Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology <div class="WordSection1"> <p><strong><em>Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology</em></strong> (Arh Hig Rada Toksikol) is an internationally peer-reviewed biomedical scientific quarterly that publishes contributions relevant to all aspects of environmental and occupational health and toxicology.</p> <p>Indexed in <strong>SCI Expanded</strong>,<strong> Medline</strong>/<strong>PubMed</strong>,<strong> Scopus</strong>, Animal Science Database, Biological Sciences (CSA), BIOSIS Previews, GreenFile, INIS, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Water Resources Abstracts, EBSCO Academic Search Complete, TEMA, TOXLINE, AGRIS, Food Science and Technology Abstracts – FSTA, and Ergonomic Abstracts.</p> <p><em>Archives</em> is a member of, and subscribes to the principles of, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).</p> <p>Impact Factor:<strong> 1.436</strong></p> <p>5-year Impact Factor:<strong><strong> 1.606</strong></strong></p> </div> Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health en-US Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology 0004-1254 The role of pumpkin pulp extract carotenoids against mycotoxin damage in the blood brain barrier in vitro <p>Some mycotoxins such as beauvericin (BEA), ochratoxin A (OTA), and zearalenone (ZEA) can cross the blood brain barrier, which is why we tested the anti-inflammatory action of a pumpkin carotenoid extract (from the pulp) against these mycotoxins and their combinations (OTA+ZEA and OTA+ZEA+BEA) on a blood brain barrier model with co-cultured ECV304 and C6 cells using an untargeted metabolomic approach. The cells were added with mycotoxins at a concentration of 100&nbsp;nmol/L per mycotoxin and pumpkin carotenoid extract at 500&nbsp;nmol/L. For control we used only vehicle solvent (cell control) or vehicle solvent with pumpkin extract (extract control). After two hours of exposure, samples were analysed with HPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS. Metabolites were identified against the Metlin database. The proinflammatory arachidonic acid metabolite eoxin (14,15-LTE4) showed lower abundance in ZEA and BEA+OTA+ZEA-treated cultures that also received the pumpkin extract than in cultures that were not treated with the extract. Another marker of inflammation, prostaglandin D2-glycerol ester, was only found in cultures treated with OTA+ZEA and BEA+OTA+ZEA but not in the ones that were also treated with the pumpkin extract. Furthermore, the concentration of the pumpkin extract metabolite dihydromorelloflavone significantly decreased in the presence of mycotoxins. In conclusion, the pumpkin extract showed protective activity against cellular inflammation triggered by mycotoxins thanks to the properties pertinent to flavonoids contained in the pulp.</p> Manuel Alonso-Garrido Noelia Pallarés Guillermina Font Paola Tedeschi Lara Manyes Manuel Lozano Copyright (c) 2021 Lara Manyes 2021-09-17 2021-09-17 72 3 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3541 Epigenetic toxicity and cytotoxicity of perfluorooctanoic acid and its effects on gene expression in embryonic mouse hypothalamus cells <p>Even though the endocrine-disrupting potential of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is well known, the mechanisms underlying its cellular and epigenetic toxicity at the critical stage of hypothalamic development are poorly understood. This is why we studied its effects on the embryonic mouse hypothalamic cell line N46 (mHypoE-N46) with a hope to shed more light on the mechanisms through which PFOA causes embryonic hypothalamic cell damage. To do that, we studied cell viability, global DNA methylation, and gene expression in cells exposed to PFOA. As the PFOA dose increased, cell viability decreased, while global DNA methylation increased. PFOA also significantly altered the expression of genes related to the apoptosis and cell cycle, neurotrophic genes, and the <em>Tet</em>, <em>Dnmt</em>, and <em>Mecp2</em> genes. Our findings suggest that exposure to PFOA affects cell survival through the reprogramming of embryonic hypothalamic DNA methylation patterns and altering cell homeostasis genes. DNA methylation and changes in the <em>Mecp2</em> gene expression induced by PFOA also imply wider ramifications, as they alter genes of other major mechanisms of the embryonic hypothalamus. Our study may therefore serve as a good starting point for further research into the mechanisms of PFOA effect of hypothalamic development.</p> Hun Kim Min-Wook Hong Yun-ho Bae Sung-Jin Lee Copyright (c) 2021 Hun Kim, Min-Wook Hong, Yun-ho Bae, Sung-Jin Lee 2021-09-17 2021-09-17 72 3 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3555 Associations of NLRP3 and CARD8 gene polymorphisms with alcohol dependence and commonly related psychiatric disorders: a preliminary study <p>We investigated two functional polymorphisms in NLRP3 inflammasome genes (<em>NLRP3</em>&nbsp;rs35829419 and&nbsp;<em>CARD8</em>&nbsp;rs2043211) and their association with alcohol dependence and related anxiety, depression, obsession-compulsion, or aggression in 88 hospitalised alcohol-dependent patients, 99 abstinent alcohol-dependent participants, and 94 controls, all male Caucasian. Alcohol dependence-related psychiatric disorders were assessed with the Zung Depression and Anxiety scale, Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, Brief Social Phobia Scale, Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale, and Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale. For genotyping we used the allele-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction-based methods. The three groups differed significantly in <em>CARD8</em>&nbsp;rs2043211 distribution (P=0.049; chi-squared=9.557; df=4). The <em>NLPR3&nbsp;</em>rs35829419 polymorphism was not significantly associated with alcohol dependence. In hospitalised alcohol-dependent patients the investigated polymorphisms were not associated with scores indicating alcohol consumption or comorbid symptoms. In abstinent alcohol-dependent subjects homozygotes for the polymorphic <em>CARD8</em> allele presented with the highest scores on the Zung Anxiety Scale (p=0.048; df=2; F=3.140). Among controls, CARD8 genotype was associated with high scores on the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (P=0.027; df=2; F=3.744). In conclusion, our results reveal that <em>CARD8&nbsp;</em>rs2043211 may play some role in susceptibility to alcohol dependence, expression of anxiety symptoms in abstinent alcohol-dependent subjects, and in obsessive compulsive drinking in healthy controls. However, further studies with larger cohorts are required to confirm these preliminary findings.</p> Anja Plemenitaš Ilješ Blanka Kores Plesničar Vita Dolžan Copyright (c) 2021 Anja Plemenitaš Ilješ, Blanka Kores Plesničar, Vita Dolžan 2021-09-17 2021-09-17 72 3 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3432 New psychoactive and classic substances in pooled urine samples collected at the Ultra Europe festival in Split, Croatia <p>We believe that analysing pooled urine samples for recreational drugs used at mass events can provide useful information about trends in drug use. An opportunity arose with the Ultra Europe music festival, which is attended by more than 150,000 people from over 150 countries every year. We analysed 30 pooled urine samples collected from portable chemical toilets located at or close to the Ultra Europe music festival venue in Split, Croatia in 2016–2018 to detect the presence of classic and new psychoactive substances (NPS). Four urine samples collected in 2016 were from a toilet without added chemicals (otherwise used to kill the smell) while the remaining samples were collected from toilets with added chemicals. Samples were qualitatively analysed with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) using the full-scan mode. Data were compared with the Wiley mass spectral library of designer drugs and our in-house library containing about 1000 compounds and metabolites. We identified forty-six different substances and metabolites, 26 of which were classic substances/metabolites, mostly from the stimulants group, while 20 were NPS. In the NPS group, most of them were phenethylamines and cathinones. The variety of substances was the highest on the first day of the festival regardless of the year, but 2018 showed a significant drop compared to the previous two years. The results of our study revealed a stable trend of classic drug consumption, while NPS trend changed from one year to another.</p> Davorka Sutlović Sendi Kuret Marija Definis Copyright (c) 2021 Davorka Sutlović, Marija Definis 2021-09-17 2021-09-17 72 3 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3509 Radium interference during radon measurements in water: comparison of one- and two-phase liquid scintillation counting <p>Assessment of radiation exposure to drinking, surface, and groundwater and of the associated health risks calls for accurate and precise <sup>226</sup>Ra and <sup>222</sup>Rn measurements. One method that fits the bill is liquid scintillation counting (LSC), which allows measurements in one-phase (homogenous) or two-phase samples. The aim of our study was to compare the measurement efficiency with both variations in Niška Banja spa water, known for its elevated <sup>222</sup>Rn content to get a better insight into the stability and behaviour of the samples and <sup>226</sup>Ra interference in samples spiked with <sup>226</sup>Ra with <sup>222</sup>Rn measurement. <sup>226</sup>Ra interference was more evident in homogenous, one-phase and much lower in two-phase samples. However, one-phase samples offer more accurate indirect <sup>226</sup>Ra measurements. Water-immiscible cocktails (in two-phase samples) have shown a limited capacity for receiving <sup>222</sup>Rn generated by Ra decay from the aqueous to organic phase when <sup>222</sup>Rn/<sup>226</sup>Ra equilibrium is reached. We have also learned that samples with naturally high <sup>222</sup>Rn content should not be spiked with <sup>226</sup>Ra activities higher than the ones found in native samples and that calibration of two-phase samples can be rather challenging if measurements span over longer time. Further research would require much lower <sup>226</sup>Ra activities for spiking to provide more practical answers to questions arising from the demonstrated phenomena.</p> Ivana Stojković Nataša Todorović Jovana Nikolov Copyright (c) 2021 Ivana Stojković, Nataša Todorović, Jovana Nikolov 2021-09-17 2021-09-17 72 3 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3480 Nuclear medicine staff exposure to ionising radiation in 18F-FDG PET/CT practice: a preliminary retrospective study <p>This retrospective study provides an insight into the levels of radiation exposure of six nuclear medicine (NM) staff (four technologists and two nurses) performing routine diagnostic <sup>18</sup>F-fluorodeoxyglucose (<sup>18</sup>F-FDG) positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT) at the University Clinical Centre of the Republic of Srpska, Department of Nuclear Medicine and Thyroid Disorders, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Data analysis included monthly staff exposure measured with personal thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) between June and December 2018, quantified in terms of normalised dose for the whole body [Hp(10)] and dominant hand [Hp(0.07)] and their comparison between each staff member and between the two groups (technologists and nurses). The study goal was to establish how our Department compared with reports from other PET/CT centres worldwide in terms of annual number of procedures and exposure limits and whether there could be room for further improvements in radiation protection. The number of procedures rose considerably from 208 in 2016 to 876 in 2019 and was 423 in the observed seven-month period. Mean individual whole-body exposure dose per GBq of injected <sup>18</sup>F-FDG activity, [Hp(10)/A] was 18.55&nbsp;µSv/GBq for the four technologists and 15.61&nbsp;µSv/GBq for the two nurses. Mean dominant-hand exposure dose per GBq of injected <sup>18</sup>F-FDG activity [Hp(0.07)/A] was 16.99&nbsp;µSv/GBq and 25.44&nbsp;µSv/GBq for the two groups, respectively. The average annual cumulative dose for all staff was (1.06±0.29)&nbsp;mSv for Hp(10) and (1.15±0.32)&nbsp;mSv for Hp(0.07). These results are comparable with those of similar studies. Staff doses were well below the annual limits. Nurses received slightly higher extremity doses than technologists. In view of the increasing trends in the number of PET/CT procedures, dose monitoring should be continued to identify exposure hotspots and maintain doses as low as possible.</p> Bojan Pavičar Jasna Davidović Biljana Petrović Goran Vuleta Saša Trivić Vlatko Šajinović Nataša Egeljić-Mihailović Nataša Todorović Branko Predojević Copyright (c) 2021 Bojan Pavičar, Jasna Davidović, Biljana Petrović, Goran Vuleta, Saša Trivić, Vlatko Šajinović, Nataša Egeljić-Mihailović, Nataša Todorović, Branko Predojević 2021-09-17 2021-09-17 72 3 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3517 Job demands, job control, and social support as predictors of job satisfaction and burnout in Croatian palliative care nurses <p>The Job Demands-Control-Support (JDCS) model has seldom been tested in palliative care settings, and occupational well-being of palliative care professionals has never before been investigated in Croatia. Our aim was therefore to fill that gap by testing the JDCS model among Croatian nurses providing palliative care. More specifically, we wanted to see how job demands, job control, and social support at work affect occupational well-being outcomes (i.e. job satisfaction and burnout dimensions of exhaustion and disengagement from work) in terms of the model's iso-strain and buffer hypotheses. This cross-sectional study included 68 nurses working in various palliative care institutions across Croatia, who answered our online questionnaire. Overall, the nurses did not report high levels of burnout or low job satisfaction. The only significant effect was that of job control on job satisfaction (β=0.38; P&lt;0.01) and disengagement (β=-0.45; P&lt;0.01), while job demands and social support at work had a significant interaction effect on the burnout dimension of exhaustion (β=0.39; P&lt;0.01) in the sense that high social support at work buffered the increase in exhaustion associated with high job demands. These findings suggest that interventions aimed at increasing perceived job control and social support at the workplace could improve occupational well-being of nurses working in palliative care.</p> Ivana Tucak Junaković Ivana Macuka Copyright (c) 2021 Ivana Tucak Junaković, Ivana Macuka 2021-09-17 2021-09-17 72 3 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3556 Work from home and musculoskeletal pain in telecommunications workers during COVID-19 pandemic: a pilot study <p>One of the side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is a global change in work ergonomic patterns as millions of people replaced their usual work environment with home to limit the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) infection. The aim of our cross-sectional pilot study was to identify musculoskeletal pain that may have resulted from this change and included 232 telecommunications company workers of both genders [121 (52.2&nbsp;%) men aged 23–62 (median 41; interquartile range 33–46 yrs.) and 111 (47.8&nbsp;%) women aged 23–53 (median 40; interquartile range 33–44)] who had been working from home for eight months (from 16 March to 4 December 2020) before they joined the study. The participants were asked to fill in our web-based questionnaire by self-assessing their experience of hand, lower back, and upper back/neck pain while working at home and by describing their work setting and physical activity. Compared to previous work at the office, 90 (39.1&nbsp;%) participants reported stronger pain in the lower back, 105 (45.7&nbsp;%) in the upper back/neck, and 63 (27.2&nbsp;%) in their hands. Only one third did not report any musculoskeletal problems related to work from home. Significantly fewer men than women reported hand, lower back, and upper back/neck pain (p=0.033, p=0.001 and p=0.013, respectively). Sixty-nine workers (29.9&nbsp;%) reported to work in a separate room, 75 (32.4&nbsp;%) worked in a separate section of a room with other household members, whereas 87 (37.7&nbsp;%) had no separate work space, 30 of whom most often worked in the dining room. Ninety-five participants (40.9&nbsp;%) had no office desk to work at, and only 75 (32.3&nbsp;%) used an ergonomic chair. Of those who shared their household with others (N=164), 116 (70.7&nbsp;%) complained about constant or occasional disturbances. Over a half of all participants (52&nbsp;%) said that they worked longer hours from home than at work, predominantly women (p=0.05). Only 69 participants (29.9&nbsp;%) were taking frequent breaks, predominantly older ones (p=0.006). Our findings clearly point to a need to inform home workers how to make more ergonomic use of non-ergonomic equipment, use breaks, and exercise and to inform employers how to better organise working hours to meet the needs of work from home.</p> Azra Huršidić Radulović Roko Žaja Milan Milošević Bojana Radulović Ivica Luketić Tajana Božić Copyright (c) 2021 Azra Huršidić Radulović, Roko Žaja, Milan Milošević, Bojana Radulović, Ivica Luketić, Tajana Božić 2021-09-17 2021-09-17 72 3 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3559 COVID-19 as occupational disease in healthcare workers: a brief review of cases in the Clinical Hospital Centre Rijeka, Croatia <p>The coronavirus disease 19 (Covid-19) pandemic has had a tremendous impact on every facet of private life and work organisation in virtually all social and economic sectors worldwide. People who stand on the first line of defence are healthcare workers (HCWs) risking exposure to infected patients. However, even though they are often affected by COVID-19 and associated somatic and mental health problems, COVID-19 as a new illness was not immediately acknowledged as occupational disease. This is why several groups of HCWs contacted their occupational medicine physicians in 2020 with a request to register the infection with SARS-CoV-2 as occupational disease. In an attempt to support their appeals and show that hospital workers have a high occupational risk of COVID-19, this study presents COVID-19 incidence and symptoms in 100 employees working at 11 clinics of the Clinical Hospital Centre (CHC) Rijeka, Croatia from 1 June to end December 2020. All of them were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and took sick leave, which lasted 13.6±2.6 days in average. This study also looks into the role of occupational medicine physicians in prospective monitoring of acute and long-acting consequences of Covid-19 that might occur in HCWs.</p> Hrvoje Lalić Copyright (c) 2021 Hrvoje Lalić 2021-09-17 2021-09-17 72 3 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3520