Open AccessArticle
The Basic Act for Suicide Prevention: Effects on Longitudinal Trend in Deliberate Self-Harm with Reference to National Suicide Data for 1996–2014
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 104; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010104 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A suicide prevention strategy was launched in Japan in 2006 to address the high suicide rate, which had increased considerably since 1998. The national strategy from 2007 involved the enhancement of psychiatric treatment services at emergency medical facilities and supportive observation by individuals
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A suicide prevention strategy was launched in Japan in 2006 to address the high suicide rate, which had increased considerably since 1998. The national strategy from 2007 involved the enhancement of psychiatric treatment services at emergency medical facilities and supportive observation by individuals close to patients. The national suicide rate has decreased gradually since 2008; however, national information regarding the number of patients who had engaged in deliberate self-harm was absent. Therefore, the present study examined the longitudinal trend in hospital admissions due to deliberate self-harm in Japan. Data from the National Patient Survey between 1996 and 2014—a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of inpatient care every 3 years—were used. Data for 13,014 patients were included in the estimation of the number of hospital admissions due to deliberate self-harm. The results show that the estimated number of admissions due to deliberate self-harm increased from 2078 in September 1996 to 3189 in September 2008, when the national number of suicide cases peaked, and decreased to 1783 in 2014. Approximately half of the patients were admitted to hospital because of self-harm via means other than drug poisoning, which had a high mortality rate (5.6%). The proportion of patients receiving public assistance was higher in those who had engaged in deliberate self-harm (8.5%) relative to that observed in the general population. Overall, the trend in deliberate self-harm was synchronous with the number of suicide cases over time. As economic poverty has been associated with suicidal ideation and behavior and some recipients of public assistance tend to abuse psychotropic medication, the public assistance program should provide mental health support for recipients of social benefit schemes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Microbiological Contamination at Workplaces in a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Station Processing Plant Biomass
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 99; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010099 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The aim of the study was to evaluate the microbial contamination at a plant biomass processing thermal power station (CHP). We found 2.42 × 103 CFU/m3 of bacteria and 1.37 × 104 CFU/m3 of fungi in the air; 2.30
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The aim of the study was to evaluate the microbial contamination at a plant biomass processing thermal power station (CHP). We found 2.42 × 103 CFU/m3 of bacteria and 1.37 × 104 CFU/m3 of fungi in the air; 2.30 × 107 CFU/g of bacteria and 4.46 × 105 CFU/g of fungi in the biomass; and 1.61 × 102 CFU/cm2 bacteria and 2.39 × 101 CFU/cm2 fungi in filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs). Using culture methods, we found 8 genera of mesophilic bacteria and 7 of fungi in the air; 10 genera each of bacteria and fungi in the biomass; and 2 and 5, respectively, on the FFRs. Metagenomic analysis (Illumina MiSeq) revealed the presence of 46 bacterial and 5 fungal genera on the FFRs, including potential pathogens Candida tropicalis, Escherichia coli, Prevotella sp., Aspergillus sp., Penicillium sp.). The ability of microorganisms to create a biofilm on the FFRs was confirmed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). We also identified secondary metabolites in the biomass and FFRs, including fumigaclavines, quinocitrinines, sterigmatocistin, and 3-nitropropionic acid, which may be toxic to humans. Due to the presence of potential pathogens and mycotoxins, the level of microbiological contamination at workplaces in CHPs should be monitored. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Infection Dynamics and Antimicrobial Resistance Profile of Salmonella Paratyphi B d-tartrate Positive (Java) in a Persistently Infected Broiler Barn
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 101; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010101 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The infection dynamics of S. Java were examined in three consecutive rearing periods on a broiler farm in Northwestern Germany which had been persistently infected with S. Java for more than five years. The barn was investigated for Salmonella occurrence after cleaning and
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The infection dynamics of S. Java were examined in three consecutive rearing periods on a broiler farm in Northwestern Germany which had been persistently infected with S. Java for more than five years. The barn was investigated for Salmonella occurrence after cleaning and disinfection to verify the persistent contamination of the broiler house with S. Java before the start of the first rearing cycle. Confirmation of Salmonella absence in day-old chicks (time-point 1) as well as early establishment of infection between days 5–7 (time-point 2) were confirmed by caecal swabs prepared for qPCR and classical microbiological methods. At three time-periods (between days 11–15 (time-point 3), days 25–28 (time-point 4), and days 38–40 (time-point 5)) caecal content was examined for colony forming units (CFU) Salmonella/g. In general, there was an increase in Salmonella Java load at time-point 4 compared to time-points 3 and 5. Therefore, we observed a bell-shaped course of infection resulting in higher rates of Salmonella CFU/g prior to prethinning than at final slaughter. The antimicrobial susceptibility testing revealed resistance to tetracycline, fluorquinolones, trimethoprim, and cefoxitin. Full article
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Open AccessComment
Comments on Whiley Legionella Risk Management and Control in Potable Water Systems: Argument for the Abolishment of Routine Testing. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 12
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 102; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010102 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In their recent article, Whiley makes an interesting case for the abolishment of routine testing in Legionella risk management and control plans. Here, we present our views regarding this suggestion, drawing upon our own experiences in the UK. We urge caution against the
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In their recent article, Whiley makes an interesting case for the abolishment of routine testing in Legionella risk management and control plans. Here, we present our views regarding this suggestion, drawing upon our own experiences in the UK. We urge caution against the removal of routine monitoring from guidelines due to the impending public health risks that would result. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Essential Oil of Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) Wood Increases Salivary Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate Levels after Monotonous Work
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 97; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010097 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Employee problems arising from mental illnesses have steadily increased and become a serious social problem in recent years. Wood is a widely available plant material, and knowledge of the psychophysiological effects of inhalation of woody volatile compounds has grown considerably. In this study,
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Employee problems arising from mental illnesses have steadily increased and become a serious social problem in recent years. Wood is a widely available plant material, and knowledge of the psychophysiological effects of inhalation of woody volatile compounds has grown considerably. In this study, we established an experimental method to evaluate the effects of Japanese cedar wood essential oil on subjects performing monotonous work. Two experiment conditions, one with and another without diffusion of the essential oil were prepared. Salivary stress markers were determined during and after a calculation task followed by distribution of questionnaires to achieve subjective odor assessment. We found that inhalation of air containing the volatile compounds of Japanese cedar wood essential oil increased the secretion of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-s). Slight differences in the subjective assessment of the odor of the experiment rooms were observed. The results of the present study indicate that the volatile compounds of Japanese cedar wood essential oil affect the endocrine regulatory mechanism to facilitate stress responses. Thus, we suggest that this essential oil can improve employees’ mental health. Full article
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Open AccessReply
Response to Comments on Whiley Legionella Risk Management and Control in Potable Water Systems: Argument for the Abolishment of Routine Testing. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 12
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 103; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010103 (registering DOI) -
Open AccessArticle
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in Conventional and High Performance School Buildings in the U.S.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 100; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010100 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has been an indoor environmental quality (IEQ) concern in schools and other buildings for many years. Newer designs, construction practices and building materials for “green” buildings and the use of “environmentally friendly” products have the promise of
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Exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has been an indoor environmental quality (IEQ) concern in schools and other buildings for many years. Newer designs, construction practices and building materials for “green” buildings and the use of “environmentally friendly” products have the promise of lowering chemical exposure. This study examines VOCs and IEQ parameters in 144 classrooms in 37 conventional and high performance elementary schools in the U.S. with the objectives of providing a comprehensive analysis and updating the literature. Tested schools were built or renovated in the past 15 years, and included comparable numbers of conventional, Energy Star, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified buildings. Indoor and outdoor VOC samples were collected and analyzed by thermal desorption, gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy for 94 compounds. Aromatics, alkanes and terpenes were the major compound groups detected. Most VOCs had mean concentrations below 5 µg/m3, and most indoor/outdoor concentration ratios ranged from one to 10. For 16 VOCs, the within-school variance of concentrations exceeded that between schools and, overall, no major differences in VOC concentrations were found between conventional and high performance buildings. While VOC concentrations have declined from levels measured in earlier decades, opportunities remain to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) by limiting emissions from building-related sources and by increasing ventilation rates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Association between Warning Label Requirements and Cigarette Smoking Prevalence by Education-Findings from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 98; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010098 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Introduction: The Guidelines for the implementation of Article 11 of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) require that cigarette health warning labels should include pictures and take up 50% or more of the principal display area. This study
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Introduction: The Guidelines for the implementation of Article 11 of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) require that cigarette health warning labels should include pictures and take up 50% or more of the principal display area. This study examined how the association between large pictorial warnings, those covering ≥50% of the front and back of the package, and the prevalence of cigarette smoking varies by educational attainment. Methods: We pooled individual-level tobacco use data from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in 18 countries between 2008 and 2013 and linked them with warning label requirements during the same period from the MPOWER database and reports regarding warnings. The respondents’ self-reported exposure to warnings was examined according to education. Logistic regressions were further employed to analyze education-specific associations between large pictorial warnings and smoking prevalence, and whether such association differed by education was examined using an interaction test. Results: At the time of the survey, eight out of 18 countries had imposed graphic warning labels that covered ≥50% of the package. These warnings were associated with a 10.0% (OR = 0.89; 95% CI: 0.81, 0.97; p ≤ 0.01) lower cigarette smoking prevalence among adults with less than a secondary education or no formal education, but not among respondents with at least a secondary education. Less educated respondents were also less likely to be exposed to warnings in all 18 countries. The association between strong warnings and lower smoking prevalence among less educated respondents could be greater if their exposure to warnings increases. Conclusions: Prominent pictorial warning labels can potentially reduce health disparities resulting from smoking across different education levels. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Phytoplankton Diversity Effects on Community Biomass and Stability along Nutrient Gradients in a Eutrophic Lake
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 95; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010095 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is a central issue in ecology, but how this relationship is affected by nutrient stress is still unknown. In this study, we analyzed the phytoplankton diversity effects on community biomass and stability along nutrient gradients in
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The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is a central issue in ecology, but how this relationship is affected by nutrient stress is still unknown. In this study, we analyzed the phytoplankton diversity effects on community biomass and stability along nutrient gradients in an artificial eutrophic lake. Four nutrient gradients, varying from slightly eutrophic to highly eutrophic states, were designed by adjusting the amount of polluted water that flowed into the lake. Mean phytoplankton biomass, species richness, and Shannon diversity index all showed significant differences among the four nutrient gradients. Phytoplankton community biomass was correlated with diversity (both species richness and Shannon diversity index), varying from positive to negative along the nutrient gradients. The influence of phytoplankton species richness on resource use efficiency (RUE) also changed from positive to negative along the nutrient gradients. However, the influence of phytoplankton Shannon diversity on RUE was not significant. Both phytoplankton species richness and Shannon diversity had a negative influence on community turnover (measured as community dissimilarity), i.e., a positive diversity–stability relationship. Furthermore, phytoplankton spatial stability decreased along the nutrient gradients in the lake. With increasing nutrient concentrations, the variability (standard deviation) of phytoplankton community biomass increased more rapidly than the average total biomass. Results in this study will be helpful in understanding the phytoplankton diversity effects on ecosystem functioning and how these effects are influenced by nutrient conditions in aquatic ecosystems. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A New Strategy for Heavy Metal Polluted Environments: A Review of Microbial Biosorbents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 94; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010094 -
Abstract
Persistent heavy metal pollution poses a major threat to all life forms in the environment due to its toxic effects. These metals are very reactive at low concentrations and can accumulate in the food web, causing severe public health concerns. Remediation using conventional
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Persistent heavy metal pollution poses a major threat to all life forms in the environment due to its toxic effects. These metals are very reactive at low concentrations and can accumulate in the food web, causing severe public health concerns. Remediation using conventional physical and chemical methods is uneconomical and generates large volumes of chemical waste. Bioremediation of hazardous metals has received considerable and growing interest over the years. The use of microbial biosorbents is eco-friendly and cost effective; hence, it is an efficient alternative for the remediation of heavy metal contaminated environments. Microbes have various mechanisms of metal sequestration that hold greater metal biosorption capacities. The goal of microbial biosorption is to remove and/or recover metals and metalloids from solutions, using living or dead biomass and their components. This review discusses the sources of toxic heavy metals and describes the groups of microorganisms with biosorbent potential for heavy metal removal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Workplace Violence against Health Care Workers in North Chinese Hospitals: A Cross-Sectional Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 96; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010096 -
Abstract
This research aimed to determine the prevalence of workplace violence (WPV) against healthcare workers, explore the frequency distribution of violence in different occupational groups, and determine which healthcare occupation suffers from WPV most frequently. Furthermore, the current study aimed to compare risk factors
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This research aimed to determine the prevalence of workplace violence (WPV) against healthcare workers, explore the frequency distribution of violence in different occupational groups, and determine which healthcare occupation suffers from WPV most frequently. Furthermore, the current study aimed to compare risk factors affecting different types of WPV in Chinese hospitals. A cross-sectional design was utilized. A total of 1899 healthcare workers from Heilongjiang, a province in Northeastern China, completed the questionnaire. Of the respondents, 83.3% reported exposure to workplace violence, and 68.9% reported non-physical violence. Gender, education, shift work, anxiety level, and occupation were significantly correlated with physical violence (p < 0.05 for all correlations). Additionally, age, professional title, and occupation were correlated with non-physical violence, which critically affected doctors. Thus, gender, age, profession, anxiety, and shift work were predictive of workplace violence toward healthcare workers. Doctors appeared to experience non-physical workplace violence with particularly higher frequency when compared to nurses and other workers in hospitals. For healthcare workers, interventions aimed at WPV reduction should be enacted according to the types of violence, profession, and other factors underlying the various types of WPV in hospitals. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Distribution Characteristics and Risk Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Momoge Wetland, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 85; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010085 -
Abstract
The Momoge Nature Reserve is the research object of this study. Through field sampling, laboratory experiments and analysis, the contents, distribution characteristics, source identification, pollution levels and risk levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in wetland soils were studied. The results show that
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The Momoge Nature Reserve is the research object of this study. Through field sampling, laboratory experiments and analysis, the contents, distribution characteristics, source identification, pollution levels and risk levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in wetland soils were studied. The results show that the sum content of 16 types of PAHs (Σ16 PAH) in the wetland soil was within the range (0.029–0.4152) mg/kg. PAHs in wetland soil are primarily 2–3-rings PAHs. PAHs in the Momoge wetland soil have multiple sources: petroleum, combustion of petroleum and coal, and others, of which petroleum and the sum of combustion of petroleum and coal account for 38.0% and 59.3%, respectively. Research, using the standard index and pollution range methods, shows that the content of the PAH labelled Nap, found in the Momoge wetland soil, is excessive; some sampling sites exhibit a low level of pollution. The result of a biotoxicity assessment shows that there are two sampling sites that occasionally present an ecological toxicity hazard. The result of the organic carbon normalization process shows that an ecological risk exists only at sampling site No. 10. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Water Quality, Sanitation, and Hygiene Conditions in Schools and Households in Dolakha and Ramechhap Districts, Nepal: Results from A Cross-Sectional Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 89; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010089 -
Abstract
This study assessed drinking water quality, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions among 708 schoolchildren and 562 households in Dolakha and Ramechhap districts of Nepal. Cross-sectional surveys were carried out in March and June 2015. A Delagua water quality testing kit was employed on
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This study assessed drinking water quality, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions among 708 schoolchildren and 562 households in Dolakha and Ramechhap districts of Nepal. Cross-sectional surveys were carried out in March and June 2015. A Delagua water quality testing kit was employed on 634 water samples obtained from 16 purposively selected schools, 40 community water sources, and 562 households to examine water quality. A flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer was used to test lead and arsenic content of the same samples. Additionally, a questionnaire survey was conducted to obtain WASH predictors. A total of 75% of school drinking water source samples and 76.9% point-of-use samples (water bottles) at schools, 39.5% water source samples in the community, and 27.4% point-of-use samples at household levels were contaminated with thermo-tolerant coliforms. The values of water samples for pH (6.8–7.6), free and total residual chlorine (0.1–0.5 mg/L), mean lead concentration (0.01 mg/L), and mean arsenic concentration (0.05 mg/L) were within national drinking water quality standards. The presence of domestic animals roaming inside schoolchildren’s homes was significantly associated with drinking water contamination (adjusted odds ratio: 1.64; 95% confidence interval: 1.08–2.50; p = 0.02). Our findings call for an improvement of WASH conditions at the unit of school, households, and communities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Gastric versus Gastrointestinal PBET Extractions for Estimating Oral Bioaccessibility of Metals in House Dust
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 92; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010092 -
Abstract
Oral bioaccessibility estimates for six metals which are prevalent as contaminants in Canada (zinc, lead, cadmium, copper, nickel, and chromium) are investigated for house dust using the simple gastric phase versus the two-phase physiologically-based extraction technique (PBET). The purpose is to determine whether
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Oral bioaccessibility estimates for six metals which are prevalent as contaminants in Canada (zinc, lead, cadmium, copper, nickel, and chromium) are investigated for house dust using the simple gastric phase versus the two-phase physiologically-based extraction technique (PBET). The purpose is to determine whether a complete gastrointestinal (GI) assay yields a more conservative (i.e., higher) estimate of metal bioaccessibility in house dust than the gastric phase alone (G-alone). The study samples include household vacuum dust collected from 33 homes in Montreal, Canada, plus four certified reference materials (NIST 2583, NIST 2584, NIST 2710 and NIST 2710a). Results indicate that percent bioaccessibilities obtained using G-alone are generally greater than or equivalent to those obtained using the complete GI simulation for the six studied metals in house dust. Median bioaccessibilities for G-alone/GI in household vacuum dust samples (n = 33) are 76.9%/19.5% for zinc, 50.4%/6.2% for lead, 70.0%/22.4% for cadmium, 33.9%/30.5% for copper and 28.5%/20.7% for nickel. Bioaccessible chromium is above the detection limit in only four out of 33 samples, for which G-alone results are not significantly different from GI results (p = 0.39). It is concluded that, for the six studied metals, a simple G-alone extraction provides a conservative and cost-effective approach for estimating oral bioaccessibility of metals in house dust. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Genetic Aspects of Susceptibility to Mercury Toxicity: An Overview
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 93; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010093 -
Abstract
Human exposure to mercury is still a major public health concern. In this context, children have a higher susceptibility to adverse neurological mercury effects, compared to adults with similar exposures. Moreover, there exists a marked variability of personal response to detrimental mercury action,
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Human exposure to mercury is still a major public health concern. In this context, children have a higher susceptibility to adverse neurological mercury effects, compared to adults with similar exposures. Moreover, there exists a marked variability of personal response to detrimental mercury action, in particular among population groups with significant mercury exposure. New scientific evidence on genetic backgrounds has raised the issue of whether candidate susceptibility genes can make certain individuals more or less vulnerable to mercury toxicity. In this review, the aim is to evaluate a new genetic dimension and its involvement in mercury risk assessment, focusing on the important role played by relevant polymorphisms, located in attractive gene targets for mercury toxicity. Existing original articles on epidemiologic research which report a direct link between the genetic basis of personal vulnerability and different mercury repercussions on human health will be reviewed. Based on this evidence, a careful evaluation of the significant markers of susceptibility will be suggested, in order to obtain a powerful positive “feedback” to improve the quality of life. Large consortia of studies with clear phenotypic assessments will help clarify the “window of susceptibility” in the human health risks due to mercury exposure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Prevalence and Social Risk Factors for Hearing Impairment in Chinese Children—A National Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 88; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010088 -
Abstract
Hearing impairment may affect children’s communication skills, social development, and educational achievement. Little is known about the prevalence of hearing impairment among Chinese children. Data were taken from the 2006 second China National Survey on Disability (CNSD). Hearing impairment was defined as moderate
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Hearing impairment may affect children’s communication skills, social development, and educational achievement. Little is known about the prevalence of hearing impairment among Chinese children. Data were taken from the 2006 second China National Survey on Disability (CNSD). Hearing impairment was defined as moderate (41–60 dB HL), severe (61–80 dB HL), profound (81–90 dB HL), or complete (>91 dB HL). Logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). A weighted number of 567,915 hearing impairment children were identified, yielding a prevalence of 17.49 per 10,000 people (95% CI: 16.90–18.08), with prevention or treatment options possible for 64.6% of hearing impairment children. The main causes of hearing impairment were hereditary, tympanitis, and drug intoxication. Illiteracy in one or both parents (mother: OR = 1.388, 95% CI: 1.125–1.714, p < 0.0001; father: OR = 1.537, 95% CI: 1.152–2.049, p < 0.0001 relative to no school or primary school), annual family income lower than national average (OR = 1.323, 95% CI: 1.044–1.675, p = 0.0203, relative to higher than national average), household size larger than three people (OR = 1.432, 95% CI: 1.164–1.762, p = 0.0007, relative to smaller than three people) and single-mother family (OR = 2.056, 95% CI: 1.390–3.042, p = 0.0176, relative to intact family) were the independence risk factors for hearing impairment among Chinese children. Lower annual family income, male children, larger household size, single-mother family, and lower levels of maternal and paternal education were independent risk factors for hearing impairment for Chinese children. Further studies on hearing impairment prevention and the relationship between parental social factors and the risk of hearing impairment are needed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Are Cockroaches an Important Source of Indoor Endotoxins?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 91; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010091 -
Abstract
Endotoxins are common indoor biocontaminants. Their levels have been shown to link to many sources and factors. One of them is cockroach infestation but the role of cockroaches and contamination mechanisms are unclear. We hypothesized that not only is cockroach infestation a sign
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Endotoxins are common indoor biocontaminants. Their levels have been shown to link to many sources and factors. One of them is cockroach infestation but the role of cockroaches and contamination mechanisms are unclear. We hypothesized that not only is cockroach infestation a sign of poor hygiene, but it also contributes to indoor endotoxins via fecal contamination. In this study, different cockroach species were caught in homes. The endotoxin and allergen levels and their ratios in cockroach feces were determined. To estimate the amount of indoor endotoxins that originated from cockroaches, a new approach of using these new cockroach endotoxin and allergen ratios to compare with environmental data was employed. We found that Supella (S.) longipalpa, Periplaneta (P.) australasiae, and Blattella (B.) germanica were dominant in homes. On average, P. australasiae feces had a higher level but greater variation of endotoxins. B. germanica feces had the highest levels of allergens measured. Depending on environmental bacterial load and the type of cockroaches present, cockroach endotoxins in the environment may vary greatly. Cockroaches directly contribute to indoor endotoxins rather than just being a sign of poor hygiene. The type and extent of cockroach infestation should be taken into consideration when assessing and remediating indoor endotoxin contamination. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Profiling of the Lungs Reveals Molecular Clock Genes Expression Changes after Chronic Exposure to Ambient Air Particles
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 90; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010090 -
Abstract
The symptoms of asthma, breathlessness, insomnia, etc. all have relevance to pulmonary rhythmic disturbances. Epidemiology and toxicology studies have demonstrated that exposure to ambient air particles can result in pulmonary dysfunction. However, there are no data directly supporting a link between air pollution
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The symptoms of asthma, breathlessness, insomnia, etc. all have relevance to pulmonary rhythmic disturbances. Epidemiology and toxicology studies have demonstrated that exposure to ambient air particles can result in pulmonary dysfunction. However, there are no data directly supporting a link between air pollution and circadian rhythm disorder. In the present study, we found that breathing highly polluted air resulted in changes of the molecular clock genes expression in lung by transcriptome profiling analyses in a rodent model. Compared to those exposed to filtered air, in both pregnant and offspring rats in the unfiltered group, key clock genes (Per1, Per2, Per3, Rev-erbα and Dbp) expression level decreased and Bmal1 expression level increased. In both rat dams and their offspring, after continuous exposure to unfiltered air, we observed significant histologic evidence for both perivascular and peribronchial inflammation, increased tissue and systemic oxidative stress in the lungs. Our results suggest that chronic exposure to particulate matter can induce alterations of clock genes expression, which could be another important pathway for explaining the feedbacks of ambient particle exposure in addition to oxidative stress and inflammation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Self-Reported Snoring Is Associated with Dyslipidemia, High Total Cholesterol, and High Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Obesity: A Cross-Sectional Study from a Rural Area of China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 86; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010086 -
Abstract
Studies to explore the relationship between self-reported snoring and dyslipidemia, especially high total cholesterol (TC) and high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), in the general population are still lacking. Our study was designed to examine whether self-reported snoring is significantly associated with dyslipidemia and
[...] Read more.
Studies to explore the relationship between self-reported snoring and dyslipidemia, especially high total cholesterol (TC) and high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), in the general population are still lacking. Our study was designed to examine whether self-reported snoring is significantly associated with dyslipidemia and ascertain the effects of different snoring intensities on dyslipidemia. There were 10,139 participants in our study. After adjustment for all confounding factors, self-reported snoring (OR = 1.207; p = 0.003), moderate (OR = 1.229; p = 0.015), strong (OR = 1.222; p = 0.033), and very strong (OR = 1.467; p = 0.012) snoring intensity, but not low (OR = 1.110; p = 0.224) snoring intensity, were significantly associated with dyslipidemia among adults with BMI (body mass index) ≥ 25 kg/m2. In addition, self-reported snoring was significantly associated with high TC (OR = 1.167; p = 0.048) and high LDL-C (OR = 1.228; p = 0.044), rather than low HDL-C (OR = 1.171; p = 0.057) and high triglyceride (TG) (OR = 1.110; p = 0.141). In conclusion, adults with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 and who experience snoring, especially moderate, strong, and very strong intensity levels of snoring, should be on the alert regarding the possibility of dyslipidemia, especially high LDL-C and high TC. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Lipoprotein Lipase (LPL) Polymorphism and the Risk of Coronary Artery Disease: A Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 84; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010084 -
Abstract
Background: In recent years, the lipoprotein lipase (LPL) polymorphism has been extensively investigated as a potential risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD). However, the results of these studies have been inconsistent. Therefore, we performed this meta-analysis to explore the association between LPL
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Background: In recent years, the lipoprotein lipase (LPL) polymorphism has been extensively investigated as a potential risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD). However, the results of these studies have been inconsistent. Therefore, we performed this meta-analysis to explore the association between LPL polymorphism and CAD risk. Methods: The literature was searched from electronic databases such as Embase, China Biological Medicine Database, PubMed, Knowledge Infrastructure, and China National Web of Science by the key words “coronary artery disease”, “lipoprotein lipase” and “polymorphism”. All of the studies included in this manuscript met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. An odds ratio (OR) analysis using a 95% confidence interval (CI) was employed to assess the association of the LPL polymorphism with CAD susceptibility. Results: We performed a meta-analysis of 14 case-control studies including HindIII, Ser447X and PvuII polymorphism. A statistically significant increase in the risk of CAD was associated with LPL HindIII polymorphism. This included HindIII H+H+ genotype (OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.09–1.49, p = 0.002, I2 = 43%) and H+ allele genotype (OR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.03–1.58, p = 0.03, I2 = 67%). Ser447X XX genotype (OR = 2.37, 95% CI = 1.33–4.24, p = 0.004, I2 = 53%) was also associated with CAD risk. However, PvuII polymorphism was found to have no significant association with CAD risk. Conclusions: LPL HindIII polymorphism was significantly associated with the risk of CAD. For Ser447X polymorphism, it was found that only XX genotype was significantly associated with CAD risk. Furthermore, PvuII polymorphism had no significant association with CAD risk. It was considered that LPL HindIII polymorphism might serve as a potential biomarker for CAD risk. Full article
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