Topics A to Z

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.

On January 9, 2014, an estimated 10,000 gallons of industrial chemical 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) spilled into the Elk River in Kanawha County, West Virginia, contaminating the water and subsequently resulting in the shutdown of the municipal water system. While it resulted in an extraordinary inter-disciplinary public health response, the West Virginia water crisis received national and global attention. Come discuss the concerns this incident raised about national water security and the effectiveness of public health infrastructure to handle large emergencies.

Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

July 2015
Additional Topics A to Z: Emergency Preparedness

In recent years, nitrogen in the environment has become a nationwide concern due to the sensitivity of many water bodies to excess nitrogen loading from many different sources, including Onsite Wastewater Systems (OWS). This session will kick off an afternoon of sessions that highlight recent research sponsored by the Florida Department of Health which is being used to develop strategies to manage and reduce nitrogen loading from OWS and to protect groundwater and surface waters.

Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

July 2015
Additional Topics A to Z: Wastewater

The food truck phenomenon has gained national media attention with an estimated 20,000 plus trucks nationwide bringing in over $1.2 billion annually. Amid the frenzy is a host of unique challenges for food safety professionals. This session addresses many approaches to the operational obstacles associated with food trucks such as operating in a small space, reliance upon generators to keep food at correct temperatures, limited water supply, and their mobile nature. Be prepared to take away tips and tricks to use in your work to prevent foodborne illness with food truck operators.

July 2015
Robert Kramer, REHS/RS
Potential CE Credits: 1.00

Abstract

Following the “fetal origins of adult disease” hypothesis, environmental determinants of birth weight regained interest. The authors applied a detailed spatial-time exposure model for climatological factors thought to affect fetal growth: seasonality, temperature, and sunshine. Daily climatological data (29 stations) were linked to 1,460,401 term births with an individual exposure matrix for each pregnancy. Linear regression was utilized to determine effects of climatological factors on individual birth weight and existing spatial variations in birth weight. In the Netherlands substantial regional climatological differences exist. Summer was associated with significantly reduced birth weight (16–19 g). Minimum and maximum temperatures were significantly associated with increased and reduced birth weight, respectively. Spatial birth weight differences ranged from -11 to +25 g, with lowest birth weights in inland areas. The authors demonstrate birth weight to be associated with climatological factors; negative birth weight effects of maximum temperature exposure confirm results from animal studies. Consequently, a climate footprint is visible in the spatial birth weight differences.

December 2015
December 2015
Prepublished online December 2015. Final publication January/February 2016 (#78.6). | 1-10
Jashvant Poeran, MD, PhD, Erwin Birnie, PhD, Eric A.P. Steegers, MD, PhD

Following the “fetal origins of adult disease” hypothesis, environmental determinants of birth weight regained interest. The authors applied a detailed spatial-time exposure model for climatological factors thought to affect fetal growth: seasonality, temperature, and sunshine. Daily climatological data (29 stations) were linked to 1,460,401 term births with an individual exposure matrix for each pregnancy. Linear regression was utilized to determine effects of climatological factors on individual birth weight and existing spatial variations in birth weight. In the Netherlands substantial regional climatological differences exist. Summer was associated with significantly reduced birth weight (16–19 g). Minimum and maximum temperatures were significantly associated with increased and reduced birth weight, respectively. Spatial birth weight differences ranged from -11 to +25 g, with lowest birth weights in inland areas. The authors demonstrate birth weight to be associated with climatological factors; negative birth weight effects of maximum temperature exposure confirm results from animal studies. Consequently, a climate footprint is visible in the spatial birth weight differences.

January 2016
January/February 2016
78.6 | 92-100
Jashvant Poeran, MD, PhD, Erwin Birnie, PhD, Eric A.P. Steegers, MD, PhD
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health

Abstract

In 2012, the Wicomico County Health Department began investigating groundwater contamination in the Morris Mill community. The contamination was due to high levels of trichloroethylene (TCE). TCE is a colorless nonflammable liquid that has a sweet odor and a burning taste. Exposures can lead to acute effects as well as more chronic conditions such as cancer. A total of 300 wells were sampled during the course of the investigation. Fifty wells showed levels of TCE above the maximum contaminant level of 5 parts per billion. Timely communication with the residents and risk management played integral parts in assisting the community towards a long-term solution. In December 2013, the Wicomico County Urban Services Commission created an urban service district to provide public water from the city of Fruitland to the entire affected area. Completion of the water tower and distribution system for the 273 affected homes was expected in early 2016.

March 2016
March 2016
78.7 | 16-19
Dennis DiCintio, LEHS
Additional Topics A to Z: Drinking Water

Abstract

Bed bugs continue to affect society and place a burden on public health systems. Experiences of the Let’s Beat the Bug! campaign are presented to help information networks prepare personnel to effectively address questions about this pest. Following recommendations from the Minnesota state bed bug working group, an information line was established and the Web site (www.bedbugs.umn.edu) was revised. Data from both services were analyzed by geographic region and type of information requested. InformationLine primarily assisted people who had issues dealing with failed treatments and landlord reluctance to take effective measures against this pest. Web site visits indicated a preference for learning do-it-yourself control methods. There were commonalities in the information sought from both services. People were often looking for reassurance, in addition to information about basic prevention and control of bed bugs. We present here priority topics that public health personnel should be prepared to answer if they receive inquiries about bed bugs. 

March 2017
March 2017
79.7 | 22-27
Amelia K. Shindelar, Stephen A. Kells, MS, PhD, BCE

Abstract

Desalination provides a partial solution to water scarcity. While the desalination process provides much needed water to coastal areas, it also has various environmental impacts. Older operations entrain and impinge large and small organisms during the collection process, use significant amounts of energy, and produce substantial volumes of waste brine. These short- and long-term impacts warrant the involvement of environmental health practitioners.

Sustainable water supplies depend on more than just the weather. Accordingly, we start by analyzing the rising global demand for drinking water and the ongoing deterioration of the oceans. Next, we detail known impacts of desalination, and discuss alternatives for addressing water scarcity. We challenge environmental health practitioners to help meet current and future drinking water needs with respect to environmental sustainability. The ocean is finite. We should ask the right questions so as not to consume it at an untenable pace.

November 2016
November 2016
79.4 | 28-32
Brett Koontz, DPA, REHS, Thomas Hatfield, DrPH, REHS, DAAS

This step-by-step guide explains how to create a sustainability plan and sustainability report. Each chapter contains two vital sections. The first contains background reading, tips, and case examples to help you be successful. The second presents a set of methods each with step-by-step instructions and a selection matrix to help choose the best methods. The book also contains sample worksheets and exercise materials that can be copied for organization-wide use.

Additional Topics A to Z: Sustainability

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