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Naik S.L.,Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology | Year: 2016

Research on asbestos exposure in Libby, MT, has focused on occupational exposure in vermiculite mining and processing, but less attention has been paid to asbestos-related mortality among community members without vermiculite mining occupational history. Our study reports on asbestos-related mortality in Libby over 33 years (1979–2011) while controlling for occupational exposure. We calculated sex-specific 33-year standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for Libby residents who died from 1979 to 2011 with an asbestos-related cause of death. Decedent address at time of death was geocoded to confirm inclusion in the Libby County Division. We controlled for past W.R. Grace employment by including and then removing them from the SMR analysis. Six hundred and ninety-four decedents were identified as having at least one asbestos-related cause of death and residing in our study area boundary. Statistically significant (P<0.05) 33-year SMRs, both before and after controlling for W.R. Grace employment, were found for: male and female non-malignant respiratory diseases, female COPD, and asbestosis for both sexes combined. Eighty-five men and two women were matched to employment records. We observed elevated asbestos-related mortality rates among males and females. SMR results for asbestosis were high for both sexes, even after controlling for past W.R. Grace employment. These results suggest that the general population may be experiencing asbestos-related effects, not just former vermiculite workers. Additional research is needed to determine whether SMRs remain elevated after controlling for secondary exposure, such as living with vermiculite workers.Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology advance online publication, 30 March 2016; doi:10.1038/jes.2016.18. © 2016 Nature America, Inc. Source

Goncharov A.,University at Albany | Pavuk M.,Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry | Foushee H.R.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Carpenter D.O.,University at Albany
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2011

Background: Residents of Anniston, Alabama, live near a Monsanto plant that manufactured polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from 1929 to 1971 and are relatively heavily exposed. Objectives: The goal of this study was to determine the relationship, if any, between blood pressure and levels of total serum PCBs, several PCB groups with common actions or structure, 35 individual PCB congeners, and nine chlorinated pesticides. Methods: Linear regression analysis was used to determine the relationships between blood pressure and serum levels of the various contaminants after adjustment for age, body mass index, sex, race, smoking, and exercise in 394 Anniston residents who were not taking antihypertensive medication. Results: Other than age, total serum PCB concentration was the strongest determinant of blood pressure of the covariates studied. We found the strongest associations for those PCB congeners that had multiple ortho chlorines. We found the associations over the full range of blood pressure as well as in those subjects whose blood pressure was in the normal range. The chlorinated pesticides showed no consistent relationship to blood pressure. Conclusions: In this cross-sectional study, serum concentrations of PCBs, especially those congeners with multiple ortho chlorines, were strongly associated with both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Source

Aylward L.L.,Summit Toxicology LLP | Kirman C.R.,Summit Toxicology LLP | Schoeny R.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Portier C.J.,Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry | Hays S.M.,Summit Toxicology LLP
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2013

Background: Biomonitoring data reported in the National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals [NER; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012)] provide information on the presence and concentrations of > 400 chemicals in human blood and urine. Biomonitoring Equivalents (BEs) and other risk assessment-based values now allow interpretation of these biomonitoring data in a public health risk context. Objectives: We compared the measured biomarker concentrations in the NER with BEs and similar risk assessment values to provide an across-chemical risk assessment perspective on the measured levels for approximately 130 analytes in the NER. Methods: We identified available risk assessment-based biomarker screening values, including BEs and Human Biomonitoring-I (HBM-I) values from the German Human Biomonitoring Commission. Geometric mean and 95th percentile population biomarker concentrations from the NER were compared to the available screening values to generate chemical-specific hazard quotients (HQs) or cancer risk estimates. Conclusions: Most analytes in the NER show HQ values of < 1; however, some (including acrylamide, dioxin-like chemicals, benzene, xylene, several metals, di-2(ethylhexyl)phthalate, and some legacy organochlorine pesticides) approach or exceed HQ values of 1 or cancer risks of > 1 × 10-4 at the geometric mean or 95th percentile, suggesting exposure levels may exceed published human health benchmarks. This analysis provides for the first time a means for examining population biomonitoring data for multiple environmental chemicals in the context of the risk assessments for those chemicals. The results of these comparisons can be used to focus more detailed chemical-specific examination of the data and inform priorities for chemical risk management and research. Source

Couch S.R.,Pennsylvania State University | Coles C.J.,Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2011

Psychosocial stress has emerged as an important consideration in managing environmental health risks. Stress has adverse impacts on health and may interact with environmental hazards to increase health risk. This article's primary objective was to explore psychosocial stress related to environmental contamination. We hypothesized that knowledge about stress should be used in conjunction with chemical risk assessment to inform environmental risk management decisions. Knowledge of psychosocial stress at contaminated sites began by exploring the relationships among social capital, collectiveefficacy, and contamination at the community level. We discussed stress at the family and individual levels, focusing on stress proliferation, available resources, and coping styles and mechanisms. We then made recommendations on how to improve the use of information on psychosocial stress in environmental decision-making, particularly in communities facing chronic technological disasters. Source

McEwen B.S.,Rockefeller University | Tucker P.,Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2011

Emerging evidence suggests that psychosocial stress and toxicants may interact to modify health risks. Stress-toxicant interactions could be important in chemical risk assessment, but these interactions are poorly understood and additional research is necessary to advance their application. Environmental health research can increase knowledge of these interactions by exploring hypotheses on allostatic load, which measures thecumulative impacts of stress across multiple physiological pathways, using knowledge about physiological pathways for stressrelated health effects, and evidence of common target pathways for both stress and toxicants. In this article, critical physiological pathways for stressrelated health effects are discussed, with specific attention to allostatic load and stress-toxicant interactions, concluding with research suggestionsfor potential applications of such research in chemical risk assessment. Source

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