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  • Invited article / Review  | 2023-06-30 2023-06-30 \ 0 \ 547 \ 154

    Indoor Air Quality in Aircraft: The Impact of Increased Mobility and Health Effects and the Influence of Bleed Air

    Seunghon Ham*

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.3.129

    Abstract

    Background: With the rise in global mobility, aircraft indoor air quality has become a significant public health concern. This study focuses on the health implications of increased travel and bleed air—air drawn from aircraft engines for cabin pressurization and air conditioning.
    Objectives: This research aims to review the potential health effects related to exposure to aircraft cabin air, particularly the effects of bleed air during fume events.
    Methods: We conducted a literature review of existing studies on aircraft cabin air quality. We focused on both the immediate and health effects of exposure to cabin air, particularly those related to bleed air contaminants.
    Results: The review found a possible link between exposure to aircraft cabin air and certain health issues, especially in cabin crew and frequent flyers. There was an increased incidence of respiratory and neurological symptoms related to bleed air exposure. However, the cumulative health effects of frequent air travel remain inconclusive due to limited data.
    Conclusions: This study highlights the need for improving air quality in aircraft to protect public health. While further research is needed to understand the cumulative effects of frequent air travel, the reduction of exposure to bleed air contaminants should be a priority. These findings underline the need for regulatory changes and technological improvements in aircraft cabin air quality.

  • Review Article  | 2023-06-30 2023-06-30 \ 1 \ 495 \ 246

    Literature Review on Health Effect Surveys of Residents in Environmentally Contaminated Areas in South Korea from 1997 to 2021

    Kyung-Hwa Choi1 , Sujung Kim1 , Hyun A Jang1 , Dahee Han2 , Ho-Jang Kwon1 , Yong Min Cho2*

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.3.134

    Abstract

    Background: The conducting of health effect surveys (HESs) in environmentally contaminated vulnerable areas (ECVAs) by the central and local governments has been increasing apace with the increase in demand for HESs since the Environmental Health Act was enacted in South Korea in 2008.
    Objectives: This study aimed to review the HESs of residents in ECVAs conducted in South Korea.
    Methods: An analysis was performed on 125 reports obtained from the Environment Digital Library, PRISM, and local government websites after selecting from 803 projects obtained as ECVAs from the Korea ONLine E-Procurement System (1997~2021), National Institute Environment Research (2000~2021), and Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (2009~2021). The reports were classified by background (residents’ demand, HES, and more), research design (cross-sectional study, cohort, ecological study, and panel), pollution source (abandoned metal mine (AMM), industrial complex (IC), and more), and assessment method of exposure and health effects. The survey area was converted into administrative district codes for geographical mapping.
    Results: There were 37, 34, 18, and 10 cases associated with AMM, IC, waste incinerators, and coal-fired power plants, respectively. Most of the studies conducted were cross-sectional studies and ecological studies. The proportion of epidemiological investigations by residents’ demand showed an increase from 0.0% to 8.9% for the central government while decreasing from 16.7% to 14.3% for local governments after 2008 compared to before 2008. HESs increased at both the central and local government levels since 2014. For the evaluation method, 365 environmental hazards, 319 health outcomes, and 302 biological markers were investigated, with the most commonly investigated items being metals, cancer, and blood metals.
    Conclusions: HESs of residents in ECVAs in South Korea have been continuously developed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Future improvements are expected, and systematic review and classification of the HESs is warranted.

  • Original Article  | 2023-06-30 2023-06-30 \ 0 \ 420 \ 158

    Effect of Ambient Air Pollution on Years of Life Lost from Deaths due to Injury in Seoul, South Korea

    Sun-Woo Kang , Subin Jeong , Hyewon Lee*

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.3.149

    Abstract

    Background: Injury is one of the major health problems in South Korea. Few studies have evaluated both intentional and unintentional injury when investigating the association between exposure to air pollutants and injury.
    Objectives: We aimed to explore the association between short-term exposure to ambient air pollution and years of life lost (YLLs) due to injury.
    Methods: Data on daily YLLs for 2002~2019 were obtained from the the Death Statistics Database of the Korean National Statistical Office. This study estimated short-term exposure to particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of <10 μm (PM10), particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of <2.5 μm (PM2.5), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and ozone (O3). This time series study was conducted using a generalized additive model (GAM) assuming a Gaussian distribution. We also evaluated a delayed effect of ambient air pollution by constructing a lag structure up to seven days. The best-fitting lag was selected based on smallest generalized cross validation (GCV) value. To explore effect modification by intentionality of injury (i.e., intentional injury [self-harm, assault] and unintentional injury), we conducted stratified subgroup analyses. Additionally, we stratified unintentional injury by mechanism (traffic accident, fall, etc.).
    Results: During the study period, the average daily YLLs due to injury was 307.5 years. In the intentional injury, YLLs due to self-harm and assault showed positive association with air pollutants. In the unintentional injury, YLLs due to fall, electric current, fire and poisoning showed positive association with air pollutants, whereas YLLs due to traffic accident, mechanical force and drowning/submersion showed negative associations with air pollutants.
    Conclusions: Injury is recognized as preventable, and effective strategies to create a safe society are important. Therefore, we need to establish strategies to prevent injury and consider air pollutants in this regard.

  • Original Article  | 2023-06-30 2023-06-30 \ 1 \ 425 \ 223

    Individual Exposure Characteristics according to the Humidifier Disinfectant Exposure Assessment Cycle - Focusing on Cycles I-to-V Applicants -

    Seula Lee1 , Eun-Kyung Jo1 , Habyeong Kang2 , Wonho Yang3 , Yoon-Hyeong Choi4*

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.3.159

    Abstract

    Background: An ongoing environmental exposure assessment of humidifier disinfectants (HDs) has been conducted since November 2011 among individuals who experienced HD exposure-related adverse health effects. It is being performed in order to determine and quantify exposure to humidifier disinfectants in victims and their families. To date, the assessment has encompassed Cycles I-to-V. There is no report summarizing the characteristics of the subjects from the overall cycles.
    Objectives: We intended to examine the individual characteristics related to demographics, HD usage, and HD exposure using integrated data from Cycles I-to-V of the environmental exposure assessment of HDs and the changes with the cycles.
    Methods: We included 7,543 individuals who participated in Cycles I-to-V of the environmental exposure assessment of HDs. We summarized the participants’ characteristics regarding their demographics (e.g., sex, education level, and age), HD usage history (e.g., product name, ingredient, and frequency of HD use), and HD exposure (e.g., daily time of HD use, cumulative time of HD use, and exposure intensity). In addition, their characteristics were compared across the cycles of the exposure assessment.
    Results: Among the 7,543 participants from Cycles I-to-V, there were more male participants than females (51.05% overall), except for Cycles I and III. Across all cycles, a higher proportion of survivors was observed than deceased individuals. While PHMG was the most prevalent ingredient in HDs throughout all the cycles, its proportion gradually decreased over the course of the examination cycles. Participants in Cycle I reported longer daily times of HD use compared to those in the subsequent cycles. On the other hand, cumulative time of HD use was shorter in the earlier cycles than in the later cycles.
    Conclusions: Using the integrated data from the full cycles of the environmental exposure assessment, this study identified changes in demographic characteristics as well as the HD exposure characteristics between the participants across different cycles.

  • Original Article  | 2023-06-30 2023-06-30 \ 0 \ 493 \ 251

    Analysis of Exposure Characteristics and Exposure Rating of Participants with Injuries from CMIT/MIT Humidifier Disinfectants

    Gihong Min1 , Junghyun Shin2 , Eun-Kyung Jo2 , Seula Lee2 , Jihun Shin1 , Dongjun Kim1 , Jaemin Woo1 , Yoon-Hyeong Choi3 , Wonho Yang1*

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.3.169

    Abstract

    Background: The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has identified cases of people suspected of suffering lung disease potentially caused by chloromethylisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone (CMIT/MIT) used in humidifier disinfectants (HDs). The Korean Ministry of Environment (MoE) epidemiological investigation and toxicity test study found that HDs caused health damage such as asthma and lung disease.
    Objectives: The main purposes of this study were to classify the HD exposure rating and to analyze the exposure characteristics that affect exposure to CMIT/MIT HDs.
    Methods: The exposure characteristics and socio-demographic characteristics of victim participants using CMIT/MIT HDs were investigated through questionnaires. An inhalation no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) for CMIT/MIT was produced based on inhalation toxicity values. Exposure ratings (class 1~class 2) were cross-tabulated with clinical ratings (acceptable~unacceptable). A correlation analysis was conducted with the main exposure characteristics that affect the exposure concentration of CMIT/MIT HDs.
    Results: The concentration in indoor air of CMIT/MIT was 8.75±25.40 μg/m3, and the exposure concentration was 2.30±6.29 μg/m3. The CMIT/MIT exposure rating of 67 participants with high exposures of not more than MOE 100 were evaluated as 14.5%, while the damage participants who matched the clinical rating made up 4.5%. The exposure concentration of CMIT/MIT showed a positive correlation with the daily usage amount and usage frequency, and a negative correlation with volume of the indoor environment.
    Conclusions: A new exposure rating could be suggested and calculated based on the MOE, and the factors affecting the exposure concentration could be identified.

The Korean Society of Environmental Health

Vol.50 No.1
2023-06-30

pISSN 1738-4087
eISSN 2233-8616

Frequency: Bimonthly

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