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Special Issue "Human Health in the Arctic"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 March 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jon Øyvind Odland

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, The Norwegian University for Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Website | E-Mail
Interests: reproductive health; epidemiology; environmental health; contaminants; arctic areas; infectious diseases; climate change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Health challenges are increasing for all people living and working in the Arctic. There are problems concerning environmental contaminants, infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, mental health, socio-economic conditions, as well as cultural challenges in a changing society. IJERPH has all these topics within its scope. Additionally, ongoing climate change and increasing pressure on natural resources, e.g., oil, gas, and minerals, cause increasing pressure on the life conditions of indigenous populations with fishing and hunting traditions. Food security and food availability are changing. The “arctic dilemma” regarding healthy food and the contaminants coming from the same sources is gaining increasing importance. This leads to reproductive health problems and a focus on health effects on early child development. As scientists and public health workers, we have a responsibility to protect and improve the health conditions in all Arctic countries in societies and a climate under rapid transition. One important answer to this challenge is to facilitate research and education on public health issues for the next generation. The journal wants to contribute to this goal by stimulating young scientists by giving them opportunity to publish good papers in an open access journal with an increasing impact. We welcome all aspects of Arctic health research; qualitative, as well as quantitative, or mixed model research. Especially, young scientists who need a venue to publish their papers for their PhDs are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Jon Øyvind Odland
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.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Pregnant Inuit Women’s Exposure to Metals and Association with Fetal Growth Outcomes: ACCEPT 2010–2015
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071171
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 1 April 2019
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Abstract
Environmental contaminants such as heavy metals are transported to the Arctic regions via atmospheric and ocean currents and enter the Arctic food web. Exposure is an important risk factor for health and can lead to increased risk of a variety of diseases. This [...] Read more.
Environmental contaminants such as heavy metals are transported to the Arctic regions via atmospheric and ocean currents and enter the Arctic food web. Exposure is an important risk factor for health and can lead to increased risk of a variety of diseases. This study investigated the association between pregnant women’s levels of heavy and essential metals and the birth outcomes of the newborn child. This cross-sectional study is part of the ACCEPT birth cohort (Adaption to Climate Change, Environmental Pollution, and dietary Transition) and included 509 pregnant Inuit women ≥18 years of age. Data were collected in five Greenlandic regions during 2010–2015. Population characteristics and birth outcomes were obtained from medical records and midwives, respectively, and blood samples were analyzed for 13 metals. Statistical analysis included one-way ANOVA, Spearman’s rho, and multiple linear and logistic regression analyses. The proportion of current smokers was 35.8%. The levels of cadmium, chromium, and nickel were higher compared to reported normal ranges. Significant regional differences were observed for several metals, smoking, and parity. Cadmium and copper were significantly inversely related to birth outcomes. Heavy metals in maternal blood can adversely influence fetal development and growth in a dose–response relationship. Diet and lifestyle factors are important sources of toxic heavy metals and deviant levels of essential metals. The high frequency of smokers in early pregnancy is of concern, and prenatal exposure to heavy metals and other environmental contaminants in the Greenlandic Inuit needs further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Health in the Arctic)
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Open AccessArticle Traditional Diet and Environmental Contaminants in Coastal Chukotka I: Study Design and Dietary Patterns
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050702
Received: 17 November 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 27 February 2019
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Abstract
The article is the first in the series of four that present the results of a study on environmental contaminants in coastal Chukotka, conducted in the context of a multi-disciplinary investigation of indigenous foodways in the region of the Bering Strait. We provide [...] Read more.
The article is the first in the series of four that present the results of a study on environmental contaminants in coastal Chukotka, conducted in the context of a multi-disciplinary investigation of indigenous foodways in the region of the Bering Strait. We provide an overview of the contemporary foodways in our study region and present the results of the survey on the consumption of locally harvested foods, carried out in 2016 in the Chukotkan communities of Enmelen, Nunligran, and Sireniki. The present results are evaluated in comparison to those of the analyses carried out in 2001–2002 in the village of Uelen, located further north. Where appropriate, we also draw comparative insight from the Alaskan side of the Bering Strait. The article sets the stage for the analyses of legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals to which the residents become exposed through diet and other practices embedded in the local foodways, and for the discussion of the Recommended Food Daily Intake Limits (RFDILs) of the food that has been sampled and analyzed in the current study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Health in the Arctic)
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Open AccessArticle Traditional Diet and Environmental Contaminants in Coastal Chukotka III: Metals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 699; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050699
Received: 17 November 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 27 February 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2261 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The article is the third in the series of four that present the results of a study on environmental contaminants in coastal Chukotka, which was conducted in the context of a multi-disciplinary investigation of indigenous foodways in the region. The article presents the [...] Read more.
The article is the third in the series of four that present the results of a study on environmental contaminants in coastal Chukotka, which was conducted in the context of a multi-disciplinary investigation of indigenous foodways in the region. The article presents the results of the analysis of metals found in the samples of locally harvested terrestrial, freshwater, and marine biota collected in 2016 in coastal Chukotka. For some species of local fauna and flora, the metals content was demonstrated for the first time. Lead and Hg were low in all foods, while As concentrations were up to four mg/kg ww in fish and marine mammals blubber. Wild plants showed accumulations of Mn (up to 190 mg/kg ww), Al (up to 75 mg/kg ww), Ni, Ba, and Sr. Seaweed contained high levels of As (14 mg/kg) and Sr (310 mg/kg); ascidians (sea squirts) contained Al (up to 560 mg/kg), Cr, and Sr; and blue mussels contained Cd (2.9 mg/kg) and Al (140 mg/kg). Exceedances over the Russian allowable levels were revealed for As, Cd, and Al in different food items. Absence of the established limits for Al and Sr in seafood, and Mn in wild plants and berries, impedes the determination of excess levels. Temporal trends and geographic comparisons of metals in foods have been carried out. The estimated daily intakes (EDIs) of metals by local food consumption were calculated based on the food intake frequencies. Follow-up (15 years after the first study) analyses of Hg, Pb, and Cd concentrations in local foods has not revealed any increase, while a slight decrease tendency was noted for some of the metals in several foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Health in the Arctic)
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Open AccessArticle Traditional Diet and Environmental Contaminants in Coastal Chukotka IV: Recommended Intake Criteria
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050696
Received: 17 November 2018 / Revised: 6 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 February 2019 / Published: 27 February 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The article is the last in the series of four that present the results of a study on environmental contaminants in coastal Chukotka, conducted in the context of a multi-disciplinary investigation of Indigenous foodways in the region. The article presents the Recommended Food [...] Read more.
The article is the last in the series of four that present the results of a study on environmental contaminants in coastal Chukotka, conducted in the context of a multi-disciplinary investigation of Indigenous foodways in the region. The article presents the Recommended Food Daily Intake Limit (RFDIL) guidelines of the locally harvested foods in coastal Chukotka. The guidelines were developed based on the results of the analysis of the legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals found in the samples of locally harvested food, which was collected in 2016 in the villages of Enmelen, Nunligran, and Sireniki on the south coast of the Chukchi Peninsula, Russian Arctic. The overall aim of the article is to expand the toolset for dealing with the challenges of: (1) setting the dietary recommendations when we assess multiple contaminants in a variety of foods (and our method of RFDILs calculation is an example of a possible approach), and (2) managing the real-life circumstances when many types of foods are mixed in many dishes regularly and the concentrations of contaminants in these mixed dishes become uncertain. Drawing on perspectives from the fields of environmental health sciences, humanities, social sciences, and visual art, the authors consider the RFDILs of the examined foods in the context of the culinary practices and aesthetics values (those that relate to the culturally held ideas of beauty ascribed to a dish or the processes of its preparation and consumption) of the Indigenous Arctic cuisine in the region of the Bering Strait, and in the broader dynamics of food and culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Health in the Arctic)
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Open AccessArticle Traditional Diet and Environmental Contaminants in Coastal Chukotka II: Legacy POPs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050695
Received: 17 November 2018 / Revised: 25 December 2018 / Accepted: 27 December 2018 / Published: 27 February 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The article is the second in the series of four that present the results of a study on environmental contaminants in coastal Chukotka, conducted in the context of a multi-disciplinary investigation of indigenous foodways in the region. The article presents the results of [...] Read more.
The article is the second in the series of four that present the results of a study on environmental contaminants in coastal Chukotka, conducted in the context of a multi-disciplinary investigation of indigenous foodways in the region. The article presents the results of the analysis of legacy Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) found in the samples of locally harvested food and indoor matters, collected in 2016 in coastal Chukotka. Temporal trends and circumpolar comparisons of POPs in food have been carried out. Estimated daily intakes (EDIs) of POPs by local food consumption were calculated based on the food intake frequencies (questionnaire data). Concentrations of the studied legacy POPs in marine mammal blubber were relatively high (up to 100–200 µg/kg ww) but not exceeding the allowable limits. Gray whale blubber and whale mantak were the most contaminated foods, followed by the ringed, spotted and bearded seal blubber, then by walrus blubber and fermented walrus (deboned walrus parts aged in subterranean pits, typically over a period of 6 months). At the backdrop of general decrease or invariability (compared to the previous coastal Chukotka study 15 years ago) of the majority of POPs, an increasing tendency of HCB, mainly in marine mammals, were noted. Legacy POPs in marine mammals sampled in Chukotka were generally much lower than in those sampled in Alaska and northern Canada. We suggest that the Alaska Coastal Current from the Bering Sea plays a major role in this phenomenon. Analyses of the additional sources of in-home food contamination (home-brewed alcohol, domestic insecticides) have revealed relatively high levels of HCHs, DDTs and PCBs, which still represent a share of dietary exposure of local people to POPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Health in the Arctic)
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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