Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 10, Issue 3 (March 2013), Pages 747-1151

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-28
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle The Impact of Socio-Economic Status on Self-Rated Health: Study of 29 Countries Using European Social Surveys (2002–2008)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 747-761; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030747
Received: 3 January 2013 / Revised: 8 February 2013 / Accepted: 20 February 2013 / Published: 25 February 2013
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (513 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Studies show that the association between socio-economic status (SES) and self-rated health (SRH) varies in different countries, however there are not many country-comparisons that examine this relationship over time. The objective of the present study is to determine the effect of three SES
[...] Read more.
Studies show that the association between socio-economic status (SES) and self-rated health (SRH) varies in different countries, however there are not many country-comparisons that examine this relationship over time. The objective of the present study is to determine the effect of three SES measures on SRH in 29 countries according to findings in European Social Surveys (2002–2008), in order to study how socio-economic inequalities can vary our subjective state of health. In line with previous studies, income inequalities seem to be greater not only in Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian countries, but especially in Eastern European countries. The impact of education is greater in Southern countries, and this effect is similar in Eastern and Scandinavian countries, although occupational status does not produce significant differences in southern countries. This study shows the general relevance of socio-educational factors on SRH. Individual economic conditions are obviously a basic factor contributing to a good state of health, but education could be even more relevant to preserve it. In this sense, policies should not only aim at reducing income inequalities, but should also further the education of people who are in risk of social exclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economical Determinants of Health)
Open AccessArticle Relationships between Heavy Metal Concentrations in Roadside Topsoil and Distance to Road Edge Based on Field Observations in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 762-775; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030762
Received: 26 November 2012 / Revised: 31 January 2013 / Accepted: 22 February 2013 / Published: 25 February 2013
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (330 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated the spatial distribution of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni) and arsenic (As) in roadside topsoil in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and evaluated the potential environmental risks of these roadside heavy metals due
[...] Read more.
This study investigated the spatial distribution of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni) and arsenic (As) in roadside topsoil in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and evaluated the potential environmental risks of these roadside heavy metals due to traffic emissions. A total of 120 topsoil samples were collected along five road segments in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The nonlinear regression method was used to formulize the relationship between the metal concentrations in roadside soils and roadside distance. The Hakanson potential ecological risk index method was applied to assess the degrees of heavy metal contaminations. The regression results showed that both of the heavy metals’ concentrations and their ecological risk indices decreased exponentially with the increase of roadside distance. The large R square values of the regression models indicate that the exponential regression method can suitably describe the relationship between heavy metal accumulation and roadside distance. For the entire study region, there was a moderate level of potential ecological risk within a 10 m roadside distance. However, Cd was the only prominent heavy metal which posed potential hazard to the local soil ecosystem. Overall, the rank of risk contribution to the local environments among the eight heavy metals was Cd > As > Ni > Pb > Cu > Co > Zn > Cr. Considering that Cd is a more hazardous heavy metal than other elements for public health, the local government should pay special attention to this traffic-related environmental issue. Full article
Open AccessArticle Does Farming Have an Effect on Health Status? A Comparison Study in West Greece
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 776-792; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030776
Received: 18 January 2013 / Revised: 17 February 2013 / Accepted: 21 February 2013 / Published: 26 February 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (404 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Investigating the health status of agricultural workers is a challenging goal. Contradictory outcomes concerning farmers’ health are reported in the literature. In this cross-sectional study, certain clinical and neurobehavioral health outcomes were compared between farmers and non-farmers living in the same rural area.
[...] Read more.
Investigating the health status of agricultural workers is a challenging goal. Contradictory outcomes concerning farmers’ health are reported in the literature. In this cross-sectional study, certain clinical and neurobehavioral health outcomes were compared between farmers and non-farmers living in the same rural area. Farmers (328) and non-farmers (347), matched per age and sex, were selected randomly in an agricultural area in West Greece. Both groups underwent haematological and biochemical examinations and were administered two neurobehavioral tests, namely the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Sociodemographic, personal medical, nutritional and lifestyle data were recorded. According to personal statements, farmers suffered from hypertension, cardiovascular, orthopaedic and ENT problems in higher frequency. Haematocrit, haemoglobin and serum cholinesterase’s activity were found to be lower among farmers. Lower prevalence of hypertension and better performances on MMSE and MADRS tests were recorded in young farmers in relation to young non-farmers, while these findings were reversed in older ages. Odds Ratios were calculated through multivariate logistic regression models. Factors affecting these impairments remain to be clarified. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Heavy Metal Pollution of Lakes along the Mid-Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River in China: Intensity, Sources and Spatial Patterns
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 793-807; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030793
Received: 28 December 2012 / Revised: 4 February 2013 / Accepted: 15 February 2013 / Published: 26 February 2013
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (1478 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Lakes in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River form a shallow lake group unique in the World that is becoming increasingly polluted by heavy metals. Previous studies have largely focused on individual lakes, with limited exploration of the regional pattern
[...] Read more.
Lakes in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River form a shallow lake group unique in the World that is becoming increasingly polluted by heavy metals. Previous studies have largely focused on individual lakes, with limited exploration of the regional pattern of heavy metal pollution of the lake group in this area. This paper explores the sources, intensity and spatial patterns of heavy metal pollution of lake sediments. A total of 45 sample lakes were selected and the concentrations of key metal elements in the sediments of each lake were measured. The cluster analysis (CA), principal component analysis (PCA) and Geo-accumulation index (Ig) analysis permitted analysis of the source and pollution intensity of the target lakes. Results suggested a notable spatial variation amongst the sample lakes. Lakes in the upper part of the lower reach of the Yangtze River surrounded by typical urban landscapes were strongly or extremely polluted, with high concentrations of Pb, Zn, Cu and Cd in their sediments. This was attributed to large amount of untreated industrial discharges and municipal sewage produced within the lake catchments. In contrast, the heavy-metal pollution of lakes in the Taihu Delta area was notably lower due to industrial restructuring and implementation of effective environmental protection measures. Lakes along the middle reach of Yangtze River surrounded by agricultural areas were unpolluted to moderately polluted by heavy metals overall. Our results suggested that lakes in the central part of China require immediate attention and efforts should be made to implement management plans to prevent further degradation of water quality in these lakes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Geochemistry and Health)
Open AccessArticle Outbreak of Ampicillin/Piperacillin-Resistant Klebsiella Pneumoniae in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): Investigation and Control Measures
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 808-815; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030808
Received: 28 December 2012 / Revised: 18 January 2013 / Accepted: 16 February 2013 / Published: 26 February 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (211 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a frequent cause of infectious outbreaks in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). The aim of this paper is to describe an outbreak occurred in a 13-bed NICU and the control measures adopted in order to interrupt the chain of transmission.
[...] Read more.
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a frequent cause of infectious outbreaks in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). The aim of this paper is to describe an outbreak occurred in a 13-bed NICU and the control measures adopted in order to interrupt the chain of transmission. We described the microbiological investigations, the NICU staff compliance to the infection control measures by means of a specifically designed check-list and the control measures adopted. Six cases of primary bloodstream infections sustained by ampicillin/piperacillin-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae were observed over a two-month period. One culture obtained from a 12% saccarose multiple-dose solution allowed the growth of Klebsiella pneumoniae. During the inspections performed by the Hospital Infection Control Team, using the check-list for the evaluation of the NICU staff compliance to the infection control measures, several breaches in the infection control policy were identified and control measures were adopted. In our case the definition of a specific check-list led to the adoption of the correct control measures. Further studies would be helpful in order to develop a standard check-list able to identify critical flows in the adhesion to the guidelines. It could be used in different NICUs and allow to obtain reproducible levels of infection control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Resistance Prevention and Control)
Open AccessArticle Vaccination and Clinical Severity: Is the Effectiveness of Contact Tracing and Case Isolation Hampered by Past Vaccination?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 816-829; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030816
Received: 7 January 2013 / Revised: 19 February 2013 / Accepted: 19 February 2013 / Published: 27 February 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (403 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While contact tracing and case isolation are considered as the first choice of interventions against a smallpox bioterrorist event, their effectiveness under vaccination is questioned, because not only susceptibility of host and infectiousness of case but also the risk of severe clinical manifestations
[...] Read more.
While contact tracing and case isolation are considered as the first choice of interventions against a smallpox bioterrorist event, their effectiveness under vaccination is questioned, because not only susceptibility of host and infectiousness of case but also the risk of severe clinical manifestations among cases is known to be reduced by vaccine-induced immunity, thereby potentially delaying the diagnosis and increasing mobility among vaccinated cases. We employed a multi-type stochastic epidemic model, aiming to assess the feasibility of contact tracing and case isolation in a partially vaccinated population and identify data gaps. We computed four epidemiological outcome measures, i.e., (i) the threshold of a major epidemic under the interventions; (ii) the expected total number of cases; (iii) the probability of extinction, and (iv) the expected duration of an outbreak, demonstrating that all of these outcomes critically depend on the clinical impact of past vaccination on the diagnosis and movement of vaccinated cases. We discuss that, even in the absence of smallpox in the present day, one should consider the way to empirically quantify the delay in case detection and an increase in the frequency of contacts among previously vaccinated cases compared to unvaccinated during the early stage of an epidemic so that the feasibility of contact tracing and case isolation in a vaccinated population can be explicitly assessed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Potential Changes in Rat Spermatogenesis and Sperm Parameters after Inhalation of Boswellia papyrifera and Boswellia carterii Incense
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 830-844; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030830
Received: 4 November 2012 / Revised: 14 February 2013 / Accepted: 15 February 2013 / Published: 28 February 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (6333 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study the effect of Boswellia papyrifera (B. papyrifera) and Boswellia carterii (B. carterii) smoke exposure on spermatogenesis and sperm parameters in male albino rats was investigated. Rats (n = 11) were exposed daily in smoking chambers to
[...] Read more.
In this study the effect of Boswellia papyrifera (B. papyrifera) and Boswellia carterii (B. carterii) smoke exposure on spermatogenesis and sperm parameters in male albino rats was investigated. Rats (n = 11) were exposed daily in smoking chambers to smoke emanated by burning 4 g each of either B. papyrifera or B. carterii for 48 days. At the end of exposure duration rats were killed, and the testes were excised and analysed for histopathological and ultrastructural changes. Sperm analysis including total sperm count, motility, velocity and relative percentage of abnormal sperms were recorded. Rats exposed to B. papyrifera and B. carterii showed significant disturbances in spermatogenetic patterns and changes in sperm kinetics compared to unexposed rats. Atrophied seminiferous tubules with dynamic changes were also noticed. The boundaries of intercellular and intracellular vacuoles were seen in the Sertoli cells. Furthermore, in spermatids acrosomal vesicles were not fully formed. Degenerating spermatids were devoid of their nuclear membrane with electron dense matrix and vacuolization. Structural changes in Leydig cells were observed. Sperm analysis in exposed rats exhibited significant decrease in the sperm count, motility, speed and an increase in sperm anomalies when compare to controls. These findings demonstrate that the B. papyrifera and B. carterii smoke affects the process of spermatogenesis and sperm parameters and indicate the detrimental effects of these incense materials on human reproductive system. Full article
Open AccessArticle Asellus aquaticus as a Potential Carrier of Escherichia coli and Other Coliform Bacteria into Drinking Water Distribution Systems
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 845-855; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030845
Received: 9 January 2013 / Revised: 15 February 2013 / Accepted: 19 February 2013 / Published: 1 March 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (227 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Individuals of the water louse, Asellus aquaticus, enter drinking water distribution systems in temperate parts of the world, where they establish breeding populations. We analysed populations of surface water A. aquaticus from two ponds for associated faecal indicator bacteria and assessed the risk
[...] Read more.
Individuals of the water louse, Asellus aquaticus, enter drinking water distribution systems in temperate parts of the world, where they establish breeding populations. We analysed populations of surface water A. aquaticus from two ponds for associated faecal indicator bacteria and assessed the risk of A. aquaticus transporting bacteria into distribution systems. Concentrations of up to two E. coli and five total coliforms·mL−1 were measured in the water and 200 E. coli and >240 total coliforms·mL−1 in the sediments of the investigated ponds. Concentrations of A. aquaticus associated bacteria never exceeded three E. coli and six total coliforms·A. aquaticus−1. During exposure to high concentrations of coliforms, concentrations reached 350 coliforms·A. aquaticus−1. A. aquaticus associated E. coli were only detected as long as E. coli were present in the water and sediment. The calculated probability of exceeding drinking water guideline values in non-disinfected systems by intrusion of A. aquaticus was low. Only in scenarios with narrow pipes and low flows, did total coliforms exceed guideline values, implying that the probability of detection by routine monitoring is also low. The study expands the knowledge base for evaluating incidents with presence of coliform indicators in drinking water by showing that intruding A. aquaticus were not important carriers of E. coli or other coliform bacteria even when emerging from faecally contaminated waters. Full article
Open AccessArticle Correlates of Unsupervised Bathing of Infants: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 856-866; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030856
Received: 10 January 2013 / Revised: 25 February 2013 / Accepted: 25 February 2013 / Published: 4 March 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (106 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Drowning represents the third leading cause of fatal unintentional injury in infants (0–1 years). The aim of this study is to investigate correlates of unsupervised bathing. This cross-sectional study included 1,410 parents with an infant. Parents completed a questionnaire regarding supervision during bathing,
[...] Read more.
Drowning represents the third leading cause of fatal unintentional injury in infants (0–1 years). The aim of this study is to investigate correlates of unsupervised bathing. This cross-sectional study included 1,410 parents with an infant. Parents completed a questionnaire regarding supervision during bathing, socio-demographic factors, and Protection Motivation Theory-constructs. To determine correlates of parents who leave their infant unsupervised, logistic regression analyses were performed. Of the parents, 6.2% left their child unsupervised in the bathtub. Parents with older children (OR 1.24; 95%CI 1.00–1.54) were more likely to leave their child unsupervised in the bathtub. First-time parents (OR 0.59; 95%CI 0.36–0.97) and non-Western migrant fathers (OR 0.18; 95%CI 0.05–0.63) were less likely to leave their child unsupervised in the bathtub. Furthermore, parents who perceived higher self-efficacy (OR 0.57; 95%CI 0.47–0.69), higher response efficacy (OR 0.34; 95%CI 0.24–0.48), and higher severity (OR 0.74; 95%CI 0.58–0.93) were less likely to leave their child unsupervised. Since young children are at great risk of drowning if supervision is absent, effective strategies for drowning prevention should be developed and evaluated. In the meantime, health care professionals should inform parents with regard to the importance of supervision during bathing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Injury Prevention) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Early Childhood Caries and Body Mass Index in Young Children from Low Income Families
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 867-878; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030867
Received: 1 September 2012 / Revised: 25 February 2013 / Accepted: 25 February 2013 / Published: 5 March 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (266 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The relationship between early childhood caries (ECC) and obesity is controversial. This cross-sectional survey investigated this association in children from low-income families in Goiania, Goias, Brazil and considered the role of several social determinants. A questionnaire examining the characteristics of the children and
[...] Read more.
The relationship between early childhood caries (ECC) and obesity is controversial. This cross-sectional survey investigated this association in children from low-income families in Goiania, Goias, Brazil and considered the role of several social determinants. A questionnaire examining the characteristics of the children and their families was administered to the primary caregiver during home visits. In addition, children (approximately 6 years of age) had their height, weight, and tooth condition assessed. The primary ECC outcome was categorized as one of the following: caries experience (decayed, missing, filled tooth: “dmft” index > 0), active ECC (decayed teeth > 0), or active severe ECC (decayed teeth ≥ 6). Descriptive, bivariate and logistic regression analyses were conducted. The participants in the current study consisted of 269 caregiver-child dyads, 88.5% of whom were included in the Family Health Program. Caregivers were mostly mothers (67.7%), were 35.3 ± 10.0 years old on average and had 9.8 ± 3.1 years of formal education. The mean family income was 2.3 ± 1.5 times greater than the Brazilian minimum wage. On average, the children in the current study were 68.7 ± 3.8 months old. Of these, 51.7% were boys, 23.4% were overweight or obese, 45.0% had active ECC, and 17.1% had severe ECC. The average body mass index (BMI) of the children was 15.9 ± 2.2, and their dmft index was 2.5 ± 3.2. BMI was not associated with any of the three categories of dental caries (p > 0.05). In contrast, higher family incomes were significantly associated with the lack of caries experience in children (OR 1.22, 95%CI 1.01–1.50), but the mother’s level of education was not significantly associated with ECC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economical Determinants of Health)
Open AccessArticle Water Sources and Their Protection from the Impact of Microbial Contamination in Rural Areas of Beijing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 879-891; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030879
Received: 31 December 2012 / Revised: 25 February 2013 / Accepted: 26 February 2013 / Published: 5 March 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (398 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bacterial contamination of drinking water is a major public health problem in rural China. To explore bacterial contamination in rural areas of Beijing and identify possible causes of bacteria in drinking water samples, water samples were collected from wells in ten rural districts
[...] Read more.
Bacterial contamination of drinking water is a major public health problem in rural China. To explore bacterial contamination in rural areas of Beijing and identify possible causes of bacteria in drinking water samples, water samples were collected from wells in ten rural districts of Beijing, China. Total bacterial count, total coliforms and Escherichia coli in drinking water were then determined and water source and wellhead protection were investigated. The bacterial contamination in drinking water was serious in areas north of Beijing, with the total bacterial count, total coliforms and Escherichia coli in some water samples reaching 88,000 CFU/mL, 1,600 MPN/100 mL and 1,600 MPN/100 mL, respectively. Water source types, well depth, whether the well was adequately sealed and housed, and whether wellhead is above or below ground were the main factors influencing bacterial contamination levels in drinking water. The bacterial contamination was serious in the water of shallow wells and wells that were not closed, had no well housing or had a wellhead below ground level. The contamination sources around wells, including village dry toilets and livestock farms, were well correlated with bacterial contamination. Total bacterial counts were affected by proximity to sewage ditches and polluting industries, however, proximity to landfills did not influence the microbial indicators. Full article
Open AccessArticle Men’s Migration, Women’s Personal Networks, and Responses to HIV/AIDS in Mozambique
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 892-912; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030892
Received: 24 December 2012 / Revised: 19 February 2013 / Accepted: 25 February 2013 / Published: 6 March 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (403 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study brings together the literature on social network approaches to social capital and health and on migration and HIV risks to examine how non-migrating wives of labor migrants use their personal networks to cope with perceived risks of HIV infection in rural
[...] Read more.
This study brings together the literature on social network approaches to social capital and health and on migration and HIV risks to examine how non-migrating wives of labor migrants use their personal networks to cope with perceived risks of HIV infection in rural southern Mozambique. Using data from a 2006 survey of 1,680 women and their dyadic interactions, we compare the composition of personal networks, HIV/AIDS communication, and preventive behavior of women married to migrants and those married to non-migrants. Results show that migrants’ wives were more likely than non-migrants’ wives to have other migrants’ wives as personal network members, to engage in HIV/AIDS communication, and to discuss HIV prevention. However, they were no more likely to talk about HIV/AIDS with migrants’ wives than with non-migrants’ wives. They were also no more likely to talk about AIDS and its prevention than non-migrants’ wives who express worry about HIV infection from their spouses. Finally, we detect that network members’ prevention behavior was similar to respondents’, although this did not depend on migration. We contextualize these findings within the literature and discuss their policy implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health 2012)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Coarse and Fine Culturable Fungal Air Concentrations in Urban and Rural Homes in Egypt
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 936-949; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030936
Received: 21 January 2013 / Revised: 25 February 2013 / Accepted: 26 February 2013 / Published: 6 March 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (244 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main objective of the present study was to assess culturable airborne fungal concentrations, and types in different seasons. Two-stage viable impactor samplers were used with malt extract agar medium as the collection media. Culturable airborne fungal concentrations were collected indoors and outdoors
[...] Read more.
The main objective of the present study was to assess culturable airborne fungal concentrations, and types in different seasons. Two-stage viable impactor samplers were used with malt extract agar medium as the collection media. Culturable airborne fungal concentrations were collected indoors and outdoors of 43 homes in urban and rural environments from November 2008 to October 2009 in Egypt. Fungal concentrations were significantly higher in the rural environment than the urban environment. The median indoor and outdoor total fungal concentrations were 608 and 675 CFU/m3 in the urban environment and 1,932 and 1,872 CFU/m3 in the rural environment, respectively. The greatest concentrations were found in the autumn and spring season. Indoor and outdoor concentrations were significantly correlated (P < 0.001). The highest concentrations were observed in the fungal size range of <8 µm (fine fraction). The indoor/outdoor (I/O) ratios were not statistically different between seasons. Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Penicillium and yeasts were the predominant genera indoors and outdoors, and the abundance of genera varied by season and region. This study is of a potential interest as little reported research on the indoor fungal air quality from Egypt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle A Multi-Site Study on Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs and Practice of Child-Dog Interactions in Rural China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 950-962; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030950
Received: 16 January 2013 / Revised: 25 February 2013 / Accepted: 27 February 2013 / Published: 7 March 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (271 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examines demographic, cognitive and behavioral factors that predict pediatric dog-bite injury risk in rural China. A total of 1,537 children (grades 4–6) in rural regions of Anhui, Hebei and Zhejiang Provinces, China completed self-report questionnaires assessing beliefs about and behaviors with
[...] Read more.
This study examines demographic, cognitive and behavioral factors that predict pediatric dog-bite injury risk in rural China. A total of 1,537 children (grades 4–6) in rural regions of Anhui, Hebei and Zhejiang Provinces, China completed self-report questionnaires assessing beliefs about and behaviors with dogs. The results showed that almost 30% of children reported a history of dog bites. Children answered 56% of dog-safety knowledge items correctly. Regressions revealed both demographic and cognitive/behavioral factors predicted children’s risky interactions with dogs and dog-bite history. Boys behaved more riskily with dogs and were more frequently bitten. Older children reported greater risks with dogs and more bites. With demographics controlled, attitudes/beliefs of invulnerability, exposure frequency, and dog ownership predicted children’s self-reported risky practice with dogs. Attitudes/beliefs of invulnerability, dog exposure, and dog ownership predicted dog bites. In conclusion, both demographic and cognitive/behavioral factors influenced rural Chinese children’s dog-bite injury risk. Theory-based, empirically-supported intervention programs might reduce dog-bite injuries in rural China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Injury Prevention) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Lung Cancer Risk from Occupational and Environmental Radon and Role of Smoking in Two Czech Nested Case-Control Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 963-979; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030963
Received: 5 January 2013 / Revised: 16 February 2013 / Accepted: 26 February 2013 / Published: 7 March 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (380 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the risk of lung cancer from combined exposure to radon and smoking. Methodologically, it is based on case-control studies nested within two Czech cohort studies of nearly 11,000 miners followed-up for mortality in 1952–2010
[...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the risk of lung cancer from combined exposure to radon and smoking. Methodologically, it is based on case-control studies nested within two Czech cohort studies of nearly 11,000 miners followed-up for mortality in 1952–2010 and nearly 12,000 inhabitants exposed to high levels of radon in homes, with mortality follow-up in 1960–2010. In addition to recorded radon exposure, these studies use information on smoking collected from the subjects or their relatives. A total of 1,029 and 370 cases with smoking information have been observed in the occupational and environmental (residential) studies, respectively. Three or four control subjects have been individually matched to cases according to sex, year of birth, and age. The combined effect from radon and smoking is analyzed in terms of geometric mixture models of which the additive and multiplicative models are special cases. The resulting models are relatively close to the additive interaction (mixing parameter 0.2 and 0.3 in the occupational and residential studies, respectively). The impact of the resulting model in the residential radon study is illustrated by estimates of lifetime risk in hypothetical populations of smokers and non-smokers. In comparison to the multiplicative risk model, the lifetime risk from the best geometric mixture model is considerably higher, particularly in the non-smoking population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation and Cancer Risk)
Open AccessArticle Socioeconomic Status is Significantly Associated with Dietary Salt Intakes and Blood Pressure in Japanese Workers (J-HOPE Study)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 980-993; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030980
Received: 26 December 2012 / Revised: 4 February 2013 / Accepted: 26 February 2013 / Published: 11 March 2013
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The association of socioeconomic status (SES) with nutrients intakes attracts public attention worldwide. In the current study, we examined the associations of SES with dietary salt intake and health outcomes in general Japanese workers (2,266) who participated in this Japanese occupational cohort. SES
[...] Read more.
The association of socioeconomic status (SES) with nutrients intakes attracts public attention worldwide. In the current study, we examined the associations of SES with dietary salt intake and health outcomes in general Japanese workers (2,266) who participated in this Japanese occupational cohort. SES was assessed by a self-administered questionnaire. Dietary intakes were assessed with a validated, brief, self-administered diet history questionnaire (BDHQ). Multiple linear regression and stratified analysis were used to evaluate the associations of salt intake with the confounding factors. Education levels and household incomes were significantly associated with salt intake, as well as blood pressures (P < 0.05). After adjusting for age, sex and total energy intake, both years of education and household income significantly affect the salt intake (for education, β = −0.031, P = 0.040; for household income, β = −0.046, P = 0.003). SES factors also affect the risk of hypertension, those subjects with higher levels of education or income had lower risk to become hypertensive (ORs for education was 0.904, P < 0.001; ORs for income was 0.956, P = 0.032). Our results show that SES is an independent determinant of salt intake and blood pressure, in order to lower the risk of hypertension, the efforts to narrow the social status gaps should be considered by the health policy-makers. Full article
Open AccessArticle Fate and Transport of Toxoplasma gondii Oocysts in Seasonally Snow Covered Watersheds: A Conceptual Framework from a Melting Snowpack to the Canadian Arctic Coasts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 994-1005; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030994
Received: 25 January 2013 / Revised: 26 February 2013 / Accepted: 4 March 2013 / Published: 11 March 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (333 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic protozoan that causes serious illness in humans and infects animals worldwide, including the Canadian Arctic. Indeed, high prevalence of infection amongst Inuit has been recorded, possibly due to consumption of raw infected seal meat. Here we explore the
[...] Read more.
Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic protozoan that causes serious illness in humans and infects animals worldwide, including the Canadian Arctic. Indeed, high prevalence of infection amongst Inuit has been recorded, possibly due to consumption of raw infected seal meat. Here we explore the hypothesis that T. gondii oocysts contaminate the coastal marine environment via surface runoff from across the boreal watershed, particularly during the snowmelt period. We propose a conceptual framework of the different processes governing the fate and transport of T. gondii oocysts from the melting snowpack to the Canadian arctic coast via the freshwater runoff. This framework identifies the feasibility of a transmission pathway of oocysts from contaminated soil to the marine environment, but also the complexity and multiplicity of mechanisms involved. In addition, the framework identifies knowledge gaps for guiding future studies on T. gondii oocysts. Furthermore, this work could be used as a tool to investigate the possible estuarine contamination by other faeces-borne pathogens transported via the spring freshet in seasonally snow covered watersheds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Differences in Urinary Arsenic Metabolites between Diabetic and Non-Diabetic Subjects in Bangladesh
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 1006-1019; doi:10.3390/ijerph10031006
Received: 14 January 2013 / Revised: 25 February 2013 / Accepted: 5 March 2013 / Published: 12 March 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (226 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ingestion of inorganic arsenic (iAs) is considered to be related to the development of diabetes mellitus. In order to clarify the possible differences in the metabolism in diabetics, we measured urinary iAs metabolites in diabetic cases and non-diabetic control subjects in Faridpur, an
[...] Read more.
Ingestion of inorganic arsenic (iAs) is considered to be related to the development of diabetes mellitus. In order to clarify the possible differences in the metabolism in diabetics, we measured urinary iAs metabolites in diabetic cases and non-diabetic control subjects in Faridpur, an arsenic-contaminated area in Bangladesh. Physician-diagnosed type 2 diabetic cases (140 persons) and non-diabetic controls (180 persons) were recruited. Drinking water and spot urine samples were collected. Mean concentrations of total arsenic in drinking water did not differ between cases (85.1 μg/L) and controls (85.8 μg/L). The percentage of urinary iAs (iAs%) was significantly lower in cases (8.6%) than in controls (10.4%), while that of dimethylarsinic acid (DMA%) was higher in cases (82.6%) than in controls (79.9%). This may have been due to the higher secondary methylation index (SMI) in the former (11.6) rather than the latter (10.0). Adjusting for matching factors (sex and unions), and the additional other covariates (age and water arsenic) significantly attenuated the differences in iAs%, SMI, and DMA%, respectively, though the difference in monomethylarsonic acid% was newly significant in the latter adjustment. Our study did not suggest any significant differences in urinary arsenic metabolites between diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. Full article
Open AccessArticle Antimicrobial Resistance in Enterococcus spp. Isolated from Environmental Samples in an Area of Intensive Poultry Production
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 1020-1036; doi:10.3390/ijerph10031020
Received: 15 January 2013 / Revised: 20 February 2013 / Accepted: 4 March 2013 / Published: 12 March 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (342 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Enterococcus spp. from two poultry farms and proximate surface and ground water sites in an area of intensive poultry production were tested for resistance to 16 clinical antibiotics. Resistance patterns were compared to assess trends and possible correlations for specific antimicrobials and levels
[...] Read more.
Enterococcus spp. from two poultry farms and proximate surface and ground water sites in an area of intensive poultry production were tested for resistance to 16 clinical antibiotics. Resistance patterns were compared to assess trends and possible correlations for specific antimicrobials and levels of resistance. Enterococci were detected at all 12 surface water sites and three of 28 ground water sites. Resistance to lincomycin, tetracycline, penicillin and ciprofloxacin in poultry litter isolates was high (80.3%, 65.3%, 61.1% and 49.6%, respectively). Resistance in the surface water to the same antibiotics was 87.1%, 24.1%, 7.6% and 12.9%, respectively. Overall, 86% of litter isolates, 58% of surface water isolates and 100% of ground water isolates were resistant to more than one antibiotic. Fifty-four different resistance patterns were recognised in isolates obtained from litter and environmental samples and several E. faecium and E. faecalis isolates from litter and environment samples shared the same resistance pattern. Multiple antibiotic resistant (MAR) indices calculated to assess health risks due to the presence of resistant enterococci suggested an increased presence of antibiotics in surface water, likely from poultry sources as no other wastewater contributions in the area were documented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Figures

Open AccessArticle New York Tobacco Control Program Cessation Assistance: Costs, Benefits, and Effectiveness
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 1037-1047; doi:10.3390/ijerph10031037
Received: 8 January 2013 / Revised: 27 February 2013 / Accepted: 6 March 2013 / Published: 13 March 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (276 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Tobacco use and cigarette smoking have long been causally linked to a wide variety of poor health outcomes, resulting in a number of public health policy initiatives to reduce prevalence and consumption. Benefits of these initiatives, however, have not been well-established quantitatively. Using
[...] Read more.
Tobacco use and cigarette smoking have long been causally linked to a wide variety of poor health outcomes, resulting in a number of public health policy initiatives to reduce prevalence and consumption. Benefits of these initiatives, however, have not been well-established quantitatively. Using 2005–2008 New York Adult Tobacco Survey data, we developed a simulation model to estimate the effectiveness and net benefits of the New York Tobacco Control Program’s (NY TCP’s) adult smoking cessation assistance initiatives, specifically media campaigns, telephone quitline counseling, and nicotine replacement therapy. In 2008, we estimate that NY TCP generated an estimated 49,195 additional, non-relapsing adult quits (95% CI: 19,878; 87,561) for a net benefit of over $800 million (95% CI: $211 million; $1,575 million). Although the simulation results varied considerably, reflecting uncertainty in the estimates and data, and data sufficient to establish definite causality are lacking, the cessation initiatives examined appear to yield substantial societal benefits. These benefits are of sufficient magnitude to fully offset expenditures not only on these initiatives, but on NY TCP as a whole. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Prevention of Alcohol and Tobacco Related Harms)
Open AccessArticle Observational Studies and a Statistical Early Warning of Surface Ozone Pollution in Tangshan, the Largest Heavy Industry City of North China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 1048-1061; doi:10.3390/ijerph10031048
Received: 31 January 2013 / Revised: 4 March 2013 / Accepted: 5 March 2013 / Published: 13 March 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (705 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Continuous measurements of surface ozone (O3) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) at an urban site (39°37′N, 118°09′E) in Tangshan, the largest heavy industry city of North China during summertime from 2008 to 2011 are presented. The pollution of O3
[...] Read more.
Continuous measurements of surface ozone (O3) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) at an urban site (39°37′N, 118°09′E) in Tangshan, the largest heavy industry city of North China during summertime from 2008 to 2011 are presented. The pollution of O3 was serious in the city. The daily maximum 1 h means (O3_1-hr max) reached 157 ± 55, 161 ± 54, 120 ± 50, and 178 ± 75 μg/m3 corresponding to an excess over the standard rates of 21%, 27%, 10%, and 40% in 2008–2011, respectively. The total oxidant level (OX = O3 + NO2) was high, with seasonal average concentrations up to 100 μg/m3 in summer. The level of OX at a given location was made up of NOX-independent and NOX-dependent contributions. The independent part can be considered as a regional contribution and was about 100 μg/m3 in Tangshan. Statistical early warning analysis revealed that the O3 levels would exceed the standard rate by 50% on the day following a day when the daily average ozone concentration (O3_mean) exceeded 87 μg/m3 and the daily maximum temperature (T_max) exceeded 29 °C. The exceed-standard rate would reach 80% when O3_mean and T_max exceeded 113 μg/m3 and 31 °C. Similarly, the exceed-standard rate would reach 100% when O3_mean and T_max exceeded 127 μg/m3 and 33 °C, respectively. Full article
Open AccessArticle UVA Photoirradiation of Nitro-Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons—Induction of Reactive Oxygen Species and Formation of Lipid Peroxides
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 1062-1084; doi:10.3390/ijerph10031062
Received: 1 February 2013 / Revised: 6 March 2013 / Accepted: 6 March 2013 / Published: 14 March 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (714 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (nitro-PAHs) are a class of genotoxic environmental contaminants. We have long been interested in determining the mechanisms by which nitro-PAHs induce genotoxicity. Although the metabolic activation of nitro-PAHs leading to toxicological activities has been well studied, the photo-induced activation of
[...] Read more.
Nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (nitro-PAHs) are a class of genotoxic environmental contaminants. We have long been interested in determining the mechanisms by which nitro-PAHs induce genotoxicity. Although the metabolic activation of nitro-PAHs leading to toxicological activities has been well studied, the photo-induced activation of nitro-PAHs has seldom been reported. In this paper, we report photo-induced lipid peroxidation by 19 nitro-PAHs. The results indicated that all but two of the nitro-PAHs can induce lipid peroxidation. Mechanistic studies suggest that lipid peroxidation by nitro-PAHs is mediated by free radicals generated in the reaction. There was no structural correlation between the nitro-PAHs and their ability to induce lipid peroxidation upon UVA irradiation, or between the HOMO-LUMO gap and the ability to cause lipid peroxidation. Most of the nitro-PAHs are less potent in terms of causing lipid peroxidation than their parent PAHs. The lack of correlation is attributed to the complex photophysics and photochemistry of the nitro-PAHs and the yield of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and other factors. Full article
Open AccessArticle Microbiological Analysis in Three Diverse Natural Geothermal Bathing Pools in Iceland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 1085-1099; doi:10.3390/ijerph10031085
Received: 19 January 2013 / Revised: 22 February 2013 / Accepted: 8 March 2013 / Published: 14 March 2013
PDF Full-text (774 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Natural thermal bathing pools contain geothermal water that is very popular to bathe in but the water is not sterilized, irradiated or treated in any way. Increasing tourism in Iceland will lead to increasing numbers of bath guests, which can in turn affect
[...] Read more.
Natural thermal bathing pools contain geothermal water that is very popular to bathe in but the water is not sterilized, irradiated or treated in any way. Increasing tourism in Iceland will lead to increasing numbers of bath guests, which can in turn affect the microbial flora in the pools and therefore user safety. Today, there is no legislation that applies to natural geothermal pools in Iceland, as the water is not used for consumption and the pools are not defined as public swimming pools. In this study, we conducted a microbiological analysis on three popular but different natural pools in Iceland, located at Lýsuhóll, Hveravellir and Landmannalaugar. Total bacterial counts were performed by flow cytometry, and with plate count at 22 °C, 37 °C and 50 °C. The presence of viable coliforms, Enterococcus spp. and pseudomonads were investigated by growth experiments on selective media. All samples were screened for noroviruses by real time PCR. The results indicate higher fecal contamination in the geothermal pools where the geothermal water flow was low and bathing guest count was high during the day. The number of cultivated Pseudomonas spp. was high (13,000–40,000 cfu/100 mL) in the natural pools, and several strains were isolated and classified as opportunistic pathogens. Norovirus was not detected in the three pools. DNA was extracted from one-liter samples in each pool and analyzed by partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Microbial diversity analysis revealed different microbial communities between the pools and they were primarily composed of alpha-, beta- and gammaproteobacteria. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Work-Related Risk Factors by Severity for Acute Pesticide Poisoning Among Male Farmers in South Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 1100-1112; doi:10.3390/ijerph10031100
Received: 8 February 2013 / Revised: 1 March 2013 / Accepted: 8 March 2013 / Published: 14 March 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (292 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of this study was to explore work-related risk factors of acute occupational pesticide poisoning among male farmers according to the severity of the poisoning. A nationwide sampling survey of male farmers was conducted in South Korea in 2011. A total of
[...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to explore work-related risk factors of acute occupational pesticide poisoning among male farmers according to the severity of the poisoning. A nationwide sampling survey of male farmers was conducted in South Korea in 2011. A total of 1,958 male farmers were interviewed. Severity of occupational pesticide poisoning in 2010 was evaluated according to symptoms, types of treatment, and number of pesticide poisoning incidents per individual. A multinomial logistic regression model was used to estimate the odds ratio with 95% confidence intervals for risk factors of acute occupational pesticide poisoning. We found that the risk of acute occupational pesticide poisoning increased with lifetime days of pesticide application (OR = 1.74; 95% CI = 1.32–2.29), working a farm of three or more acres in size (OR = 1.49), not wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves (OR = 1.29) or masks (OR = 1.39). Those who engaged in inappropriate work behaviors such as not following pesticide label instructions (OR = 1.61), applying the pesticide in full sun (OR = 1.48), and applying the pesticide upwind (OR = 1.54) had a significantly increased risk of pesticide poisoning. There was no significant risk difference by type of farming. In addition, the magnitude of these risk factors did not differ significantly by severity of acute pesticide poisoning. In fact, our findings suggest that work-related risk factors contributed to the development of acute occupational pesticide poisoning without relation to its severity. Therefore, prevention strategies for reducing occupational pesticide poisoning, regardless of severity, should be recommended to all types of farming and the level of poisoning severity. Full article
Open AccessArticle Disseminating Childhood Home Injury Risk Reduction Information in Pakistan: Results from a Community-Based Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 1113-1124; doi:10.3390/ijerph10031113
Received: 25 January 2013 / Revised: 7 March 2013 / Accepted: 7 March 2013 / Published: 15 March 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (235 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Most childhood unintentional injuries occur in the home; however, very little home injury prevention information is tailored to developing countries. Utilizing our previously developed information dissemination tools and a hazard assessment checklist tailored to a low-income neighborhood in Pakistan, we pilot
[...] Read more.
Background: Most childhood unintentional injuries occur in the home; however, very little home injury prevention information is tailored to developing countries. Utilizing our previously developed information dissemination tools and a hazard assessment checklist tailored to a low-income neighborhood in Pakistan, we pilot tested and compared the effectiveness of two dissemination tools. Methods: Two low-income neighborhoods were mapped, identifying families with a child aged between 12 and 59 months. In June and July 2010, all enrolled households underwent a home hazard assessment at the same time hazard reduction education was being given using an in-home tutorial or a pamphlet. A follow up assessment was conducted 4–5 months later. Results: 503 households were enrolled; 256 received a tutorial and 247 a pamphlet. The two groups differed significantly (p < 0.01) in level of maternal education and relationship of the child to the primary caregiver. However, when controlling for these variables, those receiving an in-home tutorial had a higher odds of hazard reduction than the pamphlet group for uncovered vats of water (OR 2.14, 95% CI: 1.28, 3.58), an open fire within reach of the child (OR 3.55, 95% CI: 1.80, 7.00), and inappropriately labeled cooking fuel containers (OR 1.86, 95% CI: 1.07, 3.25). Conclusions: This pilot project demonstrates the potential utility of using home-visit tutorials to decrease home hazards in a low-income neighborhood in Pakistan. A longer-term randomized study is needed to assess actual effectiveness of the use of allied health workers for home-based injury education and whether this results in decreased home injuries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Injury Prevention) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Health Literacy in Rural Areas of China: Hypertension Knowledge Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 1125-1138; doi:10.3390/ijerph10031125
Received: 4 December 2012 / Revised: 8 March 2013 / Accepted: 11 March 2013 / Published: 18 March 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (277 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We conducted this study to determine levels and correlates of hypertension knowledge among rural Chinese adults, and to assess the association between knowledge levels and salty food consumption among hypertensive and non-hypertensive populations. This face-to-face cross sectional survey included 665 hypertensive and 854
[...] Read more.
We conducted this study to determine levels and correlates of hypertension knowledge among rural Chinese adults, and to assess the association between knowledge levels and salty food consumption among hypertensive and non-hypertensive populations. This face-to-face cross sectional survey included 665 hypertensive and 854 non-hypertensive respondents in the rural areas of Heilongjiang province, China. Hypertension knowledge was assessed through a 10-item test; respondents received 10 points for each correct answer. Among respondents, the average hypertension knowledge score was 26 out of a maximum of 100 points for hypertensive and 20 for non-hypertensive respondents. Hypertension knowledge was associated with marital status, education, health status, periodically reading books, newspapers or other materials, history of blood pressure measurement, and attending hypertension educational sessions. Hypertension knowledge is extremely low in rural areas of China. Hypertension education programs should focus on marginal populations, such as individuals who are not married or illiterate to enhance their knowledge levels. Focusing on educational and literacy levels in conjunction with health education is important given illiteracy is still a prominent issue for the Chinese rural population. Full article
Open AccessArticle Motivators and Barriers to Incorporating Climate Change-Related Health Risks in Environmental Health Impact Assessment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 1139-1151; doi:10.3390/ijerph10031139
Received: 20 January 2013 / Revised: 11 March 2013 / Accepted: 19 March 2013 / Published: 22 March 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Climate change presents risks to health that must be addressed by both decision-makers and public health researchers. Within the application of Environmental Health Impact Assessment (EHIA), there have been few attempts to incorporate climate change-related health risks as an input to the framework.
[...] Read more.
Climate change presents risks to health that must be addressed by both decision-makers and public health researchers. Within the application of Environmental Health Impact Assessment (EHIA), there have been few attempts to incorporate climate change-related health risks as an input to the framework. This study used a focus group design to examine the perceptions of government, industry and academic specialists about the suitability of assessing the health consequences of climate change within an EHIA framework. Practitioners expressed concern over a number of factors relating to the current EHIA methodology and the inclusion of climate change-related health risks. These concerns related to the broad scope of issues that would need to be considered, problems with identifying appropriate health indicators, the lack of relevant qualitative information that is currently incorporated in assessment and persistent issues surrounding stakeholder participation. It was suggested that improvements are needed in data collection processes, particularly in terms of adequate communication between environmental and health practitioners. Concerns were raised surrounding data privacy and usage, and how these could impact on the assessment process. These findings may provide guidance for government and industry bodies to improve the assessment of climate change-related health risks. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview What are the Benefits of Interacting with Nature?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 913-935; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030913
Received: 5 December 2012 / Revised: 6 February 2013 / Accepted: 26 February 2013 / Published: 6 March 2013
Cited by 77 | PDF Full-text (360 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is mounting empirical evidence that interacting with nature delivers measurable benefits to people. Reviews of this topic have generally focused on a specific type of benefit, been limited to a single discipline, or covered the benefits delivered from a particular type of
[...] Read more.
There is mounting empirical evidence that interacting with nature delivers measurable benefits to people. Reviews of this topic have generally focused on a specific type of benefit, been limited to a single discipline, or covered the benefits delivered from a particular type of interaction. Here we construct novel typologies of the settings, interactions and potential benefits of people-nature experiences, and use these to organise an assessment of the benefits of interacting with nature. We discover that evidence for the benefits of interacting with nature is geographically biased towards high latitudes and Western societies, potentially contributing to a focus on certain types of settings and benefits. Social scientists have been the most active researchers in this field. Contributions from ecologists are few in number, perhaps hindering the identification of key ecological features of the natural environment that deliver human benefits. Although many types of benefits have been studied, benefits to physical health, cognitive performance and psychological well-being have received much more attention than the social or spiritual benefits of interacting with nature, despite the potential for important consequences arising from the latter. The evidence for most benefits is correlational, and although there are several experimental studies, little as yet is known about the mechanisms that are important for delivering these benefits. For example, we do not know which characteristics of natural settings (e.g., biodiversity, level of disturbance, proximity, accessibility) are most important for triggering a beneficial interaction, and how these characteristics vary in importance among cultures, geographic regions and socio-economic groups. These are key directions for future research if we are to design landscapes that promote high quality interactions between people and nature in a rapidly urbanising world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Nature)

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
IJERPH Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
ijerph@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to IJERPH
Back to Top