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Effects of pollution on human growth and development: an introduction.

Abstract

Pollution is a worldwide problem and its potential to influence the physiology of human populations is great. Studies of human growth and development in relation to pollution have increased in number and quality since the mid-twentieth century. Many studies have found that some pollutants have detrimental effects on human growth, particularly prenatal growth. The heavy metal, lead, is commonly found in human populations and is related to smaller size at birth and studies have reported decrements that range up to about 200 grams. Noise stress from transportation sources also is related to reduced prenatal growth with somewhat smaller decrements reported. Studies of humans exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls, one of the persistent organic pollutants, have reduced size at birth, advanced sexual maturation and altered hormone levels related to thyroid regulation. Thus different pollutants exert effects through different physiological pathways. However, some studies have not observed these effects, which indicates that the situation is complex and requires further study with better study designs. Determining the effects of pollutants on human physiology and growth is difficult as it requires fairly large numbers of subjects who are not purposely exposed but for whom exposure can be measured. These effects of pollutants and the mechanisms of effect require further study to understand and, it is hoped, to blunt or block any detrimental effects on human health and well-being.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    University at Albany, Albany, NY 12222, USA l.schell@albany.edu.

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    Source

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Age Factors
    Aging
    Anthropology, Physical
    Child
    Child, Preschool
    Environmental Monitoring
    Environmental Pollution
    Female
    Food Contamination
    Growth Disorders
    Growth and Development
    Humans
    Infant
    Infant, Newborn
    Lead Poisoning
    Male
    Noise
    Polychlorinated Biphenyls
    Pregnancy
    Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
    Research Design
    Socioeconomic Factors

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Review

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    16617215

    Citation

    TY - JOUR T1 - Effects of pollution on human growth and development: an introduction. AU - Schell,Lawrence M, AU - Gallo,Mia V, AU - Denham,Melinda, AU - Ravenscroft,Julia, PY - 2006/4/18/pubmed PY - 2006/6/29/medline PY - 2006/4/18/entrez SP - 103 EP - 12 JF - Journal of physiological anthropology JO - J Physiol Anthropol VL - 25 IS - 1 N2 - Pollution is a worldwide problem and its potential to influence the physiology of human populations is great. Studies of human growth and development in relation to pollution have increased in number and quality since the mid-twentieth century. Many studies have found that some pollutants have detrimental effects on human growth, particularly prenatal growth. The heavy metal, lead, is commonly found in human populations and is related to smaller size at birth and studies have reported decrements that range up to about 200 grams. Noise stress from transportation sources also is related to reduced prenatal growth with somewhat smaller decrements reported. Studies of humans exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls, one of the persistent organic pollutants, have reduced size at birth, advanced sexual maturation and altered hormone levels related to thyroid regulation. Thus different pollutants exert effects through different physiological pathways. However, some studies have not observed these effects, which indicates that the situation is complex and requires further study with better study designs. Determining the effects of pollutants on human physiology and growth is difficult as it requires fairly large numbers of subjects who are not purposely exposed but for whom exposure can be measured. These effects of pollutants and the mechanisms of effect require further study to understand and, it is hoped, to blunt or block any detrimental effects on human health and well-being. SN - 1880-6791 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16617215/full_citation L2 - http://joi.jlc.jst.go.jp/JST.JSTAGE/jpa2/25.103?from=PubMed ER -