Document Sample
110812-Bulletin.rtf Powered By Docstoc
					Bulletin Board
August 12, 2011

Contact us:
tel +61 3 9572 4700
fax +61 3 9572 4777
1227 Glen Huntly Rd Glen Huntly
Victoria 3163 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.

Symposium on the use of epidemiology studies in regulatory risk assessment
The Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) have initiated a
symposium, which is facilitated by the Australasian College of Toxicology and Risk
Assessment (ACTRA) on The Use of Epidemiology Studies in Regulatory Risk
Assessment. This symposium will bring experts and regulatory agencies together to
explore the role of epidemiology studies in regulatory decision-making processes.
Responding to the hypotheses put forward by epidemiology studies is a common
challenge for regulators. The public often expect regulators to remove chemicals from the
market based on epidemiological suggestions of human health risks associated with a
particular chemical exposure. However, while many of these studies are useful for
identifying potential hazards or generating hypotheses, they cannot determine cause and
effect. The symposium will canvas issues such as:
the application of epidemiology studies to chemical risk assessment and standard setting
the uncertainties of epidemiology
how epidemiological investigations can be used in conjunction with toxicology studies
conducted according to established test protocols.
While the symposium will have a focus on pesticides, it will also cover research on other
chemical classes and environmental hazards. In addition to the expert input of a number of
Australian epidemiologists, the APVMA and ACTRA welcomes the contribution of an
international scientist, Dr Tim Pastoor, who is the key author on a recent paper which has
proposed a framework for combining toxicological and epidemiological evidence to
establish causal inference in risk assessment. Dr Les Davies, the APVMA’s Principal
Scientist, Pesticides, will introduce the symposium which will be held at the CSIRO
Discovery Centre in Canberra on 10 August 2011. The program and further information is
available on the ACTRA website.
APVMA, 29 July 2011

Consultation on a new permit to authorise certain label changes without APVMA
Currently, applicants can change specific aspects of registered product labels without
obtaining approval from the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicine Authority
(APVMA). This occurs through permits 6868, 9284 and 9523. However, recent
amendments to the Agvet Code have allowed more flexibility in this area. As a result,
permits 9284 and 9523 are no longer required, while some aspects of permit 6868 remain
relevant. The APVMA has developed a new permit to authorise the relevant aspects of
permit 6868 and other label changes in line with the new labelling requirements. APVMA is
now inviting comment on the usability and practicality of the new draft permit to authorise
certain label changes. The consultation will run from 1 August until 2 September 2011.
Further information on the new proposal is available at:
APVMA, 1 August 2011

TGA Transparency review released
The Australian Government has released the report of the Therapeutic Goods
Administration (TGA) Transparency Review panel, chaired by Professor Dennis Pearce.
Last November, Catherine King, the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing,
commissioned a comprehensive review of the way in which the TGA communicates its
regulatory processes and decisions. The purpose of the review was to improve public
knowledge of regulatory decision-making and to enhance public understanding of the
benefits and risks of therapeutic goods so that the Australian community can understand
how the TGA operates and the reasons for its key decisions. Ms King said recently she
was pleased by the depth of interest in the review. “It is important that the community
understands the TGA and its processes as the decisions it makes have a profound impact
on the public health of the nation,” Ms King said. The government will now fully consider
the Review Panel Report and provide a formal response. A copy of the Review Report is
available at
Department of Health & Aging, 20 July 2011

India announces formation of national environmental regulator
The Indian government has announced it is launching an independent, environmental
regulator tasked with reforming the country’s byzantine planning rules and enhancing
environmental protection, after a series of high-profile industrial projects were blocked by
the country’s Environment Ministry in recent months. Speaking at a conference in Delhi
recently, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the new National Environment Appraisal
and Monitoring Authority (NEAMA) would aim to take controversial planning decisions out
of the hands of ministers. He added that the new body would lead “a complete change in
the process of granting environmental clearances”, while also helping to promote “green
norms” among businesses. The government has issued a draft proposal for the structure
of the NEAMA and is currently inviting feedback from interested parties. Singh signalled
the agency would ensure more robust enforcement of environmental laws. “Staffed by
dedicated professionals, it will work on a full-time basis to evolve better and more objective
standards of scrutiny,” he said, adding that it would also work with the recently formed
National Green Tribunal to enhance environmental governance across India. The
announcement of the watchdog follows a series of controversies, where the Environment
Ministry has been criticised by developers for blocking a number of large industrial projects
at the same time as being slammed by green groups for waving through developments
such as a new Mumbai Airport and a new steel plant in Orissa. In the past, the Indian
government has been criticised by environmentalists for prioritising economic development
over environmental protection. But in a significant shift in emphasis, Singh yesterday
insisted that economic development could not be maintained without stronger
environmental regulations and enforcement. “The very definition of growth has been
enlarged to accommodate environmental and related concerns,” he was quoted as saying.
“There is now general agreement that the environment cannot be protected by
perpetuating the poverty of developing countries. Their basic concern is with development,
and this is as it should be. “But it is also no longer acceptable to take as given that a
certain degree of environmental degradation and over-exploitation of natural resources in
the cause of promoting growth is inevitable. It is no longer possible to treat the
environment with passive disregard. And it is no longer tenable to pretend these are
concerns only for the other, or wealthier, nations.”
Business Green, 25 July 2011

FDA Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research develops strategic science and
research agenda
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration have released a report from its Centre for Drug
Evaluation and Research (CDER), in the Federal Register. The new report identifies the
current regulatory science needs that will guide CDER’s strategic planning of internal
research initiatives and contributions to the development of agency regulatory science
efforts. “Communicating our science and research needs represents an important step in
stimulating research and fostering collaborations with our external partners,” said CDER
director Janet Woodcock, M.D. “We look forward to hearing from and working with our
stakeholders.” The report, “Identifying CDER’s Science and Research Needs Report,”
identifies the following categories of science and research needs:
Improve access to post-market data sources and explore feasibility of their use in different
types of analyses
Improve risk assessment and management strategies to reinforce the safe use of drugs
Evaluate the effectiveness and impact of different types of regulatory communications to
the public and other stakeholders
Evaluate the link among product quality attributes, manufacturing processes and product
Develop and improve predictive models of safety and efficacy in humans
Improve clinical trial design, analysis and conduct
Enhance individualisation of patient treatment
The report is now open for public comment for 60 days. Further information is available at:
U. S FDA, 25 July 2011

Following a BPA Action Plan announced in March 2010, the U.S.
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting public comment on
possible toxicity testing and environmental sampling to study BPA’s potential
environmental impacts. BPA has been shown to cause reproductive and developmental
effects in animal studies. This action is part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s
comprehensive effort to strengthen EPA’s chemical management program and assure the
safety of chemicals people encounter in their daily lives. BPA is used in the manufacture of
a wide range of consumer and industrial products including food-can liners, hard
polycarbonate plastics, epoxy paints and coatings, and thermal papers, including some
cash register receipts. Releases of BPA to the environment exceed 1 million pounds per
year. “A number of concerns have been raised about the potential human health and
environmental effects of BPA,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office
of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The data collected under the testing EPA is
considering would help EPA better understand and address the potential environmental
impacts of BPA.” In January 2010 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it
would further examine potential human health effects and reduce exposure to BPA in the
food supply, which represents the greatest source of exposure to people. EPA is working
with FDA, Centres for Disease Control and the National Institute of Environmental Health
Sciences on research under way to better determine and evaluate the potential health
consequences of BPA exposures. At the conclusion of that research, EPA will determine if
additional actions may be needed to address human health concerns from non-food use
Environmental Protection News, 27 July 2011

US alternative test methods group validates sensitiser test assay
The US Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods
(ICCVAM) has validated the murine local lymph node assay (LLNA) for use in categorising
some substances as strong sensitisers. The ICCVAM evaluation on the usefulness of the
LLNA concluded that the method can correctly categorise some substances as strong
sensitisers using a criterion published in the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of
chemicals classification and labelling. However, nearly half of the known human strong
sensitisers evaluated by ICCVAM were not identified using the GHS criterion and therefore
the committee concluded that additional information would need to be considered to
confirm whether substances that do not meet this criterion are or are not strong sensitisers.
The report and recommendations have now been transmitted to federal agencies who
must respond within 180 days. Further information is available at:
Chemical Watch, 29 July 2011

EPA Proposes Air Pollution Standards for Oil and Gas Production/Cost-effective,
flexible standards rely on operators’ ability to capture and sell natural gas that
currently escapes, threatens air quality
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed standards to reduce
harmful air pollution from oil and gas drilling operations. These proposed updated
standards - which are being issued in response to a court order - would rely on
cost-effective existing technologies to reduce emissions that contribute to smog pollution
and can cause cancer while supporting the administration’s priority of continuing to expand
safe and responsible domestic oil and gas production. The standards would leverage
operators’ ability to capture and sell natural gas that currently escapes into the air,
resulting in more efficient operations while reducing harmful emissions that can impact air
quality in surrounding areas and nearby states. “This administration has been clear that
natural gas is a key component of our clean energy future, and the steps announced today
will help ensure responsible production of this domestic energy source,” said Gina
McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “Reducing these
emissions will help cut toxic pollution that can increase cancer risks and smog that can
cause asthma attacks and premature death - all while giving these operators additional
product to bring to market.” The recent proposal would cut smog-forming volatile organic
compound (VOC) emissions from several types of processes and equipment used in the
oil and gas industry, including a 95 percent reduction in VOCs emitted during the
completion of new and modified hydraulically fractured wells. This dramatic reduction
would largely be accomplished by capturing natural gas that currently escapes to the air
and making that gas available for sale through technologies and processes already in use
by several companies and required in some states. Natural gas production in the U.S. is
growing, with more than 25,000 new and existing wells fractured or re-fractured each year.
The VOC reductions in the proposal are expected to help reduce ozone nonattainment
problems in many areas where oil and gas production occurs. In addition, the VOC
reductions would yield a significant environmental benefit by reducing methane emissions
from new and modified wells. Methane, the primary constituent of natural gas, is a potent
greenhouse gas - more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Today’s proposed
changes also would reduce cancer risks from emissions of several air toxics, including
benzene. EPA’s analysis of the proposed changes, which also include requirements for
storage tanks and other equipment, show they are highly cost-effective, with a net savings
to the industry of tens of millions of dollars annually from the value of natural gas that
would no longer escape to the air. The proposal includes reviews of four air regulations for
the oil and natural gas industry as required by the Clean Air Act: a new source
performance standard for VOCs from equipment leaks at gas processing plants; a new
source performance standard for sulphur dioxide emissions from gas processing plants; an
air toxics standard for oil and natural gas production; and an air toxics standard for natural
gas transmission and storage. EPA is under a consent decree requiring the agency to sign
a proposal by 28 July 2011 and take final action by 28 February 2012. As part of the
public comment period, EPA will hold three public hearings. Further information is
available at:
U.S EPA, 28 July 2011

EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety outlines hair dye, cosmetics work
The European Unions Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has outlined
details of its ongoing work in the latest edition of the newsletter of the European
Commission Scientific Committees. The SCCS is currently carrying out full safety
evaluations of 20 hair dyes and the preservatives climbazole, ethyl lauryl arginate,
methenamine 3-chloroallylochloride2-chloroacetamide (Quaternium 15), zinc pyrithione
and benzoisothiazolinone. In addition, the Committee is evaluating UV-filters ETH-50,
HAA299/C-1332, nano-sized titanium dioxide and nano-sized zinc oxide. In fragrances the
SCCS is examining 3 and 4-(4-hydroxy-4- methylpentyl)-3-cyclohexene-1-carboxaldehyde
(HMPCC), methyl-N-methylanthranilate, and reviewing fragrance substances that need to
be labelled when present in cosmetic products. It is further examining the safety of
arbutin/desoxyarbutin, dichloromethane, hydrolysed wheat proteins, peanut oil,
polidocanol, NDELA in cosmetic products and nitrosamines in balloons, and the potential
risks to human health posed by the presence of nitrosamines or of chemicals which
contain secondary amine groups which could give rise to nitrosamines in cosmetics. Two
new mandates have been submitted to the SCCS in the framework of its advisory role for
adaptation to technical progress of the annexes of the cosmetics Directive. These are for
oxidised vitamin K1, used in cosmetic products in a concentration up to 1%, and
methylene glycol, also known as hydrated formaldehyde, in hair straighteners. Further
information is available at:
Chemical Watch, 20 July 2011

French parliamentary report calls for immediate action on EDCs
In recent years, the number of illnesses linked to the hormonal system has significantly
increased and action should therefore be taken immediately to reduce exposure to
endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), according to a report by the French parliament’s
Office for the Evaluation of Science and Technologies. The report notes, for example, that
in France, cancer has increased by 35% and 43% respectively in men and women since
1980. It states that “the available scientific information makes a credible link between the
cause of these diseases and the action of substances that disturb the endocrine system”.
It therefore calls for more research into this field, limitations on the use of endocrine
disrupting substances, and better information for consumers about the potential risks of
these chemicals.
Chemical Watch, 20 July 2011

EU intensifies crackdown on hazardous electronics
Thousands more electronic devices are to face stringent new rules governing their use of
hazardous substances, after the European Commission formally adopted an extension to
the Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive. The original RoHS came into
effect in 2003 and required manufacturers of electronic equipment to meet strict limits on
the use of heavy metals and dangerous chemicals. The rules have forced global
electronics manufacturers to significantly improve the design of their products by gradually
phasing out the use of dangerous metals and chemicals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium,
hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl (PBD)
ethers - all of which have been widely blamed for polluting water sources and soils and
damaging health. However, green groups have long argued the RoHS was too narrowly
focused on IT equipment and household appliances, and as a result the EU moved in
2008 to revise the directive to cover a wider range of electronic devices and equipment,
including thermostats, medical devices, control panels, cables, and spare parts. The new
rules were agreed between the European Parliament and the European Council last year
and formally come into effect from 21 July, giving Member States 18 months to pass the
revised directive into national law. Under the new rules, manufacturers of designated
technologies will have to phase out a list of banned substances, including lead, mercury
and PBB. The relatively long lead time it takes to design and manufacture new electronic
devices means the rules will be introduced gradually over the next eight years, although
under the directive full RoHS compliance will have to be achieved by 2019. A number of
technologies, including solar panels, have been granted exemptions from the rules on the
grounds that there is currently no “satisfactory alternative” to using hazardous substances.
However, the list of exempted technologies will be reviewed in July 2014, while the list of
hazardous substances will also be periodically reviewed and extended. Under the revised
directive, all products facing RoHS requirements will have to submit to inspections and
carry CE marking denoting that they have complied with the rules. EU Environment
Commissioner Janez Potočnik issued a statement declaring that there was no excuse for
manufacturers not to comply with the new rules. “Where there are alternatives available it
is not acceptable to expose people or the planet to dangerous substances,” he said. “We
all come into daily contact with products and these new rules increase further the level of
safety we can expect. They improve consumer safety, health and environmental protection,
and they also improve the way the rules will work at national level.”
Business Green, 21 July 2011

OECD releases guidance and surveys regarding minor use pesticide registration
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently released
three documents on pesticide minor uses: (1) Guidance Document on Regulatory
Incentives for the Registration of Pesticide Minor Uses (Minor Use Guidance); (2) OECD
Survey on Regulatory Incentives for the Registration of Pesticide Minor Uses: Survey
Results; and (3) OECD Survey on Efficacy & Crop Safety Data Requirements & Guidelines
for the Registration of Pesticide Minor Uses: Survey Results. The documents are available
online. Although these surveys were conducted in 2009, the results were only released in
July 2011. The Minor Use Guidance summarises the results from the two surveys
conducted by OECD and is intended to provide guidance to national regulatory authorities
on how to provide greater incentives to encourage applicants (manufacturers/registrants)
to register agricultural pesticides (including both synthetically and naturally derived
products) for minor uses. OECD reports that the countries that participated in the survey
‘noted that the implementation of regulatory incentives have been in direct recognition for a
strong need to have mechanisms that enhance, facilitate and encourage the registration of
minor uses.’ The two main areas that the OECD surveys identified as regulatory incentives
already provided or expected to be provided within OECD member countries relate to
extensions in data protection and waivers or reductions of fees. With regard to fee waivers
or reductions, the OECD Survey on Regulatory Incentives for the Registration of Pesticide
Minor Uses: Survey Results reports that most (11 or 15) of the member countries that
participated in the survey have waivers or reductions as an economic incentive for
pesticide minor use registrations. With regard to data protection, the member countries
that participated in the surveys noted that while extended data protection may not be
currently available, when the new European Commission regulations for biocides (i.e.,
pesticides) are in place, these countries expect to have provisions extending by three
years protection for data supporting minor use registrations. Areas of potential incentives
discussed in the Minor Use Guidance and surveys to be explored include a ‘fast track’
registration review for minor uses, data waivers to be provided for minor use registrations,
greater flexibility in allowing ‘mutually acceptable data (perhaps data from another country)
or through the use of data extrapolations (or crop and pest groupings),’ and the
development or expansion of government-funded programs for minor uses (e.g., IR-4).

The OECD Survey on Efficacy & Crop Safety Data Requirements & Guidelines for the
Registration of Pesticide Minor Uses: Survey Results, for example, indicates it is possible
to exchange data and reviews to support registrations across jurisdictions. Specifically, the
report states: ‘Based on the results of the survey, it appears possible to exchange data
and reviews to support the registration of minor uses across jurisdictions. The amount and
type of data required are similar enough to support or at least facilitate minor use
registration across jurisdictions.’ To enhance data sharing opportunities, the OECD survey
includes recommendations for European Union countries to develop efficacy and residue
data requirements and guidelines for minor uses that are harmonised with other countries
and to examine expanding information data sharing agreements and consideration of
foreign data and reviews across all OECD member countries. The Minor Use Guidance
concludes with a recommendation for regulators and industry to continue to ‘progress and
maintain dialogue and information exchange on the successful implementation of
regulatory incentives, and in doing so continually review existing incentives, explore
improvements in existing incentives and opportunities for new incentives.’ In addition, the
Guidance states as one of the ‘conclusions/key objectives’:
Whilst a number of commonly accepted approaches are utilised in several countries, such
as data protection, fee waivers and data extrapolation, these alone may not provide
sufficient incentive for the registration of minor uses. Countries should also consider
developing new and/or complementary approaches to raise the ‘value’ a registrant may
associate from the registration of minor uses. For example many countries have or are
considering the establishment of national programmes that work directly with affected
producers to prioritise needs, generate data and make regulatory submissions. In addition
to the establishment of these programmes it is recognised that complementary regulatory
incentives can enhance the registration of minor uses from those programmes/schemes.
Where a registrant may still not associate economic value with a minor use to justify
registration, countries should have in place regulatory mechanisms that allow for third
party and/or temporary authorisations to be considered and where the liability from such
uses are clearly outlined.
Environmental Expert, 28 July 2011

REACH Update
EU REACH Committee to decide on second list of chemicals for authorisation
The European Commission has announced that the second list of chemicals to be
prioritised under the REACH authorisation process has been passed to the EU REACH
Committee. The list of eight substances was proposed by the European Chemicals
Agency last December. The Committee will decide whether to list the chemicals in REACH
Annex XIV at its meeting on 28 September. Addition to the Annex would mean companies
will have to seek authorisation for these substances in future.
Chemical Watch, 3 August 2011

ECHA consults on testing proposals for alkenes
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has called for information on testing proposals
involving vertebrate animals for assessing the reproductive toxicity of alkenes (C7-9,
hydroformylation products, distillation residues, heavy cracked fraction). Scientifically valid
information and studies from third parties should be submitted to the agency by 15
September 2011. Further information on the new proposals can be found at:
Chemical Watch, 3 August 2011

European Commission releases more details on REACH conference
Further details have emerged on the European Commission’s REACH event titled What
did we achieve in 2010 – how can we ease the way for 2013, which is to be held in
Brussels on the 23 September 2011.
The presentations include:
An opening address given by Janez Potočnik, the European Commissioner for the
Geert Dancet, the executive director of ECHA, will deliver the agency’s perspective;
There will be a panel discussion with representatives standing for industry, authorities and
Thomas Fischer, the advisor for Chemical Policy for the UEAPME, will also talk about
SMEs in easing the way for 2013.
The event will be webstreamed and interpreted into English, French, German, Spanish,
Italian and Polish. Details on registration can be found at:
Chemical Watch, 1 August 2011

ECHA consults on harmonised C&L proposals for five substances
ECHA has issued proposals for the harmonised classification and labelling of the following
five substances:

Substance name             CAS number       EC/List          Hazard endpoint for which
                                            number           vertebrate testing was
Amidosulfuron              120923-37-7      407-380-0        Aquatic acute
                                                             Aquatic chronic
Triadimenol               55219-65-3      259-537-6       Acute toxicity
                                                          Reproductive toxicity
                                                          Aquatic chronic
Acrolein                  107-02-8        203-453-4       Acute toxicity
                                                          Hazardous to the aquatic
3-Iodo-2-propynylbuty-l 55406-53-6        259-627-5       Acute toxicity
carbamate                                                 Eye damage
                                                          Skin sensitisation
                                                          Specific target organ toxicity –
                                                          single exposure
                                                          Aquatic acute
                                                          Aquatic chronic
Tebufenpyrad              119168-77-3                     Acute toxicity
                                                          Skin sensitisation
                                                          Hazardous to the aquatic

The comments will run until 12 September.
ECHA, 29 July 2011

ECHA consults on testing proposals for 25 substances
ECHA has called for information on testing proposals involving vertebrate animals for 25
substances. Scientifically valid information and studies from third parties should be
submitted to the agency by 12 September 2011.

Substance name            CAS number      EC/List         Hazard endpoint for which
                                          number          vertebrate testing was
Diethylmethylbenzened 68479-98-1          270-877-4       Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
iamine                                                    developmental toxicity)
Reaction mass of                          932-164-2       Sub-chronic toxicity (90-day):
Amides, rape-oil,                                         oral
ethoxylated and                                           Long-term toxicity to fish
Glycerol, ethoxylated
Reaction mass of                          903-919-3       Sub-chronic toxicity (90 day):
2,2’-oxydibutane and                                      inhalation
and butan-2-ol and                                        Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
2,2’-oxydipropane                                         developmental toxicity)
                                                          Reproductive toxicity
                                                          (two-generation reproductive
2,5-Furandione,           68784-12-3      272-221-2       Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
dihydro-,                                            developmental toxicity)
Alkenes, C13-14,                                     Reproductive toxicity
hydroformylation                                     (two-generation reproductive
products, low boiling ||                             toxicity)
Note: testing proposed
with C9-C14 aliphatic
solvent, 2-25%
N-benzyl-N-C16-18                                    Sub-chronic toxicity (90-day):
(even                                                oral
hyl-C16-18 (even                                     Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
numbered)-alkyl-1-ami                                developmental toxicity)
nium chloride || Note:
testing proposed with
Quaternary ammonium
, chlorides (CAS
number 92129-33-4)
Nonylphenol,               68412-54-4    500-209-1   Reproductive toxicity
branched, ethoxylated                                (two-generation reproductive
Tar, brown-coal,           101316-84-1   309-886-6   Sub-chronic toxicity (90-day):
low-temp                                             oral
Extracts (petroleum),      91995-70-9    295-332-8   Reproductive toxicity
deasphalted vacuum                                   (two-generation reproductive
residue solvent || Note:                             toxicity)
testing proposed with
tank fume condensate
derived from paving
grade straight run
bitumen (identifier not
3,3,5-trimethylcyclohex 873-94-9         212-855-9   Sub-chronic toxicity (90-day):
an-1-one                                             oral
                                                     Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
                                                     developmental toxicity)
Phenol, isopropylated,     68937-41-7    273-066-3   Sub-chronic toxicity (90-day):
phosphate (3:1)                                      oral
                                                     Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
                                                     developmental toxicity)
                                                     Reproductive toxicity
                                                    (two-generation reproductive
                                                    Long-term toxicity to fish
                                                    Bioaccumulation aquatic /
Phenol,                    68512-30-1   270-966-8   Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
methylstyrenated                                    developmental toxicity)
                                                    Reproductive toxicity
                                                    (two-generation reproductive
diammonium             20824-56-0       244-063-4   Sub-chronic toxicity (90 day):
dihydrogen                                          inhalation
Alkenes, C6-8, even                                 Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
and odd, linear and                                 developmental toxicity)
branched|| Note:
testing proposed with                               Reproductive toxicity
oct-1-ene (CAS                                      (two-generation reproductive
111-66-0)                                           toxicity)

Alkenes, C13-14, II                                 Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
Note: testing proposed                              developmental toxicity)
with oct-1-ene (CAS
111-66-0)                                           Reproductive toxicity
                                                    (two-generation reproductive
Alkenes, C8-10,            68526-55-6   271-212-0   Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
C9-rich II Note: testing                            developmental toxicity)
proposed with
oct-1-ene (CAS                                      Reproductive toxicity
111-66-0)                                           (two-generation reproductive
1,2,4-Benzenetricarbox 90218-76-1       290-754-9   Sub-chronic toxicity (90-day):
ylic acid, mixed decyl                              oral
and octyl triesters
Reaction mass of                        906-484-8   Sub-chronic toxicity (90 day):
2-methylpent-2-ene                                  inhalation
and diisopropyl ether
                                                    Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
                                                    developmental toxicity)
                                                    Reproductive toxicity
                                                    (two-generation reproductive
Reaction mass of                        904-153-2   Sub-chronic toxicity (90-day):
2-ethylpropane-1,3-diol                             oral
and                                                 Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
5-ethyl-1,3-dioxane-5-                              developmental toxicity)
methanol and
|| Note: testing
proposed with
methanol (EC
N-(3-aminopropyl)-N’-C                  628-863-4   Sub-chronic toxicity (90-day):
16-18 (evennumbered),                               oral
C18 unsaturated alkyl
-propane-1,3-diamine ||                             Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
Note: testing proposed                              developmental toxicity)
with Tallow
Ethanol, 2,2’-iminobis-,   97925-95-6   308-208-6   Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
N-(C13-15-branched                                  developmental toxicity)
and linear alkyl) derivs
                                                    Long-term toxicity to fish

Alkanes, C10-13,           85535-84-8   287-476-5   Reproductive toxicity
chloro                                              (two-generation reproductive
Fatty acids, tall-oil,     67784-78-5   267-053-1   Sub-chronic toxicity (90-day):
reaction products with                              oral
                                                    Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
                                                    developmental toxicity)
                                                    Reproductive toxicity
                                                    (two-generation reproductive
                                                    Long-term toxicity to fish
Disodium                                            Sub-chronic toxicity (90-day):
hydroxy-substituted                                 oral
alkanoate || Note:
testing proposed with                               Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
Reaction mass of                                    developmental toxicity)
alkanoate and
tris(2-methoxyethoxy)vi 1067-53-4       213-934-0   Reproductive toxicity (pre-natal
nylsilane                                           developmental toxicity)

ECHA, 29 July 2011
Janet’s Corner – Not too seriously!
First cut is the deepest
Once upon a time, two little boys, Sammy and Tim, were sharing a room in the hospital. As
they were getting to know each other a little bit, Sammy eventually asked Tim, “Hey Tim,
what’re you in for?”
“I’m getting my tonsils out -- I’m a little worried”, said Tim.
“Oh don’t worry about it. I had my tonsils out and it was a blast! I got to eat all the ice
cream and jello I wanted for two weeks!”
“Oh yeah?’’ replied Tim, “That’s not half-bad. Hey, Sammy, how about you? What’re you
here for?”
“I’m getting a circumcision, whatever that is”, Sammy answered.
“Oh my god, circumcision? I got one of those when I was a baby and I couldn’t walk for
two years!”
Please note: articles for Janet’s Corner are not original, and come from various sources.
Author’s credits are supplied when available.

Toluene is a clear, colourless, volatile liquid with a sweet, pungent, benzene-like odour. It
is flammable at temperatures greater than 40ºF (4.4ºC); therefore, it is a significant fire
hazard at room temperature. Toluene mixes readily with many organic solvents, but is
poorly soluble in water. It is less dense than water and will float on the surface of water.
Toluene should be stored indoors in a standard flammable liquids room or cabinet that is
separate from oxidising materials. [1]
Chemically toluene is a mono-substituted benzene derivative, i.e. one in which a single
hydrogen atom from the benzene molecule has been replaced by a univalent group, in this
case CH3. It is an aromatic hydrocarbon that is widely used as an industrial feedstock and
as a solvent. Like other solvents, toluene is sometimes also used as an inhalant drug for
its intoxicating properties; however, this can potentially cause severe neurological harm.
Toluene is an important organic solvent, but is also capable of dissolving a number of
notable inorganic chemicals such as sulphur. [2]

Uses [3]

The major use of toluene is as a mixture added to gasoline to improve octane ratings. It is
also used to produce benzene and as a solvent in paints, coatings, synthetic fragrances,
adhesives, inks, and cleaning agents. Toluene is also used in the production of polymers
used to make nylon, plastic soda bottles, and polyurethanes and for pharmaceuticals, dyes,
cosmetic nail products, and the synthesis of organic chemicals.

Routes of Exposure [1]

Toluene is readily absorbed from the lungs, and most exposures to toluene occur by
inhalation. Toluene’s odour is discernable at a concentration of 8 ppm, which is 25 times
less than the OSHA PEL (200 ppm); therefore, odour generally provides adequate warning
of acutely hazardous concentrations. Its vapour is heavier than air and may cause
asphyxiation in enclosed, poorly ventilated, or low-lying areas. Children exposed to the
same levels of toluene vapour as adults may receive a larger dose because they have
greater lung surface area:body weight ratios and increased minute volumes:weight ratios.
In addition, they may be exposed to higher levels than adults in the same location because
of their short stature and the higher levels of toluene vapor found nearer to the ground.

Skin/Eye Contact
Toluene vapour is only mildly irritating to mucous membranes; however, liquid toluene
splashed in the eyes can result in corneal injury. Repeated or prolonged skin contact with
liquid toluene can defat the skin, causing it to crack and peel. Percutaneous absorption is
slow through intact skin; however, toluene absorbed through the skin may contribute to
total body burden. Children are more vulnerable to toxicants absorbed through the skin
because of their relatively larger surface area:body weight ratio.

Acute systemic toxicity can result from ingestion of toluene.

Health Hazard Information [3]

Acute Effects
The Central Nervous System (CNS) is the primary target organ for toluene toxicity in both
humans and animals for acute and chronic exposures. CNS dysfunction (which is often
reversible) and narcosis have been frequently observed in humans acutely exposed to low
or moderate levels of toluene by inhalation; symptoms include fatigue, sleepiness,
headaches, and nausea. CNS depression and death have occurred at higher levels of
exposure. Cardiac arrhythmia has also been reported in humans acutely exposed to
Following the ingestion of toluene a person died from a severe depression of the CNS.
Constriction and necrosis of myocardial fibres, swollen liver, congestion and haemorrhage
of the lungs, and tubular kidney necrosis were also reported.

Chronic Effects (Noncancer)
CNS depression has been reported to occur in chronic abusers exposed to high levels of
toluene. Symptoms include drowsiness, ataxia, tremors, cerebral atrophy, nystagmus
(involuntary eye movements), and impaired speech, hearing, and vision. Neurobehavioral
effects have been observed in occupationally exposed workers. Chronic inhalation
exposure of humans to toluene causes irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes,
sore throat, dizziness, headache, and difficulty with sleep. Mild effects on the kidneys and
liver have been reported in solvent abusers chronically exposed to toluene vapor. However,
these studies are confounded by probable exposure to multiple solvents. The Reference
Concentration (RfC) for toluene is 0.4 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) based on
neurological effects in humans and degeneration of the nasal epithelium in rats. The RfC is
an estimate (with uncertainty spanning perhaps an order of magnitude) of a continuous
inhalation exposure to the human population (including sensitive subgroups) that is likely
to be without appreciable risk of deleterious noncancer effects during a lifetime. It is not a
direct estimator of risk but rather a reference point to gauge the potential effects. At
exposures increasingly greater than the RfC, the potential for adverse health effects
increases. Lifetime exposure above the RfC does not imply that an adverse health effect
would necessarily occur. (2)

Reproductive/Developmental Effects
CNS dysfunction, attention deficits, minor craniofacial and limb anomalies, and
developmental delay were observed in the children of pregnant women exposed to toluene
or to mixed solvents during solvent abuse. Growth retardation and dysmorphism were
reported in infants of another study. However, these studies were confounded by exposure
to multiple chemicals. Children born to toluene abusers have exhibited temporary renal
tubular acidosis. Paternal exposure (in which the mothers had no occupational exposure to
toluene but the fathers did) increased the odds ratio for spontaneous abortions; however,
these observations cannot be clearly ascribed to toluene because of the small number of
cases evaluated and the large number of confounding variables. An increased incidence of
spontaneous abortions was also reported among occupationally exposed women.

Cancer Risk
Two epidemiological studies did not detect a statistically significant increased risk of
cancer due to inhalation exposure to toluene. However, these studies were limited due to
the size of the study population and lack of historical monitoring data. EPA has classified
toluene as a Group D, not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity.

In the Environment [4]
Toluene evaporates when exposed to air. It also evaporates from water. In air, it quickly
reacts to form other chemicals; in water and soil, bacteria break it down. Toluene has
caused membrane damage to the leaves in plants. It has moderate toxicity to aquatic life
in the short and long terms. Chronic and acute effects on birds or land animals have not
been determined. Toluene is expected to bioaccumulate minimally.

Handling and Storage [5]

General Precautions
Avoid breathing vapours or contact with material.
Only use in well ventilated areas.
Wash thoroughly after handling.

Avoid contact with skin, eyes, and clothing.
Extinguish any naked flames.
Do not smoke.
Remove ignition sources.
Avoid sparks.
Electrostatic charges may be generated during pumping. Electrostatic discharge may
cause fire.
Ensure electrical continuity by bonding and grounding (earthing) all equipment.
Restrict line velocity during pumping in order to avoid generation of electrostatic discharge
(<= 1 m/sec until fill pipe submerged to twice its diameter, then <= 7 m/sec).
Avoid splash filling.
Do NOT use compressed air for filling, discharging, or handling operations.
Handle and open container with care in a well-ventilated area.

Vapours from tanks should not be released to atmosphere.
Breathing losses during storage should be controlled by a suitable vapour treatment
Bulk storage tanks should be diked (bunded).
Must be stored in a diked (bunded) well- ventilated area, away from sunlight, ignition
sources and other sources of heat.
Keep away from aerosols, flammables, oxidising agents, corrosives and from other
flammable products which are not harmful or toxic to man or to the environment.The
vapour is heavier than air.
Beware of accumulation in pits and confined spaces.

Personal Protective Equipment [5]

Respiratory Protection
If engineering controls do not maintain airborne concentrations to a level which is
adequate to protect worker health, select respiratory protection equipment suitable for the
specific conditions of use and meeting relevant legislation. Check with respiratory
protective equipment suppliers. Where air-filtering respirators are suitable, select an
appropriate combination of mask and filter. Select a filter suitable for organic gases and
vapours [boiling point >65 °C (149 °F)] meeting EN141. Where respiratory protective
equipment is required, use a full-face mask. Where air-filtering respirators are unsuitable
(e.g., airborne concentrations are high, risk of oxygen deficiency, confined space) use
appropriate positive pressure breathing apparatus.

Hand Protection
Where hand contact with the product may occur the use of gloves approved to relevant
standards (e.g. Europe: EN374, US: F739) made from the following materials may provide
suitable chemical protection: Longer term protection: Viton. Incidental contact/Splash
protection: Nitrile rubber. Suitability and durability of a glove is dependent on usage, e.g.
frequency and duration of contact, chemical resistance of glove material, glove thickness,
dexterity. Always seek advice from glove suppliers. Contaminated gloves should be

Eye Protection
Chemical splash goggles (chemical monogoggles) should be used when handling the

Protective Clothing
Chemical resistant gloves/gauntlets. Where risk of splashing or in spillage clean up, use
chemical resistant one-piece overall with integral hood.


Mercury Vapour Released from Broken Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Can
Exceed Safe Exposure Levels for Humans, Study Finds
A new study has suggested that once broken, a compact fluorescent light bulb
continuously releases mercury vapour into the air for weeks to months, and the total
amount can exceed safe human exposure levels in a poorly ventilated room. The findings
from the new study were published in the journal Environmental Engineering Science. The
amount of liquid mercury (Hg) that leaches from a broken compact fluorescent lamp (CFL)
is lower than the level allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so
CFLs are not considered hazardous waste. However, Yadong Li and Li Jin, Jackson State
University (Jackson, MS) report that the total amount of Hg vapour released from a broken
CFL over time can be higher than the amount considered safe for human exposure. They
document their findings in the article “Environmental Release of Mercury from Broken
Compact Fluorescent Lamps.” As people can readily inhale vapour-phase mercury, the
authors suggest rapid removal of broken CFLs and adequate ventilation, as well as
suitable packaging to minimise the risk of breakage of CFLs and to retain Hg vapour if they
do break, thereby limiting human exposure. During the study, the researchers tested eight
different brands of CFLs and four different wattages and found that Hg content varies
significantly from brand to brand. To determine the amount of Hg released by a broken
CFL, Li and Jin used standard procedures developed by the EPA to measure leaching of
mercury in liquids and used an emission monitoring system to detect Hg vapour. “This
paper is a very nice holistic analysis of potential risks associated with mercury release
from broken CFLs and points to potential human health threats that have not always been
considered,” according to Domenico Grasso, PhD, Editor-in-Chief and Vice President for
Research, Dean of the Graduate College, University of Vermont (Burlington).
Science Daily, 6 July 2011

Eggs’ Antioxidant Properties May Help Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer, Study
While eggs are well known to be an excellent source of proteins, lipids, vitamins and
minerals, a new study by researchers at the University of Alberta has discovered they also
contain antioxidant properties, which helps in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and
cancer. During the recent study, Jianping Wu, Andreas Schieber and graduate students
Chamila Nimalaratne and Daise Lopes-Lutz of the U of A Department of Agricultural Food
and Nutritional Science examined egg yolks produced by hens fed typical diets of either
primarily wheat or corn. They discovered the yolks contained two amino acids, tryptophan
and tyrosine, which have high antioxidant properties. After analysing the properties, the
researchers determined that two egg yolks in their raw state have almost twice as many
antioxidant properties as an apple and about the same as half a serving (25 grams) of
cranberries. However, when the eggs were fried or boiled, antioxidant properties were
reduced by about half, and a little more than half if the eggs were cooked in a microwave.
“It’s a big reduction but it still leaves eggs equal to apples in their antioxidant value,” said
Wu. The new study was published in the journal Food Chemistry. The discovery of these
two amino acids, while important, may only signify the beginning of finding antioxidant
properties in egg yolks, said Wu, an associate professor of agricultural, food and nutritional
science. “Ultimately, we’re trying to map antioxidants in egg yolks so we have to look at all
of the properties in the yolks that could contain antioxidants, as well as how the eggs are
ingested,” said Wu, adding that he and his team will examine the other type of antioxidant
already known to be in eggs, carotenoids, the yellow pigment in egg yolk, as well as
peptides. During the study, Wu found that egg proteins were converted by enzymes in the
stomach and small intestines and produced peptides that act the same way as ACE
inhibitors, prescriptions drugs that are used to lower high blood pressure. That finding
defied common wisdom and contradicted the public perception that eggs increased high
blood pressure because of their high cholesterol content. Additional research by Wu
suggests the peptides can be formulated to help prevent and treat hypertension.
Furthermore, Wu is convinced the peptides have some antioxidant properties, which leads
him to suggest that when he completes the next step in his research, the result will likely
be that eggs have more antioxidant properties than we currently know.
Science Daily, 5 July 2011

Metal water bottles may leach BPA
According to the findings of a new study, consumers who switched from
polycarbonate-plastic water bottles to metal ones in hopes of avoiding the risk that
bisphenol A will leach into their beverages aren’t necessarily any better off. Some metal
water bottles leach even more BPA — an oestrogen-mimicking pollutant — than do ones
made from the now-pariah plastic. That BPA doesn’t come from the metal, by the way, but
from an epoxy-resin lining that is based on BPA’s recipe. That’s the bad news. If you’re
willing to spring for name-brand bottles, however, several included in the new study either
did not contain a resin liner or did not contain one that leached BPA. These data suggest
such products would be a better bet for individuals who are especially risk averse. But
BPA leaching by even the worst performing water bottles was low, observes toxicologist
Scott Belcher of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, an author of the new
study. “Low is a fair characterisation,” he says. “Infinitesimally low and irrelevant is not
fair,” he adds, because there are so many potential sources of the pollutant in the human
environment “and this is just one.” Moreover, his team confirmed, temperature abuse could
— and did — exaggerate BPA releases by otherwise low-emitting bottles. Belcher’s group
has for years been testing the effects of BPA on heart-muscle cells. This work has shown
that in rodent hearts, BPA exposures foster potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. And
the risk intensifies in the presence of oestrogen. (The team’s published data suggest that
owing to the levels of oestrogen present in women, the addition of substantial BPA via the
diet might be capable of provoking such arrhythmias.) After having a number of individuals
plead with his team to test whether ostensibly BPA-free water bottles really were devoid of
the pollutant, Belcher and his colleagues agreed to perform a series of tests. The
researchers used old (but unused) polycarbonate and resin-lined aluminium bottles that
they had closeted away several years earlier, along with new BPA-free “Tritan” plastic
bottles (by Nalgene), stainless steel bottles (by Sigg) and new “EcoCare” resin-lined
aluminium bottles (by Sigg). In addition, the researchers purchased some new aluminium
water bottles from a major discount retailer. After cleaning each unit, the scientists stored
room-temperature water in three bottles of each type for five days. In an additional set of
experiments, Belcher’s team filled the bottles with boiling water (which tests by others had
shown could boost BPA leaching) and then let the water cool to room temperature over the
next day. Levels of BPA were below the limit of detection for the new Sigg and Nalgene
bottles, the scientists reported in the journal Chemosphere.

However, in comparison, the old polycarbonate bottles leached 0.17 to 0.3 nanograms of
BPA per millilitre of water during the room temperature tests. The old aluminium bottles
with an epoxy-resin liner (which looked golden orange) leached 0.59 to 0.14 nanograms
per millilitre. Brand-new epoxy-resin-lined aluminium water bottles leached substantially
more — up to six times more BPA than the worst-leaching polycarbonate bottle and more
than 10 times as much BPA as the polycarbonate-plastic bottle that had leached the least.
Oh, and the hot-water test: It quadrupled BPA leaching over what occurred when water
had been kept at or below room temperature. Belcher says he was pleased to see that the
bottles that had been sold as BPA-free in fact did not leach the steroid-hormone-mimicking
pollutant. But he also cautions that at present, “BPA-free doesn’t really have a meaning,
other than being a marketing tag.” There are no regulations to limit which products can
make that claim, he explains. Furthermore, that’s important because some resins don’t
contain BPA as a direct ingredient, but during breakdown might release the chemical or a
biologically similar cousin. For now, he notes, it appears that consumers can get a good
gauge of whether bottles contain a BPA-based resin by inspecting the inside of the metal
vessel. A golden-orange coating points to a material that can shed BPA, Belcher says; a
white coating doesn’t. But what these experiments don’t establish is the absolute risk
associated with use of drinking from bottles that leach BPA. Recent animal studies,
including a pair I reported on a couple of weeks back, indicate that exposures to BPA in
the womb can rewire the developing brain in ways that alter gender-specific behaviours.
Even in children, prenatal exposures to this chemical have been linked with a
gender-bending of behaviours. But no one has yet demonstrated the long-term importance
of such changes. There’s the presumption that they’re deleterious and could ultimately
affect gender identity or reproduction. There’s also, however, the possibility that such
changes, though measurable, hold no more biological significance than whether a baby is
born with brown eyes versus green ones. So those who subscribe to the precautionary
principle may want to withhold judgment.
Science News, 11 July 2011

Toward more sustainable fungicides
Researchers in France have described a new method to prepare safer fungicides in an
environmentally friendly way. A new approach devised by chemists promises to clean up
the dirty business of making and using fungicides. The approach relies on a
naturally-available source material called glycerol instead of the traditional metal-releasing
compounds used today. Fungicides kill or inhibit growth of moulds, mildew and other fungi.
Their use on food crops by the agricultural industry is omnipresent and has increased
fourfold during the last 50 years. In 2007, fungicides accounted for $33 billion in sales.
With the growing population and the increased strain on food resources, the use of
fungicides is set to continue to increase. This new study is a big step toward reducing the
environmental impacts associated with producing and using the pesticides. In addition, it
opens the door to making other chemicals with the same starting chemical – the
naturally-occurring glycerol. Fungicides are generally prepared as water-soluble salts – in
chemistry, salts are a products made up of a positively and a negatively charged molecule
that form the neutral salt. The salt products used for fungicide production also contain
metals that contaminate soils, rivers and underground water. In addition, the breakdown
products can be highly toxic. It is thus very important to prepare safer fungicides through
environmentally friendly processes. A recent study published in the journal Green
Chemistry reports a possible way to make safer, water-soluble fungicides without metal
salts. The chemists describe making a specific class of fungicides – called
dithiocarbamates – using a previously reported method that relies on glycerol instead of
the salts. Glycerol forms part of plant oil molecules and is used as a sweetener and low fat
filler in food and as a thickener in liqueur. It is also used in a variety of pharmaceutical and
personal care products such as toothpaste, soap, mouthwash and cough syrup. It turns
out, the process is more efficient and potentially cheaper than current methods. The
chemical pathway releases only ethanol and CO2 as waste. All sulphur and nitrogen in the
reactants was included in the final material, which is a major achievement. In addition, the
researchers were able to scale up their process to produce larger quantities at one time.
The success of fungicides derived from this method is being tested in field studies on
sunflower, wheat and soy crops. These studies will decide the real impact that this work
can make on safer fungicide production.
Environmental Health News, 8 July 2011

Indoor Air Pollution Linked to Cardiovascular Risk
An estimated two billion people in the developing world heat and cook with a biomass fuel
such as wood, but the practice exposes people – especially women – to large doses of
small-particle air pollution, which can cause premature death and lung disease. A new
study, published recently online in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health
Perspectives, has detected an association between indoor air pollution and increased
blood pressure among older women. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
undertook the study in a remote area of Yunnan Province, China. Two hundred and eighty
women in an ethnic minority called the Naxi wore a portable device that sampled the air
they were breathing for 24 hours. The Naxi live in compounds including a central,
free-standing kitchen that often has both a stove and a fire pit, says Jill Baumgartner, who
performed the study with National Science Foundation funding while a Ph.D. student at
UW-Madison. “I spent a lot of time watching women cook in these unvented kitchens, and
within seconds, my eyes would burn, it would get a little difficult to breathe. The women
talk about these same discomforts, but they are viewed as just another hardship of rural
life,” Baumgartner said. Most women are exposed to this smoke for several hours a day,
and even if the cookstove is vented, a second fire is often burning for heat, says
Baumgartner, who is now a global renewable energy leadership fellow at the Institute on
the Environment at the University of Minnesota. By correlating exposure over 24 hours
with blood pressure, Baumgartner and colleagues associated higher levels of indoor air
pollution with a significantly higher blood pressure among women aged 50 and over.
Small-particle pollution raises blood pressure over the short term by stimulating the
nervous system to constrict blood vessels. In the long term, the particles can cause
oxidative stress, which likewise raises blood pressure. Other studies have demonstrated
that improved stoves or cleaner fuels can cut indoor air pollution by 50 to 75 percent. In
the Baumgartner study, that reduction in pollution level was linked to a four-point reduction
in systolic blood pressure (the first number in a blood pressure reading).

Such a change “may be of little consequence for an individual,” said co-author Leonelo
Baustista, an associate professor of population health sciences at UW-Madison. “However,
changes of this magnitude in a population would have a significant, large impact on the
risk of cardiovascular disease in the population.” In fact, the researchers concluded that
this reduction would translate into an 18 percent decrease in coronary heart disease and a
22 percent decrease in stroke among Asian women age 50 to 59. These benefits would
save the lives of 230,900 Chinese women each year. Because biomass fuels are also the
primary source of energy for more than 2 billion people globally, cleaner fuels and better
stoves would produce even greater cardiovascular benefits worldwide. “This is the first
study that links personal exposure to indoor air pollution to blood pressure changes;
considering that a couple of billion people are exposed, this represents an extremely
important public health discovery,” says co-author Jonathan Patz, director of the UW
Global Health Institute. “We have known for years that unvented cooking indoors causes
respiratory damage, but now that we have documented cardiovascular effects as well, the
rationale for cleaner stoves and better fuels becomes that much stronger,” added Patz, a
professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Although China had a major
program to promote cleaner stoves during the 1980s, indoor air pollution problem remains,
Baumgartner said. “Having a cleaner stove or fuel is important, but in these villages, the
piece that is missing is education about the health implications. You can have a great
stove, but if it is sitting right next to an open fire, the health benefit is lost,” Baumgartner
Environmental Protection News, 11 July 2011

Long Droughts Make Some Chemicals More Toxic to Aquatic Life
Some areas of the southern United States are suffering from the longest dry spell since
1887 and a new Baylor University study shows that could prove problematic for aquatic
organisms. In the new study, the researchers discovered that drought conditions make
some chemicals in the environment more toxic to fish and other aquatic life. Specifically,
the study found that drought conditions exacerbate the magnitudes of the natural pH shifts
in the water. This is important, the researchers said, because some contaminants in the
water, such as ammonia, are more toxic to aquatic life depending on the pH level. In
addition, more than 75 percent of the essential drugs described by the World Health
Organisation and approximately one-third of modern pesticides have ionisable groups of
compounds. When dispersed in the environment, these “weak base” compounds can
become more toxic to fish when surface pH levels are high. The results from the recent
study were published online in the journal Integrated Environmental Assessment and
Management. “The importance of this work is it shows that we may be underestimating or
overestimating the adverse effects of some chemicals on fish,” said study co-author Bryan
Brooks, associate professor of environmental science and biomedical studies and director
of environmental health science at Baylor. “How drought conditions, especially those
influenced by climatic changes, impact fluctuations of the water’s pH level is just now
emerging as an area of concern in regards to making certain chemicals more toxic and
more likely to accumulate in fish.” During the study, the Baylor researchers collected
samples at different times over the course of two years at 23 streams across the southern
United States and measured how ecosystem production and respiration, dissolved oxygen
content, the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen, and pH level changed over the course of
a day. The researchers found one of the driest year’s on record, the fluctuations of the
water’s pH level was extreme and coincided with increased toxicity to aquatic life. “Future
water scarcity associated with global climate change and altered precipitation patterns
may profoundly impact in-stream flows in semiarid regions, which have direct implications
for water resource management,” said study co-author Ted Valenti, a former Baylor
doctoral student. “Predicting the cumulative effects of climatic variability on the risk of
contaminants may require a significant shift in the environmental assessment and
management approaches for freshwater systems.”
Water & Wastewater News, 29 June 2011

Toxic Contamination in Offices: New Study Reveals Hidden Chemicals in Dust
In a new study, researchers examined over two dozen offices in Boston and discovered
dangerous flame retardant chemicals - polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) - banned
by an international treaty - are contaminating every office. Exposure to PBDEs in the
Office Environment: Evaluating the Relationship Between Dust, Handwipes, and Serum,
was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. ‘These chemicals can
mimic our bodies’ natural hormones and may contribute to problems with reproduction and
development,’ explains Ami Zota, Sc.D., researcher with the Program on Reproductive
Health and the Environment at the University of California San Francisco, and not affiliated
with the study. ‘Young men and women of child bearing age working in offices should
know that foetal exposure to PBDEs can alter brain development and lead to long lasting
developmental deficits including reduced IQ.’ ‘While our study sampled a relatively small
number of offices, the findings suggest additional research could indicate most offices are
contaminated,’ says Tom Webster PhD., study co-author and associate chairman, Boston
University School of Public Health. ‘PBDEs are very pervasive but even in new offices with
brand new furniture we found PBDE compounds present.’ The study found frequent
handwashing appeared to reduce exposure to certain PBDEs. ‘An outdated California
regulation virtually forces manufacturers to put these flame retardant chemicals into foam
for products meant for sale in California and elsewhere, even though doing so doesn’t
prevent fires,’ explains Ana Mascarenas, from Physicians for Social Responsibility - Los
Angeles. ‘Fire retardant chemicals used to meet California regulation don’t provide a fire
safety benefit,’ says Arlene Blum PhD, executive director of the Green Science Policy
Institute and co-author of a recent study documenting lack of fire safety benefits from the
chemicals used for CA regulation, TB 117. ‘Exposure is linked to thyroid disease, lowered
IQs in children, and reproductive effects such as infertility.’ Kathy Curtis, coordinator,
Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety, says failure in federal law explains how PBDEs persist
in consumer goods, ‘When Congress eventually reforms the nation’s chemical law - the
Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 - we’ll have safer products. If industry had to prove
that flame retardant chemicals were safe for human health, they’d never have been
approved for use to begin with.’
Environmental Expert, 7 July 2011

Too Much Sitting May Be Bad for Your Health
Lack of physical exercise is often implicated in many disease processes. However,
sedentary behaviour, or too much sitting, as distinct from too little exercise, potentially
could be a new risk factor for disease. The August issue of the American Journal of
Preventive Medicine features a collection of articles that addresses many aspects of the
problem of sedentary behaviour, including the relevant behavioural science that will be
needed to evaluate whether initiatives to reduce sitting time can be effective and beneficial.
“Epidemiologic and physiologic research on sedentary behaviour suggests that there are
novel health consequences of prolonged sitting time, which appear to be independent of
those attributable to lack of leisure-time physical activity,” commented Neville Owen, PhD,
Head of Behavioural Epidemiology at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute,
Melbourne, Australia. “However, behavioural research that could lead to effective
interventions for influencing sedentary behaviours is less developed, especially so for
adults. The purpose of this theme issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine is
to propose a set of perspectives on ‘too much sitting’ that can guide future research. As
the theme papers demonstrate, recent epidemiologic evidence (supported by physiologic
studies) is consistent in identifying sedentary behaviour as a distinct health risk. However,
to build evidence-based approaches for addressing sedentary behaviour and health, there
is the need for research to develop new measurement methods, to understand the
personal, social, and environmental factors that influence sedentary behaviours, and to
develop and test the relevant interventions.” Contributed by an international,
multidisciplinary group of experts, papers include a compelling cross-national comparison
of sedentary behaviour, several reports on trends in sedentary behaviour among children
and a discussion of the multiple determinants of sedentary behaviour and potential

The collection is particularly noteworthy because it:
Represents a major advance in collecting and analysing current research on sedentary
behaviour, especially the relevant behavioural science that must be better understood if
such behaviours are to change over time to improve health outcomes.
Adds “momentum” to the discussion about sedentary behaviour potentially being an
independent risk factor for disease, ie, when examined specifically and distinctly from the
effects of physical activity or exercise in large prospective studies, those who sit more
often are found to have a greater risk of premature death, particularly from heart disease.
Indicates that, despite the need for additional research on potential cause-and-effect
relationships, and particularly the underlying physiological mechanisms that might be at
play, there is now a growing momentum to address the issue of sedentary behaviour more
proactively in health promotion and disease prevention.
Shows that children’s current and future health is particularly at risk given that they spend
substantial amounts of their day sitting at school, at home and through transport, and that
new technologies and entertainment formats may exacerbate this problem. Thus, it is
critical to understand what influences children to sit so much, so we can develop effective
Has particularly important implications for workplace environments and the potential health
benefits of re-engineering workplace design and processes, especially in developed
countries where most adults spend most of their workday sitting. These concerns have an
important economic, population health and social equity context, even though the studies
did not include economic or sociocultural research on this topic specifically.

The authors highlight the fact that broad-reach approaches and environmental and policy
initiatives are becoming part of the sedentary behaviour and health research agenda. In
this context, mass media health promotion campaigns are already beginning to incorporate
messages about reducing sitting time in the home environment, together with now-familiar
messages about increasing physical activity. In the workplace, there is already active
marketing of innovative technologies that will act to reduce sitting time (such as
height-adjustable desks). Community entertainment venues or events may also consider
providing non-sitting alternatives. Community infrastructure to increase active transport
(through walking or biking) is also likely to reduce time spent sitting in cars. If such
innovations are more broadly implemented, systematic evaluations of these “natural
experiments” could be highly informative, especially through assessing whether changes
in sedentary time actually do result.
Science Daily, 11 July 2011

Vitamin D Insufficiency Prevalent Among Psoriatic Arthritis Suffers
Researchers have reported a high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency
among patients with psoriatic arthritis. Seasonal variation in vitamin D levels was not
observed in patients in southern or northern locations. The new findings were published in
the journal Arthritis Care & Research. In addition, the results did not detect any association
between disease activity and vitamin D level. Psoriasis is a common chronic skin disorder,
likely caused by an autoimmune response, and is characterised by red scaly patches on
the surface of the skin. When accompanied by inflammatory arthritis the condition is
known as psoriatic arthritis (PsA) -- a disease gaining public attention with the recent
diagnosis of professional golfer, Phil Mickelson. Studies suggest that psoriasis occurs in
up to 3% of the world population and roughly one third of these patients have PsA with
prevalence estimates ranging from 6% to 42%. “Vitamin D deficiency is a widespread
concern,” explains lead study author Dafna Gladman, MD, FRCPC, Director of the
University of Toronto Psoriatic Arthritis Clinic in Canada. “And it is more common to see
individuals living in Northern regions with a deficiency in vitamin D than in those who
reside in Southern areas.” Medical evidence shows that vitamin D deficiency is more
common in individuals living at higher latitudes during the winter, suggesting the deficiency
is a result of reduced sun exposure. Furthermore, several studies have reported reduced
levels of vitamin D in patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis,
systemic lupus erythematosus, and scleroderma. During the new study, the Canadian and
Israeli teams set out to determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in PsA patients,
seasonal and geographical variants, and associations with disease activity by evaluating
302 patients with PsA from March to August 2009. There were 258 patients evaluated
during the winter and 214 patients during the summer. This cross-sectional study was
conducted at two geographically diverse locations; the arthritis clinic in Toronto, Canada
was designated the northern site and medical centres in Haifa, Israel were selected for
their subtropical southern location. Vitamin D levels in the blood, known as
25-hydroxyvitman D [25 (OH) D], were used as the primary measure as this takes into
account vitamin D synthesised from sunlight as well as from ingested foods. At the
northern site, the 25 (OH) D level was insufficient in 56% of PsA patients in the winter and
in 59% during the summer. Approximately 51% of patients at the southern location had
insufficient 25 (OH) D levels in winter and 62% of patients had insufficient levels in the
summer. The level of vitamin D was deficient in 3% of patients at the northern location only
in winter; at the southern site vitamin D deficiency was reported in 4% of patients in the
winter and in 1% during the summer. Differences in patient vitamin D levels regarding
seasonal or geographical variations were not statistically significant. Levels of vitamin D
were not found to affect disease activity in PsA patients. However, Dr. Gladman added,
“Additional research is needed to determine if PsA patients require a greater vitamin D
intake to maintain healthy levels than that recommended for the general population.”
Science Daily, 11 July 2011

Common Painkillers Linked to Irregular Heart Rhythm
A new study has concluded that commonly used painkillers to treat inflammation are linked
to an increased risk of irregular heart rhythm (known as atrial fibrillation or flutter). The
drugs include non-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) as well as
new generation anti-inflammatory drugs, known as selective COX-2 inhibitors. These
drugs have already been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, but no
study has examined whether they increase the risk of atrial fibrillation -- a condition which
is associated with an increased long term risk of stroke, heart failure, and death. So a
team of researchers, led by Professor Henrik Toft Sørensen at Aarhus University Hospital
in Denmark, used the Danish National Registry of Patients to identify 32,602 patients with
a first diagnosis of atrial fibrillation or flutter between 1999 and 2008. Each case was
compared with 10 age and sex-matched control patients randomly selected from the
Danish population. Patients were classified as current or recent NSAID users. Current
users were further classified as new users (first ever prescription within 60 days of
diagnosis date) or long-term users. The researchers found that use of NSAIDs or COX-2
inhibitors was associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation or flutter. Compared
with non users, the association was strongest for new users, with around 40% increased
risk for non-selective NSAIDS and around 70% increased risk for COX-2 inhibitors. This is
equivalent to approximately four extra cases of atrial fibrillation per year per 1000 new
users of non-selective NSAIDS and seven extra cases of atrial fibrillation per 1000 new
users of COX-2 inhibitors. The risk appeared highest in older people, and patients with
chronic kidney disease or rheumatoid arthritis were at particular risk when starting
treatment with COX-2 inhibitors. The authors conclude: “Our study thus adds evidence that
atrial fibrillation or flutter need to be added to the cardiovascular risks under consideration
when prescribing NSAIDs.” This view is supported by an accompanying editorial by
Professor Jerry Gurwitz from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the US.
He believes that NSAIDS should continue to be used very cautiously in older patients with
a history of hypertension or heart failure regardless of whether an association between
NSAIDs and atrial fibrillation actually exists.
Science Daily, 11 July 2011

Placebo effect seen in treating colds
A new study has suggested that people who believe a cold remedy will work may indeed
feel better sooner -- even if they don’t get the real treatment. Researchers of the new study
say their findings are evidence that the so-called placebo effect is at work in recovery from
the common cold. So if the go-to treatment you believe in -- from chicken soup to vitamin
C -- is unlikely to do any harm, you might as well stick with it, they say. The placebo effect
refers to a phenomenon seen in clinical trials when people given inactive, fake
“treatments” -- like a sugar pill or saline -- show improvements. The placebo effect has
been observed in a range of conditions, including chronic pain, depression, inflammatory
disorders and even cancer. For the new study, reported in the Annals of Family Medicine,
researchers focused on the common cold -- which famously has no cure. They randomly
assigned 719 people with the beginnings of cold symptoms to one of four groups. In one
group, people were given the herbal cold remedy Echinacea and knew they were taking it.
Two other groups were given either Echinacea or a placebo, but participants did not know
which they were taking. The fourth group received no pills of any kind. Overall, there were
no significant differences among the groups when it came to the severity or duration of the
participants’ symptoms -- which lasted about a week in all cases. But then the researchers
focused on the 120 people who, upon entering the study, gave high ratings to Echinacea’s
effectiveness. In that group of Echinacea believers, those who were given pills --
Echinacea or placebo -- felt better faster. Placebo users recovered a full 2.5 days sooner
than their no-pill counterparts, while Echinacea users were cold-free about 1.5 days
sooner. “That’s actually a huge difference,” said lead researcher Dr. Bruce Barrett, of the
University of Wisconsin, Madison. “No treatment out there has ever been shown to reduce
the duration of colds,” Barrett noted in an interview. He said that the findings offer more
evidence that “what people believe about their medicines matters.” As for Echinacea itself,
studies have come to conflicting findings about whether the popular herb does in fact work.
In an earlier analysis of this same study group, Barrett’s team found that (as in this
analysis) Echinacea users in general fared no better than the placebo or no-pill groups.
However, there was also no evidence that the Echinacea group suffered side effects, like
headache, stomach upset or diarrhoea, at a higher rate. Furthermore, if you have used
Echinacea and believe it eases your cold misery, it would “seem reasonable” to continue,
according to Barrett. There are other ways to treat cold symptoms, like acetaminophen for
the headache and decongestants for the stuffy nose. But again, those tactics have not
been shown to actually cut colds short. Barrett said he would like to see more people take
the simple measures that can make a cold less draining: getting enough rest, taking plenty
of fluids to stay hydrated and eating well -- which can include chicken soup.
Reuters Health, 12 July 2011

High salt + low potassium = early death: study
The findings from a new study have revealed that eating too much salt and too little
potassium can increase the risk of death. The findings from a team at the U.S. Centres for
Disease Control and Prevention are a counterpoint to a fiercely-debated study released
recently that found no evidence that making small cuts in salt intake lowers the risk of
heart disease and premature death. “Salt is still bad for you,” said Dr. Thomas Farley,
Health Commissioner for New York City, which is leading a campaign to reduce salt in
restaurant and packaged foods by 25 percent over five years. Most health experts agree
with Farley that consuming too much salt is not good for you and that cutting salt intake
can reduce high blood pressure, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke. Salt
intake has been rising since the 1970s, with Americans consuming about twice the
recommended daily limit. The CDC study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine,
specifically focused on growing research that shows a diet high in salt and low in
potassium is especially risky. Farley, who wrote an editorial on the CDC study, said it is
one of the best yet looking at the long-term effects of eating too much salt. “It is entirely
consistent with what we’ve said all along about sodium intake,” Farley said. During the
new study, the researchers examined the long-term effects of sodium and potassium
intake as part of a 15-year study of more than 12,000 people. By the end of the study
period, 2,270 of the study participants had died; 825 of these deaths were from heart
disease and 433 were from blood clots and strokes. The results demonstrated that people
who had a high salt intake and a low potassium intake were most at risk. “People who ate
a diet high in sodium and low in potassium had a 50 percent increased risk of death from
any cause, and about twice the risk of death -- or a 200 percent increase -- from a heart
attack,” said Dr. Elena Kuklina of the CDC who helped lead the study. She said consumers
need to increase the levels of potassium in their diet by adding more servings of fresh
fruits and vegetables, such as spinach, grapes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and low fat milk
and yogurt.

The Salt Institute, an industry group, challenged the findings, pointing out that the CDC
study found that the link between salt intake and heart disease was statistically
insignificant. “This is a highly flawed publication that reveals more about the anti-salt
agenda being pursued by the CDC than about any relationship between salt and health,”
said Mort Satin, the Salt Institute’s Director of Science and Research. “The only
significance is between low potassium and mortality,” Satin said in a statement. Dr. Robert
Briss, director of the National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health
Promotion at the CDC, said the findings support the general weight of evidence and
suggests that higher doses of sodium are linked with poor health consequences. And it
suggests “that higher potassium may be better for you,” Briss said. “About 90 percent of
Americans consume more sodium than is recommended. This impacts their blood
pressure,” Briss said. “Most of that sodium is not related to the salt shaker but it is in foods
and especially processed and restaurant foods that we buy and order from restaurants.
Consumers, even motivated ones, don’t have as much choice as they could,” he said.
Kuklina said potassium often counteracts the effects of salt in the diet. This equilibrium is
affected when people eat highly processed foods, which tend to increase sodium levels
and decrease potassium content. “If sodium increases your high blood pressure,
potassium decreases it. If sodium retains water, potassium helps you get rid of it,” she said.
Instead of focusing only on salt, Kuklina said researchers should focus on the balance
between potassium and salt. “We need to strive to do both -- decrease your sodium intake
and increase your potassium intake,” she said.
Reuters Health, 11 July 2011

Diesel Fumes Pose Risk to Heart as Well as Lungs, Study Shows
The results of a new study have suggested that tiny chemical particles emitted by diesel
exhaust fumes could raise the risk of heart attacks. Scientists have found that ultrafine
particles produced when diesel burns are harmful to blood vessels and can increase the
chances of blood clots forming in arteries, leading to a heart attack or stroke. The research
by the University of Edinburgh measured the impact of diesel exhaust fumes on healthy
volunteers at levels that would be found in heavily polluted cities. Scientists compared how
people reacted to the gases found in diesel fumes -- such as carbon monoxide and
nitrogen dioxide -- with those caused by the ultrafine chemical particles from exhausts.
The research, funded by the British Heart Foundation, showed that the tiny particles, and
not the gases, impaired the function of blood vessels that control how blood is channelled
to the body’s organs. The ‘invisible’ particles -- less than a millionth of a metre wide -- can
be filtered out of exhaust emissions by fitting special particle traps to vehicles. Particle
traps are already being fitted retrospectively to public transport vehicles in the US to
minimise the potential effects of pollution. The results are published in the European Heart
Journal. Dr Mark Miller, of the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Cardiovascular Science,
said: “While many people tend to think of the effects of air pollution in terms of damage to
the lungs, there is strong evidence that it has an impact on the heart and blood vessels as
well. “Our research shows that while both gases and particles can affect our blood
pressure, it is actually the miniscule chemical particles that are emitted by car exhausts
that are really harmful. “These particles produce highly reactive molecules called free
radicals that can injure our blood vessels and lead to vascular disease. “We are now
investigating which of the chemicals carried by these particles cause these harmful actions,
so that in the future we can try and remove these chemicals, and prevent the health effects
of vehicle emissions” Researchers want environmental health measures that are designed
to reduce emissions to be tested to determine whether they reduce the incidence of heart
attacks. Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart
Foundation, said: “We’ve known for a long time that air pollution is a major heart health
issue and that’s why we’re funding this team in Edinburgh to continue their vital research.
Their findings suggest that lives could be saved by cutting these harmful nanoparticles out
of exhaust -- perhaps by taking them out of the fuel, or making manufacturers add gadgets
to their vehicles that can trap particles before they escape. The best approach isn’t clear
yet. “For now our advice remains the same -- people with heart disease should avoid
spending long periods outside in areas where traffic pollution is likely to be high, such as
on or near busy roads.”
Science Daily, 13 July 2011

Bogong moths ‘pose no risk’
They made world headlines as intruders at the Sydney Olympics – and attacked
Parliament House during a visit by former US President, George Bush. They then gained
additional notoriety when found to have arsenic levels that appeared to threaten
endangered Alpine wildlife – and possibly even humans. Now, after a three-year study,
Australia’s Bogong Moth is ‘off the hook’ as far as controversial arsenic poisoning fears are
concerned. A new study, undertaken by researchers at La Trobe University, found no
evidence that concentrations of arsenic in these iconic creatures has been caused by
human intervention in the environment, nor that it represents a threat to wildlife or human
health. The moths swarm in great numbers over large distances in Eastern Australia to
spend summer in the Alps, sometimes causing considerable havoc on their journeys. They
are also culturally significant to many Indigenous groups, serving as a source of food. The
study was carried out by PhD researcher Pettina Love, of the Bundjalung Nation Aboriginal
community and child of a member of the Stolen Generation. She graduated recently at La
Trobe’s Albury-Wodonga campus. Dr Love says because the moth is at the bottom of the
food web and an important source of protein and fat, the arsenic contamination was feared
to put at risk native Alpine animals such as endangered pygmy possums, small marsupial
antechinuses and birds.
‘Sub-lethal quantities of arsenic can cause cancer, mutation and birth defects. Due to its
cumulative nature, continued exposure to small sub-lethal amounts may ultimately cause
death,’ she says. However these concerns, voiced over the past decade, were based on
limited data and the assumption that the source of the arsenic was caused by human
changes to the environment. Hence her three-year PhD study into the moths, supported by
a $110,000 ARC Discovery Indigenous Researchers Development grant. Dr Love worked
with members of Aboriginal communities to collect Bogong Moths from various regions.
Chemical tests for arsenic were conducted on more than 800 moths, followed by detailed
statistical analysis and the establishment of valuable base-line data. ‘The arsenic
concentrations we detected formed a single distribution consistent with natural, or
background, levels. ‘No significant differences in arsenic concentration were found
between Bogong Moths from different locations or different years – nor between migrating
moths or those resting in the Alps during summer. ‘Our findings suggest that the source of
arsenic is not related to any environmental changes brought about by humans. ‘And the
concentrations of arsenic, plus seven other chemicals found in Bogong Moths in my study,
pose no risk to people.’ (Arsenic is linked to companion chemicals like lead, caesium or
magnesium which can provide clues to its original source.)

‘The concentrations I found are comparable to other food in the Australian diet,’ says Dr
Love. ‘And there is no evidence that the concentration of arsenic poses a risk to Mountain
Pygmy Possums.’ Dr Love says the Bogong Moth study dealt with environmental and
health issues that potentially impinged on the cultural traditions of many Indigenous groups
who have a connection with the moth and its habitats. ‘Traditionally many groups went to
Alpine regions and conducted ceremonies while supported by a moth diet. A Bogong Moth
Festival is still held in Albury-Wodonga each year.’ Some people, says Dr Love, still eat
the moth. ‘The favoured method of cooking is BBQ. Opinions vary about the taste. Some
people report a peanut butter flavour and others saying they have a sweet after-taste like
nectar.’ Arsenic was first discovered in the Bogong Moth about ten years ago. It generated
debate and research among scientists, and some concern in the wider community.
Research supervisor Dr Susan Lawler, La Trobe Head of Environmental Management and
Ecology, says Bogong Moths start their life cycle as cutworm larvae. They are found from
Queensland to southern Victoria, and across to Adelaide where they are agricultural pests
in pastures. Studying the moths is extremely difficult, says Dr Lawler. Their migration
routes vary widely, journeys can be a 1,000 kms or more, and the numbers that show up in
the mountains change dramatically from year to year. The reason they often cause
problems at Parliament House in Canberra – which is located on a high-traffic moth route
to the Alps – or at major sporting events like the Olympics and the Australian Open tennis
in Melbourne is simple: these places are extremely well lit, and moths gravitate to bright
Science Alert, 14 July 2011

Apples lead to healthy heart
Flavonoid rich pink lady apples added to the diet may have a positive effect on
cardiovascular health according to a recent trial at the University of Western Australia
(UWA). UWA’s School of Medicine and Pharmacology PhD student Ms Catherine
Bondonno says cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Australia,
causing 35 per cent of all deaths. “About 3.7 million Australians have CVD and 1.4 million
have a disability associated with the disease impacting on their quality of life,” Ms
Bondonno says. Ms Bondonno’s PhD project was to investigate the acute effect of high
flavonoid apples on nitric oxide (NO) production and endothelial function, which are factors
in cardiovascular health. “The endothelium is a single layer of cells lining blood vessels
and produces nitric oxide,” Ms Bondonno says. “Nitric oxide signals surrounding muscles
to relax, which causes the blood vessel to dilate increasing blood flow through the vessel.”
Ms Bondonno selected thirty healthy volunteers from the general Perth population and
conducted preliminary tests of their BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and fasting
blood glucose levels to ensure normal health. Flavonoids are concentrated in the skin of
apples so the treatment consisted of a high flavonoid apple with skin. The control was
given apple flesh only. Participants were randomly assigned to consume either the apple
with skin first followed by the flesh only, or vice versa. The night before the study, all
participants consumed the same meal. On the study day, an apple was eaten with
breakfast and again with lunch to account for the varying times the flavonoids, epicatechin
and quercetin glycosides, peak in the blood stream. Blood pressure, nitrite levels and flow
mediated dilatation were measured. Flow mediated dilatation is a measure of the dilation
of blood vessels in response to an increase in blood flow. Nitric oxide is highly reactive and
is rapidly converted to nitrite and s-nitrisothiol in the blood. “We put a blood pressure cuff
around the forearm over the brachial artery and got a picture of the artery on the screen,”
Ms Bondonno says. “We increased the pressure to occlude blood flow, then after 5
minutes we released the cuff to get an increase in blood flow. “Then we measured the
dilation in response to that increased blood flow.” Results indicated that there was a
doubling of s-nitrosothiol in the blood and a 2 per cent increase in flow mediated dilatation
after the consumption of the high flavonoid apple. The conclusion was that flavonoid rich
apples improve nitric oxide status and endothelial functions which are factors affecting
cardiovascular health. Ms Bondonno says this study could translate into a natural, low cost
approach to reducing the cardiovascular risk profile of the general population.
Science Alert, 8 July 2011

Lead accumulation in different Chinese cabbage cultivars and screening for
pollution-safe cultivars
Recently, the concept of pollution-safe cultivars (PSCs) was proposed to minimise the
influx of pollutants to the human food chain. Variations in lead (Pb) uptake and
translocation among Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis L.) cultivars were investigated
in a pot-culture experiment and a field-culture experiment to screen out Pb-PSCs for food
safety. The results of the pot-culture experiment showed that shoot Pb concentrations
under two Pb treatments (500 and 1500 mg/kg) varied significantly (p < 0.05) between
cultivars, with average values of 3.01 and 6.87 mg/kg, respectively Enrichment factors
(EFs) and translocation factors (TFs) in cultivars were less than 0.50 and varied
significantly (p < 0.05) between cultivars. Shoot Pb concentrations in 12 cultivars under
treatment T1 (500 mg/kg) were lower than 2.0 mg/kg. The field-culture experiment further
confirmed Qiuao, Shiboqiukang and Fuxing 80 as Pb-PSCs, which were suitable to be
cultivated in low-Pb (<382.25 mg/kg) contaminated soils and harmless to human health as
Authors: Liu, Weitao; Zhou, Qixing; Zhang, Yinlong; Wei, Shuhe
Full Source Journal of Environmental Management 2010 (Pub. 2009), 91(3), 781-788

Radon in soil gas and outdoor air
In our previous research radon levels in indoor air were found to be mostly governed by
the quality and the type of building and by the geological characteristics of the ground.
Therefore, our research was recently focused on radon in soil gas and in outdoor air and
on its transport from the ground to the atmosphere. Slovenia is characterised by a
diversified geology, with prevailing carbonate rocks. Chemical solubility of carbonates
results in karst phenomena, such as cavities, channels and corridors in the ground, which
represent possible pathways for radon transport. Besides carbonates, also clastic and
Tertiary sediments are extended in some parts of Slovenia. Here, radon transport depends
on the permeability of rocks. Furthermore, fractured and faulted rocks in the active fault
zones are an additional source of radon. In this paper, the results of radon survey in soil
gas and outdoor air are presented and commented on. Radon concentration was in the
range of 3-211 kBq/m3 and 1-49 Bq/m, respectively.
Authors: Gregoric, Asta; Vaupotic, Janja
Full Source: Slovenski Kemijski Dnevi, Maribor, Slovenia, Sept. 23-24, 2010 [computer
optical disk] 2010, greg1/1-greg1/7 (Slovenian)

Fast and selective extraction of nicotine from human plasma based on magnetic
strong cation exchange resin followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass
In the study, a fast and selective method based on magnetic separation has been
developed for the extraction of nicotine from human plasma using magnetic strong cation
exchange (MSCX) resins as adsorbent. MSCX resins were prepared using hydrophobic
Fe3O4 magnetite as magnetically susceptible component, styrene and acrylic acid as
polymeric matrix components, and acetyl sulphonate as the sulphonation agent. The
extraction procedure was carried out in a single step by stirring the mixture of diluted
plasma sample and MSCX resins in the vortex for 5 minutes. Then, the resins with
adsorbed nicotine were separated from the sample matrix by applying an appropriate
magnetic field. Main factors affecting the extraction of nicotine such as the amount of
MSCX resins, pH value of the extraction solvent, extraction time, and washing and eluting
conditions were optimised. The nicotine eluted from the resins was determined by liquid
chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The calibration curve obtained by analysing
matrix-matched standards shows excellent linear relationship (r2=0.9998) in the
concentration range of 10-2,500 ng/mL. The limit of detection and quantification obtained
are 2.9 and 9.7 ng/mL, respectively. The relative standard deviations of intra- and inter-day
obtained are in the range of 1.9-6.9% and 2.5-7.8% with the recoveries ranging from
78.7% to 99.1%. The proposed method was successfully applied to determine nicotine in
human plasma phlebotomised from ten male smokers. Nicotine was detectable with the
contents ranging from 44.4 to 221.9 ng/mL in five samples.
Authors: Xu, Yang; Wang, Changjia; Zhang, Xiaopan; Chen, Haiyan; Zhao, Qi; Song,
Weitao; Wang, Hui; Zeng, Qinglei; Ding, Lan
Full Source: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry [online computer file] 2011, 400(2),
517-526 (Eng)

A new liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for determination
of parabens in human placental tissue samples
Endocrine disruptors are a group of organic compounds widely used, which are ubiquitous
in the environment and in biological samples. The main effect of these compounds is
associated with their ability to mimic or block the action of natural hormones in living
organisms, including humans. Parabens (esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid) belong to this
group of compounds. In this work, the authors propose a new liquid
chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LCMS/MS) method to asses the presence of
parabens most commonly used in industrial applications (methyl-, ethyl-, propyl- and
butylparaben) in samples of human placental tissue. The method involves the extraction of
the analytes from the samples using ethyl acetate, followed by a clean-up step using
centrifugation prior to their quantification by LC-MS/MS using an atmosphere pressure
chemical ionisation (APCI) interface in the negative mode. Deuterated bisphenol A
(BPA-d16) was used as surrogate. Found detection limits (LOD) ranged from 0.03 to 0.06
ng/g and quantification limits (LOQ) from 0.1 to 0.2 ng/g, while inter- and intraday
variability was under 13.8%. The method was validated using standard addition calibration
and a spike recovery assay. Recovery rates for spiked samples ranged from 82% to 108%.
This method was satisfactorily applied for the detection of parabens in 50 placental tissue
samples collected from women who live in the province of Granada (Spain).
Authors: Jimenez-Diaz, I.; Vela-Soria, F.; Zafra-Gomez, A.; Navalon, A.; Ballesteros, O.;
Navea, N.; Fernandez, M. F.; Olea, N.; Vilchez, J. L.
Full Source: Talanta 2011, 84(3), 702-709 (Eng), Elsevier B.V.

Retention and distribution of As in arsenide-treated human hair by INAA
Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) was used to measure the content of
arsenic in segmented human hair samples, with and without treatment by arsenide. The
results reveal that the contents of arsenic are higher in each segment of the
arsenide-treated sample than those of untreated ones, with a peak value at the treated
position. The results indicate that arsenide can infiltrate into hair by adsorption. Three
certified reference materials were used for verification of the analysed results. The
measured values are in agreement with the certified ones within uncertainty limits.
Authors: Zou, Shu-yun; Wang, Ke; Zhang, Yong-bao
Full Source: Yuanzineng Kexue Jishu 2010, 44(5), 608-610 (Ch)

Radiolabelling and dose fixation study of oral alpha-ketoglutarate as a cyanide
antidote in healthy human volunteers
Alpha-ketoglutarate (A-KG) is a potential oral antidote for cyanide poisoning. Its protective
efficacy in animals was best exhibited at a dose of 2.0 g/kg body weight, which when
extrapolated to human is very high. The objective of this study was to reduce the dose of
A-KG in humans with concomitant increase in its bioavailability, employing
pharmacoscintigraphic techniques to assess kinetics in man. A-KG was radiolabelled with
technetium-99m pertechnetate (Tc-99m) and its purity, labelling efficiency, and stability in
vitro were determined by instant thin layer chromatography. Time-dependent bioabsorption
of the drug in rats and rabbits was assessed by gamma scintigraphy after oral
administration of a tracer dose of 99mTc-AKG mixed with nonradioactive A-KG at a
concentration of 0.1-2.0 g/kg in the presence or absence of aqueous dilution Furthermore,
scintigraphy and radiometry studies were performed in healthy human volunteers using
5-20 g of A-KG, given in single or split doses followed by different quantity of water. Drug
bioavailability was estimated periodically. High radiolabelling (>97%) of A-KG with a
stability of 24 h in vitro was obtained. Less than 1% absorption of the drug occurred within
20 min after A-KG was administered in animals at a concentration of 2.0 g/kg body weight.
One-tenth reduction in dose increased the bioavailability to 15%. Significant improvement
in gastric emptying of the drug was achieved when the drug was administered along with
1-5 mL of water. In humans, two doses of 10 g A-KG given at an interval of 10 min,
followed by 300 mL of water, increased the drug bioavailability to 40% as compared to a
single dose of 20 g. Significant reduction in A-KG dose was achieved in humans as
compared to the recommended dose in animals. Aq. dilution improves the bioavailability of
A-KG in humans.
Authors: Mittal, Gaurav; Singh, Thakuri; Kumar, Neeraj; Bhatnagar,
Aseem; Tripathi, Rajendra Prasad; Tulsawani, Rajkumar; Vijayaraghavan, Rajagopalan;
Bhattacharya, Rahul
Full Source: Clinical Toxicology 2010, 48(6), 509-515 (Eng)

Validation of the American Association of Poison Control Centres out of hospital
guideline for paediatric diphenhydramine ingestions
In 2006, the American Association of Poison Control Centres (AAPCC) published an out of
hospital guideline for diphenhydramine overdoses in children. This guideline has not been
validated. In this study, the authors aimed to determine the incidence of serious clinical
effects or use of medical treatments after unintentional diphenhydramine ingestions in
children. They sought to determine if patients with less than 7.5 mg/kg ingestions
developed medical complications of diphenhydramine toxicity. Seven years of data
(2000-2006) in the Texas Poison Centre Network was searched for diphenhydramine
using the AAPCC generic codes. Only acute, single ingestions of diphenhydramine in
children under 6 years old were included. In addition, only patients with a recorded weight,
known amount of ingestant, and known follow-up were included in the study. The authors
defined “serious clinical effects” as hallucinations, seizure, wide QRS on ECG, wide
complex dysrhythmia, any conduction block, hypotension, hypertension, rhabdomyolysis,
pyrexia, dystonia, coma, respiratory depression, or death. One trained abstractor reviewed
the data and entered it into an electronic data collection form. Twenty percent of the charts
were audited for abstractor agreement. The data search resulted in 928 cases. Of these,
305 were included in the study. Of the patients who ingested doses less than 7.5 mg/kg,
99.7% (299/300) did not require critical treatments or were without serious clinical effects.
One child was admitted. Five children ingested doses of more than 7.5 mg/kg. All five were
observed in the emergency department and discharged home. Two patients had serious
clinical effects of hallucinations, one of which ingested more than 7.5 mg/kg. No child
required critical treatments. The authors agreement on chart review for 20% of the cases
was very good for “serious clinical effects” (kappa, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.39-1.0) and excellent
for “critical treatments” (kappa, 1.0). Based on the observational case series, 99.6% of
patients who reportedly ingested doses less than 7.5 mg/kg did not develop serious clinical
effects or require admission. Paediatric ingestions over 7.5 mg/kg were uncommon in our
study population. Serious clinical effects, critical treatments, and admission from
diphenhydramine were rare in children under 6 years old.
Authors: Sugyani Bebarta, Vikhyat; Blair, Holly W.; Morgan, David L.; Maddry, Joseph;
Borys, Douglas J.
Full Source: Clinical Toxicology 2010, 48(6), 559-562 (Eng)

Processes of adaptogenesis and heart remodelling in workers of electrolysis
workshops in aluminium plants
Workers in electrolysis workshops of aluminium plants demonstrate changes in intracardial
haemodynamics and left ventricle diastolic function, heart remodelling to concentric and
excentric hypertrophy, more in individuals with chronic occupational fluorine intoxication.
Authors: Khasanova, G. N.; Oranskii, I. E.; Roslaya, N. A.
Full Source: Meditsina Truda i Promyshlennaya Ekologiya 2010, (2), 16-19 (Russ)

Evaluation of inhaled and cutaneous doses of imidacloprid during stapling
ornamental plants in tunnels or greenhouses
This study assessed dermal and respiratory exposure of workers to imidacloprid during
manual operations with ornamental plants previously treated in greenhouses or tunnels. A
total of 10 female workers, 5 in greenhouses and 5 in tunnels, were monitored for 3 or 5
consecutive days. Actual skin contamination, excluding hands, was evaluated using nine
filter paper pads placed directly on the skin. To evaluate the efficacy of protective clothing
in reducing occupational exposure we also placed four pads on top of the outer clothing.
Hand contamination was evaluated by washing with 95% ethanol. Respiratory exposure
was evaluated by personal air sampling. Respiratory dose was calculated on the basis of a
lung ventilation of 15 l/min. Absorbed doses were calculated assuming a skin penetration
of 10% and a respiratory retention of 100%. Dislodgeable foliar residues (DFRs) were
detected during the days of re-entry in order to determine the dermal transfer factor. From
the dependence of dermal exposure of hands from DFRs, a mean transfer factor was
estimated to be 36.4 cm2/h. Imidacloprid was detected by liquid chromatography with
selective mass detection and electrospray interface in all matrixes analysed. Respiratory
dose was 4.1(4.0 (0.1-14.3)% and 3.0(2.0 (0.6-6.9)% (mean(SD (range)) of the total real
dose during work in tunnels and greenhouses, respectively. The estimated absorbed
doses, 0.29(0.45 íg/kg (0.06-2.25 íg/kg) body weight and 0.32(0.18 íg/kg (0.07-0.66 íg/kg)
body weight (mean(SD (range)) in tunnels and in greenhouses, respectively, were less
than the acceptable operator exposure level of 0.15 mg/kg body wt. and than the
acceptable daily intake of 0.05 mg/kg body wt. The authors concluded that the hands and
exposed skin of all workers were found to be contaminated, indicating that greater
precautions, such as daily changing of gloves and clothing, are necessary to reduce skin
Authors: Aprea, Cristina; Lunghini, Liana; Banchi, Bruno; Peruzzi, Antonio; Centi, Letizia;
Coppi, Luana; Bogi, Mirella; Marianelli, Enrico; Fantacci, Mariella; Catalano, Pietro;
Benvenuti, Alessandra; Miligi, Lucia; Sciarra, Gianfranco
Full Source: Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology 2009, 19(6),
555-569 (Eng)

Identification and analysis of occupational hazard factors in construction project of
continuous hot-dip galvanising and colour drawing steel plate
The occupational hazard factors for continuous hot-dip galvanized and colour-coated steel
plate construction project were analysed and identified, and the methods for identifying
occupational hazard factors were studied. According to the national standards for
occupational health hazards, occupational hazard factors in 5 construction projects were
analysed with comparison. The major occupational hazards in the construction Project
were noise, high temperature, heat radiation, zinc and zinc oxide fume, chromic acid and
organic solvent. The authors concluded that detailed engineering analysis can improve the
identification technology of occupational hazards.
Authors: Chen, Yang; Qian, Jun-qi; Lu, Min
Full Source: Zhongguo Weisheng Gongchengxue 2010, 9(1), 17-19 (Ch)

Pre-assessment of occupational hazards in ammonia and urea construction project
of chemical company
In the present study, the authors assessed and analysed the occurrence of possible
occupational hazard factors in this construction project in order to determine the types of
hazards and predict the degree of health damage on workers. According to Code of
Occupational Disease Prevention of PRC and Hygienic Standards for the Design of
Industrial Enterprises, analogising was used by selecting a factory which was similar to
this construction project. The assessment was preceded based on the combination
principles of analogy method, checklist method and quant. grading method.
Concentrations of two dust points were more than the standard limits among the eight dust
points in analogy enterprise, which the dust qualified rate was 75%. The risk factors
possibly existed in the project was noise, ammonia, urea and carbon monoxide, the
qualification rates of them were all 100%. The selection of site, overall layout, production
equipment layout, occupational disease prevention measures and hygiene equipment of
auxiliary rooms accorded with national health laws and regulations. The authors concluded
that from the view of occupational health, occupational hazard prevention facilities of the
construction project are consistent with national health laws and regulations.
Authors: Tan, Gang; Shu, Ya; Xie, Li-qiang; Liu, Peng-cheng; Qi, Hanmei; Wang,
Dong-yun; Li, Xiu-rong
Full Source: Zhongguo Weisheng Gongchengxue 2010, 9(1), 20-22 (Ch)

Survey on occupational hazards for workers exposed to electrolytic aluminium
To understand the occupational hazards in electrolytic aluminium industry and health
hazards for workers, in 2006, risk factors in air of workshop for electrolytic aluminium were
detected, and the workers were taken medical examinations for occupational health. About
40 spots were set up in the aluminium electrolytic workshop, TWAs and STELs for dust of
aluminium oxide were 2.9-14.7 mg/m3 and 3.9-19.1 mg/m3 at the exceeding rates of
62.5% and 67.5%. TWAs and STELs for alumina dust were 1.6-4.2 mg/m3 and 2.5-9.1
mg/m3 at the exceeding rates of 50.0% and 55.0%. Average values of urine fluorine
between exposed group and control group were 4.64 mg/L and 0.58 mg/L, which had
significant difference (P<0.01). The authors concluded that the impacts of alumina dust
and fluoride on affected workers are a little serious, and related government departments
should pay a high attention and strengthen workers occupational protection.
Author: Xue, Dong-mei
Full Source: Zhongguo Weisheng Gongchengxue 2010, 9(1), 38-40 (Ch)

Prenatal exposure to PFOA and PFOS and risk of hospitalisation for infectious
diseases in early childhood
In this study, the authors examined whether prenatal exposure to perfluorooctanesulfonate
(PFOS) or perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) is associated with the occurrence of hospitalisation
for infectious diseases during early childhood. One thousand, four hundred pregnant
women and their offspring were selected from the Danish National Birth Cohort
(1996-2002) and measured PFOS and PFOA levels in maternal blood during early
pregnancy. Hospitalisations for infection of the offspring were identified by the linkage to
the National Hospital Discharge Register through 2008. The results showed that
hospitalisations due to infections were not associated with prenatal exposure to PFOA and
PFOS. On the contrary, the relative risks of hospitalisations ranged from 0.71 to 0.84 for
the three higher quartiles of maternal PFOA levels compared with the lowest, but no
dose-response pattern was detected. No clear pattern was observed when results were
stratified by child’s age at infection, with the exception of an inverse association between
maternal PFC levels and risk of hospitalisation during the child’s first year of life. The
authors concluded that the findings from this study suggest that prenatal exposure to
PFOA or PFOS is not associated with increased risk of infectious diseases leading to
hospitalisation in early childhood.
Authors: Fei, Chunyuan; McLaughlin, Joseph K.; Lipworth, Loren; Olsen, Jorn
Full Source: Environmental Research 2010, 110(8), 773-777 (Eng)

Land use regression modelling to estimate historic (1962-1991) concentrations of
black smoke and sulphur dioxide for Great Britain
Land use regression modelling was used to develop maps of annual average black smoke
(BS) and SO2 concentrations in 1962, 1971, 1981, and 1991 for the UK on a 1-km grid for
epidemiological studies. Models were developed in a geographical information system
using land cover, road network, and population data summarised in circular buffers around
air pollution monitoring sites; altitude and monitoring site coordinates were included to
consider global trend surfaces. Models were developed against log-normal (LN)
concentrations, yielding R2 values of 0.68 (n ) 534), 0.68 (n ) 767), 0.41 (n ) 771), and 0.39
(n ) 155) for BS and 0.61 (n ) 482), 0.65 (n ) 733), 0.38 (n ) 756), and 0.24 (n ) 153), for
SO2 in 1962, 1971, 1981, and 1991, respectively. Models were evaluated using
concentrations at an independent set of monitoring sites. For BS, R2 values were 0.56 (n )
133), 0.41 (n ) 191), 0.38 (n ) 193), and 0.34 (n ) 37); for SO2, R2 values were 0.71 (n )
121), 0.57 (n ) 183), 0.26 (n ) 189), and 0.31 (n ) 38), for 1962, 1971, 1981, and 1991,
respectively. Models slightly under predicted monitored concentrations of both pollutants
for all years. The authors concluded that this was the first study to produce historic
concentration maps at a national level back to the 1960s.
Authors: Gulliver, John; Morris, Chloe; Lee, Kayoung; Vienneau, Danielle; Briggs, David;
Hansell, Anna
Full Source: Environmental Science & Technology [online computer file] 2011, 45(8),
3526-3532 (Eng)

The remarkable impact of early life exposure to arsenic in drinking water on
mortality in young adults
This article suggests that exposure to As in drinking water during early childhood or in
utero has major effects on subsequent mortality in children and young adults, from both
malignant and nonmalignant causes of death.
Authors: Smith, A. H.; Marshall, G.; Liaw, J.; Ferreccio, C.; Yuan, Y.; Steinmaus, C.
Full Source: Arsenic in Geosphere and Human Diseases, International Congress [on]
Arsenic in the Environment, 3rd, Tainan, Taiwan, May 17-21, 2010, 278-279 (Eng).

Systematic differences between healthcare professionals and poison information
staff in the severity scoring of pesticide exposures
This study compared the poisoning severity grading allocated in pesticide exposure cases
by healthcare professional enquirers and poison information staff. Pesticide exposures
reported to the U.K. National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) systems in a prospective
study were graded for severity by healthcare professional enquirers and NPIS SPIs who
used established poisons severity-grading algorithms. The scores were compared in
children and adults, for the two professional groupings, both overall and for separate
pesticides. Overall SPIs graded severity resulting from pesticide exposure at a lower level
than the enquirer. For children, enquirer mean severity score was 1.62 (95% confidence
interval (CI) 1.57-1.66) and SPIs mean severity score was 1.16 (95% CI 1.13-1.19) (p <
0.001). For adults, enquirer mean severity score was 1.91 (95% CI 1.84-1.97) and SPIs
mean severity score was 1.74 (95% CI 1.69-1.79) (p < 0.001). Importantly, the differences
in the scores between the two professional groups were greater in children [+0.46 (95% CI
0.41-0.51)] than in adults [+0.17 (95% CI 0.11-0.24)] (p <0.001). Findings for individual
pesticides were less consistent but in general showed similar trends. The exception was
glyphosate for which severity grading by poison information staff was higher for children
[SPIs 1.68 (95% CI 1.38-1.96) than the enquirers 1.26 (95% CI 1.08-1.44), p < 0.02]. The
authors concluded that the findings from the current study suggest inherent differences in
the perception of pesticide toxicity between healthcare professionals and SPIs. There was
also a difference in the scoring approach depending on the pesticide involved. Additional
investigations are required to define the role and accuracy of severity scoring in different
types of poisoning and the applicability to different types of severity assessors.
Authors: Adams, Richard Douglas; Gibson, Amanda L.; Good, Alison Margaret; Bateman,
David Nicholas
Full Source: Clinical Toxicology 2010, 48(6), 550-558 (Eng)

Blood levels of organochlorine pesticide residues and risk of reproductive tract
cancer among women from Jaipur, India
Residues of organochlorine pesticides are integral part of our environment. Because of
their strong lipophilic and nonbiodegradable nature, organisms at higher trophic levels in
the food chain tend to accumulate them. This study assessed the influence of
organochlorine pesticides upon the occurrence of reproductive tract cancers in women
from Jaipur, India. Blood samples were collected from 150 females. In that group, 100
females suffered from reproductive tract cancers like cervical, uterine, vaginal and ovarian
cancers, while the rest did not suffer from cancers or any other major disease and were
treated as control group. The collected blood samples were subjected to pesticide
extraction and analysed with the help of gas chromatography. The pesticides detected
were benzene hexachlororide and its isomers, dieldrin, heptachlor, dichloro di-Ph trichloro
ethane and its metabolites. The authors concluded that the results indicate that the
organochlorine pesticide residue levels were significantly higher in all the cancer patients
as compared with the control group.
Authors: Mathur, Vibha; John, Placheril J.; Soni, Inderpal; Bhatnagar, Pradeep.
Full Source: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 2008, 617(Hormonal
Carcinogenesis V), 387-394 (Eng)

Discussion on hazard and countermeasures of static electric explosion by
polyolefin industrial dust
With the rapid development of polyolefin powder production in China, the static electricity
explosion accidents during the polyolefin powder production process occurred more
frequently. In this paper, the overseas research progress of static electricity explosion by
dust and the main phenomena of domestic static electricity explosion accidents by dust
were introduced. The characteristics of overseas research were mainly to gradually
replace the fundamental research in laboratory by the experimental devices in industrial
scale, the research on hazard of silo discharge and the fundamental research about
discharge blasting were emphasised, including the recommended study on safety
evaluation and industry control condition. The main existing phenomena of domestic dust
static electricity explosion accidents included: lacking of design or unreasonable design;
ignoring the assorted transformation of devolatilisation or ventilation when conducting
capacity expansion transformation of devices; disposing unqualified material or improper
emergency disposal when transition; improper or non-standard operation; damaging the
ventilation control of silo; wrong option of level indicator; increase the probability of
high-energy discharge ignition. Aiming at the analysed problems and phenomena, the
countermeasures were proposed, such as examine the specific accident hidden trouble of
running devices, conducting acceptability study and operability study to prevent static
electricity explosion by dust in polyolefin silo, performing hazard education of static
electricity explosion by dust, and improve the safety consciousness and emergency
disposal capability of employees.
Author: Liu, Jizhen
Full Source: Zhongguo Anquan Shengchan Kexue Jishu 2011, 7(3),
93-97 (Chinese) Zhongguo Anquan Shengchan Kexue Jishu Bianjibu

Transparent or semitransparent colourful functional mask with detachable filter
The title functional mask comprises:
a transparent mask body,
a 1st coating layer coated on one face of the mask body, and formed from photochromic
pigment capable of changing colour with respect to light of specific wavelength, and (3) a
filter detachably combined to an inhalation part of a user and used for purifying air. The
filter can realise various functions (general function, aroma generating, function of an
activated C filter, bacteria removing, etc.). The functional mask has a transparent or
semitransparent appearance of various colours so that excellent sense of beauty can be
ensured. Communication with others is easy, and the mask appearance does not cause
fear. The amount of the used filters can be minimised and the mask body can be recycled.
Authors: Kim, Jong Won; Jang, Ji Yeon
Full Source: Republic Korean Kongkae Taeho Kongbo KR 2011 25,490 (Cl. A62B18/02),
10 Mar 2011, Appl. 83,580, 4 Sep 2009; 13pp. (Korean)
Emergency mouth protector against fire
An emergency mouth protector against fire is comprised of a mask-type body and handing
belts. The mask is produced by laminating a plastic outer shell layer, a fibre filter paper
layer, an active C/molecular sieve mixed layer, a fibre filter paper layer, an anti-seepage
fibre filter paper layer, a sponge layer containing non-dried glue and anions, an
antiseepage fibre filter paper layer, a fibre filter paper layer, and a nonwoven fabric layer;
tightly compressing; and sewing along the plastic outer shell edge with wires. The main
body has a rabbit mouthshape. This mouth protector has a low production cost, convenient
use, generates no pollution, is comfortable to wear, and is suitable for industrial production.
It protects users against asphyxiating smog and lethal toxic gas, helps escapes from fire,
and can be widely used in offices, houses, entertainment places, hospitals, hotels, etc.
Authors: Zheng, Zhengjiong; Jiang, Li; Wu, Ying
Full Source: Faming Zhuanli Shenqing CN 101,985,062 (Cl. A62B23/04), 16 Mar 2011,
Appl. 10,544,531, 11 Nov 2010; 7pp. (Ch)

Shared By: