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

Toilets contaminated with infectious organisms are a recognized contact disease transmission hazard. Previous studies indicate that toilet bowl water can remain contaminated for several flushes after the contamination occurs. This study characterized contamination persistence over an extended series of flushes using both indicator particles and viable bacteria. For this study, toilets were seeded with microbe-size microbial surrogates and with Pseudomonas fluorescens or Clostridium difficile bacteria and flushed up to 24 times. Bowl water samples collected after seeding and after each flush indicated the clearance per flush and residual bowl water contaminant concentration. Toilets exhibited 3 + log10 contaminant reductions with the first flush, only 1–2 logs with the second flush, and less than 1 log thereafter. Contamination still was present 24 flushes postcontamination. Clearance was modeled accurately by a two-stage exponential decay process. This study shows that toilet bowl water will remain contaminated many flushes after initial contamination, posing a risk of recurring environmental contamination and associated infection incidence.

October 2017
October 2017
80.3 | 34-39
David L. Johnson, PhD, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Robert A. Lynch, PhD, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Stephanie M. Villanella, MS, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Jacob F. Jones, MS, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Additional Topics A to Z: Pathogens and Outbreaks

Many developed countries around the world have implemented regulations to phase out or greatly restrict the use of pesticides. Pesticides are still utilized with minimal restrictions, however, in fumigating agricultural commodities in developing countries such as Grenada. This special report presents the case of a nutmeg factory worker in Grenada who worked with various pesticides including methyl bromide, magnesium phosphide (magtoxin), and aluminum phosphide (phostoxin) without the proper awareness and utilization of health and safety measures. The nutmeg factory worker later developed metastatic bladder cancer, which may have been triggered by a combination of individual risk factors along with long-term occupational exposure to these pesticides. In this special report, the occupational health importance of prevention in a work environment with significant exposure to pesticides is highlighted as well as some of the fundamental deficiencies in awareness among workers in developing nations concerning the deleterious effects of frequent exposure to pesticides.

January 2016
January/February 2016
78.6 | 62-64
Muge Akpinar-Elci, MPH, MD, MyNgoc Thuy Nguyen, MS, Satesh Bidaisee, MPH, DVM, Omur Cinai Elci, MD, PhD
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazardous Materials

The omnipresence of legal and illegal pesticides still impact the lives of children living in low-income subsidized housing and may significantly impact asthma-related pediatric health. This study aimed to characterize the presence of pesticides, this potential health link, and policy implications for pest control and healthy communities in multifamily dwellings.

July 2015
Miranda Engberg, MPH
Potential CE Credits: 1.00

Covering technical principles and practical applications, this comprehensive resource explains how to design and construct sound and sustainable decentralized wastewater systems of varying sizes and in different geophysical conditions. This book covers state-of-the-art techniques, materials, and industry practices, and provides detailed explanations for why certain approaches result in more sustainable projects. A rational approach is presented for assessing assimilative capacities of soils, and selecting methods of wastewater treatment and dispersal that make optimal use of natural treatment processes and site conditions.

Additional Topics A to Z: Wastewater

Abstract

The rapid growth of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas extraction in the U.S. has led to 135 active “frac” sand mines, processing plants, and rail transfer stations in Wisconsin. Potential environmental health risks include increased truck traffic, noise, ecosystem loss, and groundwater, light, and air pollution. Emitted air contaminants include fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and respirable crystalline silica. Inhalation of fine dust particles causes increased mortality, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, and lung cancer. In the authors’ pilot study, use of a filter-based ambient particulate monitor found PM2.5 levels of 5.82–50.8 µg/m3 in six 24-hour samples around frac sand mines and processing sites. Enforcement of the existing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency annual PM2.5 standard of 12 µg/m3 is likely to protect the public from silica exposure risks as well. PM2.5 monitoring around frac sand sites is needed to ensure regulatory compliance, inform nearby communities, and protect public health.

November 2015
November 2015
78.4 | 8-12
Kristin Walters, Jeron Jacobson, Zachary Kroening, Crispin Pierce, PhD

National Swimming Pool Foundation® (2014)
This fundamental training and reference manual is for professionals who help protect those who use aquatic venues, including operators, health officials, service technicians, retailers, property managers, and manufacturers. Industry leaders recognize it as the single most important resource for the recreational water industry.

This handbook

  • educates readers on how to reduce risks in and around the water;
  • provideds valuable information to prevent drowning, recreational water illness, suction entrapment, evisceration, diving accidents, electrocutions, chemical hazards, and slips and falls; and
  • summarizes regulatory guidelines, disinfection, water balance, water problems, troubleshooting, chemical testing, record keeping, chemical feed, and control technology.

Full color throughout with a color-coded chapter identification, expanded keyword index and table of contents, and mathematical and calculation guide. The handbook also serves as a textbook for the Certified Pool-Spa Operator® certification. Study reference for NEHA's REHS/RS exam.
298 pages, spiral-bound paperback

June 2014
Additional Topics A to Z: Recreational Waters

Abstract

Understanding how respiratory health risks are associated with poor housing is essential to designing effective strategies to improve children’s quality of life. The objective of the study described in this article was to determine the relationship between respiratory health and housing conditions. A survey was completed by 3,424 parents of children in third and fourth grade in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. An engineering audit and air samples were also taken in the homes of a subset of 715 homes. Results showed that a child’s respiratory health is significantly associated with self-reported visible mold in the home and that a significant association existed between occupant-reported visible mold and tested airborne mold. Findings highlight the need for clearer standards of acceptable CFU/m3 limits for mold genera that are applicable to homes. In the absence of such guidelines, problems associated with indoor mold will continue to impact the health of residents, despite growing evidence of the adverse effects from mold exposure.

March 2016
March 2016
78.7 | 20-27
Dimos Polyzois, PhD, Eleoussa Polyzoi, PhD, John A. Wells, PhD, Theo Koulis, PhD
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health

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