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Environmental Factor, March 2013

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This month in EHP

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This month’s feature stories in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP)( examine radiation from power plant accidents and newly generated polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

A Tale of Two Forests: Addressing Postnuclear Radiation at Chernobyl and Fukushima

After the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, Soviet officials took immediate steps to limit the health impacts of the contamination, by removing the region’s residents and managing the land as a protective buffer absent of human communities. In contrast, Japan’s current recovery plan following the Fukushima Daiichi explosions revolves around removing contamination from the landscape to allow residents to move back home. But this management strategy is meeting with opposition from Fukushima residents. Lessons learned from Chernobyl may yet prescribe a different path forward for Japan.

Nonlegacy PCBs: Pigment Manufacturing By-Products Get a Second Look

PCBs were banned in 1979 under the Toxic Substances Control Act, because of concerns about their environmental persistence and adverse human health effects. Despite this ban, some PCBs continue to be generated and released into the environment — not intentionally as commercial products, but as unintentional byproducts of certain manufacturing processes, including pigment manufacturing.

Podcast — Phthalates and Childhood Asthma, with Randi Bertelsen

NIEHS visiting fellow Randi Bertelsen, Ph.D., discusses her EHP research article on phthalates and childhood asthma in a cohort of 10-year-old Norwegian children, in this month’s Researcher’s Perspective podcast.(

Featured research and related new articles this month include:

  • Maternal Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution and Term Birth Weight: A Multi-Country Evaluation of Effect and Heterogeneity — Global Push: Multicontinent Project Assesses Particulate Matter and Birth Outcomes
  • Systems Biology and Birth Defects Prevention: Blockade of the Glucocorticoid Receptor Prevents Arsenic-Induced Birth Defects — A Systems-Level Approach to Studying Birth Defects: Novel Method Identifies Potential Key Pathway
  • Transgenerational Inheritance of Increased Fat Depot Size, Stem Cell Reprogramming, and Hepatic Steatosis Elicited by Prenatal Obesogen Tributyltin in Mice —An Obesogen over Time: Transgenerational Impact of Tributyltin
  • Bisphenol S Disrupts Estradiol-Induced Nongenomic Signaling in a Rat Pituitary Cell Line: Effects on Cell Functions — Assessing the Safety of a Replacement Chemical: Nongenomic Activity of Bisphenol S

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