International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Published by MDPI
Online ISSN: 1660-4601
Publications
Article
It is conceivable that toxic metals contribute to obesity by influencing various aspects of metabolism, such as by substituting for essential micronutrients and vital metals, or by inducing oxidative stress. Deficiency of the essential metal zinc decreases adiposity in humans and rodent models, whereas deficiencies of chromium, copper, iron, and magnesium increases adiposity. This study utilized the NHANES 99-02 data to explore the association between waist circumference and body mass index with the body burdens of selected toxic metals (barium, cadmium, cobalt, cesium, molybdenum, lead, antimony, thallium, and tungsten). Some of the associations were significant direct relationships (barium and thallium), and some of the associations were significant inverse relationships (cadmium, cobalt, cesium, and lead). Molybdenum, antimony, and tungsten had mostly insignificant associations with waist circumference and body mass index. This is novel result for most of the toxic metals studied, and a surprising result for lead because high stored lead levels have been shown to correlate with higher rates of diabetes, and obesity may be a key risk factor for developing diabetes. These associations suggest the possibility that environmental exposure to metals may contribute to variations in human weight gain/loss. Future research, such as prospective studies rather than the cross-sectional studies presented here, is warranted to confirm these findings.
 
Article
The major concern for the halogenated compounds is their widespread distribution, in addition to occupational exposures. Several chlorinated alkanes and alkenes were found to induce toxic effects. In this study, we investigated the genotoxic potential of 1,1-dichloroethane in the bone marrow cells obtained from Swiss-Webster mice, using chromosomal aberrations (CA), mitotic index (MI), and micronuclei (MN) formation as toxicological endpoints. Five groups of three male mice each, weighing an average of 24 +/- 2 g, were injected intraperitoneally, once with doses of 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 mg/kg body weight (BW) of 1,1-dichloroethane dissolved in ethanol. A control group was also made of three animals injected with ethanol (1%) without the chemical. All animals were sacrificed 24 hours after the treatment. Chromosome and micronuclei preparations were obtained from bone marrow cells following standard protocols. Chromatid and chromosome aberrations were investigated in 100 metaphase cells per animal and percent micronuclei frequencies were investigated in 1,000 metaphase cells per animal. 1,1-dichloroethane exposures significantly increased the number of chromosomal aberrations and the frequency of micronucleated cells in the bone marrow cells of Swiss-Webster mice. Percent chromosomal aberrations of 2.67 +/- 0.577, 7.66 +/- 2.89, 8.33 +/- 2.08, 14.67 +/- 2.51, 20.3 +/- 3.21, 28 +/- 3.61; mitotic index of 9.4%, 7.9%, 6.2%, 4.3%, 3.0%, 2.6% and micronuclei frequencies of 3.33 +/- 0.7, 7.33 +/- 0.9, 8.00 +/- 1.0, 11.67 +/- 1.2, 15.33 +/- 0.7, 18.00 +/- 1.7 were recorded for the control, 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 mg/kg BW respectively; indicating a gradual increase in number of chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei formation, with increasing dose of 1,1,-dichloroethane. Our results indicate that 1,1-dichloroethane has a genotoxic potential as measured by the bone marrow CA and MN tests in Swiss-Webster mice.
 
Article
Cancer has been recognized to have environmental origin, but occupational cancer risk studies have not been fully documented. The objective of this paper was to identify occupations and industries with elevated colon cancer risk based on lifetime occupational histories collected from 15,463 incident cancer cases. A group matched case-control design was used. All cases were diagnosed with histologically proven colon cancers, with cancer controls being all other cancer sites, excluding rectum, lung and unknown primary, diagnosed at the same period of time from the British Columbia Cancer Registry. Data analyses were done on all 597 Canadian standard occupation titles and 1,104 standard industry titles using conditional logistic regression for matched data sets and the likelihood ratio test. Excess colon cancer risks was observed in a number of occupations and industries, particularly those with low physical activity and those involving exposure to asbestos, wood dusts, engine exhaust and diesel engine emissions, and ammonia. The results of our study are in line with those from the literature and further suggest that exposure to wood dusts and to ammonia may carry an increased occupational risk of colon cancer.
 
Article
Outdoor and indoor (subway) samples were collected by passive sampling in urban Seoul (Korea) and analyzed with computer-controlled scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (CCSEM-EDX). Soil/road dust particles accounted for 42%-60% (by weight) of fine particulate matter larger than 1 µm (PM2.5-1.0) in outdoor samples and 18% of PM2.5-1.0 in subway samples. Iron-containing particles accounted for only 3%-6% in outdoor samples but 69% in subway samples. Qualitatively similar results were found for coarse particulate matter (PM10-2.5) with soil/road dust particles dominating outdoor samples (66%-83%) and iron-containing particles contributing most to subway PM10-2.5 (44%). As expected, soil/road dust particles comprised a greater mass fraction of PM10-2.5 than PM2.5-1.0. Also as expected, the mass fraction of iron-containing particles was substantially less in PM10-2.5 than in PM2.5-1.0. Results of this study are consistent with known emission sources in the area and with previous studies, which showed high concentrations of iron-containing particles in the subway compared to outdoor sites. Thus, passive sampling with CCSEM-EDX offers an inexpensive means to assess PM2.5-1.0 and PM10-2.5 simultaneously and by composition at multiple locations.
 
Article
Background: The potential health risks of exposure to Radiofrequency Fields (RF) emitted by mobile phones are currently of considerable public interest, such as the adverse effects on the circadian rhythmicities of biological systems. To determine whether circadian rhythms of the plasma antioxidants (Mel, GSH-Px and SOD) are affected by RF, we performed a study on male Sprague Dawley rats exposed to the 1.8 GHz RF. Methods: All animals were divided into seven groups. The animals in six groups were exposed to 1.8 GHz RF (201.7 μW/cm² power density, 0.05653 W/kg specific absorption rate) at a specific period of the day (3, 7, 11, 15, 19 and 23 h GMT, respectively), for 2 h/day for 32 consecutive days. The rats in the seventh group were used as sham-exposed controls. At the end of last RF exposure, blood samples were collected from each rat every 4 h (total period of 24 h) and also at similar times from sham-exposed animals. The concentrations of three antioxidants (Mel, GSH-Px and SOD) were determined. The data in RF-exposed rats were compared with those in sham-exposed animals. Results: circadian rhythms in the synthesis of Mel and antioxidant enzymes, GSH-Px and SOD, were shifted in RF-exposed rats compared to sham-exposed animals: the Mel, GSH-Px and SOD levels were significantly decreased when RF exposure was given at 23 and 3 h GMT. Conclusion: The overall results indicate that there may be adverse effects of RF exposure on antioxidant function, in terms of both the daily antioxidative levels, as well as the circadian rhythmicity.
 
Chemical structure of 2-phenylbenzimidazole
Cytotoxicity of 2-phenylbenzimidazole in TA102
Photomutagenicity of 2-phenylbenzimidazole in TA 102
Cell viability of 2-phenylbenzimidazole in HaCaT keratinocytes. Statistical analyses indicate that the DNA tail moments are significantly different for all the light irradiated from the non-irradiated.
Cell genotoxicity of 2-phenylbenzimidazole in HaCaT keratinocytes. Statistical analyses indicate that the DNA tail moments are significantly different for all the light irradiated from the non-irradiated.
Article
2-phenylbenzimidazole (PBI) is an ingredient found in sunscreen agents. PBI can absorb the UV portion of the solar light and undergo a series of light-induced reactions to cause adverse effects in humans. Therefore, chemical and photochemical toxicity of PBI were investigated in the bacteria Salmonella typhimurium TA 102 and human skin keratinocyte cells. There is no appreciable bacteria death due to the exposure to PBI alone, indicating that PBI is not chemically toxic to the bacteria at a dose as high as 625 microM. However, exposure to PBI and a solar simulator light (300-W Xe/Hg lamp, 30 min, 18.6 J/cm2, equivalent to 30 min outdoor sunlight) causes significant bacteria death: 35% at 25 microM and 55% at 625 microM PBI. Exposure of the bacteria to light and PBI at doses 5-25 microM causes the bacteria to revert, an indication of mutation. In the presence of PBI but without light irradiation, the number of revertant bacteria colonies is around 200 due to spontaneous mutation. Combination of light irradiation and PBI causes the number of revertant TA 102 colonies to increase in a dose dependent manner, reaching a maximum of around 1700 revertant colonies at 25 microM PBI. At higher PBI concentrations, the number of revertant colonies remains constant. This result clearly indicates that PBI is photomutagenic in TA 102. Exposure of the human skin HaCaT keratinocytes in aqueous solution in the presence of PBI causes the cell to lose its viability with or without light irradiation. There is no significant difference in cell viability for the light irradiated or non-irradiated groups, indication PBI is not photocytotoxic. However, exposure of the cells to both PBI and light irradiation causes cellular DNA damage, while exposure to PBI alone does not cause DNA damage.
 
Article
A recent publication in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health by Chari et al. [1] provides no basis for changing the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for lead in the U.S. to protect children in low socio-economic (SES) populations. The studies selected by Chari et al. for analysis do not provide comparable information on regression coefficients for the blood lead level-IQ relationship. The coefficients differ from one another more on the basis of unequal blood lead metrics, ages of blood lead measurement, and differences in covariate adjustments and standardization, than the difference postulated by Chari et al. to correspond to low vs. high SES populations.
 
Article
In their recent article [1], Chari et al. call attention to the important subject of setting National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to provide requisite protection for public health, including the health of sensitive groups, as specified under the Clean Air Act (73 FR 66965) [2]. The authors focus on consideration of susceptibility to inform policy choices, using lead (Pb)-related neurocognitive effects and children from low socioeconomic status (SES) families in the context of alternative Pb standard levels. Our comments focus on the authors' analysis of the scientific evidence and not on policy. We agree with the authors that the health effects evidence for Pb indicates a role (or roles) for SES-related factors in influencing childhood Pb exposure and associated health effects. We disagree, however, with the authors' interpretation of the literature on SES influence on the shape of the concentration-response (C-R) relationship between children's blood Pb and IQ (e.g., steepness of the slope). We further address aspects of the scientific evidence that are important to the consideration of sensitive populations in the context of the Pb NAAQS, and how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considered this evidence in setting the Pb NAAQS in 2008.
 
Article
When estimating the association between peer and youth alcohol consumption, it is critical to account for possible differential levels of response to peer socialization processes across youth, in addition to variability in individual, family, and social factors. Failure to account for intrinsic differences in youth's response to peers may pose a threat of selection bias. To address this issue, we used a propensity score stratification method to examine whether the size of the association between peer and youth drinking is contingent upon differential predicted probabilities of associating with alcohol-consuming friends. Analyzing a Chilean youth sample (N = 914) of substance use, we found that youths are susceptible to the detrimental role of peer drinkers, but the harmful relationship with one's own drinking behavior may be exacerbated among youth who already have a high probability of socializing with peers who drink. In other words, computing a single weighted-average estimate for peer drinking would have underestimated the detrimental role of peers, particularly among at-risk youths, and overestimated the role of drinking peers among youths who are less susceptible to peer socialization processes. Heterogeneous patterns in the association between peer and youth drinking may shed light on social policies that target at-risk youths.
 
Article
Participation of 9 to 11-year-old children in physical education lessons (PEL) contributes to a significantly higher duration of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during the school day and, in overweight/obese girls and normal-weight boys, to an increase in overall daily MVPA as shown by previous research. However, it is not known whether this increase in MVPA is at the expense of light physical activity (LPA) or sedentary behaviour (SED). SED, LPA, and MVPA were assessed in 338 schoolchildren aged 9-11 years (50.3% girls; 29.6% overweight/obese) over two school days (with and without a PEL) using a triaxial accelerometer during various segments of the school day. SED, LPA, and MVPA were quantified based on the duration of the activity (minutes). Participation in PEL led to significantly higher school MVPA in the overweight/obese and normal-weight girls and boys (p < 0.005) compared to MVPA of those children on the school day without PEL. Participation in PEL led to a significantly higher overall daily MVPA duration compared to that during the day without PEL for the overweight/obese girls (p < 0.05), normal-weight girls (p < 0.05) and boys (p < 0.005). Participation in PEL contributed not only to significantly higher LPA in the normal-weight girls and boys (p < 0.01) during the school day but also reduced school-time SED in the overweight/obese children (p < 0.01) and normal-weight girls (p < 0.005). Moreover, participation in PEL significantly reduced the overall daily SED in the normal-weight children and overweight/obese boys (p < 0.05). Adding one PEL to the daily school routine appears to be a promising strategy for effectively reducing SED in children.
 
Article
The authors wish to add the following amendment and correction on their paper published in IJERPH [1]: Page 6139, Line 3 in Paragraph 3: "…Israel, [17,18],…" should read "…Israel and Palestine [17,18]…". [...].
 
Cont. 
Article
The FIFA 11+ is a simple, and easy to implement, sports injury prevention program comprising a warm up of 10 conditioning exercises. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the impact of the FIFA 11+ on injury incidence, compliance and cost effectiveness when implemented among football players. MEDLINE, EMBASE and Scopus databases were searched using the search terms "FIFA 11+", "football", "soccer", "injury prevention", and "The 11". The titles and abstracts were screened by two independent reviewers and the data were filtered by one reviewer using a standardized extraction form and thereafter checked by another one. The risk of bias and the methodological quality of the studies were evaluated through the PEDro score and Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP). A total of 911 studies were identified, of which 12 met the inclusion criteria of the review. The FIFA 11+ has demonstrated how a simple exercise program completed as part of warm-up can decrease the incidence of injuries in amateur football players. In general, considerable reductions in the number of injured players, ranging between 30% and 70%, have been observed among the teams that implemented the FIFA 11+. In addition, players with high compliance to the FIFA 11+ program had an estimated risk reduction of all injuries by 35% and show significant improvements in components of neuromuscular and motor performance when participating in structured warm-up sessions at least 1.5 times/week. Most studies had high methodological quality and a low risk of bias. Given the large number of people who play football at amateur level and the detrimental impact of sports injuries on a personal and societal level, the FIFA 11+ can be considered as a fundamental tool to minimize the risks of participation in a sport with substantial health benefits.
 
Article
The authors would like to add the following affiliation for Peter Søgaard Jørgensen of paper [1]: 8 International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists, Universitetsparken 15, Building 3, Copenhagen 2100, Denmark[...].
 
Cont. 
Article
The aim of the study is to investigate the determinants of exposure to ETS among Greek adolescents aged 11-17 years old. The GYTS questionnaire was completed by 5,179 adolescents. About 3 in 4 responders (76.8%) were exposed to ETS at home, and 38.5% were exposed to ETS outside of the home. Gender, age group, parental and close friends smoking status were significant determinants of adolescent's exposure to ETS. The results of the study could be valuable for the implementation of public health initiatives in Greece aiming to reduce the burden of adolescent's exposure to passive smoking.
 
Cont. 
Cont. 
Cont. 
Variables associated with exposure to Second-hand Tobacco Smoke (SHS) at home or outside the home among South African current non-smoker in-school adolescents aged 11 to 18 years. 
Article
The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence and identify correlates of second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS) among 6,412 current non-smoking school-going adolescents (aged 11 to 18 years) in South Africa. A cross-sectional study was carried out in 2008 in South Africa within the framework of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey. Overall, 25.7% of students were exposed to SHS at home, 34.2% outside of the home and 18.3% were exposed to SHS at home and outside of the home. Parental and close friends smoking status, allowing someone to smoke around you and perception that passive smoking was harmful were significant determinants of adolescent's exposure to both SHS at home and outside of the home. Identified factors can inform the implementation of public health interventions in order to reduce passive smoking among adolescents.
 
Article
We thank Bifulco [1] for his interest in reading our article and his time in writing his comments on our work [2]. Our response to his concerns are as follows:[...].
 
Article
A recent paper was published on Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health addressing the so-called "Triangle of Death" linked to waste crisis in the Southern Italy [1]. Three decades of illegal waste management including uncontrolled disposal of toxic and industrial material, land filling and unauthorized incineration have transformed these Italian areas, into the poisoned dustbin of the country, the "Triangle of Death" also called "Land of Fires" [2,3], characterized by the presence of a widespread organized crime, a huge social and economic disintegration, a high population density with large migration flows. [...].
 
Article
Few data exist on the concurrent exposures of young children to past-use and current-use pesticides in their everyday environments. In this further analysis of study data, we quantified the potential exposures and intake doses of 129 preschool children, ages 20 to 66 months, to 16 pesticides (eight organochlorines, two organophosphates, three pyrethroids, and three acid herbicides). Environmental samples (soil, dust, outdoor air, and indoor air) and personal samples (hand wipes, solid food, and liquid food) were collected at 129 homes and 13 daycare centers in six counties in North Carolina between 2000 and 2001. α-Chlordane, γ-chlordane, heptachlor, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, cis-permethrin, trans-permethrin, and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) were detected ≥50% in two or more media in both settings. Of these pesticides, the children's estimated median potential intake doses through dietary ingestion, nondietary ingestion, and inhalation routes were the highest for 2,4-D and cis/trans-permethrin (both 4.84 ng/kg/day), cis/trans-permethrin (2.39 ng/kg/day), and heptachlor (1.71 ng/kg/day), respectively. The children's estimated median potential aggregate intake doses by all three routes were quantifiable for chlorpyrifos (4.6 ng/kg/day), cis/trans-permethrin (12.5 ng/kg/day), and 2,4-D (4.9 ng/kg/day). In conclusion, these children were likely exposed daily to several pesticides from several sources and routes at their homes and daycares.
 
Cytokine/chemokine levels in supernatants from ConA-stimulated splenocytes after perinatal BPA exposure. 
Article
Pregnant mice (n = 3) were exposed to BPA by intraperitoneal injection, from gestation day 9.5 until end of lactation. Male offspring were evaluated for cytokine production at 20 wk-of-age. One pregnant control mouse produced no males, precluding statistical analysis. However, recurring shifts in cytokines were suggested in the adult BPA offspring. Serum showed a numeric increase in 16 of 21 basal cytokine levels. ConA-stimulated splenocytes showed a numeric increase in 17 of 21 cytokines, and LPS-stimulated splenocytes an increase in 18 of 21 cytokines. The cytokine profile was one of T(H)1 up-regulation more than T(H)2, and with skewing toward T(H)17 responses.
 
Beck Depression Inventory scores (median and P25–P75) according adolescents' characteristics, by sex (Porto, Portugal 2003–2004) (n = 1,988). 
Prevalence of depressive symptoms (BDI-II > 13) according to adolescents' characteristics for girls and boys (Porto, Portugal 2003–2004) (n = 1,988). 
Crude and adjusted odds ratios for depressive symptoms (BDI-II > 13), according to boys' and girls' characteristics (Porto, Portugal 2003–2004) (n = 1,988). 
Article
The available estimates reveal that 20-50% of adolescents report depressive symptoms, being one of the most prevalent health problems in adolescence. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of depressive symptoms in a community sample of 13-year-old adolescents and identify associated features. Thirteen year-old adolescents attending private and public schools in Porto (n = 1,988, 52.2% females) were evaluated from October 2003 to June 2004 and completed a questionnaire including health behaviors and the Beck Depression Inventory II. A questionnaire on parents' socio-demographics and clinical characteristics was sent home. Data were analyzed separately by sex. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression. The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 18.8% in girls and 7.6% in boys (p < 0.001). Boys with a family history of depression and girls with smoking habits had a significantly increased risk of depressive symptoms (OR = 2.18, 95%CI 1.00-4.71; OR = 2.34, 95%CI 1.46-3.76). Menarche at an early age significantly increased the risk of depressive symptoms. The characteristics most strongly associated with depressive symptoms were family history of depression among boys, tobacco consumption and an early age at menarche among girls. The high prevalence of depressive symptoms early in adolescence calls for the awareness of public health professionals.
 
Article
Chernobyl demonstrated that iodine-131 (131I) released in a nuclear accident can cause malignant thyroid nodules to develop in children within a 300 mile radius of the incident. Timely potassium iodide (KI) administration can prevent the development of thyroid cancer and the American Thyroid Association (ATA) and a number of United States governmental agencies recommend KI prophylaxis. Current pre-distribution of KI by the United States government and other governments with nuclear reactors is probably ineffective. Thus we undertook a thorough scientific review, regarding emergency response to 131I exposures. We propose: (1) pre-distribution of KI to at risk populations; (2) prompt administration, within 2 hours of the incident; (3) utilization of a lowest effective KI dose; (4) distribution extension to at least 300 miles from the epicenter of a potential nuclear incident; (5) education of the public about dietary iodide sources; (6) continued post-hoc analysis of the long-term impact of nuclear accidents; and (7) support for global iodine sufficiency programs. Approximately two billion people are at risk for iodine deficiency disorder (IDD), the world's leading cause of preventable brain damage. Iodide deficient individuals are at greater risk of developing thyroid cancer after 131I exposure. There are virtually no studies of KI prophylaxis in infants, children and adolescents, our target population. Because of their sensitivity to these side effects, we have suggested that we should extrapolate from the lowest effective adult dose, 15-30 mg or 1-2 mg per 10 pounds for children. We encourage global health agencies (private and governmental) to consider these critical recommendations.
 
Article
We thank Dr. Baverstock [1] for his interest in reading our article and his time in writing his comments for our work [2]. We, however, respectfully disagree with his statement that we made "two category errors" associated with the assessment of the occurrence of "genomic instability" by determining the frequencies of delayed- or late-occurring chromosomal damage. Our disagreement is based upon the well-known fact that radiation-induced genomic instability (or delayed/late-occurring damage) can be manifested in many ways. These include late-occurring chromosomal damage, or mutations, or gene expression, or gene amplifications, or transformation, or microsatellite instability, or cell killing [3-9]. Such phenomena have been detected many cell generations after irradiation. We agree that genomic instability may well be the consequence of epigenetic changes. Another mechanism mentioned by Dr. Bavertock as being probably unlikely is the reversibility of damage. This potential may not be discarded off-hand, as Dr. Baverstock prefers to do. There is much reproducible evidence of adaptive protection that depending on absorbed dose precisely may reverse early damage, and damage appearing late may be due to some form of residual damage letting the cell become genetically unstable. In other words, the argument by Dr. Baverstock regarding upward or downward causation appears to be rather speculative and far from being settled.
 
Article
I would like to take issue with Rithidech et al., authors of the paper entitled "Lack of genomic instability in mice at low doses" [1] who claim to have shown that their results on the measurement of late occurring chromosome aberrations after irradiation of SCID mice with X-rays show that lower doses (0.05 Gy) do not induce genomic instability. Their earlier work at higher doses (0.1 and 1.0 Gy) on the same strain of mouse indicated that de novo chromosome aberrations were detected at 6 months post-irradiation. This was taken, almost certainly correctly, to be an indication of the presence of genomic instability: late appearing chromosome damage, as the authors note, seems to be a reliable indicator of the process. The lack of de novo chromosome aberrations at 6 months post-irradiation, however, cannot be taken as evidence of the absence of genomic instability. In drawing their conclusion of a "lack of genomic instability …." the authors have committed two category errors.
 
Yearly mean values (µg/m 3 ) and CV% of Indoor air pollutants in the 2007-2009 period. 
Correlations between the twelve seasonal outdoor values in the 2007-2009 period of the monoaromatic and aliphatic compounds. 
Correlations indoor versus outdoor values in the 2007-2009 period of the monoaromatic and aliphatic compounds. 
Article
Fourteen volatile organic compounds (VOCs)-twelve hydrocarbons and two organochlorine compounds-were monitored both outdoors and indoors for three years at one site in Rome. Results showed that 118 out of 168 indoor seasonal mean values were higher than the corresponding outdoor concentrations. The most relevant source of outdoor hydrocarbons was automotive exhaust emissions. Due to the enforcement of various measures to protect health and the environment, outdoor levels of monoaromatic hydrocarbons decreased about ten fold over 15 years, and aliphatic hydrocarbons also decreased. With the decrease in these outdoor concentrations, indoor air sources are likely to be more relevant for indoor air exposures. Winter outdoor values for monoaromatic hydrocarbons were generally markedly higher than the summer ones. The gradual replacement of the current fleet of circulating cars with new cars complying with EURO 5 standards, further reducing hydrocarbon emissions, may possibly lead to an increase in the observed indoor/outdoor ratios. It is indeed more difficult to remove indoor sources, some of which are still unknown.
 
National-Level adaptation planning documents reviewed in this study. 
Article
Climate change is likely to have significant implications for human health, particularly through alterations of the incidence, prevalence, and distribution of infectious diseases. In the context of these risks, governments in high income nations have begun developing strategies to reduce potential climate change impacts and increase health system resilience (i.e., adaptation). In this paper, we review and evaluate national-level adaptation planning in relation to infectious disease risks in 14 OECD countries with respect to "best practices" for adaptation identified in peer-reviewed literature. We find a number of limitations to current planning, including negligible consideration of the needs of vulnerable population groups, limited emphasis on local risks, and inadequate attention to implementation logistics, such as available funding and timelines for evaluation. The nature of planning documents varies widely between nations, four of which currently lack adaptation plans. In those countries where planning documents were available, adaptations were mainstreamed into existing public health programs, and prioritized a sectoral, rather than multidisciplinary, approach. The findings are consistent with other scholarship examining adaptation planning indicating an ad hoc and fragmented process, and support the need for enhanced attention to adaptation to infectious disease risks in public health policy at a national level.
 
Overall event rates (per 100,000 inhabitants) and proportions (per 100 deaths of all death causes) of suicide, traffic accidents, and homicide deaths in Germany 2010. 
Article
To assess suicide mortality in comparison to traffic accidents and homicide deaths in Germany in the year 2010 and to compare years of life lost (YLL) due to these unnatural deaths. Mortality data were provided by the Federal Statistical Office giving death rates (related to 100,000 inhabitants) and proportions (related to 100 deaths of individuals) for suicide, traffic accidents and homicide as well as YLL data. A total of 14,441 unnatural deaths (suicide, traffic accidents, homicide) were reported in 2010 in Germany. Of those, 10,021 subjects (69.4%) committed suicide, 3,942 (27.3%) died in traffic accidents, 478 (3.3%) were murdered. Suicide death rates were by far the highest, with rates for men (18.6) three times higher than for women (6.1). For both sexes, suicide rates increased with age, whereas suicide as a proportion of all causes of death was higher in younger age groups. In both sexes, suicide was the leading cause of YLL (men: 314 YLL, women: 90 YLL). Suicide is the leading cause of unnatural death and YLL. The sex- and age- specific patterns in suicide mortality call for different action plans to target high risk groups.
 
Article
Nowadays, as the available water resources throughout the World are becoming depleted, in order to manage and plan water resource better, more and more attention is being paid into the fluctuating characteristics of water discharges. However, the preexisting research was mainly focused on the last half century. In this paper, the natural streamflow observed since 1470 at the Sanmenxia station in the middle Yellow River basin was collected, and the methods of variation coefficient, moving average, Mann-Kendall test and wavelet transform were applied to analyze the dynamic characteristics of the streamflow. The results showed that, (1) between 1470 and 2007, the natural streamflow changed 200-919 x 10(8) m(3), and water discharge varied moderately; (2) in the middle Yellow River basin, it appears that the most severe and most persistent droughts during circa 1868-1990, the periods of 1470s-1490s, 1920s-1930s and 1990s-2000s also presented the condition of sustained low flows; (3) the natural streamflow series shows increasing and decreasing trends during the periods of 1470-1880 and 1881-2007, respectively, but both trends are not significant at >95% confidence; in addition, it is still found the streamflow series shows abrupt changes circa 1845, 1935 and 1960, respectively; (4) within a 250-year scale, there are circa 11, 26, 67 and 120-year periods for natural streamflow at the Sanmenxia station, and the periodicity of the 120-year one is the strongest. The dynamic characteristics of natural streamflow is the comprehensive result by many influencing factors, such as precipitation, temperature, El Niño-Southern Oscillation, sunspots, human activity, etc.
 
Article
Dinitrotoluenes (DNTs) are byproducts of the explosive trinitrotoluene (TNT), and exist as a mixture of 2 to 6 isomers, with 2,4-DNT and 2,6-DNT being the most significant. The main route of human exposure at ammunition facilities is inhalation. The primary targets of DNTs toxicity are the hematopoietic system, cardiovascular system, nervous system and reproductive system. In factory workers, exposure to DNTs has been linked to many adverse health effects, including: cyanosis, vertigo, headache, metallic taste, dyspnea, weakness and lassitude, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. Other symptoms including pain or parasthesia in extremities, abdominal discomfort, tremors, paralysis, chest pain, and unconsciousness have been documented. An association between DNTs exposure and increased risk of hepatocellular carcinomas and subcutaneous tumors in rats, as well as renal tumors in mice, has been established. This research was therefore designed targeting the liver to assess the cellular and molecular responses of human liver carcinoma cells following exposure to 2,4-DNT and 2,6-DNT. Cytotoxicity was evaluated using the MTT assay. Upon 48 hrs of exposure, LC50 values of 245 + 14.72μg/mL, and 300 + 5.92μg/mL were recorded for 2,6-DNT and 2,4-DNT respectively, indicating that both DNTs are moderately toxic, and 2,6-DNT is slightly more toxic to HepG2 cells than 2,4-DNT. A dose response relationship was recorded with respect to the cytotoxicity of both DNTs. Western blot analysis resulted in a significant expression (p
 
Smoking behavior and depression characteristics by WHO region. 
Article
This investigation is a secondary analysis of demographic, smoking, and depression information in a global sample of Spanish- and English-speaking smokers who participated in a series of randomized controlled smoking cessation trials conducted via the Internet. The final sample consisted of 17,579 smokers from 157 countries. Smoking profiles were similar across languages and world regions and consistent with characteristics of participants in traditional smoking cessation studies. Participants were predominantly Spanish-speakers, evenly divided between men and women and relatively few indicated using traditional smoking cessation methods (e.g., groups or medication). This study demonstrates that substantial numbers of smokers from numerous countries seek Web-based smoking cessation resources and adds to the growing support for Web-assisted tobacco interventions as an additional tool to address the need for global smoking cessation efforts.
 
Subscales and total scale of motivations towards alcohol use: Correlations, means and standard deviations. 
Article
Psychometric properties of a new scale that measures motivations towards alcohol use were examined using a sample of 412 male alcohol users in Sri Lanka aged 16-30 years. In addition, associations between drinking motives and drinking frequency were explored. Confirmatory factor analysis showed that a 3-factor model consisting of the factors personal enjoyment, tension reduction, and social pressure fit the data well. Overall, tension-reduction motivation was found to be prominent in the context of young males' drinking behavior in Sri Lanka. Associations between stress and alcohol use among young males warrant further investigations.
 
Clinicopathologic features of patients with AML with inv(16) for mRNA assessment.
Correlation of Expression of CYP2E1, CYP1A2, and NQO1 in AML with inv(16).
Representative CYP2E1 protein expression shown by immunohistochemistry in leukemic cells of AML with inv(16) and AML without inv(16) as a control. ( a , b ) Low level or absent CYP2E1 expression in two different cases of AML without inv(16) (hematoxylin & eosin, 400  ); Inset ( b ) CYP2E1 expression in normal human liver tissue as a control; ( c , d ) Strong CYP2E1 expression in two different cases of AML with inv(16) (500×). In ( a , c ), new fuschsin was used with alkaline phosphatase; whereas in ( b , d ) DAB was used with horseradish peroxidase. 
Representative mRNA expression levels of CYP2E1 ( A ); CYP1A2 ( B ) and 
Article
Environmental exposure to benzene occurs through cigarette smoke, unleaded gasoline and certain types of plastic. Benzene is converted to hematotoxic metabolites by the hepatic phase-I enzyme CYP2E1, and these metabolites are detoxified by the phase-II enzyme NQO1. The genes encoding these enzymes are highly polymorphic and studies of these polymorphisms have shown different pathogenic and prognostic features in various hematological malignancies. The potential role of different cytochrome p450 metabolizing enzymes in the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in an area of active interest. In this study, we demonstrate aberrant CYP2E1 mRNA over-expression by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction in 11 cases of de novo AML with inv(16); CBFβ-MYH11. CYP2E1 mRNA levels correlated with CBFβ-MYH11 transcript levels and with bone marrow blast counts in all cases. CYP2E1 over-expression correlated positively with NQO1 mRNA levels (R(2) = 0.934, n = 7). By immunohistochemistry, CYP2E1 protein was more frequently expressed in AML with inv(16) compared with other types of AML (p < 0.001). We obtained serial bone marrow samples from two patients with AML with inv(16) before and after treatment. CYP2E1 mRNA expression levels decreased in parallel with CBFβ-MYH11 transcript levels and blast counts following chemotherapy. In contrast, CYP1A2 transcript levels did not change in either patient. This is the first study to demonstrate concurrent over-expression of CYP2E1 and NQO1 mRNA in AML with inv(16). These findings also suggest that a balance between CYP2E1 and NQO1 may be important in the pathogenesis of AML with inv(16).
 
Residuals plotted against nutrient intakes predicted with the regression models. 
Cont.
Cont.
The Spearman correlation coefficients for food group intakes between estimated food intake in grams from the food records and the food intake frequencies from the 16-item food intake questionnaires.
The Spearman correlation coefficients and weighted kappa between intakes estimated from the food records and the 16-FIQ and percentage of participants classified into the exact and opposite tertiles of nutrient intakes with the two methods.
Article
Our aim was to validate a 16-item food intake questionnaire (16-FIQ) and create an easy to use method to estimate patients' nutrient intake in primary health care. Participants (52 men, 25 women) completed a 7-day food record and a 16-FIQ. Food and nutrient intakes were calculated and compared using Spearman correlation. Further, nutrient intakes were compared using kappa-statistics and exact and opposite agreement of intake tertiles. The results indicated that the 16-FIQ reliably categorized individuals according to their nutrient intakes. Methods to estimate nutrient intake based on the answers given in 16-FIQ were created. In linear regression models nutrient intake estimates from the food records were used as the dependent variables and sum variables derived from the 16-FIQ were used as the independent variables. Valid regression models were created for the energy proportion of fat, saturated fat, and sucrose and the amount of fibre (g), vitamin C (mg), iron (mg), and vitamin D (μg) intake. The 16-FIQ is a valid method for estimating nutrient intakes in group level. In addition, the 16-FIQ could be a useful tool to facilitate identification of people in need of dietary counselling and to monitor the effect of counselling in primary health care.
 
Cont. 
Number ∞ and percentage † of suicides of adults aged 60+ years, by associated circumstances and sex-National Violent Death Reporting System, 17 states, § 2007-2009. 
Article
Each year in the U.S. more than 7,000 adults aged 60 years and older die of suicide and as the population ages, these numbers are expected to increase. While sex is an important predictor of older adult suicide, differences between males and females are often overlooked due to low occurrence, particularly among women. The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) bridges this gap by providing detailed information on older adult suicide by sex in 17 US states (covering approximately 26% of the U.S. population). NVDRS data for 2007-2009 were used to characterize male (n = 5,004) and female (n = 1,123) suicide decedents aged 60 years and older, including incident characteristics and circumstances precipitating suicide. Stratification of NVDRS data by sex shows significant differences with regard to the presence of antidepressants (19% and 45% respectively), opiates (18%, 37%), and 14 precipitating circumstances concerning mental health, interpersonal problems, life stressors and a history of suicide attempts. No differences were found for alcohol problems, suicide/other death of family or friends, non-criminal legal problems, financial problems, or disclosure of intent to take their own life. The findings of this study demonstrate the value of using comprehensive surveillance data to understand sex-specific suicide circumstances so that opportunities for targeted prevention strategies may be considered.
 
Article
In Eastern cultures, such as India, it is traditionally recommended that women but not men cover their heads while working in the scorching sun. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine whether there was any scientific basis for this cultural tradition. We examined the differential cytotoxic effects of ultraviolet A light (UVA) on an established T cell line treated with female and male sex hormones. CD4+ Jurkat T cells were plated in 96 well plates at 2 x 106 cells/ml and treated with 17beta-estradiol (EST) or testosterone (TE). These cells were irradiated by UVA light with an irradiance of 170 J/cm2 for 15min at a distance of 6 cm from the surface of the 96-well plate. Controls included cells not treated with hormones or UVA. The effects of EST and TE were investigated between 1 and 20 ng/mL. Cytotoxicity by fluorescein-diacetate staining and COMET assay generating single strand DNA cleavage, tail length and tail moment measurements were examined. The effect of estrogen (5ng/mL) on apoptosis and its mediators was further studied using DNA laddering and western blotting for bcl-2 and p53. We found that EST alone, without UVA, enhanced Jurkat T cell survival. However, EST exhibited a dose-related cytotoxicity in the presence of UVA; up to 28% at 20 ng/ml. TE did not alter UVA-induced cytotoxicity. Since TE did not alter cell viability in the presence of UVA further damaging studies were not performed. COMET assay demonstrated the harmful effects of EST in the presence of UVA while EST without UVA. had no significant effect on the nuclear damage. Apoptosis was not present as indicated by the absence of DNA laddering on agarose gel electrophoresis at 5ng/ml EST or TE +/- UVA. Western blot showed that estrogen down regulated bcl-2 independently of UVA radiation while p53 was down regulated in the presence of UVA treatment. EST and TE have differential effects on UVA-induced cytotoxicity in Jurkat T-lymphocyte which suggested that women may be more susceptible to the harmful effects of solar irradiation than men.
 
Differences between patients with/without co-occurring disorders at baseline. 
Cont. 
Article
We assess the influence of co-occurring psychiatric disorders on retention in 189 opioid dependent patients in a methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) and determine the incidence of psychiatric co-morbidity during an 18-month follow-up period. About 68.5 % were retained in the MMT. Neither co-occurring mental disorders (chi-square = 0.303, df = 1, p = 0.622) nor methadone doses [85 (88.9) vs. 79.2 (85) mg/day, p = 0.672] were related to retention. In the follow-up period 19 new diagnoses were made, mainly major depression and antisocial and borderline personality disorders. Co-occurring psychiatric disorders should be assessed during MMT follow-up.
 
Relationship of smoking status with PSR1 and PSR2. 
Percents of persons within groups defined by both smoking status and rs733048 genotype who are affected (PSR2). 
Genotyped SNPs identified by GWAS.
Percents of persons within groups defined by both smoking status and rs3870371 genotype who are affected (PSR1). 
Article
Studies have found both genetic and environmental influences on chronic periodontitis. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among previously identified genetic variants, smoking status, and two periodontal disease-related phenotypes (PSR1 and PSR2) in 625 Caucasian adults (aged 18-49 years). The PSR Index was used to classify participants as affected or unaffected under the PSR1 and PSR2 phenotype definitions. Using logistic regression, we found that the form of the relationship varied by single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP): For rs10457525 and rs12630931, the effects of smoking and genotype on risk were additive; whereas for rs10457526 and rs733048, smoking was not independently associated with affected status once genotype was taken into consideration. In contrast, smoking moderated the relationships of rs3870371 and rs733048 with affected status such that former and never smokers with select genotypes were at increased genetic risk. Thus, for several groups, knowledge of genotype may refine the risk prediction over that which can be determined by knowledge of smoking status alone. Future studies should replicate these findings. These findings provide the foundation for the exploration of novel pathways by which periodontitis may occur.
 
The population flow chart. 
CIFs for three main outcomes: CVD, CBVD and cancer. 
CIFs for death due to CVD: Compare the different age-groups. 
Article
Few researchers have examined the effects of multiple risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality simultaneously. This study was to determine the associations of combined lifestyle and other factors with CVD mortality among the elderly (n = 3,257), in Beijing, China, through data mining of the Beijing Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA). BLSA is a representative cohort study from 1992 to 2009, hosted by Xuan Wu Hospital. Competing risk survival analysis was conducted to explore the association between risk factors and CVD mortality. The factors focused mainly on lifestyle, physical condition, and the model was adjusted for age and gender. There were 273 of the 1,068 recorded deaths caused by CVD among the 2010 participants. Living in a suburban area (HR = 0.614, 95% CI: 0.410-0.921) was associated with lower CVD mortality. Increasing age (66-75: HR = 1.511, 95% CI: 1.111-2.055; ≥76: HR = 1.847, 95% CI: 1.256-2.717), high blood pressure (HR = 1.407, 95% CI: 1.031-1.920), frequent consumption of meat (HR = 1.559, 95% CI: 1.079-2.254) and physical inactivity (p = 0.046) were associated with higher CVD mortality. The study provides an instructional foundation for the control and prevention of CVD in Beijing, China.
 
Size (cm) of Sarotherodon melanotheron specimens.
Seasonal variation of cadmium concentrations in muscle tissues of tilapia (Sarotherodon melanotheron).  
Seasonal variation of cadmium concentrations in liver tissues of tilapia (Sarotherodon melanotheron).  
Seasonal variation of cadmium concentrations in gill tissues of tilapia (Sarotherodon melanotheron).  
Physicochemical parameters in the Aby lagoon during seasons.
Article
This study assessed the concentrations of cadmium in the gills, livers and muscles of a commercially important tilapia fish (Sarotherodon melanotheron) from Aby Lagoon in Adiaké, Côte d'Ivoire, between January and December, 2010. The organisms were grouped into two composite samples (juvenile and adult) of five individuals. Levels of cadmium were determined in tissues using Perkin-Elmer (AAnalyst 200) Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (AAS) after a digestion method. Fish muscle appeared to have a significantly higher tendency to accumulate cadmium (1.19-5.18 µg/g dw) while gills and livers had minimum concentrations (0.07-1.32 and 0.12-1.25 µg/g dw). This study has revealed that the concentrations of Cd in Sarotherodon melanotheron muscle tissue were above the maximum acceptable concentrations for human consumption, thus precautions need to be taken in order to prevent future contamination.
 
Article
A few studies have suggested an association between prenatal exposure to methylmercury and decreased heart rate variability (HRV) related to autonomic heart function, but no study has examined this association using baroreflex sensitivity (BRS). In this study we assessed the distribution of BRS and immediate orthostatic hypotension (IOH) in young Seychellois adults and their associations with exposure to prenatal and recent postnatal methylmercury. Subjects in the Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS) main cohort were evaluated at age 19 years. Non-invasive beat-to-beat blood pressure (BP) monitoring (Finapres, Ohmeda) was performed at rest and during active standing in 95 consecutive subjects. Recent postnatal mercury exposure was measured in subjects' hair at the age of 19 years and prenatal exposure in maternal hair grown during pregnancy. BRS was estimated by sequence analysis to identify spontaneous ascending and descending BP ramps. HRV was estimated by the following markers: PNN50 (relative numbers of normal-to-normal intervals which are shorter by more than 50 ms than the immediately following normal-to-normal intervals); rMSSD (root mean of the squared sum of successive interval differences); LF/HF (low frequency/high frequency component ratio); ratio of the mean expiratory/inspiratory RR intervals (EI ratio); and the ratio between the longest RR interval 30 s after active standing and the shortest RR interval at 15 s (Max30/Min15). IOH was estimated by the deepest BP fall within the first 15 s after active standing up. Prenatal MeHg exposures were similar in boys and girls (6.7 ± 4.3, 6.7 ± 3.8 ng/g) but recent postnatal mercury levels were higher in males than females (11.2 ± 5.8 vs 7.9 ± 4.3 ng/g, p = 0.003). Markers of autonomic heart rate control were within the normal range (BRS: 24.8 ± 7 ms/mm Hg, PNN50: 24.9 ± 6.8%, rMSSD: 68 ± 22, LF/HF: 0.61 ± 0.28) in both sexes. After standing, 51.4% of subjects had a transient systolic BP drop >40 mm Hg, but only 5.3% reported dizziness or had syncope. Prenatal and recent postnatal MeHg levels, overall, were not associated with BRS, E/I ratio, PNN50, rMSSD, LF/HF ratio, Max30/Min15 ratio, and IOH. This study provides no support for the hypothesis that prenatal or recent postnatal MeHg exposure from fish consumption is associated with impaired autonomic heart rate control.
 
Baseline characteristics of participants *. 
Side effects and accidents associated with electronic cigarette use. 
Changes in disease conditions after electronic cigarette use initiation. 
Article
Background: Electronic cigarette (EC) use has grown exponentially over the past few years. The purpose of this survey was to assess the characteristics and experiences of a large sample of EC users and examine the differences between those who partially and completely substituted smoking with EC use. Methods: A questionnaire was prepared, translated into 10 different languages and uploaded in an online survey tool. EC users were asked to participate irrespective of their current smoking status. Participants were divided according to their smoking status at the time of participation in two subgroups: former smokers and current smokers. Results: In total, 19,414 participants were included in the analysis, with 88 of them (0.5%) reported not being smokers at the time of EC use initiation. Complete substitution of smoking was reported by 81.0% of participants (former smokers) while current smokers had reduced smoking consumption from 20 to 4 cigarettes per day. They were using ECs for a median of 10 months. They initiated EC use with a median of 18 mg/mL nicotine-concentration liquids; 21.5% used higher than 20 mg/mL. Only 3.5% of participants were using 0-nicotine liquids at the time of the survey. Former smokers were highly dependent (Fagerström Test for Cigarette Dependence = 7) and were heavier smokers (21 cigarettes per day when smoking) compared to current smokers. The most important reasons for initiating EC use for both subgroups was to reduce the harm associated with smoking and to reduce exposure of family members to second-hand smoking. Most considered ECs as less harmful than tobacco cigarettes, while 11.0% considered them absolutely harmless. Side effects were reported by more than half of the participants (59.8%), with the most common being sore/dry mouth and throat; side effects were mild and in most cases were subsequently resolved (partially or completely). Participants experienced significant benefits in physical status and improvements in pre-existing disease conditions (including respiratory disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease). Being former smoker was independently associated with positive effects in health and improvements in disease conditions. Conclusions: The results of this worldwide survey of dedicated users indicate that ECs are mostly used to avoid the harm associated with smoking. They can be effective even in highly-dependent smokers and are used as long-term substitutes for smoking. High levels of nicotine are used at initiation; subsequently, users try to reduce nicotine consumption, with only a small minority using non-nicotine liquids. Side effects are minor and health benefits are substantial, especially for those who completely substitute smoking with EC use. Further population and interventional studies are warranted.
 
Article
We fully agree with Dr. Vassiliki Katsika-Tsigourakou that there is more than one possible explanation for the wide range of electromagnetic (EM) field bioeffects reported in the literature. In order to generate EM fields electric currents need to flow that oscillate. Currents that flow through the ground also generate electrical potentials. Such potentials can lead to electrochemical reactions at ground-water interfaces such as the demonstrated oxidation of water to hydrogen peroxide [1]. EM emissions and electrochemical reactions are therefore manifestations of the same physical process in the natural environment. [...]
 
Time-plot: The Six-Day War (6/5/1967-6/10/1967). 
Suicides during existential wars. 
Suicides during non-existential wars. 
Time-Plot: The Yom-Kippur war (included: The War of Attrition) (10/6/197311/11/1973), (3/8/1969-8/7/1970). 
Time-Plot: The 1st Lebanon War (6/5/1982-8/18/1982). 
Article
This paper reports the characteristics of suicides which occurred during the existential and the non-existential wars in Israel. It provides a first approximation of whether the suicide patterns in each war are consistent with the findings of Morselli and Durkheim, and whether their theoretical interpretations can serve as a preliminary guideline to explaining the Israeli case, which is characterized by short periods of war, social integration during some of the non-existential wars, and a sharp rise in post-war male suicide rates following all of the existential wars. Implications for further studies on the subject in Israel and elsewhere are discussed.
 
Cont . 
Cont.
Article
The World is undergoing rapid urbanization, with 70% of the World population expected to live in urban areas by 2050. Nevertheless, nationally representative analysis of the health differences in the leading causes of avoidable mortality disaggregated by urbanization level is lacking. We undertake a study of temporal trends in mortality rates for deaths considered avoidable by the Concerted Action of the European Community on Avoidable Mortality for four different levels of urbanization in Taiwan between 1971 and 2008. We find that for virtually all causes of death, age-standardized mortality rates (ASMRs) were lower in more urbanized than less urbanized areas, either throughout the study period, or by the end of the period despite higher rates in urbanized areas initially. Only breast cancer had consistently higher AMSRs in more urbanized areas throughout the 38-year period. Further, only breast cancer, lung cancer, and ischemic heart disease witnessed an increase in ASMRs in one or more urbanization categories. More urbanized areas in Taiwan appear to enjoy better indicators of health outcomes in terms of mortality rates than less urbanized areas. Access to and the availability of rich healthcare resources in urban areas may have contributed to this positive result.
 
Vital status, as of 31 December 2006, in the cohort of 2171 workers exposed to EtO. 
Descriptive data for the Swedish sterilant workers cohort, as of 31 December 2006, divided into categories of cumulative EtO-exposure. 
External (SIR) and internal (IRR) comparison of cancer incidence between exposure categories within the cohort, calculated by Poisson regression using data stratified for gender, age and calendar period. ** 
Article
To assess whether cancer incidence, mainly from lymphohaematopoietic tumours and breast cancer, and mortality were increased in a cohort of Swedish sterilant workers exposed to low levels of ethylene oxide (EtO), updated with 16 more years of follow up. The mortality and cancer incidence 1972-2006 experienced by a cohort of 2,171 male and female workers employed for at least one year in two plants producing medical equipment sterilised with EtO were investigated. Individual cumulative exposure to EtO was assessed by occupational hygienists. Cause-specific standardized rate ratios were calculated using the regional general population as a comparison for mortality (SMR) and cancer incidence (SIR). Internal Poisson-regression analyses were performed for selected causes. The median cumulative exposure to EtO was 0.13 ppm-years. The overall cancer incidence was close to unity (SIR 0.94, 95% CI 0.82-1.08). Eighteen cases of lymphohaematopoietic cancer were observed (SIR 1.25, 95% CI 0.74-1.98). A healthy worker effect was indicated from a significantly decreased overall mortality and mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Internal analyses found significantly increased rate ratios for breast cancer for the two upper quartiles of cumulative exposure as compared to the lowest 50% of the cohort (IRR 2.76, 95% CI 1.20-6.33 and IRR 3.55, 95% CI 1.58-7.93). The findings from this updated study indicate limited or low risks for human cancer due to occupational exposure from ethylene oxide at the low cumulative exposure levels in this cohort. However a positive exposure-response relation with breast cancer was observed though.
 
Article
Monitoring land-use/land-cover change (LULCC) and exploring its mechanisms are important processes in the environmental management of a lake watershed. The purpose of this study was to examine the spatiotemporal pattern of LULCC by using multi landscape metrics in the Lake Dianchi watershed, which is located in the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau of Southwest China. Landsat images from the years 1974, 1988, 1998, and 2008 were analyzed using geographical information system (GIS) techniques. The results reveal that land-use/land-cover has changed greatly in the watershed since 1974. This change in land use structure was embodied in the rapid increase of developed areas with a relative change rate of up to 324.4%. The increase in developed areas mainly occurred in agricultural land, especially near the shores of Lake Dianchi. The spatial pattern and structure of the change was influenced by the urban sprawl of the city of Kunming. The urban sprawl took on the typical expansion mode of cyclic structures and a jigsaw pattern and expanded to the shore of Lake Dianchi. Agricultural land changed little with respect to the structure but changed greatly in the spatial pattern. The landscape in the watershed showed a trend of fragmentation with a complex boundary. The dynamics of land-use/land-cover in the watershed correlate with land-use policies and economic development in China.
 
Map of Brazil (selected states and cities mentioned in the text). 
Male proportion at birth, Brazil, selected states and capitals, 1979-2004.
(A) Time trend of male proportion at birth, Brazil, 1979-1993; (B) Time trend of male proportion at birth, Brazil, 1995-2004.
Time trend of male proportion at birth, Brazil, Ceara State, 1994-2004. 
Time trend of male proportion at birth, Brazil, Palmas-TO, 1994-2004. 
Article
Several studies suggest that exposure to environmental endocrine disrupters can reduce the number of male births, and therefore, the male proportion at birth (also denominated birth ratio or sex ratio at birth) can be used as a sentinel health indicator. This work aimed to analyze the trend of male births in Brazil, according to their distribution by states and capitals. An ecological descriptive time series was carried out using polynomial regression, showing a declining trend for male proportion at birth in Brazil (1979-1994), followed by an upward trend until 2004. A decline on the proportion of male births was observed in Brazil between 1979 and 1993, followed by a subsequent rise of this ratio between 1995 and 2004, wherein the mean proportion of male births in Brazil rose from 51.05 to 51.18, representing a relative increase of 0.25%. The states of São Paulo (Southwest region) and Acre (Western Amazon), as well as some capitals-Cuiabá (Western Region), Palmas (Amazon) and Rio Branco (Amazon)-showed increasing trends, which suggests the influence of socio-demographic changes. In contrast, a declining trend in the State of Ceará State (Northeast region), with a 0.35% yearly decrease was observed. As a whole, these results suggest the influence of different environmental factors (demographic changes, public health services distribution, and population exposure to endocrine disruptor substances) influencing the time trend of birth ratio in the Brazilian population during the last decades.
 
Age-specific prevalence of former smokers ( a ) by birth cohort and ( b ) by time period in males. Age-specific prevalence of former smokers ( c ) by birth cohort and ( d ) by time period in females. 
Age, period, and cohort effects from the APC model over the period 1980–2009 for ( a ) males and ( b ) females. 
Projections on the smokers prevalence (%) for males and females.
Fitted and projected prevalence of former smokers cumulated by age (25–85 years) with 95% credible intervals by period for males and females. Dots are the observed cumulated prevalence. 
APC model assessment for prevalence of former smokers in Italy in periods 1980-2009, and 1995-2009 for males and females.
Article
This study aimed to describe past time trends of the prevalence of former smokers in Italy and to estimate prevalence projections using a Bayesian approach. An age-period-cohort (APC) analysis has been carried out in order to investigate the effect of the age, period and birth cohort on the prevalence of former smokers during 1980-2009. A Bayesian APC model with an autoregressive structure for the age, period and cohort parameters has been used to estimate future trends. Results showed that awareness of harm from smoking occurred at younger ages with each advancing cohort, and that women were more likely to attempt to stop smoking during pregnancies and breastfeeding, whereas men attempted to quit only when smoking-related diseases became evident. Projections of future trend recorded a further increase in the number of former smokers in future decades, showing an estimate of the "end of smoking" around years 2060 and 2055 in men and women, respectively. The application of the APC analysis to study the prevalence of former smokers turned out to be a useful method for the evaluation of past smoking trends, reflecting the effects of tobacco control policies on time and generations, and to make projections of future trend.
 
Top-cited authors
Cyrus SH Ho
  • National University of Singapore
Xiaoyang Wan
  • Huaibei Normal University
Karl Peltzer
  • Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Mark D Griffiths
  • Nottingham Trent University
Daria Kuss
  • Nottingham Trent University