Fw: Children's Environmental Health Newsletter - February 2013
- Dr. Prasad Pore
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You're receiving this newsletter because you have subscribed to the Healthy Environments for Children AllianceFebruary 2013STATE OF THE SCIENCE OF ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING CHEMICALS – 2012An assessment of the state of the science of endocrine disruptors prepared by a group of experts for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and WHO.Authors:WHO/UNEPThis document provides the global status of scientific knowledge on exposure to and effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).The work is based on the fact that endocrine systems are very similar across vertebrate species and that endocrine effects manifest themselves independently of species. The effects are endocrine system related and not necessarily species dependent. Effects shown in wildlife or experimental animals may also occur in humans if they are exposed to EDCs at a vulnerable time and at concentrations leading to alterations of endocrine regulation. Of special concern are effects on early development of both humans and wildlife, as these effects are often irreversible and may not become evident until later in life. The third and final chapter of this document discusses exposure of humans and wildlife to EDCs and potential EDCs.(Taken directly from WHO website)The development and publication of the two documents were supported by funds provided to UNEP by the Norwegian government, the Swedish Environment Ministry, the Swedish Research Council (FORMAS) and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. Support was provided to WHO by the United States National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) through cooperative agreement 1 U01 ES02617.JOURNAL ARTICLESAir PollutionInvestigating the association between birth weight and complementary air pollution metrics: a cohort studyThe authors used a hospital-based obstetric database of more than 70,000 births to study the relationships between air pollution and the risk of low birth weight (LBW, <2,500 g), as well as birth weight as a continuous variable, in term-born infants. Increased risks of LBW were associated with ambient O3 concentrations as measured by monitoring stations, as well as traffic density and proximity to major roadways. LBW was not significantly associated with other air pollution metrics, except that a decreased risk was associated with ambient NO2 concentrations as measured by monitoring stations. When birth weight was analyzed as a continuous variable, small increases in mean birth weight were associated with most air pollution metrics (<40 g per inter-quartile range in air pollution metrics). No such increase was observed for traffic density or proximity to major roadways, and a significant decrease in mean birth weight was associated with ambient O3 concentrations. The authors found contrasting results according to the different air pollution metrics examined. Ambient O3 was associated with a decrement in mean birth weight and significant increases in the risk of LBW were associated with traffic density, proximity to roads and ambient O3.Environmental HealthChemicalsThe results of previous studies suggest that prenatal exposure to bis[p-chlorophenyl]-1,1,1-trichloroethane (DDT) and to its main metabolite, 2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethylene (DDE), impairs psychomotor development during the first year of life. However, information about the persistence of this association at later ages is limited. The authors assessed the association of prenatal DDE exposure with child neurodevelopment at 42–60 months of age. After adjustment, a doubling of DDE during the third trimester of pregnancy was associated with statistically significant reductions of –1.37, –0.88, –0.84, and –0.80 points in the general cognitive index, quantitative, verbal, and memory components respectively. The association between prenatal DDE and the quantitative component was weaker at 42 months than at older ages. No significant statistical interactions with sex or breastfeeding were observed. The authors concluded that their findings support the hypothesis that prenatal DDE impairs early child neurodevelopment; the potential for adverse effects on development should be considered when using DDT for malaria control.Environmental Health PerspectivesAn association between pesticide exposure and cancer has been suggested. Infant leukemia is a rare neoplasm and its association with maternal pesticide exposure has been poorly explored. The authors investigated the association between pesticide exposure during pregnancy and leukemia in children < 2 years of age. Associations with use of pesticides during pregnancy were observed for acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) (aOR = 2.10; 95% CI: 1.14, 3.86) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) (aOR = 5.01; 95% CI: 1.97, 12.7) in children 0–11 months of age, and with ALL (aOR = 1.88; 95% CI: 1.05, 5.23) at 12–23 months of age. According to reported maternal exposure to permethrin, higher risk estimates were verified for children 0–11 months of age (aOR = 2.47; 95% CI: 1.17, 5.25 for ALL; and aOR = 7.28; 95% CI: 2.60, 20.38 for AML). Maternal pesticide exposure related to agricultural activities showed an aOR of 5.25 (95% CI: 1.83, 15.08) for ALL, and an aOR of 7.56 (95% CI: 1.83, 31.23) for AML. The authors note that their results support the hypothesis that pesticide exposure during pregnancy may be involved in the etiology of acute leukemia in children < 2 years of ageEnvironmental Health PerspectivesReproductive HealthIn Utero and Childhood Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) Exposures and Neurodevelopment in the CHAMACOS StudyCalifornia children’s exposures to polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants (PBDEs) are among the highest worldwide. PBDEs are known endocrine disruptors and neurotoxicants in animals. The authors investigated the relation of in utero and child PBDE exposure to neurobehavioral development among participants in CHAMACOS (Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas), a California birth cohort. They found that both prenatal and childhood PBDE exposures were associated with poorer attention, fine motor coordination, and cognition in the CHAMACOS cohort of school-age children. This study, the largest to date, contributes to growing evidence suggesting that PBDEs have adverse impacts on child neurobehavioral developmentEnvironmental Health PerspectivesWater and SanitationPersistence and Potential Effects of Complex Organic Contaminant Mixtures in Wastewater-Impacted StreamsNatural and synthetic organic contaminants in municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents can cause ecosystem impacts, raising concerns about their persistence in receiving streams. In this study, Lagrangian sampling, in which the same approximate parcel of water is tracked as it moves downstream, was conducted at Boulder Creek, Colorado and Fourmile Creek, Iowa to determine in-stream transport and attenuation of organic contaminants discharged from two secondary WWTPs. Discharge was measured at each site, and integrated composite samples were collected and analyzed for >200 organic contaminants. The highest concentration (>100 μg L–1) compounds detected in both WWTP effluents were ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and 4-nonylphenolethoxycarboxylate oligomers. Concentrations of pharmaceuticals were lower (<1 μg L–1), and several compounds, including carbamazepine and sulfamethoxazole, were detected throughout the study reaches. After accounting for in-stream dilution, a complex mixture of contaminants showed little attenuation and was persistent in the receiving streams at concentrations with potential ecosystem implications.Environmental Science and TechnologyAdditional Publications:E WasteInformation taken from the International Labour Organization (ILO) websiteElectrical and electronic waste (e-waste) is currently the largest growing waste stream. It is hazardous, complex and expensive to treat in an environmentally sound manner, and there is a general lack of legislation or enforcement surrounding it. Today, most e-waste is being discarded in the general waste stream.Of the e-waste in developed countries that is sent for recycling, 80 per cent ends up being shipped (often illegally) to developing countries to be recycled by hundreds of thousands of informal workers. Such globalization of e-waste has adverse environmental and health implications.“The global impact of e-waste: Addressing the challenge” explores the volumes, sources and flows of e-waste, the risks it poses to e-waste workers and the environment, occupational safety and health issues, labour issues and regulatory frameworks, and links this growing global problem with the International Labour Organization’s current and future work.The main risks to human health and the environment arise from the presence in e-waste of heavy metals, POPs, flame retardants and other potentially hazardous substances. There are three main groups of substances that may be released during recycling and material recovery, and which are of concern: original constituents of equipment, such as lead and mercury; substances that may be added during some recovery processes, such as cyanide; and substances that may be formed by recycling processes, such as dioxins. If improperly managed, such substances may pose significant human and environmental health risks (Taken from page 18 of the paper).
CHILDREN’S ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWSPress ReleasesThird Africa Environment Outlook Addresses Key Environmental Risks for Human Health and Draws Pathways for Sustainable FutureAfrica's leaders should put implementing environment and health issues at the top of their national and continent-wide policies if growing challenges such as air pollution, vector-borne diseases and chemical exposure are to be addressed, according to a new report compiled by the UN Environment Programme. UNEP (21/2/13)WHO/World Bank convene ministerial meeting to discuss best practices for moving forward on universal health coverageTop officials from health and finance ministries from 27 countries joined other high-level health and development stakeholders at a two-day meeting in Geneva to discuss ways that countries are progressing towards universal health coverage. WHO (19/2/13)Many synthetic chemicals, untested for their disrupting effects on the hormone system, could have significant health implications according to the State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme and WHO. WHO (19/2/13)First Universal Session of UNEP Governing Council to Galvanize New Environmental Era in Support of a Sustainable CenturyAs well as charting a course for a strengthened UNEP that will help transform a wide body of science into concrete policy action, the meeting will cover many pressing and emerging issues, including: sustainable consumption and production patterns and the post-2015 Development Agenda, financing options for chemicals and waste, and system-wide coordination on Rio+20 follow-up. UNEP (14/2/13)Actions to cut food waste and to harness the power of social media to promote sustainable lifestyles are among the issues on the agenda at a major United Nations youth meeting on the environment which opened in Nairobi, Kenya. UNEP (11/2/13)Syrian children are at increased risk of disease because of the severe disruption of services, damage done to water and sanitation systems and a lack of access to basic hygiene during the nearly two-year conflict. UNICEF (8/2/13)For the first time, the three global intergovernmental bodies dealing with health, intellectual property and trade have pooled their expertise on a study of policies needed to advance medical and health technologies and to ensure they reach the people who need them. WHO (5/2/13)More than half of all countries worldwide are struggling to prevent cancer and provide treatment and chronic care to cancer patients, warns a recent WHO survey for World Cancer Day. There is an urgent need to help countries to reduce cancer deaths and provide appropriate long-term treatment and care to avoid human suffering and protect countries’ social and economic development. WHO (1/2/13)In the Media100,000 vials of blood have been frozen for the better part of five decades. Scientists say these vials could help them unravel one of the most enduring medical mysteries: Why do some women, with no family history, develop breast cancer? Environmental Health News (25/2/13)The greater the lead poisoning in a Detroit Public Schools student's blood, the higher the likelihood he or she will do poorly on achievement tests -- even after accounting for contributing factors such as poverty. Detroit Free Press (25/2/13)The number of women giving birth to premature babies has fallen after the banning of smoking in public places, new research has found. London Daily Mail (21/2/13)An international team of experts reported that evidence linking hormone-mimicking chemicals to human health problems has grown stronger over the past decade, becoming a "global threat" that should be addressed. Environmental Health News (19/2/13)Ongoing testing shows that even though the average concentration of lead in the American bloodstream has dropped by a factor of 10 since the late 1970s, the levels are still two orders of magnitude higher than natural human levels. Scientific American (18/2/13)Are people exposed to doses of bisphenol A in their canned foods and other consumer products that can harm them? Or are the amounts too low to cause any harm? Environmental Health News (16/2/13)Cesarean sections and breast feeding can have lifelong effects on a baby’s health, and researchers may have uncovered why. Time Magazine (15/2/13)Women who took folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy were about 40% less likely to have a baby later diagnosed with autism, according to a provocative new study generating high interest in the scientific community. USA Today (13/2/13)Genes connected to the two disorders may only be active for a brief window of time. The study, while in mice, could provide clues about how the developmental disorders develop, including periods during which environmental exposures may influence risk. Time Magazine (12/2/13)A pregnant woman's exposure to outdoor air pollution may increase the risk of her baby being born at a lower birth weight, according to a large multinational study. My Health News Daily (9/2/13)An allergic reaction to cockroaches is a major contributor to asthma in urban children, but new research suggests that the insects are just one part of a more complex story. Very early exposure to certain components of air pollution can increase the risk of developing a cockroach allergy by age 7 and children with a common mutation in a gene called GSTM may be especially vulnerable. Reuters Health (6/2/13)Exposure to flame retardants during pregnancy or early childhood may lead to children with poorer attention, motor skills and IQ scores. The study of California children is the most comprehensive one to evaluate cognitive declines in school-aged children exposed to PBDEs. Environmental Health News (6/2/13)A new study has revealed that globally, mercury contamination regularly exceeds health advisory levels in humans and fish. Ghana News Agency (4/2/13)Researchers from Johns Hopkins have discovered that second-hand smoke is a significant source of lead exposure in children. Syracus YNN Radio (2/2/13)Researchers report an association between phthalate exposure and asthma and allergic disease in a cohort of 10-year-old Norwegian children. Environmental Health Perspectives (2/2/13)Suffering in our early years can have terrible after-effects – not only on us but also on our descendants. We're now closing in on how the biology works. New Scientist (2/2/13)The European Commission has promised a review of the EU's clean air standards later this year after new research by the World health Organization (WHO) suggested links between air pollution and health conditions ranging from neurodevelopment disorders to cardiovascular and respiratory deaths. Euractiv (1/2/13)UPCOMING EVENTSJuly 28th – August 2nd 2013, Edinburgh, ScotlandSeptember 24th – 27th 2013. Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of AmericaHave news for us?If you would like to submit information to future HECANET issues, email us at heca@... with the subject line "INFORMATION FOR HECANET".Collated and distributed with the cooperation of the