Gage Occupational and Environmental Health Unit

Toronto, Canada

Gage Occupational and Environmental Health Unit

Toronto, Canada

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Fritscher L.G.,Grande Rio University | Fritscher L.G.,Lutheran University of Brazil | Fritscher L.G.,University of Toronto | Post M.,University of Toronto | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Breath Research | Year: 2012

The collection of exhaled breath condensates (EBC) is a noninvasive method for obtaining samples from the lungs. Eicosanoids are lipid mediators implicated in the asthmatic inflammatory response. The objective of our study was to investigate whether the profile of eicosanoid lipid mediators in EBC can characterize the inflammation in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). EBC samples were collected from 22 healthy controls (C), 25 mild intermittent asthmatics (MIA), 20 with moderate to severe asthma (MSA) and 20 with moderate to severe COPD. EBC samples were analyzed by unique tandem mass spectrometry that allows the quantification of up to 25 eicosanoid mediators simultaneously. No differences were found between MIA and C. Subjects with MSA and COPD had higher levels of 6-keto, PGE2, LTB4, 11-12 EET and AA, while lower levels of LXA4, 11DHyTxB2, 11HETE and 8,9EET, when compared to MSA and C (p < 0.05). Our study shows that the analysis of EBC through mass spectrometry is mixed and has a similar response in MSA and COPD when compared to MIA and controls. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Al-Ahmad M.,University of Toronto | Manno M.,Lana | Manno M.,Gage Occupational and Environmental Health Unit | Ng V.,University of Western Ontario | And 9 more authors.
Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2010

Background: Mould-attributed symptoms have included features which overlap with unexplained syndromes such as sick building syndrome. Objectives: We describe questionnaire and chart review findings in patients following exposure to moulds which include Stachybotrys and compare responses with two control groups. Methods: Thirty-two patients presented with symptoms attributed to mould exposures. Exposure identification for 25 patients had reported S tachybotrys chartarum as well as other mould (Aspergillus, Penicillium), 88% at work. The remaining seven had professionally visualized or self-reported/photographic exposure evidence only. A chart review was performed and a follow-up with a questionnaire, including questions on current health status, and nonspecific symptoms. Results: Cough, shortness of breath and chest tightness (at presentation) were reported in 79%, 70% and 64%, respectively, and persisted >6 weeks in 91%. Skin test(s) were positive to fungal extract(s) in 30%. Seventeen returned questionnaires were obtained 3.1 (SD 0.5) years after the initial clinic assessment. Among this subgroup, persisting asthma-like symptoms and symptoms suggestive of sick building syndrome were frequent, and similar to a group previously assessed for darkroom disease among medical radiation technologists. The mould-exposed group more commonly reported they were bothered when walking in a room with carpets, complained of a chemical or metallic taste in their mouth, and had problems in concentration when compared with a control physiotherapist group (P < 0.005). Conclusions: Although only a minority with health concerns from indoor mould exposure had demonstrable mould-allergy, a significant proportion had asthma-like symptoms. Other symptoms were also common and persistent after the initial implicated exposure. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Nadalin V.,University of Toronto | Kreiger N.,University of Toronto | Parent M.-E.,University of Québec | Salmoni A.,University of Western Ontario | And 4 more authors.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene | Year: 2012

Prostate cancer is common and its etiology largely unknown; therefore, it is important to explore all potential risk factors that are biologically plausible. Recent literature suggests a relationship between whole-body vibration (WBV) and prostate cancer risk. The aim of this study was to determine whether occupational WBV was a risk factor for prostate cancer. Existing data, collected on 447 incident cases and 532 population controls (or their proxies), in Montreal, Canada, were used to evaluate this question. Personal interviews collected detailed job descriptions for every job held, the tasks involved, and type of equipment used. For each job, experts assessed the intensity and daily duration of WBV exposure. Inter-rater agreement for WBV ratings was examined using the kappa statistic, with values that ranged from 0.83 to 0.94. Logistic regression models explored the relationship between WBV exposure and prostate cancer, using various combinations of intensity, daily duration, and years of exposure. Potential confounders were also examined. Occupations with WBV exposure demonstrated an increased statistically non-significant risk [odds ratio (OR) = 1.44, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.99-2.09]. The risk for transport equipment operation, a job with WBV exposure, was significantly elevated (OR = 1.90, 95% CI: 1.07-3.39). These results, together with those of an earlier study, suggest that workers in heavy equipment and transport equipment operation may have increased risk of prostate cancer. Further investigation is warranted. © 2012 The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society [2012].

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