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Open access

A. Janchevska, V. Tasic, Z. Gucev, M. Krstevska-Konstantinova and H. I. Cheong

. Carroll P, Al-Mojalli H, Al-Abbad A, Al-Hassoun I, Al-Hamed M, Al-Amr R, et al. Novel mutations underlying nephrogenic diabetes insipidus in Arab families. Genet Med. 2006; 8(1): 443-447. 18. Bichet DG. Molecular and cellular biology of vasopressin and oxytocin receptors and action in the kidney. Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 1994; 3(1): 46-53. 19. Bichet DG. Pathological aspects of water transport in the collecting ducts. Nephrologie. 1996; 17(7): 417-422. 20. Alon U, Chan JCM. Hydrochlorothiazideamiloride in the treatment

Open access

Ranka Godec, Anica Šišović, Ivan Bešlić and Vladimira Vadić

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Air Near Gas Field Molve

Small-volume air samples (~7 m3 per 24 h) of airborne PM10 particle fraction were collected on quartz fibre filters at two measuring sites in the vicinity of the gas field Molve in April and July 2006. It took five to seven days for each sample to collect and one month to collect five to seven samples. Mass concentrations of PM10 fractions were determined by gravimetry while PAHs were analysed using a HPLC with a fluorescent detector. The analysis included fluoranthene (Flu), pyrene (Pyr), benzo(a)anthracene (BaA), chrysene (Cry), benzo(b)fluoranthene (BbF), benzo(k)fluoranthene (BkF), benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), benzo(ghi)perylene (BghiP) and indene(1,2,3-cd)pyrene (Ind). Average concentrations of all PAHs in April at site A were slightly higher than at site B while in July they were lower and similar on both sites. Average BaP concentration measured at site A in April was 0.156 ng m-3 and at site B 0.129 ng m-3, while July BaP averages were 0.022 ng m-3 at both sites. In both months, the mass concentration of BaP was lower than the limit value (1 ng m-3) and well below the tolerant value (2 ng m-3) set by a Croatian regulation of 2005. This suggests that the air near gas field Molve was of acceptable quality in respect to BaP at the time of the measurement.

Open access

Carla Viegas, Ana Monteiro, Elisabete Carolino and Susana Viegas

Abstract

In bakeries, a number of operations such as mixing are associated with exposure to air-suspended flour dust and related bioburden. The aim of this study was to find the best active sampling approach to the assessment of occupational exposure to bioburden in Portuguese bakeries based on the data obtained with the use of specific impaction and impinger devices. We used impaction to collect fungal particles from 100 L air samples onto malt extract agar (MEA) supplemented with chloramphenicol (0.05 %). For growing fungi we also used dichloran glycerol (DG18) agar-based media and for mesophilic bacteria we used tryptic soy agar (TSA) supplemented with nystatin (0.2 %). For Enterobacteriaceae we used violet red bile agar (VRBA). With impingers we also collected 300 L air samples at the 300 L/min airflow rate, inoculated onto the same culture media. The two methods, impaction and impinger, showed statistically significant differences in the following counts: fungal on MEA (z=-2.721, p=0.007), fungal on DG18 (z=-4.830, p=0.000), total bacteria (z=-5.435, p=0.000), and Gram-negative coliforms (z=-3.716, p=0.000). In all cases the impaction method detected significantly higher concentrations than the impinger method. Fungal and bacterial loads were higher in the production unit and lower in the shop. The fungal load obtained with impaction varied between 10 and 5140 CFU m-3, and total bacterial counts ranged between 10 and 4120 CFU m-3. This study has shown that the impaction method is the best active sampling approach to assessing viable bioburden in this specific occupational environment, but a multi-faceted approach to sampling and analyses combining methods and media enables a more refined risk characterisation and, consequently, better tailored risk control measures to reduce adverse health outcomes in workers.

Open access

Sa. Eshkoor, P. Ismail, Sa. Rahman, S. Moin and My. Adon

ABSTRACT

The ageing process is influenced by many internal and external factors. The toxic substances in the environment can cause genomic damages to cells, which increase the risk of early ageing. Furthermore, the cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) gene polymorphism is a susceptibility factor and may enhance the risk of DNA damage in cells. The current study was carried out to show whether occupational exposure could cause genotoxicity in cells carrying the CYP1A2 gene polymorphism, thus enhancing the likelihood of early ageing. This study was conducted on mechanical workshop workers and a control group by collecting buccal cells from their mouths. Restriction fragment length polymorphism-polymerase chain reaction (RFLP-PCR) was used to identify the CYP1A2 gene polymorphism in the cells. In addition, three extra methods including micronuclei (MN) test, comet assay and real-time PCR (RT-PCR) were applied to determine the effects of gene polymorphisms on DNA damage and ageing from occupational exposure. The results showed that DNA damage in the cells carrying the mutated genotype was higher than the wild genotype. In addition, the difference in MN frequency (p = 0.001) and relative telomere length (p = 0.002) between workers and controls was significant (p <0.05) in the mutated genotype. The findings indicated a possible protective effect of gene polymorphism against early ageing, which was characterized by lack of a significant influence of CYP1A2 gene polymorphism on genetic material in the subjects (p >0.05). It was concluded that the CYP1A2 gene could be a contributing factor to prevent early ageing from occupational exposure.

Open access

Katarina Bilikova, Tatiana Kristof Krakova, Kikuji Yamaguchi and Yoshihisa Yamaguchi

Until now, the properties of honey have been defined based exclusively on the content of plant components in the nectar of given plant. We showed that apalbumin1, the major royal jelly (RJ) protein, is an authentic and regular component of honey. Apalbumin1 and other RJ proteins and peptides are responsible for the immunostimulatory properties and antibiotic activity of honey. For the quantification of apalbumin1, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed using polyclonal anti-apalbumin1 antibody. The method is suitable for honey authenticity determination; moreover it is useful for detection of the honey, honeybee pollen and RJ in products of medicine, pharmacy, cosmetics, and food industry, where presences of these honeybee products are declared. Results from the analysis for presence and amount of apalbumin1 in honeys will be used for high-throughput screening of honey samples over the world. On the basis of our experiments which show that royal jelly proteins are regular and physiologically active components of honey we propose to change the definition of honey (according to the EU Honey Directive 2001/110/EC) as follows: Honey is a natural sweet substance produced by honey bees from nectar of plants or from secretions of plants, or excretions of plant sucking insects, which honey bees collect, transform by combining with major royal jelly proteins and other specific substances of their own, deposit, dehydrate, store and leave in the honey comb to ripen and mature.

Open access

Jerome-Philippe Garsi, Eric Samson, Laetitia Chablais, Sergey Zhivin, Christine Niogret and Dominique Laurier

Abstract

This article discusses the availability and completeness of medical data on workers from the AREVA NC Pierrelatte nuclear plant and their possible use in epidemiological research on cardiovascular and metabolic disorders related to internal exposure to uranium. We created a computer database from files on 394 eligible workers included in an ongoing nested case-control study from a larger cohort of 2897 French nuclear workers. For each worker, we collected records of previous employment, job positions, job descriptions, medical visits, and blood test results from medical history. The dataset counts 9,471 medical examinations and 12,735 blood test results. For almost all of the parameters relevant for research on cardiovascular risk, data completeness and availability is over 90 %, but it varies with time and improves in the latest time period. In the absence of biobanks, collecting and computerising available good-quality occupational medicine archive data constitutes a valuable alternative for epidemiological and aetiological research in occupational health. Biobanks rarely contain biological samples over an entire worker’s carrier and medical data from nuclear industry archives might make up for unavailable biomarkers that could provide information on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases

Open access

Zlata Ožvačić Adžić, Milica Katić, Josipa Kern, Jean Karl Soler, Venija Cerovečki and Ozren Polašek

The impact of physician burnout on the quality of patient care is unclear. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the prevalence of burnout in family physicians in Croatia and its association with physician and practice characteristics, and patient enablement as a consultation outcome measure.

Hundred and twenty-five out of 350 family physicians responded to our invitation to participate in the study. They were asked to collect data from 50 consecutive consultations with their adult patients who had to provide information on patient enablement (Patient Enablement Instrument). Physicians themselves provided their demographic and professional data, including workload, job satisfaction, consultation length, and burnout [Maslach Burnout Inventory - Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS )]. MBI-HSS scores were analysed in three dimensions: emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalisation (DP), and personal accomplishment (PA).

Of the responding physicians, 42.4 % scored high for EE burnout, 16.0 % for DP, and 15.2 % for PA. Multiple regression analysis showed that low job satisfaction and more patients per day predicted high EE scores. Low job satisfaction, working more years at a current workplace, and younger age predicted high DP scores. Lack of engagement in education and academic work, shorter consultations, and working more years at current workplace predicted low PA scores, respectively (P<0.05 for each).

Burnout is common among family physicians in Croatia yet burnout in our physicians was not associated with patient enablement, suggesting that it did not affect the quality of interpersonal care. Job satisfaction, participation in educational or academic activities and sufficient consultation time seem to reduce the likelihood of burnout.

Open access

Nataša Holcer, Marija Maričević and Anamarija Miočić-Juran

The Use of Mercury-Based Medical Devices Across Croatian Healthcare Facilities

In 2009, we conducted a survey to assess the use of mercury-based thermometers and sphygmomanometers and their disposal in Croatian healthcare facilities. The questionnaire addressing the use of mercury-based medical devices, waste management, preferences between mercury-based and electronic devices, and the knowledge on mercury toxicity was filled by ward nurses affiliated with 40 (71.4 %) out of 56 contacted healthcare facilities. Only one of these facilities had given up the use of mercury-containing medical devices at the time. As many as 84.6 % of the nurses believed that broken devices did not increase the risk of mercury exposure, even though 90 % claimed they were aware of mercury toxicity. In fact, 69.4 % of the nurses preferred mercury-containing devices on account of their precision and reliability and because they received little training in the use of electronic devices.

Breaking of thermometers and sphygmomanometers is common in healthcare facilities. The number of broken thermometers and sphygmomanometers was estimated to 278 and five per month, respectively. Only 18 (46.2 %) of the surveyed healthcare facilities claimed to have had a proper disposal procedure for mercury from broken devices. Nurses, who most often handle these devices and collect mercury spills, are primarily exposed to mercury vapours via inhalation. Croatia has adopted the EU Directive 76/769/EEC intended to reduce mercury exposure in the living and working environment. Our survey suggests that all healthcare professionals need training in proper management of broken mercury-based medical devices, nurses in particular. To reduce the risk of exposure, all Croatian healthcare facilities should implement guidelines for staff protection and programmes to gradually replace mercury-based with electronic devices.

Open access

Ljerka Prester

. Sampling and assay of indoor allergens. J Aerosol Sci 1997;28:393-9. Custovic A, Simpson B, Simpson A, Hallam C, Craven M, Woodcock A. Relationship between mite, cat, and dog allergens in reservoir dust and ambient air. Allergy 1999;54:612-6. Parvaneh S, Ahlf E, Elfman LHM, van Hage-Hamsten M, Elfman L, Nybom R. A new method for collecting airborne allergens. Allergy 2000;55:1148-54. Prester Lj, Brčić Karačonji I, Macan J. Determination of mite allergens in house dust using the enzyme

Open access

L Koç Öztürk, A Yarat, S Akyuz, H Furuncuoglu and K Ulucan

study. Clinical Examination One experienced dentist examined all subjects for their adherence to inclusion criteria. The WHO criteria were used for DMFT [ 6 ]. The oral hygiene and gingival status were assessed using the simplified oral hygiene index (OHI-S) and gingival index (GI) [ 7 ]. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on oral hygiene habits (frequency of tooth brushing, use of dental floss), professional counseling on oral health and hygiene, and the presence of gingival bleeding. All subjects had good oral health and had regular dental