Open AccessArticle
Social Risk Factors of Transportation PPP Projects in China: A Sustainable Development Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1323; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071323 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have become increasingly important in improving the sustainability of society in China, with transportation being the largest investment area. However, the Social Risk Factors (SRFs) of transportation PPPs in China, which serve as a useful tool for distinguishing strengths and
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Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have become increasingly important in improving the sustainability of society in China, with transportation being the largest investment area. However, the Social Risk Factors (SRFs) of transportation PPPs in China, which serve as a useful tool for distinguishing strengths and weaknesses for effective social risk management (SRM), have not been clearly identified. A conceptual model including 3 risk dimensions and 15 SRFs was proposed to mitigate social risks and improve the social sustainability of transportation PPP projects. A questionnaire survey conducted to investigate stakeholders’ opinions on the proposed SRFs demonstrated that all the SRFs were important. The SRFs can be used to evaluate social risks from economic, environmental, and social dimensions. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) verified the classification of the SRFs and indicated that all the risk dimensions contributed to social risks. The social and environmental impacts on social sustainability may contribute more to the generation of social risks. Furthermore, the concept of people-first PPPs was proposed to reduce social risks from the perspective of different stakeholders, with the interactions among different stakeholders being prioritized. The identified SRFs and their relationships can improve our understanding of SRM in the delivery of social sustainability and improve social resilience. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Four Major South Korea’s Rivers Using Deep Learning Models
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1322; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071322 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Harmful algal blooms are an annual phenomenon that cause environmental damage, economic losses, and disease outbreaks. A fundamental solution to this problem is still lacking, thus, the best option for counteracting the effects of algal blooms is to improve advance warnings (predictions). However,
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Harmful algal blooms are an annual phenomenon that cause environmental damage, economic losses, and disease outbreaks. A fundamental solution to this problem is still lacking, thus, the best option for counteracting the effects of algal blooms is to improve advance warnings (predictions). However, existing physical prediction models have difficulties setting a clear coefficient indicating the relationship between each factor when predicting algal blooms, and many variable data sources are required for the analysis. These limitations are accompanied by high time and economic costs. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence and deep learning methods have become increasingly common in scientific research; attempts to apply the long short-term memory (LSTM) model to environmental research problems are increasing because the LSTM model exhibits good performance for time-series data prediction. However, few studies have applied deep learning models or LSTM to algal bloom prediction, especially in South Korea, where algal blooms occur annually. Therefore, we employed the LSTM model for algal bloom prediction in four major rivers of South Korea. We conducted short-term (one week) predictions by employing regression analysis and deep learning techniques on a newly constructed water quality and quantity dataset drawn from 16 dammed pools on the rivers. Three deep learning models (multilayer perceptron, MLP; recurrent neural network, RNN; and long short-term memory, LSTM) were used to predict chlorophyll-a, a recognized proxy for algal activity. The results were compared to those from OLS (ordinary least square) regression analysis and actual data based on the root mean square error (RSME). The LSTM model showed the highest prediction rate for harmful algal blooms and all deep learning models out-performed the OLS regression analysis. Our results reveal the potential for predicting algal blooms using LSTM and deep learning. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Removal Behavior of Methylene Blue from Aqueous Solution by Tea Waste: Kinetics, Isotherms and Mechanism
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071321 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Tea waste (biosorbent) was characterized by BET, SEM, FTIR, XPS, solid state 13C-NMR and applied to remove methylene blue (MB) from aqueous solution. The effect of different factors on MB removal, kinetics, isotherms and potential mechanism was investigated. The results showed that
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Tea waste (biosorbent) was characterized by BET, SEM, FTIR, XPS, solid state 13C-NMR and applied to remove methylene blue (MB) from aqueous solution. The effect of different factors on MB removal, kinetics, isotherms and potential mechanism was investigated. The results showed that tea waste contains multiple organic functional groups. The optimum solid-to-liquid ratio for MB adsorption was 4.0 g·L−1 and the initial pH of the MB solution did not need to be adjusted to a certain value. The pseudo-second-order model could well fit the adsorption kinetic process. The adsorption process could be divided into two stages: a fast adsorption stage and a slow adsorption stage. The adsorption isotherm could be well described by Langmuir and Temkin isotherm models. The maximum adsorption amount could reach 113.1461 mg·g−1 based on Langmuir isotherm fitting. Desorption and reusability experiments showed that MB adsorption onto tea waste could be stable and could not cause secondary pollution. The interaction mechanism between tea waste and MB involved electrostatic attraction, hydrogen bond, ion exchange, π-π binding. The organic functional groups of tea waste played an important role during the MB removal process. Therefore, tea waste has the potential to act as an adsorbent to remove MB from aqueous solution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Risk Factors for Ventricular Septal Defects in Murmansk County, Russia: A Registry-Based Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1320; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071320 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Cardiovascular malformations are one of the most common birth defects among newborns and constitute a leading cause of perinatal and infant mortality. Although some risk factors are recognized, the causes of cardiovascular malformations (CVMs) remain largely unknown. In this study, we aim to
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Cardiovascular malformations are one of the most common birth defects among newborns and constitute a leading cause of perinatal and infant mortality. Although some risk factors are recognized, the causes of cardiovascular malformations (CVMs) remain largely unknown. In this study, we aim to identify risk factors for ventricular septal defects (VSDs) in Northwest Russia. The study population included singleton births registered in the Murmansk County Birth Registry (MCBR) between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2011. Infants with a diagnosis of VSD in the MCBR and/or in the Murmansk Regional Congenital Defects Registry (up to two years post-delivery) constituted the study sample. Among the 52,253 infants born during the study period there were 744 cases of septal heart defects (SHDs), which corresponds to a prevalence of 14.2 [95% confidence interval (CI) of 13.2–15.3] per 1000 infants. Logistic regression analyses were carried out to identify VSD risk factors. Increased risk of VSDs was observed among infants born to mothers who abused alcohol [OR = 4.83; 95% CI 1.88–12.41], or smoked during pregnancy [OR = 1.35; 95% CI 1.02–1.80]. Maternal diabetes mellitus was also a significant risk factor [OR = 8.72; 95% CI 3.16–24.07], while maternal age, body mass index, folic acid and multivitamin intake were not associated with increased risk. Overall risks of VSDs for male babies were lower [OR = 0.67; 95% CI 0.52–0.88]. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rural Households’ Livelihood Capital, Risk Perception, and Willingness to Purchase Earthquake Disaster Insurance: Evidence from Southwestern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1319; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071319 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Earthquake disaster insurance can effectively reduce the impact of earthquake disasters on rural households. Exploring rural households’ willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance in earthquake disaster areas provides an understanding of the motivations underlying the implementation of an insurance policy. However, few studies
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Earthquake disaster insurance can effectively reduce the impact of earthquake disasters on rural households. Exploring rural households’ willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance in earthquake disaster areas provides an understanding of the motivations underlying the implementation of an insurance policy. However, few studies have examined the perspectives of rural households, in order to explore the correlations between the rural households’ livelihood capital, their disaster risk perception, and their willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance. A cross-sectional survey data including 241 rural households from the most severe disaster counties (cities) during the 5 • 12 Wenchuan earthquake was examined with regard to rural households’ livelihood and disaster risk perception, and ordinal logistic regression models were constructed to explore rural households’ willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance, as well as the driving mechanism behind this willingness. The results showed that 34.44% of rural households were very willing to purchase earthquake disaster insurance, and 7.05% of rural households were very reluctant to purchase earthquake insurance. Rural households’ livelihood capital and risk perceptions were the most important factors affecting their willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance. Rural households with higher scores on natural capital, physical capital, possibility, and worry were more likely to purchase earthquake disaster insurance. Specifically, keeping all other variables constant, every one unit increase in nature capital and physical capitalcorresponded to an increase in the odds of willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance by a factor of 0.14 and 0.06, respectively; every one unit increase in possibility and worrycorresponded to an increase in the odds of willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance by a factor of 0.03 and 0.04, respectively. This study contributes to the current literature by increasing the understanding of the relationships between Chinese rural households’ livelihood capital and risk perceptions, and their willingness to purchase earthquake disaster insurance. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Mental Health Literacy in Young Adults: Adaptation and Psychometric Properties of the Mental Health Literacy Questionnaire
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1318; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071318 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Mental health literacy (MHL) is considered a prerequisite for early recognition and intervention in mental disorders, and for this reason, it has become a focus of research over the past few decades. Assessing this construct is relevant for identifying knowledge gaps and erroneous
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Mental health literacy (MHL) is considered a prerequisite for early recognition and intervention in mental disorders, and for this reason, it has become a focus of research over the past few decades. Assessing this construct is relevant for identifying knowledge gaps and erroneous beliefs concerning mental health issues, to inform the development of interventions aimed at promoting mental health literacy as well as the evaluation of these interventions. Recently, we developed a new self-reporting measure (MHLq) for assessing mental health literacy in young people (12–14 years-old), meeting the need to assess MHL from a comprehensive perspective of the construct instead of focusing on a restricted number of mental disorders or specific dimensions (e.g., knowledge concerning specific disorders; stigma). The present study aimed to adapt the MHLq for the young adult population and to examine its psychometric properties, according to the following steps: (1) item adaptation, using a think aloud procedure (n = 5); (2) data collection (n = 356, aged between 18 and 25 years old; and (3) psychometric analyses (exploratory factor analysis and internal consistency analysis). The final version of the questionnaire included 29 items (total scale α = 0.84), organized by four dimensions: (1) knowledge of mental health problems (α = 0.74); (2) erroneous beliefs/stereotypes (α = 0.72); (3) help-seeking and first aid skills (α = 0.71); and (4) self-help strategies (α = 0.60). The results suggest that the MHLq-adult form is a practical, valid, and reliable screening tool for identifying gaps in knowledge, beliefs, and behavioral intentions related to mental health and mental disorders, planning promotion programs, and evaluating intervention effectiveness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Environmental Management Maturity Model of Construction Programs Using the AHP-Entropy Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1317; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071317 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The accelerating process of urbanization in China has led to considerable opportunities for the development of construction projects, however, environmental issues have become an important constraint on the implementation of these projects. To quantitatively describe the environmental management capabilities of such projects, this
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The accelerating process of urbanization in China has led to considerable opportunities for the development of construction projects, however, environmental issues have become an important constraint on the implementation of these projects. To quantitatively describe the environmental management capabilities of such projects, this paper proposes a 2-dimensional Environmental Management Maturity Model of Construction Program (EMMMCP) based on an analysis of existing projects, group management theory and a management maturity model. In this model, a synergetic process was included to compensate for the lack of consideration of synergies in previous studies, and it was involved in the construction of the first dimension, i.e., the environmental management index system. The second dimension, i.e., the maturity level of environment management, was then constructed by redefining the hierarchical characteristics of construction program (CP) environmental management maturity. Additionally, a mathematical solution to this proposed model was derived via the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)-entropy approach. To verify the effectiveness and feasibility of this proposed model, a computational experiment was conducted, and the results show that this approach could not only measure the individual levels of different processes, but also achieve the most important objective of providing a reference for stakeholders when making decisions on the environmental management of construction program, which reflects this model is reasonable for evaluating the level of environmental management maturity in CP. To our knowledge, this paper is the first study to evaluate the environmental management maturity levels of CP, which would fill the gap between project program management and environmental management and provide a reference for relevant management personnel to enhance their environmental management capabilities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Dual-Channel Supply Chain Coordination under Carbon Cap-and-Trade Regulation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1316; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071316 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
We consider a dual-channel supply chain coordination under a carbon cap-and-trade regulation. The dual-channel refers to the traditional retail channel and the network direct channel, and both two channels’ selling prices can affect the market demand. We formulate the problem as a supplier-Stackelberg
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We consider a dual-channel supply chain coordination under a carbon cap-and-trade regulation. The dual-channel refers to the traditional retail channel and the network direct channel, and both two channels’ selling prices can affect the market demand. We formulate the problem as a supplier-Stackelberg game model and obtain the optimal pricing decisions and corresponding profits in centralized and decentralized systems. We explore the effects of cap-and-trade regulation on optimal decisions and profits. To improve the performance of the decentralized system, we propose online channel price discount and offline channel price discount contracts to coordinate dual-channel supply chain and provide a transfer payment mechanism to make win-win of both sides. Moreover, we investigate how carbon regulation affects the coordination performance. Numerical examples illustrate the process to find the appropriate price discount coefficient and show the coordination effects of two contracts. Full article
Open AccessReview
A Review of Methods for Assessing the Environmental Health Impacts of an Agricultural System
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1315; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071315 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
(1) Background: Global agricultural production is projected to increase substantially in the coming decades. Agricultural production provides food and materials crucial to human survival and well-being and is a critical source of livelihood, providing employment opportunities and economic benefits. However, industrialized or intensified
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(1) Background: Global agricultural production is projected to increase substantially in the coming decades. Agricultural production provides food and materials crucial to human survival and well-being and is a critical source of livelihood, providing employment opportunities and economic benefits. However, industrialized or intensified agricultural systems, in particular, can have adverse effects on public health, place pressure on natural resources, and reduce environmental sustainability. This review attempts to identify and characterize key environmental health assessment methods for examining a broad array of potential impacts; (2) Methods: Electronic databases Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, and GreenLINE were searched for published literature that presented methods for conducting an environmental health assessment of an agricultural system; (3) Results: Fifty-three sources were included in the review. Eight methods were selected to illustrate the wide range of approaches currently available: health risk assessment methods, health impact assessment, environmental impact assessment methods, environmental burden of disease, lifecycle methods, integrated assessment modeling, trade-off analysis, and economic assessment; (4) Conclusions: This review can provide guidance for selecting an existing method or for designing a new method for assessing the environmental health impacts of an agricultural system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of the Familiar Environment in 11–14-Year-Old Minors’ Mental Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1314; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071314 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The analysis of the mental health in children under 14 years has become a research topic of global interest where the family can be a key factor for protection or risk against mental health problems. With this work, we intend to determine, employing
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The analysis of the mental health in children under 14 years has become a research topic of global interest where the family can be a key factor for protection or risk against mental health problems. With this work, we intend to determine, employing binary logistic regression analysis, whether parental acceptance-rejection perceived by boys and girls can predict their mental health. Seven hundred sixty-two students participated, the average age was 12.23 years; 53.8% (n = 410) girls and 46.2% (n = 352) boys. We have used the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), self-reported version and the Affection Scale children version (EA-H) for parental acceptance-rejection to assess mental health. The odds ratio (OR) of the logistic models reports that there is a greater probability of having mental health problems in boys and girls when they perceive that they are highly criticized and rejected by their parents. With our work, we highlight the importance of the environment and family affection on mental health. The perception of the children about the rejection, aversion, and criticism of their parents constitutes a risk factor in the manifestation of mental health problems. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Weather and Suicide: A Decade Analysis in the Five Largest Capital Cities of Colombia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1313; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071313 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Historically, seasonal variations in suicide rates were thought to be associated with changes in weather. Most of this evidence however, is based on studies that were conducted in developed countries that are located outside the tropics. As such, it is necessary to examine
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Historically, seasonal variations in suicide rates were thought to be associated with changes in weather. Most of this evidence however, is based on studies that were conducted in developed countries that are located outside the tropics. As such, it is necessary to examine this association in developing countries, such as Colombia, which do not experience marked seasons. In addition, it is important to adjust for the effect of holidays when analyzing this association as they have been reported to be a relevant confounding factor. Our objective was to estimate the association between daily suicide incidence among men and women in five major Colombian cities (Bogotá, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, and Bucaramanga) and daily temperature and rainfall. For this purpose, we conducted a multi-city, multi-temporal ecological study from 2005 to 2015, using data from the suicide mortality registries (provided by the National Administrative Department of Statistics). Daily measurements of the two weather variables were obtained from the official historical registry of the meteorological station at each city airport. We used these data to estimate conditional Poisson models for daily suicide counts, stratifying by sex and adjusting for holidays. Although we found that none of the weather variable estimators could reject the null hypothesis, we uncovered an association between suicide incidence and long weekends in the total suicide model (Incidence Rate Ratio (IRR): 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04–1.23). We found no evidence of association between weather variables and suicide in Colombia. Our study is based on daily observations and it provides evidence of absence of this association in a tropical country that does not experience marked seasons. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rethinking the Role of the Public Health Clinic: Comparison of Outpatient Utilization in the Public Health Clinics and Private Clinics in Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1312; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071312 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Korea has experienced an overall expansion of access to care in the past few decades, which necessitated the reconsideration of the role of the public health clinics (PHC) as a primary care provider. The recent controversy about the outpatient copayment waiver for the
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Korea has experienced an overall expansion of access to care in the past few decades, which necessitated the reconsideration of the role of the public health clinics (PHC) as a primary care provider. The recent controversy about the outpatient copayment waiver for the elderly in the PHC is in the same vein. This study compared the outpatient utilization of the PHC and private clinics, and investigated its factors. Data were acquired from the National Patient Sample in 2013. Compared with private clinics, the patients in the PHC were more elderly and had less severe conditions. Being elderly, the status of National Health Insurance (NHI) beneficiaries, less comorbidities, and low total claim costs were found to be factors for choosing the PHC over private clinics. These results suggest that the elderly, who are the main beneficiaries of copayment waivers in the PHC, are the most likely to use the outpatient service by the PHC. The functions of the PHC need to be rearranged according to the recent advancements in the health care system in Korea. Diverting the resources and efforts from outpatient care to functions that best serve the health of the population should be considered. Full article
Open AccessReview
Sexual Health Help-Seeking Behavior among Migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia living in High Income Countries: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1311; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071311 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The number of migrants has increased globally. This phenomenon has contributed to increasing health problems amongst migrants in high-income countries, including vulnerability for HIV acquisition and other sexual health issues. Adaptation processes in destination countries can present difficulties for migrants to seek help
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The number of migrants has increased globally. This phenomenon has contributed to increasing health problems amongst migrants in high-income countries, including vulnerability for HIV acquisition and other sexual health issues. Adaptation processes in destination countries can present difficulties for migrants to seek help from and gain access to health services. This study examined migrants’ from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and South East Asia (SEA) sexual health help-seeking behavior in high-income countries with universal health coverage. The systematic review followed PRISMA guidelines and was registered with PROSPERO. Several databases were searched from 2000 to 2017. Of 2824 studies, 15 met the inclusion criteria. These consisted of 12 qualitative and three quantitative studies conducted in Australia, Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Scotland, Ireland, and Sweden. Migrants experienced a range of difficulties accessing health services, specifically those related to sexual health, in high-income countries. Few studies described sources of sexual health help-seeking or facilitators to help-seeking. Barriers to access were numerous, including: stigma, direct and indirect costs, difficulty navigating health systems in destination countries and lack of cultural competency within health services. More culturally secure health services, increased health service literacy and policy support to mitigate costs, will improve health service access for migrants from SSA and SEA. Addressing the structural drivers for stigma and discrimination remains an ongoing and critical challenge. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Refined Kano Model and QFD for Service Quality Improvement in Healthy Fast-Food Chain Restaurants
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1310; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071310 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
People are paying greater attention to health. To maintain a good health status and obtain food fast, customers may go to healthy fast-food chain restaurants such as Subway more often than before in China and Taiwan. Healthy fast-food chain restaurants come with a
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People are paying greater attention to health. To maintain a good health status and obtain food fast, customers may go to healthy fast-food chain restaurants such as Subway more often than before in China and Taiwan. Healthy fast-food chain restaurants come with a healthy spin, seeking to differentiate themselves from other fast-food restaurants. This paper combined the refined Kano model and the quality function deployment (QFD) method. The refined Kano model was used to understand how customers perceive service attributes developed based on DINESERV measurements. QFD was employed to describe the relationships among the critical service attributes and corresponding improvements as well as to identify the priority for these improvements. The analysis results revealed that providing limited offers (due to periods, seasons, and regions) should be at the top of their improvement list, followed by staff suggestions for ingredients, and a temperature display to enhance the image of fresh ingredients. Other improvement actions include providing regular launches of new flavors/products, designing new and attractive slogans, and providing restaurant apps. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Incorporating Spatial Statistics into Examining Equity in Health Workforce Distribution: An Empirical Analysis in the Chinese Context
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1309; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071309 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Existing measures of health equity bear limitations due to the shortcomings of traditional economic methods (i.e., the spatial location information is overlooked). To fill the void, this study investigates the equity in health workforce distribution in China by incorporating spatial statistics (spatial autocorrelation
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Existing measures of health equity bear limitations due to the shortcomings of traditional economic methods (i.e., the spatial location information is overlooked). To fill the void, this study investigates the equity in health workforce distribution in China by incorporating spatial statistics (spatial autocorrelation analysis) and traditional economic methods (Theil index). The results reveal that the total health workforce in China experienced rapid growth from 2004 to 2014. Meanwhile, the Theil indexes for China and its three regions (Western, Central and Eastern China) decreased continually during this period. The spatial autocorrelation analysis shows that the overall agglomeration level (measured by Global Moran’s I) of doctors and nurses dropped rapidly before and after the New Medical Reform, with the value for nurses turning negative. Additionally, the spatial clustering analysis (measured by Local Moran’s I) shows that the low–low cluster areas of doctors and nurses gradually reduced, with the former disappearing from north to south and the latter from east to west. On the basis of these analyses, this study suggests that strategies to promote an equitable distribution of the health workforce should focus on certain geographical areas (low–low and low–high cluster areas). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Method for Developing Rapid Screening Values for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) in Water and Results of Initial Application for 119 APIs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1308; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071308 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Americans fill upward of four billion prescriptions for pharmaceuticals each year, and many of those pharmaceuticals eventually make their way into the environment. Hundreds of different active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are detected in ambient waters and source water used for drinking water in
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Americans fill upward of four billion prescriptions for pharmaceuticals each year, and many of those pharmaceuticals eventually make their way into the environment. Hundreds of different active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are detected in ambient waters and source water used for drinking water in the U.S. Very few of these drugs have health-based guidance values that suggest a safe level for individuals exposed in the ambient environment through drinking water. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has developed a novel method to derive screening-level human health guidance values for APIs. This method was designed for rapid evaluation and relies on Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug labels and limited additional public data resources for necessary information. MDH developed an analytical framework using traditional and novel uncertainty and adjustment factors specific to the information available for APIs. This framework, along with an estimated lowest therapeutic dose (LTD), was used to derive screening reference dose (sRfD) values. Water screening values (WSV) were then derived using the sRfD, a relative source contribution factor (RSC), and a water intake rate for infants to represent a highly exposed population. MDH used this new method to derive water screening values for 119 APIs that are commonly prescribed and/or commonly monitored in Minnesota waters, including antibiotics, antidepressants, steroids, and other classes of drugs. The derived WSVs can be used to provide context to environmental detections, prioritize APIs for further health-based guidance development, prioritize APIs for future environmental monitoring studies, and inform the development or refinement of analytical methods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
ADHD Symptoms in Pathological and Problem Gamblers in Singapore
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1307; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071307 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Background: There is relatively little research examining the relationship between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and gambling addiction. This study seeks to explore for ADHD symptoms in adult gambling addiction patients and to evaluate their gambling-related cognitions. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey
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Background: There is relatively little research examining the relationship between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and gambling addiction. This study seeks to explore for ADHD symptoms in adult gambling addiction patients and to evaluate their gambling-related cognitions. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted at National Addictions Management Service, Institute of Mental Health, in Singapore. Patients presenting for gambling treatment were screened for ADHD symptoms and assessed for severity of gambling-related cognitions. The primary objective was to observe the rate of patients screening positive for ADHD. Results: 20% of the sample screened positive for ADHD. These individuals also had lower levels of gambling-related cognitions. No significant correlation was noted between ADHD symptoms and gambling-related cognition scores. Conclusions: Positive screening results for ADHD occurred frequently in our sample of Pathological Gambling (PG) and Problem Gambling patients and these affected individuals also exhibited lower levels of gambling-related cognitions. This finding may suggest that the gambling behavior in patients with ADHD-PG comorbidity is driven by impulsivity rather than gambling-related cognitions, which has implication on treatment considerations. Further research with a larger sample size is indicated. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Does Physically Demanding Work Hinder a Physically Active Lifestyle in Low Socioeconomic Workers? A Compositional Data Analysis Based on Accelerometer Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1306; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071306 -
Abstract
Leisure time physical activity (LTPA) is strongly associated with socioeconomic position (SEP). Few studies have investigated if demanding occupational physical activity (OPA) could impede a physically active lifestyle in low SEP groups. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between
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Leisure time physical activity (LTPA) is strongly associated with socioeconomic position (SEP). Few studies have investigated if demanding occupational physical activity (OPA) could impede a physically active lifestyle in low SEP groups. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between OPA and LTPA among low SEP men and women. We used cross-sectional data from 895 low SEP workers who wore accelerometers for 1–5 consecutive workdays. The associations between the relative importance of activities performed during work and leisure time were assessed using compositional regression models stratified on sex. Compositional isotemporal substitution models were used to assess the implication of increasing occupational walking, standing, or sitting on LTPA. We found dissimilarity in LTPA between the sexes, with men spending more waking leisure time sedentary than women (men ~67%, women ~61%), suggesting women performed more household tasks. In men, the associations between OPA and LTPA were weak. In women, the strongest association was observed between the relative importance of occupational walking and leisure time standing (β^ = −0.16; p = 0.01), where reallocating 15 min work time to occupational walking showed an expected decrease in leisure time standing of 7 min. If this time was spent on additional sedentary leisure time, it could have adverse health consequences. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Application of Positive Matrix Factorization in the Identification of the Sources of PM2.5 in Taipei City
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1305; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071305 -
Abstract
Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has a small particle size, which allows it to directly enter the respiratory mucosa and reach the alveoli and even the blood. Many countries are already aware of the adverse effects of PM2.5, and determination
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Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has a small particle size, which allows it to directly enter the respiratory mucosa and reach the alveoli and even the blood. Many countries are already aware of the adverse effects of PM2.5, and determination of the sources of PM2.5 is a critical step in reducing its concentration to protect public health. This study monitored PM2.5 in the summer (during the southwest monsoon season) of 2017. Three online monitoring systems were used to continuously collect hourly concentrations of key chemical components of PM2.5, including anions, cations, carbon, heavy metals, and precursor gases, for 24 h per day. The sum of the concentrations of each compound obtained from the online monitoring systems is similar to the actual PM2.5 concentration (98.75%). This result suggests that the on-line monitoring system of this study covers relatively complete chemical compounds. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) was adopted to explore and examine the proportion of each source that contributed to the total PM2.5 concentration. According to the source contribution analysis, 55% of PM2.5 can be attributed to local pollutant sources, and the remaining 45% can be attributed to pollutants emitted outside Taipei City. During the high-PM2.5-concentration (episode) period, the pollutant conversion rates were higher than usual due to the occurrence of vigorous photochemical reactions. Moreover, once pollutants are emitted by external stationary pollutant sources, they move with pollution air masses and undergo photochemical reactions, resulting in increases in the secondary pollutant concentrations of PM2.5. The vertical monitoring data indicate that there is a significant increase in PM2.5 concentration at high altitudes. High-altitude PM2.5 will descend to the ground and thereby affect the ground-level PM2.5 concentration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Three Gorges Dam: Does the Flooding Time Determine the Distribution of Schistosome-Transmitting Snails in the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River, China?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1304; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071304 -
Abstract
Background: Schistosomiasis is one of the most devastating tropical diseases in the world. Oncomelania hupensis is the only intermediate host of Schistosoma japonicum, and its growth and development are sensitive to environmental factors. The Three Gorges Dam has substantially altered the
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Background: Schistosomiasis is one of the most devastating tropical diseases in the world. Oncomelania hupensis is the only intermediate host of Schistosoma japonicum, and its growth and development are sensitive to environmental factors. The Three Gorges Dam has substantially altered the water level in the Yangtze River. This study focused on the impact of the flooding time on the occurrence of Oncomelania snails in Hunan Province, China. Methods: The data regarding Oncomelania snails were collected from the Schistosomiasis Atlas of the People’s Republic of China. Air temperature, hours of daylight and relative humidity from 1995 to 2002 were collected from the China Meteorological Data Sharing Service System. The data for rainfall and days inundated with water were collected from the Hunan flood control information system and hydrological stations in Hunan Province. A generalized additive model was used to estimate the impact of these factors on the presence or absence of snails. Results: The number of days inundated with water in the areas with snails ranged from 56 to 212 days. However, 82 percent of the areas without snails were inundated with water less than 60 days. The lowest air temperature in a year in the areas without snails ranges from −2.88 °C to −2.10 °C, and the range was from −2.88 °C to −2.34 °C for areas with snails. Annual rainfall in the areas with snails ranged from 989 to 1565 mm, and the range was from 1230 mm to 1647 mm for the areas without snails. The results from the generalized additive model showed that the number of days inundated with water, lowest air temperature in a year, annual rainfall, days of daily rainfall greater than 0.1 mm, and hours of daylight were the factors that significantly affect the occurrence of snails in Hunan Province, China. Conclusions: The number of days inundated with water may be a key factor determining the geographical distribution of Oncomelania snails in Hunan Province and the favorable number of days inundated with water for the survival of snails ranges from about 2 to 7 months. Full article
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