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This Month in EHP

By Eddy Ball
September 2009

EHP: Twitter ( The August issue of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) ( highlights H1N1 influenza with a Focus article on the possible role of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). It presents an analysis of arguments for and against this unproven but biologically plausible hypothesis.

EHP September 2009A Spheres of Influence article explores efforts by the "new" United States Department of Agriculture under the leadership of Secretary Tom Vilsack to revamp the agency's role as the nation's food steward and to promote improved public and environmental health.

A new study reports on dramatic evidence that chronic arsenic (As) exposure increases the effects of H1N2 exposure in mice and hypothesizes that exposure to As-contaminated drinking water might have similar effects in human populations.

Highlights from the issue include the following studies:

  • Polycarbonate Bottle Use and Urinary BPA - Compares BPA levels in 77 college students who used stainless steel container for one week to levels in the same students after using polycarbonate plastic drinking bottles for a week. The investigators found that BPA concentrations increased 69 percent on average after use of the polycarbonate bottles.
  • Contaminants in Sea Turtle Eggs - Investigates levels of persistent organic pollutants in green turtle eggs sold for human consumption from local markets in Peninsular Malaysia. The researchers reported levels of coplanar PCBs at more than 300 times the accepted daily intake and levels of arsenic and selenium high enough to affect developmental and reproductive outcomes in sea turtles.
  • Understanding Psychosocial Stress, Air Pollution, and Health - Reviews research on the potentially synergistic effects of exposure to high levels of both pollution and psycho-social stress on health, calling for additional experimental and observational studies to better understand the interplay of environmental and psycho-social factors.

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