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Special Issue "Heavy Metals: Environmental Health Risk Assessment and Sustainable Management"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Fei Li

School of Information and Safety Engineering, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan 430073, China
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +86 027 88385169
Interests: environmental geochemistry; environment monitoring for pollutants in multimedia environment; environmental health risk assessment; indoor/outdoor air pollution; risk management and decision-making; systematic uncertainty control
Guest Editor
Dr. Jie Liang

College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha, 410082, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: wetland ecological process; water and soil pollution restoration; environmental risk assessment and management; urban ecological planning and management; uncertainty quantification analysis
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Hongtao Yi

John Glenn College of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: policy networks; policy innovation and diffusion; energy policy; environmental policy; sustainable development management and decision-making
Guest Editor
Dr. Hua Zhang

School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: hydrology and water quality simulation; satellite remote sensing; unmanned aerial vehicles monitoring; geographic information system; environmental impact assessment; wetland restoration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Heavy metals (HMs) have been regarded as a hazard to humans and the ecotope due to their toxicity, persistence, and biological accumulation for centuries. Risks to human health can be caused by heavy metal residues through a multi-pathway, owing to their transport and transformation among environmental multi-media, such as ambient air, soil, surface water, etc. Unfortunately, after long-term research, the present advances in human technology have not effectively reduced that risk. In fact, increased industrialization and urbanization of the developing world, the enhanced demand for resources, and the advent of new technologies have increased the risk of exposure to these substances. In recent decades, environmental risk assessment and sustainable management have been established as valuable tools to support national or regional quantitative regulatory systems and administrative decision making for HMs pollution. Historically, environmental health risk assessments have tended to narrowly focus on single heavy metals with indicators of their total content, usually emphasizing a specific human health endpoint and a particular exposure pathway for hypothetical receptors. However, it is obvious that multi-receptors in the real world are routinely exposed to HMs in environmental multimedia from multi-pathways. Furthermore, the exciting progress on studies regarding HMs’ bioavailability and combined effects, spatial analysis technology, uncertainty control method, exposure science, remediation techniques, etc., are possible to promote the current methods of environmental health risk assessment and sustainable management. Thus, this Special Issue will encourage and highlight new or improved approaches, models, and theories, which have either been applied or are under development, that move the field forward in assessing and managing the environmental health risks posed by HMs from multi-pathway exposure in environmental multimedia. Research papers, analytical reviews, case studies, conceptual framework, and policy-relevant articles are solicited. The Guest Editors will select high-quality research for blind peer review. Reviewers will be selected from researchers who are active in the field, and whose works are present in international databases.

Dr. Fei Li
Dr. Hongtao Yi
Dr. Jie Liang
Dr. Hua Zhang
Guest Editors

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. Sustainability 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 1400 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.


  • Heavy metals
  • Distribution, transportation and transformation
  • Enrichment and bioavailability
  • Multimedia, multi-pathway and multi-receptor
  • Human health risk assessment
  • Integrated environmental risk assessment
  • Pollution source analysis
  • Risk-based decisions
  • Sustainable risk management
  • Systematic uncertainty control

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Measuring Spatial Distribution Characteristics of Heavy Metal Contaminations in a Network-Constrained Environment: A Case Study in River Network of Daye, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 986; doi:10.3390/su9060986
Received: 14 May 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 3 June 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
PDF Full-text (3182 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Measuring the spatial distribution of heavy metal contaminants is the basis of pollution evaluation and risk control. Considering the cost of soil sampling and analysis, spatial interpolation methods have been widely applied to estimate the heavy metal concentrations at unsampled locations. However, traditional
[...] Read more.
Measuring the spatial distribution of heavy metal contaminants is the basis of pollution evaluation and risk control. Considering the cost of soil sampling and analysis, spatial interpolation methods have been widely applied to estimate the heavy metal concentrations at unsampled locations. However, traditional spatial interpolation methods assume the sample sites can be located stochastically on a plane and the spatial association between sample locations is analyzed using Euclidean distances, which may lead to biased conclusions in some circumstances. This study aims to analyze the spatial distribution characteristics of copper and lead contamination in river sediments of Daye using network spatial analysis methods. The results demonstrate that network inverse distance weighted interpolation methods are more accurate than planar interpolation methods. Furthermore, the method named local indicators of network-constrained clusters based on local Moran’ I statistic (ILINCS) is applied to explore the local spatial patterns of copper and lead pollution in river sediments, which is helpful for identifying the contaminated areas and assessing heavy metal pollution of Daye. Full article

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