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Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Print version ISSN 0021-2571

Ann. Ist. Super. Sanità vol.46 n.3 Roma Jan. 2010

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-25712010000300018 

SECTION II

 

Book reviews, notes and comments

 

 

Edited by Federica Napolitani Cheyne

 

IN MEMORY
OF VINCENZO CUOMO
Medical doctor and man
of letters on the isle of Capri,
crossroads of Europe

Annali di Igiene
Medicina Preventiva e di Comunità,
Vol. 22, Suppl. 1
C. Melino, G. Melino,
R. Del Vecchio (Ed.).
Roma: Società Editrice
Universo; 2010. p. 65.
ISSN 1120-9135.

 

If Rome is (or was) caput mundi, Capri certainly deserves to be defined the crossroads of Europe. In fact, the beautiful small island has been for centuries the spectacular stage of many outstanding human cultural achievements in quite different fields, due to the more or less extended sojourns of a host of distinguished protagonists (see Tito Fiorani's catalogue of the houses and villas of Capri's "immigrants" [1]). Of course such an exceptional place, besides its fasti, could not avoid a series of glamorous nefasti: and Capri can boast quite a few of the latter, ranging from the legend (almost certainly a fake) about Emperor Tiberius' "monstruous pleasures" (this term is from a respectable biographic encyclopedia) to the sad story of the German conservative gun magnate Alfred Krupp. Nihil novi sub sole: at the turn of the 19th century, Krupp's homosexuality was exploited for a political lynching campaign from the left, which resulted in his banning from Italy. Soon afterwards he died prematurely, on November 22, 1902, in his majestic Villa Krupp in Essen - a demise officially attribued to a stroke, but almost certainly due to suicide, likely on suggestion of a close friend, Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Books, articles, movies, etc., about Capri are by now innumerable, but new interesting items continue to appear. The present special issue of Annali di Igiene, of remarkable interest for the medical and related sciences, is about a man - Vincenzo Cuomo (1858-1935) - who devoted more than 50 years of his life to medical, public health and various other scientific and cultural activities in Capri. Cuomo, a Neapolitan, after graduating in medicine as a brilliant pupil of the famous Antonio Cardarelli, was the victim of an accident during an autopsy, which caused an infection resulting in the loss of one eye. After such an ordeal, in 1882 he came to Capri for a period of recovery, and shortly afterwards decided to remain there for the rest of his life: not only as a district municipal doctor and public health officer, but also as epidemiologist, meteorologist, climatologist, and eventually as one of the founders of modern climatotherapy, particularly thalassotherapy.

As concerns medicine - plus many other activities of distinguished physicians - Capri at the turn of the 19th century and the initial decades of the 20th century was like the proverbial Chinese hill, hosting three tigers, however, rather than only two - Cuomo, the Swedish Axel Munthe and the American John Clay Mac Kowen (or Mac Khowen). The best known internationally was Munthe, author of the History of San Michele read by millions in different languages, whose fame needs not to be documented here. Mac Kowen was a flamboyant millionaire Louisiana planter who used to flog his slaves (and also some of Capri's peasants during the initial years of his sojourn in the island, where he went around with topee, whip and boots with spears). He had fought in the Civil War as colonel of the Confederate Army and left for Europe after the defeat of the Southern States. Then he graduated in medicine at the University of Munich, and eventually ended up in Capri in 1876, where he built the famous Casa Rossa, also in Anacapri. Incidentally, the relations between Munthe and this volcanic character were far from friendly: to the point that the latter, after a hot controversy over a local medical issue, challenged Munthe to a duel (which, however, did not take place). But Mac Kowen could alternate bouts of extreme aggressiveness and bouts of extreme generosity, taking medical care at no cost and donating medicines to poor people, so as to deserve the picturesque nickname "ciacca e mmereca" (beats and medicates; [1] p. 413-4).

Cuomo's medical and other activities are well illustrated by the articles in the publication under review: particularly the one on his medical and public health work in Capri, by C. and G. Melino of the Rome Universities "Sapienza" and "Tor Vergata"; and the one on his pioneer work in thalassotherapy, by E. Lampa, of the ad hoc Italian association, and F. Rossi, of the University of Naples. The villa built by Cuomo at Anacapri included a modern meteorological observatory. The selected nosographical, epidemiological and climatological protocols which illustrate the first of the aforementioned articles testify of a remakable ingenuity and scientific rigour: see, for example, the nosographic data on tuberculosis patients and the analysis of their improvement during the sojourn in Capri (Table 2, p. 24); or the records concerning mortality due to seven infectious diseases in Capri and Anacapri in the years 1883-1892 (Table 3, p. 25); or the striking precision of the meteorological records decade by decade (Table 5, p. 26) and various other climatological data (Table 6, p. 28 and Figures 2-7, p. 29-30). Cuomo had an intelligent, person-centered holistic approach to the problems of health and disease, as testified for example by his concern for the psychological aspects of illness and by the important role he assigned to environmental factors in the management of "neurasthenia". He also was an expert musician, having studied at the famous Neapolitan conservatoire of San Pietro a Maiella, and made a successful use of music in the therapy of depressed patients (p. 33). Cuomo's relations with the population, the local authorities, and several of the Italian and foreign stars of Capri's heaven were constantly excellent. Krupp, in particular, for whom engineer Emilio Mayer had built the famous road from Anacapri to Marina Piccola (the magnate never had his own villa, but lived partly in a suite at the Hotel Quisisana and partly on his yacht), was his patient and friend. He had approved and accepted to finance some important public health and other projects drawn by Cuomo, but most of them were blocked by the scandal and banning of the magnate. In addition to several significant prizes and other acknowledgments from national and international medical and scientific authorities, in 1905 Cuomo was awarded the honorary citizenship by the municipality of Capri. The publication reviewed here should be consulted for much additional information of considerable interest, including sections devoted to biographic data, publications, prizes and other acknowledgments, etc.

Two final recommendations for your next visit to Capri. First, don't miss the three important places in Anacapri which continue to testify on these and other related significant parts of the island's history: the Casa Rossa; Villa San Michele and Villa Cuomo. Second, take with you a copy of this issue of Annali di Igiene and a good guide to Capri's sanctuaries, like the comprehensive and well illustrated one already quoted [1].

 

REFERENCE

1. Fiorani T. Le case raccontano. Storie e passioni nelle dimore del mito a Capri. Capri (NA): Edizioni La Conchiglia; 2002.         [ Links ]

 

Giorgio Bignami
Già Dirigente di ricerca presso l'Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
welin.bignami@mclink.net

 


 

IDENTITÀ ALLA PROVA
La controversa storia del
test del DNA tra crimini,
misteri e battaglie legali

Alice Andreoli.
Milano: Sironi Editore;
2009. 252 p.
ISBN 978-88-518-0122-9.
€ 17,00.

 

This is the story of a scientific discovery that has changed the world. It's the story of a war that was fought for years in courtrooms and scientific laboratories. It is the story of people sentenced to death and recognized innocent, of murderers who were discovered when they were sure that they had gotten away with the crime [...] This is the story of the DNA test, the most important revolution in criminal investigations [...] Someone defined it as a perfect proof, a real lie detector, a paradigm, the last frontier of those who believe that science can give us any solution. But what does it consist of ? Is it really infallible?" These are the words used by the author in the preface of the book and the questions she asks herself and for which she tries to find an answer.

This is not a technical text claiming to provide scientific details which could make the content incomprehensible to most people or addressed only to those working in scientific fields, but a book that makes forensic genetics, which has come into our houses through a media campaign that shows only in part what happens during an investigation, approachable and fascinating.

The book turns the reader into a forensic geneticist who provides investigators with DNA tests as additional tools in the attempt to bring the perpetrators to justice and save innocents from summary judgements.

The author describes the role that DNA testing has in the resolution of court cases in both national and international scenarios and in cases where the test itself is on the witness stand as an issue of scientific and legal debates.

DNA tests provide the scientific dimension to criminal cases (OJ Simpson), identity to those who have lost theirs, roots to those who have been deprived of them (sons of desaparecidos) and restore the historical truth on legends that have held the stage for decades (Anastasia Romanoff).

The historical background of DNA tests reported by the author starts from the "DNA fingerprinting" first described in 1985 by Alec Jeffrey, an English geneticist who found that certain regions of DNA contained sequences repeated over and over next to each other and that the number of repeated sections could differ from individual to individual. By developing a technique to examine the length variation of the DNA repeated sequences, Jeffrey created the possibility of performing human identity tests. Individual identification is desirable in several situations, among others the determination of murder and rape perpetrators, the resolution of unestablished paternity and the identification of the remains of those missing after a mass disaster.

Since 1993 forensic science has benefited from the support provided by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) that let the geneticists make thousands of copies of DNA samples whose limited quantity and quality on the crime scenes often restricted the possibility to perform multiple analyses on them. More recently a high power of discrimination was achieved with short tandem repeat (STR) typing systems, with the analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) which is maternally inherited and helpful in cases involving highly degraded DNA and of single nucleotide polymorfisms (SNPs) that received attention due to their abundance throughout the human genome.

Alice Andreoli highlights the great support DNA tests provided to investigations without neglecting the statistical limitations that have often made the tests unacceptable as proof of innocence or guilt, and the accidental and voluntary errors that can be encountered in the test.

 

Laura Trapani
Università degli Studi, Roma Tre, Rome, Italy
ltrapani@uniroma3.it

 


 

IL FISICO CHE VISSE DUE
VOLTE
I giorni straordinari di
Lev Landau, genio sovietico

Fabio Toscano.
Milano: Sironi Editore;
2008. 288 p.
ISBN 978-88-518-0096-3.
€ 18,00.

 

The life of Lev Davidovic Landau, one of the most outstanding physicists of the past century, is a remarkable mélange of scientific achievements and personal adventures, in the background of the harsh times of Soviet power.

Landau, born in 1908 in Baku (Azerbaijan) from a Jewish family, very early revealed himself as one of the most promising young Soviet talents. But his unique intellectual strength was not the only remarkable aspect of his personality. An unlimited appreciation for the many beauties of life (with a special place deserved to women) together with a sharp sense of humor and an indomitable aversion for beaurocracy, rhetoric and the arrogance of the establishment were among the distinctive aspects of this exceptional personage. His life has been inextricably interwoven, both in its cultural aspects and its private happenings, with the surge and the growth of Soviet power in the former Soviet Union.

The book by Fabio Toscano (in Italian language, published by Sironi in 2008) aims at representing the above mentioned peculiarity of Landau's years that saw his splendid intellectual raise as one of the most prominent and respected theoretical physicists in the world deeply entangled with the political events of Soviet Union.

In my opinion this goal has been brilliantly achieved. Along with a clear and very effective popular presentation of Landau's pioneering work mostly in the field of superfluids physics and of phase transitions theory, the reader is offered with a remarkable description of the terrible events that, starting from the beginning of the 1930-1940 decade and up to the death of Stalin, have marked the destiny of millions of Russian citizen. One should in particular appreciate the description of liquid helium-4 phenomenology and of its theoretical understanding, which we owe to Landau, and, on the other side, of the events which led to the Soviet atomic bomb with their very strong impact on the Soviet physicists community.

To this I would add the remarkably accurate description of the tragic events which, in the sixties, led to the death of Lev Davidovic, after the dramatic car accident of which he had been, sadly, the victim.

Perhaps a few aspects of Landau scientific work remain somehow in the shadow in Toscano's book, like his contributions to quantum field theory and electrodynamics.

But having said that, I would recommend this book also to a reader not skilled in physics, as an exciting journey in an extraordinary intellectual adventure and, simultaneously, in the drama of some of the most terrible years of the past century.

 

Eugenio Tabet
Già dirigente di ricerca presso l'Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
e.tabet@tiscali.it

 


 

LEI LO CHIAMA
MONKEYLUV...
Amore di scimmia. E altre
riflessioni sull'animale
uomo.

Robert M. Sapolsky.
Bologna: Gruppo Editoriale
Muzzio srl;
2010. 224 p.
ISBN 978-88-96159-25-5.
€ 16,00.

 

Robert M. Sapolsky is well-known as a brilliant primatologist and neuroscientist and he is presently professor of Biological Sciences and Neurology at the Stanford University, as well as associate researcher at the National Museums of Kenya. Furthermore, he had gained remarkable field experience with baboons (see A Primate's Memoir published by Touchstone Books in 2002).

In Monkeyluv he deals with a collection of essays that mainly ran in Discover, Natural History, The Sciences and other journals. Sapolsky synthesizes scientific researches in an engaging and compelling style, encouraging you to read more (very remarkable and helpful the extensive annotated bibliography). By witty or serious prose, from time to time, he brings the reader to discover and think about animals', including human, nature, as well as to reflect on our society and on our daily behaviours. In particular, three major scientific issues are tackled across this book: the relationship between genes and environment argued considering its influence on exhibition of the different behavioural patterns; the influence of behavioural biology on social and sexual contexts; and finally, Sapolsky tells and discuss some remarks and evaluations on how the human society shapes our beliefs and feelings.

The curiosity of the author brilliantly drives the different subjects presented through the book, and so we come face to face with what the People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" think about determinism, what makes one organism sexy to another, or why old people are neurologically disinclined to like whatever music appreciated by young people. The concept that genes determine our behaviour and our physiognomy is widely spread among lay people, so the author extensively discusses this issue, successfully arguing the total nonsense of such an idea. As he writes in A Gene for Nothing, for instance, actual genes make up only some 5 percent of the human genome. Among the rest of the DNA are regulatory elements that instruct the genes to turn on and off according to cues from the environment.

The importance of always present interaction between genes and environment, and not the supremacy of either (of them), is the fundamental message that Sapolsky wants to be well-known. With a delightful style author gives important information of behavioural biology, for example explaining that throughout the whole animal kingdom, individuals of both sexes respond to the other sex following conventional attractions. Nevertheless, certain very particular traits, such as the huge plumage, the wild coloration, the strange appendages, exert an even more magnetic attractive, providing a greater reproductive success as final result (the Darwinian sexual selection). These exaggerated characteristics are, or should be, indicators of good health. In fact, an individual that wastes energy for aesthetic ornaments must be in a very good health status.

Running across the book, with an entertaining manner, Sapolsky faces the complex daily matching between the sexes. He tells about the bafflement in that each man (and each women) is involved when confronted with "his other half of the sky" (in very strong agreement with a few Italian colleagues). It is really interesting and amazing to read around the genetic basis of why that niggle by our partner seems to be so often obscure, is both for erudite and ordinary reader, it is noteworthy the discovery that much of behavior is driven by proximal (and not ultimate) cues. For behaviors that are evolutionarily vital, that so often involve risk to life, the motivation can't be abstract and delayed, but these have to be driven by proximal cues. Among these, the author includes the motivation for sexual behavior, concluding that animals, including human beings, are interested in sex because it feels good. A very revolutionary vision, as much interesting as by what was taught in the University classrooms until some years ago.

Nevertheless, he underlines as, both in human and in non-human primates, the ultimate issues, not proximal ones, seem to be involved when people choose their mates. In this case, in fact, someone who is kind, loving, capable of being a good parent resulted to be considered the right choice to grow old with. In last chapters, Sapolsky presents thoughtful observations, inducing the reader to think about the present and past social context and its potentially detrimental impacts on our health status. In particular, he reports the concept of Social Economic Status (SES), underlining as rich people or the most developed (actually, the richest) countries can result the most interested in psychiatric and psychological diseases because the world around makes them feel sick. His way of presenting and criticizing the present degree of medicalization in "modern" psychiatry is one of the most crucial part of the book for a specialized biomedical community, particularly in Italy (Franco Basaglia's country) [1-3].

The pathological and worry distortions of present world are dreadfully told in chapters as "nursery crimes," the longest essay in the book, where the personality disorder called Munchausen's by proxy was investigated. A distraught parent, almost always a mother, secretly poisons her child, inducing symptoms of any unknown disease. Her final aim is to take her sick child to the hospital, where she will quickly become integral part of hospital staff, doctors and nurses will appreciate her fortitude and friendship, unwittingly promoting her mortally pathological design. It is really terrifying, in fact the death rate of children so abused is nearly 10 percent.

Perhaps, just a minor remark on the book: it is difficult to see the link between the third and the two previous sections. In fact, the genetic-based mark followed across the most part of the book is then lost in the final section that seems to be focused on a more closely sociological aspect. Probably, the limitation is the obsessive intellectual curiosity of the author that induces him to go from topic to topic without an apparent link. However, this is not a big deal, because the very easy reading makes this book really advisable to anyone who wishes to be more close to the enormous complexity of science, and to engage him/herself in a truly delightful adventure. As many science bestsellers, this non-homogenous collection of essays may be very easily digestible also by potential readers who are underground, bus and train travelers.

 

REFERENCES

1. Katz MM, Marsella A, Dube KC, Olatawura M, Takahashi R, Nakane Y, Wynne LC, Gift T, Brennan J, Sartorius N, Jablensky A. On the expression of psychosis in different cultures: Schizophrenia in an indian and in a Nigerian community. Cult Med Psychiatry 1988;12:331-55.         [ Links ]

2. Sartorious, N. 1993. WHO's work on the epidemiology of mental disorders. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 1993;28:147-55.         [ Links ]

3. Alleva E, Bignami G, Di Fiandra T (Ed.). Thirty years after the reform of the Italian Law on mental health: time for celebrating, evaluating, moving forward. Ann Ist Super Sanità 2009;45:1-59.         [ Links ]

 

Arianna Manciocco
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Rome, Italy
arianna.manciocco@iss.it

 


 

WHO PUBLICATIONS

 

 

Edited by Anna Maria Rossi

 

 

PROGRESS ON SANITATION
AND DRINKING-WATER:
2010 UPDATE.
Geneva: World Health
Organization. 2010, 54 p.
ISBN 978 92 415 6395 6
In inglese.
Sw.fr./US $ 20.00
N. ordine 11502738

 

Il rapporto descrive la situazione e le tendenze relative all'utilizzo di fonti sicure di acqua potabile, ai servizi igienico-sanitari di base e agli sviluppi compiuti rispetto agli obiettivi di sicurezza e igiene delle acque potabili stabilite dai Millennium Development Goals (MDG) della WHO.

Avvicinandosi il 2015 - anno stabilito quale obiettivo dei MDG - diventa estremamente importante individuare le popolazioni che hanno ancora difficoltà e impegnarsi per risolverle. Il rapporto indica una serie di disparità, esattamente: il divario esistente tra i progressi raggiunti nel fornire l'accesso alle acque potabili, da una parte, e la diffusione di servizi igienico-sanitari, dall'altra; la distinzione tra popolazioni urbane e rurali in termini di servizi igienico-sanitari forniti; le differenze nel modo in cui le diverse regioni stanno mettendo in atto interventi, tenendo in considerazione che le loro situazioni di partenza sono dissimili; le disparità tra i differenti strati economici della società.

Le informazioni, presentate nel rapporto, comprendono dati provenienti da indagini a livello familiare e da censimenti svolti nel periodo 2007-2008. Sono anche inclusi dati di precedenti indagini e censimenti, a disposizione del WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation (Programma congiunto WHO/UNICEF per il monitoraggio dell'approvvigionamento e dell'igiene delle acque) e successivi alla pubblicazione del precedente rapporto JMP del 2008.

I dati relativi a quasi 300 indagini e censimenti per il periodo 1985-2008 sono stati aggiunti alla base dati JMP. Il rapporto, pertanto, sostituisce tutti i precedenti. I dati, tuttavia, non riflettono gli sforzi compiuti nel 2008, Anno internazionale dell'acqua, che portarono, in tutto il mondo, a un rinnovato slancio per fermare la pratica della defecazione al-l'aria aperta e promuovere l'utilizzo dei bagni.

 


 

SAFE MANAGEMENT OF
SHELLFISH AND HARVEST
WATERS.
Rees G, Pond K, Kay D, et al.
Geneva: World Health
Organization. 2010, 358 p.
(EURO Nonserial
publications)
ISBN 978 92 415 6382 6
In inglese.
Sw.fr./US $ 100.00
N. ordine 11500758

 

Acque considerate non sicure e utilizzate per l'allevamento di molluschi bivalvi sono causa di epidemie di malattie in tutto il mondo, sia nei Paesi sviluppati che in quelli in via di sviluppo. Gli scienziati e i regolatori concordano che un cambiamento nel monitoraggio e nella gestione del problema sia importante per evidenziare i rischi per i consumatori di molluschi.

Il volume costituisce un documento a livello internazionale, che affronta in modo esauriente i rischi, il monitoraggio e la gestione della contaminazione delle acque di scolo provenienti da allevamenti di molluschi bivalvi. Presenta le esperienze a livello mondiale, individua traguardi e opportunità per le industrie e suggerisce soluzioni per raggiungere tali traguardi.

Sono presi in considerazione case study provenienti da un gruppo di Paesi sviluppati e in via di sviluppo per mettere in evidenza i differenti approcci e interessi e per consentire ai medici di acquisire conoscenze da situazioni proprie di Paesi a clima tropicale e temperato.

Sono anche studiati nuovi mezzi e tecniche, che possano consentire a normative e gestioni innovative di migliorare la sanità pubblica.

Il volume è di grandissimo valore per le agenzie sanitarie, le agenzie ambientali a tutela della qualità delle acque e di normativa sui molluschi, e per ogni altro professionista che operi nell'industria dei molluschi.

 


 

THE WHO RECOMMENDED
CLASSIFICATION OF
PESTICIDES BY HAZARD
AND GUIDELINES TO
CLASSIFICATION 2009.
Geneva: World Health
Organization. 2010, 64 p.
ISBN 978 92 415 4796 3
In inglese.
Sw.fr./US $ 30.00
N. ordine 11500775

 

La WHO Recommended classification of pesticides by hazard (Classificazione dei pesticidi raccomandata dalla WHO per categoria di rischio), pubblicata a partire dal 1975 e sottoposta a continue revisioni - pubblicate a distanza di pochi anni una sugli inquinanti organici persistenti (POP); sostanze fumiganti gassose o volatili non classificate in queste raccomandazioni.

Il volume sostituisce l'edizione 2000-2002 della Classificazione. In questa ultima revisione le classi di pericolo WHO sono state allineate con le categorie di pericolo da tossicità acuta del Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS - Sistema mondiale armonizzato di classificazione ed etichettatura delle sostanze chimiche) quale punto di partenza per attribuire i pesticidi a una classe di pericolo. Il GHS, pubblicato a partire dal 2002 da un comitato di esperti delle Nazioni Unite, è attualmente e ampiamente utilizzato in tutto il mondo per la classificazione e l'etichettatura delle sostanze chimiche. In questa revisione della Classificazione, è presentata la categoria di pericolo di tossicità acuta GHS per ogni pesticida unitamente alle informazioni disponibili.

La Parte I. descrive i principi generali per la classificazione dei pesticidi così come raccomandato dall'Assemblea della WHO. I principi continuano a essere validi, tuttavia la Risoluzione dell'Assemblea prevedeva che i criteri di classificazione necessitassero di essere sviluppati nel tempo e sulla base delle successive esperienze. I punti-guida, originariamente proposti nel 1975, sono attualmente allineati con le corrispondenti categorie di pericolo da tossicità acuta GHS. La classificazione di alcuni pesticidi è stata aggiustata affinché siano presi in considerazione alcuni pericoli per la salute diversi da quelli legati alla tossicità acuta.

La Parte II presenta le linee guida per la Classificazione. Singoli prodotti sono classificati, sulla base della loro tossicità orale o cutanea, in una serie di tabelle soggette a revisione periodica. Le tabelle più recenti, inoltre, presentano, per ogni pesticida, la categoria di pericolo da tossicità acuta GHS. Per consentire la classificazione delle formulazioni, è presente un allegato che include tabelle numeriche dalle quali trarre la corrispondente classificazione.

 


 

WHO HANDBOOK ON
INDOOR RADON. A PUBLIC
HEALTH PERSPECTIVE.
Geneva: World Health
Organization. 2009, 108 p.
(Nonserial publication)
ISBN 978 92 415 4767 3
In inglese.
Sw.fr./US $ 30.00
N. ordine 11500763

 

Il manuale WHO sull'esposizione al radon in ambienti confinati è un documento chiave elaborato nell'ambito del WHO International Radon Project (Progetto internazionale WHO sul radon), lanciato nel 2005. Il manuale tratta dell'esposizione al radon nelle abitazioni dal punto di vista della salute pubblica e contiene dettagliate raccomandazioni sulla riduzione dei rischi per la salute connessi all'esposizione al radon e le possibili scelte di politica sanitaria in tema di prevenzione e riduzione dell'esposizione al radon.

Il documento si basa su evidenze epidemiologiche che confermano che il radon è responsabile di un numero rilevante di tumori polmonari nella popolazione.

È distinto in sei capitoli, ognuno dei quali è introdotto da messaggi chiave. I termini tecnici sono di norma definiti la prima volta in cui essi appaiono nel testo ed è anche incluso un glossario. Le informazioni riguardano la scelta di rilevatori per le misurazioni dei livelli di radon e le procedure da mettere in atto per ottenere misurazioni affidabili di tali livelli. Altri argomenti trattati sono: le strategie di controllo del radon nelle nuove abitazioni; la ridu-re sui determinanti sociali della salute in ambienti zione del radon in quelle già esistenti; l'analisi costo-a basso e medio reddito. efficacia di differenti misure di prevenzione e delle azioni di risanamento; le strategie di comunicazione del rischio da radon; l'organizzazione di programmi nazionali sul radon.

Il volume intende fornire un supporto alle politiche sanitarie dei vari Paesi che progettano lo sviluppo di propri programmi nazionali o la loro implementazione e, allo stesso tempo, si rivolge alle parti interessate coinvolte in interventi di controllo del radon, all'industria edile e ai professionisti nel settore delle costruzioni.

L'obiettivo principale del volume è quello di fornire una rassegna aggiornata dei maggiori aspetti connessi all'esposizione al radon e ai suoi effetti sulla salute. Non intende sostituire gli esistenti standard di protezione, ma vuole mettere in evidenza tutte le principali questioni connesse alla pianificazione, implementazione e valutazione di programmi nazionali sul radon.

 


 

EQUITY, SOCIAL
DETERMINANTS AND PUBLIC
HEALTH PROGRAMMES.
Geneva: World Health
Organization. 2009, 298 p.
(Nonserial publications).
ISBN 978 92 415 6397 0
In inglese.
Sw.fr./US $40.00
N. ordine 11500785

 

Una raccolta di analisi dei determinanti sociali della salute, che hanno un impatto su specifiche condizioni di salute. Sulla base delle raccomandazioni della Commission on Social Determinants of Health (Commissione sui Determinanti Sociali della Salute), sono presentati interventi per migliorare lequità della salute nei settori relativi a: disordini alcol-correlati, malattie cardiovascolari, salute e alimentazione dell'infanzia, diabete, sicurezza alimentare, salute materna, salute mentale, malattie tropicali trascurate, salute orale, esiti di gravidanza, fumo di tabacco e salute, tubercolosi, violenza, infortuni.

Il volume è stato commissionato dal Department of Ethics, Equity, Trade and Human Rights (dipartimento di Etica, Equità, Commercio e Diritti Umani), in collaborazione con 16 dei maggiori programmi di sanità pubblica della WHO. Sono stati, inoltre, commissionati 13 case study per esaminare le possibili implementazioni che consentano di agi re sui determinanti sociali della salute in ambienti a basso e medio reddito.

 


 

WHO GUIDELINES FOR
INDOOR AIR QUALITY:
DAMPNESS AND MOULD.
Geneva: World Health
Organization. 2009, 247 p.
(Euro Nonserial publication)
ISBN 978 92 890 4168 3
In inglese.
Sw.fr. /US $ 50.00
N. ordine 13400088

 

La presenza di un sufficiente grado di umidità consente a centinaia di specie di batteri e funghi - in particolare, muffe - di inquinare l'aria degli ambienti confinati. I più importanti effetti di tali inquinanti sono costituiti dalla diffusione di sintomi respiratori, allergie e asma, e da disturbi del sistema immunitario. Prevenire (o ridurre) un'umidità persistente e la crescita microbica sulle superfici interne e sulle strutture degli edifici è il modo migliore per evitare conseguenze dannose sulla salute.

Il volume fornisce una rassegna esauriente delle evidenze scientifiche sui problemi di salute associati a tale diffuso inquinamento e include le linee guida della WHO a tutela della salute pubblica. Descrive, inoltre, le condizioni che determinano la presenza di muffe, presentando le misure per il controllo della loro proliferazione all'interno degli ambienti.

 


 

GUIDE TO HYGIENE AND
SANITATION IN AVIATION.
THIRD EDITION.
Geneva: World Health
Organization. 2009, 71 p.
(Nonserial publication)
ISBN 978 92 415 4777 2
In inglese.
Sw.fr./US $ 20.00
N. ordine 11503062

 

La terza edizione della Guida all'igiene e alla disinfezione in aviazione della WHO tratta di acqua, alimenti, gestione dei rifiuti, pulizia e disinfezione, controllo del vettore e sicurezza del carico, con l'obiettivo principale di assistere tutti i vari operatori aeroportuali e tutte le strutture responsabili nel raggiungere alti standard di igiene e disinfezione e nel proteggere passeggeri ed equipaggio impegnato nel trasporto aereo. Ogni argomento è trattato singolarmente e corredato da linee guida su procedure e specifiche di qualità da raggiungere.

Le linee guida si applicano a viaggi aerei nazionali e internazionali e sono rivolte a tutti i Paesi, sviluppati e in via di sviluppo.