Impact Factor 2.483 | CiteScore 2
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Our mission is to create a major open access resource to share and communicate high-quality, peer-reviewed research from diverse disciplines on the complex role that the broad environment in which we live plays on human health. Within our Environmental Health and Exposome section we intend to promote the study of the composite network of direct and indirect environmental health effects. Such effects are generated by diverse and intricate environmental dimensions including the natural environment (e.g. from single pathogens to ecosystems), the physical and chemical environment (e.g. from exposure to specific pollutants to exposure to multiple, possibly interacting, substances), the socio-economic environment (e.g. education, social support, stress, work environment and access to health care), and the living environment (e.g. housing conditions, green spaces and exposure to noise and light). To reflect and address such complexity and to balance the effort to comprehend the role of the genome in human disease, the notion of exposome was proposed in 2005 and novel exposome approaches were adopted to study the health effects of all the environmental exposures that individuals and populations may experience. Through the years the concept of exposome has been increasingly refined and currently covers the so-called general external environment (e.g. the broader socio-economic environment, the urban-rural environment, and climate), specific external factors (e.g. lifestyle, occupations and exposures to pollutants) and the internal environment that reflects both biological effects of the external environment and biological responses to it (e.g. alterations of the microbiomes and methylomes). Despite the increasing scientific production in the field of environmental health and exposome research, we are facing major challenges mostly linked to the ever-changing nature of our environment and the difficulties in capturing its multiple dimensions and the complexity and diversity of its effects on human health. We encourage contributions to our section from different disciplines that may help to:
• further elaborate the concept of the broad environment and exposome and propose innovative applications to epidemiology and public health;
• evaluate the exposome at different periods of life and how the time-varying exposome contribute to modulate disease risk;
• explore novel environmental health hazards and dimensions of the exposome (e.g. novel pollutants or known pollutants with novel health effects, mixture of pollutants, key aspects of the evolving urban and rural environments);
• propose innovative tools to assess the exposome (e.g. through digital personal devices and the guided analysis and integration of multiple sources of environmental data with tools from advanced biostatistics, bioinformatics and computer science);
• study the interplay between multiple environmental factors, between the three dimensions of the exposome (general external, specific external and internal environments) or between the exposome and the genetic background and how such interplays may influence health and disease;
• identify mechanisms of action of environmental exposures on human health;
• identify new biomarkers associated with specific environmental factors or with dimensions of the exposome (e.g. through the application of “omic” technologies); evaluate whether such biomarkers are related to health events;
• develop new study designs and analytical methods to assess environmental and exposome effects on health including novel statistical and computational methods to tackle the complexity of the interaction between environmental factors, exposome dimensions and the human phenome.
We wish to promote a diversity of views and contributions coming from a broad range of disciplines including but not limited to epidemiology, biology, ecology, microbiology, toxicology, environmental sciences, biostatistics, bioinformatics, mathematics, genomics, epigenomics and metabolomics. Multidisciplinary studies are strongly encouraged as a powerful way to advance environmental health and exposome research. Relevant contributions from more theoretical disciplines or apparently more distant disciplines such as evolutionary medicine, are encouraged as they may help to shed a light on the fundamental mechanisms explaining the effects of the evolving exposome on human health.
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Environmental health and Exposome welcomes submissions of the following article types: Brief Research Report, Correction, Data Report, Editorial, General Commentary, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Policy Brief, Review, Specialty Grand Challenge, Study Protocol, Systematic Review and Technology and Code.
All manuscripts must be submitted directly to the section Environmental health and Exposome, where they are peer-reviewed by the Associate and Review Editors of the specialty section.
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