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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 13, Issue 6 (June 2016)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Editorial: Lead Risk Assessment and Health Effects
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 587; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060587
Received: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
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Abstract
In 1980, Clair C. Patterson stated: “Sometime in the near future it probably will be shown that the older urban areas of the United States have been rendered more or less uninhabitable by the millions of tons of poisonous industrial lead residues that
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In 1980, Clair C. Patterson stated: “Sometime in the near future it probably will be shown that the older urban areas of the United States have been rendered more or less uninhabitable by the millions of tons of poisonous industrial lead residues that have accumulated in cities during the past century”. We live in the near future about which this quote expressed concern. This special volume of 19 papers explores the status of scientific evidence regarding Dr. Patterson’s statement on the habitability of the environments of communities. Authors from 10 countries describe a variety of lead issues in the context of large and small communities, smelter sites, lead industries, lead-based painted houses, and vehicle fuel treated with lead additives dispersed by traffic. These articles represent the microcosm of the larger health issues associated with lead. The challenges of lead risk require a concerted global action for primary prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lead: Risk Assessment and Health Effects)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Urolithiasis, Urinary Cancer, and Home Drinking Water Source in the United States Territory of Guam, 2006–2010
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 523; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060523
Received: 13 April 2016 / Revised: 9 May 2016 / Accepted: 19 May 2016 / Published: 24 May 2016
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Abstract
We reviewed patient records with a first-listed diagnosis of urolithiasis—also known as urinary tract or kidney stone disease, nephrolithiasis—upon discharge from Guam’s sole civilian hospital during 2006 to 2010 and urinary cancer mortality records from the Guam Cancer Registry for 1970 to 2009
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We reviewed patient records with a first-listed diagnosis of urolithiasis—also known as urinary tract or kidney stone disease, nephrolithiasis—upon discharge from Guam’s sole civilian hospital during 2006 to 2010 and urinary cancer mortality records from the Guam Cancer Registry for 1970 to 2009 to determine the source of municipal water supplied to the patients’ residence. The objective was to investigate a possible relationship between the sources of municipal water supplied to Guam villages and the incidence of urolithiasis and urinary cancer. We analyzed hospital discharge diagnoses of urolithiasis or renal calculi by calculating the incidence of first-mentioned discharge for urolithiasis or renal calculi and comparing rates across demographic or geographic categories while adjusting by age, sex, and ethnicity/race. We reviewed cancer registry records of urinary cancer deaths by patient residence. The annual incidence of hospitalization for urolithiasis was 5.22 per 10,000. Rates adjusted for sex or age exhibited almost no change. The rate of 9.83 per 10,000 among Chamorros was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than the rates among any other ethnic group or race. When villages were grouped by water source, rates of patients discharged with a first-listed diagnosis of urolithiasis, adjusted for ethnicity/race, were similar for villages using either well water (5.44 per 10,000) or mixed source water (5.39 per 10,000), and significantly greater than the rate for villages using exclusively reservoir water (1.35 per 10,000). No statistically significant differences were found between the water source or village of residence and urinary cancer mortality. Some Guam residents living in villages served completely or partly by deep well water high in calcium carbonate may be at increased risk for urolithiasis compared with residents living in villages served by surface waters. Although the risk appears to be highest in villagers of Chamorro ethnicity, residents should be aware of other contributing risk factors and steps to take to avoid developing this health problem. Full article
Open AccessArticle Prevalence of Hypertension among Adults in Remote Rural Areas of Xinjiang, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 524; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060524
Received: 14 December 2015 / Revised: 16 May 2016 / Accepted: 17 May 2016 / Published: 24 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (294 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: The present study aimed to estimate prevalence of hypertension among adults in rural remote areas of Xinjiang, China and evaluate the associated factors of hypertension. Methods: The survey was based on questionnaire interviews and clinical measurements of 11,340 individuals (≥18 years old),
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Objective: The present study aimed to estimate prevalence of hypertension among adults in rural remote areas of Xinjiang, China and evaluate the associated factors of hypertension. Methods: The survey was based on questionnaire interviews and clinical measurements of 11,340 individuals (≥18 years old), and was conducted during 2009–2010 via a stratified cluster random sampling method in the remote rural areas of Xinjiang, about 4407 km away from the capital Beijing. Hypertension was defined according to WHO/ISH criteria. Results: Systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of the population were (126.3 ± 21.4) and (80.9 ± 13.4) mmHg. Compared with Han nationality subjects, SBP and DBP of Kazakh nationality subjects were significantly high (p < 0.05), while the SBP and DBP of Uyghur subjects were significantly low (Kazakh: (128.7 ± 23.9) and (83.0 ± 14.6) mmHg, Uyghur: (123.6 ± 19.3) and (77.4 ± 12.7) mmHg, Han: (126.5 ± 20.5) and (82.6 ± 11.9) mmHg, p < 0.05). Prevalence of hypertension of the population was 32.1%, and was greater among Kazakhs and lower among Uyghur than Han (Kazakh: 36.9%, Uyghur: 26.1%, Han: 33.7%, p < 0.05). The age-standardized prevalence of hypertension was 30.2%, and was greater among Kazakhs while lower among Uyghurs than Han subjects (Kazakh: 37.0%, Uyghur: 26.0%, Han: 33.8%, p < 0.05, p < 0.05). Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed Gender (OR = 1.324), age (OR = 2.098, 3.681, 6.794, 9.473, 14.646), nationality (OR = 1.541), occupation (OR = 1.659, 1.576), education (OR = 1.260), BMI (OR = 1.842), WC (OR = 1.585), WHR (OR = 1.188), WHR (OR = 1.188), diabetes (OR = 1.879), hypertriglyceridemia (OR = 1.361), hypercholesterolemia (OR = 1.131) and high blood low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (OR = 1.956) were all positively correlated with hypertension, while low blood high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (OR = 0.765) was negatively correlated with hypertension. Conclusions: Prevalence of hypertension among adults in remote rural areas of Xinjiang was higher than the national average. Prevalence of hypertension was greater among Kazakhs and lower among Uyghurs than Han nationals, thus indicating significant differences between regions and nationalities. Gender, age, nation, occupation, education, overweight or obesity, abdominal obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, high LDL-C were positively correlated with hypertension, low HDL-C was negatively correlated with hypertension. Full article
Open AccessArticle Preconceptional Iron Intake and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 525; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060525
Received: 15 March 2016 / Revised: 9 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 May 2016 / Published: 24 May 2016
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Abstract
Our objective was to assess the impact of preconceptional heme and non-heme iron on gestational diabetes mellitius (GDM) in the Boston University Slone Epidemiology Birth Defects Study (BDS). This retrospective cohort analysis included 7229 participants enrolled in the BDS between 1998 and 2008
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Our objective was to assess the impact of preconceptional heme and non-heme iron on gestational diabetes mellitius (GDM) in the Boston University Slone Epidemiology Birth Defects Study (BDS). This retrospective cohort analysis included 7229 participants enrolled in the BDS between 1998 and 2008 who gave birth to non-malformed infants and were free of pre-existing diabetes. All data were collected through structured interviews conducted within 6 months of delivery. Calorie-adjusted and multivariable odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using logistic regression models. Preconceptional dietary heme iron was modestly associated with an elevated risk of GDM among those (multivariable OR comparing the fifth quintile to the first: 1.55; 95% CI 0.98, 2.46). Conversely, preconceptional dietary non-heme iron was associated with a decreased risk of GDM among those in the fifth quintile of intake compared to the first (multivariable OR: 0.48; 95% CI 0.28, 0.81). Women who consumed supplemental iron during preconception also had a decreased risk of GDM (multivariable OR: 0.78; 95% CI 0.60, 1.02). In conclusion, our data support a positive association between preconceptional heme iron intake and GDM and an inverse association between preconceptional non-heme iron intake from foods and preconceptional intake from supplements. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Health Care and Diabetes)
Open AccessArticle Dutch Primary Schoolchildren’s Perspectives of Activity-Friendly School Playgrounds: A Participatory Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 526; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060526
Received: 16 March 2016 / Revised: 14 May 2016 / Accepted: 17 May 2016 / Published: 24 May 2016
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Abstract
School playgrounds are important physical activity (PA) environments for children, yet only a small number of children reaches the target of 40% of moderate-to-vigorous PA time during recess. The aim of this study was to explore children’s perspectives (i.e., child-identified determinants)
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School playgrounds are important physical activity (PA) environments for children, yet only a small number of children reaches the target of 40% of moderate-to-vigorous PA time during recess. The aim of this study was to explore children’s perspectives (i.e., child-identified determinants) of activity-friendly school playgrounds. We conducted participatory research with children as co-researchers, framed as a project to give children the opportunity to discuss their views and ideas about their school playgrounds. At three schools, six children (9–12 years old) met over five to seven group meetings. Data analysis included children’s conclusions obtained during the project and the researcher’s analysis of written reports of all meetings. Children indicated a strong desire for fun and active play, with physical playground characteristics and safety, rules and supervision, peer-interactions, and variation in equipment/games as important determinants. Our results indicate that improving activity-friendliness of playgrounds requires an integrated and multi-faceted approach. It also indicates that children, as primary users, are able to identify barriers for active play that are easily overlooked, unknown or differently perceived by adults. Hence, we believe that structural involvement of children in designing, developing and improving playgrounds may increase children’s’ active play and consequently PA levels during recess. Full article
Open AccessArticle Systolic Blood Pressure Lower than Heart Rate upon Arrival at and Departure from the Emergency Department Indicates a Poor Outcome for Adult Trauma Patients
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 528; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060528
Received: 19 February 2016 / Revised: 13 May 2016 / Accepted: 19 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
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Abstract
Background: Hemorrhage is a leading cause of preventable trauma death. In this study, we used the reverse shock index (RSI), a ratio of systolic blood pressure (SBP) to heart rate (HR), to evaluate the hemodynamic stability of trauma patients. As an SBP lower
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Background: Hemorrhage is a leading cause of preventable trauma death. In this study, we used the reverse shock index (RSI), a ratio of systolic blood pressure (SBP) to heart rate (HR), to evaluate the hemodynamic stability of trauma patients. As an SBP lower than the HR (RSI < 1) may indicate hemodynamic instability, the objective of this study was to assess the associated complications in trauma patients with an RSI < 1 upon arrival at the emergency department (ED) (indicated as (A)RSI) and at the time of departure from the ED (indicated as (L)RSI) to the operative room or for admission. Methods: Data obtained from all 16,548 hospitalized patients recorded in the trauma registry system at a Level I trauma center between January 2009 and December 2013 were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 10,234 adult trauma patients aged ≥20 were enrolled and subsequently divided into four groups: Group I, (A)RSI ≥ 1 and (L)RSI ≥ 1 (n = 9827); Group II, (A)RSI ≥ 1 and (L)RSI < 1 (n = 76); Group III, (A)RSI < 1 and (L)RSI ≥ 1 (n = 251); and Group IV, (A)RSI < 1 and (L)RSI < 1 (n = 80). Pearson’s χ2 test, Fisher’s exact test, or independent Student’s t-test was conducted to compare trauma patients in Groups II, III, and IV with those in Group I. Results: Patients in Groups II, III, and IV had a higher injury severity score and underwent a higher number of procedures, including intubation, chest tube insertion, and blood transfusion, than Group I patients. Additionally, patients of these groups had increased hospital length of stay (16.3 days, 14.9 days, and 22.0 days, respectively), proportion of patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) (48.7%, 43.0%, and 62.5%, respectively), and in-hospital mortality (19.7%, 7.6%, and 27.5%, respectively). Although the trauma patients who had a SBP < 90 mmHg either upon arrival at or departure from the ED also present a more severe injury and poor outcome, those patients who had a SBP ≥ 90 mmHg but an RSI < 1 had a more severe injury and poor outcome than those patients who had a SBP ≥ 90 mmHg and an RSI ≥ 1. Conclusions: SBP lower than heart rate (RSI < 1) either upon arrival at or departure from the ED may indicate a detrimental sign of poor outcome in adult trauma patients even in the absence of noted hypotension. Full article
Open AccessArticle Both Direct and Vicarious Experiences of Nature Affect Children’s Willingness to Conserve Biodiversity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 529; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060529
Received: 27 March 2016 / Revised: 16 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1876 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Children are becoming less likely to have direct contact with nature. This ongoing loss of human interactions with nature, the extinction of experience, is viewed as one of the most fundamental obstacles to addressing global environmental challenges. However, the consequences for biodiversity conservation
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Children are becoming less likely to have direct contact with nature. This ongoing loss of human interactions with nature, the extinction of experience, is viewed as one of the most fundamental obstacles to addressing global environmental challenges. However, the consequences for biodiversity conservation have been examined very little. Here, we conducted a questionnaire survey of elementary schoolchildren and investigated effects of the frequency of direct (participating in nature-based activities) and vicarious experiences of nature (reading books or watching TV programs about nature and talking about nature with parents or friends) on their affective attitudes (individuals’ emotional feelings) toward and willingness to conserve biodiversity. A total of 397 children participated in the surveys in Tokyo. Children’s affective attitudes and willingness to conserve biodiversity were positively associated with the frequency of both direct and vicarious experiences of nature. Path analysis showed that effects of direct and vicarious experiences on children’s willingness to conserve biodiversity were mediated by their affective attitudes. This study demonstrates that children who frequently experience nature are likely to develop greater emotional affinity to and support for protecting biodiversity. We suggest that children should be encouraged to experience nature and be provided with various types of these experiences. Full article
Open AccessArticle Weight Gain Prevention among Midlife Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial to Address Needs Related to the Physical and Social Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 530; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060530
Received: 29 February 2016 / Revised: 19 May 2016 / Accepted: 20 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
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Abstract
Women tend to gain weight at midlife (40–60 years) increasing risk of obesity-related chronic diseases. Within specific eating occasions, needs related to the physical and social environment may result in less healthy eating behavior, which can lead to weight gain over time. The
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Women tend to gain weight at midlife (40–60 years) increasing risk of obesity-related chronic diseases. Within specific eating occasions, needs related to the physical and social environment may result in less healthy eating behavior, which can lead to weight gain over time. The purpose of this study was to determine if a dietitian-delivered nutrition counseling intervention tailored to eating occasion needs could improve diet and prevent weight gain among midlife women over two years. A randomized controlled trial was conducted with healthy midlife women (n = 354) in one U.S. metropolitan area. The intervention group (n = 185) received ten hours of individual nutrition counseling from dietitians over six months, while women in a control group (n = 169) received no counseling. Measured height, weight and waist circumference, and dietary intakes were collected at baseline and every six months over two years. Mixed linear models were used to test for intervention effect on change in outcome variables over time. Dietary intakes of fruit, reduced/low-fat dairy foods and refined grains were significantly improved over time in the intervention compared to control group. However, the intervention had no effect on weight over time (p = 0.48). Nutrition counseling tailored to address eating occasion needs improved self-reported diet but did not significantly affect weight change. Full article
Open AccessArticle Dissipation and Residues of Dichlorprop-P and Bentazone in Wheat-Field Ecosystem
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 534; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060534
Received: 14 April 2016 / Revised: 13 May 2016 / Accepted: 19 May 2016 / Published: 26 May 2016
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Abstract
Dichlorprop-P and bentazone have been widely used in the prevention and control of weeds in wheat field ecosystems. There is a concern that pesticide residues and metabolites remain on or in the wheat. Thus, the study of the determination and monitoring of their
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Dichlorprop-P and bentazone have been widely used in the prevention and control of weeds in wheat field ecosystems. There is a concern that pesticide residues and metabolites remain on or in the wheat. Thus, the study of the determination and monitoring of their residues in wheat has important significance. A rapid, simple and reliable QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe) method was modified, developed and validated for the determination of dichlorprop-P, bentazone and its metabolites (6-hydroxy-bentazone and 8-hydroxy-bentazone) in wheat (wheat plants, wheat straw and grains of wheat) using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). The average recoveries of this method ranged from 72.9% to 108.7%, and the limits of quantification (LOQs) were 2.5–12 μg/kg. The dissipation and final residue of four compounds in three provinces (Shandong, Jiangsu and Heilongjiang) in China were studied. The trial results showed that the half-lives of dichlorprop-P and bentazone were 1.9–2.5 days and 0.5–2.4 days in wheat plants, respectively. The terminal residues in grains of wheat and wheat straw at harvest were all much below the maximum residue limit (MRL) of 0.2 mg/kg for dichlorprop-P and 0.1 mg/kg for bentazone established by the European Union (EU, Regulation No. 396/2005). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological and Human-Health Effects of Pesticides in the Environment)
Open AccessArticle Change in Environmental Benefits of Urban Land Use and Its Drivers in Chinese Cities, 2000–2010
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 535; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060535
Received: 4 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 26 May 2016
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Abstract
Driven by rising income and urban population growth, China has experienced rapid urban expansion since the 1980s. Urbanization can have positive effects on the urban environment; however, improvement of urban environment quality, especially its divergence between relatively developed and undeveloped cities in China,
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Driven by rising income and urban population growth, China has experienced rapid urban expansion since the 1980s. Urbanization can have positive effects on the urban environment; however, improvement of urban environment quality, especially its divergence between relatively developed and undeveloped cities in China, is currently a rather rudimentary and subjective issue. This study analyzed urban environmental benefits among China’s prefectural cities based on their structure of urban land use in 2000 and 2010. First, we divided 347 prefectural cities into two groups, 81 coastal and capital cities in the relatively developed group (RD) and 266 other prefectural cities in the undeveloped group (RP). Then, we defined three areas of urban environmental benefits, including green infrastructure, industrial upgrade, and environmental management, and developed an assessment index system. Results showed that all prefectural cities saw improvement in urban environmental quality in 2000–2010. Although the RD cities had higher income and more population growth, they had less improvement than the RP cities during the same period. We also found that demographic and urban land agglomeration among RD cities restrained green infrastructure expansion, making green infrastructure unsuitable as a permanent solution to environmental improvement. It is therefore urgent for China to promote balanced improvement among the three areas of urban environmental benefits and between the RD and RP cities through regional differentiation policies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Residential Risk Factors for Atopic Dermatitis in 3- to 6-Year Old Children: A Cross-Sectional Study in Shanghai, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 537; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060537
Received: 22 February 2016 / Revised: 20 April 2016 / Accepted: 19 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (641 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is common among pre-school children in Shanghai. This study aimed to identify the risk factors for childhood AD from the perspectives of home environment, demographics and parents-grandparents’ atopic disease. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Shanghai
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Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is common among pre-school children in Shanghai. This study aimed to identify the risk factors for childhood AD from the perspectives of home environment, demographics and parents-grandparents’ atopic disease. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Shanghai in April–June, 2010. Preschool children’s parents or guardians were invited to participate a questionnaire survey in six districts (two urban and four suburban/rural) and 6624 children were finally recruited (51.3% boys). AD diagnosis was based on the U.K. Working Party’s (UKWP) criteria. Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated by multiple logistic regression. Results: A total of 8.5% of children ever had AD. Around 10.2% of the mothers had lived in newly renovated/decorated homes (NRDH) during the prenatal period (one year before or during pregnancy) and 9.5% got new home furniture (NHF) during the same period. AD was more common in children when mothers had lived in NRDH homes during the prenatal period (AOR = 1.41; 95% CI 1.03–1.93), the current home had indoor mold (2.00, 1.48–2.70), parents-grandparents’ had atopic diseases (3.85, 3.05–4.87), the children had food allergy (3.40, 2.63–4.40) or children lived in urban area (1.52, 1.18–1.96). Associations between AD and NRDH, NHF and indoor molds were only significant in children without parents-grandparents’ atopic diseases. There was an interaction effect between parents-grandparents’ atopic diseases and NRDH (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Home renovation/ redecoration, new furniture and indoor mold, urban residency, heredity disposition and food allergy can be risk factors for childhood AD in Shanghai. Full article
Open AccessArticle Situation of Diabetes and Related Disease Surveillance in Rural Areas of Jilin Province, Northeast China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 538; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060538
Received: 15 March 2016 / Revised: 18 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (501 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Several studies have investigated the prevalence and awareness of diabetes mellitus (DM) in China, but little is known about the situation of DM in the northeastern rural areas. Our present study investigated the prevalence, awareness and associated characteristics of DM in rural
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Background: Several studies have investigated the prevalence and awareness of diabetes mellitus (DM) in China, but little is known about the situation of DM in the northeastern rural areas. Our present study investigated the prevalence, awareness and associated characteristics of DM in rural areas of Jilin Province, aiming to suggest more efforts for the prevention and control of DM. Methods: A multistage stratified random cluster sampling design was used in this cross-sectional study which took place in 2012. Data were collected by face-to-face interviews and physical examinations. Rao-Scott Chi-square test, t test and multivariate logistic regression analysis were used. Results: The estimated prevalence of DM in rural areas of Jilin province was 7.2%. DM was positively associated with age, Body mass index (BMI), hypotension, dyslipidemia and was high in participants with a family history of diabetes and those who exercise frequently, but low for high education level and married participants. 69.0% participants with DM were aware of their diabetes status, 88.2% of whom received treatment and 34.4% of whom had received treatment controlled their DM status. Conclusions: We observed a high prevalence and low awareness status of DM among the rural residents in Jilin Province, but the rate of effective control in those who have received treatment was considerable. The low rate of disease surveillance should draw health authority’s attention. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Health Care and Diabetes)
Open AccessArticle Association between Obese Phenotype and Mildly Reduced eGFR among the General Population from Rural Northeast China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 540; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060540
Received: 6 March 2016 / Revised: 15 May 2016 / Accepted: 19 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1746 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Obesity contributes to reduced kidney function; however, whether this is due to obesity itself or the metabolic abnormalities that accompany it is unclear. Besides, most previous studies enrolled participants with moderate or severe stage of chronic kidney disease. In the present study, we
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Obesity contributes to reduced kidney function; however, whether this is due to obesity itself or the metabolic abnormalities that accompany it is unclear. Besides, most previous studies enrolled participants with moderate or severe stage of chronic kidney disease. In the present study, we aim to investigate the possible relationship between obesity, metabolic abnormalities and mildly reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). A total of 11,127 Chinese participants (age ≥ 35 years) were enrolled in a survey conducted from January 2012 to August 2013. eGFR 60–90 mL/min/1.73 m2 was defined as mildly reduced eGFR. Obese phenotype was divided into four types: metabolically healthy non-obese (MHNO), metabolically healthy obese (MHO), metabolically abnormal non-obese (MANO) and metabolically abnormal obese (MAO). Among all participants, 1941 (17.4%) of them had mildly reduced eGFR (16.7% for men and 18.1% for women, p = 0.025). The prevalence of obese phenotype was 22.5% for MHNO, 9.1% for MHO, 32.1% for MANO and 36.4% for MAO. The prevalence of mildly reduced eGFR was 9.0% among MHNO, 7.0% among MHO, 22.6% among MANO and 20.7% among MAO (p < 0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that obese phenotype did not statically contributed to mildly reduced eGFR (MHO: OR = 1.107, p = 0.662; MANO: OR = 0.800, p = 0.127; MAO: OR = 1.119, p = 0.525). However, gender (OR = 1.475, p < 0.001), aging (OR = 1.283, p < 0.001), dyslipidemia (OR = 1.544, 95%CI: 1.315, 1.814, p < 0.001) and hyperglycemia (OR = 1.247, 95%CI: 1.068, 1.455, p = 0.005) was associated with increased risk of mild reduced eGFR. Among the general population from rural Northeast China, mildly reduced eGFR was associated with metabolic disorders like dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia, but not obesity. Full article
Open AccessArticle Investigation and Evaluation of Children’s Blood Lead Levels around a Lead Battery Factory and Influencing Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 541; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060541
Received: 17 February 2016 / Revised: 20 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
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Abstract
Lead pollution incidents have occurred frequently in mainland China, which has caused many lead poisoning incidents. This paper took a battery recycling factory as the subject, and focused on measuring the blood lead levels of environmental samples and all the children living around
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Lead pollution incidents have occurred frequently in mainland China, which has caused many lead poisoning incidents. This paper took a battery recycling factory as the subject, and focused on measuring the blood lead levels of environmental samples and all the children living around the factory, and analyzed the relationship between them. We collected blood samples from the surrounding residential area, as well as soil, water, vegetables. The atomic absorption method was applied to measure the lead content in these samples. The basic information of the generation procedure, operation type, habit and personal protect equipment was collected by an occupational hygiene investigation. Blood lead levels in 43.12% of the subjects exceeded 100 μg/L. The 50th and the 95th percentiles were 89 μg/L and 232 μg/L for blood lead levels in children, respectively, and the geometric mean was 94 μg/L. Children were stratified into groups by age, gender, parents’ occupation, distance and direction from the recycling plant. The difference of blood lead levels between groups was significant (p < 0.05). Four risk factors for elevated blood lead levels were found by logistic regression analysis, including younger age, male, shorter distance from the recycling plant, and parents with at least one working in the recycling plant. The rate of excess lead concentration in water was 6.25%, 6.06% in soil and 44.44% in leaf vegetables, which were all higher than the Chinese environment standards. The shorter the distance to the factory, the higher the value of BLL and lead levels in vegetable and environment samples. The lead level in the environmental samples was higher downwind of the recycling plant. Full article
Open AccessArticle Prevalence of Depression among Rural Residents with Diabetes Mellitus: A Cross-Sectional Study from Northeast China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 542; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060542
Received: 18 December 2015 / Revised: 5 May 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
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Abstract
Recent economic development in China has resulted in large increases in psychogenic and metabolic diseases. However, few studies have focused on the mental status of rural residents with diabetes. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of depressive symptoms among patients with diabetes to
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Recent economic development in China has resulted in large increases in psychogenic and metabolic diseases. However, few studies have focused on the mental status of rural residents with diabetes. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of depressive symptoms among patients with diabetes to establish the association between depressive symptoms and socio-demographic and clinical factors. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 1187 patients with diabetes aged ≥35 years from rural Northeast China. Metabolic and anthropometric indicators were measured according to standard methods. Depressive symptoms were defined using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Five hundred and twenty-six residents (44.3%) of the total sample were male and 931 (78.4%) were <65 years old. One hundred and eight residents (8.76%) score ≥10 on the PHQ-9 scale. A statistically significant relationship was found between depressive symptoms and female gender, older age (≥65 years), high school or above education level, moderate physical activity, high family income, multiple additional illnesses, current alcohol consumption, and 7–8 h/d sleep duration. Multivariate analysis showed that female gender [odds ratio (OR) = 1.984, p = 0.028], high family income (OR = 0.483 for 5000–20,000 CNY/year, p = 0.011; OR = 0.356 for >2000 CNY/year, p = 0.003), 7–8 h/d sleep duration (OR = 0.453, p = 0.020), and having multiple additional illness (OR = 3.080, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with depressive symptoms. Prevalence of depressive symptoms in our study was high. Female gender and multiple illnesses were risk factors for depression, while long sleep duration and high family income seem to protect against depression among rural residents with diabetes in China. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Relationship between Estradiol and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Concentrations and Polymorphisms of Apolipoprotein E and LeptinGenes in Women Post-Menopause
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 543; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060543
Received: 19 April 2016 / Revised: 19 May 2016 / Accepted: 25 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
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Abstract
Background: Menopause is the permanent cessation of menstruation due to loss of ovarian follicular activity. A review of the available literature indicates that correlations between the changes that take place in a woman’s body after menopause and different genetic variants are still
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Background: Menopause is the permanent cessation of menstruation due to loss of ovarian follicular activity. A review of the available literature indicates that correlations between the changes that take place in a woman’s body after menopause and different genetic variants are still being sought. Methods: The study was conducted in 252 women who had completed physiological menopause. The women were divided into groups according to the time elapsed since menopause. The total concentrations of estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone were determined by means of electrochemiluminescence. The apolipoprotein E (APOE) and lepitn (LEP) genotypes were determined by real-time PCR and polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism, respectively. Results: We observed that people with the APOE3/E3 genotype entered menopause insignificantly later compared to other genotypes. Additionally, in the group of patients with the APOE3/E3 genotypes, differences in the E2 concentration were significantly related to the time since their last menstruation. There is no association found in the literature between these polymorphisms of the LEP gene and hormones. Conclusions: To date, attempts to formulate a model describing the association between E2 and FSH concentration with the polymorphisms of various genes of menopause in women have not been successful. This relationship is difficult to study because of the number of nongenetic factors. Environmental factors can explain variation in postmenopausal changes in hormone levels. Full article
Open AccessArticle Clinical Significance of Long Non-Coding RNA CASC8 rs10505477 Polymorphism in Lung Cancer Susceptibility, Platinum-Based Chemotherapy Response, and Toxicity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 545; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060545
Received: 9 March 2016 / Revised: 13 May 2016 / Accepted: 20 May 2016 / Published: 30 May 2016
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Abstract
Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) CASC8 rs10505477 polymorphism has been identified to be related to risk of many kinds of cancers, such as colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, and invasive ovarian cancer, and it may be involved in the prognosis of gastric cancer patients who
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Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) CASC8 rs10505477 polymorphism has been identified to be related to risk of many kinds of cancers, such as colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, and invasive ovarian cancer, and it may be involved in the prognosis of gastric cancer patients who have received platinum-based chemotherapy after surgical treatment. So far, there is no study investigating the clinical significance of lncRNA CASC8 rs10505477 in lung cancer susceptibility and treatment. In this study, we genotyped 498 lung cancer patients and 213 healthy control subjects to explore the correlation between the rs10505477 polymorphism and lung cancer risk in a Chinese population. Among the 498 patients, 467 were selected for the chemotherapy response and toxicity study. We found that the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) rs10505477 was greatly related to lung cancer risk in male and adenocarcinoma subgroups in recessive model (adjusted OR = 0.51, 95%CI = 0.29–0.90, p = 0.02; adjusted OR = 0.52, 95%CI = 0.30–0.89, p = 0.02, respectively). It was also closely correlated with platinum-based chemotherapy response in dominant model (adjusted OR = 1.58, 95%CI = 1.05–2.39, p = 0.03). Additionally, we observed that CASC8 rs10505477 polymorphism was significantly relevant to severe hematologic toxicity in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) subgroup in dominant model (adjusted OR = 0.59, 95%CI = 0.35–0.98, p = 0.04) and in additive model (adjusted OR = 0.62, 95%CI = 0.43–0.90, p = 0.01). Furthermore, it was found that rs10505477 polymorphism was greatly associated with gastrointestinal toxicity in SCLC and cisplatin subgroups in dominant model (adjusted OR = 7.82, 95%CI = 1.36–45.07, p = 0.02; adjusted OR = 1.94, 95%CI = 1.07–3.53, p = 0.03, respectively). Thus, lncRNA CASC8 rs10505477 could serve as a possible risk marker for diagnosing lung cancer, and could be used to forecast the response and toxicity of platinum-based treatment in lung cancer patients. Full article
Open AccessArticle LBMR: Load-Balanced Multipath Routing for Wireless Data-Intensive Transmission in Real-Time Medical Monitoring
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 547; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060547
Received: 26 March 2016 / Revised: 15 May 2016 / Accepted: 21 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
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Abstract
In wireless networks, low-power Zigbee is an excellent network solution for wireless medical monitoring systems. Medical monitoring generally involves transmission of a large amount of data and easily causes bottleneck problems. Although Zigbee’s AODV mesh routing provides extensible multi-hop data transmission to extend
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In wireless networks, low-power Zigbee is an excellent network solution for wireless medical monitoring systems. Medical monitoring generally involves transmission of a large amount of data and easily causes bottleneck problems. Although Zigbee’s AODV mesh routing provides extensible multi-hop data transmission to extend network coverage, it originally does not, and needs to support some form of load balancing mechanism to avoid bottlenecks. To guarantee a more reliable multi-hop data transmission for life-critical medical applications, we have developed a multipath solution, called Load-Balanced Multipath Routing (LBMR) to replace Zigbee’s routing mechanism. LBMR consists of three main parts: Layer Routing Construction (LRC), a Load Estimation Algorithm (LEA), and a Route Maintenance (RM) mechanism. LRC assigns nodes into different layers based on the node’s distance to the medical data gateway. Nodes can have multiple next-hops delivering medical data toward the gateway. All neighboring layer-nodes exchange flow information containing current load, which is the used by the LEA to estimate future load of next-hops to the gateway. With LBMR, nodes can choose the neighbors with the least load as the next-hops and thus can achieve load balancing and avoid bottlenecks. Furthermore, RM can detect route failures in real-time and perform route redirection to ensure routing robustness. Since LRC and LEA prevent bottlenecks while RM ensures routing fault tolerance, LBMR provides a highly reliable routing service for medical monitoring. To evaluate these accomplishments, we compare LBMR with Zigbee’s AODV and another multipath protocol, AOMDV. The simulation results demonstrate LBMR achieves better load balancing, less unreachable nodes, and better packet delivery ratio than either AODV or AOMDV. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Improved Multi-Objective Programming with Augmented ε-Constraint Method for Hazardous Waste Location-Routing Problems
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 548; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060548
Received: 17 March 2016 / Revised: 18 May 2016 / Accepted: 25 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
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Abstract
Hazardous waste location-routing problems are of importance due to the potential risk for nearby residents and the environment. In this paper, an improved mathematical formulation is developed based upon a multi-objective mixed integer programming approach. The model aims at assisting decision makers in
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Hazardous waste location-routing problems are of importance due to the potential risk for nearby residents and the environment. In this paper, an improved mathematical formulation is developed based upon a multi-objective mixed integer programming approach. The model aims at assisting decision makers in selecting locations for different facilities including treatment plants, recycling plants and disposal sites, providing appropriate technologies for hazardous waste treatment, and routing transportation. In the model, two critical factors are taken into account: system operating costs and risk imposed on local residents, and a compensation factor is introduced to the risk objective function in order to account for the fact that the risk level imposed by one type of hazardous waste or treatment technology may significantly vary from that of other types. Besides, the policy instruments for promoting waste recycling are considered, and their influence on the costs and risk of hazardous waste management is also discussed. The model is coded and calculated in Lingo optimization solver, and the augmented ε-constraint method is employed to generate the Pareto optimal curve of the multi-objective optimization problem. The trade-off between different objectives is illustrated in the numerical experiment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Children’s Personal Exposure Measurements to Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Fields in Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 549; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060549
Received: 3 March 2016 / Revised: 7 May 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
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Abstract
Extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) exposure is still a topic of concern due to their possible impact on children’s health. Although epidemiological studies claimed an evidence of a possible association between ELF-MF above 0.4 μT and childhood leukemia, biological mechanisms able to
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Extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) exposure is still a topic of concern due to their possible impact on children’s health. Although epidemiological studies claimed an evidence of a possible association between ELF-MF above 0.4 μT and childhood leukemia, biological mechanisms able to support a causal relationship between ELF-MF and this disease were not found yet. To provide further knowledge about children’s ELF-MF exposure correlated to children’s daily activities, a measurement study was conducted in Milan (Italy). Eighty-six children were recruited, 52 of whom were specifically chosen with respect to the distance to power lines and built-in transformers to oversample potentially highly exposed children. Personal and bedroom measurements were performed for each child in two different seasons. The major outcomes of this study are: (1) median values over 24-h personal and bedroom measurements were <3 μT established by the Italian law as the quality target; (2) geometric mean values over 24-h bedroom measurements were mostly <0.4 μT; (3) seasonal variations did not significantly influence personal and bedroom measurements; (4) the highest average MF levels were mostly found at home during the day and outdoors; (5) no significant differences were found in the median and geometric mean values between personal and bedroom measurements, but were found in the arithmetic mean. Full article
Open AccessArticle Tracking Restoration of Park and Urban Street Settings in Coronary Artery Disease Patients
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 550; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060550
Received: 5 April 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 21 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
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Abstract
The physiological effects of natural and urban environments on the cardiovascular system of coronary artery disease (CAD) patients are not fully understood. This controlled field study examines the effects of restorative walking in a park vs. in an urban street environment on CAD
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The physiological effects of natural and urban environments on the cardiovascular system of coronary artery disease (CAD) patients are not fully understood. This controlled field study examines the effects of restorative walking in a park vs. in an urban street environment on CAD patients’ stress parameters and cardiac function. Methods: Twenty stable CAD patients were randomly allocated to 7 days controlled walking in a city park or in an urban street environment group. The relationship between different environmental exposures and health effects was analyzed using Wilcoxon signed-rank test and exact Mann-Whitney U test. Results: The mean reduction in cortisol levels and negative effects after the walk on the first day was greater in the city park than in the urban street exposed group, while a reduction in negative effects in the urban group were greater after seven days. The reduction in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in the park group was evident on the seventh day before the walk (−4 mm Hg, p = 0.031) and 60 min after the walk (−6.00 mm Hg, p = 0.002). The cortisol slope was negatively associated with the DBP changes (r = −0.514, p < 0.05). Conclusions: Physical activity in a green environment with noise and air pollution levels lower than in an urban environment has a greater positive effect on CAD patients’ stress level and hemodynamic parameters. Mitigating green environmental influences may allow urban residents to maintain health and reduce disability. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Comprehensive Evaluation of the Burden of Heat-Related Illness and Death within the Florida Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 551; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060551
Received: 23 April 2016 / Revised: 22 May 2016 / Accepted: 25 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
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Abstract
The failure of the human body to thermoregulate can lead to severe outcomes (e.g., death) and lasting physiological damage. However, heat-related illness (HRI) is highly preventable via individual- and community-level modification. A thorough understanding of the burden is necessary for effective intervention. This
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The failure of the human body to thermoregulate can lead to severe outcomes (e.g., death) and lasting physiological damage. However, heat-related illness (HRI) is highly preventable via individual- and community-level modification. A thorough understanding of the burden is necessary for effective intervention. This paper describes the burden of severe HRI morbidity and mortality among residents of a humid subtropical climate. Work-related and non-work-related HRI emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths among Florida residents during May to October (2005–2012) were examined. Sub-groups susceptible to HRI were identified. The age-adjusted rates/100,000 person-years for non-work-related HRI were 33.1 ED visits, 5.9 hospitalizations, and 0.2 deaths, while for work-related HRI/100,000 worker-years there were 8.5 ED visits, 1.1 hospitalizations, and 0.1 deaths. The rates of HRI varied by county, data source, and work-related status, with the highest rates observed in the panhandle and south central Florida. The sub-groups with the highest relative rates regardless of data source or work-relatedness were males, minorities, and rural residents. Those aged 15–35 years had the highest ED visit rates, while for non-work-related hospitalizations and deaths the rates increased with age. The results of this study can be used for targeted interventions and evaluating changes in the HRI burden over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Climate Change and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Increase in Suicide Rates by Hanging in the Population of Tabasco, Mexico between 2003 and 2012
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 552; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060552
Received: 10 February 2016 / Revised: 21 April 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 1 June 2016
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Abstract
Background: Worldwide, the suicide rate is decreasing. To examine changes in the rates of completed suicide in the Mexican population from 2003 to 2012, we analyzed these changes according to: (i) the method of suicide; (ii) age group and (iii) gender. Methods: The
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Background: Worldwide, the suicide rate is decreasing. To examine changes in the rates of completed suicide in the Mexican population from 2003 to 2012, we analyzed these changes according to: (i) the method of suicide; (ii) age group and (iii) gender. Methods: The data analyzed were obtained from governmental organizations from the State of Tabasco, Mexico. The data provided 1836 cases of subjects born and residing in Tabasco, who completed suicide in this state. Results: Suicide by hanging was a common choice of suicide method for Mexicans. The rate of suicide by hanging increased from 5.80 to 6.49 per 100,000 persons between 2003 and 2012, a rate percentage increase of 11.89%. Conclusions: Hanging was found to be the most common choice of suicide in the Mexican population, probably because the materials required are easily available and the method does not require complicated techniques, especially in the 55–64 age group. Strategies for prevention and intervention should be developed for the Mexican population considering suicide rates by age group and gender. Full article
Open AccessArticle Empirical Model for Evaluating PM10 Concentration Caused by River Dust Episodes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 553; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060553
Received: 9 March 2016 / Revised: 26 May 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 2 June 2016
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Abstract
Around the estuary of the Zhuo-Shui River in Taiwan, the waters recede during the winter, causing an increase in bare land area and exposing a large amount of fine earth and sand particles that were deposited on the riverbed. Observations at the site
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Around the estuary of the Zhuo-Shui River in Taiwan, the waters recede during the winter, causing an increase in bare land area and exposing a large amount of fine earth and sand particles that were deposited on the riverbed. Observations at the site revealed that when northeastern monsoons blow over bare land without vegetation or water cover, the fine particles are readily lifted by the wind, forming river dust, which greatly endangers the health of nearby residents. Therefore, determining which factors affect river dust and constructing a model to predict river dust concentration are extremely important in the research and development of a prototype warning system for areas at risk of river dust emissions. In this study, the region around the estuary of the Zhuo-Shui River (from the Zi-Qiang Bridge to the Xi-Bin Bridge) was selected as the research area. Data from a nearby air quality monitoring station were used to screen for days with river dust episodes. The relationships between PM10 concentration and meteorological factors or bare land area were analyzed at different temporal scales to explore the factors that affect river dust emissions. Study results showed that no single factor alone had adequate power to explain daily average or daily maximum PM10 concentration. Stepwise regression analysis of multiple factors showed that the model could not effectively predict daily average PM10 concentration, but daily maximum PM10 concentration could be predicted by a combination of wind velocity, temperature, and bare land area; the coefficient of determination for this model was 0.67. It was inferred that river dust episodes are caused by the combined effect of multiple factors. In addition, research data also showed a time lag effect between meteorological factors and hourly PM10 concentration. This characteristic was applied to the construction of a prediction model, and can be used in an early warning system for local residents. Full article
Open AccessArticle Development and Validation of an Instrument Measuring Theory-Based Determinants of Monitoring Obesogenic Behaviors of Pre-Schoolers among Hispanic Mothers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 554; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060554
Received: 28 March 2016 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 2 June 2016
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Abstract
Public health interventions are greatly needed for obesity prevention, and planning for such strategies should include community participation. The study’s purpose was to develop and validate a theory-based instrument with low-income, Hispanic mothers of preschoolers, to assess theory-based determinants of maternal monitoring of
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Public health interventions are greatly needed for obesity prevention, and planning for such strategies should include community participation. The study’s purpose was to develop and validate a theory-based instrument with low-income, Hispanic mothers of preschoolers, to assess theory-based determinants of maternal monitoring of child’s consumption of fruits and vegetables and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB). Nine focus groups with mothers were conducted to determine nutrition-related behaviors that mothers found as most obesogenic for their children. Next, behaviors were operationally defined and rated for importance and changeability. Two behaviors were selected for investigation (fruits and vegetable and SSB). Twenty semi-structured interviews with mothers were conducted next to develop culturally appropriate items for the instrument. Afterwards, face and content validity were established using a panel of six experts. Finally, the instrument was tested with a sample of 238 mothers. Psychometric properties evaluated included construct validity (using the maximum likelihood extraction method of factor analysis), and internal consistency reliability (Cronbach’s alpha). Results suggested that all scales on the instrument were valid and reliable, except for the autonomy scales. Researchers and community planners working with Hispanic families can use this instrument to measure theory-based determinants of parenting behaviors related to preschoolers’ consumption of fruits and vegetables, and SSB. Full article
Open AccessArticle Identifying Hot-Spots of Metal Contamination in Campus Dust of Xi’an, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 555; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060555
Received: 14 April 2016 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
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Abstract
The concentrations of heavy metals (As, Ba, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn) in campus dust from kindergartens, elementary schools, middle schools, and universities in the city of Xi’an, China, were determined by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. The pollution levels and
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The concentrations of heavy metals (As, Ba, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn) in campus dust from kindergartens, elementary schools, middle schools, and universities in the city of Xi’an, China, were determined by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. The pollution levels and hotspots of metals were analyzed using a geoaccumulation index and Local Moran’s I, an indicator of spatial association, respectively. The dust samples from the campuses had metal concentrations higher than background levels, especially for Pb, Zn, Co, Cu, Cr, and Ba. The pollution assessment indicated that the campus dusts were not contaminated with As, Mn, Ni, or V, were moderately or not contaminated with Ba and Cr and were moderately to strongly contaminated with Co, Cu, Pb, and Zn. Local Moran’s I analysis detected the locations of spatial clusters and outliers and indicated that the pollution with these 10 metals occurred in significant high-high spatial clusters, low-high, or even high-low spatial outliers. As, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn had important high-high patterns in the center of Xi’an. The western and southwestern regions of the study area, i.e., areas of old and high-tech industries, have strongly contributed to the Co content in the campus dust. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Diffusive Gradient-in-Thin-Film Technique for Evaluation of the Bioavailability of Cd in Soil Contaminated with Cd and Pb
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 556; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060556
Received: 1 March 2016 / Revised: 24 April 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 2 June 2016
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Abstract
Management of heavy metal contamination requires accurate information about the distribution of bioavailable fractions, and about exchange between the solid and solution phases. In this study, we employed diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT) and traditional chemical extraction methods (soil solution, HOAc, EDTA, CaCl
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Management of heavy metal contamination requires accurate information about the distribution of bioavailable fractions, and about exchange between the solid and solution phases. In this study, we employed diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT) and traditional chemical extraction methods (soil solution, HOAc, EDTA, CaCl2, and NaOAc) to determine the Cd bioavailability in Cd-contaminated soil with the addition of Pb. Two typical terrestrial species (wheat, Bainong AK58; maize, Zhengdan 958) were selected as the accumulation plants. The results showed that the added Pb may enhance the efficiency of Cd phytoextraction which is indicated by the increasing concentration of Cd accumulating in the plant tissues. The DGT-measured Cd concentrations and all the selected traditional extractants measured Cd concentrations all increased with increasing concentration of the addition Pb which were similar to the change trends of the accumulated Cd concentrations in plant tissues. Moreover, the Pearson regression coefficients between the different indicators obtained Cd concentrations and plants uptake Cd concentrations were further indicated significant correlations (p < 0.01). However, the values of Pearson regression coefficients showed the merits of DGT, CaCl2, and Csol over the other three methods. Consequently, the in situ measurement of DGT and the ex situ traditional methods could all reflect the inhibition effects between Cd and Pb. Due to the feature of dynamic measurements of DGT, it could be a robust tool to predict Cd bioavaiability in complex contaminated soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Systems Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Increased Risk of Respiratory Mortality Associated with the High-Tech Manufacturing Industry: A 26-Year Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 557; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060557
Received: 21 April 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
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Abstract
Global high-tech manufacturers are mainly located in newly industrialized countries, raising concerns about adverse health consequences from industrial pollution for people living nearby. We investigated the ecological association between respiratory mortality and the development of Taiwan’s high-tech manufacturing, taking into account industrialization and
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Global high-tech manufacturers are mainly located in newly industrialized countries, raising concerns about adverse health consequences from industrial pollution for people living nearby. We investigated the ecological association between respiratory mortality and the development of Taiwan’s high-tech manufacturing, taking into account industrialization and socioeconomic development, for 19 cities and counties—6 in the science park group and 13 in the control group—from 1982 to 2007. We applied a linear mixed-effects model to analyze how science park development over time is associated with age-adjusted and sex-specific mortality rates for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Asthma and female COPD mortality rates decreased in both groups, but they decreased 9%–16% slower in the science park group. Male COPD mortality rates increased in both groups, but the rate increased 10% faster in the science park group. Science park development over time was a significant predictor of death from asthma (p ≤ 0.0001) and COPD (p = 0.0212). The long-term development of clustered high-tech manufacturing may negatively affect nearby populations, constraining health advantages that were anticipated, given overall progress in living standards, knowledge, and health services. National governments should incorporate the long-term health effects on local populations into environmental impact assessments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Incidence and Mortality Risks of Cancer in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Retrospective Study in Shanghai, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 559; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060559
Received: 19 March 2016 / Revised: 1 May 2016 / Accepted: 25 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
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Abstract
Background: Evidence from epidemiologic investigation indicates that people with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) are at a significantly higher risk of many types of cancer and mortality. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence and mortality risks of cancer in patients
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Background: Evidence from epidemiologic investigation indicates that people with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) are at a significantly higher risk of many types of cancer and mortality. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence and mortality risks of cancer in patients with T2DM compared with the general population in Shanghai, China. Methods: Based on the Shanghai Diabetes Registry (SDR) database linking to the Shanghai Cancer Registry and Surveillance System (SCRSS), a total of 12,276 T2DM patients without cancer were defined and followed up from 1 December 2001 to 31 July 2011. Standardized incidence ratio (SIR) and standardized mortality ratio (SMR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated using the whole gender and age-matched general population of Shanghai as a reference during the same period. Results: The overall cancer risk was found higher in both males and females T2DM patients, with the SIR of 3.14 (95% CI 2.73–3.56) and 4.29 (95% CI 3.64–4.94), respectively. The overall mortality risk of cancer also significantly increased with the SMR of 2.27 (95% CI 1.86–2.68) and 1.86 (95% CI 1.46–2.26), respectively. Pancreatic cancer was with the highest SIR and SMR in both genders. Conclusions: Compared with the general population, patients with T2DM were associated with higher incidence and mortality risks of cancer, especially pancreatic cancer. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Evaluation of Voluntary Varicella Vaccination Coverage in Zhejiang Province, East China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 560; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060560
Received: 11 April 2016 / Revised: 26 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
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Abstract
Background: In 2014 a 2-doses varicella vaccine (VarV) schedule was recommended by the Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We aimed to assess the coverage of the 1st dose of VarV (VarV1) and the 2nd dose of VarV
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Background: In 2014 a 2-doses varicella vaccine (VarV) schedule was recommended by the Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We aimed to assess the coverage of the 1st dose of VarV (VarV1) and the 2nd dose of VarV (VarV2) among children aged 2–6 years through the Zhejiang Provincial Immunization Information System (ZJIIS) and to explore the determinants associated with the VarV coverage. Methods: Children aged 2–6 years (born from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2013) registered in ZJIIS were enrolled. Anonymized individual records of target children were extracted from the ZJIIS database on 1 January 2016, including their VarV and (measles-containing vaccine) MCV vaccination information. The VarV1 and VarV2 coverage rates were evaluated for each birth cohorts. The coverage of VarV also was estimated among strata defined by cities, gender and immigration status. We also evaluated the difference in coverage between VarV and MCV. Results: A total of 3,028,222 children aged 2–6 years were enrolled. The coverage of VarV1 ranged from 84.8% to 87.9% in the 2009–2013 birth cohorts, while the coverage of VarV2 increased from 31.8% for the 2009 birth cohort to 48.7% for the 2011 birth cohort. Higher coverage rates for both VarV1 and VarV2 were observed among resident children in relevant birth cohorts. The coverage rates of VarV1 and VarV2 were lower than those for the 1st and 2nd dose of MCV, which were above 95%. The proportion of children who were vaccinated with VarV1 at the recommended age increased from 34.6% for the 2009 birth cohort to 75.2% for the 2013 birth cohort, while the proportion of children who were vaccinated with VarV2 at the recommended age increased from 19.7% for the 2009 birth cohort to 48.7% for the 2011 birth cohort. Conclusions: Our study showed a rapid increasing VarV2 coverage of children, indicating a growing acceptance of the 2-doses VarV schedule among children’s caregivers and physicians after the new recommendation released. We highlighted the necessity for a 2-doses VarV vaccination school-entry requirement to achieve the high coverage of >90% and to eliminate disparities in coverage among sub-populations. We also recommended continuous monitoring of the VarV coverage via ZJIIS over time. Full article
Open AccessArticle Genetic Variation in POU4F3 and GRHL2 Associated with Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Chinese Population: A Case-Control Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 561; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060561
Received: 20 April 2016 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 25 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
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Abstract
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is an important occupational disease worldwide resulting from interactions between genetic and environmental factors. The purpose of this study was to examine whether genetic variations in POU4F3 and GRHL2 may influence susceptibility to NIHL in the Chinese population. A
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Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is an important occupational disease worldwide resulting from interactions between genetic and environmental factors. The purpose of this study was to examine whether genetic variations in POU4F3 and GRHL2 may influence susceptibility to NIHL in the Chinese population. A matched case-control study was carried out among 293 hearing loss individuals and 293 normal hearing workers drawn from a population of 3790 noise-exposed workers. Ten single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in POU4F3 and GRHL2 were selected and genotyped. Logistic regression was performed to analyze the main effects of SNPs and the interactions between noise exposure and SNPs. Moreover, the interactions between predictor haplotypes and noise exposure were also analyzed. Analysis revealed that the CC genotype of rs1981361 in the GRHL2 gene was associated with a higher risk of NIHL (adjusted OR = 1.59; 95% CI: 1.08–2.32, p = 0.018). Additionally, the GG genotype of rs3735715 in the GRHL2 gene was also a risk genotype (adjusted OR = 1.48; 95% CI: 1.01–2.19, p = 0.046). Significant interactions were found between rs3735715, rs1981361 (GRHL2), rs1368402 as well as rs891969 (POU4F3) and noise exposure in the high-level exposure groups. Furthermore, the protective haplotype CA in the POU4F3 gene and the risk haplotype GCCG in the GRHL2 gene were identified combined with noise exposure. These results indicated that GRHL2 might be an NIHL susceptibility gene, but the effect of POU4F3 on NIHL could only be detected when taking noise exposure into account, and their effects were enhanced by higher levels of noise exposure. However, the differences were not significant after the Bonferroni correction was applied. These results should be seen as suggestive. Full article
Open AccessArticle Health-Care Waste Treatment Technology Selection Using the Interval 2-Tuple Induced TOPSIS Method
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 562; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060562
Received: 21 March 2016 / Revised: 26 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 4 June 2016
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Abstract
Health-care waste (HCW) management is a major challenge for municipalities, particularly in the cities of developing nations. Selecting the best treatment technology for HCW can be regarded as a complex multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) issue involving a number of alternatives and multiple evaluation
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Health-care waste (HCW) management is a major challenge for municipalities, particularly in the cities of developing nations. Selecting the best treatment technology for HCW can be regarded as a complex multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) issue involving a number of alternatives and multiple evaluation criteria. In addition, decision makers tend to express their personal assessments via multi-granularity linguistic term sets because of different backgrounds and knowledge, some of which may be imprecise, uncertain and incomplete. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to propose a new hybrid decision making approach combining interval 2-tuple induced distance operators with the technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS) for tackling HCW treatment technology selection problems with linguistic information. The proposed interval 2-tuple induced TOPSIS (ITI-TOPSIS) can not only model the uncertainty and diversity of the assessment information given by decision makers, but also reflect the complex attitudinal characters of decision makers and provide much more complete information for the selection of the optimum disposal alternative. Finally, an empirical example in Shanghai, China is provided to illustrate the proposed decision making method, and results show that the ITI-TOPSIS proposed in this paper can solve the problem of HCW treatment technology selection effectively. Full article
Open AccessArticle Hand- and Object-Mouthing of Rural Bangladeshi Children 3–18 Months Old
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 563; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060563
Received: 1 February 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 4 June 2016
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Abstract
Children are exposed to environmental contaminants by placing contaminated hands or objects in their mouths. We quantified hand- and object-mouthing frequencies of Bangladeshi children and determined if they differ from those of U.S. children to evaluate the appropriateness of applying U.S. exposure models
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Children are exposed to environmental contaminants by placing contaminated hands or objects in their mouths. We quantified hand- and object-mouthing frequencies of Bangladeshi children and determined if they differ from those of U.S. children to evaluate the appropriateness of applying U.S. exposure models in other socio-cultural contexts. We conducted a five-hour structured observation of the mouthing behaviors of 148 rural Bangladeshi children aged 3–18 months. We modeled mouthing frequencies using 2-parameter Weibull distributions to compare the modeled medians with those of U.S. children. In Bangladesh the median frequency of hand-mouthing was 37.3 contacts/h for children 3–6 months old, 34.4 contacts/h for children 6–12 months old, and 29.7 contacts/h for children 12–18 months old. The median frequency of object-mouthing was 23.1 contacts/h for children 3–6 months old, 29.6 contacts/h for children 6–12 months old, and 15.2 contacts/h for children 12–18 months old. At all ages both hand- and object-mouthing frequencies were higher than those of U.S. children. Mouthing frequencies were not associated with child location (indoor/outdoor). Using hand- and object-mouthing exposure models from U.S. and other high-income countries might not accurately estimate children’s exposure to environmental contaminants via mouthing in low- and middle-income countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children’s Exposure to Environmental Contaminants)
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Open AccessArticle Nutrient Intakes in Early Life and Risk of Obesity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 564; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060564
Received: 11 March 2016 / Revised: 20 May 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 6 June 2016
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Abstract
There is increasing evidence that environmental factors in early life predict later health. The early adiposity rebound recorded in most obese subjects suggests that factors promoting body fat development have operated in the first years of life. Birth weight, growth velocity and body
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There is increasing evidence that environmental factors in early life predict later health. The early adiposity rebound recorded in most obese subjects suggests that factors promoting body fat development have operated in the first years of life. Birth weight, growth velocity and body mass index (BMI) trajectories seem to be highly sensitive to the environmental conditions present during pregnancy and in early life (“The first 1000 days”). Particularly, nutritional exposure can have a long-term effect on health in adulthood. The high protein-low fat diet often recorded in young children may have contributed to the rapid rise of childhood obesity prevalence during the last decades. Metabolic programming by early nutrition could explain the development of later obesity and adult diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Prevent Obesity in the First 1000 Days)
Open AccessArticle Childhood Health Status and Adulthood Cardiovascular Disease Morbidity in Rural China: Are They Related?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 565; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060565
Received: 27 March 2016 / Revised: 14 May 2016 / Accepted: 2 June 2016 / Published: 6 June 2016
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Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are among the top health problems of the Chinese population. Although mounting evidence suggests that early childhood health status has an enduring effect on late life chronic morbidity, no study so far has analyzed the issue in China. Using nationally
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Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are among the top health problems of the Chinese population. Although mounting evidence suggests that early childhood health status has an enduring effect on late life chronic morbidity, no study so far has analyzed the issue in China. Using nationally representative data from the 2013 China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), a Probit model and Two-Stage Residual Inclusion estimation estimator were applied to analyze the relationship between childhood health status and adulthood cardiovascular disease in rural China. Good childhood health was associated with reduced risk of adult CVDs. Given the long-term effects of childhood health on adulthood health later on, health policy and programs to improve the health status and well-being of Chinese populations over the entire life cycle, especially in persons’ early life, are expected to be effective and successful. Full article
Open AccessArticle Students’ Perceived Heat-Health Symptoms Increased with Warmer Classroom Temperatures
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 566; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060566
Received: 14 April 2016 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 7 June 2016
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Abstract
Temperatures in Africa are expected to increase by the end of the century. Heat-related health impacts and perceived health symptoms are potentially a problem, especially in public schools with limited resources. Students (n = 252) aged ~14–18 years from eight high schools
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Temperatures in Africa are expected to increase by the end of the century. Heat-related health impacts and perceived health symptoms are potentially a problem, especially in public schools with limited resources. Students (n = 252) aged ~14–18 years from eight high schools completed an hourly heat-health symptom log over 5 days. Data loggers measured indoor classroom temperatures. A high proportion of students felt tired (97.2%), had low concentration (96.8%) and felt sleepy (94.1%) during at least one hour on any day. There were statistically significant correlations, when controlling for school cluster effect and time of day, between indoor temperatures ≥32 °C and students who felt tired and found it hard to breathe. Consistently higher indoor classroom temperatures were observed in classrooms constructed of prefabricated asbestos sheeting with corrugated iron roof and converted shipping container compared to brick classrooms. Longitudinal studies in multiple seasons and different classroom building types are needed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Individual Characteristics Influencing Physicians’ Perceptions of Job Demands and Control: The Role of Affectivity, Work Engagement and Workaholism
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 567; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060567
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 6 June 2016
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Abstract
The first purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of individual characteristics, i.e., positive and negative affectivity, in explaining the different perception of job control and job demands in a particularly demanding environment such as the healthcare setting. In
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The first purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of individual characteristics, i.e., positive and negative affectivity, in explaining the different perception of job control and job demands in a particularly demanding environment such as the healthcare setting. In addition, we aimed to explore the mediational role of work engagement and workaholism using the Job Demands-Resources Model as a theoretical framework. Data were collected using a sample of 269 Italian head physicians working in nine general hospitals. To test our hypotheses, the collected data were analyzed with structural equation modeling. Moreover, Sobel Test and bootstrapping were employed to assess the mediating hypotheses. Our results indicated that positive affectivity is related to work engagement, which, in its turn, showed a positive association with job control. In addition, workaholism mediated the relationship between negative affectivity and job demands. All in all, this study represents a first attempt to explore the role of trait affectivity as a dispositional characteristic able to foster the level of work engagement and workaholism exhibited by employees and, in turn, to increase the perceived levels of job control and job demands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Stress, Human Health and Wellbeing)
Open AccessArticle Viral Suppression and Resistance in a Cohort of Perinatally-HIV Infected (PHIV+) Pregnant Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 568; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060568
Received: 19 April 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 7 June 2016
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Abstract
Our objective was to describe viral suppression and antiretroviral (ARV) resistance mutations in an ongoing cohort of perinatally-infected HIV+ (PHIV+) pregnant women. Descriptive analysis was performed using SPSS 18.0. From 2011 to 2014, we followed 22 PHIV+ pregnant women. Median age at prenatal
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Our objective was to describe viral suppression and antiretroviral (ARV) resistance mutations in an ongoing cohort of perinatally-infected HIV+ (PHIV+) pregnant women. Descriptive analysis was performed using SPSS 18.0. From 2011 to 2014, we followed 22 PHIV+ pregnant women. Median age at prenatal entry was 19 years (Interquartile range (IQR) 17.6–21.0); 86% had an AIDS diagnosis; 81% had disclosed their HIV status to partner 11. The median age at HIV diagnosis was 8.3 y (IQR 4.0–13.6), the median age at sexual debut was 16 years (IQR 14–18). At the time of prenatal care initiation, four (18%) were on their first antiretroviral treatment (ART), eight (36%) in their second regimen and nine (41%) in their third regimen or beyond, and one had no data. Seventeen of 22 (77%) had HIV-viral load (VL) > 50 copies/mL at prenatal care entry, 16 had a genotyping exam performed. Seventeen of 22 PHIV+ had VL results near delivery: 7/17 (41%) had VL < 50 copies/mL. Among those who had genotyping at prenatal entry, 11/16 (69%) had mutations associated with ARV resistance. The most frequent major mutations were K103N, M184V, T215, M41L, D67N at reverse transcriptase gene and M46, I54V and V82A at protease gene. No vertical transmissions occurred. Management of pregnancy among PHIV+ is challenging. Individualized ART are needed to achieve viral suppression in a highly ART-exposed subpopulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric Infectious Diseases)
Open AccessArticle Interactions between Neighborhood Social Environment and Walkability to Explain Belgian Older Adults’ Physical Activity and Sedentary Time
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 569; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060569
Received: 10 February 2016 / Revised: 20 May 2016 / Accepted: 2 June 2016 / Published: 7 June 2016
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Abstract
This study examined associations between neighborhood social factors and physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) in older adults. Furthermore, possible moderating effects of neighborhood walkability were explored. Data from 431 community-dwelling Belgian older adults (≥65 years) were analyzed. Neighborhood social factors included
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This study examined associations between neighborhood social factors and physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) in older adults. Furthermore, possible moderating effects of neighborhood walkability were explored. Data from 431 community-dwelling Belgian older adults (≥65 years) were analyzed. Neighborhood social factors included measures of neighboring, social trust and cohesion and social diversity. Neighborhood walkability was measured objectively. Outcome measures were self-reported weekly minutes of domain-specific walking and TV viewing, and accelerometer-assessed weekly minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and overall SB. A higher frequency of talking to neighbors was associated with higher levels of self-reported walking for transport and for recreation. Moderation analyses showed that only in highly-walkable neighborhoods, higher social diversity of the neighborhood environment was associated with more transport walking; and talking to neighbors and social interactions among neighbors were negatively associated with overall SB and television viewing, respectively. Findings suggest that a combination of a favorable neighborhood social and physical environment are important to promote older adults’ PA and limit SB. Full article
Open AccessArticle Modelling of Radiological Health Risks from Gold Mine Tailings in Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment Area, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 570; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060570
Received: 7 April 2016 / Revised: 27 May 2016 / Accepted: 3 June 2016 / Published: 7 June 2016
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Abstract
Mining is one of the major causes of elevation of naturally-occurring radionuclide material (NORM) concentrations on the Earth’s surface. The aim of this study was to evaluate the human risk associated with exposure to NORMs in soils from mine tailings around a gold
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Mining is one of the major causes of elevation of naturally-occurring radionuclide material (NORM) concentrations on the Earth’s surface. The aim of this study was to evaluate the human risk associated with exposure to NORMs in soils from mine tailings around a gold mine. A broad-energy germanium detector was used to measure activity concentrations of these NORMs in 66 soil samples (56 from five mine tailings and 10 from the control area). The RESidual RADioactivity (RESRAD) OFFSITE modeling program (version 3.1) was then used to estimate the radiation doses and the cancer morbidity risk of uranium-238 (238U), thorium-232 (232Th), and potassium-40 (40K) for a hypothetical resident scenario. According to RESRAD prediction, the maximum total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) during 100 years was found to be 0.0315 mSv/year at year 30, while the maximum total excess cancer morbidity risk for all the pathways was 3.04 × 10−5 at year 15. The US Environmental Protection Agency considers acceptable for regulatory purposes a cancer risk in the range of 10−6 to 10−4. Therefore, results obtained from RESRAD OFFSITE code has shown that the health risk from gold mine tailings is within acceptable levels according to international standards. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Community Readiness to Reduce Childhood Diarrheal Disease and Improve Food Security in Dioro, Mali
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 571; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060571
Received: 5 April 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 2 June 2016 / Published: 8 June 2016
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Abstract
Diarrhea and malnutrition represent leading causes of death for children in Mali. Understanding a community’s needs and ideas are critical to ensure the success of prevention and treatment interventions for diarrheal disease, as well as to improve food security to help reduce malnutrition.
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Diarrhea and malnutrition represent leading causes of death for children in Mali. Understanding a community’s needs and ideas are critical to ensure the success of prevention and treatment interventions for diarrheal disease, as well as to improve food security to help reduce malnutrition. The objective of this study was to incorporate the Community Readiness Model (CRM) for the issues of childhood diarrheal disease and food security in Mali to measure baseline community readiness prior to any program implementation. Thirteen key respondents residing in Dioro, Mali were selected based on varied social roles and demographics and completed two questionnaires on these public health issues. The overall readiness score to reduce childhood diarrheal disease was 5.75 ± 1.0 standard deviation (preparation stage). The overall readiness score to improve food security was 5.5 ± 0.5 standard deviation (preparation stage). The preparation stage indicates that at least some of the community have basic knowledge regarding these issues, and want to act locally to reduce childhood diarrhea and improve food security and nutrition. Proposed activities to increase community readiness on these issues are provided and are broad enough to allow opportunities to implement community- and culturally-specific activities by the Dioro community. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Diet of Preschool Children in the Mediterranean Countries of the European Union: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 572; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060572
Received: 28 March 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 8 June 2016
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Abstract
This systematic review discusses data on the dietary intake of preschool children living in the Mediterranean countries of the European Union, including the comparison with a Mediterranean-like diet and the association with nutritional status. Specifically, data from the multinational European Identification and Prevention
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This systematic review discusses data on the dietary intake of preschool children living in the Mediterranean countries of the European Union, including the comparison with a Mediterranean-like diet and the association with nutritional status. Specifically, data from the multinational European Identification and Prevention on Dietary and life style induced health effects in children and infants (IDEFICS) study and national studies, such as the Estudo do Padrão Alimentar e de Crescimento Infantil (EPACI) study and Geração XXI cohort in Portugal, ALimentando la SAlud del MAñana (ALSALMA) study in Spain, Étude des Déterminants pré-et postnatals précoces du développement et de la santé de l’ENfant (EDEN) cohort in France, Nutrintake 636 study in Italy, and Growth, Exercise and Nutrition Epidemiological Study in preSchoolers (GENESIS) cohort in Greece, were analyzed. In the majority of countries, young children consumed fruit and vegetables quite frequently, but also consumed sugared beverages and snacks. High energy and high protein intakes mainly from dairy products were found in the majority of countries. The majority of children also consumed excessive sodium intake. Early high prevalence of overweight and obesity was found, and both early consumption of energy-dense foods and overweight seemed to track across toddler and preschool ages. Most children living in the analyzed countries showed low adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet, which in turn was associated with being overweight/obese. Unhealthier diets were associated with lower maternal educational level and parental unemployment. Programs promoting adherence of young children to the traditional Mediterranean diet should be part of a multi-intervention strategy for the prevention and treatment of pediatric overweight and obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Prevent Obesity in the First 1000 Days)
Open AccessArticle Association between IGF2BP2 Polymorphisms and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Case–Control Study and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 574; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060574
Received: 20 February 2016 / Revised: 26 May 2016 / Accepted: 1 June 2016 / Published: 9 June 2016
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Abstract
Background: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) found that IGF2BP2 rs4402960 and rs1470579 polymorphisms were associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) risk. Many studies have replicated this association, but yielded inconsistent results. Materials and Methods: A case-control study consisting of 461 T2DM patients and
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Background: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) found that IGF2BP2 rs4402960 and rs1470579 polymorphisms were associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) risk. Many studies have replicated this association, but yielded inconsistent results. Materials and Methods: A case-control study consisting of 461 T2DM patients and 434 health controls was conducted to detect the genetic susceptibility of IGF2BP2 in a northern Han Chinese population. A meta-analysis was to evaluate the association more precisely in Asians. Results: In the case-control study, the carriers of TT genotype at rs4402960 had a higher T2DM risk than the G carriers (TG + GG) (adjusted odd ratio (AOR) = 1.962, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 1.065–3.612, p = 0.031]; CC carriers at rs1470579 were more susceptible to T2DM than A carriers (CA + AA) (AOR = 2.014, 95% CI = 1.114–3.642, p = 0.021). The meta-analysis containing 36 studies demonstrated that the two polymorphisms were associated with T2DM under the allele comparison, genetic models of dominant and recessive in Asians (p < 0.05). The rs4402960 polymorphisms were significantly associated with the T2DM risk after stratification by diagnostic criterion, size of sample and average age and BMI of cases, while there’re no consistent results for rs1470579. Conclusions: Our data suggests that IGF2BP2 polymorphisms are associated with T2DM in Asian populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Health Care and Diabetes)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Nano-Al2O3 on the Toxicity and Oxidative Stress of Copper towards Scenedesmus obliquus
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 575; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060575
Received: 23 March 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 9 June 2016
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Abstract
Nano-Al2O3 has been widely used in various industries; unfortunately, it can be released into the aquatic environment. Although nano-Al2O3 is believed to be of low toxicity, it can interact with other pollutants in water, such as heavy
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Nano-Al2O3 has been widely used in various industries; unfortunately, it can be released into the aquatic environment. Although nano-Al2O3 is believed to be of low toxicity, it can interact with other pollutants in water, such as heavy metals. However, the interactions between nano-Al2O3 and heavy metals as well as the effect of nano-Al2O3 on the toxicity of the metals have been rarely investigated. The current study investigated copper toxicity in the presence of nano-Al2O3 towards Scenedesmus obliquus. Superoxide dismutase activity and concentration of glutathione and malondialdehyde in cells were determined in order to quantify oxidative stress in this study. Results showed that the presence of nano-Al2O3 reduced the toxicity of Cu towards S. obliquus. The existence of nano-Al2O3 decreased the growth inhibition of S. obliquus. The accumulation of copper and the level of oxidative stress in algae were reduced in the presence of nano-Al2O3. Furthermore, lower copper accumulation was the main factor that mitigated copper toxicity with the addition of nano-Al2O3. The decreased copper uptake could be attributed to the adsorption of copper onto nanoparticles and the subsequent decrease of available copper in water. Full article
Open AccessArticle Use of a Sampling Area-Adjusted Adenosine Triphosphate Bioluminescence Assay Based on Digital Image Quantification to Assess the Cleanliness of Hospital Surfaces
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 576; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060576
Received: 22 April 2016 / Revised: 24 May 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 9 June 2016
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Abstract
Contaminated surfaces play an important role in the transmission of pathogens. We sought to establish a criterion that could indicate “cleanliness” using a sampling area–adjusted adenosine triphosphate (ATP) assay. In the first phase of the study, target surfaces were selected for swab sampling
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Contaminated surfaces play an important role in the transmission of pathogens. We sought to establish a criterion that could indicate “cleanliness” using a sampling area–adjusted adenosine triphosphate (ATP) assay. In the first phase of the study, target surfaces were selected for swab sampling before and after daily cleaning; then, an aerobic colony count (ACC) plate assay of bacteria and antibiotic-resistant bacteria was conducted. ATP swabs were also tested, and the ATP readings were reported as relative light units (RLUs). The results of the ACC and ATP assays were adjusted according to the sampling area. During the second phase of the study, a new cleaning process employing sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC) was implemented for comparison. Using the criterion of 2.5 colony-forming units (CFU)/cm2, 45% of the sampled sites were successfully cleaned during phase one of the study. During phase two, the pass rates of the surface samples (64%) were significantly improved, except under stringent (5 RLU/cm2) and lax (500 RLU) ATP criteria. Using receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis, the best cut-off point for an area-adjusted ATP level was 7.34 RLU/cm2, which corresponded to culture-assay levels of <2.5 CFU/cm2. An area adjustment of the ATP assay improved the degree of correlation with the ACC-assay results from weak to moderate. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effects of Cerium and Titanium Oxide Nanoparticles in Soil on the Nutrient Composition of Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Kernels
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 577; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060577
Received: 1 April 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 6 June 2016 / Published: 9 June 2016
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Abstract
The implications of metal nanoparticles (MeNPs) are still unknown for many food crops. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of cerium oxide (nCeO2) and titanium oxide (nTiO2) nanoparticles in soil at
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The implications of metal nanoparticles (MeNPs) are still unknown for many food crops. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of cerium oxide (nCeO2) and titanium oxide (nTiO2) nanoparticles in soil at 0, 500 and 1000 mg·kg−1 on the nutritional parameters of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) kernels. Mineral nutrients, amylose, β-glucans, amino acid and crude protein (CP) concentrations were measured in kernels. Whole flour samples were analyzed by ICP-AES/MS, HPLC and Elemental CHNS Analyzer. Results showed that Ce and Ti accumulation under MeNPs treatments did not differ from the control treatment. However, nCeO2 and nTiO2 had an impact on composition and nutritional quality of barley kernels in contrasting ways. Both MeNPs left β-glucans unaffected but reduced amylose content by approximately 21%. Most amino acids and CP increased. Among amino acids, lysine followed by proline saw the largest increase (51% and 37%, respectively). Potassium and S were both negatively impacted by MeNPs, while B was only affected by 500 mg nCeO2·kg−1. On the contrary Zn and Mn concentrations were improved by 500 mg nTiO2·kg−1, and Ca by both nTiO2 treatments. Generally, our findings demonstrated that kernels are negatively affected by nCeO2 while nTiO2 can potentially have beneficial effects. However, both MeNPs have the potential to negatively impact malt and feed production. Full article
Open AccessCommunication A Preliminary Assessment of the Role of Ambient Nitric Oxide Exposure in Hospitalization with Respiratory Syncytial Virus Bronchiolitis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 578; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060578
Received: 23 February 2016 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 9 June 2016
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Abstract
Some in vitro studies have indicated a possible link between respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection and exposure to Nitric Oxide (NO). However, these studies used much higher NO concentrations than normally found in the ambient environment. This preliminary study explored whether an association
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Some in vitro studies have indicated a possible link between respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection and exposure to Nitric Oxide (NO). However, these studies used much higher NO concentrations than normally found in the ambient environment. This preliminary study explored whether an association was present with short-term exposure to NO in the environment. RSV-related admission data between November 2011 and February 2012 were obtained from Sheffield Children’s Hospital. The dates of admission were linked to contemporaneous ambient NO derived from sentinel air monitors. The case-crossover design was used to study the relationship between daily RSV admissions and NO, controlling for temperature and relative humidity. We found little evidence of association between daily RSV admission rates and exposure to ambient NO at different lags or average exposure across several lags. The findings should, however, be viewed with caution due to the low number of events observed during the time frame. It is possible that the apparent lack of association may be accounted for by the timing of the seasonal RSV epidemic in relation to peaks in NO concentrations. A larger study incorporating a wider range of RSV and NO peaks would determine whether said peaks enhanced the number of RSV hospitalizations in children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children’s Exposure to Environmental Contaminants)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Seasonal Variations in Airborne Particulate Matter on Asthma-Related Airway Inflammation in Mice
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 579; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060579
Received: 18 April 2016 / Revised: 27 May 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 9 June 2016
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Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effects of winter and spring particulate matter (PM) on airway inflammation and allergies in a mouse asthma model. PM was collected during 7–28 February 2013 (winter) and during 7–28 April 2013 (spring) in Yonago, Japan. NC/Nga mice
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This study aimed to investigate the effects of winter and spring particulate matter (PM) on airway inflammation and allergies in a mouse asthma model. PM was collected during 7–28 February 2013 (winter) and during 7–28 April 2013 (spring) in Yonago, Japan. NC/Nga mice were co-sensitized using intranasal instillation of the PMs and Dermatophagoides farinae (Df) for 5 consecutive days, and were subsequently challenged using intranasal Df at 7 days after the last sensitization. At 24 h after the challenge, serum immunoglobulin levels, differential leukocyte counts, and inflammatory cytokines levels were measured in the mice’s bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Compared to co-sensitization using spring PM and Df, winter PM and Df induced greater increases in the BALF neutrophil and eosinophil counts and total serum IgE and IgG2a levels. Furthermore, winter PM-sensitized mice exhibited higher BALF levels of interleukin-5, interleukin-13, interleukin-6, and keratinocyte-derived chemokine. Therefore, we observed seasonal variations in the effects of PM on asthma-related airway inflammation. These findings suggest that the compositions of PM vary according to season, and that it is important to evaluate PM compositions in order to understand the associations between asthma and PM. Full article
Open AccessArticle Survival and Risk Comparison of Campylobacter jejuni on Various Processed Meat Products
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 580; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060580
Received: 26 April 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 9 June 2016
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Abstract
The objective of this study was to investigate survival kinetics of Campylobacter jejuni on various processed meat products (dry-cured ham, round ham with/without sodium nitrite, garlic seasoned ham with/without sodium nitrite, and sausage without sodium nitrite). Additionally, a semi-quantitative risk assessment of C.
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The objective of this study was to investigate survival kinetics of Campylobacter jejuni on various processed meat products (dry-cured ham, round ham with/without sodium nitrite, garlic seasoned ham with/without sodium nitrite, and sausage without sodium nitrite). Additionally, a semi-quantitative risk assessment of C. jejuni on various processed meat products was conducted using FDA-iRISK 1.0. Inoculated processed meat products with 6.0 ± 0.5 log CFU/g of C. jejuni were vacuum packed and stored at 4, 10, 17, 24, 30, and 36 °C. Survival curves were fitted to the Weibull model to obtain the delta values of C. jejuni on various processed meat products. The most rapid death of C. jejuni was observed on dry-cured ham, followed by sausage without sodium nitrite. The results of semi-quantitative risk assessment indicate that dry-cured ham represented the lowest risk among all samples. C. jejuni on processed meats presented a greater risk at 4 °C than at 10 °C. The risk of ham was greater than the risk of sausage, regardless of type. Among all samples, the highest risk of C. jejuni was observed in round ham without sodium nitrite. Overall, our data indicates that risk of processed meat products due to C. jejuni is relatively low. Full article
Open AccessArticle Residential Proximity to Major Roadways Is Not Associated with Cardiac Function in African Americans: Results from the Jackson Heart Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 581; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060581
Received: 25 March 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 6 June 2016 / Published: 13 June 2016
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Abstract
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart failure, is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly among African Americans. Exposure to ambient air pollution, such as that produced by vehicular traffic, is believed to be associated with heart failure, possibly by impairing cardiac function.
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Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart failure, is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly among African Americans. Exposure to ambient air pollution, such as that produced by vehicular traffic, is believed to be associated with heart failure, possibly by impairing cardiac function. We evaluated the cross-sectional association between residential proximity to major roads, a marker of long-term exposure to traffic-related pollution, and echocardiographic indicators of left and pulmonary vascular function in African Americans enrolled in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS): left ventricular ejection fraction, E-wave velocity, isovolumic relaxation time, left atrial diameter index, and pulmonary artery systolic pressure. We examined these associations using multivariable linear or logistic regression, adjusting for potential confounders. Of 4866 participants at study enrollment, 106 lived <150 m, 159 lived 150–299 m, 1161 lived 300–999 m, and 3440 lived ≥1000 m from a major roadway. We did not observe any associations between residential distance to major roads and these markers of cardiac function. Results were similar with additional adjustment for diabetes and hypertension, when considering varying definitions of major roadways, or when limiting analyses to those free from cardiovascular disease at baseline. Overall, we observed little evidence that residential proximity to major roads was associated with cardiac function among African Americans. Full article
Open AccessArticle Serum Concentrations of Selected Heavy Metals in Patients with Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis from the Lublin Region in Eastern Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 582; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060582
Received: 12 March 2016 / Revised: 9 May 2016 / Accepted: 25 May 2016 / Published: 13 June 2016
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Abstract
According to the WHO report, alcohol is the third most significant health risk factor for the global population. There are contrary reports about heavy metals concentrations in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis. The aim of this study was to investigate serum concentrations of
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According to the WHO report, alcohol is the third most significant health risk factor for the global population. There are contrary reports about heavy metals concentrations in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis. The aim of this study was to investigate serum concentrations of selected heavy metals in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis living in the eastern part of Poland according to cirrhosis stage. The participants came from various hospitals of the Lublin region were enrolled. The study group included 46 male and 16 female patients. The control group consisted of 18 healthy individuals without liver disease. High Performance Ion Chromatography was used to determine the concentrations of metal ions (Cd, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Mn, and Pb) in serum samples. The concentrations of copper, zinc, nickel, and cobalt were found to be significantly lower in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis compared to the control group. The serum concentration of cadmium was significantly higher in patients with advanced alcoholic liver cirrhosis compared to the control group. We hypothesize that disorders of metabolism of heavy metals seem to be the outcome of impaired digestion and absorption, which are common in cirrhosis, improper diet, environmental and occupational exposure. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Bibliometric Analysis of PubMed Literature on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 583; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060583
Received: 15 May 2016 / Revised: 5 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 13 June 2016
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Abstract
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a pandemic threat to human beings, has aroused huge concern worldwide, but no bibliometric studies have been conducted on MERS research. The aim of this study was to map research productivity on the disease based on the articles
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Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a pandemic threat to human beings, has aroused huge concern worldwide, but no bibliometric studies have been conducted on MERS research. The aim of this study was to map research productivity on the disease based on the articles indexed in PubMed. The articles related to MERS dated from 2012 to 2015 were retrieved from PubMed. The articles were classified into three categories according to their focus. Publication outputs were assessed and frequently used terms were mapped using the VOS viewer software. A total of 443 articles were included for analysis. They were published in 162 journals, with Journal of Virology being the most productive (44 articles; 9.9%) and by six types of organizations, with universities being the most productive (276 articles; 62.4%).The largest proportion of the articles focused on basic medical sciences and clinical studies (47.2%) and those on prevention and control ranked third (26.2%), with those on other focuses coming in between (26.6%). The articles on prevention and control had the highest mean rank for impact factor (IF) (226.34), followed by those on basic medical sciences and clinical studies (180.23) and those on other focuses (168.03). The mean rank differences were statistically significant (p = 0.000). Besides, “conronavirus”, “case”, “transmission” and “detection” were found to be the most frequently used terms. The findings of this first bibliometric study on MERS suggest that the prevention and control of the disease has become a big concern and related research should be strengthened. Full article
Open AccessArticle Diet before and during Pregnancy and Offspring Health: The Importance of Animal Models and What Can Be Learned from Them
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 586; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060586
Received: 11 March 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
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Abstract
This review article outlines epidemiologic studies that support the hypothesis that maternal environment (including early nutrition) plays a seminal role in determining the offspring’s long-term health and metabolism, known as the concept of Developmental Origins of Health and Diseases (DOHaD). In this context,
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This review article outlines epidemiologic studies that support the hypothesis that maternal environment (including early nutrition) plays a seminal role in determining the offspring’s long-term health and metabolism, known as the concept of Developmental Origins of Health and Diseases (DOHaD). In this context, current concerns are particularly focused on the increased incidence of obesity and diabetes, particularly in youth and women of child-bearing age. We summarize key similarities, differences and limitations of various animal models used to study fetal programming, with a particular focus on placentation, which is critical for translating animal findings to humans. This review will assist researchers and their scientific audience in recognizing the pros and cons of various rodent and non-rodent animal models used to understand mechanisms involved in fetal programming. Knowledge gained will lead to improved translation of proposed interventional therapies before they can be implemented in humans. Although rodents are essential for fundamental exploration of biological processes, other species such as rabbits and other domestic animals offer more tissue-specific physiological (rabbit placenta) or physical (ovine maternal and lamb birth weight) resemblances to humans. We highlight the important maternal, placental, and fetal/neonatal characteristics that contribute to developmentally programmed diseases, specifically in offspring that were affected in utero by undernutrition, overnutrition or maternal diabetes. Selected interventions aimed at prevention are summarized with a specific focus on the 1000 days initiative in humans, and maternal exercise or modification of the n-3/n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) balance in the diet, which are currently being successfully tested in animal models to correct or reduce adverse prenatal programming. Animal models are essential to understand mechanisms involved in fetal programming and in order to propose interventional therapies before they can be implemented in humans. Non-rodent animals are particularly important and should not be neglected, as they are often more physiologically-appropriate models to mimic the human situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Prevent Obesity in the First 1000 Days)
Open AccessArticle Antibiotics in Wastewater of a Rural and an Urban Hospital before and after Wastewater Treatment, and the Relationship with Antibiotic Use—A One Year Study from Vietnam
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 588; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060588
Received: 16 April 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
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Abstract
Hospital effluents represent an important source for the release of antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria into the environment. This study aims to determine concentrations of various antibiotics in wastewater before and after wastewater treatment in a rural hospital (60 km from the center
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Hospital effluents represent an important source for the release of antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria into the environment. This study aims to determine concentrations of various antibiotics in wastewater before and after wastewater treatment in a rural hospital (60 km from the center of Hanoi) and in an urban hospital (in the center of Hanoi) in Vietnam, and it aims to explore the relationship between antibiotic concentrations in wastewater before wastewater treatment and quantities of antibiotics used in the rural hospital, over a period of one year in 2013. Water samples were collected using continuous sampling for 24 h in the last week of every month. The data on quantities of antibiotics delivered to all inpatient wards were collected from the Pharmacy department in the rural hospital. Solid-phase extraction and high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry were used for chemical analysis. Significant concentrations of antibiotics were present in the wastewater both before and after wastewater treatment of both the rural and the urban hospital. Ciprofloxacin was detected at the highest concentrations in the rural hospital’s wastewater (before treatment: mean = 42.8 µg/L; after treatment: mean = 21.5 µg/L). Metronidazole was detected at the highest concentrations in the urban hospital’s wastewater (before treatment: mean = 36.5 µg/L; after treatment: mean = 14.8 µg/L). A significant correlation between antibiotic concentrations in wastewater before treatment and quantities of antibiotics used in the rural hospital was found for ciprofloxacin (r = 0.78; p = 0.01) and metronidazole (r = 0.99; p < 0.001). Full article
Open AccessArticle BMI, Waist Circumference Reference Values for Chinese School-Aged Children and Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 589; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060589
Received: 16 March 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 2 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
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Abstract
Background: Childhood obesity has become one of the most serious public health challenges in the 21st century in most developing countries. The percentile curve tool is useful for monitoring and screening obesity at population level, however, in China, no official recommendations on
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Background: Childhood obesity has become one of the most serious public health challenges in the 21st century in most developing countries. The percentile curve tool is useful for monitoring and screening obesity at population level, however, in China, no official recommendations on childhood body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) reference percentiles have been made in practice. Aims: to construct the percentile reference values for BMI and WC, and then to calculate the prevalence of overall and abdominal obesity for Chinese children and adolescents. Methods: A total of 5062 anthropometric records for children and adolescents aged from 7 to 18 years (2679 boys and 2383 girls) were included for analysis. The participants were recruited as part of the national representative “China Health and Nutrition Survey” (CHNS). Age, gender, weight, height, and WC were assessed. Smoothed BMI and WC percentile curves and values for the 3rd, 5th, 10th, 15th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 85th, 90th, 95th and 97th percentiles were constructed by using the Lambda-Mu-Sigma (LMS) method. The prevalence estimates of the overall and abdominal obesity were calculated by using the cut-offs from our CHNS study and the previous “Chinese National Survey on Students’ Constitution and Health” (CNSSCH) study, respectively. The difference between prevalence estimates was tested by a McNemar test, and the agreement between these prevalence estimates was calculated by using the Cohen’s kappa coefficient. Results: The prevalence values of overall obesity based on the cut-offs from CHNS and CNSSCH studies were at an almost perfect agreement level in boys (κ = 0.93). However, among girls, the overall obesity prevalence differed between the studies (p < 0.001) and the agreement was weaker (κ = 0.76). The abdominal obesity prevalence estimates were significant different according to the two systems both in boys and girls, although the agreement reached to 0.88, which represented an almost perfect agreement level. Conclusions: This study provided new BMI and WC percentile curves and reference values for Chinese children and adolescents aged 7–18 years, which can be adopted in future researches. Large longitudinal study is still needed to reveal the childhood growth pattern and validate the inconsistence between different percentile studies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Simultaneous Training for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Parents with a Focus on Social Skills Enhancement
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 590; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060590
Received: 8 February 2016 / Revised: 27 May 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
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Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of simultaneous training for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their parents, with a focus on social skills enhancement (STSSE) by evaluating behavioral changes in children with ASD and changes in family
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of simultaneous training for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their parents, with a focus on social skills enhancement (STSSE) by evaluating behavioral changes in children with ASD and changes in family functioning. STSSE was conducted on 17 children of elementary school age with ASD and their parents. Changes in scores on the social skills scale for education (SS-scale), the child behavior checklist, the Feetham Family Functioning Survey (FFFS), and the confidence degree questionnaire for families (CDQ) were used to assess the effectiveness of STSSE. Improvements were seen for “Communication Skills” on the children’s SS-scale (p = 0.029). Significant improvements were seen in the mothers’ FFFS scores for “The 4th factor: illness and worries” (p = 0.016) and in the median CDQ scores for one of 18 items after STSSE (p = 0.01). Although additional studies with larger sample sizes will be necessary before these findings are generalizable, the positive changes seen in both parents and children as a result of STSSE are promising. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Healthcare and Autism)
Open AccessArticle Environmental Equity through Negotiation: A Case Study on Urban Landfills and the Roma Community
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 591; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060591
Received: 20 March 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
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Abstract
The paper discusses the necessity to bring environmental equity within the Pata Rât Roma community in Northwest Romania, relying on the answers to three questions: “Does environmental equity exist in Pata Rât?”, “How can it be attained?”, and “To what extent can it
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The paper discusses the necessity to bring environmental equity within the Pata Rât Roma community in Northwest Romania, relying on the answers to three questions: “Does environmental equity exist in Pata Rât?”, “How can it be attained?”, and “To what extent can it be brought to the targeted people?” It was shown how a trio of factors tailors the destiny of Roma inhabitants: being a minority, their ethnicity, and the fact they are living on and off what society rejects and dumps—a landfill. The framing of the environmental equity concerns within a vision considering negotiation as the most adequate means to attain it is a novel approach. Further on, the results of the study can fuel win-win solutions in environmental equity. The information abstracted from a set of indicators, assessed through an evaluation matrix, represents a beneficial platform for future bottom-up decisions concerning landfill residents. Three action options were analyzed: on-site living opportunities—that resulted to be preferred, off-site living opportunities, and “Do nothing”. The analysis provides qualitative evidence that the evaluation of environmental equity is largely subjective, because of its complexity and specificity related to geographical, historical, cultural characteristics, and political interests. Full article
Open AccessArticle Smoking and Looked-After Children: A Mixed-Methods Study of Policy, Practice, and Perceptions Relating to Tobacco Use in Residential Units
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 593; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060593
Received: 6 April 2016 / Revised: 6 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
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Abstract
Despite the implementation of smoke-free policies by local authorities and a statutory requirement to promote the health and well-being of looked-after children and young people in England, rates of tobacco use by this population are substantially higher than in the general youth population.
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Despite the implementation of smoke-free policies by local authorities and a statutory requirement to promote the health and well-being of looked-after children and young people in England, rates of tobacco use by this population are substantially higher than in the general youth population. A mixed-methods study, comprising a survey of residential care officers in 15 local authority-operated residential units and semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with residential carers in three local authority-operated residential units, was conducted in the East Midlands. Survey data were descriptively analysed; and interview data were transcribed and analysed using thematic framework analysis. Forty-two care officers (18% response rate) completed the survey, and 14 participated in the interviews. Despite reporting substantial awareness of smoke-free policies, a lack of adherence and enforcement became apparent, and levels of reported training in relation to smoking and smoking cessation were low (21%). Potential problems relating to wider tobacco-related harms, such as exploitative relationships; a reliance on tacit knowledge; and pessimistic attitudes towards LAC quitting smoking, were indicated. The findings highlight the need for the development of comprehensive strategies to promote adherence to and enforcement of local smoke-free policy within residential units for looked-after children and young people, and to ensure appropriate support pathways are in place for this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control and Priority Groups)
Open AccessArticle Generation Mechanism and Prediction Model for Low Frequency Noise Induced by Energy Dissipating Submerged Jets during Flood Discharge from a High Dam
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 594; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060594
Received: 22 March 2016 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 4 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
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Abstract
As flood water is discharged from a high dam, low frequency (i.e., lower than 10 Hz) noise (LFN) associated with air pulsation is generated and propagated in the surrounding areas, causing environmental problems such as vibrations of windows and doors and
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As flood water is discharged from a high dam, low frequency (i.e., lower than 10 Hz) noise (LFN) associated with air pulsation is generated and propagated in the surrounding areas, causing environmental problems such as vibrations of windows and doors and discomfort of residents and construction workers. To study the generation mechanisms and key influencing factors of LFN induced by energy dissipation through submerged jets at a high dam, detailed prototype observations and analyses of LFN are conducted. The discharge flow field is simulated using a gas-liquid turbulent flow model, and the vorticity fluctuation characteristics are then analyzed. The mathematical model for the LFN intensity is developed based on vortex sound theory and a turbulent flow model, verified by prototype observations. The model results reveal that the vorticity fluctuation in strong shear layers around the high-velocity submerged jets is highly correlated with the on-site LFN, and the strong shear layers are the main regions of acoustic source for the LFN. In addition, the predicted and observed magnitudes of LFN intensity agree quite well. This is the first time that the LFN intensity has been shown to be able to be predicted quantitatively. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Combination of DGT Technique and Traditional Chemical Methods for Evaluation of Cadmium Bioavailability in Contaminated Soils with Organic Amendment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 595; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060595
Received: 21 March 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 9 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
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Abstract
Organic amendments have been proposed as a means of remediation for Cd-contaminated soils. However, understanding the inhibitory effects of organic materials on metal immobilization requires further research. In this study colza cake, a typical organic amendment material, was investigated in order to elucidate
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Organic amendments have been proposed as a means of remediation for Cd-contaminated soils. However, understanding the inhibitory effects of organic materials on metal immobilization requires further research. In this study colza cake, a typical organic amendment material, was investigated in order to elucidate the ability of this material to reduce toxicity of Cd-contaminated soil. Available concentrations of Cd in soils were measured using an in situ diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) technique in combination with traditional chemical methods, such as HOAc (aqua regia), EDTA (ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid), NaOAc (sodium acetate), CaCl2, and labile Cd in pore water. These results were applied to predict the Cd bioavailability after the addition of colza cake to Cd-contaminated soil. Two commonly grown cash crops, wheat and maize, were selected for Cd accumulation studies, and were found to be sensitive to Cd bioavailability. Results showed that the addition of colza cake may inhibit the growth of wheat and maize. Furthermore, the addition of increasing colza cake doses led to decreasing shoot and root biomass accumulation. However, increasing colza cake doses did lead to the reduction of Cd accumulation in plant tissues, as indicated by the decreasing Cd concentrations in shoots and roots. The labile concentration of Cd obtained by DGT measurements and the traditional chemical extraction methods, showed the clear decrease of Cd with the addition of increasing colza cake doses. All indicators showed significant positive correlations (p < 0.01) with the accumulation of Cd in plant tissues, however, all of the methods could not reflect plant growth status. Additionally, the capability of Cd to change from solid phase to become available in a soil solution decreased with increasing colza cake doses. This was reflected by the decreases in the ratio (R) value of CDGT to Csol. Our study suggests that the sharp decrease in R values could not only reflect the extremely low capability of labile Cd to be released from its solid phase, but may also be applied to evaluate the abnormal growth of the plants. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Volatile Organic Compounds and Carbonyl Compounds Present in the Cabins of Newly Produced, Medium- and Large-Size Coaches in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 596; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060596
Received: 1 February 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 1 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
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Abstract
An air-conditioned coach is an important form of transportation in modern motorized society; as a result, there is an increasing concern of in-vehicle air pollution. In this study, we aimed to identify and quantify the levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbonyl
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An air-conditioned coach is an important form of transportation in modern motorized society; as a result, there is an increasing concern of in-vehicle air pollution. In this study, we aimed to identify and quantify the levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbonyl compounds (CCs) in air samples collected from the cabins of newly produced, medium- and large-size coaches. Among the identified VOCs and CCs, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein/acetone, and isovaleraldehyde were relatively abundant in the cabins. Time was found to affect the emissions of the contaminants in the coaches. Except for benzaldehyde, valeraldehyde and benzene, the highest in-vehicle concentrations of VOCs and CCs were observed on the 15th day after coming off the assembly line, and the concentrations exhibited an approximately inverted U-shaped pattern as a function of time. Interestingly, this study also showed that the interior temperature of the coaches significantly affected the VOCs emissions from the interior materials, whereas the levels of CCs were mainly influenced by the relative humidity within the coaches. In China, guidelines and regulations for the in-vehicle air quality assessment of the coaches have not yet been issued. The results of this study provide further understanding of the in-vehicle air quality of air-conditioned coaches and can be used in the development of both specific and general rules regarding medium- and large-size coaches. Full article
Open AccessArticle Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria Isolated from Surface Water in Bassaseachic Falls National Park, Mexico
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 597; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060597
Received: 4 May 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 16 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2329 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Bacterial pathogens are a leading cause of waterborne disease, and may result in gastrointestinal outbreaks worldwide. Inhabitants of the Bassaseachic Falls National Park in Chihuahua, Mexico show seasonal gastroenteritis problems. This aim of this study was to detect enteropathogenic microorganisms responsible for diarrheal
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Bacterial pathogens are a leading cause of waterborne disease, and may result in gastrointestinal outbreaks worldwide. Inhabitants of the Bassaseachic Falls National Park in Chihuahua, Mexico show seasonal gastroenteritis problems. This aim of this study was to detect enteropathogenic microorganisms responsible for diarrheal outbreaks in this area. In 2013, 49 surface water samples from 13 selected sampling sites along the Basaseachi waterfall and its main rivers, were collected during the spring, summer, autumn, and winter seasons. Fecal and total coliform counts were determined using standard methods; the AutoScan-4 system was used for identification of isolates and the antibiotic resistance profile by challenging each organism using 21 antibiotics. Significant differences among seasons were detected, where autumn samples resulted in the highest total (p < 0.05) and fecal (p < 0.001) coliform counts, whereas the lowest total coliform counts were recorded in spring. Significant differences between sampling sites were observed, where samples from sites 6, 8, and 11 had the highest total coliform counts (p < 0.009), whereas samples from site 9 exhibited the lowest one. From the microbiological analysis, 33 bacterial isolates from 13 different sites and four sampling seasons were selected; 53% of isolates were resistant to at least one antibiotic, and 15% exhibited a multidrug resistance (MDB) phenotype. MDB were identified as Klebsiella oxytoca (two out of four identified isolates), Escherichia coli (2/7), and Enterobacter cloacae (1/3). In addition, some water-borne microorganisms exhibited resistance to cefazoline, cefuroxime, ampicillin, and ampicillin-sulbactam. The presence of these microorganisms near rural settlements suggests that wastewater is the contamination source, providing one possible transmission mechanism for diarrheal outbreaks. Full article
Open AccessArticle Measurement of Reduced Gingival Melanosis after Smoking Cessation: A Novel Analysis of Gingival Pigmentation Using Clinical Oral Photographs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 598; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060598
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 9 June 2016 / Published: 16 June 2016
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Abstract
Background: Due to moisture and the anatomical complexity of the oral mucosa, it is difficult to measure the extent of gingival melanosis in an optical manner. Therefore, we developed a new quantitative method using clinical oral photographs and compared the extent of gingival
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Background: Due to moisture and the anatomical complexity of the oral mucosa, it is difficult to measure the extent of gingival melanosis in an optical manner. Therefore, we developed a new quantitative method using clinical oral photographs and compared the extent of gingival melanosis before and after smoking cessation. Methods: A new analysis method, which we named the gingival melanosis record (GMR), is a quantitative analysis method using clinical oral photographs. We obtained 659 clinical photographs from 263 patients from 16 general dental offices in Japan. Standardized measuring sites were automatically spotted on the screen, and the presence of gingival melanosis was determined at the measuring sites. We assessed the validity of the GMR with the previously reported Hedin’s classification using Spearman’s rank correlation and intraclass correlation coefficients. Results: The GMR showed a significant association with Hedin’s classification (p < 0.01, correlation coefficient = 0.94). The GMR also showed excellent reproducibility of the substantial repeated agreement intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) (1,1) and ICC (2,1), p > 0.61). The longitudinal loss of gingival melanosis was confirmed by a change in the GMR among patients who successfully achieved smoking cessation for a mean of 4.5 years. Conclusion: The GMR is an effective method to assess gingival melanosis. The loss of gingival melanosis after smoking cessation can be objectively confirmed with the use of the GMR. Full article
Open AccessArticle Temporal Patterns in Bacterioplankton Community Composition in Three Reservoirs of Similar Trophic Status in Shenzhen, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 599; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060599
Received: 18 April 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 16 June 2016
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Abstract
The bacterioplankton community composition’s (BCC) spatial and temporal variation patterns in three reservoirs (Shiyan, Xikeng, and LuoTian Reservoir) of similar trophic status in Bao’an District, Shenzhen (China), were investigated using PCR amplification of the 16S rDNA gene and the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis
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The bacterioplankton community composition’s (BCC) spatial and temporal variation patterns in three reservoirs (Shiyan, Xikeng, and LuoTian Reservoir) of similar trophic status in Bao’an District, Shenzhen (China), were investigated using PCR amplification of the 16S rDNA gene and the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) techniques. Water samples were collected monthly in each reservoir during 12 consecutive months. Distinct differences were detected in band number, pattern, and density of DGGE at different sampling sites and time points. Analysis of the DGGE fingerprints showed that changes in the bacterial community structure mainly varied with seasons, and the patterns of change indicated that seasonal forces might have a more significant impact on the BCC than eutrophic status in the reservoirs, despite the similar Shannon-Weiner index among the three reservoirs. The sequences obtained from excised bands were affiliated with Cyanobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteriodetes, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, and Proteobacteria. Full article
Open AccessArticle Ecological Niche Modeling of Risk Factors for H7N9 Human Infection in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 600; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060600
Received: 3 March 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 16 June 2016
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Abstract
China was attacked by a serious influenza A (H7N9) virus in 2013. The first human infection case was confirmed in Shanghai City and soon spread across most of eastern China. Using the methods of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and ecological niche modeling (ENM),
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China was attacked by a serious influenza A (H7N9) virus in 2013. The first human infection case was confirmed in Shanghai City and soon spread across most of eastern China. Using the methods of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and ecological niche modeling (ENM), this research quantitatively analyzed the relationships between the H7N9 occurrence and the main environmental factors, including meteorological variables, human population density, bird migratory routes, wetland distribution, and live poultry farms, markets, and processing factories. Based on these relationships the probability of the presence of H7N9 was predicted. Results indicated that the distribution of live poultry processing factories, farms, and human population density were the top three most important determinants of the H7N9 human infection. The relative contributions to the model of live poultry processing factories, farms and human population density were 39.9%, 17.7% and 17.7%, respectively, while the maximum temperature of the warmest month and mean relative humidity had nearly no contribution to the model. The paper has developed an ecological niche model (ENM) that predicts the spatial distribution of H7N9 cases in China using environmental variables. The area under the curve (AUC) values of the model were greater than 0.9 (0.992 for the training samples and 0.961 for the test data). The findings indicated that most of the high risk areas were distributed in the Yangtze River Delta. These findings have important significance for the Chinese government to enhance the environmental surveillance at multiple human poultry interfaces in the high risk area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatio-temporal Frameworks for Infectious Disease Epidemiology)
Open AccessArticle Interactions of Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase C677T Polymorphism with Environmental Factors on Hypertension Susceptibility
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 601; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060601
Received: 21 March 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract
Hypertension is considered to be the result of genes, environment, and their interactions. Among them age, sex, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and being overweight/obesity are well documented environmental determinants, and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T polymorphism is nominated as a potential genetic
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Hypertension is considered to be the result of genes, environment, and their interactions. Among them age, sex, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and being overweight/obesity are well documented environmental determinants, and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T polymorphism is nominated as a potential genetic candidate. However, the synergistic effect of the MTHFR C677T polymorphism with these environmental factors on the risk of hypertension has received little attention. The aim of this study was to explore the associations of the MTHFR C677T polymorphism, environmental factors, and their interactions with hypertension predisposition in a Northern Chinese Han population. A total of 708 participants were enrolled in the study. The genotypes of the MTHFR C677T were determined by a TaqMan assay. We found that participants of an older age, being overweight/obesity, with a smoking habit, drinking habit, or carrying the 677T allele were at an increased risk of hypertension. Additionally, there existed marginally significant interactions of the polymorphism with age and overweight/obesity. However, future large, well-designed studies in Chinese and other populations, as well as mechanistic studies, are still needed to validate our findings, especially considering that the interactions observed in our study were only marginally significant. Full article
Open AccessArticle Activated Persulfate Oxidation of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) in Groundwater under Acidic Conditions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 602; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060602
Received: 5 May 2016 / Revised: 5 June 2016 / Accepted: 12 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is an emerging contaminant of concern due to its toxicity for human health and ecosystems. However, successful degradation of PFOA in aqueous solutions with a cost-effective method remains a challenge, especially for groundwater. In this study, the degradation of PFOA
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Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is an emerging contaminant of concern due to its toxicity for human health and ecosystems. However, successful degradation of PFOA in aqueous solutions with a cost-effective method remains a challenge, especially for groundwater. In this study, the degradation of PFOA using activated persulfate under mild conditions was investigated. The impact of different factors on persulfate activity, including pH, temperature (25 °C–50 °C), persulfate dosage and reaction time, was evaluated under different experimental conditions. Contrary to the traditional alkaline-activated persulfate oxidation, it was found that PFOA can be effectively degraded using activated persulfate under acidic conditions, with the degradation kinetics following the pseudo-first-order decay model. Higher temperature, higher persulfate dosage and increased reaction time generally result in higher PFOA degradation efficiency. Experimental results show that a PFOA degradation efficiency of 89.9% can be achieved by activated persulfate at pH of 2.0, with the reaction temperature of 50 °C, molar ratio of PFOA to persulfate as 1:100, and a reaction time of 100 h. The corresponding defluorination ratio under these conditions was 23.9%, indicating that not all PFOA decomposed via fluorine removal. The electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometer analysis results indicate that both SO4• and •OH contribute to the decomposition of PFOA. It is proposed that PFOA degradation occurs via a decarboxylation reaction triggered by SO4•, followed by a HF elimination process aided by •OH, which produces one-CF2-unit-shortened perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs, Cn−1F2n−1COOH). The decarboxylation and HF elimination processes would repeat and eventually lead to the complete mineralization all PFCAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Systems Engineering)
Open AccessArticle Increased Eating Frequency Is Associated with Lower Obesity Risk, But Higher Energy Intake in Adults: A Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 603; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060603
Received: 21 April 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract
Body weight is regulated by energy intake which occurs several times a day in humans. In this meta-analysis, we evaluated whether eating frequency (EF) is associated with obesity risk and energy intake in adults without any dietary restriction. Experimental and observational studies published
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Body weight is regulated by energy intake which occurs several times a day in humans. In this meta-analysis, we evaluated whether eating frequency (EF) is associated with obesity risk and energy intake in adults without any dietary restriction. Experimental and observational studies published before July 2015 were selected through English-language literature searches in several databases. These studies reported the association between EF and obesity risk (odd ratios, ORs) in adults who were not in dietary restriction. R software was used to perform statistical analyses. Ten cross-sectional studies, consisting of 65,742 participants, were included in this analysis. ORs were considered as effect size for the analysis about the effect of EF on obesity risk. Results showed that the increase of EF was associated with 0.83 time lower odds of obesity (i.e., OR = 0.83, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.70–0.99, p = 0.040). Analysis about the effect of EF on differences in participants’ energy intake revealed that increased EF was associated with higher energy intake (β = 125.36, 95% CI 21.76–228.97, p = 0.017). We conclude that increased EF may lead to lower obesity risk but higher energy intake. Clinical trials are warranted to confirm these results and to assess the clinical practice applicability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Generalized Confidence Intervals and Fiducial Intervals for Some Epidemiological Measures
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 605; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060605
Received: 14 March 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 12 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
PDF Full-text (344 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For binary outcome data from epidemiological studies, this article investigates the interval estimation of several measures of interest in the absence or presence of categorical covariates. When covariates are present, the logistic regression model as well as the log-binomial model are investigated. The
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For binary outcome data from epidemiological studies, this article investigates the interval estimation of several measures of interest in the absence or presence of categorical covariates. When covariates are present, the logistic regression model as well as the log-binomial model are investigated. The measures considered include the common odds ratio (OR) from several studies, the number needed to treat (NNT), and the prevalence ratio. For each parameter, confidence intervals are constructed using the concepts of generalized pivotal quantities and fiducial quantities. Numerical results show that the confidence intervals so obtained exhibit satisfactory performance in terms of maintaining the coverage probabilities even when the sample sizes are not large. An appealing feature of the proposed solutions is that they are not based on maximization of the likelihood, and hence are free from convergence issues associated with the numerical calculation of the maximum likelihood estimators, especially in the context of the log-binomial model. The results are illustrated with a number of examples. The overall conclusion is that the proposed methodologies based on generalized pivotal quantities and fiducial quantities provide an accurate and unified approach for the interval estimation of the various epidemiological measures in the context of binary outcome data with or without covariates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methodological Innovations and Reflections)
Open AccessArticle Evaluating Leaf and Canopy Reflectance of Stressed Rice Plants to Monitor Arsenic Contamination
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 606; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060606
Received: 18 April 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
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Abstract
Arsenic contamination is a serious problem in rice cultivated soils of many developing countries. Hence, it is critical to monitor and control arsenic uptake in rice plants to avoid adverse effects on human health. This study evaluated the feasibility of using reflectance spectroscopy
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Arsenic contamination is a serious problem in rice cultivated soils of many developing countries. Hence, it is critical to monitor and control arsenic uptake in rice plants to avoid adverse effects on human health. This study evaluated the feasibility of using reflectance spectroscopy to monitor arsenic in rice plants. Four arsenic levels were induced in hydroponically grown rice plants with application of 0, 5, 10 and 20 µmol·L−1 sodium arsenate. Reflectance spectra of upper fully expanded leaves were acquired over visible and infrared (NIR) wavelengths. Additionally, canopy reflectance for the four arsenic levels was simulated using SAIL (Scattering by Arbitrarily Inclined Leaves) model for various soil moisture conditions and leaf area indices (LAI). Further, sensitivity of various vegetative indices (VIs) to arsenic levels was assessed. Results suggest that plants accumulate high arsenic amounts causing plant stress and changes in reflectance characteristics. All leaf spectra based VIs related strongly with arsenic with coefficient of determination (r2) greater than 0.6 while at canopy scale, background reflectance and LAI confounded with spectral signals of arsenic affecting the VIs’ performance. Among studied VIs, combined index, transformed chlorophyll absorption reflectance index (TCARI)/optimized soil adjusted vegetation index (OSAVI) exhibited higher sensitivity to arsenic levels and better resistance to soil backgrounds and LAI followed by red edge based VIs (modified chlorophyll absorption reflectance index (MCARI) and TCARI) suggesting that these VIs could prove to be valuable aids for monitoring arsenic in rice fields. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Price-Minimizing Behaviors in a Cohort of Smokers before and after a Cigarette Tax Increase
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 608; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060608
Received: 11 April 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract
Cigarette tax increases result in a reduced demand for cigarettes and increased efforts by smokers to reduce their cost of smoking. Less is known about how smokers think about their expenditures for cigarettes and the possible mechanisms that underlie price-minimizing behaviors. In-depth longitudinal
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Cigarette tax increases result in a reduced demand for cigarettes and increased efforts by smokers to reduce their cost of smoking. Less is known about how smokers think about their expenditures for cigarettes and the possible mechanisms that underlie price-minimizing behaviors. In-depth longitudinal interviews were conducted with Minnesota smokers to explore the factors that influence smokers’ decisions one month prior to a $1.75 cigarette tax increase and again one and three months after the increase. A total of 42 were sampled with 35 completed interviews at all three time points, resulting in 106 interviews across all participants at all time points. A qualitative descriptive approach examined smoking and buying habits, as well as reasons behind these decisions. A hierarchy of ways to save money on cigarettes included saving the most money by changing to roll your own pipe tobacco, changing to a cheaper brand, cutting down or quitting, changing to cigarillos, and buying online. Using coupons, shopping around, buying by the carton, changing the style of cigarette, and stocking up prior to the tax increase were described as less effective. Five factors emerged as impacting smokers’ efforts to save money on cigarettes after the tax: brand loyalty, frugality, addiction, stress, and acclimation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control and Priority Groups)
Open AccessArticle Crash Frequency Modeling Using Real-Time Environmental and Traffic Data and Unbalanced Panel Data Models
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 609; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060609
Received: 3 April 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
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Abstract
Traffic and environmental conditions (e.g., weather conditions), which frequently change with time, have a significant impact on crash occurrence. Traditional crash frequency models with large temporal scales and aggregated variables are not sufficient to capture the time-varying nature of driving environmental factors, causing
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Traffic and environmental conditions (e.g., weather conditions), which frequently change with time, have a significant impact on crash occurrence. Traditional crash frequency models with large temporal scales and aggregated variables are not sufficient to capture the time-varying nature of driving environmental factors, causing significant loss of critical information on crash frequency modeling. This paper aims at developing crash frequency models with refined temporal scales for complex driving environments, with such an effort providing more detailed and accurate crash risk information which can allow for more effective and proactive traffic management and law enforcement intervention. Zero-inflated, negative binomial (ZINB) models with site-specific random effects are developed with unbalanced panel data to analyze hourly crash frequency on highway segments. The real-time driving environment information, including traffic, weather and road surface condition data, sourced primarily from the Road Weather Information System, is incorporated into the models along with site-specific road characteristics. The estimation results of unbalanced panel data ZINB models suggest there are a number of factors influencing crash frequency, including time-varying factors (e.g., visibility and hourly traffic volume) and site-varying factors (e.g., speed limit). The study confirms the unique significance of the real-time weather, road surface condition and traffic data to crash frequency modeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traffic Safety and Injury Prevention)
Open AccessArticle Hand-Washing: The Main Strategy for Avoiding Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 610; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060610
Received: 25 March 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
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Abstract
Epidemics of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) among children have caused concern in China since 2007. We have conducted a retrospective study to investigate risk factors associated with HFMD. In this non-matching case-control study, 99 HFMD patients and 126 control from Guangdong
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Epidemics of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) among children have caused concern in China since 2007. We have conducted a retrospective study to investigate risk factors associated with HFMD. In this non-matching case-control study, 99 HFMD patients and 126 control from Guangdong Province were enlisted as participants. Data comprising demographic, socio-economic, clinical and behavior factors were collected from children’s parents through face-to-face interviews by trained interviewers using a standardized questionnaire. Results of the primary logistic regression analyses revealed that age, history of cold food consumption, hand-washing routines, and airing out bedding were significantly associated with HFMD cases. Results of further multivariate analysis indicated that older age (OR = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.34–0.56) and hand-washing before meals (OR = 0.3, 95% CI: 0.13–0.70) are protective factors, whereas airing out bedding more than thrice a month (OR = 4.55, 95% CI: 1.19–17.37) was associated with increased risk for HFMD. Therefore, hand-washing should be recommended to prevent HFMD, and the potential threat of airing out bedding should be carefully considered. However, further studies are needed to examine other possible risk factors. Full article
Open AccessArticle Walk Score, Transportation Mode Choice, and Walking Among French Adults: A GPS, Accelerometer, and Mobility Survey Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 611; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060611
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 10 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
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Abstract
Background: Few studies have used GPS data to analyze the relationship between Walk Score, transportation choice and walking. Additionally, the influence of Walk Score is understudied using trips rather than individuals as statistical units. The purpose of this study is to examine associations
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Background: Few studies have used GPS data to analyze the relationship between Walk Score, transportation choice and walking. Additionally, the influence of Walk Score is understudied using trips rather than individuals as statistical units. The purpose of this study is to examine associations at the trip level between Walk Score, transportation mode choice, and walking among Paris adults who were tracked with GPS receivers and accelerometers in the RECORD GPS Study. Methods: In the RECORD GPS Study, 227 participants were tracked during seven days with GPS receivers and accelerometers. Participants were also surveyed with a GPS-based web mapping application on their activities and transportation modes for all trips (6969 trips). Walk Score, which calculates neighborhood walkability, was assessed for each origin and destination of every trip. Multilevel logistic and linear regression analyses were conducted to estimate associations between Walk Score and walking in the trip or accelerometry-assessed number of steps for each trip, after adjustment for individual/neighborhood characteristics. Results: The mean overall Walk Scores for trip origins were 87.1 (SD = 14.4) and for trip destinations 87.1 (SD = 14.5). In adjusted trip-level associations between Walk Score and walking only in the trip, we found that a walkable neighborhood in the trip origin and trip destination was associated with increased odds of walking in the trip assessed in the survey. The odds of only walking in the trip were 3.48 (95% CI: 2.73 to 4.44) times higher when the Walk Score for the trip origin was “Walker’s Paradise” compared to less walkable neighborhoods (Very/Car-Dependent or Somewhat Walkable), with an identical independent effect of trip destination Walk Score on walking. The number of steps per 10 min (as assessed with accelerometry) was cumulatively higher for trips both originating and ending in walkable neighborhoods (i.e., “Very Walkable”). Conclusions: Walkable neighborhoods were associated with increases in walking among adults in Paris, as documented at the trip level. Creating walkable neighborhoods (through neighborhood design increased commercial activity) may increase walking trips and, therefore, could be a relevant health promotion strategy to increase physical activity. Full article
Open AccessArticle Controlling Indoor Air Pollution from Moxibustion
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 612; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060612
Received: 6 April 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
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Abstract
Indoor air quality (IAQ) control of hospitals plays a critical role in protecting both hospital staffs and patients, particularly those who are highly susceptible to the adverse effects of indoor noxious hazards. However, moxibustion in outpatient departments (OPDs) of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)
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Indoor air quality (IAQ) control of hospitals plays a critical role in protecting both hospital staffs and patients, particularly those who are highly susceptible to the adverse effects of indoor noxious hazards. However, moxibustion in outpatient departments (OPDs) of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) may be a source of indoor air pollution in hospitals. Some studies have investigated indoor air pollution during moxibustion in Chinese medicine clinics (CMCs) and moxibustion rooms, demonstrating elevated air pollutants that pose a threat to the health of medical staff and patients. Our study investigated the indoor air pollutants of indoor carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde (HCHO), total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), airborne particulate matter with a diameter of ≤10 µm (PM10) and ≤2.5 µm (PM2.5) during moxibustion in an acupuncture and moxibustion room of the OPD in a hospital in Taipei. To evaluate the different control strategies for indoor air pollution from moxibution, a comparison of air pollutants during moxibution among the methods of using alternative old moxa wools, local exhaust ventilation and an air cleaner was conducted. In this study, burning alternative old moxa wools for moxibustion obviously reduced all gaseous pollutants except for aerosols comparing burning fresh moxa wools. Using local exhaust ventilation reduced most of the aerosols after burning moxa. We also found that using an air cleaner was inefficient for controlling indoor air pollutants, particularly gaseous pollutants. Therefore, combining replacing alternative old moxa wools and local exhaust ventilation could be a suitable design for controlling indoor air pollution during moxibustion therapy. Full article
Open AccessArticle Association between Ambient Air Pollution and Emergency Room Visits for Respiratory Diseases in Spring Dust Storm Season in Lanzhou, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 613; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060613
Received: 16 March 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1341 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Background: Air pollution has become a major global public health problem. A number of studies have confirmed the association between air pollutants and emergency room (ER) visits for respiratory diseases in developed countries and some Asian countries, but little evidence has been
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Background: Air pollution has become a major global public health problem. A number of studies have confirmed the association between air pollutants and emergency room (ER) visits for respiratory diseases in developed countries and some Asian countries, but little evidence has been seen in Western China. This study aims to concentrate on this region. Methods: A time-series analysis was used to examine the specific effects of major air pollutants (PM10, SO2 and NO2) on ER visits for respiratory diseases from 2007 to 2011 in the severely polluted city of Lanzhou. We examined the effects of air pollutants for stratified groups by age and gender, accounting for the modifying effect of dust storms in spring to test the possible interaction. Results: Significant associations were found between outdoor air pollution concentrations and respiratory diseases, as expressed by daily ER visits in Lanzhou in the spring dust season. The association between air pollution and ER visits appeared to be more evident on dust days than non-dust days. Relative risks (RRs) and 95% CIs per 10 µg/m3 increase in 3-day PM10 (L3), 5-day SO2 (L5), and the average of current and previous 2-day NO2 (L01) were 1.140 (1.071–1.214), 1.080 (0.967–1.205), and 1.298 (1.158–1.454), respectively, on dust days. More significant associations between PM10, SO2 and NO2 and ER visits were found on dust days for elderly females, elderly males and adult males, respectively. Conclusions: This study strengthens the evidence of dust-exacerbated ER visits for respiratory diseases in Lanzhou. Full article
Open AccessArticle Wayfinding the Live 5-2-1-0 Initiative—At the Intersection between Systems Thinking and Community-Based Childhood Obesity Prevention
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 614; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060614
Received: 5 April 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 9 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
PDF Full-text (1655 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Childhood obesity is complex and requires a ‘systems approach’ that collectively engages across multiple community settings. Sustainable Childhood Obesity Prevention through Community Engagement (SCOPE) has implemented Live 5-2-1-0—a multi-sector, multi-component childhood obesity prevention initiative informed by systems thinking and participatory research via an
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Childhood obesity is complex and requires a ‘systems approach’ that collectively engages across multiple community settings. Sustainable Childhood Obesity Prevention through Community Engagement (SCOPE) has implemented Live 5-2-1-0—a multi-sector, multi-component childhood obesity prevention initiative informed by systems thinking and participatory research via an innovative knowledge translation (KT) model (RE-FRAME). This paper describes the protocol for implementing and evaluating RE-FRAME in two ‘existing’ (>2 years of implementation) and two ‘new’ Live 5-2-1-0 communities to understand how to facilitate and sustain systems/community-level change. In this mixed-methods study, RE-FRAME was implemented via online resources, webinars, a backbone organization (SCOPE) coordinating the initiative, and a linking system supporting KT. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected using surveys and stakeholder interviews, analyzed using thematic analysis and descriptive statistics, respectively. Existing communities described the consistency of Live 5-2-1-0 and extensive local partnerships/champions as catalysts for synergistic community-wide action; new communities felt that the simplicity of the message combined with the transfer of experiential learning would inform their own strategies and policies/programs to broadly disseminate Live 5-2-1-0. RE-FRAME effectively guided the refinement of the initiative and provided a framework upon which evaluation results described how to implement a community-based systems approach to childhood obesity prevention. Full article
Open AccessArticle Children and Adolescents with Perinatal HIV-1 Infection: Factors Associated with Adherence to Treatment in the Brazilian Context
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 615; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060615
Received: 26 April 2016 / Revised: 10 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
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Abstract
Challenges to the adherence to combination antiretroviral therapy among the pediatric population should be understood in the context of the trajectories of families, their interaction with healthcare services, and their access to material and symbolic goods. The present study analyzed individual, institutional and
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Challenges to the adherence to combination antiretroviral therapy among the pediatric population should be understood in the context of the trajectories of families, their interaction with healthcare services, and their access to material and symbolic goods. The present study analyzed individual, institutional and social factors that might be associated with the caregivers’ role in the treatment adherence of children and adolescents living with HIV (CALHIV). Based on semi-structured interviews and questionnaires applied to 69 caregivers seen at pediatric AIDS services of five Brazilian macro-regions, we observed that adherent caregivers had better acceptance of diagnosis and treatment, were less likely to face discrimination and social isolation secondary to AIDS-related stigma and tended to believe in the efficacy of treatment, and to be more optimistic about life perspectives of CALHIV. Interventions aiming to improve adherence and to promote the health of CALHIV should take in consideration the interplay of such different factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric Infectious Diseases)
Open AccessArticle The Effects of Outgroup Threat and Opportunity to Derogate on Salivary Cortisol Levels
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 616; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060616
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 14 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
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Abstract
Perceptions of intergroup threat have been related to both experiences of physiological stress responses and derogation of the outgroup. In this study, a neuroscience perspective was used to investigate the relationship between stress and opportunity to derogate the outgroup, in a threatening intergroup
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Perceptions of intergroup threat have been related to both experiences of physiological stress responses and derogation of the outgroup. In this study, a neuroscience perspective was used to investigate the relationship between stress and opportunity to derogate the outgroup, in a threatening intergroup context. Research from a social identity perspective suggests that engaging in outgroup derogation alleviates stress when perceiving an intergroup threat. However, in line with the model of intergroup anxiety, opportunity to derogate could exacerbate the negative connotations of a threatening situation, resulting in more stress. Canadian participants (N = 110) were exposed to text describing either discriminatory or favorable comments expressed by Chinese individuals towards Canadians. Half of the participants were given the opportunity to derogate via a bias task. Salivary cortisol was used as a measure of stress and was collected at baseline, post-threat, and post-derogation. As expected, threatening identity led to more stress as evidenced by increased cortisol concentrations. Furthermore, threatened participants who had an opportunity to derogate showed greater cortisol concentrations than those who did not. These results demonstrate a link between stress and the opportunity to derogate, and highlights the value of using biological markers within the intergroup context. Rewrite abstract to remove all the references (they are meaningless because the abstracting services will use the abstract as is but will not provide the references so their presence is useless. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress Biomarkers)
Open AccessArticle Profiling of Sediment Microbial Community in Dongting Lake before and after Impoundment of the Three Gorges Dam
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 617; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060617
Received: 11 April 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 9 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
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Abstract
The sediment microbial community in downstream-linked lakes can be affected by the operation of large-scale water conservancy projects. The present study determined Illumina reads (16S rRNA gene amplicons) to analyze and compare the bacterial communities from sediments in Dongting Lake (China) before and
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The sediment microbial community in downstream-linked lakes can be affected by the operation of large-scale water conservancy projects. The present study determined Illumina reads (16S rRNA gene amplicons) to analyze and compare the bacterial communities from sediments in Dongting Lake (China) before and after impoundment of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD), the largest hydroelectric project in the world. Bacterial communities in sediment samples in Dongting Lake before impoundment of the TGD (the high water period) had a higher diversity than after impoundment of the TGD (the low water period). The most abundant phylum in the sediment samples was Proteobacteria (36.4%–51.5%), and this result was due to the significant abundance of Betaproteobacteria and Deltaproteobacteria in the sediment samples before impoundment of the TGD and the abundance of Gammaproteobacteria in the sediment samples after impoundment of the TGD. In addition, bacterial sequences of the sediment samples are also affiliated with Acidobacteria (11.0% on average), Chloroflexi (10.9% on average), Bacteroidetes (6.7% on average), and Nitrospirae (5.1% on average). Variations in the composition of the bacterial community within some sediment samples from the river estuary into Dongting Lake were related to the pH values. The bacterial community in the samples from the three lake districts of Dongting Lake before and after impoundment of the TGD was linked to the nutrient concentration. Full article
Open AccessArticle Comparison of Individual and Combined Effects of Four Endocrine Disruptors on Estrogen Receptor Beta Transcription in Cerebellar Cell Culture: The Modulatory Role of Estradiol and Triiodo-Thyronine
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 619; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060619
Received: 22 April 2016 / Revised: 14 June 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
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Abstract
Background: Humans and animals are continuously exposed to a number of environmental substances that act as endocrine disruptors (EDs). While a growing body of evidence is available to prove their adverse health effects, very little is known about the consequences of simultaneous
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Background: Humans and animals are continuously exposed to a number of environmental substances that act as endocrine disruptors (EDs). While a growing body of evidence is available to prove their adverse health effects, very little is known about the consequences of simultaneous exposure to a combination of such chemicals; Methods: Here, we used an in vitro model to demonstrate how exposure to bisphenol A, zearalenone, arsenic, and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, alone or in combination, affect estrogen receptor β (ERβ) mRNA expression in primary cerebellar cell cultures. Additionally, we also show the modulatory role of intrinsic biological factors, such as estradiol (E2), triiodo-thyronine (T3), and glial cells, as potential effect modulators; Results: Results show a wide diversity in ED effects on ERβ mRNA expression, and that the magnitude of these ED effects highly depends on the presence or absence of E2, T3, and glial cells; Conclusion: The observed potency of the EDs to influence ERβ mRNA expression, and the modulatory role of E2, T3, and the glia suggests that environmental ED effects may be masked as long as the hormonal milieu is physiological, but may tend to turn additive or superadditive in case of hormone deficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endocrine Disruptors and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Trends in Between-Country Health Equity in Sub-Saharan Africa from 1990 to 2011: Improvement, Convergence and Reversal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 620; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060620
Received: 14 April 2016 / Revised: 12 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
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Abstract
It is not clear whether between-country health inequity in Sub-Saharan Africa has been reduced over time due to economic development and increased foreign investments. We used the World Health Organization’s data about 46 nations in Sub-Saharan Africa to test if under-5 mortality rate
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It is not clear whether between-country health inequity in Sub-Saharan Africa has been reduced over time due to economic development and increased foreign investments. We used the World Health Organization’s data about 46 nations in Sub-Saharan Africa to test if under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) and life expectancy (LE) converged or diverged from 1990 to 2011. We explored whether the standard deviation of selected health indicators decreased over time (i.e., sigma convergence), and whether the less developed countries moved toward the average level in the group (i.e., beta convergence). The variation of U5MR between countries became smaller from 1990 to 2001. Yet this sigma convergence trend did not continue after 2002. Life expectancy in Africa from 1990–2011 demonstrated a consistent convergence trend, even after controlling for initial differences of country-level factors. The lack of consistent convergence in U5MR partially resulted from the fact that countries with higher U5MR in 1990 eventually performed better than those countries with lower U5MRs in 1990, constituting a reversal in between-country health inequity. Thus, international aid agencies might consider to reassess the funding priority about which countries to invest in, especially in the field of early childhood health. Full article
Open AccessArticle Coarse Fraction Particle Matter and Exhaled Nitric Oxide in Non-Asthmatic Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 621; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060621
Received: 19 April 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
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Abstract
Coarse particle matter, PMcoarse, is associated with increased respiratory morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between short-term changes in PMcoarse and sub-clininal airway inflammation in children. Healthy children aged 11 years from two
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Coarse particle matter, PMcoarse, is associated with increased respiratory morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between short-term changes in PMcoarse and sub-clininal airway inflammation in children. Healthy children aged 11 years from two northern Swedish elementary schools underwent fraction of exhaled nitrogen oxide (FENO) measurements to determine levels of airway inflammation twice weekly during the study period from 11 April–6 June 2011. Daily exposure to PMcoarse, PM2.5, NO2, NOx, NO and O3 and birch pollen was estimated. Multiple linear regression was used. Personal covariates were included as fixed effects and subjects were included as a random effect. In total, 95 children participated in the study, and in all 493 FENO measurements were made. The mean level of PMcoarse was 16.1 μg/m3 (range 4.1–42.3), and that of O3 was 75.0 μg/m3 (range: 51.3–106.3). That of NO2 was 17.0 μg/m3 (range: 4.7–31.3), NOx was 82.1 μg/m3 (range: 13.3–165.3), and NO was 65 μg/m3 (range: 8.7–138.4) during the study period. In multi-pollutant models an interquartile range increase in 24 h PMcoarse was associated with increases in FENO by between 6.9 ppb (95% confidence interval 0.0–14) and 7.3 ppb (95% confidence interval 0.4–14.9). PMcoarse was associated with an increase in FENO, indicating sub-clinical airway inflammation in healthy children. Full article
Open AccessArticle Pricing Mechanism Design for Centralized Pollutant Treatment with SME Alliances
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 622; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060622
Received: 17 March 2016 / Revised: 22 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
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Abstract
In this paper, we assume that a professional pollutant treatment enterprise treats all of the pollutants emitted by multiple small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In order to determine the treatment price, SMEs can bargain with the pollutant treatment enterprise individually, or through forming
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In this paper, we assume that a professional pollutant treatment enterprise treats all of the pollutants emitted by multiple small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In order to determine the treatment price, SMEs can bargain with the pollutant treatment enterprise individually, or through forming alliances. We propose a bargaining game model of centralized pollutant treatment to study how the pollutant treatment price is determined through negotiation. Then, we consider that there is a moral hazard from SMEs in centralized pollutant treatment; in other words, they may break their agreement concerning their quantities of production and pollutant emissions with the pollutant treatment enterprise. We study how the pollutant treatment enterprise can prevent this by pricing mechanism design. It is found that the pollutant treatment enterprise can prevent SMEs’ moral hazard through tiered pricing. If the marginal treatment cost of the pollutant treatment enterprise is a constant, SMEs could bargain with the pollutant treatment enterprise individually, otherwise, they should form a grand alliance to bargain with it as a whole. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Relationship between Attitudes toward Suicide and Family History of Suicide in Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 623; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060623
Received: 12 April 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
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Abstract
Certain attitudes toward suicide may be a risk factor for suicide among the bereaved. To explore this possibility, we examined the relationship between attitudes toward suicide and family history of suicide. We focused on two specific attitudes indicating resignation in a survey: #1
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Certain attitudes toward suicide may be a risk factor for suicide among the bereaved. To explore this possibility, we examined the relationship between attitudes toward suicide and family history of suicide. We focused on two specific attitudes indicating resignation in a survey: #1 “When a person chooses to die by suicide, the suicide is inevitable” (i.e., inevitability belief); and #2 “A suicide cannot be stopped by any person, because suicide is unpreventable” (i.e., unpreventable belief). The data of 5117 fully completed questionnaires were analyzed. Logistic regression analysis revealed that the two attitudes of resignation were significantly associated with a family history of suicide. The adjusted odds ratio for #1 was 1.39 (95% CI, 1.07–1.79) for individuals having experienced suicide by a family member or relative, while that for #2 was 1.57 (95% CI, 1.27–1.95) for experiencing a suicide by a family member or relative and 1.25 (95% CI, 1.05–1.49) for experiencing a suicide by a friend, business associate, partner or other. These two attitudes of resignation toward suicide were significantly associated with a family history of suicide. These attitudes might increase suicide risk among the bereaved. Full article
Open AccessArticle City-Specific Spatiotemporal Infant and Neonatal Mortality Clusters: Links with Socioeconomic and Air Pollution Spatial Patterns in France
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 624; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060624
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2752 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Infant and neonatal mortality indicators are known to vary geographically, possibly as a result of socioeconomic and environmental inequalities. To better understand how these factors contribute to spatial and temporal patterns, we conducted a French ecological study comparing two time periods between 2002
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Infant and neonatal mortality indicators are known to vary geographically, possibly as a result of socioeconomic and environmental inequalities. To better understand how these factors contribute to spatial and temporal patterns, we conducted a French ecological study comparing two time periods between 2002 and 2009 for three (purposefully distinct) Metropolitan Areas (MAs) and the city of Paris, using the French census block of parental residence as the geographic unit of analysis. We identified areas of excess risk and assessed the role of neighborhood deprivation and average nitrogen dioxide concentrations using generalized additive models to generate maps smoothed on longitude and latitude. Comparison of the two time periods indicated that statistically significant areas of elevated infant and neonatal mortality shifted northwards for the city of Paris, are present only in the earlier time period for Lille MA, only in the later time period for Lyon MA, and decrease over time for Marseille MA. These city-specific geographic patterns in neonatal and infant mortality are largely explained by socioeconomic and environmental inequalities. Spatial analysis can be a useful tool for understanding how risk factors contribute to disparities in health outcomes ranging from infant mortality to infectious disease—a leading cause of infant mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatio-temporal Frameworks for Infectious Disease Epidemiology)

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Open AccessReview Alcoholic Beverage Consumption and Chronic Diseases
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 522; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060522
Received: 13 January 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 May 2016 / Published: 24 May 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (540 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Epidemiological and experimental studies have consistently linked alcoholic beverage consumption with the development of several chronic disorders, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus and obesity. The impact of drinking is usually dose-dependent, and light to moderate drinking tends to lower risks of
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Epidemiological and experimental studies have consistently linked alcoholic beverage consumption with the development of several chronic disorders, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus and obesity. The impact of drinking is usually dose-dependent, and light to moderate drinking tends to lower risks of certain diseases, while heavy drinking tends to increase the risks. Besides, other factors such as drinking frequency, genetic susceptibility, smoking, diet, and hormone status can modify the association. The amount of ethanol in alcoholic beverages is the determining factor in most cases, and beverage types could also make an influence. This review summarizes recent studies on alcoholic beverage consumption and several chronic diseases, trying to assess the effects of different drinking patterns, beverage types, interaction with other risk factors, and provide mechanistic explanations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Substance and Drug Abuse Prevention)
Open AccessReview Literature Review of Associations among Attributes of Reported Drinking Water Disease Outbreaks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 527; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060527
Received: 1 March 2016 / Revised: 11 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
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Abstract
Waterborne disease outbreaks attributed to various pathogens and drinking water system characteristics have adversely affected public health worldwide throughout recorded history. Data from drinking water disease outbreak (DWDO) reports of widely varying breadth and depth were synthesized to investigate associations between outbreak attributes
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Waterborne disease outbreaks attributed to various pathogens and drinking water system characteristics have adversely affected public health worldwide throughout recorded history. Data from drinking water disease outbreak (DWDO) reports of widely varying breadth and depth were synthesized to investigate associations between outbreak attributes and human health impacts. Among 1519 outbreaks described in 475 sources identified during review of the primarily peer-reviewed, English language literature, most occurred in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada (in descending order). The outbreaks are most frequently associated with pathogens of unknown etiology, groundwater and untreated systems, and catchment realm-associated deficiencies (i.e., contamination events). Relative frequencies of outbreaks by various attributes are comparable with those within other DWDO reviews, with water system size and treatment type likely driving most of the (often statistically-significant at p < 0.05) differences in outbreak frequency, case count and attack rate. Temporal analysis suggests that while implementation of surface (drinking) water management policies is associated with decreased disease burden, further strengthening of related policies is needed to address the remaining burden attributed to catchment and distribution realm-associated deficiencies and to groundwater viral and disinfection-only system outbreaks. Full article
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Open AccessReview Lessons from the Bone Chapter of the Malaysian Aging Men Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 531; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060531
Received: 26 March 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
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Abstract
Male osteoporosis in Malaysia is a largely neglected problem. Therefore, a bone health study in men using quantitative ultrasonometry was launched as part of the Malaysian Aging Men Study in 2009–2012. This review aimed to summarize the findings of the aforementioned bone health
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Male osteoporosis in Malaysia is a largely neglected problem. Therefore, a bone health study in men using quantitative ultrasonometry was launched as part of the Malaysian Aging Men Study in 2009–2012. This review aimed to summarize the findings of the aforementioned bone health study. The study examined the bone health of Chinese and Malaysian men aged 20 years and above living in Kuala Lumpur using a quantitative ultrasound device. Participants answered a questionnaire on their demographic details and physical activity status. Body anthropometry of the participants was measured and their blood collected for biochemical analysis. Results showed that a significant proportion of the Malaysian Chinese and Malay men had suboptimal bone health indicated by calcaneal speed of sound and vitamin D status. Age-related decline of the calcaneal speed of sound in these men was gradual and biphasic without ethnic difference. Body anthropometry such as height, weight, body mass index, and body fat percentage contributed to the variation of the calcaneal speed of sound in Malaysian men. Age-related changes in testosterone, insulin-like growth factor 1, and thyroid stimulating hormone also influenced the calcaneal speed of sound in these men. This study serves as a reminder that male osteoporosis in Malaysia should be an issue of concern. It is also a basis for a more comprehensive study on bone health in men in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Health: Nutritional Perspectives)
Open AccessReview The Knowledge Base for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal Targets on Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 536; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060536
Received: 29 February 2016 / Revised: 16 May 2016 / Accepted: 18 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2527 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are fundamental to an improved standard of living. Globally, 91% of households used improved drinking water sources in 2015, while for improved sanitation it is 68%. Wealth disparities are stark, with rural populations, slum dwellers and
[...] Read more.
Safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are fundamental to an improved standard of living. Globally, 91% of households used improved drinking water sources in 2015, while for improved sanitation it is 68%. Wealth disparities are stark, with rural populations, slum dwellers and marginalized groups lagging significantly behind. Service coverage is significantly lower when considering the new water and sanitation targets under the sustainable development goals (SDGs) which aspire to a higher standard of ‘safely managed’ water and sanitation. Lack of access to WASH can have an economic impact as much as 7% of Gross Domestic Product, not including the social and environmental consequences. Research points to significant health and socio-economic consequences of poor nutritional status, child growth and school performance caused by inadequate WASH. Groundwater over-extraction and pollution of surface water bodies have serious impacts on water resource availability and biodiversity, while climate change exacerbates the health risks of water insecurity. A significant literature documents the beneficial impacts of WASH interventions, and a growing number of impact evaluation studies assess how interventions are optimally financed, implemented and sustained. Many innovations in behavior change and service delivery offer potential for scaling up services to meet the SDGs. Full article
Open AccessReview A Case of Acute Osteomyelitis: An Update on Diagnosis and Treatment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 539; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060539
Received: 25 February 2016 / Revised: 28 April 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
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Abstract
Osteomyelitis in children is a serious disease in children requiring early diagnosis and treatment to minimize the risk of sequelae. Therefore, it is of primary importance to recognize the signs and symptoms at the onset and to properly use the available diagnostic tools.
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Osteomyelitis in children is a serious disease in children requiring early diagnosis and treatment to minimize the risk of sequelae. Therefore, it is of primary importance to recognize the signs and symptoms at the onset and to properly use the available diagnostic tools. It is important to maintain a high index of suspicion and be aware of the evolving epidemiology and of the emergence of antibiotic resistant and aggressive strains requiring careful monitoring and targeted therapy. Hereby we present an instructive case and review the literature data on diagnosis and treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric Infectious Diseases)
Open AccessReview BMI and BMD: The Potential Interplay between Obesity and Bone Fragility
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 544; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060544
Received: 27 March 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 19 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (777 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent evidence demonstrating an increased fracture risk among obese individuals suggests that adipose tissue may negatively impact bone health, challenging the traditional paradigm of fat mass playing a protective role towards bone health. White adipose tissue, far from being a mere energy depot,
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Recent evidence demonstrating an increased fracture risk among obese individuals suggests that adipose tissue may negatively impact bone health, challenging the traditional paradigm of fat mass playing a protective role towards bone health. White adipose tissue, far from being a mere energy depot, is a dynamic tissue actively implicated in metabolic reactions, and in fact secretes several hormones called adipokines and inflammatory factors that may in turn promote bone resorption. More specifically, Visceral Adipose Tissue (VAT) may potentially prove detrimental. It is widely acknowledged that obesity is positively associated to many chronic disorders such as metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes, conditions that could themselves affect bone health. Although aging is largely known to decrease bone strength, little is yet known on the mechanisms via which obesity and its comorbidities may contribute to such damage. Given the exponentially growing obesity rate in recent years and the increased life expectancy of western countries it appears of utmost importance to timely focus on this topic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Health: Nutritional Perspectives)
Open AccessReview Review of the Literature on Determinants of Chemical Hazard Information Recall among Workers and Consumers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 546; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060546
Received: 15 March 2016 / Revised: 15 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
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Abstract
In many low and middle income countries (LMIC), workers’ and consumers’ only access to risk and hazard information in relation to the chemicals they use or work with is on the chemical label and safety data sheet. Recall of chemical hazard information is
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In many low and middle income countries (LMIC), workers’ and consumers’ only access to risk and hazard information in relation to the chemicals they use or work with is on the chemical label and safety data sheet. Recall of chemical hazard information is vital in order for label warnings and precautionary information to promote effective safety behaviors. A literature review, therefore, was conducted on determinants of chemical hazard information recall among workers and consumers globally. Since comprehension and recall are closely linked, the determinants of both were reviewed. Literature was reviewed from both online and print peer reviewed journals for all study designs and countries. This review indicated that the level of education, previous training and the inclusion of pictograms on the hazard communication material are all factors that contribute to the recall of hazard information. The influence of gender and age on recall is incongruent and remains to be explored. More research is required on the demographic predictors of the recall of hazard information, the effect of design and non-design factors on recall, the effect of training on the recall among low literate populations and the examining of different regions or contexts. Full article
Open AccessReview Individual Monitoring and Occupational Dose Record Management in China: History, Current Status and Perspectives
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 558; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060558
Received: 14 April 2016 / Revised: 24 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
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Abstract
This review paper presents an overview of individual monitoring, as well as the national dose register and dose record management of radiation workers in China. Progress has recently been made on the individual monitoring of radiation workers. A critical analysis of current status
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This review paper presents an overview of individual monitoring, as well as the national dose register and dose record management of radiation workers in China. Progress has recently been made on the individual monitoring of radiation workers. A critical analysis of current status and problems in individual monitoring is also presented and necessary future research on individual monitoring, such as the monitoring technology in the form of the ring dosimeters and eye lens dosimeters, is suggested. Full article
Open AccessReview Addressing Emerging Risks: Scientific and Regulatory Challenges Associated with Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 573; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060573
Received: 6 April 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 8 June 2016
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Abstract
Airborne fine and ultrafine particulate matter (PM) are often generated through widely-used thermal processes such as the combustion of fuels or the thermal decomposition of waste. Residents near Superfund sites are exposed to PM through the inhalation of windblown dust, ingestion of soil
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Airborne fine and ultrafine particulate matter (PM) are often generated through widely-used thermal processes such as the combustion of fuels or the thermal decomposition of waste. Residents near Superfund sites are exposed to PM through the inhalation of windblown dust, ingestion of soil and sediments, and inhalation of emissions from the on-site thermal treatment of contaminated soils. Epidemiological evidence supports a link between exposure to airborne PM and an increased risk of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. It is well-known that during combustion processes, incomplete combustion can lead to the production of organic pollutants that can adsorb to the surface of PM. Recent studies have demonstrated that their interaction with metal centers can lead to the generation of a surface stabilized metal-radical complex capable of redox cycling to produce ROS. Moreover, these free radicals can persist in the environment, hence their designation as Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals (EPFR). EPFR has been demonstrated in both ambient air PM2.5 (diameter < 2.5 µm) and in PM from a variety of combustion sources. Thus, low-temperature, thermal treatment of soils can potentially increase the concentration of EPFR in areas in and around Superfund sites. In this review, we will outline the evidence to date supporting EPFR formation and its environmental significance. Furthermore, we will address the lack of methodologies for specifically addressing its risk assessment and challenges associated with regulating this new, emerging contaminant. Full article
Open AccessReview Remote Sensing-Driven Climatic/Environmental Variables for Modelling Malaria Transmission in Sub-Saharan Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 584; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060584
Received: 8 April 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
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Abstract
Malaria is a serious public health threat in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and its transmission risk varies geographically. Modelling its geographic characteristics is essential for identifying the spatial and temporal risk of malaria transmission. Remote sensing (RS) has been serving as an important tool
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Malaria is a serious public health threat in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and its transmission risk varies geographically. Modelling its geographic characteristics is essential for identifying the spatial and temporal risk of malaria transmission. Remote sensing (RS) has been serving as an important tool in providing and assessing a variety of potential climatic/environmental malaria transmission variables in diverse areas. This review focuses on the utilization of RS-driven climatic/environmental variables in determining malaria transmission in SSA. A systematic search on Google Scholar and the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Web of KnowledgeSM databases (PubMed, Web of Science and ScienceDirect) was carried out. We identified thirty-five peer-reviewed articles that studied the relationship between remotely-sensed climatic variable(s) and malaria epidemiological data in the SSA sub-regions. The relationship between malaria disease and different climatic/environmental proxies was examined using different statistical methods. Across the SSA sub-region, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from either the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) or Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) satellite sensors was most frequently returned as a statistically-significant variable to model both spatial and temporal malaria transmission. Furthermore, generalized linear models (linear regression, logistic regression and Poisson regression) were the most frequently-employed methods of statistical analysis in determining malaria transmission predictors in East, Southern and West Africa. By contrast, multivariate analysis was used in Central Africa. We stress that the utilization of RS in determining reliable malaria transmission predictors and climatic/environmental monitoring variables would require a tailored approach that will have cognizance of the geographical/climatic setting, the stage of malaria elimination continuum, the characteristics of the RS variables and the analytical approach, which in turn, would support the channeling of intervention resources sustainably. Full article
Open AccessReview Health Outcomes of Exposure to Biological and Chemical Components of Inhalable and Respirable Particulate Matter
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 592; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060592
Received: 14 April 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (512 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Particulate matter (PM) is a key indicator of air pollution and a significant risk factor for adverse health outcomes in humans. PM is not a self-contained pollutant but a mixture of different compounds including chemical and biological fractions. While several reviews have focused
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Particulate matter (PM) is a key indicator of air pollution and a significant risk factor for adverse health outcomes in humans. PM is not a self-contained pollutant but a mixture of different compounds including chemical and biological fractions. While several reviews have focused on the chemical components of PM and associated health effects, there is a dearth of review studies that holistically examine the role of biological and chemical components of inhalable and respirable PM in disease causation. A literature search using various search engines and (or) keywords was done. Articles selected for review were chosen following predefined criteria, to extract and analyze data. The results show that the biological and chemical components of inhalable and respirable PM play a significant role in the burden of health effects attributed to PM. These health outcomes include low birth weight, emergency room visit, hospital admission, respiratory and pulmonary diseases, cardiovascular disease, cancer, non-communicable diseases, and premature death, among others. This review justifies the importance of each or synergistic effects of the biological and chemical constituents of PM on health. It also provides information that informs policy on the establishment of exposure limits for PM composition metrics rather than the existing exposure limits of the total mass of PM. This will allow for more effective management strategies for improving outdoor air quality. Full article
Open AccessReview Analysis of Risk Factors Associated with the Development of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Chronic HBV-Infected Chinese: A Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 604; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060604
Received: 15 May 2016 / Revised: 12 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4062 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in China. At present, there still are 9.3 million chronic HBV-infected Chinese. Numerous studies have explored the association between possible factors and hepatocellular carcinoma risk, however,
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Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in China. At present, there still are 9.3 million chronic HBV-infected Chinese. Numerous studies have explored the association between possible factors and hepatocellular carcinoma risk, however, the results remains inconsistent. Therefore, we did this pooled analysis so as to get a precise result. Here, we took the chronic HBV-infected Chinese as the object. We systematically searched for studies evaluating whether the proposed factors changed HCC risk in PubMed, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, VIP database and Wanfang data. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated by Review Manager 5.0 and publication bias was determined by Begg’s test and Egger’s test. In total, 3165 cases and 10,896 controls from 27 studies were included in this meta-analysis. Our results showed that pooled OR with 95% CI for each of the factors investigated were: non-antiviral treatment 2.70 (2.01, 3.62), high HBV DNA levels 2.61 (1.73, 3.94), alcohol consumption 2.19 (1.53, 3.13), a family history of HCC 3.58 (2.53, 5.06) and male gender 2.14 (1.68, 2.73), respectively. Our meta-analysis supports that high HBV DNA levels, non-antiviral treatment, alcohol consumption, a family history of HCC and male gender contributed to the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic HBV-infected Chinese from currently available evidence. Given the high prevalence of the non-antiviral treatment and alcohol drinking, behavior interventions for the two factors should be tackled first. Full article
Open AccessReview Risky Substance Use Environments and Addiction: A New Frontier for Environmental Justice Research
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 607; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060607
Received: 11 May 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
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Abstract
Substance use disorders are widely recognized as one of the most pressing global public health problems, and recent research indicates that environmental factors, including access and exposure to substances of abuse, neighborhood disadvantage and disorder, and environmental barriers to treatment, influence substance use
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Substance use disorders are widely recognized as one of the most pressing global public health problems, and recent research indicates that environmental factors, including access and exposure to substances of abuse, neighborhood disadvantage and disorder, and environmental barriers to treatment, influence substance use behaviors. Racial and socioeconomic inequities in the factors that create risky substance use environments may engender disparities in rates of substance use disorders and treatment outcomes. Environmental justice researchers, with substantial experience in addressing racial and ethnic inequities in environmental risk from technological and other hazards, should consider similar inequities in risky substance use environments as an environmental justice issue. Research should aim at illustrating where, why, and how such inequities in risky substance use environments occur, the implications of such inequities for disparities in substance use disorders and treatment outcomes, and the implications for tobacco, alcohol, and drug policies and prevention and treatment programs. Full article
Open AccessReview Compassion Fatigue among Healthcare, Emergency and Community Service Workers: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 618; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060618
Received: 15 April 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
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Abstract
Compassion fatigue (CF) is stress resulting from exposure to a traumatized individual. CF has been described as the convergence of secondary traumatic stress (STS) and cumulative burnout (BO), a state of physical and mental exhaustion caused by a depleted ability to cope with
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Compassion fatigue (CF) is stress resulting from exposure to a traumatized individual. CF has been described as the convergence of secondary traumatic stress (STS) and cumulative burnout (BO), a state of physical and mental exhaustion caused by a depleted ability to cope with one’s everyday environment. Professionals regularly exposed to the traumatic experiences of the people they service, such as healthcare, emergency and community service workers, are particularly susceptible to developing CF. This can impact standards of patient care, relationships with colleagues, or lead to more serious mental health conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety or depression. A systematic review of the effectiveness of interventions to reduce CF in healthcare, emergency and community service workers was conducted. Thirteen relevant studies were identified, the majority of which were conducted on nurses (n = 10). Three included studies focused on community service workers (social workers, disability sector workers), while no studies targeting emergency service workers were identified. Seven studies reported a significant difference post-intervention in BO (n = 4) or STS (n = 3). This review revealed that evidence of the effectiveness of CF interventions in at-risk health and social care professions is relatively recent. Therefore, we recommend more research to determine how best to protect vulnerable workers at work to prevent not only CF, but also the health and economic consequences related to the ensuing, and more disabling, physical and mental health outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Stress, Human Health and Wellbeing)

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Open AccessComment Comments on Li et al. Effects of in Utero Exposure to Dicyclohexyl Phthalate on Rat Fetal Leydig Cells. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 246
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 532; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060532
Received: 3 March 2016 / Revised: 3 March 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
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Abstract
Profiling the expression levels of genes or proteins in tissues comprising two or more cell types is commonplace in biological sciences. Such analyses present particular challenges, however, for example a potential shift in cellular composition, or ‘cellularity’, between specimens. That is, does an
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Profiling the expression levels of genes or proteins in tissues comprising two or more cell types is commonplace in biological sciences. Such analyses present particular challenges, however, for example a potential shift in cellular composition, or ‘cellularity’, between specimens. That is, does an observed change in expression level represent what occurs within individual cells, or does it represent a shift in the ratio of different cell types within the tissue? This commentary attempts to highlight the importance of considering cellularity when interpreting quantitative expression data, using the mammalian testis and a recent study on the effects of phthalate exposure on testis function as an example. Full article
Open AccessReply Response to the Svingen Comments on Li et al. Effects of in Utero Exposure to Dicyclohexyl Phthalate on Rat Fetal Leydig Cells. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2016, 13, 246
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 533; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060533
Received: 2 April 2016 / Revised: 2 April 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
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Abstract
Referring to the comments of Svingen [1] on our latest publication about Effects of in utero Exposure to Dicyclohexyl Phthalate on Rat Fetal Leydig Cells [2], we would like to give some comments.[...] Full article
Open AccessBrief Report Association between Cognitive Status and Physical Activity: Study Profile on Baseline Survey of the My Mind Project
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 585; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060585
Received: 6 April 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
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Abstract
Background: The incidence of people with dementia is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, but it seems that there is a relationship between an active lifestyle and cognitive decline. The present study aimed to compare the characteristics and engagement in
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Background: The incidence of people with dementia is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, but it seems that there is a relationship between an active lifestyle and cognitive decline. The present study aimed to compare the characteristics and engagement in the physical activity (PA) of three groups of Italian elderly with different cognitive statuses at baseline phase. Methods: Data were examined using the results from the “My Mind Project” on 305 community-dwelling Italians. The sample was comprised of 93 subjects with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), 109 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 103 healthy elderly (HE). Results: Classification of subjects on the basis of Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) score showed that 47% of HE performed the highest level of physical activity while 40% of AD performed the lowest level. MCI subjects were distributed quite homogeneously across the levels (p < 0.001). Physical activity such as walking and light sports was carried out mainly and more frequently by HE as compared to the others (p < 0.05). As regards functional status, AD presented worse conditions in basic and instrumental activities of daily living than the other groups (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Our results evidenced that subjects with cognitive decline had the tendency to engage in PA less than HE. In particular, age and education negatively affected engagement in PA. Full article

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