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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 15, Issue 4 (April 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Governments rarely produce detailed national assessments of direct and indirect public health risks [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Online Gambling among Treatment-Seeking Patients in Singapore: A Cross-Sectional Study
National Addictions Management Service (NAMS), Institute of Mental Health, 10 Buangkok Green Medical Park, Singapore 539747, Singapore
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040832
Received: 4 February 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1448 | PDF Full-text (316 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: Given that technology has greatly facilitated easier access to gambling in previous years, it is timely to look in-depth into online gambling activities and behaviors. There have been several studies that examined online gambling. However, most of the current studies to date have focused on determining the prevalence and the epidemiology of problem gambling arising from online gambling in Western cohorts. There remains a paucity of research looking at the problem of online gambling among Asian individuals. The objectives of the current study are to elucidate the characteristics of online gambling among an Asian cohort and to explore the harm associated with online gambling and the potential mechanisms by which harm associated with online gambling could be minimized. It is hoped that the findings of the current paper will bridge the existing gaps in the research literature. A cross-sectional study design was utilized to recruit 100 participants who were attending outpatient services at the National Addictions Management Service (NAMS) from March 2014 to October 2015. The majority of the participants were male, of Chinese ethnicity and under the age of 30 years old (48%). Mobile phones and smartphones were the most commonly utilized platforms for gambling online. The median largest ever debt incurred as a result of online gambling ($20,000) was significantly more than that due to offline gambling ($500) (Z = −4.17, p < 0.001). As for the biggest ever loss, participants had incurred a significantly larger median loss from online gambling ($7000) (Z = −2.73, p < 0.01) compared to offline gambling ($2000). A total of 18.4% of participants had waited between 1 to 2 years from their first online gambling experience to seek treatment and 17.3% had waited for more than 10 years. This is perhaps one of the first Asian studies to investigate the serious harm involved in online gambling. The findings from our study are intended to guide further interventions in the treatment of online gambling related disorders; and would be of interest to governmental organizations in their planning of regulations for online gambling.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult Psychiatry)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Caller Gender on Telephone Crisis-Helpline Workers’ Interpretation of Suicidality in Caller Vignettes
by 1,2,3,*, 1,2,3,4, 5, 1 and 3,4,6,7
1 School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
2 llawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
3 Centre for Mental Illness in Nowra District: Goals and Prevention (MINDtheGaP), Nowra, NSW 2541, Australia
4 Centre for Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
5 School of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
6 Lifeline Research Foundation, Lifeline Australia, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
7 Suicide Prevention Australia, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040831
Received: 25 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1341 | PDF Full-text (1165 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: Telephone crisis-line workers (TCWs) are trained in a variety of techniques and skills to facilitate the identification of suicidal callers. One factor that may influence the implementation of these skills is gender. This study used an experimental design to explore whether helpline callers being identified as male or female is associated with TCWs’ ratings of callers’ potential for suicide risk and TCWs’ intention to use support- or intervention-oriented skills with callers. Data were collected using an online self-report survey in an Australian sample of 133 TCWs. The results suggest that under some circumstances the callers’ gender might influence TCWs’ intention to use intervention-oriented skills with the caller. Implications for the training of telephone crisis workers, and those trained in suicide prevention more broadly are discussed.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Suicide Research)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Knowledge and Risk Beliefs in Adolescent E-Cigarette Use: A Pilot Study
1 School of Media and Journalism, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carroll Hall, CB 3365, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2 Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
3 Department of Social Sciences &amp; Health Policy, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 830; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040830
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1902 | PDF Full-text (322 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: The use of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices among adolescents is an urgent public health problem due to the concern about adolescent exposure to nicotine. This study examined: (1) adolescents’ knowledge and beliefs about e-cigarette risks; and (2) whether knowledge and risk beliefs were associated with e-cigarette use. N = 69 adolescents completed a cross-sectional survey about e-cigarette knowledge, attitudes (i.e., risk beliefs), and behavior (KAB). Nearly half (47%) of the sample reported ever using e-cigarettes. The majority of adolescents knew about many of the risks of e-cigarettes, with no differences between never- and ever-users. However, risk beliefs, such as worrying about health risks of using e-cigarettes, varied across groups. Compared to never-users, e-cigarette ever-users were significantly less likely to worry about e-cigarette health risks, less likely to think that e-cigarettes would cause them negative health consequences, and less likely to believe that e-cigarette use would lead to addiction. In a multivariable logistic regression, prior combustible cigarette use, mother’s education, and addiction risk beliefs about e-cigarettes emerged as significant predictors of adolescents’ e-cigarette use. This study reveals that while knowledge is not associated with adolescent e-cigarette use, risk beliefs do predict use.
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Open AccessArticle Lagged Influence of Fine Particulate Matter and Geographic Disparities on Clinic Visits for Children’s Asthma in Taiwan
1 Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89154, USA
2 Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040829
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
Abstract Viewed by 1227 | PDF Full-text (2350 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: Recent studies have revealed the influence of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) on increased medication use, hospital admission, and emergency room visits for asthma attack in children, but the lagged influence of PM2.5 on children’s asthma and geographic disparities of children’s asthma have rarely been discussed simultaneously. This study investigated the documented diagnosis of children’s asthma in clinic visits for children aged less than 15 years old that were associated with PM2.5 in two counties located in west-central Taiwan during 2005–2010. The result shows that PM2.5 had a significant lagged effect on children’s asthma for up to 6 days. A significantly higher relative risk for children’s asthma was more likely to happen at 2-day lag compared to the present day when PM2.5 increased from 36.17 μg/m3 to 81.26 μg/m3. Considering all lagged effects, the highest relative risk for children’s asthma was 1.08 (95% CI = 1.05, 1.11) as PM2.5 increased as high as 64.66 μg/m3. In addition, geographic disparities of children’s asthma were significant, and 47.83% of areas were identified to have children vulnerable to asthma. To sum up, our findings can serve as a valuable reference for the implementation of an early warning to governmental agencies about a susceptible population of children.
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Open AccessArticle Outpatient Mental Health Treatment Utilization and Military Career Impact in the United States Marine Corps
1 Department of Medical &amp; Clinical Psychology, Suicide Care, Prevention, and Research Initiative, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA
2 School of Psychology and Counseling, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA 23464, USA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040828
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1270 | PDF Full-text (340 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: Service members (SM) are at increased risk of psychiatric conditions, including suicide, yet research indicates SMs believe seeking mental health treatment may negatively impact their military careers, despite a paucity of research examining actual career impacts. This study examined the link between seeking outpatient mental health (MH) treatment and military career impacts within the United States Marine Corps. In Phase 1, a retrospective medical record review of outpatient MH treatment-seeking Marines (N = 38) was conducted. In Phase 2, a sample of outpatient MH treatment-seeking Marines (N = 40) was matched to a non-treatment-seeking sample of Marines (N = 138) to compare career-progression. In Phase 1, there were no significant links between demographic, military, and clinical characteristics and referral source or receipt of career-affecting treatment recommendations. In Phase 2, MH treatment-seeking Marines in outpatient settings were more likely than matched controls to be separated from the military (95.0% versus 63.0%, p = 0.002), but no more likely to experience involuntary separation. MH treatment-seeking Marines were more likely to have documented legal action (45.0% versus 23.9%, p = 0.008) and had a shorter time of military service following the index MH encounter than matched controls (p < 0.001). Clinical, anti-stigma, and suicide prevention policy implications are discussed.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Suicide Research)
Open AccessArticle The Social and Spatial Ecology of Dengue Presence and Burden during an Outbreak in Guayaquil, Ecuador, 2012
1 Quantitative Disease Ecology and Conservation Lab, Department of Geography, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 USA
2 Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
3 Center for Global Health and Translational Science and Department of Medicine, State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
4 Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS), Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
5 International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY 10964, USA
6 Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), Guayaquil 09015863, Ecuador
7 National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (INAMHI), Quito 170135, Ecuador
8 Institute of Biometrics and Epidemiology, Auf’m Hennekamp 65, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
9 Laboratorio de Biomedicina, FCV, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), Guayaquil 09015863, Ecuador
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040827
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 14 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2479 | PDF Full-text (3785 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract: Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne arbovirus, is a major public health concern in Ecuador. In this study, we aimed to describe the spatial distribution of dengue risk and identify local social-ecological factors associated with an outbreak of dengue fever in the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador. We examined georeferenced dengue cases (n = 4248) and block-level census data variables to identify social-ecological risk factors associated with the presence/absence and burden of dengue in Guayaquil in 2012. Local Indicators of Spatial Association (LISA), specifically Anselin’s Local Moran’s I, and Moran’s I tests were used to locate hotspots of dengue transmission, and multimodel selection was used to identify covariates associated with dengue presence and burden at the census block level. We identified significant dengue transmission hotspots near the North Central and Southern portions of Guayaquil. Significant risk factors for presence of dengue included poor housing conditions, access to paved roads, and receipt of remittances. Counterintuitive positive correlations with dengue presence were observed with several municipal services such as garbage collection and access to piped water. Risk factors for increased burden of dengue included poor housing conditions, garbage collection, receipt of remittances, and sharing a property with more than one household. Social factors such as education and household demographics were negatively correlated with increased dengue burden. These findings elucidate underlying differences with dengue presence versus burden, and suggest that vulnerability and risk maps could be developed to inform dengue prevention and control; this is information that is also relevant for emerging epidemics of chikungunya and Zika viruses.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Infectious Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle The Adsorptive Removal of Fluoride from Aqueous Solution by Modified Sludge: Optimization Using Response Surface Methodology
1 Key Laboratory of Subsurface Hydrology and Ecological Effects in Arid Region, Ministry of Education, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710054, China
2 Xi’an Center of Geological Survey, China Geological Survey, Xi’an 710054, China
3 School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710054, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 826; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040826
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 14 April 2018 / Accepted: 14 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
Abstract Viewed by 1312 | PDF Full-text (3712 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: The sludge from the water supply plant was investigated to remove fluoride ions from the water. To improve the adsorption ability, the original sludge sample was treated with fuel oxidation, pyrolysis, hydrochloric acid, and sulphuric acid methods, and hydrochloric acid treatment improved the adsorption capacity of the sludge on the fluoride in water significantly, with a maximum adsorption capacity to 140 mg/kg. The adsorption experimental data was the well fitted pseudo-first-order model and the Langmuir isotherms model. SEM images and XRD patterns of the adsorbent were recorded to get a better insight into the adsorption process. The effect of three variables, hydrochloric acid treated sludge (HWS) dose, pH, and initial fluoride concentration were studied using a Box-Behnken statistical experimental design. The model of the adsorption and optimum conditions was investigated using the response surface methodology. The optimum removal efficiency of fluoride can reach 81.153% under the optimum condition: HWS dose of 14.10 g/L and pH value at 6.12. The effect of co-existing anions and the removal efficiency from the water were also studied. The results suggest that sludge from the water supply plant can be reused as a coagulant for the removal of fluoride from poor quality water.
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Open AccessArticle Mapping the Hidden Hazards: Community-Led Spatial Data Collection of Street-Level Environmental Stressors in a Degraded, Urban Watershed
1 Department of Public Health, Agnes Scott College, 141 E. College Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030, USA
2 Department of Sociology, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Phillips Hall, Room 403-P, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
3 Department of Geosciences, Georgia State University, 24 Peachtree Center Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA
4 Division of Environmental Health, Georgia State University School of Public Health, P.O. Box 3995, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040825
Received: 1 January 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1913 | PDF Full-text (11875 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: We utilized a participatory mapping approach to collect point locations, photographs, and descriptive data about select built environment stressors identified and prioritized by community residents living in the Proctor Creek Watershed, a degraded, urban watershed in Northwest Atlanta, Georgia. Residents (watershed researchers) used an indicator identification framework to select three watershed stressors that influence urban livability: standing water, illegal dumping on land and in surface water, and faulty stormwater infrastructure. Through a community–university partnership and using Geographic Information Systems and digital mapping tools, watershed researchers and university students designed a mobile application (app) that enabled them to collect data associated with these stressors to create a spatial narrative, informed by local community knowledge, that offers visual documentation and representation of community conditions that negatively influence the environment, health, and quality of life in urban areas. By elevating the local knowledge and lived experience of community residents and codeveloping a relevant data collection tool, community residents generated fine-grained, street-level, actionable data. This process helped to fill gaps in publicly available datasets about environmental hazards in their watershed and helped residents initiate solution-oriented dialogue with government officials to address problem areas. We demonstrate that community-based knowledge can contribute to and extend scientific inquiry, as well as help communities to advance environmental justice and leverage opportunities for remediation and policy change.
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Open AccessArticle Study on Cr(VI) Leaching from Cement and Cement Composites
1 Department of Material Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Institute of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Kosice, Vysokoskolska 4, Kosice 04200, Slovakia
2 Faculty of Mining, Ecology, Process Control and Geotechnology, Institute of Montaneous Sciences and Environmental Protection, Technical University of Kosice, Park Komenskeho 19, Kosice 04384, Slovakia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040824
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
Abstract Viewed by 1059 | PDF Full-text (1890 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: This paper reports an experimental study on hexavalent chromium leaching from cement samples and cement composites containing silica fume and zeolite additions that were subjected to various leaching agents. The water-soluble Cr(VI) concentrations in cements ranged from 0.2 to 3.2 mg/kg and represented only 1.8% of the total chromium content. The presence of chromium compounds with both chromium oxidation states of III and VI was detected in the cement samples by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Leaching tests were performed in a Britton-Robinson buffer to simulate natural conditions and showed increased dissolution of Cr(VI) up to 6 mg/kg. The highest amount of leached hexavalent chromium was detected after leaching in HCl. The findings revealed that the leaching of chromium from cements was higher by 55–80% than that from the cement composites. A minimum concentration was observed for all cement samples when studying the relationship between the soluble Cr(VI) and the cement storage time.
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Open AccessArticle Psychometric Evaluation of the Workstyle Short Form among Nursing Assistants with Work-Related Musculoskeletal Symptoms
1 School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
2 School of Medical and Health Sciences, The Tung Wah College, Hong Kong, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040823
Received: 17 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
Abstract Viewed by 1185 | PDF Full-text (673 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: The Workstyle Short Form (24 items) (WSF-24) has been tested for its psychometric properties on work-related upper-extremity musculoskeletal symptoms (WRUEMSs) among office workers. However, the impact of workstyle should not only be limited to WRUEMSs and the sedentary workforce. The purpose of this study was to test the psychometric properties of the modified 24-item Chinese WSF (C-WSF-24) to identify work-related musculoskeletal symptoms (WRMSs) in various body parts among nursing assistants (NAs) working in nursing homes. Four hundred and thirty-nine NAs participated in the study. The results of the factor analysis were that a four-factor solution (working through pain, social reactivity at work, demands at work and breaks) accounted for 56.45% of the total variance. Furthermore, validation against known groups showed that the total score and subscale scores of the C-WSF-24 had the ability to discriminate between NAs with and without WRMSs in various body parts (such as low back and lower extremities). Additionally, C-WSF-24 had a statistically significant association with the contributing factors to WRMSs. This is the first study to examine the psychometric properties of the C-WSF-24 in the non-sedentary workforce, with a focus on various body parts of WRMSs. The results demonstrated that C-WSF-24 is reliable and valid for assessing WRMSs in various body parts among NAs.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Disorders)
Open AccessArticle Projection of Future Mortality Due to Temperature and Population Changes under Representative Concentration Pathways and Shared Socioeconomic Pathways
1 Institute of Health and Environment and Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, 1, Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Korea
2 Climate Research Department, APEC Climate Center, 12, Centum 7-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan 48058, Korea
3 Korea Environment Institute, 370 Sicheong-daero, Sejong 30147, Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040822
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1620 | PDF Full-text (2329 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract: The Paris Agreement aims to limit the global temperature increase to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to even below 1.5 °C. Now, it should be asked what benefits are in pursuing these two targets. In this study, we assessed the temperature–mortality relationship using a distributed lag non-linear model in seven major cities of South Korea. Then, we projected future temperature-attributable mortality under different Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) and Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenarios for those cities. Mortality was projected to increase by 1.53 under the RCP 4.5 (temperature increase by 2.83 °C) and 3.3 under the RCP 8.5 (temperature increase by 5.10 °C) until the 2090s, as compared to baseline (1991–2015) mortality. However, future mortality is expected to increase by less than 1.13 and 1.26 if the 1.5 °C and 2 °C increase targets are met, respectively, under the RCP 4.5. Achieving the more ambitious target of 1.5 °C will reduce mortality by 12%, when compared to the 2 °C target. When we estimated future mortality due to both temperature and population changes, the future mortality was found to be increased by 2.07 and 3.85 for the 1.5 °C and 2 °C temperature increases, respectively, under the RCP 4.5. These increases can be attributed to a growing proportion of elderly population, who is more vulnerable to high temperatures. Meeting the target of 1.5 °C will be particularly beneficial for rapidly aging societies, including South Korea.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impacts of Warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C)
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Open AccessArticle A System Based on the Internet of Things for Real-Time Particle Monitoring in Buildings
1 Unit for Inland Development, Polytechnic Institute of Guarda, Avenida Doutor Francisco Sá Carneiro N° 50, 6300-559 Guarda, Portugal
2 Department of Imagiology, Hospital Centre and University of Coimbra (CHUC), 3000-075 Coimbra, Portugal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040821
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1723 | PDF Full-text (3676 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: Occupational health can be strongly influenced by the indoor environment as people spend 90% of their time indoors. Although indoor air quality (IAQ) is not typically monitored, IAQ parameters could be in many instances very different from those defined as healthy values. Particulate matter (PM), a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air, is considered the pollutant that affects more people. The most health-damaging particles are the ≤PM10 (diameter of 10 microns or less), which can penetrate and lodge deep inside the lungs, contributing to the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as of lung cancer. This paper presents an Internet of Things (IoT) system for real-time PM monitoring named iDust. This system is based on a WEMOS D1 mini microcontroller and a PMS5003 PM sensor that incorporates scattering principle to measure the value of particles suspended in the air (PM10, PM2.5, and PM1.0). Through a Web dashboard for data visualization and remote notifications, the building manager can plan interventions for enhanced IAQ and ambient assisted living (AAL). Compared to other solutions the iDust is based on open-source technologies, providing a total Wi-Fi system, with several advantages such as its modularity, scalability, low cost, and easy installation. The results obtained are very promising, representing a meaningful tool on the contribution to IAQ and occupational health.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Environmental Quality)
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Open AccessArticle Detection of the Invasive Mosquito Species Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in Portugal
1 National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge, Centre for Vectors and Infectious Diseases Research, Avenida da Liberdade 5, 2965-575 Águas de Moura, Portugal
2 Instituto de Saúde Ambiental, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Prof. Egas Moniz, Ed. Egas Moniz, Piso 0, Ala C, 1649-028 Lisboa, Portugal
3 Biosystems and Integrative Sciences Institute (BioISI), Edificio TecLabs, Campus da FCUL, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
4 Administração Regional de Saúde do Norte, I.P., Departamento de Saúde Pública, Rua Anselmo Braamcamp, 144, 4000-078 Porto, Portugal
5 Agrupamento de Centros de Saúde de Vale de Sousa Sul—Unidade de Saúde Pública, Avenida Comendador Abílio Seabra, 104, 4580-029 Paredes, Portugal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 820; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040820
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1835 | PDF Full-text (1484 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract: The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is an invasive mosquito originating from the Asia-Pacific region. This species is of major concern to public and veterinary health because of its vector role in the transmission of several pathogens, such as chikungunya, dengue, and Zika viruses. In Portugal, a National Vector Surveillance Network (REde de VIgilância de VEctores—REVIVE) is responsible for the surveillance of autochthonous, but also invasive, mosquito species at points of entry, such as airports, ports, storage areas, and specific border regions with Spain. At these locations, networks of mosquito traps are set and maintained under surveillance throughout the year. In September 2017, Ae. albopictus was detected for the first time in a tyre company located in the North of Portugal. Molecular typing was performed, and a preliminary phylogenetic analysis indicated a high similarity with sequences of Ae. albopictus collected in Europe. A prompt surveillance response was locally implemented to determine its dispersal and abundance, and adult mosquitoes were screened for the presence of arboviral RNA. A total of 103 specimens, 52 immatures and 51 adults, were collected. No pathogenic viruses were detected. Despite the obtained results suggest low abundance of the population locally introduced, the risk of dispersal and potential establishment of Ae. albopictus in Portugal has raised concern for autochthonous mosquito-borne disease outbreaks.
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Open AccessArticle Aerobic Mesophilic, Coliform, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus Counts of Raw Meat from the Formal and Informal Meat Sectors in South Africa
1 Department of Livestock and Pasture Science, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa
2 Department of Biotechnology and Food Science, Faculty of Science, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein 2028, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 819; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040819
Received: 18 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
Abstract Viewed by 1603 | PDF Full-text (601 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: Foodborne disease (FBD) is a global public health concern, and foods from animal sources have been associated with outbreaks of food-related illness. In this study, animal carcasses from the two abattoirs (HT1 and HT2) in the formal meat sector (FMS) and slaughter points in the informal meat sector (INMS) were examined at two stages of slaughter (before washing and after washing) for aerobic colony counts (ACC) and total viable count (TCC), as well as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus count. At each stage, carcasses were sampled by swabbing at the neck, brisket, flank, and rump. ACC for beef, mutton, and pork carcasses at HT1 and HT2 before washing were between 2.5–5.8, 2.2–4.7, and 2.7–3.7 mean log CFU/cm2, respectively, and TCC count before washing was highest on the neck of cattle (6.3 ± 2.4) and after washing was highest on the perineal of sheep (5.7 ± 6.9). In the INMS, TCC count was highest on the brisket (6.9 ± 3.2) and in the neck (5.5 ± 2.4). Higher ACC values of 6.2–6.7 mean log CFU/cm2 were obtained in the INMS. The highest count for E. coli (4.2 mean log CFU/cm2) after washing was in the neck, while the highest count for S. aureus (4.0 mean log CFU/cm2) was in the flank. All bacteria count in the INMS exceeded acceptable limits, and washing did not significantly reduce microbial load in meat in the FMS and INMS. Bacteria count in the FMS and INMS exceeded acceptable standards. However, meat processed in the INMS poses a more significant risk of FBD to consumers.
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle Fine Particulate Matter Pollution and Risk of Community-Acquired Sepsis
1 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35233, USA
2 Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1665 University Boulevard, RPHB, Birmingham, AL 35233, USA
3 Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University in Saint Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
4 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
5 Universities Space Research Association, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35805, USA
6 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 6431 Fannin St., JJL 434, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040818
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1171 | PDF Full-text (1314 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: While air pollution has been associated with health complications, its effect on sepsis risk is unknown. We examined the association between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution and risk of sepsis hospitalization. We analyzed data from the 30,239 community-dwelling adults in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort linked with satellite-derived measures of PM2.5 data. We defined sepsis as a hospital admission for a serious infection with ≥2 systemic inflammatory response (SIRS) criteria. We performed incidence density sampling to match sepsis cases with 4 controls by age (±5 years), sex, and race. For each matched group we calculated mean daily PM2.5 exposures for short-term (30-day) and long-term (one-year) periods preceding the sepsis event. We used conditional logistic regression to evaluate the association between PM2.5 exposure and sepsis, adjusting for education, income, region, temperature, urbanicity, tobacco and alcohol use, and medical conditions. We matched 1386 sepsis cases with 5544 non-sepsis controls. Mean 30-day PM2.5 exposure levels (Cases 12.44 vs. Controls 12.34 µg/m3; p = 0.28) and mean one-year PM2.5 exposure levels (Cases 12.53 vs. Controls 12.50 µg/m3; p = 0.66) were similar between cases and controls. In adjusted models, there were no associations between 30-day PM2.5 exposure levels and sepsis (4th vs. 1st quartiles OR: 1.06, 95% CI: 0.85–1.32). Similarly, there were no associations between one-year PM2.5 exposure levels and sepsis risk (4th vs. 1st quartiles OR: 0.96, 95% CI: 0.78–1.18). In the REGARDS cohort, PM2.5 air pollution exposure was not associated with risk of sepsis.
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Reference Intervals for Urinary Cotinine Levels and the Influence of Sampling Time and Other Predictors on Its Excretion Among Italian Schoolchildren
1 Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro, 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
2 Department of Medicine and Surgery, Laboratory of Industrial Toxicology, University of Parma, 43121 Parma, Italy
3 Department of Technological Innovations, National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work, Via IV Novembre 144, 00187 Rome, Italy
4 Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences (DiAAA), University of Molise, Via De Sanctis, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
5 Institute of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Sciences, 700156 Kolkata, India
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 817; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040817
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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Abstract: (1) Background: Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) exposure remains a public health problem worldwide. The aims are to establish urinary (u-) cotinine reference values for healthy Italian children, to evaluate the role of the sampling time and of other factors on children’s u-cotinine excretion. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed on 330 children. Information on participants was gathered by a questionnaire and u-cotinine was determined in two samples for each child, collected during the evening and the next morning. (3) Results: Reference intervals (as the 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles of the distribution) in evening and morning samples were respectively equal to 0.98–4.29 and 0.91–4.50 µg L−1 (ETS unexposed) and 1.39–16.34 and 1.49–20.95 µg L−1 (ETS exposed). No statistical differences were recovered between median values found in evening and morning samples, both in ETS unexposed and exposed. Significant predictors of u-cotinine excretions were ponderal status according to body mass index of children (β = 0.202; p-value = 0.041 for evening samples; β = 0.169; p-value = 0.039 for morning samples) and paternal educational level (β = −0.258; p-value = 0.010; for evening samples; β = −0.013; p-value = 0.003 for morning samples). (4) Conclusions: The results evidenced the need of further studies for assessing the role of confounding factors on ETS exposure, and the necessity of educational interventions on smokers for rising their awareness about ETS.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Exposure and Effects)
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Open AccessArticle Design of Urban Public Spaces: Intent vs. Reality
1 Department of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics, Southern University of Denmark, Campusvej 55, Odense M, 5230, Denmark
2 Architecture Department, University of California-Berkeley, 230Wurster Hall #1820, Berkeley, CA 94720–1820, USA
3 Human Potential Centre, Auckland University of Technology, AUT Millennium, Room SA225, New Zealand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 816; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040816
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
Abstract Viewed by 1285 | PDF Full-text (3023 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: This study investigated how two public spaces for sport and recreation were utilized by different user groups, and how this aligned with the initial design objectives for these spaces. Two newly built urban spaces situated in Copenhagen, Denmark, provided the context for this investigation. The System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) was used to examine the physical activity of users in these two urban spaces. The architects responsible for designing each space were interviewed to ascertain the intended target group of each space and to unravel the reasons behind the design decisions. The SOPARC observations revealed that males were more vigorously active than females when using the recreation facilities, and the observed users did not align with the intended target groups. The interviews suggested that design decisions were based on minimal interdisciplinary knowledge, and that expert knowledge was chosen randomly. These findings point to a systematic lack of evidence-based practice when designing sport and recreational facilities. This article has implications for landscape architects and urban planners; a new method must be developed to embed interdisciplinary knowledge in the planning process of future sport and recreation projects. This must be done in a systematic way to make the design process transparent.
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Open AccessArticle How Urban Parks Offer Opportunities for Physical Activity in Dublin, Ireland
1 Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
2 Trinity Centre for Transport Research, Department of Civil, Structural &amp; Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 815; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040815
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1431 | PDF Full-text (296 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: Parks are an important part of the urban fabric of cities. They offer people the opportunity to connect with nature, engage in physical activity, find a haven away from the city noise, or spend time alone or with family and friends. This study examines the relative importance of park and park visit characteristics for 865 survey participants in Dublin, Ireland. The data is analyzed using a multinomial logistic regression model which can distinguish the relative importance of attributes. The model results demonstrate an improvement over proportional by chance accuracy, indicating that the model is useful. The results suggest that when and why individuals go to the park along with the proximity of their residence to the park influence visit frequency more than their age and gender and more than their impression of the sound levels in the park. The contribution of the results, in terms of their potential usefulness to planners, suggest that the priority should be on the provision of park space close to residential areas, so that individuals can engage in activities such as walking and relaxation, and that the quality of that space, in the context of noise levels at least, is less important.
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Open AccessArticle Reciprocal Associations between Electronic Media Use and Behavioral Difficulties in Preschoolers
1 LIFE Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases, Leipzig University, Philipp-Rosenthal-Strasse 27, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
2 Integrated Research and Treatment Center Adiposity Diseases, Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, Leipzig University, Philipp-Rosenthal-Strasse 27, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
3 Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, Ulm University, Helmholtzstrasse 22, 89081 Ulm, Germany
4 Department of Women and Child Health, Hospital for Children and Adolescents and Center for Pediatric Research (CPL), Leipzig University, Liebigstrasse 20a, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 814; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040814
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 3 | Viewed by 6496 | PDF Full-text (660 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: The use of electronic media has increased substantially and is already observable in young children. The present study explored associations of preschoolers’ use of electronic media with age, gender, and socio-economic status, investigated time trends, and examined reciprocal longitudinal relations between children’s use of electronic media and their behavioral difficulties. The study participants included 527 German two- to six-year-old children whose parents had provided information on their use of electronic media and their behavioral difficulties at two time points, with approximately 12 months between baseline and follow-up. The analyses revealed that older vs. younger children, as well as children from families with a lower vs. higher socio-economic status, were more often reported to use electronic media. Furthermore, the usage of mobile phones increased significantly between 2011 and 2016. Most interestingly, baseline usage of computer/Internet predicted more emotional and conduct problems at follow-up, and baseline usage of mobile phones was associated with more conduct problems and hyperactivity or inattention at follow-up. Peer relationship problems at baseline, on the other hand, increased the likelihood of using computer/Internet and mobile phones at follow-up. The findings indicate that preschoolers’ use of electronic media, especially newer media such as computer/Internet and mobile phones, and their behavioral difficulties are mutually related over time.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating and Exercise in Children and Adolescents)
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Open AccessProject Report Development of the WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: An Introduction
1 World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, European Centre for Environment and Health, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, 53113 Bonn, Germany
2 Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Cochrane Work, Neulaniementie 4, 70701 Kuopio, Finland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 813; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040813
Received: 12 April 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1773 | PDF Full-text (322 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: Following the Parma Declaration on Environment and Health adopted at the Fifth Ministerial Conference (2010), the Ministers and representatives of Member States in the WHO European Region requested the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop updated guidelines on environmental noise, and called upon all stakeholders to reduce children’s exposure to noise, including that from personal electronic devices. The WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region will provide evidence-based policy guidance to Member States on protecting human health from noise originating from transportation (road traffic, railway and aircraft), wind turbine noise, and leisure noise in settings where people spend the majority of their time. Compared to previous WHO guidelines on noise, the most significant developments include: consideration of new evidence associating environmental noise exposure with health outcomes, such as annoyance, cardiovascular effects, obesity and metabolic effects (such as diabetes), cognitive impairment, sleep disturbance, hearing impairment and tinnitus, adverse birth outcomes, quality of life, mental health, and wellbeing; inclusion of new noise sources to reflect the current noise environment; and the use of a standardized framework (grading of recommendations, assessment, development, and evaluations: GRADE) to assess evidence and develop recommendations. The recommendations in the guidelines are underpinned by systematic reviews of evidence on several health outcomes related to environmental noise as well as evidence on interventions to reduce noise exposure and/or health outcomes. The overall body of evidence is published in this Special Issue.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue WHO Noise and Health Evidence Reviews)
Open AccessArticle An Empirical Study of the Impact of the Air Transportation Industry Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction Projects on the Local Economy in China
by 1,2, 2,*, 3, 2, 2, 4,*, 2,5,* and 5
1 College of Civil Aviation, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 211106, China
2 Research Center for Environment and Sustainable Development of China Civil Aviation, Civil Aviation University of China, Tianjin 300300, China
3 Wuxi Audit Division, Bank of Ningbo, Wuxi 214043, China
4 College of Tourism and Service Management, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
5 Zhongshan Institute, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Guangdong 528400, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 812; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040812
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 14 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1252 | PDF Full-text (357 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: Green development has been of particular interest to a range of industries worldwide, one of which being the air transportation industry (ATI). The energy conservation and emission reduction (ECER) projects of the ATI have a huge impact on the local economy. In this study, the input-output method was used to analyze the indirect economic impact of the implementation of the ECER projects of the ATI on the local economy of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region. We examined the direct benefits, backward spread effects, forward spread effects, and consumption multiplier effects. The final results showed that the comprehensive economic income from 2011–2013 in the BTH region reached RMB 4.74 billion. The results revealed that the ECER projects commissioned by the ATI were worth investing from both the economic and social benefits perspectives. To increase the green development effects and promote the sustainable development of the ATI, the special funds provided by the Civil Aviation Administration of China should be invested intensively in basic green technology research and setting green regulating and governance rules.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Environment, Green Operations and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Prevalence of General and Central Obesity and Associated Factors among North Korean Refugees in South Korea by Duration after Defection from North Korea: A Cross-Sectional Study
1 Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Hallym University Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, Beodeunaru-ro 7-gil, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul 07247, Korea
2 Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Anam-dong 5-ga, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02841, Korea
3 Department of Preventive Medicine, Konyang University College of Medicine, 158, Gwanjeodong-ro, Seo-gu, Daejeon 35365, Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 811; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040811
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
Abstract Viewed by 1151 | PDF Full-text (302 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract: Previous studies on obesity status among North Korean refugees (NKRs) have been limited. We investigated mean body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and general and central obesity prevalence among NKRs in South Korea (SK) by duration after defection from North Korea (NK), using cross-sectional data of the North Korean Refugee Health in South Korea (NORNS) study and compared these data with a sample from the general South Korean population (the fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey). The prevalence of general and central obesity among NKRs with duration after defection from NK of less than five years were lower than among South Koreans, except for central obesity among NKR females (obesity prevalence, 19% (12–27%) vs. 39% (34–44%) for NK vs. SK males (p < 0.001) and 19% (14–24%) vs. 27% (24–29%) for NK vs. SK females (p = 0.076); central obesity prevalence, 13% (6–19%) vs. 24% (20–29%) for NK vs. SK males (p = 0.011) and 22% (17–28%) vs. 20% (18–22%) for NK vs. SK females (p = 0.382)). The prevalence of general and central obesity among NKRs with duration after defection from NK (≥10 years) were comparable to those of South Koreans in both genders (obesity prevalence, 34% (18–50%) vs. 39% (34–44%) for NK vs. SK males (p = 0.690) and 23% (18–29%) vs. 27% (24–29%) for NK vs. SK females (0.794); central obesity prevalence, 21% (7–34%) vs. 24% (20–29%) for NK vs. SK males (p = 0.642); 22% (17–28%) vs. 20% (18–22%) for NK vs. SK females (p = 0.382)). Male sex, age and longer duration after defection from NK (≥10 years) were positively associated with obesity. As for central obesity, age was the only independently associated factor. NKR females with duration after defection from NK of less than five years had comparable central obesity prevalence to South Korean females in spite of a lower BMI, which suggests that we need further monitoring for their metabolic health among NKRs in SK.
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Open AccessReview Trace Elements in Marine Sediment and Organisms in the Gulf of Thailand
Department of Social and Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, 420/6 Ratchavithi Rd, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 810; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040810
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 1 | Viewed by 865 | PDF Full-text (2900 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: This review summarizes the findings from studies of trace element levels in marine sediment and organisms in the Gulf of Thailand. Spatial and temporal variations in trace element concentrations were observed. Although trace element contamination levels were low, the increased urbanization and agricultural and industrial activities may adversely affect ecosystems and human health. The periodic monitoring of marine environments is recommended in order to minimize human health risks from the consumption of contaminated marine organisms.
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Thematic Analysis of Medical Notes Offers Preliminary Insight into Precipitants for Asian Suicide Attempters: An Exploratory Study
1 College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Singapore 387380, Singapore
2 Department of Psychological Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119007, Singapore
3 School of Psychology, Curtin University, Perth 6102, Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 809; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040809
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1162 | PDF Full-text (294 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: One important dynamic risk factor for suicide assessment includes suicide precipitant. This exploratory study used a qualitative paradigm to look into the themes surrounding precipitants for suicide attempts in Singapore. Medical records related to suicide attempters who were admitted to the emergency department of a large teaching hospital in Singapore over a three year period were subjected to analysis. A total of 666 cases were examined (69.2% females; 63.8% Chinese, 15% Malays, 15.8% Indians), ages ranged from 10 years old to 85 years old (Mean = 29.7, Standard Deviation = 16.1). The thematic analysis process that was applied to the textual data elicited key concepts labelled as Relationship issues, Financial strain, Socio-legal-academic—environmental stress, and Physical and mental illness and pain. Interpreted with other recent local research on suicide attempters in Singapore, the findings have implications for informing suicide interventions.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult Psychiatry)
Open AccessArticle Modeling Skin Injury from Hot Rice Porridge Spills
Department of Engineering, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, 5528 Haugesund, Norway
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040808
Received: 25 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 2 | Viewed by 819 | PDF Full-text (5294 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: The present work analyzes skin burns from spills of hot rice and milk products. The traditional Norwegian rice porridge serves as an example. By testing spills on objects emulating an arm, it was concluded that spills were seldom thinner than 3 mm, and stayed in place due to the viscosity of the porridge for more than one minute. The Pennes bioheat equation was solved numerically for such spills, including heat conduction to the skin and convective heat losses from the porridge surface. Temperatures were analyzed in the porridge and skin layers, and the resulting skin injury was calculated based on the basal layer temperature. Parameters influencing burn severity, such as porridge layer thickness, porridge temperature, removal of the porridge and thermal effects of post scald tempered (15 °C) water cooling were analyzed. The spilled porridge resulted in a prolonged heat supply to the skin, and the skin injury developed significantly with time. The porridge temperature turned out to be the most important injury parameter. A 70 °C porridge temperature could develop superficial partial-thickness burns. Porridge temperatures at processing temperatures nearly instantly developed severe burns. It was demonstrated that prompt removal of the hot porridge significantly reduced the injury development. The general advice is to avoid serving porridge and similar products at temperatures above 65 °C and, if spilled on the skin, to remove it quickly. After such scald incidents, it is advised to cool the injured area by tempered water for a prolonged period to stimulate healing.
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Open AccessBrief Report Research Priorities in Suicide Prevention: Review of Australian Research from 2010–2017 Highlights Continued Need for Intervention Research
1 Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Carlton 3010, Australia
2 Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia
3 Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Parkville 3052, Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 807; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040807
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1173 | PDF Full-text (389 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract: Suicide is a major public health concern in Australia and globally, requiring targeted research efforts to build the evidence base for its effective prevention. We examined current and future priorities in Australian suicide prevention research during the period 2010–2017, and compared these to 1999–2006 baseline data. We classified current research priorities in terms of the type of research published in 424 journal articles and 36 grants and fellowships funded during 2010–2017. A questionnaire administered to 390 stakeholders identified future research priorities. The total number of suicide prevention focussed journal articles and the value of funded grants increased dramatically. Congruent with baseline data, current research priorities in 2010–2017 reflected a strong emphasis on epidemiological studies, while funding for intervention studies declined. This is despite the fact that stakeholders continually identified intervention studies as being the highest future research priority. If we are to make real advances in suicide prevention, we need to know what works, and identify and test effective interventions. This study highlighted the existing dearth and continued need for intervention research. Mechanisms to support future intervention research in suicide prevention are likely to lead to significant gains in knowledge and population health.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Suicide Research)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview From Community to Meta-Community Mental Health Care
1 King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, De Crespigny Park, P.O. Box 27, London SE5 8AF, UK
2 Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust, Brockley Hill, Stanmore, Middlesex HA4 7LP, UK
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 806; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040806
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1144 | PDF Full-text (310 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: Since the 1960s, we have witnessed the development and growth of community mental health care that continues to dominate mental health policy and practice. Several high-income countries have implemented community mental health care programmes but for many others, including mostly low- and middle-income countries, it remains an aspiration. Although community mental health care has been positive for many service users, it has also had severe shortcomings. Expectations that it would lead to fuller social integration have not been fulfilled and many service users remain secluded in sheltered or custodial environments with limited social contacts and no prospect of work. Others receive little or no service at all. In today’s complex landscape of increasingly specialised services for people with mental health problems, the number of possible interfaces between services is increasing. Together with existing uneven financing systems and a context of constant change, these interfaces are challenging us to develop effective care pathways adjusted to the needs of service users and their carers. This discussion paper reviews the developments in community mental health care over the recent years and puts forward the concept of “Meta-Community Mental Health Care”. “Meta-Community Mental Health Care” embraces pluralism in understanding and treating psychiatric disorders, acknowledges the complexities of community provision, and reflects the realities and needs of the current era of care.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health and Social Care and Social Interventions)
Open AccessReview The Potential of Integrating Provitamin A-Biofortified Maize in Smallholder Farming Systems to Reduce Malnourishment in South Africa
1 Department of Crop Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
2 Faculty of Science and Agriculture, Department of Consumer Sciences, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa 3886, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040805
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1296 | PDF Full-text (526 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: Biofortification interventions have the potential to combat malnutrition. This review explored the use of provitamin A-biofortified maize (PVABM) as a vitamin A deficiency (VAD) reduction agricultural-based strategy. Maize has been identified as one of the key staple crops for biofortification to reduce hidden hunger in Africa. Most nutrition interventions have not been successful in reducing hunger because rural communities, who mainly rely on agriculture, have been indirectly excluded. The biofortification intervention proposed here aims to be an inclusive strategy, based on smallholder farming systems. Vitamin A is a micronutrient essential for growth, immune function, reproduction and vision, and its deficiency results in VAD. VAD is estimated to affect more than 250 million children in developing countries. In Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, maize is a staple food for rural communities, consumed by most household members. Due to carotenoids, PVABM presents an orange color. This color has been reported to lead to negative perceptions about PVABM varieties. The perceived agronomic traits of this maize by smallholder farmers have not been explored. Adoption and utilization of PVABM varieties relies on both acceptable consumer attributes and agronomic traits, including nutritional value. It is therefore important to assess farmers’ perceptions of and willingness to adopt the varieties, and the potential markets for PVABM maize. It is essential to establish on-farm trials and experiments to evaluate the response of PVABM under different climatic conditions, fertilizer levels and soils, and its overall agronomic potential. For the better integration of PVABM with smallholder farming systems, farmer training and workshops about PVABM should be part of any intervention. A holistic approach would enhance farmers’ knowledge about PVABM varieties and that their benefits out-compete other existing maize varieties.
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Open AccessArticle Urinary Cotinine Concentration and Self-Reported Smoking Status in 1075 Subjects Living in Central Italy
1 INAIL, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene, Via di Fontana Candida 1, Monteporzio Catone, 00078 Rome, Italy
2 Lazio Regional Health Service, Department of Epidemiology, Via Cristoforo Colombo 112, 00147 Rome, Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 804; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040804
Received: 6 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
Abstract Viewed by 1228 | PDF Full-text (501 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: Background: Urinary cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, is a marker of tobacco smoke exposure. A cutoff value for cotinine concentration can be set to distinguish smokers from non-smokers, independently from self-declared status. Method: Cotinine was determined by isotopic dilution High Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) between 2013 and 2014 on urine samples of a population of 1075 subjects. Results: 296 subjects have a cotinine level higher than 100 μg/g of creatinine (cutoff), with a median cotinine concentration of 1504.70 μg/g of creatinine. The mean is 27.5% of smokers and 60.5% in this group are females. The median value for non-smokers is 5.6 μg/g of creatinine. Two hundred and seventy-five subjects declared to be smokers in the questionnaire, but 6 (2.2%) present urinary cotinine levels lower than cutoff; 800 subjects declared to be non-smokers, but 26 of them presented urinary cotinine levels that were higher than the cutoff (3.3%). Conclusion: Using the cutoff of 100 μg/g, the misclassification of smokers resulted to be 2.2%, indicating that the selected value is suitable for studying the human exposures to environmental and occupational pollutants, including those produced by smoking.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Exposure and Effects)
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Open AccessArticle Convergence in Sleep Time Accomplished? Gender Gap in Sleep Time for Middle-Aged Adults in Korea
1 Department of Child and Family Welfare, University of Suwon, 17 Wauangill, Bongdam-eup, Hwasung-si, Gyounggi-do 18323, Korea
2 Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University, Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 803; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040803
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
Abstract | Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1089 | PDF Full-text (500 KB) | HTML Full-textXML Full-text
Abstract: Although the gender gap in sleep time has narrowed significantly in the last decade, middle-aged women between ages 35 and 60 still sleep less than their male counterparts in Korea. This study examines and provides evidence for factors contributing to the gender gap in this age group. Using Korean Time Use Survey (KTUS) data from 2004, 2009 and 2014, we find that middle-aged women’s difficulty in managing work-life balance and traditional role expectations placed upon women are the main causes of the gender gap in sleep time. The decomposition analysis reveals that the improved socioeconomic status and recent changes in familial expectations for women may have helped them sleep more than in the past. However, there remain fundamental differences in attitude and time use patterns between men and women that prevent middle-aged women from getting the same amount of sleep.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact of 24-Hour Movement Behaviour and Time Use)
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