An activity comparison of tritiated water was organized in 2013 between 3 laboratories: FTMC (Lithuania), LNE-LNHB (France) and VNIIM (Russia). The solution was prepared by LNHB and ampoules were sent to the others laboratories. This solution was standardized in terms of activity per unit mass by participant laboratories using the Triple to Double Coincidence Ratio (TDCR) method in liquid scintillation counting (LSC). The tritiated water solution is traceable to the solution prepared by LNHB for the CCRI(II)-K2.H-3 2009 (3)H international comparison.
The quantity of the long lived (half-life 15.7 million years) radioactive isotope 129I in the pre-nuclear age ocean was approximately 100 kg. Various nuclear related activities, including weapons testing, nuclear fuel reprocessing, Chernobyl and other authorized or non-authorized dumping of radioactive waste have increased the ocean inventory of 129I by more than one order of magnitude. The most important of these sources are the direct marine discharges from the commercial reprocessing facilities at La Hague (France) and Sellafield (UK) which have discharged approximately 1640 kg in the English Channel, and approximately 720 kg in the Irish Sea, respectively. We discuss how this 129I can be used as both a 'pathway' and 'transit time' tracer in the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, as well as a parameter for distinguishing between reprocessed and non-reprocessed nuclear waste in the ocean, and as a proxy for the transport and dilution of other soluble pollutants input to the North Sea.
This selective report notes recent events relating to pregnancy termination in the U.S., France, England, Italy, East and West Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Due to the Supreme Court decision in January 1973, abortion is now legal in the U.S. Although abortions is illegal in France, an estimated 400,000-1,000,000 clandestine abortions occur each year. Although abortions are legal in Britain, the ease with which they can be obtained varies regionally. As of March 1973, contraceptives are part of Britain's National Health Service. In Italy, a bill to legalize abortion has been introduced in Parliament, though there is little likelihood of its passing. In East Germany, abortion can be granted for medical or social reasons, while in West Germany, the governmental policies are more conservative, resulting in an abundance of illegal abortions performed by physicians. There is a trend toward easier abortion laws in Norway and Sweden. Little is happening in the Netherlands as far as liberalizing the abortion laws. Rather liberal grounds for pregnancy termination exist in China (though emphasis is on contraception), India, Russia, and Eastern Europe (with the exception of Romania). Abortion is frowned upon in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East resulting in a large number of illegal abortions. It is concluded that there is liberalized abortion in communist bloc countries, there is trend toward liberalizing abortion in a large group of western countries, and tradition and religion are responsible for conservative abortion laws in a third group of countries.
Acceptance of guideline recommendations and perceived implementation of coronary heart disease prevention among primary care physicians in five European countries: the Reassessing European Attitudes about Cardiovascular Treatment (REACT) survey.
BACKGROUND: Although primary care is the major target of coronary heart disease (CHD) clinical recommendations, little is known of how community physicians view guidelines and their implementation. The REACT survey was designed to assess the views, and perceived implementation, of CHD and lipid treatment guidelines among primary care physicians. METHODS: Semi-structured validated telephone interviews were conducted, in the relevant native tongue, with 754 randomly selected primary care physicians (GPs and family doctors) in five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK). RESULTS: Most physicians (89%) agreed with the content of current guidelines and reported use of them (81%). However, only 18% of physicians believed that guidelines were being implemented to a major extent. Key barriers to greater implementation of guidelines were seen as lack of time (38% of all physicians), prescription costs (30%), and patient compliance (17%). Suggestions for ways to improve implementation centred on more education, both for physicians themselves (29%) and patients (25%); promoting, publicizing or increasing guideline availability (23%); simplifying the guidelines (17%); and making them clearer (12%). Physicians perceived diabetes to be the most important risk factor for CHD, followed by hypertension and raised LDL-C. Most physicians (92%) believe their patients do associate high cholesterol levels with CHD. After establishing that a patient is 'at risk' of CHD, physicians reported spending an average of 16.5 minutes discussing risk factors and lifestyle changes or treatment that is required. Factors preventing this included insufficient time (42%), having too many other patients to see (27%) and feeling that patients did not listen or understand anyway (21%). CONCLUSIONS: Primary care physicians need more information and support on the implementation of CHD and cholesterol guideline recommendations. This need is recognized by clinicians.
Currently, researchers have to apply separately to individual biobanks if they want to carry out studies that use samples and data from multiple biobanks. This article analyzes the access governance arrangements of the original five biobank members of the Biobank Standardisation and Harmonisation for Research Excellence in the European Union (BioSHaRE-EU) project in Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom to identify similarities and differences in policies and procedures, and consider the potential for internal policy "harmonization." Our analysis found differences in the range of researchers and organizations eligible to access biobanks; application processes; requirements for Research Ethics Committee approval; and terms of Material Transfer Agreements relating to ownership and commercialization. However, the main elements of access are the same across biobanks; access will be granted to bona fide researchers conducting research in the public interest, and all biobanks will consider the scientific merit of the proposed use and it's compatibility with the biobank's objectives. These findings suggest potential areas for harmonization across biobanks. This could be achieved through a single centralized application to a number of biobanks or a system of mutual recognition that places a presumption in favor of access to one biobank if already approved by another member of the same consortium. Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure-European Research Infrastructure Consortia (BBMRI-ERIC), a European consortium of biobanks and bioresources with its own ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) common service, could provide a platform by developing guidelines for harmonized internal processes.