Italian National Institute for Health

Rome, Italy

Italian National Institute for Health

Rome, Italy

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Lazzaro I.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Moretti A.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | Giorni P.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Brera C.,Italian National Institute for Health | Battilani P.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Crop Protection | Year: 2015

This study aimed to monitor the main toxigenic fungi in neighbouring organic and conventional maize and wheat fields in Italy in 2010 and 2011. The Fusarium species mainly isolated were: Fusarium poae, sometimes predominant on Fusarium graminearum in wheat, and Fusarium verticillioides competing with Fusarium proliferatum and Fusarium subglutinans in maize. The incidence of Fusarium spp. was similar for both conventional (6%) and organic (4%) wheat, but it was influenced by weather conditions. 2010 was the most favourable for Fusarium species, with 10 times the incidence of 2011. Fusarium infection was significantly different between farming systems in maize (20% vs 35% in conventional and organic, respectively), while in 2010 the incidence was significantly higher than in 2011 (43% vs 25%). Aspergillus and Penicillium incidence was not linked to the farming system but to weather conditions, with moderately higher incidence in 2010. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


D'ilio S.,Italian National Institute for Health | Mattei D.,Italian National Institute for Health | Blasi M.F.,Filicudi WildLife Conservation | Alimonti A.,Italian National Institute for Health | Bogialli S.,University of Padua
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2011

Chemical elements and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are globally present in aquatic systems and their potential transfer to loggerhead marine turtles (Caretta caretta) has become a serious threat for their health status. The environmental fate of these xenobiotics may be traced by the analysis of turtles' tissues and blood. Generally, loggerhead turtles exhibited a higher metal load than other turtle species, this could be explained by differences in diet habits being food the main source of exposure. Literature shows that muscle, liver and kidney are most considered for the quantification of chemical elements, while, organic compounds are typically investigated in liver and fat.This paper is an overview of the international studies carried out on the quantification of chemical elements, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorines (OCs) and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), in tissues, organs and fluids of C. caretta from the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Ingelido A.M.,Italian National Institute for Health | Marra V.,Italian National Institute for Health | Abballe A.,Italian National Institute for Health | Valentini S.,Italian National Institute for Health | And 5 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2010

The serum concentrations of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) were determined in 230 subjects of the Italian general population. Participants were enrolled in 2008 in two Italian towns (Brescia, Northern Italy, and Rome, Central Italy) and belonged to the three age ranges: 20-35. years, 36-50. years, and 51-65. years.PFOS and PFOA were quantified by HPLC interfaced to a mass spectrometer operating in the electrospray negative mode. Data were acquired using multiple reaction monitoring (MRM). The isotope dilution technique was applied throughout.The median serum concentrations of all participants were 6.31ngg-1 and 3.59ngg-1 for PFOS and PFOA, respectively, and the pertinent 90th percentiles were 12.38 and 6.92.Men had higher concentrations of PFOS and PFOA than women, regardless of age. The differences were statistically significant in the 20-35 and 36-50. years groups, but not in the 51-65 group.An increase of PFOS and PFOA serum concentrations with age was observed. The Median test showed a statistically significant difference (p≪0.01) between the three age groups for both PFOS and PFOA when applied to the entire dataset (males and females). When the test was applied to the groups of males and females separately, a significant difference was observed for females (p≪0.005) but not for males (p>0.1).The observed strong correlation between PFOS and PFOA concentrations suggests same or similar exposure routes. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Brera C.,Italian National Institute for Health | Debegnach F.,Italian National Institute for Health | De Santis B.,Italian National Institute for Health | Pannunzi E.,Italian National Institute for Health | And 4 more authors.
Talanta | Year: 2011

Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites of fungal origin, the major mycotoxins of food concern are aflatoxins and ochratoxin A. Due to the wide range of matrices susceptible to mycotoxin contamination, the possible co-occurrence, and the very wide range of concentration, validated versatile multi-mycotoxin and multi-matrix methods are strongly requested. A reversed phase HPLC method for the simultaneous determination of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A in baby foods and paprika was set up. Three bulk samples were prepared according to commercial availability, one for paprika and for baby foods, two different bulks were set, a corn based and a multi-cereal based baby food. A single-laboratory validation was performed, for each investigated level ten analyses were performed, relative standard deviations of repeatability (RSDr) and recovery factors were calculated; RSDr values ranged from 2% to 10% for AFB1 and from 3% to 10% for OTA, while the recovery factors ranged from 86% to 96% for AFB1 and from 77% to 96% for OTA. The checked compliance of the RSDr and recovery with the values reported in the current EU Regulations confirmed the fitting for purpose of the method. Limit of detection and LoQ values of the method were respectively 0.002 and 0.020 μg/kg for AFB1 and 0.012 and 0.080 μg/kg for OTA in baby foods; and 0.002 and 0.200 μg/kg for AFB1 and 0.012 and 0.660 μg/kg for OTA in paprika. The current method represents a good example of the possibility of a multi-mycotoxin and/or a multi-matrix analysis depending on the laboratory research or official control purposes. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Bocca B.,Italian National Institute for Health | Mattei D.,Italian National Institute for Health | Pino A.,Italian National Institute for Health | Alimonti A.,Italian National Institute for Health
Current Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2011

Human biomonitoring results can be used to evaluate prior metals' exposures but the data production must adhere to rigorous scientific standards including validation of the analytical method and calculation of the method's uncertainty. The whole procedure is often perceived as a difficult and time-consuming task. The aim of this paper was to in house validate a sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry-based method and to speed up the calculation of measurement's uncertainty in the monitoring of As, Be, Cd, Co, Cr, Hg, Ir, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Pd, Pt, Rh, Sb, Sn, Tl, U, V and W in human blood. The laboratory validation was organized so as to vary the most representative factors (operators, time, materials, instrumental settings, calibrations) that could affect the analytical data. Then, only those sources that significantly affected the final result were considered in the uncertainty estimate, simplifying so the process. Validation data in blood were: linearity, R2 > 0.9992 over two orders of concentration; detection limits between 0.0015 μg L-1 - 1.03 μg L-1; mean trueness on certified reference materials between 91.2%-109.6%; mean recovery on spikes ranging 92%-105%; repeatability from 3.0% to 6.3% and reproducibility from 3.8% to 9.2%. The expanded uncertainty budget derived from two sources (reproducibility and trueness/recovery) was between 11% and 26%. Applying the proposed procedure in future biomonitoring studies for metals' exposure will allow the production of analytical data of high quality and reliability. This is also crucial to correctly interpret the biomonitoring data with respect to statutory limits, reference limits and measures produced by other laboratories. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers.


This protocol was developed to estimate the uncertainty of measurements in the sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry analysis of As, Co, Cr, Mn, Mo, Ni, Sn and V in human serum by utilizing in-house validation data. The approach is outlined in the Eurachem/Citac Guide and other relevant publications. The results generated were the followings: (i) coefficients of regression >0.9995 over two orders of magnitude of metal concentration; (ii) method quantification limits between 0.05 μg/L (Cr, Mn) and 0.49 μg/L (As); (iii) mean trueness checked against a certified reference material between 95.4% (As) and 107.7% (Ni); (iv) repeatability better than 10.2% over the range 0.1-2.0 μg/L; (v) reproducibility better than 12.0% over the range 0.1-2.0 μg/L; and (vi) expanded uncertainty budget comprised between 14.7% (Mn) and 27.9% (Cr) over the range 0.1-2.0 μg/L. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Bocca B.,Italian National Institute for Health | Pino A.,Italian National Institute for Health | Alimonti A.,Italian National Institute for Health | Forte G.,Italian National Institute for Health
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology | Year: 2014

The persistence of metals in the environment and their natural occurrence in rocks, soil and water cause them to be present in the manufacture of pigments and other raw materials used in the cosmetic industry. Thus, people can be exposed to metals as trace contaminants in cosmetic products they daily use. Cosmetics may have multiple forms, uses and exposure scenarios, and metals contained in them can cause skin local problems but also systemic effects after their absorption via the skin or ingestion. Even this, cosmetics companies are not obliged to report on this kind of impurities and so consumers have no way of knowing about their own risk. This paper reviewed both the concentration of metals in different types of cosmetics manufactured and sold worldwide and the data on metals' dermal penetration and systemic toxicology. The eight metals of concern for this review were antimony (Sb), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni) and lead (Pb). This was because they are banned as intentional ingredients in cosmetics, have draft limits as potential impurities in cosmetics and are known as toxic. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Brera C.,Italian National Institute for Health | Debegnach F.,Italian National Institute for Health | De Santis B.,Italian National Institute for Health | Iafrate E.,Italian National Institute for Health | And 5 more authors.
Food Control | Year: 2011

Three hundred samples of cocoa and chocolate-based products were randomly collected in South, Center and North Italy. One hundred and seventy nine, out of the 300 samples analyzed, were positive for ochratoxin A (OTA) contamination, representing 60% of the purchased products. All 40 cocoa samples showed OTA contamination, while grouping all the chocolate products the positive samples accounted for 53%. The mean OTA concentration levels for cocoa and chocolate products were well below the corresponding Italian legal limits. Teenagers' male age group resulted as the highest consumers for cocoa powder (2.9 g per day), while the OTA highest weekly intake was reported for the younger age groups (0.10 and 0.38 ng/kg bw/week, for infant and children respectively). With respect to chocolate products, the highest daily consumption and the highest intake are reported for children (7.3 g and 0.57 ng/kg bw/week, respectively). As far as single chocolate products are concerned, the highest weekly intake is referred to the consumption of Easter chocolate eggs by the infant/children age group (0.10 ng/kg bw/week). The overall analysis of the exposure assessment suggests that the very low value of body weight for infant and children categories drives the exposure calculations. On the basis of the risk assessment carried out in this study, the exposure to OTA, due to the consumption of cocoa and chocolate products, is to be considered not a major concern. Therefore, the Italian Superior Council of Health considered the data arising from this study, adequate to repeal the existing Italian legal limits and to align national legislation with the EU provisions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Bocca B.,Italian National Institute for Health | Mattei D.,Italian National Institute for Health | Pino A.,Italian National Institute for Health | Alimonti A.,Italian National Institute for Health
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry | Year: 2010

A protocol that utilises data (trueness/recovery, precision and robustness) from validation tests to calculate measurement uncertainty was described and applied to a sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (SF-ICP-MS)-based method for the determination of Be, Cd, Hg, Ir, Pb, Pd, Pt, Rh, Sb, U, Tl and W in human serum. The method was validated according to criteria issued by international bodies such as AOAC, Eurachem and ISO and the uncertainty in the analytical measurements was estimated following the Eurachem/Citac guide. The methodology was based on dilution of human serum with water and analysis by serum-matched standard calibration. The method quantification limits ranged 0.02μg/L (Tl, Ir) to 0.26μg/L (Hg). The coefficients of regression were greater than 0.9991 over a range of two orders of magnitude of concentration. The mean trueness was 101% and the mean recovery on three levels of fortification (1-, 1.5-, and 2-times the baseline serum level) ranged between 93.3% and 106%. The maximum relative standard deviation values for repeatability and within-laboratory reproducibility were 12.8% and 13.5%. The method was robust to slight variations of some critical factors relevant to the sample preparation and SF-ICP-MS instrumentation. The relative expanded uncertainty over three levels of concentration ranged from 11.6% (Hg) to 27.6% (Pt), and the uncertainty on the within-laboratory reproducibility, which included factors such as time, analyst and calibration, represented the main contribution to the overall uncertainty. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Vichi S.,Italian National Institute for Health | Medda E.,Italian National Institute for Health | Ingelido A.M.,Italian National Institute for Health | Ferro A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 7 more authors.
Fertility and Sterility | Year: 2012

Objective: To investigate the occurrence of a gene-environment interaction between glutathione transferase (GST) gene polymorphisms (GSTM1, GSTT1, GSTP1, and GSTA1) and serum polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) levels. This is suggested as possible risk factors for endometriosis, a multifactorial gynecological disease. Design: Case-control study conducted from 2002 to 2005. Setting: Policlinico Umberto I, "Sapienza" University of Rome and Italian National Institute for Health, Rome. Patient(s): Italian women (N = 343), with laparoscopic diagnosis and histologic confirmation of the presence (cases, N = 181) or the absence (controls, N = 162) of endometriosis. Intervention(s): Genomic DNA extraction, multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Determination of serum concentrations of selected PCBs by ion-trap mass spectrometry (subgroup, 63 cases and 63 controls). Main Outcome Measure(s): Endometriosis diagnosis by laparoscopy, GST genotypes, serum PCB levels. Result(s): The genotype distributions of GSTM1, GSTA1, and GSTP1 did not show any statistically significant difference between cases and controls. The GSTT1 null genotype was negatively associated with the disease. The GSTP1 wild-type genotype in the presence of medium-high blood levels of PCB153, total PCBs, or of high levels of PCB180 significantly increased the risk of endometriosis, suggesting a multiplicative interaction. Conclusion(s): The GSTs polymorphisms per se do not increase the risk of developing endometriosis. However, a gene-environment interaction was observed for GSTP1Ile/Ile and GSTM1 null genotypes, modulating the effect of PCB153, PCB180, and of total PCBs on disease risk. © 2012 American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Published by Elsevier Inc.

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