International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

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ISSN / EISSN : 1661-7827 / 1660-4601
Published by: MDPI (10.3390)
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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010878

Abstract:
Menthol cigarette use has been shown to be a contributing factor in the changes in smoking over time among youth. The current study aim was to use prospective survey data to identify if menthol cigarette use was associated with changes in smoking among adults. A representative cohort from the 2010 U.S. Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey was interviewed at two time points one year apart. Respondents were past-30-day cigarette smokers at Wave 1 or Wave 2 categorized by menthol vs. non-menthol flavor preference (n = 3668). Trajectories were categorized as maintained, increased, or decreased smoking behavior between Waves. Multinomial logistic regressions examined if menthol cigarette use was associated with an increase/decrease in smoking behavior, adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, and sex. Menthol cigarette use was not associated with change over time in cigarette smoking in adult smokers. Age, race/ethnicity and sex were associated with changes in cigarette smoking. Young (vs. older) adults were more likely to increase smoking. Black and Hispanic smokers (vs. white smokers) were more likely to report any change in smoking. Males were less likely than females to change smoking behavior. Menthol status was not associated with changes in smoking among adults; however, young age, race/ethnicity, and sex were, suggesting populations to target for intervention.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010885

Abstract:
Perceived safety remains one of the main barriers for children to participate in active commuting to school (ACS). This ecological study examined the associations between the number of police-reported crimes in school neighborhoods and ACS. The percentage of active travel trips was assessed from a teacher tally survey collected from students across 63 elementary schools that were primarily classified as high-poverty (n = 27). Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to create a detailed measure of police-reported crimes during 2018 and neighborhood covariates that occurred within a one-mile Euclidean buffer of the schools. Statistical analyses included linear fixed effects regressions and negative binomial regressions. In fully-adjusted models, reported crime did not exhibit significant associations with ACS. Medium-poverty schools were indirectly associated with ACS when compared to high- and low-poverty schools in all models (p< 0.05). Connectivity and vehicle ownership were also directly associated with ACS (p< 0.05). Low- and medium-poverty schools were indirectly associated with all types of reported crime when compared to high-poverty schools (p< 0.05). Although reported crime was not associated with school-level ACS, differences in ACS and reported crime do exist across school poverty levels, suggesting a need to develop and promote safe and equitable ACS interventions.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010883

Abstract:
The purpose of this study is to examine the importance of disability acceptance among individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) participating in the Sport for All program through self-help group activities with other individuals with SCI. This study investigated whether disability acceptance mediates the relationship between self-efficacy and life satisfaction and between sense of belonging and life satisfaction. Subjects were 142 individuals with SCI participating in the self-help group with other sports activities including para table tennis, swimming, wheelchair rugby, and weight training. A simple mediation effect analysis showed that disability acceptance significantly mediated the relationship between self-efficacy and life satisfaction (indirect effect, b = 0.219) and between the sense of belonging and life satisfaction (indirect effect, b = 0.289). The results suggest the importance of disability acceptance for individuals with SCI participating in “Sports for All” programs.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010879

Abstract:
Pesticides play an important role in the improvement of agricultural production, but their use may result in adverse effects on the environment, consumers, and farmers’ health. As there are limited data focusing on the factors influencing safety behavior toward pesticide use in Morocco, we conducted a cross-sectional survey in 15 rural communities of Morocco’s Fes Meknes region to assess the attitudes, knowledge, and practices regarding pesticide use. A structured questionnaire was completed, containing the data of the interviewed farmers, their behavior towards safety measures, the type of active ingredient used, as well as the perception of risks to their own health following exposure to pesticides by the existence of chronic, self-perceived symptoms. Non-probability (empirical) sampling with the quota method was carried out, which consists of constructing the sample. Results showed that most respondents have not been trained in the application of pesticides, with almost half of the farmers using a category of pesticides which are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as probable human carcinogenic (i.e., Glyphosate, Malathion). In terms of pesticide storage, 40% of farmers said that they did not store pesticides in a separate room after purchasing or using them. The empty containers were buried or burnt by half of the responders, while the remainder were thrown at the edge of fields or in public dumps. Although the participants were aware of the negative effects on their own health and on the environment caused by the application of pesticides in use, the protection measures by individual equipment were insufficient. A canonical analysis indicates that these behaviors were influenced by the farming experience, the benefit of the agricultural council services, the follow-up of training, and the education level. These variables are important factors in explaining and understanding the dangers to both the environment and health caused by pesticides. The most recorded likely consequences of pesticide exposure were visual impairment (46%), followed by dizziness (44.3%), headache (39.4%), and excessive sweating (34.4%), and 30.2% of participants identified consequent respiratory problems. Extension services targeted at safety and protection measures should be developed and accompanied by educational programs to put farmers’ perceptions into practice and encourage them to adopt healthy and environmentally friendly behaviors.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010884

Abstract:
Due to the fact of activity, environment and work dynamics, the construction industry is characterised by high accident rates. Different initiatives have emerged to reduce these figures, which focus on using new methodologies and technologies for safety management. Therefore, it is essential to know the key factors and their influence on safety in construction projects (fSCPs) to focus efforts on these elements. Through a systematic literature review, based on PRISMA methodology, this article identifies, describes and categorises 100 factors that affect construction safety. It thus contributes by providing a comprehensive general framework, unifying previous studies focused on specific geographic areas or case studies with factors not considered or insufficiently disaggregated, along with an absence of classifications focused on understanding where and how factors affect the different dimensions of construction projects. The 100 factors identified are described and categorised according to the dimensions and aspects of the project in which these have an impact, along with identifying whether they are shaping or immediate factors or originating influences for the generation of accidents. These factors, their description and classification are a key contribution to improving the systematic creation of safety and generating training and awareness materials to fully develop a safety culture in organisations.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010886

Abstract:
Italy was one of the nations most affected by SARS-CoV-2. During the pandemic period, the national government approved some restrictions to reduce diffusion of the virus. We aimed to evaluate changes in in-hospital mortality and its possible relation with patient comorbidities and different restrictive public health measures adopted during the 2020 pandemic period. We analyzed the hospital discharge records of inpatients from public and private hospitals in Apulia (Southern Italy) from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020. The study period was divided into four phases according to administrative restriction. The possible association between in-hospital deaths, hospitalization period, and covariates such as age group, sex, Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) class, and length of hospitalization stay (LoS) class was evaluated using a multivariable logistic regression model. The risk of death was slightly higher in men than in women (OR 1.04, 95% CI: 1.01–1.07) and was lower for every age group below the >75 years age group. The risk of in-hospital death was lower for hospitalizations with a lower CCI score. In summary, our analysis shows a possible association between in-hospital mortality in non-COVID-19-related diseases and restrictive measures of public health. The risk of hospital death increased during the lockdown period.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010874

Abstract:
Attention to the environment and its problems has undergone unprecedented growth in recent years
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010872

Abstract:
Background: Control measures adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic had a considerable impact on human daily life and lifestyles. Adherence to the recommended measures is influenced by knowledge and attitudes towards the disease. This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the level of knowledge regarding COVID-19, the related control measures, and lifestyle behaviors adopted during the pandemic in a sample of elderly Italian people. Methods: A web-based questionnaire investigating socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge of COVID-19, the related preventive measures, and lifestyle changes that occurred during the pandemic, were distributed to ≥65 years old people living in South Italy. Results: A satisfactory level of knowledge about COVID-19 and the related control measures has been found in the enrolled sample. However, a decrease in physical activity, as well as worsening sleeping and dietary habits, were found in roughly 60% of participants. Females were impacted greater by these lifestyle changes. Conclusions: Participants in this study showed a good level of knowledge regarding COVID-19 and its prevention. Nevertheless, they reported an increase in unhealthy habits that may have important health consequences in the long term and should be addressed by public health interventions targeted at older people.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010876

Abstract:
Epidemiological restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have raised legal and practical questions related to the provision of workplace risk assessment in home offices of teleworkers. The objective of this qualitative study was to analyze practical experience of employers and occupational safety and health experts performing workplace risk assessment in Latvia during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings suggest that employers have not sufficiently implemented their legal obligations related to workplace risk assessment which can result in an increased number of physical and mental health problems of teleworkers in the short term and in the future. Work from home has shown how different working conditions can be for the same type of work (office work); therefore, the promotion of personalized workplace risk assessment should be encouraged. Even if virtual workplace visits using photos and videos are not the traditional way the workplace risk assessment should be done, it is effective; workers who report that their employers assessed their working conditions report fewer health effects. The experience of workers in participation in workplace risk assessment for telework might change the level and role of worker participation in the management of health and safety hazards at work in general.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010877

Abstract:
Black/African American women from low-resource, rural communities bear a disproportionate burden of tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. This study examined associations between menthol smoking and socioeconomic deprivation with nicotine dependence and quitting behaviors among Black/African American women cigarette and/or little cigar/cigarillo smokers, aged 18–50 living in low-resource, rural communities. Baseline survey data from a randomized controlled behavioral/intervention trial (#NCT03476837) were analyzed (n = 146). Outcomes included time to first tobacco product (cigarette/little cigar/cigarillo) use within 5 min of waking, Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) score, and ever attempting to quit cigarettes. Socioeconomic deprivation measures included education, income, and receiving supplemental nutritional assistance (SNAP) program benefits. In adjusted regression analyses, menthol smoking was associated with both greater FTND scores and time to first tobacco product use within 5 min of waking, but not ever attempting to quit cigarettes. Regardless of menthol status, only 25.0% of smokers reported that they would quit smoking if menthol cigarettes were banned. The proportion of smokers who smoked their first tobacco product within 5 min of waking increased slightly with greater socioeconomic deprivation. Additional research and targeted efforts are needed to reduce nicotine dependence among Black/African American women smokers living in rural, low-resource communities where access to cessation services is limited.
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