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Special Issue "Proceedings from the Seventh International Symposium on Recent Advances in Environmental Health Research"

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A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2010)

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Seventh International Symposium on Recent Advances in Environmental Health Research
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2565-2568; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062565
Received: 24 April 2011 / Accepted: 25 April 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (72 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is dedicated to the publication of selected papers presented at the Seventh International Symposium on Recent Advances in Environmental Health Research. The Symposium was organized by Jackson State University (JSU) from
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This special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is dedicated to the publication of selected papers presented at the Seventh International Symposium on Recent Advances in Environmental Health Research. The Symposium was organized by Jackson State University (JSU) from September 12–15, 2010 at the Marriott Hotel in Jackson, Mississippi. It was built upon the overwhelming success of previous symposia hosted by JSU and co-sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) RCMI-Center for Environmental Health, the U.S. Department of Education Title III Graduate Education Program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the JSU Office of Academic Affairs, and the JSU Office of Research and Federal Relations. [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Coliform and Metal Contamination in Lago de Colina, a Recreational Water Body in Chihuahua State, Mexico
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2386-2400; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062386
Received: 23 November 2010 / Revised: 22 February 2011 / Accepted: 24 February 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (337 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Lago de Colina (Colina Lake) is located about 180 km south of the city of Chihuahua (Mexico), and during the Semana Santa (Holy Week) vacation period its recreational use is high. The objective of this study was to quantify coliform and heavy metal
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Lago de Colina (Colina Lake) is located about 180 km south of the city of Chihuahua (Mexico), and during the Semana Santa (Holy Week) vacation period its recreational use is high. The objective of this study was to quantify coliform and heavy metal levels in this water body before and after the Holy Week vacation period in 2010. Twenty sampling points were randomly selected and two water samples were collected at each point near the surface (0.30 m) and at 1 m depth. After the Holy Week vacation the same twenty points were sampled at the same depths. Therefore, a total 80 water samples were analyzed for fecal and total coliforms and levels of the following metals: Al, As, B, Ca, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb, Se, Si and Zn. It was hypothesized that domestic tourism contaminated this water body, and as a consequence, could have a negative impact on visitor health. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) study was performed for each element and its interactions considering a factorial design where factor A was sample date and factor B was sample depth. Fecal coliforms were only detected at eight sampling points in the first week, but after Holy Week, both fecal and total coliforms were detected at most sampling points. The concentrations of Al, B, Na, Ni and Se were only statistically different for factor A. The levels of Cr, Cu, K and Mg was different for both date and depth, but the dual factor interaction was not significant. The amount of Ca and Zn was statistically different due to date, depth and their interaction. No significant differences were found for any factor or the interaction for the elements As, Fe and Mn. Because of the consistent results, it is concluded that local tourism is contaminating the recreational area of Colina Lake, Chihuahua, Mexico. Full article
Open AccessArticle Selected Morphological Characteristics, Lead Uptake and Phytochelatin Synthesis by Coffeeweed (Sesbania exaltata Raf.) Grown in Elevated Levels of Lead-Contaminated Soil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2401-2417; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062401
Received: 23 November 2010 / Revised: 1 March 2011 / Accepted: 1 March 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (246 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Remediation of lead-contaminated soil is significant due to the inherent toxicity of lead (Pb), and the quantity of Pb discharged into the soil. One of the most cost-effective and environmentally sound technologies for the cleanup of metal-contaminated soils is through the use of
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Remediation of lead-contaminated soil is significant due to the inherent toxicity of lead (Pb), and the quantity of Pb discharged into the soil. One of the most cost-effective and environmentally sound technologies for the cleanup of metal-contaminated soils is through the use of plants. While much is known about the ecological evolution of metal tolerance in plants, the physiological, biochemical, and genetic mechanisms of tolerance is not well understood in the majority of resistant ecotypes such as the legume, Sesbania exaltata Raf. This study was therefore conducted to determine the morphological and physiological characteristics of Sesbania that had been grown in Pb-contaminated soil, and to assess phytochelatin synthesis as a way of elucidating its relative Pb tolerance. Sesbania plants were grown in the greenhouse and exposed to various levels of Pb: 0, 1000, and 2000 mg Pb/kg soil. Plants were harvested after 6, 8, and 10 weeks of growth and morphological characteristics (e.g., root and shoot biomass, root length, number of root nodules, shoot height, number of leaves, number of flowers, number and length of pods) were recorded. Generally, there were no statistical differences in morphological characteristics among the treatments. Further, no discernible phytotoxic symptoms, such as chlorosis, wilting, or necrotic lesions, in neither roots nor shoots were observed. We concluded that while Sesbania did not fit the model of a hyperaccumulator, the plant was, nonetheless, tolerant to elevated Pb levels. Our assessment for phytochelatin synthesis as a tolerance mechanism was inconclusive and further investigations of tolerance mechanisms are warranted. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Applications of GIS in the Analysis of the Impacts of Human Activities on South Texas Watersheds
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2418-2446; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062418
Received: 23 November 2010 / Revised: 15 June 2011 / Accepted: 20 June 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (821 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With water resource planning assuming greater importance in environmental protection efforts, analyzing the health of agricultural watersheds using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) becomes essential for decision-makers in Southern Texas. Within the area, there exist numerous threats from conflicting land uses. These include the
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With water resource planning assuming greater importance in environmental protection efforts, analyzing the health of agricultural watersheds using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) becomes essential for decision-makers in Southern Texas. Within the area, there exist numerous threats from conflicting land uses. These include the conversion of land formerly designated for agricultural purposes to other uses. Despite current efforts, anthropogenic factors are greatly contributing to the degradation of watersheds. Additionally, the activities of waste water facilities located in some of the counties, rising populations, and other socioeconomic variables are negatively impacting the quality of water in the agricultural watersheds. To map the location of these stressors spatially and the extent of their impacts across time, the paper adopts a mix scale method of temporal spatial analysis consisting of simple descriptive statistics. In terms of objectives, this research provides geo-spatial analysis of the effects of human activities on agricultural watersheds in Southern Texas and the factors fuelling the concerns under the purview of watershed management. The results point to growing ecosystem decline across time and a geographic cluster of counties experiencing environmental stress. Accordingly, the emergence of stressors such as rising population, increased use of fertilizer treatments on farm land, discharges of atmospheric pollutants and the large presence of municipal and industrial waste treatment facilities emitting pathogens and pesticides directly into the agricultural watersheds pose a growing threat to the quality of the watershed ecosystem. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Comparison of HWRF, ARW and NMM Models in Hurricane Katrina (2005) Simulation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2447-2469; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062447
Received: 30 December 2010 / Revised: 15 January 2011 / Accepted: 28 January 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1476 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The life cycle of Hurricane Katrina (2005) was simulated using three different modeling systems of Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model. These are, HWRF (Hurricane WRF) designed specifically for hurricane studies and WRF model with two different dynamic cores as the Advanced
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The life cycle of Hurricane Katrina (2005) was simulated using three different modeling systems of Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model. These are, HWRF (Hurricane WRF) designed specifically for hurricane studies and WRF model with two different dynamic cores as the Advanced Research WRF (ARW) model and the Non-hydrostatic Mesoscale Model (NMM). The WRF model was developed and sourced from National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), incorporating the advances in atmospheric simulation system suitable for a broad range of applications. The HWRF modeling system was developed at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) based on the NMM dynamic core and the physical parameterization schemes specially designed for tropics. A case study of Hurricane Katrina was chosen as it is one of the intense hurricanes that caused severe destruction along the Gulf Coast from central Florida to Texas. ARW, NMM and HWRF models were designed to have two-way interactive nested domains with 27 and 9 km resolutions. The three different models used in this study were integrated for three days starting from 0000 UTC of 27 August 2005 to capture the landfall of hurricane Katrina on 29 August. The initial and time varying lateral boundary conditions were taken from NCEP global FNL (final analysis) data available at 1 degree resolution for ARW and NMM models and from NCEP GFS data at 0.5 degree resolution for HWRF model. The results show that the models simulated the intensification of Hurricane Katrina and the landfall on 29 August 2005 agreeing with the observations. Results from these experiments highlight the superior performance of HWRF model over ARW and NMM models in predicting the track and intensification of Hurricane Katrina. Full article
Open AccessArticle Air Quality Modeling for the Urban Jackson, Mississippi Region Using a High Resolution WRF/Chem Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2470-2490; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062470
Received: 24 November 2010 / Revised: 26 March 2011 / Accepted: 31 March 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, an attempt was made to simulate the air quality with reference to ozone over the Jackson (Mississippi) region using an online WRF/Chem (Weather Research and Forecasting–Chemistry) model. The WRF/Chem model has the advantages of the integration of the meteorological and
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In this study, an attempt was made to simulate the air quality with reference to ozone over the Jackson (Mississippi) region using an online WRF/Chem (Weather Research and Forecasting–Chemistry) model. The WRF/Chem model has the advantages of the integration of the meteorological and chemistry modules with the same computational grid and same physical parameterizations and includes the feedback between the atmospheric chemistry and physical processes. The model was designed to have three nested domains with the inner-most domain covering the study region with a resolution of 1 km. The model was integrated for 48 hours continuously starting from 0000 UTC of 6 June 2006 and the evolution of surface ozone and other precursor pollutants were analyzed. The model simulated atmospheric flow fields and distributions of NO2 and O3 were evaluated for each of the three different time periods. The GIS based spatial distribution maps for ozone, its precursors NO, NO2, CO and HONO and the back trajectories indicate that all the mobile sources in Jackson, Ridgeland and Madison contributing significantly for their formation. The present study demonstrates the applicability of WRF/Chem model to generate quantitative information at high spatial and temporal resolution for the development of decision support systems for air quality regulatory agencies and health administrators. Full article
Open AccessArticle Association of the Joint Effect of Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy and Cancer in African American Women: The Jackson Heart Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2491-2504; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062491
Received: 23 November 2010 / Accepted: 20 December 2010 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (316 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US and in Mississippi. Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer among women, and the underlying pathophysiology remains unknown, especially among African American (AA) women. The study purpose was to examine the
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Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US and in Mississippi. Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer among women, and the underlying pathophysiology remains unknown, especially among African American (AA) women. The study purpose was to examine the joint effect of menopause status (MS) and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on the association with cancers, particularly BC using data from the Jackson Heart Study. The analytic sample consisted of 3202 women between 35 and 84 years of which 73.7% and 22.6% were postmenopausal and on HRT, respectively. There were a total of 190 prevalent cancer cases (5.9%) in the sample with 22.6% breast cancer cases. Menopause (p < 0.0001), but not HRT (p = 0.6402), was independently associated with cancer. Similar results were obtained for BC. BC, cancer, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, prevalent cardiovascular disease, physical activity and certain dietary practices were all significantly associated with the joint effect of menopause and HRT in the unadjusted analyses. The family history of cancer was the only covariate that was significantly associated with cancer in the age-adjusted models. In examining the association of cancer and the joint effect of menopause and HRT, AA women who were menopausal and were not on HRT had a 1.97 (95% CI: 1.15, 3.38) times odds of having cancer compared to pre-menopausal women after adjusting for age; which was attenuated after further adjusting for family history of cancer. Given that the cancer and BC cases were small and key significant associations were attenuated after adjusting for the above mentioned covariates, these findings warrant further investigation in studies with larger sample sizes of cancer (and BC) cases. Full article
Open AccessArticle Relationship between Medication Use and Cardiovascular Disease Health Outcomes in the Jackson Heart Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2505-2515; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062505
Received: 24 November 2010 / Revised: 13 January 2011 / Accepted: 13 January 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Even though some medications have the potential to slow the progress of atherosclerosis and development of CVD, there are many at-risk individuals who continue to resist the benefits that are available by not following the advice of medical professionals. Non-adherence to prescribed drug
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Even though some medications have the potential to slow the progress of atherosclerosis and development of CVD, there are many at-risk individuals who continue to resist the benefits that are available by not following the advice of medical professionals. Non-adherence to prescribed drug regimens is a pervasive medical problem that negatively affects treatment outcomes. Information from standardized interviews of 5301 African Americans participating in the Jackson Heart Study was examined to determine the association between demographic parameters, behavior including adherence to prescribed medical regimens, and health outcomes. Data were also collected at Annual Follow-Up and Surveillance visits. During the two weeks prior to the examination visit, almost 52% of the participants reported taking blood pressure medication, 14% took cholesterol medication, 16% took medication for diabetes, and 19% took blood thinning medication. Of those who did not take the prescribed medications, the reasons given were the following: 47% were in a hurry, too busy, or forgot to take medications; 23% were trying to do without medications; 18% had no money to purchase medications; 19% indicated that the medications made them feel bad; 17% felt that they could not carry out daily functions when taking medications. The African American population can benefit from heightened awareness of the risk factors that are associated with CVD and the benefits of following a prescribed treatment regimen. Unacceptable secondary effects of prescribed medication comprised an important cause of non-compliance. Encouragement of this population to communicate with their healthcare providers to ensure that medication regimens are better tolerated could increase compliance and improve health outcomes. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Mercury Levels in Locally Manufactured Mexican Skin-Lightening Creams
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2516-2523; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062516
Received: 23 November 2010 / Revised: 26 January 2011 / Accepted: 15 February 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (146 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mercury is considered one of the most toxic elements for plants and animals. Nevertheless, in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, whitening creams containing mercury are being manufactured and purchased, despite their obvious health risks. Due to the mass distribution of these
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Mercury is considered one of the most toxic elements for plants and animals. Nevertheless, in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, whitening creams containing mercury are being manufactured and purchased, despite their obvious health risks. Due to the mass distribution of these products, this can be considered a global public health issue. In Mexico, these products are widely available in pharmacies, beauty aid and health stores. They are used for their skin lightening effects. The aim of this work was to analyze the mercury content in some cosmetic whitening creams using the cold vapor technique coupled with atomic absorption spectrometry (CV-AAS). A total of 16 skin-lightening creams from the local market were investigated. No warning information was noted on the packaging. In 10 of the samples, no mercury was detected. The mercury content in six of the samples varied between 878 and 36,000 ppm, despite the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that the limit for mercury in creams should be less than 1 ppm. Skin creams containing mercury are still available and commonly used in Mexico and many developing countries, and their contents are poorly controlled. Full article
Open AccessArticle HIV and Tuberculosis Trends in the United States and Select Sub-Saharan Africa Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2524-2532; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062524
Received: 30 November 2010 / Revised: 31 May 2011 / Accepted: 5 June 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (307 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tuberculosis (TB) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are two catastrophic diseases affecting millions of people worldwide every year; and are considered to be pandemic by the World Health Organization. This study aims to compare the recent trends in TB and HIV in the
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Tuberculosis (TB) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are two catastrophic diseases affecting millions of people worldwide every year; and are considered to be pandemic by the World Health Organization. This study aims to compare the recent trends in TB and HIV in the United States and Sub-Saharan African Countries. Data (incidence, prevalence and death rates of HIV and TB) for the United States, Cameroon, Nigeria, and South Africa were collected from The Joint United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), US Census Bureau and World Health Organization (WHO) databases and analyzed using Statistical Analysis Software (SAS v 9.1). Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was performed to compare the variables of interest between the countries and across time. Results showed that percent rates of TB cases, TB deaths, HIV cases and HIV deaths were significantly different (P < 0.001) among these countries from 1993 to 2006. South Africa had the highest rates of HIV and TB; while US had the lowest rates of both diseases. Tuberculosis and HIV rates for Cameroon and Nigeria were significantly higher when compared to the United States, but were significantly lower when compared to South Africa (P < 0.001). There were significant differences (P < 0.001) in the prevalence of TB and HIV between the United States and the Sub-Saharan African countries, as well as differences within the Sub-Saharan African countries from 1993 to 2006. More analysis needs to be carried out in order to determine the prevalence and incidence of HIV and TB among multiple variables like gender, race, sexual orientation and age to get a comprehensive picture of the trends of HIV and TB. Full article
Open AccessArticle Soil Resources Area Affects Herbivore Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2556-2564; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062556
Received: 8 December 2010 / Revised: 30 December 2010 / Accepted: 31 December 2010 / Published: 23 June 2011
PDF Full-text (350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Soil productivity effects nutritive quality of food plants, growth of humans and animals, and reproductive health of domestic animals. Game-range surveys sometimes poorly explained variations in wildlife populations, but classification of survey data by major soil types improved effectiveness. Our study evaluates possible
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Soil productivity effects nutritive quality of food plants, growth of humans and animals, and reproductive health of domestic animals. Game-range surveys sometimes poorly explained variations in wildlife populations, but classification of survey data by major soil types improved effectiveness. Our study evaluates possible health effects of lower condition and reproductive rates for wild populations of Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman (white-tailed deer) in some physiographic regions of Mississippi. We analyzed condition and reproductive data for 2400 female deer from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks herd health evaluations from 1991–1998. We evaluated age, body mass (Mass), kidney mass, kidney fat mass, number of corpora lutea (CL) and fetuses, as well as fetal ages. Region affected kidney fat index (KFI), which is a body condition index, and numbers of fetuses of adults (P ≤ 0.001). Region affected numbers of CL of adults (P ≤ 0.002). Mass and conception date (CD) were affected (P ≤ 0.001) by region which interacted significantly with age for Mass (P ≤ 0.001) and CD (P < 0.04). Soil region appears to be a major factor influencing physical characteristics of female deer. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Antioxidative and Chemopreventive Properties of Vernonia amygdalina and Garcinia biflavonoid
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 2533-2555; doi:10.3390/ijerph8062533
Received: 27 November 2010 / Revised: 12 January 2011 / Accepted: 13 January 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 46 | PDF Full-text (403 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, considerable attention has been focused on dietary and medicinal phytochemicals that inhibit, reverse or retard diseases caused by oxidative and inflammatory processes. Vernonia amygdalina is a perennial herb belonging to the Asteraceae family. Extracts of the plant have been used in various
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Recently, considerable attention has been focused on dietary and medicinal phytochemicals that inhibit, reverse or retard diseases caused by oxidative and inflammatory processes. Vernonia amygdalina is a perennial herb belonging to the Asteraceae family. Extracts of the plant have been used in various folk medicines as remedies against helminthic, protozoal and bacterial infections with scientific support for these claims. Phytochemicals such as saponins and alkaloids, terpenes, steroids, coumarins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, xanthones, anthraquinones, edotides and sesquiterpenes have been extracted and isolated from Vernonia amygdalina. These compounds elicit various biological effects including cancer chemoprevention. Garcinia kola (Guttiferae) seed, known as “bitter kola”, plays an important role in African ethnomedicine and traditional hospitality. It is used locally to treat illnesses like colds, bronchitis, bacterial and viral infections and liver diseases. A number of useful phytochemicals have been isolated from the seed and the most prominent of them is the Garcinia bioflavonoids mixture called kolaviron. It has well-defined structure and an array of biological activities including antioxidant, antidiabetic, antigenotoxic and hepatoprotective properties. The chemopreventive properties of Vernonia amygdalina and Garcinia biflavonoids have been attributed to their abilities to scavenge free radicals, induce detoxification, inhibit stress response proteins and interfere with DNA binding activities of some transcription factors. Full article

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