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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 10, Issue 4 (April 2013), Pages 1152-1646

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Depression in Employees in Privately Owned Enterprises in China: Is It Related to Work Environment and Work Ability?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1152-1167; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041152
Received: 10 February 2013 / Revised: 19 March 2013 / Accepted: 20 March 2013 / Published: 25 March 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (448 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examines the individual and workplace factors related to depression and stress in a large privately owned enterprise in China. The cross-sectional study design involved 13 privately owned retail enterprises in China. A self-report survey was administered to 4,847 employees aged 18–54
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This study examines the individual and workplace factors related to depression and stress in a large privately owned enterprise in China. The cross-sectional study design involved 13 privately owned retail enterprises in China. A self-report survey was administered to 4,847 employees aged 18–54 recruited through the management boards of the 13 enterprises. A chi-square test was used to compare differences between the depressed and non-depressed groups on a number of demographic variables and chronic diseases. Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess depression in relation to individual factors (work ability and resilience) and organisational environmental factors (workplace ethos and culture, psychosocial environment and health promotion policies and activities). Significant relationships were found between employee depression all personal factors, and one organisational environmental factor. Personal factors include poor work ability and low resilience, while workplace factors include workplace ethos and culture. The primary organisational environmental factor was a low level of enterprise ethos and culture. Full article
Open AccessArticle Pesticide Flow Analysis to Assess Human Exposure in Greenhouse Flower Production in Colombia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1168-1185; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041168
Received: 18 January 2013 / Revised: 15 March 2013 / Accepted: 18 March 2013 / Published: 25 March 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (503 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human exposure assessment tools represent a means for understanding human exposure to pesticides in agricultural activities and managing possible health risks. This paper presents a pesticide flow analysis modeling approach developed to assess human exposure to pesticide use in greenhouse flower crops in
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Human exposure assessment tools represent a means for understanding human exposure to pesticides in agricultural activities and managing possible health risks. This paper presents a pesticide flow analysis modeling approach developed to assess human exposure to pesticide use in greenhouse flower crops in Colombia, focusing on dermal and inhalation exposure. This approach is based on the material flow analysis methodology. The transfer coefficients were obtained using the whole body dosimetry method for dermal exposure and the button personal inhalable aerosol sampler for inhalation exposure, using the tracer uranine as a pesticide surrogate. The case study was a greenhouse rose farm in the Bogota Plateau in Colombia. The approach was applied to estimate the exposure to pesticides such as mancozeb, carbendazim, propamocarb hydrochloride, fosetyl, carboxin, thiram, dimethomorph and mandipropamide. We found dermal absorption estimations close to the AOEL reference values for the pesticides carbendazim, mancozeb, thiram and mandipropamide during the study period. In addition, high values of dermal exposure were found on the forearms, hands, chest and legs of study participants, indicating weaknesses in the overlapping areas of the personal protective equipment parts. These results show how the material flow analysis methodology can be applied in the field of human exposure for early recognition of the dispersion of pesticides and support the development of measures to improve operational safety during pesticide management. Furthermore, the model makes it possible to identify the status quo of the health risk faced by workers in the study area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Modeling the Cumulative Effects of Social Exposures on Health: Moving beyond Disease-Specific Models
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1186-1201; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041186
Received: 6 February 2013 / Revised: 13 March 2013 / Accepted: 19 March 2013 / Published: 25 March 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (303 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The traditional explanatory models used in epidemiology are “disease specific”, identifying risk factors for specific health conditions. Yet social exposures lead to a generalized, cumulative health impact which may not be specific to one illness. Disease-specific models may therefore misestimate social factors’ effects
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The traditional explanatory models used in epidemiology are “disease specific”, identifying risk factors for specific health conditions. Yet social exposures lead to a generalized, cumulative health impact which may not be specific to one illness. Disease-specific models may therefore misestimate social factors’ effects on health. Using data from the Canadian Community Health Survey and Canada 2001 Census we construct and compare “disease-specific” and “generalized health impact” (GHI) models to gauge the negative health effects of one social exposure: socioeconomic position (SEP). We use logistic and multinomial multilevel modeling with neighbourhood-level material deprivation, individual-level education and household income to compare and contrast the two approaches. In disease-specific models, the social determinants under study were each associated with the health conditions of interest. However, larger effect sizes were apparent when outcomes were modeled as compound health problems (0, 1, 2, or 3+ conditions) using the GHI approach. To more accurately estimate social exposures’ impacts on population health, researchers should consider a GHI framework. Full article
Open AccessArticle Climate Change is Likely to Worsen the Public Health Threat of Diarrheal Disease in Botswana
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1202-1230; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041202
Received: 20 January 2013 / Revised: 15 February 2013 / Accepted: 7 March 2013 / Published: 26 March 2013
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (1110 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Diarrheal disease is an important health challenge, accounting for the majority of childhood deaths globally. Climate change is expected to increase the global burden of diarrheal disease but little is known regarding climate drivers, particularly in Africa. Using health data from Botswana spanning
[...] Read more.
Diarrheal disease is an important health challenge, accounting for the majority of childhood deaths globally. Climate change is expected to increase the global burden of diarrheal disease but little is known regarding climate drivers, particularly in Africa. Using health data from Botswana spanning a 30-year period (1974–2003), we evaluated monthly reports of diarrheal disease among patients presenting to Botswana health facilities and compared this to climatic variables. Diarrheal case incidence presents with a bimodal cyclical pattern with peaks in March (ANOVA p < 0.001) and October (ANOVA p < 0.001) in the wet and dry season, respectively. There is a strong positive autocorrelation (p < 0.001) in the number of reported diarrhea cases at the one-month lag level. Climatic variables (rainfall, minimum temperature, and vapor pressure) predicted seasonal diarrheal with a one-month lag in variables (p < 0.001). Diarrheal case incidence was highest in the dry season after accounting for other variables, exhibiting on average a 20% increase over the yearly mean (p < 0.001). Our analysis suggests that forecasted climate change increases in temperature and decreases in precipitation may increase dry season diarrheal disease incidence with hot, dry conditions starting earlier and lasting longer. Diarrheal disease incidence in the wet season is likely to decline. Our results identify significant health-climate interactions, highlighting the need for an escalated public health focus on controlling diarrheal disease in Botswana. Study findings have application to other arid countries in Africa where diarrheal disease is a persistent public health problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
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Open AccessArticle Management of Occupational Exposure to Engineered Nanoparticles Through a Chance-Constrained Nonlinear Programming Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1231-1249; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041231
Received: 28 January 2013 / Accepted: 13 March 2013 / Published: 26 March 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (417 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Critical environmental and human health concerns are associated with the rapidly growing fields of nanotechnology and manufactured nanomaterials (MNMs). The main risk arises from occupational exposure via chronic inhalation of nanoparticles. This research presents a chance-constrained nonlinear programming (CCNLP) optimization approach, which is
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Critical environmental and human health concerns are associated with the rapidly growing fields of nanotechnology and manufactured nanomaterials (MNMs). The main risk arises from occupational exposure via chronic inhalation of nanoparticles. This research presents a chance-constrained nonlinear programming (CCNLP) optimization approach, which is developed to maximize the nanaomaterial production and minimize the risks of workplace exposure to MNMs. The CCNLP method integrates nonlinear programming (NLP) and chance-constrained programming (CCP), and handles uncertainties associated with both the nanomaterial production and workplace exposure control. The CCNLP method was examined through a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) manufacturing process. The study results provide optimal production strategies and alternatives. It reveal that a high control measure guarantees that environmental health and safety (EHS) standards regulations are met, while a lower control level leads to increased risk of violating EHS regulations. The CCNLP optimization approach is a decision support tool for the optimization of the increasing MNMS manufacturing with workplace safety constraints under uncertainties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health)
Open AccessArticle The Influence of Urban Natural and Built Environments on Physiological and Psychological Measures of Stress— A Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1250-1267; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041250
Received: 15 February 2013 / Revised: 18 March 2013 / Accepted: 18 March 2013 / Published: 26 March 2013
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (685 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Environments shape health and well-being, yet little research has investigated how different real-world environmental settings influence the well-known determinant of health known as stress. Using a cross-over experimental design; this pilot study investigated the effect of four urban environments on physiological and psychological
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Environments shape health and well-being, yet little research has investigated how different real-world environmental settings influence the well-known determinant of health known as stress. Using a cross-over experimental design; this pilot study investigated the effect of four urban environments on physiological and psychological stress measures. Participants (N = 15) were exposed on separate days to one of the four settings for 20 min. These settings were designated as Very Natural; Mostly Natural; Mostly Built and Very Built. Visitation order to the four settings was individually randomized. Salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase; as well as self-report measures of stress; were collected before and after exposure to each setting. Gender was included as a variable in analysis; and additional data about environmental self-identity, pre-existing stress, and perceived restorativeness of settings were collected as measures of covariance. Differences between environmental settings showed greater benefit from exposure to natural settings relative to built settings; as measured by pre-to-post changes in salivary amylase and self-reported stress; differences were more significant for females than for males. Inclusion of covariates in a regression analysis demonstrated significant predictive value of perceived restorativeness on these stress measures, suggesting some potential level of mediation. These data suggest that exposure to natural environments may warrant further investigation as a health promotion method for reducing stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Nature)
Open AccessArticle Nature Appropriation and Associations with Population Health in Canada’s Largest Cities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1268-1283; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041268
Received: 17 January 2013 / Revised: 21 February 2013 / Accepted: 20 March 2013 / Published: 26 March 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (312 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Earth is a finite system with a limited supply of resources. As the human population grows, so does the appropriation of Earth’s natural capital, thereby exacerbating environmental concerns such as biodiversity loss, increased pollution, deforestation and global warming. Such concerns will negatively impact
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Earth is a finite system with a limited supply of resources. As the human population grows, so does the appropriation of Earth’s natural capital, thereby exacerbating environmental concerns such as biodiversity loss, increased pollution, deforestation and global warming. Such concerns will negatively impact human health although it is widely believed that improving socio-economic circumstances will help to ameliorate environmental impacts and improve health outcomes. However, this belief does not explicitly acknowledge the fact that improvements in socio-economic position are reliant on increased inputs from nature. Gains in population health, particularly through economic means, are disconnected from the appropriation of nature to create wealth so that health gains become unsustainable. The current study investigated the sustainability of human population health in Canada with regard to resource consumption or “ecological footprints” (i.e., the resources required to sustain a given population). Ecological footprints of the 20 largest Canadian cities, along with several important determinants of health such as income and education, were statistically compared with corresponding indicators of human population health outcomes. A significant positive relationship was found between ecological footprints and life expectancy, as well as a significant negative relationship between ecological footprints and the prevalence of high blood pressure. Results suggest that increased appropriation of nature is linked to improved health outcomes. To prevent environmental degradation from excessive appropriation of natural resources will require the development of health promotion strategies that are de-coupled from ever-increasing and unsustainable resource use. Efforts to promote population health should focus on health benefits achieved from a lifestyle based on significantly reduced consumption of natural resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Do Quiet Areas Afford Greater Health-Related Quality of Life than Noisy Areas?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1284-1303; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041284
Received: 5 February 2013 / Revised: 18 March 2013 / Accepted: 19 March 2013 / Published: 27 March 2013
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (199 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
People typically choose to live in quiet areas in order to safeguard their health and wellbeing. However, the benefits of living in quiet areas are relatively understudied compared to the burdens associated with living in noisy areas. Additionally, research is increasingly focusing on
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People typically choose to live in quiet areas in order to safeguard their health and wellbeing. However, the benefits of living in quiet areas are relatively understudied compared to the burdens associated with living in noisy areas. Additionally, research is increasingly focusing on the relationship between the human response to noise and measures of health and wellbeing, complementing traditional dose-response approaches, and further elucidating the impact of noise and health by incorporating human factors as mediators and moderators. To further explore the benefits of living in quiet areas, we compared the results of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) questionnaire datasets collected from households in localities differentiated by their soundscapes and population density: noisy city, quiet city, quiet rural, and noisy rural. The dose-response relationships between noise annoyance and HRQOL measures indicated an inverse relationship between the two. Additionally, quiet areas were found to have higher mean HRQOL domain scores than noisy areas. This research further supports the protection of quiet locales and ongoing noise abatement in noisy areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle Ion Exchange Chromatography and Mass Spectrometric Methods for Analysis of Cadmium-Phytochelatin (II) Complexes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1304-1311; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041304
Received: 24 January 2013 / Revised: 13 March 2013 / Accepted: 20 March 2013 / Published: 28 March 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (221 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, in vitro formed Cd-phytochelatin (PC2) complexes were characterized using ion exchange chromatography (IEC) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. The ratio of both studied compounds as well as experimental conditions were optimized. The highest yield of the complex
[...] Read more.
In this study, in vitro formed Cd-phytochelatin (PC2) complexes were characterized using ion exchange chromatography (IEC) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. The ratio of both studied compounds as well as experimental conditions were optimized. The highest yield of the complex was observed under an applied concentration of 100 µg·mL−1 PC2 and 100 µg·mL−1 of CdCl2. The data obtained show that IEC in combination with MALDI-TOF is a reliable and fast method for the determination of these complexes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Spectrometry and Environmental Analysis)
Open AccessArticle Food Fortification and Decline in the Prevalence of Neural Tube Defects: Does Public Intervention Reduce the Socioeconomic Gap in Prevalence?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1312-1323; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041312
Received: 5 February 2013 / Revised: 18 March 2013 / Accepted: 21 March 2013 / Published: 28 March 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: A significant decline in the prevalence of neural tube defects (NTD) through food fortification has been reported. Questions remain, however, about the effectiveness of this intervention in reducing the gap in prevalence across socioeconomic status (SES). Study Design: Using health
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Objective: A significant decline in the prevalence of neural tube defects (NTD) through food fortification has been reported. Questions remain, however, about the effectiveness of this intervention in reducing the gap in prevalence across socioeconomic status (SES). Study Design: Using health number and through record linkage, children born in Ontario hospitals between 1994 and 2009 were followed for the diagnosis of congenital anomalies. SES quintiles were assigned to each child using census information at the time of birth. Adjusted rates and multivariate models were used to compare trends among children born in different SES groups. Results: Children born in low SES areas had significantly higher rates of NTDs (RR = 1.25, CI: 1.14–1.37). Prevalence of NTDs among children born in low and high SES areas declined since food fortification began in 1999 although has started rising again since 2006. While the crude decline was greater in low SES areas, after adjustment for maternal age, the slope of decline and SES gap in prevalence rates remained unchanged overtime. Conclusions: While food fortification is successful in reducing the prevalence of NTDs, it was not associated with removing the gap between high and low SES groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Birth Defect Prevention)
Open AccessArticle Welfare State Regimes, Gender, and Depression: A Multilevel Analysis of Middle and High Income Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1324-1341; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041324
Received: 17 February 2013 / Revised: 15 March 2013 / Accepted: 18 March 2013 / Published: 28 March 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (407 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using the 2002 World Health Survey, we examine the association between welfare state regimes, gender and mental health among 26 countries classified into seven distinct regimes: Conservative, Southeast Asian, Eastern European, Latin American, Liberal, Southern/Ex-dictatorship, and Social Democratic. A two-level hierarchical model found
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Using the 2002 World Health Survey, we examine the association between welfare state regimes, gender and mental health among 26 countries classified into seven distinct regimes: Conservative, Southeast Asian, Eastern European, Latin American, Liberal, Southern/Ex-dictatorship, and Social Democratic. A two-level hierarchical model found that the odds of experiencing a brief depressive episode in the last 12 months was significantly higher for Southern/Ex- dictatorship countries than for Southeast Asian (odds ratio (OR) = 0.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.05–0.27) and Eastern European (OR = 0.36, 95% CI 0.22–0.58) regimes after controlling for gender, age, education, marital status, and economic development. In adjusted interaction models, compared to Southern/Ex-dictatorship males (reference category), the odds ratios of depression were significantly lower among Southeast Asian males (OR = 0.16, 95% CI 0.08–0.34) and females (OR = 0.23, 95% CI 0.10–0.53) and Eastern European males (OR = 0.41, 95% CI 0.26–0.63) and significantly higher among females in Liberal (OR = 2.00, 95% CI 1.14–3.49) and Southern (OR = 2.42, 95% CI 1.86–3.15) regimes. Our results highlight the importance of incorporating middle-income countries into comparative welfare regime research and testing for interactions between welfare regimes and gender on mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economical Determinants of Health)
Open AccessArticle A Comparison of Willingness to Pay to Prevent Child Maltreatment Deaths in Ecuador and the United States
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1342-1355; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041342
Received: 18 February 2013 / Revised: 21 March 2013 / Accepted: 21 March 2013 / Published: 28 March 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (299 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Estimating the benefits of preventing child maltreatment (CM) is essential for policy makers to determine whether there are significant returns on investment from interventions to prevent CM. The aim of this study was to estimate the benefits of preventing CM deaths in an
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Estimating the benefits of preventing child maltreatment (CM) is essential for policy makers to determine whether there are significant returns on investment from interventions to prevent CM. The aim of this study was to estimate the benefits of preventing CM deaths in an Ecuadorian population, and to compare the results to a similar study in a US population. The study used the contingent valuation method to elicit respondents’ willingness to pay (WTP) for a 1 in 100,000 reduction in the risk of CM mortality. After adjusting for differences in purchasing power, the WTP to prevent the CM mortality risk reduction in the Ecuador population was $237 and the WTP for the same risk reduction in the US population was $175. In the pooled analysis, WTP for a reduction in CM mortality was significantly impacted by country (p = 0.03), history of CM (p = 0.007), payment mechanism (p < 0.001), confidence in response (p = 0.014), and appropriateness of the payment mechanism (p < 0.001). These findings suggest that estimating benefits from one culture may not be transferable to another, and that low- and middle-income countries, such as Ecuador, may be better served by developing their own benefits estimates for use in future benefit-cost analyses of interventions designed to prevent CM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Injury Prevention) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Lack of Genomic Instability in Bone Marrow Cells of SCID Mice Exposed Whole-Body to Low-Dose Radiation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1356-1377; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041356
Received: 27 January 2013 / Revised: 5 March 2013 / Accepted: 12 March 2013 / Published: 2 April 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (535 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is clear that high-dose radiation is harmful. However, despite extensive research, assessment of potential health-risks associated with exposure to low-dose radiation (at doses below or equal to 0.1 Gy) is still challenging. Recently, we reported that 0.05 Gy of 137Cs gamma
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It is clear that high-dose radiation is harmful. However, despite extensive research, assessment of potential health-risks associated with exposure to low-dose radiation (at doses below or equal to 0.1 Gy) is still challenging. Recently, we reported that 0.05 Gy of 137Cs gamma rays (the existing limit for radiation-exposure in the workplace) was incapable of inducing significant in vivo genomic instability (measured by the presence of late-occurring chromosomal damage at 6 months post-irradiation) in bone marrow (BM) cells of two mouse strains, one with constitutively high and one with intermediate levels of the repair enzyme DNA-dependent protein-kinase catalytic-subunit (DNA-PKcs). In this study, we present evidence for a lack of genomic instability in BM cells of the severely combined-immunodeficiency (SCID/J) mouse (which has an extremely low-level of DNA-PKcs activity) exposed whole-body to low-dose radiation (0.05 Gy). Together with our previous report, the data indicate that low-dose radiation (0.05 Gy) is incapable of inducing genomic instability in vivo (regardless of the levels of DNA-PKcs activity of the exposed mice), yet higher doses of radiation (0.1 and 1 Gy) do induce genomic instability in mice with intermediate and extremely low-levels of DNA-PKcs activity (indicating an important role of DNA-PKcs in DNA repair). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation and Cancer Risk)
Open AccessArticle The Contribution of Neighbourhood Material and Social Deprivation to Survival: A 22-Year Follow-up of More than 500,000 Canadians
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1378-1391; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041378
Received: 25 January 2013 / Revised: 25 March 2013 / Accepted: 25 March 2013 / Published: 2 April 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (330 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: We examined the incremental influence on survival of neighbourhood material and social deprivation while accounting for individual level socioeconomic status in a large population-based cohort of Canadians. Methods: More than 500,000 adults were followed for 22 years between 1982 and
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Background: We examined the incremental influence on survival of neighbourhood material and social deprivation while accounting for individual level socioeconomic status in a large population-based cohort of Canadians. Methods: More than 500,000 adults were followed for 22 years between 1982 and 2004. Tax records provided information on sex, income, marital status and postal code while a linkage was used to determine vital status. Cox models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) for quintiles of neighbourhood material and social deprivation. Results: There were 180,000 deaths over the follow-up period. In unadjusted analyses, those living in the most materially deprived neighbourhoods had elevated risks of mortality (HRmales 1.37, 95% CI: 1.33–1.41; HRfemales 1.20, 95% CI: 1.16–1.24) when compared with those living in the least deprived neighbourhoods. Mortality risk was also elevated for those living in socially deprived neighbourhoods (HRmales 1.15, CI: 1.12–1.18; HRfemales 1.15, CI: 1.12–1.19). Mortality risk associated with material deprivation remained elevated in models that adjusted for individual factors (HRmales 1.20, CI: 1.17–1.24; HRfemales 1.16, CI: 1.13–1.20) and this was also the case for social deprivation (HRmales 1.12, CI: 1.09–1.15; HRfemales 1.09, CI: 1.05–1.12). Immigrant neighbourhoods were protective of mortality risk for both sexes. Being poor and living in the most socially advantageous neighbourhoods translated into a survival gap of 10% over those in the most socially deprived neighbourhoods. The gap for material neighbourhood deprivation was 7%. Conclusions: Living in socially and materially deprived Canadian neighbourhoods was associated with elevated mortality risk while we noted a “healthy immigrant neighbourhood effect”. For those with low family incomes, living in socially and materially deprived areas negatively affected survival beyond their individual circumstances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economical Determinants of Health)
Open AccessArticle Bioaccumulation of Trace Elements in Ruditapes philippinarum from China: Public Health Risk Assessment Implications
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1392-1405; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041392
Received: 25 January 2013 / Revised: 26 March 2013 / Accepted: 27 March 2013 / Published: 2 April 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (738 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum is one of the most important commercial bivalve species consumed in China. Evaluated metal burden in bivalve molluscs can pose potential risks to public health as a result of their frequent consumption. In this study, concentrations of 10
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The Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum is one of the most important commercial bivalve species consumed in China. Evaluated metal burden in bivalve molluscs can pose potential risks to public health as a result of their frequent consumption. In this study, concentrations of 10 trace elements (Cu, Zn, Mn, Se, Ni, Cd, Cr, Pb, Hg and As) were determined in samples of the bivalve Ruditapes philippinarum, collected from nine mariculture zones along the coast of China between November and December in 2010, in order to evaluate the status of elemental metal pollution in these areas. Also, a public health risk assessment was untaken to assess the potential risks associated with the consumption of clams. The ranges of concentrations found for Cu, Zn, Mn, Se, Ni, Cd, Cr, Pb, Hg and As in R. philippinarum were 12.1–38.0, 49.5–168.3, 42.0–68.0, 4.19–8.71, 4.76–14.32, 0.41–1.11, 0.94–4.74, 0.32–2.59, 0.03–0.23 and 0.46–11.95 mg·kg−1 dry weight, respectively. Clear spatial variations were found for Cu, Zn, Cr, Pb, Hg and As, whereas Mn, Se, Ni, and Cd did not show significant spatial variation. Hotspots of trace element contamination in R. philippinarum can be found along the coast of China, from the north to the south, especially in the Bohai and Yellow Seas. Based on a 58.1 kg individual consuming 29 g of bivalve molluscs per day, the values of the estimated daily intake (EDI) of trace elements analyzed were significantly lower than the values of the accepted daily intake (ADI) established by Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JFAO/WHO) and the guidelines of the reference does (RfD) established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Additionally, the risk of trace elements to humans through R. philippinarum consumption was also assessed. The calculated hazard quotients (HQ) of all trace elements were less than 1. Consequently, there was no obvious public risk from the intake of these trace elements through R. philippinarum consumption. Full article
Open AccessArticle Exposure to Multiple Low-Level Chemicals in Relation to Reproductive Hormones in Premenopausal Women Involved in Liquid Crystal Display Manufacture
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1406-1417; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041406
Received: 15 February 2013 / Revised: 21 March 2013 / Accepted: 23 March 2013 / Published: 3 April 2013
PDF Full-text (201 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Liquid crystal display (LCD) manufacturing involves three fabrication processes: array, panel and module processes, which result in different levels of volatile organic compound (VOC) exposure. The aim of this study was to assess the potential reproductive endocrine effects of occupational exposures
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Background: Liquid crystal display (LCD) manufacturing involves three fabrication processes: array, panel and module processes, which result in different levels of volatile organic compound (VOC) exposure. The aim of this study was to assess the potential reproductive endocrine effects of occupational exposures during LCD manufacturing predictive of menstrual cycles as subclinical markers of female reproductive dysfunction effects of low-dose exposures. Methods: A total of 94 fabrication workers were followed for one complete menstrual cycle using daily urine samples: 23 were from the array, 53 from the panel, and 18 from the module work areas. The menstrual cycle characteristics of the study population were measured using a self-administered questionnaire. Urine samples were collected during the first urination in the morning for at least one complete menstrual cycle. The urine was then analyzed to determine the urinary concentrations of follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), estrone conjugates (E1C), and pregnanediol-3-glucuronide (PdG). The results of this analysis were used to assess the potential effects of chemical exposure as determined by handheld volatile organic compound (VOC) monitors and 24 h canisters. Results: The concentration of total VOCs was much higher in the module making area (ND–21,000 ppb) than in panel (ND–766 ppb) and array (58–1,472 ppb) making areas. The concentrations of ethanol and acetone were much higher in the module (1,974.9 and 2,283.2 ppb, respectively) and panel (2256.9 and 592.2 ppb, respectively) making areas. Compared to those in the array making area, we found that E1C (12.55, 95% confidence interval (CI): 8.49, 16.61 μg/mg Cr) and PdG (0.53, 95% CI: 0.29, 0.77 μg/mg Cr) levels in the module group were significantly higher in the early follicular phase; E1C (11.93, 95% CI: 6.21, 17.65 μg/mg Cr) and PdG (0.53, 95% CI: 0.29, 0.77 μg/mg Cr) levels were significantly higher in the periovulatory phase; and all the hormone levels, FSH (1.48, 95% CI: 0.81, 2.15 μg/mg Cr), E1C (9.29, 95% CI: 4.92, 13.66 μg/mg Cr), and PdG (1.01, 95% CI: 0.42, 1.60 μg/mg Cr) were also significantly higher in the luteal phase. In addition, the FSH (0.89, 95% CI: 0.07, 1.71 μg/mg Cr) level in the panel group was significantly higher but E1C (−4.49, 95% CI: −7.90, −1.08 μg/mg Cr) was lower in the early follicular phase; and E1C (−5.16, 95% CI: −9.61, −0.71 μg/mg Cr) level was significantly lower in the periovulatory phase. Conclusions: Our findings add to the evidence that exposure to multiple low-level chemicals is associated with modest changes in reproductive hormone urinary concentrations in healthy premenopausal women. In addition, the FSH (0.89, 95% CI: 0.07, 1.71 μg/mg Cr) level in the panel group was significantly higher but E1C (−4.49, 95% CI: −7.90, −1.08 μg/mg Cr) lower in the early follicular phase; and E1C (−5.16, 95% CI: −9.61, −0.71 μg/mg Cr) level was significantly lower in the periovulatory phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Health and the Environment)
Open AccessArticle Annoyance and Worry in a Petrochemical Industrial Area—Prevalence, Time Trends and Risk Indicators
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1418-1438; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041418
Received: 15 February 2013 / Revised: 18 March 2013 / Accepted: 21 March 2013 / Published: 3 April 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (897 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In 1992, 1998, and 2006, questionnaires were sent to stratified samples of residents aged 18–75 years living near petrochemical industries (n = 600–800 people on each occasion) and in a control area (n = 200–1,000). The aims were to estimate the long-term prevalence
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In 1992, 1998, and 2006, questionnaires were sent to stratified samples of residents aged 18–75 years living near petrochemical industries (n = 600–800 people on each occasion) and in a control area (n = 200–1,000). The aims were to estimate the long-term prevalence and change over time of annoyance caused by industrial odour, industrial noise, and worries about possible health effects, and to identify risk indicators. In 2006, 20% were annoyed by industrial odour, 27% by industrial noise (1–4% in the control area), and 40–50% were worried about health effects or industrial accidents (10–20% in the control area). Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed significantly lower prevalence of odour annoyance in 1998 and 2006 than in 1992, while industrial noise annoyance increased significantly over time. The prevalence of worry remained constant. Risk of odour annoyance increased with female sex, worry of health effects, annoyance by motor vehicle exhausts and industrial noise. Industrial noise annoyance was associated with traffic noise annoyance and worry of health effects of traffic. Health-risk worry due to industrial air pollution was associated with female sex, having children, annoyance due to dust/soot in the air, and worry of traffic air pollution. Full article
Open AccessArticle How Pleasant Sounds Promote and Annoying Sounds Impede Health: A Cognitive Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1439-1461; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041439
Received: 11 February 2013 / Revised: 19 March 2013 / Accepted: 21 March 2013 / Published: 8 April 2013
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (417 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This theoretical paper addresses the cognitive functions via which quiet and in general pleasurable sounds promote and annoying sounds impede health. The article comprises a literature analysis and an interpretation of how the bidirectional influence of appraising the environment and the feelings of
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This theoretical paper addresses the cognitive functions via which quiet and in general pleasurable sounds promote and annoying sounds impede health. The article comprises a literature analysis and an interpretation of how the bidirectional influence of appraising the environment and the feelings of the perceiver can be understood in terms of core affect and motivation. This conceptual basis allows the formulation of a detailed cognitive model describing how sonic content, related to indicators of safety and danger, either allows full freedom over mind-states or forces the activation of a vigilance function with associated arousal. The model leads to a number of detailed predictions that can be used to provide existing soundscape approaches with a solid cognitive science foundation that may lead to novel approaches to soundscape design. These will take into account that louder sounds typically contribute to distal situational awareness while subtle environmental sounds provide proximal situational awareness. The role of safety indicators, mediated by proximal situational awareness and subtle sounds, should become more important in future soundscape research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Surveillance and Correlation of Antibiotic Consumption and Resistance of Acinetobacter baumannii complex in a Tertiary Care Hospital in Northeast China, 2003–2011
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1462-1473; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041462
Received: 6 February 2013 / Revised: 28 March 2013 / Accepted: 29 March 2013 / Published: 9 April 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (204 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated the changes in resistance of Acinetobacter baumannii complex and the association of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii complex (CRAB) infection and hospital antimicrobial usage from 2003 to 2011 in a tertiary care hospital in northeast China. In vitro susceptibilities were determined by
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This study investigated the changes in resistance of Acinetobacter baumannii complex and the association of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii complex (CRAB) infection and hospital antimicrobial usage from 2003 to 2011 in a tertiary care hospital in northeast China. In vitro susceptibilities were determined by disk diffusion test and susceptibility profiles were determined using zone diameter interpretive criteria, as recommended by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Data on consumption of various antimicrobial agents, expressed as defined daily dose/1,000 patients/day, were collected retrospectively from hospital pharmacy computer database. Most of 2,485 strains of A. baumannii complex were collected from respiratory samples (1,618 isolates, 65.1%), secretions and pus (465, 18.7%) over the years. The rates of antimicrobial resistance in A. baumannii complex increased significantly over the years. The rates of CRAB were between 11.3% and 59.1% over the years. The quarterly use of anti-pseudomonal carbapenems, but not other classes of antibiotics, was strongly correlated with the increase of quarterly CRAB (β  = 1.661; p < 0.001). Dedicated use of anti-pseudomonal carbapenems would be an important intervention to control the increase of CRAB. Full article
Open AccessArticle A First Approach to Differences in Continuity of Care Perceived by Immigrants and Natives in the Catalan Public Healthcare System
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1474-1488; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041474
Received: 15 February 2013 / Revised: 11 March 2013 / Accepted: 27 March 2013 / Published: 9 April 2013
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Abstract
Objective: To compare immigrants’ and natives’ perceptions of relational, managerial and informational continuity of care and to explore the influence of the length of stay on immigrants’ perceptions of continuity. Methods: Cross-sectional study based on a survey of a random sample
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Objective: To compare immigrants’ and natives’ perceptions of relational, managerial and informational continuity of care and to explore the influence of the length of stay on immigrants’ perceptions of continuity. Methods: Cross-sectional study based on a survey of a random sample of 1,500 patients, of which 22% (331) were immigrants. The study area was made up by three healthcare areas of the Catalan healthcare system. To collect data, the CCAENA questionnaire was applied. Multivariate logistic regression models were conducted. Results: Like natives, immigrants perceive high levels of managerial continuity (88.5%) and relational continuity with primary and secondary care physicians (86.7 and 81.8%), and lower levels of informational continuity (59.1%). There were no statistically significant differences in managerial and informational continuity between immigrants and natives. However, immigrants perceive a worse relational continuity with primary care physicians in terms of trust, communication and clinical responsibility. Conversely, immigrants perceive higher relational continuity with secondary care physicians in terms of effective communication and clinical responsibility. Discussion: Similar managerial and informational continuity perceptions seem to point towards a similar treatment of patients, regardless of their immigrant status. However, differences in relational continuity highlight the need for improvements in professionals’ skills in treating immigrants’ patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health 2012)
Open AccessArticle Sick Building Syndrome by Indoor Air Pollution in Dalian, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1489-1504; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041489
Received: 10 February 2013 / Revised: 28 March 2013 / Accepted: 3 April 2013 / Published: 11 April 2013
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study assessed subjective symptoms related to indoor concentrations of chemicals among residents in a housing estate in Dalian, China, where indoor air pollution by interior decoration materials has recently become a major health problem. Fifty-nine males and 50 females were surveyed for
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This study assessed subjective symptoms related to indoor concentrations of chemicals among residents in a housing estate in Dalian, China, where indoor air pollution by interior decoration materials has recently become a major health problem. Fifty-nine males and 50 females were surveyed for their symptoms related to sick building syndrome. Formaldehyde (HCHO), NO2, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their dwellings were collected using a diffusion sampler and measured by GC/MS. For residents with one or more symptoms in the past, HCHO, butanol or 1,2-dichloroethane concentrations were significantly greater in their bedrooms or kitchens compared with those of subjects without previous symptoms. For residents with one or more symptoms at the time of the study, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, xylene, butanol, methyl isobutyl ketone, and styrene concentrations in their bedrooms or kitchens were significantly greater compared with those of residents without symptoms. HCHO, NO2, and VOCs were detected in all rooms, but their levels were lower than the guideline values except for HCHO in two rooms. Chemical substances from interior decoration materials at indoor air levels lower than their guideline values might have affected the health status of residents. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Higher Mosquito Production in Low-Income Neighborhoods of Baltimore and Washington, DC: Understanding Ecological Drivers and Mosquito-Borne Disease Risk in Temperate Cities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1505-1526; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041505
Received: 8 February 2013 / Revised: 20 March 2013 / Accepted: 3 April 2013 / Published: 12 April 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (348 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mosquito-vectored pathogens are responsible for devastating human diseases and are (re)emerging in many urban environments. Effective mosquito control in urban landscapes relies on improved understanding of the complex interactions between the ecological and social factors that define where mosquito populations can grow. We
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Mosquito-vectored pathogens are responsible for devastating human diseases and are (re)emerging in many urban environments. Effective mosquito control in urban landscapes relies on improved understanding of the complex interactions between the ecological and social factors that define where mosquito populations can grow. We compared the density of mosquito habitat and pupae production across economically varying neighborhoods in two temperate U.S. cities (Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC). Seven species of mosquito larvae were recorded. The invasive Aedes albopictus was the only species found in all neighborhoods. Culex pipiens, a primary vector of West Nile virus (WNV), was most abundant in Baltimore, which also had more tire habitats. Both Culex and Aedes pupae were more likely to be sampled in neighborhoods categorized as being below median income level in each city and Aedes pupae density was also greater in container habitats found in these lower income neighborhoods. We infer that lower income residents may experience greater exposure to potential disease vectors and Baltimore residents specifically, were at greater risk of exposure to the predominant WNV vector. However, we also found that resident-reported mosquito nuisance was not correlated with our measured risk index, indicating a potentially important mismatch between motivation needed to engage participation in control efforts and the relative importance of control among neighborhoods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Maternal Characteristics in a Sample of Schoolchildren from a Rural Province of Croatia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1547-1561; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041547
Received: 3 March 2013 / Revised: 1 April 2013 / Accepted: 9 April 2013 / Published: 16 April 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (237 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a congenital syndrome caused by maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy and is entirely preventable by abstinence from alcohol drinking during this time. Little is known about the prevalence of FAS and maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy in Western
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Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a congenital syndrome caused by maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy and is entirely preventable by abstinence from alcohol drinking during this time. Little is known about the prevalence of FAS and maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy in Western countries. We present the results of FAS/partial fetal alcohol syndrome (PFAS) prevalence study and maternal characteristics in a sample of schoolchildren from a rural province of Croatia. This study involved seven elementary schools with 1,110 enrolled children attending 1st to 4th grade and their mothers. We used an active case ascertainment method with passive parental consent and Clarified IOM criteria. The investigation protocol involved maternal data collection and clinical examination of children. Out of 1,110 mothers, 917 (82.6%) answered the questionnaire. Alcohol exposure during pregnancy was admitted by 11.5%, regular drinking by 4.0% and binge drinking by 1.4% of questioned mothers. Clinical examination involved 824 (74.2%) schoolchildren and disclosed 14 (1.7%) with clinical signs of FAS and 41 (5.0%) of PFAS. The observed FAS prevalence, based on 74.2% participation rate, was 16.9, PFAS 49.7 and combined prevalence was 66.7/1,000 examined schoolchildren. This is the first FAS prevalence study based on active ascertainment among schoolchildren and pregnancy alcohol drinking analysis performed in a rural community of Croatia and Europe. High prevalence of FAS/PFAS and pregnancy alcohol consumption observed in this study revealed that FAS is serious health problem in rural regions as well as a need to develop future studies and preventive measures for pregnancy alcohol drinking and FASD. Full article
Open AccessArticle Stages of Change, Smoking Behaviour and Readiness to Quit in a Large Sample of Indigenous Australians Living in Eight Remote North Queensland Communities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1562-1571; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041562
Received: 6 February 2013 / Revised: 3 April 2013 / Accepted: 3 April 2013 / Published: 16 April 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (202 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tobacco smoking is a major health issue for Indigenous Australians, however there are few interventions with demonstrated efficacy in this population. The Transtheoretical Model may provide a useful framework for describing smoking behaviour and assessing readiness to quit, with the aim of developing
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Tobacco smoking is a major health issue for Indigenous Australians, however there are few interventions with demonstrated efficacy in this population. The Transtheoretical Model may provide a useful framework for describing smoking behaviour and assessing readiness to quit, with the aim of developing better interventions. Interviews were conducted with 593 Indigenous Australians in eight rural and remote communities in north Queensland, to examine stages of change and smoking behaviour. Among current smokers, 39.6% and 43.4% were in Precontemplation and Contemplation stages respectively. A further 13.9% were making preparations to quit (Preparation) whilst only 3.2% said they were actively trying to quit (Action). When analysed by stage of change, the pattern of smoking-related behaviours conformed to the results of past research using the model. Importantly however, distribution of individuals across the stages opposes those observed in investigations of smoking behaviour in non-Indigenous Australian populations. The Transtheoretical Model can be used to meaningfully classify Indigenous smokers in remote north Queensland according to stages along the behaviour change continuum. Importantly, in this large sample across eight communities, most Indigenous smokers were not making preparations to change their smoking behaviour. This suggests that interventions should focus on promoting movement toward the Preparation and Action stages of change. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Evaluation of the HACCP System in a University Canteen: Microbiological Monitoring and Internal Auditing as Verification Tools
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1572-1585; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041572
Received: 13 March 2013 / Revised: 3 April 2013 / Accepted: 3 April 2013 / Published: 17 April 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (355 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Food safety is essential in mass catering. In Europe, Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 requires food business operators to put in place, implement and maintain permanent procedures based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. Each HACCP plan is specifically implemented for
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Food safety is essential in mass catering. In Europe, Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 requires food business operators to put in place, implement and maintain permanent procedures based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. Each HACCP plan is specifically implemented for the processing plant and processing methods and requires a systematic collection of data on the incidence, elimination, prevention, and reduction of risks. In this five-year-study, the effectiveness of the HACCP plan of a University canteen was verified through periodic internal auditing and microbiological monitoring of meals, small equipment, cooking tools, working surfaces, as well as hands and white coats of the canteen staff. The data obtained revealed no safety risks for the consumers, since Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes were never detected; however, a quite discontinuous microbiological quality of meals was revealed. The fluctuations in the microbial loads of mesophilic aerobes, coliforms, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, and sulphite-reducing clostridia were mainly ascribed to inadequate handling or processing procedures, thus suggesting the need for an enhancement of staff training activities and for a reorganization of tasks. Due to the wide variety of the fields covered by internal auditing, the full conformance to all the requirements was never achieved, though high scores, determined by assigning one point to each answer which matched with the requirements, were achieved in all the years. Full article
Open AccessArticle Bacterial Contamination on Household Toys and Association with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Conditions in Honduras
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1586-1597; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041586
Received: 25 February 2013 / Revised: 27 March 2013 / Accepted: 3 April 2013 / Published: 18 April 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (216 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is growing evidence that household water treatment interventions improve microbiological water quality and reduce diarrheal disease risk. Few studies have examined, however, the impact of water treatment interventions on household-level hygiene and sanitation. This study examined the association of four water and
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There is growing evidence that household water treatment interventions improve microbiological water quality and reduce diarrheal disease risk. Few studies have examined, however, the impact of water treatment interventions on household-level hygiene and sanitation. This study examined the association of four water and sanitation conditions (access to latrines, improved sanitation, improved water and the plastic biosand filter) on the levels of total coliforms and E. coli on existing and introduced toys during an on-going randomized controlled trial of the plastic biosand filter (plastic BSF). The following conditions were associated with decreased bacterial contamination on children’s toys: access to a latrine, access to improved sanitation and access to the plastic BSF. Overall, compared to existing toys, introduced toys had significantly lower levels of both E. coli and total coliforms. Results suggest that levels of fecal indicator bacteria contamination on children’s toys may be associated with access to improved water and sanitation conditions in the home. In addition, the fecal indicator bacteria levels on toys probably vary with duration in the household. Additional information on how these toys become contaminated is needed to determine the usefulness of toys as indicators or sentinels of water, sanitation and hygiene conditions, behaviors and risks. Full article
Open AccessArticle Monoclonal Antibody-Based Sandwich ELISA for the Detection of Staphylococcal Enterotoxin A
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1598-1608; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041598
Received: 19 March 2013 / Revised: 26 March 2013 / Accepted: 15 April 2013 / Published: 19 April 2013
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (230 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A sensitive and specific monoclonal antibody-based sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was established and validated for the detection of staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA). After routine fusion and selection, 10 monoclonal antibodies showed high affinity for SEA. An optimal pair for sandwich ELISA was
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A sensitive and specific monoclonal antibody-based sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was established and validated for the detection of staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA). After routine fusion and selection, 10 monoclonal antibodies showed high affinity for SEA. An optimal pair for sandwich ELISA was selected by pairwise interaction analysis. After optimization, the limit of detection (LOD) and linear dynamic range of the method were established, and were found to be 0.0282 ng/mL and 0.06–2 ng/mL, respectively. The recovery in pure milk ranged from 82.67% to 111.95% and the intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation ranged from 3.16% to 6.05% and from 5.16% to 10.79%, respectively. Cross-reactivity with staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), staphylococcal enterotoxin C (SEC), staphylococcal enterotoxin D (SED), and staphylococcal enterotoxin E (SEE) in this method were insignificant. These results indicate that the sandwich ELISA method developed in our study is effective for routine identification of SEA in food samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Integrated Environmental Risk Assessment and Whole-Process Management System in Chemical Industry Parks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1609-1630; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041609
Received: 7 January 2013 / Revised: 7 April 2013 / Accepted: 15 April 2013 / Published: 19 April 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (890 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chemical industry parks in China are considered high-risk areas because they present numerous risks that can damage the environment, such as pollution incidents. In order to identify the environmental risks and the principal risk factors in these areas, we have developed a simple
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Chemical industry parks in China are considered high-risk areas because they present numerous risks that can damage the environment, such as pollution incidents. In order to identify the environmental risks and the principal risk factors in these areas, we have developed a simple physical model of a regional environmental risk field (ERF) using existing dispersal patterns and migration models. The regional ERF zoning was also conducted and a reference value for diagnostic methods was developed to determine risk-acceptable, risk-warning, and risk-mitigation zones, which can provide a risk source layout for chemical industry parks. In accordance with the environmental risk control requirements, this study focused on the three stages of control and management of environmental risk and established an environmental risk management system including risk source identification and assessment, environmental safety planning, early risk warning, emergency management, assessment of environmental effects, and environmental remediation of pollution accidents. By using this model, the environmental risks in Tianjin Binhai New Area, the largest chemical industry park in China, were assessed and the environmental risk zoning map was drawn, which suggested the existence of many unacceptable environmental risks in this area. Thus, relevant suggestions have been proposed from the perspective of the adjustment of risk source layout, intensified management of environmental risk control and so on. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Geochemistry and Health)
Open AccessArticle Toxic Emissions from a Military Test Site in the Territory of Sardinia, Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1631-1646; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041631
Received: 12 February 2013 / Revised: 10 April 2013 / Accepted: 15 April 2013 / Published: 19 April 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (524 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work assesses the environmental impact from chemical emissions due to military tests and routine activities in the area occupied by the Italian Inter-force Test Range (PISQ), located at Salto di Quirra, Sardinia, Italy. After reviewing the military activities carried out at PISQ,
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This work assesses the environmental impact from chemical emissions due to military tests and routine activities in the area occupied by the Italian Inter-force Test Range (PISQ), located at Salto di Quirra, Sardinia, Italy. After reviewing the military activities carried out at PISQ, such as rocket launching, blasting and armament destruction, projectile and mortar fire impact, the associated pollution is evaluated. Chemical analyses were performed by means of Scanning Electronic Microscopy and Energy Dispersion Spectrometry on biotic and abiotic matrices. Residues of Rb, Tl, W, Ti and Al were found in matrices collected in the PISQ areas and environs. A review of experimental data on air, water, soil, milk, forage and animal tissues obtained by various Public Agencies of Sardinia proved that toxic element residues often exceeded the legal limits. PM10 and PM2.5 air concentrations also exceeded the legal limits after military blasting. Cd and Pb contents in the liver and kidneys of sheep living in farms at PISQ and in control farms that were located more than 20 km away from PISQ were higher than the legal limits. This work was performed to investigate concentration of xenobiotics in ecosystems emitted from PISQ activities. This assessment could be useful to focus future epidemiological studies carried out in PISQ and its neighbouring areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Geochemistry and Health)

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Open AccessReview Arsenic-Induced Genotoxicity and Genetic Susceptibility to Arsenic-Related Pathologies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1527-1546; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041527
Received: 25 February 2013 / Revised: 22 March 2013 / Accepted: 3 April 2013 / Published: 12 April 2013
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (294 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The arsenic (As) exposure represents an important problem in many parts of the World. Indeed, it is estimated that over 100 million individuals are exposed to arsenic, mainly through a contamination of groundwaters.Chronic exposure to As is associated with adverse effects on
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The arsenic (As) exposure represents an important problem in many parts of the World. Indeed, it is estimated that over 100 million individuals are exposed to arsenic, mainly through a contamination of groundwaters. Chronic exposure to As is associated with adverse effects on human health such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases, neurological diseases and the rate of morbidity and mortality in populations exposed is alarming. The purpose of this review is to summarize the genotoxic effects of As in the cells as well as to discuss the importance of signaling and repair of arsenic-induced DNA damage. The current knowledge of specific polymorphisms in candidate genes that confer susceptibility to arsenic exposure is also reviewed. We also discuss the perspectives offered by the determination of biological markers of early effect on health, incorporating genetic polymorphisms, with biomarkers for exposure to better evaluate exposure-response clinical relationships as well as to develop novel preventative strategies for arsenic- health effects. Full article

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