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.

Abstract

Restaurants serve more than 70 billion meals in the U.S. each year. Annually, approximately 48 million foodborne illnesses occur in the U.S., yet only over 800 foodborne disease outbreaks get reported. From 1998–2013, 56% of the 17,445 outbreaks reported were associated with restaurants. While scientifically validated cleaning and sanitation strategies are available, microbial cross-contamination from environmental surfaces remains an issue. For instance, previous research shows that the cleaning tool itself can become a source of contamination. The objective of this study was to test if a flatware rest provides a physical barrier between contaminated tabletop surfaces and eating utensils. Data confirmed that flatware rests prevented the contamination of utensils from microorganisms when compared with utensils placed directly on surfaces inoculated with E. coli, Salmonella Typhimurium, and MS2 bacteriophage (a surrogate for norovirus). This study demonstrates that flatware rests are a practical solution to prevent cross-contamination of foodborne pathogens from tabletop to utensil, and potentially are an added layer of consumer protection.

 

November 2019
November 2019
82.4 | 24-28
Giselle Almeida, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas, Sarah L. Jones, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas, Kristen E. Gibson, PhD, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas
Additional Topics A to Z: Pathogens and Outbreaks

Chuck Lichon, R.S., M.P.H., Deputy Health Officer at District Health Department #2 in Michigan, developed a Children’s Environmental Health Power Point Program with the financial assistance of the Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI.  The Power Points are approximately 25-35 minutes in length, allowing for a presentation to be made during one classroom setting, or to be used for a community presentation, allowing time for Q & A.  Some of the topics include: Sunwise, Body Art, Household Hazardous Waste, Meth, Recreational Water, and more.  They are free to download and use for presentations in your school, health department community presentations, or for media use.  Changes in the presentations should not be made without consent from the author, and/or the NEHA Board of Directors.  

The Sun Wise PowerPoint is available via the link listed below:   

Chuck Lichon, R.S., M.P.H.
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health

Abstract

This 2017–2019 project started with a systematic assessment of three independent environmental and occupational health-related doctoral (PhD) programs, which are sponsored by different agencies, institutes, and schools within Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey: Exposure Science, Toxicology, and Environmental Health. In addition, we examined other graduate and undergraduate environment-related schools, departments, divisions, and institutes with degree programs (majors and minors) and certificate programs at Rutgers. Then, we conducted a survey of students. Data collected can result in enhancements to connections between entities, with multiple potential benefits. For example, for Rutgers School of Public Health, data can inform efforts to increase student applications to both master’s and doctoral programs, as well as increase faculty participation in teaching and student advising. The project should result in more qualified student applications from students in their final year of master’s programs. Subsequently, acceptances into and matriculations from PhD programs should also increase. Overall, this approach should provide more continuity of scholarship at schools, institutes and/or other environmental programs at Rutgers. In summary, this project’s data can help support positive yet complex relationships across engaged entities at Rutgers and inform other U.S. environmental health programs.

 

April 2020
April 2020
82.8 | 28-33
Derek G. Shendell, MPH, DEnv, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, New Jersey Safe Schools Program, Rutgers School of Public Health, Nimit N. Shah, MPH, Department of Epidemiology, New Jersey Safe Schools Program, Rutgers School of Public Health, Laura E. Jones, MPH, Departments of Epidemiology and Urban-Global Public Health, New Jersey Safe Schools Program, Rutgers School of Public Health
Additional Topics A to Z: Workforce Development

Abstract

This first article in a series of three on land reuse highlights sustainable brownfields redevelopment in Europe. Sustainability is a key European concept. Europe’s densely populated urban areas are facing specific challenges that include urban sprawl and environmental pollution. Redeveloping brownfields, or reusing the abandoned built landscape, can positively impact the economic, social, and environmental health security of cities. Many European Union (EU) cities benefit from policy and financial assistance in renovating their urban areas. This article reviews the EU’s policy and funding frameworks that support sustainable brownfields redevelopment. Brownfield site problems are common to many countries in Europe and around the world, and this article aims to share knowledge and resources that support the transformation of these abandoned or underused areas into public or private uses.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE (PDF)

 

November 2021
November 2021
84.4 | 24-31
Cezar Morar, PhD, University of Oradea, Romania, Laurel Berman, PhD, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Sharon Unkart, PhD, National Environmental Health Association, Serap Erdal, PhD, University of Illinois Chicago

Abstract

To assess the behavior and precautions that swine workers take during suspected influenza outbreaks in swine, six commercial swine farms in the Midwest U.S. region were visited when influenza outbreaks were suspected in herds during the fall/winter of 2012–2013. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and type of task performed by swine workers were recorded based on farm representative reports. Between one to two workers were working on the day of each visit and spent approximately 25 minutes performing work-related tasks that placed them in close contact with the swine. The most common tasks reported were walking the aisles (27%), handling pigs (21%), and handling equipment (21%). The most common PPE were boots (100%), heavy rubber gloves (75%), and dedicated nondisposable clothing (74%). Use of N95 respirators was reported at three farms. Hand hygiene practices were common in most of the farms, but reportedly performed for only 20% to 25% of tasks.

May 2016
May 2016
78.9 | 22-26
Blanca Paccha, MPH, Victor Neira-Ramirez, DVM, PhD, Shawn Gibbs, MBA, PhD, CIH, Montserrat Torremorell, DVM, PhD
Additional Topics A to Z: Pathogens and Outbreaks

Abstract

Previous research has revealed that firefighters have an increased risk for noise-induced hearing loss; however, firefighters do not reach an 8-hr time-weighted average (TWA) of 85 dB. The high variability in occupational tasks and intermittent noise exposure of firefighters offers an explanation for the low 8-hr TWA. Our study evaluated specific occupational tasks, firefighting positions, and fire engine noise during a live fire training exercise. Researchers then identified the tasks and firefighting positions that presented the greatest risk to firefighters’ hearing health. Firefighting positions were statistically significantly different (p = .04) in terms of decibel levels; we determined that the firefighter in the position of water pump operator experienced the greatest decibel level (91 dBA). Noise exposure while traveling in a response vehicle varied by the type of vehicle (p = .009), with the newest vehicle having the smallest noise level (81 dBA). Analysis of the data revealed that the occupational tasks with the highest noise levels were cleanup at the scene and cleanup at the fire station (88 dBA each).

 

May 2020
May 2020
82.9 | 22-26
Lynn R. Gilbertson, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, Donna J.H. Vosburgh, PhD, RS, Department of Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater
Additional Topics A to Z: Injury Prevention

This guest commentary examines a series of well-documented nosocomial viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks, including the October 2014 Dallas Ebola index case, to provide guidance for future preparedness and response in the health care setting. Hazard vulnerability assessments, occupational safety, relevant and appropriate personal protective equipment, and biosurveillance topics are discussed through the all-hazards preparedness lens.

September 2015
September 2015
78.2 | 28-32
Christopher Eddy, MPH, REHS, RS, CP-FS, Eriko Sase, PhD
Additional Topics A to Z: Pathogens and Outbreaks

December 2021 issue of the Journal of Environmental HealthAbstract

Environmental health is historically an overlooked and underrated discipline. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the value of environmental health and environmental health professionals (EHPs). EHPs have a unique set of skills and knowledge that were, or could have been, significant in controlling the pandemic. This skill set includes a thorough understanding of legislation and regulations; the ability to conduct human health risk assessment and implement effective risk-control measures; enforcement, communication, and education skills; and a significant understanding of their own local communities. The opportunities for applying the skills of EHPs vary across the world depending on several factors, including legislative and regulatory frameworks in each jurisdiction. Here we present our early evaluation of the unique skills and knowledge base of EHPs and lessons that can be learned from EHP engagement in public health protection. We also argue that local knowledge and engagement need to be recognized as valuable tools in emergency preparedness. In our increasingly globalized world, mechanisms to maintain and value local knowledge are needed, which could be achieved by embedding the “value of local” into policy to ensure that the importance and value of local knowledge are captured. We also advocate for raising awareness of the value of public health, and specifically, environmental health.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE (PDF)

 

December 2021
December 2021
84.5 | 20-25
David T. Dyjack, DrPH, CIH, National Environmental Health Association, Adam Choonara, MCIEH, CEnvH, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Natural Sciences, Middlesex University, Gayle Davis, MPH, MIOA, SFHEA, CEnvH, Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Henry Dawson, MSc, CMCIEH, SFHEA, Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University
Additional Topics A to Z: Workforce Development

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