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.

Every day, thousands of shipments of toxic and radiological chemicals, traverse our highways and railways, as potential “agents of opportunity” for terrorists' use.  This informational session will describe:

 

  1. the public health threats due to Radiological and Chemical "Agents of Opportunity"
  2. the deficiencies in education and training of public health responders to these types of events, and
  3. the development and  relevance of a preparedness course called, "Radiological and Chemical Agents of Opportunity for Terrorism: The Emergency Medicine Response to Toxic Industrial Chemicals and Materials (TICs/TIMs) and Toxic Radiological Materials (TRMs)."
July 2015
Richard Collins, MS, REHS/RS, DAAS
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazards

The Great East Japan Earthquake was the first disaster ever recorded that included an earthquake, a tsunami, a nuclear power plant accident, a power supply failure, and a large-scale disruption of supply chains. Amid the deep devastation and massive recovery efforts, came the challenge of how to collect, store, sort, recycle, and process disaster debris in an efficient and sustainable manner. View this session to learn how this is being done at the largest outdoor Municipal Recycling Facility in operation, and return to your organization with a model for how to work with government and planning departments to permit and build temporary disaster debris processing facilities.

July 2015
Leonard Grossberg, MPA, REHS/RS
Potential CE Credits: 1.00
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazards

Description

This special report examines two federal laws, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and considers the role each law plays in discussions about employees’ symptoms or illnesses. It is possible that existing state laws might restrict restaurant manager actions on this issue. Industry food safety professionals, however, specifically mentioned federal laws, so this special report will focus on federal regulations.

December 2017
December 2017
80.5 | 24-26
Julia Charles, JD, Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Taylor Radke, MPH, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Abstract

The objective of this study was to describe changes in carbon monoxide (CO) safety knowledge and observed CO detector use following distribution of a CO detector use intervention in two environments, a pediatric emergency department (Ohio) and an urban community (Maryland). A total of 301 participants completed the 6-month follow up (Ohio: n = 125; Maryland: n = 176). The majority of participants was female, 25–34 years of age, and employed (full or part time). We found that CO safety knowledge did not differ between settings at enrollment, but significantly improved at the follow-up visits. The majority of CO detectors observed were functional and installed in the correct location. Of those with CO detectors at follow up, the majority had not replaced the battery. The success of the intervention varied between settings and distribution methods. The majority of participants showed improved knowledge and behaviors. Improved device technology may be needed to eliminate the need for battery replacement.

May 2017
May 2017
79.9 | 24-30
Lara B. McKenzie, MA, PhD, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, The Ohio State Uni, Kristin J. Roberts, MS, MPH, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Wendy C. Shields, MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Eileen McDonald, MS, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Abstract

Proper hand washing practices in food service establishments are important for the adequate reduction of microorganisms on hands. To address practical barriers associated with active and direct interventions, this study employed passive and indirect interventions to examine whether the simple use of a water flow timer and an informational poster could influence food handler hand washing practices. A within-group, multiple-intervention experiment including baseline, single intervention, multiple intervention, and withdrawal phases was conducted at a student-operated, full-service restaurant over 4 weeks. We recorded a total of 839 hand washing practices over 112 hr of observation using a motion-detecting camera. Findings showed that the presence of a water flow timer increased the duration of hand washing and the compliance rate to proper scrubbing duration. The effects were robust in the weeks when establishments were busy with high-customer volume. The findings provide useful data regarding the use of passive and indirect interventions to change food handler hand washing practices.

 

April 2019
April 2019
81.8 | 8-13
EunSol Her, MS, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, Carl Behnke, PhD, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, Barbara Almanza, PhD, RDN, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University

Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis and the most common cause of food-borne illness in the United States affecting 19-21 million people and costing over $2 billion in healthcare costs every year.

Using an outbreak that occurred at a Midwestern casino, this presentation discusses the epidemiology of Norovirus, prevention and control measures, laboratory testing considerations, and sampling techniques. The ability to apply this information could help prevent the spread of Norovirus in your jurisdiction, or, worldwide if an outbreak occurred in a tourist destination like Las Vegas.

July 2015
Eric Bradley, MPH, REHS/RS, CP-FS, DAAS; and Kristen Obbink, DVM, MPH
Potential CE Credits: 1.00
Additional Topics A to Z: Pathogens and Outbreaks

An analysis of drinking water contamination at both the community and household level was conducted in Shatila camp, Lebanon. To ascertain the health impacts of water contamination in children under five, questionnaires were used to elicit community and household practices as well as child health indicators. Results, suggested interventions, and risk communication and targeted health education will be discussed in the context of human rights and marginalized populations.

 

Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

July 2015
Additional Topics A to Z: Children's Environmental Health

Article Abstract

Combined exposure to secondhand (SHS) smoke and radon increases lung cancer risk 10-fold. The authors assessed the feasibility and impact of a brief home screening and environmental feedback intervention to reduce radon and SHS (Freedom from Radon and Smoking in the Home [FRESH]) and measured perceived risk of lung cancer and synergistic risk perception (SHS x radon). Participants (N = 50) received home radon and SHS kits and completed baseline surveys. Test results were shared using an intervention guided by the Teachable Moment Model. Half of the participants completed online surveys two months later. Most (76%) returned the radon test kits; 48% returned SHS kits. Of the returned radon test kits, 26% were >4.0 pCi/L. Of the returned SHS kits, 38% had nicotine >.1 μg/m3. Of those with high radon, more than half had contacted a mitigation specialist or planned contact. Of those with positive air nicotine, 75% had adopted smoke-free homes. A significant increase occurred in perceived risk for lung cancer and synergistic risk perception after FRESH. 

Jan/Feb 2014
76.6 | 156-161
Ellen J. Hahn, RN, PhD, FAAN, Mary Kay Rayens, PhD, Sarah E. Kercsmar, PhD, Sarah M. Adkins, MS
Additional Topics A to Z: Radon

Abstract

This study examined the prevalence of home testing for radon and secondhand smoke (SHS) and associations between testing status and sociodemographic variables. It was a cross-sectional study of the baseline data from a randomized controlled trial to test the effects of a personalized environmental report-back intervention on exposure to radon and SHS in the home. Homeowners (n = 515) and renters (n = 47) were recruited in primary care or community settings using stratification by smoking in the home. Homeowners were randomly assigned to treatment or control; renters were assigned to treatment. Home testing status was determined by completion of short-term radon test kits and passive airborne nicotine samplers. Free test kits were provided to the treatment group. Controls received a coupon for free test kits. Of the 562 participants, 48% tested for radon and SHS. Higher education was associated with increased likelihood of testing. Homeowners and renters in the treatment group were more likely to test than homeowners in the control group. Participants were more likely to test their homes when provided free test kits in person.

 

October 2018
October 2018
81.3 | E1-E6
Karen M. Butler, DNP, RN, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Luz Huntington-Moskos, PhD, RN, CPN, School of Nursing, University of Louisville, Mary Kay Rayens, PhD, Colleges of Nursing and Public Health, University of Kentucky, Amanda T. Wiggins, PhD, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky

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