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.


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 2015
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


There are significant regulatory gaps that affect 43.5 million people in the U.S. who rely on groundwater from private water wells for their drinking water. Although some local environmental health agencies provide support to private water well owners, individual private water well owners must protect themselves. This study assessed the local practices of environmental health professionals in Kansas regarding private water wells. An 18-item survey was distributed to all 61 members of the Kansas Environmental Health Association in 2016. A 90% survey response rate was achieved. In local Kansas communities, sampling of private well water occurs most frequently as a result of a homeowner’s request (57%) or at the time of a real estate transaction (54%). Nearly one third of respondents reported that their jurisdictions neither inspect wells nor sample well water. Most respondents indicated their organizations did not have the capability to analyze samples for common contaminants such as pesticides (76%) or volatile organic compounds (71%). In Kansas, there appears to be a lack of uniformity in inspection, sampling, and analysis practices and policies for private water wells. Additional research is needed to determine if these results are consistent across the U.S.


October 2019
October 2019
82.3 | 34-38
Elizabeth Ablah, MPH, PhD, University of Kansas School of Medicine–Wichita, Mary Winston Marrow, JD, Public Health Law Center, Jack Brown, MUA, RS, University of Kansas School of Medicine–Wichita, Sarah Green, Communications Consultant
Additional Topics A to Z: Drinking Water

Professional Food Manager

For any foodservice operation to manage its risk effectively, managers must learn basic food safety principles and apply that information on the job every day. NEHA's Professional Food Manager, Sixth Edition, supplies food, beverage, culinary, and hospitality employees with the knowledge needed to ensure food safety in the workplace.

This book provides information on topics such as the principles of food safety management and how to use those principles to create a food safety culture.

The Professional Food Manager, Sixth Edition is updated to the 2017 FDA Food Code.

  • Aligns with American Culinary Federation Education Foundation competencies.
  • Prepares candidates for CFP-approved food manager exams (e.g., Prometric, National Registry, ServSafe, etc.).

Publication Information:
Professional Food Manager, Sixth Edition
Copyright © by National Environmental Health Association, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
166 pages, paperback

Additional Topics A to Z: CP-FS


Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer mortality among nonsmokers. Lung cancer leads cancer deaths in Utah, a state with 10% smokers and high radon emission potential. Understanding public awareness can help improve voluntary radon testing. The objective of this study was to identify patterns in radon awareness and testing in Utah. Utah's 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System included questions about radon awareness and testing. We examined differences by demographics and county (moderate versus high estimated radon, rural versus urban) using Rao–Scott chi-squared tests and logistic regression. In total, 75% of Utah residents never tested their home for radon and 80% could not identify radon as a risk factor for lung cancer. Of nontesters, 40% were unaware of radon itself or testing. Testing was slightly more common in moderate radon counties (17%) than in the high radon counties (14%). Women, Hispanics, renters, persons with annual incomes $50,000, and persons without college degrees generally did not test for radon. People 55 years or older and living in rural counties were the least likely to identify radon as a risk factor for lung cancer. Radon testing and meaningful awareness of radon's link to lung cancer are low in Utah. Support is needed to improve radon education, awareness, and testing throughout the state.


October 2019
October 2019
82.3 | 8-17
Judy Y. Ou, MPH, PhD, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Division of Epidemiology, University of Utah, Joemy M. Ramsay, MS, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Jessica Smith, Department of Public Health, Brigham Young University, Wallace Akerley, MD, Huntsman Cancer Institute
Additional Topics A to Z: Radon


A growing body of research links exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and adverse health outcomes. PFOA was discovered in private drinking water wells in Bennington, Vermont, in 2016, prompting an investigation by the Vermont Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation. The objectives of the investigation were to assess potential exposure pathways in Bennington, to inform participants of their serum PFOA level, and to compare serum levels with U.S. background levels. Serum PFOA concentrations were strongly correlated with PFOA concentrations in well water (rs = .65, p < .01) and cumulative exposure to PFOA in residential drinking water (rs = .65; p < .01). Response to large-scale private drinking water contamination incidents in real time provides unique challenges. In Vermont, open communication with the public, proactively addressing community concerns, and the presence of an Environmental Contingency Fund allowed some of those challenges to be overcome. Our findings provide insights for future public health responses to PFOA and other perfluoroalkyl substance contamination.


April 2020
April 2020
82.8 | 8-15
Lauren Prinzing, MPH, Vermont Department of Health, Brianna Moore, PhD, Colorado School of Public Health, David Grass, PhD, Vermont Department of Health, Sarah Vose, PhD, Vermont Department of Health
Additional Topics A to Z: Drinking Water

Article Abstract

Growing societal interest to permit animals into retail food outlets presents both risks and benefits to the dining public and consumers. This article summarizes a literature review that evaluated the associated potential public health issues related to this subject. Using the EBSCOhost research protocol and Google search engines between March 2010 and June 2011, the authors have compiled and synthesized scientific research articles, empirical scientific literature, and publicly available news media. While pets are known carriers of bacteria and parasites, among others, the relative risk associated with specific pet-human interactions in the dining public has yet to be established in a clear and consistent manner. Much of the available health-risk-factor evidence reflects pets in domestic conditions and interaction with farm animals. Special consideration is recommended for vulnerable populations such as children, asthmatics, the elderly, pregnant women, and the immunocompromised. 

December 2013
76.5 | 24-30
David T. Dyjack, DrPH, CIH, Jessica Ho, RD, Rachel Lynes, MPH, Jesse C. Bliss, MPH
Additional Topics A to Z: Food Safety