Author Interviews, Environmental Risks / 07.05.2024 Interview with: Gediminas "Gedi" Mainelis, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey What is the background for this study? What types of particles, ie where do they come from? Response: This work is a continuation of my research on nanoparticles in consumer products. We have investigated and published on the release of particles from nano-enabled consumer products, such as cosmetic powders, various sprays and clothing. In this project, we were interested in potential resuspension of particles once nano-enabled consumer sprays are used. The particles are added into consumer products to provide them certain desired properties, like antimicrobial protection, odor reduction or protection against UV (sunscreen). Once the products are used, the particles are released and we could be exposed to them. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Infections, PNAS / 14.03.2024 Interview with: Dr. Fangqun Yu PhD Senior Research Faculty Atmospheric Sciences Research Center University Albany, State University of New York   Dr. Arshad Arjunan Nair PhD Postdoctoral Associate Atmospheric Sciences Research Center University at Albany, State University of New York What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Fangqun Yu: Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia with a fatality rate of 10-25% caused by inhaling or aspirating Legionella, bacteria that thrive in built environment water systems. Those most vulnerable to this disease are male, over 50 years of age, have a history of smoking, have chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, are immunocompromised, and/or minorities. The US observed a nearly nine-fold increase in Legionnaires’ disease between 2000 and 2018, with New York State having one of the highest increases in disease rates. The reasons for the increase in incidence were unclear prior to this study. In our study, we found: (1) Declining sulfur dioxide concentrations (SO2) are strongly correlated with the increase in legionellosis cases and a physical mechanism explaining this link is proposed, (2) A geostatistical epidemiological analysis links the disease with exposure to cooling towers, and (3) Climate and weather are ruled out as factors responsible for the long-term increase in case numbers (outside of seasonal trends). (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 29.09.2023 Interview with:

Dr. Devon Payne-Sturges, DrPH, MPH, MEngr
Associate Professor
Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health
School of Public Health
University of Maryland, College Park What is the background for this study?

Response: My co-authors and I conducted this study to fill a knowledge gap and to inform the work of Project TENDR. No systematic or scoping review had examined both exposure disparities and the joint effects of combined exposures of environmental neurotoxicants and social disadvantage as they relate to disparities in neurodevelopmental outcomes specifically among children living in the U.S.

Our study is the first to summarize the evidence on 7 neurotoxicants that children in the U.S. are routinely exposed to and we examined both disparities in these exposures and disparities in the effects of those exposures on children’s brain development, cognition, and behavior by race, ethnicity, and economic status.

We reviewed over 200 independent studies spanning five decades from 1974 to 2022 on social disparities in exposure to 7 exemplar neurotoxic chemicals and pollutants, including chemical mixtures, and their relationship with disparities with neurodevelopmental outcomes among children in the U.S.


Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Environmental Risks / 22.03.2023 Interview with: Kazem Rahimi FRCP, DM, MSc, FESC Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Population Health University of Oxford Consultant cardiologist Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust What is the background for this study? Response: The prevalence of hypertension has been rising worldwide. To mitigate the burden, identifying the modifiable environmental risk factors of hypertension and developing preventive interventions constitute important public health priorities. Despite the biological plausibility of the link between road traffic noise and the risk of hypertension, the quality of relevant evidence has been low, and the role of air pollution has been uncertain. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 17.12.2021 Interview with: Jiawen Liu, PhD student Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering University of Washington What is the background for this study? Response: As previous literature has documented, racial/ethnic minority populations and lower-income populations in the US often experience higher-than-average burdens of air pollution and its associated health impacts. The disparities vary by pollutant, location, and time. In 2014, Clark et al. found higher average NO2 exposure for nonwhites than for whites and for below-poverty-level than for above-poverty-level. Clark et al. (2017) expanded research for NO2 exposure by race-ethnicity and socioeconomic status to 2000 and 2010 and found that absolute racial-ethnic disparities decreased over time while relative racial-ethnic disparities persisted.  (more…)