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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 8, Issue 6 (June 2011), Pages 1755-2568

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Seventh International Symposium on Recent Advances in Environmental Health Research
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2565-2568; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062565
Received: 24 April 2011 / Accepted: 25 April 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (72 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is dedicated to the publication of selected papers presented at the Seventh International Symposium on Recent Advances in Environmental Health Research. The Symposium was organized by Jackson State University (JSU) [...] Read more.
This special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is dedicated to the publication of selected papers presented at the Seventh International Symposium on Recent Advances in Environmental Health Research. The Symposium was organized by Jackson State University (JSU) from September 12–15, 2010 at the Marriott Hotel in Jackson, Mississippi. It was built upon the overwhelming success of previous symposia hosted by JSU and co-sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) RCMI-Center for Environmental Health, the U.S. Department of Education Title III Graduate Education Program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the JSU Office of Academic Affairs, and the JSU Office of Research and Federal Relations. [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Making the Environmental Justice Grade: The Relative Burden of Air Pollution Exposure in the United States
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1755-1771; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061755
Received: 12 April 2011 / Accepted: 6 May 2011 / Published: 25 May 2011
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (541 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper assesses whether the Clean Air Act and its Amendments have been equally successful in ensuring the right to healthful air quality in both advantaged and disadvantaged communities in the United States. Using a method to rank air quality established by [...] Read more.
This paper assesses whether the Clean Air Act and its Amendments have been equally successful in ensuring the right to healthful air quality in both advantaged and disadvantaged communities in the United States. Using a method to rank air quality established by the American Lung Association in its 2009 State of the Air report along with EPA air quality data, we assess the environmental justice dimensions of air pollution exposure and access to air quality information in the United States. We focus on the race, age, and poverty demographics of communities with differing levels of ozone and particulate matter exposure, as well as communities with and without air quality information. Focusing on PM2.5 and ozone, we find that within areas covered by the monitoring networks, non-Hispanic blacks are consistently overrepresented in communities with the poorest air quality. The results for older and younger age as well as poverty vary by the pollution metric under consideration. Rural areas are typically outside the bounds of air quality monitoring networks leaving large segments of the population without information about their ambient air quality. These results suggest that substantial areas of the United States lack monitoring data, and among areas where monitoring data are available, low income and minority communities tend to experience higher ambient pollution levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Justice)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Changes in Individual Community-Related Empowerment in Community Health Promotion Interventions in Estonia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1772-1791; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061772
Received: 4 April 2011 / Accepted: 10 May 2011 / Published: 25 May 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (206 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study assessed changes in community members’ ratings of the dimensions of individual community related empowerment (ICRE) before and two years after the implementation of an empowerment expansion framework in three community health promotion initiatives within the Estonian context. We employed a [...] Read more.
This study assessed changes in community members’ ratings of the dimensions of individual community related empowerment (ICRE) before and two years after the implementation of an empowerment expansion framework in three community health promotion initiatives within the Estonian context. We employed a self-administered questionnaire, the adapted mobilisation scale–individual. As the first step, we investigated the multidimensional nature of the ICRE construct and explored the validity and reliability (internal consistency) of the ICRE scale. Two datasets were used. The first dataset comprised a cross-sectional random sample of 1,000 inhabitants of Rapla County selected in 2003 from the National Population Register, which was used to confirm the composition of the dimensions of the scale and to examine the reliability of the dimensions. The second dataset comprised two waves of data: 120 participants from three health promotion programs in 2003 (pre-test) and 115 participants in 2005 (post-test), and the dataset was used to compare participants’ pre-test and post-test ratings of their levels of empowerment. The content validity ratio, determined using Lawshe’s formula, was high (0.98). Five dimensions of ICRE, self-efficacy, intention, participation, motivation and critical awareness, emerged from the factor analysis. The internal consistency (α) of the total empowerment scale was 0.86 (subscales self-efficacy α = 0.88, intention α = 0.83, participation α = 0.81 and motivation α = 0.69; critical awareness comprised only one item). The levels of ICRE dimensions measured after the application of the empowerment expansion framework were significantly more favourable for the dimensions self-efficacy, participation, intention and motivation to participate. We conclude that for Rapla community workgroups and networks, their ICRE was rendered more favourable after the implementation of the empowerment expansion framework. Full article
Open AccessArticle Spatial Variations of Heavy Metals in the Soils of Vegetable-Growing Land along Urban-Rural Gradient of Nanjing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1805-1816; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061805
Received: 3 April 2011 / Revised: 22 April 2011 / Accepted: 27 April 2011 / Published: 25 May 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (252 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China has experienced rapid urbanization in recent years. The acceleration of urbanization has created wealth and opportunity as well as intensified ecological and environmental problems, especially soil pollution. Our study concentrated on the variation of heavy metal content due to urbanization in [...] Read more.
China has experienced rapid urbanization in recent years. The acceleration of urbanization has created wealth and opportunity as well as intensified ecological and environmental problems, especially soil pollution. Our study concentrated on the variation of heavy metal content due to urbanization in the vegetable-growing soil. Laws and other causes of the spatial-temporal variation in heavy metal content of vegetable-growing soils were analyzed for the period of urbanization in Nanjing (the capital of Jiangsu province in China). The levels of Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd and Hg in samples of vegetable-growing soil were detected. The transverse, vertical spatio-temporal variation of heavy metals in soil was analyzed on the base of field investigations and laboratory analysis. The results show that: (1) in soil used for vegetable production, the levels of heavy metals decreased gradually from urban to rural areas; the levels of the main heavy metals in urban areas are significantly higher than suburban and rural areas; (2) the means of the levels of heavy metals, calculated by subtracting the sublayer (15–30 cm) from the toplayer (0–15 cm), are all above zero and large in absolute value in urban areas, but in suburban and rural areas, the means are all above or below zero and small in absolute value. The causes of spatial and temporal variation were analyzed as follows: one cause was associated with mellowness of the soil and the length of time the soil had been used for vegetable production; the other cause was associated with population density and industrial intensity decreasing along the urban to rural gradient (i.e., urbanization levels can explain the distribution of heavy metals in soil to some extent). Land uses should be planned on the basis of heavy metal pollution in soil, especially in urban and suburban regions. Heavily polluted soils have to be expected from food production. Further investigation should be done to determine whether and what kind of agricultural production could be established near urban centers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geostatistics in Environmental Pollution and Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle Distributional Benefit Analysis of a National Air Quality Rule
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1872-1892; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061872
Received: 12 April 2011 / Accepted: 21 May 2011 / Published: 1 June 2011
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Abstract
Under Executive Order 12898, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must perform environmental justice (EJ) reviews of its rules and regulations. EJ analyses address the hypothesis that environmental disamenities are experienced disproportionately by poor and/or minority subgroups. Such analyses typically use communities [...] Read more.
Under Executive Order 12898, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must perform environmental justice (EJ) reviews of its rules and regulations. EJ analyses address the hypothesis that environmental disamenities are experienced disproportionately by poor and/or minority subgroups. Such analyses typically use communities as the unit of analysis. While community-based approaches make sense when considering where polluting sources locate, they are less appropriate for national air quality rules affecting many sources and pollutants that can travel thousands of miles. We compare exposures and health risks of EJ-identified individuals rather than communities to analyze EPA’s Heavy Duty Diesel (HDD) rule as an example national air quality rule. Air pollutant exposures are estimated within grid cells by air quality models; all individuals in the same grid cell are assigned the same exposure. Using an inequality index, we find that inequality within racial/ethnic subgroups far outweighs inequality between them. We find, moreover, that the HDD rule leaves between-subgroup inequality essentially unchanged. Changes in health risks depend also on subgroups’ baseline incidence rates, which differ across subgroups. Thus, health risk reductions may not follow the same pattern as reductions in exposure. These results are likely representative of other national air quality rules as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Justice)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Manure vs. Fertilizer Inputs on Productivity of Forage Crop Models
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1893-1913; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061893
Received: 30 March 2011 / Accepted: 4 May 2011 / Published: 1 June 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (392 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Manure produced by livestock activity is a dangerous product capable of causing serious environmental pollution. Agronomic management practices on the use of manure may transform the target from a waste to a resource product. Experiments performed on comparison of manure with standard [...] Read more.
Manure produced by livestock activity is a dangerous product capable of causing serious environmental pollution. Agronomic management practices on the use of manure may transform the target from a waste to a resource product. Experiments performed on comparison of manure with standard chemical fertilizers (CF) were studied under a double cropping per year regime (alfalfa, model I; Italian ryegrass-corn, model II; barley-seed sorghum, model III; and horse-bean-silage sorghum, model IV). The total amount of manure applied in the annual forage crops of the model II, III and IV was 158, 140 and 80 m3 ha−1, respectively. The manure applied to soil by broadcast and injection procedure provides an amount of nitrogen equal to that supplied by CF. The effect of manure applications on animal feeding production and biochemical soil characteristics was related to the models. The weather condition and manures and CF showed small interaction among treatments. The number of MFU ha−1 of biomass crop gross product produced in autumn and spring sowing models under manure applications was 11,769, 20,525, 11,342, 21,397 in models I through IV, respectively. The reduction of MFU ha−1 under CF ranges from 10.7% to 13.2% those of the manure models. The effect of manure on organic carbon and total nitrogen of topsoil, compared to model I, stressed the parameters as CF whose amount was higher in models II and III than model IV. In term of percentage the organic carbon and total nitrogen of model I and treatment with manure was reduced by about 18.5 and 21.9% in model II and model III and 8.8 and 6.3% in model IV, respectively. Manure management may substitute CF without reducing gross production and sustainability of cropping systems, thus allowing the opportunity to recycle the waste product for animal forage feeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Pollution: Prevention and Mitigation)
Open AccessCommunication Environmental Surveillance. An Additional/Alternative Approach for Virological Surveillance in Greece?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1914-1922; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061914
Received: 18 April 2011 / Revised: 18 May 2011 / Accepted: 28 May 2011 / Published: 1 June 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (292 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The detection of viruses in the sewage of an urban city by nucleic acid amplification techniques allows the identification of the viral strains that are circulating in the community. The aim of the study was the application of such detection which gives [...] Read more.
The detection of viruses in the sewage of an urban city by nucleic acid amplification techniques allows the identification of the viral strains that are circulating in the community. The aim of the study was the application of such detection which gives useful data on the distribution, spread, and frequency of these viruses, supporting epidemiological studies of the related viral infections. A two year (2007–2009) survey was conducted in order to evaluate the presence of human adenoviruses (hAdV), hepatitis A viruses (HAV), hepatitis E viruses (HEV), noroviruses (NoV), and human polyomaviruses (hPyV) in sewage samples collected from the inlet of a municipal biological wastewater treatment plant located in southwestern Greece. PCR methods were used for this survey. In total, viruses have been detected in 87.5% (42/48) of the analyzed sewage samples. Analytically, DNA viruses, hAdVs and hPyVs have been detected in 45.8% (22/48) and 68.8% (33/48) of the samples, respectively. As it concerns RNA viruses, HAV was detected in 8.3% (4/48), NoVs in 6.3% (3/48), while HEV has not been detected at all. After sequencing, AdVs were typed as Ad8, Ad40 and Ad41, while both JC and BK hPyVs have been recognized. All NoVs have been identified as GII4, while HAV was typed as genotype IA. Similar long-term studies could be undertaken in countries such as Greece in order to offer a valuable and complementary tool to current problematic epidemiological surveillance systems. This study demonstrates the advantages of environmental surveillance as a tool to determine the epidemiology of viruses circulating in a given community. To our knowledge this was the first of its kind study performed in Greece in order to establish this new way of surveillance. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Pesticide Risk Beliefs Inventory: A Quantitative Instrument for the Assessment of Beliefs about Pesticide Risks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1923-1935; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061923
Received: 2 March 2011 / Revised: 24 May 2011 / Accepted: 25 May 2011 / Published: 1 June 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (190 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent media attention has focused on the risks that agricultural pesticides pose to the environment and human health; thus, these topics provide focal areas for scientists and science educators to enhance public understanding of basic toxicology concepts. This study details the development [...] Read more.
Recent media attention has focused on the risks that agricultural pesticides pose to the environment and human health; thus, these topics provide focal areas for scientists and science educators to enhance public understanding of basic toxicology concepts. This study details the development of a quantitative inventory to gauge pesticide risk beliefs. The goal of the inventory was to characterize misconceptions and knowledge gaps, as well as expert-like beliefs, concerning pesticide risk. This study describes the development and field testing of the Pesticide Risk Beliefs Inventory with an important target audience: pesticide educators in a southeastern U.S. state. The 19-item, Likert-type inventory was found to be psychometrically sound with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.780 and to be a valuable tool in capturing pesticide educators’ beliefs about pesticide risk, assessing beliefs in four key categories. The Pesticide Risk Beliefs Inventory could be useful in exploring beliefs about pesticide risks and in guiding efforts to address misconceptions held by a variety of formal and informal science learners, educators, practitioners, the agricultural labor force, and the general public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Open AccessArticle Ground Water Chemistry Changes before Major Earthquakes and Possible Effects on Animals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1936-1956; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061936
Received: 13 April 2011 / Revised: 21 May 2011 / Accepted: 25 May 2011 / Published: 1 June 2011
Cited by 27 | PDF Full-text (728 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Prior to major earthquakes many changes in the environment have been documented. Though often subtle and fleeting, these changes are noticeable at the land surface, in water, in the air, and in the ionosphere. Key to understanding these diverse pre-earthquake phenomena has [...] Read more.
Prior to major earthquakes many changes in the environment have been documented. Though often subtle and fleeting, these changes are noticeable at the land surface, in water, in the air, and in the ionosphere. Key to understanding these diverse pre-earthquake phenomena has been the discovery that, when tectonic stresses build up in the Earth’s crust, highly mobile electronic charge carriers are activated. These charge carriers are defect electrons on the oxygen anion sublattice of silicate minerals, known as positive holes, chemically equivalent to O in a matrix of O2–. They are remarkable inasmuch as they can flow out of the stressed rock volume and spread into the surrounding unstressed rocks. Travelling fast and far the positive holes cause a range of follow-on reactions when they arrive at the Earth’s surface, where they cause air ionization, injecting massive amounts of primarily positive air ions into the lower atmosphere. When they arrive at the rock-water interface, they act as •O radicals, oxidizing water to hydrogen peroxide. Other reactions at the rock-water interface include the oxidation or partial oxidation of dissolved organic compounds, leading to changes of their fluorescence spectra. Some compounds thus formed may be irritants or toxins to certain species of animals. Common toads, Bufo bufo, were observed to exhibit a highly unusual behavior prior to a M6.3 earthquake that hit L’Aquila, Italy, on April 06, 2009: a few days before the seismic event the toads suddenly disappeared from their breeding site in a small lake about 75 km from the epicenter and did not return until after the aftershock series. In this paper we discuss potential changes in groundwater chemistry prior to seismic events and their possible effects on animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Earth System Science)
Open AccessArticle Spatial Analysis of Urban Form and Pedestrian Exposure to Traffic Noise
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1977-1990; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061977
Received: 28 February 2011 / Revised: 26 April 2011 / Accepted: 25 May 2011 / Published: 3 June 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (2097 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the Macao Peninsula, the high population density (49,763 inhabitants/km2) and the lack of control over the number of vehicles (460 vehicles/km) have led to an increase in urban pollution. To provide useful information to local government and urban planners, [...] Read more.
In the Macao Peninsula, the high population density (49,763 inhabitants/km2) and the lack of control over the number of vehicles (460 vehicles/km) have led to an increase in urban pollution. To provide useful information to local government and urban planners, this paper investigates the spatial distribution of traffic noise in the Macao Peninsula. The interactions among urban form, traffic flow and traffic noise are addressed. Considering the spatial nature of urban geometry and traffic, a high-resolution GIS-based traffic noise model system is applied. Results indicate that the Macao Peninsula has fallen into a situation of serious traffic noise pollution. About 60% of traffic noise levels along the major pedestrian sidewalks in the evening peak hour exceed the National Standard of 70 dB(A) in China. In particular, about 21% of traffic noise levels along the pedestrian sidewalks are above the National Standard by 5 dB(A). Noticeably, the high pedestrian exposure to traffic noise in the historical urban area reduces the comfort of tourists walking in the historic centre and is ruining the reputation of the area as a World Cultural Heritage site. Full article
Open AccessArticle Urinary Arsenic Metabolites of Subjects Exposed to Elevated Arsenic Present in Coal in Shaanxi Province, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1991-2008; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061991
Received: 14 April 2011 / Revised: 26 May 2011 / Accepted: 30 May 2011 / Published: 3 June 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (379 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In contrast to arsenic (As) poisoning caused by naturally occurring inorganic arsenic-contaminated water consumption, coal arsenic poisoning (CAP) induced by elevated arsenic exposure from coal combustion has rarely been reported. In this study, the concentrations and distributions of urinary arsenic metabolites in [...] Read more.
In contrast to arsenic (As) poisoning caused by naturally occurring inorganic arsenic-contaminated water consumption, coal arsenic poisoning (CAP) induced by elevated arsenic exposure from coal combustion has rarely been reported. In this study, the concentrations and distributions of urinary arsenic metabolites in 57 volunteers (36 subjects with skin lesions and 21 subjects without skin lesions), who had been exposed to elevated levels of arsenic present in coal in Changshapu village in the south of Shaanxi Province (China), were reported. The urinary arsenic species, including inorganic arsenic (iAs) [arsenite (iAsIII) and arsenate (iAsV)], monomethylarsonic acid (MMAV) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMAV), were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) combined with inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS). The relative distributions of arsenic species, the primary methylation index (PMI = MMAV/iAs) and the secondary methylation index (SMI = DMAV/MMAV) were calculated to assess the metabolism of arsenic. Subjects with skin lesions had a higher concentration of urinary arsenic and a lower arsenic methylation capability than subjects without skin lesions. Women had a significantly higher methylation capability of arsenic than men, as defined by a higher percent DMAV and SMI in urine among women, which was the one possible interpretation of women with a higher concentration of urinary arsenic but lower susceptibility to skin lesions. The findings suggested that not only the dose of arsenic exposure but also the arsenic methylation capability have an impact on the individual susceptibility to skin lesions induced by coal arsenic exposure. Full article
Open AccessArticle Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Swedish Sterilant Workers Exposed to Ethylene Oxide: Updated Cohort Study Findings 1972–2006
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2009-2019; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062009
Received: 4 May 2011 / Accepted: 28 May 2011 / Published: 3 June 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objectives: To assess whether cancer incidence, mainly from lymphohaematopoietic tumours and breast cancer, and mortality were increased in a cohort of Swedish sterilant workers exposed to low levels of ethylene oxide (EtO), updated with 16 more years of follow up. Methods: The [...] Read more.
Objectives: To assess whether cancer incidence, mainly from lymphohaematopoietic tumours and breast cancer, and mortality were increased in a cohort of Swedish sterilant workers exposed to low levels of ethylene oxide (EtO), updated with 16 more years of follow up. Methods: The mortality and cancer incidence 1972–2006 experienced by a cohort of 2,171 male and female workers employed for at least one year in two plants producing medical equipment sterilised with EtO were investigated. Individual cumulative exposure to EtO was assessed by occupational hygienists. Cause-specific standardized rate ratios were calculated using the regional general population as a comparison for mortality (SMR) and cancer incidence (SIR). Internal Poisson-regression analyses were performed for selected causes. Results: The median cumulative exposure to EtO was 0.13 ppm-years. The overall cancer incidence was close to unity (SIR 0.94, 95% CI 0.82–1.08). Eighteen cases of lymphohaematopoietic cancer were observed (SIR 1.25, 95% CI 0.74–1.98). A healthy worker effect was indicated from a significantly decreased overall mortality and mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Internal analyses found significantly increased rate ratios for breast cancer for the two upper quartiles of cumulative exposure as compared to the lowest 50% of the cohort (IRR 2.76, 95% CI 1.20–6.33 and IRR 3.55, 95% CI 1.58–7.93). Conclusions: The findings from this updated study indicate limited or low risks for human cancer due to occupational exposure from ethylene oxide at the low cumulative exposure levels in this cohort. However a positive exposure-response relation with breast cancer was observed though. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Cancer)
Open AccessArticle Spatial Pattern Analysis of Heavy Metals in Beijing Agricultural Soils Based on Spatial Autocorrelation Statistics
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2074-2089; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062074
Received: 28 April 2011 / Revised: 25 May 2011 / Accepted: 26 May 2011 / Published: 8 June 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1005 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study explored the spatial pattern of heavy metals in Beijing agricultural soils using Moran’s I statistic of spatial autocorrelation. The global Moran’s I result showed that the spatial dependence of Cr, Ni, Zn, and Hg changed with different spatial weight matrixes, [...] Read more.
This study explored the spatial pattern of heavy metals in Beijing agricultural soils using Moran’s I statistic of spatial autocorrelation. The global Moran’s I result showed that the spatial dependence of Cr, Ni, Zn, and Hg changed with different spatial weight matrixes, and they had significant and positive global spatial correlations based on distance weight. The spatial dependence of the four metals was scale-dependent on distance, but these scale effects existed within a threshold distance of 13 km, 32 km, 50 km, and 29 km, respectively for Cr, Ni, Zn, and Hg. The maximal spatial positive correlation range was 57 km, 70 km, 57 km, and 55 km for Cr, Ni, Zn, and Hg, respectively and these were not affected by sampling density. Local spatial autocorrelation analysis detected the locations of spatial clusters and spatial outliers and revealed that the pollution of these four metals occurred in significant High-high spatial clusters, Low-high, or even High-low spatial outliers. Thus, three major areas were identified and should be receiving more attention: the first was the northeast region of Beijing, where Cr, Zn, Ni, and Hg had significant increases. The second was the southeast region of Beijing where wastewater irrigation had strongly changed the content of metals, particularly of Cr and Zn, in soils. The third area was the urban fringe around city, where Hg showed a significant increase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geostatistics in Environmental Pollution and Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle Altered Gene Expression by Low-Dose Arsenic Exposure in Humans and Cultured Cardiomyocytes: Assessment by Real-Time PCR Arrays
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2090-2108; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062090
Received: 12 April 2011 / Revised: 21 May 2011 / Accepted: 27 May 2011 / Published: 8 June 2011
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (513 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chronic arsenic exposure results in higher risk of skin, lung, and bladder cancer, as well as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects on expression of selected genes in the blood lymphocytes from 159 people [...] Read more.
Chronic arsenic exposure results in higher risk of skin, lung, and bladder cancer, as well as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects on expression of selected genes in the blood lymphocytes from 159 people exposed chronically to arsenic in their drinking water using a novel RT-PCR TaqMan low-density array (TLDA). We found that expression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), which activates both inflammation and NF-κB-dependent survival pathways, was strongly associated with water and urinary arsenic levels. Expression of KCNA5, which encodes a potassium ion channel protein, was positively associated with water and toe nail arsenic levels. Expression of 2 and 11 genes were positively associated with nail and urinary arsenic, respectively. Because arsenic exposure has been reported to be associated with long QT intervals and vascular disease in humans, we also used this TLDA for analysis of gene expression in human cardiomyocytes exposed to arsenic in vitro. Expression of the ion-channel genes CACNA1, KCNH2, KCNQ1 and KCNE1 were down-regulated by 1-mM arsenic. Alteration of some common pathways, including those involved in oxidative stress, inflammatory signaling, and ion-channel function, may underlay the seemingly disparate array of arsenic-associated diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Full article
Open AccessArticle Study on the Association between Ambient Air Pollution and Daily Cardiovascular and Respiratory Mortality in an Urban District of Beijing
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2109-2123; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062109
Received: 17 April 2011 / Accepted: 20 May 2011 / Published: 9 June 2011
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The association between daily cardiovascular/respiratory mortality and air pollution in an urban district of Beijing was investigated over a 6-year period (January 2003 to December 2008). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relative importance of the major air pollutants [...] Read more.
The association between daily cardiovascular/respiratory mortality and air pollution in an urban district of Beijing was investigated over a 6-year period (January 2003 to December 2008). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relative importance of the major air pollutants [particulate matter (PM), SO2, NO2] as predictors of daily cardiovascular/respiratory mortality. The time-series studied comprises years with lower level interventions to control air pollution (2003–2006) and years with high level interventions in preparation for and during the Olympics/Paralympics (2007–2008). Concentrations of PM10, SO2, and NO2, were measured daily during the study period. A generalized additive model was used to evaluate daily numbers of cardiovascular/ respiratory deaths in relation to each air pollutant, controlling for time trends and meteorological influences such as temperature and relative humidity. The results show that the daily cardiovascular/respiratory death rates were significantly associated with the concentration air pollutants, especially deaths related to cardiovascular disease. The current day effects of PM10 and NO2 were higher than that of single lags (distributed lags) and moving average lags for respiratory disease mortality. The largest RR of SO2 for respiratory disease mortality was in Lag02. For cardiovascular disease mortality, the largest RR was in Lag01 for PM10, and in current day (Lag0) for SO2 and NO2. NO2 was associated with the largest RRs for deaths from both cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease. Full article
Open AccessArticle Is the Demand for Alcoholic Beverages in Developing Countries Sensitive to Price? Evidence from China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2124-2131; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062124
Received: 16 May 2011 / Revised: 1 June 2011 / Accepted: 2 June 2011 / Published: 9 June 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (204 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Economic literature in developed countries suggests that demand for alcoholic beverages is sensitive to price, with an estimated price elasticity ranging from −0.38 for beer and −0.7 for liquor. However, few studies have been conducted in developing countries. We employ a large [...] Read more.
Economic literature in developed countries suggests that demand for alcoholic beverages is sensitive to price, with an estimated price elasticity ranging from −0.38 for beer and −0.7 for liquor. However, few studies have been conducted in developing countries. We employ a large individual-level dataset in China to estimate the effects of price on alcohol demand. Using the data from China Health and Nutrition Survey for the years 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2006, we estimate two-part models of alcohol demand. Results show the price elasticity is virtually zero for beer and only −0.12 for liquor, which is far smaller than those derived from developed countries. Separate regressions by gender reveals the results are mainly driven by men. The central implication of this study is, while alcohol tax increases can raise government revenue, it alone is not an effective policy to reduce alcohol related problems in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Discontinuation of Fluoride Intake from Water and Toothpaste on Urinary Excretion in Young Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2132-2141; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062132
Received: 23 February 2011 / Revised: 4 June 2011 / Accepted: 7 June 2011 / Published: 10 June 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (122 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As there is no homeostatic mechanism for maintaining circulating fluoride (F) in the human body, the concentration may decrease and increase again when intake is interrupted and re-started. The present study prospectively evaluated this process in children exposed to F intake from water and toothpaste, using F in urine as a biomarker. Eleven children from Ibiá, Brazil (with sub-optimally fluoridated water supply) aged two to four years who regularly used fluoridated toothpaste (1,100 ppm F) took part in the study. Twenty-four-hour urine was collected at baseline (Day 0, F exposure from water and toothpaste) as well as after the interruption of fluoride intake from water and dentifrice (Days 1 to 28) (F interruption) and after fluoride intake from these sources had been re-established (Days 29 to 34) (F re-exposure). Urinary volume was measured, fluoride concentration was determined and the amount of fluoride excreted was calculated and expressed in mg F/day. Urinary fluoride excretion (UFE) during the periods of fluoride exposure, interruption and re-exposure was analyzed using the Wilcoxon test. Mean UFE was 0.25 mg F/day (SD: 0.15) at baseline, dropped to a mean of 0.14 mg F/day during F interruption (SD: 0.07; range: 0.11 to 0.17 mg F/day) and rose to 0.21 (SD: 0.09) and 0.19 (SD: 0.08) following F re-exposure. The difference between baseline UFE and the period of F interruption was statistically significant (p < 0.05), while the difference between baseline and the period of F re-exposure was non-significant (p > 0.05). The findings suggest that circulating F in the body of young children rapidly decreases in the first 24 hours and again increases very fast after discontinuation and re-exposure of F from water and toothpaste. Full article
Open AccessArticle Bystander Exposure to Ultra-Low-Volume Insecticide Applications Used for Adult Mosquito Management
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2142-2152; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062142
Received: 26 April 2011 / Revised: 4 June 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
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Abstract
A popular and effective management option for adult mosquitoes is the use of insecticides applied by ultra-low-volume (ULV) equipment. However, there is a paucity of data on human dermal exposure to insecticides applied by this method. The objective of the current study [...] Read more.
A popular and effective management option for adult mosquitoes is the use of insecticides applied by ultra-low-volume (ULV) equipment. However, there is a paucity of data on human dermal exposure to insecticides applied by this method. The objective of the current study was to estimate dermal exposures to the insecticide active ingredient permethrin using water- (Aqua-Reslin®) and oil-based (Permanone® 30-30) formulations with passive dosimetry. No significant differences in deposition of permethrin were observed between years, distance from the spray source, front or back of the body, or the placement of the patches on the body. However, exposure to Aqua-Reslin was significantly greater than Permanone 30-30 and average concentrations deposited on the body were 4.2 and 2.1 ng/cm2, respectively. The greater deposition of Aqua-Reslin is most likely due to the higher density of the water-based formulation which causes it to settle out faster than the lighter oil-based formulation of Permanone 30-30. The estimated average absorbed dermal exposure for permethrin from Aqua-Reslin and Permanone 30-30 was 0.00009 and 0.00005 mg/kg body weight, respectively. We also found that ground deposition of ULV insecticides can be used as a surrogate for estimating dermal exposure. The estimated exposures support the findings of previous risk assessments that exposure to ULV applications used for mosquito management are below regulatory levels of concern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle Estimation of Fine Particulate Matter in Taipei Using Landuse Regression and Bayesian Maximum Entropy Methods
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2153-2169; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062153
Received: 7 March 2011 / Revised: 26 May 2011 / Accepted: 7 June 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
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Abstract
Fine airborne particulate matter (PM2.5) has adverse effects on human health. Assessing the long-term effects of PM2.5 exposure on human health and ecology is often limited by a lack of reliable PM2.5 measurements. In Taipei, PM2.5 levels [...] Read more.
Fine airborne particulate matter (PM2.5) has adverse effects on human health. Assessing the long-term effects of PM2.5 exposure on human health and ecology is often limited by a lack of reliable PM2.5 measurements. In Taipei, PM2.5 levels were not systematically measured until August, 2005. Due to the popularity of geographic information systems (GIS), the landuse regression method has been widely used in the spatial estimation of PM concentrations. This method accounts for the potential contributing factors of the local environment, such as traffic volume. Geostatistical methods, on other hand, account for the spatiotemporal dependence among the observations of ambient pollutants. This study assesses the performance of the landuse regression model for the spatiotemporal estimation of PM2.5 in the Taipei area. Specifically, this study integrates the landuse regression model with the geostatistical approach within the framework of the Bayesian maximum entropy (BME) method. The resulting epistemic framework can assimilate knowledge bases including: (a) empirical-based spatial trends of PM concentration based on landuse regression, (b) the spatio-temporal dependence among PM observation information, and (c) site-specific PM observations. The proposed approach performs the spatiotemporal estimation of PM2.5 levels in the Taipei area (Taiwan) from 2005–2007. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geostatistics in Environmental Pollution and Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle Socioeconomic Differences in the Effectiveness of the Removal of the “Light” Descriptor on Cigarette Packs: Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Thailand Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2170-2180; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062170
Received: 13 April 2011 / Accepted: 8 June 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
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Abstract
Many smokers incorrectly believe that “light” cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes. To address this problem, many countries have banned “light” or “mild” brand descriptors on cigarette packs. Our objective was to assess whether beliefs about “light” cigarettes changed following the [...] Read more.
Many smokers incorrectly believe that “light” cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes. To address this problem, many countries have banned “light” or “mild” brand descriptors on cigarette packs. Our objective was to assess whether beliefs about “light” cigarettes changed following the 2007 removal of these brand descriptors in Thailand and, if a change occurred, the extent to which it differed by socioeconomic status. Data were from waves 2 (2006), 3 (2008), and 4 (2009) of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Thailand Survey of adult smokers in Thailand. The results showed that, following the introduction of the ban, there was an overall decline in the two beliefs that “light” cigarettes are less harmful and smoother than regular cigarettes. The decline in the “less harmful” belief was considerably steeper in lower income and education groups. However, there was no evidence that the rate of decline in the “smoother” belief varied by income or education. Removing the “light” brand descriptor from cigarette packs should thus be viewed not only as a means to address the problem of smokers’ incorrect beliefs about “light” cigarettes, but also as a factor that can potentially reduce socioeconomic disparities in smoking-related misconceptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy)
Open AccessArticle Assessing the Long Term Impact of Phosphorus Fertilization on Phosphorus Loadings Using AnnAGNPS
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2181-2199; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062181
Received: 14 February 2011 / Revised: 7 June 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
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Abstract
High phosphorus (P) loss from agricultural fields has been an environmental concern because of potential water quality problems in streams and lakes. To better understand the process of P loss and evaluate the effects of different phosphorus fertilization rates on phosphorus losses, [...] Read more.
High phosphorus (P) loss from agricultural fields has been an environmental concern because of potential water quality problems in streams and lakes. To better understand the process of P loss and evaluate the effects of different phosphorus fertilization rates on phosphorus losses, the USDA Annualized AGricultural Non-Point Source (AnnAGNPS) pollutant loading model was applied to the Ohio Upper Auglaize watershed, located in the southern portion of the Maumee River Basin. In this study, the AnnAGNPS model was calibrated using USGS monitored data; and then the effects of different phosphorus fertilization rates on phosphorus loadings were assessed. It was found that P loadings increase as fertilization rate increases, and long term higher P application would lead to much higher P loadings to the watershed outlet. The P loadings to the watershed outlet have a dramatic change after some time with higher P application rate. This dramatic change of P loading to the watershed outlet indicates that a “critical point” may exist in the soil at which soil P loss to water changes dramatically. Simulations with different initial soil P contents showed that the higher the initial soil P content is, the less time it takes to reach the “critical point” where P loadings to the watershed outlet increases dramatically. More research needs to be done to understand the processes involved in the transfer of P between the various stable, active and labile states in the soil to ensure that the model simulations are accurate. This finding may be useful in setting up future P application and management guidelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Pollution: Prevention and Mitigation)
Open AccessArticle Maximum Cumulative Ratio (MCR) as a Tool for Assessing the Value of Performing a Cumulative Risk Assessment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2212-2225; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062212
Received: 27 April 2011 / Revised: 11 June 2011 / Accepted: 13 June 2011 / Published: 16 June 2011
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (622 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to the vast number of possible combinations of chemicals to which individuals are exposed and the resource-intensive nature of cumulative risk assessments, there is a need to determine when cumulative assessments are most required. This paper proposes the use of the [...] Read more.
Due to the vast number of possible combinations of chemicals to which individuals are exposed and the resource-intensive nature of cumulative risk assessments, there is a need to determine when cumulative assessments are most required. This paper proposes the use of the maximum cumulative ratio (MCR) as a tool for this evaluation. MCR is the ratio of the cumulative toxicity received by an individual from exposure to multiple chemical stressors to the largest toxicity from a single chemical stressor. The MCR is a quantitative measure of the difference in an individual’s toxicity estimated using a chemical-by-chemical approach and using an additive model of toxicity. As such, it provides a conservative estimate of the degree to which individuals’ toxicities could be underestimated by not performing a cumulative risk assessment. In an example application, MCR is shown to be applicable to the evaluation of cumulative exposures involving up to 81 compounds and to provide key insights into the cumulative effects posed by exposures to multiple chemicals. In this example, MCR values suggest that individuals exposed to combinations of chemicals with the largest Hazard Indices were dominated by the contributions of one or two compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cumulative Health Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle Remediation of Chlorinated Solvent Plumes Using In-Situ Air Sparging—A 2-D Laboratory Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2226-2239; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062226
Received: 1 March 2011 / Revised: 21 May 2011 / Accepted: 10 June 2011 / Published: 16 June 2011
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Abstract
In-situ air sparging has evolved as an innovative technique for soil and groundwater remediation impacted with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including chlorinated solvents. These may exist as non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) or dissolved in groundwater. This study assessed: (1) how air injection [...] Read more.
In-situ air sparging has evolved as an innovative technique for soil and groundwater remediation impacted with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including chlorinated solvents. These may exist as non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) or dissolved in groundwater. This study assessed: (1) how air injection rate affects the mass removal of dissolved phase contamination, (2) the effect of induced groundwater flow on mass removal and air distribution during air injection, and (3) the effect of initial contaminant concentration on mass removal. Dissolved-phase chlorinated solvents can be effectively removed through the use of air sparging; however, rapid initial rates of contaminant removal are followed by a protracted period of lower removal rates, or a tailing effect. As the air flow rate increases, the rate of contaminant removal also increases, especially during the initial stages of air injection. Increased air injection rates will increase the density of air channel formation, resulting in a larger interfacial mass transfer area through which the dissolved contaminant can partition into the vapor phase. In cases of groundwater flow, increased rates of air injection lessened observed downward contaminant migration effect. The air channel network and increased air saturation reduced relative hydraulic conductivity, resulting in reduced groundwater flow and subsequent downgradient contaminant migration. Finally, when a higher initial TCE concentration was present, a slightly higher mass removal rate was observed due to higher volatilization-induced concentration gradients and subsequent diffusive flux. Once concentrations are reduced, a similar tailing effect occurs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Geotechnics)
Open AccessArticle Armored Geomembrane Cover Engineering
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2240-2264; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062240
Received: 15 March 2011 / Revised: 13 June 2011 / Accepted: 13 June 2011 / Published: 16 June 2011
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Abstract
Geomembranes are an important component of modern engineered barriers to prevent the infiltration of stormwater and runoff into contaminated soil and rock as well as waste containment facilities—a function generally described as a geomembrane cover. This paper presents a case history involving [...] Read more.
Geomembranes are an important component of modern engineered barriers to prevent the infiltration of stormwater and runoff into contaminated soil and rock as well as waste containment facilities—a function generally described as a geomembrane cover. This paper presents a case history involving a novel implementation of a geomembrane cover system. Due to this novelty, the design engineers needed to assemble from disparate sources the design criteria for the engineering of the cover. This paper discusses the design methodologies assembled by the engineering team. This information will aid engineers designing similar cover systems as well as environmental and public health professionals selecting site improvements that involve infiltration barriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Geotechnics)
Open AccessArticle Evaluating and Mapping of Spatial Air Ion Quality Patterns in a Residential Garden Using a Geostatistic Method
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2304-2319; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062304
Received: 20 May 2011 / Revised: 14 June 2011 / Accepted: 14 June 2011 / Published: 20 June 2011
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Abstract
Negative air ions (NAI) produce biochemical reactions that increase the levels of the mood chemical serotonin in the environment. Moreover, they benefit both the psychological well being and the human body’s physiological condition. The aim of this research was to estimate and [...] Read more.
Negative air ions (NAI) produce biochemical reactions that increase the levels of the mood chemical serotonin in the environment. Moreover, they benefit both the psychological well being and the human body’s physiological condition. The aim of this research was to estimate and measure the spatial distributions of negative and positive air ions in a residential garden in central Taiwan. Negative and positive air ions were measured at thirty monitoring locations in the study garden from July 2009 to June 2010. Moreover, Kriging was applied to estimate the spatial distribution of negative and positive air ions, as well as the air ion index in the study area. The measurement results showed that the numbers of NAI and PAI differed greatly during the four seasons, the highest and the lowest negative and positive air ion concentrations were found in the summer and winter, respectively. Moreover, temperature was positively affected negative air ions concentration. No matter what temperature is, the ranges of variogram in NAI/PAI were similar during four seasons. It indicated that spatial patterns of NAI/PAI were independent of the seasons and depended on garden elements and configuration, thus the NAP/PAI was a good estimate of the air quality regarding air ions. Kriging maps depicted that the highest negative and positive air ion concentration was next to the waterfall, whereas the lowest air ions areas were next to the exits of the garden. The results reveal that waterscapes are a source of negative and positive air ions, and that plants and green space are a minor source of negative air ions in the study garden. Moreover, temperature and humidity are positively and negatively affected negative air ions concentration, respectively. The proposed monitoring and mapping approach provides a way to effectively assess the patterns of negative and positive air ions in future landscape design projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geostatistics in Environmental Pollution and Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle Exposure to Multiple Pesticides and Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Men from Six Canadian Provinces
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2320-2330; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062320
Received: 20 May 2011 / Revised: 9 June 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 21 June 2011
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (197 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) has been linked to several agricultural exposures, including some commonly used pesticides. Although there is a significant body of literature examining the effects of exposure to individual pesticides on NHL, the impact of exposure to multiple pesticides or specific [...] Read more.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) has been linked to several agricultural exposures, including some commonly used pesticides. Although there is a significant body of literature examining the effects of exposure to individual pesticides on NHL, the impact of exposure to multiple pesticides or specific pesticide combinations has not been explored in depth. Data from a six-province Canadian case-control study conducted between 1991 and 1994 were analyzed to investigate the relationship between NHL, the total number of pesticides used and some common pesticide combinations. Cases (n = 513) were identified through hospital records and provincial cancer registries and controls (n = 1,506), frequency matched to cases by age and province of residence, were obtained through provincial health records, telephone listings, or voter lists. In multiple logistic regression analyses, risk of NHL increased with the number of pesticides used. Similar results were obtained in analyses restricted to herbicides, insecticides and several pesticide classes. Odds ratios increased further when only ‘potentially carcinogenic’ pesticides were considered (OR[one pesticide] = 1.30, 95% CI = 0.90–1.88; OR[two to four] = 1.54, CI = 1.11–2.12; OR[five or more] = 1.94, CI = 1.17–3.23). Elevated risks were also found among those reporting use of malathion in combination with several other pesticides. These analyses support and extend previous findings that the risk of NHL increases with the number of pesticides used and some pesticide combinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Open AccessArticle Prevalence of Children with Severe Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Communities Near Rome, Italy: New Estimated Rates Are Higher than Previous Estimates
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2331-2351; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062331
Received: 14 April 2011 / Revised: 17 June 2011 / Accepted: 17 June 2011 / Published: 22 June 2011
Cited by 44 | PDF Full-text (280 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: To determine the population-based epidemiology of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and other fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) in towns representative of the general population of central Italy. Methods: Slightly revised U.S. Institute of Medicine diagnostic methods were used among [...] Read more.
Objective: To determine the population-based epidemiology of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and other fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) in towns representative of the general population of central Italy. Methods: Slightly revised U.S. Institute of Medicine diagnostic methods were used among children in randomly-selected schools near Rome. Consented first grade children (n = 976) were screened in Tier I for height, weight, or head circumference and all children Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Investigation of Spatial and Temporal Trends in Water Quality in Daya Bay, South China Sea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2352-2365; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062352
Received: 20 March 2011 / Revised: 12 May 2011 / Accepted: 30 May 2011 / Published: 22 June 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (268 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective is to identify the spatial and temporal variability of the hydrochemical quality of the water column in a subtropical coastal system, Daya Bay, China. Water samples were collected in four seasons at 12 monitoring sites. The Southeast Asian monsoons, northeasterly [...] Read more.
The objective is to identify the spatial and temporal variability of the hydrochemical quality of the water column in a subtropical coastal system, Daya Bay, China. Water samples were collected in four seasons at 12 monitoring sites. The Southeast Asian monsoons, northeasterly from October to the next April and southwesterly from May to September have also an important influence on water quality in Daya Bay. In the spatial pattern, two groups have been identified, with the help of multidimensional scaling analysis and cluster analysis. Cluster I consisted of the sites S3, S8, S10 and S11 in the west and north coastal parts of Daya Bay. Cluster I is mainly related to anthropogenic activities such as fish-farming. Cluster II consisted of the rest of the stations in the center, east and south parts of Daya Bay. Cluster II is mainly related to seawater exchange from South China Sea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geostatistics in Environmental Pollution and Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle A Framework for Integrating Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2366-2385; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062366
Received: 2 June 2011 / Accepted: 16 June 2011 / Published: 22 June 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (735 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With increased interest in integrating environmental justice into the process for developing environmental regulations in the United States, analysts and decision makers are confronted with the question of what methods and data can be used to assess disproportionate environmental health impacts. However, [...] Read more.
With increased interest in integrating environmental justice into the process for developing environmental regulations in the United States, analysts and decision makers are confronted with the question of what methods and data can be used to assess disproportionate environmental health impacts. However, as a first step to identifying data and methods, it is important that analysts understand what information on equity impacts is needed for decision making. Such knowledge originates from clearly stated equity objectives and the reflection of those objectives throughout the analytical activities that characterize Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA), a process that is traditionally used to inform decision making. The framework proposed in this paper advocates structuring analyses to explicitly provide pre-defined output on equity impacts. Specifically, the proposed framework emphasizes: (a) defining equity objectives for the proposed regulatory action at the onset of the regulatory process, (b) identifying specific and related sub-objectives for key analytical steps in the RIA process, and (c) developing explicit analytical/research questions to assure that stated sub-objectives and objectives are met. In proposing this framework, it is envisioned that information on equity impacts informs decision-making in regulatory development, and that this is achieved through a systematic and consistent approach that assures linkages between stated equity objectives, regulatory analyses, selection of policy options, and the design of compliance and enforcement activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Justice)
Open AccessArticle Coliform and Metal Contamination in Lago de Colina, a Recreational Water Body in Chihuahua State, Mexico
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2386-2400; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062386
Received: 23 November 2010 / Revised: 22 February 2011 / Accepted: 24 February 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
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Abstract
Lago de Colina (Colina Lake) is located about 180 km south of the city of Chihuahua (Mexico), and during the Semana Santa (Holy Week) vacation period its recreational use is high. The objective of this study was to quantify coliform and heavy [...] Read more.
Lago de Colina (Colina Lake) is located about 180 km south of the city of Chihuahua (Mexico), and during the Semana Santa (Holy Week) vacation period its recreational use is high. The objective of this study was to quantify coliform and heavy metal levels in this water body before and after the Holy Week vacation period in 2010. Twenty sampling points were randomly selected and two water samples were collected at each point near the surface (0.30 m) and at 1 m depth. After the Holy Week vacation the same twenty points were sampled at the same depths. Therefore, a total 80 water samples were analyzed for fecal and total coliforms and levels of the following metals: Al, As, B, Ca, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb, Se, Si and Zn. It was hypothesized that domestic tourism contaminated this water body, and as a consequence, could have a negative impact on visitor health. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) study was performed for each element and its interactions considering a factorial design where factor A was sample date and factor B was sample depth. Fecal coliforms were only detected at eight sampling points in the first week, but after Holy Week, both fecal and total coliforms were detected at most sampling points. The concentrations of Al, B, Na, Ni and Se were only statistically different for factor A. The levels of Cr, Cu, K and Mg was different for both date and depth, but the dual factor interaction was not significant. The amount of Ca and Zn was statistically different due to date, depth and their interaction. No significant differences were found for any factor or the interaction for the elements As, Fe and Mn. Because of the consistent results, it is concluded that local tourism is contaminating the recreational area of Colina Lake, Chihuahua, Mexico. Full article
Open AccessArticle Selected Morphological Characteristics, Lead Uptake and Phytochelatin Synthesis by Coffeeweed (Sesbania exaltata Raf.) Grown in Elevated Levels of Lead-Contaminated Soil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2401-2417; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062401
Received: 23 November 2010 / Revised: 1 March 2011 / Accepted: 1 March 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (246 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Remediation of lead-contaminated soil is significant due to the inherent toxicity of lead (Pb), and the quantity of Pb discharged into the soil. One of the most cost-effective and environmentally sound technologies for the cleanup of metal-contaminated soils is through the use [...] Read more.
Remediation of lead-contaminated soil is significant due to the inherent toxicity of lead (Pb), and the quantity of Pb discharged into the soil. One of the most cost-effective and environmentally sound technologies for the cleanup of metal-contaminated soils is through the use of plants. While much is known about the ecological evolution of metal tolerance in plants, the physiological, biochemical, and genetic mechanisms of tolerance is not well understood in the majority of resistant ecotypes such as the legume, Sesbania exaltata Raf. This study was therefore conducted to determine the morphological and physiological characteristics of Sesbania that had been grown in Pb-contaminated soil, and to assess phytochelatin synthesis as a way of elucidating its relative Pb tolerance. Sesbania plants were grown in the greenhouse and exposed to various levels of Pb: 0, 1000, and 2000 mg Pb/kg soil. Plants were harvested after 6, 8, and 10 weeks of growth and morphological characteristics (e.g., root and shoot biomass, root length, number of root nodules, shoot height, number of leaves, number of flowers, number and length of pods) were recorded. Generally, there were no statistical differences in morphological characteristics among the treatments. Further, no discernible phytotoxic symptoms, such as chlorosis, wilting, or necrotic lesions, in neither roots nor shoots were observed. We concluded that while Sesbania did not fit the model of a hyperaccumulator, the plant was, nonetheless, tolerant to elevated Pb levels. Our assessment for phytochelatin synthesis as a tolerance mechanism was inconclusive and further investigations of tolerance mechanisms are warranted. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Applications of GIS in the Analysis of the Impacts of Human Activities on South Texas Watersheds
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2418-2446; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062418
Received: 23 November 2010 / Revised: 15 June 2011 / Accepted: 20 June 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (821 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With water resource planning assuming greater importance in environmental protection efforts, analyzing the health of agricultural watersheds using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) becomes essential for decision-makers in Southern Texas. Within the area, there exist numerous threats from conflicting land uses. These include [...] Read more.
With water resource planning assuming greater importance in environmental protection efforts, analyzing the health of agricultural watersheds using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) becomes essential for decision-makers in Southern Texas. Within the area, there exist numerous threats from conflicting land uses. These include the conversion of land formerly designated for agricultural purposes to other uses. Despite current efforts, anthropogenic factors are greatly contributing to the degradation of watersheds. Additionally, the activities of waste water facilities located in some of the counties, rising populations, and other socioeconomic variables are negatively impacting the quality of water in the agricultural watersheds. To map the location of these stressors spatially and the extent of their impacts across time, the paper adopts a mix scale method of temporal spatial analysis consisting of simple descriptive statistics. In terms of objectives, this research provides geo-spatial analysis of the effects of human activities on agricultural watersheds in Southern Texas and the factors fuelling the concerns under the purview of watershed management. The results point to growing ecosystem decline across time and a geographic cluster of counties experiencing environmental stress. Accordingly, the emergence of stressors such as rising population, increased use of fertilizer treatments on farm land, discharges of atmospheric pollutants and the large presence of municipal and industrial waste treatment facilities emitting pathogens and pesticides directly into the agricultural watersheds pose a growing threat to the quality of the watershed ecosystem. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Comparison of HWRF, ARW and NMM Models in Hurricane Katrina (2005) Simulation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2447-2469; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062447
Received: 30 December 2010 / Revised: 15 January 2011 / Accepted: 28 January 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
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Abstract
The life cycle of Hurricane Katrina (2005) was simulated using three different modeling systems of Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model. These are, HWRF (Hurricane WRF) designed specifically for hurricane studies and WRF model with two different dynamic cores as the [...] Read more.
The life cycle of Hurricane Katrina (2005) was simulated using three different modeling systems of Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model. These are, HWRF (Hurricane WRF) designed specifically for hurricane studies and WRF model with two different dynamic cores as the Advanced Research WRF (ARW) model and the Non-hydrostatic Mesoscale Model (NMM). The WRF model was developed and sourced from National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), incorporating the advances in atmospheric simulation system suitable for a broad range of applications. The HWRF modeling system was developed at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) based on the NMM dynamic core and the physical parameterization schemes specially designed for tropics. A case study of Hurricane Katrina was chosen as it is one of the intense hurricanes that caused severe destruction along the Gulf Coast from central Florida to Texas. ARW, NMM and HWRF models were designed to have two-way interactive nested domains with 27 and 9 km resolutions. The three different models used in this study were integrated for three days starting from 0000 UTC of 27 August 2005 to capture the landfall of hurricane Katrina on 29 August. The initial and time varying lateral boundary conditions were taken from NCEP global FNL (final analysis) data available at 1 degree resolution for ARW and NMM models and from NCEP GFS data at 0.5 degree resolution for HWRF model. The results show that the models simulated the intensification of Hurricane Katrina and the landfall on 29 August 2005 agreeing with the observations. Results from these experiments highlight the superior performance of HWRF model over ARW and NMM models in predicting the track and intensification of Hurricane Katrina. Full article
Open AccessArticle Air Quality Modeling for the Urban Jackson, Mississippi Region Using a High Resolution WRF/Chem Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2470-2490; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062470
Received: 24 November 2010 / Revised: 26 March 2011 / Accepted: 31 March 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, an attempt was made to simulate the air quality with reference to ozone over the Jackson (Mississippi) region using an online WRF/Chem (Weather Research and Forecasting–Chemistry) model. The WRF/Chem model has the advantages of the integration of the meteorological [...] Read more.
In this study, an attempt was made to simulate the air quality with reference to ozone over the Jackson (Mississippi) region using an online WRF/Chem (Weather Research and Forecasting–Chemistry) model. The WRF/Chem model has the advantages of the integration of the meteorological and chemistry modules with the same computational grid and same physical parameterizations and includes the feedback between the atmospheric chemistry and physical processes. The model was designed to have three nested domains with the inner-most domain covering the study region with a resolution of 1 km. The model was integrated for 48 hours continuously starting from 0000 UTC of 6 June 2006 and the evolution of surface ozone and other precursor pollutants were analyzed. The model simulated atmospheric flow fields and distributions of NO2 and O3 were evaluated for each of the three different time periods. The GIS based spatial distribution maps for ozone, its precursors NO, NO2, CO and HONO and the back trajectories indicate that all the mobile sources in Jackson, Ridgeland and Madison contributing significantly for their formation. The present study demonstrates the applicability of WRF/Chem model to generate quantitative information at high spatial and temporal resolution for the development of decision support systems for air quality regulatory agencies and health administrators. Full article
Open AccessArticle Association of the Joint Effect of Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy and Cancer in African American Women: The Jackson Heart Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2491-2504; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062491
Received: 23 November 2010 / Accepted: 20 December 2010 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (316 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US and in Mississippi. Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer among women, and the underlying pathophysiology remains unknown, especially among African American (AA) women. The study purpose was to examine the joint effect of menopause status (MS) and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on the association with cancers, particularly BC using data from the Jackson Heart Study. The analytic sample consisted of 3202 women between 35 and 84 years of which 73.7% and 22.6% were postmenopausal and on HRT, respectively. There were a total of 190 prevalent cancer cases (5.9%) in the sample with 22.6% breast cancer cases. Menopause (p < 0.0001), but not HRT (p = 0.6402), was independently associated with cancer. Similar results were obtained for BC. BC, cancer, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, prevalent cardiovascular disease, physical activity and certain dietary practices were all significantly associated with the joint effect of menopause and HRT in the unadjusted analyses. The family history of cancer was the only covariate that was significantly associated with cancer in the age-adjusted models. In examining the association of cancer and the joint effect of menopause and HRT, AA women who were menopausal and were not on HRT had a 1.97 (95% CI: 1.15, 3.38) times odds of having cancer compared to pre-menopausal women after adjusting for age; which was attenuated after further adjusting for family history of cancer. Given that the cancer and BC cases were small and key significant associations were attenuated after adjusting for the above mentioned covariates, these findings warrant further investigation in studies with larger sample sizes of cancer (and BC) cases. Full article
Open AccessArticle Relationship between Medication Use and Cardiovascular Disease Health Outcomes in the Jackson Heart Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2505-2515; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062505
Received: 24 November 2010 / Revised: 13 January 2011 / Accepted: 13 January 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Even though some medications have the potential to slow the progress of atherosclerosis and development of CVD, there are many at-risk individuals who continue to resist the benefits that are available by not following the advice of medical professionals. Non-adherence to prescribed [...] Read more.
Even though some medications have the potential to slow the progress of atherosclerosis and development of CVD, there are many at-risk individuals who continue to resist the benefits that are available by not following the advice of medical professionals. Non-adherence to prescribed drug regimens is a pervasive medical problem that negatively affects treatment outcomes. Information from standardized interviews of 5301 African Americans participating in the Jackson Heart Study was examined to determine the association between demographic parameters, behavior including adherence to prescribed medical regimens, and health outcomes. Data were also collected at Annual Follow-Up and Surveillance visits. During the two weeks prior to the examination visit, almost 52% of the participants reported taking blood pressure medication, 14% took cholesterol medication, 16% took medication for diabetes, and 19% took blood thinning medication. Of those who did not take the prescribed medications, the reasons given were the following: 47% were in a hurry, too busy, or forgot to take medications; 23% were trying to do without medications; 18% had no money to purchase medications; 19% indicated that the medications made them feel bad; 17% felt that they could not carry out daily functions when taking medications. The African American population can benefit from heightened awareness of the risk factors that are associated with CVD and the benefits of following a prescribed treatment regimen. Unacceptable secondary effects of prescribed medication comprised an important cause of non-compliance. Encouragement of this population to communicate with their healthcare providers to ensure that medication regimens are better tolerated could increase compliance and improve health outcomes. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Mercury Levels in Locally Manufactured Mexican Skin-Lightening Creams
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2516-2523; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062516
Received: 23 November 2010 / Revised: 26 January 2011 / Accepted: 15 February 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (146 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mercury is considered one of the most toxic elements for plants and animals. Nevertheless, in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, whitening creams containing mercury are being manufactured and purchased, despite their obvious health risks. Due to the mass distribution of [...] Read more.
Mercury is considered one of the most toxic elements for plants and animals. Nevertheless, in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, whitening creams containing mercury are being manufactured and purchased, despite their obvious health risks. Due to the mass distribution of these products, this can be considered a global public health issue. In Mexico, these products are widely available in pharmacies, beauty aid and health stores. They are used for their skin lightening effects. The aim of this work was to analyze the mercury content in some cosmetic whitening creams using the cold vapor technique coupled with atomic absorption spectrometry (CV-AAS). A total of 16 skin-lightening creams from the local market were investigated. No warning information was noted on the packaging. In 10 of the samples, no mercury was detected. The mercury content in six of the samples varied between 878 and 36,000 ppm, despite the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that the limit for mercury in creams should be less than 1 ppm. Skin creams containing mercury are still available and commonly used in Mexico and many developing countries, and their contents are poorly controlled. Full article
Open AccessArticle HIV and Tuberculosis Trends in the United States and Select Sub-Saharan Africa Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2524-2532; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062524
Received: 30 November 2010 / Revised: 31 May 2011 / Accepted: 5 June 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (307 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tuberculosis (TB) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are two catastrophic diseases affecting millions of people worldwide every year; and are considered to be pandemic by the World Health Organization. This study aims to compare the recent trends in TB and HIV in the United States and Sub-Saharan African Countries. Data (incidence, prevalence and death rates of HIV and TB) for the United States, Cameroon, Nigeria, and South Africa were collected from The Joint United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), US Census Bureau and World Health Organization (WHO) databases and analyzed using Statistical Analysis Software (SAS v 9.1). Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was performed to compare the variables of interest between the countries and across time. Results showed that percent rates of TB cases, TB deaths, HIV cases and HIV deaths were significantly different (P < 0.001) among these countries from 1993 to 2006. South Africa had the highest rates of HIV and TB; while US had the lowest rates of both diseases. Tuberculosis and HIV rates for Cameroon and Nigeria were significantly higher when compared to the United States, but were significantly lower when compared to South Africa (P < 0.001). There were significant differences (P < 0.001) in the prevalence of TB and HIV between the United States and the Sub-Saharan African countries, as well as differences within the Sub-Saharan African countries from 1993 to 2006. More analysis needs to be carried out in order to determine the prevalence and incidence of HIV and TB among multiple variables like gender, race, sexual orientation and age to get a comprehensive picture of the trends of HIV and TB. Full article
Open AccessArticle Soil Resources Area Affects Herbivore Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2556-2564; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062556
Received: 8 December 2010 / Revised: 30 December 2010 / Accepted: 31 December 2010 / Published: 23 June 2011
PDF Full-text (350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Soil productivity effects nutritive quality of food plants, growth of humans and animals, and reproductive health of domestic animals. Game-range surveys sometimes poorly explained variations in wildlife populations, but classification of survey data by major soil types improved effectiveness. Our study evaluates possible health effects of lower condition and reproductive rates for wild populations of Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman (white-tailed deer) in some physiographic regions of Mississippi. We analyzed condition and reproductive data for 2400 female deer from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks herd health evaluations from 1991–1998. We evaluated age, body mass (Mass), kidney mass, kidney fat mass, number of corpora lutea (CL) and fetuses, as well as fetal ages. Region affected kidney fat index (KFI), which is a body condition index, and numbers of fetuses of adults (P ≤ 0.001). Region affected numbers of CL of adults (P ≤ 0.002). Mass and conception date (CD) were affected (P ≤ 0.001) by region which interacted significantly with age for Mass (P ≤ 0.001) and CD (P < 0.04). Soil region appears to be a major factor influencing physical characteristics of female deer. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Assessing Diet as a Modifiable Risk Factor for Pesticide Exposure
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1792-1804; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061792
Received: 18 April 2011 / Revised: 13 May 2011 / Accepted: 17 May 2011 / Published: 25 May 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (169 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effects of pesticides on the general population, largely as a result of dietary exposure, are unclear. Adopting an organic diet appears to be an obvious solution for reducing dietary pesticide exposure and this is supported by biomonitoring studies in children. However, [...] Read more.
The effects of pesticides on the general population, largely as a result of dietary exposure, are unclear. Adopting an organic diet appears to be an obvious solution for reducing dietary pesticide exposure and this is supported by biomonitoring studies in children. However, results of research into the effects of organic diets on pesticide exposure are difficult to interpret in light of the many complexities. Therefore future studies must be carefully designed. While biomonitoring can account for differences in overall exposure it cannot necessarily attribute the source. Due diligence must be given to appropriate selection of participants, target pesticides and analytical methods to ensure that the data generated will be both scientifically rigorous and clinically useful, while minimising the costs and difficulties associated with biomonitoring studies. Study design must also consider confounders such as the unpredictable nature of chemicals and inter- and intra-individual differences in exposure and other factors that might influence susceptibility to disease. Currently the most useful measures are non-specific urinary metabolites that measure a range of organophosphate and synthetic pyrethroid insecticides. These pesticides are in common use, frequently detected in population studies and may provide a broader overview of the impact of an organic diet on pesticide exposure than pesticide-specific metabolites. More population based studies are needed for comparative purposes and improvements in analytical methods are required before many other compounds can be considered for assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Open AccessReview Long-Lasting Effects of Undernutrition
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1817-1846; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061817
Received: 11 April 2011 / Revised: 12 May 2011 / Accepted: 19 May 2011 / Published: 26 May 2011
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (634 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Undernutrition is one of the most important public health problems, affecting more than 900 million individuals around the World. It is responsible for the highest mortality rate in children and has long-lasting physiologic effects, including an increased susceptibility to fat accumulation mostly [...] Read more.
Undernutrition is one of the most important public health problems, affecting more than 900 million individuals around the World. It is responsible for the highest mortality rate in children and has long-lasting physiologic effects, including an increased susceptibility to fat accumulation mostly in the central region of the body, lower fat oxidation, lower resting and postprandial energy expenditure, insulin resistance in adulthood, hypertension, dyslipidaemia and a reduced capacity for manual work, among other impairments. Marked changes in the function of the autonomic nervous system have been described in undernourished experimental animals. Some of these effects seem to be epigenetic, passing on to the next generation. Undernutrition in children has been linked to poor mental development and school achievement as well as behavioural abnormalities. However, there is still a debate in the literature regarding whether some of these effects are permanent or reversible. Stunted children who had experienced catch-up growth had verbal vocabulary and quantitative test scores that did not differ from children who were not stunted. Children treated before 6 years of age in day-hospitals and who recovered in weight and height have normal body compositions, bone mineral densities and insulin production and sensitivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Malnutrition and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Processing Conditions, Rice Properties, Health and Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1957-1976; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061957
Received: 17 March 2011 / Revised: 25 May 2011 / Accepted: 27 May 2011 / Published: 3 June 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (202 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rice is the staple food for nearly two-thirds of the world’s population. Food components and environmental load of rice depends on the rice form that is resulted by different processing conditions. Brown rice (BR), germinated brown rice (GBR) and partially-milled rice (PMR) [...] Read more.
Rice is the staple food for nearly two-thirds of the world’s population. Food components and environmental load of rice depends on the rice form that is resulted by different processing conditions. Brown rice (BR), germinated brown rice (GBR) and partially-milled rice (PMR) contains more health beneficial food components compared to the well milled rice (WMR). Although the arsenic concentration in cooked rice depends on the cooking methods, parboiled rice (PBR) seems to be relatively prone to arsenic contamination compared to that of untreated rice, if contaminated water is used for parboiling and cooking. A change in consumption patterns from PBR to untreated rice (non-parboiled), and WMR to PMR or BR may conserve about 43–54 million tons of rice and reduce the risk from arsenic contamination in the arsenic prone area. This study also reveals that a change in rice consumption patterns not only supply more food components but also reduces environmental loads. A switch in production and consumption patterns would improve food security where food grains are scarce, and provide more health beneficial food components, may prevent some diseases and ease the burden on the Earth. However, motivation and awareness of the environment and health, and even a nominal incentive may require for a method switching which may help in building a sustainable society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Agricultural Engineering)
Open AccessReview Non-Chemical Stressors and Cumulative Risk Assessment: An Overview of Current Initiatives and Potential Air Pollutant Interactions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2020-2073; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062020
Received: 24 April 2011 / Accepted: 20 May 2011 / Published: 8 June 2011
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (592 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Regulatory agencies are under increased pressure to consider broader public health concerns that extend to multiple pollutant exposures, multiple exposure pathways, and vulnerable populations. Specifically, cumulative risk assessment initiatives have stressed the importance of considering both chemical and non-chemical stressors, such as [...] Read more.
Regulatory agencies are under increased pressure to consider broader public health concerns that extend to multiple pollutant exposures, multiple exposure pathways, and vulnerable populations. Specifically, cumulative risk assessment initiatives have stressed the importance of considering both chemical and non-chemical stressors, such as socioeconomic status (SES) and related psychosocial stress, in evaluating health risks. The integration of non-chemical stressors into a cumulative risk assessment framework has been largely driven by evidence of health disparities across different segments of society that may also bear a disproportionate risk from chemical exposures. This review will discuss current efforts to advance the field of cumulative risk assessment, highlighting some of the major challenges, discussed within the construct of the traditional risk assessment paradigm. Additionally, we present a summary of studies of potential interactions between social stressors and air pollutants on health as an example of current research that supports the incorporation of non-chemical stressors into risk assessment. The results from these studies, while suggestive of possible interactions, are mixed and hindered by inconsistent application of social stress indicators. Overall, while there have been significant advances, further developments across all of the risk assessment stages (i.e., hazard identification, exposure assessment, dose-response, and risk characterization) are necessary to provide a scientific basis for regulatory actions and effective community interventions, particularly when considering non-chemical stressors. A better understanding of the biological underpinnings of social stress on disease and implications for chemical-based dose-response relationships is needed. Furthermore, when considering non-chemical stressors, an appropriate metric, or series of metrics, for risk characterization is also needed. Cumulative risk assessment research will benefit from coordination of information from several different scientific disciplines, including, for example, toxicology, epidemiology, nutrition, neurotoxicology, and the social sciences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cumulative Health Risk Assessment)
Open AccessReview Nanoparticles and Colloids as Contributing Factors in Neurodegenerative Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2200-2211; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062200
Received: 14 April 2011 / Revised: 13 May 2011 / Accepted: 16 May 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review explores the processes underlying the deleterious effects of the presence of insoluble or colloidal depositions within the central nervous system. These materials are chemically unreactive and can have a prolonged residence in the brain. They can be composed of mineral [...] Read more.
This review explores the processes underlying the deleterious effects of the presence of insoluble or colloidal depositions within the central nervous system. These materials are chemically unreactive and can have a prolonged residence in the brain. They can be composed of mineral or proteinaceous materials of intrinsic or exogenous origin. Such nanoparticulates and colloids are associated with a range of slow-progressing neurodegenerative states. The potential common basis of toxicity of these materials is discussed. A shared feature of these disorders involves the appearance of deleterious inflammatory changes in the CNS. This may be due to extended and ineffective immune responses. Another aspect is the presence of excess levels of reactive oxygen species within the brain. In addition with their induction by inflammatory events, these may be further heightened by the presence of redox active transition metals to the large surface area afforded by nanoparticles and amphipathic micelles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Neurotoxicology)
Open AccessReview Effect of Endocrine Disruptor Pesticides: A Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2265-2303; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062265
Received: 20 May 2011 / Revised: 8 June 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 17 June 2011
Cited by 87 | PDF Full-text (520 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) are compounds that alter the normal functioning of the endocrine system of both wildlife and humans. A huge number of chemicals have been identified as endocrine disruptors, among them several pesticides. Pesticides are used to kill unwanted organisms [...] Read more.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) are compounds that alter the normal functioning of the endocrine system of both wildlife and humans. A huge number of chemicals have been identified as endocrine disruptors, among them several pesticides. Pesticides are used to kill unwanted organisms in crops, public areas, homes and gardens, and parasites in medicine. Human are exposed to pesticides due to their occupations or through dietary and environmental exposure (water, soil, air). For several years, there have been enquiries about the impact of environmental factors on the occurrence of human pathologies. This paper reviews the current knowledge of the potential impacts of endocrine disruptor pesticides on human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Figures

Open AccessReview Antioxidative and Chemopreventive Properties of Vernonia amygdalina and Garcinia biflavonoid
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2533-2555; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062533
Received: 27 November 2010 / Revised: 12 January 2011 / Accepted: 13 January 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 34 | PDF Full-text (403 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, considerable attention has been focused on dietary and medicinal phytochemicals that inhibit, reverse or retard diseases caused by oxidative and inflammatory processes. Vernonia amygdalina is a perennial herb belonging to the Asteraceae family. Extracts of the plant have been used in [...] Read more.
Recently, considerable attention has been focused on dietary and medicinal phytochemicals that inhibit, reverse or retard diseases caused by oxidative and inflammatory processes. Vernonia amygdalina is a perennial herb belonging to the Asteraceae family. Extracts of the plant have been used in various folk medicines as remedies against helminthic, protozoal and bacterial infections with scientific support for these claims. Phytochemicals such as saponins and alkaloids, terpenes, steroids, coumarins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, xanthones, anthraquinones, edotides and sesquiterpenes have been extracted and isolated from Vernonia amygdalina. These compounds elicit various biological effects including cancer chemoprevention. Garcinia kola (Guttiferae) seed, known as “bitter kola”, plays an important role in African ethnomedicine and traditional hospitality. It is used locally to treat illnesses like colds, bronchitis, bacterial and viral infections and liver diseases. A number of useful phytochemicals have been isolated from the seed and the most prominent of them is the Garcinia bioflavonoids mixture called kolaviron. It has well-defined structure and an array of biological activities including antioxidant, antidiabetic, antigenotoxic and hepatoprotective properties. The chemopreventive properties of Vernonia amygdalina and Garcinia biflavonoids have been attributed to their abilities to scavenge free radicals, induce detoxification, inhibit stress response proteins and interfere with DNA binding activities of some transcription factors. Full article

Other

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Open AccessTechnical Note Practical Ranges of Loudness Levels of Various Types of Environmental Noise, Including Traffic Noise, Aircraft Noise, and Industrial Noise
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1847-1864; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061847
Received: 19 April 2011 / Revised: 16 May 2011 / Accepted: 20 May 2011 / Published: 26 May 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1211 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In environmental noise control one commonly employs the A-weighted sound level as an approximate measure of the effect of noise on people. A measure that is more closely related to direct human perception of noise is the loudness level. At constant A-weighted [...] Read more.
In environmental noise control one commonly employs the A-weighted sound level as an approximate measure of the effect of noise on people. A measure that is more closely related to direct human perception of noise is the loudness level. At constant A-weighted sound level, the loudness level of a noise signal varies considerably with the shape of the frequency spectrum of the noise signal. In particular the bandwidth of the spectrum has a large effect on the loudness level, due to the effect of critical bands in the human hearing system. The low-frequency content of the spectrum also has an effect on the loudness level. In this note the relation between loudness level and A-weighted sound level is analyzed for various environmental noise spectra, including spectra of traffic noise, aircraft noise, and industrial noise. From loudness levels calculated for these environmental noise spectra, diagrams are constructed that show the relation between loudness level, A‑weighted sound level, and shape of the spectrum. The diagrams show that the upper limits of the loudness level for broadband environmental noise spectra are about 20 to 40 phon higher than the lower limits for narrowband spectra, which correspond to the loudness levels of pure tones. The diagrams are useful for assessing limitations and potential improvements of environmental noise control methods and policy based on A-weighted sound levels. Full article
Open AccessBrief Report An Ecologic Analysis of County-Level PM2.5 Concentrations and Lung Cancer Incidence and Mortality
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1865-1871; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061865
Received: 2 May 2011 / Revised: 27 May 2011 / Accepted: 28 May 2011 / Published: 1 June 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (468 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Few studies have explored the relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence. Although results are mixed, some studies have demonstrated a positive relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer mortality. Using an ecologic study design, we examined the county-level associations between [...] Read more.
Few studies have explored the relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence. Although results are mixed, some studies have demonstrated a positive relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer mortality. Using an ecologic study design, we examined the county-level associations between PM2.5 concentrations (2002–2005) and lung cancer incidence and mortality in North Carolina (2002–2006). Positive trends were observed between PM2.5 concentrations and lung cancer incidence and mortality; however, the R2 for both were Full article

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