Honolulu, HI, United States
Honolulu, HI, United States

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Weinberg J.,Public Health Institute | Rodionova A.,University of California at Berkeley | Shrem D.,Impact Assessment Inc.
10th International Conference on Healthy Buildings 2012 | Year: 2012

Janitorial cleaning activities and the use of cleaning products are ubiquitous in buildings. To reduce exposures associated with cleaning, it is important to conduct quantitative assessments of airborne exposures and develop science-based best cleaning practice guidelines accordingly. This paper presents a study on a quantitative inhalation exposure assessment for floor mopping - one of the most basic janitorial cleaning activities. Two floor mopping methods, 1) a cotton string mop with a bucket and 2) a flat microfiber mop head with a reservoir on the mop handle, were evaluated using simulated-use full-scale chamber tests. At least five repeat tests were conducted for each procedure. Quantitative exposure assessments were made for both TVOC using real-time monitors and for individual VOCs using integrated sorbent tube samples. Reasonably good test repeatability was achieved, suggesting the testing methodology and measurement methods proposed in this study were effective for assessing airborne exposures due to different cleaning methods. The study found that the bucket and string mop method appeared to result in higher air contaminant concentrations (therefore risk of higher airborne exposure) than the flat microfiber mop head and handle with reservoir. The study also showed that the exposures can be significant for bystander workers and other occupants present after cleaning as well as for those who conduct cleaning.

Smith K.S.,Impact Assessment Inc. | Rosen N.,Impact Assessment Inc. | Rosen N.,University of California at Berkeley | Anderson M.C.,Impact Assessment Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders | Year: 2014

We implemented screening of children 16-30 months of age (n = 1,760) from a typically under-served, primarily Hispanic, population, at routine pediatric appointments using the modified checklist for autism in toddlers (M-CHAT) and Ages and Stages Questionnaire. Screen positive rates of 26 and 39 %, respectively, were higher than previous reports. Hispanics were more likely to score M-CHAT positive than non-Hispanics (adjusted OR 1.7, 95 % CI 1.2-2.4), as were those screened in Spanish. About 30 % of screen-positive children were referred for further assessment, but only half were seen. Thus screening in this population is feasible, but may require additional resources. Attention to the cultural applicability of screening instruments, as well as to explaining the results or need for additional services to parents, is critical to serve the growing Hispanic population. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media.

Pinney S.M.,University of Cincinnati | Sjodin A.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Lum R.,Impact Assessment Inc. | Jones R.S.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2010

Background: Levels of brominated flame retardants are increasing in US populations, yet little data are available on body burdens of these and other persistent hormonally active agents (HAAs) in school-aged children. Exposures to such chemicals may affect a number of health outcomes related to development and reproductive function. Objective: Determine the distribution of biomarkers of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and organo-chlorinated pesticides (OCPs), such as DDT/DDE, in children, and their variation by key descriptor variables. Methods: Ethnically diverse cohorts of girls 6-8 y old at baseline are being followed for growth and pubertal development in a multi-site, longitudinal study. Nearly 600 serum samples from the California and Ohio sites were analyzed for lipids, 35 PCB congeners, 11 PBDE congeners, and 9 OCPs. The biomarker distributions were examined and geometric means compared for selected analytes across categories of age, race, site, body mass index (BMI), parental education, maternal age at delivery, and breast feeding in adjusted models. Results: Six PBDE congeners were detected among greater than 70% of samples, with BDE-47 having the highest concentration (median 42.2, range 4.9-855 ng/g lipid). Girls in California had adjusted geometric mean (GM) PBDE levels significantly higher than girls in Ohio. Furthermore, Blacks had significantly higher adjusted GMs of all six PBDE congeners than Whites, and Hispanics had intermediate values. GMs tended to be lower among more obese girls, while other variables were not strongly associated. In contrast, GMs of the six PCB congeners most frequently detected were significantly lower among Blacks and Hispanics than Whites. PCBs and the three pesticides most frequently detected were also consistently lower among girls with high BMI, who were not breast-fed, whose mothers were younger, or whose care-givers (usually parents) were less educated. Girls in California had higher GMs than in Ohio for the pesticides and most PCB congeners, but the opposite for CB-99 and -118. Conclusions: Several of these potential HAAs were detected in nearly all of these young girls, some at relatively high levels, with variation by geographic location and other demographic factors that may reflect exposure pathways. The higher PBDE levels in California likely reflect differences in fire regulation and safety codes, with potential policy implications. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Beckman S.,University of California at Berkeley | Jones M.,Vanderbilt University | Beckman J.,Impact Assessment Incorporated | Frederick M.,Impact Assessment Incorporated
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2014

Background: Research suggests the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses underestimates the magnitude of workplace injuries and illnesses. Enumerating workplace injuries and illnesses may be improved by utilizing multiple state-based data sources. Methods: Using California-based datasets (workers' compensation claims, health care facility data, and physician reports), we enumerated unique cases of amputations and carpal tunnel syndrome (2007-2008), and evaluated the datasets for usefulness in occupational health tracking by performing record linkage across all datasets and calculating match rates between them. Results: 6,862 amputation and 39,589 carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) cases were identified. Match rates between the datasets ranged from 34.0% to 45.6% (amputations) and 3.0% to 43.5% (CTS). Enumerated amputation and CTS cases from state-based sources were about five and ten times greater than the BLS SOII estimates (1,390 and 3,720). Conclusions: Successful demonstration of this state level approach has broad implications for improving federal and state efforts to track and prevent work-related injuries and illnesses. Am. J. Ind. Med. 57:1110-1119, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Weinberg J.,Public Health Institute | Shrem D.,Impact Assessment Inc. | Kumagai K.,Kyushu University
12th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate 2011 | Year: 2011

In California, the rate of work-related asthma among cleaning workers is nearly triple the rate reported for all occupations combined. To reduce exposures associated with cleaning, it is important to develop science-based best cleaning practice guidelines. It encompasses a much broader set of practices than simply switching to less toxic cleaning products. This paper reports the first step of our current study aiming at recommending best floor mopping practices based on quantitative airborne exposure assessment. Five repeated controlled simulated-use experiments on bucket and cotton string mops were conducted in a 29.2m3 environmental chamber. The diluted solution of an all-purpose cleaner with 2-butoxyethanol as the major ingredient was used. Quantitative exposure assessments were made for both TVOC using real-time monitors and for individual VOCs using integrated sorbent tube samples. Results show good measurement repeatability and suggest the proposed research method works. Study will continue as designed for other floor mopping procedures and to finally make best floor mopping practice recommendations.

Watson T.K.,Honua Consulting | Kittinger J.N.,Impact Assessment Inc. | Walters J.S.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Schofield T.D.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Aquatic Mammals | Year: 2011

The Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauin-slandi) is highly endangered, but relatively little is known about how human societies interacted with the species in the past. We reviewed historical doc-uments to reconstruct past human-monk seal rela-tionships in the Hawaiian archipelago and describe ongoing efforts to understand the significance of the species in Native Hawaiian culture. Though the prehistoric period remains poorly understood, our findings suggest that monk seals were likely rare but not unknown to Hawaiian communities in the 19th and 20th centuries. References are made to monk seals in Hawaiian-language newspapers, and oral history research with Native Hawaiian practitioners and community elders reveals new words for the species that were previously unknown. This information may prove useful in crafting culturally appropriate management plans for the species and for developing more effective outreach activities to engage with coastal commu-nities and ocean users. Our research may also aid in establishing long-term ecological baselines that can inform modern efforts to recover the species.

Kittinger J.N.,Stanford University | Kittinger J.N.,Impact Assessment Inc. | Bambico T.M.,Impact Assessment Inc. | Minton D.,The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii | And 5 more authors.
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2016

Environmental restoration projects are commonly touted for their ecological positives, but such projects can also provide significant socioeconomic and cultural benefits to local communities. We assessed the social dimensions of a large-scale coral reef restoration project in Maunalua Bay, O‘ahu, where >1.32 million kg of invasive marine macroalgae was removed from 11 hectares (90,000 m2; 23 acres) of impacted coral reef in an urbanized setting. We interviewed 131 community stakeholders and analyzed both quantitative and qualitative data to assess human uses of the environment, assess perceptions of environmental health, and characterize social dimensions (+/−) associated with the invasive algae removal effort. Results indicate substantial direct economic benefits, including the creation of more than 60+ jobs, benefiting more than 250 individuals and 81 households. The project helped develop a skilled workforce in a local business dedicated to environmental restoration and increased the capacity of community organizations to address other threats to reefs and watersheds. Other major benefits include revitalization of Native Hawaiian cultural practices and traditions and the successful use of harvested invasive algae as compost by local farmers. Our results show the project heightened community awareness and a broader sense of stewardship in the area, creating enabling conditions for collective community action. Our findings show that restoration projects that explicitly incorporate efforts to build community awareness, involvement, and a shared responsibility for a site may ultimately create the long-term capacity for sustainable stewardship programs. We conclude by discussing lessons learned for engaging productively with communities in environmental restoration and stewardship, which remains a central focus in conservation worldwide. © 2013, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Kittinger J.N.,Impact Assessment Inc. | Kittinger J.N.,Stanford University | Bambico T.M.,Impact Assessment Inc. | Watson T.K.,Honua Consulting | Glazier E.W.,Impact Assessment Inc.
Endangered Species Research | Year: 2012

The Hawaiian monk seal Monachus schauinslandi is Critically Endangered, but relatively little is known about the sociocultural significance of the species in Native Hawaiian communities. An accurate assessment of historical and modern sociocultural values and perceptions is needed to inform conservation and recovery planning for the species, particularly since the species is not universally well-regarded by ocean users. We conducted extensive archival research and oral history interviews to characterize past and current human-monk seal relationships in the Hawaiian archipelago. We report heterogeneity in both historical and contemporary cultural associations for monk seals, which appear to be related to place-specific histories and specific stakeholder groups. We introduce the concept of 'cultural endemism' to characterize this pattern of sociocultural heterogeneity, and discuss the relevance of shifting baselines, species recovery, and sociocultural information to conservation planning. We focus on participatory conservation planning approaches as being potentially useful in reducing human-wildlife conflicts and developing collaborative stewardship for better conservation success. © Inter-Research 2012.

Kittinger J.N.,Stanford University | Kittinger J.N.,Impact Assessment Inc | Finkbeiner E.M.,Stanford University | Glazier E.W.,Impact Assessment Inc | Crowder L.B.,Stanford University
Ecology and Society | Year: 2012

Coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems on the planet but are declining because of human activities. Despite general recognition of the human role in the plight of coral reefs, the vast majority of research focuses on the ecological rather than the human dimensions of reef ecosystems, limiting our understanding of social relationships with these environments as well as potential solutions for reef recovery. General frameworks for social-ecological systems (SESs) have been advanced, but system-specific approaches are needed to develop a more nuanced view of human-environmental interactions for specific contexts and resource systems, and at specific scales. We synthesize existing concepts related to SESs and present a human dimensions framework that explores the linkages between social system structural traits, human activities, ecosystem services, and human well-being in coral reef SESs. Key features of the framework include social-ecological reciprocity, proximate and underlying dimensions, and the directionality of key relationships and feedback loops. Such frameworks are needed if human dimensions research is to be more fully integrated into studies of ecosystem change and the sustainability of linked SESs. © 2012 by the author(s).

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