Review of environmental exposure concentrations of chemical warfare agent residues and associated the fish community risk following the construction and completion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.
This paper compiles all the measured chemical warfare agent (CWA) concentrations found in relation to the Nord Stream pipeline work in Danish waters for the past 5 years. Sediment and biota sampling were performed along the pipeline route in four campaigns, prior to (in 2008 and 2010), during (in 2011) and after (in 2012) the construction work. No parent CWAs were detected in the sediments. Patchy residues of CWA degradation products of Adamsite, Clark I, phenyldichloroarsine, trichloroarsine and Lewisite II, were detected in a total of 29 of the 391 sediment samples collected and analyzed the past 5 years. The cumulative fish community risk quotient for the different locations, calculated as a sum of background and added risk, ranged between 0 and 0.017 suggesting a negligible acute CWA risk toward the fish community. The added risk from sediment disturbance in relation to construction of the pipelines represents less than 2% of the total risk in the areas with the highest calculated risk. The analyses of benthic infauna corroborate the finding of CWA related low risk across the years. There was no significant difference in CWA risk before (2008) and after the pipeline construction (2012).
In areas where water is a major source of dietary iodine (I), the I concentration in drinking water is an important factor for public health and epidemiological understandings. In Denmark, almost all of the drinking water is originating from groundwater. Therefore, understanding the I variation in groundwater and governing factors and processes are crucial. In this study, we perform uni- and multivariate analyses of all available historical Danish I groundwater data from 1933 to 2011 (n?=?2,562) to give an overview on the I variability for first time and to discover possible geochemical associations between I and twenty other elements and parameters. Special attention is paid on the description and the quality assurance of this complex compilation of historical data. The high variability of I in Danish groundwater (
Endocrine disrupting industrial chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are suspected to adversely affect male reproductive functions.
The Faroe Islands community exhibits an unusually wide range of exposures to dietary contaminants, and in this setting we examined the possible association between PCB exposure and semen quality and reproductive hormones in fertile Faroese men.
Participants in this cross-sectional study include 266 proven fertile men residing in the Faroe Islands. PCB levels and hormone profiles were measured in serum samples taken at the clinical examination that included semen quality parameters.
A significant positive association was seen between serum-PCB and the testosterone/estradiol ratio (p=0.04). In the unadjusted analyses, elevated PCB exposure was associated with increased serum concentrations of SHBG (p=0.01) and FSH (p=0.05). We found no association between the serum PCB concentration and the semen quality variables.
In this population of highly exposed fertile men, the current serum-PCB concentration was associated with higher androgen/estrogen ratio. Further studies are needed to establish the findings and further document PCB-associated hormonal effects, any time windows of increased susceptibility, and the role of PCB in sub-fecundity.
Increasing stress on water resources is driving urban water utilities to establish new concepts for water supply. This paper presents the consequences of proposed alternative water supply options using a unique combination of quantitative and qualitative methods from different research fields. A former industrial harbor area in Copenhagen, Denmark, is currently under development and all infrastructure will be updated to accommodate 40,000 inhabitants and 40,000 jobs in the future. To reduce stress on water resources it has been proposed to establish a secondary water supply in the area as an alternative to the conventional groundwater-based drinking water supply. Four alternative concepts for a secondary water supply have been considered: 1) slightly polluted groundwater for use in toilets and laundry, 2) desalinated brackish water for use in toilets, laundry, and dishwashers, 3) desalinated brackish water for all uses, including drinking water, and 4) local reclamation of rain and gray water for use in toilets and laundry. The concepts have been evaluated for their technical feasibility, economy, health risks, and public acceptance, while the concepts' environmental sustainability has been assessed using lifecycle assessment and freshwater use impact methods. The holistic assessment method exposes conflicting preference solutions depending on assessment criteria, and reveals multi-faceted consequences for choices in urban water management. Not one concept turns out unambiguously positive based on the evaluation criteria included here, but the systematic evaluation will leave decision-makers informed on the consequences of their choices.
It has been suggested that frequent-, short-term sick leave is associated with work environment factors, whereas long-term sick leave is associated mainly with health factors. However, studies of the hypothesis of an association between a poor working environment and frequent short spells of sick leave are few and results are inconsistent. Therefore, we aimed to explore associations between self-reported psychosocial work factors and workplace-registered frequency and length of sick leave in the eldercare sector.
Employees from the municipal eldercare in Aarhus (N = 2,534) were included. In 2005, they responded to a work environment questionnaire. Sick leave records from 2005 were dichotomised into total sick leave days (0-14 and above 14 days) and into spell patterns (0-2 short, 3-9 short, and mixed spells and 1-3 long spells). Logistic regression models were used to analyse associations; adjusted for age, gender, occupation, and number of spells or sick leave length.
The response rate was 76%; 96% of the respondents were women. Unfavourable mean scores in work pace, demands for hiding emotions, poor quality of leadership and bullying were best indicated by more than 14 sick leave days compared with 0-14 sick leave days. For work pace, the best indicator was a long-term sick leave pattern compared with a non-frequent short-term pattern. A frequent short-term sick leave pattern was a better indicator of emotional demands (1.62; 95% CI: 1.1-2.5) and role conflict (1.50; 95% CI: 1.2-1.9) than a short-term non-frequent pattern.Age (= 40 years) statistically significantly modified the association between the 1-3 long-term sick leave spell pattern and commitment to the workplace compared with the 3-9 frequent short-term pattern.
Total sick leave length and a long-term sick leave spell pattern were just as good or even better indicators of unfavourable work factor scores than a frequent short-term sick leave pattern. Scores in commitment to the workplace and quality of leadership varied with sick leave pattern and age. Thus, different sick leave measures seem to be associated with different work environment factors. Further studies on these associations may inform interventions to improve occupational health care.
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This questionnaire-based study found a significantly higher prevalence of chronic bronchitis, asthma, and several other symptoms in 116 Copenhagen street cleaners who were exposed to traffic-related air pollution at levels that were slightly lower than the 1987 World Health Organization-recommended threshold values, compared with 115 Copenhagen cemetery workers exposed to lower pollution levels. Logistic regression analysis, controlling for age and smoking, was conducted, and odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated to be 2.5 for chronic bronchitis (95% confidence interval = 1.2-5.1), 2.3 for asthma (95% confidence interval = 1.0-5.1), and 1.8-7.9 for other symptoms (95% confidence interval = 1.0-28.2). Except for exposure to air pollution, the two groups were comparable, i.e., they had similar terms of employment and working conditions. The exposure ranges during an 8-h work day, averaged from readings taken at five monitored street positions, were: 41-257 ppb nitric oxide (1-h max: 865 ppb); 23-43 ppb nitrogen dioxide (1-h max: 208 ppb); 1.0-4.3 ppm carbon monoxide (8-h max: 7.1 ppm); 14-28 ppb sulfur dioxide (1-h max: 112 ppb); and 10-38 ppb ozone (1-h max: 72 ppb).
This paper provides a short overview of cobalt-related diseases with particular reference to the potential carcinogenicity of cobalt compounds, and a review of a 10-year surveillance programme on plate painters exposed to cobalt in two Danish porcelain factories. Clinical experience and epidemiological studies have demonstrated that cobalt exposure may lead to severely impaired lung function, i.e. hard metal lung disease and occupational cobalt-related asthma, contact dermatitis and cardiovascular effects. However, the evidence for the carcinogenicity of cobalt and cobalt compounds is considered inadequate (IARC, 1991). Most frequently, exposure to cobalt occurs simultaneously with exposure to other elements known to pose a health risk, (e.g. nickel, arsenic, chromium, tungsten). The importance of cobalt as sole causal agent in hard metal lung diseases, cardiomyopathy and cancer are still a matter of controversy. In the two Danish porcelain factories, cobalt blue underglaze dyes have been used since 1888. In contrast to the exposure experience of hard metal factories, the exposure of plate painters occurs with only low trace levels of other potentially harmful compounds such as the carcinogenic metals nickel, arsenic and chromium. Consequently, the nearly-pure cobalt exposure makes the plate painters an attractive group for studies on the health effects of cobalt. During the period 1982-1992 the surveillance programme showed a profound reduction in the urine level of cobalt (Co-U) from 100-fold to 10-fold above the median level of the unexposed control subjects. In the same period, the airborne cobalt exposure declined from 1356 nmol/m3 to 454 nmol/m3, the Danish occupational exposure limit being 845 nmol/m3. In 1982, when the cobalt exposure was above the occupational exposure limit, the plate painters showed a chronic impaired lung function. The obstructive effects may be similar to some of the effects observed in hard metal workers. In 1988, a study on the effect of cobalt exposure at low levels revealed no inhibitory effects on thyroid function, but the ratio between T4 and T3 increased, indicating that low cobalt exposure may have an impact on the metabolism of thyroid hormones. Parallel studies were conducted on the metabolism and excretion of cobalt. The gastrointestinal uptake of soluble CoCl was considerably higher than the uptake of insoluble cobalt(II) oxide. In addition, it was demonstrated that ingestion of controlled amounts of the soluble cobalt compound resulted in significantly higher concentrations of cobalt in urine and blood (Co-B) from females compared with males (P
Interpersonal relations at work as well as individual factors seem to play prominent roles in the modern labour market, and arguably also for the change in stress symptoms. The aim was to examine whether exposures in the psychosocial work environment predicted symptoms of cognitive stress in a sample of Danish knowledge workers (i.e. employees working with sign, communication or exchange of knowledge) and whether performance-based self-esteem had a main effect, over and above the work environmental factors.
349 knowledge workers, selected from a national, representative cohort study, were followed up with two data collections, 12 months apart. We used data on psychosocial work environment factors and cognitive stress symptoms measured with the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ), and a measurement of performance-based self-esteem. Effects on cognitive stress symptoms were analyzed with a GLM procedure with and without adjustment for baseline level.
Measures at baseline of quantitative demands, role conflicts, lack of role clarity, recognition, predictability, influence and social support from management were positively associated with cognitive stress symptoms 12 months later. After adjustment for baseline level of cognitive stress symptoms, follow-up level was only predicted by lack of predictability. Performance-based self-esteem was prospectively associated with cognitive stress symptoms and had an independent effect above the psychosocial work environment factors on the level of and changes in cognitive stress symptoms.
The results suggest that both work environmental and individual characteristics should be taken into account in order to capture sources of stress in modern working life.
Middle-aged and elderly men with the Lewis blood group phenotype Le(a-b-), have a two-fold higher prevalence of obesity than others. We investigated if the association could be ascribed to differences in lifestyle, or if obesity determinants had a different impact in this group.
This was a cross-sectional study of 3,290 men aged 53-74 years with a mean of 63 years drawn from the Copenhagen Male Study. The main outcome measure was prevalence of obesity [body mass index (BMI) =30 (kg/m(2))].
Among men with the Le(a-b-) phenotype (n?=?315), the prevalence of obesity was 15.6%; it was 8.1% among men with other phenotypes (n?=?2,975, p?7 cups/day vs. less) and obesity, and between lacking fat avoidance and obesity; the odds ratio [95% confidence interval (CI)] for high coffee consumption was 0.2(0.1-0.7) and for avoidance of fatty foods 2.0(1.04-3.7). The association of obesity with leisure time physical activity, smoking, alcohol use, use of sugar in hot beverages, and tea consumption, did not differ between Le(a-b-) men and others.
Our findings suggests a gene-environment interaction between lifestyle and obesity. Because some ethnic groups have up to 40% with the Le(a-b-) phenotype, the above observations may be of significant public health interest.
To test the hypothesis that the association between levels of mould in floor dust and prevalence of potentially building-related symptoms may depend on the type of ventilation.
This stratified cross-sectional study is part of the Danish moulds in buildings program (DAMIB), including 503 adolescent schoolboys aged 13-17 years at 15 schools. Besides assessing symptom prevalences in questionnaires, we measured numerous potential risk factors in the school buildings.
Stratifying on type of ventilation (natural, exhaust only, or full mechanical ventilation system), the negative effect of high levels of mould in floor dust was more pronounced in rooms with mechanical ventilation system. With a variable combining high level of moulds in floor dust with type of ventilation in the classroom, a significantly increased risk was found for all symptoms in the mechanically ventilated classrooms with high mould concentrations. In multiple logistic regression models, significant odds ratios (OR) ranged from 3.9 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.5-10.1] (nasal congestion) to 17.0 (95% CI 2.1-138) (dizziness).
The combined effect of moulds in dust and ventilation form might be a result of the higher air flow keeping the dust in the breathing zone for a longer time, thereby increasing the exposure for the occupants of the classrooms. It is important in future indoor air research also to focus on the combination effects of risk factors, including the type of ventilation.
Kale, lettuce, carrots and potatoes were grown in 20 experimental plots surrounding a wood preservation factory, to investigate the amount and pathways for plant uptake of arsenic and chromium. Arsenate used in the wood preservation process is converted to the more toxic arsenite by incineration of waste wood and is emitted into the atmosphere. Elevated concentrations of inorganic arsenic and chromium were found both in the test plants and in the soil around the factory. Multivariate statistical analysis of the results indicated that the dominating pathway of arsenic and chromium from the factory to the leafy vegetables grown nearby was by direct atmospheric deposition, while arsenic in the root crops originated from both the soil and the atmosphere. Consumption of vegetables grown near the source would result in an increased intake of inorganic arsenic, but the intake via the total diet was estimated to be below the provisional tolerable daily intake for inorganic arsenic established by FAO/WHO.
Bread is an elementary part of the western diet, and especially rye bread is regarded as an important source of fibre. We investigated the heritability of eating bread in terms of choice of white and rye bread and use-frequency of bread in female and male twins in Denmark and Finland. The study cohorts included 575 Danish (age range 18-67 years) and 2009 Finnish (age range 22-27 years) adult twin pairs. Self-reported frequency of eating bread was obtained by food frequency questionnaires. Univariate models based on linear structural equations for twin data were used to estimate the relative magnitude of the additive genetic, shared environmental and individual environmental effects on bread eating frequency and choice of bread. The analysis of bread intake frequency demonstrated moderate heritability ranging from 37-40% in the Finnish cohort and 23-26% in the Danish cohort. The genetic influence on intake of white bread was moderate (24-31%), while the genetic influence on intake of rye bread was higher in men (41-45%) than in women (24-33%). Environmental influences shared by the twins were not significant. Consumption of bread as well as choice of bread is influenced by genetic predisposition. Environmental factors shared by the co-twins (e.g., childhood environment) seem to have no significant effects on bread consumption and preference in adulthood.
This paper reports findings from a survey of 239 psychiatric nursing staff. This study aimed to investigate how often psychiatric nursing staff participates in clinical supervision and any possible associations among individual and workplace factors in relation to participation. The survey findings are followed by a prospective longitudinal registration of participants in clinical supervision. The registration revealed that participation varies considerably and large numbers of the staff may not participate in clinical supervision at all. Characteristics of the workplace, including organisational location, work shift, and work-environmental factors, are related to participation and, consequently, may affect the outcome of clinical supervision.
There is a need for indoor measurements of nitrate radicals (NO(3)) and nitrogen pentoxide (N(2)O(5)) to better understand removal and transformation of volatile organic compounds in indoor environments, and to evaluate the possible health effects from exposure to nitrated reaction products. NO(3) and NO(2) react to form N(2)O(5) in the presence of a third molecule, and the fast equilibrium necessitates measurements of both NO(3) and N(2)O(5) in the evaluation of indoor NO(3) chemistry. The sum of these two species, NO(3)( *), was quantified in an office building in Denmark by measuring an oxidation product of the cyclohexene/NO(3) reaction in a flow-tube set-up. NO(3)( *) concentrations ranged from 1 to 58ppt, where N(2)O(5) was estimated to account for more than 68%. The concentrations of the precursors, NO(2) and O(3), and the photolysis of NO(3) were parameters, which clearly influenced NO(3)( *) apparent from the different precursor concentrations, lighting and daylight versus dark samples in this study. Also indoor air pollutants, in particular alkenes such as limonene and alpha-pinene, can significantly reduce NO(3)( *). These first indoor measurements of NO(3)( *), warrant further high time resolution measurements of NO(3), N(2)O(5), and organic nitrates indoors.
BACKGROUND: The Impact Pathway Approach (IPA) is an innovative methodology to establish links between emissions, related impacts and monetary estimates. Only few attempts have so far been presented regarding emissions of metals; in this study the external costs of airborne lead (Pb) emissions are assessed using the IPA. Exposure to Pb is known to provoke impacts especially on children's cognition. As cognitive abilities (measured as IQ, intelligence quotient) are known to have implications for lifetime income, a pathway can be established leading from figures for Pb emissions to the implied loss in earnings, and on this basis damage costs per unit of Pb emission can be assessed. METHODS: Different types of models are here linked. It is relatively straightforward to establish the relationship between Pb emissions and consequent increase in air-Pb concentration, by means of a Gaussian plume dispersion model (OML). The exposed population can then be modelled by linking the OML-output to population data nested in geo-referenced grid cells. Less straightforward is to establish the relationship between exposure to air-Pb concentrations and the resulting blood-Pb concentration. Here an Age-Dependent Biokinetic Model (ADBM) for Pb is applied. On basis of previous research which established links between increases in blood-Pb concentrations during childhood and resulting IQ-loss we arrive at our results. RESULTS: External costs of Pb airborne emissions, even at low doses, in our site are in the range of 41-83 euro/kg emitted Pb, depending on the considered meteorological year. This estimate applies only to the initial effects of air-Pb, as our study does not address the effects due to the Pb environmental-accumulation and to the subsequent Pb re-exposure. These are likely to be between one and two orders of magnitude higher. CONCLUSIONS: Biokinetic modelling is a novel tool not previously included when applying the IPA to explore impacts of Pb emissions and related external costs; it allows for more fine-tuned, age-dependent figures for the external costs from low-dose exposure. Valuation of additional health effects and impacts e.g. due to exposure via ingestion appear to be feasible when extending the insights from the present pilot study.
Endotoxin is a cell wall component from Gram-negative bacteria, and inhaled endotoxin contributes significantly to the induction of airway inflammation and dysfunction. Background levels of endotoxin have not yet been extensively described. In this study, airborne endotoxin was measured with a standardized protocol in 5 types of background environment (169 samples) in Denmark from October to May. Endotoxin levels in a greenhouse (median = 13.2 EU/m3) were significantly higher than in the other environments. The air from biofuel plants (median = 5.3 EU/m3), the air on congested streets (median = 4.4 EU/m3) and on an agricultural field (median = 2.9 EU/m3) had higher endotoxin contents than the air in industrial areas (median = 1.3 EU/m3) or in towns (median = 0.33 EU/m3). Levels in industrial areas were significantly higher than in towns. A literature study revealed background levels of endotoxin on different continents between 0.063-410 EU/m3, with median or mean values between 0.063-3.6 EU/m3. Endotoxin concentrations in towns and industrial areas were higher in April and May than in autumn and winter, and were higher in October than in winter. These data of exposure in background environments and of seasonal variation are helpful for public health practitioners, epidemiologists and industrial hygienists.
To clarify concerns that the public has with genetic technologies, the article presents the results of focus group interviews conducted in Denmark in 2000. The concerns of the public are divided into three ideal-typical categories: social (dealing with environmental and health risks), economic (dealing with both the threats and opportunities of the new technologies), and cultural (taking up ethical and moral concerns). Following a general discussion of why it is important to take these discourses of concern seriously, each discursive category is discussed with examples taken from the focus group interviews.
AIMS: The present study aims to assess the biological uptake in children of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons measured as 1-hydroxypyrene in urine from children living in city and rural residences. METHODS: 103 children living in Copenhagen and 101 children living in rural residences of Denmark collected urine samples Monday to Friday morning. Each day, the family filled in a printed diary that included questions about the time and activity patterns of the child. Multiple regression analyses were used to identify predictors of the excreted 1-hydroxypyrene level. RESULTS: During the week, the children excreted on average 0.07 [95% CI: 0.01-0.41] micromol urinary 1-hydroxypyrene per mol creatinine. Children living in urban residences excreted 0.02 [95% CI: 0.01-0.05] micromol more 1-hydroxypyrene than children living in rural residences. This was confirmed in the multiple regression analysis showing a 29% (95% CI: 2-64%) higher excretion among urban children than rural children. Moreover, the regression analysis showed that for each hour per day spent outside the children excreted 58% (1.58 [1.22-2.03]) more 1-hydroxypyrene in urine. CONCLUSION: The present study indicates that children living in urban residences are more exposed to PAH than children living in rural residences. Time spent outdoors increased the excretion of 1-hydroxypyrene, which was most evident among urban children. Higher concentrations of ambient air pollution in urban areas may explain this finding. No influence of environmental tobacco smoke, cooking habits, and heating facilities was detected.
Occupational wood dust exposure can induce allergy and may be one cause of respiratory health problems among woodworkers.
The objective was to determine the prevalence and quantitative level of specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) to beech and pine wood in exposed workers. Wood sensitization was specified with regard to cross-reactivity and was correlated to the reported symptoms.
Danish workers (n=701) were investigated for sIgE to beech and pine. Wood samples from workplaces were analysed and coupled to ImmunoCAPs. Workers sensitized to wood were tested for cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCDs) and environmental allergens. IgE binding was specified for glycogenic vs. proteinogenic epitopes by inhibition tests.
The prevalence of wood sensitization among all workers was 3.7%. There was no association between sensitization prevalence or sIgE concentrations and self-reported allergic symptoms. Beech- and pine-sensitized workers showed a high prevalence of CCD sensitization (73%). However, workers with a single sensitization to wood had no sIgE to CCDs. Specifying IgE epitopes demonstrated that sera of workers reporting allergic symptoms recognized proteinogenic IgE-epitopes on wood allergens, whereas workers without allergic symptoms had primarily sIgE-epitopes to glycogenic structures. Although 96% of the wood-sensitized workers were atopic, no significant correlation was found between wood sensitization and sIgE to beech and birch pollen, but an association was found between sIgE against CCDs and pine pollen.
Sensitization prevalence to beech and pine wood measured by tailored ImmunoCAPs was not correlated to allergic symptoms. We recommend the application of CCD tools to assess the relevance of individual wood sensitization.