Search Results

Environmental Health: EPA Efforts to Address Children's Health Issues Need Greater Focus, Direction, and Top-Level Commitment

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "According to EPA, children face disproportionate risks from contaminants such as air pollution and lead paint. The health consequences to the country's 74 million children are significant. In 2006, 55 percent of children lived in counties exceeding allowable levels for at least one of the six principal air pollutants such as ozone which causes or aggravates asthma. Asthma is the third-most common cause of childhood hospitalization, resulting in $3.2 billion in treatment costs and 14 million lost school days annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1997, EPA created the Office of Children's Health and convened the Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee) to provide advice and recommendations to assist in developing regulations, guidance, and policies to address children's health. In April 1997, the President signed Executive Order 13045, creating an interagency Task Force to recommend federal strategies for protecting children. Our testimony is based on ongoing work on the extent to which EPA has used the Advisory Committee and addressed the committee's key recommendations. It also includes information about the Task Force. We met with numerous EPA officials and analyzed the committee's letters. GAO recommends, among other things, that EPA expeditiously complete its review of the Advisory Committee's key recommendations."
Date: September 16, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Health: Opportunities for Greater Focus, Direction, and Top-Level Commitment to Children's Health at EPA

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses highlights of GAO's report about the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to institutionalize the protection of children's health. EPA's mission is to protect human health and the environment. As a result of mounting evidence about the special vulnerabilities of the developing fetus and child, the federal government and EPA took several bold steps to make children's environmental health a priority in the late 1990s. In 1996, EPA issued the National Agenda to Protect Children's Health from Environmental Threats (National Agenda) and expanded the agency's activities to specifically address risks for children, documenting EPA's plans to achieve seven goals, such as (1) ensuring that all standards set by EPA are protective of any heightened risks faced by children; (2) developing new, comprehensive policies to address cumulative and simultaneous exposures faced by children; and (3) expanding community right-to-know to allow families to make informed choices concerning environmental exposures to their children. EPA's Advisory Committee has raised concerns about whether the agency has continued to maintain its earlier focus on protecting children or capitalized on opportunities to tackle some significant and emerging environmental health challenges. For example, the Advisory Committee wrote to the Administrator in April 2007 to reflect on EPA's achievements in the 10 years since the Executive Order was signed. The committee cited successes, such as increased margins of safety for pesticides mandated under the Food Quality Protection Act and the creation of the National Children's Study. However, the Advisory Committee also expressed serious concerns about EPA's continued lack of focus on children's environmental health issues and the lack of progress in addressing the committee's many recommendations. In the intervening years, children's environmental health has become no less pressing. In fact, 66 percent of children lived ...
Date: March 17, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Atrazine Monitoring and Modeling in the Lake Lavon Watershed

Description: This report describes a study to identify the distribution and extent of areas potentially at risk for atrazine (a broad leaf weedkiller) runoff in the Lake Lavon watershed, which is a major water supply for the Dallas area. The report presents the results of the study and makes recommendations for how information can be used in a cost-effective watershed atrazine reduction strategy.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Atkinson, Samuel F.; Waller, William T.; Dickson, Kenneth L.; Sanmanee, Sirichai & Moreno, Maria C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Environmental Health: Action Needed to Sustain Agencies' Collaboration on Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Drinking water in some metropolitan areas contains concentrations of pharmaceuticals, raising concerns about their potential impact on human health. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate contaminants, including pharmaceuticals, in public drinking water systems if they may adversely affect human health among other criteria. Pharmaceuticals may enter drinking water supplies from several pathways, including discharge from wastewater facilities. GAO was asked to provide information on the (1) extent to which pharmaceuticals occur in drinking water and their effects, if any, on human health; (2) U.S. and other countries' approaches to reducing their occurrence; and (3) challenges, if any, that EPA faces in determining whether to regulate pharmaceuticals. GAO reviewed federal and peer-reviewed reports, and surveyed a nonprobability sample of five U.S. programs designed to properly dispose of pharmaceuticals. We selected these programs based on geographic diversity and program characteristics. We also researched such programs in two countries, and interviewed scientists and agency officials."
Date: August 8, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Human Health Impacts from Climate Variability and Climate Change in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya Region

Description: This activity report summarizes the main outcomes of the inter-regional workshop on the Human Health Impacts from Climate Variability and Climate Change in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya Region (India 2005). The objectives of the workshop were: to inform government organizations, nongovernmental organizations and other relevant stakeholders about the impacts of climate change; to Identify specific human health risks linked to climate variability and change in the Himalayan mountain regions; to propose strategies for integrating health with relevant sectors; to achieve consensus on a draft framework for national action in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan mountain region.
Date: October 2005
Creator: World Health Organization
Partner: UNT Libraries

Appropriate Technologies for Water Supply and Sanitation in Arid Areas: Workshop : Summary Report

Description: The main purpose of the meeting was to review progress in the development of technologies for making optimum use of limited water resources or using conditions of drought and solar radiation to disinfect ferment-able wastes and destroy microorganisms contained in them.
Date: June 1987
Creator: World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe
Partner: UNT Libraries

Human Health Impacts from Climate Variability and Climate Change in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya Region

Description: This activity report summarizes the main outcomes of the inter-regional workshop on the Human Health Impacts from Climate Variability and Climate Change in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya Region (India 2005). The objectives of the workshop were: to inform government organizations, nongovernmental organizations and other relevant stakeholders about the impacts of climate change; to Identify specific human health risks linked to climate variability and change in the Himalayan mountain regions; to propose strategies for integrating health with relevant sectors; to achieve consensus on a draft framework for national action in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan mountain region.
Date: October 2005
Creator: Word Health Organization
Partner: UNT Libraries

Regional Initiative on Environment and Health: The Third High-Level Officials’ Meeting Report

Description: The Third High-Level Officials Meeting on Environment and Health in Southeast and East Asian countries was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 8 August 2007. The First High-Level Officials Meeting was held in Manila, Philippines in November 2004, where a regional initiative on environment and health was launched, and the Second High-Level Officials Meeting was convened in Bangkok, Thailand in December 2005, where a draft Charter of the Regional Forum on Environment and Health was discussed. This Third Meeting was conducted prior to the First Ministerial Meeting, to review the progress made in national and regional actions since the Second High-Level Meeting, and discuss and endorse the draft Charter and the composition and work plans of the regional Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) on six priorities for submission to the Ministerial Meeting. The agenda and annotated agenda of the meeting are given in Annexes 1 and 2, respectively, and a list of participants is attached as Annex 3.
Date: August 2007
Creator: World Health Organization
Partner: UNT Libraries

UNEP in China: Building Back Better

Description: This booklet describes the cleanup and redevelopment effort in the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. A sustainable building design was included, which minimizes energy needs for cooling, heating, and lighting, is earthquake resistant, results in zero waste at the construction site, and is made with recycled materials.
Date: June 2010
Creator: Thakur, Reshmi & Potocnik, Matija
Partner: UNT Libraries

Federal Register Volume 62, No. 78, Pages 19884 to 19887, April 23, 1997

Description: The United States Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. This specific Executive Order (E.O.) 13045 - Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks - was issued by President William J. Clinton in 1997. The order applies to economically significant rules under E.O. 12866 that concern an environmental health or safety risk that EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children. Environmental health risks or safety risks refer to risks to health or to safety that are attributable to products or substances that the child is likely to come in contact with or ingest (such as the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink or use for recreation, the soil we live on, and the products we use or are exposed to). When promulgating a rule of this description, EPA must evaluate the effects of the planned regulation on children and explain why the regulation is preferable to potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives.
Date: April 23, 1997
Creator: [Clinton, William J.]
Partner: UNT Libraries

Public Health Service Act

Description: The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was established to protect the quality of drinking water in the U.S. This law focuses on all waters actually or potentially designed for drinking use, whether from above ground or underground sources. The Act authorizes EPA to establish minimum standards to protect tap water and requires all owners or operators of public water systems to comply with these primary (health-related) standards. The 1996 amendments to SDWA require that EPA consider a detailed risk and cost assessment, and best available peer-reviewed science, when developing these standards. State governments, which can be approved to implement these rules for EPA, also encourage attainment of secondary standards (nuisance-related). Under the Act, EPA also establishes minimum standards for state programs to protect underground sources of drinking water from endangerment by underground injection of fluids.
Date: 1974
Creator: United States. Congress
Partner: UNT Libraries

Megadrought and Megadeath in 16th Century Mexico

Description: The native population collapse in 16th century Mexico was a demographic catastrophe with one of the highest death rates in history. Recently developed tree-ring evidence has allowed the levels of precipitation to be reconstructed for north central Mexico, adding to the growing body of epidemiologic evidence and indicating that the 1545 and 1576 epidemics of cocoliztli (Nahuatl for "pest") were indigenous hemorrhagic fevers transmitted by rodent hosts and aggravated by extreme drought conditions.
Date: 2002
Creator: Acuna-Soto, Rodolfo; Stahle, David W.; Cleaveland, Malcolm K. & Therrell, Matthew D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Spatially Explicit Environmental Health Surveillance Framework for Tick-Borne Diseases

Description: In this paper, I will show how applying a spatially explicit context to an existing environmental health surveillance framework is vital for more complete surveillance of disease, and for disease prevention and intervention strategies. As a case study to test the viability of a spatial approach to this existing framework, the risk of human exposure to Lyme disease will be estimated. This spatially explicit framework divides the surveillance process into three components: hazard surveillance, exposure surveillance, and outcome surveillance. The components will be used both collectively and individually, to assess exposure risk to infected ticks. By utilizing all surveillance components, I will identify different areas of risk which would not have been identified otherwise. Hazard surveillance uses maximum entropy modeling and geographically weighted regression analysis to create spatial models that predict the geographic distribution of ticks in Texas. Exposure surveillance uses GIS methods to estimate the risk of human exposures to infected ticks, resulting in a map that predicts the likelihood of human-tick interactions across Texas, using LandScan 2008TM population data. Lastly, outcome surveillance uses kernel density estimation-based methods to describe and analyze the spatial patterns of tick-borne diseases, which results in a continuous map that reflects disease rates based on population location. Data for this study was obtained from the Texas Department of Health Services and the University of North Texas Health Science Center. The data includes disease data on Lyme disease from 2004-2008, and the tick distribution estimates are based on field collections across Texas from 2004-2008.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Aviña, Aldo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Environmental Health: High-level Strategy and Leadership Needed to Continue Progress toward Protecting Children from Environmental Threats

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Exposure to toxic chemicals or environmental pollutants may harm the health of the nation's 74 million children and contribute to increases in asthma and developmental impairments. In 2007, 66 percent of children lived in counties exceeding allowable levels for at least one of the six principal air pollutants that cause or aggravate asthma, contributing to medical costs of $3.2 billion per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1997, Executive Order 13045 mandated that agencies place a high priority on children's risks and required that policies, programs, activities, and standards address those risks. In response, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the Office of Children's Health Protection and convened the Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee. This report assesses the extent to which EPA has institutionalized consideration of children's health through (1) strategies and priorities, (2) key offices and other child-focused resources, and (3) participation in interagency efforts. GAO reviewed numerous documents and met with EPA and other officials for this report."
Date: January 28, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Health: EPA Has Made Substantial Progress but Could Improve Processes for Considering Children's Health

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made substantial progress in addressing more than half of the recommendations GAO made in a January 2010 report concerning the agency's efforts to protect children's health. Specifically, EPA has fully implemented five of the eight recommendations made by GAO. For example, for a recommendation that EPA ensure that its strategic plan expressly articulate children-specific goals, objectives, and targets, in September 2010, EPA issued an agency-wide strategic plan that identifies children's health as a top agency priority with goals, objectives, and targets. In addition, EPA took some steps to address the remaining three recommendations from GAO's January 2010 report but has not fully implemented them, including a recommendation that the agency strengthen the data system that identifies and tracks development of rulemakings and other actions to ensure they comply with the 1995 policy on evaluating health risks to children."
Date: August 12, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analyses of the Effects of Global Change on Human Health and Welfare and Human Systems

Description: This document is part of the Synthesis and Assessment Products (SAP) described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan. This report is meant to synthesize and communicate the current state of understanding about the characteristics and implications of uncertainty related to climate change and variability to an audience of policymakers, decision makers, and members of the media and general public with an interest in developing a fundamental understanding of the issue.
Date: September 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Optimizing Scientific and Social Attributes of Pharmaceutical Take Back Programs to Improve Public and Environmental Health

Description: Research continues to show that pharmaceutical environmental contamination has caused adverse environmental effects, with one of the most studied effects being feminization of fish exposed to pharmaceutical endocrine disruptors. Additionally, there are also public health risks associated with pharmaceuticals because in-home reserves of medications provide opportunities for accidental poisoning and intentional medication abuse. Pharmaceutical take back programs have been seen as a remedy to these concerns; however a thorough review of peer-reviewed literature and publicly available information on these programs indicates limited research has been conducted to validate these programs as a purported solution. Furthermore, there are significant data gaps on key factors relating to take back program participants. The purpose of this dissertation was therefore to address these gaps in knowledge and ultimately determine if take back programs could actually improve public and environmental health. This was accomplished by conducting social and scientific research on a take back program called Denton Drug Disposal Day (D4). Socioeconomic, demographic, and geographic characteristics of D4 participants were investigated using surveys and geographic analysis. Impacts on public health were determined by comparing medications collected at D4 events with medications reported to the North Texas Poison Center as causing adverse drug exposures in Denton County. Impacts to environmental health were determined by monitoring hydrocodone concentrations in wastewater effluent released from Denton’s wastewater treatment plant before and after D4 events. Data collected and analyzed from the D4 events and the wastewater monitoring suggests D4 events were successful in contributing to improvements in public and environmental health; however there was insufficient evidence to prove that D4 events were exclusively responsible for these improvements. An additional interesting finding was that willingness to travel to participate in D4 events was limited to a five to six mile threshold. This geographic information, combined with other findings related to socioeconomic, ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Stoddard, Kati Ireland
Partner: UNT Libraries