Publications by authors named "Amirhossein Nikfal"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Assessment of the association between dust storms and COVID-19 infection rate in southwest Iran.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2022 May 21;29(24):36392-36411. Epub 2022 Jan 21.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nazarbayev University, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, 010000.

This study assesses a plausible correlation between a dust intrusion episode and a daily increase in COVID-19 cases. A surge in COVID-19 cases was observed a few days after a Middle East Dust (MED) event that peaked on 25 April 2020 in southwest Iran. To investigate potential causal factors for the spike in number of cases, cross-correlations between daily combined aerosol optical depths (AODs) and confirmed cases were computed for Khuzestan, Iran. Additionally, atmospheric stability data time series were assessed by covering before, during, and after dust intrusion, producing four statistically clustered distinct city groups. Groups 1 and 2 had different peak lag times of 10 and 4-5 days, respectively. Since there were statistically significant associations between AOD levels and confirmed cases in both groups, dust incursion may have increased population susceptibility to COVID-19 disease. Group 3 was utilized as a control group with neither a significant level of dust incursion during the episodic period nor any significant associations. Group 4 cities, which experienced high dust incursion levels, showed no significant correlation with confirmed case count increases. Random Forest Analysis assessed the influence of wind speed and AOD, showing relative importance of 0.31 and 0.23 on the daily increase percent of confirmed cases, respectively. This study may serve as a reference for better understanding and predicting factors affecting COVID-19 transmission and diffusion routes, focusing on the role of MED intrusions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-18195-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8776378PMC
May 2022

Assessment of potential benefits of traffic and urban mobility reductions during COVID-19 lockdowns: dose-response calculations for material corrosions on built cultural heritage.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2022 Jan 28;29(5):6491-6510. Epub 2021 Aug 28.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Digital Sciences, Environment and Resource Efficiency Cluster (EREC), Nazarbayev University, Kabanbay Batyr Ave. 53, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, 010000.

Air pollution, particularly in urban areas, puts human health in danger and has adverse impacts on the built environment. It can accelerate the natural corrosion rate of cultural heritages and monuments, leading to premature aging and lowering their aesthetic value. Globally, at the beginning of 2020, to tackle the spread of novel COVID-19, the lockdown was enforced in the most hard-hit countries. Therefore, this study assesses, as a first time, the plausible benefits of traffic and urban mobility reductions on the natural process of deterioration of materials during COVID-19 lockdown in twenty-four major cities on five continents. The potential risk is estimated based on exceeding the tolerable degradation limits for each material. The notable impact of COVID-19 mobility restrictions on air quality was evidenced in 2020 compared to 2019. The introduced mobility restrictions in 2020 could decrease the surface recession rate of materials. Extremely randomized trees analysis showed that PM was the main influencing factor for corrosion of portland, copper, cast bronze, and carbon steel with a relative importance of 0.60, 0.32, 0.90, and 0.64, respectively, while SO and HNO were mainly responsible for corrosion of sandstone and zinc with a relative importance of 0.60 and 0.40, respectively. The globally adverse governed meteorological conditions in 2020 could not positively influence the movement restrictions around the world in air quality improvements. Our findings can highlight the need for additional policies and measures for reducing ambient pollution in cities and the proximity of sensitive cultural heritage to avoid further damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-16078-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8397878PMC
January 2022

Temporal profile of PM and associated health effects in one of the most polluted cities of the world (Ahvaz, Iran) between 2009 and 2014.

Aeolian Res 2016 Sep 20;22:135-140. Epub 2016 Aug 20.

Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Yasuj University of Medical Science, Yasuj, Iran.

Ahvaz, Iran ranks as the most polluted city of the world in terms of PM concentrations that lead to deleterious effects on its inhabitants. This study examines diurnal, weekly, monthly and annual fluctuations of PM between 2009 and 2014 in Ahvaz. Health effects of PM levels are also assessed using the World Health Organization AirQ software. Over the study period, the mean PM level in Ahvaz was 249.5 µg m, with maximum and minimum values in July (420.5 µg m) and January (154.6 µg m), respectively. The cumulative diurnal PM profile exhibits a dominant peak between 08:00-11:00 (local time) with the lowest levels in the afternoon hours. While weekend PM levels are not significantly reduced as compared to weekdays, an anthropogenic signature is instead observed diurnally on weekdays, which exhibit higher PM levels between 07:00-17:00 by an average amount of 14.2 µg m as compared to weekend days. PM has shown a steady mean-annual decline between 2009 (315.2 µg m) and 2014 (143.5 µg m). The AirQ model predicts that mortality was a health outcome for a total of 3777 individuals between 2009 and 2014 (i.e., 630 per year). The results of this study motivate more aggressive strategies in Ahvaz and similarly polluted desert cities to reduce the health effects of the enormous ambient aerosol concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aeolia.2016.08.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5422000PMC
September 2016
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