Environmental Public Health Journal 2014 | BCIT Institutional Repository

Environmental Public Health Journal 2014

Bluetooth’s impact on radiation emissions
Introduction: Cellphone usage has increased leaps and bounds over the past decade. With the growing popularity of cellphones come numerous studies on the effects of mobile radiation on human health. Cellphone radiation has been associated with many health implications such as: sleep deprivation, hearing loss, slower sperm, cancers and tumors to name a few; however, more research is needed to confirm these claims. Purpose: The purpose of this research is to determine the Bluetooth impact on radiation levels when it is paired with a cellphone. This is a two-fold process: firstly, to determine radiation levels emitted by the pairing of a cellphone and a Bluetooth headset and comparing it to a control group of the cellphone alone and secondly, comparing the radiation emissions of a paired cellphone with the associated paired Bluetooth headset. Methods: An Extech RF EMF strength meter was used to measure the radiation emission levels (μW/cm2) of various phone types by Apple and Samsung when they were unpaired and paired with a LG HBM-220 Bluetooth device. The radiation emissions of the paired Bluetooth were also measured. Results: There was a statistically significant increase in radiation emissions (μW/cm2) observed in a cellphone paired with a Bluetooth when compared to an unpaired cellphone. This was statistically significant as the p-value (0.00026) was less than the 0.05 and 0.01 values and the power was near 100 % (99.8%). When comparing the paired cellphone with the associated paired Bluetooth, the Bluetooth emitted much more radiation than the cellphone. This data was statistically significant as well as the p-value was at 0.00000 and the power at 100%. Discussion: The findings in this study suggest that Bluetooth headsets increase radiation emissions; however, it is important to note that only one Bluetooth headset model (LG HBM-220) was tested. The results also conflict with Health Canada claims that Bluetooth headsets decrease radiation emissions. More research is needed to confirm the results found in this study. A key limitation of this study was that only Samsung and Apple Inc. brands were tested. Additionally, the equipment used to measure radiation levels (Extech RMF meter) was subject to background radiation sources. Conclusion: The pairing of a LG HBM-220 Bluetooth to a cellphone increases radiation emissions in both the cellphone and Bluetooth when compared to an unpaired cellphone. These increases in emissions when paired would results in additive effects to one’s body., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2014., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Peer reviewed, Bluetooth, cellphone, EMF radiation, Apple, Samsung
Determining the time required to disinfect a sponge contaminated with Escherichia coli, using a commercial microwave
Background: Disinfection and sanitation are important in areas where food is involved. Thorough cleaning is a necessity to prevent growth of harmful pathogens that could affect human health. Sponges used for cleaning can serve as a vehicle for cross-contamination on food preparation surfaces. There are various methods that could be used to disinfect contaminated sponges. The usage of a microwave is one suggested method. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if the Scotch-BriteTM Brand, cellulose sponges contaminated with E.coli (105 cfu/ml) could be disinfected using a microwave set at three timings (30 seconds, 1 minute, and 2 minutes). Methods: The Hygiena MicroSnap was used to detect the presence (or absence) of E.coli in sponges after microwave heating. The relative light units (RLU) indicated in the monitor determined whether there were any remaining coliforms in the sample after microwaving. Results: Statistical analysis was conducted using Microsoft Excel and NCSS. After heating sponges for 30 seconds, 100% of the samples detected no E.coli. After heating for 1 minute, 70% of the samples had no E.coli present. After heating for 2 minutes, 100% of the samples detected no E.coli. The p-value of 0.03567 concludes that the results were statistically significant at the 5% significance level. Discussion: The results of this study indicate that sponges contaminated with E.coli can be disinfected using microwave heating. EHOs, food establishment operators, and the general public can use this knowledge to re-use their old sponges and avoid further cross-contamination. Conclusions: The results indicate that microwave time is associated with the presence or absence of E.coli in a sponge. However, E.coli was present in 3 samples microwaved at 1 minute. This suggests further studies are required to confirm the findings of this study. In addition, further studies are required to determine what specific time is sufficient to completely eliminate the E.coli in a contaminated sponge., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2014., Peer-reviewed article, Peer reviewed, E.coli, sponge, disinfection, microwave, MicroSnap, cross-contamination, EHO
Evaluating the health and safety knowledge of body waxing providers in British Columbia
BACKGROUND: Since the deregulation of the BC Cosmetology Act in 2003, esthetics has become a voluntary-certified trade. Considering the rising popularity of more intimate body waxing services and the potential for infections and injuries associated with these services, there is concern that BC waxing service providers have varying levels of health and safety knowledge. METHODS: The health and safety knowledge of BC estheticians was analyzed by conducting a knowledge assessment survey of body waxing providers from random clusters of 50 beauty salons in Vancouver and Surrey, BC. To evaluate which parameters affected the estheticians’ knowledge scores, ANOVA, t-tests and regression analyses were used. Chi square analyses were used to determine factors associated with the level of esthetics training. RESULTS: Health and safety knowledge scores widely varied (mean = 18.8 ± 5.5 out of 36 points). Estheticians’ qualifications were not significantly associated with whether the esthetician started practicing before or after the BC Cosmetology Act deregulation. 84% held a traditional esthetics certification and 30% had BeautySafe certification; however they did not necessarily score significantly higher on the health and safety knowledge assessment. Estheticians scored higher in Vancouver than in Surrey (p=0.046). The cost of waxing (p=0.0011) and estheticians’ perceptions (p=0.020) of their own knowledge level are also positively related to their knowledge score. Age, alma mater, years of experience, and ethnicity did not show any significant relationship with an esthetician’s qualifications or knowledge scores. CONCLUSIONS: Cost of wax treatment, esthetician’s perception of health and safety knowledge and location were indicators of an esthetician’s health and safety knowledge competency. Consumers should ask the esthetician to rate their own knowledge competency, opt for the more expensive treatment and if they have the option, choose a Vancouver salon over a Surrey salon. The wide range of knowledge scores indicate a gap in health and safety standards and thus, an opportunity for health authorities and the esthetic industry to collaborate to establish such standards., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2014., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Peer reviewed, body waxing, esthetician, health, safety
Safety of Chinese roast pork as determined by the water activity of the skin and cavity
Objectives: The increase in unfamiliar ethnic foods and the lack of guidelines available to evaluate their safety makes it increasingly challenging for Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) to ensure food safety. Chinese barbecued meats, for example, frequently undergo improper temperature control, causing health concerns for public health authorities. However, due to the limited studies conducted, the health implications associated with temperature abuse of this ethnic food is currently unclear. Hence, the following study assessed the safety of Chinese barbecued meats, specifically roast pork, at ambient temperature (21°C). Methods: The temperature and water activity (aw) of 30 samples of roast pork skin and cavity were measured. A one sample t-test was conducted to assess whether or not the aw of roast pork surfaces are below 0.85, a standard for safe display of food at room temperature. In addition, the paired-sample t-test was conducted to determine whether a difference exists between the aw of roast pork skin and cavity. Results: The mean temperature that roast pork was displayed at in retailers was 30.7°C and the mean skin and cavity aw were 0.70±0.013 and 0.81±0.009, respectively. The aw of the roast pork skin and cavity were found to be statistically lower than the standard, 0.85 (p-value < 0.00001 and at 0.001338, respectively). In addition, statistically significant difference was found between the mean aw of the roast pork skin and cavity (p-value < 0.00001). Conclusion: These results indicate that the whole roast pork can be safely displayed at ambient temperature provided that it adheres to specific food safety and sanitation criteria. These results can aid health authorities with guidelines development to assist PHIs with inspections and educate operators to ensure food safety., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2014., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Peer reviewed, Chinese roast pork, water activity, temperature abuse, public health, skin, cavity
UV transmittance in market place sunglasses and their adherence to established standards.
Background: Sunglasses are used to shade and protect the public’s eyes every day. However some improperly made sunglasses offer inadequate UV protection that shade the eyes and dilate pupils, while letting in a high dose of UV radiation into sensitive ocular tissues. This UV exposure can have acute and chronic effects such as temporary blindness and clouding of the eye. This study investigated the prevalence of sunglasses with poor UV protection and examined any relationships or associations between such sunglasses and their retail price or declared protective standards. Methods: 35 unused sunglasses available in the Metro Vancouver area were tested using an Agilent 8453 UV-visible Spectroscopy System for UV transmittance rates in the UVA, UVB, and UVC wavelengths. Results were statistically analyzed for any potential relationships or associations between price, price categories, total number of wavelengths failed, transmittance test results, decal presence, and types of decals present. Results: Sample sunglasses were distributed to be 51% budget sunglasses, 23% standard sunglasses, and 26% premium sunglasses. Of these 35 sunglasses, 11% failed the 4% permitted transmittance test, and 89% of the sunglasses had some form of UV protection claim adhered or printed on the product. Statistically significant associations, using Chi-squared analysis, could not be found between transmittance test results and price category, UV protection claims, or the type of UV protection claim; p-values were found to be 0.43643, 0.44525, and 0.58402, respectively. A statistically significant relationship, using linear regression, could not be found between price and total wavelengths failed; p-value was found to be 0.2272 with a slope of -0.1334 Conclusion: Though no statistically significant relationships or associations could not be found, the study did find sunglasses that offered inadequate UV protection, leading to the conclusion that there are sunglasses in the Metro Vancouver market that are inappropriate for standard UV protection., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2014., Published., Peer reviewed, UV protection, Sunglasses, Sunglass, UVR, UV, Photoprotection, Vancouver, Ocular health, Vision
Wi-Fi radiation levels at BCIT
Objective: To determine if there are any difference in the amount of EMF Wi-Fi radiation being emitted between three locations at the BCIT campus in Burnaby, BC. Background: Wi-Fi radiation is widely being used in today’s society for the quick access it gives us to connect to the internet. Some cities in the United Kingdom have installed many Wi-Fi devices throughout the public domain so people can be connected all the time. Furthermore, most schools are being outfitted with routers to provide internet access for their students. But, as this paper will show, new research is forcing a shift in the thinking of some policy makers in choosing to install these connections in the public domain. Method: To measure the amount of non-ionizing EMF radiation being absorbed by the body, an Extech RF meter was used. This instrument provides instantaneous and average readings for a particular area one measures. During the experiment, the RF meter was held stationary at one location for approximately 10-15 seconds in order to stabilize the reading. The average value was taken as the instantaneous reading was fluctuating. This process was done in 3 buildings at BCIT and in order to increase the reliability and validity, 30 data points were collected from each building. Results: The Tests of Assumption showed that the data was not normally distributed as there was more than one “Reject” at the 0.05 probability level. For analysis, the Krukal-Wallis One-Way ANOVA was utilized and results showed that due to a high probability level of 0.57, the H0 could not be rejected and as a result there are no differences in radiation levels being emitted into the buildings tested. Conclusion: The amount of Wi-Fi radiation in the three buildings tested at BCIT were not significantly different from one another., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2014., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Peer reviewed, Wi-Fi, EMF, Radiation, BCIT, Schools, Public, Building, Internet