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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 9, Issue 7 (July 2012), Pages 2266-2561

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Incident and Emergency Medical Services Management from a Regional Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2266-2282; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072266
Received: 22 May 2012 / Revised: 18 June 2012 / Accepted: 20 June 2012 / Published: 26 June 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (569 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Traffic crashes and other emergencies have impacts on traffic operations in transportation networks, often resulting in non-recurring congestion. Congestion, in turn, may impede the ability of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to provide timely response to those in need of medical attention. The [...] Read more.
Traffic crashes and other emergencies have impacts on traffic operations in transportation networks, often resulting in non-recurring congestion. Congestion, in turn, may impede the ability of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to provide timely response to those in need of medical attention. The work in this paper investigated the impact of incidents of varying severity and duration on transportation network performance in the Birmingham (AL, USA) area. The intensity and extent of the impact over space and time were assessed on the basis of average speeds. The analysis of incident scenarios was performed using the Visual Interactive System for Transport Algorithms (VISTA) platform. Moreover, first responders’ travel times to the scene of the incident were collected to identify best units for responding, in an effort to improve current dispatching practices. Finally, a secondary incident on the EMS to the hospital was considered to further demonstrate the superiority of Dynamic Traffic Assignment (DTA) over traditional static assignment methods in capturing dynamically changing traffic conditions. The study findings are expected to benefit local transportation planners, traffic engineers, emergency responders, and policy makers by allowing them to assess various response strategies to major incidents and emergencies and select the ones that minimize their potential impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparedness and Emergency Response)
Open AccessArticle Symptomatological Features of Patients with and without Ecstasy Use during Their First Psychotic Episode
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2283-2292; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072283
Received: 21 May 2012 / Revised: 22 June 2012 / Accepted: 25 June 2012 / Published: 27 June 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (105 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Ecstasy use is generally chosen by adolescents and young adults for its entactogenic properties (the production of feelings of empathy, love, and emotional closeness to others.) Despite this desired and frequently realized outcome, Ecstasy use has often resulted in the [...] Read more.
Background: Ecstasy use is generally chosen by adolescents and young adults for its entactogenic properties (the production of feelings of empathy, love, and emotional closeness to others.) Despite this desired and frequently realized outcome, Ecstasy use has often resulted in the genesis of psychotic symptoms and aggressive behaviors, particularly after chronic and/or intensive use. Methods: To explore the negative consequences of Ecstasy use and to examine the aggressive nature oftentimes seen in many Ecstasy users we employed a case-control study model. We compared, by means of validated psychometric tests, the psychopathological symptoms (BPRS), the aggressiveness (OAS) and the social adjustment (DSM-GAF) of psychotic patients with (n = 23) and without (n = 46) recent user of Ecstasy, during their first psychotic episode and hospitalization. All 23 Ecstasy users were Ecstasy users only. Results: Almost all of the psychotic symptoms were of similar severity in both groups. Blunted affect was milder in users than in non-users, whereas hostility and aggressive behavior was significantly more severe in users than in non-users. Conclusions: psychosis with a high level of aggressiveness and violence constitutes an important ‘side-effect’ that surely runs counter to the expected entactogenic action of Ecstasy. At a patient psycho-educational level, this study suggests that the use of Ecstasy may be counterproductive with respect to user expectations. Full article
Open AccessArticle Perspectives of Community- and Faith-Based Organizations about Partnering with Local Health Departments for Disasters
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2293-2311; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072293
Received: 1 June 2012 / Revised: 19 June 2012 / Accepted: 20 June 2012 / Published: 28 June 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (82 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Public health emergency planners can better perform their mission if they develop and maintain effective relationships with community- and faith-based organizations in their jurisdictions. This qualitative study presents six themes that emerged from 20 key informant interviews representing a wide range of [...] Read more.
Public health emergency planners can better perform their mission if they develop and maintain effective relationships with community- and faith-based organizations in their jurisdictions. This qualitative study presents six themes that emerged from 20 key informant interviews representing a wide range of American community- and faith-based organizations across different types of jurisdictions, organizational types, and missions. This research seeks to provide local health department public health emergency planners with tools to assess and improve their inter-organizational community relationships. The themes identified address the importance of community engagement, leadership, intergroup dynamics and communication, and resources. Community- and faith-based organizations perceive that they are underutilized or untapped resources with respect to public health emergencies and disasters. One key reason for this is that many public health departments limit their engagement with community- and faith-based organizations to a one-way “push” model for information dissemination, rather than engaging them in other ways or improving their capacity. Beyond a reprioritization of staff time, few other resources would be required. From the perspective of community- and faith-based organizations, the quality of relationships seems to matter more than discrete resources provided by such ties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparedness and Emergency Response)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Cold Air on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Rat
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2312-2325; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072312
Received: 16 May 2012 / Revised: 14 June 2012 / Accepted: 21 June 2012 / Published: 29 June 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (596 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to explore possible potential implications of cold air in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in rats. Healthy Wistar rats were exposed to artificial cold air under laboratory conditions, and their systolic blood pressure, heart rate, vasoconstriction, CVD [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to explore possible potential implications of cold air in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in rats. Healthy Wistar rats were exposed to artificial cold air under laboratory conditions, and their systolic blood pressure, heart rate, vasoconstriction, CVD risk factors, and myocardial damage indicators after cold air exposure were determined and evaluated. Systolic blood pressure, whole blood viscosity, and plasma level of norepinephrine, angiotensinⅡ, low density lipoprotein, total cholesterol, and fibrinogen in treatment groups increased significantly compared with control groups. No significant variations were found in plasma Mb and cTnT and myocardial tissue between the treatment and control groups. Results indicate that: (1) higher levels of SBP, WBV and LDL/HDL, total cholesterol (TC), and FG in blood may indicate higher CVD risks during cold air exposure; (2) cold air may exert continuous impacts on SBP and other CVD risk factors. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effects of Delta-Aminolevulinic Acid Dehydratase Polymorphisms on Susceptibility to Lead in Han Subjects from Southwestern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2326-2338; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072326
Received: 7 May 2012 / Revised: 8 June 2012 / Accepted: 25 June 2012 / Published: 2 July 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (137 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study is to determine the distribution of the delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) polymorphism among Han subjects of the Chinese population and to study whether the polymorphism in the ALAD gene modifies the toxicity of lead in lead-exposed workers. For this purpose [...] Read more.
This study is to determine the distribution of the delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) polymorphism among Han subjects of the Chinese population and to study whether the polymorphism in the ALAD gene modifies the toxicity of lead in lead-exposed workers. For this purpose we conducted a cross-sectional study on 156 Chinese workers who were exposed to lead in lead-acid battery and electric-flex manufacturing plants. The authors found that the allele frequencies of ALAD1 and ALAD2 were 0.9679 and 0.0321, respectively. Workers with the ALAD 1-1 genotype were associated with higher blood lead levels than those with the ALAD 1-2 genotype. Blood and urine lead levels were much higher in storage battery workers than in cable workers. The self-conscious symptom survey showed that the incidences of debilitation, amnesia and dreaminess were much higher in those had more than five years of tenure or contact with lead on the job within the ALAD 1-1 genotype subgroup. Laboratory examinations showed that serum iron and zinc levels in workers’ with the ALAD 1-2 genotype were higher than those with the ALAD 1-1 genotype, especially in storage-battery workers. Correlation analysis indicated that the blood lead level negatively correlated with serum calcium, iron and zinc level. The data of this study suggest that the ALAD gene polymorphism and serum ion levels may modify the kinetics of lead in blood. Therefore, the authors recommend that an adequate intake of dietary calcium, iron, and zinc or the calcium, iron, and zinc supplementation should be prescribed to Chinese lead exposed workers. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Cluster Randomized Trial to Evaluate a Health Education Programme “Living with Sun at School”
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2345-2361; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072345
Received: 4 May 2012 / Revised: 13 June 2012 / Accepted: 20 June 2012 / Published: 2 July 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (154 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over-exposure to sunlight increases the risk of skin cancers, particularly when exposure occurs during childhood. School teachers can play an active role in providing an education programme that can help prevent this. “Living with the Sun,” (LWS) is a sun safety education program for school children based on a handy guide for classroom activities designed to improve children’s knowledge, but moreover to positively modify their sun safety attitudes and behaviours. The goal of our study was to determine the effectiveness of this programme by examining children’s knowledge, attitude and sun exposure behaviours prior to and after the completion of the programme. We carried out a cluster randomised trial in which the classes were randomly assigned to one of two groups; one using the LWS programme and another that didn’t, serving as the control. Data was collected before completion of the programme and an additional three times in the year after completion. The 70 participating classes (1,365 schoolchildren) were distributed throughout France. Statistical analysis confirmed that knowledge of sun risk increased significantly in the LWS classes (p < 0.001). Both groups positively changed their attitudes when considering the best sun protection, but the LWS group proved to consistently be more convinced (p = 0.04). After the summer holidays, differences between the two groups decreased throughout the year but stayed globally significant. We also observed some significant behaviour modification during the holidays. For instance, the LWS group applied sunscreen more frequently than the control group, and were more likely to wear a hat (72% versus 59%) and use a sun umbrella on the beach (75% versus 64%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sunbathing Habits and Skin Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle Risk Perception and Occupational Accidents: A Study of Gas Station Workers in Southern Brazil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2362-2377; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072362
Received: 4 May 2012 / Revised: 9 June 2012 / Accepted: 27 June 2012 / Published: 3 July 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (130 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study aimed to identify the perceptions of gas station workers about physical, chemical, biological and physiological risk factors to which they are exposed in their work environment; identify types of occupational accidents involving gas station workers and; report the development of a socioenvironmental intervention as a tool for risk communication to gas station workers. A quantitative study was performed with 221 gas station workers in southern Brazil between October and December 2010. Data collection was performed between October to December 2010 via structured interviews. The data were analyzed using SPSS 19.0. The participants identified the following risk types: chemical (93.7%), physical (88.2%), physiological (64.3%) and biological (62.4%). In this sample, 94.1% of gas station workers reported occupational accidents, and 74.2% reported fuel contact with the eyes (p < 0.05). It is concluded that workers perceive risks, and that they tend to relate risks with the occurrence of occupational accidents as an indicator of the dangerous nature of their work environment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Knowledge, Behaviour and Sun Protection Practices among Health Services Vocational School Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2378-2385; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072378
Received: 16 May 2012 / Revised: 27 June 2012 / Accepted: 28 June 2012 / Published: 4 July 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (106 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There has been a significant increase in the cases of skin cancer throughout the world in the last few decades. Although the mortality rate of skin cancer is relatively low, its impact on other health aspects is high and the treatment of undesired aesthetic damage is costly. According to disability-adjusted life year rates (DALY), 1.5 million days are estimated to be lost from people’s lives every year worldwide due to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The purpose of this study was to raise sun health awareness levels among health services vocational school students. A total of 414 students were included in the analysis. A questionnaire form was used to evaluate knowledge, attitudes and behaviours among the survey sample. The average level of knowledge concerning the effects of the sun was found to be 8.64 ± 2.5 out of 15 points. All socio-demographic factors were analysed, but the only significant variables found were age and the possible presence of skin cancer within the immediate family (p < 0.05). Full article
Open AccessArticle Vitamin D Beliefs and Associations with Sunburns, Sun Exposure, and Sun Protection
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2386-2395; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072386
Received: 30 April 2012 / Revised: 12 June 2012 / Accepted: 28 June 2012 / Published: 4 July 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (56 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main objective of this study was to examine certain beliefs about vitamin D and associations with sun exposure, sun protection behaviors, and sunburns. A total of 3,922 lifeguards, pool managers, and parents completed a survey in 2006 about beliefs regarding vitamin [...] Read more.
The main objective of this study was to examine certain beliefs about vitamin D and associations with sun exposure, sun protection behaviors, and sunburns. A total of 3,922 lifeguards, pool managers, and parents completed a survey in 2006 about beliefs regarding vitamin D and sun-related behaviors. Multivariate ordinal regression analyses and linear regression analysis were used to examine associations of beliefs and other variables. Results revealed that Non-Caucasian lifeguards and pool managers were less likely to agree that they needed to go out in the sun to get enough vitamin D. Lifeguards and parents who were non-Caucasian were less likely to report that sunlight helped the body to produce vitamin D. A stronger belief about the need to go out in the sun to get enough vitamin D predicted more sun exposure for lifeguards. For parents, a stronger belief that they can get enough vitamin D from foods predicted greater sun protection and a stronger belief that sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D predicted lower sun exposure. This study provides information regarding vitamin D beliefs and their association with certain sun related behaviors across different demographic groups that can inform education efforts about vitamin D and sun protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sunbathing Habits and Skin Cancer)
Open AccessArticle First Report of a Toxic Nodularia spumigena (Nostocales/ Cyanobacteria) Bloom in Sub-Tropical Australia. I. Phycological and Public Health Investigations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2396-2411; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072396
Received: 11 May 2012 / Revised: 12 June 2012 / Accepted: 27 June 2012 / Published: 5 July 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cyanobacterial blooms represent one of the most conspicuous and widespread waterborne microbial hazards to human and ecosystem health. Investigation of a cyanobacterial bloom in a shallow brackish water recreational cable ski lake in south-eastern Queensland, Australia revealed the dominance of the toxigenic [...] Read more.
Cyanobacterial blooms represent one of the most conspicuous and widespread waterborne microbial hazards to human and ecosystem health. Investigation of a cyanobacterial bloom in a shallow brackish water recreational cable ski lake in south-eastern Queensland, Australia revealed the dominance of the toxigenic species Nodularia spumigena. The bloom spanned three months, during which time cell concentrations exceeded human guideline thresholds for recreational risk, and concentrations of the hepatotoxic cyanotoxin nodularin exceeded 200 µg L−1. Cyanotoxin origin and identification was confirmed by amplification of the ndaF-specific PCR product and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. From the limited data available leading up to, and throughout the bloom, it was not possible to establish the set of causative factors responsible for its occurrence. However a combination of factors including salinity, hydraulic retention time and nutrient status associated with an extended period of drought are likely to have contributed. This was the first known occurrence of this species in bloom proportions from sub-tropical Australia and as such represents a hitherto uncharacterized risk to human and ecosystem health. It highlights the need for adaptive monitoring regimes to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the potentially toxic cyanobacteria likely to inhabit any given region. Such monitoring needs to recognize that cyanobacteria have a significant capacity for range expansion that has been facilitated by recent changes in global climate. Full article
Open AccessArticle First Report of a Toxic Nodularia spumigena (Nostocales/ Cyanobacteria) Bloom in Sub-Tropical Australia. II. Bioaccumulation of Nodularin in Isolated Populations of Mullet (Mugilidae)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2412-2443; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072412
Received: 24 April 2012 / Revised: 19 June 2012 / Accepted: 20 June 2012 / Published: 5 July 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (417 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fish collected after a mass mortality at an artificial lake in south-east Queensland, Australia, were examined for the presence of nodularin as the lake had earlier been affected by a Nodularia bloom. Methanol extracts of muscle, liver, peritoneal and stomach contents were [...] Read more.
Fish collected after a mass mortality at an artificial lake in south-east Queensland, Australia, were examined for the presence of nodularin as the lake had earlier been affected by a Nodularia bloom. Methanol extracts of muscle, liver, peritoneal and stomach contents were analysed by HPLC and tandem mass spectrometry; histological examination was conducted on livers from captured mullet. Livers of sea mullet (Mugil cephalus) involved in the fish kill contained high concentrations of nodularin (median 43.6 mg/kg, range 40.8–47.8 mg/kg dry weight; n = 3) and the toxin was also present in muscle tissue (median 44.0 μg/kg, range 32.3–56.8 μg/kg dry weight). Livers of fish occupying higher trophic levels accumulated much lower concentrations. Mullet captured from the lake 10 months later were also found to have high hepatic nodularin levels. DNA sequencing of mullet specimens revealed two species inhabiting the study lake: M. cephalus and an unidentified mugilid. The two mullet species appear to differ in their exposure and/or uptake of nodularin, with M. cephalus demonstrating higher tissue concentrations. The feeding ecology of mullet would appear to explain the unusual capacity of these fish to concentrate nodularin in their livers; these findings may have public health implications for mullet fisheries and aquaculture production where toxic cyanobacteria blooms affect source waters. This report incorporates a systematic review of the literature on nodularin measured in edible fish, shellfish and crustaceans. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Physical Activity Associated with Public Transport Use—A Review and Modelling of Potential Benefits
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2454-2478; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072454
Received: 11 May 2012 / Revised: 6 June 2012 / Accepted: 5 July 2012 / Published: 12 July 2012
Cited by 64 | PDF Full-text (178 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Active travel, particularly walking and cycling, has been recommended because of the health benefits associated with increased physical activity. Use of public transport generally involves some walking to bus stops or train stations. This paper is a systematic review of how much [...] Read more.
Active travel, particularly walking and cycling, has been recommended because of the health benefits associated with increased physical activity. Use of public transport generally involves some walking to bus stops or train stations. This paper is a systematic review of how much time is spent in physical activity among adults using public transport. It also explores the potential effect on the population level of physical activity if inactive adults in NSW, Australia, increased their walking through increased use of public transport. Of 1,733 articles, 27 met the search criteria, and nine reported on absolute measures of physical activity associated with public transport. A further 18 papers reported on factors associated with physical activity as part of public transport use. A range of 8–33 additional minutes of walking was identified from this systematic search as being attributable to public transport use. Using “bootstrapping” statistical modelling, if 20% of all inactive adults increased their walking by only 16 minutes a day for five days a week, we predict there would be a substantial 6.97% increase in the proportion of the adult population considered “sufficiently active”. More minutes walked per day, or a greater uptake of public transport by inactive adults would likely lead to significantly greater increases in the adult population considered sufficiently active. Full article
Open AccessArticle Using Bioinformatic Approaches to Identify Pathways Targeted by Human Leukemogens
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2479-2503; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072479
Received: 18 May 2012 / Revised: 25 June 2012 / Accepted: 26 June 2012 / Published: 12 July 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2510 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We have applied bioinformatic approaches to identify pathways common to chemical leukemogens and to determine whether leukemogens could be distinguished from non-leukemogenic carcinogens. From all known and probable carcinogens classified by IARC and NTP, we identified 35 carcinogens that were associated with [...] Read more.
We have applied bioinformatic approaches to identify pathways common to chemical leukemogens and to determine whether leukemogens could be distinguished from non-leukemogenic carcinogens. From all known and probable carcinogens classified by IARC and NTP, we identified 35 carcinogens that were associated with leukemia risk in human studies and 16 non-leukemogenic carcinogens. Using data on gene/protein targets available in the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD) for 29 of the leukemogens and 11 of the non-leukemogenic carcinogens, we analyzed for enrichment of all 250 human biochemical pathways in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database. The top pathways targeted by the leukemogens included metabolism of xenobiotics by cytochrome P450, glutathione metabolism, neurotrophin signaling pathway, apoptosis, MAPK signaling, Toll-like receptor signaling and various cancer pathways. The 29 leukemogens formed 18 distinct clusters comprising 1 to 3 chemicals that did not correlate with known mechanism of action or with structural similarity as determined by 2D Tanimoto coefficients in the PubChem database. Unsupervised clustering and one-class support vector machines, based on the pathway data, were unable to distinguish the 29 leukemogens from 11 non-leukemogenic known and probable IARC carcinogens. However, using two-class random forests to estimate leukemogen and non-leukemogen patterns, we estimated a 76% chance of distinguishing a random leukemogen/non-leukemogen pair from each other. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leukemia Arising from Chemical Exposures and Chemotherapeutic Drugs)
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Open AccessArticle Global Adult Tobacco Survey Data as a Tool to Monitor the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) Implementation: The Brazilian Case
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2520-2536; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072520
Received: 4 May 2012 / Revised: 6 July 2012 / Accepted: 12 July 2012 / Published: 23 July 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (131 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) was conducted in Brazil to provide data on tobacco use in order to monitor the WHO FCTC implementation in the country. It was carried out in 2008 using an international standardized methodology. The instrument included questions [...] Read more.
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) was conducted in Brazil to provide data on tobacco use in order to monitor the WHO FCTC implementation in the country. It was carried out in 2008 using an international standardized methodology. The instrument included questions about tobacco use prevalence, cessation, secondhand smoke, knowledge, attitudes, media and advertising. Weighted analysis was used to obtain estimates. A total of 39,425 interviews were conducted. The prevalence of current tobacco use was 17.5%, (22.0%, men; 13.3%, women). The majority of users were smokers (17.2%) and their percentage was higher in rural areas (20.4%) than in urban areas (16.6%). About 20% of individuals reported having been exposed to tobacco smoke in public places. Over 70% of respondents said they had noticed anti-smoking information in several media and around 65% of smokers said they had considered quitting because of warning labels. About 30% of respondents had noticed cigarette advertising at selling points and 96% recognized tobacco use as a risk factor for serious diseases. Data in this report can be used as baseline for evaluation of new tobacco control approaches in Brazil, vis-à-vis WHO FCTC demand reduction measures. Full article
Open AccessArticle Commensal Pseudomonas Species Isolated from Wastewater and Freshwater Milieus in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, as Reservoir of Antibiotic Resistant Determinants
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2537-2549; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072537
Received: 24 May 2012 / Revised: 12 July 2012 / Accepted: 12 July 2012 / Published: 23 July 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (114 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pseudomonas species are opportunistic pathogens with implications in a wide range of diseases including cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anaemia. Because of their status as multidrug resistant (MDR) and extremely drug resistant (XDR) bacteria Pseudomonas species represent a threat to public health. [...] Read more.
Pseudomonas species are opportunistic pathogens with implications in a wide range of diseases including cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anaemia. Because of their status as multidrug resistant (MDR) and extremely drug resistant (XDR) bacteria Pseudomonas species represent a threat to public health. Prevalence, antibiogram and associated antibiotic resistant genes of Pseudomonas species isolated from freshwater and mixed liquor environments in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa were assessed. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based technique was used to identify the isolates and screen for antibiotic resistant genes. The result shows occurrence of Pseudomonas spp. in freshwater and mixed liquor as follows: 71.42% and 37.5% (P. putida), 14.28% and 31.25% (P. flourescens), 7.14% and 6.25% (P. aeruginosa) and 7.14% and 25% for other Pseudomonas species respectively. Disk diffusion antibiogram of the Pseudomonas isolates from the two locations showed 100% resistance to penicillin, oxacillin, clindamycin, rifampicin and 100% susceptibility to ciprofloxacin and gentamicin with varied percentage resistances to cephalothin, nalidixic acid, tetracycline, and ampicillin. The blaTEM antibiotic resistant gene was detected in 12.5% of P. putida, 57.14% of P. fluorescens, 100% P. aeruginosa and 40% in other Pseudomonas species. Similarly, Integrons conserved segment were detected in 12.5% of P. putida, 57.14% of P. fluorescens, 100% of P. aeruginosa and 40% of other Pseudomonas species. The presence of blaTEM gene and integrons conserved segment in some of the isolates is worrisome and suggest Pseudomonas species as important reservoirs of multidrug resistance genes in the Eastern Cape Province environment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Smoking Health Professional Student: An Attitudinal Challenge for Health Promotion?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2550-2561; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072550
Received: 25 June 2012 / Revised: 16 July 2012 / Accepted: 16 July 2012 / Published: 23 July 2012
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (111 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tobacco is a major preventable cause of premature morbidity and mortality. Health professionals are uniquely positioned to provide targeted interventions and should be empowered to provide cessation counselling that influence patient smoking. A cross-sectional national survey was administered to all third year [...] Read more.
Tobacco is a major preventable cause of premature morbidity and mortality. Health professionals are uniquely positioned to provide targeted interventions and should be empowered to provide cessation counselling that influence patient smoking. A cross-sectional national survey was administered to all third year students in four disciplines at the University of Malta. The Global Health Professional Student Survey (GHPSS) questionnaire was distributed to collect standardised demographic, smoking prevalence, behavioural, and attitudinal data. 81.9% completed the questionnaire (n = 173/211). A positive significant association between tobacco smoke exposure at home and current smoking status was identified. Non-smokers regarded anti-tobacco policies more favourably than smokers, being more likely to agree with banning of tobacco sales to adolescents (OR 3.6; 95% CI: 2.5–5.3; p ≤ 0.001); and with a smoking ban in all public places (OR 8.9; 95% CI: 6.1–13.1; p ≤ 0.001). Non-smokers favoured a role for health professionals in promoting smoking cessation (OR 5.1; 95% CI: 3.1–8.5; p ≤ 0.001). Knowledge of antidepressants as tools for smoking cessation was also associated with a perceived role for skilled health professionals in cessation counselling (OR 4.9; 95% CI: 1.8–13.3; p = 0.002). Smoking negatively influences beliefs and attitudes of students toward tobacco control. There is a need to adopt a standard undergraduate curriculum containing comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation training to improve their effectiveness as role models. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Secondary Leukemia Associated with the Anti-Cancer Agent, Etoposide, a Topoisomerase II Inhibitor
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2444-2453; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072444
Received: 16 May 2012 / Revised: 27 June 2012 / Accepted: 28 June 2012 / Published: 10 July 2012
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Abstract
Etoposide is an anticancer agent, which is successfully and extensively used in treatments for various types of cancers in children and adults. However, due to the increases in survival and overall cure rate of cancer patients, interest has arisen on the potential [...] Read more.
Etoposide is an anticancer agent, which is successfully and extensively used in treatments for various types of cancers in children and adults. However, due to the increases in survival and overall cure rate of cancer patients, interest has arisen on the potential risk of this agent for therapy-related secondary leukemia. Topoisomerase II inhibitors, including etoposide and teniposide, frequently cause rearrangements involving the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) gene on chromosome 11q23, which is associated with secondary leukemia. The prognosis is extremely poor for leukemias associated with rearrangements in the MLL gene, including etoposide-related secondary leukemias. It is of great importance to gain precise knowledge of the clinical aspects of these diseases and the mechanism underlying the leukemogenesis induced by this agent to ensure correct assessments of current and future therapy strategies. Here, I will review current knowledge regarding the clinical aspects of etoposide-related secondary leukemia, some probable mechanisms, and strategies for treating etoposide-induced leukemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leukemia Arising from Chemical Exposures and Chemotherapeutic Drugs)
Open AccessReview Suicide among War Veterans
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2504-2519; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072504
Received: 19 June 2012 / Revised: 8 July 2012 / Accepted: 11 July 2012 / Published: 19 July 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (128 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Studies aiming to identify if war veterans are at higher risk of suicide have often produced inconsistent results; this could be due to the complexity of comparisons and different methodological approaches. It should be noted that this contingent has many risk factors, [...] Read more.
Studies aiming to identify if war veterans are at higher risk of suicide have often produced inconsistent results; this could be due to the complexity of comparisons and different methodological approaches. It should be noted that this contingent has many risk factors, such as stressful exposures, wounds, brain trauma and pain syndrome. Most recent observations confirm that veterans are really more likely to die of suicide as compared to the general population; they are also more likely to experience suicidal ideation and suffer from mental health problems. Suicides are more frequent in those who develop PTSD, depression and comorbid states due to war exposure. Combat stress and its’ frequency may be an important factor leading to suicide within the frame of the stress-vulnerability model. According to this model, the effects of stress may interact with social factors, interpersonal relations and psychological variables producing suicidal tendencies. Modern understanding of stress-vulnerability mechanisms based on genetic predispositions, early life development, level of exposure to stress and stress-reactivity together with interpersonal aspects may help to build more effective suicide prevention programs based on universal/selective/indicated prevention principles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)

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Open AccessCommentary Comment on the “Ground Water Chemistry Changes before Major Earthquakes and Possible Effects on Animals”, by R. A. Grant, T. Halliday, W. P. Balderer, F. Leuenberger, M. Newcomer, G. Cyr and F. T. Freund. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2011, 8, 1936–1956
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2339-2342; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072339
Received: 2 April 2012 / Revised: 6 June 2012 / Accepted: 26 June 2012 / Published: 2 July 2012
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Abstract Here, we suggest that electromagnetic emissions before rupture may be the mechanism for the explanation of abnormal behavior of animals before earthquakes. Full article
Open AccessReply Reply to “Comment on the ‘Ground Water Chemistry Changes before Major Earthquakes and Possible Effects on Animals’, by R. A. Grant, T. Halliday, W. P. Balderer, F. Leuenberger, M. Newcomer, G. Cyr and F. T. Freund. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2011, 8, 1936–1956” from Friedemann Freund, Rachel Grant and Co-Authors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(7), 2343-2344; doi:10.3390/ijerph9072343
Received: 4 May 2012 / Accepted: 26 June 2012 / Published: 2 July 2012
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Abstract
We fully agree with Dr. Vassiliki Katsika-Tsigourakou that there is more than one possible explanation for the wide range of electromagnetic (EM) field bioeffects reported in the literature. In order to generate EM fields electric currents need to flow that oscillate. Currents [...] Read more.
We fully agree with Dr. Vassiliki Katsika-Tsigourakou that there is more than one possible explanation for the wide range of electromagnetic (EM) field bioeffects reported in the literature. In order to generate EM fields electric currents need to flow that oscillate. Currents that flow through the ground also generate electrical potentials. Such potentials can lead to electrochemical reactions at ground-water interfaces such as the demonstrated oxidation of water to hydrogen peroxide [1]. EM emissions and electrochemical reactions are therefore manifestations of the same physical process in the natural environment. [...] Full article

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