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2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 40669

Special Issue Editors

Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Nucleares, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Estrada Nacional 10, Km 139.7, 2695-066 Bobadela LRS, Portugal
Interests: indoor air quality; ventilation; sleep; biodiesel; aerosols; biomonitoring; schools; assessment of pollution sources; atmospheric pollution; human exposure; air quality
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Nucleares, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Estrada Nacional 10, Km 139.7, 2695-066 Bobadela LRS, Portugal
Interests: low-carbon economy; citizen science; environment assessment; air quality
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos”, 15341 Ag. Paraskevi, Attiki, Greece
Interests: aerosol physico-chemical properties; indoor air quality; source apportionment; occupational exposure
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Along with climate change, air pollution is one of the major environmental problems that currently affects everyone in the world. The World Health Organization indicates that air pollution is estimated to cause 7 million premature deaths and results in the decrease in healthy years of life for millions more. Nowadays, the burden of disease attributable to air pollution is considered to be similar to that of other major global health risks, such as an unhealthy diet and tobacco smoking.

To decrease the negative impact of the human exposure to air pollution on citizens’ health and welfare, it is crucial to understand and create strategies and mitigation measures for its control. However, citizen exposure to air pollutants is typically based only on concentrations of pollutants monitored by the air quality monitoring stations of national environmental agencies. These monitoring stations focus on outdoor air quality and the majority are located in urban centers.

This approach also fails to account for all components of exposure, since people spend a great amount of their time indoors and have different time-activity patterns and, moreover, there is also high variability in ambient air pollutant concentrations within a city.

Therefore, human exposure during a full day cannot be reflected only by outdoor exposure and should consider all microenvironments where individuals spend their time (e.g., home, workplace, transport, leisure, and others) and the time spent in them. The characterization of indoor and outdoor environments is essential to assess the integrated human exposure to air pollutants.

The need to increase the knowledge in this field led us to establish this Special Issue of IJERPH dedicated to integrated human exposure to air pollutants. Taking into account the great interest from researchers from all around the world that this Special Issue generated in its first edition, we believe that a second edition will be useful for gathering additional valuable information and research works that have since been conducted on this important topic.

With this second edition of the Special Issue IHETAP, we invite colleagues to contribute with research targeting the human exposure in different microenvironments, individual exposures under specific conditions and activities, and methodologies to understand pollution sources and their impact on indoor and ambient air quality, with the main aim of developing the most effective mitigation measures to decrease human exposure and protect public health.

Dr. Nuno Canha
Dr. Marta Almeida
Dr. Evangelia Diapouli
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. 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 2500 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

  • air quality sensors
  • air pollution
  • assessment and modelling
  • biomass burning
  • biomonitoring
  • economic impacts and policies
  • epidemiology
  • exposome
  • human exposure
  • human health
  • health risk assessment
  • indoor air quality
  • source apportionment

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 261 KiB  
Editorial
Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution: A Step Further
by Nuno Canha, Evangelia Diapouli and Susana Marta Almeida
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(22), 7061; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20227061 - 13 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1252
Abstract
Along with climate change, air pollution is one of the biggest environmental problems affecting everyone in the world today [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

17 pages, 1748 KiB  
Article
Distribution of Minor and Major Metallic Elements in Residential Indoor Dust: A Case Study in Latvia
by Agnese Araja, Maris Bertins, Gunita Celma, Lauma Busa and Arturs Viksna
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(13), 6207; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20136207 - 22 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1296
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has not only brought considerable and permanent changes to economies and healthcare systems, but it has also greatly changed the habits of almost the entire society. During the lockdowns, people were forced to stay in their dwellings, [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has not only brought considerable and permanent changes to economies and healthcare systems, but it has also greatly changed the habits of almost the entire society. During the lockdowns, people were forced to stay in their dwellings, which served as a catalyst for the initiation of a survey on the estimation of the metallic element content in residential indoor dust in different parts of Latvia. This article presents the study results obtained through the analysis of collected dust samples from 46 dwellings, both in the capital of Latvia, Riga, and in smaller cities. Two methods were employed for indoor dust collection: vacuum sampling and manual sampling with a brush and plastic spatula. After microwave-assisted acid extraction, the samples were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) in terms of the major (Na, K, Ca, Mg, Al and Fe) and minor (Mn, Ni, Co, Pb, Cr, As, Ba, Li, Be, B, V, Cu, Zn, Se, Rb, Sr, Cd, La, Ce and Bi) elements. For the data analysis, principal component analysis was performed. Among the measured metals, the highest values were determined for the macro and most abundant elements (Na > K > Ca > Fe > Mg > Al). The concentration ranges of the persistently detected elements were as follows: Pb, 0.27–1200 mg kg−1; Cd, 0.01–6.37 mg kg−1; Ni, 0.07–513 mg kg−1; As, 0.01–69.2 mg kg−1; Cu, 5.71–1900 mg kg−1; Zn, 53.6–21,100 mg kg−1; and Cr, 4.93–412 mg kg−1. The critical limit values of metallic elements in soil defined by the legislation of the Republic of Latvia (indicating the level at or above which the functional characteristics of soil are disrupted, or pollution poses a direct threat to human health or the environment) were exceeded in the following numbers of dwellings: Pb = 4, Ni = 2, As = 1, Cu = 16, Cr = 1 and Zn = 28. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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17 pages, 2925 KiB  
Article
Health Risk Assessment of Exposure to Air Pollutants Exceeding the New WHO Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) in São Paulo, Brazil
by Caroline Fernanda Hei Wikuats, Thiago Nogueira, Rafaela Squizzato, Edmilson Dias de Freitas and Maria de Fatima Andrade
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(9), 5707; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20095707 - 02 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2371
Abstract
We applied the AirQ+ model to analyze the 2021 data within our study period (15 December 2020 to 17 June 2022) to quantitatively estimate the number of specific health outcomes from long- and short-term exposure to atmospheric pollutants that could be avoided by [...] Read more.
We applied the AirQ+ model to analyze the 2021 data within our study period (15 December 2020 to 17 June 2022) to quantitatively estimate the number of specific health outcomes from long- and short-term exposure to atmospheric pollutants that could be avoided by adopting the new World Health Organization Air Quality Guidelines (WHO AQGs) in São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil. Based on temporal variations, PM2.5, PM10, NO2, and O3 exceeded the 2021 WHO AQGs on up to 54.4% of the days during sampling, mainly in wintertime (June to September 2021). Reducing PM2.5 values in São Paulo, as recommended by the WHO, could prevent 113 and 24 deaths from lung cancer (LC) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) annually, respectively. Moreover, it could avoid 258 and 163 hospitalizations caused by respiratory (RD) and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) due to PM2.5 exposure. The results for excess deaths by RD and CVD due to O3 were 443 and 228, respectively, and 90 RD hospitalizations due to NO2. Therefore, AirQ+ is a useful tool that enables further elaboration and implementation of air pollution control strategies to reduce and prevent hospital admissions, mortality, and economic costs due to exposure to PM2.5, O3, and NO2 in São Paulo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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16 pages, 4572 KiB  
Article
A Low-Cost Sensor System Installed in Buses to Monitor Air Quality in Cities
by Carolina Correia, Vânia Martins, Bernardo Matroca, Pedro Santana, Pedro Mariano, Alexandre Almeida and Susana Marta Almeida
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(5), 4073; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20054073 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1529
Abstract
Air pollution is an important source of morbidity and mortality. It is essential to understand to what levels of air pollution citizens are exposed, especially in urban areas. Low-cost sensors are an easy-to-use option to obtain real-time air quality (AQ) data, provided that [...] Read more.
Air pollution is an important source of morbidity and mortality. It is essential to understand to what levels of air pollution citizens are exposed, especially in urban areas. Low-cost sensors are an easy-to-use option to obtain real-time air quality (AQ) data, provided that they go through specific quality control procedures. This paper evaluates the reliability of the ExpoLIS system. This system is composed of sensor nodes installed in buses, and a Health Optimal Routing Service App to inform the commuters about their exposure, dose, and the transport’s emissions. A sensor node, including a particulate matter (PM) sensor (Alphasense OPC-N3), was evaluated in laboratory conditions and at an AQ monitoring station. In laboratory conditions (approximately constant temperature and humidity conditions), the PM sensor obtained excellent correlations (R2≈1) against the reference equipment. At the monitoring station, the OPC-N3 showed considerable data dispersion. After several corrections based on the k-Köhler theory and Multiple Regression Analysis, the deviation was reduced and the correlation with the reference improved. Finally, the ExpoLIS system was installed, leading to the production of AQ maps with high spatial and temporal resolution, and to the demonstration of the Health Optimal Routing Service App as a valuable tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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24 pages, 34470 KiB  
Article
An Educational Game to Teach Children about Air Quality Using Augmented Reality and Tangible Interaction with Sensors
by João Fernandes, Tomás Brandão, Susana Marta Almeida and Pedro Santana
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(5), 3814; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20053814 - 21 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2169
Abstract
Air pollution is known to be one of the main causes of injuries to the respiratory system and even premature death. Gases, particles, and biological compounds affect not only the air we breathe outdoors, but also indoors. Children are highly affected by the [...] Read more.
Air pollution is known to be one of the main causes of injuries to the respiratory system and even premature death. Gases, particles, and biological compounds affect not only the air we breathe outdoors, but also indoors. Children are highly affected by the poor quality of the air they breathe because their organs and immune systems are still in the developmental stages. To contribute to raising children’s awareness to these concerns, this article presents the design, implementation, and experimental validation of an serious augmented reality game for children to playfully learn about air quality by interacting with physical sensor nodes. The game presents visual representations of the pollutants measured by the sensor node, rendering tangible the invisible. Causal knowledge is elicited by stimulating the children to expose real-life objects (e.g., candles) to the sensor node. The playful experience is amplified by letting children play in pairs. The game was evaluated using the Wizard of Oz method in a sample of 27 children aged between 7 and 11 years. The results show that the proposed game, in addition to improving children’s knowledge about indoor air pollution, is also perceived by them as easy to use and a useful learning tool that they would like to continue using, even in other educational contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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15 pages, 3709 KiB  
Article
Connection between Weather Types and Air Pollution Levels: A 19-Year Study in Nine EMEP Stations in Spain
by Nuria Pardo, Samuel Sainz-Villegas, Ana I. Calvo, Carlos Blanco-Alegre and Roberto Fraile
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(4), 2977; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20042977 - 08 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1288
Abstract
This study focuses on the analysis of the distribution, both spatial and temporal, of the PM10 (particulate matter with a diameter of 10 µm or less) concentrations recorded in nine EMEP (European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme) background stations distributed throughout mainland Spain [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the analysis of the distribution, both spatial and temporal, of the PM10 (particulate matter with a diameter of 10 µm or less) concentrations recorded in nine EMEP (European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme) background stations distributed throughout mainland Spain between 2001 and 2019. A study of hierarchical clusters was used to classify the stations into three main groups with similarities in yearly concentrations: GC (coastal location), GNC (north–central location), and GSE (southeastern location). The highest PM10 concentrations were registered in summer. Annual evolution showed statistically significant decreasing trends in PM10 concentration in all the stations covering a range from −0.21 to −0.50 µg m−3/year for Barcarrota and Víznar, respectively. Through the Lamb classification, the weather types were defined during the study period, and those associated with high levels of pollution were identified. Finally, the values exceeding the limits established by the legislation were analyzed for every station assessed in the study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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24 pages, 7210 KiB  
Article
Physico-Chemical Properties and Deposition Potential of PM2.5 during Severe Smog Event in Delhi, India
by Sadaf Fatima, Sumit Kumar Mishra, Ajit Ahlawat and Ashok Priyadarshan Dimri
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(22), 15387; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192215387 - 21 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1503
Abstract
The present work studies a severe smog event that occurred in Delhi (India) in 2017, targeting the characterization of PM2.5 and its deposition potential in human respiratory tract of different population groups in which the PM2.5 levels raised from 124.0 µg/m [...] Read more.
The present work studies a severe smog event that occurred in Delhi (India) in 2017, targeting the characterization of PM2.5 and its deposition potential in human respiratory tract of different population groups in which the PM2.5 levels raised from 124.0 µg/m3 (pre-smog period) to 717.2 µg/m3 (during smog period). Higher concentration of elements such as C, N, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, S, Fe, Cl, Ca, Ti, Cr, Pb, Fe, K, Cu, Cl, P, and F were observed during the smog along with dominant organic functional groups (aldehyde, ketones, alkyl halides (R-F; R-Br; R-Cl), ether, etc.), which supported potential contribution from transboundary biomass-burning activities along with local pollution sources and favorable meteorological conditions. The morphology of individual particles were found mostly as non-spherical, including carbon fractals, aggregates, sharp-edged, rod-shaped, and flaky structures. A multiple path particle dosimetry (MPPD) model showed significant deposition potential of PM2.5 in terms of deposition fraction, mass rate, and mass flux during smog conditions in all age groups. The highest PM2.5 deposition fraction and mass rate were found for the head region followed by the alveolar region of the human respiratory tract. The highest mass flux was reported for 21-month-old (4.7 × 102 µg/min/m2), followed by 3-month-old (49.2 µg/min/m2) children, whereas it was lowest for 21-year-old adults (6.8 µg/min/m2), indicating babies and children were more vulnerable to PM2.5 pollution than adults during smog. Deposition doses of toxic elements such as Cr, Fe, Zn, Pb, Cu, Mn, and Ni were also found to be higher (up to 1 × 10−7 µg/kg/day) for children than adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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17 pages, 3279 KiB  
Article
The Role of Portable Air Purifiers and Effective Ventilation in Improving Indoor Air Quality in University Classrooms
by Mohammad Aldekheel, Abdulmalik Altuwayjiri, Ramin Tohidi, Vahid Jalali Farahani and Constantinos Sioutas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(21), 14558; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192114558 - 06 Nov 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 5434
Abstract
In this study we investigated the effectiveness of air purifiers and in-line filters in ventilation systems working simultaneously inside various classrooms at the University of Southern California (USC) main campus. We conducted real-time measurements of particle mass (PM), particle number (PN), and carbon [...] Read more.
In this study we investigated the effectiveness of air purifiers and in-line filters in ventilation systems working simultaneously inside various classrooms at the University of Southern California (USC) main campus. We conducted real-time measurements of particle mass (PM), particle number (PN), and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in nine classrooms from September 2021 to January 2022. The measurement campaign was carried out with different configurations of the purifier (i.e., different flow rates) while the ventilation system was continuously working. Our results showed that the ventilation systems in the classrooms were adequate in providing sufficient outdoor air to dilute indoor CO2 concentrations due to the high air exchange rates (2.63–8.63 h−1). The particle penetration coefficients (P) of the investigated classrooms were very low for PM (<0.2) and PN (<0.1), with the exception of one classroom, corroborating the effectiveness of in-line filters in the ventilation systems. Additionally, the results showed that the efficiency of the air purifier exceeded 95% in capturing ultrafine and coarse particles and ranged between 82–88% for particles in the accumulation range (0.3–2 µm). The findings of this study underline the effectiveness of air purifiers and ventilation systems equipped with efficient in-line filters in substantially reducing indoor air pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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12 pages, 3153 KiB  
Article
Impact of Different Air Pollutants (PM10, PM2.5, NO2, and Bacterial Aerosols) on COVID-19 Cases in Gliwice, Southern Poland
by Ewa Brągoszewska and Anna Mainka
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(21), 14181; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192114181 - 30 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1800
Abstract
Many studies have shown that air pollution may be closely associated with increased morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19. It has been observed that exposure to air pollution leads to reduced immune response, thereby facilitating viral penetration and replication. In our study, we [...] Read more.
Many studies have shown that air pollution may be closely associated with increased morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19. It has been observed that exposure to air pollution leads to reduced immune response, thereby facilitating viral penetration and replication. In our study, we combined information on confirmed COVID-19 daily new cases (DNCs) in one of the most polluted regions in the European Union (EU) with air-quality monitoring data, including meteorological parameters (temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind speed, and direction) and concentrations of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2), ozone (O3), and carbon monoxide (CO). Additionally, the relationship between bacterial aerosol (BA) concentration and COVID-19 spread was analyzed. We confirmed a significant positive correlation (p < 0.05) between NO2 concentrations and numbers of confirmed DNCs and observed positive correlations (p < 0.05) between BA concentrations and DNCs, which may point to coronavirus air transmission by surface deposits on bioaerosol particles. In addition, wind direction information was used to show that the highest numbers of DNCs were associated with the dominant wind directions in the region (southern and southwestern parts). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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17 pages, 4089 KiB  
Article
Citizens’ Perception on Air Quality in Portugal—How Concern Motivates Awareness
by Nuno Canha, Ana Rita Justino, Carla A. Gamelas and Susana Marta Almeida
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12760; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912760 - 05 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1876
Abstract
This study aimed to understand the knowledge of Portuguese citizens about air quality and the extent to which the concerns about specific environmental problems can motivate their acquaintance of information. Moreover, this study also allowed to understand which information about air quality needs [...] Read more.
This study aimed to understand the knowledge of Portuguese citizens about air quality and the extent to which the concerns about specific environmental problems can motivate their acquaintance of information. Moreover, this study also allowed to understand which information about air quality needs further dissemination to provide the citizens with all the available tools and the correct knowledge. For this, a national online survey about air quality perception was conducted, where 1131 answers were obtained and two different populations were compared: the general population and a sub-population from an urban-industrial area of Lisbon metropolitan area that had experienced frequent air pollution events in the past. Air pollution was considered the environmental topic of higher concern among this sub-population (61.4%), while in the general population it ranked thirdly (27.4%). Generally, the sub-population showed higher knowledge about air quality than the general population, with 61% being able to identify at least one air pollutant. The perception of the local air quality was also very different between populations, with 61% of the sub-population considering it poor or very poor, while only 14% of the general population had the same perception, which highlights the different levels of concern between populations. A weak knowledge about air pollutants (50% of the general population could not identify any air pollutant) and an erroneous perception of the contribution of the different pollution sources to air quality levels were found. More than 50% of the respondents of both populations were considered to not have enough information regarding the air quality in their area of residence, with the national air quality database being unknown to almost everyone. Overall, strong efforts should be made to increase the awareness about the importance of air quality, which may promote a higher acceptance of the implementation of future actions to improve air quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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13 pages, 7065 KiB  
Article
Modeling Primary Emissions of Chemicals from Liquid Products Applied on Indoor Surfaces
by Wenjuan Wei, John C. Little, Mélanie Nicolas, Olivier Ramalho and Corinne Mandin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 10122; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191610122 - 16 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1191
Abstract
Liquid products applied on material surfaces and human skin, including many household cleaning products and personal care products, can lead to intermittent emissions of chemicals and peak concentrations in indoor air. The existing case-based models do not allow inter-comparison of different use scenarios [...] Read more.
Liquid products applied on material surfaces and human skin, including many household cleaning products and personal care products, can lead to intermittent emissions of chemicals and peak concentrations in indoor air. The existing case-based models do not allow inter-comparison of different use scenarios and emission mechanisms. In this context, the present work developed a mechanistic model based on mass transfer theories, which allowed emissions into the air from the liquid product to be characterized. It also allowed for diffusion into the applied surface during product use and re-emission from the applied surface after the depletion of the liquid product. The model was validated using literature data on chemical emissions following floor cleaning and personal care product use. A sensitivity analysis of the model was then conducted. The percentage of the chemical mass emitted from the liquid to the air varied from 45% (applied on porous material) to 99% (applied on human skin), and the rest was absorbed into the applied material/skin. The peak gas-phase concentration, the time to reach the peak concentration, and the percentage of the liquid-to-air emission depended significantly on the chemical’s octanol/gas and material/gas partition coefficients and the diffusion coefficient of the chemical in the applied material/skin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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17 pages, 3579 KiB  
Article
Are House Prices Affected by PM2.5 Pollution? Evidence from Beijing, China
by Wenhao Xue, Xinyao Li, Zhe Yang and Jing Wei
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(14), 8461; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148461 - 11 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2020
Abstract
With the progress of high-quality development in China, residents have begun to focus on the air quality of their residential areas in an effort to reduce the health threats of air pollution. Gradually, the risk associated with air pollution has become an important [...] Read more.
With the progress of high-quality development in China, residents have begun to focus on the air quality of their residential areas in an effort to reduce the health threats of air pollution. Gradually, the risk associated with air pollution has become an important factor affecting housing prices. To quantitatively analyze the impact of air pollution on house prices, panel data, including data for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations, house prices and other auxiliary variables from 2009 to 2018, were collected from 16 districts in Beijing, China. Based on this dataset, ordinary least squares (OLS), moderating effect and threshold effect models were constructed for empirical investigation. Within the studied decade, PM2.5 pollution shows a significant decreasing trend of −3.79 μg m−3 yr−1 (p < 0.01). For house prices, the opposite trend was found. The empirical results indicate that PM2.5 pollution has a negative effect on house prices and that every 1% increase in PM2.5 causes an approximately 0.541% decrease in house prices. However, the inhibition of PM2.5 on housing prices is moderated by regional educational resources, especially in areas with high education levels. In addition, per capita disposable income can also cause heterogeneities in the impact of PM2.5 on house prices, whereby the threshold is approximately CNY 101,185. Notably, the endogeneity problems of this study are solved by the instrumental variable method, and the results are robust. This outcome suggests that the coordinated control of air pollution and balanced educational resources among regions are required for the future sustainable development of the real estate market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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19 pages, 2985 KiB  
Article
Tracing of Heavy Metals Embedded in Indoor Dust Particles from the Industrial City of Asaluyeh, South of Iran
by Mahsa Tashakor, Reza Dahmardeh Behrooz, Seyed Reza Asvad and Dimitris G. Kaskaoutis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7905; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137905 - 28 Jun 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2341
Abstract
Assessment of indoor air quality is especially important, since people spend substantial amounts of time indoors, either at home or at work. This study analyzes concentrations of selected heavy metals in 40 indoor dust samples obtained from houses in the highly-industrialized Asaluyeh city, [...] Read more.
Assessment of indoor air quality is especially important, since people spend substantial amounts of time indoors, either at home or at work. This study analyzes concentrations of selected heavy metals in 40 indoor dust samples obtained from houses in the highly-industrialized Asaluyeh city, south Iran in spring and summer seasons (20 samples each). Furthermore, the health risk due to exposure to indoor air pollution is investigated for both children and adults, in a city with several oil refineries and petrochemical industries. The chemical analysis revealed that in both seasons the concentrations of heavy metals followed the order of Cr > Ni > Pb > As > Co > Cd. A significant difference was observed in the concentrations of potential toxic elements (PTEs) such as Cr, As and Ni, since the mean (±stdev) summer levels were at 60.2 ± 9.1 mg kg−1, 5.6 ± 2.7 mg kg−1 and 16.4 ± 1.9 mg kg−1, respectively, while the concentrations were significantly lower in spring (17.6 ± 9.7 mg kg−1, 3.0 ± 1.7 mg kg−1 and 13.5 ± 2.4 mg kg−1 for Cr, As and Ni, respectively). Although the hazard index (HI) values, which denote the possibility of non-carcinogenic risk due to exposure to household heavy metals, were generally low for both children and adults (HI < 1), the carcinogenic risks of arsenic and chromium were found to be above the safe limit of 1 × 10−4 for children through the ingestion pathway, indicating a high cancer risk due to household dust in Asaluyeh, especially in summer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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12 pages, 1799 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Relationship between Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) with Indoor PM10, PM2.5 and NO2 in Suburban and Urban Schools
by Khairul Nizam Mohd Isa, Juliana Jalaludin, Saliza Mohd Elias, Norlen Mohamed, Jamal Hisham Hashim and Zailina Hashim
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(8), 4580; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19084580 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2190
Abstract
Numerous epidemiological studies have evaluated the association of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and indoor air pollutants, but limited information available of the risks between schools located in suburban and urban areas. We therefore investigated the association of FeNO levels with indoor particulate [...] Read more.
Numerous epidemiological studies have evaluated the association of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and indoor air pollutants, but limited information available of the risks between schools located in suburban and urban areas. We therefore investigated the association of FeNO levels with indoor particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exposure in suburban and urban school areas. A comparative cross-sectional study was undertaken among secondary school students in eight schools located in the suburban and urban areas in the district of Hulu Langat, Selangor, Malaysia. A total of 470 school children (aged 14 years old) were randomly selected, their FeNO levels were measured, and allergic skin prick tests were conducted. The PM2.5, PM10, NO2, and carbon dioxide (CO2), temperature, and relative humidity were measured inside the classrooms. We found that the median of FeNO in the school children from urban areas (22.0 ppb, IQR = 32.0) were slightly higher as compared to the suburban group (19.5 ppb, IQR = 24.0). After adjustment of potential confounders, the two-level hierarchical multiple logistic regression models showed that the concentrations of PM2.5 were significantly associated with elevated of FeNO (>20 ppb) in school children from suburban (OR = 1.42, 95% CI = 1.17–1.72) and urban (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.10–1.91) areas. Despite the concentrations of NO2 being below the local and international recommendation guidelines, NO2 was found to be significantly associated with the elevated FeNO levels among school children from suburban areas (OR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.06–1.17). The findings of this study support the evidence of indoor pollutants in the school micro-environment associated with FeNO levels among school children from suburban and urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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18 pages, 5585 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Environmental Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Exposure on DNA Damage among School Children in Urban Traffic Area, Malaysia
by Nur Hazirah Hisamuddin, Juliana Jalaludin, Suhaili Abu Bakar and Mohd Talib Latif
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2193; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042193 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2500
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the association between particulate PAHs exposure and DNA damage in Malaysian schoolchildren in heavy traffic (HT) and low traffic (LT) areas. PAH samples at eight schools were collected using a low volume sampler for 24 h and quantified [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the association between particulate PAHs exposure and DNA damage in Malaysian schoolchildren in heavy traffic (HT) and low traffic (LT) areas. PAH samples at eight schools were collected using a low volume sampler for 24 h and quantified using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. Two hundred and twenty-eight buccal cells of children were assessed for DNA damage using Comet Assay. Monte-Carlo simulation was performed to determine incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) and to check the uncertainty and sensitivity of the estimated risk. Total PAH concentrations in the schools in HT area were higher than LT area ranging from 4.4 to 5.76 ng m−3 and 1.36 to 3.79 ng m−3, respectively. The source diagnostic ratio showed that PAHs in the HT area is pyrogenic, mainly from diesel emission. The 95th percentile of the ILCR for children in HT and LT area were 2.80 × 10−7 and 1.43 × 10−7, respectively. The degree of DNA damage was significantly more severe in children in the HT group compared to LT group. This study shows that total indoor PAH exposure was the most significant factor that influenced the DNA damage among children. Further investigation of the relationship between PAH exposure and genomic integrity in children is required to shed additional light on potential health risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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20 pages, 55646 KiB  
Article
Spatial Distribution of Air Pollution, Hotspots and Sources in an Urban-Industrial Area in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, Portugal—A Biomonitoring Approach
by Leonor Abecasis, Carla A. Gamelas, Ana Rita Justino, Isabel Dionísio, Nuno Canha, Zsofia Kertesz and Susana Marta Almeida
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1364; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031364 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2749
Abstract
This study aimed to understand the influence of industries (including steelworks, lime factories, and industry of metal waste management and treatment) on the air quality of the urban-industrial area of Seixal (Portugal), where the local population has often expressed concerns regarding the air [...] Read more.
This study aimed to understand the influence of industries (including steelworks, lime factories, and industry of metal waste management and treatment) on the air quality of the urban-industrial area of Seixal (Portugal), where the local population has often expressed concerns regarding the air quality. The adopted strategy was based on biomonitoring of air pollution using transplanted lichens distributed over a grid to cover the study area. Moreover, the study was conducted during the first period of national lockdown due to COVID-19, whereas local industries kept their normal working schedule. Using a set of different statistical analysis approaches (such as enrichment and contamination factors, Spearman correlations, and evaluation of spatial patterns) to the chemical content of the exposed transplanted lichens, it was possible to assess hotspots of air pollution and to identify five sources affecting the local air quality: (i) a soil source of natural origin (based on Al, Si, and Ti), (ii) a soil source of natural and anthropogenic origins (based on Fe and Mg), (iii) a source from the local industrial activity, namely steelworks (based on Co, Cr, Mn, Pb, and Zn); (iv) a source from the road traffic (based on Cr, Cu, and Zn), and (v) a source of biomass burning (based on Br and K). The impact of the industries located in the study area on the local air quality was identified (namely, the steelworks), confirming the concerns of the local population. This valuable information is essential to improve future planning and optimize the assessment of particulate matter levels by reference methods, which will allow a quantitative analysis of the issue, based on national and European legislation, and to define the quantitative contribution of pollution sources and to design target mitigation measures to improve local air quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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Review

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15 pages, 862 KiB  
Review
Impact of Climate Change on Indoor Air Quality: A Review
by Aya Mansouri, Wenjuan Wei, Jean-Marie Alessandrini, Corinne Mandin and Patrice Blondeau
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(23), 15616; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315616 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3492
Abstract
Climate change can affect the indoor environment due to heat and mass transfers between indoor and outdoor environments. To mitigate climate change impacts and adapt buildings to the changing environment, changes in building characteristics and occupants’ behavior may occur. To characterize the effects [...] Read more.
Climate change can affect the indoor environment due to heat and mass transfers between indoor and outdoor environments. To mitigate climate change impacts and adapt buildings to the changing environment, changes in building characteristics and occupants’ behavior may occur. To characterize the effects of climate change on indoor air quality (IAQ), the present review focused on four aspects: (1) experimental and modeling studies that relate IAQ to future environmental conditions, (2) evolution of indoor and outdoor air concentrations in the coming years with regard to temperature rise, (3) climate change mitigation and adaptation actions in the building sector, and (4) evolution of human behavior in the context of climate change. In the indoor environment, experimental and modeling studies on indoor air pollutants highlighted a combined effect of temperature and relative humidity on pollutant emissions from indoor sources. Five IAQ models developed for future climate data were identified in the literature. In the outdoor environment, the increasing ambient temperature may lead directly or indirectly to changes in ozone, particle, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compound concentrations in some regions of the world depending on the assumptions made about temperature evolution, anthropogenic emissions, and regional regulation. Infiltration into buildings of outdoor air pollutants is governed by many factors, including temperature difference between indoors and outdoors, and might increase in the years to come during summer and decrease during other seasons. On the other hand, building codes in some countries require a higher airtightness for new and retrofitted buildings. The building adaptation actions include the reinforcement of insulation, implementation of new materials and smart building technologies, and a more systematic and possibly longer use of air conditioning systems in summer compared to nowadays. Moreover, warmer winters, springs, and autumns may induce an increasing duration of open windows in these seasons, while the use of air conditioning in summer may reduce the duration of open windows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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20 pages, 457 KiB  
Review
Synergistic or Antagonistic Health Effects of Long- and Short-Term Exposure to Ambient NO2 and PM2.5: A Review
by Anna Mainka and Magdalena Żak
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(21), 14079; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192114079 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1914
Abstract
Studies on adverse health effects associated with air pollution mostly focus on individual pollutants. However, the air is a complex medium, and thus epidemiological studies face many challenges and limitations in the multipollutant approach. NO2 and PM2.5 have been selected as [...] Read more.
Studies on adverse health effects associated with air pollution mostly focus on individual pollutants. However, the air is a complex medium, and thus epidemiological studies face many challenges and limitations in the multipollutant approach. NO2 and PM2.5 have been selected as both originating from combustion processes and are considered to be the main pollutants associated with traffic; moreover, both elicit oxidative stress responses. An answer to the question of whether synergistic or antagonistic health effects of combined pollutants are demonstrated by pollutants monitored in ambient air is not explicit. Among the analyzed studies, only a few revealed statistical significance. Exposure to a single pollutant (PM2.5 or NO2) was mostly associated with a small increase in non-accidental mortality (HR:1.01–1.03). PM2.5 increase of <10 µg/m3 adjusted for NO2 as well as NO2 adjusted for PM2.5 resulted in a slightly lower health risk than a single pollutant. In the case of cardiovascular heart disease, mortality evoked by exposure to PM2.5 or NO2 adjusted for NO2 and PM2.5, respectively, revealed an antagonistic effect on health risk compared to the single pollutant. Both short- and long-term exposure to PM2.5 or NO2 adjusted for NO2 and PM2.5, respectively, revealed a synergistic effect appearing as higher mortality from respiratory diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Integrated Human Exposure to Air Pollution)
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