Primary Category: Environmental Health, Environmental Justice
Secondary Category: Behavioral Health, Mental Health, Substance Abuse
Title: Potential Health Risks Associated with the use of Malachite Green in Imported Aquacultured Catfish
Presenter: Winnie Mutunga (School of Public Health (UMD) Maryland Institute of Applied Environmental Health (MIAEH) Master's Student)
Abstract: Recently, there has been a notable increase of fish consumption in the United States. This increase in consumption has accelerated the practice of aquaculture domestically as well as the amount of fish products imported from countries such as China and Vietnam, which practice large scale aquaculture. The 2014 Farm Bill amended the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) to include the inspection of catfish. As a result, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) acquired the authority to enforce catfish regulation. In June 2016, FSIS division of recall management conducted its first recall of imported catfish product that tested positive for residue levels of a chemical named Malachite Green (MG). MG is used in aquaculture as a fungicide and an antiprotozoal agent. However, MG is banned for use in the United States and in other developed countries due to evidence of carcinogenic and mutagenic properties from experimental studies. Despite the restricted use of MG in these countries, some major fish importing countries continue to use the chemical to treat fish, including in fish for export to the United States. Public Health Significance: With the country’s fish consumption and fish importation rates on the rise, consumers are placed at risk of consuming fish that could potentially be contaminated with a chemical residue that has been identified to have carcinogenic properties. Project Objective: The purpose of this project therefore, will be to understand the practice of aquaculture and why these major fish importing countries continue to use this banned chemical in their practices. Additionally, this project will attempt to look at the putative human health risks of exposure to MG by conducting a dietary exposure assessment.
Primary Category: Environmental Health, Environmental Justice
Secondary Category: Health Disparities
Title: Smoke in the Mountains: Solid Fuel Use and Mortality in Appalachia
Presenter: Greg Raspanti, Ph.D (School of Public Health (UMD) MIEH Staff)
Raspanti, Greg (Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health)
Sapkota, Amir (Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health)
Abstract: Objectives: In this study, we collected and analyzed county level household solid fuel use and used linear regression models to evaluate the impact on circulatory and respiratory mortality with a special emphasis on Appalachian counties. Approach: Data was collected using US Census and CDC web portals and merged at the county level. Counties were classified according the the Appalachian Regional Commission to include 428 counties and localities in Appalachia and 2,613 non-Appalachian counties. Findings: Overall, we observed significant decreasing trends in both mortality outcomes and solid fuel use while controlling for known confounding variables (household income, smoking, and ambient PM2.5). However, when we analyzed the mortality outcomes above and below the median exposure, we observed significant increasing trends for both mortality outcomes below the median exposure with a larger impact in Non-Appalachian counties in the crude models. Significant negative associations were observed in the above median exposure analysis. Public Health Significance: With nearly half of the global population relying on solid fuels in the home for cooking and/or heating, we are beginning to understand the negative health impacts of these long term, repeated exposures. Much of the research has focused in the low and middle income countries while little is understood how wide-spread these exposures and related health outcomes are in a high income country like the United States.Overall, the impact of solid fuel use is most likely minimized by tobacco use which is significantly higher in the Appalachian counties. This analysis highlights the need to better understand the role of solid fuels use and combustion related household air pollution across the entire country.
Primary Category: Surveillance, Community Needs Assessment, Pedagogy
Secondary Category: Environmental Health, Environmental Justice
Title: Visual and Geospatial Tools for the Analysis of Hazard and Health Outcome: Data on the Maryland Environmental Public Health Tracking Network
Presenter: Min Qi Wang (School of Public Health (UMD) behavioral and community health Faculty)
wang, min qi (umd)
Abstract: Objectives: The primary current purpose of the EPHTN is to explore relationships between environmental hazards and health outcomes. This presentation will demonstrate the GIS functionalities of the Maryland Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (EPHTN), developed by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Approach: The MEPHTN now includes State data for asthma, myocardial infarction, cancer, birth defects, low birth weight, blood lead, ozone, PM2.5, and water quality. The MEPHTN Website was developed, with Google Maps, ArcGIS Server 10.2.2, and the Oracle database under a Windows server. Now available computed results include counts, age adjusted rates, 95% confidence intervals, and statistics, such as Chi Square. Computations were written in C# as one of the utility functions. Findings: A user submitted query function is executed and the results are displayed in tables and graphs. Users can also query zip, county, or other polygons by using GIS. Statistical results are displayed in tables and temporal trends in various graphics. Multiple GIS tools—lines, points, polygons, and rectangles--give users even more flexibility in querying maps. Users can also download customized maps that can display unlimited combinations of years for environmental hazards and health outcomes. Web query functions permit users to browse and examine all possible combinations of results, which are only limited by the row-column selection limits in tables and graphs. Conclusion and Public Health Significance: the MEPHTN has become a unique resource of environmental public health data, enhanced by the future addition of biomonitoring results, for use by researchers, policy makers, health professionals, and the public.