Special Issue "Recent Advances in Assessing Environmental and Occupational Exposure to Toxic Elements"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 April 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Maria Luisa Astolfi
Guest Editor
Chemistry Department, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
Interests: environmental monitoring; biomonitoring; exposure assessment; human health; toxic elements
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health welcomes submissions for a Special Issue of the journal. This Special Issue will focus on advances in assessing and reducing environmental and/or occupational exposure to toxic elements.

Chemical elements are naturally present in the environment. Human activity can increase the levels of some elements above naturally occurring concentrations, resulting in contaminated water, air, soil, crops, and animals. Some of these elements (e.g., Al, As, Bi, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Li, Ni, Pb, Sn, Zn, and U) are widely released in the environment and can exert negative effects on human health due to long-term exposure, even at low levels of contamination.

Recent improvements in analytical techniques in both environmental and human biomonitoring, as well as the study of innovative treatments (e.g., the use of lactobacilli or gut bacteria) able to bind and absorb toxic elements, may be useful to asses and adopt targeted approaches aimed to prevent and protect against environmental pollution.

Therefore, the aim of this Special Issue is to collect more recent and substantial information that could be advantageous to verify and improve both current risk-assessment and management strategies in order to gain better guidance on human health protection and safety from hazardous exposure to toxic elements, especially with regard to sensitive and vulnerable subpopulations such as children, elderly, pregnant women, and specific professional groups.

Papers invited for this Special Issue may include the following topics:

  • In vitro and/or in vivo original studies assessing the ability of lactobacilli or gut bacteria to bind and absorb toxic elements;
  • In field original studies evaluating the emerging conditions of toxic element exposure through environmental and biological monitoring investigations;
  • Research on dietary exposure to toxic elements from equipment and containers used for food processing, as well as from packaging, storage, and cooking;

Systematic reviews of the literature analyzing the health and safety aspects of toxic element exposure with a particular focus on possible implications for occupational health, as well as on policies to manage risks in different occupational settings.

Dr. Maria Luisa Astolfi
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.

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.


  • Environmental monitoring
  • Biological monitoring
  • In vitro studies
  • In vivo studies
  • Analytical methods
  • Probiotics
  • Trace elements
  • Metals
  • Metalloids
  • Metal workers
  • Occupational exposure
  • Food matrices
  • Drinking waters
  • Risk assessment.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Element Levels and Predictors of Exposure in the Hair of Ethiopian Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8652; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228652 - 21 Nov 2020
Children’s development and health may be affected by toxic heavy metal exposure or suboptimal essential element intake. This study aimed to provide updated information regarding the concentrations of 41 elements in children’s hair (aged under 18) living in a rural area of the [...] Read more.
Children’s development and health may be affected by toxic heavy metal exposure or suboptimal essential element intake. This study aimed to provide updated information regarding the concentrations of 41 elements in children’s hair (aged under 18) living in a rural area of the Benishangul-Gumuz region, Ethiopia. The highest average levels (as a geometric mean) for toxic heavy metals were obtained for Al (1 mg kg−1), Pb (3.1 mg kg−1), and Ni (1.2 mg kg−1), while the lowest concentrations among the essential elements were found for Co (0.32 mg kg−1), Mo (0.07 mg kg−1), Se (0.19 mg kg−1), and V (0.8 mg kg−1). Hair analysis was combined with a survey to evaluate relationships and variations among subgroups and potential metal exposure predictors. Females showed significantly higher concentrations for most hair elements, excluding Zn, than males, and the 6–11 years age group reported the highest levels for Be, Ce, Co, Fe, La, Li, Mo, and Na. The main predictors of exposure to toxic elements were fish consumption for Hg and drinking water for Ba, Be, Cs, Li, Ni, Tl, and U. The data from this study can be used to develop prevention strategies for children’s health and protection in developing countries. Full article
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