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Araujo-Martins J.,New University of Lisbon | Carreiro Martins P.,New University of Lisbon | Carreiro Martins P.,Centro Hospitalar Of Lisbon Central | Viegas J.,National Laboratory for Civil Engineering | And 13 more authors.
Revista Portuguesa de Pneumologia | Year: 2014

Background: Indoor air quality (IAQ) is considered an important determinant of human health. The association between exposure to volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, house dust mite, molds and bacteria in day care centers (DCC) is not completely clear. The aim of this project was to study these effects. Methods - study design: This study comprised two phases. Phase I included an evaluation of 45 DCCs (25 from Lisbon and 20 from Oporto, targeting 5161 children). In this phase, building characteristics, indoor CO2 and air temperature/relative humidity, were assessed. A children's respiratory health questionnaire derived from the ISAAC (International Study on Asthma and Allergies in Children) was also distributed. Phase II encompassed two evaluations and included 20 DCCs selected from phase I after a cluster analysis (11 from Lisbon and 9 from Oporto, targeting 2287 children). In this phase, data on ventilation, IAQ, thermal comfort parameters, respiratory and allergic health, airway inflammation biomarkers, respiratory virus infection patterns and parental and child stress were collected. Results: In Phase I, building characteristics, occupant behavior and ventilation surrogates were collected from all DCCs. The response rate of the questionnaire was 61.7% (3186 children).Phase II included 1221 children. Association results between DCC characteristics, IAQ and health outcomes will be provided in order to support recommendations on IAQ and children's health. A building ventilation model will also be developed. Discussion: This paper outlines methods that might be implemented by other investigators conducting studies on the association between respiratory health and indoor air quality at DCC. © 2013 Sociedade Portuguesa de Pneumologia. Source

Almeida S.A.A.,Polytechnic Institute of Porto | Almeida S.A.A.,Instituto Nacional Of Saude Dr Ricardo Jorge Porto | Almeida S.A.A.,University of Porto | Heitor A.M.,Instituto Nacional Of Saude Dr Ricardo Jorge Porto | And 2 more authors.
Talanta | Year: 2011

Solid-contact sensors for the selective screening of sulfadiazine (SDZ) in aquaculture waters are reported. Sensor surfaces were made from PVC membranes doped with tetraphenylporphyrin-manganese(III) chloride, α-cyclodextrin, β-cyclodextrin, or γ-cyclodextrin ionophores that were dispersed in plasticizer. Some membranes also presented a positive or a negatively charged additive. Phorphyrin-based sensors relied on a charged carrier mechanism. They exhibited a near-Nernstian response with slopes of 52 mV decade -1 and detection limits of 3.91 × 10 -5 mol L -1. The addition of cationic lipophilic compounds to the membrane originated Nernstian behaviours, with slopes ranging 59.7-62.0 mV decade -1 and wider linear ranges. Cyclodextrin-based sensors acted as neutral carriers. In general, sensors with positively charged additives showed an improved potentiometric performance when compared to those without additive. Some SDZ selective membranes displayed higher slopes and extended linear concentration ranges with an increasing amount of additive (always <100% ionophore). The sensors were independent from the pH of test solutions within 2-7. The sensors displayed fast response, always <15 s. In general, a good discriminating ability was found in real sample environment. The sensors were successfully applied to the fast screening of SDZ in real waters samples from aquaculture fish farms. The method offered the advantages of simplicity, accuracy, and automation feasibility. The sensing membrane may contribute to the development of small devices allowing in locus measurements of sulfadiazine or parent-drugs. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Almeida S.A.A.,Polytechnic Institute of Porto | Almeida S.A.A.,Instituto Nacional Of Saude Dr Ricardo Jorge Porto | Almeida S.A.A.,University of Porto | Amorim L.R.,Polytechnic Institute of Porto | And 5 more authors.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2011

Sulfadiazine is an antibiotic of the sulfonamide group and is used as a veterinary drug in fish farming. Monitoring it in the tanks is fundamental to control the applied doses and avoid environmental dissemination. Pursuing this goal, we included a novel potentiometric design in a flow-injection assembly. The electrode body was a stainless steel needle veterinary syringe of 0.8-mm inner diameter. A selective membrane of PVC acted as a sensory surface. Its composition, the length of the electrode, and other flow variables were optimized. The best performance was obtained for sensors of 1.5-cm length and a membrane composition of 33% PVC, 66% o-nitrophenyloctyl ether, 1% ion exchanger, and a small amount of a cationic additive. It exhibited Nernstian slopes of 61.0 mV decade -1 down to 1.0∈×∈10 -5 mol L -1, with a limit of detection of 3.1∈×∈10 -6 mol L -1 in flowing media. All necessary pH/ionic strength adjustments were performed online by merging the sample plug with a buffer carrier of 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid, pH 4.9. The sensor exhibited the advantages of a fast response time (less than 15 s), long operational lifetime (60 days), and good selectivity for chloride, nitrite, acetate, tartrate, citrate, and ascorbate. The flow setup was successfully applied to the analysis of aquaculture waters. The analytical results were validated against those obtained with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry procedures. The sampling rate was about 84 samples per hour and recoveries ranged from 95.9 to 106.9%. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source

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