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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 9, Issue 3 (March 2012), Pages 660-1029

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Open AccessArticle Concurrent and Predictive Relationships Between Compulsive Internet Use and Substance Use: Findings from Vocational High School Students in China and the USA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 660-673; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030660
Received: 29 December 2011 / Revised: 25 January 2012 / Accepted: 17 February 2012 / Published: 23 February 2012
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (378 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Purpose: Compulsive Internet Use (CIU) has increasingly become an area of research among process addictions. Largely based on data from cross-sectional studies, a positive association between CIU and substance use has previously been reported. This study presents gender and country-specific longitudinal findings on
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Purpose: Compulsive Internet Use (CIU) has increasingly become an area of research among process addictions. Largely based on data from cross-sectional studies, a positive association between CIU and substance use has previously been reported. This study presents gender and country-specific longitudinal findings on the relationships between CIU and substance use. Methods: Data were drawn from youth attending non-conventional high schools, recruited into two similarly implemented trials conducted in China and the USA. The Chinese sample included 1,761 students (49% male); the US sample included 1,182 students (57% male) with over half (65%) of the US youth being of Hispanic ethnicity. Path analyses were applied to detect the concurrent and predictive relationships between baseline and one-year follow-up measures of CIU level, 30-day cigarette smoking, and 30-day binge drinking. Results: (1) CIU was not positively related with substance use at baseline. (2) There was a positive predictive relationship between baseline CIU and change in substance use among female, but not male students. (3) Relationships between concurrent changes in CIU and substance use were also found among female, but not male students. (4) Baseline substance use did not predict an increase in CIU from baseline to 1-year follow-up. Conclusions: While CIU was found to be related to substance use, the relationship was not consistently positive. More longitudinal studies with better measures for Internet Addiction are needed to ascertain the detailed relationship between Internet addiction and substance use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance and Behavioral Addictions: Co-Occurrence and Specificity)
Open AccessArticle Prevalence of Smoking and Related Risk Factors among Physical Education and Sports School Students at Istanbul University
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 674-684; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030674
Received: 17 January 2012 / Revised: 9 February 2012 / Accepted: 10 February 2012 / Published: 23 February 2012
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to evaluate smoking prevalence and factors associated with smoking among students at the Physical Education and Sports School of Istanbul University. A cross-sectional study was performed on total of 373 students who have been continuing their education
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate smoking prevalence and factors associated with smoking among students at the Physical Education and Sports School of Istanbul University. A cross-sectional study was performed on total of 373 students who have been continuing their education at the school from February to March 2011. A total of 166 responders were male (44.5%) and 207 responders were female (55.5%) out of 373 participants. Of the 373 students, 94 (25.2%) were current smokers and the average age for beginning smoking was 18.03 ± 2.6 (min: 12–max: 30). In this study, we found that the smoking prevalence associated with some variables such as age place of residence, mother’s education, father’s education, cigarette or tobacco use in the living place, knowledge status of students about their teacher’s smoking habits and alcohol consumption (p ≤ 0.05). These findings suggest that the students, who will train the sportspeople of the future, and should be considered a role model of healthy behavior in society. Consequently, we believe that sports school students should take an active role in providing health education programs to increase their awareness about the detrimental effects of smoking and to extensively quit smoking in public. Full article
Open AccessArticle Short and Long Term Variation in Ultraviolet Radiation and Multiple Sclerosis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 685-697; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030685
Received: 10 January 2012 / Revised: 16 February 2012 / Accepted: 16 February 2012 / Published: 24 February 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (213 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We examined the role of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in persons diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in four different populations, Italians, Danish, White and African Americans. We tested whether variation in UVR as determined by seasons (short term variation) and solar cycles (long term
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We examined the role of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in persons diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in four different populations, Italians, Danish, White and African Americans. We tested whether variation in UVR as determined by seasons (short term variation) and solar cycles (long term variation) is related to MS birth month and to survival as measured by lifespan. Cases were selected from three Italian MS Case Registries (2,737); from the United States National Center for Health Statistics (56,020); and from the Danish Multiple Sclerosis registry (15,900). Chi-square tests were used to study the pattern of month of birth distribution in patients with MS comparing with general population data. T-tests were employed to study solar cycles association with lifespan. A surplus of births was observed in June for White Americans. A decrease of births in October and November, though not significant after multiple testing correction, was observed in the three populations. In White American with MS overall, males and females, we found that solar cycle is associated with lifespan. We found that season and solar cycles have some role in MS susceptibility and life duration. However, this is an exploratory analysis and further work is needed to discern the association. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effects of Educating Local Government Officers and Healthcare and Welfare Professionals in Suicide Prevention
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 712-721; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030712
Received: 16 January 2012 / Revised: 2 February 2012 / Accepted: 21 February 2012 / Published: 29 February 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (208 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Suicide is a major public health issue. In Japan, local governments are responsible for suicide prevention, and local government officers are therefore expected to act as gatekeepers for suicide prevention. In this study, through a questionnaire survey, the authors examined the current knowledge
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Suicide is a major public health issue. In Japan, local governments are responsible for suicide prevention, and local government officers are therefore expected to act as gatekeepers for suicide prevention. In this study, through a questionnaire survey, the authors examined the current knowledge and attitudes concerning suicide prevention among local government officers and healthcare and welfare professionals, and the effects of providing suicide prevention education on their knowledge of and attitudes toward suicide and its prevention. One hundred eighty-three local government officers and 432 healthcare/welfare professionals completed the survey before and after a single education session. Before the session, the local government officers and healthcare/welfare professionals showed mainly positive attitudes toward suicide prevention efforts, with little difference between the two groups. After the training, knowledge and attitudes were further improved for most questionnaire items. Respondents with one or more experiences of suicide prevention training showed significantly more knowledge and positive attitudes before the training than those with no such experience. Moreover, knowledge of depression and having a sympathetic attitude were found to be especially associated with the overall attitude that “suicide can be prevented”. Training in suicide prevention was shown to be effective in promoting appropriate knowledge and attitudes among local government officers and healthcare/welfare professionals who are gatekeepers for preventing suicide. Our findings confirm the importance of suicide prevention education, and will contribute to creating a standard educational program on suicide prevention in Japan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Geographical Variation in Antibiotic-Resistant Escherichia coli Isolates from Stool, Cow-Dung and Drinking Water
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 746-759; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030746
Received: 5 January 2012 / Revised: 20 February 2012 / Accepted: 28 February 2012 / Published: 2 March 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (369 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Little information is available on relationships between the biophysical environment and antibiotic resistance. This study was conducted to investigate the antibiotic resistance pattern of Escherichia coli isolated from child stool samples, cow-dung and drinking water from the non-coastal (230 households) and coastal (187
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Little information is available on relationships between the biophysical environment and antibiotic resistance. This study was conducted to investigate the antibiotic resistance pattern of Escherichia coli isolated from child stool samples, cow-dung and drinking water from the non-coastal (230 households) and coastal (187 households) regions of Odisha, India. Susceptibility testing of E. coli isolates (n = 696) to the following antibiotics: tetracycline, ampicillin/sulbactam, cefuroxime, cefotaxime, cefixime, cotrimoxazole, amikacin, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin and nalidixic acid was performed by the disk diffusion method. Ciprofloxacin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were determined for ciprofloxacin-resistant isolates (n = 83). Resistance to at least one antibiotic was detected in 90% or more of the E. coli isolates. Ciprofloxacin MIC values ranged from 8 to 32 µg/mL. The odds ratio (OR) of resistance in E. coli isolates from children’s stool (OR = 3.1, 95% CI 1.18–8.01), cow-dung (OR = 3.6, 95% CI 1.59–8.03, P = 0.002) and drinking water (OR = 3.8, 95% CI 1.00–14.44, P = 0.049) were higher in non-coastal compared to coastal region. Similarly, the co-resistance in cow-dung (OR = 2.5, 95% CI 1.39–4.37, P = 0.002) and drinking water (OR = 3.2, 95% CI 1.36–7.41, P = 0.008) as well as the multi-resistance in cow-dung (OR = 2.2, 95% CI 1.12–4.34, P = 0.022) and drinking water (OR = 2.7, 95% CI 1.06–7.07, P = 0.036) were also higher in the non-coastal compared to the coastal region. Full article
Open AccessArticle Suicide in the World
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 760-771; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030760
Received: 2 February 2012 / Revised: 13 February 2012 / Accepted: 22 February 2012 / Published: 2 March 2012
Cited by 113 | PDF Full-text (349 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Introduction: Over the past 20 years the WHO has considerably improved world mortality data. There are still shortcomings but more countries now report data and world-wide estimates are regularly made. Methods: Data about mortality have been retrieved from the WHO world
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Introduction: Over the past 20 years the WHO has considerably improved world mortality data. There are still shortcomings but more countries now report data and world-wide estimates are regularly made. Methods: Data about mortality have been retrieved from the WHO world database. Worldwide injury mortality estimates for 2008 as well as trends of the suicide rate from 1950 to 2009 were analysed. Results: Suicides in the world amount to 782 thousand in 2008 according to the WHO estimate, which is 1.4% of total mortality and 15% of injury mortality. The suicide rate for the world as a whole is estimated at 11.6 per 100,000 inhabitants. The male–female rate ratio of suicide is estimated to be highest in the European Region (4.0) and the lowest in the Eastern Mediterranean region (1.1). Among males the highest suicide rate in the 15–29 age group is in the SE Asian region, in the 45–59 age group in European males and for ages above 60 in the Western Pacific region. Females from SE Asia have a remarkably high suicide rate among 15–29-year-olds and from age 45 in the Western Pacific region. The leading country is currently Lithuania, with a suicide rate of 34.1 per 100,000 inhabitants. Also among males the suicide rate is the highest in Lithuania at 61.2. Among females South Korea with 22.1 is at the top of world suicide rates. Conclusions: During the past six decades, according to the WHO Japan, Hungary, and Lithuania have topped the list of world countries by suicide rate, but if the current trends continue South Korea will overtake all others in a few years. The heart of the problem of suicide mortality has shifted from Western Europe to Eastern Europe and now seems to be shifting to Asia. China and India are the biggest contributors to the absolute number of suicides in the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Patterns of Suicide and Other Trespassing Fatalities on State-Owned Railways in Greater Stockholm; Implications for Prevention
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 772-780; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030772
Received: 13 January 2012 / Revised: 22 February 2012 / Accepted: 2 March 2012 / Published: 5 March 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (249 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Each year, approximately 80–100 people are killed on state-owned railways due to train-person collisions in Sweden. Underlying causes are suicide and accidents; suicide constituting a vast majority. Earlier Swedish studies at a national level revealed a relation between population density and incident frequency,
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Each year, approximately 80–100 people are killed on state-owned railways due to train-person collisions in Sweden. Underlying causes are suicide and accidents; suicide constituting a vast majority. Earlier Swedish studies at a national level revealed a relation between population density and incident frequency, however, with places of occurrence often located to the outskirts of cities some distance away from station areas where victims can await approaching trains in seclusion. The aim of this study was to investigate whether this national pattern also applies to larger urban areas such as greater Stockholm, and to discuss preventative implications based on these observations. All registered incidents (N = 41) where people were hit or run-over by trains with a fatal outcome over the four-year period 2005–2008 were investigated. Results deviating from the national pattern include that most incidents occur at station areas, and that most victims enter the tracks from platforms. Passing express trains appear to be overrepresented, compared to commuter trains. Due to a low number of cases, our observations must be interpreted with caution. However, they imply that preventative measures in this type of area should focus on platform safety foremost, especially protection against rapid trains passing by station areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Long Term Variations of the Atmospheric Air Pollutants in Istanbul City
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 781-790; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030781
Received: 9 January 2012 / Revised: 27 February 2012 / Accepted: 27 February 2012 / Published: 5 March 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
High population density and intense industrial activity has resulted in various forms of pollution in megacities. Air pollution ranks at the top of this list. This study investigated long-term changes in air pollutant parameters (SO2, CO, NO, NO2, NO
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High population density and intense industrial activity has resulted in various forms of pollution in megacities. Air pollution ranks at the top of this list. This study investigated long-term changes in air pollutant parameters (SO2, CO, NO, NO2, NOx) in Istanbul City, Turkey, using data from air-quality measurement stations on the Asian and European sides of Istanbul. The results show decreases from 2002 to 2010 in the amounts of SO2 (one of the main pollutants released as a result of the burning of fossil fuels) and CO (indicative of incomplete combustion). However, NOx concentrations showed fluctuations over time, rather than a steady decline throughout the study period. Full article
Open AccessArticle Child Acute Malnutrition and Mortality in Populations Affected by Displacement in the Horn of Africa, 1997–2009
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 791-806; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030791
Received: 19 January 2012 / Revised: 23 February 2012 / Accepted: 28 February 2012 / Published: 6 March 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (595 KB) | XML Full-text
Abstract
Drought and conflict in the Horn of Africa are causing population displacement, increasing risks of child mortality and malnutrition. Humanitarian agencies are trying to mitigate the impact, with limited resources. Data from previous years may help guide decisions. Trends in different populations affected
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Drought and conflict in the Horn of Africa are causing population displacement, increasing risks of child mortality and malnutrition. Humanitarian agencies are trying to mitigate the impact, with limited resources. Data from previous years may help guide decisions. Trends in different populations affected by displacement (1997–2009) were analyzed to investigate: (1) how elevated malnutrition and mortality were among displaced compared to host populations; (2) whether the mortality/malnutrition relation changed through time; and (3) how useful is malnutrition in identifying high mortality situations. Under-five mortality rates (usually from 90-day recall, as deaths/10,000/day: U5MR) and global acute malnutrition (wasting prevalences, < −2SDs of references plus edema: GAM) were extracted from reports of 1,175 surveys carried out between 1997–2009 in the Horn of Africa; these outcome indicators were analyzed by livelihood (pastoral, agricultural) and by displacement status (refugee/internally displaced, local resident/host population, mixed); associations between these indicators were examined, stratifying by status. Patterns of GAM and U5MR plotted over time by country and livelihood clarified trends and showed substantial correspondence. Over the period GAM was steady but U5MR generally fell by nearly half. Average U5MR was similar overall between displaced and local residents. GAM was double on average for pastoralists compared with agriculturalists (17% vs. 8%), but was not different between displaced and local populations. Agricultural populations showed increased U5MR when displaced, in contrast to pastoralist. U5MR rose sharply with increasing GAM, at different GAM thresholds depending on livelihood. Higher GAM cut-points for pastoralists than agriculturalists would better predict elevated U5MR (1/10,000/day) or emergency levels (2/10,000/day) in the Horn of Africa; cut-points of 20–25% GAM in pastoral populations and 10–15% GAM in agriculturalists are suggested. The GAM cut-points in current use do not vary by livelihood, and this needs to be changed, tailoring cut points to livelihood groups, to better identify priorities for intervention. This could help to prioritize limited resources in the current situation of food insecurity and save lives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Malnutrition and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Health Risk Assessment for Cyanobacterial Toxins in Seafood
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 807-820; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030807
Received: 27 January 2012 / Revised: 17 February 2012 / Accepted: 24 February 2012 / Published: 7 March 2012
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (353 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are abundant in fresh, brackish and marine waters worldwide. When toxins produced by cyanobacteria are present in the aquatic environment, seafood harvested from these waters may present a health hazard to consumers. Toxicity hazards from seafood have been internationally recognised
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Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are abundant in fresh, brackish and marine waters worldwide. When toxins produced by cyanobacteria are present in the aquatic environment, seafood harvested from these waters may present a health hazard to consumers. Toxicity hazards from seafood have been internationally recognised when the source is from marine algae (dinoflagellates and diatoms), but to date few risk assessments for cyanobacterial toxins in seafood have been presented. This paper estimates risk from seafood contaminated by cyanobacterial toxins, and provides guidelines for safe human consumption. Full article
Open AccessArticle Cadmium Accumulation in Tissues of Sarotherodon melanotheron (Rüppel, 1852) from the Aby Lagoon System in Côte d’Ivoire
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 821-830; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030821
Received: 20 January 2012 / Revised: 27 February 2012 / Accepted: 28 February 2012 / Published: 8 March 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (287 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study assessed the concentrations of cadmium in the gills, livers and muscles of a commercially important tilapia fish (Sarotherodon melanotheron) from Aby Lagoon in Adiaké, Côte d’Ivoire, between January and December, 2010. The organisms were grouped into two composite samples
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This study assessed the concentrations of cadmium in the gills, livers and muscles of a commercially important tilapia fish (Sarotherodon melanotheron) from Aby Lagoon in Adiaké, Côte d’Ivoire, between January and December, 2010. The organisms were grouped into two composite samples (juvenile and adult) of five individuals. Levels of cadmium were determined in tissues using Perkin-Elmer (AAnalyst 200) Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (AAS) after a digestion method. Fish muscle appeared to have a significantly higher tendency to accumulate cadmium (1.19–5.18 µg/g dw) while gills and livers had minimum concentrations (0.07–1.32 and 0.12–1.25 µg/g dw). This study has revealed that the concentrations of Cd in Sarotherodon melanotheron muscle tissue were above the maximum acceptable concentrations for human consumption, thus precautions need to be taken in order to prevent future contamination. Full article
Open AccessArticle Impact of Climate Change on Children’s Health in Limpopo Province, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 831-854; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030831
Received: 31 January 2012 / Revised: 28 February 2012 / Accepted: 1 March 2012 / Published: 8 March 2012
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1439 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the impact of climate change on children’s health, in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Twenty one years climatic data were collected to analyse climatic conditions in the province. The study also employs 12 years hospital records of clinically diagnosed
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This paper examines the impact of climate change on children’s health, in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Twenty one years climatic data were collected to analyse climatic conditions in the province. The study also employs 12 years hospital records of clinically diagnosed climate-related ailments among children under 13 years to examine the incidence, spatio-temporal, age and sex variations of the diseases. Regression analysis was employed to examine the relationships between climatic parameters and incidence of diseases and also to predict distribution of disease by 2050. The results show that the most prevalent diseases were diarrhea (42.4%), followed by respiratory infection (31.3%), asthma (6.6%) and malaria (6.5%). The incidence varied within city, with the high density areas recording the highest proportion (76.7%), followed by the medium (9.4%) and low (2.5%) density residential areas. The most tropical location, Mussina, had the highest incidence of the most prevalent disease, diarrhea, with 59.4%. Mortality rate was higher for males (54.2%). Analysis of 21 years of climatic data show that maximum temperature is positively correlated with years in four cities with r coefficients of 0.50; 0.56, 0.48 and 0.02, thereby indicating local warming. Similarly rainfall decreased over time in all the cities, with r ranging from −0.02 for Bela Bela to r = 0.18 for Makhado. Results of the regression analysis show that 37.9% of disease incidence is accounted for by the combined influence of temperature and rainfall. Full article
Open AccessArticle Treatment of Clinical Solid Waste Using a Steam Autoclave as a Possible Alternative Technology to Incineration
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 855-867; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030855
Received: 13 January 2012 / Revised: 20 February 2012 / Accepted: 21 February 2012 / Published: 9 March 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (462 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A steam autoclave was used to sterilize bacteria in clinical solid waste in order to determine an alternative to incineration technology in clinical solid waste management. The influence of contact time (0, 5, 15, 30 and 60 min) and temperature (111 °C, 121
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A steam autoclave was used to sterilize bacteria in clinical solid waste in order to determine an alternative to incineration technology in clinical solid waste management. The influence of contact time (0, 5, 15, 30 and 60 min) and temperature (111 °C, 121 °C and 131 °C) at automated saturated steam pressure was investigated. Results showed that with increasing contact time and temperature, the number of surviving bacteria decreased. The optimum experimental conditions as measured by degree of inactivation of bacteria were 121 °C for 15 minutes (min) for Gram negative bacteria, 121 °C and 131 °C for 60 and 30 min for Gram positive bacteria, respectively. The re-growth of bacteria in sterilized waste was also evaluated in the present study. It was found that bacterial re-growth started two days after the inactivation. The present study recommends that the steam autoclave cannot be considered as an alternative technology to incineration in clinical solid waste management. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Exposure to Alcohol Vapor from Alcohol-Based Hand Rubs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 868-879; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030868
Received: 16 February 2012 / Revised: 6 March 2012 / Accepted: 7 March 2012 / Published: 13 March 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1056 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study assessed the inhaled dose of alcohol during hand disinfection. Experiments were conducted with two types of hand rub using two hand disinfection procedures. Air samples were collected every 10 s from the breathing zone, by bubbling through a mixture of K
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This study assessed the inhaled dose of alcohol during hand disinfection. Experiments were conducted with two types of hand rub using two hand disinfection procedures. Air samples were collected every 10 s from the breathing zone, by bubbling through a mixture of K2Cr2O7 and H2SO4. The reduction of dichromate ions in the presence of alcohols was followed by UV-vis spectrophotometry. The difference in intensity of the dichromate absorption peak was used to quantify the alcohol concentration expressed in ethanol equivalent. During hygienic hand disinfection, the mean ethanol equivalent concentrations peaked at around 20–30 s for both hand rubs (14.3 ± 1.4 mg/L for hand rub 1 and 13.2 ± 0.7 mg/L for hand rub 2). During surgical hand disinfection, two peaks were found at the same time (40 and 80 s) for both hand rubs. The highest mean concentrations were 20.2 ± 0.9 mg/L for hand rub 1 and 18.1 ± 0.9 mg/L for hand rub 2. For hand rub 1, the total absorbed doses, calculated from ethanol with an inhalation flow of 24 L/min and an absorption rate of 62%, were 46.5 mg after one hygienic hand disinfection and 203.9 mg after one surgical hand disinfection. Although the use of ABHRs leads to the absorption of very low doses, sudden, repeated inhalation of high alcohol concentrations raises the question of possible adverse health effects. Full article
Open AccessArticle Global Access to Safe Water: Accounting for Water Quality and the Resulting Impact on MDG Progress
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 880-894; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030880
Received: 14 February 2012 / Revised: 28 February 2012 / Accepted: 1 March 2012 / Published: 14 March 2012
Cited by 117 | PDF Full-text (554 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Monitoring of progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) drinking water target relies on classification of water sources as “improved” or “unimproved” as an indicator for water safety. We adjust the current Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) estimate by accounting for microbial water quality
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Monitoring of progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) drinking water target relies on classification of water sources as “improved” or “unimproved” as an indicator for water safety. We adjust the current Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) estimate by accounting for microbial water quality and sanitary risk using the only-nationally representative water quality data currently available, that from the WHO and UNICEF “Rapid Assessment of Drinking Water Quality”. A principal components analysis (PCA) of national environmental and development indicators was used to create models that predicted, for most countries, the proportions of piped and of other-improved water supplies that are faecally contaminated; and of these sources, the proportions that lack basic sanitary protection against contamination. We estimate that 1.8 billion people (28% of the global population) used unsafe water in 2010. The 2010 JMP estimate is that 783 million people (11%) use unimproved sources. Our estimates revise the 1990 baseline from 23% to 37%, and the target from 12% to 18%, resulting in a shortfall of 10% of the global population towards the MDG target in 2010. In contrast, using the indicator “use of an improved source” suggests that the MDG target for drinking-water has already been achieved. We estimate that an additional 1.2 billion (18%) use water from sources or systems with significant sanitary risks. While our estimate is imprecise, the magnitude of the estimate and the health and development implications suggest that greater attention is needed to better understand and manage drinking water safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water and Health)
Open AccessArticle Diversity in the Enteric Viruses Detected in Outbreaks of Gastroenteritis from Mumbai, Western India
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 895-915; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030895
Received: 24 November 2011 / Revised: 2 February 2012 / Accepted: 1 March 2012 / Published: 14 March 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (326 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Faecal specimens collected from two outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis that occurred in southern Mumbai, India in March and October, 2006 were tested for seven different enteric viruses. Among the 218 specimens tested, 95 (43.6%) were positive, 73 (76.8%) for a single virus and
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Faecal specimens collected from two outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis that occurred in southern Mumbai, India in March and October, 2006 were tested for seven different enteric viruses. Among the 218 specimens tested, 95 (43.6%) were positive, 73 (76.8%) for a single virus and 22 (23.2%) for multiple viruses. Single viral infections in both, March and October showed predominance of enterovirus (EV, 33.3% and 40%) and rotavirus A (RVA, 33.3% and 25%). The other viruses detected in these months were norovirus (NoV, 12.1% and 10%), rotavirus B (RVB, 12.1% and 10%), enteric adenovirus (AdV, 6.1% and 7.5%), Aichivirus (AiV, 3% and 7.5%) and human astrovirus (HAstV, 3% and 0%). Mixed viral infections were largely represented by two viruses (84.6% and 88.9%), a small proportion showed presence of three (7.7% and 11%) and four (7.7% and 0%) viruses in the two outbreaks. Genotyping of the viruses revealed predominance of RVA G2P[4], RVB G2 (Indian Bangladeshi lineage), NoV GII.4, AdV-40, HAstV-8 and AiV B types. VP1/2A junction region based genotyping showed presence of 11 different serotypes of EVs. Although no virus was detected in the tested water samples, examination of both water and sewage pipelines in gastroenteritis affected localities indicated leakages and possibility of contamination of drinking water with sewage water. Coexistence of multiple enteric viruses during the two outbreaks of gastroenteritis emphasizes the need to expand such investigations to other parts of India. Full article
Open AccessArticle Relationships of Sun-Protection Habit Strength with Sunscreen Use During Outdoor Sport and Physical Activity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 916-923; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030916
Received: 25 January 2012 / Revised: 2 March 2012 / Accepted: 5 March 2012 / Published: 15 March 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (232 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of this cross-sectional questionnaire study was to assess associations of a self-report index of sun protection habit strength with sunscreen use in sporting environments and outdoor physical activity. Participants (n = 234) in field hockey, soccer, tennis and surf sports in
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The objective of this cross-sectional questionnaire study was to assess associations of a self-report index of sun protection habit strength with sunscreen use in sporting environments and outdoor physical activity. Participants (n = 234) in field hockey, soccer, tennis and surf sports in Queensland, Australia, completed a self-administered survey on sun protection during organized sport, and during general outdoor physical activity during 2005/2006. The sun protection habit strength index was dichotomized into two categories. Multinomial logistic regression analyses assessed the associations of low versus high sun protection habit strength with three categories of sunscreen use (no or rare use; inadequate use; and adequate use). Compared to participants with low sun protection habit strength, those with high sun protection habit strength had significantly greater odds of any sunscreen use during organized sport and during general outdoor physical activity. This association was strongest for adequate sunscreen use in both settings. In conclusion, this study suggests that the measure of sun protection habit strength is a potentially useful assessment tool for future sun protection studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sunbathing Habits and Skin Cancer)
Open AccessArticle Suicide Mortality in Comparison to Traffic Accidents and Homicides as Causes of Unnatural Death. An Analysis of 14,441 Cases in Germany in the Year 2010
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 924-931; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030924
Received: 4 January 2012 / Revised: 23 February 2012 / Accepted: 7 March 2012 / Published: 15 March 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (324 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aim: To assess suicide mortality in comparison to traffic accidents and homicide deaths in Germany in the year 2010 and to compare years of life lost (YLL) due to these unnatural deaths. Methods: Mortality data were provided by the Federal Statistical
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Aim: To assess suicide mortality in comparison to traffic accidents and homicide deaths in Germany in the year 2010 and to compare years of life lost (YLL) due to these unnatural deaths. Methods: Mortality data were provided by the Federal Statistical Office giving death rates (related to 100,000 inhabitants) and proportions (related to 100 deaths of individuals) for suicide, traffic accidents and homicide as well as YLL data. Results: A total of 14,441 unnatural deaths (suicide, traffic accidents, homicide) were reported in 2010 in Germany. Of those, 10,021 subjects (69.4%) committed suicide, 3,942 (27.3%) died in traffic accidents, 478 (3.3%) were murdered. Suicide death rates were by far the highest, with rates for men (18.6) three times higher than for women (6.1). For both sexes, suicide rates increased with age, whereas suicide as a proportion of all causes of death was higher in younger age groups. In both sexes, suicide was the leading cause of YLL (men: 314 YLL, women: 90 YLL). Conclusions: Suicide is the leading cause of unnatural death and YLL. The sex- and age- specific patterns in suicide mortality call for different action plans to target high risk groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Tobacco Addiction and Smoking Status in Heroin Addicts under Methadone vs. Buprenorphine Therapy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 932-942; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030932
Received: 14 February 2012 / Revised: 6 March 2012 / Accepted: 12 March 2012 / Published: 16 March 2012
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (209 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aims of the present investigation were: (i) to assess the prevalence of current smokers and relative smoking status among a large number of heroin addicts attending opioid-substitution therapy prevalence; (ii) to evaluate the relationship between the type (methadone, buprenorphine) and dosage of opioid
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Aims of the present investigation were: (i) to assess the prevalence of current smokers and relative smoking status among a large number of heroin addicts attending opioid-substitution therapy prevalence; (ii) to evaluate the relationship between the type (methadone, buprenorphine) and dosage of opioid substitution therapy and nicotine dependence. Three hundred and five (305) heroin addicts under opioid-substitution therapy were recruited at five Addiction Units. All participants completed a questionnaire assessing sociodemographic information, type and dose of opioid-substitution therapy, smoking history and status, Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND), and the Zung Self-Rating Depression scale (SDS). 298 subjects, out of 305 (97.2%) were smokers, with an average of 20.5 cigarette/day and a median FTND of 6. Our data confirmed the high prevalence of smokers among heroin addicts, the highest described in the literature to date among heroin addicts under substitution therapies, without any significant difference between methadone vs. buprenorphine therapy groups. There was no correlation between dose of methadone or buprenorphine and average number of cigarettes/day. Patients in substance abuse treatment very frequently smoke cigarettes and often die of tobacco-related diseases. Substance abuse treatment programs too often ignore tobacco use. We hope that these findings will help to incorporate smoking cessation in substance abuse treatments. Full article
Open AccessArticle Determinants of Self-Rated Health in a Representative Sample of a Rural Population: A Cross-Sectional Study in Greece
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 943-954; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030943
Received: 20 January 2012 / Revised: 12 March 2012 / Accepted: 12 March 2012 / Published: 16 March 2012
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (316 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Self-rated health (SRH) is a health measure related to future health, mortality, healthcare services utilization and quality of life. Various sociodemographic, health and lifestyle determinants of SRH have been identified in different populations. The aim of this study is to extend SRH literature
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Self-rated health (SRH) is a health measure related to future health, mortality, healthcare services utilization and quality of life. Various sociodemographic, health and lifestyle determinants of SRH have been identified in different populations. The aim of this study is to extend SRH literature in the Greek population. This is a cross-sectional study conducted in rural communities between 2001 and 2003. Interviews eliciting basic demographic, health-related and lifestyle information (smoking, physical activity, diet, quality of sleep and religiosity) were conducted. The sample consisted of 1,519 participants, representative of the rural population of Tripoli. Multinomial regression analysis was conducted to identify putative SRH determinants. Among the 1,519 participants, 489 (32.2%), 790 (52%) and 237 (15.6%) rated their health as “very good”, “good” and “poor” respectively. Female gender, older age, lower level of education and impaired health were all associated with worse SRH, accounting for 16.6% of SRH variance. Regular exercise, healthier diet, better sleep quality and better adherence to religious habits were related with better health ratings, after adjusting for sociodemographic and health-related factors. BMI and smoking did not reach significance while exercise and physical activity exhibited significant correlations but not consistently across SRH categories. Our results support previous findings indicating that people following a more proactive lifestyle pattern tend to rate their health better. The role of stress-related neuroendocrinologic mechanisms on SRH and health in general is also discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Pattern of Maternal Knowledge and Its Implications for Diarrhoea Control in Southern Malawi: Multilevel Thresholds of Change Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 955-969; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030955
Received: 10 January 2012 / Revised: 5 March 2012 / Accepted: 7 March 2012 / Published: 16 March 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A survey was conducted in Southern Malawi to examine the pattern of mothers’ knowledge on diarrhoea. Diarrhoea morbidity in the district is estimated at 24.4%, statistically higher than the national average at 17%. Using hierarchically built data from a survey, a multilevel threshold
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A survey was conducted in Southern Malawi to examine the pattern of mothers’ knowledge on diarrhoea. Diarrhoea morbidity in the district is estimated at 24.4%, statistically higher than the national average at 17%. Using hierarchically built data from a survey, a multilevel threshold of change analysis was used to determine predictors of knowledge about diarrhoeal aetiology, clinical features, and prevention. The results show a strong hierarchical structured pattern in overall maternal knowledge revealing differences between communities. Responsible mothers with primary or secondary school education were more likely to give more correct answers on diarrhoea knowledge than those without any formal education. Responsible mothers from communities without a health surveillance assistant were less likely to give more correct answers. The results show that differences in diarrhoeal knowledge do exist between communities and demonstrate that basic formal education is important in responsible mother’s understanding of diseases. The results also reveal the positive impact health surveillance assistants have in rural communities. Full article
Open AccessArticle Ammonium Removal from Aqueous Solutions by Clinoptilolite: Determination of Isotherm and Thermodynamic Parameters and Comparison of Kinetics by the Double Exponential Model and Conventional Kinetic Models
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 970-984; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030970
Received: 15 February 2012 / Revised: 11 March 2012 / Accepted: 13 March 2012 / Published: 19 March 2012
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (487 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The adsorption isotherm, the adsorption kinetics, and the thermodynamic parameters of ammonium removal from aqueous solution by using clinoptilolite in aqueous solution was investigated in this study. Experimental data obtained from batch equilibrium tests have been analyzed by four two-parameter (Freundlich, Langmuir, Tempkin
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The adsorption isotherm, the adsorption kinetics, and the thermodynamic parameters of ammonium removal from aqueous solution by using clinoptilolite in aqueous solution was investigated in this study. Experimental data obtained from batch equilibrium tests have been analyzed by four two-parameter (Freundlich, Langmuir, Tempkin and Dubinin-Radushkevich (D-R)) and four three-parameter (Redlich-Peterson (R-P), Sips, Toth and Khan) isotherm models. D-R and R-P isotherms were the models that best fitted to experimental data over the other two- and three-parameter models applied. The adsorption energy (E) from the D-R isotherm was found to be approximately 7 kJ/mol for the ammonium-clinoptilolite system, thereby indicating that ammonium is adsorbed on clinoptilolite by physisorption. Kinetic parameters were determined by analyzing the nth-order kinetic model, the modified second-order model and the double exponential model, and each model resulted in a coefficient of determination (R2) of above 0.989 with an average relative error lower than 5%. A Double Exponential Model (DEM) showed that the adsorption process develops in two stages as rapid and slow phase. Changes in standard free energy (∆G°), enthalpy (∆H°) and entropy (∆S°) of ammonium-clinoptilolite system were estimated by using the thermodynamic equilibrium coefficients. Full article
Open AccessArticle Combining Geostatistics with Moran’s I Analysis for Mapping Soil Heavy Metals in Beijing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 995-1017; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030995
Received: 4 January 2012 / Revised: 4 March 2012 / Accepted: 6 March 2012 / Published: 19 March 2012
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (1167 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Production of high quality interpolation maps of heavy metals is important for risk assessment of environmental pollution. In this paper, the spatial correlation characteristics information obtained from Moran’s I analysis was used to supplement the traditional geostatistics. According to Moran’s I analysis, four
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Production of high quality interpolation maps of heavy metals is important for risk assessment of environmental pollution. In this paper, the spatial correlation characteristics information obtained from Moran’s I analysis was used to supplement the traditional geostatistics. According to Moran’s I analysis, four characteristics distances were obtained and used as the active lag distance to calculate the semivariance. Validation of the optimality of semivariance demonstrated that using the two distances where the Moran’s I and the standardized Moran’s I, Z(I) reached a maximum as the active lag distance can improve the fitting accuracy of semivariance. Then, spatial interpolation was produced based on the two distances and their nested model. The comparative analysis of estimation accuracy and the measured and predicted pollution status showed that the method combining geostatistics with Moran’s I analysis was better than traditional geostatistics. Thus, Moran’s I analysis is a useful complement for geostatistics to improve the spatial interpolation accuracy of heavy metals. Full article
Open AccessArticle Hypertension Knowledge-Level Scale (HK-LS): A Study on Development, Validity and Reliability
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 1018-1029; doi:10.3390/ijerph9031018
Received: 4 January 2012 / Revised: 27 February 2012 / Accepted: 13 March 2012 / Published: 22 March 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (316 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study was conducted to develop a scale to measure knowledge about hypertension among Turkish adults. The Hypertension Knowledge-Level Scale (HK-LS) was generated based on content, face, and construct validity, internal consistency, test re-test reliability, and discriminative validity procedures. The final scale had
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This study was conducted to develop a scale to measure knowledge about hypertension among Turkish adults. The Hypertension Knowledge-Level Scale (HK-LS) was generated based on content, face, and construct validity, internal consistency, test re-test reliability, and discriminative validity procedures. The final scale had 22 items with six sub-dimensions. The scale was applied to 457 individuals aged ≥18 years, and 414 of them were re-evaluated for test-retest reliability. The six sub-dimensions encompassed 60.3% of the total variance. Cronbach alpha coefficients were 0.82 for the entire scale and 0.92, 0.59, 0.67, 0.77, 0.72, and 0.76 for the sub-dimensions of definition, medical treatment, drug compliance, lifestyle, diet, and complications, respectively. The scale ensured internal consistency in reliability and construct validity, as well as stability over time. Significant relationships were found between knowledge score and age, gender, educational level, and history of hypertension of the participants. No correlation was found between knowledge score and working at an income-generating job. The present scale, developed to measure the knowledge level of hypertension among Turkish adults, was found to be valid and reliable. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Biomarker Genes for Detecting Estrogenic Activity of Endocrine Disruptors via Estrogen Receptors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 698-711; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030698
Received: 26 December 2011 / Revised: 2 February 2012 / Accepted: 20 February 2012 / Published: 24 February 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (206 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Endocrine disruptors (EDs) are compounds used in various industrial products, drugs, and cosmetics. They can be found in the environment and disturb the endocrine and reproductive systems, resulting in adverse effects to humans and wildlife such as birth defects and developmental disorders. Since
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Endocrine disruptors (EDs) are compounds used in various industrial products, drugs, and cosmetics. They can be found in the environment and disturb the endocrine and reproductive systems, resulting in adverse effects to humans and wildlife such as birth defects and developmental disorders. Since several EDs have a structure similar to that of endogenous steroid hormones such as estrogens, they intend to have an affinity for steroid hormone receptors and alter hormone-mediated metabolism by binding to these receptors. EDs are therefore a global concern and assays should be developed to efficiently determine whether these compounds are detrimental to biological systems. Diverse experimental methods may help determine the endocrine disrupting potential of EDs and evaluate the adverse effects of a single and/or combination of these reagents. Currently, biomarkers have been employed to objectively measure EDs potency and understand the underlying mechanisms. Further studies are required to develop ideal screening methods and biomarkers to determine EDs potency at environmentally relevant concentrations. In this review, we describe the biomarkers for estrogenicity of EDs identified both in vitro and in vivo, and introduce a biomarker, cabindin-D9k (CaBP-9k), that may be used to assess estrogenic activity of EDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endocrine Disruptors and Human Health)
Open AccessReview A Systematic Review of Social Factors and Suicidal Behavior in Older Adulthood
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 722-745; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030722
Received: 26 January 2012 / Revised: 16 February 2012 / Accepted: 22 February 2012 / Published: 1 March 2012
Cited by 51 | PDF Full-text (237 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Suicide in later life is a global public health problem. The aim of this review was to conduct a systematic analysis of studies with comparison groups that examined the associations between social factors and suicidal behavior (including ideation, non-fatal suicidal behavior, or deaths)
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Suicide in later life is a global public health problem. The aim of this review was to conduct a systematic analysis of studies with comparison groups that examined the associations between social factors and suicidal behavior (including ideation, non-fatal suicidal behavior, or deaths) among individuals aged 65 and older. Our search identified only 16 articles (across 14 independent samples) that met inclusion criteria. The limited number of studies points to the need for further research. Included studies were conducted in Canada (n = 2), Germany (n = 1), Hong Kong (n = 1), Japan (n = 1), Singapore (n = 1), Sweden (n = 2), Taiwan (n = 1), the U.K. (n = 2), and the U.S. (n = 3). The majority of the social factors examined in this review can be conceptualized as indices of positive social connectedness—the degree of positive involvement with family, friends, and social groups. Findings indicated that at least in industrialized countries, limited social connectedness is associated with suicidal ideation, non-fatal suicidal behavior, and suicide in later life. Primary prevention programs designed to enhance social connections as well as a sense of community could potentially decrease suicide risk, especially among men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Social Aspects of Suicidal Behavior and Prevention in Early Life: A Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(3), 985-994; doi:10.3390/ijerph9030985
Received: 2 February 2012 / Revised: 5 March 2012 / Accepted: 12 March 2012 / Published: 19 March 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (216 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Purpose: The present review summarizes the updated literature on the social aspects of suicidal behavior and prevention in adolescents. Recent findings: The predictive role of psychiatric disorders and past history are well recognized in adolescent suicide, but the role of social
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Purpose: The present review summarizes the updated literature on the social aspects of suicidal behavior and prevention in adolescents. Recent findings: The predictive role of psychiatric disorders and past history are well recognized in adolescent suicide, but the role of social and cultural factors is less clear. Studies have focused on the importance of ethnicity, gender, family characteristics, and socioeconomic status. More recently, attention has been addressed to broader social risk factors, such as bullying in adolescents, suicide contagion, sexual orientation, and the popular media. Further empirical evidence is needed to advance our understanding of suicidal youth, develop better assessment tools, and formulate effective prevention and treatment programs. Summary: Suicidal behavior remains an important clinical problem and major cause of death in youth. Social factors may be at least as important as genetics. Advancing our understanding of underlying cultural and sociological issues in youth suicide will help clinicians achieve more efficient prediction, prevention and treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)

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