For risk analysis of reclaimed water, current animal and toxicity testing may not detect subtle effects such as interactions that could contribute to complex diseases such as cancers that develop over a long period of time. There is a need for assays that can be validated against known human physiological processes. We have previously validated sensitive human cell culture assays for their responsiveness to agents that induce carcinogenesis in vivo. In this initial study we analysed the effects of three batches of reclaimed water on human colonic cells. At concentrations of up to 10-fold, they had no significant effect on the cellular markers, indicating an overall lack of biological activity. The assay has potential but needs to be refined to maximise its sensitivity.
The impact of health risk behaviours on the social and economic fabric of society is of concern to social marketers and policy makers. Current research suggests social capital, that is, the positive benefits gained from a relationship with others in the community, plays a key role in addressing health risk behaviours. The current literature on social capital and health is fragmented, and the field has yet to produce an up-to-date synthesis of past findings to help researchers understand the current status of this research area. This article fills this gap with an integrative review of empirical research based on rigorous criteria. Boolean search was used to limit the search to only those articles containing the keywords ‘social capital’ and ‘health risk’ but no limits were applied for country or population of interest or publication start date. Two researchers screened through the title, abstract and introduction of every retrieved article independently according to the inclusion criteria. A total of 105 articles were eligible for further analyses. This article contributes by: (1) providing a structured overview with an aim to disentangle the findings of varied past studies addressing the theme; (2) identifying important gaps in current knowledge; (3) presenting a research agenda that flows logically from the theoretical gaps identified; and lastly (4) proposing a theoretical framework upon which social capital interventions can be designed and executed to mitigate health risk. We hope that the key issues and new directions presented in this paper will provide new impetus in this area of research.