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Public Health Benefits of End-Use Electrical Energy Efficiency in California: An Exploratory Study

Description: This study assesses for California how increasing end-use electrical energy efficiency from installing residential insulation impacts exposures and disease burden from power-plant pollutant emissions. Installation of fiberglass attic insulation in the nearly 3 million electricity-heated homes throughout California is used as a case study. The pollutants nitrous oxides (NO{sub x}), sulfur dioxide (SO{sub 2}), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), benzo(a)pyrene, benzene, and naphthalene are selected for the assessment. Exposure is characterized separately for rural and urban environments using the CalTOX model, which is a key input to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemicals and other environmental Impacts (TRACI). The output of CalTOX provides for urban and rural populations emissions-to-intake factors, which are expressed as an individual intake fraction (iFi). The typical iFi from power plant emissions are on the order of 10{sup -13} (g intake per g emitted) in urban and rural regions. The cumulative (rural and urban) product of emissions, population, and iFi is combined with toxic effects factors to determine human damage factors (HDFs). HDF are expressed as disability adjusted life years (DALYs) per kilogram pollutant emitted. The HDF approach is applied to the insulation case study. Upgrading existing residential insulation to US Department of Energy (DOE) recommended levels eliminates over the assmned 50-year lifetime of the insulation an estimated 1000 DALYs from power-plant emissions per million tonne (Mt) of insulation installed, mostly from the elimination of PM2.5 emissions. In comparison, the estimated burden from the manufacture of this insulation in DALYs per Mt is roughly four orders of magnitude lower than that avoided.
Date: June 1, 2006
Creator: McKone, Thomas E. & Lobscheid, A.B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Association of residential dampness and mold with respiratory tract infections and bronchitis: a meta-analysis

Description: Dampness and mold have been shown in qualitative reviews to be associated with a variety of adverse respiratory health effects, including respiratory tract infections. Several published meta-analyses have provided quantitative summaries for some of these associations, but not for respiratory infections. Demonstrating a causal relationship between dampness-related agents, which are preventable exposures, and respiratory tract infections would suggest important new public health strategies. We report the results of quantitative meta-analyses of published studies that examined the association of dampness or mold in homes with respiratory infections and bronchitis. For primary studies meeting eligibility criteria, we transformed reported odds ratios (ORs) and confidence intervals (CIs) to the log scale. Both fixed and random effects models were applied to the log ORs and their variances. Most studies contained multiple estimated ORs. Models accounted for the correlation between multiple results within the studies analyzed. One set of analyses was performed with all eligible studies, and another set restricted to studies that controlled for age, gender, smoking, and socioeconomic status. Subgroups of studies were assessed to explore heterogeneity. Funnel plots were used to assess publication bias. The resulting summary estimates of ORs from random effects models based on all studies ranged from 1.38 to 1.50, with 95% CIs excluding the null in all cases. Use of different analysis models and restricting analyses based on control of multiple confounding variables changed findings only slightly. ORs (95% CIs) from random effects models using studies adjusting for major confounding variables were, for bronchitis, 1.45 (1.32-1.59); for respiratory infections, 1.44 (1.31-1.59); for respiratory infections excluding nonspecific upper respiratory infections, 1.50 (1.32-1.70), and for respiratory infections in children or infants, 1.48 (1.33-1.65). Little effect of publication bias was evident. Estimated attributable risk proportions ranged from 8% to 20%. Residential dampness and mold are associated with substantial and statistically significant ...
Date: November 15, 2010
Creator: Fisk, William J.; Eliseeva, Ekaterina A. & Mendell, Mark J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Rapid Detection of Pathogens

Description: Pathogen identification is a crucial first defense against bioterrorism. A major emphasis of our national biodefense strategy is to establish fast, accurate and sensitive assays for diagnosis of infectious diseases agents. Such assays will ensure early and appropriate treatment of infected patients. Rapid diagnostics can also support infection control measures, which monitor and limit the spread of infectious diseases agents. Many select agents are highly transmissible in the early stages of disease, and it is critical to identify infected patients and limit the risk to the remainder of the population and to stem potential panic in the general population. Nucleic acid-based molecular approaches for identification overcome many of the deficiencies associated with conventional culture methods by exploiting both large- and small-scale genomic differences between organisms. PCR-based amplification of highly conserved ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, intergenic sequences, and specific toxin genes is currently the most reliable approach for bacterial, fungal and many viral pathogenic agents. When combined with fluorescence-based oligonucleotide detection systems, this approach provides real-time, quantitative, high fidelity analysis capable of single nucleotide allelic discrimination (4). These probe systems offer rapid turn around time (<2 h) and are suitable for high throughput, automated multiplex operations that are critical for clinical diagnostic laboratories. In this pilot program, we have used molecular beacon technology invented at the Public health Research Institute to develop a new generation of molecular probes to rapidly detect important agents of infectious diseases. We have also developed protocols to rapidly extract nucleic acids from a variety of clinical specimen including and blood and tissue to for detection in the molecular assays. This work represented a cooperative research development program between the Kramer-Tyagi/Perlin labs on probe development and the Perlin lab in sample preparation and testing in animal models.
Date: August 14, 2005
Creator: Perlin, David
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Public Health-Related Impacts of Climate Change inCalifornia

Description: In June 2005 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued Executive Order S-3-05 that set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for California, and directed the Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency to report to the governor and the State legislature by January 2006 and biannually thereafter on the impacts to California of global warming, including impacts to water supply, public health, agriculture, the coastline, and forestry, and to prepare and report on mitigation and adaptation plans to combat these impacts. This report is a part of the report to the governor and legislature, and focuses on public health impacts that have been associated with climate change. Considerable evidence suggests that average ambient temperature is increasing worldwide, that temperatures will continue to increase into the future, and that global warming will result in changes to many aspects of climate, including temperature, humidity, and precipitation (McMichael and Githeko, 2001). It is expected that California will experience changes in both temperature and precipitation under current trends. Many of the changes in climate projected for California could have ramifications for public health (McMichael and Githeko, 2001), and this document summarizes the impacts judged most likely to occur in California, based on a review of available peer-reviewed scientific literature and new modeling and statistical analyses. The impacts identified as most significant to public health in California include mortality and morbidity related to temperature, air pollution, vector and water-borne diseases, and wildfires. There is considerable complexity underlying the health of a population with many contributing factors including biological, ecological, social, political, and geographical. In addition, the relationship between climate change and changes in public health is difficult to predict for the most part, although more detailed information is available on temperature-related mortality and air pollution effects than the other endpoints discussed in this document. Consequently, these two topics ...
Date: December 1, 2005
Creator: Drechsler, D.M.; Motallebi, N.; Kleeman, M.; Cayan, D.; Hayhoe,K.; Kalkstein, L.S. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analysis of the Argonne distance tabletop exercise method.

Description: The purpose of this report is to summarize and evaluate the Argonne Distance Tabletop Exercise (DISTEX) method. DISTEX is intended to facilitate multi-organization, multi-objective tabletop emergency response exercises that permit players to participate from their own facility's incident command center. This report is based on experience during its first use during the FluNami 2007 exercise, which took place from September 19-October 17, 2007. FluNami 2007 exercised the response of local public health officials and hospitals to a hypothetical pandemic flu outbreak. The underlying purpose of the DISTEX method is to make tabletop exercising more effective and more convenient for playing organizations. It combines elements of traditional tabletop exercising, such as scenario discussions and scenario injects, with distance learning technologies. This distance-learning approach also allows playing organizations to include a broader range of staff in the exercise. An average of 81.25 persons participated in each weekly webcast session from all playing organizations combined. The DISTEX method required development of several components. The exercise objectives were based on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Target Capabilities List. The ten playing organizations included four public health departments and six hospitals in the Chicago area. An extent-of-play agreement identified the objectives applicable to each organization. A scenario was developed to drive the exercise over its five-week life. Weekly problem-solving task sets were designed to address objectives that could not be addressed fully during webcast sessions, as well as to involve additional playing organization staff. Injects were developed to drive play between webcast sessions, and, in some cases, featured mock media stories based in part on player actions as identified from the problem-solving tasks. The weekly 90-minute webcast sessions were discussions among the playing organizations that were moderated by a highly-qualified public health physician, who reviewed key scenario developments and player actions, as well as ...
Date: February 14, 2008
Creator: Tanzman, E. A.; Nieves, L. A. & Sciences, Decision and Information
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Construction and operation of the Howard T. Ricketts Laboratory.

Description: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has proposed to partially fund the construction of the Howard T. Ricketts (HTR) regional biocontainment laboratory (RBL) by the University of Chicago at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Illinois. The HTR Laboratory (HTRL) would be constructed, owned, and operated by the University of Chicago on land leased to it by DOE. The preferred project site is located north of Eastwood Drive and west of Outer Circle Road and is near the biological sciences building. This environmental assessment addresses the potential environmental effects resulting from construction and operation of the proposed facility. The proposed project involves the construction of a research facility with a footprint up to approximately 44,000 ft{sup 2} (4,088 m{sup 2}). The proposed building would house research laboratories, including Biosafety Level 2 and 3 biocontainment space, animal research facilities, administrative offices, and building support areas. The NIH has identified a need for new facilities to support research on potential bioterrorism agents and emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, to protect the nation from such threats to public health. This research requires specialized laboratory facilities that are designed, managed, and operated to protect laboratory workers and the surrounding community from accidental exposure to agents. The proposed HTRL would provide needed biocontainment space to researchers and promote the advancement of knowledge in the disciplines of biodefense and emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Several alternatives were considered for the location of the proposed facility, as well as a no action alternative. The preferred alternative includes the construction of a research facility, up to 44,000 ft{sup 2} (4,088 m{sup 2}), at Argonne National Laboratory, a secure government location. Potential impacts to natural and cultural resources have been evaluated in this document. The proposed activities would result in the conversion of approximately ...
Date: January 1, 2006
Creator: Van Lonkhuyzen, R.; Stull, L.; Butler, J.; Chang, Y.; Allison, T. & O'Rourke, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Surveillance of Site A and Plot M - Report for 2006.

Description: The results of the environmental surveillance program conducted at Site A/Plot M in the Palos Forest Preserve area for Calendar Year 2006 are presented. Based on the results of the 1976-1978 radiological characterization of the site, a determination was made that a surveillance program be established. The characterization study determined that very low levels of hydrogen-3 (as tritiated water) had migrated from the burial ground and were present in two nearby hand-pumped picnic wells. The current surveillance program began in 1980 and consists of sample collection and analysis of surface and subsurface water. The results of the analyses are used to (1) monitor the migration pathway of water from the burial ground (PlotM) to the hand pumped picnic wells, (2) establish if buried radionuclides other than hydrogen-3 have migrated, and (3) monitor the presence of radioactive and chemically hazardous materials in the environment of the area. Hydrogen-3 in the Red GateWoods picnic wells was still detected this year, but the average and maximum concentrations were significantly less than found earlier. Hydrogen-3 continues to be detected in a number of wells, boreholes, dolomite holes, and a surface stream. Analyses since 1984 have indicated the presence of low levels of strontium-90 in water from a number of boreholes next to Plot M. The results of the surveillance program continue to indicate that the radioactivity remaining at Site A/Plot M does not endanger the health or safety of the public visiting the site, using the picnic area, or living in the vicinity.
Date: May 7, 2007
Creator: Golchert, N. W. & Oversight, ESH /QA
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of the table of initial isolation distances and protective action distances for the 2004 emergency response guidebook.

Description: This report provides technical documentation for values in the Table of Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distances (PADs) in the 2004 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG2004). The objective for choosing the PADs specified in the ERG2004 is to balance the need to adequately protect the public from exposure to potentially harmful substances against the risks and expenses that could result from overreacting to a spill. To quantify this balance, a statistical approach is adopted, whereby the best available information is used to conduct an accident scenario analysis and develop a set of up to 1,000,000 hypothetical incidents. The set accounts for differences in containers types, incident types, accident severity (i.e., amounts released), locations, times of day, times of year, and meteorological conditions. Each scenario is analyzed using detailed emission rate and atmospheric dispersion models to calculate the downwind chemical concentrations from which a 'safe distance' is determined. The safe distance is defined as the distance downwind from the source at which the chemical concentration falls below health protection criteria. The American Industrial Hygiene Association's Emergency Response Planning Guideline Level 2 (ERPG-2) or equivalent is the health criteria used. The statistical sample of safe distance values for all incidents considered in the analysis are separated into four categories: small spill/daytime release, small spill/nighttime release, large spill/daytime release, and large spill/nighttime release. The 90th-percentile safe distance values for each of these groups became the PADs that appear in the ERG2004.
Date: September 23, 2005
Creator: Brown, D. F.; Freeman, W. A.; Carhart, R. A.; Krumpolc, M.; Sciences, Decision and Information & Chicago, Univ. of Illinois at
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fracture, aging and disease in bone

Description: From a public health perspective, developing a detailed mechanistic understanding of the well-known increase in fracture risk of human bone with age is essential. This also represents a challenge from materials science and fracture mechanics viewpoints. Bone has a complex, hierarchical structure with characteristic features ranging from nanometer to macroscopic dimensions; it is therefore significantly more complex than most engineering materials. Nevertheless, by examining the micro-/nano-structural changes accompanying the process of aging using appropriate multiscale experimental methods and relating them to fracture mechanics data, it is possible to obtain a quantitative picture of how bone resists fracture. As human cortical bone exhibits rising ex vivo crack-growth resistance with crack extension, its fracture toughness must be evaluated in terms of resistance-curve (R-curve) behavior. While the crack initiation toughness declines with age, the more striking finding is that the crack-growth toughness declines even more significantly and is essentially absent in bone from donors exceeding 85 years in age. To explain such an age-induced deterioration in the toughness of bone, we evaluate its fracture properties at multiple length scales, specifically at the molecular and nanodimensions using pico-force atomic-force microscopy, nanoindentation and vibrational spectroscopies, at the microscale using electron microscopy and hard/soft x-ray computed tomography, and at the macroscale using R-curve measurements. We show that the reduction in crack-growth toughness is associated primarily with a degradation in the degree of extrinsic toughening, in particular involving crack bridging, and that this occurs at relatively coarse size-scales in the range of tens to hundreds of micrometers. Finally, we briefly describe how specific clinical treatments, e.g., with steroid hormones to treat various inflammatory conditions, can prematurely damage bone, thereby reducing its fracture resistance, whereas regulating the level of the cytokine TGF-beta can offer significant improvements in the stiffness, strength and toughness of bone, and as such may ...
Date: February 1, 2006
Creator: Ager, J.W.; Balooch, G. & Ritchie, R.O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Department of Energy, Illness and Injury Surveillance Program, Worker Health Summary, 1995-2004

Description: The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Illness and Injury Surveillance Program has created an opportunity to assess illness and injury rates and patterns among workers at participating sites for well over a decade. The Worker Health Summary introduces an additional perspective on worker health with the introduction of analyses comparing the experience of sites in different program offices and a focus on time trends covering a decade of worker illness and injury experience. These analyses by program office suggest that illness and injury patterns among National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) workers diverge in many ways from those seen among Environmental Management (EM) and Science workers for reasons not yet understood. These differences will receive further investigation in future special focus studies, as will other findings of interest. With the time depth now available in our data, the Worker Health Summary reveals an additional nuance in worker health trends: changing health patterns in a specialized and skilled but aging work force. Older workers are becoming an increasing percentage of the work force, and their absence rates for diseases such as diabetes and hypertension are increasing as well. The impact of these emerging health issues, if properly addressed, can be managed to maintain or even enhance worker health and productivity. Prevention strategies designed to reduce the toll of these health conditions appear warranted, and this report gives us an indication of where to focus them. The analyses that follow reflect the Illness and Injury Surveillance Program’s continued commitment to apply a public health perspective in protecting the health of DOE’s work force.
Date: October 1, 2007
Creator: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Health, Safety and Security, Office of Illness and Injury Prevention Programs
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) maintains a strong commitment to transfer the results of its science and technology programs to the private sector. The intent is to apply innovative and sometimes advanced technologies to address needs while simultaneously stimulating new commercial business opportunities. Such focused “technology transfer” was evident in the late 1990s as the results of DOE investments in environmental management technology development led to new tools for characterizing and remediating contaminated sites as well as handling and minimizing the generation of hazardous wastes. The Department’s Office of Environmental Management was attempting to reduce the cost, accelerate the schedule, and improve the efficacy of clean-up efforts in the nuclear weapons complex. It recognized that resulting technologies had broader world market applications and that their commercialization would further reduce costs and facilitate deployment of improved technology at DOE sites. DOE’s Albuquerque Operations Office (now part of the National Nuclear Security Administration) began in 1995 to build the foundation for a technology exchange program with Mexico. Initial sponsorship for this work was provided by the Department’s Office of Environmental Management. As part of this effort, Applied Sciences Laboratory, Inc. (ASL) was contracted by the DOE Albuquerque office to identify Mexico’s priority environmental management needs, identify and evaluate DOE-sponsored technologies as potential solutions for those needs, and coordinate these opportunities with decision makers from Mexico’s federal government. That work led to an improved understanding of many key environmental challenges that Mexico faces and the many opportunities to apply DOE’s technologies to help resolve them. The above results constituted, in large part, the foundation for an initial DOE-funded program to apply the Department’s technology base to help address some of Mexico’s challenging environmental issues. The results also brought focus to the potential contributions that DOE’s science and technology could make for solving ...
Date: October 1, 2007
Creator: Jimenez, Richard, D., Dr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Biennial Environmental Compliance Report

Description: This Biennial Environmental Compliance Report (BECR) documents compliance with environmental regulations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a facility designed and authorized for the safe disposal of transuranic (TRU) radioactive waste. This BECR covers the reporting period from April 1, 2004, to March 31, 2006. As required by the WIPP Land Withdrawal Act (LWA) (Public Law [Pub. L.] 102-579, as amended by Pub. L. 104-201), the BECR documents United States (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE) compliance with regulations and permits issued pursuant to the following: (1) Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 191, Subpart A, "Environmental Standards for Management and Storage"; (2) Clean Air Act (CAA) (42 United States Code [U.S.C.] §7401, et seq.); (3) Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA) (42 U.S.C. §§6901-6992, et seq.); (4) Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) (42 U.S.C. §§300f, et seq.); (5) Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) (15 U.S.C. §§2601, et seq.); (6) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (42 U.S.C. §§9601, et seq.); and all other federal and state of New Mexico laws pertaining to public health and safety or the environment.
Date: October 12, 2006
Creator: Services, Washington Regulatory and Environmental
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Spent Nuclear Fuel Transportation: An Examination of Potential Lessons Learned From Prior Shipping Campaigns

Description: The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA), as amended, assigned the Department of Energy (DOE) responsibility for developing and managing a Federal system for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste (HLW). The Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) is responsible for accepting, transporting, and disposing of SNF and HLW at the Yucca Mountain repository in a manner that protects public health, safety, and the environment; enhances national and energy security; and merits public confidence. OCRWM faces a near-term challenge—to develop and demonstrate a transportation system that will sustain safe and efficient shipments of SNF and HLW to a repository. To better inform and improve its current planning, OCRWM has extensively reviewed plans and other documents related to past high-visibility shipping campaigns of SNF and other radioactive materials within the United States. This report summarizes the results of this review and, where appropriate, lessons learned.
Date: August 1, 2006
Creator: Keister, Marsha & McBride, Kathryn
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Measures of the Environmental Footprint of the Front End of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

Description: Previous estimates of environmental impacts associated with the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle have focused primarily on energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Results have varied widely. Section 2 of this report provides a summary of historical estimates. This study revises existing empirical correlations and their underlying assumptions to fit to a more complete set of existing data. This study also addresses land transformation, water withdrawals, and occupational and public health impacts associated with the processes of the front end of the once-through nuclear fuel cycle. These processes include uranium mining, milling, refining, conversion, enrichment, and fuel fabrication. Metrics are developed to allow environmental impacts to be summed across the full set of front end processes, including transportation and disposition of the resulting depleted uranium.
Date: August 1, 2010
Creator: Carlsen, Brett; Tavrides, Emily & Schneider, Erich
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

NGNP Site Selection Status Report

Description: This report provides an overview of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing process, the preliminary site activities that have taken place in the current fiscal year (FY-06), and the site-related plans for FY-07. The NRC maintains oversight of the construction and operation of a facility throughout its lifetime to assure compliance with the Commission's regulations for the protection of public health and safety, the common defense and security, and the environment. To implement this process, all nuclear power plant applications must undergo a safety review, an environmental review, and antitrust review by the NRC.
Date: December 1, 2006
Creator: Holbrook, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Abbreviated Pandemic Influenza Planning Template for Primary Care Offices

Description: The Abbreviated Pandemic Influenza Plan Template for Primary Care Provider Offices is intended to assist primary care providers and office managers with preparing their offices for quickly putting a plan in place to handle an increase in patient calls and visits, whether during the 2009-2010 influenza season or future influenza seasons.
Date: January 1, 2010
Creator: CHE, HCTT
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Giving Voice to Multiple Sclerosis: A Patient and Provider Investigation

Description: With the advent of the telephonic and technological healthcare revolution, pharmaceutical corporations seek to improve patient compliance and quality of life by contracting with services providers. As an employee of one such provider, working for more than three years on a medication for the neurologically degenerative disease, multiple sclerosis, this investigation utilizes a mixed methodological approach. In order to improve and diversify the clinical services provided to patients, I was contracted as a consultant. I interviewed phone and PRN nurses, developed and released a PRN survey, and interviewed patients living in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. The combined experiences and expertise of the three groups who participated would serve to inform and develop new programs and services for patients with differing disease states. The research resulted in a re-imagining of the social networking theory of health, as well as the works of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, to serve the evolving tele-health and technologically based healthcare workplace.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cutler, Alexander
Partner: UNT Libraries

On-Chip Dielectrophoretic Separation and Concentration of Viable, Non-Viable and Viable but Not Culturable (VBNC) Escherichia coli

Description: Although bacterial culture remains the gold standard for detection of viable bacteria in environmental specimens, the typical time requirement of twenty-four hours can delay and even jeopardize appropriate public health intervention. In addition, culture is incapable of detecting viable but not culturable (VBNC) species. Conversely, nucleic acid and antibody-based methods greatly decrease time to detection but rarely characterize viability of the bacteria detected. Through selection by membrane permeability, the method described in this work employs positive dielectrophoresis (pDEP) for separation and purification of viable and VBNC species from water and allows concentration of bacteria for downstream applications.
Date: April 12, 2012
Creator: Packard, M M; Shusteff, M & Alocilja, E C
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Performing Trade Studies in the CERCLA Environment

Description: During almost any project, situations will arise that require project management and/or engineering personnel to make choices regarding project direction or product development. Often these choices are simply a part of the normal engineering development cycle (e.g., refinement or optimization of the product design). Frequently, on Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and other similar projects, trade studies are initiated to address concerns or issues raised by stakeholders (e.g., EPA, local and state governments, local tribes, public). Where CERCLA projects, by definition, deal with releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment, these trade studies must balance safety, risk and health issues, as well as cost and engineering viability. How these trade studies are carried out and documented/presented to the stakeholders involved can often be the difference between continued project progress and a "stalemate" leaving the project in limbo. This document describes a basic trade study process, which has proved successful in addressing stakeholder concerns while at the same time balancing the desires of the various parties involved.
Date: July 1, 2002
Creator: Borland, Mark Wilson; Rice, Philip Matthew & Jamison, Ronald Kirt
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Preventing Absenteeism and Promoting Resilience Among Health Care Workers In Biological Emergencies

Description: The ability to ensure adequate numbers of medical staff represents a crucial part of the medical response to any disaster. However, healthcare worker absenteeism during disasters, especially in the event of an attack of biological terrorism or an epidemic such as pandemic influenza, is a serious concern. Though a significant rate of absenteeism is often included as a baseline assumption in emergency planning, published reports on strategies to minimize absenteeism are comparatively few. This report documents interviews with managers and emergency response planners at hospitals and public health agencies and reviews existing survey data on healthcare worker absenteeism and studies of disasters to glean lessons about the needs of healthcare workers during those disasters. Based on this research, expected rates of absenteeism and individual determinants of absenteeism are presented along with recommendations of steps that hospitals, emergency medical services departments, public health organizations, and government agencies can take to meet the needs of healthcare workers and minimize absenteeism during a biological event.
Date: May 8, 2009
Creator: Lesperance, Ann M. & Miller, James S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Selenium is present in waste rock/overburden that is removed during phosphate mining in southeastern Idaho. Waste rock piles or rock used during reclamation can be a source of selenium (and other metals) to streams and vegetation. Some instances (in 1996) of selenium toxicity in grazing sheep and horses caused public health and environmental concerns, leading to Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) involvement. The Selenium Information System Project is a collaboration among the DEQ, the United States Forest Service (USFS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Idaho Mining Association (IMA), Idaho State University (ISU), and the Idaho National Laboratory (INL)2. The Selenium Information System is a centralized data repository for southeastern Idaho selenium data. The data repository combines information that was previously in numerous agency, mining company, and consultants’ databases and web sites. These data include selenium concentrations in soil, water, sediment, vegetation and other environmental media, as well as comprehensive mine information. The Idaho DEQ spearheaded a selenium area-wide investigation through voluntary agreements with the mining companies and interagency participants. The Selenium Information System contains the results of that area-wide investigation, and many other background documents. As studies are conducted and remedial action decisions are made the resulting data and documentation will be stored within the information system. Potential users of the information system are agency officials, students, lawmakers, mining company personnel, teachers, researchers, and the general public. The system, available from a central website, consists of a database that contains the area-wide sampling information and an ESRI ArcIMS map server. The user can easily acquire information pertaining to the area-wide study as well as the final area-wide report. Future work on this project includes creating custom tools to increase the simplicity of the website and increasing the amount of information available from site-specific studies at 15 mines.
Date: April 1, 2005
Creator: Mayes, Roger; White, Sera & Lee, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Host suppression and bioinformatics for sequence-based characterization of unknown pathogens.

Description: Bioweapons and emerging infectious diseases pose formidable and growing threats to our national security. Rapid advances in biotechnology and the increasing efficiency of global transportation networks virtually guarantee that the United States will face potentially devastating infectious disease outbreaks caused by novel ('unknown') pathogens either intentionally or accidentally introduced into the population. Unfortunately, our nation's biodefense and public health infrastructure is primarily designed to handle previously characterized ('known') pathogens. While modern DNA assays can identify known pathogens quickly, identifying unknown pathogens currently depends upon slow, classical microbiological methods of isolation and culture that can take weeks to produce actionable information. In many scenarios that delay would be costly, in terms of casualties and economic damage; indeed, it can mean the difference between a manageable public health incident and a full-blown epidemic. To close this gap in our nation's biodefense capability, we will develop, validate, and optimize a system to extract nucleic acids from unknown pathogens present in clinical samples drawn from infected patients. This system will extract nucleic acids from a clinical sample, amplify pathogen and specific host response nucleic acid sequences. These sequences will then be suitable for ultra-high-throughput sequencing (UHTS) carried out by a third party. The data generated from UHTS will then be processed through a new data assimilation and Bioinformatic analysis pipeline that will allow us to characterize an unknown pathogen in hours to days instead of weeks to months. Our methods will require no a priori knowledge of the pathogen, and no isolation or culturing; therefore it will circumvent many of the major roadblocks confronting a clinical microbiologist or virologist when presented with an unknown or engineered pathogen.
Date: November 1, 2009
Creator: Branda, Steven S.; Lane, Todd W.; Misra, Milind; Meagher, Robert J.; Patel, Kamlesh D. & Kaiser, Julia N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department