Journal of Environmental Health 2014 Abstracts - page 13

T. Reponen, PhD,
Department of Environmental Health
,
University of Cincinnati
S.A. Grinshpun, PhD,
Department of Environmental Health
,
University of Cincinnati
P. Ryan, PhD,
Department of Environmental Health
,
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati
Children’s Hospital Medical Center
M. Yermakov, MD,
Department of Environmental Health
,
University of Cincinnati
M. Simmons,
Department of Environmental Health
,
University of Cincinnati
M. Alam, PhD, RS,
Cincinnati Health Department
L.A. Howard, MEd, MCP,
Cincinnati Health Department
Abstract
The research project described in this article was undertaken to establish baseline
information for a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) project of Interstate 75 road
construction in Cincinnati, Ohio. The objective of the authors’ study was to evaluate the
concentrations of elemental and organic carbon (EC and OC), as well as characterize
particle number concentrations using devices that measure the fine fraction in the range
of 0.02–1 µm and the coarse fraction up to 20 µm. The measurements were conducted at
two sites located in the proximity of an interstate highway (at 124 and 277 m) as well as
at a remote control site (at >2000 m from any interstate highway). Samples were
collected for 24 hours over 12 days in each season (i.e., summer, fall, and winter). Wind
data were obtained from the area weather station. Data were analyzed using mixed linear
models. Significant increases in concentrations of EC, OC, and fine particles as well as in
EC/OC ratios were observed with decreased distance to the highway; this difference was
more pronounced in the fall. These results suggest that residents and workers in areas
near high-traffic highways may be exposed to elevated levels of airborne fine particles.
The results can be used as a baseline for future HIAs of road construction in the area.
Environmental Toxicity and Poor Cognitive Outcomes in Children and Adults
Jianghong Liu, PhD,
Schools of Nursing and Medicine
,
University of Pennsylvania
Gary Lewis,
Schools of Nursing and Medicine
,
University of Pennsylvania
Abstract
Extensive literature has already documented the deleterious effects of heavy metal
toxins on the human brain and nervous system. These toxins, however, represent only a
fraction of the environmental hazards that may pose harm to cognitive ability in humans.
Lead and mercury exposure, air pollution, and organic compounds all have the potential
to damage brain functioning yet remain understudied. In order to provide comprehensive
and effective public health and health care initiatives for prevention and treatment, we
must first fully understand the potential risks, mechanisms of action, and outcomes
surrounding exposure to these elements in the context of neurocognitive ability. This
article provides a review of the negative effects on cognitive ability of these lesser-
studied environmental toxins, with an emphasis on delineating effects observed in child
versus adult populations. Possible differential effects across sociodemographic
populations (e.g., urban versus rural residents; ethnic minorities) are discussed as
important contributors to risk assessment and the development of prevention measures.
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