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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 12, Issue 3 (March 2015) , Pages 2330-3405

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Open AccessArticle
Associations of Baroreflex Sensitivity, Heart Rate Variability, and Initial Orthostatic Hypotension with Prenatal and Recent Postnatal Methylmercury Exposure in the Seychelles Child Development Study at Age 19 Years
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3395-3405; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303395 - 23 Mar 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2275
Abstract
Background: A few studies have suggested an association between prenatal exposure to methylmercury and decreased heart rate variability (HRV) related to autonomic heart function, but no study has examined this association using baroreflex sensitivity (BRS). In this study we assessed the distribution of [...] Read more.
Background: A few studies have suggested an association between prenatal exposure to methylmercury and decreased heart rate variability (HRV) related to autonomic heart function, but no study has examined this association using baroreflex sensitivity (BRS). In this study we assessed the distribution of BRS and immediate orthostatic hypotension (IOH) in young Seychellois adults and their associations with exposure to prenatal and recent postnatal methylmercury. Methods: Subjects in the Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS) main cohort were evaluated at age 19 years. Non-invasive beat-to-beat blood pressure (BP) monitoring (Finapres, Ohmeda) was performed at rest and during active standing in 95 consecutive subjects. Recent postnatal mercury exposure was measured in subjects’ hair at the age of 19 years and prenatal exposure in maternal hair grown during pregnancy. BRS was estimated by sequence analysis to identify spontaneous ascending and descending BP ramps. HRV was estimated by the following markers: PNN50 (relative numbers of normal-to-normal intervals which are shorter by more than 50 ms than the immediately following normal-to-normal intervals); rMSSD (root mean of the squared sum of successive interval differences); LF/HF (low frequency/high frequency component ratio); ratio of the mean expiratory/inspiratory RR intervals (EI ratio); and the ratio between the longest RR interval 30 s after active standing and the shortest RR interval at 15 s (Max30/Min15). IOH was estimated by the deepest BP fall within the first 15 s after active standing up. Results: Prenatal MeHg exposures were similar in boys and girls (6.7 ± 4.3, 6.7 ± 3.8 ng/g) but recent postnatal mercury levels were higher in males than females (11.2 ± 5.8 vs 7.9 ± 4.3 ng/g, p = 0.003). Markers of autonomic heart rate control were within the normal range (BRS: 24.8 ± 7 ms/mm Hg, PNN50: 24.9 ± 6.8%, rMSSD: 68 ± 22, LF/HF: 0.61 ± 0.28) in both sexes. After standing, 51.4% of subjects had a transient systolic BP drop >40 mm Hg, but only 5.3% reported dizziness or had syncope. Prenatal and recent postnatal MeHg levels, overall, were not associated with BRS, E/I ratio, PNN50, rMSSD, LF/HF ratio, Max30/Min15 ratio, and IOH. Conclusions: This study provides no support for the hypothesis that prenatal or recent postnatal MeHg exposure from fish consumption is associated with impaired autonomic heart rate control. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Mediating Effect of Body Mass Index on the Relationship between Cigarette Smoking and Atopic Sensitization in Chinese Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3381-3394; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303381 - 23 Mar 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2149
Abstract
Background: It is unclear whether the relationship between cigarette smoking and atopy is mediated by body fat mass, such as the Body Mass Index (BMI). We assessed the mediating role of BMI on the relationship between smoking and atopy in Chinese adults. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: It is unclear whether the relationship between cigarette smoking and atopy is mediated by body fat mass, such as the Body Mass Index (BMI). We assessed the mediating role of BMI on the relationship between smoking and atopy in Chinese adults. Methods: A hospital-based case-control study of 786 atopic cases and 2771 controls was conducted in adults aged 18 years or older from March 2010 to September 2014 in Harbin, China. Mediation models were used to estimate the indirect effects of smoking on atopic sensitization through BMI. Results: Compared to non-smokers, light smokers and moderate smokers had a lower risk of inhalant allergen sensitization. The indirect effect of smoking and sensitization to aeroallergens were only observed in light smokers (point estimate, −0.026; 95% CI, −0.062 to −0.004). The mediating roles of BMI on the relationships between smoking and other types of allergic sensitization were not statistically significant. Conclusion: BMI appeared to partially mediate the effect of light smoking on sensitization to aeroallergens. However, considering the other harmful health effects of cigarette smoking, the effective method to lower the incidence of atopy would be to decrease body fat mass by physical exercise and employing other more healthy ways of living rather than smoking. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Efficiency of a Multi-Soil-Layering System on Wastewater Treatment Using Environment-Friendly Filter Materials
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3362-3380; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303362 - 23 Mar 2015
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2279
Abstract
The multi-soil-layering (MSL) system primarily comprises two parts, specifically, the soil mixture layer (SML) and the permeable layer (PL). In Japan, zeolite is typically used as the permeable layer material. In the present study, zeolite was substituted with comparatively cheaper and more environmentally [...] Read more.
The multi-soil-layering (MSL) system primarily comprises two parts, specifically, the soil mixture layer (SML) and the permeable layer (PL). In Japan, zeolite is typically used as the permeable layer material. In the present study, zeolite was substituted with comparatively cheaper and more environmentally friendly materials, such as expanded clay aggregates, oyster shells, and already-used granular activated carbon collected from water purification plants. A series of indoor tests indicated that the suspended solid (SS) removal efficiency of granular activated carbon was between 76.2% and 94.6%; zeolite and expanded clay aggregates achieved similar efficiencies that were between 53.7% and 87.4%, and oyster shells presented the lowest efficiency that was between 29.8% and 61.8%. Further results show that the oyster shell system required an increase of wastewater retention time by 2 to 4 times that of the zeolite system to maintain similar chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency. Among the four MSL samples, the zeolite system and granular activated carbon system demonstrated a stable NH3-N removal performance at 92.3%–99.8%. The expanded clay aggregate system present lower removal performance because of its low adsorption capacity and excessively large pores, causing NO3-N to be leached away under high hydraulic loading rate conditions. The total phosphorous (TP) removal efficiency of the MSL systems demonstrated no direct correlation with the permeable layer material. Therefore, all MSL samples achieved a TP efficiency of between 92.1% and 99.2%. Full article
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Open AccessReply
Response to Bifulco Comments on Triassi et al. Environmental Pollution from Illegal Waste Disposal and Health Effects: A Reviewer on the “Triangle of Death”. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 1216–1236
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3360-3361; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303360 - 19 Mar 2015
Viewed by 1811
Abstract
We thank Bifulco [1] for his interest in reading our article and his time in writing his comments on our work [2]. Our response to his concerns are as follows:[...] Full article
Open AccessComment
Comments on Triassi et al. Environmental Pollution from Illegal Waste Disposal and Health Effects: A Review on the “Triangle of Death”. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 1216–1236
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3358-3359; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303358 - 19 Mar 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2043
Abstract
A recent paper was published on Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health addressing the so-called “Triangle of Death” linked to waste crisis in the Southern Italy [1]. Three decades of illegal waste management including uncontrolled disposal of toxic and industrial material, land filling [...] Read more.
A recent paper was published on Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health addressing the so-called “Triangle of Death” linked to waste crisis in the Southern Italy [1]. Three decades of illegal waste management including uncontrolled disposal of toxic and industrial material, land filling and unauthorized incineration have transformed these Italian areas, into the poisoned dustbin of the country, the “Triangle of Death” also called “Land of Fires” [2,3], characterized by the presence of a widespread organized crime, a huge social and economic disintegration, a high population density with large migration flows. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Knowledge of the Population about Visceral Leishmaniasis Transmission in Endemic Areas near the Banks of the Mossoró River in Northeastern Brazil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3343-3357; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303343 - 19 Mar 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2177
Abstract
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is an anthropozoonosis with high prevalence and incidence in the Northeastern region of Brazil. This study aimed to determine whether people living near the Mossoró River in the city of Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte, have knowledge of VL and [...] Read more.
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is an anthropozoonosis with high prevalence and incidence in the Northeastern region of Brazil. This study aimed to determine whether people living near the Mossoró River in the city of Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte, have knowledge of VL and to characterize the environmental properties of this region. Questionnaires were administered to 478 residents in three neighborhoods near the Mossoró River, addressing the population’s knowledge about VL and environmental characteristics. Most survey participants were female, with ages between 18 and 40 years, 53.8% had completed primary education, and 61.5% owned pet dogs (p < 0.05). The majority (95.9%) showed little knowledge about the characteristics inherent to sandflies, and 85.3% were unaware of the environments preferred by this vector (p < 0.05). Sewage from the homes of respondents was mainly dumped into the river (44.6%), and 76.6% of the respondents complained about the accumulation of garbage in the streets (p < 0.05). The association between education and knowledge about the transmission of VL and preferred vector locations was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The lack of knowledge in the population about VL and the residential environment indicates a risk of maintaining sand fly habitats and hence disease transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
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Open AccessArticle
Can Metabolic Disorders in Aging Men Contribute to Prostatic Hyperplasia Eligible for Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3327-3342; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303327 - 19 Mar 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2047
Abstract
Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence and severity of metabolic disorders occurring in the metabolic syndrome in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia eligible for surgical treatment. Methods: The study group consisted men with diagnosed benign prostatic [...] Read more.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence and severity of metabolic disorders occurring in the metabolic syndrome in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia eligible for surgical treatment. Methods: The study group consisted men with diagnosed benign prostatic hyperplasia. The control group consisted patients recruited from basic health care units. Abdominal circumference, body weight and blood serum metabolic parameters were determined in the experimental and control groups. The concentrations of glucose were determined, as well as total cholesterol (ChT), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglycerides (TAG), by spectrophotometric method using reagent kits. Results: In the study group 91 (60.3%) cases of metabolic syndrome (MetS) were diagnosed, while in the control group 71 (46.1%) men met the diagnostic criteria for this syndrome (p = 0.018). The analysis shows a relationship between MetS in patients with BPH and concentration glucose, ChT, LDL, HDL, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. We found no significant statistical relationship between body weight, abdominal circumference and concentration TAG, hypertension in patients and controls. Conclusions: in the study presented in this article, statistically significant relationships between BPH and the diagnostic parameters of the metabolic syndrome were demonstrated. These results indicate to the necessity of the modification of the lifestyle, taking preventive measures in diabetes, and evaluation of lipid metabolism disorders. It is recommended to assess symptoms that may suggest BPH (as a manifestation of LUTS) in men over 50 years of age with diagnoses of metabolic disorders (including MetS), and provide them with specialist urological care in order to prevent surgical treatment of the prostate. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Monoamine Oxidase A Promoter Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MAOA-uVNTR) in Alcoholics According to Lesch Typology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3317-3326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303317 - 19 Mar 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2152 | Correction
Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to examine the association between the MAOA-uVNTR gene polymorphism in a homogeneous subgroups of patients with alcohol dependence categorized according to Lesch’s typology. Methods: DNA was provided from alcohol dependent (AD) patients (n = 370) and [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this study was to examine the association between the MAOA-uVNTR gene polymorphism in a homogeneous subgroups of patients with alcohol dependence categorized according to Lesch’s typology. Methods: DNA was provided from alcohol dependent (AD) patients (n = 370) and healthy control subjects (n = 168) all of Polish descent. The history of alcoholism was obtained using the Polish version of the Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism (SSAGA). Samples were genotyped using PCR methods. Results: We found no association between alcohol dependence and MAOA gene polymorphism. Conclusions: Lesch typology is a clinical consequence of the disease and its phenotypic description is too complex for a simple genetic analysis. Full article
Open AccessReview
Decreasing Health Disparities for People with Disabilities through Improved Communication Strategies and Awareness
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3301-3316; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303301 - 19 Mar 2015
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3304
Abstract
Factors influencing access to health care among people with disabilities (PWD) include: attitudes of health care providers and the public, physical barriers, miscommunication, income level, ethnic/minority status, insurance coverage, and lack of information tailored to PWD. Reducing health care disparities in a population [...] Read more.
Factors influencing access to health care among people with disabilities (PWD) include: attitudes of health care providers and the public, physical barriers, miscommunication, income level, ethnic/minority status, insurance coverage, and lack of information tailored to PWD. Reducing health care disparities in a population with complex needs requires implementation at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. This review article discusses common barriers to health care access from the patient and provider perspective, particularly focusing on communication barriers and how to address and ameliorate them. Articles utilized in this review were published from 2005 to present in MEDLINE and CINAHL and written in English that focused on people with disabilities. Topics searched for in the literature include: disparities and health outcomes, health care dissatisfaction, patient-provider communication and access issues. Ineffective communication has significant impacts for PWD. They frequently believe that providers are not interested in, or sensitive to their particular needs and are less likely to seek care or to follow up with recommendations. Various strategies for successful improvement of health outcomes for PWD were identified including changing the way health care professionals are educated regarding disabilities, improving access to health care services, and enhancing the capacity for patient centered care. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Awareness and the Arguments for and against the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health among Representatives of Disability Organisations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3293-3300; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303293 - 18 Mar 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2166
Abstract
Disability organisations have not been engaged in the debate about the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) in Sweden. We wanted to know representatives’ attitudes about the ICF. The aim of the study was to elucidate the arguments for and against [...] Read more.
Disability organisations have not been engaged in the debate about the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) in Sweden. We wanted to know representatives’ attitudes about the ICF. The aim of the study was to elucidate the arguments for and against the ICF among representatives of disability organisations. The study consisted of eighteen representatives (from six disability organisations) that answered electronic questionnaires. The questionnaires involved ten open questions about the arguments for and against the ICF. The answers of the questionnaires have been categorized according to qualitative content analysis. Our results indicated four themes: awareness, arguments for and against, influence and the future. More than half of the representatives had very limited awareness of the ICF. There was an explicit criticism of individual classification but more positive comments about classification on an aggregated level. The most important issue for representatives was influencing social policy in society, not learning and spreading information about the ICF. Full article
Open AccessArticle
On the Road to HIV/AIDS Competence in the Household: Building a Health-Enabling Environment for People Living with HIV/AIDS
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3264-3292; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303264 - 18 Mar 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2616
Abstract
When aiming to provide chronic disease care within the context of human resource shortages, we should not only consider the responsibility of the individual person living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) but also the capacity of the social environment to actively encourage a lifestyle that [...] Read more.
When aiming to provide chronic disease care within the context of human resource shortages, we should not only consider the responsibility of the individual person living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) but also the capacity of the social environment to actively encourage a lifestyle that fosters health. In this social environment, extensive efforts are thus required to increase HIV/AIDS knowledge, reduce stigma, stimulate HIV testing, improve health care-seeking behavior, and encourage safe sexual practices—described in the literature as the need for AIDS competence. In accordance with socio-ecological theory, one cannot restrict the research focus to communities, as AIDS competence studies should also incorporate the intermediate household level. In responding to this research need, the aim of this article is to conceptualize an “HIV/AIDS competent household” based on qualitative interviews and focus group discussions conducted in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. Our results show that a household’s supportive response to disclosure allows a patient to live openly as HIV positive in the household concerned. This may mark the start of the road to HIV/AIDS competence in the household, meaning the PLWHA receives sustainable support throughout the care continuum and positive living becomes the norm for the PLWHA and his or her household. A feedback loop might also be created in which other household members are encouraged to be tested and to disclose their status, which is an important step towards a sustainable response to HIV/AIDS-related challenges. Despite the fact that this road to HIV/AIDS competence at the household level is fragile and prone to various barriers, this article shows that the household has the potential to be a health-enabling environment for PLWHA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HIV/AIDS: Social Perspectives)
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Open AccessArticle
City Dweller Responses to Multiple Stressors Intruding into Their Homes: Noise, Light, Odour, and Vibration
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3246-3263; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303246 - 18 Mar 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2545
Abstract
Urban densification increases exposure to noise, light, odour, and vibration in urban dwellings. Exposure from combined environmental stressors intruding into the home could increase the risk of adverse effects on wellbeing, even when the exposure is at a relatively low level. This study [...] Read more.
Urban densification increases exposure to noise, light, odour, and vibration in urban dwellings. Exposure from combined environmental stressors intruding into the home could increase the risk of adverse effects on wellbeing, even when the exposure is at a relatively low level. This study assesses the prevalence of annoyance with a combination of potential environmental stressors common in urban areas and the association with wellbeing. A questionnaire was sent by mail to residents in five areas in Halmstad (Sweden) with similar socioeconomic and housing characteristics but different exposure (response rate 56%; n = 385). Of the respondents, 50% were annoyed to some degree by at least one of the suggested stressors, most commonly by noise and vibration from local traffic. Structural equation modelling showed that annoyance led to lowered quality of life via the mediating construct residential satisfaction, which in turn was influenced by place attachment and perceived restoration possibilities in the dwelling. Stress had a negative impact on quality of life, but was not directly correlated to annoyance. Stress was however correlated with sensitivity. The findings suggest that dose-response relationships for environmental stressors should be studied in a broader context of environmental and individual factors. Also relatively low levels of exposure should be mitigated, especially if several stressors are present. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Combined Health Effects of Environmental Exposures)
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Open AccessArticle
Demographic Differences in Sun Protection Beliefs and Behavior: A Community-Based Study in Shanghai, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3232-3245; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303232 - 18 Mar 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2849
Abstract
Objective: We want to know the attitudes and behaviors towards UV protection and we want to analyze the difference between different Chinese demographic groups in this study. Methods: A community-based study was undertaken in Shanghai from October 2009 to January 2010. [...] Read more.
Objective: We want to know the attitudes and behaviors towards UV protection and we want to analyze the difference between different Chinese demographic groups in this study. Methods: A community-based study was undertaken in Shanghai from October 2009 to January 2010. The participants, ages 20–60 years old, were screened by cluster sampling and were investigated through interviews at their own homes. Personal basic information and questions pertaining to their knowledge and attitudes towards sunlight and sun protective activities were included in the questionnaire. Results: We completed 5964 questionnaires (2794 men and 3170 women). Eighty-six percent of the respondents belonged to Fitzpatrick skin type IV. Knowledge about UV-induced risks was known by more than half of the participants. However, only one-third of the participants thought they needed sun protection in winter and indoors or in vehicles, and 27% of the participants acknowledged tanning was not favorable. The attitudes towards sun exposure varied greatly, showing significant differences based on gender, age, socioeconomic groups and skin type groups (p < 0.05). Fifty-five percent of the participants never use an umbrella under sunlight, only 26.5% of the respondents wear hats, and 21.3% of the participants applied sunscreen. Females and individuals of a younger age and higher education level were more likely to perform sun-protective behaviors than males and those of an older age and lower education level (p < 0.001). Conclusion: There is a deficit in the use of sun protection existing in our surveyed Chinese population, especially in males and lower socioeconomic population, which could allow for planning prevention campaigns and exploring sun-preventive products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Components of Self-Perceived Health in the Kailali District of Nepal: A Cross-Sectional Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3215-3231; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303215 - 17 Mar 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2039
Abstract
Self-perceived health is a health measure with well-established links with mortality, healthcare services utilization, and future health. Various components of self-perceived health have been identified in different populations. In this study, we aimed to investigate the components of self-perceived health in a Nepali [...] Read more.
Self-perceived health is a health measure with well-established links with mortality, healthcare services utilization, and future health. Various components of self-perceived health have been identified in different populations. In this study, we aimed to investigate the components of self-perceived health in a Nepali population. This was a cross-sectional survey conducted in the Kailali district of Nepal in 2014. The sample was initially consisted of 309 households, representative of the population of one municipality and one village; however, 304 participants were included in the analyses. Information on socio-demographic characteristics, health condition, satisfaction with healthcare services, psychological factors, and health behaviors was extracted. Logistic regression analyses were carried out to identify putative components of self-perceived health. Among the 304 respondents, 244 (80.3%) and 60 (19.7%) perceived their health as good and poor, respectively. Middle age and lower satisfaction with healthcare services were associated with worse self-perceived health, accounting for 10.3% of variance. No regular exercise, drinking, smoking, and being unhappy were also related with worse self-perceived health, after adjustment for age and satisfaction level. In the final model, however, drinking status did not significantly contribute. Our findings support previous findings that individuals with positive health behaviors and psychological wellbeing are more likely to perceive their health better. This study may direct public health policies toward more targeted interventions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Community Trial on Heat Related-Illness Prevention Behaviors and Knowledge for the Elderly
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3188-3214; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303188 - 17 Mar 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2728
Abstract
This study aims to explore whether broadcasting heat health warnings (HHWs), to every household and whether the additional home delivery of bottled water labeled with messages will be effective in improving the behaviors and knowledge of elderly people to prevent heat-related illness. A [...] Read more.
This study aims to explore whether broadcasting heat health warnings (HHWs), to every household and whether the additional home delivery of bottled water labeled with messages will be effective in improving the behaviors and knowledge of elderly people to prevent heat-related illness. A community trial on heat-related-illness-prevention behaviors and knowledge for people aged between 65 and 84 years was conducted in Nagasaki, Japan. Five hundred eight subjects were selected randomly from three groups: heat health warning (HHW), HHW and water delivery (HHW+W), and control groups. Baseline and follow-up questionnaires were conducted in June and September 2012, respectively. Of the 1524 selected subjects, the 1072 that completed both questionnaires were analyzed. The HHW+W group showed improvements in nighttime AC use (p = 0.047), water intake (p = 0.003), cooling body (p = 0.002) and reduced activities in heat (p = 0.047) compared with the control, while the HHW group improved hat or parasol use (p = 0.008). An additional effect of household water delivery was observed in water intake (p = 0.067) and cooling body (p = 0.095) behaviors. HHW and household bottled water delivery improved heat-related-illness-prevention behaviors. The results indicate that home water delivery in addition to a HHW may be needed to raise awareness of the elderly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Climate Change and Contaminants)
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Distribution of Lead in Sacramento, California, USA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3174-3187; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303174 - 17 Mar 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2332
Abstract
Chronic exposure to lead remains a health concern in many urban areas; Sacramento, California is one example, with state surveillance data showing nearly 3% of screened children reported with blood lead levels over 4.5 μg/dL in 2009. To investigate the environmental exposure, 91 [...] Read more.
Chronic exposure to lead remains a health concern in many urban areas; Sacramento, California is one example, with state surveillance data showing nearly 3% of screened children reported with blood lead levels over 4.5 μg/dL in 2009. To investigate the environmental exposure, 91 soil samples were collected and analyzed by ICP-AES and ICP-MS for 14 elements. An additional 28 samples were collected from areas of focus and analyzed by hand-held X-ray fluorescence spectrometry for Pb and Zn. Analysis of the metals data revealed non-normal distributions and positive skewness, consistent with anthropogenic input. In addition, high correlation coefficients (≥0.75) of metal concentrations in Cd-Pb, Cd-Zn, Pb-Zn, and Sb-Sn pairs suggest similarities in the input mechanisms. Semivariograms generated from Pb and associated metals reveal these metals to exhibit spatial correlation. A prediction map of lead concentrations in soil was generated by ordinary kriging, showing elevated concentrations in soil located in the central, older area of Sacramento where historic traffic density and industrial activity have been historically concentrated. XRF analysis of Pb and Zn from additional samples verifies elevated concentrations in the central areas of Sacramento as predicted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Perceived and Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Time among South Asian Women in the UK
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3152-3173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303152 - 16 Mar 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2470
Abstract
Introduction: Limited self-report data suggest that South Asian (SA) women fail to meet physical activity (PA) recommendations. Recent research using objective measures reveals SA women living in the UK have higher PA levels than previously reported, and a pattern of under-reporting PA [...] Read more.
Introduction: Limited self-report data suggest that South Asian (SA) women fail to meet physical activity (PA) recommendations. Recent research using objective measures reveals SA women living in the UK have higher PA levels than previously reported, and a pattern of under-reporting PA and sedentary time (ST). There is limited research on SA women’s understanding and experiences of PA/ST, and the cultural contexts and conditions within which they occur. Therefore the aims of this mixed-methods study were to compare perceived PA and ST to objectively measured data and explore PA- and ST-specific contexts, experiences, and sources of PA and ST amongst SA women in the UK. Methods: 24 women were purposively sampled to participate in a semi-structured interview from a larger study of 140 women who wore an accelerometer for 7 days. Demographic and anthropometric data were also collected. Results: Notable qualitative themes on contextualisation were of adequate PA as “keeping busy” or “being healthy”, and of ST as “lazy” or “resting in old age”. Few participants reported being sedentary, and most believed they were sufficiently physically active. Objectively measured PA/ST indicated that 66% women were less active than perceived (with regard to duration and intensity), with none able to estimate duration of ST. Discussion: Findings suggest that overall, SA women have contextualisations of PA/ST that may not coincide with those of researchers, health professionals and policy makers, and lack awareness of the intensity of PA in which they engage and the health risks of high levels of ST. These findings highlight the need for objective measures of PA and ST in this population combined with in-depth qualitative assessments to provide more accurate assessments of these behaviours. This information can subsequently be used to develop health promotion messages and interventions focusing on increasing duration and/or intensity levels of daily activities (e.g., walking, housework) and reducing ST in this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Public Health-)
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Open AccessArticle
Breastfeeding, Bottle Feeding Practices and Malocclusion in the Primary Dentition: A Systematic Review of Cohort Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3133-3151; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303133 - 16 Mar 2015
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3653
Abstract
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breast feeding for at least six months. However, there is no scientific evidence of the benefits of breast feeding for oral health in children under primary dentition. This study aimed to search for scientific evidence regarding the [...] Read more.
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breast feeding for at least six months. However, there is no scientific evidence of the benefits of breast feeding for oral health in children under primary dentition. This study aimed to search for scientific evidence regarding the following question: is bottle feeding associated with malocclusion in the primary dentition compared to children that are breastfed? An electronic search was performed in seven databases. The systematic review included 10 cohort studies. It was not possible to conduct meta-analysis; therefore a qualitative analysis was assessed. The majority of studies evaluated feeding habits by means of questionnaires and conducted a single examination. Three studies observed that bottle feeding was significantly associated with overjet and posterior crossbite. Studies reported several cut-off times for breastfeeding (varying from 1 month up to 3 years of age) and several types of malocclusion. Controlling for non-nutritive sucking habits was reported for only half of the studies and this may have led to biased results. The scientific evidence could not confirm a specific type of malocclusion associated with the feeding habits or an adequate time of breastfeeding to benefit the children against malocclusion. Further cohort studies are needed to confirm this evidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breastfeeding and Infant Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Feasibility of Delivering a Dance Intervention for SubAcute Stroke in a Rehabilitation Hospital Setting
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3120-3132; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303120 - 16 Mar 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2863
Abstract
Dance can be a promising treatment intervention used in rehabilitation for individuals with disabilities to address physical, cognitive and psychological impairments. The aim of this pilot study was to determine the feasibility of a modified dance intervention as an adjunct therapy designed for [...] Read more.
Dance can be a promising treatment intervention used in rehabilitation for individuals with disabilities to address physical, cognitive and psychological impairments. The aim of this pilot study was to determine the feasibility of a modified dance intervention as an adjunct therapy designed for people with subacute stroke, in a rehabilitation setting. Using a descriptive qualitative study design, a biweekly 45-min dance intervention was offered to individuals with a subacute stroke followed in a rehabilitation hospital, over 4 weeks. The dance intervention followed the structure of an usual dance class, but the exercises were modified and progressed to meet each individual’s needs. The dance intervention, delivered in a group format, was feasible in a rehabilitation setting. A 45-min dance class of moderate intensity was of appropriate duration and intensity for individuals with subacute stroke to avoid excessive fatigue and to deliver the appropriate level of challenge. The overall satisfaction of the participants towards the dance class, the availability of space and equipment, and the low level of risks contributed to the feasibility of a dance intervention designed for individuals in the subacute stage of post-stroke recovery. Full article
Open AccessReview
Interventions to Reduce Harm from Smoking with Families in Infancy and Early Childhood: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3091-3119; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303091 - 16 Mar 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3598
Abstract
Exposure to adult smoking can have deleterious effects on children. Interventions that assist families with smoking cessation/reduction and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) avoidance can improve child health outcomes and reduce the risk of smoking initiation. The purpose of this review was to describe [...] Read more.
Exposure to adult smoking can have deleterious effects on children. Interventions that assist families with smoking cessation/reduction and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) avoidance can improve child health outcomes and reduce the risk of smoking initiation. The purpose of this review was to describe the state of the science of interventions with families to promote smoke-free home environments for infants and young children, including parent smoking reduction and cessation interventions, ETS reduction, and anti-smoking socialisation interventions, using the socio-ecological framework as a guide. A systematic review of peer-reviewed articles identified from journal databases from 2000 to 2014 was undertaken. Of 921 articles identified, 28 were included in the review. Considerable heterogeneity characterised target populations, intervention types, complexity and intensity, precluding meta-analysis. Few studies used socio-ecological approaches, such as family theories or concepts. Studies in early parenthood (child age newborn to one year) tended to focus on parent smoking cessation, where studies of families with children aged 1–5 years were more likely to target household SHSe reduction. Results suggest that interventions for reduction in ETS may be more successful than for smoking cessation and relapse prevention in families of children aged less than 5 years. There is a need for a range of interventions to support families in creating a smoke free home environment that are both tailored and targeted to specific populations. Interventions that target the social and psychodynamics of the family should be considered further, particularly in reaching vulnerable populations. Consideration is also required for approaches to interventions that may further stigmatise families containing smokers. Further research is required to identify successful elements of interventions and the contexts in which they are most effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor activities and health risks/protection)
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Open AccessArticle
Attentional Distraction during Exercise in Overweight and Normal-Weight Boys
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3077-3090; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303077 - 13 Mar 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3080
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of attentional distraction on field running distance and activity intensity during an exercise session in normal-weight and overweight youngsters and to investigate potential mediators. Fifty-three 12–14 yr-old boys participated twice in a 12-min [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of attentional distraction on field running distance and activity intensity during an exercise session in normal-weight and overweight youngsters and to investigate potential mediators. Fifty-three 12–14 yr-old boys participated twice in a 12-min running test and a 20-min exercise session, once with attentional distraction (by listerning to music) and once without distraction (counterbalanced randomised controlled design). At the end of the endurance test running distance was recorded. During the exercise session activity intensity was assessed by accelerometers. After each experiment, rate of perceived exertion (RPE) was estimated and seven questions were asked about how participants experienced the experiment. Both overweight and normal-weight boys ran further during the running test with music (p < 0.05) and this effect was mediated by a decrease in feelings of annoyance. During the exercise session with music, both overweight and normal-weight boys exercised less at low and high intensity and more at moderate and very high intensity (p < 0.01) and this effect was mediated by a decrease in RPE. We can conclude that attentional distraction has a positive effect on running distance on a field endurance test and on activity intensity during an exercise session through different mechanisms in both overweight and normal-weight boys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Obesity: Novel Approaches to a Global Problem)
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Open AccessArticle
Correlation of Zinc with Oxidative Stress Biomarkers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3060-3076; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303060 - 12 Mar 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2282
Abstract
Hypertension and smoking are related with oxidative stress (OS), which in turn reports on cellular aging. Zinc is an essential element involved in an individual’s physiology. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relation of zinc levels in serum and urine [...] Read more.
Hypertension and smoking are related with oxidative stress (OS), which in turn reports on cellular aging. Zinc is an essential element involved in an individual’s physiology. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relation of zinc levels in serum and urine with OS and cellular aging and its effect on the development of hypertension. In a Spanish sample with 1500 individuals, subjects aged 20–59 years were selected, whose zinc intake levels fell within the recommended limits. These individuals were classified according to their smoking habits and hypertensive condition. A positive correlation was found (Pearson’s C = 0.639; p = 0.01) between Zn serum/urine quotient and oxidized glutathione levels (GSSG). Finally, risk of hypertension significantly increased when the GSSG levels exceeded the 75 percentile; OR = 2.80 (95%CI = 1.09–7.18) and AOR = 3.06 (95%CI = 0.96–9.71). Low zinc levels in serum were related with OS and cellular aging and were, in turn, to be a risk factor for hypertension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preventive Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle
South African Foundation Phase Teachers’ Perceptions of ADHD at Private and Public Schools
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3042-3059; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303042 - 11 Mar 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2716
Abstract
This study investigated foundation phase teachers’ perceptions of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The teachers’ views on the aetiology, appropriate interventions and incidence rates of ADHD were examined. A total of 130 foundation phase teachers from mainstream private and public schools completed a [...] Read more.
This study investigated foundation phase teachers’ perceptions of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The teachers’ views on the aetiology, appropriate interventions and incidence rates of ADHD were examined. A total of 130 foundation phase teachers from mainstream private and public schools completed a self-developed questionnaire that had been piloted by the researchers. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data, specifically to determine whether there were differences in responses between public and private school teachers. Thematic content analysis was used to identify the themes that emerged from the open-ended questions. It was found that the teachers had a limited understanding of ADHD, in terms of what it is as well as the aetiology. In addition, it emerged that medication was the preferred method of intervention despite the participants’ awareness of alternative intervention methods. A comparison of the private and public school teachers’ results indicated no significant difference in their perceptions regarding the aetiology, interventions or incidence rates of ADHD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Contamination in Bedside Surfaces of a Hospital Ward and the Potential Effectiveness of Enhanced Disinfection with an Antimicrobial Polymer Surfactant
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3026-3041; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303026 - 11 Mar 2015
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2415
Abstract
The aim in this study was to assess the effectiveness of a quaternary ammonium chloride (QAC) surfactant in reducing surface staphylococcal contamination in a routinely operating medical ward occupied by patients who had tested positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The QAC being [...] Read more.
The aim in this study was to assess the effectiveness of a quaternary ammonium chloride (QAC) surfactant in reducing surface staphylococcal contamination in a routinely operating medical ward occupied by patients who had tested positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The QAC being tested is an antibacterial film that is sprayed onto a surface and can remain active for up to 8 h. A field experimental study was designed with the QAC plus daily hypochlorite cleaning as the experimental group and hypochlorite cleaning alone as the control group. The method of swabbing on moistened surfaces was used for sampling. It was found that 83% and 77% of the bedside surfaces of MRSA-positive and MRSA-negative patients respectively were contaminated with staphylococci at 08:00 hours, and that the staphylococcal concentrations increased by 80% at 1200 h over a 4-hour period with routine ward and clinical activities. Irrespective of the MRSA status of the patients, high-touch surfaces around the bed-units within the studied medical ward were heavily contaminated (ranged 1 to 276 cfu/cm2 amongst the sites with positive culture) with staphylococcal bacteria including MRSA, despite the implementation of daily hypochlorite wiping. However, the contamination rate dropped significantly from 78% to 11% after the application of the QAC polymer. In the experimental group, the mean staphylococcal concentration of bedside surfaces was significantly (p < 0.0001) reduced from 4.4 ± 8.7 cfu/cm2 at 08:00 hours to 0.07 ± 0.26 cfu/cm2 at 12:00 hours by the QAC polymer. The results of this study support the view that, in addition to hypochlorite wiping, the tested QAC surfactant is a potential environmental decontamination strategy for preventing the transmission of clinically important pathogens in medical wards. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Aminoglycoside Resistance and Virulence Genes among Enterococcus spp. Isolated from a Hospital in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3014-3025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303014 - 11 Mar 2015
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2515
Abstract
This study investigated the aminoglycoside resistance phenotypes and genotypes, as well as the prevalence of virulence genes, in Enterococcus species isolated from clinical patients in China. A total of 160 enterococcal isolates from various clinical samples collected from September 2013 to July 2014 [...] Read more.
This study investigated the aminoglycoside resistance phenotypes and genotypes, as well as the prevalence of virulence genes, in Enterococcus species isolated from clinical patients in China. A total of 160 enterococcal isolates from various clinical samples collected from September 2013 to July 2014 were identified to the species level using the VITEK-2 COMPACT system. The antimicrobial susceptibilities of the identified Enterococcus strains were determined by the Kirby-Bauer (K-B) disc diffusion method. PCR-based assays were used to detect the aminoglycoside resistance and virulence genes in all enterococcal isolates. Of 160 Enterococcus isolates, 105 were identified as E. faecium, 35 as E. faecalis, and 20 isolates were classified as “other” Enterococcus species. High-level aminoglycoside resistance (HLAR) for gentamicin, streptomycin, and both antibiotics was identified in 58.8, 50, and 34.4% of strains, respectively. The most common virulence gene (50.6% of isolates) was efaA, followed by asa1 (28.8%). The most prevalent aminoglycoside resistance genes were aac(6')-Ie-aph(2''), aph(2')-Id, aph(3')-IIIa, and ant(6')-Ia, present in 49.4%, 1.3%, 48.8% and 31.3% of strains, respectively. Overall, E. faecium and E. faecalis were most frequently associated with hospital-acquired enterococcal infections in Zhejiang Province. All aminoglycoside resistance genes, except aph(2'')-Id, were significantly more prevalent in HLAR strains than amongst high level aminoglycoside susceptible (HLAS) strains, while there was no significant difference between HLAR and HLAS strains in regard to the prevalence of virulence genes, apart from esp, therefore, measures should be taken to manage infections caused by multi-drug resistant Enterococcus species. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cognitive Functioning and Walking Speed in Older Adults as Predictors of Limitations in Self-Reported Instrumental Activity of Daily Living: Prospective Findings from the Obu Study of Health Promotion for the Elderly
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3002-3013; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120303002 - 11 Mar 2015
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2926
Abstract
Our aim was to determine whether baseline measures of cognitive functioning, walking speed, and depressive status are independent predictors of limitations in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) in older adults. The cross-sectional study involved 1329 community-dwelling adults, aged 75 years or older. [...] Read more.
Our aim was to determine whether baseline measures of cognitive functioning, walking speed, and depressive status are independent predictors of limitations in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) in older adults. The cross-sectional study involved 1329 community-dwelling adults, aged 75 years or older. At baseline, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Symbol Digit Substitution Test (SDST), Geriatric Depressive Scale (GDS), and a word list memory task were completed, and self-reported IADLs and walking speed were recorded. The longitudinal study involved 948 participants without baseline IADL limitation, which was assessed at baseline and 15-month follow up, using the three Kihon Checklist subitems. In cross-sectional analyses, participants with IADL limitation demonstrated greater GDS scores, slower walking speeds, and lower MMSE, word list memory task, and SDST (only for women) scores relative to those without IADL limitation. In the longitudinal analyses, baseline walking speed (men: OR 0.98; women: OR 0.97, p < 0.05) and word list memory task scores (men: OR 0.84; women: OR 0.83, p < 0.05) in both sexes and SDST scores in women (OR 0.96, p = 0.04) were independent predictors of subsequent IADL limitation. Walking speed, memory, and processing speed may be independent predictors of IADL limitation in older adults. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Mediating Role of Psychological Capital on the Association between Occupational Stress and Job Burnout among Bank Employees in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 2984-3001; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120302984 - 10 Mar 2015
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3889
Abstract
Although job burnout is common among bank employees, few studies have explored positive resources for combating burnout in this population. This study aims to explore the relationship between occupational stress and job burnout among Chinese bank employees, and particularly the mediating role of [...] Read more.
Although job burnout is common among bank employees, few studies have explored positive resources for combating burnout in this population. This study aims to explore the relationship between occupational stress and job burnout among Chinese bank employees, and particularly the mediating role of psychological capital. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Liaoning, China, during June to August of 2013. A questionnaire that included the effort-reward imbalance scale, the Psychological Capital Questionnaire and the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey, as well as demographic and working factors, was distributed to 1739 employees of state-owned banks. This yielded 1239 effective respondents (467 men, 772 women). Asymptotic and resampling strategies explored the mediating role of psychological capital in the relationship between occupational stress and job burnout. Both extrinsic effort and overcommitment were positively associated with emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation. Meanwhile, reward was negatively associated with emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation, but positively associated with personal accomplishment. There was a gender difference in the mediating role of Psychological capital on the occupational stress-job burnout. In male bank employees, Psychological capital mediated the relationships of extrinsic effort and reward with emotional exhaustion and depersonalization; in female bank employees, it partially mediated the relationships of extrinsic effort, reward and overcommitment with emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation, as well as the relationship between reward and personal accomplishment. Psychological capital was generally a mediator between occupational stress and job burnout among Chinese bank employees. Psychological capital may be a potential positive resource in reducing the negative effects of occupational stress on job burnout and relieving job burnout among bank employees, especially female bank employees. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Health Risk Assessment Related to Waterborne Pathogens from the River to the Tap
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 2967-2983; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120302967 - 10 Mar 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2644
Abstract
A two-year monitoring program of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts, Giardia duodenalis cysts, Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens spores and adenovirus was conducted in three large rivers in France used for recreational activities and as a resource for drinking water production. Fifty-liter river water and [...] Read more.
A two-year monitoring program of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts, Giardia duodenalis cysts, Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens spores and adenovirus was conducted in three large rivers in France used for recreational activities and as a resource for drinking water production. Fifty-liter river water and one thousand-liter tap water samples were concentrated using hollow-fiber ultrafiltration and analyzed by molecular biology or laser-scanning cytometry. In order to evaluate watershed land use influence on microorganism concentration changes, occurrence and seasonality of microorganisms were studied. The highest concentrations of protozoan parasites and C. perfringens were found for one of the three sites, showing a high proportion of agricultural territories, forests and semi-natural environments, which may be partly attributable to soil leaching due to rainfall events. On the contrary, the highest concentrations of adenoviruses were found at the two other sites, probably due to strong urban activities. Health risk assessment was evaluated for each waterborne pathogen regarding exposure during recreational activities (for a single or five bathing events during the summer). The calculated risk was lower than 0.5% for parasites and varied from 1% to 42% for adenovirus. A theoretical assessment of microorganism removal during the drinking water treatment process was also performed, and it showed that an absence of microorganisms could be expected in finished drinking water. This hypothesis was confirmed since all tested tap water samples were negative for each studied microorganism, resulting in a risk for drinking water consumption lower than 0.01% for parasites and lower than 0.5% for adenovirus. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Optimized Arrangement of Constant Ambient Air Monitoring Stations in the Kanto Region of Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 2950-2966; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120302950 - 10 Mar 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2237
Abstract
Continuous ambient air monitoring systems have been introduced worldwide. However, such monitoring forces autonomous communities to bear a significant financial burden. Thus, it is important to identify pollutant-monitoring stations that are less efficient, while minimizing loss of data quality and mitigating effects on [...] Read more.
Continuous ambient air monitoring systems have been introduced worldwide. However, such monitoring forces autonomous communities to bear a significant financial burden. Thus, it is important to identify pollutant-monitoring stations that are less efficient, while minimizing loss of data quality and mitigating effects on the determination of spatiotemporal trends of pollutants. This study describes a procedure for optimizing a constant ambient air monitoring system in the Kanto region of Japan. Constant ambient air monitoring stations in the area were topologically classified into four groups by cluster analysis and principle component analysis. Then, air pollution characteristics in each area were reviewed using concentration contour maps and average pollution concentrations. We then introduced three simple criteria to reduce the number of monitoring stations: (1) retain the monitoring station if there were similarities between its data and average data of the group to which it belongs; (2) retain the station if its data showed higher concentrations; and (3) retain the station if the monitored concentration levels had an increasing trend. With this procedure, the total number of air monitoring stations in suburban and urban areas was reduced by 36.5%. The introduction of three new types of monitoring stations is proposed, namely, mobile, for local non-methane hydrocarbon pollution, and Ox-prioritized. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association of Light Exposure on Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in Young People
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 2941-2949; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120302941 - 10 Mar 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2595
Abstract
Background: To investigate whether light exposure was associated with objectively measured physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour in young people. Methods: Participants (n = 229, 46.7% female) were young people (mean 8.8 years [SD ± 2.2]) from the borough of Camden, [...] Read more.
Background: To investigate whether light exposure was associated with objectively measured physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour in young people. Methods: Participants (n = 229, 46.7% female) were young people (mean 8.8 years [SD ± 2.2]) from the borough of Camden, UK. Daily sedentary time, moderate and vigorous PA (MVPA) and light exposure were measured using a tri-axial accelerometer with an ambient light sensor during the summer. Multiple linear regression models examined associations between average daily light exposure, sedentary time and time in MVPA. Models were repeated investigating weekdays and weekend days separately. Analyses were adjusted for pre-specified covariables, including age, sex, device wear time, ethnic group, school and body fat. Results: There were significant associations between average daily light exposure and time sedentary (β coefficient = −11.2, 95% CI, −19.0 to −3.4) and in MVPA (β coefficient = 3.5, 95% CI, 1.2 to 5.9). Light exposure was significantly associated with weekend sedentary time (β coefficient = −10.0, 95% CI, −17.6, −2.4), weekend MVPA (β coefficient = 3.7, 95% CI, 1.7, 5.7), weekday sedentary time (β coefficient = −15.0, 95% CI, −22.7 to −7.2), but not weekday MVPA (β coefficient = 2.0, 95% CI, −0.5 to 4.5). Conclusion: Average daily light exposure is positively associated with time in MVPA and negatively associated with sedentary time. Increasing daylight exposure may be a useful intervention strategy for promoting physical activity. Full article
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