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.

Swimming is the second most popular sport in the United States. It is estimated that there are 360,000 public pools in the U.S. where public health must be protected. This session will discuss ozone system sizing, component details, and design parameters, in conjunction with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC), for four categories of swimming venues. Evaluate and determine if and when ozone is an appropriate choice for providing a safe and healthy swimming environment.

Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

July 2015
Additional Topics A to Z: Recreational Waters


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


Combined exposure to tobacco smoke and radon increases lung cancer risk, and renters are disproportionately exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS). A quota sample of renters (N = 47) received free radon and airborne nicotine test kits in a primary care setting to explore the impact of a personalized environmental report-back intervention on home exposure. Half of the sampled renters reported smokers living in the home. Taking actions to reduce radon and SHS exposure were assessed at baseline, and at 3-, 9-, and 15-months postintervention; home testing occurred at baseline and at 15 months. Stage of action in home testing and in adopting a smoke-free (SF) home policy increased from baseline to 3 months; we observed no further changes in stage of action over time. Airborne nicotine declined from baseline to 15 months (p = .031; n = 9). More research is needed to evaluate interventions to motivate renters and landlords to test and mitigate for radon and adopt SF policies.


May 2018
May 2018
80.9 | 8-14
Ellen J. Hahn, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Kentucky College of Nursing, Kathy Rademacher, University of Kentucky College of Nursing, Amanda Wiggins, PhD, University of Kentucky College of Nursing, Mary Kay Rayens, PhD, University of Kentucky College of Nursing
Additional Topics A to Z: Radon

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


Phosphorus (P) pollution of surface waters contributes to hazardous algal blooms, posing a significant public health risk from contact with toxins released by the algae. Replenishing P depleted from agricultural soils poses additional public health risks from pollution associated with fertilizer production and the exhaustion of limited domestic P deposits. Environmental health professional responsibilities can impact sources of P pollution, such as onsite wastewater treatment systems, land use planning, watershed and drinking water protection, and stormwater control. The watershed planning process provides an opportunity for environmental health professionals to become involved in protecting public health by assuring the most cost-effective strategies for P control and recovery.

This special report reviews the properties of P that provide both opportunities and challenges for P control and recovery, presents progress being made in P recovery from surface waters, and highlights the most promising technologies for the near future. These technologies have significant implications for public health, the environment, and the economy. Environmental health practitioners can play a role in developing and implementing these technologies and in educating the public about the benefits of P recovery.


September 2018
September 2018
81.2 | 16-22
Guang Jin, ScD, PE, Department of Health Sciences, Illinois State University, Thomas J. Bierma, MBA, PhD, Department of Health Sciences, Illinois State University

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