(33/106) Contribution to the knowledge of the veterinary science and of the ethnobotany in Calabria region (Southern Italy).
BACKGROUND: A series of preliminary research projects on plants used in Calabria (Southern Italy) in veterinary science and in other ethno-botanical fields (minor nourishment, domestic and handicraft sector) was carried out in the last twenty years. From the ethno-botanical point of view, Calabria is one of the most interesting region, since in the ancient times it was subject to the dominant cultures of several people (Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans etc.). Until some decades ago the road network was poorly developed and villages were isolated, so that the culture of the "subsistence" and some archaic customs were kept. METHODS: Data were collected by means of "open" interviews to farmers, shepherds and housewives in the last twenty years. More than 100 informants were interviewed, mostly over 50 years old. Plants were identified by local informants through gathering in the area or through examination of the fresh plants collected by the researchers. The collected data were compared with pharmacobotanical papers mainly of southern Italy and with other studies, in order to highlight novelties or concordances of uses. RESULTS: The use of 62 taxa distributed into 34 families are described. Among these, 8 are or were employed in veterinary science, 8 as anti-parasitic agents, 19 in minor nourishment, 5 as seasoning, 38 for other uses. Some toxic species for cattle are also mentioned. CONCLUSION: Among the major findings: the use of Helleborus bocconei for bronchitis of bovines and of Scrophularia canina for lameness in veterinary science; Nerium oleander and Urginea maritima as anti-parasitic agents; Epilobium angustifolium, Centaurea napifolia L. and C. sphaerocephala L. in minor nourishment. (+info)
(34/106) Lessons learned from the Children's Environmental Exposure Research Study.
We examined 5 different ethical concerns about the Children's Environmental Exposure Research Study and make some recommendations for future studies of exposure to hazardous environmental agents in the home. Researchers should seek community consultation and participation; make participants aware of all the risks associated with the research, including hazards discovered in the home and uncertainties about the risks of agents under investigation; and take steps to ensure that their studies will not have unfair representation of the poor or people of color. Researchers should also avoid even the appearance of a financial conflict of interest in studies that are likely to be controversial and make it clear to all parties that studies will not intentionally expose subjects to hazardous environmental agents. (+info)
(35/106) Bringing safe water to remote populations: an evaluation of a portable point-of-use intervention in rural Madagascar.
Rural populations disproportionately lack access to improved water supplies. We evaluated a novel scheme that employed community-based sales agents to disseminate the Safe Water System (SWS)--a household-level water chlorination and safe storage intervention--in rural Madagascar. Respondents from 242 households in 4 villages were interviewed; all used surface water for drinking water. Respondents from 239 households (99%) had heard of Sur'Eau, the SWS disinfectant; 226 (95%) reported having ever used Sur'Eau, and 166 (73%) reported current use. Current Sur'Eau use was confirmed in 54% of households. Community sales agents effectively motivated their neighbors to adopt a new health behavior that prevents diarrhea. Future work should focus on strategies for sustaining SWS use, factors that motivate community-based sales agents to promote SWS, and the feasibility of scaling up this approach. (+info)
(36/106) An evaluation of the poisoning accidents encountered in children aged 0-6 years in Kirikkale.
This study was planned with the aims of evaluating poisoning accidents encountered in children aged between 0-6 years, who applied to the H. Hidayet Dogruer Obstetrics and Children's Hospital in Kirikkale in 2003, and of determining the measures taken by families to prevent further accidents in their homes. Poisoning accidents were concentrated in children aged between 2-3 years. The major causative poisoning agents were determined to be drugs and cleaning agents, and the majority of accidents (34.0%) occurred in the kitchen. It has been determined that most of the poisoning accidents (49.5%) stemmed from storing of drugs within the reach of children. Of all mothers participating in the study, 68.9% declared that they have taken measures to prevent future poisoning accidents in their homes. (+info)
(37/106) Elements that contribute to healthy building design.
BACKGROUND: The elements that contribute to a healthy building are multifactorial and can be discussed from different perspectives. OBJECTIVES: WE PRESENT THREE VIEWPOINTS OF DESIGNING A HEALTHY BUILDING: the importance of sustainable development, the role of occupants for ensuring indoor air quality, and ongoing developments related to indoor finishes with low chemical emissions and good fungal resistance. DISCUSSION: Sustainable design rediscovers the social, environmental, and technical values of pedestrian and mixed-use communities, using existing infrastructures including "main streets" and small-town planning principles and recapturing indoor-outdoor relationships. This type of design introduces nonpolluting materials and assemblies with lower energy requirements and higher durability and recyclability. Building occupants play a major role in maintaining healthy indoor environments, especially in residences. Contributors to indoor air quality include cleaning habits and other behaviors; consumer products, furnishings, and appliances purchases, as well as where and how the occupants use them. Certification of consumer products and building materials as low-emitting products is a primary control measure for achieving good indoor air quality. Key products in this respect are office furniture, flooring, paints and coatings, adhesives and sealants, wall coverings, wood products, textiles, insulation, and cleaning products. Finishing materials play a major role in the quality of indoor air as related to moisture retention and mold growth. CONCLUSIONS: Sustainable design emphasizes the needs of infrastructure, lower energy consumption, durability, and recyclability. To ensure good indoor air quality, the product development for household use should aim to reduce material susceptibility to contaminants such as mold and should adopt consumer-oriented product labeling. (+info)
(38/106) Do baby wet wipes change periurethral aerobic flora?
There is massive enteric bacterial colonization in the periurethral region during infancy. Fecal soiling is considered to be responsible for this colonization. We hypothesized that baby wet wipes containing chemical cleansing compounds, which are used for the cleaning of babies after diaper soiling, could be a contributing factor in this colonization. Thus, the effect on periurethral flora of two different methods of baby cleaning was compared. Periurethral culture samples were obtained from 173 infants who were cleaned with baby wet wipes (Group A, n = 96) or water and napkins (Group B, n = 77) after diaper soiling. The colonization of uropathogens and the presence of flora were analyzed. The results of the periurethral cultures were similar in both groups. The rates of uropathogen colonization only, uropathogen and skin flora colonization, and skin flora only or no growth in Groups A and B were 18.7, 61.5, and 19.8%, and 14.3, 66.2, and 19.5, respectively. The differences between the groups were statistically insignificant (P > 0.05); however, there was no significant difference in the frequency of uropathogen isolation between males and females. We therefore concluded that baby wet wipes are as safe as water for the cleaning of babies after diaper soiling. (+info)
(39/106) Surveillance of toxic exposures: the pilot experience of the Poison Control Centers of Milan, Pavia and Bergamo in 2006.
Between 1 February and 31 March 2006, the Poison Control Centers (PPC) active in Lombardy collaborated with an integrated surveillance system carried out in Piedmont during the Olympic Games 2006. The collaborating PPC notified to the system 697 human cases of exposure occurred in Piedmont during the observation period. Among these cases, 70% were exposed accidentally, 40% were 6 years old or younger, and 45% reported at least a clinical effect. The agents more frequently reported were: cleaning substances (household) (110 cases), fumes/gases/vapors (63 cases, comprising 38 cases accidentally exposed to carbon monoxide), and sedative/hypnotics/antipsychotics (53 cases). Although very limited, the available observations focused the attention on specific hazards and were able to highlight the potential of a toxic exposure surveillance system based on the information reported by the Italian PPC. (+info)
(40/106) Household chemicals, persistent wheezing and lung function: effect modification by atopy?
The aims of the present study were to assess the effects of maternal use of domestic chemicals during pregnancy on wheezing and lung function in children aged =8.5 yrs and to explore the potential modifying effect of atopy. In the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a cohort study, a maternal composite household chemical exposure (CHCE) score was derived. Wheezing phenotypes from birth to age 7 yrs were assigned on the basis of reported wheeze. Lung function (forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)), forced vital capacity (FVC), forced midexpiratory flow between 25 and 75% of FVC (FEF(25-75%))) was measured at age 8.5 yrs; and atopy by skin-prick tests at age 7.5 yrs. Multinomial logistic and linear regression models assessed the relationship between wheezing outcomes, lung function and CHCE score, and interactions with atopy. Increased CHCE score was associated with early- (<18 months) and intermediate- (18-30 months) persistent and late-onset (>30 months) wheezing in nonatopic children (adjusted odds ratio per z-score of CHCE (95% confidence interval) 1.41 (1.13-1.76), 1.43 (1.02-2.13) and 1.69 (1.19-2.41), respectively). Increasing CHCE score was associated with decrements in FEV(1) and FEF(25-75%). Higher domestic chemical exposure during pregnancy was associated with persistent wheeze and lung function abnormalities in nonatopic children. This may result from pre-natal developmental effects or post-natal irritant effects on the developing airway, but is unlikely to be mediated through increased hygiene in the home. (+info)