Special Issue "2nd Edition: Human Biomonitoring of Environmental and Occupational Exposures"

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: 31 May 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Giovanna Tranfo
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene, INAIL, 00078 Rome, Italy
Interests: occupational toxicology; environmental toxicology; exposure to chemical agents; biological monitoring; exposure biomarkers; effect biomarkers; individual susceptibility; urine metabolites; HPLC/MS-MS; GC/MS-MS; genetic polymorphism; metabolomics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Some months ago we organized the first edition of this Special Issue (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph/special_issues/human_biomonitoring). It has been a success and 16 papers have been published. We believe that a lot can still be said on this topic, as research advances rapidly thanks to new knowledge and technologies.

Human biomonitoring of general population is growing in importance, and this was recognized at the international level as a means to reveal which levels of polluting substances are increasing or decreasing over time and to provide guidance for policy makers. In the occupational exposure field, it is required to measure biomarker levels in order to cope with occupational Biological Limit Values for dangerous substances, and to have a reliable measure of individual exposure for the registries. Only biomonitoring can help to build a dose/effect relationship for the study of the toxicological properties of industrial toxicants, in order to achieve a correct classification. Untargeted metabolomics, coupled to chemometric data analysis, can provide a new insight in the exposure effects and leads the way for the discovery of new biomarkers.

All these considerations are the basis for research projects all over the world, and I would be happy to collect some of their results in this second edition of the Special Issue entitled “Human Biomonitoring of Environmental and Occupational Exposures.”

Dr. Giovanna Tranfo
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.

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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

  • biomarkers
  • occupational exposure
  • environmental exposure
  • dangerous substances
  • population study
  • metabolomics
  • urine
  • hair
  • blood
  • breath
  • chemometrics
  • dose/effect relationship
  • Biological Limit Values

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Association of Rare Earth Elements with Passive Smoking among Housewives in Shanxi Province, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010559 - 04 Jan 2022
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Abstract
Background: Rare earth elements (REEs) are emerging contaminants. Previous studies reported the association between REEs and active smoking, but little is known about the effects of passive smoking on this condition. In China, female passive smoking is widespread, particularly in rural areas. Objective: [...] Read more.
Background: Rare earth elements (REEs) are emerging contaminants. Previous studies reported the association between REEs and active smoking, but little is known about the effects of passive smoking on this condition. In China, female passive smoking is widespread, particularly in rural areas. Objective: This study aimed to estimate the relationship between REEs accumulation and passive smoking among rural housewives. Methods: We recruited 385 subjects in Shanxi Province of northern China, of whom 117 housewives were exposed to passive smoking, and 268 were not. We analyzed 15 REEs in the hair of housewives with ICP–MS, including lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium, and yttrium. Results: The results indicated higher levels of 14 REEs except for Sm in both the univariate and adjusted models among the housewives exposed to passive smoking. The increasing linear trend of adjusted odds ratios of 15 REEs supported their association. The Bayesian kernel machine regression (BKMR) models showed that 15 REEs had a significant overall effect, and Eu had a single-exposure effect with passive smoking. Conclusion: We concluded that passive smoking might be associated with increased exposure to REEs among rural housewives. Full article
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Article
Occupational Exposure in Industrial Painters: Sensitive and Noninvasive Biomarkers to Evaluate Early Cytotoxicity, Genotoxicity and Oxidative Stress
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4645; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094645 - 27 Apr 2021
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Abstract
This study aimed to identify sensitive and noninvasive biomarkers of early cyto-genotoxic, oxidative and inflammatory effects for exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in shipyard painters. On 17 (11 spray and 6 roller) painters (previously characterized for VOCs exposure to toluene, xylenes, ethylbenzene, [...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify sensitive and noninvasive biomarkers of early cyto-genotoxic, oxidative and inflammatory effects for exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in shipyard painters. On 17 (11 spray and 6 roller) painters (previously characterized for VOCs exposure to toluene, xylenes, ethylbenzene, ethyl acetate) and on 18 controls, we performed buccal micronucleus cytome (BMCyt) assay; Fpg-comet assay on lymphocytes; detection of urinary 8-oxoGua (8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine), 8-oxodGuo (8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2′-deoxyguanosine) and 8-oxoGuo (8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanosine), and cytokines release on serum. We found induction of cyto-genotoxicity by BMCyt assay and inflammatory effects (IL-6 and TNFα) in roller painters exposed to lower VOC concentrations than spray painters. In contrast, in both worker groups, we found direct and oxidative DNA damage by comet assay (with slightly higher oxidative DNA damage in roller) and significant increase of 8-oxoGuo and decrease of 8-oxodGuo and 8-oxoGua in respect to controls. The cyto-genotoxicity observed only on buccal cells of roller painters could be related to the task’s specificity and the different used protective equipment. Although limited by the small number of subjects, the study shows the usefulness of all the used biomarkers in the risk assessment of painters workers exposed to complex mixtures. Full article
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Article
Cumulative Pesticides Exposure of Children and Their Parents Living near Vineyards by Hair Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3723; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073723 - 02 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 922
Abstract
The aim of the present work was the application of hair biomonitoring to investigate exposure to pesticides in children and their parents residing in a vineyard area. Thirty-three children and 16 parents were involved in the study. Hair samples were self-collected before and [...] Read more.
The aim of the present work was the application of hair biomonitoring to investigate exposure to pesticides in children and their parents residing in a vineyard area. Thirty-three children and 16 parents were involved in the study. Hair samples were self-collected before and after the application season (PRE- and POST-EXP samples). Information on study subjects and the use of pesticides in the area were obtained. Thirty-nine pesticides were analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, and thirty-one pesticides were quantifiable in at least one hair sample. Most frequently detected pesticides were chlorpyrifos, cycloxidim, dimethomorph, metalaxyl, spiroxamine, and tetraconazole. From PRE-EXP to POST-EXP the percentage of quantification and/or the concentration of pesticides increased; the concentration was typically in the low pg/mg hair range with comparable levels in children and parents. An inverse correlation was found between the total exposure to pesticides in POST-EXP hair samples and the distance between home and the treated fields (Spearman ρ = −0.380, p = 0.01). The results of this study show that the majority of the study pesticides were measured in the hair of subjects living in the close proximity of treated vineyards, supporting the determination of pesticides in hair for the purpose of biomonitoring cumulative exposure in the general population. Full article
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Article
A ‘Dilute and Shoot’ Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Method for Multiclass Drug Analysis in Pre-Cut Dried Blood Spots
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3068; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063068 - 16 Mar 2021
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Abstract
Drugs able to affect the auditory and nervous systems and consumed by workers to treatdifferent pathologies can represent a possible source of risk in the work environment. All the target compounds involved in the presented project show ototoxic and/or narcoleptic side effects and, [...] Read more.
Drugs able to affect the auditory and nervous systems and consumed by workers to treatdifferent pathologies can represent a possible source of risk in the work environment. All the target compounds involved in the presented project show ototoxic and/or narcoleptic side effects and, for these reasons, occupational safety organizations have recognized them as potential causes of work injuries. A multiclass method for the analysis of 15 drugs among the most widespread worldwide (belonging to nine different classes including antihistamines, beta-blockers, antidepressants, Z-drugs and opioids), was developed and validated. This study describes a rapid, sensitive and effective method to analyse these substances in whole blood using tailored pre-cut dried blood spots. Detection was achieved with a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer after an easy and simple ‘dilute and shoot’ solubilisation followed by an UPLC separation. All the issues linked to the use of the dried blood spots and whole blood, such as haematocrit variability, volumetric evaluation and sample carrier choice were carefully studied and managed during method development. From the validation study results it emerged that this approach can be deemed successful thanks to its few pg µL−1 LOQs, good linear intervals, absolute recoveries of no less than 75%, an almost negligible matrix effect and accuracy and precision in line with the European and American guidelines for validation. All the obtained goals have been specifically pursued in order to encourage method diffusion as a primary prevention intervention, even in small private workplaces. Full article
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Study Protocol
HBM4EU Occupational Biomonitoring Study on e-Waste—Study Protocol
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 12987; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412987 - 09 Dec 2021
Viewed by 450
Abstract
Workers involved in the processing of electronic waste (e-waste) are potentially exposed to toxic chemicals. If exposure occurs, this may result in uptake and potential adverse health effects. Thus, exposure surveillance is an important requirement for health risk management and prevention of occupational [...] Read more.
Workers involved in the processing of electronic waste (e-waste) are potentially exposed to toxic chemicals. If exposure occurs, this may result in uptake and potential adverse health effects. Thus, exposure surveillance is an important requirement for health risk management and prevention of occupational disease. Human biomonitoring by measurement of specific biomarkers in body fluids is considered as an effective method of exposure surveillance. The aim of this study is to investigate the internal exposure of workers processing e-waste using a human biomonitoring approach, which will stimulate improved work practices and contribute to raising awareness of potential hazards. This exploratory study in occupational exposures in e-waste processing is part of the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative (HBM4EU). Here we present a study protocol using a cross sectional survey design to study worker’s exposures and compare these to the exposure of subjects preferably employed in the same company but with no known exposure to industrial recycling of e-waste. The present study protocol will be applied in six to eight European countries to ensure standardised data collection. The target population size is 300 exposed and 150 controls. Biomarkers of exposure for the following chemicals will be used: chromium, cadmium and lead in blood and urine; brominated flame retardants and polychlorobiphenyls in blood; mercury, organophosphate flame retardants and phthalates in urine, and chromium, cadmium, lead and mercury in hair. In addition, the following effect biomarkers will be studied: micronuclei, epigenetic, oxidative stress, inflammatory markers and telomere length in blood and metabolomics in urine. Occupational hygiene sampling methods (airborne and settled dust, silicon wristbands and handwipes) and contextual information will be collected to facilitate the interpretation of the biomarker results and discuss exposure mitigating interventions to further reduce exposures if needed. This study protocol can be adapted to future European-wide occupational studies. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Background Frequency of Unstable Chromosomal Aberrations in Different Regions of Kazakhstan: A Human Biomonitoring Study
Authors: Antonella Testa, et al.
Affiliations: Division of Health Protection Technologies, ENEA Casaccia Research Center, Rome, Italy; et al.

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