Institute for Risk Assessment science

Utrecht, Netherlands

Institute for Risk Assessment science

Utrecht, Netherlands
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de Rooij M.M.T.,Institute for Risk Assessment science | Schimmer B.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment | Versteeg B.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment | Versteeg B.,Robert Bosch GmbH | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Q fever is an occupational risk for veterinarians, however little is known about the risk for veterinary medicine students. This study aimed to assess the seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii among veterinary medicine students and to identify associated risk factors. Methods: A cross-sectional study with questionnaire and blood sample collection was performed among all veterinary medicine students studying in the Netherlands in 2006. Serum samples (n = 674), representative of all study years and study directions, were analyzed for C. burnetii IgG and IgM phase I and II antibodies with an immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Seropositivity was defined as IgG phase I and/or II titer of 1:32 and above. Results: Of the veterinary medicine students 126 (18.7%) had IgG antibodies against C. burnetii. Seropositivity associated risk factors identified were the study direction 'farm animals' (Odds Ratio (OR) 3.27 [95% CI 2.14-5.02]), advanced year of study (OR year 6: 2.31 [1.22-4.39] OR year 3-5 1.83 [1.07-3.10]) having had a zoonosis during the study (OR 1.74 [1.07-2.82]) and ever lived on a ruminant farm (OR 2.73 [1.59-4.67]). Stratified analysis revealed study direction 'farm animals' to be a study-related risk factor apart from ever living on a farm. In addition we identified a clear dose-response relation for the number of years lived on a farm with C. burnetii seropositivity. Conclusions: C. burnetii seroprevalence is considerable among veterinary medicine students and study related risk factors were identified. This indicates Q fever as an occupational risk for veterinary medicine students. © 2012 de Rooij et al.

Schalk J.A.C.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment | van Leeuwen A.E.D.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment | Lodder W.J.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment | de Man H.,Institute for Risk Assessment science | And 3 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2012

Viable Legionella pneumophila bacteria were isolated by amoebal coculture from pluvial floods after intense rainfall and from water collected at sewage treatment plants. Several isolated L. pneumophila strains belonged to sequence types that have been previously identified in patients. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology.

Vlaanderen J.,Institute for Risk Assessment science | Portengen L.,Institute for Risk Assessment science | Rappaport S.M.,University of California at Berkeley | Glass D.C.,Monash University | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2011

Enzymatic saturation of metabolic pathways is one factor that potentially contributes to the nonlinear exposure-response relations that are frequently reported in occupational epidemiologic studies. The authors propose an approach to explore the contribution of saturable metabolism to previously reported exposure-response relations by integrating predictive models of relevant biomarkers of exposure into the epidemiologic analysis. The approach is demonstrated with 2 studies of leukemia in benzene-exposed workers, one conducted in the Australian petroleum industry (1981-1999) and one conducted in a US rubber hydrochloride production factory in Ohio (1940-1996). The studies differed greatly in their magnitudes and durations of exposure. Substitution of biomarker levels for external estimates of benzene exposure reduced the fold difference of the log relative risk of leukemia per unit of cumulative exposure between the 2 studies by 11%-44%. Nevertheless, a considerable difference in the log relative risk per unit of cumulative exposure remained between the 2 studies, suggesting that exposure misclassification, differences in study design, and potential confounding factors also contributed to the heterogeneity in risk estimates. © 2011 The Author.

Halstensen A.S.,National Institute of Occupational Health | Heldal K.K.,National Institute of Occupational Health | Wouters I.M.,Institute for Risk Assessment science | Skogstad M.,National Institute of Occupational Health | And 2 more authors.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene | Year: 2013

Objectives: The aim of this study was to extensively characterize grain workers' personal exposure during work in Norwegian grain elevators and compound feed mills, to identify differences in exposures between the workplaces and seasons, and to study the correlations between different microbial components. Methods: Samples of airborne dust (n = 166) were collected by full-shift personal sampling during work in 20 grain elevators and compound feed mills during one autumn season and two winter seasons. The personal exposure to grain dust, endotoxins, β-1→3-glucans, bacteria, and fungal spores was quantified. Correlations between dust and microbial components and differences between workplaces and seasons were investigated. Determinants of endotoxin and β-1→3-glucan exposure were evaluated by linear mixed-effect regression modeling. Results: The workers were exposed to an overall geometric mean of 1.0 mg m-3 inhalable grain dust [geometric standard deviation (GSD) = 3.7], 628 endotoxin units m-3 (GSD = 5.9), 7.4 μg m-3 of β-1→3-glucan (GSD = 5.6), 21 × 104 bacteria m-3 (GSD = 7.9) and 3.6 × 104 fungal spores m-3 (GSD = 3.4). The grain dust exposure levels were similar across workplaces and seasons, but the microbial content of the grain dust varied substantially between workplaces. Exposure levels of all microbial components were significantly higher in grain elevators compared with all other workplaces. The grain dust exposure was significantly correlated (Pearson's r) with endotoxin (rp = 0.65), β-1→3-glucan (rp = 0.72), bacteria (rp = 0.44) and fungal spore (rp = 0.48) exposure, whereas the explained variances were strongly dependent on the workplace. Bacteria, grain dust, and workplace were important determinants for endotoxin exposure, whereas fungal spores, grain dust, and workplace were important determinants for β-1→3-glucan exposure. Conclusions: Although the workers were exposed to a relatively low mean dust level, the microbial exposure was high. Furthermore, the exposure levels of microbial components varied between workplaces although the dust levels were similar. We therefore recommend that exposure levels at different workplaces should be assessed separately and a task-based assessment should be done for detailed evaluation of efficient dust-reducing measures. The microbial content and knowledge of health effects of the microbial components should be considered in health risk evaluations of these workplaces. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press.

Wagenaar J.A.,University Utrecht | Wagenaar J.A.,Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR | Wagenaar J.A.,World Health Organization | French N.P.,Massey University | And 2 more authors.
Clinical Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013

Campylobacteriosis in humans, caused by Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli, is the most common recognized bacterial zoonosis in the European Union and the United States. The acute phase is characterized by gastrointestinal symptoms. The long-term sequelae (Guillain-Barré syndrome, reactive arthritis, and postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome) contribute considerably to the disease burden. Attribution studies identified poultry as the reservoir responsible for up to 80% of the human Campylobacter infections. In the European Union, an estimated 30% of the human infections are associated with consumption and preparation of poultry meat. Until now, interventions in the poultry meat production chain have not been effectively introduced except for targeted interventions in Iceland and New Zealand. Intervention measures (eg, biosecurity) have limited effect or are hampered by economic aspects or consumer acceptance. In the future, a multilevel approach should be followed, aiming at reducing the level of contamination of consumer products rather than complete absence of Campylobacter. © The Author 2013.

Huss A.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Huss A.,University of Bern | Kooijman C.,InNET Monitoring AG | Breuer M.,Institute for Risk Assessment science | And 4 more authors.
Indoor Air | Year: 2010

We performed 124 measurements of particulate matter (PM2.5) in 95 hospitality venues such as restaurants, bars, cafés, and a disco, which had differing smoking regulations. We evaluated the impact of spatial separation between smoking and non-smoking areas on mean PM2.5 concentration, taking relevant characteristics of the venue, such as the type of ventilation or the presence of additional PM2.5 sources, into account. We differentiated five smoking environments: (i) completely smoke-free location, (ii) non-smoking room spatially separated from a smoking room, (iii) non-smoking area with a smoking area located in the same room, (iv) smoking area with a non-smoking area located in the same room, and (v) smoking location which could be either a room where smoking was allowed that was spatially separated from non-smoking room or a hospitality venue without smoking restriction. In these five groups, the geometric mean PM2.5 levels were (i) 20.4, (ii) 43.9, (iii) 71.9, (iv) 110.4, and (v) 110.3 μg/m, respectively. This study showed that even if non-smoking and smoking areas were spatially separated into two rooms, geometric mean PM2.5 levels in non-smoking rooms were considerably higher than in completely smoke-free hospitality venues. Practical Implications PM2.5 levels are considerably increased in the non-smoking area if smoking is allowed anywhere in the same location. Even locating the smoking area in another room resulted in a more than doubling of the PM2.5 levels in the non-smoking room compared with venues where smoking was not allowed at all. In practice, spatial separation of rooms where smoking is allowed does not prevent exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in nearby non-smoking areas. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Pijpe A.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | Slottje P.,Institute for Risk Assessment science | van Pelt C.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | Stehmann F.,Netherlands Cancer Institute | And 4 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2014

Background: Evidence for the carcinogenicity of shift work in humans is limited because of significant heterogeneity of the results, thus more in-depth research in needed. The Nightingale Study is a nationwide prospective cohort study on occupational exposures and risks of chronic diseases among female nurses and focuses on the potential association between shift work and risk of breast cancer. The study design, methods, and baseline characteristics of the cohort are described.Methods/Design: The source population for the cohort comprised 18 to 65 year old women who were registered as having completed training to be a nurse in the nationwide register for healthcare professionals in the Netherlands. Eligible women were invited to complete a web-based questionnaire including full job history, a detailed section on all domains of shift work (shift system, cumulative exposure, and shift intensity) and potential confounding factors, and an informed consent form for linkage with national (disease) registries. Women were also asked to donate toenail clippings as a source of DNA for genetic analyses. Between October 6, 2011 and February 1, 2012, 31% of the 192,931 women who were invited to participate completed the questionnaire, yielding a sample size of 59,947 cohort members. The mean age of the participants was 46.9 year (standard deviation 11.0 years). Toenail clippings were provided by 23,439 participants (39%).Discussion: Results from the Nightingale Study will contribute to the scientific evidence of potential shift work-related health risks among nurses and will help develop preventive measures and policy aimed at reducing these risks. © 2014 Pijpe et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Mehta A.J.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Mehta A.J.,University of Basel | Mehta A.J.,Harvard University | Miedinger D.,Occupational Medicine | And 23 more authors.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2012

Rationale: There is limited evidence from population-based studies demonstrating incidence of spirometric-defined chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in association with occupational exposures. Objectives: We evaluated the association between occupational exposures and incidence of COPD in the Swiss Cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung and Heart Diseases in Adults (SAPALDIA). Measurements and Main Results: Prebronchodilator ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second over forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) was measured in 4,267 nonasthmatic SAPALDIA participants ages 18-62 at baseline in 1991 and at follow-up in 2001-2003. COPD was defined by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) criterion (FEV1/FVC < 0.70) and Quanjer reference equation (FEV1/FVC < lower limit of normal [LLN]), and categorized by severity (≥80% and <80% predicted FEV1 for stage I and stage II+, respectively). Using a job-exposure matrix, self-reported occupations at baseline were assigned exposures to biological dusts, mineral dusts, gases/fumes, and vapors, gases, dusts, or fumes (VGDF) (high, low, or unexposed as reference). Adjusted incident rate ratios (IRRs) of stage I and stage II+ COPD were estimated in mixed Poisson regression models. Statistically significant (P < 0.05) IRRs of stage II+ GOLD and LLN-COPD, indicating risks between two- and fivefold, were observed for all occupational exposures at high levels. Occupational exposure-associated risk of stage II+ COPD was observed mainly in males and ages ≥40 years, and remained elevated when restricted to nonsmokers. Conclusions: In a Swiss working adult population, occupational exposures to biological dusts, mineral dusts, gases/fumes, and VGDF were associated with incidence of COPD of at least-moderate severity. Copyright © 2012 by the American Thoracic Society.

PubMed | Radboud University Nijmegen, Institute for Risk Assessment science, Office of Environmental Health and Safety, Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research and DNV GL
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International archives of occupational and environmental health | Year: 2016

Odor annoyance is an important environmental stressor for neighboring residents of livestock farms and may affect their quality of life and health. However, little is known about the relation between odor exposure due to livestock farming and odor annoyance. Even more, the relation between odor exposure and odor annoyance is rather complicated due to variable responses among individuals to comparable exposure levels and a large number of factors (such as age, gender, education) that may affect the relation. In this study, we (1) investigated the relation between modeled odor exposure and odor annoyance; (2) investigated whether other factors can affect this relation; and (3) compared our dose-response relation to a dose-response relation established in a previous study carried out in the Netherlands, more than 10 years ago, in order to investigate changes in odor perception and appreciation over time.We used data from 582 respondents who participated in a questionnaire survey among neighboring residents of livestock farms in the south of the Netherlands. Odor annoyance was established by two close-ended questions in a questionnaire; odor exposure was estimated using the Stacks dispersion model.The results of our study indicate a statistically significant and positive relation between modeled odor exposure and reported odor annoyance from livestock farming (OR 1.92; 95 % CI 1.53-2.41). Furthermore, age, asthma, education and perceived air pollution in the environment are all related to odor annoyance, although they hardly affect the relation between estimated livestock odor exposure and reported odor annoyance. We also found relatively more odor annoyance reported among neighboring residents than in a previous study conducted in the Netherlands.We found a strong relation between modeled odor exposure and odor annoyance. However, due to some uncertainties and small number of studies on this topic, further research and replication of results is recommended.

PubMed | Institute for Risk Assessment science
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of veterinary pharmacology and therapeutics | Year: 2016

P-gp (ABCB1) belongs to the group of export transporters that is expressed in various species at biological barriers. Inhibition of P-gp can lead to changes in pharmacokinetics of drugs (drug-drug interactions), which can lead to toxicity and adverse side effects. This study aimed to establish a functional assay to measure the inhibitory potential of veterinary drugs on feline P-gp by means of fluorescence-associated flow cytometry of feline lymphoma cells. In this model, PSC833 and ivermectin potently inhibited P-gp function; cyclosporine and verapamil moderately inhibited P-gp function, whereas ketoconazole, itraconazole, diazepam, and its metabolites had no effect on P-gp function. This model can be used for testing the inhibitory potency of (new) drugs on feline P-gp.

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