Soil analyses revealed an elevated lead content in the surface soil of three British Columbia cities. The lead accumulations were largely attributed to dustfall from a nearby large lead-zinc smelter in Trail and to automotive traffic in Nelson and Vancouver. Although the mean concentrations of lead in the soil were relatively low at Nelson (192 parts per million [ppm]), in selected areas of Vancouver with heavy traffic they were similar to those found within 1.6 km of the large smelter at Trail (1545 and 1662 ppm respectively). In a study conducted in 1975, children aged 1 to 6 years in Trail and Nelson were found to have higher mean blood lead levels than grade nine students. The findings of the later study support the view that particulate lead in surface soil and dust accounted for most of the greater lead absorption in the younger children.
Cites: Arch Environ Health. 1978 Sep-Oct;33(5):236-9708117
In this investigation the environment of vanadium workers was studied. It was found that low concentrations of vanadium (0.01--0.04 mg/m3) in the air do not correlate with vanadium serum levels or its urinary excretion. The results, however, suggest that values of vanadium in serum and urine samples reflect absorption of vanadium because vanadium could not be detected in the urine of referents. In higher vanadium exposure (0.2--0.5 mg/m3), the concentration in the air inhaled remaining unknown due to the use of dust masks, urinary vanadium excretion and serum vanadium level decreased significantly with exposure-free time.
Occupational lead poisoning has been greatly reduced as a problem in Finland during the 1970s. Case-finding efforts and increased awareness of plant physicians first caused an increase of the incidence with a peak of 89 reported cases in 1974. A sharp decline followed, and, although about 30 mild cases are still reported annually, classical clinical poisoning hardly exists anymore. An extensive regular monitoring program covering 8,000--10,000 blood lead (PbB) analyses a year also shows that exposure levels have been reduced. In 1977 only 70 PbB values, or 1%, were in excess of 70 micrograms/100 ml, and 243 values (4%) exceeded 60 micrograms/100 ml. All such values came from workers employed by less than 30 workplaces, and several of them belonged to workers monitored more than once a year. It is proposed that the general development of occupational health in Finland is to a great extent reflected in this favorable development; however, since special research, educational and informative efforts have been devoted to the lead problem, it may well be that these measures have also influenced the outcome. The results show that, on a nationwide scale, the lead problem can be coped with much more effectively than one has been apt to think. Hence the nonfeasibility of lowering maximum permissible exposure levels has been put in serious doubt. There is no reason to allow unnecessarily high exposure in the vast majority of workplaces only because a small minority has technical difficulties.
Chromosomal aberrations in lymphocytes from peripheral blood were significantly more frequent in six workers from a plant manufacturing polyester resin boats (average 10.8 per 100 cells) than in six age-and sex-matched referents (5.2 per 100 cells). The contamination of the workroom air with styrene, as measured on three occasions within three years in different areas of the plant, was 50--400 mg/m3.
In a previous study of children with congenital CNS (central nervous system) defects (N = 120), it was shown that exposure had occurred more often among the study mothers than among their referents. In the present study this population, extended with a one-year material of parents of children with oral clefts (N = 102) and their referents, was analyzed in a conventional way concerning occupational factors. This procedure was carried out in order to determine whether information on occupational factors only would provide enough hints to confirm known information concerning exposure, which had been acquired with the more-detailed but laborious interview method. No significant differences were observed in a comparison between the study groups and their referents when work of the mothers outside the home during pregnancy was considered. According to the social class grouping, classes 3 and 4 appeared more often among parents of children with congenital CNS defects than among their referents. With respect to industrial classification, manufacturing and different community services occurred more often among mothers of children with congenital CNS defects and oral clefts than among their referents. Some clustering could be observed with regard to the occupations of the parents in the two study groups as compared to their referents. When the material was methodologically processed in the conventional way described, no obvious conclusions could be drawn about exposure.
The occurrence of Down's syndrome in British Columbia during the period 1972-75 is analyzed with respect to maternal age distribution. This period is compared with previously studied periods. No marked trends are evident in the various age group-specific rates studied. The significance of these findings is discussed in connection with a possible role of environmental nutagens in induction of Down's syndrome and the maternal age effect.
Capillaria hepatica was found in 82% of 86 Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) trapped in Hartford, Connecticut between February and November 1975. Adults were parasitized more frequently than juveniles and infection rate did not differ between sexes. Rats demonstrated a low intensity of infection, with 9% having extensive liver involvement. A seasonal variation in infection rate may have been a manifestation of environmental factors, cannibalism, and predation.
The influence of exogenous and environmental factors on metabolic control was studied in 58 insulin treated juvenile diabetics, 6-17 years of age. Duration of diabetes varied between 3-14 years and age at onset of diabetes between 1-13 years. The social situation as well as knowledge about and attitudes towards diabetes among the patients and their parents were estimated by interviews, questionnaires and special tests. The quality of the diet, exercise and insulin treatment was assessed. An index of diabetic control was calculated on the basis of the patients daily urinalysis made at home. Multiple regression analysis and a special statistical "instrumental" variable technique were used in an effort to analyse the correlations between all variables. The social situation of the diabetic children was comparable with that of other Swedish children, but many parents felt the economic burden of the diabetic treatment as a problem. Knowledge tests showed that 25% of the parents and 62% of the patients above 12 years had unsatisfactory knowledge about diabetes. However, 93% of the patients seemed to have predominantly positive attitudes towards the treatment. Severe psychological problems had occurred in 7 cases. Food habits were appropriate among 21% of the patients and 26% had very regular exercise customs. Physical exercise seemed to be the most important of the exogenous factors for the diabetic control (p less than 0.001). Among teenagers knowledge was positively correlated to positive attitudes which in turn were positively correlated to physical exercise. Instrumental variable technique gave further indications of a positive influence of knowledge on control, and the correlation between diabetic control on one hand and knowledge combined with positive attitudes on the other was significantly positive. The results emphasize the importance of assisting young diabetic patients and their families in their socio-psychological adaptation to the strains of diabetic therapy.