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.

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

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

The use of a portable wood dust collector (PWDC) to reduce exposure to wood dust during sanding with a belt sander or sawing with a miter saw was studied and an assessment was conducted of the effect of this collector on noise exposure. This pilot study used Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) samplers to collect wood dust samples and personal noise dosimeters to measure noise exposure. The PWDC was used to study various setup configurations for sanding and sawing. Other variables of interest were wood type, PDWC filter type, and sandpaper use frequency. The setup configuration of a commercially available hood was an important factor in the inhalable dust exposure when using sanding (p = .0001) and also sawing (p < .0001). The PDWC did not increase the noise during either task. None of the variables of interest predicted the noise level while sanding with a belt sander (p = .56). The type of wood was a significant predictor of noise for sawing with a miter saw (p = .01). The time it takes to adjust the PDWC hood and how this additional task affects productivity should be assessed to further understand the effectiveness of this control strategy.

 

December 2020
December 2020
83.5 | 12-17
Donna J.H. Vosburgh, MS, PhD, RS, Department of Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, Reid T. Barnhart, Department of Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, Connor Carrington, Department of Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, Morgan R. Drewek, Department of Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater
Additional Topics A to Z: Injury Prevention

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

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