Navigation Links
Deadly effects of certain kinds of household air pollution lead to call for biomarker studies
Date:4/1/2013

BETHESDA, Md. (April 1, 2013)Almost four million people die each year from household air pollution (HAP) caused by exposure to the combustion of biomass fuels (wood, charcoal, crop residues, and dung), kerosene, or coal. These individuals are among the tens of millions who rely on such products to cook their meals, heat their rooms, and light their homes. Those in lower and middle income countries are among the hardest hit by the effects of HAP exposure, which also causes childhood respiratory infection, chronic lung disease, and cardiovascular disease. Exposure to biomass fuel is associated with low birth weight, asthma, and tuberculosis.

Given these effects, the large populations at risk, and a growing global interest in lower-cost energy sources, researchers from three continents have published a comprehensive overview of the current approaches to HAP assessments, the aims of biomarker development, and the state of development of tests which have the potential for rapid transition from the lab bench to field use. Their findings are addressed in the article, "Household air pollution: a call for studies into biomarkers of exposure and predictors of respiratory disease," which is published online by the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology.

The effort is being led by William J. Martin II, MD, Associate Director for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The team is also comprised of Jamie Rylance, BM BS BMedSci MRCPTM&H, and Stephen Gordon, MA MD FRCP DTM&H, Professor and Chair in Respiratory Medicine, both from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom; Luke P. Naeher, PhD and Olorunfemi Adetona, PhD, both from the University of Georgia, College of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Athens, Ga.; Archana Patel, IMD, DNB, MSCEs, Professor and Head of the Department of Pediatrics, Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, Nagpur, India; John R. Balmes, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, Ca.; and Derek K. Rogalsky, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.

Current approaches to HAP assessment, challenges

The researchers found that current HAP assessment tools include direct quantitative measurement of products of incomplete combustion, as well as qualitative methods (including use of questionnaires or the categorization of HAP exposure by type). However, direct exposure assessments via personal monitoring are problematic due to the size, portability and recording capacity of equipment, and acceptability to the user.

Despite the new devices currently being field tested and scaled up for commercial use to address these concerns, specific particulate measurement alone cannot differentiate between the multiple sources of pollution such as mixtures of HAP, tobacco smoke, and outdoor pollution. "The grand challenge to the research community is to produce simple and validated tests that better identify populations that are at risk from HAP, and individual responses to exposure reduction strategies," according to Dr. Martin.

The researchers also found that current HAP exposure measurement methods are expensive, technically challenging, difficult to use with large population studies, and have substantial limitations, making an urgent case for the development of biomarkers of both exposure and health effects. These findings have led to their call for studies into biomarkers of exposure and predictors of respiratory disease.

Martin and his colleagues note that further development of biomarkers of susceptibility and effect could facilitate large scale studies examining the impact of HAP on health and disease in human populations. In the end, new biomarkers would: (a) improve epidemiological accuracy in association studies with health effect; (b) reduce the cost and complexity of monitoring intervention studies; (c) provide data for educating the public and policymakers about risk; and (d) inform clinicians and the public health community about human environmental exposures that are not well characterized.

Conclusion

China uses more coal than any other nation to meet the energy needs of its one billion citizens. In India, 55 percent of electrical power was generated by coal last year, and as austerity measures in Europe grow stronger, coal is becoming an attractive alternative to natural gas. But the more affordable option could also prove to be the more harmful, and potentially add to the illness and death tolls already linked to HAP exposure.

Martin and his colleagues have put together a comprehensive overview of the dangers posed by biomass fuels and the research gaps in assessing HAP threats. The article is a "must read" for anyone interested in public health.


'/>"/>

Contact: Donna Krupa
dkrupa@the-asp.org
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Biologists explore link between amphibian behavior and deadly disease
2. Newly identified natural protein blocks HIV, other deadly viruses
3. USDA grant advancing deadly plant disease, insect research
4. Vitamin D holds promise in battling a deadly breast cancer, Saint Louis University researchers say
5. Better approach to treating deadly melanoma identified by scientists
6. A drug used to treat HIV might defuse deadly staph infections
7. UGA researchers find algal ancestor is key to how deadly pathogens proliferate
8. Are we closer to understanding the cause of deadly sepsis?
9. Did wild birds cause the 2010 deadly West Nile virus outbreak in Greece?
10. HJF works with global team to develop equine vaccine against deadly hendra virus
11. Did a forgotten meteor have a deadly, icy double-punch?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017  EyeLock LLC, a leader ... its elite iris biometric solution on the latest ... LTE at Mobile World Congress 2017 (February ... Booth in Hall 3, Stand 3E10. ... Qualcomm Haven™ security platform—a combination of hardware, ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... research, today announced that it has received Laboratory ... The CAP Accreditation is presented to laboratories that ... and who demonstrate scientifically rigorous processes. ... of excellence in laboratory practices. We,re honored to ...
(Date:2/10/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... and Commercial Aspects" to their offering. ... Biomarkers play an ... for selection of treatment as well for monitoring the results. ... in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray technologies and next generation sequencing are ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017  BioPharmX Corporation (NYSE MKT: BPMX), ... dermatology market, today reported financial results for the ... will provide an update on the company,s clinical ... "We are pleased to report that last ... said President Anja Krammer. "We achieved key clinical ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... YORK , March 23, 2017 ... ... of death, putting significant strain on health care systems, in ... cancer diagnoses rises, so too does the development of innovative ... minimum side effects. Among the many types of cancer treatments, ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... NEW YORK , March 23, 2017 ... closer look at four equities in the Biotech industry: ... EYEG), Synthetic Biologics Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), and Regulus ... March 21 st , 2017, Credit Suisse upgraded its rating ... stocks by downloading their free report at: ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Mass. (PRWEB) , ... March 22, 2017 , ... ... scale up human tissue regeneration from small lab samples to full-size tissues, bones, ... how to establish a vascular system that delivers blood deep into the developing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: