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  • Open access
  • 178 Reads
Noise Annoyance in Urban Life: the Citizen as a Key Point of the Directives

The improvement of the quality of life in the framework of the smart-city paradigm cannot be limited to measuring objective environmental factors but should also consider the assessment of the citizens’ health. Road traffic noise has been widely studied in terms of citizens’ annoyance and its impact on health, but other types of urban noise are usually out of those analysis. Each node of a wireless acoustic sensor network can pick up street noise, and can even record specific sounds that reach a higher equivalent level for study, but the most important thing for administration is whether certain types of noise annoy the citizen. In this work, we present the analysis and the selection of several audio samples collected by a wireless acoustic sensor network in an urban environment in order to conduct perceptive tests by several users. This a first approximation to the evaluation of the real perception of citizens’ annoyance of the urban noise collected by a low-cost wireless acoustic sensor network.

  • Open access
  • 262 Reads
Mediterranean Built Environment and Weather as Modulator Factors on Physical Activity: Cross-Sectional Study

Background: When promoting physical activity practice, it is important to consider the plausible environmental determinants that may affect this practice. We aimed to explore the impact of objectively measured Public Open Spaces (POS) on objectively measured and self-reported physical activity and the influence of weather on this association, in a Mediterranean sample of senior adults with overweight or obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Method: Cross-sectional analyses based on 218 PREDIMED-Plus trial participants aged 55-75 years, from Palma de Mallorca (Spain). Indicators of access to POS were assessed in 1·0 km sausage network walkable buffer around each participant’s residence address using geographic information systems. Mean daily minutes of self-reported leisure-time brisk walking, and accelerometer measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at least in 10 min bouts were measured. In order investigate the association between access to POS and physical activity, generalized additive models with gaussian link function were used. Results: Better access to POS was no statistically significant associated with self-reported leisure-time brisk walking. Only a positive significant association was observed between distance of healthy routes contained or intersected by buffer and OB-MVPA. This association was only evident on non-rainy days. Conclusions: In this elderly population living in a Mediterranean city, only healthy routes contained or intersected by 1 km sausage network walkable buffer influenced on accelerometer measured MVPA 10 minutes bouts and rainy conditions during the accelerometer wear period did appear to be an important factor related to active ageing.

  • Open access
  • 85 Reads
Breast-Feeding Protects Children from Adverse Effects of Environmental Tobacco Smoke

In a cross-sectional study on 433 schoolchildren (aged 6-9 years) from 9 schools in Austria we observed associations between housing factors like passive smoking and lung function as well as improved lung function in children who had been breast-fed. The latter findings urged the question whether protective effects of breast feeding act on environmental stressors or if they act independently. Therefore the effect of passive smoking on lung function was stratified by breast-feeding. Detrimental effects of passive smoking were significant but restricted to the group of 53 children without breast-feeding. Breast feeding counteracts the effect of environmental stressors on the growing respiratory organs.

  • Open access
  • 403 Reads
Acute Effects of Air Pollution and Noise from Road Traffic in A Panel of Young Healthy Subjects

Twenty-four healthy students walked at least 4 times for one hour under each of the 4 settings: By a busy road, by a busy road wearing ear plugs, in a park, in a park but exposed to traffic noise (65 dB) through speakers. Particles (PM2.5, particle number) and noise levels were measured throughout each walk. Lung function and exhaled NO were measured before, immediately, one hour, and approximately 24 hours after each walk. Blood pressure and heart rate variability were measured every 15 minutes during each walk. Air pollution levels reduced lung function levels. Noise levels reduced systolic blood pressure and heart-rate variability.

  • Open access
  • 93 Reads
Risks for Population Health from Atmospheric Air Pollution in the City of Kazan

The assessment of non-carcinogenic risk for the population health from chemicals coming with exhaust gases of motor transport citywide and in certain districts of the city of Kazan was performed. The calculation was carried out according to the results of the laboratory and instrumental tests carried out by FBHI “Center of Hygiene and Epidemiology in the Republic of Tatarstan” for the period from 2010 to 2016. The general toxic effect on the organs of the respiratory system from (42.5 to 62.0%) in the city and districts is due to exposure to the total fraction of TSP, РМ 10 and РМ 2,5. Population risk of the total TSP impact made 1244 cases of additional deaths per year among the city population, apart from external causes. In Vakhitovsky and Sovetsky districts, this index for the whole population made 86 and 281 per year correspondingly. The absence of data on the age-specific death rate in the districts did not allow calculating the given indices for certain age groups. Damage associated with total morbidity of asthma among the cumulative city population caused by the exposure to РМ10 made 486 cases in adults and 67 cases in children per year. Damage from the exposure to РМ2.5 made 332 additional deaths from all causes (14.6%); 1727 from cardiovascular diseases (4.5%); 18 - from respiratory diseases (6.0%). Currently, the assessment of mortality and diseases caused by the air pollution is the starting point for development or correction of regulatory actions in the field of the environmental and the population health protection at the regional levels.

  • Open access
  • 101 Reads
Risk Assessment of Chemical Contaminants Ingestion with Nutrition of Children Aged 3–6 Years Old from the City of Kazan

The analysis of the such chemicalsas cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), arsenic (As), mercury (Hg) intake with the diet of children aged 3-6 years oldfrom the city of Kazan for periods (2007-2010 and 2011-2014) was carried out. The study of actual child nutrition was performed by questionnaire andtime-weight methods. The calculation of daily doses was made with the account of regional exposure factors at the 95thperc level. The non-carcinogenic risk from the exposure to methylmercury with basic food groupsat the level of the 95th perc made 3.89 and 3.33 for both periods, 10.67– for arsenic in the first period, being unacceptable (HQ >1). In 2007-2010, the central nervous system (CNS), the hormone system (HS), the immune system (IS), and the development (HI = 15.75, 12.87, 11.72 and 4.03) were exposed to the highest toxic effect. An in 2011-2014, the CNS and the development (HI = 4.02 and 3.98) were. The risk of developing non-carcinogeni ceffects for these systems (64% - 91 %) was mainly due to contamination of foods with As for the first period, and– to the intake of Pb (46 % - 57%) for the second period. The value of the total individual carcinogenic risk (ICRCd, Pb, As), for the second period (1.69Е-05) corresponds to maximum allowable level. In 2007-2010, the total ICRmade 2.45Е-04, which is an unacceptable level for the population. The major contribution to the total ICR due to the intake of contaminated foods was made by As –92.55 % in the first period, and by Cd – 79.93 % in the second period.

The peculiarities of the child body (the amount of chemicals ingested per kilogram of the body weight is higher in children than in adults), determine the potential risk and are responsible for high vulnerability on exposure to chemicals and development of adverse effects.

  • Open access
  • 80 Reads
Prescribing Pattern of Anti-Hypertensive Drugs and Adherence to JNC VII Guideline

Introduction: Hypertension is an important public health concern because of its associated morbidity, mortality and economic impact on the society. It is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and renal complications. A number of national and international guidelines for the management of hypertension have been published. The Joint National Committee (JNC) in 2003 published a series of guidelines recommend the appropriate antihypertensive therapy based on the best available evidence. Objectives: This drug utilization study was intended to find out the preferred drug group prescribed either alone or in combinations and their adherence to the JNC7 guidelines. Methods and Material: It was the prospective cross-sectional study. Drug utilization data of 100 hypertensive patients, carried out in hospitals in Nepal. The patients who received antihypertensive drugs during their treatment period were reviewed and data were analyzed in SPSS V16. The prescribed drugs were compared with JNC VII guidelines. Results: It shows that, 40% patients were males & 60% were females. Most of female hypertensive patients (45.0%) were in the age group of > 60 years & most of male hypertensive patients (45.0%) were in the age group of 40 - 60 years. It was found that 45% of the patients were found with Stage 1 Hypertension, 32% of the patients were with Pre-hypertension stage, 17% of the patient with Stage 2 hypertension and the Normal stage was found to be 6%. The most frequently prescribed antihypertensive drugs groups were ARB (32.44%), ARB+ Thiazide (15.94%), Diuretics (11.59%), CCBs + Beta blockers (9.42%), CCB (8.7%). 39% received monotherapy while remaining 61% received combination therapy. 74% of the total prescription follows JNC VII guidelines. Conclusion: There is need of following such authentic guidelines in managing hypertension like chronic disease since these guidelines are based on various clinical trials and successful attainment of target BP in patients will be much easier by implementing them. National health policy makers should consider evaluation and treatment of hypertension as a right in public health system for better outcomes in terms of morbidity and mortality from hypertension.

  • Open access
  • 95 Reads
Toxicology Classification of Pool Water Quality in Relation to Selected Pollutant Fractions Present in Washings Samples

The aim of the study is to determine the fractional share of organic pollutants in washings samples, collected after pressure filters washing. The evaluation of the physicochemical and toxicological quality of raw washings, fraction <200 kDa, <30 kDa and <300 Da has been presented. Separation of selected fractions was carried out with the participation of a multistage pressure membrane system using ultra- and nanofiltration. The physicochemical analysis was conducted based on the total organic carbon (TOC) concentration, dissolved organic carbon, and total carbon. The toxicological classification of isolated fractions was also prepared using the percentage of toxicity effects obtained in commercial bioassays—Microtox® and Artoxkit M. The concentration of TOC in the analyzed samples of raw washings was ranged from 2.50 to 11.00 mgC / L. The presented study showed a significant share of the organic pollutants fraction with a molar weight below 300 Da in the examined washings (the TOC was from 0.71 to 1.48 mgC/L). No correlation was observed between the concentration of TOC and the percentage of toxic effect. Screening toxicity tests can be a signal of swimming pool water quality; but they need to be extended with additional test organisms or observations of more morphological parameters of these organisms.

  • Open access
  • 106 Reads
Extended-Family Talk About Sex and Teen Sexual Behavior

Research shows that family sexuality communication is protective for teens’ risky sexual behavior, but most studies on this topic focus exclusively on the parent-teen dyad. The few studies that assess extended family sexuality communication use a single item to measure this communication and show mixed results as to whether it is associated with sexual risk behaviors for teens. The current study includes cross-sectional survey data from 952 teens in11th and 12th grades. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to assess associations between teens’ sexual risk behaviors and communication with extended family about protection methods, risks of sex and relational approaches to sex. Results showed that for sexually active teens, talk about protection methods was associated with fewer sexual partners and talk about risks of sex was associated with more sexual partners, even after accounting for talk with parents about sex and controlling for teen gender, racial/ethnic background and mothers’ education. Results suggest that extended family talk with teens about sex may protect them from risky sexual behavior over and above effects of teen-parent communication. However, the direction of the effect depends on the content of the conversations. Talk about protection may support teens’ sexual health, while talk with teens who have already had sex about risks of sex may not be effective. These findings suggest the need to explore whether and how extended family could be included in health prevention and intervention programs, which currently focus on parents.

  • Open access
  • 153 Reads
Public Health Messages Associated with the Low Exposure Category of the UV Index Need Reconsideration

Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the main modifiable risk factor for skin cancer. The Global Solar Ultraviolet Index (UVI) was introduced as a tool to visualize the intensity of UV radiation on a certain day which should enable and encourage people to take appropriate protective measures. The exposure category ‘low’ of the UVI, including values from 0 to 2, was linked to the health message ‘No protection required’ by the World Health Organization and collaborating centres. However, published evidence corroborating this advice is scarce. Therefore, we analysed ambient erythemal irradiance data of 14,431 daily UVI time series of low UVI days. Data were gathered at nine stations of the German solar UV monitoring network – covering all major climate areas in Germany – in the years 2007 ­­­- 2016. We compared ambient erythemal doses calculated for various time intervals with average minimal erythemal doses (MEDs) of the Caucasian Fitzpatrick skin phototypes I-IV to assess the potential for skin damage arising from sun exposure on days with low UVI values. The most common months for the occurrence of days with low UVI values in our dataset were January and December, February and November, and March and October for UVI 0, 1 and 2, respectively. Our results indicate that on days with a UVI value of 0, risk of deterministic radiation injury (solar erythema) is negligible. Conversely, the above-mentioned health message appears misleading when melano-compromised individuals spend several hours outdoors on days with a UVI value of 2, as median doses exceed the MEDs of Fitzpatrick skin types I and II after an exposure duration of only 2h around solar noon. Under very rare specific circumstances, MEDs of those two most sensitive skin types can also be exceeded even on days with UVI 1. Hence, two aspects of current public health messages may need reconsideration: on the one hand, the health message related to an ‘innocuous level’ of the UVI and, on the other hand, a possible adaption of UVI-related health messages to different skin types.

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