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Correction of x-axes legends of Figure 2 (Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, 04 May 2014)

For Figure 2, we used the natural logarithm (ln) of NO2. Therefore, the x-axes legends should read: ln NO2 (ug/m3). read full comment

Comment on: Raaschou-Nielsen et al. Environmental Health, 11:60

Commentary (Ake Bergman, 12 October 2013)

Co-signatories who indicate support for the Commentary: Science and policy on endocrine disrupters must not be mixed: a reply to a common sense - intervention by toxicology journal editors; published in Environmental Health 2013... read full comment

Comment on: Bergman et al. Environmental Health, 12:69

Revision (Koenraad Mariën, 08 January 2013)

The authors have revised the author contributions to read: TH proposed the collection of toenails to permit the chronological comparison for Hg in toenail and head hair, conducted the toenail-Hg and hair-Hg analyses, and provided the Supplemental Material. AT was a significant contributor to almost all aspects of this project involving the Korean and Japanese populations. AMIBS would not have been as successful without her. AS aided in writing the manuscript. TMB contributed significantly to study design and data interpretation. EM aided in the writing of the manuscript and contributed to the acquisition of the data. All authors contributed substantially to the discussion of the data and their analyses, and provided editorial comments to the draft manuscript. read full comment

Comment on: Hinners et al. Environmental Health, 11:81

Errata (Paola Pisani, 09 October 2012)

The trial of early detection of cervix cancer, reference (8), was conducted in Osmanabad district of Maharashtra state, India, not Kerala as stated in the text on page 3. Apologises to the investigators and participants in the study. read full comment

Comment on: Pisani Environmental Health, 10:S2

Co-signatories for White Paper (Philippe Grandjean, 09 October 2012)

Co-signatories who indicate support for the White Paper on Developmental Origins of Non-Communicable Disease: Implications for Research and Public... read full comment

Comment on: Barouki et al. Environmental Health, 11:42

Response (Athena Linos, 05 June 2012)

Gunther Craun questions the validity of our study ¿Oral ingestion of hexavalent chromium through drinking water and cancer mortality in an industrial area of Greece - An ecological study¿ and subsequently questions the causality of the observed association between oral exposure to hexavalent chromium and cancer. He also suggests that our study should not be used for regulatory purposes. We respond to his concerns on the study below, but also consider the relevance of the precautionary principle in making a regulatory decision on matters such as this. Indeed, we believe that given the strong biological plausibility of this association and because the outcome, cancer, is of serious public health concern, our study offers important information and sufficient evidence to call for immediate... read full comment

Comment on: Linos et al. Environmental Health, 10:50

Ecological bias? (Gunther Craun, 05 June 2012)

We find the ecological study of Linos et al. of interest but disagree that the finding ¿supports the hypothesis of hexavalent chromium (Cr+6) carcinogenicity via the oral ingestion pathway of exposure.¿ Potential confounding by personal or occupational exposures coupled with poorly defined Cr+6 ingestion exposures raise serious concerns about the validity of the hypothesized association. In ecological studies such as this, where the population group is the unit of observation for exposure and outcome, it is also important to consider ecological bias--the failure of the reported association to reflect an association at the individual level.... read full comment

Comment on: Linos et al. Environmental Health, 10:50

Response to comment by Dr. Wilson (Maitreyi Mazumdar, 25 May 2012)

We agree with Dr. Wilson that the small sample size of our study limits the conclusions that can be drawn regarding associations between childhood blood lead concentrations and intellectual function in adulthood. In fact, we decided not to present results of models with multiple covariates because we believed our sample did not have sufficient power to justify the use of multivariate regression. We did, however, want to present data regarding potential confounders in this study that would be relevant to future studies with a larger number of participants. Thus, of the covariates we thought might be important, we sought to determine which ones affected the association between blood lead concentration and Full Scale IQ. We present that analysis in detail in Table 3. Maternal IQ was not... read full comment

Comment on: Mazumdar et al. Environmental Health, 10:24

Low-level environmental lead exposure in childhood and adult intellectual function: a follow-up study (Ian Wilson, 25 May 2012)

The paper by Mazumdar et al. [1] does little for the credibility of prospective health studies. It lacks accuracy and produces questionable conclusions. The report is based on 43 of the 249 individuals who were originally selected from 9489 births at a Boston hospital between 1979 and 1981. The authors indicate that their sample is too small to construct a model to test the significance of the potential confounding factors. As a result the conclusions are based on simple linear regressions between IQ and blood lead levels. Therefore, the statement that 'All analyses included prespecified covariates ¿' is not accurate. This is confirmed by a later statement that their models 'do not control for the effects of confounders.' Other minor errors include a statement that the maximal blood... read full comment

Comment on: Mazumdar et al. Environmental Health, 10:24

Comments on Toxic marine microalgae and shellfish poisoning in the British isles: history, review of epidemiology, and future implications (Stephanie Hinder, 13 April 2012)

Re: Toxic marine microalgae and shellfish poisoning in the British isles: history, review of epidemiology, and future... read full comment

Comment on: Hinder et al. Environmental Health, 10:54

Authors' Response by Lisa G. Gallagher, Veronica M. Vieira, David M. Ozonoff, Thomas F. Webster and Ann Aschengrau (Ann Aschengrau, 10 November 2011)

Dr. Bukowski, writing at the request of the Halogenated Solvents Industry Association (HSIA), calls into question our results on the grounds that they conflict with occupational studies he alleges show no increased risk of breast cancer at much higher PCE exposures. We understand why the HSIA would want to weigh in on this question because it might suggest that their product, PCE, which is in widespread use and causes extensive exposure in the occupational and general community environment, is an unreasonably dangerous product. Given the size of the exposed population, even relatively small risks could result in an unacceptable breast cancer burden on... read full comment

Comment on: Gallagher et al. Environmental Health, 10:47

Comment on the paper by Gallagher et al.: Risk of breast cancer following exposure to tetrachloroethylene-contaminated drinking water in Cape Cod, Massachusetts: reanalysis of a case-control study using a modified exposure assessment. (John Bukowski, 19 October 2011)

In this most recent iteration of the Cape Cod perchloroethylene (PCE) study, Gallagher et al. [1] have attempted to improve the exposure assessment used in the previous breast cancer articles [2,3]. However, these authors are still left with the same problem, trying to tease out relatively weak effects from residential exposure, when much higher occupational and laboratory exposures have failed to demonstrate them.... read full comment

Comment on: Gallagher et al. Environmental Health, 10:47

Estimation of dispersion parameter sigma (Christian Schindler, 18 March 2011)

In section 5.4, describing the estimation of the dispersion parameter sigma_d it should be written "until a maximum of the likelihood function is reached". read full comment

Comment on: Hazenkamp-von Arx et al. Environmental Health, 10:13

Comment on the paper by Dufault et al.: Mercury in foods containing high-fructose corn syrup in Canada (Karen Rideout, 21 July 2010)

In January 2009, contemporaneously with the Dufault et al. paper in Environmental Health [1], the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), a non-profit organization focusing on food, agriculture, and trade, released a report of its own examining the mercury content of foods (such as sodas, syrups, and jams) containing high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Dufault et al. [1] tested 20 samples of HFCS from three manufacturers. Nine had detectable levels of mercury (≥0.005 µg/g), ranging from 12,000 to 570,000 ppt (0.012 to 0.570 µg/g) HFCS. Based on these results, the average daily exposure to mercury from HFCS could be 0 to 28.4 µg, about the same as that from dental amalgam [1]. This level of intake is potentially above the provisional tolerable weekly... read full comment

Comment on: Dufault et al. Environmental Health, 8:2

Authors' response (Conor Reynolds, 09 February 2010)

It could be said that a gauge of an issue's importance is the passion it inspires, and the safety of cyclists is certainly an issue that people are passionate about. However, passions can be obstacles to collegial discourse. Our review was an attempt to conduct an objective review of the scientific, evidence-based literature on the influence of infrastructure on cycling safety. An important function of a review paper is to compile the relevant literature, so that everyone can use the list to locate and examine original sources. Readers can then evaluate the conclusions of the review paper, based on their own interpretation of the empirical evidence. We trust that interested readers will do just that, as Forester has done.

We have done our best to ensure that this literature... read full comment

Comment on: Reynolds et al. Environmental Health, 8:47

But isn't the survey rather incomplete? (J Thorne, 09 February 2010)

Perhaps we could have a response to the most obvious source of a negative review of the column.

I tend to agree that the omission of the Copenhagen studies of before-and-after infrastructure installation tends to reduce the credibility of the paper and that there is some confusion regarding just what is considered "vehicular cycling."
read full comment

Comment on: Reynolds et al. Environmental Health, 8:47

Healthy Worker Effect among ex-asbestos workers: A prevalence study (V Murlidhar, 01 December 2009)

Healthy Worker Effect among ex-asbestos workers: A prevalence study
V Murlidhar
Occupational Health and Safety Centre, Mumbai, India.
6, Neelkant apts, Gokuldas Pasta Road, Dadar (E),
Mumbai, 400014. India.
www.ohscmumbai.com



The study identified those suffering from Asbestosis (parenchymal and pleural non-malignant disease) among the permanent workers of the Hindustan Composites Factory [1]. The prevalence rate of Asbestosis in study was 23%, which was less than the expected prevalence among workers exposed to asbestos for more than 20 years[1].The primary reason suggested for the lower prevalence was the “healthy worker effect”. Many affected workers had been forced to leave the company or to take voluntary... read full comment

Comment on: Murlidhar et al. Environmental Health, 4:24

Authors' response to Morten Lange's comments (Conor Reynolds, 01 December 2009)

We thank Morten Lange for his comprehensive and thoughtful comments about our literature review. We are pleased that the article is of interest to the wider community of cycling advocates as well as academics who study cycling safety. The points made by Mr. Lange offer valuable insights into the challenges of increasing cycling rates, and the need to promote bicycling because it has a low-impact on the environment and is a sustainable mode of transportation. In general, and as the title so-alludes, we chose to constrain the scope of our literature review to topics directly related to the influence of physical infrastructure in the built environment, rather than expand it to include detailed discussion about regulation (e.g. pros and cons of helmet legislation), or cyclist education (e.g.... read full comment

Comment on: Reynolds et al. Environmental Health, 8:47

Some caveats: Relative risk, Perceived risk,Helmet efficiency, Training (Morten Lange, 01 December 2009)

Thanks to the authors for carrying out such a large review of the research literature on roads/facilities and cycling safety, and bringing forth some of the multitude of arguments for increased cycling for transport.

I have several caveats though, many of which are shared with many that have put some long-term effort into understanding the issues and myths around cycling for transport. As such they should be known to the authors, as this is mostly readily available to those interested. This time around I'll mention them rather summarily :

A. This article is not primarily of academic interest, rather the connection to key concerns in society is spelled out in the article, and the authors seem to hope to bring an important piece to a puzzle helping... read full comment

Comment on: Reynolds et al. Environmental Health, 8:47

Biphasic model for chromosome aberrations in barley seeds (Alfred Koerblein, 17 March 2009)

Dear Dr Dropkin

I used your biphasic model ERR~f(dose,beta,sigma,tau) for chromosome aberrations in barley seeds (see Geras'kin SA, Oudalova AA, Kim JK, Dikarev VG, Dikareva NS. Cytogenetic effect of low dose gamma-radiation in Hordeum vulgare seedlings:
non-linear dose-effect relationship. Radiat Environ Biophys. 2007 Mar;46(1):31-41.) Your model fits these data perfectly well. I determine a value of R of 8.4.
If you are interested in my analysis just contact me (alfred.koerblein@gmx.de).

Best regards,
Alfred Koerblein
read full comment

Comment on: Dropkin Environmental Health, 6:1

Response to Chlorine Institute's Comments (Renee Dufault, 11 February 2009)

RESPONSE TO CHLORINE INSTITUTE’S COMMENTS

We also share the public’s concern about the safety of our food supply. The order of preference for using chlor-alkali chemicals in HFCS manufacturing was provided by the manager of a high fructose corn syrup plant and stated as 1) mercury cell and then 2) membrane grade. The reason given for the preference stated was that mercury cell caustic enhances “product shelf life.”

A literature review of the uptake of mercury by the corn plant indicated that corn has very low levels of mercury even in soils with elevated mercury caused by sludge application (1, 2, 4, 5, 6). After the steeping step in the HFCS manufacturing process, the de-germing process separates the germ from the endosperm (3). The germ... read full comment

Comment on: Dufault et al. Environmental Health, 8:2

Letter to the Editors Re: Dufault et al. in Environmental Health (2009) 8:2 (Arthur Dungan, 11 February 2009)

February 9, 2009

To the Editors:

While we share public concern about the safety of our food supply, we believe that you did a vast disservice to your readers and the chlor-alkali industry by publishing an article [Dufault et al. in Environmental Health (2009) 8:2] that, without any scientific evidence whatsoever, claims that chlor-alkali plants are the source of the mercury they found in samples of high fructose corn syrup and other food products. The report, “Mercury from chlor-alkali plants: measured concentrations in food product sugar,” carries nothing more than unsubstantiated, unwarranted speculation concerning a purported relationship between such plants and mercury in foods.

While the study raises important questions regarding... read full comment

Comment on: Dufault et al. Environmental Health, 8:2

Response to Dr Joffe's coments (Luc Multigner, 08 August 2008)

We thank Dr Joffe for his comments, with which we largely agree. We have stressed in our publication that the comparative physiology, nature of exposure, development stage at exposure, and a number of ecological factors are of course different between human and rat. These differences must be considered when interpreting wild animals as sentinel species for human health risks. Our study, we feel, makes that abundantly clear, being essentially a prototype in advance of more detailed investigations to come. Concerning testicular cancer, our references to this topic and to the apparent decline in semen quality were made to situate our work in a more general context for readers interested in human reproductive health. We also agree with Dr Joffe that although the influence of substances with... read full comment

Comment on: Multigner et al. Environmental Health, 7:40

Sentinel species for male reproductive disorders (Michael Joffe, 08 August 2008)

Dear Sir Multigner et al. are to be congratulated on their pioneering study on male reproductive parameters both in rats and in humans, comparing those highly exposed to pesticides in a banana plantation with those who are not highly exposed [1]. Their intention to investigate how well rats perform as sentinel indicators for humans is important. However, their findings cannot be taken at face value, because the two species are not comparable in respect of the developmental stage at which they were exposed to pesticides. One cannot be certain, but it appears that the men were exposed only as adults, whereas it is clear that the rats had been highly exposed at all stages of development as they were conceived in the banana plantation and grew up there. As it is highly likely that the male... read full comment

Comment on: Multigner et al. Environmental Health, 7:40

Article nicely captures the frustrations of policy advice in New Zealand (Ralph Chapman, 09 April 2008)

Wilson and Horrocks have nicely captured many frustrating features of policy advice in contentious policy areas, such as environmental health, within the New Zealand policy advisory environment. I myself worked within policy advice in the New Zealand public sector for around 20 years, and often noted the sort of behaviours that Wilson and Horrocks point to, such as industry lobbying on policy matters, poor technical advice by some senior policy advisers who should have known better, and ideological decisions by Ministers based on selective reading of the evidence. Wilson and Horrocks have done a nice job illuminating these in this case study. read full comment

Comment on: Wilson et al. Environmental Health, 7:1