Public health impact of long-term, low level mixed element exposure in susceptible population strata (PHIME)
Principal investigator; Skerfving, Staffan, Professor, MD/PhD
Clinical speciality: Occupational and environmental medicine
Co-workers: Ulf Strömberg, PhD, professor; Karin Broberg, PhD, docent; Thomas Lundh, PhD; Anna Rignell-Hydbom, PhD
International networks: PHIME consortium (35 partners in 22 countries)
Exposure to metals is a problem in the work and general environments. The geography of exposure is not well known. The toxic effects are often not well characterized. Often there is exposure to several metals. Little is known about their interaction. The impact of genetic traits is not known. The exposure is often through vegetable foods. The knowledge on uptake of metals in plants is not well known. PHIME started as an integrated project (EU´s FP6; 35 partners, 22 countries; 2006-2011), coordinated by Lund University.
PHIME contains four pillars:
I. What are the problems?
i) We assess epidemiologically impacts of metals (cadmium, mercury, lead, manganese) exposure on disease (nervous system, cardiovascular, osteoporosis/fractures, kidneys, diabetes).
ii) We assess interactions in mixed exposures (several metals and other pollutants), and on "new" elements (platinum, palladium, rhodium and manganese).
iii) We characterize benefits of essential elements (selenium, zinc)/other dietary components (fatty acids, fibre), and describe risk/benefit relationships.
iv) We address pathomechanisms.
v) We focus on susceptible groups (fetuses/infants/children, fertile women and elderly, nutrition and gene/environment interactions).
II. Where are the problems?
vi) We develop new methods for biomonitoring of exposures.
vii) We define geographical patterns/sources of exposure, especially in children and women.
viii) We assess time trends of exposure.
III. Possible solutions
ix) We develop models describing the exposures and exposure/response patterns. This enables scientifically-based decisions on preventive actions.
x) We explore mechanisms of uptake and distribution of toxic and essential elements in plants, making it possible to breed species with low concentrations of toxic elements and high of essential, giving possibility to change intakes through plant foods and transportation into animal foods.
We will increase the knowledge on the risks associated with toxic metals, and improve the basis for risk assessment and prevention of disease.
Link to project homepage: http://www.phime.org
5 recent original publications
Wennberg M, Bergdahl I A, Hallmans G, Norberg M, Lundh T, Skerfving S, Strömberg U, Vessby B, Jansson J-H
Fish consumption and myocardial infarction: a second prospective biomarker study from northern Sweden.
Am J Clin Nutr.. 2011; 93: 27-36
Zheng G, Tian L, Liang Y, Broberg K, Lei L, Guo W, Nilsson J, Bergdahl I A, Skerfving S, Jin T
δ-Aminolevulinic acid dehydratase genotype predicts toxic effect6s of lead on owrkers´ peripheral nervous system
Neurotoxicology. 2011; 32: 374-382
Engström A, Håkansson H, Skerfving S, Bjellerup P, Lidfeldt J, Lundh T, Samsioe G, Vahter M, Åkesson A.
Retinol may counteract the negative effect of cadmium on bone
J Nutr. 2011; 141: 2198-2203
Suwazono Y, Salomon S, Vahter M, Skerfving S, Lidfeldt J, Åkesson A
Benchmark dose for cadmium-induced osteoporosis in Women.
Toxicology Letters. 2010; 197: 123-127
Engström A, Skerfving S, Lidfeldt J, Burgaz A, Lundh T, Samsio G, Vahter M, Åkesson A
Cadmium-induced bone effect is not mediated via low 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D
Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2009; 82: 188-92
Åkesson A, Bjellerup P, Lundh T, Lidfeldt J, nerbrand C, Samsioe G, Skerfving S, Vahter M
Cadmium-induced effects on bone in a population-based study of women
Environ Health Perspect. 2006; 6: 830-834
Rignell.-Hydbom A, Skerfving S, Lundh T, Lindh CH, Elmståhl S. Bjellerup P, Jönsson BAG, Strömberg U, Åkesson A
Exposure to cadmium and persistent organochlorine pollutants and its association with bone mineral density and markers of bone metabolism in postmenopausal women
Environ Res. 2009; 109: 897-901
Further publications here (new window)