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.


The pilot study discussed in this article assessed formaldehyde levels in portable classrooms (PCs) and traditional classrooms (TCs) and explored factors influencing indoor air quality (e.g., carbon dioxide, temperature, and relative humidity). In a cross-sectional design, the authors evaluated formaldehyde levels in day and overnight indoor air samples from nine PCs renovated within three years previously and three TCs in a school district in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. Formaldehyde levels ranged from 0.0068 to 0.038 parts per million (ppm). In both types of classroom, overnight formaldehyde median levels (PCs = 0.018 ppm; TCs = 0.019 ppm) were higher than day formaldehyde median levels (PCs = 0.011 ppm; TCs = 0.016 ppm). Carbon dioxide levels measured 470–790 ppm at 7:00 a.m. and 470–1800 ppm at 4:00 p.m. Afternoon medians were higher in TCs (1,400 ppm) than in PCs (780 ppm). Consistent with previous studies, formaldehyde levels were similar among PCs and TCs. Reducing carbon dioxide levels by improving ventilation is recommended for classrooms.

March 2016
March 2016
78.7 | 8-14
Isabela Ribeiro Lucas, PhD, Peter Kowalski, MPH, CIH, CAPT, USPHS, David B. Callahan, MD, FAAFP, CAPT, USPHS, Gary P. Noonan, MPA
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health


During July–August 2013, a gastroenteritis outbreak occurred among rafters at Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River. To identify the agent, source, and risk factors for illness, we solicited ill and well persons who rafted during July 1–September 23 to respond to an online survey, and conducted a case-control study. Cases were defined as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea ≤25 days after rafting; control subjects were rafters who did not have these symptoms. Illness was associated with having consumed filtered river water—70% of (69/98) case subjects and 38% of (106/280) control subjects had consumed filtered water (odds ratio [OR] = 3.9; 95% confidence interval [CI] [2.4, 6.4]). In a follow-up online survey of 33 case subjects and 73 control subjects, boiling water for drinking was protective against illness; 2/18 case subjects, compared with 15/33 control subjects, had boiled their drinking water (OR = 0.2; 95% CI [0.03, 0.9]). From ill rafters, norovirus (n = 3) and Giardia (n = 8) were detected in stool specimens. Norovirus was detected on surfaces and E. coli in surface water used for drinking. Adherence to backcountry drinking water treatment recommendations is advised.

July 2017
July/August 2017
80.1 | 14-21
Mariana Rosenthal, MPH, PhD, Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare , Michael Taylor, MHE, CHES, Eastern Idaho Public Health District, Kenneth S. Anderson, III, MSPH, Eastern Idaho Public Health District, Kris K. Carter, MPVM, DVM, DACVPM, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
Additional Topics A to Z: Recreational Waters

Are you facing regulatory compliance issues at your recreational water facilities? How can public health work with operators to increase compliance? The relationship between public health departments and facility operators is multidimensional, but from any angle, it is directly related, and essential to patron health and safety. An evidence-informed regulatory training program that addresses operator needs and learning styles has been developed. Find out how engaging facility operators helped create an encouraging environment that helps make facilities safer.

Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

July 2015
Additional Topics A to Z: Recreational Waters

Studies about environmental burdens often explore overall community risk. Increasing evidence suggests, however, differential burdens by gender and age. The purpose of the authors’ research was to determine if gender-related difference exists among children in a region plagued with poor air quality and if increased exposure to pollutants from a major goods movement rail yard influences the relationship. Using a cross-sectional study design, the authors provided respiratory screening for children at two elementary schools. Compared to females, males were at significantly greater odds of exhibiting elevated fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) but less likely to exhibit reduced lung volume. Even in an area of overall poor air quality, the authors found that male children were a vulnerable subpopulation for greater elevated FeNO, while females were at increased risk for reduced lung capacity. Understanding differential burdens in vulnerable subpopulations is critical to providing timely and responsive strategies targeted towards health-based prevention and intervention activities.

January 2016
January/February 2016
78.6 | 8-16
Rhonda Spencer-Hwang, DrPH, Sam Soret, PhD, Mark Ghamsary, PhD, Nico Rizzo, PhD
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health