To know the association between psychological strain and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and to examine roles of smoking and catecholamine excretion as a possible mediator in the association, we measured mood states (Profile of Mood States, POMS), urinary catecholamines (adrenalin, noradrenalin and dopamine) from urine sample in early morning, HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) of 63 male employees on a rest day. After excluding 12 subjects who had diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance or had missing response to the questionnaire, data from 51 subjects were analyzed. The POMS anger-hostility score significantly and positively correlated with HbA1c (p<0.05), while other scale scores did not (p>0.05). Number of cigarettes smoked per day significantly and positively correlated with HbA1c (p<0.05). Urinary excretion rate of any catecholamine did not significantly correlate with HbA1c (p>0.05). Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that the anger-hostility score significantly correlated with HbA1c, after controlling for number of cigarettes per day (p<0.05). It is suggested that, among mood states, anger-hostility is associated with increased HbA1c. However, our study failed to find a mediating role of urinary catecholamines or smoking on the association between the mood and HbA1c.
In order to provide a better objective assessment of exertional dyspnea and functional impairment due to exposure to silica, 153 workers exposed to silica dust (workers) and 62 patients with silicosis (patients) were performed the medical questionnaires with special reference to exertional dyspnea and exercise testing on bicycle ergometer. Complaints of breathlessness were present in 77 (50%) workers and 53 (85%) patients. The findings of exercise tests indicated that there were definite correlations between index of dyspnea (ID), or breathing reserve (BR) and complaint of breathlessness in both the workers and patients. ID increased and BR decreased with the increasing degree of breathlessness. We defined ID>70% or BR<25l/min as abnormal criteria and checked the ratios of dyspnea quantified objectively. Thus, 30% of the workers and 56% of the patients in this study were verified to have slight or moderate breathlessness, which were considerably lower than that derived from questionnaire on dyspnea. Our results suggest that objective physiological measures like exercise testing may be of value in evaluating dyspnea in workers exposed to silica.
To determine the role of smoking in the development of pulmonary impairment in asbestos workers, 66 nonsmoking asbestos workers and 70 smoking asbestos workers were studied. Occupational and medical questionnaires, lung function and exercise test were conducted in all subjects. The frequencies of dyspnea and cough on questions were significantly higher in the smoking workers than those in nonsmoking workers. Similarly, FEV1 FEV1/FVC and DLco were significantly lower in the smoking workers. Exercise performance showed that the smoking workers had higher index of dyspnea and lower breathing reserve, Vo2 and Vo2max than nonsmoking workers did. We concluded that cigarette smoking has marked effects on both of respiratory function and exercise performance in asbestos workers. Among them, smokers show more serious obstructive impairment in static lung function testing and more significant limitation during exercise. The history of cigarette smoking deserves close attention in the evaluation of pulmonary impairment from asbestos exposure.
The purpose of this proficiency study was to assess the accuracy and consistency of blood lead level (BLLs) measurements in a study of Taiwanese adults. Three methods, including a certified blood accuracy test, an interlaboratory precision test and an intertime repeated measurement test, were applied to the six participating laboratories. Accuracy tests showed that most of the blood lead measurements were within the acceptable criteria proposed by United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC). However, an average of 11% underestimation was found at BLLs below 15μg/dl. Coefficients of variation (CVs) were high in the first 3 months. After technical improvements, the CVs were reduced to acceptable limits of around 15% at low target lead values and 7% at high lead values. Interlaboratory variations of measurements in blood from ten normal healthy donors showed that the standard deviations were less than 2μg/dl, which is within the acceptable criteria of ±4μg/dl, in 8 out of 10 samples. Repeated measurements of BLLs in 54 blood samples over two months showed that most of the differences were within the acceptable range with a few exceptions. The mean BLLs measured in the baseline (pre-test) and two months later (post-test) were nearly identical. This proficiency test provides comparable and reliable results of BLL estimations in this multilaboratory study. However, the accuracy and consistency at low BLLs need to be improved.
Analysis of the accident records of an aluminium smelting industry, covering about 2, 100 employees, over a period of three years, showed a total of 465 accidents of male employees. Out of these, 5 were fatal, 40.86% were from contacts with extreme temperatures, causing burn injury to 42.58%. Hot materials were the agents causing 44.52% of the burn injuries. Molten aluminium constituted 43.96% amongst hot materials. Injury to lower limbs constituted 38.71% and that to upper limbs 36.99%. The accidents occurring to the employees, in the age group of 26-33 years, amounted to 61.72% of the total accidents. The average number of man-days lost per year was 11, 153. Average frequency rate of accidents was 30.75 accidents per million man•hours worked. Severity rate of accidents was 2, 196 per million man-hours worked. Incident rate per thousand employees was 73.81. Average number of days lost per accidents was 71.95 days and average duration of man-hours between accidents was 32, 516. Mean age of the employees, who met with the accidents were 29.53 years. Share of accidents in the second half of each shift was always more than that in the first half, and this average was 66.66%.
Cystathionine γ-lyase activity in the sera of rats subjected to experimental hepatotoxicity after intraperitoneal administration of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) was measured and compared with activities of aspartate aminotransferase (GOT) and alanine aminotransferase (GPT), which have been clinically used for detecting liver damage. In the experimental subjects, serum levels of cystathionine γ-lyase showed a similar behavior to GOT and GPT, increasing markedly with respect to the controls after administration of CCl4 and reaching a maximum at 24 hours. No such cystathionine γ-lyase activity was detected immunochemically in the control subjects. These data suggest that measurement of serum cystathionine γ-lyase activity could be used as a sensitive and specific marker of hepatic cytolysis.
A glass syringe with disposable membrane filters was tested as a constant-flow air sampling device. The principle of this sampling device is straightforward: when the syringe is inverted vertically, the syringe plunger falls at a constant speed if an appropriate flow restrictor is connected at the syringe inlet. In case of a 100ml syringe with two Teflon membrane filters of 0.50μm in pore size and 3mm in diameter, the flow rate was 3ml/min. The flow rate was constant for a 15-minute sampling period when two to eight filters were used as a flow restrictor. A sample volume of less than 50ml is sufficient for the determination of prganic solvent vapor at the ppm level, when gas chromatography with thermal desorption method is employed. Therefore, this sampling device is useful for determining the time-weighted average concentrations of organic solvent vapor in a working environment.