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Port - au - Prince, Haiti

Schwartzbord J.R.,Cornell University | Emmanuel E.,Quisqueya University | Brown D.L.,Cornell University
Clinical Toxicology | Year: 2013

Context. The Republic of Haiti is a developing country in the Caribbean region with a history that challenges toxicologists, yet the historical panoply of toxicological hazards in Haiti has received little scholarly attention. Objectives. The primary objectives of this paper are to review what is known about Haiti's current toxicological hazards, with a focus on chronic food-borne aflatoxin exposure and heavy metal contamination of water resources, and to compare these with previous large-scale, acute exposures to toxic substances: the 1995-1996 diethylene glycol (DEG) intoxications and the 2000-2001 ackee fruit poisonings. Methods. MEDLINE/PUBMED and the library website of Cornell University were searched using the terms "Haiti" and either "heavy metals," "aflatoxin", "diethylene glycol", or "ackee". The search was inclusive of articles from 1950 to 2012, and 15 out of the 37 returned were peer-reviewed articles offering original data or comprehensive discussion. One peer-reviewed article in press, two newspaper articles, two personal communications, and one book chapter from the personal databases of the authors were also referenced, making a total of 21 citations. Results. Elevated concentrations of aflatoxins (greater than 20 μg/kg) were documented for staples of the Haitian food supply, most notably peanut butters and maize. Human exposure to aflatoxin was confirmed with analysis of aflatoxin blood biomarkers. The implications of aflatoxin exposure were reviewed in the light of Haiti's age-adjusted liver cancer risk-the highest in the Caribbean region. Measurement of heavy metals in Port-au-Prince ground water showed contamination of lead and chromium in excess of the US Environmental Protection Agency's 15 μg/L Action Level for lead and 100 μg/L Maximum Contamination Level Goal for total chromium. The DEG contamination of paracetamol (acetaminophen) containing products in 1995-1996 claimed the lives of 109 children and the 2000-2001 epidemic of ackee fruit poisoning resulted in 60 cases of intoxication. Lessons for the Haitian Government. The DEG and ackee epidemics overwhelmed local Haitian public health resources. Yet, periods of 8 and 4 months, respectively, passed before the Haitian government sought assistance following the initial poisonings. To our knowledge, the Haitian government did not enact policy to promote drug safety and prevent future poisonings. This will not likely change in the near future because of the state's finance and personnel crises. While protection of its people remains the prerogative of the Haitian government, it is extremely limited in managing chemical exposure to environmental toxins, including aflatoxin and heavy metals. Conclusions: The cases of DEG and ackee fruit poisoning demonstrate that environmental exposures to chemicals have occurred in Haiti. Current low-level exposures to aflatoxin and heavy metals highlight the risk that large-scale poisonings can occur. While awareness of toxicological hazards in Haiti must be acknowledged more widely within the government and non-governmental sectors, the lessons of these exposures are relevant to all developing countries where the capacity to discern and manage toxicological risks is absent or not yet effective. Copyright © 2013 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

Perrodin Y.,CNRS Ecology of Natural and Anthropized Hydrosystems Laboratory | Donguy G.,CNRS Ecology of Natural and Anthropized Hydrosystems Laboratory | Emmanuel E.,Quisqueya University | Winiarski T.,CNRS Ecology of Natural and Anthropized Hydrosystems Laboratory
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

Dredged seaport sediments raise complex management problems since it is no longer possible to discharge them into the sea. Traditional waste treatments are poorly adapted for these materials in terms of absorbable volumes and cost. In this context, filling quarries with treated sediments appears interesting but its safety regarding human health must be demonstrated. To achieve this, a specific methodology for assessing health risks has been developed and tested on three seaport sediments. This methodology includes the development of a conceptual model of the global scenario studied and the definition of specific protocols for each of its major steps. The approach proposed includes in particular the use of metrological and experimental tools that are new in this context: (i) an experimental lysimeter for characterizing the deposit emissions, and (ii) a geological radar for identifying potential preferential pathways between the sediment deposit and the groundwater. The application of this approach on the three sediments tested for the scenario studied showed the absence of health risk associated with the consumption of groundwater for substances having a "threshold effect" (risk quotient <1), and an acceptable risk for substances having a "non-threshold effect", with the notable exception of arsenic (individual risk equal to 3.10-6). © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Brasseur P.,Institute Of Recherche Pour Le Developpement | Agnamey P.,University of Picardie Jules Verne | Emmanuel E.,Quisqueya University | Pape J.W.,Port-au-Prince University | And 2 more authors.
Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health | Year: 2011

Cryptosporidiosis is one of the most frequent causes of diarrhea in Haiti. Transmission in children less than five years-old, HIV-infected individuals, and people living in low socio-economic conditions is frequently due to consumption of water or food contaminated by Cryptosporidium oocysts. This study examined the circulation of Cryptosporidium oocysts in surface waters and in public water supplies in the district of Port-au-Prince. Data were gathered from December 2000 to June 2002 in 37 sites. In the district of Port-au-Prince, 24/37 samples of water collected (65%) were contaminated by Cryptosporidium oocysts and 10/11 (91%) of those collected in reservoirs used by people living in peripheral areas. The rate of contamination was 7/13 (54%) in water from public standpipes provided by the public company of water distribution. All surface water (4/4) collected was highly contaminated. © 2011 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Altenor S.,University of the French West Indies and Guiana | Ncibi M.C.,University of the French West Indies and Guiana | Emmanuel E.,Quisqueya University | Gaspard S.,University of the French West Indies and Guiana
Biochemical Engineering Journal | Year: 2012

The adsorptive removal capacities of highly available Turbinaria turbinata alga and its derived carbonaceous products (i.e. pyrolyzed, physically and chemically activated carbons) were investigated in this study. Several textural and chemical characterizations were performed on the alga and its activated carbons (ACs). Besides, kinetics and isotherms assays were performed and modeled in order to monitor the sorption capacities and dynamic behaviors.The main results showed that the raw Turbinaria biomass has a non porous structure. Then, after thermo-chemical treatments, a porous matrix starts to develop and the total pore volume drastically increased from 0.001cm 3/g for the algal precursor (turb-raw) to 1.316cm 3/g for its derived chemically AC (turb-P1). As well, the specific surface area improved from m 2/g for (turb-raw) to 1307m 2/g for (turb-P1). Consequently, the maximum sorption capacity went from 63mg/g for the algal biomass up to 411mg/g for the chemically ACs.Moreover, the removal rate was taken into consideration in order to set a more reliable and realistic approach to figure out the most efficient AC.Thus, based on those criteria, it was found that the chemically activated carbon " turb-P1" is the most efficient Turbinaria-derived sorbent to adsorb and remove methylene blue (MB) molecules from aqueous solutions with 169. g of the dye using 1. kg of raw alga (considering an AC production yield of 49%). © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Balthazard-Accou K.,Quisqueya University | Balthazard-Accou K.,Amiens University Hospital | Fifi U.,Quisqueya University | Agnamey P.,Amiens University Hospital | And 4 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2014

The physico-chemical behavior of Cryptosporidium oocysts was investigated during their transfer through an alluvial formation from Les Cayes (Haiti) via batch tests. Five approximately 3kg soil samples were collected and combined prior to batch tests from the alluvial formations. The experiments were carried out at soil pH by equilibrating different ranges of pure oocysts concentrations and soil samples with 3mM CaCl2 and 1mM NaBr as electrolyte. We used the Debye-Hückel equation describing ion activity in a solution for a given ionic strength. The equilibrium adsorption mechanism is used to enumerate the oocysts in the soil. The results suggest that the oocysts behavior in porous media depends on soil characteristics such as soil pH, the nature of the mineral and organic constituents of the soil and the ionic strength and activities in solution. These results show that a total transfer in batch containing NaBr solutions against a partial one in batch containing CaCl2 solutions depends on the oocysts media concentration. To confirm the oocysts number retained in soil, confocal microscopy was successfully used and the images demonstrate that the majority of oocysts were retained at the range of concentrations tested. The findings from this study demonstrated that the retention of C. Parvum in soils may be influenced by chemical conditions and soils characteristics, which are important for groundwater risk assessment. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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