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  • Original Article  | 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 \ 0 \ 482 \ 335

    Investigation of Artificial Sweeteners in Makgeolli Distributed in South Korea Using HPLC

    Hyewon Shin , Minseo Kim , Yeji Kim , Nayeon Park , Younglim Kho*

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.6.289

    Abstract

    Background: Artificial sweeteners are chemically synthesized substances used to add sweetness to foods. Representative substances include aspartame and acesulfame-K, which are 200 times sweeter than sugar. Recently, the IARC classified aspartame as class 2B, but Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of South Korea announced that it would maintain the current usage standards. Acesulfame-K, which has the potential to cause cancer, was excluded from the list of possible carcinogens, raising questions about its safety. According to a survey by the Consumers Union of Korea, 85% of makgeolli includes artificial sweeteners, but the content labelling is not indicated. It is necessary to accurately determine the intake of artificial sweeteners through makgeolli.
    Objectives: This study aims to evaluate the safety of makgeolli consumption by identifying the content of artificial sweeteners (aspartame, acesulfam-K) and preservatives (sorbic acid).
    Methods: Twenty makgeolli samples were purchased from large supermarkets and convenience stores by referring to the sales ranking of makgeolli products distributed in South Korea and the purchase ranking from online sites. The sample was sonicated to remove alcohol and carbon dioxide. Nine mL of acetonitrile was mixed with 1 mL of the prepared sample, centrifuged, and the supernatant was filtered and analyzed using HPLC.
    Results: As a result of the analysis, aspartame was detected in 17 products and acesulfame-K was detected in ten. The ADI of aspartame (40 mg/kgㆍbw/day) is higher than the EDI based on the maximum concentration 126.5 μg/mL. The ADI of acesulfame-K (15 mg/kgㆍbw/day) is higher than the EDI based on the highest concentration of 82.96 μg/mL. Although the health risk is low, IARC has raised the possibility of aspartame causing carcinogenesis, so there is a need to reevaluate the standards and regulations for artificial sweeteners.
    Conclusions: Through this study, we aimed to determine the content of aspartame and acesulfame-K contained in makgeolli currently distributed in South Korea and the safety of exposure to the human body when consumed.

  • Original Article  | 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 \ 0 \ 382 \ 156

    Changes in Air Quality through the Application of Three Types of Green-Wall Model within Classrooms

    Ho-Hyeong Yang1 , Hyung-Joo Kim2 , Sung-Won Bang3 , Heun-Woo Cho4 , Hyeong-Seok Lee5 , Seung-Won Han5 , Kwang-Jin Kim5 , Ho-Hyun Kim1,6*

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.6.295

    Abstract

    Background: Adolescents are relatively more sensitive than adults to exposure to indoor pollutants. The indoor air quality in classrooms where students spend time together must therefore be managed at a safe level because it can affect the health of students.
    Objectives: In this study, three types of green-wall models were applied to classrooms where students spend a long time in a limited space, and the resulting effects on reducing PM were evaluated.
    Methods: In the middle school classrooms which were selected as the experimental subjects, IoT-based indoor air quality monitoring equipment was installed for real-time monitoring. Three types of plant models (passive, active, and active+light) were installed in each classroom to evaluate the effects on improving indoor air quality.
    Results: The concentration of PM in the classroom is influenced by outdoor air quality, but repeated increases and decreases in concentration were observed due to the influence of students’ activities. There was a PM reduction effect by applying the green-wall model. There was a difference in PM reduction efficiency depending on the type of green-wall model, and the reduction efficiency of the active model was higher than the passive model.
    Conclusions: The active green-wall model can be used as an efficient method of improving indoor air quality. Additionally, more research is needed to increase the efficiency of improving indoor air quality by setting conditions that can stimulate the growth of each type of plant.

  • Original Article  | 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 \ 0 \ 397 \ 189

    Classification Proposals for Spray Type and Airborne Fraction Ratio of Consumer Chemical Products

    Sung Ho Hwang1 , Minjung Kim2 , Mincheol Kim2 , Jeung Yeon Park2 , Hyunbin Jo2 , Myoung Ho Lee2 , Kiyoung Lee1,2 , Kyungduk Zoh1,2 , Chungsik Yoon1,2*

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.6.305

    Abstract

    Background: The National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER)’s classification of and airborne fraction ratio for consumer chemical products (CCP) does not reflect the characteristics of various product classifications.
    Objectives: The purpose of this study was to reclassify the types of spray products according to the diverse spray characteristics of CCPs to evaluate the airborne fraction ratio of representative spray types and to compare them with previous CCPs types and airborne fraction ratios.
    Methods: One thousand seven hundred two products were selected through market research, and 932 newly reported products were selected. After that, 200 were selected to evaluate products with potential inhalation exposure. After classifying six product types that are expected to show differences in the airborne fraction ratio according to the type of product, a final 38 products were selected for use in the airborne fraction ratio through random sampling.
    Results: CCP has been reclassified from two to six types so that the characteristics of all products are well-reflected. The NIER simply had two airborne fraction ratios, but the results of experiments with six types of products showed a significant difference in values (p<0.01). Airborne fraction ratios of propellant general foam, pump general aerosol, and pump trigger foam in spray type, which were not previously present in NIER, were 7.1%, 24.4%, and 3.5%, respectively.
    Conclusions: For the diversified types of CCPs, the newly proposed classification was more appropriate than the existing NIER classification. The airborne fraction ratio was also different for each type, so a new value was suggested.

  • Original Article  | 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 \ 0 \ 429 \ 254

    A Comparative Study of Predicted Environmental Concentrations from ECETOC TRA Based on Environmental Release Categories/Specific Environmental Release Categories and K-CHESAR Using Main/Industrial/Use Categories

    Hyun Pyo Jeon1,2,3* , Jisu Yang3 , Hana Jo3 , Eun Kyung Choe3 , Sanghun Kim1,2,3

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.6.312

    Abstract

    Background: Environmental concentrations of substances can be estimated by K-CHESAR based on main, industrial, and use categories (MC/IC/UC) and ECETOC TRA based on environmental or specific environmental categories (ERC or spERC).
    Objectives: Three different systems for estimating environmental concentrations were compared to figure out their order with possible reasons along with relationship of regional predicted environmental concentrations (PECregional) and final PEClocal for various uses of a substance.
    Methods: Typical uses of the case substance and their corresponding ERCs were selected from the webpage of the European Chemical Agency. Proper MC/IC/UC and spERC were assigned to each ERC. Emission fractions were compared for each assessment code from the available database. PECs were calculated by three estimating systems: K-CHESAR using MC/IC/UC, ECETOC TRA using ERC, and ECETOC TRA using spERC with their default values for input parameters. Percentage of PECregional to PEClocal were manually calculated for each use.
    Results: Emission factors decreased in the order of ERC > MC/IC/UC > spERC. Values of the final PEClocal derived as sum of PECregional and Clocal decreased in the order of calculations using ECETOC TRA-ERC>K-CHESAR with MC/IC/UC>ECETOC TRA-spERC for all environmental media. Percentages of PECregional,water to PEClocal,water ranged from 0 to 10.3% in industrial uses calculated with MC/IC/UC and ERC but 96.3 to 100% in wide dispersive uses of ERC and spERC where values of Clocal,water are estimated to be very low.
    Conclusions: ECETOC TRA generated the most refined PNEC values with spERC and the least with ERC, while K-CHESAR with MC/IC/UC generated values between the two results. The ratio of PECregional to PEClocal can be a good measure for performing suitable estimation of PNECs according to use.

  • Original Article  | 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 \ 0 \ 468 \ 221

    Calculation of the Theoretical Total Amount Ratio of Di(2-ethyl-hexyl) Phthalate in Indoor Air and Floor Dust in a Test House

    SaHo Chun1,2 , Khawon Lee2 , SeungJung Kim2 , SeungPyo Jung2 , DaYoung Kang2 , Ki-Tae Kim1,3*

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.6.324

    Abstract

    Background: Human exposure to phthalates in indoor environments occurs via dermal absorption, oral ingestion of indoor dust, and inhalation of indoor air. However, systematic studies to investigate the exposure rate to phthalates among the three exposure routes in indoor environments are currently limited.
    Objectives: A theoretical exposure ratio between inhalation and oral exposure was calculated based on the total amount of di(2-ethyl-hexyl) phthalate (DEHP) emitted into indoor air and deposited into floor dust in a test house.
    Methods: Flooring and wallpaper containing DEHP were installed in a test house and the concentration of DEHP in both indoor air and floor dust were monitored for five months. Based on the measured DEHP concentrations, the theoretical total amount ratio of DEHP that could be exposed through inhalation and oral ingestion was calculated.
    Results: Considering the period of operation in the test house, the theoretical total amount of DEHP through inhalation and oral ingestion exposures in the entire test house space was calculated to be 0.014 mg and 5.5 mg, respectively. The exposure ratio of the two routes between inhalation and oral exposure corresponding to the total DEHP amount in flooring and wallpaper was 6.0×10–7% and 2.3×10–4%, indicating that theoretical oral exposure to DEHP is approximately 380 times higher than inhalation.
    Conclusions: Monitoring results from a test house has shown that oral exposure is the main exposure route for DEHP in indoor environments. The experimental design employed in this study and theoretical exposure ratio obtained can be applied to investigate actual exposure to DEHP and to determine the exposure characteristics of various types of semi-volatile organic compounds.

  • Original Article  | 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 \ 0 \ 542 \ 218

    Ecological Risk Assessment of 4,4’-Methylenedianiline

    Hyun Soo Kim1 , Daeyeop Lee1 , Kyung Sook Woo1 , Si-Eun Yoo1 , Inhye Lee2 , Kyunghee Ji3 , Jungkwan Seo1 , Hun-Je Jo1*

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.6.334

    Abstract

    Background: South Korea’s Act on Registration and Evaluation, etc. of Chemicals (known as K-REACH) was established to protect public health and the environment from hazardous chemicals. 4,4’-Methylenedianiline (MDA), which is used as a major intermediate in industrial polymer production and as a vulcanizing agent in South Korea, is classified as a toxic substance under the K-REACH act. Although MDA poses potential ecological risks due to industrial emissions and hazards to aquatic ecosystems, no ecological risk assessment has been conducted.
    Objectives: The aim of this study is to assess the ecological risk of MDA by identifying the actual exposure status based on the K-REACH act.
    Methods: Various toxicity data were collected to establish predicted no effect concentrations (PNECs) for water, sediment, and soil. Using the SimpleBox Korea v2.0 model with domestic release statistical data and EU emission factors, predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) were derived for ten sites, each referring to an MDA-using company. Hazard quotient (HQ) was calculated by ratio of the PECs and PNECs to characterize the ecological risk posed by MDA. To validate the results of modeling-based assessment, concentration of MDA was measured using in-site freshwater samples (two to three samples per site).
    Results: PNECs for water, sediment, and soil were 0.000525 mg/L, 4.36 mg/kg dw, and 0.1 mg/kg dw, respectively. HQ for surface water and sediment at several company sites exceeded 1 due to modeling data showing markedly high PEC in each environmental compartment. However, in the results of validation using in-site surface water samples, MDA was not detected.
    Conclusions: Through an ecological risk assessment conducted in accordance with the K-REACH act, the risk level of MDA emitted into the environmental compartments in South Korea was found to be low.

  • Original Article  | 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 \ 0 \ 457 \ 170

    Exploration of an Area with High Concentrations of Particulate Matter and Biomonitoring Survey of Volatile Organic Compounds among the Residents

    Hyunji Ju1,2 , Seungho Lee1,2* , Jae-Hee Min1,2 , Yong-Sik Hwang3 , Young-Seoub Hong1,2

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.6.344

    Abstract

    Background: With its developed port and related industries, the concentration of fine dust is high in Busan compared to other cities in South Korea. Many studies have reported the health effects of fine dust, but there has been a lack of information regarding concentrations of volatile organic compounds among those who exposed to high levels of fine dust.
    Objectives: This study aimed to define an area with high concentrations of particulate matter and perform biomonitoring surveys among the residents of the area.
    Methods: Air quality data was collected and the mean level of each district in Busan was derived. We then defined the area with the highest concentrations of PM10 as a target site. Urine samples were collected from the 400 participants and analyzed for VOCs metabolites - trans,trans-Muconic Acid (t,t-MA) and N-Acetyl-S-(benzyl)-L-cysteine (BMA). Interviews were conducted by trained investigators to examine demographic information. The levels of t,t-MA and BMA were compared with representative South Korean population data (Korean National Environmental Health Survey). The association of the VOC metabolites and fine dust were analyzed by general linear regression analysis.
    Results: The mean of PM10 in the target site was 42.50 μg/m3 from 2018 to 2020. Among the 400 participants in the target site, 74.8% were female and the average age of the participants was 66 years. The geometric mean of t,t-MA was 71.15 μg/g creatinine and the BMA was 7.00 μg/g creatinine among the residents. The levels were higher than the geometric mean from the 4th KoNEHS. The levels of t,t-MA showed significance in BMI, smoking status, and household income. BMA showed significance in gender and age.
    Conclusions: Compared to the general population of South Korea, the target site’s residents had higher biomonitoring levels. Based on this study, continuous screening for high risk areas, including the target site, and biomonitoring of the residents are required.

  • Original Article  | 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 \ 0 \ 345 \ 204

    Correlation between Traffic Noise and Mental Health Indices in Cities: An Ecological Study

    Sukyung Noh1 , Sang-Yong Eom2,3*

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.6.353

    Abstract

    Background: Noise has been linked to an increased risk of various health issues, including stress, anxiety, insomnia, and cardiovascular disorders. However, research on the relationship between residential traffic noise and mental health in South Korea is limited.
    Objectives: This study aims to examine the correlation between regional traffic noise levels and mental health using an ecological study design.
    Methods: In this ecological study, all data were collected from the Korean Statistical Information Service. Traffic noise data in residential areas and the prevalence of mental health indices in 44 cities with noise monitoring stations were obtained. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated to assess the relationship between regional traffic noise levels and mental health indices.
    Results: Daytime traffic noise levels were found to have a positive correlation with stress perception (r=0.428, p=0.004) and showed a borderline positive correlation with depressive symptom prevalence (r=0.273, p=0.073). In cities with airports, significant correlations was observed between 24-hour average noise levels and depressive symptoms (r=0.604, p=0.010), whereas this relationship was not observed in cities without airports (r=0.048, p=0.813). Multiple regression analysis, which adjusted for factors such as age, gender ratio, smoking, obesity, unemployment, urban size, and the presence of an airport, confirmed the relationship between 24-hour average noise levels and stress perception (beta=0.287, p=0.024).
    Conclusions: This study identified correlations between regional traffic noise levels and depressive symptoms or stress perception in adults, with a more pronounced effect in areas with airports. These findings suggest a potential impact of residential traffic noise on mental health, highlighting the importance of preventive measures like noise management in urban planning to promote mental well-being.

  • Original Article  | 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 \ 0 \ 429 \ 196

    Estimation of Premature Deaths due to Exposure to Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Reflecting Population Structure Change in South Korea

    Junghyun Park1,2 , Yong-Chul Jang2 , Jong-Hyeon Lee1*

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.6.362

    Abstract

    Background: PM2.5 pollution has been a persistent problem in South Korea, with concentrations consistently exceeding World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. The aging of the population in the country further exacerbates the health impacts of PM2.5 since older adults are more susceptible to the adverse effects of air pollution.
    Objectives: This study aims to evaluate how the health impact (premature death) due to long-term exposure to PM2.5 in South Korea could change in the future according to the trend of change in the country’s population structure.
    Methods: The study employs a relative risk function, which accounts for age-specific relative risks, to assess the changes in premature deaths by age and region at the average annual PM2.5 concentration for 2022 and at PM2.5 concentration improvement levels. Premature deaths were estimated using the Global Exposure Mortality Model (GEMM).
    Results: The findings indicate that the increase in premature deaths resulting from the projected population structure changes up to 2050 would significantly outweigh the health benefits (reduction in premature deaths) compared to 2012. This is primarily attributed to the rising number of premature deaths among the elderly due to population aging. Furthermore, the study suggests that the effectiveness of the current domestic PM2.5 standard would be halved by 2050 due to the increasing impact of population aging on PM2.5-related mortality.
    Conclusions: The study highlights the importance of considering trends in population structure when evaluating the health benefits of air pollution reduction measures. By comparing and evaluating the health benefits in reflection of changes in population structure to the predicted PM2.5 concentration improvements at the provincial level, a more comprehensive assessment of regional air quality management strategies can be achieved.

The Korean Society of Environmental Health

Vol.50 No.3
2023-12-31

pISSN 1738-4087
eISSN 2233-8616

Frequency: Bimonthly

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