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Fw: Children's Environmental Health newsletter - January 2013

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      Dr. Prasad Pore Pune Mobile No. 9921073540 ... From: heca To: HECANET@LISTSERV.WHO.INT Sent: Tuesday, 29 January 2013, 16:38 Subject:
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      Dr. Prasad Pore
      Mobile No. 9921073540

      ----- Forwarded Message -----
      From: heca <heca@...>
      To: HECANET@...
      Sent: Tuesday, 29 January 2013, 16:38
      Subject: Children's Environmental Health newsletter - January 2013

      You're receiving this newsletter because you have subscribed to the Healthy Environments for Children Alliance
      Children’s Environmental Health International Initiatives
      This is an international mailing list provided by WHO and UNEP
      dedicated to promoting healthy environments for children
      January  2013
      Mercury and its compounds comprise one of the top ten groups of chemicals of major public health concern according to the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO has identified these chemicals as highly hazardous, and more action is needed to prevent adverse health impacts. Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is found in air, water and soil. Mercury is a known toxic substance that is harmful to humans, especially pregnant women, infants and children. WHO - Public Health and Environment (9/1/13)
      Minamata Convention Agreed by Nations
      International effort to address mercury - a notorious heavy metal with significant health and environmental effects - was delivered a significant boost with governments agreeing to a global, legally-binding treaty to prevent emissions and releases. The Minamata Convention on Mercury - named after a city in Japan where serious health damage occurred as a result of mercury pollution in the mid-20th Century - provides controls and reductions across a range of products, processes and industries where mercury is used, released or emitted. UNEP News Centre (19/3/13)
      Further Resources:
      Air Pollution
      Exposure to air pollution has been linked to the exacerbation of respiratory diseases. The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), developed in Canada, is a new health risk scale for reporting air quality and advising risk reduction actions.The authors used the AQHI to estimate the impact of air quality on asthma morbidity, adjusting for potential confounders. The AQHI values were significantly associated with the use of asthma-related health services.
      Environmental Health Perspectives
      Despite experimental evidence that lactational exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) can impact health, results from epidemiologic studies are inconclusive. Inconsistency across studies may reflect the inability of current methods to estimate children’s blood levels during specific periods of susceptibility.The authors developed a toxicokinetic model to simulate blood POP levels in children from two longitudinal birth cohorts and aimed to validate it against blood levels measured at 6, 16, and 45 months of age.The authors conclude that their validated toxicokinetic model can be used to estimate children’s blood POP levels in early to mid-childhood. Estimates can be used in epidemiologic studies to evaluate the impact of exposure during hypothesized postnatal periods of susceptibility on health.
      Environmental Health Perspectives
      Reproductive Health
      Bisphenol A (BPA) is widely used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastic bottles, food and beverage can linings, thermal receipts, and dental sealants. Animal and human studies suggest that BPA may disrupt thyroid function. The goal of this research was to evaluate whether exposure to BPA during pregnancy is related to thyroid hormone levels in pregnant women and neonates.Results suggest that exposure to BPA during pregnancy is related to reduced total thyroxine in pregnant women and decreased thyroid-stimulating hormone in male neonates. Findings may have implications for fetal and neonatal development.
      Environmental Health Perspectives
      Various epidemiological studies have suggested associations between environmental exposures and pregnancy outcomes. Some studies have tempted to combine information from various epidemiological studies using meta-analysis. The authors aimed to describe the methodologies used in these recent meta-analyses of environmental exposures and pregnancy outcomes. Furthermore, they aimed to report their main findings. They concluded that the number of meta-analyses of environmental exposures and pregnancy outcomes is small and varied in methodology. The authors reported statistically significant associations between environmental exposures such as environmental tobacco smoke, air pollution and chemicals and pregnancy outcomes. Environmental Health
      Additional Publications
      In the developing world, environmental chemical exposures due to hazardous waste sites are poorly documented. The authors describe the approach taken by the Blacksmith Institute's Toxic Sites Identification Program in documenting environmental chemical exposures due to hazardous waste sites globally, identifying sites of concern and quantifying pathways, populations, and severity of exposure. Heavy metals are the leading primary exposures, with water supply and ambient air being the primary routes of exposure. Even though chemical production has occurred largely in the developed world to date, many hazardous waste sites in the developing world pose significant hazards to the health of large portions of the population.
      Access is via subscription. e-mail: kevin.chatham-stephens@...
      Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are major causes of death worldwide and underlie almost two-thirds of all global deaths. Although all countries face epidemics of these diseases, low-income and middle-income countries, and the poorest and most vulnerable populations within them, are affected the most. There is a global imperative to create and implement effective prevention strategies, because the future costs of diagnosis and treatment are likely to be unaffordable.
      The text above is from a Comment in The Lancet. Access is via subscription. Contact details for this Comment: john.balbus@...
      July 28th – August 2nd 2013, Edinburgh, Scotland
      September 2013. Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America
      Press Releases
      Negotiators meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, reached agreement on a Mercury Convention that protects human health and the environment from mercury, a toxic heavy metal. The treaty names the Global Environment Facility as the lead organization charged with raising and disbursing grants for projects and programs to reduce and eliminate mercury pollution. UNEP (19/1/13)
      The World Health Organization welcomes  the approval of a new international convention that will reduce the harmful health effects of mercury. WHO (19/1/13)
      The Government of Ethiopia convened a meeting of African Ministers of Health and global experts aimed at accelerating reductions in preventable child deaths through sharper national plans and improved monitoring and evaluation. UNICEF (16/1/13)
      Communities in developing countries are facing increasing health and environmental risks linked to exposure to mercury. The UNEP study assesses global level releases of mercury into rivers and lakes. The Report says an estimated 260 tonnes of mercury - previously held in soils - are being released into rivers and lakes. Much human exposure to mercury is through the consumption of contaminated fish, making aquatic environments the critical link to human health. UNEP (10/1/13)
      The report recognizes both the momentum of the Millennium Development Goals and the need to extend their success, especially among the most disadvantaged children and groups. It then makes specific proposals on how these children and their communities can become a central focus of a new, ambitious agenda where hunger, preventable child deaths, violence against children and extreme poverty are wiped out. UNICEF (8/1/13)
      In the Media
      More than 140 nations adopted the first legally binding international treaty aimed at reducing mercury emissions, after four years of negotiations on ways to set limits on the use of a highly toxic metal. The New York Times (19/1/13)
      Scientists warn that ongoing emissions are more of a threat to food webs than the mercury already in the environment. At the same time, climate change is likely to alter food webs and patterns of mercury transport in places such as the Arctic, which will further complicate efforts to keep the contaminant out of people and their food. Environmental Health News (18/1/13)
      The city of Beijing got worldwide attention as its readings for air pollution soared to unconscionably high levels. The health impact is vast. Tens of thousands of Chinese are reckoned to die each year because of foul air. The Economist (18/1/13)
      The study by University of Texas scientists is the first to link low concentrations of bisphenol S (BPS) -- a bisphenol A (BPA) alternative -- to disruption of estrogen, spurring concern that it might harm human health. Environmental Health News (17/1/13)
      Twenty-four cases of lead poisoning from guns were reported to public health authorities last year amid concerns of exposure at an underground shooting range in a youth centre building. New Zealand Herald (16/1/13)
      Kids exposed to low levels of lead score lower on IQ tests, according to a study of junior high students in Northern Italy. The low levels found in the youths are typical of many European and North American countries, and are below the exposures that U.S. health officials established to identify kids at risk. Growing evidence suggests even low amounts of lead can harm developing brains. Environmental Health News (16/1/13)
      Children who frequently eat fast food are far likelier to have severe asthma compared to counterparts who tuck into fruit, a large international study said. Agence France-Presse (15/1/13)
      A British company convicted of bribing foreign officials to maintain sales of a poisonous lead fuel additive is continuing to sell the chemical abroad to unstable countries, despite mounting evidence that it is responsible for long-term damage to human health and may be linked to violent crime. The Independent (14/1/13)
      Indian and Pakistani surma should never be used on children. Surma is rich in toxic lead. A child who touches her face with her hands, then sticks her hands in her mouth, could be ingesting enough lead to damage her rapidly developing brain. Stockton Record (14/1/13)
      The fifth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC 5) to Prepare a Global Legally Binding Instrument on Mercury opened on 13 January 2013, in Geneva, Switzerland. INC 5 is expected to complete negotiations on a global treaty text to regulate mercury use, with a view to adopting the treaty at a diplomatic conference to be held in Minamata, Japan, in October 2013. IISD Reporting Services (13/1/13)
      A new study finds elevated levels of BPA in children increase the risk of heart and kidney disease. The researchers found that by age 6, nearly 92 percent of children in the United States have some trace of BPA in their urine. Austin KVUE TV (11/1/13)
      Scientists have identified an apparent link between lead pollution in the environment and violent crime, in an intriguing theory that could explain why crime soared and then suddenly fell in the decades after the Second World War. The Telegraph (9/1/13)
      Lead poisoning of children continues to be a serious health problem – and one that science has linked to lower and lower levels of exposure even as government has opted for greater and greater cuts in prevention programs. Philadelphia Daily News (4/1/13)
      Children living near traditional plantations in Costa Rica are exposed to twice as much of the insecticide chlorpyrifos compared to children living near organic plantations, a study reports. Environmental Health News (4/1/13)
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