About this Research Topic
Living organisms, including humans, are exposed to different heavy metals, and metallic nanoparticles (MNPs) released into the environment because of natural and/or anthropogenic activities. External levels of these elements and their mixtures in the environment can be determined with high sensitivity and accuracy in environmental matrices such as air, water, soil, and food to estimate the exposure sources and comply with legal limits when they exist. Biomonitoring can provide evidence that exposure and uptake of a chemical have taken place, integrating exposure from all routes and giving information on the body burden and its potential health effects. However, many variables can influence both the uptake and the measure of elements in environmental and biological matrices: their physicochemical state, the oxidation state, the water solubility, pH, salinity, the interaction with the matrix and other contaminants, and all these variables should be taken in consideration when the exposure is to be assessed.
The European Green Deal Call has zero pollution as one of its objectives, and heavy metals are still ubiquitous contaminants linked to several adverse health outcomes. This Research Topic aims to collect emergent studies focused on determining of the levels of elements also present as NPs in the environment and living organisms, especially if these relate to environmental health and associated risk factors for human health. Knowing the environmental exposure levels of the general population is essential to establish policies and measure their efficacy. The main issues for a correct exposure study are the design, as all the variables that can influence the measure have to be taken into consideration to obtain reliable results, and the standardization of the protocols (sample collection and preparation, analysis, etc.) since quality assurance is crucial to be able to compare data.
In this Research Topic, we welcome contributions highlighting recent results from original research and systematic reviews on the following themes:
• Appropriate methods to study the levels of elements, including heavy metals and MNPs, in different environments (such as indoor and outdoor air, water, and soil) and biological matrices, and their content in living organisms such as lichens, insects, plants, and especially humans (hair, urine, breast milk, serum, etc.).
• Sampling and analytical methods set-up and validation studies, application of new methods like sensors and biosensors, environmental and human exposure, and biomonitoring studies are welcome.
Keywords: Environmental monitoring, Heavy metals, Experimental method validation, Biomonitoring, Indoor air pollution, Metallic nanoparticles, Analytical methods, Validation, Water pollution, Soil pollution
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.