A study of enteric viruses in raw and treated sewage from two secondary treatment plants, which received sewage from Oslo city (plant A) and small municipalities in Hedmark county in Norway (plant B), showed high levels of noro-, adeno-, and bocavirus throughout the year. A seasonal variation was observed for adeno- and GII norovirus with higher levels during winter and bocavirus that had more positive samples during winter. The virus concentrations in raw sewage were comparable in the two plants, with medians (log10 genome copies per liter) of 6.1, 6.3, 6.0, and 4.5 for noro GI, noro GII, adeno-, and bocavirus, respectively. The level of hepatitis E virus was not determined as it was below the limit of quantification. The mean log10 virus reduction was 0.55 (plant A) and 1.44 (plant B) with the highest reduction found in the plant with longer hydraulic retention time. The adenoviruses were dominantly serotype 41, while serotype 12 appeared sporadically. Of the 102 raw and treated sewage samples that were tested, eight were positive for hepatitis E virus of which four were from treated sewage. Two of the four obtained gene sequences from hepatitis E virus originated from the rural sewage samples and showed high similarity with a genotype 3 strain of hepatitis E virus detected in local piglets. Two other hepatitis E virus sequences obtained from urban sewage samples showed high similarities with genotype 3 strains isolated from urban sewage in Spain and a human genotype 1 isolate from India. The study gives information on the levels of noroviruses in raw and treated sewage, which is valuable to risk assessment, information indicating that some infections with hepatitis E viruses in Norway have a regional origin and that human bocavirus 2 and 3 are prevalent in the Norwegian population.
Indoor climate of two new blocks of flats was investigated. The case building was built for people with respiratory diseases by following the instructions of the Finnish Classification of Indoor Climate, Construction and Finishing Materials, while the control building was built using conventional building technology. The main indoor air parameters (temperature, relative humidity and levels of CO, CO2, ammonia, total volatile organic compounds, total suspended particles, fungal spores, bacteria and cat, dog and house dust mite allergens) were measured in six apartments of both the buildings on five occasions during the 3-year occupancy. In addition, a questionnaire to evaluate symptoms of the occupants and their satisfaction with their home environment was conducted in connection with indoor air quality (IAQ) measurements. The levels of indoor air pollutants in the case building were, in general, lower than those in the control building. In addition, the asthmatic occupants informed that their symptoms had decreased during the occupancy in the case building. This case study showed that high IAQ is possible to reach by careful design, proper materials and equipment and on high-quality construction with reasonable additional costs. In addition, the study indicated that good IAQ can also be maintained during the occupancy, if sufficient information on factors affecting IAQ and guidance on proper use and care of equipment are available for occupants.
4-Nonylphenol (NP) and bisphenol A (BPA) are phenolic substances used in high volumes by the industry. Studies on cells and in experimental animals have shown that both these compounds can be classified as estrogenic hormone disrupters. Information about the exposure of humans to NP and BPA is still scarce, especially regarding levels in human blood. The first aim of this study was to investigate possible sources of NP and BPA exposure from food, by analyzing the levels of NP and BPA from a Swedish food market basket, based on the Swedish per capita food consumption. A second aim was to investigate blood serum levels of NP and BPA, as well as NP-ethoxylates, among young women in Sweden (n=100). Moreover, associations between food consumption and blood NP and BPA levels were studied. In food, NP was to some extent found at levels above limit of quantification (LOQ 20 ng/g fresh weight) in fruits, cereal products, vegetables, and potatoes. BPA levels above LOQ (2 ng/g fresh weight) were found in fish, meats, potatoes, and dairy products. The estimated mean intakes per capita were (medium bound) 27 µg NP/day and 3.9 µg BPA/day, showing that food is a source of BPA and NP in the general Swedish population. In blood serum, free NP above limit of detection (LOD 0.5 ng/g) was detected in 46% of the study participants while detectable levels of total NP (LOD 0.8 ng/g) were observed in 43%. The corresponding percentages for BPA were 25% and 22%, respectively. The results indicate that there is a continuous source of exposure to NP and BPA that is high enough for free NP and BPA to be detected in some consumers. Among the participants with quantifiable levels of free and total NP (n=38), 85% (median, range: 38-112%) of the NP was present as free NP. For BPA 76% (49-109%) was detected as free BPA (n=15). All women had levels of ethoxylates of NP below LOD (0.1-0.7 ng/g). A significantly higher total consumption of fruits and vegetables was reported in questionnaires by participants with NP levels at or above LOD than among women with levels below LOD. This result is supporting the market basket results of relatively high NP levels in these types of food.
In the present study we have investigated the activity concentrations of (210)Pb, (210)Po as well as (7)Be in surface air of the North and South Atlantic (1988-1989), the Arctic Ocean (1991), and along the coastline of Siberia (1994) during succeeding expeditions in the Swedish Polar Research program. During the cruises in the Arctic Ocean during 1991-07-28 to 1991-10-04 the average air concentrations of (7)Be was 0.6 ± 0.4 mBq/m(3), (210)Pb 40 ± 4 µBq/m(3) and (210)Po-38 ± 10 µBq/m(3). During the Swedish-Russian Tundra Ecology-94 expedition along the Siberian coastline the average air concentrations of (7)Be and (210)Pb measured during May-July were 11 ± 3, and 2.4 ± 0.4 mBq/m(3), and during July-September they were 7.2 ± 2 and 2.7 ± 1.1 mBq/m(3) respectively. The results from measurements of the activity concentration of (210)Pb in the air over the Arctic Ocean vary between 75 and 176 µBq/m(3). In the air close to land masses, however, the activity concentration of (210)Pb in the air increases to 269-2712 µBq/m(3). The activity concentration of (7)Be in the South Atlantic during the cruise down to Antarctica varied between 1.3 and 1.7 with an average of 1.5 ± 0.8 mBq/m(3). The activity concentration of (210)Pb in the South Atlantic down to Antarctica varied between 6 and 14 µBq/m(3). At the Equator the activity concentration recorded in November 1988 was 630 µBq/m(3) and in April 1989 it was 260 µBq/m(3). The average activity concentration of (210)Pb during the route Gothenburg-Montevideo in 1988 was 290 and on the return Montevideo-Gothenburg it was 230 µBq/m(3). The activity concentration of (210)Po in the South Atlantic down to Antarctica varied between 15 and 58 µBq/m(3). At the Equator the activity concentration in November 1988 was 170 and in April 1989 it was 70 µBq/m(3). The average activity concentration of (210)Po during the route Gothenburg-Montevideo in 1988 was 63 and on the return Montevideo-Gothenburg it was 60 µBq/m(3). The average of the activity concentrations in the Antarctic air of (210)Pb was 27 ± 10 µBq/m(3) and of (210)Po it was 12 ± 7 µBq/m(3). All our results were compiled together with other published data, and the global latitudinal distribution of (210)Pb was converted to total annual deposition (Bq/m(2)/a) and fitted to a 4th degree polynomial. By using the global latitudinal distribution of (210)Po/(210)Pb-activity ratio from our own results the global latitudinal distribution of (210)Po annual deposition was derived.
The magnetic fields from overhead power lines and other electromagnetic sources were determined at the birth and diagnosis dwellings of all tumor cases reported in the county of Stockholm during the years 1958-73 for individuals 0-18 years of age. The study was limited to 716 cases having a permanent address in the county both at time of birth and diagnosis. An equivalent number of controls was matched to the cases according to church district of birth, age, and sex. Outside each dwelling, the occurrence of visible electrical constructions (6-200-kV high-voltage wires, substations, transformers, electric railroads, and subways) within 150 m of the dwelling was noted. Also, the 50-Hz magnetic field was measured outside the main entrance of the dwelling. Visible 200-kv wires were noted at 45 of 2,098 dwellings and were found twice as frequently among cases as among controls (P less than .05). The magnetic field measured at the dwelling varied between 0.0004 to 1.9 microT (mean value 0.069 microT). The magnetic field was higher (0.22 microT) at dwellings with visible 200-kV wires than at those without such wires. Magnetic fields of 0.3 microT or more were measured at 48 dwellings, and were found twice as frequently among cases as among controls (P less than .05). The difference was most pronounced for dwellings of nervous system tumors and was less for leukemias.
Radionuclides in the Arctic echinoderms have seldom been studied despite their considerable environmental importance. This manuscript covers the results of 90Sr and 137Cs measurements in common echinoderm taxa collected from the Svalbard Bank in the Barents Sea and from two High-Arctic fjords (Isfjorden and Magdalenefjorden). We focused on the echinoid, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, the asteroid, Henricia sanguinolenta, and the ophiuroid, Ophiopolis aculeata. For all echinoderms, the analysis revealed a negative correlation between 90Sr activity and the mass. Thus, we concluded that metals are accumulated faster at a young age when the growth is most rapid. The highest average activities of 137Cs followed the order O. aculeata>H. sanguinolenta>S. droebachiensis. This suggests that bioaccumulation was highly taxon-dependent and could reflect differences in the isotope exposures associated with the diet of echinoderms. The study provides a baseline for understanding radionuclide processes in the High-Arctic benthic echinoderm communities.
The (90)Sr activity concentrations released from a radioactive fallout have been determined in a range of samples of mushrooms collected in Poland, Belarus, China, and Sweden in 1996-2013. Measurement of (90)Sr in pooled samples of mushrooms was carried out with radiochemical procedure aimed to pre-isolate the analyte from the fungal materials before it was determined using the Low-Level Beta Counter. Interestingly, the Purple Bolete Imperator rhodopurpureus collected from Yunnan in south-western China in 2012 showed (90)Sr activity concentration at around 10 Bq kg(-1) dry biomass, which was greater when compared to other mushrooms in this study. The King Bolete Boletus edulis from China showed the (90)Sr activity in caps at around 1.5 Bq kg(-1) dry biomass (whole fruiting bodies) in 2012 and for specimens from Poland activity was well lower than 1.0 Bq kg(-1) dry biomass in 1998-2010. A sample of Sarcodonimbricatus collected in 1998 from the north-eastern region of Poland impacted by Chernobyl fallout showed (90)Sr in caps at around 5 Bq kg(-1) dry biomass. Concentration of (90)Sr in Bay Bolete Royoporus (Xerocomus or Boletus) badius from affected region of Gomel in Belarus was in 2010 at 2.1 Bq kg(-1) dry biomass. In several other species from Poland (90)Sr was at