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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 6, Issue 8 (August 2009) – 15 articles , Pages 2090-2331

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1549 KiB  
Article
Morphological Deformities as Biomarkers in Fish from Contaminated Rivers in Taiwan
by Peter Lin Sun, William E. Hawkins, Robin M. Overstreet and Nancy J. Brown-Peterson
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2307-2331; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082307 - 21 Aug 2009
Cited by 64 | Viewed by 14625
Abstract
Tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) were collected seasonally from four contaminated rivers in southwestern Taiwan for studies of morphological deformities that could be used as biomarkers of contamination. Morphological deformities found in tilapia were separated into 15 categories. Overall, the prevalence of deformities such [...] Read more.
Tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) were collected seasonally from four contaminated rivers in southwestern Taiwan for studies of morphological deformities that could be used as biomarkers of contamination. Morphological deformities found in tilapia were separated into 15 categories. Overall, the prevalence of deformities such as split fins, lower lip extension and gill deformities were significantly related to various water quality parameters, including low DO and high ammonium, lead and zinc concentrations. The persistence of tilapia in polluted waters and the development of a suite of morphological deformities suggest that tilapia can be used as sentinels of non-point source pollution in rivers. Full article
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886 KiB  
Article
13C-NMR Assessment of the Pattern of Organic Matter Transformation during Domestic Wastewater Treatment by Autothermal Aerobic Digestion (ATAD)
by Anna V. Piterina, John Barlett and J.Tony Pembroke
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2288-2306; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082288 - 19 Aug 2009
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 14092
Abstract
Abstract: The pattern of biodegradation and the chemical changes occurring in the macromolecular fraction of domestic sludge during autothermal thermophilic aerobic digestion (ATAD) was monitored and characterised via solid-state 13C-NMR CP-MAS. Major indexes such as aromaticity, hydrophobicity and alkyl/O-alkyl ratios calculated for [...] Read more.
Abstract: The pattern of biodegradation and the chemical changes occurring in the macromolecular fraction of domestic sludge during autothermal thermophilic aerobic digestion (ATAD) was monitored and characterised via solid-state 13C-NMR CP-MAS. Major indexes such as aromaticity, hydrophobicity and alkyl/O-alkyl ratios calculated for the ATAD processed biosolids were compared by means of these values to corresponding indexes reported for sludges of different origin such as manures, soil organic matter and certain types of compost. Given that this is the first time that these techniques have been applied to ATAD sludge, the data indicates that long-chain aliphatics are easily utilized by the microbial populations as substrates for metabolic activities at all stages of aerobic digestion and serve as a key substrate for the temperature increase, which in turn results in sludge sterilization. The ATAD biosolids following treatment had a prevalence of O-alkyl domains, a low aromaticity index (10.4%) and an alkyl/O-alkyl ratio of 0.48 while the hydrophobicity index of the sludge decreased from 1.12 to 0.62 during the treatment. These results have important implications for the evolution of new ATAD modalities particularly in relation to dewatering and the future use of ATAD processed biosolids as a fertilizer, particularly with respect to hydrological impacts on the soil behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)
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84 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Socioeconomic and Environmental Determinants on Health and Obesity: A West Virginia Case Study
by Anura Amarasinghe, Gerard D’Souza, Cheryl Brown, Hyungna Oh and Tatiana Borisova
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2271-2287; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082271 - 19 Aug 2009
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 17372
Abstract
A recursive system of ordered self assessed health together with BRFSS data were used to investigate health and obesity in the Appalachian state of West Virginia. Implications of unobserved heterogeneity and endogeneity of lifestyle outcomes on health were investigated. Obesity was found to [...] Read more.
A recursive system of ordered self assessed health together with BRFSS data were used to investigate health and obesity in the Appalachian state of West Virginia. Implications of unobserved heterogeneity and endogeneity of lifestyle outcomes on health were investigated. Obesity was found to be an endogenous lifestyle outcome associated with impaired health status. Risk of obesity is found to increase at a decreasing rate with per capita income and age. Intervention measures which stimulate human capital development, diet-disease knowledge and careful land use planning may improve health and obesity outcomes in Appalachia in particular and rural America in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Economics)
64 KiB  
Article
Chronic Disease Management in Sub-Saharan Africa: Whose Business Is It?
by Alexander Bischoff, Tetanye Ekoe, Nicolas Perone, Slim Slama and Louis Loutan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2258-2270; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082258 - 14 Aug 2009
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 13554
Abstract
Public health specialists and clinicians alike agree that Humanity faces a global pandemic of chronic diseases in the 21st century. In this article we discuss the implications of this pandemic on another global issue, the health workforce. Because both issues are particularly [...] Read more.
Public health specialists and clinicians alike agree that Humanity faces a global pandemic of chronic diseases in the 21st century. In this article we discuss the implications of this pandemic on another global issue, the health workforce. Because both issues are particularly acute in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), we will focus on this region and use Cameroon as a case in point. We first gauge the epidemic of chronic conditions in SSA. We then discuss the implications of chronic conditions for the reshaping of health systems and the health workforce. We conclude by making a strong case for the building up and strengthening the health workforce, insisting on the crucial role of nurses, their training, and involvement in chronic disease management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nursing and Public Health)
205 KiB  
Article
Smoking Determinants in Turkish University Students
by Feryal C. Celikel, Serhat Celikel and Unal Erkorkmaz
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2248-2257; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082248 - 12 Aug 2009
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 8713
Abstract
The aim was to explore the prevalence and the correlates of smoking in a group of Turkish university students. A sample of 1,870 students (21.2 ± 2.0 years old) completed the Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Hopelessness Scale, Anxiety Sensitivity Index, 20-item Toronto Alexithymia [...] Read more.
The aim was to explore the prevalence and the correlates of smoking in a group of Turkish university students. A sample of 1,870 students (21.2 ± 2.0 years old) completed the Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Hopelessness Scale, Anxiety Sensitivity Index, 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Smoking was highly prevalent (35.9%) in this sample. Male gender (OR = 2.72, CI 2.15-3.44), and parental smoking (OR = 1.41, CI 1.13-1.78) were factors associated with increased likelihood of smoking. Higher depressive symptoms and hopelessness levels were significantly related to smoking behavior. Smoking behavior might initiate as a mild and transient habit and unfortunately could become more serious and lead to an actual dependence. The results of this study show that it is necessary to pay attention to levels of depression and hopelessness, as well as parental influence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
312 KiB  
Review
Plant-Associated Bacterial Degradation of Toxic Organic Compounds in Soil
by Martina McGuinness and David Dowling
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2226-2247; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082226 - 12 Aug 2009
Cited by 183 | Viewed by 15483
Abstract
A number of toxic synthetic organic compounds can contaminate environmental soil through either local (e.g., industrial) or diffuse (e.g., agricultural) contamination. Increased levels of these toxic organic compounds in the environment have been associated with human health risks including cancer. Plant-associated bacteria, such [...] Read more.
A number of toxic synthetic organic compounds can contaminate environmental soil through either local (e.g., industrial) or diffuse (e.g., agricultural) contamination. Increased levels of these toxic organic compounds in the environment have been associated with human health risks including cancer. Plant-associated bacteria, such as endophytic bacteria (non-pathogenic bacteria that occur naturally in plants) and rhizospheric bacteria (bacteria that live on and near the roots of plants), have been shown to contribute to biodegradation of toxic organic compounds in contaminated soil and could have potential for improving phytoremediation. Endophytic and rhizospheric bacterial degradation of toxic organic compounds (either naturally occurring or genetically enhanced) in contaminated soil in the environment could have positive implications for human health worldwide and is the subject of this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)
558 KiB  
Article
Verification of the Addiction Severity Index Japanese Version (ASI-J) as a Treatment-Customization, Prediction, and Comparison Tool for Alcohol-Dependent Individuals
by Ayako Haraguchi, Yasukazu Ogai, Eiichi Senoo, Satoru Saito, Yoshihiro Suzuki, Aihide Yoshino, Aro Ino, Kenji Yanbe, Mitsuru Hasegawa, Masaru Murakami, Masanobu Murayama, Toru Ishikawa, Susumu Higuchi and Kazutaka Ikeda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2205-2225; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082205 - 12 Aug 2009
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 18466
Abstract
Objective: To demonstrate the usefulness of the Addiction Severity Index Japanese Version (ASI-J) in Japanese alcohol-dependent individuals. The ASI is a frequently used clinical and research instrument that measures severities in seven functional domains in people with substance abuse disorders. Methods: A total [...] Read more.
Objective: To demonstrate the usefulness of the Addiction Severity Index Japanese Version (ASI-J) in Japanese alcohol-dependent individuals. The ASI is a frequently used clinical and research instrument that measures severities in seven functional domains in people with substance abuse disorders. Methods: A total of 370 male inpatients with a history of alcohol dependence participated in the study. Forty-nine participants were excluded in the final analysis due to lack of reliability (i.e., patient misrepresentation or inability to understand). We used the ASI-J and a series of indexes that determined patient states during and post-treatment. Results: The correlations between ASI Composite Scores (CSs), which were calculated through a weighted formula and indicated the severity of each problem area, were significant but low in eight relations and not significant in 13 relations, indicating substantial independence of the problem areas. Significant differences were found in Family/Social CSs between abstinent and relapsed alcohol-dependent individuals. The questions of undesirable attitude were significantly related to the CSs of Employment, Drug use, Family/Social, and Psychiatric sections. Significant differences were observed in patient demographics, CS, and ASI Severity Rating (SR) and interviewer’s subjective scoring between alcohol-dependent individuals and drug abusers. CSs in Japanese alcohol-dependent individuals were generally similar to corresponding CSs in individuals from other countries, with the exception of The Netherlands. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the ASI-J is useful for understanding individual profiles of problems for each patient and planning customized treatment. The ASI-J served as a predictive tool for relapse and compliance to treatment afterward and was shown to be useful as a comparison tool in clarifying similarities and differences between substance abuser groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
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615 KiB  
Article
Time Trend of the Male Proportion at Birth in Brazil, 1979-2004
by Gerusa Gibson, Luciana Scarlazzari Costa and Sergio Koifman
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2193-2204; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082193 - 12 Aug 2009
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 9155
Abstract
Several studies suggest that exposure to environmental endocrine disrupters can reduce the number of male births, and therefore, the male proportion at birth (also denominated birth ratio or sex ratio at birth) can be used as a sentinel health indicator. This work aimed [...] Read more.
Several studies suggest that exposure to environmental endocrine disrupters can reduce the number of male births, and therefore, the male proportion at birth (also denominated birth ratio or sex ratio at birth) can be used as a sentinel health indicator. This work aimed to analyze the trend of male births in Brazil, according to their distribution by states and capitals. An ecological descriptive time series was carried out using polynomial regression, showing a declining trend for male proportion at birth in Brazil (1979-1994), followed by an upward trend until 2004. A decline on the proportion of male births was observed in Brazil between 1979 and 1993, followed by a subsequent rise of this ratio between 1995 and 2004, wherein the mean proportion of male births in Brazil rose from 51.05 to 51.18, representing a relative increase of 0.25%. The states of São Paulo (Southwest region) and Acre (Western Amazon), as well as some capitals−Cuiabá (Western Region), Palmas (Amazon) and Rio Branco (Amazon)−showed increasing trends, which suggests the influence of socio-demographic changes. In contrast, a declining trend in the State of Ceará State (Northeast region), with a 0.35% yearly decrease was observed. As a whole, these results suggest the influence of different environmental factors (demographic changes, public health services distribution, and population exposure to endocrine disruptor substances) influencing the time trend of birth ratio in the Brazilian population during the last decades. Full article
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270 KiB  
Article
Avoidable Portion of Tobacco-Attributable Acute Care Hospital Days and Its Cost Due to Implementation of Different Intervention Strategies in Canada
by Svetlana Popova, Jayadeep Patra and Jürgen Rehm
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2179-2192; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082179 - 06 Aug 2009
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 11120
Abstract
The impact of four effective population-based interventions, focusing on individual behavioural change and aimed at reducing tobacco-attributable morbidity, was assessed by modeling with respect to effects on reducing prevalence rates of cigarette smoking, population-attributable fractions, reductions of disease-specific morbidity and its cost for [...] Read more.
The impact of four effective population-based interventions, focusing on individual behavioural change and aimed at reducing tobacco-attributable morbidity, was assessed by modeling with respect to effects on reducing prevalence rates of cigarette smoking, population-attributable fractions, reductions of disease-specific morbidity and its cost for Canada. Results revealed that an implementation of a combination of four tobacco policy interventions would result in a savings of 33,307 acute care hospital days, which translates to a cost savings of about $37 million per year in Canada. Assuming 40% coverage rate for all individually based interventions, the two most effective interventions, in terms of avoidable burden due to morbidity, would be nicotine replacement therapy and physicians’ advice, followed by individual behavioural counselling and increasing taxes by 10%. Although a sizable reduction in the number of hospital days and accumulated costs could be achieved, overall these interventions would reduce less than 3% of all tobacco-attributable costs in Canada. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking and Tobacco Control)
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223 KiB  
Review
Environmental Effects on Public Health: An Economic Perspective
by Kyriaki Remoundou and Phoebe Koundouri
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2160-2178; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082160 - 31 Jul 2009
Cited by 96 | Viewed by 18118
Abstract
In this article we critically review the economic literature on the effects of environmental changes on public health, in both the developed and the developing world. We first focus on the economic methodologies that are available for the evaluation of the effects (social [...] Read more.
In this article we critically review the economic literature on the effects of environmental changes on public health, in both the developed and the developing world. We first focus on the economic methodologies that are available for the evaluation of the effects (social costs and benefits) of environmental changes (degradation/preservation) on public health. Then, we explain how the monetary valuations of these effects can feed back in the construction of economic policy for creating agent-specific incentives for more efficient public health management, which is also equitable and environmentally sustainable. Our exposition is accompanied by a synthesis of the available quantitative empirical results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)
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Article
Door to Door Survey and Community Participation to Implement a New County Mosquito Control Program in Wayne County, North Carolina, USA
by Amanda Grantham, Alice L. Anderson and Timothy Kelley
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2150-2159; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082150 - 31 Jul 2009
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 8630
Abstract
Community involvement in mosquito management programs provides more sustainable and effective organization and service. A door to door survey in Wayne County, NC carried out by student volunteers, resulted in 60 household responses. Residents had not previously experienced outreach from the county (88%), [...] Read more.
Community involvement in mosquito management programs provides more sustainable and effective organization and service. A door to door survey in Wayne County, NC carried out by student volunteers, resulted in 60 household responses. Residents had not previously experienced outreach from the county (88%), and 95% of them thought the student door to door survey was an effective form of outreach. One third of the residents thought mosquitoes were severe where they lived, but only 9% thought they had any containers in their yard that might breed mosquitoes. Only 15% of the residents were concerned about mosquito borne diseases. These responses provide evidence that outreach and education on mosquito control and diseases were necessary steps for future mosquito control community planning. Full article
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Article
Ethanol Consumption by Wistar Rat Dams Affects Selenium Bioavailability and Antioxidant Balance in Their Progeny
by María Luisa Ojeda, Beatriz Vázquez, Fátima Nogales, María Luisa Murillo and Olimpia Carreras
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2139-2149; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082139 - 30 Jul 2009
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 10802
Abstract
Ethanol consumption affects maternal nutrition, the mothers’ antioxidant balance and the future health of their progeny. Selenium (Se) is a trace element cofactor of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase (GPx). We will study the effect of ethanol on Se bioavailability in dams and in [...] Read more.
Ethanol consumption affects maternal nutrition, the mothers’ antioxidant balance and the future health of their progeny. Selenium (Se) is a trace element cofactor of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase (GPx). We will study the effect of ethanol on Se bioavailability in dams and in their progeny. We have used three experimental groups of dams: control, chronic ethanol and pair-fed; and three groups of pups. Se levels were measured by graphite-furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. Serum and hepatic GPx activity was determined by spectrometry. We have concluded that ethanol decreased Se retention in dams, affecting their tissue Se deposits and those of their offspring, while also compromising their progeny’s weight and oxidation balance. These effects of ethanol are caused by a reduction in Se intake and a direct alcohol-generated oxidation action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
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337 KiB  
Article
A Qualitative Study of the Impact of HIV/AIDS on Agricultural Households in Southeastern Uganda
by Dawn C. Parker, Kathryn H. Jacobsen and Maction K. Komwa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2113-2138; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082113 - 29 Jul 2009
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 13952
Abstract
The HIV/AIDS pandemic threatens economic, social, and environmental sustainability throughout sub-Saharan Africa. This paper reports on a qualitative study exploring interrelationships between HIV/AIDS, labor availability, agricultural productivity, household resources, food consumption, and health status in rural southeastern Uganda. Respondents reported an increase in [...] Read more.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic threatens economic, social, and environmental sustainability throughout sub-Saharan Africa. This paper reports on a qualitative study exploring interrelationships between HIV/AIDS, labor availability, agricultural productivity, household resources, food consumption, and health status in rural southeastern Uganda. Respondents reported an increase in widow-and-orphan-headed households; labor shortages due to illness and caretaking; degradation of household resources from health-related expenses; loss of land tenure and assets following deaths, especially for widows and orphans; and changes in agricultural practices and productivity. Our study highlights a potential downward spiral of livelihood degradation for vulnerable households and suggests targeted interventions to improve sustainability. Full article
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162 KiB  
Article
Neighborhood Environment and Self-Rated Health among Adults in Southern Sri Lanka
by Bilesha Perera, Truls Østbye and Chandramali Jayawardana
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2102-2112; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082102 - 29 Jul 2009
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 7998
Abstract
The prevalenceof different neighborhood environmental stressors and associations between the stressors and self-rated health are described in a representative sample of 2,077 individuals, aged 18-85 years, in southern Sri Lanka. Mosquito menace (69.4%), stray dog problems (26.8%), nuisance from neighbors (20.3%), and nuisance [...] Read more.
The prevalenceof different neighborhood environmental stressors and associations between the stressors and self-rated health are described in a representative sample of 2,077 individuals, aged 18-85 years, in southern Sri Lanka. Mosquito menace (69.4%), stray dog problems (26.8%), nuisance from neighbors (20.3%), and nuisance from drug users (18.7%) were found to be the most prevalent environmental stressors. None of the stressors investigated were associated with self-rated physical health, but nuisance from neighbors, nuisance from drug users, shortage of water and having poor water/ sewage drainage system were associated with self-rated mental health among the respondents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Legislation and Public Health)
338 KiB  
Article
The Quality of Alcohol Products in Vietnam and Its Implications for Public Health
by Dirk W. Lachenmeier, Pham Thi Hoang Anh, Svetlana Popova and Jürgen Rehm
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2090-2101; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6082090 - 27 Jul 2009
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 394146
Abstract
Four homemade (artisanally manufactured and unrecorded) and seven commercial (industrially manufactured and taxed) alcohol products from Vietnam were collected and chemically analyzed for toxicologically relevant substances. The majority of both types had alcohol contents between 30 and 40% vol. Two homemade samples contained [...] Read more.
Four homemade (artisanally manufactured and unrecorded) and seven commercial (industrially manufactured and taxed) alcohol products from Vietnam were collected and chemically analyzed for toxicologically relevant substances. The majority of both types had alcohol contents between 30 and 40% vol. Two homemade samples contained significantly higher concentrations of 45 and 50% vol. In one of these homemade samples the labeled alcoholic strength was exceeded by nearly 20% vol. All other analyzed constituents of the samples (e.g., methanol, acetaldehyde, higher alcohols, esters, metals, anions) were found in concentrations that did not pose a threat to public health. A peculiarity was a homemade sample of alcohol with pickled snakes and scorpions that contained 77% vol of alcohol, allegedly used as traditional Chinese medicine. Based on this small sample, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that alcohol quality, beyond the effects of ethanol, has an influence on health in Vietnam. However, future research with larger samples is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
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