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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 14, Issue 6 (June 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Over the last two years, Europe has been witnessing the largest migration recorded in their recent [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Antibiotic Concentrations Decrease during Wastewater Treatment but Persist at Low Levels in Reclaimed Water
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060668 - 21 Jun 2017
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 1959
Abstract
Reclaimed water has emerged as a potential irrigation solution to freshwater shortages. However, limited data exist on the persistence of antibiotics in reclaimed water used for irrigation. Therefore, we examined the fate of nine commonly-used antibiotics (ampicillin, azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, linezolid, oxacillin, oxolinic acid, [...] Read more.
Reclaimed water has emerged as a potential irrigation solution to freshwater shortages. However, limited data exist on the persistence of antibiotics in reclaimed water used for irrigation. Therefore, we examined the fate of nine commonly-used antibiotics (ampicillin, azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, linezolid, oxacillin, oxolinic acid, penicillin G, pipemidic acid, and tetracycline) in differentially treated wastewater and reclaimed water from two U.S. regions. We collected 72 samples from two Mid-Atlantic and two Midwest treatment plants, as well as one Mid-Atlantic spray irrigation site. Antibiotic concentrations were measured using liquid-chromatography- tandem mass spectrometry. Data were analyzed using Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon tests and Kruskal Wallis tests. Overall, antibiotic concentrations in effluent samples were lower than that of influent samples. Mid-Atlantic plants had similar influent but lower effluent antibiotic concentrations compared to Midwest plants. Azithromycin was detected at the highest concentrations (of all antibiotics) in influent and effluent samples from both regions. For most antibiotics, transport from the treatment plant to the irrigation site resulted in no changes in antibiotic concentrations, and UV treatment at the irrigation site had no effect on antibiotic concentrations in reclaimed water. Our findings show that low-level antibiotic concentrations persist in reclaimed water used for irrigation; however, the public health implications are unclear at this time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Toxicity of Naphthalene and Benzene on Tribollium castaneum Herbst
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060667 - 21 Jun 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1187
Abstract
Naphthalene and benzene are widely-used volatile organic compounds. The aim of this research was to examine the toxicological effects of naphthalene and benzene against Tribolium castaneum as an animal model. Adult insects were exposed to these aromatic compounds to assess mortality after 4–48 [...] Read more.
Naphthalene and benzene are widely-used volatile organic compounds. The aim of this research was to examine the toxicological effects of naphthalene and benzene against Tribolium castaneum as an animal model. Adult insects were exposed to these aromatic compounds to assess mortality after 4–48 h of exposure. The lethal concentration 50 (LC50) for naphthalene, naphthalin, and benzene were 63.6 µL/L, 20.0 µL/L, and 115.9 µL/L in air, respectively. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis revealed expression changes in genes related to oxidative stress and metabolism [Glutathione S-Transferase (Gst), and Cytochrome P450 6BQ8 (Cyp6bq8)]; reproduction and metamorphosis [Hormone receptor in 39-like protein (Hr39), Ecdysone receptor: (Ecr), and Chitin synthase 2 (Chs2)]; and neurotransmission [Histamine-gated chloride channel 2 (Hiscl2)] in insects exposed for 4 h to 70.2 µL/L naphthalene. Adults exposed to benzene (80 µL/L; 4 h) overexpressed genes related to neurotransmission [GABA-gated anion channel (Rdl), Hiscl2, and GABA-gated ion channel (Grd)]; reproduction and metamorphosis [Ultraspiracle nuclear receptor (USP), Ecr; and Hr39]; and development (Chs2). The data presented here provides evidence that naphthalene and benzene inhalation are able to induce alterations on reproduction, development, metamorphosis, oxidative stress, metabolism, neurotransmission, and death of the insect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Fate of Pollutants in Porous Asphalt Pavements, Laboratory Experiments to Investigate Their Potential to Impact Environmental Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060666 - 21 Jun 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1677
Abstract
Pervious Paving Systems (PPS) are part of a sustainable approach to drainage in which excess surface water is encouraged to infiltrate through their structure, during which potentially toxic elements, such as metals and hydrocarbons are treated by biodegradation and physical entrapment and storage. [...] Read more.
Pervious Paving Systems (PPS) are part of a sustainable approach to drainage in which excess surface water is encouraged to infiltrate through their structure, during which potentially toxic elements, such as metals and hydrocarbons are treated by biodegradation and physical entrapment and storage. However, it is not known where in the PPS structure these contaminants accumulate, which has implications for environmental health, particularly during maintenance, as well as consequences for the recycling of material from the PPS at the end-of-life. A 1 m3 porous asphalt (PA) PPS test rig was monitored for 38 months after monthly additions of road sediment (RS) (367.5 g in total) and unused oil (430 mL in total), characteristic of urban loadings, were applied. Using a rainfall simulator, a typical UK rainfall rate of 15 mm/h was used to investigate its efficiency in dealing with contamination. Water quality of the effluent discharged from the rig was found to be suitable for discharge to most environments. On completion of the monitoring, a core was taken down through its surface, and samples of sediment and aggregate were taken. Analysis showed that most of the sediment remained in the surface course, with metal levels lower than the original RS, but higher than clean, unused aggregate or PA. However, even extrapolating these concentrations to 20 years’ worth of in-service use (the projected life of PPS) did not suggest their accumulation would present an environmental pollution risk when carrying out maintenance of the pavement and also indicates that the material could be recycled at end-of-life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metals: Environmental and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Coverage and Influencing Determinants of Influenza Vaccination in Elderly Patients in a Country with a Poor Vaccination Implementation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060665 - 20 Jun 2017
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
The seasonal influenza vaccination uptake of the elderly in Poland is one of the lowest in Europe. Objective: to assess the vaccination coverage and influencing determinants in patients ≥65 years of age. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted (November 2015–April 2016) among [...] Read more.
The seasonal influenza vaccination uptake of the elderly in Poland is one of the lowest in Europe. Objective: to assess the vaccination coverage and influencing determinants in patients ≥65 years of age. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted (November 2015–April 2016) among consecutive patients admitted to a municipal hospital located in the city of Szczecin, North-west Poland. Patients completed researcher-administered, anonymous questionnaires on socio- demographic data/factors related to the vaccination. Results: The response rate: 92.0%. Among 230 patients (79.6% women, median of age 69 years, range 65–89) who agreed to participate, 34.8% (95% Confidence Interval: 28.6–41.0%) were vaccinated. About 15.7% of respondents had not previously heard about the vaccination; 41.3% of those who stated they were vaccinated or planned on being vaccinated the following year, compared to 19.3% of respondents who stated they were not currently vaccinated (p < 0.001). A multivariable regression analysis revealed that patient factors, such as younger age (Odds Ratio, OR = 7.69), living in the urban area (OR = 7.69), having comorbidities (OR = 2.70), having a vaccinated family member (OR = 3.57), and being informed about vaccination (OR = 5.00) were each associated with greater odds of being immunized. Willingness for vaccination the next year was strongly associated (OR = 8.59) with vaccination status. Conclusions: The influenza vaccination uptake in the elderly population in Poland is disturbingly low. Improved education strategies are needed to increase the uptake. Vaccinated respondents are more likely to plan on being vaccinated the following year. Future interventions related to maximizing vaccination coverage should be more tailored, focusing especially on older patients living in rural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Physical Fitness, Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, or Diet—What Are the Correlates of Obesity in Polish School Children?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060664 - 20 Jun 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2104
Abstract
There is substantial evidence of rising prevalence of overweight and obesity and its co-morbidities among children in western-high income developed countries. In the European Union, the prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing fastest among Polish children. Yet, there is paucity of evidence [...] Read more.
There is substantial evidence of rising prevalence of overweight and obesity and its co-morbidities among children in western-high income developed countries. In the European Union, the prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing fastest among Polish children. Yet, there is paucity of evidence on the relationship of behavioral factors with body weight status of children in Poland. This study examined the association of obesity with physical fitness, physical activity, sedentary behavior and diet among Polish children. A total of 641 children (10–15 years) recruited from the Lower Silesia region of Poland participated in this cross-sectional study. Participants’ anthropometrics, physical fitness, physical activity, sedentary behavior and dietary intake were assessed. Outcome variables were weight categories (according to body mass index [BMI], waist-to-hip ratio [WHR], and percentage body fat [% BF]). The strongest negative correlation was found between VO2max and %BF (r = −0.39, p <0.05). Significant negative correlation was also found between VO2max and weight categories (r = −0.15). Results of the multinomial logit analysis showed that VO2max increased in groups of overweight, normal weight and underweight children by 13%, 26% and 19%, respectively as compared to the group of obese children. VO2max and weight and obesity indices were strongly correlated in both gender and age groups. Education and intervention programs to increase physical fitness (VO2max) through aerobic training are recommended for Physical Education teachers, parents and children in order to reduce the rate of overweight and obesity among children in the Lower Silesia region of Poland. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Community Response to Multiple Sound Sources: Integrating Acoustic and Contextual Approaches in the Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 663; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060663 - 20 Jun 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1809
Abstract
Sufficient data refer to the relevant prevalence of sound exposure by mixed traffic sources in many nations. Furthermore, consideration of the potential effects of combined sound exposure is required in legal procedures such as environmental health impact assessments. Nevertheless, current practice still uses [...] Read more.
Sufficient data refer to the relevant prevalence of sound exposure by mixed traffic sources in many nations. Furthermore, consideration of the potential effects of combined sound exposure is required in legal procedures such as environmental health impact assessments. Nevertheless, current practice still uses single exposure response functions. It is silently assumed that those standard exposure-response curves accommodate also for mixed exposures—although some evidence from experimental and field studies casts doubt on this practice. The ALPNAP-study population (N = 1641) shows sufficient subgroups with combinations of rail-highway, highway-main road and rail-highway-main road sound exposure. In this paper we apply a few suggested approaches of the literature to investigate exposure-response curves and its major determinants in the case of exposure to multiple traffic sources. Highly/moderate annoyance and full scale mean annoyance served as outcome. The results show several limitations of the current approaches. Even facing the inherent methodological limitations (energy equivalent summation of sound, rating of overall annoyance) the consideration of main contextual factors jointly occurring with the sources (such as vibration, air pollution) or coping activities and judgments of the wider area soundscape increases the variance explanation from up to 8% (bivariate), up to 15% (base adjustments) up to 55% (full contextual model). The added predictors vary significantly, depending on the source combination. (e.g., significant vibration effects with main road/railway, not highway). Although no significant interactions were found, the observed additive effects are of public health importance. Especially in the case of a three source exposure situation the overall annoyance is already high at lower levels and the contribution of the acoustic indicators is small compared with the non-acoustic and contextual predictors. Noise mapping needs to go down to levels of 40 dBA,Lden to ensure the protection of quiet areas and prohibit the silent “filling up” of these areas with new sound sources. Eventually, to better predict the annoyance in the exposure range between 40 and 60 dBA and support the protection of quiet areas in city and rural areas in planning sound indicators need to be oriented at the noticeability of sound and consider other traffic related by-products (air quality, vibration, coping strain) in future studies and environmental impact assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Combined Health Effects of Environmental Exposures)
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Open AccessArticle
Beyond Food Access: The Impact of Parent-, Home-, and Neighborhood-Level Factors on Children’s Diets
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060662 - 20 Jun 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2011
Abstract
Despite the growth in empirical research on neighborhood environmental characteristics and their influence on children’s diets, physical activity, and obesity, much remains to be learned, as few have examined the relationship between neighborhood food availability on dietary behavior in children, specifically. This analysis [...] Read more.
Despite the growth in empirical research on neighborhood environmental characteristics and their influence on children’s diets, physical activity, and obesity, much remains to be learned, as few have examined the relationship between neighborhood food availability on dietary behavior in children, specifically. This analysis utilized data from a community-based, cross-sectional sample of children (n = 199) that was collected in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2010. This dataset was linked to food environment data to assess the impact of neighborhood food access as well as household and parent factors on children’s diets. We observed a negligible impact of the neighborhood food environment on children’s diets, except with respect to fast food, with children who had access to fast food within 500 m around their home significantly less likely (OR = 0.35, 95% CI: 0.1, 0.8) to consume vegetables. Key parental and household factors did play a role in diet, including receipt of public assistance and cooking meals at home. Children receiving public assistance were 2.5 times (95% CI: 1.1, 5.4) more likely to consume fruit more than twice per day compared with children not receiving public assistance. Children whose family cooked dinner at home more than 5 times per week had significantly more consumption of fruit (64% vs. 58%) and vegetables (55% vs. 39%), but less soda (27% vs. 43%). Findings highlight the need for future research that focuses on the dynamic and complex relationships between built and social factors in the communities and homes of children that impact their diet in order to develop multilevel prevention approaches that address childhood obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Influences on Maternal and Child Health)
Open AccessArticle
Association between Air Pollution and Emergency Room Visits for Atrial Fibrillation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060661 - 20 Jun 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1519
Abstract
Despite the large prevalence in the population, possible factors responsible for the induction of atrial fibrillation (AF) events in susceptible individuals remain incompletely understood. We investigated the association between air pollution levels and emergency department admissions for AF in Rome. We conducted a [...] Read more.
Despite the large prevalence in the population, possible factors responsible for the induction of atrial fibrillation (AF) events in susceptible individuals remain incompletely understood. We investigated the association between air pollution levels and emergency department admissions for AF in Rome. We conducted a 14 years’ time-series study to evaluate the association between the daily levels of air pollution (particulate matter, PM10 and PM2.5, and nitrogen dioxide, NO2) and the daily count of emergency accesses for AF (ICD-9 code: 427.31). We applied an over-dispersed conditional Poisson model to analyze the associations at different lags after controlling for time, influenza epidemics, holiday periods, temperature, and relative humidity. Additionally, we evaluated bi-pollutant models by including the other pollutant and the influence of several effect modifiers such as personal characteristics and pre-existing medical conditions. In the period of study, 79,892 individuals were admitted to the emergency departments of Rome hospitals because of AF (on average, 15.6 patients per day: min = 1, max = 36). Air pollution levels were associated with increased AF emergency visits within 24 h of exposure. Effect estimates ranged between 1.4% (0.7–2.3) for a 10 µg/m3 increase of PM10 to 3% (1.4–4.7) for a 10 µg/m3 increase of PM2.5 at lag 0–1 day. Those effects were higher in patients ≥75 years for all pollutants, male patients for PM10, and female patients for NO2. The presence of previous cardiovascular conditions, but not other effect modifiers, increase the pollution effects by 5–8% depending on the lag. This study found evidence that air pollution is associated with AF emergency visits in the short term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Open AccessArticle
Towards a Long-Term Strategy for Voluntary-Based Internal Radiation Contamination Monitoring: Representativeness of the Monitoring Results in Fukushima, Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060656 - 20 Jun 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1911
Abstract
Following Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear incident, voluntary participation, rather than mandatory, was adopted as the default scenario for individual radiation monitoring. We evaluated the representativeness of the internal monitoring results from voluntary participants in Minamisoma City, which is located 10–40 km from the [...] Read more.
Following Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear incident, voluntary participation, rather than mandatory, was adopted as the default scenario for individual radiation monitoring. We evaluated the representativeness of the internal monitoring results from voluntary participants in Minamisoma City, which is located 10–40 km from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Of approximately 70,000 individuals who were residing in Minamisoma City before the incident, a total of 19,263 residents (aged ≥21 years) participated in the monitoring from 1 October 2011 to 31 March 2015. Based on regression projection techniques with the available data obtained from the voluntary participants, the modeled probabilities of radiocesium (Cs) detection in October 2011 for Cs-137 and Cs-134 were 66.9% and 52.9%, respectively, which declined dramatically within a year following the incident. The rate of decline had stagnated since mid-2012, and the probability was close to zero after mid-2014. Sufficient agreement between the modeled probabilities of Cs detection (for the whole population) versus the measured Cs levels (for voluntary participants) was observed, except for Cs-134 in October 2011, indicating that the voluntary monitoring participant group was a good representative sample. Our findings affirmed the clinical importance of voluntary-based monitoring as a screening and dose-assessment tool in a post-nuclear incident. Our study informs societal decision-making regarding the long-term maintenance of the monitoring program under the current low exposure levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Sulfate, Chloride, and Bicarbonate on Iron Stability in a PVC-U Drinking Pipe
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 660; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060660 - 19 Jun 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1331
Abstract
In order to describe iron stability in plastic pipes and to ensure the drinking water security, the influence factors and rules for iron adsorption and release were studied, dependent on the Unplasticized poly (vinyl chloride) (PVC-U) drinking pipes employed in this research. In [...] Read more.
In order to describe iron stability in plastic pipes and to ensure the drinking water security, the influence factors and rules for iron adsorption and release were studied, dependent on the Unplasticized poly (vinyl chloride) (PVC-U) drinking pipes employed in this research. In this paper, sulfate, chloride, and bicarbonate, as well as synthesized models, were chosen to investigate the iron stability on the inner wall of PVC-U drinking pipes. The existence of the three kinds of anions could significantly affect the process of iron adsorption, and a positive association was found between the level of anion concentration and the adsorption rate. However, the scaling formed on the inner surface of the pipes would be released into the water under certain conditions. The Larson Index (LI), used for a synthetic consideration of anion effects on iron stability, was selected to investigate the iron release under multi-factor conditions. Moreover, a well fitted linear model was established to gain a better understanding of iron release under multi-factor conditions. The simulation results demonstrated that the linear model was better fitted than the LI model for the prediction of iron release. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Level of Sedentary Behavior and Its Associated Factors among Saudi Women Working in Office-Based Jobs in Saudi Arabia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060659 - 19 Jun 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1651
Abstract
Research in Saudi Arabia has revealed a shocking level of insufficiently physically active adults, particularly women. The risk of sedentary behavior will likely increase as the number of women with office-based jobs increases. The aim of this study is to determine the level [...] Read more.
Research in Saudi Arabia has revealed a shocking level of insufficiently physically active adults, particularly women. The risk of sedentary behavior will likely increase as the number of women with office-based jobs increases. The aim of this study is to determine the level of sedentary behavior, and its associated factors, among Saudi women working office-based jobs in the city of Riyadh. A cross-sectional study of 420 Saudi female employees at 8 office-based worksites were measured to determine body mass index and were given a self-administered survey to evaluate their level of physical activity and sedentary behavior. Median sitting time on work days was 690 min per day (interquartile range, IQR 541–870), with nearly half accumulated during work hours, and 575 min per day (IQR 360–780) on non-work days. Predictors of work day sitting time were level of education, number of children, and working in the private sector. Number of children, whether they were single, and whether they lived in a small home were found to predict non-work day sitting time. This study identifies Saudi women in office-based jobs as a high-risk group for sedentary behavior. There is a need to promote physical activity at worksites and reduce prolonged sitting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Attachment Style Is Related to Quality of Life for Assistance Dog Owners
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 658; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060658 - 19 Jun 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1989
Abstract
Attachment styles have been shown to affect quality of life. Growing interest in the value of companion animals highlights that owning a dog can also affect quality of life, yet little research has explored the role of the attachment bond in affecting the [...] Read more.
Attachment styles have been shown to affect quality of life. Growing interest in the value of companion animals highlights that owning a dog can also affect quality of life, yet little research has explored the role of the attachment bond in affecting the relationship between dog ownership and quality of life. Given that the impact of dog ownership on quality of life may be greater for assistance dog owners than pet dog owners, we explored how anxious attachment and avoidance attachment styles to an assistance dog affected owner quality of life (n = 73). Regression analysis revealed that higher anxious attachment to the dog predicted enhanced quality of life. It is suggested that the unique, interdependent relationship between an individual and their assistance dog may mean that an anxious attachment style is not necessarily detrimental. Feelings that indicate attachment insecurity in other relationships may reflect more positive aspects of the assistance dog owner relationship, such as the level of support that the dog provides its owner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Interventions and Activities for Health and Wellbeing)
Open AccessArticle
Paternal Risk Factors for Oral Clefts in Northern Africans, Southeast Asians, and Central Americans
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060657 - 19 Jun 2017
Viewed by 1390
Abstract
While several studies have investigated maternal exposures as risk factors for oral clefts, few have examined paternal factors. We conducted an international multi-centered case–control study to better understand paternal risk exposures for oral clefts (cases = 392 and controls = 234). Participants were [...] Read more.
While several studies have investigated maternal exposures as risk factors for oral clefts, few have examined paternal factors. We conducted an international multi-centered case–control study to better understand paternal risk exposures for oral clefts (cases = 392 and controls = 234). Participants were recruited from local hospitals and oral cleft repair surgical missions in Vietnam, the Philippines, Honduras, and Morocco. Questionnaires were administered to fathers and mothers separately to elicit risk factor and family history data. Associations between paternal exposures and risk of clefts were assessed using logistic regression adjusting for potential confounders. A father’s personal/family history of clefts was associated with significantly increased risk (adjusted OR: 4.77; 95% CI: 2.41–9.45). No other significant associations were identified for other suspected risk factors, including education (none/primary school v. university adjusted OR: 1.29; 95% CI: 0.74–2.24), advanced paternal age (5-year adjusted OR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.84–1.16), or pre-pregnancy tobacco use (adjusted OR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.67–1.37). Although sample size was limited, significantly decreased risks were observed for fathers with selected occupations. Further research is needed to investigate paternal environmental exposures as cleft risk factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
Open AccessArticle
Association of Education and Smoking Status on Risk of Diabetes Mellitus: A Population-Based Nationwide Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060655 - 19 Jun 2017
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1738
Abstract
Background: Exposure to smoke, including environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is a well-known risk factor for diabetes. Low socioeconomic status, especially lack of education, is also a risk factor for diabetes. Therefore, we assessed the association of demographic, socioeconomic, clinical, and behavior risk factor-related [...] Read more.
Background: Exposure to smoke, including environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is a well-known risk factor for diabetes. Low socioeconomic status, especially lack of education, is also a risk factor for diabetes. Therefore, we assessed the association of demographic, socioeconomic, clinical, and behavior risk factor-related variables and smoking status, including ETS exposure, with the prevalence of diabetes. Methods: Data were from the 2007–2013 Korea National Health and Nutritional Evaluation Survey (KNHANES). Multivariable logistic regression examined associations between various lifestyle and health factors and the prevalence of diabetes while controlling for potential confounding variables. Subgroup analysis was performed according to smoking status to determine factors associated with diabetes. Results: Of 19,303 individuals analyzed, 1325 (11.4%) had diabetes. Greater average age, male sex, lower educational level, unemployment, and coexisting health problems were significantly associated with diabetes. Individuals with only elementary, middle, or high school level education had significantly greater odds ratios (p < 0.05) compared to college graduates; smokers and nonsmokers exposed to ETS had significantly greater OR (p < 0.05) than nonsmokers unexposed to ETS. Subgroup analysis of diabetics according to smoking status revealed significant associations (p < 0.05) for diabetic nonsmokers exposed to ETS with female sex, single status, elementary level education, urban residence, National Health Insurance (NHI), hypertension, a lack of alcohol intake, and a lack of moderate physical activity. For diabetic smokers, there were significant associations (p < 0.05) with elementary education, urban residence, a lack of moderate physical activity, a lack of alcohol intake, and NHI. Conclusions: The results suggested that smoking status, as well as ETS exposure, was associated with a higher prevalence of diabetes, especially in populations with less education. Thus, we should direct efforts for controlling diabetes toward individuals with lower levels of education and those who are smokers and nonsmokers exposed to ETS. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Assessing Statistically Significant Heavy-Metal Concentrations in Abandoned Mine Areas via Hot Spot Analysis of Portable XRF Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 654; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060654 - 18 Jun 2017
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1825
Abstract
To develop appropriate measures to prevent soil contamination in abandoned mining areas, an understanding of the spatial variation of the potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs) in the soil is necessary. For the purpose of effective soil sampling, this study uses hot spot analysis, [...] Read more.
To develop appropriate measures to prevent soil contamination in abandoned mining areas, an understanding of the spatial variation of the potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs) in the soil is necessary. For the purpose of effective soil sampling, this study uses hot spot analysis, which calculates a z-score based on the Getis-Ord Gi* statistic to identify a statistically significant hot spot sample. To constitute a statistically significant hot spot, a feature with a high value should also be surrounded by other features with high values. Using relatively cost- and time-effective portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) analysis, sufficient input data are acquired from the Busan abandoned mine and used for hot spot analysis. To calibrate the PXRF data, which have a relatively low accuracy, the PXRF analysis data are transformed using the inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) data. The transformed PXRF data of the Busan abandoned mine are classified into four groups according to their normalized content and z-scores: high content with a high z-score (HH), high content with a low z-score (HL), low content with a high z-score (LH), and low content with a low z-score (LL). The HL and LH cases may be due to measurement errors. Additional or complementary surveys are required for the areas surrounding these suspect samples or for significant hot spot areas. The soil sampling is conducted according to a four-phase procedure in which the hot spot analysis and proposed group classification method are employed to support the development of a sampling plan for the following phase. Overall, 30, 50, 80, and 100 samples are investigated and analyzed in phases 1–4, respectively. The method implemented in this case study may be utilized in the field for the assessment of statistically significant soil contamination and the identification of areas for which an additional survey is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Six CETP Polymorphisms and Metabolic Syndrome in Uyghur Adults from Xinjiang, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060653 - 18 Jun 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1308
Abstract
Objective: To explore the association between CETP gene polymorphisms and metabolic syndrome (MS), as well as the relationship between the CETP gene polymorphisms and each component of MS. Methods: A total of 571 individuals which were randomly selected from 5692 Uyghur adults were [...] Read more.
Objective: To explore the association between CETP gene polymorphisms and metabolic syndrome (MS), as well as the relationship between the CETP gene polymorphisms and each component of MS. Methods: A total of 571 individuals which were randomly selected from 5692 Uyghur adults were subdivided into two groups, including 280 patients with MS and 291 control subjects, using the group-matching method after matching for gender. We detected CETP polymorphisms (rs5882, rs1800775, rs3764261, rs12149545, rs711752, and rs708272) by using the Snapshot method. Results: (1) Significant differences were found involving the frequency distribution of genotypes and alleles of rs1800775, rs3764261, rs12149545, rs711752, and rs708272 between the control and MS groups (all p < 0.05). (2) rs1800775, rs3764261, rs12149545, rs711752, and rs708272 polymorphisms were significantly related to the risk of MS (all p < 0.05). (3) The rs1800775 polymorphism was associated with high fasting blood glucose levels and low high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C); rs3764261 and rs12149545 polymorphisms were associated with all components of MS except high blood pressure; rs711752 and rs708272 polymorphisms were associated with low HDL-C (all p < 0.05). (4) Complete linkage disequilibrium (LD) was identified for two pairs of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs3764261 and rs12149545 (D’ = 1.000, r2 = 0.931), rs711752 and rs708272 (D’ = 1.000, r2 = 0.996)). (5) The A-G-G-G-C (p = 0.013, odds ratio [OR] = 0.622, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 0.427–0.906) and A-T-A-A-T (p < 0.001, OR = 0.519, 95% CI = 0.386–0.697) haplotypes were more frequent in the control group than in the case group. Conclusions: The rs1800775, rs3764261, rs12149545, rs711752, and rs708272 polymorphisms of CETP were associated with MS and its components among the Uyghur ethnic group. Complete LD was found between two pairs of SNPs (rs3764261 and rs12149545, rs711752, and rs708272). The A-G-G-G-C and A-T-A-A-T haplotypes might be protective factors for MS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
Open AccessArticle
Structured Additive Quantile Regression for Assessing the Determinants of Childhood Anemia in Rwanda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060652 - 17 Jun 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1422
Abstract
Childhood anemia is among the most significant health problems faced by public health departments in developing countries. This study aims at assessing the determinants and possible spatial effects associated with childhood anemia in Rwanda. The 2014/2015 Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey (RDHS) data [...] Read more.
Childhood anemia is among the most significant health problems faced by public health departments in developing countries. This study aims at assessing the determinants and possible spatial effects associated with childhood anemia in Rwanda. The 2014/2015 Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey (RDHS) data was used. The analysis was done using the structured spatial additive quantile regression model. The findings of this study revealed that the child’s age; the duration of breastfeeding; gender of the child; the nutritional status of the child (whether underweight and/or wasting); whether the child had a fever; had a cough in the two weeks prior to the survey or not; whether the child received vitamin A supplementation in the six weeks before the survey or not; the household wealth index; literacy of the mother; mother’s anemia status; mother’s age at the birth are all significant factors associated with childhood anemia in Rwanda. Furthermore, significant structured spatial location effects on childhood anemia was found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Lower Physical Performance in Colder Seasons and Colder Houses: Evidence from a Field Study on Older People Living in the Community
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060651 - 17 Jun 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1682
Abstract
The aim of this paper was to explore the effect of seasonal temperature differences and cold indoor environment in winter on the physical performance of older people living in the community based on a field study. We recruited 162 home-dwelling older people from [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper was to explore the effect of seasonal temperature differences and cold indoor environment in winter on the physical performance of older people living in the community based on a field study. We recruited 162 home-dwelling older people from a rehabilitation facility in the Osaka prefecture, Japan; physical performance data were available from 98/162 (60.5%). At the same time, for some participants, a questionnaire survey and a measurement of the indoor temperature of individual houses were conducted. The analysis showed that there were seasonal trends in the physical performance of older people and that physical performance was worse in the winter compared with the autumn. Furthermore, people living in colder houses had worse physical performance. The findings indicate that keeping the house warm in the winter can help to maintain physical performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Housing and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Media Coverage of Alcohol Issues: A Critical Political Economy Framework—A Case Study from Ireland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 650; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060650 - 16 Jun 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1678
Abstract
There is a growing literature on news media representations of alcohol-related issues. However, current scholarship has neglected critical political economic frameworks to interpret media coverage of alcohol. This paper presents such a framework that conceives of news organisations as corporations that share the [...] Read more.
There is a growing literature on news media representations of alcohol-related issues. However, current scholarship has neglected critical political economic frameworks to interpret media coverage of alcohol. This paper presents such a framework that conceives of news organisations as corporations that share the values and interests of political and economic elites. The media are thus expected to present viewpoints that are more aligned with the alcohol industry than the scientific consensus on public health policy would warrant. The media are also expected, but to a lesser extent, to present a certain amount of support for public health perspectives because these are supported by a few socioeconomic elite groups (the medical professions, progressive politicians). The case of Ireland from 2012 to 2017 illustrates the framework empirically. Four main newspapers’ coverage of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill and related policies is examined. Results show that, overall, 44.0% of articles support public health measures and 56.0% are opposed or remain neutral. It is argued that the media are not strong proponents of public health for multiple reasons: there are more articles opposed to or neutral toward public health measures than supporting them; the number of supportive articles remains relatively small and there are still many pieces presenting drinks industry views; there are virtually no calls in the media for stronger measures; supportive coverage is partially explained by the pub owners lobby’s support for minimum unit pricing; the media often downplay or ignore the negative consequences of alcohol, such as its role in accidents; many news articles normalise drinking and promote events sponsored by the industry; there is not a single Irish journalist covering alcohol issues systematically; and other policy issues that are prioritised by elites receive multiple times more media coverage than public health measures. In short, the media reflect the views of the political and economic establishment on public health measures: there is some support from the medical professions and progressive politicians, but overall, there is a clear reluctance to support strong public health strategies. One main recommendation for public health advocates to promote their perspectives is to diversify the mass media and make them less commercial in nature, as well as to engage with non-corporate, so-called progressive “alternative media” outlets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Health)
Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Service Dogs on Engagement in Occupation among Females with Mobility Impairments: A Qualitative Descriptive Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060649 - 16 Jun 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1757
Abstract
It is becoming more common for people with disabilities to procure service dogs as a form of assistive technology (AT). However, there is little qualitative research examining the impact of service dogs on engagement in valued daily activities (occupations) among persons with mobility [...] Read more.
It is becoming more common for people with disabilities to procure service dogs as a form of assistive technology (AT). However, there is little qualitative research examining the impact of service dogs on engagement in valued daily activities (occupations) among persons with mobility impairments. This study used a qualitative descriptive methodology to learn about the experiences of four female service dog owners with mobility impairments, with a focus on the impact of service dog use on the performance of daily occupations and participation in social activities, and their experiences utilizing a service dog as a form of AT. Data analysis indicated that each participant’s service dog made a significant impact on their everyday lives and their ability to independently perform everyday activities; however, there are also unique challenges associated with service dog ownership that must be considered when evaluating benefits of service dog partnership. Overall, the positive outcomes reported by participants indicate that service dogs can be considered a beneficial, adaptable form of AT for some persons with mobility impairments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Interventions and Activities for Health and Wellbeing)
Open AccessArticle
Geographic Variations in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Luxembourg
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060648 - 16 Jun 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1629
Abstract
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated behavioural and metabolic risk factors constitute a major public health concern at a global level. Many reports worldwide have documented different risk profiles for populations with demographic variations. The objective of this study was to examine geographic variations [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated behavioural and metabolic risk factors constitute a major public health concern at a global level. Many reports worldwide have documented different risk profiles for populations with demographic variations. The objective of this study was to examine geographic variations in the top leading cardio metabolic and behavioural risk factors in Luxembourg, in order to provide an overall picture of CVD burden across the country. The analysis conducted was based on data from the nationwide ORISCAV-LUX survey, including 1432 subjects, aged 18–69 years. A self-reported questionnaire, physical examination and blood sampling were performed. Age and sex-adjusted risk profile maps were generated using multivariate Bayesian geo-additive regression models, based on Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques and were used to evaluate the significance of the spatial effects on the distribution of a range of cardio metabolic risk factors, namely smoking, high body mass index (BMI), high blood pressure, high fasting plasma glucose, alcohol use, high total cholesterol, low glomerular filtration rate, and physical inactivity. Higher prevalence of smoking was observed in the northern regions, higher overweight/obesity and abdominal obesity clustered in the central belt, whereas hypertension was spotted particularly in the southern part of the country. Maps revealed that subjects residing in Luxembourg canton were significantly less likely to be hypertensive or overweight/obese, whereas they were less likely to practice physical activity of ≥8000 Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET)-min/week. These patterns were also observed at the municipality level in Luxembourg. Statistically, there were non-significant spatial patterns regarding smoking, diabetes, total serum cholesterol and low glomerular filtration rate risk distribution. This comprehensive risk profile mapping showed remarkable geographic variations in cardio metabolic and behavioural risk factors. Considering the prominent burden of CVD this research provides opportunities for tailored interventions and may help to better fight against this escalating public health problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Why Don’t More Smokers Switch to Using E-Cigarettes: The Views of Confirmed Smokers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060647 - 16 Jun 2017
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4017
Abstract
Whilst e-cigarettes have been characterised by Public Health England as being around 95% less harmful than combustible tobacco products, only a minority of current smokers (around 16% within the UK) are using these devices. In this paper we report the results of an [...] Read more.
Whilst e-cigarettes have been characterised by Public Health England as being around 95% less harmful than combustible tobacco products, only a minority of current smokers (around 16% within the UK) are using these devices. In this paper we report the results of an online survey of 650 smokers in contact with a smokers’ rights group in the UK. A total of 91% of the smokers surveyed were smoking on a daily basis. Fifty nine percent reported having used electronic nicotine delivery systems, the majority of whom reported having used e-cigarettes. Those smokers that had not used these devices principally explained this in terms of the pleasure they derived from smoking. The features smokers’ liked most about e-cigarette had to do with the range of settings in which they could be used, the lack of an offensive smell associated with their use, the available flavours and the reduced level of harm. The elements which smokers liked least about e-cigarettes had to do with the vaping experience, the technology, the chemical nature of e-liquids and the complex technology that was associated with these devices. If a greater number of smokers are to be encouraged to take up e-cigarettes, it will be necessary not only to convey accurate information on the relative harm of these devices (compared to combustible tobacco products), but to ensure that they are able to be used in a wider range of settings than those within which smoking can currently occur and that the vaping experience more closely resembles the smoking experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Cigarette Use and Public Health)
Open AccessReview
Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Association between Ambient Nitrogen Dioxide and Respiratory Disease in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060646 - 16 Jun 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1539
Abstract
Objective: This study aimed to assess the quantitative effects of short-term exposure of ambient nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on respiratory disease (RD) mortality and RD hospital admission in China through systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods: A total of 29 publications were finally [...] Read more.
Objective: This study aimed to assess the quantitative effects of short-term exposure of ambient nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on respiratory disease (RD) mortality and RD hospital admission in China through systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods: A total of 29 publications were finally selected from searches in PubMed, Web of Science, CNKI and Wanfang databases. Generic inverse variance method was used to pool effect estimates. Pooled estimates were used to represent the increased risk of RD mortality and RD hospital admission per 10 μg/m3 increase in NO2 concentration. Results: Positive correlations were found between short-term NO2 exposure and RD in China. RD mortality and RD hospital admission respectively increased by 1.4% (95% CI: 1.1%, 1.7%) and 1.0% (95% CI: 0.5%, 1.5%) per 10 μg/m3 increase in NO2 concentration. Differences were observed across geographic regions of China. The risk of RD mortality due to NO2 was higher in the southern region (1.7%) than in the north (0.7%). Conclusions: Evidence was found that short-term exposure to NO2 was associated with an increased risk of RD mortality and RD hospital admission in China and these risks were more pronounced in the southern regions of the country, due in part to a larger proportion of elderly persons with increased susceptibility to NO2 in the population compared with the north. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental, Human Health and Socio-Economic Effects of Cement Powders: The Multicriteria Analysis as Decisional Methodology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 645; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060645 - 16 Jun 2017
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1823
Abstract
The attention to sustainability-related issues has grown fast in recent decades. The experience gained with these themes reveals the importance of considering this topic in the construction industry, which represents an important sector throughout the world. This work consists on conducting a multicriteria [...] Read more.
The attention to sustainability-related issues has grown fast in recent decades. The experience gained with these themes reveals the importance of considering this topic in the construction industry, which represents an important sector throughout the world. This work consists on conducting a multicriteria analysis of four cement powders, with the objective of calculating and analysing the environmental, human health and socio-economic effects of their production processes. The economic, technical, environmental and safety performances of the examined powders result from official, both internal and public, documents prepared by the producers. The Analytic Hierarchy Process permitted to consider several indicators (i.e., environmental, human health related and socio-economic parameters) and to conduct comprehensive and unbiased analyses which gave the best, most sustainable cement powder. As assumed in this study, the contribution of each considered parameter to the overall sustainability has a different incidence, therefore the procedure could be used to support on-going sustainability efforts under different conditions. The results also prove that it is not appropriate to regard only one parameter to identify the ‘best’ cement powder, but several impact categories should be considered and analysed if there is an interest for pursuing different, often conflicting interests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Health, Risk Analysis and Environmental Hazards)
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Open AccessArticle
Examining Associations of Environmental Characteristics with Recreational Cycling Behaviour by Street-Level Strava Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060644 - 15 Jun 2017
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2120
Abstract
Policymakers pay much attention to effectively increasing frequency of people’s cycling in the context of developing sustainable and green cities. Investigating associations of environmental characteristics and cycling behaviour could offer implications for changing urban infrastructure aiming at encouraging active travel. However, earlier examinations [...] Read more.
Policymakers pay much attention to effectively increasing frequency of people’s cycling in the context of developing sustainable and green cities. Investigating associations of environmental characteristics and cycling behaviour could offer implications for changing urban infrastructure aiming at encouraging active travel. However, earlier examinations of associations between environmental characteristics and active travel behaviour are limited by low spatial granularity and coverage of traditional data. Crowdsourced geographic information offers an opportunity to determine the fine-grained travel patterns of people. Particularly, Strava Metro data offer a good opportunity for studies of recreational cycling behaviour as they can offer hourly, daily or annual cycling volumes with different purposes (commuting or recreational) in each street across a city. Therefore, in this study, we utilised Strava Metro data for investigating associations between environmental characteristics and recreational cycling behaviour at a large spatial scale (street level). In this study, we took account of population density, employment density, road length, road connectivity, proximity to public transit services, land use mix, proximity to green space, volume of motor vehicles and traffic accidents in an empirical investigation over Glasgow. Empirical results reveal that Strava cyclists are more likely to cycle for recreation on streets with short length, large connectivity or low volume of motor vehicles or on streets surrounded by residential land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Ecological Security Simulation and Prediction Using an Improved Cellular Automata (CA) Approach—A Case Study for the City of Wuhan in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 643; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060643 - 15 Jun 2017
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1722
Abstract
Ecological security is an important research topic, especially urban ecological security. As highly populated eco-systems, cities always have more fragile ecological environments. However, most of the research on urban ecological security in literature has focused on evaluating current or past status of the [...] Read more.
Ecological security is an important research topic, especially urban ecological security. As highly populated eco-systems, cities always have more fragile ecological environments. However, most of the research on urban ecological security in literature has focused on evaluating current or past status of the ecological environment. Very little literature has carried out simulation or prediction of future ecological security. In addition, there is even less literature exploring the urban ecological environment at a fine scale. To fill-in the literature gap, in this study we simulated and predicted urban ecological security at a fine scale (district level) using an improved Cellular Automata (CA) approach. First we used the pressure-state-response (PSR) method based on grid-scale data to evaluate urban ecological security. Then, based on the evaluation results, we imported the geographically weighted regression (GWR) concept into the CA model to simulate and predict urban ecological security. We applied the improved CA approach in a case study—simulating and predicting urban ecological security for the city of Wuhan in Central China. By comparing the simulated ecological security values from 2010 using the improved CA model to the actual ecological security values of 2010, we got a relatively high value of the kappa coefficient, which indicates that this CA model can simulate or predict well future development of ecological security in Wuhan. Based on the prediction results for 2020, we made some policy recommendations for each district in Wuhan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Health, Risk Analysis and Environmental Hazards)
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Open AccessArticle
Public Perceptions of Service Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs, and Therapy Dogs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060642 - 15 Jun 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 5609
Abstract
As service dogs, emotional support dogs, and therapy dogs have become more prevalent in the USA, so too has the controversy surrounding their legitimacy. Yet, there is a lack of objective data regarding the public’s understanding of the role played by each of [...] Read more.
As service dogs, emotional support dogs, and therapy dogs have become more prevalent in the USA, so too has the controversy surrounding their legitimacy. Yet, there is a lack of objective data regarding the public’s understanding of the role played by each of these types of animals, as well as their perceptions regarding the legitimacy of their integration. An anonymous, online survey was distributed to examine the perceptions of US adults who do not own any type of assistance animal. A total of 505 individuals responded to the online survey, yielding 284 usable responses. Results suggest widespread misconceptions about definitions, rules, regulations, and rights associated with each type of assistance dog. In general, service dogs are more likely to be perceived as helping with a legitimate need, and their access to public spaces is viewed favorably. While there are some concerns about the legitimacy and necessary access rights for emotional support dogs, members of the public correctly identified the roles and rights of therapy dogs. Despite the media’s focus on abuses and false representation of these dogs, most participants reported feeling the majority of people are not taking advantage of the system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Interventions and Activities for Health and Wellbeing)
Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Acute Pulmonary Deficits Associated with Biomass Fuel Cookstove Emissions in Rural Bangladesh
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060641 - 15 Jun 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1618
Abstract
The use of solid biomass fuels in cookstoves has been associated with chronic health impacts that disproportionately affect women worldwide. Solid fuel stoves that use wood, plant matter, and cow dung are commonly used for household cooking in rural Bangladesh. This study investigates [...] Read more.
The use of solid biomass fuels in cookstoves has been associated with chronic health impacts that disproportionately affect women worldwide. Solid fuel stoves that use wood, plant matter, and cow dung are commonly used for household cooking in rural Bangladesh. This study investigates the immediate effects of acute elevated cookstove emission exposures on pulmonary function. Pulmonary function was measured with spirometry before and during cooking to assess changes in respiratory function during exposure to cookstove emissions for 15 females ages 18–65. Cookstove emissions were characterized using continuous measurements of particulate matter (PM2.5—aerodynamic diameter <2.5 μm) concentrations at a 1 s time resolution for each household. Several case studies were observed where women ≥40 years who had been cooking for ≥25 years suffered from severe pulmonary impairment. Forced expiratory volume in one second over forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) was found to moderately decline (p = 0.06) during cooking versus non-cooking in the study cohort. The study found a significant (α < 0.05) negative association between 3- and 10-min maximum PM2.5 emissions during cooking and lung function measurements of forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and FEV1/FVC obtained during cooking intervals. This study found that exposure to biomass burning emissions from solid fuel stoves- associated with acute elevated PM2.5 concentrations- leads to a decrease in pulmonary function, although further research is needed to ascertain the prolonged (e.g., daily, for multiple years) impacts of acute PM2.5 exposure on immediate and sustained respiratory impairment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Quality and Health 2016)
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Open AccessArticle
An Evaluation of the Proposed Worker Protection Standard with Respect to Pesticide Exposure and Parkinson’s Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060640 - 14 Jun 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1581
Abstract
Citing a lack of information, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prudently did not account for the benefits of averting many chronic diseases in analyzing the Worker Protection Standards (WPS) revisions. We demonstrate that sufficient information can exist, using the example of the benefits [...] Read more.
Citing a lack of information, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prudently did not account for the benefits of averting many chronic diseases in analyzing the Worker Protection Standards (WPS) revisions. We demonstrate that sufficient information can exist, using the example of the benefits to agricultural workers of reduced Parkinson’s disease (PD) due to reduced pesticide exposure. We define the benefits as the monetary value gained by improving quality of lives of people who would otherwise develop PD, plus the value of medical care cost averted and income not lost due to being healthy. For estimation, we use readily available parameters and obtain odds ratios of developing PD by conducting a meta-analysis of studies linking pesticide exposure to PD. The sensitivity analysis varies the number of agricultural workers affected by the regulation, the probability of being diagnosed with PD, the measurement and the timing of the benefits. Our initial assessment is that the reduced PD benefits would be a small fraction of the total WPS revision costs. However, if we define benefits as the common environmental economics willingness to pay to avoid PD incidence, then they become a substantial fraction of the costs. Our analysis demonstrates that the benefits of averting PD from the WPS revisions can be estimated using existing information, and that the results are most sensitive to the choice of valuation of benefits to the worker. We encourage other researchers to extend our framework to other chronic ailments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Economics)
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Food for Life, a Whole Setting Healthy and Sustainable Food Programme, and Primary School Children’s Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables: A Cross-Sectional Study in England
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060639 - 14 Jun 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2310
Abstract
The promotion of dietary health is a public health priority in England and in other countries. Research shows that the majority of children do not consume the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables (F&V). There has been relatively little research on the impact [...] Read more.
The promotion of dietary health is a public health priority in England and in other countries. Research shows that the majority of children do not consume the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables (F&V). There has been relatively little research on the impact of programmes, such as Food for Life, that (a) integrate action on nutrition and food sustainability issues, and (b) are delivered as commissions in a local authority area. The study sought to assess pupil F&V in schools engaged with the Food for Life (FFL) programme. The design was a cross-sectional study comparing pupils in FFL engaged (n = 24) and non-engaged (n = 23) schools. A total of 2411 pupils aged 8–10 completed a validated self-report questionnaire. After adjusting for confounders, pupils in schools engaged with FFL consumed significantly more servings of F&V compared to pupils in comparison schools (M = 2.03/1.54, p < 0.001). Pupils in FFL schools were twice as likely to eat five or more portions of F&V per day (Odds Ratio = 2.07, p < 0.001, Confidence Interval = 1.54, 2.77). Total F&V consumption was significantly higher (p < 0.05) amongst pupils in schools with a higher level FFL award. Whilst limitations include possible residual confounding, the study suggests primary school engagement with the FFL programme may be an effective way of improving children’s dietary health. Full article
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