Topics A to Z

As part of NEHA's continuos effort to provide convenient access to information and resources, we have gathered together for you the links in this section. Our mission is "to advance the environmental health and protection professional for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all,” as well as to educate and inform those outside the profession.

This presentation shares results of research conducted in various restaurants and markets of Lima, Peru. It describes the food safety regulation and inspection system in use and identifies some of the major variables and food safety risk factors at play. A brief comparison to the U.S. FDA Food Code is made, providing a discussion on possible approaches to remediation.

July 2015
Eliezer Bermudez, MS, PhD, CP-FS
Potential CE Credits: 0.50

Abstract

Childhood obesity has increased rapidly over the last three decades in the U.S. Individual-level interventions targeting healthy eating and physical activity have not significantly impacted clinical measures of obesity in children. Focusing “upstream” on physical, social, cultural, political, and economic environments may be more effective. The purpose of this qualitative review is to analyze published environmental interventions that effectively prevented or reduced obesity in children ages 2–10 years by working within their family, school, and/or community environment to increase physical activity, reduce sedentary behaviors, or improve healthy diet. Through an electronic database search, 590 original articles were identified and 33 were read in full. Using Brennan and co-authors’ (2011) rating system, 18 were rated as effective intervention studies. This analysis showed that interventions targeting multiple environments (e.g., family, school, and community) show promise in reducing childhood obesity. Further research is needed to test interventions targeting multiple environments in different communities and populations.

October 2016
October 2016
79.3 | 18-26
Claudio R. Nigg, PhD, Md Mahabub Ul Anwar, PhD, Kathryn L. Braun, DrPH, Jobel Mercado, MA
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health

Increasing road salt application has followed a trend of increasing chloride levels in shallow wells and a rise in chloride in the Illinois River in Peoria, IL. Much of the recharge area for the regions aquifer is located near major highways, intersections, and rural routes. During this session, we will identify the environmental health risks from increased chlorides, learn of recent developments from the snow and ice removal industry on reducing chloride contamination, and compare results of salt application from un-calibrated salt trucks with calibrated salt trucks.

July 2015
Emily Sjostrom, MS
Potential CE Credits: 0.50

With the establishment of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and new food safety regulations, a precedent has been set to prevent foodborne illness in India. The objective of the authors’ study was to identify knowledge gaps among food handlers in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, to establish priorities for future intervention. A 44-question survey was administered to 156 food handlers at 36 restaurants in Chennai between April and June of 2011. The overall mean knowledge score was 49% and knowledge gaps related to hand hygiene, proper food cooking and holding temperatures, and cross contamination were identified. Food handlers with a Medical Fitness Certificate scored significantly higher than those without a certificate, after controlling for food safety training and level of education (p < .05). As the FSSAI standards now require a medical certificate for restaurant licensure and registration, consideration should be given to include an educational component to this certification with an explanation of expected food safety behavior.

January 2016
January/February 2016
78.6 | 18-25
Mindi R. Manes, Paraswami Kuganantham, Murugesan Jagadeesan, M. Laxmidevi

Article Abstract

The importance of clean food contact surfaces has been recognized; however, the importance of cleanliness on nonfood contact surfaces such as menus may be underestimated. The aim of the study described in this article was to determine the cleanliness of restaurant menus, evaluate typical cleaning methods used in a restaurant, and provide recommendations for improving menu cleanliness. The authors’ study used an adenosine triphosphate meter to assess the cleanliness of the menus. A pretest identified the most commonly touched areas of the menu by consumers. Based on the results of the pretest, menus were collected from casual-family dining restaurants and analyzed for cleanliness. Results suggested that menus should be cleaned after each shift and that menus distributed by the staff when guests are seated are cleaner than those kept on the table.

June 2014
76.1 | 18-24
Jinkyung Choi, PhD, Barbara Almanza, PhD, Douglas Nelson, PhD, Jay Neal, PhD
Additional Topics A to Z: Food Safety

Abstract

The widespread use of hydraulic fracturing (HF) has enabled a dramatic expansion of unconventional natural gas extraction in the U.S. While life cycle greenhouse gas (LC-GHG) emissions associated with HF have gained attention in recent years, little focus has been devoted to upstream LC-GHG impacts of HF natural gas (Clark, Burnham, Harto, & Horner, 2013; Verrastro, 2012). Focusing on 1,921 wells in Pennsylvania from 2012 to 2013, we used the Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment model to assess LC-GHG emissions associated with production and transportation of chemicals and sand mining. Ton-miles from the transportation of sand and water were assessed with life cycle transportation emissions factors to generate LC-GHG emissions. LC-GHG emissions from upstream inputs assessed in this study equaled 1,374 tons of CO2e per well, but account for only 0.63% of the total LC-GHG emissions of HF natural gas. LC-GHG emissions from sand, water, and chemicals are quite small when compared with gas combustion, methane leakage, venting, and flaring from the other phases of the HF process.

November 2016
November 2016
79.4 | 8-15
Christopher Sibrizzi, MPH, Peter LaPuma, PhD, PE, CIH
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazardous Materials

Abstract

The health burden and resultant economic burden of foodborne norovirus disease among school-age children in the U.S. is unknown but believed to be significant. The economic burden encompasses not only direct medical costs associated with medical care but also indirect costs such as loss of work days and direct nonmedical costs. National passive surveillance data from norovirus outbreaks spanning 2009–2013 were used to identify cases, health outcomes, interventions, and healthcare resource utilization among the school-age population. The cost of supportive care was $2,483,379, outpatient healthcare was $57,672, hospitalization was $48,670, and emergency care was $38,336. The cost of providing supportive care (direct nonmedical costs) was relatively low. When indirect costs were factored in, however, the total cost of care escalated, which illustrates the high burden of loss of productivity. It is important to incorporate the indirect and direct nonmedical costs of disease to more accurately characterize the total economic burden of a disease.

March 2018
March 2018
80.7 | 12-18
Margaret M. Venuto, MA, MPH, DrPH, University of Texas School of Public Health, San Antonio Regional Campus, Sharon P. Cooper, PhD, University of Texas School of Public Health, San Antonio Regional Campus, Hasanat Alamgir, PhD, University of Texas School of Public Health, San Antonio Regional Campus
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health

Abstract

Entomological surveillance is an essential component for integrated vector management (IVM), the current best practice for West Nile virus (WNV) prevention and control. The significance of vector mosquito surveillance, however, is not always recognized by the public, which increases vulnerability of IVM programs to elimination or downsizing when virus activities are low, particularly during interepidemics of WNV. In order to increase public recognition, the unrecognized contribution of mosquito surveillance with gravid (egg-carrying) mosquito trapping to WNV vector control was estimated using a novel approach. This approach includes development of a quantitative model to estimate the number of female progeny from a gravid mosquito and application of the model with mosquito surveillance data to estimate the potential vector control effect of gravid mosquito trapping. Applying this approach, the potential WNV vector control effect of 2013 surveillance activities in Fort Worth, Texas, was estimated to almost 1,590,000 female mosquitoes by capturing 44,654 females. 

July 2016
July/August 2016
79.1 | 14-19
Joon-hak Lee, PhD, Brandon Bennett, MPA, Elmer DePaula, RS

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