Daily Archives: November 9, 2014

Impact of Iodised Salt Removal on Children’s Goiter Status

Lv S, Xu D, Wang Y, Jun Z, Jia L, Du Y. Impact of removing iodised salt on children’s goitre status in areas with excessive iodine in drinking-water. Br J Nutr. 2014 Nov 4:1-6.

The impact of removing iodised salt on children’s goitre status in a high-iodine area (HIA) remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to explore the changes in the prevalence of goitre in children after removing iodised salt from their diet. For this purpose, three towns with the median water iodine content of 150-300 μg/l were selected randomly in Hengshui City, Hebei Province, China. A total of 452 and 459 children were randomly selected from the three towns in order to measure thyroid volume by ultrasound before and after removing iodised salt, respectively. Their goitre status was judged using the criteria of age-specific thyroid volume recommended by the WHO. After removing iodised salt, the overall median urinary iodine content (MUIC) of children decreased from 518 (interquartile range (IQR) 347-735) to 416 (IQR 274-609) μg/l. The MUIC of children across sex and age group decreased significantly except for the age group of 9 years. The overall prevalence of goitre in the three towns significantly decreased from 24·56 % (n 111/452) to 5·88 % (n 27/459) (P< 0·001). Goitre prevalence in children aged 8-10 years decreased from 33·70 % (n 31/92), 23·32 % (n 45/193) and 20·96 % (n 35/167) to 6·10 % (n 10/164), 5·52 % (n 9/163) and 6·06 % (n 8/132), respectively. Goitre prevalence in boys and girls decreased from 27·05 % (n 66/244) and 21·63 % (n 45/208) to 6·66 % (n 15/226) and 5·15 % (n 12/233), respectively. The decreases in the prevalence of goitre in children across sex and age group were all statistically significant. The present study revealed that goitre prevalence in children decreased significantly after removing iodised salt from their diet for about 1·5 years in the HIA in Hebei Province.

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Emerging Pollutants in the Esmeraldas Watershed, Ecuador

Voloshenko-Rossin A1, Gasser G, Cohen K, Gun J, Cumbal-Flores L, Parra-Morales W, Sarabia F, Ojeda F, Lev O. Emerging pollutants in the Esmeraldas watershed in Ecuador: discharge and attenuation of emerging organic pollutants along the San Pedro-Guayllabamba-Esmeraldas rivers.Environ Sci Process Impacts. 2014 Nov 6.

Water quality characteristics and emerging organic pollutants were sampled along the San Pedro-Guayllabamba-Esmeraldas River and its main water pollution streams in the summer of 2013. The annual flow rate of the stream is 22 000 Mm3 y-1 and it collects the wastewater of Quito-Ecuador in the Andes and supplies drinking water to the city of Esmeraldas near the Pacific Ocean. The most persistent emerging pollutants were carbamazepine and acesulfame, which were found to be stable along the San Pedro-Guayllabamba-Esmeraldas River, whereas the concentration of most other organic emerging pollutants, such as caffeine, sulfamethoxazole, venlafaxine, O-desmethylvenlafaxine, and steroidal estrogens, was degraded to a large extent along the 300 km flow. The mass rate of the sum of cocaine and benzoylecgonine, its metabolite, was increased along the stream, which may be attributed to coca plantations and wild coca trees. This raises the possibility of using river monitoring as an indirect way to learn about changes in coca plantations in their watersheds. Several organic emerging pollutants, such as venlafaxine, carbamazepine, sulphamethoxazole, and benzoylecgonine, survived even the filtration treatment at the Esmeraldas drinking water system, though all except for benzoylecgonine are found below 20 ng L-1, and are therefore not likely to cause adverse health effects. The research provides a way to compare drug consumption in a major Latin American city (Quito) and shows that the consumption of most sampled drugs (carbamazepine, venlafaxine, O-desmethylvenlafaxine, sulphamethoxazole, ethinylestradiol) was below their average consumption level in Europe, Israel, and North America.

Drinking River Water a Risk Factor for Intestinal Parasites in Children, Nicaragua

Muñoz-Antoli C, Pavón A, Marcilla A, Toledo R, Esteban JG. Prevalence and risk factors related to intestinal parasites among children in Department of Rio San Juan, Nicaragua. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2014 Oct 24. pii: tru160.

BACKGROUND: The present study was carried out to assess the prevalence of intestinal parasite infections among children in Department of Rio San Juan (Nicaragua), to explore the extent of polyparasitism, and to identify the risk factors that might favour transmission of these parasites.

METHODS: A coprological study of single stool specimen, collected at random from 382 children (167 boys and 215 girls) aged 2-15 years from two municipalities, and a questionnaire, concerning demographic and epidemiological data on sanitary and behavioural habits, was filled in to identify risk factors.

RESULTS: About 93% of the children presented infection. Blastocystis hominis, the most frequently protozoa, and Trichuris trichiura, Ascaris lumbricoides and hookworm, the most prevalent helminths. Polyparasitism (85.4%[326/382]), with the highest percentages detected in females (p=0.001), in the 6-11 year age group (p<0.001) and having a rural background (p<0.001). A firm relationship between any parasite and age (OR=1.2, p=0.036) and rural background (OR=0.3, p=0.027) was detected. Living in rural areas and drinking river water were also positively associated with each of the STH species detected, and walking barefoot was also associated with hookworm infection.

CONCLUSIONS: Government efforts should be focused on controlling the risk factors associated with these enteroparasites, with health education programmes in rural areas of Nicaragua.

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Toxicity of Fluoride Compounds in Caenorhabditis elegans

From recent published articles there looks to be a subtle attempt (perhaps unknowingly) to spin research in such a way so as to prop up addition of fluoride to drinking water. Here is one example. This article examines toxicity to a nematode finding no difference between the form of the chemical. Now the assumption made here is that effects in nematodes are the same as in humans in order to defend fluoridation. But animal toxicity studies that demonstrate a toxic effect on a biochemical process are ignored. In the former case the assumption is applied. In the later case the assumption is discarded. Duplicity indeed.

One criticism offered against fluoridation is that some fluoride chemicals like hydrofluosilsic acid may be more harmful than just plane sodium fluoride. The counter argument is that once fluoride ion is in the water there is no difference with regard to the form of the chemical. Different fluoride chemicals have different effects on drinking water treatment.

But the real question is simply being avoided. Why add a substance (fluoride) to drinking water that is not effective, does not address the underlying problem, and is unnecessary?

Rice JR, Boyd WA, Chandra D, Smith MV, Besten PKD, Freedman JH. Comparison of the toxicity of fluoridation compounds in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Environmental toxicology and chemistry. 2014 Jan., v. 33, no. 1

Fluorides are commonly added to drinking water in the United States to decrease the incidence of dental caries. Silicofluorides, such as sodium hexafluorosilicate (NaSiF) and fluorosilicic acid (HSiF), are mainly used for fluoridation, although fluoride salts such as sodium fluoride (NaF) are also used. Interestingly, only the toxicity of NaF has been examined and not that of the more often used silicofluorides. In the present study, the toxicities of NaF, NaSiF, and HSiF were compared. The toxicity of these fluorides on the growth, feeding, and reproduction in the alternative toxicological testing organism Caenorhabditis elegans was examined. Exposure to these compounds produced classic concentrationresponse toxicity profiles. Although the effects of the fluoride compounds varied among the 3 biological endpoints, no differences were found between the 3 compounds, relative to the fluoride ion concentration, in any of the assays. This suggests that silicofluorides have similar toxicity to NaF.

Giardia Risk in Rural Malaysia

Choy SH, Al-Mekhlafi HM, Mahdy MA, Nasr NN, Sulaiman M, Lim YA, Surin J. Prevalence and Associated Risk Factors of Giardia Infection among Indigenous Communities in Rural Malaysia. Scientific Reports. 2014 Nov 4;4:6909. doi: 10.1038/srep06909.

This study was carried out to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of Giardia infection among indigenous people in rural Malaysia. Faecal samples were collected from 1,330 participants from seven states of Malaysia and examined by wet mount and formalin-ether sedimentation methods while demographic, socioeconomic and environmental information was collected using a pre-tested questionnaire. The overall prevalence of Giardia infection was 11.6% and was significantly higher among those aged ≤ 12 years compared to their older counterparts. Multivariate logistic regression identified age of ≤12 years, lacking of toilet at household, not washing hands before eating, not washing hands after playing with animals, not boiling water before consumption, bathing in the river, and not wearing shoes when outside as the significant risk factors of Giardia infection among these communities. Based on a multilocus genotyping approach (including tpi, gdh and bg gene sequences), 69 isolates were identified as assemblage A, and 69 as assemblage B. No association between the assemblages and presence of symptoms was found. Providing proper sanitation, as well as provision of clean drinking water and proper health education regarding good personal hygiene practices will help significantly in reducing the prevalence and burden of Giardia infection in these communities.

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