Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Health effector


As marijuana use becomes legal in some states, the dominant public opinion is that marijuana is a harmless source of mood alteration. Although the harms associated with marijuana use have not been well studied, enough information is available to cause concern.

Concepts: Law, Health effector, Sources of law, Law report


With thousands of pesticides registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, it not feasible to sample for all pesticides applied in agricultural communities. Hazard-ranking pesticides based on use, toxicity, and exposure potential can help prioritize community-specific pesticide hazards. This study applied hazard-ranking schemes for cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive/developmental toxicity in Yuma County, Arizona. An existing cancer hazard-ranking scheme was modified, and novel schemes for endocrine disruption and reproductive/developmental toxicity were developed to rank pesticide hazards. The hazard-ranking schemes accounted for pesticide use, toxicity, and exposure potential based on chemical properties of each pesticide. Pesticides were ranked as hazards with respect to each health effect, as well as overall chronic health effects. The highest hazard-ranked pesticides for overall chronic health effects were maneb, metam-sodium, trifluralin, pronamide, and bifenthrin. The relative pesticide rankings were unique for each health effect. The highest hazard-ranked pesticides differed from those most heavily applied, as well as from those previously detected in Yuma homes over a decade ago. The most hazardous pesticides for cancer in Yuma County, Arizona were also different from a previous hazard-ranking applied in California. Hazard-ranking schemes that take into account pesticide use, toxicity, and exposure potential can help prioritize pesticides of greatest health risk in agricultural communities. This study is the first to provide pesticide hazard-rankings for endocrine disruption and reproductive/developmental toxicity based on use, toxicity, and exposure potential. These hazard-ranking schemes can be applied to other agricultural communities for prioritizing community-specific pesticide hazards to target decreasing health risk.

Concepts: Pesticide, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Ranking, DDT, Arizona, Health effector, Yuma, Arizona, Yuma County, Arizona


Engagement in leisure has a wide range of beneficial health effects. Yet, this evidence is derived from between-person methods that do not examine the momentary within-person processes theorized to explain leisure’s benefits.

Concepts: Health, Critical thinking, Personal life, Gross domestic product, Health effector


The purpose of this review was to systematically summarise the literature on the health effects of employment.

Concepts: Medicine, Personal life, Health effector


Cycling is considered to have a positive effect on public health through increased physical activity. In Norway, the e-bike is seen as a way of getting more people to cycle. However, the motorized assistance of an e-bike potentially eliminates any physical activity associated with its use. It is possible that the assumed health effect of increased cycling is “erased” through a reduction in other physical activities (a substitution effect). In this paper we study the public health effects of e-bikes using a combined cross-sectional and quasi-experimental design. First, we explore the existence of potentially hedonistic values in relation to interest in acquiring an e-bike and, second, we conduct an intervention study of physical activity pre- and post-purchase.

Concepts: Effect, Effects unit, Activity, Health effector, Hedonism, Health effect, Motorized bicycle


Nutritional epidemiology has an important role, as it can provide long-term data from large populations and does not rely on surrogate markers for morbidity/mortality. Meaningful interpretation and applications of outcomes from epidemiological studies depend on the accurate assessment of dietary intake, which is currently mainly based on a combination of self-reporting and food composition data. Flavan-3-ols are a group of bioactives (non-essential dietary components with significant impact on health) that is a possible candidate for the development of dietary recommendations. The breadth of data available on their effect on health also provides the basis for investigating the suitability of the methods currently used in nutritional epidemiology to assess the health effects of bioactives. The outcomes of this assessment demonstrate that the limitations of currently used methods make it virtually impossible to estimate intake accurately from self-reported dietary data. This is due to the limitations of self-reporting, especially from food-frequency questionnaires, and the inability of currently used methods to deal with the high variability of food composition. Indeed, the estimated intake of flavan-3-ols, can only be interpreted as a marker of specific dietary patterns, but not as the actual intake amount. The interpretation of results from such studies are fraught with serious limitations, especially for establishing associations between intake and health and the development of dietary recommendations. Alternative assessment not affected by these limitations, such as biomarkers, are required to overcome these limitations. The development of nutritional biomarkers is therefore crucial to investigate the health effect of bioactives.

Concepts: Public health, Health, Epidemiology, Statistics, Nutrition, Demography, Effect, Health effector


Despite the popular use of household cleaning products worldwide, there is no published study investigating the health effects of these products on rhinitis in children.

Concepts: Hygiene, Mass media, Health effector, Cleaning products, Toby Gad


No cohort studies in China on the health effects of long-term air pollution exposure have employed exposure estimates at the fine spatial scales desirable for cohort studies with individual-level health outcome data. Here we assess an array of modern air pollution exposure estimation approaches for assigning within-city exposure estimates in Beijing for individual pollutants and pollutant sources to individual members of a cohort. Issues considered in selecting specific monitoring data or new monitoring campaigns include: needed spatial resolution, exposure measurement error and its impact on health effect estimates, spatial alignment and compatibility with the cohort, and feasibility and expense. Sources of existing data largely include administrative monitoring data, predictions from air dispersion or chemical transport models and remote sensing (specifically satellite) data. New air monitoring campaigns include additional fixed site monitoring, snapshot monitoring, passive badge or micro-sensor saturation monitoring and mobile monitoring, as well as combinations of these. Each of these has relative advantages and disadvantages. It is concluded that a campaign in Beijing that at least includes a mobile monitoring component, when coupled with currently available spatio-temporal modeling methods, should be strongly considered. Such a campaign is economical and capable of providing the desired fine-scale spatial resolution for pollutants and sources.

Concepts: Measurement, Relative risk, People's Republic of China, Pollution, Air pollution, Cruise ship pollution, Health effector, Air dispersion modeling


US law requires the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to disclose information on harmful and potentially harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke (i.e., constituents) to the public. To inform this effort, we sought to identify principles for creating constituent messages that effectively discourage smoking. Participants were an online convenience sample of 1148 US smokers ages 18+. We developed a library of 76 messages about constituents only and constituents plus contextualizing information (i.e., toxic products that also contain the chemical, health effects, or both). We randomized smokers to receive 1 message from each of 7 message panels in a mixed between-/within-subjects experiment. Participants rated each message on perceived message effectiveness. Results indicated that smokers perceived messages about arsenic, formaldehyde, lead, uranium, and ammonia as more effective than messages about nitrosamines. Messages that contained information on toxic products, health effects, or both received higher effectiveness ratings than constituent-only messages. Among constituent-only messages, those that referenced multiple constituents received higher effectiveness ratings than those with fewer constituents. We conclude that constituent messages may have more impact if they pair known constituents with toxic product or health effect information. These message principles can be used to inform studies examining the impact of constituent messages on smoking beliefs and behavior.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Effect, Effectiveness, Chemistry, Smoking, Tobacco smoking, Cigarette, Health effector


Cigarette package health warnings can be an important and low-cost means of communicating the health risks of smoking. We examined whether viewing health warnings in an experimental study influenced beliefs about the health effects of smoking, by conducting surveys with ~500 adult male smokers and ~500 male and female youth (age 16-18) in Beijing, China (n = 1070), Mumbai area, India (n = 1012), Dhaka, Bangladesh (n = 1018), and Republic of Korea (n = 1362). Each respondent was randomly assigned to view and rate pictorial health warnings for 2 of 15 different health effects, after which they reported beliefs about whether smoking caused 12 health effects. Respondents who viewed relevant health warnings (vs. other warnings) were significantly more likely to believe that smoking caused that particular health effect, for several health effects in each sample. Approximately three-quarters of respondents in China (Beijing), Bangladesh (Dhaka), and Korea (which had general, text-only warnings) thought that cigarette packages should display more health information, compared to approximately half of respondents in the Mumbai area, India (which had detailed pictorial warnings). Pictorial health warnings that convey the risk of specific health effects from smoking can increase beliefs and knowledge about the health consequences of smoking, particularly for health effects that are lesser-known.

Concepts: Smoking, Tobacco, Cigarette, Nicotine, India, Republic of China, North Korea, Health effector