Tag Archives: AJAB Special Issue 2018

Water quality of roof runoff in sub-urban Malaysia

Siti Nadzifah Ghazali1, 2*, Fazrul Razman Sulaiman2

1Faculty of Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

2Faculty of Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA Cawangan Pahang, 26400 Jengka, Pahang, Malaysia



The purpose of this study is to investigate the composition of roof runoff pollutants and to determine the relationships between pollutants and seasons (wet and dry) from two commonly used roof types in Jengka, Pahang. Rainwater was collected from galvanized and ceramic roof runoff. The sampling regime was done in two different seasons; between November 2014- February 2015 (wet) and March-May 2015 (dry). A total of 60 rainwater samples were analysed for temperature, pH, EC, DO and selected heavy metals (Fe and Zn). Zn and Fe are higher in galvanized roof (Zn: 0.05 ± 0.11 mg/L, Fe: 0.06 ± 0.13 mg/L) compare to those in ceramic roof (Zn: 0.001 ± 0.00 mg/L, Fe: 0.01 ± 0.02 mg/L). There were no significant differences of metal elements found between wet and dry seasons (p>0.05). The concentrations of metal elements in the harvested rainwater are lower than the permitted heavy metal concentration limitation if to be used as drinking water. All water quality parameters from galvanized and ceramic roofs runoff in this study matched the drinking water guidelines proposed by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia and safe to be used for the domestic purposes.

 Keywords: Harvested rainwater, Water quality, Heavy metal, Runoff water

The evaluation of toluene and xylene exposure and work ability among fishermen in Rayong province, Thailand

Srirat Lormphongs

Department of Industrial Hygiene and Safety, Faculty of Public Health, Burapha University Chonburi Province, Thailand



The fisherman who are exposed to toluene and xylene on a daily basis from the petrol used in the combustible engines of their small fishing boats. The fishermen must go out to sea since early dawn and return in the late evening, and relatively little to no use of any protective equipment or apparatus to provide an occupationally safe breathing system. The study group of 120 fishermen had a mean age of 44.98 years. 81.6% worked less than or equal to 7 hours per day. During a full work week, 68.0% worked 7 days per week. Out of all responses, 0.8% always used respiratory protection; of those who used protection only used cotton masks. When the fishermen finished working for the day, more than 30% of the study group showed symptoms of adverse health effects including headache, body fatigue, fatigue only in arms and legs, and coughing. Most of them had workability at a good level (69.2%). Air samples were measured by individual “Organic Vapor Monitors (3M 3500)” attached to the lapel of each study group subject. Results of the study group (n=120) showed average ± SD Toluene level of 29.61 ± 53.934 ppb and Xylene 248.86 ± 41.635 ppb. Urine samples were collected after the work shift. Results of urine samples (n=120) showed average + SD level of Hippuric acid at 391.47 ± 391.305 mg/g creatinine and Methylhippuric acid was 73.04 ± 178.053 mg/g creatinine. The relationship between toluene, xylene, hippuric acid, methylhippuric acid and workability of the study group showed to be not significant. There should be concern about organized training and education to provide knowledge and understanding of the hazardous working environment.

 Keywords: Toluene, Xylene, Workability, Fishermen, Rayong

The used of dragon fruit peels as eco-friendly wastewater coagulants


Sharifah Norkhadijah Syed Ismail *, Nur Azlin Kather Mahiddin, Sarva Mangala Praveena



Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400, Serdang, Malaysia.









Background: Coagulation and flocculation has been widely adopted as one of the most effective methods to remove colloidal particles in water or wastewater.

Objectives: To explore the potential of dragon fruit peels as coagulants through removal level of turbidity, total dissolved solids (TDS) and total suspended solids (TSS) from wastewater. 

Methodology: Dragon fruit purple pink fleshed (DFPP) and dragon fruit white fleshed (DFPW) were applied to the leachate at several dosages (10 to 90 mg/l) using standard jar test method and sedimentation times were recorded. Turbidity, TDS and TSS were measured using meter.

Results and Discussion: DFPW removed 67% of turbidity, 69% of TDS and 36% of TSS at optimum dosage of 90 mg/L.  DFPP removed 60% of turbidity and 23% of TSS at an optimum dosage of 50 mg/L and 65% TDS at optimum dosage of 90 mg/L.  The percentage of removal increased with the sedimentation time but not significant difference between DFPs.

Conclusion: DFPs is potential to be used as eco-friendly wastewater coagulant.

 Keywords: Wastewater, turbidity, TDS, TSS, coagulation-flocculation, dragon fruit peel

The association between noise, work stress and coping with sleep quality among cable manufacturing workers


Irniza Rasdi*, Fara Fadila Fadzil



Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor









Poor sleep quality has been found previously to cause various negative outcome among workers. There are many factors which may influence sleep quality which include noise and work stress. This is the first study aims to explore the association between three factors; noise, work stress and coping strategies and sleep quality among manufacturing workers. This study employed cross-sectional study design involving 140 cable manufacturing workers who were recruited via simple random sampling. The Malay-version Stress Overload Scale (SOS) was used to measure stress overload. Coping strategies was assessed via Coping Strategy Indicator (CSI) and sleep quality was estimated by using Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). All respondents were male and most of them were Malay, married and working as machine operator. Results showed that at least 50% of the subject were exposed to the noise level of more than 86.83 dB (A).  Majority of respondents (89.3%) had poor sleep quality and experienced low level of stress (77.9%). Higher level of all components of work stress (r =0.18-0.22) and higher level of being avoidance as a coping strategy (r = 0.26) were found to be significantly correlated with poorer sleep quality. However, noise was not found to be a significant factor of sleep quality. The present findings suggested that work stress and coping were the dominant determinants for sleep quality which helps in prioritizing intervention strategies to improve sleep quality among respondents.

 Keywords: Noise, Work Stress, Coping, Sleep Quality, Manufacturing Workers

Spatial distribution of knowledge, attitude and practice on leptospirosis prevention and its predictors using stratum risk identification methods among residents in a flood prone area in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

Edre M.A.1,2,  Hayati K.S.*2, Salmiah M.S.2, Sharifah Nor khadijah S.I.3

1Trainee Lecturer, Department of Community Medicine, Kulliyyah of Medicine, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

2Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

3Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia



Leptospirosis is a preventable zoonosis of public health importance. Due to seasonal floods and paucity of studies regarding leptospirosis preventive practices in community setting in this country, a study was conducted to determine spatial distribution of knowledge, attitude and practice on leptospirosis preventive practices using stratum risk identification methods among residents in a flood prone area in Kuantan via Geographical Information System (GIS). A cross-sectional study was conducted in Perkampungan Sungai Isap, Kuantan, Pahang, which obtained 568 respondents by stratified proportionate random sampling technique. Data were collected using a validated guided questionnaire. Geographical coordinates were obtained using Garmin gpsmap 62s. Multivariate logistic regression was done using SPSS version 22.0 and spatial mapping using ArcGIS version 9. The response rate was 83.4%. Flood-risk strata were divided into high risk (less than 500 metres), medium risk (500 to 1000 metres) and low risk (more than 1000 metres). Linear measurements were made using ArcMap. Overall, majority (68%) of the respondents had good knowledge. However, only 38% of the respondents had satisfactory attitude and 18% had satisfactory practice. Spatial mapping showed that the lower the stratum risk towards flooding, the poorer the preventive practices. Multivariate logistic regression showed the predictors of satisfactory leptospirosis preventive practices were high-risk stratum (aOR=4.28, 95% CI [1.92, 9.57], P<0.001), good knowledge (aOR=1.73, 95% CI [1.04, 2.90], P<0.05) and age group 30 to 39 (aOR=0.30, 95% CI [0.11, 0.83], P<0.05).  In conclusion, GIS is a valuable tool for leptospirosis surveillance by facilitating disease prevention programmes to targeted risk areas.

 Keywords: Leptospirosis, Preventive Practices, Stratum Risk Identification, GIS.

Isolation and identification of mold from naturally ventilated preschools in urban and suburban area in Selangor


Onwusereaka Cynthia Oluchi, Juliana Jalaludin*



Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia













Mold includes airborne particles of biological origin. Exposure to mold in damp buildings has been associated with the risk of experiencing health problem. Children may be exposed to mold spores through the respiratory tract, when they inhale or through skin contact. This study is a comparative cross-sectional study which was carried out in Malay preschools. A total of 270 respondents and 12 preschools from both locations (Puchong and Hulu Langat) were involved in this study. This study aimed at identifying different types of fungi present in selected preschools in Selangor. Indoor isolation of fungi was done using an instrument known as PBI Duos SAS Super 360™bioaerosol sampler and Sabouraud dextrous agar (SDA) was used for the cultivation and identification of mold in selected preschools. Mold colonies were represented as colony forming units (CFU m3). Further identification of fungi was done based on their macroscopic and microscopic characteristics. Total of 12 preschools and 36 houses were selected to participate in this study. Mold isolated from preschools in study and comparative area include; Candida albican, Aspergillus niger, Microsporium canis and Penicillium notatum. Analysis has shown a significant difference between mold level which were isolated in industrial and suburban preschools (p<0.05) for preschools and homes sampled. In conclusion, this study found that indoor exposure to mold were higher among preschools in the urban area than those in suburban area. Water damaged materials provide a good environment for the growth and multiplication of mold.



 Keywords: Mold, Indoor Air Quality, Preschools.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) characteristics and its microbial community identifications at two selected schools in Pahang, Malaysia: a preliminary study

Hizrri A1, Zati Nabilah MG1, Nurul Amni Z1, Shahida N1, Maryam Z1, Hazrin AH1,






Mohd Faez S1, Mohd Shukri MA1*


1Department of Biotechnology, Kulliyyah of Science, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuantan Campus, Pahang, Malaysia





It is important to assess IAQ characteristics and to identify possible microbial contaminants in schools’ indoor environment because children are more vulnerable to air pollutants as they inhale more air pollutants per kilograms of body weight. Hence, this study aims to assess and to compare the level of selected IAQ parameters and microbiological contaminants inside the classroom of schools in urban area and rural area during occupied and non-occupied period. This study also aims to identify airborne bacteria species and fungi genera within classroom of schools in those area. For methodology of the study, schools were selected based on their location. School X (SX) was located in Kuantan, Pahang, while school Y (SY) was located in Pekan, Pahang. The physical IAQ parameters (Temperature, Relative Humidity (RH), Carbon Dioxide (CO2) were measured using VelociCalc® Multi-Function Ventilation Meter 9565 (TSI®, Minnesota, USA), and airborne particulate matter (PM) were measured using DustMate (Turnkey Instruments, UK). Surface Air System Indoor Air Quality (SAS IAQ), (PBI International, Italy) was used to collect the microbial contaminants and subsequently CFU were counted. The data were recorded for 30 minutes for each time-slot for 8 hours during occupied and non-occupied period within selected classrooms. Bacteria identification was done using 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and fungi were identified macroscopically through direct identification technique up to genus level. The results were compared to standard reference limit based on Industrial Code of Practice on Indoor Air Quality (ICOP, 2010) regulated by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH, 2005). This study found that temperature (SX, Occupied; 34.9±3.9, Non-Occupied; 32.8±0.7), (SY, Occupied; 30.7±0.2, Non-Occupied; 30.6±0.5), RH (SY, Occupied; 74.4±2.9, Non-Ocupied; 70.05±1.0) and bacterial CFU counts (SX, Occupied; 558±308), (SY; Occupied; 903±415, Non-Occupied; 1176±303) exceeded the standard limit regulated by DOSH. Number of gram-negative bacteria dominated over gram-positive bacteria in both settings. Bacillus sp. (B. atrophaeus, B. subtilis, B. pumilus, B. altitudinis. B. tequilensis, and B. aerophilus) were the most dominant species, followed by Staphylococcus sp. (S. warneri, S. sciuri, S. haemolyticus, and S. gallinarum). The common fungal species isolated in both schools during occupied and non-occupied period were Aspergillus, Alternaria, Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Mucor.

 Keywords: Indoor Air Quality, Schools, Bacteria, Fungi

Impact of haze on air quality: SO2 and NO2 levels during 2015 Malaysian haze episode

Nadiah Syafiqah Abdullah*1,2, Latifah Munirah Kamarudin1, Ammar Zakaria1, Ali Yeon Md Shakaff 1

1 Centre of Excellence for Advanced Sensor Technology (CEASTech), Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Malaysia

2 School of Environmental Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Malaysia



Malaysia frequently experienced haze since the 1990s. However, very dense haze episodes rarely happened, especially in the state of Perlis, which located in the northern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. In this study, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations were measured during haze days and non-haze days in October 2015 at two locations, namely; Ulu Pauh (rural area) and Jejawi (semi-rural area) using portable monitors and GSE sensors. Daytime SO2 and NO2 levels were found higher during haze days (Ulu Pauh: 0.25 ppm and 0.07 ppm; Jejawi: 0.31 ppm and 0.08 ppm) compared non-haze days (Ulu Pauh: 0.11 ppm and 0.05 ppm; Jejawi: 0.13 ppm and 0.06 ppm). Different locations displayed distinguishable concentrations of SO2 and NO2 during the dense haze episode in Perlis. 

Keywords: Air quality, Haze, Sulfur dioxide, Nitrogen dioxide, Peninsular Malaysia

Hot-spot and cluster analysis on legal and illegal dumping sites as the contributors of leptospirosis in a flood hazard area in Pahang, Malaysia

Hayati K.S.*1, Sharifah Norkhadijah S.I.2, Salmiah M.S.1, Edre M.A.1,3 and Khin T.D.1

1Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

2Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor

3Trainee Lecturer, Department of Community Medicine, Kulliyah of Medicine, International Islamic University, Kuantan, Pahang



Background: Leptospirosis is one of the zoonotic diseases which pose major public health issues worldwide. The spread of leptospirosis depends on the climate conditions as well as environmental conditions.

Methods: The cases of leptospirosis were determined by using database obtained from Ministry of Health, Malaysia. Case cluster and hot spot analysis within Geographical Information System (GIS) were done using ArcGIS version 9.3. Level of significance was set at alpha= 0.05.

Results: Most of the cases were at the centre Pahang located along the flood hazard stream. Cluster analysis indicated that cases were mostly clustered near illegal and legal dumping sites. The outliers were Jerantut, Maran, Pekan, and Rompin in both maps (p<0.05). The hot spot analysis obtained an obvious trend in the legal dumping compared to the illegal dumping. The hot spot area was found in the middle of Pahang such as in Jerantut, Temerloh, Maran, Pekan, and Rompin.

Conclusions Increasing flood risk, poor sanitation and abundance of rats are conditions that trigger leptospirosis outbreaks. Interventions are therefore needed, targeting at environmental sources of transmission namely open legal and illegal dumping sites as well as flooding in flood hazard areas. A refined waste management system is needed to control the spread of the disease.

 Keywords: Illegal and legal dumping sites, flood hazard areas, hot spot analysis, cluster analysis

Examining the state of OSH in Jordan



Ghani Albaali1*, Ghafoor Al Saidi2

1Department of Environment Technology and Management, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Amman, Jordan

2King Talal Faculty of Business and Technology, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Amman, Jordan



This work addresses the issue of a significant number of work related accidents and injuries in Jordan. It does so by understanding the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) situation in the country through the presentation and examination of the available records and numbers for these accidents and injuries. It was found in this work that only a part of Jordan’s work accidents and injuries are being reported and recorded, while many of the country’s workers are not covered by such records. The study’s main findings showed that in the year 2010, the country suffered around 37 work injuries every day, and one worker died every 200 occurring work accidents. About half of the recorded work accidents took place in the industrial sector. The research helped in understanding how work safety conditions can be improved by presenting measures and advices.

 Keywords: Occupational safety and health, Management system, Safety risks