Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(7), 7537-7561; doi:10.3390/ijerph110707537 - published online 22 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic compound used in the production of many polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. It is one of the most widely produced chemicals in the world today and is found in most canned goods, plastics, and even household dust. Exposure to BPA is almost universal: most people have measurable amounts of BPA in both urine and serum. BPA is similar in structure to estradiol and can bind to multiple targets both inside and outside the nucleus, in effect acting as an endocrine disruptor. Research on BPA exposure has accelerated in the past decade with findings suggesting that perinatal exposure to BPA can negatively impact both male and female reproduction, create alterations in behavior, and act as a carcinogen. BPA can have both short term and long term effects with the latter typically occurring through epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation. This review will draw on both human and animal studies in an attempt to synthesize the literature and examine the effects of BPA exposure on reproduction, behavior, and carcinogenesis with a focus on the potential epigenetic mechanisms by which it acts.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(7), 7524-7536; doi:10.3390/ijerph110707524 - published online 22 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS) are an artificially derived type of pluripotent stem cell, showing many of the same characteristics as natural pluripotent stem cells. IPS are a hopeful therapeutic model; however there is a critical need to determine their response to environmental toxins. Effects of arsenic on cells have been studied extensively; however, its effect on IPS is yet to be elucidated. Arsenic trioxide (ATO) has been shown to inhibit cell proliferation, induce apoptosis and genotoxicity in many cells. Based on ATOs action in other cells, we hypothesize that it will induce alterations in morphology, inhibit cell viability and induce a genotoxic effect on IPS. Cells were treated for 24 hours with ATO (0–9 µg/mL). Cell morphology, viability and DNA damage were documented. Results indicated sufficient changes in morphology of cell colonies mainly in cell ability to maintain grouping and ability to remain adherent. Cell viability decreased in a dose dependent manner. There were significant increases in tail length and moment as well as destruction of intact DNA as concentration increased. Exposure to ATO resulted in a reproducible dose dependent sequence of events marked by changes in morphology, decrease of cell viability, and induction of genotoxicity in IPS.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(7), 7508-7523; doi:10.3390/ijerph110707508 - published online 21 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Increasing urbanization across the globe, combined with an increased use of chemicals in various regions, contributes to several environmental events that influence environmental health. Measures that identify environmental factors and events should be introduced to facilitate epidemiological investigations by health services. The Brazilian Ministry of Health published a new list of notifiable diseases on 25 January 2011 and introduced environmental events as a new category of notifiable occurrences. The Center for Epidemiologic Surveillance in State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, created an online notification system that highlights “environmental events”, such as exposure to chemical contaminants, drinking water with contaminants outside of the recommended range, contaminated air, and natural or anthropogenic disasters. This paper analyzed 300 notifications received between May 2011 and May 2012. It reports the number of notifications with event classifications and analyzes the events relating to accidents with chemical substances. This paper describes the characteristics of the accidents that involved chemical substances, methods used, types of substances, exposed population, and measures adopted. The online notification of environmental events increases the analysis of the main events associated with diseases related to environmental chemicals; thus, it facilitates the adoption of public policies to prevent environmental health problems.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(7), 7492-7507; doi:10.3390/ijerph110707492 - published online 21 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Recently the existence and prevalence of health and health care disparities has increased with accompanying research showing that minorities (African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders) are disproportionately affected resulting in poorer health outcomes compared to non-minority populations (whites). This is due to multiple factors including and most importantly the social determinants of health which includes lower levels of education, overall lower socioeconomic status, inadequate and unsafe housing, and living in close proximity to environmental hazards; all contributing to poor health. Given the ever widening gap in health and health care disparities, the growing number of individuals living at or below the poverty level, the low number of college graduates and the growing shortage of health care professionals (especially minority) the goals of this paper are to: (1) Define diversity and inclusion as interdependent entities. (2) Review the health care system as it relates to barriers/problems within the system resulting in the unequal distribution of quality health care. (3) Examine institutional and global benefits of increasing diversity in research. (4) Provide recommendations on institutional culture change and developing a diverse culturally competent healthcare workforce.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(7), 7482-7491; doi:10.3390/ijerph110707482 - published online 21 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In 2012 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) set the blood Pb reference value at ≥5 µg/dL. Clinical analysis of children’s blood Pb levels is the common way to diagnose environmental Pb contamination, and intervention ensues with education and household dust cleanup. Recent review indicates that education and household dust cleanup are not effective at reducing children’s Pb exposure. Here we review mapping environmental Pb and children’s blood Pb response as an alternative approach for proactive Pb dust intervention. New Orleans was divided into a high (≥100 mg/kg) and low (<100 mg/kg) soil Pb communities. The children’s blood Pb prevalence ≥5 µg/dL for the high and low Pb domains were 58.5% and 24.8% respectively pre-Katrina vs. 29.6% and 7.5% post-Katrina. Elevated soil Pb (mg/kg) and consequently Pb loading (µg/square area) permeates the high Pb domain and outdoor locations lack Pb dust safe play areas. The U.S. EPA 400 mg/kg soil Pb standard poses an outside Pb dust loading burden >37 times larger than allowed on interior residential floor environments. Environmental Pb dust is decreasing because of the transfer of large quantities of low Pb soil into selected communities. City-scale soil Pb mapping is an alternative diagnostic tool that provides information for planning proactive medicine to prevent clinical Pb exposure in the first place.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(7), 7470-7481; doi:10.3390/ijerph110707470 - published online 21 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Mortality represents an important outcome measure following coronary artery bypass grafting. Shorter survival times may reflect poor surgical quality and an increased number of costly postoperative complications. Quality control efforts aimed at increasing survival times may be misleading if not properly adjusted for case-mix severity. This paper demonstrates how to construct and cross-validate efficiency-outcome plots for a specified time (e.g., 6-month and 1-year survival) after coronary artery bypass grafting, accounting for baseline cardiovascular risk factors. The application of this approach to regional centers allows for the localization of risk stratification rather than applying overly broad and non-specific models to their patient populations.