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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 13, Issue 11 (November 2016)

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Open AccessArticle Effects of Fetal Exposure to Asian Sand Dust on Development and Reproduction in Male Offspring
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111173
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
In recent experimental studies, we reported the aggravating effects of Asian sand dust (ASD) on male reproduction in mice. However, the effects of fetal ASD exposure on male reproduction have not been investigated. The present study investigated the effects of fetal ASD exposure
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In recent experimental studies, we reported the aggravating effects of Asian sand dust (ASD) on male reproduction in mice. However, the effects of fetal ASD exposure on male reproduction have not been investigated. The present study investigated the effects of fetal ASD exposure on reproduction in male offspring. Using pregnant CD-1 mice, ASD was administered intratracheally on days 7 and 14 of gestation, and the reproduction of male offspring was determined at 5, 10, and 15 weeks after birth. The secondary sex ratio was significantly lower in the fetal ASD-exposed mice than in the controls. Histologic examination showed partial vacuolation of seminiferous tubules in immature mice. Moreover, daily sperm production (DSP) was significantly less in the fetal ASD-exposed mice than in the controls. DSP in the fetal ASD-exposed mice was approximately 10% less than the controls at both 5 and 10 weeks. However, both the histologic changes and the DSP decrease were reversed as the mice matured. These findings suggest that ASD exposure affects both the fetal development and the reproduction of male offspring. In the future, it will be necessary to clarify the onset mechanisms of ASD-induced male fetus death and male reproductive disorders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Predictors of Urinary 3-Phenoxybenzoic Acid Levels in 50 North Carolina Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111172
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1320 | PDF Full-text (629 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Limited data are available on the non-chemical stressors that impact adult exposures to pyrethroid insecticides based on urinary biomonitoring. The urinary metabolite, 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA), is commonly used to assess human exposure to a number of pyrethroids. In a further analysis of published
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Limited data are available on the non-chemical stressors that impact adult exposures to pyrethroid insecticides based on urinary biomonitoring. The urinary metabolite, 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA), is commonly used to assess human exposure to a number of pyrethroids. In a further analysis of published study data, we quantified urinary 3-PBA levels of 50 adults over a single, 24-h sampling period and examined the associations between the biomarker measurements and selected non-chemical stressors (demographic, lifestyle, and dietary factors). A convenience sample of 50 adults was recruited in North Carolina in 2009–2011. Participants collected individual urine voids (up to 11) and filled out activity, food, and pesticide use diaries over a 24-h sampling period. Urine voids (n = 326) were analyzed for 3-PBA concentrations using high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. 3-PBA was detected in 98% of the 24-h composited urine samples. The geometric mean urinary 3-PBA level was 1.68 ng/mL in adults. Time spent outside (p = 0.0006) was a highly significant predictor of natural log-transformed (ln) urinary 3-PBA levels, while consumption of coffee (p = 0.007) and breads (p = 0.019) and ln creatinine levels (p = 0.037) were significant predictors of urinary 3-PBA levels. In conclusion, we identified specific factors that substantially increased adult exposures to pyrethroids in their everyday environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Micro-Pollutants and Human Exposure)
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Open AccessArticle An Investigation on the Effect of Extremely Low Frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields on Human Electrocardiograms (ECGs)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111171
Received: 28 June 2016 / Revised: 16 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1256 | PDF Full-text (1155 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For this investigation, we studied the effects of extremely low frequency pulse electromagnetic fields (ELF-PEMF) on the human cardiac signal. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) of 22 healthy volunteers before and after a short duration of ELF-PEMF exposure were recorded. The experiment was conducted under single-blind
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For this investigation, we studied the effects of extremely low frequency pulse electromagnetic fields (ELF-PEMF) on the human cardiac signal. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) of 22 healthy volunteers before and after a short duration of ELF-PEMF exposure were recorded. The experiment was conducted under single-blind conditions. The root mean square (RMS) value of the recorded data was considered as comparison criteria. We also measured and analysed four important ECG time intervals before and after ELF-PEMF exposure. Results revealed that the RMS value of the ECG recordings from 18 participants (81.8% of the total participants) increased with a mean value of 3.72%. The increase in ECG voltage levels was then verified by a second experimental protocol with a control exposure. In addition to this, we used hyperbolic T-distributions (HTD) in the analysis of ECG signals to verify the change in the RR interval. It was found that there were small shifts in the frequency-domain signal before and after EMF exposure. This shift has an influence on all frequency components of the ECG signals, as all spectrums were shifted. It is shown from this investigation that a short time exposure to ELF-PEMF can affect the properties of ECG signals. Further study is needed to consolidate this finding and discover more on the biological effects of ELF-PEMF on human physiological processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation Research of the Effects of Longitudinal Speed Reduction Markings on Driving Behavior: A Driving Simulator Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111170
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
The objective of this paper is to explore the effects of longitudinal speed reduction markings (LSRMs) on vehicle maneuvering and drivers’ operation performance on interchange connectors with different radii. Empirical data were collected in a driving simulator. Indicators—relative speed change, standard deviation of
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The objective of this paper is to explore the effects of longitudinal speed reduction markings (LSRMs) on vehicle maneuvering and drivers’ operation performance on interchange connectors with different radii. Empirical data were collected in a driving simulator. Indicators—relative speed change, standard deviation of acceleration, and gas/brake pedal power—were proposed to characterize driving behavior. Statistical results revealed that LSRMs could reduce vehicles’ travel speed and limit drivers’ willingness to increase speed in the entire connector. To probe the impacts of LSRMs, the connecter was split into four even sections. Effects of LSRMs on driving behavior were stronger in the second and the final sections of connectors. LSRMs also enhanced drivers’ adaptability in the first three quarters of a connector when the radius was 50 m. Drivers’ gas pedal operation would be impacted by LSRMs in the entire connector when the radius was 50 m. LSRMs could only make drivers press brake pedal more frequently in the second section with 80 m and 100 m radius. In the second quarter section of a connector—from the FQP (the first quartile point) to the MC (the middle point of curve)—LSRMs have better effects on influencing vehicle maneuvering and drivers’ operation performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traffic Safety and Injury Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle Prevalence and Parental Risk Factors for Speech Disability Associated with Cleft Palate in Chinese Children—A National Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1168; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111168
Received: 5 October 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 11 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1161 | PDF Full-text (276 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Although the prevalence of oral clefts in China is among the highest worldwide, little is known about the prevalence of speech disability associated with cleft palate in Chinese children. The data for this study were collected from the Second China National Sample Survey
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Although the prevalence of oral clefts in China is among the highest worldwide, little is known about the prevalence of speech disability associated with cleft palate in Chinese children. The data for this study were collected from the Second China National Sample Survey on Disability, and identification of speech disability associated with cleft palate was based on consensus manuals. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). A weighted number of 112,070 disabled children affected by cleft palate were identified, yielding a prevalence of 3.45 per 10,000 children (95% CI: 3.19–3.71). A history of speech disability in the mother (OR = 20.266, 95% CI 5.788–70.959, p < 0.0001), older paternal child-bearing age (OR = 1.061, 95% CI 1.017–1.108, p = 0.0065, per year increase in age), and lower parental education (maternal: OR = 3.424, 95% CI 1.082–10.837, p = 0.0363; paternal: OR = 2.923, 95% CI 1.245–6.866, p = 0.0138) were strongly associated with risk of speech disability associated with cleft palate in the offspring. Our results showed that maternal speech disability, older paternal child-bearing age, and lower levels of parental education were independent risk factors for speech disability associated with cleft palate for children in China. These findings may have important implications for health disparities and prevention. Full article
Open AccessArticle Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment of the Pingtung Plain in Southern Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111167
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 13 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1136 | PDF Full-text (4299 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the Pingtung Plain of southern Taiwan, elevated levels of NO3-N in groundwater have been reported. Therefore, efforts for assessing groundwater vulnerability are required as part of the critical steps to prevent and control groundwater pollution. This study makes a
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In the Pingtung Plain of southern Taiwan, elevated levels of NO3-N in groundwater have been reported. Therefore, efforts for assessing groundwater vulnerability are required as part of the critical steps to prevent and control groundwater pollution. This study makes a groundwater vulnerability assessment for the Pingtung Plain using an improved overlay and index-based DRASTIC model. The improvement of the DRASTIC model is achieved by reassigning the weighting coefficients of the factors in this model with the help of a discriminant analysis statistical method. The analytical results obtained from the improved DRASTIC model provide a reliable prediction for use in groundwater vulnerability assessment to nitrate pollution and can correctly identify the groundwater protection zones in the Pingtung Plain. Moreover, the results of the sensitivity analysis conducted for the seven parameters in the improved DRASTIC model demonstrate that the aquifer media (A) is the most sensitive factor when the nitrate-N concentration is below 2.5 mg/L. For the cases where the nitrate-N concentration is above 2.5 mg/L, the aquifer media (A) and net recharge (R) are the two most important factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Views and Preferences for Nicotine Products as an Alternative to Smoking: A Focus Group Study of People Living with Mental Disorders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1166; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111166
Received: 17 October 2016 / Revised: 12 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1630 | PDF Full-text (317 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Aims and Background: People living with mental disorders experience a disproportionately higher burden of tobacco-related disease than the general population. Long-term substitution with less harmful nicotine products could reduce the tobacco-related harm among this population. This study investigated the views and preferences
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Aims and Background: People living with mental disorders experience a disproportionately higher burden of tobacco-related disease than the general population. Long-term substitution with less harmful nicotine products could reduce the tobacco-related harm among this population. This study investigated the views and preferences of people with mental health disorders about different nicotine products and their use as long-term substitutes for cigarettes. Methods: Semi-structured focus group discussion followed by a brief questionnaire. The discussion transcripts were analysed for content and themes and quantitative data summarised with descriptive statistics. Results: Twenty-nine participants took part in four focus groups. Vaping devices were the most acceptable nicotine products discussed; however preferences for nicotine products were individual and varied along aesthetic, pragmatic, sensory and symbolic dimensions. The concept of tobacco harm reduction was unfamiliar to participants, however they generally agreed with the logic of replacing cigarettes with less harmful nicotine products. Barriers to activating tobacco harm reduction included the symbolism of smoking and quitting; the importance placed on health; the consumer appeal of alternatives; and cost implications. Discussion and Conclusions: Engaging this population in tobacco harm reduction options will require communication that challenges black and white thinking (a conceptual framework in which smoking cigarettes or quitting all nicotine are the only legitimate options) as in practice this serves to support the continuance of smoking. Consumers should be encouraged to trial a range of nicotine products to find the most acceptable alternative to smoking that reduces health harms. Providing incentives to switch to nicotine products could help overcome barriers to using less harmful nicotine products among mental health consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control and Priority Groups)
Open AccessArticle Is Green Exercise for All? A Descriptive Study of Green Exercise Habits and Promoting Factors in Adult Norwegians
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1165; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111165
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 5 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2087 | PDF Full-text (734 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Background: Physical activity (PA) in natural environments, known as green exercise (GE), can provide health benefits above and beyond PA in other environments, but little is known about the extent to which GE is an accessible form of weekly PA across different social
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Background: Physical activity (PA) in natural environments, known as green exercise (GE), can provide health benefits above and beyond PA in other environments, but little is known about the extent to which GE is an accessible form of weekly PA across different social groups. This study aims to examine the “GE phenomenon” in Norway, and evaluate possible differences in GE habits and perceived factors that promote GE across sub-groups of this population. Methods: 2168 adults from all over Norway reported weekly GE and other forms of PA, specific forms of GE, and perceived factors that promote GE. Data were examined in the overall sample and in relation with the respondents’ PA status and sociodemographic characteristics. Results: GE, especially “walking in the forest” and “activities by/on the sea”, was the most popular form of weekly PA, even among those with low PA levels. GE was fairly represented across all social groups, and especially among the elderly, those who live with spouse/partner and those who live in the west regions of Norway, while no associations were found in relation to sex, centrality, education level or household income. “Time flexibility” and “PA-supportive places” were generally perceived as the most important factors that promote GE across all social groups. “Accessibility to nature” was generally perceived relatively little important, though a gradient was observed in relation to age, education level and household income. Conclusions: GE is an important source of weekly PA and health among adult Norwegians, especially in sub-groups of interest for public health such as the elderly, those with lower socio-economic status and those who live in non-urban areas. More should be done to understand and address the inequities relative to the perceived accessibility to nature. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sociocultural Determinants of Risky Sexual Behaviors among Adult Latinas: A Longitudinal Study of a Community-Based Sample
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1164; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111164
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1587 | PDF Full-text (343 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Few studies have examined the sociocultural determinants of risky sexual behavior trajectories among adult Latinas. To longitudinally examine the link between sociocultural determinants of risky sexual behaviors, we followed a sample of adult Latina mother-daughter dyads (n = 267) across a 10-year
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Few studies have examined the sociocultural determinants of risky sexual behavior trajectories among adult Latinas. To longitudinally examine the link between sociocultural determinants of risky sexual behaviors, we followed a sample of adult Latina mother-daughter dyads (n = 267) across a 10-year span through four waves of data collection. The present study investigates how risky sexual behavior (operationalized as sex under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, sex without a condom, or multiple sex partners) is affected by: (a) socioeconomic conditions; (b) mental health; (c) medical health; (d) acculturation to U.S. culture; (e) interpersonal support; (f) relationship stress; (g) mother-daughter attachment; (h) intimate partner violence; (i) religious involvement; and (j) criminal justice involvement. Results indicate the following factors are negatively associated with risky sexual behavior: drug and alcohol use, treating a physical problem with prescription drugs, religious involvement, and mother–daughter attachment. The following factors are positively associated with risky sexual behavior: higher number of mental health symptoms, being U.S.-born, and criminal justice involvement. We discuss implications for the future development of culturally relevant interventions based on the study findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Determinants of HIV, Substance Abuse and Addiction)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Scale, Question Location, Order of Response Alternatives, and Season on Self-Reported Noise Annoyance Using ICBEN Scales: A Field Experiment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1163; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111163
Received: 5 August 2016 / Revised: 24 October 2016 / Accepted: 11 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1542 | PDF Full-text (1426 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The type of noise annoyance scale and aspects of its presentation such as response format or location within a questionnaire and other contextual factors may affect self-reported noise annoyance. By means of a balanced experimental design, the effect of type of annoyance question
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The type of noise annoyance scale and aspects of its presentation such as response format or location within a questionnaire and other contextual factors may affect self-reported noise annoyance. By means of a balanced experimental design, the effect of type of annoyance question and corresponding scale (5-point verbal vs. 11-point numerical ICBEN (International Commission on Biological Effects of Noise) scale), presentation order of scale points (ascending vs. descending), question location (early vs. late within the questionnaire), and survey season (autumn vs. spring) on reported road traffic noise annoyance was investigated in a postal survey with a stratified random sample of 2386 Swiss residents. Our results showed that early appearance of annoyance questions was significantly associated with higher annoyance scores. Questionnaires filled out in autumn were associated with a significantly higher annoyance rating than in the springtime. No effect was found for the order of response alternatives. Standardized average annoyance scores were slightly higher using the 11-point numerical scale whereas the percentage of highly annoyed respondents was higher based on the 5-point scale, using common cutoff points. In conclusion, placement and presentation of annoyance questions within a questionnaire, as well as the time of the year a survey is carried out, have small but demonstrable effects on the degree of self-reported noise annoyance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Geographical and Temporal Variations in Female Breast Cancer Mortality in the Municipalities of Andalusia (Southern Spain)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1162; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111162
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 6 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1734 | PDF Full-text (2234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The last published figures have shown geographical variations in mortality with respect to female breast cancer in European countries. However, national health policies need a dynamic image of the geographical variations within the country. The aim of this paper was to describe the
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The last published figures have shown geographical variations in mortality with respect to female breast cancer in European countries. However, national health policies need a dynamic image of the geographical variations within the country. The aim of this paper was to describe the spatial distribution of age-specific mortality rates from female breast cancer in the municipalities of Andalusia (southern Spain) and to analyze its evolution over time from 1981 to 2012. An ecological study was devised. Two spatio-temporal hierarchical Bayesian models were estimated. One of these was used to estimate the age-specific mortality rate for each municipality, together with its time trends, and the other was used to estimate the age-specific rate ratio compared with Spain as a whole. The results showed that 98% of the municipalities exhibited a decreasing or a flat mortality trend for all the age groups. In 2012, the geographical variability of the age-specific mortality rates was small, especially for population groups below 65. In addition, more than 96.6% of the municipalities showed an age-specific mortality rate similar to the corresponding rate for Spain, and there were no identified significant clusters. This information will contribute towards a reflection on the past, present and future of breast cancer outcomes in Andalusia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geographical Variation in Breast Cancer Outcomes)
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Open AccessArticle Overt Primary Hypothyroidism in an Industrial Area in São Paulo, Brazil: The Impact of Public Disclosure
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111161
Received: 13 September 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1305 | PDF Full-text (564 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Primary hypothyroidism (PH) is the most common thyroid pathology. Purpose: to evaluate the impact of public disclosure of an unexpected number of PH cases on the frequency of patients seeking medical evaluation for endocrinological diseases. Methods: data on 6306
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Background: Primary hypothyroidism (PH) is the most common thyroid pathology. Purpose: to evaluate the impact of public disclosure of an unexpected number of PH cases on the frequency of patients seeking medical evaluation for endocrinological diseases. Methods: data on 6306 subjects (3356 living in the surroundings of a petrochemical complex and 2950 in a control region) were collected over a 15-year time span. Thyroid function was determined by serum levels of triiodothyronine, thyroxine, free thyroxine and thyrotrophin. Antithyroglobulin and antithyroperoxidase antibodies and sonographic scans of the thyroid were performed in all patients. The data were analyzed via log-linear models to compute odds and odds ratios. Results: An increasing trend in the odds of PH was detected along the observation period with greater slope in the study region than in the control region. The odds of PH in the post-disclosure period (2002 to 2004) are greater than the corresponding ones in the pre-disclosure period (1989 to 2001). Conclusions: This study shows that living in the surroundings of a petrochemical complex may be an important risk factor for PH for both adults and children. Furthermore, public disclosure of such risk factor contributes to the awareness of the problem and to the possibility of an early diagnosis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Determinants, Health Problems, and Food Insecurity in Urban Areas of the Largest City in Cape Verde
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111155
Received: 5 August 2016 / Revised: 5 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1341 | PDF Full-text (297 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urbanization processes are intertwined with nutritional transition because there is easier access to food of low nutritional quality at reduced prices, changing dietary patterns and leading to an increase of non-communicable chronic diseases. This study aims to understand the perceptions for high blood
[...] Read more.
Urbanization processes are intertwined with nutritional transition because there is easier access to food of low nutritional quality at reduced prices, changing dietary patterns and leading to an increase of non-communicable chronic diseases. This study aims to understand the perceptions for high blood pressure, obesity, and alcoholism, describing some interactions of these dimensions in the problem of food security in the city of Praia. A qualitative study was carried out under the framework of the research project “UPHI-STAT: Urban Planning and Health Inequalities—moving from macro to micro statistics”. Ten focus groups were conducted in three urban areas with distinct characteristics in the city of Praia, with a total of 48 participants. Participants reported frequent consumption of foods with poor nutritional quality, understanding the potential danger in terms of food security in the city of Praia. Easy access to and high levels of alcohol consumption, and poor quality of traditional drinks were mentioned by participants in the study areas. The impact of the economic situation on the possibility of access to safe and healthy options emerged as a differentiating factor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Place and Health Equity)
Open AccessArticle Complementary Feeding Strategies to Facilitate Acceptance of Fruits and Vegetables: A Narrative Review of the Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111160
Received: 20 October 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1973 | PDF Full-text (279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Complementary feeding (CF), which should begin after exclusive breastfeeding for six months, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), or after four months and before six months according to the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), is a period when
[...] Read more.
Complementary feeding (CF), which should begin after exclusive breastfeeding for six months, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), or after four months and before six months according to the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), is a period when the infant implicitly learns what, when, how, and how much to eat. At the onset of CF, the brain and the gut are still developing and maturing, and food experiences contribute to shaping brain connections involved in food hedonics and in the control of food intake. These learning processes are likely to have a long-term impact. Children’s consumption of fruit and vegetables (FV) is below recommendations in many countries. Thus, it is crucial to establish preferences for FV early, when infants are learning to eat. The development of food preferences mainly starts when infants discover their first solid foods. This narrative review summarizes the factors that influence FV acceptance at the start of the CF period: previous milk feeding experience; timing of onset of CF; repeated exposures to the food; variety of foods offered as of the start of the CF period; quality and sensory properties of the complementary foods; quality of the meal time context; and parental responsive feeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Prevent Obesity in the First 1000 Days)
Open AccessArticle Drivers’ Visual Search Patterns during Overtaking Maneuvers on Freeway
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111159
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 25 October 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1095 | PDF Full-text (1620 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Drivers gather traffic information primarily by means of their vision. Especially during complicated maneuvers, such as overtaking, they need to perceive a variety of characteristics including the lateral and longitudinal distances with other vehicles, the speed of others vehicles, lane occupancy, and so
[...] Read more.
Drivers gather traffic information primarily by means of their vision. Especially during complicated maneuvers, such as overtaking, they need to perceive a variety of characteristics including the lateral and longitudinal distances with other vehicles, the speed of others vehicles, lane occupancy, and so on, to avoid crashes. The primary object of this study is to examine the appropriate visual search patterns during overtaking maneuvers on freeways. We designed a series of driving simulating experiments in which the type and speed of the leading vehicle were considered as two influential factors. One hundred and forty participants took part in the study. The participants overtook the leading vehicles just like they would usually do so, and their eye movements were collected by use of the Eye Tracker. The results show that participants’ gaze durations and saccade durations followed normal distribution patterns and that saccade angles followed a log-normal distribution pattern. It was observed that the type of leading vehicle significantly impacted the drivers’ gaze duration and gaze frequency. As the speed of a leading vehicle increased, subjects’ saccade durations became longer and saccade angles became larger. In addition, the initial and destination lanes were found to be key areas with the highest visual allocating proportion, accounting for more than 65% of total visual allocation. Subjects tended to more frequently shift their viewpoints between the initial lane and destination lane in order to search for crucial traffic information. However, they seldom directly shifted their viewpoints between the two wing mirrors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traffic Safety and Injury Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle Crash Risk Prediction Modeling Based on the Traffic Conflict Technique and a Microscopic Simulation for Freeway Interchange Merging Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111157
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 2 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016
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Abstract
This paper evaluates the traffic safety of freeway interchange merging areas based on the traffic conflict technique. The hourly composite risk indexes (HCRI) was defined. By the use of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photography and video processing techniques, the conflict type and severity
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This paper evaluates the traffic safety of freeway interchange merging areas based on the traffic conflict technique. The hourly composite risk indexes (HCRI) was defined. By the use of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photography and video processing techniques, the conflict type and severity was judged. Time to collision (TTC) was determined with the traffic conflict evaluation index. Then, the TTC severity threshold was determined. Quantizing the weight of the conflict by direct losses of different severities of freeway traffic accidents, the calculated weight of the HCRI can be obtained. Calibration of the relevant parameters of the micro-simulation simulator VISSIM is conducted by the travel time according to the field data. Variables are placed into orthogonal tables at different levels. On the basis of this table, the trajectory file of every traffic condition is simulated, and then submitted into a surrogate safety assessment model (SSAM), identifying the number of hourly traffic conflicts in the merging area, a statistic of HCRI. Moreover, the multivariate linear regression model was presented and validated to study the relationship between HCRI and the influencing variables. A comparison between the HCRI model and the hourly conflicts ratio (HCR), without weight, shows that the HCRI model fitting degree was obviously higher than the HCR. This will be a reference to design and implement operational planners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traffic Safety and Injury Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Rurality and Disadvantage on the Diagnostic Interval for Breast Cancer in a Large Population-Based Study of 3202 Women in Queensland, Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111156
Received: 7 September 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1325 | PDF Full-text (342 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Delays in diagnosing breast cancer (BC) can lead to poorer outcomes. We investigated factors related to the diagnostic interval in a population-based cohort of 3202 women diagnosed with BC in Queensland, Australia. Interviews ascertained method of detection and dates of medical/procedural appointments, and
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Delays in diagnosing breast cancer (BC) can lead to poorer outcomes. We investigated factors related to the diagnostic interval in a population-based cohort of 3202 women diagnosed with BC in Queensland, Australia. Interviews ascertained method of detection and dates of medical/procedural appointments, and clinical information was obtained from medical records. Time intervals were calculated from self-recognition of symptoms (symptom-detected) or mammogram (screen-detected) to diagnosis (diagnostic interval (DI)). The cohort included 1560 women with symptom-detected and 1642 with screen-detected BC. Symptom-detected women had higher odds of DI of >60 days if they were Indigenous (OR = 3.12, 95% CI = 1.40, 6.98); lived in outer regional (OR = 1.50, 95% CI = 1.09, 2.06) or remote locations (OR = 2.46, 95% CI = 1.39, 4.38); or presented with a “non-lump” symptom (OR = 1.84, 95% CI = 1.43, 2.36). For screen-detected BC, women who were Indigenous (OR = 2.36, 95% CI = 1.03, 5.80); lived in remote locations (OR = 2.35, 95% CI = 1.24, 4.44); or disadvantaged areas (OR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.17, 2.43) and attended a public screening facility (OR = 2.10, 95% CI = 1.40, 3.17) had higher odds of DI > 30 days. Our study indicates a disadvantage in terms of DI for rural, disadvantaged and Indigenous women. Difficulties in accessing primary care and diagnostic services are evident. There is a need to identify and implement an efficient and effective model of care to minimize avoidable longer diagnostic intervals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geographical Variation in Breast Cancer Outcomes)
Open AccessArticle Auditing the Immunization Data Quality from Routine Reports in Shangyu District, East China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1158; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111158
Received: 3 September 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract
Objective: To evaluate the immunization data quality in Shangyu District, East China. Methods: An audit for immunization data for the year 2014 was conducted in 20 vaccination clinics of Shangyu District. The consistency of immunization data was estimated by verification factors (VFs), which
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Objective: To evaluate the immunization data quality in Shangyu District, East China. Methods: An audit for immunization data for the year 2014 was conducted in 20 vaccination clinics of Shangyu District. The consistency of immunization data was estimated by verification factors (VFs), which was the proportion of vaccine doses reported as being administered that could be verified by written documentation at vaccination clinics. The quality of monitoring systems was evaluated using the quality index (QI). Results: The VFs of 20 vaccine doses ranged from 0.94 to 1.04 at the district level. The VFs for the 20 vaccination clinics ranged from 0.57 to 1.07. The VFs for Shangyu District was 0.98. The mean of total QI score of the 20 vaccination clinics was 80.32%. A significant correlation between the VFs of the 3rd dose of the diphtheria–tetanus–pertussis combined vaccine (DTP) and QI scores was observed at the vaccination clinic level. Conclusions: Deficiencies in data consistency and immunization reporting practice in Shangyu District were observed. Targeted measures are suggested to improve the quality of the immunization reporting system in vaccination clinics with poor data consistency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Respiratory Diseases in University Students Associated with Exposure to Residential Dampness or Mold
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1154; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111154
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 8 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract
University students are frequently exposed to residential dampness or mold (i.e., visible mold, mold odor, dampness, or water leaks), a well-known contributor to asthma, allergic rhinitis, and respiratory infections. This study aims to: (a) describe the prevalence of these respiratory diseases among university
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University students are frequently exposed to residential dampness or mold (i.e., visible mold, mold odor, dampness, or water leaks), a well-known contributor to asthma, allergic rhinitis, and respiratory infections. This study aims to: (a) describe the prevalence of these respiratory diseases among university students; and (b) examine the independent contribution of residential dampness or mold to these diseases. An online survey was conducted in March 2014 among the 26,676 students registered at the Université de Sherbrooke (Quebec, Canada). Validated questions and scores were used to assess self-reported respiratory diseases (i.e., asthma-like symptoms, allergic rhinitis, and respiratory infections), residential dampness or mold, and covariates (e.g., student characteristics). Using logistic regressions, the crude and adjusted odd ratios between residential dampness or mold and self-reported respiratory diseases were examined. Results from the participating students (n = 2097; response rate: 8.1%) showed high prevalence of allergic rhinitis (32.6%; 95% CI: 30.6–34.7), asthma-like symptoms (24.0%; 95% CI: 22.1–25.8) and respiratory infections (19.4%; 95% CI: 17.7–21.2). After adjustment, exposure to residential dampness or mold was associated with allergic rhinitis (OR: 1.25; 95% CI: 1.01–1.55) and asthma-like symptoms (OR: 1.70; 95% CI: 1.37–2.11), but not with respiratory infections (OR: 1.07; 95% CI: 0.85–1.36). Among symptomatic students, this exposure was also associated with uncontrolled and burdensome respiratory symptoms (p < 0.01). University students report a high prevalence of allergic rhinitis, asthma-like symptoms and respiratory infections. A common indoor hazard, residential dampness or mold, may play a role in increasing atopic respiratory diseases and their suboptimal control in young adults. These results emphasize the importance for public health organizations to tackle poor housing conditions, especially amongst university students who should be considered “at-risk”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Quality and Health 2016)
Open AccessArticle The Association of Serum Bisphenol A with Thyroid Autoimmunity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1153; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111153
Received: 8 September 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
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Abstract
Introduction: Data on the association of bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and autoimmunity in humans is unclear. Objective: To elucidate the influence of BPA on thyroid autoimmunity, in the present study we assessed the association between serum BPA and thyroid autoantibodies. Methods
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Introduction: Data on the association of bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and autoimmunity in humans is unclear. Objective: To elucidate the influence of BPA on thyroid autoimmunity, in the present study we assessed the association between serum BPA and thyroid autoantibodies. Methods: Serum samples from 2361 subjects, aged ≥15 years, from the Thai 4th National Health Examination Survey were measured for BPA, antithyroglobulin (TgAb), antithyroperoxidase (TPOAb) and antithyrotrophin receptor (TRAb) antibodies. Results: The proportion of subjects positive for TgAb, TPOAb and TRAb were 11.1%, 14.9% and 1.9%, respectively. With regard to BPA, 51.9% had serum BPA levels exceeding the detection limit of the assay (0.3). There was a significant increasing trend for subjects with TgAb (p < 0.05) and TPOAb (p < 0.001) positivity as BPA quartiles increased, particularly in the highest quartile. In contrast, no relationship between BPA quartiles and TRAb was found. Logistic regression analysis showed that age, gender and BPA quartiles were determinants of TPOAb or TgAb positivity, independent of BMI. However, only the association between BPA and TPOAb positivity was consistent in both men and women. Conclusions: BPA was independently associated with TPOAb positivity. However, its mechanism related to TPOAb positivity, subsequently leading to autoimmune thyroid disease, needs further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle An Indoor Monitoring System for Ambient Assisted Living Based on Internet of Things Architecture
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111152
Received: 23 July 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
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Abstract
The study of systems and architectures for ambient assisted living (AAL) is undoubtedly a topic of great relevance given the aging of the world population. The AAL technologies are designed to meet the needs of the aging population in order to maintain their
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The study of systems and architectures for ambient assisted living (AAL) is undoubtedly a topic of great relevance given the aging of the world population. The AAL technologies are designed to meet the needs of the aging population in order to maintain their independence as long as possible. As people typically spend more than 90% of their time in indoor environments, indoor air quality (iAQ) is perceived as an imperative variable to be controlled for the inhabitants’ wellbeing and comfort. Advances in networking, sensors, and embedded devices have made it possible to monitor and provide assistance to people in their homes. The continuous technological advancements make it possible to build smart objects with great capabilities for sensing and connecting several possible advancements in ambient assisted living systems architectures. Indoor environments are characterized by several pollutant sources. Most of the monitoring frameworks instantly accessible are exceptionally costly and only permit the gathering of arbitrary examples. iAQ is an indoor air quality system based on an Internet of Things paradigm that incorporates in its construction Arduino, ESP8266, and XBee technologies for processing and data transmission and micro sensors for data acquisition. It also allows access to data collected through web access and through a mobile application in real time, and this data can be accessed by doctors in order to support medical diagnostics. Five smaller scale sensors of natural parameters (air temperature, moistness, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and glow) were utilized. Different sensors can be included to check for particular contamination. The results reveal that the system can give a viable indoor air quality appraisal in order to anticipate technical interventions for improving indoor air quality. Indeed indoor air quality might be distinctively contrasted with what is normal for a quality living environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Quality and Health 2016)
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Open AccessEditorial Putting the Barker Theory into the Future: Time to Act on Preventing Pediatric Obesity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1151; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111151
Received: 26 October 2016 / Revised: 26 October 2016 / Accepted: 26 October 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
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Abstract
Growth and development are key characteristics of childhood and sensitive markers of health and adequate nutrition. The first 1000 days of life—conception through 24 months of age—represent a fundamental period for development and thus the prevention of childhood obesity and its adverse consequences
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Growth and development are key characteristics of childhood and sensitive markers of health and adequate nutrition. The first 1000 days of life—conception through 24 months of age—represent a fundamental period for development and thus the prevention of childhood obesity and its adverse consequences is mandatory. There are many growth drivers during this complex phase of life, such as nutrition, genetic and epigenetic factors, and hormonal regulation. The challenge thus involves maximizing the potential for normal growth without increasing the risk of associated disorders. The Mediterranean Nutrition Group (MeNu Group), a group of researchers of the Mediterranean Region, in this Special Issue titled “Prevent Obesity in the First 1000 Days”, presented results that advanced the science of obesity risk factors in early life, coming both from animal model studies and studies in humans. In the future, early-life intervention designs for the prevention of pediatric obesity will need to look at different strategies, and the MeNu Group is available for guidance regarding an appropriate conceptual framework to accomplish either prevention or treatment strategies to tackle pediatric obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Prevent Obesity in the First 1000 Days)
Open AccessArticle Structure, Spatial and Temporal Distribution of the Culex pipiens Complex in Shanghai, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1150; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111150
Received: 10 September 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
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Abstract
Background: Culex pipiens molestus was first reported in Shanghai in 2010. The population structures and seasonal distributions of Culex pipiens subspecies C. p. molestus, Culex pipiens pallens, and Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus are not well known. Methods: From late February to November
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Background: Culex pipiens molestus was first reported in Shanghai in 2010. The population structures and seasonal distributions of Culex pipiens subspecies C. p. molestus, Culex pipiens pallens, and Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus are not well known. Methods: From late February to November 2013, we conducted daily field surveillance of mosquitoes at eight sites at two green lands and three residential areas in downtown Shanghai. Morphological comparison and DV/D ratios (DV/D is an indicator of mosquito taxonomy) were used to identify adult mosquitoes. Results: The distribution curves of the Culex pipiens complex members indicated seasonal fluctuations. The temperature range of 20–25 °C was the most suitable for adult activity. Micro-environmental factors may differentiate the complex population structures. Hybridization between C. p. pallens and C. p. quinquefasciatus was common and neither “DV/D = 0.40” nor “DV/D = 0.50” can distinguish these subspecies and their hybrids. Conclusion: the population structure of the Culex pipiens complex is complex and characterized by significant hybridization. Measures other than DV/D ratios are needed for the discrimination of subspecies. The C. p. molestus invasion might result in the transmission of novel vector-borne diseases in Shanghai. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sub-Acute Toxicity Study of Graphene Oxide in the Sprague-Dawley Rat
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1149; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111149
Received: 1 July 2016 / Revised: 17 October 2016 / Accepted: 7 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
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Abstract
Graphene oxide (GO) is an oxidized derivative of graphene used in biotechnology and medicine. The safety of GO is uncertain, so we evaluated its toxicity in male rats. Rat tail veins were injected with 2.5, 5, or 10 mg/kg GO for seven days
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Graphene oxide (GO) is an oxidized derivative of graphene used in biotechnology and medicine. The safety of GO is uncertain, so we evaluated its toxicity in male rats. Rat tail veins were injected with 2.5, 5, or 10 mg/kg GO for seven days and behavioral patterns, pathology, and tissue morphology were assessed. Data show that behaviors were not altered according to an open field test and a functional observational battery test, but histopathological analysis indicated that GO caused inflammation of the lung, liver, and spleen. GO also reduced cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL), and low density lipoprotein (LDL). No other organs were modified. Thus, high concentrations of GO are toxic for the lung, liver, and spleen, but the mechanism by which this occurs requires more study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Neurotoxicology)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Secular Trends in Cervical Cancer Mortality in China and the United States: An Age-Period-Cohort Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111148
Received: 2 July 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
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Abstract
Background: As one of the most common cancers in the female population, cervical cancer has ranked as the second most incident gynecological cancer in recent years, trailing only breast cancer. We aimed to assess and compare the secular trends in cervical cancer
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Background: As one of the most common cancers in the female population, cervical cancer has ranked as the second most incident gynecological cancer in recent years, trailing only breast cancer. We aimed to assess and compare the secular trends in cervical cancer mortality in China and the United States and analyze the independent effects of chronological age, time period and birth cohort using age-period-cohort (APC) analysis. Methods: We performed an age-period-cohort analysis using the intrinsic estimator method to estimate the independent effects of age, time period, and birth cohort on cervical cancer mortality. We collected mortality data for China and the United States from the WHO Mortality Database and China Health Statistical Yearbook database. Results: We examined the general trends in cervical mortality rates in China and the United States during the periods 1988–2012 and 1953–2012, respectively. The age-standardized mortality rates (ASMRs) for cervical cancer in urban China, rural China and the U.S. showed a general decreasing trend during the observation period, except for urban China, which experienced a significant increase beginning in 2002. The mortality rates for cervical cancer in the three areas showed a general increasing trend with age, regardless of the period effect. Period effects declined steadily in both rural China (from 0.19 to −0.26) and the U.S. (from −0.20 to −0.43); however, a slight increasing trend was identified (from −0.25 to 0.33) in urban China, which indicated that the risk of mortality increased with time. Cohort effects peaked in the cohort born in 1911–1915 in both rural China and urban China, declined consistently in the cohort born before 1950, and then decreased again in the cohort born after 1976–1980. The cohort effect in the U.S. peaked in the birth cohort born in 1876–1880, then leveled off and slightly decreased in younger generations. Conclusions: Our study showed that in general, cervical cancer mortality rates increased with age and decreased with birth cohort in the U.S., while the risk of mortality was highest in the cohort born during 1946–1975 in urban China. Additionally, the risk of mortality consistently increased with age in women younger than 64 years old in urban and rural China and began to decline in older groups. Although the age and cohort effects were relatively strong, the period effect may be the key factor affecting cervical cancer mortality trends, mainly reflecting the immediate effects of effective treatment and the implementation of screening. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Safety Attitudes of Senior Managers in the Chinese Coal Industry
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111147
Received: 11 August 2016 / Revised: 19 October 2016 / Accepted: 8 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
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Abstract
Introduction: Senior managers’ attitudes towards safety are very important regarding the safety practices in an organization. The study is to describe the current situation of senior managers′ attitudes towards safety in the Chinese coal industry. Method: We evaluated the changing trends as
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Introduction: Senior managers’ attitudes towards safety are very important regarding the safety practices in an organization. The study is to describe the current situation of senior managers′ attitudes towards safety in the Chinese coal industry. Method: We evaluated the changing trends as well as the reasons for these changes in the Chinese coal industry in 2009 and in 2014 with 168 senior manager samples from large Chinese state-owned coal enterprises. Evaluations of 15 safety concepts were performed by means of a questionnaire. Results and Conclusions: Results indicate that, in 2014, three concepts were at a very high level (mean > 4.5), and six were at a relatively high level (4.5 > mean > 4.0). Analyses of changing trends revealed that nine concepts improved significantly, while four greatly declined in 2014 compared to those in 2009. The data reported here suggest that the reasons for the significant improvement with respect to the nine concepts include the improvement in social and legal environments, the improvement of the culture of social safety, workers′ safety demands being met, and scientific and technical advances in the coal industry. The decline of the four concepts seemed to be caused by a poor awareness of managers in the coal industry that safety creates economic benefits, insufficient information on safety, inadequate attention to the development of a safety culture and safety management methods, and safety organizations and workers′ unions not playing their role effectively. Practical Applications: We therefore recommend strengthening the evidence that safety creates economic benefits, providing incentives for employees to encourage their participation in safety management, and paying more attention to the prevention of accidents in coal mines via safety organizations and unions. These results can provide guidelines for workers, industrialists, and government regarding occupational safety in the whole coal industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effecting a Safe and Healthy Environment in Construction)
Open AccessReview Bacterial Biotransformation of Pentachlorophenol and Micropollutants Formed during Its Production Process
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111146
Received: 16 September 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 8 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
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Abstract
Pentachlorophenol (PCP) is a toxic and persistent wood and cellulose preservative extensively used in the past decades. The production process of PCP generates polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) as micropollutants. PCDD/Fs are also known to be very persistent and dangerous
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Pentachlorophenol (PCP) is a toxic and persistent wood and cellulose preservative extensively used in the past decades. The production process of PCP generates polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) as micropollutants. PCDD/Fs are also known to be very persistent and dangerous for human health and ecosystem functioning. Several physico-chemical and biological technologies have been used to remove PCP and PCDD/Fs from the environment. Bacterial degradation appears to be a cost-effective way of removing these contaminants from soil while causing little impact on the environment. Several bacteria that cometabolize or use these pollutants as their sole source of carbon have been isolated and characterized. This review summarizes current knowledge on the metabolic pathways of bacterial degradation of PCP and PCDD/Fs. PCP can be successfully degraded aerobically or anaerobically by bacteria. Highly chlorinated PCDD/Fs are more likely to be reductively dechlorinated, while less chlorinated PCDD/Fs are more prone to aerobic degradation. The biochemical and genetic basis of these pollutants’ degradation is also described. There are several documented studies of effective applications of bioremediation techniques for the removal of PCP and PCDD/Fs from soil and sediments. These findings suggest that biodegradation can occur and be applied to treat these contaminants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Semiparametric Multinomial Ordinal Model to Analyze Spatial Patterns of Child Birth Weight in Nigeria
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111145
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 24 October 2016 / Accepted: 2 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
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Abstract
Background: Birth weight is an important health parameter for obstetricians and gynaecologists. It is a good health indicator of a child-bearing mother and a strong predictor of infant morbidity and mortality. Methods: This paper utilizes data on 28,647 children born between
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Background: Birth weight is an important health parameter for obstetricians and gynaecologists. It is a good health indicator of a child-bearing mother and a strong predictor of infant morbidity and mortality. Methods: This paper utilizes data on 28,647 children born between 2003–2008 obtained from the 2008 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). For a simple epidemiological convenience, the occurrence of a newborn weight can intuitively be considered to be categorical in nature and the thresholds can be put on a continuous scale. In survey reporting, the mothers frequently estimate their infant’s birth weight and make a classification in ordinal category (low, normal, large) instead of actual birth weight. The study fits a multinomial regression model to analyze the relationships between the polytomous response and different kind of covariates in a unified manner. We estimate the fixed effects of bio-social covariates parametrically and the non-linear effect modeled using P-spline. The spatial component was modeled using conditional autoregressive error. A penalized maximum likelihood estimation was performed to estimate the model parameters. Results: We found risk factors that are positively associated with low birth weight, which include multiple birth, short birth interval, death of sibling, childhood diarrhea, fever, mother’s smoking, firewood/dung cooking and poor household. Results further showed that iron syrup supplementation, antenatal attendance, mother literacy and household wealth had significant association with low probability of low birth weight. The finding also showed spatial patterns, which are not captured by the underlying determinants, and we produced probability predictive maps of the spatial residual effects. Conclusions: In addition to the statistical relevance of our method, the generated spatial maps identify highly endemic areas of low birth weight that can assist government agency to channel scarce health resources. A comprehensive approach which institutes a combination of interventions to improve the overall health care of the women is needed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Asian Dust Particles on the Early-Stage Antigen-Induced Immune Response of Asthma in NC/Nga Mice
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111144
Received: 6 October 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 16 November 2016
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Abstract
Asian dust (AD) can aggravate airway inflammation in asthma, but the association between AD and the development of asthma remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the effects of AD on the early stage of antigen sensitization using a mouse model of asthma,
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Asian dust (AD) can aggravate airway inflammation in asthma, but the association between AD and the development of asthma remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the effects of AD on the early stage of antigen sensitization using a mouse model of asthma, as well as the role of leukotrienes (LTs) in antigen-induced airway inflammation potentiated by AD particles. NC/Nga mice were co-sensitized by intranasal instillation of AD particles and/or Dermatophagoides farinae (Df) for five consecutive days. Df-sensitized mice were stimulated with an intranasal Df challenge at seven days. Mice were treated with the type 1 cysteinyl LT (CysLT1) receptor antagonist orally 4 h before and 1 h after the allergen challenge. At 24 h post-challenge, the differential leukocyte count, inflammatory cytokines, and LTs in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were assessed, and airway inflammation was evaluated histopathologically. AD augmented neutrophilic and eosinophilic airway inflammation with increased CysLTs and dihydroxy-LT in a mouse model of asthma. The CysLT1 receptor antagonist was shown to attenuate both neutrophilic and eosinophilic airway inflammation augmented by AD. Therefore, exposure to AD may be associated with the development of asthma and LTs may play important roles in airway inflammation augmented by AD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Whole of Systems Trial of Prevention Strategies for Childhood Obesity: WHO STOPS Childhood Obesity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111143
Received: 18 October 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 16 November 2016
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Abstract
Background: Community-based initiatives show promise for preventing childhood obesity. They are characterized by community leaders and members working together to address complex local drivers of energy balance. Objectives: To present a protocol for a stepped wedge cluster randomized trial in ten
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Background: Community-based initiatives show promise for preventing childhood obesity. They are characterized by community leaders and members working together to address complex local drivers of energy balance. Objectives: To present a protocol for a stepped wedge cluster randomized trial in ten communities in the Great South Coast Region of Victoria, Australia to test whether it is possible to: (1) strengthen community action for childhood obesity prevention, and (2) measure the impact of increased action on risk factors for childhood obesity. Methods: The WHO STOPS intervention involves a facilitated community engagement process that: creates an agreed systems map of childhood obesity causes for a community; identifies intervention opportunities through leveraging the dynamic aspects of the system; and, converts these understandings into community-built, systems-oriented action plans. Ten communities will be randomized (1:1) to intervention or control in year one and all communities will be included by year three. The primary outcome is childhood obesity prevalence among grade two (ages 7–8 y), grade four (9–10 y) and grade six (11–12 y) students measured using our established community-led monitoring system (69% school and 93% student participation rate in government and independent schools). An additional group of 13 external communities from other regions of Victoria with no specific interventions will provide an external comparison. These communities will also allow us to assess diffusion of the intervention to control communities during the first three years of the trial. Conclusion: This trial will test effectiveness, over a five-year period, of community-owned, -supported and -led strategies designed to address complex and dynamic causes of childhood obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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