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Occupational & Environmental Health Risk Assessment

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 (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 22516

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Nano-Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering, Seokyeong University, Seoul 02173, Republic of Korea
Interests: environmental health, risk assessment, air pollution; environmental health surveillance system; exposure science; indoor air qulaity; environmental monitoring; environmental modeling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Division of Environment and Sustainability, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, China
Interests: exposure characterization and management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A human health risk (HRA) assessment can be defined as the process used to estimate the nature and probability of adverse health effects in humans who may be exposed to hazadous agents including chemicals in contaminated environmental media, at present or in the future. Accordingly, occupational and environmental health risk assessment has generated a number of important scientific discoveries resulting in successful preventive meausres. The recent and rapid expansion of occupational and environmental health risk looks set to continue in line with growing public, government, and media concern about occupational and environmental health issues, and a scientific need to better undersatnd and explain the effects of occupational and environmental pollutants on human health. Risks associated with occupational and environmental exposure may be small. However, the exposed population (and hence the attributable risk to the population) can be large. New methods and approaches in relation to occupational and environmental health risk assessment have been required. Papers addressing this topic are invited for this Special Issue, especially those combining a high academic standard coupled with a practical focus on providing optimal health risk assessment solutions.

Dr. Wonho Yang
Dr. Cheol Min Lee
Dr. Michael S. Breen
Dr. Wenwei Che
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 monthly 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 2500 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

  • risk assessment
  • occupational & environmental exposure assessment
  • risk management
  • population exposure & risk
  • risk communication
  • risk rating

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 1211 KiB  
Article
Risk Assessment of Indoor Air Quality and Its Association with Subjective Symptoms among Office Workers in Korea
by Dayoung Jung, Youngtae Choe, Jihun Shin, Eunche Kim, Gihong Min, Dongjun Kim, Mansu Cho, Chaekwan Lee, Kilyong Choi, Byung Lyul Woo and Wonho Yang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2446; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042446 - 20 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2391
Abstract
The 2014 Time-Use Survey of Statistics Korea revealed that office workers are increasingly spending more than eight hours at work. This study conducted an exposure assessment for office workers in Korea. Indoor and outdoor air pollutants were measured in offices. A self-administered questionnaire [...] Read more.
The 2014 Time-Use Survey of Statistics Korea revealed that office workers are increasingly spending more than eight hours at work. This study conducted an exposure assessment for office workers in Korea. Indoor and outdoor air pollutants were measured in offices. A self-administered questionnaire was employed to determine work information, indoor air quality (IAQ) awareness, and subjective symptoms for 328 workers. Indoor air concentrations for measured air pollutants were below IAQ guideline values. The average concentrations of target air pollutants did not show significant differences except for benzene, which had relatively a higher concentration in national industrial complexes. The indoor benzene, ethylbenzene, and acetaldehyde concentrations were higher in offices where workers were having dry eye, ophthalmitis, and headache symptoms. This study provides reference values to manage IAQ in offices, suggesting that if the benzene concentration exceeds 4.23 μg/m3 in offices, it could cause dry eye symptoms. Considering the increasing working hours for office workers and health effects, workers’ exposure to indoor pollutants should be reduced. In addition, the IAQ was heavily influenced by outdoor air levels and various indoor sources. Therefore, in areas with relatively high air pollution, greater monitoring and management is required considering the influence of outdoor air quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational & Environmental Health Risk Assessment)
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19 pages, 3527 KiB  
Article
Inter- and Intra-Individual Variability of Personal Health Risk of Combined Particle and Gaseous Pollutants across Selected Urban Microenvironments
by Shakhaoat Hossain, Wenwei Che and Alexis Kai-Hon Lau
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010565 - 05 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1943
Abstract
Exposure surrogates, such as air quality measured at a fixed-site monitor (FSM) or residence, are typically used for health estimates. However, people spend various amounts of time in different microenvironments, including the home, office, outdoors and in transit, where they are exposed to [...] Read more.
Exposure surrogates, such as air quality measured at a fixed-site monitor (FSM) or residence, are typically used for health estimates. However, people spend various amounts of time in different microenvironments, including the home, office, outdoors and in transit, where they are exposed to different magnitudes of particle and gaseous air pollutants. Health risks caused by air pollution exposure differ among individuals due to differences in activity, microenvironmental concentration, as well as the toxicity of pollutants. We evaluated individual and combined added health risks (AR) of exposure to PM2.5, NO2, and O3 for 21 participants in their daily life based on real-world personal exposure measurements. Exposure errors from using surrogates were quantified. Inter- and intra-individual variability in health risks and key contributors in variations were investigated using linear mixed-effects models and correlation analysis, respectively. Substantial errors were found between personal exposure concentrations and ambient concentrations when using air quality measurements at either FSM or the residence location. The mean exposure errors based on the measurements taken at either the FSM or residence as exposure surrogates was higher for NO2 than PM2.5, because of the larger spatial variability in NO2 concentrations in urban areas. The daily time-integrated AR for the combined PM2.5, NO2, and O3 (TIARcombine) ranged by a factor of 2.5 among participants and by a factor up to 2.5 for a given person across measured days. Inter- and intra-individual variability in TIARcombine is almost equally important. Several factors were identified to be significantly correlated with daily TIARcombine, with the top five factors, including PM2.5, NO2 and O3 concentrations at ‘home indoor’, O3 concentrations at ‘office indoor’ and ambient PM2.5 concentrations. The results on the contributors of variability in the daily TIARcombine could help in targeting interventions to reduce daily health damage related to air pollutants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational & Environmental Health Risk Assessment)
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8 pages, 657 KiB  
Article
Missing Value Imputation of Time-Series Air-Quality Data via Deep Neural Networks
by Taesung Kim, Jinhee Kim, Wonho Yang, Hunjoo Lee and Jaegul Choo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 12213; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212213 - 20 Nov 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2582
Abstract
To prevent severe air pollution, it is important to analyze time-series air quality data, but this is often challenging as the time-series data is usually partially missing, especially when it is collected from multiple locations simultaneously. To solve this problem, various deep-learning-based missing [...] Read more.
To prevent severe air pollution, it is important to analyze time-series air quality data, but this is often challenging as the time-series data is usually partially missing, especially when it is collected from multiple locations simultaneously. To solve this problem, various deep-learning-based missing value imputation models have been proposed. However, often they are barely interpretable, which makes it difficult to analyze the imputed data. Thus, we propose a novel deep learning-based imputation model that achieves high interpretability as well as shows great performance in missing value imputation for spatio-temporal data. We verify the effectiveness of our method through quantitative and qualitative results on a publicly available air-quality dataset. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational & Environmental Health Risk Assessment)
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9 pages, 341 KiB  
Article
Environmental Pyrethroid Exposure and Cognitive Dysfunction in U.S. Older Adults: The NHANES 2001–2002
by Ui-Jin Kim, Myeongjin Hong and Yoon-Hyeong Choi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 12005; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212005 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2439
Abstract
Pyrethroid compounds are widely used in household insecticides and agricultural pesticides. Recent studies, however, report that pyrethroid exposures affect neurobehavioral function in animals and may be associated with adverse neurocognitive development in children. This study aimed to examine the association between pyrethroid exposure [...] Read more.
Pyrethroid compounds are widely used in household insecticides and agricultural pesticides. Recent studies, however, report that pyrethroid exposures affect neurobehavioral function in animals and may be associated with adverse neurocognitive development in children. This study aimed to examine the association between pyrethroid exposure and cognitive dysfunction in older adults using a well-defined general population. We analyzed data from 336 individuals, aged 60–84 years, who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001–2002. We used urinary 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA) concentration as a biomarker of pyrethroid exposures and assessed cognitive function with the digit–symbol coding test. The geometric means (±geometric standard errors) of creatinine-uncorrected and corrected urinary 3-PBA were 0.30 (±0.87) μg/L and 0.36 (±0.89) μg/g. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, higher 3-PBA concentrations (> vs. ≤0.30 μg/g creatinine (median)) were associated with lower scores of cognitive function (−3.83 95% confidence interval: −7.11, −0.54). Significance was persistent after additionally adjusting for physical activity and smoking pack-year (−3.76 95% CI: −7.16, −0.36) and further adjusting for BMI and presence of hypertension and diabetes (−3.82 95% CI: −6.92, −0.71). Our findings suggest that pyrethroid exposure is associated with cognitive dysfunction in older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational & Environmental Health Risk Assessment)
11 pages, 351 KiB  
Article
Factors Affecting Radiation Protection Behaviors among Emergency Room Nurses
by Sookkyoung Park and Yaki Yang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6238; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126238 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3206
Abstract
This study aimed to examine factors affecting radiation protection behaviors among emergency room nurses by assessing knowledge about radiation protection and attitude towards radiation protection, employing a cross-sectional design. Subjects were a convenience sample of 129 nurses working in the emergency rooms of [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine factors affecting radiation protection behaviors among emergency room nurses by assessing knowledge about radiation protection and attitude towards radiation protection, employing a cross-sectional design. Subjects were a convenience sample of 129 nurses working in the emergency rooms of three advanced general hospitals. Data were collected using self-report questionnaires and analyzed using t-test, ANOVA, Pearson correlation coefficients, and multiple regression. There were significant relations between knowledge about radiation protection and attitude towards radiation protection (r = 0.34, p < 0.001), knowledge about radiation protection and radiation protection behaviors (r = 0.37, p < 0.001), and attitude towards radiation protection and radiation protection behaviors (r = 0.33, p < 0.001). The factors affecting radiation protection behaviors were radiation protection knowledge (β = 0.12, p = 0.045), attitude towards radiation protection (β = 0.17, p = 0.009), the experience of radiation protection education (β = 0.27, p < 0.001), and wearing of protective equipment (β = 0.29, p < 0.001). The governments, hospital administrators, and radiation protection agencies should strengthen their radiation defense environment to protect emergency room nurses from radiation. Research and development of radiation defense equipment and the medical examination of emergency room nurses should be carried out, radiation defense behavior protocols should be developed, radiation defense education opportunities should be provided, and the use of defense equipment should be encouraged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational & Environmental Health Risk Assessment)
15 pages, 1241 KiB  
Article
Humidifier Disinfectant Consumption and Humidifier Disinfectant-Associated Lung Injury in South Korea: A Nationwide Population-Based Study
by Jeonggyo Yoon, Minsun Kang, Jaehun Jung, Min Jae Ju, Sung Hwan Jeong, Wonho Yang and Yoon-Hyeong Choi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 6136; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18116136 - 06 Jun 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3578
Abstract
Humidifier disinfectant (HD) is a household biocidal product used in humidifier water tanks to prevent the growth of microorganisms. In 2011, a series of lung injury cases of unknown causes emerged in children and pregnant women who had used HD in Korea. This [...] Read more.
Humidifier disinfectant (HD) is a household biocidal product used in humidifier water tanks to prevent the growth of microorganisms. In 2011, a series of lung injury cases of unknown causes emerged in children and pregnant women who had used HD in Korea. This study investigated changes in the nationwide number of cases of humidifier disinfectant-associated lung injury (HDLI) in concordance with nationwide HD consumption using data covering the entire Korean population. More than 25 kinds of HD products were sold between 1994 and 2011. The number of diagnosed HDLI, assessed by S27.3 (other injuries of lungs) of the Korea National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) data, sharply increased by 2005, subsequently decreased after 2005, and almost disappeared after 2011 in concordance with the annual number of HD sales. The number of self-reported HDLIs, assessed using data from all suspected HDLI cases registered in the Korea Ministry of Environment, changed with the annual number of HD sales, with a delay pattern, potentially induced by the late awareness of lung injury diseases. The present study suggests that changes in the nationwide annual consumption of HD products were consistent with changes in the annual number of HDLI cases in Korea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational & Environmental Health Risk Assessment)
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17 pages, 818 KiB  
Article
Combining Three Cohorts of World Trade Center Rescue/Recovery Workers for Assessing Cancer Incidence and Mortality
by Robert M. Brackbill, Amy R. Kahn, Jiehui Li, Rachel Zeig-Owens, David G. Goldfarb, Molly Skerker, Mark R. Farfel, James E. Cone, Janette Yung, Deborah J. Walker, Adrienne Solomon, Baozhen Qiao, Maria J. Schymura, Christopher R. Dasaro, Dana Kristjansson, Mayris P. Webber, Roberto G. Lucchini, Andrew C. Todd, David J. Prezant, Paolo Boffetta and Charles B. Halladd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1386; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041386 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2815
Abstract
Three cohorts including the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), the World Trade Center Health Registry (WTCHR), and the General Responder Cohort (GRC), each funded by the World Trade Center Health Program have reported associations between WTC-exposures and cancer. Results [...] Read more.
Three cohorts including the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), the World Trade Center Health Registry (WTCHR), and the General Responder Cohort (GRC), each funded by the World Trade Center Health Program have reported associations between WTC-exposures and cancer. Results have generally been consistent with effect estimates for excess incidence for all cancers ranging from 6 to 14% above background rates. Pooling would increase sample size and de-duplicate cases between the cohorts. However, pooling required time consuming steps: obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approvals and legal agreements from entities involved; establishing an honest broker for managing the data; de-duplicating the pooled cohort files; applying to State Cancer Registries (SCRs) for matched cancer cases; and finalizing analysis data files. Obtaining SCR data use agreements ranged from 6.5 to 114.5 weeks with six states requiring >20 weeks. Records from FDNY (n = 16,221), WTCHR (n = 29,372), and GRC (n = 33,427) were combined de-duplicated resulting in 69,102 unique individuals. Overall, 7894 cancer tumors were matched to the pooled cohort, increasing the number cancers by as much as 58% compared to previous analyses. Pooling resulted in a coherent resource for future research for studies on rare cancers and mortality, with more representative of occupations and WTC- exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational & Environmental Health Risk Assessment)
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8 pages, 554 KiB  
Article
Estimation of Inhaled Effective Doses of Uranium and Thorium for Workers in Bayan Obo Ore and the Surrounding Public, Inner Mongolia, China
by Yao Zhang, Xianzhang Shao, Liangliang Yin and Yanqin Ji
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030987 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2177
Abstract
Uranium and thorium are two common natural radioactive elements with high concentrations in Earth’s crust. The main aim of this study is to estimate the inhaled effective dose of uranium and thorium caused by a typical radioactive rare earth ore to the occupational [...] Read more.
Uranium and thorium are two common natural radioactive elements with high concentrations in Earth’s crust. The main aim of this study is to estimate the inhaled effective dose of uranium and thorium caused by a typical radioactive rare earth ore to the occupational population and the surrounding public. The particulate matter (PM) concentrations in the atmosphere of four typical workplaces and one surrounding living area were obtained by a high-flow sampling equipment with a natural cellulose filter membrane. The critical parameter for the inhaled effective dose estimation—the activity median aerodynamic diameter (AMAD)—was determined. The AMAD values of uranium and thorium in the atmosphere PM were 3.36 and 3.64 μm, respectively. The estimated median effective dose caused by inhalation thorium among the occupational population ranged from 15.3 to 269.0 μSv/a, and the corresponding value for the surrounding public was 2.3 μSv/a. All values for the effective dose caused by the inhalation of uranium were in the nSv magnitude. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational & Environmental Health Risk Assessment)
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