Other affiliations: Queen's University, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, St. John's University
Bio: Tahir Husain is an academic researcher from Memorial University of Newfoundland. The author has contributed to research in topics: Air quality index & Fly ash. The author has an hindex of 25, co-authored 137 publications receiving 3649 citations. Previous affiliations of Tahir Husain include Queen's University & King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: An analysis of the site restoration techniques that may be employed in a variety of contaminated site cleanup programs and the important parameters that will help in the selection and implementation of one or more appropriate technologies in a defined set of site and contaminant characteristics.
Abstract: This paper presents an analysis of the site restoration techniques that may be employed in a variety of contaminated site cleanup programs. It is recognized that no single specific technology may be considered as a panacea for all contaminated site problems. An easy-to-use summary of the analysis of the important parameters that will help in the selection and implementation of one or more appropriate technologies in a defined set of site and contaminant characteristics is also included.
TL;DR: This paper aims to review the state of research on heavy metals in drinking water in developing countries; understand their types and variability, sources, exposure, possible health effects, and removal; and analyze the factors contributing to heavy metalsIn drinking water.
Abstract: Heavy metals in drinking water pose a threat to human health. Populations are exposed to heavy metals primarily through water consumption, but few heavy metals can bioaccumulate in the human body (e.g., in lipids and the gastrointestinal system) and may induce cancer and other risks. To date, few thousand publications have reported various aspects of heavy metals in drinking water, including the types and quantities of metals in drinking water, their sources, factors affecting their concentrations at exposure points, human exposure, potential risks, and their removal from drinking water. Many developing countries are faced with the challenge of reducing human exposure to heavy metals, mainly due to their limited economic capacities to use advanced technologies for heavy metal removal. This paper aims to review the state of research on heavy metals in drinking water in developing countries; understand their types and variability, sources, exposure, possible health effects, and removal; and analyze the factors contributing to heavy metals in drinking water. This study identifies the current challenges in developing countries, and future research needs to reduce the levels of heavy metals in drinking water.
TL;DR: Overall water quality for agriculture use observed an improving trend at all the three sites studied, and quadratic trend models were a better fit than the linear models for most of the sites and water uses.
Abstract: Water quality indices (WQIs) have been developed to assess the suitability of water for a variety of uses. These indices reflect the status of water quality in lakes, streams, rivers, and reservoirs. The concept of WQIs is based on a comparison of the concentration of contaminants with the respective environmental standards. The number, frequency, and magnitude by which the environmental standards for specific variables are not met in a given time period are reflected in WQIs. Further, the water quality trend analysis predicts the behavior of the water quality parameters and overall water quality in the time domain. In this paper, the concept of WQI was applied to three selected watersheds of Atlantic region: the Mersey River, the Point Wolfe River, and the Dunk River sites. To have robust study, two different water quality indices are used: Canadian Water Quality Index (CWQI), and British Columbia Water Quality Index (BWQI). The complete study was conducted in two steps. The first step was to organize and process the data into a format compatible with WQI analysis. After processing the input data, the WQI was calculated. The second step outlined in the paper discusses detailed trend analysis using linear and quadratic models for all the three sites. As per the 25 years trend analysis, overall water quality for agriculture use observed an improving trend at all the three sites studied. Water quality for raw water used for drinking (prior to treatment) and aquatic uses has shown improving trend at Point Wolfe River. It is further observed that pH, SO4, and NO3 concentrations are improving at Dunk River, Mersey River, and Point Wolfe River sites. To ascertain the reliability and significance of the trend analysis, a detailed error analysis and parametric significance tests were also conducted It was observed that for most of the sites and water uses quadratic trend models were a better fit than the linear models.
TL;DR: In this article, the shape and scale parameters of a Weibull density distribution function were calculated for 10 locations in Saudi Arabia and the daily mean wind speed data from 1970 to mid-1990 were used for this purpose.
Abstract: The shape and scale parameters of a Weibull density distribution function are calculated for 10 locations in Saudi Arabia. The daily mean wind speed data from 1970 to mid-1990 are used for this purpose. It is found that the numerical values of the shape parameter vary between 1.7 and 2.7, whereas the value of the scale parameter is found to vary between 3 and 6. It is also concluded from this study that wind data are very well represented by the Weibull distribution function.
TL;DR: In this paper, a new index named Safety Weighted Hazard Index (SWeHI) was proposed to measure the impact of safety measures on the values of the hazard indices, which can be used to identify the more hazardous units from the less hazardous ones so that greater attention can be paid to the former.
Abstract: Indices are extensively used for ranking various units of a chemical process industry on the basis of the hazards they pose of accidental fires, explosions and/or toxic release. This type of ranking enables the professionals to identify the more hazardous units from the less hazardous ones so that greater attention can be paid to the former. The available indices—including the well-known Dow and Mond indices, and the author's HIRA (hazard identification and ranking analysis, Khan and Abbasi, 1 )—rank chemical process units mainly in terms of the hazardous substances and operating conditions associated with the concerned units. Dow and Mond indices do consider some factors (‘off setting index values’ in the case of the Mond Index and ‘credits factor’ in the case of the Dow index) to account for the safety measures existing or planned in the unit, but much greater rigour, accuracy, and precision are needed in quantifying the impact of safety measures on the values of the hazard indices. In this context, an attempt has been made to develop a new index, named here the Safety Weighted Hazard Index (SWeHI). The details are presented in this paper.
TL;DR: A case study explores the background of the digitization project, the practices implemented, and the critiques of the project, which aims to provide access to a plethora of information to EPA employees, scientists, and researchers.
Abstract: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides access to information on a variety of topics related to the environment and strives to inform citizens of health risks. The EPA also has an extensive library network that consists of 26 libraries throughout the United States, which provide access to a plethora of information to EPA employees, scientists, and researchers. The EPA implemented a reorganization project to digitize their materials so they would be more accessible to a wider range of users, but this plan was drastically accelerated when the EPA was threatened with a budget cut. It chose to close and reduce the hours and services of some of their libraries. As a result, the agency was accused of denying users the “right to know” by making information unavailable, not providing an adequate strategic plan, and discarding vital materials. This case study explores the background of the digitization project, the practices implemented, and the critiques of the project.
TL;DR: Although vector-borne diseases will expand their reach and death tolls, especially among elderly people, will increase because of heatwaves, the indirect effects of climate change on water, food security, and extreme climatic events are likely to have the biggest effect on global health.
Abstract: Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. Effects of climate change on health will affect most populations in the next decades and put the lives and wellbeing of billions of people at increased risk. During this century, earthﾒs average surface temperature rises are likely to exceed the safe threshold of 2ﾰC above preindustrial average temperature. Rises will be greater at higher latitudes, with medium-risk scenarios predicting 2ﾖ3ﾰC rises by 2090 and 4ﾖ5ﾰC rises in northern Canada, Greenland, and Siberia. In this report, we have outlined the major threatsﾗboth direct and indirectﾗto global health from climate change through changing patterns of disease, water and food insecurity, vulnerable shelter and human settlements, extreme climatic events, and population growth and migration. Although vector-borne diseases will expand their reach and death tolls, especially among elderly people, will increase because of heatwaves, the indirect effects of climate change on water, food security, and extreme climatic events are likely to have the biggest effect on global health.
TL;DR: It is proved that the problem of finding the configuration that maximizes mutual information is NP-complete, and a polynomial-time approximation is described that is within (1-1/e) of the optimum by exploiting the submodularity of mutual information.
Abstract: When monitoring spatial phenomena, which can often be modeled as Gaussian processes (GPs), choosing sensor locations is a fundamental task. There are several common strategies to address this task, for example, geometry or disk models, placing sensors at the points of highest entropy (variance) in the GP model, and A-, D-, or E-optimal design. In this paper, we tackle the combinatorial optimization problem of maximizing the mutual information between the chosen locations and the locations which are not selected. We prove that the problem of finding the configuration that maximizes mutual information is NP-complete. To address this issue, we describe a polynomial-time approximation that is within (1-1/e) of the optimum by exploiting the submodularity of mutual information. We also show how submodularity can be used to obtain online bounds, and design branch and bound search procedures. We then extend our algorithm to exploit lazy evaluations and local structure in the GP, yielding significant speedups. We also extend our approach to find placements which are robust against node failures and uncertainties in the model. These extensions are again associated with rigorous theoretical approximation guarantees, exploiting the submodularity of the objective function. We demonstrate the advantages of our approach towards optimizing mutual information in a very extensive empirical study on two real-world data sets.
TL;DR: Investigation of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in China found that heavy metals may be mainly derived from metal processing, electroplating industries, industrial wastewater, and domestic sewage, and Hg may also originate from coal combustion.
Abstract: The concentrations of heavy metals (Cr, Cd, Hg, Cu, Zn, Pb and As) in the water, sediment, and fish were investigated in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China. Potential ecological risk analysis of sediment heavy metal concentrations indicated that six sites in the middle reach, half of the sites in the lower reach, and two sites in lakes, posed moderate or considerable ecological risk. Health risk analysis of individual heavy metals in fish tissue indicated safe levels for the general population and for fisherman but, in combination, there was a possible risk in terms of total target hazard quotients. Correlation analysis and PCA found that heavy metals (Hg, Cd, Pb, Cr, Cu, and Zn) may be mainly derived from metal processing, electroplating industries, industrial wastewater, and domestic sewage. Hg may also originate from coal combustion. Significant positive correlations between TN and As were observed.
TL;DR: In this article, a comprehensive assessment indicates that chemical stabilization serves as a temporary soil remediation technique, phytoremediation needs improvement in efficiency, surface capping and landfilling are applicable to small, serious-contamination sites, while solidification and vitrification are the last remediation option.
Abstract: Globally there are over 20millionha of land contaminated by the heavy metal(loid)s As, Cd, Cr, Hg, Pb, Co, Cu, Ni, Zn, and Se, with the present soil concentrations higher than the geo-baseline or regulatory levels. In-situ and ex-situ remediation techniques have been developed to rectify the heavy metal-contaminated sites, including surface capping, encapsulation, landfilling, soil flushing, soil washing, electrokinetic extraction, stabilization, solidification, vitrification, phytoremediation, and bioremediation. These remediation techniques employ containment, extraction/removal, and immobilization mechanisms to reduce the contamination effects through physical, chemical, biological, electrical, and thermal remedy processes. These techniques demonstrate specific advantages, disadvantages, and applicability. In general, in-situ soil remediation is more cost-effective than ex-situ treatment, and contaminant removal/extraction is more favorable than immobilization and containment. Among the available soil remediation techniques, electrokinetic extraction, chemical stabilization, and phytoremediation are at the development stage, while the others have been practiced at full, field scales. Comprehensive assessment indicates that chemical stabilization serves as a temporary soil remediation technique, phytoremediation needs improvement in efficiency, surface capping and landfilling are applicable to small, serious-contamination sites, while solidification and vitrification are the last remediation option. The cost and duration of soil remediation are technique-dependent and site-specific, up to $500ton-1 soil (or $1500m-3 soil or $100m-2 land) and 15years. Treatability studies are crucial to selecting feasible techniques for a soil remediation project, with considerations of the type and degree of contamination, remediation goals, site characteristics, cost effectiveness, implementation time, and public acceptability.