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This Month in EHP

By Eddy Ball
October 2009

EHP: Twitter (http://twitter.com/ehponline/)The October issue of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) (http://www.ehponline.org/) highlights "Children's Health 2009" with a Focus story on "Environmental Factors in Birth Defects: What We Need to Know" and a Spheres of Influence feature on "Learning Curve: Putting Healthy School Principles into Practice."

EHP October 2009Highlights from the issue include several studies exploring aspects of children's environmental health:

  • National Children's Study (NCS): Environmental Exposures - Reviewing information sources that will be used to determine exposures in Queens, New York, one of seven NCS pilot study locations. The authors note that data collection efforts at each NCS site will need to be customized to account for local characteristics and data sources.
  • Chemical Concentrations During Lactation - Analyzing changes in persistent organic chemicals in breast milk samples collected one, two and three months postpartum and at the end of lactation from a convenience sample of ten women from Pennsylvania. The study finds evidence challenging the general assumption that concentrations of lipophilic chemicals decrease during lactation.
  • Variation in PON1 Enzyme Activity in Young Children - Examining age- and genotype-related variation in activity of the paraoxonase 1 (PON1) enzyme, which detoxifies activated organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) and reduces oxidative stress. The authors note that children with low-activity genotypes may be particularly vulnerable to OPs compared with other children because of lower PON1 activity overall and a slower increase in activity with age.
  • Mass Lead Intoxication in Senegal - Describing an investigation prompted by the unexplained deaths of 18 children in the NGagne Diaw suburb of Dakar, Senegal. The study's findings highlight the need to strengthen national and international efforts to address this global public health problem.


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