IMPORTANCE UV radiation (UVR) exposure is the primary environmental risk factor for developing cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM). OBJECTIVE To measure changes in sun behavior from the first until the third summer after the diagnosis of CMM using matched controls as a reference. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Three-year follow-up, observational, case-control study performed from May 7 to September 22, 2009, April 17 to September 15, 2010, and May 6 to July 31, 2011, at a university hospital in Denmark of 21 patients with CMM and 21 controls matched to patients by sex, age, occupation, and constitutive skin type participated in the study. Exposure to UVR was assessed the first and second summers (n=20) and the first and third summers (n=22) after diagnosis. Data from 40 participants were analyzed. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Exposure to UVR was assessed by personal electronic UVR dosimeters that measured time-related UVR in standard erythema dose (SED) and corresponding sun diaries (mean, 74 days per participant each participation year). RESULTS Patients' daily UVR dose and UVR dose in connection with various behaviors increased during follow-up (quantified as an increase in daily UVR dose each year; all days: mean, 0.3 SED; 95% CI, 0.05-0.5 SED; days with body exposure: mean, 0.6 SED; 95% CI, 0.07-1.2 SED; holidays: mean, 1.2 SED; 95% CI, 0.3-2.1 SED; days abroad: 1.9 SED; 95% CI, 0.4-3.4 SED; and holidays with body exposure: mean, 2.3 SED; 95% CI, 1.1-3.4 SED). After the second year of follow-up, patients' UVR dose was higher than that of controls, who maintained a stable UVR dose. No difference was found between groups in the number of days with body exposure or the number of days using sunscreen in the second and third years of follow-up. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Our findings suggest that patients with CMM do not maintain a cautious sun behavior in connection with an increase in UVR exposure, especially on days with body exposure, when abroad, and on holidays.
A cohort of 839 young girls at the ages of 14 and 15 years was screened for total antibodies to herpes simplex virus (HSV) and, if positive, for specific antibodies to HSV-2, by means of a sensitive, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The cohort was followed from 1972-1987. Blood samples were obtained on six occasions during these 16 years. In total, 2270 blood samples were taken. The number of sero-converting girls was studied in relation to calendar time. Two methods were constructed for the statistical analyses. The first of these gave an estimate of the sero-prevalence at different points in time. This analysis showed that the sero-prevalence which was 23% against HSV-1 in 1972 had increased to 36% in 1976. At the end of the study in 1987, 50% of the cohort had sero-converted against HSV-1. The proportion of girls who had sero-converted against HSV-2 was 0.4% in the 14-15-year-olds and had reached 22% by the end of the study. The second statistical method used all the available information implicit in the observations so as to obtain a maximum-likelihood (ML) estimate of the prevalence. The ML estimates were slightly more precise, but the two estimates did not differ significantly. The observations were further analysed by the Mantel-Haenszel test in order to see if there was any dependence between positivity to HSV-1 and HSV-2 respectively but none was found.
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
The burden of celiac disease (CD) is increasingly recognized as a global problem. However, whether this situation depends on genetics or environmental factors is uncertain. The authors examined these aspects in Sweden, a country in which the risk of CD is generally considered to be high. If environmental factors are relevant, CD risk in second-generation immigrant children should be related to maternal length of stay in Sweden before delivery.
Linking the Swedish Medical Birth Registry to other national registries, the authors investigated all singleton children (n = 792,401) born in Sweden between 1987 and 1993. They studied the risk of CD in children before age 6 as a function of the mother's geographical region of birth and length of stay in Sweden before delivery using Cox regression models.
In children whose mothers immigrated to Sweden from a country outside of Europe, a maternal length of stay in Sweden of more than 5 years increased the hazard ratio (HR) of CD (1.73, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06-2.81). The authors observed a similar result among children born to mothers from a Nordic country outside of Sweden (HR 1.57, 95% CI 0.89-2.75), but a non-conclusive protective effect was observed in second-generation immigrant children from a non-Nordic European country (HR 0.65, 95% CI 0.39-1.09).
The risk of CD among second-generation immigrants seems to be conditioned by maternal length of stay in Sweden before delivery, suggesting that environmental factors contribute to the variation in CD risk observed across populations.
The APHEA 2 project investigated short-term health effects of particles in eight European cities. In each city associations between particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 microm (PM(10)) and black smoke and daily counts of emergency hospital admissions for asthma (0-14 and 15-64 yr), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and all-respiratory disease (65+ yr) controlling for environmental factors and temporal patterns were investigated. Summary PM(10) effect estimates (percentage change in mean number of daily admissions per 10 microg/m(3) increase) were asthma (0-14 yr) 1.2% (95% CI: 0.2, 2.3), asthma (15-64 yr) 1.1% (0.3, 1.8), and COPD plus asthma and all-respiratory (65+ yr) 1.0% (0.4, 1.5) and 0.9% (0.6, 1.3). The combined estimates for Black Smoke tended to be smaller and less precisely estimated than for PM(10). Variability in the sizes of the PM(10) effect estimates between cities was also investigated. In the 65+ groups PM(10) estimates were positively associated with annual mean concentrations of ozone in the cities. For asthma admissions (0-14 yr) a number of city-specific factors, including smoking prevalence, explained some of their variability. This study confirms that particle concentrations in European cities are positively associated with increased numbers of admissions for respiratory diseases and that some of the variation in PM(10) effect estimates between cities can be explained by city characteristics.
From the aDepartment of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; bAgeing and Living Conditions Programme, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; cCentre for Population Studies, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; and dDepartment of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Division of Epidemiology and Global Health, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Climate change is projected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events. Short-term effects of extreme hot and cold weather and their effects on mortality have been thoroughly documented, as have epidemiologic and demographic changes throughout the 20th century. We investigated whether sensitivity to episodes of extreme heat and cold has changed in Stockholm, Sweden, from the beginning of the 20th century until the present.
We collected daily mortality and temperature data for the period 1901-2009 for present-day Stockholm County, Sweden. Heat extremes were defined as days for which the 2-day moving average of mean temperature was above the 98th percentile; cold extremes were defined as days for which the 26-day moving average was below the 2nd percentile. The relationship between extreme hot/cold temperatures and all-cause mortality, stratified by decade, sex, and age, was investigated through time series modeling, adjusting for time trends.
Total daily mortality was higher during heat extremes in all decades, with a declining trend over time in the relative risk associated with heat extremes, leveling off during the last three decades. The relative risk of mortality was higher during cold extremes for the entire period, with a more dispersed pattern across decades. Unlike for heat extremes, there was no decline in the mortality with cold extremes over time.
Although the relative risk of mortality during extreme temperature events appears to have fallen, such events still pose a threat to public health.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify possible health effects caused by different cleaning agents used in graffiti removal. METHODS: In 38 graffiti removers working 8-h shifts in the Stockholm underground system, the exposure to organic solvents was assessed by active air sampling, biological monitoring, and by interviews and a questionnaire. Health effects were registered, by physical examinations, porta7ble spirometers and self-administered questionnaires. The prevalence of symptoms was compared with 49 controls working at the underground depots, and with 177 population controls. RESULTS: The 8-h time-weighted average exposures (TWA) were low, below 20% of the Swedish permissible exposure limit value (PEL) for all solvents. The short-term exposures occasionally exceeded the Swedish short-term exposure limit values (STEL), especially during work in poorly ventilated spaces, e.g. in elevators. The graffiti removers reported significantly higher prevalence of tiredness and upper airway symptoms compared with the depot controls, and significantly more tiredness, headaches and symptoms affecting airways, eyes and skin than the population controls. Among the graffiti removers, some of the symptoms increased during the working day. On a group basis, the lung function registrations showed normal values. However, seven workers displayed a clear reduction of peak expiratory flow (PEF) over the working shift. CONCLUSIONS: Though their average exposure to organic solvents was low, the graffiti removers reported significantly higher prevalence of unspecific symptoms such as fatigue and headache as well as irritative symptoms from the eyes and respiratory tract, compared with the controls. To prevent adverse health effects it is important to inform the workers about the health risks, and to restrict use of the most hazardous chemicals. Furthermore, it is important to develop good working practices and to encourage the use of personal protective equipment.
Haptoglobin (Hp) which is synthesized in response to infection, inflammation, trauma or toxicological damage is known as a major acute phase protein in numerous species. Quantification of the circulating concentration of this protein can provide an objective measure of the health status, but there is a lack of investigations on harbour seals. We investigated the Hp concentration in samples of 123 seals (Phoca vitulina) from the German and Danish Wadden Sea to study physiological ranges of Hp levels. Hp levels between 2002, the end of the phocine distemper virus epidemic (PDV), and 2007 were considered, and Hp concentrations between animals of different sex, ages as well as living areas were compared. Furthermore, as a case study, six animals from the open sea isle Helgoland were investigated in 2006. Influences on the health status of the seal population e.g. the PDV epidemic were reflected by increased Hp levels in North Sea seals in 2002. The results of the Wadden Sea seals showed no significant age-, sex-, or geographical area-related differences. Interestingly, for the seals of the open sea isle Helgoland higher Hp values were measured compared to the Wadden Sea seals. The present study demonstrates that Hp can be used as a diagnostic tool to monitor the health status of harbour seals.
The risk of arsenic exposure to deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) living in areas of naturally and anthropogenically elevated arsenic levels was determined using three separate calculations of arsenic daily intake: Estimated daily intake (EDI), bioaccessible EDI (BEDI), and actual daily intake (ADI). The present work is of particular interest, because the risk assessments were determined for animals naturally exposed to arsenic. Gastric fluid extraction was used to obtain bioaccessibility data for soil and plant samples collected from three study sites (background, mine forest, and tailings) in Yellowknife (NT, Canada). Calculations using the EDI indicated that deer mice living in tailings habitat (average soil arsenic concentration, 1,740 +/- 2,240 microg/g) should have been experiencing serious health effects as a result of their exposure to arsenic. Using BEDI and ADI in the risk assessment calculation, however, resulted in an order-of-magnitude decrease in calculated risk. In addition, results calculated using the BEDI and ADI were not significantly different, suggesting that using bioaccessibility provides a more realistic estimate of potential risk. The present results provide evidence that the use of EDI in traditional risk assessments may seriously overestimate the actual risk, which in some instances may result in expensive and unnecessary clean-up measures.
Time series of daily administrative cardio-respiratory health and environmental information have been extensively used to assess the potential public health impact of ambient air pollution. Both series are subject to strong but unrelated temporal cycles. These cycles must be removed from the time series prior to examining the role air pollution plays in exacerbating cardio-respiratory disease. In this paper, we examine a number of methods of temporal filtering that have been proposed to eliminate such temporal effects. The techniques are illustrated by linking the number of daily admissions to hospital for respiratory diseases in Toronto, Canada for the 11 year period 1981 to 1991 with daily concentrations of ambient ozone. The ozone-hospitalization relationship was found to be highly sensitive to the length of temporal cycle removed from the admission time series, and to day of the week effects, ranging from a relative risk of 0.874 if long wave cycles were not removed at all to 1.020 for models which removed at least cycles greater than or equal to one month based on the interquartile pollutant range. The specific statistical method of adjustment was not a critical factor. The association was not as sensitive to removal of cycles less than one month, except that negative autocorrelation increased for series in which cycles of one week or less were removed. We recommend three criteria in selecting the degree of smoothing in the outcome: removal of temporal cycles, minimizing autocorrelation and optimizing goodness of fit. The association between ambient ozone levels and hospital admissions for respiratory diseases was also sensitive to the season of examination, with weaker associations observed outside the summer months.
Human teeth have been considered as dosimeters for decades. Methods include the in vivo measurement of 90Sr/90Y in teeth with a tooth-beta counter, the radiochemical determination of 90Sr in whole teeth, and the measurement of dose in teeth by use of electron paramagnetic resonance. Presented in this paper are results of 2,514 tooth-beta counter measurements, 334 radiochemical measurements, and 218 electron paramagnetic resonance measurements for residents living in settlements along the Techa River. All three kinds of measurements indicate a sharp peak that corresponds to the uptake of 90Sr by tooth tissue. The results can be interpreted in terms of an intake function for 90Sr only if the period of calcification of each individual tooth is considered--such detail on a tooth-by-tooth basis is presented in this paper. The conclusion is reached that the tooth-beta counter data are the most reliable in terms of reconstruction of 90Sr intake; this is due in part to the fact that the tooth-beta counter measures four teeth (all at position 1) with essentially the same time periods of mineralization and because there are a large number of tooth-beta counter measurements. The main utility of electron paramagnetic resonance measurements is considered to be the validation of estimates of external dose; but for this purpose teeth with 90Sr taken up into enamel must be avoided.
The ages of onset in multiple sclerosis cases span more than 7 decades. Data are presented for affected relative pairs from a Canadian population base of 30,000 multiple sclerosis index cases (1993-2008). The effects of genetic sharing, parent of origin, intergenerational versus collinear differences, and gender on the ages of onset were evaluated in the following concordant pairs: monozygotic twins (n = 29), dizygotic twins (n = 10), siblings (n = 614), first cousins (n = 405), half siblings (n = 29), parent/child (n = 285), and aunt/uncle/niece/nephew (avunculars) (n = 289). Fisher's z test assessed intraclass correlation (r) for ages of onset. Correlations for monozygotic twins, dizygotic twins, full siblings, and first cousins were 0.60, 0.54, 0.20, and 0.10, respectively. Dizygotic twins resembled monozygotic twins more than siblings. The age-of-onset correlation for maternal half siblings (r = 0.37) was higher than that for paternal half siblings (r = 0.26), consistent with other observations suggesting an intrauterine environmental effect on multiple sclerosis risk. Intergenerational comparisons are complicated by substantial increases of multiple sclerosis incidence over time. Genetic loading (familial vs. sporadic cases) did not generally influence the age of onset, but correlation of age of onset in multiple sclerosis relative pairs was proportional to genetic sharing. A maternal parent-of-origin effect on the age of onset in collinear generations was suggested.
Exposure to microorganisms resistant to antimicrobials may constitute a health risk to human populations. It is believed that one route of exposure occurs when people engage in recreational activities in water contaminated with these microorganisms. The main objective of this study was to explore population-level and environmental determinants specifically associated with the presence of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) generic Escherichia coli isolated from recreational waters sampled from beaches located in southern Quebec, Canada. Water samples originated from the Quebec provincial beach surveillance program for the summers of 2004 and 2005. This study focused on three classes of determinants, namely: agricultural, population-level and beach characteristics for a total of 19 specific factors. The study was designed as a retrospective observational analysis and factors were assessed using logistic regression methods. From the multivariable analysis, the data suggested that the percentage of land used for spreading liquid manure was a significant factor associated with the presence of AMR E. coli (OR=27.73). Conceptually, broad factors potentially influencing the presence of AMR bacteria in water must be assessed specifically in addition to factors associated with general microbial contamination. Presence of AMR E. coli in recreational waters from beaches in southern Quebec may represent a risk for people engaging in water activities and this study provides preliminary evidence that agricultural practices, specifically spreading liquid manure in agricultural lands nearby beaches, may be linked to the contamination of these waters by AMR E. coli.
OBJECTIVE: The principal aim of the study was to estimate the level of exposure to organic solvents of graffiti removers, and to identify the chemicals used in different cleaning agents. A secondary objective was to inform about the toxicity of various products and to optimise working procedures. METHODS: Exposure to organic solvents was determined by active air sampling and biological monitoring among 38 graffiti removers during an 8-h work shift in the Stockholm underground system. The air samples and biological samples were analysed by gas chromatography. Exposure to organic solvents was also assessed by a questionnaire and interviews. RESULTS: Solvents identified were N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether (DPGME), propylene glycol monomethyl ether (PGME), diethylene glycol monoethyl ether (DEGEE), toluene, xylene, pseudocumene, hemimellitine, mesitylene, ethylbenzene, limonene, nonane, decane, undecane, hexandecane and gamma-butyrolactone. The 8-h average exposures [time-weighted average (TWA)] were below 20% of the Swedish permissible exposure limit value (PEL) for all solvents identified. In poorly ventilated spaces, e.g. in elevators etc., the short-term exposures exceeded occasionally the Swedish short-term exposure limit values (STEL). The blood and urine concentrations of NMP and its metabolites were low. Glycol ethers and their metabolites (2-methoxypropionic acid (MPA), ethoxy acetic acid (EAA), butoxy acetic acid (BAA), and 2-(2-methoxyethoxy) acetic acid (MEAA)) were found in low concentrations in urine. There were significant correlation between the concentrations of NMP in air and levels of NMP and its metabolites in blood and urine. The use of personal protective equipment, i.e. gloves and respirators, was generally high. CONCLUSIONS: Many different cleaning agents were used. The average exposure to solvents was low, but some working tasks included relatively high short-term exposure. To prevent adverse health effects, it is important to inform workers about the health risks and to restrict the use of the most toxic chemicals. Furthermore, it is important to develop good working procedures and to encourage the use of personal protection equipment.
The aims were to assess the impact of a total smoking ban on the level of airborne contaminants and the urinary cotinine levels in the employees in bars and restaurants. In a follow up design, 13 bars and restaurants were visited before and after the implementation of a smoking ban. Ninety-three employees in the establishments were initially included into the study. The arithmetic mean concentration of nicotine and total dust declined from 28.3 microg m(-3) (range, 0.4-88.0) and 262 microg m(-3) (range, 52-662), respectively, to 0.6 microg m(-3) (range, not detected-3.7) and 77 microg m(-3) (range, not detected-261) after the smoking ban. The Pearson correlation coefficient between airborne nicotine and total dust was 0.86 (p
BACKGROUND: We have previously found a quite strong interplay between occupational airborne pollutants, ABO phenotypes, and risk of ischaemic heart disease (IHD), with long-term exposure being associated with a significantly increased risk among men with phenotype O, and not among men with other ABO phenotypes. We suggested that the biological pathway could be a stronger systemic inflammatory response in men with blood group O. Several inflammatory mediators likely to increase the risk of IHD have recently been linked also to obesity, suggesting that long-term exposure to airborne pollutants might play a role in the aetiology of obesity. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that long-term occupational exposure to airborne pollutants would be more strongly associated with obesity in men with phenotype O than in men with other ABO phenotypes. DESIGN: Cross-sectional exposure-response study taking into account potential confounders. SETTING: The Copenhagen Male Study. SUBJECTS: A total of 3290 men aged 53-74 y. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Prevalence of obesity (BMI > or =30 (kg/m2)). RESULTS: Overall, no differences were found in the prevalence of obesity between men with the O phenotype (n=1399) and men with other phenotypes (n=1891), 8.6 and 9.0%. However, only among men with the O phenotype was long-term occupational exposure (at least 5 y of frequent exposure) to various respirable airborne pollutants: dust, asbestos, soldering fumes, welding fumes, organic solvents, fumes from lacquer, paint or varnish, toxic components, breath irritants, stench or strongly smelling products, and irritants (other than breath irritants or contagious components) associated with an increased prevalence of obesity. Statistically, the strongest univariate associations were found for asbestos exposure, welding fumes, and breath irritants. Odds ratios (95% confidence limits) for these factors were 3.7 (1.8-7.6), 2.7 (1.6-4.4), and 2.6 (1.5-4.4), respectively. This particular relationship of airborne exposures with obesity in men with phenotype O was supported in multivariate analysis including interaction terms and taking into account a number of potential confounders. In contrast, no gene-environment interactions with obesity were found with respect to ABO phenotypes and a number of nonrespirable exposures. CONCLUSION: The finding of a quite strong interplay between long-term exposure to airborne pollutants, ABO phenotypes, and risk of obesity may open up new possibilities for clarifying mechanisms underlying the global obesity epidemic.
Over 90% of 91 day care centers in greater Montréal, Québec exceeded 1000 ppm of CO2 during January through April 1989. Four variables were independent positive predictors of CO2 levels: the density of children in the center; presence of electric heating; absence of a ventilation system; and building age. High levels of CO2 are associated with respiratory tract and other symptoms. Clear standards and inspection policies should be established for day care center air quality.
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