Air Quality, Health and Climate

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 November 2024 | Viewed by 2694

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA
Interests: occupational exposures to airborne pollutants; respiratory deposition and toxicity of emerging contaminants; impact of climate change on transmission of bioaerosols; next-generation systems for exposure assessment

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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental and Global Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA
Interests: air quality; urban air pollution; atmospheric chemistry; secondary organic aerosols

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Guest Editor
U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, USA
Interests: bioaerosols; organisms; inert particles

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Guest Editor
UC San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, CA, USA
Interests: air quality; urban air pollution; atmospheric chemistry; secondary organic aerosols

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Anthropogenic and natural emissions of particulates and gases play a role in climate change by altering the composition of the atmosphere, leading to global warming and shifts in weather patterns. Consequent changes, such as rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and altered ecosystems, can lead to human health risks at local and global levels, including heat-related illnesses, the spread of pathogens, respiratory toxicity, etc. Addressing air quality issues not only benefits public health but also contributes to climate change mitigation efforts. This Special Issue is looking for significant contributions on the interconnected relationships between air quality, climate change, and environmental/human health. Examples include:

  • The development of new-generation advanced aerosol instruments to monitor air quality;
  • The impact of environmental factors in aerosol transport;
  • Human health outcomes due to climate change from local to global levels;
  • Respiratory deposition and toxicity of emerging air pollutants;
  • The transmission of airborne pathogens;
  • The fate of airborne chemicals;
  • The risks of occupational exposure to air pollutants and airborne microorganisms associated with poor air quality and climate change.

Dr. Sripriya Nannu Shankar
Prof. Dr. Tara Sabo-Attwood
Dr. Jana S. Kesavan
Dr. Sanghee Han
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Environments 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 1800 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.

Keywords

  • aerosol instruments
  • inhalation toxicology
  • emerging contaminants
  • airborne pathogens
  • impacts of climate change
  • respiratory deposition
  • fate of aerosols

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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21 pages, 2076 KiB  
Article
Analysing the Evidence of the Effects of Climate Change, Air Pollutants, and Occupational Factors in the Appearance of Cataracts
by Lucía Echevarría-Lucas, José Mª Senciales-González and Jesús Rodrigo-Comino
Environments 2024, 11(5), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments11050087 - 24 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Cataracts are ocular conditions characterized by the opacification of the natural lens within the eye, which develops gradually over time and can affect one or both eyes. This condition commonly results from age-related changes in the lens, but can also arise from various [...] Read more.
Cataracts are ocular conditions characterized by the opacification of the natural lens within the eye, which develops gradually over time and can affect one or both eyes. This condition commonly results from age-related changes in the lens, but can also arise from various factors. Cataract surgeries are expensive, particularly in states such as Spain, where they receive full support from the Spanish social welfare system. Despite a significant body of research on cataracts, few studies address the social and environmental factors triggering their development or consider the spatiotemporal evolution of their impacts. We analysed the incidence of cataracts in a southern region of Spain, differentiating between senile cataracts (those over 60 years old) and early cataracts (those between 15 and 59 years old). Twenty-one socio-economic, climate, and air pollution variables were statistically analysed using bivariate correlation, cluster analysis, and Geographic Information Systems. Eleven years of observation show a decadal increase in annually averaged maximum temperature and a decrease in annual precipitation, partially explaining the rising incidence of operable cataracts in the following year (r = 0.77 and −0.84, respectively; p < 0.05). Furthermore, early cataracts responded spatially to % agricultural employment (r = 0.85; p < 0.05) and moderately to maximum temperatures, insolation, and various constituents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality, Health and Climate)
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Review

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18 pages, 833 KiB  
Review
Health Benefits of Airborne Terpenoids and Aeroanions: Insights from Thematic Review of Chinese-Language Research on Forest Sensory Experiences
by Ralf Buckley, Linsheng Zhong, Hu Yu, Dongfang Zhu and Mary-Ann Cooper
Environments 2024, 11(4), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments11040079 - 11 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Most research on air chemistry and human health has focused on negative consequences of air pollution from cities, rural dust, mining, or industrial sites. Research on nature tourism and nature therapy, in contrast, focuses on positive benefits of air quality for physical and [...] Read more.
Most research on air chemistry and human health has focused on negative consequences of air pollution from cities, rural dust, mining, or industrial sites. Research on nature tourism and nature therapy, in contrast, focuses on positive benefits of air quality for physical and mental health, e.g., via “clean air clean water” holidays. Aeroanions and terpenoids in forests have received particular attention, especially in China, Japan, and Korea. We review and analyse several hundred articles published in English and Chinese. With a few recent exceptions, English-language research has tested indoor negative ion generators, and concluded that they have no measurable health benefit. It has tested terpenoids in indoor aroma marketing. Chinese-language research, in contrast, has analysed fine-scale components of outdoor environments that affect concentrations of aeroanions and terpenoids: ecosystem, latitude, altitude, temperature, proximity to water, and individual plant species. Historically, health outcomes have been taken for granted, with little rigorous testing. Air quality research has shown that aeroanions can become attached to fine water droplets, e.g., after rain in forests, or in mists produced locally by waterfalls. We hypothesise that the health benefits of aeroanions in natural environments may arise through the scavenging of airborne particulates by negatively charged mists, creating especially clean, dust-free air. We propose that this particularly clean-tasting air, contrasting strongly with polluted urban air, creates positive effects on human mental health and perhaps, also on pulmonary physical health. Mechanisms and outcomes remain to be tested. We also propose testing psychological health effects of airborne terpenoid scents from forest trees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality, Health and Climate)
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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.

Plan Paper 1:

Tentative title: Prevention of Occupational Skin Cancer caused by Solar Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure: Recent Achievements and Perspectives

Authors: Dr. Cara Symanzik, Prof. Dr. Swen M. John

Abstract: Skin cancers are a major public health concern in fair-skinned individuals around the world. They account for a substantial portion of all reported occupational diseases. The number of outdoor workers diagnosed with skin cancer has increased in the past decades. Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is the primary driver of non-melanoma skin cancer and represents the most prominent occupational carcinogenic exposure in terms of the quantity of employees exposed (i.e., outdoor workers). Workplace safety includes the prevention of occupational skin cancer, and it involves sun protection. The necessity for interventions to promote outdoor workers' sun protection behavior has lately been recognized; yet, the dangers of solar UVR exposure in the workplace are frequently overlooked in practice. In the decades to come, occupational dermatology is expected to grow more concentrated on sun safety. The entire spectrum of available preventive measures should be employed as needed to address present obstacles in a result-oriented manner.

Plan Paper 2:

Tentative title: Anesthetic Gases: Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Strategies

Author: William A. Anderson

Abstract: The gaseous anesthetics used in surgeries represent a small but significant portion of the environmental impact of health care in many countries. These compounds include nitrous oxide (N2O) and several fluorocarbons such as Sevoflurane and Desflurane (“fluranes”). N2O has a significant stratospheric ozone depletion potential, while all the gaseous anesthetics in common use are greenhouse gases with global warming potentials in the hundreds to thousands. The fluranes are also PFAS compounds (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances) according to the current OECD definition. Reducing emissions of anesthetics into the environment is therefore a growing priority in the health care sector and society in general. Substitution of the highest impact anesthetics with others, including the use of total intravenous anesthesia, has been pursued with some success but there are still limitations to these approaches, including clinical considerations. Several emission control strategies have been developed for the flurane anesthetics, including cryogenic condensation and adsorption onto solids, the latter of which has shown commercial promise and environmental benefits. Catalytic decomposition methods have been pursued for N2O emission control with some success, although mixtures of fluranes and N2O are potentially problematic for this technology. However, such emission control technologies require the effective scavenging of the anesthetics during use in surgery, and the limited information available suggests that fugitive emissions into the operating room environment may be significant points of loss.

 
 
 
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