Environmental Health Perspectives

Environmental health magazine.

Articles from Vol. 115, No. 8, August

A Change in the Air: Smoking Bans Gain Momentum Worldwide
On 29 March 2004, Ireland became the first country in the world to ban smoking in all indoor workplaces, including in restaurants and bars. That landmark event followed a ten-year period during which it was shown that voluntary bans and partial bans...
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A Deeper Look into Mental Illness
Mental illnesses produce some of the most challenging health problems faced by society, accounting for vast numbers of hospitalizations, disabilities resulting in billions in lost productivity, and sharply elevated risks for suicide. Scientists have...
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ADHD: Braun et Al. Respond
We appreciate the comments of Brondum, and Konofal and Cortese, and the opportunity to clarify our results (Braun et al. 2006). It is common practice to select variables with a p-value of 0.2 for inclusion in multivariable models (Katz 1999). Although...
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Another Test for Lead Effects: Early Childhood Exposure Influences End-of-Grade Scores
Low-level lead exposure has been linked to decreased aptitude--or ability to learn--on standardized IQ tests for school-aged children. Moreover, research studies have suggested that declines in aptitude occur at blood lead levels below the current...
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Assessing Uncertainty in Spatial Exposure Models for Air Pollution Health Effects Assessment
Leading researchers have identified the development of models for assessing air pollution exposure within cities as a priority for future research (Brauer et al. 2003; Brunekreef and Holgate 2002; National Research Council 2002). In the present article...
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Association between Serum Concentrations of Persistent Organic Pollutants and Self-Reported Cardiovascular Disease Prevalence: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2002
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are a family of lipophilic stable chemicals that bioaccumulate in adipose tissue and create a lasting toxic body burden (Van den Berg et al. 2006). In addition to various known deleterious effects, POPs have recently...
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Cancer Prevention Research Small Grant Program (R03)
This program is designed to aid and facilitate the growth of a cadre of scientists with expertise in cancer prevention research. Small grants are short-term awards that provide support for pilot projects, development and testing of new methodologies,...
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Cause-Specific Mortality in the Unionized U.S. Trucking Industry
Population-based studies have related exposure to fine particulate air pollution (Dominici et al. 2006; Laden et al. 2006; Pope et al. 2002, 2004), and specifically particulate matter (PM) from vehicle exhausts (Dominici et al. 2006; Garshick et al....
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Dementia and Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke is known to be associated with cardiovascular disease, which in turn is a known risk factor for dementia, but little research has examined the latter end point with regard to secondhand smoke. Research presented at the 28 April-5 May...
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Elevated Plasma Endothelin-1 and Pulmonary Arterial Pressure in Children Exposed to Air Pollution
Activation of the endothelin system and vasoconstriction h1as been reported in animal models (Bouthillier et al. 1998; Kang et al. 2002; Thomson et al. 2004, 2005; Vincent et al. 2001a) and humans (Brook et al. 2002; CalderOin-Garciduenas et al. 2005;...
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EMFs and Childhood Leukemia
In their otherwise informative and concise review of the current state of evidence concerning risk factors for acute childhood leukemia, Belson et al. (2007) did not correctly address nonionizing radiation and, in particular, power frequency magnetic...
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Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease: A Framework for Tracking Causal Links and Guiding Public Health Research
Public health scientists are increasingly discovering that the recent emergence or re-emergence of infectious diseases has an origin in environmental change (McMichael and Martens 2002; Morse 1995; Patz et al. 2000). These environmental changes encompass...
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Environmental Exposures and ADHD
In their article, "Exposures to Environmental Toxicants and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD] in U.S. Children," Braun et al. (2006) advanced our knowledge of the effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and lead on the central nervous...
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Evidence of Genetic Effects on Blood Lead Concentration
Many elements and compounds present in the environment pose significant health risks to exposed individuals, and contribute to the burden of disease for society. For any exposed person the outcome may be affected by factors such as the degree of exposure,...
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Exposure to Ultrafine Particles from Ambient Air and Oxidative Stress-Induced DNA Damage
Particulate matter (PM) in ambient air is an important risk factor for acute and long-term adverse effects related to pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and mortality (Pope and Dockery 2006). Traffic-related PM may be particularly relevant...
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Grand Rounds: Nephrotoxicity in a Young Child Exposed to Uranium from Contaminated Well Water
Groundwater is the principal source of drinking water for 14-15 million (14%) of the 105.5 million homes in the United States and for approximately 42 million people [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2003; U.S. Census Bureau 2000; U.S....
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Ionizing Radiation and Childhood Leukemia
I read with interest the recent review by Belson et al. (2007) on childhood leukemia, particularly the sections dealing with radiation exposure. Like the authors, I believe that ionizing radiation is strongly associated with childhood acute leukemia....
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Lead and Neuroprotection by Iron in ADHD
We read with special interest the article by Braun et al. (2006). In this large survey, the authors concluded that prenatal exposure to tobacco and environmental lead are risk factors for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We would...
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Methylmercury and the Brain: Griffiths et Al. Respond
In our review of the article by Trasande et al. (2005), we used their published linear model to evaluate the monetized impact of IQ decrements associated with prenatal mercury exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) under different assumptions (Griffiths...
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Methylmercury and the Developing Brain
We reported that prenatal exposure to methylmercury causes cognitive impairment in an estimated 316,588 children born in the United States each year, costing this nation $8.7 billion annually in lost productivity (Trasande et al. 2005). Each year,...
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Modifying Effects of the HFE Polymorphisms on the Association between Lead Burden and Cognitive Decline
In the United States the population of persons age 65 years and older is projected to increase 2-fold to 75 million in the next 30 years, and a concomitant upsurge in the number of individuals with dementia is expected (U.S. Census Bureau 2000a, 2000b)....
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New Books
Acid Rain--Deposition to Recovery P. Brimblecombe, H. Hara, D. Houle, M. Novak, eds. New York:Springer, 2007. 420 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4020-5884-4, $169.00 Biosphere Implications of Deep Disposal of Nuclear Waste: The Upwards Migration of Radionuclides...
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PCBs Alter Brain Development
Exposure to the non-coplanar polychlorinated biphenyl PCB95 during gestation and nursing causes abnormal development of the auditory cortex in rats, affecting the brain's representation of what is heard, according to new research in the 1 May 2007...
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Pesticides in Surface Drinking-Water Supplies of the Northern Great Plains
In agricultural landscapes, rural and municipal residents can be exposed to agricultural pesticides either directly during crop applications or indirectly in air, water, or food. In the northern Great Plains of the United States and Canada, pesticides...
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Pesticide Urinary Metabolite Levels of Children in Eastern North Carolina Farmworker Households
Farmworker children, like their parents, are exposed to pesticides (Arcury et al. 2005, 2006; Coronado et al. 2004; Lambert et al. 2005; Quandt 2004; Strong et al. 2004; Thompson et al. 2003). Pesticide exposure has health consequences for all persons...
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Polymorphisms in Nucleotide Excision Repair Genes, Arsenic Exposure, and Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer in New Hampshire
Arsenic, classified as a human carcinogen, is a pervasive, naturally occurring mineral [International Agency for Research on Cancer 2004; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2001]. A common route of exposure is through groundwater, where arsenic...
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Ranking Cancer Risks of Organic Hazardous Air Pollutants in the United States
The U.S. Clean Air Act designates hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) as those that "may reasonably be anticipated to be carcinogenic, mutagenic" (Clean Air Act Amendments 1990), and exhibit other adverse health effects. Effective reduction of exposures...
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Recipe for High Blood Pressure Synergistic Effects of Stress and Lead
Human research has shown associations between lead exposure and hypertension as well as between stress and hypertension. A new study now shows for the first time that stress amplifies the effects of lead exposure on blood pressure in humans [EHP 115:1154-1159;...
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Relationships of Thyroid Hormones with Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Dioxins, Furans, and DDE in Adults
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and p,p'-diphenyldichloroethene (DDE) are widespread persistent environmental contaminants. Although human body burdens of these chemicals...
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Reviewing the Evironmental and Human Health Knowledge Base of Carbon Nanotubes
The worldwide funding devoted to nanotechnology research and development by governments, industry, and venture capitalists was estimated to be around US$9.6 billion in 2005 (Lux Research Inc. 2006). A large portion of this spending is still being allocated...
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Sperm Quality and Tap Water: Disinfection By-Product Effects Not Supported
Chemicals used to disinfect water often contain chlorine, which can react with organic matter in the water to form compounds such as trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), known collectively as disinfection by-products (DBPs). DBP exposure...
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Stress as a Potential Modifier of the Impact of Lead Levels on Blood Pressure: The Normative Aging Study
Hypertension or high blood pressure affects approximately one-third of the U.S. adult population (Fields et al. 2004) and is a leading risk factor for morbidity and mortality from sudden death, heart disease, congestive heart failure, stroke, and renal...
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Sunny Side of Cancer Prevention
Many studies have linked higher latitudes with greater breast cancer risk, and seasonal variations are now thought to influence cancer incidence and mortality. The pivotal mediators in these relationships are believed to be sunshine and vitamin D....
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Synergistic Effects of Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Exposure to Violence on Urban Asthma Etiology
The gradient of socioeconomic position (SEP) on health may be explained partly by a combination of increased contaminant exposures and greater susceptibility to their effects. Air pollution, for instance, may be higher near major roadways, power plants,...
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The Healthy Men Study: An Evaluation of Exposure to Disinfection By-Products in Tap Water and Sperm Quality
Disinfection by-products (DBPs) form when chlorine or other disinfectants react with organic matter during preparation of drinking water. There are many classes of DBPs, including trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs). The relative concentrations...
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The High Prevalence of Vitamin D Insufficiency across Australian Populations Is Only Partly Explained by Season and Latitude
Most (90-100%) vitamin D is produced endogenously following solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) of precursors within sun-exposed skin (Holick 1994). Only a few foods, such as oily fish, contain significant amounts of vitamin D naturally (Holick 1994)....
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The Relationship between Early Childhood Blood Lead Levels and Performance on End-of-Grade Tests
Although much progress has been made, childhood lead poisoning remains a critical environmental health concern. Since the late 1970s, mounting research demonstrates that lead causes irreversible, asymptomatic effects far below levels previously considered...
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Translational Research for the Prevention and Control of Diabetes and Obesity (R18)
Several large, controlled clinical trials have established "gold standard" approaches for treating type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and for preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes in individuals at high risk for developing the disorder. Research is needed...
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What Is Radiation's True Target?
Radiobiologists have long believed that ionizing radiation, like gamma rays, kills cells by shattering DNA. Now Michael Daly, an associate professor of pathology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, contends that proteins--not...
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When the Attack Comes before the Asthma: Violence Increases Risk from Pollution
Chronic physical or emotional stress is known to impair the immune system, a link that may explain some of the health disparities found among different socioeconomic groups. Researchers have also found that living in poor, urban communities or near...
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