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1.
SciDev.net ; 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1998622

ABSTRACT

World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus revealed in January that just 25 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in one of the world’s poorest countries, warning of “a catastrophic moral failure”. An investigation by SciDev.Net in February laid bare this global vaccine gap — and hollow promises by governments to address it — as health specialists warned that the shortage of vaccines in developing countries could threaten progress against COVID-19 in the global North. Ahead of the talks, a report released by UK-based think-tank Chatham House had warned that climatic hazards such as extreme heat, droughts and storms could trigger “cascading impacts” that may be felt around the world within the next decade.

2.
Atmosphere ; 13(7):1134, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1963695

ABSTRACT

Few air pollution studies have been applied in the State of Palestine and all showed an increase in particulate matter concentrations above WHO guidelines. However, there is no clear methodology for selecting monitoring locations. In this study, a methodology based on GIS and locally calibrated low-cost sensors was tested. A GIS-based weighted overlay summation process for the potential sources of air pollution (factories, quarries, and traffic), taking into account the influence of altitude and climate, was used to obtain an air pollution hazard map for Nablus, Palestine. To test the methodology, eight locally calibrated PM sensors (AirUs) were deployed to measure PM2.5 concentrations for 55 days from 7 January to 2 March 2022. The results of the hazard map showed that 82% of Nablus is exposed to a high and medium risk of PM pollution. Sensors’ readings showed a good match between the hazard intensity and PM concentrations. It also shows an elevated PM2.5 concentrations above WHO guidelines in all areas. In summary, the overall average for PM2.5 in the Nablus was 48 µg/m3. This may indicate the effectiveness of mapping methodology and the use of low-cost, locally calibrated sensors in characterizing air quality status to identify the potential remediation options.

3.
American Journal of Public Health ; 112(8):1089-1091, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1958134

ABSTRACT

t is well established that socioeconomic and demographic factors, such as race and ethnicity, income, and education, are independently linked to health disparities.1 Tools that combine multiple socioeconomic and demographic variables into an overall rank, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Social Vulnerability Index (SVI), provide a quantitative framework that can be used by policymakers to identify communities that have higher overall social vulnerability with regard to disparate health outcomes and living conditions across multiple factors, and to develop targeted interventions.2 Historically, the SVI and similar frameworks have been crafted for emergency preparedness and response and used for study and practice in more extreme natural and human-caused disaster scenarios. Over the years, the SVI has been used for public health research and practice, communications, and accessibility planning, and to target geographically specific interventions related to natural disasters such as flooding and hurricanes,3, human-caused events such as chemical spills,2 and disease outbreaks like the recent COVID-19 pandemic.4 However, addressing issues of health inequity attributable to environmental injustice is imperative, and should not be restricted to alleviating the impact of event-specific hazards. Environmental injustice in the built environment is often associated with the disproportionate placement of hazardous and industrial sites and polluting transportation infrastructure in socially vulnerable neighborhoods,5 where residents often lack the social or economic capital to influence policy decisions.6 Although existing research links housing and health equity,7 the impact of poor housing conditions and household exposures to lead, pests, and indoor air pollutants on the health and well-being of socially vulnerable populations is an important and often overlooked aspect of environmental injustice.7,8 The Environmental Protection Agency's definition of environmental justice is all-encompassing and espouses the idea that environmental justice is only achieved when "everyone enjoys: The SVI has already been used outside the realm of disaster management to better characterize obesity10 and physical fitness.11 Hollar et al. set a new precedent for the value it may bring to the environmental justice sector, and additional research should be done to understand its utility in identifying communities that may be more likely to experience other socially linked conditions associated with environmental injustice, such as routine exposure to indoor and outdoor environmental pollutants, chronic disease burden, poor working conditions, lack of greenspace, and other issues with the built environment, in addition to housing conditions.

4.
Weather, Climate, and Society ; 14(2):439-450, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1892034

ABSTRACT

It is increasingly evident that climate sustainability depends not only on societal actions and responses, but also on ecosystem functioning and responses. The capacity of global ecosystems to provide services such as sequestering carbon and regulating hydrology is being strongly reduced both by climate change itself and by unprecedented rates of ecosystem degradation. These services rely on functional aspects of ecosystems that are causally linked—the same ecosystem components that efficiently sequester and store carbon also regulate hydrology by sequestering and storing water. This means that climate change adaptation and mitigation must involve not only preparing for a future with temperature and precipitation anomalies, but also actively minimizing climate hazards and risks by conserving and managing ecosystems and their fundamental supporting and regulating ecosystem services. We summarize general climate–nature feedback processes relating to carbon and water cycling on a broad global scale before focusing on Norway to exemplify the crucial role of ecosystem regulatory services for both carbon sequestration and hydrological processes and the common neglect of this ecosystem–climate link in policy and landscape management. We argue that a key instrument for both climate change mitigation and adaptation policy is to take advantage of the climate buffering and regulative abilities of a well-functioning natural ecosystem. This will enable shared benefits to nature, climate, and human well-being. To meet the global climate and nature crises, we must capitalize on the importance of nature for buffering climate change effects, combat short-term perspectives and the discounting of future costs, and maintain or even strengthen whole-ecosystem functioning at the landscape level. Significance Statement Natural ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, and heaths are key for the cycling and storage of water and carbon. Preserving these systems is essential for climate mitigation and adaptation and will also secure biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. Systematic failure to recognize the links between nature and human well-being underlies the current trend of accelerating loss of nature and thereby nature’s ability to buffer climate changes and their impacts. Society needs a new perspective on spatial planning that values nature as a sink and store of carbon and a regulator of hydrological processes, as well as for its biodiversity. We need policies that fully encompass the role of nature in preventing climate-induced disasters, along with many other benefits for human well-being.

5.
Earth and Space Science ; 9(5), 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1863833

ABSTRACT

GeoHealth research both characterizes and predicts problems at the nexus of earth and human systems like climate change, pollution, and natural hazards. While GeoHealth excels in the area of integrated science, there is a need to improve coordinated and networked efforts to produce open science to enable environmental justice. There is a need to resource and empower frontline populations that are disproportionately marginalized by environmental injustice (i.e., the unequal protection from environmental harms and lack of access and meaningful engagement in decision making for a healthy environment;EPA, 2022, https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice). GeoHealth practice has the opportunity to advance environmental justice or the “fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income” with respect to how research and collaboration of GeoHealth professionals supports the “development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies” that produce equal protection from environmental and health hazards and access to the decision making for a health environment (EPA, 2022, https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice). Here we highlight barriers and opportunities to apply an equity‐centered ICON framework to the field of GeoHealth to advance environmental justice and health equity.

6.
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science ; 700(1):195-207, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1832872

ABSTRACT

Racial and ethnic minority and lower-income groups are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards and suffer worse health outcomes than other groups in the United States. Relative to whites and higher-income groups, racial-ethnic minority and lower-income Americans also frequently express greater concern about high-profile global environmental threats like climate change, but they are widely misperceived as being less concerned about these issues than white and higher-income Americans. We use new survey research to explore public perceptions of COVID-19—another global threat marked by substantial racial, ethnic, and class disparities—finding a distinct pattern of misperceptions regarding groups’ concerns. We then discuss how these misperceptions represent a unique form of social misinformation that may pose a threat to science and undermine the cooperation and trust needed to address collective problems.

7.
Asia-Pacific Journal of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology ; 29:57, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1812906

ABSTRACT

The novel human coronavirus (CoV) 2019 known as COVID-19, similar to previous CoVs infections outbreaks has posed a serious and an unprecedented challenge on the entire health care system in the world, that needs aggressive preventive and easily accessible measures, policies for effective regular disinfection. Rampant use of disinfectants may pose toxicity to human, environmental hazards and, in some cases, decrease effectiveness and development of resistance due to other ingredients in the disinfectant agents. This review comprehensively highlights the effects of physical and chemical countermeasures and their related potential toxicity on human and environment. The study reveals that physical inactivation especially the effects of temperature, humidity and light mostly ultraviolet-C (UV-C), have significantly demonstrated proven efficacy in reducing the spread of CoV infections. Similarly, chemical countermeasures especially alcoholand iodine-based disinfecting agents have shown potentials inhibition against the survival of the viruses and other pathogenic micro-organisms on surfaces. Large number of disinfectants were reported to contain corrosive chemicals that are toxic to humans especially children and destroy the environment due to unhealthy accumulation and pollution, and other additional ingredients having potentials to develop resistance and decrease effectiveness of the disinfectants. This review sumarizes the imporatnce of physical and chemical preventive countermeasures currently in use against CoV infections for further modifications and translational study to design improved disinfecting agents.

8.
Front Public Health ; 9: 713202, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775829

ABSTRACT

Objective: Verify the intra- and inter-rater reliability of the HOME FAST BRAZIL-Self-reported version and correlate household environmental risks with the history of falls by community-dwelling older adults. Method: Cross sectional study with 50 community-dwelling older adults who were screened by the cut-off point of the Mini Mental State Exam and replied to the HOME FAST BRAZIL-Self-reported version using two evaluators, on three occasions. The reliability analysis was determined by the Intra-class Correlation Coefficient (ICC), considering ICC > 0.70 as adequate. To test the correlations, the Spearman test was used. Results: The mean age of the participants was 73.2 ± 5.8 years. The inter- rater reliability of HOME FAST BRAZIL-Self-reported version was ICC 0.83 (IC95%, 0.70-0.90) and the Intra- reliability ICC 0.85 (IC95%, 0.74-0.91). A risk of falls was verified in 88% of the sample and four environmental risks presented significant correlations with the history of falls. Conclusions: The HOME FAST BRAZIL-Self-reported version presented adequate reliability for the evaluation of household environmental risks for community-dwelling older adults. Risks such as inadequate armchairs/ sofas, the absence of anti-slip mats in the shower recess, the presence of pets and inadequate beds require attention in the evaluation of household risks, due to their correlation with the occurrence of falls.


Subject(s)
Independent Living , Accidental Falls , Aged , Brazil , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Reproducibility of Results , Self Report
9.
IOP Conference Series. Earth and Environmental Science ; 983(1):012080, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1730607

ABSTRACT

Objective Understanding the influencing factors of discarded masks disposed by residents in Dongguan City during the period of COVID-19 epidemic, so as to provide basis for avoiding the environmental pollution caused by discarded masks in the future. Methods Using random sampling way to make an Internet questionnaire survey among 1042 permanent residents in Dongguan city and using Probit regression model to analyze the current situation and influencing factors of disposing the discarded masks. Results The installation of disposal bins, residents’ environmental concern level and education level positively influenced the residents’ disposal behavior, while the residents’ age and total household size negatively influenced the residents’ willingness to dispose. These influencing factors are basically consistent with those derived from other scholars’ studies on residents’ willingness to dispose of household waste, it shows that residents do not treat the disposal of discarded masks differently from other household waste and ignore the potential environmental hazards of discarded masks. Conclusion In order to motivate residents to properly dispose of discarded masks, it is necessary to clarify and standardize the requirements for discarded mask disposal and increase publicity to enhance the public’s awareness of environmental concerns and hygiene. To avoid environmental problems such as microplastics brought by discarded masks, disposable masks should be replaced by reusable elastic respirators;the use of polypropylene in masks should be reduced;new mask materials should be developed.

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