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author:("urdu, Simona")
1.  Occupational Exposure to Ultraviolet Radiation and Risk of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer in a Multinational European Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e62359.
Background
Studies suggest that ambient sunlight plays an important role in the pathogenesis of non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC). However, there is ongoing controversy regarding the relevance of occupational exposure to natural and artificial ultraviolet radiation (UV) radiation.
Objectives
We investigated potential associations between natural and artificial UV radiation exposure at work with NMSC in a case-control study conducted in Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.
Methods
Occupational exposures were classified by expert assessment for 527 controls and 618 NMSC cases (515 basal cell carcinoma, BCC). Covariate information was collected via interview and multiple logistic regression models were used to assess associations between UV exposure and NMSC.
Results
Lifetime prevalence of occupational exposure in the participants was 13% for natural UV radiation and 7% for artificial UV radiation. Significant negative associations between occupational exposure to natural UV radiation and NMSC were detected for all who had ever been exposed (odds ratio (OR) 0.47, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.27–0.80); similar results were detected using a semi-quantitative metric of cumulative exposure. The effects were modified by skin complexion, with significantly decreased risks of BCC among participants with light skin complexion. No associations were observed in relation to occupational artificial UV radiation exposure.
Conclusions
The protective effect of occupational exposure to natural UV radiation was unexpected, but limited to light-skinned people, suggesting adequate sun-protection behaviors. Further investigations focusing on variations in the individual genetic susceptibility and potential interactions with environmental and other relevant factors are planned.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062359
PMCID: PMC3634731  PMID: 23638051
2.  Inorganic Arsenic and Basal Cell Carcinoma in Areas of Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia: A Case–Control Study 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2012;120(5):721-726.
Background: Inorganic arsenic (iAs) is a potent carcinogen, but there is a lack of information about cancer risk for concentrations < 100 μg/L in drinking water.
Objectives: We aimed to quantify skin cancer relative risks in relation to iAs exposure < 100 μg/L and the modifying effects of iAs metabolism.
Methods: The Arsenic Health Risk Assessment and Molecular Epidemiology (ASHRAM) study, a case–control study, was conducted in areas of Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia with reported presence of iAs in groundwater. Consecutively diagnosed cases of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin were histologically confirmed; controls were general surgery, orthopedic, and trauma patients who were frequency matched to cases by age, sex, and area of residence. Exposure indices were constructed based on information on iAs intake over the lifetime of participants. iAs metabolism status was classified based on urinary concentrations of methylarsonic acid (MA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA). Associations were estimated by multivariable logistic regression.
Results: A total of 529 cases with BCC and 540 controls were recruited for the study. BCC was positively associated with three indices of iAs exposure: peak daily iAs dose rate, cumulative iAs dose, and lifetime average water iAs concentration. The adjusted odds ratio per 10-μg/L increase in average lifetime water iAs concentration was 1.18 (95% confidence interval: 1.08, 1.28). The estimated effect of iAs on cancer was stronger in participants with urinary markers indicating incomplete metabolism of iAs: higher percentage of MA in urine or a lower percentage of DMA.
Conclusion: We found a positive association between BCC and exposure to iAs through drinking water with concentrations < 100 μg/L.
doi:10.1289/ehp.1103534
PMCID: PMC3346769  PMID: 22436128
low-dose arsenic; metabolism; methylation; skin neoplasms; urine
3.  Ethical Issues in Measuring Biomarkers in Children’s Environmental Health 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2009;117(8):1185-1190.
Background
Studying the impact of environmental exposures is important in children because they are more vulnerable to adverse effects on growth, development, and health. Assessing exposure in children is difficult, and measuring biomarkers is potentially useful. Research measuring biomarkers in children raises a number of ethical issues, some of which relate to children as research subjects and some of which are specific to biomarker research.
Objective
As an international group with experience in pediatric research, biomarkers, and the ethics of research in children, we highlight the ethical issues of undertaking biomarker research in children in these environments.
Discussion
Significant issues include undertaking research in vulnerable communities, especially in developing countries; managing community expectations; obtaining appropriate consent to conduct the research; the potential conflicts of obtaining permission from an ethics review board in an economically developed country to perform research in a community that may have different cultural values; returning research results to participants and communities when the researchers are uncertain of how to interpret the results; and the conflicting ethical obligations of maintaining participant confidentiality when information about harm or illegal activities mandate reporting to authorities.
Conclusion
None of these challenges are insurmountable and all deserve discussion. Pediatric biomarker research is necessary for advancing child health.
doi:10.1289/ehp.0800480
PMCID: PMC2721859  PMID: 19672395
biobanks; biomarkers; children; environmental exposure; genetics; infants; informed consent; research ethics
4.  Childhood asthma and indoor allergens in Native Americans in New York 
Environmental Health  2006;5:22.
Background
The objective of this study was to assess the correlation between childhood asthma and potential risk factors, especially exposure to indoor allergens, in a Native American population.
Methods
A case-control study of St. Regis Mohawk tribe children ages 2–14 years, 25 diagnosed with asthma and 25 controls was conducted. Exposure was assessed based on a personal interview and measurement of mite and cat allergens (Der p 1, Fel d 1) in indoor dust.
Results
A non-significant increased risk of childhood asthma was associated with self-reported family history of asthma, childhood environmental tobacco smoke exposure, and air pollution. There was a significant protective effect of breastfeeding against current asthma in children less than 14 years (5.2 fold lower risk). About 80% of dust mite and 15% of cat allergen samples were above the threshold values for sensitization of 2 and 1 μg/g, respectively. The association between current asthma and exposure to dust mite and cat allergens was positive but not statistically significant.
Conclusion
This research identified several potential indoor and outdoor risk factors for asthma in Mohawks homes, of which avoidance may reduce or delay the development of asthma in susceptible individuals.
doi:10.1186/1476-069X-5-22
PMCID: PMC1552054  PMID: 16859546

Results 1-4 (4)