Why do short term workers have high mortality?
Increased mortality is often reported among workers in short term employment. This may indicate either a health-related selection process or the presence of different lifestyle or social conditions among short term workers. The authors studied these two aspects of short term employment among 16,404 Danish workers in the reinforced plastics industry who were hired between 1978 and 1985 and were followed to the end of 1988. Preemployment hospitalization histories for 1977-1984 were ascertained and were related to length of employment between 1978 and 1988. Workers who had been hospitalized prior to employment showed a 20% higher risk of early termination of employment than those never hospitalized (rate ratio (RR) = 1.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.16-1.29), and the risk increased with number of hospitalizations. For workers with two or more preemployment hospitalizations related to alcohol abuse or violence, the rate ratios for short term employment were 2.30 (95% CI 1.74-3.06) and 1.86 (95% CI 1.35-2.56), respectively. An unhealthy lifestyle may also be a determinant of short term employment. While it is possible in principle to adjust for lifestyle factors if proper data are collected, the health-related selection of workers requires careful consideration when choosing a reference group for comparative studies of cumulative occupational exposure. (+info)
The induction of macrophage spreading: role of coagulation factors and the complement system.
Unstimulated mouse peritoneal macrophages, attached to either glass or plastic substrates, responded to factors generated in serum and plasma by spreading and increasing their apparent surface area up to eightfold. Two distinct and dissociable systems were involved. The first appears related to the distinct and dissociable systems were involved. The first appears related to the contact phase of blood coagulation. It is activated by glass and not plastic surfaces, depleted by kaolin adsorption, and inhibited by soybean trypsin inhibitor. In contrast, a separate complement-dependent system can be generated in kaolin-adsorbed plasma. Activation of the complement system can occur either by the alternate or classical pathways and generates a relatively small effector molecule which is dialyzable. These factors presumably influencing the surface membrane and underlying structures may explain the rapid spreading of activated macrophages observed after both infections and chemical peritoneal inflammatory agents. (+info)
A clearance model of inhaled man-made fibers in rat lungs.
A clearance model of inhaled man-made fibers (MMFs) was developed, and the calculated fiber numbers and dimensions were compared with the experimental ones using a glass fiber (GF), ceramic fiber (RF1) and two potassium octatitanate whiskers (PT1, TW). If the translocation rate by macrophages is constant and the effect of dissolution and disintegration can be ignored, the fiber number is expected to decrease exponentially with time. In the experimental study, however, the fiber number did not always decrease exponentially. In the case of RF1, the fiber number decreased almost exponentially and the diameter decreased linearly with the time. The clearance rate constant of GF during 3 to 6 months after the end of one-month exposure was greater than that during 1 to 3 months. On the contrary, the clearance rate constants of PT1 and TW during 1 to 6 months were greater than next six months. The diameter and the length of GF did not change significantly. The fiber length of PT1 tends to become longer with time although the diameter did not change significantly. Our theoretical model gives a satisfactory fit to these experimental results. (+info)
Role of extracellular matrix and Ras in regulation of glomerular epithelial cell proliferation.
Signals from extracellular matrix (ECM) to growth factor receptors regulate glomerular epithelial cell (GEC) proliferation. Epidermal growth factor (EGF), basic fibroblast growth factor, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), or thrombin stimulated proliferation of GECs when the cells were adherent to collagen matrices, but not plastic substratum. Furthermore, EGF, HGF, or thrombin activated p42 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase in collagen-adherent GECs, whereas activation was weak in GECs on plastic. To further examine the interaction of ECM with the Ras-MAP kinase cascade, GECs were stably transfected with a constitutively active Ras mutant (V12Ras). Low or moderate levels of V12Ras expression did not affect basal MAP kinase activity but, unlike parental GECs, in clones that express V12Ras, EGF was able to induce proliferation and activate MAP kinase when these cells were adherent to plastic. In parental and V12Ras-transfected GECs, MAP kinase activation was inhibited by cytochalasin D. Thus, adhesion of GECs to ECM facilitates proliferation and MAP kinase activation by mitogens acting via tyrosine kinase or non-tyrosine kinase receptors. Activation of pathway(s) downstream of V12Ras supplants signals from ECM that enable proliferation. These signals may involve the actin cytoskeleton. (+info)
Stability of gentamicin in serum.
Patients' sera were divided into three portions when the initial gentamicin level was determined and were stored at -20, 4, and 25 degrees C in plastic or glass tubes. Gentamicin levels were repeated after 1 and 2 days of storage at the respective temperatures. There was no significant difference in gentamicin levels among portions, except those from a patient in renal failure with high serum concentrations of carbenicillin. (+info)
An investigation of factors contributing to styrene and styrene-7,8-oxide exposures in the reinforced-plastics industry.
During the manufacturing of reinforced plastics, large amounts of styrene and trace quantities of styrene-7,8-oxide (SO) are released. Since previous work suggests that inhalation of even small amounts of SO might be an important health risk, we investigated several possible factors contributing to styrene and SO exposure during the manufacture of reinforced plastics. Factors related to job type, worker and the type and quantity of styrene-containing resins were investigated using mixed-effects multiple linear regression models. Overall, SO exposure levels were positively correlated with styrene exposure levels. However, this correlation was statistically significant only among hand laminators who had the highest exposures to both styrene and SO. An important factor for predicting both styrene and SO concentrations was the type of resin used, while the quantity of resin consumed was predictive of styrene but not of SO exposure. Since So exposure appears to be associated with factors other than coexposure to styrene, more effort should be placed on investigating emissions of SO per se. The type of mixed-models regression analysis employed in this study can be used for clarifying the underlying patterns for exposures to styrene and SO as well as for evaluating preventive measures. (+info)
Considerations for in vitro retinoid experiments: importance of protein interaction.
Retinoids, natural and synthetic substances structurally related to vitamin A, are important modulators of cell proliferation and differentiation, and have proven activity in cancer therapy. Experiments to reveal the mechanism of action of retinoids are routinely performed in in vitro models. As retinoids are relatively hydrophobic and unstable, we hypothesized that the composition of culture media is of critical importance for the stability and bioavailability of these compounds. Various culture media were incubated with all-trans-, 13-cis- and 9-cis-retinoic acid (RA). Without fetal calf serum (FCS) or bovine serum albumin (BSA) in the medium, the concentration of these retinoids was found to decrease to considerably low levels. This excessive loss of retinoids was due to absorption to culture plates, reaction tubes and pipet tips. Binding of retinoids to BSA was demonstrated to have attenuating effects on uptake and metabolism of all-trans-RA, as studied in oral keratinocytes and head and neck cancer cells, indicating that a balance exists between the bioavailability and the aspecific loss of retinoids. In this study we demonstrate that the type of culture medium and especially the presence of protein in the medium is of paramount importance to perform reproducible experiments with retinoids. (+info)
Washing plastic spacers in household detergent reduces electrostatic charge and greatly improves delivery.
Ionic detergents reduce electrostatic charge on plastic spacers, thereby improving in vitro drug delivery. The aim of this study was to gain practical information on the use of detergents and to evaluate the relevance of this information on in vivo drug deposition. Measurement of electrostatic charge and salbutamol particle size distribution was carried out on detergent-coated and noncoated plastic spacers. The efficiency of four household detergents was compared, and the influence of dilution and the duration of the antistatic effect were studied. In addition, the level of radiolabelled salbutamol deposition in the lungs of eight healthy adults was compared after inhalation through a new versus a detergent-coated spacer. In vitro, all tested detergents reduced the electrostatic charge on the spacer surface. This resulted in a mean increase of 37.4% (range 33.5-41.2) in small particle (<6.8 microm) salbutamol output compared with water-rinsed/drip-dried spacers. Dilution had no influence on the results and the effect lasted for at least four weeks. In vivo, the mean lung deposition of radiolabelled salbutamol in healthy subjects was 45.6% (range 43.4-49.5) through a detergent-coated spacer compared to 11.5% (range 7.6-17.9) through a static spacer (p<0.001). In conclusion, household detergents offer a simple and practical solution to the problem of static on plastic spacers and significantly improve both in vitro and in vivo delivery of salbutamol. (+info)