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					Bulletin Board
September 29, 2006

Contact us:
chemwatch@chemwatch.net
tel +61 3 9572 4700
fax +61 3 9572 4777
Emergency +61 3 9573 3112
70 Bambra Rd Caulfield North
Victoria 3161 Australia

*While Chemwatch has taken all efforts
to ensure the accuracy of information in
this publication, it is not intended to be
comprehensive or to render advice.
Websites rendered are subject to change.


Arthur’s Advice Line
New for 2006: Report Generator

A list of materials inside the Manifest can be exported as a spreadsheet or a
range of other delimited text files.
From the main Manifest screen, select a specific location, section or area to
display a list of materials. Remember, the blue COMBINE button may also
be selected to display all the materials for the entire Manifest.
With the list of materials on screen, move the mouse over the REPORTS
button and select Report Generator. A list of fields and options will display in
a new window. Select the appropriate checkboxes and press Submit. A new
window will pop up displaying the list of materials and their storage locations
in the requested format.


Hazard Alert
Diazomethane

Diazomethane is the chemical compound CH2N2. In the pure form at room
temperature, it is a yellow gas, but it is almost universally used as a solution in
diethyl ether. It is one of the more common diazo compounds. It is also toxic
and potentially explosive. Diazomethane is usually prepared as a solution
in diethylether and used in for converting carboxylic acids into their methyl
esters or into their homologues. Diazomethane is prepared in the laboratory
at mmol scale from precursors such as Diazald or N-methyl-N-nitroso-p-
toluenesulfonamide and MNNG or 1-methyl-3-nitro-1-nitrosoguanidine.
Diazald in a solution of diglyme and diethyl ether reacts with a warm aqueous
solution of potassium hydroxide and the generated CH2N2 is collected by
distillation. Diazomethane is liberated from a solution of MNNG in diethyl
ether by addition of aqueous sodium hydroxide at low temperatures. [1]
Diazomethane is not manufactured for distribution or sale as a consequence
of its explosive nature and toxicity. Used as a methylating agent for
acidic compounds such as phenols and carboxylic acids. Laboratory
generation of diazomethane is by reaction of alkali with commercially available
N-methyl-N-nitroso-N‟-nitroguanidine. An alternate intermediate is p-
tolylsulfonylmethylnitrosamide. [2]

Health Effects: [3]
Acute Effects:
• Diazomethane is a strong respiratory irritant. Acute (short-term)
inhalation exposure of humans to diazomethane may cause irritation
of the eyes, denudation of mucous membranes, cough, wheezing,
asthmatic symptoms, pulmonary edema, fulminating pneumonia,
dizziness, weakness, headache, chest pains, fever, moderate
cyanosis, malaise, tremors, hepatic enlargement, hypersensitivity, shock,
and death.
• Severe respiratory tract irritation, hemorrhagic emphysema, pulmonary
edema, and bronchopneumonia have been observed in animals acutely
exposed by inhalation.
• Acute animal tests, such as the LC50 test in cats, have demonstrated
diazomethane to have high acute toxicity by inhalation.

Chronic Effects:
• No information is available on the chronic (long-term) effects of
diazomethane in humans or animals.
• Increased incidences of pulmonary adenomas have been observed
in rats and mice exposed to diazomethane by inhalation and in
dermally exposed mice.
• EPA has not classified diazomethane with respect to its
potential carcinogenicity.
• The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has
classified diazomethane as a Group 3, not classifiable as to its
carcinogenicity to humans.

Personal Protection: [4]
Clothing
• Avoid skin contact with Diazomethane. Wear solventresistant gloves
and clothing. Safety equipment suppliers/manufacturers can provide
recommendations on the most protective glove/clothing material for your
operation.
• All protective clothing (suits, gloves, footwear, headgear) should be clean,
available each day, and put on before work.
• Where exposure to cold equipment, vapors, or liquid may occur, employees
should be provided with special clothing designed to prevent the freezing
of body tissues.

Eye Protection
• Wear non-vented, impact resistant goggles when working with fumes,
gases, or vapors.
• Wear indirect-vent, impact and splash resistant goggles when working
with liquids.
• Contact lenses should not be worn when working with this substance.
Respiratory Protection
• Where the potential exists for exposure over 0.2 ppm, use a MSHA/
NIOSH approved supplied-air respirator with a full facepiece operated
in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode. For increased
protection use in combination with an auxiliary self-contained breathing
apparatus operated in a pressure-demand or other positivepressure
mode.
• Exposure to 2 ppm is immediately dangerous to life and health. If the
possibility of exposure above 2 ppm exists, use a MSHA/NIOSH approved
self-contained breathing apparatus with a full facepiece operated in a
pressuredemand or other positive-pressure mode.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diazomethane
2. http://www.lakes-environmental.com/toxic/DIAZOMETHANE.HTML
3. www.state.nj.us/health/eoh/rtkweb/0620.pdf


Legislation

Asia Pacific

Customs regulations amended to prohibit the import of
all goods containing chrysotile asbestos
2006-09-14
On 14 July 2006 the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Amendment Regulations
2006 (No. 2) in Australia, made amendments to the Customs (Prohibited
Imports) Regulations 1956 (the Regulations) in relation to goods containing
chrysotile asbestos. Prior to the amendment only the import of goods
specified in Part 1 of Schedule 3B to the Regulations were prohibited but
the amendment now prohibits the import of all goods containing chrysotile
asbestos, in line with bans in other Commonwealth, State and Territory
legislation on the use, in the workplace or at home, of all goods containing
such asbestos.
Enhesa Update, August 2006

Amendments to explosives and dangerous goods
regulations
2006-09-14
In Western Australia, the Explosives and Dangerous Goods (Dangerous
Goods Handling and Storage) Amendment Regulations 2006 and the
Explosives and Dangerous Goods (Explosives) Amendment Regulations
2006 came into force on 1 July 2006. These amend the Explosives and
Dangerous Goods (Dangerous Goods Handling and Storage) Regulations
1992 and the Explosives and Dangerous Goods (Explosives) Regulations
1963 respectively by repealing and inserting new fees schedules. The
Regulations are made under the Explosives and Dangerous Goods Act
1961.
Enhesa Update, August 2006
Dangerous Goods (Transport) (Road and Rail)
Regulations amended
2006-09-14
The Dangerous Goods (Transport) (Road and Rail) Amendment Regulations
2004 came into force in Western Australia on 1 July 2006. These increase
slightly the amounts in Regulation 23.1 on prescribed fees for licenses
under the Dangerous Goods (Transport) (Road and Rail) Regulations 1999.
The main objectives of the principal Regulation made under the Dangerous
Goods (Transport) Act 1998 are to reduce as far as practicable the risks of
personal injury, property damage and environmental harm arising from the
transport of dangerous goods by road or rail; give effect to the standards,
requirements and procedures of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code so
far as they apply to the transport of dangerous goods by road or rail; and
promote consistency between the standards, requirements and procedures
applying to the transport of dangerous goods.
Enhesa Update, August 2006

International

Significant changes and amendments to the 48TH
EDITION of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations(2007)
2006-09-14
The 48th edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations includes all
amendments made by the Dangerous Goods Board. The following list is
identifies the main changes introduced in this edition. The changes have
been listed in the section or subsection in which those changes occurs.
1 - Applicability
1.2.3 - Exceptions: The conditions under which dangerous goods may be
regarded as not subject to the Regulations, e.g. when carried for provision
of medical aid to a patient during flight and search and rescue have been
extensively revised to clarify the requirements and application.
1.5 - Training Requirements: A new 1.5.5 - Instructor Qualifications, has
been added that sets out requirements for instructors of dangerous goods
courses. Table 1.5.A has been amended to add “Mail” and “Stores” following
“Cargo” to identify that persons engaged handling/loading such items, e.g.
company materials (COMAT) must undertake dangerous goods training.
2 - Limitations
2.3 - Dangerous Goods Carried by Passengers or Crew: Paragraph 2.3.2.1,
which applies to Carbon dioxide, solid (dry ice) in checked baggage has been
revised to require that the checked baggage must be marked to identify that
it contains dry ice and the quantity of dry ice. A new paragraph 2.3.5.11 has
been added that sets out the conditions under which passengers and crew
may carry consumer electronic devices containing fuel cell systems.
2.4 - Dangerous Goods in Airmail: Provisions for dangerous goods in
airmail have been revised to clarify that only Category B and exempt patient
specimens are permitted.
2.9.2 - State Variations: Canada, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland,
United Kingdom and United States have advised of amendments to their
State variations.
2.9.4 - Operator Variations: There are a significant number of additions,
deletions and modifications to the operator variations.
3 - Classification
Classification revisions from the 14th revised edition of the UN Model
regulations to align the criteria in the transport regulations with those for
hazardous substances as set out in the Globally Harmonised System of
Classification and Labelling Chemicals (GHS). The closed-cup flash point
for flammable liquids will move to 60°C; revisions to LD50 and LC50 values
for toxic substances.
4 - Identification
4.2 - List of Dangerous Goods: Revisions to the List of Dangerous Goods
include: Continuing separation of substances that have both liquid and solid
form to have separate UN numbers; deletion of a number of gas entries;
two previous proper shipping names for UN 3373 - Diagnostic specimens
and clinical specimens have been deleted; UN 3468 - Hydrogen in a metal
hydride storage system revised from being Forbidden/Forbidden to permitted
on CAO; new entry, UN 3473 - Fuel cell cartridges containing flammable
liquid.
4.4 - Special provisions A66 - against UN 3269 - Polyester resin kit has
been revised to identify that only organic peroxides that are permitted on
passenger aircraft are permitted in such kits. A131 -UN 1040 -Ethylene oxide
has been revised to clarify that UN 1040 may still be transported on both
passenger or cargo aircraft as set out in the Special Provision even though
Ethylene oxide is now shown as Forbidden/Forbidden. A146 - against the
new UN 3473 - Fuel cell cartridges provides additional information on what
constitute a fuel cell cartridge and their design criteria. A151 - is a new
Special Provision against UN 1845 - Carbon dioxide, solid (Dry ice) that
excepts dry ice from the per package limits in columns J and L for shipper
loaded units. A152 - is a new Special Provision against UN 1977 - Nitrogen,
refrigerated liquid excepting “dry shippers” containing non-dangerous goods
from the Regulations. A152 replaces the IATA Special Provision A800, which
has now been deleted.
5 - Packing
5.0.6.6 - Contains new provisions setting out the requirements for cylinders
as packagings for liquids or solids. Packing Instructions 202 - Has been
revised to reflect new provisions for open and closed cryogenic receptacles.
203 / Y203 - Have been revised to add provisions for plastic aerosols. 214
- Has been added to address the requirements for UN3468 - Hydrogen in a
metal hydride storage system, which are now permitted as CAO. 313 - Has
been added to address the requirements for UN 3473 - Fuel cell cartridges,
containing flammable liquid. 602 - Has been revised to add provision for
other dangerous goods in Classes 3, 8 or 9 to be permitted when used
to preserve, stabilize specimens. Substances used must be acceptable as
dangerous goods in excepted quantities. 904 - Has been revised to reflect
the new provisions for dry ice in a shipper prepared unit load device.
6 - Packaging Specification & Performance Tests
6.1.9 - New provisions added for the design and construction of plastic
aerosols.
6.4 - Requirements for closed cryogenic receptacles added.
6.4.4 - The testing method and criteria for aerosol containers has been
expanded.
7 - Marking & Labelling
7.1.5.1 - Option on limited quantity packages to have the UN number placed
inside a diamond. However, if this is done, mandatory requirements with
regard to the marking apply.
7.2.2.3 - New note added to clarify that minor variations in design of hazard
labels is acceptable.
7.2.6.2 - Clarification to state that if package dimensions are inadequate,
hazard labels may be applied to the package in other than the diamond
orientation.
7.2.7 - New provision added to require overpacks to have orientation arrows
if they contain liquids in single packagings with end closures.
7.3 - Label Specifications: The design of the symbols on the Division 2.3,
Division 4.1, Division 6.1, Class 8 and Class 9 hazard labels, have been
revised to align with the design shown in the UN Model Regulations.
7.3.15 - New design hazard label for Division 5.2 - Organic peroxides. The
old design hazard label may continue to be used until 2010.
8 - Documentation
8.1.6.9.1 - The alternative sequence of information describing the dangerous
goods will no longer be valid. From 2007 only the sequence starting with the
UN number will be acceptable.
8.1.6.9.2 - The type of packaging must now show the description, not just
the UN packaging code, e.g. “Fibreboard box”, not just “4G”.
9 - Handling
9.1.1.5 - Text has been added reinforcing that the operator must apply
identification tags to unit load devices, containing consumer commodities,
dry ice or magnetized material, accepted from shippers.
9.3.2.2 - The provisions for separation of different divisions/compatibility
groups of explosives has been simplified.
9.3.8 - The text has been clarified to explicitly state that that identification
tags on unit load devices must show the hazard class or division number,
the use of Cargo IMP codes to identify dangerous goods is insufficient.
9.3.12 - Provision for operator to add dry ice to a unit load device (accepted
from a shipper), which has previously contained dry ice, subject to annotation
of the NOTOC.
9.5.3 - Check-in staff should seek confirmation from all passengers that they
are not carrying items of dangerous goods not permitted in baggage.
Appendix A - New definitions for “Cargo”, “Fuel cell cartridges”, “Mail”,
“Stores” have been added.
Appendix E - Contact details for competent authorities have been updated.
Appendix G - The list of Sales Agents and IATA Accredited Training Schools
have been revised.
New Appendix H - IATA Safety Standards Programs. Information on the
different safety programs available from IATA.
International Air Transport Association
http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/dangerous_goods

Europe

Hands off my DNA
2006-09-13
New legislation introduced in the UK will make it illegal to covertly analyse
someone‟s DNA. The Human Genetics Commission (HGC), which advises
the UK government says such an act constitutes a “gross intrusion” on
their privacy. Up until now there has been nothing to prevent unscrupulous
journalist taking an everyday object used by a public figure and get a DNA
sample from it, have it analysed and then publish their genetic information
says Helena Kennedy, who chairs the HGC. It was report that when the
former U.S president, Bill Clinton, visited the UK in 1997, his bodyguards
removed his pint glass from which he had drunk to prevent this from
happening. The new law is part of the Human Tissues Act 2004 and makes it
illegal to take a sample of someone‟s DNA and have it analysed without their
consent. Employers tempted to use DNA to check up on staff, or insurance
companies on their policyholders, will be prevented from doing so.
New Scientist Magazine, 26 August 2006

The Globally Harmonised System of Classification
and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Public Stakeholder
Consultation on the new draft regulation
2006-09-14
The UN Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of
Chemicals (GHS) provides a harmonised basis for globally uniform health
and safety information on hazardous chemical substances and mixtures. At
the World Summit for Sustainable Development in 2002, the EU commission,
the EU Member States and stakeholders from industry and non-governmental
organisations endorsed the UN recommendation to implement the GHS in
domestic law. The Commission drafted a proposal for a Regulation, which
would introduce the GHS criteria into Community law. The GHS Regulation
will replace the current legislation after a transitional period. The draft
proposal intends to maintain the overall level of protection provided by
the current legislation on classification and labelling. The commission has
undertaken a public consultation on the draft proposal. This consultation is
open for two months from 21 August 2006 till 21 October 2006.
Europa News, 22 August 2006
http://europa.eu/rapid

External Consultation on the Community Implementation
Plan of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic
Pollutants (POPs)
2006-09-14
The external consultation on the community implementation plan of the
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) aims to
provide the commission with the views of the public on the draft of the plan,
the conclusions reached by the study on the possible measures to reduce
releases of by-products POPs, with a view to identifying such measures to
be included in the final Community Implementation Plan. This consultation
will be open for 9 weeks closing on the 10 October 2006. Response to this
consultation will assist the commission in its consideration of the proposed
plan. The final Community Implementation Plan is expected to finalised during
autumn 2006. It will be sent to the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention
before the 14 February 2007. The Stockholm Convention on POPs lays
down an obligation to all Parties to develop and endeavour to implement
a plan for the implementation of its obligations under the Convention. The
Community became a Party to the Stockholm Convention in February 2004.
Although it is not a country Party but a Regional Economic Integration
Organisation (REIO), the obligation to develop an Implementation Plan
applies to the Community. The Implementation Plan is first and foremost
meant to assist the Party to analyse how it will meet its obligations under the
Convention. It should also help the Party to prioritise its actions and provide
a framework for effective implementation. The plan is, however, not a final
result in itself but merely a tool. The development of the plan provides the
community with the opportunity to take stock of legal and other Community
level measures related to control of POPs; assess their efficiency and
sufficiency in meeting the obligations of the Convention; identify needs for
possible additional measures and lay down a plan for implementation of
these measures. The plan addresses not only the 12 POPs currently listed
in the Stockholm Convention but also the four other substances listed in the
UNECE Protocol. It also pays attention to how further POP candidates can
be identified and managed efficiently. Europa News, 9 August 2006
http://europa.eu/rapid

Surface Water Protection against Pollution under the
Water Framework Directive
2006-09-14
On 17 July 2006, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new
Directive to protect surface water from pollution. The proposed Directive,
which is required to support the Water Framework Directive, will set limits
on concentrations in surface waters of 41 dangerous chemical substances
(including 33 priority substances and 8 other pollutants) that pose a particular
risk to animal and plant life in the aquatic environment and to human health.
The proposal will contribute to the Commission‟s Better Regulation initiative
by replacing five older directives, allowing their repeal. This proposal is part
of the new strategy against chemical pollution of waters introduced by the
Water Framework Directive. A Communication, which elaborates on this
approach and an Impact Assessment, which illustrates the choices that the
Commission made, accompany the proposal.
Europa News, 17 July 2006
http://europa.eu/rapid

America

OSHA Incorporates APFs Into Its Respiratory Protection
Standard
2006-09-14
Three years after the agency unveiled the proposed rule in the Federal
Register, OSHA announced on August 23 that new assigned protection
factors (APFs) for respiratory protection programs are being adopted into the
agency‟s respiratory protection standard. This APF final rule completes the
revision of the reserve sections of OSHA‟s Respiratory Protection Standard
as published in 1998. The Respiratory Protection Standard will now contain
provisions necessary for a comprehensive respiratory protection program,
including selection and use of respirators, training, medical evaluation, and
fit testing. APFs are numbers that indicate the level of workplace respiratory
protection that a respirator or class of respirators is expected to provide to
employees when used as part of an effective respiratory protection program.
An APF table is being included in the final standard to guide employers in
the selection of air purifying, powered air-purifying, supplied-air (or airline
respirator), and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) respirators.
Employers must follow these new requirements and use APFs to select
the appropriate type of respirator based upon the exposure limit of a
contaminant and the level of the contaminant in the workplace. Employers
select respirators by comparing the exposure level found in the workplace
and the maximum concentration of the contaminant in which a particular
type of respirator can be used (the Maximum Use Concentration, or MUC).
Employers generally determine the MUC by multiplying the respirator‟s APF
by the contaminant‟s exposure limit. If the workplace level of the contaminant
is expected to exceed the respirator‟s MUC, the employer must choose a
respirator with a higher APF.
Occupational Health & Safety News, 28 August 2006
http://www.ohsonline.com

Rules would leave NW gas with most benzene
2006-09-14
New federal rules would cut the national level of benzene found in gasoline.
However, this would still leave Northwest gasoline with more benzene than
in other parts of the country. The federal Environmental Protection Agency
proposed the benzene reduction rule in February. The plan was to cut
the average of benzene content in gasoline nationally from 0.97 percent
to 0.62 percent by volume. In comparison, Northwest gasoline has 2.06
percent benzene content. The new rule would cut that to 1.04 percent.
The new rules would go into effect in 2011. During the 1990s, some cities
were required or encouraged to switch to reformulated gasoline, which
contains fewer polluting chemicals, including far less benzene. However,
due to the relatively clean air, Northwest refineries were not required to
upgrade. In some places, refineries produce gasoline with as little as 0.29
percent benzene, and the East Coast and Southern California burn cleaner
gasoline than the Pacific Northwest. The EPA figures that 88 of the country‟s
115 refineries would have to upgrade as a result of the proposed rule. It
concluded that Northwest refineries would be able to take advantage of a
credit system, in which they buy the right to continue producing gasoline
with above-level benzene content. Northwest air officials asked the EPA
for tougher regulations that would get Northwest refineries closer to the
John Millett, an EPA spokesman said that forcing all refineries to meet the
proposed lower standard would cost industry too much.
Corvallis Gazette Times News, 26 July 2006
http://www.gazettetimes.com

Workplace hazards cause for concern
2006-09-14
Anything from a heavy perfume to disinfectant to a carelessly placed chair
could be in violation of the law. According to the Safety and Health at
Work Act 2005 in Barbados, employers will have to start monitoring the
levels of environmental risk in the workplace. The law makes it mandatory
for businesses to protect their employees and customers against risks
to health and safety in connection with the activities or people at work.
REA EnviroHealth International managing partner, Harold Oxley said “We
are moving into a situation of new legislation where it will be required of
employers to have an assessment of the environmental risk in the workplace.
“Employers need to begin to look and document processes in order to get a
fix, then look at dangers associated and look at risks and how to minimise,”
he said. “Our mission is not to eliminate hazards in the workplace but to
identify them and do the assessment to see how likely that hazard would
impact the individual. “The majority of workers are not covered under the
existing Factories Act so if we are pushing this new legislation, the service
sector must be involved.”
Nation News.com, 26 July 2006
http://www.nationnews.com

What Are Your Thoughts About a Globally Harmonized
System?
2006-09-14
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) are planning to
publish an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the September 12
Federal Register seeking public comment on the implementation of the
Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals
(GHS). In adopting GHS, OSHA will be required to propose changes to
the agency‟s hazard communication standard. The GHS is a system for
standardizing and harmonizing the classification and labeling of chemicals
by providing a comprehensive approach to defining the health and physical
hazards of chemicals, creating classification processes and communicating
hazard information through uniform labels and safety data sheets. The
adoption of the GHS is expected to facilitate international trade by increasing
the consistency between the laws in different countries that currently
require different information be provided to employers and employees about
chemicals during their production, transportation, use and disposal based
on jurisdiction. Written comments (in triplicate) must be submitted not later
than November 13.
Occupational Hazards News, 8 September 2006
http://www.occupationalhazards.com/news

PHMSA: Final rule for requalification and use of
Aluminum Cylinders
2006-09-14
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has issued
the final rule on the revised requalification and use of aluminum cylinders
manufactured of aluminum alloy6351-T6, which are used in SCUBA,
SCBA, and Oxygen Services. This final rule revises the Hazardous
Materials Regulations to address a known safety problem with cylinders
manufactured of aluminum alloy 6351-T6. The revisions include an
inspection and testing program for early detection of sustained load
cracking on cylinders manufactured of aluminum alloy 6351-T6 and used
in self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA), self-contained
breathing apparatus (SCBA), and oxygen services. The rule is effective
from 1 January 2007.
Office of Hazardous Materials & Safety News, 29 August 2006
http://hazmat.dotgov/regs

FDA: Safety-related drug labeling changes for June 2006
2006-09-14
Safety-related drug labeling changes for June 2006 includes 37 drug
products with safety labeling changes to the BOXED WARNING,
CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, or ADVERSE
REACTIONS sections. The following drugs had modifications to the BOXED
WARNING, CONTRAINDICATIONS, and/or WARNINGS sections:
Dilaudid-HP (hydromorphone hydrochloride) Injection
Dilaudid (hydromorphone hydrochloride) Oral Liquid and 8 mg Tablets
Foradil Aerolizer (formoterol fumarate inhalation powder) for Oral
Inhalation only
Revlimid (lenalidomide) Capsules
Taxotere (docetaxel) Injection Concentrate
Tysabri (natalizumab)
Ketek (telithromycin) Tablets
Marinol (dronabinol) Capsules
Soma (carisoprodol) Tablets, USP
Avandaryl (rosiglitazone maleate and glimepiride) Tablets
Combivir (lamivudine/zidovudine) Tablets
Epivir (lamivudine) Tablets and Oral Solution
Hycamtin (topotecan hydrochloride) for Injection for Intravenous Use
Ultane (sevoflurane) Volatile Liquid for Inhalation
Medwatch Update, 16 August 2006
FDA: Changes to prescribing information for Dexedrine
2006-09-14
FDA and GlaxoSmithKline notified healthcare professionals of changes
to the BOXED WARNING, WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS sections of
the prescribing information for Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine sulfate),
approved for the treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and
narcolepsy. The warnings describe reports of sudden death in association
with CNS stimulant treatment at usual doses in children and adolescents
with structural cardiac abnormalities or other serious heart problems.
Medwatch Update, 22 August 2006

U.S. Continues to Set Bar on Pesticide Safety
2006-09-14
The EPA is proposing to cancel all uses of the pesticide carbofuran and to
revoke the associated tolerances (legal residue limits on food). The agency
announced its conclusion that there are considerable risks associated
with carbofuran in food and drinking water, risks to pesticide applicators
and risks to birds that are exposed in treated fields. EPA is proposing to
immediately cancel the majority of carbofuran uses. A four-year phase-out
is being proposed for six, minor agricultural uses, which will provide time to
find effective alternatives. The decisions on carbofuran and lindane are the
latest accomplishments achieved under the Food Quality Protection Act.
EPA Pesticides Update, 5 August 2006
http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/


Janet’s Corner - Not Too Seriously!

Doctor, Doctor

911 emergency number
Shortly after the 911 emergency number became available, an elderly and
quite ill lady appeared in a hospital emergency room, having driven herself
to the hospital and barely managing to stagger in from the parking lot.
The horrified nurse said, “Why didn‟t you call the 911 number and get an
ambulance?”
The lady said, “My phone doesn‟t have an eleven.”

Quick Fix
“The doctor said he would have me on my feet in two weeks.”
“And did he?”
“Yes, I had to sell my car to pay his bill!”

The Deaf Wife
A man is talking to the family doctor. “Doc, I think my wife‟s going deaf.”
The doctor answers, “Well, here‟s something you can try on her to test her
hearing. Stand some distance away from her and ask her a question. If she
doesn‟t answer, move a little closer and ask again. Keep repeating this until
she answers. Then you‟ll be able to tell just how hard of hearing she really
is.”
The man goes home and tries it out. He walks in the door and says, “Honey,
what‟s for dinner?” He doesn‟t hear an answer, so he moves closer to her.
“Honey, what‟s for dinner?” Still no answer. He repeats this several times,
until he‟s standing just a few feet away from her.
Finally, she answers, “For the eleventh time, I said we‟re having
MEATLOAF!”

Please note: articles for Janet’s Corner are not original, and come from various
sources. Author’s credits are supplied when available.


Gossip

Titanium Dioxide Classified as Possibly Carcinogenic to
Humans
2006-09-13
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has recently
announced that titanium dioxide has been classified as an IARC Group
2B carcinogen “possibly carcinogen to humans‟‟. Titanium dioxide is in
products such as paints, plastics, papers, inks, foods, and toothpastes to
provide whiteness and opacity and accounts for 70% of the total production
pigments worldwide. It is also used in almost every sunblock, where it helps
protect the skin from ultraviolet light. The classification by the IARC was
reached after reviewing evidence of a study in which high concentrations
of pigment-grade (powdered) and ultrafine titanium dioxide dust caused
respiratory tract cancer in rats exposed by inhalation and intratracheal
instillation. The biological steps that lead to the lung cancer in rats have
also been observed in people working in dusty environments. These steps
include particle deposition, impaired lung clearance, cell injury, fibrosis,
mutations and ultimately cancer. It is for this reason that the IARC believe
that there was this evidence was relevant to people work with titanium dust.
For example, titanium dioxide production workers may be exposed to high
dust concentrations during packing, milling, site cleaning and maintenance,
if there are insufficient dust control measures in place. It is noted that human
studies to date have not found an association between the occupational
exposure to titanium dust and lung cancer.
Canada‟s hazardous communications system is known as the Workplace
Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and the WHMIS
Controlled Products Regulations require that chemicals, listed in Group 1
or Group 2 in the IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of the Carcinogenic
Risk of Chemicals to Humans, be classified under WHMIS Class D2A
(carcinogenic). Representatives from Health Canada (National Office of
WHMIS) agreed that titanium dioxide now meets the criteria for WHMIS D2A
(carcinogen) based on the information released by IARC to date, and that it
is not necessary to wait for release of the full monograph. Based on this new
information, manufacturers and suppliers of titanium dioxide are advised
to review and update their material safety data sheets and product labels.
Employers should review their occupational hygiene programs to ensure that
exposure to titanium dioxide dust is eliminated or reduced to the minimum
possible. Workers should be educated concerning this potential newly
recognized risk to their health and trained in proper work procedures.
CCOH Health & Safety Report, August 2006
http://www.ccohs.com

Iron Complexes Take On Problematic Pesticides
2006-09-13
It has been revealed that iron(III) tetraamido macrocyclic ligand (TAML)
complexes developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University
increase the oxidizing power of hydrogen peroxide under mild conditions,
making the inexpensive catalysts useful for many environmental cleanup
processes such as the treatment of pulp and paper processing by-products;
reducing sulfur in fuels; deactivating bacterial spores; and degrading trace
amounts of bisphenol A, estrogens, and active pharmaceutical ingredients
in wastewater. In a new study, Terrence J. Collins and his coworkers
reported, TAML catalysts can completely break down the thiophosphate
triester pesticides fenitrothion, parathion, and chlorpyrifos methyl, which
are under scrutiny as hormone-disrupting chemicals Standard chemical
and enzyme-mediated hydrolysis processes used to detoxify pesticide
stockpiles or clean up contaminated sites produce hydrosylates that often
contain toxic degradation compounds that require further treatment, Collins
notes. The low-toxicity TAML catalysts, used at micromolar concentrations,
quickly convert the pesticides primarily to low-toxicity small organic acids,
dimethyl phosphate, SO42-, NO2-, and NO3-. The development is one of
the first examples of “deliberately producing a highly effective degradation
procedure for an endocrine-disrupting chemical with the hope that it might
eventually be used for environmental protection,” Collins says.
Chemical & Engineering News, 7 September 2006
http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news

Sunlight turns antiepileptic drug into harmful compound
2006-09-13
Initial research for pharmaceuticals in the environment, revealed some of
the highest concentrations found were for residues of the antiepileptic drug
carbamazepine, which showed up in a variety of places, including drinking-
water treatment plants and sewage effluent. The drug is sold under the
name Tegretol and is used to treat seizures as well as bipolar disorder.
According to new research, when carbamazepine is exposed to sunlight
in an estuary-like setting, it breaks down into a more toxic compound,
acridine. There are 12 steps involved in the degradation of Carbamazepine.
Acridine is produced following the fourth step, this substance is more toxic
than the original drug. Carbamazepine‟s structure-three rings of carbon
with an amine attached-makes it susceptible to fracturing under certain
conditions. It was this weakness that researchers focused on when studying
its photochemistry. Previous research has shown that in the presence of
hydrogen peroxide and UV light, carbamazepine breaks down to acridine,
which is both mutagenic and carcinogenic. The widespread consumption
of carbamazepine is reflected in the high environmental concentrations
observed. It has been found at levels up to several micrograms per liter in
sewage treatment plants.
A team of researchers led by Serge Chiron at the University of Provence
(France) investigated the photodegradation of carbamazepine by
establishing laboratory conditions that mimic the natural estuary waters of
the RhÙne delta in southern France. By adding humic acids, Fe(III), and
nitrate to tap water, they created “artificial” river water. The carbamazepine
then underwent irradiation experiments using mercury lamps emitting UV
and visible wavelengths to simulate natural light. The results showed the
drug was photodegraded into several intermediate forms. The researchers
paid particular attention to the behaviour of carbamazepine in the presence
of chlorine. Acidine was detected among the breakdown products. The
compound is relatively stable, and after 8 hours, its concentrations
accounted for 10% of the carbamazepine in the initial samples. The final
three degradation products were chlorinated. Researchers comment that
the results cannot be scaled up to estimate the amount of the potential
mutagen produced in the environment.
Environmental Science & Technology News, 30 August 2006
http://pubs.acs.org/journals/esthag/index.html

Dioxins down
2006-09-13
According to the US Department of Agriculture, the levels of dioxin-like
compounds (DLC) including dioxins, furans, and dioxin-like polychlorinated
biphenyls, have dropped in chickens, hogs, and turkeys. DLCs are found
everywhere in the environment, produced by forest fires and volcanic activity
as well as industrial processes, such as chemical manufacturing and waste
incineration. They can persist for decades and accumulate in body fat of
food animals leading to human exposure and consequent health concerns.
USDA scientist Cynthia Deyrup and colleagues surveyed DLC levels in
the four slaughter classes that represent about 90% of meat and poultry
production in the US and found levels for 2002-2003 to be between 20 and
80 percent lower than those reported in less extensive tests carried out in
1994-1996. Her report points out that all the meat products tested had levels
of DLCs below those recommended as acceptable in the European Union.
Alchemist News, 22 August 2006

Surprising release of metals from CO2 storage
2006-09-13
Scientists are generating encouraging results in a study that involves
injecting CO2 into the earth. This method remains one of the more promising
methods of getting rid of the greenhouse gas. So far, rocks, composed of
porous sandstone filled with salty water many hundreds of meters below the
surface, are the main storage-site candidates. Scientists prepare to add a
suite of organic and inorganic tracer gases to a high-pressure CO2 line as it
is injected into the Frio Formation. Scientist have issued a cautionary note on
CO2 storage based on geochemical data received from a U.S project, which
injected CO2 into a similar formation near Houston, Texas. They indicate
that because CO2 makes the deep groundwater more acidic, metals in
the sandstone get released. The project‟s geochemist, Yousif Kharaka of
the U.S. Geological Survey and colleagues reported “We observed rapid
dissolution of calcite and mobilization of large amounts of iron and other
metals as a result of [a] major drop of pH from 6.4 to 3.” He added that
the results were not a snag to CO2 storage in the continental sedimentary
basins, but the data does strongly suggest that CO2 injection wells should
use acid-resistant cements and that abandoned wells should be avoided
or monitored carefully. Susan Hovorka, a geologist at the Texas Bureau
of Economic Geology and the lead investigator on the project said “These
former oil and gas wells were never engineered to last for a long time.”
In addition she said that these wells should be avoided as most of them
were shallow and in regards to CO2 sequestration, deeper is considered
better. The release of metals identified by Kharaka represents “a new
element of risk, because it shows the potential for reactive chemistry that
could be of concern,” says geologist Julio Friedmann at the Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory. “But these new results are not likely to
present a substantial complication to underground storage,” he adds. This
is because metal-bearing oxides and hydroxides usually make up <1% of
saline aquifers and such aquifers have kept saline brines isolated over 100-
million-year geological timescales. The projects known as Frio, after the
rock formation where the gas is stored, was initiated in 2004. Researchers
compressed the first batch of 1600 t of CO2 into a supercritical fluid, heated
it to ~16ºC, and pumped it into a 24-meter-thick sandstone layer ~1 mile
below the surface. Enough data has already been collected to be confident
that such rock formations have the ability to hold CO2 for a long time said
Hovorka. However, guidelines are required to determine a good place from
a bad place, she adds. Reactions that dissolve and crystallize minerals are
a mixed blessing, says geochemist Ernie Perkins with the Alberta Research
Council (Canada).
He notes that observations at Weyburn and elsewhere document other,
slower reactions that eventually lead to the crystallization of new minerals.
Initial dissolution of carbonates in the formation makes it easier to inject
CO2, he says, by clearing pathways through the rock. Later crystallization
reactions can retain CO2 by enclosing it in new minerals and reducing
pore space in the rock, thus preventing the gas from percolating up. But if
the crystallization reactions occur while CO2 is still being pumped into the
formation, then they could interfere with the injection by blocking pathways.
It is this reactivity that will dictate the selection of appropriate storage sites.
Hovorka says she hopes that the US government will approve larger-scale
CO2 storage projects soon. On 25 July, FutureGen, a U.S government-
industry alliance, short-listed 2 sites in Illinois and 2 in Texas for the final
location for its coal-gasification and CO2-sequestration project to be
completed by 2012. On August 21, scientists initiated the next stage of the
Frio project. They will seek to quantify how much CO2 is dissolved in the
water underground and how much is trapped as gas.
Environmental Science & Technology News, 6 September 2006
http://pubs.acs.org/journals/esthag/index.html

Still Dyeing After 2,000 Years
2006-09-13
According to a new report, it is suggested that people have been using
nanomaterials to improve upon nature for at least 2,000 years. Researchers
in France have found that an ancient hair-coloring concoction turns tresses
black via the formation of lead sulfide nanoparticles within the hair shaft.
“During the second century C.E., Claudius Galen, the most famous doctor
in the Roman Empire, described exactly how to use a mixture of lead oxide
and slaked lime [Ca(OH)2] to dye hair black,” explains Philippe Walter, a
senior scientist at the Paris-based CNRS Research & Restoration Center
of Museums in France, who led the research. It was applied in the form of
a paste and stripped sulfur from amino acids in the hair‟s keratin proteins,
forming darkly colored PbS within the hair. Records have shown that similar
formulations were used during medieval times, the Renaissance and by
18th-century chemists in France to dye hair and wool. The coloring product
Grecian Formula still uses this lead-based chemistry to gradually darken
gray hair. Walter and colleagues worked in conjunction with scientist at
L‟OrÈal, to re-created Galen‟s recipe and studied progressively darkening
hair with modern analytical techniques. The results demonstrated PbS forms
quantum-dot-like crystals about 5 nm across. Walter said that what they
found surprising was that “despite the complexity of the hair and its relative
chemical inertness, metal sulfide nanoparticles easily crystallize and get
organized inside this biomaterial.” In contrast to modern nanotechnology,
Walter adds, the dyeing process uses basic chemistry techniques and
inexpensive natural materials.
Chemical & Engineering News, 11 September 2006
http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news
Pesticides lurk in daycare centers
2006-09-13
According to the results of a nationwide study, millions of children are
exposed to pesticides while attending daycare. This is the first study of
insecticide residues in U.S. daycare centers. The study found low levels of
organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides. At this stage the health impacts
of these findings remain unclear, but questions have been raised regarding
the risks children are facing from these chemicals. Nicolle Tulve, a research
scientist with the U.S. EPA‟s National Exposure Research Laboratory said that
the study detected at least one pesticide in every daycare centre, although
the concentrations were relative low. She did not comment on whether
these concentrations might be harmful but notes that no health advisories or
national standards currently exist for such exposures. Researcher enlisted
168 daycare centers across the country into the study. At each centre, a
technician wiped samples from indoor surfaces, such as floors and tables,
and collected soil from outdoor play areas. Managers at each facility were
also questioned regarding the cleaning and pest-management practices.
Tests were conducted for 39 pesticides, and 63% of the centers reported
applying up to 10 different insecticides. Organophosphate and pyrethroid
pesticides cropped up most often, and three of the four centers with the
most pesticides detected were in the South, where warm weather brings out
the bugs.
Lynn Goldman, who is a professor of applied health at Johns Hopkins
University and a former EPA official in charge of the agency‟s pesticide
program said that the study provided opportunities to teach childcare
workers to manage pests in the safest way possible. “These chemicals
should be avoided around children, and if needed, bait traps, which do not
leave residues on the floors and surfaces, are preferable, as long as they
are kept out of the reach of children,” she says. Goldman says that she was
disappointed that the agency did not use the results to characterize how
much exposure to pesticides children face. Paul Lioy, the deputy director of
the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute at Rutgers
University, agrees. He says that aggregating the total exposures could help
to identify individuals with sensitivity to these chemicals. Over the past
decade more state have past legislation to regulate the use of pesticides in
daycare centers. California is currently considering a bill to require daycare
owners to notify parents when they are treating for pests.
Environmental Science & Technology News, 6 September 2006
http://pubs.acs.org/journals/esthag/index.html

Carcinogenic Effect of Inhaled Formaldehyde Sufficiently
Documented
2006-09-13
According to the results from a new study conducted by the Federal Institute
for Risk Assessment in Germany, “Formaldehyde is harmful; it irritates the
mucous membranes and can trigger cancer in the nasopharynx when it
is inhaled.” The Institute believes that there is sufficient evidence that this
substance can trigger tumours in the nasopharynx when inhaled. Changes
to the classification of this chemical have been proposed. The harmful action
of formaldehyde depends on the concentration. “Scarcely any carcinogenic
effect is to be expected at indoor air levels of or below 124 micrograms
formaldehyde per cubic metre”, said the President of the Federal Institute,
Professor Dr. Andreas Hensel. However, repeated exposure to levels
exceeding this value may entail risks to health, he added.
BRF, May 2006
http:// www.bfr.bund.de

New Health Hazard Evaluation Reports Focus On Welding
Fumes, Mold And Ergonomic Stressors
2006-09-13
National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) recently
released three health hazard evaluation reports: one dealing with smoke from
plasma cutting and welding, a second with ergonomic aspects associated
with the lifting of materials, and a third with health problems related to mold
exposure for employees in a marine terminal. The first report evaluated the
exposure to welding fumes, initiated by an employee who requested that
an assessment be conducted on whether smoke from plasma cutting and
welding was associated with employee complaints of sore throat, runny nose,
eye irritation, coughing, migraines and vomiting. The findings suggested
that exposures to metal fumes, carbon monoxide and ozone did not exceed
applicable occupational exposure limits. In order to address those symptoms
report, the NIOSH recommended improvement in the general ventilation and
hazard communication training. The second report, evaluated ergonomic
factors at a building products distribution facility. The study was conducted
at the request of the management to address concerns about ergonomic
aspects associated with the lifting of materials when filling customer orders.
The result of the evaluation found that good practices were generally used
by the workers, such as positioning themselves to avoid reaching across
pallets while lifting, and adjusting the height of storage and delivery pallets.
However, the evaluation found a risk of musculoskeletal injuries when factors
such as the weight of objects being lifted were assessed through the Revised
NIOSH Lifting Equation and other criteria. NIOSH recommended the use
of lifting devices and reducing the weights of bundled building materials to
reduce the risk of injury. The thirds report, contains details of an evaluation of
mold exposure at a marine terminal. This study was conducted in response
to requests from managers of a cruise line and U.S. Customs and Border
Protection, operating at a marine terminal. The requests concerned possible
health problems related to mold exposure. Employees in the marine terminal
had higher rates of respiratory complaints than employees from a nearby,
non-contaminated facility. In order to address these complaints, NIOSH
investigators recommended that vapor barriers between interior and exterior
walls be installed, seal holds in the building envelope, evaluate engineering
options to stop water from entering the building, improve ventilation, conduct
routine maintenance, and seek evaluation and care from an experienced
occupational medicine physician.
Occupational Health & Safety News, 9 August 2006
http://www.ohsonline.com

TCE data hold key to cancer study in Endicott
2006-09-13
This fall, federal scientist will know if they have enough data to justify a
study that could determine whether exposure to TCE pollution is responsible
for high rates of certain cancers near the former IBM Corporation plant on
North Street in Endicott. An assessment was conducted by the Agency for
Toxic Substance & Disease Registry (ATSDR) which found that cancer risks
from the plant‟s air emissions from 1987 to 1993 were low, but it was unable
to factor in emissions from millions of pounds of trichloroethylene (TCE)
used there before the chemical was gradually phased out in the mid-1980s.
The risk from exposure to three other chemicals - formaldehyde, methylene
chloride and perc vhloroethylene- were calculated. The report concluded that
the collective cancer risk was low. This meaning one in 10,000 people living
next to the plant, could be expected to develop the disease from exposure
to the chemicals. These calculations are a hypothetical way to express risk,
taking into account only exposure to those chemicals and not many other
contributing factors, and it does not apply to actual cancer cases in the area,
scientists cautioned.
Scientists were unable to determine health risks associated with emissions
prior to 1987, as this was the time that stricter reporting and emission
standards were introduced. However, public exposure to TCE was “probably
higher” than to all other chemicals used during that time, it concluded. This
detail may be import in future research that will attempt to determine the
cause of excessive rates of congenial heart defects, testicular cancer and
kidney cancer in neighborhoods south and south west of the plant. Previous
studies have shown an association between these diseases and exposure
to TCE. The report could not quantify risks from TCE emissions from the
plant because of incomplete documentation, according to the report. One
document, however, offered an important clue. From 1965 to 1968, the plant
used at least 7.35 million pounds of the chemical each year. “That is greater
than any other chemical for any other time period,” said John Wilhelmi, a
chemical engineer who contributed to the ATSDR report. Records for air
permits showed that the chemical was still being used in 1986, although it is
likely that it was being used in much smaller quantities. The report concluded
that IBM “phased out most of its TCE uses by the mid-1980s.”
TCE wafting from the plant -- called fugitive emissions -- through doors or
windows or emitted through the stack in previous years could be a significant
piece of a larger puzzle of how much TCE people were exposed to in drinking
water, outdoor air and indoor air, said Greg Ulirsch, a scientist with the agency.
Previously TCE has tainted the local water supply, the origin of this source
remains unknown. Additionally, vapors from a subterranean plume of TCE
and similar chemicals have been found entering hundreds of buildings to the
south of the plant, now owned by Huron Real Estate Associates, through a
process called vapor intrusion. Those areas include neighborhoods where
excessive rates of heart defects and cancers were documented. Officials
from the ATSDR, which joined the state Department of Health in the Endicott
TCE investigation after the vapor intrusion problem was discovered in 2003,
will know whether it can justify an even more intensive follow-up study in
the fall. Some of that will depend on whether scientists think they have the
scientific wherewithal -- called “statistical power” -- to document a causal
relationship between cancers and chemical exposure.
Press Connect.com News, 26 July 2006
http://www.pressconnects.com

Cold Deli Viruses
2006-09-13
According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, eating cold deli
meats could keep you healthy. Last week the FDA approved a cocktail of
six viruses as food additives to be sprayed on ready-to-eat meat before
it is packages to protect against Listeria monocytogenes. This bacterium
sometimes grows on cold meat and causes about 2500 cases of severe
food poisoning and 500 deaths a year in the US alone. The virus in the
additive are bacteriophages, that is they only attack bacterial cells, and are
the first to gain FDA approval for use as a food additive. Since they do not
harm plant or animal cells they should be safe for human consumption - in
fact some of the viral bacteriophages naturally inhibit the human digestive
tract. Intralytix of Baltimore, Maryland, which developed the additive, says
that it has licensed the product to an undisclosed multinational company.
New Scientist Magazine, 26 August 2006

Can chemicals in our home cause deformities?
2006-09-13
Growing numbers of boys are being born with malformed genitals. This
condition is called hypospadias - a birth abnormality where the hole in the
penis lies underneath the shaft, or in more severe cases, at the base of
the penis or underneath the scrotum. In some cases the penis is very bent
and will grow back on itself, in the shape of a doughnut. In severe cases, it
is difficult to identify a penis at all. At best the problem is largely cosmetic
and can be rectified in a single operation. At worst boys are left infertile and
unable to have sex. Of every 150 to 200 boys born in the UK, one will have
hypospadias - and doctors believe that cases have doubled over the past
25 years. It happens during the first three or four months of pregnancy and
is a result of incomplete masculinisation. During the development of babies
with hypospadias, something disrupts the hormonal changes a foetus
goes through to become male. Research in Denmark points to a group of
chemicals - phthalates - found in objects such as plastic, carpets, fabric,
make-up, food packaging, perfume, cosmetics, milk, vegetables, pesticides
and sun cream. They are known as endocrine disrupters and are believed
to upset the balance of hormones during the early stages of pregnancy.
Professor Richard Sharpe of the Medical Research Council‟s Human
Reproductive Sciences Unit suggests that there‟s a link between incidents of
hypospadias, undescended testes, low sperm-count and testicular cancers.
“We don‟t yet know the exact cause of these problems, but they are all
inter-related. It seems that the increase in these abnormalities is to do with
environmental and lifestyle factors. It is something that has only happened
recently,” Sharpe says.
Aivar Bracka, a consultant genito-urethral plastic surgeon at Russells Hall
Hospital in Dudley, operates on hundreds of cases of hypospadias every
year and says that he would be surprised if there was not an environment
cause for the condition. “In particular, it explains cases of identical twins
where one is born with hypospadias and the other isn‟t. This means that
genetics doesn‟t account for everything.” Although hereditary factors do,
however, play a part in some cases. It is not unusual for more than one
male in a family to have hypospadias. Studies have shown that boys with
hypospadias tend to have a slightly lower sperm-count and 1 in 10 boys
are also born with undescended testicles. If one testicle descends there is,
again, a small but significant increase of infertility. If both fail to descend, that
likelihood shoots up to 80 per cent. The European Parliament will be finalising
legislation this autumn on the use of toxic chemicals in household products.
Greenpeace wants to see the use of phthalates, a group of chemicals that
may be responsible for disrupting hormones during pregnancy, restricted
and safer ones used. It also wants the chemical content of products to be
clearly stated on labels so that consumers know what to avoid. Even if
Greenpeace succeed in their bid, it is unclear whether the rise in conditions
such as hypospadias can be reversed. But it does seem clear that some
lifestyle and environmental factors must be addressed.
For a list of products to avoid, see www.greenpeace.org.uk/products/toxics
The Independent News, 12 September 2006
http://www.independent.co.uk

Popcorn protection
2006-09-13
The FDA plans to investigate whether consumers of microwave popcorn
are at risk from breathing the same artificial-butter chemical that scientists
have linked to the disease referred to as “popcorn worker‟s lung”. Michael
Cheeseman, associate director of the Food and Drug Administration‟s Office
of Food Additive Safety said that they are currently looking into questions
that might be raised by exposure. Public health experts have been surprised
by this news as they have been lobbying the Bush administration to take
more aggressive steps in determining consumer risks and preventing
further outbreaks of the disease in the food and flavoring industries. David
Michaels, a George Washington University professor of public health who
has been tracking the government‟s response to the flavoring-chemical
hazard said that the government had done a back flip on this issue. FDA
officials had maintained that consumers are not harmed by the buttery
chemical vapors released when they open a bag of fresh-popped kernels.
However, the safety data the agency is relying on to support this decision,
originates from the flavoring industry and date back to the early 1980s. These
studies also only address the ingestion of the butter-flavoring chemical, not
the inhalation of the vapor, which is what disabled dozens at microwave-
popcorn plants in the Midwest and killed at least three. Recently, doctors
have discovered the lung disease in Southern California flavoring factories
that use the butter-mimicking chemical, called diacetyl. Cheeseman said
that the FDA‟s decision to investigate the consumer-safety of these products
was decided about a month ago after learning that the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency was measuring emissions from microwave popcorn. The
data collected by the EPA will be reviewed to determine whether it raises
a question we need to address, Cheesemen said. Popcorn worker‟s lung
is a form of bronchiolitis obliterans, a potentially fatal disease that literally
obliterates the bronchioles - the lungs‟ tiniest airways - resulting in drastically
reduced breathing capacity.
South Coast Today News, 12 September 2006
http://www.southcoasttoday.com

Vapors from some mothballs and deodorizers may harm
lungs
2006-09-13
A recent study has associated the potentially carcinogenic chemical
- paradichlorobenzene - with reduced lung function in humans.
Paradichlorobenzene is found in some mothballs and toilet deodorizers and
is known as a potential carcinogen and respiratory irritant. Researchers
from the National Institutes of Health, using data on 953 adults, examined
the outcomes of lung function tests and blood levels of 11 volatile organic
compounds--potentially harmful chemicals that are found in thousands of
products and evaporate easily at room temperature. Only one compound,
1,4-dichlorobenzene (1,4-DCB), was associated with reduced lung function
after researchers took other factors, such as smoking, into consideration.
Study participants with the highest levels of the chemical in their bloodstream
scored 4 percent lower than those with the lowest levels on a test measuring
airway capacity. While the reduction in lung function was modest and may
even be transient, it could precede permanent damage, explains Leslie
Elliott, Ph.D., the study‟s lead author. People with respiratory conditions,
children, and the elderly may also be more vulnerable to the effects of the
chemical. Researchers could not categorically identify the source of 1,4-
DCB exposure, but the chemical has been used as the primary ingredient
in some mothballs and toilet deodorizers as well as industrial-use room
deodorizers. The use of paradichlorobenzenes in toilet blocks and solid air
fresheners has recently been banned in California. Researchers suggest
increasing ventilation in areas where those products are used may help to
reduce exposure to the chemical. Still, that may not always be feasible,
since the products are often designed for bathrooms, closets, and other
small spaces. To protect clothes without using mothballs, put clean seasonal
clothing in airtight containers and store them in a cool place.
Consumer Reports, 12 September 2006
http://www.consumerreports.org/

Tracking Toxicants in Canadians
2006-09-13
In May 2006, Health Canada announced that it would undertake a national
biomonitoring program to measure levels of toxic chemicals in the bodies of
Canadians. The announcement came as the NGO Environmental Defense
prepared to release the results of its own tests, the first look at the amounts
of chemicals showing up in Canadian adults and children. That study found
46 of 68 chemicals tested for, with an average of 32 chemicals appearing in
adults and 23 in children. Compounds such as polychlorinated biphenyls and
DDT were found in children born years after these chemicals were banned.
It is not yet known whether the new program, set to begin in late
92007, will be permanent.
Environmental Health Perspectives, September 2006
http://ehponline.org
Roadside Meth Risk
2006-09-13
According to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse, every pound of
methamphetamine produced means 5 to 7 pounds of toxic materials. Now
roadside cleanup volunteers and maintenance workers are being educated
about the dangers of picking up litter tossed out when meth labs clean
house. People coming across such materials can experience skin burns
or lung damage from touching or inhaling fumes from meth waste. Several
state and local agencies have created brochures and videos to educate
their workers. Hints indicating a roadside meth dumpsite include bottles with
rubber hoses attached, the smell of ammonia, and coffee filters stained red
or containing a white powdery residue.
Environmental Health Perspectives, September 2006
http://ehponline.org

A Plan for Farm Plastics
2006-09-13
Farmers use “ag plastics” for a wide variety of purposes-dairy and silage
bags, coverings for crops, wrappings for hay bales, and more-and
thousands of tons are burned, buried, or dumped annually. Now Cornell
University researcher Lois Levitan is developing a pilot program to collect
and recycle used plastic film sheeting from New York dairies and nurseries.
Levitan reports that about half of discarded ag plastic is burned, which
generates emissions of dioxin and other hazardous chemicals. Other waste
plastic is often plowed into the ground, where it can become a breeding
place for insect pests as well as trap and choke wildlife. Levitan suggests
recycling plastics into fence posts, plastic lumber, garbage bags, and other
uses, or converting the plastic resin content to a fuel. Environmental Health
Perspectives, September 2006
http://ehponline.org

Mandarins „cut liver cancer risk‟
2006-09-13
A new study has suggested that eating mandarins may cut the risk of
developing liver cancer and other diseases. Japanese scientists found
the key were vitamin A compounds called carotenoids, which give the fruit
its orange colour. One study found eating mandarins cut the risk of liver
disease, hardened arteries and insulin resistance. In a second study, the
results suggested that drinking the fruit‟s juice cut the risk of patients with
chronic viral hepatitis developing liver cancer. In the first study, scientists
at the National Institute of Fruit Tree Science surveyed 1,073 people in the
Japanese town, Mikkabi, in Shizuoka, who ate a high number of mandarin
oranges. They found chemical markers in the population‟s blood samples
linked to a lower risk of several serious conditions. A team at Kyoto Prefectural
University of Medicine, studied 30 patients with viral hepatitis who had a
daily drink containing carotenoids and mandarin juice for a year. After a year,
no liver cancer was found in the group, compared to a rate of 8.9% among a
group of 45 patients with the same condition that did not drink the juice. The
Japanese researchers say that further research is needed to confirm these
results and plan to continue the study for five years.
BBC News, 11 September 2006
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health

Study Finds Long Trips Associated With Greater Risk Of
Venous Thrombosis
2006-09-13
According to a new study, traveling for more than four hours by air, car,
bus or train is associated with an increased risk of venous thrombosis.
The research involved nearly 2,000 people with a first thrombosis in the
Netherlands, Dr. Suzanne Cannegieter and colleagues from the Leiden
University Medical Center examined the risk factors for thrombosis compared
with their partners, who did not have thrombosis. The results showed that
233 of the people with thrombosis had traveled for more than four hours in
the eight weeks preceding the event. Although the overall risk of developing
thrombosis is still low, traveling in general was found to increase the risk of
venous thrombosis two-fold, the researchers said. The risk was highest in
the first week after traveling, and the overall risk of flying was largely similar
to the risks of traveling by car, bus, or train. In addition, the study also found
that certain groups were at higher risk such as people with specific mutation
in one gene for clotting had an eight-fold increase; people who had a body
mass index of more than 30kg/m2 had almost a 10-fold increase; there was
found to be a four-fold increase in people who were more than 6 foot, 3
inches tall; and more than 20-fold in those who used oral contraceptives.
Other results showed that increased risk for particular groups was apparent
with particular modes of transport such as people shorter than 5 feet, 3
inches had an almost five-fold risk of thrombosis after air travel. However,
the numbers of people in each of these groups was small and hence the
estimates of risk must be interpreted carefully. In conclusion, the authors
said that the risk of thrombosis is moderately increased for all modes of
travel, and that particular groups are at greater risk. The fact that thrombosis
is associated with all modes of travel suggests that immobility is a key factor.
Other mechanisms, such as reduced oxygen levels triggering clotting, may
be involved in the particularly increased risk seen in air travel in some groups.
It is suggested that people at great risk should take preventative measure
such as doing exercises. However, the study‟s results apply only to people
younger than 70 years of age, and it is likely that other characteristics exist
that also increases the risk. These characteristics are being investigated in
an ongoing study.
Occupational Health & Safety News, 28 August 2006
http://www.ohsonline.com

Study: Sunscreen Can Damage Skin
2006-09-13
According to a research team led by University of California - Riverside
(UC Riverside), unless people out in the sun apply sunscreen often, the
sunscreen itself can become harmful to the skin. The effects of sunlight
are well known -- overexposure can cause immediate damage, such as
sunburn, and long-term problems, such as skin cancer and cataracts.
When skin is exposed to sunlight, ultraviolet radiation (UV) is absorbed
by skin molecules that then can generate harmful compounds, called
reactive oxygen species or ROS, which are highly reactive molecules that
can cause “oxidative damage.” For example, ROS can react with cellular
components like cell walls, lipid membranes, mitochondria and DNA,
leading to skin damage and increasing the visible signs of aging. When
sunscreen is applied to the skin, molecules called UV filters within the
sunscreen cut down the amount of UV radiation that can penetrate the skin.
Over time, though, these filters penetrate into the skin below the surface of
the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, leaving the body vulnerable to
UV radiation. The research was led by Kerry M. Hanson, a senior research
scientist in the Department of Chemistry at UC Riverside, the researchers
report that three UV filters (octylmethoxycinnamate, benzophenone-3 and
octocrylene), which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration
and widely used in sunscreens, generate ROS in skin themselves when
exposed to ultraviolet radiation, thus augmenting the ROS that is naturally
produced. It is noted that additional ROS is only generated when the UV
filters have penetrated into the skin and, at the same time, sunscreen has
not been reapplied to prevent ultraviolet radiation from reaching these filters.
Christopher Bardeen, an assistant professor of chemistry at UC Riverside
said that sunscreens do an excellent job of protecting the skin again sunburn
when applied correctly, which means using a sunscreen with a high sun
protection factor and applying it uniformly on the skin. Our data show, that
if coverage at the skin surface is low, the UV filters in sunscreens that have
penetrated into the epidermis can potentially do more harm than good. More
advanced sunscreens that ensure that the UV-filters stay on the skin surface
are needed; such filters would reduce the level of UV-induced ROS. Another
solution may be to mix the UV-filters with antioxidants since antioxidants
have been shown to reduce UV-induced ROS levels in the skin.” In the
study, the researchers used epidermal model tissue and applied sunscreen
to the surface to test the effect of sunscreen penetration on ROS levels in
the deep epidermis. A two-photon fluorescence microscope allowed them
to visualize ROS generation occurring below the skin surface. The ROS
activity was detected using a probe molecule whose fluorescent properties
change upon exposure to ROS. On comparing images taken before and
after the skin was exposed to UV radiation, they found that ROS generation
in the skin increased after sunscreen penetration. “For now, the best advice
is to use sunscreens and re-apply them often -- the Skin Cancer Foundation
recommends every two hours, and especially after sweating or swimming,
which can wash away sunscreen -- to reduce the amount of UV radiation from
getting through to filters that have penetrated the skin,” Bardeen said. “This,
in turn, would reduce ROS generation.” The next step for the researchers is
to investigate the effects of smog on ROS generation in the skin.
Occupational Health & Safety News, 5 September 2006
http://www.ohsonline.com

Study: Inhaled Nanoparticles Take Direct Route to Brain
2006-09-13
According to a study by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical
Centre, when rats inhaled nano-sized manganese oxide particles at a
concentration routinely inhaled by factory welders, the tiny particles followed
a rapid and efficient pathway from the nasal cavity to several regions of the
brain. The research is part of an ongoing effort by the University of Rochester
Medical Center to find out if the tiniest airborne particles pose a health risk.
The ultrafine manganese oxide particles used in this study are common
in industrial plants, and are the same size as nanoparticles. Changes in
the gene expression for the signaling of inflammation and a cellular stress
response in the rats were observed. At this stage it is unclear if a buildup of
ultrafine particles causes brain damage, said lead author Alison Elder, Ph.D.,
research assistant professor of Environmental Medicine. In 2004 the U.S.
Department of Defense selected the University of Rochester Medical Center
to lead a five-year, investigation into whether the chemical characteristics
of nanoparticles determine how they will interact with or cause harm to
animal and human cells. The current study demonstrated that the particles
passed quickly through the rats‟ nostrils to the olfactory bulb, a region of
the brain near the nasal cavity. They settled in the striatum, frontal cortex,
cerebellum and lungs. After 12 days, the concentration of ultrafine particles
in the olfactory bulb rose 3.5-fold and doubled in the lungs, the study found.
Although the ultra-tiny particles did not cause obvious lung inflammation,
several biomarkers of inflammation and stress response, such as tumor
necrosis factor and macrophage inflammatory protein, increased significantly
in the brain, according to gene and protein analyses. The authors concluded
that although there are differences between the human and rodent olfactory
systems, the findings suggest that this pathway is likely to be operative in
humans.
Occupational Health & Safety News, 7 August 2006
http://www.ohsonline.com

Mayo Clinic Researchers Enhance Safety and
Effectiveness of Therapeutic Virus that Fights Cancer
2006-09-13
In a new study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic in conjunction with
colleagues in Germany, a multilevel safety feature for viruses used to treat
cancer has been developed. While aiming to make cancer-killing viruses
more specific to cancer tumor cells, the researcher have improved the
therapeutic effectiveness of viruses. This was achieved by engineering
a modified measles virus that turns on only in the presence of secretions
specific to malignant cancer cells. In effect, this virus uses proteins secreted
by cancer cells as the unique key to the virus‟ ignition. The investigation was
performed in laboratory mice that were transplanted with a human cancer.
The process is still in the experimental phase and will be years away from
clinical use in humans. However, the results may be immediately useful in
designing improved cancer treatments for humans. “Our work shows that
oncolytic measles virus particle activation can be made dependent on
substances secreted by cancer cells, and this enhances safety,” explains
Roberto Cattaneo, Ph.D., lead researcher on the Mayo team. “By doing this,
our study broadens the safeguarding strategies possible to tightly restrict
the targeted virus to cancer cells.” The researchers say that this advance
provides a method of designing a safe, stable therapeutic virus that reliably
targets and kills cancer cells.
Importantly, it appears to greatly reduce the possibility that the virus would
erroneously turn on and harm the patient by causing unintended infection.
The approach has been known for nearly a century -- but constrained by
safety concerns. Measles virus is one example of an oncolytic virus. For
example, the live attenuated Edmonston measles vaccine strain can reduce
or eliminate human lymphoma, myeloma, ovarian cancer and glioma
tumors that are transplanted into laboratory mice. The success of oncolytic
virotherapy depends on restriction of viral growth to cancer cells --and only
cancer cells -- to prevent unintended rogue infections elsewhere in the
healthy body. The Mayo cancer-activated virus adds one more layer to a
multiple safeguard system, so it now consists of three levels. The resulting
enhanced security system now works at the level of:
• activation of the virus particle
• receptor recognition necessary for the virus to enter a cancer cell
• ability of the virus to multiply preferentially in cancer cells
These multiple safeguards are specific to and dependent on cancer cells
- and are therefore vital to fully transforming viruses into safe therapeutic
agents.
Bio.com News, 4 August 2006
http://www.bio.com

Microbes Can Clean up Toxic Waste Dumps - Scientist
2006-09-13
An Australian scientist has reported that microbes with a taste for toxic
waste may hold the solution to cleaning up contaminated industrial sites and
poisoned waterways across the globe, saving billions of dollars in cleanup
bills. Microbes found in old waste sites in Australia not only tolerate lethal
soil and water cocktails created by waste petroleum and chlorine, but can
break them down so they no longer threaten humans, the scientist said.
Megha Mallavarapu, from a government-backed environmental research
centre based in South Australia said
“We have isolated bacteria which can live on those waste compounds,” “We
are enhancing the microbes present, adding the altered bacteria were able
to break down toxins faster.” He added that industrial contamination is one
of the greatest threats facing societies worldwide, with Australia alone facing
an A$5 billion (US$3.8 billion) cleanup bill. “Anywhere there has been a fuel
dump, a munitions store, an old chemical factory or heavy manufacturing
plant, there is potential for toxic substances to leak into groundwater
underneath,” said Mallavarapu. The centre, set up to develop and export
new ways to repair ravaged environments, said it was training researchers
in Bangladesh, India, China and South Korea to deal with the problem. But
Mallavarapu said there was no single super-bug or solution, especially in
heavily contaminated sites. He said scientists first had to look for new types
of bacteria and enhance them, or provide oxygen or food to lift their numbers.
“It depends on the nature of the contaminant at each particular site,” he said.
“Sometimes we have to help nature.”
Planet Ark News, 11 September 2006
http://www.planetark.org


Environmental
Modeling human exposures to air pollution control (APC)
residues released from landfills in England and Wales
2006-09-11
This study investigated human exposure to air pollution control (APC)
residues released from 6 landfills. A qualitative risk characterization,
direct and indirect exposures were quantified. Site-specific air dispersion
modeling was conducted for PM10, PCDDs/PCDFs, Pb, Cd, As and CrVI
concentrations at the closest residential points of exposure for 4 landfill sites
accepting, in total, 75% weight/weight of the APC residues disposed of in
2000-2001 (UK). The results demonstrated that inhalation risks, assessed
by reference to air quality standards at residential exposure points, were
insignificant. Preliminary modeling suggested that indirect exposures from
PCDDs/PCDFs at the 95th percentile level for the site where APC deposition
rates were highest could potentially exceed the tolerable daily soil intake
(TDSI) but this warrants further study given the model limitations. The authors
concluded that these findings offer an initial screen of the significance of
potential risks from APC disposal, which is of value in addressing concerns
about the uncertainty of potential risks to human health from bulk APC
disposal at strategic locations.
Authors: Macleod, Christopher; Duarte-Davidson, Raquel; Fisher, Bernard;
Ng, Betty; Willey, David; Shi, Ji Ping; Martin, Ian; Drew, Gillian; Pollard,
Simon
Full Source: Environment International 2006, 32(4), 500-509 (Eng)

Research laboratory wastewater neutralization systems
2006-09-11
Laboratory wastewater neutralization systems are increasingly being
specified for academic teaching and research buildings by many
environmental consultants and design engineers. While real efforts to
improve the quality of wastewater are generally positive, installing these
systems without regard to their operational setting increases capital costs,
significantly increases equipment service and maintenance needs and
expenses, and can potentially generate higher environmental, health, and
safety risks from chemical handling exposures, spills, leaks, or uncontrolled
releases to sewer. This study, in response to concerns about possible
neutralization system needs for a new chemical building at Yale University,
takes continuous pH measurements from several laboratory-intensive
teaching and research buildings over periods of 22 to 37 days in each
building. Real-time pH measurements were collected in the main branch
of the laboratory wastewater drain line in each building just prior to junction
with house sanitary lines. The results showed that laboratory wastewaters
averaged 6.5 pH units over the aggregate data-logged period of 82 days
during the academic year. While more extreme pH values were occasionally
recorded, values less than about 5 or greater than about 9 were exceedingly
rare, and accounted for fewer than 15 min of the laboratory wastewater
discharged during the nearly 3 months of continuous sampling. Since the
measurements were all collected at points just prior to mixing with building
sanitary effluent, significant additional wastewater dilution occurred prior
to final discharge to sewer. The author concluded that based upon these
results and a review of the potential health and safety hazards associated
with neutralization systems, their installation - at least in academic teaching
and research labs. - is generally unnecessary.
Author: Klein, Robert C.
Full Source: Journal of Chemical Health & Safety 2006, 13(2), 15-18 (Eng)

Medical

Does dioxin exert toxic effects on humans at or near
current background body levels?: An evidence-based
conclusion
2006-09-11
This study investigated a proposition from the US Environmental Protection
Agency‟s (EPA) Draft Dioxin [2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-P-dioxin (TCDD)]
reassessment that: „dioxin ... can produce effects... at or near current
background body burdens or intake levels‟. Using systematic, objective,
and unbiased analysis of the available molecular, physiological, and clinical/
epidemiological data, in accordance with accepted principles of scientific
logic, the authors reached the evidence-based conclusion that the proposition
is rejected. When gaps in scientific knowledge necessitate formulation of
opinions to meet preventive or precautionary goals, the reversion to authority
should be explicitly acknowledged.
Authors: Guzelian, P.; Quattrochi, L.; Karch, N.; Aylward, L.; Kaley, R.
Full Source: Human & Experimental Toxicology 2006, 25(2), 99-105 (Eng)

Melatonin can suppress the cytotoxic effects of
chlorpyrifos on human hepG2 cell lines
2006-09-11
This study analysed the cytotoxic effect of chlorpyrifos (CP) on human HepG2
cell lines and the protective role of melatonin. TD50 of CP for HepG2 cells
was also detected. The viability of HepG2 cells was significantly reduced
with CP treatment in a dose-dependent manner. A significant increase
was observed in cell viability in those cells treated with melatonin prior to
application with CP. TD50 of CP for HepG2 was determined as 84.5 µg/mL.
A 1-hour melatonin treatment caused a decrease in TD50 from 84.5 to 34.1
µg/mL. The level of thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) and the
activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px)
and catalase (CAT) were detected in cell lines with or without melatonin
administration to find out the possible mechanism of melatonin. CP caused
a significant decrease in SOD, GSH-Px and CAT activities and an increase
in TBARS level. Pre-incubation of cells with melatonin prevented an increase
in TBARS. Melatonin also reduced the CP-caused inhibition of the activities
of GSH-Px and CAT. The authors concluded that these results suggest that
CP shows a cytotoxic effect on HepG2 cell lines and melatonin can suppress
cytotoxicity caused by CP with its antioxidant properties. Melatonin also
reduces TD50 of CP for HepG2 cell lines.
Authors: Gultekin, F.; Patat, S.; Akca, H.; Akdogan, M.; Altuntas, I.
Full Source: Human & Experimental Toxicology 2006, 25(2), 47-55 (Eng)

Chrysotile as a cause of mesothelioma: An assessment
based on epidemiology
2006-09-11
The potential contribution of chrysotile asbestos fibers to mesothelioma risk
has long been debated. The failure to resolve this debate has hampered
decisive risk communication in the aftermath of the collapse of the World
Trade Center towers and has influenced judgments about bans on asbestos
use. A firm understanding of any health risks associated with natural
chrysotile fibers is crucial for regulatory policy and future risk assessments
of synthesized nanomaterials. Although epidemiological studies have
confirmed amphibole asbestos fibers as a cause of mesothelioma, the link
with chrysotile remains inconclusive. This study extensively review previous
epidemiological studies conducted to evaluate the extent of the evidence
related to free chrysotile fibers, with particular attention to confounding by
other fiber types, job exposure concentrations, and consistency of findings.
Following the review of 71 asbestos cohorts exposed to free asbestos fibers,
the results did not support the hypothesis that chrysotile, uncontaminated
by amphibolic substances, causes mesothelioma. Decisions about risk of
chrysotile for mesothelioma in most regulatory contexts reflect public policies,
not the application of the scientific method as applied to epidemiological
cohort studies.
Author: Yarborough, Charles M.
Full Source: Critical Reviews in Toxicology 2006, 36(2), 165-187 (Eng)

Methylated arsenicals: The implications of metabolism
and carcinogenicity studies in rodents to human risk
assessment
2006-09-11
Monomethylarsonic acid (MMAV) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMAV) are
active ingredients in pesticidal products used mainly for weed control. MMAV
and DMAV are also metabolites of inorganic arsenic, formed intracellularly,
primarily in liver cells in a metabolic process of repeated reductions and
oxidative methylations. Inorganic arsenic is a known human carcinogen,
inducing tumors of the skin, urinary bladder, and lung. Currently, there has
not been a good animal model found. Although the metabolic process of
inorganic arsenic appears to enhance the excretion of arsenic from the body,
it also involves formation of methylated compounds of trivalent arsenic as
intermediates. Trivalent arsenicals (whether inorganic or organic) are highly
reactive compounds that can cause cytotoxicity and indirect genotoxicity in
vitro. DMAV was found to be a bladder carcinogen only in rats and only when
administered in the diet or drinking water at high doses. It was negative in a
two-year bioassay in mice. MMAV was negative in 2-yr bioassays in rats and
mice. The mode of action for DMAV-induced bladder cancer in rats appears
to not involve DNA reactivity, but rather involves cytotoxicity with consequent
regenerative proliferation, ultimately leading to the formation of carcinoma.
This study reviewed whether DMAV-induced bladder cancer in rats could be
extrapolated to humans, based on detailed comparisons between inorganic
and organic arsenicals, including their metabolism and disposition in various
animal species. The further metabolism and disposition of MMAV and DMAV
formed endogenously during the metabolism of inorganic arsenic is different
from the metabolism and disposition of MMAV and DMAV from exogenous
exposure. The trivalent arsenicals that are cytotoxic and indirectly genotoxic
in vitro are hardly formed in an organism exposed to MMAV or DMAV because
of poor cellular uptake and limited metabolism of the ingested compounds.
The evidence strongly supports a nonlinear dose-response relationship for
the biological processes involved in the carcinogenicity of arsenicals. The
authors conclude that based on an overall review of the evidence, using
a margin-of-exposure approach for MMAV and DMAV risk assessment is
appropriate. At anticipated environmental exposures to MMAV and DMAV,
there is not likely to be a carcinogenic risk to humans.
Authors: Cohen, Samuel M.; Arnold, Lora L.; Eldan, Michal; Lewis, Ari S.;
Beck, Barbara D.
Full Source: Critical Reviews in Toxicology 2006, 36(2), 99-133 (Eng)

Dioxin effects on neonatal and infant thyroid function:
routes of perinatal exposure, mechanisms of action and
evidence from epidemiology studies.
2006-09-11
It has been suggested that thyroid function alterations in newborns and
infants may represent one of the most sensitive markers of toxicity from
2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Dioxin can be transferred from
the mother to the offspring either in utero or through lactation. Experts have
hypothesized that thyroid-hormone alterations produced by dioxin in utero
or shortly after birth may underlie long-term effects, such as cognitive-ability
and neurodevelopment impairment. This study reviews available evidence
on the effects of perinatal exposure to dioxin on fetal and infant thyroid
function by summarizing the routes of perinatal dioxin exposure and research
results on possible mechanisms of dioxin toxic effects on thyroid function. A
systematic review of epidemiological studies conducted on mother-child pairs
exposed to background environmental levels to investigate dioxin effects on
neonatal and infant thyroid function. The results indicated that dioxin may
impair thyroid function in exposed newborns and infants. Investigations
on background-exposed children have not consistently demonstrated an
association between perinatal TCDD exposure and thyroid function, although
some of the studies suggest that sub-clinical hypothyroidism may be induced
by perinatal dioxin exposure within 3 months from birth. Inconsistencies
have been found between studies, which may be related to lab method
differences, mixed exposures, and small sample size of the populations
evaluated. The authors concluded that epidemiological studies have as yet
failed to demonstrate an association between perinatal TCDD exposure and
thyroid function alterations in human subjects, although suggestive evidence
from animal and in-vitro experimental data is available.
Authors: Giacomini, Sara Mariasole; Hou, Lifang; Bertazzi, Pier Alberto;
Baccarelli, Andrea
Full Source: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental
Health 2006, 79(5), 396-404 (Eng)

Analysis on laboratory examination for serum in patients
with chronic phosphorus poisoning
2006-09-11
This study examined the serum levels of eight materials, hyaluronic acid
(HA), type IV collagen (IV-C), cholic acid (CG), tumor necrosis factor (TNF),
transforming growth factor-R (TGFR), interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-
6) and interleukin-8 (IL-8), in patients with chronic phosphorus poisoning.
The results showed that compared with the controls, the serum contents
of HA, IV-C, CG, TGFR, IL-1, IL-6 and IL-8 increased significantly, and the
content of TNF decreased significantly. There was remarkable difference
between the severe poisoning group and the controls, while no difference
was found between light or moderate poisoning group and the controls. The
authors concluded that RIA detecting of the above eight materials in patients
with chronic phosphorus poisoning played an important role in judging the
range and degree of the body and in directing treatment and prevention.
Authors: Li, Pu; Cen, Rongguang; Luo, Yi; Mo, Xingju; Wei, Shaoying
Full Source: Zhongguo Gonggong Weisheng 2005, 21(7), 811-812 (Ch)

Diazinon, chlorpyrifos and parathion are metabolized by
multiple cytochromes P450 in human liver
2006-09-11
This study describes both the activation and detoxification of diazinon,
chlorpyrifos and parathion by recombinant P 450 isoenzymes and by human
liver microsomes that had been characterized for P 450 marker activities.
Wide variations in activity were found for diazinon (50 µM; 500 µM) activation
to diazoxon, chlorpyrifos (100 µM) to chlorpyrifos oxon and parathion (5 µM,
20 µM and 200 µM) to paraoxon in NADPH-dependent reactions. In parallel,
the dearylated metabolites pyrimidinol (IHMP), trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCP)
and p-nitrophenol (PNP) were produced from diazinon, chlorpyrifos and
parathion, respectively, with similarly wide variations in activity. Significant
correlations between diazoxon formation from diazinon (50 µM; 500 µM) with
the three CYP3A4/5 marker reactions were observed, while IHMP formation
correlated significantly with the three CYP3A4/5 reactions, the CYP2C8
marker reaction and the CYP2C19 marker. Chlorpyrifos oxon formation
from chlorpyrifos did not correlate with any of the P450 markers but TCP
formation correlated with one of the CYP3A4/5 reactions and CYP2C8,
CYP2C19 and CYP1A2 mediated reactions. There were significant
relationships between paraoxon formation from parathion (5 µM, 20 µM and
200 µM) and the CYP3A4/5, CYP2C8 and CYP1A2 mediated reactions,
although only the latter two isoforms correlated significantly with the lowest
parathion concentration. The authors conclude that these findings suggest
that CYPs 3A4/5, 2C8, 1A2, 2C19 and 2D6 are primarily involved in the
metabolism of all three OPs, although the profile of participating isoforms
was differential for each of the pesticides suggesting that chemical structure
influences which P450s mediate the reaction. The marked inter-individual
variation in expression of the various P 450 isoenzymes may result in sub-
populations of individuals that produce higher systemic oxon levels with
increased susceptibility to OP toxicity.
Authors: Mutch, Elaine; Williams, Faith M.
Full Source: Toxicology 2006, 224(1-2), 22-32 (Eng)

Contact allergy in patient with chronic venous leg ulcers
- possible role of chronic venous insufficiency
2006-09-11
This study evaluated the frequency of contact allergy in patients with chronic
venous leg ulcers (CVLU) and to establish possible relationships between
allergic contact reactions and characteristics of both chronic venous
insufficiency (CVI) and CVLU. Patch tests were performed with the European
standard series, antibiotics, glucocorticosteroids and ointment vehicles in 50
patients with CVLU. Positive patch tests results were found in 80% and
polyvalent allergy in 56% of patients. Statistically significant correlations
were recorded between CVI and CVLU duration, CVLU duration and CVLU
area and between CVI duration and polyvalent allergy frequency. Statistically
significant differences were found between coexistence of superficial and
deep system insufficiency and CVLU duration, characteristics of contact
allergic reactions and CVI duration, frequency of allergic contact reaction
and presence or absence of long saphenous vein insufficiency, incidences
of vein thrombosis and characteristics of contact allergic reactions as well
as between characteristics of contact allergic reactions and both CVLU
duration and area. The authors concluded that complex pathophysiological
processes, including inflammatory reactions, in course of CVI may influence
development of allergic contact reaction in CVLU patients.
Authors: Zmudzinska, Maria; Czarnecka-Operacz, Magdalena; Silny,
Wojciech; Kramer, Lucyna
Full Source: Contact Dermatitis 2006, 54(2), 100-105 (Eng)


Occupational

Changes in immune function of workers exposed to low
concentration of trichloroethylene
2006-09-11
This study investigates the changes in humoral and cellular immunity of
workers exposed to low concentrations of trichloroethylene (TCE). The
concentration of TCE at the workplace was measured. 48 TCE-exposed
workers and 45 non-TCE-exposed workers were chosen as study subjects.
The UTCA (Urinary TCA), IgG, IgA, IgM and IgE in serum and T lymphocyte
subgroups (CD) were measured. Workers exposed to TCE were divided
into low TCE-exposure group (TCA e 50 mg/L) and high TCE-exposure
group (TCA > 50mg/L) by the level of UTCA. The results showed IgM in
low TCE-exposed group and high TCE-exposure group were 1.22 and 1.27
respectively, they were significantly lower than that in the control group
1.48. IgG and IgA in low TCE-exposed group and high TCE-exposed group
tended to decrease respectively. CD3+ in low TCE-exposed group and high
TCE-exposed group was 71.26 and 61.80 respectively, it was significantly
lower than that in the control group 81.28. CD4+ in low TCE-exposed group
and high TCE-exposed group was 39.61 and 36.28 respectively, which were
significantly lower than that in the control group 70.27. CD8+ in low TCE-
exposure group and high TCE-exposure group was 50.87 and 46.20, which
were significantly higher than that in the control group 31.48. The authors
concluded that the functions of humoral and cellular immunity of workers
could he inhibited after exposed to low concentrations of TCE.
Authors: Zou, Zhi-fang; Li, Bo-ling; Fu, Gu-ya; Yang, Cui-chan; Lin, Bing-jie
Full Source: Huanjing Yu Zhiye Yixue 2006, 23(1), 45-47 (Ch)
Exposure to hazardous chemical substances in the
furniture industry
2006-09-11
This study assessed the exposure to organic solvents in plants of the
furniture industry. Studies were conducted in five furniture plants. Hazardous
chemicals present in the air at workposts were detected by capillary gas
chromatography with mass spectrometry and flame ionization detection.
The results demonstrated the presence of the following chemicals in the
air samples collected at the workposts: acetone, butan-2-one, Et, iso-Bu
and methoxypropyl acetate, 4-methylpentan-2-on, toluene, ethylbenzene
and xylenes. Indexes characteristic of combined exposure ranged from
0.13 to 1.67 and exceeded the limit value at 21% of workposts. The authors
concluded that the results indicate that chemicals present at representative
workposts during the furniture production are harmful to health of workers,
especially those involved in varnishing and cleaning of furniture elements.
Authors: Posniak, Malgorzata; Kowalska, Joanna; Makhniashvili, Ivan
Full Source: Medycyna Pracy 2005, 56(6), 461-465 (Pol)

Occupational exposure to airborne solvents during nail
sculpturing
2006-09-11
This study evaluates the occupational exposure to acrylates and
other solvents during nail sculpturing, including comparative exposure
measurements using acrylic, UVgel, acrylic powder, and resin sculpturing
methods. In total, 32 nail technicians working in 22 salons participated in
the study. A total of 92 measurements were made: 70 solvent and 22 Et
2-cyanoacrylate. Solvents most frequently occurring in all samples were
acetone, Et acetate, toluene, and Bu acetate in 96, 94, 91, and 81% of
samples, respectively. The results showed that the overall solvent exposure
was low, with all measurements calculated as the additive effect of the
occupational exposure limit. No statistically significant difference between
sculpturing methods were observed.
Authors: Gjolstad, Merete; Thorud, Syvert; Molander, Paal
Full Source: Journal of Environmental Monitoring 2006, 8(5), 537-542
(Eng)

Pattern of hexavalent chromium in air borne respirable
dust generated at various workplaces in opencast
chromite mines
2006-09-11
This study analyses the air borne respirable dust (ARD) concentrations at
various workplaces in two open cast chromite mines of Sukinda chromite
belt, India. One of these mines is mechanized and the other one is
semi-mechanized. The three phases study included ARD concentration
measurements at various workplaces in both the mines. Apart from the
detection of ARD concentration, the dust samples collected on filter papers
were analyzed for hexavalent chromium by colorimetric method and Cr(VI)
direct absorption measurement. In addition, the particle size ranges in ARD
have been detected by using cascade impactor fitted onto high volume
samplers and laser guided particle size analyzer. The literature presents a
comparison between ARD concentration vis-a-vis the presence of hexavalent
chromium concentration in collected samples of both mechanized and semi-
mechanized mines.
Authors: Panigrahi, D. C.; Pandey, J. K.; Udaybhanu, G.
Full Source: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2006, 114(1-3),
211-223 (Eng)

Cancer incidence among pesticide applicators exposed to
metolachlor in the Agricultural Health Study
2006-09-11
This study investigated the cancer incidence among pesticide applicators
exposed to metolachlor in the Agricultural Health Study, a prospective cohort
study of licensed pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina. Detailed
information on pesticide exposure and lifestyle factors was obtained from
self-administered enrollment questionnaires completed from 1993 to 1997;
average length of follow-up was 7.33 years. Two metolachlor exposure
metrics were used: lifetime days personally mixed or applied metolachlor;
and intensity-weighted lifetime days. Poisson regression analysis estimated
relative risks(RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) for cancer sub-
types by metolachlor exposure tertiles. The results revealed that there was
no clear risk for any cancer sub-type found for metolachlor exposure. A
significantly decreased RR was observed for prostate cancer in the highest
category of lifetime days exposure (RR ) 0.59; 95%CI, 0.39-0.89) and the
second highest category of intensity-weighted lifetime days exposure (RR )
0.66; 95%CI, 0.45-0.97); however, the test for trend was not significant for
either exposure metric. A non-significantly increased risk was observed for
lung cancer with lifetime days exposure in the highest category (RR ) 2.37;
95%CI, 0.97-5.82, p-trend ) 0.03), but not with intensity-weighted lifetime
days. The authors concluded that given the widespread use of metolachlor
and the frequent detection of metolachlor in surface water and groundwater,
future analyses of the AHS will allow further examination of long-term health
effects, including lung and less common cancers.
Authors: Rusiecki, Jennifer A.; Hou, Lifang; Lee, Won Jin; Blair, Aaron;
Dosemeci, Mustafa; Lubin, Jay H.; Bonner, Matthew; Samanic, Claudine;
Hoppin, Jane A.; Sandler, Dale P.; Alavanja, Michael C. R.
Full Source: International Journal of Cancer 2006, 118(12), 3118-3123
(Eng)

Asthma history, occupational exposure to pesticides and
the risk of non-Hodgkin‟s lymphoma
2006-09-11
In a previous study it was found that, although asthma did not increase the
risk of non-Hodgkin‟s lymphoma (NHL), the risk from pesticide exposure
was higher among asthmatics than among non-asthmatics. This study
further evaluated these findings, by analyzing data from a population-based
case-control study of NHL conducted in Iowa, Detroit, Los Angeles, and
Seattle. NHL diagnosed cases (n ) 668) from 1998 to 2000 and controls (n )
543) randomly selected from the same geographical areas as those cases
were included. Odds ratios (OR) for NHL risk from potential occupational
exposure to pesticides tended to be higher among asthmatics vs. that
among non-asthmatics. NHL risks associated with pesticide exposure were
also higher among asthmatics that had history of hospitalization or daily
medication for asthma vs. asthmatics that did not have such histories. The
authors concluded that the results supported the previous finding that NHL
risk from pesticide exposure may be greater among asthmatics.
Authors: Lee, Won Jin; Purdue, Mark P.; Stewart, Patricia; Schenk, Maryjean;
De Roos, Anneclaire J.; Cerhan, James R.; Severson, Richard K.; Cozen,
Wendy; Hartge, Patricia; Blair, Aaron
Full Source: International Journal of Cancer 2006, 118(12), 3174-3176
(Eng)

Occupational exposure in airport personnel:
Characterization and evaluation of genotoxic and
oxidative effects
2006-09-11
Airport personnel can be exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
from jet fuel vapors, jet fuel combustion products, and diesel exhaust. This
study characterized exposure and evaluated genotoxic and oxidative effects
in airport personnel vs. a select control group. Environmental exposure
monitoring was done by analyzing 23 PAH in air collected from airport aprons,
buildings and terminal/office areas during 5 working days. Urinary 1-hydroxy-
pyrene (1-OHP) following 5 working days was the biomarker of exposure.
Genotoxic effects and early direct-oxidative DNA damage were evaluated
by micronucleus (MN) and Fpg-modified Comet assay on lymphocytes and
exfoliated buccal cells, and by chromosomal aberrations (CA) and sister
chromatid exchange (SCE) analyses. In total 27,703 µg/m3 total PAH were
observed on airport aprons, 17,275 µg/m3 in airport buildings, and 9,494
µg/m3 in terminal/office areas. Urinary 1-OHP did not exhibit differences
between exposed and control persons. The exposed group had a higher
mean SCE frequency value vs. controls and a 1.3-fold increase in total
structural CA in particular breaks and fragments; there were no differences
in MN frequency in either cell type. Oxidative DNA damage was observed
for exfoliated buccal cells in 9.7% and for lymphocytes in 14.6% of exposed
workers vs. an absence in controls. The authors concluded that these
findings assist in the characterization of civil airport exposure and suggested
the use of Comet assay on exfoliated buccal cells to assess occupational
exposure to low doses of inhalable pollutant mixtures, since these cells
represent the target tissue of this exposure and are obtained using a non-
invasive procedure.
Authors: Cavallo, Delia; Ursini, Cinzia Lucia; Carelli, Giovanni; Iavicoli,
Ivo; Ciervo, Aureliano; Perniconi, Barbara; Rondinone, Bruna; Gismondi,
Massimo; Iavicoli, Sergio
Full Source: Toxicology 2006, 223(1-2), 26-35 (Eng)


Public Health

Analysis of blood lead levels in 5031 outpatient children
from Wuhan region
2006-09-11
This study investigated the distribution of blood lead levels in children of
different age groups from Wuhan, to provide a basis for prevention and
treatment of lead poisoning. Blood samples collected from the finger of
5031 outpatient children, and were divided into three groups including a
group of 1252 children 1 month-3 year of age (group I), a group of 934
children 4-5 year of age (group II) and a group of 2845 children 6-12 year
of age (group III). The blood lead level was detected by atomic absorption
spectrometry. The mean blood lead level in 5031 cases of outpatient children
was (0.350(0.148) µmol/L, and 877 cases had a blood lead level g0.483
µmol/L. The mean blood lead levels in groups I, II and III were (0.303(0.118)
µmol/L, (0.339(0.143) µmol/L and (0.374(0.170) µmol/L, respectively, with
significant difference between any two of the three groups. The percentage
of children with blood lead level g0.483 µmol/L in groups I, II and III were
10.94%, 13.28% and 21.65%, respectively. The mean blood lead level of
male children was higher than that of female children in any group. The
authors concluded that the results showed that the blood lead level in
children of Wuhan region had a tendency to increase with age. In addition,
the hazard of environmental lead pollution to health of children should attract
great importance.
Authors: Zhang, Dan; Ai, Hongwu; Liu, Xiuzhen; Zhang, Guangping
Full Source: Zhongguo Ertong Baojian Zazhi 2005, 13(4), 347-348 (Ch)

Evaluation of urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanine in healthy
Japanese people
2006-09-11
This study determined urinary concentration of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanine
(8-OHdG), which is a biomarker of oxidative DNA damage, in 248 healthy
Japanese, and its correlations with lifestyle, urinary metal elements, serum
antioxidants, and other plasma or serum factors investigated. The mean
urinary concentration of 8-OHdG was 15.2 ( 5.71 ng/mg creatinine. Mean
urinary 8-OhdG was not significantly different in terms of age (<45, g45),
gender, smoking (no, <20, g20), and alcohol consumption (no, occasionally,
sometimes and usually). Moreover, multiple regression analysis showed a
significant association between urinary 8-OHdG and urinary As or Cr, and
a tendency for association between the former and Al and Ni. Age, gender
and plasma or serum factors including antioxidants, lipid peroxide, HbA1c,
BUN, and Fe did not show such an association. These findings suggest
that natural exposure to toxic metal elements such as As, Cr, and Ni may
influence oxidative DNA damage in healthy people under usual environmental
management. Therefore, the measurement of urinary metals such as As, Ni
and Cr is prerequisite for the study of the relationship between urinary 8-
OHdG and other variable factors.
Authors: Kimura, Shingo; Yamauchi, Hiroshi; Hibino, Yuri; Iwamoto, Mieko;
Sera, Koichiro; Ogino, Keiki
Full Source: Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology 2006, 98(5), 496-
502 (Eng)
Dermal absorption and penetration of jet fuel components
in humans
2006-09-11
Jet propulsion fuel 8 (JP-8) is the largest source of chemical exposures on
military bases. This study investigated the dermal exposure to JP-8 in vitro
using rat or pig skin, but not in vivo in humans. The purpose of this study
was to investigate the absorption and penetration of aromatic and aliphatic
components of JP-8 in humans. 1 mL of JP-8 was applied to the skin on the
forearms of human volunteers and tape-strip samples were collected 30 min
after application. Blood samples were taken before exposure (t ) 0 h), after
exposure (t ) 0.5 h), and every 0.5 h for up to 4 h past exposure. The results
provided evidence of uptake into the skin for all JP-8 components. The
blood data was used to estimate an apparent permeability coefficient (Kp).
The rank order of the apparent Kp was naphthalene > 1-Me naphthalene ) 2-
Me naphthalene > decane > dodecane > undecane. In conclusion, this rank
order is similar to results from previous rat and pig-skin studies. However,
this study demonstrates that rat and pig models of the skin over predict the
internal dose of JP-8 components in humans.
Authors: Kim, David; Andersen, Melvin E.; Nylander-French, Leena A.
Full Source: Toxicology Letters 2006, 165(1), 11-21 (Eng)

Acute effects of exposure to vapours of acetic acid in
humans
2006-09-11
Acetic acid is used in plastics, chemicals and pharmaceutical industries. To
date there is limited information on its possible health effects. This study
evaluated acute irritation during controlled exposure to vapors of acetic acid.
Six female and 6 male healthy volunteers were exposed to 0 ppm (control
exposure), 5 and 10 ppm acetic acid vapor for 2 hours at rest in a balanced
order. The results showed a significant increase in subjective ratings of nasal
irritation and smell with exposure level. No effects on pulmonary function,
nasal swelling, nasal airway resistance or plasma inflammatory markers (C-
reactive protein, and interleukin-6), measured before and after exposure,
were observed. There was a non-significant tendency to increased blinking
frequency, as measured continuously during exposure, after exposure to
10 ppm acetic acid. The authors concluded that the findings suggest a mild
irritative effect at 10 ppm acetic acid.
Authors: Ernstgard, Lena; Iregren, Anders; Sjoegren, Bengt; Johanson,
Gunnar.
Full Source: Toxicology Letters 2006, 165(1), 22-30 (Eng)

Dietary exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury and
radionuclides of an adult urban population in Lebanon: A
total diet study approach
2006-09-11
This study evaluated the dietary exposure of an adult urban population to 3
heavy metals (Pb, Cd, and Hg) and to radionuclides. Exposure assessment
was performed by the total diet study approach as recommended by the
Word Health Organization. Five total diets‟ were collected during 2003-04.
Average and maximal consumer exposure estimates to heavy metals were
calculated and compared with appropriate reference values and with intakes
reported from other countries. The average dietary intakes of Pb, Cd and
Hg represented 7, 17 and 5.6%, respectively, of the appropriate provisional
tolerable weekly intakes (PTWI). The mean dietary intake of methylHg
represented 17.5% of the appropriate PTWI. Cs-134 and I-131 were not
detected in any of the food samples. Traces of Cs-137 were only found in 5
food samples. The exposure assessment conducted places Lebanon among
countries least exposed to heavy metals through the diet and it highlights
the safety of the food supply from radioactive contamination.
Authors: Nasreddine, L.; Hwalla, N.; El Samad, O.; Leblanc, J.-C.; Hamze,
M.; Sibiril, Y.; Parent-Massin, D.
Full Source: Food Additives & Contaminants 2006, 23(6), 579-590 (Eng)

Comparative metal distribution in hair of Pakistani
and Libyan population and source identification by
multivariate analysis
2006-09-11
In this study, nitric acid-perchloric acid wet digestion based FAAS method
was used to detect 10 metals (Cd, Co, Cr, Fe, K, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb and Zn) in
the scalp hair of male Pakistani and Libyan donors (n ) 62), between 3-54
years age and residing in typical urban areas. The study was undertaken
to identify sources of metal distribution in two diverse population segments
exposed to different environments. Sodium emerged with the highest mean
hair concentration for Libyan and Pakistani donors respectively, followed
by K, for the two donor categories. Cadmium showed the lowest mean hair
concentration for both Pakistani and Libyan donors. Levels of Na, K, Pb,
Cr and Cd were higher in hair of Libyan donors compared with Pakistani
counterparts, which showed higher comparative levels of Zn, Fe, Co, Ni
and Mn. Strong metal-to-metal correlations were found between Na-K
and Cd-Co for Pakistani donors, while for Libyan donors, Na-K and Fe-Mn
correlations emerged as strongly significant. Only K was found to have a
strong positive correlation with age for Pakistani donors while this correlation
was significantly negative for Libyan donors, probably arising from individual
food habits. Other metals showed no viable relationship with age. The
authors concluded that the results are comparable with those reported for
subjects from other regions of the world.
Authors: Shah, Munir H.; Shaheen, N.; Khalique, A.; Alrabti, A. A. A.; Jaffar,
M.
Full Source: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2006, 114(1-3),
505-519 (Eng)

Controlling influences on daily fluctuations of inhalable
particles and gas concentrations: Local versus regional
and exotic atmospheric pollutants at Puertollano, Spain
2006-09-11
This study investigated PM10 and gases in the Spanish industrial Spanish
town, Puertollano, over a 12-month period, showed striking variations
in pollutant concentrations. A daily double peak characterizes the normal
daily pollution pattern for NOx and CO and associated double trough for O3
(morning and evening), a midday atmosphere fumigation peak for SO2 and
PM10 (1-2 h later in winter), and a late morning through afternoon maximum
for O3 (shorter and lower in winter). Superimposed on this are seasonal
variations accentuating PM10 and SO2 mid-morning peaks in winter (when
peaks occur later than in summer); increased NO2, O3, and background
particulate concentrations in summer; and enhanced NO concentrations in
winter; and local pollution spikes, particularly those associated with SO2
release from nearby industrial sources; and regional atmosphere stagnation
episodes enhancing concentrations of all pollutants; and intrusion of exotic
pollutants, notably North African desert dust. The authors concluded that
given that air pollutants are known to adversely affect human health,
understanding and predicting diurnal concentration variations of inhalable
pollutants is especially relevant to susceptible individuals.
Authors: Moreno, Teresa; Querol, Xavier; Alastuey, Andres; Garcia dos
Santos, Saul; Gibbons, Wes
Full Source: Atmospheric Environment 2006, 40(17), 3207-3218 (Eng)

Safety

Laminated safety structure for protection of vehicles and
stationary devices
2006-09-11
This study examines a laminated structure for protection of vehicles and
stationary devices against tamper, including terroristic acts. It comprises
solid body and protective means formed from heat-resistant material and
phase-changeable material, which absorbs heat. Two layers of highly rigid
non-metallic material and layer of porous material having compressive
strength g 1.5 MPa and elongation in compression g 20 % are included
in the laminated structure. Heat-resistant highly rigid non-metallic layer is
applied to outer surface with respect to object to be protected. The protective
means are united in single layer and arranged on inner side of the first layer
of highly rigid non-metallic material. Substrate comprising at least two layers
abuts the protective means. The substrate includes the first layer made of
material with elongation g 20 % and tensile strength of 100-360 MPa and the
second layer made of material with elongation g 25% and tensile strength
g 370 MPa. Layer of porous material is arranged between the substrate
and the second layer of highly rigid non-metallic material and all layers are
covered with a layer of resilient non-metallic material. The authors conclude
that these laminated structures provide improved protective properties,
increased bullet-proofness and resistance to arc-jet cutters.
Authors: Afanas‟ev, V. A.; Kuzhel, M. P.; Tagirov, R. M.; Shebalov, A. V.
Full Source: Russ. RU 2,278,937 (Cl. E05G1/024), 27 Jun 2006, Appl.
2,004,127,295, 13 Sep 2004; 9 pp. (Russ)

A smart indoor air quality sensor network
2006-09-11
Indoor air pollution, caused by gas, particle, and bio-aerosol pollutants, is
considered as the top five environmental risks to public health and has an
estimated cost of 2 billion/year due to medical cost and lost productivity.
Current buildings are especially vulnerable for chemical and biological
warfare (CBW) agent contamination because the central air conditioning
and ventilation system serve as a nature carrier to spread the released
agent from one location to the whole indoor environment within a short time
period. This study reviews the development of new sensing technology to
measure indoor air quality (IAQ) and ensure its safety for either new and
existing buildings. Currently, few studies exist that examine the design
and evaluation issues related to IAQ and CBW sensor network. This
literature reviews relevant research areas including IAQ and CBW sensor
development, demand control ventilation, indoor CBW sensor system
design, and sensor system design for other areas such as water system
protection, fault detection and diagnosis, are reviewed and summarized.
Potential research opportunities for IAQ and CBW sensor system design
and evaluation are also discussed.
Author: Wen, Jin
Full Source: Proceedings of SPIE-The International Society for Optical
Engineering 2006, 6174(Pt. 2, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies
for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems), 617440/1-617440/14 (Eng)

Safe solvent-resistant polyolefin expanded annular seal
materials for can and bottle lids and lids with them
2006-09-11
This literature examines the development of a safe solvent-resistant
polyolefin expanded annular seal materials. The seal materials, useful for
adhesives, coatings, and carbonated beverages, are manufactured by
kneading low-density polyolefins or polyolefin elastomers with cross-linking
catalysts and odorless semicarbazide-emitting-preventing blowing agents
in an extruder at the temperatures higher than the expansion temperature
of the blowing agents. This extrudes through a die lip, cutting the resulting
unexpanded strands, and bonding the melted both ends together. Using
a loop comprising 100 parts (40-100):(0-60) mixture of LDPE and a
metallocene-catalyzed butene-ethylene copolymer, 0.5-1.0 part 1,1-bis(tert-
butylperoxy)cyclohexane, and 3-5 parts p,p‟-oxybis(benzenesulfonyl
hydrazide) (OBSH) on a lid, foaming, stamping, and sealing a steel pail can
with the lid with the resulting foam seal showed seal test (UN std.) 33 kPa.
Authors: Furusaki, Shigeru; Fujisaki, Masakazu
Full Source: Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 2006 168,787 (Cl. B65D53/00), 29
Jun 2006, Appl. 2004/363,386, 15 Dec 2004; 8 pp. (Japan).

A new method to characterize black shales in the Pilbara
[Australia] iron ore mining operations
2006-09-11
Pyritic black shales pose a challenge to mining operations due to their
reactivity. The risk of pre-detonation of explosives in blastholes, spontaneous
combustion of fractured rock, and the generation of acid rock drainage
must he managed for safety, operational, and environmental reasons. This
study examines the use of a new instrument to determine the differences
between reactive and nonreactive shale at the Mt. Tom Price iron ore mine
in order to assess risk and make decisions on materials handling. The
current approach uses a combination of stratigraphic information and sulfur
analysis of blast-hole samples. The time taken for sulfur analyses can he
a constraining factor on mine production. The new instrument developed
by ANSTO Minerals overcomes some of the current limitations on material
characterization. The IOR Meter measures the intrinsic oxidation rate (IOR)
of samples of broken rock by circulating air through a sample and monitoring
the oxygen concentrations over time. The intrinsic oxidation rate is given
by the rate at which oxygen is consumed per unit mass of sample, in units
of kg (oxygen)kg-1(sample) s-1. Up to eight samples can he measured
simultaneously and the turn-around time can be less than 12 hours. The
results from the initial testing of the IOR Meter measured samples from
a blast-hole pattern spanning different geological layers containing black
shale, showed a strong correlation with the expected reactivity of those
layers. The correlation between position in the geological sequence
(detailed stratigraphy) and IOR Meter results were much stronger than that
between stratigraphy and sulfur content. The authors concluded that the
new characterization technique offers the prospect of improving the ability to
identify and predict the behavior of reactive black shales and to differentiate
more precisely between different materials. Mine planning, operations,
safety and environment all stand to benefit from the success of further trials
of the technique.
Authors: Bennett, J. W.; Askraba, S.; Mackenzie, P.
Full Source: Publications of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
[computer optical disk] 2005, 8/2005 (Iron Ore Conference 2005), 179-182
(Eng)

				
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