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.

Abstract

Electronic waste (e-waste) generation is increasing worldwide, and its management becomes a significant challenge because of the many toxicants present in electronic devices. The U.S. is a major producer of e-waste, although its management practice and policy regulation are not sufficient to meet the challenge. We reviewed e-waste generation, current management practices and trends, policy challenges, potential health impact, and toxicant exposure prevention in the U.S. A large amount of toxic metals, flame retardants, and other persistent organic pollutants exist in e-waste or can be released from the disposal of e-waste (e.g., landfill, incineration, recycling). Landfill is still a major method used to dispose of obsolete electronic devices, and only about half of the states have initiated a landfill ban for e-waste. Recycling of e-waste is an increasing trend in the past few years. There is potential, however, for workers to be exposed to a mixture of toxicants in e-waste and these exposures should be curtailed. Perspectives and recommendations are provided regarding managing e-waste in the U.S. to protect public health, including enacting federal legislation, discontinuing landfill disposal, protecting workers in recycling facilities from toxicant exposure, reducing toxicant release into the environment, and raising awareness of this growing environmental health issue among the public.

October 2016
October 2016
79.3 | 8-16
Jessica Seeberger, MPH, Radhika Grandhi, MPH, Stephani S. Kim, MPH, William A. Mase, DrPH
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazardous Materials

A concerning emerging trend in people's choice for public health/community preparedness indicates all preparedness functions should be done by elected officials/corresponding departments, with little or no roles for members of affected communities. Those officials' abilities are limited so there is a clear need for action to re-educate communities on what individuals can do to lessen impacts of natural/other disasters themselves. The presenter proposes actions we can take now on a broad-based-scale to accelerate community and individual preparedness.

 

Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

July 2015
Additional Topics A to Z: Emergency Preparedness

The EH workforce is experiencing a shortage in well-trained, entry level workers. Attracting and retaining undergraduates in EH can be achieved by internship experiences that are 1) a good match for both the interns and the provider, 2) responsibly training interns and providing a positive EH experience, and 3) appropriately recruiting and retaining interns from undergraduate programs.

 

Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

July 2015
Additional Topics A to Z: Workforce Development

Abstract

Landscaping and groundskeeping workers are exposed to excessive amounts of loud noise from powered lawn equipment and tools that can lead to adverse health effects, including noise-induced hearing loss. The main objectives of this project were to evaluate attitudes and behavior of wearing hearing protection devices (HPDs) and to test the effectiveness of knowledge following an educational training among these workers. This was a cross-sectional intervention study. Bivariate analysis was conducted to evaluate worker perceptions about the importance and frequency of wearing HPDs. Pre- and post-tests were distributed to workers to evaluate significant differences in learned knowledge following a multifaceted noise and hearing loss training. Although nearly all workers recognized the importance of wearing either earplugs or earmuffs, actual use for wearing HPDs was approximately only half of the time when working around loud noise. Following the training intervention, there was a significant increase between mean pre- and post-test scores. Targeted trainings can be effective for increasing worker knowledge about the effects of noise, hearing loss, and hearing protection. Sustained efforts, however, must be made by employers to ensure that regular trainings are routinely provided and that the use of HPDs are promoted in the workplace.

October 2017
October 2017
80.3 | 8-15
Gregory D. Kearney, MPH, DrPH, REHS, Brody School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, East Carolina University, Jo Anne G. Balanay, MOH, PhD, CIH, Environmental Health Sciences Program, Department of Health Education and Promotion, East Carolina University, Adam J. Mannarino, MSEH, MPH, East Carolina University
Additional Topics A to Z: Injury Prevention

Article Abstract

The authors conducted a survey of small streams to evaluate the effects of centralized and onsite wastewater treatment on the occurrence of selected traditional and emerging contaminants in small streams in the upper Neuse River basin, North Carolina. An undeveloped site was included to assess effects of residential land use activities on stream quality. Concentrations of nutrients and ions were higher in samples from streams in residential sites than from the stream in an undeveloped area. Overall, streams draining residential areas showed relatively small differences with respect to type of wastewater treatment. Two sites, however—one in an area of centralized wastewater treatment apparently near a suspected sewer line leak, and the second in an area of onsite wastewater treatment—showed effects of wastewater. Organic wastewater compounds were detected more frequently in samples from these two sites than from the other sites. Optical brighteners levels were correlated (r2 = .88) with the number of organic wastewater and pharmaceutical compounds detected at the residential sites and could potentially serve as a screening method to assess wastewater effects on small streams.

 

Jan/Feb 2014
76.6 | 18-27
Sharon Fitzgerald, G.M. Ferrell, B.H. Grimes
Additional Topics A to Z: Wastewater

Abstract

Private wells are unregulated and often at risk for arsenic contamination. Research objectives included distribution of groundwater arsenic concentrations, identification of arsenic sources, and establishment of best practices for well construction to minimize risk for wells in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. We sampled 68 wells over 3 years with 393 water samples and 79 rock samples. Geochemical modeling was used to better understand arsenic mobilization. Arsenic in groundwater ranged from 1.0 to less than 10.0 μg/L for 75 water samples and 31 water samples had arsenic concentrations greater than or equal to 10 μg/L. The arsenic source is naturally occurring sulfide minerals (typically pyrite) in the bedrock aquifers. The shallow (100–150 feet) Lime Creek Aquifer was most at risk for arsenic. Arsenic is likely mobilized from the rock into the water in the shallow aquifer under more oxidizing conditions, subject to water level changes. The study resulted in a policy change for arsenic testing and well completion in Cerro Gordo County to better protect domestic well users.

May 2017
May 2017
79.9 | 32-39
Douglas J. Schnoebelen, PhD, The University of Iowa, Sophia Walsh, Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health, Brian Hanft, MPA, REHS, Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health, Oscar E. Hernandez-Murcia, PhD, The University of Iowa

Emergency Public Health provides a unique and practical framework for disaster response planning at local, state, and national levels. This is the first book of its kind to systematically address the issues in a range of environmental public health emergencies brought on by natural calamity, terrorism, industrial accident, or infectious disease. It features historical perspectives on a public health crisis, an analysis of preparedness, and a practical, relevant case study on the emergency response. Study reference for NEHA’s REHS/RS exam.

 

568 pages / Paperback / Catalog #1121
Member: $96 / Nonmember: $101 

July 2011
G. Bobby Kapur, Jeffrey P. Smith
Additional Topics A to Z: Emergency Preparedness

Pharmaceuticals are emerging contaminants in water and, to date, cannot be removed as part of wastewater treatment options. So what can be done to mitigate their effects upon the environment, yet maintain their efficacy for human and animal use? In this session, we examine this topic from a lifecycle approach using hands-on demonstrations, and discuss several solutions and policies you can take home to mitigate and address these contaminants in your community.

July 2015
Julie Becker, MA, PhD, MPH
Potential CE Credits: 1.00

What type of consumer products do you interact with on a daily basis and do they contain nano-particles? What properties might those engineered iron, titanium and carbon nano-particles exhibit that differ from the norm? What type of information do environmental health professionals need to prevent exposures that might cause negative biological effects? This session will give you the facts so you can adapt to the rapidly changing intersection of health and environment.

July 2015
Ephraim Massawe, PhD
Additional Topics A to Z: General Environmental Health

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