It has been claimed that exposure to risk of road traffic accidents (usually conceptualized as mileage) is curvilinearly associated with crashes (i.e., the increase in number of crashes decreases with increased mileage). However, this effect has been criticized as mainly an artifact of self-reported data.
To test the proposition that self-reported accidents create part of the curvilinearity in data by under-reporting by high-accident drivers, self-reported and recorded collisions were plotted against hours of driving for bus drivers.
It was found that the recorded data differed from self-reported information at the high end of exposure, and had a more linear association with the exposure measure as compared to the self-reported data, thus supporting the hypothesis.
Part of the previously reported curvilinearity between accidents and exposure is apparently due to biased methods. Also, the interpretation of curvilinearity as an effect of exposure upon accidents was criticized as unfounded, as the causality may just as well go the other way.
The question of how exposure associates with crash involvement is far from resolved, and everyone who uses an exposure metric (mileage, time, induced) should be careful to investigate the exact properties of their variable before using it.
Americium-241 (²4¹Am) is the second most significant radiation hazard after ²³?Pu at some of the Mayak Production Association facilities. This study summarizes current data on the accumulation, distribution, and excretion of americium compared with plutonium in different organs from former Mayak PA workers. Americium and plutonium were measured in autopsy and bioassay samples and correlated with the presence or absence of chronic disease and with biological transportability of the aerosols encountered at different workplaces. The relative accumulation of ²4¹Am was found to be increasing in the workers over time. This is likely from ²4¹Pu that increases with time in reprocessed fuel and from the increased concentrations of ²4¹Am and ²4¹Pu in inhaled alpha-active aerosols. While differences were observed in lung retention with exposures to different industrial compounds with different transportabilities (i.e., dioxide and nitrates), there were no significant differences in lung retention between americium and plutonium within each transportability group. In the non-pulmonary organs, the highest ratios of ²4¹Am/²4¹Am + SPu were observed in the skeleton. The relative ratios of americium in the skeleton versus liver were significantly greater than for plutonium. The relative amounts of americium and plutonium found in the skeleton compared with the liver were even greater in workers with documented chronic liver diseases. Excretion rates of ²4¹Am in ‘‘healthy’’ workers were estimated using bioassay and autopsy data. The data suggest that impaired liver function leads to reduced hepatic ²4¹Am retention, leading to increased ²4¹Am excretion.
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
Fungi grown in pure cultures produce DNA- or RNA-containing particles smaller than spore size ( 3)-beta-D-glucans. In the 29 PM(1) samples, cultivable fungi were found in six samples and with a median concentration below detection level. Using microscopy, fungal spores were identified in 22 samples. The components NAGase and (1 --> 3)-beta-D-glucans, which are mainly associated with fungi, were present in all PM(1) samples. Thermophilic actinomycetes were present in 23 of the 29 PM(1) samples [average = 739 colony-forming units (CFU) m(-3)]. Cultivable and 'total bacteria' were found in average concentrations of, respectively, 249 CFU m(-3) and 1.8 x 10(5) m(-3). DNA- and RNA-containing particles of different lengths were counted by microscopy and revealed a high concentration of particles with a length of 0.5-1.5 microm and only few particles >1.5 microm. The number of cultivable fungi and beta-glucan in the total dust correlated significantly with the number of DNA/RNA-containing particles with lengths of between 1.0 and 1.5 microm, with DNA/RNA-containing particles >1.5 microm, and with other fungal components in PM(1) dust. Airborne beta-glucan and NAGase were found in PM(1) samples where no cultivable fungi were present, and beta-glucan and NAGase were found in higher concentrations per fungal spore in PM(1) dust than in total dust. This indicates that fungal particles smaller than fungal spore size are present in the air at the plants. Furthermore, many bacteria, including actinomycetes, were present in PM(1) dust. Only 0.2% of the bacteria in PM(1) dust were cultivable.
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Cites: Occup Environ Med. 2001 Mar;58(3):154-911171927
The primary objectives of this study were (a) to measure potential exposures of applicators and assistants to airborne methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), (b) to measure airborne concentrations of MDI at various distances from the spray foam application, and (c) to measure airborne MDI concentrations as a function of time elapsed since application. Other study objectives were, (a) to compare the results from filter and impinger samples; (b) to determine the particle size distribution in the spray foam aerosol; (c) to determine potential exposures to dichlorofluoroethane; and (d) to measure any off-gassing of MDI after the foam had fully cured. This study was conducted during application of spray polyurethane foam inside five single-family homes under construction in the United States and Canada. Spray foam applicators and assistants may be exposed to airborne MDI concentrations above the OSHA permissible exposure limit. At these concentrations, OSHA recommends appropriate respiratory protection during spray foam application to prevent airborne MDI exposures above established limits and to protect against exposure to dichlorofluoroethane (HCFC-141b). Airborne MDI concentrations decrease rapidly after foam application ceases. The highest airborne concentrations measured after 15 min and 45 min were 0.019 mg/m3 and 0.003 mg/m3, respectively. After 45 min, airborne concentrations were below the limit of quantitation (LOQ) of 0.036-microg per sample. For samples taken 24 hours after completion of foaming, results were also below the LOQ. Approximately two-thirds of the total mass of the airborne particles in the spray foam aerosol was greater than 3.5 microns in diameter. Airborne MDI concentrations determined by filter sampling methods were 6% to 40% lower than those determined by impinger methods.
In a cross-sectional study, 96 welders were compared with 96 control subjects. Also 27 former welders, all diagnosed as having manganism, were examined. Exposure to welding fumes was determined in the 96 welders, while the concentration of elements in whole blood and urine was determined in all subjects. The geometric mean (GM) concentrations of manganese (Mn) and iron in the workroom air were 97 microg m(-3) (range 3-4620 microg m(-3); n=188) and 894 microg m(-3) (range 106-20 300 microg m(-3); n=188), respectively. Thus the Mn concentration in the workroom air was on average 10.6% (GM) of that of the Fe concentration. No substantial difference was observed in the air Mn concentrations when welding mild steel as compared to welding stainless steel. The arithmetic mean (AM) concentration of Mn in whole blood (B-Mn) was about 25% higher in the welders compared to the controls (8.6 vs. 6.9 microg l(-1); p
The objective of the study was to determine whether swine farmers continuously exposed to the farming environment react differently to acute exposure than previously unexposed nonfarmers.
Nine healthy nonfarmers, not previously exposed to a farming environment, and eight swine farmers were exposed in a swine confinement building for 3 hours while weighing pigs. Lung function measurements, methacholine challenge tests, and nasal lavages were performed before and after the exposure. Blood samples were drawn repeatedly during the exposure day. Differential cell counts and cytokine levels were analyzed in the nasal lavage fluid and blood.
The exposure levels were the same in both groups. Bronchial responsiveness to methacholine increased by a median of 4.0 (25th-75th percentiles 2.2-10.1 among the nonfarmers) and 0.7 (25th-75th percentiles 0.01-3.5 among the farmers) doubled concentration steps. The median serum levels of interleukin-6 increased from 3.8 (25th-75th percentiles
To assess whether working in an industrial harbor where an oil tank exploded was associated with more airway symptoms and lower lung function in men 1.5 years later.
In a cross-sectional study of 180 men, 18 to 67 years old, airway symptoms and lung function among men who worked in the industrial harbor at the time of the explosion was compared with those of working men with residence more than 20 km away. Regression analyses are adjusted for smoking, occupational exposure, atopy, recent infection, and age.
Exposed men had significantly more upper (ORirritated nose = 2.89 [95% confidence interval = 1.31 to 6.37]) and lower (ORdyspnea uphill = 3.79 [95% confidence interval = 1.69 to 8.46]) airway symptoms, and some indication of more reversible airway obstruction than unexposed workers.
Men working in an area with an oil tank explosion had more airway symptoms and indication of more airway obstruction 1.5 years after the event.
Environmental exposure during pregnancy may have lifelong health consequences for the offspring and some studies have association between maternal exposure to air pollution during pregnancy and offspring's birth weight. However, many of these studies do not take into account small-scale variations in exposure, residential mobility, and work addresses during pregnancy. We used information from the National Birth Registry of Norway to examine associations between ambient environmental exposure such as air pollution and temperature, and offspring's birth weight taking advantage of information on migration history and work address in a large population-based cohort. A dispersion model was used to estimate ambient air pollution levels at all residential addresses and work addresses for a total of 25,229 pregnancies between 1999 and 2002 in Oslo, Norway. Ambient exposure to traffic pollution for the entire pregnancy was associated with a reduction in term birth weight in crude analyzes when comparing children of the highest and lowest exposed mothers. No evidence for an association between exposure to traffic pollution at home and work addresses and term birth weight after adjustment for covariates known to influence birth weight during pregnancy. After stratification, small statistically non-significant reductions were present but only for multiparious mothers. This group also had less residential mobility and less employment during pregnancy. The overall findings suggest no clear association between term birth weight and traffic pollution exposure during pregnancy. However, mobility patterns could introduce possible confounding when examining small-scale variations in exposure by using addresses. This could be of importance in future studies.