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.


Novel indices were developed representing estimated stages in the mosquito life cycle and its ecology, and informed with meteorological data. We used descriptive statistics to identify relationships between meteorological/ecological trends and peak infection rates (IRs), and mixed model linear regression to identify meteorological/ecological trends that were significantly associated with increases in mosquito IRs.


Results showed increased mean weekly temperature as a significant driver of increased IRs between 2002 and 2006 during oviposition (the trapping week); the gonotrophic cycle; the egg, larvae, and pupae stage; the development of oviposition sites; and during the over-winter months preceding trapping. Decreases in weekly cumulative precipitation during the last half of the development of oviposition sites, and the egg, larvae, and pupae stage, were significantly associated with increases in IRs. Increased cumulative precipitation during the first half of the development of oviposition sites was significantly associated with increases in IRs. Decreases in the weekly Palmer Drought Index during the development of oviposition sites were significantly associated with increases in IRs.

April 2017
April 2017
79.8 | 16-22
Paul A. Rosile, MPH, PhD, RS, Eastern Kentucky University, Michael Bisesi, PhD, The Ohio State University College of Public Health


Cosmetologists face a variety of occupational health and safety challenges. To gather information on respiratory issues related to work as a cosmetologist, licensed cosmetologists were invited by e-mail to participate in a short online survey. The survey collected demographic data, work history, respiratory symptoms, product usage, and health and safety training. Results revealed that while 57% of cosmetologists reported having received training on customer or consumer safety, only 10.5% had received training on worker health such as work-related asthma and/or breathing issues. Respiratory symptoms were reported by 46% of respondents. Length of employment and the use of glues or adhesives were associated with a diagnosis of asthma.

May 2017
May 2017
79.9 | 8-14
Kathleen G. Norlien, MS, CPH, Asthma Program, Minnesota Department of Health, Adrienne Landsteiner, MPH, PhD, Center for Occupational Health and Safety, Minnesota Department of Health, Allan Williams, MPH, PhD, Center for Occupational Health and Safety, Minnesota Department of Health, Angeline Carlson, PhD, RPH, Data Intelligence Consultants, LLC


The main objective of this research was to ascertain the association between organizational characteristics of local health departments (LHDs) and environmental health (EH) services rendered in the community. Data used for the analysis were collected from LHDs by the National Association of County and City Health Officials for its 2013 national profile study of LHDs. We analyzed the data during 2016. Apart from understanding basic characteristics of LHDs in the nation, we introduced new measures of these characteristics, including “EH full-time equivalents” per 100,000 population and “other revenue” (revenues from fees and fines) per capita.

The association of these and other organizational characteristics with EH services were measured using likelihood ratio χ2 and t-tests. Out of 34 EH services considered, LHDs directly provided an average of 12 different services. As many as 41% of the 34 EH services were not available in more than 10% of the communities served by LHDs. About 70% of communities received some services from organizations other than LHDs. All the available organizational characteristics of LHDs had association with some of the EH services. Although we might assume an increase in per capita expenditure could result in an increase in LHDs’ direct involvement in providing EH services, we found it to be true only for five (15%) of the EH services. The variation of EH services provided in communities could be explained by a combination of factors such as fee generation, community needs, type of governance, and population size.

April 2018
April 2018
80.8 | 20-29
Shailendra N. Banerjee, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Justin A. Gerding, MPH, REHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, John Sarisky, MPH, REHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Additional Topics A to Z: Workforce Development


Outbreaks of foodborne illness caused by Clostridium perfringens are not usually the result of intoxication and testing of suspected menu items for colony count can often identify the causative item. We describe a large outbreak at a county correctional facility in which the data suggest that illness by intoxication contributed substantially to the outbreak: 29 out of 108 surveyed cases (26.9%) developed symptoms within 2.5 hr of when meal service began. Inmate testimony further suggests advanced food decay. Bacterial analyses of food samples indicated a smaller population of C. perfringens in the chicken taco meat mixture (<10 CFU/g, enterotoxin positive) compared with other items. Statistical analyses of food history data provided substantially more support for the chicken taco meat mixture as causative (odds ratio = 55.79, 95% confidence interval [19.72, 157.83], p < .001) than other menu items. Environmental investigation and testimony from inmates provided additional support implicating the chicken taco meat mixture.

July 2017
July/August 2017
80.1 | 8-13
Adam E. London, MPA, RS, DAAS, Kent County Health Department, Julie A. Payne, MPH, Kent County Health Department, Brian Hartl, MPH, Kent County Health Department
Additional Topics A to Z: Pathogens and Outbreaks

Article Abstract

During the summer of 2005 an outbreak of norovirus acute gastroenteritis occurred in a residential college summer camp and was reported to the local health department. The outbreak spread rapidly to several other groups concurrently sharing the same facilities. During the investigation, fomites were sampled at different times in dorm rooms and tested for norovirus. The number of norovirus-positive rooms increased after the first room cleaning, from 40% to 73%. After the initial cleaning, the staff was instructed on proper cleaning and disinfection procedures and provided with disposable disinfecting wipes to reduce cross contamination, and the number of norovirus-positive rooms decreased to 30%. These findings reinforce the need for appropriate cleaning and disinfection procedures during a norovirus outbreak.

April 2014
76.8 | 20-26
Charles P. Gerba, PhD, Sonia L.M. Fankem, MS, MPH, PhD, Stephanie A. Boone, MS, PhD, Marlene Gaither, MPA, ME, RS
Additional Topics A to Z: Pathogens and Outbreaks


Silicosis is the oldest know occupational pulmonary disease. It is a progressive disease and any level of exposure to respirable crystalline silica particles or dust has the potential to develop into silicosis. Silicosis is caused by silica particles or dust entering the lungs and damaging healthy lung tissue. The damage restricts the ability to breathe. Exposure to silica increases a worker’s risk of developing cancer or tuberculosis. This special report will provide background history of silicosis in the U.S., including the number of workers affected and their common industries. Over the years, these industries have impeded government oversight, resulting in silicosis exposure clusters. The risk of acquiring silicosis is diminished when industry implements safety measures with oversight by governmental agencies. Reputable authorities believe that the current innovative drilling techniques such as fracking will generate future cases of silicosis in the U.S. if safety measures to protect workers are ignored.

January 2017
January/February 2017
79.6 | 20-27
M. Thomas Quail, MS, RN, LNC
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazardous Materials