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.
There is little information on the lead levels of Indian children nationally. In the late 1990s, members of the Chippewa and Cree tribes living on the Rocky Boy Reservation near Box Elder, Montana, were concerned about environmental pollution and how it might be affecting the health of their children. With financial assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency, the tribes designed and implemented an innovative lead screening program for young children. Because most children on the reservation participated in WIC and Head Start, those programs were used to identify and screen close to 100% of young children on the reservation. The average blood lead level for children ages 1-5 on the Rocky Boy reservation was 2.4 micrograms/dL, which is not significantly different from that of children of the same age nationally. The project showed that Indian families will participate readily in screening programs that may improve their children's health.
Cites: N Engl J Med. 2003 Apr 17;348(16):1515-612700370
The Northern Finland Birth Cohort program (NFBC) is the epidemiological and longitudinal prospective general population research program, which was established to promote health and wellbeing of the population in northern Finland. The aim of present study, as a part of the NFBC program, was to analyze the blood levels of arsenic (B-As), cadmium (B-Cd), lead (B-Pb), total mercury (B-Hg) and selenium (B-Se); to compare these levels with threshold limits; to study sociodemographic factors; and to correlate these levels with calcium and haemoglobin. The study was comprised of 249 NFBC subjects, of which 123 were female and 126 were male (ages 31.1???0.3 and 31.1???0.4, respectively). All participants were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding diet and living habits. The geometric means (? SD) of B-As were 0.49???2.80??g/l and 0.44???2.72??g/l; B-Cd were 0.18???4.02??g/l and 0.12???3.21??g/l; B-Pb were 17.0???1.8??g/l and 9.06???2.20??g/l; B-Hg were 2.18???2.02??g/l and 1.85???1.78??g/l; and B-Se were 106.0???1.3 and 94.3???1.3??g/l in males and females, respectively. Among the subjects in the present analysis, 23?% of males and 17.1?% of females had B-As levels above the ATSDR normal human levels of B-As in unexposed individuals (1.0??g/l). The B-Pb geometric mean (12.44??g/l) was approximately one eighth the CDC toxicological cut-off point of 100??g/l. Twenty-one individuals (8.4?%) exceeded a B-Hg level of 5.8??g/l. Fifty-eight females (47?%) had a B-Hg higher than 2.0??g/l, the German Federal Environmental Agency cut-off point for women (18-69?years) who consume fish at least three times/month; therefore, their babies could be at risk of adverse effects during development.
This paper describes a UNEP/WHO project on the assessment of human exposure to lead and cadmium through analysis of blood and kidneys. The following countries have participated: Belgium, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, People's Republic of China, Peru, Sweden, United States, and Yugoslavia. No laboratory started the monitoring before achieving satisfactory results of quality control (QC) analysis (samples of cow blood spiked with lead and cadmium and freeze-dried horse kidney cortex for cadmium analysis) according to predetermined criteria based on a linear regression model. Two hundred teachers from one urban area in each country constituted the target group for lead and cadmium in blood and cases of "sudden, unexpected death" for cadmium in kidney cortex. QC samples were analyzed in parallel with the monitoring samples to assure validity of the obtained results. The quality assurance program also included preanalytical quality control. There was considerable variation in metal exposure between areas. Geometric means for lead in blood ranged from about 60 micrograms Pb/liter in Beijing and Tokyo to 225 in Mexico City. The values were below 100 micrograms Pb/liter also in Baltimore, Jerusalem, Lima, Stockholm, and Zagreb, and between 100 and 200 micrograms Pb/liter in Brussels and India. In general, males had higher blood levels than females and smokers higher than nonsmokers. With a few exceptions the values were lower than results reported in a recent study within the European Communities. Geometric means for cadmium in blood ranged from 0.5 microgram Cd/liter in Stockholm and Jerusalem to 1.2 in Brussels and Tokyo. Cadmium levels were considerably higher among smokers than among nonsmokers. Tokyo had the highest values for cadmium in kidney cortex with a geometric mean in the age group 40-60 years of 60-70 mg Cd/kg wet wt. Lowest values were found in Baltimore, Beijing, India, and Jerusalem, with means around 20-25 mg Cd/kg wet wt. There was a tendency toward higher values for smokers than for nonsmokers, but no differences related to sex. Data were not received from Mexico and Peru.
Epidemiologic studies suggest a temporal trend of earlier onset and longer duration of puberty, raising concerns regarding the potential impact of environmental factors on pubertal development. Lead exposure has been associated with delayed pubertal onset in girls; however, epidemiologic data in boys are limited.
We used multivariable logistic regression models to explore the cross-sectional association of blood lead levels with growth and pubertal onset based on physician-assessed testicular volume (TV) and pubertal staging in 489 boys 8-9 years of age from Chapaevsk, Russia. We used multivariable linear regression models to assess associations of blood lead levels with somatic growth at the study entry visit.
The median (25th-75th percentile) blood lead level was 3 microg/dL (2-5 microg/dL). Height, weight, body mass index, birth weight, and gestational age were predictive of the onset of puberty as assessed either by TV (> 3 mL), genitalia stage (G2), or both. Blood lead level was inversely associated with height (p or = 5 microg/dL had 43% reduced odds of having entered G2 compared with those with lower levels (odds ratio = 0.57; 95% confidence interval, 0.34-0.95, p = 0.03).
Relatively low environmental blood lead levels were associated with decreased growth and differences in pubertal onset in periadolescent Russian boys. Future analyses of this prospective cohort will address pubertal onset and progression in relation to lead and other environmental chemicals.
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The association of peripubertal serum concentrations of organochlorine chemicals and blood lead with growth and pubertal development in a longitudinal cohort of boys: a review of published results from the Russian Children's Study.
Organochlorine chemicals and lead are environmental exposures that have endocrine disrupting properties (EDCs) which interfere with many aspects of hormone action. Childhood and adolescence are windows of susceptibility for adverse health effects of EDCs. Our ongoing study, the Russian Children's Study (RCS), is one of the few longitudinal studies investigating the impact of EDCs on growth and puberty in boys. It is conducted in the historically contaminated city of Chapaevsk, in the Samara region. The study focuses on evaluating the associations of persistent organochlorine chemicals and lead with growth and pubertal timing. At enrollment in 2003-2005, we collected blood from 516 boys at ages 8-9 years to measure dioxins, furans, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlorinated pesticides and lead. At enrollment and at annual visits through the ages of 18-19 years, a physician performed physical examinations that included pubertal staging and testicular volume measurements. We review the history of Chapaevsk as a research site and summarize published RCS data on the association of peripubertal serum concentrations of organochlorines and blood lead levels with growth, pubertal onset and sexual maturity. Overall, we found that persistent organochlorines and lead negatively affected growth during puberty. Our results also suggest that total toxic equivalents (TEQs), dioxin-like compounds, organochlorine pesticides and lead may delay, while nondioxin-like-PCBs may advance, the timing of male puberty. These findings promoted remediation programs in Chapaevsk, with improvement in health indicators, resulting in Chapaevsk being designated a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) network "Healthy Cities" in 2015.
Occupational lead poisoning has been greatly reduced as a problem in Finland during the 1970s. Case-finding efforts and increased awareness of plant physicians first caused an increase of the incidence with a peak of 89 reported cases in 1974. A sharp decline followed, and, although about 30 mild cases are still reported annually, classical clinical poisoning hardly exists anymore. An extensive regular monitoring program covering 8,000--10,000 blood lead (PbB) analyses a year also shows that exposure levels have been reduced. In 1977 only 70 PbB values, or 1%, were in excess of 70 micrograms/100 ml, and 243 values (4%) exceeded 60 micrograms/100 ml. All such values came from workers employed by less than 30 workplaces, and several of them belonged to workers monitored more than once a year. It is proposed that the general development of occupational health in Finland is to a great extent reflected in this favorable development; however, since special research, educational and informative efforts have been devoted to the lead problem, it may well be that these measures have also influenced the outcome. The results show that, on a nationwide scale, the lead problem can be coped with much more effectively than one has been apt to think. Hence the nonfeasibility of lowering maximum permissible exposure levels has been put in serious doubt. There is no reason to allow unnecessarily high exposure in the vast majority of workplaces only because a small minority has technical difficulties.
Exposure data and bioindicators were obtained for a study whose objective was detection of early manifestations of manganese (Mn) neurotoxicity in a population with potential environmental exposure. The study included persons with no history of neurotoxic workplace exposure in Southwest Quebec, drawn from seven postal code regions, defining a set of geographically contiguous zones. Blood samples were analyzed for total Mn (MnB), lead (PbB), total mercury (HgT) and serum iron (FeS). Drinking water samples from participants' residences were analyzed for manganese (MnW). At 4 sites, limited 24-hour high volume air samples for total particulates (TP) and PM10, were analyzed for Mn and Pb. Sociodemographic and dietary information was obtained by self-administered questionnaire. The geometric mean (GM) for MnB values (n = 297) was 7.14 micrograms/L. Levels of MnB in women (n = 156; GM 7.50 micrograms/L) were significantly higher than in men (n = 141; GM 6.75 micrograms/L). No relationship was found between MnB and PbB or HgT. FeS was significantly higher in men (GM 18.38 mumol/L) than women (GM 15.0 mumol/L). For women, MnB was correlated to FeS, with a tendency to decrease with increasing age. For men, no relationship was found between MnB levels and either FeS or age, although FeS showed a strong inverse relationship with age. The 24-hour mean levels of MnTP at the 4 sites varied between 0.009 microgram/m3 and 0.035 microgram/m3; intersite differences were not significant. For Mn in PM10 (MnPM10), mean values ranged from 0.007 microgram/m3 to 0.019 microgram/m3; intersite differences were significant. A total of 278 MnW samples were obtained, 16 from residences served by wells. The GM for MnW was 4.11 micrograms/L (range: 0.50-71.1 micrograms/L, excluding wells; MnW for wells ranged from non-detectable to 158.9 micrograms/L. Individually, there was no relation between MnW and MnB. Geographic analysis of the MnB and MnW data by an algorithm grouping contiguous postal code zones, combined with air data, lead to definition of a geographic parameter, distinguishing two regions relative to a former manganese alloy plant, which contributed significantly to MnB. A multiple regression model was developed, explaining 6.7% of the variability in MnB (F = 5.12; p
Lead and cadmium in blood (B-Pb and B-Cd, respectively) and arsenic in urine (U-As) were analyzed three times during pregnancy for women living around a metal smelter and women living in a reference town. The B-Pb levels were significantly higher in the smelter town. In the women of both towns, the B-Pb levels increased during pregnancy. Women who were employed at the smelter had higher B-Pb levels than women in the surrounding area. There were no significant differences in the B-Cd levels between the smelter and reference towns, except for non- and ex-smokers at the onset of pregnancy. No difference between the two areas was seen among the smokers, whose cadmium levels were twice those of non- and ex-smokers. There were no significant differences in the U-As levels, which were comparable with previously reported values in Sweden.
Cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) are hypothesised to be risk factors for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), a group of haematological malignancies with a suspected environmental aetiology. Within the EnviroGenoMarkers study we utilised pre-diagnostic erythrocyte concentrations of Cd and Pb to determine whether exposure was associated with risk of B-cell NHL and multiple myeloma.
194 incident cases of B-cell NHL and 76 cases of multiple myeloma diagnosed between 1990 and 2006 were identified from two existing cohorts; EPIC-Italy and the Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study. Cases were matched to healthy controls by centre, age, gender and date of blood collection. Cd and Pb were measured in blood samples provided at recruitment using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Logistic regression was applied to assess the association with risk. Analyses were stratified by cohort and gender and by subtype where possible.
There was little evidence of an increased risk of B-cell NHL or multiple myeloma with exposure to Cd (B-cell NHL: OR 1.09 95%CI 0.61, 1.93, MM: OR 1.16 95% CI: 0.40, 3.40 ) or Pb (B-cell NHL: 0.93 95% CI 0.43, 2.02, multiple myeloma: OR 1.63 95%CI 0.45, 5.94) in the total population when comparing the highest to the lowest quartile of exposure. However, gender and cohort specific differences in results were observed. In females the risk of B-cell NHL was more than doubled in those with a body burden of Cd >1 ?g/L (OR 2.20 95%CI; 1.04, 4.65).
This nested case-control study does not support a consistent positive association between Cd or Pb and NHL, but there is some indication of a gender specific effect suggesting further research is warranted.
Cites: Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Aug;120(8):1067-7522552995
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