OBJECTIVES: Potroom workers in aluminum reduction plants have increased risks for bladder and lung cancer due to exposure from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). In this study correlations between measures of the external, internal, and biological effective dose have been studied for PAH. METHODS: Venous blood samples were obtained from 98 male potroom workers and 55 unexposed male blue-collar workers, for the analysis of aromatic adducts to DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) in lymphocytes, using the 32P-postlabeling technique. 1-Hydroxypyrene in urine was analyzed with high-pressure liquid chromatography. Personal sampling of both particulate and gas phase PAH was performed during a full workday for the potroom workers and for 5 referents. Individual PAH congeners were determined with liquid chromatographic-mass spectrometric and gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric techniques. RESULTS: The respiratory-zone airborne level of the sum of 22 particulate (median 13.2 micro/m3) and the 7 gas phase PAH-congeners (median 16.3 microg/m3) among the potroom workers was a hundred times higher than among the referents. The urinary concentration of 1-hydroxypyrene before work was 30 times higher for the potroom workers (median 3.43 micromol/mol creatinine) than for the referents. Most airborne PAH congeners correlated with the excretion of 1-hydroxypyrene in urine. The frequency of aromatic DNA adducts did not, however, differ between the potroom workers and the referents, and no correlation was found for 1-hydroxypyrene in urine. CONCLUSIONS: Despite an obvious occupational exposure to PAH, no increase in aromatic DNA adducts in lymphocytes was found among the potroom workers. (+info)
Effects of experimental exposure to triethylamine on vision and the eye.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the effect of triethylamine (TEA) on the cornea and to evaluate the cause of blurred vision. To find the lowest observed effect concentration of exposure to TEA. METHODS: Four people were exposed to TEA for 4 hours at concentrations of 40.6, 6.5, and 3.0 mg/m3. Before and after every exposure, symptoms and ocular microscopy findings were recorded. Binocular visual acuity and contrast sensitivity at 2.5% contrast were also measured. Also, before and after the 40.6 mg/m3 exposure, corneal thickness was measured and ocular dimensions were recorded by ultrasonography, endothelial cells of the cornea were analysed, and serum and lacrimal specimens were collected for the analysis of TEA. RESULTS: After exposure to 40.6 mg/m3 TEA there was a marked oedema in the corneal epithelium and subepithelial microcysts. However, corneal thickness increased only minimally because of the epithelial oedema. The lacrimal concentrations of TEA were, on average (range) 41 (18-83) times higher than the serum TEA concentrations. The vision was blurred in all subjects and visual acuity and contrast sensitivity had decreased in three of the four subjects. After exposure to TEA at 6.5 mg/m3 two subjects experienced symptoms, and contrast sensitivity had decreased in three of the four subjects. There were no symptoms or decreases in contrast sensitivity after exposure to a TEA concentration of 3.0 mg/m3. CONCLUSIONS: TEA caused a marked oedema and microcysts in corneal epithelium but only minor increases in corneal thickness. The effects may be mediated by the lacrimal fluid owing to its high TEA concentration. Four hour exposure to a TEA concentration of 3.0 mg/m3 seemed to cause no effects, whereas exposure to 6.5 mg/m3 for the same period caused blurred vision and a decrease in contrast sensitivity. (+info)
Dose dependent reduction of erythroid progenitor cells and inappropriate erythropoietin response in exposure to lead: new aspects of anaemia induced by lead.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether haematopoietic progenitor cells and erythropoietin (EPO), which is an essential humoral stimulus for erythroid progenitor (BFU-E) cell differentiation, are affected by lead intoxication. METHODS: In male subjects chronically exposed to lead with and without anaemia, pluripotent (CFU-GEMM), BFU-E and granulocyte/macrophage (CFU-GM) progenitor cell counts in peripheral blood were measured with a modified clonal assay. Lead concentrations in blood (PbB) and urine (PbU) were measured by the atomic absorption technique, and EPO was measured with a modified radioimmunoassay. RESULTS: PbB in the subjects exposed to lead ranged from 0.796 to 4.4 mumol/l, and PbU varied between 0.033 and 0.522 mumol/l. In subjects exposed to lead with PbB > or = 2.896 mumol/l (n = 7), BFU-E cells were significantly reduced (p < 0.001) whereas the reduction in CFU-GM cells was only of borderline significance (p = 0.037) compared with the age matched controls (n = 20). The CFU-GEMM cells remained unchanged. Furthermore, BFU-E and CFU-GM cells were reduced in a dose dependent fashion, with increasing PbB or PbU, respectively. In the subjects exposed to lead EPO was in the normal range and did not increase in the presence of anaemia induced by lead. No correlations existed between EPO and PbB, PbU, or progenitor cells. CONCLUSION: The data suggest new aspects of lead induced anaemia besides the currently acknowledged shortened life span of erythrocytes and inhibition of haemoglobin synthesis. Two additional mechanisms should be considered: the reduction of BFU-E cells, and inappropriate renal EPO production in the presence of severe exposure to lead, which would lead to an inadequate maturation of BFU-E cells. (+info)
Historical cohort study of a New Zealand foundry and heavy engineering plant.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the mortality of workers who had been exposed to asbestos, machining fluids and foundry work in a foundry and heavy engineering plant in the railway rolling stock manufacturing industry in New Zealand. METHODS: Historical cohort study design. RESULTS: For the total workforce of 3522 men employed between 1945 and 1991, follow up was 90% of person-years to 31 December 1991. Significantly increased standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) were found for all causes of death combined (SMR 1.07; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.01 to 1.14), all malignancies (SMR 1.15; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.31), circulatory (SMR 1.16; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.27) and musculoskeletal diseases (SMR 3.06; 95% CI 1.39 to 5.84), all digestive cancers (SMR 1.29; 95% CI 1.04 to 1.59), all respiratory cancers (SMR 1.34; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.65), cancer of the oesophagus (SMR 1.97; 95% CI 1.01 to 3.45), and mesothelioma of the pleura (SMR 6.58; 95% CI 1.24 to 19.49). Three deaths from pleural mesothelioma were recorded, with latency times of 51, 53, and 57 years. There were no dose-response relations between exposure to asbestos, machining fluids or foundry work, or by duration of employment in the plant, and any cause of death. CONCLUSIONS: This study found small increases in risk for several causes of death among foundry and heavy engineering workers; however, these increases were small and the possible effects of smoking and other lifestyle factors could not be excluded. There was evidence of asbestos related disease in those involved in engineering work in the past. (+info)
Modulating influence of cytochrome P-450 MspI polymorphism on serum liver function profiles in coke oven workers.
OBJECTIVES: It was reported previously that topside oven workers with heavy exposure to coke oven emissions had increased serum activities of hepatic aminotransferase in one coke oven plant. This study was conducted to investigate the modifying effect of CYP1A1 MspI polymorphism on liver function profiles in coke oven workers. METHODS: 88 coke oven workers from a large steel company in Taiwan were studied in 1995-6. Exposure was categorised by work area: topside oven workers and sideoven workers. Liver function profiles including serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), r-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and total bilirubin (BIL) were examined in the morning after personal exposure measurements. The MspI polymorphism was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). RESULTS: Five of 23 (22%) topside oven workers and seven of 65 (11%) sideoven workers had the CYP1A1 MspI homozygous variant genotype. With sideoven workers with the combined wild type and heterozygous variant as the reference group in multiple regression models, it was found that topside oven workers with the combined traits had mean AST and ALT activities that were 21% and 46% higher (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 4% to 42% and 12% to 91%, respectively) than the reference group after adjusting for appropriate confounders. Also, topside oven workers with the homozygous variant trait had mean AST, ALT, and GGT activities that were 59%, 68%, and 157% higher (95% CI 21% to 109%, 6% to 168%, and 39% to 374%, respectively) than the reference group. The prevalence of an abnormal hepatocellular pattern (AST > 37 IU/l or ALT > 39 IU/l) was more common in the topside oven workers with the homozygous variant than in the sideoven workers with the other combined genotypes (adjusted odds ratio 9.9, 95% CI 1.2 to 82.3) after adjusting for appropriate confounders. CONCLUSIONS: The CYP1A1 MspI polymorphism may modify the biotransformation of coke oven emissions, which results in hepatocellular damage in coke oven workers. (+info)
20 years of medical surveillance on exposure to allergenic and non-allergenic platinum compounds: the importance of chemical speciation.
OBJECTIVES: Chloroplatinates are potent allergens but other soluble platinum compounds such as tetraammine platinum dichloride (TPC) do not provoke reactions in subjects who are sensitive to chloroplatinates. TPC has been used in the manufacture of autocatalysts for 20 years. This study analyses 20 year data on exposure to soluble platinum compounds and medical surveillance to confirm that TPC is not allergenic. METHODS: Workers in three distinct operations were exposed to soluble platinum compounds as chloroplatinates, chloroplatinates with TPC, or to TPC alone. Results of personal air sampling for soluble platinum compounds were compared together with the results of medical surveillance. RESULTS: The levels of exposure to soluble platinum compounds in each operation were comparable but the incidence of allergy was significantly different. In a subgroup of workers consistently exposed to chemical processes in each operation, the cumulative chance of being sensitised after 5 years of exposure was estimated as 51% for chloroplatinate exposure, 33% for mixed exposure, and 0% for TPC alone. The differences in sensitisation rates could not be explained by age, sex, and atopy. Nor could they be explained by the increased frequency of smoking in the workers with chloroplatinate exposure, despite the markedly higher risk of sensitisation in smokers. The differences could only be explained by the chemical stability of TPC. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that the soluble platinum compound TPC is not allergenic under normal industrial conditions. Characterisation of the chemical compound (speciation) is essential to prevent stringent exposure limits being imposed for all soluble compounds on a generic basis. (+info)
Point source sulphur dioxide peaks and hospital presentations for asthma.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect on hospital presentations for asthma of brief exposures to sulphur dioxide (SO2) (within the range 0-8700 micrograms/m3) emanating from two point sources in a remote rural city of 25,000 people. METHODS: A time series analysis of SO2 concentrations and hospital presentations for asthma was undertaken at Mount Isa where SO2 is released into the atmosphere by a copper smelter and a lead smelter. The study examined 5 minute block mean SO2 concentrations and daily hospital presentations for asthma, wheeze, or shortness of breath. Generalised linear models and generalised additive models based on a Poisson distribution were applied. RESULTS: There was no evidence of any positive relation between peak SO2 concentrations and hospital presentations or admissions for asthma, wheeze, or shortness of breath. CONCLUSION: Brief exposures to high concentrations of SO2 emanating from point sources at Mount Isa do not cause sufficiently serious symptoms in asthmatic people to require presentation to hospital. (+info)
Extremely low frequency magnetic fields and fertility: a follow up study of couples planning first pregnancies. The Danish First Pregnancy Planner Study Team.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the impact of extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields on markers of human fertility. METHODS: A follow up study of time to pregnancy, semen quality, and reproductive hormones was conducted among couples planning first pregnancies (36 males were welders and 21 were non-welders). The male and the female partner were monitored for exposure to ELF magnetic field by personal exposure meters. As summary measures of exposure the median value was calculated together with the 75 percentile value and the proportion of measurements exceeding 0.2 and 1.0 microT, respectively. Each summary measure was divided in three categories: low, medium, and high. RESULTS: Couples in which the man had a medium or a high proportion of measurements > 1.0 microT had a reduced probability of conception per menstrual cycle compared with the men with low exposure, but the result was only significant for the men with medium exposure. This finding was partly attributable to a high probability of conception per menstrual cycle among the men with low exposure compared with non-welders in the original cohort of 430 couples. Other summary measures were not related to probability of conception or other markers of fertility. A possible negative association was found between high probability of conception and female exposure measures based on the median, the 75 percentile, and the proportion of measurements > 0.2 microT, but no association was found with the proportion of measurements > 1.0 microT. CONCLUSIONS: The findings provide no consistent support for a hypothesis of a deleterious effect of low level ELF magnetic fields on markers of human fertility. However, due to the relatively small size of the studied population only large associations would be detected. (+info)