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

Some African-American communities in the U.S. South are excluded from nearby municipal water and sewer services and therefore rely on private wells and septic systems. These “underbounded” communities are disproportionately exposed to water contaminants and face elevated risks for poor health outcomes. Outreach efforts encouraging proper well testing and maintenance are needed to protect health in these communities. To identify knowledge gaps and misconceptions that such outreach programs should target, we conducted semistructured interviews with 18 residents of such communities in Wake County, North Carolina. Only one interviewee conducted annual well testing as recommended by the county health department. Interview results suggest that testing is inhibited by lack of awareness of well maintenance guidelines, overreliance on sensory information, poor understanding of exposure pathways, and cost. Links between private septic systems, well water contamination, and health are poorly understood, hindering proper septic maintenance. These findings highlight the need for risk communication materials targeting at-risk communities.

 

December 2018
December 2018
81.5 | 8-15
Chelsea Fizer, MS, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina, Wändi Bruine de Bruin, PhD, Leeds University Business School, Carnegie Mellon University, Frank Stillo, MSPH, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina, Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson, PhD, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina

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 Bats and Rabies PowerPoints is available via the link listed below:   

Chuck Lichon, R.S., M.P.H.
Additional Topics A to Z: Vectors and Pests

Abstract

Most populations now derive benefits as well as risks from a global economy. Local environnmetal health can be impacted positively through importation or adoption of foreign technological advances, administrative approaches, and cultural attributes, to name only a few. Similarly, risks are now commonly shared on an international scale, as illustrated by cross-border food source contamination, emerging or recognized disease spread, unchecked international pollution, and a host of other incidents in recent years. Beyond the case study, historical record of the textbook approach, affordable study abroad programs now exist to more concretely educate students about such impacts. Once considered simply a perquisite for more financially able students, or a requirement for language arts students, both short- and long-term study abroad programs increasingly add a necessary global perspective to the college environmental health graduate. This special report details the ways in which a number of accredited programs are using and integrating study abroad experiences into their curriculums to better prepare their graduates to meet the international environmental health and safety challenges of the 21st century.

 

July 2017
July/August 2017
80.1 | 30-33
Timothy J. Ryan, PhD, CIH, CSP, Ohio University
Additional Topics A to Z: Workforce Development

Abstract

Rats are a common problem in cities worldwide. Impoverished urban neighborhoods are disproportionately affected because factors associated with poverty promote rat infestations and rat–human contact. In public health, most studies have focused on disease transmission, but little is known about the nonphysical consequences of this environmental exposure. Mental health often is neglected but is receiving increasing attention in public health research and practice. The objective of this study was to use a systematic review and narrative synthesis of the published literature to explore the effect of rat exposure on mental health among residents in impoverished urban neighborhoods. Although the literature addressing this topic was sparse, the results of this review suggest that rat exposure consistently has a negative impact on mental health. These effects can be elicited directly (e.g., fear of rat bites) or indirectly (e.g., feeling of disempowerment from inability to tackle rat problems). By developing a better understanding of potential rat-related health risks, both mental and physical, public health officials can better evaluate, refine, and develop their policies regarding rats.

 

November 2018
November 2018
81.4 | 8-12
Raymond Lam, MSc, CPHI(C), School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Kaylee A. Byers, MSc, University of British Columbia, Chelsea G. Himsworth, MVetSc, DVM, Dipl ACVP, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia

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 Body Art PowerPoints is available via the link listed below:   

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

Abstract

Various methodologies have been utilized in hand-hygiene (HH) research to measure the quality and compliance rates of hand washing. Some notable examples are direct observation, self-report, image quantification of fluorescence, microbial sampling, automated systems, and electronically assisted devices. While direct observation is considered the gold standard of HH monitoring systems, its methodological limitations (e.g., high staffing demands, participant reactivity, and undersampling) have yet to be overcome. As a result, there is renewed interest in developing technologies or methods of assessment that are cost-effective, accurate, and not intrusive. This article provides a brief review of HH monitoring systems while presenting a less resource-intensive methodology utilizing image analysis of fluorescence to assess hand washing. Results indicate that the proposed HH protocol could be used to replace human visual analysis of fluorescence, as well as provide a less resource-intensive option to assess HH under controlled conditions. Future implications and the need for additional research, such as cross-validating the results in a real-world clinical setting, are discussed.

June 2016
June 2016
78.10 | 14-20
Neil Deochand, MS, MA, Michelle E. Deochand, MS

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