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.

Do you feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data collection that must be done for your programs to fulfill state or federal reporting mandates?

July 2015
Elise Rothschild, REHS/RS; Darryl Booth
Potential CE Credits: 1.00
Additional Topics A to Z: General Environmental Health

Abstract

Many studies have found that the cleanliness of hotel rooms has a great impact on hotel guest satisfaction. Relatively little attention, however, has been given to the comprehensive guest experience related to cleanliness. This study focuses on the cleanliness of hotel room key cards as a source of contamination for guest hands and assesses the contamination of hotel key cards collected from 25 hotels using an adenosine triphosphate meter, a way to rapidly detect actively growing microorganisms. Results expand knowledge about hotel cleaning practices and appropriate handling of hotel room key cards. Implications and suggestions for practitioners are discussed.

September 2017
September 2017
80.2 | 16-19
Haeik Park, PhD, Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne, Jooho Kim, PhD, James Madison University, Mengyu Zhang, Purdue University, Barbara Almanza, PhD, RD, Purdue University
Additional Topics A to Z: Pathogens and Outbreaks

Chuck Lichon, R.S., M.P.H., Deputy Health Officer at District Health Department #2 in Michigan, developed a Children’s Environmental Health Power Point Program with the financial assistance of the Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI.  The Power Points are approximately 25-35 minutes in length, allowing for a presentation to be made during one classroom setting, or to be used for a community presentation, allowing time for Q & A.  Some of the topics include: Sunwise, Body Art, Household Hazardous Waste, Meth, Recreational Water, and more.  They are free to download and use for presentations in your school, health department community presentations, or for media use.  Changes in the presentations should not be made without consent from the author, and/or the NEHA Board of Directors.  

The Household Hazardous Waste Collections PowerPoint is available via the link listed below:   

Chuck Lichon, R.S., M.P.H.
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazardous Materials

Abstract

Pseudorandomized cluster sampling was used to select households from an initial pool of households geographically clustered in two Michigan counties, Ottawa and Kent. In Ottawa County and Kent County, 17.6% of 346 households sampled were above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) action level for radon (4 pCi/L). In Ottawa County, approximately 22.9% (N = 131) of sampled households exceeded U.S. EPA limits, and in Kent County, approximately 14.4% (N = 215) had indoor radon concentrations greater than U.S. EPA limits. Elevated indoor radon levels are broadly correlative with two bedrock formations, the Marshall and Michigan Formations, and areas where these two bedrock formations are overlain by glacial outwash and postglacial alluvium. More detailed mapping using GIS can help educate and motivate homeowners. This information will inform homeowners of radon risk and allow them to implement preventive measures in cooperation with local health departments and other stakeholders.

October 2017
October 2017
80.3 | 16-20
Azizur R. Molla, MPH, PhD, Grand Valley State University, Peter J. Wampler, PhD, RPG, Grand Valley State University
Additional Topics A to Z: Radon

Abstract:

Current evidence of hotel room cleanliness is based on observation rather than empirically based microbial assessment. The purpose of the study described here was to determine if observation provides an accurate indicator of cleanliness. Results demonstrated that visual assessment did not accurately predict microbial contamination. Although testing standards have not yet been established for hotel rooms and will be evaluated in Part II of the authors’ study, potential microbial hazards included the sponge and mop (housekeeping cart), toilet, bathroom floor, bathroom sink, and light switch. Hotel managers should increase cleaning in key areas to reduce guest exposure to harmful bacteria. 

July 2015
July/August 2015
78.1 | 8-13
Barbara A. Almanza, PhD, RD, Katie Kirsch, Sheryl Fried Kline, PhD, Sujata Sirsat, PhD

Abstract:

Hotel room cleanliness is based on observation and not on microbial assessment even though recent reports suggest that infections may be acquired while staying in hotel rooms. Exploratory research in the first part of the authors’ study was conducted to determine if contamination of hotel rooms occurs and whether visual assessments are accurate indicators of hotel room cleanliness. Data suggested the presence of microbial contamination that was not reflective of visual assessments. Unfortunately, no standards exist for interpreting microbiological data and other indicators of cleanliness in hotel rooms. The purpose of the second half of the authors’ study was to examine cleanliness standards in other industries to see if they might suggest standards in hotels. Results of the authors’ study indicate that standards from other related industries do not provide analogous criteria, but do provide suggestions for further research.

July 2015
July/August 2015
78.1 | 14-17
Barbara A. Almanza, PhD, RD, Katie Kirsch, Sheryl Fried Kline, PhD, Sujata Sirsat, PhD

Abstract

Over the past decade, there has been growing demand for goat meat in the U.S. due to an increase in ethnic immigrant populations and mainstream interest. Unfortunately, goat meat is tested for antibiotic residues much less systematically than other meats, and in particular, 5 times less frequently than beef. It is also not tested for resistant pathogens. Recent increases in testing of other species has led to disproportionally higher rates of samples found positive for antibiotics, so we hypothesized that positive rates currently reported in goat meat are suppressed. As a proof of concept, we screened a total of 277 kidneys representative of goats raised and sold for meat in Missouri and found a 3-fold difference in positive samples between our results and those reported nationally in 2014. Further testing revealed contamination with five different classes of antibiotics of importance to human medicine, raising concerns about goat meat pollution by antibiotics and how it might contribute to human exposure and the rise in antibiotic resistance.

September 2017
September 2017
80.2 | 20-25
Lauren K. Landfried, MS, RD, LD, FAND, Saint Louis University, Patrick Pithua, MSc, PhD, University of Missouri, Brett Emo, MPH, PhD, Saint Louis University, Roger Lewis, PhD, CIH, Saint Louis University

During widespread power and internet outages, disaster responders cannot always assume their sophisticated communications gear--radios, pagers, cellphones and computers--will work. Alternate plans need to be ready for deployment to assure continuity and efficiency of the public health response.

In this presentation, follow the Somerset County experience during Hurricane Sandy to identify gaps and develop solutions to bridge them in your preparedness plans.

July 2015
Michele Samarya-Timm, MA, HO, MCHES, REHS/RS, DAAS
Potential CE Credits: 1.00
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazards

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