Oil tanks containing a mixture of hydrocarbons, including sulphuric compounds, exploded and caught fire in an industrial harbour. This study assesses airway symptoms and lung function in the nearby population 1½ years after the explosion.
A cross-sectional study included individuals =18 years old. Individuals living 20 km away formed a control group. A questionnaire and spirometry tests were completed by 223 exposed individuals (response rate men 70%, women 75%) and 179 control individuals (response rate men 51%, women 65%). Regression analyses included adjustment for smoking, occupational exposure, atopy, infection in the preceding month and age. Analyses of symptoms were also adjusted for stress reactions related to the accident.
Exposed individuals experienced significantly more blocked nose (odds ratio 1.7 [95% confidence interval 1.0, 2.8]), rhinorrhoea (1.6 [1.1, 3.3]), nose irritation (3.4 [2.0, 5.9]), sore throat (3.1 [1.8, 5.5]), morning cough (3.5 [2.0, 5.5]), daily cough (2.2 [1.4, 3.7]), cough >3 months a year (2.9 [1.5, 5.3]) and cough with phlegm (1.9 [1.2, 3.1]) than control individuals. A significantly increasing trend was found for nose symptoms and cough, depending on the proximity of home address to explosion site (daily cough, 3-6km 1.8 [1.0, 3.1],
The objective of the present study was to elucidate dynamics of primary allergic rhinitis (AR) morbidity in the children population of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutiya) from the statistical materials of the Yakutian Republican Information and Analytical Centre available for the period from 2008 to 2014 in the combination with the results of allergological testing based at the National Centre of Medicine, Yakutsk, that involved 100 schoolchildren presenting with allergic rhinitis who resided in the northern regions of the Republic. The results of the study give evidence of the increasing primary allergic rhinitis morbidity rate among the population of the children and adolescents during the recent years. It is concluded that the regional programs for the prevention and early diagnostics of primary allergic rhinitis need to be elaborated and introduced in the practical work of healthcare facilities over the territory of the Republic.
Prenatal exposure to phthalates may pose a threat to human male reproduction. However, additional knowledge about the in vivo effect in humans is needed, and reported associations with genital abnormalities are inconclusive. We aimed to study prenatal di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and diisononyl phthalate (DiNP) exposure in relation to cryptorchidism, hypospadias, and human fetal Leydig cell function.
We studied 270 cryptorchidism cases, 75 hypospadias cases, and 300 controls. Second-trimester amniotic fluid samples were available from a Danish pregnancy-screening biobank (n = 25,105) covering 1980-1996. We assayed metabolites of DEHP and DiNP (n = 645) and steroid hormones (n = 545) by mass spectrometry. We assayed insulin-like factor 3 by immunoassay (n = 475) and analyzed data using linear or logistic regression.
Mono(2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl) phthalate (5cx-MEPP, DEHP metabolite) was not consistently associated with cryptorchidism or hypospadias. However, we observed an 18% higher (95% confidence interval [CI] = 5%-33%) testosterone level, and a 41% lower (-56% to -21%) insulin-like factor 3 level in the highest 5cx-MEPP tertile compared with the lowest. Mono(4-methyl-7-carboxyheptyl) phthalate (7cx-MMeHP, DiNP metabolite) showed elevated odds ratio point estimates for having cryptorchidism (odds ratio = 1.28 [95% CI = 0.80 to 2.01]) and hypospadias (1.69 [0.78 to 3.67]), but was not consistently associated with the steroid hormones or insulin-like factor 3.
Data on the DEHP metabolite indicate possible interference with human male fetal gonadal function. Considering the DiNP metabolite, we cannot exclude (nor statistically confirm) an association with hypospadias and, less strongly, with cryptorchidism.
The worldwide average exposure to cosmic rays contributes to about 16% of the annual effective dose from natural radiation sources. At ground level, doses from cosmic ray exposure depend strongly on altitude, and weakly on geographical location and solar activity. With the analytical model PARMA developed by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, annual effective doses due to cosmic ray exposure at ground level were calculated for more than 1,500 communities across Canada which cover more than 85% of the Canadian population. The annual effective doses from cosmic ray exposure in the year 2000 during solar maximum ranged from 0.27 to 0.72 mSv with the population-weighted national average of 0.30 mSv. For the year 2006 during solar minimum, the doses varied between 0.30 and 0.84 mSv, and the population-weighted national average was 0.33 mSv. Averaged over solar activity, the Canadian population-weighted average annual effective dose due to cosmic ray exposure at ground level is estimated to be 0.31 mSv.
Overland transport of ore concentrate from the Red Dog lead/zinc mine in northwest Alaska to its seaport has historically raised concerns among local subsistence users regarding the potential impacts of fugitive dust from the operation, including the potential uptake of metals into caribou meat. Caribou are an integral part of life for northern Alaska Natives for both subsistence and cultural reasons. The Western Arctic caribou herd, whose range includes the Red Dog mine, transportation corridor, and port site, sometimes overwinter in the vicinity of mine operations. A weight of evidence approach using multiple lines of evidence was used to evaluate potential risks associated with subsistence consumption of caribou harvested near the road and mine. Data from a long-term caribou monitoring program indicate a lack of consistent trends for either increasing or decreasing metals concentrations in caribou muscle, liver, and kidney tissue. Lead, cadmium, and zinc from all tissues were within the range of reference concentrations reported for caribou elsewhere in Northern Alaska. In addition, a site use study based on data from satellite-collared caribou from the Western Arctic Herd showed that caribou utilize the area near the road, port, and mine approximately 1/20th to 1/90th of the time assumed in a human health risk assessment conducted for the site, implying that risks were significantly overestimated in the risk assessment. The results from multiple lines of evidence consistently indicate that fugitive dust emissions from Red Dog Operations are not a significant source of metals in caribou, and that caribou remain safe for human consumption.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies specific polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as probable carcinogens. This study compares two PAH biomarkers and their relationship with geographic information system (GIS) based traffic density (a proxy of PAH exposure), and explores the determinants of the PAH biomarkers.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Montreal with 200 volunteers (107 females and 93 males) ages 20 to 53 years. Data were collected by questionnaire, urine samples were used for biomarker analysis, and innovative GIS-based time- and distance-weighted traffic densities (TDWTD) were calculated for all locations of participants during the 48 h prior to urine collection.
Detection rates of the two biomarkers were greater than 95%. Female participants had higher 1-OHP and 1-OHPG levels than males, and no relationship was detected between TDWTD in 48 h and the two PAH biomarkers. Biomarker levels were related to smoking more than one pack of cigarettes in the previous 48 h, and among non-smokers, barbecued meat consumption increased the level of urinary 1-OHP (exp ß: 1.45, 95% CI: 1.07 to 1.98).
Both 1-OHP and 1-OHPG can be used to assess the relatively low PAH levels to which the general population is exposed. With the exception of smoking, the impact of PAH exposure factors on the biomarkers is relatively small in this study population.
National register systems include detailed individual-level information. In the Nordic countries, these data sources include personal identification number, which can be used for linkages between registers. A case study on the effects of possible hazardous waste on the former and current residents of Myllypuro in Helsinki, Finland, is presented to assess if the utilisation of pre-collected official health register information is feasible in environmental health research. National register information was used as the primary data source, since large-scale health examination studies are seldom feasible and the use of surveys may result in biased information. The exposure data were based on residence information from the Central Population Register and the outcome data came from three national population and health registers. No evidence of health problems was found. The use of administrative register data was feasible, since the main prerequisites of epidemiological studies - the enumeration of exposed population without selection bias, the tracking of exposed population without loss to follow-up and the formation of different exposure measures - were reached. The small size of study sample and the rarity of several outcome measures impeded the analysis and the evaluation of clinical and public health aspects of the main findings.
Nizhnekamsk is marked not only high by levels of ambient air pollution, but also by the deteriorated qualitative composition of portable water. The present paper gives the results of assessment of the mutagenic activity of tap water. A test system of biological evaluation of portable water is proposed.
Iodine is essential for human health. Many countries have therefore introduced universal salt iodising (USI) programmes to ensure adequate intake for the populations. However, little attention has been paid to subnational differences in iodine intake from drinking water caused by naturally occurring spatial variations. To address this issue, we here present the results of a Danish nationwide study of spatial trends of iodine in drinking water and the relevance of these trends for human dietary iodine intake. The data consist of treated drinking water samples from 144 waterworks, representing approx. 45% of the groundwater abstraction for drinking water supply in Denmark. The samples were analysed for iodide, iodate, total iodine (TI) and other major and trace elements. The spatial patterns were investigated with Local Moran's I. TI ranges from 40 µg L(-1) originates from postglacial marine and glacial meltwater sand and from Campanian-Maastrichtian chalk aquifers. The estimated drinking water contribution to human intake varies from 0% to >100% of the WHO recommended daily iodine intake for adults and from 0% to approx. 50% for adolescents. The paper presents a new conceptual model based on the observed clustering of high or low drinking-water iodine concentrations, delimiting zones with potentially deficient, excessive or optimal iodine status. Our findings suggest that the present coarse-scale nationwide programme for monitoring the population's iodine status may not offer a sufficiently accurate picture. Local variations in drinking-water iodine should be mapped and incorporated into future adjustment of the monitoring and/or the USI programmes.
In animal experiments, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have induced visceral obesity. To address this possibility in humans, we evaluated associations between POPs and abdominal obesity both cross-sectionally and prospectively.
Twenty-one plasma POPs (16 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, 3 organochlorine (OC) pesticides, 1 brominated diphenyl ether (BDE), and 1 dioxin) were measured at baseline in 970 participants aged 70 years of the Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS), with prospective analyses in 511 participants re-examined after 5 years. Abdominal obesity was defined by an increased waist circumference.
In the cross-sectional analyses, concentrations of the less chlorinated PCBs, OC pesticides such as p,p'-DDE and dioxin had adjusted odds ratios of 2 to 3 for abdominal obesity. Many relations had inverted U-shapes rather than being linear, particularly in women. In contrast, concentrations of highly chlorinated PCBs were strongly inversely associated with abdominal obesity. In a single model including summary measures of the less chlorinated PCBs, highly chlorinated PCBs, and OC pesticides, both the positive associations and inverse associations strengthened. Similar but somewhat weaker associations were seen between POPs and risk of development of abdominal obesity in the prospective analyses.
Using both a cross-sectional and a prospective design, low-dose exposure to less chlorinated PCBs, p,p'-DDE, and dioxin, were associated with existence or development of abdominal obesity, while highly chlorinated PCBs had an opposite association in an elderly population, despite the previous observation of higher incident diabetes associated with these same PCBs.