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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634

Salud pública Méx vol.51 n.2 Cuernavaca Mar./Apr. 2009

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342009000200001 

EDITORIAL

 

Challenges to environmental health: An Environmental Health Perspectives - Salud Pública de México collaboration

 

 

Informing the public about the scientific advances requires a commitment to public health. This challenge involves not only timeliness and coverage of information but also translating the knowledge to a language that is accessible to the population.

At this time, we are pleased to announce that in this issue, Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) and Salud Pública de México (SPM) are instituting a collaboration through which each issue of Salud Pública de México (SPM) will be published with the section “News in environmental health," that will contain a selection of informative news briefs from EHP’s “Environews."

Thus, an initiative is formalized that arose in a meeting held by EHP with the participation of editors from the principal scientific publications in the area of environmental health in Latin America. In addition, after 50 years of uninterrupted publication of SPM, this represents one of the revitalizing projects as the new cycle begins.

For their publication in spanish, SPM will select from the “Environews" section of EHP informative news briefs taken from scientific articles with timely information that is most relevant to the field of epidemiology, through which spanish readers will be kept up-to-date on scientific advances in the area of environmental health.

The section “News in environmental health" begins with the article, “Floral Scents Going Off the Air?" that describes a study about the destructive effect of three common constituents in smog on the scents that permit flowers to attract pollinating insects. The possible adverse consequences on pollination and, therefore, on the survival of crops and insects were objects of a modeled simulation that tested different scenarios over time and that will be complemented by field trials.

In “Strong Signal for Cell Phone Effects," a metaanalysis is described that was published in the International Journal of Oncology that provides alarming data about the association between long-term cell phone use and the risk of developing brain tumors. The evidence of a greater vulnerability in children to radiofrequency fields is another concern referred to in the article, which also comments on the lack of certainty in determining safe limits for cell phone use.

Satellite monitoring of the movement of contaminants around the planet is the topic of “The Global Sweep of Pollution." This field of study, in full development, presents evidence of the vulnerability of the world to atmospheric contamination. The evolution of the technology and logarithms used for measurements opens up a vast panorama that characterizes the phenomena of atmospheric contamination on a global scale, a challenging task in scientific terms that should be, as the text suggests, among the budgetary priorities of governments.

For the first time, a group of investigators examined the effects of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on cardiac stress, caused by particulate matter, in a group of elderly residents in Mexico City. In “A dose of Defense?" which ends the section, the study comments on a protective effect of the consumption of Omega-3 against oxidative damage in blood cells caused by exposure to particulate matter.

It is our desire that the collaboration beginning today between EHP and SPM strengthens the scientific communication in Spanish on key environmental health issues and that it be the first of future efforts to promote public health.

 

Hugh A. TilsonI
Lizbeth López CarrilloII
Carlos OropezaIII

I Environmental Health Perspectives, Editor-in-Chief
II Salud Pública de México, Editora de Salud Ambiental
III Salud Pública de México, Editor Ejecutivo