Public wells in the United States are regularly tested for arsenic, but private wells typically are not. However, when arsenic was found in 47% of wells tested in Iowa in 2008, a case study was designed to determine the source. This pilot study in Cerro Gordo County tests 29 parameters of wells and maps them against their depth and source aquifers. See which factors are associated with arsenic contamination in groundwater, recommendations for avoiding contamination, and how researchers, public health officials, and private wells drillers built a successful team to serve the homeowners for this serious threat.
As part of NEHA's continuos effort to provide convenient access to information and resources, we have gathered together for you the links in this section. Our mission is "to advance the environmental health and protection professional for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all,” as well as to educate and inform those outside the profession.
The growing grocery market industry is under increasing pressure to improve profit margins to maintain profitability. With the offerings at grocery stores continually evolving toward more profitable niches, food safety risks can be introduced or elevated as operations are added or modified. This study surveyed 132 private and corporate-owned grocery stores to assess food safety risk. A 2009 Food and Drug Administration Food Code risk category assessment score was assigned to each of the departments at these stores for comparison of risks associated with their processes and policies. Private stores had slightly more risk when compared with corporate-owned stores. High-risk processes, including reduced oxygen packaging and smoking and curing operations, existed in 13% of the grocery stores. Bakeries, delicatessens, and/or meat departments sharing the same operating space also increased the risk scoring.
79.4 | 16-21
This study assessed the training needs and knowledge gaps across five competency domains among the food protection staff of the Cincinnati Health Department. The five overarching competency domains assessed included 1) scientific knowledge; 2) foodborne illness knowledge, rules, and regulations; 3) temperature and storage; 4) inspection equipment; and 5) communication. A full network workforce assessment was conducted in a 3-year prospective longitudinal study design. Key findings show that competency areas identified as needing attention improved over time. The domain that consistently showed the highest percentage of workforce needing improvement was foodborne illness knowledge, rules, and regulations.
80.4 | 30-35
Recent studies have shown that coastal beach sand as well as coastal ocean water can be contaminated with fecal indicator Enterococcus bacteria (ENT). A study of sand ENT concentrations over a four-week period at 12 Rhode Island beaches was conducted during the summer of 2009. While average contamination was low relative to water quality standards, every beach had at least one day with very high sand ENT readings. On 10 of the 12 beaches, a statistically significant gradient occurred in geometric mean ENT concentrations among tidal zones, with dry (supratidal, or above high tide mark) sand having the highest level, followed by wet (intratidal, or below high tide mark) and underwater sand. Beaches with higher wave action had significantly lower ENT levels in wet and underwater sand compared to beaches with lower wave action.
78.8 | 12-17
Assessment of Nonzoonotic Soil-Transmitted Helminth Levels in Soils in Yenagoa Metropolis, Niger Delta
In order to assess the prevalence of nonzoonotic soil-transmitted helminths in the Yenagoa Metropolis, 480 soil samples were collected from five communities for 12 months. The soil samples were collected along two transects from the waterfront and community playgrounds. Analysis was by standard methods. The results obtained from the study described in this article showed that 44.79% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 40.34%–49.24%) of the soil samples tested positive for nonzoonotic soil-transmitted helminths. Ascaris lumbricoides was the most common helminth with a prevalence rate of 35% (95% CI = 30.73%–39.27%). Mixed occurrence of nonzoonotic soil-transmitted helminths was 10.21%. Although the community playgrounds had a higher prevalence of nonzoonotic soil-transmitted helminths than the waterfront (p > .05), more cases of mixed occurrence of nonzoonotic soil-transmitted helminths occurred in the waterfront than the community playgrounds (p > .05). The wet season had a higher prevalence rate of nonzoonotic soil-transmitted helminths than the dry season (p < .05). The observed high prevalence of nonzoonotic soil-transmitted helminths in soil is considered a potential public health risk to swimmers and children playing outdoors in the Yenagoa metropolis.
76.6 | 108-112
The aim of the study described in this article was to assess the physicochemical quality of water resources in Isfahan province, located in the central part of Iran, from June to November 2012. Comparison of the results with the acceptable limits recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for drinking water showed that nitrate, chloride, iron, and fluoride concentrations exceeded the maximum acceptable level in 12.3%, 9.2%, 6.8%, and 1.5% of samples, respectively. Total dissolved solids (TDS) and turbidity values also exceeded the maximum acceptable level in 9.2% and 3.1% of samples, respectively. In general, the quality of drinking water resources in the central part of Iran at present is mostly acceptable and satisfactory. It may be deteriorated in the future, however, because water quantity and quality in arid and semiarid areas are highly variable over time. Therefore, continued monitoring of the water resources quality is extremely important to environmental safety.
78.6 | 40-45
Association Between Asthma Hospital Visits and Ozone Concentration in Maricopa County, Arizona (2007–2012)
The objective of this study was to evaluate the association of asthma hospital visits with ozone concentrations in Maricopa County, Arizona. We used time plots and distributed lag nonlinear models to achieve these objectives while accounting for some potential confounders including temperature and day of the week. A total of 90,381 asthma hospitalizations were retrieved from the dataset (daily median = 39, range: 8–122). Asthma hospitalizations were highest in 2008 (16,949), during the months of November through December, and lowest in 2011 (13,213), during the months of June through July. By contrast, the average daily ozone concentration ranged from 27.05 parts per billion (ppb) in 2012 to 30.15 ppb in 2008 and from 13.96 ppb in December to 40.58 ppb in May. The association between asthma hospitalizations (relative risk [RR/per 10 ppb increase of ozone]) start at ~1.046 (95% confidence interval [1.029, 1.064] at lag 0) and gradually decrease over several days. Our findings suggest exposure to ozone is associated with increased RR of asthma hospital visits in Maricopa County lasting several days. This study used recently developed methods that are freely available and could be used to evaluate other health events that are measured over time.
78.9 | 8-13
Association Between Low Temperature During Winter Season and Hospitalizations for Ischemic Heart Diseases in New York State
Most prior research investigating the health effects of extreme cold has been limited to temperature alone. Only a few studies have assessed population vulnerability and compared various weather indicators. The study described in this article intended to evaluate the effects of cold weather on admissions due to ischemic heart disease, especially acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and to examine the potential interactive effects between weather factors and demographics on AMI. The authors found that extremely low universal apparent temperature in winter was associated with increased risk of AMI, especially during lag4–lag6. Certain demographic groups such as the elderly, males, people with Medicaid insurance, people living in warmer areas, and areas with high PM2.5 concentration showed higher vulnerabilities to cold-AMI effects than other groups.
78.6 | 66-74
Association Between PM10 and Respiratory Hospital Admissions in Different Seasons in Heavily Polluted Lanzhou City
Exposure-response relationship between particulate matter less than 10 µm in diameter (PM10) and human health in different seasons from 2001 to 2005 was examined based on hospital admissions data of respiratory system diseases from four major hospitals in Lanzhou, China. To quantify associations of respiratory system diseases with multiple air pollutants and meteorological conditions, a semiparametric generalized additive model was used in the authors’ study by implementing daily ambient sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and PM10 data collected from the Lanzhou Environmental Monitoring Station and daily meteorological data from Lanzhou Meteorological Bureau.
Results showed that daily averaged PM10 increased per interquartile range the hospital admissions number of respiratory diseases by 3.3% in spring, 1.4% in summer, 3.6% in autumn, and 4.0% in winter from a single-pollutant model, or 3.1%, 1.4%, 3.0%, and 4.0% from a multi-pollutant model, respectively. The effect of PM10 on respiratory hospital admissions was lowest in summer and highest in winter. The relative risks of PM10 on female or the elderly (≥65 yrs.) were higher, showing a stronger association of PM10 with respiratory diseases in female and the elderly groups than in males and people younger than 65.
77.6 | 64-71
Ultrafine particles (UFPs) are ubiquitous in urban air and have been recognized as a risk to human health. The aim of this study was to measure the relationships among ultrafine particles and other ambient air pollutants and meteorological factors in the Tampa Bay Area. This study measured continuous UFPs, black carbon, oxides of nitrogen (NOx), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitric oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter having an aerodynamic diameter of 10 microns or less (PM10), relative humidity, wind speed, and ambient temperature during January to March 2014. Moreover, the study compared the relationship between UFPs and various co-pollutants daily, including during morning rush hour periods. This study found a moderate correlation among UFPs and black carbon, NOx, NO2, and NO during hourly continuous measurements and rush hour periods, and a low level of correlation among UFPs and CO, O3, SO2,PM10, relative humidity, wind speed, and ambient temperature. This study indicates that co-pollutants should not be used as a surrogate to assess the human health risk from ultrafine particles exposure.
78.9 | 14-21