Occurrence of airway irritation among indoor swimming pool personnel was investigated. The aims of this study were to assess trichloramine exposure levels and exhaled nitric oxide in relation to the prevalence of airway symptoms in swimming pool facilities and to determine protein effects in the upper respiratory tract.
The presence of airway symptoms related to work was examined in 146 individuals working at 46 indoor swimming pool facilities. Levels of trichloramine, as well as exhaled nitric oxide, were measured in five facilities with high prevalence of airway irritation and four facilities with no airway irritation among the personnel. Nasal lavage fluid was collected, and protein profiles were determined by a proteomic approach.
17 % of the swimming pool personnel reported airway symptoms related to work. The levels of trichloramine in the swimming pool facilities ranged from 0.04 to 0.36 mg/m(3). There was no covariance between trichloramine levels, exhaled nitric oxide and prevalence of airway symptoms. Protein profiling of the nasal lavage fluid showed that the levels alpha-1-antitrypsin and lactoferrin were significantly higher, and S100-A8 was significantly lower in swimming pool personnel.
This study confirms the occurrence of airway irritation among indoor swimming pool personnel. Our results indicate altered levels of innate immunity proteins in the upper airways that may pose as potential biomarkers. However, swimming pool facilities with high prevalence of airway irritation could not be explained by higher trichloramine exposure levels. Further studies are needed to clarify the environmental factors in indoor swimming pools that cause airway problems and affect the immune system.
AIMS: To study relations between test performance, academic self-esteem, self-reported stress and saliva cortisol levels in students exposed to test demands at school. METHODS: 46 randomly selected 6th and 9th graders voluntarily participated in an experimental school test concerning reading and mathematics skills. Cortisol saliva samples were collected at awakening, 30 min later, before test and after test. Perceived stress was registered with a visual analogue scale (VAS). A standardized self-rating questionnaire for measuring self-esteem was administered together with questions about school stress and psychological reactions when exposed to stress during a test. RESULTS: Experienced stress during the school test was correlated to low test performance and to low self-rated evaluation of self-esteem as well as to an increase of saliva cortisol levels during the test. There were also correlations between certain psychological reactions to demands and different cortisol measures. Children who reported that they applied the procedure "I say to myself: I can solve this task" in a school test situation had a lower morning increase of saliva cortisol. Reported use of the procedure "I get worried and will have problems solving other tasks too"--when referring to a school test situation--was correlated to an increase in cortisol levels during the test situation. CONCLUSION: Test performance, academic self-esteem, perceived stress and reactions of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) are highly intertwined. Furthermore, certain school stress psychological reactions to performance demands seem to be related to different cortisol reactions.