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Published By Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)

1476-069x, 1476-069x

2022 ◽  
Vol 21 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Luca Boniardi ◽  
Federica Nobile ◽  
Massimo Stafoggia ◽  
Paola Michelozzi ◽  
Carla Ancona

Abstract Background Air pollution is one of the main concerns for the health of European citizens, and cities are currently striving to accomplish EU air pollution regulation. The 2020 COVID-19 lockdown measures can be seen as an unintended but effective experiment to assess the impact of traffic restriction policies on air pollution. Our objective was to estimate the impact of the lockdown measures on NO2 concentrations and health in the two largest Italian cities. Methods NO2 concentration datasets were built using data deriving from a 1-month citizen science monitoring campaign that took place in Milan and Rome just before the Italian lockdown period. Annual mean NO2 concentrations were estimated for a lockdown scenario (Scenario 1) and a scenario without lockdown (Scenario 2), by applying city-specific annual adjustment factors to the 1-month data. The latter were estimated deriving data from Air Quality Network stations and by applying a machine learning approach. NO2 spatial distribution was estimated at a neighbourhood scale by applying Land Use Random Forest models for the two scenarios. Finally, the impact of lockdown on health was estimated by subtracting attributable deaths for Scenario 1 and those for Scenario 2, both estimated by applying literature-based dose–response function on the counterfactual concentrations of 10 μg/m3. Results The Land Use Random Forest models were able to capture 41–42% of the total NO2 variability. Passing from Scenario 2 (annual NO2 without lockdown) to Scenario 1 (annual NO2 with lockdown), the population-weighted exposure to NO2 for Milan and Rome decreased by 15.1% and 15.3% on an annual basis. Considering the 10 μg/m3 counterfactual, prevented deaths were respectively 213 and 604. Conclusions Our results show that the lockdown had a beneficial impact on air quality and human health. However, compliance with the current EU legal limit is not enough to avoid a high number of NO2 attributable deaths. This contribution reaffirms the potentiality of the citizen science approach and calls for more ambitious traffic calming policies and a re-evaluation of the legal annual limit value for NO2 for the protection of human health.


2022 ◽  
Vol 21 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Wei Wu ◽  
Yiqiu Chen ◽  
Yuting Cheng ◽  
Qiuqin Tang ◽  
Feng Pan ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Several studies have suggested adverse effects of particulate matter (PM) exposure on male reproductive health; few have investigated the association between PM exposure and semen quality in a large population of fertile men. Methods We evaluated 14 parameters of semen quality in 1554 fertile men in Nanjing from 2014 to 2016. Individual exposure to particular matter ≤10 μm in diameter (PM10) and ≤ 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) during key periods of sperm development (0-90, 0-9, 10-14, 15-69, and 70-90 days before semen collection) were estimated by inverse distance weighting interpolation. Associations between PM exposure and semen quality were estimated using multivariable linear regression. Results Higher 90-days average PM2.5 was in association with decreased sperm motility (2.21% for total motility, 1.93% for progressive motility per 10 μg/m3 increase, P <  0.001) and four quantitative aspects of sperm motion (curvilinear velocity (VCL), straight line velocity (VSL), average path velocity (VAP), and amplitude of lateral head displacement (ALH), P <  0.01). The association between PM2.5 exposure and semen quality were generally stronger for the earlier exposure window (70-90 days prior to ejaculation) than for recent exposure (0-9, 10-14, or 15-69 days). In the subgroup of men who had normal sperm parameters (n = 1019), similar results were obtained. Ninety-days PM10 exposure was associated only with decreased VCL and VAP and was not related to sperm concentration. Conclusions Exposure to PM2.5 adversely affects semen quality, specifically lower sperm motility, in fertile men. Graphical abstract


2022 ◽  
Vol 21 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Annie Doubleday ◽  
Catherine J. Knott ◽  
Marnie F. Hazlehurst ◽  
Alain G. Bertoni ◽  
Joel D. Kaufman ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Neighborhood greenspaces provide opportunities for increased physical activity and social interaction, and thus may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. However, there is little robust research on greenspace and diabetes. In this study, we examine the longitudinal association between neighborhood greenspace and incident diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Methods A prospective cohort study (N = 6814; 2000-2018) was conducted to examine the association between greenspace, measured as annual and high vegetation season median greenness determined by satellite (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) within 1000 m of participant homes, and incident diabetes assessed at clinician visits, defined as a fasting glucose level of at least 126 mg/dL, use of insulin or use of hypoglycemic medication, controlling for covariates in stages. Five thousand five hundred seventy-four participants free of prevalent diabetes at baseline were included in our analysis. Results Over the study period, 886 (15.9%) participants developed diabetes. Adjusting for individual characteristics, individual and neighborhood-scale SES, additional neighborhood factors, and diabetes risk factors, we found a 21% decrease in the risk of developing diabetes per IQR increase in greenspace (HR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.63, 0.99). Conclusions Overall, neighborhood greenspace provides a protective influence in the development of diabetes, suggesting that neighborhood-level urban planning that supports access to greenspace--along with healthy behaviors--may aid in diabetes prevention. Additional research is needed to better understand how an area’s greenness influences diabetes risk, how to better characterize greenspace exposure and usage, and future studies should focus on robust adjustment for neighborhood-level confounders.


2022 ◽  
Vol 21 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Charlotte R. Doran ◽  
Ann Aschengrau

Abstract Background Communities in Cape Cod, Massachusetts were exposed to tetrachloroethylene (PCE) through contaminated drinking water from 1969 to 1983. PCE exposure during adulthood has well-established neurotoxic effects; however, long-term impacts stemming from early life exposure, especially adverse effects on sleep quality, are not well understood. Methods The present analysis was based on data from the Cape Cod Health Study, a retrospective cohort study of the long-term neurotoxic impacts of early-life exposure to PCE-contaminated drinking water. Exposure to PCE-contaminated water was estimated using a validated leaching and transport model. Measures of sleep quality were obtained from self-administered questionnaires. Generalized estimating equations were used to generate risk ratios and 95% confidence intervals to estimate the association between early-life PCE exposure and sleep quality among 604 participants. Results Compared to unexposed participants, any PCE exposure during early life was associated with 1.57 times the risk of reporting breathing pauses during sleep (95% CI 0.92–2.68). Low-level exposure to PCE was associated with 1.50 times the risk of reporting sleep apnea or other sleep disorders (95% CI 0.78–2.89), while high levels of exposure had comparable risk compared to no exposure (RR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.50–1.79). Weak or no associations were observed for other sleep quality outcomes. In stratified analyses participants with mental illness and/or substance use disorder had increased risk ratios for short sleep duration associated with PCE exposure. Conclusion These findings suggest that early-life exposure to PCE may be associated with a moderate increase in the risk of reporting breathing pauses during sleep in adulthood and that a history of mental illness and/or substance use disorder may exacerbate the risk of short sleep duration.


2022 ◽  
Vol 21 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Erik D. Slawsky ◽  
Anjum Hajat ◽  
Isaac C. Rhew ◽  
Helen Russette ◽  
Erin O. Semmens ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Research suggests that greenspace may confer neurocognitive benefits. This study examines whether residential greenspace is associated with risk of dementia among older adults. Methods Greenspace exposure was computed for 3047 participants aged 75 years and older enrolled in the Gingko Evaluation of Memory Study (GEMS) across four U.S. sites that prospectively evaluated dementia and its subtypes, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), vascular dementia (VaD), and mixed pathologies, using neuropsychiatric evaluations between 2000 and 2008. After geocoding participant residences at baseline, three greenspace metrics—Normalized Difference Vegetative Index, percent park overlap within a 2-km radius, and linear distance to nearest park—were combined to create a composite residential greenspace measure categorized into tertiles. Cox proportional hazards models estimated the associations between baseline greenspace and risk of incident all-cause dementia, AD, and Mixed/VaD. Results Compared to low residential greenspace, high residential greenspace was associated with a reduced risk of dementia (HR = 0.76 95% CI: 0.59,0.98) in models adjusted for multiple covariates. After additional adjustment for behavioral characteristics, Apolipoprotein E ɛ4 status, and other covariates, the association was slightly attenuated (HR = 0.82; 95% CI:0.63,1.06). Those exposed to medium levels of greenspace also had 28% lower risk (HR = 0.72; CI: 0.55, 0.95) of dementia compared to those with low greenspace in adjusted models. Subtype associations between high residential greenspace and AD were not statistically significant. Greenspace was not found to be significantly associated with mixed/vascular pathologies. Conclusions This study showed evidence for an association between residential greenspace and all-cause dementia among older adults. Future research with larger sample size, precise characterization of different dementia subtypes, and assessment of residential greenspace earlier in life may help clarify the role between exposure to greenspace and dementia risk.


2022 ◽  
Vol 21 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Abby F. Fleisch ◽  
Sudipta Kumer Mukherjee ◽  
Subrata K. Biswas ◽  
John F. Obrycki ◽  
Sheikh Muhammad Ekramullah ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Arsenic exposure has been associated with gestational diabetes mellitus. However, the extent to which arsenic exposure during pregnancy is associated with postpartum glucose intolerance is unknown. Methods We studied 323 women in Bangladesh. We assessed arsenic exposure in early pregnancy via toenail and water samples. We measured fasting glucose and insulin in serum at a mean (SD) of 4.0 (3.5) weeks post-delivery. We ran covariate-adjusted, linear regression models to examine associations of arsenic concentrations with HOMA-IR, a marker of insulin resistance, and HOMA-β, a marker of beta cell function. Results Median (IQR) arsenic concentration was 0.45 (0.67) μg/g in toenails and 2.0 (6.5) μg/L in drinking water. Arsenic concentrations during pregnancy were not associated with insulin resistance or beta cell function postpartum. HOMA-IR was 0.07% (− 3.13, 3.37) higher and HOMA-β was 0.96% (− 3.83, 1.99) lower per IQR increment in toenail arsenic, but effect estimates were small and confidence intervals crossed the null. Conclusions Although arsenic exposure during pregnancy has been consistently associated with gestational diabetes mellitus, we found no clear evidence for an adverse effect on postpartum insulin resistance or beta cell function.


2022 ◽  
Vol 21 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Florence Gignac ◽  
Valeria Righi ◽  
Raül Toran ◽  
Lucía Paz Errandonea ◽  
Rodney Ortiz ◽  
...  

Abstract Background While the health risks of air pollution attract considerable attention, both scholarly and within the general population, citizens are rarely involved in environmental health research, beyond participating as data subjects. Co-created citizen science is an approach that fosters collaboration between scientists and lay people to engage the latter in all phases of research. Currently, this approach is rare in environmental epidemiology and when co-creation processes do take place, they are often not documented. This paper describes the first stages of an ongoing co-created citizen science epidemiological project in Barcelona (Spain), that included identifying topics that citizens wish to investigate as regards air pollution and health, formulating their concerns into research questions and co-designing the study protocol. This paper also reflects key trade-offs between scientific rigor and public engagement and provides suggestions to consider when applying citizen science to environmental health studies. Methods Experts created an online survey and analyzed responses with descriptive statistics and qualitative coding. A pop-up intervention was held to discuss with citizens their concerns about air pollution and health. Later on, a community meeting was organized to narrow down the research topics and list potential research questions. In an online survey, citizens were asked to vote for the research question they would like to investigate with the experts. A workshop was held to choose a study design in which citizens would like to partake to answer their preferred research question. Results According to 488 respondents from the first survey, cognitive and mental health were the main priorities of investigation. Based on the second survey, with 27% of the votes from 556 citizens, the most popular research question was, “How does air pollution together with noise and green/blue spaces affect mental health?”. The study design selected was an observational study in which citizens provide daily repeated measures of different cognitive and mental health outcomes and relate them to the air pollution concentrations. Conclusions Based on the co-creation activities and the results obtained, we conclude that applying citizen science in an environmental health project is valuable for researchers despite some challenges such as engaging citizens and maximizing representativity.


2022 ◽  
Vol 21 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Mercedes A. Bravo ◽  
Marie Lynn Miranda

Abstract Background Previous studies observed associations between prenatal exposure to fine particulate matter (≤ 2.5 μm; PM2.5) and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) birth and lower birthweight percentile for gestational age. Few, if any, studies examine prenatal air pollution exposure and these pregnancy outcomes in neonates born to the same women. Here, we assess whether prenatal exposure to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is associated with small-for-gestational-age (SGA) birth or birthweight percentile for gestational age in a longitudinal setting. Methods Detailed birth record data were used to identify women who had singleton live births at least twice in North Carolina during 2002–2006 (n = 53,414 women, n = 109,929 births). Prenatal PM2.5 exposures were calculated using daily concentration estimates obtained from the US EPA Fused Air Quality Surface using Downscaling data archive. Associations between PM2.5 exposure and birthweight percentile and odds of SGA birth were calculated using linear and generalized mixed models, comparing successive pregnancies to the same woman. Odds ratios and associations were also estimated in models that did not account for siblings born to the same mother. Results Among NHW women, pregnancy-long PM2.5 exposure was associated with SGA (OR: 1.11 [1.06, 1.18]) and lower birthweight percentile (− 0.46 [− 0.74, − 0.17]). Trimester-specific PM2.5 was also associated with SGA and lower birthweight percentile. Among NHB women, statistically significant within-woman associations between PM2.5, SGA, and birthweight percentile were not observed. However, in models that did not account for births to the same mother, statistically significant associations were observed between some PM2.5 exposure windows and higher odds of SGA and lower birthweight percentile among NHB women. Conclusions Findings suggest that a woman is at greater risk of delivering an SGA or low birthweight percentile neonate when she has been exposed to higher PM2.5 levels. The within-woman comparison implemented here better controls for factors that may differ between women and potentially confound the relationship between PM2.5 exposure and pregnancy outcomes. This adds to the evidence that PM2.5 exposure may be causally related to SGA and birthweight percentile, even at concentrations close to or below National Ambient Air Quality Standards.


2022 ◽  
Vol 21 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Bernard Laubscher ◽  
Manuel Diezi ◽  
Raffaele Renella ◽  
Edward A. D. Mitchell ◽  
Alexandre Aebi ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Neonicotinoids (NN) are selective neurotoxic pesticides that bind to insect but also mammal nicotinic acetycholine receptors (nAChRs). As the most widely used class of insecticides worldwide, they are ubiquitously found in the environment, wildlife, and foods, and thus of special concern for their impacts on the environment and human health. nAChRs are vital to proper brain organization during the prenatal period and play important roles in various motor, emotional, and cognitive functions. Little is known on children’s contamination by NN. In a pilot study we tested the hypothesis that children’s cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) can be contaminated by NN. Methods NN were analysed in leftover CSF, blood, and urine samples from children treated for leukaemias and lymphomas and undergoing therapeutic lumbar punctions. We monitored all neonicotinoids approved on the global market and some of their most common metabolites by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Results From August to December 2020, 14 children were consecutively included in the study. Median age was 8 years (range 3–18). All CSF and plasma samples were positive for at least one NN. Nine (64%) CSF samples and 13 (93%) plasma samples contained more than one NN. Thirteen (93%) CSF samples had N-desmethyl-acetamiprid (median concentration 0.0123, range 0.0024–0.1068 ng/mL), the major metabolite of acetamiprid. All but one urine samples were positive for ≥ one NN. A statistically significant linear relationship was found between plasma/urine and CSF N-desmethyl-acetamiprid concentrations. Conclusions We have developed a reliable analytical method that revealed multiple NN and/or their metabolites in children’s CSF, plasma, and urine. Our data suggest that contamination by multiple NN is not only an environmental hazard for non-target insects such as bees but also potentially for children.


2022 ◽  
Vol 21 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Sharon K. Sagiv ◽  
Stephen Rauch ◽  
Katherine R. Kogut ◽  
Carly Hyland ◽  
Robert B. Gunier ◽  
...  

Abstract Introduction Previous studies show evidence for associations of prenatal exposure to organophosphate (OP) pesticides with poorer childhood neurodevelopment. As children grow older, poorer cognition, executive function, and school performance can give rise to risk-taking behaviors, including substance abuse, delinquency, and violent acts. We investigated whether prenatal OP exposure was associated with these risk-taking behaviors in adolescence and young adulthood in a Mexican American cohort. Methods We measured urinary dialkyl phosphates (DAPs), non-specific metabolites of OPs, twice (13 and 26 weeks gestation) in pregnant women recruited in 1999–2000 in the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) study, a birth cohort set in a primarily Latino agricultural community in the Salinas Valley, California. We followed up children throughout their childhood and adolescence; at the 18-year visit, adolescent youth (n = 315) completed a computer-based questionnaire which included questions about substance use, risky sexual activity, risky driving, and delinquency and police encounters. We used multivariable models to estimate associations of prenatal total DAPs with these risk-taking behaviors. Results The prevalence of risk-taking behaviors in CHAMACOS youth ranged from 8.9% for smoking or vaping nicotine to 70.2% for committing a delinquent act. Associations of total prenatal DAPs (geometric mean = 132.4 nmol/L) with risk-taking behavior were generally null and imprecise. Isolated findings included a higher risk for smoking or vaping nicotine within the past 30 days (relative risk [RR] per 10-fold increase in prenatal DAPs = 1.89, 95% CI: 1.00, 3.56) and driving without a license (RR = 1.74, 95% CI: 1.25, 2.42). There were no consistent differences by sex or childhood adversity. Discussion We did not find clear or consistent evidence for associations of prenatal OP exposure with risk-taking behaviors in adolescence/early adulthood in the CHAMACOS population. Our small sample size may have prevented us from detecting potentially subtle associations of early life OP exposure with these risk-taking behaviors.


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