Soil Lead (Pb) in New Orleans: A Spatiotemporal and Racial Analysis.
ABSTRACT: Spatialized racial injustices drive morbidity and mortality inequalities. While many factors contribute to environmental injustices, Pb is particularly insidious, and is associated with cardio-vascular, kidney, and immune dysfunctions and is a leading cause of premature death worldwide. Here, we present a revised analysis from the New Orleans dataset of soil lead (SPb) and children's blood Pb (BPb), which was systematically assembled for 2000-2005 and 2011-2016. We show the spatial-temporal inequities in SPb, children's BPb, racial composition, and household income in New Orleans. Comparing medians for the inner city with outlying areas, soil Pb is 7.5 or 9.3 times greater, children's blood Pb is ~2 times higher, and household income is lower. Between 2000-2005 and 2011-2016, a BPb decline occurred. Long-standing environmental and socioeconomic Pb exposure injustices have positioned Black populations at extreme risk of adverse health consequences. Given the overlapping health outcomes of Pb exposure with co-morbidities for conditions such as COVID-19, we suggest that further investigation be conducted on Pb exposure and pandemic-related mortality rates, particularly among Black populations. Mapping and remediating invisible environmental Pb provides a path forward for preventing future populations from developing a myriad of Pb-related health issues.
Project description:Lead (Pb) is extremely toxic and a major cause of chronic diseases worldwide. Pb is associated with health disparities, particularly within low-income populations. In biological systems, Pb mimics calcium and, among other effects, interrupts cell signaling. Furthermore, Pb exposure results in epigenetic changes that affect multigenerational gene expression. Exposure to Pb has decreased through primary prevention, including removal of Pb solder from canned food, regulating lead-based paint, and especially eliminating Pb additives in gasoline. While researchers observe a continuous decline in children's blood lead (BPb), reservoirs of exposure persist in topsoil, which stores the legacy dust from leaded gasoline and other sources. Our surveys of metropolitan New Orleans reveal that median topsoil Pb in communities (<i>n</i> = 274) decreased 44% from 99 mg/kg to 54 mg/kg (<i>P</i> value of 2.09 × 10<sup>-08</sup>), with a median depletion rate of ∼2.4 mg⋅kg⋅y<sup>-1</sup> over 15 y. From 2000 through 2005 to 2011 through 2016, children's BPb declined from 3.6 μg/dL to 1.2 μg/dL or 64% (<i>P</i> value of 2.02 × 10<sup>-85</sup>), a decrease of ∼0.2 μg⋅dL⋅y<sup>-1</sup> during a median of 12 y. Here, we explore the decline of children's BPb by examining a metabolism of cities framework of inputs, transformations, storages, and outputs. Our findings indicate that decreasing Pb in topsoil is an important factor in the continuous decline of children's BPb. Similar reductions are expected in other major US cities. The most contaminated urban communities, usually inhabited by vulnerable populations, require further reductions of topsoil Pb to fulfill primary prevention for the nation's children.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The identification of susceptible periods to Pb-induced decrements in childhood cognitive abilities remains elusive.<h4>Objective</h4>To draw inferences about windows of susceptibility using the pattern of associations between serial childhood blood lead (BPb) concentrations and children's cognitive abilities at 4 years of age among 1035 mother-child pairs enrolled in 4 prospective birth cohorts from Mexico City.<h4>Methods</h4>Multiple longitudinally collected BPb measurements were obtained from children (1, 2, 3, and 4 years) between 1994 and 2007. Child cognitive abilities were assessed at 4 years using the general cognitive index (GCI) of the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities. We used multivariable linear regression to estimate the change in cognitive abilities at 4 years of age with a 10 ?g/dL increase in childhood BPb concentrations adjusting for maternal IQ, education, marital status, child sex, breastfeeding duration, and cohort.<h4>Results</h4>In separate models for each BPb measurement, 2 year BPb concentrations were most strongly associated with reduced GCI scores at 4 years after adjusting for confounders (?: -3.8; 95% confidence interval CI: -6.3, -1.4). Mutual adjustment for other BPb concentrations in a single model resulted in larger, but less precise estimate between 2 year BPb concentrations and GCI scores at 4 years of age (?: -7.1; 95% CI: -12, -2.0). The association between 2 year BPb and GCI was not heterogeneous (p=0.89), but some BPb and GCI associations varied in magnitude and direction across the cohorts. Additional adjustment for child hemoglobin, birth weight, gestational age, gestational BPb concentrations, or test examiner did not change the pattern of associations.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Higher BPb concentrations at 2 years of age were most predictive of decreased cognitive abilities among these Mexico City children; however, the observed pattern may be due to exposure, outcome, or cohort related factors. These results may help developing countries more efficiently implement childhood Pb prevention strategies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Ugandan children are fed homemade complementary foods (CFs) which are usually deficient in vitamin A, iron and zinc. Novel homemade CFs rich in vitamin A, iron and zinc need to be developed, and assessed for their acceptability among target children. OBJECTIVE:Homemade provitamin A carotenoids (PVACs), iron and zinc-rich complementary food (CF), common bean pumpkin blend (BPB) formulated from pumpkin (Sweet cream) and common bean (Obwelu) and PVAC-rich pumpkin blend (PB) from Sweet cream were prepared by expert peer mothers. This study compared child acceptability of BPB and PB (control). METHODS:The crossover acceptability study randomly assigned Ugandan children 6 to 24?months old to either receive 100?g of BPB (n =?35) or 100?g of PB (n =?35) on day one. After a washout period of one day, children crossed over to receive either BPB (n =?35) or PB (n?=?35). The amount of CF consumed, duration of consumption, and micronutrient intake were assessed. The CF was acceptable if children consumed ?50?g (50%) of served food (100?g). A paired t-test was used to determine the mean differences within participants between BPB and PB. The level of statistical significant difference was set at a probability value of 5% (p?= 0.05). RESULTS:The mean consumption of BPB and PB was 53.9?g and 54.4?g, respectively. The mean duration for consumption of BPB and PB was 20.6 and 20.3?min, respectively. There was no significant difference in the amounts consumed, and duration of consumption in BPB and PB (p?>?0.05). The mean intake of vitamin A was significantly higher (p?<?0.00001) in PB (152.5 ?gRAE) compared to BPB (100.9 ?gRAE). The mean iron intake was significantly higher in BPB (1.1?mg) (p?<?0.00001) compared to PB (0.3?mg). Furthermore, zinc intake was significantly higher (p?<?0.00001) in BPB (0.58?mg) compared to PB (0.13?mg). CONCLUSION:A homemade complementary food, BPB, made from locally available common bean and pumpkin is rich in PVACs, iron and zinc and is acceptable to children in the age range of complementary feeding in Uganda. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Pan African Clinical Trials Registry www.pactr.org as PACTR202002576768667 . Retrospectively registered. Date of registration: 29/January/2020.
Project description:Lead (Pb) exposure during pregnancy may increase the risk of adverse maternal, infant, or childhood health outcomes by interfering with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis function. We examined relationships between maternal blood or bone Pb concentrations and features of diurnal cortisol profiles in 936 pregnant women from Mexico City.From 2007-11 we recruited women from hospitals/clinics affiliated with the Mexican Social Security System. Pb was measured in blood (BPb) during the second trimester and in mothers' tibia and patella 1-month postpartum. We characterized maternal HPA-axis function using 10 timed salivary cortisol measurements collected over 2-days (mean: 19.7, range: 14-35 weeks gestation). We used linear mixed models to examine the relationship between Pb biomarkers and cortisol area under the curve (AUC), awakening response (CAR), and diurnal slope.After adjustment for confounders, women in the highest quintile of BPb concentrations had a reduced CAR (Ratio: -13%; Confidence Interval [CI]: -24, 1, p-value for trend?<?0.05) compared to women in the lowest quintile. Tibia/patella Pb concentrations were not associated with CAR, but diurnal cortisol slopes were suggestively flatter among women in the highest patella Pb quantile compared to women in the lowest quantile (Ratio: 14%; CI: -2, 33). BPb and bone Pb concentrations were not associated with cortisol AUC.Concurrent blood Pb levels were associated with cortisol awakening response in these pregnant women and this might explain adverse health outcomes associated with Pb. Further research is needed to confirm these results and determine if other environmental chemicals disrupt hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis function during pregnancy.
Project description:Ugandan children are vulnerable to vitamin A deficiency (VAD), iron deficiency (ID) and zinc deficiency (ZnD) because they are fed on complementary foods (CFs) low in vitamin A, iron and zinc. This study developed a novel provitamin A carotenoid (PVAC), iron and zinc rich common bean pumpkin blend (BPB) complementary food (CF) from locally available pumpkin and common bean in Uganda and aimed to determine its acceptance, compared to a control pumpkin blend (PB). Seventy caregivers participated in the study. The sensory attributes (taste, colour, aroma, texture and general acceptability) of BPB and PB were rated using a five-point facial hedonic scale (1 = very bad, 2 = bad, 3 = neutral, 4 = good, 5 = very good). Focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted to assess the perceptions of caregivers about the BPB. The chi square test was used to detect the proportion difference for each sensory attribute between BPB and PB, whilst FGD data were analysed by thematic analysis. A proportion of 64% to 96% of the caregivers rated both BPB and PB as acceptable (good to very good) for all the sensory attributes. There was no significant difference in caregiver acceptability for all attributes between BPB and PB (p > 0.05). Caregivers had positive perceptions about the taste, texture, aroma and colour of the BPB. Caregivers were keen to know the specific varieties of common bean and pumpkin used to formulate the PVAC, iron and zinc rich BPB. In conclusion, BPB was acceptable to caregivers, and they were interested to know how to prepare and use it as a CF.
Project description:Background and Aims:Epidemiologic studies examining the relationship between environmental lead (Pb) exposure and blood pressure (BP) generally report small associations between blood lead concentration (BPb) and BP. However, these studies are predominantly cross-sectional. In addition, no epidemiologic studies evaluate associations between either current or past Pb exposure and serum levels of markers of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, including soluble vascular adhesion molecule (sVCAM-1) and soluble intercellular cell adhesion molecule (sICAM-1). We prospectively investigate these associations later in life:Methods. From our original prospective birth cohort study in Mitrovica (a mining town) and Prishtina (a control town), Kosovo, from 1985 to 1998, we located and assessed BPb and BP in 101 participants (mean age of 24.9 years old) in 2011. Results:We found highly statistically significant association between concurrent BPb and sVCAM-1 in men and a marginally significant association between concurrent PBb and sICAM.-1 in women. We did not find evidence of mediation. Conclusion:Current study results, along with previously reported findings on this cohort, provide evidence for the hypothesis that exposure to Pb leads to small increases in sBP and perhaps to increased circulating levels of sVCAM-1 and sICAM-1 later in life.
Project description:<h4>Background and aims</h4>Epidemiologic cross-sectional studies examining the relationship between environmental lead (Pb) exposure and erythropoietin (EPO) production have reported contrasting results. It is unknown, however, if exposure to Pb earlier in life has an effect on EPO production later in life. Here, using a prospective study, we evaluate the association between prenatal, early childhood, and concurrent Pb exposure and EPO concentration in young adulthood.<h4>Methods</h4>From our prospective birth cohort study in Mitrovica (a mining town) and Pristina (a control town), Kosovo, from 1985 to 1998, we located and assessed blood lead concentration (BPb) and serum EPO in 101 participants (mean age 24.9 years) in 2011. We examined the association between BPb and EPO, stratified by hemoglobin (Hgb), and controlling for potential confounders.<h4>Results</h4>These results resemble the findings in the original full cohort at 4.5 and 6.5 years of age, at which time we reported that the maintenance of a normal Hgb required increased EPO production among participants exposed to high levels of environmental Pb. In contrast, when the original cohort was 9.5 and 12 years of age, they were no longer capable of hyper-production of EPO in order to maintain normal levels of Hgb, suggestive of cumulative toxicity to the peritubular cells of the kidney that are responsible for EPO synthesis.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our results, along with previously reported findings on this cohort, suggest that a dramatic reduction of Pb exposure may allow for a reversal of the impact that prolonged Pb exposure may have on EPO production.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>While children's exposure to environmental lead in the U.S. has decreased, areas of elevated levels remain. Because lead exposure is a risk factor for developmental delays, it should be considered when studying neurodevelopmental effects of in-utero antiretroviral medication (ARV) exposure in the growing population of perinatally HIV-exposed, uninfected children (PHEU). We compared blood lead levels (BPb) in PHEU children enrolled in the Surveillance Monitoring of ART Toxicities (SMARTT) Study to U.S. children, assessed associations with neurodevelopment, and explored whether associations between in-utero ARV and neurodevelopment are modified by BPb.<h4>Methods</h4>Prevalence of elevated BPb (?5 µg/dL) at ages 1-2 years was calculated by year and race/ethnicity and compared to that for children in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2002-2010). Associations between elevated BPb and neurodevelopment at 1 and 3 years were assessed. Associations between ARVs (tenofovir disopropil fumarate [TDF]; atazanavir) and neurodevelopment were evaluated within BPb level (?5 vs. <5 µg/dL).<h4>Results</h4>Mean BPb in SMARTT decreased from 5.9 to 2.7 µg/dL between 1998-2014; prevalence of elevated BPb decreased from 50% to 4%. Both were consistently higher than in NHANES. Elevated BPb was associated with cognitive delay at age 3 (adjusted odds ratio: 1.64; 95% CI: 0.95, 2.90). At age 1, TDF was associated with delay only among those with elevated BPb.<h4>Conclusions</h4>PHEU children more often had elevated BPb than the general U.S. pediatric population. Exposure to environmental lead is one of several factors that may place these children at higher risk for neurodevelopmental delay.
Project description:Pediatric lead (Pb) exposure impacts cognitive function and behavior and co-exposure to manganese (Mn) may enhance neurotoxicity.To assess cognitive and behavioral function in adolescents with environmental exposure to Pb and Mn.In this cross sectional study, cognitive function and behavior were examined in healthy adolescents with environmental exposure to metals. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) and the Conners-Wells' Adolescent Self-Report Scale Long Form (CASS:L) were used to assess cognitive and behavioral function, respectively. ALAD polymorphisms rs1800435 and rs1139488 were measured as potential modifiers.We examined 299 adolescents (49.2% females) aged 11-14 years. Blood lead (BPb) averaged 1.71 ?g/dL (median 1.5, range 0.44-10.2), mean Blood Manganese (BMn) was 11.1 ?g/dL (median 10.9, range 4.00-24.1). Average total IQ was 106.3 (verbal IQ=102, performance IQ=109.3). According to a multiple regression model considering the effect of other covariates, a reduction of about 2.4 IQ points resulted from a two-fold increase of BPb. The Benchmark Level of BPb associated with a loss of 1 IQ-point (BML01) was 0.19 ?g/dL, with a lower 95% confidence limit (BMLL01) of 0.11 ?g/dL. A very weak correlation resulted between BPb and the ADHD-like behavior (Kendall's tau rank correlation=0.074, p=0.07). No influence of ALAD genotype was observed on any outcome. Manganese was not associated with cognitive and behavioral outcomes, nor was there any interaction with lead.These findings demonstrate that very low level of lead exposure has a significant negative impact on cognitive function in adolescent children. Being an essential micro-nutrient, manganese may not cause cognitive effects at these low exposure levels.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Drinking water is recognized as a source of lead (Pb) exposure. However, questions remain about the impact of chronic exposure to lead-contaminated water on internal dose.<h4>Objective</h4>Our goal was to estimate the relation between a cumulative water Pb exposure index (CWLEI) and blood Pb levels (BPb) in children 1-5 years of ages.<h4>Methods</h4>Between 10 September 2009 and 27 March 2010, individual characteristics and water consumption data were obtained from 298 children. Venous blood samples were collected (one per child) and a total of five 1-L samples of water per home were drawn from the kitchen tap. A second round of water collection was performed between 22 June 2011 and 6 September 2011 on a subsample of houses. Pb analyses used inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy. Multiple linear regressions were used to estimate the association between CWLEI and BPb.<h4>Results</h4>Each 1-unit increase in CWLEI multiplies the expected value of BPb by 1.10 (95% CI: 1.06, 1.15) after adjustment for confounders. Mean BPb was significantly higher in children in the upper third and fourth quartiles of CWLEI (0.7-1.9 and ≥ 1.9 μg/kg of body weight) compared with the first (< 0.2 μg/kg) after adjusting for confounders (19%; 95% CI: 0, 42% and 39%; 95% CI: 15, 67%, respectively). The trends analysis yielded a p-value < 0.0001 after adjusting for confounders suggesting a dose-response relationship between percentiles of CWLEI and BPb.<h4>Conclusions</h4>In children 1-5 years of age, BPb was significantly associated with water lead concentration with an increase starting at a cumulative lead exposure of ≥ 0.7 μg Pb/kg of body weight. In this age group, an increase of 1 μg/L in water lead would result in an increase of 35% of BPb after 150 days of exposure.