Publications by authors named "Vladimir Zdímal"

31 Publications

An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 01;118(4)

Department of Epidemiology, Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

The science around the use of masks by the public to impede COVID-19 transmission is advancing rapidly. In this narrative review, we develop an analytical framework to examine mask usage, synthesizing the relevant literature to inform multiple areas: population impact, transmission characteristics, source control, wearer protection, sociological considerations, and implementation considerations. A primary route of transmission of COVID-19 is via respiratory particles, and it is known to be transmissible from presymptomatic, paucisymptomatic, and asymptomatic individuals. Reducing disease spread requires two things: limiting contacts of infected individuals via physical distancing and other measures and reducing the transmission probability per contact. The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected respiratory particles in both laboratory and clinical contexts. Public mask wearing is most effective at reducing spread of the virus when compliance is high. Given the current shortages of medical masks, we recommend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of source control, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact tracing strategies. Because many respiratory particles become smaller due to evaporation, we recommend increasing focus on a previously overlooked aspect of mask usage: mask wearing by infectious people ("source control") with benefits at the population level, rather than only mask wearing by susceptible people, such as health care workers, with focus on individual outcomes. We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of widespread face masks in public, including the use of appropriate regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2014564118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7848583PMC
January 2021

Three-Year Study of Markers of Oxidative Stress in Exhaled Breath Condensate in Workers Producing Nanocomposites, Extended by Plasma and Urine Analysis in Last Two Years.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2020 Dec 6;10(12). Epub 2020 Dec 6.

J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry CAS, Dolejškova 3, 182 23 Prague 8, Czech Republic.

Human data concerning exposure to nanoparticles are very limited, and biomarkers for monitoring exposure are urgently needed. In a follow-up of a 2016 study in a nanocomposites plant, in which only exhaled breath condensate (EBC) was examined, eight markers of oxidative stress were analyzed in three bodily fluids, i.e., EBC, plasma and urine, in both pre-shift and post-shift samples in 2017 and 2018. Aerosol exposures were monitored. Mass concentration in 2017 was 0.351 mg/m during machining, and 0.179 and 0.217 mg/m during machining and welding, respectively, in 2018. In number concentrations, nanoparticles formed 96%, 90% and 59%, respectively. In both years, pre-shift elevations of 50.0% in EBC, 37.5% in plasma and 6.25% in urine biomarkers were observed. Post-shift elevation reached 62.5% in EBC, 68.8% in plasma and 18.8% in urine samples. The same trend was observed in all biological fluids. Individual factors were responsible for the elevation of control subjects' afternoon vs. morning markers in 2018; all were significantly lower compared to those of workers. Malondialdehyde levels were always acutely shifted, and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine levels best showed chronic exposure effect. EBC and plasma analysis appear to be the ideal fluids for bio-monitoring of oxidative stress arising from engineered nanomaterials. Potential late effects need to be targeted and prevented, as there is a similarity of EBC findings in patients with silicosis and asbestosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano10122440DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7762143PMC
December 2020

Atmospheric aerosol growth rates at different background station types.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Mar 12;28(11):13352-13364. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, Na Šabatce 2050/17, 143 06, Prague 4-Komořany, Czech Republic.

Highly time-resolved particle number size distributions (PNSDs) were evaluated during 5 years (2013-2017) at four background stations in the Czech Republic located in different types of environments-urban background (Ústí nad Labem), industrial background (Lom), agricultural background (National Atmospheric Observatory Košetice), and suburban background (Prague-Suchdol). The PNSD data was used for new particle formation event determination as well as growth rate (GR) and condensation sink (CS) calculations. The differences or similarities of these parameters were evaluated from perspectives of the different pollution load, meteorological condition, and regional or long-range transport. The median growth rate (4 nm h) is very similar at all stations, and the most frequent length of growth lasted between 2 and 4 h. Condensation sink reflects the pollution load at the individual station and their connection to the environment type. The highest median, CS = 1.34 × 10 s, was recorded at the urban station (Ústí nad Labem), and the lowest (CS = 0.85 × 10 s) was recorded at the agricultural station (National Atmospheric Observatory Košetice). Conditional probability function polar plots illustrate the influence of source location to GR. These primary potential emission sources involve traffic, operation of a power plant, and domestic heating.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-11424-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7943522PMC
March 2021

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Aerosolomics: A Tool for Analysis of Polar Compounds in Atmospheric Aerosols.

ACS Omega 2020 Sep 3;5(36):22750-22758. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals, v.v.i., The Czech Academy of Sciences, Rozvojová 1/135, Prague 6 165 02, Czech Republic.

Nuclear magnetic resonance aerosolomics was proposed as a new approach to the analysis of the water-soluble organic compound fraction in aerosol particulate matter. The identification of individual compounds is based on a comparison of precise chemical shifts in the H NMR spectrum with the signals in the standards library. For this purpose, Chenomx metabolomics software and a comprehensive spectra library of 150 compounds known from chemistry of aerosols were used. This approach enabled the identification of 60 compounds in real aerosol samples collected at a suburban site in Prague. Using the metabolomic spectra library, three new compounds were identified in aerosols for the first time, and an association of four other compounds to the atmospheric particulate matter was confirmed. The obtained concentration profiles of all identified chemical individuals were subsequently subjected to advanced statistical analysis. NMR aerosolomics clearly differentiates between summer and winter aerosol samples via multivariate statistical analysis and revealed some interesting trends in composition, according to aerosol particle size. Furthermore, the univariate statistical analysis was applied to highlight compounds responsible for the group separation, and possible sources of these compounds were suggested.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.0c01634DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7495480PMC
September 2020

The genotoxic effects in the leukocytes of workers handling nanocomposite materials.

Mutagenesis 2020 09;35(4):331-340

Department of Nanotoxicology and Molecular Epidemiology, Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Videnska, Prague, Czech Republic.

The extensive development of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials poses a number of questions to toxicologists about the potential health risks of exposure to nanoparticles (NP). In this study, we analysed DNA damage in the leukocytes of 20 workers who were long-term exposed (18 ± 10 years) to NP in their working environment. Blood samples were collected in September 2016, before and after a shift, to assess (i) the chronic effects of NP on DNA (pre-shift samples) and (ii) the acute effects of exposure during the shift (the difference between pre- and post-shift samples). The samples from matched controls were taken in parallel with workers before the shift. Leukocytes were isolated from heparinised blood on a Ficoll gradient. The enzyme-modified comet assay (DNA formamido-pyrimidine-glycosylase and endonuclease III) demonstrated a considerable increase of both single- and double-strand breaks in DNA (DNA-SB) and oxidised bases when compared with the controls (2.4× and 2×, respectively). Acute exposure induced a further increase of DNA-SB. The welding and smelting of nanocomposites represented a higher genotoxic risk than milling and grinding of nanocomposite surfaces. Obesity appeared to be a factor contributing to an increased risk of oxidative damage to DNA. The data also indicated a higher susceptibility of males vs. females to NP exposure. The study was repeated in September 2017. The results exhibited similar trend, but the levels of DNA damage in the exposed subjects were lower compared to previous year. This was probably associated with lower exposure to NP in consequence of changes in nanomaterial composition and working operations. The further study involving also monitoring of personal exposures to NP is necessary to identify (i) the main aerosol components responsible for genotoxic effects in workers handling nanocomposites and (ii) the primary cause of gender differences in response to NP action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mutage/geaa016DOI Listing
September 2020

Spatial-temporal variability of aerosol sources based on chemical composition and particle number size distributions in an urban settlement influenced by metallurgical industry.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Nov 5;27(31):38631-38643. Epub 2020 Jul 5.

Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester Medical Center, 265 Crittenden Boulevard, Rochester, NY, 14642-0708, USA.

The Moravian-Silesian region of the Czech Republic with its capital city Ostrava is a European air pollution hot spot for airborne particulate matter (PM). Therefore, the spatiotemporal variability assessment of source contributions to aerosol particles is essential for the successful abatement strategies implementation. Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) was applied to highly-time resolved PM chemical composition (1 h resolution) and particle number size distribution (PNSD, 14 nm - 10 μm) data measured at the suburban (Ostrava-Plesná) and urban (Ostrava-Radvanice) residential receptor sites in parallel during an intensive winter campaign. Diel patterns, meteorological variables, inorganic and organic markers, and associations between the chemical composition factors and PNSD factors were used to identify the pollution sources and their origins (local, urban agglomeration and regional). The source apportionment analysis resolved six and four PM sources in Plesná and Radvanice, respectively. In Plesná, local residential combustion sources (coal and biomass combustion) followed by regional combustion sources (residential heating, metallurgical industry) were the main contributors to PM. In Radvanice, local residential combustion and the metallurgical industry were the most important PM sources. Aitken and accumulation mode particles emitted by local residential combustion sources along with common urban sources (residential heating, industry and traffic) were the main contributors to the particle number concentration (PNC) in Plesná. Additionally, accumulation mode particles from local residential combustion sources and regional pollution dominated the particle volume concentration (PVC). In Radvanice, local industrial sources were the major contributors to PNC and local coal combustion was the main contributor to PVC. The source apportionment results from the complementary datasets elucidated the relevance of highly time-resolved parallel measurements at both receptor sites given the specific meteorological conditions produced by the regional orography. These results are in agreement with our previous studies conducted at this site. Graphical abstract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-09694-0DOI Listing
November 2020

DNA Methylation Profiles in a Group of Workers Occupationally Exposed to Nanoparticles.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Mar 31;21(7). Epub 2020 Mar 31.

Department of Machining and Assembly, Department of Engineering Technology, Department of Material Science, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University in Liberec, Studentska 1402/2 Liberec, Czech Republic.

The risk of exposure to nanoparticles (NPs) has rapidly increased during the last decade due to the vast use of nanomaterials (NMs) in many areas of human life. Despite this fact, human biomonitoring studies focused on the effect of NP exposure on DNA alterations are still rare. Furthermore, there are virtually no epigenetic data available. In this study, we investigated global and gene-specific DNA methylation profiles in a group of 20 long-term (mean 14.5 years) exposed, nanocomposite, research workers and in 20 controls. Both groups were sampled twice/day (pre-shift and post-shift) in September 2018. We applied Infinium Methylation Assay, using the Infinium MethylationEPIC BeadChips with more than 850,000 CpG loci, for identification of the DNA methylation pattern in the studied groups. Aerosol exposure monitoring, including two nanosized fractions, was also performed as proof of acute NP exposure. The obtained array data showed significant differences in methylation between the exposed and control groups related to long-term exposure, specifically 341 CpG loci were hypomethylated and 364 hypermethylated. The most significant CpG differences were mainly detected in genes involved in lipid metabolism, the immune system, lung functions, signaling pathways, cancer development and xenobiotic detoxification. In contrast, short-term acute NP exposure was not accompanied by DNA methylation changes. In summary, long-term (years) exposure to NP is associated with DNA epigenetic alterations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072420DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7177382PMC
March 2020

Dry powder inhaler of colistimethate sodium for lung infections in cystic fibrosis: optimization of powder construction.

Drug Dev Ind Pharm 2019 Oct 30;45(10):1664-1673. Epub 2019 Aug 30.

Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology , Ferrara , Italy.

Colistimethate sodium (CMS) for treatment of lung infections in cystic fibrosis patient was transformed into a dry powder for inhalation by spray drying. Design of Experiment was applied for understanding the role of the spray-drying process parameters on the critical quality attributes of the CMS spray-dried (SD) powders and agglomerates thereof. Eleven experimental SD microparticle powders were constructed under different process conditions according to a central composite design. The SD microparticles were then agglomerated in soft pellets. Eleven physico-chemical characteristics of SD CMS microparticle powders or agglomerates thereof were selected as critical quality attributes. The yield of SD process was higher than 75%. The emitted fraction of agglomerates from RS01 inhaler was 75-84%, and the fine particle fraction (particles <5 µm) was between 58% and 62%. The quality attributes of CMS SD powders and respective agglomerates that were significantly influenced by spray-drying process parameters were residual solvent and drug content of the SD microparticles as well as bulk density and respirable dose of the agglomerates. These attributes were also affected by the combination of the process variables. The air aspiration rate was found as the most positively influential on drug and solvent content and respirable dose. The residual solvent content significantly influenced the powder bulk properties and aerodynamic behavior of the agglomerates, i.e. quality attributes that govern drug metering in the device and the particles lungs deposition. Agglomerates of CMS SD microparticles, in combination with RS01 DPI, showed satisfactory results in terms of dose emitted and fine particle fraction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03639045.2019.1652636DOI Listing
October 2019

The repeated cytogenetic analysis of subjects occupationally exposed to nanoparticles: a pilot study.

Mutagenesis 2019 09;34(3):253-263

Department of Machining and Assembly, Technical University in Liberec, Liberec, Czech Republic.

The application of nanomaterials has been rapidly increasing during recent years. Inhalation exposure to nanoparticles (NP) may result in negative toxic effects but there is a critical lack of human studies, especially those related to possible DNA alterations. We analyzed pre-shift and post-shift a group of nanocomposite researchers with a long-term working background (17.8 ± 10.0 years) and matched controls. The study group consisted of 73.2% males and 26.8% females. Aerosol exposure monitoring during a working shift (involving welding, smelting, machining) to assess the differences in exposure to particulate matter (PM) including nanosized fractions <25-100 nm, and their chemical analysis, was carried out. A micronucleus assay using Human Pan Centromeric probes, was applied to distinguish between the frequency of centromere positive (CEN+) and centromere negative (CEN-) micronuclei (MN) in the binucleated cells. This approach allowed recognition of the types of chromosomal damage: losses and breaks. The monitoring data revealed differences in the exposure to NP related to individual working processes, and in the chemical composition of nanofraction. The cytogenetic results of this pilot study demonstrated a lack of effect of long-term (years) exposure to NP (total frequency of MN, P = 0.743), although this exposure may be responsible for DNA damage pattern changes (12% increase of chromosomal breaks-clastogenic effect). Moreover, short-term (daily shift) exposure could be a reason for the increase of chromosomal breaks in a subgroup of researchers involved in welding and smelting processes (clastogenic effect, P = 0.037). The gender and/or gender ratio of the study participants was also an important factor for the interpretation of the results. As this type of human study is unique, further research is needed to understand the effects of long-term and short-term exposure to NP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mutage/gez016DOI Listing
September 2019

Leukocyte telomere length is not affected by long-term occupational exposure to nano metal oxides.

Ind Health 2019 Nov 28;57(6):741-744. Epub 2019 Mar 28.

Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals CAS, Czech Republic.

The aim of this study was to ascertain whether long-term occupational exposure to nanoparticles would affect relative leukocyte telomere length (LrTL). We analysed occupational exposure to size-resolved aerosol particles, with special emphasis on nanoparticles at two workshops: i/ the production of nanocomposites containing metal oxides; ii/ laboratory to test experimental exposure of nano-CuO to rodents. Thirty five exposed researchers (age 39.5 ± 12.6 yr; exposure duration 6.0 ± 3.7 yr) and 43 controls (40.4 ± 10.5 yr) were examined. LrTL did not significantly (p=0.14) differ between the exposed researchers (0.92 ± 0.13) and controls (0.86 ± 0.15). In addition, no significant correlation (r=-0.22, p=0.22) was detected between the duration of occupational exposure and LrTL. The results remained non-significant after multiple adjustments for age, sex and smoking status. Our pilot results suggest that relative leukocyte telomere length is not affected by occupational exposure to nanoparticles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2486/indhealth.2018-0146DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6885603PMC
November 2019

Assessment of air pollution origin based on year-long parallel measurement of PM and PM at two suburban sites in Prague, Czech Republic.

Sci Total Environ 2019 May 1;664:1107-1116. Epub 2019 Feb 1.

Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, Na Šabatce 17, 143 06 Prague 4, Czech Republic.

From 2nd April 2008 to 28th March 2009, a total 248 daily samples of the PM and PM were collected every sixth day parallel at two suburban sites (Libuš and Suchdol) located at the two opposite sides (south and north, respectively) of Prague, Czech Republic. The PM samples were analyzed for ions by ion chromatography (IC), organic and elemental carbon (OC and EC) by OC/EC analyzer and PM samples also for 56 elements by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The average annual PM and PM was 24.4 ± 13.0 μg m and 26.7 ± 15.1 μg m, respectively, in Prague-Libuš, and 25.1 ± 22.1 μg m and 27.1 ± 23.2 μg m, respectively, in Prague-Suchdol. Since the species forming large part of the aerosol mass were strongly correlated (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient r > 0.80), the variability of PM and PM concentration was mainly driven by the local meteorology or regional and/or long range transport. PM mass closure was calculated based on analytical results with the average percentage of recalculated mass of 77 ± 19% in Prague-Libuš and 86 ± 16% in Prague-Suchdol. The most abundant groups in PM at both sites during the four seasons were OM (Prague-Libuš 34% and Prague-Suchdol 37%) and SIA (Prague-Libuš 30% and Prague-Suchdol 34%). The Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) was applied to the chemical composition of PM from both sites (124 samples) together to determine its sources. The nine factors were assigned as: mixed factor secondary sulphate and biomass burning, secondary sulphate, traffic, secondary nitrate, road dust, residential heating, aged sea salt, industry and mixed factor road salt along with aged sea salt. According to the polar plots and ventilation index (VI) east/west classification analysis the sources were separated based on origin to four categories local, urban agglomeration, regional and long range transport (LRT). The mixed source secondary sulphate and biomass burning, residential heating and industry were common sources of local origin at both sites. Prague-Suchdol was influenced by traffic related pollution from the urban agglomeration more than Prague-Libuš where the traffic and road dust/salt were of local origin. The regional pollution by secondary sulphates and nitrate was also relevant at both sites along with long range transport of sea salt from North Atlantic Ocean, Norwegian Sea and North Sea. The contribution of the local sources to PM was significant mainly at Prague-Libuš site. However, the sources of regional origin were also important and influence of urban agglomeration pollution to PM is not negligible as well.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.426DOI Listing
May 2019

Deep Airway Inflammation and Respiratory Disorders in Nanocomposite Workers.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2018 Sep 16;8(9). Epub 2018 Sep 16.

UMass, Lowell, Department of Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences, Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences, Lowell, MA 01854, USA.

Thousands of researchers and workers worldwide are employed in nanocomposites manufacturing, yet little is known about their respiratory health. Aerosol exposures were characterized using real time and integrated instruments. Aerosol mass concentration ranged from 0.120 mg/m³ to 1.840 mg/m³ during nanocomposite machining processes; median particle number concentration ranged from 4.8 × 10⁴ to 5.4 × 10⁵ particles/cm³. The proportion of nanoparticles varied by process from 40 to 95%. Twenty employees, working in nanocomposite materials research were examined pre-shift and post-shift using spirometry and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) in parallel with 21 controls. Pro-inflammatory leukotrienes (LT) type B4, C4, D4, and E4; tumor necrosis factor (TNF); interleukins; and anti-inflammatory lipoxins (LXA4 and LXB4) were analyzed in their exhaled breath condensate (EBC). Chronic bronchitis was present in 20% of researchers, but not in controls. A significant decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC) was found in researchers post-shift ( ˂ 0.05). Post-shift EBC samples were higher for TNF ( ˂ 0.001), LTB4 ( ˂ 0.001), and LTE4 ( ˂ 0.01) compared with controls. Nanocomposites production was associated with LTB4 ( ˂ 0.001), LTE4 ( ˂ 0.05), and TNF ( ˂ 0.001), in addition to pre-shift LTD4 and LXB4 (both ˂ 0.05). Spirometry documented minor, but significant, post-shift lung impairment. TNF and LTB4 were the most robust markers of biological effects. Proper ventilation and respiratory protection are required during nanocomposites processing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano8090731DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164906PMC
September 2018

Markers of Oxidative Stress in the Exhaled Breath Condensate of Workers Handling Nanocomposites.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2018 Aug 10;8(8). Epub 2018 Aug 10.

Department of Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences, Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences, Lowell, MA 01854, USA.

Researchers in nanocomposite processing may inhale a variety of chemical agents, including nanoparticles. This study investigated airway oxidative stress status in the exhaled breath condensate (EBC). Nineteen employees (42.4 ± 11.4 y/o), working in nanocomposites research for 18.0 ± 10.3 years were examined pre-shift and post-shift on a random workday, together with nineteen controls (45.5 ± 11.7 y/o). Panels of oxidative stress biomarkers derived from lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins were analyzed in the EBC. Aerosol exposures were monitored during three major nanoparticle generation operations: smelting and welding (workshop 1) and nanocomposite machining (workshop 2) using a suite of real-time and integrated instruments. Mass concentrations during these operations were 0.120, 1.840, and 0.804 mg/m³, respectively. Median particle number concentrations were 4.8 × 10⁴, 1.3 × 10⁵, and 5.4 × 10⁵ particles/cm³, respectively. Nanoparticles accounted for 95, 40, and 61%, respectively, with prevailing Fe and Mn. All markers of nucleic acid and protein oxidation, malondialdehyde, and aldehydes C₆⁻C were elevated, already in the pre-shift samples relative to controls in both workshops. Significant post-shift elevations were documented in lipid oxidation markers. Significant associations were found between working in nanocomposite synthesis and EBC biomarkers. More research is needed to understand the contribution of nanoparticles from nanocomposite processing in inducing oxidative stress, relative to other co-exposures generated during welding, smelting, and secondary oxidation processes, in these workshops.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano8080611DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6116291PMC
August 2018

Comparison of PM chemical composition and sources at a rural background site in Central Europe between 1993/1994/1995 and 2009/2010: Effect of legislative regulations and economic transformation on the air quality.

Environ Pollut 2018 Oct 14;241:841-851. Epub 2018 Jun 14.

Department of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Rozvojová 1/135, 165 02 Prague 6, Czech Republic.

From December 1993 to January 1995 and from October 2009 to October 2010, a total of 320 and 365 daily samples of the PM were collected at a rural background site (National Atmospheric Observatory Košetice) in Central Europe. The PM samples were analyzed for 29 and 26 elements respectively by Particle-Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) and water-soluble inorganic ions by Ion Chromatography (IC) in 2009/2010. The Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) was applied to the chemical composition of PM to determine its sources. The decreasing trends of almost all elements concentrations, especially the metals regulated by the EU Directive (2004/107/EC) are evident. The annual median ratios indicate a decrease in concentrations of the PM elements. The slight increase of K concentrations and Spearman's rank correlation coefficient r 0.09 K/Se points to a rise in residential wood combustion. The S concentrations are nearly comparable (higher mean in 2009/2010, while the annual median ratio is under 1). The five major source types in the mid-1990s were ascribed to brown coal combustion, oil combustion, sea salt and dust - long-range transport, re-suspended dust and black coal combustion. The industrial combustion of brown and/or black coal (r 0.75 Se/As, r 0.57 Ga/Ge and r 0.20 As/Zn) and oil (r 0.72 V/Ni) of the regional origin dominated. In the 1990s, the potential source regions were the border area of Czech Republic, German and Poland (brown coal), the Moravia-Silesia region at the Czech-Polish border (black coal), and Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, and the Balkans (oil). In 2009/2010, the apportioned sources were sulfate, residential heating, nitrate, industry, re-suspended dust, and sea salt and dust - long-range transport. The secondary sulfate from coal combustion and residential biomass burning (r 0.96, K/K) of local origin dominated. The declining trend of the elemental concentrations and change in the source pattern of the regional background PM2.5 in Central Europe between the mid-1990s and 2009/10 reflects the economic transformation and impact of stricter legislation in Central Europe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.06.015DOI Listing
October 2018

Manikin-based size-resolved penetrations of CE-marked filtering facepiece respirators.

J Occup Environ Hyg 2017 12;14(12):965-974

b Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic , Prague , Czech Republic.

The purpose of this manikin-based study was to determine the percentage penetrations of nine CE-marked filtering facepiece respirator models (two samples from each) from filtering classes FFP1, FFP2, and FFP3 and to demonstrate by an independent measurement method the disadvantages and shortcomings of the currently valid European Norm (EN 149:2001) for filtering facepieces. All of the filtering facepieces were evaluated size-selectively in an experimental chamber using charge-neutralized monodisperse ammonium sulfate in 9 sizes ranging from 20-400 nm of count median diameter (CMD) under flowrate of 95 L/min. The results were then compared to the previous study concerning penetrations of 47-mm diameter filters cut from the filtering material of identical filtering facepieces. Although these two experimental methods for measuring penetrations of filtering materials from filtering facepieces are in good agreement (R = 0.91), the results show within-respirator variations in all three filtering classes (5.5-19.3% for all FFRs in FFP1, 2.8-8.5% in FFP2, and 0.1-2.8% in FFP3). The most penetrating particle size (MPPS) in this study was found to be in the range of 25-65 nm (CMD), which is in agreement with the range of 30-60 nm found in the previous study. Moreover, 7 out of 9 FFR models reached higher penetrations from manikin-based respirator measurements than during measurements of filters from the respective respirators. Furthermore, penetration levels increased up to ∼50% when the respirator was not sealed around the face of the manikin, indicating that the real protection level provided by these filtering facepieces may be even lower if the respirator does not fit perfectly. Considering that poor filtration efficiency and poor fit may increase under real work conditions, the particle penetration is even higher than was found in this study. Therefore, the CE-marked respirators examined in this study may not be efficient in providing the expected level of protection for workers exposed to nanoparticles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15459624.2017.1358816DOI Listing
December 2017

Single Usage of a Kitchen Degreaser Can Alter Indoor Aerosol Composition for Days.

Environ Sci Technol 2017 Jun 10;51(11):5907-5912. Epub 2017 May 10.

Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the CAS , Prague CZ-165 02, Czech Republic.

To the best of our knowledge, this study represents the first observation of multiday persistence of an indoor aerosol transformation linked to a kitchen degreaser containing monoethanol amine (MEA). MEA remaining on the cleaned surfaces and on a wiping paper towel in a trash can was able to transform ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate into (MEA)SO and (MEA)NO. This influence persisted for at least 60 h despite a high average ventilation rate. The influence was observed using both offline (filters, impactors, and ion chromatography analysis) and online (compact time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer) techniques. Substitution of ammonia in ammonium salts was observed not only in aerosol but also in particles deposited on a filter before the release of MEA. The similar influence of other amines is expected based on literature data. This influence represents a new pathway for MEA exposure of people in an indoor environment. The stabilizing effect on indoor nitrate also causes higher indoor exposure to fine nitrates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.6b06050DOI Listing
June 2017

Markers of nucleic acids and proteins oxidation among office workers exposed to air pollutants including (nano)TiO2 particles.

Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2016 Dec;37(Suppl1):13-16

Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Department of Occupational Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic.

Objectives: Experimental studies using nanoscale TiO2 have documented lung injury, inflammation, oxidative stress, and genotoxicity. Human health data are extremely scarce.

Methods: In exhaled breath condensate (EBC) and urine of 22 office employees occupationally exposed to TiO2 during their visit in the production workshops for average 14±9 min/day a panel of biomarkers of nucleic acids and proteins oxidation was studied, specifically 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), 8-hydroxyguanosine (8-OHG), 5-hydroxymethyl uracil (5-OHMeU), o-tyrosine (o-Tyr), 3-chlorotyrosine (3-ClTyr), and 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NOTyr). Examination was performed also in 14 comparable controls.

Results: The median respirable TiO2 mass concentration in the workshops was 0.40 mg/m3, median number concentration was 2.32×104 particles/cm3 with 80% of the particles being <100 nm in diameter. All 6 markers of oxidation were elevated in EBC in factory office employees relative to controls (p<0.01). Significant association was found between their job in TiO2 production plant and 5 markers of oxidation (except 3-NOTyr) in the EBC in multivariate analysis. No elevation of markers was detected in the urine.

Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that even short nanoTiO2 exposure may lead to pulmonary oxidative stress; however this effect may be short-term and reversible. The clinical significance of these findings is unclear and more studies are needed.
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December 2016

Physical properties and lung deposition of particles emitted from five major indoor sources.

Air Qual Atmos Health 2017 25;10(1):1-14. Epub 2016 Aug 25.

Division of Environmental Health & Risk Management, School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT UK ; Department of Environmental Sciences/Center of Excellence in Environmental Studies, King Abdulaziz University, PO Box 80203, Jeddah, 21589 Saudi Arabia.

The physical properties of indoor particles were measured with an Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) system (14.6-850 nm), an Aerodynamic Particle Sizer (APS, 0.54-18 μm) and an Hygroscopic Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer (H-TDMA) in an apartment located in an urban background site in Prague (Czech Republic) from 15 August to 8 September, 2014. The total particle maximum number concentration was 9.38 × 10, 1.46 × 10, 2.89 × 10, 2.25 × 10 and 1.57 × 10 particles cm for particles released from vacuum cleaning, soap/W5 cleaning spray, smoking, incense burning and cooking (frying) activities, respectively. Particles emitted from cleaning activities showed unimodal number size distributions, with the majority of particles (>98.2 %) in the ultrafine size range (Dp <100 nm) and modes at a diameter of 19.8 nm for vacuum cleaning and 30.6 nm for soap/W5 cleaning. Smoking and incense burning predominantly generated particles in the accumulation mode with a count median diameter around 90-150 nm while cooking emissions showed a bimodal structure with a main mode at 47.8 nm. Particles from vacuum cleaning, incense burning, smoking and cooking emissions were found to be "nearly hydrophobic" with an average growth factor (G) around 1.01-1.10, while particles emitted from desk cleaning using organic compounds were found to be "less-hygroscopic" (G ∼1.12-1.16). Based on an adjusted MPPD model with a consideration of the hygroscopic properties of particles, the total lung deposition fractions of these particles by number when they penetrate into the human lung were 0.73 ± 0.02, 0.62 ± 0.03, 0.37 ± 0.03, 0.32 ± 0.03 and 0.49 ± 0.02 for vacuum cleaning, desk cleaning, smoking, incense burning and cooking, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11869-016-0424-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5216066PMC
August 2016

Markers of lipid oxidative damage in the exhaled breath condensate of nano TiO production workers.

Nanotoxicology 2017 02 9;11(1):52-63. Epub 2016 Dec 9.

h UMass Lowell, Department of Public Health , College of Health Sciences , Lowell, MA , USA.

Nanoscale titanium dioxide (nanoTiO) is a commercially important nanomaterial. Animal studies have documented lung injury and inflammation, oxidative stress, cytotoxicity and genotoxicity. Yet, human health data are scarce and quantitative risk assessments and biomonitoring of exposure are lacking. NanoTiO is classified by IARC as a group 2B, possible human carcinogen. In our earlier studies we documented an increase in markers of inflammation, as well as DNA and protein oxidative damage, in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) of workers exposed nanoTiO. This study focuses on biomarkers of lipid oxidation. Several established lipid oxidative markers (malondialdehyde, 4-hydroxy-trans-hexenal, 4-hydroxy-trans-nonenal, 8-isoProstaglandin F2α and aldehydes C-C) were studied in EBC and urine of 34 workers and 45 comparable controls. The median particle number concentration in the production line ranged from 1.98 × 10 to 2.32 × 10 particles/cm with ∼80% of the particles <100 nm in diameter. Mass concentration varied between 0.40 and 0.65 mg/m. All 11 markers of lipid oxidation were elevated in production workers relative to the controls (p < 0.001). A significant dose-dependent association was found between exposure to TiO and markers of lipid oxidation in the EBC. These markers were not elevated in the urine samples. Lipid oxidation in the EBC of workers exposed to (nano)TiO complements our earlier findings on DNA and protein damage. These results are consistent with the oxidative stress hypothesis and suggest lung injury at the molecular level. Further studies should focus on clinical markers of potential disease progression. EBC has reemerged as a sensitive technique for noninvasive monitoring of workers exposed to engineered nanoparticles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17435390.2016.1262921DOI Listing
February 2017

Markers of lipid oxidative damage among office workers exposed intermittently to air pollutants including nanoTiO2 particles.

Rev Environ Health 2017 Mar;32(1-2):193-200

Nanoscale titanium dioxide (nanoTiO2) is a commercially important nanomaterial used in numerous applications. Experimental studies with nanotitania have documented lung injury and inflammation, oxidative stress, and genotoxicity. Production workers in TiO2 manufacturing with a high proportion of nanoparticles and a mixture of other air pollutants, such as gases and organic aerosols, had increased markers of oxidative stress, including DNA and protein damage, as well as lipid peroxidation in their exhaled breath condensate (EBC) compared to unexposed controls. Office workers were observed to get intermittent exposures to nanoTiO2 during their process monitoring. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of such short-term exposures on the markers of health effects in office workers relative to production workers from the same factory. Twenty-two office employees were examined. They were occupationally exposed to (nano)TiO2 aerosol during their daily visits of the production area for an average of 14±9 min/day. Median particle number concentration in office workers while in the production area was 2.32×104/cm3. About 80% of the particles were <100 nm in diameter. A panel of biomarkers of lipid oxidation, specifically malondialdehyde (MDA), 4-hydroxy-trans-hexenal (HHE), 4-hydroxy-trans-nonenal (HNE), 8-isoprostaglandin F2α (8-isoprostane), and aldehydes C6-C12, were studied in the EBC and urine of office workers and 14 unexposed controls. Nine markers of lipid oxidation were elevated in the EBC of office employees relative to controls (p<0.05); only 8-isoprostane and C11 were not increased. Significant association was found in the multivariate analysis between their employment in the TiO2 production plant and EBC markers of lipid oxidation. No association was seen with age, lifestyle factors, or environmental air contamination. The EBC markers in office employees reached about 50% of the levels measured in production workers, and the difference between production workers and office employees was highly significant (p<0.001). None of these biomarkers were elevated in urine. The approach presented here seems to be very sensitive and useful for non-invasive monitoring of employees exposed to air pollutants, including gases, organic aerosols, and nanoTiO2, and may prove useful for routine biomonitoring purposes. Among them, aldehydes C6, C8, C9, and C10 appear to be the most sensitive markers of lipid oxidation in similar occupational cohorts. One major challenge with sensitive biomonitoring techniques, however, is their non-specificity and difficulty in interpreting the meaning of their physiological values in the context of chronic disease development and damage-repair kinetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2016-0030DOI Listing
March 2017

Evaluation of a Conceptual Model for Gas-Particle Partitioning of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Using Polyparameter Linear Free Energy Relationships.

Environ Sci Technol 2016 11 2;50(22):12312-12319. Epub 2016 Nov 2.

Institute for Chemical Process Fundamentals of the CAS, v. v. i., 165 02 Prague, Czech Republic.

A model for gas-particle partitioning of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was evaluated using polyparameter linear free energy relationships (ppLFERs) following a multiphase aerosol scenario. The model differentiates between various organic (i.e., liquid water-soluble (WS)/organic soluble (OS) organic matter (OM), and solid/semisolid organic polymers) and inorganic phases of the particulate matter (PM). Dimethyl sulfoxide and polyurethane were assigned as surrogates to simulate absorption into the above-mentioned organic phases, respectively, whereas soot, ammonium sulfate, and ammonium chloride simulated adsorption processes onto PM. The model was tested for gas and PM samples collected from urban and nonurban sites in Europe and the Mediterranean, and the output was compared with those calculated using single-parameter linear free energy relationship (spLFER) models, namely Junge-Pankow, Finizio, and Dachs-Eisenreich. The ppLFER model on average predicted 96 ± 3% of the observed partitioning constants for semivolatile PAHs, fluoranthene, and pyrene, within 1 order of magnitude accuracy with root-mean-square errors (RMSE) of 0.35-0.59 across the sites. This was a substantial improvement compared to Finizio and Dachs-Eisenreich models (37 ± 17 and 46 ± 18% and RMSE of 1.03-1.40 and 0.94-1.36, respectively). The Junge-Pankow model performed better among spLFERs but at the same time showed an overall tendency for overestimating the partitioning constants. The ppLFER model demonstrated the best overall performance without indicating a substantial intersite variability. The ppLFER analysis with the parametrization applied in this study suggests that the absorption into WSOSOM could dominate the overall partitioning process, while adsorption onto salts could be neglected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.6b02158DOI Listing
November 2016

Leukotrienes in exhaled breath condensate and fractional exhaled nitric oxide in workers exposed to TiO2 nanoparticles.

J Breath Res 2016 06 30;10(3):036004. Epub 2016 Jun 30.

Department of Occupational Medicine, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Na Bojišti 1, 128 00 Prague 2, Czech Republic.

Human health data regarding exposure to nanoparticles are extremely scarce and biomonitoring of exposure is lacking in spite of rodent pathological experimental data. Potential markers of the health-effects of engineered nanoparticles were examined in 30 workers exposed to TiO2 aerosol, 22 office employees of the same plant, and 45 unexposed controls. Leukotrienes (LT) B4, C4, E4, and D4 were analysed in the exhaled breath condensate (EBC) and urine via liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS). Fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and spirometry was also measured. The median particle number concentration of the aerosol in the production ranged from 1.98  ×  10(4) to 2.32  ×  10(4) particles cm(-3); about 80% of the particles were  <100 nm in diameter. Median total mass concentration varied between 0.4 and 0.65 mg m(-3). All LT levels in workers' EBC were elevated relative to the controls (p  <  0.01). LTs in the EBC sample were correlated with titanium levels. Urinary LTs were not elevated in the workers and office employees. Office workers had higher LTB4 in EBC (p  <  0.05), and higher levels of FeNO (p  <  0.01). FeNO was higher in office employees with allergic diseases and was negatively correlated with smoking (p  <  0.01). In spirometry significant impairment in the workers was seen only for %VCIN and %PEF (both p  <  0.01). Multiple regression analysis confirmed a significant association between production of TiO2 and all cysteinyl LTs in EBC (p  <  0.01) and impaired %VCIN and %PEF (both p  <  0.01). LTB4 was also associated with smoking (p  <  0.01). LT levels complemented our earlier findings of DNA, protein, and lipid damage in the EBC of workers with nanoTiO2 exposures. Cysteinyl LTs in EBC analysis suggest inflammation and potential fibrotic changes in the lungs; they may be helpful for monitoring the biological effect of (nano)TiO2 on workers. Spirometry was not sensitive enough.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1752-7155/10/3/036004DOI Listing
June 2016

Oxidative stress markers are elevated in exhaled breath condensate of workers exposed to nanoparticles during iron oxide pigment production.

J Breath Res 2016 Feb 1;10(1):016004. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, First Faculty of Medicine, Department of Occupational Medicine, Na Bojišti 1, 128 00 Prague 2, Czech Republic.

Markers of oxidative stress and inflammation were analysed in the exhaled breath condensate (EBC) and urine samples of 14 workers (mean age 43  ±  7 years) exposed to iron oxide aerosol for an average of 10  ±  4 years and 14 controls (mean age 39  ±  4 years) by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) after solid-phase extraction. Aerosol exposure in the workplace was measured by particle size spectrometers, a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) and an aerodynamic particle sizer (APS), and by aerosol concentration monitors, P-TRAK and DustTRAK DRX. Total aerosol concentrations in workplace locations varied greatly in both time and space. The median mass concentration was 0.083 mg m(-3) (IQR 0.063-0.133 mg m(-3)) and the median particle concentration was 66 800 particles cm(-3) (IQR 16,900-86,900 particles cm(-3)). In addition, more than 80% of particles were smaller than 100 nm in diameter. Markers of oxidative stress, malondialdehyde (MDA), 4-hydroxy-trans-hexenale (HHE), 4-hydroxy-trans-nonenale (HNE), 8-isoProstaglandin F2α (8-isoprostane) and aldehydes C6-C12, in addition to markers of nucleic acid oxidation, including 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), 8-hydroxyguanosine (8-OHG), 5-hydroxymethyl uracil (5-OHMeU), and of proteins, such as o-tyrosine (o-Tyr), 3-chlorotyrosine (3-ClTyr), and 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NOTyr) were analysed in EBC and urine by LC-ESI-MS/MS. Almost all markers of lipid, nucleic acid and protein oxidation were elevated in the EBC of workers comparing with control subjects. Elevated markers were MDA, HNE, HHE, C6-C10, 8-isoprostane, 8-OHdG, 8-OHG, 5-OHMeU, 3-ClTyr, 3-NOTyr, o-Tyr (all p  <  0.001), and C11 (p  <  0.05). Only aldehyde C12 and the pH of samples did not differ between groups. Markers in urine were not elevated. These findings suggest the adverse effects of nano iron oxide aerosol exposure and support the utility of oxidative stress biomarkers in EBC. The analysis of urine oxidative stress biomarkers does not support the presence of systemic oxidative stress in iron oxide pigment production workers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1752-7155/10/1/016004DOI Listing
February 2016

Raman microspectroscopy of exhaled breath condensate and urine in workers exposed to fine and nano TiO2 particles: a cross-sectional study.

J Breath Res 2015 Jul 14;9(3):036008. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, First Faculty of Medicine, Department of Occupational Medicine, Na Bojisti 1, 128 00 Prague 2, Czech Republic.

The health effects of engineered nanoparticles in humans are not well-understood; however experimental data support the theory of oxidative stress promoting fibrogenesis and carcinogenicity. The aim of this study was to detect TiO2 particles in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) and urine samples to ascertain their presence and potential persistence and excretion in urine.EBC and urine samples were collected from 20 workers exposed to TiO2 aerosol; among them, 16 had a higher risk level of exposure (production workers) and four had medium risk level (research workers); in addition to 20 controls. Titanium levels in EBC and urine were analysed using the inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) method. A Raman microspectroscopic analysis was performed in EBC and urine to identify the phase composition of TiO2 particles observed. Aerosol exposure in the workplaces was measured using SMPS and APS spectrometers and P-TRAK and DustTRAK DRX monitors.The median concentration of TiO2 aerosol was 1.98 × 10(4) particles cm(-3), the interquartile range (IQR) was 1.50 × 10(4) - 3.01 × 10(4) particles cm(-3) and the median mass concentration was 0.65 mg m(-3) (IQR 0.46-.0.83 mg m(-3)); 70-82% of the particles were smaller than 100 nm in diameter. In any part of the plant, the median TiO2 air concentration did not exceed the national airborne exposure limit of 10 mg m(-3) for inert dust. Particles of rutile and/or anatase were found in the EBC of exposed workers in 8/20 (40%) of the pre-shift and 14/20 (70%) of the post-shift samples. In the urine of workers, TiO2 particles were detected in 2/20 post-shift urine samples only. The mean concentration of titanium in the EBC in production workers was 24.1 ± 1.8 µg/l. In the research workers the values were below the limit of quantitation; LOQ = 4.0 ± 0.2 µg/l), as well as in the controls. In the urine samples of all of the subjects, titanium was under the limit of detection (LOD = 1.2 µg/l). Raman microanalysis of EBC in the workers confirmed the presence of TiO2 anatase and/or rutile crystal phases in the pre-shift samples and their persistence from previous shifts in the workers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1752-7155/9/3/036008DOI Listing
July 2015

Detailed comparison of OC/EC aerosol at an urban and a rural Czech background site during summer and winter.

Sci Total Environ 2015 Jun 13;518-519:424-33. Epub 2015 Mar 13.

Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the CAS, v.v.i., Rozvojová 2/135, 165 02, Prague 6 - Suchdol, Czech Republic.

Winter and summer measurements of organic carbon and elemental carbon (OC and EC) in PM2.5 were performed in parallel at two sites, the rural background station Košetice and the Prague-Suchdol urban background site, with a 2-h time resolution using semi-online field OC/EC analysers. Seasonal and site differences were found in the OC and EC contents of PM2.5. Overall, the highest concentrations of both OC and EC were during winter at the urban site. The average urban impact was 50% for OC and 70% for EC. The summer season gives similar concentrations of OC at both sites. However, higher concentrations of EC, caused by higher traffic, were found at the urban site with an average urban increase of 50%. Moreover, an analysis of four OC fractions depending on the volatility (OC1 - most volatile, OC4 - least volatile) and pyrolytic carbon (PC) is provided. A similar level of each OC fraction at both sites was found in summer, except for higher OC1 at urban and higher PC at the rural site. In winter, the differences between the urban and rural sites were dominated by a large increase of the OC1 fraction in comparison with the rural site. A diurnal pattern of concentration and share of OC1 and PC suggests a prevailing influence of local sources on their concentrations at the urban site in winter. The OC3 and OC4 diurnal cycles suggest their more regional or long range transport origin in both seasons. The prevalent influence of OC1 at any urban site has not been previously reported. The minimisation of semi-volatile carbon losses during semi-continuous sampling and analysis, in comparison with off-line sampling methods, is a probable reason for the observed differences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.03.029DOI Listing
June 2015

Description of fluid dynamics and coupled transports in models of a laminar flow diffusion chamber.

J Chem Phys 2013 Aug;139(6):064701

Department of Aerosol and Laser Studies, Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Rozvojová 135, 165 02 Prague 6, Czech Republic.

The aim of this study is to assess how much the results of nucleation experiments in a laminar flow diffusion chamber (LFDC) are influenced by the complexity of the model of the transport properties. The effects of the type of fluid dynamic model (the steady state compressible Navier-Stokes system for an ideal gas/parabolic profile approximation) and the contributions of the coupled terms describing the Dufour effects and thermodiffusion on the predicted magnitude of the nucleation maxima and its location were investigated. This study was performed on the model of the homogeneous nucleation of an n-butanol-He vapor mixture in a LFDC. The isothermal dependencies of the nucleation rate on supersaturation were determined at three nucleation temperatures: 265 K, 270 K, and 280 K. For this purpose, the experimental LFDC data measured by A. P. Hyvärinen et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 124, 224304 (2006)] were reevaluated using transport models at different levels of complexity. Our results indicate that the type of fluid dynamical model affects both the position of the nucleation maxima in the LFDC and the maximum value of the nucleation rate. On the other hand, the Dufour effects and thermodiffusion perceptibly influence only the value of the maximal nucleation rate. Its position changes only marginally. The dependence of the maximum experimental nucleation rate on the saturation ratio and nucleation temperature was acquired for each case. Based on this dependence, we presented a method for the comparison and evaluation of the uncertainties of simpler models' solutions for the results, where we assumed that the model with Navier-Stokes equations and both coupled effects taken into account was the basis. From this comparison, it follows that an inappropriate choice of mathematical models could lead to relative errors of the order of several hundred percent in the maximum experimental nucleation rate. In the conclusion of this study, we also provide some general recommendations concerning the proper choice and setting of the mathematical model of transport processes in the LFDC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4816963DOI Listing
August 2013

Homogeneous nucleation rate measurements in supersaturated water vapor II.

J Chem Phys 2009 Aug;131(7):074507

Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals AS CR, v.v.i., CZ-16502 Prague, Czech Republic.

The homogeneous nucleation of water was studied experimentally in this work using a thermal diffusion cloud chamber; droplets were counted by the photomultiplier method and helium was used as a carrier gas. The nucleation rates range from 3x10(-2) to 3x10(1) cm(-3) s(-1) and six isotherms from 295 to 320 K with step of 5 K are measured. The experimental setup and obtained data are mutually compared to our previous publication [Brus et al., J. Chem. Phys. 129, 174501 (2008)], where the droplets were counted using digital photography and image processing. The molecular content of the critical clusters was estimated from the slopes of experimental data. The measured isothermal dependencies of the nucleation rate of water on the saturation ratio were compared with previously published data of others, several theoretical predictions, and the former nucleation onset data. The aim of the present investigation was to show for the first time that nucleation results can be quantitatively reproduced with two different experimental setups operated in different ways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3211105DOI Listing
August 2009

Homogeneous nucleation rate measurements in supersaturated water vapor.

J Chem Phys 2008 Nov;129(17):174501

Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals AS CR, v.v.i., Rozvojova 135, CZ-16502 Prague, Czech Republic.

The rate of homogeneous nucleation in supersaturated vapors of water was studied experimentally using a thermal diffusion cloud chamber. Helium was used as a carrier gas. Our study covers a range of nucleation rates from 3x10(-1) to 3x10(2) cm(-3) s(-1) at four isotherms: 290, 300, 310, and 320 K. The molecular content of critical clusters was estimated from the slopes of experimental data. The measured isothermal dependencies of nucleation rate of water on saturation ratio were compared with the prediction of the classical theory of homogeneous nucleation, the empirical prediction of Wolk et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 117, 10 (2002)], the scaled model of Hale [Phys. Rev. A 33, 4156 (1986)], and the former nucleation onset data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3000629DOI Listing
November 2008

The carrier gas pressure effect in a laminar flow diffusion chamber, homogeneous nucleation of n-butanol in helium.

J Chem Phys 2006 Jun;124(22):224304

Finnish Meteorological Institute, Erik Palménin aukio 1, P.O. Box 503, F1-00101 Helsinki, Finland.

Homogeneous nucleation rate isotherms of n-butanol+helium were measured in a laminar flow diffusion chamber at total pressures ranging from 50 to 210 kPa to investigate the effect of carrier gas pressure on nucleation. Nucleation temperatures ranged from 265 to 280 K and the measured nucleation rates were between 10(2) and 10(6) cm(-3) s(-1). The measured nucleation rates decreased as a function of increasing pressure. The pressure effect was strongest at pressures below 100 kPa. This negative carrier gas effect was also temperature dependent. At nucleation temperature of 280 K and at the same saturation ratio, the maximum deviation between nucleation rates measured at 50 and 210 kPa was about three orders of magnitude. At nucleation temperature of 265 K, the effect was negligible. Qualitatively the results resemble those measured in a thermal diffusion cloud chamber. Also the slopes of the isothermal nucleation rates as a function of saturation ratio were different as a function of total pressure, 50 kPa isotherms yielded the steepest slopes, and 210 kPa isotherms the shallowest slopes. Several sources of inaccuracies were considered in the interpretation of the results: uncertainties in the transport properties, nonideal behavior of the vapor-carrier gas mixture, and shortcomings of the used mathematical model. Operation characteristics of the laminar flow diffusion chamber at both under-and over-pressure were determined to verify a correct and stable operation of the device. We conclude that a negative carrier gas pressure effect is seen in the laminar flow diffusion chamber and it cannot be totally explained with the aforementioned reasons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2200341DOI Listing
June 2006

Homogeneous nucleation rate measurements of 1-propanol in helium: the effect of carrier gas pressure.

J Chem Phys 2006 Apr;124(16):164306

Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Rozvojová 135, 165 02 Prague 6, Czech Republic.

Kinetics of homogeneous nucleation in supersaturated vapor of 1-propanol was studied using an upward thermal diffusion cloud chamber. Helium was used as a noncondensable carrier gas and the influence of its pressure on observed nucleation rates was investigated. The isothermal nucleation rates were determined by a photographic method that is independent on any nucleation theory. In this method, the trajectories of growing droplets are recorded using a charge coupled device camera and the distribution of local nucleation rates is determined by image analysis. The nucleation rate measurements of 1-propanol were carried out at four isotherms 260, 270, 280, and 290 K. In addition, the pressure dependence was investigated on the isotherms 290 K (50, 120, and 180 kPa) and 280 K (50 and 120 kPa). The isotherm 270 K was measured at 25 kPa and the isotherm 260 K at 20 kPa. The experiments confirm the earlier observations from several thermal diffusion chamber investigations that the homogeneous nucleation rate of 1-propanol tends to increase with decreasing total pressure in the chamber. In order to reduce the possibility that the observed phenomenon is an experimental artifact, connected with the generally used one-dimensional description of transfer processes in the chamber, a recently developed two-dimensional model of coupled heat, mass, and momentum transfer inside the chamber was used and results of both models were compared. It can be concluded that the implementation of the two-dimensional model does not explain the observed effect. Furthermore the obtained results were compared both to the predictions of the classical theory and to the results of other investigators using different experimental devices. Plotting the experimental data on the so-called Hale plot shows that our data seem to be consistent both internally and also with the data of others. Using the nucleation theorem the critical cluster sizes were obtained from the slopes of the individual isotherms and compared with the Kelvin prediction. The influence of total pressure on the observed isothermal nucleation rate was studied in another experiment, where not only temperature but also supersaturation was kept constant as the total pressure was changed. It was shown that the dependence of the nucleation rate on pressure gets stronger as pressure decreases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2185634DOI Listing
April 2006