Ex) Article Title, Author, Keywords
Ex) Article Title, Author, Keywords
Original Article | 2022-04-30 2022-04-30 0 2001 537
Background: Pyrethroid insecticides account for more than 30% of the global insecticide market and are frequently used in agricultural settings and residential and public pest control among the general population. While several animal studies have suggested that exposure to pyrethroids can alter glucose homeostasis, there is only limited evidence of the association between environmental pyrethroid exposure and diabetes in humans.
Objectives: This study aimed to report environmental 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA) concentrations in urine and evaluate its association with the risk of diabetes in Korean adults.
Methods: We analyzed data from the Korean National Environmental Health Survey (KoNEHS) Cycle 2 (2012~2014) and Cycle 3 (2015~2017). A total of 10,123 participants aged ≥19 years were included. Multiple logistic regressions were used to calculate the odds ratios (ORs) for diabetes according to log-transformed urinary 3-PBA levels. We also evaluated age, sex, education, monthly income, marital status, alcohol drinking, physical activity, urinary cotinine, body mass index, and sampling season as potential effect modifiers of these associations.
Results: After adjusting for all the covariates, we found significant dose-response relationships between urinary 3-PBA as quartile and the prevalence of diabetes in pooled data of KoNEHS Cycles 2 and 3. In subgroup analyses, the adverse effects of pyrethroid exposure on diabetes were significantly stronger among those aged 19~39 years (p-interaction<0.001) and those who consumed high levels of cotinine (p-interaction= 0.020).
Conclusions: Our findings highlight the potential diabetes risk of environmental exposure to pyrethroids and should be confirmed in large prospective studies in different populations in the future.
Review Article | 2022-08-31 2022-08-31 1 1639 764
Background: The biggest concern when using household chemical products is the health risk from inhalation exposure.
Objectives: The purpose of this paper was to provide information necessary for estimating inhalation exposure factors in several countries/organizations and to present some examples.
Methods: We attempted to use PRISMA-ScR for a systematic review, but no major reports were found. We used the Google search function instead to find ‘exposure factor handbook’. As for the results, inhalation exposure factors from South Korea, the United States, Canada, the EU, Australia, Japan, and China were compared.
Results: The basic concept and origin of exposure factors was the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Exposure Factor Handbook. Its latest version is 2011, but several chapters have been updated in 2017, 2018, and 2019. South Korea’s Exposure Factor Handbook was updated in 2019, more recently than those of other countries, and was systematically investigated. In South Korea, the average daily respiratory rate is 14.62 m3/day for adults and 12.73 m3/day for children. It is difficult to compare breathing rate by country because each country divides age groups differently and uses different methods to estimate it. Information on household chemical products, space used, and ventilation rate are in the exposure factor handbook in some countries and not in others. It is not in the handbook in South Korea, but in the notice from the NIER (National Institute of Environmental Research), a sub-regulation of the Chemical Product Safety Act.
Conclusions: The exposure factors registered in South Korea’s exposure factor handbook have been systematically studied and reflect the most recent data. When using data not in the relevant handbook, data from other countries might be applied, but it should be determined whether the nature and quality of the original data have been managed.
Invited article / Review | 2023-02-28 2023-02-28 1 1328 1137
Low-dose radiation exposure has received considerable attention because it reflects the general public’s type and level of exposure. Still, controversy remains due to the relatively unclear results and uncertainty in risk estimation compared to high-dose radiation. However, recent epidemiological studies report direct evidence of health effects for various types of low-dose radiation exposure. In particular, international nuclear workers’ studies, CT exposure studies, and children’s cancer studies on natural radiation showed significantly increased cancer risk among the study populations despite their low-dose radiation exposure. These studies showed similar results even when the cumulative radiation dose was limited to an exposure group of less than 100 mGy, demonstrating that the observed excess risk was not affected by high exposure. A linear dose-response relationship between radiation exposure and cancer incidence has been observed, even at the low-dose interval. These recent epidemiological studies include relatively large populations, and findings are broadly consistent with previous studies on Japanese atomic bomb survivors. However, the health effects of low-dose radiation are assumed to be small compared to the risks that may arise from other lifestyle factors; therefore, the benefits of radiation use should be considered at the individual level through a balanced interpretation. Further low-dose radiation studies are essential to accurately determining the benefits and risks of radiation.
Original Article | 2022-04-30 2022-04-30 0 1260 624
Background: The recent COVID-19 pandemic is one of the worst disease outbreaks of the 21th century. Due to a lack of reliable antiviral therapeutics, wearing face masks is recommended to prevent airborne infection originating from virus-contaminated bioaerosols.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the filtration efficiencies of face masks that are commercially available in South Korea for a biological aerosol of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and murine coronavirus, a well-known surrogate for human coronaviruses.
Methods: We collected six different kinds of commercial masks: two Korea Filter (KF)94 (KF94-1, KF94-2) masks, one surgical (Surgical-1) mask, one anti-droplet (KF-AD-1) mask, and two dust (Dust-1, Dust-2) face masks. S. aureus (ATCC 6538), a well-performing test bacteria and murine coronavirus (ATCC VR-764) were prepared under a suitable culture condition. Then, a mask biological filtration tester was used to examine the microbial filtration efficiencies of masks. Test microorganisms were quantitatively measured via cultivation methods and microbial filtration efficiencies were calculated appropriately.
Results: All face masks showed over 99.6% filtration efficiency for S. aureus or murine coronavirus. There were no significant differences among the bacterial filtration efficiencies of the face masks. KF94-1 (99.97±0.08%) and Dust-1 mask (99.97±0.07%) showed the highest (over 99.9%) filtration efficiency for murine coronavirus. KF94-1 or Dust-1 masks showed a significant virus filtration efficiency compared to Surgical-1 mask (p<0.05; Mann-Whitney U test).
Conclusions: All the commercially available face masks used in this study can filter S. aureus or murine coronavirus in bioaerosols efficiently, regardless of the mask type. Therefore, our results suggest that wearing a certified face mask is a reliable means to prevent the transmission of infectious airborne diseases via biological aerosols.
Original Article | 2022-08-31 2022-08-31 0 997 274
Background: The indiscriminate use of pesticides in Nigeria may have harmful effects on reproductive health of farmers.
Objectives: This study assessed the awareness of reproductive health, serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone, estradiol, progesterone and sperm characteristics of male farmers occupationally exposed to pesticides.
Methods: Eighty four male farmers were recruited for the study. Structured questionnaire was used to obtain the socio-demographic data. Blood and semen samples were collected from the subjects in the morning for hormonal assays and semen analysis using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method and SQAV sperm quality analyzer. Data were analyzed using chi square, Student's-t-test, and Regression analysis.
Results: Serum FSH (p<0.01), LH (p<0.005) and Estradiol (p<0.001) were significantly higher while prolactin (p<0.02) and testosterone (p<0.001) were significantly lower among pesticides exposed farmers than nonexposed subjects. Some 34/84 (40.5%) of the pesticides exposed farmers had serum testosterone levels below the lower limit of the reference range. Those with low testosterone levels (p<0.001), also had FSH (p<0.05), LH (p<0.001) and Estradiol (p<0.002) significantly lower than those with normal testosterone levels. The sperm count among pesticides exposed farmers; total motility and percentage morphology were significantly lower than non-pesticides exposed subjects. Some 14/84 (16.7%) of the pesticides exposed farmers had sperm count below 15 million/mL (oligozoospermia). More than 70% of the farmers were not aware of the reproductive health risks associated with pesticides and only 23.8% of the farmers were using protective devices.
Conclusions: Deliberate efforts to improve awareness, knowledge, personal hygiene, and interventions necessary to lessen both pesticides exposure and health risks by adopting safe practices are suggested.
Original Article | 2023-04-30 2023-04-30 0 970 369
Background: Exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can have acute and chronic health effects on human beings in general and in working environments. In particular, VOCs are often emitted in large quantities in industrial settings. In such circumstances, there is a need to improve the indoor air quality at workplaces.
Objectives: The purposes of this study were to verify the effectiveness of air cleaning devices in workplaces and provide alternative solutions for improving working environments.
Methods: Personal exposure and area level of VOCs for workers were evaluated in a car-part adhesive process before and after installing an air cleaning device with a TiO2-coated filter. Passive samplers and direct reading instruments were used to collect and analyze the VOCs, and the removal efficiency and improvement of air quality were evaluated. We also calculated the exposure index (EI) to assess the risk level in the workplace.
Results: The removal efficiency for VOCs through the installation of the air cleaning device was approximately 26.9~69.0% as determined by the concentration levels before and after installation. The measured substances did not exceed the exposure limits for the work environment and the EI was less than 1. However, carcinogenic substances such as benzene, formaldehyde, carbon tetrachloride, and trichloroethylene were detected.
Conclusions: The application of an air cleaning device can be a solution for controlling the indoor air quality in a workplace, particularly in cases where ventilation systems cannot be installed due to process limitations.
Original Article | 2023-04-30 2023-04-30 1 959 290
Background: When particles are absorbed into the human body, they penetrate deep into the lungs and interact with the tissues of the body. Heavy metals in PM2.5 can cause various diseases. The main source of PM2.5 emissions in South Korea’s atmosphere has been surveyed to be places of business.
Objectives: The concentration of heavy metals in PM2.5 near the Ulsan Industrial Complex was measured and a health risk assessment was performed for residents near the industrial complex for exposure to heavy metals in PM2.5.
Methods: Concentrations of heavy metals in PM2.5 were measured at four measurement sites (Ulsan, Mipo, Onsan, Maegok) near the industrial complexes. Heavy metals were analyzed according to the Air Pollution Monitoring Network Installation and Operation Guidelines presented by the National Institute of Environmental Research. Among them, only five substances (Mn, Ni, As, Cd, Cr6+) were targeted. The risk assessment was conducted on inhalation exposure for five age groups, and the excess cancer risk and hazard quotient were calculated.
Results: In the risk assessment of exposure to heavy metals in PM2.5, As, Cd, and Cr6+ exceeded the risk tolerance standard of 10–6 for carcinogenic hazards. The highest hazard levels were observed in Onsan and Mipo industrial complexes. In the case of non-carcinogenic hazards, Mn was identified as exceeding the hazard tolerance of 1, and it showed the highest hazard in the Ulsan Industrial Complex.
Conclusions: This study presented a detailed health risk from exposure to heavy metals in PM2.5 by industrial complexes located in Ulsan among five age groups. It is expected to be utilized as the basis for preparing damage control and industrial emission reduction measures against PM2.5 exposure at the Ulsan Industrial Complex.
Original Article | 2022-04-30 2022-04-30 0 943 552
Background: Current research suggests that humans are exposed to microplastics through consumption of foods and beverages, the airway route, and a variety of other means.
Objectives: We evaluated oxidative stress and inflammation from polyethylene microplastics (PE-MPs) in the neonatal liver through intragastric administration or intratracheal instillation in pregnant mice.
Methods: PE-MPs were administered from gestational day 9 to postnatal day 7. The intragastric administration group (0.01 mg/mouse/day or 0.1 mg/mouse/day) and intratracheal instillation group (6 μg/mouse/day or 60 μg/mouse/day) of PE-MPs were administered. After sacrifice, the oxidative stress and inflammation of the neonatal livers were measured.
Results: As a result of the oxidative stress caused by PE-MPs in the neonatal livers, glutathione peroxidase decreased in a concentration-dependent manner in the intragastric administration group compared to the control group and intratracheal instillation decreased in high concentration PE-MPs. The catalase level increased at high concentrations of intragastric administration and intratracheal instillation. To confirm the level of inflammation caused by PE-MPs, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and tumor necrosis factoralpha were increased compared to the control group except for intratracheal intilation-high concentration PEMPs. The C-reactive protein level was decreased by intragastric administration compared to the control group and intratracheal instillation was increased compared to the control group.
Conclusions: Despite the difficulty in comparing the toxic intensity between intragastric administration and intratracheal instillation of PE-MPs, our study revealed that oxidative stress and inflammation were induced in the neonatal liver. However, it is necessary to evaluate the toxic effects of microplastics on various organs as well. Overall, the present study indicates that the evaluation of toxic effects of long-term microplastic exposure, potential of microplastic toxicity on next-generation offspring and toxicity mechanism in human should be considered for further investigations.
Original Article | 2022-04-30 2022-04-30 1 936 393
Background: Various types of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) exist in the public’s living environment. They occur in different forms in terms of their physical and chemical properties and partition coefficients. As a consequence, indoor exposure to SVOCs occurs via various routes, including inhalation of air and airborne particles, skin contact, and dust intake.
Objectives: To propose a method for assessing human exposure to the SVOCs occurring in the air of an indoor environment, the concentrations of SVOCs in house dust and organic films measured in a real residential environment were estimated in terms of gas-phase concentration using the partition coefficient. Assessment of inhalation exposure to SVOCs was performed using this method.
Methods: Phthalates were collected from samples of house dust and organic films from 110 households in a real residential environment. To perform an exposures assessment of the phthalates present in organic films, gas-phase concentration was calculated using the partition coefficient. The airborne gas-phase concentrations of phthalates from the house dust and organic films were estimated and exposure assessment was performed based on the assumption of inhalation exposure from air.
Results: As a result of the exposure assessment for gas-phase phthalates from house dust and organic films, preschool children showed the highest level of inhalation of phthalates, followed by school children, adults, and adolescents.
Conclusions: This study includes the limitation of not considering different SVOCs exposure pathways in the health impact assessment, including those of phthalates in the indoor living environment. However, this study has the significance of performing exposure assessment based on exposure to SVOCs present in indoor air that originated from organic films in the indoor residential environment. Therefore, the results of this study should be useful as basic data for exposure and health risk assessments of SVOCs associated with organic films in the indoor environment.
Original Article | 2022-04-30 2022-04-30 0 920 603
Background: Since people move through microenvironments rather than staying in one place, they may be exposed to both indoor and outdoor PM2.5 concentrations.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the exposure level of each sub-population group and evaluate the contribution rate of the major microenvironments.
Methods: Exposure scenarios for sub-population groups were constructed on the basis of a 2019 Time-Use survey and the previous literature. A total of five population groups were classified and researchers wearing MicroPEM simulated monitoring PM2.5 exposure concentrations in real-time over three days. The exposure contribution for each microenvironment were evaluated by multiplying the inhalation rate and the PM2.5 exposure concentration levels.
Results: Mean PM2.5 concentrations were 33.0 μg/m3 and 22.5 μg/m3 in Guro-gu and Wonju, respectively. When the exposure was calculated considering each inhalation rate and concentration, the home showed the highest exposure contribution rate for PM2.5. As for preschool children, it was 90.8% in Guro-gu, 94.1% in Wonju. For students it was 65.3% and 67.3%. For housewives it was 98.2% and 95.8%, and 59.5% and 91.7% for office workers. Both regions had higher exposure to PM2.5 among the elderly compared to other populations, and their PM2.5 exposure contribution rates were 98.3% and 94.1% at home for Guro-gu and Wonju, respectively.
Conclusions: The exposure contribution rate could be dependent on time spent in microenvironments. Notably, the contribution rate of exposure to PM2.5 at home was the highest because most people spend the longest time at home. Therefore, microenvironments such as home with a higher contribution rate of exposure to PM2.5 could be managed to upgrade public health.