)
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Article 0 Reads 0 Citations Critical Review of the Effects of Glyphosate Exposure to the Environment and Humans through the Food Supply Chain Published: 24 March 2018
Sustainability, doi: 10.3390/su10040950
Glyphosate is a synthesis product and chemical substance that entered in the global market during the 70s. In the beginning, the molecule was used as an active principle in a wide range of herbicides, with great success. This was mainly due to its systemic and non-selective action against vegetable organisms and also to the spread of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) crops, which over the years were specifically created with a resistance to glyphosate. To date, the product is, for these reasons, the most sprayed and most used herbicide in the world. Because of its widespread diffusion into the environment, it was not long before glyphosate found itself at the center of an important scientific debate about its adverse effects on health and environment. In fact, in 2015 the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France), an organization referred to as the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO, Geneva, Switzerland), classified the substance as “likely carcinogenic” to humans. This triggered an immediate and negative reaction from the producer, who accused the Agency and claimed that they had failed to carry out their studies properly and that these conclusions were largely contradictory to published research. Additionally, in 2015, just a few months after the IARC monography published on glyphosate, the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority, Parma, Italy), another WHO related organization, declared that it was “unlikely” that the molecule could be carcinogenic to humans or that it could cause any type of risk to human health. The conflict between the two organizations of the World Health Organization triggered many doubts, and for this reason, a series of independent studies were launched to better understand what glyphosate’s danger to humans and the environment really was. The results have brought to light how massive use of the herbicide has created over time a real global contamination that has not only affected the soil, surface and groundwater as well as the atmosphere, but even food and commonly used objects, such as diapers, medical gauze, and absorbent for female intimate hygiene. How human health is compromised as a result of glyphosate exposure is a topic that is still very debatable and still unclear and unambiguous. This paper is a review of the results of the main independent recent scientific studies.
Article 0 Reads 0 Citations The municipal solid waste management of La Paz (Bolivia): Challenges and opportunities for a sustainable development Published: 09 February 2018
Waste Management & Research, doi: 10.1177/0734242x18755893
Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) is considered an important public health, economic and environmental concern, especially in developing countries. This paper introduces the situation of MSWM in La Paz (Bolivia) in 2016, and is based on the Wasteaware indicators and waste flow analysis, useful tools for classifying and comparing waste treatment and management plans among other countries. Taking into account the lack of technology in waste treatment and the presence of a developed informal sector, the paper analyses the main strengths and weak points for implementing a sustainable MSWM. The research conducted revealed that the MSWM of La Paz is not efficient with regard to collection, recycling (8%), financial sustainability, and equity of the service. At the same time, local Government and stakeholders are interested in implementing new MSWM methods for improving the current sanitary state of the city and many efforts were made over the last ten years. In general terms, La Paz could be considered as a good study area for developing plans for waste valorization, becoming an example for a low–middle income developing big city of Latin America. The study provided a few considerations about the affordability of the methodology applied and critically analyzed the case study proposed.
Article 0 Reads 0 Citations Consumption of Free Chlorine in an Aqueduct Scheme with Low Protection: Case Study of the New Aqueduct Simbrivio-Castell... Published: 30 January 2018
Water, doi: 10.3390/w10020127
The safety of high quality drinking water supply relies on the quantities to be delivered, on the complexity of the water supply systems, and on the widespread phenomena of the contamination of water bodies. These parameters indicate the need for the development of an application that will allow the quick acquisition of data on strategic management. This is requires both the analysis of factors related to the hydraulic operation of the plants and the characteristics of water quality. The present paper aims to evaluate the use of models that predict data for water quality in a distribution system. The assessment is made in order to consider the use of the model as a support tool for the management system of a supply network and to optimize the quality of the provided service. The improvement of the control system related to the operations of disinfection, in particular, in the case of long pipelines, is absolutely mandatory in order to ensure the safety of public health and respect for the environment at high levels.
Article 0 Reads 0 Citations Selective Collection Quality Index for Municipal Solid Waste Management Published: 19 January 2018
Sustainability, doi: 10.3390/su10010257
Trentino (an Italian Province located in the northern part of the country) is equipped with a management system of municipal solid waste collection at the forefront. Among the most positive aspects, there is a great ability for waste separation at the source and a consequent low production of residual municipal solid waste for disposal. Latest data show a gross efficiency of selective collection that has recently reached 80%, one of the highest values in Italy. This study analyzed the “Trentino system” to identify the main elements that have been at the base of the current efficient model. This provided an opportunity to propose a selective collection quality index (SCQI), including collection efficiency for each fraction, method of collection, quality of the collected materials, presence of the punctual tariff and tourist incidence. A period relevant for the transition of the collection system to the recent one was chosen for the demonstrative adoption of the proposed indicators in order to determine the potential of the index adoption. Results of the analysis of this case study were obtained in a quantitative form thanks to the sub-parameters that characterize the proposed index. This allowed selected collection decision makers to focus intently on a territory to find criticalities to be solved. For instance, the use of the index and its sub-indicators in the case of Trentino identified and comparatively quantified the local problems resulting from the presence of a large museum in a small town, tourism peaks in some valleys, and a delay in the punctual tariff adoption. The index has been proposed with the aim to make available an integrated tool to analyze other areas in Italy and abroad.
Article 1 Read 0 Citations Overview of the Main Disinfection Processes for Wastewater and Drinking Water Treatment Plants Published: 31 December 2017
Sustainability, doi: 10.3390/su10010086
The use of water disinfection as a public health measure reduces the spread of diseases. Various disinfection technologies can be used to meet the pathogen inactivation demand in water. This work is an overview of the main disinfection technologies of wastewater and drinking water that reports for the conventional processes the action mechanism, the possible formation of by-products, the operative conditions, the advantages and disadvantages. For advanced and natural processes the action mechanisms are reported. Advanced technologies are interesting but are still in the research state, while conventional technologies are the most used. There is a tendency, especially in Italy, to use chlorine-based disinfectant, despite in some forms could lead to production of disinfection by-products.
Article 0 Reads 0 Citations Comparison between absorption and biological activity on the efficiency of the biotrickling filtration of gaseous stream... Published: 22 August 2017
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-9968-3
Polluted air streams can be purified using biological treatments such as biotrickling filtration, which is one of the most widely accepted techniques successfully tuned to treat a wide variety of exhausted gaseous streams coming from a series of industrial sectors such as food processing, flavor manufacturers, rendering, and composting. Since the degradation of a pollutant occurs at standard pressure and temperature, biotrickling filtration, whether compared with other more energy-demanding chemical-physical processes of abatement (such as scrubbing, catalytic oxidation, regenerative adsorption, incineration, advanced oxidation processes, etc.), represents a very high energy-efficient technology. Moreover, as an additional advantage, biodegradation offers the possibility of a complete mineralization of the polluting agents. In this work, biotrickling filtration has been considered in order to explore its efficiency with respect to the abatement of ammonia (which is a highly water-soluble compound). Moreover, a complete mathematical model has been developed in order to describe the dynamics of both absorption and biological activities which are the two dominant phenomena occurring into these systems. The results obtained in this work have shown that the absorption phenomenon is very important in order to define the global removal efficiency of ammonia from the gaseous stream (particularly, 44% of the ammonia is abated by water absorption). Moreover, it has been demonstrated (through the comparison between experimental results and theoretical simulations) that the action of bacteria, which enhance the rate of ammonia transfer to the liquid phase, can be modeled through a simple Michaelis-Menten relationship.