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April 30, 2010


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Hazard
1,1,1-trichloroethane
2010-03-30


1,1,1-Trichloroethane is a synthetic chemical that does not occur
naturally in the environment. It also is known as methylchloroform,
methyltrichloromethane, trichloromethylmethane, and
a-trichloromethane.
1,1,1-trichloroethane is not supposed to be manufactured for domestic
use in the United States after January 1, 2002 because it affects the
ozone layer. 1,1,1-Trichloroethane had many industrial and household
uses, including use as a solvent to dissolve other substances, such as glues
and paints; to remove oil or grease from manufactured metal parts; and
as an ingredient of household products such as spot cleaners, glues, and
aerosol sprays.[1]


Environment Effects
Most of the 1,1,1-trichloroethane released into the environment enters
the air, where it lasts for about 6 years.
Once in the air, it can travel to the ozone layer where sunlight can
break it down into chemicals that may reduce the ozone layer.
Contaminated water from landfills and hazardous waste sites can
contaminate surrounding soil and nearby surface water or groundwater.
From lakes and rivers, most of the 1,1,1-trichloroethane evaporates
quickly into the air.
Water can carry 1,1,1-trichloroethane through the soil and into the
groundwater where it can evaporate and pass through the soil as a gas,
then be released to the air.
Organisms living in soil or water may also break down 1,1,1-
trichloroethane.
It will not build up in plants or animals.[1]


Exposure to 1,1,1-trichloroethane
Breathing 1,1,1-trichloroethane in contaminated outdoor and indoor air.
Because 1,1,1 trichloroethane was used so frequently in home and office
products, you are likely to be exposed to higher levels indoors than
outdoors or near hazardous waste sites. However, since 2002,
1,1,1-trichloroethane is not expected to be commonly used, and therefore,
the likelihood of being exposed to it is remote.
In the workplace, you could have been exposed to 1,1,1-trichloroethane
while using some metal degreasing agents, paints, glues, and cleaning
products.
Ingesting contaminated drinking water and food.[1]
Health Effects
If you breathe air containing high levels of 1,1,1-trichloroethane for a
short time, you may become dizzy and lightheaded and possibly lose
your coordination. These effects rapidly disappear after you stop
breathing contaminated air. If you breathe in much higher levels, you
may become unconscious, your blood pressure may decrease, and your
heart may stop beating. Whether breathing low levels of
1,1,1-trichloroethane for a long time causes harmful effects is not known.
Studies in animals show that breathing air that contains very high levels
of 1,1,1- trichloroethane damages the breathing passages and causes
mild effects in the liver, in addition to affecting the nervous system.
There are no studies in humans that determine whether eating food or
drinking water contaminated with 1,1,1-trichloroethane could harm
health. Placing large amounts of 1,1,1-trichloroethane in the stomachs
of animals has caused effects on the nervous system, mild liver damage,
unconsciousness, and even death. If your skin contacts
1,1,1-trichloroethane, you might feel some irritation. Studies in animals
suggest that repeated exposure of the skin might affect the liver and that
very large amounts may cause death. These effects occurred only when
evaporation was prevented.


Reduce risk of exposure to 1,1,1-trichloroethane
Children can be exposed to 1,1,1-trichloroethane in household products,
such as adhesives and cleaners. Parents should store household chemicals
out of reach of young children to prevent accidental poisonings or skin
irritation. Always store household chemicals in their original labeled
containers. Never store household chemicals in containers that children
would find attractive to eat or drink from, such as old soda bottles. Keep
your Poison Control Center’s number near the phone.


Sometimes older children sniff household chemicals in an attempt to get
high. Your children may be exposed to 1,1,1-trichloroethane by
inhaling products containing it. Talk with your children about the
dangers of sniffing chemicals.[1]


Government Recommendations
EPA regulates the levels of 1,1,1-trichloroethane that are allowable in
drinking water. The highest level of 1,1,1-trichloroethane allowed in
drinking water is 0.2 parts 1,1,1,-trichloroethane per 1 million parts of
water (0.2 ppm).


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a
limit of 350 parts 1,1,1-trichloroethane per 1 million parts of air (350
ppm) in the workplace. [1]


Personal Protection


Skin
Wear appropriate personal protective clothing to prevent skin contact.


Eyes
Wear appropriate eye protection to prevent eye contact.


Wash skin
The worker should immediately wash the skin when it becomes
contaminated.
Remove
Work clothing that becomes wet should be immediately removed due to
its flammability hazard (i.e., for liquids with a flash point <100°F).


Provide
Eyewash fountains should be provided in areas where there is any
possibility that workers could be exposed to the substances; this is
irrespective of the recommendation involving the wearing of eye
protection.


Facilities for quickly drenching the body should be provided within the
immediate work area for emergency use where there is a possibility of
exposure. [Note: It is intended that these facilities provide a sufficient
quantity or flow of water to quickly remove the substance from any body
areas likely to be exposed. The actual determination of what constitutes
an adequate quick drench facility depends on the specific circumstances.
In certain instances, a deluge shower should be readily available,
whereas in others, the availability of water from a sink or hose could be
considered adequate.[2]


Respirator Recommendations
NIOSH/OSHA
Up to 125 ppm:
(APF = 25) Any supplied-air respirator operated in a continuous-flow
mode£
(APF = 25) Any powered, air-purifying respirator with organic vapor
cartridge(s)


Up to 50 ppm:
(APF = 50) Any chemical cartridge respirator with a full facepiece and
organic vapor cartridge(s)
(APF = 50) Any air-purifying, full-facepiece respirator (gas mask) with a
chin-style, front- or back-mounted organic vapor canister
(APF = 50) Any powered, air-purifying respirator with a tight-fitting
facepiece and organic vapor cartridge(s)£
(APF = 50) Any self-contained breathing apparatus with a full facepiece
(APF = 50) Any supplied-air respirator with a full facepiece
Up to 1000 ppm:
(APF = 2000) Any supplied-air respirator that has a full facepiece and
is operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode
Emergency or planned entry into unknown concentrations or IDLH
conditions:
(APF = 10,000) Any self-contained breathing apparatus that has a full
facepiece and is operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure
mode
(APF = 10,000) Any supplied-air respirator that has a full facepiece and
is operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode in
combination with an auxiliary self-contained positive-pressure
breathing apparatus


Escape:
(APF = 50) Any air-purifying, full-facepiece respirator (gas mask) with a
chin-style, front- or back-mounted organic vapor canister
Any appropriate escape-type, self-contained breathing apparatus [2]


References
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 2006.
Toxicological Profile for 1,1,1-Trichloroethane. Atlanta, GA: U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) Pyridine retrieved
from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npgd0541.html on 30-3-2010


Legislation
ASIA PACIFIC
Secondary sunscreen auditing activities
2010-04-08
In the coming months, NICNAS have announced that it will be
conducting an audit of sunscreen products to ensure they meet the
requirements of the Cosmetic Standard 2007. The Cosmetic Standard
2007 outlines the regulatory requirements for six cosmetic categories
including Face and Nail and Skin Care products with a secondary
sunscreen purpose. These products are required to meet the definition of
secondary sunscreen product as outlined in AS/NZS 2604:1998
Sunscreen products — Evaluation and classification. NICNAS will contact
manufacturers and importers of a random sample of these products from
March 2010 seeking the necessary data to demonstrate compliance with
AS/NZS 2604:1998 and the Cosmetic Standard 2007. Further
information regarding the cosmetic regulation in Australia including the
requirements of the Cosmetic Standard 2007 can be found at
http://www.nicnas.gov.au/Current_Issues/Cosmetics.asp
NICNAS Chemical Gazette, 6 April 2010
http://www.nicnas.gov.au/Publications/Chemical_Gazette


Consultation on requirement to prepare and publish summary reports
2010-04-08
NICNAS have released a notice detailing a proposal to amend the
Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (the Act) in
order to remove the requirement to prepare and publish a summary
report for each assessment. Currently, the Act specifies that for both new
chemicals and existing chemicals, there is a requirement that a full
public report and a summary report be prepared for each assessment and
that the summary report be published in the Chemical Gazette. This
requirement to publish a summary report has been included in the Act
since its commencement in 1989, at a time when the full public report
was available in hard copy only for a fee. The summary report consists of
information extracted from the full public report and does not include
any exempt information. For some time, NICNAS has published the
Chemical Gazette (including summary reports) and all full public
reports on its website and therefore both reports for any given assessment
are readily available to the public at no cost. Accordingly, the need for a
separate summary report has become obsolete. For existing chemicals,
NICNAS is proposing to amend the Act to implement the recommendations
of the NICNAS Existing Chemicals review, one being a new range of
assessment types to better suit the need and intended outcome from the
assessment process. Shorter reports for existing chemicals will therefore be
adequately catered for under proposed legislative amendments. NICNAS is
proposing that amendments be made to the Act to remove the requirement
to prepare and publish summary reports for both new and existing
chemicals. To ensure that the public is aware that the full public report
for an assessed chemical has become available on the NICNAS website, it
is proposed that a notice be placed in the Chemical Gazette to this effect
stating, for example, assessment number, chemical and/or trade name
(subject to exempt information requirements) etc. The proposal is open for
public comment until 6 May 2010. For further details go to the NICNAS
website.
NICNAS Chemical Gazette, 6 April 2010
http://www.nicnas.gov.au/Publications/Chemical_Gazette


Food Labelling Review Committee holds
2010-04-08
The committee conducting the Independent Review of Food Labelling Law
and Policy is about to embark on the planned second round of public
consultations in Australia and New Zealand. The Review Committee
encourages members of the public to respond to the consultation questions,
and to attend one of the public meetings that will be held across
Australia and New Zealand. This public consultation period is an
important opportunity for people to provide the Review Committee with
specific information about ways to improve food labelling in Australia
and New Zealand. This Review, chaired by Dr Neal Blewett AC, is being
conducted at the request of the Council of Australian Governments and
the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council,
representing Australian and New Zealand Governments. The Food
Labelling Review Issues Consultation Paper summarises the issues that
have been raised in the first round of submissions to the Review, as well
as issues in the literature and media in recent years. This Paper
elaborates on the Review’s Terms of Reference and has been prepared to
stimulate thinking and debate. In a statement the committee said it is
important to take the next step now in the Review process and begin
thinking about the range of solutions and ideas to improve food labelling.
The Food Labelling Review Issues Consultation Paper was released on 5
March 2010 (www.foodlabellingreview.gov.au). The closing date for
written submissions is 14 May 2010. Submissions that add to the
deliberation and discussion (and meet the submission guidelines) will be
made publicly available on the website. As part of the consultation, the
Review Committee will be holding public forums in Australia and New
Zealand from 17 March – 7 May 2010. For further information visit the
FSANZ website.
Food Standards Australia Autumn Newsletter, April 2010
http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/FSN%2072%20All%20stories%2
0VAL%20EDIT1.pdf
AMERICA


EPA announces BPA action plan
2010-04-08
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its
action plan on bisphenol A (BPA). EPA has stated that the BPA action
plan ‘focuses on the environmental impacts of BPA and will look to add
BPA to EPA’s list of chemicals of concern and require testing related to
environmental effects.’ EPA notes that, in January 2010, the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had some concerns about
the potential human health impacts of BPA, and would study the
potential effects and ways to reduce exposure to BPA in food packaging.
According to EPA, it ‘share[s] FDA’s concern about the potential health
impacts from BPA,’ and ‘EPA and FDA, and many other agencies are
moving forward to fully assess the environmental and health impacts to
ensure that the full range of BPA’s possible impacts are examined.’ EPA
states in its press release that ‘food packaging represents the most obvious
source of BPA exposure to people and is regulated by FDA’ and that EPA’s
efforts would focus on the ‘potential environmental impacts of BPA,’
noting that releases of BPA to the environment exceed 1 million pounds
per year. According to EPA, BPA has caused reproductive and
developmental effects in animal studies and may also affect the
endocrine system.


The action plan on the environmental impacts of BPA includes
considering the following steps:
Adding BPA to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 5(b)(4)
Concern List on the basis of potential environmental effects;
Requiring information on concentrations of BPA in surface water,
ground water, and drinking water to determine if BPA may be present at
levels of potential concern;
Requiring manufacturers to provide test data under Section 4 to assist
EPA in evaluating its possible environmental impacts, including
long-term effects on growth, reproduction, and development in aquatic
organisms and wildlife and ‘testing or monitoring data in the vicinity of
landfills, manufacturing facilities, or similar locations to determine the
potential for BPA to enter the environment’;
Using EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Program to examine ways
to reduce unnecessary exposures, including assessing substitutes for BPA’s
use in thermal and carbonless paper coatings, in foundry castings, and
in linings for water and wastewater pipes, while additional studies
continue; and
Continuing to evaluate the potential disproportionate impact on children
and other sub-populations through exposure from non-food packaging
uses.


EPA said it is working closely with FDA, the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, and the National Institute of Environmental Health
Sciences on research to assess and evaluate better the potential health
consequences of BPA exposures, including health concerns from non-food
packaging exposures that fall outside of FDA’s reach but within EPA’s
regulatory authority. EPA states that, based on what this new research
shows, EPA will consider possible regulatory actions to address health
impacts from these other exposures. It is interesting that EPA has decided
to consider adding BPA to the TSCA Section 5(b)(4) Concern List on the
basis of possible risks to the environment, and concedes in the action
plan that ‘EPA considers that FDA has the lead in making human
health judgments on BPA. EPA does not consider that action under TSCA
would be warranted at this time on the basis of potential human health
concerns from exposures through TSCA uses of BPA.’ In addition, EPA
note that ‘limited information is available for BPA concentrations in U.S.
water, and most available environmental monitoring results show that
the concentrations of BPA in water bodies are lower than 1 µg/L’ (or 1
ppb). EPA further notes that the available environmental measurements
‘represent only isolated snapshots in time’ and that additional
information would help resolve uncertainties, and thus the rationale for
obtaining environmental monitoring data under Section 4 to understand
better BPA’s presence in the environment.
Environmental Expert, 1 April 2010
http://www.environmental-expert.com


Rallying For Better Chemicals Regulation
2010-04-08
On 30 March, a rally at a chemicals conference in Baltimore
highlighted differences between environmental activists and the
chemical industry over reform of the nation’s chemical control law.
Congress is considering reform of this 1976 law, the Toxic Substances
Control Act (TSCA). On the surface, the activist groups and most major
chemical trade groups have the same goal – revision of TSCA. However,
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families -- a broad coalition of environmental
and public health groups that led the rally -- made clear the key
divergences between activists and industry on recasting TSCA for the 21st
century. Andy Igrejas, national campaign director for the coalition, laid
out those differences while standing in front of a 20-foot high yellow
duck. The inflatable duck is symbolic of a child’s bathtub toy and its
connection to phthalates, a class of chemicals used in plastics and
suspected of inhibiting hormone activity. The duck was tethered across a
narrow canal from the Baltimore hotel where the chemical industry’s
annual conference on TSCA took place. A major divergence, Igrejas said, is
that activists want industry to supply EPA with basic health and safety
data for all commercial chemicals. He pointed out that this sort of data is
necessary for pesticides and pharmaceuticals before they can be sold. In
contrast, industry has backed EPA use of existing information, which is
limited for many substances, to identify priority chemicals for further
data requirements. In addition, the activists want Congress to ensure that
EPA acts quickly to reduce the impact of chemicals widely known to be
hazardous, such as certain persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic
chemicals that governments elsewhere in the world have restricted. They
do not want EPA to get bogged down conducting full-blown risk
assessments on these substances, as some in industry suggest.


furthermore, the activists’ coalition also wants EPA to consider people’s
aggregate exposures, which would include exposure from emissions,
consumer products, or other sources together. Igrejas contrasted this with
an industry position calling for EPA to determine the uses of a chemical
that are safe, a process which he said fails to take into account all of a
person’s exposure to that substance. The American Chemistry Council and
the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates, hosts of the
GlobalChem Conference, issued a joint statement in response to the
activists. “There is a diversity of views among representatives of industry
and the [non-governmental organization] community,” the statement
said. “It is with an eye toward narrowing or even eliminating some of
those differences that ACC and SOCMA have been working to bring
together stakeholders from industry, government, environmental, labor,
and consumer groups to have frank and constructive dialogs about the
future of chemicals management.” “We are thrilled that the chemical
industry finally agrees that we need to reform this outdated law,” Igrejas
said. “But reforming TSCA is not just about improving PR for the
chemical industry — it’s about genuinely protecting public health.”
Chemical & Engineering News, 30 March 2010
http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news


EPA denies New York City petition on pesticide goggers
2010-04-08
According to the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA), a
decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deny New
York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s petition to
reclassify pesticide total release foggers as restricted-use products in the
city is within the best interests of the thousands of consumers who rely
on the products to keep their homes free of pests. “Thousands of New York
City consumers rely on pesticide foggers to control insect infestations in
their homes that can lead to health problems, and we commend the EPA
for making this decision that will help keep this method of pest control
cost-effective for those consumers,” said Chris Cathcart, CSPA president.
The EPA stated in its response to the petitioners that it would not classify
the pesticide foggers as restricted use because “the weight of evidence does
not show that the products, when applied in accordance with their
directions for use…may generally cause, without additional regulatory
restrictions, unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.” Data on
adverse incidences reported did not support removing the products from
the hands of consumers. “Our data revealed that more than six million
foggers sold throughout the state from 2005 through 2008 were used
safely by consumers,” Cathcart said. “Less than 0.01 percent reported any
adverse effects from using the products. Similar to the finding in a report
by the Centers for Disease Control published in fall of 2008, our data on
adverse effects were often associated with improper use.”


The current regulatory requirements for these products under the Federal
Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) assures that the most
meaningful information for consumers is included on the product label,
including instruction on proper use, storage and disposal. Along with
announcement that the agency has denied the petition, it also is making
changes to how the products are labelled under FIFRA. “We are willing to
make reasonable changes to our product labels that will further
encourage proper product use and will continue working diligently with
the EPA on this important issue,” Cathcart concluded. FIFRA provides the
basis for regulation, sale, distribution and use of pesticides in the U.S.
and authorises the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to review and
register pesticides for the specified use for which a registrant applies.
Before registering a new pesticide or new use for a registered pesticide,
EPA must first ensure that the pesticide, when used according to label
directions, can be used without posing unreasonable risk to human
health and the environment. To make such determinations, EPA requires
extensive scientific studies and tests from applicants. When EPA registers
a pesticide, it approves the product’s label, which includes (among other
things) directions for use, hazard warnings, and precautions. It is a
violation of FIFRA for any person to use a pesticide in a manner
inconsistent with its EPA-approved labelling.
Environmental Expert, 1 April 2010
http://www.environmental-expert.com


EPA Lays Out Plans To Cut Co2, Other Greenhouse Gas Emissions
2010-04-08
EPA has moved forward in its attempt to use the Clean Air Act to reduce
carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. On 29 March, the
agency finalised an earlier decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions
from stationary sources, such as chemical companies and electric power
plants. On a phased schedule starting next January, companies that emit
pollution in large amounts will be required to include plans to cut CO2
and other greenhouse gases as part of their Clean Air Act permits.
However, EPA is still finalising the details of the regulations with which
companies must comply. The American Chemistry Council, a trade
association, is “deeply concerned and disappointed” in the decision and
the lack of clarity over what will be required. In a statement, it urged
Congress to delay these regulations. Currently, several bills have been
introduced in Congress to block the agency from using the act. In part,
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson agrees with those bills, saying on
several occasions that she would prefer Congress to enact comprehensive
climate-change legislation to cut CO2, rather than rely solely on EPA’s
Clean Air Act authority. In another move by EPA, Jackson announced on
1 April   that the agency has completed Clean Air Act regulations
requiring automakers to cut vehicular CO2 and other greenhouse gas
emissions beginning with model year 2012. Under the regulation, by
2016, gasoline-fuelled light-duty vehicles would average 35.5 mpg, 40%
higher than the present requirements.
Chemical & Engineering News, 5 April 2010
http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news


EUROPE
EC open to product-specific targets for WEEE
2010-04-08
An official has reported that the European Commission could support
collection targets for small appliances and mercury-containing lamps as
part of a revision of the waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE)
directive. Several members of the European Parliament’s environment
committee proposed product-specific targets for WEEE in February,
arguing the commission’s single collection target by weight backed by
rapporteur Karl-Heinz Florenz would not lead to an increase in the
recycling of smaller, lighter appliances. The commission will conduct an
impact assessment by the end of next year to consider specific collection
targets for three categories – small appliances, mercury-containing lamps
and freezing equipment, the official told the committee recently. Such
targets may be adopted through the EU’s comitology procedure. In
addition, she said the Commission was open to discussion on a proposal
to replace its 2016 collection target of at least 65% by weight of EEE
products with 85% of WEEE arising in the EU, pointing out the two
objectives were identical. In other business, the environment committee
discussed proposed amendments to a revision of the hazardous substances
(RoHS) directive. Some committee members expressed concern that the
open scope approach could lead to a logjam at the commission for
granting exemptions. An official said the Commission had not studied
the potential impact of an open scope in either WEEE or RoHS.
ENDS Europe Daily, 7 April 2010 http://www.endseuropedaily.com


EFSA summit debates bisphenol A
2010-04-08
According to the head of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) food
contact panel, a recent international summit on bisphenol A (BPA)
hosted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently resulted in
“very useful” scientific discussion. Alexandre Feigenbaum, head of EFSA’s
CEF unit said the one-day meeting of 25 scientific experts from 19
different countries heard the safety watchdog outline its draft opinion on
BPA. The national representatives were invited to add any relevant
information from their own research that may have a bearing on EFSA’s
final verdict on the chemical that is used in polycarbonate bottles and
the epoxy lining in food cans. France, Denmark and Germany made
presentations of their latest risk assessment work on the issue. However,
the body said it was unable to give any detailed information on the
discussions around the draft opinions. The participants, which also
included members of the CEF Panel and representatives of the European
Commission, debated the latest research on the topic and critically
appraised an EFSA study on neurodevelopmental toxicity of the substance.
In addition, the experts wanted to reach a consensus on the methodology
that research studies on BPA should employ. In February, the French
Food Safety Agency (AFSSA) said flawed methodology in a host of studies
on the chemical meant it was unable to accept their conclusions as
scientifically sound. EFSA is due to finalise the opinion by the end of
May, with publication earmarked for sometime in June. Diane Benford,
head of chemical risk assessment at the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA),
said the study had been received with great interest. She explained the
research from EFSA had not raised any new issues although some
participants suggested it did not fully address some other concerns raised
in other studies. “It was very interesting to her views from other member
states and to discuss various aspects of the science,” she said. The agency
is due to hold a teleconference with global risk assessment bodies this
week, including the US Food and Drug Administration, to update them
on the meeting and its conclusions, Feigenbaum said
Nutra Ingredients, 31 March 2010 http://www.nutraingredients.com


Italy ponders mandatory supplement warning labels – and health
claims?
2010-04-08
Food supplement regulations being considered in Italy may force certain
herbal products to carry warning labels, and health indications may
become mandatory too, a European Commission committee has heard.
The draft decree relates to substances other than vitamins and minerals
and a February meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain
and Animal Health (SCFCAH) heard that the Italian government was
considering actions with nine nutrients warranting initial focus. They
were Cimicifuga racemosa Nutt; Citrus aurantium L.; Ginkgo Biloba L.;
Hypericum Perforatum L.; amino acid mixtures; ramfied amino acids;
bioflavonoids; creatine and Monascus purpureus (red yeast rice)
monacolin. While not clarifying exactly why these herbs required
warning labels, the committee discussed how such warning labels may fit
within existing legislation such as the 2002 Food Supplements Directive
(FSD) and the 2006 nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR).
Under the FSD there is no requirement to refer to nutritional and health
indications – that is a matter for the NHCR or the 2004 Traditional
Medicinal Herbal Product Directive (THMPD).
Nutra Ingredients, 24 March 2010 http://www.nutraingredients.com


REACH Update
Draft REACH guidance on recovered substances
2010-04-22
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recently published draft
guidance on waste and recovered substances under the REACH regulation.
It is intended to clarify the status of recovered materials that cease to be
waste and are subject to the rules’ requirements. The document
particularly deals with article 2(7)d that excludes recovered materials –
on their own, in preparations and in articles – from certain
requirements including an obligation to register them if they are the
same as already registered substances. In addition, it deals with a
number of specific issues such as substance identification and impurities.
It states, “constituents present in quantities above 20% (w/w) should… in
general not be considered as impurities but as separate substances in a
mixture.” In mechanical separation of mixed waste, “it may often be
impossible to derive recovered material of 100% purity”. Impurities
should be present in very small quantities. In this case, such impurities
do not need to be registered separately. Furthermore, the document
provides guidance on different types of recovered materials, including
metals, aggregates and solvents. The sameness of recovered solvents with
registered substances is “well established for a wide range of solvents”.
“Normally there are no constituents that do not originate from the solvent
itself due to the recovery process used. If there are any such constituents
they are at a level far below 20%,” according to the draft guidance. The
document also covers recovered paper, glass, polymers, rubber and base
oils.
ENDS Europe Daily, 15 April 2010 http://www.endseuropedaily.com


Legal entity change now functional – policy on asset sales clarified
2010-04-22
Changes in legal personality can now be reported to ECHA under the new
REACH-IT version and the new Practical Guide published recently.
ECHA has reversed its policy on asset sales, and such transfers may be
treated as a change of legal personality. Companies undergoing split or
merger can now transfer their (pre)registrations from one legal entity to
another in REACH-IT. In addition, (pre)registrations can be transferred
from one legal entity to another following an asset transfer providing the
company gives evidence of the transfer. Changes of Only Representative
can be updated in the same way. Registrants should use the new version
REACH-IT to communicate to ECHA any update of their legal entity even
if the information has already been provided informally to ECHA prior
to the new release of REACH-IT. Further details can be found in the
Practical Guide and the REACH-IT Industry User Manual Part 17 -
Legal Entity Change. Both are on ECHA’s website. Further details on how
to report changes in identity of legal entities can be found at:
http://echa.europa.eu/doc/publications/practical_guides/pg_legal_entity_c
hange_no8.pdf and in the REACH-IT Industry User Manual Part 17 -
Legal Entity Change at:
http://echa.europa.eu/doc/reachit/industry_user_manual/legal_entity_cha
nge.pdf
ECHA, 16 April 2010 http://echa.europa.eu


Draft REACH guidance on waste and recovered substances makes progress
2010-04-22
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has passed draft guidance on
waste and recovered substances on to the Competent Authorities for
REACH and CLP (CARACAL), and posted comments from the Member
State Committee and enforcement Forum on its guidance webpage. To view
a copy of the daft guidance on waste and recovered substances go to:
http://echa.europa.eu
Committee comments can be found at:
http://guidance.echa.europa.eu/docs/draft_documents/MSC_Forum_comme
nts__waste_recov.xls
Chemical Watch, 15 April 2010 http://chemicalwatch.com/news


Downstream Users can check list of intended 2010 registrations
2010-04-22
Downstream users of chemicals now have the chance to check whether
the critical chemical substances that they need are going to be registered
in time. ECHA has recently published a list of all the chemical
substances that companies have reported that they plan to register for the
2010 REACH deadline. If a substance should be registered in 2010 and
it is not, it will be illegal to manufacture or sell it within the EU after
30 November 2010. It is therefore important that downstream users
consult the list to make sure that their high volume and hazardous
substances are included (lower volume and less hazardous substances
don’t have to be registered this year). In addition, manufacturers and
importers should consult the list and actively help to make it complete
by adding their own planned registrations. The ECHA website provides
information on what to do next if a substance that should be registered
in 2010 is not on the list. ECHA will update the list periodically to
allow companies to check again. The substances that need to meet the
2010 registration deadline are those manufactured and imported in the
largest quantities (over 1000 tonnes per annum) and those which are
potentially the most hazardous to the environment (above 100 tonnes) or
to human beings (above 1 tonne). To view the list of substances identified
for registration in 2010, go to:
http://echa.europa.eu/chem_data/list_registration_2010_en.asp
ECHA, 16 April 2010 http://echa.europa.eu


Recommendations to Lead Registrants
2010-04-22
New, practical recommendations are being made to try to help Lead
Registrants ensure that Lead Dossiers are submitted in time. Lead
Registrants and SIEF members are interdependent and cooperation among
SIEFs is essential for successful registration. However, working in a SIEF is
challenging not least because of the need for large numbers of companies
to agree on very complex issues. Therefore, to try to ensure that Lead
Dossiers are submitted in time, the Directors’ Contact Group (DCG)
recommends that Lead Registrants:
Tell all SIEF members the date at which they intend to submit the Lead
dossier.
Give all SIEF members a “cut-off-date” at which they will “freeze” their
dossier and
after which the following activities will stop:
accepting previously dormant members;
discussing the sameness of substance;
discussing operational rules;
identifying data gaps;
sharing existing data;
agreeing the classification and labelling of the substance;
finalising the Chemical Safety Report if done collectively.
Lead Registrants are responsible for setting the cut off date, but of course
it needs to be set in the context of their obligation to ensure that all SIEF
members have enough time to provide others with studies and
information. The DCG recommends that Lead Registrants set the cut off
date for any of the above activities at around two months before the
planned submission date. In addition, Lead Registrants are responsible
for setting the costs of sharing information. The DCG emphasises that
Lead registrants are obliged to set them in a fair, transparent and
non-discriminatory way. Any information generated after the cut-off
date can be included in an update of the dossier after it has been
registered. More information can be found at:
http://echa.europa.eu/sief_en.asp
ECHA, 16 April 2010 http://echa.europa.eu


Janet’s Corner – Not too seriously!
College
Some freshman college kids are sitting under a tree at their beautiful
state university talking about their classes.
Says one young woman, “I can’t believe it. My calculus course has to be
the hardest course in the world.”
“Get over yourself,” says her girlfriend.
“You should try my theoretical physics class.”
“You have got to be joking,” says a young man there on a football
scholarship.
“You call that stuff hard? You should try my class. Have you ever heard
of something called subtraction?”
Please note: articles for Janet’s Corner are not original, and come from
various sources. Author’s credits are supplied when available.


Gossip
Alternative flame retardants leach into the environment
2010-04-09
Two chemicals that are becoming widely used as replacements for
potentially toxic flame retardants in household products including
televisions and furniture have shown up in peregrine falcon eggs in
California. This discovery was made as part of a larger study monitoring
contaminants in wildlife and adds to evidence that these new flame
retardants escape into and persist in the environment, as the original
ones do. While the replacement compounds were found in much smaller
quantities than the flame retardants that have been on the market for
years, their presence in bird eggs is cause for concern, said June-Soo
Park of the California Environmental Protection Agency in Berkeley.
Little is known about the toxicity of the replacement compounds and
their potential to accumulate in people and wildlife, said Park, who
presented the new study on 25 March at the spring meeting of the
American Chemical Society. The earlier generation of fire retardants,
called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, was added to products
such as furniture, electronics and carpeting and upholstery to reduce
fire-related injuries. California has especially stringent product
flammability laws and both people and wildlife contain some of the
highest levels of PBDEs in the world, noted Park. Research on lab
animals has suggested that many PBDEs mimic the effect of thyroid
hormones, interfering with reproduction, nerve and tissue development.
Such findings led to substance bans in Europe and, in 2004, two of the
most common formulations were banned in the United States. However,
researchers are still finding traces of PBDEs in the environment, where
their replacements — hexabromobenzene, known as HBB, and
Bis(2,4,6,-tribromphenoxy)ethane, known as BTBPE — are also now
showing up. The latest study by Park’s team examined peregrine falcons,
which became endangered after years of exposure to pesticides such as
DDT but have recovered in much of the U.S. These bird-eating birds, at
the top of the food chain, are considered sentinels of environmental
health. During the study, Park and his colleagues measured levels of
contaminants in eggs and chicks collected from 38 nest sites between
1986 and 2007. In the eggs, PBDE levels more than tripled each decade
over the last 22 years, and the levels in one chick were the highest ever
reported in wildlife, Park noted.


The eggs and chicks of urban falcons, living in cities such as Los Angeles,
San Diego and San Francisco, had much higher levels of the flame
retardants than their more rural counterparts. That may be because
urban falcons consume more dust, which contains high levels of PBDEs
from household items, either through preening or through eating other
dusty birds like pigeons. Preliminary data suggest the new flame
retardants are also accumulating in wildlife, Park reported at the
meeting. In 19 of the falcon eggs, the research team detected HBB and
BTBPE, but in much lower quantities than the old standby chemicals. It
isn’t clear how the falcons are accumulating the new flame retardants,
Park said. “That’s a hard question — we have very limited data.” Other
scientists have reported finding HBB in herring gulls around the Great
Lakes and BTBPE in bedrooms and living rooms in the Boston area.
According to Park, the new findings suggest that further monitoring, and
further testing, is necessary, as there is little toxicological data on these
supposedly safer compounds. The replacement flame retardants are
considered safer because they don’t break down as readily into more
absorbable forms, but the flip side of that stability is that they may
persist for an extremely long time. That persistence has unknown
toxicological side effects. Park’s study reflects the difficulty of balancing
the benefits of compounds such as fire retardants against their
unintended effects, said Sarah Rubinfeld, an environmental engineer at
Stanford University. “We don’t want kids’ pyjamas catching on fire,” she
said. “But it’s often the case that when we realize a chemical is
problematic and we start using a new one — well, sometimes we think
it’s better, but it’s really just not a smoking gun.”
Science News, 26 March 2010 http://www.sciencenews.org


Study links chemical exposure to breast cancer
2010-04-09
According to the findings of a recent study by Canadian researchers,
exposure to certain chemicals and pollutants before a woman reaches her
mid-30s could treble her risk of developing breast cancer after the
menopause. The new study, published in the journal Occupational and
Environmental Medicine, found that women exposed to synthetic fibres
and petrol products during the course of their work appeared to be most
at risk. “Occupational exposure to acrylic and nylon fibers, and to
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons may increase the risk of developing
postmenopausal breast cancer,” they wrote. However, some experts
commenting on the study expressed caution, saying such links can crop
up by chance. “In a study of this sort positive associations often occur
simply by chance,” said David Coggon, a professor of occupational and
environmental medicine at Britain’s Southampton University. “They
carry little weight in the absence of stronger supportive evidence from
other research.” The researchers agreed that their findings may be due to
chance, but also said they were consistent with the theory that breast
tissue is more sensitive to harmful chemicals if the exposure occurs when
breast cells are still active -- in other words, before a woman reaches her
40s. The researchers, from the Occupational Health Research Institute in
Montreal, Canada, based their findings on more than 1,100 women, 556
of whom were diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996 and 1997 when
they were aged between 50 and 75 and had gone through the menopause.
During the study, a team of chemists and industrial hygienists
investigated the women’s levels of exposure to around 300 different
substances during their employment history. After taking account of the
usual factors associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, the
analysis indicated a link between occupational exposure to several of
these substances, Labreche’s team wrote. The results indicated that when
compared with the comparison group, the risk peaked for exposures
before the age of 36, and increased with each additional decade of
exposure before this age. This suggests that women who were exposed to
acrylic fibres appeared to run a seven-fold risk of breast cancer, while
those exposed to nylon fibres almost doubled their risk. The researchers
said that further detailed studies are required on certain chemicals to try
and establish what role chemical exposure plays in the development of
breast cancer.
Reuters Health, 31 March 2010 http://www.reuters.com/news/health


Researchers Link World Trade Center Responders to Heart Disease
2010-04-09
Two new studies undertaken by researchers from Mount Sinai School of
Medicine, have discovered that the World Trade Center (WTC) collapse
has caused potentially dangerous heart problems in responders. The first
study, “First Documentation of Cardiac Dysfunction Following Exposure
to the World Trade Center Disaster,” showed that WTC responders have
impaired diastolic function of both the right and left ventricle, meaning
their hearts do not relax normally, which can put them at risk for heart
problems such as shortness of breath and heart failure. More than 50
percent of responders had abnormal relaxation of the left ventricle
compared to only 7 percent of people of a similar age in the general
population. Greater than 60 percent had isolated impaired diastolic
function in the right ventricle of the heart, which pumps blood to the
lungs. Lori Croft, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, and colleagues
believe that debris inhaled from the WTC site may have contributed to
these heart abnormalities. However, the researchers caution that there is
no comparison data of people working in a similar urban community
plagued by air pollution and life/emotional stresses who were not
exposed to the WTC site. “We know that inhaled debris may be linked to
heart and lung disease,” said Croft. “While we still have work to do in
determining a definitive connection between heart abnormalities and the
World Trade Center collapse, these data are an exciting first step.” The
second study, “Relationship between Erectile Dysfunction and Coronary
Artery Calcification in a Population of Middle-Aged Men in the World
Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program,” is the first to
analyse the association between erectile dysfunction (ED) and coronary
artery calcification, or hardening, in middle-aged men (mean age 45.4).


After allowing for confounding risk factors such as diabetes, smoking and
body-mass index, Mary Ann McLaughlin, M.D., associate professor of
medicine and cardiology, and her team found a significant independent
association of ED with coronary artery calcification scores (CACS) in WTC
workers. The new study showed that men with ED were 53 percent more
likely to have high-risk coronary artery calcification. The hazard ratio
for ED was similar to other well-known cardiovascular risk factors such
as smoking and hypertension. Coronary artery calcification is a known
precursor to heart disease and can eventually lead to heart attack. “Our
study is the largest to date to establish the link between ED and coronary
artery calcification in middle-aged men,” said McLaughlin. “These data
from WTC workers provide further evidence that erectile dysfunction is
an indicator of cardiovascular disease.” “The findings from these
analyses underscore the need to have long-term monitoring of potential
health effects related to the WTC disaster,” said Jacqueline Moline, M.D.,
vice chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine. “They also point to
the need to evaluate first responders in general, to ensure that these
public safety officers remain healthy and we identify what risk factors
might be contributing to any potential health issues.” Moline acted as
principal investigator of the two studies and leads The World Trade
Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program. Croft and
McLaughlin conducted the analyses of 1,236 workers who participated
in the program from January 2008 to June 2009.
EHS Today, 22 March 2010 http://www.ehstoday.com


Drug attacks dormant infection
2010-04-09
In a new study researchers at the University of Sydney’s Centenary
Institute, have discovered a new drug for the treatment of tuberculosis
(TB). Dr Nick West, of the Mycobacterial Research Group, examined the
genetics of TB in the hope they would reveal a way to reduce the impact
of one of the deadliest diseases in the world. Dr West said when someone
is infected with TB they either become sick immediately or the disease
stays inactive. “Unfortunately, the antibiotics we use to fight TB aren’t
effective against latent TB and can only be used when the disease
becomes active,” he said. “This is a major problem as 1 out of 10 people
who have latent TB will develop the active disease, becoming sick and
contagious.” During the new study, Dr West and his team made a vital
discovery in the development of a new drug that could cure TB in the
latent stage. If the project succeeds, it will be the first new treatment for
TB since 1962. This is exciting news given that TB kills almost 2 million
people each year. One third of the world’s population or two billion
people are infected with TB. Every second of every day another person is
infected. In fact, TB is at Australia’s doorstep with the fastest growing
incidence of the disease occurring in South East Asia. Luckily, the
University of Sydney’s Centenary Institute, Australasia’s largest TB
research facility, is mounting a winning fight against this global killer.
“We have investigated a protein that is essential for TB to survive and we
have had some success in developing a drug that will inhibit this protein.
Our goal over the coming months is to find out the full extent of this
drug’s potential,” Dr West said. “If we can figure out a way to treat TB
when it’s in a latent stage, then we could save millions of lives
throughout the world.”Science Alert, 26 March 2010
http://www.sciencealert.com.au


Chemist Develops Membrane to Sense, Clean Up Nanoparticles
2010-04-09
Director of Binghamton University’s Center for Advanced Sensors and
Environmental Systems in New York, Omowunmi Sadik, is working
towards the development of sensors that would detect and identify
engineered nanoparticles. Her work will advance our understanding of
the risks associated with the environmental release and transformation of
these particles. “Society has a duty to not only consider the positive sides
of science and technology but also the not-so-desirable sides of
technology itself,” said Sadik, a professor of chemistry. “We need to think
not just about how to make these nanoparticles but also about their
impact on human health and the environment.” At present, little is
known about how silver nanoparticles and other engineered
nanoparticles interact with water systems, the soil and the air. Some are
known toxins; others have properties similar to asbestos. In addition, it is
difficult, if not downright impossible, to monitor them. Current
techniques rely on huge microscopes to identify nanoparticles, but the
devices are not portable and do not provide information about the
toxicity of materials. Sadik and a Binghamton colleague, Howard Wang,
have received funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to
design, create and test sensors for monitoring engineered nanoparticles
and naturally occurring cell particles. “We need to understand the
chemical transformation of these materials in the ecosystem so we can
take action to prevent unnecessary exposure,” Sadik said. Her lab has
already created a membrane that will not only trap a single
nanoparticle but also provide a means of signal generation. It uses
cyclodextrin, whose molecular structure resembles a tiny cup. “It can be
used not only as a sensor, but also for cleanup,” Sadik said. The
development of this technology made Sadik believe that nanotechnology
may also prove useful in the remediation of environmental pollutants.
Green nanotechnology could even reduce the use of solvents and result in
manufacturing protocols that produce less waste, she said. For instance,
Sadik has used nanoparticles to transform Chromium 6, a known
carcinogen, into Chromium 3, which is benign. “I do see the positive side
of it,” she said. “We want to be able to develop nanomaterials while
avoiding the unintended consequences of such developments,” Sadik
added. “We don’t want to stop development, but we do want to encourage
responsibility.”
Environmental Protection News, 25 March 2010
http://www.eponline.com


Depleted and enriched uranium affect DNA in different ways
2010-04-09
A new study has reported that radiation is not uranium’s only health
concern. The researchers said that the less radioactive form of the metal
can also damage DNA, but in a different way that could also lead to
cancer. The new study by Darolles et al titled: Different genotoxic profiles
between depleted and enriched uranium, identifies for the first time how
two main types of uranium – enriched and depleted – damage a cell’s
DNA by different methods. The manner – either by radiation or by its
chemical properties as a metal – depends upon whether the uranium is
processed or depleted. The findings demonstrated that both types of
uranium may carry a health risk because they both affect DNA in ways
that can lead to cancer. Regulatory agencies determine safe uranium
exposure based on the metal’s radioactive effects. Currently, safe exposure
levels for workers and military personnel are based on enriched
uranium – which is the more radioactive form and is considered to have
a higher cancer risk than depleted uranium. Uranium exposure has been
shown to affect bone, kidney, liver, brain, lung, intestine and the
reproductive system. Yet, many people are exposed at work or through
military activities to the less radioactive, depleted form. They may not be
adequately protected based on current methods that evaluate uranium’s
health risks. As a naturally-occurring element, most people are exposed
to low levels of uranium through food, air and water. Additional
exposure to uranium occurs when it is mined and altered for civilian or
military purposes. Workers who process uranium into nuclear fuel for
energy or weapons face additional exposure to enriched uranium.
Depleted uranium – a by-product of the enriching process – is used in
military armour and in armour-piercing ammunition. Soldiers on a
battlefield or civilians who live near these areas can be exposed to this
form.
Studying uranium’s effects is challenging because it can damage DNA in
two distinct ways. The similarities make it difficult to tell which form
and which method is responsible for the harm. During the new study,
the French researchers started by exposing mouse cell cultures to enriched
and depleted uranium. They applied different toxicity tests to distinguish
which uranium caused which kinds of DNA damage. They discovered
the enriched uranium caused breaks in the chromosomes that make up
the DNA. Called clastogenic damage, the effects were related to the
amount of radiation the enriched uranium released. In addition, the
radiation-related effects were more pronounced, suggesting that the
chromosome breaks were caused by the radiation and not by the
chemical effects of uranium. The chemical effects of uranium did not
seem to contribute to the DNA damage seen with enriched uranium, at
least in the context of this study. However, the depleted uranium had a
different type of effect. It altered the number of chromosomes in the cell.
These effects are due to improper migration of chromosomes when cells
divide. This type of damage – called aneugenic damage – was not related
to the amount of radiation the cells received and was likely caused by
the metal properties of uranium. The methods used in this study clearly
provide a new way to assess the different types of genetic harm caused by
uranium. The findings will help determine whether the genetic damage
caused by the depleted uranium also carries a high risk of causing
cancer, which is something those who work with or are around the metal
want to know. Further research is warranted to truly assess human
health risks.
Environmental Health News, 16 March 2010
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/


Higher vitamin K intake tied to lower cancer risks
2010-04-09
The findings from a new study suggest that people with higher intakes of
vitamin K from food may be less likely to develop or die of cancer,
particularly lung or prostate cancers, than those who eat relatively few
vitamin-K- containing foods. The study, published recently in the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, appears to be the first to
investigate the association between vitamin K intake and the risk of
developing or dying from cancer in general. A previous report had linked
it to lower prostate cancer risk. The results do not prove that consuming
more vitamin K helps lower the risks of certain cancers. However they lay
the foundation for future studies to try to answer that question, according
to Dr. Jakob Linseisin and colleagues at the German Cancer Research
Centre in Heidelberg. Vitamin K exists in two natural forms: vitamin K1,
or phylloquinone, found largely in green leafy vegetables, as well as some
vegetable oils, such as canola and soybean oils; and vitamin K2, or
menaquinone, for which meat and cheese are the primary dietary
sources. The new study found that vitamin K2, which study participants
most frequently got through cheese, was linked to the odds of developing
or dying from cancer, whereas vitamin K1 was not. The findings are
based on data from 24,340 German adults who were between the ages of
35 and 64, and cancer-free at the outset. During the study, the
researchers estimated the participants’ usual vitamin K intake based on a
detailed dietary questionnaire. Over the next decade, 1,755 participants
were diagnosed with colon, breast, prostate or lung cancers, of whom 458
died during the study period. In general, the researchers found, the one
quarter with the highest intakes of vitamin K2 were 28 percent less
likely to have died of any one of the cancers than the one-quarter of
men and women with the lowest intakes of the vitamin. That was with
factors like age, weight, exercise habits, smoking and consumption of
certain other nutrients, like fibre and calcium, taken into account.


Out of the one-quarter of study participants who got the least vitamin K2,
156 -- or 2.6 percent -- died of one of the four cancers. That was true of
1.6 percent of participants with the highest intakes of the vitamin from
food. When Linseisin’s team examined the cancer types individually,
there was no clear link between either form of vitamin K and breast
cancer or colon cancer. However, greater consumption of vitamin K2 was
linked to lower risks of developing or dying from lung cancer -- a
disease for which smoking is the major risk factor -- or of developing
prostate cancer. Of the one-quarter of study participants with the lowest
vitamin K2 intakes, 47 -- or 0.8 percent -- developed lung cancer,
versus 0.4 percent of the one-quarter who got the most vitamin K2 in
their diets. When it came to prostate cancer, there were 111 cases among
the one-quarter of men with the lowest vitamin K2 intakes, and 65 cases
in the group with the highest consumption. In theory, vitamin K itself
could offer some protection against cancer. It’s often used to counteract
too-high doses of blood thinners, although this does not have an obvious
link to cancer. However, Linseisin and his colleagues point out that in
lab research, the vitamin has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth
and promote apoptosis -- a process by which abnormal cells kill
themselves off. But whether vitamin K intake itself is responsible for the
lower cancer risks in this study is unclear, according to the researchers.
One limitation is that they estimated vitamin K intake based on
participants’ reported eating habits; most of their vitamin K came from
eating cheese, and it’s possible, Linseisin and his colleagues note, that
some other components of that food are related to cancer risk. The
researchers say that future research should measure people’s blood levels
of vitamin K and look at the relationship of those levels with cancer
risks. In the U.S., the recommended daily intake for vitamin K, in all
forms, is 120 micrograms for men and 90 micrograms for women. In the
current study, men in the group with the highest vitamin K intake from
food got 92 micrograms a day or more; their female counterparts got at
least 84 micrograms per day.
Reuters Health, 31 March 2010 http://www.reuters.com/news/health


Farm pesticides linked to deadly skin cancer
2010-04-09
Sun exposure has always been considered the driving force behind rising
rates of melanoma. However, a new study that repeated, long-term use of
pesticides may be an important factor, too. The findings from the study
suggest that workers who apply certain pesticides to farm fields are twice
as likely to contract melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. The
researchers identified six pesticides that, with repeated exposure,
doubled the risk of skin cancer among farmers and other workers who
applied them to crops. The latest findings add to the growing evidence
suggesting that frequent use of pesticides could raise the risk of melanoma.
In the last 30 years the rates of the disease have tripled in the United
States, with sun exposure identified as the major cause. Four of the
chemicals - maneb, mancozeb, methyl-parathion and carbaryl - are
used in the United States on a variety of crops, including nuts, vegetables
and fruits. Two others, benomyl and ethyl-parathion, were voluntarily
cancelled by their manufacturers in 2008. “Most previous melanoma
literature has focused on host factors and sun exposure. Our research
shows an association between several pesticides and melanoma, providing
support for the hypothesis that agricultural chemicals may be another
important source of melanoma risk,” according to the report by
epidemiologists from University of Iowa, the National Institute of
Environmental Health Sciences and National Cancer Institute. In
addition, the results may have implications for consumers who use
pesticides in their homes or yards. Carbaryl, one of the pesticides linked
to skin cancer, is the active ingredient in the insecticide Sevin, which is
widely used by consumers to kill pests in gardens and lawns. The study,
published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, examined
cancer rates in 56,285 pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina
as part of the federal government’s Agricultural Health Study, a large,
long-term study of pesticide applicators and their spouses. During the
study, the pesticide applicators were asked how often they were exposed
to 50 pesticides. The researchers then compared their cancer rates,
finding that those who were exposed to some of the chemicals had a
higher risk of cutaneous melanoma then their peers who handled other
chemicals. “...agricultural chemicals may be another important source of
melanoma risk,” according to researchers who studied 56,285 people
who applied pesticides to farmlands.


A major weakness of the study is that there was no dosage data for the
workers. Instead, the researchers approximated how much pesticide each
person was exposed to by adding up the days they had been exposed and
incorporating information they provided on how they applied the
chemicals and what protective equipment they wore. The researchers
found that even though melanoma was infrequent among the studied
workers, it increased in frequency among those most highly exposed to
several of the pesticides. Of the 56,285 people studied, 271, or less than
half of one percent, developed melanoma. Risks of the disease increased
2.5 times for applicators exposed to more than 63 days of
maneb/mancozeb in their lifetime. Applicators who were exposed
carbaryl more than 56 days were 1.7 times more likely and exposure to
either methyl or ethyl parathion more than 56 days increased their
melanoma risks by 2.4 times. The results could have meaning for the rest
of the population, said Dale Sandler, chief of epidemiology at the
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and a
co-investigator on the study. Sandler said that some of the chemicals are
used by the general population. One major difference is that the workers
use protective equipment. This has the potential to make even relatively
lower doses risky for residential users. “The applicators receive
continuing education to learn about safe handling of these chemicals,
but you or I may go to the store and not read the label,” Sandler said.
The risks also go beyond the workers or consumers who use the pesticides.
Often the chemicals are in the environment near farms and can
contaminate groundwater, Sandler said. The company that markets Sevin
to the U.S. consumer market, GardenTech, declined to comment on the
new study. Bayer Crop Sciences, the U.S. manufacturer of Sevin, could not
be reached for comment. Michael Thun, vice president of epidemiology
and surveillance research at the American Cancer Society, said the study
is “better equipped than most to tease out data” because it included such
a large number of people. However, he still has doubts about the link
between specific pesticides and skin cancer. Thun said that even with
such a large amount of data, “it is difficult to interpret findings in
regard to specific pesticides.” Many of the active ingredients are used in
combination, which makes it difficult to identify the risky ones.
Furthermore, the results may have been complicated by the workers’ sun
exposure, which is the major risk factor for melanoma. “Since farmers
spend a great deal of time in the sun, we cannot rule out the possibility
that these pesticides specific results are driven by sun exposure,” the
authors said in their report.


Having red hair increased the workers’ skin cancer risk by nearly four
times, according to the study. People with fair skin are more likely to be
sunburned, which can lead to melanoma. In addition, obesity was
linked to an increased risk, for unknown reasons. The researchers took
the workers’ survey responses about safety equipment into account when
estimating doses. “Since farmers spend a great deal of time in the sun, we
cannot rule out the possibility that these pesticides specific results are
driven by sun exposure,” the authors said in their report. All pesticides
in the study are labelled with handling instructions and some can only
be applied and mixed by licensed applicators, who receive ongoing
training to handle and mix chemicals. The minimum recommended
safety equipment is long pants, long sleeves, boots and gloves, but more
personal protective equipment can be required depending on the
chemical. “What kind of safety equipment they need to wear is written
on each label,” said Kristine Schaefer, pesticide applicator training
specialist at Iowa State University Extension. “People need to follow the
label directions or they can be held liable. That is what we preach.”
But Schaefer said all workers don’t follow the rules. “We talk about it in
our training all the time to try to get the message across,” she said. In
previous studies conducting in Europe and the United States, long-term
pesticide exposure has been linked to increased melanoma risks. In
Europe, researchers found that people who used pesticides indoors more
than four times a year had twice the melanoma rate of people who used
less. The pesticides in the study are approved for use by the
Environmental Protection Agency, and according to Dale Kemery, EPA
press officer, they were all reviewed in 2008. Benomyl and ethyl
parathion were voluntarily cancelled as part of that process. Review of
pesticides occurs at least every 15 years.
Environmental Health News, 31 March 2010
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/


Flavanols in cocoa again linked to CVD benefits
2010-04-09
A new study by German researchers has suggested that consuming a small
amount of chocolate can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of
heart disease. The study was published recently in the European Heart
Journal. During the study, the researchers assessed 19,357 people, who
were aged between 35 and 65, and evaluated their chocolate
consumption for a period of at least ten years. They discovered that those
who ate the most amount of chocolate – an average of 7.5 grams a day –
had lower blood pressure and a 39 per cent lower risk of having a heart
attack or stroke compared to those who ate the least amount – an average
of 1.7 grams a day. Lead researcher, Dr Brian Buijsse, a nutritional
epidemiologist at the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Nuthetal,
Germany, said that if people in the group eating the least amount of
chocolate increased their intake by six grams a day, 85 fewer heart
attacks and strokes per 10,000 people could be expected to occur over a
period of about ten years. Furthermore, he believes that if the 39 per cent
lower risk is generalised to the general population, the number of
avoidable heart attacks and strokes could be higher because the absolute
risk in the general population is higher. Though further research is
needed, Buijsse said that flavanols appear to be the substances in cocoa
that are responsible for lowering blood pressure and boosting heart
health. He said that these substances appear to improve the
bioavailability of nitric oxide from the cells that line the inner wall of
blood vessels: “Nitric oxide is a gas that, once released, causes the smooth
muscle cells of the blood vessels to relax and widen; this may contribute
to lower blood pressure. Nitric oxide also improves platelet function,
making the blood less sticky, and makes the vascular endothelium less
attractive for white blood cells to attach and stick around.” In response to
the study, the British Heart Foundation (BHF), has sounded a note of
caution. BHF senior heart health dietician, Victoria Taylor, said that it
was important to read the small print attached to the study. “The amount
consumed on average by even the highest consumers was about one
square of chocolate a day or half a small chocolate Easter egg in a week,
so the benefits were associated with a fairly small amount of chocolate,”
she argues.


According to Taylor, as a result of the media attention given to the
findings of studies such as these some consumers will be tempted to eat
more than one square: “However, chocolate has high amounts of calories
and saturated fat which are linked to weight gain and raised cholesterol
levels - two of the key risk factors for heart disease,” stressed the
dietician. In addition, Buijsse warned that it was important people
ensured that eating chocolate did not increase their overall intake of
calories or reduce their consumption of healthy foods. “Small amounts of
chocolate may help to prevent heart disease, but only if it replaces other
energy-dense food, such as snacks, in order to keep body weight stable,”
he said. According to the authors, the participants in the study received
medical checks, including blood pressure, height and weight
measurements between 1994 and 1998. They also answered questions
about their diet, lifestyle and health, continued the researchers.
Furthermore, participants were asked how frequently they ate a 50g bar
of chocolate, and the researchers added, that a question was not included
about whether the chocolate was white, milk or dark chocolate. However,
the researchers said sub-set of 1,568 participants were asked to recall
their chocolate intake over a 24-hour period and to indicate which type
of chocolate they ate to give indications that might be expected for the
complete study cohort. In this sub-set, found the researchers, 57 per cent
ate milk chocolate, 24 per cent dark chocolate and two per cent white
chocolate. The researchers allocated the participants to four groups
(quartiles) according to their level of chocolate consumption. According to
the report, follow-up questionnaires were sent out every two or three
years until December 2006, with the study participants asked whether
they had had a heart attack or stroke, information which was
subsequently verified by medical records from general physicians or
hospitals. The German researchers found that during the eight years
there were 166 heart attacks (24 fatal) and 136 strokes (12 fatal) with
people in the top quartile having a 27 per cent reduced risk of heart
attacks and nearly half the risk (48 per cent) of strokes, compared with
those in the lowest quartile.
Nutra Ingredients, 30 March 2010 http://www.nutraingredients.com


Is cola bad for sperm?
2010-04-09
A new study by Danish researchers has suggested that men who drink
about a quart or more of cola every day could be causing harm to their
sperm. On average, these men’s sperm counts were almost 30 percent lower
than in men who didn’t drink cola. While most of the sperm counts
would still be considered normal by the World Health Organization, men
with fewer sperm generally have a higher risk of being infertile. The
link is unlikely to be due to caffeine, the researchers say, because coffee
did not have the same effect, even though its caffeine content is higher.
Instead, other ingredients in the beverage or an unhealthy lifestyle could
be involved. “It’s important to note that the men who drank a lot of cola
were also different in many other ways,” said Dr. Tina Kold Jensen of
Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. Kold Jensen, who led the new research,
said only a few studies have investigate the impact of caffeine on
reproductive health in men. Generally, the participants have been a very
select group, such as infertile men, and the results have been conflicting.
Because Danish youth has been upping their consumption of
caffeine-containing soft drinks over the past few decades, the researchers
decided to study how this might affect their reproductive health. The
study involved more than 2,500 young men were. Those who didn’t
drink cola had better sperm quality -- averaging 50 million sperm per
millilitre semen -- and tended to have a healthier lifestyle. In contrast,
the 93 men who drank more than one litre (about 34 ounces) a day had
only 35 million sperm per millilitre. In addition, they ate more fast
foods, and less fruit and vegetables. When looking at caffeine from other
sources, such as coffee and tea, the decrease in sperm quality was much
less pronounced, the researchers note in the American Journal of
Epidemiology. At this stage, it remains unclear if the cola or the
unhealthy lifestyle, or both, is to blame. However, Dr. Fabio Pasqualotto,
of the University of Caxias do Sul in Brazil, who was not involved in the
study, said the drink itself probably wasn’t the most important factor. “I
imagine it’s the lifestyle,” he said.
Reuters Health, 25 March 2010 http://www.reuters.com/news/health


Chemical Cocktail Affects Humans and the Environment
2010-04-09
In a new study, researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden,
have investigated the risk of “chemical cocktails” and have proposed a
number of measures that need to be implemented in the current practice
of chemical risk assessment. In 2005 an American study showed that
newborn babies have an average of 200 non-natural chemicals in their
blood -- including pesticides, dioxins, industrial chemicals and flame
retardants. In a Swedish study, the Swedish University of Agricultural
Sciences found 57 different pesticides in Swedish rivers and streams,
many of them occurring simultaneously. However, the effects of chemicals
on humans and the environment are traditionally evaluated on the basis
of single substances, chemical by chemical. Research has demonstrated
that this type of approach is inadequate as the chemicals that we use
form a complex cocktail. Therefore, the European Union’s environment
ministers have urged the European Commission to step up its risk
assessments and amend the legislation on the combination effects of
chemicals. In concrete terms, the Commission has been tasked with
producing recommendations in 2010 on how combinations of
hormone-disrupting substances should be dealt with on the basis of
existing legislation, and with assessing suitable legislative changes in
2011. In order to map out the current situation, researchers from the
University of Gothenburg and the University of London conducted a
review of the state of the art of mixture toxicology and ecotoxicology. The
study revealed that all the relevant research is unambiguous: the
combined “cocktail effect” of environmental chemicals is greater and
more toxic than the effect of the chemicals individually. “The number of
chemical combinations that the Earth’s living organisms are exposed to is
enormous,” says Thomas Backhaus, researcher at the Department of Plant
and Environmental Sciences and co-author of the report. “Assessing every
conceivable combination is not therefore realistic, and predictive
approaches must be implemented in risk assessment. We need guidelines
on how to manage the chemical cocktail effect so that we can assess the
risks to both humans and the environment.” The study, State of the Art
Report on Mixture Toxicity, is published by the EU’s Directorate-General
for the Environment. For a copy of the report go to:
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/effects.htm
Science Daily, 28 March 2010 http://www.sciencedaily.com


Plastic nanoparticles can move from mom to baby through placenta
2010-04-09
A new study has shown for the first time that plastic nanoparticles can
quickly traverse the human placenta from the mother’s side to the
developing foetus’ side, confirming prior findings from animal studies.
The study by Wick et al titled: Barrier capacity of human placenta for
nanosized materials, confirmed that smaller sizes of the manufactured
materials are able to cross the placenta at a time toward the end of
pregnancy when the membrane barrier between mum and foetus is
thinner. The growing brain and other organs may be exposed to the
particles, for which health effects are unknown. Researchers suggest more
study on the toxic effects of nanoparticles is required to understand if the
foetus is at risk. Nanomaterials are tiny particles, crafted from atoms of
metals, plastics and a variety of other materials. They are increasingly
used in engineering applications, as well as medicine and personal care
products where their small size helps move drugs and ingredients
through the body. At less than 100 nanometres – that’s smaller than the
diameter of a hair – they behave differently – are more potent and can
penetrate deeper – than their larger counterparts. While currently not
much is known about their toxicity, animal and laboratory studies find
the airborne materials can pass into the blood from the lungs and into
the brain from the nose. So far, lab studies have found the very small
materials can affect brain cells, DNA and lung function. Animal studies
point to reproductive changes, embryo death and brain and nerve
damage.


The placenta connects a mother to her baby during pregnancy. It acts as
both a pipeline – carrying nutrients and waste products from one to the
other – and a protective barrier – preventing certain substances from
passing through to the foetus. A special cell border, or membrane, that
changes during pregnancy separates the mother’s side from the foetal side.
During the study, the authors collected placentas from consenting women
immediately after their full-term babies were born. The maternal side of
each placenta was injected with a single dose of a solution containing
polystyrene nanoparticles. Polystyrene is a widely used plastic that is
used to make products like packing peanuts, disposable coffee cups, #6
plastic food packaging and hard plastic items like disposable cutlery and
CD cases. The researchers used polystyrene nanoparticles that were
fluorescent so that their migration could be tracked. They tested four
different sizes with diameters of 50, 80, 240 or 500 nanometres and
used at least four placentas for each nanoparticle size. The results
demonstrated that the smaller nanoparticles (50, 80, and 240 nm)
appeared on the foetal side of the placenta within 15 minutes after
injection, while the larger particles (500 nm) stayed on the maternal
side for the six-hour duration of the study. A one-time exposure, like
that evaluated in this study, would mimic a maternal injection rather
than an environmental exposure. However, the study clearly illustrates
that some nanoparticles are able to pass through the placental membrane
from mother to foetus.
Environmental Health News, 29 March 2010
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/


Radon in Residential Buildings: A Risk Factor for Lung Cancer
2010-04-09
Every year there are approximately 1900 deaths from lung cancer in
Germany due to radon within residential buildings. This was the
conclusion reached in the current edition of Deutsches Ärzteblatt
International by Klaus Schmid of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
and his coauthors. The new assessment was based on results of relevant
studies, the recently published S1 guideline of the German Society for
Occupational and Environmental Medicine and a current publication
from the German Commission on Radiological Protection. These indicate
that radon within residential buildings makes a major contribution to
the radiological exposure of the general population. Thus, measurements
in residential areas found radon radiation levels of more than 100
Bq/m3 in 36% of cases and more than 200 Bq/m3 in 18% of cases. This
should be compared with the range of 1 to 15 Bq/m3 found for the
concentration of radon in the outside air in Germany. Exposure within
houses is predominantly due to release of radon-containing subsurface
air from the soil into the building. Radon can penetrate into houses
through leaks in the base plate or in the walls in contact with the soil. It
is thought that 300 cases of lung cancer per year could be prevented in
Germany if the maximum radon concentration in residences was reduced
to 100 Bq/m3. In addition, it is necessary to identify buildings with
high radon levels and to take structural measures if necessary.
Occupational physicians have long known that radon can cause lung
cancer, particularly in uranium miners. For individuals without
occupational exposure, radon is regarded as the second most important
cause of lung cancer after smoking
Science Daily, 31 March 2010 http://www.sciencedaily.com


Moderate drinking helps young people’s hearts too
2010-04-09
A new study has found that moderate drinking cuts heart disease risk in
younger adults. However, young adults are at low risk for heart disease,
the researchers point out in the journal Circulation, “and the beneficial
effects obtained by a moderate alcohol intake may be negligible
compared with the increased risk of, for instance, traffic accidents and
cancer.” Moderate drinking -- typically defined as a drink or two a day
-- can be heart healthy in older men and women, although heavy
drinking does not protect the heart, and carries many other health risks.
Because heart disease is so rare in men under 40 and women under 50,
it has been difficult to study the effects of alcohol consumption on heart
disease risk in these younger individuals. In order to investigate this
problem, Dr. Alberto Ascherio of the Harvard School of Public Health in
Boston and colleagues pooled data from eight studies from North America
and Europe that included over 192,000 women and nearly 75,000 men.
The men’s average age was around 50, while the average age for women
was 54. At the study’s outset, all of the participants were free from
cardiovascular disease, and all had reported their alcohol drinking
habits. Overall, Ascherio and his colleagues found, consuming 30 grams
of alcohol a day (about two or three standard drinks) reduced women’s
risk of developing heart disease by 42 percent, and cut men’s risk by 31
percent. When the researchers broke the study participants into three age
categories -- those 50 and under, those 50 to 59, and people 60 and
older -- they saw the same pattern of reduced risk with moderate
drinking in each age group. Given that the risk of heart disease is so low
in younger people, Ascherio and his colleagues say, the protective effects
of alcohol are likely to be stronger in older people at higher risk of heart
problems. However, all possible health risks of alcohol need to be taken
into account when developing guidelines on alcohol consumption for
people of different ages, they conclude.
Reuters Health, 7 April 2010 http://www.reuters.com/news/health


Flavonoids in Orange Juice Suppress Oxidative Stress from High-Fat,
High-Carb Meal
2010-04-09
Eating foods containing flavonoids -- orange juice, in this case -- along
with a high-fat, high-carbohydrate fast-food meal neutralises the
oxidative and inflammatory stress generated by the unhealthy food and
helps prevent blood vessel damage, a new study by University at Buffalo
endocrinologists shows. Free radicals, or reactive oxygen species, are
known to induce inflammation in blood vessel linings and contribute to
the risk of heart attack and stroke. The researchers say the potent
preventative effect of orange juice likely is linked to its heavy load of the
flavonoids naringenin and hesperidin, which are major antioxidants.
“Our data show, for the first time to our knowledge, that drinking orange
juice with a meal high in fat and carbohydrates prevented the marked
increases in reactive oxygen species and other inflammatory agents,” says
UB’s Husam Ghanim, PhD, first author on the study. “This did not
happen when participants drank water or a sugary drink with the
meal,” he says. “These issues of inflammation following a meal are
important because the resultant high glucose and high triglycerides are
known to be related to the development of cardiovascular events.”
Ghanim is a research assistant professor in UB’s Division of
Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. The study appeared recently in
the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study involved three
groups of 10 normal-weight healthy men and women between the ages of
20 and 40. After an overnight fast, participants ate a 900-calorie
breakfast composed of an egg “muffin” sandwich, a sausage “muffin”
sandwich and a serving of hash browns. The meal contained 81 grams of
carbohydrates, 51 grams of fat and 32 grams protein. In addition to the
breakfast, one group drank 300 calories of “not-from-concentrate”
orange juice, a second group drank a 300-calorie glucose drink and the
third group drank an equal amount of water. All participants were given
15 minutes to finish their food and drink. Blood samples were collected
before the meal and at 1, 3 and 5 hours afterwards. There was no
significant difference in inflammatory mediators among the groups before
the meal. Analysis of the samples after the meal showed that oxygen free
radicals increased an average of 62 percent with water, 63 percent with
the glucose and 47 percent with orange juice.


There also was an increase in blood components known as toll-like
receptors, which play an important role in the development of
inflammation, atherosclerosis, obesity, insulin resistance, and injury to
cardiac cells than can occur after a blocked vessel is reopened.
Furthermore, orange juice prevented a significant increase in SOCS-3, an
important mediator of insulin resistance, which contributes to
development of type 2 diabetes. “These data emphasize that a high-fat,
high-carbohydrate meal is profoundly and rapidly proinflammatory,
and that this process occurs at the cellular and molecular level,” says
Paresh Dandona, MD, UB distinguished professor of medicine, director of
the Diabetes-Endocrinology Center of Western New York at Kaleida
Health and senior author on the study. “In addition, specific
proinflammatory genes are activated after the intake of glucose and a
high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal, and these changes are observed in
mononuclear cells that participate in vascular inflammation and
insulin resistance,” he says. “These observations extend our previous
work showing oxidative and inflammatory stress following such meals by
demonstrating a remarkable increase in the mediators of insulin
resistance after a single meal, and the equally remarkable prevention of
these changes following the intake of orange juice.” Dandona stressed that
vascular inflammation is an essential component of atherosclerosis, and
that this inflammation may become permanent if a person consumes
similar meals regularly. “The choice of safe foods that are not
proinflammatory may provide protection from the unending cycle of
postprandial and cumulative inflammation,” he says. “This choice may
lower the risk of atherosclerosis and resistance to insulin.”
Science Daily, 31 March 2010 http://www.sciencedaily.com
Technical
ENVIRONMENTAL


Engineered nanoparticles in wastewater and wastewater sludge -
Evidence and impacts
2010-03-30
Nanotechnology has widespread application in agricultural,
environmental and industrial sectors ranging from fabrication of
molecular assemblies to microbial array chips. Despite the booming
application of nanotechnology, there have been serious implications
which are coming into light in the recent years within different
environmental compartments, namely air, water and soil and its likely
impact on the human health. Health and environmental effects of
common metals and materials are well-known; however, when the
metals and materials take the form of nanoparticles – consequential
hazards based on shape and size are yet to be explored. The
nanoparticles released from different nanomaterials used in our
household and industrial commodities find their way through waste
disposal routes into the wastewater treatment facilities and end up in
wastewater sludge. Further escape of these nanoparticles into the effluent
will contaminate the aquatic and soil environment. Hence, an
understanding of the presence, behaviour and impact of these
nanoparticles in wastewater and wastewater sludge is necessary and
timely. Despite the lack of sufficient literature, the present review
attempts to link various compartmentalisation aspects of the
nanoparticles, their physical properties and toxicity in wastewater and
wastewater sludge through simile drawn from other environmental
streams.
Authors: Brar, Satinder K.; Verma, Mausam; Tyagi, R. D.; Surampalli, R.
Y.
Full Source: Waste Management (London, United Kingdom) 2010, 30(3),
504-520 (English)


Cyano Metabolite as a Biomarker of Nitrofurazone in Channel Catfish
2010-3-30
The use of nitrofuran drugs in food-producing animals continues to
attract international concern as a food safety issue. Methods for
monitoring nitrofuran residues have been directed to the intact side
chain of tissue-bound metabolites. Semicarbazide, the side chain of
nitrofurazone (NFZ), can enter food products from non-NFZ sources,
suggesting the need for an alternative biomarker for confirmatory
purposes. We characterised a cyano derivative as a major metabolite of
NFZ in channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). The depletion of cyano
metabolite was examined in the muscle of channel catfish after oral
dosing (10 mg of NFZ/kg of body weight). Parent NFZ was rapidly
eliminated in muscle, with a half-life of 6.3h. The cyano metabolite was
detected for up to 2 weeks, with an elimination half-life of 81 h. The
cyano metabolite represents an alternative biomarker for confirming the
use of NFZ in channel catfish.
Authors: Wang, Yuesong; Jester, Edward L. E.; El Said, Kathleen R.;
Abraham, Ann; Hooe-Rollman, Jennifer; Plakas, Steven M.
Full Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2010, 58(1),
313-316(Eng)


MEDICAL
Simultaneous analytical method for 1,4- dioxane and N-nitrosoamines
using solid phase extraction and GC/MS/MS/CI from aqueous samples
2010-3-30
Among the emerging contaminants in the surface and treated wastewater,
nitrosamines and 1,4-dioxane is very prevalent contaminants in the
water systems. The formation mechanism of N-nitrosdimethyl amine
(NDMA) in the water treatment facility has been an urgent task to reduce
NDMA in the final effluent. The mass consumption of 1,4-dioxane in
many industrial applications for many years influenced level of this
compound not only in surface water but also in groundwater with the
significant concentrations between 2 part per billion and 3,000 part per
billion. Orange County Water District (OCWD) Laboratory has developed
cost-effective and very sensitive detection method for NDMA and
1,4-dioxane using GC/MS/MS/CI and GC/MS/MS/Purge-Trap,
respectively. Since the demand of these methods is very high to process
over 2,000 samples each year. The laboratory initiated the
multi-residual analysis method to incorporate 1,4-dioxane with the
existing analysis method for nitrosamines. The solid phase extrusion
(SPE) with 80 to 100 meshes of granular carbon uses 10 mL of
methylene chloride for extracting the interested analytes from the
absorbent materials. The 10 mL extraction was concentrated to final
volume of 1 mL to be analysed by GC/MS/MS with positive chemical
ionisation with methanol reagent solution. The developed analysis
method generated the acceptable recovery and precision for both
nitrosamines and 1,4-dioxane for different matrix of aqueous samples
such as ground water, surface water and reclaimed water. The reportable
detection limit of 1,4-dioxane was 0.05 part per billion while the
purge-trap method was 1.0 part per billion. Recently 1,4-dioxane,
which the US EPA classifies as a B2 probable human carcinogen, has
been detected in the specific ground and surface waters. The findings of
1,4-dioxane in the water systems prompted the need of extensive
monitoring of the compound in the drinking water. But the currently
available methods have high detection limits of 10 to 50 ug/L. The high
reportable detection limits are the results of poor extraction efficiency
and volatile nature of the compound. Orange County Water District
(OCWD) Laboratory has examined extraction and analysis techniques to
establish more sensitive and reliable method to analyse for 1,4-dioxane
to less than 1 ug/L in drinking water samples. OCWD Laboratory has
been developed a very reliable method to determine sub part per trillion
levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) by GC/MS using positive
chemical ionisation with methanol or acetonitrile. Since 1,4-dioxane
and nitrosamines have similar properties; very water soluble, volatile
and polar, 1,4-dioxane was successfully included in the existing method
for nitrosamines. To accommodate 1,4-dioxane into the existing analysis
method, 1,4-dioxane-d8 and NDPA-d14 were both used as internal
standards. The pH of 500 mL sample was adjusted between 4 and 11 and
extracted three times with 60 mL of methylene chloride. The extraction
was evaporated to 1 mL using nitrogen gas at 35 Celsius degrees in a
water bath. The retention times of 1,4-dioxane and NDMA were 11.43
and 11.86 min with 60 m capillary column, respectively. The retention
time differences of 0.43 min was far enough to change chemical
ionisation settings from 1,4-dioxane to NDMA, which multiple settings
are necessary to perform simultaneous detection of these compounds
without decreasing instrument sensitivity. The modified extraction and
instrument techniques generated method detection limits, as the basis of
a 1 L sample size, range from 0.1 to 0.2 ug/L for 1,4-dioxane and 0.2 to
0.3 ng/L for NDMA. For the positive chemical ionisation, methanol or
acetonitrile have several advantages over ammonia gas for safety and
system maintenance. Also the modified liquid-liquid extraction
technique using separatory funnel could save 80% of extraction time
compared to the continuous liquid-liquid extraction technique. The
results of recent work on the analysis of 1,4-dioxane and NDMA from
groundwater, surface water and reclaimed water samples are included.
This study clearly demonstrated the GC/MS using chemical ionisation
with methanol was very sensitive, reliable and cost effective for the
simultaneous analysis of 1,4-dioxane and NDMA from aqueous samples.
Authors: Yoo, Lee J.; Fitzsimmons, Steve; Wehner, Mike
Full Source: Proceedings - Water Quality Technology Conference and
Exposition 2007, yoo1/1-yoo1/12 (English)


Tungsten carbide cobalt nanoparticles exert hypoxia-like effects on the
gene expression level in human keratinocytes
2010-3-30
Tungsten carbide (WC) and tungsten carbide cobalt (WC-Co)
nanoparticles are of occupational health relevance because of the
increasing usage in hard metal industries. Earlier studies showed an
enhanced toxic potential for WC-Co compared to WC or cobalt ions alone.
Therefore, we investigated the impact of these particles, compared to
cobalt ions applied as CoCl2, on the global gene expression level in
human keratinocytes (HaCaT) in vitro. Results: WC nanoparticles exerted
very little effects on the transcriptomic level after 3 h and 3 days of
exposure. In contrast, WC-Co nanoparticles caused significant
transcriptional changes that were similar to those provoked by CoCl2.
However, CoCl2 exerted even more pronounced changes in the
transcription patterns. Gene set enrichment analyses revealed that the
differentially expressed genes were related to hypoxia response,
carbohydrate metabolism, endocrine pathways, and targets of several
transcription factors. The role of the transcription factor HIF1 (hypoxia
inducible factor 1) is particularly highlighted and aspects of downstream
event as well as the role of other transcription factors related to cobalt
toxicity are considered. Conclusions: This study provides extensive data
useful for the understanding of nanoparticle and cobalt toxicity. It shows
that WC nanoparticles caused low transcriptional responses while WC-Co
nanoparticles are able to exert responses similar to that of free cobalt ions,
particularly the induction of hypoxia-like effects via interactions with
HIF1R in human keratinocytes. However, the enhanced toxicity of WC-Co
particles compared to CoCl2 could not be explained by differences in
gene transcription.
Authors: Busch, Wibke; Kuehnel, Dana; Schirmer, Kristin; Scholz, Stefan
Full Source: BMC Genomics 2010, 11, No pp. given (English)


Effect of lead(IV) acetate on procoagulant activity in human red blood
cells
2010-3-30
Lead (Pb) is a ubiquitously occurring environmental heavy metal, which
is widely used in industry and human life. Possibly due to a global
industrial expansion, recent studies have revealed the prevalent human
exposure to Pb and increased risk of Pb toxicity. Once ingested by human,
95% of absorbed Pb is accumulated into erythrocytes and erythrocytes are
known to be a prime target for Pb toxicity. Most of the studies were
however, focused on Pb2+ whereas the effects of Pb4+, another major
form of Pb on erythrocytes are poorly understood yet. In this study, we
investigated and compared the effects of Pb4+, Pb2+ and other heavy
metals on procoagulant activation of erythrocytes, an important factor for
the participation of erythrocytes in thrombotic events in an effort to
address the cardiovascular toxicity of Pb4+. Freshly isolated erythrocytes
from human were incubated with Pb4+, Pb2+, Cd2+ and Ag+ and the
exposure of phosphatidylserine (PS), key marker for procoagulant
activation was measured using flow cytometry. As a result, while Cd2+
and Ag+ did not affect PS exposure, Pb4+ and Pb2+ induced
significantly PS exposure in a dose-dependent manner. Of a particular
note, Pb4+ induced PS exposure with a similar potency with Pb2+. PS
bearing microvesicle (MV), another important contributor to procoagulant
activation was also generated by Pb4+. These PS exposure and MV
generation by Pb4+ were well in line with the shape change of
erythrocyte from normal discocytes to MV shedding echinocytes following
Pb4+ treatment. Meanwhile, nonspecific hemolysis was not observed
suggesting the specificity of Pb4+-induced PS exposure and MV
generation. These results indicated that Pb4+ could induce procoagulant
activation of erythrocytes through PS exposure and MV generation,
suggesting that Pb4+ exposure might ultimately lead to increased
thrombotic events.
Authors: Kim, Keun-Young; Lim, Kyung-Min; Shin, Jung-Hun; Noh,
Ji-Yoon; Ahn, Jae-Bum; Lee, Da-Hye; Chung, Jin-Ho
Full Source: Toxicological Research 2009, 25(4), 175-180 (English)
Method for obtaining recombinant human alpha 16-interferon and
pharmaceutical composition for treating viral diseases based on
recombinant human alpha 16-interferon
2010-3-30
The claimed method for the production of purified human recombinant
R16-interferon uses culture of recombinant Pichia pastoris yeast strain
Y-2949 from the All-Russian Collection of Industrial Microorganisms.
The recombinant protein biosynthesis is induced in the culture and
afterwards the cells are removed, the culture medium is concentrated,
and the target protein containing R16-interferon is precipitated at 60%
ammonium sulphate saturation. The target protein is sequentially
purified on Sephacryl HR 100 and DEAE-cellulose with 50 mM
ammonium acetate buffer pH 5.5 with 2 mM EDTA and 0.5 Tween-20
detergent. The invention offers simplified technology for the production of
recombinant human R16-interferon with enhanced effectiveness of
protein purification. The produced R16-interferon can be used in liquid
or lyophilised forms with added EDTA, Tween-20, and 10-20mM buffer
pH 5.5-6 in various pharmaceutical formulations (tablets, capsules,
powders, granules, suppositories). The R16-interferon formulation storage
stability, adverse effects (acute and chronic toxicity) in mice and rats,
allergenicity in guinea pigs, and biological effects (horse Venezuealan
virus and influenza virus A infections) in mice were evaluated.
Authors: Padkina, M. V.; Dobrogorskaya, M. V.; Karabel’skii, A.V.;
Sambuk, E. V.; Smirnov, M. N.
Full Source: Russian RU 2380405 C2 27 Jan 2010, 15pp. (Russian).
APPLICATION: RU 2007-143928 29 Nov 2007.


Integrated risk assessment and predictive value to humans of
non-clinical repolarisation assays
2010-3-30
The potential for drugs to be associated with the life-threatening
arrhythmia, Torsades de Pointes (TdeP), continues to be a topic of
regulatory, academic and industrial concern. Despite being an imperfect
biomarker, prolongation of the QT interval of the surface ECG is used to
assess the risk of a drug being associated with TdeP such that a thorough
examination of drug effects on the QT interval is required for all new
chemical entities. Numerous studies have investigated the relationship
between non-clinical findings and the risk of TdeP and QT prolongation
in the general population. There are many literature references
supporting the strong correlation between the clinical safety margin over
human ether-a-go-go (hERG) inhibitory potency and the risk of
drug-induced arrhythmia and sudden death. A quantitative analysis of
the relationship between non-clinical studies and the outcome of a
human thorough QT study has also been reported. In the current
manuscript, based on the outcome of the non-clinical assays the
sensitivity and specificity of each assay and an integrated risk assessment
for predicting the outcome of the human Thorough QT study has been
conducted. The data suggest that for QT prolongation mediated through
inhibition of the hERG current the non-clinical assays are highly
predictive of drug effects on the QT interval. Based on the literature
review and specific quantitative analysis reported above it is concluded
that non-clinical assays predict the risk of compounds to prolong the QT
interval and cause TdeP in humans if the mechanism is through
inhibition of the hERG current.
Author: Wallis, Robert M.
Full Source: British Journal of Pharmacology 2010, 159(1), 115-121
(English)


OCCUPATIONAL
Serum levels of oxidative stress in coal workers and pneumoconiosis
patients
2010-03-31
In this study, the authors explored the feasibility of serum oxidative
stress indexes in early monitoring of pulmonary injury caused by silica
dust and in judgment of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis conditions.
Sixty-four coal workers and forty-five coal worker pneumoconiosis
patients including 23 cases of phase I, 19 cases of phase II and 3 cases of
phase III were selected as participants. The vital capacity (VC), time vital
capacity (FVC), forced expiratory vol. in one second (FEV1) and
FEV1/FVC% were measured and the activities of superoxide dismutase
(SOD) and catalase (CAT) and the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) in
serum were detected in all participants. Among 64 coal workers, there
were 34 tunnelling workers as high exposure group, 13 surface workers
as moderate exposure group and 17 auxiliary workers as control group.
Indexes of serum oxidative stress and pulmonary ventilation function
were not statistically different between different categories of workers.
Serum CAT levels were lower in phase I and phase II patients than in
coal workers (P < 0.01 and P < 0.01). VC, FEV1 and FEV1/FVC of phase I
patients, VC and FEV1 of phase II patients, and FEV1 of phase III patients
were lower than those of coal workers (P > 0.05, P > 0.01, P > 0.05, P >
0.05, P > 0.01 and P> 0.05). Results of Spearman rank correlation
analysis demonstrated that VC, FVC and FEV1 were positively correlated
with serum CAT and SOD levels (n ) 109, P > 0.05). The authors
concluded that the findings indicate that serum CAT and SOD levels
could be used as reference indexes for judgment of coal worker
pneumoconiosis conditions, but confirmative conclusion for early
monitoring of pulmonary injury with the indexes needed to be studied.
Authors: Jin, Qinghan; Li, Qinghai; Xie, Shaohua; Sun, Chaoyang; Lu,
Wenqing; Yang, Lei; Liu, Ailin
Full Source: Zhongguo Gonggong Weisheng 2008, 24(12), 1479-1481
(Ch)


Application of addition effect between chemical materials in assessment
for occupational hazards in a construction project
2010-03-31
This study examined the application of addition effect between chemical
materials in assessment for occupational hazards in a construction
project. The levels of Et acetate, Bu acetate and isopropanol in the air of
a printing company were assayed. The levels of Et acetate, Bu acetate and
isopropanol were accorded with the requirement. The results
demonstrated the addition effect between Et acetate and Bu acetate, the
value was 1.06 and 1.15 (>1), it was suggested that the real level of Et
acetate and Bu acetate might be over the occupational exposure limit.
The authors concluded that the results suggested that when the number
of chemical materials was more than 2, the correct evaluation should be
analysed by combination analysis, and reasonable evaluation methods
and indexes should be adopted.
Authors: Wang, Chenggang; Song, Haigang; Li, Xiaoran; Song, Xiaohe; Ge,
Yongjian; Shi, Lixin
Full Source: Zhongguo Gongye Yixue Zazhi 2008, 21(6), 391-392 (Ch)


Effect of long term dose vocational irritation to health of irradiation
workers
2010-03-31
The effect of long term dose vocational irritation to health of 592
irradiation workers and 480 non- irradiation workers was investigated.
The abnormality rates of RBC, WBC, Hb and PLT were 10.12%, 16.83%,
14.22% and 9.23% respectively, which were higher than those of control
group, PR)4.28, 5.91, 10.19 and 5.12 and there was static significance
(P<0.01). There was correlation between micronucleus positive rate and
chromosome abnormality, and there was static significance (ø2)374.52,
289.11, P<0.005, r)0.998, 0.996).
Authors: Wu, Shaoping; Wu, Shaofen; Liu, Yinghua; He, Ying; Zou, Xia
Full Source: Dulixue Zazhi 2008, 22(5), 389-391 (Ch)


Characteristics of development of generalised periodontitis in oil-field
workers
2010-03-31
This study analysed the dental state and biological homeostasis in
oil-field workers (drillers and driller assistants). The results
demonstrated a high prevalence of parodentium disorders among the
workers. The peripheral blood flow and saliva in the mouth appear to
contain excessive amounts of metals (nickel, cadmium).
Authors: Galikeeva, A. Sh.; Astakhova, M. R.; Larionova, T. K.; Yakhina,
M. R.
Full Source: Meditsina Truda i Promyshlennaya Ekologiya 2008, (5),
42-45 (Russ)


Occupational risk factors for lung cancer based on a case-controlled
study in Lodz industrial centre
2010-03-31
This study investigated the association between occupational exposure
and lung cancer risk based on a case-control study. The study of 414
primary lung cancer cases, recorded in the Lodz industrial centre in the
years 1998-2002, was carried out under the international multicentre
case-control study, coordinated by the International Agency for Research
on Cancer (IARC). The control group, composed of individuals who did
not report any tobacco-related diseases or other cancers, were matched by
gender and age. Data on lung cancer risk factors were derived from a
questionnaire survey on life styles and occupational exposure. The
detailed information on the occupational history of all the study subjects
and exposure to lung carcinogens was collected and subsequently assessed
by occupational hygienists. Logistic regression was used in the data
analysis. Confounders, such as age, gender, education, diet and cigarette
smoking were controlled. The results showed a total of 88 case patients
and 79 controls had been employed in occupations and industries
associated with the evidenced or suspected risk of lung cancer
development. The corresponding odds ratio was 0.71 (95%Cl: 0.48-1.06).
The study population was mostly exposed to organic dust, lubricating oil
mist, sand, mild steel dust, organic solvents and abrasives dust. The
authors concluded that the findings from the study provide evidence that
occupational exposure in the investigated Lodz industrial centre is
responsible for a moderate increase in lung cancer risk among exposed
persons. However, only a small fraction of the study population was
exposed to well documented carcinogens.
Authors: Swiatkowska, Beata; Szeszenia-Dabrowska, Neonila; Sobala,
Wojciech; Wilczynska, Urszula
Full Source: Medycyna Pracy 2008, 59(1), 25-34 (Pol)


PUBLIC HEALTH
Monitoring of neuromuscular transmission in organophosphate
pesticide-poisoned patients
2010-03-31
Thirty-four adult patients with severe organophosphorus compounds (OP)
poisoning requiring artificial ventilation were enrolled in a clinical
study and received atropine and obidoxime (250 mg i.v., followed by
750 mg/24 h) as antidotal treatment. In the study, the authors
reanalysed the cholinesterase status [red blood cell acetylcholinesterase
(RBC-AChE) activity, reactivatability of RBC-AChE, and plasma
butyrylcholinesterase (Pl-BChE) activity] in relation to the
neuromuscular transmission (NMT) data. When RBC-AChE activity
ranged between 100% and 30% NMT was unimpaired after tetanic
stimulation with frequencies up to 50 Hz. A further decrease in
RBC-AChE activity was accompanied by a marked disturbance of NMT,
being strongly impaired at AChE activities <5% of normal. Higher
stimulation frequencies (>30 Hz) facilitated the discrimination of the
types of impairment. The neuromuscular transmission was the best
quantified by using the ratio of the ninth to the first amplitude, while
the standard method was less discriminative. At RBCAChE levels higher
than 40% of normal weaning from the ventilator may be considered.
Completely aged RBC-AChE as indicated by loss of reactivatability loses
its guidance function. Then, steadily increasing Pl-BChE activity suggests
lack of circulating poison. After a week, neuromuscular transmission
may be largely normal and patients could be weaned from the respirator
if other complications are not withstanding.
Authors: Thiermann, H.; Zilker, T.; Eyer, F.; Felgenhauer, N.; Eyer, P.;
Worek, F.
Full Source: Toxicology Letters 2009, 191(2-3), 297-304 (Eng)


Exposure of adults and children to organophosphorus insecticides used
in flea collars on pet dogs
2010-03-31
This study investigated the exposure of people to the organophosphorus
insecticides chlorpyrifos and tetrachlorvinphos that were contained in
flea collars used on their pet dogs. Long-term studies conducted over
much of the recommended useful lifetime of the collars indicated that
residues of both insecticides were transferable to white cotton gloves
which were used to rub the fur of the dogs, with the tetrachlorvinphos
residues considerably higher than the chlorpyrifos residues. In
short-term studies, residues of both insecticides were transferred to tee
shirts worn by the children. In these same studies the urinary metabolite
of chlorpyrifos was perhaps slightly elevated over the background level in
children but was not elevated over the background level in adults. In
contrast the urinary metabolite of tetrachlorvinphos was substantially
elevated over background levels in both children and adults. The authors
concluded that the significance of these findings to risk assessment is
currently not known.
Authors: Chambers, Janice E.; Davis, M. Keith
Full Source: ACS Symposium Series 2009, 1015(Pesticides in Household,
Structural and Residential Pest Management), 163-173 (Eng)


Method for rapidly measuring organophosphorus pesticide and
organochlorine pesticide in tea
2010-03-31
This study discusses a method for rapidly detecting safety of tea,
specifically method for measuring organophosphorus pesticide and
organochlorine pesticide in tea. The method for measuring
organophosphorus pesticide comprises extracting organophosphorus
pesticide in tea with organic solvent (absolute ethanol, acetone, etc.)
under ultrasonic vibration to give extract, adding organophosphorus
detection reagent composed of oxidative degradation agent (sodium
peroxide, persulfate, hydrogen peroxide, etc.) and ultrasonic degradation
aid into organic phase, performing ultrasonic vibration under vibration
power above 600 W for above 5 min for degradation to give inorganic
degradation product, extracting, measuring inorganic substance content
via phosphomolybdate-blue method by adding developer (acidic
ammonium molybdate or sodium molybdate) and reductant (ascorbic
acid) to carry out colour reaction, and calculating organophosphorus
pesticide content by comparing colour development result with standard
colours. The method for measuring organochlorine pesticide is similar, in
which the organic solvent is n-hexane or petroleum ether, and the
development step adopts N,N-diethyl-p-phenylenediamine as developer
and citrate buffer solution. The invention omits heating, digestion and
solvent volatilisation, with the advantages of high accuracy and no need
of expensive equipment such as chromatograph.
Author: Tang, Xinhua
Full Source: Faming Zhuanli Shenqing Gongkai Shuomingshu CN
101,614,671 (Cl. G01N21/78), 30 Dec 2009, Appl. 10,071,302, 25 Jun
2008; 7pp. (Ch).


POPs in the Amazon: contamination of man and the environment
2010-03-31
The organochlorine insecticide DDT was extensively used in Brazil since
1945, both for agricultural purposes and for vector control measures. In
1986 its uses were forbidden in agriculture and in 1997 it was
phased-out also in vector controls programs. However, the presence of
DDT in urban and forested soils, breast milk and aquatic biota is still
common especially at the Amazon. The results gathered since the middle
of the 90s indicate that the environmental contamination with this
pesticide is still relatively high. Due to the high fish consumption by
riverside traditional populations, the human breast milk may represent
an important source of DDT exposure to newborns. New results on DDT
and PCBs in the red dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), an endemic aquatic
mammal of the Amazon region, is also reported.
Authors: Torres, J. P. M.; Lailson-Brito, J.; Saldanha, G. C.; Dorneles, P.;
Azevedo e Silva, C. E.; Malm, O.; Guimaraes, J. R. D.; Azeredo, A.; Bastos,
W. R.; Silva, V.; Martin, A.; Claudio, L.; Markowitz, S.
Full Source: Organohalogen Compounds [computer optical disk] 2007, 69,
520/1-520/4 (Eng)


Fluoride and health hazards: community perception in a fluorotic area
of central Rajasthan (India): an arid environment
2010-03-31
India is among the 23 nations around the globe where health problems
occur due to excess ingestion of fluoride (>1.5 mg/l) by drinking water. In
Rajasthan, 18 out of 32 districts are fluorotic and 11 million of the
populations are at risk. An exploratory qualitative survey was conducted
to describe perception of the community regarding fluoride and related
health problems in Central Rajasthan. A study on distribution and
health hazards by fluoride contaminate in groundwater was performed
in 1,030 villages of Bhilwara district of Central Rajasthan. One
thousand and thirty water samples were collected and analysed for
fluoride concentration. Fluoride concentration in these villages varies
from 0.2 to 13.0 mg/l. Seven hundred fifty-six (73.4%) villages have
fluoride concentration above 1.0 mg/l. Sixty (5.83%) villages have
fluoride concentrations above 5.0 mg/l with maximum numbers (24,
19.5%) from Shahpura tehsil. A detailed fluorosis study was performed in
41 villages out of 60 villages having fluoride above 5.0 mg/l in the study
age, sex, and occupation data were also collected. Four thousand, two
hundred fifty-two individuals above 5 years age were examined for the
evidence of dental fluorosis, while 1998 individuals above 21 years were
examined for the evidence of skeletal fluorosis. The overall prevalence of
dental and skeletal fluorosis was found to be 3,270/4,252 (76.9%) and
949/1,998 (47.5%), respectively. Maximum of 23.9% (1,016) individuals
have mild grade of Dean’s classification. Three hundred and
seventy-four (8.8%) individuals have severe type of dental fluorosis. The
Dean’s Community Fluorosis Index for the studied area in total is 1.62.
Maximum CFI 3.0 was recorded from Surajpura of Banera Tehsil. Five
hundred and sixty-six (28.3%) individuals have Grade I type of skeletal
fluorosis while only 0.6% (12) individuals have Grade III skeletal
fluorosis. The authors concluded that the findings demonstrate that the
prevalence and severity of fluorosis increased with increasing fluoride
concentration. It was interesting to note that in some villages, the
prevalence and severity of fluorosis were highest in subjects belonging to
the economically poor community. Similarly, male labourers showed
highest prevalence of fluorosis. Prevalence and severity of fluorosis were
observed more in subjects using tobacco, bettle nuts, and alcohol drinks.
In contrast, subjects using citrus fruits and having good nutritional status
showed low prevalence.
Authors: Hussain, J.; Hussain, I.; Sharma, K. C.
Full Source: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2010, 162(1-4),
1-14 (English)


SAFETY
Probabilistic risk assessment of dietary exposure to single and multiple
pesticide residues or contaminants: Summary of the work performed
within the SAFE FOODS project
2010-3-30
This introduction to the journal’s supplement on probabilistic risk
assessment of single and multiple exposure to pesticide residues or
contaminants summarises the objectives and results of the work
performed in work package 3 of the EU-funded project SAFE FOODS.
Within this work package, the authors developed an electronic platform
of food consumption and chemical concentration databases harmonised
at raw agricultural commodity level. In this platform the databases are
connected to probabilistic software to allow probabilistic modelling of
dietary exposure in a standardised way. The usefulness of this platform
is demonstrated in two papers, which describe the exposure to pesticides
and glycoalkaloids in several European countries. Furthermore, an
integrated probabilistic risk assessment (IPRA) model was developed: a
new tool to integrate exposure and effect modelling, including
uncertainty analyses. The use of this model was shown in a paper on the
cumulative exposure to anti-androgen pesticides. Combined with a
health impact prioritisation system, developed within this work package
to compare heath risks between chemicals, the IPRA tool can also be used
to compare health risks between multiple chemicals in complex risk
assessment situation such as risk-benefit and risk trade-off analyses.
Both the electronic platform of databases as the IPRA model may proof to
be powerful tools to tackle the challenges risk managers are or will be
faced with in the future.
Authors: van Klaveren, Jacob D.; Boon, Polly E.
Full Source: Food and Chemical Toxicology 2009, 47(12), 2879-2882
(Eng)


Potential risk of outburst in coal mining operations and application of
social networks in knowledge management systems
2010-3-30
An outburst in a coal mine may be defined as the violent ejection of gas
and rock from a freshly exposed face due to sudden release of kinetic
energy stored in the rock mass. This paper is concerned with outburst
problems associated with coal mining in the Southern Coalfield in New
South Wales. In this coalfield, mining is carried-out mainly in the Bulli
seam in 12 collieries producing some 18 million tones of coal per year.
The Bulli seam is highly gassy and prone to outbursts of coal, gas and
rock presenting a major risk to the safety of mine workers and
consequently a threat to the overall viability of the mining operations.
Since the occurrence of a major outburst incident in the South Bulli
Colliery in 1991 involving three fatalities, the primary contributory
factors associated with coal/gas outbursts in the Bulli coal seam have
been identified. This requires a development strategy for the management
of the outburst risk by the Department of Mineral Resources, NSW with
the cooperation of mine operators and mining union. Utilisation of risk
management techniques in combination with modern gas drainage
technologies and geological control methods have led to the formation of
an effective outburst management plan. Clause 15 of the Coal Mines
(Underground) Regulation 1999 in NSW has made it mandatory in an
area of outburst to carry out mining in accordance with a code or
guidelines developed for mining in outburst prone areas. The paper
presents a case history of Outburst risk management plan developed for
Colliery X in Southern Coalfield of NSW. The conclusion from this study
is that since the introduction of the outburst risk management system
from the Southern Coalfield considerable reduction in outburst
incidences has been experienced and this expertise should be
incorporated in a Knowledge Management System (KMS) to support the
mining industry to maximise safety of mine workers aided by social
network technology.
Authors: Atkins, A. S.; Singh, R. N.; Pathan, A. G.
Full Source: Archives of Mining Sciences 2008, 53(1), 31-52 (Pol)
A baseline survey in control of burning coal fluorosis in the pilot area of
Hunan province
2010-3-30
The feasibility of a health education program and propagation tactics of
burning coal fluorosis areas in Leiyang city was evaluated. Sampling
investigation was conducted in an experimental village. The incidence of
dental fluorosis of 8-12 years old students was 71.92%. The possible rate
of adult skeletal fluorosis was 35.6%. There were 76.69% students aged
8-12 years whose urinary fluorine level was higher than 1 mg/L. The
residents burned coal with the open stoves, 80% residents had a diploma
of elementary school, and the average yearly income was in the range of
1,000-2,500 RMB. The coverage of cable TV was over 80%. Only 1.88%
among the target population had some knowledge concerning the control
of endemic coal combustion fluorosis. The prevalence of endemic fluorosis
is related to the poor hygienic condition of the residents and lacking of
knowledge of endemic fluorosis. The pilot areas have already had the
basic conditions of carrying on the project; and the feasibility is obvious.
Authors: Wang, Renyu; Guo, Xianchi; Tang, Yang; Li, Zhengxiang; Huang,
Ying; Wu, Kaisheng
Full Source: Shiyong Yufang Yixue 2008, 15(5), 1351-1354 (Ch)

				
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