Category Archives: Health Effects

Exposure routes and health effects of microcystins

Massey IY, Yang F, Ding Z, Yang S, Guo J, Tezi C, Al-Osman M, Kamegni RB, Zeng W. Exposure Routes and Health Effects of Microcystins on Animals and Humans: A Mini-review. Toxicon. 2018 Jul 9. pii: S0041-0101(18)30306-4. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2018.07.010.

Microcystins (MCs) pollution has quickly risen in infamy and has become a major problem to public health worldwide. MCs are a group of monocyclic hepatotoxic peptides, which are produced by some bloom-forming cyanobacteria in water. More than 100 different MCs variants posing a great threat to animals and humans due to their potential carcinogenicity have been reported. To reduce MCs risks, the World Health Organization has set a provisional guideline of 1 µg/L MCs in human’s drinking water. This paper provides an overview of exposure routes of MCs into the human system and health effects on different organs after MCs exposure including the liver, intestine, brain, kidney, lung, heart and reproductive system. In addition, some evidences on human poisoning and deaths associated with MCs exposure are presented. Finally, in order to protect human life against the health threats posed by MCs, this paper also suggests some directions for future research that can advance MCs control and minimize human exposure to MCs.

Increase in Malaria deaths a global warming myth

“The Our World in Data recently updated a report, originally published in 2015. According to it, WHO data showed deaths from malaria have fallen by 48% since 2000.” click here and here

Did Lancet publish fake health arguments?

Just wondering….

Mikko Paunio Sacrificing the Poor: The Lancet on pollution Global Warming Policy Foundation, 2018.

“Executive summary

The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals, recently published two long commissioned reports, timed to coincide with 23rd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the third UN Environment Assembly. The journal’s aim was to boost climate change mitigation and enhance a ‘Pollution free World’ initiative in the name of public health. This paper gives examples of the biased, misleading and false health-based arguments that are made in these reports. The main conclusions of the Lancet reports – widely disseminated by the mass media – were as follows: • that a huge global mortality burden is attributable to industrial pollution • that a key to gaining health co-benefits of climate change mitigation is to introduce a moratorium on construction of coal-fired power plants. Both conclusions are false. To arrive at them, the authors of both reports have hidden the benefits of the comprehensive institutional environmental health protection action – based on hygiene principles – that helped to eradicate malnutrition from today’s richer nations in the period after the Second World War. The authors of both reports have also, by not quoting (or by misquoting) a game-changing article published inNature, advanced the false argument that industrial development is to blame for much disease and mortality around the world, and in particular in the developing world. The Lancet report declared that 9 million deaths each year are attributable to ‘pollution’. However, almost all these deaths are a function of underdevelopment. Pervasive fecal pollution, including animal manure, is the root cause of mass malnutrition among 800 million people, causing repeated bouts of diarrhea that often leave children permanently malnourished or stunted. Malnutrition then makes people especially vulnerable to the detrimental effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution from the domestic burning of wood, other forms of biomass, and coal for heating and cooking. The Lancet pollution report mentions the link, but shamefully fails to deal with the implications. Neither of the Lancet reports is of much help in putting the vitally important but totally neglected subject of institutional environmental health action on the sustainable development agenda. Although the authors of the pollution report have sought to take the moral high ground by quoting the Pope’s Laudato Si encyclical on the environment, both of the reports are immoral, and gross distortions of public health science and the historical achievements of health protection.” click here

Susceptibility differs to the toxic effects of arsenic

Brenda C. Minatel1, Adam P. Sage1, Christine Anderson, Roland Hubaux, Erin A. Marshall, Wan L. Lam, Victor D. Martinez. Environmental arsenic exposure: From genetic susceptibility to pathogenesis. Environment International Volume 112, March 2018, Pages 183–197

More than 200 million people in 70 countries are exposed to arsenic through drinking water. Chronic exposure to this metalloid has been associated with the onset of many diseases, including cancer. Epidemiological evidence supports its carcinogenic potential, however, detailed molecular mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Despite the global magnitude of this problem, not all individuals face the same risk. Susceptibility to the toxic effects of arsenic is influenced by alterations in genes involved in arsenic metabolism, as well as biological factors, such as age, gender and nutrition. Moreover, chronic arsenic exposure results in several genotoxic and epigenetic alterations tightly associated with the arsenic biotransformation process, resulting in an increased cancer risk. In this review, we: 1) review the roles of inter-individual DNA-level variations influencing the susceptibility to arsenic-induced carcinogenesis; 2) discuss the contribution of arsenic biotransformation to cancer initiation; 3) provide insights into emerging research areas and the challenges in the field; and 4) compile a resource of publicly available arsenic-related DNA-level variations, transcriptome and methylation data. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of arsenic exposure and its subsequent health effects will support efforts to reduce the worldwide health burden and encourage the development of strategies for managing arsenic-related diseases in the era of personalized medicine.

Total THM long-term exposure not related to female breast cancer, Spain

Font-Ribera L, Gràcia-Lavedan E, Aragonés N, Pérez-Gómez B, Pollán M, Amiano P, Jiménez-Zabala A, Castaño-Vinyals G, Roca-Barceló A, Ardanaz E, Burgui R, Molina AJ, Fernández-Villa T, Gómez-Acebo I, Dierssen-Sotos T, Moreno V, Fernandez-Tardon G, Peiró R, Kogevinas M, Villanueva CM. Long-term exposure to trihalomethanes in drinking water and breast cancer in the Spanish multicase-control study on cancer (MCC-SPAIN). Environment international. 2017 Dec 28;112:227-234. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2017.12.031.

BACKGROUND: Exposure to trihalomethanes (THMs) in drinking water has consistently been associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, but evidence on other cancers including the breast is very limited.

OBJECTIVES: We assessed long-term exposure to THMs to evaluate the association with female breast cancer (BC) risk.

METHODS: A multi case-control study was conducted in Spain from 2008 to 2013. We included 1003 incident BC cases (women 20-85 years old) recruited from 14 hospitals and 1458 population controls. Subjects were interviewed to ascertain residential histories and major recognized risk factors for BC. Mean residential levels of chloroform, brominated THMs (Br-THMs) and the sum of both as total THM (TTHMs) during the adult-lifetime were calculated.

RESULTS: Mean adult-lifetime residential levels ranged from 0.8 to 145.7μg/L for TTHM (median=30.8), from 0.2 to 62.4μg/L for chloroform (median=19.7) and from 0.3 to 126.0μg/L for Br-THMs (median=9.7). Adult-lifetime residential chloroform was associated with BC (adjusted OR=1.47; 95%CI=1.05, 2.06 for the highest (>24μg/L) vs. lowest (<8μg/L) quartile; p-trend=0.024). No association was detected for residential Br-THMs (OR=0.91; 95%CI=0.68, 1.23 for >31μg/L vs. <6μg/L) or TTHMs (OR=1.14; 95%CI=0.83, 1.57 for >48μg/L vs. <22μg/L).

CONCLUSIONS: At common levels in Europe, long-term residential total THMs were not related to female breast cancer. A moderate association with chloroform was suggested at the highest exposure category. This large epidemiological study with extensive exposure assessment overcomes several limitations of previous studies but further studies are needed to confirm these results.

Fluoride Exposure and Cognitive Functions, Chinese Children

Choi AL, Zhang Y, Sun G, Bellinger DC, Wang K, Yang XJ, Li JS, Zheng Q, Fu Y, Grandjean P. Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: a pilot study. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2015 Jan-Feb;47:96-101. doi: 10.1016/ Erratum in Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2015 Sep-Oct;51():89.

BACKGROUND: A systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies on developmental fluoride neurotoxicity support the hypothesis that exposure to elevated concentrations of fluoride in water is neurotoxic during development.

METHODS: We carried out a pilot study of 51 first-grade children in southern Sichuan, China, using the fluoride concentration in morning urine after an exposure-free night; fluoride in well-water source; and dental fluorosis status as indices of past fluoride exposure. We administered a battery of age-appropriate, relatively culture-independent tests that reflect different functional domains: the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-IV) digit span and block design; finger tapping and grooved pegboard. Confounder-adjusted associations between exposure indicators and test scores were assessed using multiple regression models.

RESULTS: Dental fluorosis score was the exposure indicator that had the strongest association with the outcome deficits, and the WISC-IV digit span subtest appeared to be the most sensitive outcome, where moderate and severe fluorosis was associated with a digit span total score difference of -4.28 (95% CI -8.22, -0.33) and backward score with -2.13 (95% CI -4.24, -0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study in a community with stable lifetime fluoride exposures supports the notion that fluoride in drinking water may produce developmental neurotoxicity, and that the dose-dependence underlying this relationship needs to be characterized in detail.

High Drinking Water Fluoride Associated with Reduced Children Intelligence Levels

Duan Q, Jiao J, Chen X, Wang X. Association between water fluoride and the level of children’s intelligence: a dose-response meta-analysis. Public Health. 2017 Dec 4;154:87-97. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2017.08.013.

OBJECTIVES: Higher fluoride concentrations in water have inconsistently been associated with the levels of intelligence in children. The following study summarizes the available evidence regarding the strength of association between fluoridated water and children’s intelligence.

STUDY DESIGN: Meta-analysis.

METHODS: PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases were systematically analyzed from November 2016. Observational studies that have reported on intelligence levels in relation to high and low water fluoride contents, with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were included. Further, the results were pooled using inverse variance methods. The correlation between water fluoride concentration and intelligence level was assessed by a dose-response meta-analysis.

RESULTS: Twenty-six studies reporting data on 7258 children were included. The summary results indicated that high water fluoride exposure was associated with lower intelligence levels (standardized mean difference : -0.52; 95% CI: -0.62 to -0.42; P < 0.001). The findings from subgroup analyses were consistent with those from overall analysis. The dose-response meta-analysis suggested a significant association between water fluoride dosage and intelligence (P < 0.001), while increased water fluoride exposure was associated with reduced intelligence levels.

CONCLUSIONS: Greater exposure to high levels of fluoride in water was significantly associated with reduced levels of intelligence in children. Therefore, water quality and exposure to fluoride in water should be controlled in areas with high fluoride levels in water.