Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(7), 7444-7456; doi:10.3390/ijerph120707444 - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to identify differences in the incidence characteristics of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP) based on data from four large state-owned colliery groups of China, by comparing the cumulative incidence rates of CWP. We investigated 87,904 coal workers from the Datong, Kailuan, Fuxin, and Tiefa Colliery Groups, who were exposed to dust for at least 1 year. The cumulative incidence rate of CWP was calculated with the life-table method and stratified analysis among coal workers with different occupational categories during different years of first dust exposure. Our results showed the cumulative incidence rate of Datong was higher than that of any other colliery group among workers with different occupational categories during different years of first dust exposure. For Datong workers who started their dust exposure in the 1970s, the cumulative incidence rates of CWP among tunneling, mining, combining, and helping workers were 34.77%, 10.20%, 34.59%, and 4.91% during the observed time of 34 years, respectively. For those in the 1980s, the cumulative incidence rates were 32.29%, 13.51%, 2.98%, and 0.47%, respectively. The cumulative incidence rates of Fuxin and Tiefa were the lowest. In conclusion, the Datong colliery has the highest cumulative incidence rate of CWP among the four studied collieries, followed by Kailuan. The cumulative incidence rates of Fuxin and Tiefa were the lowest. Additional dust-proofing measures for decreasing dust concentrations are still necessary.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(7), 7430-7443; doi:10.3390/ijerph120707430 - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The coast of the Bulgarian Black Sea is a popular summer holiday destination. The Dam of Iskar is the largest artificial dam in Bulgaria, with a capacity of 675 million m3. It is the main source of tap water for the capital Sofia and for irrigating the surrounding valley. There is a close relationship between the quality of aquatic ecosystems and human health as many infections are waterborne.Rapid molecular methods for the analysis of highly pathogenic bacteria have been developed for monitoring quality. Mycobacterial species can be isolated from waste, surface, recreational, ground and tap waters and human pathogenicity of nontuberculose mycobacteria(NTM) is well recognized. The objective of our study was to perform molecular analysis for key-pathogens, with a focus on mycobacteria, in water samples collected from the Black Sea and the Dam of Iskar. In a two year period, 38 water samples were collected—24 from the Dam of Iskar and 14 from the Black Sea coastal zone. Fifty liter water samples were concentrated by ultrafiltration. Molecular analysis for 15 pathogens, including all species of genus Mycobacterium was performed. Our results showed presence of Vibrio spp. in the Black Sea. Rotavirus A was also identified in four samples from the Dam of Iskar. Toxigenic Escherichia coli was present in both locations, based on markers for stx1 and stx2 genes. No detectable amounts of Cryptosporidium were detected in either location using immunomagnetic separation and fluorescence microscopy. Furthermore, mass spectrometry analyses did not detect key cyanobacterial toxins. On the basis of the results obtained we can conclude that for the period 2012–2014 no Mycobacterium species were present in the water samples. During the study period no cases of waterborne infections were reported.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(7), 7417-7429; doi:10.3390/ijerph120707417 - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine sexual functioning of Polish athletes with disabilities (including paralympians). The study encompassed 218 people with physical disabilities, aged between 18 and 45 (149 men and 69 women). The entire research population was divided into three groups: Polish paralympians (n = 45), athletes with disabilities (n = 126) and non-athletes with disabilities (n = 47). The quality of sexual life of Polish paralympians was measured by using the Polish version of Female Sexual Function Index and International Index of Erectile Function. Clinically significant erectile dysfunctions were most often diagnosed in non-athletes (83.33%) with 50% result of severe erectile dysfunctions, followed by athletes and paralympians with comparable results of 56.98% and 54.17% respectively (p = 0.00388). Statistically significant clinical sexual dysfunctions concerned lubrication, orgasm as well as pain domains, and prevailed among female non-athletes (68.42%, 68.42% and 57.89%). Practising sports at the highest level has a favourable effect on the sexuality of men and women with physical disabilities. Men with physical disabilities manifest more sexual disorders than women, an aspect which should be considered by health-care professionals working with people with disabilities.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(7), 7400-7416; doi:10.3390/ijerph120707400 - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The impact of heavy metal toxicity on the shoot and root lengths, total protein, fiber characteristics, moisture content and nutrient composition of spinach (Spinacia oleracea)was evaluated. Plants were grown in pots containing soil and treated with different concentrations (mg/kg) of lead (Pb; 300, 400 and 500), cadmium (Cd; 0.5, 1 and 1.5) and zinc (Zn; 250, 500, and 700) as well as mixtures of Cd and Pb (0.5/300, 1/400, 1.5/500), Cd and Zn (0.5/250, 1/500, 1.5/700), and Pb and Zn (300/250, 400/500, 500/700). Soil contaminated by long-term irrigation with wastewater containing heavy metals was simulated. An increase in concentrations of heavy metals both individually and as mixtures significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the growth parameters and nutrient contents of S. oleracea. The uptake patterns of heavy metals in mixtures showed antagonistic impacts on each other. The toxicities of the mixtures Cd and Pb, Cd and Zn as well as Pb and Zn were higher than those observed in separate heavy metal applications but less than their additive sums. The toxicity caused by individual heavy metals was the highest for Cd followed by Pb and Zn. The highest toxicity was observed in plants grown in soil contaminated by Cd and Pb.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(7), 7392-7399; doi:10.3390/ijerph120707392 - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In recent years, there has been growing interest in the association between the residential environment and health. The association between residential environment (i.e., geographic elevation) and bone status is unknown. Furthermore, these associations could differ by exercise habits due to the chronically greater daily activity caused by steep slopes in mountainous areas. The aim of this study was to test whether the association between bone status of elderly people measured using quantitative ultrasound (QUS) and elevation varied according to the exercise habits in a mountainous area population. Data were collected from a cross-sectional study conducted during 2012–2013. QUS value was expressed as a proportion of the young adult mean (%YAM), with higher scores donating better bone status. After excluding subjects with missing data, we analyzed the data for 321 men and 500 women. Our results indicate that %YAM was not associated with elevation among men, or among women with exercise habits. However, elevation was associated with %YAM among women without exercise habits. Our results highlight the importance of considering residential environment and exercise habitswhen establishing promotion strategies to maintain bone status of the elderly people who live in rural mountainous areas.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2015, 12(7), 7370-7391; doi:10.3390/ijerph120707370 - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Inappropriate diets constitute an important health risk and an increasing environmental burden. Healthy regional diets may contribute to meeting this dual challenge. A palatable, healthy and sustainable New Nordic diet (NND) based on organic products from the Nordic region has been developed. This study assesses whether a large-scale introduction of NND is a cost-effective health promotion strategy by combining an economic model for estimating the utility-maximizing composition of NND, a life cycle assessment model to assess environmental effects of the dietary change, and a health impact model to assess impacts on the disease burden. Consumer expenditure for food and beverages in the NND is about 16% higher than currently, with the largest relative difference in low-income households. Environmental loads from food consumption are 15%–25% lower, and more than 18,000 disability-adjusted life years (DALY) will be saved per year in Denmark. NND exhibits a cost-effectiveness ratio of about €73,000–94,000 per DALY saved. This cost-effectiveness improves considerably, if the NND’s emphasis on organic and Nordic-origin products is relaxed.