P30 Center Member’s paper, Maternal and Cord Blood Manganese Concentrations and Early Childhood Neurodevelopment among Residents near a Mining-Impacted Superfund Site, was featured as The August Article of the Month (AOM) by the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN). The study examined the connection between prenatal manganese exposure and neurodevelopmental deficits in children living near a Superfund site. Elevated levels of manganese is believed to be caused by the proximity to the Superfund site. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund Program cleans up hazardous waste and protects our nation’s vulnerable populations—it must be well-funded to continue this vital work. Check out the entire August Article of the Month for more information!
P30 Center Member, Dr. Shanna Swan, was interviewed by the Washington Post regarding the decline of male reproductive health.
The quality of sperm from men in North America, Europe and Australia has declined dramatically over the past 40 years, with a 52.4 percent drop in sperm concentration, according to a study published in the Human Reproduction Update. The research — the largest and most comprehensive look at the topic, involving data from 185 studies and 42,000 men around the world between 1973 and 2011 — appears to confirm fears that male reproductive health may be declining. The state of male fertility has been one of the most hotly debated subjects in medical science in recent years. While a number of previous studies found that sperm counts and quality have been falling, some dismissed or criticized the studies over factors such as the age of the men included, the size of the study, bias in counting systems or other aspects of the methodologies.
Dr. Shanna H. Swan, one of the authors of the new study published in the Human Reproduction Update, said that the new meta-analysis is so broad and comprehensive, involving all the relevant research published in English, that she hoped it would put some of the uncertainty to rest. Then the scientific community could move forward into putting its resources into figuring out the why of what is going on, she said. “It shows the decline is strong and that the decline is continuing,” Swan said in an interview. To read the full article click here.
In this podcast host Ashley Ahearn discusses the neurodevelopmental effects of metals mixtures with researcher P30 Center Director, Robert O. Wright.
In our daily lives we’re rarely exposed to just one chemical at a time. Metals, for example, are ubiquitous in the environment, and most of us are exposed to different combinations of metals each day through air, water, and food. Simultaneous exposures to different metals may have synergistic effects in children, whose developing brains are particularly vulnerable to adverse effects from these potentially neurotoxic agents. To listen to the full podcast click here.
On July 19, 2017, Dr. Perry Sheffield was interviewed by Yale Climate Connections to weigh in on how longer and hotter summers, associated with continued climate change, are creating hotspots of bad air across the nation. Dr. Sheffield stated “As a pediatrician, I worry most about children, because their lungs are still growing and because they breathe faster than adults. Because of those reasons, they are more affected by bad air quality like ozone and ragweed pollen.” To read the full article click here.
On July 2017, Dr. Perry Sheffield was featured in the USA Today article “127M Americans at risk of air-quality ‘double whammy’ of smog, ragweed pollen.” Dr. Perry Sheffield discussed why clean air is so important for human health since it doesn’t just impact the lungs, it also affects the brain, heart and skin. To read the full article click here.
Dr. Robert Wright’s exposome work, “Using Team Science to Understand the Exposome and Children’s Health”, work was featured as an NIEHS Story of Success. As director of the NIEHS-funded Transdisciplinary Center on Health Effects of Early Environmental Exposures (TCEEE), Wright promotes the team science approach. He also advocates the need for investigators in multiple disciplines to perform exposomics research, including experts in molecular biology, genetics, exposure science, biostatistics, analytical chemistry, and environmental modeling. To read the full NIEHS article click here.
Dr. Maida Galvez, MD, MPH, associate professor of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, director of the Region 2 Environmental Health Specialty Unit (NJ, NY, PR, and USVI) and Tom Neltner, JD, Chemicals Policy Director for the Environmental Defense Fund discuss a study which discovered that roughly 20 percent of baby food samples were found to contain lead. The study also found that more than 1 million children consume more lead than FDA’s limit. Eliminating lead in food would save society more than $27 billion annually in total lifetime earnings from saved IQ points. To read the full EDF report click here and to watch the video click here.
Using evidence found in baby teeth, P30 Center Researchers from The Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Environmental Health Sciences Laboratory and The Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai found that differences in the uptake of multiple toxic and essential elements over the second and third trimesters and early postnatal periods are associated with the risk of developing autism spectrum disorders (ASD), according to a study published June 1 in the journal Nature Communications. The critical developmental windows for the observed discrepancies varied for each element, suggesting that systemic dysregulation of environmental pollutants and dietary elements may serve an important role in ASD. In addition to identifying specific environmental factors that influence risk, the study also pinpointed developmental time periods when elemental dysregulation poses the biggest risk for autism later in life
A new study has found that children, especially boys, whose mothers were exposed to higher levels of outdoor particulate air pollution at the same time that they were very stressed were most likely to develop asthma by age six. The study was presented at the 2017 American Thoracic Society International Conference. The team, led by senior investigator Rosalind Wright, MD, MPH, dean of translational biomedical research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, conducted this study because of their overarching interest in understanding how these and other environmental factors interact to produce respiratory health disparities. “We know from prior research that lower income, ethnically mixed urban populations are more greatly burdened with asthma and other respiratory health problems,” said lead author Alison Lee, MD, assistant professor, medicine, pulmonary, critical care at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.”
– Rosalind Wright, MD, MPH, Professor, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Medicine, Pediatrics, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Dean, Translational Biomedical Research, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
– Alison Lee, MD, Assistant Professor, Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Learn more: https://m.medicalxpress.com/news/2017-05-high-prenatal-air-pollution-exposure.html
P30 Center Director, Robert Wright, MD, MPH and Center Member, Sarah Evans, PhD, MPH wrote an article for Connecticut By the Numbers about Recycled Rubber Playing Surfaces. This article is based on testimony provided to the Connecticut General Assembly’s Committee on Children during the current legislative session regarding HB 6998, An Act Concerning the Use of Recycled Tire Rubber at Municipal and Public School Playgrounds. Dr. Wright and Dr. Evans identified several potential dangers that playing on recycled rubber playing surfaces pose to children. To read the full article click here.