Research and Development Section

Japan

Research and Development Section

Japan
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Fent K.W.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | Evans D.E.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | Booher D.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | Pleil J.D.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene | Year: 2015

Firefighters personal protective equipment (PPE) ensembles will become contaminated with various compounds during firefighting. Some of these compounds will off-gas following a response, which could result in inhalation exposure. This study was conducted to determine the magnitude and composition of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) generated during controlled structure burns that subsequently off-gassed from the firefighters PPE, and were systemically absorbed and exhaled in firefighters breath. Three crews of five firefighters performed entry, suppression, and overhaul during a controlled burn. We used evacuated canisters to sample air inside the burn structure during active fire and overhaul. After each burn, we placed PPE from two firefighters inside clean enclosures and sampled the air using evacuated canisters over 15 min. Firefighters exhaled breath was collected ∼1 hr before and 4-14 min after each burn. Using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, the evacuated canister samples were analyzed for 64 VOCs and the exhaled breath samples were analyzed for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and styrene (BTEXS). Fourteen of the same VOCs were detected off-gassing from PPE in 50% or more of the samples. Compared to background levels, we measured >5 fold increases in mean off-gas concentrations of styrene, benzene, 1,4-dichlorobenzene, acetone, and cyclohexane. Several of the compounds detected off-gassing from PPE were also measured at concentrations above background during active fire and overhaul, including benzene, propene, and styrene. The overhaul and off-gas air concentrations were well below applicable short-term occupational exposure limits. Compared to pre-burn levels, we measured >2 fold increases in mean breath concentrations of benzene, toluene, and styrene after the burns. Air concentrations of BTEXS measured off-gassing from firefighters used PPE and in firefighters post-burn exhaled breath were significantly correlated. The firefighters may have absorbed BTEXS through both the dermal route (during firefighting) and inhalation route (from off-gassing PPE after firefighting). Firefighters should be made aware of the potential for inhalation exposure when doffing and traveling in confined vehicles with contaminated PPE and take measures to minimize this exposure pathway. © 2015 JOEH, LLC.


Fent K.W.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | Eisenberg J.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | Snawder J.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | Sammons D.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | And 5 more authors.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene | Year: 2014

Turnout gear provides protection against dermal exposure to contaminants during firefighting; however, the level of protection is unknown. We explored the dermal contribution to the systemic dose of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other aromatic hydrocarbons in firefighters during suppression and overhaul of controlled structure burns. The study was organized into two rounds, three controlled burns per round, and five firefighters per burn. The firefighters wore new or laundered turnout gear tested before each burn to ensure lack of PAH contamination. To ensure that any increase in systemic PAH levels after the burn was the result of dermal rather than inhalation exposure, the firefighters did not remove their self-contained breathing apparatus until overhaul was completed and they were >30 m upwind from the burn structure. Specimens were collected before and at intervals after the burn for biomarker analysis. Urine was analyzed for phenanthrene equivalents using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a benzene metabolite (s-phenylmercapturic acid) using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry; both were adjusted by creatinine. Exhaled breath collected on thermal desorption tubes was analyzed for PAHs and other aromatic hydrocarbons using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. We collected personal air samples during the burn and skin wipe samples (corn oil medium) on several body sites before and after the burn. The air and wipe samples were analyzed for PAHs using a liquid chromatography with photodiode array detection. We explored possible changes in external exposures or biomarkers over time and the relationships between these variables using non-parametric sign tests and Spearman tests, respectively. We found significantly elevated (P < 0.05) post-exposure breath concentrations of benzene compared with pre-exposure concentrations for both rounds. We also found significantly elevated post-exposure levels of PAHs on the neck compared with pre-exposure levels for round 1. We found statistically significant positive correlations between external exposures (i.e. personal air concentrations of PAHs) and biomarkers (i.e. change in urinary PAH metabolite levels in round 1 and change in breath concentrations of benzene in round 2). The results suggest that firefighters wearing full protective ensembles absorbed combustion products into their bodies. The PAHs most likely entered firefighters' bodies through their skin, with the neck being the primary site of exposure and absorption due to the lower level of dermal protection afforded by hoods. Aromatic hydrocarbons could have been absorbed dermally during firefighting or inhaled during the doffing of gear that was off-gassing contaminants. © 2014 The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.


Karim N.S.A.,International Islamic University Malaysia | Nordin Z.A.,Islamic University | Maidin A.J.,International Islamic University Malaysia | Ismail M.S.,Research and Development Section
Proceedings 2010 International Symposium on Information Technology - Visual Informatics, ITSim'10 | Year: 2010

This paper illustrates the scenario of ICT application in land administration in Malaysia in support for effective and efficient administrative processes and development of land in the country. Land administration system, being heavily regulated through the provision of law, is seen as complicated and requires thorough analysis from both the ICT and legal perspectives, if the government were to move towards effective e-government services. A research is, therefore, proposed and preliminary works conducted to investigate the legal provisions and the existing ICT applications in land administration nationwide in order to provide solutions for the government to be better prepared for the future integrated electronic environment. © 2010 IEEE.


Majdi Y.,Arup | Hsu C.T.T.,New Jersey Institute of Technology | Punurai S.,Research and Development Section
Engineering Structures | Year: 2014

Composite action in systems consisting of steel and concrete depends on an effective shear-transfer mechanism between the two materials. Such mechanism for smooth steel surfaces inside concrete will be limited to the bond-slip behavior at the steel/concrete interfaces. This research investigates the bond-slip behavior of galvanized cold-formed (light gauge) steel profiles embedded in normal weight normal strength concrete. A new innovative pull-out test is presented which is convenient to set up and perform and reduces the undesirable parameters to the minimum. Global bond-slip curves for different values of concrete strength are obtained from such tests. Through an innovative procedure, mathematical equations and selected points from the experimental global bond-slip curves are used to develop a bi-linear local bond-slip model which represents the discussed bond-slip behavior. By curve fitting, empirical equations are proposed to determine the suggested model's parameters based on the concrete compressive strength. Finally, validity of the proposed model is explored by two methods: (1) by comparing the results from analytical equations with test results, (2) by comparing the results from finite element modeling with test results. An excellent agreement has been observed in both verification methods. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Zonthichai N.,Chulalongkorn University | Pitaksathienkul C.,Research and Development Section | Watanatada P.,Chulalongkorn University
Asian Biomedicine | Year: 2012

Background: The knee is the joint that often suffers from sport injury. Adequate post-injury rehabilitation helps the patients come back to the game earlier, and prevents re-injury. As part of the program, backward-walking is sometimes used, but information available for the knee-joint reaction force is limited. Objective: Determine tibiofemoral joint reaction force (TFJRF) during the stance phase of backward- and forward-walking at variable speeds. Methods: Fifty-four healthy Thai males (age 20 to 39 year old, body mass index <30) performed forward- and backward-walking on a split-belt treadmill to record the ground reaction force (GRF) on the force platform under each belt. The subjects were controlled to walk from the slowest to fastest speeds (0.8, 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, and 1.6 m/second). Kinematic data were recorded using six cameras, and analyzed by the motion analysis software. Based on the obtained kinematic and GRF data, TFJRF was calculated using an inverse dynamic model. Heart rates (HR) were also recorded using wireless electrocardiography. Results: Backward-walking produced higher peak TFJRF during the stance phase than that of forward-walking in every speed. The subjects had higher HR in every speed during backward-walking, but the average TFJRF was lower in all test speeds except 0.8 m/second. Conclusion: Peak TFJRF and HR during backward-walking were higher than those during forward-walking in every speed, but backward-walking showed a trend to lower the averaged TFJRF compared with forward-walking. In clinical practice, lower speed of backward-walking may be appropriate to prescribe as an exercise for those with tibiofemoral joint problems.


Mori T.,Kyoto University | Ohta S.,Kyoto University | Konda R.,Kyoto University | Ishizuka S.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Wicaksono A.,Research and Development Section
ICEEA 2010 - 2010 International Conference on Environmental Engineering and Applications, Proceedings | Year: 2010

We examined if there is a P limitation on microbial activities and the accompanying gas emissions in a humid tropical forest soil of South Sumatra, Indonesia. The soil was incubated for 30 d with and without adding P (Ca(H 2PO4)2; 2 mg P g·soil-1) after adjusting water-filled pore space (WFPS) to 75% or 100%. The cumulative CO2 emission during 30 d (mg C kg·soil-1) increased by P addition from 751 ± 105 to 959 ± 66 and from 1096 ± 36 to 1294 ± 47 at 75% and 100% WFPS, respectively, suggesting that the soil microbial activity was limited by P. P addition also increased the cumulative N2O emissions (from 10.2 ± 5.08 to 19.9 ± 6.91 and from 1405 ± 161 to 1977 ± 179 at 75% and 100% WFPS, respectively) and the cumulative NO emissions (from 354 ± 25.9 to 774 ± 52.7 and from 117 ± 14.7 to 272 ± 19.4 at 75% and 100% WFPS, respectively) during 30 d. N2O/NO ratios were always smaller than 1 at 75% WFPS, ranging from 0.03 to 0.70, while always larger than 1 at 100% WFPS, ranging from 40.3 to 94.5, suggesting that the N2O and NO were emitted mainly from nitrification at 75% WFPS and denitrification at 100% WFPS. Thus nitrification and denitrification in the soil was also limited by P. We suggest soil microbial activities and the emissions of CO2, N 2O, and NO in tropical forest might be limited by P availability, and P shortage in tropics might be suppressing the emissions of these unwelcomed gases. © 2010 IEEE.


Xiao C.W.,Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Rajput Z.I.,Zhejiang University | Bao G.,Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Hu S.H.,Zhejiang University | Soomro N.A.,Research and Development Section
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2013

This study was designed to evaluate the effects of oral administration of extracts from Cochinchina momordica seed (ECMS) or Quillaja saponaria-A (Quil-A) on the immune responses in mice immunized with foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV)-serotype O vaccine. Forty-two imprinting control region (ICR) mice were randomly divided into seven groups of 6 animals in each group, and a dose of 400 μg of Quil-A or ECMS was orally administered for 1, 2 or 3 days. After that, the animals were subcutaneously immunized twice with FMD vaccine at 3-week intervals and blood samples were collected 2-weeks after boosting for measurement of FMDV-specific IgG and its subclasses. Spleens were collected for lymphocytes proliferation assay. Results indicated that serum FMDV-specific IgG and the IgG subclass responses were significantly enhanced in mice orally administered ECMS or Quil-A when compared with the control group (p<0.05). Lymphocytes proliferation response to FMD vaccine was significantly enhanced by ECMS compared with the control (p < 0.05). This study illustrates that ECMS induced immunomodulatory effects and performed better than Quil-A.


Saxena S.,Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee | Hote Y.V.,Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee | Dhiman P.K.,Research and Development Section
Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE 3rd International Conference on MOOCs, Innovation and Technology in Education, MITE 2015 | Year: 2015

In this short paper, some fundamental study of basic control theory has been carried out using experimental kits developed under a joint venture of institute and industry interaction. The presented work mainly focuses on the study of stability issues and performance analysis of some class of control system problems, particularly, second- and third-order plants. © 2015 IEEE.


Sakai K.,Research and Development Section | Kinoshita S.,Research and Development Section | Yoshida T.,Research and Development Section | Okuyama N.,Research and Development Section | And 2 more authors.
31st Annual International Pittsburgh Coal Conference: Coal - Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, PCC 2014 | Year: 2014

Hyper-Coal (HPC) is produced by coal solvent-extraction using 2-ring aromatic solvent. HPC has excellent thermoplasticity and large potential as caking additive to make strong coke. The yield of HPC depends on the coal solubility to solvent because HPC is the soluble component of coal. Therefore, it is important for HPC production process to increase the rate of extraction. The coal dissolution takes place by thermal relaxation of molecular cohesion structure by heating whereas high temperature condition would enhance polymerization, causing decrease of coal extraction yield. However, rapid heating during solvent extraction is thought to prevent polymerization and increase solubility of coal. In this study, we focused on the extraction heating rate condition. In conventional method, after coal and solvent are mixed, the slurry is heated. In this method, the heating rate is lower than 100 K/min. In order to increase the heating rate solvent is heated to higher temperature than the extraction temperature beforehand, and coal is thrown into high temperature solvent. The latter method enables to increase the heating rate at >1000 K/min, and the consequent coal extraction yield increased with increasing the heating rate. The property of HPC produced by rapid heating is difference from that with conventional method.

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