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
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).
There was performed an investigation of informativeness of indices of the heart rate variability at rest and during orthostatic testing in the adolescent girls residing in the industrial town and in the village. The influence of unfa- vorable environmental factors was established to be reflected by the indices of the spectral analysis and cardioin- tervalography. In urban girls there was noted the marked increase of the centralization of heart rhythm control on the background of the increased activity of the sympathetic compartment and the reduction of the influence of the parasympathetic compartment of the autonomous nervous system on the sinus node. In rural adolescent girls the func- tional state of the autonomic nervous system being the optimal is characterized by an adequate response to the active orthostatic test of the parasympathetic and sympathetic compartments with the moderate involvement of mechanisms of the central control of the cardiac rhythm. Results of the study have an important significance for the diagnosis of the early disorders of health in adolescent girls.
Currently, due to the increase in motorization, the problem of environmental pollution by emissions of objects of auto-road complex is becoming more and more important not only for cities, butfor dynamically developing regional cities. The negative impact is characterized by the increase of the morbidity rate of environmentally-dependent diseases, primarily respiratory diseases, neoplasms. This exposure is most pronounced near the motorways, at the gas station, and also spreads to residential areas, which requires the optimization of protective and preventive measures. Presented article is devoted to the characterization of air pollution of various areas in the city of Surgut due to emission of sources of auto-road complex with the assessment of public health risks.
Most previous studies on the association between moisture damage and asthma have been cross-sectional and relied on self-reported exposure and health. The present authors studied the association by carrying out careful home inspections among new, clinically determined cases of asthma and controls. New cases of asthma aged 12-84 months (n = 121) were recruited prospectively and matched for year of birth, sex and living area with two randomly selected population controls (n = 241). Trained engineers visited all homes. Both cases and controls had lived >or=75% of their lifetime or the past 2 yrs in their current home. Risk of asthma increased with severity of moisture damage and presence of visible mould in the main living quarters but not in other areas of the house. Cases more often had damage in their bedroom. Associations were comparable for atopic and nonatopic asthma and for children aged >30 months or
BACKGROUND: Poor indoor air quality has been suggested to be related to the increase in the prevalence of asthma that has occurred in the western world, especially among children and young persons. Apart from the home, school is the most important indoor environment for children. OBJECTIVES: The aims were to study the prevalence of current asthma among secondary pupils and its relationship to the school environment, but also to personal factors and domestic exposures. METHODS: Data on asthmatic symptoms, other health aspects, and domestic exposures were gathered using a questionnaire which was sent to 762 pupils in the seventh form (13-14 years old) in 11 randomly chosen schools in the county of Uppsala in Sweden. Pupils answering 'yes' to having had asthma diagnosed by a physician, and having had recent asthma attacks, or who used asthma medication were defined as having current asthma. Data on exposures at school were gathered by measurements in 28 classrooms. The relationship between asthma and exposures was analysed by multiple logistic regression. RESULTS: The questionnaire was completed by 627 (82%). Current asthma was found among 40 pupils (6.4%). Current asthma was more common in those who had an atopic disposition, or food allergy, or who had attended a day care centre for several years. Controlling for these factors, current asthma was related to several factors in the school environment. There were more pupils with current asthma in schools that were larger, had more open shelves, lower room temperature, higher relative air humidity, higher concentrations of formaldehyde or other volatile organic compounds, viable moulds or bacteria or more cat allergen in the settled dust. CONCLUSIONS: Although the pupils attended school for a minor part of their time, our study indicates that the quality of the school environment is of importance and may affect asthmatic symptoms.
The risk of developing asthma contingent upon the co-twins' history of asthma was analyzed in a population-based study of 5,864 Norwegian twins. A primary aim was to assess the significance of shared environment for the development of asthma from infancy through age 25. Retrospective reports were collected when the twins were 18 to 25 yr of age. The risk of developing asthma, contingent upon the co-twin's history of asthma, was estimated using survival analyses, and genetic and environmental sources of variation in liability for asthma were analyzed with structural equation models. The cumulative incidence of asthma was 6% for males and 5.4% for females. The relative risk of developing asthma among twins whose co-twin had a positive history of asthma compared with those whose co-twin had no history of asthma was 17.9 (95% CI, 10.3 to 31.0) for identical, and 2.3 (95% CI, 1.2 to 4.4) for fraternal twins. Although shared environment encompasses many of the exposures that are putative risk factors for asthma in this age range, there is no evidence of shared environmental influences for asthma. Rather, 75% of the variation in liability for asthma was explained by genetic effects and the remaining variation was due to nonshared environmental influences. These results suggest that the familial risk for asthma is primarily, genetic.
OBJECTIVES: Motor vehicle exhaust fumes are the main source of atmospheric pollution in cities in industrialised countries. They cause respiratory disease and annoy people exposed to them. The relation between ambient exposure to air pollution mainly from motor vehicles and annoyance reactions in a general population was assessed. Also, the importance of factors such as age, sex, respiratory disease, access to the use of a car, and smoking habits on the reporting of these reactions was studied. METHODS: A postal questionnaire was sent out in 55 urban areas in Sweden that had nearly identical air quality monitoring stations of the urban air monitoring network. From each area, 150 people aged 16-70 were randomly selected. The questionnaire contained questions on perception of air quality as well as a question on how often exhaust fumes were annoying. RESULTS: Six-monthly nitrogen dioxide concentrations correlated consistently with the prevalence of reported annoyance related to air pollution and traffic exhaust fumes. Black smoke and sulphur dioxide had no significant effects. The frequency of reporting annoyance reactions was higher among people with asthma, women, and people with lack of access to a car. CONCLUSIONS: In this study town dwellers could detect poor air quality at concentrations well below current guidelines for outdoor air pollution. This suggests that questionnaire studies have a place in monitoring air quality.
As the cost of air travel has decreased substantially in the USA and Europe over the past few decades, leisure travel to vacation destinations during the winter months has expanded significantly. This trend has probably increased the incidence of significant ultraviolet radiation exposure and sunburn in a broader population who could not previously afford this kind of travel. The purpose of this study was to analyse the correlation between increasing accessibility to air travel and melanoma incidence. This ecological study surveyed air travel patterns and melanoma incidence over the past three decades. Melanoma age-adjusted incidence was obtained from the United States Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results 9 Registry Database, 1975-2000, and the Cancer Registry of Norway, 1965-2000. United States mean inflation-adjusted airfare prices for four airports linked to leisure destinations (Miami, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix) were compared with melanoma incidence. Parallel analyses were performed using annual domestic passenger-kilometres and melanoma incidence in Norway. Declining United States leisure-specific airfares corresponded strongly with increasing melanoma incidence (r = 0.96, r = 0.92, P
To describe and evaluate recruitment techniques used to enroll 152 healthy pregnant women fewer than 15 weeks gestation into a prospective study of environmental chemical exposure during pregnancy. Posters, a website, online and print advertising, recruitment emails, media coverage, recruitment from clinic waiting rooms, networking within the pregnancy community and presenting a study booth at baby "trade shows" were used to advertise the study. Participants had to meet a strict set of eligibility criteria, and were asked to donate two-second-trimester blood samples, complete two questionnaires, have samples of air, dust, lint and tap water collected from their homes, and donate a cord blood sample at delivery. Over 17 months, 171 women enrolled (49% of initial contacts, and 99% of all eligible women) and 152 women completed the study (89% retention). Total recruitment costs were approximately $400 Cdn per final participant. Posters, study booth presentations and online advertising generated the most inquiries about the study. Word of mouth, referral from another study and direct email were the most cost-effective strategies. Not surprisingly, the recruited study population was less ethnically diverse, more affluent and more educated than the background population of pregnant women in Vancouver. A combination of passive and active recruitment techniques were successful for recruiting healthy women in roughly the first trimester of pregnancy (
Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Ave, Building I, Room 1404E, Boston, MA 02115, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
We evaluated the associations of serum dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) with longitudinally assessed growth measurements among peripubertal Russian boys.
A total of 499 boys from Chapaevsk, Russia, aged 8 to 9 years were enrolled in the study from 2003 to 2005 and were followed prospectively for 3 years. Blood samples were collected and physical examinations were conducted at entry and repeated at annual study visits. Multivariate mixed-effects regression models for repeated measures were used to examine the associations of serum dioxins and PCBs with longitudinal measurements of BMI, height, and height velocity.
Serum dioxin (total 2005 toxic equivalency [TEQ] median: 21.1 pg/g lipid) and PCBs (median sum of PCBs: 250 ng/g lipid) were measured in 468 boys. At study entry and during 3 years of follow-up, >50% of the boys had age-adjusted BMI and height z scores within 1 SD of World Health Organization-standardized mean values for age. Boys in the highest exposure quintile of the sum of dioxin and PCB concentrations and total TEQs had a significant decrease in mean BMI z scores of 0.67 for dioxins and TEQs and 1.04 for PCBs, compared with boys in the lowest exposure quintile. Comparison of the highest versus the lowest quintile revealed that higher serum PCB concentrations were associated with significantly lower height z scores (mean z-score decrease: 0.41) and height velocity (mean decrease: 0.19 cm/year) after 3 years of follow-up.
Our findings suggest that exposures to dioxins and PCBs are associated with reduced growth during the peripubertal period and may compromise adult body mass, stature, and health.
Cites: Environ Health Perspect. 2004 Feb;112(2):257-6514754581
The aim of this study was to investigate the association of noise sensitivity with self-reported hearing disability and hearing levels, with consideration of the role of self-reported history of noise exposure and use of hearing protectors. The study is based on the Finnish Twin Cohort. In 1988, a noise questionnaire was sent to 1005 twin pairs, 1495 individuals (688 men, 807 women) replied. The age range was 31-88 years. Information on some potential confounders was obtained from the questionnaire in 1981 for the same individuals. A subsample of thirty-eight elderly women with noise sensitivity response from 1988 had audiometry data from 2000 to 2001. Noise sensitivity was associated with self-reported hearing disability among all subjects [odds ratio (OR) 1.55, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.14-2.12] and among women (OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.19-3.04), but no-more significantly among men (OR 1.31, 95% CI 0.86-1.98). The association was primarily seen among younger subjects (50 years or less). The difference between noise sensitive and non-noise sensitive elderly women in the average of thresholds at frequencies of 0.5-4 kHz in the better ear was not significant (Pr = 0.18). Noise sensitivity did not modify the association of hearing disability with the self-reported history of occupational noise exposure. Noise sensitivity was associated with the use of hearing protectors at work. The study shows the importance of recognizing the noise sensitive in noise effect studies, since sensitivity in annoyance has implications in most of the effect categories.
The main purpose of this descriptive field study was to explore music listening habits and preferred listening levels with portable music players (PMPs). We were also interested in seeing whether any exposure differences could be observed between the sexes. Data were collected during 12 hours at Stockholm Central Station, where people passing by were invited to measure their preferred PMP listening level by using a KEMAR manikin. People were also asked to answer a questionnaire about their listening habits. In all, 60 persons (41 men and 19 women) took part in the questionnaire study and 61 preferred PMP levels to be measured. Forty-one of these sound level measurements were valid to be reported after consideration was taken to acceptable measuring conditions. The women (31 years) and the men (33 years) started to use PMPs on a regular basis in their early 20s. Ear canal headphones/ear buds were the preferred headphone types. Fifty-seven percent of the whole study population used their PMP on a daily basis. The measured LAeq60 sec levels corrected for free field ranged between 73 and 102 dB, with a mean value of 83 dB. Sound levels for different types of headphones are also presented. The results of this study indicate that there are two groups of listeners: people who listen less frequently and at lower, safer sound levels, and people with excessive listening habits that may indeed damage their hearing sensory organ in time.
Giant mining industry enterprises and huge iron-and-steel works are located in Krivbas. 169 mll. cu. m. of solid waste, over II.8 mll. cu. m. of waste water, nearly 1.3 mll. tons of dust and gaseous substances are created annually through the production process. Data available from numerous investigations both in this country and abroad refer health characteristics in the community to the environmental contamination. Demographic situation in Krivbas is marked by 22.4% reduction in birth-rate over the last 20 years, 49.2% increase in mortality rates. General mortality showed 2.4-fold increase over the last 5 years. The diseases of respiratory, circulatory and digestive organs are found to prevail as are complications of pregnancy and delivery; on the increase are malignant tumours. 1,600-1,700 diseases per 1,000 children are generally recorded. Planning of measures on protection and promotion of the environment (E) is to be carried out in consecutive order according to the E priority factors in their impact on health in the community. It is necessary that a concept of prenosological diagnosis be used in organization of diagnostic centres for detection of groups at risk for development of a pathology, which undertaking will contribute to early diagnosis as well as timely and well-targeted organization of preventive measures. There is a need for the environmental legislation and mechanisms of its implementation to be improved.
Bulky DNA adducts are considered a potential biomarker of cancer risk. In this study, the association between various lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors and the levels of bulky DNA adducts in peripheral leukocytes was examined in a study group nested within a population-based prospective Danish cohort. At enrollment, blood samples were collected and information on lifestyle, including dietary and smoking habits, obtained. Previously, bulky DNA adducts were measured in 245 individuals who developed lung cancer and 255 control members of the cohort. Of these 500 individuals, data on 375 individuals were included in this study, excluding 125 cases, which developed lung cancer within the first 3 yr after blood sampling. Bulky DNA adduct levels were measured by 32P-postlabeling technique and polymorphisms in carcinogen metabolism and DNA repair genes were determined. Potential predictors of bulky DNA adduct levels were analyzed by univariate and multivariate regression analyses. Women tended to have higher adduct levels than men. Living in central Copenhagen and surface darkness of fried meat and fish were associated with quantitative higher adduct levels. No significant associations were found between dietary factors or smoking and DNA adduct levels. Further, the results showed no prominent associations between any of 12 genetic polymorphisms and adduct levels. Overall, our study showed only few associations between dietary, environmental, and genetic factors and levels of bulky DNA adducts measured in peripheral leukocytes in a general Danish population.
An ecological significance framework is used to assess the ecological condition of Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska, USA, in order to address the current management question: 17 y following the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS), are there any remaining and continuing ecologically significant exposures or effects on the PWS ecosystem caused by EVOS? We examined the extensive scientific literature funded by the Exxon Valdez Trustees or by ExxonMobil to assess exposures and effects from EVOS. Criteria to assess ecological significance include whether a change in a valued ecosystem component (VEC) is sufficient to affect the structure, function, and/or health of the system and whether such a change exceeds natural variability. The EVOS occurred on 24 March 1989, releasing over 250,000 barrels of crude oil into PWS. Because PWS is highly dynamic, the residual oil was largely eliminated in the first few years, and now only widely dispersed, highly weathered, or isolated small pockets of residual contamination remain. Many other sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) exist in PWS from past or present human activities or natural oil seeps. Multiple-lines-of-evidence analyses indicate that residual PAHs from EVOS no longer represent an ecologically significant exposure risk to PWS. To assess the ecological significance of any residual effects from EVOS, we examined the literature on more than 20 VECs, including primary producers, filter feeders, fish and bird primary consumers, fish and bird top predators, a bird scavenger, mammalian primary consumers and top predators, biotic communities, ecosystem-level properties of trophodynamics and biogeochemical processes, and landscape-level properties of habitat mosaic and wilderness quality. None of these has any ecologically significant effects that are detectable at present, with the exception of 1 pod of orcas and possibly 1 subpopulation of sea otters; however, in both those cases, PWS-wide populations appear to have fully recovered. Many other stressors continue to affect PWS adversely, including climate and oceanographic variability, increased tourism and shipping, invasive species, the 1964 earthquake, and overexploitation of marine resources, with associated cascading effects on populations of PWS fish and predators. We conclude that the PWS ecosystem has now effectively recovered from EVOS.
AIMS: Health problems associated with indoor environments have been reported and discussed extensively during the past few decades, not least in Sweden. There is, however, great uncertainty concerning the background prevalence of the symptoms in question. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of general, mucosal, and skin symptoms in the Swedish population. METHODS: A survey comprising 3,000 randomly selected Swedes, age 18-64, was carried out. The survey addressed 25 symptoms, principally general, mucosal, and skin symptoms. A number of other areas were covered and individual data registered at Statistics Sweden were added. The response rate was 70% (2,154 cases). RESULTS: The prevalence of symptoms in the Swedish population was found to accord with results in studies based on different kinds of samples. Women reported significantly more single symptoms, as well as sets of symptoms, than men. There was no clear connection between age and symptoms. The prevalence of symptoms was slightly lower among employees compared with non-workers. Office workers did not report symptoms related to "sick building syndrome" (SBS) more frequently than employees not working in offices. SBS symptoms, skin symptoms, and symptoms similar to those reported by individuals with "electric hypersensitivity" were significantly more prevalent among employees with extensive VDU usage. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of reported health complaints accords with that which has been found in previous studies. The background prevalence reported here can serve as a reference for further studies. The high prevalence of symptoms among individuals with extensive VDU usage gives cause for further studies.