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Open access

Jordan Minov, Jovanka KaradžInska-Bislimovska, Kristin Vasilevska, Snežana Risteska-Kuc and Sašo Stoleski

Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke in the Workplace in Macedonia: Where Are We Now?

To assess the prevalence and the level of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the workplace after the enactment of the law restricting indoor smoking in Macedonia, we performed a cross-sectional, self-administered questionnaire study including 372 never-smoking workers recruited from six workplaces. We found a high prevalence of workers exposed to ETS in the workplace (27.4 %) with no significant difference between particular occupation groups. We found no significant difference in the prevalence of passive smokers in the workplace between this study and our study conducted before the law was enacted (31.5 % vs. 27.4 %, P=0.324). The prevalence of workers exposed to ETS for less than three hours a day was significantly lower than of passive smokers with longer exposure (28.4 % vs. 71.6 %, P=0.038). The prevalence of workers exposed to ETS from less than 10 cigarettes smoked by coworkers per day was lower than the prevalence of workers with higher exposure, but statistical significance was not reached (37.9 % vs. 62.1 %, P=0.087). Our findings indicate a high prevalence and a high level of exposure to ETS in the workplace, which calls for stricter adherence to smoking-free legislation or even the total ban of smoking in the workplace.

Open access

Zvonimira Knežević, Martina Nadih, Renata Josipović, Ivanka Grgić and Ante Cvitković

Zagađenje pitke vode mineralnim uljima u slavonskom brodu

21. rujna 2008. godine u Slavonskom Brodu dolazi do prodora mazuta iz toplinskih podstanica u toplovode, zatim u cijevi koje vode toplu vodu do slavina za toplu i hladnu vodu u stanovima. Cilj je ovog rada prikazati tijek događaja zbog nezgode i postupke koji bi se mogli primijeniti u eventualnim sličnim situacijama.

Kemijski parametri "A"-analize definirani Pravilnikom o zdravstvenoj ispravnosti vode za piće (Narodne novine 47/08) određeni su spektrofotometrijskim i titrimetrijskim metodama, dok su mikrobiološki pokazatelji analizirani metodama membranske filtracije i određivanja ukupnog broja bakterija. Za analizu mineralnih ulja upotrijebljena je metoda infracrvene spektroskopije. Epidemiološku obradu stanovnika proveli su epidemiolozi. Ispiranje vodovodnih cijevi obavljeno je vodom i detergentom BIS O 2700.

Nezgoda prodora mazuta u pitku vodu trajala je od 21. rujna do početka studenoga 2008. godine. Razlog nastanka nezgode jest kvar izmjenjivača za toplu vodu u toplinskim podstanicama koji je prouzročio miješanje vode iz toplovoda u kojem ima i mazuta, s toplom vodom za stanove na slavinama.

U tom su razdoblju analizirana ukupno 192 uzorka vode: 174 uzorka na "A"-analizu, 192 uzorka na mineralna ulja te 5 uzoraka na policikličke aromatske ugljikovodike (PAH) i aromatske ugljikovodike: benzen, toluen, etilbenzen i ksilen (BTEX). Mineralna ulja bila su prisutna iznad maksimalno dopuštene koncentracije (MDK) u 55 uzoraka vode, "A"-analiza nije odgovarala u dva slučaja, a PAH i BTEX bili su ispod MDK.

Za uspješnost rješavanja ovakvih situacija potreban je multidisciplinarni pristup s jasnim ovlastima svih institucija.

Open access

Mario Vujić and Lea Pollak

. Zakon o prehrambenim aditivima, aromama i prehrambenim enzimima [Act on food additives, flavorings and food enzymes, in Croatian]. Narodne novine 39/2013. 18. Pravilnik o tvarima koje se mogu dodavati hrani i koristiti u proizvodnji hrane te tvarima čije je korištenje u hrani zabranjeno ili ograničeno [Ordinance on substances that may be added to foodstuffs and used in food production and the substances whose use in foodstuffs is prohibited or restricted, in Croatian]. Narodne novine 160/2013. 19. Bankova V, Marcucci MC. Standardization

Open access

Jérôme Zoidakis, Ploumisti Dimitraki, Panagiotis Zerefos and Antonia Vlahou

Application of Preparative Electrophoresis for Clinical Proteomics in Urine: Is it Feasible?

Urine samples are easily attainable which makes them ideal substrates for biomarker research. Various techniques have been employed to unravel the urine proteome and identify disease biomarkers. Even though the presence of high abundance proteins in urine is not so pronounced as in the case of plasma, the presence of proteolytic products, many of which at low abundance, along with numerous frequently random chemical modifications, makes the analysis of urinary proteins challenging. To facilitate the detection of low abundance urinary proteins, in the study presented herein we applied two different electrophoretic techniques, preparative Lithium Dodecyl Sulfate (LDS)-PAGE in combination with 2-DE for urinary protein separation and enrichment. Our results indicate the effectiveness of this approach for the enrichment of low abundance and low molecular weight proteins and peptides in urine, and contribute towards the establishment of a urinary proteomic database. The application of this technique as a biomarker discovery tool faces several challenges: these include down-scaling of the technique, possible recompensation for the consequent expected decrease in protein resolution, by optimizing steps of the experimental workflow as well as getting a good understanding of the technical variability of the technique. Under these conditions, preparative electrophoresis can become an effective tool for clinical proteomics applications.

Open access

Konstantinos Agaliotis and Miroljub Hadžić


The рurрοѕe οf any eсοnοmiс-based aсtivitу is the creation of needs. As the financial activities are not an exception to this rule, understanding clients’ necessities and their satisfaction is of primary concern for all financial institutions. Being conversant with the exact details that constitute client behaviour and the processes that lead to particular decisions, has become an advantage for financial institutions investing resources in it. Finally, it will not only pay off by satisfying the clients’ needs, but it will also secure a long-standing loyalty and relationships with them. As all relationships, the one between the client and the bank requires support and mutual understanding.

Given the Serbian retail banking market, we may conclude the following: firstly, there is still potential for doing business in this filed; secondly, the particular segments of customers would accept new products; and thirdly, banks have to focus on the highest ranking clients concerning their credit worthiness. As regards the client behaviour over different product offerings, we can conclude that cash loans and credit card holders are not price sensitive, and that subsequently, the existing holders intend to increase their credit exposure.

Open access

Marija Bakotić and Biserka Radošević-Vidaček

Regulation of Sleepiness: The Role of the Arousal System

Sleepiness is a widespread phenomenon in the busy industrial countries, and many studies have identified its significant negative impacts on individuals and society. Particularly important are the data that associate sleepiness with the risk of accidents at workplace and in transport, pointing to shift workers as the most vulnerable population. It is generally accepted that two basic physiological processes regulate sleepiness: homeostatic and circadian rhythmic processes. Recent research has proposed the third component regulating sleepiness, that is, the wake drive or the arousal system. The role of the arousal system in regulating sleepiness has partly been addressed by the studies of the pathophysiology of insomnia, which is often described as a disorder of hyperarousal. Experimental and correlational studies on the relation between sleepiness and arousal in good sleepers have generally indicated that both physiological and cognitive arousal are related to the standard measures of sleepiness. Taking into account the role of the arousal system in regulating sleepiness widens the possibilities for the management of sleep disorders and could also help in solving the problem of excessive sleepiness at work and the wheel.

Open access

Omid Mehrpour, Ahmad Amouzeshi, Bita Dadpour, Zohreh Oghabian, Nasim Zamani, Shahram Amini and Robert S. Hoffman


Aluminium phosphide (AlP) is a highly toxic pesticide that inhibits cytochrome oxidase c and causes oxidative stress. Death results from refractory cardiogenic shock due to myocardial dysfunction. There is very little information regarding extracorporeal life support in severe AlP poisoning. Although several therapies are available, none are curative. We report on the use of an intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) in a 24-year-old woman brought to our hospital after an intentional ingestion of a tablet of AlP (3 g), which caused refractory AlP-induced cardiogenic shock and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The patient underwent gastric lavage with potassium permanganate, received sodium bicarbonate intravenously, and was admitted to the intensive care unit. Echocardiography at 36 h post ingestion showed a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of <20 %. An IABP was inserted and the patient’s vital signs stabilised. After eight days, the IABP was removed and on day 20, the patient’s LVEF increased to 50 %. IABP was successfully used and may improve future prognoses for severely poisoned AlP patients with refractory cardiogenic shock. We encourage clinical toxicologists to examine this new treatment.

Open access

Irina Guseva Canu, Ségolène Faust, Pierre Canioni, Philippe Collomb, Eric Samson and Dominique Laurier

This descriptive cross-sectional study examines the compliance of workers from the European Gaseous Diffusion Uranium Enrichment Consortium (EURODIF) with personal protection equipment (PPE) in view of the various hazards in the nuclear fuel industry. The PPE inventory was drawn up by an industrial hygienist in charge of the PPE at EURODIF. Two hundred and twenty seven (10 %) randomly selected, active and retired, EURODIF workers filled in a questionnaire on their attitudes towards PPE. Exposure data from the EURODIF job exposure matrix were used to examine whether PPE usage varies according to exposure level. The study suggests a PPE usage profile that varies depending on the hazards present and PPE available. Anti-uranium PPE and gloves were among the best rated, while anti-spray goggles were the least used. We found that, for most hazards known to cause cancer or irreversible health damage, PPE usage varied according to exposure (homogeneity test, p<0.05; trend test, p<0.05). The continuous use of PPE among workers should be encouraged through improvements to the PPE management system. A precise model of individual exposure can only be designed if the use and efficiency of PPE are taken into consideration.

Open access

Lana Pađen, Tomislav Gomerčić, Martina Đuras, Haidi Arbanasić and Ana Galov


In this study the hematological and biochemical parameters in the blood of indigenous Croatian working horse breeds were investigated. The Posavina and Croatian Coldblood horses are adapted to harsh environmental conditions and their blood parameters might differ from other horse breeds. The study was carried out on 100 mares and 12 stallions of ages from 2 to 19 years. Fifteen hematological and 19 biochemical parameters were analysed. Values of 22 parameters showed considerable overlapping with values obtained for other horse breeds, and substantial resemblance is evident with values reported for Pakistani working horses. Several reference values showed statistically significant effect of sex (Hb, ALB, CREA, TBIL and Ca where significantly higher in stallions; EOS, CK, ALP, UREA and Mg were significantly higher in mares). None of the parameters studied showed any differences associated with age. The adaptation of Posavina and Croatian Coldblood horses to the harsh environment of flooded pastures and the way of breeding might be reflected in their specific reference values. The obtained results enabled the establishment of hematological and biochemical reference values in the blood of Posavina and Croatian Coldblood horses that will in turn support clinical diagnosis and further research into horse physiology.

Open access

Andraž Šmon, Urh Grošelj, Mojca Žerjav Tanšek, Ajda Biček, Adrijana Oblak, Mirjana Zupančič, Ciril Kržišnik, Barbka Repič Lampret, Simona Murko, Sergej Hojker and Tadej Battelino


Introduction. Newborn screening in whole Slovenia started in 1979 with screening for phenylketonuria (PKU). Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) was added into the programme in 1981. The aim of this study was to analyse the data of neonatal screening in Slovenia from 1993 to 2012 for PKU, and from 1991 to 2012 for CH.

Methods. Blood samples were collected from the heels of newborns between the third and the fifth day after birth. Fluorometric method was used for screening for PKU, CH screening was done by dissociationenhanced lanthanide fluorescent immunoassay (DELFIA).

Results. From 1993 to 2012, from 385,831 newborns 57 were identified with PKU. 184 newborns out of 427,396 screened from 1991 to 2012, were confirmed for CH. Incidences of PKU and CH in the periods stated are 1:6769 and 1:2323, respectively.

Conclusions. Successful implementation of newborn screening for PKU and CH has helped in preventing serious disabilities of the affected children. Adding screening for new metabolic diseases in the future would be beneficial.