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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 13, Issue 1 (January 2016)

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of IJERPH in 2015
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010150
Received: 21 January 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2016 / Published: 22 January 2016
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Abstract
The editors of IJERPH would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Rainfall–Runoff Simulations to Assess the Potential of SuDS for Mitigating Flooding in Highly Urbanized Catchments
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010149
Received: 28 October 2015 / Revised: 28 December 2015 / Accepted: 18 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
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Abstract
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) constitute an alternative to conventional drainage when managing stormwater in cities, reducing the impact of urbanization by decreasing the amount of runoff generated by a rainfall event. This paper shows the potential benefits of installing different types of
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Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) constitute an alternative to conventional drainage when managing stormwater in cities, reducing the impact of urbanization by decreasing the amount of runoff generated by a rainfall event. This paper shows the potential benefits of installing different types of SuDS in preventing flooding in comparison with the common urban drainage strategies consisting of sewer networks of manholes and pipes. The impact of these systems on urban water was studied using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which are useful tools when both delineating catchments and parameterizing the elements that define a stormwater drainage system. Taking these GIS-based data as inputs, a series of rainfall–runoff simulations were run in a real catchment located in the city of Donostia (Northern Spain) using stormwater computer models, in order to compare the flow rates and depths produced by a design storm before and after installing SuDS. The proposed methodology overcomes the lack of precision found in former GIS-based stormwater approaches when dealing with the modeling of highly urbanized catchments, while the results demonstrated the usefulness of these systems in reducing the volume of water generated after a rainfall event and their ability to prevent localized flooding and surcharges along the sewer network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Systems Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Occupational Disparities in the Association between Self-Reported Salt-Eating Habit and Hypertension in Older Adults in Xiamen, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010148
Received: 26 September 2015 / Revised: 14 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1038 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Blood pressure responses to sodium intake are heterogeneous among populations. Few studies have assessed occupational disparities in the association between sodium intake and hypertension in older people. We used cross-sectional data from 14,292 participants aged 60 years or older in Xiamen, China, in
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Blood pressure responses to sodium intake are heterogeneous among populations. Few studies have assessed occupational disparities in the association between sodium intake and hypertension in older people. We used cross-sectional data from 14,292 participants aged 60 years or older in Xiamen, China, in 2013. Self-reported salt-eating habit was examined with three levels: low, medium, and high. The main lifetime occupation was classified into indoor laborer and outdoor laborer. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine associations of hypertension with self-reported salt-eating habit, main lifetime occupation, and their interactions by adjusting for some covariates, with further stratification by sex. Overall, 13,738 participants had complete data, of whom 30.22% had hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension was 31.57%, 28.63%, and 31.97% in participants who reported to have low, medium, and high salt-eating habit, respectively. Outdoor laborers presented significantly lower prevalence of hypertension than indoor laborers (26.04% vs. 34.26%, p < 0.001). Indoor laborers with high salt-eating habit had the greatest odds of hypertension (OR = 1.32, 95% CI [1.09–1.59]). An increased trend of odds in eating habit as salt-heavier was presented in indoor laborers (p-trend = 0.048), especially for women (p-trend = 0.001). No clear trend presented in men. Conclusively, sex-specific occupational disparities exist in the association between self-reported salt-eating habit and hypertension in older individuals. Overlooking the potential moderating role of sex and occupation might affect the relationship between sodium intake and hypertension. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Reliability and Construct Validity of Two Versions of Chalder Fatigue Scale among the General Population in Mainland China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010147
Received: 14 September 2015 / Revised: 21 December 2015 / Accepted: 23 December 2015 / Published: 21 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (471 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The 14-item Chalder Fatigue Scale (CFS) is widely used, while the 11-item version is seldom to be found in current research in mainland China. The objectives of the present study is to compare the reliability and construct validity between these two versions and
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The 14-item Chalder Fatigue Scale (CFS) is widely used, while the 11-item version is seldom to be found in current research in mainland China. The objectives of the present study is to compare the reliability and construct validity between these two versions and to confirm which may be better for the mainland Chinese setting. Based on a cross-sectional health survey with a constructive questionnaire, 1887 individuals aged 18 years or above were selected. Socio-demographic, health-related, gynecological data were collected, and 11-item and 14-item Chalder Fatigue Scale (CFS) were used to assess fatigue. Confirmatory factor analysis and exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) were performed to test the fit of models of the two versions. Confirmatory factor analysis of the two versions of CFS did not support the two-factor theorized models. In addition, a three-factor ESEM model of the 11-item version, but not the 14-item version, showed better factor structure and fitness than the other models examined. Both the versions had good internal consistency reliability and a satisfactory internal consistency (Ω = 0.78–0.96, omega coefficient indicates the internal consistency reliability) was obtained from the optimal model. This study provided evidence for satisfactory reliability and structural validity for the three-factor model of the 11-item version, which was proven to be superior to the 14-item version for this data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Maternal and Neonatal Levels of Perfluoroalkyl Substances in Relation to Gestational Weight Gain
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010146
Received: 9 November 2015 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are ubiquitous, persistent pollutants widely used in the production of common household and consumer goods. There is a limited body of literature suggesting that these chemicals may alter metabolic pathways and growth trajectories. The relationship between prenatal exposures to these
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Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are ubiquitous, persistent pollutants widely used in the production of common household and consumer goods. There is a limited body of literature suggesting that these chemicals may alter metabolic pathways and growth trajectories. The relationship between prenatal exposures to these chemicals and gestational weight gain (GWG) has received limited attention. One objective was to analyze the associations among maternal plasma levels of three common perfluoroalkyl substances (perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), perfluorohexanesulfanoate (PFHxS)) and GWG. Additionally, we explored whether GWG was associated with cord blood PFAS levels. This study utilized data collected in the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) Study, a trans-Canada cohort study of 2001 pregnant women. Our analysis quantified associations between (1) maternal PFAS concentrations and GWG and (2) GWG and cord blood PFAS concentrations. Maternal PFOS concentrations were positively associated with GWG (β = 0.39 95% CI: 0.02, 0.75). Interquartile increases in GWG were significantly associated with elevated cord blood PFOA (OR = 1.33; 95% CI: 1.13 to 1.56) and PFOS (OR = 1.20; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.40) concentrations. No statistically significant associations were observed between GWG and either measure of PFHxS. These findings warrant elucidation of the potential underlying mechanisms. Full article
Open AccessArticle Basic Characteristics and Spatial Patterns of Pseudo-Settlements—Taking Dalian as An Example
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010145
Received: 30 July 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 22 December 2015 / Published: 20 January 2016
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Abstract
A person’s living behavior patterns are closely related to three types of settlements: real-life settlements, imagined settlements, and pseudo-settlements. The term “pseudo-settlement” (PS) refers to the places that are selectively recorded and represented after the mass media chose and restructure the residence information.
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A person’s living behavior patterns are closely related to three types of settlements: real-life settlements, imagined settlements, and pseudo-settlements. The term “pseudo-settlement” (PS) refers to the places that are selectively recorded and represented after the mass media chose and restructure the residence information. As the mass media rapidly develops and people’s way of obtaining information gradually change, PS has already become one of the main ways for people to recognize and understand real-life settlements, as well as describe their impressions of imagined settlements. PS also has a profound impact on tourism, employment, investment, migration, real estate development, etc. Thus, the study of PSs has important theoretical and practical significance. This paper proposes to put forward residential quarters where the mass media is displayed as the object of study and establishes the pseudo-settlement index system of Dalian in and elaborate analysis of the concept of PSs. From three aspects, including pseudo-buildings, pseudo-districts and pseudo-culture, this paper uses the ArcGIS 10.0 kernel density (spacial analyst) to analyze and interpret the basic characteristics and spatial patterns of 14 elements of the PS in Dalian. Through systemic clustering analysis, it identifies eight major types of PSs in Dalian. Then it systematically elaborates current situations and characteristics of the spatial pattern of PSs in Dalian, namely: regionally concentrated, widely scattered and blank spaces without pseudo-settlements. Finally, this paper discusses the mechanism of formation of PSs in Dalian. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Airborne Particulate Matter in Two Multi-Family Green Buildings: Concentrations and Effect of Ventilation and Occupant Behavior
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010144
Received: 16 November 2015 / Revised: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
There are limited data on air quality parameters, including airborne particulate matter (PM) in residential green buildings, which are increasing in prevalence. Exposure to PM is associated with cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, and since Americans spend almost 90% of their time indoors, residential
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There are limited data on air quality parameters, including airborne particulate matter (PM) in residential green buildings, which are increasing in prevalence. Exposure to PM is associated with cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, and since Americans spend almost 90% of their time indoors, residential exposures may substantially contribute to overall airborne PM exposure. Our objectives were to: (1) measure various PM fractions longitudinally in apartments in multi-family green buildings with natural (Building E) and mechanical (Building L) ventilation; (2) compare indoor and outdoor PM mass concentrations and their ratios (I/O) in these buildings, taking into account the effects of occupant behavior; and (3) evaluate the effect of green building designs and operations on indoor PM. We evaluated effects of ventilation, occupant behaviors, and overall building design on PM mass concentrations and I/O. Median PMTOTAL was higher in Building E (56 µg/m3) than in Building L (37 µg/m3); I/O was higher in Building E (1.3–2.0) than in Building L (0.5–0.8) for all particle size fractions. Our data show that the building design and occupant behaviors that either produce or dilute indoor PM (e.g., ventilation systems, combustion sources, and window operation) are important factors affecting residents’ exposure to PM in residential green buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Environmental Quality: Exposures and Occupant Health)
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Open AccessArticle Measuring Indoor Air Quality and Engaging California Indian Stakeholders at the Win-River Resort and Casino: Collaborative Smoke-Free Policy Development
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010143
Received: 15 July 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
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Abstract
Most casinos owned by sovereign American Indian nations allow smoking, even in U.S. states such as California where state laws restrict workplace smoking. Collaborations between casinos and public health workers are needed to promote smoke-free policies that protect workers and patrons from secondhand
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Most casinos owned by sovereign American Indian nations allow smoking, even in U.S. states such as California where state laws restrict workplace smoking. Collaborations between casinos and public health workers are needed to promote smoke-free policies that protect workers and patrons from secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) exposure and risks. Over seven years, a coalition of public health professionals provided technical assistance to the Redding Rancheria tribe in Redding, California in establishing a smoke-free policy at the Win-River Resort and Casino. The coalition provided information to the casino general manager that included site-specific measurement of employee and visitor PM2.5 personal exposure, area concentrations of airborne nicotine and PM2.5, visitor urinary cotinine, and patron and staff opinions (surveys, focus groups, and a Town Hall meeting). The manager communicated results to tribal membership, including evidence of high SHS exposures and support for a smoke-free policy. Subsequently, in concert with hotel expansion, the Redding Rancheria Tribal Council voted to accept a 100% restriction of smoking inside the casino, whereupon PM2.5 exposure in main smoking areas dropped by 98%. A 70% partial-smoke-free policy was instituted ~1 year later in the face of revenue loss. The success of the collaboration in promoting a smoke-free policy, and the key element of air quality feedback, which appeared to be a central driver, may provide a model for similar efforts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Online Dissemination of Nature–Health Concepts: Lessons from Sentiment Analysis of Social Media Relating to “Nature-Deficit Disorder”
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010142
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 24 December 2015 / Accepted: 30 December 2015 / Published: 19 January 2016
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Abstract
Evidence continues to grow supporting the idea that restorative environments, green exercise, and nature-based activities positively impact human health. Nature-deficit disorder, a journalistic term proposed to describe the ill effects of people’s alienation from nature, is not yet formally recognized as a
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Evidence continues to grow supporting the idea that restorative environments, green exercise, and nature-based activities positively impact human health. Nature-deficit disorder, a journalistic term proposed to describe the ill effects of people’s alienation from nature, is not yet formally recognized as a medical diagnosis. However, over the past decade, the phrase has been enthusiastically taken up by some segments of the lay public. Social media, such as Twitter, with its opportunities to gather “big data” related to public opinions, offers a medium for exploring the discourse and dissemination around nature-deficit disorder and other nature–health concepts. In this paper, we report our experience of collecting more than 175,000 tweets, applying sentiment analysis to measure positive, neutral or negative feelings, and preliminarily mapping the impact on dissemination. Sentiment analysis is currently used to investigate the repercussions of events in social networks, scrutinize opinions about products and services, and understand various aspects of the communication in Web-based communities. Based on a comparison of nature-deficit-disorder “hashtags” and more generic nature hashtags, we make recommendations for the better dissemination of public health messages through changes to the framing of messages. We show the potential of Twitter to aid in better understanding the impact of the natural environment on human health and wellbeing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sun Exposure Prevalence and Associated Skin Health Habits: Results from the Austrian Population-Based UVSkinRisk Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010141
Received: 4 December 2015 / Revised: 13 January 2016 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
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Abstract
Recreational sun exposure accounts for a large number of acute and chronic dermatological diseases, including skin cancer. This study aimed at estimating the one-year prevalence of sun exposure and skin health-associated knowledge and attitudes among Austrian citizens. The population-based UVSkinRisk survey investigated a
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Recreational sun exposure accounts for a large number of acute and chronic dermatological diseases, including skin cancer. This study aimed at estimating the one-year prevalence of sun exposure and skin health-associated knowledge and attitudes among Austrian citizens. The population-based UVSkinRisk survey investigated a representative sample of Austrian adults using a structured questionnaire. In total, 1500 study subjects (median age 33.0 years, 50.5% females) participated in this questionnaire survey. Among study participants, prevalence of sun exposure was 47%, with slightly higher rates in males (48%) compared to females (46%). Younger age, lower professional category, darker skin type, motives to tan, sunbed use, sunburn, and outdoor sport activity increased the odds for prevalent sun exposure. This is the first population-based study evaluating the prevailing sun exposure and recreational habits influencing skin health among Austrian citizens. Despite public media campaigns educating on the harmful effects of sunlight exposure, we found a high prevalence of self-reported sunlight exposure. The results suggest that multifaceted socio-cultural characteristics stimulate recreational sun exposure and tanning habits. Communicating individualized Public (Skin) Health messages might be the key to prevent photo-induced skin health hazards in light-skinned populations. The practical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Heart Rate, Stress, and Occupational Noise Exposure among Electronic Waste Recycling Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010140
Received: 17 November 2015 / Revised: 4 January 2016 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1762 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electronic waste (e-waste) is a growing occupational and environmental health issue around the globe. E-waste recycling is a green industry of emerging importance, especially in low-and middle-income countries where much of this recycling work is performed, and where many people’s livelihoods depend on
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Electronic waste (e-waste) is a growing occupational and environmental health issue around the globe. E-waste recycling is a green industry of emerging importance, especially in low-and middle-income countries where much of this recycling work is performed, and where many people’s livelihoods depend on this work. The occupational health hazards of e-waste recycling have not been adequately explored. We performed a cross-sectional study of noise exposures, heart rate, and perceived stress among e-waste recycling workers at a large e-waste site in Accra, Ghana. We interviewed 57 workers and continuously monitored their individual noise exposures and heart rates for up to 24 h. More than 40% of workers had noise exposures that exceeded recommended occupational (85 dBA) and community (70 dBA) noise exposure limits, and self-reported hearing difficulties were common. Workers also had moderate to high levels of perceived stress as measured via Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale, and reported a variety of symptoms that could indicate cardiovascular disease. Noise exposures were moderately and significantly correlated with heart rate (Spearman’s ρ 0.46, p < 0.001). A mixed effects linear regression model indicated that a 1 dB increase in noise exposure was associated with a 0.17 increase in heart rate (p-value = 0.01) even after controlling for work activities, age, smoking, perceived stress, and unfavorable physical working conditions. These findings suggest that occupational and non-occupational noise exposure is associated with elevations in average heart rate, which may in turn predict potential cardiovascular damage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Human Health Risk Assessment of Artisanal Miners Exposed to Toxic Chemicals in Water and Sediments in the PresteaHuni Valley District of Ghana
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010139
Received: 17 June 2015 / Revised: 29 December 2015 / Accepted: 8 January 2016 / Published: 18 January 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A human health risk assessment of artisanal miners exposed to toxic metals in water bodies and sediments in the PresteaHuni Valley District of Ghana was carried out in this study, in line with US EPA risk assessment guidelines. A total of 70 water
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A human health risk assessment of artisanal miners exposed to toxic metals in water bodies and sediments in the PresteaHuni Valley District of Ghana was carried out in this study, in line with US EPA risk assessment guidelines. A total of 70 water and 30 sediment samples were collected from surface water bodies in areas impacted by the operations of artisanal small-scale gold mines in the study area and analyzed for physico-chemical parameters such as pH, TDS, conductivity, turbidity as well as metals and metalloids such as As, Cd, Hg and Pb at CSIR—Water Research Institute using standard methods for the examination of wastewater as outlined by American Water Works Association (AWWA). The mean concentrations of As, Cd, Hg and Pb in water samples ranged from 15 μg/L to 325 μg/L (As), 0.17 μg/L to 340 μg/L (Cd), 0.17 μg/L to 122 μg/L (Pb) and 132 μg/L to 866 μg/L (Hg), respectively. These measured concentrations of arsenic (As), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) were used as input parameters to calculate the cancer and non-cancer health risks from exposure to these metals in surface water bodies and sediments based on an occupational exposure scenario using central tendency exposure (CTE) and reasonable maximum exposure (RME) parameters. The results of the non-cancer human health risk assessment for small-scale miners working around river Anikoko expressed in terms of hazard quotients based on CTE parameters are as follows: 0.04 (Cd), 1.45 (Pb), 4.60 (Hg) and 1.98 (As); while cancer health risk faced by ASGM miners in Dumase exposed to As in River Mansi via oral ingestion of water is 3.1 × 10−3. The hazard quotient results obtained from this study in most cases were above the HQ guidance value of 1.0, furthermore the cancer health risk results were found to be higher than the USEPA guidance value of 1 × 10−4 to 1 × 10−6. These findings call for case-control epidemiological studies to establish the relationship between exposure to the aforementioned toxic chemicals and diseases associated with them as identified in other studies conducted in different countries as basis for developing policy interventions to address the issue of ASGM mine workers safety in Ghana. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Assessment of Radiological Hazards from Gold Mine Tailings in the Province of Gauteng in South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010138
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 9 January 2016 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 18 January 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (281 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Radiological hazards associated with exposure to Naturally Occurring Radionuclides Materials from gold mine tailings in the province of Gauteng in South Africa were evaluated. A comparison was made with soil samples from a control area. In this study, gamma spectroscopy was used to
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Radiological hazards associated with exposure to Naturally Occurring Radionuclides Materials from gold mine tailings in the province of Gauteng in South Africa were evaluated. A comparison was made with soil samples from a control area. In this study, gamma spectroscopy was used to measure the activity concentrations of these radionuclides in 56 soil samples from the mine tailings and 10 soil samples from the control area. The average activity concentrations in Bq∙kg−1 for Uranium-238, Thorium-232, and Potassium-40 from the mine tailings were found to be 785.3 ± 13.7, 43.9 ± 1.0 and 427.0 ± 13.1, respectively. On the other hand, the average activity concentrations in Bq∙kg−1 for Uranium-238, Thorium-232, and Potassium-40 from the control area were found to be 17.0.1 ± 0.4, 22.2 ± 0.5 and 496.8 ± 15.2, respectively. Radiological hazard parameters calculated from these activity concentrations were higher than recommended safe limits. In particular, calculated average values for the external hazard (Hex) and the internal hazard (Hin) from the mine tailings were found to be 2.4 and 4.5. Both these values were higher than unity, posing a significant health risk to the population in the area. Full article
Open AccessArticle Using a Household Food Inventory to Assess the Availability of Traditional Vegetables among Resettled African Refugees
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010137
Received: 26 October 2015 / Revised: 30 November 2015 / Accepted: 5 January 2016 / Published: 18 January 2016
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Abstract
A cross-sectional sequential explanatory mixed methods study was conducted among household food preparers to examine the association between home availability and consumption of traditional vegetables among resettled African refugees living in Queensland, Australia. Home availability of traditional African vegetables was associated with age,
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A cross-sectional sequential explanatory mixed methods study was conducted among household food preparers to examine the association between home availability and consumption of traditional vegetables among resettled African refugees living in Queensland, Australia. Home availability of traditional African vegetables was associated with age, having a vegetable garden, employment status, and having a supermarket in the local neighborhood. Food preparers from homes with low vegetable availability were less likely to consume the recommended number of vegetable servings. Barriers faced in the food environment included language, lack of availability of traditional vegetables and lack of transport. All of these aspects contributed to the study findings that both individual and food environment characteristics may play a role in access to and availability of food and vegetable consumption of resettled refugees. Consumption of traditional foods among the resettled refugees continues post resettlement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health)
Open AccessArticle Excess Medical Care Costs Associated with Physical Inactivity among Korean Adults: Retrospective Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010136
Received: 9 November 2015 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 18 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (453 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for chronic diseases and premature death. The increased health risks associated with physical inactivity may also generate a heavier economic burden to society. We estimated the direct medical costs attributable to physical inactivity among adultsusing data
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Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for chronic diseases and premature death. The increased health risks associated with physical inactivity may also generate a heavier economic burden to society. We estimated the direct medical costs attributable to physical inactivity among adultsusing data from the 2002–2010 Korean National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort. A total of 68,556 adults whose reported physical activity status did not change during the study period was included for this study. Propensity scores for inactive adults were used to match 23,645 inactive groups with 23,645 active groups who had similar propensity scores. We compared medical expenditures between the two groups using generalized linear models with a gamma distribution and a log link. Direct medical costs were based on the reimbursement records of all medical facilities from 2005 to 2010. The average total medical costs for inactive individuals were $1110.5, which was estimated to be 11.7% higher than the costs for physically active individuals. With respect to specific diseases, the medical costs of inactive people were significantly higher than those of active people, accounting for approximately 8.7% to 25.3% of the excess burden. Physical inactivity is associated with considerable medical care expenditures per capita among Korean adults. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Lifestyle and Depression among Hong Kong Nurses
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010135
Received: 22 October 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 16 January 2016
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Abstract
Recent longitudinal data suggest a close association between depression and lifestyle. Little work to date has estimated the prevalence of depression in the nursing workforce in China, nor considered what lifestyle factors might be correlated with it—a gap filled by the present study.
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Recent longitudinal data suggest a close association between depression and lifestyle. Little work to date has estimated the prevalence of depression in the nursing workforce in China, nor considered what lifestyle factors might be correlated with it—a gap filled by the present study. The study’s web-based cross-sectional survey solicited data from qualified nurses aged between 21 and 65 registered with the Hong Kong Nursing Council. The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale 21 was used to measure 850 nurses for depression, anxiety and symptoms of stress; a generalized linear regression model examined associations between lifestyle factors and depression. Mean depression symptom scores show a downward linear trend for male and female participants. Gender and age, however, did not emerge as significant predictors of depression. Three lifestyles factors (sleep, entertainment and hobbies) showed a significant association with depression. Nurses should make therapeutic lifestyle changes to improve their work-life balance and safeguard their functioning at work and personal well-being. Full article
Open AccessArticle Occupational Stress, Work-Family Conflict and Depressive Symptoms among Chinese Bank Employees: The Role of Psychological Capital
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010134
Received: 19 November 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 16 January 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although depression is a major problem affecting the physical and mental health of the occupational population worldwide, little research is available among bank employees. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of occupational stress and work-family conflict on depressive symptoms
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Although depression is a major problem affecting the physical and mental health of the occupational population worldwide, little research is available among bank employees. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of occupational stress and work-family conflict on depressive symptoms and the mediating role of psychological capital (PsyCap). A cross-sectional study was performed from May to June in 2013 in Liaoning province, China. The effort-reward imbalance (ERB) scale, the work-family conflict scale, the PsyCap questionnaire and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale were completed by 1546 employees in state-owned banks. A total of 1239 effective respondents (467 men and 772 women) became our subjects. Hierarchical regression analysis was carried out to explore the effects of extrinsic effort, reward, overcommitment, work-family conflict, and PsyCap on depressive symptoms. The mediating role of PsyCap was examined using Preacher and Hayes’ asymptotic and resampling strategies. The mean score of depressive symptoms was 18.4 (SD = 7.6) among the Chinese bank employees. Extrinsic effort, overcommitment and work-family conflict were positively associated with depressive symptoms. Reward and PsyCap were negatively associated with depressive symptoms. The significant mediating roles of PsyCap in the associations of extrinsic effort (a*b = 0.046, BCa 95% CI: 0.029, 0.066) and reward (a*b = −0.047, BCa 95% CI: −0.065, −0.030) with depressive symptoms were revealed. There is a high level of depressive symptoms among Chinese bank employees. PsyCap partially mediates the effects of extrinsic effort and reward on depressive symptoms. Investing in PsyCap may provide new approaches to improve mental health among Chinese bank employees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Stress, Human Health and Wellbeing)
Open AccessArticle Chronic Arsenic Poisoning Probably Caused by Arsenic-Based Pesticides: Findings from an Investigation Study of a Household
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010133
Received: 2 September 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 16 January 2016
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Abstract
In addition to naturally occurring arsenic, man-made arsenic-based compounds are other sources of arsenic exposure. In 2013, our group identified 12 suspected arsenicosis patients in a household (32 living members). Of them, eight members were diagnosed with skin cancer. Interestingly, all of these
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In addition to naturally occurring arsenic, man-made arsenic-based compounds are other sources of arsenic exposure. In 2013, our group identified 12 suspected arsenicosis patients in a household (32 living members). Of them, eight members were diagnosed with skin cancer. Interestingly, all of these patients had lived in the household prior to 1989. An investigation revealed that approximately 2 tons of arsenic-based pesticides had been previously placed near a well that had supplied drinking water to the family from 1973 to 1989. The current arsenic level in the well water was 620 μg/L. No other high arsenic wells were found near the family’s residence. Based on these findings, it is possible to infer that the skin lesions exhibited by these family members were caused by long-term exposure to well water contaminated with arsenic-based pesticides. Additionally, biochemical analysis showed that the individuals exposed to arsenic had higher levels of aspartate aminotransferase and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase than those who were not exposed. These findings might indicate the presence of liver dysfunction in the arsenic-exposed individuals. This report elucidates the effects of arsenical compounds on the occurrence of high levels of arsenic in the environment and emphasizes the severe human health impact of arsenic exposure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Heatwaves on Community Morbidity and Healthcare Usage: A Retrospective Observational Study Using Real-Time Syndromic Surveillance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010132
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 9 January 2016 / Published: 16 January 2016
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Abstract
We investigated the impact of a moderate heatwave on a range of presenting morbidities in England. Asthma, difficulty breathing, cerebrovascular accident, and cardiovascular symptoms were analysed using general practitioner in hours (GPIH), out of hours (GPOOH) and emergency department (ED) syndromic surveillance systems.
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We investigated the impact of a moderate heatwave on a range of presenting morbidities in England. Asthma, difficulty breathing, cerebrovascular accident, and cardiovascular symptoms were analysed using general practitioner in hours (GPIH), out of hours (GPOOH) and emergency department (ED) syndromic surveillance systems. Data were stratified by age group and compared between a heatwave year (2013) and non-heatwave years (2012, 2014). Incidence rate ratios were calculated to estimate the differential impact of heatwave compared to non-heatwave summers: there were no apparent differences for the morbidities tested between the 2013 heatwave and non-heatwave years. A subset of GPIH data were used to study individuals at higher risk from heatwaves based on their pre-existing disease. Higher risk patients were not more likely to present at GPs or ED than other individuals. Comparing GPIH consultations and ED attendances for myocardial infarction/ischaemia (MI), there was evidence of a fall in the presentation of MI during the heatwave, which was particularly noted in the 65–74 years age group (and over 75 years in ED attendances). These results indicate the difficulty in identifying individuals at risk from non-fatal health effects of heatwaves and hot weather. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Pattern Analysis of Scarlet Fever Incidence in Beijing, China, 2005–2014
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010131
Received: 23 November 2015 / Revised: 4 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
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Abstract
Objective: To probe the spatiotemporal patterns of the incidence of scarlet fever in Beijing, China, from 2005 to 2014. Methods: A spatiotemporal analysis was conducted at the district/county level in the Beijing region based on the reported cases of scarlet fever
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Objective: To probe the spatiotemporal patterns of the incidence of scarlet fever in Beijing, China, from 2005 to 2014. Methods: A spatiotemporal analysis was conducted at the district/county level in the Beijing region based on the reported cases of scarlet fever during the study period. Moran’s autocorrelation coefficient was used to examine the spatial autocorrelation of scarlet fever, whereas the Getis-Ord Gi* statistic was used to determine the hotspot incidence of scarlet fever. Likewise, the space-time scan statistic was used to detect the space-time clusters, including the relative risk of scarlet fever incidence across all settings. Results: A total of 26,860 scarlet fever cases were reported in Beijing during the study period (2005–2014). The average annual incidence of scarlet fever was 14.25 per 100,000 population (range, 6.76 to 32.03 per 100,000). The incidence among males was higher than that among females, and more than two-thirds of scarlet fever cases (83.8%) were among children 3–8 years old. The seasonal incidence peaks occurred from March to July. A higher relative risk area was mainly in the city and urban districts of Beijing. The most likely space-time clusters and secondary clusters were detected to be diversely distributed in every study year. Conclusions: The spatiotemporal patterns of scarlet fever were relatively unsteady in Beijing from 2005 to 2014. The at-risk population was mainly scattered in urban settings and dense districts with high population, indicating a positive relationship between population density and increased risk of scarlet fever exposure. Children under 15 years of age were the most susceptible to scarlet fever. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Built Environment Influences of Children’s Physical Activity: Examining Differences by Neighbourhood Size and Sex
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010130
Received: 15 November 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
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Abstract
Neighbourhoods can facilitate or constrain moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among children by providing or restricting opportunities for MVPA. However, there is no consensus on how to define a child’s neighbourhood. This study examines the influence of the neighbourhood built environment on objectively measured
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Neighbourhoods can facilitate or constrain moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among children by providing or restricting opportunities for MVPA. However, there is no consensus on how to define a child’s neighbourhood. This study examines the influence of the neighbourhood built environment on objectively measured MVPA among 435 children (aged 9–14 years) in London (ON, Canada). As there is no consensus on how to delineate a child’s neighbourhood, a geographic information system was used to generate measures of the neighbourhood built environment at two buffer sizes (500 m and 800 m) around each child’s home. Linear regression models with robust standard errors (cluster) were used to analyze the relationship between built environment characteristics and average daily MVPA during non-school hours on weekdays. Sex-stratified models assessed sex-specific relationships. When accounting for individual and neighbourhood socio-demographic variables, park space and multi-use path space were found to influence children’s MVPA. Sex-stratified models found significant associations between MVPA and park space, with the 800 m buffer best explaining boys’ MVPA and the 500 m buffer best explaining girls’ MVPA. Findings emphasize that, when designing built environments, programs, and policies to facilitate physical activity, it is important to consider that the size of the neighbourhood influencing a child’s physical activity may differ according to sex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of the Built Environment on Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Behavior Change without Behavior Change Communication: Nudging Handwashing among Primary School Students in Bangladesh
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010129
Received: 18 November 2015 / Revised: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 8 January 2016 / Published: 14 January 2016
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Abstract
Behavior change communication for improving handwashing with soap can be labor and resource intensive, yet quality results are difficult to achieve. Nudges are environmental cues engaging unconscious decision-making processes to prompt behavior change. In this proof-of-concept study, we developed an inexpensive set of
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Behavior change communication for improving handwashing with soap can be labor and resource intensive, yet quality results are difficult to achieve. Nudges are environmental cues engaging unconscious decision-making processes to prompt behavior change. In this proof-of-concept study, we developed an inexpensive set of nudges to encourage handwashing with soap after toilet use in two primary schools in rural Bangladesh. We completed direct observation of behaviors at baseline, after providing traditional handwashing infrastructure, and at multiple time periods following targeted handwashing nudges (1 day, 2 weeks, and 6 weeks). No additional handwashing education or motivational messages were completed. Handwashing with soap among school children was low at baseline (4%), increasing to 68% the day after nudges were completed and 74% at both 2 weeks and 6 weeks post intervention. Results indicate that nudge-based interventions have the potential to improve handwashing with soap among school-aged children in Bangladesh and specific areas of further inquiry are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Microbial Pollution and Disinfection)
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Open AccessArticle Occupants’ Perceptions of Amenity and Efficiency for Verification of Spatial Design Adequacy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010128
Received: 17 November 2015 / Accepted: 17 November 2015 / Published: 14 January 2016
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Abstract
The best spatial design condition to satisfy the occupancy needs of amenity and efficiency is determined through analyzing the spatial design adequacy (SDA). In this study, the relationship between the space design elements and space on future occupants’ perception are analyzed. The thirty-three
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The best spatial design condition to satisfy the occupancy needs of amenity and efficiency is determined through analyzing the spatial design adequacy (SDA). In this study, the relationship between the space design elements and space on future occupants’ perception are analyzed. The thirty-three participants reported their self-evaluated SDA that describes the quality of eight alternative housing living rooms with different spatial factors. The occupants were guided through the perception processing elaboration in order for them to evaluate the actual perception in the real space. The findings demonstrated that the spatial size (e.g., width, depth, and height) is significantly correlated with the overall satisfaction of amenity. It is also found that the spatial shape (e.g., the width-to-depth ratio, the height-to-area ratio, and room shape) may significantly influence the overall satisfaction of efficiency. The findings also demonstrate that the causal relationship between the spatial factors and space is clearly present in the occupants’ perception, reflecting the time-sequential characteristics of the actual experience divided into amenity and efficiency. This result indicates that the correlation between the spatial factors and space of SDA under the occupants’ perception processing elaboration can be a useful guide to predict the occupancy satisfaction of amenity and efficiency in real spaces. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Two-Stage Method to Estimate the Contribution of Road Traffic to PM2.5 Concentrations in Beijing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010124
Received: 10 November 2015 / Revised: 4 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
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Abstract
Background: Fine particulate matters with aerodynamic diameters smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) have been a critical environmental problem in China due to the rapid road vehicle growth in recent years. To date, most methods available to estimate traffic contributions to
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Background: Fine particulate matters with aerodynamic diameters smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) have been a critical environmental problem in China due to the rapid road vehicle growth in recent years. To date, most methods available to estimate traffic contributions to ambient PM2.5 concentration are often hampered by the need for collecting data on traffic volume, vehicle type and emission profile. Objective: To develop a simplified and indirect method to estimate the contribution of traffic to PM2.5 concentration in Beijing, China. Methods: Hourly PM2.5 concentration data, daily meteorological data and geographic information were collected at 35 air quality monitoring (AQM) stations in Beijing between 2013 and 2014. Based on the PM2.5 concentrations of different AQM station types, a two-stage method comprising a dispersion model and generalized additive mixed model (GAMM) was developed to estimate separately the traffic and non-traffic contributions to daily PM2.5 concentration. The geographical trend of PM2.5 concentrations was investigated using generalized linear mixed model. The temporal trend of PM2.5 and non-linear relationship between PM2.5 and meteorological conditions were assessed using GAMM. Results: The medians of daily PM2.5 concentrations during 2013–2014 at 35 AQM stations in Beijing ranged from 40 to 92 μg/m3. There was a significant increasing trend of PM2.5 concentration from north to south. The contributions of road traffic to daily PM2.5 concentrations ranged from 17.2% to 37.3% with an average 30%. The greatest contribution was found at AQM stations near busy roads. On average, the contribution of road traffic at urban stations was 14% higher than that at rural stations. Conclusions: Traffic emissions account for a substantial share of daily total PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing. Our two-stage method is a useful and convenient tool in ecological and epidemiological studies to estimate the traffic contribution to PM2.5 concentrations when there is limited information on vehicle number and types and emission profile. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Impact of the 2008 Economic Crisis on Substance Use Patterns in the Countries of the European Union
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010122
Received: 19 October 2015 / Revised: 29 December 2015 / Accepted: 4 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
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Abstract
Background: From 2008 on, a severe economic crisis (EC) has characterized the European Union (E.U.). However, changes in substance use behavioral patterns as a result of the economic crisis in Europe, have been poorly reflected upon, and underlying mechanisms remain to be
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Background: From 2008 on, a severe economic crisis (EC) has characterized the European Union (E.U.). However, changes in substance use behavioral patterns as a result of the economic crisis in Europe, have been poorly reflected upon, and underlying mechanisms remain to be identified; Methods: In this review we explore and systematize the available data on the effect of the 2008 economic crisis on patterns of substance use and related disorders, within the E.U. countries; Results: The results show that effects of the recession need to be differentiated. A number of studies point to reductions in population’s overall substance use. In contrast, an increase in harmful use and negative effects is found within specific subgroups within the society. Risk factors include job-loss and long-term unemployment, and pre-existing vulnerabilities. Finally, our findings point to differences between types of substances in their response on economic crisis periods; Conclusions: the effects of the 2008 economic crisis on substance use patterns within countries of the European Union are two-sided. Next to a reduction in a population’s overall substance use, a number of vulnerable subgroups experience serious negative effects. These groups are in need of specific attention and support, given that there is a real risk that they will continue to suffer negative health effects long after the economic downfall has formally been ended. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Differences in Ambient Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Concentrations between Streets and Alleys in New York City: Open Space vs. Semi-Closed Space
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010127
Received: 19 November 2015 / Revised: 16 December 2015 / Accepted: 22 December 2015 / Published: 12 January 2016
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Abstract
Background: Outdoor ambient polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations are variable throughout an urban environment. However, little is known about how variation in semivolatile and nonvolatile PAHs related to the built environment (open space vs. semi-closed space) contributes to differences in concentrations. Methods: We
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Background: Outdoor ambient polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations are variable throughout an urban environment. However, little is known about how variation in semivolatile and nonvolatile PAHs related to the built environment (open space vs. semi-closed space) contributes to differences in concentrations. Methods: We simultaneously collected 14, two-week samples of PAHs from the outside of windows facing the front (adjacent to the street) open side of a New York City apartment building and the alley, semi-closed side of the same apartment unit between 2007 and 2012. We also analyzed samples of PAHs measured from 35 homes across Northern Manhattan and the Bronx, 17 from street facing windows with a median floor level of 4 (range 2–26) and 18 from alley-facing windows with a median floor level of 4 (range 1–15). Results: Levels of nonvolatile ambient PAHs were significantly higher when measured from a window adjacent to a street (an open space), compared to a window 30 feet away, adjacent to an alley (a semi-closed space) (street geometric mean (GM) 1.32 ng/m3, arithmetic mean ± standard deviation (AM ± SD) 1.61 ± 1.04 ng/m3; alley GM 1.10 ng/m3, AM ± SD 1.37 ± 0.94 ng/m3). In the neighborhood-wide comparison, nonvolatile PAHs were also significantly higher when measured adjacent to streets compared with adjacent to alley sides of apartment buildings (street GM 1.10 ng/m3, AM ± SD 1.46 ± 1.24 ng/m3; alley GM 0.61 ng/m3, AM ± SD 0.81 ± 0.80 ng/m3), but not semivolatile PAHs. Conclusions: Ambient PAHs, nonvolatile PAHs in particular, are significantly higher when measured from a window adjacent to a street compared to a window adjacent to an alley, despite both locations being relatively close to street traffic. This study highlights small-scale spatial variations in ambient PAH concentrations that may be related to the built environment (open space vs. semi-closed space) from which the samples are measured, as well as the relative distance from street traffic, that could impact accurate personal exposure assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of the Built Environment on Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Back-Analyses of Landfill Instability Induced by High Water Level: Case Study of Shenzhen Landfill
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010126
Received: 8 September 2015 / Revised: 28 December 2015 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 12 January 2016
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Abstract
In June 2008, the Shenzhen landfill slope failed. This case is used as an example to study the deformation characteristics and failure mode of a slope induced by high water levels. An integrated monitoring system, including water level gauges, electronic total stations, and
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In June 2008, the Shenzhen landfill slope failed. This case is used as an example to study the deformation characteristics and failure mode of a slope induced by high water levels. An integrated monitoring system, including water level gauges, electronic total stations, and inclinometers, was used to monitor the slope failure process. The field measurements suggest that the landfill landslide was caused by a deep slip along the weak interface of the composite liner system at the base of the landfill. The high water level is considered to be the main factor that caused this failure. To calculate the relative interface shear displacements in the geosynthetic multilayer liner system, a series of numerical direct shear tests were carried out. Based on the numerical results, the composite lining system simplified and the centrifuge modeling technique was used to quantitatively evaluate the effect of water levels on landfill instability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Use of Illegal Drugs and Infectious Contagious Diseases: Knowledge and Intervention among Dockworkers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010125
Received: 25 November 2015 / Revised: 4 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 12 January 2016
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Abstract
This study’s objective was to analyze the use of illegal drugs by dockworkers and provide risk communication regarding the use of illegal drugs and test for infectious contagious diseases among dockworkers. This cross-sectional study including an intervention addressed to 232 dockworkers, who were
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This study’s objective was to analyze the use of illegal drugs by dockworkers and provide risk communication regarding the use of illegal drugs and test for infectious contagious diseases among dockworkers. This cross-sectional study including an intervention addressed to 232 dockworkers, who were individually interviewed, as well as communication of risk with testing for infectious contagious diseases for 93 dockworkers from a city in the interior of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Poisson regression analysis was used. Twenty-nine workers reported the use of illegal drugs. Poisson regression indicated that being a wharfage worker, smoker, having a high income, and heavier workload increases the prevalence of the use of illegal drugs. During risk communication, two workers were diagnosed with hepatitis B (2.2%), three (3.2%) with hepatitis C, two (2.2%) with syphilis. None of the workers, though, had HIV. This study provides evidence that can motivate further research on the topic and also lead to treatment of individuals to improve work safety, productivity, and the health of workers. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Disability and Public Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010123
Received: 6 January 2016 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 12 January 2016
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Abstract
People with disabilities comprise approximately 15% of the world’s population. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Urban Natural Environments, Obesity, and Health-Related Quality of Life among Hispanic Children Living in Inner-City Neighborhoods
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010121
Received: 2 December 2015 / Revised: 4 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 12 January 2016
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Abstract
Although a substantial body of literature has provided evidence supporting the positive effects of natural environments on well-being, little has been known about the specific spatial patterns of urban nature in promoting health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among children. This study assessed the
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Although a substantial body of literature has provided evidence supporting the positive effects of natural environments on well-being, little has been known about the specific spatial patterns of urban nature in promoting health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among children. This study assessed the association that the urban natural environment measured by landscape spatial patterns may have with obesity and HRQOL among Hispanic children. Ninety-two 4th and 5th grade students were recruited from Houston, Texas, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) was used to capture the children’s HRQOL. The quality of urban natural environments was assessed by quantifying the landscape spatial patterns, using landscape indices generated by Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing. From the bivariate analyses, children’s body mass index showed a significantly negative association with their HRQOL. After controlling for socio-demographic factors, the results revealed that larger and more tree areas were positively correlated with children’s HRQOL. In addition, those children living in areas with tree patches further apart from each other showed higher HRQOL. This research adds to the current multi-disciplinary area of research on environment-health relationships by investigating the roles of urban greeneries and linking their spatial structures with children’s HRQOL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of the Built Environment on Public Health)
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