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Maria de la Salut, Spain

Gari M.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Grimalt J.O.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Torrent M.,Area de Salut de Menorca | Sunyer J.,Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2013

Mercury levels measured in 302 hair samples of 4 year-old children from Menorca (western Mediterranean Sea) are reported. Their concentrations, arithmetic mean 1.4 μg/g, ranging between 0.040 μg/g and 10 μg/g, were higher than in other children inland populations but lower than in previously studied island cohorts, e.g. Faroe, Madeira and Seychelles. 20% of the samples were above the WHO recommended values. Higher concentrations in females than males were observed. Frequent consumption of fish and other seafood were significantly related to the observed mercury concentrations. Oily fish was the main source of this pollutant but shellfish and squid consumption were also associated with high mercury concentrations. Maternal smoking, occupational status or previous siblings were also found to significantly influence the levels of this pollutant. McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities used to assess children's motor and cognitive abilities did not show association with mercury concentrations at 4 years of age. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Leiva A.,Primary Care Research Unit of Mallorca | Estela A.,Dalt Sant Joan Health Center | Torrent M.,Area de Salut de Menorca | Calafat A.,European Institute of Studies on Prevention Irefrea | And 2 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2014

Background: The likelihood of an adolescent taking up smoking may be influenced by his or her society, school and family. Thus, changes in the immediate environment may alter a young person's perception of smoking. Methods/Design. The proposed multi-center, cluster-randomized controlled trial will be stratified by the baseline prevalence of smoking in schools. Municipalities with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants will be randomly assigned to a control or intervention group. One secondary school will be randomly selected from each municipality. These schools will be randomized to two groups: the students of one will receive any existing educational course regarding smoking, while those of the other school will receive a four-year, class-based curriculum intervention (22 classroom lessons) aimed at reinforcing a smoke-free school policy and encouraging smoking cessation in parents, pupils, and teachers. The intervention will also include annual meetings with parents and efforts to empower adolescents to change the smoking-related attitudes and behaviors in their homes, classrooms and communities.We will enroll children aged 12-13 years as they enter secondary school during two consecutive school years (to obtain sufficient enrolled subjects). We will follow them for five years, until two years after they leave secondary school. All external evaluators and analysts will be blinded to school allocation.The aim of this study is to analyze the effectiveness of a complex intervention in reducing the prevalence of smoking in the third year of compulsory secondary education (ESO) and two years after secondary school, when the participants are 14-15 and 17-18 years old, respectively. Discussion. Most interventions aimed at preventing smoking among adolescents yield little to no positive long-term effects. This clinical trial will analyze the effectiveness of a complex intervention aimed at reducing the incidence and prevalence of smoking in this vulnerable age group. Trial registration. Current Controlled Trials: NCT01602796. © 2014 Leiva et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Grimalt J.O.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Carrizo D.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Gari M,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Font-Ribera L.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2010

This study of the body burden and serum concentrations of organochlorine compounds (OCs), represents a general population in a cohort from Menorca Island (birth 1997-1998) of children at birth and at 4 years of age; the study has shown that the concentrations of hexachlorobenzene (HCB), 4,4′-DDE, 4,4′-DDT, polychlorobiphenyl (PCB) congeners #153, #138 and #180 and total PCBs in sera collected at 4 years are much higher in breastfed children than in those fed with formula, e.g. HCB 0.48 vs 0.21 ng/ml, β-HCH 0.32 vs 0.24 ng/ml, total DDTs 2.2 vs 0.57 ng/ml and total PCBs 1.4 vs 0.52 ng/ml. Comparison of gender differences in 4 years old children shows higher concentrations of all examined OCs in females than in males with the exception of HCB and PeCB in breastfed children, which are higher in males than in females, e.g. β-HCH 0.34 vs 0.28 ng/ml, total DDTs 2.6 vs 1.7 ng/ml and total PCBs 1.6 vs 1.0 ng/ml for breastfed children and β-HCH 0.23 vs 0.19 ng/ml, total DDTs 0.59 vs 0.48 ng/ml and total PCBs 0.58 vs 0.45 ng/ml for formula fed children. Gender comparison of the body burden between children fed with breastmilk or formula also shows higher concentrations in females than in males, e.g. β-HCH 0.47 vs 0.35 μg, total DDTs 3.0 vs 1.8 μg and total PCBs 1.9 vs 1.2 μg for breastfed children, and β-HCH 0.39 vs 0.17 μg, total DDTs 0.48 vs 0.27 μg and total PCBs 0.66 vs 0.55 μg for formula fed children. The results may suggest a higher capacity in female children for the retention of OCs incorporated through breastfeeding. However, these results should be taken with caution because the differences of the gender averages have low statistically significance when evaluated with the Student test. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Yanez A.,Fundacio dInvestigacio Sanitaria Illes Balears FISIB | Torrent M.,Area de Salut de Menorca
Adicciones | Year: 2013

The socio-cultural environment is an important factor involved with the onset of smoking during adolescence. Initiation of cigarette smoking occurs almost exclusively during this stage. In this context we aimed to analyze the association of school and family factors with adolescent smoking by a cross-sectional study of 16 secondary schools randomly selected from the Balearic Islands involved 3673 students and 530 teachers. The prevalence of regular smoking (at least one cigarette per week) was 4.8% among first year students, 11.6% among second year students, 14.1% among third year students, 20.9% among fourth year students and 22% among teachers. Among first and second year students, there were independent associations between regular smoking and adolescents' perception of being allowed to smoke at home, belonging to a single parent family, poor relationship with parents, poor academic performance, lack of interest in studies and teachers' perception of smoking in the presence of pupils. Among third and fourth year students, there were independent associations between regular smoking and poor relationship with parents, adolescents' perception of being allowed to smoke at home, poor academic performance, lack of control over student misbehavior and the school attended. The school policies and practices affect student related health behavior regarding smoking, independent of individual and family factors. Source

Gascon M.,Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology | Gascon M.,Municipal Institute of Medical Research IMIM Hospital Del Mar | Vrijheid M.,Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology | Vrijheid M.,Municipal Institute of Medical Research IMIM Hospital Del Mar | And 10 more authors.
Environment International | Year: 2011

There are at present very few studies of the effects of polybromodiphenyl ethers (PBDEs), used as flame retardants in consumer products, on neurodevelopment or thyroid hormone levels in humans. The present study aims to examine the association between pre and postnatal PBDE concentrations and neurodevelopment and thyroid hormone levels in children at age 4. years and isolate the effects of PBDEs from those of PCBs, DDT, DDE and HCB.A prospective birth cohort in Menorca (Spain) enrolled 482 pregnant mothers between 1997 and 1998. At 4. years, children were assessed for motor and cognitive function (McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities), attention-deficit, hyperactivity and impulsivity (ADHD-DSM-IV) and social competence (California Preschool Social Competence Scale). PBDE concentrations were measured in cord blood (N = 88) and in serum of 4. years olds (N = 244). Among all congeners analyzed only PBDE 47 was quantified in a reasonable number of samples (LOQ = 0.002. ng/ml). Exposure to PBDE 47 was analyzed as a dichotomous variable: concentrations above the LOQ (exposed) and concentrations below (referents).Scores for cognitive and motor functions were always lower in children pre and postnatally exposed to PBDE47 than in referents, but none of these associations was statistically significant (β coefficient (95%CI) of the total cognition score: -2.7 (-7.0, 1.6) for postnatal exposure, and -1.4 (-9.2, 6.5) for prenatal exposure). Postnatal exposure to PBDE 47 was statistically significantly related to an increased risk of symptoms on the attention deficit subscale of ADHD symptoms (RR (95%CI) = 1.8 (1.0, 3.2)) but not to hyperactivity symptoms. A statistically significant higher risk of poor social competence symptoms was observed as a consequence of postnatal PBDE 47 exposure (RR (95%CI) = 2.6 (1.2, 5.9)). Adjustment for other organochlorine compounds did not influence the results. Levels of thyroid hormones were not associated to PBDE exposure.This study highlights the importance of assessing the effects of PBDE exposure not just prenatally but also during the early years of life. In the light of current evidence a precautionary approach towards PBDE exposure of both mothers and children seems warranted. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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