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Bayreuth, Germany

Steckling N.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Steckling N.,Universitatsstrasse | Plass D.,Federal Environment Agency | Bose-O'Reilly S.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 4 more authors.
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes | Year: 2015

Background: Toxic mercury is still being used today for example by workers mining gold, resulting in diverse health symptoms in users and individuals in proximity. A considerable burden of disease (BoD) can be assumed, while previous analyses were limited by data scarcity. Besides limited epidemiological data, neither data about the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) nor about the disease severity (disability weight, DW) is available. The aim of the project was to develop disease profiles of chronic metallic mercury vapor intoxication (CMMVI) by including the HRQoL to improve the data basis for BoD analyses of gold miners exposed to mercury. Methods: Disease profiles comprising the disease label [a], differentiation into disease stages [b], description of the cause of exposure [c], a list of common symptoms [d], and an assessment of the HRQoL [e] were developed using expert elicitation and literature search. The HRQoL was assessed by experts using the five EuroQol dimensions accompanied by the cognition add-on questionnaire (EQ-5D + C). Results: The ten sources used for the analyses (interview transcript, presentation, and eight literature reviews) identified more than 250 terms describing 85 distinguishable health effects of CMMVI. The analysis revealed 29 common symptoms that were frequently mentioned. Moderate and severe CMMVI cases differ regarding their symptoms and/or symptom severity and HRQoL, resulting in the EQ-5D + C-3L codes 121222 and 233333, respectively. Conclusions: The profiles should be used to facilitate the ascertainment of CMMVI cases, to compare the HRQoL with other diseases, to derive DWs for improving BoD estimates, and to foster discussions about how to reduce the associated burden. © 2015 Steckling et al.

Kuznetsov V.,Universitatsstrasse | Papastavrou G.,Universitatsstrasse
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2014

Ion adsorption is a charging process that is of central importance for many hydrophobic surfaces, such as gas bubbles, oil drops, and cell membranes. This process has been studied by various techniques and different adsorption mechanisms have been proposed so far. However, different analytical methods seem to indicate the adsorptions of different types of ions, particularly hydroxyl or hydronium ions, at hydrophobic surfaces. In this work, we studied ion adsorption on modified electrodes by direct force measurements with the colloidal probe technique. The electrodes were modified with a self-assembled monolayer (SAM), and their potential was controlled externally by means of a potentiostat. Ion adsorption onto OH- or CH3-terminated SAMs was determined as a function of pH and background electrolyte concentration. Charge at the interface was found to result primarily from the adsorption of hydroxyl and hydronium ions, whereas the influence of the background electrolyte (KCl) can be neglected. For the hydronium and hydroxyl ions, we determined the adsorption constants by means of a simple semiquantitative model and found that the adsorption constant of hydroxyl ions is orders of magnitude larger than that of hydronium ions. Furthermore, ion adsorption was found to be much more pronounced for hydrophobic surfaces than for hydrophilic ones. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

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