Special Issue "ICERPH 2020—Addressing Environmental Threats to Human Health from Pregnancy to Senility"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Annamaria Colao
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Chirurgia, Unit of Endocrinology, Federico II University Medical School of Naples, Naples, Italy
Interests: endocrinology of women–contraception–menopause; geriatric endocrinology; hypothalamus–pituitary–neuroendocrinology; nutritional epidemiology; clinical trials; obesity and susceptibility to infections; obesity-related cardiovascular diseases; diet and type 2 diabetes
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Prisco Piscitelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Euro Mediterranean Scientific Biomedical Institute (ISBEM), Via Reali di Bulgaria, Mesagne (Brindisi), Italy
Interests: epidemiology; preventive medicine; occupational medicine; environmental medicine; global health; air pollution; indoor pollution; radon; infectious diseases
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) for the publication of the Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Environmental Research and Public Health—Addressing Environmental Threats to Human Health from Pregnancy to Senility, which is being held on 4–6 May 2020 at Centro Congressi “Federico II”, University of Naples Federico II in Naples, Italy. IJERPH 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://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/journal/ijerph.

Throughout the lifespan, environmental exposures can influence the prevalence and severity of diseases.  Environmental hazards increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma, and many other illnesses. These hazards can be physical (e.g., pollution, toxic chemicals, and food contaminants) or social (e.g., dangerous work, poor housing conditions, urban sprawl, and poverty). This conference welcomes and brings together leading experts in the field of environmental research and public health, from academia and industry to share their recent findings. It also welcomes inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary contributions from both theoretical and applied perspectives. We invite investigators to contribute original research articles as well as review articles to this Special Issue. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Environmental exposure, health and safety;
  • Epigenetics and gene–environment interactions;
  • Environmental epidemiology and toxicology;
  • Endocrine disruptors;
  • Climate change and public health;
  • Emerging issues in environmental health.

Prof. Annamaria Colao
Dr. Prisco Piscitelli
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.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
It Takes Time to Unravel the Ecology of War in Gaza, Palestine: Long-Term Changes in Maternal, Newborn and Toddlers’ Heavy Metal Loads, and Infant and Toddler Developmental Milestones in the Aftermath of the 2014 Military Attacks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6698; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17186698 - 14 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1592
Abstract
Toxicant, teratogen and carcinogen metal war remnants negatively affect human health. The current study analyzes, first, the persistence of heavy metal contamination in newborn hair in four cohorts across time in Gaza Palestine; second, the change in mothers’ and infants’ heavy metal contamination [...] Read more.
Toxicant, teratogen and carcinogen metal war remnants negatively affect human health. The current study analyzes, first, the persistence of heavy metal contamination in newborn hair in four cohorts across time in Gaza Palestine; second, the change in mothers’ and infants’ heavy metal contamination from birth to toddlerhood; and third, the impact of heavy metal contamination on infants’ and toddlers’ growth and development. The hair of newborns was analyzed for twelve heavy metals by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP/MS) in cohorts recruited at delivery in 2011, 2015, 2016, and 2018–2019. In the 2015 cohort, mothers’ hair samples were taken at delivery, and toddlers and mothers hair were also analyzed 18 months later. Growth levels of infants at six months and toddlers at 18 months were assessed according to World Health Organization (WHO) standards according to a mother report and pediatric check-up, respectively. 1. The level of metal contamination in utero was persistently high across 8 years, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2019, following three major military attacks (2009, 2012, 2014). 2. The 2015 cohort babies exposed in utero to attacks in 2014 at six months showed association of high load at birth in mother of arsenic and in newborn of barium with underweight, of barium and molybdenum in newborn with stunting. 3. Eighteen months after birth, toddlers had a higher level of metals in hairs than when they were born, while, in their mothers, such levels were similar to those at delivery, confirming persistence in the environment of war remnants. Underweight and stunting, both in infants and toddlers, were higher than reported for previous years, as well as being progressive within the cohort. Severe environmental factors, metal contamination and food insecurity put Gaza’s infant health at risk. Full article
Article
Nitrogen-Dioxide Remains a Valid Air Quality Indicator
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3733; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17103733 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 885
Abstract
In epidemiological studies, both spatial and temporal variations in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are a robust predictor of health risks. Compared to particulate matter, the experimental evidence for harmful effects at typical ambient concentrations is less extensive and not as clear for [...] Read more.
In epidemiological studies, both spatial and temporal variations in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are a robust predictor of health risks. Compared to particulate matter, the experimental evidence for harmful effects at typical ambient concentrations is less extensive and not as clear for NO2. In the wake of the “Diesel emission scandal—Dieselgate”, the scientific basis of current limit values for ambient NO2 concentrations was attacked by industry lobbyists. It was argued that associations between NO2 levels and medical endpoints were not causal, as NO2 in older studies served as a proxy for aggressive particulate matter from incineration processes. With the introduction of particle filters in diesel cars, NO2 would have lost its meaning as a health indicator. Austria has a high percentage of diesel-powered cars (56%). If, indeed, associations between NO2 concentrations and health risks in previous studies were only due to older engines without a particle filter, we should expect a reduction in effect estimates over time as an increasing number of diesel cars on the roads were outfitted with particle filters. In previous time series studies from Vienna over shorter time intervals, we have demonstrated distributed lag effects over days up to two weeks and previous day effects of NO2 on total mortality. In a simplified model, we now assess the effect estimates for moving 5-year periods from the beginning of NO2 monitoring in Vienna (1987) until the year 2018 of same and previous day NO2 on total daily mortality. Contrary to industry claims of a spurious, no longer valid indicator function of NO2, effect estimates remained fairly stable, indicating an increase in total mortality of previous day NO2 by 0.52% (95% CI: 0.35–0.7%) per 10 µg/m3 change in NO2 concentration. Full article
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Article
Using Life History Calendars to Estimate in Utero and Early Life Pesticide Exposure of Latinx Children in Farmworker Families
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3478; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17103478 - 16 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 888
Abstract
(1) Background: Early life exposure to neurotoxic chemicals can have later impacts on child health. Most research designs must assume that current exposure is similar to past. Life history calendar methods can help to provide data on early life exposure. (2) Methods: Life [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Early life exposure to neurotoxic chemicals can have later impacts on child health. Most research designs must assume that current exposure is similar to past. Life history calendar methods can help to provide data on early life exposure. (2) Methods: Life history calendars were completed by mothers of 8-year-old children from Latinx farmworker and non-farmworker families (n = 73 and 65, respectively). Measures were created of months exposure through living adjacent to farm fields and having household members who worked in jobs exposing them to toxic chemicals. Data were divided into time periods of in utero, early childhood (birth-35 months) and later childhood (36–96 months). Cluster analysis compared the measures for children from farmworker and non-farmworker parents. (3) Results: Although, as a group, children from farmworker families have greater lifetime months of probable exposure to pesticides than children in non-farmworker families, cluster analysis reveals groups of children who do not follow that pattern. (4) Conclusions: The life history calendar is a technique for obtaining data on early life toxic chemical exposure that may help assign children to proper exposure groups. Conducting secondary analyses using such information can help to clarify the association of exposures to health outcomes. Full article

Review

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Review
Autism Spectrum Disorder and Prenatal or Early Life Exposure to Pesticides: A Short Review
by , , , , , , , , , and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10991; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph182010991 (registering DOI) - 19 Oct 2021
Abstract
Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses have rapidly increased globally. Both environmental and genetic factors appear to contribute to the development of ASD. Several studies have shown a potential association between prenatal or postnatal pesticide exposure and the risk of developing ASD. [...] Read more.
Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses have rapidly increased globally. Both environmental and genetic factors appear to contribute to the development of ASD. Several studies have shown a potential association between prenatal or postnatal pesticide exposure and the risk of developing ASD. Methods: We reviewed the available literature concerning the relationship between early life exposure to pesticides used in agriculture, such as organochlorines, organophosphates and pyrethroids, and ASD onset in childhood. We searched on Medline and Scopus for cohort or case–control studies published in English from 1977 to 2020. Results: A total of seven articles were selected for the review. We found a remarkable association between the maternal exposure to pyrethroid, as well as the exposure to organophosphate during pregnancy or in the first years of childhood, and the risk of ASD onset. This association was found to be less evident with organochlorine pesticides. Pregnancy seems to be the time when pesticide exposure appears to have the greatest impact on the onset of ASD in children. Conclusions: Among the different environmental pollutants, pesticides should be considered as emerging risk factors for ASD. The potential association identified between the exposure to pesticides and ASD needs to be implemented and confirmed by further epidemiological studies based on individual assessment both in outdoor and indoor conditions, including multiple confounding factors, and using statistical models that take into account single and multiple pesticide residues. Full article
Review
Early-Life Exposure to Environmental Air Pollution and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review of Available Evidence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1204; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18031204 - 29 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1293
Abstract
The number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has rapidly increased globally. Genetic and environmental factors both contribute to the development of ASD. Several studies showed linkage between prenatal, early postnatal air pollution exposure and the risk of developing ASD. We [...] Read more.
The number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has rapidly increased globally. Genetic and environmental factors both contribute to the development of ASD. Several studies showed linkage between prenatal, early postnatal air pollution exposure and the risk of developing ASD. We reviewed the available literature concerning the relationship between early-life exposure to air pollutants and ASD onset in childhood. We searched on Medline and Scopus for cohort or case-control studies published in English from 1977 to 2020. A total of 20 articles were selected for the review. We found a strong association between maternal exposure to particulate matter (PM) during pregnancy or in the first years of the children’s life and the risk of the ASD. This association was found to be stronger with PM2.5 and less evident with the other pollutants. Current evidence suggest that pregnancy is the period in which exposure to environmental pollutants seems to be most impactful concerning the onset of ASD in children. Air pollution should be considered among the emerging risk factors for ASD. Further epidemiological and toxicological studies should address molecular pathways involved in the development of ASD and determine specific cause–effect associations. Full article
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