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Review of built and natural environment stressors impacting American-Indian/Alaska-Native children
Barros, N., N. Tulve, D. Heggem, AND K. Bailey. Review of built and natural environment stressors impacting American-Indian/Alaska-Native children. REVIEWS ON ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH. Freund Publishing House Limited, Tel Aviv, Israel, 33(4):349–381, (2018). https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2018-0034
This review provides information about the nature of chemical and non-chemical stressors from the built and natural environments that may influence AI/AN children’s health and well-being. The findings from this review can be used as a guide to promote healthy environments for AI/AN children in particular for household use of wood for heating or cooking and access to indoor running water. This work identified a major research gap, which may help direct future research initiatives to develop studies to consider stressors outside the household and other elements of the natural environment.
Children’s exposures to chemical and non-chemical stressors from their everyday environment affects their overall health and well-being. American-Indian/Alaska-Native (AI/AN) children may have a disproportionate burden of stressors from their built and natural environments when compared to children from other races/ethnicities. Our objectives were to identify chemical and non-chemical stressors from AI/AN children’s built and natural environments and evaluate their linkages with health and well-being outcomes from the peer reviewed literature. Library databases (e.g. PubMed) were searched to identify studies focused on these stressors. References were excluded if they: did not discuss AI/AN children or they were not the primary cohort; discussed tribes outside the United States (U.S.); were reviews or intervention studies; or did not discuss stressors from the built/natural environments. Out of 2539 references, 35 remained. Sample populations were predominantly (70%) in New York (NY) and Alaska (AK); 14 studies reported on the same cohort. Studies with matching stressors and outcomes were few, ruling out a quantitative review. Respiratory and developmental outcomes were the main outcomes evaluated. Primary non-chemical stressors were residential proximity to polluted landscapes, lack of indoor plumbing, and indoor use of wood for heating or cooking. The main chemical stressors were volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM2.5), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), p,p′-DDE, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), lead, and mercury. Our qualitative review was suggestive of a potential increase in respiratory illness from indoor wood use or no plumbing, which can be used as a guide to promote healthy environments for AI/AN children. We identified limited studies (<40), demonstrating this population as understudied. Future studies need to consider: sample populations from other tribes in the U.S., stressors outside the household, other elements of the natural environment, and an evaluation of stressors from AI/AN children’s total environment (built, natural, and social).
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
SYSTEMS EXPOSURE DIVISION