Special Issue "Chemical Exposures and Public Health Interventions"

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: 31 March 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Tim Marczylo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Toxicology Department, Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Public Health England, Didcot OX11 0RQ, UK
Interests: toxicology; toxicokinetics; analytical chemistry; human biomonitoring
Dr. Samuel Collins
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Chemicals and Environmental Effects Department, Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Public Health England, Didcot OX11 0RQ, UK
Interests: CBRN; decontamination; chemical incidents; public health interventions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The global development, distribution and use of chemicals continues to increase annually, with thousands, including toxic industrial chemicals, being manufactured and distributed in excess of one metric tonne annually. According to the Chemical Abstract Service (CAS, under the American Chemical Society) the number of unique inorganic and organic substances has more than doubled in the last six years to more than 126 million. Accompanying these increases in manufacture and distribution is an increasing risk of a chemical incident leading to human exposure and to injury from hazardous chemicals. A chemical incident is defined as “an unexpected, uncontrolled release of a chemical from its containment”. Chemical incidents may be caused by accidental (e.g., chemical spillages, fires) or deliberate (e.g., terrorist) factors. Globally, there are multiple chemical incidents involving the exposure, or potential exposure of tens of thousands of people every year. Recent accidents including the 2020 and 2015 port explosions in Beirut and Tianjin accompanied by an alarming rise in the criminal dumping of chemical waste and deliberate use of chemical agents including acid attacks, Sarin in Syria, VX in Malaysia and Novichok in the United Kingdom and Russia all highlight the ever-present threat from chemical incidents. 

This special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) focuses on the assessment of chemical incident exposures and public health interventions.  We welcome papers from scientists, practitioners and policy makers dealing with novel and emerging chemical risks, the impacts of chemical incidents, mechanisms of exposure, uptake, harm, public health interventions (operational and policy-based), emergency (prehospital) interventions (e.g. decontamination) and cost benefit/health economic analyses of interventions. Other manuscript types accepted include methodological papers (in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo), position papers, brief reports, and commentaries.

Dr. Tim Marczylo
Dr. Samuel Collins
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Chemicals
  • Novel and emerging threats
  • CBRN
  • Chemical incident
  • Exposure assessment
  • Mechanism of exposure
  • Health impact
  • Emergency management
  • Decontamination
  • Health economics

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Article
Event-Based Surveillance of Poisonings and Potentially Hazardous Exposures over 12 Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11133; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph182111133 - 22 Oct 2021
Viewed by 517
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen people and governments utilise an array of chemical and pharmaceutical substances in an attempt to prevent and treat COVID-19 infections. The Centre for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards (CRCE) at Public Health England (PHE) routinely undertakes Event-Based Surveillance [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen people and governments utilise an array of chemical and pharmaceutical substances in an attempt to prevent and treat COVID-19 infections. The Centre for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards (CRCE) at Public Health England (PHE) routinely undertakes Event-Based Surveillance (EBS) to monitor public health threats and incidents related to chemicals and poisons. From April 2020, EBS functions were expanded to screen international media for potentially hazardous exposures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Media sources reported that poisons centres were experiencing increased enquiries associated with the use and misuse of household cleaners and alcohol-based hand sanitiser (HS). There were also media reports of people self-medicating with over-the-counter supplements and traditional or herbal remedies. Public figures who directly or indirectly facilitated misinformation were sometimes reported to be associated with changes in poisoning trends. Border closures were also believed to have been associated with increasingly toxic illicit drug supplies in Canada, and record numbers of opioid-related deaths were reported. In other countries, where the sale of alcohol was banned or limited, home-brewing and methanol-based supplies resulted in a number of fatalities. At least two chemical incidents also occurred at industrial sites in India, after sites were left unattended or were closed and reopened due to lockdown measures. Reports of poisoning identified in the international media were provided to the UK National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) and contributed to the UK COVID-19 public health response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Exposures and Public Health Interventions)

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Identification of Novel Simulants for Toxic Industrial Chemicals and Chemical Warfare Agents for Human Decontamination Studies: A Systematic Review and Categorisation of Physicochemical Characteristics
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8681; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18168681 - 17 Aug 2021
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Abstract
Chemical simulants have long been used in human trials of mass decontamination to determine the efficacy of decontamination interventions against more toxic agents. Until now, reliance has mostly been on individual chemicals as surrogates to specific agents (e.g., methyl salicylate for sulphur mustard). [...] Read more.
Chemical simulants have long been used in human trials of mass decontamination to determine the efficacy of decontamination interventions against more toxic agents. Until now, reliance has mostly been on individual chemicals as surrogates to specific agents (e.g., methyl salicylate for sulphur mustard). A literature review was conducted to identify chemicals that had been previously tested on human volunteers and that represent diverse physicochemical characteristics in order to create a repository for chemical simulants. Of the 171 unique chemicals identified, 78 were discounted for the risk they could pose to human volunteers, 39 were deemed suitable for use, and a further 54 were considered to be possible simulants but would require further research. Suitable simulants included both solid and liquid chemicals spanning a wide range of physicochemical properties including molecular weight, octanol/water partition coefficient, vapour pressure, and solubility. This review identifies an array of potential simulants suitable for use in human volunteer decontamination studies and is of relevance to future studies on systemic absorption and surface decontamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Exposures and Public Health Interventions)
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