Acid precipitation affects the solubility of several metals in aquatic systems and in soil. Cadmium levels in tap water samples from geological areas having low resistance to acidic pollution were significantly higher than those in samples from a neighbouring reference area where there was a different geological structure. The median cadmium levels and pH values were 0.14 microgram l-1 and 5.6 respectively, for the acidic areas compared with 0.07 microgram l-1 and 6.4 respectively for the reference area. Further, there was a significant inverse relationship between both cadmium and lead contents and the pH values of the samples. The mobility of the metals was thus dependent on the acidity. The blood lead levels in 195 subjects from the acidic areas were lower than those in 91 subjects from the reference area (medians 60 vs. 70 micrograms l-1); no significant differences were found in blood cadmium or blood mercury levels. Subjects in the acidic areas had lower plasma selenium levels than those from the reference area (medians 85 vs. 90 micrograms l-1); the difference was mainly attributed to subjects with private wells. The data may indicate a negative effect of the acidic pollution on selenium intake via water and/or foods. There was also a positive relationship between intake of fish on the one hand and blood mercury and plasma selenium on the other, which is in accordance with the role of fish as a source of these metals.
A multi-cancer site, multi-factor, case-referent study was undertaken to generate hypotheses about possible occupational carcinogens. About 20 types of cancer were included. Incident cases among men aged 35-70 years and diagnosed in any of the major Montreal hospitals were eligible. Probing interviews were carried out for 3 726 eligible cases. The interview was designed to obtain detailed lifetime job histories and information on potential confounders. Each job history was reviewed by a team of chemists who translated it into a history of occupational exposures. These occupational exposures were then analyzed as potential risk factors in relation to the sites of cancer included. For each site of cancer analyzed, referents were selected from among the other sites in the study. The analysis was carried out in stages. First a Mantel-Haenszel analysis was undertaken of all cancer-substance associations, stratifying on a limited number of covariates, and, then, for those associations which were noteworthy in the initial analysis, a logistic regression analysis was made taking into account all potential confounders. This report describes the fieldwork and analytical methods.
This report describes the design and conduct of two sequential historical prospective morbidity surveys of workers and residents from the Upper Ottawa Street Landfill Site in Hamilton, Ontario. The workers study was carried out first and was a hypothesis-generating study. Workers and controls were administered a health questionnaire, which was followed by an assessment of recall bias through medical chart abstraction. Multiple criteria were used to identify health problems associated with landfill site exposure. Those problems with highest credibility included clusters of respiratory, skin, narcotic, and mood disorders. These formed the hypothesis base in the subsequent health study of residents living adjacent to the landfill site. In that study, the association between mood, narcotic, skin, and respiratory conditions with landfill site exposure was confirmed using the following criteria: strength of association; consistency with the workers study; risk gradient by duration of residence and proximity to the landfill; absence of evidence that less healthy people moved to the area; specificity; and the absence of recall bias. The validity of these associations were reduced by three principal problems: the high refusal rate among the control population; socioeconomic status differences between the study groups; and the fact that the conditions found in excess were imprecisely defined and potentially interchangeable with other conditions. Offsetting these problems were the multiple criteria used to assess each hypothesis, which were applied according to present rules. Evidence is presented that supports the hypothesis that vapors, fumes, or particulate matter emanating from the landfill site, as well as direct skin exposure, may have lead to the health problems found in excess. Evidence is also presented supporting the hypothesis that perception of exposure and, therefore, of risk, may explain the results of the study. However, based on the analyses performed, it is the conclusion of the authors that the adverse effects seen were more likely the result of chemical exposure than of perception of risk.
Cites: J Health Soc Behav. 1978 Sep;19(3):254-62701774
Samples of vertebral bone were obtained by skeletal biopsy and lead concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy. The median level of lead in bone in 27 active lead workers was 29 micrograms/g wet weight (range 2-155), corresponding to 370 micrograms/g calcium (range 30-1,120). In 9 retired workers, the corresponding levels were 19 micrograms/g (5-76) and 250 micrograms/g calcium (60-700); in 14 reference subjects without occupational exposure, 1.3 micrograms/g (1-4) and 13 micrograms/g calcium (8-40). The bone lead content rose with time of exposure. Comparison of levels in vertebra with those in fingerbone, as measured by in vivo x-ray fluorescence in the same subjects, strongly suggested the presence of lead pools with different kinetics. The accumulation pattern, as well as the relation between levels in vertebra and fingerbone, suggests a much shorter half-time of lead in the mainly trabecular vertebral bone as compared to the mainly cortical fingerbone. Further, there was an association between vertebral and blood lead levels in the retired workers, which shows a considerable endogenous lead exposure from the skeletal pool.
Recent studies have shown that women factory workers report more health symptoms than men. Reporting of health symptoms by 661 workers at nine poultry slaughterhouses in Québec was examined to determine whether this difference has its origins in sex-specific working conditions. More women than men report that their jobs involve standing still, repetitive movements, and a very rapid work rate. While women workers reported more health symptoms, these symptoms primarily affected the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, and were related to ergonomic and organizational job characteristics. Reported symptom levels were in closer agreement for subsamples of women and men with similar working conditions. This study demonstrates the importance of considering environmental, organizational, and ergonomic conditions at the work station as constituents of a microenvironment in order to understand the complex determinants of health symptoms associated with work in female employment ghettos.
Recently published evidence indicates that involuntary smoking causes an increased risk of lung cancer among nonsmokers. Information was compiled on the proportion of people who had never smoked among victims of lung cancer, the risk of lung cancer for nonsmokers married to smokers and the prevalence of such exposure. On the basis of these data we estimate that 50 to 60 of the deaths from lung cancer in Canada in 1985 among people who had never smoked were caused by spousal smoking; about 90% occurred in women. The total number of deaths from lung cancer attributable to exposure to tobacco smoke from spouses and other sources (mainly the workplace) was derived by applying estimated age- and sex-specific rates of death from lung cancer attributable to such exposure to the population of Canadians who have never smoked; about 330 deaths from lung cancer annually are attributable to such exposure.
We investigated whether there is an interaction between distance from residence at birth to nearest power line and domestic radon and traffic-related air pollution, respectively, in relation to childhood leukemia risk. Further, we investigated whether adjusting for potential confounders alters the association between distance to nearest power line and childhood leukemia. We included 1024 cases aged
In 2012, Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) were collected from offshore regions of the Beaufort Sea to determine the concentrations of CYP1A1 phase I metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (OH-PAHs) in liver and to correlate measured concentrations with (i) morphometric measurements that are known to be indicative of fish health and, (ii) biochemical end points of health including vitamin A/E and metabolites and hepatic deiodinase activity (DI). Four ring OH-PAHs were detected in 90% of our samples with a mean liver concentration of 1829.2 ± 159.2 ng/g (ww). Total (?) concentrations of 5/6-membered ring OH-PAHs in liver were smaller [mean of 931.6 ± 104.3 ng/g, (ww)] and detected less frequently (75%) than the 4-ring OH-PAHs. Fish length and liver weight were both negatively correlated to ? concentrations of 4-ringed OH-PAHs (p 0.1). There was a significant positive relationship between DI and 4-ring OH-PAHs (p
Country foods are central to Inuit culture and replete in selenium (Se) and long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA). However, some marine country foods bioaccumulate high concentrations of methylmercury (MeHg). Se and n-3 are associated with several health benefits in Nunavik, Northern Quebec, but, recent studies show that prenatal MeHg exposure is associated with visual, cognitive and behavioral deficit later in childhood. The study objectives are to identify contemporary country food sources of MeHg, Se and long-chain n-3 PUFA in Nunavik, particularly among childbearing-age women, taking into account regional differences in consumption profiles. The contribution of different country foods to daily MeHg, Se, long-chain n-3 PUFA intake (µg/kg body weight/day) was estimated using: (i) country food consumption and blood biomarkers data from the 2004 Nunavik Health Survey (387 women, 315 men), and (ii) data on MeHg, Se, long-chain n-3 PUFA concentrations found in Nunavik wildlife species. In the region where most traditional beluga hunting takes place in Nunavik, the prevalence of at-risk blood Hg (= 8 µg/L) in childbearing-age women was 78.4%. While most country foods presently consumed contain low MeHg, beluga meat, not a staple of the Inuit diet, is the most important contributor to MeHg: up to two-thirds of MeHg intake in the beluga-hunting region (0.66 of MeHg intake) and to about one-third in other regions. In contrast, seal liver and beluga mattaaq - beluga skin and blubber - only mildly contributed to MeHg (between 0.06 and 0.15 of MeHg intake), depending on the region. Beluga mattaaq also highly contributed to Se intake (0.30 of Se intake). Arctic char, beluga blubber and mattaaq, and seal blubber contributed to most long-chain n-3 PUFA intake. This study highlights the importance of considering interconnections between local ecosystems and dietary habits to develop recommendations and interventions promoting country foods' benefits, while minimizing the risk of MeHg from beluga meat, especially for childbearing-age women.
Review of environmental exposure concentrations of chemical warfare agent residues and associated the fish community risk following the construction and completion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.
This paper compiles all the measured chemical warfare agent (CWA) concentrations found in relation to the Nord Stream pipeline work in Danish waters for the past 5 years. Sediment and biota sampling were performed along the pipeline route in four campaigns, prior to (in 2008 and 2010), during (in 2011) and after (in 2012) the construction work. No parent CWAs were detected in the sediments. Patchy residues of CWA degradation products of Adamsite, Clark I, phenyldichloroarsine, trichloroarsine and Lewisite II, were detected in a total of 29 of the 391 sediment samples collected and analyzed the past 5 years. The cumulative fish community risk quotient for the different locations, calculated as a sum of background and added risk, ranged between 0 and 0.017 suggesting a negligible acute CWA risk toward the fish community. The added risk from sediment disturbance in relation to construction of the pipelines represents less than 2% of the total risk in the areas with the highest calculated risk. The analyses of benthic infauna corroborate the finding of CWA related low risk across the years. There was no significant difference in CWA risk before (2008) and after the pipeline construction (2012).
Experiments in animal models have shown a positive association between in utero exposure to pharmacologic sex hormones and offspring obesity. The developmental effects of such hormones on human obesity are unknown.
Using data from a large, prospective pregnancy cohort study (n=19?652), with linkage to a national prescription registry, we evaluated the association between use of hormonal contraceptives before and after conception (defined from dispensed prescription data and characterized by last date of use relative to conception, 12 to >4 months before (n=3392), 4 to >1 months before (n=2541), 1 to >0 months before (n=2997) and 0-12 weeks after (n=567)) in relation to offspring overweight or obesity at age 3 years.
We observed a weak, inverse association between early pregnancy use of a combination oral contraceptive and offspring overweight or obesity at age 3 (adjusted odds ratio (OR): 0.75, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.53, 1.08) and a positive, but imprecise, association with use of a progestin-only oral contraceptive in early pregnancy (adjusted OR: 1.26, 95% CI: 0.79, 2.02). In general, no association was observed between the use of a hormonal contraceptive before conception and offspring overweight or obesity. A sensitivity analysis comparing combination oral contraceptive users in early pregnancy to other unplanned pregnancies without hormonal contraceptive use further strengthened the inverse association (adjusted OR: 0.70, 95% CI: 0.48, 1.02). Other sensitivity analyses were conducted to evaluate the robustness of the associations observed given varying assumptions.
Pharmacologic sex hormones in early pregnancy may be inversely or positively associated with offspring overweight or obesity at age 3, depending on the specific formulation used. The present study provides support for the potential for environmental sources of hormonally active agents to exert developmental effects.
This review summarizes our current state of knowledge regarding the potential biological effects of mercury (Hg) exposure on fish and wildlife in the Canadian Arctic. Although Hg in most freshwater fish from northern Canada was not sufficiently elevated to be of concern, a few lakes in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut contained fish of certain species (e.g. northern pike, Arctic char) whose muscle Hg concentrations exceeded an estimated threshold range (0.5-1.0 µg g(-1) wet weight) within which adverse biological effects begin to occur. Marine fish species generally had substantially lower Hg concentrations than freshwater fish; but the Greenland shark, a long-lived predatory species, had mean muscle Hg concentrations exceeding the threshold range for possible effects on health or reproduction. An examination of recent egg Hg concentrations for marine birds from the Canadian Arctic indicated that mean Hg concentration in ivory gulls from Seymour Island fell within the threshold range associated with adverse effects on reproduction in birds. Mercury concentrations in brain tissue of beluga whales and polar bears were generally lower than levels associated with neurotoxicity in mammals, but were sometimes high enough to cause subtle neurochemical changes that can precede overt neurotoxicity. Harbour seals from western Hudson Bay had elevated mean liver Hg concentrations along with comparatively high muscle Hg concentrations indicating potential health effects from methylmercury (MeHg) exposure on this subpopulation. Because current information is generally insufficient to determine with confidence whether Hg exposure is impacting the health of specific fish or wildlife populations in the Canadian Arctic, biological effects studies should comprise a major focus of future Hg research in the Canadian Arctic. Additionally, studies on cellular interactions between Hg and selenium (Se) are required to better account for potential protective effects of Se on Hg toxicity, especially in large predatory Arctic fish, birds, and mammals.
In areas where water is a major source of dietary iodine (I), the I concentration in drinking water is an important factor for public health and epidemiological understandings. In Denmark, almost all of the drinking water is originating from groundwater. Therefore, understanding the I variation in groundwater and governing factors and processes are crucial. In this study, we perform uni- and multivariate analyses of all available historical Danish I groundwater data from 1933 to 2011 (n?=?2,562) to give an overview on the I variability for first time and to discover possible geochemical associations between I and twenty other elements and parameters. Special attention is paid on the description and the quality assurance of this complex compilation of historical data. The high variability of I in Danish groundwater (
Sulfate (SO4(2-)) and mercury (Hg) are airborne pollutants transported to the Arctic where they can affect properties of the atmosphere and the health of marine or terrestrial ecosystems. Detecting trends in Arctic Hg pollution is challenging because of the short period of direct observations, particularly of actual deposition. Here, we present an updated proxy record of atmospheric SO4(2-) and a new 40-year record of total Hg (THg) and monomethyl Hg (MeHg) deposition developed from a firn core (P2010) drilled from Penny Ice Cap, Baffin Island, Canada. The updated P2010 record shows stable mean SO4(2-) levels over the past 40 years, which is inconsistent with observations of declining atmospheric SO4(2-) or snow acidity in the Arctic during the same period. A sharp THg enhancement in the P2010 core ca 1991 is tentatively attributed to the fallout from the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Hekla. Although MeHg accumulation on Penny Ice Cap had remained constant since 1970, THg accumulation increased after the 1980s. This increase is not easily explained by changes in snow accumulation, marine aerosol inputs or air mass trajectories; however, a causal link may exist with the declining sea-ice cover conditions in the Baffin Bay sector. The ratio of THg accumulation between pre-industrial times (reconstructed from archived ice cores) and the modern industrial era is estimated at between 4- and 16-fold, which is consistent with estimates from Arctic lake sediment cores. The new P2010 THg record is the first of its kind developed from the Baffin Island region of the eastern Canadian Arctic and one of very few such records presently available in the Arctic. As such, it may help to bridge the knowledge gap linking direct observation of gaseous Hg in the Arctic atmosphere and actual net deposition and accumulation in various terrestrial media.
Climate change is expected to increase the prevalence of acute and chronic diseases among human and animal populations within the Arctic and subarctic latitudes of North America. Warmer temperatures are expected to increase disease risks from food-borne pathogens, water-borne diseases, and vector-borne zoonoses in human and animal populations of Arctic landscapes. Existing high levels of mercury and persistent organic pollutant chemicals circulating within terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in Arctic latitudes are a major concern for the reproductive health of humans and other mammals, and climate warming will accelerate the mobilization and biological amplification of toxic environmental contaminants. The adverse health impacts of Arctic warming will be especially important for wildlife populations and indigenous peoples dependent upon subsistence food resources from wild plants and animals. Additional research is needed to identify and monitor changes in the prevalence of zoonotic pathogens in humans, domestic dogs, and wildlife species of critical subsistence, cultural, and economic importance to Arctic peoples. The long-term effects of climate warming in the Arctic cannot be adequately predicted or mitigated without a comprehensive understanding of the interactive and synergistic effects between environmental contaminants and pathogens in the health of wildlife and human communities in Arctic ecosystems. The complexity and magnitude of the documented impacts of climate change on Arctic ecosystems, and the intimacy of connections between their human and wildlife communities, makes this region an appropriate area for development of One Health approaches to identify and mitigate the effects of climate warming at the community, ecosystem, and landscape scales.