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Special Issue "Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 June 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Elena Rada
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Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on human health and environment from many perspectives and in many different fields: air, water, waste, and soil.

Environmental health concerns aspects of the natural and built environment that affect human health. Environmental pollution has its causes, effects, and solutions that concern, directly or indirectly, human health. Environmental toxicology helps one to understand the harmful effects of various agents on humans (and not only).

Health risk assessment can valorize some results of toxicological research through increasingly refined methodologies of calculation. Medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry can indirectly affect aquatic environments, increasing the interest of toxicologists regarding related concerns.

Public health can take advantage of the enhancements in all these fields and the results of environmental remediation. Health and safety can complete this perspective by introducing the concept of prevention.

The aim of this Special Issue is to contribute to the dissemination of enhanced concepts of human health and environment related to air, water, waste, and soil.

Dr. Elena Cristina Rada
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.

Keywords

  • air, water and soil
  • environmental health
  • environmental pollution
  • environmental toxicology
  • health risk assessment
  • medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry
  • public health
  • remediation
  • safety
  • waste and wastewater

Published Papers (24 papers)

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Research

Article
Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals Accumulated on PM2.5 Fractioned Road Dust from Two Cities of Pakistan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7124; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17197124 - 29 Sep 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 960
Abstract
The aim of this study is to identify and investigate levels of toxic heavy metals in PM2.5 fractioned road dust to better understand the associated inhalation risk and potential health impacts. To achieve this aim, concentrations of seven traffic generated heavy metals [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to identify and investigate levels of toxic heavy metals in PM2.5 fractioned road dust to better understand the associated inhalation risk and potential health impacts. To achieve this aim, concentrations of seven traffic generated heavy metals (Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Ni, Sb, and Cr) were determined in the PM2.5 fraction of road dust samples from four different locations (offices, residential, hospital, and school) in two cities (Karachi and Shikarpur) of Pakistan using ICP-MS. The average concentration values of heavy metals in Karachi were as follows: 332.9 mg/kg Cu, 426.6 mg/kg Pb, 4254.4 mg/kg Zn, 62.3 mg/kg Cd, 389.7 mg/kg Ni, 70.4 mg/kg Sb, 148.1 mg/kg Cr, whereas the average concentration values of heavy metals in Shikarpur were 245.8 mg/kg Cu, 538.4 mg/kg Pb, 8351.0 mg/kg Zn, 57.6 mg/kg Cd, 131.7 mg/kg Ni, 314.5 mg/kg Sb, 346.6 mg/kg Cr. The pollution level was assessed through two pollution indices enrichment factor (EF) and geoaccumulation index (Igeo). These indices showed moderate to extreme level pollution in studied areas of both cities. The health risk assessment through inhalation contact was conducted according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) model for children and adults. Both non-cancerous and cancerous risks were characterised in the road dust samples for each location. As yet, there is not a single study on the concentrations of heavy metals in PM2.5 fractions of road dust in Karachi and Shikarpur, findings of this research will facilitate researchers for further investigations in current field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Environmentally Friendly Fluoroquinolone Derivatives with Lower Plasma Protein Binding Rate Designed Using 3D-QSAR, Molecular Docking and Molecular Dynamics Simulation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6626; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17186626 - 11 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
Comparative molecular similarity index analysis (CoMSIA) was used to establish a three-dimensional quantitative structure–activity relationship (3D-QSAR) model with structural parameters of quinolones as the independent variables and plasma protein binding rate (logfb) as the dependent variable to predict the log [...] Read more.
Comparative molecular similarity index analysis (CoMSIA) was used to establish a three-dimensional quantitative structure–activity relationship (3D-QSAR) model with structural parameters of quinolones as the independent variables and plasma protein binding rate (logfb) as the dependent variable to predict the logfb values of remaining quinolones in this study. In addition, the mono-substituted and bis-substituted reaction schemes that significantly influenced the plasma protein binding rate of quinolones were determined through an analysis of the 3D-QSAR contour maps. It was found that the replacement of small groups, hydrophobic groups, electronegative groups, or hydrogen bond acceptor groups at the substitution sites significantly reduce the logfb values of quinolone derivatives. Furthermore, the mechanism of decrease in binding rate between trovafloxacin (TRO) derivatives and plasma protein was revealed qualitatively and quantitatively based on molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation. After modification of the target molecule, 11 TRO derivatives with low plasma protein binding rates were screened (reduced by 0.50–24.18%). Compared with the target molecule, the molecular genotoxicity and photodegradability of the TRO derivatives was higher (genotoxicity increased by 4.89–21.36%, and photodegradability increased by 9.04–20.56%), and their bioconcentration was significantly lower (by 36.90–61.41%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Pollution Assessment Based on Element Concentration of Tree Leaves and Topsoil in Ayutthaya Province, Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5165; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17145165 - 17 Jul 2020
Viewed by 1100
Abstract
Atmospheric aerosol particles containing heavy metal contaminants deposit on the surface of plant leaves and the topsoil. Our aim was to reveal the pollution along an industrial–urban–rural gradient (IURG) in the central provinces of Thailand. Leaf samples from Ficus religiosa and Mimusops elengi [...] Read more.
Atmospheric aerosol particles containing heavy metal contaminants deposit on the surface of plant leaves and the topsoil. Our aim was to reveal the pollution along an industrial–urban–rural gradient (IURG) in the central provinces of Thailand. Leaf samples from Ficus religiosa and Mimusops elengi were collected along with topsoil samples under the selected trees. Al, Ba, Ca, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb, and Zn concentrations were determined by ICP-OES in soil and plant samples. Soils were not polluted according to the critical value; furthermore, the elemental composition did not differ among the sampling sites of the IURG. The rural site was also polluted due to heavy amounts of untreated wastewater of the adjacent Chao Phraya River. Bioaccumulation factors of Ba, Cu, and Mn was higher than 1, suggesting active accumulation of these elements in plant tissue. Our findings proved that the deposition of air pollutants and the resistance to air pollutants in the case of plant leaves were different and that humus materials of the soils had relevant role in bioaccumulation of Al, Ba, and Cu. At the same time, the geochemical background, the source of pollution, and the local plant species greatly influence the metal content of any given environmental compartment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Prediction Model for Dry Eye Syndrome Incidence Rate Using Air Pollutants and Meteorological Factors in South Korea: Analysis of Sub-Region Deviations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 4969; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17144969 - 10 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1000
Abstract
Here, we develop a dry eye syndrome (DES) incidence rate prediction model using air pollutants (PM10, NO2, SO2, O3, and CO), meteorological factors (temperature, humidity, and wind speed), population rate, and clinical data for South [...] Read more.
Here, we develop a dry eye syndrome (DES) incidence rate prediction model using air pollutants (PM10, NO2, SO2, O3, and CO), meteorological factors (temperature, humidity, and wind speed), population rate, and clinical data for South Korea. The prediction model is well fitted to the incidence rate (R2 = 0.9443 and 0.9388, p < 2.2 × 10−16). To analyze regional deviations, we classify outpatient data, air pollutant, and meteorological factors in 16 administrative districts (seven metropolitan areas and nine states). Our results confirm NO2 and relative humidity are the factors impacting regional deviations in the prediction model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Comparative Study of the Composition of Sweat from Eccrine and Apocrine Sweat Glands during Exercise and in Heat
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3377; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17103377 - 12 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1357
Abstract
This preliminarily study was made to examine the differences in sweat excretions from human eccrine and apocrine sweat glands in dynamic exercise and heat conditions. Sweat samples were collected from six young males while they were either running on a treadmill or sitting [...] Read more.
This preliminarily study was made to examine the differences in sweat excretions from human eccrine and apocrine sweat glands in dynamic exercise and heat conditions. Sweat samples were collected from six young males while they were either running on a treadmill or sitting in a sauna cabinet. Sweat samples of at least 5 mL from the eccrine (upperback) and apocrine (armpit) sweat glands were collected during a 20min running (or inactive overheating) period. The samples were then analyzed for urea, uric acid, and electrolyte (Na+, Cl, and K+) excretions. The results from a twoway repeatedmeasures analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that the secretions of urea and K+ were significantly higher during running than during inactive overheating for both glands, as were Na+ secretions for the apocrine glands (all P < 0.05). Under the same sweating conditions, urea and K+ excretions from the apocrine glands were also higher than those from the eccrine glands (all P < 0.05). Significant differences were observed between the Na+ secretions of the apocrine and eccrine glands under the running condition. The effects of various sweating methods and sweat glands on Cl secretions were nonsignificant, and little uric acid was excreted. A higher urea excretion level during running rather than in hot conditions could be attributed to an elevated metabolic rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Application of an Enhanced Version of Recursive Operability Analysis for Combustible Dusts Risk Assessment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3078; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17093078 - 28 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1060
Abstract
Organic dust explosions were and are still today a critical issue in the food, pharmaceutical, and fine chemical industry. Materials such as flour, corn starch, sugar and APIs represent a cause of severe accidents. In this framework, we investigated a modified version of [...] Read more.
Organic dust explosions were and are still today a critical issue in the food, pharmaceutical, and fine chemical industry. Materials such as flour, corn starch, sugar and APIs represent a cause of severe accidents. In this framework, we investigated a modified version of Recursive Operability Analysis−Incidental Sequence Diagrams (ROA–ISD), called ROA Plus−ISD, specifically tailored to describe industrial processes involving organic combustible dusts. Compared to more classical techniques such as Hazard and Operability (HazOp), ROA−ISD allows for a direct generation of fault trees, providing a useful tool to connect Qualitative with Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA). ROA Plus−ISD is very similar to ROA−Cause Consequence Diagrams (CCD), which has already proven to be an effective tool to perform both risk assessment on existing plants and reconstructing already occurred accidents, given its logical structure and width of the application fields. In this work, we modified specific parts of the standard ROA−CCD method: (1) the Failure Mode and Operability Analysis (FMEA) database has been structured in order to retrieve the well-known explosion pentagon (for dusts) and all the instruments, devices, apparatuses and controllers typical of industries which process organic dusts; (2) a new comprehensive list of process variables has been compiled. In this way, it is possible to tailor the information required for the generation of the fault trees concerning top events involving mainly dust explosions and fires. This method has been implemented in order to reconstruct the dynamics of the February 2008 Imperial Sugar refinery plant accident (Port Wentworth, GA, USA). Results demonstrated the applicability of the enhanced method by highlighting the criticalities of the process already showed by a previously detailed reconstruction performed by the Chemical Safety Board. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Determinants of Active and Healthy Ageing in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Cameroon
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3038; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17093038 - 27 Apr 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1436
Abstract
This paper examines the determinants and policy implications of active and healthy ageing in Sub-Saharan Africa, taking the case of Bamenda, in Cameroon. Specifically, the study sought to identify and explore the determinants of active and healthy ageing using a mixed-methods approach involving [...] Read more.
This paper examines the determinants and policy implications of active and healthy ageing in Sub-Saharan Africa, taking the case of Bamenda, in Cameroon. Specifically, the study sought to identify and explore the determinants of active and healthy ageing using a mixed-methods approach involving qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. Focus group discussions were conducted complemented by a survey (random and snowball sampling) using a structured questionnaire. Narratives and thematic analysis were used to analyze the data generated from the focus group discussion and Tobit regression was employed to analyze the multiple determinants of active ageing by dimensions and on a global scale in Cameroon. Results identified three key dimensions of active and healthy ageing: employment/livelihood options (EL), community support and health (CH) and housing and living in Bamenda (HL). The regression results reveal gender bias in active ageing, a non-effect of education and health on active ageing, and a positive effect of income on active and healthy ageing. This study contributes, among others, to the competence–environmental press theory on active ageing with regards to unbundling context specific determinants of active and healthy ageing. It equally derives policy considerations with regards to gender mainstreaming and the identification of age friendly income earning options to enhance the active and healthy ageing process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Development and Evaluation of the Psychometric Properties of a Brief Wisdom Development Scale
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2717; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17082717 - 15 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 924
Abstract
This study was to develop an 18-item Brief Wisdom Development Scale, based on the original 66-item Wisdom Development Scale, and evaluate the psychometric properties of the proposed scale using a sample of older adults. This longitudinal study recruited 153 community-dwelling adults (mean = [...] Read more.
This study was to develop an 18-item Brief Wisdom Development Scale, based on the original 66-item Wisdom Development Scale, and evaluate the psychometric properties of the proposed scale using a sample of older adults. This longitudinal study recruited 153 community-dwelling adults (mean = 72.55 years old; SD = 8.47) from older adult service centres. Using a repeated measures design, the study obtained four waves of data from the participants over 12 months. The Brief Wisdom Development Scale (BWDS) was developed based on the Stepwise Confirmatory Factor Analytical approach (SCOFA), with further verification of its factorial validity using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The results suggest that the BWDS comprising 18 items with a six-factor structure is comparable with its full version and possesses good psychometric properties in internal consistency, concurrent validity, and factorial validity. The BWDS provides an efficient, reliable, and valid construct to measure wisdom. The implications for research development are discussed here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Decomposing Inequality in Long-Term Care Need Among Older Adults with Chronic Diseases in China: A Life Course Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2559; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17072559 - 08 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1319
Abstract
Background: China has the largest number of aging people in need of long-term care, among whom 70% have chronic diseases. For policy planners, it is necessary to understand the different levels of needs of long-term care and provide long-term care insurance to [...] Read more.
Background: China has the largest number of aging people in need of long-term care, among whom 70% have chronic diseases. For policy planners, it is necessary to understand the different levels of needs of long-term care and provide long-term care insurance to ensure the long-term care needs of all people can be met. Methods: This study combines the 2013 wave of CHARLS survey and the Life Course Survey of 2014. The combination allows us to factor in both childhood and adulthood data to provide life-course analysis. We identified 7,734 older adults with chronic diseases for analysis. The need for long-term care is defined by the presence of functional limitations based on the performance of basic activities of daily living (ADLs) and of instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). Two dummy variables, ADLs disability and IADLs disability, and two count variables, ADLs score and IADLs score, were defined to measure incidence and severity of long-term care need, respectively. The concentration index was used to capture the inequality in long-term care need, and a decomposition method based on Probit Regression and Negative Binomial Regression was exploited to identify the contribution of each determination. Results: At least a little difficulty was reported in ADLs and IADLs in 20.44% and 19.25% of respondents, respectively. The concentration index of ADLs disability, ADLs score, IADLs disability, IADLs score were −0.085, −0.109, −0.095 and −0.120, respectively, all of which were statistically significant, indicating the pro-poor inequality in the incidence and severity of long-term care need. Decomposition analyses revealed that family income, education attainment, aging, and childhood experience played a significant role in explaining the inequalities. Conclusions: The long-term care need among older adults with chronic disease is high in China and low socioeconomic groups had a higher probability of needing long-term care or need more long-term care. It is urgent to implement long-term care insurance, especially for the individuals from lower socioeconomic groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
Article
How Does Environmental Regulation Affect the Location of New Polluting Firms? Exploring the Agglomeration Threshold of Effective Environmental Regulation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1279; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17041279 - 17 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 933
Abstract
Some scholars have already proved the important role of agglomeration in studying how environmental regulation (ER) affects the location of polluting firms. However, further research is needed on both the mechanism and the empirical evidence. This paper reports the construction of a location [...] Read more.
Some scholars have already proved the important role of agglomeration in studying how environmental regulation (ER) affects the location of polluting firms. However, further research is needed on both the mechanism and the empirical evidence. This paper reports the construction of a location database of new chemical plants in China’s Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB), where a fixed-effects panel threshold regression model was used to explore the agglomeration threshold of effective ER. We found a single agglomeration threshold for the whole YREB region that represented the turning point of ER from excluding to attracting new chemical enterprises. Additionally, there were two agglomeration thresholds in the lower reaches. If agglomeration reached the lower threshold, the effect of ER changed from repulsion to nonsignificant attraction. Once above the upper threshold, the attraction effect became large and significant. The results for this region were consistent with the Porter hypothesis. Furthermore, there was a single agglomeration threshold in the middle reaches. When agglomeration level exceeded the threshold, the repellant effect of ER was no longer significant. In the upper reaches, we found no valid threshold and ER always exhibited a small and nonsignificant exclusion effect. The pollution haven hypothesis was more explanatory in the middle and upper reaches. In the end, some suggestions are provided to support the government to formulate differentiated environmental policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Emissions Control of Hydrochloric and Fluorhydric Acid in cement Factories from Romania
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1019; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031019 - 06 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1040
Abstract
From the available statistical data, cement factories co-process a range of over 100 types of waste (sorted both industrial and household) being authorized for their use as combustion components in clinker ovens. Therefore, the level of emissions is different depending on the type [...] Read more.
From the available statistical data, cement factories co-process a range of over 100 types of waste (sorted both industrial and household) being authorized for their use as combustion components in clinker ovens. Therefore, the level of emissions is different depending on the type of fuels and waste used. The amount of industrial and municipal co-processed waste in the Romanian cement industry from 2004 to 2013 was about 1,500,000 tons, the equivalent of municipal waste generated in a year for 18 cities with over 250,000 inhabitants. The objective of this paper was to evaluate the emission level of hydrochloric acid (HCl) and hydrofluoric acid (HF) at the clinker kilns at two cement factories in Romania for different annual time intervals and to do a comparative analysis, to estimate their compliance with legislation in force. The measurements results showed average emission levels of about 0.578 mg/Nm3 for HCl and about 0.100 mg/Nm3 for HF, in the first hours of the evening, but decreased at the beginning of the third tour, at about 0.385 mg/Nm3 for HCl, respectively, to about 0.085 mg/Nm3 for HF. The evolution of HCl and HF emission levels during the last 4 years showed a variable distribution of these acids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Environmental and Health Impacts of Domestic Hot Water (DHW) Boilers in Urban Areas: A Case Study from Turin, NW Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 595; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17020595 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1190
Abstract
Domestic hot water heat pumps (DHW HPs) have spread fast in recent years in Europe and they now represent an interesting opportunity for implementing renewable energy sources in buildings with a centralized/district heating system, where DWH is generally produced by a gas boiler [...] Read more.
Domestic hot water heat pumps (DHW HPs) have spread fast in recent years in Europe and they now represent an interesting opportunity for implementing renewable energy sources in buildings with a centralized/district heating system, where DWH is generally produced by a gas boiler or an electric water heater. Replacing these appliances has several environmental benefits, including the removal of air pollution sources and the reduction of Green House Gasses (GHG) emissions. In this work, we present the techno-economic and environmental evaluation of implementing DHW HPs in Turin, where 66% of the DHW demand is covered by dedicated gas boilers. The impact of such boilers was assessed through numerical air dispersion modeling conducted with the software SPRAY (Aria Technologies, Paris, French). Results show that removing these sources would reduce yearly average concentrations of NOx up to 1.4 µg/m3, i.e., about 1% of monitored concentrations of NOx, with a benefit of 1.05 ÷ 15.15 M€/y of avoided health externalities. Replacing boilers with DHW HPs is always financially feasible with current incentives while, in their absence, it would be convenient for residential units with 3 cohabitants or more (51.22% of the total population), thanks to scale economies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Potentially Heterogeneous Cross-Sectional Associations of Seafood Consumption with Diabetes and Glycemia in Urban South Asia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 459; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17020459 - 10 Jan 2020
Viewed by 1202
Abstract
Aims: In this study, we aimed to estimate cross-sectional associations of fish or shellfish consumption with diabetes and glycemia in three South Asian mega-cities. Methods: We analyzed baseline data from 2010–2011 of a cohort (n = 16,287) representing the population [...] Read more.
Aims: In this study, we aimed to estimate cross-sectional associations of fish or shellfish consumption with diabetes and glycemia in three South Asian mega-cities. Methods: We analyzed baseline data from 2010–2011 of a cohort (n = 16,287) representing the population ≥20 years old that was neither pregnant nor on bedrest from Karachi (unweighted n = 4017), Delhi (unweighted n = 5364), and Chennai (unweighted n = 6906). Diabetes was defined as self-reported physician-diagnosed diabetes, fasting plasma glucose ≥126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L), or glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) ≥6.5% (48 mmol/mol). We estimated adjusted and unadjusted odds ratios for diabetes using survey estimation logistic regression for each city, and differences in glucose and HbA1c using survey estimation linear regression for each city. Adjusted models controlled for age, gender, body mass index, waist–height ratio, sedentary lifestyle, educational attainment, tobacco use, an unhealthy diet index score, income, self-reported physician diagnosis of high blood pressure, and self-reported physician diagnosis of high cholesterol. Results: The prevalence of diabetes was 26.7% (95% confidence interval: 24.8, 28.6) in Chennai, 36.7% (32.9, 40.5) in Delhi, and 24.3% (22.0, 26.6) in Karachi. Fish and shellfish were consumed more frequently in Chennai than in the other two cities. In Chennai, the adjusted odds ratio for diabetes, comparing more than weekly vs. less than weekly fish consumption, was 0.81 (0.61, 1.08); in Delhi, it was 1.18 (0.87, 1.58), and, in Karachi, it was 1.30 (0.94, 1.80). In Chennai, the adjusted odds ratio of prevalent diabetes among persons consuming shellfish more than weekly versus less than weekly was 1.08 (95% CI: 0.90, 1.30); in Delhi, it was 1.35 (0.90, 2.01), and, in Karachi, it was 1.68 (0.98, 2.86). Conclusions: Both the direction and the magnitude of association between seafood consumption and glycemia may vary by city. Further investigation into specific locally consumed seafoods and their prospective associations with incident diabetes and related pathophysiology are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
Article
Competitive Development Tools in Identifying Efficient Educational Interventions for Improving Pro-Environmental and Recycling Behavior
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 156; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17010156 - 24 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1315
Abstract
Daily life in today’s dynamic world requires fast adaptation of people’s behavior to new challenges emerged from environmental, health, urban housing, transportation, etc. problems. A strong and complex tool in changing behaviors, education consumes significant resources and requires time for effective impact. The [...] Read more.
Daily life in today’s dynamic world requires fast adaptation of people’s behavior to new challenges emerged from environmental, health, urban housing, transportation, etc. problems. A strong and complex tool in changing behaviors, education consumes significant resources and requires time for effective impact. The present study proposes a roadmap, integrating advanced methods for industrial competitive development (QFD) in configuring efficient educational interventions for changing people’s behavior on special thematic areas, such as environment and recycling. A literature review on applicable behavioral theories led to more than 30 behavioral factors (constructs) targetable by education, their specific impact evaluation being the subject of a survey among education professionals. Finally, to reach a mapping of efficient interventions with low costs, high impact and fast results criteria, educational interventions and behavioral factors were correlated by the QFD method on three dimensions addressing: teachers and trainers, contents and tools, respectively the national & institutional level. The current research results are focused particularly on changing recycling behaviors, but the overall concept and methodology can be expanded to incorporate any preoccupation in the areas of environment and health, as long-term drivers of public well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Fault Diagnosis of Loader Gearbox Based on an ICA and SVM Algorithm
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4868; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16234868 - 03 Dec 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 943
Abstract
When a part of the loader’s gearbox fails, this can lead to equipment failure due to the complex internal structure and the interrelationship between the parts. Therefore, it is imperative to research an efficient strategy for transmission fault diagnosis. In this study, the [...] Read more.
When a part of the loader’s gearbox fails, this can lead to equipment failure due to the complex internal structure and the interrelationship between the parts. Therefore, it is imperative to research an efficient strategy for transmission fault diagnosis. In this study, the non-contact characteristics of noise diagnosis using sound intensity probes were used to collect noise signals generated under gear breaking conditions. The independent component analysis (ICA) technique was applied for feature extraction from the original data and to reduce the correlation between the signals. The correlation coefficient between the independent components and the source data was used as the input parameters of the support vector machine (SVM) classifier. The separation of the independent components was achieved by MATLAB simulation. The misdiagnosis rate was 5% for 40 sets of test data. A 13-point test platform for noise testing of the loader gearbox was built according to Chinese national standards. Source signals under the normal and fault conditions were analyzed separately by ICA and SVM algorithms. In this case, the misdiagnosis rate was 7.5% for the 40 sets of experimental test data. This proved that the proposed method could effectively realize fault classification and recognition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Removal of Cypermethrin from Water by Using Fucus Spiralis Marine Alga
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3663; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16193663 - 29 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 924
Abstract
Alpha-cypermethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid that was extensively used for insect control, since the early 1980s. However, it is known that its presence in the environment has toxic effects on humans and aquatic life forms. For this reason, it is commendable for it [...] Read more.
Alpha-cypermethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid that was extensively used for insect control, since the early 1980s. However, it is known that its presence in the environment has toxic effects on humans and aquatic life forms. For this reason, it is commendable for it to be removed completely from the contaminated environment. In this study, we evaluated the adsorption capacity of a marine alga for the removal of cypermethrin from water. The adsorption experiments were performed based on the batch equilibrium technique. The samples containing the pesticide were analyzed using gas chromatography with an electron capture detector, after liquid-liquid extraction in hexane. The results obtained from the kinetic adsorption studies showed that the equilibrium time was attained after 40 min. The adsorption parameters at equilibrium concentrations, obtained through the Langmuir, Freundlich, and Temkin models, showed that the used brown marine alga has a maximum amount of adsorbed cypermethrin of 588.24 µg/g. The correlation coefficients obtained for each model prove that the Langmuir model best fits the experimental data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Exposure to Bacterial and Fungal Aerosols: Microorganism Indices in A Waste-Sorting Plant in Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3308; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16183308 - 09 Sep 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1194
Abstract
An increased understanding of airborne microorganism populations should enable a better interpretation of bioaerosol exposure found in a working environment. An assessment of the contamination levels of mesophilic bacterial aerosol (MBA) and fungal aerosol (FA) was carried out using two evaluation indices for [...] Read more.
An increased understanding of airborne microorganism populations should enable a better interpretation of bioaerosol exposure found in a working environment. An assessment of the contamination levels of mesophilic bacterial aerosol (MBA) and fungal aerosol (FA) was carried out using two evaluation indices for microbiological pollution—the total index of microbiological contamination per cubic meter (TIMC/m3) and the indoor–outdoor index (IOI). An advantage of selected indices is the inclusion of several co-existing factors that have an impact on the formation of bioaerosol. When properly used, they also highlight the low efficiency of the ventilation system caused by an insufficient air exchange. In this study, the microbial air quality (MAQ) of the working environment was assessed during the spring season at a sorting plant located in Southern Poland. Sampling was undertaken in the plant using an Andersen six-stage impactor which allows the obtainment of information about the size distribution of the air microflora. The value of average concentrations of MBA and the average concentration of FA collected in the preliminary cabin of the sorting plant (PCSP) and the cleaning cabin of the sorting plant (CCSP) were analyzed. The obtained values of MBA were 1.6 times higher indoors, compared to outdoors, while FA was 1.7 times higher outdoors than indoors. The maximum TIMC/m3 value was obtained in PCSP (2626). The calculated IOI in this study suggests that MBA concentrations are influenced by internal sources, as opposed to FA. The purpose of this work was to present the usefulness of using indices in assessing air quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Remediation of Soil Polluted by Organic Compounds Through Chemical Oxidation and Phytoremediation Combined with DCT
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3179; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16173179 - 31 Aug 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1475
Abstract
Soils contaminated with organic substances is an important issue across Europe: In some areas, these are the main causes of pollution, or the second after contamination from waste disposal. This paper included an experimental application that compared three methods of remediation of contaminated [...] Read more.
Soils contaminated with organic substances is an important issue across Europe: In some areas, these are the main causes of pollution, or the second after contamination from waste disposal. This paper included an experimental application that compared three methods of remediation of contaminated sites, based on electric fields: A single treatment (electroremediation); and two combined treatments, phyto-electrochemical and electrooxidation (a combination of chemical treatment and a DCT—direct current technology). The contaminated soil was taken from a former industrial area devoted to oil refining, located between two roads: The one national and the other one for industrial use. Nine soil samples were collected at two depths (0.2 and 0.4 m). The initial characterization of the soil showed a density of 1.5 g/cm³ and a moisture of about 20%; regarding grain size, 50% of the soil had particles with a diameter less than 0.08 mm. The electrochemical treatment and electrooxidation had an efficiency of 20% while the two combined methods had efficiencies of 42.5% for electrooxidation (with H2O2) and 20% for phyto-electroremediation (phyto-ER) with poinsettias. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
A Study on Noise Reduction of Gear Pumps of Wheel Loaders Based on the ICA Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 999; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16060999 - 19 Mar 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1236
Abstract
In order to reduce the noise level of wheel loaders caused by gear pumps and realize environmentally sustainable development, the noise generation mechanism of a gear pump was studied, and the influence of flow pulsation and gear impact on noise was analyzed. In [...] Read more.
In order to reduce the noise level of wheel loaders caused by gear pumps and realize environmentally sustainable development, the noise generation mechanism of a gear pump was studied, and the influence of flow pulsation and gear impact on noise was analyzed. In order to reduce the interference of other noise sources on the noise level of the gear pump, a noise test rig was established. The mixed noise signals obtained from the rig test were separated using the ICA model. The ICA model includes the following algorithms: The fast Fourier transform (FFT), independent component analysis (ICA) and inverse fast Fourier transform (IFFT). Some theories about the influence of the teeth number and teeth profile on noise were analyzed by theory and simulation. A noise reduction strategy was proposed by increasing the teeth numbers and modifying the teeth profile of the gear pump. The tests results showed that the noise values of the external and the driver’s ear of the wheel loader were reduced to 1 and 2.2 dB (A), respectively. This proves the effectiveness of the optimization scheme of gear pump noise reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Communication
Perceived Body Appearance and Eating Habits: The Voice of Young and Adult Students Attending Higher Education
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 451; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16030451 - 04 Feb 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2968
Abstract
This study examined the relationship between social-environmental influences and body image perception. Specifically, the study explored the perceived body appearance among young and older students attending higher education, and their eating experiences, as related to four main social-environmental circles: family, friends, work colleagues, [...] Read more.
This study examined the relationship between social-environmental influences and body image perception. Specifically, the study explored the perceived body appearance among young and older students attending higher education, and their eating experiences, as related to four main social-environmental circles: family, friends, work colleagues, and media. The present study interviewed 30 students (14 men and 16 women) ages 20–40. The findings show that most of the participants were concerned about their appearance, reported on various eating habits rooted on family tradition. Findings revealed differences among gender and age groups regarding, especially regarding sport and dissatisfaction with their own perceived appearance. Although more women reported on healthy eating habits and doing sport, they reported higher dissatisfaction with their body appearance. It was found that in both groups, family habits and their parents’ remarks about bodies had an ongoing effect and significant influence on their body self-perceptions. Further health promotion should be directed in particular to individuals with a perceived negative body image, in order to enhance positive body self-perception, implementing heathy eating habits and engaging higher commitment to sport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
Article
Accuracy Assessment of the Planar Morphology of Valley Bank Gullies Extracted with High Resolution Remote Sensing Imagery on the Loess Plateau, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 369; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16030369 - 28 Jan 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1829
Abstract
Gully erosion is a serious environmental problem worldwide, causing soil loss, land degradation, silting up of reservoirs and even catastrophic flooding. Mapping gully features from remote sensing imagery is crucial for assisting in understanding gully erosion mechanisms, predicting its development processes and assessing [...] Read more.
Gully erosion is a serious environmental problem worldwide, causing soil loss, land degradation, silting up of reservoirs and even catastrophic flooding. Mapping gully features from remote sensing imagery is crucial for assisting in understanding gully erosion mechanisms, predicting its development processes and assessing its environmental and socio-economic effects over large areas, especially under the increasing global climate extremes and intensive human activities. However, the potential of using increasingly available high-resolution remote sensing imagery to detect and delineate gullies has been less evaluated. Hence, 130 gullies occurred along a transect were selected from a typical watershed in the hilly and gully region of the Chinese Loess Plateau, and visually interpreted from a Pleiades-1B satellite image (panchromatic-sharpened image at 0.5 m resolution fused with 2.0 m multi-spectral bands). The interpreted gullies were compared with their measured data obtained in the field using a differential global positioning system (GPS). Results showed that gullies could generally be accurately interpreted from the image, with an average relative error of gully area and gully perimeter being 11.1% and 8.9%, respectively, and 74.2% and 82.3% of the relative errors for gully area and gully perimeter were within 15%. But involving field measurements of gullies in present imagery-based gully studies is still recommended. To judge whether gullies were mapped accurately further, a standard adopting one-pixel tolerance along the mapped gully edges was proposed and proved to be practical. Correlation analysis indicated that larger gullies could be interpreted more accurately but increasing gully shape complexity would decrease interpreting accuracy. Overall lower vegetation coverage in winter due to the withering and falling of vegetation rarely affected gully interpreting. Furthermore, gully detectability on remote sensing imagery in this region was lower than the other places of the world, due to the overall broken topography in the Loess Plateau, thus images with higher resolution than normally perceived are needed when mapping erosion features here. Taking these influencing factors (gully dimension and shape complexity, vegetation coverage, topography) into account will be favorable to select appropriate imagery and gullies (as study objects) in future imagery-based gully studies. Finally, two linear regression models were built to correct gully area (Aip, m2) and gully perimeter (Pip, m) visually extracted, by connecting them with the measured area (Ams, m2) and perimeter (Pms, m). The correction models were A m s = 1.021 A i p + 0.139 and P m s = 0.949 P i p +   0.722 , respectively. These models could be helpful for improving the accuracy of interpreting results, and further accurately estimating gully development and developing more effective automated gully extraction methods on the Loess Plateau of China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Different Trends in Microbial Contamination between Two Types of Microfiltered Water Dispensers: From Risk Analysis to Consumer Health Preservation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 272; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16020272 - 18 Jan 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2088
Abstract
The use of microfiltered water dispensers (MWDs) for treatment of municipal water is increasing rapidly, however, the water quality produced by MWDs has not been widely investigated. In this work a large-scale microbiological investigation was conducted on 46 MWDs. In accordance with Italian [...] Read more.
The use of microfiltered water dispensers (MWDs) for treatment of municipal water is increasing rapidly, however, the water quality produced by MWDs has not been widely investigated. In this work a large-scale microbiological investigation was conducted on 46 MWDs. In accordance with Italian regulations for drinking water, we investigated the heterotrophic plate counts at 36 and 22 °C for indicator bacteria and pathogenic bacteria, such as Enterococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Two different MWDs were compared: Type A with Ag+ coated carbon filter and two ultraviolet (UV) lamps, and Type B with a carbon filter and one UV lamp. For each type, the contamination of the input and output points was analyzed. Our findings showed that MWDs are a source of bacteria growth, with output being more contaminated than the input point. Type B was widely contaminated for all parameters tested in both sampling points, suggesting that water treatment by Type A is more effective in controlling bacterial contamination. MWDs are critical devices for water treatment in term of technologies, intended use, and sanitization procedures. The adoption of an appropriate drinking water safety plan associated with clear maintenance procedures and periodic environmental monitoring can ensure the safe and healthy operation of these devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Distribution Characteristics and Source of Dechloranes in Soil and Lichen of the Fildes Peninsula (Antarctica)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2312; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15102312 - 21 Oct 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1622
Abstract
Dechloranes (Decs) have been widely found in the environment, even in the Tibetan Plateau and remote polar regions. However, the understanding of their regional distribution characteristics in polar regions is limited. To study the long-range atmospheric transport and fates of these emerging contaminants, [...] Read more.
Dechloranes (Decs) have been widely found in the environment, even in the Tibetan Plateau and remote polar regions. However, the understanding of their regional distribution characteristics in polar regions is limited. To study the long-range atmospheric transport and fates of these emerging contaminants, Decs were analyzed in soil and lichen from the Fildes Peninsula in Antarctica. The concentrations of five Decs in soil and lichen ranged from 141.46 to 838.47 pg/g dw and 237.04 to 3599.18 pg/g dw, respectively. The mean fractions of anti-Dechlorane Plus (DP) (fanti) values estimated in the current soils (0.37) and lichen (0.24) were lower than those of commercial products (fanti = 0.64–0.80), which confirms that long-range atmospheric transport is a main source of DP, and the DP burdens could be driven by the accumulation of syn-DP. The average ΣDP concentration in soil in the coastal area was higher than that in the inland area and Ardley Island, while in lichen, the average DP concentration at the Ardley Island site was approximately three-fold higher than that in the coastal area and inland areas. This indicates that the distribution of DP was influenced by anthropogenic interference and animal activities in the Fildes Peninsula. The spatial variation of fanti of the three regions was clearer in soil than that in lichen. The fanti values were negatively correlated with DP concentrations in soil, suggesting that DP concentration levels play an important role in determining the isomeric composition of DP in the soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Article
Heavy Metal Bioaccumulation in Rice from a High Geological Background Area in Guizhou Province, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2281; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15102281 - 17 Oct 2018
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2302
Abstract
Long-term exposure to high levels of heavy metals can lead to a variety of diseases. In recent years, researchers have paid more attention to mining and smelting areas, industrial areas, and so forth, but they have neglected to report on high geological background [...] Read more.
Long-term exposure to high levels of heavy metals can lead to a variety of diseases. In recent years, researchers have paid more attention to mining and smelting areas, industrial areas, and so forth, but they have neglected to report on high geological background areas where heavy metal levels are higher than China’s soil environmental quality standard (GB 15618-2018). In our study, an investigation of heavy metals in paddy soil and rice in the high background area of Guizhou Province was carried out, and the factors affecting the absorption and utilization of heavy metals in rice were discussed. A total of 52 paddy soil and rice samples throughout the high geological background of Guizhou, China, were collected, and concentration(s) of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc were analyzed. The arithmetic mean values of paddy soil heavy metals were 19.7 ± 17.1, 0.577 ± 0.690, 40.5 ± 32.8, 35.5 ± 32.0, and 135 ± 128 mg kg−1 for arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc, respectively. Most of the heavy metals’ contents in the soil were above the soil standard value. The highest content of cadmium was 15.5 times that of the soil standard value. The concentration(s) of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc in rice were 0.09 ± 0.03, 0.01 ± 0.01, 1.57 ± 0.69, 0.002 ± 0.003, and 11.56 ± 2.61 mg kg−1, respectively, which are all lower than those specified by Chinese food safety standards (GB 2762-2017). The results and discussion show that the bioavailability, pH, and soil organic matter are important factors that affect the absorption of heavy metals by rice. According to the consumption of rice in Guizhou Province, the risk of eating rice was considered. The results revealed that the hazard quotient is ranked in the order of copper > zinc > cadmium > arsenic > lead, and there is little risk of eating rice in the high geological background area of Guizhou Province. These findings provide impetus for the revision and improvement of this Chinese soil environmental quality standard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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