Dr. Manish Arora was featured in Spectrum Article, “How Pregnancy may shape a child’s autism”, to discuss how chemical exposures may affect a child’s odds of autism. Dr. Arora’s work is part of a growing field that is attempting to decipher what kinds of environmental exposures increase the odds of autism and how they interact with human biology and genetics. Researchers cannot easily collect blood or saliva samples from fetuses to see what’s circulating through them. Instead, they try to discern fetal exposures by using the mother’s environment as a proxy. If a pregnant woman takes a particular medication, for instance, researchers can extrapolate that the fetus, too, was exposed. To read full article click here.
P30 Center Director, Dr. Robert Wright, featured in the news article “The Brain before Birth: Using fMRI to Explore the Secrets of Fetal Neurodevelopment” for Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP). The article appears in the November 2018 issue of EHP. To access the article click here.
P30 Center Director, Dr. Robert Wright, contributes to a new report from NASEM that recommends the creation of a health monitoring and research program (HMRP) on Gulf War and post 9/11 veterans. The committee that carried out the study and wrote the report assessed the available evidence on the reproductive, developmental, and generational health effects related to exposures that may have occurred during the Gulf War and post-9/11 conflicts. While there is a growing base of human and animal evidence on the reproductive and developmental effects of many toxicants of concern, there is a dearth of information on the specific effects of veterans’ exposures on their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. To read the full report click here.
Congratulations to our center researchers for being one of the three papers selected as an NIEHS Extramural Paper of the Month. The Extramural Papers of the Month are selected based on their important findings and potential for public health impact. The new study, “Sources of clinically significant neonatal intensive care unit phthalate exposure,” funded by NIEHS identified noninvasive respiratory support equipment — specifically, nasal prongs that deliver oxygen and air pressure — as a source of phthalate exposure in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Although multiple studies have demonstrated elevated phthalate markers in NICU patients, specific sources of phthalate exposure were not previously identified. According to the authors, their discovery of the source of potentially neuroactive phthalate exposure provides an avenue to reduce phthalate exposure among NICU patients. To see the papers for November, visit the NIEHS Environmental Factor website.
Using evidence found in teeth from two Neanderthals from southeastern France, researchers from the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai report the earliest evidence of lead exposure in an extinct human-like species from 250,000 years ago. This study is the first to report lead exposure in Neanderthal and is the first to use teeth to reconstruct climate during and timing of key developmental events including weaning and nursing duration— key determinants of population growth. Results of the study were published in Science Advances, a journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. To read more click here.
Dr. Robert Wright provided commentary for the American Academy of Pediatrics October 2018, VOLUME 142/Issue 4–“Motherless Children Have the Hardest Time”: Epigenetic Programming and Early Life Environment. Dr. Robert Wright discussed how the environment early in life can program health effects that manifest years or even decades later. His new commentary explains the importance of identifying risk factors for stress from infanthood. To read the AAP commentary click here.
Dr. Emily Moody presented on the effects of lead in adults at the 20th National Environmental Conference at Tar Creek and was interviewed by the Joplin Globe. Dr. Moody said she’s always been interested in recognizing the differences of toxic metals and how it affects people. “Any exposure that we do have (to lead) comes from our own history,” Moody said. “We mined lead and have used it in many products over a millennia, and that’s how it gets into our environments and our bodies.” Lead affects adults and children differently. The toxic metal affects children’s overall growth and development. Exposures to lead in children can cause decreased bone and muscle growth, lower IQ, nervous system damage, kidney damage and learning disabilities. In adults, lead is stored in the bones and can affect the kidneys, the cardiovascular system, the reproductive system, the nervous system and the digestive system. To read the full article click here.
On September 18, 2018, Dr. Rosalind Wright was interviewed by Daily Mail to discuss how mothers who experienced trauma are more likely to have underweight baby boys. Researchers from our center at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York say that their new study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, found those exposed to serious trauma at some point and who secreted high levels of cortisol in late pregnancy were prone to low birthweight sons. Dr. Rosalind Wright explains “given the disproportionate exposure to stressors among racial minorities and women of lower socioeconomic status, there are important implications for understanding intergenerational perpetuation of health disparities and for understanding how to intervene.” To read the full Daily Mail article click here.
The NIH Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) highlighted our Artificial Turf & Children’s Health Factsheet as part of their Featured Material newsletter. The infographic describes how artificial turf poses a health risk to children and provides tips for safer play on artificial surfaces. To read more about PEPH and Materials in Action click here.
On September 05, 2018, The American Thoracic Society Morning Minute highlighted our paper, “Prenatal Particulate Air Pollution and Asthma Onset in Urban Children. Identifying Sensitive Windows and Sex Differences.” This is the first study to leverage weekly PM2.5 exposure estimates over gestation combined with data-driven statistics to characterize susceptibility windows, removing the subjectivity that currently guides the decision of when to assess exposure effects. These data demonstrate that increased prenatal PM2.5 exposure at mid-gestation (16–25 wk gestation) was associated with asthma development by age 6 years in boys. To read more about ATS and our paper click here.