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Leka S.,University of Nottingham | Jain A.,University of Nottingham | Iavicoli S.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | Vartia M.,Finnish Institute of Occupational Health | Ertel M.,Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health BAuA
Safety Science | Year: 2011

A number of significant developments towards the management of psychosocial risks have been achieved at the policy level in the European Union (EU) since the introduction of the 1989 European Commission Council Framework Directive 89/391/EEC on Safety and Health of Workers at Work on which a new EU risk prevention culture has since been established, combining legislation, social dialogue, best practices and building partnerships. However, it has been widely acknowledged that initiatives aiming to promote workers' health have not had the impact anticipated both by experts and policy makers and the main reason for this has been the gap that exists between policy and practice. This paper discusses the findings from the PRIMA-EF project, a policy-orientated project, which focussed on the development of a European framework for psychosocial risk management at the workplace. In particular, the paper presents the results of an EU stakeholder survey and interviews with EU policy level experts to assess their awareness, understanding and evaluation of the impact of policy initiatives for psychosocial risk management. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Iavicoli S.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | Natali E.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | Deitinger P.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | Maria Rondinone B.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | And 3 more authors.
Health Policy | Year: 2011

Introduction: Psychosocial risks are now largely acknowledged throughout Europe as important challenges in occupational health and safety. However, there appear to be wide gaps in perception between experts and the general population on the nature and the relevance of psychosocial risks that have a potential impact on policy development and implementation in this area. Methods: This study investigated the level of knowledge among European stakeholders, of legislation on occupational safety and health, focusing particularly on psychosocial risk factors. 75 members of employers' associations, trade unions and government institutions from 21 countries in the European Union (EU) participated in the study. In addition, to further elaborate the findings of the survey, focus groups were organised during a 2-day stakeholder workshop. Results: The level of application of European Directive 89/391 for the assessment and management of psychosocial risks and work-related stress was largely reported by the stakeholders as inadequate. This opinion was more marked in the new EU27 countries than the older EU15, and the difference was significant as regards the impact of the Directive on the assessment and management of psychosocial risks. Overall, psychosocial risks and work-related stress were reported to be important occupational health and safety concerns; however there were important differences among stakeholders in different countries. Conclusions: Despite the development of knowledge and activities on both the policy and practice levels in recent years, further work is still needed to harmonize stakeholder perceptions in this area in the various EU member states. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Nardo G.,Dulbecco Telethon Institute | Nardo G.,Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research | Pozzi S.,Dulbecco Telethon Institute | Pozzi S.,Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research | And 22 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal progressive motor neuron disease, for which there are still no diagnostic/prognostic test and therapy. Specific molecular biomarkers are urgently needed to facilitate clinical studies and speed up the development of effective treatments. Methodology/Principal Findings: We used a two-dimensional difference in gel electrophoresis approach to identify in easily accessible clinical samples, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), a panel of protein biomarkers that are closely associated with ALS. Validations and a longitudinal study were performed by immunoassays on a selected number of proteins. The same proteins were also measured in PBMC and spinal cord of a G93A SOD1 transgenic rat model. We identified combinations of protein biomarkers that can distinguish, with high discriminatory power, ALS patients from healthy controls (98%), and from patients with neurological disorders that may resemble ALS (91%), between two levels of disease severity (90%), and a number of translational biomarkers, that link responses between human and animal model. We demonstrated that TDP-43, cyclophilin A and ERp57 associate with disease progression in a longitudinal study. Moreover, the protein profile changes detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of ALS patients are suggestive of possible intracellular pathogenic mechanisms such as endoplasmic reticulum stress, nitrative stress, disturbances in redox regulation and RNA processing. Conclusions/Significance: Our results indicate that PBMC multiprotein biomarkers could contribute to determine amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diagnosis, differential diagnosis, disease severity and progression, and may help to elucidate pathogenic mechanisms. © 2011 Nardo et al.


Trevisi R.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | Caricato A.,University of Salento | D'Alessandro M.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | Fernandez M.,University of Salento | And 4 more authors.
Environment International | Year: 2010

In the period 2005-2006 a survey on natural radioactivity in about 500 schools located in south-east Italy (the Salento peninsula, province of Lecce) was carried out. In particular average radon concentration and average absorbed dose rate in air due to gamma radiation have been assessed by using solid state nuclear track detectors (SSNTD) and electret ionization chambers (EIC), as well as thermoluminescence dosimeters (TLD), respectively. SSNTD dosimeters were placed in every school, while electrets and TLD have been employed in a pilot study performed in a selected sample of 56 schools in order to achieve preliminary information. Moreover the study foresaw a quality control on electret dosimeters' perfomances in terms of homogeneity and reliability. The results of this check have been taken into account in the data analysis. In this paper final results concerning the pilot study are reported. The indoor radon levels measured in the schools ranged from 65 Bq/m3 to 1808 Bq/m3, and only six schools (corresponding to 13% of the sample) showed radon annual average above 500 Bq/m3, Italian action level for workplaces. For the average absorbed dose rate in air due to gamma radiation, the recorded values ranged between 47 and 83 nGy/h with an average value of 61 nGy/h. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Fanizza C.,DIPIA Inc | Casciardi S.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | Avino P.,DIPIA Inc | Manigrasso M.,DIPIA Inc
Fresenius Environmental Bulletin | Year: 2010

Seasonal measurements of Organic Carbon (OC) and Elemental Carbon (EC) showed that the carbonaceous fraction in downtown Rome accounted for 30-40 % of the PM10 and was formed by 60-70% of EC and 30-40% of OC. Ultrafine Particle (UFP) concentrations followed a daily trend governed by both the evolution of the atmospheric mixing height and the variation of the autovehicular traffic intensity. The effect of radical photooxidative activity was evidenced by the evolution of particle number in the nucleation mode and nitrous acid concentrations: higher rates of particle formation from the gas phase were observed during periods of high solar radiation, when nitrous acid photolysis was maximum. Accordingly, the contribution of Secondary OC (OCsec) to OC was higher in summer (36%) than in winter (29%). UFP samples were collected and investigated by means of energy filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) in combination with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. EFTEM analyses showed that 76% of particles were composed of carbon. Several particles showed the presence of semi-transparent part inside. The presence of semi-transparent part inside suggested that some volatile materials such as volatile organic compounds might have evaporated under high vacuum and electron beam in the EFTEM. TEM analysis of individual particle can provide useful information to toxicologists for the evaluation of the toxic effects increasingly identified with ultrafine and nanoparticulates in the air. © by PSP.


Scarselli A.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | Vonesch N.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | Melis P.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | Massari S.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | And 3 more authors.
Industrial Health | Year: 2010

The aim of this study is to analyze the information on workers and exposures to biological agents in Italy, collected by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention in the period 1994-2008 on the basis of a regulation. Employers are asked to identify the biological agents and to report data on employees exposed to biological hazards. Biological agents included in the system belong to risk group 3 and 4 of the European Union classification, and are grouped by family and transmission type. Data analyzed in this study regard 90 firms (28% in "Laboratory analysis clinics" economic activity) and 2, 194 workers exposed to biological agents in the period 1994-2008. The most frequent biological agent reported is Salmonella typhi, while the one which counted more exposures is Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Nonetheless the incompleteness of Italian legislative framework about "exposure registers" to biological agents in the workplace, the identification of large groups of workers "at risk" can contribute to undertake epidemiological studies aimed at the prevention of occupational infection diseases.


Scarselli A.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | Massari S.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | Binazzi A.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | Di Marzio D.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2010

Objective: To analyze data stored in the National Register of Occupational Cancers, set up by law at the Italian Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention. Methods: Statistical analyses were performed on economic activity, cancer site, and carcinogenic agent. Mesothelioma cases were excluded because they were exhaustively recorded and managed in a proper register. Results: The number of cancers diagnosed between 1995 and 2008 was 936 (92% men). Lung cancer was the most frequently reported neoplasm (58% of cases). The metal industry had the highest reporting percentage (15%), and silica was the most common causative agent (20%). Conclusions: Despite some limits and incompleteness pertaining to data flow, the results of this study are in accordance with epidemiological findings on occupational cancer risks. The collection of information on occupational cancers is of primary importance to plan targeted prevention programs. Copyright © 2010 by American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.


Trevisi R.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL | Orlando C.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Orlando P.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Amici M.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Simeoni C.,National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention ISPESL
Radiation Measurements | Year: 2012

In Italy an extensive survey has been carried out with the aim to evaluate annual average radon concentration in underground workplaces. The survey covered 933 underground rooms located in 311 bank workplaces spread throughout in all Italian regions; at this scope the sampling was stratified random in order to be representative on national scale. The annual radon concentration was estimated by using passive radon dosemeters (NRPB/SSI type holder and CR-39 as detector): the devices were exposed for a period of about 3 months and 4 cycles were performed to cover a solar year. The radon levels in underground workplaces ranged from 27 to 4851 Bq/m 3 with an overall mean value of 153 Bq/m 3. As expected, radon distribution is not uniform throughout Italy: in several regions high radon annual averages have been found, confirming previous surveys. The analysis of data shows a high variability among regions and intra-region but low spread among rooms belonging to the same workplace. About 5% of underground workplaces displayed radon concentration exceeding 400 Bq/m 3, and the 4.4% exceeds 500 Bq/m 3, the national action level for the exposure to natural radioactivity in workplaces. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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