Publications by authors named "Gea Oliveri Conti"

83 Publications

Relationship between the miRNA Profiles and Oncogene Mutations in Non-Smoker Lung Cancer. Relevance for Lung Cancer Personalized Screenings and Treatments.

J Pers Med 2021 Mar 5;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Department of Experimental Oncology, Mediterranean Institute of Oncology (IOM), 95029 Catania, Italy.

Oncogene mutations may be drivers of the carcinogenesis process. MicroRNA (miRNA) alterations may be adaptive or pathogenic and can have consequences only when mutation in the controlled oncogenes occurs. The aim of this research was to analyze the interplay between miRNA expression and oncogene mutation. A total of 2549 miRNAs were analyzed in cancer tissue-in surrounding normal lung tissue collected from 64 non-smoking patients and in blood plasma. Mutations in 92 hotspots of 22 oncogenes were tested in the lung cancer tissue. MicroRNA alterations were related to the mutations occurring in cancer patients. Conversely, the frequency of mutation occurrence was variable and spanned from the k-ras and p53 mutation detected in 30% of patients to 20% of patients in which no mutation was detected. The prediction of survival at a 3-year follow up did not occur for mutation analysis but was, conversely, well evident for miRNA analysis highlighting a pattern of miRNA distinguishing between survivors and death in patients 3 years before this clinical onset. A signature of six lung cancer specific miRNAs occurring both in the lungs and blood was identified. The obtained results provide evidence that the analysis of both miRNA and oncogene mutations was more informative than the oncogene mutation analysis currently performed in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jpm11030182DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7999775PMC
March 2021

Venous thromboembolism in hospital emergency room. A retrospective study on climatic effect.

Environ Res 2021 Mar 16;197:110950. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Department of Medical, Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia". University of Catania, Italy.

Several cardiovascular conditions exhibit seasonality in frequency and mortality, but little is known about the seasonality of Venous ThromboEmbolism (VTE), a very relevant medical condition, and seasonal influences are still conflicting. Patients having co-morbidities, individual suffered from dyspnea, swelling, edema of lower limb, pain (chest, lower limbs) are admitted frequently to the hospital emergency room (HER), particularly. Both mark a potential risk for VTE, that can be increased also by seasonality. A four years retrospective analysis (2016-2019) was carried out in individuals and patients admitted to the HER of the Hospital of Catania (a Mediterranean city of Sicily, Italy) to evaluate the VTE frequency and its seasonal differences, common symptoms, potential usage of some common laboratory tests. Dyspnea, swelling, edema of lower limb and pain (chest, lower limbs) were considered to suspect pulmonary embolism (PE) or for deep vein thrombosis of lower limb (DVT). Platelet count, platelet volume, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein, and D-dimer were considered. VTE frequency per year was 2.9/10,000 (2016), 4.9/10,000 (2017) 3.6/10,000 (2018), and 5.1/10,000 (2019) respectively. Dyspnea was highly frequent for PE, edema and lower limb pain were frequent in DVT patients. Fibrinogen, C reactive protein, and D-dimer values were found raised in all the VTE patients. Platelet volume was found higher in DVT than PE VTE events that occurred in warm periods were modestly greater (57 VTE: 38 DVT, 19 PE) compared to cold months (52 VTE: 34 DVT, 18 PE). Our results could be explained by the increased sweating due to the high temperatures, which in turn, can affect both on plasma concentration and on hematocrit value coupled to the reduction in atmospheric pressure determining both a hyper-coagulative condition. Climate seasonal characteristics, and environmental conditions in Catania city (Sicily) may be as reasonable items in expecting on different VTE rates in warm period compared to cold. This study highlights no specific symptoms, and confirms the common lab tests for individuals and patients admitted to HER as simple and helpful tools in initiating none or mini-invasive diagnostic strategy for the VTE. Finally, the climate/seasonality coupled with latitude can have a direct influence on the incidence of DVT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.110950DOI Listing
March 2021

Chemical Characterization and Quantification of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles (TiO-NPs) in Seafood by Single-Particle ICP-MS: Assessment of Dietary Exposure.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 12 20;17(24). Epub 2020 Dec 20.

Department of Medical, Surgical and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia", University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia 87, 95123 Catania, Italy.

The significant increase in the production and variety of nanoparticles (NPs) has led to their release into the environment, especially into the marine environment. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO-NPs) are used in different industrial sectors, from the food industry to several consumer and household products. Since the aquatic environment is highly sensitive to contamination by TiO-NPs, this work aimed to give a preliminary assessment of the contamination of packaged seafood, where the food additive TiO (E171) is not to be intentionally added. This allowed providing a chemical characterization and quantification of TiO-NPs in processed canned fish products belonging to different trophic positions of the pelagic compartment and in canned clam. The new emerging technique called single-particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was applied, which allows the determination of nanoparticle number-based concentration, as well as the dissolved titanium. This study highlights how processed food, where the pigment E171 was not intentionally added, contains TiO in its nanoparticle form, as well as dissolved titanium. Processed clam represented the seafood with the highest content of TiO-NPs. In pelagic fish species, we found progressively higher levels and smaller sizes of TiO-NPs from smaller to larger fish. Our results highlight the importance of planning the characterization and quantification of TiO-NPs in food both processed and not, as well as where the pigment E171 is intentionally added and not, as it is not the only source of TiO-NPs. This result represents a solid step toward being able to estimate the real level of dietary exposure to TiO-NPs for the general population and the related health risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249547DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7766088PMC
December 2020

Time-dependent metabolic disorders induced by short-term exposure to polystyrene microplastics in the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Feb 19;209:111780. Epub 2020 Dec 19.

Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina, Viale F. Stagno d'Alcontres 31, 98166 Messina, Italy.

In the modern society, plastic has achieved a crucial status in a myriad of applications because of its favourable properties. Despite the societal benefits, plastic has become a growing global concern due to it is persistence and bioavailability as microplastics (MPs) to aquatic biota. In order to provide mechanistic insights into the early toxicity effects of MPs on aquatic invertebrates, a short-term (up to 72 h) exposure to 3 µm red polystyrene MPs (50 particles/mL) was conducted on marine mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis, selected as model organism for their ability to ingest MPs and their commercial relevance. The use of protonic Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (H NMR)-based metabolomics, combined with chemometrics, enabled a comprehensive exploration at fixed exposure time-points (T24, T48, T72) of the impact of MPs accumulated in mussel digestive glands, chosen as the major site for pollutants storage and detoxification processes. In detail, H NMR metabolic fingerprints of MP-treated mussels were clearly separated from control and grouped for experimental time-points by a Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Numerous metabolites, including amino acids, osmolytes, metabolites involved in energy metabolism, and antioxidants, participating in various metabolic pathways significantly changed over time in MP-exposed mussel digestive glands related to control, reflecting also the fluctuations in MPs accumulation and pointing out the occurrence of disorders in amino acid metabolism, osmotic equilibrium, antioxidant defense system and energy metabolism. Overall, the present work provides the first insights into the early mechanisms of toxicity of polystyrene MPs in marine invertebrates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111780DOI Listing
February 2021

Inter-Relationship between Platelet-Derived Microparticles and Oxidative Stress in Patients with Venous Thromboembolism.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2020 Dec 2;9(12). Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Department of Medical, Surgical and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia", University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia 87, 95123 Catania, Italy.

Background: Hypercoagulative conditions play a key role in venous thromboembolism (VTE). Inflammation is currently linked to VTE, but the potential role of circulating microparticles and oxidative stress (OxS) must be elucidated. The aim of this study was to evaluate platelet-derived microparticles and surrogate OxS biomarkers in patients diagnosed with VTE through a case-control study.

Methods: Platelet-derived microparticles (MPs), pro-thrombinase-induced clotting time assay (PiCT), phospholipids (PLPs), malondialdehyde (MDA), 4-hydroxynonenale (4-HNE), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARs), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and galectin-3 (Gal-3) were measured in VTE patients and in healthy controls.

Results: PLPs, 4-HNE, TBARs, and Gal-3 were higher in VTE patients compared to controls; conversely, SOD was lower. A significant non-linear regression between OxS biomarkers and the markers of platelet degranulation was found.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that OxS and platelet degranulation are concomitant pathophysiological mechanisms in VTE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox9121217DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761576PMC
December 2020

Platelet-Derived Microparticles (MPs) and Thrombin Generation Velocity in Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Results of a Case-Control Study.

Vasc Health Risk Manag 2020 26;16:489-495. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Department of Medical, Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies, G.F. Ingrassia, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.

Introduction: The role of platelets (Ps) and platelet-derived microparticles (MPs) in venous thromboembolism (VTE) is still being debated.

Methods: We measured MPs, velocity of thrombin formation (PiCT) and phospholipid generation (PLPs) in 40 patients with unprovoked deep vein thrombosis (DVT), who were compared with 40 healthy controls.

Results: MPs were higher in DVT (7.12 nM; 25th-75th percentile 5.26-9.12) than in controls (5.45 nM; 25th-75th percentile 1.67-8.96) (p = 0.19). PiCT velocity was lower in DVT (1.87 sec; 25th-75th percentile 1.75-1.93 sec) compared with controls (1.95 sec; 25th-75th percentile 1.84-2.24 sec) (p = 0.04). PLPs were higher in DVT (77.03 µg/mL; 25th-75th percentile 72.12-103.59 µg/mL) compared with controls (68.65 µg/mL, 25th-75th percentile 55.31-78.20 µg/mL) (p = 0.02).

Discussion: We hypothesize that MPs could be integrated with the lab network assay in evaluating Ps' role as an activated procoagulative condition. We encourage research on Ps and P-derived microvesicle pathways in patients with unprovoked DVT and not only in patients with cancer-induced DVT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S236286DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7705281PMC
December 2020

Prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. in water: a global systematic review and meta-analysis.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Feb 4;28(8):9498-9507. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Food Science, Faculty of Food Engineering, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.

Cryptosporidium spp., as a genus of protozoan intestinal parasites, is recognized as responsible for cryptosporidiosis. The present study was conducted to provide an overview of the prevalence of Cryptosporidium based on water. In this regard, some databases such as Scopus, PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science were screened in order to retrieve the related citations from 1 January 1983 to 10 September 2019. The pooled prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. was calculated by using a random effect model (REM) based on defined subgroups, including countries, water type, treatment conditions (treated and untreated), economic condition, World Health Organization (WHO) regions, and method of detection. In contrast, this index for treated and untreated water was 25.7% and 40.1%, respectively. Also, the overall prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. among all water types was defined as 36 (95% CI: 31.4-40.7). The rank order of prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. based on water type was wastewater (46.9%) > surface water (45.3%) > raw water (31.6%) > drinking water (25.5%) > reservoirs water (24.5%) > groundwater (18.8%) > swimming pool water (7.5%) > marine water (0.20%). Identifying the key contributing factors to Cryptosporidium spp. survival can help provide solutions at both local and global scales.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-11261-6DOI Listing
February 2021

Efficiency of Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) for Microplastic Removal: A Systematic Review.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 10 30;17(21). Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Department of Medical Sciences, Surgical and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia", University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia 87, 95123 Catania, Italy.

Plastic is widely used for human activities (food packaging, medical, technological devices, etc.) and there is a growing concern regarding the risks for environmental and human health because they have still not been fully evaluated. Particularly, microplastics (primary and secondary) are present in all environmental compartments and this poses a potential threat because of their entry into the food chain. Furthermore, microplastics can absorb numerous pollutants that can be accumulated in the human body through bioaccumulation and biomagnification processes. We carried out a systematic review using a PRISMA approach to verify the efficiency of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) for microplastic removal. The international databases (PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus) were used to find published studies on efficiency of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) for microplastic removal. The search period was between January 2010 and June 2020. Over 1000 full research papers were initially selected through the use of keywords. After that, the papers were further selected by English language, title, and abstract, and duplicate papers and non-relevant papers were eliminated according to eligibility criteria. Finally, we included 15 full research papers. In each of the 15 full research papers selected, the microplastics identified were categorized by the authors for shape, size, and type of polymers identified. The characterization of the various types of microplastics was performed by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) or Raman spectroscopy. We have observed how wastewater treatments plants located in different continents (Europe, Asia, North America) mostly use a primary and secondary type of treatment that allows one to reach a high percentage of microplastics removal from wastewater. Most of the wastewater treatments plants investigated reported a microplastics removal efficiency greater than 90%, but despite this, millions of microplastics continue to be released every day into the aquatic environment. Then, in the near future, efficient and common standardized protocols for monitoring MPs should be drawn up, as well as increasing the knowledge of sources and strategies to further reduce microplastics contamination of treated wastewater.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7663475PMC
October 2020

Spatial distribution and correlations among elements in smaller than 75 μm street dust: ecological and probabilistic health risk assessment.

Environ Geochem Health 2021 Jan 29;43(1):567-583. Epub 2020 Aug 29.

Environmental Health Engineering Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

This study aimed to investigate spatial distribution, correlations among elements and ecological and probabilistic health risk assessment in smaller than 75 μm street dust in Kerman city, Iran. Street dust samples were collected from 35 different points. Elements were detected by ICP-AES. Pollution degree was characterized through Enrichment Factor (EF), Contamination Factor (CF), Geo-accumulation Index (Igeo) and Potential Ecological Risk (PER). The health risk was assessed using the Monte Carlo simulation method. The mean values of elements were in the order of Al > Mn > Zn > Cu > V > Pb > Cr > Ni > Li > As > Co > Mo > Sb > Cd > Ag. The results of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA) showed that Al, As, Co, Li, Mn and V were possibly derived from natural sources (local soil), while traffic and mining activities were proposed as the main source of Cd, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb and Zn. The order of EF and CF mean values decreased as follows: Mn > Ag > Cu > Zn > Pb > Sb > Mo > Li > Co > V > Cd > As > Cr > Ni. In addition, 73% of Cu and 35% of Zn, Ag and Mn had significant enrichment in the street dust samples. Also, Ag and Mn were categorized in the significant and very significant pollution category. In terms of the PER index, all samples could be classified at low-risk category. Ingestion of street dust was the significant route for exposure of residents of Kerman to the elements studied. No significant ecological hazards and health risks were observed from street dust in the study area in the period of the study. The improvement in the fuels quality and development of green spaces can be suggested to control natural and anthropogenic street dust pollution sources in the Kerman city.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10653-020-00694-0DOI Listing
January 2021

Dietary habits and thyroid cancer risk: A hospital-based case-control study in Sicily (South Italy).

Food Chem Toxicol 2020 Dec 26;146:111778. Epub 2020 Sep 26.

Department of Medical, Surgical and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia", University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia, 87, 95123, Catania, Italy.

Several studies have investigated the role of diet as a risk and/or protective factor against thyroid cancer, both considering individual foods, groups of foods and dietary patterns, but the results are not consistent. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between dietary habits and thyroid cancer. Cases and controls were recruited at the University Hospital "G. Rodolico" of Catania. The dietary habits were defined through the "Lifestyle Assessment Questionnaire". The frequency of consumption of each food item was reported on a 4-level scale (never, one time a week, 2-3 times a week, every day of the week). We computed the odds ratios (ORs) of thyroid cancer and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) according to the median of control group daily intake of each food group, using multiple logistic regression models adjusted for major confounding factors. Starchy foods (OR = 1.39, 95% CI 0.83-2.32), sweets (OR = 1.39, 95% CI 0.81-2.40) and products rich in salt and fat showed a positive association with thyroid cancer risk. Conversely, an inverse association with disease risk was found for vegetables (cruciferous OR = 0.30, 95% CI 0.10-0.92, non cruciferous OR = 0.57 (0.20-1.57) milk and dairy products (OR = 0.68, 95% CI 0.40-1.13) and seafood (OR = 0.68, 95% CI 0.34-1.22). An increased risk was observed for consumption of iodized salts (OR 2.06, 95% CI 1.21-3.51), tea (OR = 1.42, 95% CI 0.84-2.41) and coca-cola (OR = 3.08, 95% CI 1.53-6.20). Finally, our results confirm the protective effect of a daily water intake of 1-2 L, but unfortunately this quantity is usually consumed by about a quarter of the sample. Dietary habits appear to modify the risk of thyroid carcinoma. A diet with a limited consumption of starchy foods, products rich in salt, fat and sugar and a higher consumption of, cruciferous/non-cruciferous vegetables, milk and dairy products and seafood could be protective towards thyroid cancer. Moreover, the water intake should be increased and the actual need to consume iodized salt should be verified for each subject/area. These results warrant further investigations and, if confirmed, they might have important public health implications for the reduction of thyroid cancer through the improvement of dietary habits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2020.111778DOI Listing
December 2020

Reply to Comment on "Environmental and Occupational Risk Factors of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Population-Based Case-Control Study".

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 09 7;17(18). Epub 2020 Sep 7.

CREAGEN-Environmental, Genetic and Nutritional Epidemiology Research Center, Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41125 Modena, Italy.

We much appreciate the positive comments and interest concerning our study on the environmental and occupational risk factors of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) [...].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186492DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7559024PMC
September 2020

The role of air pollution (PM and NO) in COVID-19 spread and lethality: A systematic review.

Environ Res 2020 Dec 24;191:110129. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Department of Medical, Surgical and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia", University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia 87, Catania, 95123, Italy.

A new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has determined a pneumonia outbreak in China (Wuhan, Hubei Province) in December 2019, called COVID-19 disease. In addition to the person-to person transmission dynamic of the novel respiratory virus, it has been recently studied the role of environmental factors in accelerate SARS-CoV-2 spread and its lethality. The time being, air pollution has been identified as the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world. It affects body's immunity, making people more vulnerable to pathogens. The hypothesis that air pollution, resulting from a combination of factors such as meteorological data, level of industrialization as well as regional topography, can acts both as a carrier of the infection and as a worsening factor of the health impact of COVID-19 disease, has been raised recently. With this review, we want to provide an update state of art relating the role of air pollution, in particular PM, PM and NO, in COVID-19 spread and lethality. The Authors, who first investigated this association, often used different research methods or not all include confounding factors whenever possible. In addition, to date incidence data are underestimated in all countries and to a lesser extent also mortality data. For this reason, the cases included in the reviewed studies cannot be considered conclusive. Although it determines important limitations for direct comparison of results, and more studies are needed to strengthen scientific evidences and support firm conclusions, major findings are consistent, highlighting the important contribution of PM and NO as triggering of the COVID-19 spread and lethality, and with a less extent also PM, although the potential effect of airborne virus exposure it has not been still demonstrated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.110129DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7444490PMC
December 2020

Safety and Effectiveness of Monochloramine Treatment for Disinfecting Hospital Water Networks.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 08 22;17(17). Epub 2020 Aug 22.

Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, Section of Public Health, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via Campi 287, 41125 Modena, Italy.

The formation of potentially carcinogenic N-nitrosamines, associated with monochloramine, requires further research due to the growing interest in using this biocide for the secondary disinfection of water in public and private buildings. The aim of our study was to evaluate the possible formation of N-nitrosamines and other toxic disinfection by-products (DBPs) in hospital hot water networks treated with monochloramine. The effectiveness of this biocide in controlling spp. contamination was also verified. For this purpose, four different monochloramine-treated networks, in terms of the duration of treatment and method of biocide injection, were investigated. Untreated hot water, municipal cold water and, limited to N-nitrosamines analysis, hot water treated with chlorine dioxide were analyzed for comparison. spp. contamination was successfully controlled without any formation of N-nitrosamines. No nitrification or formation of the regulated DBPs, such as chlorites and trihalomethanes, occurred in monochloramine-treated water networks. However, a stable formulation of hypochlorite, its frequent replacement with a fresh product, and the routine monitoring of free ammonia are recommended to ensure a proper disinfection. Our study confirms that monochloramine may be proposed as an effective and safe strategy for the continuous disinfection of building plumbing systems, preventing vulnerable individuals from being exposed to legionellae and dangerous DBPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7503937PMC
August 2020

Photodegradation of Antibiotics by Noncovalent Porphyrin-Functionalized TiO in Water for the Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance Risk Management.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 May 27;21(11). Epub 2020 May 27.

Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università degli Studi di Catania, Viale Andrea Doria, 6 95125 Catania, Italy.

Antibiotics represent essential drugs to contrast the insurgence of bacterial infections in humans and animals. Their extensive use in livestock farming, including aquaculture, has improved production performances and food safety. However, their overuse can implicate a risk of water pollution and related antimicrobial resistance. Consequently, innovative strategies for successfully removing antibiotic contaminants have to be advanced to protect human health. Among them, photodegradation TiO-driven under solar irradiation appears not only as a promising method, but also a sustainable pathway. Hence, we evaluated several composite TiO powders with HTCPP, CuTCPP, ZnTCPP, and SnT4 porphyrin for this scope in order to explore the effect of porphyrins sensitization on titanium dioxide. The synthesis was realized through a fully non-covalent functionalization in water at room conditions. The efficacy of obtained composite materials was also tested in photodegrading oxolinic acid and oxytetracycline in aqueous solution at micromolar concentrations. Under simulated solar irradiation, TiO functionalized with CuTCPP has shown encouraging results in the removal of oxytetracycline from water, by opening the way as new approaches to struggle against antibiotic's pollution and, finally, to represent a new valuable tool of public health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21113775DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7312883PMC
May 2020

Micro- and nano-plastics in edible fruit and vegetables. The first diet risks assessment for the general population.

Environ Res 2020 08 20;187:109677. Epub 2020 May 20.

Environmental and Food Hygiene Laboratory (LIAA), Department of Medical, Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies "G. F. Ingrassia", Catania University, Via Santa Sofia 87, 95123, Catania, Italy. Electronic address:

Microplastics (MPs) represent a current public health concern since toxicity has not yet fully investigated. They were found in several foods, but to the best of our knowledge, at this time no data was reported for the edible vegetables and fruits. We focused on diet exposure aiming to evaluate the number and the size (<10 μm) of MPs in the most commonly consumed vegetables and fruits, in relation to their recommended daily intake too. MPs extraction and analysis were carried out using an innovative Italian methodology and SEM-EDX, respectively. Finally, we calculated the Estimated Daily Intakes (EDIs) for adults and children for each type of vegetal and fruit. The higher median (IQR) level of MPs in fruit and vegetable samples was 223,000 (52,600-307,750) and 97,800 (72,175-130,500), respectively. In particular, apples were the most contaminated fruit samples, while carrot was the most contaminated vegetable. Conversely, the lower median (IQR) level was observed in lettuce samples 52,050 (26,375-75,425). Both vegetable and fruit samples MPs levels were characterized by wide variability. The smallest size of MPs was found in the carrot samples (1.51 μm), while the biggest ones were found in the lettuce (2.52 μm). Both vegetable and fruit samples had size of the MPs characterized by low variability. We found the highest median level of MPs in samples purchased from the "fruiter 3" (124,900 p/g) and the lowest in those purchased in "supermarket" (87,600 p/g). The median size of the MPs had overlapping dimensions in all the purchase sites, with the exception of the samples purchased at the "shop at km zero 2″ which had slightly smaller size (1.81 μm). The highest adults' (4.62 E+05) and children's (1.41 E+06) EDIs are due the ingestion of apples, instead the lowest are due to the ingestion of carrots (adults: 2.96 E+04; children: 1.15 E+05). We hypothesized that the mechanism of uptake and translocation of MPs can be the same described and reported for carbon-nanomaterials. This may be a possible translocation route of MPs by environment to vegetables permitting, so, the translocation or uptake inside of their biological systems. Based on the results obtained it is urgent important to perform toxicological and epidemiological studies to investigate for the possible effects of MPs on human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.109677DOI Listing
August 2020

Living near waterbodies as a proxy of cyanobacteria exposure and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a population based case-control study.

Environ Res 2020 07 15;186:109530. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

Department of Medical, Surgical and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia", University of Catania, Catania, Italy, Via Santa Sofia, 87, 95123; Environmental and Food Hygiene Laboratory (LIAA). Department "G.F. Ingrassia", University of Catania, Catania, Italy, Via Santa Sofia, 87, 95123.

Background: Epidemiological studies highlighted the possibility that exposure to cyanotoxins leads to the development of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Methods: We devised a population-based case-control study in two Italian populations. We used residential proximity of the residence to water bodies as a measure of possible exposure to cyanotoxins.

Results: Based on 703 newly-diagnosed ALS cases and 2737 controls, we calculated an ALS odds ratio (OR) of 1.41 (95% CI: 0.72-2.74) for current residence in the vicinity of water bodies, and a slightly lower estimate for historical residence (OR: 1.31; 95% CI: 0.57-2.99). Subjects <65 years and people living in the Northern Italy province of Modena had higher ORs, especially when historical residence was considered.

Conclusions: Overall, despite some risk of bias due to exposure misclassification and unmeasured confounding, our results appear to support the hypothesis that cyanotoxin exposure may increase ALS risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.109530DOI Listing
July 2020

Environmental and Occupational Risk Factors of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Population-Based Case-Control Study.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 04 22;17(8). Epub 2020 Apr 22.

CREAGEN-Environmental, Genetic and Nutritional Epidemiology Research Center, Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41125 Modena, Italy.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease with still unknown etiology. We aimed at investigating the association between environmental and occupational factors with ALS risk. We performed a population-based case-control study in four Italian provinces (Catania, Modena, Novara, and Reggio Emilia) by administration of tailored questionnaires to ALS cases ( = 95) and randomly selected population referents ( = 135). We estimated ALS risk by calculating the odds ratio (OR) with its 95% confidence interval (CI) using an unconditional logistic regression model. We found a positive association with disease risk for history of occupation in the agricultural sector (OR = 2.09, 95% CI 0.79-7.54), especially for longer than 10 years (OR = 2.72, 95% 1.02-7.20). Overall occupational exposure to solvents also suggested a positive association, especially for thinners (OR = 2.27, 95% CI 1.14-4.54) and paint removers (OR = 2.01, 95% CI 0.90-4.48). Both occupational and environmental exposure to electromagnetic fields show a slightly increased risk with OR = 1.69 (95% CI 0.70-4.09) and 2.41 (95% CI 1.13-5.12), respectively. Occupational but not environmental exposure to pesticides (OR = 1.22, 95% CI 0.63-2.37), particularly fungicides, and exposure to metals (OR = 4.20, 95% CI 1.88-9.38), particularly lead, mercury, and selenium, showed an imprecise but positive association. Finally, there was an indication of increased risk for living in proximity to water bodies. Despite the caution that needs to be used due to some study limitations, such as the low number of exposed subjects and the possibility of recall bias, these results suggest the potential role of some environmental and occupational factors in ALS etiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082882DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7216189PMC
April 2020

Phytoremediation potential of Arundo donax (Giant Reed) in contaminated soil by heavy metals.

Environ Res 2020 06 22;185:109427. Epub 2020 Mar 22.

Environmental and Food Laboratories (LIAA), Department of Medical Science, Surgical and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia", University of Catania, Italy.

Soil pollution from heavy metals poses a serious risk for environment and public health. Phytoremediation is an eco-friendly and cheaper alternative compared to chemical-physical techniques. We carried out in vitro tests where three microorganisms Trichoderma harzianum, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Wickerhamomyces anomalus were exposed to eight different heavy metals (one metal at a time) in order to evaluate resistance, growth and bioaccumulation capability for each metal (Ni, Cd, Cu, V, Zn, As, Pb, Hg). Taking into account the natural characteristics of T. harzianum, (resistance to environmental stress, resistance to pathogenic fungi, ability to establish symbiotic relationships with superior green plants) and the good bioaccumulation capacity for V, As, Cd, Hg, Pb shown after in vitro tests, it was chosen as a microorganism to be used in greenhouse tests. Controlled exposure tests were performed in greenhouse, where Arundo donax and mycorrhized Arundo donax with T. harzianum were exposed for 7 months at two different doses (L1 and L2) of a heavy metal mix, so as to assess whether the symbiotic association could improve the bioaccumulation capability of the superior green plant A. donax. Heavy metals were determined with ICP-MS. The average bioaccumulation percentage values of A. donax for L1 and L2 were, respectively: Ni (31%, 26%); Cd (35%, 50%); Cu (30%, 35%); As (19%, 27%); Pb (18%, 14%); Hg (42%, 45%); V (39%, 26%); Zn (23%, 9%). The average bioaccumulation percentage values of mycorrhized A. donax with T. harzianum for L1 and L2 were, respectively: Ni (27%, 38%); Cd (44%, 42%); Cu (36%, 29%); As (17%, 23%); Pb (37%, 54%); Hg (44%, 60%); V (16%, 20%); Zn (14%, 7%). A. donax showed the highest BAF (bioaccumulation factor) for Cd (0.50), Cu (0.35), As (0.27) and Hg (0.45) after exposure to L2; mycorrhized A. donax with T. harzianum showed the highest BAF for Ni (0.38), Cd (0.42), Pb (0.54) and Hg (0.60) after exposure to L2. A. donax showed the highest TF (translocation factor) values for Cd (0.28) and Hg (0.26) after exposition at L1 and L2 respectively; A. donax mycorrhized with T. harzianum showed the highest TF values for Cd (0.70), As (0.56), V (0.24), Pb (0.18) after exposition at L2, and Zn (0.30) after exposition at L1. Our study showed a good growth capability in contaminated soils and a good bioaccumulation capability of heavy metals, both for A. donax and mycorrhized A. donax with T. harzianum. Furthermore, for three metals (Ni, Pb and Hg) the bioaccumulation capability was improved by the symbiosis of T. harzianum with A. donax. So, these results proved the suitability both for A. donax and mycorrhized A. donax with T. harzianum for phytoremediation processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.109427DOI Listing
June 2020

Evaluation of dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls in fish of the Caspian Sea.

MethodsX 2020 23;7:100803. Epub 2020 Jan 23.

Non-Communicable Diseases Research Center, Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences & Health Services, Sabzevar, Iran.

Dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DL-PCBs) have toxic properties for humans. The innovation of this study was that for the first time in Iran, 12 DL-PCBs concentration in 5 fish species: , , , and , from 5 coastal areas of the Caspian Sea (125 samples), were investigated. DL-PCBs extraction was in accordance to USEPA method 1668 revision A and carry out by chromatography columns modified with silica gel. DL-PCBs concentration were measured by HRGC (Agilent 6890 Series, Agilent Technologies, USA) coupled with HRMS AutoSpec Ultima NT-HRGC/HRMS (Micromass, USA), equipped with the HP-5MS 30 m × 0.25 mm × 0.25 μm column (Agilent Technologies) and helium as carrier gas. The mean concentration of DL-PCBs in samples ranged 232 ± 16-1156 ± 14 pg/g fat, that was in accordance with the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives and European Standards. The highest concentration was in of Bandar Anzali, and lowest obtained in samples from Chalous. However, based on fish consuming and fish originating from the fishing area the health risk evaluation to estimate the potential consequences of chronic exposure to DL-PCBs for consumers is recommended and effective measure for health risk reduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2020.100803DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7000796PMC
January 2020

Clinical and Lifestyle Factors and Risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Population-Based Case-Control Study.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 01 30;17(3). Epub 2020 Jan 30.

CREAGEN-Environmental, Genetic and Nutritional Epidemiology Research Center, Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41125 Modena, Italy.

: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disease of the motor neurons. The etiology of ALS remains largely unknown, particularly with reference to the potential environmental determinants. : We performed a population-based case-control study in four provinces from both Northern and Southern Italy in order to assess non-genetic ALS risk factors by collecting through tailored questionnaires information about clinical and lifestyle factors. We estimated ALS risk by calculating odds ratio (OR) with its 95% confidence interval (CI) using unconditional logistic regression models adjusted for sex, age and educational attainment. : We recruited 230 participants (95 cases and 135 controls). We found a possible positive association of ALS risk with trauma, particularly head trauma (OR = 2.61, 95% CI 1.19-5.72), electric shock (OR = 2.09, 95% CI 0.62-7.06), and some sports, although at a competitive level only. In addition, our results suggest an increased risk for subjects reporting use of private wells for drinking water (OR = 1.38, 95% CI 0.73-2.27) and for use of herbicides during gardening (OR = 1.95, 95% CI 0.88-2.27). Conversely, there was a suggestion of an inverse association with overall fish consumption (OR = 0.27, 95% CI 0.12-0.60), but with no dose-response relation. Consumption of some dietary supplements, namely those containing amino acids and, in the Southern Italy population, vitamins and minerals such as selenium, seemed associated with a statistically imprecise increased risk. : Our results suggest a potential etiologic role a number of clinical and lifestyle factors with ALS risk. However, caution is needed due to some study limitations. These include the small sample size and the low number of exposed subjects, which affect statistical precision of risk estimates, the potential for exposure misclassification, and the uncertainties about mechanisms underpinning the possible association between these factors and disease risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030857DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7037077PMC
January 2020

Health risk assessment of heavy metals in cosmetic products sold in Iran: the Monte Carlo simulation.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Mar 29;27(7):7588-7595. Epub 2019 Dec 29.

Department of Medical Sciences, Surgical and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia"-Hygiene and Public Health, Laboratory of Environmental and Food Hygiene (LIAA), University of Catania, 95131, Catania, Italy.

Cosmetics can contain harmful compounds such as heavy metals. Several metals have a cumulative effect on the body, especially fatty tissues, and may have different health effects on the human body over the long term. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to assess the health risks of heavy metals in cosmetics in Iran. Also, in this study, Monte Carlo simulation was used to investigate uncertainties. In this study, heavy metals data of cosmetics were extracted from studies carried out at intervals 2010-2018. International and Iranian databases such as Google Scholar, Web of Science, Springer, Science Direct, PubMed, Scopus, Irandoc, Magiran, Scientific Information Database (SID), and Information Institute for Scientific (ISC) were searched for this purpose. In this study, the index of the Margin of Safety was calculated to determine the risk of human contact with metallic impurities in cosmetic products used by humans. In the selected period, 11 studies were conducted on the measurement of heavy metals in cosmetics in Iran. In these studies, cosmetics such as eye shadow, eye pencil, powder, cream, and lipstick were studied. The Margin of Safety (MoS) values calculated for different metals were higher than the established safe standard by WHO. The highest and lowest amount of systemic exposure dosage in all types of cosmetic investigated (lipstick, cream, eye pencil, face powder, and eye shadow) was related to Fe and Hg. The mean hazardous quotient (HQ) for Cd, Cr, Ni, Cu, Mn, Zn, Pb, and Hg was 1.05E-03, 1.03E-01, 7.95E-03, 2.59E-03, 1.05E-03, 4.98E-03, 7.22E-04, 1.85E-01, and 1.35E-05, respectively. The highest HQ (6.10E-01) was found for Pb, which was observed in the cream.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-07423-wDOI Listing
March 2020

Comparing dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls in most consumed fish species of the Caspian Sea.

Environ Res 2020 01 1;180:108878. Epub 2019 Nov 1.

Non-Communicable Diseases Research Center, Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences & Health Services, Sabzevar, Iran. Electronic address:

Among polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin-like PCBs (DL-PCBs) are of the most concern for human health. In this study, the levels of 12 DL-PCBs congeners were measured in 125 fish samples of the Caspian Sea, Iran. Five fish species (Oncorhynchus mykiss, Vimba vimba, Cyprinus carpio, Rutilus frisii kutum and Chelon saliens) were collected from 5 coastal cities of the Caspian Sea (25 samples per each city). Duncan's multi-scope test was used to compare the mean of DL-PCBs in different fish species and different cities. Probabilistic risk of exposure to DL-PCBs and sensitivity analysis were assessed using Monte Carlo simulation approach. The average (standard deviation) of DL-PCBs in fish samples ranged from 232 (16) to 1156 (14) pg/g lipids. The total maximum concentration was detected in Cyprinus carpio from Bandar Anzali, the minimum in Vimba vimba from Chalos. In all samples, non-carcinogenic risk of exposure to DL-PCBs was in safe level (Hazard Quotient < 1). In contrast, the lifetime cancer risk estimated for Bandar Anzali, Bandar Torkaman, and Rasht exceeded the threshold value of 1 × 10 suggested by United States Environmental Protection Agency. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the concentration of DL-PCBs and exposure frequency were the most effective parameters in increasing carcinogenic risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.108878DOI Listing
January 2020

Efficacy of different citrus essential oils to inhibit the growth and B1 aflatoxin biosynthesis of Aspergillus flavus.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2019 Oct 29;26(30):31263-31272. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Environmental and Food Hygiene Laboratories (LIAA), Department of Medical, Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia", University of Catania, via Santa Sofia 87, 95123, Catania, Italy.

Food contamination by aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), produced by mycotoxigenic strains of Aspergillus spp., causes severe medical and economic implications. Essential oils (EOs) are mixtures of eco-friendly natural volatile substances. Their ability to inhibit fungal growth has been investigated, while no data are available about their efficacy in inhibition of AFB1 biosynthesis. This study investigates the efficacy of five different citrus EOs to inhibit the growth and AFB1 synthesis of A. flavus through in vitro tests for a future application in food matrices. AFB1 detection was carried out by LC-ESI-TQD analytical approach. Lemon (Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f.), bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso), and bitter orange (Citrus aurantium L.) EOs were the most effective causing a 97.88%, 97.04%, and 96.43% reduction in mycelial growth, respectively. Sweet orange and mandarin EOs showed the lowest percentage of mycelial growth reduction. Citrus EOs showed different capacity of AFB1 inhibition (lemon > bitter orange > bergamot > sweet orange > mandarin). Our results showed a dose-dependent antifungal activity of lemon, bitter orange, and bergamot EOs which at 2% (v/v) inhibited both mycelium growth and AFB1 genesis of A. flavus. Our results show that EOs' use can be a pivotal key to recovery and reuse of citrus fruit wastes and to be used as eco-friendly fungicides for improvement of food safety. The use of EOs obtained at low cost from the residues of citric industry presents an interesting option for improving the profitability of the agriculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-06169-9DOI Listing
October 2019

Effect of particulate matter-bound metals exposure on prothrombotic biomarkers: A systematic review.

Environ Res 2019 10 2;177:108573. Epub 2019 Jul 2.

Environmental and Food Hygiene Laboratories (LIAA) - Department of Medical, Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia", Catania University, Catania, Italy. Electronic address:

Environmental pollution is an important modifiable determinant for preventing cardiovascular diseases. Acute exposure to air pollution is linked to severe adverse cardiovascular events, including venous thromboembolism risk. The adverse health effects seem to arise from blood-borne metals and transition metal components from exposure to particulate matter that, when breathed, passes through the lungs into the heart and the blood stream. Pollution affects health via mechanisms including oxidative stress and inflammation, and metals may have a detrimental effect on both the blood cells, particularly platelets, and circulation. Some evidences demonstrates atherotrombotic consequences of acute and chronic exposure to air pollution, but few studies have examined exposure effects on the prothrombotic biomarkers leading to venous thromboembolism. Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) methodology, we performed a systematic review (14 papers) of the past twelve years, focusing on the relationship between inhalable airborne metal exposures and coagulative biomarker disorders leading to lower limb venous thromboembolisms, e.g., deep vein thrombosis. Results support the hypothesis that exposure to inhalable metals, as elemental compounds in particulate matter, cause changes or activation of a number of human prothrombotic hemostatic biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.108573DOI Listing
October 2019

Physical Activity and Thyroid Cancer Risk: A Case-Control Study in Catania (South Italy).

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 04 22;16(8). Epub 2019 Apr 22.

Environmental and Food Hygiene Laboratory (LIAA), Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia", University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy.

Background: The health benefits of physical activity are well established, but the association between physical activity and thyroid cancer remains poorly understood. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between physical activity and thyroid cancer in order to determine type, frequency, and duration of exercise needed to maximize prevention.

Method: Cases, diagnosed from January 2009 to July 2018, and controls were enrolled at the University Hospital "Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele" of Catania (South Italy). Logistic regression models were used to estimate the crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals.

Results: A total of 106 cases (91.2% papillary type) and 217 controls were enrolled. Physical activity was rare in Catania (32.8%) and was not correlated to risk of total thyroid cancer (OR: 0.997; 95% CI: 0.515-1.929). Conversely, walking every day for at least 60 minutes reduced the risk of thyroid cancer (OR: 0.357; 95% CI: 0.157-0.673).

Conclusions: Our study showed that daily walking duration was associated with lower risk of thyroid cancer using a case-control study. Unfortunately, the frequency of physical activity often declines with age, particularly among the elderly, thus more research on physical activity adherence is needed to determine which approaches are most effective in promoting sustained physical activity participation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081428DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6517930PMC
April 2019

Role of Emerging Environmental Risk Factors in Thyroid Cancer: A Brief Review.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 04 2;16(7). Epub 2019 Apr 2.

Environmental and Food Hygiene Laboratories (LIAA), Department of Medical Sciences, Surgical and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia", University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy.

Environmental factors are recognized as risk factors of thyroid cancer in humans. Exposure to radiation, both from nuclear weapon or fallout or medical radiation, and to some organic and inorganic chemical toxicants represent a worldwide public health issue for their proven carcinogenicity. Halogenated compounds, such as organochlorines and pesticides, are able to disrupt thyroid function. Polychlorinated biphenyls and their metabolites and polybrominated diethyl ethers bind to thyroid, transport proteins, replace thyroxin, and disrupt thyroid function as phthalates and bisphenolates do, highly mimicking thyroid hormones. A better knowledge of environmental risks represents a very important tool for cancer prevention through true risks prevention and management. This approach is very important because of the epigenetic origin's theory of cancer. Therefore, the aim of this review was study the association between environmental agents and thyroid cancer promotion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071185DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6480006PMC
April 2019

Spatial Distribution Variation and Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Exposure to Fluoride in Ground Water Supplies: A Case Study in an Endemic Fluorosis Region of Northwest Iran.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 02 15;16(4). Epub 2019 Feb 15.

Department of Medical Sciences, Surgical and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia"⁻Hygiene and Public Health, Laboratory of Environmental and Food Hygiene (LIAA), University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy.

Prevalence of fluorosis is a worldwide public health issue, especially in the West Azerbaijan province of Iran. The aim of this study was to investigate fluoride concentration in drinking water resources within Maku city, in both the warm and cold seasons, to perform a health risk assessment. Fluoride were measured using UV-visible spectrophotometry. The spatial distribution was calculated by the software ArcGIS and Hazard Quotients (HQs) were calculated according to the US EPA method. The fluoride concentrations ranged between 0.29 to 6.68 and 0.1 to 11.4 mg/L in the cold and warm seasons, respectively. Based on this report, 30.64 and 48.15% of the samples revealed a fluoride level higher than the permissible level in the cold and warm seasons, respectively. Moreover, results showed that the HQ value in the warm season for different age groups was higher than the HQ value in the cold season. In both seasons, the non-carcinogenic risks of fluoride for the four exposed populations varied according to the order: children > teenagers > adults > infants. The HQ values for three age groups (children, teenager and adults) for both seasons were higher than 1 with a high risk of fluorosis. The results of this study, support the requests that government authorities better manage water supplies to improve health quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040564DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6406884PMC
February 2019

Healthy Design and Urban Planning Strategies, Actions, and Policy to Achieve Salutogenic Cities.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2018 11 29;15(12). Epub 2018 Nov 29.

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile Edile e Ambientale, Sapienza Università di Roma, 00184 Rome, Italy.

Starting from a previous experience carried out by the working group "Building and Environmental Hygiene" of the Italian Society of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine (SItI), the aim of the present work is to define new strategic goals for achieving a "Healthy and Salutogenic City", which will be useful to designers, local governments and public bodies, policy makers, and all professionals working at local health agencies. Ten key points have been formulated: 1. climate change and management of adverse weather events; 2. land consumption, sprawl, and shrinking cities; 3. tactical urbanism and urban resilience; 4. urban comfort, safety, and security perception; 5. strengths and weaknesses of urban green areas and infrastructures; 6. urban solid waste management; 7. housing emergencies in relation to socio-economic and environmental changes; 8. energy aspects and environmental planning at an urban scale; 9. socio-assistance and welfare network at an urban scale: importance of a rational and widespread system; and 10. new forms of living, conscious of coparticipation models and aware of sharing quality objectives. Design strategies, actions, and policies, identified to improve public health and wellbeing, underline that the connection between morphological and functional features of urban context and public health is crucial for contemporary cities and modern societies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122698DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6313765PMC
November 2018

Mortality and morbidity due to exposure to particulate matter related to drying Urmia Lake in the NW Iran.

Eur J Intern Med 2019 02 5;60:e14-e15. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of health, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2018.10.001DOI Listing
February 2019

Carcinogenic and Non-carcinogenic Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Groundwater Wells in Neyshabur Plain, Iran.

Biol Trace Elem Res 2019 Jul 17;190(1):251-261. Epub 2018 Sep 17.

Department of Environmental Health, Neyshabur University of Medical Sciences, Neyshabur, Iran.

The present work reports the As, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, and Fe concentrations of drinking water samples in Neyshabur Plain, Iran. This study aimed also to ascertain the potential consumers' health risk of heavy metal intake. Heavy metal concentrations were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. The highest and lowest average values in the analyzed water samples were observed for Fe (9.78 ± 5.61 μg/L) and As (1.30 ± 2.99 μg/L), respectively. These values were well below the limits recommended by the World Health Organization and the Iranian national standard. Heavy metal pollution index and heavy metal evaluation index were used to evaluate drinking water quality. The risk index was calculated by chronic daily intake and hazard quotient according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency approach. Heavy metal pollution index in all the samples was less than 100, indicating that it is a low-level heavy metal. The total risk of all heavy metals in the urban environment varied from 40.164 × 10 to 174.8 × 10. In this research, the maximum average of risk belonged to lead and copper with the respective values of 60.10 × 10and 33.99 × 10 from the selected wells. However, considering the toxic effect of some elements, including Pb and As, in the chronic exposure of consumers, we suggest a continuous evaluation and monitoring of drinking water resources.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12011-018-1516-6DOI Listing
July 2019