• Takotsubo cardiomyopathy in the case of 72-year-old teacher after work-related psychological stress. Evolution of left ventricular longitudinal strain - Delayed but complete recovery in automated function imaging (AFI).

      Wierzbowska-Drabik, Karina; Marcinkiewicz, Andrzej; Hamala, Piotr; Trzos, Ewa; Lipiec, Piotr; Kurpesa, Małgorzata; Krecki, Radosław; Plewka, Michał; Kasprzak, Jarosław D.; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (2017-06-19)
      Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TC) is related to a transient systolic dysfunction of left ventricle (LV), accompanied by clinical and electrocardiographic symptoms of myocardial ischemia in the absence of hemodynamically significant coronary artery disease. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is usually provoked by a psychologically or/and physically stressful event which may be related to occupational activities. Although visually assessed evolution of LV function is well documented, the data concerning strain changes is sparse and various patterns of deformation abnormalities are suggested. We have described a 72-year-old woman with chest pain related to a lecture given at the meeting of the Senior University, fulfilling all the Mayo Clinic criteria of the TC. The longitudinal strain analysis with automated function imaging (AFI) documented severe impairment and stepwise recovery of regional and global LV contractility. The case described confirms that accurate diagnosis, treatment and documenting of functional improvement in takotsubo cardiomyopathy may enable the return to occupational activities even for elderly persons. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2017;30(4):681-683.
    • [Ten years of the application of REACH and CLP - assessing the knowledge and implementation of these regulations by Polish users of chemicals].

      Konieczko, Katarzyna; Czerczak, Sławomir; Kupczewska-Dobecka, Małgorzata; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (2019-07-16)
      Wstęp: Celem pracy było przeprowadzenie oceny świadomości dalszych użytkowników i dystrybutorów chemikaliów w Polsce na temat obowiązujących regulacji prawnych [rozporządzenia dotyczącego rejestracji, oceny i udzielania zezwoleń w zakresie chemikaliów (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals − REACH) i rozporządzenia w sprawie klasyfikacji, oznakowania i pakowania (classification, labelling and packaging − CLP)] w zakresie chemikaliów oraz określenie na tej podstawie potrzeby szkoleń i akcji informacyjnych skierowanych do tych grup zawodowych za pomocą badania ankietowego. Materiał i metody: Do przeprowadzenia ankiety wybrano internetowe oprogramowanie SurveyMonkey. Badaniami objęto 2 grupy respondentów. Pierwszą grupę osób, do których skierowano ankietę, stanowili dalsi użytkownicy i dystrybutorzy substancji chemicznych i ich mieszanin, 2 grupę – konsumenci. Wyniki: Uzyskano odpowiedzi od 65 dalszych użytkowników i dystrybutorów chemikaliów oraz od 98 konsumentów. Aż 23% respondentów nie znało obowiązków, jakie nakładają na ich przedsiębiorstwo rozporządzenia REACH i CLP. Ponad 59% badanych (dalszych użytkowników i dystrybutorów) nie miało możliwości uczestniczenia w szkoleniach dotyczących zarządzania bezpieczeństwem chemicznym w ostatnich 5 latach. Osiemdziesiąt procent respondentów było zainteresowanych uczestnictwem w nieodpłatnych kursach umożliwiających poszerzenie wiedzy z zakresu klasyfikacji, oznakowania i wprowadzania chemikaliów do obrotu. Wnioski: Pomimo 10 lat obowiązywania REACH i CLP wiele osób pracujących w przedsiębiorstwach nadal nie zna obowiązków swojej firmy określonych w tych rozporządzeniach. Odsetek pracowników pozytywnie oceniających swoje kompetencje rośnie wraz z wielkością przedsiębiorstwa. Wyniki badania ankietowego wskazują na potrzebę organizowania ustawicznych szkoleń dla osób stosujących chemikalia w działalności zawodowej oraz dla dystrybutorów. Bardzo istotne jest przeszkolenie na podstawowym poziomie dystrybutorów chemikaliów. Szkolenia powinny zapewnić im elementarną wiedzę na temat zagrożeń stwarzanych przez chemikalia, tak aby mogli te informacje w przystępny sposób przekazać konsumentom
    • Testing of the composition of e-cigarette liquids – Manufacturer-declared vs. true contents in a selected series of products

      Kucharska, Malgorzata; Wesolowski, Wiktor; Czerczak, Slawomir; Socko, Renata; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland (2016)
      Background: Electronic cigarettes are currently in common use. However, in Poland there is no specific legislation governing the sale of these products. At the same time, no information has been made public about the hazards e-cigarettes pose to the users and bystanders − passive smokers. The aim of the study was to determine the qualitative composition of the analyzed liquid, which is an essential element of regulating the distribution of such cigarettes. Material and Methods: Under this study the method for determining the composition of e-cigarette liquids was developed. This method employs gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Levels of nicotine and flavoring components were determined in 50 e-liquid samples. The results were compared with the information provided by the manufacturer on the packaging. Results: The applied method of qualitative determination helped to identify the main ingredients, such as nicotine and propylene glycol (PG). Propylene glycol was found to be present in all liquids, because it was used as the solvent for nicotine and flavors. There was a good agreement between the declared and the determined content of nicotine in the analyzed samples. The agreement was considerably poorer for the remaining e-liquid ingredients, mainly flavors. Conclusions: There was no agreement between the flavor substances specified by the manufacturer and aroma identified in the e-cigarette liquid, which may pose a risk to users of e-cigarettes, particularly those susceptible to allergies. Several unsaturated aliphatic alcohols and aldehydes found to be present in the liquids, unstable at elevated temperatures, may be more harmful to the smoker than the original compounds. Therefore, it is essential to implement in Poland the legal provisions regarding e-cigarettes.
    • The application of short-term efficiency analysis in diagnosing occupational voice disorders.

      Niebudek-Bogusz, Ewa; Just, Marcin; Tyc, Michał; Wiktorowicz, Justyna; Morawska, Joanna; Śliwińska-Kowalska, Mariola; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland; DiagNova Technologies, Wrocław, Poland; University of Lodz, Łódź, Poland (2015)
      Wstęp: Obiektywne określenie wydolności narządu głosu to problem trudny diagnostycznie. Celem pracy była ocena możliwości zastosowania krótkookresowej akustycznej analizy wydolnościowej w diagnozowaniu zawodowych zaburzeń głosu. Materiał i metody: Grupę badaną stanowiło 98 osób z dysfonią zawodową (87 kobiet, 11 mężczyzn), wybranych na podstawie badania wideostroboskopowego. Grupę porównawczą stanowiło 100 osób z głosem prawidłowym (81 kobiet, 19 mężczyzn). Porównano wyniki krótkoterminowej analizy akustycznej wykonanej za pomocą programu DiagnoScope z uwzględnieniem parametrów klasycznych (grupy Jittera, Shimmera i oceny stopnia szumów NHR) oraz nowych parametrów wydolnościowych wyznaczanych w krótkim odcinku czasowym w trakcie maksymalnie przedłużonej fonacji głoski „a”. Wyniki: Wartości wszystkich badanych parametrów klasycznych były istotnie wyższe w grupie badanej z głosem patologicznym niż w grupie porównawczej z głosem prawidłowym (p = 0,00). Parametr aerodynamiczny – maksymalny czas fonacji – był krótszy o ponad 5 s w grupie badanej niż porównawczej. Większość akustycznych parametrów wydolnościowych była także istotnie gorsza w grupie osób z dysfonią zawodową niż w porównawczej (p = 0,00). Ponadto korelacje parametrów wydolnościowych z większością akustycznych parametrów klasycznych w grupie badanej wskazują, że dla głosów z patologią zawodową zmniejszona wydolność aparatu głosowego znajduje odzwierciedlenie w strukturze akustycznej głosu. Wnioski: Parametry wydolnościowe wyznaczane podczas krótkoterminowej analizy akustycznej mogą być obiektywnym wskaźnikiem obniżonej efektywności funkcji fonacyjnej krtani, przydatnym w diagnozowaniu patologii narządu głosu o podłożu zawodowym.
    • [The prophylactic operational model integrated with occupational healthcare - Prophylactic of some types of cancers among women].

      Wiszniewska, Marta; Magnuska, Jadwiga; Lipińska-Ojrzanowska, Agnieszka; Pepłońska, Beata; Hanke, Wojciech; Kalinka, Jarosław; Skręt-Magierło, Joanna; Zadrożny, Marek; Walusiak-Skorupa, Jolanta; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (2018-08-20)
      Periodical medical examinations are mandatory for employees in Poland. This rule makes a unique opportunity during occupational health services for implementation of prophylactic activities focused on early diagnosis of various diseases, including cancers. Epidemiological data about cancers is alarming and what is more, further increase in development of cancers is being predicted in population overall. The highest incidence of cancers in the case of Polish women belongs to breast cancer (21.7% of diagnosed cancers in general), while the morbidity rate for uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and cervical cancer amounts to 7.4%, 4.7% and 3.5%, respectively. The aim of this study was to elaborate an algorithm of prophylactic activities integrated with the occupational healthcare system, based on medical literature review and guidelines concerning prophylaxis of selected cancers. Polish cancers' prophylaxis programs related to risk factors were presented in this publication and practical indications for occupational healthcare physicians were worked out. Med Pr 2018;69(4):439-455.
    • [The usefulness of bronchial challenge tests in the diagnosis of occupational asthma].

      Nowakowska-Świrta, Ewa; Wiszniewska, Marta; Walusiak-Skorupa, Jolanta; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (2018-08-20)
      Bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) is the individual ability to respond with bronchoconstriction to a variety of specific and nonspecific stimuli which do not cause these symptoms among healthy subjects. Bronchial hyperresponsiveness is one of the hallmark features of asthma. The degree of bronchial hyperresponsiveness is variable among individuals with asthma and may correlate to its severity (the more severe asthma the higher bronchial hyperreactivity). Bronchial hyperresponsiveness is evaluated by performing bronchial provocation test (BPT). Provocation tests are classified - according to their mechanisms - into direct and indirect tests. Direct challenge tests are highly sensitive and they are used primarily to rule out asthma. In contrast, provocation tests with indirect stimuli are less sensitive but more specific to the direct tests; they are used generally to confirm the diagnosis of asthma and they allow for more accurate conclusions about inflammatory lesions in the case of a patient. Bronchial provocation tests play a significant role in occupational medicine. They are particularly relevant to be performed prior to employment, during periodic examinations, and to diagnose and monitor both occupational asthma and work-related asthma. This article presents selected bronchial provocation tests and their usefulness in the diagnosis of occupational asthma. Med Pr 2018;69(4):457-471.
    • Today’s oxidative stress markers

      Czerska, Marta; Mikolajewska, Karolina; Zielinski, Marek; Gromadzinska, Jolanta; Wasowicz, Wojciech; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland (2015)
      Oxidative stress represents a situation where there is an imbalance between the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the availability and the activity of antioxidants. This balance is disturbed by increased generation of free radicals or decreased antioxidant activity. It is very important to develop methods and find appropriate biomarkers that may be used to assess oxidative stress in vivo. It is significant because appropriate measurement of such stress is necessary in identifying its role in lifestyle-related diseases. Previously used markers of oxidative stress, such as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) or malondialdehyde (MDA), are progressively being supplemented by new ones, such as isoprostanes (IsoPs) and their metabolites or allantoin. This paper is focusing on the presentation of new ones, promising markers of oxidative stress (IsoPs, their metabolites and allantoin), taking into account the advantage of those markers over markers used previously.
    • Trafnosc diagnostyczna oznaczen alergenowo swoistych przeciwcial IgE w zawodowej alergii drog oddechowych na czynniki o duzej masie czasteczkowej.

      Zgorzelska-Kowalik, Joanna; Walusiak-Skorupa, Jolanta; Nowakowska-Swirta, Ewa; Wiszniewska, Marta; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland (2017-02-28)
      The performance of specific inhalation challenge test (SICT) - reference method in diagnostics of occupational allergy - has some limitations due to health status of a particular patient. Therefore, it is extremely important to identify usefulness of other tests, and the evaluation of diagnostic accuracy of commercially available serum specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) kits to the most common high molecular weight agents has been launched.
    • Transcriptomic analysis of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway reveals the dual role of the c-Jun oncogene in cytotoxicity and the development of resistance in HL-60 leukemia cells in response to arsenic trioxide.

      Roszak, Joanna; Smok-Pieniążek, Anna; Stępnik, Maciej; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland (2017-12)
      Arsenic trioxide (ATO) is a well-recognized antileukemic drug used for the treatment of newly diagnosed and relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). A major drawback of therapy with ATO is the development of APL cell resistance, the mechanisms of which are still not clear.
    • The Underground Tourist Route Kowary Drifts

      Olszewski, Jerzy; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine
      In recent decades, we have seen a rapid increase in the number of underground tourist routes. One of them, the underground tourist route “Kowary Drifts” placed in the tunnel No. 9 in the former uranium mine “Liczyrzepa”, was launched in 2002. Thanks to the high awareness of the owners, since the very beginning the route has been fully controlled, including control of exposure to radon. For the measurement of radon concentration trace detectors and scintillation chambers were used. Long-term studies have shown that the average concentration in this tourist route is 500 Bqm-3. Staff of the underground tourist route, and inhalation should be counted in the category of B radiation exposure
    • An unjustified prognosis of the number of asbestos-related lung cancer cases caused by an increase in airborne asbestos concentrations as a result of removing of asbestos-cement products.

      Szeszenia-Dabrowska, Neonila; Swiatkowska, Beata; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland (2015-03-22)
      We have read the recently published article under an interesting title “Environmentally Related Diseases and the Possibility of Valuation ofTheir Social Costs” by I. Hajok et al. [1], the main objective of which was “to estimate the risks of the morbidity of the asbestos-related lung cancer in the general population of Poles as the result of increased exposure to asbestos fibers which occurs during the removal and disposal of asbestos-cement products in Poland.” Contrary to mesothelioma, considered to be a neoplasm specific to environmental exposure to asbestos [2–6], the risk of lung cancer is rarely a subject of analysis in the context of environmental exposure of residents. It is, among others, due to having no features of neoplasm that enable the indication of asbestos as a causative factor, as well as numerous competitive factors of the incidence of this neoplasm. According to the recommendations of the experts of WHO, in the case of this kind of neoplasm, the only practical approach is to use the population attributable fraction (PAF) [7, 8]. Therefore, the published article is even more noteworthy; its contents raise a number of questions and doubts concerning both substantive bases and methodological approach to the analysis.
    • Urinary Bisphenol A Levels and Male Fertility.

      Radwan, Michał; Wielgomas, Bartosz; Dziewirska, Emila; Radwan, Paweł; Kałużny, Paweł; Klimowska, Anna; Hanke, Wojciech; Jurewicz, Joanna; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (2018-11)
      Bisphenol A (BPA) is a high-production volume industrial chemical found in many consumer products. BPA is a suspected potent endocrine disruptor, with endocrine-disrupting properties demonstrated in animal studies. Few human studies have examined bisphenol A exposure in relation to male fertility and, results are divergent. The aim of the study is to examine the associations between urinary BPA concentration and male fertility. Bisphenol A urinary concentrations were measured using gas chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry in 315 men under 45 years of age with normal sperm concentration (⩾15 mln/ml) recruited from a male reproductive health clinic. Participants were interviewed and provided a semen sample. BPA was detected in 98.10% of urine samples, with a median concentration of 1.87 µg/l (1.63 µg/ g creatinine). A multiple linear regression analysis identified a positive association between the urinary concentrations of bisphenol A 25th-50th percentile and total sperm sex chromosome disomy ( p = .004). Also when modeled as continuous variable urinary BPA concentration increased total sperm sex chromosome disomy ( p = .01). Urinary concentration of BPA also increase the percentage of immature sperm (HDS) ( p = .018) and decrease motility ( p = .03). The study provides evidence that exposure to BPA is associated with poorer semen quality. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings.
    • Use of work-life balance benefits guaranteed by law in Poland - Do size of the enterprise and gender matter?

      Merecz-Kot, Dorota; Drabek, Marcin; Stanczak, Aleksander; Andysz, Aleksandra; Jacukowicz, Aleksandra; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (2017-07-26)
      The paper is aimed at indicating the similarities and differences in use of benefits supporting work-life balance (WLB) between women and men working in Polish small/medium and large enterprises.
    • Usefulness of Biomarkers in Work-Related Airway Disease.

      Lipińska-Ojrzanowska, Agnieszka; Marcinkiewicz, Andrzej; Walusiak-Skorupa, Jolanta; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (2017)
      Determination of biomarkers may be useful in the surveillance of occupational exposure and workers' health. The possibility of predicting development/clinical course of specific disorders or current disease, diagnosing in early steps, and health condition monitoring is a real necessity. Various agents present in the workplace environment (or their metabolites) can be measured in samples possessed from human body (blood and urine, saliva, etc.). On the other hand, inhalant exposure may induce specific or non-specific, local or systemic, acute or chronic biological response expressed by synthesis or releasing specific or non-specific substances/mediators that also can be determined in blood, nasal and bronchial lavage or sputum, tear fluid, exhaled breath, etc. The least is known about genetic markers which may predict individual susceptibility to develop some work-related disorders under the influence of occupational exposure. Due to common exposure to inhalant agents at workplace, researches on biomarkers that allow to inspect the impact of exposure to humans' health are still needed. The authors of this article summarize the utility of biomarkers' determination in work-related airway diseases in a recent clinical approach.
    • [Using of the ROSA method to assess the musculoskeletal load on computer workstations].

      Jóźwiak, Zbigniew; Makowiec Dąbrowska, Teresa; Gadzicka, Elżbieta; Siedlecka, Jadwiga; Szyjkowska, Agata; Kosobudzki, Marcin; Viebig, Piotr; Bortkiewicz, Alicja; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (2019-12-03)
      Wstęp: Celem pracy było porównanie obciążenia układu mięśniowo-szkieletowego ocenianego za pomocą metody szybkiej oceny obciążenia fizycznego na stanowiskach w pracy biurowej (rapid office strain assessment − ROSA) i metody szybkiej oceny obciążenia fizycznego ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem kończyn górnych (rapid upper limb assessment − RULA) u operatorów komputerowych oraz określenie korelacji wyników z występowaniem i nasileniem dolegliwości mięśniowo-szkieletowych (musculoskeletal complaints − MSCs) u tych osób. Materiał i metody: W grupie 72 osób (38 kobiet i 34 mężczyzn) pracujących przy komputerze > 4 godz./dobę do oceny obciążenia wykorzystano metody ROSA i RULA. Kwestionariusz wzorowany na Standardized Nordic Questionnary służył do oceny częstotliwości i nasilenia MSCs. Wyniki: Dolegliwości mięśniowo-szkieletowe wystąpiły u ok. 66% kobiet i 62% mężczyzn badanych w ciągu ostatniego roku. Wyniki uzyskane za pomocą obu metod nie były zbieżne. Końcowy wynik metody ROSA (skala 1−10 pkt) wynosił 26 pkt (M±SD = 3,51±1,09), a metody RULA (skala 1−7 pkt) – 2−4 pkt (M±SD = 3,00±0,17). Wartości ocen cząstkowych i oceny końcowej w metodzie ROSA były skorelowane z liczbą jednocześnie występujących dolegliwości oraz nasilenia dolegliwości w różnych okolicach układu mięśniowo-szkieletowego. Ocena pozycji poszczególnych części ciała podczas pracy u osób z dolegliwościami i bez nich, przeprowadzona za pomocą metody RULA, była prawie identyczna. Wnioski: Wykazano, że metoda ROSA jest użytecznym i łatwym w użyciu narzędziem do oceny komputerowych stacji roboczych, którego stosowanie może być rozpowszechniane.
    • Validation of the Polish version of the <i>Dizziness Handicap Inventory</i>.

      Szostek-Rogula, Sylwia; Zamysłowska-Szmytke, Ewa; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (2019-09-18)
      Background: The Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) was established to assess the impact of dizziness and balance problems on the quality of life. The aim of the study was to validate the Polish version of DHI for patients with vestibular disorders. Material and Methods: Two hundred and thirty patients diagnosed with vestibular impairment and/or positional vertigo were included in the study. The mean age of the study group was 56.2 years (SD = 13.6). The factor structure (the principal component analysis − PCA), internal consistency (Cronbach’s α), and discrimination ability (the receiver operating characteristic [ROC] curve) were examined. Results: A satisfactory internal consistency was found (Cronbach’s α coefficient = 0.92), while no floor or ceiling effect was revealed. The Dizziness Handicap Inventory demonstrated a good ability to discriminate between patients with and without the handicap (sensitivity and specificity about 80%, the cutoff point = 56). In PCA a 3-factor solution was obtained, with the factors related to restrictions in daily life, positional symptoms and visual-vestibular symptoms, which was not in agreement with the subscales provided in the original version. Conclusions: The Polish version of DHI demonstrates satisfactory measurement properties and can be used to assess the impact of dizziness on handicap and the quality of life. The functional, emotional, and physical subscales were not confirmed. In particular, the functional subscale revealed no satisfactory internal consistency which provides an indication for further studies.
    • Vertigo and severe balance instability as symptoms of Lyme disease - literature review and case report.

      Józefowicz-Korczyńska, Magdalena; Zamysłowska-Szmytke, Ewa; Piekarska, Anna; Rosiak, Oskar; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (2019-11-12)
      Lyme disease is caused by a tick-borne bacterium Borrelia sp. This zoonotic infection is common in the Northern Hemisphere, e.g., Europe. Clinical presentation may involve multisystem symptoms and depends on the stage of the disease. The involvement of nervous system in Lyme disease is commonly referred to as neuroborreliosis. Neuroborreliosis may involve meningitis, mononeuritis multiplex, or cranial neuritis including the inflammation of vestibulocochlear nerve. In the late or chronic stage of Lyme disease, vestibular involvement may be the sole presentation, although such cases are rare. Our study was designed to present our own case and review the available literature reporting cases of neuroborreliosis with vertigo/dizziness and severe balance instability as a main disease symptom. The studies were obtained by searching the following databases: PubMed, Medline, and Embase. We included case reports of Lyme disease presenting with vertigo or gait disorders as the main symptom, written in the English language. Initially, 60 papers were identified. After analyzing the abstracts, seven manuscripts focusing on 13 clinical cases were included in this review. We conclude that the patients with neuroborreliosis sometimes present vertigo/dizziness, but rarely gait ataxia as a sole symptom. These complaints are usually accompanied by a hearing loss. Antibiotic treatment is usually effective. Balance instability in the patients with neuroborreliosis may persist but it responds well to vestibular rehabilitation.
    • Visible fungi growth and dampness assessed using a questionnaire versus airborne fungi, (1→3)-β-d-glucan and fungal spore concentrations in flats.

      Sowiak, Małgorzata; Jezak, Karolina; Kozajda, Anna; Sobala, Wojciech; Szadkowska-Stanczyk, Irena; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (2015-02-28)
      Objectives: The study aimed at determination of the usefulness of the subjective assessment of selected signs of fungi growth in flats and microclimate parameters to indicate the actual air contamination with culturable fungi, (1→3)-β-D-glucans and fungal spores. Material and Methods: This analysis covered 22 flats, the inhabitants of which declared in a questionnaire interview the presence of the developed mycelium on solid surfaces in the flat. Air samples for determination of the culturable fungi, (1→3)-β-D-glucans and (viable and non-viable) fungal spores concentrations indoor and outdoor the flats during the heating period were collected. During bioaerosol sampling microclimate parameters were measured. Predictive models for concentrations of the tested biological agents with regard to various ways to assess fungal contamination of air in a flat (on the basis of a questionnaire or a questionnaire and microclimate measurements) were built. Results: The arithmetic means of temperature, relative humidity, CO2 concentration and air flow velocity in the flats were respectively: 20.5°C, 53%, 1431.6 ppm and 0 m/s. The geometric mean concentrations of airborne fungi, (1→3)-β-D-glucans and fungal spores in these premises amounted to 2.9×102 cfu/m3, 1.6 ng/m3 and 5.7×103 spores/m3, respectively. The subjective assessment of fungi growth signs and microclimate characteristics were moderately useful for evaluation of the actual airborne fungi and (1→3)-β-D-glucan concentrations (maximum percent of explained variance (VE) = 61% and 67%, respectively), and less useful in evaluation of the actual fungal spore concentrations (VE < 29%). In the case of fungi, higher usefulness was indicated of the questionnaire evaluation supported by microclimate measurements (VE = 61.2%), as compared to the evaluation only by means of a questionnaire (VE = 46.9%). Conclusions: Subjective evaluation of fungi growth signs in flats, separately or combined with microclimate measurements, appeared to be moderately useful for quantitative evaluation of the actual air contamination with fungi and their derivatives, but more extensive studies are needed to strengthen those findings.
    • Vitamins A and E during Pregnancy and Allergy Symptoms in an Early Childhood-Lack of Association with Tobacco Smoke Exposure.

      Gromadzinska, Jolanta; Polanska, Kinga; Kozlowska, Lucyna; Mikolajewska, Karolina; Stelmach, Iwona; Jerzyńska, Joanna; Stelmach, Włodzimierz; Grzesiak, Mariusz; Hanke, Wojciech; Wasowicz, Wojciech; et al. (2018)
      Epidemiological studies have suggested an association between maternal antioxidant levels during pregnancy and development of allergic diseases in their offspring. The aim of the study was to determine plasma vitamins A and E concentration in the 1st trimester of pregnancy, at delivery and in cord blood and to search for a relationship with allergy in up to 2-year-old children who were prenatally exposed or not exposed to tobacco smoke. The study participants included 252 mother-child pairs from Polish Mother and Child Cohort. Vitamin concentrations were measured using the HPLC-UV method, smoking status—as saliva cotinine level using the HPLC-MS/MS technique. Children’s health status was assessed using a questionnaire and pediatricians/allergists examination. Cord plasma vitamin concentrations were significantly lower than their levels in maternal plasma in the 1sttrimester and at delivery (p < 0.001). Significantly higher concentrations of vitamin E have been shown to occur during the 1st trimester of pregnancy in plasma of the women who have actively/passively smoked cigarettes compared to the non-smokers (p < 0.02). Multivariate analysis with inclusion of a variety of confounding factors have not indicated any statistically significant associations between β-carotene, vitamins A and E and the risk of food allergy, atopic dermatitis and wheezing in their children up to 2 years of age. The interaction between smoking during pregnancy and vitamins levels on the risk of allergy was not statistically significant (p < 0.4). The relationship between plasma concentration of vitamins A and E, and the risk of allergy in their young children has not been demonstrated.
    • Wełna mineralna. Zagrożenia dla użytkowników, stan prawny i zasady bezpiecznego postępowania.

      Kupczewska-Dobecka, Małgorzata; Czerczak, Sławomir; Konieczko, Katarzyna; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, 2019)