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Special Issue "IJERPH: 15th Anniversary"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Paul B. Tchounwou

Department of Biology, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Jackson State University, 1400 Lynch Street, Box 18750, Jackson, MS 39217, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 601 979 2349

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Next year (2018), we will be celebrating the 15th anniversary of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public HealthIJERPH (ISSN 1660-4601). Hence, we are currently organizing a Special Issue to commemorate this important milestone. Founded in 2004, IJERPH has experienced a tremendous growth in terms of the number and quality of scientific publications. With a 2016 impact factor of 2.101, IJERPH now ranks among the top international journals in the emerging field of environmental research and public health. As described on our website (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph), IJERPH is a peer-reviewed journal that focuses on the publication of scientific and technical information on the impacts of natural phenomena and anthropogenic factors on the quality of our environment, the interrelationships between environmental health and the quality of life, as well as the socio-cultural, political, economic, and legal considerations related to environmental stewardship and public health. Its primary areas of research interests include:

  • Gene-environment interactions
  • Environmental genomics and proteomics
  • Environmental toxicology, mutagenesis and carcinogenesis
  • Environmental epidemiology and disease control
  • Health risk assessment and management
  • Ecotoxicology, and ecological risk assessment and management
  • Natural resources damage assessment
  • Environmental chemistry and computational modeling
  • Environmental policy and management
  • Environmental engineering and biotechnology
  • Emerging issues in environmental health and diseases
  • Environmental education and public health

To help celebrate the 15th anniversary, you are kindly invited to submit original articles, critical reviews, research notes, and short communications on any of the above-listed topics. Please also encourage any of our colleagues who may be interested to submit manuscripts.

We expect that this issue will attract considerable attention, as we prepare to celebrate the excellent scientific contributions and socio-economic impacts of IJERPH over the past 15 years.

Prof. Dr. Paul B. Tchounwou
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 (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Diagnosis on Transport Risk Based on a Combined Assessment of Road Accidents and Watershed Vulnerability to Spills of Hazardous Substances
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 2011; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15092011
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 8 September 2018 / Accepted: 9 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
Roads play an important role in the economic development of cities and regions, but the transport of cargo along highways may represent a serious environmental problem because a large portion of transported goods is composed of dangerous products. In this context, the development
[...] Read more.
Roads play an important role in the economic development of cities and regions, but the transport of cargo along highways may represent a serious environmental problem because a large portion of transported goods is composed of dangerous products. In this context, the development and validation of risk management tools becomes extremely important to support the decision-making of people and agencies responsible for the management of road enterprises. In the present study, a method for determination of environmental vulnerability to road spills of hazardous substances is coupled with accident occurrence data in a highway, with the purpose to achieve a diagnosis on soil and water contamination risk and propose prevention measures and emergency alerts. The data on accident occurrences involving hazardous and potentially harmful products refer to the highway BR 050, namely the segment between the Brazilian municipalities of Uberaba and Uberlândia. The results show that many accidents occurred where vulnerability is high, especially in the southern sector of the segment, justifying the implementation of prevention and alert systems. The coupling of vulnerability and road accident data in a geographic information system proved efficient in the preparation of quick risk management maps, which are essential for alert systems and immediate environmental protection. Overall, the present study contributes with an example on how the management of risk can be conducted in practice when the transport of dangerous substances along roads is the focus problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 15th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of the Regional Network for AMI in the Management of STEMI on Care Processes, Outcomes and Health Inequities in the Veneto Region, Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1980; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091980
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 9 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
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Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of death in Europe. Outcomes in terms of mortality and health equity in the management of patients with ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) are influenced by health care service organization. The main aim of the present study was
[...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of death in Europe. Outcomes in terms of mortality and health equity in the management of patients with ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) are influenced by health care service organization. The main aim of the present study was to examine the impact of the new organizational model of the Veneto Region’s network for Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) to facilitate primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) on STEMI, and its efficacy in reducing health inequities. A retrospective cohort study was conducted on HDRs in the Veneto Region for the period 2007–2016, analyzing 65,261 hospitalizations for AMI. The proportion of patients with STEMI treated with PCI within 24 h increased significantly for men and women, and was statistically much higher for patients over 75 years of age (APC, 75–84: 9.8; >85: 12.5) than for younger patients (APC, <45: 3.3; 45–64: 4.9), with no difference relating to citizenship. The reduction in in-hospital, STEMI-related mortality was only statistically significant for patients aged 75–84 (APC: −3.0 [−4.5;−1.6]), and for Italians (APC: −1.9 [−3.2;−0.6]). Multivariate analyses confirmed a reduction in the disparities between socio-demographic categories. Although the new network improved the care process and reduced health care disparities in all subgroups, these efforts did not result in the expected survival benefit in all patient subgroups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 15th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle Developing an Awareness Campaign to Reduce Second Hand Smoke Among Disadvantaged Families—A Participatory M-Health Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1945; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091945
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
PDF Full-text (1545 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Children from disadvantaged families are particularly exposed to second hand smoke in their home environment. Using a mixed methods participatory approach, we aimed at identifying suitable media channels and appropriate content for a campaign increasing caregivers’ knowledge about the risks of second hand
[...] Read more.
Children from disadvantaged families are particularly exposed to second hand smoke in their home environment. Using a mixed methods participatory approach, we aimed at identifying suitable media channels and appropriate content for a campaign increasing caregivers’ knowledge about the risks of second hand smoke (SHS) exposure for their children and appropriate measures for exposure reduction. In the first phase of the mixed method design, we evaluated knowledge and norms about children’s SHS and perceived barriers for avoiding it. To this end, we conducted 26 one-to-one interviews with smoking caregivers of children below the age of six years. Subsequently, we developed and illustrated core messages and identified appropriate communication channels. These were evaluated in focus group discussions by 20 of the 26 interview participants. After a final revision, 121 caregivers evaluated the campaign via an online questionnaire. Online social networks were identified as the most suitable media channel. For these, we developed animated photos with voiceovers addressing the potential consequences of SHS for children. The overall rating of the campaign messages was promising. Participants confirmed that it was important to address the issue in social media. However, sharing the pictures was considered unlikely due to the sensitive topic of the campaign, while the importance of doctors or scientists being recognizable as a source was highlighted. Employing a participatory approach, we developed an m-health campaign, which can now be disseminated in social networks to reach the target population. The effectiveness of the campaign should be evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 15th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle Using a Clustering Approach to Investigate Socio-Environmental Inequality in Preterm Birth—A Study Conducted at Fine Spatial Scale in Paris (France)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1895; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091895
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Abstract
Background & Objectives: Today, to support public policies aiming to tackle environmental and health inequality, identification and monitoring of the spatial pattern of adverse birth outcomes are crucial. Spatial identification of the more vulnerable population to air pollution may orient health interventions.
[...] Read more.
Background & Objectives: Today, to support public policies aiming to tackle environmental and health inequality, identification and monitoring of the spatial pattern of adverse birth outcomes are crucial. Spatial identification of the more vulnerable population to air pollution may orient health interventions. In this context, the objective of this study is to investigate the geographical distribution of the risk of preterm birth (PTB, gestational age ≤36 weeks) at the census block level in in city of Paris, France. We also aimed to assess the implication of neighborhood characteristics including air pollution and socio-economic deprivation. Material & Methods: Newborn health data are available from the first birth certificate registered by the Maternal and Child Care department of Paris. All PTB from January 2008 to December 2011 were geocoded at the mother residential census block. Each census block was assigned a socioeconomic deprivation level and annual average ambient concentrations of NO2. A spatial clustering approach was used to investigate the spatial distribution of PTB. Results: Our results highlight that PTB is non-randomly spatially distributed, with a cluster of high risk in the northeastern area of Paris (RR = 1.15; p = 0.06). After adjustment for socio-economic deprivation and NO2 concentrations, this cluster becomes not statistically significant or shifts suggesting that these characteristics explain the spatial distribution of PTB; further, their combination shows an interaction in comparison with SES or NO2 levels alone. Conclusions: Our results may inform the decision makers about the areas where public health efforts should be strengthened to tackle the risk of PTB and to choose the most appropriate and specific community-oriented health interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 15th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Evaluation of Arabin Pessary and Cervical Cerclage for the Prevention of Preterm Labor in Asymptomatic Women with High Risk Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040791
Received: 17 March 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 18 April 2018
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Abstract
Objective: Preterm labor is one of the most significant obstetric problems associated with high rate of actual and long-term perinatal complications. Despite the creation of scoring systems, uterine activity monitoring, cervical ultrasound and several biochemical markers, the prediction and prevention of preterm labor
[...] Read more.
Objective: Preterm labor is one of the most significant obstetric problems associated with high rate of actual and long-term perinatal complications. Despite the creation of scoring systems, uterine activity monitoring, cervical ultrasound and several biochemical markers, the prediction and prevention of preterm labor is still a matter of concern. The aim of this study was to examine cervical findings for the prediction and the comparative use of Arabin pessary or cerclage for the prevention of preterm birth in asymptomatic women with high risk factors for preterm labor. Material and methods: The study group was composed of singleton pregnancies (spontaneously conceived) with high risk factors for preterm labor. Cervical length, dilatation of the internal cervical os and funneling, were estimated with transvaginal ultrasound during the first and the second trimesters of pregnancy. Results: Cervical funneling, during the second trimester of pregnancy, was the most significant factor for the prediction of preterm labor. The use of Arabin cervical pessary was found to be more effective than cerclage in the prolongation of pregnancy. Conclusion: In women at risk for preterm labor, the detection of cervical funneling in the second trimester of pregnancy may help to predict preterm labor and to apply the appropriate treatment for its prevention. Although the use of cervical pessary was found to be more effective than cerclage, more studies are needed to classify the effectiveness of different methods for such prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 15th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle Medical and Legal Aspects of Child Sexual Abuse: A Population-Based Study in a Hungarian County
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040701
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
Background: Very few studies focus on childhood sexual abuse in middle European countries. Aim: The purpose of our study is to describe the medical and legal characteristics of children who experience sexual abuse and explore common features that may result in strategies for
[...] Read more.
Background: Very few studies focus on childhood sexual abuse in middle European countries. Aim: The purpose of our study is to describe the medical and legal characteristics of children who experience sexual abuse and explore common features that may result in strategies for prevention. Methods: Between 2000 and 2015, 400 girls and 26 boys under the age of 18, suspected of being sexually abused, visited one of the four hospitals in a Hungarian county. Results: Mean age at onset was 10.81 years for boys, 13.46 years for girls. In 278 cases (65.3%), the perpetrator was known to the victim, and a stranger was suspected in 148 cases (34.7%). In 79 cases (30.7% of boys and 17.7% of girls), a family member was the accused perpetrator. In more than one-third (boys) and in one-fifth (girls) of cases, sexual abuse had occurred on multiple occasions. In the case of boys, child and adolescent sexual abuse (CSA) included oral genital, genital touching and genital to genital contact in 14 cases (53.8%) and anal intercourse in 12 (46.2%) cases. In case of girls, sexual abuse included coitus in 219 (54.8%), oral genital, genital touching, genital to genital contact in 164 (41.0%), anal abuse in 14 (3.5%) cases, physical injury was incurred in 15 cases. Legal proceedings followed the CSA in 205 (48.1%) cases. Conclusion: The results highlight the urgent need to address the issue of sexual abuse in Hungary and minimize its impact. Prevention requires a systematic and lifelong approach to educating children about personal space safety and privacy to reduce vulnerability and is the responsibility of parents and professionals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 15th Anniversary)
Open AccessArticle Ethylenediamine-N,N′-Disuccinic Acid (EDDS)—Enhanced Flushing Optimization for Contaminated Agricultural Soil Remediation and Assessment of Prospective Cu and Zn Transport
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030543
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 18 March 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (12732 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper presents the results of an experimental study aimed at investigating the effect of operative parameters on the efficiency of a soil flushing process, conducted on real contaminated soil containing high amounts of Cu and Zn. Soil flushing tests were carried out
[...] Read more.
This paper presents the results of an experimental study aimed at investigating the effect of operative parameters on the efficiency of a soil flushing process, conducted on real contaminated soil containing high amounts of Cu and Zn. Soil flushing tests were carried out with Ethylenediamine-N,N′-disuccinic acid (EDDS) as a flushing agent due to its high biodegradability and environmentally friendly characteristics. Process parameters such as Empty-Bed Contact Time (EBCT) and EDDS solution molarity were varied from 21–33 h and from 0.36–3.6 mM, respectively. Effects on the mobility of cations such as Fe and Mn were also investigated. Results showed that very high performances can be obtained at [EDDS] = 3.6 mM and EBCT = 33 h. In these conditions, in fact, the amount of removed Cu was 53%, and the amount of removed Zn was 46%. Metal distribution at different depths from the top surface revealed that Cu has higher mobility than Zn. The process results were strongly dependent on the exchange of metals due to the different stability constants of the EDDS complexes. Finally, results from a comparative study showed that soil washing treatment reached the same removal efficiency of the flushing process in a shorter time but required a larger amount of the EDDS solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 15th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle Exposure to Night-Time Traffic Noise, Melatonin-Regulating Gene Variants and Change in Glycemia in Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1492; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121492
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (837 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Traffic noise has been linked to diabetes, with limited understanding of its mechanisms. We hypothesize that night-time road traffic noise (RTN) may impair glucose homeostasis through circadian rhythm disturbances. We prospectively investigated the relationship between residential night-time RTN and subsequent eight-year change in
[...] Read more.
Traffic noise has been linked to diabetes, with limited understanding of its mechanisms. We hypothesize that night-time road traffic noise (RTN) may impair glucose homeostasis through circadian rhythm disturbances. We prospectively investigated the relationship between residential night-time RTN and subsequent eight-year change in glycosylated hemoglobin (ΔHbA1c) in 3350 participants of the Swiss Cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung and Heart Diseases in Adults (SAPALDIA), adjusting for diabetes risk factors and air pollution levels. Annual average RTN (Lnight) was assigned to participants in 2001 using validated Swiss noise models. HbA1c was measured in 2002 and 2011 using liquid chromatography. We applied mixed linear models to explore RTN–ΔHbA1c association and its modification by a genetic risk score of six common circadian-related MTNR1B variants (MGRS). A 10 dB difference in RTN was associated with a 0.02% (0.003–0.04%) increase in mean ΔHbA1c in 2142 non-movers. RTN–ΔHbA1c association was modified by MGRS among diabetic participants (Pinteraction = 0.001). A similar trend in non-diabetic participants was non-significant. Among the single variants, we observed strongest interactions with rs10830963, an acknowledged diabetes risk variant also implicated in melatonin profile dysregulation. Night-time RTN may impair glycemic control, especially in diabetic individuals, through circadian rhythm disturbances. Experimental sleep studies are needed to test whether noise control may help individuals to attain optimal glycemic levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 15th Anniversary)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Sepiolite-Based Adsorbents for the Removal of Potentially Toxic Elements from Water: A Strategic Review for the Case of Environmental Contamination in Hunan, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1653; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081653
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 1 August 2018 / Accepted: 2 August 2018 / Published: 3 August 2018
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Abstract
The last few decades have seen rapid industrialization and urban development in many regions globally; with associated pollution by potentially toxic elements; which have become a threat to human health and the food chain. This is particularly prevalent in a number of regions
[...] Read more.
The last few decades have seen rapid industrialization and urban development in many regions globally; with associated pollution by potentially toxic elements; which have become a threat to human health and the food chain. This is particularly prevalent in a number of regions in China that host multiple mineral resources and are important agricultural locations. Solutions to protect contamination of the food chain are more effective and sustainable if locally sourced materials are available; and in this context; we review the potential of local (sepiolite) mineral deposits to treat water contamination in the Hunan Municipality; central south China; widely recognized for significant environmental pollution issues (particularly by Hg; Cd; Pb; and Cr) and the high agricultural productivity of the region. Sepiolite is an abundant fibrous clay mineral with modest to good adsorption properties and extensive industrial process applications. It shows reasonable performance as an adsorbent for element removal. In addition; a number of surface modification strategies are available that improve this capability. We review these studies; focused on sorption reaction mechanisms and regeneration potential; with a view to present options for a localized and effective economic strategy for future application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 15th Anniversary)
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Other

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Open AccessBrief Report Associations between Bystanders and Perpetrators of Online Hate: The Moderating Role of Toxic Online Disinhibition
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 2030; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15092030
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
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Abstract
Hatred directed at members of groups due to their origin, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation is not new, but it has taken on a new dimension in the online world. To date, very little is known about online hate among adolescents. It
[...] Read more.
Hatred directed at members of groups due to their origin, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation is not new, but it has taken on a new dimension in the online world. To date, very little is known about online hate among adolescents. It is also unknown how online disinhibition might influence the association between being bystanders and being perpetrators of online hate. Thus, the present study focused on examining the associations among being bystanders of online hate, being perpetrators of online hate, and the moderating role of toxic online disinhibition in the relationship between being bystanders and perpetrators of online hate. In total, 1480 students aged between 12 and 17 years old were included in this study. Results revealed positive associations between being online hate bystanders and perpetrators, regardless of whether adolescents had or had not been victims of online hate themselves. The results also showed an association between toxic online disinhibition and online hate perpetration. Further, toxic online disinhibition moderated the relationship between being bystanders of online hate and being perpetrators of online hate. Implications for prevention programs and future research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 15th Anniversary)
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