Special Issue "Occupational Respiratory Health"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Gunther Paul
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Australian Insitute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM), James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia
Interests: digital human modelling; respiratory health; sun safety; human system interactions; occupational & environmental health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on the impact of particle emissions on respiratory health in occupational environments in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The venue is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph. 

Improving respiratory health is an important objective for the mining, construction and processing industries and policy makers. Respiratory health refers to preventing disease of the respiratory tract, and prolonging life of those exposed to excessive levels of respiratory hazards, promoting health and well-being. Occupational environments, including above ground and underground mines, construction sites, tunneling sites, power plants, workshops, farms, processing plants and transportation systems may affect the respiratory health of workers and the public, through individual exposure levels (e.g., dust particle exposure), activity patterns (e.g., heavy physical work), pre-existing medical conditions and individual resilience. Research, both in indoor workplaces and open areas, and in both developing and developed countries, can offer a critical guide for policy efforts and planning for occupational and environmental health, and inform proactivity to improve productivity.

This Special Issue is open to any subject area related to the impact of particle emissions on occupational respiratory health. The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

Prof. Dr. Gunther Paul
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.

Keywords

  • Underground mining
  • Open-cut mining
  • Engineered stone processing
  • Construction
  • Tunneling
  • Farming
  • Food processing
  • Public health
  • Occupational health
  • Environmental health
  • Environmental exposure
  • Particle exposure
  • Particle emission
  • Particle imission
  • Coal Mine Dust Lung Disease (CMDLD)
  • Black lung
  • Coal Worker Pneumoconiosis (CWP)
  • Progressive Massive Fibrosis (PMF)
  • Silicosis
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Asbestosis
  • Emphysema
  • Occupational asthma
  • Ventilation
  • Water spraying
  • Personal Dust Monitor (PDM)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Prevalence of Respiratory Health Symptoms among Landfill Waste Recyclers in the City of Johannesburg, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4277; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214277 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
In developing countries, waste sorting and recycling have become a source of income for poorer communities. However, it can potentially pose significant health risks. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of acute respiratory symptoms and associated risk factors for respiratory health outcomes [...] Read more.
In developing countries, waste sorting and recycling have become a source of income for poorer communities. However, it can potentially pose significant health risks. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of acute respiratory symptoms and associated risk factors for respiratory health outcomes among waste recyclers. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 361 waste recyclers at two randomly selected landfill sites in Johannesburg. Convenience sampling was used to sample the waste recyclers. The prevalence of respiratory symptoms in the population was 58.5%. A persistent cough was the most common symptom reported (46.8%), followed by breathlessness (19.6%) and rapid breathing (15.8%). Approximately 66.4% of waste recyclers reported exposure to chemicals and 96.6% reported exposure to airborne dust. A multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that exposure to waste containing chemical residues (OR 1.80, 95% CI 1.01–3.22 p = 0.044) increased the odds of respiratory symptoms. There was a significant difference in respiratory symptoms in landfill sites 1 and 2 (OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.03–7.42 p = 0.042). Occupational health and safety awareness is important to minimize hazards faced by informal workers. In addition, providing waste recyclers with the correct protective clothing, such as respiratory masks, and training on basic hygiene practices, could reduce the risks associated with waste sorting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Respiratory Health)
Open AccessArticle
Spirometric Pulmonary Restriction in Herbicide-Exposed U.S. Vietnam War Veterans
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3131; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173131 - 28 Aug 2019
Abstract
Spirometric restriction in herbicide-exposed U.S. Army Chemical Corps Vietnam War veterans was examined because no published research on this topic in Vietnam War veterans exists. Spirometry was conducted on 468 veterans who served in chemical operations in a 2013 study assessing the association [...] Read more.
Spirometric restriction in herbicide-exposed U.S. Army Chemical Corps Vietnam War veterans was examined because no published research on this topic in Vietnam War veterans exists. Spirometry was conducted on 468 veterans who served in chemical operations in a 2013 study assessing the association between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and herbicide exposure. Exposure was verified based on blood serum values of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Further, the association between herbicide exposure and spirometry restriction (forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) ≥ lower limit of normal (LLN) and FVC < LLN) was tested after adjustment for military characteristics, selected anthropometrics, and other predictors using multivariable regression. Spirometric restriction in herbicide sprayers (15.7%, 95% CI: 10.6, 20.9) was almost twice that of nonsprayers (9.91%, 95% CI: 5.9, 13.9) (p = 0.081). While spirometric restriction was not significantly associated with herbicide exposure (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.64, 95% CI: 0.82, 3.29) despite the greater prevalence of restriction in sprayers versus nonsprayers, spirometric restriction was significantly associated with race/ethnicity (aOR = 3.04, 95% CI: 1.36, 6.79) and waist circumference (aOR = 2.46, 95% CI: 1.25, 4.85). Because restrictive pulmonary disease may result from chemically-induced inflammation or sensitivity, research on chemical exposures and restriction in veterans should continue. Future study should include full pulmonary function testing, targeted research designs, and a wider set of explanatory variables in analysis, such as other determinants of health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Respiratory Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Latent Tuberculosis Infection Test Performance Using Latent Class Analysis in a TB and HIV Endemic Setting
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2912; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16162912 - 14 Aug 2019
Abstract
Background: Given the lack of a gold standard for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and paucity of performance data from endemic settings, we compared test performance of the tuberculin skin test (TST) and two interferon-gamma-release assays (IGRAs) among health-care workers (HCWs) using latent class [...] Read more.
Background: Given the lack of a gold standard for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and paucity of performance data from endemic settings, we compared test performance of the tuberculin skin test (TST) and two interferon-gamma-release assays (IGRAs) among health-care workers (HCWs) using latent class analysis. The study was conducted in Cape Town, South Africa, a tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) endemic setting Methods: 505 HCWs were screened for LTBI using TST, QuantiFERON-gold-in-tube (QFT-GIT) and T-SPOT.TB. A latent class model utilizing prior information on test characteristics was used to estimate test performance. Results: LTBI prevalence (95% credible interval) was 81% (71–88%). TST (10 mm cut-point) had highest sensitivity (93% (90–96%)) but lowest specificity (57%, (43–71%)). QFT-GIT sensitivity was 80% (74–91%) and specificity 96% (94–98%), and for TSPOT.TB, 74% (67–84%) and 96% (89–99%) respectively. Positive predictive values were high for IGRAs (90%) and TST (99%). All tests displayed low negative predictive values (range 47–66%). A composite rule using both TST and QFT-GIT greatly improved negative predictive value to 90% (range 80–97%). Conclusion: In an endemic setting a positive TST or IGRA was highly predictive of LTBI, while a combination of TST and IGRA had high rule-out value. These data inform the utility of LTBI-related immunodiagnostic tests in TB and HIV endemic settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Respiratory Health)
Open AccessArticle
High Prevalence of Respiratory Symptoms among Particleboard Workers in Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2158; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122158 - 18 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Work in the wood industry might be associated with respiratory health problems. The production of particleboard used for furniture making and construction is increasing in many countries, and cause dust, endotoxin and formaldehyde exposure of the workers. The aim of the study was [...] Read more.
Work in the wood industry might be associated with respiratory health problems. The production of particleboard used for furniture making and construction is increasing in many countries, and cause dust, endotoxin and formaldehyde exposure of the workers. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and to measure lung function among Ethiopian particleboard workers using Eucalyptus trees as the raw material. In total 147 workers, 74 from particleboard production and 73 controls, participated in the study. Mean wood dust in the particleboard factories was measured to be above recommended limit values. Particleboard workers had a mean age of 28 years and the controls were 25 years. They had been working for 4 and 2 years, respectively. Lung function test was done using spirometry following American Thoracic Society (ATS) recommendations. Respiratory symptoms were collected using a standard questionnaire of ATS. Particleboard workers had higher prevalence of wheezing, cough, cough with sputum production, phlegm, and shortness of breath compared to controls. Lung function status was similar in the two groups. The symptoms might be related to the work in the factories. Longitudinal studies are recommended to explore the chronic impact of work in particleboard factories on respiratory health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Respiratory Health)
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