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Concept: Brussels

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This conference is organized within the framework of the H2020-Research and Innovation Action-Societal Challenge 2-“Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy challenge”-GA 678781 MycoKey “Integrated and innovative key actions for mycotoxin management in the food and feed chain” […].

Concepts: Agriculture, Research, Belgium, Food security, Innovation, Sustainable agriculture, Research and development, Brussels

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On March 29, 2017, a European Summit on the Prevention and Self-Management of Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRD) was organized by the European Forum for Research and Education in Allergy and Airway Diseases. The event took place in the European Parliament of Brussels and was hosted by MEP David Borrelli and MEP Sirpa Pietikainen. The aim of the Summit was to correspond to the needs of the European Commission and of patients suffering from CRD to join forces in Europe for the prevention and self-management. Delegates of the European Rhinologic Society, European Respiratory Society, European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, European Academy of Paediatrics, and European Patients Organization EFA all lectured on their vision and action plan to join forces in achieving adequate prevention and self-management of CRD in the context of Precision Medicine. Recent data highlight the preventive capacity of education on optimal care pathways for CRD. Self-management and patient empowerment can be achieved by novel educational on-line materials and by novel mobile health tools enabling patients and doctors to monitor and optimally treat CRDs based on the level of control. This report summarizes the contributions of the representatives of different European academic stakeholders in the field of CRD.

Concepts: European Union, Treaty of Lisbon, European Commission, European Economic Community, European Parliament, European Council, President of the European Commission, Brussels

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Implementing a standardized patient experience survey may initiate a process to apply pressure on hospitals to attend to improving patient experiences. In Flanders, Belgium, the Flemish Patient Survey was developed between 2011 and 2015. A preliminary version was developed from a scoping review and patient and expert focus groups, and included 27 items for eight hypothesized dimensions: ‘preparing for hospital stay’, ‘information and communication’, ‘coordination’, ‘respect’, ‘privacy’, ‘safe care’, pain management', and ‘participation’. Exploratory factor analysis for 1076 patients in 17 hospitals found that the data did not fit the dimensions. Adaptations in item wording and response categories were based on the US Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. The revised version showed excellent model fit in 22,143 patients in 37 hospitals. Multiple group analysis pointed to evidence of measurement invariance over time across mode of administration, type of nursing unit, and various patient characteristics. Fostering a collaborative approach thus proved successful in implementing a standardized patient experience survey. The most recent findings (2016) illustrate substandard performance and a need for patient-mix adjustment. The Flemish government developed a dedicated website to make findings publicly available and the federal government currently considers patient experiences in devising a pay-for-quality scheme.

Concepts: Health care provider, Patient, Hospital, Psychometrics, Factor analysis, Flanders, Brussels, Flemish Region

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Flowers are frequently treated with pesticides and, as a result, florists handling daily a large number of flowers can be exposed to pesticide residues. A study was conducted among twenty volunteer florists located in Namur Province and in the Brussels Capital Region of Belgium in order to assess their potential dermal exposure to dislodgeable pesticide residues transferred from flowers to hands. Two pairs of cotton gloves were worn during two consecutive half days while handling flowers and preparing bouquets (from min 2 h to max 3 h/day). The residual pesticide deposits on the glove samples were extracted with a multi-residue Quick Easy Cheap Effective Rugged Safe (QuEChERS) method and analyzed by a combination of gas and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS) by an accredited laboratory. A total of 111 active substances (mainly insecticides and fungicides) were detected, with an average of 37 active substances per sample and a total concentration per glove sample of 22.22 mg/kg. Several predictive levels of contamination were considered to assess the risk. The potential dermal exposures (PDE) of florists were estimated at the average, for different percentiles, and at the maximum concentration of residues in samples. At the PDE P90 and at the PDEMAX (or worst case) values, three and five active substances respectively exceed the Acceptable Operator Exposure Level (AOEL), indicating risk situations. For the systemic exposure (SE), one active substance (clofentezine) exceeds the AOEL at the P90 predictive level. In the worst case, SEMAX (at the maximum concentrations), four active substances (clofentezine, famoxadone, methiocarb, and pyridaben) exceed their respective AOEL values. Among the 14 most frequently detected active substances, two have SEMAX values exceeding the AOEL. Exposure could be particularly critical for clofentezine with an SEMAX value four times higher than the AOEL (393%). The exposure of florists appeared to be an example of a unique professional situation in which workers are exposed regularly to both a very high number of toxic chemicals and rather high concentration levels. Therefore the priority should be to raise the level of awareness among the florists who must change their habits and practices if they want to minimize their exposure.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Risk, Concentration, Analytical chemistry, Pesticide, Tandem mass spectrometry, The Glove, Brussels

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This research wishes to contribute to the understanding of the migration policy regime of the European Union (EU), by considering an analytical perspective that privileges the standpoint of the countries of its neighbourhood. As an entry point, we have focused our analysis on the Mobility Partnership, a policy instrument of soft power, representative of the emblematic network governance privileged by the EU in its current political framework, the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM). Applying an “instrument approach”, our research raises the question of the role played by the Mobility Partnership in the circulation of norms, ideas and practices related to the “good governance” of international migration, and whether these are internalized by the partner third countries. We present the results of a comparative analysis of two study-cases, Moldova and Georgia, countries considered by the European Commission as the “best pupils” in the implementation of their Mobility Partnerships, with the ambition to interrogate whether this instrument leads to a “common understanding” between the EU and the national actors that may lead to a translation of the European objectives in the field of migration into the registries of practices in the countries of the Eastern neighbourhood. Lastly, we will discuss the strategic “usage” of this instrument from the partner third countries, that can lead to different results, from complete absorption of the objectives, to resistance in their implementation.

Concepts: European Union, European Commission, European Parliament, European Council, European Coal and Steel Community, Euro, Brussels

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Although gabapentin has been licensed in the European Union only for neuropathic pain and epilepsy for patients who have partial seizures, it has also been prescribed in treatment for substance use disorders. Many studies report the potential risk of abuse of gabapentin by people with substance use disorders. The objective of this paper is to determine if people who have been in treatment for substance use disorders bought gabapentin in a time span that could indicate consumption at a dose that exceeded the maximum approved dose of 3600 mg/day.

Concepts: European Union, Europe, Seizure, Netherlands, Belgium, Neuropathic pain, Brussels, Luxembourg

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In the aftermath of the 2008 Great Recession, youth unemployment rates in the Brussels Capital Region (BCR) increased. The aim of this study is firstly to investigate the evolution of the mental health gap between employed and unemployed youth and secondly to examine the association of material and social resources with mental health of youth entering the labour market in the BCR.

Concepts: Economics, Unemployment, Inflation, Great Depression, Labour economics, Business cycle, Brussels, Beveridge curve

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From the 26th to the 28th of April 2016, an allergy awareness campaign was organized by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) and the European Federation of Allergy and Airway Diseases Patients Associations (EFA) in the European Parliament in Brussels, with support of the European Parliament’s Interest group on Allergy and Asthma and was co-hosted by the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) David Borrelli, Sirpa Pietikainen and Nessa Childers. Skin prick tests (SPT) were performed to gain attention for the increasing prevalence of allergic airways diseases in Europe. Since more than 30% of the total European population suffers from airways allergies and asthma, reaching a higher level of awareness and elaboration of an active prevention plan is mandatory. Of the 406 individuals undergoing SPT in the European Parliament, 211 participants (52%) reported to have suffered from an allergy in the past, with allergic symptoms being present in the nose and eyes (40% and 36% respectively), the skin (27%), lower airways (14%) and the gut (8%). Of the 381 SPT with reliable results, cutaneous hypersensitivity was found in 201 (53%) participants. Of those with positive SPT (n=201), 70 participants (35%) were monosensitized while 131 participants (65%) were polysensitized. The positive skin reactions were found mostly for grass pollen (n=108), followed by Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (n=105), Dermatophagoides farina (n=96) and birch pollen (n=85). Of note, 54 individuals (14% of the total tested population) without reported allergy or allergic symptoms, showed a positive SPT without clinical relevance. This report summarizes the main idea and goals of the symposium: chronic airway diseases are a major and growing health problem in Europe. Therefore a joint preventive action plan needs to be developed for a better health status of European citizens. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Immune system, Asthma, European Union, Allergy, European Parliament, Citizenship of the European Union, Brussels, Member of the European Parliament

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The European Union (EU) health mandate was initially defined in the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. The twentieth anniversary of the Treaty offers a unique opportunity to take stock of EU health actions by giving an overview of influential public health related EU-level policy outputs and a summary of policy outputs or actions perceived as an achievement, a failure or a missed opportunity.

Concepts: European Union, United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Denmark, Kyoto Protocol, Brussels, Maastricht Treaty

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To reduce the possibility of cigarette appearance misleading consumers about harm caused by the product, the European Commission’s draft Tobacco Products Directive proposed banning cigarettes <7.5 mm in diameter. It appears however, following a plenary vote in the European Parliament, that this will not be part of the final Tobacco Products Directive. To reduce the appeal of cigarettes, the Australian Government banned the use of branding on cigarettes and stipulated a maximum cigarette length as part of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act. We explored the role, if any, of cigarette appearance on perceptions of appeal and harm among adolescents.

Concepts: European Union, Treaty of Lisbon, European Commission, European Economic Community, European Parliament, European Council, President of the European Commission, Brussels