Environmental Public Health Journal 2014 | BCIT Institutional Repository

Environmental Public Health Journal 2014

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The risk of consuming MTGase-restructured steaks like intact steaks
Introduction: The use of transglutaminase to restructure loose pieces of meat into a fully intact piece of steak has been a concern for the public because of the potential internalization of contaminated surfaces into the aseptic center. The aim of this study was to examine if restructured steaks are safe to consume when cooked to medium rare, a common option with whole cut steaks Methods: Strips of beef were inoculated with E.coli to induce surface contamination. Steaks were restructured with transglutaminase and the altered meat. These steaks were then cooked alongside fully intact whole-cut steak samples. Each sample was then churned in a stomacher, and the resulting solution was used to detect for potential E.coli bacteria. Samples were then enriched and finally placed into the Hygiena Micro-snap Rapid Coliform and E.coli detection test to look for the presence of E.coli. Results: The Hygiena system showed that all transglutaminase restructured steaks possessed detectable levels of E.coli even after cooking to 55 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, no whole-cut steaks had traces of E.coli even when cooked to this same temperature. Conclusion: The results demonstrated that there is a substantial risk with restructured steaks and they should not be consumed undercooked. As well, proper labelling and guidelines should be developed to enable consumers to be better equipped in making decisions to consume properly consumed altered steaks., 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, Transglutaminase, Meat glue, Steaks, Food safety, Escherichia coli
Safety and pH measurements of sushi rice in Japanese restaurants in Burnaby BC, Canada
Background and Purpose: The increasing popularity of sushi in Metro Vancouver raises public health concerns over the consumption of sushi rice being held out of temperature control. Although sushi rice is acidified to control growth of pathogenic microorganisms, there is no existing documented system to monitor the pH of sushi rice, and pH testing is rarely performed by Environmental Health Officers(EHOs)/Public Health Inspectors(PHIs) during routine inspections. The purpose of the study was to measure the pH of sushi rice samples collected from different sushi restaurants in Burnaby, BC and determine whether the pH meets the accepted standard of 4.6 or below. Methods: 30 sushi rice samples were collected from 30 randomly selected sushi restaurants in Burnaby, British Columbia. The samples were kept at room temperature and then tested for pH using the Waterproof Palm pH Meter. Results: The mean pH of the samples was 4.09; the median was 4.115; the standard deviation was 0.198; and the range was 0.82 with the minimum value of 3.71 and the maximum value of 4.53. 100% (30 out of 30 samples) had the pH less than 4.6. The statistical z-test resulted in a p-value of 0.00. Discussion: All of the sushi rice samples had pH values less than 4.6. Therefore, the samples were adequately acidified to inhibit the growth of pathogens. The low pH values indicate that the samples are not considered potentially hazardous food, thus safe to be stored at room temperature for extended periods of time. However, due to the nature of Bacillus cereus that can grow at a pH 4.3 or higher, the target pH of sushi rice is 4.3 or lower. Conclusion: Inadequately acidified sushi rice may pose a health risk if it is stored out of temperature control. The study shows that sushi rice being consumed by the public in Burnaby, BC is generally safe and has a low public health concern. Therefore, EHOs/PHIs can feel assured that sushi rice stored at room temperature is unlikely to cause potential foodborne illness., 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, sushi, rice, pH, acidity, food safety, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Burnaby, BC
A study of indoor air quality investigations in B.C health authorities
Canadians spend 90 percent of their lifetime indoors and are currently aware that poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can negatively impact human health. If there are any IAQ problems, the Health Authorities will conduct IAQ investigations to respond to the complainants or resolve the conflicts. An online survey to Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) and specialists was used to understand the frequencies that B.C. Health Authorities conduct IAQ investigations, the locations Health Authorities encountered most IAQ queries, the different types of pollutants that IAQ instruments are used for and the preference for instruments chosen. Five common indoor air pollutants, such as mould, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), radon, particulate matters (PMs), CO and CO2, were chosen and the Chi-Square test was used to analyze the data in this study. This study showed that most EHOs had never conducted IAQ investigations since they had worked in the B. C Health Authorities. Mould problems between landlord and tenant were EHOs mostly encountered. The study found that EHOs referred to other agencies or consultants when they received complaints. The data showed that the method of managing IAQ problems was associated with the Health Authorities because few EHOs from Vancouver Coastal Health indicated they had used equipment to conduct IAQ investigations. The mostly encountered location and frequency of conducting radon investigations were significantly associated with the Health Authorities due to an on-going project in Northern Authority. Most EHOs and specialists had shown that they educated public regarding to the information of IAQ instead of monitoring the IAQ pollutants. The results of this study indicate that EHOs did not get involved in IAQ investigations often and also showed that mould problems were the mostly encountered IAQ problems between the Health Authorities. The most important role of EHOs and specialists in this area is to educate public to solve or prevent IAQ problems., 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, Indoor air quality, PMs, CO, CO2, Radon, mould
Testing for presence of radioactivity in BC Pacific Ocean’s seafood supply
Abstract: Due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant incident in March 2011, large quantities of contaminated water were released to the Pacific Ocean in Japan. The severity of contamination on the marine environment is unclear, therefore, the public is concerned with the possible internal radiation exposure from ingesting contaminated seafood products caught in the Pacific Ocean. This study was aimed to investigate the presence or absence of gamma radioactivity in commonly consumed seafood products from B.C. In total, ten different species of fish and three different species of shellfish were selected for analysis. For each species of fish, two samples were collected and each sample was from a different local seafood market. For each species of shellfish, ten samples were collected from three different sources. Using the portable GR-135 Plus gamma ray spectrometer, the samples were tested and analyzed for the presence of Fukushima radionuclides, particularly Cesium-137 (Cs-137) and Cesium- 134 (Cs-134).Based on the analyzed fish and shellfish, no gamma radiation was detected. The detector did not identify any gamma radiation over the normal background readings., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2014. “The views expressed in this paper are those of author and do not necessarily reflect their official policy, position or views of BCIT, the Environmental Health Program or its faculty.”, Published., Peer reviewed, Fish, Shellfish, Fukushima, Radiation, Gamma, Pacific Ocean, Cesium-137, Cesium-134
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

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