Welcome to Biomedicine & Prevention

Biomedicine & Prevention is a peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes original research articles as well as review articles in several areas of the life sciences. The journal’s Editorial Board covers several subject areas mainly focusing on prevention and health promotion. Prevention is covered not as an exclusive health competence discipline but in a holistic way, including environmental sciences, engineering, physics, legal implications and legislation.

Laboratory and diagnostic test mobile systems: critical issues and perspectives in the field of major disasters

Health Units of the Military Corps of Italian Red Cross (CRI) have proven to be usefully applied in both pace mission (i.e., Operation Ancient Babylon, IRAQ; 2005) and civil (i.e., EUNAVFOR MED Operation; in progress) scenarios, by using articulation unit modules. Evidence is given by the laboratory module of analysis which includes diagnostic emergency tests. The mobile laboratory is the result of a military working group made up of biomedical technicians. New planning perspectives have to be considered for the laboratory module for contrasting technical and logistic criticalities, in particular during major disasters. Test rapidity is strictly related to the critical condition of traumatized patients (i.e., crush syndrome) and/or subjects who have infections (i.e., tuberculosis). To achieve analysis results in a short time the use of point-of-care testing equipment is often required, having characteristics of compactness, autonomy, maximum portability and immediate response. In conclusion, we can establish that the effectiveness of the Mobile Laboratory of the Military Corps of CRI lies in its versatility, by adding operative response capacities in an emergency context, synergically with the main activities of first responders.

Benchmark Guidance Values for Microbiological Monitoring on Surfaces: a Literature Overview

The microbial contamination of surfaces can be a risk for human health. Surfaces may spread pathogens through direct contact with hands, tools and materials. For this reason, in workplaces, biological risk assessment is a legal obligation. It implies the microbiological monitoring of air and surface and the detection of specific pathogens depending on the type of working activity. It is very difficult to evaluate the results of microbiological environmental monitoring because threshold values for biological agents are not available and results depends on the different procedures adopted. The aim of this paper is to present a literature overview about the different sampling and analysis techniques and benchmarks proposed for the assessment of the hygienic status of surfaces in different workplaces.

Work-Related Allergic Rhinitis: a contemporary re-view of the literature

Adverse health effects have been reported in workers exposed to inhaled aller-gens. Allergic rhinitis is a heterogeneous disorder that significantly affects daily activity, work productivity, sleep, learning, and quality of life in all generations. Occupationally-related hazards which contribute to the development of allergic rhinitis represent an important avoidable cause of morbidity. The occupational ex-posure to chemicals or biological agents is the cause of high incidences of allergic rhinitis and this risk is high when the organization and preparation are inadequate and there is a lacking or insufficient information, education and communication. The prevalence of work-related rhinitis, which encompasses both occupational rhinitis and work-exacerbated rhinitis, is estimated to be 31–61%. Data on occu-pational rhinitis itself are scarce. Although work-related asthma and allergies are a huge burden for society, investigation of occupational exposures in early work life using an unexposed reference group is rare. Occupational allergic diseases are likely to worsen or become intractable as a result of continuous exposure to high concentrations of causative antigens, and are socioeconomically important diseas-es with which the patients might sometimes lose jobs due to work interruptions. It is important to adequately assess, communicate and manage risks in occupational chemical exposure settings with the aim to protect workers and the necessity to in-troduce periodic health examinations programs focusing on workers to monitor health and well-being and improve working conditions and the working environ-ment.

CBRN EMERGENCIES: INTEGRATED APPROACH TO DEVELOP INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY AND TRAINING OF OPERATORS

CBRN emergencies are unpredictable and might involve a huge number of peo-ple, causing public alarm and serious risks to the health of the population and the environment. Each country has to be prepared to face CBRN emergencies with an integrated, rapid and effective approach by early establishing the overall risk for the exposed population, measuring and minimizing the impact on population and environment, as well as restoring resilience. The Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Eco-nomic Development (ENEA) encompasses a large part of the skills and instru-ments necessary for an integrated approach to CBRN emergency. In particular, within the ENEA Division of Health Protection Technologies, several activities and international projects have been developed in the field of CBRN management during last decades. Here we summarize some of our achievements with the aim to contribute to the ‘Culture of Security’ and lay the foundations for collaborative networks.

How to CBRN-proof Your Hospital

Although CBRN agents are ranked high in the international threats’ estimate, preparedness and response are not equally addressed. The medical sector that would be the final receptor of all contaminated/wounded casualties following a real asymmetric terrorist incident in an urban environment is still the weak link in all emergency response plans. This paper provides proof of hospitals’ unpreparedness worldwide, addresses possible reasons of why this is happening and provides an outline of actions should be taken in order to CBRN-proof a hospital giving emphasis to the fact that the unexpected always happens.

Pages