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Special Issue "Environmental Health: Feature Review Papers"

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 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jeanine M. Buchanich
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health, Center for Occupational Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA
Interests: epidemiology; biostatistics; vital statistics; environmental health; occupational health; substance-related disorders; drug overdose; mortality; social determinants of health
Dr. Vikas Kumar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Environmental Engineering Laboratory, Departament d'Enginyeria Quimica, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Av. Països Catalans 26, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
Interests: system toxicology; biostatistics; big data and data analytics; exposure science; human biomonitoring; epidemiology; environmental and human-health risk assessment; internal dosimetry modeling (PBPK); climate change linked risk assessment
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Our understanding of environmental health, or the relationship between human health and the built and natural environment, is changing rapidly. Maintaining, developing, or improving a healthy environment is critical to improving quality of life, decreasing years of life lost, extending years of healthy life. These developments are important at both the local and the global scale and cross multiple public health and environmental disciplines. Increasingly, researchers are looking for summaries of the existing literature to enhance their understanding of environmental health concerns and identify appropriate directions for future research and development. This Special Issue invites review papers related to all aspects of environmental health: air quality, water quality, food safety and security, healthy homes, preparedness, climate change, vectors and pests, and tracking and informatics.

Dr. Jeanine M. Buchanich
Dr. Vikas Kumar
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

  • Air quality
  • Water quality
  • Food safety and security
  • Healthy homes
  • Preparedness
  • Climate change
  • Vectors and pests
  • Tracking and informatics

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Review
Diet and Health Benefits Associated with In-Home Eating and Sharing Meals at Home: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1577; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041577 - 07 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1268
Abstract
In-home and shared meals have been hypothesized to have positive effects. This narrative review examines research on the influence of in-home eating on diet quality, health outcomes, and family relationships. A combination search approach included a search of PubMed, backward searches of previous [...] Read more.
In-home and shared meals have been hypothesized to have positive effects. This narrative review examines research on the influence of in-home eating on diet quality, health outcomes, and family relationships. A combination search approach included a search of PubMed, backward searches of previous published reviews, and studies the authors were familiar with. A search identified 118 publications; 54 original studies and 11 review studies were included in this review. Each study was reviewed and summarized. The diverse designs precluded quantitative data synthesis. Relatively strong evidence from cross-sectional research supports the association of shared family meals with favorable dietary patterns in children and adolescents, including consumption of fruits, vegetables, and healthful nutrients. Correlational evidence links shared meals with health and psychosocial outcomes in youth, including less obesity, decreased risk for eating disorders, and academic achievement. Most evidence is cross-sectional, thus, limiting attribution of causality. There is insufficient evidence to conclude that interventions improve the frequency of shared meals, improve diet, or prevent child obesity. Despite the “common wisdom”, the evidence that in-home, shared meals, per se, have positive effects on diet quality, health outcomes, psychosocial outcomes, and family relationships is limited due to weak research designs and single-item measurement of the independent variable. More research, with stronger designs, is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health: Feature Review Papers)
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Review
Green Gentrification and Health: A Scoping Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 907; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18030907 - 21 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2676
Abstract
Urban greening initiatives are often linked to enhanced human health and wellbeing, but they can also be a driver of gentrification. To date, few studies have focused on how green gentrification shapes health. In this scoping review, we analyzed existing peer-reviewed research on [...] Read more.
Urban greening initiatives are often linked to enhanced human health and wellbeing, but they can also be a driver of gentrification. To date, few studies have focused on how green gentrification shapes health. In this scoping review, we analyzed existing peer-reviewed research on how greening initiatives in gentrifying neighborhoods impact health, well-being, and health pathways (e.g., physical activity, affordable housing). Using a multi-step approach to scoping the literature (including searches in PubMed, JSTOR, and Google Scholar), we identified 15 empirical studies that met our inclusion criteria. We found studies focusing on green space use, physical activity, sense of community, safety, and self-reported health. Overall, longtime, marginalized residents are negatively impacted by green gentrification as they experience a lower sense of community, feel that they do not belong in green space, and, in many studies, use green space less often than newcomers. Overall, the research in this area is limited, and more studies on mental health and cardiovascular health markers could advance this literature. Based on the limited available evidence, we suggest that public health, urban planning, and parks professionals could collaborate to enhance the use of green space for marginalized residents and their feelings of inclusion in gentrifying areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health: Feature Review Papers)
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Review
Environmental Risk Factors and Health: An Umbrella Review of Meta-Analyses
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 704; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18020704 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2777
Abstract
Background: Environmental health is a growing area of knowledge, continually increasing and updating the body of evidence linking the environment to human health. Aim: This study summarizes the epidemiological evidence on environmental risk factors from meta-analyses through an umbrella review. Methods [...] Read more.
Background: Environmental health is a growing area of knowledge, continually increasing and updating the body of evidence linking the environment to human health. Aim: This study summarizes the epidemiological evidence on environmental risk factors from meta-analyses through an umbrella review. Methods: An umbrella review was conducted on meta-analyses of cohort, case-control, case-crossover, and time-series studies that evaluated the associations between environmental risk factors and health outcomes defined as incidence, prevalence, and mortality. The specific search strategy was designed in PubMed using free text and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms related to risk factors, environment, health outcomes, observational studies, and meta-analysis. The search was limited to English, Spanish, and French published articles and studies on humans. The search was conducted on September 20, 2020. Risk factors were defined as any attribute, characteristic, or exposure of an individual that increases the likelihood of developing a disease or death. The environment was defined as the external elements and conditions that surround, influence, and affect a human organism or population’s life and development. The environment definition included the physical environment such as nature, built environment, or pollution, but not the social environment. We excluded occupational exposures, microorganisms, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), behavioral risk factors, and no-natural disasters. Results: This umbrella review found 197 associations among 69 environmental exposures and 83 diseases and death causes reported in 103 publications. The environmental factors found in this review were air pollution, environmental tobacco smoke, heavy metals, chemicals, ambient temperature, noise, radiation, and urban residential surroundings. Among these, we identified 65 environmental exposures defined as risk factors and 4 environmental protective factors. In terms of study design, 57 included cohort and/or case-control studies, and 46 included time-series and/or case-crossover studies. In terms of the study population, 21 included children, and the rest included adult population and both sexes. In this review, the largest body of evidence was found in air pollution (91 associations among 14 air pollution definitions and 34 diseases and mortality diagnoses), followed by environmental tobacco smoke with 24 associations. Chemicals (including pesticides) were the third larger group of environmental exposures found among the meta-analyses included, with 19 associations. Conclusion: Environmental exposures are an important health determinant. This review provides an overview of an evolving research area and should be used as a complementary tool to understand the connections between the environment and human health. The evidence presented by this review should help to design public health interventions and the implementation of health in all policies approach aiming to improve populational health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health: Feature Review Papers)
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Review
Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure and Breast Cancer Risk: A Rapid Review of Human, Animal, and Cell-Based Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5030; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17145030 - 13 Jul 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1659
Abstract
Background: Organophosphate pesticides (OPs) are one of the most commonly used classes of insecticides in the U.S., and metabolites of OPs have been detected in the urine of >75% of the U.S. population. While studies have shown that OP exposure is associated with [...] Read more.
Background: Organophosphate pesticides (OPs) are one of the most commonly used classes of insecticides in the U.S., and metabolites of OPs have been detected in the urine of >75% of the U.S. population. While studies have shown that OP exposure is associated with risk of neurological diseases and some cancers, the relationship between OP exposure and breast cancer risk is not well understood. Methods: The aim of this rapid review was to systematically evaluate published literature on the relationship between OP exposure and breast cancer risk, including both epidemiologic and laboratory studies. Twenty-seven full-text articles were reviewed by searching on Pubmed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases. Results: Some human studies showed that malathion, terbufos, and chlorpyrifos were positively associated with human breast cancer risk, and some laboratory studies demonstrated that malathion and chlorpyrifos have estrogenic potential and other cancer-promoting properties. However, the human studies were limited in number, mostly included agricultural settings in several geographical areas in the U.S., and did not address cumulative exposure. Conclusions: Given the mixed results found in both human and laboratory studies, more research is needed to further examine the relationship between OP exposure and breast cancer risk, especially in humans in non-agricultural settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health: Feature Review Papers)
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Review
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among Survivors of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center Attacks: A Review of the Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4344; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17124344 - 17 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1163
Abstract
Prior reviews of 9/11-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have not focused on the civilian survivors most directly exposed to the attacks. Survivors include those individuals who were occupants of buildings in or near the World Trade Center (WTC) towers, those whose primary residence [...] Read more.
Prior reviews of 9/11-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have not focused on the civilian survivors most directly exposed to the attacks. Survivors include those individuals who were occupants of buildings in or near the World Trade Center (WTC) towers, those whose primary residence or workplace was in the vicinity, and persons who were on the street passing through the area. This review reports published information on the prevalence of and risk factors for PTSD, as well as comorbidities associated with PTSD among 9/11 survivors. Articles selected for inclusion met the following criteria: (1) full-length, original peer-reviewed empirical articles; (2) published in English from 2002–2019; (3) collected data from persons directly exposed; (4) adult populations; and (5) focused on non-rescue or recovery workers (i.e., survivors). Data were extracted with focus on study design, sample size, time frame of data collection post-9/11, PTSD assessment instrument, and PTSD prevalence, risk factors, and comorbidities. Our review identified the use of cross-sectional and longitudinal designs, finding multiple direct comorbidities with PTSD, as well as the prevalence and persistence of PTSD. Future research would benefit from incorporating more mixed methods designs, and exploring the mediating mechanisms and protective factors of the known associations of PTSD among the 9/11 survivor population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health: Feature Review Papers)
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Review
Coronavirus Diseases (COVID-19) Current Status and Future Perspectives: A Narrative Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2690; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17082690 - 14 Apr 2020
Cited by 201 | Viewed by 22499
Abstract
At the end of 2019 a novel virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causing severe acute respiratory syndrome expanded globally from Wuhan, China. In March 2020 the World Health Organization declared the SARS-Cov-2 virus a global pandemic. We performed a narrative [...] Read more.
At the end of 2019 a novel virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causing severe acute respiratory syndrome expanded globally from Wuhan, China. In March 2020 the World Health Organization declared the SARS-Cov-2 virus a global pandemic. We performed a narrative review to describe existing literature with regard to Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, management and future perspective. MEDLINE, EMBASE and Scopus databases were searched for relevant articles. Although only when the pandemic ends it will be possible to assess the full health, social and economic impact of this global disaster, this review represents a picture of the current state of the art. In particular, we focus on public health impact, pathophysiology and clinical manifestations, diagnosis, case management, emergency response and preparedness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health: Feature Review Papers)
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