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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 8, Issue 5 (May 2011), Pages 1271-1754

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Open AccessArticle A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of India’s 2008 Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places in Gujarat
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1271-1286; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051271
Received: 25 March 2011 / Revised: 4 April 2011 / Accepted: 20 April 2011 / Published: 26 April 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (387 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tobacco smoking and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke are associated with disability and premature mortality in low and middle-income countries. The aim of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of implementing India’s Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules in the state
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Tobacco smoking and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke are associated with disability and premature mortality in low and middle-income countries. The aim of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of implementing India’s Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules in the state of Gujarat, compared to implementation of a complete smoking ban. Using standard cost-effectiveness analysis methods, the cost of implementing the alternatives was evaluated against the years of life saved and cases of acute myocardial infarction averted by reductions in smoking prevalence and secondhand smoke exposure. After one year, it is estimated that a complete smoking ban in Gujarat would avert 17,000 additional heart attacks and gain 438,000 life years (LY). A complete ban is highly cost-effective when key variables including legislation effectiveness were varied in the sensitivity analyses. Without including medical treatment costs averted, the cost-effectiveness ratio ranges from $2 to $112 per LY gained and $37 to $386 per acute myocardial infarction averted. Implementing a complete smoking ban would be a cost saving alternative to the current partial legislation in terms of reducing tobacco-attributable disease in Gujarat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy)
Open AccessArticle Chemical Analysis of Nutritional Content of Prickly Pads (Opuntia ficus indica) at Varied Ages in an Organic Harvest
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1287-1295; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051287
Received: 18 January 2011 / Revised: 8 April 2011 / Accepted: 19 April 2011 / Published: 26 April 2011
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (125 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Opuntia ficus indica, also known as prickly pads, are an important part of the human diet and are also used as forage for livestock. This is an interesting vegetable due the environmental conditions in which it grows and its resistance to climatic
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Opuntia ficus indica, also known as prickly pads, are an important part of the human diet and are also used as forage for livestock. This is an interesting vegetable due the environmental conditions in which it grows and its resistance to climatic extremes; however, little is known about its nutritional properties, especially in the later stages of maturity. The objective of this study was to determine the composition of organic prickly pads (Opuntia ficus indica) at differing stages of growth maturity. Chemical proximate analysis and mineral constituent analysis at different maturation stages were carried out in this investigation. As a result, older prickly pads were found to be an important source of nutritional components such as calcium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Agricultural Engineering)
Open AccessArticle Receiving an Alcohol Enquiry from a Physician in Routine Health Care in Sweden: A Population-Based Study of Gender Differences and Predictors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1296-1307; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051296
Received: 6 March 2011 / Revised: 7 April 2011 / Accepted: 19 April 2011 / Published: 27 April 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Research has shown that the provision of brief interventions in the health care system is effective for reducing hazardous drinking. Using a telephone-administered questionnaire, this study provides a population-based investigation on the extent to which physicians address patients’ alcohol habits in the Swedish
[...] Read more.
Research has shown that the provision of brief interventions in the health care system is effective for reducing hazardous drinking. Using a telephone-administered questionnaire, this study provides a population-based investigation on the extent to which physicians address patients’ alcohol habits in the Swedish health care system, whether there are gender differences in the extent to which patients receive questions about alcohol, and predictors for receiving such questions. Data were obtained from monthly telephone surveys with around 72,000 people in 2006–2009. Having received an alcohol enquiry was defined as having been asked about one’s drinking habits by a physician in any health care visit in the last 12 months. Fourteen percent of the total population had received an alcohol enquiry, but there were considerable gender differences: for hazardous drinkers, 13% of the women and 17% of the men had received an alcohol enquiry; among those with sensible alcohol consumption, 10% of women and 15% of men had received an alcohol enquiry. Patients were more likely to have received an alcohol enquiry if they had self-reported alcohol-related problems, were hazardous drinkers and/or daily smokers. Some of the alcohol enquiry predictors differed by gender; social class was an important predictor for women but not for men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Feeling Healthy? A Survey of Physical and Psychological Wellbeing of Students from Seven Universities in the UK
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1308-1323; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051308
Received: 8 March 2011 / Revised: 31 March 2011 / Accepted: 1 April 2011 / Published: 27 April 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
University students’ physical and psychological health and wellbeing are important and comprise many variables. This study assessed perceived health status in addition to a range of physical and psychological wellbeing indicators of 3,706 undergraduate students from seven universities in England, Wales and Northern
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University students’ physical and psychological health and wellbeing are important and comprise many variables. This study assessed perceived health status in addition to a range of physical and psychological wellbeing indicators of 3,706 undergraduate students from seven universities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We compared differences in these variables across males and females, and across the participating universities. The data was collected in 2007–2008. A self-administered questionnaire assessed socio-demographic information (e.g., gender, age), self-reported physical and psychological health data, as well as questions on health awareness, health service use, social support, burdens and stressors and university study related questions. While females generally reported more health problems and psychological burdens, male students felt that they received/had fewer persons to depend on for social support. The comparisons of health and wellbeing variables across the different universities suggested some evidence of ‘clustering’ of the variables under study, whereby favourable situations would be exhibited by a cluster of the variables that is encountered at some universities; and conversely, the clustering of less favourable variables as exhibited at other universities. We conclude that the level of health complaints and psychological problems/burdens is relatively high and calls for increased awareness of university administrators, leaders and policy makers to the health and well-being needs of their students. The observed clustering effects also indicated the need for local (university-specific) health and wellbeing profiles as basis and guidance for relevant health promotion programmes at universities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing of Children, Adolescents and Young Adults)
Open AccessArticle Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Utility of Pulmonary Function Tests in Predicting Emphysema in Ever-Smokers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1324-1340; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051324
Received: 15 January 2011 / Revised: 20 April 2011 / Accepted: 22 April 2011 / Published: 29 April 2011
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (640 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Emphysema is largely an under-diagnosed medical condition that can exist in smokers in the absence of airway obstruction. We aimed to determine the sensitivity and specificity of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) in assessing emphysema using quantitative CT scans as the reference standard. We
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Emphysema is largely an under-diagnosed medical condition that can exist in smokers in the absence of airway obstruction. We aimed to determine the sensitivity and specificity of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) in assessing emphysema using quantitative CT scans as the reference standard. We enrolled 224 ever-smokers (current or former) over the age of 40. CT of thorax was used to quantify the low attenuation area (% emphysema), and to measure the standardized airway wall thickness. PFTs were used individually and in combination to predict their ability to discriminate radiographic emphysema. Significant emphysema (>7%) was detected in 122 (54%) subjects. Twenty six (21%) emphysema subjects had no evidence of airflow obstruction (FEV1/FVC ratio 23% emphysema showed airflow obstruction. The sensitivity and specificity of spirometry for detecting radiographic emphysema were 79% and 75%, respectively. Standardized airway wall thickness was increased in subjects with airflow obstruction, but did not correlate with emphysema severity. In this cohort of lifetime ever-smokers, PFTs alone were inadequate for diagnosing emphysema. Airway wall thickness quantified by CT morphometry was associated with airflow limitation, but not with emphysema indicating that the heterogeneous nature of lung disease in smokers may represent distinct phenotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
Open AccessCommunication AGRICOH: A Consortium of Agricultural Cohorts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1341-1357; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051341
Received: 1 March 2011 / Revised: 22 April 2011 / Accepted: 25 April 2011 / Published: 29 April 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
AGRICOH is a recently formed consortium of agricultural cohort studies involving 22 cohorts from nine countries in five continents: South Africa (1), Canada (3), Costa Rica (2), USA (6), Republic of Korea (1), New Zealand (2), Denmark (1), France (3) and Norway (3).
[...] Read more.
AGRICOH is a recently formed consortium of agricultural cohort studies involving 22 cohorts from nine countries in five continents: South Africa (1), Canada (3), Costa Rica (2), USA (6), Republic of Korea (1), New Zealand (2), Denmark (1), France (3) and Norway (3). The aim of AGRICOH, initiated by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) and coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), is to promote and sustain collaboration and pooling of data to investigate the association between a wide range of agricultural exposures and a wide range of health outcomes, with a particular focus on associations that cannot easily be addressed in individual studies because of rare exposures (e.g., use of infrequently applied chemicals) or relatively rare outcomes (e.g., certain types of cancer, neurologic and auto-immune diseases). To facilitate future projects the need for data harmonization of selected variables is required and is underway. Altogether, AGRICOH provides excellent opportunities for studying cancer, respiratory, neurologic, and auto-immune diseases as well as reproductive and allergic disorders, injuries and overall mortality in association with a wide array of exposures, prominent among these the application of pesticides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Open AccessArticle Source Reduction Behavior as an Independent Measurement of the Impact of a Public Health Education Campaign in an Integrated Vector Management Program for the Asian Tiger Mosquito
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1358-1367; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051358
Received: 11 February 2011 / Revised: 19 April 2011 / Accepted: 26 April 2011 / Published: 3 May 2011
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (425 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a public health educational campaign to reduce backyard mosquito-larval habitats. Three communities each, within two New Jersey counties, were randomly selected to receive: (1) both education and mosquito control, (2) education only,
[...] Read more.
The goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a public health educational campaign to reduce backyard mosquito-larval habitats. Three communities each, within two New Jersey counties, were randomly selected to receive: (1) both education and mosquito control, (2) education only, and (3) no education or mosquito control. Four separate educational events included a 5-day elementary school curriculum in the spring, and three door to door distributions of educational brochures. Before and after each educational event, the numbers of mosquito-larval container habitats were counted in 50 randomly selected homes per study area. Container surveys allowed us to measure source reduction behavior. Although we saw reductions in container habitats in sites receiving education, they were not significantly different from the control. Our results suggest that traditional passive means of public education, which were often considered the gold standard for mosquito control programs, are not sufficient to motivate residents to reduce backyard mosquito-larval habitats. Full article
Open AccessArticle Spatial Multicriteria Decision Analysis of Flood Risks in Aging-Dam Management in China: A Framework and Case Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1368-1387; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051368
Received: 8 March 2011 / Revised: 15 April 2011 / Accepted: 16 April 2011 / Published: 4 May 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1346 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Approximately 30,000 dams in China are aging and are considered to be high-level risks. Developing a framework for analyzing spatial multicriteria flood risk is crucial to ranking management scenarios for these dams, especially in densely populated areas. Based on the theories of spatial
[...] Read more.
Approximately 30,000 dams in China are aging and are considered to be high-level risks. Developing a framework for analyzing spatial multicriteria flood risk is crucial to ranking management scenarios for these dams, especially in densely populated areas. Based on the theories of spatial multicriteria decision analysis, this report generalizes a framework consisting of scenario definition, problem structuring, criteria construction, spatial quantification of criteria, criteria weighting, decision rules, sensitivity analyses, and scenario appraisal. The framework is presented in detail by using a case study to rank dam rehabilitation, decommissioning and existing-condition scenarios. The results show that there was a serious inundation, and that a dam rehabilitation scenario could reduce the multicriteria flood risk by 0.25 in the most affected areas; this indicates a mean risk decrease of less than 23%. Although increased risk ( Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle A Geostatistical Approach to Assess the Spatial Association between Indoor Radon Concentration, Geological Features and Building Characteristics: The Case of Lombardy, Northern Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1420-1440; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051420
Received: 1 March 2011 / Revised: 22 April 2011 / Accepted: 28 April 2011 / Published: 6 May 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (457 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Radon is a natural gas known to be the main contributor to natural background radiation exposure and second to smoking, a major leading cause of lung cancer. The main source of radon is the soil, but the gas can enter buildings in many
[...] Read more.
Radon is a natural gas known to be the main contributor to natural background radiation exposure and second to smoking, a major leading cause of lung cancer. The main source of radon is the soil, but the gas can enter buildings in many different ways and reach high indoor concentrations. Monitoring surveys have been promoted in many countries in order to assess the exposure of people to radon. In this paper, two complementary aspects are investigated. Firstly, we mapped indoor radon concentration in a large and inhomogeneous region using a geostatistical approach which borrows strength from the geologic nature of the soil. Secondly, knowing that geologic and anthropogenic factors, such as building characteristics, can foster the gas to flow into a building or protect against this, we evaluated these effects through a multiple regression model which takes into account the spatial correlation of the data. This allows us to rank different building typologies, identified by architectonic and geological characteristics, according to their proneness to radon. Our results suggest the opportunity to differentiate construction requirements in a large and inhomogeneous area, as the one considered in this paper, according to different places and provide a method to identify those dwellings which should be monitored more carefully. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geostatistics in Environmental Pollution and Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle Playing It Safe: Assessing Cumulative Impact and Social Vulnerability through an Environmental Justice Screening Method in the South Coast Air Basin, California
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1441-1459; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051441
Received: 22 March 2011 / Revised: 15 April 2011 / Accepted: 20 April 2011 / Published: 6 May 2011
Cited by 43 | PDF Full-text (1875 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and state authorities like the California Air Resources Board (CARB), have sought to address the concerns of environmental justice (EJ) advocates who argue that chemical-by-chemical and source-specific assessments of potential health risks of
[...] Read more.
Regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and state authorities like the California Air Resources Board (CARB), have sought to address the concerns of environmental justice (EJ) advocates who argue that chemical-by-chemical and source-specific assessments of potential health risks of environmental hazards do not reflect the multiple environmental and social stressors faced by vulnerable communities. We propose an Environmental Justice Screening Method (EJSM) as a relatively simple, flexible and transparent way to examine the relative rank of cumulative impacts and social vulnerability within metropolitan regions and determine environmental justice areas based on more than simply the demographics of income and race. We specifically organize 23 indicator metrics into three categories: (1) hazard proximity and land use; (2) air pollution exposure and estimated health risk; and (3) social and health vulnerability. For hazard proximity, the EJSM uses GIS analysis to create a base map by intersecting land use data with census block polygons, and calculates hazard proximity measures based on locations within various buffer distances. These proximity metrics are then summarized to the census tract level where they are combined with tract centroid-based estimates of pollution exposure and health risk and socio-economic status (SES) measures. The result is a cumulative impacts (CI) score for ranking neighborhoods within regions that can inform diverse stakeholders seeking to identify local areas that might need targeted regulatory strategies to address environmental justice concerns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Justice)
Open AccessArticle The Environmental and Economic Sustainability of Carbon Capture and Storage
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1460-1477; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051460
Received: 14 February 2011 / Revised: 25 March 2011 / Accepted: 12 April 2011 / Published: 9 May 2011
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (275 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For carbon capture and storage (CCS) to be a truly effective option in our efforts to mitigate climate change, it must be sustainable. That means that CCS must deliver consistent environmental and social benefits which exceed its costs of capital, energy and operation;
[...] Read more.
For carbon capture and storage (CCS) to be a truly effective option in our efforts to mitigate climate change, it must be sustainable. That means that CCS must deliver consistent environmental and social benefits which exceed its costs of capital, energy and operation; it must be protective of the environment and human health over the long term; and it must be suitable for deployment on a significant scale. CCS is one of the more expensive and technically challenging carbon emissions abatement options available, and CCS must first and foremost be considered in the context of the other things that can be done to reduce emissions, as a part of an overall optimally efficient, sustainable and economic mitigation plan. This elevates the analysis beyond a simple comparison of the cost per tonne of CO2 abated—there are inherent tradeoffs with a range of other factors (such as water, NOx, SOx, biodiversity, energy, and human health and safety, among others) which must also be considered if we are to achieve truly sustainable mitigation. The full life-cycle cost of CCS must be considered in the context of the overall social, environmental and economic benefits which it creates, and the costs associated with environmental and social risks it presents. Such analysis reveals that all CCS is not created equal. There is a wide range of technological options available which can be used in a variety of industries and applications—indeed CCS is not applicable to every industry. Stationary fossil-fuel powered energy and large scale petroleum industry operations are two examples of industries which could benefit from CCS. Capturing and geo-sequestering CO2 entrained in natural gas can be economic and sustainable at relatively low carbon prices, and in many jurisdictions makes financial sense for operators to deploy now, if suitable secure disposal reservoirs are available close by. Retrofitting existing coal-fired power plants, however, is more expensive and technically challenging, and the economic sustainability of post-combustion capture retrofit needs to be compared on a portfolio basis to the relative overall net benefit of CCS on new-build plants, where energy efficiency can be optimised as a first step, and locations can be selected with sequestration sites in mind. Examples from the natural gas processing, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and coal-fired power generation sectors, illustrate that there is currently a wide range of financial costs for CCS, depending on how and where it is applied, but equally, environmental and social benefits of emissions reduction can be considerable. Some CCS applications are far more economic and sustainable than others. CCS must be considered in the context of the other things that a business can do to eliminate emissions, such as far-reaching efforts to improve energy efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Capture and Storage)
Open AccessArticle Quantitative Analysis of Tremors in Welders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1478-1490; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051478
Received: 5 April 2011 / Accepted: 5 May 2011 / Published: 10 May 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (345 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Workers chronically exposed to manganese in welding fumes may develop an extra-pyramidal syndrome with postural and action tremors. Objectives: To determine the utility of tremor analysis in distinguishing tremors among workers exposed to welding fumes, patients with Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease (IPD) and
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Background: Workers chronically exposed to manganese in welding fumes may develop an extra-pyramidal syndrome with postural and action tremors. Objectives: To determine the utility of tremor analysis in distinguishing tremors among workers exposed to welding fumes, patients with Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease (IPD) and Essential Tremor (ET). Methods: Retrospective study of recorded tremor in subjects from academic Movement Disorders Clinics and Welders. Quantitative tremor analysis was performed and associated with clinical status. Results: Postural tremor intensity was increased in Welders and ET and was associated with visibly greater amplitude of tremor with arms extended. Mean center frequencies (Cf) of welders and patients with ET were significantly higher than the mean Cf of PD subjects. Although both the welders and the ET group exhibited a higher Cf with arms extended, welders could be distinguished from the ET subjects by a significantly lower Cf of the rest tremor than that measured in ET subjects. Conclusions: In the context of an appropriate exposure history and neurological examination, tremor analysis may be useful in the diagnosis of manganese-related extra-pyramidal manifestations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Neurotoxicology)
Open AccessArticle Release of Nitrogen and Phosphorus from Poultry Litter Amended with Acidified Biochar
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1491-1502; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051491
Received: 16 March 2011 / Revised: 3 May 2011 / Accepted: 9 May 2011 / Published: 11 May 2011
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (191 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Application of poultry litter (PL) to soil may lead to nitrogen (N) losses through ammonia (NH3) volatilization and to potential contamination of surface runoff with PL-derived phosphorus (P). Amending litter with acidified biochar may minimize these problems by decreasing litter pH
[...] Read more.
Application of poultry litter (PL) to soil may lead to nitrogen (N) losses through ammonia (NH3) volatilization and to potential contamination of surface runoff with PL-derived phosphorus (P). Amending litter with acidified biochar may minimize these problems by decreasing litter pH and by retaining litter-derived P, respectively. This study evaluated the effect of acidified biochars from pine chips (PC) and peanut hulls (PH) on NH3 losses and inorganic N and P released from surface-applied or incorporated PL. Poultry litter with or without acidified biochars was surface-applied or incorporated into the soil and incubated for 21 d. Volatilized NH3 was determined by trapping it in acid. Inorganic N and P were determined by leaching the soil with 0.01 M of CaCl2 during the study and by extracting it with 1 M KCl after incubation. Acidified biochars reduced NH3 losses by 58 to 63% with surface-applied PL, and by 56 to 60% with incorporated PL. Except for PH biochar, which caused a small increase in leached NH4+-N with incorporated PL, acidified biochars had no effect on leached or KCl-extractable inorganic N and P from surface-applied or incorporated PL. These results suggest that acidified biochars may decrease NH3 losses from PL but may not reduce the potential for P loss in surface runoff from soils receiving PL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Pollution: Prevention and Mitigation)
Open AccessArticle Restaurant and Bar Owners’ Exposure to Secondhand Smoke and Attitudes Regarding Smoking Bans in Five Chinese Cities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1520-1533; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051520
Received: 17 March 2011 / Revised: 6 May 2011 / Accepted: 6 May 2011 / Published: 12 May 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (229 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the great progress made towards smoke-free environments, only 9% of countries worldwide mandate smoke-free restaurants and bars. Smoking was generally not regulated in restaurants and bars in China before 2008. This study was designed to examine the public attitudes towards banning smoking
[...] Read more.
Despite the great progress made towards smoke-free environments, only 9% of countries worldwide mandate smoke-free restaurants and bars. Smoking was generally not regulated in restaurants and bars in China before 2008. This study was designed to examine the public attitudes towards banning smoking in these places in China. A convenience sample of 814 restaurants and bars was selected in five Chinese cities and all owners of these venues were interviewed in person by questionnaire in 2007. Eighty six percent of current nonsmoking subjects had at least one-day exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) at work in the past week. Only 51% of subjects knew SHS could cause heart disease. Only 17% and 11% of subjects supported prohibiting smoking completely in restaurants and in bars, respectively, while their support for restricting smoking to designated areas was much higher. Fifty three percent of subjects were willing to prohibit or restrict smoking in their own venues. Of those unwilling to do so, 82% thought smoking bans would reduce revenue, and 63% thought indoor air quality depended on ventilation rather than smoking bans. These results showed that there was support for smoking bans among restaurant or bar owners in China despite some knowledge gaps. To facilitate smoking bans in restaurants and bars, it is important to promote health education on specific hazards of SHS, provide country-specific evidence on smoking bans and hospitality revenues, and disseminate information that restricting smoking and ventilation alone cannot eliminate SHS hazards. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Arsenic in Soils and Forages from Poultry Litter-Amended Pastures
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1534-1546; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051534
Received: 1 March 2011 / Revised: 23 April 2011 / Accepted: 28 April 2011 / Published: 12 May 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (176 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In regions of concentrated poultry production, poultry litter (PL) that contains significant quantities of trace elements is commonly surface-applied to pastures at high levels over multiple years. This study examined the effect of long-term applications of PL on soil concentrations of arsenic (As),
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In regions of concentrated poultry production, poultry litter (PL) that contains significant quantities of trace elements is commonly surface-applied to pastures at high levels over multiple years. This study examined the effect of long-term applications of PL on soil concentrations of arsenic (As), copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), and the uptake of these elements by bermuda grass grown on Cecil (well-drained) and Sedgefield (somewhat poorly-drained) soils. The results showed that concentrations of As, Cu, and Zn in soils that had received surface-applied PL over a 14-year period were significantly greater than untreated soil at 0–2.5 and 2.5–7.5 cm depths. However, the levels were well below the USEPA loading limits established for municipal biosolids. Arsenic fractionation showed that concentrations of all As fractions were significantly greater in PL-amended soils compared to untreated soils at 0–2.5 and 2.5–7.5 cm depths. The residual fraction was the predominant form of As in all soils. The water-soluble and NaHCO3-associated As were only 2% of the total As. Significant differences were found in concentrations of these trace elements and phosphorus (P) in forage from PL-amended soils compared to that in untreated plots. The concentrations of Cu, Zn, As, and P were significantly greater in forage from Sedgefield amended soil compared to Cecil soil, but were in all cases below levels of environmental concern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Pollution: Prevention and Mitigation)
Open AccessArticle Outcomes and Cost-Effectiveness of Two Nicotine Replacement Treatment Delivery Models for a Tobacco Quitline
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1547-1559; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051547
Received: 26 March 2011 / Accepted: 29 April 2011 / Published: 13 May 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many tobacco cessation quitlines provide nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in the U.S. but consensus is lacking regarding the best shipping protocol or NRT amounts. We evaluated the impact of the Minnesota QUITPLAN® Helpline’s shift from distributing NRT using a single eight-week shipment
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Many tobacco cessation quitlines provide nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in the U.S. but consensus is lacking regarding the best shipping protocol or NRT amounts. We evaluated the impact of the Minnesota QUITPLAN® Helpline’s shift from distributing NRT using a single eight-week shipment to a two-shipment protocol. For this observational study, the eight week single-shipment cohort (n = 247) received eight weeks of NRT (patches or gum) at once, while the split-shipment cohort (n = 160) received five weeks of NRT (n = 94), followed by an additional three weeks of NRT if callers continued with counseling (n = 66). Patient satisfaction, retention, quit rates, and cost associated with the three groups were compared. A higher proportion of those receiving eight weeks of NRT, whether in one or two shipments, reported that the helpline was “very helpful” (77.2% of the single-shipment group; 81.1% of the two-shipment group) than those receiving five weeks of NRT (57.8% of the one-shipment group) (p = 0.004). Callers in the eight week two-shipment group completed significantly more calls (3.0) than callers in the five week one-shipment group (2.4) or eight week single-shipment group (1.7) (p < 0.001). Using both responder and intent-to-treat calculations, there were no significant differences in 30-day point prevalence abstinence at seven months among the three protocol groups even when controlling for demographic and tobacco use characteristics, and treatment group protocol. The mean cost per caller was greater for the single-shipment phase than the split-shipment phase ($350 vs. $326) due to the savings associated with not sending a second shipment to some participants. Assuming no difference in abstinence rates resulting from the protocol change, cost-per-quit was lowest for the five week one-shipment group ($1,155), and lower for the combined split-shipment cohort ($1,242) than for the single-shipment cohort ($1,350). Results of this evaluation indicate that while satisfaction rates increase among those receiving more counseling and NRT, quit rates do not, even when controlling for demographic and tobacco use characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy)
Open AccessArticle Screening of Oomycete Fungi for Their Potential Role in Reducing the Biting Midge (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) Larval Populations in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1560-1574; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051560
Received: 25 March 2011 / Revised: 21 April 2011 / Accepted: 4 May 2011 / Published: 13 May 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (415 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biting midges are globally distributed pests causing significant economic losses and transmitting arbovirus diseases to both animals and humans. Current biological and chemical control strategies for biting midge target destruction of adult forms, but strategies directed at immature stages of the insect have
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Biting midges are globally distributed pests causing significant economic losses and transmitting arbovirus diseases to both animals and humans. Current biological and chemical control strategies for biting midge target destruction of adult forms, but strategies directed at immature stages of the insect have yet to be explored in Australia. In the present study, coastal waters of Hervey Bay region in Queensland, Australia were screened to detect the habitats of biting midge at immature stages. These results were then correlated to local environmental conditions and naturally occurring entomopathogenic fungal flora, in particular the Oomycete fungi, to determine their reducing effect on insect immature stages in the search for biological control agents in the region. The dominant species of biting midge found within this study was Culicoides subimmaculatus occuring between mean high water neaps and mean high water spring tide levels. Within this intertidal zone, the presence of C. subimmaculatus larvae was found to be influenced by both sediment size and distance from shore. Halophytophthora isolates colonized both dead and alive pupae. However, the association was found to be surface colonization rather than invasion causing the death of the host. Lack of aggressive oomycete fungal antagonists towards midge larvae might correlate with increased incidences of biting midge infestations in the region. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Positive Environmental Contribution of Jarosite by Retaining Lead in Acid Mine Drainage Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1575-1582; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051575
Received: 9 April 2011 / Revised: 5 May 2011 / Accepted: 7 May 2011 / Published: 13 May 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (508 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Jarosite, KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6, is a secondary iron sulphate often found in acid mine drainage (AMD) environments, particularly in mining wastes from polymetallic sulphide ore deposits. Despite the negative environmental connotation usually ascribed to secondary sulphate minerals
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Jarosite, KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6, is a secondary iron sulphate often found in acid mine drainage (AMD) environments, particularly in mining wastes from polymetallic sulphide ore deposits. Despite the negative environmental connotation usually ascribed to secondary sulphate minerals due to the release of hazardous elements to aquifers and soils, jarosite acts as an efficient remover and immobilizer of such metals, particularly lead. The mineral chemistry of jarosite is reviewed and the results of a Fe K-edge XANES (X-Ray Absorption Near-Edge Structure) study of K-, Na- and Pb-jarosite are described and discussed within the context of the abandoned old mines of São Domingos and Aljustrel located in southern Portugal, in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle Cigarette Taxes and Smoking Participation: Evidence from Recent Tax Increases in Canada
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1583-1600; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051583
Received: 29 March 2011 / Revised: 30 April 2011 / Accepted: 10 May 2011 / Published: 16 May 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (527 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using the Canadian National Population Health Survey and the recent tax variation across Canadian provinces, this paper examines the impact of cigarette taxes on smoking participation. Consistent with the literature, we find evidence of a heterogeneous response to cigarette taxes among different groups
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Using the Canadian National Population Health Survey and the recent tax variation across Canadian provinces, this paper examines the impact of cigarette taxes on smoking participation. Consistent with the literature, we find evidence of a heterogeneous response to cigarette taxes among different groups of smokers. Contrary to most studies, we find that the middle age group—which constitutes the largest fraction of smokers in our sample—is largely unresponsive to taxes. While cigarette taxes remain popular with policy makers as an anti-smoking measure, identifying the socio-demographic characteristics of smokers who respond differentially to tax increase will help in designing appropriate supplementary measures to reduce smoking. Full article
Open AccessArticle Heavy Drinking Is Associated with Poor Blood Pressure Control in the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1601-1612; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051601
Received: 10 February 2011 / Revised: 29 April 2011 / Accepted: 5 May 2011 / Published: 17 May 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (246 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Alcohol intake has been shown to have a J-shaped association with blood pressure (BP). However, this association has not been examined in mixed race populations or in people with diabetes where tighter blood pressure control is recommended. Participants in the REGARDS study who
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Alcohol intake has been shown to have a J-shaped association with blood pressure (BP). However, this association has not been examined in mixed race populations or in people with diabetes where tighter blood pressure control is recommended. Participants in the REGARDS study who were 45 years or older (n = 30,239) were included. Medical history (including self-reported alcohol intake) was collected by telephone while blood collection and clinical measurements were done during an in-home visit. We defined diabetes as use of medications and/or fasting glucose ≥ 126 mg/dL and hypertension as use of blood pressure lowering medications and/or BP ≥ 140/90 mmHg or BP ≥ 130/80 mmHg in people with diabetes. After adjustment for confounders, heavy drinking was associated with an increased odds of hypertension (OR = 1.59; 95% CI = 1.37, 1.87). Diabetes and gender significantly modified (interaction P < 0.05 for both) the association between alcohol use and hypertension, although heavy drinking remained associated with increased odds of hypertension in sub-group analyses. We did not observe the previously described J-shaped relationship in any sub-group except white females. These data suggest heavy alcohol consumption is associated with poor BP control and that heavy drinkers may want to consider limiting alcohol intake in order to manage hypertension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle The Evaluation for Alterations of DOM Components from Upstream to Downstream Flow of Rivers in Toyama (Japan) Using Three-Dimensional Excitation-Emission Matrix Fluorescence Spectroscopy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1655-1670; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051655
Received: 31 March 2011 / Revised: 9 May 2011 / Accepted: 16 May 2011 / Published: 19 May 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (940 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The dissolved organic matter (DOM) is one of the important factors for controlling water quality. The behavior and constitutions of DOM is related to the risk of human health because it is able to directly or indirectly affect the behavior, speciation and toxicity
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The dissolved organic matter (DOM) is one of the important factors for controlling water quality. The behavior and constitutions of DOM is related to the risk of human health because it is able to directly or indirectly affect the behavior, speciation and toxicity of various environmental pollutants. However, it is not easy to know the contents of DOM components without using various complicated and time consuming analytical methods because DOM is a complex mixture and usually exists at low concentration. Here, we describe the fluorescence properties of DOM components in water samples collected from four rivers in Toyama, Japan by means of the three-dimensional excitation-emission matrix (3DEEM) fluorescence spectroscopy. In order to evaluate the alterations of DOM components in each of the river during the flow from upstream to downstream, the patterns of relative fluorescence intensity (RFI) at six peaks which are originated from fluorophores including humic-like and protein-like components were investigated. The changes in the patterns of RFI values at each of the peak and the concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) for each river water sample were discussed in connection with the differences of land use managements and basic water quality parameters, such as pH, EC, turbidity, Fe3+, T-N, NO3-N, T-P, PO4-P, chlorophyll a, DOC and N/P ratio. The DOC concentrations in the water samples collected from these rivers were relatively low (0.63–1.16 mg/L). Two main peaks which have a strong RFI value expressed a positive correlation with the DOC concentration (r = 0.557, 0.535). However, the correlations between the RFI values for other four peaks and the DOC concentration were below 0.287. The alterations of DOM components during the flow of a river from upstream to downstream were investigated from the changes in the patterns of RFI values for six fluorescent peaks. It was clarified that the great increase of RFI values in peak A and peak T from river water located in urban area showed high concentration of PO4-P and Fe3+, and low N/P ratio due to the high biological activities. The values of fluorescence index (FIX) and biological index (BIX) were as high as 1.60 and 0.72, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle How Do Price Minimizing Behaviors Impact Smoking Cessation? Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1671-1691; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051671
Received: 15 April 2011 / Revised: 9 May 2011 / Accepted: 14 May 2011 / Published: 20 May 2011
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (380 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines how price minimizing behaviors impact efforts to stop smoking. Data on 4,988 participants from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Four-Country Survey who were smokers at baseline (wave 5) and interviewed at a 1 year follow-up were used. We
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This paper examines how price minimizing behaviors impact efforts to stop smoking. Data on 4,988 participants from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Four-Country Survey who were smokers at baseline (wave 5) and interviewed at a 1 year follow-up were used. We examined whether price minimizing behaviors at baseline predicted: (1) cessation, (2) quit attempts, and (3) successful quit attempts at one year follow up using multivariate logistic regression modeling. A subset analysis included 3,387 participants who were current smokers at waves 5 and 6 and were followed through wave 7 to explore effects of changing purchase patterns on cessation. Statistical tests for interaction were performed to examine the joint effect of SES and price/tax avoidance behaviors on cessation outcomes. Smokers who engaged in any price/tax avoidance behaviors were 28% less likely to report cessation. Persons using low/untaxed sources were less likely to quit at follow up, those purchasing cartons were less likely to make quit attempts and quit, and those using discount cigarettes were less likely to succeed, conditional on making attempts. Respondents who utilized multiple behaviors simultaneously were less likely to make quit attempts and to succeed. SES did not modify the effects of price minimizing behaviors on cessation outcomes. The data from this paper indicate that the availability of lower priced cigarette alternatives may attenuate public health efforts aimed at to reduce reducing smoking prevalence through price and tax increases among all SES groups. This paper examines how price minimizing behaviors impact efforts to stop smoking. Data on 4,988 participants from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Four-Country Survey who were smokers at baseline (wave 5) and interviewed at a 1 year follow-up were used. We examined whether price minimizing behaviors at baseline predicted: (1) cessation, (2) quit attempts, and (3) successful quit attempts at one year follow up using multivariate logistic regression modeling. A subset analysis included 3,387 participants who were current smokers at waves 5 and 6 and were followed through wave 7 to explore effects of changing purchase patterns on cessation. Statistical tests for interaction were performed to examine the joint effect of SES and price/tax avoidance behaviors on cessation outcomes. Smokers who engaged in any price/tax avoidance behaviors were 28% less likely to report cessation. Persons using low/untaxed sources were less likely to quit at follow up, those purchasing cartons were less likely to make quit attempts and quit, and those using discount cigarettes were less likely to succeed, conditional on making attempts. Respondents who utilized multiple behaviors simultaneously were less likely to make quit attempts and to succeed. SES did not modify the effects of price minimizing behaviors on cessation outcomes. The data from this paper indicate that the availability of lower priced cigarette alternatives may attenuate public health efforts aimed at to reduce reducing smoking prevalence through price and tax increases among all SES groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Temporal and Spatial Pore Water Pressure Distribution Surrounding a Vertical Landfill Leachate Recirculation Well
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1692-1706; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051692
Received: 2 March 2011 / Revised: 13 May 2011 / Accepted: 13 May 2011 / Published: 24 May 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (477 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Addition of liquids into landfilled waste can result in an increase in pore water pressure, and this in turn may increase concerns with respect to geotechnical stability of the landfilled waste mass. While the impact of vertical well leachate recirculation on landfill pore
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Addition of liquids into landfilled waste can result in an increase in pore water pressure, and this in turn may increase concerns with respect to geotechnical stability of the landfilled waste mass. While the impact of vertical well leachate recirculation on landfill pore water pressures has been mathematically modeled, measurements of these systems in operating landfills have not been reported. Pressure readings from vibrating wire piezometers placed in the waste surrounding a liquids addition well at a full-scale operating landfill in Florida were recorded over a 2-year period. Prior to the addition of liquids, measured pore pressures were found to increase with landfill depth, an indication of gas pressure increase and decreasing waste permeability with depth. When liquid addition commenced, piezometers located closer to either the leachate injection well or the landfill surface responded more rapidly to leachate addition relative to those far from the well and those at deeper locations. After liquid addition stopped, measured pore pressures did not immediately drop, but slowly decreased with time. Despite the large pressures present at the bottom of the liquid addition well, much smaller pressures were measured in the surrounding waste. The spatial variation of the pressures recorded in this study suggests that waste permeability is anisotropic and decreases with depth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Geotechnics)
Open AccessArticle Comparing Distributions of Environmental Outcomes for Regulatory Environmental Justice Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1707-1726; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051707
Received: 19 April 2011 / Revised: 10 May 2011 / Accepted: 12 May 2011 / Published: 24 May 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (310 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Economists have long been interested in measuring distributional impacts of policy interventions. As environmental justice (EJ) emerged as an ethical issue in the 1970s, the academic literature has provided statistical analyses of the incidence and causes of various environmental outcomes as they relate
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Economists have long been interested in measuring distributional impacts of policy interventions. As environmental justice (EJ) emerged as an ethical issue in the 1970s, the academic literature has provided statistical analyses of the incidence and causes of various environmental outcomes as they relate to race, income, and other demographic variables. In the context of regulatory impacts, however, there is a lack of consensus regarding what information is relevant for EJ analysis, and how best to present it. This paper helps frame the discussion by suggesting a set of questions fundamental to regulatory EJ analysis, reviewing past approaches to quantifying distributional equity, and discussing the potential for adapting existing tools to the regulatory context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Justice)

Review

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Open AccessReview Biomarkers of Immunotoxicity for Environmental and Public Health Research
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1388-1401; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051388
Received: 18 February 2011 / Revised: 26 March 2011 / Accepted: 25 April 2011 / Published: 6 May 2011
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The immune response plays an important role in the pathophysiology of numerous diseases including asthma, autoimmunity and cancer. Application of biomarkers of immunotoxicity in epidemiology studies and human clinical trials can improve our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the associations between environmental
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The immune response plays an important role in the pathophysiology of numerous diseases including asthma, autoimmunity and cancer. Application of biomarkers of immunotoxicity in epidemiology studies and human clinical trials can improve our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the associations between environmental exposures and development of these immune-mediated diseases. Immunological biomarkers currently used in environmental health studies include detection of key components of innate and adaptive immunity (e.g., complement, immunoglobulin and cell subsets) as well as functional responses and activation of key immune cells. The use of high-throughput assays, including flow cytometry, Luminex, and Multi-spot cytokine detection methods can further provide quantitative analysis of immune effects. Due to the complexity and redundancy of the immune response, an integrated assessment of several components of the immune responses is needed. The rapidly expanding field of immunoinformatics will also aid in the synthesis of the vast amount of data being generated. This review discusses and provides examples of how the identification and development of immunological biomarkers for use in studies of environmental exposures and immune-mediated disorders can be achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers: Environmental Research and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Pesticide Exposure, Safety Issues, and Risk Assessment Indicators
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1402-1419; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051402
Received: 12 January 2011 / Revised: 18 April 2011 / Accepted: 28 April 2011 / Published: 6 May 2011
Cited by 157 | PDF Full-text (199 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pesticides are widely used in agricultural production to prevent or control pests, diseases, weeds, and other plant pathogens in an effort to reduce or eliminate yield losses and maintain high product quality. Although pesticides are developed through very strict regulation processes to function
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Pesticides are widely used in agricultural production to prevent or control pests, diseases, weeds, and other plant pathogens in an effort to reduce or eliminate yield losses and maintain high product quality. Although pesticides are developed through very strict regulation processes to function with reasonable certainty and minimal impact on human health and the environment, serious concerns have been raised about health risks resulting from occupational exposure and from residues in food and drinking water. Occupational exposure to pesticides often occurs in the case of agricultural workers in open fields and greenhouses, workers in the pesticide industry, and exterminators of house pests. Exposure of the general population to pesticides occurs primarily through eating food and drinking water contaminated with pesticide residues, whereas substantial exposure can also occur in or around the home. Regarding the adverse effects on the environment (water, soil and air contamination from leaching, runoff, and spray drift, as well as the detrimental effects on wildlife, fish, plants, and other non-target organisms), many of these effects depend on the toxicity of the pesticide, the measures taken during its application, the dosage applied, the adsorption on soil colloids, the weather conditions prevailing after application, and how long the pesticide persists in the environment. Therefore, the risk assessment of the impact of pesticides either on human health or on the environment is not an easy and particularly accurate process because of differences in the periods and levels of exposure, the types of pesticides used (regarding toxicity and persistence), and the environmental characteristics of the areas where pesticides are usually applied. Also, the number of the criteria used and the method of their implementation to assess the adverse effects of pesticides on human health could affect risk assessment and would possibly affect the characterization of the already approved pesticides and the approval of the new compounds in the near future. Thus, new tools or techniques with greater reliability than those already existing are needed to predict the potential hazards of pesticides and thus contribute to reduction of the adverse effects on human health and the environment. On the other hand, the implementation of alternative cropping systems that are less dependent on pesticides, the development of new pesticides with novel modes of action and improved safety profiles, and the improvement of the already used pesticide formulations towards safer formulations (e.g., microcapsule suspensions) could reduce the adverse effects of farming and particularly the toxic effects of pesticides. In addition, the use of appropriate and well-maintained spraying equipment along with taking all precautions that are required in all stages of pesticide handling could minimize human exposure to pesticides and their potential adverse effects on the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)
Open AccessReview Does Secondhand Smoke Affect the Development of Dental Caries in Children? A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1503-1519; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051503
Received: 18 April 2011 / Revised: 24 April 2011 / Accepted: 5 May 2011 / Published: 12 May 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review evaluated evidence of the relationship between secondhand smoke (SHS) and dental caries in children in epidemiological studies. Relevant literature was searched and screened, and the methodological quality was assessed. The search yielded 42 citations. High-quality studies including one cohort format and
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This review evaluated evidence of the relationship between secondhand smoke (SHS) and dental caries in children in epidemiological studies. Relevant literature was searched and screened, and the methodological quality was assessed. The search yielded 42 citations. High-quality studies including one cohort format and 14 case-control format studies were selected. Early childhood caries was examined in 11 studies. The independent association of SHS was significant in 10 studies, and the strength was mostly weak to moderate. One study did not select SHS as a significant variable. Three studies reported decreases in the risk of previous exposure, and the association was not significant. Dose-response relationships were evident in five studies. Permanent teeth were examined in seven studies. Five studies reported significant associations, which were mostly weak. The risk of previous exposure remained similar to that of current exposure, and a dose-response relationship was not evident in one study. The overall evidence for the causal association in early childhood caries is possible regarding epidemiological studies, and the evidence of permanent teeth and the effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy were insufficient. The results warrant further studies of deciduous teeth using a cohort format and basic studies regarding the underlying mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy)
Open AccessReview Evaluating Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Interactions with Computational Models in Supporting Cumulative Risk Assessment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1613-1630; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051613
Received: 22 April 2011 / Revised: 13 May 2011 / Accepted: 17 May 2011 / Published: 19 May 2011
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (290 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Simultaneous or sequential exposure to multiple chemicals may cause interactions in the pharmacokinetics (PK) and/or pharmacodynamics (PD) of the individual chemicals. Such interactions can cause modification of the internal or target dose/response of one chemical in the mixture by other chemical(s), resulting in
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Simultaneous or sequential exposure to multiple chemicals may cause interactions in the pharmacokinetics (PK) and/or pharmacodynamics (PD) of the individual chemicals. Such interactions can cause modification of the internal or target dose/response of one chemical in the mixture by other chemical(s), resulting in a change in the toxicity from that predicted from the summation of the effects of the single chemicals using dose additivity. In such cases, conducting quantitative cumulative risk assessment for chemicals present as a mixture is difficult. The uncertainties that arise from PK interactions can be addressed by developing physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models to describe the disposition of chemical mixtures. Further, PK models can be developed to describe mechanisms of action and tissue responses. In this article, PBPK/PD modeling efforts conducted to investigate chemical interactions at the PK and PD levels are reviewed to demonstrate the use of this predictive modeling framework in assessing health risks associated with exposures to complex chemical mixtures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cumulative Health Risk Assessment)
Open AccessReview Protein-Energy Wasting and Mortality in Chronic Kidney Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1631-1654; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051631
Received: 25 February 2011 / Revised: 29 April 2011 / Accepted: 3 May 2011 / Published: 19 May 2011
Cited by 47 | PDF Full-text (473 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Protein-energy wasting (PEW) is common in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is associated with an increased death risk from cardiovascular diseases. However, while even minor renal dysfunction is an independent predictor of adverse cardiovascular prognosis, PEW becomes clinically manifest at an
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Protein-energy wasting (PEW) is common in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is associated with an increased death risk from cardiovascular diseases. However, while even minor renal dysfunction is an independent predictor of adverse cardiovascular prognosis, PEW becomes clinically manifest at an advanced stage, early before or during the dialytic stage. Mechanisms causing loss of muscle protein and fat are complex and not always associated with anorexia, but are linked to several abnormalities that stimulate protein degradation and/or decrease protein synthesis. In addition, data from experimental CKD indicate that uremia specifically blunts the regenerative potential in skeletal muscle, by acting on muscle stem cells. In this discussion recent findings regarding the mechanisms responsible for malnutrition and the increase in cardiovascular risk in CKD patients are discussed. During the course of CKD, the loss of kidney excretory and metabolic functions proceed together with the activation of pathways of endothelial damage, inflammation, acidosis, alterations in insulin signaling and anorexia which are likely to orchestrate net protein catabolism and the PEW syndrome. Full article
Open AccessReview Review of Pesticide Urinary Biomarker Measurements from Selected US EPA Children’s Observational Exposure Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1727-1754; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051727
Received: 2 March 2011 / Revised: 12 May 2011 / Accepted: 17 May 2011 / Published: 24 May 2011
Cited by 30 | PDF Full-text (281 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Children are exposed to a wide variety of pesticides originating from both outdoor and indoor sources. Several studies were conducted or funded by the EPA over the past decade to investigate children’s exposure to organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides and the factors that impact
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Children are exposed to a wide variety of pesticides originating from both outdoor and indoor sources. Several studies were conducted or funded by the EPA over the past decade to investigate children’s exposure to organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides and the factors that impact their exposures. Urinary metabolite concentration measurements from these studies are consolidated here to identify trends, spatial and temporal patterns, and areas where further research is required. Namely, concentrations of the metabolites of chlorpyrifos (3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol or TCPy), diazinon (2-isopropyl-6-methyl-4-pyrimidinol or IMP), and permethrin (3-phenoxybenzoic acid or 3-PBA) are presented. Information on the kinetic parameters describing absorption and elimination in humans is also presented to aid in interpretation. Metabolite concentrations varied more dramatically across studies for 3-PBA and IMP than for TCPy, with TCPy concentrations about an order of magnitude higher than the 3-PBA concentrations. Temporal variability was high for all metabolites with urinary 3-PBA concentrations slightly more consistent over time than the TCPy concentrations. Urinary biomarker levels provided only limited evidence of applications. The observed relationships between urinary metabolite levels and estimates of pesticide intake may be affected by differences in the contribution of each exposure route to total intake, which may vary with exposure intensity and across individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides and Health)

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