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De Palma G., Manini P., Sarnico M., Molinari S., Apostoli P.
Biological monitoring of tungsten (and cobalt) in workers of a hard metal alloy industry
To evaluate a combined biomonitoring approach based on both cobalt and tungsten determination in workers of the hard metal alloy sector, 55 workers from a factory producing cutting tools for carpentry were enrolled. Combined workroom air and biological monitoring of both cobalt and tungsten relied on inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry determinations. Metals were determined on plasma, blood and urine samples. Urine samples from 34 unexposed subjects were also analysed. Tungsten was determined in every collected sample. Workers showed significantly higher urinary tungsten levels than controls (pre-shift values of 4.12 vs 0.06 μg/L on average). Both airborne and biological levels of tungsten prevailed among workers involved in wet-grinding activities. The element was excreted at higher urinary levels than cobalt and showed lower circulating (blood, plasma) concentrations. Exposure-dose relationships were apparent for tungsten biomarkers. The results may contribute to the development of biomarkers of exposure to tungsten.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Feb. 2010, Vol.83, No.2, p.173-181. Illus. 34 ref.
Risher J.F., Keith L.S.
Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC)
Iodine and inorganic iodides: Human health aspects
Conclusions of this criteria document on iodine and inorganic iodides: inhalation exposure to low iodine vapour concentrations have been shown to result in increases in airway resistance and a decrease in breathing rate in guinea pigs. The primary effects of long-term oral exposure to elevated amounts of inorganic iodide are, paradoxically, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, due to the complex physiological processes involved in regulating thyroid activity to maintain iodine homeostasis. Iodine does not cause mutagenic effects. The radioactive iodine isotopes are outside the scope of this document. Detailed summaries in French and Spanish.
World Health Organization, Distribution and Sales Service, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 2009. iv, 53p. Approx. 320 ref.
http://www.who.int/entity/ipcs/publications/cicad/cicad72.pdf [en inglés]
Skoczyńska A., Poręba R., Steinmentz-Beck A., Martynowicz H., Affelska-Jercha A., Turczyn B., Wojakowska A., Jędrychowska I.
The dependence between urinary mercury concentration and carotid arterial intima-media thickness in workers occupationally exposed to mercury vapour
The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between urinary mercury concentration and carotid intima-media thickness to find the best markers of mercury cardiovascular toxicity. The study included 154 workers of a chemical factory exposed to mercury. A positive linear relationship was found between occupational exposure to mercury vapour and early, asymptomatic carotid atherosclerosis. This dependence was clearer among non-smokers and furthermore strongly related to high-density lipoproteins. Other findings are discussed.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 2nd quarter 2009, Vol.22, No.2, p.135-142. Illus. 29 ref.
Individual susceptibility to cadmium toxicity and metallothionein gene polymorphisms: With references to current status of occupational cadmium exposure
This article describes the strategy used for analyzing individual susceptibility to cadmium toxicity and genetic polymorphisms of metallothionein, with reference to the current status of occupational cadmium exposure.
Industrial Health, Sep. 2009, Vol.47, No.5, p.487-494. Illus. 89 ref.
http://www.jniosh.go.jp/en/indu_hel/pdf/IH_47_5_487.pdf [en inglés]
Thyssen J.P., Milting K., Bregnhøj A., Søsted H., Duus Johansen J., Menné T.
Nickel allergy in patch-tested female hairdressers and assessment of nickel release from hairdressers' scissors and crochet hooks
The objective of this study was to determine the proportion of hairdressers' scissors and crochet hooks that released an excessive amount of nickel and to determine the prevalence of nickel allergy among patch-tested female hairdressers. Random hairdressers' stores in Copenhagen, Denmark, were visited and samples of tools were collected and analyzed. The prevalence of nickel allergy among female hairdressers was determined from the database of a Danish dermatology clinic. One of 200 pairs of scissors and seven of thirteen crochet hooks released an excessive amount of nickel. The prevalence of nickel allergy was lower among young hairdressers in comparison to older hairdressers. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Contact Dermatitis, Nov. 2009, Vol.61, No.5, p.281-286. Illus. 38 ref.
Dupont M.A., Handfield G., Beaudoin D., Côté E., Choukevitch S.
Coffee grains: A risk to workers' health?
Les grains de café: un risque pour la santé des travailleurs [en francés]
An evaluation of the quality of air carried out by hygiene authorities in a coffee roasting plant highlighted the presence of carbon monoxide, not due to the burners as originally suspected but to the roasted coffee grains themselves. The problem was confirmed in other enterprises which were also inspected. Various measures are proposed, including in particular local exhaust, ventilation design and the layout of the premises.
Travail et santé, Sep. 2009, Vol.25, No.3, p.38-42. Illus. 7 ref.
Viau S., Dion C., Perrault G., Dufresne A.
Cleaning and decontamination of workplaces containing beryllium - Techniques and cleaning solutions
Nettoyage et décontamination des lieux de travail où il y a présence de béryllium - Techniques et solutions nettoyantes [en francés]
This study evaluated the effectiveness of alternative cleaning methods for surfaces of materials made of copper-beryllium (CuBe) and materials without Be, three surface sampling techniques (wipe sampling with moistened wipes, "micro-vacuuming" and colorimetry using the ChemTest), and various cleaning and decontamination methods used in practice. The results indicate that it is difficult to comply with the threshold value of 0.2µ/100cm2 of Be on surfaces made of copper-beryllium. However, cleaning with a neutral or alkaline product (less aggressive than an acid cleaner) keeps the surface contamination level below 3.0µ/100cm2.
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, 2009. viii, 62p. Illus. 55 ref. Price: CAD 8.40. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-614.pdf [en inglés]
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-613.pdf [en francés]
Mari M., Schuhmacher M., Domingo J.L.
Levels of metals and organic substances in workers at a hazardous waste incinerator: A follow-up study
The objective of this study was to determine the blood and urine concentrations of various metals and organic substances in workers at a hazardous waste incinerator in Catalonia, Spain, and to compare the findings with those of previous surveys in 2000 and 2005. For all metals and organic compounds analyzed, there was no significant increase compared to previous levels. However, the levels of certain specific PCBs and PCDD/Fs were very significantly lower than the baseline concentrations.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Mar. 2009, Vol.82, No.4, p.519-528. 51 ref.
Friesen M.C., Fritschi L., Del Monaco A., Benke G., Dennekamp M., de Klerk N., Hoving J.L., MacFarlane E., Sim M.R.
Relationships between alumina and bauxite dust exposure and cancer, respiratory and circulatory disease
The objective of this study was to examine the associations between alumina and bauxite dust exposure, and cancer incidence and circulatory and respiratory disease mortality among bauxite miners and alumina refinery workers. It involved 5770 male workers in Australia linked to national mortality and cancer incidence registries, for which cumulative exposures were estimated using job histories and historical air monitoring data. Findings suggest that cumulative bauxite exposure may be associated with an excess risk of death from non-malignant respiratory diseases, while cumulative alumina dust exposure may be associated with an excess risk of death from cerebrovascular disease. Neither exposure appears to increase the risk of incident cancers.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2009, Vol.66, No.9, p.615-618. 17 ref.
Jhun H.J., Lee S.Y., Yim S.H., Kim M.J., Park K.K., Cho S.I.
Metabolic syndrome in carbon disulfide-poisoned subjects in Korea: Does chemical poisoning induce metabolic syndrome?
Mass carbon disulfide (CS2) poisoning was reported at a viscose rayon factory in Korea. This study evaluated the association between CS2 poisoning and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. The 170 CS2-poisoned subjects participated in a health examination conducted at a hospital. The 170 controls were selected randomly from the participants of a Korean national health survey. Metabolic syndrome was defined as simultaneously having at least three of following metabolic abnormalities: abdominal obesity; elevated triglyceride; reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; elevated blood pressure; elevated fasting glucose levels. After adjusting for age, gender, education, marital status, alcohol consumption and smoking, CS2-poisoned subjects had an increased risk of metabolic syndrome (prevalence ratio 1.57).
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, July 2009, Vol.82, No.7, p.827-832. 26 ref.
Broding H.C., Michalke B., Göen T., Drexler H.
Comparison between exhaled breath condensate analysis as a marker for cobalt and tungsten exposure and biomonitoring in workers of a hard metal alloy processing plant
Cobalt (Co), tungsten (W) and tungsten carbides (WC) are major constituents of hard metal alloys. This study examined the feasibility of using exhaled breath condensate (EBC) as an alternative to urinary determinations for evaluating exposures to Co and W. A total of 62 subjects were recruited from a hard metal processing plant in Germany. Examinations included the airborne workplace concentrations, spirometry, and determinations of Co and W in EBC and urine. It is concluded that urinary concentrations of Co and W remain more reliable indicators of current workplace exposure than EBC concentrations. Other findings are discussed.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr. 2009, Vol.82, No.5, p.565-573. Illus. 75 ref.
Romeo L., Catalani S., Pasini F., Bergonzi R., Perbellini L., Apostoli P.
Xenobiotic action on steroid hormone synthesis and sulfonation - The example of lead and polychlorinated biphenyls
This study investigated the metabolism of steroid hormones to determine whether and how xenobiotics such as lead (Pb) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) interfere with steroid hormone biotransformation in humans. Three groups of subjects were tested for urinary steroids: 14 workers exposed to lead, 15 workers exposed to PCBs and an unexposed control group of 25 subjects. Findings suggest PCBs and Pb act on steroid hormone metabolism with different effects and only partially using the same hormone pathways.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr. 2009, Vol.82, No.5, p.557-564. Illus. 31 ref.
Hurtado C.M., Gutiérrez M., Echeverry J.
Aspectos clínicos y niveles de plomo en niños expuestos de manera paraocupacional en el proceso de reciclaje de baterías de automóviles en Soacha y Bogotá D.C.
This study examines the clinical aspects of blood lead among children whose parents work in the recycling of automobile batteries in Columbia. It involved 32 children aged below 12 years among whom signs and symptoms of lead poisoning were investigated. A significant correlation was found between the diagnosis (including anorexia, abdominal pain, Burton's line) and blood lead.
Salud, Trabajo y Ambiente, 3rd Quarter 2009, Vol.16, No.61, p p.17-25. Illus. 44 ref.
Wattigney W.A., Rice N., Cooper D.L., Drew J.M., Orr M.F.
State programs to reduce uncontrolled ammonia releases and associated injury using the hazardous substances emergency events surveillance system
This article describes how the Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance (HSEES) programme identifies leading causes of uncontrolled ammonia releases and targets activities aimed at reducing the frequency of these incidents. HSEES data is used to identify determinants of chemical incidents and their outcomes and to help guide strategies to reduce such occurrences. Surveillance of chemical incidents elucidates the causes and consequences of these events, helps identify problems and measures the effectiveness of prevention programs.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2009, Vol.51, No.3, p.356-363. Illus. 29 ref.
Hobson A.J., Sterling D.A., Emo B., Evanoff B.A., Sterling C.S., Good L., Seixas N., Checkoway H., Racette B.A.
Validity and reliability of an occupational exposure questionnaire for parkinsonism in welders
This study assessed the validity and test-retest reliability of a medical and occupational history questionnaire for workers performing welding in the shipyard industry. This self-report questionnaire was developed for an epidemiologic study of the risk of Parkinsonism in welders. Participants were recruited from three similar shipyards and asked to complete the questionnaire at two different times approximately four weeks apart. Responses on the questionnaire were compared with information extracted from personnel records. Findings suggest that participants' self-reports were valid compared with employer records, generating reproducible answers and therefore allowing the use of the questionnaire for occupational exposure assessment.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, June 2009, Vol.6, No.6, p.324-331. 23 ref.
Welding occupations and mortality from Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases among United States men, 1985-1999
It has been hypothesized that occupational exposure to manganese fumes among welders could increase risk of Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. The present study examines the mortality from neurodegenerative diseases among male welders in the United States from 1985 to 1999. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to calculate mortality odds ratios of death from Parkinson's disease or other neurodegenerative diseases among welders compared with men of other occupations. During the study period, 49,174 deaths were attributed to Parkinson's disease, 54,892 to Alzheimer's disease, and 19,018 to presenile dementia. However there was no evidence of increased odds of mortality from either of these diseases among welders as compared with men with other occupations.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, May 2009, Vol.6, No.5, p.267-272. 17 ref.
Tarkington B., Harris A.J., Barton P.S., Chandler B., Goad P.T.
Effectiveness of common shelter-in-place techniques in reducing ammonia exposure following accidental release
Shelter-in-place strategies such as remaining indoors; breathing through a damp cloth; sealing cracks in windows and doors using towels, duct tape, or plastic sheeting; and running a shower are often recommended by emergency response officials to protect against the release of airborne hazardous substances such as ammonia. This study was designed to evaluate sheltering-in-place inside a chamber simulating a typical bathroom, using a mannequin. Ammonia gas at 300 and 1000ppm was added to the chamber until the measured concentration peaked and stabilized, then the shower was turned on and the ammonia gas concentration was continuously monitored. Using a damp cloth reduced exposure of the mannequin to ammonia gas by 2 to 18-fold. Turning on the shower was even more effective at reducing ammonia levels. After 27 min, the ammonia concentration in the chamber was reduced to 2% of the initial concentration, even though gas was being continuously added to the chamber.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Apr. 2009, Vol.6, No.4, p.248-255. Illus. 23 ref.
Serinken M., Karcioglu O., Evyapan F., Sungurtekin H.
Bilateral pneumothorax following acute inhalation injury
A male worker in an upholstery factory in Turkey was confined in the tanning machine for 15 min. On admission into hospital, he was confused with Glasgow coma scale score of 9. His vital signs were as follows: blood pressure 80/58 mmHg; pulse rate 114; respiratory rate 30 bpm; temperature 37.1°C; oxygen saturation 48%. Chest X-ray and bronchoscopy showed lung injury that warranted bilateral tube thoracotomy. The patient was discharged without any sequelae after eight days. Exposure to irritant gases such as sulfuric acid and sulfur dioxide can cause severe pulmonary injury.
Clinical Toxicology, July 2009, Vol.47, No.6, p.595-597. Illus. 6 ref.
Bourgkard E., Wild P., Courcot B., Diss M., Ettlinger J., Goutet P., Hémon D., Marquis N., Mur J.M., Rigal C., Rohn-Janssens M.P., Moulin J.J.
Lung cancer mortality and iron oxide exposure in a French steel-producing factory
A total of 16,742 men and 959 women ever employed for at least one year in a French steel mill between 1959 and 1997 were followed up for mortality from 1968 to 1998. Occupational exposures were assessed by a factory-specific job-exposure matrix validated with atmospheric measurements. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were computed using local death rates (external references). Poisson regressions were used to estimate the relative risks (RRs) for occupational exposures (internal references), adjusted on potential confounding factors. Among men, mortality was lower than expected for lung cancer compared to the local population (SMR 0.89) and higher than expected compared to the French population (SMR 1.30). A significant bladder cancer excess was observed among workers exposed to oil mist (RR 2.44). Other findings are discussed.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2009, Vol.66, No.3, p.175-181. 32 ref.
Bourgkard E., Wild P., Courcot B., Diss M., Ettlinger J., Goutet P., Hemon D., Marquis N., Mur J.M., Rigal C., Rohn-Janssens M.P., Moulin J.J.
Lung cancer mortality and iron oxide exposure in a French steel-producing factory
Mortalité par cancer du poumon et exposition aux oxydes de fer dans une usine sidérurgique française [en francés]
The objective of this study was to highlight a possible relationship between exposure to iron oxides and the risk of lung cancer among workers of a French steel mill producing carbon steel. A historical cohort comprising all workers having ever worked for at least a year between 1959 and 1997 was constituted. Causes of death were determined from death certificates, while occupational exposures were evaluated with the help of a plant-specific job-exposure matrix developed by a panel of eight experts and validated by atmospheric sampling. The cohort consisted of 16,742 men and 959 women, followed-up for mortality from 1968 to 1998. Standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) were computed using local death rates. Poisson regressions were used to estimate the relative risks (RRs) for occupational exposures, after adjustment for potential confounding factors. Among men, mortality was lower than expected for lung cancer compared to the local population (SMR 0.89) and higher than expected compared to the French population (SMR 1.30). A significant bladder cancer excess was observed among workers exposed to oil mist (RR 2.44). Other findings are discussed.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 2nd Quarter 2009, No.118, p.209-220. 32 ref.
http://www.dmt-prevention.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/TF%20180/$File/TF180.pdf [en francés]
Medical practice and ionizing radiation: Information sheet on the hazards related to pulse flow rate curietherapy
Médecine et rayonnements ionisants: fiche d'aide à l'analyse des risques en curiethérapie à débit pulsé [en francés]
Following a survey in the Ile-de-France region of France, a multidisciplinary working group developed a set of information sheets for analyzing the risks related to conventional and therapeutic radiology. This information sheet presents a synthesis of useful information relating to the use of pulse flow rate curietherapy.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 2nd Quarter 2009, No.118, p.199-208.
http://www.dmt-prevention.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/TC%20126/$File/TC126.pdf [en francés]
Santonen T., Zitting A., Riihimäki V., Howe P.D.
Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC)
Inorganic chromium(III) compounds
Conclusions of this criteria document inorganic chromium(III) compounds: Trivalent chromium is considered to be an essential trace element in mammals, being involved in lipid and glucose metabolism. The key end-point considered to be relevant for human exposure to chromium(III) oxide is sustained local irritation and inflammation associated with accumulation of respirable particles in the lungs to the extent that the clearance mechanisms are overloaded. The key end-points relevant for human exposure to basic chromium sulfate, presumed to represent soluble chromium(III) salts as a group, are local respiratory toxicity and sensitization of the skin. Detailed summaries in French and Spanish are included.
World Health Organization, Distribution and Sales Service, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 2009. v, 91p. Illus. Approx. 430 ref. Price: CHF 20.00 (CHF 14.00 in developing countries).
http://www.who.int/ipcs/publications/cicad/cicad76.pdf [en inglés]
Factors affecting occupational radon exposure
This report studied the main factors affecting indoor radon concentrations, namely construction of the building's foundation, the type of ventilation used and pressure differences between indoor and outdoor air. Construction on hillsides, the use of mechanical exhaust ventilation and location in radon-prone areas of Finland increase the indoor radon concentration. The pressure differences and ventilation rates did not affect the indoor radon concentration statistically significantly. In most of the buildings investigated, radon emitted from construction materials proved to be only a minor source of radon. The study demonstrated that the need for radon surveillance and mitigation is of utmost importance especially in workplaces in the radon-prone areas of Finland. Mitigation is even more important if the workers live in a similar or higher risk area in which their workplaces are located.
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, FIOH-Bookstore, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, 00250 Helsinki, Finland, 2009. 95p. Illus. Bibl.ref. Price: EUR 22.95.
Stingeni L., Bianchi L., Lisi P.
Occupational airborne allergic contact dermatitis from potassium metabisulfite
This article describes the case of a 37-year-old non atopic male agricultural worker with a five-year history of erythema, swelling and scaling on the face. This condition occurred after the grape harvest and persisted through the period of grape fermentation in the wine cellar, during which the patient added potassium metabisulfite to the must to prevent the proliferation of microorganisms and wine oxidation. Patch testing resulted in positive reactions potassium and sodium metabisulfites. When away from work, the dermatitis spontaneously healed in 10 day and there were no relapses when the patient was assigned to other duties in the same vineyard.
Contact Dermatitis, Jan. 2009, Vol.60, No.1, p.52-53. 10 ref.
Rajan P., Kelsey K.T., Schwartz J.D., Bellinger D.C., Weuve J., Spiro A., Sparrow D., Smith T.J., Nie H., Weisskopf M.G., Hu H., Wright R.O.
Interaction of the δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase polymorphism and lead burden on cognitive function: The VA normative ageing study
This study evaluated the modifying influence of a δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) gene polymorphism on the relation between lead burden and cognition among older men. Information on ALAD genotype, lead measurements, potential confounders and cognitive testing was collected from 982 veterans. Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression models. With higher levels of tibia lead, ALAD 1-2/2-2 carriers exhibited worse performance on a spatial copying test in comparison with ALAD 1-1 carriers. However, there was no consistent pattern of an ALAD genotype-lead interaction for the other tests.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep 2008, Vol.50, No.9, p.1053-1061. 36 ref.
Anderson J.L., Spitz H.B., Daniels R.D.
Population monitoring for acute exposure to 210Po
The objective of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using urine samples to monitor internal radiation exposure in the event of a radiological incident involving the intentional dispersal of 210Po. Computer modelling was used to evaluate urinary excretion of 210Po and to calculate effective doses subsequent to an acute unit intake of 210Po. It was concluded that the collection and analysis of urine samples is adequate to identify persons who may be exposed in the event of a radiological emergency involving 210Po.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug 2008, Vol.50, No.8, p.916-923. Illus. 32 ref.
Schuler C.R., Kitt M.M., Henneberger P.K., Deubner D.C., Kreiss K.
Cumulative sensitization and disease in a beryllium oxide ceramics worker cohort
A cohort of 136 workers of a beryllium oxide ceramics plant was followed from 1992 to 2003, including those who left employment, for beryllium sensitization and chronic beryllium disease (CBD). Surveys were conducted in 1992, 1998, 2000, and 2002-2003. Eleven-year cumulative incidences of sensitization and CBD were calculated. In 1992, prevalences were 6% for sensitization and 4% for CBD. After 11 years, sensitization and CBD prevalences were triple the initial 1992 survey results. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 2008, Vol.50, No.12, p.1343-1350. Illus. 27 ref.
Vaktskjold A., Talykova L.V., Chashchin V.P., Odland J.Ö., Nieboer E.
Maternal nickel exposure and congenital musculoskeletal defects
The objective of this study was to investigate whether women occupationally exposed to nickel in the nickel and copper refineries in the Kola region of Russia in early pregnancy were at elevated risk of delivering a newborn with a malformation or deformation of the musculoskeletal system. Data were obtained from the Kola Birth Register. Each record was assigned a categorical nickel exposure rating according to the occupation the delivering woman had at the time of becoming pregnant. Based on 22,965 births, 304 infants (13.3/1,000 births) were diagnosed with musculoskeletal defects at birth, especially for feet deformities. The incidence was high, but unrelated to maternal exposure to nickel. Implications of these findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Nov. 2008, Vol.51, No.11, p.825-833. 47 ref.
Tak S., Roscoe R.J., Alarcon W., Ju J., Sestito J.P., Sussell A.L., Calvert G.M.
Characteristics of US workers whose blood lead levels trigger the medical removal protection provision, and conformity with biological monitoring requirements, 2003-2005
In the United States, workers with blood lead levels (BLL) ≥60µg/dL are required to be removed from work involving lead exposure. This study estimated the proportion of workers with BLLs that triggered the medical removal provision by sector, and examined whether workers received appropriate follow-up blood lead testing. Data from the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance Program for 2003-2005 showed that of 13,724 adults with BLLs ≥25µg/dL, 533 had BLLs that triggered the lead exposure removal provision. Rate ratios (RR) of adults with BLLs triggering medical removal were highest for "painting and wall covering contractors" (RR 22.1) followed by "highway, street and bridge construction" (RR 14.7), "amusement, gambling, and recreation" (RR 11.4) and "glass product manufacturing" (RR 10.1). Other findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Sep. 2008, Vol.51, No.9, p.691-700. Illus. 22 ref.
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/119877947/PDFSTART [en inglés]
Ahmed K., Ayana G., Engidawork E.
Lead exposure study among workers in lead acid battery repair units of transport service enterprises, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: A cross-sectional study
The objective of this study was to assess the magnitude of lead exposure in battery repair workers of three transport service enterprises in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Subjective information from the workers was obtained by means of structured questionnaires. Urinary aminolevulinic acid levels were determined among workers exposed and not exposed to lead, matched by age. Urinary aminolevulinic acid levels were found to be significantly higher in exposed compared to the non-exposed group. From the questionnaire responses and workplace observations, it was also known that all the repair units did not implement effective preventive and control measures for workplace lead exposure. Taken together, these findings indicated that workers in lead acid battery repair units of the transport service enterprises are not protected from possibly high lead exposure.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, Nov. 2008, Vol.3, No.30, 8p. Illus. 30 ref.
http://www.occup-med.com/content/pdf/1745-6673-3-30.pdf [en inglés]
Böckelmann I., Maier F., Pfister E.A.
Heart rate variability among firing range police instructors exposed to lead under standard conditions
Herzfrequenzvariabilität bei bleibelasteten Polizeischiessausbildern unter standardisierten Laborbedingungen [en alemán]
Within the context of a survey on occupational medicine, the issue of possible neurotoxic effects due to lead exposure among police force firing range instructors was raised. A test under standardized conditions was therefore carried out on 10 officers (8 men and 2 women) working in a firing range and 10 volunteer unexposed controls. It involved a 5min rest period followed by a stimulation phase (including mental and cognitive tasks), with a final 5min recovery phase. The pulse rate was recorded during the three phases. Subjects exposed to lead were found to have reduced heart rate variability (HRV), a finding that was confirmed by statistical analysis. This reduced HRV can be attributed to lead exposure.
Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie, Nov. 2008, Vol.58, No.11, p.322-328. Illus. 42 ref.
Moen B.E., Hollund B.E., Riise T.
Neurological symptoms among dental assistants: A cross-sectional study
The aim of this study was to evaluate neurological symptoms among dental assistants likely to have been exposed to mercury from work with filling material. All female dental assistants still at work and born before 1970 in a region of Norway were invited to answer a questionnaire on demographic variables, life-style factors, and musculoskeletal, neurological and psychosomatic symptoms; 41 responded (response rate 68%) together with 64 randomly-selected assistant nurses in the same age group serving as controls. Data were subjected to logistic regression analyses, after controlling for age, education, alcohol consumption, smoking and personality traits. Dental assistants reported significantly-higher frequencies of neurological and psychosomatic symptoms, problems with memory, concentration, fatigue and sleep disturbance. It is argued that these symptoms may be related to previous exposure to mercury amalgam fillings.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, May 2008, Vol.3, No.10, 7p. 37 ref.
http://www.occup-med.com/content/pdf/1745-6673-3-10.pdf [en inglés]
Steinfort D.P., Pilmore J., Brenton S., Hart D.H.L
Absence of platinum salt sensitivity in autocatalyst workers exposed to tetraamine platinum dichloride
All 26 subjects employed at an automobile catalyst production plant undertook medical surveillance including reporting of symptoms, biological tests, skin prick tests and spirometry. Environmental testing of the workplace was also performed to determine the level of exposure to tetraamine platinum dichloride and other platinum-group elements. No subjects described the development of new respiratory or dermatological symptoms. No worker developed positive skin reactivity to platinum salts. FEV1 remained unchanged for all subjects over the course of the study period. It is concluded that tetraamine platinum dichloride should be used preferentially to other catalysts in view of its low sensitizing potential.
Occupational Medicine, Apr. 2008, Vol.58, No.3, p.215-218. 13 ref.
http://occmed.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/58/3/215 [en inglés]
Ácido nítrico 50-70%
Chemical safety data sheet for nitric acid 50-70%. The 50-70% aqueous solution of nitric acid is a strong acid. lt is corrosive and reacts strongly with alkalis, metals and organic compounds. Inhalation causes irritation of the nose, throat and respiratory tract and may cause respiratory impairment and pulmonary oedema. Ingestion may cause immediate pain and burns of the mouth, throat, oesophagus and gastrointestinal tract. Contact with the eyes may cause redness, severe burns and irreversible damage. Contact with the skin causes redness and severe burns. Concentrated solutions may cause ulceration of the skin and yellow spots on the skin. Long periods of exposure to concentrated vapours may cause erosion and loss of the teeth and pulmonary damage (chronic pneumonia and bronchitis). Threshold limit values (ACGIH): 2ppm-5.2mg/m3 (TWA); 4ppm-10mg/m3 (STEL).
Consejo Colombiano de Seguridad, Cra. 20 No. 39 - 62, Bogotá D.C., Colombia, [ca 2008]. 4p. Illus.
Gerdes A., Oehmischen D., Süssmuth J., Raunitschke D.
New strategies for the development of preventive surface protection measures
Neue Strategien für die Entwicklung präventiver Oberflächeschutzmassnahmen [en alemán]
Following a historical review of protective coatings in construction from ancient times until today, new systems, based on nanotechnology, which create a hydrophobic barrier on concrete are presented. Such coatings, mainly based on silanes, prevent pollutants from penetrating the concrete and attacking its surface.
Tiefbau, Oct. 2008, Vol.120, No.10, p.621-630. Illus. 22 ref.
Ren C., Williams G.M., Morawska L., Mengersen K., Tong S.
Ozone modifies associations between temperature and cardiovascular mortality: Analysis of the NMMAPS data
This study aims to explore the modifications by ozone of the associations between maximum temperature and cardiovascular mortality (CVM), using data from the United States National Morbidity, Mortality, and Air Pollution Study (NMMAPS). Poisson regression models were used to examine these associations in 95 regions of the United States during 1987-2000 from June to September. A response surface model was used to examine the joint effects of temperature and ozone on CVM in summer. Results show that the higher the ozone concentration, the stronger the temperature-CVM associations. A 10°C increase in temperature on the same day was associated with an increase in CVM by 1.17% and 8.31% for the lowest and highest level of ozone concentrations in all communities, respectively.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2008, Vol.65, No.4, p.255-260. Illus. 39 ref.
Taiwo O.A., Slade M.D., Cantley L.F., Fiellin M.G., Wesdock J.C., Bayer F.J., Cullen M.R.
Beryllium sensitization in aluminum smelter workers
To determine whether beryllium-related disease exists among aluminium smelter workers, 734 employees from four aluminium smelters in the United States found to have significant beryllium exposure based on five years of sampling and analysis participated in a medical surveillance programme that included a respiratory symptoms questionnaire, spirometry and a beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test. Time-weighted average beryllium exposures based on personal sampling ranged from 0.002 to 13.00µg/m3. Despite the high levels of some of these exposures, only two employees had confirmed beryllium sensitization. The low beryllium sensitization rate observed may be related to good work practices and the use of personal protective equipment.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2008, Vol.50, No.2, p.157-162. Illus. 39 ref.
Westberg H., Egelrud L., Ohlson C.G., Hygerth M., Lundholm C.
Exposure to nitrous oxide in delivery suites at six Swedish hospitals
Occupational exposures to nitrous oxide in delivery suites in six Swedish hospitals were evaluated, together with various scavenging techniques. 8h time-weighted averages (TWAs) and short-term (15 min) peak exposures were determined for 36 midwives and assistant midwives. Diffusive samplers were used for monitoring, and analysed by thermal desorption and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The effect on exposure of different types of scavenging systems was studied by mixed model analysis. Findings are discussed. A large number of TWAs exceeded the ACGIH-TLV. Masks connected to scavenging systems significantly reduced exposures. Furthermore, using a forced general air ventilation system in addition to improved working methods substantially improved the air quality in the delivery suites.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, July 2008, Vol.81, No.7, p.829-836. 19 ref.
Lidén C., Skare L., Nise G., Vahter M.
Deposition of nickel, chromium, and cobalt on the skin in some occupations - Assessment by acid wipe sampling
Nickel, chromium, and cobalt are important skin sensitizers. In this study, a previously-developed acid wipe sampling technique for assessment of skin exposure to metals was applied in some occupations where intense contact with metallic items occurs to gather experience for the design of future workplace studies. 18 volunteers (carpenters, locksmiths, cashiers, and secretaries as controls) participated. They performed their normal tasks during a job session for exposure. Samples were taken from fingers and palms by acid wipe sampling, and analysis of metals was performed by inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The metals were detected in all samples, and the amount of nickel was larger than that of chromium and cobalt. Fingers were more exposed than palms. 8-h exposure to nickel was highest in locksmiths (mean 3.784µ/cm2) followed by carpenters, cashiers and secretaries. The acid wipe sampling technique appears to be suitable for studies of skin exposure to nickel, chromium and cobalt in the workplace. The amount of nickel deposited on skin in carpenters, locksmiths and cashiers is judged capable of eliciting allergic contact dermatitis.
Contact Dermatitis, June 2008, Vol.58, No.6, p.347-354. Illus. 27 ref.
Hamaguchi T., Omae K., Takebayashi T., Kikuchi Y., Yoshioka N., Nishiwaki Y., Tanaka A., Hirata M., Taguchi O., Chonan T.
Exposure to hardly soluble indium compounds in ITO production and recycling plants is a new risk for interstitial lung damage
The objective of this case-control study was to identify the effects of indium on the lung and to assess possible dose-response relationships. It involved 93 male indium-exposed and 93 male non-exposed workers from four indium and tin oxide manufacturing and recycling plants. Indium in serum (In-S) was determined as a biomarker of exposure. Geometric means of In-S were 8.25ng/ml in the exposed workers and 0.25ng/ml in the non-exposed workers. The maximum concentration of In-S was 116.9ng/ml. Data on respiratory symptoms and job histories were obtained by means of questionnaires. Participants were also subjected to spirometry, high-resolution computerised tomography (HRCT) of the chest, serum KL-6, serum SP-A, serum SP-D and serum CRP. Serum biomarkers and HRCT indicate that exposure to hardly-soluble indium compound dust may represent a risk for interstitial lung damage. Other findings are discussed.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2008, Vol.65, No.1, p.51-55. Illus. 24 ref.
Xing X., Wu G., Wei F., Liu P., Wei H., Wang C., Xu J., Xun L., Jia J., Kennedy N., Elashoff D., Robbins W.
Biomarkers of environmental and workplace boron exposure
The purpose of this work was to identify an accurate, noninvasive biomarker of boron exposure that could be used in worker populations. Total daily boron exposure was determined from samples of 24-hr food and fluid intake, plus workplace personal air monitoring in boron workers and comparison groups in northern China during 2003 and 2004. Boron was also measured in blood, semen, creatinine-corrected post-shift urine and 24-hr urine. Total daily boron exposure (mg/day) averaged 41.2 for men working in the boron industry and 2.3 for the comparison group. Boron concentration in post-shift urine was correlated with total daily boron exposure, indicating that this value could be used as a biomarker of boron exposure in worker populations.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Mar. 2008, Vol.5, No.3, p.141-147. Illus. 18 ref.
Théodore J., Baud F.
Chlore [en francés]
Chlorine is widely used in industry. Its toxicity primarily results in respiratory diseases, although acute exposure can also cause eye damage. Acute poisoning is rare but can be fatal. In cases of occupational respiratory diseases, the prognosis is generally positive following removal from exposure. Carcinogenic risks are possible but have been difficult to prove in humans. There is currently no specific treatment for chlorine poisoning, but all acute exposures require hospital observation, even in the absence of symptoms. Preventive measures play an important role in limiting this chemical hazard. Regular medical supervision of exposed workers is required for detecting symptoms which may be potentially highly incapacitating.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 3nd Quarter 2008, No.160, 5p. 28 ref.
NIOSH nanotechnology metal oxide particle exposure assessment study
This information sheet announces a NIOSH research programme on exposure to metal oxide nanomaterials. It describes the background, objectives, conditions for participation and benefits to participating companies. NIOSH researchers will visit the facilities of each participant to carry out personal sampling of exposure to nanoparticular metal oxides. The data collected will be used to determine the extent to which metal oxide exposure is occurring in the nanotechnology industry.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2001, USA, Mar. 2008. 4p. Illus.
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2008-122/pdfs/2008-122.pdf [en inglés]
Asthma due to chloramine among swimming pool personnel
L'asthme aux chloramines chez le personnel des piscines [en francés]
This article describes three new cases of respiratory disease due to chloramines among swimming pool personnel in the Paris region. The causes of respiratory diseases among these workers exposed to chloramine emissions by inhalation are reviewed through a literature survey. In France, the occupational nature of these diseases is recognized. Job changes which are often necessary are not easy to implement among these workers, a majority of whom are furthermore young and in good health. Given the need to address various toxicity risk factors, the task of managing and monitoring the quality of swimming-pool water must be left to personnel that are diligent and particularly well trained in chlorination processes. Rules to be followed for limiting chloramine concentration in swimming pools are summarized.
Cahiers de médecine interprofessionnelle, Apr.-June 2008, Vol.48, No.2, p.105-116. Illus. 34 ref.
Chou T.C., Chang H.Y., Chen C.J., Yu H.S., Wu J.D., Sheu S.C., Shih T.S.
Effect of hand dermatitis on the total body burden of chromium after ferrous sulfate application in cement among cement workers
Ferrous sulfate has been added to cement to reduce the prevalence of dermatitis in workers. The objective of this study was to compare the urinary chromium levels before and after ferrous sulfate addition among cement workers with or without hand dermatitis. Thirty-five male workers were recruited in this study for two consecutive years: 2003 without using ferrous sulfate and 2004 after adding ferrous sulfate. Urinary chromium was used as a biomarker to estimate the total body burden of chromium. Urinary chromium concentration showed significant decreases after ferrous sulfate addition. Furthermore, a larger decrease of urinary chromium was observed among workers with hand dermatitis. It is concluded that ferrous sulfate decreases the total body burden of chromium, especially among workers with severe hand dermatitis.
Contact Dermatitis, Sep. 2008, Vol.59, No.3, p.151-156. 25 ref.
Wild P., Bourgkard E., Paris C.
Lung cancer and occupational exposure to metals: Review of epidemiological studies
Cancer du poumon et exposition professionnelle aux métaux: une revue des études épidémiologiques [en francés]
This literature survey discusses epidemiological findings concerning the relationship between lung cancer and occupational exposure to metals. Epidemiological data are briefly reviewed for the following known carcinogens: chromium, nickel, beryllium, cadmium, arsenic and silicon (in the form of crystalline silica), highlighting some of the aspects that are still not fully understood. Next, it examines in greater detail some of the metals for which the link between exposure and lung cancer risk is less certain, namely titanium, lead, iron, cobalt and tungsten. Despite a high risk of bronchopulmonary cancer among certain populations exposed to lead, there does not appear to be any dose-response relationship. Epidemiological studies carried out in the hard metal industry suggest a possible carcinogenic risk from cobalt in the presence of tungsten carbide. Other findings are discussed.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, June 2008, No.114, p.201-219. Illus. 160 ref.
http://www.dmt-prevention.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/TC%20120/$File/TC120.pdf [en francés]
Fournier M., Bernier J., Brousseau P., Cyr D., Viel G., Sauvé S.
Development of markers and validation of diagnostic tools for screening for beryllium induced hypersensitivity
Développement de marqueurs et validation d'outils de diagnostic pour le dépistage de l'hypersensibilité induite par le béryllium [en francés]
Known for its high toxicity, beryllium can cause berylliosis, a serious pneumopathy, or chronic beryllium disease. The lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT) commonly used for detecting a worker's sensitivity to this metal offers little predictive value for the risks of contracting berylliosis. Knowing that this disease can take up to 30 years to develop in a sensitized worker, it is essential that a new effective detection tool be developed. By exploring experimental approaches, this research was able to determine the feasibility of methods for the selective characterization of target cells and the use of protein signatures on blood samples. A technique was also developed for quantifying beryllium in plasma, and the potential of complexing agents for displacing it and reversing its toxicity in cell cultures was tested. These new tools will allow a follow-up programme to be implemented for sensitized workers, mainly by providing a more precise diagnosis of the determination of their exposure to beryllium. It will also be possible to validate current standards or to define new ones based on firm assumptions.
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, 2008. v, 20p. Illus. 23 ref. Price: CAD 7.35. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-556.pdf [en francés]
Rodrigues E.G., McClean M.D., Weinberg J., Pepper L.D.
Beryllium sensitization and lung function among former workers at the Nevada test site
Beryllium use at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) was not acknowledged until the late 1990s. Starting in 2001, former workers of the NTS were tested for beryllium sensitization as part of a medical screening programme to identify individuals who may be at higher risk of developing chronic berylliosis. An observational study was conducted to highlight work-related factors associated with the odds of having BeS. Work history questionnaires were administered and principal components analysis was used to identify categories of related tasks associated with BeS. Among the 1786 former workers tested for BeS, 23 had a confirmed positive result, corresponding to an overall prevalence of 1.3%. However higher prevalences were observed among workers who performed certain specific job tasks.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, July 2008, Vol.51, No.7, p.512-523. Illus. 32 ref.
Garnier R., Poupon J., Villa A.
Arsenic and its inorganic compounds
Arsenic et dérivés inorganiques [en francés]
Occupations that involve exposure to arsenic include the production of arsenic compounds, non-ferrous metal smelting, the production and use of arsenic-based dyes, the production of micro devices, certain glass manufacturing operations, leather tanning and CCA (chromium, copper and arsenic-based) wood treatment. Often fatal, acute poisoning results in gastroenteritis, hydroelectrolytic and haemodynamic disturbances, renal tubular damage, hepatic cytolysis, cardiomyopathy, encephalopathy (confusion, coma, convulsions) and metabolic acidosis. Long-term exposure to arsenic can cause dermatological, neurological, cardiovascular, metabolic and carcinogenic effects. Several recent epidemiological studies indicate increased risks of abortion, premature birth and in-utero deaths associated with arsenic exposure during pregnancy. The standard biological indicator of arsenic exposure is the sum of the urinary concentrations of inorganic arsenic and of its main metabolites.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 2nd Quarter 2008, No.159, 13p. Illus. 104 ref.
Sun Y., Sun D., Zhou Z., Zhu G., Zhang H., Chang X., Lei L., Jin T.
Osteoporosis in a Chinese population due to occupational exposure to lead
The objective of this study was to investigate whether occupational lead exposure was associated with low bone mass in a population working in a storage battery plant. A total of 249 persons (191 men and 58 women) completed a questionnaire on various demographic, personal and job-related factors. Monophoton absorptiometry was used to measure bone mineral density (BMD). Urinary (UPb) and blood (BPb) lead concentrations were determined by graphite-furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The BMD was significantly decreased in the groups of the high UPb compared with the low UPb level in both genders. The prevalence of osteoporosis was significantly related to the increase of both UPb and BPb. There was a dose-response relationship between lead exposure and prevalence of osteoporosis. Other findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, June 2008, Vol.51, No.6, p.436-442. Illus. 28 ref.
Ricaud M., Lafon D., Roos F.
Carbon nanotubes: What are the hazards, and how can we prevent them?
Les nanotubes de carbone: quels risques, quelle prévention? [en francés]
Few studies have been published on the risks of carbon nanotubes to human health. However, given the excitement generated by this new class of chemicals, the number of exposed workers is likely to increase strongly in the coming years. This article on carbon nanotubes discusses current understanding with respect to their properties, applications and toxicology, as well as the preventive measures to adopt during their handling. Pending a better understanding of occupational exposures and risks to human health, it is recommended that the precautionary principle be applied, namely that exposure levels be kept as low as possible.
Cahiers de notes documentaires - Hygiène et sécurité du travail, Mar. 2008, No.210, p.43-57. Illus. 39 ref.
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