The relative importance of the aerosol transmission route for influenza remains contentious. To determine the potential for influenza to spread via the aerosol route, we measured the size distribution of airborne influenza A viruses. We collected size-segregated aerosol samples during the 2009–2010 flu season in a health centre, a day-care facility and onboard aeroplanes. Filter extracts were analysed using quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Half of the 16 samples were positive, and their total virus concentrations ranged from 5800 to 37 000 genome copies m−3. On average, 64 per cent of the viral genome copies were associated with fine particles smaller than 2.5 µm, which can remain suspended for hours. Modelling of virus concentrations indoors suggested a source strength of 1.6 ± 1.2 × 105 genome copies m−3 air h−1 and a deposition flux onto surfaces of 13 ± 7 genome copies m−2 h−1 by Brownian motion. Over 1 hour, the inhalation dose was estimated to be 30 ± 18 median tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50), adequate to induce infection. These results provide quantitative support for the idea that the aerosol route could be an important mode of influenza transmission.
influenza; bioaerosol; size distribution; aerosol transmission; emissions; deposition
antiphospholipid antibodies; factor V Leiden; ischaemic colitis; thrombosis
We have studied mortality patterns in a large cohort of rubber workers. We have examined workers exposed to curing fumes, processing dusts, and industrial talc and have begun to evaluate exposures of these workers in detail. Gastrointestinal (especially stomach) cancer appears in excess in processing workers. Lung cancer is excessive in curing workers. Leukemia is increased generally. All three groups studied for respiratory disease have an increase in disease prevalence which is related to intensity and duration of exposure. Since both an increase in stomach cancer and respiratory disease is seen in processing workers, exposures in this area must be controlled. Since both lung cancer and chronic respiratory disease is excessive in curing rooms, this exposure must be controlled. The leukemia risk is probably related to solvents. Whether this is all explainable by past benzene exposure is unknown. Further studies are planned to refine our knowledge concerning these risks so that occupational disease in the rubber industry can be prevented.
A large cohort of 74,828 benzene-exposed and 35,805 nonexposed workers employed between 1972 and 1987 in 12 cities in China was followed to determine mortality from all causes. Benzene-exposed study subjects were employed in a variety of occupations including coating applications, and rubber, chemical, and shoe production. Mortality was slightly increased among workers with greater cumulative exposure to benzene (ptrend < 0.05), but this excess was largely due to cancer deaths (ptrend < 0.01). Deaths due to lymphatic and hematopoietic malignancies (ptrend = 0.01) and lung cancer (ptrend = 0.01) increased with increasing cumulative exposure to benzene. Investigations continue to relate benzene exposure to specific lymphatic and hematopoietic malignancies and other causes of death.
We present a validation study of a quantitative retrospective exposure assessment method used in a follow-up study of workers exposed to benzene. Assessment of exposure to benzene was carried out in 672 factories in 12 cities in China. Historical exposure data were collected for 3179 unique job titles. The basic unit for exposure assessment was a factory/work unit/job title combination over seven periods between 1949 and 1987. A total of 18,435 exposure estimates was developed, using all available historical information, including 8477 monitoring data. Overall, 38% of the estimates were based on benzene monitoring data. The highest time-weighted average exposures were observed for the rubber industry (30.7 ppm) and for rubber glue applicators (52.6 ppm). Because of its recognized link with benzene exposure, the association between a clinical diagnosis of benzene poisoning and benzene exposure was evaluated to validate the assessment method that we used in the cohort study. Our confidence in the assessment method is supported by the observation of a strong positive trend between benzene poisoning and various measures, especially recent intensity of exposure to benzene.
In a study of signs and symptoms of lead intoxication in workers in lead processing industries in the Netherlands, use has been made of the apparatus described by Donath (1956) for semiquantitative determination of coproporphyrin excretion. The significance of this method in the screening of exposed groups of workers has been investigated. The method proved to be a valuable tool in the prevention of inorganic lead intoxication. The frequency distribution of coproporphyrinuria in groups of workers indicates the extent of lead exposure. If the average coproporphyrinuria exceeds 1·5 degrees on the Donath scale there is an increased lead intake. From the frequency distribution of coproporphyrinuria the degree of air pollution with lead and the degree of anaemia due to lead intake may be roughly estimated.
A petrochemical worker with aplastic anemia was referred to our hospital. He worked in a petroleum resin-producing factory and had been exposed to low-level benzene while packaging the powder resin and pouring lime into a deactivation tank. According to the yearly environmental survey of the working area, the airborne benzene level was approximately 0.28 ppm. Exposure to benzene, a common chemical used widely in industry, may progressively lead to pancytopenia, aplastic anemia, and leukemia. The hematotoxicity of benzene is related to the amount and duration of exposure. Most risk predictions for benzene exposures have been based on rubber workers who were exposed to high concentrations. In the petroleum industry, the concentration of benzene is relatively low, and there are disputes over the toxicity of low-level benzene because of a lack of evidence. In this paper we report the case of aplastic anemia induced by low-level benzene exposure.
Lead is a significant occupational and environmental hazard. Battery industry is one of the settings related to lead intoxication. Published information on the use of oral chelating agents for the treatment of anaemia in the context of acute lead intoxication is limited. The patient was a 33 year immigrant female worker in a battery manufacture for 3 months. She complained for malaise that has been developed over the past two weeks. Pallor of skin and conjunctiva was the only sign found in physical examination. The blood test on admission revealed normochromic anaemia. Endoscopic investigation of the gastrointestinal system was negative for bleeding. The bone marrow biopsy was unrevealing.
At baseline no attention has been paid to patient's occupational history. Afterwards the patient's occupational history has been re-evaluated and she has been screened for lead intoxication. The increased levels of the lead related biomarkers of exposure and effect confirmed the diagnosis. The patient received an oral chelating agent and an improvement in clinical picture, and levels of haematological and lead related biochemical parameters have been recorded. No side effect and no rebound effect were observed. This case report emphasizes the importance of the occupational history in the context of the differential diagnosis. Moreover, this report indicates that lead remains a significant occupational hazard especially in the small scale battery industry
1,3-Butadiene, a major ingredient of synthetic rubber, has been shown to be carcinogenic in two animal species. To assess the possible human carcinogenicity of 1,3-butadiene, a critical review was undertaken of the epidemiologic literature. An early retrospective study of 8017 males employed in tire manufacturing found excess mortality for lymphatic and hematopoietic neoplasms in production workers (standardized mortality ratio, SMR = 560); these workers were exposed to 1,3-butadiene as well as to styrene and possibly to benzene. A recently updated epidemiologic study of 2568 workers at a butadiene manufacturing plant in Texas reported low mortality overall (SMR = 84) but found excess deaths for lymphosarcoma and reticulum cell sarcoma (SMR = 229). A retrospective study of workers employed at two synthetic rubber plants in Texas found excess mortality for lymphatic and hematopoietic malignancies in the older of these facilities; the excesses for lymphosarcoma (SMR = 224) and leukemia (SMR = 278) were most significant in wartime workers. A large, recently updated retrospective study of 12,113 workers employed in eight synthetic rubber manufacturing plants in the United States and Canada found excess mortality for lymphatic and hematopoietic cancer in production workers; the SMR for other lymphatic cancers in white production workers was 230, and the SMR for all lymphatic malignancies in black production workers was 507. These updated epidemiologic results strongly suggest an etiologic association between occupational exposure to 1,3-butadiene and human cancer. It is reasonable, therefore, to conclude that there now exists at least limited evidence for the human carcinogenicity of 1,3-butadiene.
The metabolism of benzene differs from that of other aromatic hydrocarbons; the excretion of phenol in the urine of workers exposed to ambient benzene bears a linear relationship to the degree of exposure. A semi-quantitative screening test using stable reagents not requiring special apparatus or laboratory facilities permits an estimation of urinary phenolic bodies, and hence the exposure to benzene. The test may be used (a) to determine whether individual workers need further investigation because of exposure to benzene, (b) as a group test to determine whether the environment is acceptable, and (c) to determine whether solvents often regarded as safe contain benzene.
Benzene is a human carcinogen. Exposure to benzene occurs in occupational and environmental settings.
I evaluated variation in benzene-related leukemia with age at exposure and time since exposure.
I evaluated data from a cohort of 1,845 rubber hydrochloride workers. Benzene exposure–leukemia mortality trends were estimated by applying proportional hazards regression methods. Temporal variation in the impact of benzene on leukemia rates was assessed via exposure time windows and fitting of a multistage cancer model.
The association between leukemia mortality and benzene exposures was of greatest magnitude in the 10 years immediately after exposure [relative rate (RR) at 10 ppm-years = 1.19; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.10–1.29]; the association was of smaller magnitude in the period 10 to < 20 years after exposure (RR at 10 ppm-years = 1.05; 95% CI, 0.97–1.13); and there was no evidence of association ≥ 20 years after exposure. Leukemia was more strongly associated with benzene exposures accrued at ≥ 45 years of age (RR at 10 ppm-years = 1.11; 95% CI, 1.04–1.17) than with exposures accrued at younger ages (RR at 10 ppm-years = 1.01; 95% CI, 0.92–1.09). Jointly, these temporal effects can be efficiently modeled as a multistage process in which benzene exposure affects the penultimate stage in disease induction.
Further attention should be given to evaluating the susceptibility of older workers to benzene-induced leukemia.
benzene; cohort study; leukemia; mortality; Ohio
A number of studies have demonstrated that solvents may induce auditory dysfunction. However, there is still little knowledge regarding the main signs and symptoms of solvent-induced hearing loss (SIHL). The aim of this research was to investigate the association between solvent exposure and adverse effects on peripheral and central auditory functioning with a comprehensive audiological test battery.
Seventy-two solvent-exposed workers and 72 non-exposed workers were selected to participate in the study. The test battery comprised pure-tone audiometry (PTA), transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE), Random Gap Detection (RGD) and Hearing-in-Noise test (HINT).
Solvent-exposed subjects presented with poorer mean test results than non-exposed subjects. A bivariate and multivariate linear regression model analysis was performed. One model for each auditory outcome (PTA, TEOAE, RGD and HINT) was independently constructed. For all of the models solvent exposure was significantly associated with the auditory outcome. Age also appeared significantly associated with some auditory outcomes.
This study provides further evidence of the possible adverse effect of solvents on the peripheral and central auditory functioning. A discussion of these effects and the utility of selected hearing tests to assess SIHL is addressed.
Assessment; Hearing loss; Solvents; Temporal resolution
With the increased use of condoms, contact dermatitis to rubber is being seen more often. To develop a rubber condom suitable for use by rubber sensitive people, a "hypoallergenic" condom, which is washed in ammonia to reduce the residues of rubber accelerators, has been manufactured. Fifty patients allergic to various rubber accelerators were patch tested with an ordinary condom and the new washed condom. Fifty patients undergoing routine patch test investigation who were not allergic to rubber were also tested as controls. Twenty two of the rubber sensitive patients had a positive reaction to the new rubber condom compared with four of the control patients. Washing rubber condoms in ammonia does not appear to reduce the residues of rubber accelerators sufficiently for their use by rubber sensitive people. A non-allergenic condom is required.
OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated the mortality experience of workers from the styrene-butadiene rubber industry. Concerns about a possible association of 1,3-butadiene and styrene with lymphohaematopoietic, gastrointestinal, and lung cancers prompted the investigation. METHODS: A retrospective follow up study was conducted of 15,649 men employed for at least one year at any of eight North American styrene-butadiene rubber plants. Analyses used standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) to compare styrene-butadiene rubber workers' cause specific mortalities (1943-91) with those of the United States and Ontario general populations. RESULTS: On average, there were 25 years of follow up per subject. The standardised mortality ratio (SMR) was 87 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 85 to 90) for all causes of death combined and was 93 (95% CI 87 to 99) for all cancers. There was an excess of leukaemia (SMR 131, 95% CI 97 to 174), restricted to hourly workers (SMR 143, 95% CI 104 to 191). For causes of death other than leukaemia, SMRs were close to or below the null value of 100. Results by work area (process group) were unremarkable for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and stomach cancer. Maintenance workers had a slight increase in deaths from lung cancer, and certain subgroups of workers had more than expected deaths from cancer of the large intestine and the larynx. CONCLUSION: This study found an excess of leukaemia that is likely to be due to exposure to butadiene or to butadiene plus other chemicals. Deaths from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and stomach cancer did not seem to be related to occupational exposure. The excess deaths from lung cancer among maintenance workers may be due in part to confounding by smoking, which was not controlled for, and in part to an unidentified occupational exposure other than butadiene or styrene. Increases in cancer of the large intestine and larynx were based on small numbers, did not seem to be due to exposure to butadiene or styrene, and may be chance observations.