113 research outputs found

    Contaminación del aire y salud respiratoria en niños

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    En marzo de 2014 la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) alertaba que la contaminación del aire, que incluye contaminantes como el material particulado (siglas PM en inglés), el ozono (O3), el dióxido de nitrógeno (NO2) o el dióxido de azufre (SO2), causa anualmente 3.7 millones muertes prematuras en todo el mundo. De hecho, la contaminación del aire, en concreto el material particulado, es la primera causa ambiental de muerte y enfermedad, y la novena causa absoluta por delante del colesterol o la falta de ejercicio físico. En los últimos años varios estudios sobre los efectos agudos y crónicos de los contaminantes del aire han confirmado que el riesgo de padecer accidentes cerebrovasculares, cardiopatías, cáncer de pulmón, y enfermedades respiratorias crónicas y agudas, incluyendo el asma, incrementa a mayor exposición a estos contaminantes. Es más, parece ser que no existe un umbral de seguridad y que incluso a exposiciones muy bajas ya podría haber efectos en la salud

    Mental Health Benefits of Long-Term Exposure to Residential Green and Blue Spaces: A Systematic Review

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    Many studies conducted during the last decade suggest the mental health benefits of green and blue spaces. We aimed to systematically review the available literature on the long-term mental health benefits of residential green and blue spaces by including studies that used standardized tools or objective measures of both the exposures and the outcomes of interest. We followed the PRISMA statement guidelines for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analysis. In total 28 studies were included in the systematic review. We found limited evidence for a causal relationship between surrounding greenness and mental health in adults, whereas the evidence was inadequate in children. The evidence was also inadequate for the other exposures evaluated (access to green spaces, quality of green spaces, and blue spaces) in both adults and children. The main limitation was the limited number of studies, together with the heterogeneity regarding exposure assessment. Given the increase in mental health problems and the current rapid urbanization worldwide, results of the present systematic review should be taken into account in future urban planning. However, further research is needed to provide more consistent evidence and more detailed information on the mechanisms and the characteristics of the green and blue spaces that promote better mental health. We provide recommendations for future studies in order to provide consistent and evidence-based recommendations for policy makers

    Effects of pre and postnatal exposure to low levels of polybromodiphenyl ethers on neurodevelopment and thyroid hormone levels at 4years of age

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    There are at present very few studies of the effects of polybromodiphenyl ethers (PBDEs), used as flame retardants in consumer products, on neurodevelopment or thyroid hormone levels in humans. The present study aims to examine the association between pre and postnatal PBDE concentrations and neurodevelopment and thyroid hormone levels in children at age 4. years and isolate the effects of PBDEs from those of PCBs, DDT, DDE and HCB.A prospective birth cohort in Menorca (Spain) enrolled 482 pregnant mothers between 1997 and 1998. At 4. years, children were assessed for motor and cognitive function (McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities), attention-deficit, hyperactivity and impulsivity (ADHD-DSM-IV) and social competence (California Preschool Social Competence Scale). PBDE concentrations were measured in cord blood (N = 88) and in serum of 4. years olds (N = 244). Among all congeners analyzed only PBDE 47 was quantified in a reasonable number of samples (LOQ = 0.002. ng/ml). Exposure to PBDE 47 was analyzed as a dichotomous variable: concentrations above the LOQ (exposed) and concentrations below (referents).Scores for cognitive and motor functions were always lower in children pre and postnatally exposed to PBDE47 than in referents, but none of these associations was statistically significant (β coefficient (95%CI) of the total cognition score: -2.7 (-7.0, 1.6) for postnatal exposure, and -1.4 (-9.2, 6.5) for prenatal exposure). Postnatal exposure to PBDE 47 was statistically significantly related to an increased risk of symptoms on the attention deficit subscale of ADHD symptoms (RR (95%CI) = 1.8 (1.0, 3.2)) but not to hyperactivity symptoms. A statistically significant higher risk of poor social competence symptoms was observed as a consequence of postnatal PBDE 47 exposure (RR (95%CI) = 2.6 (1.2, 5.9)). Adjustment for other organochlorine compounds did not influence the results. Levels of thyroid hormones were not associated to PBDE exposure.This study highlights the importance of assessing the effects of PBDE exposure not just prenatally but also during the early years of life. In the light of current evidence a precautionary approach towards PBDE exposure of both mothers and children seems warranted. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd

    Urban Policies and Health In Developing Countries: The Case of Maputo (Mozambique) and Cochabamba (Bolivia)

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    Urban planning and related policies can contribute to improvement in health. Recent epidemiological and quantitative Health Impact Assessment (HIA) studies in Europe and North America suggest that a change from passive (car) to active transportation (cycling, walking) and public transport in daily life could improve health. HIA studies are still largely lacking in low and middle-income countries. We conducted a scoping study to evaluate the availability of data to conduct quantitative HIA in two cities from two low-income countries. We collected information through interviews with different local agents, from the National Institute of Statistics and by conducting field work to identify the built environment and mobility characteristics in the respective cities. Conducting a quantitative HIA in Maputo (Mozambique) is currently not possible, mainly because there is no appropriate data on mortality, road traffic accidents and physical activity of the general population. However, in Cochabamba (Bolivia) it might be possible when the mobility plan will be available (currently under development), in which data on traffic flows, mobility surveys and transport modal shares will become available. The current paper describes two examples of the opportunities and difficulties to conduct quantitative HIA in low- and middle-income countries, highlighting the limited availability of data (quantitatively and qualitatively) on transport and urban planning and health outcomes

    Health benefits of physical activity related to an urban riverside regeneration

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    The promotion of physical activity through better urban design is one pathway by which health and well-being improvements can be achieved. This study aimed to quantify health and health-related economic impacts associated with physical activity in an urban riverside park regeneration project in Barcelona, Spain. We used data from Barcelona local authorities and meta-analysis assessing physical activity and health outcomes to develop and apply the “Blue Active Tool”. We estimated park user health impacts in terms of all-cause mortality, morbidity (ischemic heart disease; ischemic stroke; type 2 diabetes; cancers of the colon and breast; and dementia), disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and health-related economic impacts. We estimated that 5753 adult users visited the riverside park daily and performed different types of physical activity (walking for leisure or to/from work, cycling, and running). Related to the physical activity conducted on the riverside park, we estimated an annual reduction of 7.3 deaths (95% CI: 5.4; 10.2), and 6.2 cases of diseases (95% CI: 2.0; 11.6). This corresponds to 11.9 DALYs (95% CI: 3.4; 20.5) and an annual health-economic impact of 23.4 million euros (95% CI: 17.2 million; 32.8 million). The urban regeneration intervention of this riverside park provides health and health-related economic benefits to the population using the infrastructure

    Temporal trends in concentrations and total serum burdens of organochlorine compounds from birth until adolescence and the role of breastfeeding

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    Introduction: The aims of the present study are to assess the temporal trends of organochlorine compounds (OCs) concentrations and total serum burdens from birth until adolescence and the influence of breastfeeding in these temporal trends. Methods: In 1997 two birth cohort studies were set up in Ribera d'Ebre (N=102) and the island of Menorca (N=482), Spain. Concentrations (ng/mL) of OCs [pentachlorobenzene (PeCB), four isomers of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (4,4'-DDT), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (4,4'-DDE) and seven polychlorobiphenyl congeners (σ7PCBs)] were measured in cord blood and at the age of 4 and 14years. The total serum burdens (ng) of these compounds were estimated based on the total blood volume (mL) of children at the different ages. We compared median concentrations and total serum burdens of these OCs at the different time-points of follow-up between children of Ribera d'Ebre and Menorca and between breastfed and non-breastfed children. Results: From birth until adolescence concentrations of all OCs drastically reduced. These reductions were mainly derived from the dilution of OCs, associated to an increase in total blood volume of children at the age of 4 and 14years. Despite the reduction in OCs concentrations, the total serum burdens of 4,4'-DDE and σ7PCBs, were higher in adolescents than at birth. Increases in OCs total serum burden occurred both in breastfed and non-breastfed children, but were significantly higher in the first. Conclusions: Even after decades of banning OCs production and use, current young generations in westernized countries are still bioaccumulating these compounds. Given the potential health effects of OCs, especial attention should be paid in the control of secondary emissions in the environment and in the control of food production and contamination. In countries with endemic malaria it is important to work towards effective alternatives to the use of DDT. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.This study was supported by grants from the Spanish Ministry of Health (FIS-97/1102, FIS 97/0588, 00/0021-2, PI061756, PS0901958 and FIS PS09/00362), the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Red INMA G03/176 and CB06/02/0041), Fundació La Caixa (97/009-00 and 00/077-00), and the Generalitat de Catalunya-CIRIT 1999SGR 00241. Finally, the authors would like to be grateful to the families in Flix and Menorca participating in the study, to the high school management team of Flix for their interest and collaboration, and to Rosa Maria Sabaté, the nurse of the health center of Flix, for her support and commitment.Peer reviewe

    A Transdisciplinary Approach to Recovering Natural and Cultural Landscape and Place Identification : A Case Study of Can Moritz Spring (Rubí, Spain)

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    Altres ajuts: Mireia Gascon holds a Miguel Servet fellowship (Grant CP19/00183) funded by Acción Estratégica de Salud-Instituto de Salud Carlos III, co-funded by the European Social Fund "Investing in your future". ISGlobal acknowledges support from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation through the "Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa 2019-2023" Program (CEX2018-000806-S), and support from the Generalitat de Catalunya through the CERCA Program.The perception of the quality of green and blue spaces can be key in the relationship between a community and its local landscape (i.e., place identification). The lack of transdisciplinary training and social-specific education of landscape architects regarding the complexity of landscape as a participative cultural artefact limits reaching the general population. Bridging this gap of landscape and place identification and evaluation by a local community was the main objective of the present case study conducted at an abandoned spring and seasonal stream area in Rubí (Spain). The "Steinitz method" of landscape evaluation was used as a participatory method to activate community members to learn about and express their visual preferences regarding this neglected landscape. Bottom-up interventions applying an "urban acupuncture" approach in the area identified as the least attractive by the residents were co-designed and combined with a top-down restoration of a nearby, existing but derelict and hidden, spring. In addition, before and after planning and implementing the intervention, we conducted surveys about the community perception, sense of belonging and use of the space. We observed that the lack of awareness of the inhabitants about this spring was an obstacle preventing the community from embracing the potential for health and wellbeing presented by the spring and adjacent landscape. Following the work, the landscape saw increasing use, and the historic spring was brought back to life as a resource to help people to improve their health and wellbeing

    Decay resistance variability of European wood species thermally modified by industrial process

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    Thermal modification is now considered as a new ecofriendly industrial wood modification process improving mainly the material decay resistance and its dimensional stability. Most industrial thermal treatment processes use convection heat transfer which induces sometimes heterogeneous treatment temperature propagation within the oven and lead to the heterogeneity in treatment efficiency. Thus, it is common that treatment is not completely effective on several stack boards, in a same batch. The aim of this paper was to study the decay resistance variability of various European wood species thermally modified. Thermal modifications were performed around 240°C during 4h, on about 10 m3 of 27 x 152 x 2000 mm3 wood planks placed in an industrial oven having a volume of 20 m3, on the following wood species: spruce, ash, beech and poplar. All of the tests concerning the decay resistance were carried out in the laboratory using untreated beech and pine woods as reference materials. An agar block test was used to determine the resistance of thermally modified woods, leached beforehand according to EN 84 standard or not, to brown-rot and white-rot fungi, according to XP CEN/TS 15083-1. A large selection of treated wood samples was tested in order to estimate the variability of treatment efficiency. Thermal treatment increased the biological durability of all leached and un-leached modified wood samples, compared with native wood species. The treatment temperature of 240°C used in this study is sufficient to reach durability classes ''durable'' or ''very durable'' for the four wood species. However, the dispersion of weight loss values, due to the fungal attacks was very important and showed a large variability of the durability of wood which has been treated in a single batch. These results showed that there is a substantial need to develop process control and² indicator in order to insure that the quality of treated timber is properly evaluated with a view to putting this modified timber on the market under a chain of custody. (Résumé d'auteur

    Urban and Transport Planning Related Exposures and Mortality: A Health Impact Assessment for Cities

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    BACKGROUND: By 2050, almost 70% of people globally are projected to live in urban areas. As the environments we inhabit affect our health, urban and transport designs that promote healthy living are needed. OBJECTIVE: We estimated the number of premature deaths preventable under compliance with international exposure recommendations for physical activity (PA), air pollution, noise, heat, and access to green spaces. METHODS: We developed and applied the Urban and TranspOrt Planning Health Impact Assessment (UTOPHIA) tool to Barcelona. Exposure estimates and mortality data were available for 1357361 residents. We compared recommended with current exposure levels. We quantified the associations between exposures and mortality and calculated population attributable fractions to estimate the number of premature deaths preventable. We also modeled life-expectancy and economic impacts. RESULTS: We estimated that annually almost 20% of mortality could be prevented if international recommendations for performance of PA, exposure to air pollution, noise, heat, and access to green space were complied with. Estimations showed that the biggest share in preventable deaths was attributable to increases in PA, followed by exposure reductions in air pollution, traffic noise and heat. Access to green spaces had smaller effects on mortality. Compliance was estimated to increase the average life expectancy by 360 (95% CI: 219, 493) days and result in economic savings of 9.3 (95% CI: 4.9; 13.2) billion euro per year. CONCLUSIONS: PA factors and environmental exposures can be modified by changes in urban and transport planning. We emphasize the need for (1) the reduction of motorized traffic through the promotion of active and public transport and (2) the provision of green infrastructure, which are both suggested to provide PA opportunities and mitigation of air pollution, noise, and heat
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