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      Indoor human exposure to size-fractionated aerosols during the 2015 Southeast Asian smoke haze and assessment of exposure mitigation strategies

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      Environmental Research Letters
      IOP Publishing

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          Hazards of heavy metal contamination.

          The main threats to human health from heavy metals are associated with exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. These metals have been extensively studied and their effects on human health regularly reviewed by international bodies such as the WHO. Heavy metals have been used by humans for thousands of years. Although several adverse health effects of heavy metals have been known for a long time, exposure to heavy metals continues, and is even increasing in some parts of the world, in particular in less developed countries, though emissions have declined in most developed countries over the last 100 years. Cadmium compounds are currently mainly used in re-chargeable nickel-cadmium batteries. Cadmium emissions have increased dramatically during the 20th century, one reason being that cadmium-containing products are rarely re-cycled, but often dumped together with household waste. Cigarette smoking is a major source of cadmium exposure. In non-smokers, food is the most important source of cadmium exposure. Recent data indicate that adverse health effects of cadmium exposure may occur at lower exposure levels than previously anticipated, primarily in the form of kidney damage but possibly also bone effects and fractures. Many individuals in Europe already exceed these exposure levels and the margin is very narrow for large groups. Therefore, measures should be taken to reduce cadmium exposure in the general population in order to minimize the risk of adverse health effects. The general population is primarily exposed to mercury via food, fish being a major source of methyl mercury exposure, and dental amalgam. The general population does not face a significant health risk from methyl mercury, although certain groups with high fish consumption may attain blood levels associated with a low risk of neurological damage to adults. Since there is a risk to the fetus in particular, pregnant women should avoid a high intake of certain fish, such as shark, swordfish and tuna; fish (such as pike, walleye and bass) taken from polluted fresh waters should especially be avoided. There has been a debate on the safety of dental amalgams and claims have been made that mercury from amalgam may cause a variety of diseases. However, there are no studies so far that have been able to show any associations between amalgam fillings and ill health. The general population is exposed to lead from air and food in roughly equal proportions. During the last century, lead emissions to ambient air have caused considerable pollution, mainly due to lead emissions from petrol. Children are particularly susceptible to lead exposure due to high gastrointestinal uptake and the permeable blood-brain barrier. Blood levels in children should be reduced below the levels so far considered acceptable, recent data indicating that there may be neurotoxic effects of lead at lower levels of exposure than previously anticipated. Although lead in petrol has dramatically decreased over the last decades, thereby reducing environmental exposure, phasing out any remaining uses of lead additives in motor fuels should be encouraged. The use of lead-based paints should be abandoned, and lead should not be used in food containers. In particular, the public should be aware of glazed food containers, which may leach lead into food. Exposure to arsenic is mainly via intake of food and drinking water, food being the most important source in most populations. Long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking-water is mainly related to increased risks of skin cancer, but also some other cancers, as well as other skin lesions such as hyperkeratosis and pigmentation changes. Occupational exposure to arsenic, primarily by inhalation, is causally associated with lung cancer. Clear exposure-response relationships and high risks have been observed.
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            Critical Review of Health Impacts of Wildfire Smoke Exposure

            Background: Wildfire activity is predicted to increase in many parts of the world due to changes in temperature and precipitation patterns from global climate change. Wildfire smoke contains numerous hazardous air pollutants and many studies have documented population health effects from this exposure. Objectives: We aimed to assess the evidence of health effects from exposure to wildfire smoke and to identify susceptible populations. Methods: We reviewed the scientific literature for studies of wildfire smoke exposure on mortality and on respiratory, cardiovascular, mental, and perinatal health. Within those reviewed papers deemed to have minimal risk of bias, we assessed the coherence and consistency of findings. Discussion: Consistent evidence documents associations between wildfire smoke exposure and general respiratory health effects, specifically exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Growing evidence suggests associations with increased risk of respiratory infections and all-cause mortality. Evidence for cardiovascular effects is mixed, but a few recent studies have reported associations for specific cardiovascular end points. Insufficient research exists to identify specific population subgroups that are more susceptible to wildfire smoke exposure. Conclusions: Consistent evidence from a large number of studies indicates that wildfire smoke exposure is associated with respiratory morbidity with growing evidence supporting an association with all-cause mortality. More research is needed to clarify which causes of mortality may be associated with wildfire smoke, whether cardiovascular outcomes are associated with wildfire smoke, and if certain populations are more susceptible. Citation: Reid CE, Brauer M, Johnston FH, Jerrett M, Balmes JR, Elliott CT. 2016. Critical review of health impacts of wildfire smoke exposure. Environ Health Perspect 124:1334–1343; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1409277
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              Exposure Assessment for Atmospheric Ultrafine Particles (UFPs) and Implications in Epidemiologic Research

              Epidemiologic research has shown increases in adverse cardiovascular and respiratory outcomes in relation to mass concentrations of particulate matter (PM) ≤2.5 or ≤10 μm in diameter (PM2.5, PM10, respectively). In a companion article [Delfino RJ, Sioutas C, Malik S. 2005. Environ Health Perspect 113(8):934–946]), we discuss epidemiologic evidence pointing to underlying components linked to fossil fuel combustion. The causal components driving the PM associations remain to be identified, but emerging evidence on particle size and chemistry has led to some clues. There is sufficient reason to believe that ultrafine particles < 0.1 μm (UFPs) are important because when compared with larger particles, they have order of magnitudes higher particle number concentration and surface area, and larger concentrations of adsorbed or condensed toxic air pollutants (oxidant gases, organic compounds, transition metals) per unit mass. This is supported by evidence of significantly higher in vitro redox activity by UFPs than by larger PM. Although epidemiologic research is needed, exposure assessment issues for UFPs are complex and need to be considered before undertaking investigations of UFP health effects. These issues include high spatial variability, indoor sources, variable infiltration of UFPs from a variety of outside sources, and meteorologic factors leading to high seasonal variability in concentration and composition, including volatility. To address these issues, investigators need to develop as well as validate the analytic technologies required to characterize the physical/chemical nature of UFPs in various environments. In the present review, we provide a detailed discussion of key characteristics of UFPs, their sources and formation mechanisms, and methodologic approaches to assessing population exposures.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Environmental Research Letters
                Environ. Res. Lett.
                IOP Publishing
                1748-9326
                November 01 2017
                November 01 2017
                November 09 2017
                : 12
                : 11
                : 114026
                Article
                10.1088/1748-9326/aa86dd
                6f102d1c-31a5-4002-9cfd-0f13fff7edbf
                © 2017

                http://iopscience.iop.org/info/page/text-and-data-mining

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


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