Irritant contact dermatitis due to 1-bromo-3-chloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin in a hydrotherapy pool. Risk assessments: the need for continuous evidence-based assessments. (1/1019)

A physiotherapist working in hydrotherapy presented to occupational health with irritant contact dermatitis. Subsequent investigation revealed that the likely causative agent was 1-bromo 3-chloro 5,5 dimethylhydantoin which was used to disinfect the hydrotherapy pool. A COSHH risk assessment had been performed which failed to take full account of current knowledge and this agent had been introduced into the workplace. The development of adverse health effects among staff and other pool users lead to a review of this risk assessment and eventually a return to less hazardous chlorine-based disinfection. Had an evidence-based approach been combined with an appropriate COSHH assessment prior to and following changes in the workplace then unnecessary risk to employees would not have occurred.  (+info)

Salivary contribution to exhaled nitric oxide. (2/1019)

Dietary and metabolic nitrate is distributed from the blood to the saliva by active uptake in the salivary glands, and is reduced to nitrite in the oral cavity by the action of certain bacteria. Since it has been reported that nitric oxide may be formed nonenzymatically from nitrite this study aimed to determine whether salivary nitrite could influence measurements of exhaled NO. Ten healthy subjects fasted overnight and ingested 400 mg potassium nitrate, equivalent to approximately 200 g spinach. Exhaled NO and nasal NO were regularly measured with a chemiluminescence technique up to 3 h after the ingestion. Measurements of exhaled NO were performed with a single-breath procedure, standardized to a 20-s exhalation, at a flow of 0.15 L x s(-1), and oral pressure of 8-10 cmH2O. Values of NO were registered as NO release rate (pmol x s(-1)) during the plateau of exhalation. Exhaled NO increased steadily over time after nitrate load and a maximum was seen at 120 min (77.0+/-15.2 versus 31.2+/-3.0 pmol x s(-1), p<0.01), whereas no increase was detected in nasal NO levels. Salivary nitrite concentrations increased in parallel; at 120 min there was a four-fold increase compared with baseline (1.56+/-0.44 versus 0.37+/-0.09 mM, p<0.05). The nitrite-reducing conditions in the oral cavity were also manipulated by the use of different mouthwash procedures. The antibacterial agent chlorhexidine acetate (0.2%) decreased NO release by almost 50% (p<0.01) 90 min after nitrate loading and reduced the preload control levels by close to 30% (p<0.05). Sodium bicarbonate (10%) also reduced exhaled NO levels, but to a somewhat lesser extent than chlorhexidine acetate. In conclusion, salivary nitric oxide formation contributes to nitric oxide in exhaled air and a large intake of nitrate-rich foods before the investigation might be misinterpreted as an elevated inflammatory activity in the airways. This potential source of error and the means for avoiding it should be considered in the development of a future standardized method for measurements of exhaled nitric oxide.  (+info)

Effects of vanadium complexes with organic ligands on glucose metabolism: a comparison study in diabetic rats. (3/1019)

1. Vanadium compounds can mimic actions of insulin through alternative signalling pathways. The effects of three organic vanadium compounds were studied in non-ketotic, streptozotocin-diabetic rats: vanadyl acetylacetonate (VAc), vanadyl 3-ethylacetylacetonate (VEt), and bis(maltolato)oxovanadium (VM). A simple inorganic vanadium salt, vanadyl sulphate (VS) was also studied. 2. Oral administration of the three organic vanadium compounds (125 mg vanadium element 1(-1) in drinking fluids) for up to 3 months induced a faster and larger fall in glycemia (VAc being the most potent) than VS. Glucosuria and tolerance to a glucose load were improved accordingly. 3. Activities and mRNA levels of key glycolytic enzymes (glucokinase and L-type pyruvate kinase) which are suppressed in the diabetic liver, were restored by vanadium treatment. The organic forms showed greater efficacy than VS, especially VAc. 4. VAc rats exhibited the highest levels of plasma or tissue vanadium, most likely due to a greater intestinal absorption. However, VAc retained its potency when given as a single i.p. injection to diabetic rats. Moreover, there was no relationship between plasma or tissue vanadium levels and any parameters of glucose homeostasis and hepatic glucose metabolism. Thus, these data suggest that differences in potency between compounds are due to differences in their insulin-like properties. 5. There was no marked toxicity observed on hepatic or renal function. However, diarrhoea occurred in 50% of rats chronically treated with VS, but not in those receiving the organic compounds. 6. In conclusion, organic vanadium compounds, in particular VAc, correct the hyperglycemia and impaired hepatic glycolysis of diabetic rats more safely and potently than VS. This is not simply due to improved intestinal absorption, indicating more potent insulin-like properties.  (+info)

Diarrhoea prevention in Bolivia through point-of-use water treatment and safe storage: a promising new strategy. (4/1019)

A novel water quality intervention that consists of point-of-use water disinfection, safe storage and community education was field tested in Bolivia. A total of 127 households in two periurban communities were randomized into intervention and control groups, surveyed and the intervention was distributed. Monthly water quality testing and weekly diarrhoea surveillance were conducted. Over a 5-month period, intervention households had 44% fewer diarrhoea episodes than control households (P = 0.002). Infants < 1 year old (P = 0.05) and children 5-14 years old (P = 0.01) in intervention households had significantly less diarrhoea than control children. Campylobacter was less commonly isolated from intervention than control patients (P = 0.02). Stored water in intervention households was less contaminated with Escherichia coli than stored water in control households (P < 0.0001). Intervention households exhibited less E. coli contamination of stored water and less diarrhoea than control households. This promising new strategy may have broad applicability for waterborne disease prevention.  (+info)

Nosocomial pseudoepidemic caused by Bacillus cereus traced to contaminated ethyl alcohol from a liquor factory. (5/1019)

From September 1990 to October 1990, 15 patients who were admitted to four different departments of the National Taiwan University Hospital, including nine patients in the emergency department, three in the hematology/oncology ward, two in the surgical intensive care unit, and one in a pediatric ward, were found to have positive blood (14 patients) or pleural effusion (1 patient) cultures for Bacillus cereus. After extensive surveillance cultures, 19 additional isolates of B. cereus were recovered from 70% ethyl alcohol that had been used as a skin disinfectant (14 isolates from different locations in the hospital) and from 95% ethyl alcohol (5 isolates from five alcohol tanks in the pharmacy department), and 10 isolates were recovered from 95% ethyl alcohol from the factory which supplied the alcohol to the hospital. In addition to these 44 isolates of B. cereus, 12 epidemiologically unrelated B. cereus isolates, one Bacillus sphaericus isolate from a blood specimen from a patient seen in May 1990, and two B. sphaericus isolates from 95% alcohol in the liquor factory were also studied for their microbiological relatedness. Among these isolates, antibiotypes were determined by using the disk diffusion method and the E test, biotypes were created with the results of the Vitek Bacillus Biochemical Card test, and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) patterns were generated by arbitrarily primed PCR. Two clones of the 15 B. cereus isolates recovered from patients were identified (clone A from 2 patients and clone B from 13 patients), and all 29 isolates of B. cereus recovered from 70 or 95% ethyl alcohol in the hospital or in the factory belonged to clone B. The antibiotype and RAPD pattern of the B. sphaericus isolate from the patient were different from those of isolates from the factory. Our data show that the pseudoepidemic was caused by a clone (clone B) of B. cereus from contaminated 70% ethyl alcohol used in the hospital, which we successfully traced to preexisting contaminated 95% ethyl alcohol from the supplier, and by another clone (clone A) without an identifiable source.  (+info)

Is breast cancer cluster influenced by environmental and occupational factors among hospital nurses in Hungary? (6/1019)

An unusual cluster of 8 breast cancer and 8 other malignant tumor cases (ovarian, uterus, lung, colon and brain tumors and malignant melanoma) developed in a period of 12 years among 98 nurses exposed to ethylene oxide (EtOx) for 5 15 years in a unit using gas sterilizer in a hospital of the archiepiscopal city of Eger, Hungary. EtOx concentration in air samples of the working area varied from 5 to 150 mg/m3. The question was, if there was any causal relationship between the elevated incidence of breast cancer and the EtOx exposure, the other possibility was, that this cluster appeared accidentally. EtOx is a human carcinogen, however, no increased breast cancer incidence in EtOx-exposed subjects was reported in the literature. We followed up for two consecutive years the 27 non cancer patients, EtOx-exposed nurses and 11 unexposed hospital controls with the aid of a multiple genotoxicology monitor including chromosomal aberration, sister-chromatide exchange, HPRT point mutation and DNA repair studies. The results were compared with data from 30 local historical controls, 48 historical controls from Budapest, 14 hospital controls and 9 EtOx exposed nurses from Budapest. Significantly high chromosome aberration yields (especially chromosome type exchanges) were alike detected in EtOx-exposed and the two other control groups in Eger. These results could not be interpreted as a consequence of EtOx exposure only, since in the EtOx-exposed group from Budapest, beside an increased total aberration frequency, the obtained exchange type aberration yields were as low as the historical controls. A plausible explanation can be the natural low dose radioactivity (222Rn) of the local tap-water due to a specific geological situation in Eger. The spontaneous breast cancer incidence in Hungary doubled in the last 10 years compared with the previous 20 years (1960 1980), especially in Eger. The appearance of the high breast cancer incidence in the hospital of Eger indicates the combined effect of EtOx and a more common local etiologic factor, such as the naturally radioactive tap-water. However, since the reported studies did not involve the investigation either of the genetic predisposition, or the effects of other possible environmental, occupational, and/or life style confounding factors, further studies (partly in progress) are necessary to clarify the importance of these factors.  (+info)

Reduced glutaraldehyde susceptibility in Mycobacterium chelonae associated with altered cell wall polysaccharides. (7/1019)

Glutaraldehyde-resistant Mycobacterium chelonae have been isolated from endoscope washer disinfectors and endoscope rinse water. The mechanism of glutaraldehyde resistance is not well understood. Two spontaneous, glutaraldehyde-resistant mutants of the sensitive type strain, NCTC 946, were investigated. The colony morphology of the two mutants differed from that of the the type strain: colonies of the former were dry and waxy whereas those of the latter were smooth and shiny. Increased resistance to glutaraldehyde of the mutants was matched by small increases in the MICs of rifampicin and ethambutol but not isoniazid. Both mutants showed increased surface hydrophobicity. No changes were identified in the extractable fatty acids or the mycolic acid components of the cell wall but a reduction in each of the resistant strains in the arabinogalactan/arabinomannan portion of the cell wall was detected.  (+info)

Development and testing of a microbiological assay to detect residual effects of disinfectant on hard surfaces. (8/1019)

We describe a glucuronidase bioassay for detecting residual bactericidal activity from the use of disinfectants on hard surfaces; in this assay we used formaldehyde, ethanol, isopropanol, chlorine, and a commercial preparation containing 2-bromo-2-nitro-1, 3-propanediol. Chlorine and the commercial preparation showed bactericidal activity (53.5% and 98.2%, respectively) for a week after disinfection.  (+info)