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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 14, Issue 7 (July 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Lack of access to acceptable sanitation facilities can expose individuals, particularly women, to [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview
Geographic Distribution and Temporal Trends of HIV-1 Subtypes through Heterosexual Transmission in China: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 830; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070830 - 24 Jul 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1694
Abstract
Background: Heterosexual transmission (HST) has become the current predominant transmission pathways of the HIV-1 epidemic in China. The aim of this study was to explore the geographic and dynamic change of HIV-1 subtypes through HST in China from published studies. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Heterosexual transmission (HST) has become the current predominant transmission pathways of the HIV-1 epidemic in China. The aim of this study was to explore the geographic and dynamic change of HIV-1 subtypes through HST in China from published studies. Methods: Several electronic databases were searched to identify the studies, and the overall prevalence of HIV-1 subtypes was estimated by a meta-analysis method. Subgroup analysis was conducted by study region and time period. Publication bias was evaluated using Egger’s test. The χ2 test was used to evaluate the proportion differences among subgroups. Sensitivity analysis was carried out to assess the stability of the overall prevalence estimates. Results: 42 studies were included in our final analysis. The overall prevalence of CRF01_AE was 46.34% (95% CI: 40.56–52.17%), CRF07_BC was 19.16% (95% CI: 15.02–23.66%), B/B’ was 13.25% (95% CI: 9.68–17.25%), CRF08_BC was 10.61% (95% CI: 7.08–14.70%), and C was 4.29% (95% CI: 1.85–7.48%). In subgroup analysis, the prevalence of CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC increased, while the prevalence of B/B’ decreased over time, whereby the prevalence of CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC have exceeded that of B/B’ since 2010. A significant higher prevalence of CRF01_AE was found in the South provinces, CRF07_BC in East provinces, CRF08_BC and C in Southwest provinces, and B/B’ in North provinces. Conclusions: The HIV-1 prevalent strains have evolved into complicated and diverse subtypes, and the proportion of HIV-1 subtypes through HST has changed constantly in different regions and periods in China. This highlights the urgent need to vigorously strengthen the prevention and control of the HIV-1 epidemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Study on the Health Benefits of Garden Landscape
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070829 - 24 Jul 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1531
Abstract
To mitigate the negative effects of modern cities on health, scientists are focusing on the diverse benefits of natural environments; a conceptual approach to use gardens for promoting human health is being attempted. In this study, the effects of the visual landscape of [...] Read more.
To mitigate the negative effects of modern cities on health, scientists are focusing on the diverse benefits of natural environments; a conceptual approach to use gardens for promoting human health is being attempted. In this study, the effects of the visual landscape of a traditional garden on psychological and physiological activities were investigated. Eighteen male and female adults participated in this indoor experiment (mean age, 26.7 years). Twelve different landscape images for city and garden were presented continuously for 90 s. In the time series changes of oxygenated hemoglobin (O2Hb), different patterns of changes were observed between the city and garden. The mean O2Hb values increased for the city landscapes, whereas they decreased for the garden landscapes both in the left and right prefrontal cortices. Significant differences in the negative psychological states of tension, fatigue, confusion, and anxiety were observed between the city and garden landscapes. Important differences in the physiological and psychological responses to the two different landscapes were also detected between male and female participants, providing valuable clues to individual differences in the health benefits of natural landscapes. To validate the use of gardens as a resource for promoting health in urban dwellers, further scientific evidence, active communication, and collaboration among experts in the relevant field are necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Ion-Exchange Properties of Graphene Th(IV) Phosphate Composite Cation Exchanger: Its Applications in the Selective Separation of Lead Metal Ions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070828 - 24 Jul 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1470
Abstract
In this study, graphene Th(IV) phosphate was prepared by sol–gel precipitation method. The ion-exchange behavior of this cation-exchanger was studied by investigating properties like ion-exchange capacity for various metal ions, the effect of eluent concentration, elution behavior, and thermal effect on ion-exchange capacity [...] Read more.
In this study, graphene Th(IV) phosphate was prepared by sol–gel precipitation method. The ion-exchange behavior of this cation-exchanger was studied by investigating properties like ion-exchange capacity for various metal ions, the effect of eluent concentration, elution behavior, and thermal effect on ion-exchange capacity (IEC). Several physicochemical properties as Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD) study, thermal studies, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies were also carried out. The material possessed an IEC of 1.56 meq·dry·g−1 of the exchanger and was found to be nano-composite. The selectivity studies showed that the material is selective towards Pb(II) ions. The selectivity of this cation-exchanger was demonstrated in the binary separation of Pb(II) ions from mixture with other metal ions. The recovery was found to be both quantitative and reproducible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Patterns Associated with Adult Mandibular Fractures in Southern Taiwan—A Cross-Sectional Retrospective Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070821 - 24 Jul 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1466
Abstract
Purpose: This study aimed to determine the patterns associated with adult mandibular fractures from a Level-I trauma center in southern Taiwan. Methods: The data of adult trauma patients admitted between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2014 were retrieved from the Trauma Registry [...] Read more.
Purpose: This study aimed to determine the patterns associated with adult mandibular fractures from a Level-I trauma center in southern Taiwan. Methods: The data of adult trauma patients admitted between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2014 were retrieved from the Trauma Registry System and retrospectively reviewed. Fracture site and cause of injury were categorized into groups for comparison, and corresponding odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were obtained by multivariate logistic regression. Results: Motorcycle accidents were the most common cause of mandibular fractures (76.3%), followed by falls (10.9%), motor vehicle accidents (4.8%), and being struck by/against objects (4.5%). Of the 503 cases of mandibular fractures, the condylar neck and head were the most common sites (32.0%), followed by the parasymphysis (21.7%), symphysis (19.5%), angle and ramus (17.5%), and body (9.3%). The location of mandibular fractures in patients who had motorcycle accidents was similar to that in all patients. Motor vehicle accidents resulted in a significantly higher number of body fractures (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.24–8.76, p = 0.017) and struck injury in a significantly higher number of angle and ramus fractures (OR 3.9, 95% CI 1.48–10.26, p = 0.006) compared to motorcycle accidents. The helmet-wearing status and body weight were not associated with the location of mandibular fractures in motorcycle accidents. Conclusions: Our study revealed that the anatomic fracture sites of mandible were specifically related to different etiologies. In southern Taiwan, motorcycle accidents accounted for the major cause of mandibular fractures and were associated with the condylar neck and head as the most frequent fracture sites. In contrast, motor vehicle accidents and struck injuries tended to cause more body fracture as well as angle and ramus fracture compared to motorcycle accidents. Furthermore, the status of helmet-wearing and body weight were not associated with the location of mandible fractures caused by motorcycle accidents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Increased Risk of Drug-Induced Hyponatremia during High Temperatures
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070827 - 22 Jul 2017
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1563
Abstract
Purpose: To investigate the relationship between outdoor temperature in Sweden and the reporting of drug-induced hyponatremia to the Medical Products Agency (MPA). Methods: All individual adverse drug reactions (ADR) reported to MPA from 1 January 2010 to 31 October 2013 of suspected drug-induced [...] Read more.
Purpose: To investigate the relationship between outdoor temperature in Sweden and the reporting of drug-induced hyponatremia to the Medical Products Agency (MPA). Methods: All individual adverse drug reactions (ADR) reported to MPA from 1 January 2010 to 31 October 2013 of suspected drug-induced hyponatremia and random controls were identified. Reports where the ADR had been assessed as having at least a possible relation to the suspected drug were included. Information on administered drugs, onset date, causality assessment, sodium levels, and the geographical origin of the reports was extracted. A case-crossover design was used to ascertain the association between heat exposure and drug-induced hyponatremia at the individual level, while linear regression was used to study its relationship to sodium concentration in blood. Temperature exposure data were obtained from the nearest observation station to the reported cases. Results: During the study period, 280 reports of hyponatremia were identified. More cases of drug-induced hyponatremia were reported in the warmer season, with a peak in June, while other ADRs showed an opposite annual pattern. The distributed lag non-linear model indicated an increasing odds ratio (OR) with increasing temperature in the warm season with a highest odds ratio, with delays of 1–5 days after heat exposure. A cumulative OR for a lag time of 1 to 3 days was estimated at 2.21 at an average daily temperature of 20 °C. The change in sodium per 1 °C increase in temperature was estimated to be −0.37 mmol/L (95% CI: −0.02, −0.72). Conclusions: Warm weather appears to increase the risk of drug-induced hyponatremia Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Open AccessReview
Worldwide Regulations of Standard Values of Pesticides for Human Health Risk Control: A Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 826; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070826 - 22 Jul 2017
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 3352
Abstract
Abstract: The impact of pesticide residues on human health is a worldwide problem, as human exposure to pesticides can occur through ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact. Regulatory jurisdictions have promulgated the standard values for pesticides in residential soil, air, drinking water, and [...] Read more.
Abstract: The impact of pesticide residues on human health is a worldwide problem, as human exposure to pesticides can occur through ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact. Regulatory jurisdictions have promulgated the standard values for pesticides in residential soil, air, drinking water, and agricultural commodity for years. Until now, more than 19,400 pesticide soil regulatory guidance values (RGVs) and 5400 pesticide drinking water maximum concentration levels (MCLs) have been regulated by 54 and 102 nations, respectively. Over 90 nations have provided pesticide agricultural commodity maximum residue limits (MRLs) for at least one of the 12 most commonly consumed agricultural foods. A total of 22 pesticides have been regulated with more than 100 soil RGVs, and 25 pesticides have more than 100 drinking water MCLs. This research indicates that those RGVs and MCLs for an individual pesticide could vary over seven (DDT drinking water MCLs), eight (Lindane soil RGVs), or even nine (Dieldrin soil RGVs) orders of magnitude. Human health risk uncertainty bounds and the implied total exposure mass burden model were applied to analyze the most commonly regulated and used pesticides for human health risk control. For the top 27 commonly regulated pesticides in soil, there are at least 300 RGVs (8% of the total) that are above all of the computed upper bounds for human health risk uncertainty. For the top 29 most-commonly regulated pesticides in drinking water, at least 172 drinking water MCLs (5% of the total) exceed the computed upper bounds for human health risk uncertainty; while for the 14 most widely used pesticides, there are at least 310 computed implied dose limits (28.0% of the total) that are above the acceptable daily intake values. The results show that some worldwide standard values were not derived conservatively enough to avoid human health risk by the pesticides, and that some values were not computed comprehensively by considering all major human exposure pathways. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Patulin from Penicillium vulpinum on the Activity of Glutathione-S-Transferase and Selected Antioxidative Enzymes in Maize
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070825 - 22 Jul 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1691
Abstract
The mycotoxin patulin (PAT) was purified from Penicillium vulpinum CM1 culture that has been isolated from a soil cultivated with maize. The effect of PAT and of a fungal culture filtrate on the activities of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and some antioxidant enzymes viz. ascorbate [...] Read more.
The mycotoxin patulin (PAT) was purified from Penicillium vulpinum CM1 culture that has been isolated from a soil cultivated with maize. The effect of PAT and of a fungal culture filtrate on the activities of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and some antioxidant enzymes viz. ascorbate peroxidase (APX), glutathione reductase (GR), dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR) and monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR) was investigated in roots and shoots of 8-day-old maize seedlings. PAT and culture filtrate caused significant reduction effects in a dose-related manner on the total GST activity. Upon application of the high PAT concentration (25 μg·mL−1) and of the concentrated fungal filtrate (100%, v/v), the reduction in GST activity of roots was 73.8–76.0% and of shoots was 60–61.7%. Conversely, significant increases in the activities of antioxidant enzymes were induced. Application of 25 μg·PAT·mL−1 increased APX, GR, DHAR, and MDHAR activity of root by 2.40-, 2.00-, 1.24-, and 2.16-fold, respectively. In shoots, the enzymatic activity was increased by 1.57-, 1.45-, 1.45-, and 1.61-fold, respectively. Similar induction values of the enzymatic activity were obtained upon application of the concentrated fungal filtrate. This is the first report describing the response of GST and antioxidant enzyme activities of plant cells to PAT toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins in the Agri-Food Chain)
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Open AccessArticle
Illuminating the Psychological Experience of Elderly Loneliness from a Societal Perspective: A Qualitative Study of Alienation between Older People and Society
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070824 - 21 Jul 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2510
Abstract
Loneliness is a common experience among older people that is associated with health risks and negative well-being. As a psychological phenomenon, it has typically been defined in Western research literature as the discrepancy between desired and actual interpersonal relations. In our qualitative study [...] Read more.
Loneliness is a common experience among older people that is associated with health risks and negative well-being. As a psychological phenomenon, it has typically been defined in Western research literature as the discrepancy between desired and actual interpersonal relations. In our qualitative study in Hong Kong, we offer insight into ageing and loneliness in an urban environment of the non-Western world and propose to reconceptualise loneliness by exploring older people’s experience of alienation at the societal level as an important but often neglected dimension of their loneliness. Thirty-seven community-dwelling, Chinese adults aged 65 and above were interviewed in focus groups and their accounts analysed and interpreted using a phenomenological approach. Findings revealed that focus group participants perceived insufficient care for older people, a growing distance between themselves and society, and their disintegrating identity in society to be primary sources of societal alienation. In response, older people adopted a more passive lifestyle, attributed marginalisation and inequality to old age, and developed negative feelings including unease towards ageing, vulnerability and helplessness, and anger. The emergence of these key components and underlying themes of societal alienation illuminated neglected facets of the psychological phenomenon of loneliness and highlighted new implications for policy, practice, and research from a societal perspective to address older people’s loneliness in urban settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing Well: The Role of Age-Friendly Environments)
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Open AccessArticle
Disposal Situation of Sewage Sludge from Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) and Assessment of the Ecological Risk of Heavy Metals for Its Land Use in Shanxi, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070823 - 21 Jul 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1768
Abstract
Land use of sewage sludge is the primary disposal method in Shanxi, accounting for 42.66% of all. To determine the ecological risk of heavy metals in sewage sludge, contents of seven heavy metals in sewage sludge from 9 municipal waste water treatment plants [...] Read more.
Land use of sewage sludge is the primary disposal method in Shanxi, accounting for 42.66% of all. To determine the ecological risk of heavy metals in sewage sludge, contents of seven heavy metals in sewage sludge from 9 municipal waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) that had the highest application for land use were determined. The order of the measured concentrations was: Zn > Cr > Cu > Ni > Pb > As > Cd, and all heavy metals contents were within the threshold limit values of the Chinese Control Standards for Pollutants in Sludge from Agriculture Use (GB4284-84). Four indices were used to assess the pollution and the ecological risk of heavy metals. By the mean values of the geoaccumulation index (Igeo), heavy metals were ranked in the following order: Cd > Zn > Cu > As > Cr > Ni > Pb. The values showed that the pollution of Zn in station 3 and Cd in station 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 and 9 were heavily; Cu in station 8 and 9, Zn in station 1, 2, 4, 8 and 9 and Cd in station 5 and 7 were moderately to heavily, and the accumulation of other heavy metals were not significant. The single-factor pollution index (PI) suggested that none of the stations had heavy metals contamination, except for Cu in station 9, Zn in station 3 and 8, and Cd in station 1 and 9, which were at a moderate level. According to the results of the Nemerow’s synthetic pollution index (PN), sewage sludge from all stations was safe for land use with respect to heavy metals contamination, except for stations 3, 8 and 9, which were at the warning line. The monomial potential ecological risk coefficient (Eri) revealed that heavy metals ecological risks in most stations were low. However, station 9 had a moderate risk for Cu; station 6 had a moderate risk, stations 5 and 7 had high risk, other stations had very high risk for Cd. According to the results of the potential ecological risk index (RI), station 1, 8 and 9 had high risk; station 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 had a moderate risk, and station 6 had a low risk. The preliminary results indicated that the potential risk of land exposure to heavy metals in sewage sludge was relatively low, with Zn and Cd as the main contributor to the ecological risk for the applying of sewage sludge on land. Additionally, stations 3, 8 and 9 require more attention regarding the land applications related to heavy metals pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Dissipation and Residues of Pyrethrins in Leaf Lettuce under Greenhouse and Open Field Conditions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070822 - 21 Jul 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1262
Abstract
Pyrethrins are nowadays widely used for prevention and control of insects in leaf lettuce. However, there is a concern about the pesticide residue in leaf lettuce. A reliable analytical method for determination of pyrethrins (pyrethrin—and П, cinerin І and П, and jasmolin І [...] Read more.
Pyrethrins are nowadays widely used for prevention and control of insects in leaf lettuce. However, there is a concern about the pesticide residue in leaf lettuce. A reliable analytical method for determination of pyrethrins (pyrethrin—and П, cinerin І and П, and jasmolin І and П) in leaf lettuce was developed by using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). Recoveries of pyrethrins in leaf lettuce at three spiking levels were 99.4–104.0% with relative standard deviations of 0.9–3.1% (n = 5). Evaluation of dissipation and final residues of pyrethrins in leaf lettuce were determined at six different locations, including the open field, as well as under greenhouse conditions. The initial concentration of pyrethrins in greenhouse (0.57 mg/kg) was higher than in open field (0.25 mg/kg) and the half-life for pyrethrins disappearance in field lettuce (0.7 days) was less than that greenhouse lettuce (1.1 days). Factors such as rainfall, solar radiation, wind speed, and crop growth rate are likely to have caused these results. The final residue in leaf lettuce was far below the maximum residue limits (MRLs) (1 mg/kg established by the European Union (EU), Australia, Korea, Japan). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Validation of a Behavioural Index for Adaptation to High Summer Temperatures among Urban Dwellers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 820; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070820 - 21 Jul 2017
Viewed by 1592
Abstract
One of the consequences of climate change is the growing number of extreme weather events, including heat waves, which have substantial impacts on the health of populations. From a public health standpoint, it is vital to ensure that people can adapt to high [...] Read more.
One of the consequences of climate change is the growing number of extreme weather events, including heat waves, which have substantial impacts on the health of populations. From a public health standpoint, it is vital to ensure that people can adapt to high heat, particularly in cities where heat islands abound. Identifying indicators to include in a parsimonious index would help better differentiate individuals who adapt well to heat from those who do not adapt as well. This study aimed at developing and validating a summer heat adaptation index for residents of the 10 largest cities in the province of Québec, Canada. A sample of 2000 adults in 2015 and 1030 adults in 2016 completed a telephone questionnaire addressing their adoption (or non-adoption) of behaviours recommended by public health agencies to protect themselves during periods of high temperature, and their perceptions of how high summer heat affects their mental and physical health. Item analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, multiple correspondence analysis, measurement invariance analyses and criterion-validity analyses were used to develop a 12-behaviour heat adaptation index for distinguishing between individuals who adapt well to high temperatures and those who do not adapt as well. The results indicated that the measurement and the factor structure of the index were invariant (equivalent) across the two independent samples of participants who completed the questionnaire at different times one year apart, an important prerequisite for unambiguous interpretation of index scores across groups and over time. The results also showed that individuals who perceived more adverse effects on their physical or mental health adopted more preventive behaviours during periods of high temperatures and humidity conditions compared to those who felt lesser or no effects. This study thus presents support for the validity of the index that could be used in future studies to monitor preventive behaviours adoption during summer periods of high temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrochemical Oxidation of EDTA in Nuclear Wastewater Using Platinum Supported on Activated Carbon Fibers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 819; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070819 - 21 Jul 2017
Viewed by 1792
Abstract
A novel Pt/ACF (Pt supported on activated carbon fibers) electrode was successfully prepared with impregnation and electrodeposition method. Characterization of the electrodes indicated that the Pt/ACF electrode had a larger effective area and more active sites. Electrochemical degradation of ethylenediaminetetra-acetic acid (EDTA) in [...] Read more.
A novel Pt/ACF (Pt supported on activated carbon fibers) electrode was successfully prepared with impregnation and electrodeposition method. Characterization of the electrodes indicated that the Pt/ACF electrode had a larger effective area and more active sites. Electrochemical degradation of ethylenediaminetetra-acetic acid (EDTA) in aqueous solution with Pt/ACF electrodes was investigated. The results showed that the 3% Pt/ACF electrode had a better effect on EDTA removal. The operational parameters influencing the electrochemical degradation of EDTA with 3% Pt/ACF electrode were optimized and the optimal removal of EDTA and chemical oxygen demand (COD) were 94% and 60% after 100 min on condition of the electrolyte concentration, initial concentration of EDTA, current density and initial value of pH were 0.1 mol/L, 300 mg/L, 40 mA/cm2 and 5.0, respectively. The degradation intermediates of EDTA in electrochemical oxidation with 3% Pt/ACF electrode were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrum (GC-MS). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Land Use and Land Cover Change in the Qinghai Lake Region of the Tibetan Plateau and Its Impact on Ecosystem Services
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070818 - 21 Jul 2017
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2262
Abstract
Exploration of land use and land cover change (LULCC) and its impacts on ecosystem services in Tibetan plateau is valuable for landscape and environmental conservation. In this study, we conduct spatial analysis on empirical land use and land cover data in the Qinghai [...] Read more.
Exploration of land use and land cover change (LULCC) and its impacts on ecosystem services in Tibetan plateau is valuable for landscape and environmental conservation. In this study, we conduct spatial analysis on empirical land use and land cover data in the Qinghai Lake region for 1990, 2000, and 2010 and simulate land cover patterns for 2020. We then evaluate the impacts of LULCC on ecosystem service value (ESV), and analyze the sensitivity of ESV to LULCC to identify the ecologically sensitive area. Our results indicate that, from 1990 to 2010, the area of forest and grassland increased while the area of unused land decreased. Simulation results suggest that the area of grassland and forest will continue to increase and the area of cropland and unused land will decrease for 2010–2020. The ESV in the study area increased from 694.50 billion Yuan in 1990 to 714.28 billion Yuan in 2000, and to 696.72 billion Yuan in 2020. Hydrology regulation and waste treatment are the top two ecosystem services in this region. The towns surrounding the Qinghai Lake have high ESVs, especially in the north of the Qinghai Lake. The towns with high ESV sensitivity to LULCC are located in the northwest, while the towns in the north of the Qinghai Lake experienced substantial increase in sensitivity index from 2000–2010 to 2010–2020, especially for three regulation services and aesthetic landscape provision services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Sleep Duration and Quality in Pregnant Women: A Cross-Sectional Survey in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 817; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070817 - 20 Jul 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1619
Abstract
Objectives: Good maternal health and fetal development require sufficient and good quality of sleep during pregnancy. This study investigated sleep duration and quality in pregnant women, assessing factors with possibly influence on sleep. Method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on pregnant women between [...] Read more.
Objectives: Good maternal health and fetal development require sufficient and good quality of sleep during pregnancy. This study investigated sleep duration and quality in pregnant women, assessing factors with possibly influence on sleep. Method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on pregnant women between June and August in 2015 in 16 hospitals in five provinces in China. A total of 2345 pregnant women aged 18 years and older were surveyed. Insufficient sleeping duration was defined as sleeping of less than 7 h per day. Excessive sleep duration was defined as sleeping of more than 9 h per day. Results: A total of 561 (23.9%) participants reported insufficient sleeping duration, whereas 485 (20.9%) claimed excessive sleep duration. A total of 358 (15.2%) of pregnant women reported problems regarding sleep quality. Compared to pregnant women with sufficient sleeping duration, those with insufficient sleeping duration were prone to have poor sleep quality, whereas those with excessive sleeping duration featured low possibility of poor sleep quality. High-risk groups of insufficient sleep duration include women of Han nationality, with siblings, in their first trimester of pregnancy, receiving care in low-capacity/quality hospital settings, and with daily or 1–3 days of secondhand smoke exposure. High-risk groups of excessive sleep duration include women living in rural areas, unemployed, in their third trimester of pregnancy, and receiving care in medium-capacity/quality hospital settings. High-risk groups of poor sleep quality include women of non-Han nationality, low income level, in their third trimester of pregnancy, and with insufficient sleep duration. Conclusions: Insufficient/excessive sleep duration and poor sleep quality commonly occur during pregnancy in China. Findings provide a better understanding of the influencing factors of insufficient/excessive sleep duration and poor quality of sleep. These findings have some implications for future interventions on sleep among pregnant women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Health)
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Air Pollution on Menstrual Cycle Length—A Prognostic Factor of Women’s Reproductive Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 816; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070816 - 20 Jul 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1766
Abstract
Air pollution can influence women’s reproductive health, specifically menstrual cycle characteristics, oocyte quality, and risk of miscarriage. The aim of the study was to assess whether air pollution can affect the length of the overall menstrual cycle and the length of its phases [...] Read more.
Air pollution can influence women’s reproductive health, specifically menstrual cycle characteristics, oocyte quality, and risk of miscarriage. The aim of the study was to assess whether air pollution can affect the length of the overall menstrual cycle and the length of its phases (follicular and luteal). Municipal ecological monitoring data was used to assess the air pollution exposure during the monitored menstrual cycle of each of 133 woman of reproductive age. Principal component analyses were used to group pollutants (PM10, SO2, CO, and NOx) to represent a source-related mixture. PM10 and SO2 assessed separately negatively affected the length of the luteal phase after standardization (b = −0.02; p = 0.03; b = −0.06; p = 0.02, respectively). Representing a fossil fuel combustion emission, they were also associated with luteal phase shortening (b = −0.32; p = 0.02). These pollutants did not affect the follicular phase length and overall cycle length, neither in single- nor in multi-pollutant models. CO and NOx assessed either separately or together as a traffic emission were not associated with overall cycle length or the length of cycle phases. Luteal phase shortening, a possible manifestation of luteal phase deficiency, can result from fossil fuel combustion. This suggests that air pollution may contribute to fertility problems in women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality and Health)
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Open AccessBrief Report
Comparison of the Results of Studies of Air Pollution Fungi Using the SAS Super 100, MAS 100, and Air IDEAL
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 815; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070815 - 20 Jul 2017
Viewed by 1164
Abstract
Although several air sampling devices for identifying and enumerating airborne microorganisms are commercially available, each poses some limitations. The aim of this study was to evaluate air pollution fungi using three such samplers: SAS Super 100, Microbiological Air Sampler (MAS) 100, and Air [...] Read more.
Although several air sampling devices for identifying and enumerating airborne microorganisms are commercially available, each poses some limitations. The aim of this study was to evaluate air pollution fungi using three such samplers: SAS Super 100, Microbiological Air Sampler (MAS) 100, and Air IDEAL. Mycological air was taken from the cellars of a 17th-century church in Siemiatycze, Poland, and the nearby outdoor environment. With samplers placed 1.5 m above the floor, microbial flora in air samples collected inside and outside the cellar were detected. The number of colony-forming units (CFU) of fungi obtained with the three samplers from the cellars and outdoor environment differed; the most CFU were obtained with the Air IDEAL and the least with the SAS Super 100. Significant differences emerged in CFUs collected from air samples with the MAS 100 and SAS Super 100, on the one hand, and the SAS Super 100 and Air IDEAL, on the other. Otherwise, results among the samplers were different. More Cladosporium species were collected with the MAS 100 sampler, whereas more Fusarium and Aspergillus species were collected with the Air IDEAL sampler. Significant differences among CFU/m3 values among the tested sites depended on the sampler used. Full article
Open AccessDiscussion
Health Impacts of Climate Change-Induced Subzero Temperature Fires
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 814; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070814 - 20 Jul 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1335
Abstract
General fire risk and the special risk related to cold climate cellulosic drying processes are outlined. Four recent subzero temperatures fires are studied with respect to health impacts: a wooden village fire, a single wood structure fire, a wildland urban interface (WUI) fire [...] Read more.
General fire risk and the special risk related to cold climate cellulosic drying processes are outlined. Four recent subzero temperatures fires are studied with respect to health impacts: a wooden village fire, a single wood structure fire, a wildland urban interface (WUI) fire and a huge wildland fire. The health impacts range from stress related to loss of jobs, psychological effects of lost possessions, exposure to smoke and heat as well as immediate, or delayed, loss of lives. These four fires resulted in 32 fatalities, 385 persons hospitalized for shorter or longer periods, 104 structures lost and 1015 km2 of wildland burned north of, and just south of, the Arctic Circle. It is shown that the combination of subzero temperature dry weather, strong winds, changing agricultural activities and declining snowpack may lead to previously anticipated threats to people and the environment. There are reasons to believe that these fires are a result of the ongoing climate changes. Risk impacts are discussed. Rural districts and/or vulnerable populations seem to be most affected. Training methods to identify and better monitor critical fire risk parameters are suggested to mitigate the health impacts of a possibly increasing number of such fires. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antimicrobial Properties of Selected Copper Alloys on Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli in Different Simulations of Environmental Conditions: With vs. without Organic Contamination
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 813; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070813 - 20 Jul 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1978
Abstract
Background: Hospital equipment made from copper alloys can play an important role in complementing traditional methods of disinfection. Aims of the study: The aim of this study was to assess the dynamics of the antimicrobial properties of selected copper alloys in different simulations [...] Read more.
Background: Hospital equipment made from copper alloys can play an important role in complementing traditional methods of disinfection. Aims of the study: The aim of this study was to assess the dynamics of the antimicrobial properties of selected copper alloys in different simulations of environmental conditions (with organic contamination vs. without organic contamination), and to test alternatives to the currently used testing methods. Materials and Methods: A modification of Japanese standard JIS Z 2801 as well as Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and Escherichia coli (EC) suspended in NaCl vs. tryptic soy broth (TSB) were used in tests performed on seven commonly used copper alloys, copper, and stainless steel. Results: A much faster reduction of the bacterial suspension was observed for the inoculum prepared in NaCl than in TSB. A faster reduction for EC than for SA was observed in the inoculum prepared in NaCl. The opposite results were found for the inoculum based on TSB. A significant correlation between the copper concentration in the copper alloys and the time and degree of bacterial suspension reduction was only observed in the case of EC. Conclusions: This study confirmed the antimicrobial properties of copper alloys, and additionally showed that Staphylococcus aureus was more resistant than Escherichia coli in the variant of the experiment without organic contamination. However, even for SA, a total reduction of the bacterial inoculum’s density took no longer than 2 h. Under conditions simulating organic contamination, all of the tested alloys were shown to have bactericidal or bacteriostatic properties, which was contrary to the results from stainless steel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Spatio-Temporal Variation of Longevity Clusters and the Influence of Social Development Level on Lifespan in a Chinese Longevous Area (1982–2010)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 812; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070812 - 19 Jul 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1465
Abstract
The study aims to determine the spatial and temporal variation of a longevous region and explore the correlation between longevity and socioeconomic development. Population data at the township level were obtained from the last four population censuses (1982–2010). Five main lifespan indicators and [...] Read more.
The study aims to determine the spatial and temporal variation of a longevous region and explore the correlation between longevity and socioeconomic development. Population data at the township level were obtained from the last four population censuses (1982–2010). Five main lifespan indicators and the Human Development Index (HDI) were calculated. Getis-Ord G*, Gravity modeling, and Pearson’s r between lifespan indicators and HDI were applied. In this study, a stable longevous gathering area was discovered in Hechi during different periods. Under the influence of social and economic development, more longevous areas appeared. However, the effects of genetic and natural environmental factors on longevity were always dominant in this remote and mountainous city. Furthermore, longevity indicators lacked any significant correlation with life expectancy. No significant positive correlation was detected between lifespan indicators and HDI. Thus, we conclude that lifespan indicators can determine the spatial distribution and variation pattern of longevity from multiple dimensions. The geographical scope of longevity in Hechi City is gradually expanding, and significant spatial clustering was detected in southwestern, southern, and eastern parts of Hechi. This study also found that social economic development is likely to have a certain impact on new longevous areas, but their role on extreme longevity is not significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Visual Impairment and Low Vision and Sleep Duration and Quality among Older Adults in South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 811; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070811 - 19 Jul 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1351
Abstract
This study aims to estimate the association between visual impairment and low vision and sleep duration and poor sleep quality in a national sample of older adults in South Africa. A national population-based cross-sectional Study of Global Ageing and Adults Health (SAGE) wave [...] Read more.
This study aims to estimate the association between visual impairment and low vision and sleep duration and poor sleep quality in a national sample of older adults in South Africa. A national population-based cross-sectional Study of Global Ageing and Adults Health (SAGE) wave 1 was conducted in 2008 with a sample of 3840 individuals aged 50 years or older in South Africa. The interviewer-administered questionnaire assessed socio-demographic characteristics, health variables, sleep duration, quality, visual impairment, and vision. Results indicate that 10.0% of the sample reported short sleep duration (≤5 h), 46.6% long sleep (≥9 h), 9.3% poor sleep quality, 8.4% self-reported and visual impairment (near and/or far vision); and 43.2% measured low vision (near and/or far vision) (0.01–0.25 decimal) and 7.5% low vision (0.01–0.125 decimal). In fully adjusted logistic regression models, self-reported visual impairment was associated with short sleep duration and poor sleep quality, separately and together. Low vision was only associated with long sleep duration and poor sleep quality in unadjusted models. Self-reported visual impairment was related to both short sleep duration and poor sleep quality. Population data on sleep patterns may want to include visual impairment measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Health)
Open AccessArticle
The Limpopo Non-Metropolitan Drinking Water Supplier Response to a Diagnostic Tool for Technical Compliance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 810; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070810 - 19 Jul 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1534
Abstract
Water services providers should supply water that is fit for human consumption, taking into account multi-barrier approaches and technical aspects such as design aspects, operation monitoring, final water quality compliance monitoring, plant monitoring practices, maintenance, and risk management practices. Against this background, this [...] Read more.
Water services providers should supply water that is fit for human consumption, taking into account multi-barrier approaches and technical aspects such as design aspects, operation monitoring, final water quality compliance monitoring, plant monitoring practices, maintenance, and risk management practices. Against this background, this study focused on applying the diagnostic tool for technical compliance as well as assessing the compliance of water treatment plants with management norms. Six plants in the Vhembe District Municipality were selected; the Vondo, Malamulele, Mutshedzi, and Mutale plants (conventional), and the Dzingahe and Tshedza package plants. During the first assessment, four (Malamulele, Mutshedzi, Mutale and Dzingahe) plants scored between 44% and 49% and achieved Class 3 certification, revealing serious challenges requiring immediate intervention. Two water plants (Vondo and Tshedza, scoring 53% and 63%, respectively) were in the Class 2 category, revealing serious challenges requiring attention and improvement. During the second assessment, all plants scored between 63% and 87% (Class 2 category). The greatest improvement (30%) was noted for the Dzingahe and Tshedza plants, followed by the Malamulele plant, while the Mutale, Vondo, and Mutshedzi plants improved their scores by 20%, 17% and 14%, respectively. After corrective actions and re-measurement, no plant complied. It is recommended that Water Services Providers (WSPs) regularly apply the diagnostic tools and water safety plans as developed in order to comply with applicable standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Developing and Validating an Age-Independent Equation Using Multi-Frequency Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis for Estimation of Appendicular Skeletal Muscle Mass and Establishing a Cutoff for Sarcopenia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 809; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070809 - 19 Jul 2017
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2130
Abstract
Background: Appendicular skeletal muscle (or lean) mass (ALM) estimated using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is considered to be a preferred method for sarcopenia studies. However, DXA is expensive, has limited portability, and requires radiation exposure. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is inexpensive, easy to [...] Read more.
Background: Appendicular skeletal muscle (or lean) mass (ALM) estimated using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is considered to be a preferred method for sarcopenia studies. However, DXA is expensive, has limited portability, and requires radiation exposure. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is inexpensive, easy to use, and portable; thus BIA might be useful in sarcopenia investigations. However, a large variety of models have been commercially supplied by different companies, and for most consumer products, the equations estimating ALM are not disclosed. It is therefore difficult to use these equations for research purposes. In particular, the BIA equation is often age-dependent, which leads to fundamental difficulty in examining age-related ALM loss. The aims of the current study were as follows: (1) to develop and validate an equation to estimate ALM using multi-frequency BIA (MF-BIA) based on theoretical models, and (2) to establish sarcopenia cutoff values using the equation for the Japanese population. Methods: We measured height (Ht), weight, and ALM obtained using DXA and a standing-posture 8-electrode MF-BIA (5, 50, 250 kHz) in 756 Japanese individuals aged 18 to 86-years-old (222 men and 301 women as developing equation group and 97 men and 136 women as a cross validation group). The traditional impedance index (Ht2/Z50) and impedance ratio of high and low frequency (Z250/Z5) of hand to foot values were calculated. Multiple regression analyses were conducted with ALM as dependent variable in men and women separately. Results: We created the following equations: ALM = (0.6947 × (Ht2/Z50)) + (−55.24 × (Z250/Z5)) + (−10,940 × (1/Z50)) + 51.33 for men, and ALM = (0.6144 × (Ht2/Z50)) + (−36.61 × (Z250/Z5)) + (−9332 × (1/Z50)) + 37.91 for women. Additionally, we conducted measurements in 1624 men and 1368 women aged 18 to 40 years to establish sarcopenia cutoff values in the Japanese population. The mean values minus 2 standard deviations of the skeletal muscle mass index (ALM/Ht2) in these participants were 6.8 and 5.7 kg/m2 in men and women, respectively. Conclusion: The current study established and validated a theoretical and age-independent equation using MF-BIA to estimate ALM and provided reasonable sarcopenia cutoff values. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Coping with Fear of and Exposure to Terrorism among Expatriates
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070808 - 19 Jul 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2845
Abstract
This paper examines existing research on the impact of terrorism on expatriate coping strategies. We consider pre-assignment fear of terrorism, in-country coping strategies, and anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with repatriation. The extant research is small but growing. Our model for [...] Read more.
This paper examines existing research on the impact of terrorism on expatriate coping strategies. We consider pre-assignment fear of terrorism, in-country coping strategies, and anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with repatriation. The extant research is small but growing. Our model for expatriate coping at the pre-departure, in-country, and repatriation stages includes strategies specific to each stage. Preparation using proactive coping, systematic desensitization, problem and emotion focused coping, social support, and virtual reality explorations are recommended. Selecting expatriate candidates who are well-adjusted, emotionally intelligent, and possessing good coping skills is essential for successful assignments in terror-prone regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Using Iron-Manganese Co-Oxide Filter Film to Remove Ammonium from Surface Water
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 807; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070807 - 19 Jul 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1663
Abstract
An iron-manganese co-oxide filter film (MeOx) has been proven to be a good catalyst for the chemical catalytic oxidation of ammonium in groundwater. Compared with groundwater, surface water is generally used more widely and has characteristics that make ammonium removal more [...] Read more.
An iron-manganese co-oxide filter film (MeOx) has been proven to be a good catalyst for the chemical catalytic oxidation of ammonium in groundwater. Compared with groundwater, surface water is generally used more widely and has characteristics that make ammonium removal more difficult. In this study, MeOx was used to remove ammonium from surface water. It indicated that the average ammonium removal efficiency of MeOx was greater than 90%, even though the water quality changed dramatically and the water temperature was reduced to about 6–8 °C. Then, through inactivating microorganisms, it showed that the removal capability of MeOx included both biological (accounted for about 41.05%) and chemical catalytic oxidation and chemical catalytic oxidation (accounted for about 58.95%). The investigation of the characterizations suggested that MeOx was formed by abiotic ways and the main elements on the surface of MeOx were distributed homogenously. The analysis of the catalytic oxidation process indicated that ammonia nitrogen may interact with MeOx as both ammonia molecules and ammonium ions and the active species of O2 were possibly O and O2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Fitness and the Balance Levels of Children with a Diagnosis of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: A Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 806; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070806 - 19 Jul 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1550
Abstract
Background: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a main cause of physical disability and has high economic costs for society. The purpose of this study was to assess the fitness levels and the postural and balance deficits with a specific test battery. Methods: Fifty-six subjects [...] Read more.
Background: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a main cause of physical disability and has high economic costs for society. The purpose of this study was to assess the fitness levels and the postural and balance deficits with a specific test battery. Methods: Fifty-six subjects were enrolled in this study. Thirty-nine healthy subjects were included in the control group and seventeen in the juvenile idiopathic arthritis group. All subjects were evaluated using a posturography system. The fitness level was evaluated with a battery of tests (Abalakov test, sit-up test, hand grip test, backsaver sit and reach, the toe touch test). An unpaired t-test was used to determine differences. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to evaluate the correlation between the tests. Results: The battery of tests demonstrated that subjects in the juvenile idiopathic arthritis group have lower fitness levels compared to the control group. The juvenile idiopathic arthritis group showed low postural control with respect to the control group. Pearson analysis of the juvenile idiopathic arthritis group data showed significant correlations between variables. Pearson’s results from the control group data showed a similar trend. Conclusions: The results suggest that the battery of tests used could be an appropriate tool. However, we highlight that these conclusions need to be supported by other studies with a larger population scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Comparison of Annoyance from Railway Noise and Railway Vibration
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070805 - 19 Jul 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1317
Abstract
The aim of this study is to compare vibration exposure to noise exposure from railway traffic in terms of equal annoyance, i.e., to determine when a certain noise level is equally annoying as a corresponding vibration velocity. Based on questionnaire data from the [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to compare vibration exposure to noise exposure from railway traffic in terms of equal annoyance, i.e., to determine when a certain noise level is equally annoying as a corresponding vibration velocity. Based on questionnaire data from the Train Vibration and Noise Effects (TVANE) research project from residential areas exposed to railway noise and vibration, the dose response relationship for annoyance was estimated. By comparing the relationships between exposure and annoyance for areas both with and without significant vibration exposure, the noise levels and vibration velocities that had an equal probability of causing annoyance was determined using logistic regression. The comparison gives a continuous mapping between vibration velocity in the ground and a corresponding noise level at the facade that are equally annoying. For equivalent noise level at the facade compared to maximum weighted vibration velocity in the ground the probability of annoyance is approximately 20% for 59 dB or 0.48 mm/s, and about 40% for 63 dB or 0.98 mm/s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Combined Health Effects of Environmental Exposures)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Otto the Auto: Does Engagement in an Interactive Website Improve Young Children’s Transportation Safety?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 804; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070804 - 19 Jul 2017
Viewed by 1258
Abstract
Transportation-related injuries are a leading cause of pediatric death, and effective interventions are limited. Otto the Auto is a website offering engaging, interactive activities. We evaluated Otto among a sample of sixty-nine 4- and 5-year-old children, who participated in a randomized parallel group [...] Read more.
Transportation-related injuries are a leading cause of pediatric death, and effective interventions are limited. Otto the Auto is a website offering engaging, interactive activities. We evaluated Otto among a sample of sixty-nine 4- and 5-year-old children, who participated in a randomized parallel group design study. Following baseline evaluation, children engaged with either Otto or a control website for 2 weeks and then were re-evaluated. Children who used Otto failed to show increases in transportation safety knowledge or behavior compared to the control group, although there was a dosage effect whereby children who engaged in the website more with parents gained safer behavior patterns. We conclude Otto may have some efficacy when engaged by children with their parents, but continued efforts to develop and refine engaging, effective, theory-driven strategies to teach children transportation safety, including via internet, should be pursued. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Injury Prevention 2017)
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Open AccessCommunication
As(V) Sorption/Desorption on Different Waste Materials and Soil Samples
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 803; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070803 - 19 Jul 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1253
Abstract
Aiming to investigate the efficacy of different materials as bio-sorbents for the purification of As-polluted waters, batch-type experiments were employed to study As(V) sorption and desorption on oak ash, pine bark, hemp waste, mussel shell, pyritic material, and soil samples, as a function [...] Read more.
Aiming to investigate the efficacy of different materials as bio-sorbents for the purification of As-polluted waters, batch-type experiments were employed to study As(V) sorption and desorption on oak ash, pine bark, hemp waste, mussel shell, pyritic material, and soil samples, as a function of the As(V) concentration added. Pyritic material and oak ash showed high sorption (90% and >87%) and low desorption (<2% and <7%). Alternatively, hemp waste showed low retention (16% sorption and 100% desorption of the amount previously sorbed), fine shell and pine bark sorbed <3% and desorbed 100%, the vineyard soil sample sorbed 8% and released 85%, and the forest soil sample sorbed 32% and desorbed 38%. Sorption data fitted well to the Langmuir and Freundlich models in the case of both soil samples and the pyritic material, but only to the Freundlich equation in the case of the various by-products. These results indicate that the pyritic material and oak ash can be considered efficient As(V) sorbents (thus, useful in remediation of contaminated sites and removal of that pollutant), even when As(V) concentrations up to 6 mmol L−1 are added, while the other materials that were tested cannot retain or remove As(V) from polluted media. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Socioeconomic Differences in and Predictors of Home-Based Palliative Care Health Service Use in Ontario, Canada
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070802 - 18 Jul 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1487
Abstract
The use of health services may vary across people with different socioeconomic statuses, and may be determined by many factors. The purposes of this study were (i) to examine the socioeconomic differences in the propensity and intensity of use for three main home-based [...] Read more.
The use of health services may vary across people with different socioeconomic statuses, and may be determined by many factors. The purposes of this study were (i) to examine the socioeconomic differences in the propensity and intensity of use for three main home-based health services, that is, home-based palliative care physician visits, nurse visits and personal support worker (PSW) hours; and (ii) to explore the determinants of the use of home-based palliative care services. A prospective cohort study was employed. A total of 181 caregivers were interviewed biweekly over the course of the palliative care trajectory, yielding a total of 994 interviews. The propensity and intensity of health service use were examined using logistic regression and negative binomial regression, respectively. The results demonstrated that both the propensity and intensity of home-based nurse and PSW visits fell with socioeconomic status. The use of home-based palliative care services was not concentrated in high socioeconomic status groups. The common predictors of health service use in the three service categories were patient age, the Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) score and place of death. These findings may assist health service planners in the appropriate allocation of resources and service packages to meet the complex needs of palliative care populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insurance and Health)
Open AccessArticle
Physiological Effects of Touching Wood
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 801; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070801 - 18 Jul 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1794
Abstract
This study aimed to clarify the physiological effects of touching wood with the palm, in comparison with touching other materials on brain activity and autonomic nervous activity. Eighteen female university students (mean age, 21.7  ±  1.6 years) participated in the study. As an [...] Read more.
This study aimed to clarify the physiological effects of touching wood with the palm, in comparison with touching other materials on brain activity and autonomic nervous activity. Eighteen female university students (mean age, 21.7  ±  1.6 years) participated in the study. As an indicator of brain activity, oxyhemoglobin (oxy-Hb) concentrations were measured in the left/right prefrontal cortex using near-infrared time-resolved spectroscopy. Heart rate variability (HRV) was used as an indicator of autonomic nervous activity. The high-frequency (HF) component of HRV, which reflected parasympathetic nervous activity, and the low-frequency (LF)/HF ratio, which reflected sympathetic nervous activity, were measured. Plates of uncoated white oak, marble, tile, and stainless steel were used as tactile stimuli. After sitting at rest with their eyes closed, participants touched the materials for 90 s. As a result, tactile stimulation with white oak significantly (1) decreased the oxy-Hb concentration in the left/right prefrontal cortex relative to marble, tile, and stainless steel and (2) increased ln(HF)-reflected parasympathetic nervous activity relative to marble and stainless steel. In conclusion, our study revealed that touching wood with the palm calms prefrontal cortex activity and induces parasympathetic nervous activity more than other materials, thereby inducing physiological relaxation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evidence-Based Nature Therapy: Advances in Physiological Evaluation)
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