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Alexeeff G.,California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment | Mataka A.Y.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EM: Air and Waste Management Association's Magazine for Environmental Managers

A look at CalEnviroScreen, an environmental health screening tool designed to help decisionmakers focus time, resources, and programs to improve the environmental health of Californians living in areas of the state disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution. Copyright © 2014 Air & Waste Management Association. Source

Ostro B.D.,California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment | Reynolds P.,Cancer Prevention Institute of California | Goldberg D.,Cancer Prevention Institute of California | Hertz A.,Cancer Prevention Institute of California | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

Rationale: Several studies have linked long-term exposure to particulate air pollution with increased cardiopulmonary mortality; only two have also examined incident circulatory disease. Objectives: To examine associations of individualized long-term exposures to particulate and gaseous air pollution with incident myocardial infarction and stroke, as well as all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Methods:We estimated long-term residential air pollution exposure for more than 100,000 participants in the California Teachers Study, a prospective cohort of female public school professionals.We linked geocoded residential addresses with inverse distance-weighted monthly pollutant surfaces for two measures of particulate matter and for several gaseous pollutants. We examined associations between exposure to these pollutants and risks of incident myocardial infarction and stroke, and of all-cause and cause-specific mortality, using Cox proportional hazards models. Measurements and Main Results:We found elevated hazard ratios linking long-term exposure to particulate matter less than 2.5 mm in aerodynamic diameter (PM 2.5), scaled to an increment of 10 μg/m 3 with mortality from ischemic heart disease (IHD) (1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.41) and, particularly among postmenopausal women, incident stroke (1.19; 95% CI, 1.02-1.38). Long-term exposure to particulatematter less than 10 mm in aerodynamicdiameter (PM 10)was associatedwith elevated risks for IHDmortality (1.06; 95% CI, 0.99-1.14) and incident stroke (1.06; 95% CI, 1.00-1.13), while exposure to nitrogen oxides was associated with elevated risks for IHD and all cardiovascular mortality. Conclusions: This study provides evidence linking long-term exposure to PM 2.5 and PM 10 with increased risks of incident stroke as well asIHD mortality; exposure to nitrogen oxideswasalso related to death from cardiovascular diseases. Source

Luo D.,California Air Resources Board | Corey R.,California Air Resources Board | Propper R.,California Air Resources Board | Collins J.,California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Science and Policy

Regulatory agencies control emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) because they react with nitrogen oxides in the presence of sunlight to yield tropospheric or ground-level ozone. However, reaction rates vary widely depending upon the type of VOC. Most VOC regulations developed in the United States consist of mass-based limits, except that VOCs found to be minimally reactive are exempted from regulations. However, the granting of VOC exemptions may lead to greater emissions of the VOCs so exempted. In this paper, we establish and describe a comprehensive approach that assesses several impacts of these greater emissions for VOCs proposed for exemption due to their negligible contribution to tropospheric ozone formation. These impacts include changes to tropospheric ozone, secondary organic aerosol, stratospheric ozone depletion, climate, other media (water and soil), indoor exposure, health, and the economy. This approach was applied to several VOCs: tertiary-butyl acetate (t-BAc), methyl formate, and nine fluorinated organic compounds, and the results are presented here. It is concluded that this comprehensive approach should be considered by regulatory agencies when exempting a VOC. © 2011. Source

Crawled News Article
Site: http://cen.acs.org/news/ln.html

Two new chemicals of concern have been connected to electronic cigarettes: Glycidol, a probable carcinogen, is found in e-cigarette vapor; and propylene oxide, a respiratory irritant and possible carcinogen, is found in the flavored liquid heated by the device to produce the vapor. Hugo Destaillats of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and his colleagues also confirmed the presence of the probable carcinogens formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, as well as the strong respiratory and eye irritant acrolein, in the vapor (Environ. Sci. Technol., DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b01741). Notably, the researchers conclude that several of these compounds come from heating the liquid’s solvents, propylene glycol and glycerin. Glycidol, acrolein, and formaldehyde are thermal by-products of glycerin, and propylene glycol degrades into acetaldehyde and formaldehyde. The team tested two different brands of e-cigarettes with three different liquids, analyzing the liquid and vapor using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography. Propylene oxide was not detectable in the vapor in their HPLC analysis, but because it was found at relatively high levels in the liquid, the researchers speculate that it may be present in the vapor. Several factors increased the amount of thermal degradation products delivered per puff, including repeated puffs within a half hour and increasing the e-cigarette voltage, both of which result in heating the liquid at a higher temperature. “As you increase the temperature, the amount of acrolein formed increases almost exponentially,” Destaillats says—by an order of magnitude for a voltage increase from 3.3 to 4.8 V. Minimizing the voltage could help e-cigarette users limit their exposure to these compounds, he says. Most compounds of concern were detected at 0.3 to 70 μg per puff. The researchers estimate that e-cigarettes emit a quarter or less acrolein than a conventional cigarette for the equivalent number of puffs. However, the team’s calculations also indicate that at least two compounds in e-cigarette vapor exceed limits for chronic exposure—both secondhand and for vapers themselves—set by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment by up to an order of magnitude or more, Destaillats says. The team’s conclusions on health implications will appear in a forthcoming paper.

Basu R.,California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment | Harris M.,Boston University | Sie L.,University of California at Berkeley | Malig B.,California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment | And 2 more authors.
Environmental research

Relationships between prenatal exposure to fine particles (PM2.5) and birth weight have been observed previously. Few studies have investigated specific constituents of PM2.5, which may identify sources and major contributors of risk. We examined the effects of trimester and full gestational prenatal exposures to PM2.5 mass and 23 PM2.5 constituents on birth weight among 646,296 term births in California between 2000 and 2006. We used linear and logistic regression models to assess associations between exposures and birth weight and risk of low birth weight (LBW; <2500g), respectively. Models were adjusted for individual demographic characteristics, apparent temperature, month and year of birth, region, and socioeconomic indicators. Higher full gestational exposures to PM2.5 mass and several PM2.5 constituents were significantly associated with reductions in term birth weight. The largest reductions in birth weight were associated with exposure to vanadium, sulfur, sulfate, iron, elemental carbon, titanium, manganese, bromine, ammonium, zinc, and copper. Several of these PM2.5 constituents were associated with increased risk of term LBW. Reductions in birth weight were generally larger among younger mothers and varied by race/ethnicity. Exposure to specific constituents of PM2.5, especially traffic-related particles, sulfur constituents, and metals, were associated with decreased birth weight in California. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc. Source

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