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Announcements/News Feed

News and announcements related to environmental impacts on human health, collected from a multitude of sources, especially Environmental Health News. To subscribe to this feed, visit healthandenvironment.org/CHE.xml.

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New column: Your Health This Week.
Friday, May 22, 2015announcement
CHE initiates a weekly column on the CHE Blog highlighting studies and resources that you might find useful in safeguarding or improving your own health or that of your family.

PEHSU Grand Rounds webcast Wednesday: Electronic Cigarettes: Miracle or Menace.
Thursday, May 21, 2015event
This in-depth and interactive series provides a platform for learning and discussion about issues that focus on current and emerging aspects of pediatric and reproductive environmental health. Continuing education is available.

Mercury in tuna is more dangerous than you think.
Thursday, May 21, 2015news article
Consumer Reports is sounding the alarm about mercury in tuna, following a new study showing levels of the toxic heavy metal in tuna have increased dramatically over the last 15 years. Newsmax Health.
[See the analysis: Too much tuna, too much mercury]

Acetaminophen in pregnancy may lower testosterone in unborn boys.
Thursday, May 21, 2015news article
Prolonged paracetamol use (also known as acetaminophen, or under the brand name Tylenol) by pregnant women may reduce testosterone production in unborn baby boys, research has found. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Prolonged exposure to acetaminophen reduces testosterone production by the human fetal testis in a xenograft model]

Association between mobile phone use and self-reported well-being in children: a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study in Chongqing, China.
Thursday, May 21, 2015journal article
The present study indicated that there was a consistent significant association between mobile phone use and fatigue in children. BMJ Open.

EPA webinar May 28th: EJSCREEN Presentation and Demonstration.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015event
This webinar will be a demonstration of EJSCREEN, EPA's latest mapping tool for screening areas of potential environmental justice concerns.

Effects of cigarette smoking and nicotine metabolite ratio on leukocyte telomere length.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015journal article
Our results suggest that lifetime accumulated smoking exposure could cause a gross damage in leukocyte telomere length rather than nicotine metabolism ratio (NMR) or pack years smoked (PYS). Nevertheless, a combination of smoking topography (NMR) and consumption (PYS) measures may provide useful information about smoking effects on health outcomes. Environmental Research.

Urinary metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Saudi Arabian schoolchildren in relation to sources of exposure.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015journal article
We did not find evidence of association for environmental tobacco smoke exposure or incense burning. It is concluded that both respiratory exposure and consumption of chargrilled food are considerable sources of PAH exposure in this population as reflected by concentrations of urinary biomarkers. Environmental Research.

Relationships between socioeconomic and lifestyle factors and indoor air quality in French dwellings.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015journal article
Households with lower income were more likely to have higher indoor concentrations of formaldehyde, but lower perchloroethylene indoor concentrations. Formaldehyde indoor concentrations were also associated with newly built buildings. Smoking was associated with increasing acetaldehyde and PM2.5 levels and the risk of a positive fungal contamination index. BTEX levels were also associated with occupant density and having an attached garage. The major predictors for fungal contamination were dampness and absolute humidity. Environmental Research.

Fine particulate matter and the risk of autism spectrum disorder.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015journal article
Our data indicate that both prenatal and postnatal exposures to PM2.5 are associated with increased risk of ASD. Environmental Research.

New infographic: NASA Guide to Air-filtering Houseplants.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015announcement
Back in 1989, NASA conducted a Clean Air Study in association with Associated Landscape Contractors of America, in an effort to find the most effective common indoor plants for filtering harmful toxins and pollutants from the air. Their results have stood the test of time. From Environmental News Network.

Air pollution and impaired lung function prove independent risk factors for cognitive decline.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015news article
"Our findings disprove the hypothesis that air pollution first decreases lung function and this decline, in turn, causes cognitive impairment by releasing stress signals and humoral mediators into the body," explains Mohammad Vossoughi, a PhD student at the Leibniz (Germany) Institute for Environmental Medicine, who led the study. ScienceDaily.

COPD, asthma and the environment.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015news article
"There's very strong evidence that if you're exposed to vapors, dust, gas and fumes at the workplace, then you have increased risk of COPD -- independent of smoking," says Dr. John Balmes, a professor with the University of California-San Francisco medical school and at the UC-Berkeley School of Public Health. US News & World Report.

Oil slicks off California span 9 miles; cleanup underway.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015news article
Slicks of oil that spilled into California coastal waters from an onshore pipeline spanned a total of 9 miles Wednesday, and a company official said the line was operating at full capacity when it broke, suggesting much more oil escaped than initially estimated. NorthJersey.com.

Time to toss your nonstick pans? Maybe not.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015news article
More than 200 scientists from 38 countries say we should avoid a family of chemical compounds that is found in nonstick cookware. So does that mean we should toss all those slippery skillets? The answer is more complicated than you might think. Los Angeles Times.
[See the scientists statement: The Madrid Statement on poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs)]

Smoke (still) gets in your eyes at many job sites.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015news article
Despite the flood of state and local laws since the 1990s to ban indoor smoking, millions of Americans still are exposed to secondhand smoke on the job. FairWarning.

UN negotiators eschew consensus to ban toxic chemical, adopt e-waste guidelines.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015news article
International chemicals negotiators in Geneva broke a quarter century of precedent and banned a toxic chemical despite opposition from a member country during the conference of parties of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions. Bloomberg BNA.

BC researchers seek immigrant women for heavy metals study.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015news article
Women who've moved to the Lower Mainland from certain South and East Asian areas are being sought for a major study measuring their levels of heavy metals and environmental toxins. Vancouver Sun, British Columbia.

Hazardous pesticide use increases in California.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015news article
The agricultural use of chlorpyrifos, a toxic insecticide linked to health problems, has increased -- and activists say the state has done little to limit the risks. East Bay Express, California.

CHE call May 28th: An Interview with Dr. Frederica Perera, Recipient of the Prestigious Heinz Award.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015event
Dr. Perera will discuss how she came to this field, her work over the past decades, what she sees as pivotal moments in the evolution of the environmental health movement, and priority actions and opportunities to reduce chemical exposures in the future nationally and internationally.

Influence of physical activity in the intake of trihalomethanes in indoor swimming pools.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015journal article
A clear dependence between distance swum or energy expenditure and exhaled breath trihalomethane (THM) concentrations was observed. Environmental Research.

Reliability of perfluoroalkyl substances in plasma of 100 women in two consecutive pregnancies.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015journal article
We found the reliability of PFAS measurements in maternal plasma to be moderate to high, and in these data, several factors, especially breastfeeding, were related to plasma concentrations. Environmental Research.

Synthetic musk compounds and benzotriazole ultraviolet stabilizers in breast milk: occurrence, time-course variation and infant health risk.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015journal article
Maternal age, body mass index, and parity were not associated with the concentrations of synthetic musk compounds and benzotriazole ultraviolet stabilizers, while gestational age and delivery mode were associated with these contaminants. Environmental Research.

Fine particulate air pollution, nitrogen dioxide, and systemic autoimmune rheumatic disease in Calgary, Alberta.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015journal article
In this urban Canadian sample, adjusting for demographics, exposure to fine particulate was associated with an increased risk of systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases. The results for nitrogen dioxide were inconclusive. Environmental Research.

Study finds high prevalence of metabolic syndrome in US.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015news article
Nearly 35 percent of all U.S. adults and 50 percent of those 60 years of age or older were estimated to have the metabolic syndrome in 2011-2012, according to a study in the May 19 issue of JAMA. Newswise.
[See the study: Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in the United States, 2003-2012]

Concussion in former NFL players related to brain changes later in life.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015news article
The hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in memory, was found to be smaller in 28 former NFL players as compared with a control group of men of similar age and education. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Imaging correlates of memory and concussion history in retired national football league athletes]

Maternal obesity compromises babies' immune system at time of birth.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015news article
The research team analyzed umbilical cord blood samples of infants born to lean, overweight and obese mothers, and found that pre-pregnancy maternal weight has a significant impact on the neonate's immune system. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Maternal obesity alters immune cell frequencies and responses in umbilical cord blood samples]

USDA develops new government label for GMO-free products.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015news article
The certification is the first of its kind and would be voluntary -- and companies would have to pay for it. If approved, the foods could carry a "USDA Process Verified" label along with a claim that they are free of GMOs. Washington Post, District of Columbia.

Study highlights risk of norovirus from swimming.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015news article
The norovirus outbreak in July 2014 linked to a lake near Portland, Oregon sickened 70 people. Those who swam in the lake were 2.3 times more likely to develop vomiting or diarrhea than those who visited the park but didn't go in the water. CDC Newsroom.

Is Wi-Fi making your child ill?
Tuesday, May 19, 2015news article
As well as founding the Physicians' Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment (PHIRE) to inform doctors of the issues and advise on best health practice, Mallery-Blythe gives talks to teachers around the country, in which she presents scientific studies that reveal both short and long-term effects of EMF exposure. The Telegraph, United Kingdom.

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