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[en] In this article, we provide a critical review of the place of paradigm in health impact assessment (HIA) research and practice. We contend that most HIA practitioners have given insufficient attention to paradigm positioning when developing and applying HIA methodologies and that some concerns about current HIA practice can be attributed to this. We review HIA literature to assess the extent and nature of attention given to paradigm positioning and these related concerns. We then respond to our critique by exploring the implications, opportunities and challenges of adopting a critical realist paradigm, which we believe has the potential to help HIA practitioners to develop HIA methodology in a way that addresses these issues. - Highlights: ► We provide a critical review of the place of paradigm in HIA. ► We demonstrate that HIA practitioners give insufficient attention to paradigm. ► The implications, opportunities and challenges of adopting a critical realist paradigm are explored. ► This is the first paper, to our knowledge, that discusses a critical realist approach to HIA.
[en] Emerging research highlights the promise of community- and policy-level strategies in preventing youth violence. Large-scale economic developments, such as sports and entertainment arenas and casinos, may improve the living conditions, economics, public health, and overall well being of area residents and may influence rates of violence within communities. Objective. To assess the effect of community economic development efforts on neighborhood residents’ perceptions on violence, safety, and economic benefits. Methods. Telephone survey in 2011 using a listed sample of randomly selected numbers in six Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Descriptive analyses examined measures of perceived violence and safety and economic benefit. Responses were compared across neighborhoods using chi-square tests for multiple comparisons. Survey results were compared to census and police data. Results. Residents in neighborhoods with the large-scale economic developments reported more casino-specific and arena-specific economic benefits. However, 42% of participants in the neighborhood with the entertainment arena felt there was an increase in crime, and 29% of respondents from the neighborhood with the casino felt there was an increase. In contrast, crime decreased in both neighborhoods. Conclusions. Large-scale economic developments have a direct influence on the perception of violence, despite actual violence rates
[en] In September–October 2015, El Niño and positive Indian Ocean Dipole conditions set the stage for massive fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), leading to persistently hazardous levels of smoke pollution across much of Equatorial Asia. Here we quantify the emission sources and health impacts of this haze episode and compare the sources and impacts to an event of similar magnitude occurring under similar meteorological conditions in September–October 2006. Using the adjoint of the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model, we first calculate the influence of potential fire emissions across the domain on smoke concentrations in three receptor areas downwind—Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore—during the 2006 event. This step maps the sensitivity of each receptor to fire emissions in each grid cell upwind. We then combine these sensitivities with 2006 and 2015 fire emission inventories from the Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) to estimate the resulting population-weighted smoke exposure. This method, which assumes similar smoke transport pathways in 2006 and 2015, allows near real-time assessment of smoke pollution exposure, and therefore the consequent morbidity and premature mortality, due to severe haze. Our approach also provides rapid assessment of the relative contribution of fire emissions generated in a specific province to smoke-related health impacts in the receptor areas. We estimate that haze in 2015 resulted in 100 300 excess deaths across Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, more than double those of the 2006 event, with much of the increase due to fires in Indonesia’s South Sumatra Province. The model framework we introduce in this study can rapidly identify those areas where land use management to reduce and/or avoid fires would yield the greatest benefit to human health, both nationally and regionally. (letter)
[en] Governance of nanotechnology is essential for realizing economic growth and other societal benefits of the new technology, protecting public health and environment, and supporting global collaboration and progress. The article outlines governance principles and methods specific for this emerging field. Advances in the last 10 years, the current status and a vision for the next decade are presented based on an international study with input from over 35 countries.
[en] As sanitation has developed throughout history, society has evolved and prospered till developed countries has presumed the protection of public health and the environment. At present, flush the toilet means for many people getting rid of a problem but more and more our networks end up suffering the problems. Traditionally, domestic discharges mostly contained waste organic matter, detergent and toilet paper. However, last 20 years, there has been a massive consumption of wet wipes and other products that have subsequently been flushed because of bad labelling that did not meet contrasted technical criteria. Since then, it is increasingly common to find news reporting the huge economic and environmental disasters caused by this problem.
[en] The River Corridor Closure Project is the nation's largest environmental cleanup closure project where innovative technologies are being utilized to overcome DOE's environmental clean-up challenges. DOE provides a Technology Needs Statement that specifies their on-site challenges and the criteria to overcome those challenges. This allows for both the private sector and federally funded organizations to respond with solutions that meet their immediate needs. DOE selects the company based on their ability to reduce risk to human health and the environment, improve efficiency of the cleanup, and lower costs. These technologies are our link to a cleaner, safer, healthier tomorrow. (authors)
[en] With promotion of physical activity becoming a public health priority, it is critically important that researchers and practitioners have access to precise and yet practical instruments to measure physical activity behaviour. Valid and reliable measures of physical activity are a necessity in studies designed to: 1) document the frequency and distribution of physical activity in defined population groups, 2) determine the amount or dose of physical activity required to influence specific health parameters, 3) identify the psychosocial and environmental factors that influence physical activity behaviour in youth, and 4) evaluate the efficacy or effectiveness of programs to increase habitual physical activity. This presentation will provide an overview of the measurement tools available for assessing physical activity behaviour in young people. A conceptual framework for assessing physical activity and sedentary behaviour will first be presented. Relevant self-report and objective methods used to measure physical activity will then be described, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each method. The presentation will conclude by outlining global efforts to collect physical activity data in young people and identifying priorities for future research. (author)
[en] Southeast Asia is a diverse region, not only in terms of geographical characteristics and culture, but also of development status, resource availability and maturity of national cancer control programmes. However, the countries in this region share a similar challenge: there is a wide gap between the required radiotherapy infrastructure and its actual availability. The need for and availability of resources differ greatly between countries. Each country must develop and continuously revise its national cancer control plan addressing its radiotherapy needs. Regarding the published evidence based estimates of the optimal radiation utilization rate, the older standard of one to two MV units per million population is conservative at best, but it can still be considered as a milestone in the long term plan for national cancer control programmes in countries with large populations and limited access to radiotherapy services.