As many chemicals, also agricultural pesticides (APs) can be hazardous if not used safely. Under typical working conditions, the majority of exposure to the APs is through the hand-skin. Wearing appropriate gloves should be a standard practice when handling the APs. Unlike professionals, amateurs applying the APs in their gardens or vineyards are not trained for the workplace hygiene. In this survey conducted in the spring 2015 across the Slovak Republic, practices regarding the use of protective gloves were obtained. 520 copies of the “paper-and-pencil” questionnaire were distributed to amateur users and specialized stores selling the APs (return rate of 59 %). A set of ten questions a “closed-ended” or “multiple-choice” type was offered. 75 % of respondents wear gloves when handling the APs. Regrettably, among users wearing gloves, 58 % use the same disposable gloves repeatedly, 67 % wear the reusable gloves from last season, and 53 % do not wash outside of the reusable gloves with detergent before removing them. 30 % of glove users wear all available gloves including absolutely inappropriate materials like fabric and leather, 28 % do not recognize the glove material which they use, 20 % use disposable Latex and 3 % Vinyl and Polyethylene gloves. Only 19 % of glove users wear a material that is generally considered a good choice for handling the APs (7 % Neoprene & Latex, 5 % Neoprene, 5 % Nitrile, and 2 % Butyl rubber). The survey showed the need for better education about adequate protective gloves not only for amateur users but also for retailers selling the APs and protective equipment.
The topic of free radicals and related antioxidants is greatly discussed nowadays. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals before damaging cells. In the absence of antioxidants, a phenomenon called oxidative stress occurs. Oxidative stress can cause many diseases e.g. Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, antioxidant activity of various compounds and the mechanism of their action have to be studied. Antioxidant activity and capacity are measured by in vitro and in vivo methods; in vitro methods are divided into two groups according to chemical reactions between free radicals and antioxidants. The first group is based on the transfer of hydrogen atoms (HAT), the second one on the transfer of electrons (ET). The most frequently used methods in the field of antioxidant power measurement are discussed in this work in terms of their principle, mechanism, methodology, the way of results evaluation and possible pitfalls.
Dermal exposure to chemicals - evaluation of skin barrier damage
Dermal exposure to xenobiotic compounds occurs on a daily basis in many humans, in intended as well as unintended ways. Serious skin problems are caused by household chemical products, mainly by strong anionic surfactants. The purpose of this study was to assess the suitability of two in vitro methods for evaluation of sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) potential on skin barrier damage. Transdermal electrical conductivity (TEC) according to our design, and the method of in vitro skin permeability of indigotine as a chemical skin integrity marker were used. The TEC values across the skin membrane damaged with 5, 10 and 15 % aqueous SLS solutions for 1 h were 3.92, 5.79, and 7.29-fold higher respectively than the data of TEC across the intact skin membrane. The amounts of indigotine after 20 h permeation through the skin membrane damaged with 5, 10 and 15 % SLS were 2.48, 4.04, and 5.81-fold higher respectively than the measured amount of indigotine permeated through the intact skin. We consider that the measurement of TEC, especially, in combination with a suitable chemical marker can be simple, quick, safe and cost effective in vitro method for prediction the skin barrier damage not only by surfactants, but also for hazard and risk evaluation of other chemical compounds the human skin is exposed to.
The evidences of the harmful effects of skin exposure to excessive UltraViolet (UV) radiation, primarily on the development of skin cancer, have increased over the last decade. Therefore, national and international health authorities have encouraged the public to take protective sunscreens, and respectively also everyday cosmetics containing UV filters. In these products, a mixture of the UV filters, including both inorganic and organic nature, has been shown to be more effective than the individual UV filter. However, currently there are concerns about the safety and actual effectiveness of some UV filters; especially about certain UV-absorbing compounds (organic UV filters). Three cardinal problems are the most questionable. First, that certain UV filters are absorbed through the skin resulting in systemic exposure with unknown consequences. Second, that certain UV filters show the potential to be adversely endocrine disruptors. Third, that certain UV filters are partially degraded by UV radiation, what making them photounstable and unable to fulfil their basic protective function. The purpose of this article is to discuss these problems.