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Environmental Pollution and Impacts on Human Health

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Health, Well-Being and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (17 May 2024) | Viewed by 1752

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Interests: environmental geochemistry; fate and transport of organic pollutants in different environmental matrices; risk assessment of organic pollutants
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Guest Editor
College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Interests: fate and transport of emerging contaminants in water and soil; ecological risk assessment of emerging contaminants and potential impacts on human health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the rapid development of society and economy, environmental pollution has become a serious problem worldwide. Environmental pollutants including traditional pollutants such as heavy metals and emerging pollutants, such as endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), are ubiquitous in the environment, with potential impacts on the ecosystem and human health. Various pollutants in the air, water and soil environments can accumulate in aquatic and terrestrial species and threaten human health via the food chain. They can cause damage to the human respiratory system, digestive system, endocrine system, nervous system, etc. However, the impacts of a wide variety of environmental pollutants on the ecosystem and human health are still far from clear. To achieve a sustainable development of society and environment, we need to better understand the fate and transport of environmental pollutants as well as their associated impacts on the ecosystem and human health. This Special Issue, entitled “Environmental Pollution and Impacts on Human Health”, which belongs to the section of “Health, Well-Being and Sustainability”, focuses on the environmental exposure and ecological risks of different environmental pollutants. We are pleased to invite you to contribute your relevant manuscripts focusing on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • New technologies to identify and quantify environmental pollutants;
  • Fate and transport of traditional and emerging pollutants in different environmental matrices;
  • Novel degradation mechanism, pathways and environmental toxicity of environmental pollutants;
  • Ecological and human health effects of environmental pollutants;
  • Human exposure and risk assessment of different environmental pollutants;
  • Pollution control and removal strategies of environmental pollutants.

In this Special Issue, both original research articles and reviews are welcome. The keywords listed below represent a few of the priority topics we aim to address.  We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Hefa Cheng
Dr. Hui Zhi
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. Sustainability 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 2400 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

  • environmental pollutants
  • emerging contaminants
  • traditional pollutants
  • fate and transport
  • degradation mechanisms
  • degradation pathway
  • ecological risk assessment
  • human health

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 8312 KiB  
Article
The Relation between Atmospheric Aerosol Concentration and SARS-CoV-2 Variants’ Infection and Mortality Rates in the United States: A Remote-Sensing Perspective
by Yasin Elshorbany, Sarah Mixson, Laila Marcum and Jason L. Salemi
Sustainability 2024, 16(8), 3381; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16083381 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 739
Abstract
Numerous studies have highlighted the health benefits associated with reducing aerosol particles and other pollutants. Recent studies have shown a positive correlation between exposure to aerosol particles and COVID-19 cases. In this study, we investigate the relationship between aerosol particle concentration and COVID-19 [...] Read more.
Numerous studies have highlighted the health benefits associated with reducing aerosol particles and other pollutants. Recent studies have shown a positive correlation between exposure to aerosol particles and COVID-19 cases. In this study, we investigate the relationship between aerosol particle concentration and COVID-19 variants’ infection and mortality rates. Remote-sensing data on aerosol optical depth (AOD), a surrogate for atmospheric aerosol levels, were collected and analyzed in three regions within the states of California, Illinois, and North and South Carolina. These regions were selected to reflect the variability in aerosol concentration and anomalies during the COVID-19 period (2020–2022) compared to a reference period (2010–2019). We found consistent positive linear correlations across most regions between COVID-19 mortality rates and AOD levels below 0.2. These correlations were found to be independent of the change in aerosol levels relative to the reference period. In North and South Carolina, the Delta variant was associated with not only a high mortality rate but also a steeper increase in mortality rate per AOD of 39.6 ± 1.5 (R2 = 0.87) compared to Alpha at 10.5 ± 0.3 (R2 = 0.85). However, due to the lower mortality rate of the Delta variant compared to the Alpha variant in Illinois, the Delta variant has a lower correlation slope of 28.3 ± 1 (R2 = 0.94) compared to the Alpha variant at 52.1 ± 1.8 (R2 = 0.78). No correlation between mortality rate and AOD was observed for the Omicron variants in any of the investigated regions except in California where a weak positive correlation was evident. Our findings establish a compelling link between aerosol concentrations and SARS-CoV-2 infection and mortality. Our results underscore the urgent need for further research to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and broader implications, leading to more sustainable solutions to curb the airborne transmission of COVID-19 viruses and other viral infections in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Pollution and Impacts on Human Health)
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20 pages, 3555 KiB  
Article
BTEX Assessment among Informal Charcoal-Burning Food Traders for Cleaner and Sustainable Environment
by Lebogang Phama, Goitsemang Keretetse, Thokozani Mbonane, Phoka Rathebe, Robert Makae and Masilu Daniel Masekameni
Sustainability 2024, 16(8), 3336; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16083336 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 601
Abstract
This study assessed the cleaner and sustainable environment by measuring emission levels of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) from informal food traders using charcoal as the primary source of energy at a flea market in Fordsburg, Johannesburg. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were [...] Read more.
This study assessed the cleaner and sustainable environment by measuring emission levels of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) from informal food traders using charcoal as the primary source of energy at a flea market in Fordsburg, Johannesburg. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured using a real-time monitor (MiniRae 3000 photoionization detector); an indoor air quality (IAQ) monitor was used to monitor environmental parameters and passive samplers in the form of Radiello badges, which were used to determine BTEX emissions from charcoal used during food preparation. Measurements were taken at 1.5 m above ground assuming the receptor’s breathing circumference using PID and Radiello. PID data were downloaded and analyzed using Microsoft Excel (Version 2019). Radiellos were sent to the laboratory to determine the BTEX levels from the total VOCs. The total volatile organic compound (TVOC) concentration over the combustion cycle was 306.7 ± 62.8 ppm. The flaming phase had the highest VOC concentration (547 ± 110.46 ppm), followed by the ignition phase (339.44 ± 40.6 ppm) and coking with the lowest concentration (24.64 ± 14.3). The average BTEX concentration was 15.7 ± 5.9 µg/m3 corresponding to the entire combustion cycle. BTEX concentrations were highest at the flaming phase (23.6 µg/m3) followed by the ignition (13.4 µg/m3) and coking phase (9.45 µg/m3). Ignition phase versus the flaming phase, there was a significant difference at 95% at a p-value of 0.09; ignition phase versus the coking phase, there was a significant difference at 95% at a p-value of 0.039; and coking phase versus the flaming phase, there was a significant difference at 95% at a p-value of 0.025. When compared to the occupational exposure limits (OELs), none of the exposure concentrations (BTEX) were above the 8 h exposure limit. The findings of this study suggest that charcoal, as a source of energy, can still be a useful and sustainable fuel for informal food traders. Shortening the ignition and flaming phase duration by using a fan to supply sufficient air can further reduce exposure to VOCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Pollution and Impacts on Human Health)
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