Biological hazards - 589 entries found
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The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSSH) 2002 of the United Kingdom (see CIS 03-1023) also covers biological agents, which include microorganisms, cell cultures or human endoparasites that can cause infection, allergy toxicity, or otherwise create a hazard to human health. Biological hazards are present in many workplaces, but particularly so in hospitals and the health-care sector. They can pose a significant threat to workers' health. This article outlines how these risks can be reduced, based on a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, coupled with effective infection control measures.
Safety and Health Practitioner, Aug. 2007, Vol.25, No.8, p.47-50. Illus. 2 ref.
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
Expert forecast on emerging biological risks related to occupational safety and health
Some 5000 workers die every year of communicable diseases in the European Union. The Community strategy 2002-2006 called on the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work to set up a risk observatory to anticipate new and emerging risks. This report presents the results of the forecast on emerging OSH biological risks, based on a survey of 36 experts using the Delphi method. The forecast emphasizes how important it is that biological risks are dealt with globally and in cooperation between disciplines such as OSH, public health, animal health, environmental protection and food safety. It also shows that knowledge about biohazards is still relatively undeveloped and that a proper assessment of biological risks is difficult. Better methods for determining the biological agents and measuring their concentration need to be developed in order to improve exposure assessment.
Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2, rue Mercier, L-2985 Luxembourg, 2007. 145p. Illus. 361 ref.
http://osha.europa.eu/publications/reports/7606488/risk_observatory_en.pdf [in English]
Pérez Bermúdez B., Nieto Sánchez A.B.
Biological exposure to blood-borne pathogens and temporary work
Exposición biológica a patógenos hemáticos y temporalidad laboral [in Spanish]
Incidents involving the risk of exposure to blood-borne pathogens, particularly through needle-stick injuries, are common in the health care sector. The objective of this study was to assess the frequency of these incidents among regular and temporary health care workers at a Spanish university hospital. All reported incidents occurring within a period of twelve months were analysed. Logistic regressions were performed using the dependant variables of age, sex, level of seniority, place where the incident occurred, injured body part, causal agent, work shift, way in which the incident was caused, and the month and day of the injury. The odds ratio of such incidents was found to be 1.96 among temporary workers. No other variables were found to have a significant effect.
Medicina y seguridad del trabajo, June 2007, Vol.LIII, No.207, p.13-19. Illus. 11 ref.
Lavoie J., Cloutier Y., Lara J., Marchand G.
Guide on respiratory protection against bioaerosols: Recommendations on its selection and use
This guide is intended, among others, for workers in household waste sorting centres, wastewater treatment plants, agricultural enterprises, food and beverage processing companies and hospitals. It provides a description of the respirators and filtration mechanisms, as well as information on their fit, seal and maintenance. It also provides information on the respiratory protection required for infectious and non-infectious bioaerosols.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2007. v, 30p. Illus. 53 ref. Price: CAD 7.42. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/RG-501.pdf [in English]
Price L.B., Roess A., Graham J.P., Baqar S., Vailes R., Sheikh K.A., Silbergeld E.
Neurologic symptoms and neuropathologic antibodies in poultry workers exposed to Campylobacter jejuni
The objective of this case-control study was to examine associations between occupational exposure to live poultry with exposure to Campylobacter jejuni, campylobacter-associated neurological symptoms and neuropathological antibodies. Subjects included 20 poultry workers and 40 community referents. Campylobacter exposure was evaluated by stool culture and serum antibodies, neurological symptoms were assessed by questionnaire and neuropathological antibodies were measured by serum anti-glycolipid antibody concentrations. It was found that poultry workers had significantly higher anti-campylobacter compared with that of referents, and they were significantly more likely to report multiple campylobacter-associated neurological symptoms.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 2007, Vol.49, No.7, p.748-755. Illus. 35 ref.
Chen G.X., Jenkins L.
Potential work-related bloodborne pathogen exposures by industry and occupation in the United States - Part I: An emergency department-based surveillance study
The objective of this study was to analyse the magnitude and distribution of blood-borne pathogen (BBP) exposures across all industries and occupations in the United States. Data were from the 1998 to 2000 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a stratified probability-based sample of U.S. hospital emergency departments. An estimated 78,100 potential work-related exposures to BBP were treated in hospital emergency departments annually. While hospitals accounted for 75% of all these exposures, 11 other industries also had a substantial number of exposures. Registered nurses accounted for 36% of all exposures, but 13 other occupations had also a substantial number of exposures. Hospitals had the highest exposure rate of 11.3 per thousand full-time equivalents, followed by nursing homes (2.8) and residential care facilities without nursing (1.9). Registered nurses had the highest exposure rate of 15.3 per thousand full-time equivalents, followed by clinical laboratory technologists and technicians (13.9) and physicians (7.1).
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Mar. 2007, Vol.50, No.3, p.183-190. 31 ref.
Korpi A., Lappalainen S., Kaliste E., Kalliokoski P., Reijula K., Pasanen A.L.
A multi-faceted approach to risk assessment of laboratory animal allergens at two facilities
This article describes a versatile approach to assessing the risks posed by laboratory animal allergens (LAAs) which was implemented at two laboratory animal facilities in Finland. The approach includes questionnaires for management and employees, a hazard identification visit, measurements at the workplaces and the creation of a list of recommended procedures to reduce allergen exposure. The prevalence of work-related allergic symptoms was found to be 17%. Recommendations included changes in ventilation, changes in work practices, the reduction of unnecessary exposures, more comprehensive use of personal protective equipment and wider communication about LAA risks.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Feb. 2007, Vol.50, No.2, p.127-135. 30 ref.
Brun E., Van Herpe S., Laamanen I., Klug K., Linsel G., Schöneich R., Flaspöler E., Reinert D., Galwas M., Mirón Hernández M.A., García-Matarredona Cepeda D.
Expert forecast on emerging biological risks related to occupational safety and health
About 320,000 workers worldwide die every year of communicable diseases, and some 5,000 in the European Union. In the last decade, media coverage has increased awareness among the public for biological hazards, such as anthrax due to bioterrorist activities, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and avian flu. But biological agents are ubiquitous and, in many workplaces, workers face considerably harmful biological risks. The Community strategy 2002-2006 called on the Agency to set up a risk observatory to anticipate new and emerging risks. This report sets out to present the results of the forecast on emerging OSH biological risks.
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Vía 33, 48009 Bilbao, Spain, 2007. 145p. Illus. 361 ref. Price: EUR 15.00. Downloadable version free of charge.
http://osha.europa.eu/publications/reports/7606488/risk_observatory_en.pdf/at_download/file [in English]
Albrecht A., Kiel K., Kolk A.
Strategies and methods for investigation of airborne biological agents from work environments in Germany
During 2004-2005, a European project was carried out to support Polish occupational safety and health institutions in putting into practice Directive 2000/54/EC regarding the protection of workers from risks related to exposure to biological agents at work (CIS 03-1046). It involved the information and training of persons responsible for the sampling and analysis of biological agents, and the assessment of the results of workplace atmosphere measurements. This article describes the activities carried out during the project, together with information on the standards for bioaerosol measurements commonly used in Germany within the framework of European guidelines.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2007, Vol.13, No.2, p.201-213. 28 ref.
Lavoie J., Cloutier Y., Lara J., Marchand G.
Guide on respiratory protection against bioaerosols - Recommendations for selection and use
Guide sur la protection respiratoire contre les bioaérosols - Recommandations sur le choix et l'utilisation [in French]
This guide is primarily aimed at workers in domestic waste sorting centres, wastewater treatment plants, farms, food and beverage processing industries and hospitals. It provides a description of respirators and their filtration mechanisms, together with information on their fit, seal and maintenance. It also provides information on the respiratory protection required for infectious and non-infectious bioaerosols.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal H3A 3C2, Quebec, Canada, 2007. v, 30p. Illus. 53 ref. Price: CAD 7.42. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/RG-497.pdf [in French]
Gołofit-Szymczak M., Zapór L.
Biological hazards in municipal wastewater treatment plants
Zagrożenia biologiczne w oczyszczalniach ścieków komunalnych [in Polish]
Workers of municipal wastewater treatment plants are exposed to several kinds of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. Biological contaminants can be responsible for a variety of adverse health effects including allergy, hypersensitivity, respiratory problems and infectious diseases. Measures for exposure prevention are outlined.
Bezpieczeństwo pracy, 2007, No.3, p.26-28. Illus. 11 ref.
Biological agents and occupational health
Les agents biologiques et la santé au travail [in French]
Biologische agentia en gezondheid op het werk [in Dutch]
Aimed at employers, this guide comments on the Belgian Royal Order of 4 August 1996 concerning the protection of workers against risks connected with the exposure to biological agents at work (see CIS 00-1532) and explains how to ensure its compliance within the enterprise. Contents: definitions and scope; health effects of biological agents; hazard evaluation; documents to be completed by employers; risk prevention and control; health surveillance; vaccination; roles of the various parties involved in risk prevention and health surveillance.
Service public fédéral Emploi, Travail et Concertation sociale, rue Ernest Blerot I, 1070 Bruxelles, Belgium, 2007. 36p. Illus. 11 ref.
http://www.werk.belgie.be/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=3854 [in Dutch]
http://www.emploi.belgique.be/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=3854 [in French]
Rammeh H., Ben Mansour H., Hidri A., Nouaigui H.
Legionella: To what extent and what prevention measures?
Les légionelles: quelle ampleur et quelle prévention? [in French]
Contents of this special feature on legionellosis: bacterium responsible for propagation; zones of bacterial build-up; contamination by aerosol inhalation; individual factors that increase the risk; exposures that involve risk; epidemiological data; clinical forms (Pontiac fever, legionellosis); diagnosis; medical treatment; risk factors (humidification chambers, cooling towers); prevention (design of equipment, personal protection); environmental survey (sampling and analysis).
SST - Santé et Sécurité au Travail, Jan. 2007, No.40, p.2-10. Illus. 8 ref.
Exposure limits at the workplace 2007 [Switzerland]
Grenzwerte am Arbeitsplatz 2007 [in German]
Valeurs limites d'exposition aux postes de travail 2007 [Suisse] [in French]
List of exposure limits at the workplace for 2007 in Switzerland. Contents: definitions of exposure limits for harmful substances; list of exposure limit values (including short-term exposure values); carcinogens and other harmful exposures (carcinogenic nitrosamines, benzo(a)pyrene and aromatic polycyclic hydrocarbons, passive smoking at the workplace, asbestos, mutagens, substances toxic for reproduction, artificial mineral fibres, organic peroxides, inert substances, dust and gases); definition of the biological exposure indices (BEI); biological monitoring of harmful substances; list of BEIs; BEI of carcinogens; admissible threshold values for physical agents at the workplace (ionizing radiation, non-ionizing radiation, noise and vibration, compressed air, infrared radiation). Replaces CIS 05-409.
Suva, Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Postfach 6002 Luzern, Switzerland, 2007. 148p. Illus.
https://wwwsapp1.suva.ch/sap/public/bc/its/mimes/zwaswo/99/pdf/01903_f.pdf [in French]
https://wwwsapp1.suva.ch/sap/public/bc/its/mimes/zwaswo/99/pdf/01903_d.pdf [in German]
Kim K.Y., Ko H.J., Kim H.T., Kim C.N.
Effect of spraying biological additives for reduction of dust and bioaerosol in a confinement swine house
This on-site experiment was conducted to evaluate and compare efficiencies of various currently-used biological additives to reduce emissions of dust and bioaerosol in a confinement swine house. The mean reduction rates after spraying as compared to initial level before spraying were 30% for dust, 53% for total airborne bacteria and 51% for total airborne fungi. Other findings are discussed.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2006, Vol.13, No.1, p.133-138. Illus. 31 ref.
Effect_of_spraying.pdf [in English]
Infection hazards faced by health care personnel
Risques infectieux professionnels pour le personnel de santé [in French]
While accidents that involve exposure to blood have been widely studied and have given rise to so-called universal precautions which form the basis of preventive measures against infection hazards among health care personnel, there also exist other forms of contamination. There are many potentially responsible pathogens, but epidemiological data that would allow the quantification of the hazard are lacking. The pathogens are also often responsible for nosocomial infections, thus making the protection of staff and patients closely related and justifying the implementation of standard precautions, completed where appropriate by specific measures applicable to exposures from aerosols, droplets or direct contact. These technical measures must be accompanied by appropriate medical prevention (vaccination, medical treatment after exposure and medical supervision).
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 3rd Quarter 2006, No.152, 13p. Illus. 88 ref.
Burrow J.G., McLarnon N.A.
World at work: Evidence based risk management of nail dust in chiropodists and podiatrists
This review article discusses the risks to chiropodists from occupational exposures when filing or drilling toenails. Nail dust particle dimensions are of the order of one micron, suggesting the possibility of deposition in the alveoli and bronchioles. There also exists a risk of exposures to aerosols of blood and body fluids, with the transmission of HIV and hepatitis B. Exposures can be controlled by local exhaust ventilation, drill maintenance, improved drilling techniques and personal protective equipment (eye protection, masks).
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2006, Vol.63, No.10, p.713-716. Illus. 43 ref.
Rylander R., Carvalheiro M.F.
Airways inflammation among workers in poultry houses
This study evaluated the usefulness of airway responsiveness measurements to diagnose the presence of airways inflammation and relate this to occupational exposure among poultry workers. The group studied comprised 42 non-smoking poultry workers and 40 non-smoking controls unexposed to organic dusts. The presence of symptoms was evaluated using a standardized questionnaire for organic dust exposures. Airway responsiveness was measured using the methacholine challenge test. The concentrations of airborne endotoxin and (1-3)-β-D-glucan were measured. Exposure levels were in excess of those expected to cause effects in the airways. Compared to controls, exposed workers had significantly higher airway responsiveness and a higher prevalence of toxic pneumonitis, airways inflammation and chronic bronchitis. Endotoxin levels in the poultry buildings exceeded those suggested in earlier studies as the threshold value for airways inflammation.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, June 2006, Vol.79, No.6, p.487-490. 26 ref.
Müller T., Jörres R.A., Scharrer E.M., Hessel H., Nowak D., Radon K.
Acute blood neutrophilia induced by short-term compost dust exposure in previously unexposed healthy individuals
The purpose of this study was to examine whether a single exposure at a composting facility could exert systemic effects in healthy volunteers not previously exposed to organic dust from such facilities. Seventeen subjects (aged 20-35 years) were exposed to organic dust for 2h (exposure day) during moderate exercise; 12 of these subjects also took part in a control experiment (control day), without exposure. Spirometry was performed before and immediately after the exposure. White blood cell counts and levels of tumour-necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 in peripheral blood were determined before and 3h after exposure. Short-term exposure of healthy, young subjects to organic dust from composting facilities had opposite effects on the numbers of blood neutrophils and blood eosinophils. These effects, though mild, suggest that even a limited period of moderate work may cause a sufficient amount of bioactive material to be deposited in the lung to elicit acute systemic alterations.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, June 2006, Vol.79, No.6, p.477-482. 36 ref.
Muñoz Donzel N., Megias Guijo M., Moreno Toval E.
Occupational accidents resulting from exposure to the bacterium Legionella pneumophila
Accidentes de trabajo derivados de la exposición a la bacteria Legionella pneumophila [in Spanish]
Legionellosis is a disease that can be acquired in occupational settings and which consists of two clinical forms, Pontiac fever and legionnaire's disease. This article comments on two Spanish court rulings in cases of accidental occupational exposure to Legionella pneumophila with fatal outcomes.
Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo, Dec. 2006, No.40, p.24-28. Illus. 7 ref.
Vaccination in the workplace
Les vaccinations en milieu de travail [in French]
The prevention of biological hazards in the workplace is required by French labour laws. Depending on the hazards identified, preventive measures may include personal and collective protection (hygiene measures, technical measures, personal protective equipment), as well as vaccination. This article summarizes French regulations concerning vaccination in the workplace. Vaccination against hepatitis B, tetanus, influenza and polio are mandatory for persons working in health care, while immunization against typhoid is required for persons working in medical laboratories.
Travail et sécurité, Dec. 2006, No.668, p.47-49. Illus. 2 ref.
http://www.travail-et-securite.fr/archivests/archivests.nsf/(alldocparref)/TS668page47_1/$file/TS668page47.pdf?openelement [in French]
Guignon N., Sandret N.
Exposures to biological agents in occupational settings
Les expositions aux agents biologiques dans le milieu de travail [in French]
This article presents and analyses the findings of the SUMER 2002-2003 survey (medical surveillance of occupational hazards) in France on exposures to biological agents in occupational settings. 15% of the French workforce (2.6 million persons) were employed in occupations possibly involving exposure to biological agents. Only a few of these agents were pathogenic or could evolve into pathogens under certain conditions. 54% of the exposed persons consisted of workers in contact with biological agents of human origin, 8% were in contact with animals and 23% worked in waste disposal or were involved in handling wastes or foodstuffs. More than half of the potentially-exposed workers belonged to the health care sector, where 66% of employees were exposed. Other findings are discussed.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, Dec. 2006, No.108, p.485-493.
http://www.dmt-prevention.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/TF%20155/$File/TF155.pdf [in French]
Biological hazards in the workplace
Les risques biologiques au travail [in French]
Many enterprises are concerned by biological hazards. The concept of "transmission chain" is a guiding principle that can help evaluate these hazards. Prevention consists of breaking at least one link in this chain. The concept is presented in the form of illustrations.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, May 2006. 6p. Illus. Price: EUR 1.50. Downloadable version free of charge.
http://www.inrs.fr/INRS-PUB/inrs01.nsf/inrs01_catalog_view_view/78080B3B8C0DFBA8C12571B20023D520/$FILE/ed988.pdf [in French]
Lane S.R., Sewell R.D.E.
Correlative measurement of four biological contaminants on cotton lint, and their implications for occupational health
Four biological contaminants of cotton fibres (gram-negative bacterial cells, endotoxin, fungal cells and (1-3)-β-D-glucan) were measured in 13 cotton lint samples from international origins. Levels of the contaminants varied significantly between samples. Analysis showed positive correlations between pairs of all four contaminants, however, they were significant only between fungal cells and glucan and between endotoxin and glucan. These findings have important implications for the health risk posed by the cotton-production environment, since the simultaneous inhalation of these agents may cause or exacerbate lung inflammation.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr.-June 2006, Vol.12, No.2, p.120-125. Illus. 37 ref.
Risk of biological accidents among workers of a health administration region
Riesgo biológico accidental entre trabajadores de un área sanitaria [in Spanish]
This article presents the findings of a survey carried out between 1999 and 2003 in the Spanish health administration region of Puertollano on the incidence of biological accidents. It involved 742 workers (533 women and 209 men). 188 cases of accidental exposure to biological agents were notified during the study period, corresponding to a rate of 5.1 cases per 100 workers. Accidental exposure was the most frequent among nursing staff. Findings are discussed.
Salud, Trabajo y Ambiente, 3rd Quarter 2006, Vol.13, No.49, p.13-16. Illus.
Occupational non-infectious respiratory diseases due to biological agents - Farming sector and the food industry
Affections respiratoires professionnelles non infectieuses dues aux agents biologiques - Secteurs agricole et agroalimentaire [in French]
The farming sector and the food industry are the main sectors affected by respiratory diseases caused by biological agents. Since the work requires contact with soil, plants, animal-based products, food or organic dust, many tasks involve exposure to moulds, yeasts and bacteria. Diseases encountered include extrinsic allergic alveolitis, organic dust toxic syndrome, asthma and asthma-like syndromes, chronic bronchitis symptoms and obstructive chronic bronchitis. This review article discusses current understanding with respect to medical prevention, technical prevention and compensation.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 2nd Quarter 2006, No.106, p.225-238. Illus. 77 ref.
http://www.dmt-prevention.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/TR%2037/$File/TR37.pdf [in French]
Smith D.R., Wei N., Zhang Y.J., Wang R.S.
Needlestick and sharps injuries among a cross-section of physicians in mainland China
This study describes the prevalence, distribution and risk factors of needlestick and sharps injuries (NSIs) among a cross-section of Chinese physicians. Data was obtained by an anonymous, self-reporting survey administered to all 361 physicians at a university teaching hospital. The response rate was 79%. Among them, 64% had experienced an NSI in the previous 12 months, 50% of which involved contaminated devices. A statistically significant correlation was demonstrated between NSI and working in the intensive care unit (adjusted odds ratio 5.3). Future measures should consider the unique cultural beliefs of Chinese people and its effect on preventive behaviours.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Mar. 2006, Vol.49, No.3, p.169-174. Illus. 14 ref.
Bureau of Workers' Activities
Your body at work
Jismuka aṯnā'a al-(amal [in Arabic]
Arabic translation of the manual indexed under CIS 97-424. This training manual surveys chemical, physical, biological and psychological hazards in the workplace and explains how they affect the human body. In addition, the hazards of non-application of ergonomic principles are also covered. Main topics: routes of entry (inhalation, absorption, ingestion); effects of toxic substances (local, systemic, acute and chronic); role of the health and safety representative. In annex: exercise on various commonplace hazards and how to combat them.
Ministry of Health, Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic, 2006. v, 29p. Illus.
Zielińska-Jankiewicz K., Kozajda A., Szadkowska-Stańczyk I.
Protection of hospital workers from risks of occupational exposure to biological agents
Ochrona pracowników szpitali przed ryzykiem związanym z ekspozycją na czynniki biologiczne [in Polish]
A questionnaire survey was carried out in 47 hospitals to assess activities aimed at protecting workers from risks associated with exposure to biological agents. Of the recommendations laid down in Directive 2000/54/EC (see CIS 03-1046), the following requirements were those best satisfied by the hospitals under study: provision of collective and personal protective measures; washing and sanitary facilities; separate dinning rooms; recording of accidents involving handling of biological agents. Most shortcomings were observed with regard to: risk assessment; appropriate marking of rooms where biohazard may occur; written procedures for safe handling of biological agents; and implementation of a vaccination programme against hepatitis B.
Medycyna pracy, 2005, Vol.56, No.5, p.367-373. 24 ref.
Yassi A., Moore D., FitzGerald J.M., Bigelow P., Hon C.Y., Bryce E.
Research gaps in protecting healthcare workers from SARS and other respiratory pathogens: An interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder, evidence-based approach
The objective of this literature survey was to identify priorities for further research in protecting healthcare workers from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and other respiratory pathogens. Factors examined included the basic science of infectious bioaerosols and the efficacy of facial protective equipment, as well as the organizational, environmental and individual factors that influence the success of infection control and occupational health programmes. Focus groups were also held with health care workers in Toronto, Canada. Critical gaps in knowledge were identified and prioritized. Highest priority was given to organizational factors that create a climate of safety. Other priority areas included practical measures to control bioaerosols at the source.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2005, Vol.47, No.1, p.41-50. Illus. 57 ref.
Mitchell C.S., Gershon R.R.M., Lears M.K., Vlahov D., Felknor S., Lubelczyk R.A., Sherman M.F., Comstock G.W.
Risk of tuberculosis in correctional healthcare workers
The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence, incidence and risk factors for occupational infection with tuberculosis among healthcare workers employed in correctional facilities. It involved a self-administered survey, a clinical interview and tuberculin skin testing. The overall tuberculin skin test point prevalence rate was 17.7%, the reactivity rate was 2.2%, and the annual incidence was 1.3%. After controlling for bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccination, only origin of birth remained significantly associated with prevalence of tuberculosis infection. Although the prevalence of tuberculin reactivity was high in this population, the risk factors were predominantly demographic rather than occupational. Nevertheless, continued vigilance to control occupational exposure to this and other respiratory pathogens is warranted, given the potential for future outbreaks of tuberculosis, as well as other known and emerging airborne pathogens.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2005, Vol.47, No.6, p.580-586. 33 ref.
OSH regulation - Guidelines Part 5: Chemical and biological substances
The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation contains legal requirements that must be met by all workplaces under the inspection jurisdiction of the Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia. Many sections of the Regulation have associated guidelines and policies. This document consists of the guidelines applicable to chemical and biological substances. Contents: workplace hazardous materials information systems; containers and storage; flammable and combustible substances; controlling exposure; ventilation; internal combustion engines; hazardous wastes and emissions; personal hygiene; emergency washing facilities; emergency procedures.
Worksafe BC (Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia), Canada (http://www.worksafebc.com), 2005. Internet document (html format).
http://www2.worksafebc.com/Publications/OHSRegulation/GuidelinePart5.asp [in English]
Guez-Chailloux M., Puymeral P., Le Bâcle C.
Thanatopraxy: State of the practice and occupational hazards
La thanatopraxie: état des pratiques et risques professionnels [in French]
There are approximately 1000 thanatopraxy (embalming) practitioners in France. Exposures vary as a function of the state of the body and the premises in which the treatment takes place. This article provides a review of the profession and identifies occupational hazards. Contents: historical review and current state of the occupation; regulations; occupational tasks and conditions of work; occupational hazards (biological, chemical, organizational and psychosocial hazards); preventive measures (safety training, ventilation, skin and respiratory protection, safe work practices).
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 3rd Quarter 2005, No.104, p.449-469. 57 ref.
http://www.dmt-prevention.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/TC%20105/$File/TC105.pdf [in French]
Smith D.R., Leggat P.A., Takahashi K.
Percutaneous exposure incidents among Australian hospital staff
This study investigated all reported percutaneous exposure incidents (PEI) among staff from a large Australian hospital from 2001 to 2003. There were a total of 373 PEI, of which 38.9% were needlestick injuries, 32.7% were cutaneous exposures and 28.4% sharps-related injuries. Nurses were the most commonly affected staff members, (63.5% of the total), followed by doctors (18.8%) and other staff (17.7%). Needlestick injuries were responsible for the majority of nurses' PEI (44.7%) and sharps injuries for those of doctors (44.3%). Overall, the investigation suggests that PEI is a considerable burden for health care workers in Australia.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2005, Vol.11, No.3, p.323-330. Illus. 20 ref.
Smit L.A.M., Spaan S., Heederik D.
Endotoxin exposure and symptoms in wastewater treatment workers
This study investigated endotoxin exposure and work-related symptoms in wastewater treatment workers. Questionnaire on data on symptoms was obtained from 468 employees in 67 sewage treatment plants and personal endotoxin exposure was measured in a sample of workers in three different periods during one year. Endotoxin exposure ranged from 0.6 to 2093 endotoxin units (EU)/m3, the geometric mean exposure being low (27EU/m3). Factor analysis yielded three clusters of correlated symptoms: lower respiratory and skin symptoms, flu-like and systemic symptoms, and upper respiratory symptoms. Symptoms appeared to be more prevalent in workers exposed to endotoxin levels higher than 50EU/m3. A significant dose-response relationship was found for lower respiratory and skin symptoms and for flu-like and systemic symptoms.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, July 2005, Vol.48, No.1, p.30-39. 38 ref.
First M.W., Weker R.A., Yasui S., Nardell E.A.
Monitoring human exposures to upper-room germicidal ultraviolet irradiation
The purpose of upper room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation is to interrupt the transmission of airborne infections by flooding the entire volume of premises above 2m with high-intensity ultraviolet radiation, while minimizing unintentional irradiance below this level to avoid eye and skin irritation. Air exchanges between the upper and lower room result in air disinfection of the occupied space. The objective of this study was to confirm that eye and skin exposures remain well below the recommended safe dose. Subjects wore a small photometer that recorded total ultraviolet dose during their normal routine. This value was compared with a hypothetical dose calculated from the highest measured eye-level irradiance. It was found that the observed doses were between one-third and one hundredth of the maximum eye-level irradiances.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, May 2005, Vol.2, No.5, p.285-292. Illus. 7 ref.
Webster A.R., Lee J.Y., Deininger R.A.
Rapid assessment of microbial hazards in metalworking fluids
In this study, a filtration-based rapid adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence assay, which takes less than 10min to perform, was evaluated as a test method for estimating total number of bacteria in metalworking fluid. This evaluation used two types of metalworking fluid (soluble and semi-synthetic) that were inoculated using Pseudomonas aeruginosa and spoiled metalworking fluid. Daily parallel testing was completed using the rapid ATP assay and the standard plate count methods. Test results were evaluated by statistical correlation and regression procedures for each fluid type. Study results indicate that the rapid ATP assay is strongly correlated to the standard plate count method for soluble and semi-synthetic fluids.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Apr. 2005, Vol.2, No.4, p.213-218. Illus. 20 ref.
The biological agents in the working environment - new regulations
Czynniki biologiczne w środowisku pracy - nowe przepisy [in Polish]
This article describes a decree on the protection of workers from risks related to exposure to biological agents at work. The decree implements the provisions of Directive 2000/54/EC in Polish law. The classification of harmful biological agents is described and activities during which the employees are exposed to these agents are listed along with protective measures.
Bezpieczeństwo pracy, 2005, No.7-8, p.32-33. 3 ref.
http://www.ciop.pl/15588 [in Polish]
Kullman G., Boylstein R., Jones W., Piacitelli C., Pendergrass S., Kreiss K.
Characterization of respiratory exposures at a microwave popcorn plant with cases of bronchiolitis obliterans
Eight former workers from a popcorn packaging plant were reported to have severe obstructive lung disease consistent with bronchiolitis obliterans. Investigations into respiratory exposures were carried out at the plant. Air samples were collected to assess airborne particulate concentrations, particle size distributions, endotoxins, nitrogen oxides and other chemicals. Bulk corn and flavoring components were also analyzed for endotoxins and culturable bacteria and fungi. Findings confirm that workers involved in popcorn packaging can be exposed to a complex mixture of volatile organic compounds from flavouring ingredients. Animal studies show that diacetyl can cause airway epithelial injury, although the contribution of other specific compounds associated with obstructive respiratory disease remains unresolved.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Mar. 2005, Vol.2, No.3, p.169-178. Illus. 22 ref.
Occupational non-infectious respiratory diseases caused by biological agents - Physiopathology and syndromic reactions
Affections respiratoires non infectieuses professionnelles liées aux agents biologiques - Physiopathologie et réactions syndromiques [in French]
Biological agents such as bacteria, viruses, yeasts, moulds and parasites are to be found at the workplace in many sectors of activity. Exposure to these agents may give rise to infections and other pathologies such as immunoallergies, poisoning and cancer. This article reviews current knowledge on occupational non-infectious respiratory diseases caused by biological agents. Topics covered: types of biological agents and mechanisms of respiratory pathogenicity; immuno-allergic pathologies (rhinitis, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis); toxic respiratory effects (bronchial diseases, toxic organic dust syndrome).
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 2nd Quarter 2005, No.102, p.235-244. Illus. 37 ref.
http://www.inrs.fr/INRS-PUB/inrs01.nsf/inrs01_search_view_view/6A54F95527338226C12570340036D687/$FILE/tr35.pdf [in French]
Duchaine C., Dutil S., Mériaux A., de Latrémoille M.C., Leduc A., Lazure L., Barbeau J.
Characterization of bioaerosols in dental surgeries
Caractérisation des bioaérosols en cabinets dentaires [in French]
The use of high-speed instruments such as turbines, ultrasonic descalers and air-water spray guns results in significant concentrations of bioaerosols being emitted into dental surgery environments. This study examined bioaerosol production and the composition and dispersion of these aerosols into the environment. It was found that under certain conditions, dental surgery staff and patients may be exposed to microorganisms present in the air, particularly bacteria from the mouth and from the water units. Repeated exposure of personnel suggests that there is a probable risk of contact between bacteria-containing aerosols and the respiratory system. With minimal ventilation, stopping treatments for two hours appears sufficient for the bioaerosol concentration to return to the level measured before treatment. The effectiveness of wearing a mask as a tool for exposure prevention remains to be determined.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2005. iv, 46p. Illus. 51 ref. Price: CAD 6.42. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-407.pdf [in French]
Lignell U., Meklin T., Putus T., Vepsäläinen A., Roponen M., Torvinen E., Reeslev M., Pennanen S., Hirvonen M.R., Kalliokoski P., Nevalainen A.
Microbial exposure, symptoms and inflammatory mediators in nasal lavage fluid of kitchen and clerical personnel in schools
Microbial investigations were conducted in six moisture-damaged schools and two reference schools. The symptoms of kitchen personnel were investigated by questionnaire and by measurement of inflammatory responses in nasal lavage (NAL) fluid. Total concentrations of airborne microbes were lower in kitchens than in other facilities of the schools. However, the occurrence of moisture damage increased the airborne microbial concentrations both in kitchens and in other facilities. Bacterial concentrations were high on surfaces in the damaged kitchens. Symptoms were prevalent both among kitchen workers and clerical personnel in the moisture-damaged work environments. Median concentrations of inflammatory mediators were slightly higher in NAL samples of kitchen workers than among clerical personnel. It is concluded that kitchen facilities differ from other facilities of the school building and represent a specific type of environment that may affect the health status of the personnel.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 2005, Vol.18, No.2, p.139-150. Illus. 51 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Control of substances hazardous to health (Fifth edition) - The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (as amended)
Contains the Approved Code of Practice for the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 (as amended, see CIS 03-1023) with supporting guidance on the control of carcinogenic and mutagenic substances, work with biological agents and the control of substances that cause occupational asthma. Covers: the assessment of health risks; prevention or control of exposure; use and maintenance of control measures; exposure monitoring; health surveillance; provision of information and training; arrangements for dealing with accidents. Replaces the previous edition (CIS 05-185).
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 5th ed., 2005. iv, 144p. Illus. 81 ref. Price: GBP 12.50.
Exposure limits at the workplace 2005 [Switzerland]
Grenzwerte am Arbeitsplatz 2005 [in German]
Valeurs limites d'exposition aux postes de travail 2005 [Suisse] [in French]
List of exposure limits at the workplace for 2005 in Switzerland. Contents: definitions of exposure limits for harmful substances; list of exposure limit values (including short-term exposure values); carcinogens and other harmful exposures (carcinogenic nitrosamines, benzo(a)pyrene and aromatic polycyclic hydrocarbons, passive smoking at the workplace, asbestos, mutagens, substances toxic for reproduction, artificial mineral fibres, organic peroxides, inert substances, dust and gases); definition of the biological exposure indices (BEI); biological monitoring of harmful substances; list of BEIs; BEI of carcinogens; admissible threshold values for physical agents at the workplace (ionizing radiations, non-ionizing radiations, noise and vibration, compressed air, infrared radiation). Replaces CIS 03-520.
Suva, Arbeitsmedizin, Postfach, 6002 Luzern, Switzerland, 2005. 144p. Illus.
http://wwwitsp1.suva.ch/sap/its/mimes/waswo/99/pdf/01903-f.pdf [in French]
http://wwwitsp1.suva.ch/sap/its/mimes/waswo/99/pdf/01903-d.pdf [in German]
Fully searchable CD-ROM version of the 4th edition of the ILO's Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety (for a full abstract, see CIS 99-1860) and of 1364 chemical safety datasheets in the ICSC Chemical Safety Cards series.
International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre (CIS), International Labour Office (ILO), 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 2005. CD-ROM, runs under Windows 98 and later, readable under MS Explorer 5.5.
Wilburn S.Q., Eijkemans G.
Preventing needlestick injuries among healthcare workers: A WHO-ICN collaboration
Effective measures to prevent infections from occupational exposure of healthcare workers to infected blood include immunization against hepatitis B virus, eliminating unnecessary injections, implementing universal precautions, eliminating needle recapping, disposing of the sharp into a sharps container immediately after use, use of safer devices such as needles that sheath or retract after use, provision and use of personal protective equipment and training workers in the risks and prevention of transmission. Post-exposure prophylaxis with antiretroviral medications can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by 80%. In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Council of Nurses (ICN) launched a pilot project in South Africa, Tanzania and Vietnam to protect healthcare workers from needlestick injuries. The results of the pilot will be disseminated worldwide, along with best policies and practices for prevention.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Oct.-Dec. 2004, Vol.10, No.4, p.451-456. Illus. 35 ref.
Mirón Hernández M.A.
Diseases caused by biological agents in the fishing sector
Enfermedades por agentes biológicos en el sector de la pesca [in Spanish]
Presented in the form of a table, this article summarizes the main infectious diseases that can affect fishermen, namely yellow fever, plague, tetanus, leptospirosis, skin infections, schistomiasis, amoebiasis, dermatomycosis, dermatitis and asthma. For each infectious agent, the table also mentions the mode of entry, characteristic symptoms, preventive measures and medical treatment.
Medicina Marítima, Dec. 2004, Vol.4, No.2, p.147-150. 8 ref.
Time of farmers' exposure to biological factors in agricultural working environment
In a study of 30 farms, the duration of farmers' exposure to biological and other factors of the working environment was investigated using the Private Farmer Work Chart. Among 48 work activities contributing to the full annual work cycle, 15 activities were associated with 5 risk factors. These were mainly field activities (plant harvesting and fertilizing, chemical plant protection, cultivation activities). Exposure to agricultural dust and elements of the thermal environment were the most common risk factors, followed by contact with biological factors, noise, vibration and chemical agents. Biological factors were associated with nearly 60% of farm activities, mainly the spreading of manure, animal breeding and plant harvesting.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2004, Vol.11, No.1, p. 85-89. Illus. 32 ref.
http://www.aaem.pl/pdf/11085.pdf [in English]
Solarz K., Szilman P., Szilman E.
Occupational exposure to allergenic mites in a Polish Zoo
This study was carried out from April 2000-March 2001. During this period, 49 samples of dust, litter, debris and residues from cages and run-offs of mammals, birds and reptiles in the Silesian Zoo were examined for the presence of mites, especially the allergenic taxa. Mites were found in 44 of 49 samples analysed (89.8%). The examination revealed that cages and run-offs of different mammals, aviaries of parrots and terrariums of snakes are important sources of some allergenic mites that might cause allergies in workers.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2004, Vol.11, No.1, p.27-33. 41 ref.
http://www.aaem.pl/pdf/11027.pdf [in English]
Rusnak J.M., Kortepeter M.G., Aldis J., Boudreau E.
Experience in the medical management of potential laboratory exposures to agents of bioterrorism on the basis of risk assessment at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)
This article describes a review of potential exposures to infectious agents of bioterrorism (bacterial, viral, or rickettsial agents) at the research laboratories of the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) from 1989 to 2002. The evaluation of 234 persons (78% vaccinated) for exposure to 289 infectious agents revealed five confirmed infections. Postexposure antibiotic prophylaxis was given for most moderate- or high-risk bacterial exposures, most unvaccinated minimal-risk exposures and some vaccinated minimal-risk exposures. It was concluded that a multifaceted policy of personal protective measures, vaccination, early assessment and postexposure antibiotic prophylaxis was effective in minimizing morbidity and mortality in at-risk workers.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2004, Vol.46, No.8, p.801-811. Illus. 44 ref.
Rusnak J.M., Kortepeter M.G., Hawley R.J., Boudreau E., Aldis J., Pittman P.R.
Management guidelines for laboratory exposures to agents of bioterrorism
This article examines measures for preventing exposure to potential bioterrorism agents in biodefence research laboratories. Guidelines issued by the Special Immunizations Program at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) are described. These include general safety measures and policies for vaccination and exposure evaluation. Results of evaluations of exposure to bacterial agents, viral agents and toxins are also analysed. It is concluded that a multifaceted policy of safety training, laboratory practices and procedures, personal protective measures, vaccination and early assessment of potential exposure with initiation of postexposure prophylaxis has been successful in minimizing the risk of disease in laboratory workers. Algorithms for evaluating and managing potential exposure are presented to provide guidance to other agencies.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2004, Vol.46, No.8, p.791-800. Illus. 42 ref.
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