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Special Issue "Proceedings from the 3rd International Symposium on Environment and Health"

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Jose A. Centeno

Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories, Division of Biology, Chemistry and Materials Science, US Food and Drug Administration, White Oak Campus, Silver Spring, MD 20993, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1-301-796-2487
Interests: environmental toxicology; environmental pathology; medical geology; health effects of trace elements; metals and metalloids

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 3rd International Symposium on Environment and Health (3rd ISEH 2016) conference series provides an internationally leading platform for interaction between scientists, consultants, and public health professionals engaged in the multi-disciplinary areas of environment and public health. The importance of environment and public health is widely recognized in the world, and there is a growing demand for international experts to work collaborative to address a wide range of issues on a multidisciplinary scientific approach which include the integration of emerging and re-emerging field such as medical; geology, environmental geochemistry, toxicology, epidemiology, biomedical research, and public health.. This conference provides an opportunity for a direct communication between international experts working on each of the above aforementioned fields, and helps to foster and develop international collaborations. ISEH 2016 is the 3rd conference in this series, which comes back to NUI Galway in order to build a stronger network

You are invited to submit papers to be presented at the ISEH 2016 Conference http://www.nuigalway.ie/iseh2016/), for publication in the IJERPH (Impact Factor 2.063). This Special Issue will be Guest Edited by Dr. Jose A. Centeno. Participants of this conference will receive a 20% discount on the Article Processing Charges. Papers submitted to this Special Issue of the IJERPH will undergo the standard peer-review procedure. Published papers will be indexed by the SCIE (Web of Science) and PubMed.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jose A. Centeno
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Lithium in Drinking Water and Incidence of Suicide: A Nationwide Individual-Level Cohort Study with 22 Years of Follow-Up
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 627; doi:10.3390/ijerph14060627
Received: 29 April 2017 / Revised: 28 May 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 10 June 2017
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Abstract
Suicide is a major public health concern. High-dose lithium is used to stabilize mood and prevent suicide in patients with affective disorders. Lithium occurs naturally in drinking water worldwide in much lower doses, but with large geographical variation. Several studies conducted at an
[...] Read more.
Suicide is a major public health concern. High-dose lithium is used to stabilize mood and prevent suicide in patients with affective disorders. Lithium occurs naturally in drinking water worldwide in much lower doses, but with large geographical variation. Several studies conducted at an aggregate level have suggested an association between lithium in drinking water and a reduced risk of suicide; however, a causal relation is uncertain. Individual-level register-based data on the entire Danish adult population (3.7 million individuals) from 1991 to 2012 were linked with a moving five-year time-weighted average (TWA) lithium exposure level from drinking water hypothesizing an inverse relationship. The mean lithium level was 11.6 μg/L ranging from 0.6 to 30.7 μg/L. The suicide rate decreased from 29.7 per 100,000 person-years at risk in 1991 to 18.4 per 100,000 person-years in 2012. We found no significant indication of an association between increasing five-year TWA lithium exposure level and decreasing suicide rate. The comprehensiveness of using individual-level data and spatial analyses with 22 years of follow-up makes a pronounced contribution to previous findings. Our findings demonstrate that there does not seem to be a protective effect of exposure to lithium on the incidence of suicide with levels below 31 μg/L in drinking water. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Lithium in the Natural Waters of the South East of Ireland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 561; doi:10.3390/ijerph14060561
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
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Abstract
The South East of Ireland (County Carlow) contains a deposit of the valuable lithium-bearing mineral spodumene (LiAl(SiO3)2). This resource has recently attracted interest and abstractive mining in the area is a possibility for the future. The open cast mining
[...] Read more.
The South East of Ireland (County Carlow) contains a deposit of the valuable lithium-bearing mineral spodumene (LiAl(SiO3)2). This resource has recently attracted interest and abstractive mining in the area is a possibility for the future. The open cast mining of this resource could represent a potential hazard in the form of metalliferous pollution to local water. The population of County Carlow is just under 60,000. The local authority reports that approximately 75.7% of the population’s publicly supplied drinking water is abstracted from surface water and 11.6% from groundwater. In total, 12.7% of the population abstract their water from private groundwater wells. Any potential entry of extraneous metals into the area’s natural waters will have implications for people in county Carlow. It is the goal of this paper to establish background concentrations of lithium and other metals in the natural waters prior to any mining activity. Our sampling protocol totaled 115 sites along five sampling transects, sampled through 2015. From this dataset, we report a background concentration of dissolved lithium in the natural waters of County Carlow, surface water at x ¯ = 0.02, SD = 0.02 ranging from 0 to 0.091 mg/L and groundwater at x ¯ = 0.023, SD = 0.02 mg/L ranging from 0 to 0.097 mg/L. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Nitrate, Nitrite, and Ammonium Variability in Drinking Water Distribution Systems
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 276; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030276
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 5 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2516 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Accurate assessments of exposure to nitrate in drinking water is a crucial part of epidemiological studies investigating long-term adverse human health effects. However, since drinking water nitrate measurements are usually collected for regulatory purposes, assumptions on (1) the intra-distribution system variability and (2)
[...] Read more.
Accurate assessments of exposure to nitrate in drinking water is a crucial part of epidemiological studies investigating long-term adverse human health effects. However, since drinking water nitrate measurements are usually collected for regulatory purposes, assumptions on (1) the intra-distribution system variability and (2) short-term (seasonal) concentration variability have to be made. We assess concentration variability in the distribution system of nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium, and seasonal variability in all Danish public waterworks from 2007 to 2016. Nitrate concentrations at the exit of the waterworks are highly correlated with nitrate concentrations within the distribution net or at the consumers’ taps, while nitrite and ammonium concentrations are generally lower within the net compared with the exit of the waterworks due to nitrification. However, nitrification of nitrite and ammonium in the distribution systems only results in a relatively small increase in nitrate concentrations. No seasonal variation for nitrate, nitrite, or ammonium was observed. We conclude that nitrate measurements taken at the exit of the waterworks are suitable to calculate exposures for all consumers connected to that waterworks and that sampling frequencies in the national monitoring programme are sufficient to describe temporal variations in longitudinal studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Calcium and Magnesium in Groundwater and Drinking Water on the Health of Inhabitants of the Slovak Republic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 278; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030278
Received: 7 December 2016 / Revised: 20 February 2017 / Accepted: 3 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Abstract
This work aims to evaluate the impact of the chemical composition of groundwater/drinking water on the health of inhabitants of the Slovak Republic. Primary data consists of 20,339 chemical analyses of groundwater (34 chemical elements and compounds) and data on the health of
[...] Read more.
This work aims to evaluate the impact of the chemical composition of groundwater/drinking water on the health of inhabitants of the Slovak Republic. Primary data consists of 20,339 chemical analyses of groundwater (34 chemical elements and compounds) and data on the health of the Slovak population expressed in the form of health indicators (HI). Fourteen HIs were evaluated including life expectancy, potential years of lost life, relative/standardized mortality for cardiovascular and oncological diseases, and diseases of the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems. The chemical and health data were expressed as the mean values for each of the 2883 Slovak municipalities. Artificial neural network (ANN) was the method used for environmental and health data analysis. The most significant relationship between HI and chemical composition of groundwater was documented as Ca + Mg (mmol·L−1), Ca and Mg. The following limit values were set for these most significant groundwater chemical parameters: Ca + Mg 2.9–6.1 mmol·L−1, Ca 78–155 mg·L−1 and Mg 28–54 mg·L−1. At these concentration ranges, the health of the Slovak population is the most favorable and the life expectancy is the highest. These limit values are about twice as high in comparison to the current Slovak valid guideline values for drinking water. Full article
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro Investigations of Human Bioaccessibility from Reference Materials Using Simulated Lung Fluids
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 112; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020112
Received: 14 December 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 20 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
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Abstract
An investigation for assessing pulmonary bioaccessibility of metals from reference materials is presented using simulated lung fluids. The objective of this paper was to contribute to an enhanced understanding of airborne particulate matter and its toxic potential following inhalation. A large set of
[...] Read more.
An investigation for assessing pulmonary bioaccessibility of metals from reference materials is presented using simulated lung fluids. The objective of this paper was to contribute to an enhanced understanding of airborne particulate matter and its toxic potential following inhalation. A large set of metallic elements (Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sr, and Zn) was investigated using three lung fluids (phosphate-buffered saline, Gamble’s solution and artificial lysosomal fluid) on three standard reference materials representing different types of particle sources. Composition of the leaching solution and four solid-to-liquid (S/L) ratios were tested. The results showed that bioaccessibility was speciation- (i.e., distribution) and element-dependent, with percentages varying from 0.04% for Pb to 86.0% for Cd. The higher extraction of metallic elements was obtained with the artificial lysosomal fluid, in which a relative stability of bioaccessibility was observed in a large range of S/L ratios from 1/1000 to 1/10,000. For further investigations, it is suggested that this method be used to assess lung bioaccessibility of metals from smelter-impacted dusts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Gastric versus Gastrointestinal PBET Extractions for Estimating Oral Bioaccessibility of Metals in House Dust
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 92; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010092
Received: 24 November 2016 / Revised: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 13 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
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Abstract
Oral bioaccessibility estimates for six metals which are prevalent as contaminants in Canada (zinc, lead, cadmium, copper, nickel, and chromium) are investigated for house dust using the simple gastric phase versus the two-phase physiologically-based extraction technique (PBET). The purpose is to determine whether
[...] Read more.
Oral bioaccessibility estimates for six metals which are prevalent as contaminants in Canada (zinc, lead, cadmium, copper, nickel, and chromium) are investigated for house dust using the simple gastric phase versus the two-phase physiologically-based extraction technique (PBET). The purpose is to determine whether a complete gastrointestinal (GI) assay yields a more conservative (i.e., higher) estimate of metal bioaccessibility in house dust than the gastric phase alone (G-alone). The study samples include household vacuum dust collected from 33 homes in Montreal, Canada, plus four certified reference materials (NIST 2583, NIST 2584, NIST 2710 and NIST 2710a). Results indicate that percent bioaccessibilities obtained using G-alone are generally greater than or equivalent to those obtained using the complete GI simulation for the six studied metals in house dust. Median bioaccessibilities for G-alone/GI in household vacuum dust samples (n = 33) are 76.9%/19.5% for zinc, 50.4%/6.2% for lead, 70.0%/22.4% for cadmium, 33.9%/30.5% for copper and 28.5%/20.7% for nickel. Bioaccessible chromium is above the detection limit in only four out of 33 samples, for which G-alone results are not significantly different from GI results (p = 0.39). It is concluded that, for the six studied metals, a simple G-alone extraction provides a conservative and cost-effective approach for estimating oral bioaccessibility of metals in house dust. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Mapping Tools to Exercise the Right to a Healthy Environment
Authors: Chiara Costanzo *
Affiliations:
School of Political Science and Sociology, Faculty of Arts, National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway, Ireland; Email: c.costanzo1@nuigalway.ie
Abstract: This paper explores the use of mapping tools in the field of human rights and specifically the exercise of the right to a healthy environment (RHE). It does so employing a constructivist and hybrid research methodology that brings together several approaches to RHE and reconciling environmental protection and sustainable development in a pragmatic manner. Maps are being used for the purpose of environmental rights advocacy to recognize critical overlapping that exacerbate socio-environmental conflicts and human rights violations. Contemporary debates on environmental rights include access to information, public participation and access to justice in decision making. The right to participation, or ‘meaningful participation’ identified as being core to the RHE, can promote rights interdependence, transparency and accountability as well as just distribution of benefits and burdens. Georeferenced maps can be used to layer social, economic, environmental and legal data to visualize conflicts, facilitate the identification of an extended ‘concerned public’ and identify opportunities for deepening participation. Offering insights of rights based approaches to environmental issues, maps can provide a visual platform to design innovative policies that address human rights, environment and sustainability concerns. Recently completed doctoral research on the RHE recognized the role of two environmental law principles – the precautionary principle and the common but differentiated responsibility principle - to inform human rights practices related to the environment. Mapping tools might support the precautionary character of RHE, bridging human rights issues with environmental protection and sustainable development concerns.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Combining spatial hydrochemical and medical data – drinking water uranium and potential health effects in three German federal states
Authors: Andre Banning1, Mira Benfer2,*
Affiliations:
1 Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Institute of Geology, Geophysics and Mineralogy, Hydrogeology Department, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany; Email: andre.banning@rub.de ; 2 Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Institute of Geography, Soil Science and Soil Ecology Department, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
Abstract: Mainly due to its nephrotoxic and osteotoxic potential, uranium (U) increasingly finds itself in the spotlight of environmental and health-related research. Germany decided on a binding U guideline value in drinking water of 10 µg L-1, valid since 2011. It is yet unknown if and how public health was affected by elevated U concentrations before that. In this study, we collected drinking water U data (around 1200 analyses in total) from three German federal states (Bavaria, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and North Rhine-Westphalia; together representing nearly 40 % of Germany´s population). These states are known to regionally exhibit mainly geogenically elevated groundwater U with a maximum value of 40 µg L-1 in the database. Public health data was obtained from federal statistical authorities at community or county resolution (around 500 localities in total). These included incidences of diagnosed diseases suspected to be potentially triggered by chronic U uptake, e.g. diseases of the kidneys, the skeleton, the liver or the thyroid as well as tumor diseases. The datasets were analyzed for interrelations and mutual spatial occurrence using different statistical approaches and GIS. Here, we discuss obtained results and their implications for potential impacts of hydrochemistry on public health in large parts of Germany.

Type of paper: Article
Title: Danish studies on exposure of geogenic elements in drinking water and public health
Authors: Hansen, B. 1,*, Schullehner, J. 1,2, Kristiansen, S.M.3, Pedersen, C.B. 4 and Sigsgaard, T.2
Afilliattions: 1 Geological Survey of Denmark & Greenland—GEUS; Email: bgh@geus.dk; 2 Institute of Public Health –Section of Environment, Occupation & Health, Aarhus Universit, Denmark; 3 Department of Geoscience, Aarhus Universit, Denmark; 4 Department of Economy, National Centre for Integrated Register-based Research, Aarhus University, Denmark
Abstract: In Denmark, drinking water is entirely based on groundwater. Water quality can be assessed with a high degree of certainty for the major part of the population. Drinking water quality is monitored routinely, and data on drinking water quality have for decades been archived in the public-available database JUPITER. Assessing the health impacts of geogenic natural occurring elements in drinking water requires sufficient data on life-long exposures. Thus, high-quality data on both spatial and temporal variation of drinking water quality are of paramount importance when assessing public health related to geogenic exposures. In addition, utilizing Danish nationwide population-based registers, we can identify the exact geographical residential location from 1978 onwards on a personal level and link this information with later health outcomes. The combinations of these unique data sources allow a longitudinal population-based assessment of the potential health impact of drinking water quality. These data are available through the National Centre for Integrated Register-based Research at Aarhus University. We present an overview of the drinking water quality data on specific geogenic elements during the last almost 100 years and  show how the amount of data increased since the 1980s. The aim is to combine drinking water quality data in the Danish geo-database JUPITER with the health data available at the National Centre for Integrated Register-based Research at Aarhus University (CIRRAU).

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