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Environmental Factor, June 2013

This month in EHP

EHP June Cover

This month’s Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) (http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/) highlights environmental justice issues related to hog farming in North Carolina, and the matrix of risk for elevated blood lead in refugee children.

CAFOs and Environmental Justice: The Case of North Carolina

Although the Midwest is the traditional home for hog farms, with Iowa still the top-producing state, North Carolina went from fifteenth to second in hog production between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. This growth — and the health impacts that accompany it — has clustered largely in the eastern half of the state, where concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are typically sited in low-income, black communities. As growing evidence demonstrates the adverse health effects of CAFO emissions, a handful of pioneers are experimenting with environmentally superior technologies in an effort to turn hog farms into better neighbors.

Unsafe Harbor? Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Refugee Children

Refugee children from developing countries make up a segment of U.S. children at particular risk for elevated blood lead. Some children arrive in this country with elevated blood lead levels attributable to leaded gasoline, lead-glazed pottery, traditional medicines and folk remedies, and many other culture-specific routes of exposure. Others encounter lead hazards only after they immigrate, often a result of living in inexpensive housing with flaking lead-based paint. In educating refugees about lead hazards, public health workers must be sensitive to cultural ways and mindful of communication barriers.

Featured research and related news articles this month include:

  • Concentrations and Potential Health Risks of Metals in Lip Products — Metals in Lip Products: A Cause for Concern?
  • Effects of Icelandic Eyjafjallajökull Volcanic Ash on Innate Immune System Responses and Bacterial Growth in Vitro Volcanic Ash and the Respiratory Immune System: Possible Mechanisms Behind Reported Infections
  • Residential Proximity to Methyl Bromide Use and Birth Outcomes in an Agricultural Population in California — Getting the Drift: Methyl Bromide Application and Adverse Birth Outcomes in an Agricultural Area
  • Exercise Attenuates PCB-induced Changes in the Mouse Gut Microbiome — Running Interference? Exercise and PCB-induced Changes in the Gut Microbiome



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