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

Unintentional nonfire-related (UNFR) carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is among the leading causes of unintentional poisoning deaths in the U.S. Our objective was to determine risk factors for UNFR CO poisoning deaths during the cold season in New York City (NYC). We examined data from death certificates and NYC Office of Medical Examiner records to describe decedent demographics, exposure circumstances, and CO sources during the cold months (October–April) between 2005–2013. Over the study period there were 32 UNFR CO deaths, with an average annual death rate of 0.4 per million people. Average annual cold-season death rates were higher among older adults (1.2 per million people ≥65 years) and men (0.8 per million men). The most common source of exposure was automobile engines (n = 15, 47%). The UNFR CO poisoning death rate in NYC is lower than the national average. Older adults and men are at greatest risk of death. Automobile exhaust is a significant and preventable source of exposure and should be emphasized in public health messaging and prevention efforts.

 

May 2019
May 2019
81.9 | 16-22
Aletheia Donahue, MPH, MD, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine, Kathryn Lane, MA, MPH, Bureau of Environmental Surveillance and Policy, New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Thomas Matte, MPH, MD, Bureau of Environmental Surveillance and Policy, New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Abstract

The large global production of plastics and their presence everywhere in society and the environment have created a need for assessing chemical hazards and risks associated with plastic products. Plastics from polystyrene can release potentially toxic products (including styrene), particularly when heated. In this study we used a Fluo-Imager Analyser with software for spectral fluorescence signature (SFS) analysis. The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare the amount of styrene released into food and beverages by using SFS on a Fluo-Imager Analyser. Our results showed that concentrations of released styrene were in the range of 1.45–9.95 µg/L for hot water and 0.10–2.78 µg/L for room temperature water. The results indicate that this fluorescence diagnostic method is an effective tool for analysis of styrene released into food and beverages from polystyrene containers and cups, and could be useful in further investigations of styrene toxicity.

 

May 2019
May 2019
81.9 | 24-30
Bruno Cvetkovic, Andrija Stampar Teaching Institute of Public Health, Branko Kolaric, MD, PhD, Andrija Stampar Teaching Institute of Public Health, University of Rijeka, Zelimira Cvetkovic, PhD, Andrija Stampar Teaching Institute of Public Health, Sanja Pintaric, PhD, First School of Economics
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazardous Materials

The Great East Japan Earthquake was the first disaster ever recorded that included an earthquake, a tsunami, a nuclear power plant accident, a power supply failure, and a large-scale disruption of supply chains. Amid the deep devastation and massive recovery efforts, came the challenge of how to collect, store, sort, recycle, and process disaster debris in an efficient and sustainable manner. View this session to learn how this is being done at the largest outdoor Municipal Recycling Facility in operation, and return to your organization with a model for how to work with government and planning departments to permit and build temporary disaster debris processing facilities.

July 2015
Leonard Grossberg, MPA, REHS/RS
Potential CE Credits: 1.00
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazards

Description

This special report examines two federal laws, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and considers the role each law plays in discussions about employees’ symptoms or illnesses. It is possible that existing state laws might restrict restaurant manager actions on this issue. Industry food safety professionals, however, specifically mentioned federal laws, so this special report will focus on federal regulations.

December 2017
December 2017
80.5 | 24-26
Julia Charles, JD, Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Taylor Radke, MPH, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Abstract

The objective of this study was to describe changes in carbon monoxide (CO) safety knowledge and observed CO detector use following distribution of a CO detector use intervention in two environments, a pediatric emergency department (Ohio) and an urban community (Maryland). A total of 301 participants completed the 6-month follow up (Ohio: n = 125; Maryland: n = 176). The majority of participants was female, 25–34 years of age, and employed (full or part time). We found that CO safety knowledge did not differ between settings at enrollment, but significantly improved at the follow-up visits. The majority of CO detectors observed were functional and installed in the correct location. Of those with CO detectors at follow up, the majority had not replaced the battery. The success of the intervention varied between settings and distribution methods. The majority of participants showed improved knowledge and behaviors. Improved device technology may be needed to eliminate the need for battery replacement.

May 2017
May 2017
79.9 | 24-30
Lara B. McKenzie, MA, PhD, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, The Ohio State Uni, Kristin J. Roberts, MS, MPH, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Wendy C. Shields, MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Eileen McDonald, MS, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Abstract

Proper hand washing practices in food service establishments are important for the adequate reduction of microorganisms on hands. To address practical barriers associated with active and direct interventions, this study employed passive and indirect interventions to examine whether the simple use of a water flow timer and an informational poster could influence food handler hand washing practices. A within-group, multiple-intervention experiment including baseline, single intervention, multiple intervention, and withdrawal phases was conducted at a student-operated, full-service restaurant over 4 weeks. We recorded a total of 839 hand washing practices over 112 hr of observation using a motion-detecting camera. Findings showed that the presence of a water flow timer increased the duration of hand washing and the compliance rate to proper scrubbing duration. The effects were robust in the weeks when establishments were busy with high-customer volume. The findings provide useful data regarding the use of passive and indirect interventions to change food handler hand washing practices.

 

April 2019
April 2019
81.8 | 8-13
EunSol Her, MS, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, Carl Behnke, PhD, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, Barbara Almanza, PhD, RDN, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University

An analysis of drinking water contamination at both the community and household level was conducted in Shatila camp, Lebanon. To ascertain the health impacts of water contamination in children under five, questionnaires were used to elicit community and household practices as well as child health indicators. Results, suggested interventions, and risk communication and targeted health education will be discussed in the context of human rights and marginalized populations.

 

Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

July 2015
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health

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