Environmental Public Health Journal 2021 | BCIT Institutional Repository

Environmental Public Health Journal 2021

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
Exploring young adults' level of vaccine knowledge and intent for COVID-19 vaccination in British Columbia
The 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is still ongoing and continues to have profound economic and social impacts worldwide. Establishing a minimum vaccination in the population is pertinent to curbing the transmission rate. However, barriers exist to achieving this threshold. Young adults represent the cohort with the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases. Assessing young adults’ knowledge and intent to vaccinate will assist policy makers in understanding the factors behind health decisions and designing effective strategies., vaccine hesitancy, vaccine knowledge, COVID-19 vaccine, immunization rates, coronavirus, education, 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
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
Is Metro Vancouver ready to reduce their waste?
As the interest in delivery and take-out meals increases, so too does the amount of food packaging that ends up in the landfill. Programs and incentives are already in place and continue to be adjusted to encourage the reduced reliance on these materials. This study focuses on returnable and recyclable container programs (RRCP) and British Columbian’s interest in these programs for Metro Vancouver., returnable recyclable container program, RRCP, Suppli, GoBox, Loop, waste, single-use, disposable
Kombucha: determining the likelihood of secondary fermentation and increased ethanol content via stated sugar content on product labels
Kombucha products are now a common, and popular beverage. Increasingly, Kombucha beverages are outpacing popularity of other carbonated beverages on the market, such as soda pop. This increase is seen by many as a positive change of consumer interests, as Kombucha has much less sugar content than many soda pop alternatives. However, Kombucha products are fermented beverages, and therefore are apt to contain ethanol, which may be a hazard for certain at risk populations. This study aims to investigate how information provided on product labels may or may not allow for increased consumer control by making an educated guess about potential ethanol content., kombucha, product labels, secondary fermentation, functional beverage, temperature abuse
Lead in drinking water
Background: Lead is a systemic toxin that affects multiple organs and impairs physical and mental development. Although lead is ubiquitous in the environment, majority of exposures to lead is through drinking water. Lead-based plumbing components are the primary reason. Flushing is a lead reduction technique commonly used to reduce lead in drinking water, but the efficacy of the technique has been questioned. The purpose of this research project was to determine if there were significant levels of lead found in the drinking water of 12 buildings (sites) owned and operated by a Health Authority before and after 30-second flush and to determine if flushing is an effective measure to reduce lead concentrations. Materials and Methods: Lead in drinking water data was provided by Dr. Tom Kosatsky in an Excel spreadsheet. The data contained 184 pre-flush (≥ 8-hour stagnation period) samples paired to 184 post-flush (30-second duration) samples collected at locations within the 12 different sites. The sites were labelled A to L due to confidentiality. This data was then exported to NCSS, and statistical analysis in the forms of a two tailed t-test, one tailed one sample t-test, and repeated measures ANOVA was performed to determine if a statistically significant relationship between flushing and reduced lead concentrations exists. Results: Out of 368 samples, 28% of stagnation samples contained lead concentrations greater than the MAC (n = 103) whereas, 9% of post 30-second flush samples contained lead concentration greater than the MAC (n = 33). Lead concentrations in the drinking water samples after flushing were significantly reduced below the MAC (p = 0.00000). However, lead concentrations from samples collected at sites A, C, and G were equal to or greater than the MAC. Statistical analysis failed to reject the null hypothesis that post-flush lead concentrations for samples collected at sites A, C, and G is greater to or equal to the MAC (A: p = 0.22708, C: p = 0.06866, and G: p = 0.70589). Conclusion: Flushing is an effective measure in reducing lead concentrations at the tap to safe levels. However, the effectiveness of flushing and flushing duration is dependent on numerous factors such as the stagnation period, amount of lead-based plumbing supplying the drinking water and building size. Longer stagnation periods, increased lead-based plumbing, and large buildings all require longer flushing times to reduce lead concentrations to below 0.005 mg/L. The results of this can study can aid governments in developing polices that will eliminate existing lead infrastructure in British Columbia and Canada. Flushing is not a long-term solution in reducing lead concentrations at the tap to below 0.005 mg/L., Lead, Drinking water, Lead in drinking water, Health effects, Flushing, Effectiveness
Practice and attitude of pet owners feeding raw based pet diets compared to non-raw based diets
New trends in raw based diets are putting people at a higher risk for becoming ill from pathogens. An outbreak investigation of pig ears containing Salmonella found over 50% of the tested pig ears were positive for the bacteria and 38% of pet treats contained Salmonella. At the time of the outbreak, pet owners became ill with Salmonella which was believed to be from handling the pig ears or from their ill pets that were carrying the bacteria. An outbreak in Italy involving kibble demonstrates there is a risk when feeding raw and non-raw diets., Pet food, raw meat-based diet, non-raw meat-based diet, survey, hygiene
A statistical comparison of restaurant infractions between Toronto and Vancouver
Across Canada, restaurant inspections are conducted to ensure that the food served to the public in almost all public eating facilities, is safe to consume and sell. The ratings and infractions correspond with the standards a restaurant is operating in compliance with legislation. There have been indications in the past of restaurants in different regions or serving specific types of food, receiving lower ratings than others. Currently, there is a lack of knowledge and research on the difference between major cities in Canada, regarding restaurant infractions. By focussing on Vancouver and Toronto restaurants, this research may provide insight into the different legislation of the two regions, highlight different Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) practices and ultimately provide information for knowledge translation into policies that these regions follow., inspections, infractions, food safety, restaurants, critical, non-critical, minor, crucial, sit-down, reports, comparison, Vancouver, Toronto, DineSafe, Vancouver Coastal Health, public health, Environmental Health Officer
Studying the accessibility and use of digital literacy among older adults during a global pandemic
The COVID-19 global pandemic has demanded many individuals remain indoors and isolate from friends and family to keep safe. These long periods of isolation have led to loneliness and an overall shift in the way individuals communicate with each other. Digital media sources have become predominant forms of interaction and entertainment – but how are different age groups, specifically older adults managing this major digital media shift?, older adult(s), digital literacy, COVID-19, pandemic, comfort, internet