Sharmin, Oyon, and Zohir
The following grants were received after Spring 2004.
State Level Geocoding of SWITRS Data, David Ragland, 10/1/04-9/30/05
California Best Practices for Teen Traffic Safety, David Ragland, 10/1/04-9/30/05
Protecting Lithographic Printers from Chronic Health Damage: Promoting the Use of Safer Alternatives for Toxic Cleanup Solvents, Mark Nicas, 9/8/04-9/7/05
Health Protective Textiles: Bridging the Disposable/Reusable Divide, Mark Nicas, 9/15/04-8/31/09
Alcohol-Involved Collision/Victims Reduction Program, David Ragland, 6/1/04-9/30/05
Toxic Substances Program, Robert Spear, 7/1/04-6/30/057) Identifications of Biomarkers of Arsenic Exposure and Metabolism: Comparison of Urine Proteomic Patterns, Martyn Smith, 7/22/04-7/21/05
Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Study (City of Emeryville), David Ragland, 8/10/04-11/9/04
Indoor Air Pollution Study, Kirk Smith, 9/1/04-2/28/05
A Pilot Study of Heat-Treatments to Denature HIV in Breast Milk, Barbara Abrams, 5/1/04-4/30/05, $164,600
Promotion of Rural Renewable Energy in Western China, Kirk Smith, 5/1/04-9/30/05
Biomarkers for Benzene Exposure and Genotoxicity, Martyn Smith, 5/1/04-3/31/08
Gender, Obesity, C-Reactive Protein and Oxidative Stress Study, Nina Holland, 4/15/04-2/28/05 (4/15/04-2/28/08)
Recent Ph.D. Graduates
Dissertations from Ph.D. students who filed in December 2003 or May 2004.
Song Liang, "A Spatio-Temporal Modeling of Schistosomiasis Transmission Dynamics and Control in Sichuan, China."
Rosemary Castorina, "Methods of Assessing Risk from Pesticide Exposure in Pregnant Women Living in an Agricultural Community Using Biomarkers and Benchmark Dose Modeling"
Neil Kleipeis, "Using Computer Simulation to Explore Multi-Compartment Effects and Mitigation Strategies for Residential Exposure to Secondhand Tobacco Smoke"
Morton Schei, "Asthma, Allergies, and Indoor Air Pollution in Nepal and India"
Kathleen Vork, "Development of an Occupational Air Contaminant Exposure Monitoring and Control Strategy with Application to Lead Exposure during Bridgework"
News from Professor Kirk Smith's Research Group
This past summer, EHS students conducted pilot studies in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Participants were recruited from those currently enrolled in the NIH-funded Guatemala Stove Intervention Study (Prof. Kirk R. Smith, PI). This main study is monitoring indoor air exposure and health outcomes such as pneumonia among over 500 infants from birth to 18 months of age, to determine whether children living in improved or "clean" stove households have a lower incidence of pneumonia as compared to children from homes that use open fires for cooking.
Jamesine Rogers, "Time Activity in children 3-7 years using the UCB Ultrasound Locator." In August 2004, I conducted a pilot study in San Lorenzo, Guatemala of a new technology developed by UCB and EME Systems, the UCB Personal Locator. The UCB Personal Locator consists of two parts: a transmitter which emits a signal when worn by the subject and a receiver which records signals upon detection. The purpose of my study was to assess the accuracy and appropriateness of the UCB Personal Locator under field conditions in identifying when a child is exposed to a major source of air pollution in the kitchen, or other space of interest. Data from direct observation and the UCB Personal Locator were compared to determine: (1) accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of the device; (2) the placement of the transmitter on the subject which maximizes accuracy, and (3) the placement of the receiver in the kitchen which maximizes accuracy. Based on the results of this pilot study, the UCB Personal Locator provides an accurate measure of length of exposure to a source of indoor air pollution (accuracy: 95.0%, sensitivity: 89.0%, specificity: 71.1%) and thus will provide an improved method of exposure assessment among future studies in this population.
Shannon Coulter-Burke, "Household ventilation measurements: development of methods." Ventilation properties play a significant role in determining pollutant concentration levels in indoor environments. In August 2004, a study was conducted to determine if ventilation, measured as the rate of air exchange, could be adequately captured by taking a total of four measurements collected on two separate occasions. If the measurement methodology proves adequate, the measurements will provide rates of air exchange for the study households. Prior to the study, homes were visually inspected and assigned to one of three ventilation categories: open, partially-open, and closed. Two homes from each ventilation category were selected, and air exchange measurements were taken four times at each home. Using the central estimate for each home, analysis of variance by ventilation category showed a statistically significant difference at 95%. This suggests that the two-visit, four-experiment measurement methodology may be sufficient to capture reasonable estimates of air exchange rates in homes of this type.
Lisa Thompson, "Pilot testing of pulmonary function and allergies among children 5-8 years." Lisa Thompson, a family nurse practitioner and doctoral student in EHS at UCB, and Janet Diaz, a pulmonologist from UCSF conducted a pilot study of spirometry and allergy testing. Thirty children between the ages of 5 and 9 were recruited to participate in the pilot study. The pilot study found that spirometry and allergy testing are acceptable among this very young group of Guatemalan children. Fifty percent of the study sample was able to perform spirometry maneuvers that were acceptable on the first try, with older children doing better than younger ones. Eighty percent of children who could not perform spirometry on the first try were able to do it on a second try one week later. The prevalence of airway obstruction (as determined by reversibility testing with inhaled albuterol) consistent with a diagnosis of asthma was calculated at 14% among our sample. This rate is much higher than the symptoms-based prevalence of 3.3% reported in a similar but larger Guatemalan cohort study. Thirty-five percent of the children demonstrated an allergic response to common allergens such as cockroach, dust mite, and cat.
Spirometry and allergy skin testing are objective measures that allow us to go beyond self-reported symptom-based evaluation methods. Symptom-based methods are the typical approach for surveying populations lacking adequate health care and diagnostic tests. Longitudinal follow-up of the children currently enrolled in the stove intervention study offers a unique opportunity to determine the impact of early life exposure to biomass smoke on chronic respiratory health, including the development of asthma and allergies. To date, this is the only study of allergy or respiratory health of Mayan indigenous children in Guatemala.