Recent CEHS research highlighted in publications

Electronic Cigarettes: Their Constituents and Potential Links to Asthma
Clapp, P., and Jaspers, I.

Vaping is gaining popularity in the USA, particularly among teens and young adults. While e-cigs are commonly represented as safer alternatives to tobacco cigarettes, little is known regarding the health effects of their shorter long-term use, especially in individuals with pre-existing respiratory diseases such as asthma. Flavored e-cig liquids (e liquids) and e-cig aerosols contain airway irritants and toxicants that have been implicated in the pathogenesis and worsening of lung diseases. In this review, we will summarize existing data on potential health effects of components present in e-cig aerosols, such as propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings, and discuss their relevance in the context of asthma.

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Research publications archived by year:


Issue #11issue 11

  • Epigenetics Leaves the Lab
  • Interdisciplinary Research Approach Leads to Better Understanding of Connections between Air Quality and Heart Health
  • CEHS Stakeholders Learn about Climate Change and Health
  • COEC Supports Local Partners through Asthma Initiatives

Issue #10issue 10

  • From the Director: CEHS Fuels Collaboration and Builds Leadership to Advance Promising Research across UNC Campus
  • Solving the Mystery of Arsenic’s Impact on Human Health
  • UNC Explores Childhood Sunburns and Melanoma Risk
  • Community Outreach and Engagement: Partnering Across the Nation to Inform the Public about Fracking Science
  • Community Outreach and Engagement: Educating Young Black Women about Breast Cancer Risk with Web-based Tools

Issue #9issue 9

  • Research Highlight: Links Between Prenatal Exposures and ADHD
  • Researcher Profile: Dr. Temitope Erinosho
  • Community Outreach and Engagement: Partnering to Implement Policy: Addressing Lead Exposure Among Pregnant Women
  • Community Outreach and Engagement: Building Capacity to Address Obesity

Issue #8

  • Research Highlight: Groupissue 8 Facilitates Interdisciplinary Research on Airway Biology, Asthma and Other Diseases
  • Researcher Profile: Exploring Possible Links Between Pregnancy, Obesity and Breast Cancer
  • Community Outreach and Engagement: Helping UNC Researchers Communicate Effectively with African American Women About Breast Cancer Risks
  • Community Outreach and Engagement: Conducting Healthy Homes Assessments in Kinston

Issue #7

  • From the Director’s Deskissue 7
  • Researcher Profile: Navigating CEHS Resources
  • Research Highlight: Interpreting Data to Support Emerging Environmental Health Research
  • Community Outreach and Engagement News: Building Outreach in Vulnerable Communities
  • Community Outreach and Engagement News: Healthy Homes

Issue #6issue 6

  • Building a Better Mouse Model
  • From the Director’s Desk
  • Obesity, Chemical Exposure and Breast Cancer
  • CEHS Pilot Projects
  • Community Outreach and Education News: Breast Cancer, Skin Cancer, and Lead Poisoning Prevention

Issue #5issue 5

  • Understanding the Environment’s Effect on Asthma
  • From the Director’s Desk
  • International Collaboration to Explore Genes, Environment and Melanoma
  • CEHS Pilot Projects
  • Community Outreach and Education News: Asthma and Skin Cancer

Issue #4issue 4

  • CEHS launches Obesity Research Core
  • From the Director’s Desk
  • Behind the Scenes: Epidemiologist Marilie Gammon links Environment to Breast, Esophageal Cancers
  • New Workshop Gives Teachers the Skinny on Obesity
  • Breast Cancer Workshop Still Available
  • CEHS Loses Leader, Friend

Issue #3issue 3

  • UNC CEHS Celebrates Past, Looks to Future
  • Behind the Scenes: A Glimpse into the Lab of Toxicogeneticist Bill Kaufmann
  • UNC CEHS part of National Health Education Project

Issue #2issue 2

  • CEHS Pilot Grants Help Jump-Start Research
  • Behind the Scenes: A Peek into the Lab of Environmental Scientist Stephen Rappaport
  • Connecting the Center’s Work to the Community
  • CEHS Helps Build UNC Research Faculty
  • Enrichment Program Brings Experts to UNC-Chapel Hill

Issue #1issue 1

  • UNC Chosen for Innovative National
  • Research Center: Grant to Open Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility Awarded in April 2001
  • CEHS Wins Two New Research Grants
  • Behind the Scenes: A Glance into the Research of Epidemiologist Andrew Olshan

Shale gas

High-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHF, often referred to as “hydrofracking” or “fracking”) is a drilling technology in which water mixed with sand and chemicals is injected into drilled wells to enhance the extraction of natural gas from deep shale formations. This technique has vastly increased the potential for domestic natural gas production, and has been promoted as a way to decrease dependence on foreign energy sources, replace dirtier energy sources like coal, and generate new jobs and economic development. However, the rapid expansion of shale gas extraction has resulted in documented impacts on human health and raised concerns about long-term, cumulative, and intergenerational impacts on individuals and communities. Research is ongoing to determine how human health, particularly that of vulnerable populations such as children and low-income rural populations, may be impacted.

The UNC-CEHS COEC staff has partnered with colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Cincinnati and University of Rochester to assess community information needs and understand the factors that affect the public’s perception of risk related to shale gas extraction. The projects were funded through supplemental grants by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and resulted in the development of the following resources for NIEHS:

fracking podcast

A Second Look at the Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing podcast

A podcast featuring Dr. Trevor Penning from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and UNC-CEHS COEC director Kathleen Gray, who discuss how our understanding of the impacts of fracking has evolved over the past few years.

A factsheet about hydraulic fracturing and the potential health risks for people living near drilling sites.

A public radio program in which a panel of experts discuss fracking in North Carolina.

The UNC-CEHS COEC and other Centers formed a working group to review the literature on the potential public health impacts of HVHF and to make recommendations for needed research. These recommendations can be found in “Environmental health research recommendations from the inter-environmental health sciences core center working group on unconventional natural gas drilling operations,” published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

In addition, the UNC COEC collaborated with University of Cincinnati to conduct a community information needs assessment in order to integrate community leaders’ knowledge, perceptions, and concerns into the research agenda prior to initiation of local unconventional natural gas development. A summary of the assessment and its implications can be found in “Unconventional natural gas development and public health: toward a community-informed research agenda,” published in Reviews in Environmental Health.

Additional resources