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Environmental research [journal]
- Exposure to airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons during pregnancy and risk of preterm birth. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Oct 2.:221-226.
Preterm birth is an important marker of health and has a prevalence of 12-13% in the U.S. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of organic contaminants that form during the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons, such as coal, diesel and gasoline. Studies suggest that exposure to PAHs during pregnancy is related to adverse birth outcomes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between exposure to PAHs during the pregnancy and preterm birth.The study population included births from years 2001 to 2006 of women whose maternal residence was within 20km of the primary monitoring site in Fresno, California. Data in the Fresno area were used to form a spatio-temporal model to assign daily exposure to PAHs with 4, 5, or 6 rings at the maternal residence throughout pregnancy of all of the births in the study area. Gestational age at birth and relevant covariates were extracted from the birth certificate.We found an association between PAHs during the last 6 weeks of pregnancy and birth at 20-27 weeks (OR=2.74; 95% CI: 2.24-3.34) comparing the highest quartile to the lower three. The association was consistent when each quartile was compared to the lowest (OR2nd=1.49, 95% CI: 1.08-2.06; OR3rd=2.63, 95% CI:1.93-3.59; OR4th=3.94, 95% CI:3.03-5.12). Inverse associations were also observed for exposure to PAHs during the entire pregnancy and the first trimester and birth at 28-31 weeks and 20-27 weeks.An association between PAH exposure during the 6 weeks before delivery and early preterm birth was observed. However, the inverse association with early preterm birth offers an unclear, and potentially complex, inference of these associations.
- Association between annual river flood pulse and paediatric hospital admissions in the Mekong Delta area. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Oct 2.:212-220.
The Mekong Delta is the most vulnerable region to extreme climate and hydrological conditions however the association between these conditions and children׳s health has been little studied. We examine the association between annual river flood pulse and paediatric hospital admissions in a Vietnam Mekong Delta city. Daily paediatric hospital admissions (PHA) were collected from the City Paediatric Hospital, and daily river water level (RWL) and meteorological data were retrieved from the Southern Regional Hydro-Meteorological Centre from 2008 to 2011. We evaluated the association between annual river flood pulse (>=90th percentile of RWL) and PHA using the Poisson distributed lag model, controlling for temperature, relative humidity, day of week, seasonal and long-term trends. The seasonal pattern of PHA was examined using harmonic and polynomial regression models. The cumulative risk ratios estimated for a 15-day period following an extreme RWL was 1.26 (95%CI, 1.2-1.38) for all age groups, 1.27 (95%CI, 1.23-1.30) for under five-years and 1.15 (95%CI, 1.07-1.20) for school-aged children, 1.24 (95%CI, 1.21-1.27) for all-causes, 1.18 (95%CI, 1.12-1.21) for communicable infection, 1.66 (95%CI, 1.57-1.74) for respiratory infection and 1.06 (95%CI, 1.01-1.1) for other diseases. The peak PHA risk is in the September-October period corresponding to the highest RWL, and the PHA-RWL association was modified by temperature. An increase in PHA is significantly associated with annual river flood, and the pattern of PHA is seasonally correspondent to the RWL. These findings combined with projected changes in climate conditions suggest important implications of climate change for human health in the Mekong Delta region.
- A national satellite-based land-use regression model for air pollution exposure assessment in Australia. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Oct 2.:204-211.
Land-use regression (LUR) is a technique that can improve the accuracy of air pollution exposure assessment in epidemiological studies. Most LUR models are developed for single cities, which places limitations on their applicability to other locations. We sought to develop a model to predict nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations with national coverage of Australia by using satellite observations of tropospheric NO2 columns combined with other predictor variables. We used a generalised estimating equation (GEE) model to predict annual and monthly average ambient NO2 concentrations measured by a national monitoring network from 2006 through 2011. The best annual model explained 81% of spatial variation in NO2 (absolute RMS error=1.4ppb), while the best monthly model explained 76% (absolute RMS error=1.9ppb). We applied our models to predict NO2 concentrations at the ~350,000 census mesh blocks across the country (a mesh block is the smallest spatial unit in the Australian census). National population-weighted average concentrations ranged from 7.3ppb (2006) to 6.3ppb (2011). We found that a simple approach using tropospheric NO2 column data yielded models with slightly better predictive ability than those produced using a more involved approach that required simulation of surface-to-column ratios. The models were capable of capturing within-urban variability in NO2, and offer the ability to estimate ambient NO2 concentrations at monthly and annual time scales across Australia from 2006-2011. We are making our model predictions freely available for research.
- Acute toxic and genotoxic activities of widely used cytostatic drugs in higher plants: Possible impact on the environment. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Oct 2.:196-203.
Cytostatic drugs are highly toxic pharmaceuticals and it was repeatedly postulated that they may cause adverse effects in ecosystems. The acute toxic and genotoxic properties of these drugs have not been adequately investigated in higher plants so far; therefore, we studied the most widely used drugs (5-flurouracil, 5FU; etoposide, Et; cisplatin, CisPt; carboplatin, CaPt; vincristine sulfate, VinS and cyclophosphamide monohydrate, CP) in micronucleus (MN) assays with meiotic pollen tetrad cells of Tradescantia and with root cells from Allium cepa. MNi are formed as a consequence of chromosome breaks and aneuploidy. We monitored also the acute toxic properties of the drugs, i.e. inhibition of cell division (mitotic indices and retardation of root growth) in the latter species. All compounds caused in both indicator plants genotoxic effects. The order of genotoxic potencies expressed as NOELs in µM was CisPt (0.1)≥Et (0.5)>CP (1.0)>CaPt (10)>5FU (30)>VinS (100) in Tradescantia. A similar order was seen in Allium MN but Et was less active (5.0µM). Four compounds caused alterations of the mitotic indices under the present conditions namely CisPt (0.5), Et (10.0), 5FU (10.0) and VinS (100). Inhibition of root growth decreased in the order CisPt (0.5)>Et (1.0)≥VinS (1.0)>5FU (5.0)>CaPt (33.0)>CP (>1000). Comparisons of the NOELs with the predicted environmental concentrations (PEC) show that the latter values are at least 5 orders of magnitude lower and indicate that it is unlikely that their release in the environment may cause adverse effects in higher plants. However, it is notable that the levels of both platinum compounds and of 5FU in hospital effluents may reach levels which may induce damage of the genetic material.
- Sources of halogenated brominated retardants in house dust in an industrial city in southern China and associated human exposure. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Oct 2.:190-195.
Halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) are a class of ubiquitous pollutants in the environment and attract increasing attention. In the present study, HFR concentrations were measured in indoor and outdoor dust in an important industrial city (Dongguan) in southern China, in which their presence and associated human exposure are unknown. The HFRs were dominated by polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), with mean concentrations of 2365 and 2441ng/g in the indoor dust, respectively, which were 2-3 order of magnitude higher the concentrations of other HFRs. However elevated tri- to hepta-BDE concentrations (869ng/g) were found in Houjie Town, a furniture manufacturing center. The mean indoor/outdoor (I/O) ratios of HFR concentrations in the dust were all larger than one (1.55-16.4), suggesting the importance of indoors sources for HFRs in indoor dust in this industrial city. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that the correlations among the HFRs in the indoor dust probably revealed differences in their commercial applications, while most HFRs in the outdoor dust have similar sources except for phased-out BDE47 and 99. The compositions of lower brominated PBDEs varied among the towns, probably due to their different sources or influence of photo-degradation. Nevertheless, the similar composition of highly brominated congeners indicated little photo-degradation encountered in the ambient environment. The non-cancer risk associated with indoor dust ingestion is low for the general population in Dongguan, but some children in the furniture manufacturing center have significantly high risk of exposure to banned PBDEs.
- Assessment of perfluoroalkyl substances in food items at global scale. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Oct 1.:181-189.
This study assessed the levels of 21 perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in 283 food items (38 from Brazil, 35 from Saudi Arabia, 174 from Spain and 36 from Serbia) among the most widely consumed foodstuffs in these geographical areas. These countries were chosen as representatives of the diet in South America, Western Asia, Mediterranean countries and South-Eastern Europe. The analysis of foodstuffs was carried out by turbulent flow chromatography (TFC) combined with liquid chromatography with triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-QqQ-MS) using electrospray ionization (ESI) in negative mode. The analytical method was validated for the analysis of different foodstuff classes (cereals, fish, fruit, milk, ready-to-eat foods, oil and meat). The analytical parameters of the method fulfill the requirements specified in the Commission Recommendation 2010/161/EU. Recovery rates were in the range between 70% and 120%. For all the selected matrices, the method limits of detection (MLOD) and the method limits of quantification (MLOQ) were in the range of 5 to 650pg/g and 17 to 2000pg/g, respectively. In general trends, the concentrations of PFASs were in the pg/g or pg/mL levels. The more frequently detected compounds were perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA). The prevalence of the eight-carbon chain compounds in biota indicates the high stability and bioaccumulation potential of these compounds. But, at the same time, the high frequency of the shorter chain compounds is also an indication of the use of replacement compounds in the new fluorinated materials. When comparing the compounds profile and their relative abundances in the samples from diverse origin, differences were identified. However, in absolute amounts of total PFASs no large differences were found between the studied countries. Fish and seafood were identified as the major PFASs contributors to the diet in all the countries. The total sum of PFASs in fresh fish and seafood was in the range from the MLOQ to 28ng/g ww. According to the FAO-WHO diets composition, the daily intake (DI) of PFASs was calculated for various age and gender groups in the different diets. The total PFASs food intake was estimated to be between 2300 and 3800ng /person per day for the different diets. Finally, the risk intake (RI) was calculated for selected relevant compounds. The results have indicated that by far in no case the tolerable daily intake (TDI) (150, 1500, 50,000, 1,000,000, 150, 1500ng/kg body weight, for perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS), fluorotelomer alcohol (FTOH), perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS), perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA), PFOS and PFOA, respectively) was exceeded.
- The possible association between exposure to air pollution and the risk for congenital malformations. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Sep 29.:173-180.
Over the last decade, there is growing evidence that exposure to air pollution may be associated with increased risk for congenital malformations.To evaluate the possible association between exposures to air pollution during pregnancy and congenital malformations among infants born following spontaneously conceived (SC) pregnancies and assisted reproductive technology (ART) pregnancies.This is an historical cohort study comprising 216,730 infants: 207,825 SC infants and 8905 ART conceived infants, during the periods 1997-2004. Air pollution data including sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter <10µm (PM10), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and ozone (O3) were obtained from air monitoring stations database for the study period. Using a geographic information system (GIS) and the Kriging procedure, exposure to air pollution during the first trimester and the entire pregnancy was assessed for each woman according to her residential location. Logistic regression models with generalized estimating equation (GEE) approach were used to evaluate the adjusted risk for congenital malformations.In the study cohort increased concentrations of PM10 and NOx pollutants in the entire pregnancy were associated with slightly increased risk for congenital malformations: OR 1.06(95% CI, 1.01-1.11) for 10µg/m(3) increase in PM10 and OR 1.03(95% CI, 1.01-1.04) for 10ppb increase in NOx. Specific malformations were evident in the circulatory system (for PM10 and NOx exposure) and genital organs (for NOx exposure). SO2 and O3 pollutants were not significantly associated with increased risk for congenital malformations. In the ART group higher concentrations of SO2 and O3 in entire pregnancy were associated (although not significantly) with an increased risk for congenital malformations: OR 1.06(95% CI, 0.96-1.17) for 1ppb increase in SO2 and OR 1.15(95% CI, 0.69-1.91) for 10ppb increase in O3. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to higher levels of PM10 and NOx during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk for congenital malformations. Specific malformations were evident in the circulatory system and genital organs. Among ART pregnancies possible adverse association of SO2 and O3 exposure was also observed. Further studies are warranted, including more accurate exposure assessment and a larger sample size for ART pregnancies, in order to confirm these findings.
- A case-crossover analysis of the impact of PM2.5 on cardiovascular disease hospitalizations for selected CDC tracking states. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Sep 29.:455-465.
Information is currently being collected by the CDC Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) network on hospitalizations due to Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) and there is interest by CDC in exploring the relationship between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and other cardiovascular (CVD) outcomes in the context of the EPHT program. The goal of this study was to assess the short term effects of daily PM(2.5) air pollution levels on hospitalizations for CVD for seven states within the CDC EPHT network (Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Washington).Hospitalization data was obtained for 2001-2008 admissions for circulatory disease (primary discharge diagnosis of ICD-9 codes 390-459) from data stewards in those states and included admission date, age, gender, and zip code of residence. We used CMAQ-derived predicted daily PM2.5 data as estimated by EPA at the centroid of each Census Bureau Zip Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) and linked to zip code of patient residence. A time-stratified case-crossover study design with conditional logistic regression was used to evaluate the short-term association of PM2.5 on risk of non-elective hospitalizations for CVD. Specifically, we considered all circulatory disease, ischemic heart disease, acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, cerebrovascular disease and peripheral vascular disease endpoints.Data were obtained on over 7,500,000 hospitalizations for this time period. Mean annual PM2.5 exposure levels were lowest for New Mexico and Washington (6.5μg/m3 PM2.5 and 8.4μg/m3 PM2.5). New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts exhibited the highest annual averages for PM2.5, (12.8μg/m3, 11.1μg/m3 and 10.8μg/m3), respectively. The Northeast states (Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire and New York) exhibited significant effects of PM2.5 during the cooler months across most disease categories after adjustment for ozone and maximum apparent temperature. Ischemic heart disease risk per 10μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 varied from 1.02 to 1.05 for the cooler months. The largest lag effect was noted on lag days 0 and 1. New Mexico and Washington exhibited no cool or warm month significant effects. Although Florida showed no cooler month effects, significant increases were noted in odds ratios for the warm weather months for all outcomes except peripheral vascular disease. This study is one of the first large scale applications of linkage of hospitalization data by state with national US EPA statistically modeled air pollution data. The results demonstrate that state-wide, there are multiple cardiovascular outcomes in addition to AMI which may be impacted by particulate air pollution.
- A feasibility study of the association of exposure to biomass smoke with vascular function, inflammation, and cellular aging. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Sep 25.:165-172.
Biomass smoke at higher concentrations is associated with respiratory symptoms and, after years of exposure, increased risk of respiratory disorders in adults, but its effects on cardiovascular diseases are not well characterized, particularly compared with other pollution sources like tobacco smoke or traffic.We conducted a cross-sectional study and enrolled 25 women living in rural Sichuan, China. We measured integrated 24-h personal exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon, and measured PM2.5 and black carbon in their kitchens. We assessed participants' brachial and central blood pressure and arterial stiffness using pulse wave analysis, and analyzed dried blood spot and buccal cell samples for C-reactive protein and relative telomere length. We also evaluated the difference in these physiological and biomarker measures between individuals with high (≥median) versus low (<median) PM2.5 exposure using multivariate regression.Geometric mean 24-h PM2.5 and black carbon exposures were 61µg/m(3) (95% CI: 48, 78) and 3.2µg/m(3) (95% CI: 2.3, 4.5), respectively. Average kitchen PM2.5 and black carbon concentrations were only moderately correlated with personal exposures (PM2.5: r=0.41; black carbon: r=0.63), although they had similar means. Women in the high and low exposure groups were similar in age, obesity, socioeconomic status, salt intake, and physical activity. Women in the high PM2.5 exposure group had higher mean brachial systolic blood pressure (SBP; difference=4.6mmHg, 95% CI -7.8, 16.9), central SBP (difference=3.1mmHg, 95% CI: -8.4, 14.5), central pulse pressure (difference=4.1mmHg; 95% CI: -4.2, 12.4), and augmentation index (difference=2.8%, 95% CI: -1.6, 7.2). High exposed women had 43% shorter telomere length (95% CI: -113, 28) than that of women in the low exposure group. There were no differences in pulse wave velocity or C-reactive protein between the two exposure groups. None of the results was statistically significant.Our results suggest that it is feasible to measure markers of vascular function and biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in field studies of biomass smoke. Although many of the associations were in the expected direction, larger studies would be needed to establish the effects.
- Optimizing the aquatic toxicity assessment under REACH through an integrated testing strategy (ITS). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Sep 25.:156-164.
To satisfy REACH requirements a high number of data on chemical of interest should be supplied to the European Chemicals Agency. To organize the various kinds of information and help the registrants to choose the best strategy to obtain the needed information limiting at the minimum the use of animal testing, integrated testing strategies (ITSs) schemes can be used. The present work deals with regulatory data requirements for assessing the hazards of chemicals to the aquatic pelagic environment. We present an ITS scheme for organizing and using the complex existing data available for aquatic toxicity assessment. An ITS to optimize the choice of the correct prediction strategy for aquatic pelagic toxicity is described. All existing information (like physico-chemical information), and all the alternative methods (like in silico, in vitro or the acute-to-chronic ratio) are considered. Moreover the weight of evidence approach to combine the available data is included.