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Exposure to Aerosolized Brevetoxins during Red Tide Events (OMB No. 0920-0494)—Revision—National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Karenia brevis (formerly Gymnodinium breve) is the marine dinoflagellate responsible for extensive blooms (called red tides) that form in the Gulf of Mexico. K. brevis produces potent toxins, called brevetoxins, which have been responsible for killing millions of fish and other marine organisms. The biochemical activity of brevetoxins is not completely understood and there is very little information regarding human health effects from environmental exposures, such as inhaling brevetoxin that has been aerosolized and swept onto the coast by offshore winds. The National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recruited people who work along the coast of Florida and who are periodically occupationally exposed to aerosolized red tide toxins.
We have administered a baseline respiratory health questionnaire and conducted pre- and post-shift pulmonary function tests during a time when there is no red tide reported near the area. When a red tide developed, we administered a symptom survey and conducted pulmonary function testing (PFT). We compared (1) symptom reports before and during the red tide and (2) the changes in baseline PFT values during the work shift (differences between pre- and post-shift PFT results) without exposure to red tide with the changes in PFT values during the work shift when individuals are exposed to red tide.
The exposures experienced by our study cohort have been minimal, and we plan to conduct another study (using the same symptom questionnaires and spirometry tests) during a more severe red tide event.
In addition, we are now planning to quantify the levels of cytokines in nasal exudates to assess whether they can be used to verify exposure and to demonstrate a biological effect (i.e., allergic response) following inhalation of aerosolized brevetoxins. We plan to include not only the study subjects who have been involved in our earlier studies, but also any new individuals who are hired to work at the relevant beaches. As mentioned above, we have collected part data on occupational exposure to red tides. However, because we are dealing with natural phenomena and are subject literally to the tides, and because the scientific questions are evolving as we learn more, we must extend our data collection time for an additional three years. There are no costs to respondents except for their time. The total estimated total burden hours are 195.
|Respondents||Number of respondents||Number of responses per respondent||Average burden per response|
|Pulmonary History Questionnaire||5||1||20/60|
|Nasal exudates collection/Nasal wash||25||6||10/60|
Dated: September 9, 2005.
Acting Reports Clearance Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[FR Doc. 05-18407 Filed 9-15-05; 8:45 am]
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