Special Issue "Environmental Health Studies with Remote Sensing Technologies: Exposure Assessment and Health Outcomes"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 August 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sungroul Kim
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Health Science, Soonchunhyang University, Asan, South Korea
Interests: PM2.5; black carbon; sensor; respiratory and cardiovascular disease; environmental health; exposure assessment; risk assessment; biomonitoring
Dr. Judy S. LaKind
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
LaKind Associates, LLC; Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Catonsville MD 21228, USA
Interests: exposure science; biomonitoring; risk assessment; chemicals in breast milk; data quality
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Ana Rule
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA
Interests: air pollution; bioaerosols; e-cigarettes; environmental metals; sampler characterization; industrial hygiene; second-hand smoking

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With consideration of a person’s activity patterns, exposure assessment is crucial for the accurate estimation of the effects of exposure to air pollutants on human health. Although there has been much attention directed toward the health impacts of exposures to air pollutants, there are unfortunately many difficulties associated with collecting high-resolution air pollution data as well as large population-based environmental epidemiological data.

Inexpensive sensors installed in real-time remote sensing monitors for many air pollutants have been introduced for use in outdoor as well as indoor environments. Such devices can provide pollutant distribution patterns at high temporal and spatial resolution, which is a substantial improvement in establishing a pollution monitoring platform as well as conducting environmental epidemiological studies, as compared to traditional approaches comprising a relatively small number of ground-fixed national air monitoring stations or mobile sampling techniques.

In this Special Issue, we will include the research outcomes of environmental epidemiology/health studies as well as exposure assessment studies using remote sensing technologies of air pollution.

Dr. Sungroul Kim
Dr. Judy S. LaKind
Dr. Ana Rule
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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 2300 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 pollutants
  • low-cost sensors exposure assessment
  • respiratory and cardiovascular disease
  • environmental risk assessment
  • real-time
  • remote-sensing

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
The Relationship between Physical Activity and the Objectively-Measured Built Environment in Low- and High-Income South African Communities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3853; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083853 - 07 Apr 2021
Viewed by 606
Abstract
There is limited data concerning the built environment and physical activity (PA) in a country with a history of sociopolitically motivated, spatial and economic disparities. We explored the extent to which objectively measured attributes of the built environment were associated with self-report or [...] Read more.
There is limited data concerning the built environment and physical activity (PA) in a country with a history of sociopolitically motivated, spatial and economic disparities. We explored the extent to which objectively measured attributes of the built environment were associated with self-report or device-measured PA in low- and high-socioeconomic status (SES) communities. Methods: In a convenient sample of residents (n = 52, aged 18–65 years) from four urban suburbs in low- and high-income settings near Cape Town, South Africa, self-reported transport- and leisure-time PA, and device-measured moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) data were collected. Built environment constructs derived from individual-level street network measures (1000 m buffer, ArcGIS, 10.51) were obtained. We assessed PA between four groups, based on income and GIS walkability (derived by a median split, low or high SES and low or high walkable). Results: No relationships between self-reported MVPA and GIS-measured walkability were found. Only intersection density was significantly, inversely associated with moderate and total MVPA (rho = −0.29 and rho = −0.31, respectively, p < 0.05). In the high SES group, vigorous PA was inversely associated with intersection density (rho = −0.39, p < 0.05). Self-report transport PA differed between groups (p < 0.013). Conclusions: Results suggest that the construct of walkability may relate to volitional (leisure) and utilitarian (transport) PA differently, in highly inequitable settings. Full article
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Article
Monitoring and Assessment of Water Level Fluctuations of the Lake Urmia and Its Environmental Consequences Using Multitemporal Landsat 7 ETM+ Images
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4210; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124210 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1300
Abstract
The declining water level in Lake Urmia has become a significant issue for Iranian policy and decision makers. This lake has been experiencing an abrupt decrease in water level and is at real risk of becoming a complete saline land. Because of its [...] Read more.
The declining water level in Lake Urmia has become a significant issue for Iranian policy and decision makers. This lake has been experiencing an abrupt decrease in water level and is at real risk of becoming a complete saline land. Because of its position, assessment of changes in the Lake Urmia is essential. This study aims to evaluate changes in the water level of Lake Urmia using the space-borne remote sensing and GIS techniques. Therefore, multispectral Landsat 7 ETM+ images for the years 2000, 2010, and 2017 were acquired. In addition, precipitation and temperature data for 31 years between 1986 and 2017 were collected for further analysis. Results indicate that the increased temperature (by 19%), decreased rainfall of about 62%, and excessive damming in the Urmia Basin along with mismanagement of water resources are the key factors in the declining water level of Lake Urmia. Furthermore, the current research predicts the potential environmental crisis as the result of the lake shrinking and suggests a few possible alternatives. The insights provided by this study can be beneficial for environmentalists and related organizations working on this and similar topics. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of IAQ Management Using an IoT-Based Indoor Garden
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1867; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061867 - 13 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 944
Abstract
This study was designed to verify the effectiveness of smart gardens by improving indoor air quality (IAQ) through the installation of an indoor garden with sensor-based Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology that identifies pollutants such as particulate matter. In addition, the study aims to introduce [...] Read more.
This study was designed to verify the effectiveness of smart gardens by improving indoor air quality (IAQ) through the installation of an indoor garden with sensor-based Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology that identifies pollutants such as particulate matter. In addition, the study aims to introduce indoor gardens for customized indoor air cleaning using the data and IoT technology. New apartments completed in 2016 were selected and divided into four households with indoor gardens installed and four households without indoor gardens. Real-time data and data on PM2.5, CO2, temperature, and humidity were collected through an IoT-based IAQ monitoring system. In addition, in order to examine the effects on the health of occupants, the results were analyzed based on epidemiological data, prevalence data, current maintenance, and recommendation criteria, and were presented and evaluated as indices. The indices were classified into a comfort index, which reflects the temperature and humidity, an IAQ index, which reflects PM2.5 and CO2, and an IAQ composite index. The IAQ index was divided into five grades from “good” to “hazardous”. Using a scale of 1 to 100 points, it was determined as follows: “good (0–20)”, “moderate (21–40)”, “unhealthy for sensitive group (41–60)”, “bad (61–80)”, “hazardous (81–100)”. It showed an increase in the “good” section after installing the indoor garden, and the “bad” section decreased. Additionally, the comfort index was classified into five grades from “very comfortable” to “very uncomfortable”. In the comfort index, the “uncomfortable” section decreased, and the “comfortable” section increased after the indoor garden was installed. Full article
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Article
Cookstove Smoke Impact on Ambient Air Quality and Probable Consequences for Human Health in Rural Locations of Southern Nepal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020550 - 15 Jan 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1267
Abstract
Residential emission from traditional biomass cookstoves is a major source of indoor and outdoor air pollution in developing countries. However, exact quantification of the contribution of biomass cookstove emissions to outdoor air is still lacking. In order to address this gap, we designed [...] Read more.
Residential emission from traditional biomass cookstoves is a major source of indoor and outdoor air pollution in developing countries. However, exact quantification of the contribution of biomass cookstove emissions to outdoor air is still lacking. In order to address this gap, we designed a field study to estimate the emission factors of PM2.5 (particulate matter of less than 2.5 µ diameter) and BC (black carbon) indoors, from cookstove smoke using biomass fuel and with smoke escaping outdoors from the roof of the house. The field study was conducted in four randomly selected households in two rural locations of southern Nepal during April 2017. In addition, real-time measurement of ambient PM2.5 was performed for 20 days during the campaign in those two rural sites and one background location to quantify the contribution of cooking-related emissions to the ambient PM2.5. Emission factor estimates indicate that 66% of PM2.5 and 80% of BC emissions from biomass cookstoves directly escape into ambient air. During the cooking period, ambient PM2.5 concentrations in the rural sites were observed to be 37% higher than in the nearby background location. Based on the World Health Organization (WHO)’s AirQ+ model simulation, this 37% rise in ambient PM2.5 during cooking hours can lead to approximately 82 cases of annual premature deaths among the rural population of Chitwan district. Full article
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Article
Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution and Cognitive Impairment in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: The Korean Frailty and Aging Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3767; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193767 - 07 Oct 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 1509
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between ambient air pollutants and cognitive impairment in Korean older adults. The cognitive function of 2,896 participants aged 70 to 84 years was measured using the Korean version of the mini-mental state examination, [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between ambient air pollutants and cognitive impairment in Korean older adults. The cognitive function of 2,896 participants aged 70 to 84 years was measured using the Korean version of the mini-mental state examination, the digit span test, the word list learning test, and the frontal assessment battery. After matching the average concentrations of particulate matter (PM) <10 μm in size (PM10) and <2.5 μm (PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2, and O3 between 2013 and 2017, the association between air pollutants and cognitive scales was analyzed using a linear mixed regression and a multiple logistic regression analysis (after adjusting for age, sex, health related behaviors, socioeconomic status, comorbidity, and meteorological data). Exposure to PM2.5, PM10, NO2, SO2, and CO was associated with cognitive impairment above and beyond age or education level effects. Specifically, PM2.5 was negatively associated with most components of the cognitive scales (interquartile range for PM2.5: 2.0 μg/m3, odds ratio for poor global cognition: 2.28, 95% confidence interval: 1.60–3.26). These associations may be affected by sex, residence area, or alcohol intake. Conclusively, air pollutants, especially PM2.5, were associated with cognitive impairment, including global cognition, attention, memory, and executive function in Korean older adults aged ≥70 years. Full article
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Article
Association Between Surrounding Greenness and Schizophrenia: A Taiwanese Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1415; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081415 - 19 Apr 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1547
Abstract
This study aims to investigate the association between surrounding greenness and schizophrenia incidence in Taiwan. Data of 869,484 individuals without a history of schizophrenia were included from the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database from 2000 through 2010 for analysis. The diagnoses of schizophrenia were [...] Read more.
This study aims to investigate the association between surrounding greenness and schizophrenia incidence in Taiwan. Data of 869,484 individuals without a history of schizophrenia were included from the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database from 2000 through 2010 for analysis. The diagnoses of schizophrenia were based on ICD-9 codes. Greenness exposure was assessed using the satellite-based normalized difference vegetation index, assuming individuals lived near the hospital they most often visited for common cold during the study period. Cox proportional hazards models were applied to assess the association between greenness exposure and schizophrenia incidence after adjustments were made for the potential confounders. A total of 5,069 schizophrenia cases were newly diagnosed during the study period. A negative significant (p < 0.05) association found using 2000-m buffer distances (distance of a moderately paced 20-min walk) in the whole Taiwan island, cities, and metropolitan areas. The results of the stratified analysis based on sex and health insurance rate suggested surrounding greenness has approximately equal effects of reducing the risk of schizophrenia, regardless of sex or financial status. In conclusion, our findings suggest that more surrounding greenness may reduce the risk of schizophrenia. Full article
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