Open access
1 September 2021

Documenting Environmental Contamination in Vulnerable Populations

Publication: Journal of Health and Pollution
Volume 11, Issue 31
CID: 210901
The Journal of Health and Pollution (JH&P) was conceived in 2010, publishing the first issue in February 2011. Our original impetus to create JH&P was to increase understanding of the health effects of environmental contamination in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). This problem was thought to be large and not well understood, with mortality and morbidity in LMIC much greater than that in high-income countries (HIC), even after accounting for the compounding effects of poverty, malnutrition, overcrowding and poor housing conditions.1 In 2010 there was little published research documenting concrete findings, and little originating from affected LMIC.
Our scientific focus was point source pollution, related health impacts, environmental control and remediation technologies, and ambient and indoor pollution, particularly heavy metals, pesticides, radionuclides, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and air particulates. This remained the main focus, but we also published articles on medical, pharmaceutical and solid waste in LMIC, many articles on the intersection between our contaminants of focus and occupational health, and several sets of conference abstracts, including those from the last three meetings of the International Network on Children's Health, Environment and Safety (INCHES).2 The health effects and remediation of lead (Pb) remained a constant theme, with about one third of all articles touching on Pb.3 In the past year, JH&P along with most other health related journals received submissions focusing on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic as it related to our areas of focus.
We quickly developed an additional goal of nurturing authors from underrepresented areas of the world, typically LMIC. In addition to living with high amounts of environmental contamination, researchers from many LMIC face the same pressure to publish as their colleagues in HIC, but often resources such as information, training, translation, editing and support networks are not available.4
To support authors we aimed to provide detailed and high quality reviews to all articles within our area of focus, created a small grants program to support unfinished work (2012–2016), and partnered with AuthorAID5 to deliver an online course in Research Writing to Environmental Health Researchers, limited to researchers from countries within World Health Organization (WHO) Mortality Strata B through E.6 We also had no charges for authors or readers, supporting JH&P with funds from the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and provided free English language copyediting to all accepted manuscripts.
We are proud to have published articles from countries very underrepresented in the scientific literature, including Algeria,7 Armenia,8 Belize,9 Botswana,10 Jamaica,1114 Liberia,15 Mongolia,16 Myanmar/Burma,17,18 Nepal,19,20 Sri Lanka,21 Sudan,22,23 Tajikistan,24 Tanzania,2527 Togo,28, 29 Uganda3033 and Zimbabwe.34
Submission and acceptance data for the thirteen most represented countries by corresponding author can be found in Table 1.
Table 1 —Article Submissions and Publication Rate by Country
Country of corresponding authorNumber of submissionsNumber of articles publishedPublication rate
United States412458.5%
Language consistently presented the greatest challenge. For some of our authors, English was a third or even fourth language, and sometimes barriers to communication in complex peer reviews could not be surmounted. Additionally, we were not able to provide any article processing (reviews, editing) in any language other than English, leading to Latin America being underrepresented in our submission data. Acceptance and publication rates tended to be highest in countries where the population is educated in English. In recent years we received some well written and interesting submissions from Iran, however were unable to process them due to continuing sanctions. Our acceptance rate was 22% in 2020.
By 2018, JH&P was indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Scopus, PubMed, Clarivate Analytics Emerging Sources Citation Index, Biological Abstracts and BIOSIS Previews and was a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
We developed a robust Editorial Board and attracted over 700 peer reviewers—too many to individually mention and thank here. Many reviewers went out of their way to provide detailed, constructive and kind reviews to under-supported authors, and for that I am very grateful.
This is the final edition of JH&P with Pure Earth35 as the publisher. I am proud of our achievements and hope we have enhanced the knowledge bank of environmental contamination challenges globally.


This study was funded as part of employment.


The Lancet Commission on pollution and health. The Lancet [Internet]. 2018 Feb; 391 ( 10119): 462–512.
International Network on Children's Health, Environment and Safety.
World Health Organization. Lead poisoning and health. 2019 [Accessed 2021, July 15] Available from:
Franzen SRP, Chandler C, Lang T. Health research capacity development in low- and middle-income countries: reality or rhetoric? A systematic meta-narrative review of the qualitative literature. BMJ Open 2017; 7: e012332.
World Health Organization. List of Member States by WHO Region and Mortality Stratum.
Halfadji A, Naous M, Bettiche F, Touabet A. Human Health Assessment of Sixteen Priority Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Contaminated Soils of Northwestern Algeria. J Health Pollution. Forthcoming 2021.
Tadevosyan NS, Kirakosyan GV, Muradyan SA, Poghosyan SB, Khachatryan BG. Relationship between Respiratory Morbidity and Environmental Exposure to Organochlorine Pesticides in Armenia. J Health Pollution. Forthcoming 2021.
Husaini DC, Enriquez A, Arzu T, Miranda K, Mossiah D, Cardinez C. Nitrate Levels in Rural Drinking Water in Belize. J Health Pollution 1 September 2020; 10(27): 200904.
Wiston M. Status of Air Pollution in Botswana and Significance to Air Quality and Human Health. Journal of Health and Pollution 1 September 2017; 7(15): 8–17.
Smith L, Voutchkov M. Assessment of Radon Levels in Drinking Water Wells in St. Catherine, Jamaica. J Health Pollution 1 December 2017; 7(16): 31–37.
Fevrier-Paul A, Soyibo AK, Mitchell S, Voutchkov M. Role of Toxic Elements in Chronic Kidney Disease. J Health Pollution 1 December 2018; 8(20): 181202.
Ricketts P, Knight C, Gordon A, Boischio A, Voutchkov M. Mercury Exposure Associated with Use of Skin Lightening Products in Jamaica. J Health Pollution 1 June 2020; 10(26): 200601.
Fevrier-Paul A, Soyibo AK, De Silva N, Mitchell S, Nwokocha C, Voutchkov M. Addressing the Challenge of Potentially Hazardous Elements in the Reduction of Hypertension, Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease in the Caribbean. J Health Pollution 1 June 2021; 11(30): 210613.
Apeh CC. Survey of Sachet Water Waste Disposal in Liberia. J Health Pollution 1 December 2018; 8(20): 181211.
Naidansuren E, Dondog A, Erdenesaikhan B, Byambanyam E. Heavy Metal Pollution Near a Tannery in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. J Health Pollution 1 December 2017; 7(16): 2–11.
Myint Mar K. Cadmium Uptake and Relationship to Feeding Habits of Freshwater Fish from the Ayeyarwady River, Mandalay, Myanmar. J Health Pollution 1 June 2020; 10(26): 200608.
Zaw Tun A, Wongsasuluk P, Siriwong W. Heavy Metals in the Soils of Placer Small-Scale Gold Mining Sites in Myanmar. J Health Pollution 1 September 2020; 10(27): 200911.
Paudel U, Prasad Pant K. Beyond Smoking: Environmental Determinants of Asthma Prevalence in Western Nepal. J Health Pollution 1 March 2020; 10(25): 200310.
Baral BD, Thapa K. Effect of the COVID-19 Lockdown on Ambient Air Quality in Major Cities of Nepal. J Health Pollution 1 March 2021; 11(29): 210211.
Palihakkara CR, Dassanayake S, Jayawardena C, Senanayake IP. Floating Wetland Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage using Eichhornia crassipes (Water Hyacinth). J Health Pollution 1 March 2018; 8(17): 14–19.
Abdelbagi AO, Abdalla Ismail RE, Ahmed Ishag AES, Ali Hammad AM. Pesticide Residues in Eggplant Fruit from Khartoum State, Sudan. Journal of Health and Pollution 1 March 2020; 10(25): 200304.
Mohamed AO, Abdelbagi AO, Abdalla AM, Ahmed Ishag AES, Ali Hammad AM, Hamed Gadallah NA, Hur J-H. Insecticide Residues in Cotton, Sorghum and Fallow Soil from the Nuba Mountains Cotton Corporation of South Kordofan State, Sudan. Journal of Health and Pollution 1 June 2021; 11(30): 210608.
Ulugov UA, Bobritskaya LS, Sinitsky J. Inventory of Obsolete Pesticide Warehouses in Tajikistan and Implications for Removal of Contaminated Soil. Journal of Health and Pollution 1 March 2018; 8(17): 1–5.
Mshana JG, Sekadende B. Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution in Octopus cyanea in the Coastal Waters of Tanzania. Journal of Health and Pollution 1 March 2014; 4(6): 10–17.
Grayson Mshana J. Mercury and Lead Contamination in Three Fish Species and Sediments from Lake Rukwa and Catchment Areas in Tanzania. Journal of Health and Pollution 1 June 2015; 5(8): 7–18.
Nyanza EC, Yohana P, Thomas DSK, Thurston WE, Konje E, Dewey D. Knowledge of and Adherence to the Cyanide Code Among Small-scale Gold Miners in Northern Tanzania. Journal of Health and Pollution 1 June 2017; 7(14): 4–14.
Tanouayi G, Gnandi K, Ouro-Sama K, Aduayi-Akue AA, Ahoudi H, Nyametso Y, Solitoke HD. Distribution of Fluoride in the Phosphorite Mining Area of Hahotoe–Kpogame (Togo). Journal of Health and Pollution 1 June 2016; 6(10): 84–94.
Amouzouvi YM, Dzagli MM, Sagna K, Török Z, Andreea Roba Carmen, Alexandru Mereuţă, Alexandru Ozunu, Kodjovi Sidéra Edjame; Evaluation of Pollutants Along the National Road N2 in Togo using the AERMOD Dispersion Model. Journal of Health and Pollution 1 September 2020; 10(27): 200908.
Kaye E, Nyombi A, Mutambuze IL, Muwesa R. Mancozeb Residue on Tomatoes in Central Uganda. Journal of Health and Pollution 1 June 2015; 5(8): 1–6.
Namuhani N, Cyrus K. Soil Contamination with Heavy Metals around Jinja Steel Rolling Mills in Jinja Municipality, Uganda. Journal of Health and Pollution 1 December 2015; 5(9): 61–67.
Stoffersen B, Køster-Rasmussen R, Contreras Cardeño JI, Appel PWU, Smidth S, Na-Oy LD, Libua Lardizabal D, Onos RW. Comparison of Gold Yield with Traditional Amalgamation and Direct Smelting in Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining in Uganda. Journal of Health and Pollution 1 December 2019; 9(24): 191205.
Wanyana MW, Agaba FE, Sekimpi DK, Mukasa VN, Kamese GN, Douglas N, Ssempebwa JC. Mercury Exposure Among Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Miners in Four Regions in Uganda. Journal of Health and Pollution 1 June 2020; 10(26): 200613.
Teta C, Hikwa T. Heavy Metal Contamination of Ground Water from an Unlined Landfill in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Journal of Health and Pollution 1 September 2017; 7(15): 18–27.

Information & Authors


Published In

Journal of Health and Pollution
Volume 11Issue 31September 2021


Published online: 1 September 2021



Journal of Health and Pollution, Pure Earth, New York, USA


Corresponding Author: Sandra Page-Cook, [email protected]
Competing Interests. The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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