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Utilization of Biomarker Data for Clinical and Environmental Intervention

David C. Christiani
Environmental Health Perspectives
Vol. 104, Supplement 5 (Oct., 1996), pp. 921-925
DOI: 10.2307/3433011
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3433011
Page Count: 5
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Utilization of Biomarker Data for Clinical and Environmental Intervention
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Abstract

Of the 189 air toxics listed in the Clean Air Act, a substantial number are important in potentially causing adverse health effects in several organ systems. Although the major health effects are manifested as respiratory diseases, especially airways disease, these agents may cause cancer and premature mortality, probably from cardiopulmonary disease. Validated biologic markers may be useful in identifying early effects to improve our understanding of exposure-response relationships and clarify susceptibility. However, the knowledge obtained from epidemiologic studies utilizing these new molecular tools will reduce morbidity and mortality from air toxics only when they can be applied effectively in the prevention and control of disease. Intervention strategies using these markers can be used to identify etiologic factors and assess the effectiveness of exposure reduction, and, in some instances, chemoprevention. This paper illustrates examples of these intervention strategies and reviews the current strengths and limitations of environmental molecular epidemiology in controlling disease caused by air toxics.

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