Cohort study of art glass workers in Tuscany, Italy: mortality from non-malignant diseases.
This investigation studies cause-specific mortality of art glass workers employed in 17 industrial facilities in Tuscany, Italy. A cohort of 3,390 workers employed for at least 1 year was enumerated from company payrolls. Follow-up was between the start of employment in each factory and 31 December 1993. The cause-specific expected mortality was computed relative to Tuscany rates and specified for gender, 5-year age groups and calendar year. Separate analyses were carried out for the jobs of makers and formers and for batch mixers. Among males (3, 180 individuals) observed mortality for non-cancer causes was higher than expected for hypertensive disease [standardized mortality ratio (SMR) = 178, 90% confidence interval (90% CI) = 96-301], pneumoconiosis (SMR = 200, 90% CI = 94-376) and diseases of the genitourinary system (SMR = 169, 90% CI = 95-279). Increases for the above causes were shown also among makers and formers: hypertensive disease (SMR = 182, 90% CI = 85-341), pneumoconiosis (SMR = 250, 90% CI = 109-493) and diseases of the genitourinary system (SMR = 224, 90% CI = 121-380). For batch mixers an increase was present for cerebrovascular disease. The observed mortality for cancer causes was above the expected for cancers of the larynx, lung, stomach and brain. This study points to the existence for Tuscan glass workers of health effects in addition to cancer; previously observed carcinogenic effects were also confirmed. (+info)
Respiratory symptoms among glass bottle workers--cough and airways irritancy syndrome?
Glass bottle workers have been shown to experience an excess of respiratory symptoms. This work describes in detail the symptoms reported by a cohort of 69 symptomatic glass bottle workers. Symptoms, employment history and clinical investigations including radiology, spirometry and serial peak expiratory flow rate records were retrospectively analyzed from clinical records. The results showed a consistent syndrome of work-related eye, nose and throat irritation followed after a variable period by shortness of breath. The latent interval between starting work and first developing symptoms was typically 4 years (median = 4 yrs; range = 0-28). The interval preceding the development of dysponea was longer and much more variable (median = 16 yrs; range = 3-40). Spirometry was not markedly abnormal in the group but 57% of workers had abnormal serial peak expiratory flow rate charts. Workers in this industry experience upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms consistent with irritant exposure. The long-term functional significance of these symptoms should be formally investigated. (+info)
Hierarchical cluster analysis applied to workers' exposures in fiberglass insulation manufacturing.
The objectives of this study were to explore the application of cluster analysis to the characterization of multiple exposures in industrial hygiene practice and to compare exposure groupings based on the result from cluster analysis with that based on non-measurement-based approaches commonly used in epidemiology. Cluster analysis was performed for 37 workers simultaneously exposed to three agents (endotoxin, phenolic compounds and formaldehyde) in fiberglass insulation manufacturing. Different clustering algorithms, including complete-linkage (or farthest-neighbor), single-linkage (or nearest-neighbor), group-average and model-based clustering approaches, were used to construct the tree structures from which clusters can be formed. Differences were observed between the exposure clusters constructed by these different clustering algorithms. When contrasting the exposure classification based on tree structures with that based on non-measurement-based information, the results indicate that the exposure clusters identified from the tree structures had little in common with the classification results from either the traditional exposure zone or the work group classification approach. In terms of the defining homogeneous exposure groups or from the standpoint of health risk, some toxicological normalization in the components of the exposure vector appears to be required in order to form meaningful exposure groupings from cluster analysis. Finally, it remains important to see if the lack of correspondence between exposure groups based on epidemiological classification and measurement data is a peculiarity of the data or a more general problem in multivariate exposure analysis. (+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)
Multiple oligodeoxyribonucleotide syntheseson a reusable solid-phase CPG support via the hydroquinone-O,O'-diacetic acid (Q-Linker) linker arm.
A strategy for oligodeoxyribonucleotide synthesis on a reusable CPG solid-phase support, derivatized with hydroxyl groups instead of amino groups, has been developed. Ester linkages, through a base labile hydroquinone- O, O '-diacetic acid ( Q-Linker ) linker arm, were used to couple the first nucleoside to the hydroxyl groups on the support. This coupling was rapidly accomplished (10 min) using O -benzotriazol-1-yl- N, N, N ', N '-tetramethyluronium hexafluorophosphate (HBTU) and 1-hydroxybenzotriazole as the activating reagents. Oligodeoxyribonucleotide synthesis was performed using existing procedures and reagents, except a more labile capping reagent, such as chloro-acetic anhydride, methoxyacetic anhydride or t-butylphenoxyacetic anhydride, was used instead of acetic anhydride. After each oligodeoxyribonucleotide synthesis, the product was cleaved from the support with ammonium hydroxide (3 min) and deprotected as usual. Residual linker arms or capping groups were removed by treatment with ammonium hydroxide/methylamine reagent and the regenerated support was capable of reuse. Up to six different oligodeoxyribonucleotide syntheses or up to 25 cycles of nucleoside derivatization and cleavage were consecutively performed on the reusable support. This method may provide a significant cost advantage over conventional single-use solid supports currently used for the manufacture of antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotides. (+info)
Bacteriophage inactivation at the air-water-solid interface in dynamic batch systems.
Bacteriophages have been widely used as surrogates for human enteric viruses in many studies on virus transport and fate. In this investigation, the fates of three bacteriophages, MS2, R17, and phiX174, were studied in a series of dynamic batch experiments. Both MS2 and R17 readily underwent inactivation in batch experiments where solutions of each phage were percolated through tubes packed with varying ratios of glass and Teflon beads. MS2 and R17 inactivation was the result of exposure to destructive forces at the dynamic air-water-solid interface. phiX174, however, did not undergo inactivation in similar studies, suggesting that this phage does not accumulate at air-water interfaces or is not affected by interfacial forces in the same manner. Other batch experiments showed that MS2 and R17 were increasingly inactivated during mixing in polypropylene tubes as the ionic strength of the solution was raised (phiX174 was not affected). By the addition of Tween 80 to suspensions of MS2 and R17, phage inactivation was prevented. Our data suggest that viral inactivation in simple dynamic batch experiments is dependent upon (i) the presence of a dynamic air-water-solid interface (where the solid is a hydrophobic surface), (ii) the ionic strength of the solution, (iii) the concentration of surface active compounds in the solution, and (iv) the type of virus used. (+info)
Critical role of glass fiber length in TNF-alpha production and transcription factor activation in macrophages.
Recent studies have demonstrated that dielectrophoresis is an efficient method for the separation of fibers according to fiber length. This method allows the investigation of fiber-cell interactions with fiber samples of the same composition but of different lengths. In the present study, we analyzed the effects of length on the interaction between glass fibers and macrophages by focusing on production of the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha in a mouse macrophage cell line (RAW 264.7). The underlying molecular mechanisms controlling TNF-alpha production were investigated at the gene transcription level. The results show that glass fibers induced TNF-alpha production in macrophages and that this induction was associated with activation of the gene promoter. Activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB was responsible for this induced promoter activity. The inhibition of both TNF-alpha production and NF-kappaB activation by N-acetyl-L-cysteine, an antioxidant, indicates that generation of oxidants may contribute to the induction of this cytokine and activation of this transcription factor by glass fibers. Long fibers (17 micrometer) were significantly more potent than short fibers (7 micrometer) in inducing NF-kappaB activation, the gene promoter activity, and the production of TNF-alpha. This fiber length-dependent difference in the stimulatory potency correlated with the fact that macrophages were able to completely engulf short glass fibers, whereas phagocytosis of long glass fibers was incomplete. These results suggest that fiber length plays a critical role in the potential pathogenicity of glass fibers. (+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)