Inorganic substances - 5,778 entries found
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Badinier-Paganon I., Deschamps F.
Exposure of swimming-pool lifeguards to chlorinated compounds
Exposition des maîtres nageurs aux dérivés chlorés [in French]
Disinfection of swimming pool water is carried out using chlorinated agents that react with nitrogen-containing human residues. This results in the formation of chloramines, which include nitrogen trichloride (chloramine-T). These compounds may be responsible for chronic symptoms such as eye, rhinopharyngeal and bronchial irritations with a dose-effect relationship. However, cases of chronic bronchitis or asthma are not frequent. Chloramine-T solutions used in the disinfection of walls, floors and sanitary facilities may induce sensitizations confirmed with specific IgE detection. Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome may occur with massive accidental exposure to chlorinated compounds. Primary prevention consists in gas extraction systems to maintain atmospheric concentrations of chlorinated agents at acceptable levels.
Archives des maladies professionnelles et de médecine du travail, Oct. 2001, Vol.62, No.6, p.477-481. 16 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Chromium and you
Contents on this leaflet on the hazards from exposure to chromium aimed at employees: what is chromium, and products and processes where it is found; modes of exposure; health hazards; preventive measures; health surveillance; legal obligations of the employer, particularly under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 1999 (see CIS 00-620); information of personnel.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 6FS, United Kingdom, Nov. 2001. 6p.1 ref.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg346.pdf [in English]
Paceli Hatem Diniz E., Sampaio M.R.
Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego
Lead and measures for limiting exposure
O chumbo e as formas de controle [in Portuguese]
Aimed at workers handling lead, this booklet provides practical guidance on limiting exposure. Contents: characteristics of lead; causes of lead poisoning (inhalation of dust or smoke; eating, drinking or smoking at the place of work); poisoning prevention (local ventilation, protective screens, collection of waste); respirators; other prevention and hygiene measures (cleaning of premises and workplaces, food and smoking, information of workers, periodical medical examinations).
Fundacentro, Rua Capote Valente 710, São Paulo, SP 05409-002, Brazil, 2001. 39p. Illus. 6 ref. Price: BRL 7.00.
Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego
Lead workers are not made of steel
O trabalhador do chumbo não é de ferro [in Portuguese]
Aimed at workers exposed to lead, this training booklet presents the risks incurred, hygiene and preventive measures, and workers' rights with respect to occupational safety and health in poem form. Four exercises are also proposed to the workers. They consist of analysing their conditions of work, the risks they incur and their influence on health, as well as the prevention measures they should consider.
Fundacentro, Rua Capote Valente 710, São Paulo, SP 05409-002, Brazil, 2001. 30p. Illus. Price: BRL 5.00.
Wójcik A., Brzeski Z., Sieklucka-Dziuba M.
Lead levels in body fluids of workers of an automobile factory with clinically diagnosed arterial hypertension
The aim of the study was to evaluate lead levels in body fluids of workers diagnosed with various stages of arterial hypertension who had been subjected to long-term lead exposure at different workplaces. The examination of the patients included medical history, physical examination and biochemical tests of blood and urine in order to assess medical condition in terms of sub-clinical symptoms of lead exposure. No significant differences in mean values of lead in the blood and urine of the studied population compared to the control group. The results do not allow to conclude the existence of an effect of occupational exposure to lead in sub-threshold doses on the development of arterial hypertension, and were within recommended hygiene standards.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2001, Vol.8, No.2, p.285-287. 12 ref.
http://www.aaem.pl/pdf/aaem0140.pdf [in English]
Sińczuk-Walczak, Jakubowski M., Matczak W.
Neurological and neurophysiological examinations of workers occupationally exposed to manganese
To assess the effects of manganese on the functions of the nervous system in exposed workers in the shipbuilding and electrical industries, 75 male workers, 62 welders and fitters and 13 workers involved in battery production, were studied. The control group consisted of 62 non-exposed men matched by age and work shift distribution. Of the 62 welding workers, 30 worked in the area with Mn concentrations exceeding the MAC value of 0.3mg/m3. In battery production, six subjects were subject to concentrations exceeding MAC values. Clinically, the increased emotional irritability, dysmnesia, concentration difficulties, sleepiness and limb paresthesia predominated among the disorders of the nervous system functions in exposed workers. Generalized and paroxysmal changes were the most common recordings in the abnormal electroencephalography. Visual evoked potentials examinations showed abnormalities which could be a signal of the optic neuron disorders. The results show that manganese exposures within the range of <0.01-2.67mg/m3 can induce sub-clinical effects on the nervous system.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 2001, Vol.14, No.4, p.329-337. 16 ref.
Gradecka D., Palus J., Wąsowicz W.
Selected mechanisms of genotoxic effects of inorganic arsenic compounds
Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic compounds is known to cause various tumours and diseases. In many regions of Asia and Latin America, the concentration of inorganic arsenic in drinking water considerably exceeds the standard of 50µg/L recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The genotoxicity of inorganic arsenic has been confirmed in vitro and in vivo, as well as in examinations of exposed populations. Inorganic arsenic increases the frequency of micronuclei, chromosome aberrations and sister chromatid exchanges both in humans and in animals. Various studies suggest that inorganic arsenic may intensify the toxic effects of other physical and chemical agents, especially by DNA repair inhibition. Besides, it is believed that inorganic arsenic compounds may cause changes in the cell redox potential and alter DNA methylation and phosphorylation of cell-cycle control proteins. Some data also suggest that inorganic arsenic increases cellular proliferation and apoptosis. Possible cytotoxic mechanisms of inorganic arsenic compounds are discussed.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 2001, Vol.14, No.4, p.317-328. Illus. 71 ref.
Ibrahim K.S., El-Attar M.S., El-Din El-Anwar Amin H., El-Mishad A.M., Abd-Alla H.M.
Some health hazards of manganese exposure among Egyptian workers
Health hazards due to manganese exposure were examined in 69 male workers employed in the iron and steel industry (mean duration of exposure 18.42±6.6 yr) and in 31 healthy workers as a control group. Both groups underwent full clinical examination. Blood analyses comprising haemoglobin (Hb) concentration, red and white blood cell counts, differential leukocyte cell count, determination of manganese and the determination of IgG and IgM, as well as pulmonary ventilatory function tests were performed. In the exposed group, blood cell counts and Hb levels showed a statistically significant reduction as compared to the control group, while serum immunoglobulin levels showed a statistically significant elevation. There was no correlation between the blood manganese concentration and any of the other parameters mentioned above. The values of the pulmonary ventilatory function tests (FEV1, FVC/VC%, FEV1/FVC%) were significantly reduced in the exposed workers.
Central European Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2001, Vol.7, No.3-4, p.228-236. 35 ref.
How much protection against radon do we need?
It has been long established that exposure to radon contributed to lung cancer risk among miners in the past. However, based on recent epidemiological data that the author considers controversial, regulators currently favour linear extrapolation from the very high exposures encountered in mining to low residential radon exposures. Direct and indirect evidence are reviewed and it is argued that this approach may be misleading due to various perturbing factors, in particular the retrospective determination of smoking habits.
Central European Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2001, Vol.7, No.3-4, p.168-177. Illus. 19 ref.
Bonnard N., Brondeau M.T., Falcy M., Jargot D., Miraval S., Protois J.C., Schneider O.
Dioxyde de carbone [in French]
Chemical safety information sheet. Synonyms: carbonic anhydride; dry ice. Acute toxicity: asphyxiant gas which may cause death; increase in breathing rhythm, state as if under the influence of alcohol; headache; visual disorders; unconsciousness; skin burns in the case of contact with the substance at low temperature. Chronic toxicity: changes of the blood pH; increase of pulmonary ventilation; changes in colour vision. Exposure limits: TWA: USA ACGIH 2000 = 9000mg/m3 (5000ppm); Germany MAK = 9000mg/m3 (2000-5000ppm). Complete datasheet collection on CD-ROM analysed under CIS 02-1407.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, CD-ROM CD 613, 2002. 5p. 23 ref.
International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS)
Conclusions of this criteria document: zinc poisoning can cause gastrointestinal distress, nausea and diarrhoea, occasionally leading to death. Occupational exposure to finely-dispersed particulate matter when zinc is volatilized can lead to metal fume fever characterized by fever, chills, dyspnoea, nausea and fatigue. Occupational asthma has been reported among persons working with soft solder fluxes, but the evidence was not sufficient to indicate a causal relationship. Primary targets of absorbed zinc are muscle, bone, liver, pancreas, kidney and other organs.
World Health Organization, Distribution and Sales Service, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 2001. xxiii, 360p. Illus. Approx. 1150 ref.
http://www.inchem.org/documents/ehc/ehc/ehc221.htm [in English]
Moulin J.J., Schneider O., Vincent R., Dornier G.
Le cobalt [in French]
Contents of this data sheet on safety and health precautions and regulations concerning cobalt: areas of use (metallurgy, in particular the production of hard metal alloys, manufacturing of steel-reinforced rubber goods such as tyres and conveyor belts, the chemical, oil and glass industries, pharmaceuticals); experimental animal toxicology; epidemiology and effects on humans (irritation respiratory diseases, occupational asthma, extrinsic allergic alveolitis, fibrosis); regulations; compensation of occupational diseases; labelling; substitution of cobalt chloride and cobalt sulfate, classified as carcinogenic.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, 2001. 4p. Illus. 9 ref.
Lead - The hazard continues
Plomb - Le risque persiste [in French]
Risks of exposure to lead arise mainly during the use of the metal in the chemical, metallurgical and glass industries, as well as in building renovation, since old paints used in buildings often contain lead. According to the SUMER 1994 survey (see CIS 95-161), more than 120,000 workers are at risk of exposure to lead in France. Topics covered in this special feature on lead: sectors at risk; secondary exposure of persons close to the directly-exposed workers; regulations; sampling and analysis of lead concentrations in workplace air by accredited laboratories; medical supervision; appropriateness of lowering limit values for blood lead; toxic effects; lead poisoning; collective and personal protective measures on building renovation sites; building waste management; example of preventive measures implemented by a lead battery producer.
Travail et sécurité, Mar. 2001, No.605, p.20-38. Illus. 12 ref.
Occupational skin diseases: Cement still causes victims
Dermatoses professionnelles: le ciment fait toujours des victimes [in French]
According to the SUMER 94 survey (see CIS 95-161), more than 300,000 workers are exposed to cement in France. Cement is both corrosive and allergenic, the allergic effects being in particular due to the presence of chromium. Several countries are committed to reducing the chromium content of cement. As a result, skin diseases caused by cement have decreased from 3.1% of compensated occupational diseases in France in 1994 to 1.37% in 1998. Topics covered in this special feature on skin diseases caused by cement: corrosive and allergic effects of cement; allergic effects of chromium VI compounds; chromate chemistry; packaging of cement (in bulk or bags); importance of personal protection; trends over the last 30 years highlighting a 90% decrease in skin diseases caused by cement.
Travail et sécurité, July-Aug. 2001, No.609, p.22-28. Illus. 6 réf.
Hexafluoruro de telurio [in Spanish]
Chemical safety information sheet published by the Consejo Interamericano de Seguridad, 33 Park Place, Englewood, NJ 07631, USA. Exposure limit: 0.2mg/m3 or 0.02ppm (OSHA). Exposure route: inhalation. Toxicity: irritation of the respiratory tract and respiratory impairment; headache; dyspnoea; garlic odour of the breath; effects may be delayed.
Noticias de seguridad, Aug. 2001, Vol.63, No.8, 3p. Insert.
Soluble thallium compounds
Compuestos solubles de talio [in Spanish]
Chemical safety information sheet published by the Consejo Interamericano de Seguridad, 33 Park Place, Englewood, NJ 07631, USA. Exposure limit: 0.1mg/m3 (OSHA). Exposure routes: inhalation, ingestion and skin absorption. Toxicity: effects on the nervous system; hepatic and renal damage; alopecia; pain in the mouth; loss of weight; psychological effects; effects may be delayed.
Noticias de seguridad, Aug. 2001, Vol.63, No.8, 4p. Insert.
Rojas M., Drake P.L., Roberts S.M.
Assessing mercury health effects in gold workers near El Callao, Venezuela
Report on the health status of 40 gold workers in Venezuela with occupational exposure to mercury (Hg). Use of protective equipment was limited, and environmental concentrations of Hg and Hg concentrations in the hair and urine of workers were above occupational guidelines. The workers were found to be generally healthy and without symptoms of mercury poisoning. Despite substantial exposure among a number of subjects, few adverse health effects were found with a possibly connection to Hg exposure.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2001, Vol.43, No.2, p.158-165. Illus. 42 ref.
Deschamps F.J., Guillaumot M., Raux S.
Neurological effects in workers exposed to manganese
To examine the effects on the nervous system in enamel production workers with low blood levels (approx. 200µg/m3) of and long exposure to manganese (Mn), 138 workers and 137 controls received questionnaires on symptoms, a battery of psychological tests and blood concentrations assays of the metal. Airborne Mn concentrations were determined by personal and stationary sampling. The mean duration of exposure was 19.87 years. The workers did not have significantly higher concentrations of Mn in blood than the controls and showed no significant disturbance of neurological performance.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2001, Vol.43, No.2, p.127-132. 26 ref.
Band P.R., Le N.D., Fang R., Astrakianakis G., Bert J., Keefe A., Krewski D.
Cohort cancer incidence among pulp and paper mill workers in British Columbia
In a cohort of male pulp and paper workers in British Columbia (Canada), 1756 cancer cases were observed in the period 1950-1992. The results of the analysis suggest that long-term work in the pulp and paper industry is associated with excess risks of prostate and stomach cancers and all leukaemias for work in workers engaged in both the kraft and the sulfite processes, and of rectal cancer for work in the sulfite process only.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Apr. 2001, Vol.27, No.2, p.113-119. 33 ref.
Tassler P.L., Schwartz B.S., Coresh J., Stewart W.F., Todd A.C.
Associations of tibia lead, DMSA-chelatable lead, and blood lead with measures of peripheral nervous system function in former organolead manufacturing workers
This study of former organolead manufacturing workers (with an average of 16 years since their last occupational lead exposure) found no strong association between biomarkers (blood lead, DMSA-chelatable lead, current tibia lead and back-extrapolated "peak" tibia lead) and peripheral nervous system (PNS) sensory or motor function indicators. PNS may be less affected than some other body systems by the chronic toxic effects of lead in adults, possibly because it has a greater capacity for repair than does the central nervous system (CNS).
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Mar. 2001, Vol.39, No.3, p.254-261. 35 ref.
Vork K.L., Hammond S.K., Sparer J., Cullen M.R.
Prevention of lead poisoning in construction workers: A new public health approach
Two key features of CRISP (the Connecticut Road Industry Surveillance Project) are: a contract-specified lead health protection programme and a centralized system of medical monitoring. Data from 90 bridge projects from 1991 to 1995 and approximately 2,000 workers were evaluated. Peak lead concentrations in the blood of CRISP workers were compared with those from workers outside of Connecticut. After 1992, only the painting employees experienced peak blood lead levels exceeding 50µg/dL; other Connecticut workers had significantly lower peak blood lead levels than did workers from other states.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Mar. 2001, Vol.39, No.3, p.243-253. 38 ref.
Andersson E., Hagberg S., Nilsson T., Persson B., Wingren G., Torén K.
A case-referent study of cancer mortality among sulfate mill workers in Sweden
To investigate whether workers in Swedish sulfate pulp mills have an increased risk of death from certain malignancies, 2480 men aged 40-75 at death during 1960-89 in the parishes surrounding four sulfate mills were studied. Exposure assessment was based on information from the personnel files in the mills. It was observed that among all sulfate mill workers, the odds ratio (OR) for death from lung cancer was 1.6, pleural mesotheliomas 9.5, brain tumours 2.6, and liver or biliary tract cancer 2.3. There was an increased mortality from leukaemia among workers in the soda recovery plant (5.9) and bleaching plant and digester house (2.8). In conclusion, sulfate mill workers were at increased risk of dying from lung cancer and pleural mesotheliomas, probably due to exposure to asbestos. Increased risks of brain tumours and cancers of the liver or biliary tract were also found but the aetiology is not obvious.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, May 2001, Vol.58, No.5, p.321-324. 24 ref.
Lead Regulations, 2001 [South Africa]
Loodregulasies, 2001 [in Afrikaans]
These regulations were issued under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (see CIS 94-1451). They apply to all workplaces where lead (Pb) is produced, processed, used, handled and stored in a form in which it can be inhaled, ingested or absorbed by any person in that workplace. Contents: definitions (the Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) for lead is set at 0.10mg Pb/m3 for tetra-ethyl lead, and at 0.15mg Pb/m3 for all other kinds of lead); prohibition of employment in an environment where exposure to lead may occur beyond occupational exposure limits; information and training of workers; duties of persons who may be exposed; assessment of potential exposure; air monitoring; medical surveillance; respirator zones; record keeping; control of lead exposure (to occur if the level of airborne Pb is above the OEL, or if biological limits (20µg/100mL in blood for ingestible lead and 120µg/L in urine for lead alkyls) are exceeded); personal protective equipment and facilities; cleanliness of premises and plant; maintenance of control measures; prohibitions; labelling, packaging, transportation and storage; disposal of lead waste. The Lead Regulations of 22 Mar. 1991 are repealed. In annex: maximum intervals between blood and urinary Pb measurements, depending on the measured Pb levels in workers.
Government Gazette - Staatskoerant, 28 Feb. 2002, Vol.440, No.7292, p.3-42.
http://www.gov.za/gazette/regulation/2002/23175.pdf [in English]
Taylor L., Jones R.L., Kwan L., Deddens J.A., Ashley K., Sanderson W.T.
Evaluation of a portable blood lead analyzer with occupationally exposed populations
A portable electro-analytical instrument for blood lead determination was evaluated. Samples were obtained from 208 lead-exposed employees who donated two venous blood samples into lead-free evacuated tubes. One blood sample was analysed onsite using the portable field instrument while the second sample was analysed using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS). According to GFAAS results, employee venous blood lead levels ranged from 1µg/dL to 42µg/dL. The mean difference between the results from the field instrument and GFAAS was less than 1µg/dL. Within the blood range evaluated, the instrument performed adequately according to Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendments (CLIA) proficiency requirements. The ability of the instrument to perform rapid analysis makes it potentially valuable to occupational health professionals for medical monitoring or onsite investigations.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2001, Vol.40, No.4, p.354-362. Illus. 23 ref.
Lee J.Y., Yoo J.M., Cho B.K., Kim H.O.
Contact dermatitis in Korean dental technicians
This study investigated the frequency, characteristics and causative factors of contact dermatitis in 49 Korean dental technicians. 22 (44.9%) subjects had contact dermatitis, present or past, and the site involved was the hand for all of them. Metals, including potassium dichromate (24.5%), nickel sulfate (18.4%), mercury ammonium chloride (16.3%), cobalt chloride (12.2%) and palladium chloride (10.2%), showed high positive rates in patch test results. 7 positive reactions to the various polyacrylates were found in 3 subjects.
Contact Dermatitis, July 2001, Vol.45, No.1, p.13-16. Illus. 13 ref.
Rosenman K.D., Sims A., Hogan A., Fialkowski J., Gardiner J.
Evaluation of the effectiveness of following up laboratory reports of elevated blood leads in adults
A report of a state-wide laboratory-based blood-lead surveillance system in the state of Michigan (USA). The effectiveness of inspection of companies in which at least one worker had a blood lead level (BLL) of 30-39µg/dL (but not higher) was considered. Companies where lead exposures occurred were identified and enforcement inspections performed. In addition, a cost-benefit analysis was conducted, employing three endpoints: 1) identification of cases of elevated blood lead levels, due to occupational exposure; 2) identification of workplaces that had received a citation for violating the lead standard; 3) identification of workers at risk of exposure to lead at problem work sites. Workplaces with blood lead citations also had increased overall citations and penalties, when compared with control workplaces not using lead. The cost to identify lead-exposed workers at problem worksites was USD 125 per worker. It is recommended that routine inspection be instituted for all companies in which even one employee is identified with blood lead levels ≥30µg/dL.
AIHA Journal, May-June 2001, Vol.62, No.3, p.371-378. 11 ref.
Goyer N., Lavoie J.
Emissions of chemical compounds and bioaerosols during the secondary treatment of paper mill effluents
Measurements were taken in summer in 11 Canadian paper mills during a 2- to 3-day period in each mill and identified and quantified the main chemical compounds and the bioaerosols emitted during the biological treatment of paper mill effluents. Sulfur compounds had the highest concentrations in the air. Next were the carbon and nitrogen oxides, ammonia, some organic acids and terpenes, which come from wood. Odour perception thresholds for most of these substances are much lower than those established to protect the health of workers. Gram-negative bacteria were high at only one site, whereas the mould Aspergillus fumigatus was occasionally present at low concentration. The highest concentrations were measured where there was water or dust aerosolization. Emissions are managed by controlling the operations that lead to the dispersion of water and particles into the air and through the wearing of personal protective equipment. Stringent personal hygiene measures remain the best means of prevention for bioaerosols.
AIHA Journal, May-June 2001, Vol.62, No.3, p.330-341. Illus. 27 ref.
Counter S.A., Buchanan L.H., Ortega F.
Gender differences in blood lead and hemoglobin levels in Andean adults with chronic lead exposure
A study of the prevalence of lead (Pb) intoxication was conducted in 158 adults (67 men and 91 women) living at an altitude of 2,500-2,800 meters in Ecuadorian Andean villages with high Pb contamination from local small-scale Pb-glazing cottage industries. Venous blood samples showed mean blood lead (PbB) levels of 34.5µg/dL for men and 27.0µg/dL for women. 39% of the men had PbB levels≥ 40µg/dL, while 41% of the women had PbB levels≥ 30µg/dL (the WHO health-based biological limits). A reference group of 39 adults (24 men and 15 women) had a mean PbB level of 5.9µg/dL, significantly different from that of the 158 subjects in the study group. The difference in mean PbB levels of men (6.8µg/dL) and women (4.7µg/dL) in the reference group was significant. The mean altitude-corrected haemoglobin levels in the study group were lower than normal, 11.3g/dL for men and 10.9g/dL for women.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr.-June 2001, Vol.7, No.2, p.113-118. Illus. 27 ref.
Bar-Sela S., Reingold S., Richter E.D.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in a battery-factory worker exposed to cadmium
A 44-year-old patient died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) after nine years of heavy exposure to cadmium (Cd) in a nickel-cadmium battery plant. Two years after starting work, he and co-workers had experienced pruritus, loss of smell, nasal congestion, nosebleeds, cough, shortness of breath, severe headaches, bone pain, and proteinuria. Upper back pain and muscle weakness progressed to flaccid paralysis. EMG findings were consistent with motor neuron disease. Cd impairs the blood-brain barrier, reduces levels of brain copper-zinc superoxide dismutase and enhances glutamate uptake in glial cells. High levels of methallothionein, a sign of exposure to heavy metals, have been found in brain tissue of deceased ALS patients. The effects of Cd on enzyme systems that mediate neurotoxicity and motor neuron disease suggest a relationship between Cd and ALS in this worker.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr.-June 2001, Vol.7, No.2, p.109-112. 49 ref.
Breton R.A., Vyskocil A.
Smoking and blood cadmium concentrations in young pre-employees
Smoking is the main source of cadmium, a known human carcinogen, among young adults. The objective of this study was to determine blood and urine cadmium levels of young adults occupationally exposed to cadmium in relation to number of cigarettes smoked and sex. Data were gathered for 132 young adults (smokers and non-smokers, men and women) by means of a questionnaire and blood and urine analyses. There were no statistical differences between smokers and non-smokers in urine cadmium concentrations, whereas blood cadmium levels in young adult smokers were 11 times higher than in non-smokers. An increase in blood cadmium without any changes in urine cadmium could be explained by the accumulation of cadmium in tissues. After 20 to 40 years of smoking, and without exposure to any other source of cadmium, it is expected that smokers would reach the urinary level of 5µg/g creatinine that would warrant job reassignment away from cadmium exposure. Further thought needs to be given to reassignment policies and work practices for smokers and non-smokers with respect to cadmium exposure.
Central European Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2001, Vol.7, No.1, p.22-25. 7 ref.
Boulat J.F., Gucève L., Pelé A., Michel M.C.
Occupational carbon monoxide poisoning
Intoxication professionnelle par l'oxyde de carbone [in French]
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly dangerous gas capable of causing death in a few seconds. During 1997, there were 106 occupational accidents in France involving a loss of work time following acute CO poisoning. Contents of this review article on CO poisoning at work: definition of the hazard; conditions of exposure, in particular in the construction industry; pathophysiological mechanisms; preventive measures; trends in the number of cases of occupational diseases due to CO; French and European regulations.
Prévention BTP, Dec. 2001, No.36, p.33-40. Illus. 16 ref.
Pepłońska B., Sobala W., Szeszenia-Dąbrowska N.
Mortality pattern in the cohort of workers exposed to carbon disulfide
To assess the mortality of workers at a viscose factory exposed to carbon disulfide, 2762 male workers employed for at least one year between 1950 and 1985 were enrolled into the study. Total mortality in the cohort was higher than in the general male population in Poland (SMR = 108). A significantly increased risk of deaths was observed for all cardiovascular (SMR = 114) and cerebrovascular (SMR = 208) diseases. Analyses showed a significantly elevated risk of death from the circulatory system diseases in the men of the "highly exposed" group (those employed in the spinning department or first employed before 1974). A statistically-significant trend of mortality from all cardiovascular diseases in relation to the level of exposure (assessed qualitatively) was evident. No clear relationship between duration of exposure and the risk of death was found.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, July-Sep. 2001, Vol.14, No.3, p.267-274. 29 ref.
Exposure to lead and male fertility
This literature review summarizes the epidemiological evidence for the effects of inorganic lead on male fertility. Blood lead measurements were applied to exposure assessment in all the studies. The results of the studies on fertility rates are consistent in showing an association between lead and reduced fertility. Also, there seems to be a tendency towards stronger association at older age with increasing duration of exposure. The studies conducted suggest that male exposure to lead may be associated with delayed conception. There are a number of mechanisms by which exposure to lead may reduce male fertility. On the basis of animal studies, alterations in sperm chromatin stability or epigenetic effects may be the most probable mechanisms involved at low exposure level.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, July-Sep. 2001, Vol.14, No.3, p.219-222. 20 ref.
Tepper A., Mueller C., Singal M., Sagar K.
Blood pressure, left ventricular mass, and lead exposure in battery manufacturing workers
Although debate about the relationship between lead and blood pressure has focused on low environmental lead levels, industrial exposure remains a concern. The blood pressure and left ventricular mass (LVM) in 108 battery manufacturing workers was measured, and the cumulative and historic average measures of blood lead were calculated. It was found that diastolic pressure increased with increasing lead levels, with a significant 5mmHg difference in mean pressure between the highest and lowest cumulative exposure levels. Diastolic pressure increased with the log of cumulative lead. Both hypertension (defined as currently medicated or systolic > 160mmHg or diastolic > 95mmHg) and LVM increased non-significantly with increasing lead exposure. In conclusion, a small effect of blood lead on diastolic blood pressure, particularly for a cumulative measure of exposure was found, but there was no convincing evidence of associations between lead and other blood-pressure-related outcomes.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, July 2001, Vol.40, No.1, p.63-72. 31 ref.
Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC)
Beryllium and beryllium compounds
Conclusions of this criteria document: There is insufficient data concerning oral toxicity; the lung is the primary target of inhalation exposure to beryllium, giving rise to acute or chronic pulmonary diseases (berylliosis, chemical pneumonitis) that cause sensitization. Exposure to soluble beryllium compounds causes skin and eye irritation and can give rise to cell-mediated hypersensitivity responses.
World Health Organization, Distribution and Sales Service, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 2001. iv, 71p. 249 ref. Price: CHF 16.00 (CHF 11.20 in developing countries).
http://www.who.int/ipcs/publications/cicad/en/cicad32.pdf [in English]
International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS)
Arsenic and arsenic compounds
Conclusions of this criteria document: arsenic and its compounds are highly toxic; the ingestion of large doses gives rise to gastro-intestinal symptoms and cardiovascular and neurological disorders that can lead to death. There is a causal relationship between exposure to arsenic, primarily by inhalation, and lung cancer. Chronic exposure to arsenic can cause severe peripheral vascular disease (blackfoot disease). Long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water increases the risk of skin, lung and bladder cancer as well as other skin anomalies.
World Health Organization, Distribution and Sales Service, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 2nd ed., 2001. xxviii, 521p. Illus. Approx. 1200 ref. Price: CHF 108.00 (CHF 75.60 in developing countries).
Guffey S.E., Flanagan M.E., van Belle G.
Air sampling at the chest and ear as representative of the breathing zone
Tracer gas concentrations were measured on a 60%-sized mannequin, which was holding a sulfur hexafluoride source at waist height while standing in a wind tunnel. Samplers were placed at the mannequin's mouth, in front of the ear and at three chest locations at lapel level. Simultaneous 15-min time-weighted average samples were taken with sampling pumps. Concentrations at all sampling locations when the mannequin faced to the front and side were less than a tenth of the levels measured at the nose, when the mannequin faced downstream. Different flow orientations and velocities affected the ratios of concentrations. At the back orientation, the chest sampler provided lower overestimates of measurements at higher velocities than at lower values. Results showed significant differences between concentrations at the nose and lapel. These findings should be interpreted with caution, because a dense tracer gas and an unheated not breathing mannequin were used.
AIHA Journal, July-Aug. 2001, Vol.62, No.4, p.416-427. Illus. 22 ref.
Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC)
Barium and barium compounds
Conclusions of this criteria document: exposure to barium and barium compounds causes effects on blood pressure (hypertension) and on the renal function. Inhalation of insoluble forms results in radiographic findings of baritosis. Data from animal studies on inhalation exposure show respiratory effects (bronchitis) and inflammatory response and granuloma formation in the lungs.
World Health Organization, Distribution and Sales Service, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 2001. iv, 52p. 153 ref. Price: CHF 21.00 (CHF 14.70 in developing countries).
http://www.who.int/ipcs/publications/cicad/en/cicad33.pdf [in English]
Drake P.L., Rojas M., Reh C.M., Mueller C.A., Jenkins F.M.
Occupational exposure to airborne mercury during gold mining operations near El Callao, Venezuela
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a cross-sectional study during gold mining operations near El Callao, Venezuela to assess mercury exposures and mercury-related micro-damage to the kidneys. Mercury was used to remove gold by forming a mercury-gold amalgam. The gold was purified either by heating the amalgam in the open with a propane torch or by using a small retort. 38 workers participated in this study. Mercury exposure was monitored by sampling air from the workers' breathing zones. These air samples were used to calculate time-weighted average (TWA) mercury exposure concentrations. Results showed that 20% of the TWA airborne mercury exposure measurements were above the NIOSH recommended exposure limit of 50µg/m3, and 26% exceeded the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists Threshold Limit Value of 25µg/m3. Recommendations were made for improving retort design, for ventilation in gold shops, for medical surveillance and for educational programs.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr. 2001, Vol.74, No.3, p.206-212. Illus. 35 ref.
Kelleher P.C., Martyny J.W., Mroz M.M., Maier L.A., Ruttenber A.J., Young D.A., Newman L.S.
Beryllium particulate exposure and disease relations in a beryllium machining plant
The relationship between exposure to beryllium and beryllium sensitization (BeS) and chronic beryllium disease (CBD) was examined in workers in a beryllium machining plant. 20 workers with BeS or CBD (cases) were compared with 206 worker-controls. Cases were more likely to have worked as machinists (odds ratio=4.4) than controls. The median cumulative exposure was 2.9µg/m3-years in the cases versus 1.2µg/m3-years in controls for total exposure, and 1.7µg/m3-years in the cases versus 0.5µg/m3-years in the controls for exposure to particles <6µm in diameter. Odds ratios were 2.4 for the intermediate exposure group and 1.2 for the high-exposure group compared with the low-exposure group. The median lifetime-weighted (LTW) exposure was 0.25µg/m3 in both groups. The median LTW exposure to particles <6µm was 0.20µg/m3 for cases and 0.14µg/m3 for controls. None of the 22 workers with LTW exposure <0.02µg/m3 had BeS or CBD. Twelve workers in the case group had LTW exposures >0.20.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2001, Vol.43, No.3, p.238-249. Illus. 36 ref.
Newman L.S., Mroz M.M., Maier L.A., Daniloff E.M., Balkissoon R.
Efficacy of serial medical surveillance for chronic beryllium disease in a beryllium machining plant
There is limited information on the use of the blood beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT) at regular intervals in medical surveillance. Employees of a beryllium machining plant were screened with the BeLPT biennially, and new employees were screened within 3 months of hire. Of 235 employees screened from 1995 to 1997, a total of 15 (6.4 %) had confirmed abnormal BeLPT results indicating beryllium sensitization; nine of these employees were diagnosed with chronic beryllium disease. Four of the 15 cases were diagnosed within 3 months of first exposure. When 187 of the 235 employees participated in biennial screening in 1997 to 1999, seven more had developed beryllium sensitization or chronic beryllium disease, increasing the overall rate to 9.4 % (22 of 235). The blood BeLPT should be used serially in beryllium disease surveillance to capture new or missed cases of sensitization and disease.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2001, Vol.43, No.3, p.231-237. 20 ref.
Health hazard evaluations: Issues related to occupational exposure to lead - 1994 to 1999
The Health Hazards and Technical Assistance (HETA) programme responds to requests from employers, employees, employee representatives and governmental agencies for a Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) of the workplace to determine if chemical, physical, biological or other agents are hazardous to workers. This document presents summaries of 31 HHEs related to lead that were completed between 1994 and 1999. The HHE requests originated from a variety of workplaces, including secondary lead smelters, battery manufacturers, structural steel painting sites, shipyards, and firing ranges.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998, USA, Mar. 2001. vi, 18p. 13 ref.
Vanadium [in French]
Vanadium is used in the manufacture of hard alloys with iron, catalysts and pigments. It has no known physiological role in humans. The exposure of the general population is very low; it results from the consumption of food and from atmospheric pollution in the vicinity of coal- and fuel-oil-fired power stations. Overall, the acute toxicity of metallic vanadium and its salts is low to moderate, a consequence of their low, particularly oral, biodisponibility. Most of the toxic effects of the metal and its salts due to occupational factors occur in manufacturing industries or during the cleaning of burners in power stations. The inhalation of fine vanadium pentoxide dusts gives rise to irritative respiratory disorders, characterized by the presence of bronchospasms and the possible persistence of a reactive bronchial dysfunction. The long-term risk is one of onset of asthma as a result of persistent bronchial hyperactivity. Urinary determinations enable the assessment of the degree of contamination of workers and the focussing of prevention activities.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 3rd Quarter 2001, No.132, 6p. 43 ref.
Dewitte J.D., Choucroun P., Sawicki B.
Toxicity of tin and its compounds
Toxicité de l'étain et de ses dérivés [in French]
Tin is used in industry, as well as in veterinary and medical applications. It forms many inorganic or organometallic compounds. Organotin compounds are highly toxic to bacteria, algae, fungi and phyto- and zooplankton. For this reason, they are widely used in anti-fouling marine paints. However, these compounds appear to present a hazard to aquatic life, notably by disrupting the endocrine system. Their use has been severely curtailed by the 76/769/EEC directive. Cases of food poisoning have been described in human pathology. Concerning the respiratory system, a case of stannosis, a specific form of pneumoconiosis, is described. Skin and respiratory irritation symptoms are also well known. Finally, a case of neurotoxicity is reported in connection with exposure to organotin compounds. Metallic tin is not subject to any specific regulations, and the handling of its compounds is not subject to any specific medical surveillance requirement.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 3rd Quarter 2001, No.132, 4p. Illus. 16 ref.
Vergoustraete V., Bernard A.
Cadmium [in French]
Cadmium is a by-product of the zinc and lead industries, metals to which it is closely associated in nature. The wide variety of industrial applications have facilitated its environmental dispersion. It has a very high half-life and accumulates in the body. The inhalation for a brief period of high concentrations of cadmium smoke or dust damages the respiratory tract, a condition not to be confused with metal fume fever. In cases of chronic exposure to moderate concentrations, the target organs are the kidneys. Recently, it has been suggested that cadmium could be responsible for bone lesions among moderately-exposed subjects. Cadmium is generally considered to be a lung carcinogen. The diagnosis of cadmium poisoning is based on medical history, a search for tubular proteinuria and the evidence of excessive levels of the metal in blood and/or urine. In France, the compensation of diseases caused by cadmium or its compounds is regulated.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 3rd Quarter 2001, No.132, 5p. 46 ref.
Baryum [in French]
There are numerous barium compounds the toxicity of which is largely a function of their solubility. For this reason, barium oxide, nitrate and chloride are the most toxic. Barium salts are used in a variety of industrial applications. Barium sulfate, which is insoluble, is still occasionally used as a contrasting agent in radiology. Soluble barium salts are rapidly absorbed and eliminated. They are toxic for the heart and the nervous system. In cases of acute poisoning, digestive disorders are observed, but heart disorders are the most frequent, including harmful effects on excitability and conduction, aggravated by hypokalaemia that is a characteristic of barium poisoning. Oral administration of magnesium sulfate enables the precipitation of soluble barium salts.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 3rd Quarter 2001, No.132, 3p. 28 ref.
Gérardin F., Muller-Rodriguez N., Quenis B.
Trichloramine stripping in swimming pool buffer tanks - Study of various gas/liquid contact systems
Strippage de la trichloramine dans les bacs tampons des piscines - Etude de différents contacteurs gaz/liquide [in French]
The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of four gas/liquid contactors. These systems can be adapted to the buffer tanks of public swimming pools to extract, by stripping, the trichloramine present in re-circulated water of pools. Work was carried out on a pilot scale, enabling several parameters to be varied. The results confirmed the satisfactory levels of extraction that were found during full-scale trials, where up over 60% reductions in concentration of atmospheric trichloramine achieved, and enabled the determination of the design parameters for each system. An example of design calculations for these four systems for a typical buffer tank is included.
Cahiers de notes documentaires - Hygiène et sécurité du travail, 3rd Quarter 2001, No.184, Note No.2153-184-01, p.25-36. Illus. 5 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Reducing carbon monoxide incidents
This report describes a project aimed at reducing the number of carbon monoxide (CO) related incidents associated with the use of piped gas. Specific topics examined include the development of a common strategy in Europe for collating CO incident data, assessing indoor air quality relating to gas utilization and the medical issues associated with both acute and chronic CO poisoning. Several meetings have been held with representatives of gas utilities of several European countries and research organizations to share knowledge and best practice. Outputs from the project have included a video aimed at improving the diagnosis of CO poisoning by those in the medical profession and an agreement between gas companies to pursue a better practice for the gathering and reporting of CO related incident information.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2001. vi, 42p. Price: GBP 10.00.
Health and Safety Executive
Radon in the workplace
Under the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99, see CIS 00-617), employers are required to take preventive action whenever the level of radon at the work premises is above 400Bq/m3. This leaflet provides the addresses of organizations that can test radon levels and offer advice on appropriate remedial measures.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, July 2001. 6p.
Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC)
Vanadium pentoxide and other inorganic vanadium compounds
Vanadium pentoxide is formed during the smelting of iron ore, the solvent extraction of uranium ore, the roasting of boiler residues and residues from elemental phosphorus plants. It is also present in the residues from the burning of fuel oil. Repeated inhalation exposure to vanadium pentoxide dust and fume is associated with irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. In vitro aneugenic effects and chromosome damage have been observed. There is currently no useful information on the carcinogenicity of any form of vanadium, although a two-year inhalation bioassay in rodents has been recently completed, and its results should shortly be available. In conclusion, the main points of concern for humans are genotoxicity and respiratory tract irritation. Summaries in French and in Spanish.
World Health Organization, Distribution and Sales Service, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 2001. v, 53p. Illus. 187 ref. Price: CHF 17.00 (CHF 11.90 in developing countries).
http://www.who.int/ipcs/publications/cicad/en/cicad29.pdf [in English]
Montero Simó R.
Hygiene hazards in the jewellery sector
Riesgos higiénicos en el sector de la joyería [in Spanish]
This article describes the steps involved in the manufacturing of precious-metal or costume jewellery and the chemicals used (metals in powder form, smoke and aerosols, acid salts and alkalis). The measures to be taken to limit exposure risks are described. Health hazards linked to chemicals used in jewellery manufacture are summarized in tabular form. Tables presenting threshold limit values for metals and chemicals used in jewellery manufacture are also included.
Prevención, trabajo y salud, 2001, No.12, p.18-24; 37-39. Illus. 15 ref.
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