In the past decade, there has been an increase in the collaboration between Institutions of Higher Learning from one country to another. The scope of these collaborations and agreements can vary widely. However, one issue that needs to be addressed in all cases is the need to provide services related to health and safety of all personnel and assure protection of the local environment. This paper attempts to start a dialogue about these issues between environmental, health, and safety (EHS) professionals and faculty and administration of the entities involved. It presents a series of questions that must be asked whose answers will lead to the identification of the potential EHS issues that could arise. These will provide the opportunity to identify the actions that must be taken to eliminate or mitigate the potential issues. It is critical that these issues be identified and addressed during the development stage and not after agreements have been reached and collaborations started.
Since 2003, The UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) has started programs for the prevention of mercury pollution, a problem that threatens our environment and public health on a global scale. UNEP is also heavily involved in negotiations between governments as we approach the establishment of this treaty in 2013. The major issue in this discussion revolves around the regulation of the use of mercury in products and manufacturing processes, and the importance of creating an inventory throughout that process.As we move forward, wide-scale restrictions are going to be enacted regarding the import and export of mercury between nations. As the only mercury recycling operation in Japan, here we want to introduce, in detail, the flow of Nomura Kohsan's mercury recycling technologies in order to aid other nations in the prevention of environmental pollution. One of these technologies to roasting detachment recycles mercury from fluorescent lamps, a common source of lamps used around the world, in order to produce cullet for industrial use. We would also like to discuss another one of our technologies that enables us to extract mercury, zinc, manganese, Iron, and other elements from dry-cell batteries, another common household item. They are necessary things to live a modern life for people, but they contain various toxic substances. We would appreciate it if you refer to this report in order to avoid environmental pollution risk at disposal of them.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction from the campus is of considerable concern for every university across the world. In response to this concern, Kyoto University commenced an experimental project involving the use of regional renewable energy including wood pellets made of forest thinning for an air conditioning (AC) system in 2011. The aim of this study was to clarify the effects of the energy savings, GHG reduction, and energy cost of this regional renewable energy. Uji-North Bldg. No. 4, one of the buildings in the Uji campus in Kyoto University, was selected as the object building. Wood pellets and solar heat were used as the regional renewable energy sources. A pellet fired absorption heater chiller (PF-AHC), and a solar heating absorption heater chiller (SH-AHC) using urban gas as supplemental fuel, were introduced in conjunction with an air-cooled heat pump chiller (AC-HPC). This configuration, referred to as ‘the renewable AC system', was compared to ‘the previous AC system' using only a direct-fired absorption heater chiller between FY2005 and FY2009. Our results show that the renewable AC system reduced 50.8% of fossil energy consumption, 52.8% of CO2 emission, and 36.9% of energy cost compared to the previous AC system. The AC system operations in summer had more impact on these results than winter operation, because the cooling load accounted for 72.9% of the annual load. PF-AHC and SH-AHC (SH), which used renewable energy sources, contributed to only 7.4% of annual CO2 emission while they supplied 16.9% of the annual cooling and heating load. However, our analysis also implies that PF-AHC must be managed carefully because the cost of wood pellets created a trade-off relationship between environmental and economical aspects. Going forward, optimal planning of summer operations of the renewable AC system will be considered.
The objective of this study is to clarify the characteristics of dioxins discharged from liquid organic waste incineration facilities at Nagasaki University. The dioxin concentrations in flue gas, burned ash, and discharged water generated at the facilities were measured once a year and data for 13 years were analyzed. Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DL-PCBs), which have non-zero toxic equivalency factors (TEF), were selected as important dioxins, and toxic equivalent quantities (TEQ) were calculated using the TEF of 29 congeners. Although the amount of liquid organic waste at the university increased by approximately 1.6 times over the investigation term, it was confirmed that the TEQ values were much lower than the corresponding waste standards, even when the data from 2005, in which there was an accident that caused incineration to be stopped, was included. Considering the flue gas only, the TEQ value for 2005 was much higher than for other years. It is thought that the combustion temperature during the accident gave rise to conditions conductive to the generation of dioxins. It was shown that dioxin concentrations did not clearly correlate with the concentrations of monitored compounds. The contribution pattern of the 29 congeners to the dioxin concentration in the flue gas was very similar to that of the burned ash, although the profile of the discharged water was quite different. Unlike in the case of the concentration profile, it was found that the TEQ profile was almost the same for all sample types. The profile of the main dioxin congeners was compared with a previous report that considered the use of an indicative congener. This showed that the TEQ values of the flue gas and the burned ash estimated using only the indicative congener were near to the normal TEQ values if 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF was detected and more than 14 kinds of congeners were detected.
This study reviewed the reports of the accidents and the incidents associated with the disposal of chemicals in the University of Tokyo from April 2004 to March 2012 and divided the reports into 6 main categories with 13 subcategories, depending on the situations associated with disposal of chemical wastes. As a result, 78 chemical disposal-associated accident or incident reports were found, which accounted for 23.8% of all the chemical-related accidents and incidents in the university for the 8 years. Among the categories of the process of the disposal of chemicals, the category of the troubles associated with the treatment of chemicals to discard in laboratories had 20 cases, which was the largest in the number of the troubles associated with disposal of chemicals, followed by 12 cases of the category of the troubles associated with the discard of chemical wastes into waste containers or waste cases in laboratories, 11 cases of the category of the troubles during the transports of chemical wastes from laboratories to calling-in points and 10 cases of the category of inadequate discard of chemicals into the sewages in laboratories. As a consequence, 68 cases (87.2%) of the 78 chemical disposal-associated troubles happened in laboratories or during the transport of chemical wastes from laboratories to calling-up points. These results demonstrate the significance of further improvement in the education, the training and the supervising for the members of laboratories regarding the disposal of chemicals.
An ecological risk assessment was undertaken of the aquatic ecosystem at the Leichhardt River, Mount Isa to assess the effects of metal or metalloid contamination of the Leichhardt River, from residual contamination of mine sediments largely resulting from mine practices in the 1940's. The assessment of sediments in the Leichhardt River involved comparison of the concentrations of heavy metals and metalloids with the ANZECC/ARMCANZ (2000) interim sediment quality guidelines (ISQGs). Results of the ecological risk assessment indicated that all sites including the background site exceeded one or both the ISQG-High and ISQG-Low trigger values based on total concentrations. A lesser number of sites exceeded the ISQG-Low trigger values once the 1 M hydrochloric acid extract was used as an indication of bioavailability. To assess the significance of the exceedances of the ANZECC ISQG trigger levels, a toxicity assessment was undertaken using aquatic macroinvertebrate species. The test results indicated that only the zone of sediment in the Leichhardt River within Mount Isa city and adjacent to the Velodrome (Sites 3 and 4), associated with acidic sediment from oxidised sulfide mineralisation and elevated metal and metalloid concentrations had potential to be toxic to aquatic biota and required further assessment. However, all sites where sediments exceeded the ANZECC ISQG-Low trigger required toxicity assessment. Only Sites 3 and 4 exhibited sediment toxicity with both aquatic test species. Following completion of the Leichhardt River Remediation Project in May 2008 further ecological risk assessment of sediment was undertaken with test organisms. The ecotoxicity testing of the remediated Leichhardt River sediment showed no further effects to test species and indicated that the remediation of sediment within the city area was completed satisfactorily.
On-site real-time measurements may be one of the most useful methods to estimate Hg pollution levels at mercury-contaminated sites. However, there are very few reports that estimate the reliability of real-time mercury measurements across a wide concentration range. We performed real-time measurement of atmospheric mercury in a small-scale gold mining (SSGM) area contaminated with mercury and compared results with data obtained by conventional sampling methods. On-site real-time atmospheric mercury analysis was conducted at 12 locations in the Cikaniki River Basin, West Java, Indonesia, in July 2011 and February 2012 using an EMP-2 Mercury Analyzer (NIC, Tokyo, Japan). Temporal variations in atmospheric elemental mercury (Hg0) concentrations were recorded at each location, and atmospheric Hg0 was simultaneously collected by conventional methods using a mercury collector tube (Hgtube) and KMnO4 solution (HgMn). The concentrations of atmospheric mercury collected by the conventional methods ranged from 0.17 to 36 μg m−3 (n=19), while that obtained by the real-time measurement (Hgreal-time) ranged from <0.1 to 38 μg m (n=19). Although the concentration of atmospheric mercury at each location varied widely over time, the median Hgreal-time values for a given sampling time were linearly related to Hgtube and HgMn (r2 =0.95, n=19, p<0.01) with a slope value of 0.99. The analysis showed that atmospheric Hg0 concentrations at SSGM sites contaminated with mercury can be quantitatively estimated by real-time measurements.