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Articles by Kira Tendal
Total Records ( 3 ) for Kira Tendal
  Anne M. Madsen , Kira Tendal , Vivi Schlunssen and Ivar Heltberg
  We describe an outbreak of sudden health problems in workers at a Danish grass seed plant after exposure to a particularly dusty lot of grass seeds. The seeds are called problematic seeds. The association between development of organic dust toxic syndrome (ODTS) and the handling of grass seeds causing exposure was assessed in a four-step model: (i) identification of exposure source, (ii) characterization of the emission of bioaerosols from the problematic and reference seeds, (iii) personal and stationary exposure measurement at the plant and (iv) repeated health examinations. The grass seeds were identified as the exposure source; the emissions of some bioaerosol components were up to 107 times higher from the problematic seeds than from reference seeds. Cleaning of the seeds was not enough to sufficiently reduce the high emission from the problematic seeds. Emission in terms of dust was 3.4 times as high from the problematic cleaned seeds as from cleaned reference seeds. The personal exposure reached 3 × 105 endotoxin units m-3, 1 × 106 colony-forming units (cfu) of thermophilic actinomycetes m-3, 8 × 105 cfu of Aspergillus fumigatus m-3 and 9 × 106 hyphal fragments m-3. Several workers working with the problematic seeds had symptoms consistent with ODTS. The most severe symptoms were found for the workers performing the tasks causing highest exposure. Respiratory airway protection proved efficient to avoid development of ODTS. Work with reference seeds did not cause workers to develop ODTS. Exposure was during work with the problematic seeds higher than suggested occupational exposure limits but lower than in studies where researchers for some minutes have repeated a single task expected to cause ODTS. In this study, many different bioaerosol components were measured during a whole working day. We cannot know, whether it is the combination of different bioaerosol components or a single component which is responsible for the development of ODTS. In conclusion, workers developed specific health symptoms due to the high bioaerosol exposure and were diagnosed with ODTS. Exposure to high concentrations of endotoxin, actinomycetes, fungi, hyphal fragments, β-glucan, and A. fumigatus occurred when working with a dusty lot of grass seed. Suspicion should be elicited by seeds stored without being properly dried and by seeds producing more dust than usually.
  Anne Mette Madsen , Kira Tendal , Trine Thilsing , Margit W. Frederiksen , Jesper Baelum and Jorgen V. Hansen
  The nose and mouth are the first regions of the respiratory tract in contact with airborne microorganisms. Occupational exposures to airborne microorganisms are associated with inflammation and different symptoms of the airways. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relation between occupational exposure to fungi, β-glucan, and bacteria and contents of fungi, β-glucan, and bacteria in nasal lavage (NAL) of greenhouse workers. We also studied whether contents of microorganisms in NAL were related to gender, time of the work week, and runny nose. NAL samples (n = 135) were taken Monday morning and Thursday at noon and personal exposure to inhalable bioaerosols was measured during a working day. The content of fungi and β-glucan in NAL of men was affected by their exposure to fungi and β-glucan. The content of fungi, β-glucan, and bacteria in NAL was higher Thursday at noon than Monday morning. The ratios of fungi in NAL between Thursday at noon and Monday morning were 14 (median value) for men and 3.5 for women. Gender had no effect on the exposure level but had a significant effect on the content of fungi, β-glucan, and bacteria in NAL, with the highest contents in NAL of men. On Thursdays, the median content of fungi in NAL samples of men without runny noses was 9408 cfu per NAL sample, whereas the same content for women was 595 cfu per NAL sample. Workers with runny noses had fewer fungi in NAL than workers without runny noses. A higher content of β-glucan per fungal spore was found in NAL than in the air. This indicates that mainly the larger fungal spores or pollen grains deposit in the nose. The difference between genders and the fact that the content of fungi in NAL was significantly affected by the exposure indicate that the two genders are affected by the same exposure level differently.
  Anne Mette Madsen , Athanasios Zervas , Kira Tendal , Christoffer B. Matthiesen , Ismo Kalevi Koponen and Erik Wind Hansen
  The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is the active organism in a variety of commercially available products used worldwide as biopesticides. Bt products are applied in large outdoor areas as well as in indoor environments. Even though it has been sold for decades, not much is known about the occupational exposure to Bt. The aim of this study was to obtain knowledge about the exposure to Bt subspecies israelensis (Bti) in a propagation section in a greenhouse, where Bti is applied hourly by a spray boom, and to test a preventive measure to reduce the exposure to airborne Bti. Furthermore, we wanted to study the exposure during work with potted plants treated earlier with Bti. Exposure to aerosols with Bti was measured repeatedly by personal and stationary samplers before and after the intervention. Bti was identified by polymerase chain reaction in air and soil samples. Personal exposure to inhalable Bti in the propagation section was 3×105 cfu m-3 (median level, n = 22); the personal exposure of people working with plants treated earlier with Bti was 3200 cfu m-3 (median level, n = 17). The highest single measure was found for the person working with the spray boom (7×105 cfu m-3) but airborne Bti was present at all sampling stations in the propagation section. Bti constituted a high share of the airborne cultivable bacteria and a smaller share of the soilborne bacteria in the propagation section. In a human cell assay, spiking an aerosol sample with a product with Bti increased the inflammatory potential of an aerosol sample from the greenhouse significantly. Based on the inflammatory potential and the high personal exposure, a cover around the spray boom was built as an attempt to reduce the daily exposure to Bti. The cover reduced the personal exposure to Bti from 3.0×105 cfu m-3 to 1.8×104 cfu m-3. The exposure was thus reduced by a factor 17, which is a considerable reduction. Bti was present in different particle size fractions with the majority, both before and after the intervention, in the fraction of airborne particles with an aerodynamic diameter between 1.2 and 3.0 μm. The measured occupational exposure to Bti is discussed in relation to risk evaluation.
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