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

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

Abstract

We surveyed public health and vector control agencies in the U.S. to identify barriers restricting the implementation of geospatial modeling for West Nile virus (WNV) control. We conducted 18 standardized interviews with public health and vector control agencies in states with the highest cumulative human WNV cases. Agencies were organized by their implementation of geospatial modeling (Initial: Implementation and Support; Internal: Surveillance and Mitigation, and External: Outreach and Communication) and thematic analysis was used to identify barriers and best practices. Initial: Implementation and Support agencies reported funding and educational barriers, while Internal: Surveillance and Mitigation agencies reported surveillance data challenges and mistrust of geospatial modeling as limiting geospatial modeling usage. Agencies involved in External: Outreach and Communication reported policy guidelines and lack of public interest as barriers to using geospatial modeling for WNV control. To overcome these challenges, we identified the use of unified resource programs, local data repositories, and multi-stakeholder taskforces for addressing these challenges to WNV control. The findings from this study can be used to help improve WNV control within the U.S. and might be equally valuable for preemptively mitigating the impacts of emerging and reemerging mosquito-borne diseases.

 

June 2018
June 2018
80.10 | 24-31
Bryan Moy, MPH, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, Ryan Harrigan, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, Hilary Godwin, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
Additional Topics A to Z: Technology

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