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Environmental Exposures and the Effects on Human Health

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: closed (1 September 2023) | Viewed by 7727

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Center for Public Health and Primary Care Medicine (Unisanté), University of Lausanne, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
Interests: occupational and environmental exposures; chemicals; physical agents; skin exposure; exposure modelling; occupational and environmental hygiene; ultraviolet; fine particles

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Guest Editor
Center for Public Health and Primary Care Medicine (Unisanté), University of Lausanne, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
Interests: human toxicology; environmental and occupational exposures; skin sensitization; skin irritation; pesticides; biocides; new tobacco products; electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems (EN-N-DS)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The presence of pollutants is ubiquitous in our living spaces, whether in the general environment, the professional environment or even our indoor environment. Although there is a lot of evidence for their harmful effects on health, the knowledge is still very fragmented. The multifactorial sources and non-specific nature of the pathologies make risk assessment difficult and public action remains poorly targeted. Despite these challenges, the paradigm of a single causal relationship between a pollutant and a disease often remains the reference, particularly in the regulatory field. This Special Issue aims to highlight studies that, through theoretical developments or case studies, shed new light on the exposure or health risk associated with environmental pollutants, harmful or potentially harmful to human health. Particular attention will be given to studies dealing with: 

  • New exposure situations or pathways (unreported exposures, overlooked pathways, higher-than-usual risk brought by unusual exposure situations)
  • Integrated approaches to assess exposure to multiple pollutants (e.g., mixture of chemicals) or exposures due to multiple living environments (e.g., indoor environment, general environment, occupational environment)
  • Aggregation of exposure from different exposure routes (e.g., dermal, inhalation or ingestion). 

Studies from all areas related to environmental health, including but not limited to occupational health, indoor environments and food safety, will be considered for this Issue.

Dr. David Vernez
Dr. Aurélie Berthet
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 monthly 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 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

  • environmental health
  • exposure assessment
  • risk assessment
  • entry route
  • integrated risk assessment
  • aggregated exposure
  • mixtures
  • environmental pollutants

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 1103 KiB  
Article
Health and Psychological Concerns of Communities Affected by Per- and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances: The Case of Residents Living in the Orange Area of the Veneto Region
by Marialuisa Menegatto and Adriano Zamperini
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(22), 7056; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20227056 - 12 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1623
Abstract
Residents of an extensive area of the Veneto Region (Italy) face one of the largest technological disasters due to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). On the basis of a risk gradient of contamination, the affected territories were divided into 4 areas: Red (of [...] Read more.
Residents of an extensive area of the Veneto Region (Italy) face one of the largest technological disasters due to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). On the basis of a risk gradient of contamination, the affected territories were divided into 4 areas: Red (of maximum exposure, where a human biomonitoring programme (HBM) was activated), Orange, Yellow, and Green. This article presents a case study of residents who live in the Orange Area, the second area in terms of contamination, excluded from the HBM. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 residents engaged in promoting a legal procedure to exercise their right to know. Grounded theory and a thematic analysis method were used. Overall, the findings revealed that experiencing contamination causes a negative psychosocial impact on the residents’ lives; difficulty accessing information; living with uncertainty, caused by the lack of institutional and health support and medical consultation; a sense of abandonment; difficulty managing preventive and protective actions; and the deterioration of relationships, on the basis of the social comparison with residents of the Red Area, to whom HBM was granted and where the concept of health ostracism has emerged. This study demonstrated that biomonitoring may help reduce discomfort in the case of contamination by informing people of their chemical exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Exposures and the Effects on Human Health)
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12 pages, 621 KiB  
Article
Relative Risks of Adverse Perinatal Outcomes in Three Australian Communities Exposed to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: Data Linkage Study
by Hsei Di Law, Deborah A. Randall, Bruce K. Armstrong, Catherine D’este, Nina Lazarevic, Rose Hosking, Kayla S. Smurthwaite, Susan M. Trevenar, Robyn M. Lucas, Archie C. A. Clements, Martyn D. Kirk and Rosemary J. Korda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(19), 6886; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20196886 - 05 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1256
Abstract
Introduction: Firefighting foams containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have caused environmental contamination in several Australian residential areas, including Katherine in the Northern Territory (NT), Oakey in Queensland (Qld), and Williamtown in New South Wales (NSW). We examined whether the risks of adverse [...] Read more.
Introduction: Firefighting foams containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have caused environmental contamination in several Australian residential areas, including Katherine in the Northern Territory (NT), Oakey in Queensland (Qld), and Williamtown in New South Wales (NSW). We examined whether the risks of adverse perinatal outcomes were higher in mothers living in these exposure areas than in selected comparison areas without known contamination. Methods: We linked residential addresses in exposure areas to addresses collected in the jurisdictional Perinatal Data Collections of the NT (1986–2017), Qld (2007–2018), and NSW (1994–2018) to select all pregnancies from mothers who gave birth while living in these areas. We also identified one comparison group for each exposure area by selecting pregnancies where the maternal address was in selected comparison areas. We examined 12 binary perinatal outcomes and three growth measurements. For each exposure area, we estimated relative risks (RRs) of adverse outcomes and differences in means of growth measures, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and other potential confounders. Results: We included 16,970 pregnancies from the NT, 4654 from Qld, and 7475 from NSW. We observed elevated risks of stillbirth in Oakey (RR = 2.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25 to 5.39) and of postpartum haemorrhage (RR = 1.94, 95% CI 1.13 to 3.33) and pregnancy-induced hypertension (RR = 1.88, 95% CI 1.30 to 2.73) in Williamtown. The risks of other perinatal outcomes were not materially different from those in the relevant comparison areas or were uncertain due to small numbers of events. Conclusions: There was limited evidence for increased risks of adverse perinatal outcomes in mothers living in areas with PFAS contamination from firefighting foams. We found higher risks of some outcomes in individual areas, but these were not consistent across all areas under study and could have been due to chance, bias, or confounding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Exposures and the Effects on Human Health)
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23 pages, 4905 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Electrical Brain Activity of Healthy Volunteers Exposed to 3.5 GHz of 5G Signals within Environmental Levels: A Controlled–Randomised Study
by Layla Jamal, Lydia Yahia-Cherif, Laurent Hugueville, Paul Mazet, Philippe Lévêque and Brahim Selmaoui
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(18), 6793; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20186793 - 21 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3244
Abstract
Following the recent deployment of fifth-generation (5G) radio frequencies, several questions about their health impacts have been raised. Due to the lack of experimental research on this subject, the current study aimed to investigate the bio-physiological effects of a generated 3.5 GHz frequency. [...] Read more.
Following the recent deployment of fifth-generation (5G) radio frequencies, several questions about their health impacts have been raised. Due to the lack of experimental research on this subject, the current study aimed to investigate the bio-physiological effects of a generated 3.5 GHz frequency. For this purpose, the wake electroencephalograms (EEG) of 34 healthy volunteers were explored during two “real” and “sham” exposure sessions. The electromagnetic fields were antenna-emitted in an electrically shielded room and had an electrical field root-mean-square intensity of 2 V/m, corresponding to the current outdoor exposure levels. The sessions were a maximum of one week apart, and both contained an exposure period of approximately 26 min and were followed by a post-exposure period of 17 min. The power spectral densities (PSDs) of the beta, alpha, theta, and delta bands were then computed and corrected based on an EEG baseline period. This was acquired for 17 min before the subsequent phases were recorded under two separate conditions: eyes open (EO) and eyes closed (EC). A statistical analysis showed an overall non-significant change in the studied brain waves, except for a few electrodes in the alpha, theta, and delta spectra. This change was translated into an increase or decrease in the PSDs, in response to the EO and EC conditions. In conclusion, this studhy showed that 3.5 GHz exposure, within the regulatory levels and exposure parameters used in this protocol, did not affect brain activity in healthy young adults. Moreover, to our knowledge, this was the first laboratory-controlled human EEG study on 5G effects. It attempted to address society’s current concern about the impact of 5G exposure on human health at environmental levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Exposures and the Effects on Human Health)
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13 pages, 1240 KiB  
Article
Chronic Occupational Exposure to Traffic Pollution Is Associated with Increased Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Healthy Urban Traffic Control Police
by Abdulrazak O. Balogun, M. Margaret Weigel, Edmundo Estévez and Rodrigo X. Armijos
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(17), 6701; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20176701 - 01 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1176
Abstract
Urban traffic officers in many low- and middle-income countries are exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollutants (TRAP) while working vehicle control on heavily congested streets. The impact of chronic TRAP exposure on the cardiovascular health, including the carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), [...] Read more.
Urban traffic officers in many low- and middle-income countries are exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollutants (TRAP) while working vehicle control on heavily congested streets. The impact of chronic TRAP exposure on the cardiovascular health, including the carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), of this outdoor occupational group remains unclear. This cross-sectional study compared the average mean and maximum CIMT measurements of two groups of relatively young, healthy traffic police (32 ± 7 years; 77% male) in Quito, Ecuador, who were without clinical evidence of serious cardiovascular or other disease. Previously published background data on PM10 (a TRAP surrogate) indicated that street levels of the pollutant were several orders of magnitude higher at the street intersections worked by traffic police compared to those working only in an office. Accordingly, officers permanently assigned to daily traffic control duties requiring them to stand 0–3 m from heavily trafficked street intersections were assigned to the high exposure group (n = 61). The control group (n = 54) consisted of officers from the same organization who were permanently assigned to office duties inside an administration building. Mean and maximum CIMT were measured with ultrasound. General linear models were used to compare the CIMT measurements of the high exposure and control groups, adjusting for covariates. The adjusted average mean and maximum CIMT measures of the high exposure group were increased by 11.5% and 10.3%, respectively, compared to the control group (p = 0.0001). These findings suggest that chronic occupational exposure to TRAP is associated with increased CIMT in traffic police. This is important since even small increases in arterial thickening over time may promote earlier progression to clinical disease and increased premature mortality risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Exposures and the Effects on Human Health)
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