This session uses case studies to examine the impact of building materials and particular chemicals on indoor air quality (IAQ) throughout their lifecycle. After attending this talk, environmental health professionals will be able to identify materials that might be the origin of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), identify low-emitting alternative materials, and describe the benefits and value of using sustainable building materials. Come away with a proven method for controlling volatile organic compounds in the indoor environments in your community.
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.
Voluntary Approaches to Solid Waste Management in Small Towns: A Case Study of Community Involvement in Household Hazardous Waste Recycling
Waterborne outbreaks of salmonellosis are uncommon. The Tennessee Department of Health investigated a salmonellosis outbreak of 10 cases with the only common risk factor being exposure to a single splash pad. Risks included water splashed in the face at the splash pad and no free residual chlorine in the water system. We surveyed water quality and patron behaviors at splash pads statewide. Of the 29 splash pads participating in the water quality survey, 24 (83%) used a recirculating water system. Of the 24, 5 (21%) water samples were tested by polymerase chain reaction and found to be positive for E. coli, Giardia, norovirus, or Salmonella. Among 95 patrons observed, we identified common high-risk behaviors of sitting on the fountain or spray head and putting mouth to water. Water venue regulations and improved education of patrons are important to aid prevention efforts.
79.10 | 8-12
In 2012, the Plano, TX Mosquito Management Program (MMP) received reports of 28 human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) related illnesses, while neighboring counties experienced over 900 combined cases during the same period. Concerned public and heavy media coverage across multiple health jurisdictions made essential the effective communication of Plano Environmental Health Department's MMP activities. This session will cover: insight on political and media relations challenges faced by local environmental health; the post-event evaluation of 2012 mitigation and communication strategies; and additions to 2013 MMP protocols, including the "Fix It Plano" app that gives residents a role in monitoring and surveillance. Attend this session and take away a fresh look at your own WNV mitigation efforts and best practices for use and communication in a public health crisis.
During the summer of 2014 an outbreak of tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF) occurred in a group of high school students and staff at a youth camp, which was reported to Coconino County Public Health Services District. Six confirmed and five probable cases of TBRF occurred. During the environmental investigation two rodents tested positive for TBRF, but the vector, soft ticks, could not be found in their “normal” habitat. Ticks were finally located in areas not typical for soft ticks.
78.8 | 8-11
Detecting increases in self-reported foodborne illnesses and low report rates by medical providers, Kern County Environmental Health implemented an innovative approach to enhance collaboration between Environmental Health, public health, and the medical community.
The execution of the Foodborne Illness Surveillance Guidance Training for Medical Professionals became a successful method in communicating with the medical community and improving foodborne illness surveillance. This presentation provides an overview of the workshop design, challenges, results, and next steps that you may apply within your community.
Consumer-generated restaurant review sites offer a wealth of information about dining options. These sites are based on consumers’ experiences; therefore, it is useful to assess the relevance between restaurant review (for food quality) and retail food facilities (RFFs) inspection results (for sanitation) from health departments. This study analyzed New York City restaurant ratings on Yelp.com to determine if there was a relationship to RFFs’ violation scores for those same facilities found on the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene web pages. In addition, we assessed differences between RFFs defined on Yelp as quick service versus full service, and chains versus nonchains. Yelp ratings were found to be correlated only with sanitation in chain RFFs.
78.10 | 8-12
Recent outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases in the Americas indicate the need for the reinstatement of mosquito elimination efforts in the region. These efforts need to have buy-in from all governmental agencies within the region using a multidisciplinary effort with appropriate financial support.
80.2 | 26-27