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Special Issue "Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2009)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Miklas Scholz (Website)

Division of Water Resources Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, 22100 Lund, Sweden
Interests: environmental engineering; constructed wetland; sustainable drainage system; biofiltration technology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The special issue ‘Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health’ is part of the internationally leading ‘International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health’. I have been invited as a guest editor to oversee the refereeing process and subsequent selection of timely, relevant and high quality papers highlighting particularly novel aspects concerned with sustainability issues in environmental studies.

Contributions that have a significant impact on solving public health problems are particularly encouraged. All types of scientific contributions including technical and critical review papers are eligible for publication as long as they fit within the wider scope of this special issue and are relevant for a world-wide audience.
This special issue should not just be a timely reference source for academics but should particularly be of practical use for medical doctors, environmental scientists and engineers, and civil engineers concerned with public health engineering, environmental protection and sustainability.

Dr Miklas Scholz
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • public health problems in developing countries
  • industrial processes and products impacting on the public health and the environment
  • sustainable practices including construction and trading
  • gender issues in public heath
  • pollutants, biodiversity and agriculture
  • water, soil and air quality
  • urban and rural runoff control
  • novel and sustainable process technology in water and wastewater treatment

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(10), 2623-2625; doi:10.3390/ijerph6102623
Received: 16 September 2009 / Accepted: 30 September 2009 / Published: 9 October 2009
PDF Full-text (159 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This special issue ‘Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health’ is part of the internationally leading 'International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health’. I was invited to be the guest editor, and to oversee the refereeing process and subsequent selection of [...] Read more.
This special issue ‘Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health’ is part of the internationally leading 'International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health’. I was invited to be the guest editor, and to oversee the refereeing process and subsequent selection of timely, relevant and high quality papers highlighting particularly novel aspects concerned with sustainability issues in environmental studies. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Toxicity Evaluation of Pig Slurry Using Luminescent Bacteria and Zebrafish
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 6856-6870; doi:10.3390/ijerph110706856
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 9 June 2014 / Accepted: 18 June 2014 / Published: 3 July 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (565 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biogas slurry has become a serious pollution problem and anaerobic digestion is widely applied to pig manure treatment for environmental protection and energy recovery. To evaluate environmental risk of the emission of biogas slurry, luminescent bacteria (Vibrio fischeri), larvae and [...] Read more.
Biogas slurry has become a serious pollution problem and anaerobic digestion is widely applied to pig manure treatment for environmental protection and energy recovery. To evaluate environmental risk of the emission of biogas slurry, luminescent bacteria (Vibrio fischeri), larvae and embryos of zebrafish (Danio rerio) were used to detect the acute and development toxicity of digested and post-treated slurry. Then the ability of treatment process was evaluated. The results showed that digested slurry displayed strong toxicity to both zebrafish and luminescent bacteria, while the EC50 for luminescent bacteria and the LC50 for larvae were only 6.81% (v/v) and 1.95% (v/v) respectively, and embryonic development was inhibited at just 1% (v/v). Slurry still maintained a high level of toxicity although it had been treated by membrane bioreactor (MBR), while the LC50 of larvae was 75.23% (v/v) and there was a little effect on the development of embryos and V. fischeri; the results also revealed that the zebrafish larvae are more sensitive than embryos and luminescent bacteria to pig slurry. Finally, we also found the toxicity removal rate was higher than 90% after the treatment of MBR according to toxicity tests. In conclusion, further treatment should be used in pig slurry disposal or reused of final effluent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle The Built Environment and Health: Introducing Individual Space-Time Behavior
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(6), 1724-1743; doi:10.3390/ijerph6061724
Received: 30 March 2009 / Accepted: 19 May 2009 / Published: 26 May 2009
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (97 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many studies have examined the relationship between the built environment and health. Yet, the question of how and why the environment influences health behavior remains largely unexplored. As health promotion interventions work through the individuals in a targeted population, an explicit understanding [...] Read more.
Many studies have examined the relationship between the built environment and health. Yet, the question of how and why the environment influences health behavior remains largely unexplored. As health promotion interventions work through the individuals in a targeted population, an explicit understanding of individual behavior is required to formulate and evaluate intervention strategies. Bringing in concepts from various fields, this paper proposes the use of an activity-based modeling approach for understanding and predicting, from the bottom up, how individuals interact with their environment and each other in space and time, and how their behaviors aggregate to population-level health outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)
Figures

Open AccessArticle The Potential Impact on Farmer Health of Enhanced Export Horticultural Trade between the U.K. and Uganda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(5), 1539-1556; doi:10.3390/ijerph6051539
Received: 16 January 2009 / Accepted: 21 April 2009 / Published: 28 April 2009
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (358 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The export of vegetables from African countries to European markets presents consumers with an ethical dilemma: should they support local, but relatively well-off farmers, or poorer farmers from distant countries? This paper considers the issue of farm worker health in the U.K. [...] Read more.
The export of vegetables from African countries to European markets presents consumers with an ethical dilemma: should they support local, but relatively well-off farmers, or poorer farmers from distant countries? This paper considers the issue of farm worker health in the U.K. and Uganda, and considers the dilemma facing U.K. consumers if Uganda achieves their aim of exporting more vegetables to the U.K. Self-reported health scores of 1,200 farm workers in the U.K. and Uganda were measured with the internationally recognised SF-36 questionnaire and compared to an international population norm. The age-corrected health status of U.K. farm workers was significantly lower than the population norm, whereas Ugandans scored significantly higher (indicating good health) for physical health and lower for mental health. If Ugandan produce enters U.K. markets, then consumers may wish to consider both the potential benefits that enhanced trade could offer Ugandan farmers compared with its impacts on U.K. workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle The Autonomous House: A Bio-Hydrogen Based Energy Self-Sufficient Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(4), 1515-1529; doi:10.3390/ijerph6041515
Received: 1 February 2009 / Accepted: 17 April 2009 / Published: 21 April 2009
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1293 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the wake of the greenhouse effect and global energy crisis, finding sources of clean, alternative energy and developing everyday life applications have become urgent tasks. This study proposes the development of an "autonomous house" emphasizing the use of modern green energy [...] Read more.
In the wake of the greenhouse effect and global energy crisis, finding sources of clean, alternative energy and developing everyday life applications have become urgent tasks. This study proposes the development of an "autonomous house" emphasizing the use of modern green energy technology to reduce environmental load, achieve energy autonomy and use energy intelligently in order to create a sustainable, comfortable living environment. The houses' two attributes are: (1) a self-sufficient energy cycle and (2) autonomous energy control to maintain environmental comfort. The autonomous house thus combines energy-conserving, carbon emission-reducing passive design with active elements needed to maintain a comfortable environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Beyond Climate Focus and Disciplinary Myopia. The Roles and Responsibilities of Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(3), 1204-1214; doi:10.3390/ijerph6031204
Received: 1 February 2009 / Accepted: 13 March 2009 / Published: 19 March 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (62 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper calls for the need to address climate change within the concept of sustainable development, in recognition of the interrelationships between environmental, economic and social systems. So far, health- providing organizations such as hospitals have paid surprisingly little attention to the [...] Read more.
This paper calls for the need to address climate change within the concept of sustainable development, in recognition of the interrelationships between environmental, economic and social systems. So far, health- providing organizations such as hospitals have paid surprisingly little attention to the relationships between environmental change (e.g. climate change) and human health, or between hospitals (as professional organizations) and their impact on sustainable development. Although it is usually such industries as the chemical, extractive and metal industries, etc., that are associated with environmentally harmful activities, there is also an urgent need to emphasize the roles and responsibilities of hospitals and their embeddedness in a wider ecological, economic and social context. The key objective here is to discuss the relevance of sustainability and environmental management issues in a sector that until now has conveniently ignored its roles and responsibilities in relation to sustainability issues. The paper concludes that arguments based on systems theory, environment, medicine, economics and innovation strongly urge hospitals to reconsider their present roles and environmental responsibilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Notes on the Particulate Matter Standards in the European Union and the Netherlands
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(3), 1155-1173; doi:10.3390/ijerph6031155
Received: 5 December 2008 / Accepted: 26 February 2009 / Published: 17 March 2009
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1424 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The distribution of Particulate Matter in the atmosphere, resulting from emissions produced by cars, trucks, ships, industrial estates and agricultural complexes, is a topical public health problem that has increased in recent decades due to environmental factors in advanced economies in particular. [...] Read more.
The distribution of Particulate Matter in the atmosphere, resulting from emissions produced by cars, trucks, ships, industrial estates and agricultural complexes, is a topical public health problem that has increased in recent decades due to environmental factors in advanced economies in particular. This contribution relates the health impact caused by concentrations of Particulate Matter (PM) in ambient air to the PM standards, the size of the particles and spatial planning. Diverging impacts of PM standards in legal regulation are discussed. The authors present a review of the development of legal PM standards in the European Union, with a specific reference to The Netherlands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Exploring Fragility: Industrial Delocalization, Occupational and Environmental Risks, and Non-Governmental Organizations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(3), 980-998; doi:10.3390/ijerph6030980
Received: 22 December 2008 / Accepted: 3 March 2009 / Published: 5 March 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (688 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
What is the role of non-governmental organizations – NGOs – in the process of industrial delocalization and socio-spatial redistribution of occupational and environmental risks? In an attempt to contribute to this debate, this study approaches the issue in a very specific socio-historical [...] Read more.
What is the role of non-governmental organizations – NGOs – in the process of industrial delocalization and socio-spatial redistribution of occupational and environmental risks? In an attempt to contribute to this debate, this study approaches the issue in a very specific socio-historical context, marked by recent accelerated industrialization in a small town in Northeast Brazil. Based on semi-structured interviews with leaders of four local NGOs, the way they perceive and value the risks introduced into the area and relations between industrialization and local development are analyzed. Findings show a strong adherence to the industrial plan by workers’ trade unions, whilst other NGOs are highly critical with regard thereto, but undertake no social or political activity regarding the issues they identify. This phenomenon is discussed in terms of the modus operandi of ideology and its strategies for symbolic construction, enabling a comprehensive reinterpretation of how capital also benefits, in its mobility, from local society’s fragility in organizing and protecting quality of life and public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Valuing Climate Change Impacts on Human Health: Empirical Evidence from the Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 759-786; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020759
Received: 29 December 2008 / Accepted: 17 February 2009 / Published: 23 February 2009
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (475 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a broad consensus that climate change will increase the costs arising from diseases such as malaria and diarrhea and, furthermore, that the largest increases will be in developing countries. One of the problems is the lack of studies measuring these [...] Read more.
There is a broad consensus that climate change will increase the costs arising from diseases such as malaria and diarrhea and, furthermore, that the largest increases will be in developing countries. One of the problems is the lack of studies measuring these costs systematically and in detail. This paper critically reviews a number of studies about the costs of planned adaptation in the health context, and compares current health expenditures with MDGs which are felt to be inadequate when considering climate change impacts. The analysis serves also as a critical investigation of the methodologies used and aims at identifying research weaknesses and gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)

Review

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Open AccessReview Environmental Effects on Public Health: An Economic Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2160-2178; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082160
Received: 23 June 2009 / Accepted: 27 July 2009 / Published: 31 July 2009
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (223 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this article we critically review the economic literature on the effects of environmental changes on public health, in both the developed and the developing world. We first focus on the economic methodologies that are available for the evaluation of the effects [...] Read more.
In this article we critically review the economic literature on the effects of environmental changes on public health, in both the developed and the developing world. We first focus on the economic methodologies that are available for the evaluation of the effects (social costs and benefits) of environmental changes (degradation/preservation) on public health. Then, we explain how the monetary valuations of these effects can feed back in the construction of economic policy for creating agent-specific incentives for more efficient public health management, which is also equitable and environmentally sustainable. Our exposition is accompanied by a synthesis of the available quantitative empirical results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Ecological Sustainability: What Role for Public Health Education?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(7), 2028-2040; doi:10.3390/ijerph6072028
Received: 10 June 2009 / Accepted: 20 July 2009 / Published: 23 July 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (66 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article explores the notion of ecological sustainability in the context of public health education and the contribution Universities can make in creating environments that include ecologically sustainable practices. It considers the important role of environmental health in building a sustainable future [...] Read more.
This article explores the notion of ecological sustainability in the context of public health education and the contribution Universities can make in creating environments that include ecologically sustainable practices. It considers the important role of environmental health in building a sustainable future for the population as a central plank of public health. It presents the evidence for the need for comprehensive approaches to ecological sustainability within the University and offers suggestions about how this can take place. It concludes by arguing that to date there is a substantial gap between the rhetoric and the reality in the University context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Indirect Potable Reuse: A Sustainable Water Supply Alternative
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(3), 1174-1203; doi:10.3390/ijerph6031174
Received: 22 December 2008 / Accepted: 11 March 2009 / Published: 17 March 2009
Cited by 38 | PDF Full-text (191 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The growing scarcity of potable water supplies is among the most important issues facing many cities, in particular those using single sources of water that are climate dependent. Consequently, urban centers are looking to alternative sources of water supply that can supplement [...] Read more.
The growing scarcity of potable water supplies is among the most important issues facing many cities, in particular those using single sources of water that are climate dependent. Consequently, urban centers are looking to alternative sources of water supply that can supplement variable rainfall and meet the demands of population growth. A diversified portfolio of water sources is required to ensure public health, as well as social, economical and environmental sustainability. One of the options considered is the augmentation of drinking water supplies with advanced treated recycled water. This paper aims to provide a state of the art review of water recycling for drinking purposes with emphasis on membrane treatment processes. An overview of significant indirect potable reuse projects is presented followed by a description of the epidemiological and toxicological studies evaluating any potential human health impacts. Finally, a summary of key operational measures to protect human health and the areas that require further research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)

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