In the summers of 2001 and 2002, we quantitatively sampled human-biting flies in twelve sites located 1.6 to 63 km from a large copper-nickel smelter at Monchegorsk on the Kola Peninsula, Russia. We collected 429 specimens of three species of Ceratopogonidae, 92 specimens of seven species of Culicidae, 76 specimens of seven species of Tabanidae, and 4,788 specimens of 19 species of Simuliidae. Culicoides chiropterus was for the first time reported from the Kola Peninsula. Catches of Culicidae and Simuliidae decreased near the smelter, presumably due to the combined action of toxicity of pollutants, pollution-induced forest damage, and decline in vertebrate density. An abundance of Ceratopogonidae and Tabanidae, the size of the most common black fly species, Simulium pusillum, and the diversity of all families did not change along the pollution gradient.
In recent years, there has been escalating concern over the possible association between exposure to pesticides and adverse human health effects by a number of non-governmental organizations, professional and public interest groups. Recognizing the need to document the scientific basis of these concerns as a foundation for initiating a research theme devoted to linkages between exposures to pesticides and human health effects, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) requested a summary of recent research trends that address these linkages. Experts across Canada in the field of pesticide regulation and research were invited to participate in the review. The review summarizes the limitations of past and current studies related to pesticides and human health effects research and makes suggestions for future research priorities and proposed study designs that will improve the assessment of pesticide exposure, the associated health risks, and improved methodology for regulatory decision making.
Women often develop malignant mesothelioma (MM) without occupational asbestos exposure. Northern Jutland has a high prevalence of MM due to previously high occupational exposures to asbestos. The aim of this study was to elucidate a possible domestic exposure to asbestos through first-degree relatives in women who develop MM.
This was a retrospective study in women with MM of the pleura. A total of 30 women were diagnosed with and treated for MM in Northern Jutland from 1996 to 2012. In all, 24 women were included. Demographic data, subtype of MM, time from first hospital contact to diagnosis, survival and information on occupational and domestic exposure to asbestos were obtained from hospital records.
A total of 12.5% of the study population were primarily exposed to asbestos. 46% had domestic exposure to asbestos through their husbands or sons. The median age of the study population was 66.5 years. In all, 75% suffered from the epitheloid subtype, 12.5% from the biphasic and 8.4% from the sarcomatoid subtype. Time from first hospital contact to diagnosis was one month and the median survival time was 12 months. The 1- and 5- year-survival were 58% and 0%, respectively.
Nearly 50% of the women affected by MM have been domestically exposed to asbestos through first-degree relatives.
An analysis was carried out of multiaberrant ("rogue") cells in lymphocytes of persons living in unpolluted areas (controls), and in areas chemically or radioactively (Chernobyl fall-out) polluted. The total number of analysed cells was 102,391, among these 10 cells with three and more aberrations were found. These multiaberrant cells occur in persons of both sexes and various ages living in regions with a moderate degree of mutagenic exposure. The main types of aberrations in multiaberrant cells were chromosome exchanges, accompanied by double fragments.
Xenoestrogens can interfere with normal estrogen signaling by competitively binding to the estrogen receptor (ER) and activating transcription of target genes. In this study, we cloned the estrogen receptor alpha (vbERalpha) and beta 2 (vbERbeta2) genes from liver of the indigenous Taiwanese cyprinid fish Varicorhinus barbatulus and tested the direct impact of several xenoestrogens on these ERs. Transcriptional activity of xenoestrogens was measured by the enzymatic activity of estrogen responsive element (ERE)-containing beta-galactosidase in a yeast reporter system. The xenoestrogens tested were phenol derivatives, DDT-related substances, phthalic acid esters, and polychlorinated biphenyls, with 17beta-estradiol (E2) as a subjective standard. The phenol derivatives [4-nonylphenol (4-NP), 4-t-octylphenol (4-t-OP) and bisphenol A (BPA)] exhibited significant dose-dependent responses in both ligand potency and ligand efficiency. Consistent with yeast assays using human or rainbow trout ERs, we observed a general subtype preference in that vbERalpha displayed higher relative potencies and efficiencies than vbERbeta2, although our assays induced a stronger response for xenoestrogens than did human or trout ERs. Whereas 4-NP and 4-t-OP have similar EC50 values relative to E2 for both ER subtypes, the strong estrogenic response of BPA markedly differentiates vbERalpha from vbERbeta2, suggesting possible species-specific BPA sensitivity. We report that the ameliorative yeast tool is readily applicable for indigenous wildlife studies of the bio-toxic influence of xenoestrogens with wildlife-specific estrogen receptors.
Evaluating the human effects of combinations of neurotoxicants is extremely difficult. Parallel studies correlating exposure parameters and "surrogate" indicators of neural cell function may represent a promising strategy. Molecular markers such as cholinergic muscarinic receptors (MRs) and monoamine oxidase activity (MAO-B) are expressed not only in brain but also in peripheral blood cells. Measurements of MRs and MAO-B in these easily accessible matrices can provide valuable information on early sub-clinical effects of drugs and chemicals in the CNS. In this paper, examples of application of lymphocyte-MRs and platelet-MAO-B as surrogate markers of CNS function in humans are described. They include (i) neuroepidemiological studies examining 7-year-old members of a birth-cohort at the Faroe-Islands prenatally exposed to elevated concentrations of methylmercury (MeHg) and polychlorinated biphenyls; (ii) clinical investigations in a series of unmedicated children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The neurochemical markers were examined in association with exposure indicators and neuropsychological tests (Faroe Islands Study) or with specific disease symptoms (ADHD children). Studies of this type have produced valuable information on subclinical responses to low/moderate perinatal exposures to MeHg and/or PCBs, and in addition further supported the applicability of these biomarkers in children with subtle neuropsychiatric disorders. Additional studies investigated the ability of MeHg and/or PCBs to modify the expression of genes codifying for the MR subtypes in rat offspring cerebellum at distinct developmental stages. The results demonstrated persistent gender- and age-related differences in MR density and their associated gene expression pathways. Studies on pathways and metabolic networks involved in developmental toxicity may contribute to elucidate the mode of action of environmental pollutant mixtures and also considerably impact on the risk assessment process.
Department of Dermato-Allergology, The Danish Research Centre for Chemical Sensitivities, Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte, Ledreborg Alle 40, 2, 2820, Gentofte, Denmark. email@example.com
Idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI) is a disorder characterized by non-specific symptoms attributed to common airborne chemicals. Increasing evidence points to an association between IEI and symptoms of psychological distress. However, whether other risk factors influence this association has not been clarified. The objective of this study was to examine the association between psychological distress and IEI and to determine whether the association is confounded by social support and major life events.
Data were collected by postal questionnaires; other results from the study have been published previously in this journal. The study included participants from a general population-based study who had reported symptoms of chemical sensitivities (n = 787) and two patient groups. The first patient group (n = 101) included individuals who had contacted the Danish Research Centre for Chemical Sensitivities, and the second included individuals who had been diagnosed with environmental intolerance (n = 136). Multiple, hierarchical linear regression analyses were conducted with four IEI-related domains, i.e., mucosal and CNS symptoms, chemical intolerances and social consequences, as the dependent variables, and psychological distress, social support and major life events as the independent variables.
Our study confirmed positive and statistically significant associations between psychological distress and IEI. The associations remained statistically significant after adjusting for major life events and social support.
The results suggest that the association between IEI and psychological distress cannot be explained by known risk factors. More studies, including longitudinal studies, are needed to determine the role of psychological distress in the development and course of IEI.
Cites: Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2005;208(3):141-5115971853