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

During a Legionnaires' disease outbreak at a Missouri hotel in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assisted state and local health departments to identify possible sources and transmission factors and to recommend improvements to water management. We performed an environmental assessment to understand the hotel’s water systems and identify areas of risk for amplification and transmission. We obtained samples from the pool, spa, and potable water systems for Legionella culture. In the potable water system, we noted temperatures ideal for Legionella amplification and areas of water stagnation. Additionally, we found inadequate documentation of pool and spa disinfection and maintenance. Of 40 water samples, Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 that matched the sequence type of one available clinical isolate was recovered from five sink and shower fixtures. A comprehensive environmental assessment proved crucial to identifying maintenance issues in the hotel’s water systems and underscored the need for a water management program to reduce Legionnaires' disease risk.

 

March 2019
March 2019
81.7 | 8-13
Sana S. Ahmed, MD, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Candis M. Hunter, MSPH, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Jeffrey W. Mercante, PhD, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Laurel E. Garrison, MPH, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Abstract

Lung cancer is largely preventable by eliminating tobacco smoke and radon exposure. This exploratory study assessed the relationships of demographic factors, including having one or more smokers living in the household, and a) lung cancer worry and b) completion of home screening for radon and secondhand smoke (SHS) among renters. A convenience sample of renters (N = 47) received free test kits for radon and SHS as part of a larger study. Demographic factors, lung cancer worry, and completion of home testing were assessed at baseline. The sample was mostly Caucasian (68%), female (62%), and educated beyond high school (70%). The average age was 43 years (SD = 15), and roughly half lived with at least one smoker (49%). Gender, race/ethnicity, education, and whether they had smokers in the home accounted for 35% of the variability in lung cancer worry, F(4, 42) = 5.6, p = .001. Lung cancer worry was associated with lower level of education, b = 0.77; SE(b) = 0.32, and having at least one smoker living in the home, b = 0.71; SE(b) = 0.31. Renters tested their homes for radon and SHS whether they had smokers in the home or not. Constructing and delivering educational messages that target low-educated populations may promote radon testing and smoke-free homes.

January 2017
January/February 2017
79.6 | 8-13
Ellen J. Hahn, PhD, RN, FAAN, Marissa Hooper, RN, Carol Riker, MSN, RN, Karen M. Butler, DNP, RN

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

The Healthy Homes & Communities track presenters will assemble as a panel in this session to tie all the learning of the day together. They will discuss how to integrate and apply Healthy Homes concepts such as: National Healthy Housing Strategy, Healthy Homes Rating System, models of Program Management, the Affordable Care Act, and finding novel partnerships and sources of funding. They will draw from their shared experiences and the audience's to answer your questions and help you develop strategies to apply and take actions to help you overcome the barriers you are facing.

July 2015
Clifford Mitchell, MS, MD, MPH
Potential CE Credits: 1.00

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

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