Special Issue "Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment"

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: 1 December 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Elena Cristina Rada
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Insubria University of Varese, Department of Theoretical and Applied Sciences – DiSTA, Via G.B. Vico, 46, 21100, Varese, Italy
Universityof Trento, Department Engineering, Civil Environmental and Mechnical Engineering Department - DICAM, via Mesiano 77, 38123, Trento, Italy
Interests: waste management; urban mining; 4Rs; end-of-waste circular economy; CO2; economic impact; energy; renewable energy; efficiency; environmental pollution; air quality; environmental sustainability; public acceptance; safety and security
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on human health and environment from many perspectives and in many different fields: air, water, waste, and soil.

Environmental health concerns aspects of the natural and built environment that affect human health. Environmental pollution has its causes, effects, and solutions that concern, directly or indirectly, human health. Environmental toxicology helps one to understand the harmful effects of various agents on humans (and not only).

Health risk assessment can valorize some results of toxicological research through increasingly refined methodologies of calculation. Medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry can indirectly affect aquatic environments, increasing the interest of toxicologists regarding related concerns.

Public health can take advantage of the enhancements in all these fields and the results of environmental remediation. Health and safety can complete this perspective by introducing the concept of prevention.

The aim of this Special Issue is to contribute to the dissemination of enhanced concepts of human health and environment related to air, water, waste, and soil.

Dr. Elena Cristina Rada
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 semimonthly 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

  • air, water and soil
  • environmental health
  • environmental pollution
  • environmental toxicology
  • health risk assessment
  • medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry
  • public health
  • remediation
  • safety
  • waste and wastewater

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Removal of Cypermethrin from Water by Using Fucus Spiralis Marine Alga
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3663; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193663 - 29 Sep 2019
Abstract
Alpha-cypermethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid that was extensively used for insect control, since the early 1980s. However, it is known that its presence in the environment has toxic effects on humans and aquatic life forms. For this reason, it is commendable for it [...] Read more.
Alpha-cypermethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid that was extensively used for insect control, since the early 1980s. However, it is known that its presence in the environment has toxic effects on humans and aquatic life forms. For this reason, it is commendable for it to be removed completely from the contaminated environment. In this study, we evaluated the adsorption capacity of a marine alga for the removal of cypermethrin from water. The adsorption experiments were performed based on the batch equilibrium technique. The samples containing the pesticide were analyzed using gas chromatography with an electron capture detector, after liquid-liquid extraction in hexane. The results obtained from the kinetic adsorption studies showed that the equilibrium time was attained after 40 min. The adsorption parameters at equilibrium concentrations, obtained through the Langmuir, Freundlich, and Temkin models, showed that the used brown marine alga has a maximum amount of adsorbed cypermethrin of 588.24 µg/g. The correlation coefficients obtained for each model prove that the Langmuir model best fits the experimental data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Exposure to Bacterial and Fungal Aerosols: Microorganism Indices in A Waste-Sorting Plant in Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3308; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183308 - 09 Sep 2019
Abstract
An increased understanding of airborne microorganism populations should enable a better interpretation of bioaerosol exposure found in a working environment. An assessment of the contamination levels of mesophilic bacterial aerosol (MBA) and fungal aerosol (FA) was carried out using two evaluation indices for [...] Read more.
An increased understanding of airborne microorganism populations should enable a better interpretation of bioaerosol exposure found in a working environment. An assessment of the contamination levels of mesophilic bacterial aerosol (MBA) and fungal aerosol (FA) was carried out using two evaluation indices for microbiological pollution—the total index of microbiological contamination per cubic meter (TIMC/m3) and the indoor–outdoor index (IOI). An advantage of selected indices is the inclusion of several co-existing factors that have an impact on the formation of bioaerosol. When properly used, they also highlight the low efficiency of the ventilation system caused by an insufficient air exchange. In this study, the microbial air quality (MAQ) of the working environment was assessed during the spring season at a sorting plant located in Southern Poland. Sampling was undertaken in the plant using an Andersen six-stage impactor which allows the obtainment of information about the size distribution of the air microflora. The value of average concentrations of MBA and the average concentration of FA collected in the preliminary cabin of the sorting plant (PCSP) and the cleaning cabin of the sorting plant (CCSP) were analyzed. The obtained values of MBA were 1.6 times higher indoors, compared to outdoors, while FA was 1.7 times higher outdoors than indoors. The maximum TIMC/m3 value was obtained in PCSP (2626). The calculated IOI in this study suggests that MBA concentrations are influenced by internal sources, as opposed to FA. The purpose of this work was to present the usefulness of using indices in assessing air quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Remediation of Soil Polluted by Organic Compounds Through Chemical Oxidation and Phytoremediation Combined with DCT
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3179; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173179 - 31 Aug 2019
Abstract
Soils contaminated with organic substances is an important issue across Europe: In some areas, these are the main causes of pollution, or the second after contamination from waste disposal. This paper included an experimental application that compared three methods of remediation of contaminated [...] Read more.
Soils contaminated with organic substances is an important issue across Europe: In some areas, these are the main causes of pollution, or the second after contamination from waste disposal. This paper included an experimental application that compared three methods of remediation of contaminated sites, based on electric fields: A single treatment (electroremediation); and two combined treatments, phyto-electrochemical and electrooxidation (a combination of chemical treatment and a DCT—direct current technology). The contaminated soil was taken from a former industrial area devoted to oil refining, located between two roads: The one national and the other one for industrial use. Nine soil samples were collected at two depths (0.2 and 0.4 m). The initial characterization of the soil showed a density of 1.5 g/cm³ and a moisture of about 20%; regarding grain size, 50% of the soil had particles with a diameter less than 0.08 mm. The electrochemical treatment and electrooxidation had an efficiency of 20% while the two combined methods had efficiencies of 42.5% for electrooxidation (with H2O2) and 20% for phyto-electroremediation (phyto-ER) with poinsettias. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
A Study on Noise Reduction of Gear Pumps of Wheel Loaders Based on the ICA Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 999; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16060999 - 19 Mar 2019
Abstract
In order to reduce the noise level of wheel loaders caused by gear pumps and realize environmentally sustainable development, the noise generation mechanism of a gear pump was studied, and the influence of flow pulsation and gear impact on noise was analyzed. In [...] Read more.
In order to reduce the noise level of wheel loaders caused by gear pumps and realize environmentally sustainable development, the noise generation mechanism of a gear pump was studied, and the influence of flow pulsation and gear impact on noise was analyzed. In order to reduce the interference of other noise sources on the noise level of the gear pump, a noise test rig was established. The mixed noise signals obtained from the rig test were separated using the ICA model. The ICA model includes the following algorithms: The fast Fourier transform (FFT), independent component analysis (ICA) and inverse fast Fourier transform (IFFT). Some theories about the influence of the teeth number and teeth profile on noise were analyzed by theory and simulation. A noise reduction strategy was proposed by increasing the teeth numbers and modifying the teeth profile of the gear pump. The tests results showed that the noise values of the external and the driver’s ear of the wheel loader were reduced to 1 and 2.2 dB (A), respectively. This proves the effectiveness of the optimization scheme of gear pump noise reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Open AccessCommunication
Perceived Body Appearance and Eating Habits: The Voice of Young and Adult Students Attending Higher Education
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030451 - 04 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study examined the relationship between social-environmental influences and body image perception. Specifically, the study explored the perceived body appearance among young and older students attending higher education, and their eating experiences, as related to four main social-environmental circles: family, friends, work colleagues, [...] Read more.
This study examined the relationship between social-environmental influences and body image perception. Specifically, the study explored the perceived body appearance among young and older students attending higher education, and their eating experiences, as related to four main social-environmental circles: family, friends, work colleagues, and media. The present study interviewed 30 students (14 men and 16 women) ages 20–40. The findings show that most of the participants were concerned about their appearance, reported on various eating habits rooted on family tradition. Findings revealed differences among gender and age groups regarding, especially regarding sport and dissatisfaction with their own perceived appearance. Although more women reported on healthy eating habits and doing sport, they reported higher dissatisfaction with their body appearance. It was found that in both groups, family habits and their parents’ remarks about bodies had an ongoing effect and significant influence on their body self-perceptions. Further health promotion should be directed in particular to individuals with a perceived negative body image, in order to enhance positive body self-perception, implementing heathy eating habits and engaging higher commitment to sport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
Open AccessArticle
Accuracy Assessment of the Planar Morphology of Valley Bank Gullies Extracted with High Resolution Remote Sensing Imagery on the Loess Plateau, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030369 - 28 Jan 2019
Abstract
Gully erosion is a serious environmental problem worldwide, causing soil loss, land degradation, silting up of reservoirs and even catastrophic flooding. Mapping gully features from remote sensing imagery is crucial for assisting in understanding gully erosion mechanisms, predicting its development processes and assessing [...] Read more.
Gully erosion is a serious environmental problem worldwide, causing soil loss, land degradation, silting up of reservoirs and even catastrophic flooding. Mapping gully features from remote sensing imagery is crucial for assisting in understanding gully erosion mechanisms, predicting its development processes and assessing its environmental and socio-economic effects over large areas, especially under the increasing global climate extremes and intensive human activities. However, the potential of using increasingly available high-resolution remote sensing imagery to detect and delineate gullies has been less evaluated. Hence, 130 gullies occurred along a transect were selected from a typical watershed in the hilly and gully region of the Chinese Loess Plateau, and visually interpreted from a Pleiades-1B satellite image (panchromatic-sharpened image at 0.5 m resolution fused with 2.0 m multi-spectral bands). The interpreted gullies were compared with their measured data obtained in the field using a differential global positioning system (GPS). Results showed that gullies could generally be accurately interpreted from the image, with an average relative error of gully area and gully perimeter being 11.1% and 8.9%, respectively, and 74.2% and 82.3% of the relative errors for gully area and gully perimeter were within 15%. But involving field measurements of gullies in present imagery-based gully studies is still recommended. To judge whether gullies were mapped accurately further, a standard adopting one-pixel tolerance along the mapped gully edges was proposed and proved to be practical. Correlation analysis indicated that larger gullies could be interpreted more accurately but increasing gully shape complexity would decrease interpreting accuracy. Overall lower vegetation coverage in winter due to the withering and falling of vegetation rarely affected gully interpreting. Furthermore, gully detectability on remote sensing imagery in this region was lower than the other places of the world, due to the overall broken topography in the Loess Plateau, thus images with higher resolution than normally perceived are needed when mapping erosion features here. Taking these influencing factors (gully dimension and shape complexity, vegetation coverage, topography) into account will be favorable to select appropriate imagery and gullies (as study objects) in future imagery-based gully studies. Finally, two linear regression models were built to correct gully area (Aip, m2) and gully perimeter (Pip, m) visually extracted, by connecting them with the measured area (Ams, m2) and perimeter (Pms, m). The correction models were A m s = 1.021 A i p + 0.139 and P m s = 0.949 P i p +   0.722 , respectively. These models could be helpful for improving the accuracy of interpreting results, and further accurately estimating gully development and developing more effective automated gully extraction methods on the Loess Plateau of China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Different Trends in Microbial Contamination between Two Types of Microfiltered Water Dispensers: From Risk Analysis to Consumer Health Preservation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020272 - 18 Jan 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The use of microfiltered water dispensers (MWDs) for treatment of municipal water is increasing rapidly, however, the water quality produced by MWDs has not been widely investigated. In this work a large-scale microbiological investigation was conducted on 46 MWDs. In accordance with Italian [...] Read more.
The use of microfiltered water dispensers (MWDs) for treatment of municipal water is increasing rapidly, however, the water quality produced by MWDs has not been widely investigated. In this work a large-scale microbiological investigation was conducted on 46 MWDs. In accordance with Italian regulations for drinking water, we investigated the heterotrophic plate counts at 36 and 22 °C for indicator bacteria and pathogenic bacteria, such as Enterococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Two different MWDs were compared: Type A with Ag+ coated carbon filter and two ultraviolet (UV) lamps, and Type B with a carbon filter and one UV lamp. For each type, the contamination of the input and output points was analyzed. Our findings showed that MWDs are a source of bacteria growth, with output being more contaminated than the input point. Type B was widely contaminated for all parameters tested in both sampling points, suggesting that water treatment by Type A is more effective in controlling bacterial contamination. MWDs are critical devices for water treatment in term of technologies, intended use, and sanitization procedures. The adoption of an appropriate drinking water safety plan associated with clear maintenance procedures and periodic environmental monitoring can ensure the safe and healthy operation of these devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Distribution Characteristics and Source of Dechloranes in Soil and Lichen of the Fildes Peninsula (Antarctica)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2312; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102312 - 21 Oct 2018
Abstract
Dechloranes (Decs) have been widely found in the environment, even in the Tibetan Plateau and remote polar regions. However, the understanding of their regional distribution characteristics in polar regions is limited. To study the long-range atmospheric transport and fates of these emerging contaminants, [...] Read more.
Dechloranes (Decs) have been widely found in the environment, even in the Tibetan Plateau and remote polar regions. However, the understanding of their regional distribution characteristics in polar regions is limited. To study the long-range atmospheric transport and fates of these emerging contaminants, Decs were analyzed in soil and lichen from the Fildes Peninsula in Antarctica. The concentrations of five Decs in soil and lichen ranged from 141.46 to 838.47 pg/g dw and 237.04 to 3599.18 pg/g dw, respectively. The mean fractions of anti-Dechlorane Plus (DP) (fanti) values estimated in the current soils (0.37) and lichen (0.24) were lower than those of commercial products (fanti = 0.64–0.80), which confirms that long-range atmospheric transport is a main source of DP, and the DP burdens could be driven by the accumulation of syn-DP. The average ΣDP concentration in soil in the coastal area was higher than that in the inland area and Ardley Island, while in lichen, the average DP concentration at the Ardley Island site was approximately three-fold higher than that in the coastal area and inland areas. This indicates that the distribution of DP was influenced by anthropogenic interference and animal activities in the Fildes Peninsula. The spatial variation of fanti of the three regions was clearer in soil than that in lichen. The fanti values were negatively correlated with DP concentrations in soil, suggesting that DP concentration levels play an important role in determining the isomeric composition of DP in the soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Heavy Metal Bioaccumulation in Rice from a High Geological Background Area in Guizhou Province, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2281; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102281 - 17 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Long-term exposure to high levels of heavy metals can lead to a variety of diseases. In recent years, researchers have paid more attention to mining and smelting areas, industrial areas, and so forth, but they have neglected to report on high geological background [...] Read more.
Long-term exposure to high levels of heavy metals can lead to a variety of diseases. In recent years, researchers have paid more attention to mining and smelting areas, industrial areas, and so forth, but they have neglected to report on high geological background areas where heavy metal levels are higher than China’s soil environmental quality standard (GB 15618-2018). In our study, an investigation of heavy metals in paddy soil and rice in the high background area of Guizhou Province was carried out, and the factors affecting the absorption and utilization of heavy metals in rice were discussed. A total of 52 paddy soil and rice samples throughout the high geological background of Guizhou, China, were collected, and concentration(s) of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc were analyzed. The arithmetic mean values of paddy soil heavy metals were 19.7 ± 17.1, 0.577 ± 0.690, 40.5 ± 32.8, 35.5 ± 32.0, and 135 ± 128 mg kg−1 for arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc, respectively. Most of the heavy metals’ contents in the soil were above the soil standard value. The highest content of cadmium was 15.5 times that of the soil standard value. The concentration(s) of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc in rice were 0.09 ± 0.03, 0.01 ± 0.01, 1.57 ± 0.69, 0.002 ± 0.003, and 11.56 ± 2.61 mg kg−1, respectively, which are all lower than those specified by Chinese food safety standards (GB 2762-2017). The results and discussion show that the bioavailability, pH, and soil organic matter are important factors that affect the absorption of heavy metals by rice. According to the consumption of rice in Guizhou Province, the risk of eating rice was considered. The results revealed that the hazard quotient is ranked in the order of copper > zinc > cadmium > arsenic > lead, and there is little risk of eating rice in the high geological background area of Guizhou Province. These findings provide impetus for the revision and improvement of this Chinese soil environmental quality standard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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