This month in EHP
News features in the February issue of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) (http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/) describe potentially promising developments in environmental health.
Phage Renaissance: New Hope Against Antibiotic Resistance
Bacteriophages, or phages for short, are natural viral predators that target bacteria, but leave mammalian and plant cells unscathed. Before the widespread use of antibiotics, physicians successfully treated a variety of infections with phages. Today, faced with the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, researchers are reinvestigating phages as a potential solution for a variety of medical, agricultural, and environmental problems.
Sunset for Leaded Aviation Gasoline?
Leaded aviation gasoline, or avgas, is one of the few fuels in the United States to still contain lead, and it’s the single largest source of lead emissions in the country, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). An appropriate replacement fuel has remained surprisingly elusive and, meanwhile, EPA has been conducting studies to clarify how airport lead emissions affect National Ambient Air Quality Standards compliance. The search for a replacement fuel got a boost in 2012, when a committee of the Federal Aviation Administration issued recommendations and criteria for identifying and approving an unleaded avgas, and the agency opened a new office charged with overseeing the certification of a new fuel.
Podcast: Air Pollution and Birth Outcomes, With Tracey Woodruff
NIEHS grantee Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., discusses her forthcoming research on air pollution and birth outcomes, which involved 14 study groups on five different continents. She describes not only the new results, but also the logistical challenges involved in coordinating such a large study and standardizing data across study groups, in a podcast (http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/category/podcasts/) to be posted Feb. 6, along with the embargoed research paper.
Featured commentaries, reviews, and research this month include:
- In Utero and Childhood Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) Exposures and Neurodevelopment in the CHAMACOS Study
- Urinary Biomarkers for Phthalates Associated with Asthma in Norwegian Children
- Long-term Exposure to Road Traffic Noise and Incident Diabetes: A Cohort Study
- Toxicological Function of Adipose Tissue: Focus on Persistent Organic Pollutants