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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 6, Issue 8 (August 2009), Pages 2090-2331

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle The Quality of Alcohol Products in Vietnam and Its Implications for Public Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2090-2101; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082090
Received: 17 June 2009 / Accepted: 20 July 2009 / Published: 27 July 2009
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (338 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Four homemade (artisanally manufactured and unrecorded) and seven commercial (industrially manufactured and taxed) alcohol products from Vietnam were collected and chemically analyzed for toxicologically relevant substances. The majority of both types had alcohol contents between 30 and 40% vol. Two homemade samples [...] Read more.
Four homemade (artisanally manufactured and unrecorded) and seven commercial (industrially manufactured and taxed) alcohol products from Vietnam were collected and chemically analyzed for toxicologically relevant substances. The majority of both types had alcohol contents between 30 and 40% vol. Two homemade samples contained significantly higher concentrations of 45 and 50% vol. In one of these homemade samples the labeled alcoholic strength was exceeded by nearly 20% vol. All other analyzed constituents of the samples (e.g., methanol, acetaldehyde, higher alcohols, esters, metals, anions) were found in concentrations that did not pose a threat to public health. A peculiarity was a homemade sample of alcohol with pickled snakes and scorpions that contained 77% vol of alcohol, allegedly used as traditional Chinese medicine. Based on this small sample, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that alcohol quality, beyond the effects of ethanol, has an influence on health in Vietnam. However, future research with larger samples is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Neighborhood Environment and Self-Rated Health among Adults in Southern Sri Lanka
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2102-2112; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082102
Received: 11 July 2009 / Accepted: 23 July 2009 / Published: 29 July 2009
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (162 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The prevalenceof different neighborhood environmental stressors and associations between the stressors and self-rated health are described in a representative sample of 2,077 individuals, aged 18-85 years, in southern Sri Lanka. Mosquito menace (69.4%), stray dog problems (26.8%), nuisance from neighbors (20.3%), and [...] Read more.
The prevalenceof different neighborhood environmental stressors and associations between the stressors and self-rated health are described in a representative sample of 2,077 individuals, aged 18-85 years, in southern Sri Lanka. Mosquito menace (69.4%), stray dog problems (26.8%), nuisance from neighbors (20.3%), and nuisance from drug users (18.7%) were found to be the most prevalent environmental stressors. None of the stressors investigated were associated with self-rated physical health, but nuisance from neighbors, nuisance from drug users, shortage of water and having poor water/ sewage drainage system were associated with self-rated mental health among the respondents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Legislation and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle A Qualitative Study of the Impact of HIV/AIDS on Agricultural Households in Southeastern Uganda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2113-2138; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082113
Received: 9 June 2009 / Accepted: 22 July 2009 / Published: 29 July 2009
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (337 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The HIV/AIDS pandemic threatens economic, social, and environmental sustainability throughout sub-Saharan Africa. This paper reports on a qualitative study exploring interrelationships between HIV/AIDS, labor availability, agricultural productivity, household resources, food consumption, and health status in rural southeastern Uganda. Respondents reported an increase [...] Read more.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic threatens economic, social, and environmental sustainability throughout sub-Saharan Africa. This paper reports on a qualitative study exploring interrelationships between HIV/AIDS, labor availability, agricultural productivity, household resources, food consumption, and health status in rural southeastern Uganda. Respondents reported an increase in widow-and-orphan-headed households; labor shortages due to illness and caretaking; degradation of household resources from health-related expenses; loss of land tenure and assets following deaths, especially for widows and orphans; and changes in agricultural practices and productivity. Our study highlights a potential downward spiral of livelihood degradation for vulnerable households and suggests targeted interventions to improve sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ethanol Consumption by Wistar Rat Dams Affects Selenium Bioavailability and Antioxidant Balance in Their Progeny
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2139-2149; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082139
Received: 3 July 2009 / Accepted: 22 July 2009 / Published: 30 July 2009
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (213 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ethanol consumption affects maternal nutrition, the mothers’ antioxidant balance and the future health of their progeny. Selenium (Se) is a trace element cofactor of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase (GPx). We will study the effect of ethanol on Se bioavailability in dams and [...] Read more.
Ethanol consumption affects maternal nutrition, the mothers’ antioxidant balance and the future health of their progeny. Selenium (Se) is a trace element cofactor of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase (GPx). We will study the effect of ethanol on Se bioavailability in dams and in their progeny. We have used three experimental groups of dams: control, chronic ethanol and pair-fed; and three groups of pups. Se levels were measured by graphite-furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. Serum and hepatic GPx activity was determined by spectrometry. We have concluded that ethanol decreased Se retention in dams, affecting their tissue Se deposits and those of their offspring, while also compromising their progeny’s weight and oxidation balance. These effects of ethanol are caused by a reduction in Se intake and a direct alcohol-generated oxidation action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Door to Door Survey and Community Participation to Implement a New County Mosquito Control Program in Wayne County, North Carolina, USA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2150-2159; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082150
Received: 23 June 2009 / Accepted: 22 July 2009 / Published: 31 July 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (176 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Community involvement in mosquito management programs provides more sustainable and effective organization and service. A door to door survey in Wayne County, NC carried out by student volunteers, resulted in 60 household responses. Residents had not previously experienced outreach from the county [...] Read more.
Community involvement in mosquito management programs provides more sustainable and effective organization and service. A door to door survey in Wayne County, NC carried out by student volunteers, resulted in 60 household responses. Residents had not previously experienced outreach from the county (88%), and 95% of them thought the student door to door survey was an effective form of outreach. One third of the residents thought mosquitoes were severe where they lived, but only 9% thought they had any containers in their yard that might breed mosquitoes. Only 15% of the residents were concerned about mosquito borne diseases. These responses provide evidence that outreach and education on mosquito control and diseases were necessary steps for future mosquito control community planning. Full article
Open AccessArticle Avoidable Portion of Tobacco-Attributable Acute Care Hospital Days and Its Cost Due to Implementation of Different Intervention Strategies in Canada
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2179-2192; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082179
Received: 11 July 2009 / Accepted: 30 July 2009 / Published: 6 August 2009
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (270 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The impact of four effective population-based interventions, focusing on individual behavioural change and aimed at reducing tobacco-attributable morbidity, was assessed by modeling with respect to effects on reducing prevalence rates of cigarette smoking, population-attributable fractions, reductions of disease-specific morbidity and its cost [...] Read more.
The impact of four effective population-based interventions, focusing on individual behavioural change and aimed at reducing tobacco-attributable morbidity, was assessed by modeling with respect to effects on reducing prevalence rates of cigarette smoking, population-attributable fractions, reductions of disease-specific morbidity and its cost for Canada. Results revealed that an implementation of a combination of four tobacco policy interventions would result in a savings of 33,307 acute care hospital days, which translates to a cost savings of about $37 million per year in Canada. Assuming 40% coverage rate for all individually based interventions, the two most effective interventions, in terms of avoidable burden due to morbidity, would be nicotine replacement therapy and physicians’ advice, followed by individual behavioural counselling and increasing taxes by 10%. Although a sizable reduction in the number of hospital days and accumulated costs could be achieved, overall these interventions would reduce less than 3% of all tobacco-attributable costs in Canada. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking and Tobacco Control)
Open AccessArticle Time Trend of the Male Proportion at Birth in Brazil, 1979-2004
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2193-2204; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082193
Received: 16 June 2009 / Accepted: 5 August 2009 / Published: 12 August 2009
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (615 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Several studies suggest that exposure to environmental endocrine disrupters can reduce the number of male births, and therefore, the male proportion at birth (also denominated birth ratio or sex ratio at birth) can be used as a sentinel health indicator. This work [...] Read more.
Several studies suggest that exposure to environmental endocrine disrupters can reduce the number of male births, and therefore, the male proportion at birth (also denominated birth ratio or sex ratio at birth) can be used as a sentinel health indicator. This work aimed to analyze the trend of male births in Brazil, according to their distribution by states and capitals. An ecological descriptive time series was carried out using polynomial regression, showing a declining trend for male proportion at birth in Brazil (1979-1994), followed by an upward trend until 2004. A decline on the proportion of male births was observed in Brazil between 1979 and 1993, followed by a subsequent rise of this ratio between 1995 and 2004, wherein the mean proportion of male births in Brazil rose from 51.05 to 51.18, representing a relative increase of 0.25%. The states of São Paulo (Southwest region) and Acre (Western Amazon), as well as some capitals−Cuiabá (Western Region), Palmas (Amazon) and Rio Branco (Amazon)−showed increasing trends, which suggests the influence of socio-demographic changes. In contrast, a declining trend in the State of Ceará State (Northeast region), with a 0.35% yearly decrease was observed. As a whole, these results suggest the influence of different environmental factors (demographic changes, public health services distribution, and population exposure to endocrine disruptor substances) influencing the time trend of birth ratio in the Brazilian population during the last decades. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Verification of the Addiction Severity Index Japanese Version (ASI-J) as a Treatment-Customization, Prediction, and Comparison Tool for Alcohol-Dependent Individuals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2205-2225; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082205
Received: 7 July 2009 / Accepted: 10 August 2009 / Published: 12 August 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (558 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: To demonstrate the usefulness of the Addiction Severity Index Japanese Version (ASI-J) in Japanese alcohol-dependent individuals. The ASI is a frequently used clinical and research instrument that measures severities in seven functional domains in people with substance abuse disorders. Methods: A [...] Read more.
Objective: To demonstrate the usefulness of the Addiction Severity Index Japanese Version (ASI-J) in Japanese alcohol-dependent individuals. The ASI is a frequently used clinical and research instrument that measures severities in seven functional domains in people with substance abuse disorders. Methods: A total of 370 male inpatients with a history of alcohol dependence participated in the study. Forty-nine participants were excluded in the final analysis due to lack of reliability (i.e., patient misrepresentation or inability to understand). We used the ASI-J and a series of indexes that determined patient states during and post-treatment. Results: The correlations between ASI Composite Scores (CSs), which were calculated through a weighted formula and indicated the severity of each problem area, were significant but low in eight relations and not significant in 13 relations, indicating substantial independence of the problem areas. Significant differences were found in Family/Social CSs between abstinent and relapsed alcohol-dependent individuals. The questions of undesirable attitude were significantly related to the CSs of Employment, Drug use, Family/Social, and Psychiatric sections. Significant differences were observed in patient demographics, CS, and ASI Severity Rating (SR) and interviewer’s subjective scoring between alcohol-dependent individuals and drug abusers. CSs in Japanese alcohol-dependent individuals were generally similar to corresponding CSs in individuals from other countries, with the exception of The Netherlands. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the ASI-J is useful for understanding individual profiles of problems for each patient and planning customized treatment. The ASI-J served as a predictive tool for relapse and compliance to treatment afterward and was shown to be useful as a comparison tool in clarifying similarities and differences between substance abuser groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Smoking Determinants in Turkish University Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2248-2257; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082248
Received: 27 July 2009 / Accepted: 6 August 2009 / Published: 12 August 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim was to explore the prevalence and the correlates of smoking in a group of Turkish university students. A sample of 1,870 students (21.2 ± 2.0 years old) completed the Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Hopelessness Scale, Anxiety Sensitivity Index, 20-item Toronto [...] Read more.
The aim was to explore the prevalence and the correlates of smoking in a group of Turkish university students. A sample of 1,870 students (21.2 ± 2.0 years old) completed the Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Hopelessness Scale, Anxiety Sensitivity Index, 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Smoking was highly prevalent (35.9%) in this sample. Male gender (OR = 2.72, CI 2.15-3.44), and parental smoking (OR = 1.41, CI 1.13-1.78) were factors associated with increased likelihood of smoking. Higher depressive symptoms and hopelessness levels were significantly related to smoking behavior. Smoking behavior might initiate as a mild and transient habit and unfortunately could become more serious and lead to an actual dependence. The results of this study show that it is necessary to pay attention to levels of depression and hopelessness, as well as parental influence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Chronic Disease Management in Sub-Saharan Africa: Whose Business Is It?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2258-2270; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082258
Received: 16 July 2009 / Accepted: 10 August 2009 / Published: 14 August 2009
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (64 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Public health specialists and clinicians alike agree that Humanity faces a global pandemic of chronic diseases in the 21st century. In this article we discuss the implications of this pandemic on another global issue, the health workforce. Because both issues are [...] Read more.
Public health specialists and clinicians alike agree that Humanity faces a global pandemic of chronic diseases in the 21st century. In this article we discuss the implications of this pandemic on another global issue, the health workforce. Because both issues are particularly acute in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), we will focus on this region and use Cameroon as a case in point. We first gauge the epidemic of chronic conditions in SSA. We then discuss the implications of chronic conditions for the reshaping of health systems and the health workforce. We conclude by making a strong case for the building up and strengthening the health workforce, insisting on the crucial role of nurses, their training, and involvement in chronic disease management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nursing and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle The Influence of Socioeconomic and Environmental Determinants on Health and Obesity: A West Virginia Case Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2271-2287; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082271
Received: 29 July 2009 / Accepted: 12 August 2009 / Published: 19 August 2009
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (84 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A recursive system of ordered self assessed health together with BRFSS data were used to investigate health and obesity in the Appalachian state of West Virginia. Implications of unobserved heterogeneity and endogeneity of lifestyle outcomes on health were investigated. Obesity was found [...] Read more.
A recursive system of ordered self assessed health together with BRFSS data were used to investigate health and obesity in the Appalachian state of West Virginia. Implications of unobserved heterogeneity and endogeneity of lifestyle outcomes on health were investigated. Obesity was found to be an endogenous lifestyle outcome associated with impaired health status. Risk of obesity is found to increase at a decreasing rate with per capita income and age. Intervention measures which stimulate human capital development, diet-disease knowledge and careful land use planning may improve health and obesity outcomes in Appalachia in particular and rural America in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Economics)
Open AccessArticle 13C-NMR Assessment of the Pattern of Organic Matter Transformation during Domestic Wastewater Treatment by Autothermal Aerobic Digestion (ATAD)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2288-2306; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082288
Received: 30 July 2009 / Accepted: 15 August 2009 / Published: 19 August 2009
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (886 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Abstract: The pattern of biodegradation and the chemical changes occurring in the macromolecular fraction of domestic sludge during autothermal thermophilic aerobic digestion (ATAD) was monitored and characterised via solid-state 13C-NMR CP-MAS. Major indexes such as aromaticity, hydrophobicity and alkyl/O-alkyl ratios calculated [...] Read more.
Abstract: The pattern of biodegradation and the chemical changes occurring in the macromolecular fraction of domestic sludge during autothermal thermophilic aerobic digestion (ATAD) was monitored and characterised via solid-state 13C-NMR CP-MAS. Major indexes such as aromaticity, hydrophobicity and alkyl/O-alkyl ratios calculated for the ATAD processed biosolids were compared by means of these values to corresponding indexes reported for sludges of different origin such as manures, soil organic matter and certain types of compost. Given that this is the first time that these techniques have been applied to ATAD sludge, the data indicates that long-chain aliphatics are easily utilized by the microbial populations as substrates for metabolic activities at all stages of aerobic digestion and serve as a key substrate for the temperature increase, which in turn results in sludge sterilization. The ATAD biosolids following treatment had a prevalence of O-alkyl domains, a low aromaticity index (10.4%) and an alkyl/O-alkyl ratio of 0.48 while the hydrophobicity index of the sludge decreased from 1.12 to 0.62 during the treatment. These results have important implications for the evolution of new ATAD modalities particularly in relation to dewatering and the future use of ATAD processed biosolids as a fertilizer, particularly with respect to hydrological impacts on the soil behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle Morphological Deformities as Biomarkers in Fish from Contaminated Rivers in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2307-2331; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082307
Received: 3 July 2009 / Accepted: 17 August 2009 / Published: 21 August 2009
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (1549 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) were collected seasonally from four contaminated rivers in southwestern Taiwan for studies of morphological deformities that could be used as biomarkers of contamination. Morphological deformities found in tilapia were separated into 15 categories. Overall, the prevalence of deformities [...] Read more.
Tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) were collected seasonally from four contaminated rivers in southwestern Taiwan for studies of morphological deformities that could be used as biomarkers of contamination. Morphological deformities found in tilapia were separated into 15 categories. Overall, the prevalence of deformities such as split fins, lower lip extension and gill deformities were significantly related to various water quality parameters, including low DO and high ammonium, lead and zinc concentrations. The persistence of tilapia in polluted waters and the development of a suite of morphological deformities suggest that tilapia can be used as sentinels of non-point source pollution in rivers. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Environmental Effects on Public Health: An Economic Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2160-2178; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082160
Received: 23 June 2009 / Accepted: 27 July 2009 / Published: 31 July 2009
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (223 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this article we critically review the economic literature on the effects of environmental changes on public health, in both the developed and the developing world. We first focus on the economic methodologies that are available for the evaluation of the effects [...] Read more.
In this article we critically review the economic literature on the effects of environmental changes on public health, in both the developed and the developing world. We first focus on the economic methodologies that are available for the evaluation of the effects (social costs and benefits) of environmental changes (degradation/preservation) on public health. Then, we explain how the monetary valuations of these effects can feed back in the construction of economic policy for creating agent-specific incentives for more efficient public health management, which is also equitable and environmentally sustainable. Our exposition is accompanied by a synthesis of the available quantitative empirical results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Plant-Associated Bacterial Degradation of Toxic Organic Compounds in Soil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2226-2247; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082226
Received: 28 July 2009 / Accepted: 7 August 2009 / Published: 12 August 2009
Cited by 47 | PDF Full-text (312 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A number of toxic synthetic organic compounds can contaminate environmental soil through either local (e.g., industrial) or diffuse (e.g., agricultural) contamination. Increased levels of these toxic organic compounds in the environment have been associated with human health risks including cancer. Plant-associated bacteria, [...] Read more.
A number of toxic synthetic organic compounds can contaminate environmental soil through either local (e.g., industrial) or diffuse (e.g., agricultural) contamination. Increased levels of these toxic organic compounds in the environment have been associated with human health risks including cancer. Plant-associated bacteria, such as endophytic bacteria (non-pathogenic bacteria that occur naturally in plants) and rhizospheric bacteria (bacteria that live on and near the roots of plants), have been shown to contribute to biodegradation of toxic organic compounds in contaminated soil and could have potential for improving phytoremediation. Endophytic and rhizospheric bacterial degradation of toxic organic compounds (either naturally occurring or genetically enhanced) in contaminated soil in the environment could have positive implications for human health worldwide and is the subject of this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)

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