Influence of plasticizer-free CAPD bags and tubings on serum, urine, and dialysate levels of phthalic acid esters in CAPD patients.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the impact of a plasticizer-free device on exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and its major metabolites in patients on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). DEHP is the most commonly used plasticizer in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products; it is added to CAPD bags in order to improve the flexibility of the material. Since DEHP leaches out of the plastic matrix, patients on CAPD are exposed to considerable amounts of DEHP and its metabolites. DESIGN: A prospective cross-over study. SETTING: Department of nephrology in a teaching hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Six patients (4 female, 2 male) stable on peritoneal dialysis (PD) for at least 6 months. INTERVENTIONS: Patients were switched from a plasticizer-containing PVC CAPD system (A.N.D.Y. Plus, Fresenius Medical Care, Bad Homburg, Germany) to a polyolefine-made plasticizer-free system (stay-safe, Fresenius). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prior to and 42 days after the switch, 24-hour effluent dialysate and urine collections were performed and 10 mL blood was drawn. Concentrations of DEHP, mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), phthalic acid (PA), and 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) in urine, dialysate, and serum were determined using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. RESULTS: Complete data were obtained from 5 patients. Serum levels of PA decreased significantly during the study period (0.137 +/- 0.078 mg/L vs 0.124 +/- 0.049 mg/L, p = 0.04), and the respective levels of DEHP decreased insignificantly (0.097 +/- 0.076 mg/L vs 0.069 +/- 0.046 mg/L, p = 0.07), whereas the concentrations of MEHP and 2-EH remained unchanged. Urine concentrations of PA were high (0.81 +/- 0.69 mg/L) but did not change substantially (0.70 +/- 0.50 mg/L). Effluent dialysate concentrations of MEHP and PA decreased significantly (0.0176 +/- 0.004 mg/L vs 0.0040 +/- 0.0007 mg/L, p = 0.043 and 0.158 +/- 0.056 mg/L vs 0.111 +/- 0.051 mg/L, p = 0.043, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Although PD patients seem to be exposed to other sources of phthalates in addition to dialysis, use of plasticizer-free devices may help to reduce potentially immunosuppressive exposure to phthalate esters. (+info)
Radioactive contamination of packing materials from a xenon-133 shipment.
OBJECTIVE: We report on radioactive contamination of packing materials from a 133Xe shipment. METHODS: A 2-vial 133Xe shipment was monitored using a survey meter before opening. Both vials were immediately assayed in a dose calibrator. The packing materials were monitored and contamination was detected. RESULTS: The maximum surface reading of the shipment was 7.0 microSv/h. This was higher than previous shipments (1.1 +/- 0.3 microSv/h). One vial was 544 MBq while the other vial was only 474 MBq. Previous shipments were 565 +/- 13 MBq/vial. Monitoring and imaging revealed 133Xe contamination within the packing materials. Xenon-133 escaped from the packing materials over time. The lower activity vial continued to leak 133Xe over time. CONCLUSION: Careful monitoring of 133Xe shipments before and after opening along with assaying vials on receipt can indicate vial leakage and radioactive contamination so steps can be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the staff. (+info)
Rapid determination of cyanide and azide in beverages by microdiffusion spectrophotometric method.
A rapid screening method was developed for the determination of the toxic volatile anions, cyanide and azide, in beverages. This method consisted of a microdiffusion extraction combined with spectrophotometry using the Konig cyanide reaction and ferric azide complex formation in conjugation with cerium azide oxido-reduction. The time required to achieve full recovery in the extraction of hydrogen cyanide and hydrazoic acid from samples was considerably shortened by increasing the diffusion temperature from 25 degrees C to 40 degrees C. The time required to achieve saturated color development in the Konig cyanide reaction was also shortened by increasing incubation temperature to 40 degrees C. The interference in both azide color reactions was examined for volatile compounds. Cyanide interfered only in the case of ferric azide complex formation. Sulfide, sulfate, nitrite, and acetic acid interfered in both the color reactions. The established method gave a detection limit of 6 microM for cyanide and 0.5mM for azide, and it required only 1 h to determine both anions. Cyanide and azide disappeared by evaporation from beverages during 25 degrees C storage under open conditions in a pH-dependent manner as a function of their respective pKa values of 9.2 and 4.6. (+info)
The antibacterial activity of triclosan-impregnated storage boxes against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus cereus and Shewanella putrefaciens in conditions simulating domestic use.
Antimicrobial resistance has increased over the past decade causing concern for public health. Domestic antimicrobial products containing triclosan (2,4,4'-trichloro-2'-hydroxydiphenylether), a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent, were introduced in 1997 and have become popular among consumers. Cross-resistance to other antibacterial agents has been suggested as a possible consequence of their widespread use. Triclosan-impregnated plastic storage boxes were tested for activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus cereus and Shewanella putrefaciens in various conditions, including some designed to simulate usual storage conditions. Results showed inhibition up to a factor of 106 of bacteria grown in direct contact with triclosan-impregnated plastic at 30 and 22 degrees C, but not at 4 degrees C. Triclosan resistance was not found to increase after repeated exposure in triclosan-impregnated boxes. Further investigation into the effect of triclosan-impregnated products on bacteria will increase understanding of domestic antimicrobial products and implications of their overuse. (+info)
The dark side of marketing seemingly "Light" cigarettes: successful images and failed fact.
OBJECTIVE: To understand the development, intent, and consequences of US tobacco industry advertising for low machine yield cigarettes. METHODS: Analysis of trade sources and internal US tobacco company documents now available on various web sites created by corporations, litigation, or public health bodies. RESULTS: When introducing low yield products, cigarette manufacturers were concerned about maintaining products with acceptable taste/flavour and feared consumers might become weaned from smoking. Several tactics were employed by cigarette manufacturers, leading consumers to perceive filtered and low machine yield brands as safer relative to other brands. Tactics include using cosmetic (that is, ineffective) filters, loosening filters over time, using medicinal menthol, using high tech imagery, using virtuous brand names and descriptors, adding a virtuous variant to a brand's product line, and generating misleading data on tar and nicotine yields. CONCLUSIONS: Advertisements of filtered and low tar cigarettes were intended to reassure smokers concerned about the health risks of smoking, and to present the respective products as an alternative to quitting. Promotional efforts were successful in getting smokers to adopt filtered and low yield cigarette brands. Corporate documents demonstrate that cigarette manufacturers recognised the inherent deceptiveness of cigarette brands described as "Light"or "Ultra-Light" because of low machine measured yields. (+info)
How cigarette design can affect youth initiation into smoking: Camel cigarettes 1983-93.
CONTEXT: Internal industry documents may shed light on how cigarettes are designed to promote youth smoking. OBJECTIVE: To determine changes in the design of Camel cigarettes in the period surrounding the "Smooth Character" advertising campaign and to assess the impact of these changes on youth smoking. DATA SOURCES: Internal documents made available through the document website maintained by RJ Reynolds, manufacturer of Camel cigarettes. STUDY SELECTION: Electronic searches using keywords to identify relevant data. DATA EXTRACTION: A web based index search of documents targeting "smoothness" or "harshness" and "younger adult smokers" ("YAS") or "first usual brand younger adult smokers" ("FUBYAS") in the 10 year period surrounding the introduction of the "Smooth Character" campaign was used to identify Camel related product design research projects. A snowball methodology was used: initial documents were identified by focusing on key words, codes, researchers, committees, meetings, and gaps in overall chronology; a second set of documents was culled from these initial documents, and so on. DATA SYNTHESIS: Product design research led to the introduction of redesigned Camel cigarettes targeted to younger adult males coinciding with the "Smooth Character" campaign. Further refinements in Camel cigarettes during the following five year period continued to emphasise the smoothness of the cigarette, utilising additives and blends which reduced throat irritation but increased or retained nicotine impact. CONCLUSIONS: Industry competition for market share among younger adult smokers may have contributed to the reversal of a decline in youth smoking rates during the late 1980s through development of products which were more appealing to youth smokers and which aided in initiation by reducing harshness and irritation. (+info)
Tax, price and cigarette smoking: evidence from the tobacco documents and implications for tobacco company marketing strategies.
OBJECTIVE: To examine tobacco company documents to determine what the companies knew about the impact of cigarette prices on smoking among youth, young adults, and adults, and to evaluate how this understanding affected their pricing and price related marketing strategies. METHODS: Data for this study come from tobacco industry documents contained in the Youth and Marketing database created by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and available through http:// roswell.tobaccodocuments.org, supplemented with documents obtained from http://www.tobaccodocuments.org. RESULTS: Tobacco company documents provide clear evidence on the impact of cigarette prices on cigarette smoking, describing how tax related and other price increases lead to significant reductions in smoking, particularly among young persons. This information was very important in developing the industry's pricing strategies, including the development of lower price branded generics and the pass through of cigarette excise tax increases, and in developing a variety of price related marketing efforts, including multi-pack discounts, couponing, and others. CONCLUSIONS: Pricing and price related promotions are among the most important marketing tools employed by tobacco companies. Future tobacco control efforts that aim to raise prices and limit price related marketing efforts are likely to be important in achieving reductions in tobacco use and the public health toll caused by tobacco. (+info)
The cigarette pack as image: new evidence from tobacco industry documents.
OBJECTIVES: To gain an understanding of the role of pack design in tobacco marketing. METHODS: A search of tobacco company document sites using a list of specified search terms was undertaken during November 2000 to July 2001. RESULTS: Documents show that, especially in the context of tighter restrictions on conventional avenues for tobacco marketing, tobacco companies view cigarette packaging as an integral component of marketing strategy and a vehicle for (a) creating significant in-store presence at the point of purchase, and (b) communicating brand image. Market testing results indicate that such imagery is so strong as to influence smoker's taste ratings of the same cigarettes when packaged differently. Documents also reveal the careful balancing act that companies have employed in using pack design and colour to communicate the impression of lower tar or milder cigarettes, while preserving perceived taste and "satisfaction". Systematic and extensive research is carried out by tobacco companies to ensure that cigarette packaging appeals to selected target groups, including young adults and women. CONCLUSIONS: Cigarette pack design is an important communication device for cigarette brands and acts as an advertising medium. Many smokers are misled by pack design into thinking that cigarettes may be "safer". There is a need to consider regulation of cigarette packaging. (+info)