Activation of the EGF receptor signaling pathway in airway epithelial cells exposed to Utah Valley PM. (41/621)

Exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) in the Utah Valley has previously been associated with a variety of adverse health effects. To investigate intracellular signaling mechanisms for pulmonary responses to Utah Valley PM inhalation, human primary airway epithelial cells were exposed to aqueous extracts of PM collected from the year before (Y1), during (Y2), and after (Y3) the closure of a local steel mill located in the Utah Valley in this study. Transfection with kinase-deficient extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1 constructs partially blocked Utah Valley PM-induced interleukin (IL)-8 promoter reporter activity. The mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase (MEK) activity inhibitor PD-98059 significantly abolished IL-8 released in response to Utah Valley PM, as did the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor kinase inhibitor AG-1478. Western blotting showed that Utah Valley PM induced phosphorylation of EGF receptor tyrosine, MEK1/2, and ERK1/2, which could be ablated with AG-1478 or PD-98059. For all findings, the potency of Utah Valley PM collected during Y2 was found to be lower relative to that of Y1 and Y3. These data demonstrate that Utah Valley PM can induce IL-8 expression partially through the activation of the EGF receptor signaling.  (+info)

Hypocalcaemia and hypomagnesaemia due to hydrofluoric acid. (42/621)

Hydrofluoric acid readily penetrates the skin and mucous membranes, causing deep tissue layer destruction. Dermal exposure can produce hypocalcaemia, hypomagnesaemia, hyperkalaemia, cardiac dysrhythmias and death. We report the case of a 52-year-old man who presented hypocalcaemia and hypomagnesaemia due to occupational dermal contact with hydrofluoric acid. Hypocalcaemia and hypomagnesaemia were corrected by i.v. administration of calcium gluconate and magnesium sulphate.  (+info)

Upper aerodigestive tract cancers in former employees at an iron and steel works. (43/621)

Local concern about numbers of laryngeal cancer cases led to an investigation of the incidence of upper aerodigestive tract (UAT) cancer in an industrial cohort. Males (n = 11 470) who had been directly employed at an iron and steel works in northern England at any time between January 1960 and site closure in September 1983 were followed up for UAT cancers until December 1998. The incidence of UAT and laryngeal cancer was compared to the general population of the region via indirect standardization. Fifty-two members of the cohort developed a UAT cancer during 1960-1998. There were no more UAT cancers than expected [standardized incidence ratio = 97, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 72-127], but slightly more laryngeal cancers than expected (standardized incidence ratio = 118, 95% CI = 78-171), although this estimate was less precise. The lack of complete work histories meant that relationships between cancer incidence and length of service or job categories could not be explored.  (+info)

Application of sintered titanium alloys to metal denture bases: a study of titanium powder sheets for complete denture base. (44/621)

The purpose of this study was the fabrication of titanium powder sheets to enable the application of sintered titanium alloys as metal denture bases. The effects of titanium particle shape and size, binder content, and plasticizer content on the surface smoothness, tensile strength and elongation of titanium powder sheets was investigated. To select a suitable ratio of powdered metal contents for application as a metal denture base, the effects of aluminum content in Ti sheets and various other powder metal contents in Ti-Al sheets on the density, sintering shrinkage, and bending strength were evaluated. Based on the results of the above experiments, we developed a mixed powder sheet composed of 83Ti-7Al-10Cr with TA45 titanium powder (atomized, -45 microm), and 8 mass% binder content. This titanium alloy sheet had good formability and ductility. Its sintered titanium alloy had a density of 3.2 g/cm3, sintering shrinkage of 3.8%, and bending strength of 403 MPa. The titanium alloy sheet is clinically acceptable for fabricating denture bases.  (+info)

Exposure assessment in the hard metal manufacturing industry with special regard to tungsten and its compounds. (45/621)

OBJECTIVES: To assess the exposure to tungsten, cobalt, and nickel in a plant producing hard metals. The main components of hard metals are tungsten carbide and cobalt metal. According to recent studies, these two components may be responsible for both fibrogenic and carcinogenic effects. METHODS: 87 workers were investigated (86 male, one female) with a median age of 42 (range 22-58) and a mean duration of exposure of 13 years (range 1-27 years). Stationary and personal air sampling, and biological monitoring were carried out. RESULTS: Ambient monitoring yielded maximum tungsten concentrations of 417 microg/m3 in the production of heavy alloys. A maximum cobalt concentration of 343 microg/m3 and a maximum nickel concentration of 30 microg/m3 were found at the sintering workshop. The highest urinary cobalt concentrations were found in the powder processing department. The mean concentration was 28.5 microg/g creatinine and the maximum value was 228 microg/g creatinine. The maximum nickel concentration in urine of 6.3 microg/g creatinine was detected in the department producing heavy alloys. The highest tungsten concentrations excreted in urine were found in grinders and had a mean value of 94.4 microg/g creatinine and a maximum of 169 microg/g creatinine. Due to the different solubility and bioavailability of the substance, there was no correlation between the tungsten concentrations in air and urine on a group basis. CONCLUSIONS: Despite its low solubility, tungsten carbide is bioavailable. The different bioavailability of tungsten metal and tungsten compounds has to be considered in the interpretation of ambient and biological monitoring data in the hard metal producing industry. The bioavailability increases in the order: tungsten metal, tungsten carbide, tungstenate. Only if both monitoring strategies are considered in combination can a valid and effective definition of high risk groups be derived.  (+info)

Dust exposure and impairment of lung function at a small iron foundry in a rapidly developing country. (46/621)

OBJECTIVES: A cross sectional prospective study was carried out among iron foundry workers (exposed) and soft drink bottling and supply company workers (unexposed) to assess their occupational exposure to ambient respiratory dust in their work environment and its effect on their lung function profile. PARTICIPANTS: Lung function was measured in 81 exposed and 113 unexposed workers. Personal respirable dust concentrations were measured for all the exposed and the unexposed workers. Information on respiratory signs and symptoms was also collected from the participants. RESULTS: Among the exposed workers, midexpiratory flow (FEF25-75), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), peak expiratory flow (PEF), FEV1/FVC, and FEV1/VC ratios were significantly lower whereas the vital capacity (VC) and forced vital capacity (FVC) were non-significantly higher. Job at the iron foundry was a significant predictor of lung function. Exposure to high concentration of respirable dust at the iron foundry was also a significant predictor. Workers working in high exposure areas (general works, furnace, continuous casting areas, and fabrication workshop) had lower lung function values than workers in medium and low exposure areas. Smoking did not enhance the effects of exposure to dust on lung function. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to respirable dust was higher among the iron foundry workers; and among these, general, furnace, rolling mill, and fabrication workers had higher exposures to dust than did workers in continuous casting, the mechanical workshop, and the bottling plant. Job type and exposure to dust were significant predictors of lung function. Implementation of industrial hygiene and proper and efficient use of personal protection equipment while at work could help to protect the respiratory health of industrial workers.  (+info)

A model for predicting endotoxin concentrations in metalworking fluid sumps in small machine shops. (47/621)

METHODS: In British Columbia, Canada, nineteen small machine shops which used water-based metalworking fluids (MWF) were examined. One bulk MWF sample was taken from each independent sump (N=140) and tested for endotoxin using the Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate assay. Factors that might influence the MWF sump endotoxin concentration were investigated using mixed effect multiple regression modelling to control for repeated measures within shops. RESULTS: The geometric mean (GM) endotoxin concentration was 6791 EU/ml. Contamination of MWF with tramp oil, MWF pH, MWF temperature, and MWF type were significant predictors of sump fluid endotoxin concentration (model P=0.0001, ordinary least squares R(2) =0.36). Concentrations of endotoxin in sump fluids were increased by MWF contamination with tramp oils such as hydraulic oils, preservative oils, spindle oils, slidway lubricants, gear lubricants, and greases (model predicted GM=17400 EU/ml vs. 1600 EU/ml without tramp oil). Concentrations were also elevated where pH was lower than 8.5 (predicted GM=10600, vs 3600 EU/ml for pH 8.5 to 9.5), where soluble fluids were used (predicted GM=11800 vs. 2800 EU/ml for synthetic fluids), and where sump fluid temperatures were higher (predicted GM=2600 EU/ml at 11 degrees C vs. 21500 EU/ml at 32 degrees C). The within-shop correlation of sump bulk fluid endotoxin concentrations was 38%. CONCLUSIONS: Minimizing tramp oil contamination, using synthetic fluids, and monitoring pH and temperature would be valuable tools for controlling endotoxin contamination in MWF sumps. In addition, since there was correlation within-shop, contamination of one sump in a shop may suggest changing the fluids in all.  (+info)

Mycobacterium immunogenum sp. nov., a novel species related to Mycobacterium abscessus and associated with clinical disease, pseudo-outbreaks and contaminated metalworking fluids: an international cooperative study on mycobacterial taxonomy. (48/621)

PCR-restriction enzyme pattern analysis of a 439 bp hsp65 gene segment identified 113 unique isolates among non-pigmented rapidly growing mycobacteria (RGM) from clinical and environmental sources that failed to match currently recognized species patterns. This group represented 40% of isolates recovered from bronchoscope contamination pseudo-outbreaks, 0% of disease-associated nosocomial outbreaks and 4% of routine clinical isolates of the Mycobacterium abscessus/Mycobacterium chelonae group submitted to the Mycobacteria/Nocardia laboratory for identification. It is grouped within the Mycobacterium fortuitum complex, with growth in less than 7 d, absence of pigmentation, positive 3-d arylsulfatase reaction and growth on MacConkey agar without crystal violet. It exhibited overlapping biochemical, antimicrobial susceptibility and HPLC characteristics of M. abscessus and M. chelonae. By 16S rRNA gene sequencing, these isolates comprised a homogeneous group with a unique hypervariable region A sequence and differed by 8 and 10 bp, respectively, from M. abscessus and M. chelonae. Surprisingly, this taxon contained two copies of the ribosomal operon, compared with single copies in the two related species. By DNA-DNA hybridization, this new group exhibited <30% homology with recognized RGM species. The name Mycobacterium immunogenum sp. nov. is proposed for this new taxon.  (+info)