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Weichenthal S.,Air Health science Division | Kulka R.,Air Health science Division | Belisle P.,McGill University | Joseph L.,McGill University | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2012

Background: Few studies have examined the acute cardiorespiratory effects of specific volatile organic compound (VOC) exposures from traffic pollution. Methods: A cross-over study was conducted among 42 healthy adults during summer 2010 in Ottawa, Canada. Participants cycled for 1-h along high and low-traffic routes and VOC exposures were determined along each route. Lung function, exhaled nitric oxide, and heart rate variability were monitored before cycling and 1-4. h after the start of cycling. Bayesian hierarchical models were used to examine the relationship between 26 VOCs and acute changes in clinical outcomes adjusted for potential confounding factors. Results: Each inter-quartile range (IQR) increase in propane/butane exposure was associated with a 2.0millisecond (ms) (95% CI: 0.65, 3.2) increase in SDNN (standard deviation of normal-to-normal intervals), a 24ms 2 (95% CI: 6.6, 41) increase in HF (high frequency power), and a 65ms 2 (95% CI: 11, 118) increase in LF (low frequency power) in the hours following cycling. IQR increases in ethane and isoprene were associated with a 5.8ms (95% CI: -9.8, -1.7): decrease in SDNN and a 24ms 2 (95% CI: -44, -7.9) decrease in HF, respectively. IQR increases in benzene exposure were associated with a 1.7ppb (95% CI: 1.1, 2.3) increase in exhaled nitric oxide and each IQR increase in 3-methylhexane exposure was associated with a 102mL (95% CI: -157, -47) decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1-s. Conclusions: Exposure to traffic-related VOCs may contribute to acute changes in lung function, inflammation, or heart rate variability. © 2012 .


Poon R.,Environmental Health Science Research Bureau | Valli V.E.,VDx Veterinary Diagnostics | Nimal Ratnayake W.M.,Bureau of Nutritional science | Rigden M.,Environmental Health Science Research Bureau | Pelletier G.,Environmental Health Science Research Bureau
Journal of Applied Toxicology | Year: 2013

Jatropha oil is an emerging feedstock for the production of biodiesels. The increasing use of this nonedible, toxic oil will result in higher potential for accidental exposures. A repeated-dose 28-day oral toxicity study was conducted to provide data for risk assessment. Jatropha oil diluted in corn oil was administered by gavage to male and female rats at 0.5, 5, 50 and 500mgkg-1 body weight per day for 28 consecutive days. Control rats were administered corn oil only. The growth rates and consumption of food and water were monitored. At necropsy, organs were weighed and hematological parameters assessed. Serum clinical chemistry and C-reactive protein were measured and histological examinations of organs and tissues were performed. Markedly depressed growth rate was observed in males and females receiving Jatropha oil at 500mgkg-1 per day. Decreased white blood cell and lymphocyte counts were detected in females at 50 and 500mgkg-1 per day and in males at 500mgkg-1 per day. These changes were correlated to mild and reversible histological changes in male and female spleens. In the liver, a mild increase in portal hepatocytes cytoplasm density was observed in males and females, while periportal vacuolation was observed exclusively in females. Mild acinar proliferation was observed in the female mammary glands at all dose levels. It is concluded that Jatropha oil produces adverse effects on female rats starting at 50mgkg-1 per day with decreased white blood cell and lymphocyte counts and at 500mgkg-1 per day in both genders in term of depressed growth rates. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


PubMed | Environmental Health Science Research Bureau, Air Health science Division and Environmental Health Science Research Bureaum Health Canada
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental health : a global access science source | Year: 2017

Epidemiological studies have shown that as ambient air pollution (AP) increases the risk of cardiovascular mortality also increases. The mechanisms of this effect may be linked to alterations in autonomic nervous system function. We wished to examine the effects of industrial AP on heart rate variability (HRV), a measure of subtle changes in heart rate and rhythm representing autonomic input to the heart.Sixty healthy adults were randomized to spend five consecutive 8-h days outdoors in one of two locations: (1) adjacent to a steel plant in the Bayview neighbourhood in Sault Ste Marie Ontario or (2) at a College campus, several kilometers from the plant. Following a 9-16 day washout period, participants spent five consecutive days at the other site. Ambient AP levels and ambulatory electrocardiogram recordings were collected daily. HRV analysis was undertaken on a segment of the ambulatory ECG recording during a 15min rest period, near the end of the 8-h on-site day. Standard HRV parameters from both time and frequency domains were measured. Ambient AP was measured with fixed site monitors at both sites. Statistical analysis was completed using mixed-effects models.Compared to the College site, HRV was statistically significantly reduced at the Bayview site by 13% (95%CI 3.6,19.2) for the standard deviation of normal to normal, 8% (95%CI 0.1, 4.9) for the percent normal to normal intervals differing by more than 50 ms, and 15% (95%CI 74.9, 571.2) for low frequency power. Levels of carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and fine and ultrafine particulates were slightly, but statistically significantly, elevated at Bayview when compared to College. Interquartile range changes in individual air pollutants were significantly associated with reductions in HRV measured on the same day. The patterns of effect showed a high degree of consistency, with nearly all pollutants significantly inversely associated with at least one measure of HRV.The significant associations between AP and changes in HRV suggest that ambient AP near a steel plant may impact autonomic nervous system control of the heart.


Vanos J.K.,Environmental Health science Research Bureau | Cakmak S.,Environmental Health science Research Bureau
International Journal of Biometeorology | Year: 2014

Many individual variables have been studied to understand climate change, yet an overall weather situation involves the consideration of many meteorological variables simultaneously at various times diurnally, seasonally, and yearly. The current study identifies a full weather situation as an air mass type using synoptic scale classification, in 30 population centres throughout Canada. Investigative analysis of long-term air mass frequency trends was completed, drawing comparisons between seasons and climate zones. We find that the changing air mass trends are highly dependent on the season and climate zone being studied, with an overall increase of moderate ('warm') air masses and decrease of polar ('cold') air masses. In the summertime, general increased moisture content is present throughout Canada, consistent with the warming air masses. The moist tropical air mass, containing the most hot and humid air, is found to increase in a statistically significant fashion in the summertime in 46 % of the areas studied, which encompass six of Canada's ten largest population centres. This emphasises the need for heat adaptation and acclimatisation for a large proportion of the Canadian population. In addition, strong and significant decreases of transition/frontal passage days were found throughout Canada. This result is one of the most remarkable transition frequency results published to date due to its consistency in identifying declining trends, coinciding with research completed in the United States (US). We discuss relative results and implications to similar US air mass trend analyses, and draw upon research studies involving large-scale upper-level air flow and vortex connections to air mass changes, to small-scale meteorological and air pollution interactions. Further research is warranted to better understand such connections, and how these air masses relate to the overall and city-specific health of Canadians. © 2013 ISB.


Niu J.,Environmental Health Science Research Bureau | Rasmussen P.E.,Environmental Health Science Research Bureau | Rasmussen P.E.,University of Ottawa | Hassan N.M.,Environmental Health Science Research Bureau | And 2 more authors.
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution | Year: 2010

Trace elements, especially those associated with fine particles in airborne particulate matter (PM), may play an important role in PM adverse health effect. The aim of this paper is to characterize elements in a wide particle size range from nano (57-100 nm) to fine (100-1,000 nm) and to coarse (1,000-10,000 nm) fractions of two urban PM samples collected in Ottawa. Size-selective particle sampling was performed using a micro-orifice uniform deposit impactor, and element concentrations were determined in each different size fraction by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy. A general trend of increasing element concentration with decreasing aerodynamic diameter was observed for elements V, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se, and Cd, indicating they were predominately concentrated in the nanoparticle size range. Other elements including Fe, Sr, Mo, Sn, Sb, Ba, and Pb were predominately concentrated in the fine-size range. Increased concentration of elements in the nano and fine particle size range is significant due to their ability to penetrate into the deepest alveolar area of the lungs. This was confirmed by the calculation of median concentration diameters, which were less than 800 nm for most of the investigated elements. Particle size distribution and element correlation analysis suggest that the elements concentrated in the nano- and fine-size fractions originated mainly from vehicular combustion and emission. Long-range airborne transport and soil or road dust resuspension may also contribute. Particle size had an important effect on element bioaccessibility for the studied urban PM samples showing a general trend of increasing element bioaccessibility with decreasing particle size. These results emphasize the importance of acquiring information on nano and/or fine PM-bound elements and their bioaccessibilities for accurate element and PM exposure assessment. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Niu J.,Environmental Health Science Research Bureau | Rasmussen P.E.,Environmental Health Science Research Bureau | Rasmussen P.E.,University of Ottawa | Chenier M.,Environmental Health Science Research Bureau
International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2013

A simple single-step ultrasonic dissolution procedure for low mass (<1 mg) particulate matter (PM) filter samples using HNO3-HF acid solution is proposed for multi-element determination using ICP-MS. The PM-loaded PTFE filter samples are inserted directly into disposable centrifuge tubes for acid extraction using ultrasonic digestion (UD). Potential interferences owing to contamination and element loss are minimized. Key factors influencing element recoveries are investigated, including digestion solution composition, acid concentration, temperature, and matrix interferences. Optimized conditions for UD include an acid mixture consisting of 4.0 mL HNO3 and 0.1 mL HF with ultrasonication proceeding at 90°C for one hour, followed by 10-fold dilution. Recoveries of 80-120% are achieved for almost all of the 20 elements tested (Be, Al, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Ba, Pb and U) in four standard reference materials with contrasting matrices: NIST 1648 (urban PM), NIST 2584 (indoor dust), NIST 2710 (soil), and NIST 1633b (coal fly ash). The exception is Cr in NIST 1648 for which recovery is low (30%) using this method. Element concentrations obtained for PM-loaded filter samples using the proposed UD + ICP-MS method agree with results obtained using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (paired t-test p > 0.2; 95% CI). © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


McAuliffe M.E.,Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company | Williams P.L.,Harvard University | Korrick S.A.,Brigham and Women's Hospital | Dadd R.,Harvard University | And 3 more authors.
Human reproduction (Oxford, England) | Year: 2014

STUDY QUESTION: Is there an association between human sperm sex chromosome disomy and sperm DNA damage?SUMMARY ANSWER: An increase in human sperm XY disomy was associated with higher comet extent; however, there was no other consistent association of sex chromosome disomies with DNA damage.WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: There is limited published research on the association between sex chromosome disomy and sperm DNA damage and the findings are not consistent across studies.STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, AND DURATION: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 190 men (25% ever smoker, 75% never smoker) from subfertile couples presenting at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Clinic from January 2000 to May 2003.PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Multiprobe fluorescence in situ hybridization for chromosomes X, Y and 18 was used to determine XX, YY, XY and total sex chromosome disomy in sperm nuclei using an automated scoring method. The neutral comet assay was used to measure sperm DNA damage, as reflected by comet extent, percentage DNA in the comet tail, and tail distributed moment. Univariate and multiple linear regression models were constructed with sex chromosome disomy (separate models for each of the four disomic conditions) as the independent variable, and DNA damage parameters (separate models for each measure of DNA damage) as the dependent variable.MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Men with current or past smoking history had significantly greater comet extent (µm: regression coefficients with 95% CI) [XX18: 15.17 (1.98, 28.36); YY18: 14.68 (1.50, 27.86); XY18: 15.41 (2.37, 28.45); Total Sex Chromosome Disomy: 15.23 (2.09, 28.38)], and tail distributed moment [XX18: 3.01 (0.30, 5.72); YY18: 2.95 (0.24, 5.67); XY18: 3.04 (0.36, 5.72); Total Sex Chromosome Disomy: 3.10 (0.31, 5.71)] than men who had never smoked. In regression models adjusted for age and smoking, there was a positive association between XY disomy and comet extent. For an increase in XY disomy from 0.56 to 1.47% (representing the 25th to 75th percentile), there was a mean increase of 5.08 µm in comet extent. No other statistically significant findings were observed.LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: A potential limitation of this study is that it is cross-sectional. Cross-sectional analyses by nature do not lend themselves to inference about directionality for any observed associations; therefore we cannot determine which variable is the cause and which one is the effect. A small sample size may be a further limitation. Comparison of these findings to other studies is limited due to methodological differences.WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Although consistent associations across sex chromosome disomies or DNA damage measures were not observed, this study highlights the need to explore etiologies of sperm DNA damage and sex chromosome disomy to better understand the potential mechanistic overlaps between the two.STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTERESTS: This work was supported by NIOSH Grant T42 OH008416, and NIH/NIEHS Grants ES 009718, ES 000002, and R01 ES017457. During the study M.E.M. was affiliated with the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health.N/A. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


PubMed | University of New Brunswick, Texas Tech University and Environmental Health Science & Research Bureau
Type: | Journal: Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) | Year: 2016

Our objective is to analyse the association between long term ozone exposure and cardiovascular related mortality while accounting for climate, location, and socioeconomic factors. We assigned subjects with 16 years of follow-up in the Canadian Census Health and Environment Cohort (CanCHEC) to one of seven regions based on spatial synoptic classification (SSC) weather types and examined the interaction of exposure to both fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ground level ozone and cause of death using survival analysis, while adjusting for socioeconomic characteristics and individual confounders. Correlations between ozone and PM2.5 varied across SSC zones from-0.02 to 0.7. Comparing zones using the most populated SSC zone as a reference, a 10ppb increase in ozone exposure was associated with increases in hazard ratios (HRs) that ranged from 1.007 (95% CI 0.99, 1.015) to 1.03 (95% CI 1.02, 1.041) for cardiovascular disease, 1.013 (95% CI 0.996, 1.03) to 1.058 (95% CI 1.034, 1.082) for cerebrovascular disease, and 1.02 (95% CI 1.006, 1.034) for ischemic heart disease. HRs remained significant after adjustment for PM2.5. Long term exposure to ozone is related to an increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases; the risk varies by location across Canada and is not attenuated by adjustment for PM2.5. This research shows that the SSC can be used to define geographic regions and it demonstrates the importance of accounting for that spatial variability when studying the long term health effects of air pollution.


PubMed | McGill University, Food Research Division and Environmental Health Science & Research Bureau
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Birth defects research. Part B, Developmental and reproductive toxicology | Year: 2016

Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are stable environmental contaminants known to exert endocrine-disrupting effects. Developmental exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) is correlated with impaired thyroid hormone signaling, as well as estrogenic and anti-androgenic effects. As previous studies have focused on a single congener or technical mixture, the purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of gestational and early postnatal exposure to an environmentally relevant mixture of BFRs designed to reflect house dust levels of PBDEs and hexabromocyclododecane on postnatal developmental outcomes. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to the PBDE mixture from preconception to weaning (PND 21) through the diet containing 0, 0.75, 250, and 750 mg mixture/kg diet. BFR exposure induced transient reductions in body weight at PND 35 in male and from PND 30-45 in female offspring (250 and 750 mg/kg). Liver weights (PND 21) and xenobiotic metabolizing enzyme activities (PND 21 and 46) were increased in both male and female offspring exposed to 250 and 750 mg/kg diets. Furthermore, serum T4 levels were reduced at PND 21 in both,male and female offspring (250 and 750 mg/kg). At PND 21, Serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) was decreased in males exposed to 750 mg/kg dietat, and females exposed to 250 and 750 mg/kg diets. At PND 46 ALP was significantly elevated in males (250 and 750 mg/kg). Variations in the cervical vertebrae and phalanges were observed in pups at PND 4 (250 and 750 mg/kg). Therefore, BFR exposure during gestation through to weaning alters developmental programming in the offspring. The persistence of BFRs in the environment remains a cause for concern with regards to developmental toxicity.


Niu J.,Environmental Health Science Research Bureau | Rasmussen P.E.,Environmental Health Science Research Bureau | Rasmussen P.E.,University of Ottawa | Williams R.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Chenier M.,Environmental Health Science Research Bureau
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2010

Factors and sources affecting measurement uncertainty associated with monitoring metals in airborne particulate matter (PM) were investigated as part of the Windsor, Ontario Exposure Assessment Study (WOEAS). The assessment was made using co-located duplicate samples and a comparison of two analytical approaches: ED-XRF and ICP-MS. Sampling variability was estimated using relative percent difference (RPD) of co-located duplicate samples. The comparison of ICP-MS and ED-XRF results yields very good correlations (R2 ≥ 0.7) for elements present at concentrations that pass both ICP-MS and ED-XRF detection limits (e.g. Fe, Mn, Zn, Pb and Cu). PM concentration ranges (median, sample number) of 24-h indoor PM10 and personal PM10 filters, and outdoor PM2.5 filters were determined to be 2.2-40.7 (11.0, n = 48) μg m-3, 8.0-48.3 (11.9, n = 48) μg m-3, and 17.1-42.3 (21.6, n = 18) μg m-3, respectively. The gravimetric analytical results reveal that the variations in PM mass measurements for same-day sampling are insignificant compared to temporal or spatial variations: 92%, 100% and 96% of indoor, outdoor and personal duplicate samples, respectively, pass the quality criteria (RPD ≤ 20%). Uncertainties associated with ED-XRF elemental measurements of S, Ca, Mn, Fe and Zn for 24-h filter samples are low: 78%-100% of the duplicate samples passed the quality criteria. In the case of 24-h filter samples using ICP-MS, more elements passed the quality criteria due to the lower detection limits. These were: Li, Na, K, Ca, Si, Al, V, Fe, Mn, Co, Cu, Mo, Ag, Zn, Pb, As, Mg, Sb, Sn, Sr, Th, Ti, Tl, and U. Low air concentrations of metals (near or below instrumental detection limits) and/or inadvertent introduction of metal contamination are the main causes for excluding elements based on the pass/fail criteria. Uncertainty associated with elemental measurements must be assessed on an element-by-element basis. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

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