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:

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/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/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

Abstract

The objectives of this study were to determine whether grid-connected industrial wind turbines (IWTs) are a risk factor for poor sleep quality, and if IWT noise is associated with sleep parameters in rural Ontarians. A daily sleep diary and actigraphy-derived measures of sleep were obtained from 12 participants from an IWT community and 10 participants from a comparison community with no wind power installations. The equivalent and maximum sound pressure levels within the bedroom were also assessed. No statistically significant differences were observed between IWT residents and non-IWT residents for any of the parameters measured in this study. Actigraphy and sleep diaries are feasible tools to understand the impact of IWTs on the quality of sleep for nearby residents. Further studies with larger sample sizes should be conducted to determine whether the lack of statistical significance observed here is a result of sample size, or reflects a true lack of association.

July 2016
July/August 2016
79.1 | 8-12
James D. Lane, MSc, Philip L. Bigelow, PhD, Shannon E. Majowicz, PhD, R. Stephen McColl, PhD
Additional Topics A to Z: General Environmental Health

Do more with less! The Green and Healthy Homes Initiative is an innovative model that uses collaboration to assess and address environmental health hazards in the home efficiently and effectively. Using experience and data from interventions in 4,500 homes, this session will demonstrate how to braid multiple resource streams and leverage non-traditional funding sources. You'll create a map of assets and opportunities for the development of a local model in your own community.

July 2015
Ruth Ann Norton
Potential CE Credits: 1.00

Abstract

The objective of this article was to examine the environmental health implications of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster from an all-hazards perspective. The authors performed a literature review that included Japanese and international nuclear guidance and policy, scientific papers, and reports on the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island disasters while also considering all-hazards preparedness rubrics in the U.S. The examination of the literature resulted in the following: a) the authors’ “All-Hazards Planning Reference Model” that distinguishes three planning categories—Disaster Trigger Event, Man-Made Hazards, and Vulnerability Factors; b) the generalization of their model to other countries; and c) advocacy for environmental health end fate to be considered in planning phases to minimize risk to environmental health. This article discusses inconsistencies in disaster planning and nomenclature existing in the studied materials and international guidance and proposes new opportunity for developing predisaster risk assessment, risk communication, and prevention capacity building.

July/August 2015
78.1 | 26-31
Eriko Sase, PhD, Christopher Eddy, MPH, REHS, RS, CP-FS
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazards

Abstract

The rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in Kentucky and the U.S. began to rise in the mid-20th century. Plausible mechanistic explanations exist for linkages between the development of NHL and exposures to specific chemicals. Several of these chemicals are present in sites within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund program. This study investigated a possible association between residential proximity to Superfund sites in Kentucky and incidence of NHL over a period of 18 years. Cumulative incidence rates per 100,000 persons were calculated at the census tract level, within 5 km–10 km and <5 km from Superfund sites. Geographically weighted regression was necessary to create best-fitting models due to spatial autocorrelation and nonstationarity. Residential proximity to Superfund sites in Kentucky was associated with higher incidence of NHL; the average cumulative incidence of NHL per 100,000 decreased as the distance to the hazardous sites increased. This study confirmed previous research findings of an association between residential proximity to environmentally hazardous sites and the cumulative incidence rates of NHL. Future research should take into account the chemical profile of each site, to identify the most hazardous sites. Potential intervention strategies are presented based on the results of this study.

July 2017
July/August 2017
80.1 | 22-29
W. Brent Webber, DrPH, CIH, CSP, Environmental Health and Safety Division, University of Kentucky, Ramona Stone, MPH, PhD, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazardous Materials

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