Environmental Health Perspectives

Environmental health magazine.

Articles from Vol. 112, No. 1, January

An Affordable Antimalarial
In a blend of new and old, a plant-derived drug called artemisinin that the ancient Chinese used to treat fever is now being used effectively against drug-resistant malaria. When derived from the plant Artemisia annua, artemisinin costs about $1.50...
Application of Biomarkers to Environmental Health and Risk Assessment
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Research and Development, National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), through its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is issuing this request for applications (RFA) for research...
A Retrospective Assessment of Mortality from the London Smog Episode of 1952: The Role of Influenza and Pollution
The London smog of 1952 is one of history's most important air pollution episodes in terms of its impact on science, public perception of air pollution, and government regulation. The association between health and air pollution during the episode...
Biomarkers for Assessing Reproductive Development and Health: Part 1-Pubertal Development
The proposed National Children's Study has helped raise awareness of the issues related to children's health and the importance of monitoring the growth and development of children from preconception through adulthood. Many genetic predispositions...
Brominated Flame Retardants: Cause for Concern?
Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) have routinely been added to consumer products for several decades in a successful effort to reduce fire-related injury and property damage. Recently, concern for this emerging class of chemicals has risen because...
Closing the Research Loop: A Risk-Based Approach for Communicating Results of Air Pollution Exposure Studies
Communities have long been concerned about the environmental health and environmental quality of their neighborhoods. Community-based exposure assessments have the potential to be an effective way to address these concerns. The success of such studies...
Colombia Defies Court on Coca
An aerial glyphosate-based herbicide spraying program, part of the U.S. antinarcotics effort in Colombia, has successfully reduced that nation's hectarage of coca plants. But critics of the program say its environmental and health costs are not receiving...
Constructed Wetlands: Borrowing a Concept from Nature
When it comes to global environmental health problems, few--if any--rank higher than water pollution and lack of sanitation. In developing nations, vast numbers of people lack adequate sanitation. According to Water and Sanitation in the World's Cities:...
Correlation between Blood Ethylenethiourea and Thyroid Gland Disorders among Banana Plantation Workers in the Philippines
Ethylenebisdithiocarbamates (EBDCs) are metabolized into ethylenethiourea (ETU), a possible human carcinogen and an antithyroid compound. In this study our goal was to correlate ETU levels with the incidence of thyroid gland disorders among banana...
Cyber Schoolhouse Rocks!
Getting high school kids to read about science can be a challenge at best. Many consider the topic boring, hard to understand, or irrelevant to their daily lives. But now teachers, physicians, researchers, and web designers have worked with the Community...
Data Quality Act: Response from the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness
Sass and Devine assert that the CRE has taken a position with regard to the U.S. EPA's review of the pesticide atrazine that [under the new federal Data Quality standards] a federal agency may not base any regulatory action on scientific...
Diet & Dioxins: The Need to Cut Back
Saturated fats in meats and dairy products may be tasty, but to the dismay of millions they are also a health hazard, implicated in obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Now the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has ratcheted the public health...
Do-It-Yourself Biospecimens: The Benefits of Home Collection
Epidemiologic studies often rely on biospecimen analysis to reveal variables that influence or indicate a population's health. Collection of biospecimens places some burden on participants, which may in turn affect participation rates and compliance....
EHP Moves to Open Access
Last month, we announced that EHP would become an open access journal. That promise is now a reality. The Internet affords us a unique opportunity to enhance scientific discourse. Therefore, all research articles are now freely accessible on our website...
Embedded in Nature: Human Health and Biodiversity
A loss of global biodiversity, namely a reduction in the variety of life on Earth, is rarely given much attention by physicians or environmental scientists. Like most people, they do not spend much time thinking about their relationship to other life...
Funky Chicken
Consumers Exposed to Arsenic in Poultry Between 1966 and 2000, average annual chicken consumption in the United States jumped from 32.1 to 81.2 pounds per person. Earlier studies have shown that trace elements ingested by chickens such as iron, iodine,...
"Getting the Lead Out" in Hartford, Connecticut: A Multifaceted Lead-Poisoning Awareness Campaign
As part of a citywide effort to increase lead poisoning awareness within the city of Hartford, Connecticut, the Hartford Health Department implemented a multifaceted public health campaign involving several novel elements and partnerships, including...
Humanitarian Resource Institute Emerging Infectious Disease Network
Through its communications and advocacy efforts, the nonprofit Humanitarian Resource Institute (HRI) coordinates international health and quality-of-life initiatives in a number of wide-ranging areas, and endeavors to foster multilateral cooperation...
Identification of Sources of Lead in Children in a Primary Zinc-Lead Smelter Environment
We compared high-precision lead isotopic ratios in deciduous teeth and environmental samples to evaluate sources of lead in 10 children from six houses in a primary zinc-lead smelter community at North Lake Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia. Teeth...
"Increased Concentrations of Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Hexachlorobenzenes, and Chlordanes": Response from Hardell and Eriksson
We thank Joffe for his interest in our paper (Hardell et al. 2003). To prevent introducing selection bias, the treating physicians asked all patients to consent to be included in a sequential way, regardless of tumor type, family history, occupation,...
Infectious Disease: The Human Costs of Our Environmental Errors
For a few exhilarating decades in the middle of the twentieth century, it seemed the world might have a reprieve from some major infectious diseases. After coordinated worldwide efforts had virtually eliminated smallpox and made major inroads against...
Interdisciplinary Health Research Training: Behavior, Environment, and Biology
This request for applications (RFA) is developed as an NIH Roadmap initiative (described at http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/). All NIH institutes and centers participate in Roadmap initiatives. This RFA will be administered by the National institute of Mental...
Lead, Arsenic, and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Soil and House Dust in the Communities Surrounding the Sydney, Nova Scotia, Tar Ponds
This study evaluated lead, arsenic, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in the residential communities adjacent to the Sydney, Nova Scotia, tar ponds, the area considered Canada's worst contaminated site. The tar pond remediation...
Long-Term Neurobehavioral Health Effects of Methyl Parathion Exposure in Children in Mississippi and Ohio
Methyl parathion (MP), an organophosphate pesticide licensed only for agricultural uses, was sprayed illegally for pest control in Mississippi and Ohio residences. To evaluate the association between MP exposure and neurobehavioral development, we...
Mean Total Arsenic Concentrations in Chicken 1989-2000 and Estimated Exposures for Consumers of Chicken
The purpose of this study was to estimate mean concentrations of total arsenic in chicken liver tissue and then estimate total and inorganic arsenic ingested by humans through chicken consumption. We used national monitoring data from the Food Safety...
Methodologic and Statistical Approaches to Studying Human Fertility and Environmental Exposure
Although there has been growing concern about the effects of environmental exposures on human fertility, standard epidemiologic study designs may not collect sufficient data to identify subtle effects while properly adjusting for confounding. In particular,...
Mold Exposure in First Year of Life May Lead to Asthma
Belanger K, Beckett W, Triche E, Bracken MB, Holford T, Ren P, McSharry J, Gold DR, PlattsMills TAE, Leaderer BP. 2003. Symptoms of wheeze and persistent cough in the first year of life: associations with indoor allergens, air contaminants, and maternal...
New Books
Advances in Environmental Accounting and Management M. Freedman, B. Jaggi, eds New York:Elsevier Science. 2003. 152 pp. ISBN: 0-7623-1070-7, $90 Arsenic Exposure and Health Effects V: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Arsenic...
NIEHS Areas of Special Interest for 2004-2005
The NIEHS has identified the areas listed below as areas of special interest. These are areas that have not been the subject of requests for applications (RFAs) or program announcements (PAs) but that are of emerging importance in environmental health...
Off to a Good Start: The Influence of Pre- and Periconceptional Exposures, Parental Fertility, and Nutrition on Children's Health
The scientific community is developing a compelling body of evidence that shows the importance of the in utero environment (including chemical and hormonal levels) to the ultimate health of the child and even of the aging adult. This article summarizes...
Our Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity
Longitudinal studies of the determinants of children's health are complex, costly, infrequent, and incredibly valuable. It has become clear in recent years that the periconceptional environment plays a surprisingly large role in the health of the resulting...
Paying Attention to Neglected Diseases
Tropical diseases are drug development's poorest relations. Until recently, these diseases have been so ignored that "people even refer to them as neglected neglected diseases," says Charles Gardner, associate director for health equity with the Rockefeller...
Poisoning Young Minds? Methyl Parathion May Be Linked to Neurodevelopment Problems
Imagine a kindergartener who has difficult), remembering the story just read to her, who cannot sit still and gets angry, easily, and who can't seem to maneuver playground equipment as easily as other children. These are some examples of short-term...
Prospective Pregnancy Study Designs for Assessing Reproductive and Developmental Toxicants
The determinants of successful human reproduction and development may act as early as periconceptionally, underscoring the need to capture exposures during these critical windows when assessing potential toxicants. To identify such toxicants, couples...
Proximity of California Public Schools to Busy Roads
Residential proximity to busy roads has been associated with adverse health outcomes, and school location may also be an important determinant of children's exposure to traffic-related pollutants. The goal of this study was to examine the characteristics...
Re: "Increased Concentrations of Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Hexachlorobenzenes, and Chlordanes in Mothers of Men with Testicular Cancer"
The paper by Hardell et al. (2003) is a potentially important contribution to the literature on endocrine disruption and testicular cancer. It may also have implications for other disorders of the male reproductive tract, collectively known as the...
Relationship of Serum TCDD Concentrations and Age at Exposure of Female Residents of Seveso, Italy
In 1976, a chemical plant explosion near Seveso, Italy, resulted in the highest known exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in residential populations. In 1996, we initiated the Seveso Women's Health Study (SWHS), a historical cohort...
Risk of Arsenic Contamination in Groundwater Affecting the Ganga Alluvial Plain, India
The pandemic arsenic pollution in the Bengal Basin is caused by superimposed effects of the preferential entrapment of As in organic-rich deltaic sediments during the early- to mid-Holocene, when the sea level rose; later, severe reducing conditions...
Risk of Arsenic Contamination in Groundwater: Response from Chakraborti et Al
We would like to reply to Acharyya and Shah's comments on our paper (Chakraborti et al. 2003) First, Acharyya and Shah should better document their statements. For example, in their discussion of the relationship of iron oxyhydroxide to arsenic, they...
Six Modern Plagues and How We Are Causing Them
By Mark Jerome Walters Washington, DC:Island Press, 2003. 206 pp. ISBN: 1-55963-992-X, $22 cloth. Epidemics are regular fare on the nightly news. First AIDS, then Lyme disease, mad cow disease, West Nile, and most recently SARS have rightfully...
The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness Invokes the Data Quality Act to Reject Published Studies on Atrazine Toxicity
Should chemical toxicity data from the peer-reviewed, published scientific literature be considered reliable enough for government risk assessors to use? The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) says no, arguing that studies subject to rigorous...
The Link between Disparity and Disease
It's no mystery to scientists and medical professionals that all diseases are not created equal in all population groups--disproportionately high numbers of people in certain ethnic and socioeconomic groups suffer from certain illnesses such as heart...
The Value of Home-Based Collection of Biospecimens in Reproductive Epidemiology
Detection, quantification, and prognosis of environmental exposures in humans has been vastly enhanced by the ability of epidemiologists to collect biospecimens for toxicologic or other laboratory evaluation. Ease of collection and level of invasiveness...
Tidal Turbines: Wave of the Future?
Tidal power plants are an attractive energy option because they don't shut down at night (like solar plants) and aren't dependent on annual rainfall (like freshwater hydropower plants). However, large tidal installations like the massive 240-megawatt...
Water: A Paradigm for Protection
Protecting the nation's water supply is an ever-changing challenge--and one that requires new paradigms, according to participants at the October 2003 workshop From Source Water to Drinking Water: Emerging Challenges for Public Health, sponsored by...