Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(12), 13130-13143; doi:10.3390/ijerph111213130 - published 17 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The effects of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) exposure and sodium selenite supplementation on cell apoptosis of jejunum in broilers were studied. A total of 240 one-day-old male AA broilers were randomly assigned four dietary treatments containing 0 mg/kg of AFB1 (control), 0.3 mg/kg AFB1 (AFB1), 0.4 mg/kg supplement Se (+ Se) and 0.3 mg/kg AFB1 + 0.4 mg/kg supplement Se (AFB1 + Se), respectively. Compared with the control broilers, the number of apoptotic cells, the expression of Bax and Caspase-3 mRNA were significantly increased, while the expression of Bcl-2 mRNA and the Bcl-2/Bax ratio were significantly decreased in AFB1 broilers. The number of apoptotic cells and the expression of Caspase-3 mRNA in AFB1 + Se broilers were significantly higher than those in the control broilers, but significantly lower than those in AFB1 broilers. There were no significant changes in the expression of Bax mRNA between AFB1 + Se and control broilers; the expression of Bcl-2 mRNA and the Bcl-2/Bax ratio in AFB1 + Se broilers were significantly lower than those in the control broilers, but significantly higher than those in AFB1 broilers. In conclusion, 0.3 mg/kg AFB1 in the diet can increase cell apoptosis, decrease Bcl-2 mRNA expression, and increase of Bax and Caspase-3 mRNA expression in broiler’s jejunum. However, supplementation of dietary sodium selenite at the concentration of 0.4 mg/kg Se may ameliorate AFB1-induced apoptosis by increasing Bcl-2 mRNA expression, and decreasing Bax and Caspase-3 mRNA expression.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(12), 13117-13129; doi:10.3390/ijerph111213117 - published 16 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is a commonly used organophosphate insecticide (OP). In adults, exposure to OPs has been inconsistently associated with reduced lung function. OP exposure and lung function has not been assessed in adolescents. The objective of this study was to assess CPF exposure and lung function among Egyptian adolescents. We conducted a 10-month study of male adolescent pesticide applicators (n = 38) and non-applicators of similar age (n = 24). Urinary 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TPCy), a CPF-specific metabolite, was analyzed in specimens collected throughout the study. Spirometry was performed twice after pesticide application: day 146, when TCPy levels were elevated and day 269, when TCPy levels were near baseline. Applicators had higher levels of TCPy (mean cumulative TCPy day 146 = 33,217.6; standard deviation (SD) = 49,179.3) than non-applicators (mean cumulative TCPy day 146 = 3290.8; SD = 3994.9). Compared with non-applicators, applicators had higher odds of reporting wheeze, odds ratio = 3.41 (95% CI: 0.70; 17.41). Cumulative urinary TCPy was inversely associated with spirometric measurements at day 146, but not at day 269. Although generally non-significant, results were consistent with an inverse association between exposure to CPF and lung function.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(12), 13097-13116; doi:10.3390/ijerph111213097 - published 16 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Climate change will increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events and create risks that will impact health care facilities. Health care facilities will need to assess climate change risks and adopt adaptive management strategies to be resilient, but guidance tools are lacking. In this study, a toolkit was developed for health care facility officials to assess the resiliency of their facility to climate change impacts. A mixed methods approach was used to develop climate change resiliency indicators to inform the development of the toolkit. The toolkit consists of a checklist for officials who work in areas of emergency management, facilities management and health care services and supply chain management, a facilitator’s guide for administering the checklist, and a resource guidebook to inform adaptation. Six health care facilities representing three provinces in Canada piloted the checklist. Senior level officials with expertise in the aforementioned areas were invited to review the checklist, provide feedback during qualitative interviews and review the final toolkit at a stakeholder workshop. The toolkit helps health care facility officials identify gaps in climate change preparedness, direct allocation of adaptation resources and inform strategic planning to increase resiliency to climate change.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(12), 13084-13096; doi:10.3390/ijerph111213084 - published 16 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Diatoms are a highly diversified group of algae that are widely distributed in aquatic ecosystems, and various species have different nutrient and temperature requirements for optimal growth. Here, we describe unusual psychrophilic diatoms of Cymbella in a travertine deposition environment in southwestern China in winter season. Travertine surfaces are colonized by these psychrophilic diatoms, which form biofilms of extracellular polysaccharide substances (EPS) with active metabolic activities in extremely cold conditions. The travertine in Huanglong, is a typical single crystalline calcite with anisotropic lattice distortions of unit cell parameters along axes of a and c, and this structure is suggestive of some level of metabolic mediation on mineralization. Near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (NEXAFS) results further confirmed the occurrence of biogenic distortion of the crystal lattice of travertine calcite. Overall, our results imply that the metabolic influence of psychrophilic diatoms may be particularly important for promoting formation and dissolution of travertine in extremely cold environments of Huanglong. The EPS of psychrophilic diatoms will protect travertine from HCO3− etching and provide template for forming travertine when water re-flowing, in warm season.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(12), 13074-13083; doi:10.3390/ijerph111213074 - published 16 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The World Health Organization defines social determinants of health as “complex, integrated, and overlapping social structures and economic systems” that are responsible for most health inequities. Similar to the individual-level risk factors such as behavioral and biological risk factors that influence disease, we consider social determinants of health such as the distribution of income, wealth, influence and power as risk factors for risk of disease. We operationally define health inequity in a disease within a population due to a risk factor that is unfair and avoidable as the difference between the disease outcome with and without the risk factor in the population. We derive expressions for difference in health inequity between two populations due to a risk factor that is unfair and avoidable for a given disease. The difference in heath inequity between two population groups due to a risk factor increases with increasing difference in relative risks and the difference in prevalence of the risk factor in the two populations. The difference in health inequity could be larger than the difference in health outcomes between the two populations in some situations. Compared to health disparities which are typically measured and monitored using absolute or relative disparities of health outcomes, the methods presented in this manuscript provide a different, yet complementary, picture because they parse out the contributions of unfair and avoidable risk factors.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(12), 13065-13073; doi:10.3390/ijerph111213065 - published 15 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The prevalence of obesity in the Hispanic preschool population remains elevated, particularly among children in low income families below the poverty level. Obesity leads to the early onset of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. The Head Start population of Texas is largely comprised of this high risk group. Their physical activity level is suboptimal in part due to lack of available outside play areas and time spent watching television and playing sedentary video games. Dietary intake is frequently high in sugar sweetened beverages and low in vegetables. The group is frequently bilingual with limited vocabulary and has not learned to read. Preserving their Mexican American culture is a concern. This article describes the development and assessment of a group of bilingual interactive video interventions to improve age appropriate physical activity while providing basic nutrition education focusing on increasing vegetable and water intake and decreasing sugar sweetened beverages. Suggestions for development and assessment of content were provided by focus groups of Head Start teachers, managers and dietitians in the Texas counties of Bastrop, Hidalgo and McLennon. A demonstration of the videos was conducted in Bastrop County. Teachers, students and managers felt that the videos provided excellent information, improved exercise participation and engaged the children.