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

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

Article Abstract

Combined exposure to secondhand (SHS) smoke and radon increases lung cancer risk 10-fold. The authors assessed the feasibility and impact of a brief home screening and environmental feedback intervention to reduce radon and SHS (Freedom from Radon and Smoking in the Home [FRESH]) and measured perceived risk of lung cancer and synergistic risk perception (SHS x radon). Participants (N = 50) received home radon and SHS kits and completed baseline surveys. Test results were shared using an intervention guided by the Teachable Moment Model. Half of the participants completed online surveys two months later. Most (76%) returned the radon test kits; 48% returned SHS kits. Of the returned radon test kits, 26% were >4.0 pCi/L. Of the returned SHS kits, 38% had nicotine >.1 μg/m3. Of those with high radon, more than half had contacted a mitigation specialist or planned contact. Of those with positive air nicotine, 75% had adopted smoke-free homes. A significant increase occurred in perceived risk for lung cancer and synergistic risk perception after FRESH. 

Jan/Feb 2014
76.6 | 156-161
Ellen J. Hahn, RN, PhD, FAAN, Mary Kay Rayens, PhD, Sarah E. Kercsmar, PhD, Sarah M. Adkins, MS
Additional Topics A to Z: Radon

Abstract

This study examined the prevalence of home testing for radon and secondhand smoke (SHS) and associations between testing status and sociodemographic variables. It was a cross-sectional study of the baseline data from a randomized controlled trial to test the effects of a personalized environmental report-back intervention on exposure to radon and SHS in the home. Homeowners (n = 515) and renters (n = 47) were recruited in primary care or community settings using stratification by smoking in the home. Homeowners were randomly assigned to treatment or control; renters were assigned to treatment. Home testing status was determined by completion of short-term radon test kits and passive airborne nicotine samplers. Free test kits were provided to the treatment group. Controls received a coupon for free test kits. Of the 562 participants, 48% tested for radon and SHS. Higher education was associated with increased likelihood of testing. Homeowners and renters in the treatment group were more likely to test than homeowners in the control group. Participants were more likely to test their homes when provided free test kits in person.

 

October 2018
October 2018
81.3 | E1-E6
Karen M. Butler, DNP, RN, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Luz Huntington-Moskos, PhD, RN, CPN, School of Nursing, University of Louisville, Mary Kay Rayens, PhD, Colleges of Nursing and Public Health, University of Kentucky, Amanda T. Wiggins, PhD, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky

Abstract

This article uses township-level mortality registry databases to examine environmental health disparities in Dalian, China, and potential associations with geographic, social, and economic factors. It is the first time that these Chinese databases have been used for research in environmental health. The findings highlight the fact that environmental health risks and benefits of urban development are unequally distributed between urban centers and their suburbs. Consequently, environmental conditions have been drastically degraded in the suburbs. Furthermore, associated death rates and cancer mortality rates (CMR) have increased. A link between high CMR and industrial pollution was discovered through space-time clusters and statistical analyses. In addition, population aging was found to be a factor in understanding the spatial inequalities of cancer and death. This article suggests that Environmental Model Cities should be required to have no negative impact on environmental health in other areas.

 

June 2018
June 2018
80.10 | E1-E9
Zhenguo Zhang, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Dalian Nationalities University, Lee Liu, School of Environmental, Physical and Applied Sciences, University of Central Missouri
Additional Topics A to Z: Environmental Justice

Abstract

Groundwater is the main water resource in rural areas throughout the world. The present study aimed to measure nine heavy metals (arsenic, chromium, cobalt, iron, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, and zinc) in rural areas of Saqqez, Iran. Water samples were collected from 150 sampling stations (wells, springs, and tanks). The heavy metal concentrations were measured using inductively coupled plasma and the spatial distribution of the heavy metal concentrations was mapped. Risk assessment was performed using average daily dose and hazard quotient. The mean concentration of heavy metals in drinking water from different sources were found in order of iron > zinc > chromium > molybdenum > nickel > cobalt > arsenic > mercury > manganese. The concentrations of arsenic, iron, and molybdenum were, however, higher than World Health Organization and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards in a few of the samples. Moreover, the statistical analysis revealed that there are no significant variations between well, spring, and tank sources (p < .05). In addition, no significant difference was observed between water quality with different geographical directions and slopes (p < .05). The mean human health risk values for mercury in well and tank water sources were above 1, indicating potential risk.

January 2018
January/February 2018
80.6 | E1-E9
Shadi Kohzadi, Environmental Health Research Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Behzad Shahmoradi, Environmental Health Research Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Daem Raushani, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Asad Nouri, Environmental Health Research Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences

Abstract

This study deals with the temporal monitoring of air quality in a densely populated residential area of Delhi to assess the impact of firework displays on ambient concentrations of PM10, PM2.5, and trace metals in air particulates for pre-Diwali, Diwali, and post-Diwali festival times during 2012 and 2013. We monitored for particulate concentration, which causes adverse health effects, during morning and evening hours. The use of fireworks during Diwali increased 1.6–1.9 times in the concentration of PM10 and increased1.7–2.1 times in the concentration of PM2.5 as compared with pre- and post-Diwali during our monitoring in 2012. In 2013, however, PM10 concentration increased 1.5–2.0 times, and PM2.5 increased 1.7–2.2 times. The average concentration of particulates on the day of Diwali was higher in 2012 compared with 2013, which might be attributed to adverse meteorological conditions. The following average concentrations (in μg/m3) were associated with particulates on Diwali in 2013, in order: aluminum (19.47) > magnesium (11.39) > sulfur (7.69) > potassium (6.50) > iron (0.74) > zinc (0.30) > lead (0.13) > copper (0.09).

 

November 2018
November 2018
81.4 | E1-E8
Pramod Kumar, University School of Env. Management, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, University of Delhi, N.C. Gupta, University School of Env. Management, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University
Additional Topics A to Z: Ambient Air

Abstract

The expansion of hydraulic fracturing throughout the U.S. has led to increased flowback and produced water (FPW) production. One reuse option for FPW is agricultural irrigation. Reusing this waste stream to produce crops, however, has uncertain human health implications. A greenhouse experiment was performed to evaluate the plant uptake and health risks associated with consuming wheat (Triticum aestivum) irrigated with simulated flowback water containing FPW constituents arsenic and cadmium. The experiment also evaluated the impacts of tetrasodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), a common hydraulic fracturing fluid additive and metal chelator, on plant uptake. Arsenic and cadmium were applied at concentrations of 77 and 12 µg/L, respectively, based on documented flowback water sample medians. EDTA was applied at 37 mg/L, the median reported injection concentration. Arsenic and cadmium were extracted from harvested grain and quantified using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Results indicated that EDTA did not significantly increase plant uptake of the applied metals. Treated grain was found to contain 6.5 times higher arsenic and 1.4 times higher cadmium concentrations than control grain. Health risk evaluations revealed elevated carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic risks associated with the ingestion of arsenic in treated wheat grain.

 

January 2019
January/February 2019
81.6 | E1-E9
Linsey Shariq, PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis

Abstract

In Australia, inspections of food premises are routinely conducted by environmental health officers (EHOs) using a checklist approach; the checklist is either manually written or stored into an electronic device. EHOs primarily assess cleanliness by visual inspection. Microbiological sampling is limited to those occasions requiring statutory evidence collection. The evidence gap between visual inspection and microbial sampling might be assisted by using commercially available rapid adenosine triphosphate (ATP) testing devices. This article presents a pilot study using ATP testing together with a new sampling algorithm in the assessment of surface cleanliness. Surfaces and implements were tested in eight food premises using ATP testing to determine cleanliness on items that passed the visual test of cleanliness. Cleanliness was verified using a cleaning intervention step. Of the 49 of 72 (68%) surfaces and implements assessed as visually clean, they were shown to have inadequate cleanliness (p = .001). The findings support using ATP testing with the new algorithm, as this could provide a reliable approach for surveillance of surface cleanliness by EHOs.

 

July 2018
July/August 2018
81.1 | E1-E8
Greg S. Whiteley, MSc, PhD, DAICD, Western Sydney University, Whiteley Corporation, Mark Nolan, MSc, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Paul P. Fahey, MMS, Western Sydney University

Abstract

The role played by air pollutants on sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in childhood thus far has been little analyzed, although susceptibility to environmental toxicity is higher in children than in adults. This ecological study, carried out in the province of Varese, Italy, explores the geographical pattern of SDB among children and investigates its relationship with combustion-related pollution. For each of the 754 patients admitted to the Sleep-Disorder Breathing Center of Varese due to sleep respiratory disturbances, the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) upon which SDB diagnosis is based was recorded. Through spatial analysis methods, the geographical heterogeneity of SDB and its severity were analyzed using AHI-based indicators.

From available nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels, the geographical pattern of the pollutant—regarded as a marker for combustion-related mixtures—was obtained and compared with that of SDB. We identified an area of significantly higher SDB case density (p < .05) and found that the relative risk (RR) of SDB increased significantly for the children living in this area (RR = 1.307, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.155, 1.477]). In this area, annual NO2 levels were 1.5 times the provincial average. For the whole study region, moreover, we found a significant positive correlation (p < .01) between SDB severity and NO2. These findings suggest that traffic-related pollution might contribute to SDB onset and level of severity.

 

December 2018
December 2018
81.5 | E1-E7
Federica Manzoni, MD, University of Pavia, Stefania Tentoni, MSc, IMATI–CNR, Luana Nosetti, MD, Insubria University, Filippo del Ponte Hospital, Alessandra Niespolo, MD, Insubria University, Filippo del Ponte Hospital
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health

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