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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2013), Pages 1-445

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Best Paper Award 2013
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(1), 443-445; doi:10.3390/ijerph10010443
Received: 22 January 2013 / Accepted: 22 January 2013 / Published: 23 January 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (157 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the start of 2013, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is instituting an annual award to recognize outstanding papers related to environmental health sciences and public health that meet the aims, scope and high standards of this journal. We are
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With the start of 2013, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is instituting an annual award to recognize outstanding papers related to environmental health sciences and public health that meet the aims, scope and high standards of this journal. We are pleased to announce the first “International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Best Paper Award” for 2013. Nominations were solicited from the Editorial Board members, with all papers published in 2009 eligible for consideration. [...] Full article
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Research

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Open AccessArticle Awareness of and Attitudes towards Heat Waves within the Context of Climate Change among a Cohort of Residents in Adelaide, Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(1), 1-17; doi:10.3390/ijerph10010001
Received: 6 November 2012 / Revised: 6 December 2012 / Accepted: 11 December 2012 / Published: 20 December 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (136 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Heat waves are a public health concern in Australia and unprecedented heat waves have been recorded in Adelaide over recent years. The aim of this study was to examine the perception and attitudes towards heat waves in the context of climate change among
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Heat waves are a public health concern in Australia and unprecedented heat waves have been recorded in Adelaide over recent years. The aim of this study was to examine the perception and attitudes towards heat waves in the context of climate change among a group of residents in Adelaide, an Australian city with a temperate climate. A cross-sectional study was conducted in the summer of 2012 among a sample of 267 residents. The results of the survey found that television (89.9%), radio (71.2%), newspapers (45.3%) were the main sources from which respondents received information about heat waves. The majority of the respondents (73.0%) followed news about heat waves very or somewhat closely. About 26.6% of the respondents were extremely or very concerned about the effects of heat waves on them personally. The main issues that were of personal concern for respondents during a heat wave were their personal comfort (60.7%), their garden (48.7%), and sleeping well (47.6%). Overall, respondents were more concerned about the impacts of heat waves to the society than on themselves. There was a significant association between gender (χ² = 21.2, df = 3, p = 0.000), gross annual household income (p = 0.03) and concern for the societal effects of heat waves. Less than half (43.2%) of the respondents believed that heat waves will extremely or very likely increase in Adelaide according to climate projections. Nearly half (49.3%) believed that the effects of heat waves were already being felt in Adelaide. These findings may inform the reframing and communication strategies for heat waves in Adelaide in the context of climate change. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effect of Magnetic Nanoparticles on Tobacco BY-2 Cell Suspension Culture
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(1), 47-71; doi:10.3390/ijerph10010047
Received: 6 August 2012 / Revised: 6 December 2012 / Accepted: 7 December 2012 / Published: 20 December 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (518 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nanomaterials are structures whose exceptionality is based on their large surface, which is closely connected with reactivity and modification possibilities. Due to these properties nanomaterials are used in textile industry (antibacterial textiles with silver nanoparticles), electronics (high-resolution imaging, logical circuits on the molecular
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Nanomaterials are structures whose exceptionality is based on their large surface, which is closely connected with reactivity and modification possibilities. Due to these properties nanomaterials are used in textile industry (antibacterial textiles with silver nanoparticles), electronics (high-resolution imaging, logical circuits on the molecular level) and medicine. Medicine represents one of the most important fields of application of nanomaterials. They are investigated in connection with targeted therapy (infectious diseases, malignant diseases) or imaging (contrast agents). Nanomaterials including nanoparticles have a great application potential in the targeted transport of pharmaceuticals. However, there are some negative properties of nanoparticles, which must be carefully solved, as hydrophobic properties leading to instability in aqueous environment, and especially their possible toxicity. Data about toxicity of nanomaterials are still scarce. Due to this fact, in this work we focused on studying of the effect of magnetic nanoparticles (NPs) and modified magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) on tobacco BY-2 plant cell suspension culture. We aimed at examining the effect of NPs and MNPs on growth, proteosynthesis — total protein content, thiols — reduced (GSH) and oxidized (GSSG) glutathione, phytochelatins PC2-5, glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity and antioxidant activity of BY-2 cells. Whereas the effect of NPs and MNPs on growth of cell suspension culture was only moderate, significant changes were detected in all other biochemical parameters. Significant changes in protein content, phytochelatins levels and GST activity were observed in BY-2 cells treated with MNPs nanoparticles treatment. Changes were also clearly evident in the case of application of NPs. Our results demonstrate the ability of MNPs to negatively affect metabolism and induce biosynthesis of protective compounds in a plant cell model represented by BY-2 cell suspension culture. The obtained results are discussed, especially in connection with already published data. Possible mechanisms of NPs’ and MNPs’ toxicity are introduced. Full article
Open AccessArticle Environmental Contamination by Dog’s Faeces: A Public Health Problem?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(1), 72-84; doi:10.3390/ijerph10010072
Received: 19 September 2012 / Revised: 14 December 2012 / Accepted: 17 December 2012 / Published: 24 December 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (434 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The risk to public health from the large number of dog stools present on streets of urban areas is cause for concern. Dog faeces may be a serious hazard because they may contain microorganisms that are both pathogenic to humans and resistant to
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The risk to public health from the large number of dog stools present on streets of urban areas is cause for concern. Dog faeces may be a serious hazard because they may contain microorganisms that are both pathogenic to humans and resistant to several classes of antibiotics. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential for zoonotic infections and for the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in canine faeces which contaminates the urban environment. A total of 418 canine faecal samples were collected from streets in seven areas of Bari, Southern Italy. We have isolated multi-drug resistant Enterococci and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from these dog faecal samples. The presence of the resistant bacteria in an urban environment may represent a public health hazard which requires control measures by competent authorities. No Salmonella, Yersinia or Campylobacter species were isolated. Giardia cysts were detected in 1.9% of the samples. The predominant Enterococcus species were E. faecium (61.6%), E. gallinarum (23.3%) and E. casseliflavus (5.5%). Other species, including E. faecalis were also isolated. These strains were resistant to clindamycin (86.3%), tetracycline (65.7%), erythromycin (60.27%) and ampicillin (47.9%). High-level aminoglycoside resistance (HLAR) was found in 65.7% of enterococci. Resistance to three or more antibiotics and six or more antibiotics were observed in 67.12% and 38.4% of Enterococcus spp., respectively. Resistance to vancomycin and teicoplanin was not detected in any of the Enterococcus spp. isolated. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was isolated in 0.7% of the faecal samples. Canine faeces left on the streets may represent a risk factor for transmission of microorganisms and a reservoir of multidrug- resistant bacteria thus contributing to the spread of resistance genes into an urban area. Full article
Open AccessArticle Visibility and Social Recognition as Psychosocial Work Environment Factors among Cleaners in a Multi-Ethnic Workplace Intervention
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(1), 85-106; doi:10.3390/ijerph10010085
Received: 19 July 2012 / Revised: 5 December 2012 / Accepted: 19 December 2012 / Published: 24 December 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (390 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article focuses on the psychosocial work environment of immigrant cleaners at a Danish workplace. Today, many cleaners working in Danish cleaning jobs are women from the established immigrant communities, but also labour migrants from the newer EU member states have found their
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This article focuses on the psychosocial work environment of immigrant cleaners at a Danish workplace. Today, many cleaners working in Danish cleaning jobs are women from the established immigrant communities, but also labour migrants from the newer EU member states have found their way to the cleaning industry. Studies have drawn attention to immigrants’ low position in the cleaning industry and their increased risk of work injuries. This article is based on a case study of an intervention called “Make a Difference” designed to improve the work environment among cleaners at a multi-ethnic workplace. We used semi-structured interviews, photo logs, observation and participation to investigate how the cleaners experienced their work environment. The cleaners reported an overload of heavy work, related to the concept of a classroom’s “readiness for cleaning”, and they expressed strained social relations and communication in addition to a lack of social recognition and invisibility at the workplace, a school. We analysed these psychosocial work environmental problems by investigating the different forms of social relationships and communication within the group of cleaners, and between the cleaners and the teachers and pupils at the school. Moreover, we discussed why the intervention, based on training of language and cleaning skills and social interaction, only partially improved the cleaners’ psychosocial work environment problems. In this article, we argue that social divisions based on ethnicity between the new and the established group of cleaners, combined with their marginal position and poor work organisation at the school, reinforced the cleaners’ experiences of psychosocial work environment problems. This article suggests that increased effort towards social inclusion at work and improved work organisation, especially for the new labour migrants from newer EU-countries, should be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health 2012)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Influence of Land Use and Land Cover Datasets with Different Points in Time and Levels of Detail on Watershed Modeling in the North River Watershed, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(1), 144-157; doi:10.3390/ijerph10010144
Received: 25 October 2012 / Revised: 22 November 2012 / Accepted: 4 December 2012 / Published: 27 December 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1201 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land use and land cover (LULC) information is an important component influencing watershed modeling with regards to hydrology and water quality in the river basin. In this study, the sensitivity of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to LULC datasets with
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Land use and land cover (LULC) information is an important component influencing watershed modeling with regards to hydrology and water quality in the river basin. In this study, the sensitivity of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to LULC datasets with three points in time and three levels of detail was assessed in a coastal subtropical watershed located in Southeast China. The results showed good agreement between observed and simulated values for both monthly and daily streamflow and monthly NH4+-N and TP loads. Three LULC datasets in 2002, 2007 and 2010 had relatively little influence on simulated monthly and daily streamflow, whereas they exhibited greater effects on simulated monthly NH4+-N and TP loads. When using the two LULC datasets in 2007 and 2010 compared with that in 2002, the relative differences in predicted monthly NH4+-N and TP loads were −11.0 to −7.8% and −4.8 to −9.0%, respectively. There were no significant differences in simulated monthly and daily streamflow when using the three LULC datasets with ten, five and three categories. When using LULC datasets from ten categories compared to five and three categories, the relative differences in predicted monthly NH4+-N and TP loads were −6.6 to −6.5% and −13.3 to −7.3%, respectively. Overall, the sensitivity of the SWAT model to LULC datasets with different points in time and levels of detail was lower in monthly and daily streamflow simulation than in monthly NH4+-N and TP loads prediction. This research provided helpful insights into the influence of LULC datasets on watershed modeling. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessing the Impact of Socioeconomic Variables on Small Area Variations in Suicide Outcomes in England
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(1), 158-177; doi:10.3390/ijerph10010158
Received: 23 October 2012 / Revised: 14 December 2012 / Accepted: 20 December 2012 / Published: 27 December 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (3969 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecological studies of suicide and self-harm have established the importance of area variables (e.g., deprivation, social fragmentation) in explaining variations in suicide risk. However, there are likely to be unobserved influences on risk, typically spatially clustered, which can be modeled as random effects.
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Ecological studies of suicide and self-harm have established the importance of area variables (e.g., deprivation, social fragmentation) in explaining variations in suicide risk. However, there are likely to be unobserved influences on risk, typically spatially clustered, which can be modeled as random effects. Regression impacts may be biased if no account is taken of spatially structured influences on risk. Furthermore a default assumption of linear effects of area variables may also misstate or understate their impact. This paper considers variations in suicide outcomes for small areas across England, and investigates the impact on them of area socio-economic variables, while also investigating potential nonlinearity in their impact and allowing for spatially clustered unobserved factors. The outcomes are self-harm hospitalisations and suicide mortality over 6,781 Middle Level Super Output Areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economical Determinants of Health)
Open AccessArticle Health Insurance, Socio-Economic Position and Racial Disparities in Preventive Dental Visits in South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013,