Chemicals in laboratory room air stimulate olfactory neurons of female Bombyx mori.
Laboratory air contained odorants that elicited electrophysiological responses in female Bombyx mori antennae. Air entrainments on charcoal filters, extracted with CS(2) and subsequently with acetone, were analyzed by coupled gas chromatography (GC)-electroantennogram (EAG) as well as by GC-mass spectrometry. The CS(2) extract contained 12 EAG-active peaks from which benzaldehyde, octanal, limonene, 1,8-cineol, methyl benzoate, nonanal, decanal and geranyl acetone were identified. In the acetone extract we identified eight EAG-active peaks as phenol, nonanal, 2-ethylhexanoic acid, octanoic acid, benzoic acid, nonanoic acid, decanoic acid and dimethyl phthalate. The concentrations of benzoic acid and benzaldehyde present in laboratory air were determined. The origin of the substances and importance of such odorants in laboratory air for the interpretation of physiological experiments on the olfactory system is discussed. (+info)
Quantification of chemical vapors in chemosensory research.
Studies of olfaction and chemesthesis often rely on nominal, liquid-phase dilutions to quantify the chemicals tested, even though the associated vapor concentrations constitute the actual stimuli. For more than a decade now, our systematic studies of the olfactory and chemesthetic potency of members of homologous chemical series have routinely included quantification of vapors via gas chromatography. This article depicts the relationships between liquid- and vapor-phase concentrations for 60 volatile organic compounds and summarizes the theoretical and technical factors influencing these relationships. The data presented will allow other investigators working with these materials to express them as vapor concentrations even when they lack the resources to perform the analytical measurements. The paper represents a step toward creation of a practical archive for vapor quantification in chemosensory science. (+info)
Anaphylaxis and allergic contact urticaria from occupational airborne exposure to HBTU.
We describe a case of anaphylaxis and allergic contact urticaria from occupational airborne exposure to HBTU (o-(benzotriazol-1-yl)-N,N,N',N'-tetramethyluronium hexafluorophosphate), which is a chemical used widely for solid and solution-phase peptide synthesis. Previously, the use of this chemical has been associated with occupational asthma, allergic contact urticaria and allergic contact dermatitis in individual cases, but not with anaphylaxis. Our diagnoses were based on the clinical symptoms, positive skin prick test (SPT) and positive skin provocation test to HBTU. The positive SPT indicates that the anaphylaxis reaction was IgE-mediated. We recommend that in the handling of HBTU, appropriate safety measures should be compulsory, and if work-related symptoms develop, the possibility of anaphylaxis should be considered in advising on appropriate work tasks. (+info)
Chemical exposures in research laboratories in a university.
Research laboratories in a university were investigated for air-borne levels of legally designated organic solvents and specified chemical substances. Repeated surveys in 2004-5 (four times in the two years) of about 720 laboratories (thus 2,874 laboratories in total) revealed that the solvent concentrations were in excess of the Administrative Control Levels only in a few laboratories (the conditions improved shortly after the identification) and none with regard to specified chemicals. Thus, working environments were in Control Class 1 in almost all (99.5%) laboratories examined. Such conditions were achieved primarily by extensive installation and use of local exhaust systems. The survey further revealed that types of chemicals used in research laboratories were extremely various (only poorly covered by the regulation) whereas the amounts of each chemical to be consumed were quite limited. For protection of health of researchers (including post- and under-graduate students) in laboratories, therefore, it appeared more appropriate to make personal exposure assessment rather than evaluation of levels of chemicals in air of research laboratories. Considering unique characteristics of research activity, it is important to educate each researcher to make his/her own efforts to protect his/her health, through supply of knowledge on toxicity of chemicals as well as that on proper use of protective equipments including exhaust chambers. (+info)
Laboratory work and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
A novel non-toxic xylene substitute (SBO) for histology.
Xylene has been generally used as a clearing and deparaffinizing agent in histology. Because of the potential toxic and flammable nature of xylene, its substitutes have been introduced into some laboratories. In this study, we introduced a novel, non-toxic xylene substitute (SBO), which was generated through a mixture of 86% of white oil No.2 and 14% of N-heptane. SBO had a high boiling point (188 degrees C) and flash point (144 degrees C) coupled with a scentless and decreased volatility. To compare the effectiveness of SBO and xylene in histology, a wide range of tissue samples from rats and human beings were processed in parallel in SBO and xylene, subjected to various staining procedures. Similar to the xylene-processed paraffin blocks, the SBO-processed counterparts were easy to section without any evidence of cell shrinkage. Assessment of the SBO-treated sections stained with hematoxylin-eosin revealed a good maintenance of cell morphology and structure, and a clear definition of the cytoplasm and the nucleus. Moreover, comparable good results were achieved between the SBO- and xylene-processed tissues in other histochemical and immunohistochemical stainings. Six-month clinical applications at one department of pathology supported the potentials of SBO as a xylene substitute. In conclusion, we suggest that SBO is a safe and efficient substitute of xylene and may probably replace xylene without losing valuable diagnostic information. (+info)
Sensitization to industrial enzymes in enzyme research and production.
OBJECTIVES: This study investigated sensitization to industrial enzymes in Finnish enzyme production and in Finnish laboratories. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2 plants producing industrial enzymes and in their product development and research laboratories. Sensitization to enzymes and environmental allergens was examined by skin prick tests and specific immunoglobulin E determinations (radioallergosorbent test). The employees were interviewed for work-related respiratory symptoms. Altogether 173 employees were examined. RESULTS: The skin prick test showed 21 employees (12%) to be sensitized to one or more enzymes. Sixteen positive persons also had specific immunoglobulin E. Atopy was distinctly associated with enzyme sensitization. An exposure-response relationship was found for enzyme sensitization and for respiratory symptoms during work. For sensitization, the exposure-response linear trend was statistically significant. It weakened but remained statistically significant after stratification for atopy. For symptoms, likewise, the exposure-response linear trend was statistically significant, and the statistical significance remained after stratification for atopy. CONCLUSION: The study confirmed that industrial enzymes are potent sensitizers. The handling of dry enzymes in laboratory work may cause sensitization. Sensitization may even follow minute degrees of exposure, such as among office personnel. Atopics are more susceptible to sensitization than nonatopics. Nonatopics are also clearly at risk; the demonstrated exposure-response relationship emphasizes the need for and advantages of proper exposure control. (+info)