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Banská Bystrica, Slovakia

Drimal M.,Matej Bel University | Lewis C.,Industrial Economics Inc. | Fabianova E.,Regional Authority of Public Health
Carpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Ambient air quality in and around the city of Ružomberok, located in northern Slovakia is influenced by a variety of malodorous reduced sulfur compounds in emissions from the pulp mill factory, which uses the kraft process. Reduced sulfur compounds are a group of inorganic and organic chemicals containing sulfur atoms in their lowest oxidation state (S2-), including hydrogen sulfide, mercaptans, dimethyl sulfide, dimethyl disulfide and other sulfur compounds. We present results from a screening level human health exposure and risk assessment of these malodorous compounds in the Ružomberok area. Analyses are based on ambient air quality monitoring data collected by the pulp mill factory and the Slovak Ministry of the Environment Hydrometeorological Institute (HI). Pulp mill factory data include measurements of total reduced sulfur compounds (TRS) and hydrogen sulfide from the year 2002. HI provided continuous monitoring of ambient TRS in one station located in this area. Samples were collected at nine sites chosen based on evaluation of geographic, climatic and demographic factors, and screening level exposure and risk assessments were performed for five exposure localities. Screening level analyses include calculation of hazard indices for each locality based on average daily dose. In addition, recommendations for health risk management at the governmental, private, and municipal level are presented. Source

Leonardi G.,Public Health England | Leonardi G.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Vahter M.,Karolinska Institutet | Clemens F.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | And 9 more authors.
Environmental Health Perspectives

Background: Inorganic arsenic (iAs) is a potent carcinogen, but there is a lack of information about cancer risk for concentrations < 100 μg/L in drinking water. Objectives: We aimed to quantify skin cancer relative risks in relation to iAs exposure < 100 μg/L and the modifying effects of iAs metabolism. Methods: The Arsenic Health Risk Assessment and Molecular Epidemiology (ASHRAM) study, a case-control study, was conducted in areas of Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia with reported presence of iAs in groundwater. Consecutively diagnosed cases of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin were histologically confirmed; controls were general surgery, orthopedic, and trauma patients who were frequency matched to cases by age, sex, and area of residence. Exposure indices were constructed based on information on iAs intake over the lifetime of participants. iAs metabolism status was classified based on urinary concentrations of methylarsonic acid (MA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA). Associations were estimated by multivariable logistic regression. R esults: A total of 529 cases with BCC and 540 controls were recruited for the study. BCC was positively associated with three indices of iAs exposure: peak daily iAs dose rate, cumulative iAs dose, and lifetime average water iAs concentration. The adjusted odds ratio per 10-μg/L increase in average lifetime water iAs concentration was 1.18 (95% confidence interval: 1.08, 1.28). The estimated effect of iAs on cancer was stronger in participants with urinary markers indicating incomplete metabolism of iAs: higher percentage of MA in urine or a lower percentage of DMA. C onclusion: We found a positive association between BCC and exposure to iAs through drinking water with concentrations < 100 μg/L. Source

Dado M.,Technical University In Zvolen | Schwarz M.,Technical University In Zvolen | Fric M.,Regional Authority of Public Health

This paper presents results of a comparative study of two measurement strategies for determination of workplace noise exposure. The goals of the study were measure A-weighted equivalent continuous sound pressure level by using integrating-averaging sound level meter and personal sound exposure meter and to assess differences between task-based and full-shift methods. Noise survey was conducted in sawmill and statistical analysis of collected data was completed using Bland - Altman method. Results of this study indicate difference between measurement strategies in term of occupational noise exposure assessment. Source

Sapkota A.,University of Maryland College Park | Zaridze D.,Cancer Research Center | Szeszenia-Dabrowska N.,University of Lodz | Mates D.,Institute of Hygiene | And 8 more authors.
Environmental Research

Background: Indoor air pollution from solid fuels is a potentially important risk factor for cancer, yet data on cancers from organs other than the lung are scarce. We investigated if indoor air pollution from coal and wood are risk factors for additional cancers, particularly that of the upper aerodigestive tract (oral cavity, larynx, pharynx and esophagus) in the high-risk areas of Central and Eastern Europe. Methods: We used data from multi-center hospital-based case-control study of 1065 histologically confirmed upper aerodigestive tract cancer cases and 1346 controls. Standardized questionnaires were used to collect information on residential fuel use for cooking and heating. Using unconditional logistic regression, we calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for upper aerodigestive tract cancer risk after adjusting for potential confounders. Results: Lifelong wood use was associated with pharyngeal and esophageal (OR 4.05, 95% CI: 1.30-12.68 and OR 2.71, 95% CI: 1.21-6.10, respectively). We observed an exposure-response relationship between duration of wood use and risk of pharyngeal cancer among those who had never used coal (Ptrend=0.04), ruling out the possibility of residual confounding by coal. Similarly, we observed an increased risk of laryngeal cancers and head & neck cancers among those who always used coal, with a noted exposure-response relationship (Ptrend<0.01). Conclusions: Our results suggest a possible role of indoor air pollution from solid fuel use in head and neck carcinogenesis in the high risk area of Central and Eastern Europe. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source

Hoek G.,University Utrecht | Pattenden S.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Willers S.,University Utrecht | Antova T.,Environmental Health Unit | And 22 more authors.
European Respiratory Journal

Studies of the impact of long-term exposure to outdoor air pollution on the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and lung function in children have yielded mixed results, partly related to differences in study design, exposure assessment, confounder selection and data analysis. We assembled respiratory health and exposure data for >45,000 children from comparable crosssectional studies in 12 countries. 11 respiratory symptoms were selected, for which comparable questions were asked. Spirometry was performed in about half of the children. Exposure to air pollution was mainly characterised by annual average concentrations of particulate matter with a 50% cut-off aerodynamic diameter of 10 μm (PM10) measured at fixed sites within the study areas. Positive associations were found between the average PM10 concentration and the prevalence of phlegm (OR per 10 μg·m-3 1.15, 95% CI 1.02-1.30), hay fever (OR 1.20, 95% CI 0.99-1.46), bronchitis (OR 1.08, 95% CI 0.98-1.19), morning cough (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.02-1.29) and nocturnal cough (OR 1.13, 95% CI 0.98-1.29). There were no associations with diagnosed asthma or asthma symptoms. PM10 was not associated with lung function across all studies combined. Our study adds to the evidence that long-term exposure to outdoor air pollution, characterised by the concentration of PM10, is associated with increased respiratory symptoms. Copyright©ERS 2012. Source

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