Ex) Article Title, Author, Keywords
ㆍ Exposure to arsenic at low or moderate concentrations can cause a variety of health effects.
ㆍ There is a need to manage chronic exposure to arsenic in arsenic-vulnerable areas.
ㆍ The expected reduction in the all study area is NOx 1,940 tons, CO 1,358 tons, VOCs 537 tons, primary PM10 257 tons, primary PM2.5 215 tons, NH3 5 tons and SOx 2 tons.
ㆍ As a result of PM2.5 simulation applying reduced emissions, Suwon improved the most among the five regions.
Editorial | 2023-10-31
J Environ Health Sci. 2023; 49(5): i-ii
Invited article / Review | 2023-10-31
J Environ Health Sci. 2023; 49(5): 237-246https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.5.237Abstract
Background: Arsenic is a metalloid of public health significance due to its unique material properties and toxicity and the widespread pollution in the environment. Arsenic exists as inorganic arsenic and organic arsenic with distinct chemical properties. Its toxicity varies depending on the properties.
Objectives: Although the carcinogenicity of arsenic has been identified, the various diseases that occur after acute and chronic exposure to arsenic are not yet clearly known.
Methods: Research on the effects of chronic exposure to arsenic on human health was searched and the results were summarized.
Results: It has been found that cancer occurs due to exposure to high concentrations of arsenic in areas with elevated exposure to arsenic, but research results have recently been presented on health effects caused by chronic exposure to low concentrations of arsenic. Cancers have also been identified to be related to inorganic arsenic, including skin cancer, lung cancer, and bladder cancer. Significant relationships with neurological diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes mellitus have been suggested as well.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that it is necessary to evaluate the health impact on residents around abandoned metal mines and industrial complexes in South Korea.
Perspective | 2023-10-31
J Environ Health Sci. 2023; 49(5): 247-250https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.5.247Abstract
This case report aims to introduce the safety campaign activities for preventing chemical accidents that were cooperatively conducted by an environmental office and chemical-handling workplaces located in the Ulsan area. A chemical safety campaign was initiated to examine and manage chemical-handling facilities at high risk for chemical accidents, specifically valves, flanges, and switches (VFS) from October 2020 to December 2022. The VFS safety check campaign was conducted to raise workers’ safety consciousness based on a campaign of advertisements in the workplace from October 2020 to December 2021. In addition, a VFS plus [+] campaign was initiated to encourage actual management activities for chemical-handling facilities at high risk of chemical accidents in 2022. A total of 49 corporations participated in the VFS plus [+] campaign. In contrast to the VFS safety check campaign, which simply focused on publicity and resulted in changes in worker awareness, practicable safety management activities focusing on the handling facilities were carried out. Although notable short-term impacts have yet to be discerned from the campaigns, it is expected that they will eventually serve as a starting point for developing a proper safety culture and environment.
Original Article | 2023-10-31
J Environ Health Sci. 2023; 49(5): 251-261https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.5.251Abstract
Background: This paper deals with the study of natural radioactivity in rocks from Ogun State in Southwestern Nigeria. The aim is to determine radiation emissions from rocks in order to estimate radiation hazard indices.
Objectives: The following objectives were targeted: 1. To determine radiation emissions from each type of rocks; 2. To estimate radiation hazard indices based on the rocks; 3. To correlate the activity concentrations of radionuclides with major oxides.
Methods: The samples were analyzed using a NaI (Tl) gamma ray spectrometric detector and PerkinElmer AAnalyst 400 AAS spectrometer.
Results: The activity of 40K, 226Ra, and 232Th were found in order of decreasing magnitude from pegmatite>granite>migmatite. In contrast, lower concentrations were found in shale, phosphate, clay stone, sandstone and limestone. The mean absorbed doses were 125±23 nGyh–1 (migmatite), 74±13 nGy/h (granite), 72±13 nGyh–1 (pegmatite), 64±09 nGyh–1 (quartzite), 45±16 nGyh–1 (shale), 41±09 nGyh–1 (limestone), 41±11 nGyh–1 (clay stone), 24±03 nGyh–1 (phosphate), and 21±10 nGyh–1 (sandstone). The outdoor effective dose rates in all rock samples were slightly higher than the world average dose value of 0.34 mSvy–1. The percentage composition of SiO2 in the rock samples was above 50 wt% except for in the limestone, shale and phosphate. Al2O3 ranged from 4.10~21.24 wt%, Fe2O3 from 0.39~7.5 wt%, and CaO from 0.09-46.6 wt%. In addition, Na2O and K2O were present in at least 5 wt%. Other major oxides, including TiO2, P2O5, K2O, MnO, MgO and Na2O were depleted.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that Ogun State may be described as a region with elevated background radiation. It is recommended that houses should be constructed with good cross ventilation and residences should use home radiation monitoring instruments to monitor radon emanating from walls.
Original Article | 2023-10-31
J Environ Health Sci. 2023; 49(5): 262-274https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.5.262Abstract
Background: Exposure levels for heavy metals such as lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and cadmium (Cd) have increased due to human activities. They are known to be a public health concern.
Objectives: This study aimed to determine the exposure levels to heavy metals in the blood and urine of South Korean adults and to present the contribution rate of exposure pathways using an exposure algorithm for men aged 19~64, women aged 19~64, and all seniors aged 65 or older.
Methods: We analyzed data from the Korean National Environmental Health Survey (KoNEHS) Cycle 4 (2018~2020). A total of 2,646 participants aged ≥19 years were included. Multiple regression analysis was performed to determine the factors affecting heavy metal concentrations. The contribution rate was calculated by applying three exposure algorithms for ingestion, inhalation, and dermal exposure.
Results: Factors that commonly affect heavy metal concentrations in blood and urine were gender and age. The main influencing factors for Pb and Cd were education level and smoking status, while frequency of fish consumption and of alcohol consumption were indicated to be the main influencing factors for mercury. The contribution rates of lead and cadmium from food ingestion were 78.03~79.62% and 88.39~92.89%, respectively. Additionally, the highest contribution for mercury was accounted for by food at 81.69~85.77%. As a result of the risk assessment, cadmium was found to pose a potential health risk a with total cancer risk (TCR) of more than 1×10–6.
Conclusions: The KoNEHS could be an important study for determining the level of exposure to heavy metals and their influencing factors. Integrated exposure to heavy metals could assess the main exposure pathways, and this methodology could be applied to exposure management of heavy metals.
Original Article | 2023-10-31
J Environ Health Sci. 2023; 49(5): 275-288https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.5.275Abstract
Background: When basic local governments want to improve their air quality management policies, they need fundamental evidence, such as the effectiveness of current policies or scenario results.
Objectives: The purpose of this study is to lay the groundwork for a process to calculate air pollutant reduction from basic local government air quality policies and provide numerical estimates of PM2.5 concentrations following improved policies.
Methods: We calculated the amount of air pollutant reduction that can be expected in the research region based on the Gyeonggi-do Air Environment Management Implementation Plan issued in 2021 and guidelines from the Korean Ministry of Environment. The PM2.5 concentration variations were numerically simulated using the CMAQ (photochemical air quality model).
Results: The research regions selected were Suwon, Ansan, Yongin, Pyeongtaek, and Hwaseong in consideration of population, air pollutant emissions, and geographical requirements. The expected reduction ratios in 2024 compared to 2018 are CO (3.0%), NOx (7.9%), VOCs (0.7%), SOx (0.1%), PM10 (2.4%), PM2.5 (6.1%), NH3 (0.05%). The reduced PM2.5 concentration ratio was highest in July and lowest in April. The expected concentration reduction of yearly mean PM2.5 in the research region is 0.12 μg/m3 (0.6%).
Conclusions: Gyeonggi-do is now able to quickly provide air pollutant emission reduction calculations by respective policy scenario and PM2.5 simulation results, including for secondary aerosol particles. In order to provide more generalized results to basic local governments, it is necessary to conduct additional research by expanding the analysis tools and periods.
Editorial | 2023-08-31
Man Su Cho
J Environ Health Sci. 2023; 49(4): i-ii
Perspective | 2023-08-31
J Environ Health Sci. 2023; 49(4): 179-182https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.4.179Abstract
The Chemical Substances Control Act has been legislated to counter the risks posed by chemical substances to public health and the environment, but a number of small- and large-scaled incidents related to hazardous chemicals continue to occur every year. The Korean Ministry of Environment takes legal responsibility for prevention, preparedness, and response to nationwide chemical accidents under the Chemical Substances Control Act. The determination of chemical accidents that occur during hazardous chemical handling processes is based on the Article 2 (Definitions) of the law and the administrative criteria for judgement of chemical accidents. However, there are certain ambiguities in the scientific basis for determining chemical accidents under the current regulations. Whether or not a chemical accident has a direct influence on penalties and administrative measures for a workplace where an accident occurred, it is necessary to find reasonable criteria for determining chemical accident based on legal and scientific evidence.
Original Article | 2023-08-31
J Environ Health Sci. 2023; 49(4): 183-189https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.4.183Abstract
Background: The indoor air quality of classrooms, in which the capacity per unit area is high and students spend time together, must be managed for safety and comfort. It is necessary to develop an eco-friendly indoor air quality reduction method rather than biased management that relies solely on air purifiers.
Objectives: In this study, plants and air purifiers were installed in middle school classrooms to evaluate the indoor PM2.5 reduction.
Methods: Four middle school classrooms were selected as test beds. Air quality was monitored in real-time every one minute using IoT equipment installed in the classrooms, corridors, and rooftops. After measuring the background concentration, plants and air purifiers were installed in the classroom and the PM2.5 reduction effect was analyzed through continuous monitoring.
Results: After installing the plants and air purifiers, the average PM2.5 concentration was 33.7 μg/m3 in the classrooms without plants and air purifiers, 25.6 μg/m3 in classrooms with plants only, and 21.7 μg/m3 in classrooms with air purifiers only. In the classroom where plants and air purifiers were installed together, it was 20.0 μg/m3. The reduction rates before and after installation were 4.5% for classrooms with plants only, 16.5% for classrooms with air purifiers only, and 27.6% for classrooms with both plants and air purifiers. The I/O ratio, which compares the concentration of PM2.5 in classrooms with corridors and outside air, also showed the lowest in the order of plants and air purifiers, air purifiers, and plant-only classrooms.
Conclusions: The PM2.5 reduction effect of using plants was confirmed, and it is expected to be used as basic data for the development of environmentally-friendly indoor air quality improvement methods.
Original Article | 2023-08-31
J Environ Health Sci. 2023; 49(4): 190-200https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.4.190Abstract
Background: Gunsan has been constantly affected by pollutants generated by the Saemangeum development and the construction industry since the completion of the Saemangeum seawall on April 27, 2010. However, there are limitations to its study, such as taking into consideration weather conditions, geographical factors, and foreign inflows.
Objectives: In this study, we compared the Existing-CAPSS emissions of Gunsan with Recalculated-CAPSS emissions data to analyze the differences in emissions characteristics by year (2016~2019).
Methods: Using Existing data on CAPSS emissions (2016~2019) and Recalculated-CAPSS emissions (2016~2019) for Gunsan, which were Recalculated following the improvement of emissions calculations for 2020, we organized CO, NOX, SOX, PM10, VOCS, and NH3 emissions by substance and investigated the differences and characteristics of the Recalculated emissions by year.
Results: For Re-CO and Re-PM10, the emission characteristics of CO were examined as energy industry combustion and PM10 emission characteristics were examined as ship cargo from non-road transportation sources, as ship leisure sources were excluded from non-road transportation source emissions.
Conclusions: Comparing the emissions of Existing-CAPSS and Recalculated-CAPSS in Gunsan, the emissions of Recalculated-CAPSS by substance decreased by 39.76% for CO, 9.98% for PM10, 5.53% for VOCS, and 9.24% for NH3, while Re-NOX increased by 2.86% and Re-SOX increased by 1.97%. On the other hand, when comparing the emissions characteristics of Existing-CAPSS and Recalculated-CAPSS in Gunsan, Jeonju, and Iksan, the emission characteristics of Re-NOX, Re-SOX, Re-VOCS and Re-NH3 were similar to those of Ex-NOX, Ex-SOX, Ex-VOCS, and Ex-NH3. As such, Gunsan, Iksan, and Jeonju, showed differences in the comparison of different emission characteristics due to the geographical characteristics of the region (population, area, topography, weather factors) and the characteristics of the industrial complex (metal, petrochemical).
Original Article | 2023-08-31
J Environ Health Sci. 2023; 49(4): 201-209https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.4.201Abstract
Background: To describe domain knowledge consistently and precisely, the establishment of a controlled vocabulary, a so-called ontology, is essential. Internationally, the plant ontology (PO) in the ecology field has been developed for the anatomy and developmental stages of plants in English, Spanish, and Japanese, but there is no Korean version of the PO due to a lack of knowledge on standardization for Korean plants.
Objectives: We aimed to establish a Korean plant ontology with core PO architectures.
Methods: The latest ontology web language (OWL)-formatted raw version of the PO was collected from the PO consortium site. A formal workflow process and OWL file-handing tools for efficient Korean content development were conducted and executed.
Results: The macro- and micro-perspective frameworks of the PO were presented by analyzing the upper model and the internal OWL-leveled physical structure, respectively. We developed and validated Korean knowledge content for a total of 1,957 classes included in the PO and transplanted them into an ontology modeling system.
Conclusions: A Korean plant ontology was established for international harmonization through improved compatibility and data exchangeability with multilingual environmental and ecological knowledge bases.
Original Article | 2023-08-31
J Environ Health Sci. 2023; 49(4): 210-217https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.4.210Abstract
Background: N-nitrosamines are carcinogenic substances often found in rubber products. They are produced when certain additives of rubber products react with nitrite in saliva or air. Exposure assessment for the proper management and communication of N-nitrosamines in rubber balloons should be carried out.
Objectives: This study was conducted to determine the concentrations of N-nitrosamines in rubber balloons in the South Korean market and assess exposure among Korean children.
Methods: Forty eight rubber balloon products in the domestic market were purchased and a total of 68 balloons were analyzed for N-nitrosamines and N-nitrosatable substances. Chemical analysis was conducted by HPLC-MS/MS according to the method EN 71-12. For exposure assessment, an exposure algorithm and coefficients were obtained from previous studies.
Results: Among the 68 rubber balloons, N-nitrosamines were detected in 18 (26.5%) with an average level of 60.77 μg/kg. N-Nitrosatable substances were detected in 44 products (64.7%) with an average level of 1353.33 μg/kg. As a result of the exposure evaluation, the exposure dose differed according to how exposure coefficients were applied. The median exposure (50th percentile) was higher in the age group of 6~12 years, and high exposure (95th percentile) was higher in the age group of 13~18.
Conclusions: We evaluated the N-nitrosamines contained in rubber balloons purchased in the domestic market and assessed oral exposure among South Korean children. For integrated risk management of N-nitrosamines, further studies and discussion regarding exposure and risk assessment are required.
Original Article | 2023-08-31
J Environ Health Sci. 2023; 49(4): 218-227https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.4.218Abstract
Background: Since 2019, the Ministry of Environment has implemented a seasonal fine dust management system from December to March, targeting high PM2.5 levels with the aim of reducing PM2.5 concentrations and protecting public health. The focus of improving the seasonal management system lies in the atmospheric PM2.5 levels. Considering the primary goal of protecting public health, it is necessary to analyze the policy effects from an exposure perspective rather than a concentration-based approach.
Objectives: This study aims to quantitatively assess the improvement of indoor PM2.5 levels and the health impacts of the seasonal management system by comparing the periods before and during its implementation in residential environments.
Methods: PM2.5 concentrations within residential environments in a metropolitan area were measured using an optical particle counter (IAQ-C7, K-weather, Ltd, Korea) at one-minute intervals during the preimplementation period (November 21~25, 2022) and during the implementation period (December 19~23, 2022). Based on the measured PM2.5 concentrations, a quantitative evaluation of cancer and mortality risks was conducted according to age and gender.
Results: The results of comparing indoor and outdoor PM2.5 concentrations before and during the implementation of the seasonal management system showed a decrease of approximately 56.6% and 47.9%, respectively. Health risk assessments revealed that both the safety-limit-based and safety-target-based Hazard Quotients (HQ) exceeded the threshold of 0.1 for children under 19 years of age, both before and after the implementation. The mortality risk decreased by approximately 47.9% after the implementation, with children aged 0-9 showing the highest mortality risk at 0.9%.
Conclusions: The findings of this study confirmed the positive health impacts of the seasonal management system across all age groups, particularly children under 19 who are more vulnerable to fine dust exposure.
Original Article | 2023-08-31
J Environ Health Sci. 2023; 49(4): 228-235https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2023.49.4.228Abstract
Background: As the public interest in chemical substances found in daily life has increased, environmental health education content has been developed and related studies have been conducted. However, there is still insufficient research on methodologies for environmental health education.
Objectives: This study aimed to explore risk communication strategies by focusing on N-nitrosamines in rubber balloons.
Methods: In this study, two different health messages were composed: a gain-framed message emphasizing the advantages of practicing the health behavior and a loss-framed message emphasizing the negative consequences of not practicing the health behavior. The effect of the message containing risk information was evaluated by measuring the health beliefs and health behavior potential for female caregivers. As the Environmental Health Act defines a child as “a person under the age of 13,” a total of 131 women with children under the age of 13 were studied.
Results: The age, awareness, and interest of the participants in the gain frame group and these in the loss frame group were similar. In terms of message framing effect, the gain-framed message was more effective in terms of health belief and potential health behavior than was the loss-framed message. As a result of an independent t-test, among the six variables of health belief model the message effect was statistically significant at the level of p<0.05 in three variables: perceived severity (t=2.287, df=129, p=0.024), self-efficacy (t=2.123, df=129, p=0.036), and health behavior potential (t=2.094, df=129, p=0.038).
Conclusions: This study presented a direction for effective environmental health education by studying the effects of risk communication messages based on scientific evidence. It is necessary to extend the scope of environmental health education research by expanding research into various household products.