Effects of truss mattress upon sleep and bed climate. (1/1457)

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a truss mattress upon sleep and bed climate. The truss mattress which has been designed to decrease the pressure and bed climate humidity was tested. Six healthy female volunteers with a mean age of 23.3 years, served as subjects. The experiment was carried out under two conditions: a truss mattress (T) and a futon (F) (Japanese bedding). The ambient temperature and relative humidity were controlled at 19-20 degrees C, and RH 50-60% respectively. Sleep was monitored by an EEG machine and the rectal temperature, skin temperature and bed climate were also measured continuously. Subjective evaluations of bed and sleep were obtained before and after the recording sessions. No significant difference was observed in the sleep parameters and time spent in each sleep stage. Rectal temperature was significantly lower in T than F. Although there was no significant difference in bed climate over the T/F, the temperature under T/F was significantly higher in T. No significant difference was observed in subjective sleep evaluation. The subjective feeling of the mattress was significantly warmer in F than T before sleep. These results suggest that although T does not disturb the sleep parameters and the bed climate is maintained at the same level as with F, it may affect rectal temperature which can be due to low thermal insulation.  (+info)

Passive exchanges during water vapour absorption in mealworms (Tenebrio molitor): a new approach to studying the phenomenon. (2/1457)

The weights of single mealworms were continuously recorded at 20 degrees C during exposure to periods of constant humidity and to abrupt changes in atmospheric vapour pressure. Two exchange stages were recognized in each animal. Weight changes were either limited to slow losses, suggesting transpiration through the external cuticle, or showed more rapid humidity-dependent gains as well as losses. Rapid exchanges indicated that water was gained or lost through permeable barriers, from a fluid compartmet of significantly lower vapour pressure than the haemolymph, equivalent to about 90% R.H. Weight gains and losses during humidity changes provided evidence of a significant, passively exchanging fluid compartment located between the exchange surface and absorbing mechanism. Weight changes in faecal pellets following their elimination provide further support for a rectal site of atmospheric absorption.  (+info)

Effect of dampness at home in childhood on bronchial hyperreactivity in adolescence. (3/1457)

BACKGROUND: Relatively little is known about risk factors for the persistence of asthma and respiratory symptoms from childhood into adolescence, and few studies have included objective measurements to assess outcomes and exposure. METHODS: From a large cross sectional study of all 4th grade school children in Munich (mean age 10.2 years), 234 children (5%) with active asthma were identified. Of these, 155 (66%) were reinvestigated with lung function measurements and bronchial provocation three years later (mean age 13.5 years). RESULTS: At follow up 35.5% still had active asthma. Risk factors for persisting asthma symptoms in adolescence were more severe asthma (OR 4.94; CI 1.65 to 14.76; p = 0.004) or allergic triggers (OR 3.54; CI 1.41 to 8.92; p = 0.007) in childhood. Dampness was associated with increased night time wheeze and shortness of breath but not with persisting asthma. Risk factors for bronchial hyperreactivity in adolescence were bronchial hyperreactivity in childhood (p = 0.004), symptoms triggered by allergen exposure (OR 5.47; CI 1.91 to 25.20; p = 0.029), and damp housing conditions (OR 16.14; CI 3.53 to 73.73; p < 0.001). In a subgroup in whom house dust mite antigen levels in the bed were measured (70% of the sample), higher mite antigen levels were associated with bronchial hyperreactivity (OR per quartile of mite antigen 2.30; CI 1.03 to 5.12; p = 0.042). Mite antigen levels were also significantly correlated with dampness (p = 0.05). However, the effect of dampness on bronchial hyperreactivity remained significant when adjusting for mite allergen levels (OR 5.77; CI 1.17 to 28.44; p = 0.031). CONCLUSION: Dampness at home is a significant risk factor for the persistence of bronchial hyperreactivity and respiratory symptoms in children with asthma. This risk is only partly explained by exposure to house dust mite antigen.  (+info)

Core temperature and sweating onset in humans acclimated to heat given at a fixed daily time. (4/1457)

The thermoregulatory functions of rats acclimated to heat given daily at a fixed time are altered, especially during the period in which they were previously exposed to heat. In this study, we investigated the existence of similar phenomena in humans. Volunteers were exposed to an ambient temperature (Ta) of 46 degrees C and a relative humidity of 20% for 4 h (1400-1800) for 9-10 consecutive days. In the first experiment, the rectal temperatures (Tre) of six subjects were measured over 24 h at a Ta of 27 degrees C with and without heat acclimation. Heat acclimation significantly lowered Tre only between 1400 and 1800. In the second experiment, six subjects rested in a chair at a Ta of 28 degrees C and a relative humidity of 40% with both legs immersed in warm water (42 degrees C) for 30 min. The Tre and sweating rates at the forearm and chest were measured. Measurements were made in the morning (0900-1100) and afternoon (1500-1700) on the same day before and after heat acclimation. Heat acclimation shortened the sweating latency and decreased the threshold Tre for sweating. However, these changes were significant only in the afternoon. The results suggest that repeated heat exposure in humans, limited to a fixed time daily, alters the core temperature level and thermoregulatory function, especially during the period in which the subjects had previously been exposed to heat.  (+info)

Determination of hydroquinone in air by high performance liquid chromatography. (5/1457)

A method for measuring hydroquinone in air was evaluated, both in the laboratory and in the workplace. The method involved sampling the inhalable fraction onto a filter contained in a multi-holed sampler with a back-up of Tenax TA, followed by desorption into acetonitrile and analysis by High Performance Liquid Chromatography. It was shown to be effective at measuring hydroquinone over the range 0.1 to 2 times a concentration of 0.5 mg/m3 for 8 h.  (+info)

Dehydration and crystallization of trehalose and sucrose glasses containing carbonmonoxy-myoglobin. (6/1457)

We report a study wherein we contemporarily measured 1) the dehydration process of trehalose or sucrose glasses embedding carbonmonoxy-myoglobin (MbCO) and 2) the evolution of the A substates in saccharide-coated MbCO. Our results indicate that microcrystallization processes, sizeably different in the two saccharides, take place during dehydration; moreover, the microcrystalline structure is maintained unless the dry samples are equilibrated with a humidity >/=75% (>/=60%) at 25 degrees C for the trehalose (sucrose) sample. The evolution of the parameters that characterize the A substates of MbCO indicates that 1) the effects of water withdrawal are analogous in samples dried in the presence or in the absence of sugars, although much larger effects are observed in the samples without sugar; 2) the distribution of A substates is determined by the overall matrix structure and not only by the sample water content; and 3) the population of A0 substate (i. e., the substate currently put in relation with MbCO molecules having the distal histidine out of the heme pocket) is largely enhanced during the dehydration process. However, after rehumidification its population is largely decreased with respect to the values obtained, at similar water content, during the first dehydration run.  (+info)

Effect of 26 week magnetic field exposures in a DMBA initiation-promotion mammary gland model in Sprague-Dawley rats. (7/1457)

Several studies have suggested that exposure to 50 Hz magnetic fields promote chemically induced breast cancer in rats. Groups of 100 female Sprague-Dawley rats were initiated with a single 10 mg gavage dose of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) at 50 days of age followed by exposure to ambient fields (sham exposed), 50 Hz magnetic fields at either 1 or 5 Gauss (G) field intensity or 60 Hz fields at 1 G for 18.5 h/day, 7 days/week for 26 weeks. A vehicle control group without DMBA was included. Rats were palpated weekly for the presence of tumors. There was no effect of magnetic field exposure on body weight gains or the time of appearance of mammary tumors. At the end of 26 weeks, the animals were killed and the mammary tumors counted and measured. Mammary gland masses found grossly were examined histologically. The mammary gland carcinoma incidence was 96, 90, 95 and 85% (P < 0.05, decrease) for the DMBA controls, 1 G 50 Hz, 5 G 50 Hz and 1 G 60 Hz groups, respectively. The total numbers of carcinomas were 649, 494 (P < 0.05, decrease), 547 and 433 (P < 0.05, decrease) for the DMBA controls, 1 G 50 Hz, 5 G 50 Hz and 1 G 60 Hz groups, respectively. The number of fibroadenomas varied from 276 to 319, with the lowest number in the 1 G 60 Hz exposure group. Measurement of the tumors revealed no difference in tumor size between groups. In this breast cancer initiation-promotion study in female Sprague-Dawley rats, there was no evidence that 50 or 60 Hz magnetic fields promoted breast cancer under the conditions of this assay. This study does not support the hypothesis that magnetic field exposure can promote breast cancer in this rat model.  (+info)

Microfungal contamination of damp buildings--examples of risk constructions and risk materials. (8/1457)

To elucidate problems with microfungal infestation in indoor environments, a multidisciplinary collaborative pilot study, supported by a grant from the Danish Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, was performed on 72 mold-infected building materials from 23 buildings. Water leakage through roofs, rising damp, and defective plumbing installations were the main reasons for water damage with subsequent infestation of molds. From a score system assessing the bioavailability of the building materials, products most vulnerable to mold attacks were water damaged, aged organic materials containing cellulose, such as wooden materials, jute, wallpaper, and cardboard. The microfungal genera most frequently encountered were Penicillium (68%), Aspergillus (56%), Chaetomium (22%), Ulocladium, (21%), Stachybotrys (19%) and Cladosporium (15%). Penicillium chrysogenum, Aspergillus versicolor, and Stachybotrys chartarum were the most frequently occurring species. Under field conditions, several trichothecenes were detected in each of three commonly used building materials, heavily contaminated with S. chartarum. Under experimental conditions, four out of five isolates of S. chartarum produced satratoxin H and G when growing on new and old, very humid gypsum boards. A. versicolor produced the carcinogenic mycotoxin sterigmatocystin and 5-methoxysterigmatocystin under the same conditions.  (+info)