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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 9, Issue 9 (September 2012), Pages 3014-3383

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Open AccessArticle Efficiency of Silver Impregnated Porous Pot (SIPP) Filters for Production of Clean Potable Water
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3014-3029; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093014
Received: 26 June 2012 / Revised: 13 August 2012 / Accepted: 18 August 2012 / Published: 24 August 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (235 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Silver Impregnated Porous Pot (SIPP) filter is a product of the Tshwane University of Technology manufactured for the production of safe drinking water at a household (home) level. Two SIPP devices were assessed for the reduction efficiency of chemical contaminants such as
[...] Read more.
The Silver Impregnated Porous Pot (SIPP) filter is a product of the Tshwane University of Technology manufactured for the production of safe drinking water at a household (home) level. Two SIPP devices were assessed for the reduction efficiency of chemical contaminants such as calcium, magnesium, iron, arsenic, fluorides and total organic carbon (TOC) as well as microbial contaminants from environmental samples. Turbidity change after filtration, together with correlation between chlorophyll a in the feed water and SIPP’s flow rates were also evaluated in order to give comprehensive guidelines on the quality of intake water that could be filtered through the filter without causing a significant decrease in flow rate. The SIPP filters removed contaminants from environmental water samples as follows: 70% to 92% iron, 36% to 68% calcium, 42% to 82% arsenic, 39% to 98% magnesium, 39% to 95% fluorides, 12% to 35% TOC and 45% to 82% turbidity. The SIPP filters had initial flow rates of 1 L/h to 4 L/h but the flow rates dropped to 0.5 L/h with an increase in cumulative volume of intake water as the filter was used. Turbidity and chemical contaminant reduction rates decreased with accumulating volume of intake water but the filter removed Ca, Fe and Mg to levels that comply with the South African National Standards (SANS 241) and the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline values. However, the SIPP filters cannot produce enough water to satisfy the daily drinking water requirement of a typical household (25 L/p·d). Chlorophyll a was associated with a decrease in the flow rate through the SIPP filters. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Impact of the Built Environment on Young People’s Physical Activity Patterns: A Suburban-Rural Comparison Using GPS
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3030-3050; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093030
Received: 16 May 2012 / Revised: 3 August 2012 / Accepted: 20 August 2012 / Published: 24 August 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The built environment in which young people live has a significant influence on their physical activity (PA). However, little is known regarding how youth from suburban and rural settings utilise their surrounding environments to participate in free-living PA. 50 adolescents aged 13–14 years
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The built environment in which young people live has a significant influence on their physical activity (PA). However, little is known regarding how youth from suburban and rural settings utilise their surrounding environments to participate in free-living PA. 50 adolescents aged 13–14 years old (22 rural; 28 suburban) wore an integrated GPS and heart rate device during non-school hours and completed a daily PA diary over 7 days. Descriptive statistics and analyses of variance were used to explore differences in the amount and location of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) between genders and youth from different geographical settings. Suburban youth participated in significantly (p = 0.004) more daily PA (52.14 minutes MVPA) and were more extensive in their utilisation of their surroundings, compared to rural youth (26.61 minutes MVPA). Suburban youth visited more public recreational facilities and spent significantly more time outdoors and on local streets (109.71 minutes and 44.62 minutes, respectively) compared to rural youth (55.98 minutes and 17.15 minutes, respectively) during weekdays. Rural youth on average spent significantly more time within the home (350.69 minutes) during weekends compared to suburban youth (214.82 minutes). Rural females were the least active group of adolescents, participating in the least amount of daily PA (20.14 minutes MVPA) and spending the least amount of time outdoors (31.37 minutes) during weekdays. Time spent outdoors was positively associated with PA. The findings highlight the disparity in PA levels and the utilisation of the surrounding built environment between youth from two different geographical settings and possible environmental causes are discussed. The study supports the use of GPS (combined with other methods) in investigating geographical differences in young people’s PA and movement patterns. This method provides a wealth of information that may assist future policies and interventions in identifying environmental characteristics that promote PA in youth from different geographical settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices and Biomonitoring of Farmers and Residents Exposed to Pesticides in Brazil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3051-3068; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093051
Received: 5 July 2012 / Revised: 8 August 2012 / Accepted: 13 August 2012 / Published: 24 August 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, the knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding pesticide use and the levels of exposure of farmers and residents to organophosphorous and/or carbamates pesticides were evaluated in two rural settings in Brazil. A questionnaire was completed by 112 farm workers aged ≥18
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In this study, the knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding pesticide use and the levels of exposure of farmers and residents to organophosphorous and/or carbamates pesticides were evaluated in two rural settings in Brazil. A questionnaire was completed by 112 farm workers aged ≥18 years. Almost all farmers acknowledged that pesticides were potentially harmful to their health (87.5%); however, over half rarely (48.2%) or never (7.2%) used personal protective devices (PPDs). An association was found (p = 0.001) between the work regimen and the use of PPDs, with more frequent equipment use among hired laborers than those involved in family agriculture. A significant correlation (p = 0.027) was found between the reporting of adverse symptoms and the use of backpack sprayers. Mean AChE activities of farmers (n = 64) and residents (n = 18) during the exposure and non-exposure periods were significantly lower than their control groups. Mean BChE activities of farmers and residents were significantly lower than their controls during the exposure period. Among the 60 farmers that had blood samples collected in both the exposure and non-exposure (baseline) periods, 10 (16.7%) had AChE depletion of over 30% during the exposure period compared with the baseline level. Six residents living on the same farms also presented this depletion. AChE was over 30% higher than the baseline level for 19 farmers (31.7%), indicating a reboot effect. Special education programs are needed in these regions to promote the safe use of pesticides in the field to decrease the risks from exposure to pesticides for farmers, and from secondary exposure to these compounds for their families. Full article
Open AccessArticle Methodological Considerations in Screening for Cumulative Environmental Health Impacts: Lessons Learned from a Pilot Study in California
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3069-3084; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093069
Received: 29 June 2012 / Revised: 25 July 2012 / Accepted: 20 August 2012 / Published: 24 August 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (474 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polluting facilities and hazardous sites are often concentrated in low-income communities of color already facing additional stressors to their health. The influence of socioeconomic status is not considered in traditional models of risk assessment. We describe a pilot study of a screening method
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Polluting facilities and hazardous sites are often concentrated in low-income communities of color already facing additional stressors to their health. The influence of socioeconomic status is not considered in traditional models of risk assessment. We describe a pilot study of a screening method that considers both pollution burden and population characteristics in assessing the potential for cumulative impacts. The goal is to identify communities that warrant further attention and to thereby provide actionable guidance to decision- and policy-makers in achieving environmental justice. The method uses indicators related to five components to develop a relative cumulative impact score for use in comparing communities: exposures, public health effects, environmental effects, sensitive populations and socioeconomic factors. Here, we describe several methodological considerations in combining disparate data sources and report on the results of sensitivity analyses meant to guide future improvements in cumulative impact assessments. We discuss criteria for the selection of appropriate indicators, correlations between them, and consider data quality and the influence of choices regarding model structure. We conclude that the results of this model are largely robust to changes in model structure. Full article
Open AccessArticle Estimation of River Pollution Index in a Tidal Stream Using Kriging Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3085-3100; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093085
Received: 20 June 2012 / Revised: 16 August 2012 / Accepted: 21 August 2012 / Published: 29 August 2012
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (739 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Tidal streams are complex watercourses that represent a transitional zone between riverine and marine systems; they occur where fresh and marine waters converge. Because tidal circulation processes cause substantial turbulence in these highly dynamic zones, tidal streams are the most productive of water
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Tidal streams are complex watercourses that represent a transitional zone between riverine and marine systems; they occur where fresh and marine waters converge. Because tidal circulation processes cause substantial turbulence in these highly dynamic zones, tidal streams are the most productive of water bodies. Their rich biological diversity, combined with the convenience of land and water transports, provide sites for concentrated populations that evolve into large cities. Domestic wastewater is generally discharged directly into tidal streams in Taiwan, necessitating regular evaluation of the water quality of these streams. Given the complex flow dynamics of tidal streams, only a few models can effectively evaluate and identify pollution levels. This study evaluates the river pollution index (RPI) in tidal streams by using kriging analysis. This is a geostatistical method for interpolating random spatial variation to estimate linear grid points in two or three dimensions. A kriging-based method is developed to evaluate RPI in tidal streams, which is typically considered as 1D in hydraulic engineering. The proposed method efficiently evaluates RPI in tidal streams with the minimum amount of water quality data. Data of the Tanshui River downstream reach available from an estuarine area validate the accuracy and reliability of the proposed method. Results of this study demonstrate that this simple yet reliable method can effectively estimate RPI in tidal streams. Full article
Open AccessArticle Current Status of Antibiograms of Listeria ivanovii and Enterobacter cloacae Isolated from Ready-To-Eat Foods in Alice, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3101-3114; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093101
Received: 23 July 2012 / Revised: 16 August 2012 / Accepted: 22 August 2012 / Published: 29 August 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (153 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study assessed the antimicrobial susceptibility of 51 Listeria ivanovii and 33 Enterobacter cloacae strains isolated from various ready-to-eat foods sold in Alice, South Africa. Isolates were identified using standard microbiological tests and further confirmed using API 20E and API Listeria kits. The
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This study assessed the antimicrobial susceptibility of 51 Listeria ivanovii and 33 Enterobacter cloacae strains isolated from various ready-to-eat foods sold in Alice, South Africa. Isolates were identified using standard microbiological tests and further confirmed using API 20E and API Listeria kits. The disc diffusion technique was used to screen for antimicrobial susceptibility against 15 antimicrobials; minimum inhibitory concentration of five antibiotics was determined by the broth dilution method. All the strains of E. cloacae (100%) and 96% of L. ivanovii isolates were resistant to at least four or more of the antibiotics; nineteen antibiotypes were obtained based on the antibiotics used in the study. Antibiotype A5: AR PGR VAR ER APR was predominant in both L. ivanovii (23.5%) and E. cloacae (57.5%) isolates. Marked susceptibility of Listeria ivanovii was observed against chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, streptomycin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (100%) each while E. cloacae registered 100% susceptibility to ciprofloxacin only. Various percentages of susceptibility was reported to chloramphenicol and gentamicin (91%) each, nalidixic acid (97%) and streptomycin (94%). The MIC90 ranged from 0.004–7.5 µg/mL with E. cloacae being the most susceptible organism. The study demonstrated the presence of multi-resistant strains of bacteria in ready-to-eat-foods and speculates that these foods could serve as important vehicles transmitting multi-resistant bacteria to humans. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessing Disaster Preparedness among Latino Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in Eastern North Carolina
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3115-3133; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093115
Received: 9 July 2012 / Revised: 6 August 2012 / Accepted: 17 August 2012 / Published: 30 August 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (281 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Natural disasters including hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and fires often involve substantial physical and mental impacts on affected populations and thus are public health priorities. Limited research shows that vulnerable populations such as the low-income, socially isolated migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFW) are
[...] Read more.
Natural disasters including hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and fires often involve substantial physical and mental impacts on affected populations and thus are public health priorities. Limited research shows that vulnerable populations such as the low-income, socially isolated migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFW) are particularly susceptible to the effects of natural disasters. This research project assessed the awareness, perceived risk, and practices regarding disaster preparedness and response resources and identified barriers to utilization of community and government services during or after a natural disaster among Latino MSFWs’ and their families. Qualitative (N = 21) focus groups (3) and quantitative (N = 57) survey methodology was implemented with Latino MSFWs temporarily residing in rural eastern North Carolina to assess perceived and actual risk for natural disasters. Hurricanes were a top concern among the sample population, many participants shared they lacked proper resources for an emergency (no emergency kit in the house, no evacuation plan, no home internet, a lack of knowledge of what should be included in an emergency kit, etc.). Transportation and language were found to be additional barriers. Emergency broadcasts in Spanish and text message alerts were identified by the population to be helpful for disaster alerts. FEMA, American Red Cross, local schools and the migrant clinic were trusted places for assistance and information. In summary, tailored materials, emergency alerts, text messages, and news coverage concerning disaster threats should be provided in the population’s native language and when feasible delivered in a culturally appropriate mechanism such as “charlas” (talks) and brochures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparedness and Emergency Response)
Open AccessArticle Linear and Non-Linear Associations of Gonorrhea Diagnosis Rates with Social Determinants of Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3149-3165; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093149
Received: 25 July 2012 / Revised: 6 August 2012 / Accepted: 23 August 2012 / Published: 3 September 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (317 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Identifying how social determinants of health (SDH) influence the burden of disease in communities and populations is critically important to determine how to target public health interventions and move toward health equity. A holistic approach to disease prevention involves understanding the combined effects
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Identifying how social determinants of health (SDH) influence the burden of disease in communities and populations is critically important to determine how to target public health interventions and move toward health equity. A holistic approach to disease prevention involves understanding the combined effects of individual, social, health system, and environmental determinants on geographic area-based disease burden. Using 2006–2008 gonorrhea surveillance data from the National Notifiable Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance and SDH variables from the American Community Survey, we calculated the diagnosis rate for each geographic area and analyzed the associations between those rates and the SDH and demographic variables. The estimated product moment correlation (PMC) between gonorrhea rate and SDH variables ranged from 0.11 to 0.83. Proportions of the population that were black, of minority race/ethnicity, and unmarried, were each strongly correlated with gonorrhea diagnosis rates. The population density, female proportion, and proportion below the poverty level were moderately correlated with gonorrhea diagnosis rate. To better understand relationships among SDH, demographic variables, and gonorrhea diagnosis rates, more geographic area-based estimates of additional variables are required. With the availability of more SDH variables and methods that distinguish linear from non-linear associations, geographic area-based analysis of disease incidence and SDH can add value to public health prevention and control programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economical Determinants of Health)
Open AccessArticle Artificial Cold Air Increases the Cardiovascular Risks in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3197-3208; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093197
Received: 30 May 2012 / Revised: 21 July 2012 / Accepted: 28 August 2012 / Published: 4 September 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose was to investigate the effects of artificial cold air on cardiovascular risk in hypertensive subjects. An artificial cold air was simulated with hourly ambient temperature data of a real moderate cold air in China. Twenty-four male SHR rats were randomly divided
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The purpose was to investigate the effects of artificial cold air on cardiovascular risk in hypertensive subjects. An artificial cold air was simulated with hourly ambient temperature data of a real moderate cold air in China. Twenty-four male SHR rats were randomly divided into the minimum temperature (Tmin) group, the rewarming temperature (Tr) group and two concurrent control groups with six rats in each (Tmin and Tr represent two cold air time points, respectively). Tmin and Tr groups were exposed to the cold air that was stopped at Tmin and Tr, respectively. After cold air exposure, blood pressure, heart rate and body weight were monitored, blood was collected for the detection of some indexes like fibrinogen, total cholesterol and uric acid. Results demonstrated that blood pressure, whole blood viscosity, blood fibrinogen, total cholesterol and uric acid increased significantly both in the Tmin and Tr groups; low density lipoprotein/high density lipoprotein increased significantly only in Tr group; there was higher level of blood fibrinogen in the Tr group than the Tmin group; higher levels of creatine kinase-MB was found in both the Tmin and Tr groups. These results suggest that cold air may increase the cardiovascular risks in hypertensive subjects indirectly through its effects on the sympathetic nervous system and renin angiotensin system, blood pressure and atherosclerosis risk factors like blood viscosity and fibrinogen, lipids and uric acid in the blood. Full article
Open AccessArticle Relationship between Heavy Metal Concentrations in Soils and Grasses of Roadside Farmland in Nepal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3209-3226; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093209
Received: 28 July 2012 / Revised: 16 August 2012 / Accepted: 28 August 2012 / Published: 4 September 2012
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (458 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Transportation activities can contribute to accumulation of heavy metals in roadside soil and grass, which could potentially compromise public health and the environment if the roadways cross farmland areas. Particularly, heavy metals may enter the food chain as a result of their uptake
[...] Read more.
Transportation activities can contribute to accumulation of heavy metals in roadside soil and grass, which could potentially compromise public health and the environment if the roadways cross farmland areas. Particularly, heavy metals may enter the food chain as a result of their uptake by roadside edible grasses. This research was conducted to investigate heavy metal (Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb) concentrations in roadside farmland soils and corresponding grasses around Kathmandu, Nepal. Four factors were considered for the experimental design, including sample type, sampling location, roadside distance, and tree protection. A total of 60 grass samples and 60 topsoil samples were collected under dry weather conditions. The Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) results indicate that the concentrations of Cu, Zn, and Pb in the soil samples are significantly higher than those in the grass samples; the concentrations of Cu and Pb in the suburban roadside farmland are higher than those in the rural mountainous roadside farmland; and the concentrations of Cu and Zn at the sampling locations with roadside trees are significantly lower than those without tree protection. The analysis of transfer factor, which is calculated as the ratio of heavy-metal concentrations in grass to those in the corresponding soil, indicates that the uptake capabilities of heavy metals from soil to grass is in the order of Zn > Cu > Pb. Additionally, it is found that as the soils’ heavy-metal concentrations increase, the capability of heavy-metal transfer to the grass decreases, and this relationship can be characterized by an exponential regression model. Full article
Open AccessArticle Adolescents’ Daily Activities and the Restorative Niches that Support Them
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3227-3244; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093227
Received: 25 June 2012 / Revised: 14 August 2012 / Accepted: 21 August 2012 / Published: 5 September 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (524 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper explores wellbeing from the perspective of the psychological dynamics underlying adolescents’ relationship with place. It uses a dynamic model of wellbeing called personal project analysis (PPA) which captures the concept of ‘flourishing’, defined as functioning well in your activities, strivings and
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This paper explores wellbeing from the perspective of the psychological dynamics underlying adolescents’ relationship with place. It uses a dynamic model of wellbeing called personal project analysis (PPA) which captures the concept of ‘flourishing’, defined as functioning well in your activities, strivings and interactions with the world [1]. Using PPA methods we identified adolescents’ daily activities and the ‘restorative niches’ that best support them. A series of settings (including home, urban and natural outdoor places) were explored using PPA with 45 young people (aged 11–13) living in Edinburgh, Central Scotland. Participants were asked to think of eight projects of current importance to them, to say where the project took place and to rate each project against a series of core wellbeing dimensions measuring project meaning, manageability, support and affect (how much fun, stress etc.). Latent class analysis was carried out to explore clusters—or sub-groups—in the data and to identify the significant discriminators between clusters. A three-cluster model produced the best fit with project type, project place and wellbeing indicators (fun and stress) significantly discriminating between the three clusters. The three clusters were labeled by their dominant environmental context, ‘faraway’ (e.g., beach, national parks, hills), ‘everyday’ (e.g., home, school, local streets) and ‘citywide’ (e.g., sport settings, urban town context). ‘Faraway’ and ‘citywide’ clusters had a significantly higher wellbeing content, especially for fun and stress; the ‘everyday’ cluster indicated local environs remain a dominant project place for this age group, but are associated with greater stress. We compare findings with adults and suggest that outdoor settings further afield from home have greater significance within adolescent project systems, but that support is needed to facilitate access to these places. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Nature)
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Open AccessArticle Hazardous and Harmful Alcohol Use and Associated Factors in Tuberculosis Public Primary Care Patients in South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3245-3257; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093245
Received: 28 May 2012 / Revised: 14 August 2012 / Accepted: 24 August 2012 / Published: 5 September 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (367 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of hazardous and harmful alcohol use and associated factors among patients with tuberculosis in South Africa. In a cross-sectional survey new tuberculosis (TB) and TB retreatment patients were consecutively screened using the Alcohol
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The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of hazardous and harmful alcohol use and associated factors among patients with tuberculosis in South Africa. In a cross-sectional survey new tuberculosis (TB) and TB retreatment patients were consecutively screened using the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) within one month of anti-tuberculosis treatment. The sample included 4,900 (54.5% men and women 45.5%) tuberculosis patients from 42 primary care clinics in three districts. Results indicate that, overall 23.2% of the patients were hazardous or harmful alcohol drinkers, 31.8% of men and 13.0% of women were found to be hazardous drinkers, and 9.3% of men and 3.4% of women meet criteria for probable alcohol dependence (harmful drinking) as defined by the AUDIT. Men had significantly higher AUDIT scores than women. In multivariable analyses it was found that among men poor perceived health status, tobacco use, psychological distress, being a TB retreatment patient and not being on antiretroviral therapy (ART), and among women lower education, tobacco use and being a TB retreatment patient were associated with hazardous or harmful alcohol use. The study found a high prevalence of hazardous or harmful alcohol use among tuberculosis primary care patients. This calls for screening and brief intervention and a comprehensive alcohol treatment programme as a key component of TB management in South Africa. Full article
Open AccessArticle Air Manganese Levels and Chronic Liver Disease Mortality in North Carolina Counties: An Ecological Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3258-3263; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093258
Received: 6 July 2012 / Revised: 6 August 2012 / Accepted: 24 August 2012 / Published: 5 September 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (105 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Manganese is an essential trace element which is toxic in high doses. Over the past several decades, manganese has replaced lead as the anti-knock agent in gasoline, raising concern about air and road-side contamination with this element. In addition, manganese is absorbed by
[...] Read more.
Manganese is an essential trace element which is toxic in high doses. Over the past several decades, manganese has replaced lead as the anti-knock agent in gasoline, raising concern about air and road-side contamination with this element. In addition, manganese is absorbed by the liver, making specific populations (e.g., pregnant women, infants and children, and patients with liver disease) susceptible to its toxic effects. Using data from the US Census Bureau, the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics, and the US Environmental Protection Agency, this ecological study evaluated chronic liver disease mortality rates in North Carolina’s 100 counties. It correlated these rates with county-level demographics as well as on-road and non-road air borne manganese concentrations. Median income by county was inversely associated with chronic liver disease mortality, while the logarithmically transformed airborne concentrations of on-road manganese were positively correlated with county-level chronic liver disease mortality. Because environmental manganese near roads is likely to increase over time, these pilot findings potentially have regulatory implications and argue for further research. Full article
Open AccessArticle Older Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Limitations: Immigration and Other Factors Associated with Institutionalization
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3264-3279; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093264
Received: 29 June 2012 / Revised: 27 July 2012 / Accepted: 3 September 2012 / Published: 7 September 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (80 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study determined the nationalprevalence and profile of Asian Americans with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) limitations and identified factors associated with institutionalization. Data were obtained from 2006 American Community Survey, which replaced the long-form of the US Census. The data are
[...] Read more.
This study determined the national prevalence and profile of Asian Americans with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) limitations and identified factors associated with institutionalization. Data were obtained from 2006 American Community Survey, which replaced the long-form of the US Census. The data are nationally representative of both institutionalized and community-dwelling older adults. Respondents were Vietnamese (n = 203), Korean (n = 131), Japanese (n = 193), Filipino (n = 309), Asian Indian (n = 169), Chinese (n = 404), Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (n = 54), and non-Hispanic whites (n = 55,040) aged 55 and over who all had ADL limitations. The prevalence of institutionalized among those with ADL limitations varies substantially from 4.7% of Asian Indians to 18.8% of Korean Americans with ADL limitations. Every AAPI group had a lower prevalence of institutionalization than disabled Non-Hispanic whites older adults (23.8%) (p < 0.001). After adjustment for socio-demographic characteristics, Asian Indians, Vietnamese, Japanese, Filipino, and Chinese had significantly lower odds of institutionalization than non-Hispanic whites (OR = 0.29, 0.31, 0.58, 0.51, 0.70, respectively). When the sample was restricted to AAPIs, the odds of institutionalization were higher among those who were older, unmarried, cognitively impaired and those who spoke English at home. This variation suggests that aggregating data across the AAPI groups obscures meaningful differences among these subpopulations and substantial inter-group differences may have important implications in the long-term care setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health 2012)
Open AccessArticle Helmet Use and Associated Factors among Thai Motorcyclists during Songkran Festival
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3286-3297; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093286
Received: 4 June 2012 / Revised: 20 August 2012 / Accepted: 4 September 2012 / Published: 10 September 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (72 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess helmet use and associated factors among motorcycle riders during Songkran festival in Thailand. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to determine the prevalence of helmet use among Thai motorcycle riders (sample size = 18,998) during four
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess helmet use and associated factors among motorcycle riders during Songkran festival in Thailand. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to determine the prevalence of helmet use among Thai motorcycle riders (sample size = 18,998) during four days of the Songkran festival. For this sample, the population of motorcycle riders was consecutively selected using quota sampling from 12 petrol stations in four provinces from each of the four main geographical regions of Thailand. The study was conducted at petrol stations at roads in town, outside town and highway at different time intervals when trained field staff administered a structured questionnaire and performed an observation checklist. Results indicate that 44.2% of the motorcycle riders and 72.5% of the motorcycle passengers had not been using a helmet. In multivariable analysis demographics, environmental factors, helmet use experiences and attitudes and recalling a lower exposure to road safety awareness (RSA) campaign were associated with non-helmet use among motorcyclists. It appears that the RSA campaign may have some positive effect on reducing non-helmet use among motorcycle riders during the Songkran festival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Organophosphorus and Carbamate Pesticide Residues Detected in Water Samples Collected from Paddy and Vegetable Fields of the Savar and Dhamrai Upazilas in Bangladesh
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3318-3329; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093318
Received: 23 July 2012 / Revised: 13 August 2012 / Accepted: 5 September 2012 / Published: 11 September 2012
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (617 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Several types of organophosphorous and carbamate pesticides have been used extensively by the farmers in Bangladesh during the last few decades. Twenty seven water samples collected from both paddy and vegetable fields in the Savar and Dhamrai Upazilas in Bangladesh were analyzed to
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Several types of organophosphorous and carbamate pesticides have been used extensively by the farmers in Bangladesh during the last few decades. Twenty seven water samples collected from both paddy and vegetable fields in the Savar and Dhamrai Upazilas in Bangladesh were analyzed to determine the occurrence and distribution of organo-phosphorus (chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon) and carbamate (carbaryl and carbofuran) pesticide residues. A high performance liquid chromatograph instrument equipped with a photodiode array detector was used to determine the concentrations of these pesticide residues. Diazinon and carbofuran were detected in water samples collected from Savar Upazila at 0.9 μg/L and 198.7 μg/L, respectively. Malathion was also detected in a single water sample at 105.2 μg/L from Dhamrai Upazila. Carbaryl was the most common pesticide detected in Dhamrai Upazila at 14.1 and 18.1 μg/L, while another water sample from Dhamrai Upazila was contaminated with carbofuran at 105.2 μg/L. Chlorpyrifos was not detected in any sample. Overall, the pesticide residues detected were well above the maximum acceptable levels of total and individual pesticide contamination, at 0.5 and 0.1 μg/L, respectively, in water samples recommended by the European Economic Community (Directive 98/83/EC). The presence of these pesticide residues may be attributed by their intense use by the farmers living in these areas. Proper handling of these pesticides should be ensured to avoid direct or indirect exposure to these pesticides. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Developing a Tunnel across a Highway on the Water Quality in an Upstream Reservoir Watershed Area—A Case Study of the Hsuehshan Tunnel in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3344-3353; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093344
Received: 10 July 2012 / Revised: 14 September 2012 / Accepted: 17 September 2012 / Published: 19 September 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cities in Taiwan are so dependent on reservoir water that preservation of the upstream reservoir watershed has become a significant public concern. However, due to the high-density development of land, resulting in rapid urban expansion, the construction of tunnels and elevated highways across
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Cities in Taiwan are so dependent on reservoir water that preservation of the upstream reservoir watershed has become a significant public concern. However, due to the high-density development of land, resulting in rapid urban expansion, the construction of tunnels and elevated highways across reservoirs to better utilize the surrounding land has become a global trend. Based on data from long-term observation of the reservoir, this study verifies the difference in water quality before and after the highway construction. The results indicate that the total phosphorus (TP) increased on average 14 μg/L to 36.5 μg/L per annum, and the water quality is expected to require 10 years to recover. During the highway development, the average TP was more than twice the normal level. During summer, the TP level increases 3.1-fold due to rainfall. As indicated by the results, the large-scale land development will harm the long-term preservation of the reservoir’s water quality, and therefore should be avoided. Full article
Open AccessArticle Resveratrol Inhibited Hydroquinone-Induced Cytotoxicity in Mouse Primary Hepatocytes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3354-3364; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093354
Received: 21 July 2012 / Revised: 27 August 2012 / Accepted: 14 September 2012 / Published: 19 September 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (323 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hydroquinone (1,4-benzenediol) has been widely used in clinical situations and the cosmetic industry because of its depigmenting effects. Most skin-lightening hydroquinone creams contain 4%–5% hydroquinone. We have investigated the role of resveratrol in prevention of hydroquinone induced cytotoxicity in mouse primary hepatocytes. We
[...] Read more.
Hydroquinone (1,4-benzenediol) has been widely used in clinical situations and the cosmetic industry because of its depigmenting effects. Most skin-lightening hydroquinone creams contain 4%–5% hydroquinone. We have investigated the role of resveratrol in prevention of hydroquinone induced cytotoxicity in mouse primary hepatocytes. We found that 400 µM hydroquinone exposure alone induced apoptosis of the cells and also resulted in a significant drop of cell viability compared with the control, and pretreatment of resveratrol to a final concentration of 0.5 mM 1 h before hydroquinone exposure did not show a significant improvement in the survival rate of the hepatocytes, however, relatively higher concentrations of resveratrol (≥1 mM) inhibited apoptosis of the mouse primary hepatocytes and increased cell viability in a dose-dependent manner, and in particular the survival rate of the hepatocytes was recovered from 28% to near 100% by 5 mM resveratrol. Interestingly, pretreatment with resveratrol for longer time (24 h), even in very low concentrations (50 µM, 100 µM), blocked the damage of hydroquinone to the cells. We also observed that resveratrol pretreatment suppressed hydroquinone-induced expression of cytochrome P450 2E1 mRNA dose-dependently. The present study suggests that resveratrol protected the cells against hydroquinone-induced toxicity through its antioxidant function and possibly suppressive effect on the expression of cytochrome P450 2E1. Full article
Open AccessArticle Pilot Study of Pesticide Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices among Pregnant Women in Northern Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3365-3383; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093365
Received: 27 July 2012 / Revised: 7 September 2012 / Accepted: 14 September 2012 / Published: 19 September 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (139 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
An estimated 200,000 children born in Thailand each year are at risk of prenatal exposure to pesticides and associated neurodevelopmental outcomes because of their mothers’ agricultural occupations. Children born to non-agricultural workers may also be at risk of exposure from other pathways of
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An estimated 200,000 children born in Thailand each year are at risk of prenatal exposure to pesticides and associated neurodevelopmental outcomes because of their mothers’ agricultural occupations. Children born to non-agricultural workers may also be at risk of exposure from other pathways of maternal pesticide exposure, including exposure through home use, diet, and other environmental media. Pesticide exposure in Thailand has been linked to unsafe practices and beliefs about pesticides. However, limited information exists on pesticide knowledge, attitudes, and practices among pregnant women in Thailand or elsewhere. Obtaining this information is essential to understand the factors associated with prenatal pesticide exposure, identify populations potentially at risk, and ultimately protect pregnant women and their children. We administered surveys to 76 pregnant women in northern Thailand and used multivariable logistic regression to evaluate associations among pesticide-related knowledge, pregnancy trimester, and pesticide use behavior. In this pilot study, lower knowledge score and earliest trimester of pregnancy were marginally (p < 0.1) associated with unsafe practices in the home, but not at work. Women who worked in agriculture or applied pesticides before becoming pregnant, or who had a previous child were significantly (p < 0.05) more likely to engage in unsafe behaviors in the home during their current pregnancy. We preliminarily conclude that increasing pesticide-related knowledge among pregnant women may help promote safe practices and reduce prenatal exposure. Knowledge-based interventions may be most effective when implemented early in pregnancy and targeted to agricultural workers and other sub-populations at risk of pesticide exposure. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Risky Play and Children’s Safety: Balancing Priorities for Optimal Child Development
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3134-3148; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093134
Received: 18 July 2012 / Revised: 3 August 2012 / Accepted: 22 August 2012 / Published: 30 August 2012
Cited by 27 | PDF Full-text (85 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Injury prevention plays a key role in keeping children safe, but emerging research suggests that imposing too many restrictions on children’s outdoor risky play hinders their development. We explore the relationship between child development, play, and conceptions of risk taking with the aim
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Injury prevention plays a key role in keeping children safe, but emerging research suggests that imposing too many restrictions on children’s outdoor risky play hinders their development. We explore the relationship between child development, play, and conceptions of risk taking with the aim of informing child injury prevention. Generational trends indicate children’s diminishing engagement in outdoor play is influenced by parental and societal concerns. We outline the importance of play as a necessary ingredient for healthy child development and review the evidence for arguments supporting the need for outdoor risky play, including: (1) children have a natural propensity towards risky play; and, (2) keeping children safe involves letting them take and manage risks. Literature from many disciplines supports the notion that safety efforts should be balanced with opportunities for child development through outdoor risky play. New avenues for investigation and action are emerging seeking optimal strategies for keeping children “as safe as necessary,” not “as safe as possible.” This paradigm shift represents a potential for epistemological growth as well as cross-disciplinary collaboration to foster optimal child development while preserving children’s safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Injury Prevention) Print Edition available
Open AccessReview Analysis of Endocrine Disrupting Pesticides by Capillary GC with Mass Spectrometric Detection
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3166-3196; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093166
Received: 11 June 2012 / Revised: 24 July 2012 / Accepted: 21 August 2012 / Published: 4 September 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Endocrine disrupting chemicals, among them many pesticides, alter the normal functioning of the endocrine system of both wildlife and humans at very low concentration levels. Therefore, the importance of method development for their analysis in food and the environment is increasing. This also
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Endocrine disrupting chemicals, among them many pesticides, alter the normal functioning of the endocrine system of both wildlife and humans at very low concentration levels. Therefore, the importance of method development for their analysis in food and the environment is increasing. This also covers contributions in the field of ultra-trace analysis of multicomponent mixtures of organic pollutants in complex matrices. With this fact conventional capillary gas chromatography (CGC) and fast CGC with mass spectrometric detection (MS) has acquired a real importance in the analysis of endocrine disrupting pesticide (EDP) residues. This paper provides an overview of GC methods, including sample preparation steps, for analysis of EDPs in a variety of matrices at ultra-trace concentration levels. Emphasis is put on separation method, mode of MS detection and ionization and obtained limits of detection and quantification. Analysis time is one of the most important aspects that should be considered in the choice of analytical methods for routine analysis. Therefore, the benefits of developed fast GC methods are important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Spectrometry and Environmental Analysis)
Figures

Open AccessReview Climate Change and Children’s Health—A Call for Research on What Works to Protect Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3298-3316; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093298
Received: 18 July 2012 / Revised: 15 August 2012 / Accepted: 5 September 2012 / Published: 10 September 2012
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (104 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Climate change is affecting and will increasingly influence human health and wellbeing. Children are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. An extensive literature review regarding the impact of climate change on children’s health was conducted in April 2012 by searching electronic
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Climate change is affecting and will increasingly influence human health and wellbeing. Children are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. An extensive literature review regarding the impact of climate change on children’s health was conducted in April 2012 by searching electronic databases PubMed, Scopus, ProQuest, ScienceDirect, and Web of Science, as well as relevant websites, such as IPCC and WHO. Climate change affects children’s health through increased air pollution, more weather-related disasters, more frequent and intense heat waves, decreased water quality and quantity, food shortage and greater exposure to toxicants. As a result, children experience greater risk of mental disorders, malnutrition, infectious diseases, allergic diseases and respiratory diseases. Mitigation measures like reducing carbon pollution emissions, and adaptation measures such as early warning systems and post-disaster counseling are strongly needed. Future health research directions should focus on: (1) identifying whether climate change impacts on children will be modified by gender, age and socioeconomic status; (2) refining outcome measures of children’s vulnerability to climate change; (3) projecting children’s disease burden under climate change scenarios; (4) exploring children’s disease burden related to climate change in low-income countries; and (5) identifying the most cost-effective mitigation and adaptation actions from a children’s health perspective. Full article
Open AccessReview Hospital Textiles, Are They a Possible Vehicle for Healthcare-Associated Infections?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3330-3343; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093330
Received: 17 August 2012 / Revised: 3 September 2012 / Accepted: 4 September 2012 / Published: 14 September 2012
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (137 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Textiles are a common material in healthcare facilities; therefore it is important that they do not pose as a vehicle for the transfer of pathogens to patients or hospital workers. During the course of use hospital textiles become contaminated and laundering is necessary.
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Textiles are a common material in healthcare facilities; therefore it is important that they do not pose as a vehicle for the transfer of pathogens to patients or hospital workers. During the course of use hospital textiles become contaminated and laundering is necessary. Laundering of healthcare textiles is most commonly adequate, but in some instances, due to inappropriate disinfection or subsequent recontamination, the textiles may become a contaminated inanimate surface with the possibility to transfer pathogens. In this review we searched the published literature in order to answer four review questions: (1) Are there any reports on the survival of microorganisms on hospital textiles after laundering? (2) Are there any reports that indicate the presence of microorganisms on hospital textiles during use? (3) Are there any reports that microorganisms on textiles are a possible source infection of patients? (4) Are there any reports that microorganisms on textiles are a possible source infection for healthcare workers? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessCommentary Comments on: Cardoso, C.F.; Drummond, A.F.; Lages, E.M.B.; Pretti, H.; Ferreira, E.F.; Abreu, M.H.N.G. The Dental Aesthetic Index and Dental Health Component of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need as Tools in Epidemiological Studies. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 3277–3286
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3280-3282; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093280
Received: 27 January 2012 / Accepted: 27 January 2012 / Published: 7 September 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (23 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In regard to the article entitled “The Dental Aesthetic Index and Dental Health Component of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need as Tools in Epidemiological Studies” by Cardoso et al. [1] which checks the validity and agreement of two scales for orthodontic treatment
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In regard to the article entitled “The Dental Aesthetic Index and Dental Health Component of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need as Tools in Epidemiological Studies” by Cardoso et al. [1] which checks the validity and agreement of two scales for orthodontic treatment need, we would like to draw your attention to a number of discrepancies in the design and methodology which have affected the results. [...] Full article
Open AccessReply Response to: Arora, V.; Gupta, N.K.; Nath, D.K.; Tandan, A.; Chandra, P. Comments on “The Dental Aesthetic Index and Dental Health Component of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need as Tools in Epidemiological Studies”. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 3277–3286
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3283-3285; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093283
Received: 12 March 2012 / Accepted: 12 March 2012 / Published: 7 September 2012
PDF Full-text (22 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract In response to the Commentary submitted by Arora et al. [1], which has questioned some methodological issues in our article [2], we would like to respond item by item. [...] Full article
Open AccessCorrection Correction: Barbouni, A., et al. Tobacco Use, Exposure to Secondhand Smoke, and Cessation Counseling Among Health Professions Students: Greek Data from the Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 331-342
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3317; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093317
Received: 31 August 2012 / Accepted: 31 August 2012 / Published: 10 September 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (17 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract The authors wish to make the following correction to this paper [1]: The author name “George Rahiotis” should be “George Rachiotis”. Full article

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