Medicine & Health Sciences

Everyday Environmental Toxins
Children’s Exposure Risks

Editor: Areej Hassan, MD, MPH

Everyday Environmental Toxins

Published. Available now.
Pub Date: March 2015
Hardback Price: $149.95 US
Hard ISBN: 9781771881012
E-Book ISBN: 978-1-4987-1815-8
Pages: 352 pp+index
Binding Type: hardback

“In recent years more and more attention has been drawn to the deleterious effects of the environmental factors on the child’s health starting in utero, such as the effect on the fetus by smoking or infections during pregnancy and by postnatal smoking or gases on the development of asthma, lead poisoning, and of agricultural pesticides and polycontaminated diphenyl ethers on the neuro-development. These and others are clearly described in this book. . . . Of interest to all pediatricians.”
Pediatric Endocrinology Reviews (PER), June 2016

“Hassan (an attending physician at Boston Children's Hospital) has put together a book on an important and timely topic. Children are more susceptible to environmental pollutants than are adults: children’s organ systems are still developing, their metabolic rates are faster, and they are prone to instinctive behavior that makes them vulnerable. . . .The three introductory essays and the concluding essay provide excellent overviews of the situation and should be useful for readers who wish to learn more about current knowledge regarding children’s exposure. The 14th (and penultimate) essay, "Uncertain Inheritance," is particularly relevant because it describes how exposure to environmental toxins can continue to occur in the children of those originally exposed, even three generations later. The balance of the book consists of multi-authored research reports dealing with the effects of, respectively, second-hand tobacco smoke, "ambient and household" pollutants, lead, and persistent food and agriculture toxins. These essays will be accessible to and useful for advanced students and researchers in this field. Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals, including technical school students.”
—H. E. Pence, emeritus, SUNY College at Oneonta, in CHOICE, A publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries

This title includes a number of Open Access chapters.

This collection of timely chapters presents a nuanced study of environmental toxins and the risks they pose to children’s development. The book details the impact of a number of commonplace environmental toxins, focusing on everyday exposure to tobacco smoke, lead, pesticides, and flame retardants. There is growing recognition that the impact of the environment on children’s health is of critical importance for both current and future generations. In the last half-century, thousands of chemicals have been introduced into the environment with limited—although growing—research on the consequences of exposure. It has been proven that children and adolescents are far more vulnerable than adults to these environmental toxins by virtue of children’s behaviors, higher metabolic rate, greater skin area relative to their volume, and still developing organ systems. Increased number of ear infections, poor asthma control, and learning disabilities are just some of the adverse outcomes that have been noted.

This well-researched book
  • Presents detailed information on why children are more vulnerable to everyday toxins
  • Discusses why new approaches to medical care are necessary that take into account children's unique physiology and development
  • Offers well-defined research on tobacco smoking on prenatal development as well as children’s exposure to tobacco smoke during their early years, particularly the evidence of asthma and asthma-like symptoms
  • Examines the possible health effects of children born to mothers living in areas of natural gas development
  • Looks at the health effects of childhood exposure to environmental lead, using GIS technology to study areas of potentially high lead concentrations
  • Discusses the possible effects of agricultural pesticides on children’s health during gestation
  • Presents studies on prenatal and adolescent exposure to PBDEs used as flame retardants in many household and commercial products to prevent fire
This valuable book, edited by a pediatric clinician at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, provides a wealth of information on this important issue. The book concludes with an article by the World Health Organization, which offers a practical and comprehensive summary of a series of action steps. The book aims to create greater awareness to spur additional research, provide vital information to clinicians, and send a powerful message to government officials, putting pressure on them to develop policies that improve the quality of the environment and spare children the detrimental effects of such exposures.

Part I: Introduction
1. Children Are Not Little Adults (Excerpt from Children’s Health and the Environment: A Global Perspective)
P. J. Landrigan and A. Garg
2. Windows of Susceptibility to Environmental Exposures in Children (Excerpt from Children’s Health and the Environment: A Global Perspective)
S. G. Selevan, C. A. Kimmel, and P. Mendola
3. Developmental Milestones in Children’s Environmental Health
Ruth A. Etzel

Part II: Exposure to Tobacco Smoke
4. Prenatal Tobacco Smoke Exposure Is Associated with Childhood DNA CpG Methylation
Carrie V. Breton, Kimberly D. Siegmund, Bonnie R. Joubert, Xinhui Wang, Weiliang Qui, Vincent Carey, Wenche Nystad, Siri E. Håberg, Carole Ober, Dan Nicolae, Kathleen C. Barnes, Fernando Martinez, Andy Liu, Robert Lemanske, Robert Strunk, Scott Weiss, Stephanie London, Frank Gilliland, and Benjamin Raby
5. Evaluation of Systematic Assessment of Asthma-Like Symptoms and Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Early Childhood by Well-Child Professionals: A Randomized Trial
Esther Hafkamp-de Groen, Ralf J. P. van der Valk, Ashna D. Mohangoo, Johannes C. van der Wouden, Liesbeth Duijts, Vincent W. Jaddoe, Albert Hofman, Harry J. de Koning, Johan C. de Jongste, and Hein Raat

Part III: Ambient and Household Exposures
6. Prenatal Exposure to Persistent Organochlorines and Childhood Obesity in the U.S. Collaborative Perinatal Project
Lea A. Cupul-Uicab, Mark A. Klebanoff, John W. Brock, and Matthew P. Longnecker
7. Birth Outcomes and Maternal Residential Proximity to Natural Gas Development in Rural Colorado
Lisa M. McKenzie, Ruixin Guo, Roxana Z. Witter, David A. Savitz, Lee S. Newman, and John L. Adgate

Part IV: Lead Exposure
8. Exploring Childhood Lead Exposure through GIS: A Review of the Recent Literature
Cem Akkus and Esra Ozdenerol
9. Linking Source and Effect: Resuspended Soil Lead, Air Lead, and Children’s Blood Lead Levels in Detroit, Michigan
Sammy Zahran, Mark A. S. Laidlaw, Shawn P. McElmurry, Gabriel M. Filippelli, and Mark Taylor

Part V: Food and Agriculture Exposures
10. Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides: The CHARGE Study
Janie F. Shelton, Estella M. Geraghty, Daniel J. Tancredi, Lora D. Delwiche, Rebecca J. Schmidt, Beate Ritz, Robin L. Hansen, and Irva Hertz-Picciotto
11. Seven-Year Neurodevelopmental Scores and Prenatal Exposure to Chlorpyrifos, a Common Agricultural Pesticide
Virginia Rauh, Srikesh Arunajadai, Megan Horton, Frederica Perera, Lori Hoepner, Dana B. Barr, and Robin Whyatt

Part VI: Flame Retardants
12. Prenatal Exposure to PBDEs and Neurodevelopment
Julie B. Herbstman, Andreas Sjödin, Matthew Kurzon, Sally A. Lederman, Richard S. Jones, Virginia Rauh, Larry L. Needham, Deliang Tang, Megan Niedzwiecki, Richard Y. Wang, and Frederica Perera
13. Neurobehavioral Function and Low-Level Exposure to Brominated Flame Retardants in Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Study
Michał Kiciński, Mineke K. Viaene, Elly Den Hond, Greet Schoeters, Adrian Covaci,Alin C. Dirtu, Vera Nelen, Liesbeth Bruckers, Kim Croes, Isabelle Sioen, Willy Baeyens, Nicolas Van Larebeke, and Tim S. Nawrot

Part VII: Looking Toward the Future
14. Uncertain Inheritance: Transgenerational Effects of Environmental Exposures
Charles W. Schmidt
15. Taking Action to Protect Children from Environmental Hazards (Excerpt from Children’s Health and the Environment: A Global Perspective)
S. Boese-O’Reilly and M. K. E. Shimkin

About the Authors / Editors:
Editor: Areej Hassan, MD, MPH
Attending Physician, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Areej Hassan MD, MPH, is an attending physician at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. She completed her pediatric residency at Hasbro Children’s Hospital,, Providence, Rhode Island, prior to training in adolescent medicine at Boston Children’s. In addition to primary care, Dr. Hassan focuses her clinical interests on reproductive endocrinology and international health. She also maintains an active role in medical education and has particular interest in building and developing innovative teaching tools through open educational resources. She currently teaches, consults, and is involved in pediatric and adolescent curricula development at multiple sites abroad in Central America and Southeast Asia.

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