International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 16617827 / 16604601
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 14,852
Google Scholar h5-index: 68
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Ahsan Nawaz, Xing Su, Qaiser Din, Muhammad Khalid, Muhammad Bilal, Syyed Shah
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17020635

Abstract:Urbanization is playing a key role in big cities of developing countries, which, in effect, is increasing the population. This study takes care of the mega infrastructure project (Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT)) to explore and identify the H&S (Health and Safety) factors that affect the local residents and the main key stakeholders working on the project. A Sequential Mixed-Method approach of the OLMT-project includes qualitative and quantitative methods were adopted. The data have been collected from the targeted population working on the OLMT-project through a questionnaire. The main key finding of the study indicates that poor planning and a lack of communication between the public and government led to frustration. The most significant factors that identified in the study were unsafe to work practice, project scope constraints, lack in technical and material support, unsafe/bad condition, health/environment degradation, declination and loss of resources and time, no proper emergency system, and negligence in adopting safety rules and laws. The study also revealed that the consensus should also be noticed between the key stakeholders (e.g., contractors, clients, safety officials, academia) in the second round of the Delphi survey of the project. The study findings will help the key stakeholders to prioritize their energies towards attaining zero levels of inadequate health and safety practices in infrastructure projects. The study outcomes can also be generalized for the other developing countries having a similar work scenario.
Mayte Serrat, Juan Sanabria-Mazo, Elna García-Troiteiro, Anna Fontcuberta, Corel Mateo-Canedo, Míriam Almirall, Albert Feliu-Soler, Jorge Méndez-Ulrich, Antoni Sanz, Juan Luciano
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17020634

Abstract:The study protocol of a prospective and randomized controlled trial for the assessment of the efficacy of nature activity therapy for people with Fibromyalgia (NAT-FM) is described. The primary outcome is the mean change from baseline in the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQR) score at post-treatment (12 weeks) and at 9 months of follow-up, and secondary outcomes are changes in the positive affect, negative affect, pain, fatigue, self-efficacy, catastrophising, and emotional regulation. A total of 160 patients with fibromyalgia will be divided into two arms: treatment-as-usual (TAU) and NAT-FM+TAU. Pre, during, post, +6, and +9 months assessments will be carried out, as well as an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) of intrasession and intersessions. Results will be subjected to a mixed group (NAT-FM+TAU vs. TAU) × phase (pre, post, +6 months, +9 months) general linear model. EMA intrasession measurements will be subjected to a 2 (pre vs. post) × 5 (type of activity) mixed-effects ANOVA. EMA between-session measurements obtained from both arms of the study will be analysed on both a time-domain and frequency-domain basis. Effect sizes and number needed to treat (NNT) will be computed. A mediation/moderation analysis will be conducted.
Dionius Mahamboro, Nelsensius Fauk, Paul Ward, Maria Merry, Theodorus Siri, Lillian Mwanri
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17020636

Abstract:It is well acknowledged that human immunodeficiency virus stigma (HIV stigma) challenges people living with HIV globally. There is a scarcity of information about determinants of HIV stigma and discrimination among married men in the Indonesian context. This study aimed to explore factors that contribute to stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive men married to women in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted to collect data from participants using a snowball sampling technique. A framework analysis was used to guide the analysis of the data. HIV stigma framework was also applied in the conceptualisation and the discussion of the findings. The findings indicate that participants experienced external stigma within healthcare facilities, communities and families. This external stigma was expressed in various discriminatory attitudes and behaviours by healthcare professionals and community and family members. Similarly, participants experienced anticipated stigma as a result of HIV stigma and discrimination experienced by other people living with HIV. Individual moral judgement associating HIV status with amoral behaviours and participants’ negative self-judgement were determinants of perceived stigma. The current findings indicate the need for training programs about HIV stigma issues for healthcare professionals. There is also a need to disseminate HIV information and to improve HIV stigma knowledge among families and communities.
Néboa Zozaya, Laura Vallejo
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17020643

Abstract:Background: Previous studies have analyzed the impact of economic crises on adult’s health and lifestyles, but evidence among children and adolescents is limited. The objective of this study was to analyze the impact of the economic crisis on self-perceived health and some risk behaviors in the Spanish adolescent population. Methods: We used data from four waves (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014) of the Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (HBSC) survey in Spain. Separate multilevel logistic and linear regression models were applied for health complaints, self-rated health, life satisfaction, smoking, alcohol consumption, and breakfast skipping. Annual change in Spanish regional unemployment rates was used as a proxy of the economic crisis. An increasing set of control variables were included, consisting of individual, socioeconomic, and family and peer relationships indicators. Median odds ratios were estimated to quantify the cross-region and cross-school variation. Results: Increases in unemployment rates were linked to a higher risk of poorer health and bad habits in the simplest models. The effect was no longer statistically significant when indicators of family and peer relationships were included, suggesting a protective effect against the impact of the economic crisis. Our findings also show that schools had a larger effect on health and lifestyles than regions. Conclusion: The child’s social context—family, peers, school, and region—play an important role on the effects of the economic crisis on health and risk behaviors.
Yu Li, Shengke Yang, Yangyang Chen, Dan Zhang
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17020644

Abstract:The hydrophobicity and anti-fouling properties of materials have important application value in industrial and agricultural production and people’s daily life. To study the relationship between the unit width L0 of the parabolic hydrophobic material and the hydrophobicity and anti-fouling properties, the rough surface structure of the parabolic with different widths was prepared by grinding with different SiC sandpapers, and further, to obtain hydrophobic materials through chemical oxidation and chemical etching, and modification with stearic acid (SA). The morphology, surface wetting and anti-fouling properties of the modified materials were characterized by SEM and contact angle measurement. The oil–water separation performance and self-cleaning performance of the materials were explored. The surface of the modified copper sheet forms a rough structure similar to a paraboloid. When ground with 1500 grit SiC sandpaper, it is more conducive to increase the hydrophobicity of the copper sheet surface and increase the contact angle of water droplets on the copper surface. Additionally, the self-cleaning and anti-fouling experiments showed that as L0 decreases, copper sheets were less able to stick to foreign things such as soil, and the better the self-cleaning and anti-fouling performance was. Based on the oil–water separation experiment of copper mesh, the lower L0 has a higher oil–water separation efficiency. The results showed that material with parabolic morphology has great self-cleaning, anti-fouling, and oil–water separation performance. The smaller the L0 was, the larger the contact angle and the better hydrophobic performance and self-cleaning performance were.
Xue Wan, Xiaoning Yang, Quaner Wen, Jun Gang, Lu Gan
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17020645

Abstract:The contradiction between industrial development and ecological environment pressure has been becoming progressively severe. Under this circumstance, more attention has been paid to the balance between industrial economic development and environmental deterioration and resource consumption. Thus, this study takes the development of industry and ecological environment change as an interactive system consideration, and comprehensively evaluates the changes of the industrial–environment system on resilience perspective with innovation. Accordingly, this paper establishes a comprehensive evaluation model. The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) and Industrial Structure Entropy (ISE) were applied to analyze the current environment pressure and industrial conditions. Then, the catastrophe theory was used to evaluate the reasonably established index system for the impact of various factors in the industrial–environment system on the resilience change. Next, the adaptive cycle model was used to analyze the evaluation results and reveals the dynamic change law of the system in the resilience range. Finally, Chengdu was selected as the research area to verify the validity of the whole study. It was found that the resilient change process of Chengdu industry–environmental system accord with the four-stage theory of adaptive cycle model. The resilient level of the city was also improved during the cycle. The result of the study can be useful to future plans and decisions. What is more, understanding the characteristics of each stage will be helpful to determine the reasonable implementation time of each key factor and improve its feedback ability.
Laura Fuentes, Hugo Asselin, Annie Bélisle, Oscar Labra
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17020637

Abstract:Climate change and natural resource exploitation can affect Indigenous people’s well-being by reducing access to ecosystem services, in turn impeding transmission of traditional knowledge and causing mental health problems. We used a questionnaire based on the Environmental Distress Scale (EDS) and the Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC-10) to examine the impacts of environmental changes on 251 members of four Indigenous communities in the eastern Canadian boreal forest. We also considered the potential mitigating effects of sociodemographic characteristics (i.e., age, gender, parenthood, and time spent on the land) and protective factors (i.e., health, quality of life, resilience, life on the land, life in the community, and support from family and friends). Using linear regression, model selection, and multi-model inference, we show that the felt impacts of environmental changes increased with age but were lower for participants with higher quality of life. The effect of resilience was opposite to expectations: more resilient participants felt more impacts. This could be because less resilient individuals ceased to go on the land when environmental changes exceeded a given threshold; thus, only the most resilient participants could testify to the impacts of acute changes. Further research will be needed to test this hypothesis.
Martina Barchitta, Andrea Maugeri, Roberta Magnano San Lio, Giuliana Favara, Claudia La Mastra, Maria La Rosa, Antonella Agodi
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17020638

Abstract:Folate requirement among women who plan to become pregnant should be raised to 600 μg/day during the periconceptional period. To meet this need, several countries began to promote the use of folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy. Here, we investigated prevalence and determinants of dietary folate intake and folic acid supplement use among 397 pregnant women (aged 15–50 years old, median = 37 years old). We also investigated their effects on neonatal outcomes in a subgroup of women who completed pregnancy. For doing that, we used data from the “Mamma & Bambino” project, an ongoing mother-child cohort settled in Catania (Italy). Inadequate folate intake was evaluated using a Food Frequency Questionnaire and defined as an intake < 600 μg/day. Women were also classified as non-users (i.e., women who did not use folic acid supplements), insufficient users (i.e., women who did not take folic acid supplements as recommended), and recommended users of folic acid supplements. Neonatal outcomes of interest were preterm birth (PTB) and small for gestational age (SGA). Nearly 65% of women (n = 257) reported inadequate folate intake, while 74.8% and 22.4% were respectively classified as insufficient or recommended users of supplements. We demonstrated higher odds of inadequate folate intake among smoking women (OR = 1.457; 95%CI = 1.046–2.030; p = 0.026), those who followed dietary restrictions (OR = 2.180; 95%CI = 1.085–4.378; p = 0.029), and those with low adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (OR = 3.194; 95%CI = 1.958–5.210; p < 0.001). In a subsample of 282 women who completed pregnancy, we also noted a higher percentage of SGA among those with inadequate folate intake (p < 0.001). Among 257 women with inadequate folate intake, those with low educational level were more likely to not take folic acid supplements than their more educated counterpart (OR = 5.574; 95%CI = 1.487–21.435; p = 0.012). In a subsample of 184 women with inadequate folate intake and complete pregnancy, we observed a higher proportion of SGA newborns among women who did not take supplement before pregnancy and those who did not take at all (p = 0.009). We also noted that the proportion of PTB was higher among non-users and insufficient users of folic acid supplements, but difference was not statistically significant. Our study underlined the need for improving the adherence of pregnant women with recommendations for dietary folate intake and supplement use. Although we proposed a protective effect of folic acid supplement use on risk of SGA, further research is encouraged to corroborate our findings and to investigate other factors involved.
Tomás Arias-Colmenero, Mª Pérez-Morente, Antonio Ramos-Morcillo, Concepción Capilla-Díaz, María Ruzafa-Martínez, César Hueso-Montoro
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17020639

Abstract:The aim of this article was to explore the experiences and attitudes of people with HIV/AIDS. A systematic review of qualitative studies was carried out. Twenty-seven articles were included, with sample sizes ranging from 3 to 78. Articles from North America, South America, Central America, Europe, and Africa were included. Five topics emerged from the synthesis: feelings about the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS; stigma and HIV/AIDS; changes in sexual behavior after becoming infected; living with the virus; and pregnancy and motherhood in seropositive women. The moment of diagnosis is of vital importance for these people due to feelings such as disappointment, sadness, fear, despair, lack of awareness, and pain. Social support is highly valued among these people and is linked to an improvement in these peoples’ quality of life. Different kinds of stigma accompany people with HIV/AIDS throughout their life, like social stigma, self-stigma, and health professionals’ stigma. Seropositive women who decide to become mothers can feel frustration because they cannot breastfeed. Spirituality helps some people to deal with the fact of being a virus or disease carrier.
Monica Jackson, Kameshwar Singh, Thomas Lamb, Scott McIntosh, Irfan Rahman
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17020640

Abstract:Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use has had an exponential increase in popularity since the product was released to the public. Currently, there is a lack of human studies that assess different biomarker levels. This pilot study attempts to link e-cigarette and other tobacco product usage with clinical respiratory symptoms and immunoglobulin response. Subjects completed surveys in order to collect self-reported data on tobacco product flavor preferences. Along with this, plasma samples were collected to test for immunoglobulin G (IgG) and E (IgE) levels. Our pilot study’s cohort had a 47.9% flavor preference towards fruit flavors and a 63.1% preference to more sweet flavors. E-cigarette and traditional cigarette smokers were the two subject groups to report the most clinical symptoms. E-cigarette users also had a significant increase in plasma IgE levels compared to non-tobacco users 1, and dual users had a significant increase in plasma IgG compared to non-tobacco users 2, cigarette smokers, and waterpipe smokers. Our pilot study showed that users have a preference toward fruit and more sweet flavors and that e-cigarette and dual use resulted in an augmented systemic immune response.