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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 16, Issue 2 (January-2 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Constructed wetlands (CWs) are considered an ideal environmental technology for the treatment of [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle E-Cigarettes Increase Candida albicans Growth and Modulate its Interaction with Gingival Epithelial Cells
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020294
Received: 15 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) vapor comes in contact with the different constituents of the oral cavity, including such microorganisms as Candida albicans. We examined the impact of e-cigarettes on C. albicans growth and expression of different virulent genes, such as secreted aspartic proteases [...] Read more.
Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) vapor comes in contact with the different constituents of the oral cavity, including such microorganisms as Candida albicans. We examined the impact of e-cigarettes on C. albicans growth and expression of different virulent genes, such as secreted aspartic proteases (SAPs), and the effect of e-cigarette vapor-exposed C. albicans on gingival epithelial cell morphology, growth, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity. An increase in C. albicans growth was observed with nicotine-rich e-cigarettes compared with non-exposed cultures. Following exposure to e-cigarette vapor, C. albicans produced high levels of chitin. E-cigarettes also increased C. albicans hyphal length and the expression of SAP2, SAP3, and SAP9 genes. When in contact with gingival epithelial cells, e-cigarette-exposed C. albicans adhered better to epithelial cells than the control. Indirect contact between e-cigarette-exposed C. albicans and gingival epithelial cells led to epithelial cell differentiation, reduced cell growth, and increased LDH activity. Overall, results indicate that e-cigarettes may interact with C. albicans to promote their pathogenesis, which may increase the risk of oral candidiasis in e-cigarette users. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Restorative Effects of Classroom Soundscapes on Children’s Cognitive Performance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020293
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Previous studies have examined the restorative benefits of soundscapes on adults’ cognitive performance, but it was unclear whether those benefits would be possible for children. In this paper, two experiments applied a before–after design to explore the restorative effects of different soundscapes on [...] Read more.
Previous studies have examined the restorative benefits of soundscapes on adults’ cognitive performance, but it was unclear whether those benefits would be possible for children. In this paper, two experiments applied a before–after design to explore the restorative effects of different soundscapes on children’s sustained attention and short-term memory, respectively, in a simulated classroom situation. In Experiment 1, 46 children aged 8–12 were first mentally fatigued by performing an oral arithmetic task and then were asked to conduct a sustained attention to response test (SART), in order to assess their attention fatigue. After that, a period of 3-min soundscape was presented, and SART was conducted again to examine their attention recovery. In Experiment 2, 45 children participated and the experiment procedure was the same as in Experiment 1, except that a digit span test (DST) was used instead to measure short-term memory. The results showed that music, birdsong, fountain sound, and stream sound facilitated greater recovery than other sounds in reaction time. Participants also showed better performance in short-term memory after exposure to fountain sound and stream sound, followed by music and birdsong. Those results confirmed the actual restorative effects of perceived restorative soundscapes on children’s cognitive performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Fermentable Fibres on the Colonic Microbiota Metabolism of Dietary Polyphenols Rutin and Quercetin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020292
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Dietary fibre and polyphenols are both metabolised to short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and phenolic acids (PA) by the colonic microbiota. These may alter microbiota growth/diversity, but their interaction is not understood. Interactions between rutin and raftiline, ispaghula or pectin were investigated in human [...] Read more.
Dietary fibre and polyphenols are both metabolised to short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and phenolic acids (PA) by the colonic microbiota. These may alter microbiota growth/diversity, but their interaction is not understood. Interactions between rutin and raftiline, ispaghula or pectin were investigated in human faecal batch cultures (healthy participants; 19–33 years, 4 males, 6 females, BMI 18.4–27.4) after a low (poly)phenol diet three days prior to study. Phenolic acids were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and SCFAs by gas chromatography-flame ionisation after 2, 4, 6, and 24 h. Rutin fermentation produced Phenyl acetic acid (PAA), 4-Hydroxy benzoic acid (4-OHBA), 3-Hydroxy phenyl acetic acid (3-OHPAA), 4-Hydroxy phenyl acetic acid (4-OHPAA), 3,4-Dihydroxy phenyl acetic acid (3,4-diOHPAA), 3-Hydroxy phenyl propionic acid (3-OHPPA), and 4-Hydroxy phenyl propionic acid (4-OHPPA). 3,4-DiOHPAA and 3-OHPAA were predominant at 6 h (1.9 ± 1.8 µg/mL, 2.9 ± 2.5 µg/mL, and 0.05 ± 0.0 µg/mL, respectively) and 24 h (5.5 ± 3.3 µg/mL, 3.1 ± 4.2 µg/mL, and 1.2 ± 1.6 µg/mL). Production of all PA except 3-OHPPA and 4-OHPPA was reduced by at least one fibre. Inhibition of PA was highest for rutin (8-fold, p < 0.01), then pectin (5-fold, p < 0.01), and ispaghula (2-fold, p = 0.03). Neither rutin nor quercetin had a detectable impact on SCFA production. These interactions should be considered when assessing dietary polyphenols and potential health benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gut Microbiome and Health)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview SleepOMICS: How Big Data Can Revolutionize Sleep Science
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020291
Received: 25 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Sleep disorders have reached epidemic proportions worldwide, affecting the youth as well as the elderly, crossing the entire lifespan in both developed and developing countries. “Real-life” behavioral (sensor-based), molecular, digital, and epidemiological big data represent a source of an impressive wealth of information [...] Read more.
Sleep disorders have reached epidemic proportions worldwide, affecting the youth as well as the elderly, crossing the entire lifespan in both developed and developing countries. “Real-life” behavioral (sensor-based), molecular, digital, and epidemiological big data represent a source of an impressive wealth of information that can be exploited in order to advance the field of sleep research. It can be anticipated that big data will have a profound impact, potentially enabling the dissection of differences and oscillations in sleep dynamics and architecture at the individual level (“sleepOMICS”), thus paving the way for a targeted, “one-size-does-not-fit-all” management of sleep disorders (“precision sleep medicine”). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Disorders Across the Lifespan: A Different Perspective)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Anthropogenic Elements in the Environment for Affective States and Cortisol Concentration in Mountain Hiking—A Crossover Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020290
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 19 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Green exercise might have positive effects on health and affective states. Little is known about the ideal characteristics of the natural environment, where exercise is conducted in. Thus, the primary aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of anthropogenic elements [...] Read more.
Green exercise might have positive effects on health and affective states. Little is known about the ideal characteristics of the natural environment, where exercise is conducted in. Thus, the primary aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of anthropogenic elements on acute stress-related physiological responses and affective states in green exercise. Using a crossover field study design, 52 healthy participants were exposed to two different mountain hiking conditions: An environment with less anthropogenic elements and an environment with more anthropogenic elements. Pre and post conditions, affective states and salivary cortisol concentration were measured. Repeated measures ANOVAs were used to analyze if pre-post changes differed between the conditions. Pre-post changes in affective states and salivary cortisol concentration did not significantly differ, partial η² < 0.06. Positive affective states showed significantly higher values post compared to pre-condition, partial η² > 0.13. The present results indicate that anthropogenic elements have a minor role in the influence on affective states and salivary cortisol concentration during mountain hiking. It is concluded that a single bout of mountain hiking independent of anthropogenic elements in the environment is effective in influencing affective states positively. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Physical Activity and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Differences in Insomnia Symptoms between Immigrants and Non-Immigrants in Switzerland attributed to Emotional Distress: Analysis of the Swiss Health Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020289
Received: 16 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Migration can be a stressful experience and may lead to poor health and behavioral changes. The immigrant population in Switzerland is disproportionately burdened by several negative health outcomes, chief among these is mental health issues. The aim of the study was to investigate [...] Read more.
Migration can be a stressful experience and may lead to poor health and behavioral changes. The immigrant population in Switzerland is disproportionately burdened by several negative health outcomes, chief among these is mental health issues. The aim of the study was to investigate whether sleep disturbances are more prevalent among immigrants compared to non-immigrants and whether emotional distress might explain sleep differences. Based on the Swiss Health Survey 2012 dataset, we analyzed the data of 17,968 people, of which 3406 respondents were immigrants. We examined variables including insomnia symptoms, emotional distress and clinical and socio-demographic data using unadjusted and adjusted generalized linear models. Compared to non-immigrants, immigrants suffer significantly more often from insomnia symptoms. Immigrants also endured higher levels of emotional distress. Higher values of emotional distress are related to other symptoms of sleep disorders. Immigrants with emotional distress were at significant risk of sleep disturbances. Sleep disparities between immigrants and non-immigrants may be influenced by emotional distress. Migration health care should address emotional distress, a more proximal and modifiable factor, as a possible cause of insomnia symptoms in immigrants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Health)
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Open AccessArticle Improving Patient Access to New Drugs in South Korea: Evaluation of the National Drug Formulary System
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020288
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 12 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
This study reviews and evaluates the national drug formulary system used to improve patient access to new drugs by making reimbursement decisions for new drugs as part of the South Korean national health insurance system. The national health insurance utilizes three methods for [...] Read more.
This study reviews and evaluates the national drug formulary system used to improve patient access to new drugs by making reimbursement decisions for new drugs as part of the South Korean national health insurance system. The national health insurance utilizes three methods for improving patient access to costly drugs: risk-sharing agreements, designation of essential drugs, and a waiver of cost-effectiveness analysis. Patients want reimbursement for new drugs to be processed quickly to improve their access to these drugs, whereas payers are careful about listing them given the associated financial burden and the uncertainty in cost-effectiveness. However, pharmaceutical companies are advocating for drug prices above certain thresholds to maintain global pricing strategies, cover the costs of drug development, and fund future investments into research and development. The South Korean government is expected to develop policies that will improve patient access to drugs with unmet needs for broadening health insurance coverage. Simultaneously, the designing of post-listing management methods is warranted for effectively managing the financial resources of the national health insurance system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Societal Side Effects: The Wider Impact of Pharmaceuticals on Society)
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Open AccessArticle The Influencing Factors of Haze Tolerance in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020287
Received: 9 December 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Haze pollution has become the most serious environmental risk in China and generated a large amount of public concerns. Influencing almost all the citizens in the polluted area, it is necessary and important to take public perception as an essential element in haze [...] Read more.
Haze pollution has become the most serious environmental risk in China and generated a large amount of public concerns. Influencing almost all the citizens in the polluted area, it is necessary and important to take public perception as an essential element in haze abatement. From the perspective of social psychology, this paper explores haze tolerance in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, also the key influential factors on haze tolerance from four dimensions: political trust, perceived risk, cost perception, and haze knowledge. Based on the sample of 517 respondents, the results show that compared with Shanghai and Guangzhou, Beijing residents had the lowest tolerance level of haze pollution but have the highest levels of trust in the government’s capacity to control haze and self-evaluation of their own haze knowledge. People in Shanghai had the lowest cost perception and the strongest willingness to acquire haze knowledge. Meanwhile, the empirical analysis revealed that political trust and cost perception could enhance the public’s haze tolerance while perceived risk and haze knowledge had negative impacts on tolerance. Also, our research could provide some suggestions to government officials when making policies for abating haze pollution from the perspective of social risk control. Policy makers are supposed to launch various policy instruments to control haze effectively and engage the citizens in the decision-making process to improve their political trust, and publicize the knowledge of haze pollution to help the public to acquire objective and scientific knowledge and diminish unnecessary worries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Ambient Temperature and Associations with Daily Visits to a Psychiatric Emergency Unit in Sweden
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020286
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 28 December 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
High or low ambient temperatures pose a risk factor for the worsening or onset of psychiatric disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between ambient temperature and psychiatric emergency visits in an urban region in a temperate climate. The [...] Read more.
High or low ambient temperatures pose a risk factor for the worsening or onset of psychiatric disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between ambient temperature and psychiatric emergency visits in an urban region in a temperate climate. The daily number of visits to a psychiatric emergency room (PEVs) at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden and the daily mean temperature were extracted for the study period 1 July 2012 to 31 December 2017. Case-crossover analysis with distributed lag non-linear models was used to analyse the data by season. The warm season was defined as May to August and the cold season as November to February. Shorter lags periods were used for the warm season than the cold season. In the analysis, temperatures at the 95th percentile was associated with 14% (95% confidence interval (CI): 2%, 28%) increase in PEVs at lag 0–3 and 22% (95%CI: 6%, 40%) for lags 0–14 during the warm season, relative to the seasonal minimum effect temperature (MET). During the cold season temperatures at the 5th percentile were associated with 25% (95% CI: −8%, 13%) and 18% (95% CI: −30%, 98%) increase in PEVs at lags 0–14 and 0–21 respectively. We observed an increased number of PEVs at high and low temperatures; however, not to a statistically significant extent for low temperatures. Our findings are similar to what has been found for somatic diseases and in studies of other mental health outcomes in regions with more extreme climates. This merits the inclusion of individuals with psychiatric disorders in awareness planning for climate warning systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Heavy Metal Concentrations in the Groundwater of the Barcellona-Milazzo Plain (Italy): Contributions from Geogenic and Anthropogenic Sources
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020285
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
We collected and analysed 58 samples of groundwater from wells in the Barcellona-Milazzo Plain, one of the most important coastal aquifers of Sicily (Italy), to determine major, minor, and trace element concentrations. In this area, geogenic and anthropogenic sources of heavy metals and [...] Read more.
We collected and analysed 58 samples of groundwater from wells in the Barcellona-Milazzo Plain, one of the most important coastal aquifers of Sicily (Italy), to determine major, minor, and trace element concentrations. In this area, geogenic and anthropogenic sources of heavy metals and other pollutants co-act, making the individuation of the main pollution sources difficult. Our work was aimed at the application of geostatistical criteria for discriminating between these pollution sources. We used probability plots for separating anomalous values from background concentrations, which were plotted on maps and related to possible sources of pollutants. Our results indicate that hydrothermal fluid circulation and the water–rock interaction of country rocks that host mineralized ore deposits generate a significant flux of heavy metals to groundwater, as well as anthropogenic sources like intense agriculture and industrial activities. In particular, NO3, F, and Ni exceed the Maximum Admitted Concentrations (MACs) established by the WHO and Italian legislation for drinking-water. The spatial distributions of geogenic and anthropogenic sources were so deeply interlocked that their separation was not easy, also employing geostatistical tools. This complex scenario makes the implementation of human health risk mitigation actions difficult, since the flow of pollutants is in many cases controlled by simple water–rock interaction processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Studies on Heavy Metals and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Study on Lifestyle Evaluation Systems for the Health of Chinese Elderly
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020284
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Background/Objective: China is now faced with a serious population aging challenge, and the health of the Chinese elderly is becoming an imminent concern. Consequently, it is critical to establish a lifestyle evaluation system for promoting the health of the Chinese elderly. Methods [...] Read more.
Background/Objective: China is now faced with a serious population aging challenge, and the health of the Chinese elderly is becoming an imminent concern. Consequently, it is critical to establish a lifestyle evaluation system for promoting the health of the Chinese elderly. Methods: Interviews with experts and questionnaire surveys were conducted. Factor analysis, analytic hierarchy process, and statistical analyses were also adopted in this study. Results: Besides evaluation metrics and standards, a two-level category system including 50 indices and associated weights from three level 1 categories (physical and mental health and social wellbeing) and thirteen level 2 categories were obtained. Discussion and Conclusions: Based on the confirmatory factor analysis and Cronbach’s test, such an evaluation system excels in effectiveness and reliability, and is ready to be popularized in Chinese society. We expect that the Chinese elderly will benefit from our system and that it will lead to a healthy lifestyle accordingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Aging and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Infant Food Security in New Zealand: A Multidimensional Index Developed from Cohort Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020283
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Food security (FS) during infancy is associated with lifelong outcomes. New Zealand is a developed economy that reports poor childhood nutrition-related health statistics, particularly among minority children, yet has no measure of FS applicable to infancy. The objective was to develop an FS [...] Read more.
Food security (FS) during infancy is associated with lifelong outcomes. New Zealand is a developed economy that reports poor childhood nutrition-related health statistics, particularly among minority children, yet has no measure of FS applicable to infancy. The objective was to develop an FS index for New Zealand infants and examine its association with demographic covariates and health outcomes. Within a large (n = 6853) nationally representative cohort, variables describing infant food consumption, breastfeeding, and maternal food-related coping methods were collected from mothers during late infancy. An FS index was derived using confirmatory factor analysis. Associations were assessed by logistic regressions and described using odds ratios (OR) and ≥95% confidence intervals (CI). Fifteen percent of the cohort was highly FS, 43% tenuously food insecure (FIS), and 16% highly food insecure (FIS). Infants from minority ethnic groups had lower odds of being food secure, as did those born to the youngest mothers, mothers who smoked, or those who lived in low-income households. FIS infants had higher odds of morbidity. Interventions to improve infant FS should focus on improving dietary quality, and should give particular consideration to minority infants. We identified that FIS shows wide ethnic and socioeconomic inequity, and is associated with poorer health. The most important driving factors of FIS included poor quality weaning diets, as well as poverty and its proxies. Any interventions to improve infant FS should focus on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption to recommended intake levels, and should give particular consideration to minority infants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Children Health)
Open AccessArticle Correction Workers’ Burnout and Outcomes: A Bayesian Network Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020282
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 20 January 2019
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Abstract
The present study seeks to demonstrate how Bayesian Network analysis can be used to support Total Worker Health® research on correction workers by (1) revealing the most probable scenario of how psychosocial and behavioral outcome variables in corrections work are interrelated and [...] Read more.
The present study seeks to demonstrate how Bayesian Network analysis can be used to support Total Worker Health® research on correction workers by (1) revealing the most probable scenario of how psychosocial and behavioral outcome variables in corrections work are interrelated and (2) identifying the key contributing factors of this interdependency relationship within the unique occupational context of corrections work. The data from 353 correction workers from a state department of corrections in the United States were utilized. A Bayesian Network analysis approach was used to probabilistically sort out potential interrelations among various psychosocial and behavioral variables. The identified model revealed that work-related exhaustion may serve as a primary driver of occupational stress and impaired workability, and also that exhaustion limits the ability of correction workers to get regular physical exercise, while their interrelations with depressed mood, a lack of work engagement, and poor work-family balance were also noted. The results suggest the importance of joint consideration of psychosocial and behavioral factors when investigating variables that may impact health and wellbeing of correction workers. Also, they supported the value of adopting the Total Worker Health® framework, a holistic strategy to integrate prevention of work-related injury and illness and the facilitation of worker well-being, when considering integrated health protection and promotion interventions for workers in high-risk occupations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worker and Public Health and Safety: Current Views)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Socioeconomic Status on Physical and Psychological Health: Lifestyle as a Mediator
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020281
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 16 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 20 January 2019
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Abstract
Health is correlated to people’s socioeconomic status (SES) and lifestyle. This study examined the impact of SES on respondents’ physical and psychological health. Moreover, we explored the potential mediating effect of lifestyle on the relationship between SES and health. The participants were 986 [...] Read more.
Health is correlated to people’s socioeconomic status (SES) and lifestyle. This study examined the impact of SES on respondents’ physical and psychological health. Moreover, we explored the potential mediating effect of lifestyle on the relationship between SES and health. The participants were 986 respondents from the 2015 Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS). Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the hypothesized relationship between the variables. The results indicated that SES had a significant impact on people’s physical health, but the impact of SES on psychological health was not significant. Lifestyle had significant positive effects on both physical and psychological health. In addition, lifestyle mediated the relationship between SES and health. This research is helpful in gaining a better understanding of the relationship and mediating mechanism between SES, lifestyle, and health. It is recommended that research with longitudinal design and comprehensive indicators be undertaken in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Cross-Sectional Survey on the Impact of Irrelevant Speech Noise on Annoyance, Mental Health and Well-being, Performance and Occupants’ Behavior in Shared and Open-Plan Offices
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020280
Received: 22 November 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 19 January 2019
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Abstract
This cross-sectional survey has compared subjective outcomes obtained from workers in shared (2–5 occupants) and open-plan (+5 occupants) offices, related to irrelevant speech, which is the noise that is generated from conversations between colleagues, telephone calls and laughter. Answers from 1078 subjects (55% [...] Read more.
This cross-sectional survey has compared subjective outcomes obtained from workers in shared (2–5 occupants) and open-plan (+5 occupants) offices, related to irrelevant speech, which is the noise that is generated from conversations between colleagues, telephone calls and laughter. Answers from 1078 subjects (55% in shared offices and 45% in open-plan offices) have shown that irrelevant speech increases noise annoyance, decreases work performance, and increases symptoms related to mental health and well-being more in open-plan than in shared offices. Workers often use headphones with music to contrast irrelevant speech in open-plan offices, while they take a break, change their working space, close the door or work from home in shared offices. Being female, when there are more than 20 occupants, and working in southern cities without acoustic treatments in the office, make it more likely for the occupants to be annoyed by irrelevant speech noise in open-plan offices. While, working in southern cities and with acoustic treatments in the office makes it more likely that noise annoyance will be reported in shared offices. Finally, more than 70% of the interviewed in open-plan offices were willing to reduce their voice volumes when advised by a noise monitoring system with a lighting feedback. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Greenhouse Soil Biosolarization with Tomato Plant Debris as a Unique Fertilizer for Tomato Crops
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020279
Received: 10 November 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 19 January 2019
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Abstract
Intensive greenhouse horticulture can cause various environmental problems. Among these, the management, storage, and processing of crop residues can provoke aquifer contamination, pest proliferation, bad odors, or the abuse of phytosanitary treatments. Biosolarization adds value to any fresh plant residue and is an [...] Read more.
Intensive greenhouse horticulture can cause various environmental problems. Among these, the management, storage, and processing of crop residues can provoke aquifer contamination, pest proliferation, bad odors, or the abuse of phytosanitary treatments. Biosolarization adds value to any fresh plant residue and is an efficient technique for the control of soil-borne diseases. This study aims to examine an alternative means of managing greenhouse crop residues through biosolarization and to investigate the influence of organic matter on yield and quality of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum, L.) fruit. With this purpose, the following nutritional systems were evaluated: inorganic fertilization with and without brassica pellets (Fert, Fert +, and Fert ++), fresh tomato plant debris with and without brassica pellets (Rest, Rest +, and Rest ++), and no fertilizer application (Control). The addition of organic matter was equal across all the treatments except for the control with regard to yield and quality of the tomato fruit. In light of these results, the application of tomato plant debris to the soil through biosolarization is postulated as an alternative for the management of crop residues, solving an environmental problem and having a favorable impact on the production and quality of tomatoes as a commercial crop. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Greenhouse and Horticulture)
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Open AccessArticle Social Engagement and Elderly Health in China: Evidence from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey (CHARLS)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020278
Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
This study examines the impact of social engagement on elderly health in China. A two-stage residual inclusion (2SRI) regression approach was used to examine the causal relationship. Our dataset comprises 9253 people aged 60 or above from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal [...] Read more.
This study examines the impact of social engagement on elderly health in China. A two-stage residual inclusion (2SRI) regression approach was used to examine the causal relationship. Our dataset comprises 9253 people aged 60 or above from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey (CHARLS) conducted in 2011 and 2013. Social engagement significantly improved the self-rated health of the elderly and reduced mental distress, but had no effect on chronic disease status. Compared with the rural areas, social engagement played a more important role in promoting the elderly health status in urban areas. Social engagement could affect the health status of the elderly through health behavior change and access to health resources. To improve the health of the elderly in China and promote healthy aging, the government should not only improve access to effective medical care but also encourage greater social engagement of the elderly. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Aging and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Relationship between Objectively Measured and Self-Reported Sedentary Behaviours and Social Connectedness among Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020277
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Adolescents spend significant amounts of time engaged in various types of sedentary behaviour (SB). This study examined associations between adolescents’ objectively measured sedentary time, sitting time, specific self-reported SBs and social connectedness. Adolescents (n = 429, 15.5 years, 41% male) completed an [...] Read more.
Adolescents spend significant amounts of time engaged in various types of sedentary behaviour (SB). This study examined associations between adolescents’ objectively measured sedentary time, sitting time, specific self-reported SBs and social connectedness. Adolescents (n = 429, 15.5 years, 41% male) completed an online survey reporting time in seven SBs (TV/videos/DVDs, computer/video games, internet, homework, reading, car and bus travel; examined individually and summed for screen time and total SB), and social connectedness using the eight-item Social Connectedness Scale. A subsample (n = 353) also wore an ActiGraph GT3X+ (model GT3X+, Pensacola, FL, USA) accelerometer to measure sedentary time (<100 cpm) and n = 237 wore an activPAL (PAL Technologies Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland) inclinometer to measure sitting time. Multiple linear mixed models determined associations between each SB variable and social connectedness, adjusting for confounders. Adolescents spent on average 7.8 h/day in self-reported total SB, 4.4 h/day in screen time, 9.1 h/day in ActiGraph-measured sedentary time, and 9.5 h/day in activPAL-measured sitting time. After adjusting for age, sex and area level socioeconomic status, total SB (−0.24, 95%CI: −0.37, −0.11), screen time (−0.23, 95%CI: −0.41, −0.05) and two individual SBs (computer/video games (−1.07, 95%CI: −1.53, −0.60), homework (−0.61, 95%CI: −1.04, −0.18) were negatively associated with social connectedness. There were no associations with the objective measures. The relationships may be bi-directional; therefore, future research should involve longitudinal designs and explore other potential contributing factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Adolescents and Children Health Research)
Open AccessArticle Social Capital Associated with Quality of Life among People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nanchang, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020276
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Background: This study aims to explore the relationship between quality of life (QOL) and social capital factors among “people living with HIV/AIDS” (PLWHA), in order to improve their quality of life and help them to release AIDS discrimination. Methods: A cross-sectional [...] Read more.
Background: This study aims to explore the relationship between quality of life (QOL) and social capital factors among “people living with HIV/AIDS” (PLWHA), in order to improve their quality of life and help them to release AIDS discrimination. Methods: A cross-sectional survey with 225 PLWHA was done in Nanchang, China, between January and June of 2015. Questionnaires consisted of a socio-demographic questionnaire, Personal Social Capital Scale and Medical Outcomes Study HIV Health Survey. To identify social capital factors influencing QOL among PLWHA, t-test and multiple linear regression were used as statistical tools. The analysis of data was conducted using SPSS 22.0 with a significant value of p < 0.05. Results: The scores of total social capital, bonding social capital and bridging social capital were 23.68 ± 5.55, 14.11 ± 3.40 and 9.46 ± 3.43 respectively. The scores of Physical Health Summary (PHS) and Mental Health Summary (MHS) were 51.88 ± 7.04 and 49.29 ± 6.60. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that age (B = −0.137, p = 0.020), income (B = 0.2170, p ≤ 0.001), employment (B = 0.112, p = 0.043) and bonding social capital (B = 0.178, p = 0.001) had significant effects on PHS. Bonding social capital was the most important influencing factor for MHS (B = 0.506, p < 0.001). There was no significant relationship between bridging social capital and QOL (p > 0.05). Conclusions: The PLWHA community has low social capital and a poor QOL in Nanchang. Bonding social capital had a positive impact on the QOL of PLWHA. There is an urgent need to build a better social support system based on bonding social capital for PLWHA. It is worth further exploring to identify how to make full use of bridging social capital for improving QOL among PLWHA. Full article
Open AccessArticle Root and Shoot Biomass Growth of Constructed Floating Wetlands Plants in Saline Environments
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020275
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Constructed Floating Wetlands (CFWs) are increasingly being used globally in freshwater environments such as urban lakes and ponds to remove pollutants from urban stormwater runoff. However, to date there has been limited research into the use and performance of these systems in saline [...] Read more.
Constructed Floating Wetlands (CFWs) are increasingly being used globally in freshwater environments such as urban lakes and ponds to remove pollutants from urban stormwater runoff. However, to date there has been limited research into the use and performance of these systems in saline environments. This study compared the root and shoot biomass growth and nutrient uptake of five different plant species, Chrysopogon zizanioides, Baumea juncea, Isolepis nodosa, Phragmites australis and Sarcocornia quinqueflora, in three different saltwater treatments over a 12-week period. The aim of the study was to identify which of the plant species may be most suitable for use in CFWs in saline environments. Plant nutrient uptake testing revealed that Phragmites australis had the greatest percentage increase (1473–2477%) of Nitrogen mass in the shoots in all treatments. Sarcocornia quinqueflora also had impressive Nitrogen mass increase in saltwater showing an increase of 966% (0.208 ± 0.134 g). This suggests that the use of Phragmites australis and Sarcocornia quinqueflora plants in CFWs installed in saline water bodies, with regular harvesting of the shoot mass, may significantly reduce Nitrogen concentrations in the water. Isolepis nodosa had the greatest percentage increase (112% or 0.018 ± 0.020 g) of Phosphorous mass in the shoots in the saltwater treatment. Baumea juncea had the greatest percentage increase (315% or 0.026 ± 0.012 g) of Phosphorous mass in the roots in the saltwater treatment. This suggests that the use of Isolepis nodosa and Baumea juncea plants in CFWs installed in saline water bodies may significantly reduce Phosphorous concentrations in the water if there was a way to harvest both the shoots above and the roots below the CFWs. The study is continuing, and it is anticipated that more information will be available on CFW plants installed in saline environments in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stormwater Management in Urban Areas)
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Open AccessArticle Toxic Effect of Acute Cadmium and Lead Exposure in Rat Blood, Liver, and Kidney
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020274
Received: 15 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Background: Cadmium and lead are widespread and non-biodegradable pollutants of great concern to human health. In real life scenarios, we are exposed to mixtures of chemicals rather than single chemicals, and it is therefore of paramount importance to assess their toxicity. In [...] Read more.
Background: Cadmium and lead are widespread and non-biodegradable pollutants of great concern to human health. In real life scenarios, we are exposed to mixtures of chemicals rather than single chemicals, and it is therefore of paramount importance to assess their toxicity. In this study, we investigated the toxicity of Cd and Pb alone and as a mixture in an animal model of acute exposure. Methods: Experimental groups received a single treatment of aqueous solution of Cd-chloride (15 and 30 mg/kg body weight (b.w.) and Pb-acetate (150 mg/kg b.w.), while the mixture group received 15 mg Cd/kg b.w. and 150 mg Pb/kg b.w. Toxic effects of individual metals and their mixture were investigated on hematological and biochemical parameters, and the redox status in the plasma, liver, and kidneys of treated Wistar rats. Results: Tissue-specific changes were recorded in various parameters of oxidative damage, while the accumulation of metals in tissues accompanied the disturbances of both hematological and biochemical parameters. It was observed that the level of toxic metals in tissues had a different distribution pattern after mixture and single exposure. Conclusions: Comprehensive observations suggest that exposure to Cd and Pb mixtures produces more pronounced effects compared to the response observed after exposure to single metal solutions. However, further research is needed to confirm toxicokinetic or toxicodynamic interactions between these two toxic metals in the organisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Studies on Heavy Metals and Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Prenatal Stress, Proxied by Marital and Paternity Status, on the Risk of Preterm Birth
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020273
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Uncertainty and insecurity in the relationship between the mother and father of a child are responsible for heightened maternal stress, which can lead to preterm birth (PTB). Different intensities of prenatal stress (proxied by four levels of marital status linked with the presence [...] Read more.
Uncertainty and insecurity in the relationship between the mother and father of a child are responsible for heightened maternal stress, which can lead to preterm birth (PTB). Different intensities of prenatal stress (proxied by four levels of marital status linked with the presence or absence of paternal data on birth records) were defined as the Marital-Father Data index. We assessed the impact of those varying intensities of prenatal stress on PTB with respect to parity among a group of Polish mothers residing in Krakow (N = 87,916). We found a pattern across the adjusted risk ratios (RR) of preterm birth that ordered these estimates in an increasing trend towards higher risk, beginning with the group of married mothers with father data present (baseline), through the groups of legitimizing marriages—married after conception with father data present (RR = 1.1; 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) 1.0–1.2) and unmarried mothers with father data present (RR = 1.3; 95% CI 1.2–1.5) to the group of unmarried mothers with father data absent (RR = 1.9; 95% CI 1.7–2.2). The adjusted p for the linear trend between Marital-Father Data index and PTB was less than 0.001. The adjusted effect of perceived prenatal stress differed with respect to parity (confirmed by statistically significant interactions between Marital-Father Data index levels and parity), with a higher magnitude of this effect noted among multiparous versus primiparous women. Low paternal involvement and support during pregnancy may negatively affect PTB risk and this effect may differ in relation to parity status. More attention should be paid to maternal pregnancy stress, especially of multiparous mothers, to decrease the risk of unfavorable birth outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Reproductive and Maternal Health)
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Open AccessArticle Different Trends in Microbial Contamination between Two Types of Microfiltered Water Dispensers: From Risk Analysis to Consumer Health Preservation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020272
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
The use of microfiltered water dispensers (MWDs) for treatment of municipal water is increasing rapidly, however, the water quality produced by MWDs has not been widely investigated. In this work a large-scale microbiological investigation was conducted on 46 MWDs. In accordance with Italian [...] Read more.
The use of microfiltered water dispensers (MWDs) for treatment of municipal water is increasing rapidly, however, the water quality produced by MWDs has not been widely investigated. In this work a large-scale microbiological investigation was conducted on 46 MWDs. In accordance with Italian regulations for drinking water, we investigated the heterotrophic plate counts at 36 and 22 °C for indicator bacteria and pathogenic bacteria, such as Enterococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Two different MWDs were compared: Type A with Ag+ coated carbon filter and two ultraviolet (UV) lamps, and Type B with a carbon filter and one UV lamp. For each type, the contamination of the input and output points was analyzed. Our findings showed that MWDs are a source of bacteria growth, with output being more contaminated than the input point. Type B was widely contaminated for all parameters tested in both sampling points, suggesting that water treatment by Type A is more effective in controlling bacterial contamination. MWDs are critical devices for water treatment in term of technologies, intended use, and sanitization procedures. The adoption of an appropriate drinking water safety plan associated with clear maintenance procedures and periodic environmental monitoring can ensure the safe and healthy operation of these devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
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Open AccessArticle Breast Cancer and Exposure to Organochlorines in the CECILE Study: Associations with Plasma Levels Measured at the Time of Diagnosis and Estimated during Adolescence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020271
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Exposure to environmental chemicals with hormonal effects, such as organochlorine compounds (OCs), during developmental periods of breast cells may have an impact on the incidence of breast cancer later in life. However, the assessment of exposure to these chemicals that occurred in early [...] Read more.
Exposure to environmental chemicals with hormonal effects, such as organochlorine compounds (OCs), during developmental periods of breast cells may have an impact on the incidence of breast cancer later in life. However, the assessment of exposure to these chemicals that occurred in early life at the time of breast cancer development in adult women is a difficult challenge in epidemiological studies. Plasma levels of the OCs p,p’-dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethene (DDE) and polychlorinated biphenyl congener 153 (PCB153) were measured in 695 cases and 1055 controls of a population-based case-control study conducted in France (CECILE study). Based on these values, we used a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model to estimate PCB153 levels at age 11–20 years when the women were adolescents. Overall, there was no clear association between breast cancer risk and measured levels of DDE and PCB153 at the time of diagnosis, but there was a trend of decreasing odds ratios of breast cancer with increasing DDE and PCB153 levels in women aged 50 years and over. The PBPK model revealed that PCB153 concentrations estimated during adolescence were highest in the youngest women born after 1960 who reached adolescence at a time when environmental contamination was maximum, and very low in the oldest women who attained adolescence before the contamination peak. Negative associations between breast cancer and PCB153 estimates during adolescence were also found. The negative associations between DDE and PCB153 levels measured at the time of diagnosis or estimated during adolescence in our study were unexplained. Further investigations are needed to clarify whether this finding is real or related to study artifacts. However, this study suggests that using PBPK models in epidemiological studies to back-estimate OC exposures during early life stages may be useful to address critical questions on cancer development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk and Cancer Epidemiology)
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of High-Temperature Weather on Human Sleep Quality and Appetite
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020270
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 12 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
High-temperature weather appears in high frequency, big strength, and long duration in the summer. It is therefore important to study the effects of high-temperature weather on sleep quality and appetite. Ten healthy college students were selected as subjects. The experiment conditions were divided [...] Read more.
High-temperature weather appears in high frequency, big strength, and long duration in the summer. It is therefore important to study the effects of high-temperature weather on sleep quality and appetite. Ten healthy college students were selected as subjects. The experiment conditions were divided by the daily maximum temperature into 28 °C, 32 °C, 36 °C, and 38 °C. The objective sleep quality was measured by an intelligent sleep monitoring belt, and the subjective sleep quality was measured by a questionnaire survey. The subjective appetites were assessed by a visual analog scale (VAS), and the objective appetites were assessed by the meal weight and the meal time. For sleep quality, the objective results indicated that the sleep quality at 32 °C was the best, followed by 28 °C, while the sleep quality at 36 °C and 38 °C was the worst. Significant effects were mainly reflected in sleep duration and shallow sleep. The subjective results showed that temperature had significant effects on sleep calmness, difficulty in falling asleep, sleep satisfaction, and sleep adequateness. For appetite, the VAS results indicated that high temperatures mainly led to a reduction of appetite at lunch time. The meal weights of lunch were larger than those of supper except for 28 °C, and the meal time of lunch and supper was longer than that of breakfast. The meal time of lunch was longer than that of supper except for 36 °C. This paper can provide a study method and reference data for the sleep quality and appetite of human in high-temperature weather. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climate Change and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Aircraft Noise Exposure on Heart Rate during Sleep in the Population Living Near Airports
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020269
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Background Noise in the vicinity of airports is a public health problem. Many laboratory studies have shown that heart rate is altered during sleep after exposure to road or railway noise. Fewer studies have looked at the effects of exposure to aircraft noise [...] Read more.
Background Noise in the vicinity of airports is a public health problem. Many laboratory studies have shown that heart rate is altered during sleep after exposure to road or railway noise. Fewer studies have looked at the effects of exposure to aircraft noise on heart rate during sleep in populations living near airports. Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the sound pressure level (SPL) of aircraft noise and heart rate during sleep in populations living near airports in France. Methods In total, 92 people living near the Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Toulouse-Blagnac airports participated in this study. Heart rate was recorded every 15 s during one night, using an Actiheart monitor, with simultaneous measurements of SPL of aircraft noise inside the participants’ bedrooms. Energy and event-related indicators were then estimated. Mixed linear regression models were applied, taking into account potential confounding factors, to investigate the relationship between energy indicators and heart rate during sleep measured every 15 s. Event-related analyses were also carried out in order to study the effects of an acoustic event associated with aircraft noise on heart rate during sleep. Results The more the SPL from all sources (LAeq,15s) and the SPL exceeded for 90% of the measurement period (LA90,15s) increased, the more heart rate also increased. No significant associations were observed between the maximum 1-s equivalent SPL associated with aircraft overflight (LAmax,1s) and differences between the heart rate recorded during or 15 or 30 s after an aircraft noise event and that recorded before the event. On the other hand, a positive and significant association was found between LAmax,1s and the heart rate amplitude calculated during an aircraft noise event. Results were unchanged when analyses were limited to participants who had lived more than five years in their present dwelling. Conclusion Our study shows that exposure to the maximum SPL linked to aircraft overflight affect the heart rate during sleep of residents near airports. However, further studies on a larger number of participants over several nights are needed to confirm these results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Sleep)
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Open AccessArticle Study on the Remediation of Cd Pollution by the Biomineralization of Urease-Producing Bacteria
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020268
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) is a highly toxic metal that can affect human health and environmental safety. The purpose of this study was to research the removal of Cd from an environmental perspective. In this article, four highly urease-active strains (CZW-2, CZW-5, CZW-9 and CZW-12) [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) is a highly toxic metal that can affect human health and environmental safety. The purpose of this study was to research the removal of Cd from an environmental perspective. In this article, four highly urease-active strains (CZW-2, CZW-5, CZW-9 and CZW-12) were isolated from an abandoned mine and their phylogenetic trees were analyzed. The maximum enzyme activities, the mineralized precipitate and the removal rates of these strains were compared. The results showed that CZW-2 had the highest urease activity at 51.6 U/mL, and the removal rates of CZW-2, CZW-5, CZW-9 and CZW-12 after 120 h were 80.10%, 72.64%, 76.70% and 73.40%, with an initial concentration of Cd of 2 mM in the Cd precipitation experiments. XRD (X-ray diffractometer), EDS (Energy dispersive spectrometer) and FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) analysis indicated that the mineralized precipitate was CdCO3. SEM (Scanning electron microscopy) analysis revealed that the diameter of the oval-shaped mineralized product ranked from 0.5 to 2 μm. These strains were used to remedy Cd-contaminated soil, and five different fractions of Cd were measured. Compared with the control, the results of spraying pre-cultured strains containing 2% urea to remove Cd from contaminated soils showed that the exchangeable fraction of Cd decreased by 53.30%, 27.78%, 42.54% and 53.80%, respectively, whereas the carbonate-bound fraction increased by 55.42%, 20.27%, 39.67% and 34.36%, respectively, after one month. These data show that these strains can effectively reduce the bioavailability and mobility of Cd in contaminated soils. The results indicate that biomineralization based on the decomposition of substrate urea can be applied to remedy heavy contaminated soil and water. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of a Multicomponent Intervention on Lifestyle Factors among Brazilian Adolescents from Low Human Development Index Areas: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020267
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Promoting healthy lifestyle factors (e.g., physical activity, healthy eating, less screen time) among young people is a relevant and challenging step toward reducing non-communicable diseases. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of a multicomponent intervention on lifestyle factors among adolescents from schools [...] Read more.
Promoting healthy lifestyle factors (e.g., physical activity, healthy eating, less screen time) among young people is a relevant and challenging step toward reducing non-communicable diseases. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of a multicomponent intervention on lifestyle factors among adolescents from schools in low Human Development Index (HDI < 0.500) areas. The Fortaleça sua Saúde program was conducted with 548 adolescents aged 11–18 years old in the intervention group and 537 in the control group. The four-month intervention included strategies focused on training teachers, new opportunities for physical activity in the school environment, and health education strategies for the school community (including parents). Moderate- to-vigorous physical activity level (≥420 min/week), TV watching and computer use/gaming (<2 h/day), daily consumption of fruit juice, fruit, vegetables, soft drinks, savory foods and sweets, and current alcohol and tobacco use were measured before and after intervention. McNemar’s test and logistic regression (odds ratio [OR] and a 95% confidence interval [95% CI]) were used, considering p < 0.05. In the intervention schools, a significant increase occurred in the number of adolescents who met physical activity guidelines (5.3%; 95% CI = 0.8; 9.8) and who reported using computer for <2 h a day (8.6%; 95% CI = 3.8; 13.4) after intervention. No changes were observed in the control schools. At the end of the intervention, adolescents from intervention schools were more likely to practice physical activity at recommended levels (OR = 1.44; 95% CI = 1.00; 2.08) than adolescents from control schools. No significant change was observed for the other lifestyle factors. In conclusion, this multicomponent intervention was effective in promoting physical activity among adolescents from vulnerable areas. However, other lifestyle factors showed no significant change after intervention. This study is registered at Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02439827. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Community Health Intervention to Reduce Chronic Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Integrating Landscape Metrics and Hydrologic Modeling to Assess the Impact of Natural Disturbances on Ecohydrological Processes in the Chenyulan Watershed, Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020266
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
The Chenyulan watershed, located in the central mountain area of Taiwan, has been suffering from earthquakes, typhoons, and heavy rainfalls in recent decades. These sequential natural disturbances have a cumulative impact on the watershed, leading to more fragile and fragmented land cover and [...] Read more.
The Chenyulan watershed, located in the central mountain area of Taiwan, has been suffering from earthquakes, typhoons, and heavy rainfalls in recent decades. These sequential natural disturbances have a cumulative impact on the watershed, leading to more fragile and fragmented land cover and loss of capacity of soil water conservation. In this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and a landscape metrics tool (FRAGSTATS) were used to assess the direct impact (e.g., by annual rainfall) and indirect impact (e.g., by landscape configuration and composition) of natural disturbances on the ecohydrological processes of the Chenyulan watershed. Six SPOT satellite images from 2008 to 2013 were analyzed by using the nearest feature line embedding (NFLE) approach and reclassified into six land cover types: forest, cultivated land, grassland, river, landslide, and built-up. Forest was found to have the largest patch size, indicating that it is more resilient to disturbances, while agricultural land tended to expand from the river side toward the hill. Two land cover change scenarios were compared in the SWAT model. The results showed that there was no significant difference in simulated streamflow during 2004–2015 and sediment loading during 2004–2009; however, the model performed better for sediment loading during 2010–2015 with dynamic land cover change (coefficient of determination (R2) = 0.66, Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient (NSE) = 0.62, percent bias (PBIAS) = 10.5%, root mean square error observation standard deviation ratio (RSR) = 0.62) than with constant land cover (R2 = 0.61, NSE = 0.54, PBIAS = −17.3%, RSR = 0.68), indicating that long-term land cover change should be considered in hydrologic modeling. Changes in landslides during 2008–2013 were found to significantly affect ecohydrological processes, especially after 2011. In general, annual precipitation plays a dominant role, and landscape composition had by far the strongest influence on water yield and sediment yield compared to landscape configuration. The results can be useful for understanding the effects of land cover change on ecohydrological processes in the Chenyulan watershed and the potential impact of ecohydrological changes on the environment and public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changing Societies under Extreme Environments in Asia)
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Open AccessArticle Parental Knowledge about Meningococcal Disease and Vaccination Uptake among 0–5 years Old Polish Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020265
Received: 10 December 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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In Poland, in addition to mandatory, free of charge vaccines, listed in the national immunization schedule, numerous self-paid vaccinations are recommended, including meningococcal vaccination (MV). To assess MV uptake among ≤5-year-old children and to evaluate parental knowledge and attitudes regarding invasive meningococcal disease [...] Read more.
In Poland, in addition to mandatory, free of charge vaccines, listed in the national immunization schedule, numerous self-paid vaccinations are recommended, including meningococcal vaccination (MV). To assess MV uptake among ≤5-year-old children and to evaluate parental knowledge and attitudes regarding invasive meningococcal disease (IMD). A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2018 among 350 parents (mean age: 32.3 years), attending three randomly selected primary care clinics in Szczecin region, Poland. Anonymous questionnaires were administered to the parents by researchers, present at the time the survey was conducted, to self-complete on a voluntary basis. Chi-square or Fisher’s exact for categorical and Mann–Whitney U test for continuous variables. Variables significantly (p < 0.05) associated with ‘good knowledge’ in the bivariate analysis were used to build a logistic regression model. It was found that the response rate was 93.4%, and MV uptake among children was 29.5%. The main knowledge sources were medical staff and media; 72.5% had ever received information about IMD. Only 18.8% of parents self-assessed their knowledge regarding IMD as good; 61.8% scored >50% in the knowledge test 58.9% knew the mode of transmission, 58.7% recognized the severity of meningitis, and 79.7% knew that bacterial meningitis is a vaccine-preventive disease. Knowledge regarding IMD was higher among parents with higher educational level (OR = 3.37; p = 0.01), from urban facilities (OR = 2.20; p = 0.02), who received previous information about IMD (OR = 2.85; p = 0.01) and self-assessed their knowledge as good (OR = 2.59; p = 0.04). Low MV coverage among children up to five years old and knowledge gaps about IMD call for awareness campaigns which may increase the coverage. Although educational interventions should cover all parents, those from provincial facilities, representing lower education level need special attention. Full article
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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