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	cancer, reproductive, cardiovascular

Activities: NIOSH Funded Research Grants

NIOSH sponsors research and training through its extramural programs, which complement the Institute's intramural programs. More information is available from the NIOSH Office of Extramural Programs. . Our Research Portfolio includes the following NIOSH funded research grants:


Time-Factors in Exposure Effects among Uranium Workers

The proposed study investigates radiation-mortality associations in a cohort of workers employed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Y-12 uranium processing facility. The Y-12 cohort was recently expanded, and vital status information was updated through 1990.

Project contact: David Richardson
Institution: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Project period: 2001–2005

P53 Biomaker and Intervention in Occupational Cancer

The purpose of the proposed research is to develop early markers of adverse health effects from workplace exposures and to devise ways for interrupting the pathways between workplace exposures and resultant cancers. The p53 tumor suppressor gene product is a potential target for both of these approaches, and will be applied in research among persons with occupational cancers caused by asbestos exposure.

Project contact: Paul Brandt-Rauf
Institution: Columbia University Health Sciences
Project period: 2002–2006

Susceptibility and Occupational Radiation Risks

This study will examine a cohort of nearly 22,000 badge-monitored workers at the Savannah River Site, followed over a 50-year period, to evaluate radiation-mortality associations while investigating potential sources of bias and effect modification. The proposed work will substantially strengthen the available epidemiological information about low level radiation effects in U.S. Department of Energy cohorts.

Project contact: David Richardson
Institution: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Project period: 2002–2006

Cancer Risk In Workers Exposed to Oncogenic Viruses

This study will investigate whether exposure to infections with cancer-causing viruses presents a cancer hazard to workers in chicken slaughtering/processing plants (i.e., cancer as an occupationally-induced infectious disease) and will also provide critical evidence as to whether human exposure to the oncogenic viruses of chickens in general is associated with the development of cancer.

Project contact: Eric Johnson
Institution: University of North Texas Health Science Center at Forth Worth
Project period: 2004–2007

Textile Industry Exposures and Breast Cancer in Women

Recent epidemiologic evidence suggests that occupational exposures to electromagnetic fields and light at night, from working night and/or rotating shifts, may increase female breast cancer risk. Suppression of melatonin by electric and magnetic fields and light at night is a credible underlying mechanism that is supported by experimental and epidemiologic research. The proposed research will test the hypothesis that electric and magnetic fields and rotating shift work are risk factors for breast cancer among women textile workers in Shanghai. The results of our study should generate important new epidemiologic information that may suggest breast cancer prevention strategies in women textile workers and other women with similar exposures.

Project contact: Harvey Checkoway
Institution: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Project period: 2004–2007

Occupational Cohorts: Confounder/Effect-Modifier Models

Recognition has been growing that occupational cohort studies need to assess the impact of confounders and effect modifiers on exposure-response models. However, the statistical assumptions and methods to detect and adjust for confounding and effect modification have had weaknesses that need to be addressed; this research proposes to develop new methods to do this.,The proposed methods for modeling confounders and effect modifiers will have widespread application to a wide range of occupational or environmental cohort studies with exposure-response data.

Project contact: Xiaonan Xue
Institution: Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Project period: 2004–2007

Cardiovascular Disease

A Model-Based Estimate of Carbon Monoxide Uptake by Heart Muscle during Exercise

To understand the increased risk for heart disease in workers exposed to carbon monoxide, we will use our mathematical model to analyze existing data from exposed humans to determine the exposure conditions likely to damage the heart.

Project contact: Eugene Bruce
Institution: University of Kentucky
Project period: 2006–2008

Reproductive Health

Maternal Phthalate Exposure and Infertility, Fetal Loss

This study was undertaken to explore the relationship between maternal occupational and environmental exposure to phthalates and reproductive and developmental toxicity. The study will use data and biological specimens collected from women in an ongoing National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences funded reproductive health study.

Project contact: Russ Hauser
Institution: Harvard School of Public Health
Project period: 2005–2008

Worker Genetic Susceptibility to Mutagenic Risk

The purpose of the current study is to see if genetic polymorphisms in vinyl chloride(VC)-metabolizing enzymes are also related to the more specific biomarkers of mutagenic damage (mutant ras-p21 and/or mutant p53) in VC-exposed workers. Restriction fragment length polymorphism techniques will be used to analyze DNA from sub-groups of VC-exposed workers with none, one, or both biomarkers of mutagenic damage but with similar demographic and exposure characteristics for genetic polymorphisms in VC-metabolizing enzymes, and prevalence of the polymorphisms will be compared among the sub-groups.

Project contact: Paul Brandt-Rauf
Institution: Columbia University Health Sciences
Project period: 2001–2005

Male Reproductive Effects from Exposure to Boron

The goal of this research is to contribute critical information about the exposure level at which boron causes adverse effects on human male reproduction by describing the relationship between (1) boron exposure and direct measures of toxicity on male reproduction, (2) boron exposure and indirect measures of toxicity on male reproduction: fertility history and physical exam data, and (3) workplace, environmental, and dietary sources of boron with biomarkers of exposure and reproductive effect.

Project contact: Wendie Robbins
Institution: University of California Los Angeles
Project period: 2001–2006

Exposure to Bisphenol A and Reproductive Effect in Humans

Bisphenol A is strongly suspected as a human endocrine disrupter. This research proposes to followup an earlier published preliminary report on the human reproductive toxicity of bisphenol A among workers in four Chinese chemical plants by evaluating the reproductive effects of bisphenol A in settings where there have been high levels of exposure. The study will also investigate effects in multiple human generations.

Project contact: De-Kun Li
Institution: Kaiser Foundation Research Institute
Project period: 2003–2008

Reproductive Outcomes Due to Past Exposure to Dioxins

The goal of this research is to assess whether a cohort of chemical workers exposed to chlorinated phenols, chlorphenoxy acids, and their chlorinated dioxin and dibenzofuran contaminants at the Khimprom chemical plant in Ufa, Bashkortostan, experienced adverse reproductive outcomes as a result of these exposures.

Project contact: Irina Dardynskaia
Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago
Project period: 2003–2006

Longitudinal Measurement of Work Stressors in Pregnancy

Evidence suggests that some groups of pregnant workers may be at risk for premature delivery or small-for-gestational age births as a consequence of workplace psychosocial stressors. Using a sample of 200 pregnant working women, this study proposes repeated, longitudinal measures of occupational stress across the course of pregnancy to obtain preliminary data assessing two models of occupational stress during pregnancy, in particular measuring repeatedly and longitudinally across the course of pregnancy to evaluate the possibility that these may change across pregnancy. The proposed work represents a necessary first step and will assist in determining whether newer models of the psychosocial parameters of stress in the workplace might be useful in measuring an association with adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Project contact: John Meyer
Institution: University of Connecticut Health Center
Project period: 2005–2007

Reproductive Outcomes in Salon Employees

The proposed work will test the hypothesis that exposure to chemicals used in cosmetology businesses is associated with reproductive abnormalities in women through mechanisms involving destruction of ovarian follicles. To complete the proposed work, a cross-sectional study will be conducted in 1,500 female cosmetologists and 500 women not exposed to chemicals used in hair/nail salons (i.e., retail sales clerks).

Project contact: Jodi Flaws
Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore
Project period: 2005–2008

Neurologic Disease

Solvent-Related Functional Brain Abnormalities

In order to estimate levels of past solvent exposure, this research proposes to assess central nervous system activation with Positron Emission Tomography in a sample of workers employed in the RR industry. Solvent exposure will be evaluated with a structured interview to ascertain an estimate of cumulative exposure. A battery of neuropsychological tests will be administered, as well as indices to assess psychiatric function.

Project contact: Lisa Morrow
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Project period: 2001–2006

Solvent Exposure: Functional Imaging and Behavior

Despite an extensive literature evaluating the chronic effects of exposure to solvent mixtures, solvent encephalopathy remains controversial. The purpose of the present study is to compare cognitive performance and neural activation between construction painters with more than 10 years on the job to drywaller/tapers with minimal exposure to neurotoxicants but matched on demographic and work history profiles.

Project contact: Nancy Fiedler
Institution: UMDNJ-Robert W. Johnson Medical School&nb
Project period: 2004–2007