1,709 research outputs found

    Mit innovativen Rebsorten fit f√ľr die Zukunft

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    Die Weinwelt ist im Wandel: Absatzkrisen, Klimaver√§nderungen und neue Sch√§dlinge machen dem Kulturgut zu schaffen. Initiativen zum Schutz der Umwelt stellen die Branche vor weitere Herausforderungen und bieten gleichzeitig die Chance, den Weinbau in eine √∂kologisch nachhaltige Zukunft zu f√ľhren

    R&D Strategies for New Automotive Technologies: Insight from fuel cells

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    ABSTRACT This study analyzes how the automobile industry is pursuing the development of fuel cells as a new propulsion technology for automobiles. Fuel cells represent a fundamentally different powertrain technology that competes technically with the internal combustion engine, which has traditionally been a core competence of automobile manufacturers. The emergence of fuel cells provides a threat to automakers? competence in internal combustion engines, but also presents an opportunity for establishing a competitive position and gaining competence in a new technology. The study gives insights into strategic issues that automakers face through fundamentally new technologies. The key questions analyzed in this study are how new technology such as fuel cells can be identified by automakers, how automakers develop and acquire competence in such a technology that has not been part of the traditional technology portfolio of automakers, and how automakers can keep control over this new technology and derive value as it moves closer to commercialization. Fuel cells were historically first applied in the aerospace industry, and have only been developed for use in automobiles after a technological breakthrough resulted in significant increase of power density and cost reduction. Automakers with ties to the aerospace industry were among the first to recognize the potential of the breakthrough technology, and such early identification gave these companies a lead in R&D investment and patenting. This example of technology dynamics of fuel cells supports the importance of early identification of new technologies and links to related industries as a source of such technologies for the automobile industry. The next phase of fuel cell developments is characterized by an attempt of automakers to acquire competence in fuel cells. Three different organizational approaches are observed among the automakers: internal development of fuel cells, collaborative research, and a wait-and-see approach that favors licensing of the technology. The design of collaborative research alliances, such as the partnership between DaimlerChrysler, Ford and Ballard, suggests that technology that is new to the automobile industry needs to be viewed from a systems perspective. While early research activity focused on the fuel cell only, the establishment of an alliance provided an effective way of combining technical competence on all components of a fuel cell powertrain system. The research alliance also broadens the coverage of intellectual property with patents, but this also limits the control of automakers over the technology. The last part of the report discusses implications for automakers regarding the ability to control and derive value in the case the technology is successfully commercialized. It is argued that new suppliers are likely to participate in a future market for fuel cell powertrains, according to their technical competence and role as early participants in the development of fuel cell components. Automakers can keep control over the technology and participate in a potential market for fuel cells by becoming system integrators, and through continued development of key fuel cell components

    Prevalence and effects of multiple chemical sensitivities in Australia

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    Multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) is a medical condition associated with exposure to common chemical pollutants. The aims of this study are to assess the prevalence of MCS, its overlaps with asthma and fragrance sensitivity, and its health and societal effects in Australia. Data were collected in June 2016 using an on-line survey with a representative national sample (N = 1098) of adults (ages 18‚Äď65) in Australia. Results found that, across the country, 6.5% report medically diagnosed MCS, 18.9% report chemical sensitivity (being unusually sensitive to everyday chemicals and chemically formulated products), and 19.9% either or both. Among people with MCS, 74.6% also have diagnosed asthma or an asthma-like condition, and 91.5% have fragrance sensitivity, reporting health problems (such as migraine headaches) when exposed to fragranced consumer products (such as air fresheners and cleaning supplies). In addition, among people with MCS, 77.5% are prevented from access to places because of fragranced products, 52.1% lost workdays or a job in the past year due to fragranced product exposure in the workplace, and 55.4% report health effects considered potentially disabling. Results indicate that MCS is a widespread disease, affecting an estimated 1 million adult Australians, with chemical sensitivity affecting another 2 million. Reducing chemical exposure to problematic sources, such as fragranced consumer products, is critical to reduce adverse effects

    Ten questions concerning air fresheners and indoor built environments

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    Air fresheners are pervasive within indoor built environments, such as workplaces, schools, housing, transportation, hotels, hospitals, care facilities, and a range of private and public buildings. Air fresheners are designed to impart an aroma to the air environment or to mask odors, with the intent of creating a pleasing indoor space. However, despite the intent, air fresheners can emit and generate a range of potentially hazardous air pollutants that can impair air quality. Even so-called green and organic air fresheners can emit hazardous air pollutants. Air freshener ingredients are largely unknown and undisclosed, owing to regulatory protections on consumer product ingredients and on fragrance formulations. In studies, fewer than ten percent of all volatile ingredients are typically disclosed on air freshener labels or material safety data sheets. From an indoor air quality perspective, air fresheners have been indicated as a primary source of volatile organic compounds within buildings. From a health perspective, air fresheners have been associated with adverse effects, such as migraine headaches, asthma attacks, mucosal symptoms, infant illness, and breathing difficulties. This article investigates the seeming paradox that products designed to improve the indoor environment can pose unintended and unknown risks. It examines the science, health, and policy perspectives, and provides recommendations and research directions

    Fragranced consumer products: exposures and effects from emissions

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    Fragranced consumer products, such as cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and personal care products, are a primary source of indoor air pollutants and personal exposure. Previous research indicates that fragranced products can trigger adverse health effects, with implications for workplaces and public places. This is the first study to examine the multiple dimensions of exposures related to fragranced products and effects in the US population. The study investigated the prevalence and types of fragranced product exposures, associated health effects, awareness of product emissions, and preferences for fragrance-free policies and environments. Data were collected using an online survey with a nationally representative population (n = 1136) of adults in the USA. Overall, 34.7 % of the population reported health problems, such as migraine headaches and respiratory difficulties, when exposed to fragranced products. Further, 15.1 % have lost workdays or a job due to fragranced product exposure in the workplace. Also, 20.2 % would enter a business but then leave as quickly as possible if they smell air fresheners or some fragranced product. Over 50 % of the population would prefer that workplaces, health care facilities and professionals, hotels, and airplanes were fragrance-free. While prior research found that common fragranced products, even those called green and organic, emitted hazardous air pollutants, more than two thirds of the population were not aware of this, and over 60 % would not continue to use a fragranced product if they knew it emitted such pollutants. Results from this study provide strong evidence that fragranced products can trigger adverse health effects in the general population. The study also indicates that reducing exposure to fragranced products, such as through fragrance-free policies, can provide cost-effective and relatively simple ways to reduce risks and improve air quality and health

    Fragranced consumer products: effects on autistic adults in the United States, Australia, and United Kingdom

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    Fragranced consumer products, such as cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and personal care products, can have adverse effects on both air quality and health. This study investigates the effects of fragranced products on autistic individuals ages 18-65 in the United States, Australia, and United Kingdom. Nationally representative population surveys (n = 1137 ; 1098; 1100) found that across the three countries, 4.3% of adults (n = 142) report medically diagnosed autism (2.3%), an autism spectrum disorder (2.4%), or both. Of these autistic adults, 83.7% report adverse health effects from fragranced products, including migraine headaches (42.9%), neurological problems (34.3%), respiratory problems (44.7%), and asthma attacks (35.9%). In particular, 62.9% of autistic adults report health problems from air fresheners or deodorizers, 57.5% from the scent of laundry products coming from a dryer vent, 65.9% from being in a room cleaned with scented products, and 60.5% from being near someone wearing a fragranced product. Health problems can be severe, with 74.1% of these effects considered potentially disabling under legislation in each country. Further, 59.4% of autistic adults have lost workdays or lost a job, in the past year, due to fragranced product exposure in the workplace. More than twice as many autistic as well as non-autistic individuals would prefer that workplaces, health care facilities, and health care professionals were fragrance-free rather than fragranced. Results show that vulnerable individuals, such as those with autism or autism spectrum disorders, can be profoundly, adversely, and disproportionately affected by exposure to fragranced consumer products

    National prevalence and effects of multiple chemical sensitivities

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    Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), its co-occurrence with asthma and fragrance sensitivity, and effects from exposure to fragranced consumer products. Methods: A nationally representative cross-sectional population-based sample of adult Americans (n = 1137) was surveyed in June 2016. Results: Among the population, 12.8% report medically diagnosed MCS and 25.9% report chemical sensitivity. Of those with MCS, 86.2% experience health problems, such as migraine headaches, when exposed to fragranced consumer products; 71.0% are asthmatic; 70.3% cannot access places that use fragranced products such as air fresheners; and 60.7% lost workdays or a job in the past year due to fragranced products in the workplace. Conclusion: Prevalence of diagnosed MCS has increased over 300%, and self-reported chemical sensitivity over 200%, in the past decade. Reducing exposure to fragranced products could help reduce adverse health and societal effects

    Fragranced consumer products: effects on asthmatics

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    Fragranced consumer products, such as cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and personal care products, can emit a range of air pollutants and trigger adverse health effects. This study investigates the prevalence and types of effects of fragranced products on asthmatics in the American population. Using a nationally representative sample (n = 1137), data were collected with an on-line survey of adults in the USA, of which 26.8% responded as being medically diagnosed with asthma or an asthma-like condition. Results indicate that 64.3% of asthmatics report one or more types of adverse health effects from fragranced products, including respiratory problems (43.3%), migraine headaches (28.2%), and asthma attacks (27.9%). Overall, asthmatics were more likely to experience adverse health effects from fragranced products than non-asthmatics (prevalence odds ratio [POR] 5.76; 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.34-7.64). In particular, 41.0% of asthmatics report health problems from air fresheners or deodorizers, 28.9% from scented laundry products coming from a dryer vent, 42.3% from being in a room cleaned with scented products, and 46.2% from being near someone wearing a fragranced product. Of these effects, 62.8% would be considered disabling under the definition of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Yet 99.3% of asthmatics are exposed to fragranced products at least once a week. Also, 36.7% cannot use a public restroom if it has an air freshener or deodorizer, and 39.7% would enter a business but then leave as quickly as possible due to air fresheners or some fragranced product. Further, 35.4% of asthmatics have lost workdays or a job, in the past year, due to fragranced product exposure in the workplace. More than twice as many asthmatics would prefer that workplaces, health care facilities and health care professionals, hotels, and airplanes were fragrance-free rather than fragranced. Results from this study point to relatively simple and cost-effective ways to reduce exposure to air pollutants and health risks for asthmatics by reducing their exposure to fragranced products

    Ten questions concerning fragrance-free policies and indoor environments

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    Indoor air quality is an international concern, linked with adverse effects on health and productivity. A common source of indoor air pollutants is fragranced consumer products, such as air fresheners, cleaning supplies, and personal care products. Exposure to fragranced products has been associated with health problems, such as breathing difficulties and migraine headaches, as well as lost workdays and loss of access in society. In response, fragrance-free policies have been implemented in workplaces, schools, health care facilities, public buildings, and other indoor environments around the world. In addition, national surveys indicate that more people prefer fragrance-free rather than fragranced environments, and would support fragrance-free policies. Though lacking a standard approach, these policies generally restrict the use of fragranced products indoors. And though prevalent, little systematic study has investigated these policies. Yet building managers, occupants, employers, and employees often seek guidance and scientific information. This paper presents and answers ten questions to explore fragrance-free policies within indoor built environments. Using a set of 60 fragrance-free policies, it analyzes who, what, where, when, why, and how policies are implemented. It then examines potential benefits of fragrance-free policies, such as avoided costs from illness and lost workdays, as well as challenges. The paper concludes with guidance and research directions for the future

    The impact of interactive technology on prosocial behavior

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    Background. Behavior performed with the prosocial intent of helping others holds benefits not only for the recipient, but also for the prosocial actor and the community around them. Despite these pervasive benefits, there is relatively little research on how interacting with computing technology can be used to facilitate prosocial behavior. Understanding this relationship between technology usage and prosocial behavior and the psychological processes underlying this relationship is the aim of this doctoral thesis. To this goal, over the course of four manuscripts, we examined the impact of different technologies (in the form of video games, interactive narratives, and an interactive online platform) on their users' experiences and prosocial behavior. Methods. In each manuscript we followed a similar core structure; We experimentally manipulated a form of technology to examine its effects. We collected data on psychological processes we believed to be crucial to the effect of technology on prosocial behavior. Finally, in three of the four manuscripts, we assessed prosocial behavior after interacting with the technology. Based on the individual research questions, the experimental designs were supplemented with additional methodologies, such as interviews, surveys, and longitudinal data collection. Results. We found that interactivity in games and interactive text-based narratives can lead to increased prosocial behavior, but that this effect only occurred when interactivity lead to more meaningful experiences. We found that narrative choices can lead to meaningful experiences when they create moral dilemmas with clear consequences for oneself or others. We learned that sending reminders to track daily prosocial behavior for three weeks correlates with increases in belief in one's ability to help others in everyday contexts. The strongest predictor for using an interactive platform meant to support prosocial behavior over time was the belief in one’s ability to impact change and the enjoyment of the technology itself. Enjoyment was also related to the likelihood to continue using the interactive platform. One’s belief in one’s ability to help others in everyday contexts did not predict prosocial behavior over time, but one’s belief in one’s ability to impact change did. Conclusion. Interacting with technology is by far not a silver bullet to drastically impact prosocial behavior. However, when designed to be meaningful, interactivity can affect the way a narrative is perceived and to which extent prosocial behavior will be shown following the interaction. Interactive technology has the potential, particularly when enjoyable, to support performing prosocial actions and engagement over time. One’s belief in one’s abilities to perform everyday prosocial actions and one's belief in one's abilities to impact change both play roles within the relationship between technology usage and prosocial behavior. In order to correctly harness the potential of these technologies, however, the complex reality of the variability of users' everyday contexts, as well as their unique capabilities, opportunities, and motivations need to be taken into account. While some technology is more likely to lead to prosocial behavior when it is meaningful, others will be more likely be effective, particularly over time, when they are enjoyable. Future research should further examine the relationships between different forms of self-efficacy, experiences of enjoyment and meaningfulness, their relationship with sustained prosocial behavior, and how they are affected by interactive technology
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