Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 13, Issue 3 (March 2016)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-107
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle Nutrient Intake and Depression Symptoms in Spanish Children: The ANIVA Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030352
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2260 | PDF Full-text (460 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between nutritional intake and depressive symptoms in Valencian schoolchildren. The ANIVA (Antropometria y Nutricion Infantil de Valencia) study is a descriptive cross-sectional study. During academic year 2013–2014, 710 schoolchildren aged 6–9
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between nutritional intake and depressive symptoms in Valencian schoolchildren. The ANIVA (Antropometria y Nutricion Infantil de Valencia) study is a descriptive cross-sectional study. During academic year 2013–2014, 710 schoolchildren aged 6–9 years were selected from eleven primary schools in Valencia (Spain). Children’s dietary intake was measured on three-day food records, completed by parents/guardians; children completed the 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC) Questionnaire to measure depressive symptoms. Weight, height, and body mass index (BMI), and z-scores were evaluated in all subjects. Nutrient adequacy was assessed using Spanish dietary recommended intakes (DRIs); 20.70% of the sample presented depressive symptoms. We identified a positive association between children with depressive symptoms and non-depressive symptoms for thiamin, vitamin K, and bromine (p < 0.05), and a negative association for protein, carbohydrates, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 and E, zinc, manganese, cobalt, and aluminum (p < 0.05). Statistically significant differences were found between both groups according to the DRIs for intakes of total energy (p = 0.026), fiber (p < 0.001), vitamin C (p < 0.001), vitamin E (p = 0.004), magnesium (p = 0.018), and iron (p = 0.013). Our results demonstrated that carbohydrates were the most closely associated factor with depressive symptoms, and highlight the potential significant public health implications of inadequate nutritional intake on schoolchildren’s mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Adolescents and Nutrition)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Asphalt Pavement Construction: A Case Study in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030351
Received: 27 January 2016 / Revised: 29 February 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2665 | PDF Full-text (3303 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In China, the construction of asphalt pavement has a significant impact on the environment, and energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from asphalt pavement construction have been receiving increasing attention in recent years. At present, there is no universal criterion for the
[...] Read more.
In China, the construction of asphalt pavement has a significant impact on the environment, and energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from asphalt pavement construction have been receiving increasing attention in recent years. At present, there is no universal criterion for the evaluation of GHG emissions in asphalt pavement construction. This paper proposes to define the system boundaries for GHG emissions from asphalt pavement by using a process-based life cycle assessment method. A method for evaluating GHG emissions from asphalt pavement construction is suggested. The paper reports a case study of GHG emissions from a typical asphalt pavement construction project in China. The results show that the greenhouse gas emissions from the mixture mixing phase are the highest, and account for about 54% of the total amount. The second highest GHG emission phase is the production of raw materials. For GHG emissions of cement stabilized base/subbase, the production of raw materials emits the most, about 98%. The GHG emission for cement production alone is about 92%. The results indicate that any measures to reduce GHG emissions from asphalt pavement construction should be focused on the raw materials manufacturing stage. If the raw materials production phase is excluded, the measures to reduce GHG emissions should be aimed at the mixture mixing phase. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Direct Quantification of Rare Earth Elements Concentrations in Urine of Workers Manufacturing Cerium, Lanthanum Oxide Ultrafine and Nanoparticles by a Developed and Validated ICP-MS
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030350
Received: 18 December 2015 / Revised: 13 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1525 | PDF Full-text (855 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rare earth elements (REEs) have undergone a steady spread in several industrial, agriculture and medical applications. With the aim of exploring a sensitive and reliable indicator of estimating exposure level to REEs, a simple, accurate and specific ICP-MS method for simultaneous direct quantification
[...] Read more.
Rare earth elements (REEs) have undergone a steady spread in several industrial, agriculture and medical applications. With the aim of exploring a sensitive and reliable indicator of estimating exposure level to REEs, a simple, accurate and specific ICP-MS method for simultaneous direct quantification of 15 REEs (89Y, 139La, 140Ce, 141Pr, 146Nd, 147Sm, 153Eu, 157Gd, 159Tb, 163Dy, 165Ho, 166Er, 169Tm, 172Yb and 175Lu) in human urine has been developed and validated. The method showed good linearity for all REEs in human urine in the concentrations ranging from 0.001–1.000 μg∙L−1 with r2 > 0.997. The limits of detection and quantification for this method were in the range of 0.009–0.010 μg∙L−1 and 0.029–0.037 μg∙L−1, the recoveries on spiked samples of the 15 REEs ranged from 93.3% to 103.0% and the relative percentage differences were less than 6.2% in duplicate samples, and the intra- and inter-day variations of the analysis were less than 1.28% and less than 0.85% for all REEs, respectively. The developed method was successfully applied to the determination of 15 REEs in 31 urine samples obtained from the control subjects and the workers engaged in work with manufacturing of ultrafine and nanoparticles containing cerium and lanthanum oxide. The results suggested that only the urinary levels of La (1.234 ± 0.626 μg∙L−1), Ce (1.492 ± 0.995 μg∙L−1), Nd (0.014 ± 0.009 μg∙L−1) and Gd (0.023 ± 0.010 μg∙L−1) among the exposed workers were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than the levels measured in the control subjects. From these, La and Ce were the primary components, and accounted for 88% of the total REEs. Lanthanum comprised 27% of the total REEs while Ce made up the majority of REE content at 61%. The remaining elements only made up 1% each, with the exception of Dy which was not detected. Comparison with the previously published data, the levels of urinary La and Ce in workers and the control subjects show a higher trend than previous reports. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Enantioselective Determination of Polycyclic Musks in River and Wastewater by GC/MS/MS
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030349
Received: 12 January 2016 / Revised: 17 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1375 | PDF Full-text (1143 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The separation of chiral compounds is an interesting and challenging topic in analytical chemistry, especially in environmental fields. Enantioselective degradation or bioaccumulation has been observed for several chiral pollutants. Polycyclic musks are chiral and are widely used as fragrances in a variety of
[...] Read more.
The separation of chiral compounds is an interesting and challenging topic in analytical chemistry, especially in environmental fields. Enantioselective degradation or bioaccumulation has been observed for several chiral pollutants. Polycyclic musks are chiral and are widely used as fragrances in a variety of personal care products such as soaps, shampoos, cosmetics and perfumes. In this study, the gas chromatographic separation of chiral polycyclic musks, 1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethylcyclo-penta-γ-2-benzopyrane (HHCB), 7-acetyl-1,1,3,4,4,6-hexamethyl-1,2,3,4-tetra-hydronaphthalene (AHTN), 6-acetyl-1,1,2,3,3,5-hexamethylindane (AHDI), 5-acetyl-1,1,2,6-tetramethyl-3-iso-propylindane (ATII), and 6,7-dihydro-1,1,2,3,3-pentamethyl-4(5H)-indanone (DPMI) was achieved on modified cyclodextrin stationary phase (heptakis (2,3-di-O-methyl-6-O-tert-butyl-dimethylsilyl-β-CD in DV-1701)). Separation techniques are coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (MS-MS), as it provides the sensitivity and selectivity needed. River and wastewaters (influents and effluents of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs)) in the Nakdong River were investigated with regard to the concentrations and the enantiomeric ratios of polycyclic musks. HHCB was most frequently detected in river and wastewaters, and an enantiomeric enrichment was observed in the effluents of one of the investigated wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). We reported the contamination of river and wastewaters in Korea by chiral polycyclic musks. The results of this investigation suggest that enantioselective transformation may occur during wastewater treatment. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Effects of Coarse Particles on Daily Mortality: A Case-Crossover Study in a Subtropical City, Taipei, Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030347
Received: 1 December 2015 / Revised: 11 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1290 | PDF Full-text (460 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many studies have examined the effects of air pollution on daily mortality over the past two decades. However, information on the relationship between levels of coarse particles (PM2.5–10) and daily mortality is relatively sparse due to the limited availability of monitoring
[...] Read more.
Many studies have examined the effects of air pollution on daily mortality over the past two decades. However, information on the relationship between levels of coarse particles (PM2.5–10) and daily mortality is relatively sparse due to the limited availability of monitoring data. Furthermore, the results are inconsistent. In the current study, the association between coarse particle levels and daily mortality in Taipei, Taiwan’s largest city, which has a subtropical climate, was undertaken for the period 2006–2008 using a time-stratified case-crossover analysis. For the single pollutant model (without adjustment for other pollutants), PM2.5–10 showed statistically significant association with total mortality both on warm and cool days, with an interquartile range increase associated with a 11% (95% CI = 6%–17%) and 4% (95% CI = 1%–7%) rise in number of total deaths, respectively. In two-pollutant models, PM2.5–10 remained significant effects on total mortality after the inclusion of SO2 and O3 both on warm and cool days. We observed no significant associations between PM2.5–10 and daily mortality from respiratory diseases both on warm and cool days. For daily mortality from circulatory diseases, the effect of PM2.5–10 remained significant when SO2 or O3 was added in the regression model both on warm and cool days. Future studies of this type in cities with varying climates and cultures are needed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Predicting the Cytotoxic Potency of Cigarette Smoke by Assessing the Thioredoxin Reductase Inhibitory Capacity of Cigarette Smoke Extract
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030348
Received: 25 February 2016 / Revised: 15 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 21 March 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1472 | PDF Full-text (2103 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study investigated the influence of the cigarette smoke extract (CSE) on mammalian thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) activity. TrxR is a selenoenzyme with a selenocysteine (Sec) residue exposed on the enzyme’s surface. This unique Sec residue is particularly susceptible to modification by numerous
[...] Read more.
The present study investigated the influence of the cigarette smoke extract (CSE) on mammalian thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) activity. TrxR is a selenoenzyme with a selenocysteine (Sec) residue exposed on the enzyme’s surface. This unique Sec residue is particularly susceptible to modification by numerous types of electrophiles, leading to inactivation of TrxR and consequent cytotoxicity. Cigarette smoke contains various electrophiles, and the present study showed that CSE could inhibit intracellular TrxR through causing crosslinking and alkylation of TrxR1. TrxR inhibitory capacities of various CSEs were evaluated by using mouse-liver homogenate. Among the CSEs prepared from 18 commercial cigarette brands, TrxR inhibitory capacities of the maximum and the minimum had a 2.5-fold difference. Importantly, CSE’s inhibitory capacity greatly paralleled its cytotoxic potency in all cell lines used. Compared to cytotoxic assays, which have been widely used for evaluating cigarette toxicity but are not suitable for simultaneously examining a large number of cigarette samples, the present method was simple and rapid with a high-throughput feature and thus could be used as an auxiliary means to predict the cytotoxicity of a large number of cigarette samples, making it possible to extensively screen numerous agricultural and industrial measures that potentially affect cigarette safety. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Health Risks Associated with Oil Pollution in the Niger Delta, Nigeria
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030346
Received: 29 January 2016 / Revised: 28 February 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 21 March 2016
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1942 | PDF Full-text (352 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Although there is considerable public concern about the environmental impacts of oil pollution in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, actual evidence on the pathological and psychological effects in the health of local communities is minimally known. We sought to associate the
[...] Read more.
Background: Although there is considerable public concern about the environmental impacts of oil pollution in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, actual evidence on the pathological and psychological effects in the health of local communities is minimally known. We sought to associate the perspective measures of exposure to oil pollution with health outcomes (inventory of health symptoms and functional capacity limitations) and determine how emotional reactions to environmental risks moderate these health outcomes. Method: The study was conducted with 600 participants selected from five local government areas in Akwa Ibom State where oil pollution is rampant. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the data on the respondents’ exposure to oil pollution, self-rated health and disease symptoms, perception of risk of exposure and emotional reactions to local oil pollution. Results: Most of the participants lived in areas with visible oil pollution and/or near gas flaring facilities and regularly suffered direct exposure to oil in their environment. High level of emotional distress was a part of everyone's life for the study population. Risk perception in the study area was mediated, to a large extent, by dreaded hazards (catastrophic fears of pipeline explosions and oil spill fire), visual cues (gas flares and smoke stacks) and chemosensory cues (off-flavor in drinking water). The exposure metrics were found to be significant predictors of the health effects and influencing factors (emotional reactions). Multi-levels models suggest that at the individual level, the demographic variables and direct contact with oil pollution were important mediators of functional capacity limitation. At the community level, emotional distress from fear of the sources of exposure was an important mediator of the health symptoms. Conclusions: This study documents high levels of disease symptoms and environmental distress (worry, annoyance and intolerance) associated with oil pollution in the Niger Delta areas of Nigeria. It highlights the need for some intervention to ameliorate the psychological distress associated with living under such environmental adversity. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Nonlinear Trends and Non-Stationary Oscillations of Regional Precipitation in Xinjiang, Northwestern China, Using Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030345
Received: 3 December 2015 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 21 March 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1801 | PDF Full-text (3461 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Changes in precipitation could have crucial influences on the regional water resources in arid regions such as Xinjiang. It is necessary to understand the intrinsic multi-scale variations of precipitation in different parts of Xinjiang in the context of climate change. In this study,
[...] Read more.
Changes in precipitation could have crucial influences on the regional water resources in arid regions such as Xinjiang. It is necessary to understand the intrinsic multi-scale variations of precipitation in different parts of Xinjiang in the context of climate change. In this study, based on precipitation data from 53 meteorological stations in Xinjiang during 1960–2012, we investigated the intrinsic multi-scale characteristics of precipitation variability using an adaptive method named ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD). Obvious non-linear upward trends in precipitation were found in the north, south, east and the entire Xinjiang. Changes in precipitation in Xinjiang exhibited significant inter-annual scale (quasi-2 and quasi-6 years) and inter-decadal scale (quasi-12 and quasi-23 years). Moreover, the 2–3-year quasi-periodic fluctuation was dominant in regional precipitation and the inter-annual variation had a considerable effect on the regional-scale precipitation variation in Xinjiang. We also found that there were distinctive spatial differences in variation trends and turning points of precipitation in Xinjiang. The results of this study indicated that compared to traditional decomposition methods, the EEMD method, without using any a priori determined basis functions, could effectively extract the reliable multi-scale fluctuations and reveal the intrinsic oscillation properties of climate elements. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Do Climate Change Policies Promote or Conflict with Subjective Wellbeing: A Case Study of Suzhou, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030344
Received: 29 January 2016 / Revised: 9 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 21 March 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1814 | PDF Full-text (751 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
As public expectations for health rise, health measurements broaden from a focus on death, disease, and disability to wellbeing. However, wellbeing hasn’t been incorporated into the framework of climate change policy decision-making in Chinese cities. Based on survey data (n = 763)
[...] Read more.
As public expectations for health rise, health measurements broaden from a focus on death, disease, and disability to wellbeing. However, wellbeing hasn’t been incorporated into the framework of climate change policy decision-making in Chinese cities. Based on survey data (n = 763) from Suzhou, this study used Generalized Estimation Equation approach to model external conditions associated with wellbeing. Then, semi-quantitative analyses were conducted to provide a first indication to whether local climate change policies promote or conflict with wellbeing through altering these conditions. Our findings suggested: (i) Socio-demographic (age, job satisfaction, health), psychosocial (satisfaction with social life, ontological security/resilience) and environmental conditions (distance to busy road, noise annoyance and range hoods in the kitchen) were significantly associated with wellbeing; (ii) None of existing climate change strategies in Suzhou conflict with wellbeing. Three mitigation policies (promotion of tertiary and high–tech industry, increased renewable energy in buildings, and restrictions on car use) and one adaption policy (increasing resilience) brought positive co–benefits for wellbeing, through the availability of high-satisfied jobs, reduced dependence on range hoods, noise reduction, and valuing citizens, respectively. This study also provided implications for other similar Chinese cities that potential consequences of climate change interventions for wellbeing should be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle EQ-5D-5L in the General German Population: Comparison and Evaluation of Three Yearly Cross-Section Surveys
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030343
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 19 February 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 21 March 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1982 | PDF Full-text (1295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is a key measure for evaluating health status in populations. Using the recent EQ-5D-5L for measurement, this study analyzed quality of life results and their stability over consecutive population surveys. Three cross-section surveys for representative samples of the
[...] Read more.
Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is a key measure for evaluating health status in populations. Using the recent EQ-5D-5L for measurement, this study analyzed quality of life results and their stability over consecutive population surveys. Three cross-section surveys for representative samples of the general German population from 2012, 2013, and 2014 were evaluated using the EQ-5D-5L descriptive system and valuation by the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Aggregated sample size reached 6074. The dimension with the highest prevalence of problems was pain/discomfort (31.7%). Compared with 2012 (59.3%), the percentage of participants in the best health state increased slightly in 2013 (63.4%) and 2014 (62%). Over the 3-year period, diabetes and heart disease had the strongest negative influence on mean VAS result. The number of reported chronic diseases cumulatively reduced mean VAS. Extreme problems in one or more dimensions were stated by only 0.1%–0.2% of patients. Of the potential 247 health states with a problem score ≥20, only six were observed in the aggregated sample. HRQoL results were fairly stable over the 3 years, but the share of the population with no problems was not. Results from the aggregated sample may serve as updated reference values for the general German population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Diseases and Multimorbidity in Primary Care)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Heavy Metal Accumulation is Associated with Molecular and Pathological Perturbations in Liver of Variola louti from the Jeddah Coast of Red Sea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030342
Received: 27 January 2016 / Revised: 7 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 21 March 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1750 | PDF Full-text (2498 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Large amounts of waste water are discharged daily from the Jeddah Metropolitan Area into the Red Sea. Sewage draining into the Red Sea causes widespread chemical pollution that is toxic to aquatic ecosystems. The objective of this study was to investigate the extent
[...] Read more.
Large amounts of waste water are discharged daily from the Jeddah Metropolitan Area into the Red Sea. Sewage draining into the Red Sea causes widespread chemical pollution that is toxic to aquatic ecosystems. The objective of this study was to investigate the extent of pollution and assess the presence of heavy metals in fish tissue and study their association with biological and biochemical alterations. The average concentrations of heavy metals found in hepatic tissues of Variola louti fish from the polluted area, namely Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe and Zn, were 1.74, 9.69, 47.48, 4020.01 and 229.47 µg/g liver, respectively, that were significantly higher than that of samples taken from reference area (0.24, 1.98, 20.12, 721.93, 129.21 µg/g liver, respectively). The fold change of heavy metals in fish from the polluted area with respect of that of the reference area followed the order Cd > Fe > Cr > Cu > Zn. Analysis of nuclear DNA revealed that hepatic tissues of fish samples from the polluted area showed a significant increase in apoptotic cells as detected by flow cytometry and formation DNA-ladder. In addition, hepatic sections from polluted area fishes showed more fibrotic changes and collagen deposition by hematoxylin-eosin staining and Masson’s trichrome staining, respectively, compared to samples taken from the reference area. Moreover, the electrophoretic patterns of proteins of liver of fishes caught at the polluted area showed different patterns of proteins from that of the reference with bands at 42, 130 and 140 kDa, which is in a good agreement with the molecular weight of collagen type III. In conclusion, there were significant changes in the tissues of fishes in the polluted area at the cellular and the molecular levels that may be associated with an accumulation of heavy metals. Assessment of fishes as a sensitive biomonitor for the pollution of surface waters that may affect general health of human and wild life is conceivable. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effects of Air Pollution on Hospital Emergency Room Visits for Respiratory Diseases: Urban-Suburban Differences in Eastern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030341
Received: 26 January 2016 / Revised: 11 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 19 March 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2061 | PDF Full-text (2178 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A study on the relationships between ambient air pollutants (PM2.5, SO2 and NO2) and hospital emergency room visits (ERVs) for respiratory diseases from 2013 to 2014 was performed in both urban and suburban areas of Jinan, a heavily
[...] Read more.
A study on the relationships between ambient air pollutants (PM2.5, SO2 and NO2) and hospital emergency room visits (ERVs) for respiratory diseases from 2013 to 2014 was performed in both urban and suburban areas of Jinan, a heavily air-polluted city in Eastern China. This research was analyzed using generalized additive models (GAM) with Poisson regression, which controls for long-time trends, the “day of the week” effect and meteorological parameters. An increase of 10 μg/m3 in PM2.5, SO2 and NO2 corresponded to a 1.4% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.7%, 2.1%), 1.2% (95% CI: 0.5%, 1.9%), and 2.5% (95%: 0.8%, 4.2%) growth in ERVs for the urban population, respectively, and a 1.5% (95%: 0.4%, 2.6%), 0.8% (95%: −0.7%, 2.3%), and 3.1% (95%: 0.5%, 5.7%) rise in ERVs for the suburban population, respectively. It was found that females were more susceptible than males to air pollution in the urban area when the analysis was stratified by gender, and the reverse result was seen in the suburban area. Our results suggest that the increase in ERVs for respiratory illnesses is linked to the levels of air pollutants in Jinan, and there may be some urban-suburban discrepancies in health outcomes from air pollutant exposure. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Association of Sociodemographic and Perceived Environmental Factors with Public Bicycle Use among Taiwanese Urban Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030340
Received: 18 February 2016 / Revised: 15 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 19 March 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1439 | PDF Full-text (274 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: This study examined the sociodemographic and perceived environmental factors associated with public bicycle use among Taiwanese urban adults. Methods: A random-digit-dialing telephone-based cross-sectional survey was administered to Taiwanese urban adults aged 20–64 years in 2015. Data on sociodemographic variables, perceived
[...] Read more.
Background: This study examined the sociodemographic and perceived environmental factors associated with public bicycle use among Taiwanese urban adults. Methods: A random-digit-dialing telephone-based cross-sectional survey was administered to Taiwanese urban adults aged 20–64 years in 2015. Data on sociodemographic variables, perceived environmental factors (for attributes identified in the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Environmental Module), and public bicycle use were obtained from 1002 adults in three cities. Adjusted logistic regression was used. Results: After adjustment for potential confounders, the results showed that adults aged 20–29 years (odds ratio (OR) = 4.42) with a university degree or higher (OR = 2.03) were more likely to use public bicycles. In addition, adults living in Kaohsiung City were less likely to use public bicycles (OR = 0.24). Adults who saw people being active (OR = 1.76; 95% CI: 1.05–2.86) and had positive aesthetic experiences of their environment (OR = 1.69) were more likely to use public bicycles. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that seeing physically active people and positive aesthetic perceptions of the environment are key factors for developing transportation policies and intervention strategies for promoting public bicycle use among Taiwanese urban adults. Full article
Open AccessArticle Work-Recreation Balance, Health-Promoting Lifestyles and Suboptimal Health Status in Southern China: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030339
Received: 16 December 2015 / Revised: 23 February 2016 / Accepted: 10 March 2016 / Published: 19 March 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2305 | PDF Full-text (314 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Suboptimal health status (SHS)—an intermediate state between health and illness—refers to functional somatic symptoms that are medically undiagnosed. Although SHS has become a great challenge for global public health, very little about its etiology and mechanisms are known. Work-recreation balance is a part
[...] Read more.
Suboptimal health status (SHS)—an intermediate state between health and illness—refers to functional somatic symptoms that are medically undiagnosed. Although SHS has become a great challenge for global public health, very little about its etiology and mechanisms are known. Work-recreation balance is a part of work−life balance, and is related to stress which greatly influences health status. We therefore carried out a cross-sectional investigation between 2012 and 2013 within a clustered sample of 24,475 individuals aged 15−60 years from a population in southern China. In so doing, we hoped to illuminate the associations between work-recreation balance conditions, healthy lifestyles, and SHS. Work-recreation balance conditions were categorically defined by frequency (“rarely, sometimes, or always”). Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile (HPLP-II) was used to evaluate the level of healthy lifestyles, and the medical examination report and Sub-Health Measurement Scale V1.0 (SHMS V1.0) were both used to evaluate health status. The ratio of SHS (46.3%) is higher than health status (18.4%) or disease status (35.3%). Overall, 4.9% of respondents reported the lowest level of work-recreation balance, and they scored lower on both the HPLP-II and SHMS V1.0 compared with those who frequently maintained a work-recreation balance. Significant association was found between work-recreation balance behaviors and healthy lifestyles (p < 0.001) after demographic adjustment. In comparison with those reporting a frequent work-recreation balance, individuals whose work-recreation balance was categorically “rare” were 1.69 times as likely to develop SHS (odds ratio (OR): 1.69, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.49–1.92), and those with infrequent work-recreation balance (“sometimes”) were 1.71 times more likely to develop SHS (OR: 1.71, 95% CI: 1.62–1.81). These findings suggest that work-recreation balance conditions are significantly associated with, and seem to be accurate behavioral indicia of a healthy lifestyle. Poor work-recreation balance is associated with increased risk for SHS; thus, a healthier lifestyle that maintains a work-recreation balance should be promoted in order to reduce the development of SHS or disease in southern China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Mitigating Physiological Responses to Layoff Threat: An Experimental Test of the Efficacy of Two Coping Interventions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030338
Received: 7 January 2016 / Revised: 12 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 18 March 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1669 | PDF Full-text (440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of the current study was to assess real-time physiological reactions to the threat of layoffs and to determine whether the use of an emotion-focused vs. problem-focused coping intervention would be more efficacious in attenuating these physiological reactions. A 2 (coping intervention)
[...] Read more.
The purpose of the current study was to assess real-time physiological reactions to the threat of layoffs and to determine whether the use of an emotion-focused vs. problem-focused coping intervention would be more efficacious in attenuating these physiological reactions. A 2 (coping intervention) × 4 (within-subjects time points) mixed experimental design was used to test the hypotheses. Eighty-four undergraduates participated in this laboratory experiment during which their galvanic skin response (GSR) and heart rate (HR) were continuously monitored. Analyses indicate that individuals instructed to utilize an emotion-focused coping strategy experienced a significantly greater decline in their GSR compared to those utilizing the problem-focused coping method. Results suggest organizations conducting layoffs might focus first on dealing with the emotional aftermath of downsizing before focusing on problem-solving tasks, such as resume writing and other traditional outplacement activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Stress, Human Health and Wellbeing)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Salivary Cortisol Reactivity in Preterm Infants in Neonatal Intensive Care: An Integrative Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030337
Received: 12 January 2016 / Revised: 5 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 18 March 2016
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1851 | PDF Full-text (440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, more and more researchers have been using salivary cortisol reactivity to evaluate stress in preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The aim of this integrative literature review was to summarize the evidence of interventions leading to a change in
[...] Read more.
Recently, more and more researchers have been using salivary cortisol reactivity to evaluate stress in preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The aim of this integrative literature review was to summarize the evidence of interventions leading to a change in salivary cortisol from the baseline in preterm infants in the NICU. The electronic databases of PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, and Scopus were searched for relevant studies. The inclusion criteria were studies with preterm infants exposed to an intervention evaluated by salivary cortisol reactivity before discharge from the NICU, which were published in English. In total, 16 studies were included. Eye-screening examination and heel lance provoked an increase in the salivary cortisol level. Music, prone position, and co-bedding among twins decreased the salivary cortisol level. Several studies reported a low rate of successful saliva sampling or did not use control groups. Future studies need to focus on non-painful interventions in order to learn more about salivary cortisol regulation in preterm infants. Moreover, these studies should use study designs comprising homogenous gestational and postnatal age groups, control groups, and reliable analysis methods that are able to detect cortisol in small amounts of saliva. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress Biomarkers)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessment of the Spatial and Temporal Variations of Water Quality for Agricultural Lands with Crop Rotation in China by Using a HYPE Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030336
Received: 9 January 2016 / Revised: 8 March 2016 / Accepted: 15 March 2016 / Published: 18 March 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1792 | PDF Full-text (5911 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many water quality models have been successfully used worldwide to predict nutrient losses from anthropogenically impacted catchments, but hydrological and nutrient simulations with limited data are difficult considering the transfer of model parameters and complication of model calibration and validation. This study aims:
[...] Read more.
Many water quality models have been successfully used worldwide to predict nutrient losses from anthropogenically impacted catchments, but hydrological and nutrient simulations with limited data are difficult considering the transfer of model parameters and complication of model calibration and validation. This study aims: (i) to assess the performance capabilities of a new and relatively more advantageous model, namely, Hydrological Predictions for the Environment (HYPE), that simulates stream flow and nutrient load in agricultural areas by using a multi-site and multi-objective parameter calibration method and (ii) to investigate the temporal and spatial variations of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorous (TP) concentrations and loads with crop rotation by using the model for the first time. A parameter estimation tool (PEST) was used to calibrate parameters. Results show that the parameters related to the effective soil porosity were highly sensitive to hydrological modeling. N balance was largely controlled by soil denitrification processes. P balance was influenced by the sedimentation rate and production/decay of P in rivers and lakes. The model reproduced the temporal and spatial variations of discharge and TN/TP relatively well in both calibration (2006–2008) and validation (2009–2010) periods. Among the obtained data, the lowest Nash-Suttclife efficiency of discharge, daily TN load, and daily TP load were 0.74, 0.51, and 0.54, respectively. The seasonal variations of daily TN concentrations in the entire simulation period were insufficient, indicated that crop rotation changed the timing and amount of N output. Monthly TN and TP simulation yields revealed that nutrient outputs were abundant in summer in terms of the corresponding discharge. The area-weighted TN and TP load annual yields in five years showed that nutrient loads were extremely high along Hong and Ru rivers, especially in agricultural lands. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessErratum Erratum: Li, M., et al. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Medical Students: Letter from China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 13289–13294
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030335
Received: 16 March 2016 / Revised: 17 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 18 March 2016
Viewed by 863 | PDF Full-text (217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We wish to make the following correction to the published paper [1].[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Polyethyleneimine Capped Silver Nanoclusters as Efficient Antibacterial Agents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030334
Received: 2 February 2016 / Revised: 13 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 18 March 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2038 | PDF Full-text (2392 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Development of efficient antibacterial agents is critical for human health. In the present study, we investigated the antibacterial activity of polyethyleneimine (PEI)-capped silver nanoclusters (PEI-AgNCs), based on the fact that nanoclusters normally have higher surface-to-volume ratios than traditional nanomaterials and PEI itself has
[...] Read more.
Development of efficient antibacterial agents is critical for human health. In the present study, we investigated the antibacterial activity of polyethyleneimine (PEI)-capped silver nanoclusters (PEI-AgNCs), based on the fact that nanoclusters normally have higher surface-to-volume ratios than traditional nanomaterials and PEI itself has a strong antimicrobial capacity. We synthesized stable silver nanoclusters by altering PEI molecular weight from 0.6 kDa to 25 kDa and characterized them by UV-Vis absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy and high resolution transmission electron microscopy. The sizes of AgNCs were around 2 nm in diameter and were little influenced by the molecular weight of PEIs. The antibacterial abilities of the four PEI-AgNCs were explored on agar plate and in liquid systems. Our results revealed that the antibacterial activity of PEI-AgNCs is excellent and the reduction of PEI molecular weight could result in the increased antibacterial capacity of PEI-AgNCs. Such proposed new materials might be useful as efficient antibacterial agents in practical clinical applications. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Indicators for Monitoring Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene: A Systematic Review of Indicator Selection Methods
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030333
Received: 21 November 2015 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 17 March 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2486 | PDF Full-text (593 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Monitoring water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) is important to track progress, improve accountability, and demonstrate impacts of efforts to improve conditions and services, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Indicator selection methods enable robust monitoring of WaSH projects and conditions. However, selection methods
[...] Read more.
Monitoring water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) is important to track progress, improve accountability, and demonstrate impacts of efforts to improve conditions and services, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Indicator selection methods enable robust monitoring of WaSH projects and conditions. However, selection methods are not always used and there are no commonly-used methods for selecting WaSH indicators. To address this gap, we conducted a systematic review of indicator selection methods used in WaSH-related fields. We present a summary of indicator selection methods for environment, international development, and water. We identified six methodological stages for selecting indicators for WaSH: define the purpose and scope; select a conceptual framework; search for candidate indicators; determine selection criteria; score indicators against criteria; and select a final suite of indicators. This summary of indicator selection methods provides a foundation for the critical assessment of existing methods. It can be used to inform future efforts to construct indicator sets in WaSH and related fields. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Changes in Physiological and Agronomical Parameters of Barley (Hordeum vulgare) Exposed to Cerium and Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030332
Received: 19 January 2016 / Revised: 1 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 17 March 2016
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1758 | PDF Full-text (2900 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aims of our experiment were to evaluate the uptake and translocation of cerium and titanium oxide nanoparticles and to verify their effects on the growth cycle of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Barley plants were grown to physiological maturity in soil enriched
[...] Read more.
The aims of our experiment were to evaluate the uptake and translocation of cerium and titanium oxide nanoparticles and to verify their effects on the growth cycle of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Barley plants were grown to physiological maturity in soil enriched with either 0, 500 or 1000 mg·kg−1 cerium oxide nanoparticles (nCeO2) or titanium oxide nanoparticles (nTiO2) and their combination. The growth cycle of nCeO2 and nTiO2 treated plants was about 10 days longer than the controls. In nCeO2 treated plants the number of tillers, leaf area and the number of spikes per plant were reduced respectively by 35.5%, 28.3% and 30% (p ≤ 0.05). nTiO2 stimulated plant growth and compensated for the adverse effects of nCeO2. Concentrations of Ce and Ti in aboveground plant fractions were minute. The fate of nanomaterials within the plant tissues was different. Crystalline nTiO2 aggregates were detected within the leaf tissues of barley, whereas nCeO2 was not present in the form of nanoclusters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate and Effect of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Life Course, Green Space and Health: Incorporating Place into Life Course Epidemiology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030331
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 1 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 17 March 2016
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 1939 | PDF Full-text (1387 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Researchers interested in the relationships between place and health have been slow to incorporate a life course perspective, probably due to the lack of readily available historical environmental data. This hinders the identification of causal relationships. It also restricts our understanding as to
[...] Read more.
Researchers interested in the relationships between place and health have been slow to incorporate a life course perspective, probably due to the lack of readily available historical environmental data. This hinders the identification of causal relationships. It also restricts our understanding as to whether there are accumulative effects over the life course and if there are critical periods in people’s lives when places are particularly pertinent. This study considers the feasibility of constructing longitudinal data on the availability of urban green space. The suitability of various historical and contemporary data sources is considered, including paper maps, aerial photographs and tabular land use data. Measures of urban green space are created for all neighbourhoods across the Edinburgh region of Scotland at various points during the past 100 years. We demonstrate that it is feasible to develop such measures, but there are complex issues involved in doing so. We also test the utility of the measures via an analysis of how accessibility to green space might alter over the life course of both people, and their residential neighbourhoods. The findings emphasise the potential for utilising historical data to significantly enhance understanding of the relationships between nature and health, and between health and place more generally. We encourage researchers to use data from other locations to consider including a longitudinal perspective to examine relationships between people’s health and their environment. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessment of Environmental and Hereditary Influence on Development of Pituitary Tumors Using Dermatoglyphic Traits and Their Potential as Screening Markers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030330
Received: 28 November 2015 / Revised: 15 February 2016 / Accepted: 18 February 2016 / Published: 17 March 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1271 | PDF Full-text (280 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess environmental and hereditary influence on development of pituitary tumors using dermatoglyphic traits. The study was performed on 126 patients of both genders with pituitary tumors (60 non-functional and 66 functional pituitary tumor patients) in comparison
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess environmental and hereditary influence on development of pituitary tumors using dermatoglyphic traits. The study was performed on 126 patients of both genders with pituitary tumors (60 non-functional and 66 functional pituitary tumor patients) in comparison to the control group of 400 phenotypically healthy individuals. Statistical analysis of quantitative and qualitative traits of digito-palmar dermatoglyphics was performed, and hormonal status was determined according to the standard protocols. Although we did not find markers that could specifically distinguish functional from non-functional tumors, we have found markers predisposing to the development of tumors in general (a small number of ridges between triradius of both hands, a smaller number of ridges between the triradius of c–d rc R), those for endocrine dysfunction (increased number of arches and reduced number of whorls, difference of pattern distribution in the I3 and I4 interdigital space), and some that could potentially be attributed to patients suffering from pituitary tumors (small number of ridges for variables FRR 5, smaller number of ridges in the FRL 4 of both hands and difference of pattern distribution at thenar of I1 and I2 interdigital space). The usage of dermatoglyphic traits as markers of predisposition of pituitary tumor development could facilitate the earlier detection of patients in addition to standard methods, and possibly earlier treatment and higher survival rate. Finally, our results are consistent with the hypothesis about multifactorial nature of pituitary tumor etiology comprised of both gene instability and environmental factors. Full article
Open AccessArticle Changes of Sand Fly Populations and Leishmania infantum Infection Rates in an Irrigated Village Located in Arid Central Tunisia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030329
Received: 29 December 2015 / Revised: 25 January 2016 / Accepted: 27 January 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1588 | PDF Full-text (1631 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The current spread of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL) throughout arid areas of Central Tunisia is a major public health concern. The main objective of this study is to investigate whether the development of irrigation in arid bio-geographical areas in Central Tunisia have led
[...] Read more.
The current spread of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL) throughout arid areas of Central Tunisia is a major public health concern. The main objective of this study is to investigate whether the development of irrigation in arid bio-geographical areas in Central Tunisia have led to the establishment of a stable cycle involving sand flies of the subgenus Larroussius and Leishmania infantum, and subsequently to the emergence of ZVL. Sand flies were collected from the village of Saddaguia, a highly irrigated zone located within an arid bio-geographical area of Central Tunisia by using modified Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) light traps. Morphological keys were used to identify sand flies. Collected sand flies were pooled with up to 30 specimens per pool according to date and tested by nested Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) DNA sequencing from positive pools was used to identify Leishmania spp. A total of 4915 sand flies (2422 females and 2493 males) were collected from Saddaguia in September and in October 2014. Morphological identification confirmed sand flies of the subgenus Larroussius to be predominant. PCR analysis followed by DNA sequencing indicated that 15 pools were infected with L. infantum yielding an overall infection rate of 0.6%. The majority of the infected pools were of sand fly species belonging to subgenus Larroussius. Intense irrigation applied to the arid bio-geographical areas in Central Tunisia is at the origin of the development of an environment capable of sustaining important populations of sand flies of the subgenus Larroussius. This has led to the establishment of stable transmission cycles of L. infantum and subsequently to the emergence of ZVL. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Dose-Response Relationship between Cumulative Occupational Lead Exposure and the Associated Health Damages: A 20-Year Cohort Study of a Smelter in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030328
Received: 23 December 2015 / Revised: 8 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1958 | PDF Full-text (835 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Long-term airborne lead exposure, even below official occupational limits, has been found to cause lead poisoning at higher frequencies than expected, which suggests that China’s existing occupational exposure limits should be reexamined. A retrospective cohort study was conducted on 1832 smelting workers from
[...] Read more.
Long-term airborne lead exposure, even below official occupational limits, has been found to cause lead poisoning at higher frequencies than expected, which suggests that China’s existing occupational exposure limits should be reexamined. A retrospective cohort study was conducted on 1832 smelting workers from 1988 to 2008 in China. These were individuals who entered the plant and came into continuous contact with lead at work for longer than 3 months. The dose-response relationship between occupational cumulative lead exposure and lead poisoning, abnormal blood lead, urinary lead and erythrocyte zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP) were analyzed and the benchmark dose lower bound confidence limits (BMDLs) were calculated. Statistically significant positive correlations were found between cumulative lead dust and lead fumes exposures and workplace seniority, blood lead, urinary lead and ZPP values. A dose-response relationship was observed between cumulative lead dust or lead fumes exposure and lead poisoning (p < 0.01). The BMDLs of the cumulative occupational lead dust and fumes doses were 0.68 mg-year/m3 and 0.30 mg-year/m3 for lead poisoning, respectively. The BMDLs of workplace airborne lead concentrations associated with lead poisoning were 0.02 mg/m3 and 0.01 mg/m3 for occupational exposure lead dust and lead fume, respectively. In conclusion, BMDLs for airborne lead were lower than occupational exposure limits, suggesting that the occupational lead exposure limits need re-examination and adjustment. Occupational cumulative exposure limits (OCELs) should be established to better prevent occupational lead poisoning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lead: Risk Assessment and Health Effects)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Modeling Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) Infiltration in Low-Income Multifamily Housing before and after Building Energy Retrofits
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030327
Received: 14 December 2015 / Revised: 3 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 March 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1590 | PDF Full-text (2813 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Secondhand exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in multifamily housing remains a health concern despite strong recommendations to implement non-smoking policies. Multiple studies have documented exposure to ETS in non-smoking units located in buildings with smoking units. However, characterizing the magnitude of ETS
[...] Read more.
Secondhand exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in multifamily housing remains a health concern despite strong recommendations to implement non-smoking policies. Multiple studies have documented exposure to ETS in non-smoking units located in buildings with smoking units. However, characterizing the magnitude of ETS infiltration or measuring the impact of building interventions or resident behavior on ETS is challenging due to the complexities of multifamily buildings, which include variable resident behaviors and complex airflows between numerous shared compartments (e.g., adjacent apartments, common hallways, elevators, heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, stack effect). In this study, building simulation models were used to characterize changes in ETS infiltration in a low income, multifamily apartment building in Boston which underwent extensive building renovations targeting energy savings. Results suggest that exterior wall air sealing can lead to increases in ETS infiltration across apartments, while compartmentalization can reduce infiltration. The magnitude and direction of ETS infiltration depends on apartment characteristics, including construction (i.e., level and number of exterior walls), resident behavior (e.g., window opening, operation of localized exhaust fans), and seasonality. Although overall ETS concentrations and infiltration were reduced post energy-related building retrofits, these trends were not generalizable to all building units. Whole building smoke-free policies are the best approach to eliminate exposure to ETS in multifamily housing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Environmental Quality: Exposures and Occupant Health)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Perceived Organizational Support Impacts on the Associations of Work-Family Conflict or Family-Work Conflict with Depressive Symptoms among Chinese Doctors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030326
Received: 4 January 2016 / Revised: 11 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1797 | PDF Full-text (439 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As a common mental disorder, depressive symptoms had been studied extensively all over the world. However, positive resources for combating depressive symptoms among Chinese doctors were rarely studied. Our study aimed to investigate the relationships between work-family conflict (WFC) and family-work conflict (FWC)
[...] Read more.
As a common mental disorder, depressive symptoms had been studied extensively all over the world. However, positive resources for combating depressive symptoms among Chinese doctors were rarely studied. Our study aimed to investigate the relationships between work-family conflict (WFC) and family-work conflict (FWC) with depressive symptoms among Chinese doctors. Meanwhile, the role of perceived organizational support (POS) in this association was explored at an organizational level. The investigation was conducted between March and April 2014. Questionnaires that measured WFC, FWC, depressive symptoms and POS were distributed to 1200 doctors in Shenyang, China. The final study subjects were 931 doctors (effective response rate: 77.6%). In all analyses, male and female doctors were analyzed separately because of possible gender differences. Hierarchical linear regression analyses were used to examine the moderating role of POS. Baron and Kenny’s technique and asymptotic and resampling strategies were used to explore the mediating role of POS on the associations of WFC or FWC with depressive symptoms. WFC and FWC had positive relations with depressive symptoms among doctors. POS played a partial mediating role on the correlation of FWC with depressive symptoms among male doctors, and POS played a partial mediating role on the correlation of WFC with depressive symptoms among female doctors. POS had a positive moderating effect on the relationship between WFC and depressive symptoms among doctors. WFC and FWC could aggravate doctors’ depressive symptoms, and POS, as an organizational resource, could fight against doctors’ depressive symptoms. When POS functioned as a mediator, FWC had a negative effect on POS, which could increase male doctors’ depressive symptoms, and WFC had a negative effect on POS, which could increase female doctors’ depressive symptoms. In the meantime, POS, as a moderator, could enhance the effects of WFC on depressive symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Stress, Human Health and Wellbeing)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview A Review on the Respiratory System Toxicity of Carbon Nanoparticles
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030325
Received: 15 August 2015 / Revised: 13 February 2016 / Accepted: 18 February 2016 / Published: 15 March 2016
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1767 | PDF Full-text (537 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The respiratory system represents the main gateway for nanoparticles’ entry into the human body. Although there is a myriad of engineered nanoparticles, carbon nanoparticles/nanotubes (CNPs/CNTs) have received much attention mainly due to their light weight, very high surface area, durability, and their diverse
[...] Read more.
The respiratory system represents the main gateway for nanoparticles’ entry into the human body. Although there is a myriad of engineered nanoparticles, carbon nanoparticles/nanotubes (CNPs/CNTs) have received much attention mainly due to their light weight, very high surface area, durability, and their diverse applications. Since their discovery and manufacture over two decades ago, much has been learned about nanoparticles’ interactions with diverse biological system models. In particular, the respiratory system has been of great interest because various natural and man-made fibrous particles are known to be responsible for chronic and debilitating lung diseases. In this review, we present up-to-date the literature regarding the effects of CNTs or carbon nanofibers (CNFs) on the human respiratory system with respect to respiratory toxicity pathways and associated pathologies. This article is intended to emphasize the potentially dangerous effects to the human respiratory system if inadequate measures are used in the manufacture, handling, and preparation and applications of CNP or CNP-based products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate and Effect of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Association of Geography and Ambient Air Pollution with Urine Metal Concentrations in Six US Cities: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030324
Received: 26 December 2015 / Revised: 24 February 2016 / Accepted: 29 February 2016 / Published: 15 March 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1400 | PDF Full-text (473 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We investigated the associations of urinary concentrations of antimony, cadmium, tungsten and uranium with geographic locations and with ambient air pollution in 304 adults in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis from six US cities. After adjustment for sociodemographics, body mass index, and smoking
[...] Read more.
We investigated the associations of urinary concentrations of antimony, cadmium, tungsten and uranium with geographic locations and with ambient air pollution in 304 adults in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis from six US cities. After adjustment for sociodemographics, body mass index, and smoking status, urinary cadmium was the highest in Winston-Salem among all study sites (the geometric mean [GM] in Winston-Salem was 0.84 µg/L [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.57–1.22]). The adjusted GMs of urinary tungsten and uranium were highest in Los Angeles (0.11 µg/L [95% CI 0.08–0.16] and 0.019 µg/L [95% CI 0.016–0.023], respectively). The adjusted GM ratio comparing fine particulate matter (PM2.5) tertiles 2 and 3 with the lowest tertile were 1.64 (95% CI 1.05–2.56) and 3.55 (95% CI 2.24–5.63) for tungsten, and 1.18 (95% CI 0.94–1.48) and 1.70 (95% CI 1.34–2.14) for uranium. The results for tungsten remained similar after adjustment for study site. Urinary cadmium, tungsten and uranium concentrations differed by geographic locations in MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) communities. PM2.5 levels could contribute to geographic differences in tungsten exposure. These findings highlight the need to implement preventive strategies to decrease toxic metal exposure and to evaluate the health effects of chronic exposure to those metals. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Hepatitis B Virus Vaccination Coverage in Medical, Nursing, and Paramedical Students: A Cross-Sectional, Multi-Centered Study in Greece
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030323
Received: 17 February 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 8 March 2016 / Published: 15 March 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1968 | PDF Full-text (270 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Students of health professions are at high risk of hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection during their clinical training. The aim of this cross-sectional, multi-centered study was to investigate the HBV vaccination coverage in Greek medical, nursing, and paramedical students, to look into their
[...] Read more.
Students of health professions are at high risk of hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection during their clinical training. The aim of this cross-sectional, multi-centered study was to investigate the HBV vaccination coverage in Greek medical, nursing, and paramedical students, to look into their attitudes towards the importance of vaccines and to reveal reasons associated with not being vaccinated. A self-completed, anonymous questionnaire was distributed to 2119 students of health professions in Greece, during the academic year 2013–2014. The HBV vaccination coverage of students was high (83%), being higher among medical students (88.1%, vs. 81.4% among nursing and 80.1% among paramedical students; p < 0.001). The vast majority of them (95%) have been vaccinated during childhood. In addition, 30% of the unvaccinated students declared fear over HBV safety. Our results indicate that the healthcare students achieved higher reported immunization rates compared to the currently serving healthcare workers, but also to the students of the last decade. The fact that nursing and paramedical students have lower coverage figures underlines the importance of targeted interventions for the different subgroups of healthcare students in terms of educational programs and screening for HBV markers in order to increase HBV vaccination uptake. Full article
Back to Top