This prospective study of female prison inmates assessed the effects of prison labour life style on the blood pressure (BP), serum lipids, and body mass index of pre- and postmenopausal female prisoners. This study was carried out in the largest women's prison, located in a town in the North East of Japan. The prison serves a reasonably large community. Three hundred and twelve premenopausal female prisoners and 88 postmenopausal female prisoners in a women's prison participated in this study. Weight and height were measured to calculate the body mass index, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure were measured with a sphygmomanometer. Serum samples were collected for serum lipid estimations. Base-line data of two groups were compared by unpaired t-test, and changes in these data from the initial values were tested by paired t-test. From our limited data, both the pre- and postmenopausal female prisoners showed decreases in systolic and diastolic pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol, and body mass index. Both also showed increases in HDL-cholesterol. Given that almost all the women in this prison had the same labour life style, the findings of this study suggest that BP, the serum lipids concentration and obesity can be changed effectively by prison labour life, but are less readily changed in postmenopausal than in premenopausal women.
Symptom endorsements and response patterns of 1, 862 Japanese adult workers (1, 509 males and 353 females) to the Japanese adaptation of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Form Y (STAI-JY) items, were examined in this study. The mean STAI-JY State and Trait anxiety scores of Japanese workers were substantially higher than those of American workers reported in the Manual, due primarily to the much higher scores of Japanese workers in responding to the anxiety-absent items. The correlations between the State and Trait anxiety-present scales and those of their anxiety-absent scales' counterparts were higher than those between the State anxiety-present and -absent scales and those of their Trait scales' counterparts. These findings suggested that responses to anxiety-present and -absent items should be considered independently in scoring the STAI-JY scales in Japanese working adults.
We have found decreased serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) levels in human males exposed to toluene at low levels, suggesting that toluene exposure or related factors in lifestyles were likely to have lowering effects on serum ALT and GGT activities between toluene-exposed and the control subjects. The present study was attempted to investigate whether there is any difference in nutrient intakes between the two groups. Biochemical results were also analysed together with nutrient intakes. In agreement with our previous reports, the present data also provided significant evidence of lowered serum ALT and GGT activities in toluene-exposed males after age matching (p<0.05). Energy intakes from carbohydrate, fat and protein were 64.6%, 22.5% and 12.9% in the toluene-exposed group and 62.0% (p<0.05), 24.8% (p<0.05) and 13.2%, respectively, in the controls. Multiple regression analysis indicated that carbohydrate, protein and energy intakes are significantly associated with toluene exposure. No significant differences in alcohol consumption, tobacco use, work intensities and physical activities were found between the two groups. The present results suggest that the toluene exposure at levels generally considered to be safe, probably have some biological effects on the liver and related organs.
Clinical data of workers (40-69yrs) operating chain saws for a ten-year period from 1986 to 1995 were analyzed to assess the evaluation standard of finger skin temperature for a cold provocation test (10°C 10min). Screening points of finger skin temperature for screening 191 workers with a vibration induced white finger (VWF) were obtained from receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. The screening points at 5min and 10min after a cold provocation were approximately equal to 50th percentiles of 217 workers with no symptoms (NS group). The screening points of recovery rates at 5min and 10min after a cold provocation almost agreed with 50th percentiles in NS group. A new evaluation standard was prepared in reference to these screening points and finger skin temperatures by fraction in NS group. The new one will be useful for the health care of workers operating vibrating tools under present working conditions.
The frequency of sister-Chromatid exchange (SCE) induced by ethylene glycol monomethylether (EGME) and methoxyacetic acid (MAA), a major metabolite of EGME, was determined in human peripheral blood, and for EGME in mouse bone marrow cells. In the xperiment on the human peripheral blood, the induction of SCE was observed after the addition of MAA to the culture medium, but not after the addition of EGME. However, EGME induced SCE in the mouse bone marrow cells, when administered by intraperitoneal injection. These results suggested that EGME did not induce SCE itself, but that MAA, one of the major metabolites of EGME induces SCE.
Many studies have reported that stress affects the immune system. It is known that professional drivers are exposed to various forms of job-related stress. The aim of the present study was to investigate the job stress of taxi drivers based on the mitogen responses and cytokine production of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBMC), combined with interviews on lifestyles and income. We examined randomly selected male taxi drivers aged 40-59 years who were members of the Kansai District Union of Private Railway, Hire, and Taxi at the end of 1992 and 1993. At the end of 1993, they were struck by a severe economic depression. The lymphocyte proliferative responses to phytohemagglutinin (PHA), concanavalin A (ConA), poke weed mitogen (PWM), and PHA-induced interleukin-2 (IL-2) and IL-4 production of the taxi drivers were at the same level as those of the control subjects as measured in 1992.The mitogen responses and IL-2 production of taxi drivers were found to have significantly decreased in 1993, while their IL-4 production was significantly elevated. Lifestyles of normal PHA respondents were significantly different from those of low-PHA respondents in 1992. However, in 1993, these differences were unclear. The immune alterations of taxi drivers who were prohibited from working overtime were more profound than those of the drivers who were allowed to do so. These results indicate that in addition to driving stress, the daily earnings affect taxi drivers as a strong stress or that induces immunological changes.
In this study, the severity and time course of inflammation induced by 4 organic solvents (acetone, cyclohexane, toluene and m-xylene), and the effect of neuropeptides during the inflammation were investigated in the hairless rat abdominal skin. Plasma extravasation used as a parameter of inflammation was measured by Evans blue and 125I-bovine serum albumin (BSA). Total volume of plasma extravasation induced by 4 organic solvents in 240-min exposure was as follows: toluene>m-xylene>cyclohexane>acetone=0. While hydrophobic solvents (toluene, m-xylene, cyclohexane) induced plasma extravasation, the hydrophilic solvent, acetone, did not induce plasma extravasation. It was suggested that the severity and time course of plasma extravasation depend on chemical characteristics of the organic solvents. In immunohistochemical study, substance P (SP)-immunoreactive nerve fibers (IRNF) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) -IRNF were intact during 240-min exposure to acetone. In contrast, cyclohexane, toluene, and m-xylene reduced the number of SP-IRNF and CGRP-IRNF in 10min exposure and further reduced immunoreactivity. In hairless rats treated with systemic capsaicin, the above plasma extravasation was significantly reduced, along with SP-IRNF and CGRP-IRNF; however, protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5)-IRNF was nearly intact. These results indicated that certain organic solvents induce instance of inflammation that vary widely in terms of their severity and time course, and that these differences are correlated with neuropeptides.
To examine whether malignant mesothelioma due to asbestos has genetic alterations in the Ha- and Ki-ras oncogenes or in the p53 suppressor gene, we analyzed the point mutations of these genes in paraffin-embedded autopsy samples of the primary tumors of malignant mesothelioma in seven asbestos patients who died from malignant mesothelioma. The genetic analysis was conducted by the polymerase chain reaction-single strand comformation polymorphysms (PCR-SSCP) method in all patients, and through the sequencing of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) bases in one patient. No genetic alterations were found in exons 1 or 2 of Ha- and Ki-ras oncogenes, or in exons 5 to 9 of the p53 gene, in any of the patients. Further studies on a larger number of patients are required to reach a definite conclusion concerning the genetic effects of asbestos on malignant mesothelioma.
The adaptation of cardiovascular and thermoregulatory responses to ozone (O3) was examined by repeated exposure of electrocardiographic (ECG) electrode- and thermistor sensor-mplanted rats to O3 for 4 consecutive days (8hrs/day). Circadian rhythms of heart rate (HR) and abdominal core temperature (Tco) were disrupted on the first and second O3 exposure days in a concentration dependent manner. The 8-hr and 12-hr averaged values of HR and Tco during the exposure period and the dark post-exposure period, respectively, decreased significantly on the first and second exposure days. The decreased HR and Tco recovered to respective control values after small but significant rebound increases on the third and fourth days of O3 exposure. The adaptation of the extrapulmonary responses to O3 exposure was discussed in light of the previously reported time periods required to abolish the spontaneous breathing, biochemical, cellular, and morphological responses to O3.
Noise and hearing ability profiles were determined in a textile factory in Vietnam. Noise mapping done in the weaving section showed that the noise levels exceeded the Vietnamese standard of 90dBA by as much as 9dBA in some areas. Audiometric tests performed on 69 female workers from the weaving section revealed that workers with more than 10 years of noise exposure had the worst hearing threshold levels at 1, 000 and 4, 000Hz. Similar findings were observed for workers greater than 35 years old. The 4, 000Hz notch, suggestive of exposure to intense noise, was noted in the audiograms of 26 subjects.
The effects of environmental conditions on stress responses to mental work, were examined by measuring urinary catecholamine and cortisol excretion and salivary cortisol concentrations before, during and after an arithmetic calculation task under 90dB(A) white noise and quiet conditions. Adrenaline excretion increased similarly during the task under both environmental conditions. The salivary cortisol level was significantly higher than the pre-task level during the task with noise, but not under quiet, conditions. The subjects reported that they felt more irritable when performing the task with noise, than under quiet conditions. The results suggest that environmental conditions may affect on the pattern of hormonal response to mental work, which may be related to psychological states of the subjects.
Swiss-Albino male rats were exposed to sulfur dioxide (SO2) (10ppm) one hour daily for 60 days and the effect on the erythrocyte antioxidant enzyme activities was studied. Erythrocyte glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD), superoxide dismutase (Cu, Zn-SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), catalase (CAT), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activities and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) of 30 rats (14 controls and 16 sulfur dioxide groups) were measured. There were no significant differences in the catalase and G-6-PD activities of SO2 group as compared with controls. GSH-Px and GST activities in SO2 group were significantly higher than those in the control group. But, there was a significant decrease in the SOD activity. The rate of TBARS formation was enhanced significantly in erythrocytes of the SO2 group relative to the control group. These results reveal that SO2 inhalation enhanced lipid peroxidation in the erythrocyte and influence the antioxidant enzymes of erythrocyte.
In an aircraft construction factory where adhesives containing Cr(VI) compounds were used, the risk of chromium exposure was studied by assessing airborne chromium levels and urinary levels of chromium excretion. Chromium exposure was evaluated by personal sampling over a period of 4hr in a group of 16 occupational workers selected from a group of 55. Chromium absorption was determined by collecting urine samples from all subjects (n=55) at 3 different times: prior to the work-shift at the beginning of the working week and prior to and after the workshift at the end of the working week. Each urine sample was tested for chromium and creatinine concentration. Results showed very low exposure to airborne chromium, since values obtained (0.02-1.5μg/m3, GM: 0.17, GSD: 5.34μg/m3) were significantly lower than the ACGIH Hygiene Standard (50μg/m3). Likewise, urinary chromium excretion (0.16-7.74μg/g creat.) was higher than excretion in the general population (0.07-0.17μg/g creat.) but lower than BEI-ACGIH (30μg/g creat.). The greatest difference between excretion levels measured before and after the workshift was 2.44μg/g creat, i.e. 4 times lower than the difference proposed by ACGIH (10μg/g Great.).
Previously, we reported an increase in the number of CD4+ T lymphocytes in the peripheral blood of smokers. In the present study, subpopulations of CD4+ T lymphocytes together with CD8+T lymphocytes, total (CD3+) T lymphocytes, B (CD19+) lymphocytes, natural killer (CD16+) cells and total lymphocytes were examined by two-color staining using anti-2H4 (CD45RA) and anti-4B4 (CD29) monoclonal antibodies in 8 male smokers and 22 age-matched male non-smokers. The number of CD4+CD29+ T lymphocytes in smokers was significantly higher than that in non-smokers. The total number of CD4+ T lymphocytes in smokers was also significantly higher. No significant differences in CD8+ T, CD19+ B lymphocytes and CD16+ NK cells were found between smokers and non-smokers. Thus, it is suggested that the increase in the number of CD4+CD29+ (helper inducer) T lymphocytes is responsible for the increase in total CD4+ T lymphocytes in smokers.