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See detailThe Belgian PCB/dioxin incident: analysis of the food chain contamination and health risk evaluation.
Bernard, Alfred; Broeckaert, Fabrice; De Poorter, Geert et al

in Environmental Research (2002), 88(1), 1-18

The Belgian PCB incident occurred at the end of January 1999 when a mixture of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contaminated with dioxins was accidentally added to a stock of recycled fat used in the ... [more ▼]

The Belgian PCB incident occurred at the end of January 1999 when a mixture of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contaminated with dioxins was accidentally added to a stock of recycled fat used in the production of animal feeds. Although signs of poultry poisoning were noticed by February, 1999, the source and the extent of the contamination were discovered only in May 1999, when it appeared that more than 2500 farms could have been supplied with contaminated feeds. This resulted in a major food crisis, which rapidly extended to the whole country and could be resolved only by the implementation of a large PCB/dioxin food monitoring program. Screening for PCB contamination was based on the determination of the seven PCB markers. When PCB concentrations exceeded the tolerance levels of 0.1 (milk), 0.2 (poultry, bovine, and pig meat), or 1 (animal feed) microg/g fat, dioxins (17 PCDD/Fs congeners) were also determined. At the end of December 1999, the database contained the results of more than 55,000 PCB and 500 dioxin analyses. The study of PCB levels and profiles in contaminated feeds delivered to poultry or pig farms confirmed that the Belgian PCB incident was due to a single source of PCB oil introduced into the food chain at the end of January 1999. This PCB oil had a congeners pattern closely matched to a mixture of Aroclor 1260/1254 in the proportion 75/25. The total amount of PCBs added to recycled fats was estimated at 50 kg (sum of the seven markers) or approximately 150 kg total PCBs, which corresponds to about 100 liters of PCB oil. This PCB mixture contained about 1g TEQ dioxins (more than 90- contributed by PCDFs) and about 2g TEQ dioxin-like PCBs. The proportions of PCB 52 and 101 congeners were fairly constant in animal feeds, excluding the possibility of secondary contamination due to fat recycling from contaminated animals. The highest concentrations of PCBs and dioxins were found in poultry and especially in the reproduction animals (hens and chicks), which showed the classical manifestations of chick edema disease. The pigs were also affected but to a lesser extent and no sign of intoxication was observed. The study of PCB/dioxin patterns and of the PCB:dioxin ratios revealed major differences in the metabolism of these compounds by farm animals. Whereas the PCBs:dioxins ratio was fairly constant in all poultry products with a mean value similar to that found in contaminated feeds (50,000), in pigs this ratio was both much higher and more variable (values up to 10,000,000), reflecting a faster elimination of dioxins than PCBs in these animals. These metabolic differences also emerged from the PCB and dioxin patterns which were altered much more in pigs than in poultry. Although the most contaminated food products (chicken meat) had PCB and dioxin levels more than 100 times above maximal recommended values, it is unlikely that this incident could have caused adverse effects in the general population of Belgium. A doubling of the PCB and dioxin burden of the young adult population would require the consumption of, respectively, 10 and 20 highly contaminated meals. In view of the very limited proportion of the poultry chain effectively contaminated during the incident (around 2%), such an extreme scenario was quite improbable for the general population except perhaps for farmers consuming their own products. But even in that case, it would have meant going back to the levels in the 1980s or attaining the body burden of subjects regularly eating contaminated seafood. [less ▲]

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See detailBelgian peer review experience on the Achille's heel in haemodialysis care: vascular access
Theelen, Bernadette ULg; Rorive, Georges ULg; Krzesinski, Jean-Marie ULg et al

in EDTNA/ERCA Journal (2002), 28(4, Oct-Dec), 164-166

AIMS: In order to improve the supervision and to evaluate the quality of care in dialysis units, a national project was promoted as a Peer Review. It consisted of systematic, continuous and critical ... [more ▼]

AIMS: In order to improve the supervision and to evaluate the quality of care in dialysis units, a national project was promoted as a Peer Review. It consisted of systematic, continuous and critical evaluation of the care and the application of international guidelines and compared the reality of care with standards. METHOD: The first chart consisted of the evaluation of infectious episodes of vascular access. This point is particularly relevant since infection represents the second cause of mortality in haemodialysis. A questionnaire concerning each patient was designed. Questions concerned the description of vascular access and the related infectious events. Each questionnaire included 21 items. The project involved 29 dialysis centres, 1,644 patients and 1,775 vascular accesses. The database included 90,525 data. RESULTS: Among the 29 centres, the native arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is the first choice (67.5%) in vascular access, but the proportion of AVF decreases with age contrary to the catheter, which is more frequently chosen, in older patients. Independent of age, 20% of hospitalisations are among patients with catheters and only 7% among patients with AVF. The RR (relative risk) of being hospitalised (any complication of vascular access) is 1.68 for patients with catheters compared to patients with AVF. The rate of infections does not increase with age but is higher for patients with catheters (RR = 2.26). The number of infections appears to be dependent on the staphylococcus aureus carriage in the year. CONCLUSIONS: This first step allows each centre to compare itself to others in an anonymous way. This approach should lead to specific recommendations to improve the quality of care in dialysis units. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Belgian pilot project for early rehabilitation of nursing personnel suffering from low back pain.
Mairiaux, Philippe ULg; CREYTENS, G.; DELARUELLE, D. et al

in Proceedings ICOH 2006 (2006, June)

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See detailBelgian population exposed to furan: from analytical developments to risk assessment
Scholl, Georges ULg

Doctoral thesis (2013)

Since the acrylamide incident in 2002, food authorities such as EFSA, FDA, FAO and Belgian FFSA paid more attention to the food borne contaminants such as furan, glycidyl esters or nitrosamines. As a ... [more ▼]

Since the acrylamide incident in 2002, food authorities such as EFSA, FDA, FAO and Belgian FFSA paid more attention to the food borne contaminants such as furan, glycidyl esters or nitrosamines. As a consequence, authorities support scientific initiatives to gather information about these toxicants. The thesis was conducted in this framework and was specifically dedicated to the furan issue. The fundamental concept behind this work on furan was to include analytical developments, to determine its occurrence in Belgian food and to carry out a risk assessment of the Belgian population. The first section was dedicated to the development of a high sensitive analytical method able to report sub-parts-per-billion (ppb) levels in foodstuffs with the aim to limit the number of unreported results below of the limit of quantification (LOQ). A HS-SPME-GC-MS method has been developed and optimized using the experimental design approach. The developed method has been validated to fulfill the requirements of the European Commission decision regarding the validation of analytical method (2002/657/EC). The second section was dedicated to the achievement of a contamination survey of the foodstuffs available on the Belgian market with a restricted number of samples (n=496). A specific sampling plan was designed to cover every food matrices with regard to the more consumed and/or contaminated items. The analytical method developed in the first section was applied and 78% of results were reported above LOQ. We concluded to a ubiquitous contamination of our food chain with specially high levels in coffee, roasted and long-time cooking foodstuffs. The third section was dedicated to the assessment of the risk linked to the furan ingestion by the Belgian population. A methodology involving the estimation of the furan daily intake (by both deterministic and probabilistic approach) and the calculation of the Margin of Exposure (MoE) was applied to 3 sub-populations namely Adults, Children and Toddlers. The adults and children assessments highlighted that almost none have a “High concern risk level” (MoE < 100), that the risk for health tends to be low (median MoE for adults 5486; median MoE for children 5079), and that the risk for children is slightly higher than for adults. For infants, the assessment showed a higher risk (median MoE 817) compared to children and adults. However, this finding has to be tempered by the current limited knowledge of the furan toxicity for toddlers. In addition, the size of the datasets available for this work was low and limited to ready-to-eat baby foods, which are known to be more contaminated than home-made baby food. It gives however the first benchmark for Belgian infants exposed to furan. Thus, developing consumption survey for infants that are harmonized at European level, and basic research on furan toxicity for toddlers are necessary. [less ▲]

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See detailBelgian Report of activity in the frame of the International Association of Geodesy
Bruyninx, Carine; Dehant, Véronique ULg; Defraigne, Pascale et al

Report (2012)

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See detailBelgian Report to the IAG-subcommission “EUREF”
Bruyninx, Carine; Defraigne, Pascale; Ducarme, Bernard et al

in Proceedings of EUREF 2002 Symposium (2003)

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See detailBelgian Report to the IAG-subcommission “EUREF”
Bruyninx, Carine; Defraigne, Pascale; Ducarme, Bernard et al

in Torres, J.; Hornik, H. (Eds.) EUREF Publication N°10 (2002)

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See detailBelgian Rural Ordinary Landscapes Seen By Belgians
Vanderheyden, Vincent ULg; Schmitz, Serge ULg

in Van Der Vaart, Jacob; Palang, Hannes (Eds.) Reflection on Landscape Change: The European Perspective (2012, August)

The paper questions the diversity of perceiving Belgian landscapes. It investigates whether hypotheses deducted from a broad national survey could be further clarified and validated by means of ... [more ▼]

The paper questions the diversity of perceiving Belgian landscapes. It investigates whether hypotheses deducted from a broad national survey could be further clarified and validated by means of qualitative research. The research also lays the foundations of a new typology of Belgian ordinary landscapes. [less ▲]

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See detailBelgian schizophrenia outcome survey (SOS)
Peuskens, J.; Gillain, B.; De Graeve, D. et al

in European Psychiatry (2007, March), 22(Suppl. 1), 132

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See detailThe Belgian sky
Nazé, Yaël ULg; Fontaine, Sébastien ULg

Poster (2013)

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See detailBelgian Social Protection Portrait
Atta, C.; Pestieau, Pierre ULg; Perelman, Sergio ULg

Report (2009)

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See detailBelgian Society of Cardiology position paper on heart centres in Belgium.
Berkenboom, Guy; Budts, Werner; Claeys, Marc et al

in Acta Cardiologica (2009), 64(4), 537-9

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See detailBelgian surveillance plans to assess changes in Salmonella prevalence in meat at different production stages
Ghafir, Yasmine; China, Bernard; Korsak, Nicolas et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2005), 68(11), 160-168

From 1997 to 1999, the prevalence of Salmonella was assessed at different stages through the pork, poultry, and beef meat production chains. Different dilutions of the initial sample suspension were ... [more ▼]

From 1997 to 1999, the prevalence of Salmonella was assessed at different stages through the pork, poultry, and beef meat production chains. Different dilutions of the initial sample suspension were analyzed to provide a semiquantitative evaluation of Salmonella contamination and to determine the most representative dilution necessary to detect a reduction in prevalence. An average of 300 samples for each type of meat were analyzed. According to Fisher's exact test, the dilution to be used to detect a reduction in prevalence was chosen based on an initial prevalence of 20 to 26%. Based on this introductory study, a new sampling plan representative of the nationwide Belgian meat production process was used from 2000 through to 2003. This study confirmed the consistently high rate and level of contamination of poultry meat: broiler and layer carcasses were the most contaminated samples followed by broiler fillets and poultry meat preparations. A constant and significant decrease in Salmonella prevalence was observed for pork carcasses, trimmings, and minced meat and for beef minced meat. Less than 3% of beef carcasses and trimming samples were positive for Salmonella. The Belgian plan, as utilized from 2000 to 2003, was suitable for monitoring of zoonoses because the sampling plan was representative of nationwide production processes, covered all periods of the year, and was executed by trained samplers and the analyses were carried out by recognized laboratories using an identical analytical method. [less ▲]

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See detailBelgian Tax Law: Selected Topics
Bourgeois, Marc ULg

Scientific conference (2008, May 28)

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See detailThe Belgian Taxpayer Charter faded but its Rights remained
Richelle, Isabelle ULg

in The Confédération Fiscale Européenne at 50 Years (2009)

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See detailBelgian-Italian connections: decoding signals from planets
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2009)

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See detailBelgian-Spanish Proposal for a Time Extended LOTOS
Léonard, Luc; Leduc, Guy ULg; de Frutos, David et al

Report (1994)

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See detailBelgian-style Human Resource Management: A Case of Mistaken Identity
Claus, Lisbeth; Vloeberghs, Daniel; Pichault, François ULg

in European Management Journal (2002), 20(4), 438-446

Discusses various forces that affect the future of human resource management (HRM) in Belgium. Development of HRM in the country; Specific forces that have shaped the development and character of HRM ... [more ▼]

Discusses various forces that affect the future of human resource management (HRM) in Belgium. Development of HRM in the country; Specific forces that have shaped the development and character of HRM; Details of the condition of HRM in the country. [less ▲]

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