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Current Environmental Health Reports

Carmen de Keijzer, Mireia Gascon, Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen, Payam Dadvand
An accumulating body of evidence is suggestive for health-promoting effects of exposure to natural environments including green spaces. We aimed to systematically review the available observational evidence on the association between long-term exposure to green space and cognition over the life course. PubMed and Scopus were searched using a combination of green space and cognition keywords. Original research articles of observational studies on the association between green space exposure and cognition were collected...
October 11, 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Aditi Roy, Katarzyna Kordas
Experimental studies in animals and observational studies in occupationally exposed adults indicate that higher lead exposure results in higher biomarkers of oxidative stress. However, this evidence cannot be extended to the general population who typically experience lower levels of lead exposure. This systematic review evaluates the epidemiological evidence on the association between lead and oxidative stress in non-occupationally exposed general population, with a particular focus on the pediatric population...
October 10, 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Maureen Lichtveld, Samendra Sherchan, Kaitlyn B Gam, Richard K Kwok, Christopher Mundorf, Arti Shankar, Lissa Soares
This review examines current research ascertaining the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on human health and ecosystems. Driven by the need to strategically focus research funding, the authors also assess the implications of those findings and promote a transdisciplinary research agenda addressing critical gaps.Epidemiologic studies conducted in workers and vulnerable communities in the spill's aftermath showed that non-chemical stressors affect resilience. Ecosystem-wise salt marsh species showed variability in structural and functional changes, attributed to species-specific tolerance, oil exposure, and belowground plant organs damage...
October 8, 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Kaitlin Vollet, Erin N Haynes, Kim N Dietrich
Manganese (Mn) is both an essential micronutrient and potential neurotoxicant. This dual role underlies a growing body of literature demonstrating that Mn exhibits a biphasic dose-response relationship with neurocognitive outcomes. We reviewed recent epidemiologic studies from 2007 to 2016 that investigated the relationship between Mn exposure and cognitive outcomes across the lifespan: early life, school-aged children, and adulthood. In total, 27 research articles were included in this review: 12 pediatric and 15 adult studies (10 occupational and five environmental exposures)...
October 8, 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Sarah Jane O White, James P Shine
The rapid growth of new electronics and energy technologies requires the use of rare elements of the periodic table. For many of these elements, little is known about their environmental behavior or human health impacts. This is true for indium and gallium, two technology critical elements. Increased environmental concentrations of both indium and gallium create the potential for increased environmental exposure, though little is known about the extent of this exposure. Evidence is mounting that indium and gallium can have substantial toxicity, including in occupational settings where indium lung disease has been recognized as a potentially fatal disease caused by the inhalation of indium particles...
October 1, 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Caterina Vacchi-Suzzi, Danielle Kruse, James Harrington, Keith Levine, Jaymie R Meliker
Cadmium is a naturally-occurring element, and humans are exposed from cigarettes, food, and industrial sources. Following exposure, cadmium accumulates in the kidney and is slowly released into the urine, usually proportionally to the levels found in the kidneys. Cadmium levels in a single spot urine sample have been considered indicative of long-term exposure to cadmium; however, such a potentially exceptional biomarker requires careful scrutiny. In this review, we report good to excellent temporal stability of urinary cadmium (intraclass correlation coefficient 0...
October 1, 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Manuela Valenzuela, Margarita Giraldo, Sonia Gallo-Murcia, Juliana Pineda, Laura Santos, Juan Pablo Ramos-Bonilla
To justify the continuous use of two million tons of asbestos every year, it has been argued that a safe/controlled use can be achieved. The aim of this review was to identify recent scientific studies that present empirical evidence of: 1) health consequences resulting from past asbestos exposures and 2) current asbestos exposures resulting from asbestos use. Articles with evidence that could support or reject the safe/controlled use argument were also identified. A total of 155 articles were included in the review, and 87 % showed adverse asbestos health consequences or high asbestos exposures...
September 30, 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Kevin Drace, Adam M Kiefer, Marcello M Veiga
There is a variety of health and environmental issues associated with artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), which includes concerns regarding mercury pollution. In many countries, intervention programs and policies emphasized the importance of reducing mercury use by focusing on viable alternative methods to amalgamation that may include a transition to cyanidation. ASGM communities that now employ a combination of both methods may be increasing health and environmental risks by using mercury-contaminated tailings in the cyanidation process...
September 30, 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Alaeddin B Abukabda, Phoebe A Stapleton, Timothy R Nurkiewicz
Engineered nanomaterials (ENM) are anthropogenic materials with at least one dimension less than 100 nm. Their ubiquitous employment in biomedical and industrial applications in the absence of full toxicological assessments raises significant concerns over their safety on human health. This is a significant concern, especially for metal and metal oxide ENM as they may possess the greatest potential to impair human health. A large body of literature has developed that reflects adverse systemic effects associated with exposure to these materials, but an integrated mechanistic framework for how ENM exposure influences morbidity remains elusive...
September 29, 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Alicia M Bolt, Koren K Mann
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Tungsten is an emerging environmental toxicant, yet our understanding of the potential risks of exposure on human health is still limited. RECENT FINDINGS: In this review, we will discuss populations most at risk of exposure to high concentrations of tungsten. In addition, we will highlight what is known about the toxicity profile of tungsten compounds, based on epidemiological, in vitro, and in vivo studies, focusing on bone, immune, pulmonary, and cancer outcomes...
September 27, 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Colin D Butler
Since the use of atomic weapons in 1945 visionaries have warned that without major changes the survival of global civilization is in question. These concerns deepened in following decades, during the Cold War, with The Limits to Growth, the best-selling environmental book of the 1970s. Yet, since then, most concern has faded, fuelled by technological developments and a shift in dominant global ideology. Public health, with a few exceptions (one of which is the book Planetary Overload), has been slow to recognize this debate, even as evidence emerges that civilization may indeed be at risk, driven by an increasingly ominous complex of events...
September 24, 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Liana Winett, Lawrence Wallack, Dawn Richardson, Janne Boone-Heinonen, Lynne Messer
Findings from the field of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) suggest that some of the most pressing public health problems facing communities today may begin much earlier than previously understood. In particular, this body of work provides evidence that social, physical, chemical, environmental, and behavioral influences in early life play a significant role in establishing vulnerabilities for chronic disease later in life. Further, because this work points to the importance of adverse environmental exposures that cluster in population groups, it suggests that existing opportunities to intervene at a population level may need to refocus their efforts "upstream" to sufficiently combat the fundamental causes of disease...
September 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Christopher A Lowry, David G Smith, Philip H Siebler, Dominic Schmidt, Christopher E Stamper, James E Hassell, Paula S Yamashita, James H Fox, Stefan O Reber, Lisa A Brenner, Andrew J Hoisington, Teodor T Postolache, Kerry A Kinney, Dante Marciani, Mark Hernandez, Sian M J Hemmings, Stefanie Malan-Muller, Kenneth P Wright, Rob Knight, Charles L Raison, Graham A W Rook
The hygiene or "Old Friends" hypothesis proposes that the epidemic of inflammatory disease in modern urban societies stems at least in part from reduced exposure to microbes that normally prime mammalian immunoregulatory circuits and suppress inappropriate inflammation. Such diseases include but are not limited to allergies and asthma; we and others have proposed that the markedly reduced exposure to these Old Friends in modern urban societies may also increase vulnerability to neurodevelopmental disorders and stress-related psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and affective disorders, where data are emerging in support of inflammation as a risk factor...
September 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Katherine Alaimo, Alyssa W Beavers, Caroline Crawford, Elizabeth Hodges Snyder, Jill S Litt
The article presents a framework for understanding the relationship between community garden participation, and the myriad ways gardens and participation lead to emotional, social, and health impacts. Existing empirical research relating community gardens to health behaviors, such as physical activity and diet, and longer-term chronic disease-related outcomes is summarized. The research areas discussed include the effects of community garden participation on individual, social, emotional, and environmental processes; health behaviors including diet and physical activity; and health outcomes such as self-rated health, obesity, and mental health...
September 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Molly S Estill, Stephen A Krawetz
Human populations are exposed to a wide spectrum of environmental contaminants, some of which are considered reproductive toxins. The influence of such toxins on the male reproductive system has been investigated extensively in animal models, while epidemiological studies seek to understand the effect of human exposures. The basic tenant of epidemiological studies in male human reproduction is to infer how one or more substances alter the hormonal profile, seminal characteristics, or both. Determining if a substance alters semen quality may not always provide the underlying mechanism...
September 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Dries S Martens, Tim S Nawrot
Aging is a complex physiological phenomenon. The question why some subjects grow old while remaining free from disease whereas others prematurely die remains largely unanswered. We focus here on the role of air pollution in biological aging. Hallmarks of aging can be grouped into three main categories: genomic instability, telomere attrition, and epigenetic alterations leading to altered mitochondrial function and cellular senescence. At birth, the initial telomere length of a person is largely determined by environmental factors...
September 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Caitlin G Howe, Mary V Gamble
Arsenic is a human carcinogen and also increases the risk for non-cancer outcomes. Arsenic-induced epigenetic dysregulation may contribute to arsenic toxicity. Although there are several reviews on arsenic and epigenetics, these have largely focused on DNA methylation. Here, we review investigations of the effects of arsenic on global levels of histone posttranslational modifications (PTMs). Multiple studies have observed that arsenic induces higher levels of H3 lysine 9 dimethylation (H3K9me2) and also higher levels of H3 serine 10 phosphorylation (H3S10ph), which regulate chromosome segregation...
September 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Natalie G Exum, Nora Pisanic, Douglas A Granger, Kellogg J Schwab, Barbara Detrick, Margaret Kosek, Andrey I Egorov, Shannon M Griffin, Christopher D Heaney
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review discusses the utility of pathogen-specific antibody biomarkers for improving estimates of the population burden of waterborne infections, assessing the fraction of infections that can be prevented by specific water treatments, and understanding transmission routes and the natural history and ecology of disease in different populations (including asymptomatic infection rates). RECENT FINDINGS: We review recent literature on the application of pathogen-specific antibody response data to estimate incidence and prevalence of acute infections and their utility to assess the contributions of waterborne transmission pathways...
September 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Allison A Appleton, Elizabeth A Holdsworth, Laura D Kubzansky
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Early-life social and environmental exposures have independent effects on many child health outcomes. Increasingly, investigators have suggested that these exposures, which commonly co-occur, may have synergistic effects and have thus begun to evaluate if environmental and social factors jointly contribute to child health. This systematic review summarizes findings and methodological approaches across studies examining the interplay between environmental and social exposures in relation to commonly assessed childhood health outcomes: asthma, cognition and behavior, perinatal outcomes, and obesity...
September 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
Luca Lambertini, Hyang-Min Byun
The rising toll of chronic and debilitating diseases brought about by the exposure to an ever expanding number of environmental pollutants and socio-economic factors is calling for action. The understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind the effects of environmental exposures can lead to the development of biomarkers that can support the public health fields of both early diagnosis and intervention to limit the burden of environmental diseases. The study of mitochondrial epigenetics carries high hopes to provide important biomarkers of exposure and disease...
September 2016: Current Environmental Health Reports
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