The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the prevalence of abdominal symptoms and the abdominal medical history among sewage workers. 142 male sewage workers and 137 male referents in 11 Swedish municipalities were addressed with a questionnaire about abdominal symptoms, medical history, occupational history and life style factors. The sewage workers suffered less from nausea [adjusted odds ratio (adjOR) = 0.18, 95% confidence interval (Cl) 0.04-0.84] than the referents. There was no significant difference in the three months prevalence of diarrhoea (adjOR = 1.7, 95% Cl = 0.79-3.4), dyspepsia (adjOR = 0.85, 95% Cl = 0.49-1.5) or irritable bowel syndrome (adjOR = 1.4, 95% Cl = 0.53-3.5). The sewage workers were affected more often by peptic ulcers during their present jobs than the referents, although the increased risk was not significant (adjOR = 1.4, 95% Cl = 0.31-6.1). The odds ratios were adjusted for age, use of tobacco products and alcohol consumption. The conclusion of this study was that sewage workers are less affected by nausea than comparable referents.
Dwellings with/without a lead service line [LSL] were sampled for lead in tap water in Montreal, during different seasons. Short-term simulations using these results and the batchrun mode of the Integrated Exposure Uptake Biokinetic (IEUBK) model showed that children's exposure to lead at the tap in the presence of an LSL varies seasonally, and according to the type of dwelling. From July to March, for single-family homes, the estimated geometric mean [GM] blood lead level [BLL] decreased from 2.3-3.6 µg/dL to 1.5-2.5 µg/dL, depending on the children's age. The wide seasonal variations in lead exposure result in a minimal fraction (0-6%) of children with a predicted BLL >5 µg/dL in winter, as opposed to a significant proportion (5-25%) in summer. These estimations are in close agreement with the BLLs measured in Montreal children in fall and winter, and simulations using summer water lead levels illustrate the importance of measuring BLLs during the summer. Finally, simulations for wartime residences with long LSLs confirm the need to prioritize the control of this lead exposure from tap water.
Public health has always been, and remains, an interdisciplinary field, and engineering was closely aligned with public health for many years. Indeed, the branch of engineering that has been known at various times as sanitary engineering, public health engineering, or environmental engineering was integral to the emergence of public health as a distinct discipline. However, in the United States (U.S.) during the 20th century, the academic preparation and practice of this branch of engineering became largely separated from public health. Various factors contributed to this separation, including an evolution in leadership roles within public health; increasing specialization within public health; and the emerging environmental movement, which led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with its emphasis on the natural environment. In this paper, we consider these factors in turn. We also present a case study example of public health engineering in current practice in the U.S. that has had large-scale positive health impacts through improving water and sanitation services in Native American and Alaska Native communities. We also consider briefly how to educate engineers to work in public health in the modern world, and the benefits and challenges associated with that process. We close by discussing the global implications of public health engineering and the need to re-integrate engineering into public health practice and strengthen the connection between the two fields.
Problems associated with sewage treatment and human wastes at high latitudes are briefly reviewed. In view of the fact that E. coli and other faecal bacteria can survive in the snow and the coastal waters of polar regions, several methods of how to deal with sewage outfalls in the Arctic and Antarctic are compared and discussed. Some consequences of raw sewage on the health of captive populations of a variety of Antarctic invertebrates and fish are described. Locomotion and respiration appear to be most affected. However, gaps, both in understanding the biological impact of human sewage on polar ecosystems and in finding optimal solutions for the disposal and treatment of the wastes generated by people who live in polar settlements, unfortunately still remain.
The microbiological quality of tap water and that of water from 50 water coolers located in residences and workplaces were comparatively studied. In addition, difference factors that might influence the bacteriological contamination of water dispensers were examined. Aeorbic and facultative anaerobic heterotrophic bacteria, total coliforms, and two indicators for fecal contamination (fecal coliforms and fecal streptococci) as well as three types of pathogenic bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Aeromonas spp.) were enumerated. It was found that 36 and 28% of the water dispenser samples from the residences and the workplaces, respectively, were contaminated by a least one coliform or indicator bacterium and/or at least one pathogenic bacterium. The respective proportions of tap water samples contaminated in a similar fashion were 18 and 22%, much less than those observed for water coolers (Chi2(1) = 3.71, P = 0.05). We were unable to discern the dominant factors responsible for the contamination of water coolers, but cleaning the water dispenser every 2 months seemed to limit the extent of contamination.
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Cites: Appl Environ Microbiol. 1981 Aug;42(2):277-837283426
Determinants of waterpipe use in adolescents are believed to differ from those for other tobacco products, but there is a lack of studies of possible social, cultural, or psychological aspects of waterpipe use in this population. This study applied a socioecological model to explore waterpipe use, and its relationship to other tobacco use in Swedish adolescents.
A total of 106 adolescents who attended an urban high-school in northern Sweden responded to an anonymous questionnaire. Prevalence rates for waterpipe use were examined in relation to socio-demographics, peer pressure, sensation seeking behavior, harm perception, environmental factors, and depression.
Thirty-three percent reported ever having smoked waterpipe (ever use), with 30% having done so during the last 30 days (current use). Among waterpipe ever users, 60% had ever smoked cigarettes in comparison to 32% of non-waterpipe smokers (95% confidence interval 1.4-7.9). The odds of having ever smoked waterpipe were three times higher among male high school seniors as well as students with lower grades. Waterpipe ever users had three times higher odds of having higher levels of sensation-seeking (95% confidence interval 1.2-9.5) and scored high on the depression scales (95% confidence interval 1.6-6.8) than non-users. The odds of waterpipe ever use were four times higher for those who perceived waterpipe products to have pleasant smell compared to cigarettes (95% confidence interval 1.7-9.8). Waterpipe ever users were twice as likely to have seen waterpipe use on television compared to non-users (95% confidence interval 1.1-5.7). The odds of having friends who smoked regularly was eight times higher for waterpipe ever users than non-users (95% confidence interval 2.1-31.2).
The current study reports a high use of waterpipe in a select group of students in northern Sweden. The study adds the importance of looking at socioecological determinants of use, including peer pressure and exposure to media marketing, as well as mental health among users.
Questionnaires were distributed in 3308 families divided into two groups: group 1 with no cases of acute intestinal infections and group 2 where such cases were registered. Information contained in the questionnaires was processes by means of computers bzsm-6. The analysis of the data on the occurrence of characteristics indicating the quality of water supply and water consumption (25 characteristics), sewage and sanitation (12 characteristics), living conditions (19 characteristics) showed that the living conditions of the families in group 2 were worse than those of the families in group 1. The occurrence of these characteristics in the families of patients with acute intestinal infections and in the families of carriers were mostly the same, and the existing differences in such characteristics as "fishing", "use of water from ponds for house-hold purposes" proved to be nonessential. The population of the city was divided into four risk groups with regard to the possibility of contacting infection, depending on the conditions of water supply, water consumption and sewage in different housing areas: the group registered as stable on account of sanitary and hygienic conditions, the groups of usual, increased and maximum risk.