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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 6, Issue 5 (May 2009), Pages 1539-1705

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Potential Impact on Farmer Health of Enhanced Export Horticultural Trade between the U.K. and Uganda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(5), 1539-1556; doi:10.3390/ijerph6051539
Received: 16 January 2009 / Accepted: 21 April 2009 / Published: 28 April 2009
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (358 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The export of vegetables from African countries to European markets presents consumers with an ethical dilemma: should they support local, but relatively well-off farmers, or poorer farmers from distant countries? This paper considers the issue of farm worker health in the U.K. and
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The export of vegetables from African countries to European markets presents consumers with an ethical dilemma: should they support local, but relatively well-off farmers, or poorer farmers from distant countries? This paper considers the issue of farm worker health in the U.K. and Uganda, and considers the dilemma facing U.K. consumers if Uganda achieves their aim of exporting more vegetables to the U.K. Self-reported health scores of 1,200 farm workers in the U.K. and Uganda were measured with the internationally recognised SF-36 questionnaire and compared to an international population norm. The age-corrected health status of U.K. farm workers was significantly lower than the population norm, whereas Ugandans scored significantly higher (indicating good health) for physical health and lower for mental health. If Ugandan produce enters U.K. markets, then consumers may wish to consider both the potential benefits that enhanced trade could offer Ugandan farmers compared with its impacts on U.K. workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Development of the Jackson Heart Study Coordinating Center
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(5), 1597-1608; doi:10.3390/ijerph6051597
Received: 24 February 2009 / Accepted: 27 April 2009 / Published: 6 May 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (120 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The public health burden caused by cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to adversely affect individuals in terms of cost, life expectancy, medical, pharmaceutical and hospital care. This burden has been excessive in the case of African Americans. The objective of this paper is to
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The public health burden caused by cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to adversely affect individuals in terms of cost, life expectancy, medical, pharmaceutical and hospital care. This burden has been excessive in the case of African Americans. The objective of this paper is to chronicle the procedures and processes that were implemented in the development of the Jackson Heart Study Coordinating Center. The Jackson Heart Study (JHS) is a population-based investigation of traditional and emerging risk factors that predict progression to CVD among African Americans. In response to the struggle against CVD, the Jackson Heart Study has convened a professional, technical, and administrative staff with specific competence in the operation of a coordinating center to handle the wide variety of areas related to CVD studies. The Jackson Heart Study Coordinating Center (JHSCC) was created to assure validity of the JHS findings and provide the resources necessary to meet comprehensive statistical needs (planning, implementing and monitoring data analysis); data management (designing, implementing and managing data collection and quality control), and administrative support. The JHSCC began with a commitment to support study functions in order to increase participant recruitment, retention and safety, meet regulatory requirements, prepare progress reports, and facilitate effective communication with the community and between all JHS centers. The JHSCC facilitates the efforts of the JHS scientists through the development and implementation of the study protocol. The efforts of the JHSCC have resulted in the successful preparation of scientific reports and manuscripts for publication and presentation of study findings and results. In summary, the JHSCC has emerged as an effective research mechanism that serves as the driving force behind the Jackson Heart Study activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle Sexual Orientation, Drug Use Preference during Sex, and HIV Risk Practices and Preferences among Men Who Specifically Seek Unprotected Sex Partners via the Internet
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(5), 1620-1632; doi:10.3390/ijerph6051620
Received: 12 March 2009 / Accepted: 6 May 2009 / Published: 11 May 2009
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (124 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study entailed conducting a content analysis of 1,434 ads/profiles posted on one of the most popular “Men who have Sex with Men” (MSM) websites that specifically fosters unprotected sex. Ads/profiles were selected randomly based on the American ZIP code of residence
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The present study entailed conducting a content analysis of 1,434 ads/profiles posted on one of the most popular “Men who have Sex with Men” (MSM) websites that specifically fosters unprotected sex. Ads/profiles were selected randomly based on the American ZIP code of residence (n = 1,316), with a randomly-drawn oversampling of profiles of men who self-identified as heterosexual or “curious” rather than gay or bisexual (n = 118). Data were collected between September 2006 and September 2007. The purpose of the present paper is to examine the conjoint effects of self-identified sexual orientation and preference for having/not having sex while high, on men’s sought-after sexual risk. Analytical comparisons of the four groups showed that, on most measures, the combination of sexual orientation and drug use preference during sex differentiated the men. Generally speaking, gay/bisexual men who advertised online for partners with whom they could have sex while high expressed the greatest interest in risky sexual behaviors (e.g., felching, unprotected oral sex, unprotected anal sex) and various risk-related preferences (e.g., multiple partner sex, anonymous sex, eroticizing ejaculatory fluids). This is especially true when they are compared to their heterosexual/“curious” counterparts whose online profiles were not as likely to indicate a desire for having sex while high. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Abuse and Addiction)
Open AccessArticle Who Is Exposed to Secondhand Smoke? Self-Reported and Serum Cotinine Measured Exposure in the U.S., 1999-2006
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(5), 1633-1648; doi:10.3390/ijerph6051633
Received: 18 April 2009 / Accepted: 7 May 2009 / Published: 14 May 2009
Cited by 41 | PDF Full-text (178 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study presents self-reported and serum cotinine measures of exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) for nonsmoking children, adolescents, and adults. Estimates are disaggregated by time periods and sociodemographic characteristics based on analyses of the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Self-reported exposure
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This study presents self-reported and serum cotinine measures of exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) for nonsmoking children, adolescents, and adults. Estimates are disaggregated by time periods and sociodemographic characteristics based on analyses of the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Self-reported exposure rates are found to be highest for children, followed by adolescents and adults. Important differences in exposure are found by socioeconomic characteristics. Using serum cotinine to measure exposure yields much higher prevalence rates than self-reports. Rates of SHS exposure remain high, but cotinine levels are declining for most groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking and Tobacco Control)
Open AccessArticle The Risks of Inappropriateness in Cardiac Imaging
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(5), 1649-1664; doi:10.3390/ijerph6051649
Received: 20 April 2009 / Accepted: 12 May 2009 / Published: 14 May 2009
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (693 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The immense clinical and scientific benefits of cardiovascular imaging are well-established, but are also true that 30 to 50% of all examinations are partially or totally inappropriate. Marketing messages, high patient demand and defensive medicine, lead to the vicious circle of the so-called
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The immense clinical and scientific benefits of cardiovascular imaging are well-established, but are also true that 30 to 50% of all examinations are partially or totally inappropriate. Marketing messages, high patient demand and defensive medicine, lead to the vicious circle of the so-called Ulysses syndrome. Mr. Ulysses, a typical middle-aged “worried-well” asymptomatic subject with an A-type coronary personality, a heavy (opium) smoker, leading a stressful life, would be advised to have a cardiological check-up after 10 years of war. After a long journey across imaging laboratories, he will have stress echo, myocardial perfusion scintigraphy, PET-CT, 64-slice CT, and adenosine-MRI performed, with a cumulative cost of >100 times a simple exercise-electrocardiography test and a cumulative radiation dose of >4,000 chest x-rays, with a cancer risk of 1 in 100. Ulysses is tired of useless examinations, exorbitant costs. unaffordable even by the richest society, and unacceptable risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: How Safe Is Cardiac Imaging?)
Open AccessArticle Estimated Time for Occurrence of Smoking-Related Consequences among Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(5), 1665-1675; doi:10.3390/ijerph6051665
Received: 7 April 2009 / Accepted: 13 May 2009 / Published: 15 May 2009
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (79 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objectives: To study time estimates by women smokers for when smoking-related consequences will occur given continuing or quitting smoking. The relationship of these estimates to pregnancy and intent to quit smoking was also investigated. Methods: Over a two-week period, eighty women,
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Objectives: To study time estimates by women smokers for when smoking-related consequences will occur given continuing or quitting smoking. The relationship of these estimates to pregnancy and intent to quit smoking was also investigated. Methods: Over a two-week period, eighty women, selected to constitute four subgroups formed by pregnant vs. non-pregnant and trying vs. not trying to quit smoking, rated times at which they would expect smoking-related consequences to occur given continuing or quitting smoking. Results: Somatic health consequences were estimated to occur later than consequences related to mood and social relations. All consequences were estimated to occur later given quitting smoking. Pregnancy had an effect on the estimated time that consequences would occur, with pregnant women estimating earlier occurrence of consequences related to mood and social relations than non-pregnant women did. Conclusion: Health messages should stress consequences for somatic health in quitting smoking, since outcomes later in time might have too low a value to exert a positive effect on decisions to quit smoking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Fluoride Intake through Consumption of Tap Water and Bottled Water in Belgium
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(5), 1676-1690; doi:10.3390/ijerph6051676
Received: 21 April 2009 / Accepted: 13 May 2009 / Published: 15 May 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (221 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a tendency to align higher levels of fluoride in natural mineral water with the existing higher levels in tap water. Treatment of natural mineral waters could harm the preservation of their natural character. In this study fluoride intake through bottled and
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There is a tendency to align higher levels of fluoride in natural mineral water with the existing higher levels in tap water. Treatment of natural mineral waters could harm the preservation of their natural character. In this study fluoride intake through bottled and tap water consumption in the Belgian adult population was assessed, taking into account regional differences. A deterministic approach was used whereby consumption quantities of tap water and different brands of bottled water were linked with their respective fluoride concentrations. Data from the national food consumption survey (2004) were used and the Nusser methodology was applied to obtain usual intake estimates. Mean intake of fluoride through total water consumption in Flanders was 1.4±0.7 mg/day (97.5th percentile: 3.1 mg/day), while in the Walloon region it was on average 0.9±0.6 mg/day (97.5th percentile: 2.4 mg/day). The probability of exceeding the UL of 7 mg per day via a normal diet was estimated to be low. Consequently, there is no need to revise the existing norms, but higher fluoride concentrations should be more clearly indicated on the labels. Reliable data about total dietary fluoride intake in children, including intake of fluoride via tooth paste and food supplements, are needed. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Cigarettes Butts and the Case for an Environmental Policy on Hazardous Cigarette Waste
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(5), 1691-1705; doi:10.3390/ijerph6051691
Received: 2 April 2009 / Accepted: 19 May 2009 / Published: 20 May 2009
Cited by 44 | PDF Full-text (265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Discarded cigarette butts are a form of non-biodegradable litter. Carried as runoff from streets to drains, to rivers, and ultimately to the ocean and its beaches, cigarette filters are the single most collected item in international beach cleanups each year. They are an
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Discarded cigarette butts are a form of non-biodegradable litter. Carried as runoff from streets to drains, to rivers, and ultimately to the ocean and its beaches, cigarette filters are the single most collected item in international beach cleanups each year. They are an environmental blight on streets, sidewalks, and other open areas. Rather than being a protective health device, cigarette filters are primarily a marketing tool to help sell ‘safe’ cigarettes. They are perceived by much of the public (especially current smokers) to reduce the health risks of smoking through technology. Filters have reduced the machine-measured yield of tar and nicotine from burning cigarettes, but there is controversy as to whether this has correspondingly reduced the disease burden of smoking to the population. Filters actually may serve to sustain smoking by making it seem less urgent for smokers to quit and easier for children to initiate smoking because of reduced irritation from early experimentation. Several options are available to reduce the environmental impact of cigarette butt waste, including developing biodegradable filters, increasing fines and penalties for littering butts, monetary deposits on filters, increasing availability of butt receptacles, and expanded public education. It may even be possible to ban the sale of filtered cigarettes altogether on the basis of their adverse environmental impact. This option may be attractive in coastal regions where beaches accumulate butt waste and where smoking indoors is increasingly prohibited. Additional research is needed on the various policy options, including behavioral research on the impact of banning the sale of filtered cigarettes altogether. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
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Review

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Open AccessReview A Review of the Urban Development and Transport Impacts on Public Health with Particular Reference to Australia: Trans-Disciplinary Research Teams and Some Research Gaps
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(5), 1557-1596; doi:10.3390/ijerph6051557
Received: 9 February 2009 / Accepted: 8 April 2009 / Published: 28 April 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (281 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urbanization and transport have a direct effect on public health.A trans-disciplinary approach is proposed and illustrated to tackle the general problem of these environmental stressors and public health. Processes driving urban development and environmental stressors are identified. Urbanization, transport and public health literature
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Urbanization and transport have a direct effect on public health.A trans-disciplinary approach is proposed and illustrated to tackle the general problem of these environmental stressors and public health. Processes driving urban development and environmental stressors are identified. Urbanization, transport and public health literature is reviewed and environmental stressors are classified into their impacts and which group is affected, the geographical scale and potential inventions. Climate change and health impacts are identified as a research theme. From an Australian perspective, further areas for research are identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)
Open AccessReview A Systematic Review of Arsenic Exposure and Its Social and Mental Health Effects with Special Reference to Bangladesh
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(5), 1609-1619; doi:10.3390/ijerph6051609
Received: 4 January 2009 / Accepted: 9 April 2009 / Published: 8 May 2009
Cited by 72 | PDF Full-text (108 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Undergroundwater in many regions of the world is contaminated with high concentrations of arsenic and the resulting toxicity has created a major environmental and public health problem in the affected regions. Chronic arsenic exposure can cause many diseases, including various physical and psychological
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Undergroundwater in many regions of the world is contaminated with high concentrations of arsenic and the resulting toxicity has created a major environmental and public health problem in the affected regions. Chronic arsenic exposure can cause many diseases, including various physical and psychological harms. Although the physical problems caused by arsenic toxicity are well reported in literature, unfortunately the consequences of arsenic exposure on mental health are not adequately studied. Therefore we conducted a review of the available literature focusing on the social consequences and detrimental effects of arsenic toxicity on mental health. Chronic arsenic exposures have serious implications for its victims (i.e. arsenicosis patients) and their families including social instability, social discrimination, refusal of victims by community and families, and marriage-related problems. Some studies conducted in arsenic affected areas revealed that arsenic exposures are associated with various neurologic problems. Chronic arsenic exposure can lead to mental retardation and developmental disabilities such as physical, cognitive, psychological, sensory and speech impairments. As health is defined by the World Health Organization as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing”, the social dimensions have a large impact on individual’s mental health. Furthermore studies in China und Bangladesh have shown that mental health problems (e.g. depression) are more common among the people affected by arsenic contamination. Our study indicates various neurological, mental and social consequences among arsenic affected victims. Further studies are recommended in arsenic-affected areas to understand the underlying mechanisms of poor mental health caused by arsenic exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)

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