Recent Submissions

  • Contemporary-use pesticides in personal air samples during pregnancy and blood samples at delivery among urban minority mothers and newborns.

    Whyatt, Robin M; Barr, Dana B; Camann, David E; Kinney, Patrick L; Barr, John R; Andrews, Howard F; Hoepner, Lori A; Garfinkel, Robin; Hazi, Yair; Reyes, Andria; et al.
    We have measured 29 pesticides in plasma samples collected at birth between 1998 and 2001 from 230 mother and newborn pairs enrolled in the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health prospective cohort study. Our prior research has shown widespread pesticide use during pregnancy among this urban minority cohort from New York City. We also measured eight pesticides in 48-hr personal air samples collected from the mothers during pregnancy. The following seven pesticides were detected in 48-83% of plasma samples (range, 1-270 pg/g): the organophosphates chlorpyrifos and diazinon, the carbamates bendiocarb and 2-isopropoxyphenol (metabolite of propoxur), and the fungicides dicloran, phthalimide (metabolite of folpet and captan), and tetrahydrophthalimide (metabolite of captan and captafol). Maternal and cord plasma levels were similar and, except for phthalimide, were highly correlated (p < 0.001). Chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and propoxur were detected in 100% of personal air samples (range, 0.7-6,010 ng/m(3)). Diazinon and propoxur levels were significantly higher in the personal air of women reporting use of an exterminator, can sprays, and/or pest bombs during pregnancy compared with women reporting no pesticide use or use of lower toxicity methods only. A significant correlation was seen between personal air level of chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and propoxur and levels of these insecticides or their metabolites in plasma samples (maternal and/or cord, p < 0.05). The fungicide ortho-phenylphenol was also detected in 100% of air samples but was not measured in plasma. The remaining 22 pesticides were detected in 0-45% of air or plasma samples. Chlorpyrifos, diazinon, propoxur, and bendiocarb levels in air and/or plasma decreased significantly between 1998 and 2001. Findings indicate that pesticide exposures are frequent but decreasing and that the pesticides are readily transferred to the developing fetus during pregnancy.
  • Distribution and determinants of mouse allergen exposure in low-income New York City apartments.

    Chew, Ginger L; Perzanowski, Matthew S; Miller, Rachel L; Correa, Juan C; Hoepner, Lori A; Jusino, Carlos M; Becker, Mark G; Kinney, Patrick L
    Previous studies of mouse allergens and laboratory-animal-worker-related allergy and asthma suggest that quantifying mouse allergen levels in homes could augment our understanding of inner-city asthma. We hypothesized that levels of mouse allergen in inner-city homes would be related to certain household characteristics. Dust samples were collected from the kitchens and beds of 221 mothers enrolled in a prospective birth cohort study, 92 of African American and 129 of Dominican ethnicity. Samples were analyzed for mouse urinary protein. The geometric mean for kitchen samples was 4.6 micro g/g [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 3.2-6.5] and for bed samples was 0.9 micro g/g (95% CI, 0.8-1.1). The variables associated with mouse allergen levels in the home were frequency of mouse sightings, use of traps or pesticides for mice, presence of holes in ceilings or walls, absence of a cat, and living in a building with fewer than eight floors. Statistically significant neighborhood differences in levels of mouse allergen and report of rodents in the home were also observed. In conclusion, mouse allergen was prevalent among inner-city apartments, and the positive predictive value of self-reported frequent mouse sightings was high (90% for kitchens). However, high levels of mouse allergen were also found in many homes where mothers reported never seeing mice.
  • Prenatal insecticide exposures and birth weight and length among an urban minority cohort.

    Whyatt, Robin M; Rauh, Virginia; Barr, Dana B; Camann, David E; Andrews, Howard F; Garfinkel, Robin; Hoepner, Lori A; Diaz, Diurka; Dietrich, Jessica; Reyes, Andria; et al.
    We reported previously that insecticide exposures were widespread among minority women in New York City during pregnancy and that levels of the organophosphate chlorpyrifos in umbilical cord plasma were inversely associated with birth weight and length. Here we expand analyses to include additional insecticides (the organophosphate diazinon and the carbamate propoxur), a larger sample size (n = 314 mother-newborn pairs), and insecticide measurements in maternal personal air during pregnancy as well as in umbilical cord plasma at delivery. Controlling for potential confounders, we found no association between maternal personal air insecticide levels and birth weight, length, or head circumference. For each log unit increase in cord plasma chlorpyrifos levels, birth weight decreased by 42.6 g [95% confidence interval (CI), -81.8 to -3.8, p = 0.03] and birth length decreased by 0.24 cm (95% CI, -0.47 to -0.01, p = 0.04). Combined measures of (ln)cord plasma chlorpyrifos and diazinon (adjusted for relative potency) were also inversely associated with birth weight and length (p < 0.05). Birth weight averaged 186.3 g less (95% CI, -375.2 to -45.5) among newborns with the highest compared with lowest 26% of exposure levels (p = 0.01). Further, the associations between birth weight and length and cord plasma chlorpyrifos and diazinon were highly significant (p < or = 0.007) among newborns born before the 2000-2001 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regulatory actions to phase out residential use of these insecticides. Among newborns born after January 2001, exposure levels were substantially lower, and no association with fetal growth was apparent (p > 0.8). The propoxur metabolite 2-isopropoxyphenol in cord plasma was inversely associated with birth length, a finding of borderline significance (p = 0.05) after controlling for chlorpyrifos and diazinon. Results indicate that prenatal chlorpyrifos exposures have impaired fetal growth among this minority cohort and that diazinon exposures may have contributed to the effects. Findings support recent regulatory action to phase out residential uses of the insecticides.
  • The effects of the World Trade Center event on birth outcomes among term deliveries at three lower Manhattan hospitals.

    Lederman, Sally Ann; Rauh, Virginia; Weiss, Lisa; Stein, Janet L; Hoepner, Lori A; Becker, Mark; Perera, Frederica P
    The effects of prenatal exposure to pollutants from the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster on fetal growth and subsequent health and development of exposed children remain a source of concern. We assessed the impact of gestational timing of the disaster and distance from the WTC in the 4 weeks after 11 September on the birth outcomes of 300 nonsmoking women who were pregnant at the time of the event. They were recruited at delivery between December 2001 and June 2002 from three hospitals close to the WTC site. Residential and work addresses of all participants for each of the 4 weeks after 11 September 2001 were geocoded for classification by place and timing of exposure. Average daily hours spent at each location were based on the women's reports for each week. Biomedical pregnancy and delivery data extracted from the medical records of each mother and newborn included medical complications, type of delivery, length of gestation, birth weight, birth length, and head circumference. Term infants born to women who were pregnant on 11 September 2001 and who were living within a 2-mile radius of the WTC during the month after the event showed significant decrements in term birth weight (-149 g) and birth length (-0.82 cm), compared with infants born to the other pregnant women studied, after controlling for sociodemographic and biomedical risk factors. The decrements remained significant with adjustment for gestational duration (-122 g and -0.74 cm, respectively). Women in the first trimester of pregnancy at the time of the WTC event delivered infants with significantly shorter gestation (-3.6 days) and a smaller head circumference (-0.48 cm), compared with women at later stages of pregnancy, regardless of the distance of their residence or work sites from the WTC. The observed adverse effects suggest an impact of pollutants and/or stress related to the WTC disaster and have implications for the health and development of exposed children.
  • Relationships among polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-DNA adducts, proximity to the World Trade Center, and effects on fetal growth.

    Perera, Frederica P; Tang, Deliang; Rauh, Virginia; Lester, Kristin; Tsai, Wei Yann; Tu, Yi Hsuan; Weiss, Lisa; Hoepner, Lori; King, Jeffrey; Del Priore, Giuseppe; et al.
    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are toxic pollutants released by the World Trade Center (WTC) fires and various urban combustion sources. Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) is a representative member of the class of PAHs. PAH-DNA adducts, or BaP-DNA adducts as their proxy, provide a measure of chemical-specific genetic damage that has been associated with increased risk of adverse birth outcomes and cancer. To learn whether PAHs from the WTC disaster increased levels of genetic damage in pregnant women and their newborns, we analyzed BaP-DNA adducts in maternal (n = 170) and umbilical cord blood (n = 203) obtained at delivery from nonsmoking women who were pregnant on 11 September 2001 and were enrolled at delivery at three downtown Manhattan hospitals. The mean adduct levels in cord and maternal blood were highest among newborns and mothers who resided within 1 mi of the WTC site during the month after 11 September, intermediate among those who worked but did not live within this area, and lowest in those who neither worked nor lived within 1 mi (reference group). Among newborns of mothers living within 1 mi of the WTC site during this period, levels of cord blood adducts were inversely correlated with linear distance from the WTC site (p = 0.02). To learn whether PAHs from the WTC disaster may have affected birth outcomes, we analyzed the relationship between these outcomes and DNA adducts in umbilical cord blood, excluding preterm births to reduce variability. There were no independent fetal growth effects of either PAH-DNA adducts or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), but adducts in combination with in utero exposure to ETS were associated with decreased fetal growth. Specifically, a doubling of adducts among ETS-exposed subjects corresponded to an estimated average 276-g (8%) reduction in birth weight (p = 0.03) and a 1.3-cm (3%) reduction in head circumference (p = 0.04). The findings suggest that exposure to elevated levels of PAHs, indicated by PAH-DNA adducts in cord blood, may have contributed to reduced fetal growth in women exposed to the WTC event.
  • Effect of prenatal exposure to airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on neurodevelopment in the first 3 years of life among inner-city children.

    Perera, Frederica P; Rauh, Virginia; Whyatt, Robin M; Tsai, Wei-Yann; Tang, Deliang; Diaz, Diurka; Hoepner, Lori; Barr, Dana; Tu, Yi-Hsuan; Camann, David; et al.
    Our prospective cohort study of nonsmoking African-American and Dominican mothers and children in New York City is evaluating the role of prenatal exposure to urban pollutants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) , environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) , and pesticides, in the pathogenesis of neurobehavioral disorders. We used the Bayley Scales of Infant Development to evaluate the effects on child mental and psychomotor development of prenatal exposure to airborne PAHs monitored during pregnancy by personal air sampling. Behavioral development was assessed by the Child Behavior Checklist. We adjusted for potential confounders including sociodemographic factors and prenatal exposure to ETS and chlorpyrifos. Prenatal exposure to PAHs was not associated with psychomotor development index or behavioral problems. However, high prenatal exposure to PAHs (upper quartile) was associated with lower mental development index at age 3 [beta=-5.69; 95% confidence interval (CI), -9.05 to -2.33; p<0.01]. The odds of cognitive developmental delay were also significantly greater for children with high prenatal exposure (odds ratio=2.89; 95% CI, 1.33 to 6.25; p=0.01). General estimated equation analysis showed a significant age times PAH effect on mental development (p=0.01), confirming the age-specific regression findings. Further adjustment for lead did not alter the relationships. There were no differences in effect sizes by ethnicity. The results require confirmation but suggest that environmental PAHs at levels recently encountered in New York City air may adversely affect children's cognitive development at 3 years of age, with implications for school performance.
  • Impact of prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure on neurodevelopment in the first 3 years of life among inner-city children.

    Rauh, Virginia A; Garfinkel, Robin; Perera, Frederica P; Andrews, Howard F; Hoepner, Lori; Barr, Dana B; Whitehead, Ralph; Tang, Deliang; Whyatt, Robin W (2006-11-20)
    Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos on 3-year neurodevelopment and behavior in a sample of inner-city minority children. Methods: As part of an ongoing prospective cohort study in an inner-city minority population, neurotoxicant effects of prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos were evaluated in 254 children through the first 3 years of life. This report examined cognitive and motor development at 12, 24, and 36 months (measured with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II) and child behavior at 36 months (measured with the Child Behavior Checklist) as a function of chlorpyrifos levels in umbilical cord plasma. Results: Highly exposed children (chlorpyrifos levels of >6.17 pg/g plasma) scored, on average, 6.5 points lower on the Bayley Psychomotor Development Index and 3.3 points lower on the Bayley Mental Development Index at 3 years of age compared with those with lower levels of exposure. Children exposed to higher, compared with lower, chlorpyrifos levels were also significantly more likely to experience Psychomotor Development Index and Mental Development Index delays, attention problems, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder problems, and pervasive developmental disorder problems at 3 years of age. Conclusions: The adjusted mean 36-month Psychomotor Development Index and Mental Development Index scores of the highly and lower exposed groups differed by only 7.1 and 3.0 points, respectively, but the proportion of delayed children in the high-exposure group, compared with the low-exposure group, was 5 times greater for the Psychomotor Development Index and 2.4 times greater for the Mental Development Index, increasing the number of children possibly needing early intervention services.
  • Within- and between-home variability in indoor-air insecticide levels during pregnancy among an inner-city cohort from New York City.

    Whyatt, Robin M; Garfinkel, Robin; Hoepner, Lori A; Holmes, Darrell; Borjas, Mejico; Williams, Megan K; Reyes, Andria; Rauh, Virginia; Perera, Frederica P; Camann, David E (2006-12-11)
    Background: Residential insecticide use is widespread in the United States, but few data are available on the persistence and variability in levels in the indoor environment. Objective: The study aim was to assess within- and between-home variability in indoor-air insecticides over the final 2 months of pregnancy among a cohort of African-American and Dominican women from New York City. Methods: Women not employed outside the home were enrolled between February 2001 and May 2004 (n = 102); 9 insecticides and an adjuvant were measured in 48-hr personal air samples and 2-week integrated indoor air samples collected sequentially for 7.0 +/- 2.3 weeks (n = 337 air samples). Results: Sixty-one percent of the women reported using pest control during the air samplings. Chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and propoxur were detected in 99-100% of personal and indoor samples (range, 0.4-641 ng/m(3)). Piperonyl butoxide (a pyrethroid adjuvant) was detected in 45.5-68.5% (0.2-608 ng/m(3)). There was little within-home variability and no significant difference in air concentrations within homes over time (p > or = 0.2); between-home variability accounted for 88% of the variance in the indoor air levels of propoxur, 92% in chlorpyrifos, 94% in diazinon, and 62% in piperonyl butoxide (p < 0.001). Indoor and maternal personal air insecticide levels were highly correlated (r = 0.7-0.9, p < 0.001). Diazinon and chlorpyrifos levels declined 5-fold between 2001 and 2004 but were detected in all homes 1.5 and 2.5 years, respectively, after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ban on their residential use. Conclusion: Results showed that the insecticides were persistent in the home with little variability in air concentrations over the 2 months and contributed to chronic maternal inhalation exposures during pregnancy.
  • Cat ownership is a risk factor for the development of anti-cat IgE but not current wheeze at age 5 years in an inner-city cohort.

    Perzanowski, Matthew S; Chew, Ginger L; Divjan, Adnan; Johnson, Alina; Goldstein, Inge F; Garfinkel, Robin S; Hoepner, Lori A; Platts-Mills, Thomas A E; Perera, Frederica P; Miller, Rachel L
    Background: Cat ownership is inversely associated with atopy and asthma in some areas of the world, but the relevance of cat ownership to allergic disease in the inner city is less known. Objective: We sought to evaluate the relationship between cat ownership and the development of early sensitization and wheeze. Methods: By using a prospective birth cohort study, Dominican and African American mothers living in New York City underwent repeated questionnaires about their child from birth to age 5 years. Sera collected from children at ages 2 (n = 323), 3 (n = 336), and 5 (n = 242) years were assayed for anti-cat IgE and anti-Fel d 1 IgG antibodies. Results: Cat ownership was a significant risk factor for the development of anti-cat IgE by age 2 years (risk ratio [RR], 6.4; 95% CI, 1.9-22) but not for anti-cat IgE development between the ages of 2 and 5 years (RR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.24-2.3). Current wheeze was significantly more common among those children with anti-cat IgE at ages 3 (RR, 3.5; 95% CI, 2.1-6.0) and 5 (RR, 3.4; 95% CI, 2.3-4.9) years. Cat ownership was inversely associated with current wheeze at age 5 years among children without anti-cat IgE (RR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.083-0.81). Among children with anti-cat IgE, a similar trend was observed (RR, 0.57; P = .044, Fisher exact test), although one with borderline statistical significance. Conclusions: Despite a positive association with sensitization, cat ownership in this inner-city cohort was inversely associated with wheeze, potentially suggesting an IgE-independent protective mechanism in this community.
  • Spatial and temporal trends of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other traffic-related airborne pollutants in New York City.

    Narváez, Rafael F; Hoepner, Lori; Chillrud, Steven N; Yan, Beizhan; Garfinkel, Robin; Whyatt, Robin; Camann, David; Perera, Frederica P; Kinney, Patrick L; Miller, Rachel L
    Traffic-related air pollutants have been associated with adverse health effects. We hypothesized that exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), elemental carbon (EC, diesel indicator), particulate matter (PM2.5), and a suite of metals declined from 1998 to 2006 in NYC due to policy interventions. PAH levels from personal monitoring of pregnant mothers participating in the Columbia's Center for Children's Environmental Health birth cohort study, and EC, PM2.5, and metal data from five New York State Department of Environmental Conservation stationary monitors were compared across sites and over time (1998-2006). Univariate analysis showed a decrease in personal PAHs exposures from 1998 to 2006 (p < 0.0001). After controlling for environmental tobacco smoke, indoor heat, and cooking, year of personal monitoring remained a predictor of decline in sigmaPAHs (beta = -0.269, p < 0.001). Linear trend analysis also suggested that PM2.5 declined (p = 0.09). Concentrations of EC and most metals measured by stationary site monitors, as measured by ANOVA, did not decline. Across stationary sites, levels of airborne EC and metals varied considerably. By contrast PM2.5 levels were highly intercorrelated (values ranged from 0.725 to 0.922, p < 0.01). Further policy initiatives targeting traffic-related air pollutants may be needed for a greater impact on public health.
  • Anti-cockroach and anti-mouse IgE are associated with early wheeze and atopy in an inner-city birth cohort.

    Donohue, Kathleen M; Al-alem, Umaima; Perzanowski, Matthew S; Chew, Ginger L; Johnson, Alina; Divjan, Adnan; Kelvin, Elizabeth A; Hoepner, Lori A; Perera, Frederica P; Miller, Rachel L
    Background: The relationships between cockroach and mouse allergen exposure, anti-cockroach and anti-mouse IgE, and wheeze, rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis in children as young as age 3 years are of public health importance but have not been thoroughly evaluated. Objective: We hypothesized that inner-city children might have anti-cockroach and anti-mouse IgE by age 3 years, and their presence would be associated with respiratory and atopic symptoms. Methods: Children were followed prospectively from birth through age 3 years (n = 404). Residential levels of cockroach and mouse allergens, sera levels of anti-cockroach and anti-mouse IgE, and parental report of wheeze, rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis were measured. Results: The odds of early wheeze were significantly higher among children who had IgE to cockroach (odds ratio [OR], 3.3; 95% CI, 1.8-6.2), mouse (OR, 4.6; 95% CI, 2.3-9.0), or both (OR, 9.7; 95% CI, 3.4-27.3). The odds of rhinitis or atopic dermatitis were also higher among children with IgE to cockroach, mouse, or both. Higher IgE class to cockroach and mouse was associated with wheeze and atopic dermatitis (tests for trend, P < .002). Conclusions: Children age 2 to 3 years who have anti-cockroach and anti-mouse IgE are at increased risk of wheeze and atopy. Moreover, a dose-response relationship was found between higher IgE class and increased prevalence of wheeze, rhinitis, or atopic dermatitis. These findings indicate the importance of reducing exposure to cockroach and mouse allergens for susceptible children.
  • Changes in pest infestation levels, self-reported pesticide use, and permethrin exposure during pregnancy after the 2000-2001 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency restriction of organophosphates.

    Williams, Megan K; Rundle, Andrew; Holmes, Darrell; Reyes, Marilyn; Hoepner, Lori A; Barr, Dana B; Camann, David E; Perera, Frederica P; Whyatt, Robin M (2008-08-15)
    Background: Widespread residential pesticide use throughout the United States has resulted in ubiquitous, low-level pesticide exposure. The mix of active pesticide ingredients is changing in response to 2000-2001 regulations restricting use of the organophosphorus insecticides chlorpyrifos and diazinon. Objectives: We aimed to determine the impact of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations on pest infestation levels, pesticide use, and pesticides measured in indoor air samples. Methodology: 511 pregnant women from inner-city New York were enrolled between 2000 and 2006. Permethrin, a pyrethroid insecticide; piperonyl butoxide (PBO), a pyrethroid synergist; chlorpyrifos; and diazinon were measured in 48-hr prenatal personal air samples. Data on pest infestation and pesticide use were collected via questionnaire. Results: Eighty-eight percent of women reported using pesticides during pregnancy; 55% reported using higher-exposure pesticide applications (spray cans, pest bombs and/or professional pesticide applicators). Self-reported pest sightings and use of higher-exposure applications increased significantly after the regulations were implemented (p < 0.001). PBO, cis-, and trans-permethrin were detected in 75, 19, and 18% of personal air samples, respectively. Detection frequencies of PBO and cis- and trans-permethrin increased significantly over time (p < 0.05 controlling for potential confounders). Levels and/or detection frequencies of these compounds were significantly higher among mothers reporting use of high exposure pesticide applications (p < or = 0.05). Chlorpyrifos and diazinon levels decreased significantly over time (p < 0.001). Conclusion: In this cohort, pest infestations, use of pesticides, and use of permethrin appear to increase after the residential restriction of organophosphorus insecticides. This is one of the first studies to document widespread residential exposure to PBO.
  • A biomarker validation study of prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure within an inner-city cohort during pregnancy.

    Whyatt, Robin M; Garfinkel, Robin; Hoepner, Lori A; Andrews, Howard; Holmes, Darrell; Williams, Megan K; Reyes, Andria; Diaz, Diurka; Perera, Frederica P; Camann, David E; et al. (2008-12-05)
    Background: We previously documented significant decreases in chlorpyrifos concentrations in maternal personal and indoor air samples among pregnant African-American and Dominican women from New York City after the 2000-2001 restrictions on its residential use. Objective: We undertook a biomarker validation study within the same cohort to evaluate trends over time in multiple biomarkers of prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure. Methods: Subjects were enrolled between February 2001 and May 2004 (n = 102). We measured 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPy) in postpartum meconium (n = 83), repeat prenatal maternal spot urine samples (n = 253), and postnatal urine from the mothers (n = 73) and newborns (n = 59). We measured chlorpyrifos in postnatal maternal (n = 92) and umbilical cord (n = 65) blood. Results: We did not detect TCPy in infant urine, but all other biomarkers showed a highly significant decrease in detection frequencies (chi2 = 7.8-34.0, p < or = 0.005) and mean ranks (p < or = 0.006, Kruskal-Wallis) among subjects enrolled in 2003-2004 compared with those enrolled in 2001-2002. Chlorpyrifos in maternal personal and indoor air declined 2- to 3-fold over the same period (p < 0.05). In 2001-2002 samples, TCPy levels in repeat prenatal urine were positively correlated (r = 0.23-0.56), but within-subject variability exceeded between-subject variability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.43); indoor air levels explained 19% of the variance in prenatal urine TCPy (p = 0.001). Meconium TCPy concentrations were positively correlated with chlorpyrifos in maternal and cord blood (r = 0.25-0.33, p < 0.05) and with TCPy in maternal urine (r = 0.31, p < 0.01). Conclusions: Results suggest the biomarkers are reliable dosimeters to differentiate between groups with prenatal chlorpyrifos exposures varying by a factor of 2 or more and vividly illustrate the efficacy of residential restriction on chlorpyrifos to reduce the internal dose during pregnancy.
  • Prenatal airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure and child IQ at age 5 years.

    Perera, Frederica P; Li, Zhigang; Whyatt, Robin; Hoepner, Lori; Wang, Shuang; Camann, David; Rauh, Virginia (2009-07-20)
    Objective: This study evaluated the relationship between prenatal exposure to airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and child intelligence. Methods: Children of nonsmoking black or Dominican-American women residing in New York City were monitored from in utero to 5 years of age, with determination of prenatal PAH exposure through personal air monitoring for the mothers during pregnancy. At 5 years of age, intelligence was assessed for 249 children by using the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised. Multivariate linear regression models were used to estimate and to test the associations between prenatal PAH exposure and IQ. Results: After adjustment for maternal intelligence, quality of the home caretaking environment, environmental tobacco smoke exposure, and other potentially confounding factors, high PAH levels (above the median of 2.26 ng/m(3)) were inversely associated with full-scale IQ (P = .007) and verbal IQ (P = .003) scores. Children in the high-exposure group had full-scale and verbal IQ scores that were 4.31 and 4.67 points lower, respectively, than those of less-exposed children (<or=2.26 ng/m(3)). The associations between logarithmically transformed, continuous, PAH levels and these IQ measures also were significant (full-scale IQ: beta = -3.00; P = .009; verbal IQ: beta = -3.53; P = .002). Conclusion: These results provide evidence that environmental PAHs at levels encountered in New York City air can affect children's IQ adversely.
  • Ambient metals, elemental carbon, and wheeze and cough in New York City children through 24 months of age.

    Patel, Molini M; Hoepner, Lori; Garfinkel, Robin; Chillrud, Steven; Reyes, Andria; Quinn, James W; Perera, Frederica; Miller, Rachel L (2009-09-10)
    Rationale: The effects of exposure to specific components of ambient fine particulate matter (PM(2.5)), including metals and elemental carbon (EC), have not been fully characterized in young children. Objectives: To compare temporal associations among PM(2.5); individual metal constituents of ambient PM(2.5), including nickel (Ni), vanadium (V), and zinc (Zn); and EC and longitudinal reports of respiratory symptoms through 24 months of age. Methods: Study participants were selected from the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health birth cohort recruited in New York City between 1998 and 2006. Respiratory symptom data were collected by questionnaire every 3 months through 24 months of age. Ambient pollutant data were obtained from state-operated stationary monitoring sites located within the study area. For each subject, 3-month average inverse-distance weighted concentrations of Ni, V, Zn, EC, and PM(2.5) were calculated for each symptom-reporting period based on the questionnaire date and the preceding 3 months. Associations between pollutants and symptoms were characterized using generalized additive mixed effects models, adjusting for sex, ethnicity, environmental tobacco smoke exposure, and calendar time. Measurements and main results: Increases in ambient Ni and V concentrations were associated significantly with increased probability of wheeze. Increases in EC were associated significantly with cough during the cold/flu season. Total PM(2.5) was not associated with wheeze or cough. Conclusions: These results suggest that exposure to ambient metals and EC from heating oil and/or traffic at levels characteristic of urban environments may be associated with respiratory symptoms among very young children.
  • Physical activity and asthma symptoms among New York City Head Start Children.

    Rundle, Andrew; Goldstein, Inge F; Mellins, Robert B; Ashby-Thompson, Maxine; Hoepner, Lori; Jacobson, Judith S
    The coincidence of both an obesity epidemic and an asthma epidemic among children in the United States has suggested that childhood overweight and sedentary lifestyles may be risk factors for asthma development. We therefore conducted a study of those factors among children enrolled in Head Start Centers located in areas of New York City with high asthma hospitalization rates. Data were gathered from 547 children through an intensive home visit, and physical activity was measured on 463 children using the Actiwatch accelerometer. Data on allergy and asthma symptoms and demographic variables were obtained from parents' responses to a questionnaire and complete data were available from 433 children. Overall physical activity was highest in warmer months, among boys, among children whose mothers did not work or attend school, and among children of mothers born in the United States. Activity was also positively associated with the number of rooms in the home. The season in which the activity data were collected modified many of the associations between demographic predictor variables and activity levels. Nearly half the children were above the range considered healthy weight. In cross-sectional analyses, before and after control for demographic correlates of physical activity, asthma symptoms were not associated with physical activity in this age group. Comparing the highest quartile of activity to the lowest, the odds ratio for asthma was 0.91 (95% CI = 0.46, 1.80). However, the novel associations with physical activity that we have observed may be relevant to the obesity epidemic and useful for planning interventions to increase physical activity among preschool children living in cities in the northern United States.
  • Asthma, allergy, and IgE levels in NYC head start children.

    Rotsides, Demetra Z; Goldstein, Inge F; Canfield, Stephen M; Perzanowski, Matthew; Mellins, Robert B; Hoepner, Lori; Ashby-Thompson, Maxine; Jacobson, Judith S (2009-11-13)
    Background: Among preschool-age children in New York City neighborhoods with high asthma hospitalization rates, we analyzed the associations of total immunoglobulin E (IgE), specific IgE to common indoor allergens, and allergy symptoms with asthma. Methods: Parents of children in New York City Head Start programs were asked to complete a questionnaire covering demographic factors, health history (including respiratory conditions), lifestyle, and home environment. Children's serum samples were analyzed for total IgE and specific IgE antibodies to cockroach, dust mite, mouse, and cat allergens by immunoassay. Logistic regression was used to model the association between asthma and IgE, controlling for age, gender, ethnicity/national origin, BMI, parental asthma, smokers in the household, and allergy symptoms (e.g., runny nose, rash). Results: Among 453 participating children (mean age 4.0+/-0.5 years), 150 (33%) met our criteria for asthma. In our multivariable logistic regression models, children with asthma were more likely than other children to be sensitized to each allergen, to be sensitized to any of the four allergens (OR=1.6, 95% CI 1.0-2.6), or to be in the highest quartile of total IgE (OR=3.1, 95% CI 1.5-6.4). Allergy symptoms based on questionnaire responses were independently associated with asthma (OR=3.7, 95% CI 2.3-5.9). Conclusions: Among preschool-aged urban children, asthma was associated with total IgE and sensitization to cat, mouse, cockroach, and dust mite allergens. However, allergy symptoms were more prevalent and more strongly associated with asthma than was any allergen-specific IgE; such symptoms may precede elevated specific IgE or represent a different pathway to asthma.
  • Prenatal di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate exposure and length of gestation among an inner-city cohort.

    Whyatt, Robin M; Adibi, Jennifer J; Calafat, Antonia M; Camann, David E; Rauh, Virgina; Bhat, Hari K; Perera, Frederica P; Andrews, Howard; Just, Allan C; Hoepner, Lori; et al.
    Objective: Our objective was to assess the relationship between di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) exposure during pregnancy and gestational age at delivery among 311 African American or Dominican women from New York City. Methods: Forty-eight-hour personal air and/or spot urine samples were collected during the third trimester. DEHP levels were measured in air samples and 4 DEHP metabolite levels were measured in urine. Specific gravity was used to adjust for urinary dilution. Gestational age was abstracted from newborn medical records (n = 289) or calculated from the expected date of delivery (n = 42). Multivariate linear regression models controlled for potential confounders. Results: DEHP was detected in 100% of personal air samples (geometric mean: 0.20 microg/m(3) [95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.18-0.21 microg/m(3)]); natural logarithms of air concentrations were inversely but not significantly associated with gestational age. Two or more of the DEHP metabolites were detected in 100% of urine samples (geometric mean: 4.8-38.9 ng/mL [95% CI: 4.1-44.3 ng/mL]). Controlling for potential confounders, gestational age was shorter by 1.1 days (95% CI: 0.2-1.8 days) for each 1-logarithmic unit increase in specific gravity-adjusted mono(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate concentrations (P = .01) and averaged 5.0 days (95% CI: 2.1-8.0 days) less among subjects with the highest versus lowest quartile concentrations (P = .001). Results were similar and statistically significant for the other DEHP metabolites. Conclusions: Prenatal DEHP exposure was associated with shorter gestation but, given inconsistencies with previous findings for other study populations, results should be interpreted with caution, and additional research is warranted.
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolite levels and pediatric allergy and asthma in an inner-city cohort.

    Miller, Rachel L; Garfinkel, Robin; Lendor, Cynthia; Hoepner, Lori; Li, Zheng; Romanoff, Lovisa; Sjodin, Andreas; Needham, Larry; Perera, Frederica P; Whyatt, Robin M (2009-12-09)
    Exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) has been associated with allergic sensitization and asthma. We hypothesized that increased urinary PAH metabolites are associated with allergy or asthma among children age 5 yrs in an inner-city birth cohort. As part of an ongoing prospective birth cohort under the auspices of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH), urine was collected from 5-yr-old children (n = 222) of Dominican American and African American mothers in Northern Manhattan and South Bronx of New York City. Twenty-four PAH metabolites were measured in these specimens, and their levels (unadjusted and specific gravity corrected) were evaluated with IgE levels and asthma outcomes. Ten metabolites were detected in urine from all children. Concentrations ranged higher than those in representative samples of US children ages 6-11 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Among CCCEH children, compared with African Americans, the Dominican children had higher 2-hydroxynaphthalene but lower 9-hydroxyfluorene and 4-hydroxyphenanthrene concentrations. Increased 3-hydroxyfluorene and 3-hydroxyphenanthrene levels were associated with higher anti-mouse IgE levels (p < 0.05). These plus 2-hydroxynaphthalene, 2-hydroxyflourene and 1-hydroxyphenanthrene concentrations were associated with higher anti-mouse IgE levels on multivariate analyzes. Increased 2-hydroxyphenanthrene, 3-hydroxyphenanthrene and 4-hydroxyphenanthrene levels were associated with higher anti-cat IgE levels (p < 0.05) in univariate, but not multivariate, analyzes. Levels of PAH metabolites were not associated with respiratory symptoms. Measures of PAH metabolites suggest considerable exposure in an urban pediatric population, and possible associations with allergic sensitization to mouse.
  • Transcriptional biomarkers of steroidogenesis and trophoblast differentiation in the placenta in relation to prenatal phthalate exposure.

    Adibi, Jennifer J; Whyatt, Robin M; Hauser, Russ; Bhat, Hari K; Davis, Barbara J; Calafat, Antonia M; Hoepner, Lori A; Perera, Frederica P; Tang, Deliang; Williams, Paige L
    Background: Phthalates can alter steroidogenesis and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma)mediated transcription in rodent tissues. The placenta offers a rich source of biomarkers to study these relationships in humans. Objective: We evaluated whether gestational phthalate exposures in humans were associated with altered human placental steroidogenesis and trophoblast differentiation as measured by markers of mRNA transcription. Methods: We measured seven target genes in placentas collected from 54 Dominican and African-American women at delivery in New York City using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), normalized to 18S rRNA. qPCR results for the target genes were log-transformed, converted to Z-scores, and grouped into two functional pathways: steroidogenesis (aromatase, cholesterol side chain cleavage enzyme, 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1, and cytochrome P450 1B1) and trophoblast differentiation (PPARgamma, aryl hydrocarbon receptor, and human chorionic gonadotropin). Repeated measures models were used to evaluate the association of phthalate metabolites measured in third-trimester urine samples with each group of target genes, accounting for correlation among the genes within a pathway. Results: Higher urinary concentrations of five phthalate metabolites were associated with lower expression of the target genes reflecting trophoblast differentiation. Results were less consistent for genes in the steroidogenesis pathway and suggested a nonlinear dose-response pattern for some phthalate metabolites. Conclusions: We observed a significant association between prenatal exposure to phthalates and placental gene expression within two pathways. Further studies are warranted to understand the significance of this association with respect to fetal development and placental function.

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