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Ambient Concentrations of Metabolic Disrupting Chemicals and Children ’ s Academic Achievement in El Paso, Texas

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Concerns about children’s weight have steadily risen alongside the manufacture and use of myriad chemicals in the US. One class of chemicals, known as metabolic disruptors, interfere with human endocrine and metabolic functioning and are of specific concern to children’s health and development. This article examines the effect of residential concentrations of metabolic disrupting chemicals on children’s school performance for the first time. Census tract-level ambient concentrations for known metabolic disruptors come from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s National Air Toxics Assessment. Other measures were drawn from a survey of primary caretakers of 4th and 5th grade children in El Paso Independent School District (El Paso, TX, USA). A mediation model is employed to examine two hypothetical pathways through which the ambient level of metabolic disruptors at a child’s home might affect grade point average. Results indicate that concentrations of metabolic disruptors are statistically significantly associated with lower grade point averages directly and indirectly through body mass index. Findings from this study have practical implications for environmental justice research and chemical policy reform in the US.

No MeSH data available.


Levels of metabolic descriptor (MD) concentrations and approximate locations of participating children’s homes in the El Paso, TX Study Area.
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ijerph-13-00874-f001: Levels of metabolic descriptor (MD) concentrations and approximate locations of participating children’s homes in the El Paso, TX Study Area.

Mentions: For each MD, we used the “ambient concentration” measurement provided by the NATA to assess the level of the MD in each census tract. Ambient concentrations refer to raw concentrations of toxics in outdoor air. These concentrations are surrogate for exposures as they do not take into account human activity patterns (among other factors) as do the “risk” variables available in the NATA. These concentrations are additive so we summed the eight ambient concentrations to create a tract-level “known MD” variable, and then summed the 16 values together to create the “known or suspected MD” value. Next, using a Geographic Information System, we assigned each child the total ambient concentration of known and known or suspected MDs of the census tract in which he/she resided (based on home address). We report results using the “known MD” variable, and considered the “known or suspected MD” variable in a sensitivity analysis. The average ambient concentration of known MDs was 0.84 micrograms/m2 while the average ambient concentration of known and suspected MDs was 0.94 micrograms/m2. We used the natural log of the two MD variables to reduce skewness and kurtosis in the statistical analysis. Figure 1 depicts the distribution of known MDs in El Paso census tracts.


Ambient Concentrations of Metabolic Disrupting Chemicals and Children ’ s Academic Achievement in El Paso, Texas
Levels of metabolic descriptor (MD) concentrations and approximate locations of participating children’s homes in the El Paso, TX Study Area.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5036707&req=5

ijerph-13-00874-f001: Levels of metabolic descriptor (MD) concentrations and approximate locations of participating children’s homes in the El Paso, TX Study Area.
Mentions: For each MD, we used the “ambient concentration” measurement provided by the NATA to assess the level of the MD in each census tract. Ambient concentrations refer to raw concentrations of toxics in outdoor air. These concentrations are surrogate for exposures as they do not take into account human activity patterns (among other factors) as do the “risk” variables available in the NATA. These concentrations are additive so we summed the eight ambient concentrations to create a tract-level “known MD” variable, and then summed the 16 values together to create the “known or suspected MD” value. Next, using a Geographic Information System, we assigned each child the total ambient concentration of known and known or suspected MDs of the census tract in which he/she resided (based on home address). We report results using the “known MD” variable, and considered the “known or suspected MD” variable in a sensitivity analysis. The average ambient concentration of known MDs was 0.84 micrograms/m2 while the average ambient concentration of known and suspected MDs was 0.94 micrograms/m2. We used the natural log of the two MD variables to reduce skewness and kurtosis in the statistical analysis. Figure 1 depicts the distribution of known MDs in El Paso census tracts.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Concerns about children’s weight have steadily risen alongside the manufacture and use of myriad chemicals in the US. One class of chemicals, known as metabolic disruptors, interfere with human endocrine and metabolic functioning and are of specific concern to children’s health and development. This article examines the effect of residential concentrations of metabolic disrupting chemicals on children’s school performance for the first time. Census tract-level ambient concentrations for known metabolic disruptors come from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s National Air Toxics Assessment. Other measures were drawn from a survey of primary caretakers of 4th and 5th grade children in El Paso Independent School District (El Paso, TX, USA). A mediation model is employed to examine two hypothetical pathways through which the ambient level of metabolic disruptors at a child’s home might affect grade point average. Results indicate that concentrations of metabolic disruptors are statistically significantly associated with lower grade point averages directly and indirectly through body mass index. Findings from this study have practical implications for environmental justice research and chemical policy reform in the US.

No MeSH data available.