State Laboratory Basel City

Basel, Switzerland

State Laboratory Basel City

Basel, Switzerland

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Porto P.,University of Calabria | Walling D.E.,University of Exeter | Alewell C.,University of Basel | Callegari G.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity | Year: 2014

Soil erosion and both its on-site and off-site impacts are increasingly seen as a serious environmental problem across the world. The need for an improved evidence base on soil loss and soil redistribution rates has directed attention to the use of fallout radionuclides, and particularly 137Cs, for documenting soil redistribution rates. This approach possesses important advantages over more traditional means of documenting soil erosion and soil redistribution. However, one key limitation of the approach is the time-averaged or lumped nature of the estimated erosion rates. In nearly all cases, these will relate to the period extending from the main period of bomb fallout to the time of sampling. Increasing concern for the impact of global change, particularly that related to changing land use and climate change, has frequently directed attention to the need to document changes in soil redistribution rates within this period. Re-sampling techniques, which should be distinguished from repeat-sampling techniques, have the potential to meet this requirement. As an example, the use of a re-sampling technique to derive estimates of the mean annual net soil loss from a small (1.38 ha) forested catchment in southern Italy is reported. The catchment was originally sampled in 1998 and samples were collected from points very close to the original sampling points again in 2013. This made it possible to compare the estimate of mean annual erosion for the period 1954-1998 with that for the period 1999-2013. The availability of measurements of sediment yield from the catchment for parts of the overall period made it possible to compare the results provided by the 137Cs re-sampling study with the estimates of sediment yield for the same periods. In order to compare the estimates of soil loss and sediment yield for the two different periods, it was necessary to establish the uncertainty associated with the individual estimates. In the absence of a generally accepted procedure for such calculations, key factors influencing the uncertainty of the estimates were identified and a procedure developed. The results of the study demonstrated that there had been no significant change in mean annual soil loss in recent years and this was consistent with the information provided by the estimates of sediment yield from the catchment for the same periods. The study demonstrates the potential for using a re-sampling technique to document recent changes in soil redistribution rates. © 2014.


Hecht M.,State Laboratory Basel City | Oehen B.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | Schulze J.,State Laboratory Basel City | Brodmann P.,State Laboratory Basel City | Bagutti C.,State Laboratory Basel City
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2014

To obtain a reference status prior to cultivation of genetically modified oilseed rape (OSR, Brassica napus L.) in Switzerland, the occurrence of feral OSR was monitored along transportation routes and at processing sites. The focus was set on the detection of (transgenic) OSR along railway lines from the Swiss borders with Italy and France to the respective oilseed processing factories in Southern and Northern Switzerland (Ticino and region of Basel). A monitoring concept was developed to identify sites of largest risk of escape of genetically modified plants into the environment in Switzerland. Transport spillage of OSR seeds from railway goods cars particularly at risk hot spots such as switch yards and (un)loading points but also incidental and continuous spillage were considered. All OSR plants, including their hybridization partners which were collected at the respective monitoring sites were analyzed for the presence of transgenes by real-time PCR. On sampling lengths each of 4.2 and 5.7 km, respectively, 461 and 1,574 plants were sampled in Ticino and the region of Basel. OSR plants were found most frequently along the routes to the oilseed facilities, and in larger amounts on risk hot spots compared to sites of random sampling. At three locations in both monitored regions, transgenic B. napus line GT73 carrying the glyphosate resistance transgenes gox and CP4 epsps were detected (Ticino, 22 plants; in the region of Basel, 159). © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Niederer M.,State Laboratory Basel City | Stebler T.,State Laboratory Basel City | Grob K.,Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich
International Journal of Cosmetic Science | Year: 2016

Synopsis Objective Lipsticks and lip care products may contain saturated hydrocarbons which either stem from mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) or are synthetic, that is polyolefin oligomeric saturated hydrocarbons (POSH). Some of these hydrocarbons are strongly accumulated and form granulomas in human tissues, which prompted Cosmetics Europe (former Colipa) to issue a recommendation for their use in lip care and oral products. From 2012 to 2014, MOSH+POSH were determined in 175 cosmetic lip products taken from the Swiss market in order to estimate their contribution to human exposure. Methods Mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons and POSH were extracted and analysed by GC with FID. Areas were integrated as a total as well as by mass ranges with cuts at n-C25 and n-C34 to characterize the molecular mass distribution. Results About 68% of the products contained at least 5% MOSH+POSH (total concentration). For regular users, these products would be major contributors to their MOSH+POSH exposure. About 31% of the products contained more than 32% MOSH+POSH. Their regular usage would amount in an estimated MOSH+POSH exposure exceeding the highest estimated dietary exposure. The majority of the products contained hydrocarbons with a molecular mass range which was not in line with the recommendations of Cosmetics Europe. Conclusions Taking into account that material applied to the lips largely ends up being ingested, MOSH and POSH levels should be reduced in the majority of cosmetic lip products. As the extensive evaluation of the data available on MOSH (EFSA J., 10, 2012, 2704) did not enable the specification of limits considered as safe, the present level of dietary exposure and its evaluation as 'of potential concern' provide the relevant bench mark, which means that lip products should contain clearly less than 5% MOSH+POSH. © 2015 Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Société Française de Cosmétologie.


Schmidlin M.,State Laboratory Basel City | Alt M.,State Laboratory Basel City | Vogel G.,State Laboratory Basel City | Voegeli U.,State Laboratory Basel City | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Applied Microbiology | Year: 2010

Aim: As a biosafety laboratory, we take samples from surfaces in microbiological laboratories to survey the handling of micro-organisms. Whereas contaminations with other micro-organisms were rare, Staphylococcus aureus was found in the working environment of many laboratories. As 20-60% of the healthy population are carriers of S. aureus we wanted to asses the effect of carriers on our sampling results. Methods and Results: Nasal swabs of staff members in nonmicrobiological laboratories and offices as well as surface samples from their personal work environment were taken and analysed for S. aureus DNA. In addition S. aureus strains were isolated using S. aureus-specific agar plates and analysed by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Our data show that contaminations with S. aureus in nonmicrobiological environments are common with 29% of the surface samples containing S. aureus DNA. In the working environment of carriers, the number of contaminations was significantly increased compared to the environment of noncarriers. Conclusion: The carrier status of staff members significantly affects the number of contaminations on laboratory surfaces. Therefore, even in the absence of intentional handling of S. aureus, contaminations can be detected on a substantial amount of surfaces. Significance and Impact of the Study: Sampling procedures need to be adapted based on these results with respect to the locations where samples are taken and the threshold for significant contaminations. Because of its wide distribution, S. aureus can serve as a marker for hygienic standards in laboratories. © 2010 The Society for Applied Microbiology.


Vanella R.,Northwestern University | Weston A.,Northwestern University | Brodmann P.,State Laboratory Basel City | Kubler E.,Northwestern University
Food Control | Year: 2014

The genetically modified flax, event FP967, with tolerance to sulfonylurea herbicides, is one of the commercial genetically modified events approved in Canada and USA.This event is not authorized in Switzerland and EU, therefore, a method to specifically detect the CDC Triffid line, was required. We revealed the 3' integration junction sequence between host plant DNA and the integrated gene construct FP967 by means of Restriction Site PCR and both a qualitative and a quantitative PCR detection assays were developed. The qualitative PCR revealed a limit of detection of 0.01% of GM flax in 100ng of genomic DNA. The quantitative PCR assay showed a limit of detection of about 9 haploid genome copies. The specificity and sensitivity of the assay indicate that the developed event-specific PCR methods can be used for identification and quantification of FP967 flax. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Schulze J.,State Laboratory Basel City | Frauenknecht T.,State Laboratory Basel City | Brodmann P.,State Laboratory Basel City | Bagutti C.,State Laboratory Basel City
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Despite cultivation and seed import bans of genetically modified (GM) oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.), feral GM plants were found growing along railway lines and in port areas at four sites in Switzerland in 2011 and 2012. All GM plants were identified as glyphosate-resistant GM event GT73 (Roundup Ready, Monsanto). The most affected sites were the Rhine port of Basel and the St. Johann freight railway station in Basel. To assess the distribution and intra- and interspecific outcrossing of GM oilseed rape in more detail, we monitored these two sites in 2013. Leaves and seed pods of feral oilseed rape plants, their possible hybridization partners and putative hybrid plants were sampled in monthly intervals and analysed for the presence of transgenes by real-time PCR. Using flow cytometry, we measured DNA contents of cell nuclei to confirm putative hybrids. In total, 2787 plants were sampled. The presence of GT73 oilseed rape could be confirmed at all previously documented sampling locations and was additionally detected at one new sampling location within the Rhine port. Furthermore, we found the glufosinate-resistant GM events MS8xRF3, MS8 and RF3 (all traded as InVigor, Bayer) at five sampling locations in the Rhine port. To our knowledge, this is the first time that feral MS8xRF3, MS8 or RF3 plants were detected in Europe. Real-time PCR analyses of seeds showed outcrossing of GT73 into two non-GM oilseed rape plants, but no outcrossing of transgenes into related wild species was observed. We found no hybrids between oilseed rape and related species. GM plants most frequently occurred at unloading sites for ships, indicating that ship cargo traffic is the main entry pathway for GM oilseed rape. In the future, it will be of major interest to determine the source of GM oilseed rape seeds. © 2014 Schulze et al.


Baumgartner V.,State Laboratory Basel City | Hohl C.,State Laboratory Basel City | Schwack W.,University of Hohenheim
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2011

High-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) coupled with bioluminescence detection using Vibrio fischeri bacteria can be used for screening for unknown substances. This is accomplished by dipping the HPTLC plate in an aqueous bacteria solution. Especially polar substances, however, can start to dissolve during this process, which leads to blurring and tailing of the zones on the plate. To overcome this disadvantage, we applied the bacteria solution by rolling. This method has been described for chemical derivatizations, but is very rarely used. The rolling device was made of commercially available household articles. Using octhilinone and methylparaben as test compounds, rolling was compared with dipping. Despite of performing the rolling process manually, the results were reproducible. Depending on the substance and its amount on the HPTLC plate, peaks were narrower, up to a factor of 4 higher and with a higher signal-to-noise ratio than after dipping. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Manova E.,ETH Zurich | von Goetz N.,ETH Zurich | Hauri U.,State Laboratory Basel City | Bogdal C.,ETH Zurich | Hungerbuhler K.,ETH Zurich
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health | Year: 2013

Organic ultraviolet (UV) filters are a group of compounds designed to absorb UV radiation and hence protect our skin against UV-induced damage. Apart from traditional sunscreens, they can be found in many other categories of personal care products (PCPs). These include skin care, facial makeup and lip care products, which are often used simultaneously, and on a regular basis. The frequency of occurrence as well as concentrations of organic UV filters contained in PCPs change over time. Furthermore, in Switzerland the exact UV filter concentrations are confidential. To date, only limited data are available for the levels of organic UV filters in PCPs, and these data refer mainly to sunscreens. In this paper, we provide an up-to-date frequency of occurrence and concentrations of organic UV filters in PCPs, including for the first time PCPs used in everyday life. A total of 116 PCPs was selected on the basis of a product-use questionnaire and distributed among seven PCP categories: lip care products, lipsticks, face creams, liquid makeup foundations, aftershaves, hand creams, and sunscreens. Concentrations of 22 organic UV filters were measured in the selected PCPs. The most frequently occurring UV filters were butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane (BMBM) detected in 82 products (71%), ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (EHMC) in 59 products (51%) and octocrylene (OCT) in 50 products (43%). BMBM, EHMC and OCT concentrations averaged 2.6%, 4.0%, and 6.0%, respectively. Overall, UV filter concentrations in PCPs applied regularly throughout the year can be as high as those in sunscreens that are primarily used for sun protection and hence applied only on selected days. PCPs that are used on a regular basis, and often simultaneously, thus represent an important and, as yet, unquantified source of UV filter exposure. This study provides essential information for aggregate exposure assessments that combine data on concentrations of individual UV filters widely used in a variety of PCP categories. © 2012 Elsevier GmbH.


PubMed | ETH Zurich and State Laboratory Basel City
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Contact dermatitis | Year: 2016

In recent years, the frequency of contact allergy to isothiazolinones has increased alarmingly in Europe, but only limited data are available on concentrations of isothiazolinones in consumer products.To examine the current frequency of isothiazolinones [methylisothiazolinone (MI), methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI), benzisothiazolinone (BIT), and octylisothiazolinone (OIT)] in a wide array of detergents and cosmetics relevant for the Swiss population.By means of a market survey, the occurrence of isothiazolinones was investigated in 1948 consumer products. Of these, 88 products were analysed by liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry after ultrasonic extraction.Only 7.6% of all cosmetics contained isothiazolinones, but the prevalence in detergents was much higher (42.9%). The measured concentration ranges in detergents were 4.3-10, 3.5-279, 3.8-186 and 7.9 ppm (one product only) for MI, MCI, BIT, and OIT, respectively. For cosmetics, these were 1.3-133 and 4.8 ppm (one product only) for MI and MCI, respectively.Our study has shown that high concentrations of isothiazolinones (including MI) can be found in a large variety of products, in particular in detergents. Therefore, the safe use of these preservatives should be re-evaluated by including detergents in the exposure assessment.


PubMed | Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich and State Laboratory Basel City
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of cosmetic science | Year: 2016

Lipsticks and lip care products may contain saturated hydrocarbons which either stem from mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) or are synthetic, that is polyolefin oligomeric saturated hydrocarbons (POSH). Some of these hydrocarbons are strongly accumulated and form granulomas in human tissues, which prompted Cosmetics Europe (former Colipa) to issue a recommendation for their use in lip care and oral products. From 2012 to 2014, MOSH+POSH were determined in 175 cosmetic lip products taken from the Swiss market in order to estimate their contribution to human exposure.Mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons and POSH were extracted and analysed by GC with FID. Areas were integrated as a total as well as by mass ranges with cuts at n-C25 and n-C34 to characterize the molecular mass distribution.About 68% of the products contained at least 5% MOSH+POSH (total concentration). For regular users, these products would be major contributors to their MOSH+POSH exposure. About 31% of the products contained more than 32% MOSH+POSH. Their regular usage would amount in an estimated MOSH+POSH exposure exceeding the highest estimated dietary exposure. The majority of the products contained hydrocarbons with a molecular mass range which was not in line with the recommendations of Cosmetics Europe.Taking into account that material applied to the lips largely ends up being ingested, MOSH and POSH levels should be reduced in the majority of cosmetic lip products. As the extensive evaluation of the data available on MOSH (EFSA J., 10, 2012, 2704) did not enable the specification of limits considered as safe, the present level of dietary exposure and its evaluation as of potential concern provide the relevant bench mark, which means that lip products should contain clearly less than 5% MOSH+POSH.

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