Manuela Ciarrocca

Sapienza University of Rome, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (85)85.53 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Nickel (Ni) and Ni compounds are widely present in the urban air. The purpose of this study is to estimate exposure of individuals to Ni and the correlation between this exposure and the values of blood counts in outdoor workers. This study focused on a sample of 101 outdoor workers (55 male and 46 female; 65 nonsmokers and 36 smokers), all employed in the municipal police in a large Italian city. The personal levels of exposure to Ni were assessed through (a) environmental monitoring of Ni present in the urban air obtained from individual samples and (b) biological monitoring of urinary and blood Ni. The blood count parameters were obtained from the hemochromocytometric tests. Pearson correlation coefficients (r) were calculated to assess the association between the blood and urinary Ni and the complete blood count. Multiple linear regression models were used to examine the associations between the complete blood count and the independent variables (age, gender, years of work for current tasks, cigarette smoking habit (current and never smoker), values of airborne Ni, and blood and urinary Ni). Multiple linear regression analysis performed on the total group of 101 subjects confirms the association among the red blood cells count, the hematocrit, and the urinary Ni (R (2) = 0.520, p = 0.025 and R (2) = 0.530, p = 0.030). These results should lead to further studies on the effects of Ni in working populations exposed to urban pollutants. The possibility that the associations found in our study may be partially explained by other urban pollutants (such as benzene, toluene, and other heavy metals) not taken into consideration in this study cannot be ruled out.
    Toxicology and Industrial Health 07/2014; · 1.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate whether the exposure to arsenic (As) causes alterations of liver enzymes in two groups of outdoor workers. Total urinary As and the levels of AST/GOT, ALT/GPT, and GGT were measured on 80 traffic policemen and 50 police drivers. Personal air samples were obtained for assessing the exposure to As on a subgroup of 20 traffic policemen and 20 police drivers. Mean values of personal exposure to As, urinary As, AST/GOT, and ALT/GPT were significantly higher in traffic policemen than in the police drivers. Multiple linear regression models showed associations between urinary As and airborne As, ALT/GPT and the job variables, and BMI and urinary As. These findings contribute toward the evaluation of the hepatic effects of exposure to As in the urban workers.
    International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 10/2013; · 2.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between occupational exposure to airborne lead (Pb) and alterations in peripheral blood counts in workers of the Municipal Police assigned to different types of outdoor tasks. Then, 337 both male and female subjects were enrolled and divided on the basis of sex, cigarette smoking habit and kind of task. Exposure to airborne Pb, dosage of total blood Pb and peripheral blood count were carried out. A significant positive correlation was detected between the values of total blood Pb and values of plasma reticulocytes (%RET) both in the total sample and for all the classes of the subdivision except for police drivers. Some statistically significant correlations were present but discontinuous for other variables of peripheral blood counts. Results suggest that occupational exposure to low doses of airborne Pb is able to influence lines of the hematopoietic system in exposed workers, with special reference to %RET.
    Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering 10/2013; 48(12):1457-1469.
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    ABSTRACT: In the general population, cadmium seems to be responsible for hypertension, atherosclerosis and an increase in acute coronary events. Therefore, the purpose of this meta-analysis was to analyze controlled studies conducted on cadmium and arterial pressure in occupationally-exposed workers. After analyzing all the relevant articles found in the literature, 6 publications were selected. A higher prevalence of hypertension and higher values of systolic and diastolic blood pressure were recorded in the exposed subjects. Cadmium in occupationally-exposed individuals appears to induce an increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and an increase in the prevalence of hypertension.
    International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health 07/2013; · 1.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In order to monitor biogenic amines in human urine, a method based on field-amplified sample injection combined with capillary electrophoresis and direct UV absorption detection was developed. Dopamine, tyramine, tryptamine, serotonin and epinephrine were effectively separated and identified in human urine samples, and detection limits were 0.072, 0.010, 0.027, 0.010 and 0.120 µmol/L, respectively. Detection limits comparable to laser-induced fluorescence detection or solid phase extraction combined with capillary electrophoresis were achieved. Parameters affecting electrophoretic system detection sensitivity were investigated. Optimal separation conditions were obtained using as background electrolyte a pH 6.5 mixture of 2-(morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid 20 mmol/L and 30 mmol/L phosphate buffer, containing 0.05% hydroxypropylcellulose and 10% v/v methanol. Injections of the sample solution were performed by applying a voltage of 12 kV for 50 s. Recovery and accuracy ranged between 89.4 and 94.9%, and 89 and 112%, respectively. The method was successfully applied on actual urine samples (from a healthy volunteer): target bioamine content was consistent with endogenous levels reported in the literature. The proposed method is simple, fast and inexpensive and can be conveniently employed in work-related stress studies. The affordability and noninvasive sampling of the method allow epidemiological studies on large number of exposed persons to be performed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Biomedical Chromatography 03/2013; · 1.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT To assess the exposures to Cd in urban workers and association between Cd exposure and values of blood counts. Urinary Cd, blood Cd and blood counts were obtained from 355 outdoor workers; a subgroup of 99 subjects were monitored to evaluate personal exposure to airborne Cd. The mean value of personal exposure to Cd was 1.5 ng/m3 for traffic assistants and 1.2 ng/m3 for drivers. Urinary and blood Cd were correlated to the airborne Cd (respectively r = 0.3 and r = 0.4). The multiple linear regression models showed the associations among white blood cell, the percentage of neutrophils (NEU%), the percentage of lymphocytes (LYM%) and the concentrations of blood Cd (respectively R2 = 0.27, R2 = 0.37, R2 = 0.581). The subjects with blood Cd values higher than 1.2 μg /L showed an increase of LYM (%) mean values and a decrease of NEU (%) mean values respect to the group with blood Cd values lower than 1.1 μg/L.
    Archives of environmental & occupational health. 03/2013;
  • Occupational Medicine 03/2013; 63(2):162. · 1.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness and specificity of urinary 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHPu) as a biomarker of the exposure from urban pollution to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) among outdoor workers in a meta-analysis. Our meta-analysis was performed according to standard methods, and the results show that the concentrations of 1-OHPu tend to be higher in exposed workers than in unexposed workers (if we exclude two highly heterogeneous articles), in exposed non-smokers than in unexposed non-smokers and in exposed than in unexposed workers who were carriers of the CYP1A1 genotype and in those with the glutathione-S-transferase M1 (-)genotype. These genotypes enhance the effect of exposure, particularly in non-smokers. Smoking reduces the differences between exposed and unexposed subjects. In conclusion, our results suggest that the use of the 1-OHPu biomarker appears to be reliable for studying occupational exposure to PAHs from urban pollution, as long as environmental and behavioural factors are considered.Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology advance online publication, 9 January 2013; doi:10.1038/jes.2012.111.
    Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 01/2013; · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: This cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the relationship between exposure to cadmium and circulating reproductive hormone levels in urban and rural male workers. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Urinary cadmium, blood cadmium, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone were obtained from 86 non-smoking traffic policemen and 86 subjects working as roadmen in a rural area. All subjects were monitored to evaluate airborne exposure to cadmium. RESULTS: The mean value of exposure to cadmium was 1.3ngm(-3) in traffic policemen, while the mean value was less than 0.5ngm(-3) in roadmen. The mean concentrations of urinary cadmium (1.4 vs. 0.9μgg(-1) creatinine; p=0.001), blood cadmium (1.1 vs. 0.7μgl(-1); p=0.000), FSH (2.6 vs. 3.2μlUml(-1); p=0.02) and LH (2.6 vs. 3.1μlUml(-1); p=0.03) were significantly different between traffic policemen and roadmen. No differences were found in the mean values of testosterone between the two groups. Multiple linear regression models showed associations between (a) urinary cadmium, airborne cadmium, working life, job category and consumption of water from water supply (b) blood cadmium, airborne cadmium and job category (c) the values of FSH and age, working life, job category, urinary cadmium and blood cadmium (d) the values of LH and both the age and working life. CONCLUSION: The above results must be confirmed by further studies, but they indicate the influence of exposure to the cadmium present in urban air on the circulating FSH, even at low doses.
    Chemosphere 01/2013; · 3.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the risk factors for upper extremity-work-related musculoskeletal disorders (UE-WMSD) on 13 production lines in an airbag factory using the threshold limit values-American conference of industrial hygienists- hand activity level (TLV-ACGIH-HAL) method and introduce the ergonomic improvement to reduce the repetitiveness and the peak force (Pf). Professional exposure level on 13 production lines in a automobile factory was measured using the TLV-ACGIH-HAL method and a further risk was assessed according to the ergonomic improvement. The first assessment of 9 production lines showed that the professional exposure level was above the TLV or HAL limit. The second assessment showed that the professional exposure level was below the AL limit on all production lines except 1, in which the professional exposure level was between TLV and HAL. The assessment of UE-WMSD-related risk can identify the riskiest emplacements and evaluate the reduction of risk in professional exposure through interventions of structural- organizational type.
    Biomedical and Environmental Sciences 01/2013; 26(1):70-5. · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT The literature suggests that farmers nowadays are more likely to contract cardiovascular diseases than in the past. This study involved 79 farmers and 64 controls. The workers completed a questionnaire to identify exclusion factors for audiological and cardiovascular risk factors. The participants underwent medical examination, measurement of blood pressure, electrocardiogram, blood tests, audiometry, and measurement of noise exposure. The farmers were found to have a higher prevalence of systolic and diastolic arterial hypertension as well as electrocardiogram (ECG) abnormalities compared with the controls. A significant prevalence of arterial hypertension was detected in the farmers exposed to noise, when compared with those who were not exposed. These results suggest that farmers are at risk of cardiovascular effects and that noise is a cardiovascular risk factor for farmers.
    Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health 01/2013; 68(4):196-203. · 1.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective. The aims of this study are to evaluate the prevalence of disorders of the lumbar region and the temporo-mandibular district co-morbidity in drivers and workers of the State Police employed for different office activities Materials and methods. The study population included 103 drivers as cases and 100 police officers as controls. The study was carried out through questionnaire and clinical evaluation of the spine and temporo-mandibular region. Results. At clinical examination, the drivers were found to have a higher prevalence (p < 0.05) of both symptoms and clinical signs at the spine and temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ), when compared with the controls. The results also showed a higher prevalence (p < 0.05) of co-morbidity in the two districts among the drivers, when compared with the controls. Conclusions. These results confirm that morbidity related to back and TMJ and increase in co-morbidity between the two districts are higher in professional drivers.
    Acta odontologica Scandinavica 10/2012; · 1.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. Previous studies have shown that arsenic at high doses can alter the hematopoietic system. The purpose of the present study is to see whether the same problems may be caused by chronic exposure to low doses. Materials and Methods. A sample of 349 policemen of a big urban city was divided into 3 groups according to levels of urinary arsenic. The subjects were further divided according to gender, smoking habits, and work task. We calculated indices of correlation (r) and multiple linear regression (β), between urinary arsenic, RBC, WBC, HB, HT, MCV, MCH, MCHC, platelets, reticulocytes and leukocyte formula (percentage of lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils). It was also calculated Student's t and chi-square test between the various groups to check for any differences. Results. We found several statistically significant indices of correlation and regression (ptwo-tailed <0.05) between urinary arsenic, red blood cells, white blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, reticulocytes, and all the cell lines of the white series. Conclusions. Chronic exposure to low doses of arsenic seems to cause decrease in red blood cells, hematocrit and hemoglobin. However, this response is dependent on the amount of absorbed dose, according to an ormetic mechanism. With regard to the white series, arsenic seems to provoke an inflammatory response; the scarcity of literature" available, and the great variety of results, however, not allow us to definitely characterize the damage caused by this metal on white series. Clin Ter 2012; 163(5):e293-302.
    La Clinica terapeutica 09/2012; 163(5):e293-302. · 0.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arsenic is a ubiquitous element present in urban air as a pollutant, and it may interfere with thyroid hormones. To evaluate the association between the personal exposure to arsenic and levels of TSH, fT4, fT3, and Tg in urban and rural workers. Total urinary arsenic and thyroid markers were obtained from 108 non-smoking traffic policemen and 77 subjects working as roadmen in a rural area. Fifty subjects were monitored to evaluate airborne exposure to arsenic. The mean value of exposure to arsenic was 2.9 µg/m(3) in traffic policemen, while the mean value was less than 0.1 µg/m(3) in roadmen. The mean values of urinary arsenic (10.4 μg/g creatinine vs. 5.2 μg/g creatinine; p = 0.000), TSH (1.6 µlU/ml vs. 1.3 µlU/ml; p = 0.006), fT3 (3.5 pg/ml vs. 3.7 pg/ml; p = 0.000), fT4 (1.2 ng/dl vs. 1.3 ng/dl; p = 0.000) and Tg (42.8 ng/ml vs. 36.1 ng/ml; p = 0.04) were significantly different between traffic policemen and roadmen. In traffic policemen, urinary arsenic and arsenic in the air were correlated to the airborne arsenic and TSH values, respectively. Urinary arsenic was correlated to TSH, Tg, fT3, and fT4 values. The multiple linear regression models showed the following associations: i) among urinary arsenic, arsenic in the air and job title; ii) among TSH, fT3, Tg and urinary arsenic; and iii) between fT4 and both urinary arsenic and alcohol intake. These results provide information about the relationship between exposure to arsenic and thyroid markers and may be useful for other categories of outdoor workers who are similarly exposed.
    Inhalation Toxicology 08/2012; 24(9):589-98. · 1.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The relationship between stress and new technologies has always been a vexed question. Sociologists and philosophers say technology is a double edged sword, on one hand it increases the potential of human senses, while on the other hand it forces man to adopt rhythms and conditions not natural but artificial, with consequences for his physical and mental health. Modern Cognitive Ergonomic tries to analyze to technology, interacting with mental functions, causes stress and it tries to offer the most appropriate technological solutions for human work. From our analysis it emerges that the old media have an influence on mood causing episodes of insomnia, irritability, anxiety, etc., even if in a way that cannot be completely evaluated. Contrariwise, a controlled use of the web can improve the communication and the interacting abilities in patients with psychosocial distress and low social skills. Nielsen's Heuristics are a great tool to value methods of informatical and media interfaces. Clin Ter 2012; 163(4):e201-217.
    La Clinica terapeutica 07/2012; 163(4):e201-e217. · 0.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The construction industry is one of the employment sectors with the highest risk of injuries. To evaluate the injury trend in the construction industry from data published from 1987 to 2010. All papers with at least two measurements of injuries within a medium- to long-term period were included. The numbers of fatal and non-fatal injuries were examined in two separate groups: 100,000 workers per year and 200,000 worked hours per year. All injuries significantly decreased between the first and the second measurement, with fatal injuries decreasing by 35% and non-fatal ones by 33% in workers/year and by 22% in worked hours/year. There was high heterogeneity among the sources of data for workers/year index (I(2) = 49% for fatal injuries, 99% for non-fatal injuries) but no heterogeneity for worked hours/year index (I(2) = 0). Meta-regression analysis showed a significant linear relationship between time and risk reduction for fatal injuries (r = 0.63; P < 0.001; a 6% reduction per year); trend reduction for non-fatal injuries was not related to the time taken between the measurements. Fatal injuries have a reduction trend that depends on large interventions, whereas non-fatal injuries are more prone to episodic changes. Furthermore, while the workers/year index allows easier evaluation of the injury rate variation in a single working environment, the worked hours/year index is better at comparing the injury rate variation in different working environments because it reduces the sources of heterogeneity.
    Occupational Medicine 06/2012; 62(5):356-61. · 1.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To verify whether the occupational hazards in the rotogravure industry can be associated with cardiovascular effects. We evaluated cardiovascular parameters and audiometric tests and analyzed noise, solvents, and shift work in 44 exposed and 44 unexposed workers. Unlike unexposed workers, the rotogravure workers showed significant increase of mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) values (P = 0.019; P = 0.003), higher frequency of hypertension (P = 0.002) and electrocardiographic abnormalities (P = 0.0001), significant reduction or no variation of BP response to orthostatism (P = 0.0001), and association between high levels of noise and diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.0067). Subjects with hearing loss showed high frequency of hypertension and a reduction or no variation of BP response to orthostatism (both P = 0.05). Data obtained suggest that these are the effects on the cardiovascular system of rotogravure workers who are exposed to noise.
    Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 05/2012; 54(5):551-7. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Asbestos is a very relevant medical and social issue, because of its potential dangerous effects on human health. It's present indeed in different environments, because it was widely used in the past. Asbestos is classified as first-class carcinogen, and so labelled with R 45 risk phrase. Exposure to asbestos fibers (both occupational and not) can cause diseases involving mainly the respiratory system. We point out the methods for a correct assessment of the risk from asbestos, with particular reference to current legislation and to the main preventive measures that have to be taken in case of presence of asbestos in a building. A correct prevention has to be carried out through education and information of workers and the use of specific check-lists.
    La Clinica terapeutica 03/2012; 163(2):141-8. · 0.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This is the first research study to compare among female, non-smoker workers: (a) the exposure to benzene, toluene and xylenes (BTXs) in urban air during work in the street (traffic policewomen, TP) vs. work in vehicles (police drivers, PD); (b) the exposure to BTXs in urban environments (in street and in car) vs. rural environments (roadwomen, RW); (c) the values of blood benzene, urinary trans, trans muconic acid (t,t-MA) and urinary S-phenylmercapturic acid (S-PMA) in urban areas (in street and in car) vs. rural areas. Passive personal samplings and data acquired using fixed monitoring stations located in different areas of the city were used to measure environmental and occupational exposure to BTXs during the work shift in 48 TP, 21 PD and 22 RW. In the same study subjects, blood benzene, t,t-MA and S-PMA were measured at the end of each work shift. Personal exposure of urban workers to benzene seemed to be higher than the exposure measured by the fixed monitoring stations. Personal exposure to benzene and toluene was (a) similar among TP and PD and (b) higher among urban workers compared to rural workers. Personal exposure to xylenes was (a) higher in TP than in PD and (b) higher among urban workers compared to rural workers. Blood benzene, t,t-MA and S-PMA levels were similar among TP and PD, although the blood benzene level was significantly higher in urban workers compared to rural workers. In urban workers, airborne benzene and blood benzene levels were significantly correlated. Benzene is a human carcinogen, and BTXs are potential reproductive toxins at low dose exposures. Biological and environmental monitoring to assess exposure to BTXs represents a preliminary and necessary tool for the implementation of preventive measures for female subjects working in outdoor environments.
    Chemosphere 01/2012; 87(7):813-9. · 3.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Air pollution represents a health risk for people living in urban environment. Urban air consists in a complex mixture of chemicals and carcinogens and its effects on health can be summarized in acute respiratory effects, neoplastic nonneoplastic (e.g. chronic bronchitis) chronic respiratory effects, and effects on other organs and systems. Air pollution may be defined according to origin of the phenomena that determine it: natural causes (natural fumes, decomposition, volcanic ash) or anthropogenic causes which are the result of human activities (industrial and civil emissions). Transport is the sector that more than others contributes to the deterioration of air quality in cities. In this context, in recent years, governments of the territory were asked to advance policies aimed at solving problems related to pollution. In consideration of the many effects on health caused by pollution it becomes necessary to know the risks from exposure to various environmental pollutants and to limit and control their effects. Many are the categories of "outdoor" workers, who daily serve the in urban environment: police, drivers, newsagents, etc.
    Giornale italiano di medicina del lavoro ed ergonomia 01/2012; 34(2):187-96.