Angela Mathee

Angela Mathee
South African Medical Research Council | MRC · Environment & Health Research Unit

MSc, PhD

About

180
Publications
45,896
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2,243
Citations

Publications

Publications (180)
Article
Full-text available
Background Lead has been associated with adverse health effects, especially neurocognitive and behavioural effects, in children. Communities living close to mining land are at risk of elevated exposure to lead. Methods This paper outlines a before and after intervention study protocol to evaluate the impact of a personal and domestic hygiene inter...
Article
Full-text available
The contamination of soil by heavy metals is a potential health risk, especially among susceptible populations. The aim of this study was to measure the levels of heavy metals, identify the contamination levels and possible sources of heavy metals, and evaluate the health risk caused by heavy metals to the children living in Kuils River. Composite...
Conference Paper
The paper reports the blood lead levels amongst illegal juveniles miners and their perception of the role of illegal mining on societal and health issues. Ninety illegal miners aged between 14 and 19 years with the mean age of 17 years old. The blood lead mean was 15.58 µg/dL in the sampled population. Those that were involved in both going undergr...
Preprint
Background : Air pollution is a global, public health emergency. The effect of living in areas with very poor air quality on adolescents’ physical health is largely unknown. Methods : Ambient air quality data from 2005 to 2019 for the two areas, Secunda and eMbalenhle, in the Highveld Air Pollution Priority Area in Mpumalanga province, South Africa...
Article
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This study uses wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) to rapidly and, through targeted surveillance, track the geographical distribution of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (Alpha, Beta and Delta) within 24 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in the Western Cape of South Africa. Information obtained was used to identify the circulating variant of conce...
Article
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Background: Household air pollution (HAP) is associated with adverse human health impacts. During COVID-19 Lockdown Levels 5 and 4 (the most stringent levels), South Africans remained at home, potentially increasing their exposure to HAP. Objectives: To investigate changes in fuel use behaviours/patterns of use affecting HAP exposure and associa...
Article
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Recent scientific trends have revealed that the collection and analysis of data on the occurrence and fate of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater may serve as an early warning system for COVID-19. In South Africa, the first COVID-19 epicenter emerged in the Western Cape Province. The City of Cape Town, located in the Western Cape Province, has approximately 4...
Article
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Children spend a significant proportion of their time at school and in school buildings. A healthy learning environment that supports children should be thermally conducive for learning and working. Here, we aimed to study the relations between indoor classroom temperatures and learner absenteeism as a proxy for children’s health and well-being. Th...
Conference Paper
Air pollution levels in low-income communities on the South African Highveld are notoriously high and this presents a serious health risk for people living there, especially for people making use of dirty fuels to meet their domestic energy needs. Data was collected in close to a thousand randomly selected, coal-using households in the towns of Kwa...
Article
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The work conducted in the informal sector is highly variable within and between days. Characterizing ergonomic exposures remains a challenge because of unstructured work settings and schedules. The existing ergonomic risk assessment tools have been widely used in formal work settings with a narrow range of exposure, and for predefined tasks that pr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: An association between blood-lead levels and aggression has been demonstrated in children and adolescent youth in South Africa. However, there are limited studies that have assessed aggression as an outcome for cumulative lead exposure using bone-lead concentration. The aim of this study was to assess the association between bone-lead c...
Article
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Purpose The PHIRST study (Prospective Household cohort study of Influenza, Respiratory Syncytial virus, and other respiratory pathogens community burden and Transmission dynamics in South Africa) aimed to estimate the community burden of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) including the incidence of infection, symptomatic fraction, and...
Article
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Illegal mining is a major public health and societal concern. Recent scientific evidence indicates elevated blood-lead levels in illegal gold miners and associated communities. Yet, there is little research in this regard from low-to middle-income countries (LMICs), where illegal mining is growing. This case series is extracted from a cross-section...
Article
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Pneumonia is a leading cause of hospitalization in South Africa. Climate change could potentially affect its incidence via changes in meteorological conditions. We investigated the delayed effects of temperature and relative humidity on pneumonia hospital admissions at two large public hospitals in Limpopo province, South Africa. Using 4062 pneumon...
Article
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Background: Describing contact patterns is crucial to understanding infectious disease transmission dynamics and guiding targeted transmission mitigation interventions. Data on contact patterns in Africa, especially South Africa, are limited. We measured and compared contact patterns in a rural and urban community, South Africa. We assessed partic...
Article
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Background Data on influenza community burden and transmission are important to plan interventions especially in resource-limited settings. However, data are limited, particularly from low-income and middle-income countries. We aimed to evaluate the community burden and transmission of influenza in a rural and an urban setting in South Africa. Met...
Article
Background Climate variables impact human health and in an era of climate change, there is a pressing need to understand these relationships to best inform how such impacts are likely to change. Objectives This study sought to investigate time series of daily admissions from two public hospitals in Limpopo province in South Africa with climate var...
Article
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There is little scientific knowledge about e-cigarette use in South Africa. This study aimed to describe the risk factors and perceptions of selected Johannesburg-based users of e-cigarettes. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from a convenient sample of 188 participants, of which 160 were males and 28 females. The survey re...
Article
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During 2016 to 2018, a prospective household cohort study of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus community burden and transmission dynamics (the PHIRST study) was undertaken to examine the factors associated with influenza and other respiratory pathogen transmissions in South Africa. We collected information on housing conditions in the PHIRS...
Article
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Background: Measuring national progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) enables the identification of gaps which need to be filled to end poverty, protect the planet and improve lives. Progress is typically calculated using indicators stemming from published methodologies. South Africa tracks progress towards the SDGs at a nationa...
Article
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Recent studies have shown that the detection of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material in wastewater may provide the basis for a surveillance system to track the environmental dissemination of this virus in communities. An effective wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) system may prove critical in South Africa (SA), where health systems infrastructure, testing...
Preprint
Full-text available
Purpose The PHIRST study (Prospective Household cohort study of Influenza, Respiratory Syncytial virus, and other respiratory pathogens community burden and Transmission dynamics in South Africa) aimed to estimate the community burden of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) including the incidence of infection, symptomatic fraction, and...
Article
BACKGROUND: Many impoverished communities in South Africa (SA) simultaneously face multiple preventable socioenvironmental hazards associated with elevated burdens of ill health. One such hazard is failure to institute effective buffer zones between human settlements and point sources of pollution such as airports and industrial zones.OBJECTIVES: T...
Article
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Background: Many impoverished communities in South Africa (SA) simultaneously face multiple preventable socioenvironmental hazards associated with elevated burdens of ill health. One such hazard is failure to institute effective buffer zones between human settlements and point sources of pollution such as airports and industrial zones. Objectives...
Article
Full-text available
Heavy metal pollution in soil poses a serious health threat to humans living in close proximity and in contact with contaminated soil. Exposure to heavy metals can result in a range of adverse health effects, including skin lesions, cardiovascular effects, lowering of IQ scores and cancers. The main objectives of this study were to (1) use a portab...
Article
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(1) Exposure of informal artisanal cookware makers to fine particles has not yet been characterized. The aim of this study was to characterize occupational exposure to fine particulate matter (PM4 and PM2.5) levels and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) elemental components; (2) Artisanal cookware makers were recruited from five cookware making sites....
Article
Full-text available
Lead exposure remains a significant public health problem, particularly in the informal sector. Recycling of scrap metal into artisanal pots is a growing concern in poorly resourced countries. Owing to the relatively light weight and low cost of the artisanal pots, as well as good conductivity which equates to lower usage of wood fuel, the pots are...
Article
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Background: Shelter and safe housing is a basic human need that brings about a sense of ownership, self-sufficiency, and citizenship. Millions of people around the world live in inadequate dwellings in unhealthy areas, such as urban slums. These dwellings may experience indoor temperatures that impact inhabitants' health. Indoor dwelling temperatu...
Article
Metal exposure remains a significant public health problem, particularly in the informal sector. The rise in informal foundries to cast scrap metal into artisanal cookware is widespread in low- and middle-income countries. The main aim of this study was to characterize metal exposure in artisanal cookware makers working in informal foundries in Sou...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Informal waste recyclers contribute significantly to waste removal in South Africa. Waste recyclers face health hazards which are associated with handling and disposal of waste, a lack of personal protective wear and inaccessibility to occupational health care services. Consequently, accessing health care within the public health care...
Article
Background: Hookah pipe (HP) smoking has become popular globally, especially among young adults and adolescents. There are misperceptions regarding the safety of HP smoking, relative to cigarettes. Objectives: To assess the prevalence of HP use in grade 8 and 12 students and the factors associated with use in the different age groups. Methods:...
Article
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Waste pickers are exposed to various environmental health hazards, and self-rated health (SRH) could influence their medical care access. This study investigated the association between illness, clinic visits and SRH, and assessed if SRH can increase clinic visits. A cross-sectional study was conducted. SRH was defined as “very good”, “good”, “fair...
Article
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The editorial speaks to the Global Statement on Air Pollution and Health and How it may assist African countries to eliminate air pollution-related health impacts.
Article
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In developing countries, waste sorting and recycling have become a source of income for poorer communities. However, it can potentially pose significant health risks. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of acute respiratory symptoms and associated risk factors for respiratory health outcomes among waste recyclers. A cross-sectional study w...
Article
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Background: Rapid urbanization, unmatched by an associated supply of housing, has resulted in overcrowding in the cities of many developing countries, including in Johannesburg, South Africa. Household overcrowding has been associated with a range of ill-health outcomes, including acute respiratory infections and diarrhoeal diseases. The aim of th...
Article
Introduction: Poor urban communities are likely to bear the brunt of climate change impacts on health and well-being. The City of Johannesburg, South Africa, is predicted to experience an average increase in ambient temperature of 4°C by 2100. Focusing on the urban environment, this study aimed to determine socio-economic, infrastructural and heal...
Article
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Diarrheal disease is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality globally, particularly in children under 5 years of age. Factors related to diarrheal disease incidence include infection, malnutrition, and exposure to contaminated water and food. Climate factors also contribute to diarrheal disease. We aimed to explore the relationship bet...
Article
Recycling of scrap metal into artisanal cookware is widespread in poorly resourced countries. The aim of the study was to determine the risk of metal exposure from the use of artisanal cookware available in South Africa. Twenty cookware samples were purchased from local manufacturers and informal traders across South Africa. Aluminum and silicon co...
Article
Full-text available
Waste-picking is an income-generating opportunity for individuals living in poverty. Waste picking is associated with a range of risk factors for common mental disorders (CMD). This study aimed to determine the prevalence and factors associated with CMD among waste pickers in Johannesburg. A cross-sectional study analyzed secondary data for 365 was...
Article
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Background: Low-level lead exposure has harmful and persistent effects on behaviour. Recent studies have linked environmental lead exposure and the development of aggressive, violent and criminal behaviour. This protocol is designed to study an association between lifetime (bone) lead levels and violent criminal behaviour among young males in conf...
Article
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Background: Occupational crystalline silica dust exposure is associated with an elevated risk of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). However, there is less evidence for an association with environmental silica dust exposure. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 310 participants was conducted in an exposed community living within 2 km of gold mine taili...
Article
Informal traditional medicine markets are trading and processing hubs for a range of plant, animal and mineral materials; however, little is known regarding the occupational risks associated with the processing and handling of these products. The aim of this study was to identify the workplace hazards of the traditional medicine trade. A walk-throu...
Article
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Background Waste recyclers at landfill sites separate, collect and sell recyclable solid waste. They do not receive Occupational Health and Saftey (OHS) training, personal protective equipment (PPE) or health support. There is limited information of the extent of adverse health outcomes experienced by waste recyclers in South Africa. The objective...
Article
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Background Thousands of people living in close proximity to gold mine waste dumps (GMWDs), are exposed to wind-swept, silica-rich dust. The effects on respiratory heath consequent on this exposure are largely unknown. Objective To examine associations between environmental GMWD dust exposure and respiratory health effects in adults. Methods This...
Article
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In low-income communities, non-electric fuel sources are typically the main cause of Household Air Pollution (HAP). In Umlazi, a South African coastal, informal settlement, households use electric-and non-electric (coal, wood, gas, paraffin) energy sources for cooking and heating. The study aimed to determine whether respiratory ill health status v...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Diarrheal disease is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality globally, particularly in children under 5 years of age. Factors related to diarrheal disease incidence include infection, malnutrition, and exposure to contaminated water and food. Climate factors also contribute to diarrheal disease. Objectives: We aimed to expl...
Article
Full-text available
Background Vulnerable population groups in South Africa, especially those living in poverty, young children, women, the elderly and people with pre-existing diseases, are susceptible to new or exacerbated health threats resulting from climate change. Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) can play an important role in helping communities adapt t...
Article
Full-text available
Air pollution is a major, preventable and manageable threat to people’s health, well-being and the fulfillment of sustainable development. Air pollution is estimated to contribute to at least 5 million premature deaths each year across the world. No one remains unaffected by dirty air, but the adverse impacts of air pollution fall most heavily upon...
Poster
Full-text available
Recent studies have shown a link between lead exposure during childhood and the development of aggressive and violent behaviour. Such antisocial behaviour may increase the danger of children engaging in risky behaviour and violent or criminal activities in their teenage years and during young male adulthood. A cross-sectional study using a convenie...
Article
Background: The incidence of many serious childhood infections can be reduced by vaccination. High sun exposure at the time of vaccination has been associated with a reduced antigen-specific immune response. We hypothesised that providing sun protection advice and equipment to mothers of children who were waiting to be vaccinated would result in a...