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.

Article Abstract

The authors conducted a survey of small streams to evaluate the effects of centralized and onsite wastewater treatment on the occurrence of selected traditional and emerging contaminants in small streams in the upper Neuse River basin, North Carolina. An undeveloped site was included to assess effects of residential land use activities on stream quality. Concentrations of nutrients and ions were higher in samples from streams in residential sites than from the stream in an undeveloped area. Overall, streams draining residential areas showed relatively small differences with respect to type of wastewater treatment. Two sites, however—one in an area of centralized wastewater treatment apparently near a suspected sewer line leak, and the second in an area of onsite wastewater treatment—showed effects of wastewater. Organic wastewater compounds were detected more frequently in samples from these two sites than from the other sites. Optical brighteners levels were correlated (r2 = .88) with the number of organic wastewater and pharmaceutical compounds detected at the residential sites and could potentially serve as a screening method to assess wastewater effects on small streams.


Jan/Feb 2014
76.6 | 18-27
Sharon Fitzgerald, G.M. Ferrell, B.H. Grimes
Additional Topics A to Z: Wastewater


Private wells are unregulated and often at risk for arsenic contamination. Research objectives included distribution of groundwater arsenic concentrations, identification of arsenic sources, and establishment of best practices for well construction to minimize risk for wells in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. We sampled 68 wells over 3 years with 393 water samples and 79 rock samples. Geochemical modeling was used to better understand arsenic mobilization. Arsenic in groundwater ranged from 1.0 to less than 10.0 μg/L for 75 water samples and 31 water samples had arsenic concentrations greater than or equal to 10 μg/L. The arsenic source is naturally occurring sulfide minerals (typically pyrite) in the bedrock aquifers. The shallow (100–150 feet) Lime Creek Aquifer was most at risk for arsenic. Arsenic is likely mobilized from the rock into the water in the shallow aquifer under more oxidizing conditions, subject to water level changes. The study resulted in a policy change for arsenic testing and well completion in Cerro Gordo County to better protect domestic well users.

May 2017
May 2017
79.9 | 32-39
Douglas J. Schnoebelen, PhD, The University of Iowa, Sophia Walsh, Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health, Brian Hanft, MPA, REHS, Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health, Oscar E. Hernandez-Murcia, PhD, The University of Iowa


Public health interventions in North Carolina were implemented only for children with blood lead levels (BLLs) ≥10 µg/dL until the end of the year in 2017, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established 5 µg/dL as a revised reference value for identifying children with elevated BLLs in 2012. This study quantified and characterized the children with elevated BLLs in Buncombe County, North Carolina. A review of case reports of Buncombe County children was conducted through the North Carolina Lead Surveillance System online database. In all, 23 children had confirmed elevated BLLs (≥10 µg/dL) from 2005–2015, while 146 children had BLLs within 5 to <10 µg/dL from 2012–2015. Most of the identified children (62%) lived in Asheville and were 1–2 years old (65%). A significant number of children will be aided and prevented from further lead exposure since North Carolina has lowered the BLL intervention standard to the CDC reference value in 2012. The need for additional staffing at local health departments has been identified to adapt to such change.


June 2018
June 2018
80.10 | 16-22
Casey Parris Radford, MSEH, Buncombe County Department of Health, Jo Anne G. Balanay, PhD, CIH, East Carolina University, Ashley Featherstone, MSPH, Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency, Timothy Kelley, PhD, East Carolina University
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health

Emergency Public Health provides a unique and practical framework for disaster response planning at local, state, and national levels. This is the first book of its kind to systematically address the issues in a range of environmental public health emergencies brought on by natural calamity, terrorism, industrial accident, or infectious disease. It features historical perspectives on a public health crisis, an analysis of preparedness, and a practical, relevant case study on the emergency response. Study reference for NEHA’s REHS/RS exam.


568 pages / Paperback / Catalog #1121
Member: $96 / Nonmember: $101 

July 2011
G. Bobby Kapur, Jeffrey P. Smith
Additional Topics A to Z: Emergency Preparedness

Pharmaceuticals are emerging contaminants in water and, to date, cannot be removed as part of wastewater treatment options. So what can be done to mitigate their effects upon the environment, yet maintain their efficacy for human and animal use? In this session, we examine this topic from a lifecycle approach using hands-on demonstrations, and discuss several solutions and policies you can take home to mitigate and address these contaminants in your community.

July 2015
Julie Becker, MA, PhD, MPH
Potential CE Credits: 1.00

What type of consumer products do you interact with on a daily basis and do they contain nano-particles? What properties might those engineered iron, titanium and carbon nano-particles exhibit that differ from the norm? What type of information do environmental health professionals need to prevent exposures that might cause negative biological effects? This session will give you the facts so you can adapt to the rapidly changing intersection of health and environment.

July 2015
Ephraim Massawe, PhD
Additional Topics A to Z: General Environmental Health

Chemical incidents involving major chemical facilities and transport of toxic industrial chemicals are surprisingly common and may result in widespread environmental contamination, public exposure, and subsequent acute and chronic health effects.

This session includes an interactive demonstration of the applicability of an e-learning tool to actual events by means of working through a major chemical incident. Discover how employing this resource can help you respond more effectively to chemical incidents, thereby protecting public health.

July 2015
David Russell, MD
Potential CE Credits: 1.00
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazards

Updated and reviewed by leading experts in the field, this revised edition offers new coverage of industrial solid wastes utilization and disposal, the use of surveying in environmental engineering and land use planning, and environmental assessment. Stressing the practicality and appropriateness of treatment, the sixth edition provides realistic solutions for the practicing public health official or environmental engineer.

Additional Topics A to Z: Wastewater