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Phthalates – Targeted Search for Epidemiological Studies

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The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Assessment of toxic metals and phthalates in children's toys and clays

Authors: Korfali, SI; Sabra, R; Jurdi, M; Taleb, RI (In Press) Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. HERO ID: 1677563

[Less] Toxic metals and phthalates are introduced in the manufacturing of plastic toys and modeling clays. . . . [More] Toxic metals and phthalates are introduced in the manufacturing of plastic toys and modeling clays. In Lebanon, inexpensive plastic toys and modeling clays (sold in dollar stores) are affordable and popular, and there is no legislation to monitor or regulate such toys. This study aimed to assess the quality of inexpensive plastic toys and modeling clays imported in Lebanon. Metal concentrations in toys, namely, zinc [not detectable (ND) to 3,708 μg/g], copper (ND to 140), chromium (ND to 75 μg/g), tin (ND to 39 μg/g), and cadmium (Cd) (ND to 20 μg/g), were lower than the European Union (EU) Directive limits, whereas lead (ND to 258 μg/g) in 10 % of samples and antimony (Sb) (ND to 195 μg/g) in 5 % of samples were greater than the EU limits. In modeling clays, most of the metals were lower than the EU Directive limits except for Cd and arsenic (As). Cd was detected in 83 % of samples, with a mean level of 9.1 μg/g, which is far greater than the EU Directive limit (1.9 μg/g). The As mean level of 4.5 μg/g was greater than the EU limit (4.0 μg/g) and was detected in 9 % of samples. Phthalic acid esters (PAEs) were found in 60 % of children's toys and 77 % of modeling clays. Phthalic acid butyl ester had the highest-level PAE encountered and was ≤59.1 % in one type of clay. However, among children's toys, di(4-octyl) ester terephthalic acid was the highest encountered phthalate at a concentration of 25.7 %. The community survey indicated that 82 % of households purchase their toys from inexpensive shops and that only 17 % of parents were aware of the health hazard of such toys. Consequently, an intervention plan was proposed for the provision of safe toys to children.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Collective migration of cancer-associated fibroblasts is enhanced by overexpression of tight junction-associated proteins claudin-11 and occludin

Authors: Karagiannis, GS; Schaeffer, DF; Cho, CK; Musrap, N; Saraon, P; Batruch, I; Grin, A; Mitrovic, B; Kirsch, R; Riddell, RH; Diamandis, EP (In Press) HERO ID: 2215387

[Less] It has been suggested that cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) positioned at the desmoplastic areas . . . [More] It has been suggested that cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) positioned at the desmoplastic areas of various types of cancer are capable of executing a migratory program, characterized by accelerated motility and collective configuration. Since CAFs are reprogrammed derivatives of normal progenitors, including quiescent fibroblasts, we hypothesized that such migratory program could be context-dependent, thus being regulated by specific paracrine signals from the adjacent cancer population. Using the traditional scratch assay setup, we showed that only specific colon cancer cell lines (i.e. HT29) were able to induce collective CAF migration. By performing quantitative proteomics (SILAC), we identified a 2.7-fold increase of claudin-11, a member of the tight junction apparatus, in CAFs that exerted such collectivity in their migratory pattern. Further proteomic investigations of cancer cell line secretomes revealed a specific signature, involving TGF-β, as potential mediator of this effect. Normal colonic fibroblasts stimulated with TGF-β exerted myofibroblastic differentiation, occludin (OCLN) and claudin-11 (CLDN11) overexpression and cohort formation. Subsequently, inhibition of TGF-β attenuated all the previous effects. Immunohistochemistry of the universal tight junction marker occludin in a cohort of 30 colorectal adenocarcinoma patients defined a CAF subpopulation expressing tight junctions. Overall, these data suggest that cancer cells may induce CLDN11 overexpression and subsequent collective migration of peritumoral CAFs via TGF-β secretion.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

The crystal structure of human quinolinic acid phosphoribosyltransferase in complex with its inhibitor phthalic acid

Authors: Malik, SS; Patterson, DN; Ncube, Z; Toth, EA (In Press) HERO ID: 2215421

[Less] Quinolinic acid (QA), a biologically potent but neurodestructive metabolite is catabolized by quinolinic . . . [More] Quinolinic acid (QA), a biologically potent but neurodestructive metabolite is catabolized by quinolinic acid phosphoribosyltransferase (QPRT) in the first step of the de novo NAD(+) biosynthesis pathway. This puts QPRT at the junction of two different pathways, that is, de novo NAD(+) biosynthesis and the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan degradation. Thus, QPRT is an important enzyme in terms of its biological impact and its potential as a therapeutic target. Here, we report the crystal structure of human QPRT bound to its inhibitor phthalic acid (PHT) and kinetic analysis of PHT inhibition of human QPRT. This structure, determined at 2.55 Å resolution, shows an elaborate hydrogen bonding network that helps in recognition of PHT and consequently its substrate QA. In addition to this hydrogen bonding network, we observe extensive van der Waals contacts with the PHT ring that might be important for correctly orientating the substrate QA during catalysis. Moreover, our crystal form allows us to observe an intact hexamer in both the apo- and PHT-bound forms in the same crystal system, which provides a direct comparison of unique subunit interfaces formed in hexameric human QPRT. We call these interfaces "nondimeric interfaces" to distinguish them from the typical dimeric interfaces observed in all QPRTs. We observe significant changes in the nondimeric interfaces in the QPRT hexamer upon binding PHT. Thus, the new structural and functional features of this enzyme we describe here will aid in understanding the function of hexameric QPRTs, which includes all eukaryotic and select prokaryotic QPRTs. Proteins 2013; © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Analytical methods for selected emerging contaminants in human matrices-a review

Authors: Dirtu, AC; Van den Eede, N; Malarvannan, G; Ionas, AC; Covaci, A (In Press) Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. [Review] HERO ID: 1249825

[Less] Emerging contaminants are a broad category of chemicals, previously unknown or unrecognized as being . . . [More] Emerging contaminants are a broad category of chemicals, previously unknown or unrecognized as being of concern, but which, because of their potential health effects associated with human exposure, are under increasing scrutiny. To accurately measure their levels in biological matrices, specific and sensitive analytical methods have recently been developed. We have reviewed here the methods used for analysis of selected emerging organic contaminants, for example metabolites of organophosphate triesters, metabolites of new phthalates or phthalate substitutes, perchlorate, organic UV filters, and polycyclic siloxanes, in human matrices. Although the use of new techniques and approaches has been emphasized, we also acknowledge methods previously used for other contaminants and adapted for the emerging contaminants listed above. In all cases, chromatography and mass spectrometry were the techniques of choice, because of their selectivity and sensitivity for measurements at ng g(-1) levels. Critical issues and challenges have been discussed, together with recommendations for further improvement in particular cases (e.g. metabolites of phthalates or their substitutes). In particular, the use of labeled internal standards, the availability of certified reference materials, and the need for interlaboratory comparison exercises are key aspects of further development of this field of research.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Preparation and Characterization of Tablet Formulation based on Solid Dispersion of Glimepiride and Poly(ester amide) Hyperbranched Polymer

Authors: Reven, S; Homar, M; Peternel, L; Kristl, J; Zagar, E (In Press) Pharm Dev Technol. HERO ID: 1249959

[Less] The feasibility of incorporating a solid dispersion containing poorly soluble antidiabetic drug glimepiride . . . [More] The feasibility of incorporating a solid dispersion containing poorly soluble antidiabetic drug glimepiride and poly(ester amide) hyperbranched polymer into a tablet using a direct-compression tabletting technique was investigated. Tablet cores were additionally coated with hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate in order to protect the extremely hygroscopic solid dispersion from atmospheric moisture. Preliminary stability studies show that glimepiride, which is in amorphous form within solid dispersion, is chemically stable, even if tablets are exposed to elevated temperature and/or moisture. In-vitro dissolution studies show some impact of storage conditions on the tablet cores disintegration time and, consequently, drug release rate. Glimepiride solubility also deteriorates somewhat, most probably due to its partial recrystallization. Storage conditions much less affect the physical stability of coated tablets, which was ascribed to reduced tablet hygroscopicity due to the presence of protecting coating. The hyperbranched polymers are rather new and complex macromolecules. Therefore, we addressed also the biocompatibility of hyperbranched polymer, i.e., its impact on haemolysis of the red blood cells. The concentration required for the haemolytic effect on the red blood cells is around 100-times higher than its expected gastrointestinal luminal concentration, which makes the occurrence of hyperbranched polymer mediated cytotoxicity very unlikely.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Inhibitory Effects of Costunolide Isolated from Laurus nobilis on IgE-induced Degranulation of Mast Cell-like RBL-2H3 Cells and the Growth of Y16 pro-B Cells

Authors: Kim, TJ; Nam, KW; Kim, B; Lee, SJ; Oh, KB; Kim, KH; Mar, W; Shin, J (In Press) Phytotherapy Research. HERO ID: 907500

[Less] This study investigated the inhibitory effects of costunolide isolated from the leaves of Laurus nobilis . . . [More] This study investigated the inhibitory effects of costunolide isolated from the leaves of Laurus nobilis L. (Lauraceae) on basophil-mediated allergic reactions and interleukin (IL)-5-mediated B cell growth. The effects of costunolide on β-hexosaminidase (a key parameter of degranulation) release and IL-4 expression in rat basophilic leukemia (RBL-2H3) cells were determined by measuring β-hexosaminidase activity and by semi-quantitative RT-PCR, respectively. The effects of costunolide on Y16 pro-B cell viability and growth were determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Costunolide was found significantly to inhibit β-hexosaminidase activity (p < 0.01) and IL-4 transcription in RBL-2H3 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Its 50% inhibitory concentration (IC(50) ) was 34 µm, while that of the positive control, ketotifen, was 24 µm (IL-4 mRNA transcription). Moreover, costunolide dose-dependently suppressed pro-B cell growth in IL-5-stimulated Y16 cells. These results provide evidence that costunolide stabilizes mast cells by inhibiting IgE-mediated degranulation and inhibits IL-5-stimulated B cell growth. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Emerging pollutants in wastewater: A review of the literature

Authors: Deblonde, T; Cossu-Leguille, C; Hartemann, P (In Press) International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health. [Review] HERO ID: 788151

[Less] For 20 years, many articles report the presence of new compounds, called "emerging compounds", . . . [More] For 20 years, many articles report the presence of new compounds, called "emerging compounds", in wastewater and aquatic environments. The US EPA (United States - Environmental Protection Agency) defines emerging pollutants as new chemicals without regulatory status and which impact on environment and human health are poorly understood. The objective of this work was to identify data on emerging pollutants concentrations in wastewater, in influent and effluent from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and to determine the performance of sewage disposal. We collected 44 publications in our database. We sought especially for data on phthalates, Bisphenol A and pharmaceuticals (including drugs for human health and disinfectants). We gathered concentration data and chose 50 pharmaceutical molecules, six phthalates and Bisphenol A. The concentrations measured in the influent ranged from 0.007 to 56.63μg per liter and the removal rates ranges from 0% (contrast media) to 97% (psychostimulant). Caffeine is the molecule whose concentration in influent was highest among the molecules investigated (in means 56.63μg per liter) with a removal rate around 97%, leading to a concentration in the effluent that did not exceed 1.77μg per liter. The concentrations of ofloxacin were the lowest and varied between 0.007 and 2.275μg per liter in the influent treatment plant and 0.007 and 0.816μg per liter in the effluent. Among phthalates, DEHP is the most widely used, and quantified by the authors in wastewater, and the rate of removal of phthalates is greater than 90% for most of the studied compounds. The removal rate for antibiotics is about 50% and 71% for Bisphenol A. Analgesics, anti inflammatories and beta-blockers are the most resistant to treatment (30-40% of removal rate). Some pharmaceutical molecules for which we have not collected many data and which concentrations seem high as Tetracycline, Codeine and contrast products deserve further research.

Book/Book Chapter
Book/ Chapter

Developing and evaluating a tool to measure general practice productivity: a multimethod study

Authors: Dawson, J; Rigby-Brown, A; Adams, L; Baker, R; Fernando, J; Forrest, A; Kirkwood, A; Murray, R; West, M; Wike, P; Wilde, M (2019) Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library. HERO ID: 5077340

[Less] BACKGROUND: Systems for measuring the performance of general practices are extremely . . . [More] BACKGROUND: Systems for measuring the performance of general practices are extremely limited.

OBJECTIVES: The aim was to develop, pilot test and evaluate a measure of productivity that can be applied across all typical general practices in England, and that may result in improvements in practice, thereby leading to better patient outcomes.

METHODS: Stage 1 – the approach used was based on the Productivity Measurement and Enhancement System (ProMES). Through 16 workshops with 80 general practice staff and 72 patient representatives, the objectives of general practices were identified, as were indicators that could measure these objectives and systems to convert the indicators into an effectiveness score and a productivity index. This was followed by a consensus exercise involving a face-to-face meeting with 16 stakeholders and an online survey with 27 respondents. An online version of the tool [termed the General Practice Effectiveness Tool (GPET)] and detailed guidance were created. Stage 2 – 51 practices were trained to use the GPET for up to 6 months, entering data on each indicator monthly and getting automated feedback on changes in effectiveness over time. The feasibility and acceptability of the GPET were examined via 38 telephone interviews with practice representatives, an online survey of practice managers and two focus groups with patient representatives.

RESULTS: The workshops resulted in 11 objectives across four performance areas: (1) clinical care, (2) practice management, (3) patient focus and (4) external focus. These were measured by 52 indicators, gathered from clinical information systems, practice records, checklists, a short patient questionnaire and a short staff questionnaire. The consensus exercise suggested that this model was appropriate, but that the tool would be of more benefit in tracking productivity within practices than in performance management. Thirty-eight out of 51 practices provided monthly data, but only 28 practices did so for the full period. Limited time and personnel changes made participation difficult for some. Over the pilot period, practice effectiveness increased significantly. Perceptions of the GPET were varied. Usefulness was given an average rating of 4.5 out of 10.0. Ease of use was more positive, scoring 5.6 out of 10.0. Five indicators were highlighted as problematic to gather, and 27% of practices had difficulties entering data. Feedback from interviews suggested difficulties using the online system and finding time to make use of feedback. Most practices could not provide sufficient monthly financial data to calculate a conventional productivity index.

LIMITATIONS: It was not possible to create a measure that provides comparability between all practices, and most practices could not provide sufficient financial data to create a productivity index, leaving an effectiveness measure instead. Having a relatively small number of practices, with no control group, limited this study, and there was a limited timescale for the testing and evaluation.

IMPLICATIONS: The GPET has demonstrated some viability as a tool to aid practice improvement. The model devised could serve as a basis for measuring effectiveness in general practice more widely.

FUTURE WORK: Some additional research is needed to refine the GPET. Enhanced testing with a control sample would evaluate whether or not it is the use of the GPET that leads to improved performance.

FUNDING: The National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research programme.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

A standard-value-based comparison tool to analyze U.S. soil regulations for the top 100 concerned pollutants

Authors: Li, W; Li, Z; Jennings, A (2019) Science of the Total Environment 647:663-675. HERO ID: 5017308

[Less] Residential surface soil contamination is often addressed by the use of regulatory guidance values (RGVs), . . . [More] Residential surface soil contamination is often addressed by the use of regulatory guidance values (RGVs), which specify the maximum allowed concentration that can be present without prompting a regulatory action. In the U.S., there are at least 72 jurisdictions, including national, state, and regional, that have published guidance values for one or more of the one hundred most frequently regulated chemicals. A standard-value-based comparison tool in this study is developed to analyze values from 40 states and from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). The comparison tool can help evaluate the completeness of RGV sets, quantify the average deviation of RGVs from worldwide central tendencies, and measure the overall difference between the numbers of RGVs above and below central tendencies. The pollutants considered in this study include benzidines/aromatic amines, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hydrocarbons, inorganic substances, nitroamines/ethers/alcohols, organophosphates and carbamates, pesticides, phenols/phenoxy acids, phthalates, and volatile organic compounds. Based on completeness and comparisons of order of magnitude variations, five types of scores are generated. The results from the completeness scores indicate that some states lack soil RGVs for the top 100 concerned pollutants. The results from the comparison scores indicate that some jurisdictions have provided the RGVs averagely deviating from worldwide central tendencies and U.S. EPA scores by over two orders of magnitude, which might be beyond the risk model variabilities and increase human health risks. Hopefully, the regulatory comparison tool developed in this study will help risk assessors and regulatory scientists to better evaluate soil standards and protect public health.

The "refereed" or "peer review" status of a journal comes from the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/), as supplied by the publisher. The term refers to the system of critical evaluation of manuscripts/articles by professional colleagues or peers. The content of refereed publications is sanctioned, vetted, or otherwise approved by a peer-review or editorial board. The peer-review and evaluation system is utilized to protect, maintain, and raise the quality of scholarly material published in serials. Publications subject to the referee process are assumed, then, to contain higher quality content than those that are not.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Urinary Phthalate Concentrations during Pregnancy and Circulating Microparticle Protein Expression

Authors: Cantonwine, DE; Meeker, JD; Feguson, KK; Rosenblatt, KP; Brohman, B; Mcelrath, TF (2019) HERO ID: 5043346