Environmental Health Service

Dublin, Ireland

Environmental Health Service

Dublin, Ireland
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Mahon B.M.,National University of Ireland | Brehony C.,National University of Ireland | McGrath E.,University Hospital Galway | Killeen J.,National University of Ireland | And 7 more authors.
Eurosurveillance | Year: 2017

In this study, New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM)-producing Enterobacteriaceae were identified in Irish recreational waters and sewage. Indistinguishable NDM-producing Escherichia coli by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis were isolated from sewage, a fresh water stream and a human source. NDM-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolated from sewage and sea-water in the same area were closely related to each other and to a human isolate. This raises concerns regarding the potential for sewage discharges to contribute to the spread of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae. © the authors, 2017.


Davidson F.,Public Analysts Laboratory | Burke P.,Public Analysts Laboratory | Burns D.,Health Service Executive | Flanagan A.,Public Analysts Laboratory | And 24 more authors.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2014

Background: Monitoring of human exposure to mercury is important due to its adverse health effects. This study aimed to determine the extent of mercury exposure among mothers and their children in Ireland, and to identify factors associated with elevated levels. It formed part of the Demonstration of a study to Coordinate and Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale (DEMOCOPHES) pilot biomonitoring study. Methods: Hair mercury concentrations were determined from a convenience sample of 120 mother/child pairs. Mothers also completed a questionnaire. Rigorous quality assurance within DEMOCOPHES guaranteed the accuracy and international comparability of results. Results: Mercury was detected in 79.2% of the samples from mothers, and 62.5% of children’s samples. Arithmetic mean levels in mothers (0.262 µg/g hair) and children (0.149 µg /g hair) did not exceed the US EPA guidance value. Levels were significantly higher for those with higher education, and those who consumed more fish. Conclusions: The study demonstrates the benefit of human biomonitoring for assessing and comparing internal exposure levels, both on a population and an individual basis. It enables the potential harmful impact of mercury to be minimised in those highly exposed, and can therefore significantly contribute to population health. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


PubMed | Public Analysts Laboratory, University College Dublin, Public Analysts Laboratory Health Service Executive and Environmental Health Service
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health | Year: 2014

Monitoring of human exposure to mercury is important due to its adverse health effects. This study aimed to determine the extent of mercury exposure among mothers and their children in Ireland, and to identify factors associated with elevated levels. It formed part of the Demonstration of a study to Coordinate and Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale (DEMOCOPHES) pilot biomonitoring study.Hair mercury concentrations were determined from a convenience sample of 120 mother/child pairs. Mothers also completed a questionnaire. Rigorous quality assurance within DEMOCOPHES guaranteed the accuracy and international comparability of results.Mercury was detected in 79.2% of the samples from mothers, and 62.5% of childrens samples. Arithmetic mean levels in mothers (0.262 g/g hair) and children (0.149 g /g hair) did not exceed the US EPA guidance value. Levels were significantly higher for those with higher education, and those who consumed more fish.The study demonstrates the benefit of human biomonitoring for assessing and comparing internal exposure levels, both on a population and an individual basis. It enables the potential harmful impact of mercury to be minimised in those highly exposed, and can therefore significantly contribute to population health.


Fitzgerald M.,Health Service Executive Health Protection Surveillance Center | Fitzgerald M.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Thornton L.,Health Service Executive Health Protection Surveillance Center | O'Gorman J.,University College Dublin | And 24 more authors.
Eurosurveillance | Year: 2014

In May 2013, a European alert was issued regarding a hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreak in Italy. In June 2013, HAV subgenotype IA with an identical sequence was identified in Ireland in three cases who had not travelled to Italy. The investigation consisted of descriptive epidemiology, a case-control study, microbiological testing of human and food specimens, molecular typing of positive specimens and food traceback. We identified 21 outbreak cases (14 confirmed primary cases) with symptom onset between 31 January and 11 October 2013. For the case-control study, we recruited 11 confirmed primary cases and 42 matched controls. Cases were more likely than controls to have eaten berry cheesecake (matched odds ratio (mOR): 12; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.3-114), whole frozen berries (mOR: 9.5; 95% CI: 1.0-89), yoghurt containing fro- zen berries (mOR: 6.6, 95% CI: 1.2-37) or raw celery (mOR: 4; 95% CI: 1.2-16). Among cases, 91% had consumed at least one of four products containing frozen berries (mOR: 12; 95% CI: 1.5-94). Sixteen food samples tested were all negative for HAV. As products containing frozen berries were implicated in the outbreak, the public were advised to heat-treat frozen berries before consumption. © 2014, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). All rights reserved.


Jacks A.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Jacks A.,Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare | Toikkanen S.,Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare | Pihlajasaari A.,Finnish Food Safety Authority | And 10 more authors.
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2013

In 2010, 7/44 (16%) reported foodborne outbreaks in Finland were linked with raw beetroot consumption. We reviewed data from the national outbreak registry in order to hypothesize the aetiology of illness and to prevent further outbreaks. In the seven outbreaks, 124 cases among 623 respondents were identified. Consumption of raw beetroot was strongly associated with gastrointestinal illness (relative risk 8·99, 95% confidence interval 6·06-13·35). The illness was characterized by sudden onset of gastrointestinal symptoms; the median incubation time was 40 min and duration of illness 5 h. No common foodborne pathogens or toxins were found in either clinical or beetroot samples, but all tested beetroot samples were of poor quality according to total bacterial counts. Beta-haemolytic Pseudomonas fluorescens was detected in several beetroot samples but its effect on human health is unknown. No outbreaks were reported after the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira advised against serving raw beetroot in institutional canteens. © Cambridge University Press 2012.

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