Environmental Public Health Journal 2017 | BCIT Institutional Repository

Environmental Public Health Journal 2017

Pages

Heterotrophic bacteria in botte refill stations
Background: Heterotrophic bacteria are commonly found in water supplies where there is inadequate or non-existent disinfection. Water coolers are known to have high HPC levels due to the filtered, non-chlorinated water provided. Water bottle refill stations utilize a carbon filter which can act as a food source for HPC. This study measured HPC levels in water samples from bottle refill stations to determine whether there is a difference compared to tap water at BCIT. Method: Standard Method 9060 A was used to collect water from bottle refill stations to compare to non-filtered tap water. Samples were plated using R2A Agar and incubated for 7 days before enumerating HPC from water samples. Samples were collected from specific drinking water fountains that contained Carbon Filters and compared to the nearest tap water source. Results: Mean HPC levels in bottle refill stations were found at 95 cfu/mL while mean HPC levels in tap water were 55 cfu/mL. A two-sample T-test confirmed that the mean HPC levels of bottle refill stations and tap water are statistically significantly different (P= 0.000124). Although the findings were statistically significant, the study’s power was low at 11%. Conclusion: Based on the results, drinking water obtained from bottle-refill stations at BCIT contained on an average higher level of HPC compared to tap water. Overall, HPC levels were below recommended levels in drinking water and not considered to have any harmful effects. To continue the safe use of bottle refill stations, facilities should develop and follow written procedures to maintain stations and ensure regular changing of filters., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2017., Peer reviewed, Heterotrophic, HPC, Carbon filter, Drinking water
Knowledge comparison between group childcare centres and family childcares on sanitation of toys
Background: Childcare facilities (CCFs) are known to have a high potential risk of exposure and transmission of infectious diseases through contact surfaces, such as toys. Research to date suggests that toys are a potential source of cross-infections in CCFs, especially when childcare providers do not practice proper hygiene. Currently, there is a lack of knowledge on the differences in sanitation methods of toys between group and family CCFs. This study compared knowledge of group and family CCFs regarding how to sanitize toys. Methods: Self-administered surveys were distributed to group and family CCFs in Surrey, BC via e-mail. The survey was used to assess the knowledge of childcare providers on sanitation of toys. The survey was evaluated using a scoring system. In addition, each participant answered descriptive questions, such as the existence of sanitation plans and toy cleaning and sanitizing schedules. Results: Group and family CCFs showed no statistically significant differences in knowledge levels on sanitation of toys. The mean score of the knowledge level of group and family CCFs was 65% and 55% respectively. Conclusion: Childcare providers in CCFs play a key role in properly sanitizing toys and preventing transmission of infectious diseases between children. Recognizing knowledge gaps in sanitation can lead to policy development as well as improved educational programs., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2017., Peer reviewed, Childcare, Group, Family, Children, Toys, Sanitation, Public health, Knowledge
Mean difference of coliform counts in relation to sanitation frequencies at the Simon Fraser University Childcare Society
Background: Young children in child care facilities are more likely to contract communicable diseases than if they are cared for at home. The relationship between pathogen presence and frequency of toy sanitation at these facilities is not well studied. Thus, the discrepancies currently seen in the hygiene guidelines between health authorities in British Columbia, Canada. Most childcare facility studies in the current literature focus on gastrointestinal outbreak situations or the sanitation of multiple surfaces. The focus of this project is on toys only. Toys made out of wood were selected because research shows that this material is more susceptible to harboring bacteria on it. Microbiological swabbing was performed to measure the effectiveness of the sanitation schedule of a child care facility in Burnaby. Method: Twenty-four wooden blocks were randomly selected for surface sampling. The 3M™ Quick Swabs were used to collect the bacterial coliforms before and after sanitizing the blocks, whereas, the 3M™ Petrifilm™ E. coli/Coliform Count Plates were used to enumerate the bacteria. The last time the facility had cleaned the blocks was 1.5 weeks prior to sampling. Results: There were 0 CFU/cm2 for before and after sanitizing the blocks, therefore, the mean difference was also 0 CFU/cm2. Inferential statistics could not be conducted. Conclusion: The results can be interpreted several ways. One interpretation is that the current toy sanitation frequency at the facility is good. It could also mean that, the methodology used was not able to detect any coliforms. In combination with the conclusions from the different studies discussed in the evidence review, the development of a prescriptive toy sanitation schedule for child care facilities would not be a high priority for health authorities., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2017., Peer reviewed, Child care facility, Sanitation, Frequency, Colony-forming unit (CFU), Coliforms, E. coli gastroenteritis
Methods for cleaning & sanitizing food contact surfaces (countertops) to prevent cross contamination in restaurant kitchens
Background: Cross contamination can occur in restaurant kitchens when food contact surfaces such as countertops are inadequately cleaned between preparation of raw and ready to eat foods. Previous research has demonstrated that washing with detergent and water, rinsing, then applying a sanitizer solution is the most effective cleaning method. The second most effective cleaning method is to use detergent and water alone. In practice, the author has observed kitchen staff using sanitizer alone to clean kitchen countertops. This study surveyed British Columbia restaurant kitchen staff on current practices and makes recommendations to improve cleaning and sanitization practices for the purpose of preventing cross contamination. Methods: A survey was prepared using SurveyMonkey and distributed through Facebook to the author’s contacts in the restaurant industry. The Facebook post included a request for anyone to share the survey link with their contacts who work in BC restaurant kitchens. The survey was shared 21 times by 14 different people. The survey asked questions about restaurant type and position, Foodsafe level, and about cleaning practices such as frequency and cleaning compounds used. Results: When asked what cleaning compounds are most often used to clean work surfaces (countertops) in their restaurant, 56.5% of respondents reported sanitizer solution only, 30.4% of respondents reported soap & water followed by sanitizer solution, and 13.0% reported soap and water only. When asked why sanitizer solution only was used to clean countertops, 46.2% of respondents said it was company policy, 23.1% of respondents said time savings, and 15.4% of respondents indicated that an Environmental Health Officer had recommended sanitizer use and that is what lead to sanitizer alone being used to clean countertops. Conclusions: In practice, some restaurant staff do not use sanitizer effectively and may believe it is a substitute for detergent. Using sanitizer alone is not as effective as using detergent alone. Detergent alone can provide a 2-3 log bacterial reduction. If staff are busy and are only going to use one cleaning step, detergent alone is the best method. Environmental Health Officers should review sanitation plans and talk with operators to determine current cleaning practices in food service establishments. Operators and staff should be re-educated on the importance of the three-step method. It may be beneficial to recommend that sanitizer use be decreased overall to encourage the use of soap and water. It may only be necessary to use sanitizer after high-risk jobs such as preparing raw meat or at the end of the day., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2017., Peer reviewed, Sanitizer, Sanitize, Sanitizing, Disinfect, Chemical, Effectiveness, Efficacy, Detergent, Soap, Food contact surface, Countertop, Public health, Cross contamination, Restaurant, Food service establishment, Dirt, Soil, Debris, Residue, Clean
Potential risks and user preferences of helmet-sharing program provided by Vancouver’s Mobi bike-share program
Background: Mobi is a bike-sharing program in Vancouver, BC that provides helmets for use with each bike. There is little research documenting risks associated with helmet-sharing, but an evidence review has shown that there is the potential for transmission of diseases that are known or presumed to be transmitted via fomites. This study attempted to ascertain public opinion of helmet-sharing and whether concern over the cleanliness of shared helmets affected likelihood of wearing them. Method: A survey was conducted to determine if there is a relationship between concern with helmet cleanliness and likelihood of wearing shared helmets. The researcher conducted surveys in-person at randomly chosen Mobi docking stations. An online (SurveyMonkey) survey was also distributed using Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and email. Results: Chi-square tests performed using NCSS determined that there was a statistically significant association between helmet use on personal bikes and use of Mobi helmet when riding Mobi bikes (p=0.00029). There was also an association between whether users found cleanliness the most important factor in their decision to wear the Mobi helmet (of cleanliness, aesthetics, legal requirement, safety and comfort/fit) and likelihood of wearing the Mobi helmet (p=0.02038). There was no association found between level of concern for cleanliness of the helmet and likelihood of wearing it (p=0.54995). Conclusions: Based on the results, there is an association between concern with the cleanliness of shared helmets are and how likely users are to wear them. Users that were most concerned about safety were more likely to use the Mobi helmet during every ride. Those that were most concerned about cleanliness were least likely to wear the Mobi helmet. However, this study also concluded that some users chose not to wear the provided helmets for reasons other than concern for cleanliness. Further research is required to determine how this will affect the health and safety of Mobi Bike users., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2017., Peer reviewed, Helmet, Bike-share, Helmet-share, Bicycle
The practicality of using a smartphone as a sound level meter
Background & Purpose: Sound is of vital importance for human life, it is one of the main forms of communication between people. However, sound that is a nuisance to others is considered noise. Too much noise can be disruptive and affects one’s enjoyment of life and can lead to ill health effects. In some municipalities, bylaw officers or Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) are tasked with enforcing the local noise bylaw. “Sound Level Meters” (SLM) are certified instruments enforcement officers use to accurately measure sound. However, accurate SLMs can be bulky and expensive. In this technological society, almost everyone has some type of smart phone capable of installing applications (apps) that mimic SLMs. The purpose of this project was to determine the accuracy of phone SLM apps compared to real SLMs. Method: Three Android & three iOS SLM apps were downloaded from the internet and installed on two Android and one iOS smartphone. The sound source was computer generated white noise. A type 1 SLM was used to set the white noise to three different sound levels, 80db, 65 dB, & 50 dB. Each Android and iOS smartphone measured the white noise at each sound level utilizing the three different SLM apps. Results were analyzed between the different apps and smartphones. The MANOVA and ANOVA statistical tests were used to analyze the data. Results: All MANOVA and ANOVA tests showed statistically differences between the apps and the SLM (p=0.00000). The power for all MANOVA tests was 100%, therefore there is confidence that the findings reflect the truth and there really is a difference between the different applications, smartphones, and interaction of applications and smartphones. Therefore, the smartphone/app combination tested were not able to replicate the noise level as measured by the SLM. Conclusion: It can be concluded that any individual Android SLM application can have significantly different mean decibels values across different Android smartphones. Different Android smartphones can also have significantly different means decibels across different Android applications. Results for iOS smartphones can only indicate significant mean decibels across the different SLM applications. Therefore, it is not recommended that smartphones with sound level measuring apps be used in place of SLMs., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2017., Peer reviewed, Sound Level Meter, Smartphone, Applications, Android, iOS
Presence of nicotine in marketed nicotine-free e-liquids for electronic cigarettes
Background and Purpose: Ever since the electronic cigarette made its debut in the market, it has been garnering great popularity due to public perception of it being a safer alternative to conventional cigarette. As a result, aside from being utilized in tobacco cessation programs, susceptible populations such as teenagers are slowly adopting this new trend of recreational E-cigarette smoking or “vaping”. The literature review conducted suggests that not only do different E-cigarette models exhibit different delivery efficiencies regarding percentage nicotine vapourization, there are discrepancies between what is labelled by the manufacturer and the actual nicotine content in the electronic cigarette liquids. This has serious public health implications because nicotine is the active chemical component in inducing addiction in cigarettes. As a result, recreational electronic cigarette users such as teenagers, may unknowingly become exposed to improper levels of nicotine, leading to a higher probability of nicotine dependence or switching to conventional smoking. The purpose of this study was to determine whether presence of nicotine can be detected in marketed nicotine-free electronic cigarette liquids. Methods: The nicotine content in electronic cigarette liquids was isolated and determined using Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry. Descriptive and inferential statistics was conducted using NCSS11 to see if there was a statistically significant difference between the labelled concentration of 0 mg in marketed “nicotine-free” electronic cigarettes from two popular brands, VapeWild and Mt Baker Vapour, to determine whether one brand has better quality control for nicotine content in nicotine-free E-liquids compared to the other brand. Results: Based on the analyzed E-liquid samples from the two brands, no nicotine was detected. Conclusion: E-cigarettes can be putatively considered as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes because nicotine levels can be pre-determined and limited with a high degree of confidence., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2017., Peer reviewed, Electronic cigarette, E-liquids, Nicotine, Accurate labelling, Addiction
The public health impact of infection control, sterilization and regulation in tattooing
Background: The purpose of this study was to look at infection control and sterilization procedures in relation to invasive services performed at Personal Service Establishments (PSEs) in British Columbia. The objective was to collect data on the opinions of regulation and infection control practices of persons currently working in the industries of: tattooing, micro-blading and permanent make-up. Method: Data was collected from a survey that was created and distributed online through Survey Monkey. A list of 261 personal service establishments throughout Vancouver Costal Health and Fraser Health were called and/or e-mailed and asked to participate in the online survey. Results and Analyses: Among the 261 PSEs contacted, 30 agreed to participate. They were asked about the regulation of their profession and their standard practices for infection control and sterilization. 3% of the respondent’s primary service was permanent make-up, 7% micro-blading, 7% piercing and 80% was tattooing. The majority of opinions on regulation were divided where 50% felt the industry was under regulated and 40% felt it was adequately regulated. 90% of the respondents agreed that formal training should be required before being allowed to tattoo and 43% of the respondents also agreed that the use of an autoclave should require certification. For infection control/sterilization procedures 100% of shops use one-time use (disposable) needles and ink caps, 80% use disposable tubes, 93% use cord and machine covers and 90% use disposable razors. 63% of the respondents do not use autoclaves because they use disposable items and therefore do not need to clean and sterilize re-usable equipment. The data compared in chi-squared analysis, age and formal training had a p-value of 0.01460 which indicates that there is an association between age and the belief that formal training should be required for those who practice tattooing. Those under 40 were more likely to indicate that formal training should be required. Conclusion: With a low response rate for micro-blading and permanent make-up it is not feasible to compare or contrast opinions and/or practices between the three services. The tattooing industry had the highest response rate and can be looked at in more detail. The information collected on tattooing could be used to develop a course to improve the safety of PSE’s. EHO knowledge in inspecting food service establishments is very high as a system has been put into place that ensures effective inspections. As well, the FOODSAFE program teaches safe practices to those who work in the kitchen. The growing popularity of PSEs now gives EHOs the opportunity to focus on creating safe work environments through the implementation of a training course and possibly altering the way inspections of each different PSE are conducted. Results of this study, along with other Canadian published data, should be considered when developing standardized training and education in the industry where invasive procedures are used., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2017., Peer reviewed, Tattoo, Tattooing, Tattoos, Sterilization, Infection control, Regulations

Pages