Environmental Health Perspectives

Environmental health magazine.

Articles from Vol. 115, No. 1, January

A Case-Control Analysis of Exposure to Traffic and Acute Myocardial Infarction
BACKGROUND: Long-term exposure to particulate air pollution has been associated with an increased risk of dying from cardiopulmonary and ischemic heart disease, yet few studies have evaluated cardiovascular end points other than mortality. We investigated...
Ahead by a Hair: Preterm Delivery and Maternal Mercury Intake
Pregnant women often receive confusing information about whether or not they should consume fish and fish oils. Protein and unsaturated fatty acids in fish confer health benefits. Yet numerous studies have suggested that fish consumption is a major...
Albumin Adducts of Electrophilic Benzene Metabolites in Benzene-Exposed and Control Workers
BACKGROUND: Metabolism of benzene produces reactive electrophiles, including benzene oxide (BO), 1,4-benzoquinone (1,4-BQ), and 1,2-benzoquinone (1,2-BQ), that are capable of reacting with blood proteins to produce adducts. OBJECTIVES: The main...
A New Tool to Trace Genetic Susceptibility
Just like individual people, various mouse strains come in different sizes and colors, and with different predispositions to disease. Since more than 99% of human genes can be matched to analogous mouse genes that have similar functions, scientists...
An Update on Cancer Cluster Activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to be aware of the need for response to public concern as well as to state and local agency concern about cancer clusters. In 1990 the CDC published the "Guidelines for Investigating Clusters...
Aspartame Not Linked to Cancer
In an article published in the March 2006 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) Soffritti et al. (2006) of the European Ramazzini Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences (ERF) reported that aspartame was associated with an increase...
Beyond Batteries Portable Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Mention hydrogen fuel cells, and most people envision hydrogen-powered cars as an alternative to the gas-guzzling and polluting internal combustion engine. In fact, many much smaller applications also could benefit from this nonpolluting technology....
Building on Fly Ash Waste
The quantity of fly ash--a waste product from coal smoke--is growing along with the steady global increase in coal use. According to Obada Kayali, a civil engineer at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australian Defence Force Academy, only 9%...
CAM at Minority or Health Disparities Research Centers (R21)
The purposes of this initiative are to: 1) stimulate high-quality, preliminary studies of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) at institutions committed to minority health research or health disparities research, as evidenced by having received...
Children's Health/regional Collaboration to Reduce Lead Exposure in Children
As Safi et al. (2006) discussed, environmental contamination does not stop at international boundaries. An excellent example of a collaborative effort to address regional environmental exposures is that of the public health communities in Israel, Jordan,...
Dilemma for Trachoma Treatment?
The WHO estimates that trachoma has blinded approximately 8 million people worldwide and threatens the vision of 84 million more, primarily in developing countries. Now a report in the 27 September 2006 issue of JAMA claims that treatment with azithromycin,...
Does Closeness Make the Heart Grow Weaker? Heart Attacks and Proximity to Local Traffic
Growing evidence links heart attacks with short-term exposures to vehicle exhaust from nearby streets. Now some of the first evidence that long-term exposures also are a culprit has been published by a team of Massachusetts researchers [EHP 115:53-57;...
Effect of Community of Residence on Neurobehavioral Development in Infants and Young Children in a Flower-Growing Region of Ecuador
OBJECTIVE: In this study we compared neurobehavioral development in Ecuadoran children living in two communities with high potential for exposure to organophosphate (OP) and carbamate pesticides to that of children living in a community with low potential...
Emerging Research on Endocrine Disruptors
For more than three decades, the NIEHS has been one of the recognized leaders in the world in the study of endocrine disruptors, substances that mimic or alter hormonal effects in the body. In the 1970s, NIEHS scientists pioneered research on reproductive...
Environmental Estrogens Induce Mast Cell Degranulation and Enhance IgE-Mediated Release of Allergic Mediators
BACKGROUND: Prevalence and morbidity of allergic diseases have increased over the last decades. Based on the recently recognized differences in asthma prevalence between the sexes, we have examined the effect of endogenous estrogens on a key element...
Environmental Stain Fading Fast
Shocked that chemical offshoots of his company's products were winding up in polar bears and seals, the CEO of 3M put an end to the existing version of Scotchgard[R] in 2000. Business observers were struck by how quickly this multinational corporation...
Ethical and Scientific Issues of Nanotechnology in the Workplace
In the absence of scientific clarity about the potential health effects of occupational exposure to nanoparticles, a need exists for guidance in decisionmaking about hazards, risks, and controls. An identification of the ethical issues involved may...
Farewell and Best Wishes
With publication of this issue, I have reached a long-planned retirement from the NIEHS and Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP). The mission of EHP is to serve as a forum for the discussion of the interrelationships between the environment and...
Flawed Ethics Recommendations of the U.S. EPA's Human Studies Review Board
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new rule to protect human research subjects has generated scientific, ethical, and legal controversy (Burton 2006). Addressing pesticide studies submitted by third parties to the U.S. EPA for possible...
Forest Fire Fallout
In the summer of 2005, wildfires raged over 3.4 million hectares of Alaska and Canada's northern boreal forests, according to combined figures from the Canadian Large Fire Database and the Alaska Large Fires Database. It was the region's second worst...
Genetic Studies of a Cluster of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Cases in Churchill County, Nevada
OBJECTIVE: In a study to identify exposures associated with 15 cases of childhood leukemia, we found levels of tungsten, arsenic, and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene in participants to be higher than mean values reported in the National Report on...
Grand Rounds: An Outbreak of Toxic Hepatitis among Industrial Waste Disposal Workers
CONTEXT: Industrial waste (which is composed of various toxic chemicals), changes to the disposal process, and addition of chemicals should all be monitored and controlled carefully in the industrial waste industry to reduce the health hazard to workers....
Grand Rounds: Could Occupational Exposure to N-Hexane and Other Solvents Precipitate Visual Failure in Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy?
CONTEXT: Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is a maternally inherited loss of central vision related to pathogenic mutations in the mitochondrial genome, which are a necessary but not sufficient condition to develop the disease. Investigation...
Hair Manganese and Hyperactive Behaviors: Pilot Study of School-Age Children Exposed through Tap Water
BACKGROUND: Neurotoxic effects are known to occur with inhalation of manganese particulates, but very few data are available on exposure to Mn in water. We undertook a pilot study in a community in Quebec (Canada) where naturally occurring high Mn...
Household Pesticides and the Risk of Wilms Tumor
BACKGROUND: Previous epidemiologic studies have suggested that exposure to pesticides in utero and during early childhood may increase the risk for development of childhood cancer, including Wilms tumor, a childhood kidney tumor. OBJECTIVES: In...
Increased Rate of Hospitalization for Diabetes and Residential Proximity of Hazardous Waste Sites
BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic studies suggest that there may be an association between environmental exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and diabetes. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that residential proximity...
Infectious Etiologies of Childhood Leukemia: Plausibility and Challenges to Proof
Infections as well as environmental exposures are proposed determinants of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), particularly common precursor B-cell ALL (cALL). Lines of investigation test hypotheses that cALL is a rarer result of common infection,...
Investigating Childhood Leukemia in Churchill County, Nevada
BACKGROUND. Sixteen children diagnosed with acute leukemia between 1997 and 2002 lived in Churchill County, Nevada, at the time of or before their illness. Considering the county population and statewide cancer rate, fewer than two cases would be expected....
Lead and [Delta]-Aminolevulinic Acid Dehydratase Polymorphism: Where Does It Lead? a Meta-Analysis
BACKGROUND: Lead poisoning affects many organs in the body. Lead inhibits [delta]-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD), an enzyme with two co-dominantly expressed alleles, ALAD1 and ALAD2. OBJECTIVE: Our meta-analysis studied the effects of the...
Maternal Fish Consumption, Mercury Levels, and Risk of Preterm Delivery
BACKGROUND: Pregnant women receive mixed messages about fish consumption in pregnancy because unsaturated fatty acids and protein in fish are thought to be beneficial, but contaminants such as methylmercury may pose a hazard. METHODS: In the Pregnancy...
New Books
Air Pollution XIV J.W.S. Longhurst, ed. Billerica, MA:WITpress, 2006. 824 pp. ISBN: 1-84564-165-5, $423 Chemicals as Intentional and Accidental Global Environmental Threats Lubomir Simeonov, Elisabeta Chirila, eds. New York: Springer,...
New Insight into Intrachromosomal Deletions Induced by Chrysotile in the Gpt Delta Transgenic Mutation Assay
BACKGROUND: Genotoxicity is often a prerequisite to the development of malignancy. Considerable evidence has shown that exposure to asbestos fibers results in the generation of chromosomal aberrations and multilocus mutations using various in vitro...
NIOSH Safety and Health Topic: Lead and Lead Exposure in Adults: A Guide for Health Care Providers
Given the well-documented toxicity of lead, it is important to understand how to identify and avoid exposure. NIOSH and the New York State Department of Health are two entities that have posted lead-related information on the Internet in an effort...
Nonenzymatic Functions of Acetylcholinesterase Splice Variants in the Developmental Neurotoxicity of Organophosphates: Chlorpyrifos, Chlorpyrifos Oxon, and Diazinon
BACKGROUND: Organophosphate pesticides affect mammalian brain development through mechanisms separable from the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) enzymatic activity and resultant cholinergic hyperstimulation. In the brain, AChE has two catalytically...
PCB Exposure Affects Antibody Response in Vaccinated Children
Heilmann C, Grandjean P, Weihe P, Nielsen F, Budtz-Jorgensen E. 2006. Reduced antibody responses to vaccinations in children exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls. PLoS Med 3(8):e311. Although children are known to display varied antibody responses...
Pilot Study of Urinary Biomarkers of Phytoestrogens, Phthalates, and Phenols in Girls
BACKGROUND: Hormonally active environmental agents have been measured among U.S. children using exposure biomarkers in urine. However, little is known about their variation by race, age, sex, and geography, and no data exist for newly developed biomarkers....
Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Levels in the Blood of Pregnant Women Living in an Agricultural Community in California
BACKGROUND: Recent studies have raised concerns about polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardant exposures to pregnant women and women of child-bearing age in the United States. Few studies have measured PBDEs in immigrant populations. ...
Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Their Hydroxylated Metabolites (OH-PCBs) in Pregnant Women from Eastern Slovakia
OBJECTIVE: Our aim in the present study was to characterize and quantify the levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and specific polychlorobiphenylol (OH-PCB) metabolites in maternal sera from women delivering in eastern Slovakia. DESIGN: During...
Potential Risks Associated with the Proposed Widespread Use of Tamiflu
BACKGROUND: The threat of pandemic influenza has focused attention and resources on virus surveillance, prevention, and containment. The World Health Organization has strongly recommended the use of the antiviral drug Tamiflu both to treat and prevent...
PPAR[alpha] and Effects of TCE
We would like to offer a different opinion on the ideas presented in the article by Keshava and Caldwell (2006). The authors indicated that their article summarized scientific literature published since an earlier U.S. Environmental Protection Agency...
PPAR[alpha] and TCE: Keshava et Al. Respond
We appreciate the opportunity to discuss the issues raised by Klaunig et al. in their letter. First, we reiterate that, given the mini-monograph's scope (Chiu et al. 2006), our article (Keshava and Caldwell 2006) was intended not to comprehensively...
Prenatal Bisphenol a Exposure Induces Preneoplastic Lesions in the Mammary Gland in Wistar Rats
BACKGROUND: Humans are routinely exposed to bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogenic compound that leaches from dental materials, food and beverage containers, and other consumer products. Prenatal exposure to BPA has produced long-lasting and profound effects...
Prevention Pays for Farmworkers
Many agricultural growers use pesticides to protect crops and ensure satisfactory yields. Although the United States has some of the strictest laws governing pesticide applications and re-entry into fields after application, a number of studies have...
Recipient of the 2006 Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award
The Superfund Basic Research Program (SBRP) is pleased to announce that Ms. Alicia R. Timme-Laragy of Duke University is the recipient of the ninth annual Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award. The award was presented to Ms. Timme-Laragy on 12 December 2006...
Research Project Grant (Parent R01)
The Research Project Grant (R01) is an award to support a discrete, specified, circumscribed project to be performed by named Project Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) in areas representing the investigators' specific interests and competencies,...
Risk Factors for Acute Leukemia in Children: A Review
Although overall incidence is rare, leukemia is the most common type of childhood cancer. It accounts for 30% of all cancers diagnosed in children younger than 15 years. Within this population, acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) occurs approximately...
Screening for Developmental Neurotoxicity Using PC12 Cells: Comparisons of Organophosphates with a Carbamate, an Organochlorine, and Divalent Nickel
BACKGROUND: In light of the large number of chemicals that are potential developmental neurotoxicants, there is a need to develop rapid screening techniques. OBJECTIVES: We exposed undifferentiated and differentiating neuronotypic PC12 cells to...
Signs for Girls: Biomarkers of Common Exposures
Urinary biomarkers are useful measures of environmental agents in the body. However, little is known about levels of such biomarkers in children and how they may vary by race, age, body mass index, and sex. A three-city pilot study reported this month...
Source of Funding and Results of Studies of Health Effects of Mobile Phone Use: Systematic Review of Experimental Studies
OBJECTIVES: There is concern regarding the possible health effects of cellular telephone use. We examined whether the source of funding of studies of the effects of low-level radiofrequency radiation is associated with the results of studies. We conducted...
Tamiflu Swan Song? Building Resistance to Top Avian Flu Drug
As the WHO has begun warning of the potential for an avian flu pandemic, governments worldwide have been stockpiling Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate). Tamiflu minimizes flu symptoms and duration by preventing the virus from escaping the cells it infects....
The Chosen ONES: Awards Fund Young Investigators
A major goal of the 2006 NIEHS Strategic Plan encompasses the institute's desire to "recruit and train the next generation of environmental health scientists." To begin to achieve that goal, the NIEHS has unveiled a new annual grants program called...
The Effects of Components of Fine Particulate Air Pollution on Mortality in California: Results from CALFINE
OBJECTIVE: Several epidemiologic studies provide evidence of an association between daily mortality and particulate matter < 2.5 [micro]m in diameter (P[M.sub.2.5]). Little is known, however, about the relative effects of P[M.sub.2.5] constituents....
The Weight of Lead Effects Add Up in Adults
Lead toxicity is not a problem of the past, nor is it the exclusive domain of children. In fact, lead continues today to pose a serious threat to the health of many U.S. adults. It's true that in the United States, environmental lead levels are...
Tracking Patterns of Enteric Illnesses in Populations and Communities
BACKGROUND: Enteric illness arising from contaminated water and food is a major health concern worldwide, and tracking the incidences and severity of outbreaks is still a challenging task. Most developed and developing countries have administrative...
What's Toxic, What's Not
By Gary Ginsberg and Brian Total New York: Berkeley Publishing Group, 2006. 384 pp. ISBN: 0-425-21194-0, $15 What's Toxic, What's Not is a great book and one that fills an unmet need for accurate information presented in a nontechnical fashion....