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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 8, Issue 9 (September 2011), Pages 3514-3820

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle The Correlation between Thermal and Noxious Gas Environments, Pig Productivity and Behavioral Responses of Growing Pigs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3514-3527; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093514
Received: 22 July 2011 / Accepted: 9 August 2011 / Published: 25 August 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1536 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Correlations between environmental parameters (thermal range and noxious gas levels) and the status (productivity, physiological, and behavioral) of growing pigs were examined for the benefit of pig welfare and precision farming. The livestock experiment was conducted at a Seoul National University station [...] Read more.
Correlations between environmental parameters (thermal range and noxious gas levels) and the status (productivity, physiological, and behavioral) of growing pigs were examined for the benefit of pig welfare and precision farming. The livestock experiment was conducted at a Seoul National University station in South Korea. Many variations were applied and the physiological and behavioral responses of the growing pigs were closely observed. Thermal and gas environment parameters were different during the summer and winter seasons, and the environments in the treatments were controlled in different manners. In the end, this study finds that factors such as Average Daily Gain (ADG), Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH), stress, posture, and eating habits were all affected by the controlled environmental parameters and that appropriate control of the foregoing could contribute to the improvement of precision farming and pig welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Agricultural Engineering)
Open AccessArticle Determinants of Exposure to Second-Hand Tobacco Smoke (SHS) among Current Non-Smoking In-School Adolescents (aged 11–18 years) in South Africa: Results from the 2008 GYTS Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3553-3561; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093553
Received: 18 July 2011 / Revised: 22 August 2011 / Accepted: 29 August 2011 / Published: 31 August 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (163 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence and identify correlates of second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS) among 6,412 current non-smoking school-going adolescents (aged 11 to 18 years) in South Africa. A cross-sectional study was carried out in 2008 in South [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence and identify correlates of second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS) among 6,412 current non-smoking school-going adolescents (aged 11 to 18 years) in South Africa. A cross-sectional study was carried out in 2008 in South Africa within the framework of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey. Overall, 25.7% of students were exposed to SHS at home, 34.2% outside of the home and 18.3% were exposed to SHS at home and outside of the home. Parental and close friends smoking status, allowing someone to smoke around you and perception that passive smoking was harmful were significant determinants of adolescent’s exposure to both SHS at home and outside of the home. Identified factors can inform the implementation of public health interventions in order to reduce passive smoking among adolescents. Full article
Open AccessArticle Cancer Incidence of 2,4-D Production Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3579-3590; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093579
Received: 1 June 2011 / Revised: 27 August 2011 / Accepted: 30 August 2011 / Published: 2 September 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (182 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite showing no evidence of carcinogenicity in laboratory animals, the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) has been associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in some human epidemiology studies, albeit inconsistently. We matched an existing cohort of 2,4-D manufacturing employees with cancer registries in three [...] Read more.
Despite showing no evidence of carcinogenicity in laboratory animals, the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) has been associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in some human epidemiology studies, albeit inconsistently. We matched an existing cohort of 2,4-D manufacturing employees with cancer registries in three US states resulting in 244 cancers compared to 276 expected cases. The Standardized Incidence Ratio (SIR) for the 14 NHL cases was 1.36 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.74–2.29). Risk estimates were higher in the upper cumulative exposure and duration subgroups, yet not statistically significant. There were no clear patterns of NHL risk with period of hire and histology subtypes. Statistically significant results were observed for prostate cancer (SIR = 0.74, 95% CI 0.57–0.94), and “other respiratory” cancers (SIR = 3.79, 95% CI 1.22–8.84; 4 of 5 cases were mesotheliomas). Overall, we observed fewer cancer cases than expected, and a non statistically significant increase in the number of NHL cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Cancer)
Open AccessArticle Self-Reported Exposure to Policy and Environmental Influences on Smoking Cessation and Relapse: A 2-Year Longitudinal Population-based Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3591-3608; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093591
Received: 27 July 2011 / Accepted: 25 August 2011 / Published: 5 September 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (226 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although most smokers want to quit, the long-term success rate of quit attempts remains low; research is needed to understand the policy and environmental influences that can increase the success of cessation efforts. This paper uses regression methods to investigate self-reported exposure [...] Read more.
Although most smokers want to quit, the long-term success rate of quit attempts remains low; research is needed to understand the policy and environmental influences that can increase the success of cessation efforts. This paper uses regression methods to investigate self-reported exposure to policy and environmental influences on quit attempts, maintenance of a quit attempt for at least 6 months, and relapse in a longitudinal population-based sample, the New York Adult Cohort Survey, followed for 12 months (N = 3,261) and 24 months (N = 1,142). When policy or environmental influence variables were assessed independently of other policy or environmental influence variables, many were significant for at least some of the cessation outcomes. In the full models that included a full set of policy or environmental influence variables, many significant associations became nonsignificant. A number of policies may have an influence on multiple cessation outcomes. However, the effect varies by cessation outcome, and statistical significance is influenced by model specification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy)
Open AccessArticle Implementing Brief Interventions in Health Care: Lessons Learned from the Swedish Risk Drinking Project
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3609-3627; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093609
Received: 30 June 2011 / Revised: 20 August 2011 / Accepted: 26 August 2011 / Published: 7 September 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Risk Drinking Project was a national implementation endeavour in Sweden, carried out from 2004 to 2010, based on a government initiative to give alcohol issues a more prominent place in routine primary, child, maternity and occupational health care. The article describes [...] Read more.
The Risk Drinking Project was a national implementation endeavour in Sweden, carried out from 2004 to 2010, based on a government initiative to give alcohol issues a more prominent place in routine primary, child, maternity and occupational health care. The article describes and analyses the project. Critical factors that were important for the results are identified. The magnitude of the project contributed to its reach and impact in terms of providers’ awareness of the project goals and key messages. The timing of the project was appropriate. The increase in alcohol consumption in Sweden and diminished opportunities for primary prevention strategies since entry to the European Union in 1995 have led to increased expectations for health care providers to become more actively involved in alcohol prevention. This awareness provided favourable conditions for this project. A multifaceted approach was used in the project. Most educational courses were held in workshops and seminars to encourage learning-by-doing. Motivational interviewing was an integral aspect. The concept of risk drinking was promoted in all the activities. Subprojects were tailored to the specific conditions of each respective setting, building on the skills the providers already had to modify existing work practices. Nurses were afforded a key role in the project. Full article
Open AccessArticle Smoking, Cognitive Function and Mortality in a U.S. National Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3628-3636; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093628
Received: 28 July 2011 / Revised: 25 August 2011 / Accepted: 26 August 2011 / Published: 7 September 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (163 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Previous studies report that low levels cognitive function and history of smoking are associated with increased mortality risk. Elderly smokers may have increased risk of dementia, but risk in former smokers is unclear. We tested the hypotheses that the harmful effect of [...] Read more.
Previous studies report that low levels cognitive function and history of smoking are associated with increased mortality risk. Elderly smokers may have increased risk of dementia, but risk in former smokers is unclear. We tested the hypotheses that the harmful effect of impaired cognitive function as related to mortality is greater in persons smoking at baseline than in others. Further, we used serum cotinine levels to assess recall bias of smoking history by cognitive function level. Data were analyzed from a longitudinal mortality follow-up study of 4,916 American men and women aged 60 years and over, examined in 1988–1994 with complete data followed an average 8.5 years. Measurements at baseline included smoking history, a short index of cognitive function (SICF), serum cotinine and socio-demographics. Death during follow-up occurred in 1,919 persons. In proportional hazards regression analysis, a significant interaction of current smoking with cognitive function was not found; but there was a significant age-smoking interaction. After adjusting for confounding by age or multiple variables, current smoking associated with over 2-fold increased mortality (hazards ratio and 95% confidence limits current versus never smoking 2.13, 1.75–2.59) and SICF with 32% reduction in mortality; top versus bottom SICF stratum 0.68, 0.53–0.88). Serum cotinine data revealed substantial recall bias of smoking history in persons with cognitive impairment. However analyses correcting for this bias did not alter the main conclusions: In a nationwide cohort of older Americans, analyses demonstrated a lower risk of death independent of confounders among those with high SICF scores and never smokers, without a significant interaction of the two. Full article
Open AccessArticle Modeling Joint Exposures and Health Outcomes for Cumulative Risk Assessment: The Case of Radon and Smoking
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3688-3711; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093688
Received: 15 July 2011 / Revised: 5 September 2011 / Accepted: 6 September 2011 / Published: 13 September 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2089 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Community-based cumulative risk assessment requires characterization of exposures to multiple chemical and non-chemical stressors, with consideration of how the non-chemical stressors may influence risks from chemical stressors. Residential radon provides an interesting case example, given its large attributable risk, effect modification due [...] Read more.
Community-based cumulative risk assessment requires characterization of exposures to multiple chemical and non-chemical stressors, with consideration of how the non-chemical stressors may influence risks from chemical stressors. Residential radon provides an interesting case example, given its large attributable risk, effect modification due to smoking, and significant variability in radon concentrations and smoking patterns. In spite of this fact, no study to date has estimated geographic and sociodemographic patterns of both radon and smoking in a manner that would allow for inclusion of radon in community-based cumulative risk assessment. In this study, we apply multi-level regression models to explain variability in radon based on housing characteristics and geological variables, and construct a regression model predicting housing characteristics using U.S. Census data. Multi-level regression models of smoking based on predictors common to the housing model allow us to link the exposures. We estimate county-average lifetime lung cancer risks from radon ranging from 0.15 to 1.8 in 100, with high-risk clusters in areas and for subpopulations with high predicted radon and smoking rates. Our findings demonstrate the viability of screening-level assessment to characterize patterns of lung cancer risk from radon, with an approach that can be generalized to multiple chemical and non-chemical stressors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cumulative Health Risk Assessment)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Apparent Temperature and Cause-Specific Mortality in Copenhagen, Denmark: A Case-Crossover Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3712-3727; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093712
Received: 20 July 2011 / Revised: 22 August 2011 / Accepted: 5 September 2011 / Published: 16 September 2011
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (561 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Temperature, a key climate change indicator, is expected to increase substantially in the Northern Hemisphere, with potentially grave implications for human health. This study is the first to investigate the association between the daily 3-hour maximum apparent temperature (Tappmax), and [...] Read more.
Temperature, a key climate change indicator, is expected to increase substantially in the Northern Hemisphere, with potentially grave implications for human health. This study is the first to investigate the association between the daily 3-hour maximum apparent temperature (Tappmax), and respiratory, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular mortality in Copenhagen (1999–2006) using a case-crossover design. Susceptibility was investigated for age, sex, socio-economic status and place of death. For an inter-quartile range (7 °C) increase in Tappmax, an inverse association was found with cardiovascular mortality (−7% 95% CI −13%; −1%) and none with respiratory and cerebrovascular mortality. In the cold period all associations were inverse, although insignificant. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sitting Time and Body Mass Index in Diabetics and Pre-Diabetics Willing to Participate in a Lifestyle Intervention
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3747-3758; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093747
Received: 15 July 2011 / Revised: 8 September 2011 / Accepted: 14 September 2011 / Published: 19 September 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This cross-sectional study examined the relationship between Body Mass Index (BMI), total sitting time and total physical activity time in a generally overweight or obese population of type 2 diabetics or pre-diabetics willing to participate in a lifestyle intervention [n = 221, [...] Read more.
This cross-sectional study examined the relationship between Body Mass Index (BMI), total sitting time and total physical activity time in a generally overweight or obese population of type 2 diabetics or pre-diabetics willing to participate in a lifestyle intervention [n = 221, 55.1% male, mean age (SD) 62.0 (9.9), mean BMI (SD) 31.4 (5.0)]. In addition, we aimed to identify demographic and psychosocial associates of the motivation to become more physically active. The measurement instrument was a self-report questionnaire. Results showed that total sitting time was more closely related to BMI than total physical activity time. Subjects with a higher weight status were more sedentary, but they were also more motivated to be physically active. On the other hand, their self-efficacy to be physically active was lower than subjects with a lower weight status. Lifestyle interventions to decrease the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes should aim not only at increasing total physical activity time, but also at reducing the total sitting time. Despite generally high levels of motivation among these obese participants, intervention designers and intermediaries should be aware of their low level of self-efficacy towards being physically active. Full article
Open AccessArticle Simultaneous Isolation of Lactoferrin and Lactoperoxidase from Bovine Colostrum by SPEC 70 SLS Cation Exchange Resin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3764-3776; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093764
Received: 19 July 2011 / Revised: 19 August 2011 / Accepted: 31 August 2011 / Published: 21 September 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (578 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, simultaneous isolation of lactoferrin (Lf) and lactoperoxidase (Lp) from defatted bovine colostrum by one-step cation exchange chromatography with SPEC 70 SLS ion-exchange resin was investigated. A RP-HPLC method for Lf and Lp determination was developed and optimized as the [...] Read more.
In this work, simultaneous isolation of lactoferrin (Lf) and lactoperoxidase (Lp) from defatted bovine colostrum by one-step cation exchange chromatography with SPEC 70 SLS ion-exchange resin was investigated. A RP-HPLC method for Lf and Lp determination was developed and optimized as the following conditions: detection wavelength of 220 nm, flow rate of 1 mL/min and acetonitrile concentration from 25% to 75% within 20 min. The adsorption process of Lf on SPEC 70 SLS resin was optimized using Lf standard as substrate. The maximum static binding capacity of SPEC 70 SLS resin was of 22.0 mg/g resin at 15 °С, pH 7.0 and adsorption time 3 h. The Lf adsorption process could be well described by the Langmuir adsorption isotherm model, with a maximum adsorption capacity of 21.73 mg/g resin at 15 °С. In batch fractionation of defatted colostrum, the binding capacities of SPEC 70 SLS resin for adsorbing Lf and Lp simultaneously under the abovementioned conditions were 7.60 and 6.89 mg/g resin, respectively, both of which were superior to those of CM Sepharose F.F. or SP Sepharose F.F. resins under the same conditions. As a result, SPEC 70 SLS resin was considered as a successful candidate for direct and economic purification of Lf and Lp from defatted colostrum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Agricultural Engineering)
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Technological Innovation and Environmental Performance Improvement in Aviation Sector
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3777-3795; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093777
Received: 30 December 2010 / Revised: 17 August 2011 / Accepted: 6 September 2011 / Published: 22 September 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (473 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The past oil crises have caused dramatic improvements in fuel efficiency in all industrial sectors. The aviation sector—aircraft manufacturers and airlines—has also made significant efforts to improve the fuel efficiency through more advanced jet engines, high-lift wing designs, and lighter airframe materials. [...] Read more.
The past oil crises have caused dramatic improvements in fuel efficiency in all industrial sectors. The aviation sector—aircraft manufacturers and airlines—has also made significant efforts to improve the fuel efficiency through more advanced jet engines, high-lift wing designs, and lighter airframe materials. However, the innovations in energy-saving aircraft technologies do not coincide with the oil crisis periods. The largest improvement in aircraft fuel efficiency took place in the 1960s while the high oil prices in the 1970s and on did not induce manufacturers or airlines to achieve a faster rate of innovation. In this paper, we employ a historical analysis to examine the socio-economic reasons behind the relatively slow technological innovation in aircraft fuel efficiency over the last 40 years. Based on the industry and passenger behaviors studied and prospects for alternative fuel options, this paper offers insights for the aviation sector to shift toward more sustainable technological options in the medium term. Second-generation biofuels could be the feasible option with a meaningful reduction in aviation’s lifecycle environmental impact if they can achieve sufficient economies of scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Transportation)
Open AccessArticle Alcohol Policy, Social Context, and Infant Health: The Impact of Minimum Legal Drinking Age
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3796-3809; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093796
Received: 11 August 2011 / Revised: 2 September 2011 / Accepted: 2 September 2011 / Published: 23 September 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (197 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: The minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) was increased in the U.S. in the late 1980s in an effort to reduce intoxication-associated injuries, especially those related to motor vehicle accidents. This paper explores distal (secondary) effects of changing MLDA on indices [...] Read more.
Objective: The minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) was increased in the U.S. in the late 1980s in an effort to reduce intoxication-associated injuries, especially those related to motor vehicle accidents. This paper explores distal (secondary) effects of changing MLDA on indices of infant health, and whether changes in drinking behaviors or birth composition contributed to these effects. Methods: State- and year-fixed-effects models are used to analyze the relationship between MLDA, drinking behaviors, and birth outcomes. We studied the effects of different MLDA (age 18, 19, 20, or 21 years) when potential mothers were 14 years old by merging two population-based datasets, the Natality Detailed Files and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System between 1985 and 2002. Results: A MLDA of 18 years old (when potential mothers were 14 years old) increased the prevalence of low birth weight, low Apgar scores, and premature births. Effects were stronger among children born to black women compared with white women. Moreover, a younger MLDA was associated with an increasing proportion of very young and high school dropouts for black women. Furthermore, older MLDA laws at age 14 years decreased the prevalence of binge drinking among black women. Conclusions: Increasing the MLDA had longer term, distal impacts beyond the initially intended outcomes, specifically on birth outcomes (particularly among infants born to black women) as well as school drop-outs and binge drinking patterns among black young females. The older MLDA, intended initially to reduce problematic drinking behaviors, appeared to alter broader social contexts that influenced young women during their early childbearing years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Convergent Validity of the Arab Teens Lifestyle Study (ATLS) Physical Activity Questionnaire
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3810-3820; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093810
Received: 12 August 2011 / Revised: 8 September 2011 / Accepted: 19 September 2011 / Published: 23 September 2011
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Arab Teens Lifestyle Study (ATLS) is a multicenter project for assessing the lifestyle habits of Arab adolescents. This study reports on the convergent validity of the physical activity questionnaire used in ATLS against an electronic pedometer. Participants were 39 males and [...] Read more.
The Arab Teens Lifestyle Study (ATLS) is a multicenter project for assessing the lifestyle habits of Arab adolescents. This study reports on the convergent validity of the physical activity questionnaire used in ATLS against an electronic pedometer. Participants were 39 males and 36 females randomly selected from secondary schools, with a mean age of 16.1 ± 1.1 years. ATLS self-reported questionnaire was validated against the electronic pedometer for three consecutive weekdays. Mean steps counts were 6,866 ± 3,854 steps/day with no significant gender difference observed. Questionnaire results showed no significant gender differences in time spent on total or moderate-intensity activities. However, males spent significantly more time than females on vigorous-intensity activity. The correlation of steps counts with total time spent on all activities by the questionnaire was 0.369. Relationship of steps counts was higher with vigorous-intensity (r = 0.338) than with moderate-intensity activity (r = 0.265). Pedometer steps counts showed higher correlations with time spent on walking (r = 0.350) and jogging (r = 0.383) than with the time spent on other activities. Active participants, based on pedometer assessment, were also most active by the questionnaire. It appears that ATLS questionnaire is a valid instrument for assessing habitual physical activity among Arab adolescents. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview Online Social Networking and Addiction—A Review of the Psychological Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3528-3552; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093528
Received: 9 March 2011 / Revised: 12 August 2011 / Accepted: 22 August 2011 / Published: 29 August 2011
Cited by 154 | PDF Full-text (286 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Social Networking Sites (SNSs) are virtual communities where users can create individual public profiles, interact with real-life friends, and meet other people based on shared interests. They are seen as a ‘global consumer phenomenon’ with an exponential rise in usage within the [...] Read more.
Social Networking Sites (SNSs) are virtual communities where users can create individual public profiles, interact with real-life friends, and meet other people based on shared interests. They are seen as a ‘global consumer phenomenon’ with an exponential rise in usage within the last few years. Anecdotal case study evidence suggests that ‘addiction’ to social networks on the Internet may be a potential mental health problem for some users. However, the contemporary scientific literature addressing the addictive qualities of social networks on the Internet is scarce. Therefore, this literature review is intended to provide empirical and conceptual insight into the emerging phenomenon of addiction to SNSs by: (1) outlining SNS usage patterns, (2) examining motivations for SNS usage, (3) examining personalities of SNS users, (4) examining negative consequences of SNS usage, (5) exploring potential SNS addiction, and (6) exploring SNS addiction specificity and comorbidity. The findings indicate that SNSs are predominantly used for social purposes, mostly related to the maintenance of established offline networks. Moreover, extraverts appear to use social networking sites for social enhancement, whereas introverts use it for social compensation, each of which appears to be related to greater usage, as does low conscientiousness and high narcissism. Negative correlates of SNS usage include the decrease in real life social community participation and academic achievement, as well as relationship problems, each of which may be indicative of potential addiction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance and Behavioral Addictions: Co-Occurrence and Specificity)
Open AccessReview Issues in Assessing Environmental Exposures to Manufactured Nanomaterials
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3562-3578; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093562
Received: 2 April 2011 / Revised: 15 August 2011 / Accepted: 17 August 2011 / Published: 31 August 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Manufactured nanomaterials (MNs) are commonly considered to be commercial products possessing at least one dimension in the size range of 10−9 m to 10−7 m. As particles in this size range represent the smaller fraction of colloidal particles characterized by [...] Read more.
Manufactured nanomaterials (MNs) are commonly considered to be commercial products possessing at least one dimension in the size range of 10−9 m to 10−7 m. As particles in this size range represent the smaller fraction of colloidal particles characterized by dimensions of 10−9 m to 10−6 m, they differ from both molecular species and bulk particulate matter in the sense that they are unlikely to exhibit significant settling under normal gravitational conditions and they are also likely to exhibit significantly diminished diffusivities (when compared to truly dissolved species) in environmental media. As air/water, air/soil, and water/soil intermedium transport is governed by diffusive processes in the absence of significant gravitational and inertial impaction processes in environmental systems, models of MN environmental intermedium transport behavior will likely require an emphasis on kinetic approaches. This review focuses on the likely environmental fate and transport of MNs in atmospheric and aquatic systems. Should significant atmospheric MNs emission occur, previous observations suggest that MNs may likely exhibit an atmospheric residence time of ten to twenty days. Moreover, while atmospheric MN aggregates in a size range of 10−7 m to 10−6 m will likely be most mobile, they are least likely to deposit in the human respiratory system. An examination of various procedures including the Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory of colloidal particle suspension stability in water indicates that more sophisticated approaches may be necessary in order to develop aquatic exposure models of acceptable uncertainty. In addition, concepts such as Critical Coagulation Concentrations and Critical Zeta Potentials may prove to be quite useful in environmental aquatic exposure assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Pollution: Prevention and Mitigation)
Open AccessReview The Paradox of Nutrition-Related Diseases in the Arab Countries: The Need for Action
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3637-3671; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093637
Received: 11 August 2011 / Revised: 25 August 2011 / Accepted: 29 August 2011 / Published: 8 September 2011
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (379 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this review was to highlight the current situation of nutrition-related diseases in the Arab countries, and factors associated with prevalence of these diseases. PubMed and Google Scholar were searched for data relating to such nutrition-related diseases published between January [...] Read more.
The aim of this review was to highlight the current situation of nutrition-related diseases in the Arab countries, and factors associated with prevalence of these diseases. PubMed and Google Scholar were searched for data relating to such nutrition-related diseases published between January 1990 and May 2011. The picture of nutritional status in the Arab countries has changed drastically over the past 30 years as a result of changes in the social and economic situation. Two contrasting nutrition-related diseases exist, those associated with inadequate intake of nutrients and unhealthy dietary habits such as growth retardation among young children and micronutrient deficiencies; and those associated with changes in lifestyle such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes and obesity (diet-related non-communicable diseases). Factors contributing to nutritional problems vary from country to country, depending on socio-economic status. In general, unsound dietary habits, poor sanitation, poverty, ignorance and lack of access to safe water and health services are mainly responsible for under-nutrition. Changes in lifestyle and dietary habits as well as inactivity are associated with the occurrence of diet-related non-communicable diseases. Programs to prevent and control nutrition-related diseases are insufficient and ineffective, due mainly to a focus on curative care at the expense of preventive health care services, lack of epidemiological studies, lack of nutritional surveillance, inadequate nutrition information and lack of assessment of the cost-effectiveness of nutrition intervention programs. Full article
Open AccessReview Environmental Isocyanate-Induced Asthma: Morphologic and Pathogenetic Aspects of an Increasing Occupational Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3672-3687; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093672
Received: 18 July 2011 / Revised: 30 August 2011 / Accepted: 6 September 2011 / Published: 9 September 2011
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (817 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Occupational diseases affect more and more people every year. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), in 2000 an estimated amount of at least 160 million people became ill as a result of occupational-related hazards or injuries. Globally, occupational deaths, diseases and [...] Read more.
Occupational diseases affect more and more people every year. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), in 2000 an estimated amount of at least 160 million people became ill as a result of occupational-related hazards or injuries. Globally, occupational deaths, diseases and injuries account for an estimated loss of 4% of the Gross Domestic Product. Important substances that are related to occupational diseases are isocyanates and their products. These substances, which are used in a lot of different industrial processes, are not only toxic and irritant, but also allergenic. Although the exposure to higher concentrations could be monitored and restricted by technical means, very low concentrations are difficult to monitor and may, over time, lead to allergic reactions in some workers, ending in an occupational disease. In order to prevent the people from sickening, the mechanisms underlying the disease, by patho-physiological and genetical means, have to be known and understood so that high risk groups and early signs in the development of an allergic reaction could be detected before the exposure to isocyanates leads to an occupational disease. Therefore, this paper reviews the so far known facts concerning the patho-physiologic appearance and mechanisms of isocyanate-associated toxic reactions and possible genetic involvement that might trigger the allergic reactions. Full article
Open AccessReview Does α-Amino-β-methylaminopropionic Acid (BMAA) Play a Role in Neurodegeneration?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3728-3746; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093728
Received: 6 June 2011 / Revised: 9 September 2011 / Accepted: 9 September 2011 / Published: 16 September 2011
Cited by 30 | PDF Full-text (1331 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The association of α-amino-β-methylaminopropionic acid (BMAA) with elevated incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Parkinson’s disease complex (ALS/PDC) was first identified on the island of Guam. BMAA has been shown to be produced across the cyanobacterial order and its detection has been reported in [...] Read more.
The association of α-amino-β-methylaminopropionic acid (BMAA) with elevated incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Parkinson’s disease complex (ALS/PDC) was first identified on the island of Guam. BMAA has been shown to be produced across the cyanobacterial order and its detection has been reported in a variety of aquatic and terrestrial environments worldwide, suggesting that it is ubiquitous. Various in vivo studies on rats, mice, chicks and monkeys have shown that it can cause neurodegenerative symptoms such as ataxia and convulsions. Zebrafish research has also shown disruption to neural development after BMAA exposure. In vitro studies on mice, rats and leeches have shown that BMAA acts predominantly on motor neurons. Observed increases in the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Ca2+ influx, coupled with disruption to mitochondrial activity and general neuronal death, indicate that the main mode of activity is via excitotoxic mechanisms. The current review pertaining to the neurotoxicity of BMAA clearly demonstrates its ability to adversely affect neural tissues, and implicates it as a potentially significant compound in the aetiology of neurodegenerative disease. When considering the potential adverse health effects upon exposure to this compound, further research to better understand the modes of toxicity of BMAA and the environmental exposure limits is essential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Neurotoxicology)

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Open AccessShort Note A GIS-Aided Assessment of the Health Hazards of Cadmium in Farm Soils in Central Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3759-3763; doi:10.3390/ijerph8093759
Received: 5 September 2011 / Accepted: 15 September 2011 / Published: 20 September 2011
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Abstract
A geostatistical method was developed to examine the correlation, or lack of it, between the levels of cadmium (Cd) detected in farm soils and those detected in the human specimens collected from residents around the contaminated areas in Changhua County where cadmium [...] Read more.
A geostatistical method was developed to examine the correlation, or lack of it, between the levels of cadmium (Cd) detected in farm soils and those detected in the human specimens collected from residents around the contaminated areas in Changhua County where cadmium contamination of staple rice has been documented. We used the Taiwan EPA environment data in 2002 and human data which were generated by the National Health Research Institutes during 2003–2005. Kriging interpolation methods were used to determine soil Cd concentrations. A Zonal statistical function was performed to assess the individual exposure. Soil Cd levels and tissue Cd levels in residents were analyzed for contamination hotspots and other areas to determine correlation between the two variables. Three Cd contamination hotspots were identified, in which no correlation was found between soil Cd levels and tissue Cd levels in residents. Our results demonstrate how GIS spatial modeling technique can be used to estimate distribution of pollutants in an area using a limited number of data points. Results indicated no association between the soil contamination and the exposure of residents to Cd, suggesting that both the soils and the residents are receptors of Cd as a pollutant from as yet unidentified sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geostatistics in Environmental Pollution and Risk Assessment)

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