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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 16, Issue 11 (June-1 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Australian Aboriginal children have higher rates of mortality at younger ages than their [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview
Catalytic Oxidation Process for the Degradation of Synthetic Dyes: An Overview
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2066; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112066
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
Dyes are used in various industries as coloring agents. The discharge of dyes, specifically synthetic dyes, in wastewater represents a serious environmental problem and causes public health concerns. The implementation of regulations for wastewater discharge has forced research towards either the development of [...] Read more.
Dyes are used in various industries as coloring agents. The discharge of dyes, specifically synthetic dyes, in wastewater represents a serious environmental problem and causes public health concerns. The implementation of regulations for wastewater discharge has forced research towards either the development of new processes or the improvement of available techniques to attain efficient degradation of dyes. Catalytic oxidation is one of the advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), based on the active radicals produced during the reaction in the presence of a catalyst. This paper reviews the problems of dyes and hydroxyl radical-based oxidation processes, including Fenton’s process, non-iron metal catalysts, and the application of thin metal catalyst-coated tubular reactors in detail. In addition, the sulfate radical-based catalytic oxidation technique has also been described. This study also includes the effects of various operating parameters such as pH, temperature, the concentration of the oxidant, the initial concentration of dyes, and reaction time on the catalytic decomposition of dyes. Moreover, this paper analyzes the recent studies on catalytic oxidation processes. From the present study, it can be concluded that catalytic oxidation processes are very active and environmentally friendly methods for dye removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) for Water Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Do the Emotions of Middle-Income Mothers Affect Fetal Development More Than Those of High-Income Mothers?—The Association between Maternal Emotion and Fetal Development
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2065; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112065
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
This study examines the relationship between the emotions of mothers and fetal development and explores the modifying effect that family income has on this relationship. Socio-demographic information, maternal depression, stress, positive and negative emotions, and maternal-fetal attachment data were collected at 16–20 weeks [...] Read more.
This study examines the relationship between the emotions of mothers and fetal development and explores the modifying effect that family income has on this relationship. Socio-demographic information, maternal depression, stress, positive and negative emotions, and maternal-fetal attachment data were collected at 16–20 weeks of pregnancy. Data on fetal body weight and biparietal diameter indicating fetal development were collected at 33–35 weeks to observe the longitudinal effects of mothers’ emotions on fetal development. We divided subjects into two groups: those with more than 150% of the median income were classified as the high-income group and less than 150% as the middle-income group. T-test, correlation analysis, and multiple regression analysis on maternal emotional status and fetal development were performed for each group. A positive correlation was found between maternal-fetal attachment and negative emotion that was associated with the biparietal diameter and fetal body weight only in the middle-income group. Results of the multiple regression analysis were statistically significant, indicating that maternal-fetal attachment was associated with fetal weight. These results show that the management of subjective emotion is associated with healthy development of the fetus and contributes to health equity. Full article
Open AccessArticle
An Effective Approach for the Multiobjective Regional Low-Carbon Location-Routing Problem
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2064; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112064
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 9 June 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, we consider a variant of the location-routing problem (LRP), namely the the multiobjective regional low-carbon LRP (MORLCLRP). The MORLCLRP seeks to minimize service duration, client waiting time, and total costs, which includes carbon emission costs and total depot, vehicle, and [...] Read more.
In this paper, we consider a variant of the location-routing problem (LRP), namely the the multiobjective regional low-carbon LRP (MORLCLRP). The MORLCLRP seeks to minimize service duration, client waiting time, and total costs, which includes carbon emission costs and total depot, vehicle, and travelling costs with respect to fuel consumption, and considers three practical constraints: simultaneous pickup and delivery, heterogeneous fleet, and hard time windows. We formulated a multiobjective mixed integer programming formulations for the problem under study. Due to the complexity of the proposed problem, a general framework, named the multiobjective hyper-heuristic approach (MOHH), was applied for obtaining Pareto-optimal solutions. Aiming at improving the performance of the proposed approach, four selection strategies and three acceptance criteria were developed as the high-level heuristic (HLH), and three multiobjective evolutionary algorithms (MOEAs) were designed as the low-level heuristics (LLHs). The performance of the proposed approach was tested for a set of different instances and comparative analyses were also conducted against eight domain-tailored MOEAs. The results showed that the proposed algorithm produced a high-quality Pareto set for most instances. Additionally, extensive analyses were also carried out to empirically assess the effects of domain-specific parameters (i.e., fleet composition, client and depot distribution, and zones area) on key performance indicators (i.e., hypervolume, inverted generated distance, and ratio of nondominated individuals). Several management insights are provided by analyzing the Pareto solutions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Value Assessment of Health Losses Caused by PM2.5 in Changsha City, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2063; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112063
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 1 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
With the advancement of urbanization, the harm caused to human health by PM2.5 pollution has been receiving increasing attention worldwide. In order to increase public awareness and understanding of the damage caused by PM2.5 in the air and gain the attention [...] Read more.
With the advancement of urbanization, the harm caused to human health by PM2.5 pollution has been receiving increasing attention worldwide. In order to increase public awareness and understanding of the damage caused by PM2.5 in the air and gain the attention of relevant management departments, Changsha City is used as the research object, and the environmental quality data and public health data of Changsha City from 2013 to 2017 are used. All-cause death, respiratory death, cardiovascular death, chronic bronchitis, and asthma were selected as the endpoints of PM2.5 pollution health effects, according to an exposure–response coefficient, Poisson regression model, and health-impact-assessment-related methods (the Human Capital Approach, the Willingness to Pay Approach, and the Cost of Illness Approach), assessing the health loss and economic loss associated with PM2.5. The results show that the pollution of PM2.5 in Changsha City is serious, which has resulted in extensive health hazards and economic losses to local residents. From 2013 to 2017, when annual average PM2.5 concentrations fell to 10 μg/m3, the total annual losses from the five health-effect endpoints were $2788.41 million, $2123.18 million, $1657.29 million, $1402.90 million, and $1419.92 million, respectively. The proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the current year was 2.69%, 1.87%, 1.34%, 1.04% and 0.93%, respectively. Furthermore, when the concentration of PM2.5 in Changsha City drops to the safety threshold of 10 μg/m3, the number of affected populations and health economic losses can far exceed the situation when it falls to 35 μg/m3, as stipulated by the national secondary standard. From 2013 to 2017, the total loss under the former situation was 1.48 times, 1.54 times, 1.86 times, 2.25 times, and 2.33 times that of the latter, respectively. Among them, all-cause death and cardiovascular death are the main sources of health loss. Taking 2017 as an example, when the annual average concentration dropped to 10 μg/m3, the health loss caused by deaths from all-cause death and cardiovascular disease was 49.16% of the total loss and 35.73%, respectively. Additionally, deaths as a result of respiratory disease, asthma, and chronic bronchitis contributed to 7.31%, 7.29%, and 0.51% of the total loss, respectively. The research results can provide a reference for the formulation of air pollution control policies based on health effects, which is of great significance for controlling air pollution and protecting people’s health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Cluster of Legionnaires’ Disease in an Italian Prison
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2062; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112062
Received: 4 May 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
Background: Legionella pneumophila (Lp) is the most common etiologic agent causing Legionnaires’ Disease (LD). Water systems offer the best growth conditions for Lp and support its spread by producing aerosols. From 2015 to 2017, the Regional Reference Laboratory of Clinical and Environmental Surveillance [...] Read more.
Background: Legionella pneumophila (Lp) is the most common etiologic agent causing Legionnaires’ Disease (LD). Water systems offer the best growth conditions for Lp and support its spread by producing aerosols. From 2015 to 2017, the Regional Reference Laboratory of Clinical and Environmental Surveillance of Legionellosis of Palermo monitored the presence of Lp in nine prisons in Western Sicily. During this investigation, we compared Lp isolates from environmental samples in a prison located in Palermo with isolates from two prisoners in the same prison. Methods: We collected 93 water samples from nine Sicilian prisons and the bronchoalveolar lavages (BALs) of two prisoners considered cases of LD. These samples were processed following the procedures described in the Italian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Legionellosis of 2015. Then, genotyping was performed on 19 Lp colonies (17 from water samples and 2 from clinical samples) using the Sequence-Based Typing (SBT) method, according to European Study Group for Legionella Infections (ESGLI) protocols. Results: Lp serogroup (sg) 6 was the most prevalent serogroup isolated from the prisons analyzed (40%), followed by Lp sg 1 (16%). Most of all, in four penitentiary institutions, we detected a high concentration of Lp >104 Colony Forming Unit/Liter (CFU/L). The environmental molecular investigation found the following Sequence Types (STs) in Lp sg 6: ST 93, ST 292, ST 461, ST 728, ST 1317 and ST 1362, while most of the isolates in sg 1 belonged to ST 1. We also found a new ST that has since been assigned the number 2451 in the ESGLI-SBT database. From the several Lp sg 1 colonies isolated from the two BALs, we identified ST 2451. Conclusions: In this article, we described the results obtained from environmental and epidemiological investigations of Lp isolated from prisons in Western Sicily. Furthermore, we reported the first cluster of Legionnaires’ in an Italian prison and the molecular typing of Lp sg 1 from one prison’s water system and two BALs, identified the source of the contamination, and discovered a new ST. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Single-Cell Analysis Reveals that Chronic Silver Nanoparticle Exposure Induces Cell Division Defects in Human Epithelial Cells
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2061; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112061
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
Multiple organizations have urged a paradigm shift from traditional, whole animal, chemical safety testing to alternative methods. Although these forward-looking methods exist for risk assessment and predication, animal testing is still the preferred method and will remain so until more robust cellular and [...] Read more.
Multiple organizations have urged a paradigm shift from traditional, whole animal, chemical safety testing to alternative methods. Although these forward-looking methods exist for risk assessment and predication, animal testing is still the preferred method and will remain so until more robust cellular and computational methods are established. To meet this need, we aimed to develop a new, cell division-focused approach based on the idea that defective cell division may be a better predictor of risk than traditional measurements. To develop such an approach, we investigated the toxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on human epithelial cells. AgNPs are the type of nanoparticle most widely employed in consumer and medical products, yet toxicity reports are still confounding. Cells were exposed to a range of AgNP doses for both short- and-long term exposure times. The analysis of treated cell populations identified an effect on cell division and the emergence of abnormal nuclear morphologies, including micronuclei and binucleated cells. Overall, our results indicate that AgNPs impair cell division, not only further confirming toxicity to human cells, but also highlighting the propagation of adverse phenotypes within the cell population. Furthermore, this work illustrates that cell division-based analysis will be an important addition to future toxicology studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Paraquat Preferentially Induces Apoptosis of Late Stage Effector Lymphocyte and Impairs Memory Immune Response in Mice
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2060; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112060
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 10 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
Paraquat (PQ) is a toxic non-selective herbicide. To date, the effect of PQ on memory immune response is still unknown. We investigated the impact of PQ on memory immune response. Adult C57BL/6 mice were subcutaneously injected with 2 mg/kg PQ, 20 mg/kg PQ [...] Read more.
Paraquat (PQ) is a toxic non-selective herbicide. To date, the effect of PQ on memory immune response is still unknown. We investigated the impact of PQ on memory immune response. Adult C57BL/6 mice were subcutaneously injected with 2 mg/kg PQ, 20 mg/kg PQ or vehicle control every three days for two weeks. A single injection of keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) at day four after the initial PQ treatment was used to induce a primary immune response; a second KLH challenge was performed at three months post the first KLH immunization to induce a secondary immune response. In steady state, treatment with 20 mg/kg PQ reduced the level of serum total IgG, but not that of IgM; treatment with 20 mg/kg PQ decreased the number of effector and memory lymphocytes, but not naïve or inactivated lymphocytes. During the primary immune response to KLH, treatment with 20 mg/kg PQ did not influence the proliferation of lymphocytes or expression of co-stimulatory molecules. Instead, treatment with 20 mg/kg PQ increased the apoptosis of lymphocytes at late stage, but not early stage of the primary immune response. During the secondary immune response to KLH, treatment with 20 mg/kg PQ reduced the serum anti-KLH IgG and KLH-responsive CD4 T cells and B cells. Moreover, effector or activated lymphocytes were more sensitive to PQ-induced apoptosis in vitro. Treatment with 2 mg/kg PQ did not impact memory immune response to KLH. Thus, treatment with 20 mg/kg PQ increased apoptosis of late stage effector cells to yield less memory cells and thereafter impair memory immune response, providing a novel understanding of the immunotoxicity of PQ. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Potential Health Risks Faced by Waste Pickers on Landfills in South Africa: A Socio-Ecological Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2059; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112059
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 1 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
Landfill and street waste pickers in South Africa are responsible for collecting substantial volumes of recyclable material, saving municipalities millions and contributing to a generally healthier and cleaner environment. Yet waste pickers continue to operate on the fringes of the economy and are [...] Read more.
Landfill and street waste pickers in South Africa are responsible for collecting substantial volumes of recyclable material, saving municipalities millions and contributing to a generally healthier and cleaner environment. Yet waste pickers continue to operate on the fringes of the economy and are exposed to many risks, particularly health risks which have a direct impact on the sustainability of their livelihoods. This article, using a mixed-methods approach, explores the health risks to which waste pickers working on nine different landfills in the country are exposed. The socio-ecological framework was used to analyse and present the results. A key finding was that waste picking, by its very nature, lends itself to innumerable health risks, but that these can be lessened through concerted and collaborative efforts on the part of landfill operators, local authorities and other stakeholders. Integrating the ‘self-employed’ waste pickers into the formal waste management system should be comprehensive in order to limit health risks. Waste pickers will never have a risk-free environment, but facilitative policies and supportive institutions can collaboratively help to mitigate these risks and create a more sustainable and dignified working environment towards sustaining their livelihoods. Full article
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Open AccessReply
Reply to Comment on “Distribution of Ixodes scapularis in Northwestern Ontario: Results from Active and Passive Surveillance Activities in the Northwestern Health Unit Catchment Area”
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2058; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112058
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
We thank Mr [...] Full article
Open AccessCommunication
Which Parenting Style Encourages Healthy Lifestyles in Teenage Children? Proposal for a Model of Integrative Parenting Styles
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2057; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112057
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
Given that we live in an environment in constant change—a liquid society, according to Bauman—we propose a versatile parenting style with the capacity to adapt to the variations of socio-temporal evolution. This is achieved by basing parenting guidelines on the permanent, executive, cognitive, [...] Read more.
Given that we live in an environment in constant change—a liquid society, according to Bauman—we propose a versatile parenting style with the capacity to adapt to the variations of socio-temporal evolution. This is achieved by basing parenting guidelines on the permanent, executive, cognitive, and affective components of a person. Although the first reviews of parenting styles emphasized the Authoritative style, the emerging tendency in some geographical areas has been to prioritize the Indulgent style. Extracting the common factor of these two styles, the suggestion is to improve the affective aspect of the relationship characterized by warm and close parent–child interactions. It is important to respect the style of each family in order to support it in its educational task while offering guidelines to help consolidate healthy adolescent lifestyles. In this line, we present successful experiments that have helped families in this decisive task by highlighting the efficacy of promoting systemic educational plans that involve the whole society. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Diagnosis in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients Using the Pepsin Salivary Test
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2056; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112056
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Background: To investigate the presence of laryngopharyngeal reflux in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) employing the salivary pepsin concentration method. To compare the results of pepsin concentration with the severity of the pathology. Methods: Seventy-five OSA patients (44 males, 31 females) were [...] Read more.
Background: To investigate the presence of laryngopharyngeal reflux in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) employing the salivary pepsin concentration method. To compare the results of pepsin concentration with the severity of the pathology. Methods: Seventy-five OSA patients (44 males, 31 females) were enrolled in the study. For each patient, the AHI (apnea–hypopnea index) and the BMI (body mass index) were initially evaluated. All the patients enrolled were assessed using the reflux symptom index (RSI) and the reflux finding score (RFS) in order to perform a clinical diagnosis of laryngopharyngeal reflux. In all patients a salivary sample was taken to estimate the presence of pepsin and its concentration. Results: The incidence of LPR (laryngopharyngeal reflux) in OSA patients, evaluated using the salivary pepsin concentration test (PEP-test), was found to be 32% of cases. Linear regression testing did not show any correlation between AHI and pepsin concentration in salivary samples (p = 0.1). Conclusion: A high number of patients with OSA seem to show positivity for salivary pepsin, correlated to an LPR. There does not appear to be a correlation between the severity of apnea and the grade of salivary pepsin reflux. On the other hand, direct correlation between BMI and the value of pepsin in salivary specimens was observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Disorders Across the Lifespan: A Different Perspective)
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Open AccessCommunication
Cryptosporidium Oocyst Contamination in Drinking Water: A Case Study in Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2055; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112055
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of Cryptosporidium oocysts in a drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) located in a rural area of northern Italy. Influent and effluent samples were collected at the DWTP over three years (2013–2016). In parallel, [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of Cryptosporidium oocysts in a drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) located in a rural area of northern Italy. Influent and effluent samples were collected at the DWTP over three years (2013–2016). In parallel, tap water samples from a public drinking fountain were collected as well. All samples were analyzed for the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts by a common method based on an immunomagnetic separation (IMS)/immunofluorescence assay (IFA), complemented by 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining. A reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) protocol was added to evaluate oocyst viability. The results highlighted a high variability of oocyst concentrations across all samples (mean 4.3 ± 5.8/100 L) and a high variability in the percentage of DAPI-positive specimens (mean 48.2% ± 40.3%). Conversely, RT-PCR did not reveal the presence of viable C. parvum and C. hominis oocysts. A nested PCR targeting Cryptosporidium 18S ribosomal DNA, carried out in two water samples, confirmed the presence of a Cryptosporidium genotype associated with wild animals in the river and in tap water. The results obtained underline the vulnerability of the investigated surface water to Cryptosporidium spp. contamination. Although the recovered Cryptosporidium genotype is not a human pathogen, its presence demonstrates the existence of a potential pathogen Cryptosporidium spp. contamination risk. Moreover, these results underline the importance of also considering unconventional (not bacterial) biological contaminations (protozoa) in water resources in rural areas, including those of developed countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Translation, Cross-Cultural Adaptation, and Validation of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) into the Malay Language
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2054; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112054
Received: 9 May 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Background: Patient feedback is an important tool in assessing health system quality. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) was developed in 2006 as a standardized instrument to assess patient perceptions in the United States of America. This study aimed [...] Read more.
Background: Patient feedback is an important tool in assessing health system quality. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) was developed in 2006 as a standardized instrument to assess patient perceptions in the United States of America. This study aimed to translate and validate the HCAHPS questionnaire into the Malay language in order to assess patient perceptions of health services in Malaysia. Methods: The original HCAPHS in English was translated into Malay based on the established guideline. The content validation involved an expert panel of 10 members, including patients. The face validation pilot testing of the HCAHPS-Malay version was conducted among 10 discharged patients. The exploratory factor analysis (EFA) used principal axis factor, and varimax rotation was established based on a cross-sectional study conducted among 200 discharged patients from Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (Hospital USM). Results: The overall content validity index was 0.87, and the universal face validity index was 0.82. From the EFA, the factor loading value ranged from 0.652 to 0.961 within nine domains. The internal consistency reliability with Cronbach’s alpha was 0.844. Conclusion: The HCAHPS-Malay is a reliable and valid tool to determine patients’ perception of healthcare services among inpatients in Hospital USM based on the content and face validation result together with a good construct validity and excellent absolute reliability. Further testing on HCAHPS-Malay version in other settings in Malaysia needs to be done for cross-validation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Care Sciences & Services)
Open AccessArticle
Plant Growth Promotion and Biocontrol of Pythium ultimum by Saline Tolerant Trichoderma Isolates under Salinity Stress
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2053; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112053
Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
This present study evaluates three isolates of Trichoderma as plant growth promoting or biological control agents: Trichoderma aggressivum f. sp. europaeum, Trichoderma saturnisporum, and the marine isolate obtained from Posidonia oceanica, Trichoderma longibrachiatum. The purpose is to contribute to [...] Read more.
This present study evaluates three isolates of Trichoderma as plant growth promoting or biological control agents: Trichoderma aggressivum f. sp. europaeum, Trichoderma saturnisporum, and the marine isolate obtained from Posidonia oceanica, Trichoderma longibrachiatum. The purpose is to contribute to an overall reduction in pesticide residues in the fruit and the environment and to a decrease in chemical fertilizers, the excess of which aggravates one of the most serious abiotic stresses, salinity. The tolerance of the different isolates to increasing concentrations of sodium chloride was evaluated in vitro, as well as their antagonistic capacity against Pythium ultimum. The plant growth promoting capacity and effects of Trichoderma strains on the severity of P. ultimum on melon seedlings under saline conditions were also analysed. The results reveal that the three isolates of Trichoderma, regardless of their origin, alleviate the stress produced by salinity, resulting in larger plants with an air-dry weight percentage above 80% in saline stress conditions for T. longibrachiatum, or an increase in root-dry weight close to 50% when T. aggressivum f. sp. europaeum was applied. Likewise, the three isolates showed antagonistic activity against P. ultimum, reducing the incidence of the disease, with the highest response found for T. longibrachiatum. Biological control of P. ultimum by T. aggressivum f. sp. europaeum and T. saturnisporum is reported for the first time, reducing disease severity by 62.96% and 51.85%, respectively. This is the first description of T. aggressivum f. sp. europaeum as a biological control agent and growth promoter. The application of these isolates can be of enormous benefit to horticultural crops, in both seedbeds and greenhouses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Greenhouse and Horticulture)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Students’ Knowledge on WASH-Related Diseases
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2052; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112052
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Water-, sanitation-, and hygiene-related diseases are killing many people each year in developing countries, including Rwanda, and children under the age of five are the most vulnerable. This research assessed human waste disposal practices, knowledge on diseases caused by contact with human faeces, [...] Read more.
Water-, sanitation-, and hygiene-related diseases are killing many people each year in developing countries, including Rwanda, and children under the age of five are the most vulnerable. This research assessed human waste disposal practices, knowledge on diseases caused by contact with human faeces, and knowledge on causes and prevention of selected WASH-related diseases. One thousand one hundred and seventy-three students were interviewed out of 2900 students. The results showed, regarding students’ waste disposal practices, that 96.3% use latrines, 20.5% practice open defecation in bushes, and 3.2% defecate in water bodies. Regarding knowledge on diseases caused by contact with human faeces, 56.9% responded that they were aware of cholera, 26.5% of diarrhoea, 2.2% of dysentery, 0.3% of malaria, 0.1% of shigellosis, and 3.8% of typhoid. The majority of the respondents, between 50–99%, could not identify the main causes of the WASH-related diseases. This paper also showed that students lack health knowledge in regard to WASH-related diseases’ causes and prevention. Therefore, the provision of water and sanitation infrastructures should go with the provision of health education on how to avoid these diseases and possible ways to improve the well-being of the students both at home and in their various schools. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Local Challenges and Successes Associated with Transitioning to Sustainable Food System Practices for a West Australian Context: Multi-Sector Stakeholder Perceptions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2051; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112051
Received: 9 May 2019 / Revised: 2 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Large-scale food system practices have diminished soil and water quality and negatively impacted climate change. Yet, numerous opportunities exist to harness food system practices that will ensure better outcomes for human health and ecosystems. The objective of this study was to consider food [...] Read more.
Large-scale food system practices have diminished soil and water quality and negatively impacted climate change. Yet, numerous opportunities exist to harness food system practices that will ensure better outcomes for human health and ecosystems. The objective of this study was to consider food Production, Processing, Access and Consumption domains, and for each determine the challenges and successes associated with progressing towards a sustainable food system. A workshop engaging 122 participants including producers, consultants, consumers, educators, funders, scientists, media, government and industry representatives, was conducted in Perth, Western Australia. A thematic analysis of statements (Successes (n = 170) or Challenges (n = 360)) captured, revealed issues of scale, knowledge and education, economics, consumerism, big food, environmental/sustainability, communication, policies and legislation, and technology and innovations. Policy recommendations included greater investment into research in sustainable agriculture (particularly the evidentiary basis for regenerative agriculture), land preservation, and supporting farmers to overcome high infrastructure costs and absorb labour costs. Policy, practice and research recommendations included focusing on an integrated food systems approach with multiple goals, food system actors working collaboratively to reduce challenges and undertaking more research to further the regenerative agriculture evidence. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Integrating Smoking Cessation Care into a Medically Supervised Injecting Facility Using an Organizational Change Intervention: A Qualitative Study of Staff and Client Views
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2050; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112050
Received: 19 May 2019 / Revised: 2 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Background: Clients accessing supervised injecting facilities (SIFs) smoke at high rates. An SIF piloted an organizational change intervention to integrate smoking cessation care as routine treatment. This study aims to explore staff acceptability, perceived facilitators, and perceived barriers to implementing six core components [...] Read more.
Background: Clients accessing supervised injecting facilities (SIFs) smoke at high rates. An SIF piloted an organizational change intervention to integrate smoking cessation care as routine treatment. This study aims to explore staff acceptability, perceived facilitators, and perceived barriers to implementing six core components of an organizational change intervention to integrate smoking cessation care in an SIF. Staff and client views on the acceptability, facilitators, and barriers to the provision of smoking cessation care were also examined. Methods: This paper presents findings from the qualitative component conducted post-intervention implementation. Face-to-face semi-structured staff interviews (n = 14) and two client focus groups (n = 5 and n = 4) were conducted between September and October 2016. Recruitment continued until data saturation was reached. Thematic analysis was employed to synthesise and combine respondent views and identify key themes. Results: Staff viewed the organizational change intervention as acceptable. Commitment from leadership, a designated champion, access to resources, and the congruence between the change and the facility’s ethos were important facilitators of organizational change. Less engaged staff was the sole barrier to the intervention. Smoking cessation care was deemed suitable. Key facilitators of smoking cessation care included: Written protocols, ongoing training, and visually engaging information. Key barriers of smoking cessation care included: Lack of access to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) outside of business hours, practical limitations of the database, and concerns about sustainability of NRT. Conclusion: This study develops our understanding of factors influencing the implementation of an organisational change intervention to promote sustainable provision of smoking cessation care in the SIF setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control: Policy Perspectives)
Open AccessProtocol
Evaluation of A Suicide Prevention Program in Switzerland: Protocol of A Cluster Non-Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2049; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112049
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Suicide is a major public health concern, which disproportionally affects young people. Therefore, effective prevention strategies are needed, but there is a dearth of controlled trials on this topic. Our study will evaluate the effectiveness of a suicide prevention program in Switzerland, where [...] Read more.
Suicide is a major public health concern, which disproportionally affects young people. Therefore, effective prevention strategies are needed, but there is a dearth of controlled trials on this topic. Our study will evaluate the effectiveness of a suicide prevention program in Switzerland, where data are scarce. It will test whether the prevention program (1) increases knowledge of suicide and awareness of suicidal risks, (2) provides resources to seek/offer help, (3) increases communication skills related to suicide, (4) increases coping skills, (5) is acceptable, and (6) reduces suicidal ideation and psychological distress. The project will be a single-center cluster non-randomized controlled trial designed to compare an intervention group benefitting from the suicide prevention program with a control group. The potential benefits include a better understanding and evaluation of suicide prevention programs, which may lead to improved primary and secondary prevention practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide: Prevention, Intervention and Postvention)
Open AccessArticle
Disparities in Height and Urban Social Stratification in the First Half of the 20th Century in Madrid (Spain)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2048; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112048
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 1 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Adult height is the most commonly used biological indicator to evaluate material and emotional conditions in which people grew up, allowing the analysis of secular trends associated with socio-economic change as well as of social inequalities among human populations. There is a lack [...] Read more.
Adult height is the most commonly used biological indicator to evaluate material and emotional conditions in which people grew up, allowing the analysis of secular trends associated with socio-economic change as well as of social inequalities among human populations. There is a lack of studies on both aspects regarding urban populations. Our study evaluates the secular trends and the disparities in height of conscripts born between 1915 and 1953 and called-up at the age of 21 between 1936 and 1969, living in districts with low versus middle and high socio-economic conditions, in the city of Madrid, Spain. We test the hypothesis that urban spatial segregation and social stratification was associated with significant differences in height. Results show that height increased significantly during the analysed period, both among conscripts living in the middle- and upper-class districts (5.85 cm) and in the lower-class districts (6.75 cm). The positive secular trend in height among conscripts from middle- and upper-class districts was sustained throughout the period, but the trend in height among the lower class fluctuated according to social, political, and economic events. Our findings support previous research that adult height is influenced strongly by the family living conditions during infancy and by community effects acting during childhood and adolescence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Family Determinants of Adolescent Adjustment)
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Risk Assessment of Metals in the Volcanic Soil of Changbai Mountain
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2047; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112047
Received: 5 May 2019 / Revised: 2 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Tianchi volcano is a dormant active volcano with a risk of re-eruption. Volcanic soil and volcanic ash samples were collected around the volcano and the concentrations of 21 metals (major and trace elements) were determined. The spatial distribution of the metals was obtained [...] Read more.
Tianchi volcano is a dormant active volcano with a risk of re-eruption. Volcanic soil and volcanic ash samples were collected around the volcano and the concentrations of 21 metals (major and trace elements) were determined. The spatial distribution of the metals was obtained by inverse distance weight (IDW) interpolation. The metals’ sources were identified and their pollution levels were assessed to determine their potential ecological and human health risks. The metal concentrations were higher around Tianchi and at the north to the west of the study area. According to the geo-accumulation index (Igeo), enrichment factor (EF) and contamination factor (CF) calculations, Zn pollution was high in the study area. Pearson’s correlation analysis and principal component analysis showed that with the exception of Fe, Mn and As, the metals that were investigated (Al, K, Ca, Na, Mg, Ti, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cr, Ni, Ba, Ga, Li, Co, Cd, Sn, Sr) were mostly naturally derived. A small proportion of Li, Pb and Zn may have come from vehicle traffic. There is no potential ecological risk and non-carcinogenic risk because of the low concentrations of the metals; however, it is necessary to pay attention to the carcinogenic risk of Cr and As in children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trace Element Exposure and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
pH-Dependent Leaching Characteristics of Major and Toxic Elements from Red Mud
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2046; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112046
Received: 6 May 2019 / Revised: 2 June 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
This study analyzes the leaching behavior of elements from red mud (bauxite residue) at pH values ranging from 2 to 13. The leaching characteristics of metals and contaminated anions in five red mud samples produced by Bayer and combined processes were analyzed using [...] Read more.
This study analyzes the leaching behavior of elements from red mud (bauxite residue) at pH values ranging from 2 to 13. The leaching characteristics of metals and contaminated anions in five red mud samples produced by Bayer and combined processes were analyzed using the batch leaching technique following the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Method 1313. In addition, the geochemical model of MINTEQ 3.1 was used to identify the leaching mechanisms of metals. The results showed that Ca, Mg, and Ba follow the cationic leaching pattern. Al, As, and Cr show an amphoteric leaching pattern. The leaching of Cl is unaffected by the pH. The maximum leaching concentration of the proprietary elements occurs under extremely acidic conditions (pH = 2), except for As. The leaching concentration of F reaches 1.4–27.0 mg/L in natural pH conditions (i.e., no acid or base addition). At the same pH level, the leaching concentrations of Pb, As, Cr, and Cu are generally higher from red mud produced by the combined process than that those of red mud from the Bayer process. The leaching concentration of these elements is not strongly related to the total elemental concentration in the red mud. Geochemical modeling analysis indicates that the leaching of metal elements, including Al, Ca, Fe, Cr, Cu, Pb, Mg, Ba, and Mn, in red mud are controlled by solubility. The leaching of these elements depended on the dissolution/precipitation of their (hydr)oxides, carbonate, or sulfate solids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Mind the Gap: Professionalization is the Key to Strengthening Safety and Leadership in the Construction Sector
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2045; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112045
Received: 24 April 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this paper is to analyze the reality of risk prevention in construction sector companies in Spain, from the perspective of training, management, and risk prevention, as well as the amount of resources that are allocated to those budget headings. An [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to analyze the reality of risk prevention in construction sector companies in Spain, from the perspective of training, management, and risk prevention, as well as the amount of resources that are allocated to those budget headings. An in-depth comparative review has been conducted, using the data obtained from two focus groups that were expressly created for the study, in conjunction with the Second European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emergent Risks (ESENER-2) and its Spanish counterpart (ESENER-2 Spain). The focus groups were formed with agents and entrepreneurs involved in the construction sector, from both the public and the private sector, in order to provide greater impartiality to the resulting data. The principal strategic indicators that served as a guideline for the moderators of the different focus groups were analyzed. The results obtained show great similarity between the data from the focus groups and the data from ESENER-2 and ESENER-2 Spain; which demonstrates the idiosyncrasies that surround this productive sector in the European setting, so badly treated by the economic crisis. All of these points highlight the imperative need to professionalize the construction sector, implementing a “risk prevention culture” among all of the agents involved in the constructive-preventive processes that surround construction activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Analysis)
Open AccessArticle
Players’ Physical Performance Decreased After Two-Thirds of the Season: Results of 3 Consecutive Seasons in the German First Bundesliga
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2044; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112044
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
The study aimed to: (1) investigate physical and technical performance among players during six consecutive phases of a competitive season, (2) determine if levels of match running and technical performance between the 1st and 6th phases of a season can be maintained, (3) [...] Read more.
The study aimed to: (1) investigate physical and technical performance among players during six consecutive phases of a competitive season, (2) determine if levels of match running and technical performance between the 1st and 6th phases of a season can be maintained, (3) and determine which phase features the lowest and highest values for variables assessed. Seventy out of 556 outfield players who played at least 80% of the matches in each phase of the Bundesliga seasons were analysed. Each season was divided into 6 phases: phase 1 (matches 1–6), phase 2 (7–11), phase 3 (12–17), phase 4 (18–23), phase 5 (24–28) and phase 6 (29–34). Thirteen variables were selected to quantify the physical and technical activity of players. Our results showed that by reducing the distances covered at intensities below 11 km·h−1, players were able to cover greater distances at intensities in the range of 11–13.99 and 21–23.99 km·h−1 in subsequent phases of a season. Players’ capacity to maintain match running and technical performance between the first and sixth phases of the season has been demonstrated, though the 4th phase of the season showed a breakthrough point as regards the maintenance of exercise capacity among players participating in the Bundesliga. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Exercise and Sports Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Nitrogen along the Hydrological Gradient of Marsh Sediments in a Subtropical Estuary: Pools, Processes, and Fluxes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2043; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112043
Received: 5 May 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 9 June 2019
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Abstract
Knowledge on the distribution of nitrogen (N) pools, processes, and fluxes along hydrological gradients provides a comprehensive perspective to understand the underlying causal mechanisms in intertidal flats, and thus improve predictions and climate adaptation strategies. We used a space-for-time substitution method to quantify [...] Read more.
Knowledge on the distribution of nitrogen (N) pools, processes, and fluxes along hydrological gradients provides a comprehensive perspective to understand the underlying causal mechanisms in intertidal flats, and thus improve predictions and climate adaptation strategies. We used a space-for-time substitution method to quantify N pools, processes, and fluxes along a hydrological gradient. Further, we linked N pools and processes and investigated not only surface but also subsurface sediments. Our results showed a gradual decrease in total N (TN) and mineralization rates (PNmin), but an increase in potential rates of nitrification (PNR) and denitrification (PDNR) under an elevated hydrological gradient, except for TN and PNmin in the subsurface sediment, which accumulated on the interaction zone between the high and middle tidal flats. Most sedimentary ammonium N (NH4+) and nitrate N (NO3) concentrations were similar; however, NH4+ accumulated on the subsurface of the middle tidal flat. NO3 fluxes (from −0.54 to −0.35 mmol m−2 h−1) were uptake fluxes in the intertidal flats, but NH4+ fluxes (−2.48–3.54 mmol m−2 h−1) changed from uptake to efflux in the seaward direction. Structural equation modeling of the effects of inundation frequency, underground biomass, total carbon (TC), electrical conductivity (EC), and clay proportion on the N processes revealed that these accounted for 67%, 82%, and 17% of the variance of PDNR, PNmin, and PNR, respectively. Inundation frequency, underground biomass, TC, EC, and PNmin effects on N pools accounted for 53%, 69%, and 98% of the variance of NH4+, NO3, and TN, respectively. This suggests that future sea level rise may decrease N storage due to increase in coupled nitrification–denitrification and decrease in N mineralization, and the NH4+ flux may change from sink to source in intertidal ecosystems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Period Network Design Problem in Regional Hazardous Waste Management Systems
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2042; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112042
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 1 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
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Abstract
The management of hazardous wastes in regions is required to design a multi-echelon network with multiple facilities including recycling, treatment and disposal centers servicing the transportation, recycling, treatment and disposal procedures of hazardous wastes and waste residues. The multi-period network design problem within [...] Read more.
The management of hazardous wastes in regions is required to design a multi-echelon network with multiple facilities including recycling, treatment and disposal centers servicing the transportation, recycling, treatment and disposal procedures of hazardous wastes and waste residues. The multi-period network design problem within is to determine the location of waste facilities and allocation/transportation of wastes/residues in each period during the planning horizon, such that the total cost and total risk in the location and transportation procedures are minimized. With consideration of the life cycle capacity of disposal centers, we formulate the problem as a bi-objective mixed integer linear programming model in which a unified modeling strategy is designed to describe the closing of existing waste facilities and the opening of new waste facilities. By exploiting the characteristics of the proposed model, an augmented ε -constraint algorithm is developed to solve the model and find highly qualified representative non-dominated solutions. Finally, computational results of a realistic case demonstrate that our algorithm can identify obviously distinct and uniformly distributed representative non-dominated solutions within reasonable time, revealing the trade-off between the total cost and total risk objectives efficiently. Meanwhile, the multi-period network design optimization is superior to the single-period optimization in terms of the objective quality. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rubbertown Next Generation Emissions Measurement Demonstration Project
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2041; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112041
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
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Abstract
Industrial facilities and other sources can emit air pollutants from fugitive leaks, process malfunctions and area sources that can be difficult to understand and to manage. Next generation emissions measurement (NGEM) approaches executed near facilities are enabling new ways to assess these sources [...] Read more.
Industrial facilities and other sources can emit air pollutants from fugitive leaks, process malfunctions and area sources that can be difficult to understand and to manage. Next generation emissions measurement (NGEM) approaches executed near facilities are enabling new ways to assess these sources and their impacts to nearby populations. This paper describes complementary uses of emerging NGEM systems in a Louisville, KY industrial district (Rubbertown), focusing on an important area air toxic, 1,3-butadiene. Over a one-year deployment starting in September 2017, two-week average passive samplers (PSs) at 11 sites showed both geospatial and temporal trends. At 0.24 ppbv annual average 1,3-butadiene concentration, a group of PSs located near facility fence lines was elevated compared to a PS group located in the community and upwind from facilities (0.07 ppbv average). Two elevated PS periods capturing emission events were examined using time-resolved NGEM approaches as case studies. In one event a 1.18 ppbv PS reading was found to be relatively localized and was caused by a multiday emission from a yet to be identified, non-facility source. In the other event, the airshed was more broadly impacted with PS concentrations ranging from 0.71 ppbv for the near-facility group to 0.46 ppbv for the community group. This case was likely influenced by a known emission event at an industrial facility. For both case studies, air pollutant and wind data from prototype NGEM systems were combined with source location models to inform the emission events. This research illustrates the power of applying NGEM approaches to improve both the understanding of emissions near sources and knowledge of impacts to near-source communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Near-Source Air Pollution)
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Open AccessArticle
Winter Exercise Reduces Allergic Airway Inflammation: A Randomized Controlled Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2040; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112040
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
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Abstract
Background: Physical exercise is often recommended as additional treatment for people suffering from allergic rhinitis and/or asthma, but less is known about the specific effects of recreational winter outdoor exercise on allergic airway inflammation. Methods: We performed a longitudinal, randomized controlled intervention study [...] Read more.
Background: Physical exercise is often recommended as additional treatment for people suffering from allergic rhinitis and/or asthma, but less is known about the specific effects of recreational winter outdoor exercise on allergic airway inflammation. Methods: We performed a longitudinal, randomized controlled intervention study to investigate the effects of recreational winter exercise on allergic airway inflammation, quality of life, spirometry and cardiorespiratory fitness in adults suffering from allergic rhinitis and/or asthma. The exercise group participated in a ten-day winter sports program. The control group did not receive any intervention. Results: A significant improvement of fractional oral exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO; p = 0.008, day 10) and a significant decrease in FeNO after a single 4 h hiking tour (p < 0.001, time effect) were observed for the exercise group. The nasal eosinophilic cell count revealed a short-term reduction (p = 0.021, treatment effect) in the exercise group and for the visual analogue scale sustainable improvements in allergic symptoms (p < 0.001, day 60) were found. No adverse effects of outdoor winter exercise were observed. Conclusion: Recreational winter exercise at moderately cold temperatures reduces allergic airway inflammation measured as FeNO, nasal eosinophilic cell count and induces sustainable improvements in allergic symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Interpersonal Sensitivity and Loneliness among Chinese Gay Men: A Cross-Sectional Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2039; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112039
Received: 23 March 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
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Abstract
To understand the current status of, and factors related to interpersonal sensitivity (IS) and loneliness among Chinese gay men. The Chinese version SCL-90-R was used to evaluate the status of IS, and the short-form UCLA Loneliness scale (ULS-8) was used for assessing loneliness [...] Read more.
To understand the current status of, and factors related to interpersonal sensitivity (IS) and loneliness among Chinese gay men. The Chinese version SCL-90-R was used to evaluate the status of IS, and the short-form UCLA Loneliness scale (ULS-8) was used for assessing loneliness level. Associations between demographics and IS were examined by chi-square tests and multivariable logistic regress analysis. Linear regression was used to assess the correlations between demographic factors and IS and loneliness. Dating practices and venues were summarized by multiple responses. Gay men who screened positive IS was identified in 36%. Age (OR25–29 = 8.731, 95% CI 2.296 to 33.139), education level (ORcollege = 0.037, 95% CI 0.046 to 0.911), being the only-child at home (ORyes = 4.733, 95% CI 2.293 to 9.733), monthly income (OR>7000 = 0.228, 95% CI 0.055 to 0.944), numbers of current sexual partners (OR1 = 0.285, 95% CI 0.129 to 0.629; OR2 = 0.109 95% CI 0.027 to 0.431) were related to IS. IS was also associated with a higher score of ULS-8 (β = 6.903, p < 0.001). Other variables associated with the score of ULS-8 included: living in a non-nuclear family (β = 0.998, p = 0.020), being a college student (β = −1.556, p = 0.044), having a higher monthly income (β for 3000–5000 yuan = −1.177, p = 0.045; β for over 7000 yuan = −2.207, p = 0.002), having sexual partners (all β < 1, p < 0.001), being the only-child (β = 1.393, p = 0.005). Nearly half of the sample (46.78%) reported that they looked for dating partners on the Internet or dating apps. IS and loneliness are positively correlated. Our study suggests that more humanistic care and social support should be given to Chinese gay men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity)
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Open AccessArticle
Change in Municipality-Level Health-Related Social Capital and Depressive Symptoms: Ecological and 5-Year Repeated Cross-Sectional Study from the JAGES
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2038; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112038
Received: 28 April 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
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Abstract
Prevalence of depressive symptoms is lower in communities with greater social capital (SC). However, it is unclear whether a prevalence of depressive symptoms will decrease in communities where SC has increased. We investigated the relationship between the changes in municipality-level SC and depressive [...] Read more.
Prevalence of depressive symptoms is lower in communities with greater social capital (SC). However, it is unclear whether a prevalence of depressive symptoms will decrease in communities where SC has increased. We investigated the relationship between the changes in municipality-level SC and depressive symptoms by using 5-year repeated cross-sectional data from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study. In 2010 and 2016, self-reported questionnaires were mailed to functionally independent residents aged 65 years or older living in 44 municipalities; valid responses were received from 72,718 and 84,211 people in 2010 and 2016, respectively. All scores were aggregated at the municipality level. The dependent variable was the change in the prevalence of depressive symptoms that were diagnosed with a 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale. Independent variables were the score of change in health-related SC indicators, e.g., social participation, social cohesion, and reciprocity. A multiple regression analysis was employed. The average prevalence of depressive symptoms decreased from 28.6% in 2010 to 21.3% in 2016. The increases in the percentages of sports group participation (B, −0.356), and reciprocity scores (B, −0.597) were significantly associated with the decrease in the prevalence of depressive symptoms after adjusting for potential confounding variables. Our findings suggest that community SC might be an intervention for protecting depressive symptoms in municipalities. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Assessment of Plywood Manufacturing Process in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 2037; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112037
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 2 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
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Abstract
Life cycle assessment (LCA) has been an important issue in the development of a circular economy. LCA is used to identify environmental impacts and hotspots associated with plywood manufacturing. Based on our results and a literature review of LCA studies involving plywood, a [...] Read more.
Life cycle assessment (LCA) has been an important issue in the development of a circular economy. LCA is used to identify environmental impacts and hotspots associated with plywood manufacturing. Based on our results and a literature review of LCA studies involving plywood, a sustainable and environmentally friendly scenario was proposed for the plywood processing industry to improve environmental performance and sustainability. This study covers the life cycle of plywood production from a cradle-to-gate perspective, including raw material preparation and plywood manufacturing and processing to analysis of environment impacts and hotspots. Analysis of abiotic depletion (ADP), acidification effect (AP), primary energy depletion (PED), freshwater eutrophication (EP), global warming potential (GWP), and particulate matter (RI) were selected as major impact categories in this study. All data were obtained from on-site measurements (plywood production) and investigations of the Eco-invent database and CLCD database (upstream data of materials and energy). These data can be ignored when environmental contributions comprise less than 0.001% of environmental impact and auxiliary material quality is less than 0.01% of total raw material consumption. An eco-design strategy with eco-alternatives was proposed: pyrolysis bio-oil can be used to produce green resin to replace traditional phenolic formaldehyde (PF) resin to decrease the impacts of GWP, PED, AP, PM, and especially ADP and EP. A new technology of gluing green wood was used to replace conventional plywood production technology; wood waste could undergo a gasification process to produce resultant gas rather than combusting. Plywood was also compared with other wood-based panels in China to identify additional scenarios to improve environmental sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy from Process to Policy)
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