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4.  Vibration induced injury. 
PMCID: PMC1007767  PMID: 3801337
6.  A simplified method for determining erythrocyte pyrimidine 5'-nucleotidase (P5N) activity by HPLC and its value in monitoring lead exposure. 
The method for determining erythrocyte pyrimidine 5'-nucleotidase (P5N EC 3.1.3.5) activity has been simplified using an automated high performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC). The activity determined by the simplified method agreed closely with that obtained by conventional methods. In 161 lead workers P5N activity declined linearly with increasing blood lead concentrations (Pb-B) between 20 and 80 micrograms/100 g, and correlated well with Pb-B (r = -0.87). For the same group of workers, correlation coefficients between Pb-B v ALA-D activity, zinc protoporphyrin, ALA-U, and coproporphyrin were -0.87, 0.73, 0.70, and 0.32, respectively. At Pb-B greater than or equal to 40 micrograms/100 g, the validity of P5N (1.86 at a cut off of 10 less than or equal to units) was higher than that of other indicators examined. P5N activity was fairly stable during the storage of samples for two weeks at 4 degrees C. Determination of P5N activity by this method may be a useful indicator in screening for moderate exposure to lead.
PMCID: PMC1007765  PMID: 3026435
7.  Gaseous and adsorbed PAH in an iron foundry. 
The increased risk of lung cancer among foundry workers is assumed to be associated with the inhalation of gaseous and particle bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). These compounds are produced during pyrolysis of carbon containing loading material in the moulding sand. The concentrations of 20 PAH, some of which are carcinogenic, have been determined in the dusty casting area of an iron foundry by means of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The total dust was fractionated by means of a precision cascade impactor. It was possible to differentiate the PAH load in microgram/mg dust in seven particle size fractions ranging from 0.36- greater than or equal to 24.95 microns. Initially, there was an increase of the adsorbed PAH mass concentration with increasing particle diameter up to a maximum of 1.1 microgram/mg in the dust of the 1.57 micron fraction. Thereafter there was a continuous decrease of PAH mass concentration with increasing particle size. When the differing weights of the seven fractions are taken into account, however, the total PAH load of the individual fractions increases steadily with increasing particle size. The inhalable fine dust, 31.4% of the total dust, contains 49.9% of the total adsorbed PAH. The gas phase contained on average three times more carcinogenic PAH with four and five rings than was adsorbed on the dust. Thus the percentage of the gaseous substances amounts to 77% of the total PAH load at the place of work in an iron foundry.
PMCID: PMC1007764  PMID: 3801335
8.  Phenotypic characterisation of peripheral blood lymphoid cells in people exposed to fibrous zeolite. 
Among inhabitants of the village of Karain in Turkey there is an extremely high incidence of malignant mesothelioma, most probably due to exposure to erionite, which is a fibrous zeolite and similar in appearance and properties to asbestos. This mineral may be found in the dust in the village. To characterise possible disturbances in the immune system of people exposed to fibrous zeolite, a phenotypic characterisation of lymphoid cells in the peripheral blood of 74 immigrants to Sweden from Karain was performed. Compared with normal controls, the mean percentages of Leu 4+ cells (Pan-T) and Leu 3a+ cells ("helper/inducer" T cells) were significantly decreased, whereas the mean percentage of Leu 2a+ cells ("suppressor/cytotoxic" T cells) was normal, leading to a significant reduction of the Leu 3a/Leu 2a subset ratio. The percentage of B cells (Leu 12+ cells) was significantly increased, whereas the percentages of both HLA-DR+ and HLA-DQ+ cells were normal. The percentage of natural killer cells (NK) and killer (K) cells as defined by the monoclonal anti-Leu 7 and anti-Leu 11b were also normal. These findings indicate that exposure to fibrous zeolite causes a numerical imbalance between the two phenotypically different T cell subsets similar to that seen in asbestos exposed individuals.
PMCID: PMC1007763  PMID: 3026434
9.  Temperature and vibration thresholds in vibration syndrome. 
In a study to investigate whether the quantitative assessment of temperature and vibration thresholds can improve the evaluation of the neurological symptoms in vibration syndrome 37 patients with neurological symptoms (paraesthesias, numbness, pain) in the hands who had worked with hand held vibrating tools and 46 healthy controls not exposed to vibration were examined. Temperature thresholds were measured on the thenar eminence and on the volar side of the second and third fingers held together. Vibration thresholds were determined on the dorsum of the hand and on the dorsal side of the second and fifth fingers proximal to the nail. The neutral zone between thresholds for warmth and cold was much wider in the patients than in the controls. Patients older than 45 had higher vibration thresholds than controls. Electroneurography was abnormal in 18 of 34 patients and a carpal tunnel syndrome was diagnosed in six subjects. This investigation is thus indicated in patients with neurological symptoms. Seven of the patients with normal electroneurographic findings had impaired temperature or vibration thresholds or both. Determination of sensory thresholds seems to add valuable information and the methods are, by contrast with electroneurography, easily adapted to the screening of exposed groups outside hospital. Our results indicate that thin myelinated and unmyelinated nerve fibres might be damaged in the vibration syndrome.
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PMCID: PMC1007762  PMID: 3801334
10.  Alveolar sampling and fast kinetics of tetrachloroethene in man. I. Alveolar sampling. 
Human subjects were exposed to tetrachloroethene (perchloroethylene, PER). The duration of exposure ranged from one to 60 minutes and the concentration of PER in inhaled air ranged from 0.02 to 0.40 mmol/m3. Alveolar air was sampled after several residence times (t*) in the lung. Both during and after exposure, the concentration of PER in alveolar air (C Alv) as a function of the residence time was studied to estimate the concentration in the pulmonary artery (C Ven: mixed venous blood) and in the pulmonary vein (C Art: arterial blood). During exposure C Alv decreased as function of t*. At t* = 10 s C Alv was 70-75% of the value presented at t* = 5 s; this decrease approximates an exponential curve. C Alv seemed to stabilise at t* = 10-12 s, whereas it decreased more rapidly at t* greater than 12 s; this decrease continued up to at least t* = 55 s when C Alv was about 40% of the value it represented at t* = 5 s. In the postexposure period C Alv increased as function of t* from 5 to 10 s. Both during and after exposure, no difference was observed between C Alv at t* = 10 s and C Alv in the exhaled part of the expiratory reserve volume. A simple gas exchange model showed that the decrease or increase of C Alv at t* less than 10 s could be explained by either absorption or excretion by mixed venous blood. C Alv at t* = 10-12 s provided a valid estimate of C Ven. To estimate C Art, its fluctuating character due to the discontinuous breathing with a breathing frequency had to be taken into account. It is shown that C Alv during normal breathing (t* = 5 s) provides a reasonable estimate of the time weighted concentration in arterial blood.
PMCID: PMC1007761  PMID: 3801333
11.  Ventilatory impairment from pre-harvest retted flax. 
A new method of retting flax recently developed to suit the United Kingdom climate has allowed the reintroduction of flax growing to this country. The weed killer glyphosate is sprayed on the crop which then rets before harvesting six weeks later. The acute bronchoconstrictor responses of 11 normal subjects to dust from dew retted and from pre-harvest retted flaxes were compared in a double blind crossover fashion. There were no significant differences in the dust levels nor in the size of the dust particles in the experimental dust room. The decreases in pulmonary function after six hours of dust inhalation were significantly larger after pre-harvest retted flax dust than after dew retted flax dust (delta FEV1, -0.21 and -0.40 1; delta MEF50, -0.72 and -1.211/s; delta sGaw (specific airway conductance), -0.17 and -0.65 kPa/s for dew retted and pre-harvest retted respectively). The subjects also reported more symptoms after inhaling pre-harvest retted flax dust. It is concluded that the acute bronchoconstrictor response to flax dust is increased by pre-harvest retting, suggesting an increased risk of byssinosis.
PMCID: PMC1007760  PMID: 3801332
12.  Respiratory effects of occupational exposure to tobacco dust. 
Few investigations of the respiratory effects of occupational exposure to tobacco dust have been carried out and the threshold limit value has not well been established. A cross sectional survey on a sample of 223 male and female workers at a cigar and cigarette factory in Lucca (Tuscany) showed a significantly higher prevalence of wheezing, attacks of shortness of breath with wheezing, dyspnoea, and rhinitis than in a reference population. A trend towards a decrease in forced end expiratory flows according to smoking habit and work duration was evident. Positive skin prick tests were observed in 26% of men and 23% of women and were positively associated with duration of work and negatively with cigarette smoking. Thin interstitial space involvement was observed on chest x ray examination in almost half the female workers with more than 35 years exposure. These findings suggest that prolonged exposure to tobacco dust may have negative health effects and that it is advisable to establish a threshold limit value for tobacco dust different from that of inert dust.
PMCID: PMC1007759  PMID: 3801331
13.  Dust exposure, dust recovered from the lung, and associated pathology in a group of British coalminers. 
The relation between dust exposure, retained lung dust, and pneumoconiosis have been examined in 430 dead coalminers who had participated in a large scale epidemiological survey of respiratory health. The men were divided into three groups depending on the presence of particular lesions in their lungs. Lungs containing no fibrotic lesions in excess of 1 mm were included in the "M" group, those with fibrotic lesions of between 1 mm and 9 mm in diameter were included in the "F" group, and those with any lesion 10 mm or more were categorised as having progressive massive fibrosis (PMF). The men were further divided into four groups according to the rank of coal mined at the colliery of employment. The mean weight of lung dust increased over the pathological range (M----F----PMF) regardless of the rank of coal mined. The men with PMF had not received unusually high exposures to dust in life but were found to have accumulated more dust in their lungs per unit of dust exposure than men without PMF, providing further evidence for differences in the patterns of deposition or clearance, or both, of dust in these men compared with those who do not develop PMF. For men who had mined the higher rank coals there was no difference in the composition of the lung dust between the pathological groups. Lungs from men mining low rank coal, however, showed a striking increase in the proportion of ash over the pathological groups (M, F, and PMF). In men who had mined low rank coal the proportion of ash in the airborne dust to which they had been exposed and in the dust retained in their lungs was, as expected, greater than in men who had worked with higher rank coals. For the same men, and particularly associated with the presence of some dust related fibrosis, the proportion of ash in retained dust was higher than that in the dust to which the men were exposed suggesting the occurrence of selective deposition or retention of the mineral components of dust in this group.
PMCID: PMC1007758  PMID: 3801330
14.  A professional duty to inform. 
PMCID: PMC1007757  PMID: 3801329
17.  Acrylamide cohort mortality study. 
The mortality experience of 371 employees assigned to acrylamide monomer and polymerisation operations was examined with particular emphasis on cancers at sites identified from animal studies such as the central nervous system, thyroid gland, other endocrine glands, and mesotheliomas. A total of 29 deaths was observed up until 1982 (38.0 expected). No statistically significant excesses were noted in the total cohort and no deaths were found for the hypothesised sites of cancer. The observed deaths in the total cohort for the all cancers category were somewhat in excess (11 v 7.9); however, this was due entirely to excess cancers of the digestive tract and respiratory system in the subgroup with previous exposure to organic dyes. Among those employees not exposed to organic dyes, four deaths were due to malignancies versus 6.5 expected. This study does not support a cause effect relation between exposure to acrylamide at this work site and overall mortality, total malignant neoplasms, or any specific cancers.
PMCID: PMC1007753  PMID: 3790460
18.  Occupational factors and pancreatic cancer. 
The relation between occupational factors and pancreatic cancer has been studied by two different approaches: a population based case-control study with two series of controls and a retrospective cohort study based on register data. With both approaches, some support was found for an association with occupational exposure to petroleum products. Associations were also indicated with exposure to paint thinner (case-control study) and work in painting and in paint and varnish factories (cohort study), for exposure to detergents, floor cleaning agents, or polish (case-control study) and with floor polishing or window cleaning (cohort study), and for exposure to refuse (case-control study) and work in refuse disposal plants (cohort study).
PMCID: PMC1007751  PMID: 3790458
19.  Formaldehyde and the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the sinonasal cavities. 
A study of 759 histologically verified cancers of the nasal cavity (287 cases), paranasal sinuses (179 cases), and nasopharynx (293 cases) and 2465 cancer controls diagnosed in Denmark between 1970 and 1982 was conducted to investigate the importance of occupational exposure to formaldehyde. Information on job history for cases and controls was derived from a national data linkage system and exposure to formaldehyde and wood dust was assessed by industrial hygienists unaware of the case-control status of the patients. The exposure rates for formaldehyde among male and female controls were 4.2% and 0.1%, respectively. After proper adjustment for contemporary wood dust exposure, relative risks of 2.3 (95% CI = 0.9-5.8) for squamous cell carcinoma and 2.2 (95% CI = 0.7-7.2) for adenocarcinoma of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses were detected among men who have ever been exposed to formaldehyde in their job compared with those never exposed. The introduction of a 10 year latency period did not change the risk estimates substantially. It was considered unlikely that the results were due to bias or misclassification of exposure although the effect of chance could not be excluded.
PMCID: PMC1007750  PMID: 3790457
20.  Physiologicomathematical model for studying human exposure to organic solvents: kinetics of blood/tissue n-hexane concentrations and of 2,5-hexanedione in urine. 
The physiologicomathematical model with eight compartments described allows the simulation of the absorbtion, distribution, biotransformation, excretion of an organic solvent, and the kinetics of its metabolites. The usual compartments of the human organism (vessel rich group, muscle group, and fat group) are integrated with the lungs, the metabolising tissues, and three other compartments dealing with the metabolic kinetics (biotransformation, water, and urinary compartments). The findings obtained by mathematical simulation of exposure to n-hexane were compared with data previously reported. The concentrations of n-hexane in alveolar air and in venous blood described both in experimental and occupational exposures provided a substantial validation for the data obtained by mathematical simulation. The results of the urinary excretion of 2,5-hexanedione given by the model were in good agreement with data already reported. The simulation of an exposure to n-hexane repeated five days a week suggested that the solvent accumulates in the fat tissue. The half life of n-hexane in fat tissue equalled 64 hours. The kinetics of 2,5-hexanedione resulting from the model suggest that occupational exposure results in the presence of large amounts of 2,5-hexanedione in the body for the whole working week.
PMCID: PMC1007749  PMID: 3790456
21.  Relation between pathological grading and lung fibre concentration in a patient with asbestosis. 
The fibre concentration and extent and severity of fibrosis have been analysed in 48 specimens from the left lung of a patient with asbestosis. Two different methods of fibre analysis were used. The results obtained by transmission electron microscopy were 2-2.5 times higher than those obtained by scanning electron microscopy. Low temperature ashed samples showed on average twice the number of fibres obtained after wet digestion of the samples. The transmission electron microscope detected considerably shorter fibres than the scanning electron microscope. Low temperature ashing produced also shorter fibres compared with the wet digestion procedure. A statistically significant correlation between fibre concentration and the grade of fibrosis was found only for low temperature ashed samples analysed in the transmission electron microscope. When dividing the lung into nine anatomical compartments and pooling the grade of fibrosis and the fibre concentration data within each compartment, an even better correlation was obtained.
PMCID: PMC1007748  PMID: 3539176
22.  Health, fitness, physical activity, and morbidity of middle aged male factory workers. I. 
A description of the fitness, physical activity of lifestyle, and some aspects of health status and attitudes in a population of male factory workers aged 35-60 is presented as the first part of a report on a study of morbidity in this population. A total of 1394 subjects were included, undergoing medical examination, fitness testing by bicycle ergometry, assessment of body fat, and interview questionnaire. The inter-relation of fitness, body composition, habitual exertion, health risk factors, and attitudes to exercise are discussed. Fitness levels are compared with those reported in other studies and discussed in terms of capacity for walking and running and in relation to criteria for health benefit. In these two latter respects fitness appears to be inadequate among the great majority of those tested, although it is comparable with that reported by several other recent studies. Fitness is associated with physical activity of leisure but not that of work. Only relatively strenuous physical activity in leisure time appears to be related to fitness, and is only participated in by some 28% of the sample. Cycling has the strongest association with fitness of all the physical activity variables. Blood pressure and percentage body fat are also associated, inversely, with fitness, the latter not unexpectedly because of the weight related measure of fitness.
PMCID: PMC1007747  PMID: 3790455
23.  Follow up study of workers manufacturing chrysotile asbestos cement products. 
A cohort study has been carried out of 2167 subjects employed between 1941 and 1983 at an asbestos cement factory in England. The production process incorporated the use of chrysotile asbestos fibre only, except for a small amount of amosite during four months in 1976. Measured airborne fibre concentrations available since 1970 from personal samplers showed mean levels below 1 fibre/ml, although higher levels had probably occurred previously in certain areas of the factory. No excess of lung cancer was observed in the mortality follow up by comparison with either national or local death rates, and analyses of subgroups of the workforce by job, exposure level, duration of employment, duration since entry, or calendar years of employment gave no real suggestion of an asbestos related excess for this cause of death. There was one death from pleural mesothelioma and one with asbestosis mentioned as an associated cause on the death certificate, but neither is thought to be linked to asbestos exposure at this factory. Other suggested asbestos related cancers, such as laryngeal and gastrointestinal, did not show raised risks. Although the durations of exposure were short in this study, the findings are consistent with two other studies of workers exposed to low concentrations of chrysotile fibre in the manufacture of asbestos cement products which reported no excess mortality.
PMCID: PMC1007746  PMID: 3024695
25.  Hand wrist cumulative trauma disorders in industry. 
A total of 574 active workers from six different industrial sites were categorised into four force repetitive exposure groups. Workers in low force-low repetitive jobs served as an internal comparison population for the three other groups. Videotapes and surface electromyography were used to estimate hand force and repetitiveness. The presence of cumulative trauma disorders (CTD) was determined by structured interview and standardised non-invasive physical examination. Only workers who had been working on the study jobs for at least one year at the time of evaluation were eligible for selection. Categorisation of jobs and identification of CTDs were carried out independently by investigators who were appropriately blinded to exposure and outcome. The analysis of associations between CTDs and exposure categories were performed using Mantel-Haenszel plant adjusted odds ratios and unconditional multiple logistic regression. Significant positive associations were observed between hand wrist CTDs and high force-high repetitive jobs. These associations were independent of age, sex, years on the specific job, and plant.
PMCID: PMC1007752  PMID: 3790459

Results 1-25 (171)