Special Issue "Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Safety"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kinga Polanska
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, 91-348 Lodz, Poland
Interests: environmental epidemiology; prenatal and postnatal exposure to environmental factors; pregnancy outcomes; children’s health; neurodevelopment; birth cohorts; public health
Dr. Peter Van den Hazel
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Public Health Services Gelderland-Midden and International Network on Children’s Health, Environment and Safety (INCHES)
Interests: children; environment; health; risk communication; science policy transfer; prenatal exposure; child neurodevelopment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on “Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Safety” under the section of Children’s Health in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Exposure to environmental and lifestyle factors during the prenatal, or even preconception period, and in the first years of life may have an impact on a children’s development and health across their whole life course. At present, special attention is focused on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs); however, there is still concern about the health impact of air pollution, climate change, heavy metals, and life-style related factors, including diet and nutrition, physical activity, substance abuse, as well as tobacco smoke. The social context and genetic susceptibility need to also be considered. All of the mentioned factors interact with each other and should be considered as part of the complex exposure that may affect offspring, causing adverse health effects. The following child health outcomes related to environmental exposure are of special interest: birth weight, adiposity, and cardiometabolic, respiratory, and neurodevelopmental health effects. Finally, prevention in public health is not enough when it comes to the protection of children’s environmental health. Health policies on intervention, implementation of best practices to protect children, and measures to avoid unnecessary exposures during the early stages of life should all be more advanced, visible, and strengthened.

This Special Issue of IJERPH, entitled “Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Safety”, welcomes the submission of manuscripts either describing original research or reviewing the scientific literature. Manuscripts must have a clear focus on investigating the association between exposure to environmental factors during prenatal and postnatal periods and pregnancy outcomes and children’s health and development, respectively. Special emphasis will be given to evaluation, and implementation of interventions aimed at improvement of children’s health.

Dr. Kinga Polanska
Dr. Peter van den Hazel
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 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

  • Environmental hazards
  • Pregnancy outcomes
  • Children’s health
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Health promoting settings and policies
  • Public health

Published Papers (10 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Alcohol Consumption Among Spanish Female Adolescents: Related Factors and National Trends 2006–2014
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4294; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214294 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Background: The purpose of this study was: (a) to estimate trends over time in the prevalence of alcohol consumption among female adolescents between 2006 and 2014; (b) to identify the factors associated with the probability of consuming alcohol during this period for Spanish [...] Read more.
Background: The purpose of this study was: (a) to estimate trends over time in the prevalence of alcohol consumption among female adolescents between 2006 and 2014; (b) to identify the factors associated with the probability of consuming alcohol during this period for Spanish female adolescents (14–18 years old). Methods: Spanish nationwide, epidemiological, cross-sectional study on alcohol consumption by adolescent women. We used individualized secondary data retrieved from the 2006 and 2014 Spanish state survey on drug use in secondary education, for a total of 48,676 survey respondents aged 14 to 18 years. Alcohol use was the dependent variable. We also analyzed sociodemographic and educational features, lifestyle habits, perceived health risk for consumption, and perceived availability of substance using logistic regression models. Results: The prevalence of alcohol consumption among female adolescents was 62.35% during the study period. Alcohol consumption increased with age and was more frequent on weekends than on school days. The variables associated with a greater probability of alcohol consumption were tobacco, marijuana (aOR = 2.37; 95% CI: 2.08–2.72), and alcohol consumption by friends (aOR = 7.24; 95% CI: 6.42–8.16). Conclusions: Alcohol consumption by female adolescents in Spain significantly increased from 2006 to 2014. Marijuana and alcohol consumption by friends were associated factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Safety)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Impact of Carers’ Smoking Status on Childhood Obesity in the Growing up in Ireland Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2759; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152759 - 02 Aug 2019
Abstract
Childhood obesity is a growing concern worldwide. The association between childhood obesity and maternal smoking and/or paternal smoking has been reported. However, few studies have explored the association between childhood obesity and exposure to carers’ smoking status. This study aimed to assess the [...] Read more.
Childhood obesity is a growing concern worldwide. The association between childhood obesity and maternal smoking and/or paternal smoking has been reported. However, few studies have explored the association between childhood obesity and exposure to carers’ smoking status. This study aimed to assess the impact of carers’ smoking status on childhood obesity in a cohort of children enrolled in the Growing up in Ireland (GUI) study. Participants from the GUI infant cohort were categorized into four groups based on their exposure status: Neither caregiver smoked (60.4%), only primary caregiver smoked (13.4%), both caregivers smoked (10.9%). Exposure to primary carers’ smoking (98% are biological mothers) was found to be significantly associated with childhood overweight/obesity at age three (Odds Ratio: 1.30, 95% CI: 1.17–1.46) and at age five (OR: 1.31, 95% CI: 1.16–1.49). Exposure to both carers’ smoking status was significantly associated with increased odds of childhood overweight/obesity across both waves. These findings emphasize the health burden of childhood obesity that may be attributable to maternal smoking postnatally and through early childhood in Ireland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Safety)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Adverse Childhood Experiences of Urban and Rural Preschool Children in Poverty
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2623; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142623 - 23 Jul 2019
Abstract
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have long-term health consequences. Young children in the southern part of the United States (US) are at greater risk than children in other parts of the US. This study assessed preschool children ACEs using a family-friendly tool, the Family [...] Read more.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have long-term health consequences. Young children in the southern part of the United States (US) are at greater risk than children in other parts of the US. This study assessed preschool children ACEs using a family-friendly tool, the Family Map (FMI), and compared children living in rural/urban areas while examining the potential moderation of race. The FMI–ACE score was examined as a total and two sub-scores. We found that race did not moderate the FMI–ACE score but that Black children (Cohen’s d = 0.52) and children in urban and large rural areas were at highest risk (Cohen’s d = 0.38). However, the subscale FMI–ACEs parenting risk was moderated by race such as that Black children were less at risk in rural areas than urban (Cohen’s d = 0.62). For FMI–ACEs environmental risk, race moderated risk such that Black children were most at risk in large rural areas but less so in small rural areas (Cohen’s d = 0.21). Hispanic children were most at risk in small rural areas and least in large rural environments. Findings from this study suggest that targeting the most at-risk children for interventions should consider the context including race and location. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Safety)
Open AccessArticle
Dose–Response Relationship of Outdoor Exposure and Myopia Indicators: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Various Research Methods
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2595; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142595 - 21 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Myopia in children has dramatically increased worldwide. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to evaluate the effects of outdoor light exposure on myopia. According to research data from 13 studies of 15,081 children aged 4–14 at baseline, outdoor light exposure significantly reduced [...] Read more.
Myopia in children has dramatically increased worldwide. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to evaluate the effects of outdoor light exposure on myopia. According to research data from 13 studies of 15,081 children aged 4–14 at baseline, outdoor light exposure significantly reduced myopia incidence/prevalence (odds ratio [OR] = 0.85, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.80–0.91, p < 0.00001; I2 = 90%), spherical equivalent refractive error (SER) by 0.15 D/year (0.09–0.27, p < 0.0001), and axial elongation by 0.08 mm/year (−0.14 to −0.02, p = 0.02). The benefits of outdoor light exposure intervention, according to pooled overall results, included decreases in three myopia indicators: 50% in myopia incidence, 32.9% in SER, and 24.9% in axial elongation for individuals in Asia. Daily outdoor light exposure of more than 120 min was the most effective intervention, and weekly intervention time exhibited a dose–response relationship with all three indicators. Subgroup comparisons revealed that interventional studies report greater benefits from outdoor light exposure compared with cohort and cross-sectional studies, and individuals with myopia in intervention studies experienced slightly greater benefits than individuals without, in terms of SER and axial elongation. Therefore, this study suggests 120 min/day of outdoor light exposure at school. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Safety)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between Parental Perception of Neighborhood Collective Efficacy and Physical Violence by Parents against Preschool Children: A Cross-Sectional Study in a County of China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2306; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132306 - 28 Jun 2019
Abstract
Children exposed to negative neighborhood environments are at high risk of experiencing violence. This study aimed to explore the effects of parental perception of neighborhood collective efficacy on parental physical violence (PV) to their preschool children in a county of China. A total [...] Read more.
Children exposed to negative neighborhood environments are at high risk of experiencing violence. This study aimed to explore the effects of parental perception of neighborhood collective efficacy on parental physical violence (PV) to their preschool children in a county of China. A total of 1337 parents from nine kindergartens were recruited by the stratified random cluster sampling method. Data about parental PV behavior toward children during the past three months, parental perception of neighborhood collective efficacy, together with their attitudes towards the use of corporal punishment to discipline children, and demographic characteristics were collected. Their relationships were investigated by applying multivariable logistic regression models. Overall, 67.5% of the parents reported at least one form of PV during the past three months. The rates of minor PV (MPV) and severe PV (SPV) were 67% and 22.8%, respectively. The results of multivariate logistic regression showed that only social cohesion was associated with lower odds of parental PV and MPV behavior after controlling for covariates. The results suggest that neighborhood collective efficacy is associated with parental PV behavior against their children to some extent, but the effects differ according to the severity level of PV. Neighborhood social cohesion may have a positive role in reducing parental PV behavior in the county surveyed at present study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Safety)
Open AccessArticle
Active Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Utero and Concentrations of Hepcidin and Selected Iron Parameters in Newborns
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 1996; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16111996 - 05 Jun 2019
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the influence of active tobacco smoke exposure in utero on the concentration of hepcidin and selected iron markers in umbilical cord blood and to evaluate the relationships between these parameters. Newborns of smoking mothers had [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess the influence of active tobacco smoke exposure in utero on the concentration of hepcidin and selected iron markers in umbilical cord blood and to evaluate the relationships between these parameters. Newborns of smoking mothers had significantly lower concentrations of serum hepcidin (p < 0.001), iron, and ferritin (p = 0.043; p = 0.042, respectively), but higher levels of erythropoietin (EPO, p < 0.001) and soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR, p = 0.011) compared with newborns of non-smoking women. Negative correlations between cotinine and the number of cigarettes smoked per day with hepcidin serum level (r = −0.33, p = 0.033, r = −0.32, p = 0.041, respectively) and EPO (r = 0.47, p = 0.002; r = 0.46, p = 0.003, respectively) were found. Univariate analysis defined for the whole group of children revealed significant associations between the concentration of hepcidin and other iron status parameters. In the models estimated separately for smokers and non-smokers, we found relations between the level of hepcidin and erythropoietin (B = −0.23, p = 0.004; B = −0.46, p = 0.01, respectively). In the multivariate regression model, a negative association between hepcidin and EPO concentrations in the whole group of newborns (β = −0.53; p = 0.001) and in the group of smokers (β = −0.57; p = 0.011) was confirmed. The present study shows significant relations between smoking during pregnancy and hepcidin levels in children born at term. Decreased cord serum concentrations of hepcidin associated with high erythropoietin levels suggest induced fetal erythropoiesis, probably due to the hypoxic effects imposed by maternal smoking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Safety)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Prescription Infant Formulas Are Contaminated with Aluminium
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 899; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050899 - 12 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Historical and recent data demonstrate that off-the-shelf infant formulas are heavily contaminated with aluminium. The origin of this contamination remains to be elucidated though may be imported via ingredients, packaging and processing. Specialised infant formulas exist to address health issues, such as low [...] Read more.
Historical and recent data demonstrate that off-the-shelf infant formulas are heavily contaminated with aluminium. The origin of this contamination remains to be elucidated though may be imported via ingredients, packaging and processing. Specialised infant formulas exist to address health issues, such as low birth weight, allergy or intolerance and medical conditions, such as renal insufficiency. The aluminium content of these prescription infant formulas is measured here for the first time. We obtained 24 prescription infant formulas through a paediatric clinic and measured their total aluminium content by transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry following microwave assisted acid/peroxide digestion. The aluminium content of ready-to-drink formulas ranged from 49.9 (33.7) to 1956.3 (111.0) μg/L. The most heavily contaminated products were those designed as nutritional supplements for infants struggling to gain weight. The aluminium content of powdered formulas ranged from 0.27 (0.04) to 3.27 (0.19) μg/g. The most heavily contaminated products tended to be those addressing allergies and intolerance. Prescription infant formulas are contaminated with aluminium. Ready-made formulas available as nutritional supplements to aid infant growth contained some of the highest concentrations of aluminium in infant formulas measured in our laboratory. However, a number of prescription infant formulas contained the lowest concentrations of aluminium yet measured in our laboratory. These higher cost specialist preparations demonstrate that the contamination of infant formulas by aluminium is not inevitable. They represent what is achievable should manufacturers wish to address the threat posed to health through infant exposure to aluminium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Safety)
Open AccessArticle
Combined Assessment of Preschool Childrens’ Exposure to Substances in Household Products
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 733; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050733 - 28 Feb 2019
Abstract
Understanding how indoor-air contaminants affect human health is of critical importance in our developed society. We assessed the combined exposure by inhalation of preschool children and children to household products. A total of 1175 families with 72 infants, 158 toddlers, 230 children, and [...] Read more.
Understanding how indoor-air contaminants affect human health is of critical importance in our developed society. We assessed the combined exposure by inhalation of preschool children and children to household products. A total of 1175 families with 72 infants, 158 toddlers, 230 children, and 239 youths were surveyed to determine the combined respiratory exposure concentrations and amounts associated with 21 substances in eight household product groups. We determined the mean concentrations of these substances in each product, and derived reference toxicity values based on the information gathered in order to identify respiratory health risks. On average, cleaners were used at a rate of 1.0 × 103 g/month, while coating agents and other substances were used at 43 g/month. The combined inhalation exposure concentrations of methanol to infants and toddlers were 5.1 and 4.2 mg/m3 per month, respectively, with values of 2.1 and 1.7 mg/m3 for isopropanol, respectively. Risks to preschool children and children should be assessed on the basis of the toxicity values of combined exposed hazardous substances, as well as their combined concentrations and amounts. This exposure assessment approach can be used to establish improved guidelines for products that may pose inhalation hazards to preschool children and children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Safety)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
What Is the Relationship between the Neighbourhood Built Environment and Time Spent in Outdoor Play? A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 3840; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203840 - 11 Oct 2019
Abstract
Outdoor play has been associated with children’s and adolescents’ healthy development and physical activity. Attributes of the neighbourhood built environment can influence play behaviours. This systematic review examined the relationship between attributes of the neighbourhood built environment and the time children and adolescents [...] Read more.
Outdoor play has been associated with children’s and adolescents’ healthy development and physical activity. Attributes of the neighbourhood built environment can influence play behaviours. This systematic review examined the relationship between attributes of the neighbourhood built environment and the time children and adolescents (0–18 years) spend in self-directed outdoor play. We identified and evaluated 18 relevant papers using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool and developed a narrative synthesis of study results. We found moderate evidence that lower traffic volumes (ages 6–11), yard access (ages 3–10), and increased neighbourhood greenness (ages 2–15) were positively associated with time spent in outdoor play, as well as limited evidence that specific traffic-calming street features such as fewer intersections, low traffic speeds, neighbourhood disorder, and low residential density were positively associated with time spent in outdoor play. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review on this topic. The limited number of “good quality” studies identified highlights the need for additional research on the topic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Safety)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Association between Bisphenol A Exposure and Obesity in Children—A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2521; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142521 - 15 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an environmental chemical that has adverse effects on health, probably causing childhood obesity. However, this association remains controversial, and it is difficult to find evidence for direct causality between environmental exposure and disease using epidemiological studies. In this study, [...] Read more.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an environmental chemical that has adverse effects on health, probably causing childhood obesity. However, this association remains controversial, and it is difficult to find evidence for direct causality between environmental exposure and disease using epidemiological studies. In this study, we sought to elucidate the possible causality between BPA exposure and childhood obesity by conducting two meta-analyses showing bidirectional associations, including exposure effect by obesity and obesity risk by exposure. Articles published up to September 2017 were searched in PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library. We evaluated observational studies that included measurements of urinary BPA concentration and BMI or body weight. Of 436 articles, a total of 13 studies were included in the meta-analysis. Two meta-analyses were performed to investigate the association between BPA exposure and childhood obesity. The results showed that the relatively high-exposed group had a significantly higher risk of childhood obesity than the relatively low-exposed group (odds ratio = 1.566, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.097 to 2.234, p = 0.014). However, the obese group showed no significant difference in the BPA concentration when compared to the normal group (standardized mean difference = 0.166, 95% CI: −0.121 to 0.453, p = 0.257). This study suggested possible causality between BPA exposure and childhood obesity using data from epidemiological studies and showed that BPA exposure itself increased the risk of obesity in children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Safety)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop