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Simpson Jr. S.,Menzies Research Institute | Taylor B.,Menzies Research Institute | Blizzard L.,Menzies Research Institute | Ponsonby A.-L.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
Annals of Neurology

Objective: A protective association between higher vitamin D levels and the onset of multiple sclerosis (MS) has been demonstrated; however, its role in modulating MS clinical course has been little studied. We investigated whether higher levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D) were associated with a lower risk of relapses in people with MS. Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study of 145 participants with relapsing-remitting MS from 2002 to 2005. Serum 25-OH-D levels were measured biannually, and the hazard of relapse was assessed using survival analysis. Results: There was an inverse linear relationship between 25-OH-D levels and the hazard of relapse over the subsequent 6 months, with hazard ratio (HR) 0.91 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.85-0.97) per 10nmol/l increase in 25-OH-D level (p = 0.006). When variation due to timing of blood collection was removed by estimating 25-OH-D at the start of each season, this association persisted, with HR 0.90 (95% CI, 0.83-0.98) per 10nmol/l increase (p = 0.016). Taking into account the biological half-life of 25-OH-D, we estimated 25-OH-D at monthly intervals, resulting in a slightly enhanced association, with HR 0.88 (95% CI, 0.82-0.95) per 10nmol/l increase (p = 0.001). Adjusting for potential confounders did not alter these findings. Interpretation: In this prospective population-based cohort study, in a cohort largely on immunomodulatory therapy, higher 25-OH-D levels were associated with a reduced hazard of relapse. This occurred in a dosedependent linear fashion, with each 10nmol/l increase in 25-OH-D resulting in up to a 12% reduction in risk of relapse. Clinically, raising 25-OH-D levels by 50nmol/l could halve the hazard of a relapse. © 2010 American Neurological Association. Source

Andrady A.L.,North Carolina State University | Torikai A.,Materials Life Society of Japan | Redhwi H.H.,King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals | Pandey K.K.,Institute of Wood Science and Technology | Gies P.,Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency
Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences

Materials used in the exterior of buildings and in construction are routinely exposed to solar UV radiation. Especially in the case of wood and plastic building materials, the service life is determined by their weather-induced deterioration. Any further increase in ground-level solar UV radiation, UV-B radiation in particular, will therefore reduce the outdoor service life of these products. Any increase in ambient temperature due to climate change will also have the same effect. However, the existing light-stabilizer technologies are likely to be able to mitigate the additional damaging effects due to increased solar UV radiation and maintain the outdoor lifetimes of these materials at the present levels. These mitigation choices invariably increase the lifetime cost of these products. A reliable estimate of what this additional cost might be for different products is not available at the present time. Personal exposure to UV radiation is reduced both by clothing fabrics and glass windows used in buildings and automobiles. This assessment describes how the recent technical advances in degradation and stabilization techniques impact the lifetimes of plastics and wood products routinely exposed to solar UV radiation and the protection to humans offered by materials against solar UV radiation. © The Royal Society of Chemistry and Owner Societies 2015. Source

Larsson C.-M.,Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency
Annals of the ICRP

Protection of the environment is integral to the system of radiological protection, as outlined in the 2007 Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP, Publication 103). The Commission’s activities in this area are mainly pursued by Committee 5 and its associated Task Groups. Publication 91 broadly outlines the approach to radiological protection of the environment, and its alignment with approaches to environmental protection from hazardous substances in general. Publications 108 and 114 provide the cornerstones of the environmental protection system and relevant databases. Publication 124 considers its application in planned, existing, and emergency exposure situations. The system centres on 12 Reference Animals and Plants (RAPs) with broad relevance for environmental protection based on their ubiquity and significance as well as other criteria, as described in Publication 108. The databases comprise general biology of the RAPs, transfer parameters, dose conversion coefficients, and effects data. Derived Consideration Reference Levels (DCRLs) were established for each RAP; a DCRL represents a band of dose rates that might result in some deleterious effects in individuals of that type of RAP. Newly established Task Group 99 will compile the RAP-specific reference information into monographs, with the view of updating information and improving the applicability of the system in different exposure situations. For certain scenarios, more precise and ecosystem-specific protection benchmarks may be justified, which would have to be informed by consideration of representative organisms (i.e. representative of a particular ecosystem and relevant to the specific scenario; Publication 124). Committee 5 will explore this further, making use of a limited number of case studies. © 2016, © The International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics. Source

Charles P.H.,Queensland University of Technology | Crowe S.B.,Queensland University of Technology | Kairn T.,Queensland University of Technology | Kairn T.,He Wesley Medical Center | And 5 more authors.
Physics in Medicine and Biology

Due to their small collecting volume, diodes are commonly used in small field dosimetry. However, the relative sensitivity of a diode increases with decreasing small field size. Conversely, small air gaps have been shown to cause a significant decrease in the sensitivity of a detector as the field size is decreased. Therefore, this study uses Monte Carlo simulations to look at introducing air upstream to diodes such that they measure with a constant sensitivity across all field sizes in small field dosimetry. Varying thicknesses of air were introduced onto the upstream end of two commercial diodes (PTW 60016 photon diode and PTW 60017 electron diode), as well as a theoretical unenclosed silicon chip using field sizes as small as 5 mm × 5 mm. The metric Dw,Q/ DDet,Q used in this study represents the ratio of the dose to a point of water to the dose to the diode active volume, for a particular field size and location. The optimal thickness of air required to provide a constant sensitivity across all small field sizes was found by plotting Dw,Q DDet,Q as a function of introduced air gap size for various field sizes, and finding the intersection point of these plots. That is, the point at which Dw,Q DDet,Q was constant for all field sizes was found. The optimal thickness of air was calculated to be 3.3, 1.15 and 0.10 mm for the photon diode, electron diode and unenclosed silicon chip, respectively. The variation in these results was due to the different design of each detector. When calculated with the new diode design incorporating the upstream air gap, k fclin, fmsr Qclin,Qmsr was equal to unity to within statistical uncertainty (0.5%) for all three diodes. Cross-axis profilemeasurements were also improved with the new detector design. The upstream air gap could be implanted on the commercial diodes via a cap consisting of the air cavity surrounded by water equivalent material. The results for the unclosed silicon chip show that an ideal small field dosimetry diode could be created by using a silicon chip with a small amount of air above it. © 2013 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine. Source

Larsson C.-M.,Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency | Higley K.A.,Oregon State University | Real A.,CIEMAT
Annals of the ICRP

The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) established Committee 5 in 2005 in response to the need to provide direct demonstration of environmental protection from radiation in accordance with national law and international agreements. The development of the ICRP system for environmental protection was facilitated by research over the previous decades, as well as by ICRP’s evaluation of the ethical and philosophical basis for environmental protection as laid out in ICRP Publication 91. The 2007 Recommendations (Publication 103) incorporated environmental protection as one of the integral elements of the radiation protection system. Over a relatively short time, the system has evolved to incorporate a set of 12 Reference Animals and Plants (RAPs), which is a small enough number to develop comprehensive databases for each RAP, but wide ranging enough to provide some insight into radiation impact and protection against such impact, as appropriate, in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. As necessary, the databases can be used to derive supplementary databases for Representative Organisms typical for a particular exposure situation of concern or under study. The system, to date, details biology of the RAPs (Publication 108); outlines transfer factors for estimation of internal concentrations of radionuclides of environmental significance under different situations (Publication 114); provides further information (Publication 108) on dosimetry, biological effects, and derived consideration reference levels (bands of environmental dose rates where potential detrimental effects may deserve attention); and provides information on application of the system in planned, emergency, and existing exposure situations (Publication 124). Currently, a review of experimental determinations of relative biological effectiveness, to guide derivation of specific weighting factors for use in environmental radiation protection if possible and necessary, is being concluded, as is work on improved dosimetry. Further work in this area involves consolidation of databases, recommendations for derivation of specific databases for Representative Organisms on the basis of the RAP data, and recommendations for application of the system to environmental protection in relation to certain human activities of potential environmental concern. Consideration needs to be made for the wider range of ecosystem effects that may be covered in ecological risk assessments, which incorporate the complete suite of stressors that result from human activity, and their effects, to understand the role of radiation effects in this context. © The International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav Source

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