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Ex) Article Title, Author, Keywords

  • Editorial | 2022-10-31

  • Invited article / Original Article | 2022-10-31

    Jihun Shin1 , Jin-Sung Ra2 , Ki-Tae Kim3 , Jongdae Lee4 , Wonho Yang1*

    J Environ Health Sci. 2022; 48(5): 255-265

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2022.48.5.255
    Abstract

    Background: Research in environmental health (EH) is of crucial strategic importance for contemporary society. It is becoming even more critical in light of the increasingly rapid pace of environmental changes, opportunities, and threats.
    Objectives: This study aimed to identify trends and the prospective of environmental health research using SWOT analysis.
    Methods: The trends in environmental health research were reviewed in previous studies and reports. Reviewed manuscripts were searched for using the keywords of ‘environmental health’ and ‘environmental hygiene’ in the KCI (Korean Journal of Citation Index), KISS (Korean Academic Information), PubMed, and Google Scholar.
    Results: It is essential to center the EH research agenda around key priorities focusing on technological innovation, job creation, and the increasingly prominent role of the private sector. Given the rapidly evolving global sustainability agenda, greater clarity on the ever-increasing sources of complexity and growing expectations of the public might be needed. This requires the identification of criteria to identify EH research priorities with the ultimate goal of maximizing societal benefit. Public health relevance, such as extent and severity of health impact, level of exposure, and inequalities of effects, could be included.
    Conclusions: Considering the recent interest in and importance of environmental health, a comprehensive approach to environmental health research should be required through the application of the latest science and technology, citizen participation, and environmental health surveillance systems.

  • Original Article | 2022-10-31

    Abstract

    Background: The selection of distributions of input parameters is an important component in probabilistic exposure assessment. Goodness-of-fit (GOF) methods are used to determine the distribution of exposure factors. However, there are no clear guidelines for choosing an appropriate GOF method.
    Objectives: The outcomes of probabilistic consumer exposure assessment were compared by using five different GOF methods for the selection of input distributions: chi-squared test, Kolmogorov-Smirnov test (KS), Anderson-Darling test (A-D), Akaike information criterion (AIC) and Bayesian information criterion (BIC).
    Methods: Individual exposures were estimated based on product usage factor combinations from 10,000 respondents. The distribution of individual exposure was considered as the true value of population exposures.
    Results: Among the five GOF methods, probabilistic exposure distributions using the A-D and K-S methods were similar to individual exposure estimations. Comparing the 95th percentiles of the probabilistic distributions and the individual estimations for 10 CPs, there were 0.73 to 1.92 times differences for the A-D method, and 0.73 to 1.60 times differences (excluding tire-shine spray) for the K-S method.
    Conclusions: There were significant differences in exposure assessment results among the selection of the GOF methods. Therefore, the GOF methods for probabilistic consumer exposure assessment should be carefully selected.

  • Original Article | 2022-10-31

    Abstract

    Background: The constant consumption of chemical products owing to expanding industrialization has led to an increase in public interest in chemical substances. As the production and disposal processes for these chemical products cause environmental problems, regional information on the hazard level of chemical substances is required considering their effects on humans and in order to ensure environmental safety.
    Objectives: This study aimed to identify hazard contribution and spatiotemporal characteristics by region and chemical by calculating a hazard-based result score using pollutant release and transfer register (PRTR) data.
    Methods: This study calculated the chemical discharge and hazard-based result score from the Risk- Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) model, analyzed their spatiotemporal patterns, and identified hotspot areas where chemical discharges and high hazard-based scores were concentrated. The amount of chemical discharge and hazard-based risk scores for 250 cities and counties across South Korea were calculated using PRTR data from 2011 to 2018.
    Results: The chemical discharge (high densities in Incheon, Daegu, and Busan) and hazard-based result scores (high densities in Incheon, Chungcheongnam-do, and some areas of Gyeongsangnam-do Province) showed varying spatial patterns. The chemical discharge (A, B) and hazard-based result score (C, D) hotspots were identified. Additionally, identification of the hazard-based result scores revealed differences in the type of chemicals contributing to the discharge. Ethylbenzene accounted for ≥80% of the discharged chemicals in the discharge hotspots, while chromium accounted for >90% of the discharged chemicals in the hazard-based result score hotspots.
    Conclusions: The RSEI hazard-based result score is a quantitative indicator that considers the degree of impact on human health as a toxicity-weighted value. It can be used for the management of industries discharging chemical substances as well as local environmental health management.

  • Original Article | 2022-10-31

    Yongsung Park1,2 , Soonhyun Kwon1,2 , Song-Yi Park3 , Sun-Ho Kee3 , Wonsuck Yoon1,2*

    J Environ Health Sci. 2022; 48(5): 282-289

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2022.48.5.282
    Abstract

    Background: Airborne fungi are ubiquitous in the air and exposure to an airborne fungus can be a significant risk factor. The composition of fungi has been potentially important for human health, especially for respiratory diseases like asthma and atopic dermatitis. Therefore, we attempted to ascertain what kind of airborne fungi affect human health at a nationwide level.
    Objectives: This study was carried out to provide information on indoor fungi distribution at multi-use facilities throughout South Korea.
    Methods: We classified our data by region and public facility after collection, cultivation, and identification via the sequencing of the ITS (internal transcribed spacer) region. We investigated whether or not the proliferation of HaCaT cells was affected by the identified airborne fungi.
    Results: In our data, the most isolated airborne fungi by region were Penicillium spp (Seoul, Daegu), Periconia sp (Gyeonggi-do), Iprex sp (Gangwon-do), Phanerochaete sp (Busan), Bjerkandera sp (Gwangju), and Aspergillus sp (Jeju-do). In the public facilities, the most detected fungi were Cladosporium sp (public transport), Penicillium sp (apartment house, retail market, financial institution, karaoke room), Bjerokandera sp (underground parking lot, public toilet, medical institution), Periconia sp (retail store), and Fusarium sp (general restaurant). Next, we selected twenty airborne fungi to examine their cytotoxicity and proliferation of human skin cells. In this experiment, the proliferation of the cells was influenced by most of the identified fungi. In case of the cytotoxicity test, most genera except for Rhodotorula sp and Moesziomyces sp showed cytotoxicity in HaCaT cells.
    Conclusions: The distribution of mold in the indoor air in multi-use facilities in South Korea differs from region to region, and this is an indicator that should be considered in future health impact studies. In addition, as a result of culturing about 20 types of bacteria dominant in indoor air, it was found that most (90%) inhibit the growth of skin cells, which can be harmful to health. An in-depth study of the health effects of floating fungi is needed.

  • Editorial | 2022-08-31

    Sungkyoon Kim

    J Environ Health Sci. 2022; 48(4): i-ii

  • Review Article | 2022-08-31

    Chungsik Yoon1,2* , Taehong Kwon2 , Gitaek Oh2 , Minjung Kim1 , Boowook Kim2 , CheolWoong Shin3 , Kiyoung Lee1,2 , Kyungduk Zoh1,2

    J Environ Health Sci. 2022; 48(4): 195-205

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2022.48.4.195
    Abstract

    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.

  • Original Article | 2022-08-31

    Abstract

    Background: Fragrance substances in consumer products can cause adverse health effects such as contact allergy. In South Korea, consumer chemical products must list 26 known fragrance allergens on product labels when they contain more than 0.01%. Fragrance substances are mostly used in combination, so co-exposure can occur via use of a consumer chemical product. Co-exposure to fragrance allergens may show a synergistic effect on the human body.
    Objectives: The aims of the study were to analyze the characteristics of fragrance allergens in consumer chemical products available on public websites and to identify the co-occurrence patterns of fragrance allergens.
    Methods: The chemicals in 1,443 ingredient disclosures for consumer chemical products were collected through the Ecolife database. The 26 labelled fragrance allergens were identified by category of consumer chemical product. The co-occurrence patterns of the 26 labelled fragrance allergens were analyzed by frequent pattern mining. The unlabelled fragrance allergens presented by European Union Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety were also identified.
    Results: Consumer chemical products contained an average of 5.3±4.2 substances among the 26 labelled fragrance allergens. More than 85% of air fresheners, deodorizing agents, and fabric softeners contained at least one of the 26 labelled fragrance allergens. The most frequently contained fragrance allergens were limonene (50.5%), linalool (49.9%), hexyl cinnamal (34.0%), and citronellol (28.3%). 16.7% of consumer chemical products showed a co-occurrence of limonene, linalool, hexyl cinnamal, and citronellol. Thirty-eight unlabelled fragrance allergens were found in the consumer chemical products, with hexamethylindanopyran (25.2%) being the most frequently contained substance.
    Conclusions: The characteristics and co-occurrence patterns of 26 labelled fragrance allergens would be useful information for the management of co-exposure to fragrance allergens in consumer chemical products. It is necessary for attention to be paid to unlabelled fragrance allergens.

  • Original Article | 2022-08-31

    Abstract

    Background: The amount of smoking in adolescence increases with a younger age of smoking initiation and affects physical health. To establish and evaluate smoking-related policies, it is important to determine actual smoking status. Validation of self-reported questionnaires can identify the accuracy of the questionnaire data reflecting smoking status.
    Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the validity of self-reported smoking status and identify factors affecting the accuracy of self-reported smoking in South Korean adolescents.
    Methods: This study investigated the consistency between cotinine concentrations and self-reported questionnaire data through the analysis of urine samples collected from 922 adolescents aged 13~18 among the participants of Cycle 3 of the Korean National Environmental Health Survey. Smoking status was classified using the cotinine cut-off point of 39.85 μg/L in adolescents, and factors affecting the accuracy were analyzed through multiple logistic regression analysis.
    Results: The smoking rates according to the self-reported questionnaire and cut-off point-based cotinine concentrations among adolescents were 3.1% and 5.1%, respectively. The results found 97.1% consistency between self-reported smokers and smokers according to cotinine concentration. Factors affecting the discrepancy showed a significant relationship, including gender, secondhand smoke, and use of e-cigarettes.
    Conclusions: The results can be used as basic data to establish a smoking policy for adolescents through continuous monitoring and improvement of questionnaire items of factors affecting the discrepancy.

  • Original Article | 2022-08-31

    Jeong-Wook Seo1 , Jung-Duck Park2 , Sang-Yong Eom3 , Hee-Won Kwon4 , Minsu Ock5 , Jiho Lee6*

    J Environ Health Sci. 2022; 48(4): 227-235

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2022.48.4.227
    Abstract

    Background: Abandoned metal mines are classified as vulnerable areas with the highest level of soil contamination among risk regions. People living near abandoned metal mines are at increased risk of exposure to toxic metals.
    Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the correlation between soil contamination levels in areas around abandoned metal mine and the blood lead levels of local residents. Moreover, we assess the possibility of using soil contamination levels as a predictive indicator for human exposure level.
    Methods: Data from the Survey of Residents around Abandoned Metal Mines (2013~2017, n=4,421) and Investigation of Soil Pollution in Abandoned Metal Mines (2000~2011) were used. A random coefficient model was conducted for estimation of the lower level (micro data) of the local resident unit and the upper level (macro data) of the abandoned metal mine unit. Through a fitted model, the variation of blood lead levels among abandoned metal mines was confirmed and the effect of the operationally defined soil contamination level was estimated.
    Results: Among the total variation in blood lead levels, the variation between abandoned mines was 18.6%, and the variation determined by the upper-level factors such as soil contamination and water contamination was 8.1%, which was statistically significant respectively. There was also a statistically significant difference in the least square mean of blood lead concentration according to the level of soil contamination (p=0.047, low: 2.32 μg/dL, middle: 2.38 μg/dL, high: 2.59 μg/dL).
    Conclusions: The blood lead concentration of residents living near abandoned metal mines was significantly correlated with the level of soil contamination. Therefore, in biomonitoring for vulnerable areas, operationally defined soil contamination can be used as a predictor for human exposure level to hazardous substances and discrimination of high-risk abandoned metal mines.

  • Original Article | 2022-08-31

    Eunseop Kim1 , Sun-In Moon2 , Dong-Hyuk Yim3 , Byung-Sun Choi4 , Jung-Duck Park4 , Sang-Yong Eom2,3 , Yong-Dae Kim2,3,5* , Heon Kim2,3,5*

    J Environ Health Sci. 2022; 48(4): 236-243

    https://doi.org/10.5668/JEHS.2022.48.4.236
    Abstract

    Background: In the case of multiple exposures to different types of heavy metals, such as the conditions faced by residents living near a smelter, it would be preferable to group hazardous substances with similar characteristics rather than individually related substances and evaluate the effects of each group on the human body.
    Objectives: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the utility of factor analysis in the assessment of health effects caused by exposure to two or more hazardous substances with similar characteristics, such as in the case of residents living near a smelter.
    Methods: Heavy metal concentration data for 572 people living in the vicinity of the Janghang smelter area were grouped based on several subfactors according to their characteristics using factor analysis. Using these factor scores as an independent variable, multiple regression analysis was performed on health effect markers.
    Results: Through factor analysis, three subfactors were extracted. Factor 1 contained copper and zinc in serum and revealed a common characteristic of the enzyme co-factor in the human body. Factor 2 involved urinary cadmium and arsenic, which are harmful metals related to kidney damage. Factor 3 encompassed blood mercury and lead, which are classified as related to cardiovascular disease. As a result of multiple linear regression analysis, it was found that using the factor index derived through factor analysis as an independent variable is more advantageous in assessing the relevance to health effects than when analyzing the two heavy metals by including them in a single regression model.
    Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that regression analysis linked with factor analysis is a good alternative in that it can simultaneously identify the effects of heavy metals with similar properties while overcoming multicollinearity that may occur in environmental epidemiologic studies on exposure to various types of heavy metals.

  • Original Article | 2022-08-31

    Abstract

    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.

The Korean Society of Environmental Health

Vol.48 No.5
October, 2022

pISSN 1738-4087
eISSN 2233-8616

Frequency: Bimonthly

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Aims and Scope

Journal of Environmental Health Sciences is an official journal of the Korean Society of Environmental Health. Abbreviated title is ‘J Environ Health Sci’ . This journal was launched in February 1974. The mission of Journal of Environmental Health Sciences is to promote research, policy, education, and practice in the field of environmental health by publishing papers of high scientific quality. All of the manuscripts are peer-reviewed. The journal is issued six times a year (February, April, June, August, October, and December) and the articles published in the Journal are indexed and abstracted in Korea Citation Index (KCI). Full text is freely available from: http://www.kseh.org. Circulation number of print copies is approximately 1,400. This journal is supported by the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST) Grant funded by the Korean Government. +More

ExposureAssessment

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