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Special Issue "Selected Paper from the 14th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Environmental Health Research"

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 (30 April 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Paul B. Tchounwou

Department of Biology, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Jackson State University, 1400 Lynch Street, Box 18750, Jackson, MS 39217, USA
E-Mail
Phone: 6019690777
Fax: +1 601 979 2349

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will collate selected papers presented at the 14th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Environmental Health Research, Jackson, MS, USA, 10–13 September 2017.

Topics:
1. New Frontiers in Environmental Health Research
2. Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology
3. Environmental Toxicology and Health Risk Assessment
4. Emerging Topics in Computational Biology, and Environmental Modeling
5. Health Disparities and Environmental Security
6. Medical Geology and Human Health
7. Natural Resources Damage Assessment and Management

Prof. Dr. Paul B. Tchounwou
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 1800 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.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Whole Genome Transcriptome Analysis of the Association between Obesity and Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in Caucasian Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2338; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112338
Received: 17 September 2018 / Revised: 5 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 23 October 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3352 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Background: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive form of breast cancer, with poor outcomes. The molecular basis of TNBC remains poorly understood. The objective of this exploratory study was to investigate the association between obesity and TNBC in premenopausal and postmenopausal [...] Read more.
Background: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive form of breast cancer, with poor outcomes. The molecular basis of TNBC remains poorly understood. The objective of this exploratory study was to investigate the association between obesity and TNBC in premenopausal and postmenopausal Caucasian women using transcription profiling. Methods: We compared gene expression levels of tumor samples drawn from normal weight, overweight, and obese pre and postmenopausal women diagnosed with TNBC. We performed hierarchical clustering to assess similarity in patterns of gene expression profiles, and conducted network and pathway analysis to identify molecular networks and biological pathways. Results: We discovered gene signatures distinguishing normal weight from obese, normal weight from overweight, and overweight from obese individuals in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. The analysis revealed molecular networks and biological pathways associating obesity with TNBC. The discovered pathways included the unfolded protein response, endoplasmic reticulum stress, B cell receptor, and autophagy signaling pathways in obese premenopausal women; and the integrin, axonal guidance, ERK/MAPK (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase/mitogen activated protein kinase) and glutathione biosynthesis signaling pathways in obese postmenopausal women. Conclusions: The results suggest that both overweight and obese status are associated with TNBC, highlighting the need for conformation of these results in independent studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Indoor Radon Gas (222Rn) Levels in Homes in Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico and the Risk of Lung Cancer
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1337; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071337
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 9 June 2018 / Accepted: 10 June 2018 / Published: 26 June 2018
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Abstract
Radon (222Rn) is an odorless and tasteless gas that is known to cause lung cancer. The objective of this research was to quantify the levels of exposure to radon among people living in an environment rich in uranium (U). Radon concentrations [...] Read more.
Radon (222Rn) is an odorless and tasteless gas that is known to cause lung cancer. The objective of this research was to quantify the levels of exposure to radon among people living in an environment rich in uranium (U). Radon concentrations were measured for 3 days in 12 homes in Aldama, Mexico. Homeowners agreed to participate in the study; hence, the sample was non-probabilistic. Radon was measured with a portable AlphaGuard Radon Monitor (Genicron Instruments GmbH), which was placed in a bedroom of each home at a height of 0.74 m. Gas levels were registered in Becquerels (Bq m−3), with readings taken every 10 min along with readings of ambient temperature (AT), air pressure (AP), and relative humidity (RH). We found that radon gas levels in Aldama exceed the maximum permissible limits (USA: 148 Bq m−3). Levels were higher at night, and were above the maximum permissible level recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations (<200 Bq m−3). Most residents in the area have family histories of lung problems, but it was difficult to establish a strong correlation between 222Rn and lung cancer. Federal, state, and municipal governments should take stronger action to reduce the effects of radon gas on communities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Removing Organic Matter and Nutrients from Pig Farm Wastewater with a Constructed Wetland System
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 1031; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15051031
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 5 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
PDF Full-text (3367 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pollutants from pig farms in Mexico have caused problems in many surface water reservoirs. Growing concern has driven the search for low-cost wastewater treatment solutions. The objective of this research was to evaluate the potential of an in-series constructed wetland to remove nutrients [...] Read more.
Pollutants from pig farms in Mexico have caused problems in many surface water reservoirs. Growing concern has driven the search for low-cost wastewater treatment solutions. The objective of this research was to evaluate the potential of an in-series constructed wetland to remove nutrients from wastewater from a pig farm. The wetland system had a horizontal flow that consisted of three cells, the first a surface water wetland, the second a sedimentation cell, and the third a subsurface flow wetland. The vegetation used was Thypa sp. and Scirpus sp. A mix of soil with red volcanic rock (10–30 mm diameter) and yellow sand (2–8 mm diameter) was used as a substrate for the vegetation. The experiments were carried out in duplicate. Water samples were collected at the inflow and outflow of the cells. Two hydraulic retention times (HRT) (5 and 10 days) and three treatments were evaluated: 400, 800, and 1200 mg·L−1 of chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration. Data was collected in situ for temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), electrical conductivity (EC), and total dissolved solids (TDS). COD, total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), ammonia nitrogen (NH3–N), and total phosphorous (TP) were analyzed in the laboratory. The results showed that the in-series constructed wetland is a feasible system for nutrient pollutant removal, with COD removal efficiency of 76% and 80% mg·L−1 for a 5- and 10-day HRT, respectively. The removal efficiency for TKN, NH3–N, and TP reached about 70% with a 5-day HRT, while a removal of 85% was obtained with a 10-day HRT. The wetland reached the maximum removal efficiency with a 10-day HRT and an inflow load of 400 mg·L−1 of organic matter. The results indicate that HRT positively affects removal efficiency of COD and TDS. On the other hand, the HRT was not the determining factor for TP removal. Treatment one, with an initial COD concentration of 400 mg·L−1, had the highest removal of the assessed pollutants, allowing for the use of water for irrigation according to Mexican regulatory standards (NOM-001). The water quality resulting from treatments two and three (T2 = 800 mg·L−1 of COD and T3 = 1200 mg·L−1 of COD) did not comply with minimal requirements for irrigation water. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Characterization of a Microbial Consortium for the Bioremoval of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Water
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 975; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050975
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 28 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 13 May 2018
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Abstract
Pollution of freshwater ecosystems from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is a global concern. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has included the PAHs pyrene, phenanthrene, and naphthalene among the 16 priority compounds of special concern for their toxicological effects. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Pollution of freshwater ecosystems from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is a global concern. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has included the PAHs pyrene, phenanthrene, and naphthalene among the 16 priority compounds of special concern for their toxicological effects. The aim of this study was to adapt and characterize a microbial consortium from ore waste with the potential to remove these three PAHs from water. This microbial consortium was exposed to the target PAHs at levels of 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 mg L−1 for 14 days. PAH bioremoval was measured using the analytical technique of solid phase microextraction, followed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (SPME-GC/MS). The results revealed that up to 90% of the target PAHs can be removed from water after 14 days at a concentration level of 100 mg L−1. The predominant group of microorganisms identified at the phylum taxonomic level were the Proteobacteria, while the Actinobacteria were the predominant subgroup. The removal of phenanthrene, naphthalene, and pyrene predominantly occurred in specimens of genera Stenotrophomonas, Williamsia, and Chitinophagaceae, respectively. This study demonstrates that the use of specific microorganisms is an alternative method of reducing PAH levels in water. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Relative Contribution of Dietary Habits, Leisure-Time Exercise, Exercise Attitude, and Body Mass Index to Self-Rated Health among College Students in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 967; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050967
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
Background: Self-rated health (SRH) is consistent with objective health status and can serve as a global measure of health status in the general population. The purpose of this study is to find the connections of dietary habits, leisure-time exercise, exercise attitude, and [...] Read more.
Background: Self-rated health (SRH) is consistent with objective health status and can serve as a global measure of health status in the general population. The purpose of this study is to find the connections of dietary habits, leisure-time exercise, exercise attitude, and body mass index (BMI) to SRH among college students. Methods: The “dietary–exercise attitude and SRH” questionnaire was developed to investigate college students in Taiwan through the Internet. Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to test the relationship among them. Results: The reliability and validity were confirmed using PLS-SEM. The results found exercise habits, dietary habits, and BMI explained 26.5% of SRH. Poor dietary habits and being overweight led to bad health status (negative path coefficients to SRH). Additionally, the study found that positive exercise attitude had a positive relationship with exercise habits. Conclusions: Based on the results, college students should be well-informed of the potential threat of poor dietary habits and being overweight to health and should improve their attitude with respect to exercise so as to prevent overweight-related diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Integration of a Copper-Containing Biohybrid (CuHARS) with Cellulose for Subsequent Degradation and Biomedical Control
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050844
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
PDF Full-text (3371 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We previously described the novel synthesis of a copper high-aspect ratio structure (CuHARS) biohybrid material using cystine. While extremely stable in water, CuHARS is completely (but slowly) degradable in cellular media. Here, integration of the CuHARS into cellulose matrices was carried out to [...] Read more.
We previously described the novel synthesis of a copper high-aspect ratio structure (CuHARS) biohybrid material using cystine. While extremely stable in water, CuHARS is completely (but slowly) degradable in cellular media. Here, integration of the CuHARS into cellulose matrices was carried out to provide added control for CuHARS degradation. Synthesized CuHARS was concentrated by centrifugation and then dried. The weighed mass was re-suspended in water. CuHARS was stable in water for months without degradation. In contrast, 25 μg/mL of the CuHARS in complete cell culture media was completely degraded (slowly) in 18 days under physiological conditions. Stable integration of CuHARS into cellulose matrices was achieved through assembly by mixing cellulose micro- and nano-fibers and CuHARS in an aqueous (pulp mixture) phase, followed by drying. Additional materials were integrated to make the hybrids magnetically susceptible. The cellulose-CuHARS composite films could be transferred, weighed, and cut into usable pieces; they maintained their form after rehydration in water for at least 7 days and were compatible with cell culture studies using brain tumor (glioma) cells. These studies demonstrate utility of a CuHARS-cellulose biohybrid for applied applications including: (1) a platform for biomedical tracking and (2) integration into a 2D/3D matrix using natural products (cellulose). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Using a Counting Process Method to Impute Censored Follow-Up Time Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040690
Received: 17 March 2018 / Revised: 1 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 5 April 2018
PDF Full-text (6346 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Censoring occurs when complete follow-up time information is unavailable for patients enrolled in a clinical study. The process is considered to be informative (non-ignorable) if the likelihood function for the model cannot be partitioned into a set of response parameters that are independent [...] Read more.
Censoring occurs when complete follow-up time information is unavailable for patients enrolled in a clinical study. The process is considered to be informative (non-ignorable) if the likelihood function for the model cannot be partitioned into a set of response parameters that are independent of the censoring parameters. In such cases, estimated survival time probabilities may be biased, prompting the need for special statistical methods to remedy the situation. The problem is especially salient when censoring occurs early in a study. In this paper, we describe a method to impute censored follow-up times using a counting process method. Full article
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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