Open AccessArticle
Environmental Criteria in the Spanish Public Works Procurement Process
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 204; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020204 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Green Public Procurement (GPP) is defined as a process of contracting products, services, and works with the least possible damage to the environment during their life cycle. In order to improve the knowledge about GPP, a study of the use of environmental tendering
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Green Public Procurement (GPP) is defined as a process of contracting products, services, and works with the least possible damage to the environment during their life cycle. In order to improve the knowledge about GPP, a study of the use of environmental tendering criteria in the Spanish public construction sector has been performed. The results of this study show that the use of environmental criteria in Spanish public sector construction procurement is low in comparison to a certain group of countries, known as “Green 7”, in the European Union. Environmental criteria is the fourth criterion in importance, but its weight in the global of the process is much lower than other criteria such as price, memory of the construction process and the delivery time. National administrations use environmental criteria more frequently because they have more resources and staff training about environmental issues. Environmental criteria are more used in the tendering of civil projects and works whose budget exceeds ten million euro due to the environmental impact of these kind and/or size of projects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Smart Device Use and Perceived Physical and Psychosocial Outcomes among Hong Kong Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 205; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020205 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Excessive electronic screen-based activities have been found to be associated with negative outcomes. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalences and patterns of smart device activities and the purposes and perceived outcomes related to smart device use, and the differences
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Excessive electronic screen-based activities have been found to be associated with negative outcomes. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalences and patterns of smart device activities and the purposes and perceived outcomes related to smart device use, and the differences in patterns of smart device activities between adolescents who did and did not perceive these outcomes. The study was a cross-sectional survey of Hong Kong primary and secondary school students. Demographic characteristics, purpose and pattern of the activities, and frequencies of the outcomes were measured. Data from 960 adolescents aged 10–19 were analyzed. Nearly 86% of the sample use smart device daily. The one-week prevalence of perceived sleep deprivation, eye discomfort, musculoskeletal discomfort, family conflict and cyberbullying victimization related to smart device use were nearly 50%, 45%, 40%, 20% and 5% respectively. More than 25% of the respondents were at risk of negative outcomes related to smart device activities for more than 1 h per day, browsing and gaming on at least 4 days per week and watching TV/movies and posting on more than 2 days per week. Their patterns of smart device activities may put a significant number of them at risk of negative outcomes. Full article
Open AccessConcept Paper
Thermophilic Fungi to Dominate Aflatoxigenic/Mycotoxigenic Fungi on Food under Global Warming
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 199; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020199 -
Abstract
Certain filamentous fungi produce mycotoxins that contaminate food. Mycotoxin contamination of crops is highly influenced by environmental conditions and is already affected by global warming, where there is a succession of mycotoxigenic fungi towards those that have higher optimal growth temperatures. Aflatoxigenic fungi
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Certain filamentous fungi produce mycotoxins that contaminate food. Mycotoxin contamination of crops is highly influenced by environmental conditions and is already affected by global warming, where there is a succession of mycotoxigenic fungi towards those that have higher optimal growth temperatures. Aflatoxigenic fungi are at the highest limit of temperature although predicted increases in temperature are beyond that constraint. The present paper discusses what will succeed these fungi and represents the first such consideration. Aflatoxins are the most important mycotoxins and are common in tropical produce, much of which is exported to temperate regions. Hot countries may produce safer food under climate change because aflatoxigenic fungi will be inhibited. The same situation will occur in previously temperate regions where these fungi have recently appeared, although decades later. Existing thermotolerant and thermophilic fungi (TTF) will dominate, in contrast to the conventional mycotoxigenic fungi adapting or mutating, as it will be quicker. TTF produce a range of secondary metabolites, or potential mycotoxins and patulin which may become a new threat. In addition, Aspergillus fumigatus will appear more frequently, a serious human pathogen, because it is (a) thermotolerant and (b) present on crops: hence this is an even greater problem. An incubation temperature of 41 °C needs employing forthwith to detect TTF. Finally, TTF in crops requires study because of the potential for diseases in humans and animals under climate change. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
UV-Radiation: From Physics to Impacts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 200; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020200 -
Abstract
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation has affected life at least since the first life forms moved out of the seas and crawled onto the land. Therefore, one might assume that evolution has adapted to natural UV radiation. However, evolution is mostly concerned with the propagation
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Ultraviolet (UV) radiation has affected life at least since the first life forms moved out of the seas and crawled onto the land. Therefore, one might assume that evolution has adapted to natural UV radiation. However, evolution is mostly concerned with the propagation of the genetic code, not with a long, happy, and fulfilling life. Because rickets is bad for a woman giving birth, the beneficial effects of UV-radiation outweigh the adverse effects like aged skin and skin tumors of various grades of malignancy that usually only afflict us at older age. Anthropogenic damage to the stratospheric ozone layer and frighteningly high rates of melanoma skin cancer in the light-skinned descendants of British settlers in Australia piqued interest in the health impacts of UV radiation. A changing cultural perception of the beauty of tanned versus light skin and commercial interests in selling UV-emitting devices such as tanning booths caught public health experts off-guard. Counseling and health communication are extremely difficult when dealing with a “natural” risk factor, especially when this risk factor cannot (and should not) be completely avoided. How much is too much for whom or for which skin type? How even measure “much”? Is it the (cumulative) dose or the dose rate that matters most? Or should we even construct a more complex metric such as the cumulative dose above a certain dose rate threshold? We find there are still many open questions, and we are glad that this special issue offered us the opportunity to present many interesting aspects of this important topic. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Health Care Services Utilization among First Generation Afghan Migrants in Istanbul
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 201; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020201 -
Abstract
There is insufficient empirical evidence on the correlates of health care utilization of irregular migrants currently living in Turkey. The aim of this study was to identify individual level determinants associated with health service and medication use. One hundred and fifty-five Afghans completed
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There is insufficient empirical evidence on the correlates of health care utilization of irregular migrants currently living in Turkey. The aim of this study was to identify individual level determinants associated with health service and medication use. One hundred and fifty-five Afghans completed surveys assessing service utilization including encounters with primary care physicians and outpatient specialists in addition to the use of prescription and nonprescription medicines. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were employed to examine associations between service use and a range of predisposing, enabling, and perceived need factors. Health services utilization was lowest for outpatient specialists (20%) and highest for nonprescription medications (37%). Female gender and higher income predicted encounters with primary care physicians. Income, and other enabling factors such as family presence in Turkey predicted encounters with outpatient specialists. Perceived illness-related need factors had little to no influence on use of services; however, asylum difficulties increased the likelihood for encounters with primary care physicians, outpatient services, and the use of prescription medications. This study suggests that health services use among Afghan migrants in Turkey is low considering the extent of their perceived illness-related needs, which may be further exacerbated by the precarious conditions in which they live. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Electronic Cigarette Use and Smoking Abstinence in Japan: A Cross-Sectional Study of Quitting Methods
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 202; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020202 -
Abstract
The benefit of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in smoking cessation remains controversial. Recently, e-cigarettes have been gaining popularity in Japan, without evidence of efficacy on quitting cigarettes. We conducted an online survey to collect information on tobacco use, difficulties in smoking cessation, socio-demographic factors,
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The benefit of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in smoking cessation remains controversial. Recently, e-cigarettes have been gaining popularity in Japan, without evidence of efficacy on quitting cigarettes. We conducted an online survey to collect information on tobacco use, difficulties in smoking cessation, socio-demographic factors, and health-related factors in Japan. Among the total participants (n = 9055), 798 eligible persons aged 20–69 years who smoked within the previous five years were analyzed to assess the relationship between the outcome of smoking cessation and quitting methods used, including e-cigarettes, smoking cessation therapy, and unassisted. E-cigarette use was negatively associated with smoking cessation (odds ratio (OR) = 0.632; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.414–0.964) after adjusting for gender, age, health-related factors, and other quitting methods. Conversely, smoking cessation therapy (i.e., varenicline) was significantly associated with smoking cessation (OR = 1.885; 95% CI = 1.018–3.492) in the same model. For effective smoking cessation, e-cigarette use appears to have low efficacy among smokers in Japan. Allowing for the fact that this study is limited by its cross-sectional design, follow-up studies are needed to assess the prospective association between e-cigarette use and smoking cessation. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Driver’s Cognitive Workload and Driving Performance under Traffic Sign Information Exposure in Complex Environments: A Case Study of the Highways in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 203; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020203 -
Abstract
Complex traffic situations and high driving workload are the leading contributing factors to traffic crashes. There is a strong correlation between driving performance and driving workload, such as visual workload from traffic signs on highway off-ramps. This study aimed to evaluate traffic safety
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Complex traffic situations and high driving workload are the leading contributing factors to traffic crashes. There is a strong correlation between driving performance and driving workload, such as visual workload from traffic signs on highway off-ramps. This study aimed to evaluate traffic safety by analyzing drivers’ behavior and performance under the cognitive workload in complex environment areas. First, the driving workload of drivers was tested based on traffic signs with different quantities of information. Forty-four drivers were recruited to conduct a traffic sign cognition experiment under static controlled environment conditions. Different complex traffic signs were used for applying the cognitive workload. The static experiment results reveal that workload is highly related to the amount of information on traffic signs and reaction time increases with the information grade, while driving experience and gender effect are not significant. This shows that the cognitive workload of subsequent driving experiments can be controlled by the amount of information on traffic signs. Second, driving characteristics and driving performance were analyzed under different secondary task driving workload levels using a driving simulator. Drivers were required to drive at the required speed on a designed highway off-ramp scene. The cognitive workload was controlled by reading traffic signs with different information, which were divided into four levels. Drivers had to make choices by pushing buttons after reading traffic signs. Meanwhile, the driving performance information was recorded. Questionnaires on objective workload were collected right after each driving task. The results show that speed maintenance and lane deviations are significantly different under different levels of cognitive workload, and the effects of driving experience and gender groups are significant. The research results can be used to analyze traffic safety in highway environments, while considering more drivers’ cognitive and driving performance. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Prospective Prediction of Juvenile Homicide/Attempted Homicide among Early-Onset Juvenile Offenders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 197; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020197 -
Abstract
While homicide perpetrated by juveniles is a relatively rare occurrence, between 2010 and 2014, approximately 7%–8% of all murders involved a juvenile offender. Unfortunately, few studies have prospectively examined the predictors of homicide offending, with none examining first-time murder among a sample of
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While homicide perpetrated by juveniles is a relatively rare occurrence, between 2010 and 2014, approximately 7%–8% of all murders involved a juvenile offender. Unfortunately, few studies have prospectively examined the predictors of homicide offending, with none examining first-time murder among a sample of adjudicated male and female youth. The current study employed data on 5908 juvenile offenders (70% male, 45% Black) first arrested at the age of 12 or younger to prospectively examine predictors of an arrest for homicide/attempted homicide by the age of 18. Among these early-onset offenders, males, Black youth, those living in households with family members with a history of mental illness, those engaging in self-mutilation, and those with elevated levels of anger/aggression (all measured by age 13) were more likely to be arrested for homicide/attempted homicide by age 18. These findings add to the scant scientific literature on the predictors of homicide, and illustrate potential avenues for intervention. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between Physical Activity and Plasma Glucose Level amongst Ellisras Rural Young Adult Males and Females: Ellisras Longitudinal Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 198; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020198 -
Abstract
Unhealthy lifestyle characteristics such as low physical activity (PA) and high plasma glucose levels (PGLs) may lead to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus in adulthood. The aim of this study was to investigate (i) the level of physical activity; (ii) the
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Unhealthy lifestyle characteristics such as low physical activity (PA) and high plasma glucose levels (PGLs) may lead to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus in adulthood. The aim of this study was to investigate (i) the level of physical activity; (ii) the prevalence of pre-diabetes and (iii) the relationship between PA and plasma glucose level in a rural Ellisras adult population aged 18 to 28 years. A total of 713 young adults (349 males and 364 females) who took part in the Ellisras Longitudinal Study participated in the study. Fasting plasma glucose levels were analysed using Accutrend glucose meters. Physical activity data was collected using a validated questionnaire. Linear regression was used to assess the relationship between PA and pre-diabetes. The prevalence of pre-diabetes was between 45.7% and 50.2% and that of physical inactivity was 67.3% and 71.0% for males and females, respectively. There was no significant (p > 0.05) relationship between PA and pre-diabetes (beta = 1.016; 95% Confidence Interval from 0.352 to 2.777). The health benefits of PA increased with the increasing frequency, duration and intensity of exercise. The prevalence of pre-diabetes was found to be very high in this population. Our results suggest that greater physical activity is associated with low plasma glucose levels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Household Dengue Prevention Interventions, Expenditures, and Barriers to Aedes aegypti Control in Machala, Ecuador
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 196; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020196 -
Abstract
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is an efficient vector for the transmission of Zika, chikungunya, and dengue viruses, causing major epidemics and a significant social and economic burden throughout the tropics and subtropics. The primary means of preventing these diseases is household-level mosquito control.
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The Aedes aegypti mosquito is an efficient vector for the transmission of Zika, chikungunya, and dengue viruses, causing major epidemics and a significant social and economic burden throughout the tropics and subtropics. The primary means of preventing these diseases is household-level mosquito control. However, relatively little is known about the economic burden of Ae. aegypti control in resource-limited communities. We surveyed residents from 40 households in a high-risk community at the urban periphery in the city of Machala, Ecuador, on dengue perceptions, vector control interventions, household expenditures, and factors influencing purchasing decisions. The results of this study show that households spend a monthly median of US$2.00, or 1.90% (range: 0.00%, 9.21%) of their family income on Ae. aegypti control interventions. Households reported employing, on average, five different mosquito control and dengue prevention interventions, including aerosols, liquid sprays, repellents, mosquito coils, and unimpregnated bed nets. We found that effectiveness and cost were the most important factors that influence people’s decisions to purchase a mosquito control product. Our findings will inform the development and deployment of new Ae. aegypti control interventions by the public health and private sectors, and add to prior studies that have focused on the economic burden of dengue-like illness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Volatile Profiles of Emissions from Different Activities Analyzed Using Canister Samplers and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) Analysis: A Case Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 195; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020195 -
Abstract
The objective of present study was to identify volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from several sources (fuels, traffic, landfills, coffee roasting, a street-food laboratory, building work, indoor use of incense and candles, a dental laboratory, etc.) located in Palermo (Italy) by using canister
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The objective of present study was to identify volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from several sources (fuels, traffic, landfills, coffee roasting, a street-food laboratory, building work, indoor use of incense and candles, a dental laboratory, etc.) located in Palermo (Italy) by using canister autosamplers and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) technique. In this study, 181 VOCs were monitored. In the atmosphere of Palermo city, propane, butane, isopentane, methyl pentane, hexane, benzene, toluene, meta- and para-xylene, 1,2,4 trimethyl benzene, 1,3,5 trimethyl benzene, ethylbenzene, 4 ethyl toluene and heptane were identified and quantified in all sampling sites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Importance of Conditioned Stimuli in Cigarette and E-Cigarette Craving Reduction by E-Cigarettes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 193; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020193 -
Abstract
This study examined the impact of four variables pertaining to the use of e-cigarettes (e-cigs) on cravings for tobacco cigarettes and for e-cigs after an overnight abstinence period. The four variables were the nicotine level, the sensorimotor component, the visual aspect, and the
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This study examined the impact of four variables pertaining to the use of e-cigarettes (e-cigs) on cravings for tobacco cigarettes and for e-cigs after an overnight abstinence period. The four variables were the nicotine level, the sensorimotor component, the visual aspect, and the aroma of the e-cig. In an experimental study, 81 participants without prior vaping experience first got acquainted with using e-cigs in a one-week tryout period, after which they participated in a lab session assessing the effect of five minutes of vaping following an abstinence period of 12 h. A mixed-effects model clearly showed the importance of nicotine in craving reduction. However, also non-nicotine factors, in particular the sensorimotor component, were shown to contribute to craving reduction. Handling cues interacted with the level (presence/absence) of nicotine: it was only when the standard hand-to-mouth action cues were omitted that the craving reducing effects of nicotine were observed. Effects of aroma or visual cues were not observed, or weak and difficult to interpret, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Associations of Overweight, Obesity and Related Factors with Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders and Snoring in Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 194; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020194 -
Abstract
Background: Sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBD) have been identified as a major public health problem closely related to adolescent obesity. We aimed to estimate the prevalences of SRBD and snoring in adolescents in Changchun City, Northeastern China, and to evaluate the associated factors
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Background: Sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBD) have been identified as a major public health problem closely related to adolescent obesity. We aimed to estimate the prevalences of SRBD and snoring in adolescents in Changchun City, Northeastern China, and to evaluate the associated factors in this population. Methods: In total, 1955 adolescents aged 11–18 years were recruited in Changchun City using stratified cluster sampling. Parents and caretakers of children completed the questionnaires, which included demographic characteristics, anthropometric parameters and a pediatric sleep questionnaire (SRBD scale). Logistic regression was used to analyze the relationship between SRBD, snoring and other factors. Results: The prevalences of SRBD and snoring in our population were 3.7% and 3.3%, respectively, and the prevalences of overweight and obesity were 12.6% and 4.9%. Multivariate logistic regression showed that urban residence (OR = 2.356, 95%CI: 1.251–4.435) and post-term birth (OR = 3.275, 95%CI: 1.396–7.683) were significantly associated with SRBD. Preterm birth (OR = 2.255, 95%CI: 1.021–4.980) and parental education level of university and above (OR = 0.265, 95%CI: 0.083–0.850) were significantly associated with snoring. Overweight (OR = 2.063, 95%CI: 1.062–4.006) was also related to snoring. Conclusions: The prevalences of SRBD and snoring were similar to those reported in previous studies. Urban residence and post-term birth were important influencing factors for SRBD; overweight, highest parental education level (university and above) and preterm birth were key factors affecting snoring in adolescents. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Sleep Quality on the Association between Problematic Mobile Phone Use and Mental Health Symptoms in Chinese College Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 185; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020185 -
Abstract
Problematic mobile phone use (PMPU) is a risk factor for both adolescents’ sleep quality and mental health. It is important to examine the potential negative health effects of PMPU exposure. This study aims to evaluate PMPU and its association with mental health in
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Problematic mobile phone use (PMPU) is a risk factor for both adolescents’ sleep quality and mental health. It is important to examine the potential negative health effects of PMPU exposure. This study aims to evaluate PMPU and its association with mental health in Chinese college students. Furthermore, we investigated how sleep quality influences this association. In 2013, we collected data regarding participants’ PMPU, sleep quality, and mental health (psychopathological symptoms, anxiety, and depressive symptoms) by standardized questionnaires in 4747 college students. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was applied to assess independent effects and interactions of PMPU and sleep quality with mental health. PMPU and poor sleep quality were observed in 28.2% and 9.8% of participants, respectively. Adjusted logistic regression models suggested independent associations of PMPU and sleep quality with mental health (p < 0.001). Further regression analyses suggested a significant interaction between these measures (p < 0.001). The study highlights that poor sleep quality may play a more significant role in increasing the risk of mental health problems in students with PMPU than in those without PMPU. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Indoor Temperature on Physical Performance in Older Adults during Days with Normal Temperature and Heat Waves
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 186; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020186 -
Abstract
Indoor temperature is relevant with regard to mortality and heat-related self-perceived health problems. The aim of this study was to describe the association between indoor temperature and physical performance in older adults. Eighty-one older adults (84% women, mean age 80.9 years, standard deviation
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Indoor temperature is relevant with regard to mortality and heat-related self-perceived health problems. The aim of this study was to describe the association between indoor temperature and physical performance in older adults. Eighty-one older adults (84% women, mean age 80.9 years, standard deviation 6.53) were visited every four weeks from May to October 2015 and additionally during two heat waves in July and August 2015. Indoor temperature, habitual gait speed, chair-rise performance and balance were assessed. Baseline assessment of gait speed was used to create two subgroups (lower versus higher gait speed) based on frailty criteria. The strongest effect of increasing temperature on habitual gait speed was observed in the subgroup of adults with higher gait speed (−0.087 m/s per increase of 10 °C; 95% confidence interval (CI): −0.136; −0.038). The strongest effects on timed chair-rise and balance performance were observed in the subgroup of adults with lower gait speed (2.03 s per increase of 10 °C (95% CI: 0.79; 3.28) and −3.92 s per increase of 10 °C (95% CI: −7.31; −0.52), respectively). Comparing results of physical performance in absentia of a heat wave and during a heat wave, habitual gait speed was negatively affected by heat in the total group and subgroup of adults with higher gait speed, chair-rise performance was negatively affected in all groups and balance was not affected. The study provides arguments for exercise interventions in general for older adults, because a better physical fitness might alleviate impediments of physical capacity and might provide resources for adequate adaptation in older adults during heat stress. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Selecting Cooking Methods to Decrease Persistent Organic Pollutant Concentrations in Food of Animal Origin Using a Consensus Decision-Making Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 187; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020187 -
Abstract
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) pose serious threats to human health. Increasing attention has been paid to POPs to protect the environment and prevent disease. Humans are exposed to POPs through diet (the major route), inhaling air and dust and skin contact. POPs are
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Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) pose serious threats to human health. Increasing attention has been paid to POPs to protect the environment and prevent disease. Humans are exposed to POPs through diet (the major route), inhaling air and dust and skin contact. POPs are very lipophilic and hydrophobic, meaning that they accumulate in fatty tissues in animals and can biomagnify. Humans can therefore be exposed to relatively high POP concentrations in food of animal origin. Cooking animal products can decrease the POP contents, and different cooking methods achieve different reduction rates. Here, a consensus decision-making model with interval preference relations is used to prioritize cooking methods for specific animal products in terms of reducing POP concentrations. Two consistency mathematical expressions (I-consistency and II-consistency) are defined, then the ideal interval preference relations are determined for the cooking methods with respect to different social choice principles. The objective is to minimize disparities between individual judgments and the ideal consensus judgment. Consistency is used as a constraint to determine the rationality of the consistency definitions. A numerical example indicated that baking is the best cooking method for decreasing POP concentrations in grass carp. The I-consistency results were more acceptable than the II-consistency results. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Biomethylation and Volatilization of Arsenic by Model Protozoan Tetrahymena pyriformis under Different Phosphate Regimes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 188; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020188 -
Abstract
Tetrahymena pyriformis, a freshwater protozoan, is common in aquatic systems. Arsenic detoxification through biotransformation by T. pyriformis is important but poorly understood. Arsenic metabolic pathways (including cellular accumulation, effluxion, biomethylation, and volatilization) of T. pyriformis were investigated at various phosphate concentrations. The
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Tetrahymena pyriformis, a freshwater protozoan, is common in aquatic systems. Arsenic detoxification through biotransformation by T. pyriformis is important but poorly understood. Arsenic metabolic pathways (including cellular accumulation, effluxion, biomethylation, and volatilization) of T. pyriformis were investigated at various phosphate concentrations. The total intracellular As concentration increased markedly as the external phosphate concentration decreased. The highest concentration was 168.8 mg·kg−1 dry weight, after exposure to As(V) for 20 h. Inorganic As was dominant at low phosphate concentrations (3, 6, and 15 mg·L−1), but the concentration was much lower at 30 mg·L−1 phosphate, and As(V) contributed only ~7% of total cellular As. Methylated As contributed 84% of total As at 30 mg·L−1 phosphate, and dimethylarsenate (DMAs(V)) was dominant, contributing up to 48% of total As. Cellular As effluxion was detected, including inorganic As(III), methylarsenate (MAs(V)) and DMAs(V). Volatile As was determined at various phosphate concentrations in the medium. All methylated As concentrations (intracellular, extracellular, and volatilized) had significant linear positive relationships with the initial phosphate concentration. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of As biotransformation by protozoa at different phosphate concentrations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gaseous Air Pollution and the Risk for Stroke Admissions: A Case-Crossover Study in Beijing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 189; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020189 -
Abstract
Background: Though increasing evidence supports association between gaseous air pollution and stroke, it remains unclear whether the effects differ in season, sex and age. The aim of this study was to examine the associations of gaseous air pollution with stroke admissions in Beijing,
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Background: Though increasing evidence supports association between gaseous air pollution and stroke, it remains unclear whether the effects differ in season, sex and age. The aim of this study was to examine the associations of gaseous air pollution with stroke admissions in Beijing, 2013–2014 in different subgroups. Methods: Case-crossover design and conditional logistic regression were used to perform the analyses. We examined the exposure-response relationship between air pollution and stroke. Stratified analyses were performed in different seasons, sex, and age groups. Results: There were 147,624 stroke admissions during the study period. In the whole study period, percent changes of stroke admissions were 0.82% (95% CI: 0.52% to 1.13%) and 0.73% (95% CI: 0.44% to 1.03%) per 10 μg/m3 increase in the same day conentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The positive associations were higher in warm seasons and with patients >65 years (p < 0.05). Contrary effects of carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone on stroke admissions were observed in different seasons. Conclusions: NO2 and SO2 were positively associated with stroke admissions, with stronger effects in warm seasons and with patients >65 years. The associations of CO and ozone with stroke admissions differed across seasons. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Uncommon Impact of Common Environmental Details on Walking in Older Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 190; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020190 -
Abstract
Walking is the most common form of physical activity amongst older adults. Older adults’ walking behaviors have been linked to objective and perceived neighborhood and street-level environmental attributes, such as pavement quality and mixed land uses. To help identify components of walkable environments,
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Walking is the most common form of physical activity amongst older adults. Older adults’ walking behaviors have been linked to objective and perceived neighborhood and street-level environmental attributes, such as pavement quality and mixed land uses. To help identify components of walkable environments, this paper examines some of these environmental attributes and explores their influence on this population’s walking behaviors. It draws on focus group and interview data collected from 22 purposively sampled older adults aged 60 years and over. These participants presented a range of functional and cognitive impairments including stroke and dementia. In line with past research, we detail how various everyday aspects of urban environments, such as steps, curbs and uneven pavements, can, in combination with person-related factors, complicate older adults’ outdoor mobility while others, such as handrails and benches, seem to support and even encourage movement. Importantly, we delineate the influence of perceptions on mobility choices. We found that, in some instances, it is the meanings and possibilities that older adults derive from aspects of the environment, such as street cameras and underpasses, rather than the aspects per se, which shape behavior. The implications for policy and practice are considered. Full article
Open AccessReview
Fine Particulate Matter Concentrations in Urban Chinese Cities, 2005–2016: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 191; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020191 -
Abstract
Background: Particulate matter pollution has become a growing health concern over the past few decades globally. The problem is especially evident in China, where particulate matter levels prior to 2013 are publically unavailable. We conducted a systematic review of scientific literature that
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Background: Particulate matter pollution has become a growing health concern over the past few decades globally. The problem is especially evident in China, where particulate matter levels prior to 2013 are publically unavailable. We conducted a systematic review of scientific literature that reported fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations in different regions of China from 2005 to 2016. Methods: We searched for English articles in PubMed and Embase and for Chinese articles in the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI). We evaluated the studies overall and categorized the collected data into six geographical regions and three economic regions. Results: The mean (SD) PM2.5 concentration, weighted by the number of sampling days, was 60.64 (33.27) μg/m3 for all geographic regions and 71.99 (30.20) μg/m3 for all economic regions. A one-way ANOVA shows statistically significant differences in PM2.5 concentrations between the various geographic regions (F = 14.91, p < 0.0001) and the three economic regions (F = 4.55, p = 0.01). Conclusions: This review identifies quantifiable differences in fine particulate matter concentrations across regions of China. The highest levels of fine particulate matter were found in the northern and northwestern regions and especially Beijing. The high percentage of data points exceeding current federal regulation standards suggests that fine particulate matter pollution remains a huge problem for China. As pre-2013 emissions data remain largely unavailable, we hope that the data aggregated from this systematic review can be incorporated into current and future models for more accurate historical PM2.5 estimates. Full article
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