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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 11, Issue 3 (March 2014) , Pages 2361-3472

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Open AccessArticle
Exposure to Neighborhood Green Space and Mental Health: Evidence from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3453-3472; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303453 - 21 Mar 2014
Cited by 160 | Viewed by 15377
Abstract
Green space is now widely viewed as a health-promoting characteristic of residential environments, and has been linked to mental health benefits such as recovery from mental fatigue and reduced stress, particularly through experimental work in environmental psychology. Few population level studies have examined [...] Read more.
Green space is now widely viewed as a health-promoting characteristic of residential environments, and has been linked to mental health benefits such as recovery from mental fatigue and reduced stress, particularly through experimental work in environmental psychology. Few population level studies have examined the relationships between green space and mental health. Further, few studies have considered the role of green space in non-urban settings. This study contributes a population-level perspective from the United States to examine the relationship between environmental green space and mental health outcomes in a study area that includes a spectrum of urban to rural environments. Multivariate survey regression analyses examine the association between green space and mental health using the unique, population-based Survey of the Health of Wisconsin database. Analyses were adjusted for length of residence in the neighborhood to reduce the impact of neighborhood selection bias. Higher levels of neighborhood green space were associated with significantly lower levels of symptomology for depression, anxiety and stress, after controlling for a wide range of confounding factors. Results suggest that “greening” could be a potential population mental health improvement strategy in the United States. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ecological Factors and Adolescent Marijuana Use: Results of a Prospective Study in Santiago, Chile
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3443-3452; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303443 - 21 Mar 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3235
Abstract
Purpose: Despite the growing evidence that ecological factors contribute to substance use, the relationship of ecological factors and illicit drugs such as marijuana use is not well understood, particularly among adolescents in Latin America. Guided by social disorganization and social stress theories, [...] Read more.
Purpose: Despite the growing evidence that ecological factors contribute to substance use, the relationship of ecological factors and illicit drugs such as marijuana use is not well understood, particularly among adolescents in Latin America. Guided by social disorganization and social stress theories, we prospectively examined the association of disaggregated neighborhood characteristics with marijuana use among adolescents in Santiago, Chile, and tested if these relationships varied by sex. Methods: Data for this study are from 725 community-dwelling adolescents participating in the Santiago Longitudinal Study, a study of substance using behaviors among urban adolescents in Santiago, Chile. Adolescents completed a two-hour interviewer administered questionnaire with questions about drug use and factors related to drug using behaviors. Results: As the neighborhood levels of drug availability at baseline increased, but not crime or noxious environment, adolescents had higher odds of occasions of marijuana use at follow up, approximately 2 years later (odds ratio [OR] = 1.39; 95% CI = 1.16–1.66), even after controlling for the study’s covariates. No interactions by sex were significant. Discussion: The findings suggest that “poverty”, “crime”, and “drug problems” may not be synonyms and thus can be understood discretely. As Latin American countries re-examine their drug policies, especially those concerning decriminalizing marijuana use, the findings suggest that attempts to reduce adolescent marijuana use in disadvantaged neighborhoods may do best if efforts are concentrated on specific features of the “substance abuse environment”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 10th Anniversary)
Open AccessArticle
Prevalence and Antimicrobial Resistance of Enterococcus Species: A Hospital-Based Study in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3424-3442; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303424 - 21 Mar 2014
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 3928
Abstract
Objective: to investigate the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of Enterococcus species isolated from a university hospital, and explore the mechanisms underlying the antimicrobial resistance, so as to provide clinical evidence for the inappropriate clinical use of antimicrobial agents and the control and [...] Read more.
Objective: to investigate the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of Enterococcus species isolated from a university hospital, and explore the mechanisms underlying the antimicrobial resistance, so as to provide clinical evidence for the inappropriate clinical use of antimicrobial agents and the control and prevention of enterococcal infections. Methods: a total of 1,157 enterococcal strains isolated from various clinical specimens from January 2010 to December 2012 in the General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University were identified to species level with a VITEK-2 COMPACT fully automated microbiological system, and the antimicrobial susceptibility of Enterococcus species was determined using the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method. The multiple-drug resistant enterococcal isolates were screened from the clinical isolates of Enterococcus species from the burns department. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of Enterococcus species to the three fluoroquinolones, including ciprofloxacin, gatifloxacin and levofloxacin was determined with the agar dilution method, and the changes in the MIC of Enterococcus species to the three fluoroquinolones following reserpine treatment were evaluated. The β-lactam, aminoglycoside, tetracycline, macrolide, glycopeptide resistance genes and the efflux pump emeA genes were detected in the enterococcal isolates using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Results: the 1,157 clinical isolates of Enterococcus species included 679 E. faecium isolates (58.7%), 382 E. faecalis isolates (33%), 26 E. casseliflavus isolates (2.2%), 24 E. avium isolates (2.1%), and 46 isolates of other Enterococcus species (4%). The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance varied significantly between E. faecium and E. faecalis, and ≤1.1% of these two Enterococcus species were found to be resistant to vancomycin, teicoplanin or linezolid. In addition, the Enterococcus species isolated from different departments of the hospital exhibited various resistances to the same antimicrobial agent, while reserpine treatment reduced the resistance of Enterococcus species to ciprofloxacin, gatifloxacin and levofloxacin. The β-lactamase gene TEM, aminoglycoside-modifying-enzyme genes aac(6')-aph(2"), aph(3')-III, ant(6)-I and ant(2")-I, tetracycline resistance gene tetM, erythromycin resistance gene ermB, vancomycin resistance gene vanA and the enterococcal multidrug resistance efflux emeA gene were detected in 77%, 62%, 26%, 13%, 36%, 31%, 66%, 5% and 55% of the 100 multiple-drug resistant enterococcal isolates. Conclusions: similar to previous findings, E. faecium and E. faecalis are predominant conditionally pathogenic bacteria that cause hospital-acquired infections that can cause urinary and respiratory system infections. Multiple and high-level antimicrobial resistance is highly prevalent in the hospital isolates of Enterococcus species. Reserpine treatment inhibits the active efflux of Enterococcus species to ciprofloxacin, gatifloxacin and levofloxacin in vitro and reduces the MIC of Enterococcus species to these three fluoroquinolones. The presence of the enterococcal multidrug resistance efflux emeA gene is associated with the resistance to antibiotics in Enterococcus species. The monitoring of the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of Enterococcus species is of great significance to guide the control and prevention of enterococcal infections. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Health Risks of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease in China Using the Geographical Detector Technique
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3407-3423; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303407 - 21 Mar 2014
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 4224
Abstract
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common infectious disease, causing thousands of deaths among children in China over the past two decades. Environmental risk factors such as meteorological factors, population factors and economic factors may affect the incidence of HFMD. In [...] Read more.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common infectious disease, causing thousands of deaths among children in China over the past two decades. Environmental risk factors such as meteorological factors, population factors and economic factors may affect the incidence of HFMD. In the current paper, we used a novel model—geographical detector technique to analyze the effect of these factors on the incidence of HFMD in China. We collected HFMD cases from 2,309 counties during May 2008 in China. The monthly cumulative incidence of HFMD was calculated for children aged 0–9 years. Potential risk factors included meteorological factors, economic factors, and population density factors. Four geographical detectors (risk detector, factor detector, ecological detector, and interaction detector) were used to analyze the effects of some potential risk factors on the incidence of HFMD in China. We found that tertiary industry and children exert more influence than first industry and middle school students on the incidence of HFMD. The interactive effect of any two risk factors increases the hazard for HFMD transmission. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Socioeconomic Inequalities in Adult Obesity Prevalence in South Africa: A Decomposition Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3387-3406; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303387 - 21 Mar 2014
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 3820
Abstract
In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in low and middle income countries. However, there is limited research in these countries showing the prevalence and determinants of obesity. In this study, we examine the socioeconomic inequalities in obesity among [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in low and middle income countries. However, there is limited research in these countries showing the prevalence and determinants of obesity. In this study, we examine the socioeconomic inequalities in obesity among South African adults. We use nationally representative data from the South Africa National Income Dynamic Survey of 2008 to: (1) construct an asset index using multiple correspondence analyses (MCA) as a proxy for socioeconomic status; (2) estimate concentration indices (CI) to measure socioeconomic inequalities in obesity; and (3) perform a decomposition analysis to determine the factors that contribute to socioeconomic related inequalities. Consistent with other studies, we find that women are more obese than men. The findings show that obesity inequalities exist in South Africa. Rich men are more likely to be obese than their poorer counterparts with a concentration index of 0.27. Women on the other hand have similar obesity patterns, regardless of socioeconomic status with CI of 0.07. The results of the decomposition analysis suggest that asset index contributes positively and highly to socio-economic inequality in obesity among females; physical exercise contributes negatively to the socio-economic inequality. In the case of males, educational attainment and asset index contributed more to socio-economic inequalities in obesity. Our findings suggest that focusing on economically well-off men and all women across socioeconomic status is one way to address the obesity problem in South Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity)
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Open AccessArticle
Utilization of Norway’s Emergency Wards: The Second 5 Years after the Introduction of the Patient List System
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3375-3386; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303375 - 21 Mar 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3024
Abstract
Utilization of services is an important indicator for estimating access to healthcare. In Norway, the General Practitioner Scheme, a patient list system, was established in 2001 to enable a stable doctor-patient relationship. Although satisfaction with the system is generally high, people often choose [...] Read more.
Utilization of services is an important indicator for estimating access to healthcare. In Norway, the General Practitioner Scheme, a patient list system, was established in 2001 to enable a stable doctor-patient relationship. Although satisfaction with the system is generally high, people often choose a more accessible but inferior solution for routine care: emergency wards. The aim of the article is to investigate contact patterns in primary health care situations for the total population in urban and remote areas of Norway and for major immigrant groups in Oslo. The primary regression model had a cross-sectional study design analyzing 2,609,107 consultations in representative municipalities across Norway, estimating the probability of choosing the emergency ward in substitution to a general practitioner. In a second regression model comprising 625,590 consultations in Oslo, we calculated this likelihood for immigrants from the 14 largest groups. We noted substantial differences in emergency ward utilization between ethnic Norwegians both in rural and remote areas and among the various immigrant groups residing in Oslo. Oslo utilization of emergency ward services for the whole population declined, and so did this use among all immigrant groups after 2009. Other municipalities, while overwhelmingly ethnically Norwegian, showed diverse patterns including an increase in some and a decrease in others, results which we were unable to explain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Implementing Cargo Movement into Climate Based Risk Assessment of Vector-Borne Diseases
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3360-3374; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303360 - 20 Mar 2014
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 4483
Abstract
During the last decades the disease vector Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) has rapidly spread around the globe. Global shipment of goods contributes to its permanent introduction. Invaded regions are facing novel and serious public health concerns, especially regarding the transmission of formerly [...] Read more.
During the last decades the disease vector Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) has rapidly spread around the globe. Global shipment of goods contributes to its permanent introduction. Invaded regions are facing novel and serious public health concerns, especially regarding the transmission of formerly non-endemic arboviruses such as dengue and chikungunya. The further development and potential spread to other regions depends largely on their climatic suitability. Here, we have developed a tool for identifying and prioritizing European areas at risk for the establishment of Aedes albopictus by taking into account, for the first time, the freight imports from this mosquito’s endemic countries and the climate suitability at harbors and their surrounding regions. In a second step we consider the further transport of containers by train and inland waterways because these types of transport can be well controlled. We identify European regions at risk, where a huge amount of transported goods meet climatically suitable conditions for the disease vector. The current and future suitability of the climate for Aedes albopictus was modeled by a correlative niche model approach and the Regional Climate Model COSMO-CLM. This risk assessment combines impacts of globalization and global warming to improve effective and proactive interventions in disease vector surveillance and control actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Open AccessReview
Temporal Trends and Correlates of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Physical Fitness among School-Aged Children in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3327-3359; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303327 - 20 Mar 2014
Cited by 52 | Viewed by 5812
Abstract
Recent physical activity (PA) and fitness transitions, identified as behavioural shifts from traditionally active lifestyles to more industralised and sedentary lifestyles, have been observed among school-aged children. There is a wealth of supporting evidence of such behavioural transitions in high income countries; however, [...] Read more.
Recent physical activity (PA) and fitness transitions, identified as behavioural shifts from traditionally active lifestyles to more industralised and sedentary lifestyles, have been observed among school-aged children. There is a wealth of supporting evidence of such behavioural transitions in high income countries; however, a paucity of data on lower income countries exists. These transitions pose a particular threat to the welfare of children by accelerating the onset of chronic diseases. This systematic review investigated the evidence for a PA and fitness transition among Sub-Saharan Africa’s school-aged children. Temporal trends and correlates of PA, SB, and fitness were examined. Studies were identified by searching the Medline, Embase, Africa Index Medicus, Global Health, Geobase, and EPPI-Centre electronic databases, and were included if they measured outcomes of interest in apparently healthy samples of children (5‒17 years). A total of 71 articles met the inclusion criteria (40 informed PA, 17 informed SB, and 37 informed fitness). Vast heterogeneity in study methodology complicated analysis of transitions over time and no temporal trends were immediately discernible. However, higher socioeconomic status, urban living, and female children were found to engage in lower levels of PA, higher SB, and performed worse on aerobic fitness measures compared to lower socioeconomic status, rural living, and male children. Data revealed that urbanization was associated with a trend towards decreased PA, increased SB, and decreased aerobic fitness over time. Representative, temporally sequenced data examining a PA and fitness transition are lacking in this region (PROSPERO Registration Number: CRD42013004399). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Heat-Related Deaths in Hot Cities: Estimates of Human Tolerance to High Temperature Thresholds
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3304-3326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303304 - 20 Mar 2014
Cited by 45 | Viewed by 5592
Abstract
In this study we characterized the relationship between temperature and mortality in central Arizona desert cities that have an extremely hot climate. Relationships between daily maximum apparent temperature (ATmax) and mortality for eight condition-specific causes and all-cause deaths were modeled for [...] Read more.
In this study we characterized the relationship between temperature and mortality in central Arizona desert cities that have an extremely hot climate. Relationships between daily maximum apparent temperature (ATmax) and mortality for eight condition-specific causes and all-cause deaths were modeled for all residents and separately for males and females ages <65 and ≥65 during the months May–October for years 2000–2008. The most robust relationship was between ATmax on day of death and mortality from direct exposure to high environmental heat. For this condition-specific cause of death, the heat thresholds in all gender and age groups (ATmax = 90–97 °F; 32.2‒36.1 °C) were below local median seasonal temperatures in the study period (ATmax = 99.5 °F; 37.5 °C). Heat threshold was defined as ATmax at which the mortality ratio begins an exponential upward trend. Thresholds were identified in younger and older females for cardiac disease/stroke mortality (ATmax = 106 and 108 °F; 41.1 and 42.2 °C) with a one-day lag. Thresholds were also identified for mortality from respiratory diseases in older people (ATmax = 109 °F; 42.8 °C) and for all-cause mortality in females (ATmax = 107 °F; 41.7 °C) and males <65 years (ATmax = 102 °F; 38.9 °C). Heat-related mortality in a region that has already made some adaptations to predictable periods of extremely high temperatures suggests that more extensive and targeted heat-adaptation plans for climate change are needed in cities worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Nurses’ Competencies in Disaster Nursing: Implications for Curriculum Development and Public Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3289-3303; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303289 - 20 Mar 2014
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 6126
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore Hong Kong nurses’ perceptions of competencies required for disaster nursing. Focus group interviews and written inquiry were adopted to solicit nurses’ perceived required competencies for disaster care. A total of 15 nurses were interviewed and [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to explore Hong Kong nurses’ perceptions of competencies required for disaster nursing. Focus group interviews and written inquiry were adopted to solicit nurses’ perceived required competencies for disaster care. A total of 15 nurses were interviewed and 30 nurses completed the written inquiry on their perceived competencies related to disaster nursing. The International Council for Nurses’ (ICN) framework of disaster nursing competencies, consisting of four themes and ten domains, was used to tabulate the perceived competencies for disaster nursing reported by nurses. The most mentioned required competencies were related to disaster response; with the ethical and legal competencies for disaster nursing were mostly neglected by nurses in Hong Kong. With the complexity nature of disasters, special competencies are required if nurses are to deal with adverse happenings in their serving community. Nurses’ perceived disaster nursing competencies reported by nurses were grossly inadequate, demonstrating the needs to develop a comprehensive curriculum for public health. The establishment of a set of tailor-made disaster nursing core competencies for the community they served is the first step in preparing nurses to deal with disastrous situations for the health of the public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparedness and Emergency Response)
Open AccessArticle
Feasibility of Silver Doped TiO2/Glass Fiber Photocatalyst under Visible Irradiation as an Indoor Air Germicide
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3271-3288; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303271 - 20 Mar 2014
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 3782
Abstract
This study investigated the feasibility of using Ag-TiO2 photocatalyst supported on glass fiber (Ag-TiO2/GF) prepared by a sol-gel method as an indoor air germicide. An experimental model was designed to investigate the bacterial disinfection efficiency of Staphylococcus (Staph), the most [...] Read more.
This study investigated the feasibility of using Ag-TiO2 photocatalyst supported on glass fiber (Ag-TiO2/GF) prepared by a sol-gel method as an indoor air germicide. An experimental model was designed to investigate the bacterial disinfection efficiency of Staphylococcus (Staph), the most popular bacterium in hospitals in Korea, by the Ag-TiO2/GF photocatalyst. The silver content in Ag/TiO2 was altered from 1 to 10% to investigate the optimal ratio of Ag doped on TiO2/glass fiber (TiO2/GF) for photocatalytic disinfection of Staph. This study confirmed that Ag in Ag-TiO2/GF could work as an electron sink or donor to increase photocatalytic activity and promote the charge separation of electron-hole pairs generated from TiO2 after photon absorption. Ag also acts as an intermediate agent for the transfer of photo-generated electrons from the valence band of TiO2 to an acceptor (O2 gas) to promote photo-oxidation processes. The photocatalytic disinfection activity of Ag-TiO2/GF under visible light increased with the increase in silver content up to 7.5% and then slightly decreased with further increasing silver content. The highest disinfection efficiency and disinfection capacity of Staph using 7.5% Ag-TiO2/GF were 75.23% and 20 (CFU∙s−1∙cm2) respectively. The medium level of humidity of 60% ± 5% showed better photocatalytic disinfection than the lower (40% ± 5%) or higher (80% ± 5%) levels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Tale of Two City Blocks: Differences in Immature and Adult Mosquito Abundances between Socioeconomically Different Urban Blocks in Baltimore (Maryland, USA)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3256-3270; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303256 - 19 Mar 2014
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3211
Abstract
Infrastructure degradation in many post-industrial cities has increased the availability of potential mosquito habitats, including container habitats that support infestations of invasive disease-vectors. This study is unique in examining both immature and adult mosquito abundance across the fine-scale variability in socio-economic condition that [...] Read more.
Infrastructure degradation in many post-industrial cities has increased the availability of potential mosquito habitats, including container habitats that support infestations of invasive disease-vectors. This study is unique in examining both immature and adult mosquito abundance across the fine-scale variability in socio-economic condition that occurs block-to-block in many cities. We hypothesized that abundant garbage associated with infrastructure degradation would support greater mosquito production but instead, found more mosquito larvae and host-seeking adults (86%) in parcels across the higher socio-economic, low-decay block. Aedes albopictus and Culex pipiens were 5.61 (p < 0.001) and 4.60 (p = 0.001) times more abundant, respectively. Most discarded (garbage) containers were dry during peak mosquito production, which occurred during the 5th hottest July on record. Containers associated with human residence were more likely to hold water and contain immature mosquitoes. We propose that mosquito production switches from rain-fed unmanaged containers early in the season to container habitats that are purposefully shaded or watered by mid-season. This study suggests that residents living in higher socioeconomic areas with low urban decay may be at greater risk of mosquito-borne disease during peak mosquito production when local container habitats are effectively decoupled from environmental constraints. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Ampicillin, Streptomycin, Penicillin and Tetracycline on Metal Resistant and Non-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3233-3255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303233 - 19 Mar 2014
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 4526
Abstract
There is an arising and concerning issue in the field of bacterial resistance, which is confirmed by the number of deaths associated with drug-resistant bacterial infections. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of antibiotics on Staphylococcus aureus non-resistant strain [...] Read more.
There is an arising and concerning issue in the field of bacterial resistance, which is confirmed by the number of deaths associated with drug-resistant bacterial infections. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of antibiotics on Staphylococcus aureus non-resistant strain and strains resistant to cadmium or lead ions. Metal resistant strains were created by the gradual addition of 2 mM solution of metal ions (cadmium or lead) to the S. aureus culture. An increasing antimicrobial effect of ampicillin, streptomycin, penicillin and tetracycline (0, 10, 25, 50, 75, 150, 225 and 300 µM) on the resistant strains was observed using a method of growth curves. A significant growth inhibition (compared to control) of cadmium resistant cells was observed in the presence of all the four different antibiotics. On the other hand, the addition of streptomycin and ampicillin did not inhibit the growth of lead resistant strain. Other antibiotics were still toxic to the bacterial cells. Significant differences in the morphology of cell walls were indicated by changes in the cell shape. Our data show that the presence of metal ions in the urban environment may contribute to the development of bacterial strain resistance to other substances including antibiotics, which would have an impact on public health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Pattern of Land Use Change and Its Driving Force in Jiangsu Province
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3215-3232; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303215 - 18 Mar 2014
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 3952
Abstract
Scientific interpretation of the mechanism of land use change is important for government planning and management activities. This study analyzes the land use change in Jiangsu Province using three land use maps of 2000, 2005 and 2008. The study results show that there [...] Read more.
Scientific interpretation of the mechanism of land use change is important for government planning and management activities. This study analyzes the land use change in Jiangsu Province using three land use maps of 2000, 2005 and 2008. The study results show that there was a significant change in land use. The change was mainly characterized by a continuous built-up land expansion primarily at the expense of cropland loss, and the trend became increasingly rapid. There was an obvious regional difference, as most of the cropland loss or built-up land expansion took place in southern Jiangsu, where the rate of built-up land expansion was faster than in central and northern Jiangsu. Meanwhile, the spatial pattern changed remarkably; in general, the number of patches (NumP) showed a declining trend, and the mean patch size (MPS) and patch size standard deviation (PSSD) displayed increase trends. Furthermore, the relative importance of selected driven factors was identified by principal component analysis (PCA) and general linear model (GLM). The results showed that not only the relative importance of a specific driving factor may vary, but the driven factors may as well. The most important driven factor changed from urban population (UP), secondary gross domestic product (SGDP) and gross domestic product (GDP) during 2000–2005 to resident population (RP), population density (POD) and UP during 2005–2008, and the deviance explained (DE) decreased from 91.60% to 81.04%. Policies also had significant impacts on land use change, which can be divided into direct and indirect impacts. Development policies usually had indirect impacts, particularly economic development policies, which promote the economic development to cause land use change, while land management policies had direct impacts. We suggest that the government should think comprehensively and cautiously when proposing a new development strategy or plan. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Variations of Soil Lead in Different Land Uses Along the Urbanization Gradient in the Beijing Metropolitan Area
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3199-3214; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303199 - 18 Mar 2014
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3598
Abstract
Understanding the spatial pattern of soil lead (Pb) levels is essential to protecting human health. Most previous studies have examined soil Pb distributions by either urbanization gradient or land-use type. Few studies, however, have examined both factors together. It remains unclear whether the [...] Read more.
Understanding the spatial pattern of soil lead (Pb) levels is essential to protecting human health. Most previous studies have examined soil Pb distributions by either urbanization gradient or land-use type. Few studies, however, have examined both factors together. It remains unclear whether the impacts of land use on soil Pb levels are consistent along the urbanization gradient. To fill this gap, we investigated variations in soil Pb level under different land-use types along the urbanization gradient in Beijing, China. We classified the degree of urbanization as the urban core, transitional zone, or suburban area and the land-use type as industrial area, roadside, residential area, institutional area, road greenbelt, park, or forest. Our results showed that the range of soil Pb levels in Beijing is <1 mg/kg–292 mg/kg, with a mean of 22 mg/kg. Along the urbanization gradient, the mean soil Pb level increased from the suburban area to the urban core. Land-use types have an impact on soil Pb levels, however, when the degree of urbanization is considered, the impact from land use on soil Pb level was only significant in the transitional zone. Parks and road greenbelts were found to have lower soil Pb, primarily due to soil restoration. Roadside and residential areas were found to have higher soil Pb because of traffic emissions, leaded paint, and previous industrial contamination. In the urban core and suburban area, the soil Pb level showed no significant differences among various land-use types. Given the results of soil Pb in various land-use types, we suggest that future studies consider the urbanization gradient in which different land-use samples are located. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Impact Assessment and End-of-Life Treatment Policy Analysis for Li-Ion Batteries and Ni-MH Batteries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3185-3198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303185 - 18 Mar 2014
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3902
Abstract
Based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Eco-indicator 99 method, a LCA model was applied to conduct environmental impact and end-of-life treatment policy analysis for secondary batteries. This model evaluated the cycle, recycle and waste treatment stages of secondary batteries. Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) [...] Read more.
Based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Eco-indicator 99 method, a LCA model was applied to conduct environmental impact and end-of-life treatment policy analysis for secondary batteries. This model evaluated the cycle, recycle and waste treatment stages of secondary batteries. Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) batteries and Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries were chosen as the typical secondary batteries in this study. Through this research, the following results were found: (1) A basic number of cycles should be defined. A minimum cycle number of 200 would result in an obvious decline of environmental loads for both battery types. Batteries with high energy density and long life expectancy have small environmental loads. Products and technology that help increase energy density and life expectancy should be encouraged. (2) Secondary batteries should be sorted out from municipal garbage. Meanwhile, different types of discarded batteries should be treated separately under policies and regulations. (3) The incineration rate has obvious impact on the Eco-indicator points of Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) batteries. The influence of recycle rate on Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries is more obvious. These findings indicate that recycling is the most promising direction for reducing secondary batteries’ environmental loads. The model proposed here can be used to evaluate environmental loads of other secondary batteries and it can be useful for proposing policies and countermeasures to reduce the environmental impact of secondary batteries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
National Survey of Oral/Dental Conditions Related to Tobacco and Alcohol Use in Mexican Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3169-3184; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303169 - 17 Mar 2014
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3009
Abstract
Oral diseases are a major burden on individuals and health systems. The aim of this study was to determine whether consumption of tobacco and alcohol were associated with the prevalence of oral/dental problems in Mexican adults. Using data from the National Performance Evaluation [...] Read more.
Oral diseases are a major burden on individuals and health systems. The aim of this study was to determine whether consumption of tobacco and alcohol were associated with the prevalence of oral/dental problems in Mexican adults. Using data from the National Performance Evaluation Survey 2003, a cross-sectional study part of the World Health Survey, dental information from a representative sample of Mexico (n = 22,229, N = 51,155,740) was used to document self-reported oral/dental problems in the 12 months prior to the survey. Questionnaires were used to collect information related to sociodemographic, socioeconomic, and other risk factors. Three models were generated for each age group (18–30, 31–45 and 46–98 years). The prevalence of oral/dental conditions was 25.7%. Adjusting for sex, schooling, socioeconomic position, diabetes, and self-reported health, those who used tobacco (sometimes or daily) (OR = 1.15, p = 0.070; OR = 1.24, p < 0.01; and OR = 1.16, p < 0.05, for each age group respectively) or alcohol (moderate or high) (OR = 1.26, p < 0.001; OR = 1.18, p < 0.01 and OR = 1.30, p < 0.001, for each age group respectively) had a higher risk of reporting oral/dental problems. Because tobacco and alcohol use were associated with self-reported oral/dental problems in one out of four adults, it appears advisable to ascertain how direct is such link; more direct effects would lend greater weight to adopting measures to reduce consumption of tobacco and alcohol for the specific purpose of improving oral health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Toxicity and Estrogenic Endocrine Disrupting Activity of Phthalates and Their Mixtures
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3156-3168; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303156 - 14 Mar 2014
Cited by 82 | Viewed by 5385
Abstract
Phthalates, widely used in flexible plastics and consumer products, have become ubiquitous contaminants worldwide. This study evaluated the acute toxicity and estrogenic endocrine disrupting activity of butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), di(n-butyl) phthalate (DBP), bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), diisononyl phthalate [...] Read more.
Phthalates, widely used in flexible plastics and consumer products, have become ubiquitous contaminants worldwide. This study evaluated the acute toxicity and estrogenic endocrine disrupting activity of butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), di(n-butyl) phthalate (DBP), bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), diisononyl phthalate (DINP), di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP) and their mixtures. Using a 72 h zebrafish embryo toxicity test, the LC50 values of BBP, DBP and a mixture of the six phthalates were found to be 0.72, 0.63 and 0.50 ppm, respectively. The other four phthalates did not cause more than 50% exposed embryo mortality even at their highest soluble concentrations. The typical toxicity symptoms caused by phthalates were death, tail curvature, necrosis, cardio edema and no touch response. Using an estrogen-responsive ChgH-EGFP transgenic medaka (Oryzias melastigma) eleutheroembryos based 24 h test, BBP demonstrated estrogenic activity, DBP, DEHP, DINP and the mixture of the six phthalates exhibited enhanced-estrogenic activity and DIDP and DNOP showed no enhanced- or anti-estrogenic activity. These findings highlighted the developmental toxicity of BBP and DBP, and the estrogenic endocrine disrupting activity of BBP, DBP, DEHP and DINP on intact organisms, indicating that the widespread use of these phthalates may cause potential health risks to human beings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Analysis of the Home Addresses of Hospital Patients with Hepatitis B Infection or Hepatoma in Shenzhen, China from 2010 to 2012
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3143-3155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303143 - 14 Mar 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 5412
Abstract
Background: Hepatoma associated with hepatitis B infection is a major public health problem in Shenzhen (China) and worldwide. China has the largest number of people infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), and many studies have demonstrated that HBV infection is associated [...] Read more.
Background: Hepatoma associated with hepatitis B infection is a major public health problem in Shenzhen (China) and worldwide. China has the largest number of people infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), and many studies have demonstrated that HBV infection is associated with hepatoma development. Shenzhen officials have been attempting to monitor and control these diseases for many years. The methodology and the results of this study may be useful in developing a system to monitor, prevent and control these diseases. Methods: The aim of the study was to analyze HBV infection and hepatoma distribution characteristics and patterns in Shenzhen by combining geographic information system (GIS) technology and spatial analysis. The study used data from patients at the district level from the 2010–2012 population censuses. Results: Only one-third of the patients were female, and 70.7% of all cases were 20–50 years of age. There was no global spatial correlation of the distribution of hepatitis B infections and hepatomas; however, there was a local spatial correlation, and certain sub-districts of the Nanshan district had significant agglomeration effects. Based on incidence density and rate maps, we can conclude that the Shenzhen special zone had a higher incidence density and rate of hepatitis B infections and hepatomas compared with the area outside of the Shenzhen special zone during 2010–2012. Conclusions: This study demonstrated substantial geographic variation in the incidence of hepatitis B infection and hepatoma in Shenzhen. The prediction and control of hepatitis B infections and hepatoma development and interventions for these diseases should focus on disadvantaged areas to reduce disparities. GIS and spatial analysis play an important role in public health risk-reduction programs and may become integral components in the epidemiologic description, analysis and risk assessment of hepatitis B and hepatoma. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reducing Exposure to High Fluoride Drinking Water in Estonia—A Countrywide Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3132-3142; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303132 - 14 Mar 2014
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3270
Abstract
Fluoride is a naturally occurring contaminant in groundwater in Estonia. There are several regions in Estonia with fluoride contents in public water supplies as high as 7 mg/L. Long-term exposure to high-fluoride drinking water may have several adverse health effects, primarily dental fluorosis. [...] Read more.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring contaminant in groundwater in Estonia. There are several regions in Estonia with fluoride contents in public water supplies as high as 7 mg/L. Long-term exposure to high-fluoride drinking water may have several adverse health effects, primarily dental fluorosis. The opportunities for exposure reduction rely highly on water treatment technologies. Since 2004 public water suppliers in Estonia have made efforts to diminish fluoride content in drinking water systems. A follow-up study on a country level was carried out in 2004–2012 to analyze the changes in population exposure to excessive (over 1.5 mg/L) fluoride in drinking water and to get information about the reduction methods applied by public water supplies (PWS) to optimize the fluoride levels in public water system. The results showed that bigger PWS have been more effective in fluoride reduction measures than small PWS. The main methods used to lower the fluoride content were reverse osmosis technology and replacement of water sources with new ones (new drilled wells). As a result of all the measures taken the overall high-fluoride exposure has been reduced substantially (82%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Heavy Metals and PCBs Pollution on the Enzyme Activity and Microbial Community of Paddy Soils around an E-Waste Recycling Workshop
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3118-3131; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303118 - 14 Mar 2014
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3193
Abstract
Due to the emerging environmental issues related to e-waste there is concern about the quality of paddy soils near e-waste workshops. The levels of heavy metals and PCBs and their influence on the enzyme activity and microbial community of paddy soils obtained from [...] Read more.
Due to the emerging environmental issues related to e-waste there is concern about the quality of paddy soils near e-waste workshops. The levels of heavy metals and PCBs and their influence on the enzyme activity and microbial community of paddy soils obtained from the immediate vicinity of an e-waste workshop were investigated in the present study. The results indicated that the heavy metal and PCB pollution did not differ significantly with an increase of the sampling point distances (5 to 30 m). The concentration of Cd (2.16 mg·kg−1) and Cu (69.2 mg·kg−1) were higher, and the PCB pollution was also serious, ranging from 4.9 to 21.6 μg·kg−1. The highest enzyme activity was found for urease compared to phosphatase and catalase, and a fluctuating trend in soil enzyme activity was observed in soils from different sampling sites. The microbial analysis revealed that there was no apparent correlation between the microbial community and the pollutants. However, a slight influence for soil microbial communities could be found based on DGGE, the Shannon index and PCA analysis. The present study suggests that the contamination stress of heavy metals and PCBs might have a slight influence on microbial activity in paddy soils. This study provides the baseline data for enzyme activities and microbial communities in paddy soil under the influence of mixed contamination. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling and Preventive Measures of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3108-3117; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303108 - 13 Mar 2014
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3105
Abstract
This paper concentrates on the HFMD data of China from March 2009 to December 2012. We set up a mathematical model to fit those data with the goodness of fit and obtain the optimal parameter values of the model. By the Chi-square test [...] Read more.
This paper concentrates on the HFMD data of China from March 2009 to December 2012. We set up a mathematical model to fit those data with the goodness of fit and obtain the optimal parameter values of the model. By the Chi-square test of statistical inference, the optimal parameter values of the model are reasonable. We obtained the basic reproductive number of the disease for each year, and it is larger than 1. Thus, we conclude that HFMD will persist in China under the current conditions, so we investigate the preventive measures to control the HFMD. If the preventive measures proposed in our paper were implemented, HFMD would be controlled quickly and the number of infections would decline rapidly over a period of time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling the Effects of Indoor Passive Smoking at Home, Work, or Other Households on Adult Cardiovascular and Mental Health: The Scottish Health Survey, 2008–2011
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3096-3107; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303096 - 13 Mar 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5952
Abstract
Passive smoking has contributed increased risks of cardiovascular disease, mental health, and mortality, but the cumulative effects from work or other households were less studied. Therefore, it was aimed to model the effects of indoor passive smoking from own home, work, and other [...] Read more.
Passive smoking has contributed increased risks of cardiovascular disease, mental health, and mortality, but the cumulative effects from work or other households were less studied. Therefore, it was aimed to model the effects of indoor passive smoking from own home, work, and other households in a country-wide, population-based setting. Data in the Scottish Health Survey between 2008 and 2011 after the law banning smoking in public places were analyzed. Information including demographics, lifestyle factors, and self-reported cardiovascular disease and mental health was obtained by household interview. Analyses included chi-square test and survey-weighted logistic regression modeling. After full adjustment, it was observed that being exposed to indoor passive smoking, in particular in more than two places of exposure, was significantly associated with risks of stroke, angina, heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms, and GHQ ≥ 12. The significance remained for angina, GHQ ≥ 12 and probably heart attack in never smokers. The cumulative risks also impacted on sleep problems, self-recognition, making decisions, self-confidence, under strain constantly, depressed, happiness and self-worth. The significance remained for sleep problems, self-confidence, under strain constantly, depressed, and happiness in never smokers. Elimination of indoor passive smoking from different sources should still be a focus in future public health programs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Sensitivity of Oncomelania hupensis to Niclosamide: A Nation-Wide Survey in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3086-3095; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303086 - 12 Mar 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2714
Abstract
Schistosomiasis japonica, transmitted by the intermediate host snail Oncomelania hupensis of the causative agent Schistosoma japonicum, remains a major public-health concern in China, and control of this snail is one of the major approaches used in attempts to interrupt the transmission [...] Read more.
Schistosomiasis japonica, transmitted by the intermediate host snail Oncomelania hupensis of the causative agent Schistosoma japonicum, remains a major public-health concern in China, and control of this snail is one of the major approaches used in attempts to interrupt the transmission of this neglected tropical disease. Niclosamide is currently the only commercial molluscicide available for the control of O. hupensis snails in China. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the current sensitivity of O. hupensis to niclosamide in China. O. hupensis snails derived from 17 sampling sites from eight schistosomiasis-endemic provinces of China were used for the molluscicidal tests. Active adult snails (10 for each drug concentration), were immersed in solutions of 1, 0.5, 0.25, 0.125, 0.063, 0.032, 0.016 and 0.008 mg/L of 50% wettable powder of niclosamide ethanolamine salt (WPN) for 24 and 48 h at 25°C, and then the snail mortality was estimated and LC50 values were calculated. All field-derived O. hupensis snails were dead following immersion in 0.5 and 1 mg/L WPN for 24 h, whereas no death was observed after immersion in 0.008 mg/L WPN for 24 h. Immersion in 0.5, 0.25, 0.125, 0.063, 0.032 and 0.016 mg/L WPN for 24 h resulted in 80%–100%, 63.33%–100%, 0%–85%, 0%–50%, 0%–15%, and 0%–5% snail mortalities, respectively. The 24 h WPN LC50 values for the O. hupensis snails derived from the 17 sampling sites in China ranged from 0.0743 to 0.2285 mg/L, and no significant difference was detected by the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test (p = 0.2). The results indicate that there is no regional variation in the current susceptibility to niclosamide in O. hupensis populations in China. It is suggested that the current sensitivity of niclosamide against O. hupensis remains high and has not changed after more than two decades of repeated, extensive application for snail control in the main endemic areas of China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Time-Dependent Propensity Score for Assessing the Effect of Vaccine Exposure on Pregnancy Outcomes through Pregnancy Exposure Cohort Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3074-3085; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303074 - 12 Mar 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2882
Abstract
Women are advised to be vaccinated for influenza during pregnancy and may receive vaccine at any time during their pregnancy. In observational studies evaluating vaccine safety in pregnancy, to account for such time-varying vaccine exposure, a time-dependent predictor can be used in a [...] Read more.
Women are advised to be vaccinated for influenza during pregnancy and may receive vaccine at any time during their pregnancy. In observational studies evaluating vaccine safety in pregnancy, to account for such time-varying vaccine exposure, a time-dependent predictor can be used in a proportional hazards model setting for outcomes such as spontaneous abortion or preterm delivery. Also, due to the observational nature of pregnancy exposure cohort studies and relatively low event rates, propensity score (PS) methods are often used to adjust for potential confounders. Using Monte Carlo simulation experiments, we compare two different ways to model the PS for vaccine exposure: (1) logistic regression treating the exposure status as binary yes or no; (2) Cox regression treating time to exposure as time-to-event. Coverage probability of the nominal 95% confidence interval for the exposure effect is used as the main measure of performance. The performance of the logistic regression PS depends largely on how the exposure data is generated. In contrast, the Cox regression PS consistently performs well across the different data generating mechanisms that we have considered. In addition, the Cox regression PS allows adjusting for potential time-varying confounders such as season of the year or exposure to additional vaccines. The application of the Cox regression PS is illustrated using data from a recent study of the safety of pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine during pregnancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Safety and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of OEF/OIF-Related Physical and Emotional Co-Morbidities on Associative Learning: Concurrent Delay and Trace Eyeblink Classical Conditioning
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3046-3073; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303046 - 12 Mar 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3252
Abstract
This study examined the performance of veterans and active duty personnel who served in Operation Enduring Freedom and/or Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) on a basic associative learning task. Eighty-eight individuals participated in this study. All received a comprehensive clinical evaluation to determine the [...] Read more.
This study examined the performance of veterans and active duty personnel who served in Operation Enduring Freedom and/or Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) on a basic associative learning task. Eighty-eight individuals participated in this study. All received a comprehensive clinical evaluation to determine the presence and severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The eyeblink conditioning task was composed of randomly intermixed delay and trace conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US) pairs (acquisition) followed by a series of CS only trials (extinction). Results revealed that those with a clinical diagnosis of PTSD or a diagnosis of PTSD with comorbid mTBI acquired delay and trace conditioned responses (CRs) to levels and at rates similar to a deployed control group, thus suggesting intact basic associative learning. Differential extinction impairment was observed in the two clinical groups. Acquisition of CRs for both delay and trace conditioning, as well as extinction of trace CRs, was associated with alcoholic behavior across all participants. These findings help characterize the learning and memory function of individuals with PTSD and mTBI from OEF/OIF and raise the alarming possibility that the use of alcohol in this group may lead to more significant cognitive dysfunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 10th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle
Use of Neuroenhancement Drugs: Prevalence, Frequency and Use Expectations in Switzerland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3032-3045; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303032 - 12 Mar 2014
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3979
Abstract
Objective: The present study investigates the use expectations, prevalence and frequency of neuroenhancement drug (ND) use among the Swiss male population, separating college students from others. Methods: Young Swiss men were invited to participate in the Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk [...] Read more.
Objective: The present study investigates the use expectations, prevalence and frequency of neuroenhancement drug (ND) use among the Swiss male population, separating college students from others. Methods: Young Swiss men were invited to participate in the Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk Factors. A total of 5,967 participants responded to questions on six types of NDs (wakefulness medication, antidepressants, Alzheimer’s disease medication, Parkinson’s disease medication, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication, and beta-blockers). The frequency of use depending on five expectations (to enhance wakefulness, attention, memory, concentration and stress reduction) was analyzed for a twelve-month period. Results: (1) About 3% of the sample indicated use of at least one ND; (2) ADHD medication was the most prevalent; (3) The type of ND preferred differed depending on academic status (4). Quantitatively, over the year, college student users used ND much less frequently than other users. Conclusions: Prevalence of ND use is low in Switzerland relative to other countries such as the United States. Patterns of ND use differed depending on academic status, suggesting that while college student ND users tended to do so rarely (probably to enhance cognitive abilities for exams), non-college male users used other NDs more frequently (probably to “get high”). Full article
Open AccessArticle
From Eutrophic to Mesotrophic: Modelling Watershed Management Scenarios to Change the Trophic Status of a Reservoir
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3015-3031; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303015 - 12 Mar 2014
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3592
Abstract
Management decisions related with water quality in lakes and reservoirs require a combined land-water processes study approach. This study reports on an integrated watershed-reservoir modeling methodology: the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to estimate the nutrient input loads from the watershed, [...] Read more.
Management decisions related with water quality in lakes and reservoirs require a combined land-water processes study approach. This study reports on an integrated watershed-reservoir modeling methodology: the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to estimate the nutrient input loads from the watershed, used afterwards as boundary conditions to the reservoir model, CE-QUAL-W2. The integrated modeling system was applied to the Torrão reservoir and drainage basin. The objective of the study was to quantify the total maximum input load that allows the reservoir to be classified as mesotrophic. Torrão reservoir is located in the Tâmega River, one of the most important tributaries of the Douro River in Portugal. The watershed is characterized by a variety of land uses and urban areas, accounting for a total Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP) discharge of ~100,000 p.e. According to the criteria defined by the National Water Institute (based on the WWTP Directive), the Torrão reservoir is classified as eutrophic. Model estimates show that a 10% reduction in nutrient loads will suffice to change the state to mesotrophic, and should target primarily WWTP effluents, but also act on diffuse sources. The method applied in this study should provide a basis for water environmental management decision-making. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparing the Selection and Placement of Best Management Practices in Improving Water Quality Using a Multiobjective Optimization and Targeting Method
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 2992-3014; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110302992 - 11 Mar 2014
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3359
Abstract
Suites of Best Management Practices (BMPs) are usually selected to be economically and environmentally efficient in reducing nonpoint source (NPS) pollutants from agricultural areas in a watershed. The objective of this research was to compare the selection and placement of BMPs in a [...] Read more.
Suites of Best Management Practices (BMPs) are usually selected to be economically and environmentally efficient in reducing nonpoint source (NPS) pollutants from agricultural areas in a watershed. The objective of this research was to compare the selection and placement of BMPs in a pasture-dominated watershed using multiobjective optimization and targeting methods. Two objective functions were used in the optimization process, which minimize pollutant losses and the BMP placement areas. The optimization tool was an integration of a multi-objective genetic algorithm (GA) and a watershed model (Soil and Water Assessment Tool—SWAT). For the targeting method, an optimum BMP option was implemented in critical areas in the watershed that contribute the greatest pollutant losses. A total of 171 BMP combinations, which consist of grazing management, vegetated filter strips (VFS), and poultry litter applications were considered. The results showed that the optimization is less effective when vegetated filter strips (VFS) are not considered, and it requires much longer computation times than the targeting method to search for optimum BMPs. Although the targeting method is effective in selecting and placing an optimum BMP, larger areas are needed for BMP implementation to achieve the same pollutant reductions as the optimization method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Environmental and Economic Evaluation of Pyrolysis for Energy Generation in Taiwan with Endogenous Land Greenhouse Gases Emissions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 2973-2991; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110302973 - 11 Mar 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2702
Abstract
Taiwan suffers from energy insecurity and the threat of potential damage from global climate changes. Finding ways to alleviate these forces is the key to Taiwan’s future social and economic development. This study examines the economic and environmental impacts when ethanol, conventional electricity [...] Read more.
Taiwan suffers from energy insecurity and the threat of potential damage from global climate changes. Finding ways to alleviate these forces is the key to Taiwan’s future social and economic development. This study examines the economic and environmental impacts when ethanol, conventional electricity and pyrolysis-based electricity are available alternatives. Biochar, as one of the most important by-product from pyrolysis, has the potential to provide significant environmental benefits. Therefore, alternative uses of biochar are also examined in this study. In addition, because planting energy crops would change the current land use pattern, resulting in significant land greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, this important factor is also incorporated. Results show that bioenergy production can satisfy part of Taiwan’s energy demand, but net GHG emissions offset declines if ethanol is chosen. Moreover, at high GHG price conventional electricity and ethanol will be driven out and pyrolysis will be a dominant technology. Fast pyrolysis dominates when ethanol and GHG prices are low, but slow pyrolysis is dominant at high GHG price, especially when land GHG emissions are endogenously incorporated. The results indicate that when land GHG emission is incorporated, up to 3.8 billion kWh electricity can be produced from fast pyrolysis, while up to 2.2 million tons of CO2 equivalent can be offset if slow pyrolysis is applied. Full article
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