Predictors of blood trihalomethane concentrations in NHANES 1999-2006.
ABSTRACT: Trihalomethanes (THMs) are water disinfection by-products that have been associated with bladder cancer and adverse birth outcomes. Four THMs (bromoform, chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane) were measured in blood and tap water of U.S. adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2006. THMs are metabolized to potentially toxic/mutagenic intermediates by cytochrome p450 (CYP) 2D6 and CYP2E1 enzymes.We conducted exploratory analyses of blood THMs, including factors affecting CYP2D6 and CYP2E1 activity.We used weighted multivariable regressions to evaluate associations between blood THMs and water concentrations, survey year, and other factors potentially affecting THM exposure or metabolism (e.g., prescription medications, cruciferous vegetables, diabetes, fasting, pregnancy, swimming).From 1999 to 2006, geometric mean blood and water THM levels dropped in parallel, with decreases of 32%-76% in blood and 38%-52% in water, likely resulting, in part, from the lowering of the total THM drinking water standard in 2002-2004. The strongest predictors of blood THM levels were survey year and water concentration (n = 4,232 total THM; n = 4,080 bromoform; n = 4,582 chloroform; n = 4,374 bromodichloromethane; n = 4,464 dibromochloromethane). We detected statistically significant inverse associations with diabetes and eating cruciferous vegetables in all but the bromoform model. Medications did not consistently predict blood levels. Afternoon/evening blood samples had lower THM concentrations than morning samples. In a subsample (n = 230), air chloroform better predicted blood chloroform than water chloroform, suggesting showering/bathing was a more important source than drinking.We identified several factors associated with blood THMs that may affect their metabolism. The potential health implications require further study.
Project description:Exposure to trihalomethanes (or THMs: chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane, and dibromochloromethane [DBCM]) formed via drinking water disinfection has been associated with adverse reproductive outcomes and cancers of the digestive or genitourinary organs. However, few studies have examined potential associations between THMs and liver injury in humans, even though experimental studies suggest that these agents exert hepatotoxic effects, particularly among obese individuals. This study examined participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2006, N=2781) to test the hypothesis that THMs are associated with liver injury as assessed by alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity in circulation. Effect modification by body mass index (BMI) or alcohol consumption also was examined. Associations between blood THM concentrations and ALT activity were assessed using unconditional multiple logistic regression to calculate prevalence odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for exposure among cases with elevated ALT activity (men: >40IU/L, women: >30IU/L) relative to those with normal ALT, after adjustment for variables that may confound the relationship between ALT and THMs. Compared to controls, cases were 1.35 times more likely (95% CI: 1.02, 1.79) to have circulating DBCM concentrations exceeding median values in the study population. There was little evidence for effect modification by BMI, although the association varied by alcohol consumption. Among non-drinkers, cases were more likely than controls to be exposed to DBCM (OR: 3.30, 95% CI: 1.37, 7.90), bromoform (OR: 2.88, 95% CI: 1.21, 6.81), or brominated THMs (OR: 4.00, 95% CI: 1.31, 12.1), but no association was observed among participants with low, or moderate to heavy alcohol consumption. Total THM levels exceeding benchmark exposure limits continue to be reported both in the United States and globally. Results from this study suggest a need for further characterization of ALT activity and possibly other hepatic or metabolic diseases in populations with elevated drinking water THM concentrations.
Project description:Lifetime exposure to trihalomethanes (THM) has been associated with increased risk of bladder cancer. We explored methods of analyzing bladder cancer risk associated with 4 THM (chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform) as surrogates for disinfection by-product (DBP) mixtures in a case-control study in Spain (1998-2001). Lifetime average concentrations of THM in the households of 686 incident bladder cancer cases and 750 matched hospital-based controls were calculated. Several exposure metrics were modeled through conditional logistic regression, including the following analyses: total THM (?g/L), cytotoxicity-weighted sum of total THM (pmol/L), 4 THM in separate models, 4 THM in 1 model, chloroform and the sum of brominated THM in 1 model, and a principal-components analysis. THM composition, concentrations, and correlations varied between areas. The model for total THM was stable and showed increasing dose-response trends. Models for separate THM provided unstable estimates and inconsistent dose-response relationships. Risk estimation for specific THM is hampered by the varying composition of the mixture, correlation between species, and imprecision of historical estimates. Total THM (?g/L) provided a proxy measure of DBPs that yielded the strongest dose-response relationship with bladder cancer risk. A variety of metrics and statistical approaches should be used to evaluate this association in other settings.
Project description:Epidemiological studies have used various measures to characterize trihalomethane (THM) exposures, but the relationship of these indicators to exposure biomarkers remains unclear.We examined temporal and spatial variability in baseline blood THM concentrations and assessed the relationship between these concentrations and several exposure indicators (tap water concentration, water-use activities, multiroute exposure metrics).We measured water-use activity and THM concentrations in blood and residential tap water from 150 postpartum women from three U.S. locations.Blood ?THM [sum of chloroform (TCM), bromodichloromethane (BDCM), dibromo-chloromethane (DBCM), and bromoform (TBM)] concentrations varied by site and season. As expected based on variable tap water concentrations and toxicokinetic properties, the proportion of brominated species (BDCM, DBCM, and TBM) in blood varied by site (site 1, 24%; site 2, 29%; site 3, 57%) but varied less markedly than in tap water (site 1, 35%; site 2, 75%; site 3, 68%). The blood-water ?THM Spearman rank correlation coefficient was 0.36, with correlations higher for individual brominated species (BDCM, 0.62; DBCM, 0.53; TBM, 0.54) than for TCM (0.37). Noningestion water activities contributed more to the total exposure metric than did ingestion, but tap water THM concentrations were more predictive of blood THM levels than were metrics that incorporated water use.Spatial and temporal variability in THM concentrations was greater in water than in blood. We found consistent blood-water correlations across season and site for BDCM and DBCM, and multivariate regression results suggest that water THM concentrations may be an adequate surro-gate for baseline blood levels.
Project description:Epidemiological studies suggest that women exposed to disinfection by-products (DBPs) have an increased risk of delivering babies with cardiovascular defects (CVDs).We examined nine CVDs in relation to categorical DBP exposures including bromoform, chloroform, dibromochloromethane (DBCM), bromodichloromethane (BDCM), monobromoacetic acid (MBAA), dichloroacetic acid (DCAA), trichloroacetic acid (TCAA), and summary DBP measures (HAA5, THMBr, THM4, and DBP9).We calculated adjusted odds ratios (aORs) in a case-control study of birth defects in Massachusetts with complete quarterly 1999-2004 trihalomethane (THM) and haloacetic acid (HAA) data. We randomly matched 10 controls each to 904 CVD cases based on week of conception. Weight-averaged aggregate first-trimester DBP exposures were assigned to individuals based on residence at birth.We detected associations for tetralogy of Fallot and the upper exposure categories for TCAA, DCAA, and HAA5 (aOR range, 3.34-6.51) including positive exposure-response relationships for DCAA and HAA5. aORs consistent in magnitude were detected between atrial septal defects and bromoform (aOR = 1.56; 95% CI: 1.01, 2.43), as well as DBCM, chloroform, and THM4 (aOR range, 1.26-1.67). Ventricular septal defects (VSDs) were associated with the highest bromoform (aOR = 1.85; 95% CI: 1.20, 2.83), MBAA (aOR = 1.81; 95% CI: 0.85, 3.84), and DBCM (aOR = 1.54; 95% CI: 1.00, 2.37) exposure categories.To our knowledge, this is the first birth defect study to develop multi-DBP adjusted regression models as well as the first CVD study to evaluate HAA exposures and the second to evaluate bromoform exposures. Our findings, therefore, inform exposure specificity for the consistent associations previously reported between THM4 and CVDs including VSDs. Citation: Wright JM, Evans A, Kaufman JA, Rivera-Núñez Z, Narotsky MG. 2017. Disinfection by-product exposures and the risk of specific cardiac birth defects. Environ Health Perspect 125:269-277;?http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP103.
Project description:We previously conducted a study to assess whether household exposures to tap water increased an individual's internal dose of trihalomethanes (THMs). Increases in blood THM levels among subjects who showered or bathed were variable, with increased levels tending to cluster in two groups.Our goal was to assess the importance of personal characteristics, previous exposures, genetic polymorphisms, and environmental exposures in determining THM concentrations in blood after showering.One hundred study participants completed a health symptom questionnaire, a 48-hr food and water consumption diary, and took a 10-min shower in a controlled setting. We examined THM levels in blood samples collected at baseline and 10 and 30 min after the shower. We assessed the significance of personal characteristics, previous exposures to THMs, and specific gene polymorphisms in predicting postshower blood THM concentrations.We did not observe the clustering of blood THM concentrations observed in our earlier study. We found that environmental THM concentrations were important predictors of blood THM concentrations immediately after showering. For example, the chloroform concentration in the shower stall air was the most important predictor of blood chloroform levels 10 min after the shower (p < 0.001). Personal characteristics, previous exposures to THMs, and specific polymorphisms in CYP2D6 and GSTT1 genes were significant predictors of both baseline and postshowering blood THM concentrations as well as of changes in THM concentrations associated with showering.The inclusion of information about individual physiologic characteristics and environmental measurements would be valuable in future studies to assess human health effects from exposures to THMs in tap water.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:We examined stillbirths in relation to disinfection by-product (DBP) exposures including chloroform, bromodichloromethane (BDCM), dibromochloromethane, bromoform, trichloroacetic acid, dichloroacetic acid (DCAA), monobromoacetic acid and summary DBP measures (trihalomethanes (THM4), haloacetic acids (HAA5), THMBr (brominated trihalomethanes) and DBP9 (sum of THM4 and HAA5)). METHODS:We randomly selected 10 controls for each of the 2460 stillbirth cases with complete quarterly 1997-2004 THM4 and HAA5 town-level drinking water data. Adjusted (aORs) were calculated based on weight-averaged second-trimester DBP exposures. RESULTS:We detected statistically significant associations for stillbirths and the upper DCAA quartiles (aOR range: 1.50-1.71). We also found positive associations for the upper four HAA5 quintiles and different stillbirth cause of death categories that were examined including unexplained stillbirth (aOR range: 1.24-1.72), compression of umbilical cord (aOR range: 1.08-1.94), prematurity (aOR range: 1.37-2.88), placental separation and haemorrhage (aOR range: 1.44-2.01) and asphyxia/hypoxia (aOR range: 1.52-1.97). Additionally, we found positive associations between stillbirths and chloroform exposure (aOR range: 1.29 - 1.36) and unexplained stillbirths and BDCM exposure (aOR range: 1.51 - 1.78). We saw no evidence of exposure-response relationships for any categorical DBP metrics. CONCLUSIONS:Consistent with some previous studies, we found associations between stillbirths and chloroform and unexplained stillbirth and BDCM exposures. These findings strengthen existing evidence of prenatal THM exposures increasing the risk of stillbirth. Additionally, we saw statistically significant associations between DCAA and stillbirth. Future research should examine cause-specific stillbirths in relation to narrower critical windows and additional DBP exposure metrics beyond trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Exposure to disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water has been associated with cancer risk. A recent study (Villanueva et al. 2007; Am J Epidemiol 165:148-156) found an increased bladder cancer risk among subjects attending swimming pools relative to those not attending. OBJECTIVES: We evaluated adults who swam in chlorinated pools to determine whether exposure to DBPs in pool water is associated with biomarkers of genotoxicity. METHODS: We collected blood, urine, and exhaled air samples from 49 nonsmoking adult volunteers before and after they swam for 40 min in an indoor chlorinated pool. We estimated associations between the concentrations of four trihalomethanes (THMs) in exhaled breath and changes in micronuclei (MN) and DNA damage (comet assay) in peripheral blood lymphocytes before and 1 hr after swimming; urine mutagenicity (Ames assay) before and 2 hr after swimming; and MN in exfoliated urothelial cells before and 2 weeks after swimming. We also estimated associations and interactions with polymorphisms in genes related to DNA repair or to DBP metabolism. RESULTS: After swimming, the total concentration of the four THMs in exhaled breath was seven times higher than before swimming. The change in the frequency of micronucleated lymphocytes after swimming increased in association with higher exhaled concentrations of the brominated THMs (p = 0.03 for bromodichloromethane, p = 0.05 for chlorodibromomethane, p = 0.01 for bromoform) but not chloroform. Swimming was not associated with DNA damage detectable by the comet assay. Urine mutagenicity increased significantly after swimming, in association with the higher concentration of exhaled bromoform (p = 0.004). We found no significant associations with changes in micronucleated urothelial cells. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support potential genotoxic effects of exposure to DBPs from swimming pools. The positive health effects gained by swimming could be increased by reducing the potential health risks of pool water.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Epidemiological studies suggest that exposure to water disinfection by-products (DBPs) may increase the risk of certain birth defects. However, evidence for musculoskeletal defects (MSDs) is limited. Previous MSD studies have not examined DBPs beyond trihalomethanes (THMs) and have not separately examined limb or diaphragm defects which may have distinct developmental etiologies.<h4>Methods</h4>We calculated adjusted odds ratios (aORs) in a registry-based case-control study of birth defects in Massachusetts with complete quarterly 1999-2004 data on four THMs and five haloacetic acids (HAAs). We matched 10 controls each to 187 MSD cases based on week of conception. Weight-averaged town-level first-trimester DBP exposures were individually assigned based on residence at birth. We adjusted THM models for exposure to the sum of five HAAs (HAA5), and HAA models for the sum of four THMs (THM4).<h4>Results</h4>We detected positive exposure-response associations for all grouped MSDs with THM4 quintiles (aOR range: 1.90-3.18) and chloroform quartiles (aOR range: 1.30-2.21), and for reduction of upper or lower limbs with chloroform quartiles (aOR range: 2.39-3.52). We detected elevated aORs for diaphragmatic hernia with DBP9 (sum of THM4 and HAA5), and chloroform and bromodichloromethane tertiles and an exposure-response relationship for THM4 tertiles (aOR range: 1.67-1.80).<h4>Conclusions</h4>This is the first epidemiological study to examine HAAs in relation to MSDs. Given the indirect nature of our exposure assessment data and small case numbers, the exposure-response relationships that we detected for THM4 and chloroform warrant further investigation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:N-nitroso compounds formed endogenously after nitrate/nitrite ingestion are animal renal carcinogens. Previous epidemiologic studies of drinking water nitrate did not evaluate other potentially toxic water contaminants, including the suspected renal carcinogen chloroform. METHODS:In a cohort of postmenopausal women in Iowa (1986-2010), we used historical measurements to estimate long-term average concentrations of nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) and disinfection by-products (DBP) in public water supplies. For NO3-N and the regulated DBP (total trihalomethanes [THM] and the sum of five haloacetic acids [HAA5]), we estimated the number of years of exposure above one-half the current maximum contaminant level (>½-MCL NO3-N; >5?mg/L). Dietary intakes were assessed via food frequency questionnaire. We estimated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) with Cox models, and evaluated interactions with factors influencing N-nitroso compound formation. RESULTS:We identified 125 incident kidney cancers among 15,577 women reporting using water from public supplies >10 years. In multivariable models, risk was higher in the 95th percentile of average NO3-N (HRp95vsQ1 = 2.3; CI: 1.2, 4.3; Ptrend = 0.33) and for any years of exposure >½-MCL; adjustment for total THM did not materially change these associations. There were no independent relationships with total THM, individual THMs chloroform and bromodichloromethane, or with haloacetic acids. Dietary analyses yielded associations with high nitrite intake from processed meats but not nitrate or nitrite overall. We found no interactions. CONCLUSIONS:Relatively high nitrate levels in public water supplies were associated with increased risk of renal cancer. Our results also suggest that nitrite from processed meat is a renal cancer risk factor.
Project description:Background: Some disinfection by-products (DBPs) are reproductive and developmental toxicants in laboratory animals. However, studies of trimester-specific DBP exposure on adverse birth outcomes in humans are inconsistent. Objective: We examined whether trimester-specific blood and urinary biomarkers of DBP were associated with small for gestational age (SGA), low birth weight (LBW), and preterm birth. Methods: A total of 4,086 blood and 3,951 urine samples were collected across pregnancy trimesters among 1,660 mothers from Xiaogan City, China. Blood samples were quantified for biomarkers of trihalomethanes (THMs): chloroform (TCM), bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform. Urine samples were quantified for biomarkers of haloacetic acids (HAA): dichloroacetic acid and trichloroacetic acid. Birth outcomes were abstracted at delivery from medical records. We used Poisson regression models with log link functions to estimate risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for SGA, LBW, and preterm birth across tertiles (or categories) of DBP biomarker concentrations measured across pregnancy trimesters. We also examined the relative exposure differences across gestation comparing adverse outcomes with normal births using mixed-effects models. Results: Blood TCM concentrations in the second trimester were associated with an elevated risk of SGA comparing middle vs. lowest (RR, 2.34; 95% CI: 1.02, 5.35) and highest vs. lowest (RR, 2.47; 95% CI: 1.09, 5.58) exposure groups. Third-trimester blood TCM concentrations were also associated with an increased risk of SGA comparing the second tertile with the first (RR, 2.61; 95% CI: 1.15, 5.92). We found that maternal blood TCM concentrations were significantly higher for SGA compared with non-SGA births across the period from 23 to 34 wk gestation. Other blood and urinary DBP biomarkers examined were unrelated to SGA, LBW, or preterm birth. Conclusion: Blood TCM concentrations in mid to late pregnancy were associated with an increased risk of SGA, whereas other biomarkers of DBPs examined across pregnancy were not associated with birth outcomes. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP7195