INTRODUCTION: Poisoning is a common cause of emergency visits and hospital admission in Western countries. The purpose of this study was to assess the incidence and type of toxic exposures presenting to emergency medical facilities in Iceland. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was prospective and included all patients with confirmed or suspected poisoning presenting to hospitals and rural medical centers providing emergency services in Iceland during the twelve-month period from April 2001 until March 2002. RESULTS: A total of 1,121 toxic exposures were documented representing an incidence of 3.91 cases per 1,000 inhabitants per year. The female to male ratio was 1.23. The majority of exposures (56.7%) occurred in the patient's home, 60% were deliberate, 72% had drugs and/or alcohol as their main cause, and 11% involved illicit drugs. Exposures to chemicals other than drugs were usually unintentional. CONCLUSION: Toxic exposures requiring emergency medical care are common in Iceland. Self-poisonings by ingestion of prescription drugs and/or alcohol accounted for the majority of cases.
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.
Distinguishing between effects of natural and anthropogenic environmental factors on ecosystems is a fundamental problem in environmental science. In river systems the longitudinal gradient of environmental factors is one of the most relevant sources of dissimilarity between communities that could be confounded with anthropogenic disturbances. To test the hypothesis that in macroinvertebrate communities the distribution of species' sensitivity to organic toxicants is independent of natural longitudinal factors, but depends on contamination with organic toxicants, we analysed the relationship between community sensitivity SPEAR(organic) (average community sensitivity to organic toxicants) and natural and anthropogenic environmental factors in a large-scale river system, from alpine streams to a lowland river. The results show that SPEAR(organic) is largely independent of natural longitudinal factors, but strongly dependent on contamination with organic toxicants (petrochemicals and synthetic surfactants). Usage of SPEAR(organic) as a stressor-specific longitude-independent measure will facilitate detection of community disturbance by organic toxicants.
The authors suggested criteria of translocated pollution: scale, intensity, jeopardy, with consideration of dissemination mechanism--aerodynamic, water migration, terminal. The article covers classification of translocated pollution. Using methodology of risk evaluation, the authors assessed additional morbidity cases due to translocated pollution.
The impact on family life and social relations that may result from symptoms associated with exposure to neurotoxic substances has never been addressed. This exploratory study assessed the associations between exposure to neurotoxic agents in the workplace, mental health, and marital difficulties.
Fifty-five (55) male workers and their spouses completed standardized measures of mental health and marital difficulties. Workers' exposure to neurotoxic substances was evaluated by questionnaire and interview, using a semiquantitative classification system.
A positive relation was observed between exposure level and measures of workers' psychological symptoms and marital stress; no relation was observed between workers' exposure level and wives' psychological symptoms. More severe exposure to neurotoxic substances was associated with wives' reports of more severe marital conflicts, and this association was mediated by husbands' psychological symptoms. As compared to low exposure husbands, high exposure husbands reported higher degrees of stress surrounding marital discussions, more consistent incidence of minor physical assaults by wives, and stronger associations between their levels of stress, the verbal aggressions of wives, and the number of marital conflicts.
The results of this study confirm that neurotoxic exposure is a risk factor for mental health and suggest how this may influence marital relations. Because of the importance of these findings for the well-being of workers and their families, these associations should be further studied.
The article highlighted in this issue is "A PBPK Modeling-Based Approach to Account for Interactions in the Health Risk Assessment of Chemical Mixtures" by Sami Haddad, Martin Béliveau, Robert Tardif, and Kannan Krishnan (pp. 125-131).
Comment On: Toxicol Sci. 2001 Sep;63(1):125-3111509752
The authors summarize theoretical principles of increasing human resistence to toxic effects of inorganic compounds polluting occupational environment and habitat, exemplify practical use of this prophylactic trend.