Environmental Public Health Journal 2021 | BCIT Institutional Repository

Environmental Public Health Journal 2021

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Accuracy of a commercial lead test kit
Up until 1960s, lead was widely used for constructing plumbing systems, and a residual amount of lead is still detected within water systems today. Due to the wide availability, low-cost, and ability to produce an instant result, commercial lead test kits have been known for their convenience. However, considering that small lead exposures can pose serious health concerns to those who are vulnerable, inaccurate results may cause a potential health hazard. This study investigated the accuracy of a commercial lead test kit called “10-in-1 Drinking Water Test Kit” by Baldwin Meadows and compare its findings to instrumental analysis., lead, drinking water, maximum allowable concentration (MAC), commercial lead test kit, Baldwin Meadows lead test kit, ICP-MS
An analysis of the relationship between WHMIS certification and holder's knowledge after being certified
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is the Canadian standard for hazard communication. This system consists of hazard classification, cautionary labelling of containers, safety data sheets, as well as worker education and training programs. In British Columbia, WorkSafeBC is the legal authority for occupational health and safety. Employers must provide worker education and training while workers must participate in these learning opportunities as required. Despite these requirements, there is currently no legislation that mandates WHMIS certificate holders to recertify after a period of time. Holders may work decades for the same organization and receive their one and only training session in their careers when they started working. There is a likelihood that information vital to occupational health and safety is gradually forgotten. This research study examined WHMIS knowledge retention of holders upon being certified., certificate, certification, knowledge retention, occupational health and safety, WHMIS
Assessing knowledge and preventive behavior of BC hikers towards Lyme disease
In Canada, recent data shows that Lyme diseases (LD) have increased in many different regions of the country. British Columbia (BC), with its natural beauty and suitable terrain for outdoor activities, has drawn thousands of hikers to the established hiking trails, as well as off–trail wilderness. Consequently, more people are expected to be exposed to Lyme disease every year. For better understanding of the risk, study of their knowledge and awareness, and also their preventative behavior against Lyme disease is necessary. The purpose of our study is to evaluate hiker awareness about LD and assess type and frequency of preventive measures they take against the disease., Outdoor activity, British Columbia, Hiking, Lyme disease, Tick bite, Ixodes pacificus
Assessing public awareness on the potential health risks of phthalate exposure in plastic consumer products
Phthalates are chemical agents used to improve the plasticity of plastic products. Their ubiquitous use in various commercial products results in extensive exposure to humans. Toxicological studies have linked phthalate exposure to developmental and reproductive toxicity, presenting potential health risks. This study investigated the general population on their knowledge and hazard perception of phthalate exposure. The assessment determined if changes in policies or guidelines are needed to minimize potential health impacts from improper plastics handling., Phthalates, chemical, awareness, plastic, toxicity, exposure
Cleaning power comparison between citric acid and sodium hypochlorite
The purpose of this research was to compare the effectiveness of sodium hypochlorite and citric acid at cleaning surfaces., citric acid, sodium hypochlorite, bleach, cleaning, ATP
Comparison of sodium and saturated fat content between domestic pasta sauce and imported pasta sauce in Canada
Recently, a study by Dunford et al. (2019) found out that Canadian processed foods have the highest sodium content than other countries. Out of the twelve countries tested in the survey, Canada was ranked the highest. This survey sparked the interest in comparing the healthiness of domestically processed foods and imported foods available in Canada. Pasta sauce was particularly chosen for this research project. By comparing the sodium and saturated fat content between domestic pasta sauce and imported pasta sauce, the study aimed to determine whether imported pasta sauce is a healthier choice., pasta sauce, tomato, processed foods, sodium, saturated fat
COVID-19 and physical activity
Physical Activity (PA) is bodily movement that involves energy output from the muscles and is associated with numerous health benefits. However, with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 11, 2020, stay-at-home orders and public health measures led to a decreased trend in PA levels throughout the Canadian population. As restrictions began to ease in British Columbia (BC), gym and recreation facilities re-opened on May 19, 2020, under new public health safety protocols. This study explored whether gym and/or recreational facility attendance among regular users was impacted by public health safety or financial factors during COVID-19., COVID-19, physical activity, exercise, public health safety, financial
Effect of social isolation on COVID-19 risk taking behavior
The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 has changed the daily lives for everyone. Many governments around the world instituted social distancing measures in order to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the general population. Although social distancing has proven to be effective in slowing down the spread of the Covid-19 virus, it has brought an unintended effect of social isolation and decreases in mental health for many people. Loneliness and the lack of social support for individuals likely played a large part in individuals risk assessment when partaking in social interactions at the expense of Covid-19 exposure. However, social isolation does not affect every individual equally. The effect varies depending on living situation, employment, age, and cultural background. This study examined the relationship between age and ethnicity of individuals and their willingness to participate in social interactions at the expense of exposure to Covid-19., Canada, COVID-19, social isolation, risk, age, individualism, collectivism
Evaluating the impacts of COVID-19 on the perceptions of hygiene and sanitation in personal service establishments in British Columbia
COVID-19 has raised concerns over safety in the personal care service industry in regards to disease transmission and infection control. The industry has suffered under new orders and directives issued by public health officials. Personal service establishments (PSEs) rely on clients going to establishments to receive services that often involve close proximity between the client and service provider, something that is recommended against to prevent COVID-19 transmission. PSEs have since adjusted their operations to accommodate for the pandemic, however its impacts on the perceptions of hygiene and sanitation in these establishments remained to be assessed., COVID-19, personal service establishment, PSE, hygiene, sanitation, regulations, British Columbia
Face mask reuse behaviours in Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic
Background: Mask-wearing in public spaces has become ubiquitous for most people in developed countries due to the ongoing pandemic. One key aspect of the protectiveness of masks is how many times it is used before disposing of (in the case of surgical or disposable masks) or washed (a cloth or reusable mask). Assessing mask reuse levels in key demographics can help us identify which groups are reusing masks more, and targeted educational campaigns can be accomplished which would hopefully lead to reduced mask reuse. Methods: The online self-administered survey was created using Survey Monkey and distributed via Reddit, Youtube, the front desk of a local community center, and to associates of personal contacts. The survey consists of 13 questions which consisted of demographic, behavioural and open ended questions. Chi-square statistical tests were used to analyze the data. Results: Overall, 99.5% of the 185 respondents wore face masks: 51.8% wore reusable, 34.2% wore disposable, and 16.2% equally wore disposable and reusable masks. Regarding frequency of use, a higher proportion (27%) wore their masks 3 - 4 times before disposing or washing. Frequency of reuse at 0 - 1, twice and 5+ times were equally distributed at 24.3%. The main reason for reuse was a lack of time (53%) followed by environmental reasons (28%). More than 50% of those surveyed believed that msks could be washed indefinitely without having the performance affected. This study found no statistically significant associations between several major demographic categories and level of mask reuse: (i) gender, P = 0.253, (ii) age, P = 0.631, (iii) education level, P = 0.284, and (iv) occupational field, P = 0.395. Conclusion: Most of the Canadian population are wearing masks during the COVID19 pandemic and most people dispose of, or wash, their masks after 2-4 uses. Demographic variables of age, gender, occupation and education do not affect mask reuse levels. This information can aid in education efforts in the future by widening the scope of target audiences., Not peer reviewed, text, published, mask, reuse, COVID19, pandemic, washing, safety, virus, SARS-COV-2
Investigating handwashing frequency in Canadians as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented event that has generated many changes in public behaviour. The purpose of this study was to examine if Canadians are increasing their handwashing compliance due to the pandemic as well as to assess if different demographic variables are associated with handwashing knowledge or behaviour., © Samuel Chen, 2021. All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright heron may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means – graphics, electronic, or mechanical including photocopying, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems – without written permission of the author., Canada, Canadians, COVID-19, hand hygiene, handwashing, pandemic, SARS-CoV-2
Investigation of the awareness and effects of naturally changing compositional aspects in kombucha tea, due to natural fermentation processes
With the growing popularity of Kombucha, more people are beginning to either purchase or make their own Kombucha beverage. Due to the relatively recent rise in popularity, within the general public, not as much is known about the beverage compared to other beverages that have been on the market longer such as beer. This is important and relevant to public health because, due to the nature of the production method used to create Kombucha, the drink itself may contain alcohol. While at the time of production and distribution, the levels of alcohol are below the regulated maximum of 1%, these levels may increase on their own if measures were not put in place to stop the beverage from self-fermenting post-distribution. Kombucha is sold as a non-alcoholic beverage as they aren’t required to be defined as liquor (because it is <1% ethanol), when in reality, they may contain more than 1% ethanol due to the self-fermentation process. This poses as a potential health risks to people who do not consume alcohol for personal reasons or to adolescents who should not be consuming alcohol., kombucha, ethanol, fermentation, survey

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