Biomarkers of exposure and early effect in three contaminated sites of southern Italy: protocols for etiological epidemiological studies
IntroductionEnvironmental pollution has been progressively becoming one of the main risk factors to human diseases. In particular, populations living in high-contaminated sites are particularly exposed to environmental toxicants, with consequent increased risks to human health. In Italy, there are currently ongoing three epidemiological etiological studies aimed at evaluating the association between exposure to inorganic and organic chemicals and presence of biological markers of early effects
... s of early effects in population living in three National Priority Contaminated Sites (NPCSs). Specifically, the correlations concern preclinical indicators of liver disease in Priolo NPCS, thyroid diseases in Milazzo-Valle del Mela NPCS and cardiovascular risk and kidney damage in Crotone NPCS.Methods and analysisOverall, approximately 1300 subjects of both sexes will be enrolled in the three NPCSs according to specific inclusion criteria. For each subject, serum and urine specimens are collected, on which the determination of biological markers of exposure and early effects for the selected outcomes are performed. Individual information on environmental and occupational exposure, medical history, diet and life habits is obtained through questionnaires provided by web platform. In Milazzo-Valle del Mela and Crotone NPCSs, not invasive instrumental and imaging examinations are performed in order to evaluate further risk factors of thyroid carcinoma and cardiovascular disease, respectively.Ethics and disseminationThe protocol studies have been approved by the Ethics Committees responsible for the three involved NPCSs: the Ethics Committee 'Catania 2' for the NPCS of Priolo (21 July 2017, n. 500/2017/CECT2), the Ethics Committee of the University Hospitals of Messina for the NPCS of Milazzo-Valle del Mela (19 February 2018, n.2/2018); the Ethics Committee of the Region of Calabria for the NPCS of Crotone (20 July 2017, n. 174). Results will be disseminated among policy-makers, citizens, stakeholders and scientific community through the organisation of conferences and events, and the publication on international peer/reviewed journals.