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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 10, Issue 5 (May 2013), Pages 1647-2108

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Open AccessArticle A Wicked Problem: Early Childhood Safety in the Dynamic, Interactive Environment of Home
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1647-1664; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051647
Received: 17 March 2013 / Revised: 10 April 2013 / Accepted: 11 April 2013 / Published: 24 April 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Young children being injured at home is a perennial problem. When parents of young children and family workers discussed what influenced parents’ perceptions and responses to child injury risk at home, both “upstream” and “downstream” causal factors were identified. Among the former, complex
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Young children being injured at home is a perennial problem. When parents of young children and family workers discussed what influenced parents’ perceptions and responses to child injury risk at home, both “upstream” and “downstream” causal factors were identified. Among the former, complex and interactive facets of society and contemporary living emerged as potentially critical features. The “wicked problems” model arose from the need to find resolutions for complex problems in multidimensional environments and it proved a useful analogy for child injury. Designing dynamic strategies to provide resolutions to childhood injury, may address our over-dependence on ‘tame solutions’ that only deal with physical cause-and-effect relationships and which cannot address the complex interactive contexts in which young children are often injured. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Injury Prevention) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle The NASOROSSO (Rednose) Project: An Italian Study on Alcohol Consumption in Recreational Places
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1665-1680; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051665
Received: 15 March 2013 / Revised: 12 April 2013 / Accepted: 19 April 2013 / Published: 24 April 2013
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Abstract
The Nasorosso project of the Italian Youth Department and the National Institute of Health, aimed to raise awareness about drinking and driving under the influence of alcohol among club goers with a series of initiatives. Within the framework of the project, blood alcohol
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The Nasorosso project of the Italian Youth Department and the National Institute of Health, aimed to raise awareness about drinking and driving under the influence of alcohol among club goers with a series of initiatives. Within the framework of the project, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was measured on 106,406 individuals before and after clubbing in 66 different recreational sites from 11 Italian provinces, over 16 months. Participating individuals were interviewed regarding sociodemographic and environmental characteristics and alcohol intoxicated people were offered to be taken home. The BAC median at the club entry was 0.26 g/L with 65.3% subjects showing a BAC value under the driving legal limit of 0.5g/L. At the exit from clubs, BAC median value rose to 0.44 g/L and subjects with BAC value under the legal limit decreased to 54.9%. Being male, aged between 18 and 34 years with a diploma, being a drinker and entering the disco with a BAC already beyond the legal limit predicted a BAC value beyond 0.5 g/L at exit from the recreational place. Conversely, being a driver, being a student and exiting from the disco before 4 a.m. reduced the probability of having a BAC higher than 0.5 g/L at the end of the night.  Health policies to prevent harmful use of alcohol in young people should continue to offer targeted information/ prevention; in order to steadily increase the awareness of the dangers and the damages of excessive use of alcohol. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Effects of Vision-Related Aspects on Noise Perception of Wind Turbines in Quiet Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1681-1697; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051681
Received: 25 February 2013 / Revised: 9 April 2013 / Accepted: 16 April 2013 / Published: 26 April 2013
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (451 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Preserving the soundscape and geographic extension of quiet areas is a great challenge against the wide-spreading of environmental noise. The E.U. Environmental Noise Directive underlines the need to preserve quiet areas as a new aim for the management of noise in European countries.
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Preserving the soundscape and geographic extension of quiet areas is a great challenge against the wide-spreading of environmental noise. The E.U. Environmental Noise Directive underlines the need to preserve quiet areas as a new aim for the management of noise in European countries. At the same time, due to their low population density, rural areas characterized by suitable wind are considered appropriate locations for installing wind farms. However, despite the fact that wind farms are represented as environmentally friendly projects, these plants are often viewed as visual and audible intruders, that spoil the landscape and generate noise. Even though the correlations are still unclear, it is obvious that visual impacts of wind farms could increase due to their size and coherence with respect to the rural/quiet environment. In this paper, by using the Immersive Virtual Reality technique, some visual and acoustical aspects of the impact of a wind farm on a sample of subjects were assessed and analyzed. The subjects were immersed in a virtual scenario that represented a situation of a typical rural outdoor scenario that they experienced at different distances from the wind turbines. The influence of the number and the colour of wind turbines on global, visual and auditory judgment were investigated. The main results showed that, regarding the number of wind turbines, the visual component has a weak effect on individual reactions, while the colour influences both visual and auditory individual reactions, although in a different way. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Rainfall- and Temperature-Driven Abundance Model for Aedes albopictus Populations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1698-1719; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051698
Received: 2 March 2013 / Revised: 9 April 2013 / Accepted: 12 April 2013 / Published: 26 April 2013
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (1325 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The mosquito Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) is an invasive species which has colonized Southern Europe in the last two decades. As it is a competent vector for several arboviruses, its spread is of increasing public health concern,
[...] Read more.
The mosquito Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) is an invasive species which has colonized Southern Europe in the last two decades. As it is a competent vector for several arboviruses, its spread is of increasing public health concern, and there is a need for appropriate monitoring tools. In this paper, we have developed a modelling approach to predict mosquito abundance over time, and identify the main determinants of mosquito population dynamics. The model is temperature- and rainfall-driven, takes into account egg diapause during unfavourable periods, and was used to model the population dynamics of Ae. albopictus in the French Riviera since 2008. Entomological collections of egg stage from six locations in Nice conurbation were used for model validation. We performed a sensitivity analysis to identify the key parameters of the mosquito population dynamics. Results showed that the model correctly predicted entomological field data (Pearson r correlation coefficient values range from 0.73 to 0.93). The model’s main control points were related to adult’s mortality rates, the carrying capacity in pupae of the environment, and the beginning of the unfavourable period. The proposed model can be efficiently used as a tool to predict Ae. albopictus population dynamics, and to assess the efficiency of different control strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Need for Improved Risk Communication of Fish Consumption Advisories to Protect Maternal and Child Health: Influence of Primary Informants
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1720-1734; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051720
Received: 9 March 2013 / Revised: 12 April 2013 / Accepted: 15 April 2013 / Published: 29 April 2013
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Abstract
Fish consumption has established benefits, including the promotion of cardiovascular health and pre- and neonatal brain and eye development, but local freshwater fish may be a source of contaminants that are especially harmful to fetuses and young children, such as the neurotoxic and
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Fish consumption has established benefits, including the promotion of cardiovascular health and pre- and neonatal brain and eye development, but local freshwater fish may be a source of contaminants that are especially harmful to fetuses and young children, such as the neurotoxic and developmentally toxic methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyls. Fish consumption advisories may be issued by state health departments to limit human exposure to these and other toxicants. This study examined the efficacy of a sign designed by the North Carolina Division of Public Health that was posted along a reservoir (Badin Lake) in central North Carolina, USA, for increasing anglers’ awareness of a fish consumption advisory, with a special focus on anglers who share their catch with women and children. In this study, 109 anglers were interviewed about their awareness of fish consumption advisories in general and their knowledge of the Badin Lake fish advisory in particular. Shore anglers were significantly less likely to be aware of the term “fish consumption advisory” and of the specific advisory for Badin Lake than boat anglers. Although a significant increase in knowledge of the specific fish consumption advisory was found for the entire sample of study participants after the sign intervention, a commensurate increase in knowledge was not found for a subsample of anglers who reported sharing their catch with women and children. Study findings underscore differences in fish consumption advisory awareness among subpopulations. Specifically, the study revealed the importance of characterizing the communication needs of shore anglers and anglers who share their catch with sensitive subpopulations (e.g., women and children) for the creation of more targeted communications of fish consumption advisories. Full article
Open AccessArticle Social Service Utilization, Sense of Community, Family Functioning and the Mental Health of New Immigrant Women in Hong Kong
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1735-1746; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051735
Received: 5 March 2013 / Revised: 13 April 2013 / Accepted: 19 April 2013 / Published: 29 April 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (182 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Drawing upon a sample of 296 new immigrant women in Hong Kong, this study investigated how social service utilization, family functioning, and sense of community influenced the depressive symptoms of new immigrant women. Results of the structural equation modeling suggested that family functioning
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Drawing upon a sample of 296 new immigrant women in Hong Kong, this study investigated how social service utilization, family functioning, and sense of community influenced the depressive symptoms of new immigrant women. Results of the structural equation modeling suggested that family functioning and sense of community were both significantly and negatively associated with the depression of new immigrant women. Utilization of community services also influenced the depression of immigrant women indirectly through the mediating effect of sense of community. Implications of the research findings for mental health intervention were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health 2012)
Open AccessArticle A History of Ashes: An 80 Year Comparative Portrait of Smoking Initiation in American Indians and Non-Hispanic Whites—the Strong Heart Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1747-1762; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051747
Received: 4 March 2013 / Revised: 3 April 2013 / Accepted: 3 April 2013 / Published: 2 May 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (489 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The consequences of starting smoking by age 18 are significant. Early smoking initiation is associated with higher tobacco dependence, increased difficulty in smoking cessation and more negative health outcomes. The purpose of this study is to examine how closely smoking initiation in a
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The consequences of starting smoking by age 18 are significant. Early smoking initiation is associated with higher tobacco dependence, increased difficulty in smoking cessation and more negative health outcomes. The purpose of this study is to examine how closely smoking initiation in a well-defined population of American Indians (AI) resembles a group of Non-Hispanic white (NHW) populations born over an 80 year period. We obtained data on age of smoking initiation among 7,073 AIs who were members of 13 tribes in Arizona, Oklahoma and North and South Dakota from the 1988 Strong Heart Study (SHS) and the 2001 Strong Heart Family Study (SHFS) and 19,747 NHW participants in the 2003 National Health Interview Survey. The participants were born as early as 1904 and as late as 1985. We classified participants according to birth cohort by decade, sex, and for AIs, according to location. We estimated the cumulative incidence of smoking initiation by age 18 in each sex and birth cohort group in both AIs and NHWs and used Cox regression to estimate hazard ratios for the association of birth cohort, sex and region with the age at smoking initiation. We found that the cumulative incidence of smoking initiation by age 18 was higher in males than females in all SHS regions and in NHWs (p < 0.001). Our results show regional variation of age of initiation significant in the SHS (p < 0.001). Our data showed that not all AIs (in this sample) showed similar trends toward increased earlier smoking. For instance, Oklahoma SHS male participants born in the 1980s initiated smoking before age 18 less often than those born before 1920 by a ratio of 0.7. The results showed significant variation in age of initiation across sex, birth cohort, and location. Our preliminary analyses suggest that AI smoking trends are not uniform across region or gender but are likely shaped by local context. If tobacco prevention and control programs depend in part on addressing the origin of AI smoking it may be helpful to increase the awareness in regional differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control in Vulnerable Population Groups)
Open AccessArticle Weight Status, Body Image and Bullying among Adolescents in the Seychelles
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1763-1774; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051763
Received: 11 February 2013 / Revised: 4 April 2013 / Accepted: 19 April 2013 / Published: 2 May 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (292 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We investigated the relationship between being bullied and measured body weight and perceived body weight among adolescents of a middle-income sub Saharan African country. Our data originated from the Global School-based Health Survey, which targets adolescents aged 13–15 years. Student weights and heights
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We investigated the relationship between being bullied and measured body weight and perceived body weight among adolescents of a middle-income sub Saharan African country. Our data originated from the Global School-based Health Survey, which targets adolescents aged 13–15 years. Student weights and heights were measured before administrating the questionnaire which included questions about personal data, health behaviors and being bullied. Standard criteria were used to assess thinness, overweight and obesity. Among 1,006 participants who had complete data, 16.5% (95%CI 13.3–20.2) reported being bullied ≥3 days during the past 30 days; 13.4% were thin, 16.8% were overweight and 7.6% were obese. Categories of actual weight and of perceived weight correlated only moderately (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.37 for boys and 0.57 for girls; p < 0.001). In univariate analysis, both actual obesity (OR 1.76; p = 0.051) and perception of high weight (OR 1.63 for “slightly overweight”; OR 2.74 for “very overweight”, both p < 0.05) were associated with being bullied. In multivariate analysis, ORs for categories of perceived overweight were virtually unchanged while ORs for actual overweight and obesity were substantially attenuated, suggesting a substantial role of perceived weight in the association with being bullied. Actual underweight and perceived thinness also tended to be associated with being bullied, although not significantly. Our findings suggest that more research attention be given to disentangling the significant association between body image, overweight and bullying among adolescents. Further studies in diverse populations are warranted. Full article
Open AccessArticle Decreased IgA+ B Cells Population and IgA, IgG, IgM Contents of the Cecal Tonsil Induced by Dietary High Fluorine in Broilers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1775-1785; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051775
Received: 14 March 2013 / Revised: 17 April 2013 / Accepted: 18 April 2013 / Published: 2 May 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (574 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fluoride is an environmental and industrial pollutant that affects various organs in humans and animals. The cecal tonsil is an important component of the mucosal immune system and performs important and unique immune functions. In the present study, we investigated the effects of
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Fluoride is an environmental and industrial pollutant that affects various organs in humans and animals. The cecal tonsil is an important component of the mucosal immune system and performs important and unique immune functions. In the present study, we investigated the effects of dietary high fluorine on the quantities of IgA+ B cells in the cecal tonsil by immunohistochemistry, and the immunoglobulin A (IgA), immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin M (IgM) contents in the cecal tonsil by ELISA. A total of 280 one-day-old avian broilers were divided into four groups and fed on a corn-soybean basal diet as control diet (fluorine 22.6 mg/kg) or the same diet supplemented with 400, 800 and 1,200 mg/kg fluorine (high fluorine groups I, II and III) in the form of sodium fluoride, respectively, throughout a 42-day experimental period. The results showed that the quantities of IgA+ B cells were lower (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) and the IgA, IgG, and IgM contents were decreased (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) in high fluorine groups II and III in comparison with those of control group. It was concluded that dietary fluorine, in the 800–1,200 mg/kg range, could reduce the numbers of the IgA+ B cells and immunoglobulin contents in the cecal tonsil, implying the local mucosal immune function was ultimately impacted in broilers. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Hispanic Paradox and Older Adults’ Disabilities: Is There a Healthy Migrant Effect?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1786-1814; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051786
Received: 15 February 2013 / Accepted: 15 April 2013 / Published: 3 May 2013
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (374 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The “Hispanic Paradox” suggests that despite rates of poverty similar to African Americans, Hispanics have far better health and mortality outcomes, more comparable to non-Hispanic White Americans. Three prominent possible explanations for the Hispanic Paradox have emerged. The “Healthy Migrant Effect” suggests a
[...] Read more.
The “Hispanic Paradox” suggests that despite rates of poverty similar to African Americans, Hispanics have far better health and mortality outcomes, more comparable to non-Hispanic White Americans. Three prominent possible explanations for the Hispanic Paradox have emerged. The “Healthy Migrant Effect” suggests a health selection effect due to the demands of migration. The Hispanic lifestyle hypothesis focuses on Hispanics’ strong social ties and better health behaviors. The reverse migration argument suggests that the morbidity profile in the USA is affected when many Hispanic immigrants return to their native countries after developing a serious illness. We analyzed data from respondents aged 55 and over from the nationally representative 2006 American Community Survey including Mexican Americans (13,167 U.S. born; 11,378 immigrants), Cuban Americans (314 U.S. born; 3,730 immigrants), and non-Hispanic White Americans (629,341 U.S. born; 31,164 immigrants). The healthy migrant effect was supported with SES-adjusted disability comparable between Mexican, Cuban and non-Hispanic Whites born in the USA and all immigrants having lower adjusted odds of functional limitations than U.S. born non-Hispanic Whites. The reverse migration hypothesis was partially supported, with citizenship and longer duration in the USA associated with higher rates of SES-adjusted disability for Mexican Americans. The Hispanic healthy life-style explanation had little support in this study. Our findings underline the importance of considering nativity when planning for health interventions to address the needs of the growing Hispanic American older adult population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health 2012)
Open AccessArticle Stress, Depression and Coping among Latino Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1815-1830; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051815
Received: 6 March 2013 / Revised: 18 April 2013 / Accepted: 22 April 2013 / Published: 3 May 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (216 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Research shows that one in four migrant farmworkers experienced an episode of one or more mental health disorders such as stress, depression, or anxiety in their lifetime. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore experiences and perceptions related to stress
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Research shows that one in four migrant farmworkers experienced an episode of one or more mental health disorders such as stress, depression, or anxiety in their lifetime. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore experiences and perceptions related to stress and depression among Latino migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs), and to identify their coping behaviors for dealing with these mental health conditions. Using a mixed methods research approach, three focus group interviews of a sample of Latino MSFWs (N = 29) were conducted and a quantitative survey was implemented (N = 57) at community sites in eastern North Carolina. Four major themes emerged from the focus group data: (1) physical stress related to working conditions; (2) mental stress related to family situations, work environment, documentation status, and lack of resources; (3) depression related to separation from family and the lack of resources; and (4) use of positive and negative mechanisms for coping with stress and depression. A discussion of these themes, results from the survey findings, implications for intervention and outreach programs, along with recommendations for further research, are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Job Stress and Health)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Precipitation on the Transmission of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) Virus in Nature: A Complex Effect on Antibody-Positive Rate to JE Virus in Sentinel Pigs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1831-1844; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051831
Received: 16 March 2013 / Revised: 23 April 2013 / Accepted: 25 April 2013 / Published: 3 May 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (287 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is one of the most important mosquito-borne viral diseases in Asia. Pigs are a natural host and the amplifier of JE virus. The sero-conversion rate to JE virus in sentinel pigs reflects the activity of JE virus in the region.
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Japanese encephalitis (JE) is one of the most important mosquito-borne viral diseases in Asia. Pigs are a natural host and the amplifier of JE virus. The sero-conversion rate to JE virus in sentinel pigs reflects the activity of JE virus in the region. We analyzed whether precipitation has any effect on the sero-conversion rate to JE virus in sentinel pigs. Linear regression analysis was performed to determine the correlations between the levels of precipitation and sero-conversion rates to JE virus, in the entire year and during summertime over the period of 32 years from 1969 to 2000. The levels of the annual and summertime precipitation demonstrated statistically significant positive correlations with sero-conversion rates for the whole of the country and for some regions in Japan. The levels of the summertime precipitation, on the other hand, demonstrated statistically significant inverse correlations with the sero-conversion rates in other regions. Further, the levels of precipitation during preceding 10-day periods from days 1–40 before blood collection showed inverse correlation with antibody-positive rates in some regions. The results indicate that the relationship between the annual and summertime precipitation, and the sero-conversion rate to JE virus is complex; both positive and inverse effects are demonstrated depending on the regions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Valuing Human Leptospirosis Prevention Using the Opportunity Cost of Labor
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1845-1860; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051845
Received: 6 March 2013 / Revised: 24 April 2013 / Accepted: 25 April 2013 / Published: 3 May 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (190 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Leptospirosis is a serious public health concern in the Philippines, not only because of its increasing incidence rate, but also because of its significant health and economic impacts. Despite its relatively high seroprevalence, knowledge on the economic burden of disease, particularly on the
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Leptospirosis is a serious public health concern in the Philippines, not only because of its increasing incidence rate, but also because of its significant health and economic impacts. Despite its relatively high seroprevalence, knowledge on the economic burden of disease, particularly on the value that the society places on disease prevention remains limited. Obtaining such information is important within the context of public health policy. This study was conducted in Metro Manila to determine the economic burden of leptospirosis, by asking respondents about their willingness to contribute to labor (WTCL) for the prevention of leptospirosis. The respondents pledged an average labor contribution of 10.66 h/month. The average WTCL corresponded to a monetary value of US$4.01 per month when valued using the opportunity cost of labor (leisure rate of time). From the monetized labor contribution, the total economic value of preventing leptospirosis was estimated at US$124.97 million per annum, which represents 1.13% of Metro Manila’s gross domestic product (GDP). Estimates from a Tobit regression model identified the respondents’ knowledge regarding leptospirosis, the susceptibility of their homes to flooding, and the proximity of their homes to sewers as significant factors to consider when developing resource contribution programs for leptospirosis prevention. More efforts need to be made in developing community level preventive programs, and in improving public’s knowledge and awareness about leptospirosis. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Factors Influencing the Groundwater Chemistry in a Small Tropical Island of Malaysia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1861-1881; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051861
Received: 1 March 2013 / Revised: 19 April 2013 / Accepted: 20 April 2013 / Published: 6 May 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (784 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Groundwater chemistry of small tropical islands is influenced by many factors, such as recharge, weathering and seawater intrusion, among others, which interact with each other in a very complex way. In this work, multivariate statistical analysis was used to evaluate the factors controlling
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Groundwater chemistry of small tropical islands is influenced by many factors, such as recharge, weathering and seawater intrusion, among others, which interact with each other in a very complex way. In this work, multivariate statistical analysis was used to evaluate the factors controlling the groundwater chemistry of Kapas Island (Malaysia). Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to 17 hydrochemical parameters from 108 groundwater samples obtained from 18 sampling sites. PCA extracted four PCs, namely seawater intrusion, redox reaction, anthropogenic pollution and weather factors, which collectively were responsible for more than 87% of the total variance of the island’s hydrochemistry. The cluster analysis indicated that three factors (weather, redox reaction and seawater intrusion) controlled the hydrochemistry of the area, and the variables were allocated to three groups based on similarity. A Piper diagram classified the island’s water types into Ca-HCO3 water type, Na-HCO3 water type, Na-SO4-Cl water type and Na-Cl water type, indicating recharge, mixed, weathering and leached from sewage and seawater intrusion, respectively. This work will provide policy makers and land managers with knowledge of the precise water quality problems affecting the island and can also serve as a guide for hydrochemistry assessments of other islands that share similar characteristics with the island in question. Full article
Open AccessArticle Pure and Social Disparities in Distribution of Dentists: A Cross-Sectional Province-Based Study in Iran
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1882-1894; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051882
Received: 27 March 2013 / Revised: 22 April 2013 / Accepted: 24 April 2013 / Published: 6 May 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
During past decades, the number of dentists has continuously increased in Iran. Beside the quantity, the distribution of dentists affects the oral health status of population. The current study aimed to assess the pure and social disparities in distribution of dentists across the
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During past decades, the number of dentists has continuously increased in Iran. Beside the quantity, the distribution of dentists affects the oral health status of population. The current study aimed to assess the pure and social disparities in distribution of dentists across the provinces in Iran in 2009. Data on provinces’ characteristics, including population and social situation, were obtained from multiple sources. The disparity measures (including Gini coefficient, index of dissimilarity, Gaswirth index of disparity and relative index of inequality (RII)) and pairwise correlations were used to evaluate the pure and social disparities in the number of dentists in Iran. On average, there were 28 dentists per 100,000 population in the country. There were substantial pure disparities in the distribution of dentists across the provinces in Iran. The unadjusted and adjusted RII values were 3.82 and 2.13, respectively; indicating area social disparity in favor of people in better-off provinces. There were strong positive correlations between density of dentists and better social rank. It is suggested that the results of this study should be considered in conducting plans for redistribution of dentists in the country. In addition, further analyses are needed to explain these disparities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Economics)
Open AccessArticle Linking Traffic Noise, Noise Annoyance and Life Satisfaction: A Case Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1895-1915; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051895
Received: 2 February 2013 / Revised: 15 April 2013 / Accepted: 17 April 2013 / Published: 7 May 2013
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (419 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The primary purpose of this study was to explore the link between rail and road traffic noise and overall life satisfaction. While the negative relationship between residential satisfaction and traffic noise is relatively well-established, much less is known about the effect of traffic
[...] Read more.
The primary purpose of this study was to explore the link between rail and road traffic noise and overall life satisfaction. While the negative relationship between residential satisfaction and traffic noise is relatively well-established, much less is known about the effect of traffic noise on overall life satisfaction. Based on results of previous studies, we propose a model that links objective noise levels, noise sensitivity, noise annoyance, residential satisfaction and life satisfaction. Since it is not clear whether a bottom-up or top-down relationship between residential satisfaction and life satisfaction holds, we specify models that incorporate both of these theoretical propositions. Empirical models are tested using structural equation modeling and data from a survey among residents of areas with high levels of road traffic noise (n1 = 354) and rail traffic noise (n2 = 228). We find that traffic noise has a negative effect on residential satisfaction, but no significant direct or indirect effects on overall life satisfaction. Noise annoyance due to road and rail traffic noise has strong negative effect on residential satisfaction rather than on overall life satisfaction. These results are very similar for the road and railway traffic contexts and regardless of whether the model assumes the top-down or bottom-up direction of the causation between life satisfaction and residential satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Health related Quality of Life)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Community Centre-based Arts, Leisure and Social Activities in Promoting Adult Well-being and Healthy Lifestyles
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1948-1962; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051948
Received: 3 December 2012 / Revised: 2 May 2013 / Accepted: 8 May 2013 / Published: 10 May 2013
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Abstract
Developed countries are experiencing high levels of mental and physical illness associated with long term health conditions, unhealthy lifestyles and an ageing population. Given the limited capacity of the formal health care sector to address these public health issues, attention is turning to
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Developed countries are experiencing high levels of mental and physical illness associated with long term health conditions, unhealthy lifestyles and an ageing population. Given the limited capacity of the formal health care sector to address these public health issues, attention is turning to the role of agencies active in civil society. This paper sought to evaluate the associations between participation in community centre activities, the psycho-social wellbeing and health related behaviours. This was based on an evaluation of the South West Well-being programme involving ten organisations delivering leisure, exercise, cooking, befriending, arts and crafts activities. The evaluation consisted of a before-and-after study with 687 adults. The results showed positive changes in self-reported general health, mental health, personal and social well-being. Positive changes were associated with diet and physical activity. Some activities were different in their outcomes—especially in cases where group activities were combined with one-to-one support. The results suggest that community centre activities of this nature offer benefits that are generically supportive of health behaviour changes. Such initiatives can perform an important role in supporting the health improvement objectives of formal health care services. For commissioners and partner agencies, accessibility and participation are attractive features that are particularly pertinent to the current public health context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Basic Concepts in the Taxonomy of Health-Related Behaviors, Habits and Lifestyle
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1963-1976; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051963
Received: 12 March 2013 / Revised: 22 April 2013 / Accepted: 28 April 2013 / Published: 13 May 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (291 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Health-related Habits (HrH) are a major priority in healthcare. However there is little agreement on whether exercise, diet, smoking or dental hygiene are better described as lifestyles, habits or behaviors, and on what is their hierarchical relationship. This research is aimed
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Background: Health-related Habits (HrH) are a major priority in healthcare. However there is little agreement on whether exercise, diet, smoking or dental hygiene are better described as lifestyles, habits or behaviors, and on what is their hierarchical relationship. This research is aimed at representing the basic concepts which are assumed to constitute the conceptual framework enabling us to interpret and organize the field of HrH. Methods: A group of 29 experts with different backgrounds agreed on the definition and hierarchy of HrH following an iterative process which involved framing analysis and nominal group techniques. Results: Formal definitions of health-related behavior, habit, life-style and life-style profile were produced. In addition a series of basic descriptors were identified: health reserve, capital, risk and load. Six main categories of HrH were chosen based on relevance to longevity: diet/exercise, vitality/stress, sleep, cognition, substance use and other risk. Attributes of HrH are clinical meaningfulness, quantifiability, temporal stability, associated morbidity, and unitarity (non-redundancy). Two qualifiers (polarity and stages of change) have also been described. Conclusions: The concepts represented here lay the groundwork for the development of clinical and policy tools related to HrH and lifestyle. An adaptation of this system to define targets of health interventions and to develop the classification of person factors in ICF may be needed in the future. Full article
Open AccessArticle Investigating Unmet Health Needs in Primary Health Care Services in a Representative Sample of the Greek Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 2017-2027; doi:10.3390/ijerph10052017
Received: 3 April 2013 / Revised: 8 May 2013 / Accepted: 13 May 2013 / Published: 17 May 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (162 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Unmet health care needs are determined as the difference between the services judged necessary and the services actually received, and stem from barriers related to accessibility, availability and acceptability. This study aims to examine the prevalence of unmet needs and to identify the
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Unmet health care needs are determined as the difference between the services judged necessary and the services actually received, and stem from barriers related to accessibility, availability and acceptability. This study aims to examine the prevalence of unmet needs and to identify the socioeconomic and health status factors that are associated with unmet needs. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Greece in 2010 and involved data from 1,000 consenting subjects (>18 years old). Multiple binary logistic regression analysis was applied to investigate the predictors of unmet needs and to determine the relation between the socio-demographic characteristics and the accessibility, availability and acceptability barriers. Ninety nine participants (9.9%) reported unmet health needs during the 12 months prior to the research. The most frequently self-reported reasons were cost and lack of time. Youth, parenthood, physician consultations, and poor mental health increased the likelihood of unmet needs. Women were less likely to report accessibility and availability than acceptability barriers. Educational differences were evident and individuals with primary and secondary education were associated with significantly more accessibility and availability barriers compared with those with tertiary education. Unmet health needs pose a significant challenge to the health care system, especially given the difficult current financial situation in Greece. It is believed that unmet health needs will continue to increase, which will widen inequalities in health and health care access. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Environmental and Individual Correlates of Various Types of Physical Activity among Community-Dwelling Middle-Aged and Elderly Japanese
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 2028-2042; doi:10.3390/ijerph10052028
Received: 15 March 2013 / Revised: 22 April 2013 / Accepted: 8 May 2013 / Published: 17 May 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (273 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent studies have suggested the importance of the neighborhood environment in determining the specific type of physical activity. However, few studies on this topic have been undertaken in Japan. This study examined the association of three types of physical activity and their associations
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Recent studies have suggested the importance of the neighborhood environment in determining the specific type of physical activity. However, few studies on this topic have been undertaken in Japan. This study examined the association of three types of physical activity and their associations with individual and neighborhood environmental factors among middle-aged and elderly Japanese. Participants were 2,449 adults aged 40–69 living in Fujisawa city who had undergone health checkups and responded to our survey by mail. Individual factors, the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (long form), and its environmental module acted as inputs to the study. The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of high levels of moderate-to-vigorous intensity leisure-time physical activity (LTPA), walking for active recreation, and transportation were calculated in relation to individual and neighborhood environmental factors through multiple logistic regression models. Not working and good self-rated health were significantly associated with a higher level of each physical activity outcome. According to the adjusted ORs, higher educational attainment, higher economic status, good access to exercise facilities, and owning motor vehicles were associated with longer LTPA time. However, different sets of factors were associated with longer walking times for recreation and transportation. The results suggest that diverse individual and neighborhood environmental characteristics are associated with different physical activity outcomes. Therefore, customizing environments to become activity-friendly is necessary to increase physical activity effectively among middle-aged and elderly Japanese. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Screening and Brief Interventions for Hazardous and Harmful Alcohol Use among University Students in South Africa: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 2043-2057; doi:10.3390/ijerph10052043
Received: 25 March 2013 / Revised: 29 April 2013 / Accepted: 8 May 2013 / Published: 21 May 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (370 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) for alcohol problems among university students in South Africa. The study design for this efficacy study is a randomized controlled trial with 6- and 12-month follow-ups to
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The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) for alcohol problems among university students in South Africa. The study design for this efficacy study is a randomized controlled trial with 6- and 12-month follow-ups to examine the effects of a brief alcohol intervention to reduce alcohol use by hazardous and harmful drinkers in a university setting. The unit of randomization is the individual university student identified as a hazardous or harmful drinker attending public recruitment venues in a university campus. University students were screened for alcohol problems, and those identified as hazardous or harmful drinkers were randomized into an experimental or control group. The experimental group received one brief counseling session on alcohol risk reduction, while the control group received a health education leaflet. Results indicate that of the 722 screened for alcohol and who agreed to participate in the trial 152 (21.1%) tested positive for the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) (score 8 or more). Among the 147 (96.7%) university students who also attended the 12-month follow-up session, the intervention effect on the AUDIT score was −1.5, which was statistically significant (P = 0.009). Further, the depression scores marginally significantly decreased over time across treatment groups, while other substance use (tobacco and cannabis use), self-rated health status and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) scores did not change over time across treatment groups. The study provides evidence of effective brief intervention by assistant nurses with hazardous and harmful drinkers in a university setting in South Africa. The short duration of the brief intervention makes it a realistic candidate for use in a university setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle A Higher Prevalence Rate of Campylobacter in Retail Beef Livers Compared to Other Beef and Pork Meat Cuts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 2058-2068; doi:10.3390/ijerph10052058
Received: 27 March 2013 / Revised: 10 May 2013 / Accepted: 13 May 2013 / Published: 21 May 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli in retail beef, beef livers, and pork meats purchased from the Tulsa (OK, USA) area and to further characterize the isolates obtained through antimicrobial susceptibility testing. A
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The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli in retail beef, beef livers, and pork meats purchased from the Tulsa (OK, USA) area and to further characterize the isolates obtained through antimicrobial susceptibility testing. A total of 97 chilled retail beef (50 beef livers and 47 other cuts), and 100 pork samples were collected. The prevalence of Campylobacter in beef livers was 39/50 (78%), while no Campylobacter was isolated from the other beef cuts. The prevalence in pork samples was 2/100 (2%). A total of 108 Campylobacter isolates (102 beef livers isolates and six pork isolates) were subjected to antimicrobial resistance profiling against sixteen different antimicrobials that belong to eight different antibiotic classes. Of the six pork Campylobacter coli isolates, four showed resistance to all antimicrobials tested. Among the beef liver isolates, the highest antibiotic resistances were to tetracyclines and β-lactams, while the lowest resistances were to macrolides, aminoglycosides, lincosamides, and phenicols. Resistances to the fluoroquinolone, macrolide, aminoglycoside, tetracycline, b-lactam, lincosamide, and phenicol antibiotic classes were significantly higher in Campylobacter coli than Campylobacter jejuni isolates. Multidrug Resistance (MDR) among the 102 Campylobacter (33 Campylobacter jejuni and 69 Campylobacter coli) beef liver isolates was significantly higher in Campylobacter coli (62%) than Campylobacter jejuni (39%). The high prevalence of Campylobacter in retail beef livers and their antimicrobial resistance raise concern about the safety of these retail products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle It’s Not That Simple: Tobacco Use Identification and Documentation in Acute Care
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 2069-2083; doi:10.3390/ijerph10052069
Received: 1 May 2013 / Revised: 15 May 2013 / Accepted: 15 May 2013 / Published: 21 May 2013
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Abstract
This environmental telephone interview scan was designed to identify: (1) how hospitals in one Canadian province incorporated tobacco use identification/documentation systems into practice; and, (2) challenges/issues with tobacco identification/documentation. Participants included 36/139 hospitals previously identified to offer cessation services. Results showed hospitals aided
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This environmental telephone interview scan was designed to identify: (1) how hospitals in one Canadian province incorporated tobacco use identification/documentation systems into practice; and, (2) challenges/issues with tobacco identification/documentation. Participants included 36/139 hospitals previously identified to offer cessation services. Results showed hospitals aided by researchers monitored and tracked tobacco use; those not aligned with researchers did not. The wording of tobacco items most commonly included use within the last 6-months (42%), 30-days (39%), or 7-days (33%), or use without reference to time (e.g., “Do you smoke?”; 39%); wording sometimes depended on admitting form space limitations. The admission process determined where the tobacco item appeared, which differed by hospital—75% included it on an admitting form (75%) and/or nursing assessment (56%); the item sometimes varied by unit. There were also different processes by which the item triggered delivery of cessation interventions; most frequently (69%), staff nurses were triggered to provide an intervention. The findings suggest that adding a tobacco use question to a hospital’s admitting process is potentially not that simple. Deciding on the purpose of the question, when it will be asked and by whom, space allotted on the form, and how it will trigger an intervention are important considerations that can affect the question wording, form/location, systems required, data extraction, and resources. Full article
Open AccessArticle Development and Application of a New Grey Dynamic Hierarchy Analysis System (GDHAS) for Evaluating Urban Ecological Security
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 2084-2108; doi:10.3390/ijerph10052084
Received: 25 March 2013 / Revised: 15 May 2013 / Accepted: 16 May 2013 / Published: 21 May 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (602 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Selecting indicators based on the characteristics and development trends of a given study area is essential for building a framework for assessing urban ecological security. However, few studies have focused on how to select the representative indicators systematically, and quantitative research is lacking.
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Selecting indicators based on the characteristics and development trends of a given study area is essential for building a framework for assessing urban ecological security. However, few studies have focused on how to select the representative indicators systematically, and quantitative research is lacking. We developed an innovative quantitative modeling approach called the grey dynamic hierarchy analytic system (GDHAS) for both the procedures of indicator selection and quantitative assessment of urban ecological security. Next, a systematic methodology based on the GDHAS is developed to assess urban ecological security comprehensively and dynamically. This assessment includes indicator selection, driving force-pressure-state-impact-response (DPSIR) framework building, and quantitative evaluation. We applied this systematic methodology to assess the urban ecological security of Tianjin, which is a typical coastal super megalopolis and the industry base in China. This case study highlights the key features of our approach. First, 39 representative indicators are selected for the evaluation index system from 62 alternative ones available through the GDHAS. Second, the DPSIR framework is established based on the indicators selected, and the quantitative assessment of the eco-security of Tianjin is conducted. The results illustrate the following: urban ecological security of Tianjin in 2008 was in alert level but not very stable; the driving force and pressure subsystems were in good condition, but the eco-security levels of the remainder of the subsystems were relatively low; the pressure subsystem was the key to urban ecological security; and 10 indicators are defined as the key indicators for five subsystems. These results can be used as the basis for urban eco-environmental management. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Swine Dysentery: Aetiology, Pathogenicity, Determinants of Transmission and the Fight against the Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1927-1947; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051927
Received: 18 March 2013 / Revised: 22 April 2013 / Accepted: 23 April 2013 / Published: 10 May 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Swine Dysentery (SD) is a severe mucohaemorhagic enteric disease of pigs caused by Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, which has a large impact on pig production and causes important losses due to mortality and sub-optimal performance. Although B. hyodysenteriae has been traditionally considered a pathogen mainly
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Swine Dysentery (SD) is a severe mucohaemorhagic enteric disease of pigs caused by Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, which has a large impact on pig production and causes important losses due to mortality and sub-optimal performance. Although B. hyodysenteriae has been traditionally considered a pathogen mainly transmitted by direct contact, through the introduction of subclinically infected animals into a previously uninfected herd, recent findings position B. hyodysenteriae as a potential threat for indirect transmission between farms. This article summarizes the knowledge available on the etiological agent of SD and its virulence traits, and reviews the determinants of SD transmission. The between-herds and within-herd transmission routes are addressed. The factors affecting disease transmission are thoroughly discussed, i.e., environmental survival of the pathogen, husbandry factors (production system, production stage, farm management), role of vectors, diet influence and interaction of the microorganism with gut microbiota. Finally, prophylactic and therapeutic approaches to fight against the disease are briefly described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessReview Water-Related Parasitic Diseases in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1977-2016; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051977
Received: 5 April 2013 / Revised: 1 May 2013 / Accepted: 2 May 2013 / Published: 17 May 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (954 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water-related parasitic diseases are directly dependent on water bodies for their spread or as a habitat for indispensable intermediate or final hosts. Along with socioeconomic development and improvement of sanitation, overall prevalence is declining in the China. However, the heterogeneity in economic development
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Water-related parasitic diseases are directly dependent on water bodies for their spread or as a habitat for indispensable intermediate or final hosts. Along with socioeconomic development and improvement of sanitation, overall prevalence is declining in the China. However, the heterogeneity in economic development and the inequity of access to public services result in considerable burden due to parasitic diseases in certain areas and populations across the country. In this review, we demonstrated three aspects of ten major water-related parasitic diseases, i.e., the biology and pathogenicity, epidemiology and recent advances in research in China. General measures for diseases control and special control strategies are summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessTechnical Note Canadian Lung Cancer Relative Risk from Radon Exposure for Short Periods in Childhood Compared to a Lifetime
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1916-1926; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051916
Received: 21 February 2013 / Revised: 25 April 2013 / Accepted: 26 April 2013 / Published: 8 May 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (312 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Long-term exposure to elevated indoor radon concentrations has been determined to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in adults after tobacco smoking. With the establishment of a National Radon Program in Canada in 2007 thousands of homes across the country have
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Long-term exposure to elevated indoor radon concentrations has been determined to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in adults after tobacco smoking. With the establishment of a National Radon Program in Canada in 2007 thousands of homes across the country have been tested for radon. Although the vast majority of people are exposed to low or moderate radon concentrations; from time to time; there are homes found with very high concentrations of radon. Among those living in homes with very high radon concentrations, it is typically parents of young children that demonstrate a great deal of concern. They want to know the equivalent risk in terms of the lifetime relative risk of developing lung cancer when a child has lived in a home with high radon for a few years. An answer to this question of risk equivalency is proposed in this paper. The results demonstrate clearly that the higher the radon concentration; the sooner remedial measures should be undertaken; as recommended by Health Canada in the Canadian radon guideline. Full article

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