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Special Issue "Emerging Contaminants in the Environment"

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A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Satinder Kaur Brar (Website)

Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Centre Eau, Terre & Environnement/Centre for Water, Earth and Environment, 490 de la Couronne, Québec (Qc), G1K 9A9, Canada
Phone: 4186543116
Interests: fermentation; rheology; enzymes; organic acids; biodiesel; biohydrogen; bioethanol; bio-butanol; biopesticides; platform chemicals; advanced oxidation process; biological treatment; hydrolysis; fate and transport of emerging contaminants, such as plasticizers, pharmaceuticals, personal care products in wastewater treatment plants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rising evidence shows more and more accumulating chemicals in the environment, which has increased general concern. Everyday household use is leading to trace amounts (in micrograms, nanograms and picograms) of chemicals from these consumer products in the environment comprising soils, water, air and sediments. New analytical capabilities have allowed scientists to identify these chemicals in the environment in extremely small concentrations. Collectively referred to as emerging contaminants, these chemicals have increased their notoriety due to the known and suspected risks they pose to human health and the environment. Despite the known and potential environmental and health risks, the emerging contaminants continue to be widely used in daily used consumer products.

Regardless of recent advances, public health and health care institutions need a better understanding of the vulnerability of these emerging contaminants, which are distributed widely in the environment. Evidence related to their identification, fate and transport in different environmental compartments is a high priority. Studies related to various removal/transformation techniques applicable to the emerging contaminants in the water and wastewater are also important, albeit with a focus on secondary products which can sometimes be potentially more toxic than the original compound. Such enhanced understanding can inform actions to increase population, industry and community resilience to current and future concentrations and better prepare public policy to promulgate regulations on their use and release into the environment.

This special issue will focus on what is known about fate and transport of emerging contaminants in different environmental compartments, bringing out the advances in the removal technologies for these emerging contaminants, at the same time bringing green chemistry process changes to the fore, with a focus on control of their release at source, rather than end-of-the-pipe treatment options. Likewise, the issue will be a collection of the studies carried out on the toxicological aspects of these emerging contaminants, thus projecting the multidisciplinary aspects of this complex subject and making the issue a thorough presentation of the facets of emerging contaminants in the environment.

Dr. Satinder Kaur Brar
Guest Editor

Submission

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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a 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).


Keywords

  • emerging contaminants
  • soils
  • sediments
  • water
  • wastewater
  • wastewater sludge
  • toxicology
  • advanced oxidation process
  • treatment

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Determinants of Exposure to Fragranced Product Chemical Mixtures in a Sample of Twins
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(2), 1466-1486; doi:10.3390/ijerph120201466
Received: 29 November 2014 / Revised: 18 December 2014 / Accepted: 15 January 2015 / Published: 27 January 2015
PDF Full-text (979 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Fragranced product chemical mixtures may be relevant for environmental health, but little is known about exposure. We analyzed results from an olfactory challenge with the synthetic musk fragrance 1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethyl-cyclopento-γ-2-benzopyran (HHCB), and a questionnaire about attitudes toward chemical safety and use of fragranced [...] Read more.
Fragranced product chemical mixtures may be relevant for environmental health, but little is known about exposure. We analyzed results from an olfactory challenge with the synthetic musk fragrance 1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethyl-cyclopento-γ-2-benzopyran (HHCB), and a questionnaire about attitudes toward chemical safety and use of fragranced products, in a sample of 140 white and 17 black twin pairs attending a festival in Ohio. Data for each product were analyzed using robust ordered logistic regressions with random intercepts for “twin pair” and “sharing address with twin”, and fixed effects for sex, age, education, and “ever being bothered by fragrances”. Due to the small number of black participants, models were restricted to white participants except when examining racial differences. Overall patterns of association were summarized across product-types through random-effects meta-analysis. Principal components analysis was used to summarize clustering of product use. The dominant axis of variability in fragranced product use was “more vs. less”, followed by a distinction between household cleaning products and personal care products. Overall, males used fragranced products less frequently than females (adjusted proportionate odds ratio 0.55, 95% confidence interval 0.33, 0.93). This disparity was driven by personal care products (0.42, 95% CI: 0.19, 0.96), rather than household cleaning products (0.79, 95% CI: 0.49, 1.25) and was particularly evident for body lotion (0.12, 95% CI: 0.05, 0.27). Overall usage differed by age (0.64, 95% CI: 0.43, 0.95) but only hand soap and shampoo products differed significantly. “Ever being bothered by fragrance” had no overall association (0.92, 95% CI: 0.65, 1.30) but was associated with laundry detergent use (0.46, 95% CI: 0.23, 0.93). Similarly, black vs. white differences on average were not significant (1.34, 95% CI: 0.55, 3.28) but there were apparent differences in use of shampoo (0.01, 95% CI: 0.00, 0.69), body lotion (4.67, 95% CI: 1.18, 18.47), and perfume (6.22, 95% CI:1.08, 35.89). There was no overall association with thinking about product risks (0.90, 95% CI: 0.79, 1.02), nor with inability to smell HHCB (0.84, 95% CI: 0.63, 1.12). Exposure to fragranced products may differ demographically. The relevance for health disparities should be studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Contaminants in the Environment)
Open AccessArticle An Approach for Prioritizing “Down-the-Drain” Chemicals Used in the Household
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(2), 1351-1367; doi:10.3390/ijerph120201351
Received: 26 November 2014 / Accepted: 21 January 2015 / Published: 26 January 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (786 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Many chemicals are present in cleaning and personal care products, which after use are washed down the drain and find their way into water bodies, where they may impact the environment. This study surveyed individuals to determine what products were used most [...] Read more.
Many chemicals are present in cleaning and personal care products, which after use are washed down the drain and find their way into water bodies, where they may impact the environment. This study surveyed individuals to determine what products were used most in the home, in an attempt to prioritize which compounds may be of most concern. The survey resulted in the identification of 14 categories of products consisting of 315 specific brands. The survey estimated that individuals each discharge almost 33 L of products per year down the drain. Dishwashing liquids and hand wash gels, which accounted for 40% of this volume, were selected for identification of specific ingredients. Ingredients were classified as surfactants, preservatives, fragrances or miscellaneous, with hand wash gels having a wider range of ingredients than dishwashing liquids. A review of the literature suggested that preservatives, which are designed to be toxic, and fragrances, where data on toxicity are limited, should be prioritized. The approach undertaken has successfully estimated use and provisionally identified some classes of chemicals which may be of most concern when used in cleaning and personal care products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Contaminants in the Environment)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Different Proportions of a Treated Effluent on the Biotransformation of Selected Micro-Contaminants in River Water Microcosms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(10), 10390-10405; doi:10.3390/ijerph111010390
Received: 19 August 2014 / Revised: 24 September 2014 / Accepted: 29 September 2014 / Published: 10 October 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (617 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Attenuation of micro-contaminants is a very complex field in environmental science and evidence suggests that biodegradation rates of micro-contaminants in the aqueous environment depend on the water matrix. The focus of the study presented here is the systematic comparison of biotransformation rates [...] Read more.
Attenuation of micro-contaminants is a very complex field in environmental science and evidence suggests that biodegradation rates of micro-contaminants in the aqueous environment depend on the water matrix. The focus of the study presented here is the systematic comparison of biotransformation rates of caffeine, carbamazepine, metoprolol, paracetamol and valsartan in river water microcosms spiked with different proportions of treated effluent (0%, 0.1%, 1%, and 10%). Biotransformation was identified as the dominating attenuation process by the evolution of biotransformation products such as atenolol acid and valsartan acid. Significantly decreasing biotransformation rates of metoprolol were observed at treated effluent proportions ≥0.1% whereas significantly increasing biotransformation rates of caffeine and valsartan were observed in the presence of 10% treated effluent. Potential reasons for the observations are discussed and the addition of adapted microorganisms via the treated effluent was suggested as the most probable reason. The impact of additional phosphorus on the biodegradation rates was tested and the experiments revealed that phosphorus-limitation was not responsible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Contaminants in the Environment)
Open AccessArticle A Dose-Response Relationship between Organic Mercury Exposure from Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9156-9170; doi:10.3390/ijerph110909156
Received: 12 July 2014 / Revised: 7 August 2014 / Accepted: 26 August 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (710 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A hypothesis testing case-control study evaluated concerns about the toxic effects of organic-mercury (Hg) exposure from thimerosal-containing (49.55% Hg by weight) vaccines on the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs). Automated medical records were examined to identify cases and controls enrolled from their [...] Read more.
A hypothesis testing case-control study evaluated concerns about the toxic effects of organic-mercury (Hg) exposure from thimerosal-containing (49.55% Hg by weight) vaccines on the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs). Automated medical records were examined to identify cases and controls enrolled from their date-of-birth (1991–2000) in the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) project. ND cases were diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), specific developmental delay, tic disorder or hyperkinetic syndrome of childhood. In addition, putative non-thimerosal-related outcomes of febrile seizure, failure to thrive and cerebral degenerations were examined. The cumulative total dose of Hg exposure from thimerosal-containing hepatitis B vaccine (T-HBV) administered within the first six months of life was calculated. On a per microgram of organic-Hg basis, PDD (odds ratio (OR) = 1.054), specific developmental delay (OR = 1.035), tic disorder (OR = 1.034) and hyperkinetic syndrome of childhood (OR = 1.05) cases were significantly more likely than controls to receive increased organic-Hg exposure. By contrast, none of the non-thimerosal related outcomes were significantly more likely than the controls to have received increased organic-Hg exposure. Routine childhood vaccination may be an important public health tool to reduce infectious disease-associated morbidity/mortality, but the present study significantly associates organic-Hg exposure from T-HBV with an increased risk of an ND diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Contaminants in the Environment)

Review

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Open AccessReview Triclosan: Current Status, Occurrence, Environmental Risks and Bioaccumulation Potential
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(5), 5657-5684; doi:10.3390/ijerph120505657
Received: 29 December 2014 / Revised: 18 May 2015 / Accepted: 18 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (2138 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Triclosan (TCS) is a multi-purpose antimicrobial agent used as a common ingredient in everyday household personal care and consumer products. The expanded use of TCS provides a number of pathways for the compound to enter the environment and it has been detected [...] Read more.
Triclosan (TCS) is a multi-purpose antimicrobial agent used as a common ingredient in everyday household personal care and consumer products. The expanded use of TCS provides a number of pathways for the compound to enter the environment and it has been detected in sewage treatment plant effluents; surface; ground and drinking water. The physico-chemical properties indicate the bioaccumulation and persistence potential of TCS in the environment. Hence, there is an increasing concern about the presence of TCS in the environment and its potential negative effects on human and animal health. Nevertheless, scarce monitoring data could be one reason for not prioritizing TCS as emerging contaminant. Conventional water and wastewater treatment processes are unable to completely remove the TCS and even form toxic intermediates. Considering the worldwide application of personal care products containing TCS and inefficient removal and its toxic effects on aquatic organisms, the compound should be considered on the priority list of emerging contaminants and its utilization in all products should be regulated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Contaminants in the Environment)
Open AccessReview The Biomechanisms of Metal and Metal-Oxide Nanoparticles’ Interactions with Cells
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(2), 1112-1134; doi:10.3390/ijerph120201112
Received: 3 December 2014 / Revised: 31 December 2014 / Accepted: 14 January 2015 / Published: 22 January 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (723 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Humans are increasingly exposed to nanoparticles (NPs) in medicine and in industrial settings, where significant concentrations of NPs are common. However, NP interactions with and effects on biomolecules and organisms have only recently been addressed. Within we review the literature regarding proposed [...] Read more.
Humans are increasingly exposed to nanoparticles (NPs) in medicine and in industrial settings, where significant concentrations of NPs are common. However, NP interactions with and effects on biomolecules and organisms have only recently been addressed. Within we review the literature regarding proposed modes of action for metal and metal-oxide NPs, two of the most prevalent types manufactured. Iron-oxide NPs, for instance, are used as tracers for magnetic resonance imaging of oncological tumors and as vehicles for therapeutic drug delivery. Factors and theories that determine the physicochemical and biokinetic behaviors of NPs are discussed, along with the observed toxicological effects of NPs on cells. Key thermodynamic and kinetic models that explain the sources of energy transfer from NPs to biological targets are summarized, in addition to quantitative structural activity relationship (QSAR) modeling efforts. Future challenges for nanotoxicological research are discussed. We conclude that NP studies based on cell culture are often inconsistent and underestimate the toxicity of NPs. Thus, the effect of NPs needs to be examined in whole animal systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Contaminants in the Environment)

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