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.

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

Abstract

Exposure to radon continues to be a leading cause of lung cancer despite the availability of effective testing and mitigation options. This study examined differences in beliefs about radon testing among radon testers (n = 110) and a comparison sample of residents (n = 198) in Utah County, Utah, which is a high radon area. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze relationships between radon testing status and self-efficacy, knowledge, behavioral modeling, and risk perception. Risk perception (0.20, p < .04), self-efficacy (0.30, p < .01), and knowledge (0.40, p < .001) were positively associated with testing. Behavioral modeling was indirectly associated with testing through intervening pathways of self-efficacy (z = 1.97, p < .05) and knowledge (z = 2.57, p = .01). The results imply that increasing radon knowledge and self-efficacy, along with traditional intervention efforts focusing on risk perception, might be important factors to increase radon testing in residential areas.

January 2018
January/February 2018
80.6 | 20-27
Siena F. Davis, MPH, Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, James D. Johnston, PhD, CIH, Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, Brianna M. Magnusson, PhD, Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, M. Lelinneth B. Novilla, MPH, MD, Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University
Additional Topics A to Z: Radon

Abstract

A study examining the relationship between housing conditions, respiratory health, and school absenteeism was conducted in the city of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. As part of this study, a survey was completed by 3,424 parents of children in grades 3 and 4 to determine the a) relationship between self-reported visible mold in homes and tested airborne mold; b) relationships of self-reported visible mold, tested airborne mold, and asthma and/or persistent colds; c) school absenteeism rates due to asthma and/or persistent colds; and d) children’s socioeconomic status (SES) and incidence of asthma and/or persistent colds. In addition, a complete inspection of a subset of 715 homes was conducted, including the collection of over 1,400 indoor and 500 outdoor air samples for mold analysis. Results indicate a significant association between self-reported visible mold and airborne mold. Additionally, a significant association was found between Cladosporium levels from air samples (the most common genus type found) and children’s asthma in combination with persistent colds. Children with persistent colds in combination with asthma miss significantly more school than children who have only asthma or only persistent colds. Children from poorer families reported more persistent colds than children from high-income families. No association was found between income and asthma. Furthermore, SES was not a significant factor for number of school days missed.

March 2017
March 2017
79.7 | 28-35
Eleoussa Polyzoi, PhD, Dimos Polyzois, PhD, FEC, PEng, Theo Koulis, PhD
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health

Abstract

The number of children in daycare centers (DCCs) is rising. This increases exposure to microorganisms and infectious diseases. Little is known about which bacteria and viruses are present in the DCC environment and where they are located. In the study described in this article, the authors set out to determine the prevalence of pathogenic bacteria and viruses and to find the most contaminated fomites in DCCs. Fifteen locations in each DCC were sampled for bacteria, respiratory viruses, and gastrointestinal viruses. The locations were in the toilet, kitchen, and playroom areas and included nursery pillows, toys, and tables, among other things. Coliform bacteria were primarily found in the toilet and kitchen areas whereas nasopharyngeal bacteria were found mostly on toys and fabric surfaces in the playroom. Respiratory viruses were omnipresent in the DCC environment, especially on the toys.

October 2015
78.3 | 24-29
Tobias Ibfelt, Eva Hoy Engelund, Anders Permin, Jonas Stenlokke Madsen
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health

Abstract

The American Healthy Homes Survey, June 2005—March 2006, measured levels of lead and arsenic in homes nationwide. Based on a three-stage cluster sample of 1,131 housing units, key statistically weighted estimates of the prevalence of lead-based paint (LBP) and LBP hazards associated with paint, dust, and soil, and arsenic in dust and soil, were as follows: 37.1 million homes (35%) had some LBP; 23.2 million (22%) had one or more LBP hazards; 93% of the homes with LBP were built before 1978. The highest prevalence of LBP and LBP hazards was in the Northeast and Midwest. Over three million homes with children under six years of age had LBP hazards, including 1.1 million low-income households (<$30,000/yr.). Less than 5% of homes had detectable levels of arsenic in dust (≥5 μg/ft2). Arsenic in soil (for homes with yard soil) averaged 6.6 parts per million (ppm). Many homes had soil arsenic levels of 20 ppm or greater, including 16% of homes with wooden structures in the yard and 8% of homes without such structures.

December 2015
December 2015
78.5 | 22-29
F. Gary Dewalt, MBA, PhD; David C. Cox, MS, MSc, PhD; Robert O’Haver; Brendon Salatino; and Duncan Holmes, Peter J. Ashley, DrPH; Eugene A. Pinzer, MS, CIH; and Warren Friedman, PhD, CIH, David Marker, PhD; Susan M. Viet, PhD, CIH; and Alexa Fraser, PhD

Abstract

Recent research suggests that the resurgence of bed bugs in the U.S. has occurred at an alarming rate. Assumptions have been made that socioeconomic status is not associated with the prevalence of bed bug infestations. Little information is available at the local level, however, about the prevalence of bed bugs in private homes. The authors’ pilot study aimed to identify prevalence, knowledge, and concern about bed bugs in one higher income village in Ohio utilizing survey methodology. Responses from 96 individuals who completed the Prevalence, Knowledge, and Concern About Bed Bugs survey were utilized for analysis. The majority of the sample respondents were white and 95% reported that they owned their residence. Only 6% knew someone with bed bugs. Additionally, 52% reported they were somewhat concerned about bed bugs. About 46% reported that they had changed their behavior. For a higher income area, the prevalence was dissimilar to the rate reported in the general public (about 20%). This suggests that bed bugs may be an environmental issue effecting low-income populations disproportionately. Further research is needed in areas of differing socioeconomic levels.

 

July/August 2015
78.1 | 20-24
Mary Beth Kaylor, MPH, PhD, APHN-BC, CNE, RN, Paul Wenning, RS , Christopher Eddy, MPH, REHS, RS, CP-FS

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