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 Presence of nitrosamine impurities in medicinal products <p>In 2018, some sartan medicinal products were reported to be contaminated with nitrosamine compounds, which are potent mutagenic carcinogens. Two nitrosamines received particular attention: <em>N</em>-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and <em>N</em>-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). These have since been confirmed in different types of medicinal products, including ranitidine and metformin. Consequently, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) started an investigation into the cause of contamination and an assessment of the risk to patients taking contaminated medicinal products. The main source of contamination were changes in production, which involves combinations of amines and nitrogen compounds and the use of specific catalysts and reagents. Withdrawals of medicinal products that took place in Croatia did not lead to a shortage of sartan- or metformin-containing medicines. Moreover, ranitidine had been preventively withdrawn all over the EU, including Croatia, creating shortages at the time, but was subsequently replaced with therapeutic alternatives.</p> Ilijana Sedlo Teo Kolonić Siniša Tomić Copyright (c) 2021 Ilijana Sedlo, Teo Kolonić, Siniša Tomić 2021-03-10 2021-03-10 72 1 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3491 Radioactivity of soil in Croatia I: naturally occurring decay chains <p>The assessment of environmental radioactivity much relies on radionuclide content in soil. This stems from the significant contribution of soil to both external and internal exposure to ionising radiation via direct emission of gamma radiation and soil-to-plant radionuclide transfer, respectively. This motivated us to carry out a systematic research on the radioactivity of soil in Croatia to obtain relevant data that can be used as a basis for understanding the related effects of geomorphological, biogeographical, and climatological properties of the environment. We collected samples of the surface layer of uncultivated soil (0–10&nbsp;cm) at 138 sites from all over the country and measured them for radionuclide activity concentrations by means of high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometry. This resulted in radioactivity maps containing data on activity concentrations of representative radionuclides in the environment. In this paper, which is the first in our two-part presentation, we focus on the naturally occurring <sup>232</sup>Th and <sup>238</sup>U decay chains and their correlations with the diversity of Croatian regions. For both of the chains, activity concentrations were the highest in the Dinaric region, the lowest in the Pannonian region, and intermediate in the Adriatic region. Relatively high concentrations of <sup>226</sup>Ra in the soil of the Dinaric region implied a possibility of an enhanced emanation of its progeny <sup>222</sup>Rn into the air. Activity concentrations of <sup>210</sup>Pb were additionally elevated in areas with dense vegetation, most probably due to an atmospheric deposition of airborne <sup>210</sup>Pb onto the surface of plants and their eventual decomposition on the ground.</p> Marko Šoštarić Branko Petrinec Mak Avdić Ljerka Petroci Milica Kovačić Željka Zgorelec Božena Skoko Tomislav Bituh Jasminka Senčar Gina Branica Zdenko Franić Iva Franulović Davor Rašeta Ivan Bešlić Dinko Babić Copyright (c) 2021 Marko Šoštarić, Branko Petrinec, Mak Avdić, Ljerka Petroci, Milica Kovačić, Željka Zgorelec, Božena Skoko, Tomislav Bituh, Jasminka Senčar, Gina Branica, Zdenko Franić, Iva Franulović, Davor Rašeta, Ivan Bešlić, Dinko Babić 2021-01-18 2021-01-18 72 1 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3349 Radioactivity of soil in Croatia II: 137Cs, 40K, and absorbed dose rate <p>We took samples of uncultivated soil from the surface layer (0–10&nbsp;cm) at 138 sites from all over Croatia and measured their radionuclide activity concentrations with high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometry. This second part of our report brings the results on <sup>40</sup>K and <sup>137</sup>Cs to complement those on the <sup>232</sup>Th and <sup>238</sup>U decay chains addressed in the first part. Together they give the most complete picture of radioactivity of Croatian soil so far. Activity concentrations of <sup>40</sup>K were the highest in the Pannonian region, and there was an opposite trend for <sup>137</sup>Cs. We found that the concentrations of <sup>137</sup>Cs tended to increase with altitude, annual precipitation, and vegetation density. The concentration ratio of <sup>137</sup>Cs and K in soil, which indicates the potential for <sup>137</sup>Cs entering food chains via uptake by plants, was the lowest in agriculturally important areas in the east of the Pannonian region. In addition, we used the obtained results on activity concentrations to calculate the related absorbed dose rate as a measure of external exposure to ionising radiation from soil. The sum of the absorbed dose rates for naturally occurring radionuclides and <sup>137</sup>Cs showed that external exposure was generally the highest in the Dinaric region and Istrian Peninsula.</p> Marko Šoštarić Branko Petrinec Mak Avdić Ljerka Petroci Milica Kovačić Željka Zgorelec Božena Skoko Tomislav Bituh Jasminka Senčar Gina Branica Zdenko Franić Iva Franulović Davor Rašeta Ivan Bešlić Dinko Babić Copyright (c) 2021 Marko Šoštarić, Branko Petrinec, Mak Avdić, Ljerka Petroci, Milica Kovačić, Željka Zgorelec, Božena Skoko, Tomislav Bituh, Jasminka Senčar, Gina Branica, Zdenko Franić, Iva Franulović, Davor Rašeta, Ivan Bešlić, Dinko Babić 2021-01-18 2021-01-18 72 1 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3340 Influence of solar activity on ambient dose equivalent H*(10) measured with thermoluminescent dosimeters in Slovenia <p>Ambient dose equivalent <em>H</em>*(10) is measured to assess general population exposure to ionising radiation. From its spatial and time variations it is possible to identify sources of exposure. In Slovenia, semi-annual <em>H</em>*(10) is measured routinely with thermoluminescence dosimeters at 66 locations around the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Krško and at 50 other locations covering the rest of Slovenian territory. Since the Chernobyl accident contamination had ceased to contribute to ambient dose equivalents, we have been calculating correlation coefficients between annual mean number of sunspots and annual <em>H</em>*(10). These correlation coefficients were calculated for five locations in western Slovenia and for five annual <em>H</em>*(10) extracted from measurements around NPP Krško. Their ranges between –0.64 and –0.38 suggest a clear negative correlation between solar activity and <em>H</em>*(10). Mean annual <em>H</em>*(10) averted by solar activity in the past two solar maxima reached 0.070&nbsp;mSv around NPP Krško (155&nbsp;m.a.s.l.) and 0.132&nbsp;mSv and 0.180&nbsp;mSv at Kredarica (2515&nbsp;m.a.s.l.). Quantifying the influence of the solar activity on the ambient dose equivalent helps us to better understand exposure of the general population to ionising radiation.</p> Benjamin Zorko Matjaž Korun Boštjan Črnič Branko Vodenik Sandi Gobec Copyright (c) 2021 Benjamin Zorko, Matjaž Korun, Boštjan Črnič, Branko Vodenik, Sandi Gobec 2021-03-04 2021-03-04 72 1 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3475 Application of a new in situ calibration technique for gamma spectrometry and comparison of in situ and laboratory measurements <p><em>In situ</em> gamma ray spectrometry was developed to quickly measure large areas of land following nuclear accidents. However, a proper calibration of detectors for <em>in situ</em> measurements is a long and complicated process. One tool designed to make this calibration quick is the InSiCal software. We compared 5,000&nbsp;s <em>in situ</em> measurements with two different HPGe detectors calibrated using the InSiCal software and laboratory measurements of samples collected at the same locations. Our findings suggest that <em>in situ</em> gamma spectrometry using InSiCal software can provide reasonably accurate data, but some improvements are needed.</p> Davor Rašeta Branko Petrinec Dinko Babić Marko Šoštarić Copyright (c) 2021 Davor Rašeta, Branko Petrinec, Dinko Babić, Marko Šoštarić 2021-03-04 2021-03-04 72 1 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3468 Characteristics of work-related COVID-19 in Croatian healthcare workers: a preliminary report <p>Healthcare workers (HCWs) are considered to run a higher occupational risk of becoming infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and develop coronavirus disease (COVID-19) than the rest of the population. The aim of this study was to describe and analyse the characteristics of work-related COVID-19 in Croatian HCWs. Study participants were HCWs who contacted their occupational physician between 1 May 2020 and 12 November 2020 with a request for the registration of COVID-19 as an occupational disease. All participants filled out our online Occupational COVID-19 in Healthcare Workers Questionnaire. The study included 59 HCWs (median age 45.0, interquartile range 36.0–56.0 years). Most (78&nbsp;%) were nurses or laboratory technicians, and almost all (94.9&nbsp;%) worked in hospitals. Hierarchical cluster analysis revealed three clusters of COVID-19-related symptoms: 1) elevated body temperature with general weakness and fatigue, 2) diarrhoea, and 3) headache, muscle and joint pain, anosmia, ageusia, and respiratory symptoms (nasal symptoms, burning throat, cough, dyspnoea, tachypnoea). Almost half (44.6&nbsp;%) reported comorbidities. Only those with chronic pulmonary conditions were more often hospitalised than those without respiratory disorders (57.1&nbsp;% vs. 2.5&nbsp;%, respectively; P=0.001). Our findings suggest that work-related COVID-19 among Croatian HCWs is most common in hospital nurses/laboratory technicians and takes a mild form, with symptoms clustering around three clinical phenotypes: general symptoms of acute infection, specific symptoms including neurological (anosmia, ageusia) and respiratory symptoms, and diarrhoea as a separate symptom. They also support evidence from other studies that persons with chronic pulmonary conditions are at higher risk for developing severe forms of COVID-19.</p> Roko Žaja Ivana Kerner Jelena Macan Milan Milošević Copyright (c) 2021 Roko Žaja, Ivana Kerner, Jelena Macan, Milan Milošević 2021-03-09 2021-03-09 72 1 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3530 Epidemiology of occupational injuries among insured workers in Saudi Arabia between 2004 and 2016 <p>This is a retrospective analysis of annual reports on occupational injuries issued by the national social insurance agency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for the years 2004 through 2016. For each criterion we calculated an index based on the equation <em>N<sub>Y</sub>/N<sub>ref</sub></em> x100, where <em>N<sub>Y</sub></em> is the number of occupational injuries by a specific criterion in a specific year <em>Y</em>, and <em>N<sub>ref</sub></em> is the number of injuries in the corresponding criterion in the reference year, i.e. 2004. We also calculated the number of injuries to number of workers ratio (<em>N<sub>i</sub>/N<sub>w</sub></em>) for different occupations and economic sectors to get a clearer idea of the injury trends per worker. In terms of occupational injury rates (with respect to 2004), we observed increases in construction, financing &amp; real estate (economic sectors), among engineers and technicians (occupations), in infections and secondary contusions (injury type), for upper and lower limbs (affected body parts), over falls and "other" causes. Most injuries occurred on Fridays, which is a weekend day in Saudi Arabia. We also observed increased recovery without disability (injury status). However, if we look at the number of occupational injuries per worker, we can see a decreasing trend over time for all occupations and economic sectors, most likely thanks to improved labour law and safety at work practices for insured workers. Our findings are similar to reports from other Persian Gulf countries and reflect current labour health and safety issues in the area.</p> Mohsin Abbas Rashid Saeed Zaki-ul-Zaman Asam Copyright (c) 2021 Mohsin Abbas, Rashid Saeed, Zaki-ul-Zaman Asam 2021-03-04 2021-03-04 72 1 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3377 Chemical and biological characteristics of propolis from Apis mellifera caucasica from the Ardahan and Erzurum provinces of Turkey: a comparative study <p>The aim of this study was to compare the biological activities of ethanolic propolis extracts of <em>Apis mellifera caucasica</em> obtained from Ardahan and Erzurum provinces of Turkey. Samples were tested for antioxidant, anticytotoxic, anticarcinogenic, antibacterial, and antifungal potentials using different techniques. Propolis samples from the two provinces had different mineral and organic compositions related to their geographical origin. The ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) test showed superiority of Ardahan propolis over the Erzurum. Regardless of origin and the presence of mitomycin C in the culture medium, propolis enhanced human peripheral lymphocyte viability, which depended on the duration and propolis concentration. Antiperoxidative activity on MCF-7 breast cancer cells was concentration-dependent. Erzurum propolis showed the highest anticarcinogenic activity at the concentrations of 62.5&nbsp;µg/mL and 125&nbsp;µg/mL, which dropped at higher concentrations. All propolis samples also showed antibacterial activity against the tested human pathogens similar to ampicillin and penicillin controls, except for <em>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</em>. However, they did not exert any antifungal activity against <em>Candida albicans</em> and <em>Yarrowia lipolytica</em>. In conclusion, propolis samples from both provinces showed promising biological activities, but further research should focus on finding the right concentrations for optimal effect and include the cell necrosis pathway to get a better idea of the anticarcinogenic effects.</p> Mehmet Arslan Yusuf Sevgiler Celal Güven Zehra Tuğba Murathan Nurcan Erbil Deniz Yıldırım Mehmet Büyükleyla Şakire Karadaş Rima Çelik Eyyüp Rencüzoğulları Copyright (c) 2021 Mehmet Arslan, Yusuf Sevgiler, Celal Güven, Zehra Tuğba Murathan, Nurcan Erbil, Deniz Yıldırım, Mehmet Büyükleyla, Şakire Karadaş, Rima Çelik, Eyyüp Rencüzoğulları 2021-03-04 2021-03-04 72 1 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3492 Characterisation of twelve newly synthesised N-(substituted phenyl)-2-chloroacetamides with QSAR analysis and antimicrobial activity tests <p>In this study we screened twelve newly synthesised <em>N</em>-(substituted phenyl)-2-chloroacetamides for antimicrobial potential relying on quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) analysis based on the available cheminformatics prediction models (Molinspiration, SwissADME, PreADMET, and PkcSM) and verified it through standard antimicrobial testing against <em>Escherichia coli</em>, <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em>, methicillin-resistant <em>S. aureus</em> (MRSA), and <em>Candida albicans</em>. Our compounds met all the screening criteria of Lipinski's rule of five (Ro5) as well as Veber's and Egan's methods for predicting biological activity. In antimicrobial activity tests, all chloroacetamides were effective against Gram-positive <em>S. aureus</em> and MRSA, less effective against the Gram-negative <em>E. coli</em>, and moderately effective against the yeast <em>C. albicans</em>. Our study confirmed that the biological activity of chloroacetamides varied with the position of substituents bound to the phenyl ring, which explains why some molecules were more effective against Gram-negative than Gram-positive bacteria or <em>C. albicans</em>. Bearing the halogenated <em>p</em>-substituted phenyl ring, <em>N</em>-(4-chlorophenyl), <em>N</em>-(4-fluorophenyl), and <em>N</em>-(3-bromophenyl) chloroacetamides were among the most active thanks to high lipophilicity, which allows them to pass rapidly through the phospholipid bilayer of the cell membrane. They are the most promising compounds for further investigation, particularly against Gram-positive bacteria and pathogenic yeasts.</p> Aleksandra Bogdanović Anita Lazić Slavica Grujić Ivica Dimkić Slaviša Stanković Slobodan Petrović Copyright (c) 2021 Aleksandra Bogdanović, Anita Lazić, Slavica Grujić, Ivica Dimkić, Slaviša Stanković, Slobodan Petrović 2021-03-04 2021-03-04 72 1 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3483 Unusual aetiology of a type 2 myocardial infarction: a case-based review <p>Organophosphate pesticide (OP) poisoning is quite common and can cause cardiovascular complications and even direct myocardial injury. However, no guideline has included an acute poisoning as a potential cause for a type 2 myocardial infarction (MI) so far. Here we present a case of a 61-year-old woman brought by ambulance to emergency department one hour after accidental ingestion of an unknown quantity of a solution she used against flea infestation. The patient presented with dizziness, myosis, excessive sweating, hypersalivation, sphincteric incontinence, muscle fasciculation, tremor of the extremities, pale skin, alcoholic and pesticide breath odour. Even though we had no guidelines to fall back on, we successfully treated the patient with low-molecular-weight heparin, antiplatelets, statin, diltiazem, antidote therapy, and supportive care. Physicians should be aware that OP poisoning can induce type 2 MI as a complication within a few hours since exposure, and emergency management should always include close cardiac monitoring.</p> David Toma Tania-Emima Toma Cristina Bologa Cătălina Lionte Copyright (c) 2021 David Toma, Tania-Emima Toma, Cristina Bologa, Cătălina Lionte 2021-03-09 2021-03-09 72 1 10.2478/aiht-2021-72-3502