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.

"Doggie Dips" consist of dog owners bringing their pets to the community pool to swim at the conclusion of "human swimming season." They are happening across the country as part of a national trend toward accommodations for pets in regulated environments. Discuss and evaluate the environmental and public health risks of these accommodations in the pool environment. Weigh in on what best practices might be implemented and the role of the EH professional in doing so.

 

Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

July 2015
Additional Topics A to Z: Emerging Environmental Health

Do you ever feel overwhelmed and lacking the support and resources to do a good job? Don't be guilty of practicing random acts of implementation for your personal career or professional responsibilities. Taking simple steps to develop an integrated plan that aligns individual, group and organizational goals will make life easier for you and those around you. Take control and enjoy the benefits of having transparent aspirations and realistic expectations.

 

Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

 

July 2015
Additional Topics A to Z: Workforce Development

Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis and the most common cause of food-borne illness in the United States affecting 19-21 million people and costing over $2 billion in healthcare costs every year.

Using an outbreak that occurred at a Midwestern casino, this presentation discusses the epidemiology of Norovirus, prevention and control measures, laboratory testing considerations, and sampling techniques. The ability to apply this information could help prevent the spread of Norovirus in your jurisdiction, or, worldwide if an outbreak occurred in a tourist destination like Las Vegas.

July 2015
Eric Bradley, MPH, REHS/RS, CP-FS, DAAS; and Kristen Obbink, DVM, MPH
Potential CE Credits: 1.00
Additional Topics A to Z: Pathogens and Outbreaks

An analysis of drinking water contamination at both the community and household level was conducted in Shatila camp, Lebanon. To ascertain the health impacts of water contamination in children under five, questionnaires were used to elicit community and household practices as well as child health indicators. Results, suggested interventions, and risk communication and targeted health education will be discussed in the context of human rights and marginalized populations.

 

Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

July 2015
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health

Article Abstract

Combined exposure to secondhand (SHS) smoke and radon increases lung cancer risk 10-fold. The authors assessed the feasibility and impact of a brief home screening and environmental feedback intervention to reduce radon and SHS (Freedom from Radon and Smoking in the Home [FRESH]) and measured perceived risk of lung cancer and synergistic risk perception (SHS x radon). Participants (N = 50) received home radon and SHS kits and completed baseline surveys. Test results were shared using an intervention guided by the Teachable Moment Model. Half of the participants completed online surveys two months later. Most (76%) returned the radon test kits; 48% returned SHS kits. Of the returned radon test kits, 26% were >4.0 pCi/L. Of the returned SHS kits, 38% had nicotine >.1 μg/m3. Of those with high radon, more than half had contacted a mitigation specialist or planned contact. Of those with positive air nicotine, 75% had adopted smoke-free homes. A significant increase occurred in perceived risk for lung cancer and synergistic risk perception after FRESH. 

Jan/Feb 2014
76.6 | 156-161
Ellen J. Hahn, RN, PhD, FAAN, Mary Kay Rayens, PhD, Sarah E. Kercsmar, PhD, Sarah M. Adkins, MS
Additional Topics A to Z: Radon

Abstract

This cross-sectional survey was conducted to understand parents’ perceptions regarding air pollution and its effect on children’s respiratory health in Nanchang, China, to offer baseline information useful to the government of the People’s Republic of China. Data collected from 1,056 residents (response rate = 93.7%) was analyzed using descriptive analysis, chi-square test, nonparametric rank-sum test, Spearman rank correlation coefficient, and linear trend test. The results showed that most parents would worry more about their children’s health if air quality became worse, especially in families with high education and income. The top three respiratory conditions associated with poor air quality among children were cough (90.5%), upper respiratory infection (72.9%), and bronchitis (47.2%). Parents believed motor vehicle emissions (95.9%), secondhand smoke (95.4%), and dust (92.9%) to be the risk factors largely responsible for respiratory illnesses among children. Furthermore, most respondents supported government intervention to improve air quality with several suggestions: controlling industrial pollution (69.9%), increasing public transportation and reducing private cars (51.0%), and controlling and reducing waste incineration (45.6%).

March 2017
March 2017
79.7 | E1-E9
Si Fan, Zhaokang Yuan, MS, MD, Xiong Liao, Hong Tu
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health

Abstract

Food business operators (FBOs) are required to implement hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) procedures to manage risks associated with products they handle. The aim of this study was to assess the level of knowledge on zoonotic parasites associated with raw seafood of 23 FBOs responsible for sushi restaurants. The survey, carried out in the city of Florence in 2012, and repeated in 2014, was based on a questionnaire focusing mainly on the freezing treatments applied to manage parasitological risks. Despite a slight increase between the two surveys (70% in 2012 to 89% in 2014) in the awareness of FBOs of the need for a preventive treatment to be applied to fishery products before being served raw, our results highlight that FBOs who act in accordance with this regulation is low. In particular, only 40% of FBOs in 2012 and 54.5% in 2014 used the blast chiller according to the relevant regulations. We observed shortcomings in the use of inappropriate temperatures and/or treatment duration. Thus, there is an urgent need to raise the training level of FBOs and to increase their awareness on the parasitological hazards related to the serving of raw seafood.

September 2017
September 2017
80.2 | E1-E8
Andrea Armani, DVM, PhD, FishLab, Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, Priscilla D’Amico, DVM, FishLab, Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, Luca Cianti, DVM, Local Health Authority of Florence, Marco Pistolesi, FishLab, Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa

Abstract

Elevated sound pressure levels can lead to sleep disturbance, annoyance, hearing impairment, speech interference, and severe stress on the auditory and nervous systems if sound levels are continuous and greater than international standard limits. The aim of this study was to evaluate the noise level distributions in Lagos, Nigeria. We selected 32 locations across the Lagos metropolis for this study. A digital sound meter capable of measuring 32 dB–130 dB was used. At each location, minimum and maximum noise levels were determined. Measurements were taken in morning (8–10 a.m.), afternoon (2–4 p.m.), and evening (6–8 p.m.) periods. The obtained values were presented as mean ± standard deviation in decibels (dB). The highest average sound pressure level was found to be 90.3 ± 15.3 dB, while the lowest value was 55.30 ± 4.6 dB. There was no statistical significant difference in the noise level distributions in the three monitoring sessions (p = .74). Noise level distributions in the city exceeded the acceptable standard limits set by the World Health Organization. Health effects related to incessant exposures to high noise levels are likely to be common and may result in negative impacts on the well-being of the inhabitants of the city.

June 2017
June 2017
79.10 | E1-E5
Zaccheaus Ayo Ibitoye, MSc, Adebayo Moses Aweda, PhD, Peace Chizoba Ofojebe, MSc

Abstract

Keeping pet animals might enhance allergic diseases, although studies have yielded inconsistent results. This case-control study investigated whether previously keeping pets was associated with the development of allergic rhinitis. A questionnaire was distributed to first-year university students in 2012 and 2013, and responses were obtained from 3,061 individuals. Matching of demographic factors, including age, sex, family history, hometown region, number of siblings, daycare center attendance, and the type of fuel used for heating yielded 570 case-control pairs. Previous experience keeping pets, including cats and indoor or outdoor dogs, was evaluated at all ages from 0 to 18 years continuously. The odds ratios for developing allergic rhinitis of keeping a dog inside or outside the home and of keeping a cat at age 0 were 2.50, 1.26, and 1.64, respectively. These odds ratios decreased with increasing age, however, falling below 1.0 at ages 10, 4, and 11 years, respectively. This study could facilitate further understanding of the effects of pets on allergic diseases.

November 2016
November 2016
79.4 | E1-E8
Mitsuo Uchida, MD, PhD, Minoru Kaneko, MD, PhD, Shigeyuki Kawa, MD, PhD

Abstract

This study examines the analytical methods used to test drinking water for atrazine along with the seasonal variation of atrazine in drinking water. Samples from 117 counties throughout Kentucky from January 2000 to December 2008 were analyzed. Methods 507 and 508.1 were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test. Median values of these methods were similar (p = .7421). To examine seasonal variation, data from each year and from the entire period were analyzed using one-way ANOVA; pairwise multiple comparisons were made for years with significant differences. All the years except 2001, 2005, 2006, and 2007 had significantly different atrazine concentrations between seasons. The Seasonal Kendall Test for Trend was used to identify trends in atrazine over time. Yearly means ranged from 0.000043 mg/L (± 0.000011 mg/L) to 0.000995 mg/L (± 0.000510 mg/L). The highest levels were observed during spring in most years. A significant (p = .000092) decreasing trend of -7.6 x 10-6 mg/L/year was found. Decreasing trends were also present in all five regions of the state during this period. This study illustrates the need for changes in sampling methodology used today, so that effective exposure assessments can be conducted to study the public’s exposure to atrazine in drinking water.

December 2016
December 2016
79.5 | E1-E6
Jonathan Suhl, MPH, Vijay Golla, MPH, PhD, Jessica L. Rinsky, MPH, Claudia Hopenhayn, MPH, PhD

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