Special Issue "Miniaturized Monitors for Occupational Exposure Assessment"

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 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Andrea Cattaneo
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Science and High Thechnology, University of Insubria, Como, Italy
Interests: exposure and risk assessment; environmental and occupational hygiene; air pollution; exposure modeling; indoor air quality; nanosafety; chemical risk assessment and managemen; health impact assessment
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Andrea Spinazzè
Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienza e Alta Tecnologia, Università degli Studi dell'Insubria, Como 21100, Italy
Interests: exposure assessment; exposure sciences; airborne pollutants; occupational and environmental hygiene; chemical risk assessment and risk management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Francesca Borghi
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Science and High Technology, University of Insubria, Como, Italy
Interests: environmental and occupational health and safety; occupational and environmental hygiene; risk assessment; risk management; human exposure assessment; atmospheric aerosol; chemical risk assessment; air quality; air pollution; exposure modeling
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, a new kind of portable air pollutant monitor has been developed; “miniaturized sensors” are generally manufactured using micro-fabrication techniques, allowing them to be compact, lightweight, inexpensive, and energy-efficient, with extremely low-power consumption.

Miniaturized sensor devices are easy to use and readily portable, they can provide data with high spatial and temporal resolution, and they can provide a real-time continuous measurement of airborne chemicals and air pollutants. These devices are continuously being improved, and their use is becoming increasingly widespread in different settings, even if the literature is more focused on exposure in general environments rather than in industrial or occupational settings.

Only a few studies regarding the potential applications of miniaturized sensors for exposure assessment in occupational environments appear in the literature, thus, this Special Issue aims to present original research articles, reviews, and short communications concerning the following:

  • Applications and performance evaluation of portable, wearable, or fixed miniaturized monitors in occupational settings;
  • Case-studies concerning exposure assessment in occupational settings using miniaturized monitors;
  • Design, development, and evaluation of innovative miniaturized monitors conceived and specifically designed for occupational environments.

Dr. Andrea Cattaneo
Dr. Andrea Spinazzè
Dr. Francesca Borghi
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 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

  • miniaturized monitors
  • portable monitors
  • fixed monitors
  • occupational exposure
  • exposure assessment
  • air pollutant
  • particulate matter
  • gaseous pollutants
  • performance evaluation.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Exploring Evaluation Variables for Low-Cost Particulate Matter Monitors to Assess Occupational Exposure
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8602; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228602 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 1236
Abstract
(1) Background: Small, lightweight, low-cost optical particulate matter (PM) monitors are becoming popular in the field of occupational exposure monitoring, because these devices allow for real-time static measurements to be collected at multiple locations throughout a work site as well as being used [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Small, lightweight, low-cost optical particulate matter (PM) monitors are becoming popular in the field of occupational exposure monitoring, because these devices allow for real-time static measurements to be collected at multiple locations throughout a work site as well as being used as wearables providing personal exposure estimates. Prior to deployment, devices should be evaluated to optimize and quantify measurement accuracy. However, this can turn out to be difficult, as no standardized methods are yet available and different deployments may require different evaluation procedures. To gain insight in the relevance of different variables that may affect the monitor readings, six PM monitors were selected based on current availability and evaluated in the laboratory; (2) Methods: Existing strategies that were judged appropriate for the evaluation of PM monitors were reviewed and seven evaluation variables were selected, namely the type of dust, within- and between-device variations, nature of the power supply, temperature, relative humidity, and exposure pattern (peak and constant). Each variable was tested and analyzed individually and, if found to affect the readings significantly, included in a final correction model specific to each monitor. Finally, the accuracy for each monitor after correction was calculated; (3) Results: The reference materials and exposure patterns were found to be main factors needing correction for most monitors. One PM monitor was found to be sufficiently accurate at concentrations up to 2000 µg/m3 PM2.5, with other monitors appropriate at lower concentrations. The average accuracy increased by up to three-fold compared to when the correction model did not include evaluation variables; (4) Conclusions: Laboratory evaluation and readings correction can greatly increase the accuracy of PM monitors and set boundaries for appropriate use. However, this requires identifying the relevant evaluation variables, which are heavily reliant on how the monitors are used in the workplace. This, together with the lack of current consensus on standardized procedures, shows the need for harmonized PM monitor evaluation methods for occupational exposure monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Miniaturized Monitors for Occupational Exposure Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Commuters’ Personal Exposure Assessment and Evaluation of Inhaled Dose to Different Atmospheric Pollutants
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3357; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103357 - 12 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 802
Abstract
Several studies evaluating exposure to pollutants in microenvironments (MEs) are available in the scientific literature, but studies that evaluate the inhaled doses of pollutants are few in number. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the exposure of commuters to different pollutants (i.e., nitrogen [...] Read more.
Several studies evaluating exposure to pollutants in microenvironments (MEs) are available in the scientific literature, but studies that evaluate the inhaled doses of pollutants are few in number. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the exposure of commuters to different pollutants (i.e., nitrogen dioxide [NO2] and fractionated particulate matter [PM], including ultrafine particles [UFPs]) using miniaturized and portable real-time monitoring instruments in selected MEs; the inhaled doses of these pollutants were estimated for each of these MEs. Measurements were performed along a typical commute, considering different traffic and nontraffic MEs. Experimental data were collected over four working weeks in two different seasons (winter and summer). Different portable and miniaturized instruments were used to evaluate PM and NO2 exposure. Furthermore, physiological parameters were evaluated using a heart rate monitor. The principal results show that higher exposure levels were measured in Underground (for all PM fractions and NO2) and in Car (UFP), while lower levels were measured in Car (PM and NO2) and in Train (UFP). In contrast, higher values of the inhaled cumulative dose were estimated in environments defined as Other, followed by Walking (ht), while lower values were observed in Walking (lt) and in Car. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Miniaturized Monitors for Occupational Exposure Assessment)

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Open AccessCase Report
Estimation of the Inhaled Dose of Airborne Pollutants during Commuting: Case Study and Application for the General Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6066; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176066 - 20 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 625
Abstract
During rush hours, commuters are exposed to high concentrations and peaks of traffic-related air pollutants. The aims of this study were therefore to extend the inhaled dose estimation outcomes from a previous work investigating the inhaled dose of a typical commuter in the [...] Read more.
During rush hours, commuters are exposed to high concentrations and peaks of traffic-related air pollutants. The aims of this study were therefore to extend the inhaled dose estimation outcomes from a previous work investigating the inhaled dose of a typical commuter in the city of Milan, Italy, and to extend these results to a wider population. The estimation of the dose of pollutants inhaled by commuters and deposited within the respiratory tract could be useful to help commuters in choosing the modes of transport with the lowest exposure and to increase their awareness regarding this topic. In addition, these results could provide useful information to policy makers, for the creation/improvement of a mobility that takes these results into account. The principal result outcomes from the first part of the project (case study on a typical commuter in the city of Milan) show that during the winter period, the maximum deposited mass values were estimated in the “Other” environments and in “Underground”. During the summer period, the maximum values were estimated in the “Other” and “Walking (high-traffic conditions)” environments. For both summer and winter, the lowest values were estimated in the “Car” and “Walking (low-traffic conditions)” environments. Regarding the second part of the study (the extension of the results to the general population of commuters in the city of Milan), the main results show that the period of permanence in a given micro-environment (ME) has an important influence on the inhaled dose, as well as the pulmonary ventilation rate. In addition to these results, it is of primary importance to report how the inhaled dose of pollutants can be strongly influenced by the time spent in a particular environment, as well as the subject’s pulmonary ventilation rate and pollutant exposure levels. For these reasons, the evaluation of these parameters (pulmonary ventilation rate and permanence time, in addition to the exposure concentration levels) for estimating the inhaled dose is of particular relevance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Miniaturized Monitors for Occupational Exposure Assessment)
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