[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phthalates are found in numerous consumer products, including interior materials like polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Several studies have identified phthalates in indoor air. A recent case-control study demonstrated associations between allergic symptoms in children and the concentration of phthalates in dust collected from their homes. Here we have analyzed the content of selected phthalates in particulate matter (PM): PM(10) and PM(2.5) filter samples collected in 14 different indoor environments. The results showed the presence of the phthalates di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP) and diethyl hexyl phthalate (DEHP) in the samples. The dominating phthalate in both PM(10) and PM(2.5) samples from all locations was DBP. More than a 10-fold variation in the mean concentration of total phthalates between sampling sites was observed. The highest levels of total phthalates were detected in one children's room, one kindergarten, in two primary schools, and in a computer room. The relative contribution of total phthalates in PM(10) and PM(2.5) was 1.1 +/- 0.3% for both size fractions. The contribution of total phthalates in PM(2.5) to total phthalates in PM(10) ranged from 23-81%, suggesting different sources. Of the phthalates that were analyzed in the PM material, DBP was found to be the major phthalate in rubber from car tyres. However, our analyses indicate that tyre wear was of minor importance for indoor levels of both DBP as well as total phthalates. Overall, these results support the notion that inhalation of indoor PM contributes to the total phthalate exposure.
Journal of Environmental Monitoring 01/2008; 9(12):1419-25.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives
The burden of acute gastrointestinal infections (AGIs) on the society has not been well studied in Central European countries, which prevents the implementation of effective, targeted public health interventions.
We investigated patients of 11 randomly selected general practices and 8 hospital units. Each patient meeting the international AGI case definition criteria was interviewed on costs incurred related to the use of health care resources. Follow-up interview with consenting patients was conducted 2 to 4 weeks after the general practitioner (GP) visit or discharge from hospital, collecting information on self-medication costs and indirect costs. Costs were recalculated to US dollars by using the purchasing power parity exchange rate for Poland.
Weighting the inpatient costs by age-specific probability of hospital referral by GPs, the societal cost of a medically attended AGI case was estimated to be US $168. The main cost drivers of direct medical costs were cost of hospital bed days (US $28), cost of outpatient pharmacotherapy (US $20), and cost of GP consultation (US $10). Patients covered only the cost of outpatient pharmacotherapy. Considering the AGI population GP consultation rate, the age-adjusted societal cost of medically attended AGI episodes was estimated at US $2222 million, of which 53% was attributable to indirect costs.
Even though AGIs generate a low cost for individuals, they place a high burden on the society, attributed mostly to indirect costs. Higher resources could be allocated to the prevention and control of AGIs.
Value in Health Regional Issues. 01/2013; 2(2):210–217.