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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 12, Issue 7 (July 2015), Pages 7100-8618

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Open AccessArticle Smoking Prevalence and Associated Factors as well as Attitudes and Perceptions towards Tobacco Control in Northeast China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8606-8618; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708606
Received: 19 June 2015 / Revised: 15 July 2015 / Accepted: 15 July 2015 / Published: 22 July 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2174 | PDF Full-text (238 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate the prevalence of smoking and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), the associated factors of current smoking among adults, and their attitudes and perceptions towards tobacco control. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2012
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Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate the prevalence of smoking and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), the associated factors of current smoking among adults, and their attitudes and perceptions towards tobacco control. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2012 using a self-reported questionnaire. A representative sample of adults aged 18–79 years was collected in the Jilin Province of Northeast China by a multistage stratified random cluster sampling design. Descriptive data analysis was conducted, and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of prevalence/frequency were calculated to enable comparisons between the alleged differences and similarities. Multivariable logistic regressions were used to examine the risk factors associated with current smoking. Results: 21,435 adults responded to the survey (response rate: 84.9%). The overall prevalence of ever smoking, current smoking, and former smoking or smoking cessation was 39.1% (95% CI: 38.3–39.9), 31.8% (95% CI 31.1–32.6), and 7.3% (95% CI: 6.9–7.7), respectively. The proportion of ETS exposure among adult non-smokers in Jilin Province was 61.1% (95% CI: 60.1–62.1), and 23.1% (95% CI: 22.3–24.0) of the non-smokers reported daily ETS exposure. The proportion of ETS exposure at home was 33.4% (95% CI: 32.5–34.4), but the proportion of ETS exposure at restaurants was lower (6.5%) (95% CI: 6.0–7.1). More than 90% of the participants had positive attitudes and perceptions towards tobacco control, but 23.2% (95% CI: 22.5–24.0) of them did not agree with the perception of “smoking is fully quit in public places”, and almost half of the adults (49.5%) (95% CI: 48.7–50.3) did not agree with the perception of “hazards of low-tar cigarettes are equal to general cigarettes”. Conclusions: Smoking and exposure to ETS are prevalent among adults from the Jilin Province of Northeast China. Our findings suggest that tobacco control should be advocated in Northeast China. Anti-smoking campaigns and legislation should be built into the public health curriculum and government policy. Full article
Open AccessReview Potential Occupational Exposures and Health Risks Associated with Biomass-Based Power Generation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8542-8605; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708542
Received: 1 April 2015 / Revised: 3 July 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 22 July 2015
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2078 | PDF Full-text (1803 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biomass is increasingly being used for power generation; however, assessment of potential occupational health and safety (OH&S) concerns related to usage of biomass fuels in combustion-based generation remains limited. We reviewed the available literature on known and potential OH&S issues associated with biomass-based
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Biomass is increasingly being used for power generation; however, assessment of potential occupational health and safety (OH&S) concerns related to usage of biomass fuels in combustion-based generation remains limited. We reviewed the available literature on known and potential OH&S issues associated with biomass-based fuel usage for electricity generation at the utility scale. We considered three potential exposure scenarios—pre-combustion exposure to material associated with the fuel, exposure to combustion products, and post-combustion exposure to ash and residues. Testing of dust, fungal and bacterial levels at two power stations was also undertaken. Results indicated that dust concentrations within biomass plants can be extremely variable, with peak levels in some areas exceeding occupational exposure limits for wood dust and general inhalable dust. Fungal spore types, identified as common environmental species, were higher than in outdoor air. Our review suggests that pre-combustion risks, including bioaerosols and biogenic organics, should be considered further. Combustion and post-combustion risks appear similar to current fossil-based combustion. In light of limited available information, additional studies at power plants utilizing a variety of technologies and biomass fuels are recommended. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Pattern of Variation between Diarrhea and Malaria Coexistence with Corresponding Risk Factors in, Chikhwawa, Malawi: A Bivariate Multilevel Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8526-8541; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708526
Received: 2 June 2015 / Revised: 2 June 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1679 | PDF Full-text (772 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Developing countries face a huge burden of infectious diseases, a number of which co-exist. This paper estimates the pattern and variation of malaria and diarrhea coexistence in Chikhwawa, a district in Southern Malawi using bivariate multilevel modelling with Bayesian estimation. A probit link
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Developing countries face a huge burden of infectious diseases, a number of which co-exist. This paper estimates the pattern and variation of malaria and diarrhea coexistence in Chikhwawa, a district in Southern Malawi using bivariate multilevel modelling with Bayesian estimation. A probit link was employed to examine hierarchically built data from a survey of individuals (n = 6,727) nested within households (n = 1,380) nested within communities (n = 33). Results show significant malaria [ ] and diarrhea [ ] variations with a strong correlation between them [ ] at household level. There are significant malaria [ ] and diarrhea [ ] variations at community level but with a small correlation [ ] between them. There is also significant correlation between malaria and diarrhea at individual level [ 0.241]. These results suggest a close association between reported malaria-like illness and diarrheal illness especially at household and individual levels in Southern Malawi. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Defining Neighbourhoods as a Measure of Exposure to the Food Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8504-8525; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708504
Received: 6 April 2015 / Revised: 7 April 2015 / Accepted: 15 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1652 | PDF Full-text (1270 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Neighbourhoods are frequently used as a measure for individuals’ exposure to the food environment. However, the definitions of neighbourhoods fluctuate and have not been applied consistently in previous studies. Neighbourhoods defined from a single fixed location fail to capture people’s complete exposure in
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Neighbourhoods are frequently used as a measure for individuals’ exposure to the food environment. However, the definitions of neighbourhoods fluctuate and have not been applied consistently in previous studies. Neighbourhoods defined from a single fixed location fail to capture people’s complete exposure in multiple locations, but measuring behaviour using traditional methods can be challenging. This study compares the traditional methods of measuring exposure to the food environment to methods that use data from GPS tracking. For each of the 187 participants, 11 different neighbourhoods were created in which the exposure to supermarkets and fast food outlets were measured. ANOVA, Tukey’s Honestly Significant Difference (HSD) test and t-tests were performed to compare the neighbourhoods. Significant differences were found between area sizes and the exposure to supermarkets and fast food outlets for different neighbourhood types. Second, significant differences in exposure to food outlets were found between the urban and rural neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods are clearly a diffused and blurred concept that varies in meaning depending on each person’s perception and the conducted study. Complexity and heterogeneity of human mobility no longer appear to correspond to the use of residential neighbourhoods but rather emphasise the need for methods, concepts and measures of individual activity and exposure. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Managing Groundwater Radioactive Contamination at the Daiichi Nuclear Plant
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8498-8503; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708498
Received: 16 June 2015 / Revised: 16 June 2015 / Accepted: 16 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1768 | PDF Full-text (2681 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 severely damaged three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, leading to a major release of radiation into the environment. Groundwater flow through these crippled reactors continues to be one of the
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The Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 severely damaged three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, leading to a major release of radiation into the environment. Groundwater flow through these crippled reactors continues to be one of the main causes of contamination and associated transport of radionuclides into the Pacific Ocean. In this context, a number of strategies are being implemented to manage radioactive pollution of the water resources at the nuclear plant site. Along with water treatment and purification, it is critical to restrict the groundwater flow to and from the reactors. Thus, the devised strategies combine walls containment, bores abstraction, infiltration control, and the use of tanks for the temporary storage of contaminated waters. While some of these techniques have been previously applied in other environments, they have never been tested at such a large scale. Therefore, their effectiveness remains to be seen. The present manuscript presents an overview of the methods being currently implemented to manage groundwater contamination and to mitigate the impact of hydrological pathways in the dispersion of radionuclides at Fukushima. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hazardous Waste and Human Health-2015)
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Open AccessArticle Occupant Interactions and Effectiveness of Natural Ventilation Strategies in Contemporary New Housing in Scotland, UK
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8480-8497; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708480
Received: 30 May 2015 / Revised: 30 May 2015 / Accepted: 15 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1786 | PDF Full-text (2406 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The need to reduce carbon emissions and fuel poverty has led to increased building envelope air tightness, intended to reduce uncontrolled ventilation heat losses. Ventilation strategies in dwellings still allow the use of trickle ventilators in window frames for background ventilation. The extent
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The need to reduce carbon emissions and fuel poverty has led to increased building envelope air tightness, intended to reduce uncontrolled ventilation heat losses. Ventilation strategies in dwellings still allow the use of trickle ventilators in window frames for background ventilation. The extent to which this results in “healthy” Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in recently constructed dwellings was a concern of regulators in Scotland. This paper describes research to explore this. First a review of literature was conducted, then data on occupant interactions with ventilation provisions (windows, doors, trickle vents) gathered through an interview-based survey of 200 recently constructed dwellings, and measurements made on a sample of 40 of these. The main measured parameter discussed here is CO2 concentration. It was concluded after the literature review that 1000 ppm absolute was a reasonable threshold to use for “adequate” ventilation. The occupant survey found that there was very little occupant interaction with the trickle ventilators e.g., in bedrooms 63% were always closed, 28% always open, and in only 9% of cases occupants intervened to make occasional adjustments. In the measured dwellings average bedroom CO2 levels of 1520 ppm during occupied (night time) hours were observed. Where windows were open the average bedroom CO2 levels were 972 ppm. With windows closed, the combination of “trickle ventilators open plus doors open” gave an average of 1021 ppm. “Trickle ventilators open” gave an average of 1571 ppm. All other combinations gave averages of 1550 to 2000 ppm. Ventilation rates and air change rates were estimated from measured CO2 levels, for all dwellings calculated ventilation rate was less than 8 L/s/p, in 42% of cases calculated air change rate was less than 0.5 ach. It was concluded that trickle ventilation as installed and used is ineffective in meeting desired ventilation rates, evidenced by high CO2 levels reported across the sampled dwellings. Potential implications of the results are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Environmental Quality: Exposures and Occupant Health)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Long-Term Health and Economic Impacts of Central Residential Air Filtration for Reducing Premature Mortality Associated with Indoor Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) of Outdoor Origin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8448-8479; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708448
Received: 1 June 2015 / Revised: 1 June 2015 / Accepted: 9 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2330 | PDF Full-text (3467 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Much of human exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) of outdoor origin occurs in residences. High-efficiency particle air filtration in central heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems is increasingly being used to reduce concentrations of particulate matter inside homes. However, questions
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Much of human exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) of outdoor origin occurs in residences. High-efficiency particle air filtration in central heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems is increasingly being used to reduce concentrations of particulate matter inside homes. However, questions remain about the effectiveness of filtration for reducing exposures to PM2.5 of outdoor origin and adverse health outcomes. Here we integrate epidemiology functions and mass balance modeling to estimate the long-term health and economic impacts of HVAC filtration for reducing premature mortality associated with indoor PM2.5 of outdoor origin in residences. We evaluate 11 classifications of filters (MERV 5 through HEPA) using six case studies of single-family home vintages and ventilation system combinations located in 22 U.S. cities. We estimate that widespread use of higher efficiency filters would reduce premature mortality by 0.002–2.5% and increase life expectancy by 0.02–1.6 months, yielding annual monetary benefits ranging from $1 to $1348 per person in the homes and locations modeled herein. Large differences in the magnitude of health and economic impacts are driven largely by differences in rated filter efficiency and building and ventilation system characteristics that govern particle infiltration and persistence, with smaller influences attributable to geographic location. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Environmental Quality: Exposures and Occupant Health)
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Open AccessArticle Metabolic Polymorphisms and Clinical Findings Related to Benzene Poisoning Detected in Exposed Brazilian Gas-Station Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8434-8447; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708434
Received: 10 June 2015 / Revised: 9 July 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1932 | PDF Full-text (686 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Benzene is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant and an important industrial chemical present in both gasoline and motor vehicle emissions. Occupational human exposure to benzene occurs in the petrochemical and petroleum refining industries as well as in gas-station workers, where it can lead to
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Benzene is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant and an important industrial chemical present in both gasoline and motor vehicle emissions. Occupational human exposure to benzene occurs in the petrochemical and petroleum refining industries as well as in gas-station workers, where it can lead to benzene poisoning (BP), but the mechanisms of BP are not completely understood. In Brazil, a significant number of gas-station service workers are employed. The aim of the present study was to evaluate alterations related to BP and metabolic polymorphisms in gas-station service workers exposed to benzene in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Occupational exposure was based on clinical findings related to BP, and metabolic polymorphisms in 114 Brazilian gas-station attendants. These workers were divided into No Clinical Findings (NCF) and Clinical Findings (CF) groups. Neutrophil and Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) showed a significant difference between the two study groups, and neutrophil has the greatest impact on the alterations suggestive of BP. The clinical findings revealed higher frequencies of symptoms in the CF group, although not all members presented statistical significance. The frequencies of alleles related to risk were higher in the CF group for GSTM1, GSTT1, CYP2E1 7632T > A, but lower for NQO1 and CYP2E1 1053C > T genotypes. Moreover, an association was found between GSTM1 null and alterations related to BP, but we did not observe any effects of other polymorphisms. Variations in benzene metabolizing genes may modify benzene toxicity and should be taken into consideration during risk assessment evaluations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Simulated Environment Experiment on Annoyance Due to Combined Road Traffic and Industrial Noises
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8413-8433; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708413
Received: 20 February 2015 / Revised: 20 February 2015 / Accepted: 16 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1699 | PDF Full-text (1258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Total annoyance due to combined noises is still difficult to predict adequately. This scientific gap is an obstacle for noise action planning, especially in urban areas where inhabitants are usually exposed to high noise levels from multiple sources. In this context, this work
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Total annoyance due to combined noises is still difficult to predict adequately. This scientific gap is an obstacle for noise action planning, especially in urban areas where inhabitants are usually exposed to high noise levels from multiple sources. In this context, this work aims to highlight potential to enhance the prediction of total annoyance. The work is based on a simulated environment experiment where participants performed activities in a living room while exposed to combined road traffic and industrial noises. The first objective of the experiment presented in this paper was to gain further understanding of the effects on annoyance of some acoustical factors, non-acoustical factors and potential interactions between the combined noise sources. The second one was to assess total annoyance models constructed from the data collected during the experiment and tested using data gathered in situ. The results obtained in this work highlighted the superiority of perceptual models. In particular, perceptual models with an interaction term seemed to be the best predictors for the two combined noise sources under study, even with high differences in sound pressure level. Thus, these results reinforced the need to focus on perceptual models and to improve the prediction of partial annoyances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Combined Health Effects of Environmental Exposures)
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Open AccessReview Climate Change, Drought and Human Health in Canada
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8359-8412; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708359
Received: 2 June 2015 / Revised: 3 July 2015 / Accepted: 8 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4062 | PDF Full-text (603 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Droughts have been recorded all across Canada and have had significant impacts on individuals and communities. With climate change, projections suggest an increasing risk of drought in Canada, particularly in the south and interior. However, there has been little research on the impacts
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Droughts have been recorded all across Canada and have had significant impacts on individuals and communities. With climate change, projections suggest an increasing risk of drought in Canada, particularly in the south and interior. However, there has been little research on the impacts of drought on human health and the implications of a changing climate. A review of the Canadian, U.S. and international literature relevant to the Canadian context was conducted to better define these impacts and adaptations available to protect health. Drought can impact respiratory health, mental health, illnesses related to exposure to toxins, food/water security, rates of injury and infectious diseases (including food-, water- and vector-borne diseases). A range of direct and indirect adaptation (e.g., agricultural adaptation) options exist to cope with drought. Many have already been employed by public health officials, such as communicable disease monitoring and surveillance and public education and outreach. However, gaps exist in our understanding of the impacts of short-term vs. prolonged drought on the health of Canadians, projections of drought and its characteristics at the regional level and the effectiveness of current adaptations. Further research will be critical to inform adaptation planning to reduce future drought-related risks to health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Predictors for Using a HIV Self-Test Among Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in North Carolina
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8348-8358; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708348
Received: 6 June 2015 / Revised: 11 July 2015 / Accepted: 15 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1655 | PDF Full-text (671 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Approximately, two million migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSF) work in the United States annually. Several factors, such as lack of access to healthcare services and health behaviors, contribute to risk of HIV transmission. Relatively few studies have explored MSF knowledge of HIV
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Background: Approximately, two million migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSF) work in the United States annually. Several factors, such as lack of access to healthcare services and health behaviors, contribute to risk of HIV transmission. Relatively few studies have explored MSF knowledge of HIV transmission and testing options. Methods: A 12-question, self-administered survey of farmworkers (n = 178) from 19 migrant camps was conducted. The survey assessed knowledge of factors related to HIV transmission, testing, and intention to use a HIV home-test kit. Results: Participants with knowledge of treatment for HIV (p = 0.03) and that condom use protects against HIV (p = 0.04) were more willing to express intent to use a home test kit than those with less knowledge. Concern among farmworkers that HIV was a very or somewhat serious problem in their community was associated with expressing intent to use a home test kit (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 0.92–5.5). Respondents with less knowledge were less likely to use a home test kit. Conclusions: MSF were concerned about HIV in their community and would be willing to use to a home test kit. This pilot study provides a basis for additional research related to HIV testing within the MSF community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health)
Open AccessArticle Protective Effect of Lycium ruthenicum Murr. Against Radiation Injury in Mice
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8332-8347; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708332
Received: 15 May 2015 / Revised: 29 June 2015 / Accepted: 2 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2023 | PDF Full-text (1030 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The protective effect of Lycium ruthenicum Murr. against radiation injury was examined in mice. Kunming mice were randomly divided into a control group, model group, positive drug group and L. ruthenicum high dose (8 g/kg), L. ruthenicum middle dose (4 g/kg), L. ruthenicum
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The protective effect of Lycium ruthenicum Murr. against radiation injury was examined in mice. Kunming mice were randomly divided into a control group, model group, positive drug group and L. ruthenicum high dose (8 g/kg), L. ruthenicum middle dose (4 g/kg), L. ruthenicum low dose (2 g/kg) treatment groups, for which doses were administered the third day, seventh day and 14th day after irradiation. L. ruthenicum extract was administered orally to the mice in the three treatment groups and normal saline was administered orally to the mice in the control group and model group for 14 days. The positive group was treated with amifostine (WR-2721) at 30 min before irradiation. Except for the control group, the groups of mice received a 5 Gy quantity of X-radiation evenly over their whole body at one time. Body weight, hemogram, thymus and spleen index, DNA, caspase-3, caspase-6, and P53 contents were observed at the third day, seventh day, and 14th day after irradiation. L. ruthenicum could significantly increase the total red blood cell count, hemoglobin count and DNA contents (p < 0.05). The spleen index recovered significantly by the third day and 14th day after irradiation (p < 0.05). L. ruthenicum low dose group showed a significant reduction in caspase-3 and caspase-6 of serum in mice at the third day, seventh day, and 14th day after irradiation and L. ruthenicum middle dose group experienced a reduction in caspase-6 of serum in mice by the seventh day after irradiation. L. ruthenicum could decrease the expression of P53. The results showed that L. ruthenicum had protective effects against radiation injury in mice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Avian Conservation Areas as a Proxy for Contaminated Soil Remediation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8312-8331; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708312
Received: 27 May 2015 / Revised: 9 July 2015 / Accepted: 13 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3152 | PDF Full-text (1694 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Remediation prioritization frequently falls short of systematically evaluating the underlying ecological value of different sites. This study presents a novel approach to delineating sites that are both contaminated by any of eight heavy metals and have high habitat value to high-priority species. The
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Remediation prioritization frequently falls short of systematically evaluating the underlying ecological value of different sites. This study presents a novel approach to delineating sites that are both contaminated by any of eight heavy metals and have high habitat value to high-priority species. The conservation priority of each planning site herein was based on the projected distributions of eight protected bird species, simulated using 900 outputs of species distribution models (SDMs) and the subsequent application of a systematic conservation tool. The distributions of heavy metal concentrations were generated using a geostatistical joint-simulation approach. The uncertainties in the heavy metal distributions were quantified in terms of variability among 1000 realization sets. Finally, a novel remediation decision-making approach was presented for delineating contaminated sites in need of remediation based on the spatial uncertainties of multiple realizations and the priorities of conservation areas. The results thus obtained demonstrate that up to 42% of areas of high conservation priority are also contaminated by one or more of the heavy metal contaminants of interest. Moreover, as the proportion of the land for proposed remediated increased, the projected area of the pollution-free habitat also increased. Overall uncertainty, in terms of the false positive contamination rate, also increased. These results indicate that the proposed decision-making approach successfully accounted for the intrinsic trade-offs among a high number of pollution-free habitats, low false positive rates and robustness of expected decision outcomes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study on Microbial Deposition and Contamination onto Six Surfaces Commonly Used in Chemical and Microbiological Laboratories
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8295-8311; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708295
Received: 1 June 2015 / Revised: 10 July 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
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Abstract
The worktops in both chemical and microbiological laboratories are the surfaces most vulnerable to damage and exposure to contamination by indoor pollutants. The rate at which particles are deposited on indoor surfaces is an important parameter to determine human exposure to airborne biological
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The worktops in both chemical and microbiological laboratories are the surfaces most vulnerable to damage and exposure to contamination by indoor pollutants. The rate at which particles are deposited on indoor surfaces is an important parameter to determine human exposure to airborne biological particles. In contrast to what has been established for inorganic pollutants, no limit has been set by law for microbial contamination in indoor air. To our knowledge, a comparative study on the effect of surfaces on the deposition of microbes has not been carried out. An evaluation of the microbial contamination of worktop materials could be of crucial importance, both for safety reasons and for the reliability of tests and experiments that need to be carried out in non-contaminated environments. The aim of this study was to evaluate the overall microbial contamination (fungi, mesophilic and psychrophilic bacteria, staphylococci) on six widely used worktop materials in laboratories (glass, stainless steel, fine porcelain stoneware, post-forming laminate, high-performing laminate and enamel steel) and to correlate it with the characteristics of the surfaces. After cleaning, the kinetics of microbial re-contamination were also evaluated for all surfaces. Full article
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Open AccessReview Evaluating the Association between Diabetes, Cognitive Decline and Dementia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8281-8294; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708281
Received: 28 May 2015 / Revised: 12 July 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2434 | PDF Full-text (675 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this article is to review the association between diabetes mellitus, cognitive decline and dementia, including the effects of cognitive decline and dementia on self management of diabetes. This is a literature review of primary research articles. A number of contemporary
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The aim of this article is to review the association between diabetes mellitus, cognitive decline and dementia, including the effects of cognitive decline and dementia on self management of diabetes. This is a literature review of primary research articles. A number of contemporary research articles that met the inclusion criteria were selected for this review paper. These articles were selected using a number of search strategies and electronic databases, such as EBSCOhost Research and SwetsWise databases. The duration of diabetes, glycated haemoglobin levels and glycaemic fluctuations were associated with cognitive decline and dementia. Similarly, hypoglycaemia was significantly related to increased risk of developing cognitive decline and dementia. Furthermore, cognitive decline and dementia were associated with poorer diabetes management. There is evidence of the association between diabetes, cognitive decline and dementia including the shared pathogenesis between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the self management of diabetes is affected by dementia and cognitive decline. It could be suggested that the association between diabetes and dementia is bidirectional with the potential to proceed to a vicious cycle. Further studies are needed in order to fully establish the relationship between diabetes, cognitive decline and dementia. Patients who have diabetes and dementia could benefit from structured education strategies, which should involve empowerment programmes and lifestyle changes. The detection of cognitive decline should highlight the need for education strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Health Care and Diabetes)
Open AccessArticle Cobalt Oxide Nanoparticles: Behavior towards Intact and Impaired Human Skin and Keratinocytes Toxicity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8263-8280; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708263
Received: 31 May 2015 / Revised: 7 July 2015 / Accepted: 8 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2110 | PDF Full-text (2148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Skin absorption and toxicity on keratinocytes of cobalt oxide nanoparticles (Co3O4NPs) have been investigated. Co3O4NPs are commonly used in industrial products and biomedicine. There is evidence that these nanoparticles can cause membrane damage and genotoxicity
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Skin absorption and toxicity on keratinocytes of cobalt oxide nanoparticles (Co3O4NPs) have been investigated. Co3O4NPs are commonly used in industrial products and biomedicine. There is evidence that these nanoparticles can cause membrane damage and genotoxicity in vitro, but no data are available on their skin absorption and cytotoxicity on keratinocytes. Two independent 24 h in vitro experiments were performed using Franz diffusion cells, using intact (experiment 1) and needle-abraded human skin (experiment 2). Co3O4NPs at a concentration of 1000 mg/L in physiological solution were used as donor phase. Cobalt content was evaluated by Inductively Coupled–Mass Spectroscopy. Co permeation through the skin was demonstrated after 24 h only when damaged skin protocol was used (57 ± 38 ng·cm−2), while no significant differences were shown between blank cells (0.92 ± 0.03 ng cm−2) and those with intact skin (1.08 ± 0.20 ng·cm−2). To further investigate Co3O4NPs toxicity, human-derived HaCaT keratinocytes were exposed to Co3O4NPs and cytotoxicity evaluated by MTT, Alamarblue® and propidium iodide (PI) uptake assays. The results indicate that a long exposure time (i.e., seven days) was necessary to induce a concentration-dependent cell viability reduction (EC50 values: 1.3 × 10−4 M, 95% CL = 0.8–1.9 × 10−4 M, MTT essay; 3.7 × 10−5 M, 95% CI = 2.2–6.1 × 10−5 M, AlamarBlue® assay) that seems to be associated to necrotic events (EC50 value: 1.3 × 10−4 M, 95% CL = 0.9–1.9 × 10−4 M, PI assay). This study demonstrated that Co3O4NPs can penetrate only damaged skin and is cytotoxic for HaCat cells after long term exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate and Effect of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Variability of Heavy Metal Concentrations in Liquid-Solid Two-Phase and Related Environmental Risks in the Weihe River of Shaanxi Province, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8243-8262; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708243
Received: 27 May 2015 / Revised: 1 July 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1948 | PDF Full-text (591 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
Accurate estimation of the variability of heavy metals in river water and the hyporheic zone is crucial for pollution control and environmental management. The biotoxicities and potential ecological risks of heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd) in a solid-liquid two-phase system were estimated
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Accurate estimation of the variability of heavy metals in river water and the hyporheic zone is crucial for pollution control and environmental management. The biotoxicities and potential ecological risks of heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd) in a solid-liquid two-phase system were estimated using the Geo-accumulation Index, Potential Ecological Risk Assessment and Quality Standard Index methods in the Weihe River of Shaanxi Province, China. Water and sediment samples were collected from five study sites during spring, summer and winter, 2013. The dominant species in the streambed sediments were chironomids and flutter earthworm, whose bioturbation mainly ranged from 0 to 20 cm. The concentrations of heavy metals in surface water and pore water varied obviously in spring and summer. The degrees of concentration of Cu and Cd in spring and summer were higher than the U.S. water quality Criteria Maximum Concentrations. Furthermore, the biotoxicities of Pb and Zn demonstrated season-spatial variations. The concentrations of Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd in spring and winter were significantly higher than those in summer, and the pollution levels also varied obviously in different layers of the sediments. Moreover, the pollution level of Cd was the most serious, as estimated by all three assessment methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Systems Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Association of C-Reactive Protein and Metabolic Disorder in a Chinese Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8228-8242; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708228
Received: 3 May 2015 / Revised: 24 June 2015 / Accepted: 30 June 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1481 | PDF Full-text (789 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: To assess the high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels and explore the risk factors for an elevated hs-CRP level. We also provide the clinical utility of CRP to identify subjects with metabolic syndrome (MetS). Methods: Data were drawn from a cross-sectional
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Objective: To assess the high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels and explore the risk factors for an elevated hs-CRP level. We also provide the clinical utility of CRP to identify subjects with metabolic syndrome (MetS). Methods: Data were drawn from a cross-sectional survey in China. Subjects were divided into three subgroups: hs-CRP ≤ 1 mg/L, 1 mg/L < hs-CRP ≤ 3 mg/L and hs-CRP > 3 mg/L. Multiple linear regressions and logistic regression models were used. Results: In the Chinese population, 50.43% subjects had a low hs-CRP level, 30.21% subjects had an intermediate hs-CRP level and 19.36% subjects had an elevated hs-CRP level. Age, physical inactivity, abdominal obesity, a low LDL level, an elevated fasting glucose level, uric acid and urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR) were correlated with log-CRP. In multivariate analysis, relative risks of an elevated CRP level were 2.40 (95% CI 1.44–3.99, p = 0.001), 3.63 (95% CI 2.20–5.98, p < 0.001), 4.23 (95% CI 2.51–7.11, p < 0.001) and 6.23 (95% CI 3.45–11.26, p < 0.001) for subjects with 1, 2, 3, or more than 3 MetS components, respectively. The accurate estimates of the area under the receiver operating characteristic of hs-CRP for MetS was 0.6954 (95% CI, 0.67–0.72). Conclusion: Age, physical inactivity, abdominal obesity, a low LDL level, an elevated fasting glucose level, uric acid and ACR are correlated with log-CRP. The number of MetS components is a significant determinant of elevated CRP levels after adjusted for other potential confounders. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Possible Internalization of an Enterovirus in Hydroponically Grown Lettuce
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8214-8227; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708214
Received: 29 May 2015 / Revised: 7 July 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1573 | PDF Full-text (961 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Several studies have shown that enteric viruses can be transferred onto the surface of vegetables and fruits through spray irrigation, but, recently, reports have suggested viral contamination of vegetables sub-irrigated with reused wastewater. Hydroponic cultures, used to grow ready to eat fresh lettuce,
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Several studies have shown that enteric viruses can be transferred onto the surface of vegetables and fruits through spray irrigation, but, recently, reports have suggested viral contamination of vegetables sub-irrigated with reused wastewater. Hydroponic cultures, used to grow ready to eat fresh lettuce, have also been used to study the possibility of viral absorption through roots. This study was conducted to assess a possible risk of viral contamination in lettuce from contaminated water. The leaves of lettuce plants grown in hydroponic cultures where the roots were exposed to water containing Coxsakievirus B2, were analysed for evidence of the virus. The plants and water were sampled at different times and virus was measured using quantitative RT-PCR and infectivity assay. In leaf samples, the lowest observed infective data were lower than the qRT-PCR detection limits, suggesting that free viral RNA or damaged viruses are eliminated rapidly while infectious particles remain stable for a longer time. The obtained data revealed that the leaves were contaminated at a water concentration of 4.11 ± 1 Log Most Probable Number/L (8.03 ± 1 Log GC/L) a concentration observed in contaminated untreated water of wastewater treatment plants. However, the absorption dynamics and whether the virus is inactive in the leaves still remains to be clarified. Nevertheless, this work has practical implications for risk management in using reclaimed water for agricultural use; when irrigated vegetables are destined for raw consumption, virological contamination in water sources should be evaluated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Regional Brain Perfusion Levels in Chronically Smoking and Non-Smoking Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8198-8213; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708198
Received: 28 May 2015 / Revised: 7 July 2015 / Accepted: 10 July 2015 / Published: 16 July 2015
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1821 | PDF Full-text (715 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chronic cigarette smoking is associated with numerous abnormalities in brain neurobiology, but few studies specifically investigated the chronic effects of smoking (compared to the acute effects of smoking, nicotine administration, or nicotine withdrawal) on cerebral perfusion (i.e., blood flow). Predominately middle-aged
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Chronic cigarette smoking is associated with numerous abnormalities in brain neurobiology, but few studies specifically investigated the chronic effects of smoking (compared to the acute effects of smoking, nicotine administration, or nicotine withdrawal) on cerebral perfusion (i.e., blood flow). Predominately middle-aged male (47 ± 11 years of age) smokers (n = 34) and non-smokers (n = 27) were compared on regional cortical perfusion measured by continuous arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance studies at 4 Tesla. Smokers showed significantly lower perfusion than non-smokers in the bilateral medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortices, bilateral inferior parietal lobules, bilateral superior temporal gyri, left posterior cingulate, right isthmus of cingulate, and right supramarginal gyrus. Greater lifetime duration of smoking (adjusted for age) was related to lower perfusion in multiple brain regions. The results indicated smokers showed significant perfusion deficits in anterior cortical regions implicated in the development, progression, and maintenance of all addictive disorders. Smokers concurrently demonstrated reduced blood flow in posterior brain regions that show morphological and metabolic aberrations as well as elevated beta amyloid deposition demonstrated by those with early stage Alzheimer disease. The findings provide additional novel evidence of the adverse effects of cigarette smoking on the human brain. Full article
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Open AccessReview PM2.5 and Cardiovascular Diseases in the Elderly: An Overview
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8187-8197; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708187
Received: 4 May 2015 / Revised: 19 June 2015 / Accepted: 25 June 2015 / Published: 16 July 2015
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 2183 | PDF Full-text (746 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the elderly and the ambient concentration of PM2.5 has been associated with several cardiovascular diseases. Methods: We describe the present state of planetary air pollution, analyze epidemiological
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Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the elderly and the ambient concentration of PM2.5 has been associated with several cardiovascular diseases. Methods: We describe the present state of planetary air pollution, analyze epidemiological studies linking PM2.5 and CVD, and discuss multiple pathophysiological mechanisms linking PM2.5 and CVD. Results: A few epidemiological studies show that the elderly appear specifically susceptible to adverse cardiovascular effects triggered by PM2.5 exposure. Plausible pathophysiological mechanisms include inflammatory dysfunction, oxidative stress, abnormal activation of the hemostatic system and disturbance of the autonomic nervous system. Conclusions: An in-depth knowledge of the chemical compounds, pathophysiological mechanisms, and epidemiological studies of PM2.5 are recommended to understand this important and modifiable factor contributing to geriatric CVD burden. We offer public health recommendations to reduce this preventable cause of disease and death. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Application of Multi-Species Microbial Bioassay to Assess the Effects of Engineered Nanoparticles in the Aquatic Environment: Potential of a Luminous Microbial Array for Toxicity Risk Assessment (LumiMARA) on Testing for Surface-Coated Silver Nanoparticles
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8172-8186; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708172
Received: 13 May 2015 / Revised: 20 June 2015 / Accepted: 8 July 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1895 | PDF Full-text (1673 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Four different manufactured surface-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with coating of citrate, tannic acid, polyethylene glycol, and branched polyethylenimine were used in this study. The toxicity of surface-coated AgNPs was evaluated by a luminous microbial array for toxicity risk assessment (LumiMARA) using multi-species of
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Four different manufactured surface-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with coating of citrate, tannic acid, polyethylene glycol, and branched polyethylenimine were used in this study. The toxicity of surface-coated AgNPs was evaluated by a luminous microbial array for toxicity risk assessment (LumiMARA) using multi-species of luminescent bacteria. The salt stability of four different AgNPs was measured by UV absorbance at 400 nm wavelength, and different surface-charged AgNPs in combination with bacteria were observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Both branched polyethylenimine (BPEI)-AgNPs and polyethylene glycol (PEG)-AgNPs were shown to be stable with 2% NaCl (non-aggregation), whereas both citrate (Cit)-AgNPs and tannic acid (Tan)-AgNPs rapidly aggregated in 2% NaCl solution. The values of the 50% effective concentration (EC50) for BPEI-AgNPs in marine bacteria strains (1.57 to 5.19 mg/L) were lower than those for the other surface-coated AgNPs (i.e., Cit-AgNPs, Tan-AgNPs, and PEG-AgNPs). It appears that the toxicity of AgNPs could be activated by the interaction of positively charged AgNPs with the negatively charged bacterial cell wall from the results of LumiMARA. LumiMARA for toxicity screening has advantageous compared to a single-species bioassay and is applicable for environmental samples as displaying ranges of assessment results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate and Effect of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Working with Policy and Regulatory Factors to Implement Universal Design in the Built Environment: The Australian Experience
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8157-8171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708157
Received: 1 June 2015 / Accepted: 10 July 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1770 | PDF Full-text (668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Built environments that are usable by all provide opportunities for engagement in meaningful occupations. However, enabling them in day to day design processes and practice is problematic for relevant professions. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to gain greater understanding of the
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Built environments that are usable by all provide opportunities for engagement in meaningful occupations. However, enabling them in day to day design processes and practice is problematic for relevant professions. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to gain greater understanding of the policy and regulatory influences that promote or hinder the uptake of universal design in built environments, to inform better future design. Focus groups or telephone interviews were undertaken with 28 key building industry and disability stakeholders in Australia. Four themes were identified: the difficulties of definition; the push or pull of regulations and policy; the role of formal standards; and, shifting the focus of design thinking. The findings highlight the complexity of working within policy and regulatory contexts when implementing universal design. Occupational therapists working with colleagues from other professions must be aware of these influences, and develop the skills to work with them for successful practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Therapies and Human Well-Being)
Open AccessReview Integrated Assessment of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Ghana — Part 3: Social Sciences and Economics
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8133-8156; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708133
Received: 6 April 2015 / Revised: 21 May 2015 / Accepted: 1 July 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3052 | PDF Full-text (1351 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article is one of three synthesis reports resulting from an integrated assessment (IA) of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in Ghana. Given the complexities that involve multiple drivers and diverse disciplines influencing ASGM, an IA framework was used to analyze economic,
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This article is one of three synthesis reports resulting from an integrated assessment (IA) of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in Ghana. Given the complexities that involve multiple drivers and diverse disciplines influencing ASGM, an IA framework was used to analyze economic, social, health, and environmental data and to co-develop evidence-based responses in collaboration with pertinent stakeholders. We look at both micro- and macro-economic processes surrounding ASGM, including causes, challenges, and consequences. At the micro-level, social and economic evidence suggests that the principal reasons whereby most people engage in ASGM involve “push” factors aimed at meeting livelihood goals. ASGM provides an important source of income for both proximate and distant communities, representing a means of survival for impoverished farmers as well as an engine for small business growth. However, miners and their families often end up in a “poverty trap” of low productivity and indebtedness, which reduce even further their economic options. At a macro level, Ghana’s ASGM activities contribute significantly to the national economy even though they are sometimes operating illegally and at a disadvantage compared to large-scale industrial mining companies. Nevertheless, complex issues of land tenure, social stability, mining regulation and taxation, and environmental degradation undermine the viability and sustainability of ASGM as a livelihood strategy. Although more research is needed to understand these complex relationships, we point to key findings and insights from social science and economics research that can guide policies and actions aimed to address the unique challenges of ASGM in Ghana and elsewhere. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Extraction of 3,4,4′-Trichlorocarbanilide from Rat Fecal Samples for Determination by High Pressure Liquid Chromatography–Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8125-8132; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708125
Received: 12 June 2015 / Revised: 7 July 2015 / Accepted: 9 July 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
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Abstract
Triclocarban (3,4,4′-Trichlorocarbanilide; TCC) in the environment has been well documented. Methods have been developed to monitor TCC levels from various matrices including water, sediment, biosolids, plants, blood and urine; however, no method has been developed to document the concentration of TCC in fecal
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Triclocarban (3,4,4′-Trichlorocarbanilide; TCC) in the environment has been well documented. Methods have been developed to monitor TCC levels from various matrices including water, sediment, biosolids, plants, blood and urine; however, no method has been developed to document the concentration of TCC in fecal content after oral exposure in animal studies. In the present study, we developed and validated a method that uses liquid extraction coupled with HPLC-MS/MS determination to measure TCC in feces. The limit of detection and limit of quantitation in control rats without TCC exposure was 69.0 ng/g and 92.9 ng/g of feces, respectively. The base levels of TCC in feces were lower than LOD. At 12 days of treatment, the fecal TCC concentration increased to 2220 µg/g among 0.2% w/w exposed animals. The concentration in fecal samples decreased over the washout period in 0.2% w/w treated animals to 0.399 µ/g feces after exposure was removed for 28 days. This method required a small amount of sample (0.1 g) with simple sample preparation. Given its sensitivity and efficiency, this method may be useful for monitoring TCC exposure in toxicological studies of animals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Understanding Health Information Seeking from an Actor-Centric Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8103-8124; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708103
Received: 14 April 2015 / Revised: 25 June 2015 / Accepted: 9 July 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1650 | PDF Full-text (2532 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a conceptual approach for discussing health information seeking among poor households in Africa and Asia. This approach is part of a larger research endeavor aimed at understanding how health systems are adapting; with possibilities and constraints emerging. These health systems
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This paper presents a conceptual approach for discussing health information seeking among poor households in Africa and Asia. This approach is part of a larger research endeavor aimed at understanding how health systems are adapting; with possibilities and constraints emerging. These health systems can be found in a context of the changing relationships between states, markets and civil society in low and middle income countries. The paper starts from an understanding of the health sector as a “health knowledge economy”, organized to provide people with access to knowledge and advice. The use of the term “health knowledge economy” draws attention to the ways the health sector is part of a broader knowledge economy changing the way individuals and households obtain and use specialist information. The paper integrates an actor centric approach with the theory of planned behavior. It seeks to identify the actors engaged in the health knowledge economy as a precursor to longer term studies on the uptake of innovations integrating health services with mobile phones, commonly designated as mHealth, contributing to an understanding of the potential vulnerabilities of poor people, and highlighting possible dangers if providers of health information and advice are strongly influenced by interest groups. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Smoke-Free Multiunit Housing Policy: Caretakers’ Perspectives on Economic and Personal Impacts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8092-8102; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708092
Received: 4 June 2015 / Revised: 1 July 2015 / Accepted: 9 July 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1757 | PDF Full-text (649 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: Multiunit housing (MUH) operators may be motivated to adopt smoke-free policies to achieve cost savings. MUH caretakers provide a unique perspective for understanding the implications of smoke-free policies because of their role in property maintenance. We examine MUH caretakers’ perceptions regarding the
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Objective: Multiunit housing (MUH) operators may be motivated to adopt smoke-free policies to achieve cost savings. MUH caretakers provide a unique perspective for understanding the implications of smoke-free policies because of their role in property maintenance. We examine MUH caretakers’ perceptions regarding the economic and personal impact of smoke-free policies at their properties. Methods: We conducted and analyzed qualitative interviews with 20 multiunit housing caretakers from two large property management companies in the southeastern United States that had implemented smoke-free policies. Results: For non-smoking units, caretakers reported shortened turnover times, in addition to reduction in the need for turnover supplies and capital replacements. Caretakers reported an improvement in their work environments due to reduced workload and exposure to secondhand and thirdhand smoke after implementation of smoke-free policies. Conclusion: The potential for cost savings exists for MUH operators who enact smoke-free policies because of decreased labor, supplies, and capital costs. Smoke-free policies may also improve the work environment of caretakers and other frontline MUH employees. These are important findings for MUH companies seeking to lower their operation costs and improve their employees’ working conditions, as well as for smoke-free advocates seeking to promote policy change. Full article
Open AccessArticle The State of Ambient Air Quality in Two Ugandan Cities: A Pilot Cross-Sectional Spatial Assessment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8075-8091; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708075
Received: 11 May 2015 / Revised: 6 July 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2319 | PDF Full-text (2945 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Air pollution is one of the leading global public health risks but its magnitude in many developing countries’ cities is not known. We aimed to measure the concentration of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter <2.5 µm (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2
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Air pollution is one of the leading global public health risks but its magnitude in many developing countries’ cities is not known. We aimed to measure the concentration of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter <2.5 µm (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ozone (O3) pollutants in two Ugandan cities (Kampala and Jinja). PM2.5, O3, temperature and humidity were measured with real-time monitors, while NO2 and SO2 were measured with diffusion tubes. We found that the mean concentrations of the air pollutants PM2.5, NO2, SO2 and O3 were 132.1 μg/m3, 24.9 µg/m3, 3.7 µg/m3 and 11.4 μg/m3, respectively. The mean PM2.5 concentration is 5.3 times the World Health Organization (WHO) cut-off limits while the NO2, SO2 and O3 concentrations are below WHO cut-off limits. PM2.5 levels were higher in Kampala than in Jinja (138.6 μg/m3 vs. 99.3 μg/m3) and at industrial than residential sites (152.6 μg/m3 vs. 120.5 μg/m3) but residential sites with unpaved roads also had high PM2.5 concentrations (152.6 μg/m3). In conclusion, air pollutant concentrations in Kampala and Jinja in Uganda are dangerously high. Long-term studies are needed to characterize air pollution levels during all seasons, to assess related public health impacts, and explore mitigation approaches. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Limitations to Thermoregulation and Acclimatization Challenge Human Adaptation to Global Warming
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8034-8074; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708034
Received: 23 April 2015 / Revised: 15 June 2015 / Accepted: 30 June 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 6493 | PDF Full-text (1291 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human thermoregulation and acclimatization are core components of the human coping mechanism for withstanding variations in environmental heat exposure. Amidst growing recognition that curtailing global warming to less than two degrees is becoming increasing improbable, human survival will require increasing reliance on these
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Human thermoregulation and acclimatization are core components of the human coping mechanism for withstanding variations in environmental heat exposure. Amidst growing recognition that curtailing global warming to less than two degrees is becoming increasing improbable, human survival will require increasing reliance on these mechanisms. The projected several fold increase in extreme heat events suggests we need to recalibrate health protection policies and ratchet up adaptation efforts. Climate researchers, epidemiologists, and policy makers engaged in climate change adaptation and health protection are not commonly drawn from heat physiology backgrounds. Injecting a scholarly consideration of physiological limitations to human heat tolerance into the adaptation and policy literature allows for a broader understanding of heat health risks to support effective human adaptation and adaptation planning. This paper details the physiological and external environmental factors that determine human thermoregulation and acclimatization. We present a model to illustrate the interrelationship between elements that modulate the physiological process of thermoregulation. Limitations inherent in these processes, and the constraints imposed by differing exposure levels, and thermal comfort seeking on achieving acclimatization, are then described. Combined, these limitations will restrict the likely contribution that acclimatization can play in future human adaptation to global warming. We postulate that behavioral and technological adaptations will need to become the dominant means for human individual and societal adaptations as global warming progresses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 Gene Promoter (rs 3918242) Mutation Reduces the Risk of Diabetic Microvascular Complications
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8023-8033; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120708023
Received: 27 May 2015 / Revised: 5 July 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 14 July 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1734 | PDF Full-text (734 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Many studies have evaluated the association between matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) gene promoter polymorphism and diabetic microvascular complications. However, the results are conflicting and inconclusive. The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the association more precisely. Materials and Methods: Studies were
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Background: Many studies have evaluated the association between matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) gene promoter polymorphism and diabetic microvascular complications. However, the results are conflicting and inconclusive. The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the association more precisely. Materials and Methods: Studies were retrieved from the PubMed, Embase, Medline, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases. All statistical analyses were performed using Review Manager 5.2. Results: Data were abstracted from four case-control studies that included 446 patients with diabetic microvascular complications and 496 diabetic control subjects. The MMP9-1562 C/T genotype was significantly associated with the risk of diabetic nephropathy after stratification by specific type of microvascular complication (CT + TT vs. CC: OR = 0.42, 95% CI = 0.26–0.69, p = 0.0006; TT vs. CC + CT: OR = 0.37, 95% CI = 0.19–0.76, p = 0.006). Conclusions: This study adds to the evidence that MMP9-1562 T gene mutation might reduce the risk of diabetic nephropathy. Full article
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