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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 8, Issue 3 (March 2011), Pages 629-930

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Mercury Levels in an Urban Pregnant Population in Durham County, North Carolina
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 698-712; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030698
Received: 17 January 2011 / Revised: 11 February 2011 / Accepted: 24 February 2011 / Published: 1 March 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (348 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The adverse effects of prenatal mercury exposure, most commonly resulting from maternal fish consumption, have been detected at very low exposure levels. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, however, have been shown to support fetal brain and vision development. Using data [...] Read more.
The adverse effects of prenatal mercury exposure, most commonly resulting from maternal fish consumption, have been detected at very low exposure levels. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, however, have been shown to support fetal brain and vision development. Using data from a prospective, cohort study of pregnant women from an inland area in the US South, we sought to understand the fish consumption habits and associated mercury levels across subpopulations. Over 30% of women had at least 1 µg/L of mercury in their blood, and about 2% had blood mercury levels above the level of concern during pregnancy (≥3.5 µg/L). Mercury levels were higher among Asian/Pacific Islander, older, higher educated, and married women. Fish consumption from any source was reported by 2/3 of the women in our study, with older women more likely to consume fish. Despite eating more fish meals per week, lower income, lower educated women had lower blood mercury levels than higher income, higher educated women. This suggests the different demographic groups consume different types of fish. Encouraging increased fish consumption while minimizing mercury exposure requires careful crafting of a complex health message. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle Three Potential Sources of Microfungi in a Treated Municipal Water Supply System in Sub-Tropical Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 713-732; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030713
Received: 7 February 2011 / Revised: 28 February 2011 / Accepted: 1 March 2011 / Published: 3 March 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (748 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Some microfungi are known to be opportunistic human pathogens, and there is a body of scientific opinion that one of their routes of infection may be water aerosols. Others have been implicated as causative agents of odours and off-tastes in drinking water. [...] Read more.
Some microfungi are known to be opportunistic human pathogens, and there is a body of scientific opinion that one of their routes of infection may be water aerosols. Others have been implicated as causative agents of odours and off-tastes in drinking water. This study was undertaken to investigate three potential sources of microfungi in a treated, oligotrophic municipal water supply system in sub-tropical Australia. Formation of the microfungal component of developing biofilm on hard surfaces in water storage reservoirs was also assessed. Inside and outside air samples were collected from two reservoirs using two types of Burkard air samplers. Biofilm and soft sediment samples were collected from the inner surfaces of asbestos cement water pipes and from pipe dead ends respectively. These were analysed for microfungal growth and sporulation using Calcofluor White stain and epifluorescent microscopy. Artificial coupons of glass, PVC and concrete were immersed in two reservoirs to assess microfungal biofilm formation. This was analysed periodically using Calcofluor White stain and epifluorescent microscopy, cultures of coupon swabs and scanning electron microscopy. Fungal spores were recovered from all air samples. The number of colonies and the genera were similar for both inside and outside air. Microfungal filaments and sporulating structures were recovered from most of the pipe inner surface biofilm and dead end sediment samples, but were sparser in the biofilm than in the sediment samples. No recognisable, vegetative filamentous fungi were found in the slowly developing biofilm on coupons. This study indicates that airborne spores are an important potential source of microfungi found in water storage reservoirs. It has also demonstrated conclusively that filamentous microfungi grow and sporulate on water pipe inner surfaces and in soft sediments within the water distribution system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water and Health)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Assessing the Impacts of Local Knowledge and Technology on Climate Change Vulnerability in Remote Communities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 733-761; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030733
Received: 27 January 2011 / Revised: 8 February 2011 / Accepted: 25 February 2011 / Published: 4 March 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (2307 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The introduction of new technologies into small remote communities can alter how individuals acquire knowledge about their surrounding environment. This is especially true when technologies that satisfy basic needs, such as freshwater use, create a distance (i.e., diminishing exposure) between [...] Read more.
The introduction of new technologies into small remote communities can alter how individuals acquire knowledge about their surrounding environment. This is especially true when technologies that satisfy basic needs, such as freshwater use, create a distance (i.e., diminishing exposure) between individuals and their environment. However, such distancing can potentially be countered by the transfer of local knowledge between community members and from one generation to the next. The objective of this study is to simulate by way of agent-based modeling the tensions between technology-induced distancing and local knowledge that are exerted on community vulnerability to climate change. A model is developed that simulates how a collection of individual perceptions about changes to climatic-related variables manifest into community perceptions, how perceptions are influenced by the movement away from traditional resource use, and how the transmission of knowledge mitigates the potentially adverse effects of technology-induced distancing. The model is implemented utilizing climate and social data for two remote communities located on the Seward Peninsula in western Alaska. The agent-based model simulates a set of scenarios that depict different ways in which these communities may potentially engage with their natural resources, utilize knowledge transfer, and develop perceptions of how the local climate is different from previous years. A loosely-coupled pan-arctic climate model simulates changes monthly changes to climatic variables. The discrepancy between the perceptions derived from the agent-based model and the projections simulated by the climate model represent community vulnerability. The results demonstrate how demographics, the communication of knowledge and the types of ‘knowledge-providers’ influence community perception about changes to their local climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Modelling)
Open AccessArticle Increase in Metabolic Syndrome-Related Hospitalizations in Relation to Environmental Sources of Persistent Organic Pollutants
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 762-776; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030762
Received: 31 December 2010 / Revised: 11 February 2011 / Accepted: 1 March 2011 / Published: 4 March 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (230 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Evidence from cell studies indicates that persistent organic pollutants (POP) can induce insulin resistance, an essential component of the metabolic syndrome (MetS). We hypothesized that residential proximity to environmental sources of POP would be associated with the MetS in the population. The present study examined the association between residency in a zip code containing or abutting environmental sources of POP and MetS-related hospitalization rates. Hospitalization data were obtained from the New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System. Relative risks (RR) were calculated as hospitalization rate ratios. Adjusted RR and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated by multivariable Poisson regression. A higher proportion of African Americans resided in POP zip codes compared to Caucasians (25.9% and 24.3%, respectively, p < 0.01). Residence in POP zip codes was associated with a statistically significant 39.2% increase in MetS-related hospitalization rates, adjusted for race, gender, and age (adjusted RR = 1.392, 95% CI: 1.032–1.879, p = 0.030). Increase in age was independently associated with higher MetS-related hospitalization rates (p for trend < 0.001). Our findings contribute to the body of evidence supporting the hypothesis of POP constituting an environmental risk factor for the MetS. Further studies investigating exposure to POP and insulin resistance are warranted. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Influence of Traffic Noise on Appreciation of the Living Quality of a Neighborhood
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 777-798; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030777
Received: 1 February 2011 / Revised: 28 February 2011 / Accepted: 28 February 2011 / Published: 7 March 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (926 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Traffic influences the quality of life in a neighborhood in many different ways. Today, in many patsy of the world the benefits of accessibility are taken for granted and traffic is perceived as having a negative impact on satisfaction with the neighborhood. [...] Read more.
Traffic influences the quality of life in a neighborhood in many different ways. Today, in many patsy of the world the benefits of accessibility are taken for granted and traffic is perceived as having a negative impact on satisfaction with the neighborhood. Negative health effects are observed in a number of studies and these stimulate the negative feelings in the exposed population. The noise produced by traffic is one of the most important contributors to the appreciation of the quality of life. Thus, it is useful to define a number of indicators that allow monitoring the current impact of noise on the quality of life and predicting the effect of future developments. This work investigates and compares a set of indicators related to exposure at home and exposure during trips around the house. The latter require detailed modeling of the population’s trip behavior. The validity of the indicators is checked by their ability to predict the outcome of a social survey and by outlining potential causal paths between them and the outcome variables considered: general satisfaction with the quality of life in the neighborhood, noise annoyance at home, and reported traffic density in the area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Quality of Life)
Open AccessArticle Measurement of Community Empowerment in Three Community Programs in Rapla (Estonia)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 799-817; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030799
Received: 14 February 2011 / Accepted: 8 March 2011 / Published: 11 March 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (266 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Community empowerment approaches have been proven to be powerful tools for solving local health problems. However, the methods for measuring empowerment in the community remain unclear and open to dispute. This study aims to describe how a context-specific community empowerment measurement tool [...] Read more.
Community empowerment approaches have been proven to be powerful tools for solving local health problems. However, the methods for measuring empowerment in the community remain unclear and open to dispute. This study aims to describe how a context-specific community empowerment measurement tool was developed and changes made to three health promotion programs in Rapla, Estonia. An empowerment expansion model was compiled and applied to three existing programs: Safe Community, Drug/HIV Prevention and Elderly Quality of Life. The consensus workshop method was used to create the measurement tool and collect data on the Organizational Domains of Community Empowerment (ODCE). The study demonstrated considerable increases in the ODCE among the community workgroup, which was initiated by community members and the municipality’s decision-makers. The increase was within the workgroup, which had strong political and financial support on a national level but was not the community’s priority. The program was initiated and implemented by the local community members, and continuous development still occurred, though at a reduced pace. The use of the empowerment expansion model has proven to be an applicable, relevant, simple and inexpensive tool for the evaluation of community empowerment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Geological Carbon Sequestration: A New Approach for Near-Surface Assurance Monitoring
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 818-829; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030818
Received: 24 December 2010 / Revised: 23 February 2011 / Accepted: 8 March 2011 / Published: 11 March 2011
PDF Full-text (536 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There are two distinct objectives in monitoring geological carbon sequestration (GCS): Deep monitoring of the reservoir’s integrity and plume movement and near-surface monitoring (NSM) to ensure public health and the safety of the environment. However, the minimum detection limits of the current [...] Read more.
There are two distinct objectives in monitoring geological carbon sequestration (GCS): Deep monitoring of the reservoir’s integrity and plume movement and near-surface monitoring (NSM) to ensure public health and the safety of the environment. However, the minimum detection limits of the current instrumentation for NSM is too high for detecting weak signals that are embedded in the background levels of the natural variations, and the data obtained represents point measurements in space and time. A new approach for NSM, based on gamma-ray spectroscopy induced by inelastic neutron scatterings (INS), offers novel and unique characteristics providing the following: (1) High sensitivity with a reducible error of measurement and detection limits, and, (2) temporal- and spatial-integration of carbon in soil that results from underground CO2 seepage. Preliminary field results validated this approach showing carbon suppression of 14% in the first year and 7% in the second year. In addition the temporal behavior of the error propagation is presented and it is shown that for a signal at the level of the minimum detection level the error asymptotically approaches 47%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Capture and Storage)
Open AccessArticle Subjects Agree to Participate in Environmental Health Studies without Fully Comprehending the Associated Risk
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 830-841; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030830
Received: 6 January 2011 / Revised: 2 March 2011 / Accepted: 8 March 2011 / Published: 11 March 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (153 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent advances in environmental health research have greatly improved our ability to measure and quantify how individuals are exposed. These advances, however, bring bioethical uncertainties and potential risks that individuals should be aware of before consenting to participate. This study assessed how [...] Read more.
Recent advances in environmental health research have greatly improved our ability to measure and quantify how individuals are exposed. These advances, however, bring bioethical uncertainties and potential risks that individuals should be aware of before consenting to participate. This study assessed how well participants from two environmental health studies comprehended consent form material. After signing the consent form, participants were asked to complete a comprehension assessment tool. The tool measured whether participants could recognize or recall six elements of the consent form they had just reviewed. Additional data were collected to look for differences in comprehension by gender, age, race, and the time spent reading the original consent form. Seventy-three participants completed a comprehension assessment tool. Scores ranged from 1.91 to 6.00 (mean = 4.66); only three people had perfect comprehension scores. Among the least comprehended material were questions on study-related risks. Overall, 53% of participants were not aware of two or more study-related risks. As environmental public health studies pose uncertainties and potential risks, researchers need to do more to assess participants’ understanding before assuming that individuals have given their ‘informed’ consent. Full article
Open AccessArticle Socioeconomic Differences in Exposure to Tobacco Smoke Pollution (TSP) in Bangladeshi Households with Children: Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Bangladesh Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 842-860; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030842
Received: 6 February 2011 / Revised: 6 March 2011 / Accepted: 6 March 2011 / Published: 15 March 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (375 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study assessed the pattern of exposure to tobacco smoke pollution (TSP; also known as, secondhand smoke) in Bangladeshi households with children and examined the variations in household smoking restrictions and perception of risk for children’s exposure to TSP by socioeconomic status. [...] Read more.
This study assessed the pattern of exposure to tobacco smoke pollution (TSP; also known as, secondhand smoke) in Bangladeshi households with children and examined the variations in household smoking restrictions and perception of risk for children’s exposure to TSP by socioeconomic status. We interviewed 1,947 respondents from Bangladeshi households with children from the first wave (2009) of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Bangladesh Survey. 43.5% of the respondents had complete smoking restrictions at home and 39.7% were very or extremely concerned about TSP risk to children’s health. Participants with lower level of education were significantly less likely to be concerned about the risk of TSP exposure to children’s health and less likely to adopt complete smoking restrictions at home. Logistic regression revealed that the predictors of concern for TSP exposure risk were educational attainment of 1 to 8 years (OR = 1.94) or 9 years or more (OR = 4.07) and being a smoker (OR = 0.24). The predictors of having complete household smoking restrictions were: urban residence (OR = 1.64), attaining education of 9 years or more (OR = 1.94), being a smoker (OR = 0.40) and being concerned about TSP exposure risk to children (OR = 3.25). The findings show that a high proportion of adults with children at home smoke tobacco at home and their perceptions of risk about TSP exposure to children’s health were low. These behaviours were more prevalent among rural smokers who were illiterate. There is a need for targeted intervention, customized for low educated public, on TSP risk to children’s health and tobacco control policy with specific focus on smoke-free home. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy)
Open AccessArticle Long-Term Low-Level Arsenic Exposure Is Associated with Poorer Neuropsychological Functioning: A Project FRONTIER Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 861-874; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030861
Received: 10 February 2011 / Revised: 2 March 2011 / Accepted: 9 March 2011 / Published: 15 March 2011
Cited by 45 | PDF Full-text (319 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Exposure to elements in groundwater (toxic or beneficial) is commonplace yet, outside of lead and mercury, little research has examined the impact of many commonly occurring environmental exposures on mental abilities during the aging process. Inorganic arsenic is a known neurotoxin that [...] Read more.
Exposure to elements in groundwater (toxic or beneficial) is commonplace yet, outside of lead and mercury, little research has examined the impact of many commonly occurring environmental exposures on mental abilities during the aging process. Inorganic arsenic is a known neurotoxin that has both neurodevelopmental and neurocognitive consequences. The aim of this study was to examine the potential association between current and long-term arsenic exposure and detailed neuropsychological functioning in a sample of rural-dwelling adults and elders. Data were analyzed from 434 participants (133 men and 301 women) of Project FRONTIER, a community-based participatory research study of the epidemiology of health issues of rural-dwelling adults and elders. The results of the study showed that GIS-based groundwater arsenic exposure (current and long-term) was significantly related to poorer scores in language, visuospatial skills, and executive functioning. Additionally, long-term low-level exposure to arsenic was significantly correlated to poorer scores in global cognition, processing speed and immediate memory. The finding of a correlation between arsenic and the domains of executive functioning and memory is of critical importance as these are cognitive domains that reflect the earliest manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease. Additional work is warranted given the population health implications associated with long-term low-level arsenic exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Neurotoxicology)
Open AccessArticle Life-long Programming Implications of Exposure to Tobacco Smoking and Nicotine Before and Soon After Birth: Evidence for Altered Lung Development
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 875-898; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030875
Received: 1 February 2011 / Revised: 28 February 2011 / Accepted: 4 March 2011 / Published: 16 March 2011
Cited by 39 | PDF Full-text (509 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tobacco smoking during pregnancy remains common, especially in indigenous communities, and likely contributes to respiratory illness in exposed offspring. It is now well established that components of tobacco smoke, notably nicotine, can affect multiple organs in the fetus and newborn, potentially with [...] Read more.
Tobacco smoking during pregnancy remains common, especially in indigenous communities, and likely contributes to respiratory illness in exposed offspring. It is now well established that components of tobacco smoke, notably nicotine, can affect multiple organs in the fetus and newborn, potentially with life-long consequences. Recent studies have shown that nicotine can permanently affect the developing lung such that its final structure and function are adversely affected; these changes can increase the risk of respiratory illness and accelerate the decline in lung function with age. In this review we discuss the impact of maternal smoking on the lungs and consider the evidence that smoking can have life-long, programming consequences for exposed offspring. Exposure to maternal tobacco smoking and nicotine intake during pregnancy and lactation changes the genetic program that controls the development and aging of the lungs of the offspring. Changes in the conducting airways and alveoli reduce lung function in exposed offspring, rendering the lungs more susceptible to obstructive lung disease and accelerating lung aging. Although it is generally accepted that prevention of maternal smoking during pregnancy and lactation is essential, current knowledge of the effects of nicotine on lung development does not support the use of nicotine replacement therapy in this group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy)
Open AccessArticle Clinical, Radiological, and Pathological Investigation of Asbestosis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 899-912; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030899
Received: 24 February 2011 / Revised: 18 March 2011 / Accepted: 20 March 2011 / Published: 22 March 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (732 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
By the radiological examination, differential diagnosis of asbestosis from chronic interstitial pneumonia such as IPF/UIP is difficult. The pathological features of asbestosis show the peribronchiolar fibrosis which suggest that asbestos fibers cause the inflammation of bronchioli. Therefore, the criteria for pathological diagnosis [...] Read more.
By the radiological examination, differential diagnosis of asbestosis from chronic interstitial pneumonia such as IPF/UIP is difficult. The pathological features of asbestosis show the peribronchiolar fibrosis which suggest that asbestos fibers cause the inflammation of bronchioli. Therefore, the criteria for pathological diagnosis of asbestosis in 2010, contain the finding of peribronchiolar fibrosis again. Chest CT scanning including HRCT for total of 38 cases clinically diagnosed asbestosis were reviewed by 3 radiologists and one pulmonologist. On the other hand, the histology of lung tissues obtained by surgery or autopsy were examined by 4 pulmonological pathologists. Furthermore, the content of asbestos bodies in the lung was counted by phase-contrast microscopy. Thirteen cases were definitely diagnosed of asbestosis in the image including HRCT and 17 cases were diagnosed by the histopathological examination showing lung fibrosis with peribronchiolar fibrosis. Only 10 cases were indicated asbestosis by both the radiological and histopathological examinations. The mean value of asbestos bodies for these cases, was 2,133,255 per gram of dry lung tissue. Full article
Open AccessArticle Climate Change and Vector-borne Diseases: An Economic Impact Analysis of Malaria in Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 913-930; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030913
Received: 17 February 2011 / Revised: 18 March 2011 / Accepted: 21 March 2011 / Published: 23 March 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (593 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A semi-parametric econometric model is used to study the relationship between malaria cases and climatic factors in 25 African countries. Results show that a marginal change in temperature and precipitation levels would lead to a significant change in the number of malaria [...] Read more.
A semi-parametric econometric model is used to study the relationship between malaria cases and climatic factors in 25 African countries. Results show that a marginal change in temperature and precipitation levels would lead to a significant change in the number of malaria cases for most countries by the end of the century. Consistent with the existing biophysical malaria model results, the projected effects of climate change are mixed. Our model projects that some countries will see an increase in malaria cases but others will see a decrease. We estimate projected malaria inpatient and outpatient treatment costs as a proportion of annual 2000 health expenditures per 1,000 people. We found that even under minimal climate change scenario, some countries may see their inpatient treatment cost of malaria increase more than 20%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Economics)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Combined Toxic Exposures and Human Health: Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 629-647; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030629
Received: 14 January 2011 / Accepted: 21 February 2011 / Published: 24 February 2011
Cited by 41 | PDF Full-text (258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Procedures for risk assessment of chemical mixtures, combined and cumulative exposures are under development, but the scientific database needs considerable expansion. In particular, there is a lack of knowledge on how to monitor effects of complex exposures, and there are few reviews [...] Read more.
Procedures for risk assessment of chemical mixtures, combined and cumulative exposures are under development, but the scientific database needs considerable expansion. In particular, there is a lack of knowledge on how to monitor effects of complex exposures, and there are few reviews on biomonitoring complex exposures. In this review we summarize articles in which biomonitoring techniques have been developed and used. Most examples describe techniques for biomonitoring effects which may detect early changes induced by many chemical stressors and which have the potential to accelerate data gathering. Some emphasis is put on endocrine disrupters acting via epigenetic mechanisms and on carcinogens. Solid evidence shows that these groups of chemicals can interact and even produce synergistic effects. They may act during sensitive time windows and biomonitoring their effects in epidemiological studies is a challenging task. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers: Environmental Research and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Recent Contributions of Air- and Biomarkers to the Control of Secondhand Smoke (SHS): A Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 648-682; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030648
Received: 13 December 2010 / Revised: 12 January 2011 / Accepted: 21 January 2011 / Published: 1 March 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (301 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the publication of the US Surgeon General Reports in 1996 and 2006 and the report of the California Environmental Protection Agency in 1999, many reports have appeared on the contribution of air and biomarkers to different facets of the secondhand smoke [...] Read more.
Since the publication of the US Surgeon General Reports in 1996 and 2006 and the report of the California Environmental Protection Agency in 1999, many reports have appeared on the contribution of air and biomarkers to different facets of the secondhand smoke (SHS) issue, which are the targets of this review. These recent studies have allowed earlier epidemiological surveys to be biologically validated, and their plausibility demonstrated, quantified the levels of exposure to SHS before the bans in various environments, showed the deficiencies of mechanical control methods and of partial bans and the frequently correct implementation of the efficient total bans. More stringent regulation remains necessary in the public domain (workplaces, hospitality venues, transport sector, etc.) in many countries. Personal voluntary protection efforts against SHS are also needed in the private domain (homes, private cars). The effects of SHS on the cardiovascular, respiratory and neuropsychic systems, on pregnancy and fertility, on cancers and on SHS genotoxicity are confirmed through experimental human studies and through the relationship between markers and prevalence of disease or of markers of disease risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy)
Open AccessReview Control of Advanced Cancer: The Road to Chronicity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 683-697; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030683
Received: 28 December 2010 / Revised: 28 January 2011 / Accepted: 11 February 2011 / Published: 1 March 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (175 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the recent trend toward a slight decrease in age-adjusted cancer mortality in some countries, crude mortality rates will continue to increase, driven by the demographic shift towards an aged population. Small molecules (small molecules and biologics) are not only a new [...] Read more.
Despite the recent trend toward a slight decrease in age-adjusted cancer mortality in some countries, crude mortality rates will continue to increase, driven by the demographic shift towards an aged population. Small molecules (small molecules and biologics) are not only a new therapeutic acquisition, but the tools of a more fundamental transition: the transformation of cancer from a rapidly fatal disease into a chronic condition. Antibodies and cancer vaccines can be used for a long time, even beyond progressive disease, and in aged patients, usually unfit for more aggressive conventional treatments. However, this transition to chronicity will require novel developmental guidelines adequate to this kind of drugs, for which optimal dose is not usually the maximal tolerated dose, pharmacokinetics does not define treatment schedule, and tumor shrinkage is not a good correlate of survival. The ongoing cancer immunotherapy program (including several monoclonal antibodies and therapeutic vaccines) at the Centre of Molecular Immunology can illustrate the issues to be addressed, both biological and social, along the path to transform advanced cancer into a chronic non-communicable disease compatible with years of quality life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Public Health)

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