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

This study compared the effectiveness of using a commercially available robotic mop versus hand mopping as the second step of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s recommended three-step vacuum–mop–vacuum process to remove lead dust debris from residential floors. A total of 1,703 floors were cleaned using the robotic mop. Lead dust wipe tests from these floors were compared with 995 lead dust wipe tests for floors cleaned with hand mopping. Analysis of the dust wipes showed that cleaning floors with a robotic mop resulted in a clearance failure rate significantly lower than that obtained by cleaning floors by hand (4.8% versus 10.0%; p < .05). The use of newer technologies like robotic mops can help improve the efficiency and thoroughness of floor-cleaning efforts, as well as decrease costs associated with re-cleaning floors following regulated renovations.

September 2016
September 2016
79.2 | 8-12
Lisa Smestad, REHS, Alexander Vollmer, REHS, Jennifer Tschida, REHS, Angeline Carlson, PhD
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazardous Materials

Our increasingly globalized food supply means that contamination problems originating in remote regions of the world can rapidly impact communities in the United States of America. During this panel-type session, the presenters will review: the Federal effort to establish Rapid Response Teams; State efforts to implement the RRT concept; and state and local efforts to build capacity for response using innovative, less costly training approaches. Lessons learned during RRT implementation and the first year of a unique training pilot project in Michigan (funded by FDA grant under the Food Safety Modernization Act) will be presented, and the progress being made to better integrate local, state, and federal food emergency response capabilities. You will learn new approaches to coordinated response and leave this session with strategies you can implement at your agency for building capacity to respond to food emergencies even with shrinking budgets.

July 2015
John Tilden, MPH; Paul S. Makoski, RS, MPA; Matthew R. Ettinger, MS
Potential CE Credits: 2.00

Abstract

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a category of cancers that arise from lymphocytes. Previous work by the authors demonstrated a significant association between residential proximity to Superfund sites in Kentucky and cumulative incidence rates of NHL. In both the U.S. and Kentucky, age-adjusted NHL rates in males consistently exceed rates in females, despite NHL often arising later in the lifespan when females outnumber males. The current investigation sought to determine whether the NHL rate difference by sex is associated with proximity to environmental toxicants. Cancer data for a period of 18 years were obtained from the Kentucky Cancer Registry. Superfund geospatial coordinate data were obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Cumulative incidence rates per 100,000 males and females were calculated at the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau tract level, within <5 km and 5–10 km buffer zones around Superfund sites. Ordinary least squares and geographically weighted regression analyses were conducted. Significant associations existed between residential proximity to Superfund sites and cumulative NHL incidence rates in male and female populations. At all exposures levels, incidence rates were significantly higher for males than females. Possible reasons for this male–female imbalance in outcomes are presented, along with implications for public health.

 

October 2018
October 2018
81.3 | 16-24
Ramona Stone, MPH, PhD,West Chester University of Pennsylvania, W. Brent Webber, DrPH, CIH, CSP, Desert Research Institute
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazardous Materials

Abstract

Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic leads to an increased risk of cancer. A biological measurement was conducted in 153 private well owners and their families consuming water contaminated by inorganic arsenic at concentrations that straddle 10 μg/L. The relationship between the external dose indicators (concentration of inorganic arsenic in wells and daily well water inorganic arsenic intake) and the internal doses (urinary arsenic—sum of AsIII, DMA, and MMA, adjusted for creatinine—and total arsenic in toenails) was evaluated using multiple linear regressions, controlling for age, gender, dietary sources of arsenic, and number of cigarettes smoked. It showed that urinary arsenic was associated with concentration of inorganic arsenic in wells (p < .001) and daily well water inorganic arsenic intake (p < .001) in adults, and with daily well water inorganic arsenic intake (p = .017) and rice consumption (p = .022) in children (n = 43). The authors’ study reinforces the drinking-water quality guidelines for inorganic arsenic.

January 2016
Prepublished online October 2015. Final publication January/February 2016 (78.6).
78.6 | 1-8
Fabien Gagnon, MSc, MD, FRCPC, Éric Lampron-Goulet, MSc, MD, FRCPC, Louise Normandin, PhD, Marie-France Langlois, MD, FRCPC
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazardous Materials

Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic leads to an increased risk of cancer. A biological measurement was conducted in 153 private well owners and their families consuming water contaminated by inorganic arsenic at concentrations that straddle 10 μg/L. The relationship between the external dose indicators (concentration of inorganic arsenic in wells and daily well water inorganic arsenic intake) and the internal doses (urinary arsenic—sum of AsIII, DMA, and MMA, adjusted for creatinine—and total arsenic in toenails) was evaluated using multiple linear regressions, controlling for age, gender, dietary sources of arsenic, and number of cigarettes smoked. It showed that urinary arsenic was associated with concentration of inorganic arsenic in wells (p < .001) and daily well water inorganic arsenic intake (p < .001) in adults, and with daily well water inorganic arsenic intake (p = .017) and rice consumption (p = .022) in children (n = 43). The authors’ study reinforces the drinking-water quality guidelines for inorganic arsenic.

January 2016
January/February 2016
78.6 | 76-83
Fabien Gagnon, MSc, MD, FRCPC, Éric Lampron-Goulet, MSc, MD, FRCPC, Louise Normandin, PhD, Marie-France Langlois, MD, FRCPC
Additional Topics A to Z: Drinking Water

Abstract

Private wells throughout central Florida have arsenic levels above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 10 µg/L. We conducted a biomonitoring project of residents with wells above the MCL (higher risk) and below 8 µg/L (lower risk) to determine the relative importance of dietary and water sources of arsenic. Urinary arsenic did not differ by risk status, though higher-risk residents were more likely to use bottled or filtered well water as their primary source for drinking, cooking, and brushing teeth. Higher income, home ownership, and more servings of fish, seafood, white rice, and wine were associated with higher urinary arsenic levels. Similar relationships were seen when excluding individuals who consumed fish or seafood within 3 days of sampling. Provision of filters and bottled water to higher-risk households provided protection from arsenic exposure through well water. Diet and lifestyle factors, however, contributed to higher urinary arsenic levels among participants, regardless of household risk status.

October 2017
October 2017
80.3 | 22-32
Kristina W. Kintziger, PhD, Public Health Research Unit, Division of Community Health Promotion, Florida Department of Health, Melissa M. Jordan, MS, Public Health Research Unit, Division of Community Health Promotion, Florida Department of Health, Chris DuClos, MS, GISP, CPM, Public Health Research Unit, Division of Community Health Promotion, Florida Department of Health, Albert C. Gray, MPH, Environmental Health Section, Florida Department of Health in Hernando County
Additional Topics A to Z: Drinking Water

Abstract

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) use the Healthy Home Rating System (HHRS), a tool developed to quantitatively assess the reduction of health-related housing hazards during the implementation of OLHCHH programs. This study evaluated the reduction of home-based hazards in 62 homes after remediation work was completed. The most common hazards identified in all homes were lead-based paint and domestic hygiene, pests, and refuse. The program was successful in reducing a variety of hazards, resulting in 100% reduction of lead-based paint hazards, 69% of water supply issues, 68% of concerns related to entry by intruders, and 60% reduction in hazards related to flames and hot surfaces. Still, other issues in the home could not be addressed due to cost and limitations in funding. While there is utility in using the HHRS, we need to consider changes to improve upon ways in which data are collected and impact is measured.

 

September 2018
September 2018
81.2 | 8-14
Erika Marquez, MPH, PhD, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Amanda Sokolowsky, MPH, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Erin Sheehy, MPH, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Josh Huebner, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Abstract

In January 2017, during a routine food service inspection at a local medical marijuana dispensary, Coconino County Public Health Services District (Health District) discovered that the dispensary was processing and bottling potentially hazardous food items, including marinara sauce, and selling the product as shelf stable. Prior to distribution, these jarred potentially hazardous foods did not go through any food processing review or testing for biological hazards. These food products posed a danger to consumers. Therefore, the Health District initiated a voluntary recall, which was the first time a medical marijuana-infused food product had been recalled in Arizona.

March 2018
March 2018
80.7 | 8-10
Marlene Gaither, MPA, ME, REHS, Coconino County Public Health Services District, Marie Peoples, PhD, Coconino County Public Health Services District, Randy Phillips, Coconino County Public Health Services District, Trish Lees, Coconino County Public Health Services District

Fumigation techniques such as chlorine dioxide, vaporous hydrogen peroxide, and paraformaldehyde previously used to decontaminate items, rooms, and buildings following contamination with Bacillus anthracis spores are often incompatible with materials (e.g., porous surfaces, organics, and metals), causing damage or residue. Alternative fumigation with methyl bromide is subject to U.S. and international restrictions due to its ozone-depleting properties. Methyl iodide, however, does not pose a risk to the ozone layer and has previously been demonstrated as a fumigant for fungi, insects, and nematodes. Until now, methyl iodide has not been evaluated against Bacillus anthracis. Sterne strain Bacillus anthracis spores were subjected to methyl iodide fumigation at room temperature and at 55°C. Efficacy was measured on a log-scale with a 6-log reduction in CFUs being considered successful compared to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency biocide standard. Such efficacies were obtained after just one hour at 55°C and after 12 hours at room temperature. No detrimental effects were observed on glassware, PTFE O-rings, or stainless steel. This is the first reported efficacy of methyl iodide in the reduction of Bacillus anthracis spore contamination at ambient and elevated temperatures.

September 2015
September 2015
78.2 | 14-19
Mark Sutton, PhD, Staci R. Kane, MS, PhD, Jessica R. Wollard
Additional Topics A to Z: Pathogens and Outbreaks

Abstract

Although microbial contamination of ice machines has been reported, no previous study has addressed microbial contamination of ice produced by machines equipped with activated charcoal (AC) filters in hospitals. The aim of this study was to provide clinical data for evaluating AC filters to prevent microbial contamination of ice. We compared microbial contamination in ice samples produced by machines with (n = 20) and without an AC filter (n = 40) in Shunan City Shinnanyo Municipal Hospital. All samples from the ice machine equipped with an AC filter contained 10–116 CFUs/g of glucose non-fermenting gram-negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chryseobacterium meningosepticum. No microorganisms were detected in samples from ice machines without AC filters. After the AC filter was removed from the ice machine that tested positive for Gram-negative bacteria, the ice was re-sampled (n = 20). Analysis found no contaminants. Ice machines equipped with AC filters pose a serious risk factor for ice contamination. New filter-use guidelines and regulations on bacterial detection limits to prevent contamination of ice in healthcare facilities are necessary.

June 2016
June 2016
78.10 | 32-35
Katsuhiro Yorioka, PhD, Shigeharu Oie, PhD, Koji Hayashi, Hiroo Kimoto

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