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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 11, Issue 7 (July 2014) , Pages 6612-7561

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Open AccessReview
Bisphenol-A: Epigenetic Reprogramming and Effects on Reproduction and Behavior
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7537-7561; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707537
Received: 11 June 2014 / Revised: 10 July 2014 / Accepted: 14 July 2014 / Published: 22 July 2014
Cited by 68 | Viewed by 4079 | PDF Full-text (229 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic compound used in the production of many polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. It is one of the most widely produced chemicals in the world today and is found in most canned goods, plastics, and even household dust. [...] Read more.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic compound used in the production of many polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. It is one of the most widely produced chemicals in the world today and is found in most canned goods, plastics, and even household dust. Exposure to BPA is almost universal: most people have measurable amounts of BPA in both urine and serum. BPA is similar in structure to estradiol and can bind to multiple targets both inside and outside the nucleus, in effect acting as an endocrine disruptor. Research on BPA exposure has accelerated in the past decade with findings suggesting that perinatal exposure to BPA can negatively impact both male and female reproduction, create alterations in behavior, and act as a carcinogen. BPA can have both short term and long term effects with the latter typically occurring through epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation. This review will draw on both human and animal studies in an attempt to synthesize the literature and examine the effects of BPA exposure on reproduction, behavior, and carcinogenesis with a focus on the potential epigenetic mechanisms by which it acts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endocrine Disruptors and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle
Enhancement of Arsenic Trioxide-Mediated Changes in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPS)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7524-7536; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707524
Received: 31 January 2014 / Revised: 4 May 2014 / Accepted: 7 May 2014 / Published: 22 July 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2475 | PDF Full-text (498 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS) are an artificially derived type of pluripotent stem cell, showing many of the same characteristics as natural pluripotent stem cells. IPS are a hopeful therapeutic model; however there is a critical need to determine their response to environmental [...] Read more.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS) are an artificially derived type of pluripotent stem cell, showing many of the same characteristics as natural pluripotent stem cells. IPS are a hopeful therapeutic model; however there is a critical need to determine their response to environmental toxins. Effects of arsenic on cells have been studied extensively; however, its effect on IPS is yet to be elucidated. Arsenic trioxide (ATO) has been shown to inhibit cell proliferation, induce apoptosis and genotoxicity in many cells. Based on ATOs action in other cells, we hypothesize that it will induce alterations in morphology, inhibit cell viability and induce a genotoxic effect on IPS. Cells were treated for 24 hours with ATO (0–9 µg/mL). Cell morphology, viability and DNA damage were documented. Results indicated sufficient changes in morphology of cell colonies mainly in cell ability to maintain grouping and ability to remain adherent. Cell viability decreased in a dose dependent manner. There were significant increases in tail length and moment as well as destruction of intact DNA as concentration increased. Exposure to ATO resulted in a reproducible dose dependent sequence of events marked by changes in morphology, decrease of cell viability, and induction of genotoxicity in IPS. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Epidemiological Evaluation of Notifications of Environmental Events in the State of São Paulo, Brazil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7508-7523; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707508
Received: 1 February 2014 / Revised: 29 May 2014 / Accepted: 30 May 2014 / Published: 21 July 2014
Viewed by 2300 | PDF Full-text (1358 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasing urbanization across the globe, combined with an increased use of chemicals in various regions, contributes to several environmental events that influence environmental health. Measures that identify environmental factors and events should be introduced to facilitate epidemiological investigations by health services. The Brazilian [...] Read more.
Increasing urbanization across the globe, combined with an increased use of chemicals in various regions, contributes to several environmental events that influence environmental health. Measures that identify environmental factors and events should be introduced to facilitate epidemiological investigations by health services. The Brazilian Ministry of Health published a new list of notifiable diseases on 25 January 2011 and introduced environmental events as a new category of notifiable occurrences. The Center for Epidemiologic Surveillance in State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, created an online notification system that highlights “environmental events”, such as exposure to chemical contaminants, drinking water with contaminants outside of the recommended range, contaminated air, and natural or anthropogenic disasters. This paper analyzed 300 notifications received between May 2011 and May 2012. It reports the number of notifications with event classifications and analyzes the events relating to accidents with chemical substances. This paper describes the characteristics of the accidents that involved chemical substances, methods used, types of substances, exposed population, and measures adopted. The online notification of environmental events increases the analysis of the main events associated with diseases related to environmental chemicals; thus, it facilitates the adoption of public policies to prevent environmental health problems. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Health and Health Care Disparities: The Effect of Social and Environmental Factors on Individual and Population Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7492-7507; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707492
Received: 3 January 2014 / Revised: 20 May 2014 / Accepted: 23 May 2014 / Published: 21 July 2014
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3749 | PDF Full-text (227 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently the existence and prevalence of health and health care disparities has increased with accompanying research showing that minorities (African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders) are disproportionately affected resulting in poorer health outcomes compared to non-minority populations (whites). This is due [...] Read more.
Recently the existence and prevalence of health and health care disparities has increased with accompanying research showing that minorities (African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders) are disproportionately affected resulting in poorer health outcomes compared to non-minority populations (whites). This is due to multiple factors including and most importantly the social determinants of health which includes lower levels of education, overall lower socioeconomic status, inadequate and unsafe housing, and living in close proximity to environmental hazards; all contributing to poor health. Given the ever widening gap in health and health care disparities, the growing number of individuals living at or below the poverty level, the low number of college graduates and the growing shortage of health care professionals (especially minority) the goals of this paper are to: (1) Define diversity and inclusion as interdependent entities. (2) Review the health care system as it relates to barriers/problems within the system resulting in the unequal distribution of quality health care. (3) Examine institutional and global benefits of increasing diversity in research. (4) Provide recommendations on institutional culture change and developing a diverse culturally competent healthcare workforce. Full article
Open AccessReview
Evolving from Reactive to Proactive Medicine: Community Lead (Pb) and Clinical Disparities in Pre- and Post-Katrina New Orleans
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7482-7491; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707482
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 12 March 2014 / Accepted: 13 March 2014 / Published: 21 July 2014
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2323 | PDF Full-text (319 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In 2012 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) set the blood Pb reference value at ≥5 µg/dL. Clinical analysis of children’s blood Pb levels is the common way to diagnose environmental Pb contamination, and intervention ensues with education and household dust cleanup. [...] Read more.
In 2012 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) set the blood Pb reference value at ≥5 µg/dL. Clinical analysis of children’s blood Pb levels is the common way to diagnose environmental Pb contamination, and intervention ensues with education and household dust cleanup. Recent review indicates that education and household dust cleanup are not effective at reducing children’s Pb exposure. Here we review mapping environmental Pb and children’s blood Pb response as an alternative approach for proactive Pb dust intervention. New Orleans was divided into a high (≥100 mg/kg) and low (<100 mg/kg) soil Pb communities. The children’s blood Pb prevalence ≥5 µg/dL for the high and low Pb domains were 58.5% and 24.8% respectively pre-Katrina vs. 29.6% and 7.5% post-Katrina. Elevated soil Pb (mg/kg) and consequently Pb loading (µg/square area) permeates the high Pb domain and outdoor locations lack Pb dust safe play areas. The U.S. EPA 400 mg/kg soil Pb standard poses an outside Pb dust loading burden >37 times larger than allowed on interior residential floor environments. Environmental Pb dust is decreasing because of the transfer of large quantities of low Pb soil into selected communities. City-scale soil Pb mapping is an alternative diagnostic tool that provides information for planning proactive medicine to prevent clinical Pb exposure in the first place. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Risk-Adjusted Survival after Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting: Implications for Quality Improvement
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7470-7481; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707470
Received: 10 December 2013 / Revised: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 21 July 2014
Viewed by 1765 | PDF Full-text (407 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mortality represents an important outcome measure following coronary artery bypass grafting. Shorter survival times may reflect poor surgical quality and an increased number of costly postoperative complications. Quality control efforts aimed at increasing survival times may be misleading if not properly adjusted for [...] Read more.
Mortality represents an important outcome measure following coronary artery bypass grafting. Shorter survival times may reflect poor surgical quality and an increased number of costly postoperative complications. Quality control efforts aimed at increasing survival times may be misleading if not properly adjusted for case-mix severity. This paper demonstrates how to construct and cross-validate efficiency-outcome plots for a specified time (e.g., 6-month and 1-year survival) after coronary artery bypass grafting, accounting for baseline cardiovascular risk factors. The application of this approach to regional centers allows for the localization of risk stratification rather than applying overly broad and non-specific models to their patient populations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Synthetic Thiourea-Based Tripodal Receptor that Impairs the Function of Human First Trimester Cytotrophoblast Cells
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7456-7469; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707456
Received: 3 December 2013 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 8 April 2014 / Published: 21 July 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2206 | PDF Full-text (433 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A synthetic tripodal-based thiourea receptor (PNTTU) was used to explore the receptor/ligand binding affinity using CTB cells. The human extravillous CTB cells (Sw.71) used in this study were derived from first trimester chorionic villus tissue. The cell proliferation, migration and angiogenic factors were [...] Read more.
A synthetic tripodal-based thiourea receptor (PNTTU) was used to explore the receptor/ligand binding affinity using CTB cells. The human extravillous CTB cells (Sw.71) used in this study were derived from first trimester chorionic villus tissue. The cell proliferation, migration and angiogenic factors were evaluated in PNTTU-treated CTB cells. The PNTTU inhibited the CTBs proliferation and migration. The soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) secretion was increased while vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was decreased in the culture media of CTB cells treated with ≥1 nM PNTTU. The angiotensin II receptor type 2 (AT2) expression was significantly upregulated in ≥1 nM PNTTU-treated CTB cells in compared to basal; however, the angiotensin II receptor, type 1 (AT1) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (VEGFR-1) expression was downregulated. The anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic effect of this compound on CTB cells are similar to the effect of CTSs. The receptor/ligand affinity of PNTTU on CTBs provides us the clue to design a potent inhibitor to prevent the CTS-induced impairment of CTB cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Trends of Non-Accidental, Cardiovascular, Stroke and Lung Cancer Mortality in Arkansas Are Associated with Ambient PM2.5 Reductions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7442-7455; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707442
Received: 23 November 2013 / Revised: 12 March 2014 / Accepted: 13 March 2014 / Published: 21 July 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2762 | PDF Full-text (1856 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The cardiovascular and stroke mortality rates in Arkansas are among the highest in the USA. The annual trends of stroke and cardiovascular mortality are barely correlated to smoking cessation; while the prevalence of risk factors such as obesity; cholesterol and hypertension increased over [...] Read more.
The cardiovascular and stroke mortality rates in Arkansas are among the highest in the USA. The annual trends of stroke and cardiovascular mortality are barely correlated to smoking cessation; while the prevalence of risk factors such as obesity; cholesterol and hypertension increased over the 1979–2007 period. The study determined the effect of chronic exposure to PM2.5 on non-accidental; cardiovascular; stroke and lung cancer mortality in Arkansas over the 2000–2010 period using the World Health Organization’s log-linear health impact model. County chronic exposures to PM2.5 were computed by averaging spatially-resolved gridded concentrations using PM2.5 observations. A spatial uniformity was observed for PM2.5 mass levels indicating that chronic exposures were comparable throughout the state. The reduction of PM2.5 mass levels by 3.0 μg/m3 between 2000 and 2010 explained a significant fraction of the declining mortality. The effect was more pronounced in southern and eastern rural Arkansas as compared to the rest of the state. This study provides evidence that the implementation of air pollution regulations has measurable effects on mortality even in regions with high prevalence of major risk factors such as obesity and smoking. These outcomes are noteworthy as efforts to modify the major risk factors require longer realization times. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Prevalence of Overweight/Obesity and Its Associated Factors among University Students from 22 Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7425-7441; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707425
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 10 July 2014 / Accepted: 14 July 2014 / Published: 21 July 2014
Cited by 47 | Viewed by 4663 | PDF Full-text (375 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Obesity among young people increases lifetime cardiovascular risk. This study assesses the prevalence of overweight/obesity and its associated factors among a random sample of university students from 22 universities in 22 low, middle income and emerging economy countries. This cross-sectional survey comprised of [...] Read more.
Obesity among young people increases lifetime cardiovascular risk. This study assesses the prevalence of overweight/obesity and its associated factors among a random sample of university students from 22 universities in 22 low, middle income and emerging economy countries. This cross-sectional survey comprised of a self-administered questionnaire and collected anthropometric measurements. The study population was 6773 (43.2%) males and 8913 (56.8%) females, aged 16 to 30 years (mean 20.8 years, SD = 2.6). Body mass index (BMI) was used for weight status. Among men, the prevalence of underweight was 10.8%, normal weight 64.4%, overweight 18.9% and obesity 5.8%, while among women, the prevalence of underweight was 17.6%, normal weight 62.1%, overweight 14.1% and obesity 5.2%. Overall, 22% were overweight or obese (24.7% men and 19.3% women). In multivariate regression among men, younger age, coming from a higher income country, consciously avoiding fat and cholesterol, physically inactivity, current tobacco use and childhood physical abuse, and among women older age, coming from a higher income country, frequent organized religious activity, avoiding fat and cholesterol, posttraumatic stress symptoms and physical childhood abuse were associated overweight or obesity. Several gender specific risk factors identified can be utilized in health promotion programmes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Alcohol Use, Working Conditions, Job Benefits, and the Legacy of the “Dop” System among Farm Workers in the Western Cape Province, South Africa: Hope Despite High Levels of Risky Drinking
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7406-7424; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707406
Received: 22 April 2014 / Revised: 25 June 2014 / Accepted: 30 June 2014 / Published: 21 July 2014
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2362 | PDF Full-text (396 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study describes alcohol consumption in five Western Cape Province communities. Cross-sectional data from a community household sample (n = 591) describe the alcohol use patterns of adult males and females, and farm workers vs. others. Data reveal that men were more likely [...] Read more.
This study describes alcohol consumption in five Western Cape Province communities. Cross-sectional data from a community household sample (n = 591) describe the alcohol use patterns of adult males and females, and farm workers vs. others. Data reveal that men were more likely to be current drinkers than women, 75.1% vs. 65.8% (p = 0.033); farm laborers were more likely to be current drinkers than individuals in other occupations 83.1% vs. 66.8% (p = 0.004). Group, binge drinking on weekends was the norm; men were more likely to be binge drinkers in the past week than women 59.8% vs. 48.8% (p = 0.086); farm workers were more likely to binge than others 75.0% vs. 47.5% (p < 0.001). The legacy of “Dop” contributes to current risky drinking behaviors. Farm owners or managers were interviewed on 11 farms, they described working conditions on their farms and how the legacy of “Dop” is reflected in the current use of alcohol by their workers. “Dop” was given to farm workers in the past on six of the 11 farms, but was discontinued for different reasons. There is zero tolerance for coming to work intoxicated; farm owners encourage responsible use of alcohol and assist farm workers in getting help for alcohol problems when necessary. The farm owners report some positive initiatives, were ahead of the movement to provide meaningful wages, and provide other important amenities. Further research is needed to assess whether progressive practices on some farms will reduce harmful alcohol use. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Detection of Legionella, L. pneumophila and Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC) along Potable Water Distribution Pipelines
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7393-7405; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707393
Received: 26 May 2014 / Revised: 25 June 2014 / Accepted: 10 July 2014 / Published: 18 July 2014
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2935 | PDF Full-text (291 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
Inhalation of potable water presents a potential route of exposure to opportunistic pathogens and hence warrants significant public health concern. This study used qPCR to detect opportunistic pathogens Legionella spp., L. pneumophila and MAC at multiple points along two potable water distribution pipelines. [...] Read more.
Inhalation of potable water presents a potential route of exposure to opportunistic pathogens and hence warrants significant public health concern. This study used qPCR to detect opportunistic pathogens Legionella spp., L. pneumophila and MAC at multiple points along two potable water distribution pipelines. One used chlorine disinfection and the other chloramine disinfection. Samples were collected four times over the year to provide seasonal variation and the chlorine or chloramine residual was measured during collection. Legionella spp., L. pneumophila and MAC were detected in both distribution systems throughout the year and were all detected at a maximum concentration of 103 copies/mL in the chlorine disinfected system and 106, 103 and 104 copies/mL respectively in the chloramine disinfected system. The concentrations of these opportunistic pathogens were primarily controlled throughout the distribution network through the maintenance of disinfection residuals. At a dead-end and when the disinfection residual was not maintained significant (p < 0.05) increases in concentration were observed when compared to the concentration measured closest to the processing plant in the same pipeline and sampling period. Total coliforms were not present in any water sample collected. This study demonstrates the ability of Legionella spp., L. pneumophila and MAC to survive the potable water disinfection process and highlights the need for greater measures to control these organisms along the distribution pipeline and at point of use. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Associations between Perceptions of Drinking Water Service Delivery and Measured Drinking Water Quality in Rural Alabama
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7376-7392; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707376
Received: 17 March 2014 / Revised: 3 June 2014 / Accepted: 30 June 2014 / Published: 18 July 2014
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3180 | PDF Full-text (398 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Although small, rural water supplies may present elevated microbial risks to consumers in some settings, characterizing exposures through representative point-of-consumption sampling is logistically challenging. In order to evaluate the usefulness of consumer self-reported data in predicting measured water quality and risk factors for [...] Read more.
Although small, rural water supplies may present elevated microbial risks to consumers in some settings, characterizing exposures through representative point-of-consumption sampling is logistically challenging. In order to evaluate the usefulness of consumer self-reported data in predicting measured water quality and risk factors for contamination, we compared matched consumer interview data with point-of-survey, household water quality and pressure data for 910 households served by 14 small water systems in rural Alabama. Participating households completed one survey that included detailed feedback on two key areas of water service conditions: delivery conditions (intermittent service and low water pressure) and general aesthetic characteristics (taste, odor and color), providing five condition values. Microbial water samples were taken at the point-of-use (from kitchen faucets) and as-delivered from the distribution network (from outside flame-sterilized taps, if available), where pressure was also measured. Water samples were analyzed for free and total chlorine, pH, turbidity, and presence of total coliforms and Escherichia coli. Of the 910 households surveyed, 35% of participants reported experiencing low water pressure, 15% reported intermittent service, and almost 20% reported aesthetic problems (taste, odor or color). Consumer-reported low pressure was associated with lower gauge-measured pressure at taps. While total coliforms (TC) were detected in 17% of outside tap samples and 12% of samples from kitchen faucets, no reported water service conditions or aesthetic characteristics were associated with presence of TC. We conclude that consumer-reported data were of limited utility in predicting potential microbial risks associated with small water supplies in this setting, although consumer feedback on low pressure—a risk factor for contamination—may be relatively reliable and therefore useful in future monitoring efforts. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Decision Support System for Drinking Water Production Integrating Health Risks Assessment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7354-7375; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707354
Received: 28 January 2014 / Revised: 7 July 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 18 July 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3438 | PDF Full-text (670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The issue of drinking water quality compliance in small and medium scale water services is of paramount importance in relation to the 98/83/CE European Drinking Water Directive (DWD). Additionally, concerns are being expressed over the implementation of the DWD with respect to possible [...] Read more.
The issue of drinking water quality compliance in small and medium scale water services is of paramount importance in relation to the 98/83/CE European Drinking Water Directive (DWD). Additionally, concerns are being expressed over the implementation of the DWD with respect to possible impacts on water quality from forecast changes in European climate with global warming and further anticipated reductions in north European acid emissions. Consequently, we have developed a decision support system (DSS) named ARTEM-WQ (AwaReness Tool for the Evaluation and Mitigation of drinking Water Quality issues resulting from environmental changes) to support decision making by small and medium plant operators and other water stakeholders. ARTEM-WQ is based on a sequential risk analysis approach that includes consideration of catchment characteristics, climatic conditions and treatment operations. It provides a holistic evaluation of the water system, while also assessing human health risks of organic contaminants potentially present in treated waters (steroids, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, bisphenol-a, polychlorobiphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, petrochemical hydrocarbons and disinfection by-products; n = 109). Moreover, the system provides recommendations for improvement while supporting decision making in its widest context. The tool has been tested on various European catchments and shows a promising potential to inform water managers of risks and appropriate mitigative actions. Further improvements should include toxicological knowledge advancement, environmental background pollutant concentrations and the assessment of the impact of distribution systems on water quality variation. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Climate Change and Human Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7347-7353; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707347
Received: 7 July 2014 / Accepted: 9 July 2014 / Published: 18 July 2014
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4152 | PDF Full-text (173 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Climate change impacts on human health span the trajectory of time—past, present, and future. The key finding from the Working Group II, Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that health impacts due to climate change have [...] Read more.
Climate change impacts on human health span the trajectory of time—past, present, and future. The key finding from the Working Group II, Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that health impacts due to climate change have already occurred in the past, are currently occurring and will continue to occur, at least for the foreseeable future, even with immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions [1]. According to the IPCC, there has been increased heat-related mortality and decreased cold-related mortality in some regions as a result of warming (Box 1). Moreover, local changes in temperature and rainfall have altered the distribution of some water-borne illnesses and disease vectors. Impacts of climate-related extremes include alteration of ecosystems, disruption of food production and water supply, damage to infrastructure and settlements, morbidity and mortality, and consequences for mental health and human well-being [1]. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison and Cost Analysis of Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Requirements versus Practice in Seven Developing Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7333-7346; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707333
Received: 19 April 2014 / Revised: 12 June 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 18 July 2014
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4511 | PDF Full-text (222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Drinking water quality monitoring programs aim to support provision of safe drinking water by informing water quality management. Little evidence or guidance exists on best monitoring practices for low resource settings. Lack of financial, human, and technological resources reduce a country’s ability to [...] Read more.
Drinking water quality monitoring programs aim to support provision of safe drinking water by informing water quality management. Little evidence or guidance exists on best monitoring practices for low resource settings. Lack of financial, human, and technological resources reduce a country’s ability to monitor water supply. Monitoring activities were characterized in Cambodia, Colombia, India (three states), Jordan, Peru, South Africa, and Uganda according to water sector responsibilities, monitoring approaches, and marginal cost. The seven study countries were selected to represent a range of low resource settings. The focus was on monitoring of microbiological parameters, such as E. coli, coliforms, and H2S-producing microorganisms. Data collection involved qualitative and quantitative methods. Across seven study countries, few distinct approaches to monitoring were observed, and in all but one country all monitoring relied on fixed laboratories for sample analysis. Compliance with monitoring requirements was highest for operational monitoring of large water supplies in urban areas. Sample transport and labor for sample collection and analysis together constitute approximately 75% of marginal costs, which exclude capital costs. There is potential for substantive optimization of monitoring programs by considering field-based testing and by fundamentally reconsidering monitoring approaches for non-piped supplies. This is the first study to look quantitatively at water quality monitoring practices in multiple developing countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Differences of Urinary Arsenic Metabolites and Methylation Capacity between Individuals with and without Skin Lesions in Inner Mongolia, Northern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7319-7332; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707319
Received: 28 April 2014 / Revised: 25 June 2014 / Accepted: 9 July 2014 / Published: 18 July 2014
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2466 | PDF Full-text (307 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Incomplete arsenic (As) methylation has been considered a risk factor of As-related diseases. This study aimed to examine the difference of urinary As metabolites and the methylation capacity between subjects with and without skin lesions. Urinary inorganic arsenic (iAs), monomethylarsonic acid (MMA), and [...] Read more.
Incomplete arsenic (As) methylation has been considered a risk factor of As-related diseases. This study aimed to examine the difference of urinary As metabolites and the methylation capacity between subjects with and without skin lesions. Urinary inorganic arsenic (iAs), monomethylarsonic acid (MMA), and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) were analyzed. The percentage of each As species (iAs%, MMA%, and DMA%), the primary methylation index (PMI) and secondary methylation index (SMI) were calculated. The results showed that subjects with skin lesions have higher levels of urinary iAs (99.08 vs. 70.63 μg/g Cr, p = 0.006) and MMA (69.34 vs. 42.85 μg/g Cr, p = 0.016) than subjects without skin lesions after adjustment for several confounders. Significant differences of urianry MMA% (15.49 vs. 12.11, p = 0.036) and SMI (0.74 vs. 0.81, p = 0.025) were found between the two groups. The findings of the present study suggest that subjects with skin lesions may have a lower As methylation capacity than subjects without skin lesions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Out-of-Pocket Payments on Health Care Inequity: The Case of National Health Insurance in South Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7304-7318; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707304
Received: 21 March 2014 / Revised: 25 June 2014 / Accepted: 2 July 2014 / Published: 18 July 2014
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2805 | PDF Full-text (509 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The global financial crisis of 2008 has led to the reinforcement of patient cost sharing in health care policy. This study aimed to explore the impact of direct out-of pocket payments (OOPs) on health care utilization and the resulting financial burden across income [...] Read more.
The global financial crisis of 2008 has led to the reinforcement of patient cost sharing in health care policy. This study aimed to explore the impact of direct out-of pocket payments (OOPs) on health care utilization and the resulting financial burden across income groups under the South Korean National Health Insurance (NHI) program with universal population coverage. We used the fourth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHNES-IV) and the Korean Household Income and Expenditure Survey (KHIES) of 2007, 2008 and 2009. The Horizontal Inequity Index (HIwv) and the average unit OOPs were used to measure income-related inequity in the quantitative and qualitative aspects of health care utilization, respectively. For financial burden, the incidence rates of catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) were compared across income groups. For outpatient and hospital visits, there was neither pro-poor or pro-rich inequality. The average unit OOPs of the poorest quintile was approximately 75% and 60% of each counterpart in the richest quintile in the outpatient and inpatient services. For the CHE threshold of 40%, the incidence rates were 5.7%, 1.67%, 0.72%, 0.33% and 0.27% in quintiles I (the poorest quintile), II, III, IV and V, respectively. Substantial OOPs under the NHI are disadvantageous, particularly for the lowest income group in terms of health care quality and financial burden. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Economics)
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Open AccessArticle
Heavy Metal Contamination Assessment and Partition for Industrial and Mining Gathering Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7286-7303; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707286
Received: 9 April 2014 / Revised: 2 July 2014 / Accepted: 10 July 2014 / Published: 16 July 2014
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 2514 | PDF Full-text (585 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Industrial and mining activities have been recognized as the major sources of soil heavy metal contamination. This study introduced an improved Nemerow index method based on the Nemerow and geo-accumulation index. Taking a typical industrial and mining gathering area in Tianjin (China) as [...] Read more.
Industrial and mining activities have been recognized as the major sources of soil heavy metal contamination. This study introduced an improved Nemerow index method based on the Nemerow and geo-accumulation index. Taking a typical industrial and mining gathering area in Tianjin (China) as example, this study then analyzed the contamination sources as well as the ecological and integrated risks. The spatial distribution of the contamination level and ecological risk were determined using Geographic Information Systems. The results are as follows: (1) Zinc showed the highest contaminant level in the study area; the contamination levels of the other seven heavy metals assessed were relatively lower. (2) The combustion of fossil fuels and emissions from industrial and mining activities were the main sources of contamination in the study area. (3) The overall contamination level of heavy metals in the study area ranged from heavily contaminated to extremely contaminated and showed an uneven distribution. (4) The potential ecological risk showed an uneven distribution, and the overall ecological risk level ranged from low to moderate. This study also emphasized the importance of partition in industrial and mining areas, the extensive application of spatial analysis methods, and the consideration of human health risks in future studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physical Activity, Body Mass Index, and Cardiorespiratory Fitness among School Children in Taiwan: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7275-7285; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707275
Received: 19 May 2014 / Revised: 7 July 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 16 July 2014
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2999 | PDF Full-text (168 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is evidence that cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity significantly reduce cardiovascular risks in adults. A better understanding of the association between cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity, and childhood obesity is vital in assessing the benefits of interventions to prevent obesity. This study was [...] Read more.
There is evidence that cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity significantly reduce cardiovascular risks in adults. A better understanding of the association between cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity, and childhood obesity is vital in assessing the benefits of interventions to prevent obesity. This study was to examine the relationship between physical activity, body mass index, and cardiorespiratory fitness levels in Taiwanese children. A cross-sectional study was designed. Study participants consisted of 2419 school children (1230 males and 1189 females) aged 12 years old living in a southern Taiwan county with one the highest countrywide rates of childhood obesity. The weight status of the participants was defined as underweight, normal, overweight, or obese according to specific criteria. Cardiorespiratory fitness was then assessed by an 800-m run. Participants were queried on their physical activity habits via a questionnaire survey. The overall prevalence of overweight/obesity was 29.6%. Normal, underweight and overweight boys and girls had an increased odds ratio of being categorized with higher cardiorespiratory fitness than obese one for both gender. A significantly higher level of cardiorespiratory fitness was found in children who engaged in regular physical activity than in children who engaged only in irregular physical activity. Obese children are more likely to lack cardiorespiratory fitness. Physically active children have significantly better cardiorespiratory fitness levels than inactive children. This study supports the conclusion that BMI and physical activity are significantly correlated with cardiorespiratory fitness levels. Findings may provide educational professionals with information to assist their developing effective health promotion programs to healthy weight and improving cardiorespiratory fitness for children. Full article
Open AccessReview
Transgenerational Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7261-7274; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707261
Received: 30 May 2014 / Revised: 7 July 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 16 July 2014
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3306 | PDF Full-text (172 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Traditionally, nicotine from second hand smoke (SHS), active or passive, has been considered the most prevalent substance of abuse used during pregnancy in industrialized countries. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is associated with a variety of health effects, including lung cancer and [...] Read more.
Traditionally, nicotine from second hand smoke (SHS), active or passive, has been considered the most prevalent substance of abuse used during pregnancy in industrialized countries. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is associated with a variety of health effects, including lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Tobacco is also a major burden to people who do not smoke. As developing individuals, newborns and children are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of SHS. In particular, prenatal ETS has adverse consequences during the entire childhood causing an increased risk of abortion, low birth weight, prematurity and/or nicotine withdrawal syndrome. Over the last years, a decreasing trend in smoking habits during pregnancy has occurred, along with the implementation of laws requiring smoke free public and working places. The decrease in the incidence of prenatal tobacco exposure has usually been assessed using maternal questionnaires. In order to diminish bias in self-reporting, objective biomarkers have been developed to evaluate this exposure. The measurement of nicotine and its main metabolite, cotinine, in non-conventional matrices such as cord blood, breast milk, hair or meconium can be used as a non-invasive measurement of prenatal SMS in newborns. The aim of this review is to highlight the prevalence of ETS (prenatal and postnatal) using biomarkers in non-conventional matrices before and after the implementation of smoke free policies and health effects related to this exposure during foetal and/or postnatal life. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Increasing Incidence of Canine Leptospirosis in Switzerland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7242-7260; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707242
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 10 June 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 16 July 2014
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3674 | PDF Full-text (514 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A marked increase in canine leptospirosis was observed in Switzerland over 10 years with a peak incidence of 28.1 diagnosed cases/100,000 dogs/year in the most affected canton. With 95% affected dogs living at altitudes <800 m, the disease presented a seasonal pattern associated [...] Read more.
A marked increase in canine leptospirosis was observed in Switzerland over 10 years with a peak incidence of 28.1 diagnosed cases/100,000 dogs/year in the most affected canton. With 95% affected dogs living at altitudes <800 m, the disease presented a seasonal pattern associated with temperature (r2 0.73) and rainfall (r2 0.39), >90% cases being diagnosed between May and October. The increasing yearly incidence however was only weakly correlated with climatic data including number of summer (r2 0.25) or rainy days (r2 0.38). Serovars Australis and Bratislava showed the highest seropositivity rates with 70.5% and 69.1%, respectively. Main clinical manifestations included renal (99.6%), pulmonary (76.7%), hepatic (26.0%), and hemorrhagic syndromes (18.2%), leading to a high mortality rate (43.3%). Similar to the human disease, liver involvement had the strongest association with negative outcome (OR 16.3). Based on these data, canine leptospirosis presents similar features and severity as the human infection for which it therefore can be considered a model. Its re-emergence in a temperate country with very high incidence rates in canines should thus be viewed as a warning and emphasize the need for increased awareness in other species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospirosis in the Animal—Human-Ecosystem Interface)
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Open AccessArticle
A Survey of Exposure Level and Lifestyle Factors for Perfluorooctanoate and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate in Human Plasma from Selected Residents in Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7231-7241; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707231
Received: 8 April 2014 / Revised: 7 July 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 16 July 2014
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2037 | PDF Full-text (373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Following few decades of commercial use, perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) have been found in human blood and serum. We determined the amounts of PFOA and PFOS in human plasma (n = 183) and the effects of multiple uses of food-contact [...] Read more.
Following few decades of commercial use, perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) have been found in human blood and serum. We determined the amounts of PFOA and PFOS in human plasma (n = 183) and the effects of multiple uses of food-contact materials and smoking habits and alcohol consumption using liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC/TOF-MS). For the paper cups, the PFOA level in the plasma of the heavy user group was 1.37 times higher than that of the light user group. However, no association between the effects of multiple uses of food-contact materials and the plasma levels of PFOA and PFOS was found, except for paper cups. Active smokers had lower plasma levels of PFOA and PFOS than non-smokers. We show that multiple uses of food-contact materials do not appear to be a significant source of PFOA and PFOS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Emotional, Restorative and Vitalizing Effects of Forest and Urban Environments at Four Sites in Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7207-7230; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707207
Received: 6 June 2014 / Revised: 22 June 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 15 July 2014
Cited by 47 | Viewed by 5312 | PDF Full-text (528 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study investigated the well-being effects of short-term forest walking and viewing (“forest bathing”). The hypothesis in our study was that both environment (forest vs. urban) and activity (walking and viewing) would influence psychological outcomes. An additional aim was to enhance basic [...] Read more.
The present study investigated the well-being effects of short-term forest walking and viewing (“forest bathing”). The hypothesis in our study was that both environment (forest vs. urban) and activity (walking and viewing) would influence psychological outcomes. An additional aim was to enhance basic research using several psychological methods. We conducted the experiments using 45 respondents in four areas of Japan from August to September, 2011. The hypothesis in our study was supported, because significant interaction terms between the environment and activity were confirmed regarding the Profile of Mood States (POMS) indexes, Restorative Outcome Scale (ROS) and Subjective Vitality Scale (SVS). No statistical differences between the two experimental groups in any of the ten scales were found before the experiment. However, feelings of vigor and positive effects, as well as feelings of subjective recovery and vitality were stronger in the forest environment than in the urban environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Nature)
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Open AccessArticle
Recess Physical Activity and Perceived School Environment among Elementary School Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7195-7206; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707195
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 3 July 2014 / Accepted: 5 July 2014 / Published: 15 July 2014
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2618 | PDF Full-text (196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Differences in recess physical activity (PA) according to perceived school environment among elementary school children were examined. Participants were 103 children from two schools in Japan. PA was measured using accelerometry for seven consecutive days. Time spent in sedentary or PA (light, moderate, [...] Read more.
Differences in recess physical activity (PA) according to perceived school environment among elementary school children were examined. Participants were 103 children from two schools in Japan. PA was measured using accelerometry for seven consecutive days. Time spent in sedentary or PA (light, moderate, or vigorous) during their morning recess (25 min) and lunch recess (15 min) was determined. The School Physical Activity Environment Scale (three factors: equipment, facility, and safety) was used to investigate perceived school environment. Environmental factor scores were assigned to low or high groups for each factor by median. An analysis of covariance, with grade as the covariate, was conducted separately by gender to examine differences in PA between two groups. During lunch recess, boys in the high-equipment group spent significantly more time in moderate PA (high: 1.5; low: 0.8 min) whereas girls in this group spent less time in light PA (9.3, 11.0). Boys in the high-facility group spent significantly less time in sedentary (2.3, 3.9) and more time in vigorous PA (2.4, 1.4) during lunch recess, and girls spent more time in moderate (2.1, 1.2) and vigorous PA (1.9, 1.3) during morning recess. Differences were observed in recess PA according to school environment perceptions. The present study may be useful for further intervention studies for the promotion of PA during recess. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Inactivation of Selected Bacterial Pathogens in Dairy Cattle Manure by Mesophilic Anaerobic Digestion (Balloon Type Digester)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7184-7194; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707184
Received: 21 May 2014 / Revised: 4 July 2014 / Accepted: 7 July 2014 / Published: 14 July 2014
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2315 | PDF Full-text (255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Anaerobic digestion of animal manure in biogas digesters has shown promise as a technology in reducing the microbial load to safe and recommended levels. We sought to treat dairy manure obtained from the Fort Hare Dairy Farm by investigating the survival rates of [...] Read more.
Anaerobic digestion of animal manure in biogas digesters has shown promise as a technology in reducing the microbial load to safe and recommended levels. We sought to treat dairy manure obtained from the Fort Hare Dairy Farm by investigating the survival rates of bacterial pathogens, through a total viable plate count method, before, during and after mesophilic anaerobic digestion. Different microbiological media were inoculated with different serial dilutions of manure samples that were withdrawn from the biogas digester at 3, 7 and 14 day intervals to determine the viable cells. Data obtained indicated that the pathogens of public health importance were 90%–99% reduced in the order: Campylobacter sp. (18 days) < Escherichia coli sp. (62 days) < Salmonella sp. (133 days) from a viable count of 10.1 × 103, 3.6 × 105, 7.4 × 103 to concentrations below the detection limit (DL = 102 cfu/g manure), respectively. This disparity in survival rates may be influenced by the inherent characteristics of these bacteria, available nutrients as well as the stages of the anaerobic digestion process. In addition, the highest p-value i.e., 0.957 for E. coli showed the statistical significance of its model and the strongest correlation between its reductions with days of digestion. In conclusion, the results demonstrated that the specific bacterial pathogens in manure can be considerably reduced through anaerobic digestion after 133 days. Full article
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Open AccessCorrection
Correction: Brewer, R.; et al. Risk-Based Evaluation of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Vapor Intrusion Studies. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 2441–2467
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7182-7183; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707182
Received: 7 July 2014 / Accepted: 9 July 2014 / Published: 14 July 2014
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Abstract
The authors wish to add the following amendments and corrections to their paper published in IJERPH [1]. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Parent-Child Associations in Pedometer-Determined Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour on Weekdays and Weekends in Random Samples of Families in the Czech Republic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7163-7181; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707163
Received: 28 May 2014 / Revised: 6 July 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 14 July 2014
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2443 | PDF Full-text (283 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigates whether more physically active parents bring up more physically active children and whether parents’ level of physical activity helps children achieve step count recommendations on weekdays and weekends. The participants (388 parents aged 35–45 and their 485 children aged 9–12) [...] Read more.
This study investigates whether more physically active parents bring up more physically active children and whether parents’ level of physical activity helps children achieve step count recommendations on weekdays and weekends. The participants (388 parents aged 35–45 and their 485 children aged 9–12) were randomly recruited from 21 Czech government-funded primary schools. The participants recorded pedometer step counts for seven days (≥10 h a day) during April–May and September–October of 2013. Logistic regression (Enter method) was used to examine the achievement of the international recommendations of 11,000 steps/day for girls and 13,000 steps/day for boys. The children of fathers and mothers who met the weekend recommendation of 10,000 steps were 5.48 (95% confidence interval: 1.65; 18.19; p < 0.01) and 3.60 times, respectively (95% confidence interval: 1.21; 10.74; p < 0.05) more likely to achieve the international weekend recommendation than the children of less active parents. The children of mothers who reached the weekday pedometer-based step count recommendation were 4.94 times (95% confidence interval: 1.45; 16.82; p < 0.05) more likely to fulfil the step count recommendation on weekdays than the children of less active mothers. Full article
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Open AccessShort Communication
Genotypes and Antibiotic Resistances of Campylobacter jejuni Isolates from Cattle and Pigeons in Dairy Farms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7154-7162; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707154
Received: 13 May 2014 / Revised: 18 June 2014 / Accepted: 23 June 2014 / Published: 14 July 2014
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2368 | PDF Full-text (250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Campylobacter jejuni is the most common food-borne zoonotic pathogen causing human gastroenteritis worldwide and has assumed more importance in Italy following the increased consumption of raw milk. Our objectives were to get an overview of genotypes and antibiotic resistances in C. jejuni isolated [...] Read more.
Campylobacter jejuni is the most common food-borne zoonotic pathogen causing human gastroenteritis worldwide and has assumed more importance in Italy following the increased consumption of raw milk. Our objectives were to get an overview of genotypes and antibiotic resistances in C. jejuni isolated from milk, cattle feces, and pigeons in dairy herds of Northern Italy. flaB-typing was applied to 78 C. jejuni isolates, previously characterized by Multi-Locus Sequence Typing, and genotypic resistances towards macrolides and quinolones based on point mutations in the 23S rRNA and gyrA genes, respectively, were determined. flaB-typing revealed 22 different types with one of them being novel and was useful to further differentiate strains with an identical Sequence Type (ST) and to identify a pigeon-specific clone. Macrolide resistance was not found, while quinolone resistance was detected in 23.3% of isolates. A relationship between specific genotypes and antibiotic resistance was observed, but was only significant for the Clonal Complex 206. Our data confirm that pigeons do not play a role in the spread of C. jejuni among cattle and they are not responsible for milk contamination. A relevant number of bulk milk samples were contaminated by C. jejuni resistant to quinolones, representing a possible source of human resistant strains. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Immigrants’ Access to Health Insurance: No Equality without Awareness
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7144-7153; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707144
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 10 June 2014 / Accepted: 25 June 2014 / Published: 14 July 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3034 | PDF Full-text (206 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Czech government has identified commercial health insurance as one of the major problems for migrants’ access to health care. Non-EU immigrants are eligible for public health insurance only if they have employee status or permanent residency. The present study examined migrants’ access [...] Read more.
The Czech government has identified commercial health insurance as one of the major problems for migrants’ access to health care. Non-EU immigrants are eligible for public health insurance only if they have employee status or permanent residency. The present study examined migrants’ access to the public health insurance system in Czechia. A cross-sectional survey of 909 immigrants from Ukraine and Vietnam was conducted in March and May 2013, and binary logistic regression was applied in data analysis. Among immigrants entitled to Czech public health insurance due to permanent residency/asylum, 30% were out of the public health insurance system, and of those entitled by their employment status, 50% were out of the system. Migrants with a poor knowledge of the Czech language are more likely to remain excluded from the system of public health insurance. Instead, they either remain in the commercial health insurance system or they simultaneously pay for both commercial and public health insurance, which is highly disadvantageous. Since there are no reasonable grounds to stay outside the public health insurance, it is concluded that it is lack of awareness that keeps eligible immigrants from entering the system. It is suggested that no equal access to health care exists without sufficient awareness about health care system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health)
Open AccessArticle
Using Benthic Macroinvertebrate and Fish Communities as Bioindicators of the Tanshui River Basin Around the Greater Taipei Area — Multivariate Analysis of Spatial Variation Related to Levels of Water Pollution
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7116-7143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110707116
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 6 June 2014 / Accepted: 24 June 2014 / Published: 14 July 2014
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3308 | PDF Full-text (1439 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
After decades of strict pollution control and municipal sewage treatment, the water quality of the Tanshui River increased significantly after pollution mitigation as indicated by the River Pollution Index (RPI). The pollution level of the estuarine region decreased from severe pollution to mostly [...] Read more.
After decades of strict pollution control and municipal sewage treatment, the water quality of the Tanshui River increased significantly after pollution mitigation as indicated by the River Pollution Index (RPI). The pollution level of the estuarine region decreased from severe pollution to mostly moderately impaired. The most polluted waters are presently restricted to a flow track length between 15–35 km relative to the river mouth. From July 2011 to September 2012, four surveys of fish and benthic macroinvertebrates were conducted at 45 sampling sites around the Tanshui River basin. The pollution level of all the study area indicated by the RPI could also be explained by the Family Biotic Index (FBI) and Biotic Index (BI) from the benthic macroinvertebrate community, and the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) of the fish community. The result of canonical correlation analysis between aquatic environmental factors and community structure indicated that the community structure was closely related to the level of water pollution. Fish species richness in the estuarine area has increased significantly in recent years. Some catadromous fish and crustaceans could cross the moderate polluted water into the upstream freshwater, and have re-colonized their populations. The benthic macroinvertebrate community relying on the benthic substrate of the estuarine region is still very poor, and the water layer was still moderately polluted. Full article
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