Pre- and postnatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can impair behavioural function in animal models at doses within the range at which humans are commonly exposed. Yet, epidemiologic studies conducted in the US and Europe are inconsistent with regard to the developmental effects of lactational exposure to these chemicals. This inconsistency may be due to limitations in the current methodological approaches for assessing postnatal exposure to PCBs. Our study used a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model to simulate blood PCB levels during specific pre- and postnatal periods and to evaluate the relation of those levels to infant behaviour. A previously validated PBPK model was used to simulate infant blood PCB-153 levels at delivery and on a month-by-month basis during the first year of life for Inuit infants enrolled in a longitudinal birth cohort. Infant behaviour was assessed using the Behaviour Rating Scales (BRS) of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID-II) at 11 months of age and video coding of inattention and activity measured during the administration of the mental development subscale of the BSID-II. The estimated pre- and postnatal PCB exposure measures predicted significant increases in inattention and activity at 11 months. Whereas inattention was related to prenatal exposure, activity level, measured by non-elicited activity, was best predicted by postnatal exposure, with the strongest association obtained for simulated PCB levels during the 4th month of life. These findings are consistent with previous reports indicating PCB-induced behavioural alteration in attention and activity level. Simulated infant toxicokinetic profiles for the first year of life revealed windows of susceptibility during which PCBs may impair infant attention and activity.
In this study, we identified the main hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyls (OH-PCBs) and other chlorinated phenolic compounds and we determined their relative concentrations in whole blood from 13 male and 17 female Inuit from northern Quebec, Canada, and from a pooled whole blood sample from southern Quebec. We also determined concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Total OH-PCB concentrations were variable among the Inuit samples, ranging over 2 orders of magnitude (0.117-11.6 ng/g whole blood wet weight). These concentrations were equal to and up to 70 times those found for the southern Quebec pooled whole blood sample. Geometric mean concentrations of total OH-PCBs were 1.73 and 1.01 ng/g whole blood for Inuit men and women, respectively, and 0.161 ng/g whole blood for the southern population pool. There are limited data available for comparison, but the levels of OH-PCBs in Inuit are higher than those previously reported in the literature for other populations. There was a significant correlation (p
The iron status and diet of Inuit infants living in northern Quebec who were part of a prospective cohort study was described. The prevalence of anemia (hemoglobin values > 2 SD below the reference mean) was 21.1% (23/109), 47.4% (55/116) and 37.7% (46/122) at 2, 6 and 12 months, respectively. The corresponding prevalence of microcytic anemia was 0.0%, 4.3% and 21.3%. At 2, 6 and 12 months, iron-deficiency anemia (serum ferritin
We examined the prevalence of elevated plasma high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) concentrations and associations with red blood cell (RBC) long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3PUFA) in the James Bay Cree population from the province of Quebec (Canada).
A total of 744 Cree adults (18-91 years) from seven communities of Eastern James Bay were included in these cross-sectional analyses. Associations between RBC LCn-3PUFA and proinflammatory markers (hs-CRP, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a)) were assessed by using multivariate general linear models with adjustment for sex, age and waist circumference. An arbitrary inflammation score was defined based on the sum of the quartiles of hs-CRP, IL-6 and TNF-a concentrations (range=3-12).
Elevated hs-CRP concentrations (>3?mg/l) were present in 46.9% (95% confidence interval (CI) 43.3-50.5) of the James Bay Cree population. RBC docosapentaenoic acid (DPAn-3; C22:5n-3) was inversely associated with hs-CRP, TNF-a and the inflammation score (all P trend0.18). Among participants with RBC DPAn-3 levels above the median of the population, odds ratio of having an elevated inflammation score (=9) was 0.67 (95% CI, 0.48-0.93) compared with participants below the median.
RESULTS indicate that low-grade systemic inflammation is highly prevalent and that higher RBC DPAn-3 levels are associated with a lower risk of systemic inflammation in the James Bay Cree population.
We evaluated alveolar carbon monoxide (CO) levels of 122 male, adult hockey players active in recreational leagues of the Quebec City region (Canada), before and after 10 weekly 90-minute games in 10 different rinks. We also determined exposure by quantifying the average CO level in the rink during the games. Other variables documented included age, pulmonary function, aerobic capacity, and smoking status. Environmental concentrations varied from 1.6 to 131.5 parts per million (ppm). We examined the absorption/exposure relationship using a simple linear regression model. In low CO exposure levels, physical exercise lowered the alveolar CO concentration. However, we noted that for each 10 ppm of CO in the ambient air, the players had adsorbed enough CO to raise their carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels by 1 percent. This relationship was true both for smokers and non-smokers. We suggest that an average environmental concentration of 20 ppm of CO for the duration of a hockey game (90 minutes) should be reference limit not to be exceeded in indoor skating rinks.
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The microbiological quality of tap water and that of water from 50 water coolers located in residences and workplaces were comparatively studied. In addition, difference factors that might influence the bacteriological contamination of water dispensers were examined. Aeorbic and facultative anaerobic heterotrophic bacteria, total coliforms, and two indicators for fecal contamination (fecal coliforms and fecal streptococci) as well as three types of pathogenic bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Aeromonas spp.) were enumerated. It was found that 36 and 28% of the water dispenser samples from the residences and the workplaces, respectively, were contaminated by a least one coliform or indicator bacterium and/or at least one pathogenic bacterium. The respective proportions of tap water samples contaminated in a similar fashion were 18 and 22%, much less than those observed for water coolers (Chi2(1) = 3.71, P = 0.05). We were unable to discern the dominant factors responsible for the contamination of water coolers, but cleaning the water dispenser every 2 months seemed to limit the extent of contamination.
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Organochlorine compounds bioaccumulate in fishing and hunting products included in the daily diet of many coastal populations. Prenatal and perinatal exposure to large doses of PCBs and PCDFs was shown to be deleterious on fetal and neonatal development, but information is scarce regarding possible effects of chronic low-dose exposure. This study investigates biomarkers of early effects in newborns from women exposed to organochlorines through the consumption of species from marine food chains, in two remote coastal regions of the province of Quebec (Canada). A CYP1A1-dependent enzyme activity (EROD) and DNA adducts were measured in placenta samples obtained from 30 women living on the Lower-North-Shore of the St. Lawrence River and 22 Inuit women from Nunavik (Arctic Quebec). These biomarkers were also assessed in 30 women from a Quebec urban center (Sept-Iles) as a reference group. Prenatal organochlorine exposure was determined by measuring these compounds in umbilical cord plasma. The amount of bulky polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-related DNA adducts was significantly greater in the Lower-North-Shore group than in the reference group. Placental EROD activity and the amount of less bulky (OC-related) DNA adducts were significantly higher in the Nunavik group than in the reference group. For both biomarkers, smoking was found to be an important confounding factor. Organochlorine exposure was significantly associated with EROD activity and DNA adduct levels when stratifying for smoking. This study confirms that CYP1A1 enzyme induction and DNA adducts in placental tissue constitute useful biomarkers of early effects induced by environmental exposure to organochlorines.
Western dietary pattern, and particularly high dietary sodium intake (DSI), is recognized for its detrimental impact on blood pressure (BP). This paper examined the association of DSI with BP in Nunavik Inuit (Québec), a population known to have an optimal BP on average. In a population-based study, we recruited 421 normotensive participants aged 18-74 years from 14 coastal villages, situated north of the 55th parallel. BP, biochemistry and anthropometry were obtained. DSI was assessed by a 24-h dietary recall. Mean (s.e.) DSI was higher in men than in women (2358 (101) vs. 1702 (100) mg/d, P
In this study, investigators assessed exposure to dioxin-like compounds in a fishing population that inhabits small coastal communities along the Lower North Shore of the St. Lawrence River, Quebec. This population relies heavily on wildlife foods for sustenance. Investigators analyzed chemically the most popular marine foods (i.e., fish, crustaceans, sea mammals, and sea-bird eggs), and they also obtained 25 human plasma samples from individuals in two villages along the river. The mean level of total polychlorinated biphenyls in this population was approximately twice that found in the entire fishing cohort. Plasma levels of dioxin-like compounds, expressed as tetrachlorodibenzodioxin toxic equivalents, were approximately eight times higher than levels in urban residents. Most of the increase in tetrachlorodibenzodioxin toxic equivalents in the selected fish eaters resulted primarily from an elevation in polychlorinated biphenyls. Concentrations of dioxin-like compounds from the Lower North Shore were low in fish and seals, but concentrations were elevated in the eggs of sea birds. Given that there was also a significant statistical correlation in the entire population between human plasma levels and consumption of birds' eggs-and not other traditional foods-much of the increased human dose appeared to originate from this one food source. Because there appear to be increased, but uncertain, health risks from this elevated body burden, investigators advised the residents of the area to avoid consumption of wild birds' eggs (i.e., a food source of minor nutritional importance).
The third Canadian Arctic Human Health Assessment conducted under the Canadian Northern Contaminants Program (NCP), in association with the circumpolar Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), addresses concerns about possible adverse health effects in individuals exposed to environmental contaminants through a diet containing country foods. The objectives here are to: 1) provide data on changes in human contaminant concentrations and exposure among Canadian Arctic peoples; 2) identify new contaminants of concern; 3) discuss possible health effects; 4) outline risk communication about contaminants in country food; and 5) identify knowledge gaps for future contaminant research and monitoring. The nutritional and cultural benefits of country foods are substantial; however, some dietary studies suggest declines in the amount of country foods being consumed. Significant declines were found for most contaminants in maternal blood over the last 10years within all three Arctic regions studied. Inuit continue to have the highest levels of almost all persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals among the ethnic groups studied. A greater proportion of people in the East exceed Health Canada's guidelines for PCBs and mercury, although the proportion of mothers exceeding these guidelines has decreased since the previous assessment. Further monitoring and research are required to assess trends and health effects of emerging contaminants. Infant development studies have shown possible subtle effects of prenatal exposure to heavy metals and some POPs on immune system function and neurodevelopment. New data suggest important beneficial effects on brain development for Inuit infants from some country food nutrients. The most successful risk communication processes balance the risks and benefits of a diet of country food through input from a variety of regional experts and the community, to incorporate the many socio-cultural and economic factors to arrive at a risk management decision that will be the most beneficial in Arctic communities.