The aim of this study was to identify differences and similarities between the Nordic countries in dentists' use of dental amalgam as a restorative material, and also their knowledge and attitudes about amalgam from health, environmental, ethical, economic and social points of view. Procedures for handling amalgam waste were also studied. A random sample of 250 dentists was drawn from the national registers of authorized dentists in each country in late autumn 1997. At the beginning of 1998, a questionnaire was sent to all the dentists in the study group. The response rate was 77.6% in Denmark, 73.2% in Finland, 78.8% in Norway, and 84.0% in Sweden. In Finland and Sweden the use of dental amalgam had almost ceased, particularly for younger patients, while in Norway and especially in Denmark it was still widely used. Dentists' knowledge of the environmental effects of amalgam was confused, but most dentists had installed amalgam separators in their dental units by 1998. The majority of dentists in each country wanted to keep dental amalgam as a restorative material even in the future, and they did not want to ban the import of mercury to their home countries. Most dentists considered amalgam to be a health risk for at least some patients, and a great majority (from 76% in Sweden to 94% in Norway) considered composite as a possible odontological risk to patients. Since a majority of the dentists considered both amalgam and composites possibly harmful to patients, efforts to develop better alternatives to amalgam should continue.
To examine efficacy of the drug essliver-forte in patients with chronic intoxication by a complex of such toxicants as soluble and unsoluble compounds of uranium, lead and mercury.
The examination of bilirubin, synthesis of proteins and enzyme production by the liver, activity of free radical lipid oxidation and antioxidant defence was conducted in 42 persons (mean age 66.4 +/- 4.2 years) occupationally exposed to chemicals (compounds of uranium, lead and mercury) for 12.6 +/- 1.8 years. The patients were divided into two equal groups: patients of group 1 received standard therapy with enterosorbents, cerebral angioprotectors and alpha-tocopherol; patients of group 2 instead of alpha-tocopherol were given essliver-forte (2 capsules twice a day).
Patients of group 2 had significantly less frequent complaints for fatigue, anxiety, dyspnea, sleep disorders; improvement was observed in peripheral blood counts, in concentrations of alpha 2- and gamma-globulins, sulfhydril and catalase activity of erythrocytes; transaminase activity and intensity of saponin hemolysis went down.
Essliver-forte is effective in persons occupationally exposed to chemicals.
There are epidemiological studies indicating that exposure to metal fumes is a risk factor for infectious pneumonia. Whether occupational exposure to other agents, such as inorganic dust or chemicals, also increases the risk for infectious pneumonia is not clear. The aim of the present study was to elucidate whether occupational exposure to respiratory pollutants and irritants increases the risk for infectious pneumonia.
Prospective cohort study. Setting Swedish male construction workers. Participants 320,143 male construction workers exposed to inorganic dust (asbestos, man-made mineral fibres, dust from cement, concrete and quartz), wood dust, metal fumes and chemicals (organic solvents, diisocyanates and epoxi resins) or unexposed. Main outcome measures The cohort was followed from 1971 to 2003 and the main outcome measures were mortality to infectious pneumonia, lobar pneumonia or pneumococcal pneumonia. RRs were obtained by the person-years method and from Poisson regression models, adjusting for baseline values of age and smoking habits.
Among men aged 20-64 years there was increased mortality from infectious pneumonias among construction workers exposed to metal fumes (RR 2.31, 95% CI 1.35 to 3.95), inorganic dust (RR 1.87, 95% CI 1.22 to 2.87) and chemicals (RR 1.91, 95% CI 1.37 to 3.22). The mortality was also increased from both lobar pneumonia and pneumococcal pneumonia. Among men aged 65-84 years the occupational exposure to inorganic dust and chemicals was associated with slightly increased mortality from infectious pneumonia. Among groups with mutually exclusive exposures there was increased mortality from infectious pneumonias among construction workers exposed to inorganic dust, but not among those exposed to wood dust or chemicals. There were no cases among workers exposed only to metal fumes.
Our findings indicate that exposure to inorganic dust increases the mortality from infectious pneumonias, especially lobar pneumonia and pneumococcal pneumonia. The mechanism is unclear, but the effect may be mediated through induced airways inflammation.
BACKGROUND: The Poisons Information Centre receives many inquiries about acute exposures to chemical products. Our aim was to characterise the frequency and severity of such exposures and to raise awareness of chemicals that rarely cause poisoning, but may lead to serious systemic toxicity even in small amounts. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data were collected from inquiries to the Poisons Information Centre in the period 2004-2006 and from the Product Register on the use of selected chemicals. RESULTS: In 2004-2006, the Poisons Information Centre received 35,802 inquiries regarding acute exposures to chemicals or chemical products. Most of the exposures (72%) were assessed as non-toxic or involving risk of minor poisoning, while only 7.8% were assessed as involving risk of severe poisoning. The substances most frequently involved were cleaning agents, cosmetics/personal care products and hydrocarbon fuels, whereas risk of severe poisoning is related to alkali and hydrocarbon exposures. Poisonings with hydrofluoric acid and glycols/glycol ethers are rare, but the outcome is often severe. As many as 84% of the hydrofluoric acid exposures and 36% of the ingestions of ethylene glycol by children were assessed as involving risk of moderate or severe poisoning. INTERPRETATION: Exposure to chemicals or chemical products is frequent, but rarely leads to severe poisonings. Data from inquiries to the Poisons Information Centre are representative of the chemical exposure conditions. It is important to have detailed product information readily available to assure correct treatment after exposure incidents.
This paper outlines briefly how the living environment can affect health. It explains the links between social and environmental determinants of health in urban settings. Interventions to improve health equity through the environment include actions and policies that deal with proximal risk factors in deprived urban areas, such as safe drinking water supply, reduced air pollution from household cooking and heating as well as from vehicles and industry, reduced traffic injury hazards and noise, improved working environment, and reduced heat stress because of global climate change. The urban environment involves health hazards with an inequitable distribution of exposures and vulnerabilities, but it also involves opportunities for implementing interventions for health equity. The high population density in many poor urban areas means that interventions at a small scale level can assist many people, and existing infrastructure can sometimes be upgraded to meet health demands. Interventions at higher policy levels that will create more sustainable and equitable living conditions and environments include improved city planning and policies that take health aspects into account in every sector. Health equity also implies policies and actions that improve the global living environment, for instance, limiting greenhouse gas emissions. In a global equity perspective, improving the living environment and health of the poor in developing country cities requires actions to be taken in the most affluent urban areas of the world. This includes making financial and technical resources available from high-income countries to be applied in low-income countries for urgent interventions for health equity. This is an abbreviated version of a paper on "Improving the living environment" prepared for the World Health Organization Commission on Social Determinants of Health, Knowledge Network on Urban Settings.
The increasing number of women in the workplace has made it more important than ever to ensure a safe work environment, particularly with respect to mothers who choose to breast-feed their babies. The Quebec Commission de la sant? et de la s?curit? du travail (CSST) Toxicological Index is fully involved in the provincial program for the protective reassignment of workers who breast-feed infants. The Infotox database provides peer-reviewed information concerning chemicals identified in the workplace that may appear in the mother's milk, possibly to be ingested by the breast-fed infant. Data extracted from the CSST computer system that holds information on 5,500 substances are presented. A total of 153 chemicals (2.7%) are recognized as being involved in some milk transfer. The strength of evidence is assessed with reference to strong or weak association (excretion or detection) in humans or in animals. Such an effect provides a useful basis for administrative decision involving protective reassignment as well as evaluation of work environment. Database users must be well informed about the identification of chemicals in breast milk because this is an essential step for the evaluation of the hazards of transferring chemicals encountered in the workplace from mother to baby. Actually, the main problem is that there are very few data in the scientific literature concerning milk transfer.
Epidemiologic studies of risk to reproductive health arising from the operating room environment have been inconclusive and lack quantitative exposure information. This study was undertaken to quantify exposure of operating room (OR) personnel to anesthetic agents, x-radiation, methyl methacrylate, and ethylene oxide and to determine how exposure varies with different operating room factors. Exposures of anesthetists and nurses to these agents were determined in selected operating rooms over three consecutive days. Each subject was asked to wear an x-radiation dosimeter for 1 month. Exposure to anesthetic agents was found to be influenced by the age of the OR facility, type of surgical service, number of procedures carried out during the day, type of anesthetic circuitry, and method of anesthesia delivery. Anesthetists were found to have significantly greater exposures than OR nurses. Exposure of OR personnel to ethylene oxide, methyl methacrylate, and x-radiation were well within existing standards. Exposure of anesthetists and nurses to anesthetic agents, at times, was in excess of Ontario exposure guidelines, despite improvements in the control of anesthetic pollution.
The article deals with results of specification and functioning of a register of health for workers exposed to extremely dangerous toxic chemicals. The authors demonstrated patterns of diseases development in workers according to length of work with toxic chemicals and to work conditions. The identified cause-effect relationships of the diseases development necessitate health registers to minimize negative consequences in work conditions, for early diagnosis and occupational diseases prevention.