Category Archives: exposure

Exposure to Disinfection Byproducts can occur via Vegetables

Coroneo V, Carraro V, Marras B, Marrucci A, Succa S, Meloni B, Pinna A, Angioni A, Sanna A, Schintu M. PRESENCE OF TRIHALOMETHANES IN READY-TO-EAT VEGETABLES DISINFECTED WITH CHLORINE. Food additives and contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure and risk assessment. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2017 Sep 21. doi: 10.1080/19440049.2017.1382723.

Trihalomethanes (THMs) – CHCl3, CHCl2Br, CHClBr2 and CHBr3 – are drinking water disinfection by-products (DBPs). These compounds can also be absorbed by different types of foods, including ready-to-eat (RTE) fresh vegetables. The potential absorption of THMs during washing of RTE vegetables could pose a potential risk to consumers’ health. The concentration of THMs in the water used in the manufacturing process of these products shall not exceed the limit of 100 or 80 µgL-1 according to European Union (EU) and United States legislation respectively. By contrast, there is little information about the presence of such compounds in the final product. This study evaluated the concentration of THMs in different types of RTE vegetables (carrots, iceberg lettuce, lettuce, mixed salad, parsley, parsley and garlic, rocket salad, valerian) after washing with chlorinated water. In the 115 samples analyzed, the average value of total THMs was equal to 76.7 ng g-1. Chloroform was the THM present in the largest percentage in all the RTE vegetables. These results show that the process of washing RTE vegetables should be optimized in order to reduce the risk for consumers associated with the presence of DBPs.

Mulitmedia Modeling of Children’s Lead Exposure

Zartarian V, Xue J, Tornero-Velez R, Brown J. Children’s Lead Exposure: A Multimedia Modeling Analysis to Guide Public Health Decision-Making. Environmental health perspectives 2017 Sep 12;125(9):097009. doi: 10.1289/EHP1605.

BACKGROUND: Drinking water and other sources for lead are the subject of public health concerns around the Flint, Michigan, drinking water and East Chicago, Indiana, lead in soil crises. In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) recommended establishment of a “health-based, household action level” for lead in drinking water based on children’s exposure.

OBJECTIVES: The primary objective was to develop a coupled exposure-dose modeling approach that can be used to determine what drinking water lead concentrations keep children’s blood lead levels (BLLs) below specified values, considering exposures from water, soil, dust, food, and air. Related objectives were to evaluate the coupled model estimates using real-world blood lead data, to quantify relative contributions by the various media, and to identify key model inputs.

METHODS: A modeling approach using the EPA’s Stochastic Human Exposure and Dose Simulation (SHEDS)-Multimedia and Integrated Exposure Uptake and Biokinetic (IEUBK) models was developed using available data. This analysis for the U.S. population of young children probabilistically simulated multimedia exposures and estimated relative contributions of media to BLLs across all population percentiles for several age groups.

RESULTS: Modeled BLLs compared well with nationally representative BLLs (0-23% relative error). Analyses revealed relative importance of soil and dust ingestion exposure pathways and associated Pb intake rates; water ingestion was also a main pathway, especially for infants.

CONCLUSIONS: This methodology advances scientific understanding of the relationship between lead concentrations in drinking water and BLLs in children. It can guide national health-based benchmarks for lead and related community public health decisions.

Child Exposure to Fluoride, Northern Argentina

Rocha RA, Calatayud M, Devesa V, Vélez D. Evaluation of exposure to fluoride in child population of North Argentina. Environmental science and pollution research international. 2017 Aug 8. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-9010-9.

Fluoride is an important element for humans. It inhibits initiation and progression of dental caries and stimulates bone formation. However, excessive intake may lead to the appearance of dental and/or skeletal fluorosis and a decrease in intellectual coefficient in child populations. This study evaluates exposure to fluoride in the child population of Chaco province (Argentina) by analysis of drinking water, food and its bioaccessible fraction (quantity of fluoride solubilised by gastrointestinal digestion and available for intestinal absorption) and urine as a biomarker of internal dose. The concentration of fluoride in drinking water varied between 0.050 and 4.6 mg L-1, and 80% of the samples exceeded the WHO drinking-water guideline value (1.5 mg L-1). Fluoride concentrations in food ranged between 0.80 and 3.0 mg kg-1 fresh weight (fw), being lower in bioaccessible fraction (0.43-1.9 mg kg-1, fw). On the basis of the consumption data declared for the young child population, fluoride intake varies between 4.1 and 6.5 mg day-1, greater than the level recommended for this age group. Moreover, in some cases, concentrations of fluoride found in urine (0.62-8.9 mg L-1) exceeded those reported in areas with declared fluorosis. All data obtained show the worrying situation of child population in this area of Argentina.

Human Exposure to Perfluorochemicals

Jian JM, Guo Y, Zeng L, Liang-Ying L, Lu X, Wang F, Zeng EY. Global distribution of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) in potential human exposure source-A review. Environ Int. 2017 Aug 8;108:51-62. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2017.07.024.

Human exposure to perfluorochemicals (PFCs) has attracted mounting attention due to their potential harmful effects. Breathing, dietary intake, and drinking are believed to be the main routes for PFC entering into human body. Thus, we profiled PFC compositions and concentrations in indoor air and dust, food, and drinking water with detailed analysis of literature data published after 2010. Concentrations of PFCs in air and dust samples collected from home, office, and vehicle were outlined. The results showed that neutral PFCs (e.g., fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) and perfluorooctane sulfonamide ethanols (FOSEs)) should be given attention in addition to PFOS and PFOA. We summarized PFC concentrations in various food items, including vegetables, dairy products, beverages, eggs, meat products, fish, and shellfish. We showed that humans are subject to the dietary PFC exposure mostly through fish and shellfish consumption. Concentrations of PFCs in different drinking water samples collected from various countries were analyzed. Well water and tap water contained relatively higher PFC concentrations than other types of drinking water. Furthermore, PFC contamination in drinking water was influenced by the techniques for drinking water treatment and bottle-originating pollution.

TOX in Urine as an Exposure Surrogate, China

Y Kimura S, Zheng W, N Hipp T, M Allen J, D Richardson S. Total organic halogen (TOX) in human urine: A halogen-specific method for human exposure studies. Journal of environmental sciences (China). 2017 Aug;58:285-295. doi: 10.1016/j.jes.2017.04.008.

Disinfection by-products (DBPs) are a complex mixture of compounds unintentionally formed as a result of disinfection processes used to treat drinking water. Effects of long-term exposure to DBPs are mostly unknown and were the subject of recent epidemiological studies. However, most bioanalytical methods focus on a select few DBPs. In this study, a new comprehensive bioanalytical method has been developed that can quantify mixtures of organic halogenated compounds, including DBPs, in human urine as total organic chlorine (TOCl), total organic bromine (TOBr), and total organic iodine (TOI). The optimized method consists of urine dilution, adsorption to activated carbon, pyrolysis of activated carbon, absorption of gases in an aqueous solution, and halide analysis with ion chromatography and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Spike recoveries for TOCl, TOBr, and TOI measurements ranged between 78% and 99%. Average TOCl, TOBr, and TOI concentrations in five urine samples from volunteers who consumed tap water were 1850, 82, and 21.0μg/L as X, respectively. Volunteers who consumed spring water (control) had TOCl, TOBr, and TOI average concentrations in urine of 1090, 88, and 10.3μg/L as X, respectively. TOCl and TOI in the urine samples from tap water consumers were higher than the control. However, TOBr was slightly lower in tap water urine samples compared to mineral water urine samples, indicating other sources of environmental exposure other than drinking water. A larger sample population that consumes tap water from different cities and mineral water is needed to determine TOCl, TOBr, and TOI exposure from drinking water.

Wild Geese and Swans May Transmit Avian Influenza Virus, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Antibiotic Resistance

Elmberg J, Berg C, Lerner H, Waldenström J, Hessel R. Potential disease transmission from wild geese and swans to livestock, poultry and humans: a review of the scientific literature from a One Health perspective. Infection ecology and epidemiology. 2017 Apr 10;7(1):1300450. doi: 10.1080/20008686.2017.1300450.

There are more herbivorous waterfowl (swans and geese) close to humans, livestock and poultry than ever before. This creates widespread conflict with agriculture and other human interests, but also debate about the role of swans and geese as potential vectors of disease of relevance for human and animal health. Using a One Health perspective, we provide the first comprehensive review of the scientific literature about the most relevant viral, bacterial, and unicellular pathogens occurring in wild geese and swans. Research thus far suggests that these birds may play a role in transmission of avian influenza virus, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and antibiotic resistance. On the other hand, at present there is no evidence that geese and swans play a role in transmission of Newcastle disease, duck plague, West Nile virus, Vibrio, Yersinia, Clostridium, Chlamydophila, and Borrelia. Finally, based on present knowledge it is not possible to say if geese and swans play a role in transmission of Escherichia coli, Pasteurella, Helicobacter, Brachyspira, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and Microsporidia. This is largely due to changes in classification and taxonomy, rapid development of identification methods and lack of knowledge about host specificity. Previous research tends to overrate the role of geese and swans as disease vectors; we do not find any evidence that they are significant transmitters to humans or livestock of any of the pathogens considered in this review. Nevertheless, it is wise to keep poultry and livestock separated from small volume waters used by many wild waterfowl, but there is no need to discourage livestock grazing in nature reserves or pastures where geese and swans are present. Under some circumstances it is warranted to discourage swans and geese from using wastewater ponds, drinking water reservoirs, and public beaches. Intensified screening of swans and geese for AIV, West Nile virus and anatid herpesvirus is warranted.