Environmental Health Perspectives

Environmental health magazine.

Articles from Vol. 116, No. 1, January

Air Pollution and Postneonatal Infant Mortality in the United States, 1999-2002
OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to evaluate the relationship between cause-specific postneonatal infant mortality and chronic early-life exposure to particulate matter and gaseous air pollutants across the United States. METHODS: We linked county-specific...
Asthmatic Symptoms among Pupils in Relation to Winter Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollution in Schools in Taiyuan, China
BACKGROUND: There are few studies on associations between children's respiratory heath and air pollution in schools in China. The industrial development and increased traffic may affect the indoor exposure to air pollutants in school environment. Moreover,...
Birth Weight Raises More Questions on Seafood Safety
Women who eat too much shellfish before pregnancy, particularly crabs, and lobsters, may increase their chance of having babies who are small for their gestational age (SGA), report French scientists in an article posted online 24 October 2007 ahead...
Bringing Green Homes within Reach; Healthier Housing for More People
Gaze upon the Helliers' half-built house in Bristol, Vermont, and you might think you're looking at an ordinary home construction project. Table saws, building materials, and piles of earth lie around the newly framed dwelling, while a crew of carpenters...
Building on a Firm Foundation
On 2 January 2008, I began serving as editor-in-chief of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP). In doing so, I follow in the footsteps of the many editors who came before me-Jame Burkhart, Thomas Goehl, George Lucier, and Gary Hook. Since the start...
Cadmium Exposure and Hypertension in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
INTRODUCTION: Cadmium induces hypertension in animal models. Epidemiologic studies of cadmium exposure and hypertension, however, have been inconsistent. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to investigate the association of blood and urine cadmium with blood pressure...
Clear Reception: Elucidating the Binding Characteristics of Bisphenol A
Several studies have indicated that bisphenol A (BPA), which is widely used in polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin manufacturing, can disrupt normal endocrine function. Given that BPA's estrogen receptor (ER) binding and interaction are 100-1,000...
Conflicting Views on Chemical Carcinogenesis Arising from the Design and Evaluation of Rodent Carcinogenicity Studies
Conflicting views have been expressed frequently on assessments of human cancer risk of environmental agents based on animal carcinogenicity data; this is primarily because of uncertainties associated with extrapolations of toxicologic findings from...
Dioxin Exposure, from Infancy through Puberty, Produces Endocrine Disruption and Affects Human Semen Quality
BACKGROUND: Environmental toxicants are allegedly involved in decreasing semen quality in recent decades; however, definitive proof is not yet available. In 1976 an accident exposed residents in Seveso, Italy, to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin...
Direct Evidence Revealing Structural Elements Essential for the High Binding Ability of Bisphenol A to Human Estrogen-Related Receptor-[Gamma]
BACKGROUND: Various lines of evidence have shown that bisphenol A [BPA; HO-[C.sub.6][H.sub.4]-C[([CH.sub.3]).sub.2]-[C.sub.6][H.sub.4]-OH] acts as an endocrine disruptor when present in very low doses. We have recently demonstrated that BPA binds strongly...
Do Bacteria Promote Asthma?
Newborns whose lungs become colonized with certain bacteria are more likely to develop wheezing and childhood asthma than babies not colonized by the bacteria. This connection, reported in the 11 October 2007 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine,...
Exogenous and Endogenous Determinants of Blood Trihalomethane Levels after Showering
BACKGROUND: We previously conducted a study to assess whether household exposures to tap water increased an individual's internal dose of trihalomethanes (THMs). Increases in blood THM levels among subjects who showered or bathed were variable, with...
Expert Panel Weighs in on Global Cancer Control
Cancer originates in genetic mutations, but diet, activity level, and other lifestyle factors play a critical role in determining whether these mutations occur, making cancer a largely preventable disease. This is among the main conclusions of Food,...
Exposure of the U.S. Population to Bisphenol a and 4-Tertiary-Octylphenol: 2003-2004
BACKGROUND: Bisphenol A (BPA) and 4-tertiary-octylphenol (tOP) are industrial chemicals used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins (BPA) and nonionic surfactants (tOP). These products are in widespread use in the United States....
Grand Rounds: Asbestos-Related Pericarditis in a Boiler Operator
CONTEXT: Occupational and environmental exposures to asbestos remain a public health problem even in developed countries. Because of the long latency in asbestos-related pathology, past asbestos exposure continues to contribute to incident disease....
Hydrophilic Fungi and Ergosterol Associated with Respiratory Illness in a Water-Damaged Building
BACKGROUND: Damp building--related respiratory illnesses are an important public health issue. OBJECTIVE: We compared three respiratory case groups defined by questionnaire responses [200 respiratory cases, 123 of the respiratory cases who met the...
Litigation-Generated Science: Why Should We Care?
BACKGROUND: In a 1994 Ninth Circuit decision on the remand of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Judge Alex Kosinski wrote that science done for the purpose of litigation should be subject to more stringent standards of admissibility than...
Lorenzo Tomatis: 1929-2007
On Friday, 21 September 2007, in Lyon, France, we lost a great human being, a staunch advocate for public health, a thorough and delving scientist, and a humanitarian par excellence. Lorenzo Tomatis, MD, above all, was a learned teacher and creative...
Mitigating Methylmercury Exposure: Study Confirms Potential of NAC as Antidote and Biomarker
Researchers have been searching for better ways to quantify and mitigate exposures to the neuroxicant methylmercury (MeHg). Results from a new animal study confirm that N-acetylcysteine (NAC), already used to treat acetaminophen overdose, may serve...
N-Acetylcysteine as a Potential Antidote and Biomonitoring Agent of Methylmercury Exposure
BACKGROUND: Many people, by means of consumption of seafood or other anthropogenic source, are exposed to levels of methylmercury (MeHg) that are generally considered to be quite low, but that may nevertheless produce irreversible brain damage, particularly...
New Books
Acid Rain in the Adirondacks: An Environmental History Jerry Jenkins, Karen Roy, Charles Driscoll, Christopher Buerkett Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2007. 256 pp. ISBN: 978-0-8014-4651-1, $65 Apoptosis and Cancer Gil Mor, Ayesha...
New Yardstick for Medicinal Plant Harvests
Every year more than 400,000 tons of medicinal and aromatic plants from approximately 3,000 species are traded internation ally, according to TRAFFIC, a nonprofit watchdog group that monitors commerce in natural products. (Up to 70,000 species are...
NTP: New Initiatives, New Alignment
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) has for nearly 30 years led the effort to apply thescience of toxicology to the protection of public health. In June 2007 I became the Associate Director of the NTP. I accepted this challenge with enthusiasm and...
PI-3k/akt Pathway-Dependent Cyclin D1 Expression Is Responsible for Arsenite-Induced Human Keratinocyte Transformation
BACKGROUNG: Long-term exposure of arsenite leads to human skin cancer. However, the exact mechanisms of arsenite-induced human skin carcinogenesis remain to be defined. OBJECTIVES: In this study, we investigated the potential role of PI-3K/Akt/cyclin...
Preface: Science for Regulation and Litigation
Scientific evidence plays a crucial role in regulation and law, particularly in the area of environmental health. In the courtroom, science helps judges and juries evaluate the disputed facts, whereas in the regulatory arena, science is a vital foundation...
Prenatal PCB Exposure and Thymus Size at Birth in Neonates in Eastern Slovakia
BACKGROUND: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous environmental toxicants, for which animal studies demonstrate immunotoxic effects, including thymic atrophy and suppressed immune responses; human investigations of similar end points are...
Representation and Re-Presentation in Litigation Science
Federal appellate courts have devised several criteria to help judges distinguish between reliable and unreliable scientific evidence. The best known are the U.S. Supreme Court's criteria offered in 1993 in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc....
Rethinking the Threats to Scientific Balance in Contexts of Litigation and Regulation
BACKGROUND: Although existing literature does discuss difficulties of doing science in contexts of litigation and regulation, work to date reflects little first-hand experience in such contexts. This gap is understandable but also potentially troubling:...
Room to Grow: Incentives Boost Energy-Efficient Homebuilding
ome is where the hearth is," goes an old play on words. But what about the solar panel or the wind turbine? Maybe they could be where the home is, too. That's the view of a growing movement to make energy-efficient homes the norm, not the exception....
Science in the Courtroom; Examining Standards for Litigation-Based Research
Over the last 20 years, the term "junk science" has gained, increasing use by defendants in toxic tort litigation as a pejorative phrase to discredit health effects data that do not meet some standard for scientific validity--or, some say, that are...
Scientific and Legal Perspectives on Science Generated for Regulatory Activities
This article originated from a conference that asked "Should scientific work conducted for purposes of advocacy before regulatory agencies or courts be judged by the same standards as science conducted for other purposes?" In the article, which focuses...
Sensory and Cognitive Effects of Acute Exposure to Hydrogen Sulfide
BACKGROUND: Some epidemiologic studies have reported compromised cognitive and sensory performance among individuals exposed to low concentrations of hydrogen sulfide ([H.sub.2]S). OBJECTIVES: We hypothesized a dose-response increase in symptom...
Temporal Trends and Climatic Factors Associated with Bacterial Enteric Diseases in Vietnam, 1991-2001
OBJECTIVE: In Vietnam, shigellosis/dysentery, typhoid fever, and cholera are important enteric diseases. To better understand their epidemiology, we determined temporal trends, seasonal patterns, and climatic factors associated with high risk periods...
The Association between Phthalates in Dust and Allergic Diseases among Bulgarian Children
BACKGROUND: Recent studies have identified associations between the concentration of phthalates in indoor dust and allergic symptoms in the airways, nose, and skin. OBJECTIVES: Our goal was to investigate the associations between allergic symptoms...
The Effect of Dose and Timing of Dose on the Association between Airborne Particles and Survival
BACKGROUND: Understanding the shape of the concentration--response curve for particles is important for public health, and lack of such understanding was recently cited by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a reason for not tightening the...
The Role of Particulate Matter-Associated Zinc in Cardiac Injury in Rats
BACKGROUND: Exposure to particulate matter (PM) has been associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity; however, causative components are unknown. Zinc is a major element detected at high levels in urban air. OBJECTIVE: We investigated the...
Urinary Deoxynivalenol Is Correlated with Cereal Intake in Individuals from the United Kingdom
BACKGROUND: Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a toxic fungal metabolite that frequently contaminates cereal crops. DON is toxic to animals, but the effects on humans are poorly understood, in part because exposure estimates are of limited precision. OBJECTIVES:...
Using ZIP Code and GIS Studies to Assess Disease Risk
The correspondence section is a public forum and, as such, is not peer-reviewed. EHP is not responsible for the accuracy, currency, or reliability of personal opinion expressed herein; it is the sole responsibility of the authors. EHP neither endorses...
ZIP Code and GIS Studies: Kouznetsova et Al. Respond
There is strong evidence that exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated biphepyls (PCBs), is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, and that evidence does not come only from studies of residential proximity...