residential heating
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2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (12) ◽  
pp. 2573
Dana Hubelova ◽  
Vit Ulmann ◽  
Pavel Mikuska ◽  
Roman Licbinsky ◽  
Lukas Alexa ◽  

A total of 152 aerosol and spider web samples were collected: 96 spider’s webs in karst areas in 4 European countries (Czech Republic, France, Italy, and Slovakia), specifically from the surface environment (n = 44), photic zones of caves (n = 26), and inside (aphotic zones) of caves (n = 26), 56 Particulate Matter (PM) samples from the Sloupsko-Sosuvsky Cave System (speleotherapy facility; n = 21) and from aerosol collected from the nearby city of Brno (n = 35) in the Czech Republic. Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) were isolated from 13 (13.5%) spider’s webs: 5 isolates of saprophytic NTM (Mycobacterium gordonae, M. kumamotonense, M. terrae, and M. terrae complex) and 6 isolates of potentially pathogenic NTM (M. avium ssp. hominissuis, M. fortuitum, M. intracellulare, M. peregrinum and M. triplex). NTM were not isolated from PM collected from cave with the speleotherapy facility although mycobacterial DNA was detected in 8 (14.3%) samples. Temperature (8.2 °C, range 8.0–8.4 °C) and relative humidity (94.7%, range 93.6–96.6%) of air in this cave were relatively constant. The average PM2.5 and PM10 mass concentration was 5.49 µg m−3 and 11.1 µg m−3. Analysed anions (i.e., F−, Cl−, NO2−, SO42−, PO43− and NO3−) originating largely from the burning of wood and coal for residential heating in nearby villages in the surrounding area. The air in the caves with speleotherapy facilities should be monitored with respect to NTM, PM and anions to ensure a safe environment.

Bernadett NAGY ◽  
Ádám CSUVÁR ◽  
Alexander TITOV

We selected the rural region of Koppány Valley in Hungary to investigate the residents’ natural gas use practices. Natural gas can be a feasible alternative for improving the quality of life in rural areas. The study’s aims were to look at the social, economic, and environmental facets of residential gas use in order to assist regional planning decisions in our selected rural area that would encourage efficiency and energy source switchover. The variables were collected using a quota-based sampling system survey. We chose to use binomial logistic regression model to ex-amine the explanatory variables’ significance. The higher the settlement scale in our data, the more likely it is that gas will be used. Residents who do not trust their mayor have a lower chance of using gas. When compared to insulated homes, non-insulated houses are less likely to use gas. Higher education level, pensioner category, and whether the individual accepts that bio-gas has environmental benefits are not significant categories. Therefore, residential heating technology is more likely to be supply-driven, than demand-driven. We would suggest the application of subsidies for heating equipment replacement, in combination with educational campaigns, in addition to establishing a higher degree of trust in their mayors.

2021 ◽  
Erin Flanagan ◽  
Ebba Malmqvist ◽  
Ralf Rittner ◽  
Peik Gustafsson ◽  
Karin Källén ◽  

Abstract Evidence of air pollution exposure, namely, ambient particulate matter (PM), during pregnancy and an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children is growing. Which PM sources contribute to this association is currently unknown, however. The aim of the present study was to investigate local source-specific ambient PM exposure and its association with ASD. A cohort of 48,571 singleton births from 1999 to 2009 in Scania, Sweden, was combined with data on locally emitted PM with an aerodynamic diameter <2.5 µm (PM2.5). A flat, two-dimensional dispersion model was used to model PM2.5 exposure (all-source PM2.5, tailpipe exhaust, vehicle wear-and-tear, and small-scale residential heating- mainly wood burning) at the residential address. Associations were analyzed using binary logistic regression in partially and fully adjusted models. Clear associations were observed between PM2.5 and ASD, with statistical significance for all investigated sources in the partially adjusted model. In the fully adjusted model, only all-source PM2.5 was statistically significant. The results add to existing evidence that exposure to air pollution during pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk for ASD among children. Further, these findings suggest that locally emitted tailpipe exhaust, vehicle wear-and-tear, and small-scale residential heating all contribute to this association.

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