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Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
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Information and Inference     Free  
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Interacting with Computers     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.529, h-index: 59)
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Journal Cover Annals of Work Exposures and Health
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   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 2398-7308 - ISSN (Online) 2398-7316
   Published by Oxford University Press Homepage  [370 journals]
  • Ability to Discriminate Between Sustainable and Unsustainable Heat Stress
           Exposures—Part 1: WBGT Exposure Limits
    • Authors: Garzón-Villalba XP; Wu Y, Ashley CD, et al.
      Pages: 611 - 620
      Abstract: AbstractObjectives:Heat stress exposure limits based on wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) were designed to limit exposures to those that could be sustained for an 8-h day using limited data from Lind in the 1960s. In general, Sustainable exposures are heat stress levels at which thermal equilibrium can be achieved, and Unsustainable exposures occur when there is a steady increase in core temperature. This paper addresses the ability of the ACGIH® Threshold Limit Value (TLV®) to differentiate between Sustainable and Unsustainable heat exposures, to propose alternative occupational exposure limits, and ask whether an adjustment for body surface area improves the exposure decision.Methods:Two progressive heat stress studies provided data on 176 trials with 352 pairs of Sustainable and Unsustainable exposures over a range of relative humidities and metabolic rates using 29 participants wearing woven cotton clothing. To assess the discrimination ability of the TLV, the exposure metric was the difference between the observed WBGT and the TLV adjusted for metabolic rate. Conditional logistic regression models and receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) along with ROC’s area under the curve (AUC) were used. Four alternative models for an occupational exposure limit were also developed and compared to the TLV.Results:For the TLV, the odds ratio (OR) for Unsustainable was 2.5 per 1°C-WBGT [confidence interval (CI) 2.12–2.88]. The AUC for the TLV was 0.85 (CI 0.81–0.89). For the alternative models, the ORs were also about 2.5/°C-WBGT, with AUCs between 0.84 and 0.88, which were significantly different from the TLV’s AUC but have little practical difference.Conclusions:This study (1) confirmed that the TLV is appropriate for heat stress screening; (2) demonstrated the TLV’s discrimination accuracy with an ROC AUC of 0.85; and (3) established the OR of 2.5/°C-WBGT for unsustainable exposures. The TLV has high sensitivity, but its specificity is very low, which is protective. There were no important improvements with alternative exposure limits, and there was weak evidence to support metabolic rate normalized to body surface area. In sum, the TLV is protective with an appropriate margin of safety for relatively constant occupational exposures to heat stress.
      PubDate: 2017-06-08
      DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx034
      Issue No: Vol. 61, No. 6 (2017)
  • Ability to Discriminate Between Sustainable and Unsustainable Heat Stress
           Exposures—Part 2 Physiological Indicators
    • Authors: Garzón-Villalba XP; Wu Y, Ashley CD, et al.
      Pages: 621 - 632
      Abstract: AbstractObjectives:There are times when it is not practical to assess heat stress using environmental metrics and metabolic rate, and heat strain may provide an alternative approach. Heat strain indicators have been used for decades as tools for monitoring physiological responses to work in hot environments. Common indicators of heat strain are body core temperature (assessed here as rectal temperature Tre), heart rate (HR), and average skin temperature (Tsk). Data collected from progressive heat stress trials were used to (1) demonstrate if physiological heat strain indicators (PHSIs) at the upper limit of Sustainable heat stress were below generally accepted limits; (2) suggest values for PHSIs that demonstrate a Sustainable level of heat stress; (3) suggest alternative PHSIs; and (4) determine if metabolic rate was an effect modifier.Methods:Two previous progressive heat stress studies included 176 trials with 352 pairs of Sustainable and Unsustainable exposures over a range of relative humidities and metabolic rates using 29 participants. To assess the discrimination ability of PHSIs, conditional logistic regression and stepwise logistic regression were used to find the best combinations of predictors of Unsustainable exposures. The accuracy of the models was assessed using receiver operating characteristic curves.Results:Current recommendations for physiological heat strain limits were associated with probabilities of Unsustainable greater than 0.5. Screening limits for Sustainable heat stress were Tre of 37.5°C, HR of 105 bpm, and Tsk of 35.8°C. Tsk alone resulted in an area under the curve of 0.85 and the combination of Tsk and HR (area under the curve = 0.88) performed the best. The adjustment for metabolic rate was statistically significant for physiological strain index or ∆Tre-sk as main predictors, but its effect modification was negligible and could be ignored.Conclusions:Based on the receiver operating characteristic curve, PHSIs (Tre, HR, and Tsk) can accurately predict Unsustainable heat stress exposures. Tsk alone or in combination with HR has a high sensitivity, and makes better discriminations than the other PHSIs under relatively constant exposure (metabolic rate and environment) for an hour or so. Screening limits with high sensitivity, however, have low thresholds that limit utility. To the extent that the observed strain is low, there is good evidence that the exposure is Sustainable.
      PubDate: 2017-06-08
      DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx035
      Issue No: Vol. 61, No. 6 (2017)
  • Preliminary Validation of a Method Combining Cultivation and Cloning-Based
           Approaches to Monitor Airborne Bacteria
    • Authors: Schäfer J; Weiß S, Jäckel U.
      Pages: 633 - 642
      Abstract: AbstractIt is already known that occupational exposure to bioaerosols or organic dust could be harmful for occupants, but mostly the correlation to occurring bacteria is missing. Especially, cultivation of bacteria from bioaerosols is important to get an insight on occurring and possibly infectious bacteria. These measures are highly time consuming and cost intensive. Therefore, to monitor bacterial diversity in bioaerosol samples and to avoid isolation procedures, an approach was applied using a combination of cultivation and cloning-based approach. Preliminary validation of the method was determined using 11 different bacterial strains. After DNA extraction and 16S rRNA gene amplification of grown colonies, subsequent cloning and sequencing was conducted. Initially, to figure out a suitable DNA extraction method, applicable for different airborne bacteria, four DNA extraction protocols were compared. Significantly, best results were determined using the FAST DNA®Spin Kit for Soil with respect to DNA quantity and quality of bacterial cultures. Cloning approach from a mixture of amplified 16S rRNA genes of 11 isolates and following sequence data analysis shows a recovery of all strains when five clones per bacterial strain were analysed. The results clearly demonstrate that a combination of cultivation-based approaches and cloning processes can simplify bioaerosol monitoring of viable and probably infectious bacteria. The implementation of the present method into practice allows a simple and preventive investigation of bioaerosols at work places.
      PubDate: 2017-06-23
      DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx038
      Issue No: Vol. 61, No. 6 (2017)
  • Heterogeneity in Cultivation-Based Monitoring of Airborne Bacterial
           Biodiversity in Animal Farms
    • Authors: Jäckel U; Martin E, Schäfer J.
      Pages: 643 - 655
      Abstract: AbstractDiversity analyses of bioaerosol samples from highly loaded workplaces as found in agricultural production or waste management help to improve the knowledge of exposure levels of workers. However, different used methods resulting in the detection of different bacterial species at the same work places. The present study obviously supports the deviation of received results using cultivation and further isolation approaches. Within the present study, the bacterial community at workplaces was estimated using the powerful tool of 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses after cultivation procedure. To avoid complex isolation procedures, the suitability of cultivation and subsequent cloning procedures was determined in bioaerosols from a duck hatchery. Diversity analysis of one bioaerosol sample, which was prepared independently three times in parallel, resulted in similarity values of 38.5%–57.1%. Further, similarity analysis calculated from three independent bioaerosol samplings on 1 day resulted in 31%–40% similarity. Although similar concentration between 2.22 × 106 and 4.46 × 106 CFU per m3 hatchery air were measured, in a ring-like trail, diversity analyses from six labs differ widely, resulting in 38.9%–78.6% divergence. The present method seems to be very useful for diversity analysis of bioaerosol samples, although heterogeneity in monitoring of airborne bacteria via cultivation was pointed out.
      PubDate: 2017-06-23
      DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx039
      Issue No: Vol. 61, No. 6 (2017)
  • Estimating National-Level Exposure to Antineoplastic Agents in the
           Workplace: CAREX Canada Findings and Future Research Needs
    • Authors: Hall AL; Demers PA, Astrakianakis G, et al.
      Pages: 656 - 658
      Abstract: AbstractObjectives:Occupational exposure to antineoplastic agents occurs in various environments and is associated with increased cancer risk and adverse reproductive outcomes. National-level information describing the location and extent of occupational exposure to antineoplastic agents is unavailable in Canada and most other countries. CAREX Canada aimed to estimate the prevalence and relative levels of occupational exposures to antineoplastic agents across work setting, occupation, and sex.Methods:‘Exposure’ was defined as any potential for worker contact with antineoplastic agents. Baseline numbers of licensed workers were obtained from their respective professional bodies. For unlicensed workers, Census data or data extrapolated from human resources reports (e.g., staffing ratios) were used. Prevalence was estimated by combining population estimates with exposure proportions from peer-reviewed and grey literature. Exposure levels (classified as low, moderate, and high) by occupation and work setting were estimated qualitatively by combining estimates of contact frequency and exposure control practices.Results:Approximately 75000 Canadians (0.42% of the total workforce) are estimated as occupationally exposed to antineoplastic agents; over 75% are female. The largest occupational group exposed to antineoplastic agents is community pharmacy workers, with 30200 exposed. By work setting, 39000 workers (52% of all exposed) are located in non-hospital settings; the remaining 48% are exposed in hospitals. The majority (75%) of workers are in the moderate exposure category.Conclusions:These estimates of the prevalence and location of occupational exposures to antineoplastic agents could be used to identify high-risk groups, estimate disease burden, and target new research and prevention activities. The limited secondary data available for developing these estimates highlights the need for increased quantitative measurement and documentation of antineoplastic agent contamination and exposure, particularly in work environments where use is emerging.
      PubDate: 2017-06-08
      DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx042
      Issue No: Vol. 61, No. 6 (2017)
  • Assessment of Whole-Body Vibration Exposure in Mining Earth-moving
           Equipment and Other Vehicles Used in Surface Mining
    • Authors: Marin LS; Rodriguez AC, Rey-Becerra E, et al.
      Pages: 669 - 680
      Abstract: AbstractThis study characterized whole-body vibration exposures in a set of vehicles that operate in open-pit mines and compared three different daily exposure parameters based on the ISO 2631-1:1997 and ISO 2631–5:2004 standards. Full-shift, 6 to 12-hour, continuous whole-body vibration measurements were collected from 11 representative types of vehicles in terms of hours of operation and number of vehicles used. For each type of vehicle, the exposure parameters (A(8), VDV(8), and Sed(8)) were calculated for each axis (x, y, and z), and in addition, shear or horizontal (∑xy) and vector sum (∑xyx) whole-body vibration exposure. Findings showed that: (i) substantially higher shear and vector sum whole-body vibration exposures indicated relatively high levels of exposure on the non-predominant axis; (ii) the predominant axis of exposure varied across the different type of vehicles; (iii) there were differences in whole-body vibration exposure parameters regarding the standards-based predictions of potentially adverse health outcomes (the impulsive exposure parameters VDV(8) and Sed(8) were higher and reduced acceptable vehicle operation times by one-half to two-thirds relative to A(8) exposures); and (iv) based on the predominant exposures and the time to reach daily vibration action limits, the operation of most mining vehicles would be limited to less than 8 hours a day. Differences in whole-body vibration exposure parameters impact the prediction of potentially adverse health outcomes and may introduce some uncertainty regarding how to best characterize a vehicle operator’s actual exposure.
      PubDate: 2017-06-20
      DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx043
      Issue No: Vol. 61, No. 6 (2017)
  • Evaluation of Real-World Implementation of Partitioning and Negative
           Pressurization for Preventing the Dispersion of Dust From Renovation Sites
    • Authors: Kokkonen A; Linnainmaa M, Säämänen A, et al.
      Pages: 681 - 691
      Abstract: AbstractObjectives:The aim of this study was to assess the implementation of partitioning and the negative pressure method in limiting the dispersion of dust to areas adjacent to renovation sites.Methods:The pressure difference between the worksites and adjacent areas and PM10 concentrations in the both zones were measured in 12 renovation sites, and the factors affecting the prevention of dispersion of dust were assessed.Results:Poor implementation of partitioning and negative pressurization found in half of the renovation sites lead difficulties in achieving a proper negative pressure, causing dispersion of dust into adjacent areas. Main problems related to flimsy partitioning walls and poor air tightness of the enclosure. Dust concentrations in adjacent areas were substantially lower when natural ventilation in the renovation site was rejected and partitioning walls and their junctions to existing structures were sealed. In case of leaky enclosures, despite the high air exchange rates, a definite negative pressure could not be maintained. Instead, negative pressure minimum of −5 Pa was found to be sufficient for limiting the dispersion of dust from renovation sites.Conclusions:Improvement on implementation of dust controls is required through revising the guidance documents, education, and efficient supervision. This study revealed that the current Finnish practice to implement the negative pressurization based on the air exchange rate achieved with the portable exhaust fans alone is not reasonable to assure adequate dust containment. Continuous negative pressure minimum of −5 Pa is suggested, and it should be monitored with alarm devices throughout the renovation processes.
      PubDate: 2017-05-30
      DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx033
      Issue No: Vol. 61, No. 6 (2017)
  • Oil Spill Field Trial at Sea: Measurements of Benzene Exposure
    • Authors: Gjesteland I; Hollund B, Kirkeleit J, et al.
      Pages: 692 - 699
      Abstract: AbstractObjectives:Characterize personal exposure to airborne hydrocarbons, particularly carcinogenic benzene, during spill of two different fresh crude oils at sea.Methods:The study included 22 participants taking part in an «oil on water» field trial in the North Sea. Two types of fresh crude oils (light and heavy) were released six times over two consecutive days followed by different oil spill response methods. The participants were distributed on five boats; three open sampling boats (A, B, and C), one release ship (RS), and one oil recovery (OR) vessel. Assumed personal exposure was assessed a priori, assuming high exposure downwind and close to the oil slick (sampling boats), low exposure further downwind (100–200 m) and upwind from the oil slick (main deck of RS and OR vessel), and background exposure indoors (bridge of RS/OR vessel). Continuous measurements of total volatile organic compounds in isobutylene equivalents were performed with photoionization detectors placed in all five boats. Full-shift personal exposure to benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, naphthalene, and n-hexane was measured with passive thermal desorption tubes.Results:Personal measurements of benzene, averaged over the respective sample duration, on Day 1 showed that participants in the sampling boats (A, B, and C) located downwind and close to the oil slick were highest exposed (0.14–0.59 ppm), followed by participants on the RS main deck (0.02–0.10 ppm) and on the bridge (0.004–0.03 ppm). On Day 2, participants in sampling boat A had high benzene exposure (0.87–1.52 ppm) compared to participants in sampling boat B (0.01–0.02 ppm), on the ships (0.06–0.10 ppm), and on the bridge (0.004–0.01 ppm). Overall, the participants in the sampling boats had the highest exposure to all of the compounds measured. The light crude oil yielded a five times higher concentration of total volatile organic compounds in air in the sampling boats (max 510 ppm) than the heavy crude oil (max 100 ppm) but rapidly declined to <20 ppm within 24 min after release of oil, indicating short periods of exposure.Conclusions:The personal exposure to benzene downwind and close to the oil slick during spills of light crude oil was relatively high, with concentration levels approaching the occupational exposure limits for several participants. For bulk spill scenarios like in this study, cleanup should not be initiated the first 30–60 min to allow for evaporation, while appropriate personal protective equipment should be used in continuous spills when working downwind and close to the oil slick.
      PubDate: 2017-06-08
      DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx036
      Issue No: Vol. 61, No. 6 (2017)
  • The Effects of Bit Wear on Respirable Silica Dust, Noise and Productivity:
           A Hammer Drill Bench Study
    • Authors: Carty P; Cooper MR, Barr A, et al.
      Pages: 700 - 710
      Abstract: AbstractObjectives:Hammer drills are used extensively in commercial construction for drilling into concrete for tasks including rebar installation for structural upgrades and anchor bolt installation. This drilling task can expose workers to respirable silica dust and noise. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the effects of bit wear on respirable silica dust, noise, and drilling productivity.Method:Test bits were worn to three states by drilling consecutive holes to different cumulative drilling depths: 0, 780, and 1560 cm. Each state of bit wear was evaluated by three trials (nine trials total). For each trial, an automated laboratory test bench system drilled 41 holes 1.3 cm diameter, and 10 cm deep into concrete block at a rate of one hole per minute using a commercially available hammer drill and masonry bits. During each trial, dust was continuously captured by two respirable and one inhalable sampling trains and noise was sampled with a noise dosimeter. The room was thoroughly cleaned between trials.Results:When comparing results for the sharp (0 cm) versus dull bit (1560 cm), the mean respirable silica increased from 0.41 to 0.74 mg m−3 in sampler 1 (P = 0.012) and from 0.41 to 0.89 mg m−3 in sampler 2 (P = 0.024); levels above the NIOSH recommended exposure limit of 0.05 mg m−3. Likewise, mean noise levels increased from 112.8 to 114.4 dBA (P < 0.00001). Drilling productivity declined with increasing wear from 10.16 to 7.76 mm s−1 (P < 0.00001).Discussion:Increasing bit wear was associated with increasing respirable silica dust and noise and reduced drilling productivity. The levels of dust and noise produced by these experimental conditions would require dust capture, hearing protection, and possibly respiratory protection. The findings support the adoption of a bit replacement program by construction contractors.
      PubDate: 2017-06-08
      DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx041
      Issue No: Vol. 61, No. 6 (2017)
  • Experimental Evaluation of Respirable Dust and Crystalline Silica Controls
           During Simulated Performance of Stone Countertop Fabrication Tasks With
           Powered Hand Tools
    • Authors: Johnson DL; Phillips ML, Qi C, et al.
      Pages: 711 - 723
      Abstract: AbstractObjectives:Workers who fabricate stone countertops using hand tools are at risk of silicosis from overexposure to respirable crystalline silica. This study explored the efficacy of simple engineering controls that can be used for dust suppression during use of hand tools by stone countertop fabricators.Methods:Controlled experiments were conducted to measure whether wet methods and on-tool local exhaust ventilation (LEV) reduced respirable dust (RD) exposures during use of various powered hand tools on quartz-rich engineered stone. RD samples collected during edge grinding with a diamond cup wheel and a silicon carbide abrasive wheel were analyzed gravimetrically as well as by X-ray diffraction to determine silica content. A personal optical aerosol monitor was used simultaneously with the RD samples and also for rapid assessment of controls for polishing, blade cutting, and core drilling.Results:On-tool LEV and sheet-flow-wetting were effective in reducing exposures, especially when used in combination. Sheet-flow-wetting with LEV reduced geometric mean exposures by as much as 95%. However, typical water-spray-wetting on a grinding cup was less effective when combined with LEV than without LEV. Mean silica content of RD samples from grinding operations was 53%, and respirable mass and silica mass were very highly correlated (r = 0.980). Optical concentration measures were moderately well correlated with gravimetric measures (r = 0.817), but on average the optical measures during a single trial using the factory calibration were only one-fifth the simultaneous gravimetric measures.Conclusions:Sheet-flow-wetting combined with on-tool LEV is an effective engineering control for reducing RD exposures during engineered stone edge grinding and blade cutting. On the other hand, addition of LEV to some water-spray-wetted tools may reduce the effectiveness of the wet method.
      PubDate: 2017-07-06
      DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx040
      Issue No: Vol. 61, No. 6 (2017)
  • Air and Surface Sampling Method for Assessing Exposures to Quaternary
           Ammonium Compounds Using Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry
    • Authors: LeBouf RF; Virji M, Ranpara A, et al.
      Pages: 724 - 736
      Abstract: AbstractThis method was designed for sampling select quaternary ammonium (quat) compounds in air or on surfaces followed by analysis using ultraperformance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Target quats were benzethonium chloride, didecyldimethylammonium bromide, benzyldimethyldodecylammonium chloride, benzyldimethyltetradecylammonium chloride, and benzyldimethylhexadecylammonium chloride. For air sampling, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) filters are recommended for 15-min to 24-hour sampling. For surface sampling, Pro-wipe® 880 (PW) media was chosen. Samples were extracted in 60:40 acetonitrile:0.1% formic acid for 1 hour on an orbital shaker. Method detection limits range from 0.3 to 2 ng/ml depending on media and analyte. Matrix effects of media are minimized through the use of multiple reaction monitoring versus selected ion recording. Upper confidence limits on accuracy meet the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 25% criterion for PTFE and PW media for all analytes. Using PTFE and PW analyzed with multiple reaction monitoring, the method quantifies levels among the different quats compounds with high precision (<10% relative standard deviation) and low bias (<11%). The method is sensitive enough with very low method detection limits to capture quats on air sampling filters with only a 15-min sample duration with a maximum assessed storage time of 103 days before sample extraction. This method will support future exposure assessment and quantitative epidemiologic studies to explore exposure–response relationships and establish levels of quats exposures associated with adverse health effects.
      PubDate: 2017-07-06
      DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx037
      Issue No: Vol. 61, No. 6 (2017)
  • Gravimetric Measurements of Filtering Facepiece Respirators Challenged
           With Diesel Exhaust
    • Authors: Satish S; Swanson JJ, Xiao K, et al.
      Pages: 737 - 747
      Abstract: AbstractElevated concentrations of diesel exhaust have been linked to adverse health effects. Filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) are widely used as a form of respiratory protection against diesel particulate matter (DPM) in occupational settings. Previous results (Penconek A, Drążyk P, Moskal A. (2013) Penetration of diesel exhaust particles through commercially available dust half masks. Ann Occup Hyg; 57: 360–73.) have suggested that common FFRs are less efficient than would be expected for this purpose based on their certification approvals. The objective of this study was to measure the penetration of DPM through NIOSH-certified R95 and P95 electret respirators to verify this result. Gravimetric-based penetration measurements conducted using polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and polypropylene (PP) filters were compared with penetration measurements made with a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS, TSI Inc.), which measures the particle size distribution. Gravimetric measurements using PP filters were variable compared to SMPS measurements and biased high due to adsorption of gas phase organic material. Relatively inert PTFE filters adsorbed less gas phase organic material resulting in measurements that were more accurate. To attempt to correct for artifacts associated with adsorption of gas phase organic material, primary and secondary filters were used in series upstream and downstream of the FFR. Correcting for adsorption by subtracting the secondary mass from the primary mass improved the result for both PTFE and PP filters but this correction is subject to ‘equilibrium’ conditions that depend on sampling time and the concentration of particles and gas phase hydrocarbons. Overall, the results demonstrate that the use of filters to determine filtration efficiency of FFRs challenged with diesel exhaust produces erroneous results due to the presence of gas phase hydrocarbons in diesel exhaust and the tendency of filters to adsorb organic material.
      PubDate: 2017-06-13
      DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx044
      Issue No: Vol. 61, No. 6 (2017)
  • Preliminary Validation of a Method Combining Cultivation and Cloning-Based
           Approaches to Monitor Airborne Bacteria
    • Authors: Schäfer J; Weiß S, Jäckel U.
      Pages: 748 - 748
      Abstract: The Publishers would like to apologise for an error in the author affiliations listed in the above paper, as well as in the contact information concerning the corresponding author. These elements have now been corrected in print and online.
      PubDate: 2017-07-06
      DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx060
      Issue No: Vol. 61, No. 6 (2017)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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