Topics A to Z

As part of NEHA's continuos effort to provide convenient access to information and resources, we have gathered together for you the links in this section. Our mission is "to advance the environmental health and protection professional for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all,” as well as to educate and inform those outside the profession.

Article Abstract

Lead is known for its devastating effects on people, particularly children under the age of six. Disturbed lead paint in homes is the most common source of lead poisoning of children. Preventive approaches including consumer education on the demand side of the housing market (purchasers and renters of housing units) and disclosure regulations on supply side of the housing market (landlords, homeowners, developers, and licensed realtors) have had mixed outcomes. The study described in this article considered whether a novel supply-side intervention that educates licensed real estate agents about the specific dangers of lead poisoning would result in better knowledge of lead hazards and improved behavior with respect to the information they convey to potential home buyers. Ninety-one licensed realtors were trained for four hours on lead hazards and their health impacts. Pre- and postsurveys and a six-month follow-up interview were conducted to assess the impact of the intervention on their knowledge and self-reported behaviors with clients. The findings suggest that supply-side education could have a salutary impact on realtor knowledge and behavior.

July/August 2013
76.1 | 28-36
Rodney D. Green, PhD, Janet A. Phoenix, MPH, MD, Aisha M. Thompson, MBA
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazardous Materials


High carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations can elicit adverse health effects. We assessed CO concentrations at filling stations and determined carboxyhemoglobin (%COHb) levels and health problems reported by filling station attendants (FSAs) via questionnaires. This cross-sectional design studied 20 filling stations from Ibadan North Local Government, Nigeria. Outdoor CO concentrations (ppm) were measured for 8 weeks in August–September 2015 from 8:00–10:00 a.m. and 12:00–2:00 p.m., and %COHb levels were measured among 100 FSAs. Data collected were analyzed using Student’s t-test and analysis of variation (p = .05) and compared with relevant guideline limits. Mean CO concentrations in morning (15.4 ± 2.1 ppm) and afternoon (11.6 ± 1.4 ppm) were higher (p < .01) than the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline of 9.0 ppm. Mean %COHb for FSAs (11.1 ± 2.6) was significantly higher (p < .01) than the WHO guideline of 2.5%. Among respondents, 13.4% of FSAs vomited and 14.9% of FSAs experienced nausea. FSAs need personal protective equipment and filling stations should modernize pump delivery systems to minimize exposures.


July 2020
July/August 2020
83.1 | 26-31
Godson R.E.E. Ana, MEng, MPH, PhD, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Toluwanimi M. Oni, MPH, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Derek G. Shendell, MPH, DEnv, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, New Jersey Safe Schools Program, Rutgers School of Public Health

Chuck Lichon, R.S., M.P.H., Deputy Health Officer at District Health Department #2 in Michigan, developed a Children’s Environmental Health Power Point Program with the financial assistance of the Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI.  The Power Points are approximately 25-35 minutes in length, allowing for a presentation to be made during one classroom setting, or to be used for a community presentation, allowing time for Q & A.  Some of the topics include: Sunwise, Body Art, Household Hazardous Waste, Meth, Recreational Water, and more.  They are free to download and use for presentations in your school, health department community presentations, or for media use.  Changes in the presentations should not be made without consent from the author, and/or the NEHA Board of Directors.  

The Careers in Environmental Health PowerPoint is available via the link listed below:   

Chuck Lichon, R.S., M.P.H.
Additional Topics A to Z: Workforce Development


The literature has been inconclusive concerning the connection between food safety manager certification and the incidence of critical food safety violations. An analysis of 2013 data from 1,547 restaurants in North, Central, and South Georgia health districts examined the relationship between the presence or absence of a certified food safety manager (CFSM) and the number of risk factors cited on food inspection reports and the food safety score. In addition, the study examined whether operation type (i.e., chain versus independently owned) had an impact on the number of risk factors and food safety score. Using a two-tailed independent-samples t-test revealed restaurants with a CFSM had significantly more risk factors cited on food safety inspections and lower food safety scores than restaurants without a CFSM. There was also a significant difference among chain and independent restaurants. Chain restaurants had fewer risk factors cited on restaurant inspections and had higher food safety scores.

November 2017
November 2017
80.4 | 16-21
Jovan Harris, MPH, PhD, Walden University

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has recast the food safety landscape, including the role of the food safety professional. To position this field for the future, the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is proud to announce its newest credential — Certified in Comprehensive Food Safety (CCFS). 

The CCFS is a mid-level credential for food safety professionals. A professional that earns the CCFS credential will demonstrate expertise in how to assure food is safe for consumers throughout the manufacturing/processing environment. 

The CCFS credential can be utilized by anyone wanting to continue a growth path in the food safety sector, whether in a regulatory/oversight role or in a food safety management or compliance position within the private sector. The CCFS credential is a mark of distinction for those choosing a career in as a food safety professional in the manufacturing and processing areas. 


Publication Information: 
Certified in Comprehensive Food Safety (CCFS) Manual
National Environmental Health Association (2014)
356 pages, spiral-bound paperback.

Additional Topics A to Z: CCFS

The Jamaican food safety regulatory framework is embodied in the Public Health Act of 1974 with public health inspectors/environmental health officers (PHIs/EHOs) empowered with its enforcement. The North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) has consistently faced challenges in achieving national certification targets for food-handling establishments (FHEs). The aim of the authors’ study was to identify and describe noncompliant FHEs and to identify factors influencing their noncompliance. FHEs (N = 248) were randomly selected and each owner/operator targeted for interview. Substantially more FHEs were compliant and respondents from compliant FHEs were more likely to have a valid food handlers’ permit. Urban FHEs were less likely to be compliant than rural. The major barriers to compliance were forgetting to apply for a license and lack of money to correct infractions. NERHA should encourage FHE owners/operators to assume greater responsibility for the certification of their premises and to hold PHIs more accountable.

September 2015
September 2015
78.2 | 20-26
Norbert Campbell, MPH, Jeffericia Johnson, MPH, Henroy Scarlett, MPH, DrPH, Sylvanus Thompson, MSc, PhD


Characteristics of an urban setting such as New York City (NYC), including readily available putrescible waste and ample underground infrastructure, make it highly attractive to the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). To identify property and neighborhood characteristics associated with rat presence, recent inspectional results were analyzed from over 77,000 properties in the Bronx and Manhattan. Variables capturing the location and density of factors believed to promote rat populations were tested individually and in combination in models predicting rat activity. We found that property-specific characteristics typically associated with high garbage volume, including large numbers of residential units, public ownership, and open-space designation (parks, outdoor recreation, or vacant land) were the most important factors in explaining increased rat presence across neighborhoods in NYC. Interventions that involved improved garbage management and street sanitation within a designated area reduced the likelihood of finding rats, especially in medium- and high-poverty neighborhoods. Neighborhood characteristics, such as being near a railroad or subway line, having a school nearby, the presence of numerous restaurants, or having older infrastructure, also contributed to the increased likelihood of rats. Our results support the use of built environment data to target community-level interventions and capture emerging rat infestations.

June 2016
June 2016
78.10 | 22-29
Sarah Johnson, MS, MPH, Caroline Bragdon, MPH, Carolyn Olson, MPH, Mario Merlino, MS, MPH


In King County, Washington, the most frequently used alternative solvent to perchloroethylene is a hydrotreated petroleum hydrocarbon. The objectives of the authors’ study were to 1) determine the frequency of use of process chemicals used in “hydrocarbon” dry cleaning and gather other operational information; 2) chemically characterize the process chemicals; 3) characterize the still bottoms and separator water wastes according to dangerous waste and wastewater discharge regulations; 4) identify linkages between work practices, process chemicals, and the chemical composition of the waste streams; and 5) evaluate the aquatic toxicity of the hydrocarbon solvent and detergent. Many hydrocarbon dry cleaners are using process chemicals that contain hazardous substances, including trichloroethylene. One sample of separator water contained 13,000 µg/L trichloroethylene. This sample was determined to be federal hazardous waste, state-only dangerous waste (i.e., according to Washington state-specific regulations), and failed wastewater discharge thresholds. All still bottoms were determined to be state-only dangerous wastes. Efforts should be directed towards replacing hazardous spot cleaning chemicals with safer alternatives and ensuring that wastes are disposed of appropriately.

September 2015
78.2 | 8-13
Stephen G. Whittaker, PhD, Jessie Taylor, MS, Linda M. Van Hooser, MS
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazardous Materials


Efforts to characterize environmental health workers (EHWs) are needed in order to strengthen the field. Data from the 2014 Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey were used to describe the self-reported roles, important daily work tasks, and skill gaps of EHWs and to compare and contrast these characteristics between state health agencies (SHAs) and local health departments (LHDs). While EHWs at SHAs and LHDs share overall similarities in terms of important daily work tasks and skill gaps, the differences could reflect that the strengths of local-level environmental work fall within communicating and community interaction, whereas state-level strengths reside in administrative, policy, and scientific functions. Our findings also highlight a need for EHWs to strengthen their skills in budget- and policy-related competencies, especially at the local level. We found that number of years in current position was a significant predictor of the number of skill gaps, suggesting the utility of a peer-learning network.

Click here to read the complete article.


January 2019
January/February 2019
81.6 | 22-31
Leila Heidari, MPH, de Beaumont Foundation, Theresa Chapple-McGruder, MPH, PhD, de Beaumont Foundation, Sandra Whitehead, PhD, National Environmental Health Association, Brian C. Castrucci, MA, de Beaumont Foundation
Additional Topics A to Z: Workforce Development