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Burger J.,Rutgers University | Burger J.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI
Environmental Research | Year: 2013

There is an abundance of data for levels of metals from a range of species, but relatively few long-term time series from the same location. In this paper I examine the levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury and selenium in feathers from fledgling great egrets (Ardea alba) collected at nesting colonies in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey from 1989 to 2011. The primary objectives were to test the null hypotheses that (1) There were no temporal differences in metal levels in feathers of fledgling great egrets, and (2) Great egrets nesting in different areas of Barnegat Bay (New Jersey) did not differ in metal levels. There were significant yearly variations in levels of all heavy metals in feathers of fledgling great egret, but levels decreased significantly from 1989 to 2011 only for lead (1470. ppb to 54.3. ppb), cadmium (277. ppb to 30.5. ppb), and manganese (only since 1996; 2669. ppb to 329. ppb)). Although mercury levels decreased from 2003-2008 (6430. ppb to 1042. ppb), there was no pattern before 2003, and levels increased after 2008 to 2610. ppb in 2011. Lead, cadmium, chromium, manganese and mercury were higher in feathers from great egrets nesting in the northern part of the bay, and selenium was highest in feathers from mid-bay. The lack of a temporal decline in mercury levels in feathers of great egrets is cause for concern, since the high levels in feathers from some years (means as high as 6430. ppb) are in the range associated with adverse effects (5000. ppb for feathers). © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

Tunno B.J.,University of Pittsburgh | Dalton R.,University of Pittsburgh | Cambal L.,University of Pittsburgh | Holguin F.,University of Pittsburgh | And 2 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2016

Because fine particulate matter (PM2.5) differs in chemical composition, source apportionment is frequently used for identification of relative contributions of multiple sources to outdoor concentrations. Indoor air pollution and source apportionment is often overlooked, though people in northern climates may spend up to 90% of their time inside. We selected 21 homes for a 1-week indoor sampling session during summer (July to September 2011), repeated in winter (January to March 2012). Elemental analysis was performed using inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and factor analysis was used to determine constituent grouping. Multivariate modeling was run on factor scores to corroborate interpretations of source factors based on a literature review. For each season, a 5-factor solution explained 86-88% of variability in constituent concentrations. Indoor sources (i.e. cooking, smoking) explained greater variability than did outdoor sources in these industrial communities. A smoking factor was identified in each season, predicted by number of cigarettes smoked. Cooking factors were also identified in each season, explained by frequency of stove cooking and stovetop frying. Significant contributions from outdoor sources including coal and motor vehicles were also identified. Higher coal and secondary-related elemental concentrations were detected during summer than winter. Our findings suggest that source contributions to indoor concentrations can be identified and should be examined in relation to health effects. © 2016 The Authors. Source

Tunno B.J.,University of Pittsburgh | Shields K.N.,University of Pittsburgh | Cambal L.,University of Pittsburgh | Tripathy S.,University of Pittsburgh | And 3 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2015

Impacts of industrial emissions on outdoor air pollution in nearby communities are well-documented. Fewer studies, however, have explored impacts on indoor air quality in these communities. Because persons in northern climates spend a majority of their time indoors, understanding indoor exposures, and the role of outdoor air pollution in shaping such exposures, is a priority issue. Braddock and Clairton, Pennsylvania, industrial communities near Pittsburgh, are home to an active steel mill and coke works, respectively, and the population experiences elevated rates of childhood asthma. Twenty-one homes were selected for 1-week indoor sampling for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon (BC) during summer 2011 and winter 2012. Multivariate linear regression models were used to examine contributions from both outdoor concentrations and indoor sources. In the models, an outdoor infiltration component explained 10 to 39% of variability in indoor air pollution for PM2.5, and 33 to 42% for BC. For both PM2.5 models and the summer BC model, smoking was a stronger predictor than outdoor pollution, as greater pollutant concentration increases were identified. For winter BC, the model was explained by outdoor pollution and an open windows modifier. In both seasons, indoor concentrations for both PM2.5 and BC were consistently higher than residence-specific outdoor concentration estimates. Mean indoor PM2.5 was higher, on average, during summer (25.8±22.7μg/m3) than winter (18.9±13.2μg/m3). Contrary to the study's hypothesis, outdoor concentrations accounted for only little to moderate variability (10 to 42%) in indoor concentrations; a much greater proportion of PM2.5 was explained by cigarette smoking. Outdoor infiltration was a stronger predictor for BC compared to PM2.5, especially in winter. Our results suggest that, even in industrial communities of high outdoor pollution concentrations, indoor activities - particularly cigarette smoking - may play a larger role in shaping indoor exposures. © 2015. Source

Burger J.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI | Burger J.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute | Burger J.,Rutgers University | Harris S.,Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation | And 3 more authors.
Risk Analysis | Year: 2010

The concept that all peoples should have their voices heard on matters that affect their well-being is at the core of environmental justice (EJ). The inability of some people of small towns, rural areas, minority, and low-income communities, to become involved in environmental decisions is sometimes due to a lack of information. We provide a template for the ecological information that is essential to examine environmental risks to EJ populations within average communities, using case studies from South Carolina (Savannah River, a DOE site with minority impacts), Washington (Hanford, a DOE site with Native American impacts), and New Jersey (nonpoint, urbanized community pollution). While the basic ecological and public health information needs for risk evaluations and assessments are well described, less attention has been focused on standardizing information about EJ communities or EJ populations within larger communities. We suggest that information needed about EJ communities and populations includes demographics, consumptive and nonconsumptive uses of their regional environment (for example, maintenance and cosmetic, medicinal/religious/cultural uses), eco-dependency webs, and eco-cultural attributes. A purely demographics approach might not even identify EJ populations or neighborhoods, much less their spatial relation to the impact source or to each other. Using information from three case studies, we illustrate that some information is readily available (e.g., consumption rates for standard items such as fish), but there is less information about medicinal, cultural, religious, eco-cultural dependency webs, and eco-cultural attributes, all of which depend in some way on intact, functioning, and healthy ecosystems. © 2010 Society for Risk Analysis. Source

Prasad K.,Molecular Histology Center | Prasad K.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI | Beach T.G.,Banner Sun Health Research Institute | Hedreen J.,McLean Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Brain Pathology | Year: 2012

The role of Lewy bodies, Lewy neurites and α-synuclein (αSYN) in the pathophysiology and diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (PD) is unclear. We used postmortem human tissue, a panel of antibodies (Abs) and confocal microscopy to examine the three-dimensional neurochemical anatomy of the nigrostriatal system. Abs were specific to truncated (tαSYN), phosphorylated and full-length αSYN. The findings demonstrate the critical role of tαSYN in initiating aggregation, a role for other forms of αSYN in aggregate expansion, a reason for the wide variety of proteins present in different aggregates, an explanation for the laminar appearance of aggregates described historically using different methods, the existence of proximal greater than distal aggregation in the vulnerable nigrostriatal pathway, the independent transport of different forms of αSYN as cargo along axons and a possible sequence for the formation of Lewy bodies. Findings differed between incidental Lewy body disease and PD only quantitatively. These findings have implications for understanding the pathogenesis and treatment of PD. © 2012 The Authors. Source

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