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- ItemThe Community Environmental Health Assessment Workbook: A Guide to Evaluating your Community's Health(Environmental Law Institute, 2000-12) Payne-Sturges, Devon; Locke, Paul; Keiner, SuellenThis Workbook will help community leaders, local organizers, and citizens groups assess environmental health problems in their neighborhoods and assist them in tackling these problems. It outlines an approach to identifying problems, gathering information, and establishing the community’s priorities for improving the environmental health of its residents. The Workbook is divided into four parts. It is written mainly for the citizen organizer, community leader, or other person who will serve as the project manager and take the lead in organizing the assessment. Part One is a brief introduction and discussion of this Workbook. Part Two discusses the reasons why your community should undertake an environmental health assessment, and outlines the assessment process. Part Three explains the community environmental health assessment process step-by-step, and shows citizens in detail how to conduct an assessment. Part Four suggests possible next steps after a community assessment is completed.
- ItemGuide to Considering Children’s Health When Developing EPA Actions: Implementing Executive Order 13045 and EPA’s Policy on Evaluating Health Risks to Children(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2006-10) Payne-Sturges, Devon; Miles-McLean, Stuart; Kataoka, Mark; Patel, M; Owens, NicoleThis document is a step-by-step guide to assist Agency staff in integrating children’s health considerations into EPA’s Action Development Process (ADP). It describes the provisions of Executive Order 13045 “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” and EPA’s “Policy on Evaluating Health Risks to Children.” This guide also is designed to assist EPA staff in determining whether rules are subject to the Executive Order, whether the Agency Policy applies to an action and what should be done to address the Executive Order and/or EPA’s policy in the development of a rule or Agency action.
- ItemSelf-medication with antibiotics for the treatment of menstrual symptoms in southwest Nigeria: a cross-sectional study(2010-10-15) Sapkota, Amy R; Coker, Morenike E; Rosenberg Goldstein, Rachel E; Atkinson, Nancy L; Sweet, Shauna J; Sopeju, Priscilla O; Ojo, Modupe T; Otivhia, Elizabeth; Ayepola, Olayemi O; Olajuyigbe, Olufunmiso O; Shireman, Laura; Pottinger, Paul S; Ojo, Kayode KBackground: Self-medication with antibiotics is an important factor contributing to the development of bacterial antibiotic resistance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of self-medication with antibiotics for the treatment of menstrual symptoms among university women in Southwest Nigeria. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was administered to female undergraduate and graduate students (n = 706) at four universities in Southwest Nigeria in 2008. The universities were selected by convenience and the study samples within each university were randomly selected cluster samples. The survey was self-administered and included questions pertaining to menstrual symptoms, analgesic and antibiotic use patterns, and demographics. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression. Results: The response rate was 95.4%. Eighty-six percent (95% CI: 83-88%) of participants experienced menstrual symptoms, and 39% (95% CI: 36-43%) reported using analgesics to treat them. Overall, 24% (95% CI: 21-27%) of participants reported self-medicated use of antibiotics to treat the following menstrual symptoms: cramps, bloating, heavy bleeding, headaches, pimples/acne, moodiness, tender breasts, backache, joint and muscle pain. Factors associated with this usage were: lower levels of education (Odds Ratio (OR): 2.8, 95% CI: 1.1-7.1, p-value: 0.03); nonscience major (OR: 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03-2.50, p-value: 0.04); usage of analgesics (OR: 3.17, 95% CI: 2.07-4.86, p-value: <0.001); and mild to extreme heavy bleeding (OR: 1.64, 95% CI: 1.01-2.67, p-value: 0.05) and pimples/acne (OR: 1.57, 95% CI: 0.98-2.54, p-value: 0.06). Ampicillin, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin and metronidazole were used to treat the most symptoms. Doctors or nurses (6%, 95% CI: 4-7%), friends (6%, 95% CI: 4-7%) and family members (7%, 95% CI: 5-8%) were most likely to recommend the use of antibiotics for menstrual symptoms, while these drugs were most often obtained from local chemists or pharmacists (10.2%, 95% CI: 8-12%). Conclusions: This is the first formal study to report that approximately 1 out of 4 university women surveyed in Southwest Nigeria self-medicate with antibiotics to treat menstrual symptoms. This practice could provide monthly, low-dose exposures to antibiotics among users. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the impacts of selfmedication on student health.
- ItemQuantitative assessment of airborne exposures generated during common cleaning tasks: a pilot study(Springer Nature, 2010-11-30) Bello, Anila; Quinn, Margaret M; Perry, Melissa J; Milton, Donald KA growing body of epidemiologic evidence suggests an association between exposure to cleaning products with asthma and other respiratory disorders. Thus far, these studies have conducted only limited quantitative exposure assessments. Exposures from cleaning products are difficult to measure because they are complex mixtures of chemicals with a range of physicochemical properties, thus requiring multiple measurement techniques. We conducted a pilot exposure assessment study to identify methods for assessing short term, task-based airborne exposures and to quantitatively evaluate airborne exposures associated with cleaning tasks simulated under controlled work environment conditions. Sink, mirror, and toilet bowl cleaning tasks were simulated in a large ventilated bathroom and a small unventilated bathroom using a general purpose, a glass, and a bathroom cleaner. All tasks were performed for 10 minutes. Airborne total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) generated during the tasks were measured using a direct reading instrument (DRI) with a photo ionization detector. Volatile organic ingredients of the cleaning mixtures were assessed utilizing an integrated sampling and analytic method, EPA TO-17. Ammonia air concentrations were also measured with an electrochemical sensor embedded in the DRI. Average TVOC concentrations calculated for 10 minute tasks ranged 0.02 - 6.49 ppm and the highest peak concentrations observed ranged 0.14-11 ppm. TVOC time concentration profiles indicated that exposures above background level remained present for about 20 minutes after cessation of the tasks. Among several targeted VOC compounds from cleaning mixtures, only 2-BE was detectable with the EPA method. The ten minute average 2- BE concentrations ranged 0.30 -21 ppm between tasks. The DRI underestimated 2-BE exposures compared to the results from the integrated method. The highest concentration of ammonia of 2.8 ppm occurred during mirror cleaning. Our results indicate that airborne exposures from short-term cleaning tasks can remain in the air even after tasks' cessation, suggesting potential exposures to anyone entering the room shortly after cleaning. Additionally, 2-BE concentrations from cleaning could approach occupational exposure limits and warrant further investigation. Measurement methods applied in this study can be useful for workplace assessment of airborne exposures during cleaning, if the limitations identified here are addressed.
- ItemPesticides in house dust from urban and farmworker households in California: an observational measurement study.(2011-03) Quiros-Alcala, Lesliam; Bradman, Asa; Nishioka, Marcia; Harnly, Martha; Hubbard, Alan; McKone, Thomas E.; Ferber, Jeannette; Eskenazi, BrendaBACKGROUND: Studies report that residential use of pesticides in low-income homes is common because of poor housing conditions and pest infestations; however, exposure data on contemporary-use pesticides in low-income households is limited. We conducted a study in low-income homes from urban and agricultural communities to: characterize and compare house dust levels of agricultural and residential-use pesticides; evaluate the correlation of pesticide concentrations in samples collected several days apart; examine whether concentrations of pesticides phased-out for residential uses, but still used in agriculture (i.e., chlorpyrifos and diazinon) have declined in homes in the agricultural community; and estimate resident children's pesticide exposures via inadvertent dust ingestion. METHODS: In 2006, we collected up to two dust samples 5-8 days apart from each of 13 urban homes in Oakland, California and 15 farmworker homes in Salinas, California, an agricultural community (54 samples total). We measured 22 insecticides including organophosphates (chlorpyrifos, diazinon, diazinon-oxon, malathion, methidathion, methyl parathion, phorate, and tetrachlorvinphos) and pyrethroids (allethrin-two isomers, bifenthrin, cypermethrin-four isomers, deltamethrin, esfenvalerate, imiprothrin, permethrin-two isomers, prallethrin, and sumithrin), one phthalate herbicide (chlorthal-dimethyl), one dicarboximide fungicide (iprodione), and one pesticide synergist (piperonyl butoxide). RESULTS: More than half of the households reported applying pesticides indoors. Analytes frequently detected in both locations included chlorpyrifos, diazinon, permethrin, allethrin, cypermethrin, and piperonyl butoxide; no differences in concentrations or loadings were observed between locations for these analytes. Chlorthal-dimethyl was detected solely in farmworker homes, suggesting contamination due to regional agricultural use. Concentrations in samples collected 5-8 days apart in the same home were strongly correlated for the majority of the frequently detected analytes (Spearman ρ = 0.70-1.00, p < 0.01). Additionally, diazinon and chlorpyrifos concentrations in Salinas farmworker homes were 40-80% lower than concentrations reported in samples from Salinas farmworker homes studied between 2000-2002, suggesting a temporal reduction after their residential phase-out. Finally, estimated non-dietary pesticide intake for resident children did not exceed current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA) recommended chronic reference doses (RfDs). CONCLUSION:Low-income children are potentially exposed to a mixture of pesticides as a result of poorer housing quality. Historical or current pesticide use indoors is likely to contribute to ongoing exposures. Agricultural pesticide use may also contribute to additional exposures to some pesticides in rural areas. Although children's non-dietary intake did not exceed U.S. EPA RfDs for select pesticides, this does not ensure that children are free of any health risks as RfDs have their own limitations, and the children may be exposed indoors via other pathways. The frequent pesticide use reported and high detection of several home-use pesticides in house dust suggests that families would benefit from integrated pest management strategies to control pests and minimize current and future exposures.
- ItemPlan EJ 2014: Science Tool Development Implementation Plan(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2011-09) Payne-Sturges, DevonThis Science Tools Development Implementation Plan discusses overarching goals, strategies, and activities, including a science and research agenda to ensure that U.S. EPA brings the best science to decision making around environmental justice issues. The science and research activities described in this plan build upon discussions and recommendations from “Strengthening Environmental Justice and Decision-Making: A Symposium on the Science of Disproportionate Environmental Health Impacts” (March 17-19, 2010) and the workshop on “Analytical Methods for Assessing the Environmental Justice Implications of Environmental Regulations” (June 9-10, 2010). The March 2010 Symposium was the principal event for the Agency to identify science needs for environmental justice and stimulate ideas for innovative research to meet those needs.
- ItemTemporal changes in the prevalence of childhood asthma and allergies in urban and rural areas of Cyprus: results from two cross sectional studies(Springer Nature, 2011-11-11) Kolokotroni, Ourania; Middleton, Nicos; Nicolaou, Nicolas; Pipis, Spyros; Priftis, Kostas N; Milton, Donald K; Yiallouros, Panayiotis KThe prevalence of childhood asthma and allergies in Cyprus was significantly higher in urban compared to rural areas back in the year 2000, against a background of an overall low prevalence (e.g. current wheeze 6.9%) by comparison to northern European countries. In this study we aimed to assess temporal changes in the prevalence of asthma and allergies in Cyprus after an 8-year interval and to examine whether any differential changes have occurred in urban and rural parts of the island. During the academic years 1999-2000 and 2007-2008, the parents of 7-8 year old children residing in the same set of urban and rural areas completed the ISAAC core questionnaire. In addition to providing prevalence estimates of allergic diseases in 2000 and 2008, changes between the two periods were expressed as odds ratios estimated in multiple logistic regression models adjusting for survey participants' characteristics. The prevalence of current wheeze was higher in 2008 (8.7%, 95% confidence interval 7.5%-9.9%, n = 2216) than the previously recorded figure in 2000 (6.9%, 95% CI 6.2%-7.6%, OR = 1.25, 95% CI: 1.02-1.53, n = 4944). Significant increases were also seen in the prevalence of lifetime asthma (11.3% vs. 17.4%, OR = 1.59, CI: 1.36-1.86), eczema (6.8% vs. 13.5%, OR = 1.91, CI: 1.59-2.29) and allergic rhinoconjuctivitis (2.6% vs. 5.2%, OR = 1.82, CI: 1.39-2.41). The prevalence of current wheeze nearly doubled between 2000 and 2008 in rural areas (5.4% vs. 9.7%, OR 1.81, CI: 1.24-2.64) while no significant change was observed in urban areas (7.5% vs. 8.4%, OR 1.08, CI: 0.84-1.37); p value for effect modification = 0.04. Rises in asthma and rhinitis prevalence, but not eczema were also more pronounced in rural compared to urban areas. The prevalence of allergic diseases in Cyprus is still on the rise; recent increases appear more pronounced among children living in rural areas possibly indicating recent environmental and lifestyle changes in these communities.
- ItemEffects of endotoxin exposure on childhood asthma risk are modified by a genetic polymorphism in ACAA1(Springer Nature, 2011-12-08) Sordillo, Joanne E; Sharma, Sunita; Poon, Audrey; Lasky-Su, Jessica; Belanger, Kathleen; Milton, Donald K; Bracken, Michael B; Triche, Elizabeth W; Leaderer, Brian P; Gold, Diane R; Litonjua, Augusto APolymorphisms in the endotoxin-mediated TLR4 pathway genes have been associated with asthma and atopy. We aimed to examine how genetic polymorphisms in innate immunity pathways interact with endotoxin to influence asthma risk in children. In a previous analysis of 372 children from the Boston Home Allergens and the Connecticut Childhood Asthma studies, 7 SNPs in 6 genes (CARD15, TGFB1, LY96, ACAA1, DEFB1 and IFNG) involved in innate immune pathways were associated with asthma, and 5 SNPs in 3 genes (CD80, STAT4, IRAK2) were associated with eczema. We tested these SNPs for interaction with early life endotoxin exposure (n = 291), in models for asthma and eczema by age 6. We found a significant interaction between endotoxin and a SNP (rs156265) in ACAA1 (p = 0.0013 for interaction). Increased endotoxin exposure (by quartile) showed protective effects for asthma in individuals with at least one copy of the minor allele (OR = 0.39 per quartile increase in endotoxin, 95% CI 0.15 to 1.01). Endotoxin exposure did not reduce the risk of asthma in children homozygous for the major allele. Our findings suggest that protective effects of endotoxin exposure on asthma may vary depending upon the presence or absence of a polymorphism in ACAA1.
- ItemOrganophosphorous pesticide breakdown products in house dust and children’s urine.(2012) Quiros-Alcala, Lesliam; Bradman, Asa; Smith, Kimberly; Weerasekera, Gayanga; Odetokun, Martins; Barr, Dana B.; Nishioka, M; Castorina, R; Hubbard, AE; Nicas, M; Hammond, SK; McKone, TE; Eskenazi, BHuman exposure to preformed dialkylphosphates (DAPs) in food or the environment may affect the reliability of DAP urinary metabolites as biomarkers of organophosphate (OP) pesticide exposure. We conducted a study to investigate the presence of DAPs in indoor residential environments and their association with children’s urinary DAP levels. We collected dust samples from homes in farmworker and urban communities (40 homes total, n=79 samples) and up to two urine samples from resident children ages 3-6 years. We measured six DAPs in all samples and eight DAP-devolving OP pesticides in a subset of dust samples (n=54). DAPs were detected in dust with diethylphosphate (DEP) being the most frequently detected (>=60%); detection frequencies for other DAPs were <=50%. DEP dust concentrations did not significantly differ between communities, nor were concentrations significantly correlated with concentrations of chlorpyrifos and diazinon, the most frequently detected diethyl-OP pesticides (Spearman r=0.41 to 0.38, P>0.05). Detection of DEP, chlorpyrifos, or diazinon, was not associated with DEP and/or DEPþdiethylthiophosphate detection in urine (Kappa coefficients=-0.33 to 0.16). Finally, estimated nondietary ingestion intake from DEP in dust was found to be <=5% of the dose calculated from DEP levels in urine, suggesting that ingestion of dust is not a significant source of DAPs in urine if they are excreted unchanged.
- ItemVariability of organophosphorous pesticide metabolite levels in spot and 24-hr urine samples collected from young children during 1 week.(2013-01) Bradman, Asa; Kogut, Katherine; Eisen, Ellen A.; Jewell, Nicholas; Quiros-Alcala, Lesliam; Castorina, Rosemary; Chevrier, Jonathan; Holland, Nina T.; Barr, Dana B.; Kavanagh-Baird, Gerry; Eskenazi, BrendaBackground: Dialkyl phosphate (DAP) metabolites in spot urine samples are frequently used to characterize children’s exposures to organophosphorous (OP) pesticides. However, variable exposure and short biological half-lives of OP pesticides could result in highly variable measurements, leading to exposure misclassification. Objective: We examined within- and between-child variability in DAP metabolites in urine samples collected during 1 week. Methods: We collected spot urine samples over 7 consecutive days from 25 children (3–6 years of age). On two of the days, we collected 24-hr voids. We assessed the reproducibility of urinary DAP metabolite concentrations and evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of spot urine samples as predictors of high (top 20%) or elevated (top 40%) weekly average DAP metabolite concentrations. Results: Within-child variance exceeded between-child variance by a factor of two to eight, depending on metabolite grouping. Although total DAP concentrations in single spot urine samples were moderately to strongly associated with concentrations in same-day 24-hr samples (r ≈ 0.6–0.8, p < 0.01), concentrations in spot samples collected > 1 day apart and in 24-hr samples collected 3 days apart were weakly correlated (r ≈ –0.21 to 0.38). Single spot samples predicted high (top 20%) and elevated (top 40%) full-week average total DAP excretion with only moderate sensitivity (≈ 0.52 and ≈ 0.67, respectively) but relatively high specificity (≈ 0.88 and ≈ 0.78, respectively). Conclusions: The high variability we observed in children’s DAP metabolite concentrations suggests that single-day urine samples provide only a brief snapshot of exposure. Sensitivity analyses suggest that classification of cumulative OP exposure based on spot samples is prone to type 2 classification errors.
- ItemPrevalence of asthma and allergies in children from the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities in Cyprus: a bi-communal cross-sectional study(Springer Nature, 2013-06-16) Lamnisos, Demetris; Moustaki, Maria; Kolokotroni, Ourania; Koksoy, Huseyin; Faiz, Muharrem; Arifoglu, Kenan; Milton, Donald K; Middleton, Nicos; Yiallouros, Panayiotis KThe Greek-Cypriot (G/C) and Turkish-Cypriot (T/C) communities have lived apart since 1974, with the former presumably adopting a more westernized way of life. We estimated the prevalence of asthma and allergies among children in the two communities and investigated differences in socio-demographic and lifestyle risk factors. The ISAAC questionnaire was completed by 10156 children aged 7–8 and 13–14 years. Relative differences in asthma and allergic symptoms between the two communities were expressed as odds ratios (OR), estimated in multivariable logistic regression models before and after adjusting for participants’ risk characteristics. In contrast to our original speculation, consistently lower prevalence rates were observed for respiratory outcomes (but not eczema) among G/C compared to T/C children in both age-groups. For instance, the prevalence of current wheeze among 7–8 year-olds was 8.7% vs 11.4% (OR = 0.74, 95%, CI: 0.61, 0.90) and of current rhinoconjuctivitis 2.6% vs 4.9% (OR = 0.52, 95% CI: 0.37, 0.71). Surprisingly, the proportion reporting family history of allergy was almost double in the G/C community. With the exception of early life nursery attendance, several protective factors were more prevalent amongst T/C, such as bedroom sharing, less urbanized environment and exposure to farm animals. In contrast, exposure to tobacco smoke was more frequent in the T/C community. Controlling for risk factors did not account for the observed lower prevalence of current wheeze (in the younger age-group) and rhinoconjuctivitis (in both age-groups) among G/C children while differences in the prevalence of eczema between the two communities were no longer statistically significant. A mixed picture of potential risk factors was observed in the two communities of Cyprus, not consistently favoring one over the other community since, for example, bedroom sharing and rural living but also exposure to tobacco smoke were more common among T/C children. Investigated risk factors do not fully account for the lower prevalence of asthma and allergies among G/C children, especially against a background of higher family history of allergy in this community.
- ItemDeterminants of urinary bisphenol A concentrations in Mexican/Mexican-American pregnant women.(Elsevier, 2013-09) Quiros-Alcala, Lesliam; Eskenazi, Brenda; Bradman, Asa; Ye, Xiaoyun; Calafat, Antonia M; Harley, KimPrenatal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) may be associated with adverse health effects in the developing fetus; however, little is known about predictors of BPA exposure during pregnancy. We examined BPA exposure in 491 pregnant women from the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) cohort and explored the role of living in the United States on significant dietary predictors of BPA exposure. Women provided urine samples up to two times during pregnancy (n = 866 total samples). We computed the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) to evaluate variability in concentrations between collections and used generalized estimating equation (GEE) models to assess predictors of exposure. Geometric mean (GSD) BPA concentrations were 0.9 (2.8) μg/L and 1.0 (2.6) μg/L at the first and second prenatal visits, respectively. We observed greater within- than between-woman variability in urinary BPA concentrations (ICC = 0.22). GEE models suggest that women who lived in the United States their entire life had 38% (CI: − 0.1, 89.3) higher urinary BPA concentrations compared with other immigrant women. Additionally, women who consumed ≥ 3 sodas per day or hamburgers three times a week or more had 58% (CI: 18.0, 112.1) and 20% (CI: − 0.2, 45.2) higher urinary BPA concentrations, respectively, compared with women who consumed no sodas or hamburgers. A higher percentage of women who lived their entire life in the United States reported increased consumption of sodas and hamburgers compared with other immigrant women. Independent of other factors, BPA urinary concentrations were slightly higher when the sample was collected later in the day. As in previous studies, high within-woman variability in urinary BPA concentrations confirms that several samples are needed to properly characterize exposure during pregnancy. Results also suggest that some factors could be modified to minimize exposures during pregnancy in our study participants (e.g., reducing soda and hamburger intake) and that factors associated with acculturation might increase BPA concentrations.
- ItemTravel patterns during pregnancy: comparison between Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking and questionnaire data(Springer Nature, 2013-10-09) Wu, Jun; Jiang, Chengsheng; Jaimes, Guillermo; Bartell, Scott; Dang, Andy; Baker, Dean; Delfino, Ralph JMaternal exposures to traffic-related air pollution have been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Exposures to traffic-related air pollutants are strongly influenced by time spent near traffic. However, little is known about women’s travel activities during pregnancy and whether questionnaire-based data can provide reliable information on travel patterns during pregnancy. Examine women’s in-vehicle travel behavior during pregnancy and examine the difference in travel data collected by questionnaire and global positioning system (GPS) and their potential for exposure error. We measured work-related travel patterns in 56 pregnant women using a questionnaire and one-week GPS tracking three times during pregnancy (<20 weeks, 20–30 weeks, and >30 weeks of gestation). We compared self-reported activities with GPS-derived trip distance and duration, and examined potentially influential factors that may contribute to differences. We also described in-vehicle travel behavior by pregnancy periods and influences of demographic and personal factors on daily travel times. Finally, we estimated personal exposure to particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PB-PAH) and examined the magnitude of exposure misclassification using self-reported vs. GPS travel data.Subjects overestimated both trip duration and trip distance compared to the GPS data. We observed moderately high correlations between self-reported and GPS-recorded travel distance (home to work trips: r = 0.88; work to home trips: r = 0.80). Better agreement was observed between the GPS and the self-reported travel time for home to work trips (r = 0.77) than work to home trips (r = 0.64). The subjects on average spent 69 and 93 minutes traveling in vehicles daily based on the GPS and self-reported data, respectively. Longer daily travel time was observed among participants in early pregnancy, and during certain pregnancy periods in women with higher education attainment, higher income, and no children. When comparing self-reported vs. GPS data, we found that estimated personal exposure to PB-PAH did not differ remarkably at the population level, but the difference was large at an individual level. Self-reported home-to-work data overestimated both trip duration and trip distance compared to GPS data. Significant differences in PAH exposure estimates were observed at individual level using self-reported vs. GPS data, which has important implications in air pollution epidemiological studies.
- ItemSpatial disparity in the distribution of superfund sites in South Carolina: an ecological study(Springer Nature, 2013-11-06) Burwell-Naney, Kristen; Zhang, Hongmei; Samantapudi, Ashok; Jiang, Chengsheng; Dalemarre, Laura; Rice, LaShanta; Williams, Edith; Wilson, SacobyAccording to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Superfund is a federal government program implemented to clean up uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. Twenty-six sites in South Carolina (SC) have been included on the National Priorities List (NPL), which has serious human health and environmental implications. The purpose of this study was to assess spatial disparities in the distribution of Superfund sites in SC. The 2000 US census tract and block level data were used to generate population characteristics, which included race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status (SES), education, home ownership, and home built before 1950. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were used to map Superfund facilities and develop choropleth maps based on the aforementioned sociodemographic variables. Spatial methods, including mean and median distance analysis, buffer analysis, and spatial approximation were employed to characterize burden disparities. Regression analysis was performed to assess the relationship between the number of Superfund facilities and population characteristics. Spatial coincidence results showed that of the 29.5% of Blacks living in SC, 55.9% live in Superfund host census tracts. Among all populations in SC living below poverty (14.2%), 57.2% were located in Superfund host census tracts. Buffer analyses results (0.5mi, 1.0mi, 5.0mi, 0.5km, 1.0km, and 5.0km) showed a higher percentage of Whites compared to Blacks hosting a Superfund facility. Conversely, a slightly higher percentage of Blacks hosted (30.2%) a Superfund facility than those not hosting (28.8%) while their White counterparts had more equivalent values (66.7% and 67.8%, respectively). Regression analyses in the reduced model (Adj. R2 = 0.038) only explained a small percentage of the variance. In addition, the mean distance for percent of Blacks in the 90th percentile for Superfund facilities was 0.48mi. Burden disparities exist in the distribution of Superfund facilities in SC at the block and census tract levels across varying levels of demographic composition for race/ethnicity and SES.
- ItemPyrethroid pesticide exposure and parental report of learning disability and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in U.S. children: NHANES 1999-2002.(2014) Quiros-Alcala, Lesliam; Mehta, Suril; Eskenazi, BrendaBackground: Use of pyrethroid insecticides has increased dramatically over the past decade; however, data on their potential health effects, particularly on children, are limited. Objective: We examined the cross-sectional association between postnatal pyrethroid exposure and parental report of learning disability (LD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children 6–15 years of age. Methods: Using logistic regression, we estimated associations of urinary metabolites of pyrethroid insecticides with parent-reported LD, ADHD, and both LD and ADHD in 1,659–1,680 children participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999–2002). Results: The prevalence rates of parent-reported LD, ADHD, and both LD and ADHD were 12.7%, 10.0%, and 5.4%, respectively. Metabolite detection frequencies for 3-PBA [3-phenoxybenzoic acid], cis-DCCA [cis-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane-1-carboxylicacid], and trans-DCCA [trans-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane-1-carboxylicacid] were 77.1%, 35.6%, and 33.9%, respectively. The geometric mean 3-PBA concentration was 0.32 μg/L (median = 0.31 μg/L; interquartile rage = 0.10–0.89 μg/L). cis– and trans-DCCA 75th-percentile concentrations were 0.21 μg/L and 0.68 μg/L, respectively. Log10-transformed 3-PBA concentrations were associated with adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of 1.18 (95% CI: 0.92, 1.51) for parent-reported LD, 1.16 (95% CI: 0.85, 1.58) for ADHD, and 1.45 (95% CI: 0.92, 2.27) for both LD and ADHD. Adjusted ORs remained nonsignificant and decreased after controlling for creatinine and other environmental chemicals previously linked to altered neurodevelopment. Similarly, no significant associations were observed for cis– and trans-DCCA. Conclusions: Postnatal pyrethroid exposure was not associated with parental report of LD and/or ADHD. Given the widespread and increasing use of pyrethroids, future research should evaluate exposures at current levels, particularly during critical windows of brain development.
- ItemBeing overburdened and medically underserved: assessment of this double disparity for populations in the state of Maryland(Springer Nature, 2014-04-04) Wilson, Sacoby; Zhang, Hongmei; Jiang, Chengsheng; Burwell, Kristen; Rehr, Rebecca; Murray, Rianna; Dalemarre, Laura; Naney, CharlesEnvironmental justice research has shown that many communities of color and low-income persons are differentially burdened by noxious land uses including Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) facilities. However, limited work has been performed to assess how these populations tend to be both overburdened and medically underserved. We explored this “double disparity” for the first time in Maryland. We assessed spatial disparities in the distribution of TRI facilities in Maryland across varying levels of sociodemographic composition using 2010 US Census Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) data. Univariate and multivariate regression in addition to geographic information systems (GIS) were used to examine relationships between sociodemographic measures and location of TRI facilities. Buffer analysis was also used to assess spatial disparities. Four buffer categories included: 1) census tracts hosting one or more TRI facilities; 2) tracts located more than 0 and up to 0.5 km from the closest TRI facility; 3) tracts located more than 0.5 km and up to 1 km from a TRI facility; and 4) tracts located more than 1 km and up to 5 km from a TRI facility. We found that tracts with higher proportions of non-white residents and people living in poverty were more likely to be closer to TRI facilities. A significant increase in income was observed with an increase in distance between a census tract and the closest TRI facility. In general, percent non-white was higher in HPSA tracts that host at least one TRI facility than in non-HPSA tracts that host at least one TRI facility. Additionally, percent poverty, unemployment, less than high school education, and homes built pre-1950 were higher in HPSA tracts hosting TRI facilities than in non-HPSA tracts hosting TRI facilities. We found that people of color and low-income groups are differentially burdened by TRI facilities in Maryland. We also found that both low-income groups and persons without a high school education are both overburdened and medically underserved. The results of this study provide insight into how state agencies can better address the double disparity of disproportionate environmental hazards and limited access to health care resources facing vulnerable communities in Maryland.
- ItemCumulative Risk Webinar Series: What We Learned(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2014-07) Payne-Sturges, Devon; Lawrence, MartinThis document summarized key science and science-policy issues for advancing the practice and utility of cumulative risk assessment identified during a webinar series present from August 2012 through December 2013 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the public.
- ItemmSpray: A mobile phone technology to improve malaria control efforts and monitor human exposure to malaria control pesticides in Limpopo, South Africa(Elsevier, 2014-07) Eskenazi, Brenda; Quiros-Alcala, Lesliam; Lipsitt, Jonah M.; Wua, Lemuel D.; Kruger, Phillip; Ntimbane, Tzundzukani; Burns Nawn, John; Bornman, Riana; Seto, EdmundRecent estimates indicate that malaria has led to over half a million deaths worldwide, mostly to African children. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) of insecticides is one of the primary vector control interventions. However, current reporting systems do not obtain precise location of IRS events in relation to malaria cases, which poses challenges for effective and efficient malaria control. This information is also critical to avoid unnecessary human exposure to IRS insecticides. We developed and piloted a mobile-based application (mSpray) to collect comprehensive information on IRS spray events. We assessed the utility, acceptability and feasibility of using mSpray to gather improved homestead- and chemical-level IRS coverage data. We installed mSpray on 10 cell phones with data bundles, and pilot tested it with 13 users in Limpopo, South Africa. Users completed basic information (number of rooms/shelters sprayed; chemical used, etc.) on spray events. Upon submission, this information as well as geographic positioning system coordinates and time/date stamp were uploaded to a Google Drive Spreadsheet to be viewed in real time. We administered questionnaires, conducted focus groups, and interviewed key informants to evaluate the utility of the app. The low-cost, cell phone-based “mSpray” app was learned quickly by users, well accepted and preferred to the current paper-based method. We recorded 2865 entries (99.1% had a GPS accuracy of 20 m or less) and identified areas of improvement including increased battery life. We also identified a number of logistic and user problems (e.g., cost of cell phones and cellular bundles, battery life, obtaining accurate GPS measures, user errors, etc.) that would need to be overcome before full deployment. Use of cell phone technology could increase the efficiency of IRS malaria control efforts by mapping spray events in relation to malaria cases, resulting in more judicious use of chemicals that are potentially harmful to humans and the environment.
- ItemSpatio-temporal modeling of particulate air pollution in the conterminous United States using geographic and meteorological predictors(Springer Nature, 2014-08-05) Yanosky, Jeff D; Paciorek, Christopher J; Laden, Francine; Hart, Jaime E; Puett, Robin C; Liao, Duanping; Suh, Helen HExposure to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) remains an important public health concern, although it remains difficult to quantify accurately across large geographic areas with sufficiently high spatial resolution. Recent epidemiologic analyses have demonstrated the importance of spatially- and temporally-resolved exposure estimates, which show larger PM-mediated health effects as compared to nearest monitor or county-specific ambient concentrations. We developed generalized additive mixed models that describe regional and small-scale spatial and temporal gradients (and corresponding uncertainties) in monthly mass concentrations of fine (PM2.5), inhalable (PM10), and coarse mode particle mass (PM2.5–10) for the conterminous United States (U.S.). These models expand our previously developed models for the Northeastern and Midwestern U.S. by virtue of their larger spatial domain, their inclusion of an additional 5 years of PM data to develop predictions through 2007, and their use of refined geographic covariates for population density and point-source PM emissions. Covariate selection and model validation were performed using 10-fold cross-validation (CV). The PM2.5 models had high predictive accuracy (CV R2=0.77 for both 1988–1998 and 1999–2007). While model performance remained strong, the predictive ability of models for PM10 (CV R2=0.58 for both 1988–1998 and 1999–2007) and PM2.5–10 (CV R2=0.46 and 0.52 for 1988–1998 and 1999–2007, respectively) was somewhat lower. Regional variation was found in the effects of geographic and meteorological covariates. Models generally performed well in both urban and rural areas and across seasons, though predictive performance varied somewhat by region (CV R2=0.81, 0.81, 0.83, 0.72, 0.69, 0.50, and 0.60 for the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, Southcentral, Southwest, Northwest, and Central Plains regions, respectively, for PM2.5 from 1999–2007). Our models provide estimates of monthly-average outdoor concentrations of PM2.5, PM10, and PM2.5–10 with high spatial resolution and low bias. Thus, these models are suitable for estimating chronic exposures of populations living in the conterminous U.S. from 1988 to 2007.
- ItemMercury in fish and adverse reproductive outcomes: results from South Carolina(Springer Nature, 2014-08-15) Burch, James B; Wagner Robb, Sara; Puett, Robin; Ca, Bo; Wilkerson, Rebecca; Karmaus, Wilfried; Vena, John; Svendsen, ErikMercury is a metal with widespread distribution in aquatic ecosystems and significant neurodevelopmental toxicity in humans. Fish biomonitoring for total mercury has been conducted in South Carolina (SC) since 1976, and consumption advisories have been posted for many SC waterways. However, there is limited information on the potential reproductive impacts of mercury due to recreational or subsistence fish consumption. To address this issue, geocoded residential locations for live births from the Vital Statistics Registry (1995–2005, N = 362,625) were linked with spatially interpolated total mercury concentrations in fish to estimate potential mercury exposure from consumption of locally caught fish. Generalized estimating equations were used to test the hypothesis that risk of low birth weight (LBW, <2,500 grams) or preterm birth (PTB, <37 weeks clinical gestation) was greater among women living in areas with elevated total mercury in fish, after adjustment for confounding. Separate analyses estimated term LBW and PTB risks using residential proximity to rivers with fish consumption advisories to characterize exposure. Term LBW was more likely among women residing in areas in the upper quartile of predicted total mercury in fish (odds ratio [OR] = 1.04; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.00-1.09) or within 8 kilometers of a river with a ‘do not eat’ fish advisory (1.05; 1.00-1.11) compared to the lowest quartile, or rivers without fish consumption restrictions, respectively. When stratified by race, risks for term LBW or PTB were 10-18% more likely among African-American (AA) mothers living in areas with the highest total fish mercury concentrations. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the relationship between fish total mercury concentrations and adverse reproductive outcomes in a large population-based sample that included AA women. The ecologic nature of exposure assessment in this study precludes causal inference. However, the results suggest a need for more detailed investigations to characterize patterns of local fish consumption and potential dose–response relationships between mercury exposure and adverse reproductive outcomes, particularly among AA mothers.