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

Infants and young children under five years of age are uniquely vulnerable to certain environmental contaminants. Some of these contaminants have been found in early learning environments (ELEs), or child care and family child care settings where children spend an average of 40 hours a week. These contaminants as well as infants’ and children’s unique physiology, exposures, and behaviors in child care settings are the focus of this article. Current child care and family child care licensing requirements specific to environmental health–related issues are also reviewed. Data were reviewed and analyzed from the following surveys: the 2008 Child Care Licensing Survey, the First National Environmental Health Survey of Child Care Centers, and the Children’s Total Exposure to Persistent Pesticides and Other Persistent Organic Pollutants. The authors’ analysis suggests that current state licensing programs impose only the most basic environmental health protection requirements. No mandatory federal regulations standardize child care and family child care regulatory efforts nationally. Resources are available, however, from federal agencies and other children’s environmental health organizations that may provide guidance for how to establish better environmental health protection measures in ELEs.

 

 

March 2014
76.7 | 24-34
Gwendolyn Hudson, MPH, PhD, CPH, Gregory G. Miller, MS, Kathy Seikel, MBA
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health

Abstract

Most foodborne illnesses reported to health departments originate from food service establishments. The District of Columbia Department of Health conducts periodic inspections to assess the risk of foodborne illness. The occurrence trends of priority violations and their relationships to foodborne illness and resident complaints have not yet been investigated in the District of Columbia. This research studied the relationship between foodborne illness complaints reported by patrons and observed priority violations in food establishments. This study used a nonexperimental quantitative methodology that relied on preexisting data, including food establishment inspection reports and health statistics. The results showed that observed priority violations in food establishment inspections in the District of Columbia were positively correlated with two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-identified foodborne illness risk factors: poor personal hygiene and contaminated equipment. The study results showed that patron-generated foodborne illness complaints were significantly correlated with improper holding temperatures and contaminated equipment. This study can act as a motivator to reevaluate existing food safety inspection enforcement practices and thereby reduce foodborne illnesses in the District of Columbia.

April 2018
April 2018
80.8 | 14-19
Temesgen A. Jemaneh, MSc, DrPH, REHS, CP-FS, ASP, District of Columbia Department of Health , Mark Minelli, MA, MPA, PhD, Central Michigan University, Abimbola Farinde, PhD, PharmD, Capella University, Edward Paluch, PhD, Capella University

Abstract

Parks benefit public health in many ways, from improving stormwater management to mitigating disparities associated with physical and mental health. Parks and recreational areas can be adversely impacted by disasters. Perceptions of postdisaster environmental contamination of parks can limit residents’ willingness to use parks and thus their benefits. In this study, teams of trained interviewers surveyed residents in Houston, Texas, who were using parks in the months following Hurricane Harvey. Data about resident perception of and emotional response to environmental pollution, as well as self-rated postdisaster mental and physical health, were collected. Respondents felt certain that Hurricane Harvey caused environmental contamination in their communities and that this contamination would impact health. Of respondents, 40% reported anger, while only 21.4% felt afraid. Survey respondents had significantly lower mental health composite scores than a national comparison group. Although residents report strong concerns and need information about hurricane-associated environmental contamination, little data have been collected or made available to residents by federal or state agencies. The use of recreational areas for flood mitigation potentially exposes residents to environmental contamination after flooding. More information is needed about risks to health from these exposures.

 

July 2020
July/August 2020
83.1 | 8-16
Jennifer A. Horney, MPH, PhD, CPH, Department of Epidemiology, University of Delaware, Katy L. Stone, MPH, Department of Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University, Ibraheem M. Karaye, MPH, Department of Epidemiology, University of Delaware, Emily A. Rauscher, PhD (deceased), Department of Communication, University of Utah

Abstract

Biological hazards such as exposure to ticks and mosquitoes can affect health. Permethrin-treated clothing is available to the public. We don’t currently understand, however, the effects of environmental factors such as fabric type, washing, sunlight, and temperature on permethrin content in treated clothing with respect to mosquito knockdown and mortality. We evaluated the extent to which fabric type (100% cotton denim jeans, 100% polyester work shirt, 35% cotton/65% polyester work shirt), light exposure (0 or 100%), temperature (18 °C, 32 °C), and number of washes (0, 3, 12, 36) affected mosquito knockdown 2 hours post-exposure, mosquito mortality 24 hours post-exposure, and permethrin content. All fabrics used in this study were treated with permethrin at a concentration of 125 µg/cm2. Denim fabric having no washes and no light exposure showed the highest amount of permethrin. Washing and light exposure significantly reduced the ability of permethrin-treated fabrics to induce mosquito knockdown and/or mortality under the simulated conditions used for this test. Temperatures tested did not affect permethrin content or mosquito knockdown and mortality. Long-lasting impregnation of uniforms protects against mosquito bites under simulated laboratory conditions. Employers and employees should consider the use of permethrin-impregnated clothing and uniforms in addition to daily repellent sprays.

April 2017
April 2017
79.8 | 8-15
Stephanie L. Richards, MSEH, PhD, East Carolina University, Jo Anne G. Balanay, PhD, CIH, East Carolina University, Jonathan W. Harris, MSEH, East Carolina University, Victoria M. Banks, East Carolina University

Abstract

Biological hazards such as exposure to ticks and mosquitoes can affect health. Permethrin-treated clothing is available to the public. We don’t currently understand, however, the effects of environmental factors such as fabric type, washing, sunlight, and temperature on permethrin content in treated clothing with respect to mosquito knockdown and mortality. We evaluated the extent to which fabric type (100% cotton denim jeans, 100% polyester work shirt, 35% cotton/65% polyester work shirt), light exposure (0 or 100%), temperature (18 °C, 32 °C), and number of washes (0, 3, 12, 36) affected mosquito knockdown 2 hours post-exposure, mosquito mortality 24 hours post-exposure, and permethrin content. All fabrics used in this study were treated with permethrin at a concentration of 125 µg/cm2. Denim fabric having no washes and no light exposure showed the highest amount of permethrin. Washing and light exposure significantly reduced the ability of permethrin-treated fabrics to induce mosquito knockdown and/or mortality under the simulated conditions used for this test. Temperatures tested did not affect permethrin content or mosquito knockdown and mortality. Long-lasting impregnation of uniforms protects against mosquito bites under simulated laboratory conditions. Employers and employees should consider the use of permethrin-impregnated clothing and uniforms in addition to daily repellent sprays.

April 2017
April 2017
79.8 | 8-15
Stephanie L. Richards, MSEH, PhD, East Carolina University, Jo Anne G. Balanay, PhD, CIH, East Carolina University, Jonathan W. Harris, MSEH, East Carolina University, Victoria M. Banks, East Carolina University

Abstract

Researchers from Oregon State and Louisiana State Universities convened a diverse gathering of leaders of Gulf Coast regional nongovernmental organizations, regulatory agencies, residents, and researchers to examine events following environmental disasters. The overall goals of the workshop were to develop unique findings from participant experiences that could be beneficial and to offer specific recommendations for the improvement of response, recovery, and resilience in future disasters. We examined three topics related to enhancing resilience to environmental disasters: rapid response for characterizing exposure; recovery and the role of the citizen scientist; and increased resilience with community participation. The participants shared their experiences and recommended solutions including increased training for citizen scientists, expanded use of innovative sampling technologies, and greater sharing of environmental conditions and information among stakeholders and agencies postevent. The recommendations will improve future response and recovery efforts, and should strengthen communities by supporting key theoretical attributes of resilience.

September 2017
September 2017
80.2 | 8-15
Margaret A. Reams, PhD, Department of Environmental Sciences, Louisiana State University, Anna K. Harding, PhD, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Wilma Subra, MS, Subra Company, Inc., Nina S. N. Lam, PhD, Department of Environmental Sciences, Louisiana State University

Abstract

Pathogen growth caused by improper or slow cooling of hot foods was a contributing factor in 504 of restaurant- and deli-related outbreaks in the U.S. from 1998–2008. Little is known, however, about restaurant cooling practices. To fill this gap, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net) conducted an observational study to identify and understand factors that might determine which methods restaurants follow to rapidly cool food. These methods include refrigerating food at ≤41 °F, at shallow depths, and in containers that are ventilated, unstacked, and have space around them. EHS-Net personnel collected data through manager interviews and observation of cooling processes in 420 randomly selected restaurants. Regression analyses revealed characteristics of restaurants most likely to use the cooling methods assessed. These characteristics included ownership by restaurant chains, manager food safety training and certification, few foods cooled at a time, many meals served daily, and a high ratio of workers to managers. These findings suggest that regulatory food safety programs and the retail industry might improve cooling methods—and reduce outbreaks—by providing and encouraging manager food safety training and certification, and by focusing intervention efforts on independent and smaller restaurants.

 

June 2020
June 2020
82.10 | 8-13
Kirsten Reed, MPH, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Laura Brown, PhD, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Danny Ripley, Metro Nashville/Davidson County Public Health Department, Nicole Hedeen, MPH, Minnesota Department of Health

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