2004 Progress Report: Exposure Assessment and Intervention Project (EAIP)

EPA Grant Number: R829391C004
Subproject: this is subproject number 004 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R829391
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: CECEHDPR - University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Center for Childhood Neurotoxicology and Assessment
Center Director: Lambert, George H.
Title: Exposure Assessment and Intervention Project (EAIP)
Investigators: Lioy, Paul J. , Georgopoulos, Panos G. , Shalat, Stuart L. , Weisel, Clifford P.
Institution: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Current Institution: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey , University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
EPA Project Officer: Louie, Nica
Project Period: November 1, 2001 through October 31, 2006
Project Period Covered by this Report: November 1, 2003 through October 31, 2004
RFA: Centers for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Children's Health , Health Effects , Health

Objective:

At the current stage of the Center research being conducted within the Exposure Assessment and Intervention Project (EAIP), we are working on the specific objectives associated with our hypothesis that the unique behaviors of neurologically impaired children lead to higher exposures from single and multiple neurotoxicants in their personal or residential environment. The specific objectives being addressed at this time are to: (1) implement a phased, community-based field study on neurotoxicant exposures and intervention strategies among community groups with families having children identified with neurological disorders or deficits or diagnosed with the early indicators of such diseases; (2) document the exposure pathways that can lead to contact with neurotoxicants by the affected children using questionnaires and geographical information system (GIS) mapping, which will be used to identify qualitatively personal pathways or environmental sources, respectively; (3) implement an exposure measurement program based upon the preceding analyses to establish the levels of specific neurotoxicants in the residence or personal environment of children at risk to neurological disorders or deficits; and (4) complete a detailed video assessment of the routine activities of these children and link it directly with clinically based neurobehavioral assessments of children.

Progress Summary:

During Year 3 of the project, we began the community-based field study in collaboration with the recruitment and subject evaluation efforts of the Clinical Science Project. Initial protocol startup and a very severe winter in the Northeastern United States hindered implementation and caused repeated cancellations of subjects’ appointments. As of June 29, 2003, we have completed 12 environmental assessments and videotaping of homes and children. There are six more autistic children that were accepted in the study, and they are scheduled for a field visit between June 30 and July 20, 2003. Currently, new subjects are being recruited and evaluated at a rate of one to two per week. Therefore, we anticipate completion of 33 to 38 homes by the end of the year, at or above protocol expectation. As seen below, the analyses of samples have been proceeding. We still are awaiting the results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for most biological samples, urine, and blood. Once these are received, we will be returning the results to the families and evaluating the current dataset for the need to address any elevated exposures in the home for one or more contaminants. An abstract on our current results has been submitted for presentation at the 2003 Annual Meeting of the International Society of Exposure Analysis (ISEA).

Our efforts to complete GIS maps for the areas around the home of each child have begun. The analyses are directed by Dr. Georgopoulos. These will be used to determine the presence or the influence source of neurotoxicants in the area immediately around the neighborhood in which the child was born and resides.

CHC Behavioral Analysis

As of June 29, 2003, 11 home visits have been completed and included a baseline questionnaire completed by a parent and a videotaping session of the child. The questionnaire results on housing, sources, behavior, and so forth, are being entered in the study database. Several parents have reported a high frequency of both object-to-mouth and hand-to-mouth activity. Although a 4-hour videotape was proposed for behavior analysis, in many cases the children were videotaped for 3 hours. This is based on the fact that 2- and 3-year-olds sometimes become tired and need to nap, thus curtailing videotaping. This result has been seen in our previous work. An additional restriction in this study is a child’s school and therapy schedules. Three of the children had turned 3 years old and were in school full-time by the home visit. One child was kept home for the study, and two were visited on days school was closed. All of the remaining children have several hours of therapy scheduled each week. The number of hours and location (home or school) of therapy varies from child to child. Thus, appointments for home visits must consider not only the child’s regular nap schedule but also his/her therapy schedule. In the first nine homes, the actual time for videotaping ranged between 3 and 4 hours, most children being videotaped for 3.5 hours. The videotaping focused on behaviors leading to exposure; thus, the fact that the children had just started school is not a factor for representing patterns of contact in the home.

The children were cooperative with videotaping, behaving similarly to children without autism, as seen in our previous work. They, at times, noticed the camera but then ignored it and continued with play. One mother noted that her child displayed unusual behavior in the first 30 minutes of videotaping. This segment will not be scored in the tape analysis.

The subject children in general had more structured routines and parental involvement than healthy children without autism. Parents often take advantage of the videotaping visit to perform therapy (reading, playing games, or supervising computer use) at home. The parents report that this is a typical activity. Food consumption particularly is more structured. Children often still are using a high chair and/or are fed by the parents. In some cases they resist the use of utensils, and in other cases they reject foods of certain textures.

The behaviors are scored using the VTD software (SamaSama Consulting). As in previous studies with healthy children, we focused on hand-to-mouth, object-to-mouth, and food handling behavior. The studies showed a positive association between food handling and hand-to-mouth activity. This association appeared to be caused by children licking their fingers after salty snacks. Because observations of these nine children suggest differences in food handling behavior, the template previously used was modified. To distinguish hand-to-mouth activity associated with food from other hand to mouth activity (thumb sucking, nail biting, etc.), separate cells were created to refine the analysis. Data from the cells can be combined to allow comparison to previous studies.

Environmental Sampling

Sample collection and analysis for the target neurotoxicants includes selected volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, and specific heavy metals have proceeded for both environmental and biological samples. As of June 15, 2003, 11 home visits have been completed for collection of environmental samples.

Analysis. To evaluate the concentration of each agent in its respective media, a variety of sampling and analytical techniques are used. The air and water samples are analyzed for volatile neurotoxicants such as toluene, xylenes, and styrene using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The water, wipe and vacuum dust, hair, and urine samples are analyzed for metals such as lead, mercury, and manganese. All metal analyses are performed by inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry. Blood samples are sent to the CDC for lead and VOC analysis. Gas chromatography/electron capture is used for pesticide analysis such as malathion, diazinon, and chlorpyrifos in wipe and vacuum dust and urine samples. All metal and pesticide VOC analyses are performed at the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute.

Air Sampling. Samples are collected passively for 48 hours, starting on the day before the home visit to the house and ending on sampling day, using 3M badges. These badges efficiently collect VOCs to provide average potential exposure concentrations. Also BGI.AFC 400S constant flow pump and tri-adsorbent tube (trap) is used to actively collect VOCs for about 3 hours on the sampling day. All air and dust samples are obtained from where the child spends most of his/her time during the day and night.

Water Sampling. Two types of water samples are collected in each home: (1) a draw sample to check the water caused by leaching of the pipes within the home, and (2) a daytime sample to check the level of contamination related to the water source.

Dust Sampling. Both wipe and vacuum dust samples are collected to determine the pesticide and metal concentration in house dust on an ng/cm2 basis. Dust wipe samples are collected using Lioy-Weisel-Wainman sampler on wetted filter paper for metal and on carbon-18 filters for pesticide analysis from smooth and flat surfaces. Carpeted surfaces are sampled with vacuum sampler in a specially manufactured filter bag with high efficiency for dust ( > 0.3 microns in diameter).

Quality Assurance/Quality Control. A unique-colored, barcode, label identification was created for tracking the samples. Sample custody forms are generated to secure sample handling. Ten percent blanks and 10 percent duplicate samples are taken to verify that no sample contamination occurred and to evaluate the overall sampling precision. An Access database is utilized to maintain sampling and analytical information and to create reports.

Future Activities:

The investigators did not report any future activities.


Journal Articles on this Report : 3 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 11 publications 7 publications in selected types All 7 journal articles
Other center views: All 86 publications 50 publications in selected types All 49 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Black K, Shalat SL, Freeman NCG, Jimenez M, Donnelly KC, Calvin JA. Children's mouthing and food-handling behavior in an agricultural community on the US/Mexico border. Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology 2005;15(3):244-251. R829391 (2004)
R829391 (2005)
R829391 (2006)
R829391C004 (2004)
R829391C004 (2005)
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  • Journal Article Freeman NCG, Shalat SL, Black K, Jimenez M, Donnelly KC, Calvin A, Ramirez J. Seasonal pesticide use in a rural community on the U.S./Mexico border. Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology 2004;14(6):473-478. R829391 (2004)
    R829391 (2005)
    R829391 (2006)
    R829391C004 (2004)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: Nature-Full Text HTML
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  • Journal Article Shalat SL, Donnelly KC, Freeman NCG, Calvin JA, Ramesh S, Jimenez M, Black K, Coutinho C, Needham LL, Barr DB, Ramirez J. Nondietary ingestion of pesticides by children in an agricultural community on the U.S./Mexico border: preliminary results. Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology 2003;13(1):42-50. R829391 (2004)
    R829391 (2005)
    R829391 (2006)
    R829391C004 (2004)
    R829391C004 (2005)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: Nature-Full Text HTML
    Exit
  • Other: Nature-Full Text PDF
    Exit
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    children’s health, disease and cumulative effects, ecological risk assessment, environmental chemistry, health risk assessment, susceptibility, sensitive population, genetic susceptibility, toxicology, assessment of exposure, assessment technology, autism, behavioral assessment, behavioral deficits, childhood learning, developmental disorders, developmental effects, environmental health hazard, environmental toxicant, exposure assessment, gene-environment interaction, neurodevelopmental, neurological development, neuropathological damage, neurotoxic,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Health, Health Risk Assessment, Risk Assessments, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Ecological Risk Assessment, Children's Health, genetic susceptability, Biology, childhood learning, neurotoxic, behavioral assessment, gene-environment interaction, developmental effects, children, neurotoxicity, assessment of exposure, public health, behavioral deficits, environmental health hazard, autism, outreach and education, assessment technology, developmental disorders, exposure assessment, neurological development

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2005 Progress Report
  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R829391    CECEHDPR - University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Center for Childhood Neurotoxicology and Assessment

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R829391C001 Neurotoxicant Effects on Cell Cycle Regulation of Neurogenesis
    R829391C002 Adhesion and Repulsion Molecules in Developmental Neurotoxic Injury
    R829391C003 Disruption of Ontogenic Development of Cognitive and Sensory Motor Skills
    R829391C004 Exposure Assessment and Intervention Project (EAIP)
    R829391C005 Clinical Sciences Project