Diseases of the respiratory system (except for pneumoconiosis & similar) - 2,965 entries found
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Occupational respiratory diseases among cleaning workers
Affections respiratoires professionnelles chez les personnels de nettoyage [in French]
Cleaning of premises involves a particularly high risk of rhinitis, asthma and asthma-like syndromes and concerns a large number of workers. Respiratory allergens that are present in the dust dispersed into air during cleaning activities may be responsible, as are the wide variety of cleaning agents which may by irritating (ammonia, Javel water, strong acids) and/or sensitizing (isothiazolinones, aldehydes, quaternary ammonium salts, aliphatic amines, surfactants and terpene derivatives). This article on respiratory allergies among cleaners also addresses the following topics: diagnosis; immunological tests; recognition of these diseases as being of occupational nature in France; prevention; limitation of exposure; substitution.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, Dec. 2011, No.128, p.683-694. Illus. 29 ref.
Affections_respiratoires_professionnelles_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in French]
Géhin D., Le Bâcle C.
Endotoxins in occupational settings - II. Exposure, hazards, prevention
Endotoxines en milieu de travail - II. Exposition, risques, prévention [in French]
In occupational settings, endotoxins give rise to a non-specific and often considered commonplace flu-like syndrome. Repeated or long-time exposures can cause lung function impairment, leading to chronic obstructive bronchopulmonary disease and further complications. Several occupational sectors are concerned: air processing (air conditioning and/or humidification); waste collection; processing of vegetable fibres (cotton, linen, sisal); animal farms; food industry. Prevention involves limitation of exposure and medical supervision, including spirometry. Sequel to an earlier article (see CIS 11-0803).
Documents pour le médecin du travail, Dec. 2011, No.128, p.583-601. Illus. 135 ref.
Endotoxines_en_milieu_de_travail_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in French]
Mikulski M.A., Hartley P.G., Sprince N.L., Sanderson W.T., Lourens S., Worden N.E., Wang K., Fuortes L.J.
Risk and significance of chest radiograph and pulmonary function abnormalities in an elderly cohort of former nuclear weapons workers
The objective of this study was to estimate prevalence and risk factors for International Labour Organization radiographic abnormalities, and assess relationship of these abnormalities with spirometry results in former Department of Energy nuclear weapons workers. Participants were offered chest x-ray (CXR) and lung function testing. Three occupational medicine physicians read CXRs. Forty-five (5.9%) of 757 screened workers were found to have isolated parenchymal abnormalities on CXR and this rate is higher than that in many Department of Energy studies. Parenchymal and pleural abnormalities were found in 19 (2.5%) and 37 (4.9%) workers, respectively, and these rates are lower than those in other Department of Energy (DoE) studies to date. Lung function impairment was associated with radiographic abnormalities. This study found an elevated rate of parenchymal abnormalities compared to other DoE populations but the effect of age or other causes could not be ruled out.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2011, Vol.53, No.9, p.1046-1053. 43 ref.
Risk_and_significance_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Van Dyke M.V., Martyny J.W., Mroz M.M., Silveira L.J., Strand M., Cragle D.L., Tankersley W.G., Wells S.M., Newman L.S., Maier L.A.
Exposure and genetics increase risk of beryllium sensitization and chronic beryllium disease in the nuclear weapons industry
Beryllium sensitisation (BeS) and chronic beryllium disease (CBD) are caused by exposure to beryllium with susceptibility affected by at least one well-studied genetic host factor, a glutamic acid residue at position 69 (E69) of the HLA-DPß chain (DPßE69). The goal of this study was to determine the relationship between DPßE69 and exposure in BeS and CBD. 181 current and former workers from a nuclear weapons production facility were enrolled in a case-control study including 35 individuals with BeS and 19 with CBD. HLA-DPB1 genotypes were determined by PCR-SSP. Beryllium exposures were assessed through worker interviews and industrial hygiene assessment of work tasks. Multivariate models showed a sixfold (odds ratio (OR) 6.06) increased odds for BeS and CBD combined among DPßE69 carriers and a fourfold (OR 3.98) increased odds for those exposed over an assigned lifetime-weighted average exposure of 0.1 ¿g/m3. Those with both risk factors had higher increased odds (OR 24.1). DPßE69 carriage and high exposure to beryllium appear to contribute individually to the development of BeS and CBD. Among workers at a beryllium-using facility, the magnitude of risk associated with either elevated beryllium exposure or carriage of DPßE69 alone appears to be similar.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Nov. 2011, Vol.68, No.11, p.842-848. 39 ref.
Exposure_and_genetics_increase_risk_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Smit L.A., Heederik D., Doekes G., Koppelman G.H., Bottema R.W., Postma D.S., Wouters I.M.
Endotoxin exposure, CD14 and wheeze among farmers: A gene-environment interaction
The objective of this study was to assess whether the association between occupational endotoxin exposure and wheeze is modified by innate immunity gene variants. Twenty-four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CD14, Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), TLR2, MD2 and MyD88 were genotyped in 408 agricultural workers with spirometry and questionnaire data on asthma symptoms available. Personal airborne endotoxin exposure levels were estimated in 249 exposure measurements. The association between occupational endotoxin exposure and wheeze in agricultural workers was significantly modified by genetic variants in CD14 and MD2. Findings suggest that carriers of the functional CD14/-260 C allele are more responsive to endotoxin exposure than T allele homozygotes. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Nov. 2011, Vol.68, No.11, p.826-831. Illus. 33 ref.
Endotoxin_exposure_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Schlünssen V., Madsen A.M., Skov S., Sigsgaard T.
Does the use of biofuels affect the respiratory health among male Danish energy plant workers?
Respiratory symptoms in 138 woodchip workers, 94 straw workers and 107 control workers from 85 heating- or combined heating and power plants were collected by questionnaire. Spirometry, metacholine provocation tests and skin prick tests were performed on 310 workers. The work area concentrations of total dusts, airborne endotoxins, cultivable Aspergillus fumigatus and cultivable fungi were measured at each plant. Personal exposure was calculated from the time spent on different tasks and average work area exposures. Exposure levels are discussed. Exposure levels were increased in biofuel plants compared with conventional plants. The prevalences of respiratory symptoms among conventional plant and biofuel plant workers were comparable, except for asthma symptoms among non-smokers, which were higher among straw workers compared with controls. A trend for increasing respiratory symptoms with increasing endotoxin exposure was seen with odds ratios (ORs) between 3.1 (work-related nose symptoms) and 8.1 (asthma symptoms) for the most exposed group. Associations between fungal exposure and respiratory symptoms were less clear but suggested cultivable fungi to be associated with asthma symptoms and work-related respiratory symptoms. No associations were seen between lung function and the level of endotoxin or fungal exposure. It is concluded that working with biofuel at an energy plant does not generally enhance the prevalence of respiratory symptoms. However, the exposure level to microorganisms has an impact on the occurrence of respiratory symptoms among biofuel workers.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 2011, Vol.68, No.7, p.467-473. 39 ref.
Does_ the_use_of_biofuels_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Sastre J., Carnes J., García del Potro M., Manso L., Aguado E., Fernández-Nieto M.
Occupational asthma caused by triglycidyl isocyanurate
This article reports the case of 28-year-old female worker who, four months after beginning work in a powder-coating factory, developed asthma-like symptoms. At her workplace, aluminium frames were treated with an electrostatic powder paint containing 2.5-10% triglycidyl isocyanurate (TGIC). Various examinations were conducted (spirometry, immunological response, challenge tests). It is concluded that that TGIC inhalation induced immunologic occupational asthma, although no IgE mechanism was evidenced.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, June 2011, Vol.84, No.5, p.547-549. 9 ref.
Occupational_asthma_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Kayumba A., Moen B.E., Bråtveit M., Eduard W., Mashalla Y.
Reduced lung function among sisal processors
The objective of this study was to examine lung function and chronic respiratory symptoms among sisal workers in Tanzania and compare the results with a control group. A cross-sectional study on chronic respiratory symptoms and lung function was conducted in 2006 among male Tanzanian sisal processing workers from six sisal estates. Participants included 86 workers in decortication departments, 68 workers in brushing departments and 30 low exposed security guards. The response rate was 97%. Chronic respiratory symptoms and background information were obtained by structured interview. Forced ventilatory capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1s (FEV1) were estimated before and after a work shift, and FEV1/FVC ratio calculated. Chronic cough and chest tightness were experienced by 38% and 68% of workers in brushing departments, 20% and 6% of workers in decortication and 7% and 0% of security workers, respectively. A reduced FEV1/FVC ratio related to years of work was found among workers in brushing departments when adjusting for age, smoking, previous respiratory illnesses and body mass index, using regression analyses. Work in decortication departments was not related to reduced lung function parameters. The prevalence of FEV1/FVC<70 was above 50 for all three groups. Lung function parameters were similar before and after work shifts, except that peak expiratory flow increased among workers in brushing departments after work shifts. The results indicate a relationship between work in sisal brushing departments and the development of obstructive lung disorders.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2011, Vol.68, No.9, p.682-685. 13 ref.
Reduced_lung_function_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Mittmann-Frank M., Karabin-Kehl B., Wilkens H., Pföhler C., Bücker A., Wennemuth G., Buchter A.
Progressive dyspnoea in a blacksmith - Exogenous allergic aleveolitis and smoke inhalation are rare causes
Progrediente Dyspnoe eines Hufschmieds - EAA und rezidivierende Rauchgas-Inhalationen als seltene Ursache [in German]
This article reports on a 47-year-old man suffering from progressive dyspnoea, cough and sputum due to an exogenous allergic alveolitis. The subject was found to show a type-III-sensitization to Aspergillus fumigatus, epithelium and proteins from animals found in stables, indicating an occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis in this blacksmith. Further, combustion products and nanoparticles emitted while the horse is being shod induce recurrent sub-acute micro-inhalation injuries. On the basis of these findings, this disease was reported to the industrial injuries insurance as an occupational disease for consideration of legal consequences. Furthermore, referral to a lung specialist was recommended.
Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Prophylaxe, 2011, Vol.61, No.6, p.202-210. Illus. 14 ref.
Progrediente_Dyspnoe_eines_Hufschmieds_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in German]
Fishwick D., Harris-Roberts J., Robinson E., Evans G., Barraclough R., Sen D., Curran A.D.
Impact of worker education on respiratory symptoms and sensitization in bakeries
The objective of this study was to investigate the development of work-related sensitization, the period between first exposure and the development of symptoms (latent period) and the impact of workplace training programmes on respiratory health in plant bakers. Two hundred and sixty-four bakers were investigated by assessing work-related respiratory symptoms and latent period before symptoms/sensitization, spirometry and testing for an array of workplace-specific IgE. There was a significant relationship between the presence of work-related respiratory symptoms and flour dust allergen-specific IgE. Latent periods varied widely, and were shorter for workers with evidence of flour sensitization. Those warned of the health implications of flour dust had less work-related wheeze. There was an excess of work-related symptoms and work-related-specific IgE combined in those who had not been warned of these health implications. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Occupational Medicine, 2011, Vol.61. p.321-327. 20 ref.
Lunt J.A., Sheffield D., Bell N., Bennett V., Morris L.A.
Review of preventative behavioural interventions for dermal and respiratory hazards
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and processes of occupational-based behavioural interventions for workers exposed to dermal and respiratory hazards. A systematic review was conducted. Ten articles identified as being potentially relevant were included. Data were extracted according to potential sources of bias, impact and behavioural change processes used. A predominance of small effect sizes, particularly for larger samples, demonstrated limited but positive impact upon exposure. Studies contained too much heterogeneity for reliable meta-analysis. None of the studies covered the full range of behaviour change components necessary for reducing exposure risk. Recommendations for future interventions are proposed.
Occupational Medicine, 2011, Vol.61. p.311-320. 42 ref.
Wong T.W., Wong A.H., Lee F.S., Qiu H.
Respiratory health and lung function in Chinese restaurant kitchen workers
The objective of this study was to measure air pollutant concentrations in Chinese restaurant kitchens using different stove types, and to assess their influence on workers' respiratory health. 393 kitchen workers from 53 Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong were surveyed over 16 months: 115 workers from 21 restaurants using only electric stoves and 278 workers from 32 restaurants using only gas stoves. Workers were interviewed about their respiratory symptoms and had their lung function tested. Concentrations of nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) were measured using portable monitors and air-bag sampling. Temperature and noise levels were assessed. Median concentrations of NO, NO2 and CO were 7.4, 1.5 and 1.6 times higher in gas-fuelled kitchens than in electric ones and average concentrations of PM2.5 and TVOC were 81% and 78% higher, respectively. Differences were smaller for CH4 and NMHC. Electricity-run kitchens were 4.5°C cooler and 9 dBA less noisy than gas-fuelled ones. Workers using electric cookers had significantly better lung function than their gas-using counterparts and their mean FEV1 and FVC values were 5.4% and 3.8% higher, respectively, after adjustment for confounders. Wheeze, phlegm, cough and sore throat were more prevalent in workers using gas. The adjusted OR for having phlegm regularly was significantly higher. The poorer lung function and higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms among workers in gas-fuelled kitchens compared to those in electricity-powered kitchens may be associated with exposure to higher concentrations of toxic air pollutants generated during gas cooking.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2011, Vol.68, No.10, p.746-752. Illus. 24 ref.
Broding H.C., Frank P., Hoffmeyer F., Bünger J.
Course of occupational asthma depending on the duration of workplace exposure to allergens - A retrospective cohort study in bakers and farmers
This study investigated the importance of exposure duration, work cessation, and confounding factors on allergic obstructive airway disease in bakers and farmers. Patients with confirmed allergic occupational airway disease registered in a German Occupational Health Inspectorate received a mailed questionnaire on their respiratory health and employment status. Relations between duration of exposure and course of disease were analyzed by multi-factorial logistic regression. A total of 178 patients (65 farmers and 113 bakers) aged between 24 and 74 were included in the analysis. Farmers had much more severe respiratory complaints than bakers, with a significantly larger proportion having been employed over ten years (farmers 77.5% and bakers 36.6%). Other findings are discussed.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2011, Vol.18, p.35-40. Illus. 19 ref.
Course_of_occupational_asthma.pdf [in English]
Donoghue A.M., Frisch N., Ison M., Walpole G., Capil R., Curl C., Di Corleto R., Hanna B., Robson R., Viljoen D.
Occupational asthma in the aluminium smelters of Australia and New Zealand: 1991-2006
The objective of this study was to examine the incidence of occupational asthma in the seven aluminium smelters of Australia and New Zealand from 1991 to 2006. Incidence and exposure data were collected by survey from the smelters prospectively during the study period. The incidence of occupational asthma across all smelters combined was highest in 1992 at 9.46/1,000/year, declining to 0.36/1,000/year in 2006; a 96.2% reduction. The incidence of occupational asthma was correlated with geometric mean total fluoride concentration, measured as personal samples from employees undertaking anode changing. The control of exposures, respiratory protection and pre-placement medical assessments undertaken during the study period seem to have contributed to the substantial decline in occupational asthma incidence.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.224-231. Illus. 18 ref.
Occupational asthma is defined as "a disease of variable airflow limitations and/or airway hyper-responsiveness due to causes and conditions attributable to a particular occupational environment and not stimuli that are being encountered outside the workplace". An analysis of general population-based studies published up to 2007 showed that 17.6% of all adult onset asthma is due to workplace exposures. In this article, various aspects of occupational asthma are briefly reviewed.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2011, Vol.2, No.32, p.76-81. 40 ref.
Occupational_asthma.pdf [in English]
Richardson D.B., Wing S.
Evidence of confounding by smoking of associations between radiation and lung cancer mortality among workers at the Savannah River Site
This study investigates confounding by cigarette smoking in the associations between occupational exposure to ionizing radiation and lung cancer mortality among workers at the Savannah River Site (SRS), a facility in the United States involved in the production of basic materials used in the fabrication of nuclear weapons, primarily tritium and plutonium-239. Thirteen thousand two hundred sixty-five white males hired at SRS between 1950 and 1986 were followed through 2002 to ascertain causes of death. Estimates of radiation doses from external sources and internal tritium uptakes were derived from dosimetry records. Logistic regression methods were used to derive discrete-time estimates of rate ratios. Prior to adjustment for smoking, there was minimal evidence of association between lung cancer mortality and cumulative radiation dose under a 10-year lag assumption. Subsequent to indirect adjustment for smoking, the association between lung cancer mortality and cumulative radiation dose under a 10-year lag was positive.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.421-427. 25 ref.
Dulon M., Peters C., Wendeler D., Nienhaus A.
Trends in occupational airway diseases in German hairdressers: Frequency and causes
Hairdressers are exposed to several allergens and irritants known to cause obstructive airway diseases (OAD). In the early 1990s, high incidence rates of OAD were observed in German hairdressers. It was expected that modification of formulations would resolve the problem. This study analysed the numbers of confirmed cases reported of allergen, latex and irritant-induced OAD in German hairdressers, as registered by the responsible compensation board. From 1998 until 2003, the number of confirmed cases of OAD stayed at a plateau of 60, after which a downward trend was apparent. Hair dyes and acid perms were most often identified as the substances causing OAD. The cases of OAD in German hairdressers are still frequent. Exposure to known airway irritants is still occurring in spite of modification of the formulations. Continuous medical surveillance of hairdressers is recommended, in order to detect individual susceptibility, especially in apprentices.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.486-493. Illus. 42 ref.
Park S.G., Kim H.C., Min J.Y., Hwang S.H., Park Y.S., Min K.B.
A prospective study of work stressors and the common cold
Psychological stress is considered to be a risk factor for infectious diseases. The objective of this prospective study was to investigate whether work-related stress affected the occurrence of the common cold in South Korean workers in small- to medium-sized manufacturing companies. It involved 1241 workers. At the outset, information regarding socio-demographic and work characteristics was collected. At follow-up after six months, the subjects were asked whether they had experienced common cold symptoms during the preceding four months. Male subjects experiencing stress at the outset were more likely to report having experienced the common cold at follow-up (odds ratios: high job demand group 1.74; insufficient job control 1.42; inadequate social support 1.40). For women, no significant association between work stress and occurrence of the common cold was detected.
Occupational Medicine, 2011, Vol.61, p.53-56. Illus. 10 ref.
Carder M., McNamee R., Turner S., Hussey L., Money A., Agius R.
Improving estimates of specialist-diagnosed, work-related respiratory and skin disease
Work-related skin and respiratory disease still constitute an important part of the work-related ill-health (WRIH) burden in the United Kingdom. It is therefore important to be able to accurately quantify the true incidence of these two groups of disease. The aim of this study was to improve the accuracy of the methodology to estimate clinical specialist incidence rates, with a focus on skin and respiratory disease, and specifically, to estimate the number of additional cases not captured by voluntary surveillance through The Health and Occupation Reporting (THOR) network and provide a better estimation of the true incidence of work-related skin and respiratory disease. Cases not captured by THOR in 2005-2007 due to non-participation of eligible clinical specialists and due to <100% response rates by THOR participants were estimated, and the numerator adjusted accordingly. Adjusted incidence rates were calculated using Labour Force Survey data as the denominator. During 2005-2007, 62% of skin cases and 60% of respiratory cases were likely to have been captured by THOR. After adjustment, dermatologist-derived incidence rates for skin disease were raised from 9 to 14 per 100,000 employed, while those for respiratory disease were raised from 10 to 17 per 100,000 employed. This study has provided a significant improvement in the surveillance-based methodology used to estimate the number of cases of WRIH captured by THOR and hence enabled more accurate estimations of incidence rates for clinical specialist-reported WRIH.
Occupational Medicine, 2011, Vol.61, p.33-39. Illus. 17 ref.
Mäkelä R., Kauppi P., Suuronen K., Tuppurainen M., Hannu T.
Occupational asthma in professional cleaning work: A clinical study
Several epidemiological studies have reported an increased risk of asthma among professional cleaners. The aim of this study was to describe the cases of occupational asthma (OA) diagnosed at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) during the period 1994-2004 among workers employed in professional cleaning work. OA was diagnosed according to patient history, lung function examinations and specific challenge tests with measurements of one-second forced expiratory volume and peak expiratory flow values. The series comprised 20 patients, all female, with a mean age of 48.8 years, a mean duration of cleaning work before the onset of the respiratory symptoms of 14.3 years and a mean duration of cleaning work before the FIOH examinations of 18.6 years. OA was triggered by chemicals in 9 cases and by moulds in 11 cases. The chemicals were cleaning chemicals (wax-removing substances containing ethanolamines in five cases and a cleaning agent containing chloramine-T in one case) and chemicals used in the industrial processes at workplaces (three cases). Of the moulds, the most frequently associated with OA was Aspergillus fumigatus (nine cases). Implications of these findings are discussed.
Occupational Medicine, 2011, Vol.61, p.121-126. 29 ref.
Neghab M., Soltanzadeh A., Choobineh A.
Respiratory morbidity induced by occupational inhalation exposure to formaldehyde
The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the respiratory effects, if any, of long term occupational exposure to formaldehyde. The study population consisted of 70 exposed and 24 non-exposed employees of a melamine-formaldehyde resin producing plant in Iran. Data on respiratory symptoms were gathered by means of questionnaires. Atmospheric concentrations of formaldehyde were measured at different contaminated areas of the plant. Pulmonary function parameters were measured pre-shift and post-shift of the first working day of the week. Findings showed that airborne concentrations of formaldehyde exceeded current permissible levels. Additionally, significant decrements in some pre-shift and post-shift parameters of pulmonary function of exposed workers were noted. However, a relative recovery in lung functional capacity was observed following temporary cessation of exposure. Exposed workers had higher prevalence rates of regular cough, wheezing, phlegm, shortness of breath, chest tightness and episodes of chest illness associated with cold. Findings collectively indicate that exposure to formaldehyde may induce respiratory symptoms, partially reversible in the case of acute symptoms, together with irreversible lung function impairments.
Industrial Health, Jan. 2011, Vol.49, No.1, p.89-94. 19 ref.
Respiratory_morbidity.pdf [in English]
Rabito F.A., Perry S., Salinas O., Hembling J., Schmidt N., Parsons P.J., Kissinger P.
A longitudinal assessment of occupation, respiratory symptoms, and blood lead levels among Latino day laborers in a non-agricultural setting
The reliance on Latin American migrant day labor in the United States is increasing. Prospective data on day laborers' work and health experience in non-agriculture settings are lacking and outcomes are generally restricted to injury rates. This study was conducted to quantify the number of job and job task changes held over 12 months in a cohort of 73 migrant day laborers and assessed the relation between work type, health symptoms and blood lead level. On average, participants worked 2.4 different jobs over the past year averaging 41.5 hr per week. Construction work was associated with a twofold increase in sinonasal and respiratory symptoms in both adjusted and unadjusted models and was associated with increased blood lead levels. It is concluded that despite day labor status, workers had relatively stable employment. Respiratory symptoms were common and often improved when away from work suggesting that workplace irritant exposure is likely. Migrant day laborers working in construction are vulnerable to adverse health effects associated with irritant and lead exposure.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.366-374. 41 ref.
Dimich-Ward H., Beking K.J., Dybuncio A., Bartlett K.H., Karlen B.J., Chow Y., Chan-Yeung M.
Respiratory health of two cohorts of terminal grain elevator workers studied 30 years apart
This study evaluated the respiratory health of two cohorts of Canadian grain terminal elevator workers who participated in one of either respiratory health surveys undertaken in 1978 and 2008. Questionnaire and spirometry data from 584 workers from the 1978 survey and 215 workers from the 2008 survey were compared using logistic regression and general linear modeling. The geometric means of area samples of grain dust averaged 8.28 mg/m3 in 1978 and 2.06 mg/m3 in 2008. Workers in the 1978 survey had a significantly higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms (with the largest adjusted odds ratio of 3.78 for shortness of breath), a lower prevalence of atopic conditions and lower mean lung function. Current grain workers had a lower risk of respiratory health consequences and a greater prevalence of atopic conditions than workers surveyed 30 years prior, most likely associated with reduced exposure to grain dust in the terminal elevator environment.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.263-268. Illus. 23 ref.
Sastre J., Madero M.F., Fernández-Nieto M., Sastre B., del Pozo V., Potro M.G., Quirce S.
Airway response to chlorine inhalation (bleach) among cleaning workers with and without bronchial hyperresponsiveness
Symptoms of obstructive lung disease in domestic cleaning staff have been related to the use of bleach and other irritant cleaning products. This study included 13 cleaning employees with work-related asthma-like symptoms, three asthmatic controls and three atopic subjects without bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) who had no exposure to cleaning products. The study protocol consisted of a methacholine test, sputum induction and fraction of exhaled nitric oxide measurement (FENO) both at baseline and 24 hr after a 1-hr inhalation challenge with either placebo or bleach at a concentration of 0.4 ppm of chlorine. The inhalation of the placebo caused no bronchial reactions. Mean maximum fall in FEV1 during challenge testing with bleach was significantly higher than the values obtained during the placebo challenge. Inhalation challenge with bleach elicited two isolated late asthmatic reactions and one dual asthmatic reaction. Of all the patients who underwent challenge testing with bleach, only one had a ≥2-fold decrease in methacholine PC20 24 hr after the challenge. No significant correlation was found between maximum fall in FEV1 and PC20 methacholine. Following challenge testing with bleach, no clinically significant changes in sputum cell counts or FENO were detected. These results suggest that bleach inhalation at a concentration of 0.4 ppm - a concentration below 8-hr permissible occupational exposure level - brings about a substantial decrease in FEV1 in subjects with and without BHR. Some subjects have a positive challenge response to bleach inhalation.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.293-299. Illus. 11 ref.
Greven F.E., Rooyackers J.M., Kerstjens H.A., Heederik D.J.
Respiratory symptoms in firefighters
The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with respiratory symptoms among firefighters in the Netherlands. A total of 1330 firefighters from the municipal fire brigades of three provinces of the Netherlands were administered a Dutch version of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey questionnaire. General respiratory symptoms were associated with the number of fires fought in the last 12 months with odds ratios between 1.2 and 1.4 per 25 fires. A strong association was found between an inhalation incident and present respiratory symptoms with odds ratios between 1.7 and 3.0. Adjustments for smoking, sex, atopy and age did not change any of the associations. It is recommended that firefighters be made aware of these elevated healthcare risks associated with exposure to fire smoke and where possible supplied with self-contained respirators.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.350-355. 28 ref.
Liss G.M., Buyantseva L., Luce C.E., Ribeiro M., Manno M., Tarlo S.M.
Work-related asthma in health care in Ontario
This study examined the frequency of claims for occupational asthma (OA) and work-exacerbated asthma (WEA) approved by the compensation board in Ontario, Canada, in the health care sector between 1998 and 2002, to determine the frequency rates, causative agents and occupations. During this period, five claims were approved for sensitizer OA, two for natural rubber latex (NRL), and three for glutaraldehyde/photographic chemicals. The two NRL cases occurred in nurses who had worked for over 10 years. There were 115 approved claims for WEA; health care was the most frequent industry for WEA. The rate of WEA claims was 2.1 times greater than that in the rest of the workforce. Other findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.278-284. 27 ref.
Verger P., Cabut S., Viau A., Souville M., Pardon C., Charrier D., De Labrusse B., Lehucher-Michel M.P., Arnaud S.
Use of imaging in the follow-up of workers exposed to lung carcinogens: Practices in occupational medicine and its determinants
Application de l'imagerie pour le suivi médical des travailleurs exposés aux cancérogènes pulmonaires: pratiques en médecine du travail et ses déterminants [in French]
Occupational physicians' (OPs) practices of referrals for the imaging of workers occupationally-exposed to lung/pleural carcinogens and their related factors were studied. This cross-sectional telephone survey of 379 OPs practicing in Southeastern France showed that 81% referred exposed patients for chest radiographs, 33.5% for computed tomography (CT), and 16.1% for neither. Making no referral was positively associated with believing cancer risks are lower in one's own geographic sector than elsewhere and negatively associated with keeping employee risk records up-to-date. Referrals for CT were positively associated with work at in-house occupational health services (OHS), and completing employee exposure histories often/always. Both the OHS type and factors that may shape OPs' awareness of cancer risks in their sector appear to influence imaging referral practices. Occupational physicians would benefit from guidelines clarifying benefits and risks associated with imaging in such patients. An effort to harmonize regulatory provisions and guidelines also appears necessary.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1st quarter 2011, Vol. 17, No.1, p.71-79. 27 ref.
Oyunbileg S., Sumberzul N., Oyuntogos L., Javzmaa J., Wang J.D.
Analysis of incidence rates of occupational diseases in Mongolia, 1986-2006
The purpose of this study was to determine incidence rates and time trends of major occupational diseases in Mongolia. Information about all 4598 patients from 1986 to 2006 who were diagnosed and registered with occupational diseases by the National Center of Workplace Conditions and Occupational Diseases was retrieved. There was an increasing trend in the incidence rates of reported occupational respiratory diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular diseases, skin diseases, toxic hepatitis and noise-induced hearing loss. Such a trend may result from both rapid industrialization in Mongolia and increased recognition of occupational disease. Implications of these findings are discussed.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1st quarter 2011, Vol. 17, No.1, p.31-37. 26 ref.
Soskolne C.L., Jhangri G.S., Scott H.M., Brenner D.R., Siemiatycki J., Lakhani R., Gérin M., Dewar R., Miller A.B, Risch H.A.
A population-based case-control study of occupational exposure to acids and the risk of lung cancer: Evidence for specificity of association
Occupational exposure to strong inorganic acid mists containing sulfuric acid has been recognized as a carcinogen (Group 1) since 1992. An augmented, secondary data analysis of a population-based case-control study of lung cancer was conducted to assess lung cancer-specific risks using 772 lung cancer cases diagnosed between 1981 and 1985. Individually matched controls on age, gender, and area of residence were identified. Lifetime exposure to 10 acidic agents, including strong inorganic acids and some gases, was assessed from complete lifetime occupational histories in terms of concentration, frequency, and reliability of the various exposure assessments. Smoking-adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were determined for overall and histology-categorized lung cancers using conditional logistic regression. No excess risk for overall lung cancer was associated with any of the acids, and effect modification by gender could not be identified.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1st quarter 2011, Vol. 17, No.1, p.1-8. 24 ref.
A_population-based_case-control_study.pdf [in English]
Jaakkola M.S., Sripaiboonkij P., Jaakkola J.J.K.
Effects of occupational exposures and smoking on lung function in tile factory workers
The aims of this study were to investigate the relationship between occupational exposures in tile industry and lung function, and to evaluate potential interaction between smoking and tile dust exposure containing silica. A cross-sectional study of 232 workers (response rate 100%) in a tile factory and 76 office workers (response rate 73%) from four factories in Thailand was conducted in 2006-2007. Participants answered a questionnaire and performed spirometry. This study provides evidence that long-term exposure to dust in tile industry is related to lung function reduction. There was a suggestion of synergistic effect between dust exposure and smoking. Tile factories should consider measures to reduce dust exposure and arrange spirometry surveillance for workers with such exposure. Smoking cessation should be promoted to prevent harmful effects of occupational tile dust exposure.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 2011, Vol. 84, p.151-158. Illus. 36 ref.
Verma D.K., Vacek P.M., des Tombe K., Finkelstein M., Branch B., Gibbs G.W., Graham W.G.
Silica exposure assessment in a mortality study of Vermont granite workers
A study of past silica and respirable dust exposures in the Vermont granite industry was conducted to develop a job exposure matrix (JEM) that used 5204 industrial hygiene measurements made from 1924-2004. Percent free silica (μ-quartz) in respirable dust was estimated to be 11.0% based on previous published studies in Vermont and on data in the current database. This JEM has been used in a recent epidemiologic study to assess mortality in Vermont granite workers and to examine the relationships among mortality from silicosis, lung cancer, and other nonmalignant respiratory diseases.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Feb. 2011, Vol.8, p.71-79. Illus. 24 ref.
Abramson M.J., Benke G.P., Cui J., de Klerk N.H., Del Monaco A., Dennekamp M., Fritschi L., Musk A.W., Sim M.R.
Is potroom asthma due more to sulphur dioxide than fluoride? An inception cohort study in the Australian aluminium industry
Although an asthma-like syndrome has been recognized in aluminium smelter workers for over 70 years, the causal agent has been difficult to identify. An inception cohort study was conducted at two Australian aluminium smelters where 446 employees participated over a period of nine years. Cumulative exposures between interviews were estimated from job histories using a task exposure matrix based on measurements in the smelters. Participants completed an MRC respiratory questionnaire, spirometry and methacholine challenge test. Data were analyzed with generalized estimating equations to allow for repeated measurements of each participant. Wheeze and chest tightness, the two symptoms most closely related to asthma, showed associations with occupational exposures. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) exposure was significantly associated with these symptoms, bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR) to methacholine (a feature of asthma), airflow limitation (reduced one-second forced expiratory volume/forced vital capacity ratio) and longitudinal decline in lung function. Fluoride exposure was associated with the same outcomes, but less strongly. Inhalable dust and the benzene soluble fraction (BSF) were associated with symptoms of asthma and BHR. Although many of the exposures were highly correlated, further modelling suggested that of the known respiratory irritants, SO2 was more likely than fluoride to be primarily responsible for the symptoms observed. Fluoride, inhalable dust and SO2 were the most important airborne contaminants associated with effects on lung function. The observed effects were detected at contaminant levels within occupational exposure standards, so further reductions are required, particularly in SO2 exposures.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2010, Vol.67, No.10, p.679-685. Illus. 30 ref.
Is_potroom_asthma_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Karvala K., Toskala E., Luukkonen R., Lappalainen S., Uitti J., Nordman H.
New-onset adult asthma in relation to damp and moldy workplaces
Damp and mouldy indoor environments aggravate pre-existing asthma. Recent meta-analyses suggest that exposure to such environments may also induce new-onset asthma. This study assessed the probability of moulds being the cause of asthma in a series of 694 patients examined between 1995 and 2004.because of respiratory symptoms in relation to workplace dampness and moulds. According to their histories, they had all been exposed to moulds at work and had suffered from work-related lower respiratory symptoms. The investigations had included specific inhalation challenge (SIC) tests with mould extracts and serial peak expiratory flow (PEF) recordings. The patients were categorized into three groups: probable, possible, and unlikely occupational asthma (OA, 156, 45, and 475 patients, respectively). The clinical details of 258 patients were analyzed, and their levels of microbial exposure were evaluated. The agreement between the serial PEF recordings and SIC tests was 56%. In the group of probable OA, mould sensitization was found in 20%. The level of exposure and sensitization to moulds was associated with probable OA. At six months, the follow-up examinations of 136 patients with probable OA showed that the symptoms were persistent, and no improvement in spirometry was noted despite adequate treatment. Only 58% of the patients had returned to work. It is concluded that exposure to damp and mouldy workplaces can induce new-onset adult asthma.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Dec. 2010, Vol.83, No.8, p.855-865. Illus. 43 ref.
New-onset_adult_asthma.pdf [in English]
Allan K.M., Murphy E., Ayres J.G.
Assessment of respiratory health surveillance for laboratory animal workers
Occupational asthma is the most common work-related respiratory disease in the United Kingdom. Individuals whose work potentially puts them at risk include those exposed to laboratory animals. Workplace health surveillance programmes aim to minimize these health risks but are recognized to be challenging to implement effectively. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the respiratory health surveillance programme provided by an occupational health service (OHS) to individuals potentially exposed to respiratory sensitizers at work with laboratory animals. Case notes from the OHS respiratory health surveillance programme over a two-year period were examined. Symptom detection by the OHS surveillance questionnaire was compared to a cross-sectional questionnaire survey. The surveillance spirometry records were audited against good standards of practice. The current surveillance appears to be effective in identifying potential cases of occupational asthma. Modification of the questionnaire content and layout might improve response rates. This study suggests that spirometry does not detect new cases other than those already identified by questionnaire.
Occupational Medicine, Sep. 2010, Vol.60, No.6, p.458-463. 16 ref.
Assessment_of_respiratory_health_surveillance.pdf [in English]
Fishwick D., Barraclough R., Pickering T., Fletcher A., Lewis R., Niven R., Warburton C.J.
Comparison of various airflow measurements in symptomatic textile workers
The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between work-related respiratory symptoms, airway reactivity, across-shift change in forced expiratory volume in 1s (FEV1) and work-related changes in serial peak expiratory flow (sPEF) measures in a group of textile workers. Fifty-three workers, 34 exposed to cotton dust and 19 to man-made fibres (MMFs), were investigated using a standard respiratory questionnaire, sPEF, across-shift FEV1) measurement and airway responsiveness. Nine workers (17%) had a >5% across-shift fall in FEV1 and these falls were associated with the presence of work-related symptoms. Seven workers had a positive sPEF chart as judged by the software analysis (OASYS), although there was no relationship between work-related symptoms and sPEF. Six cotton workers (18%) and one MMF worker (5%) had airway hyperreactivity, which was associated strongly with work-related symptoms. Five of the seven subjects with a positive sPEF had airway hyperreactivity compared with 12 of 46 with a negative sPEF. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Occupational Medicine, 2010, Vol.60, p.631-634. 17 ref.
Athanasiou M., Makrynos G., Dounias G.
Respiratory health of municipal solid waste workers
The objective of this study was to evaluate the respiratory health of municipal solid waste workers (MSWWs). One hundred and eighty-four municipal employees of a locality in Greece (104 MSWWs and 80 controls) participated in a cross-sectional study. All participants were asked to fill in a slightly modified version of the Medical Research Council questionnaire. Lung function was evaluated by spirometry. Spirometry revealed reduced mean forced vital capacity (FVC) and one-second forced expiratory volume (as a percentage of predicted values) in MSWWs compared with controls. After adjustment for smoking status, only the decline in FVC was statistically significant. Prevalence of all respiratory symptoms was higher in MSWWs than in controls. After adjustment for confounding factors, the difference reached statistical significance for morning cough, cough on exertion and sore throat.
Occupational Medicine, 2010, Vol.60, p.618-623. 24 ref.
Dement J.M., Welch L., Ringen K., Bingham E., Quinn P.
Airways obstruction among older construction and trade workers at Department of Energy nuclear sites
A study of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among 7579 current and former workers participating in medical screening programs at Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons facilities through September 2008 was undertaken. Participants provided a detailed work and exposure history, and underwent a respiratory examination that included a respiratory history, respiratory symptoms, chest radiographs classified by International Labour Office (ILO) criteria, and spirometry. Statistical models were developed to generate group-level exposure estimates that were used in multivariate logistic regression analyses to explore the risk of COPD in relation to exposures to asbestos, silica, cement dust, welding, paints, solvents, and dusts/fumes from paint removal. Risk for COPD in the study population was compared to risk for COPD in the general US population. Statistically significant associations were observed for COPD and exposures to asbestos, silica, welding, cement dusts and some tasks associated with exposures to paints, solvents and removal of paints. The study demonstrated increased COPD risk due to occupational exposures and was able to identify specific exposures increasing risk.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, Vol.53, p.224-240. Illus. 65 ref.
Taiwo O.A., Slade M.D., Cantley L.F., Kirsche S.R., Wesdock J.C., Cullen M.R.
Prevalence of beryllium sensitization among aluminium smelter workers
Beryllium exposure occurs in aluminium smelters from natural contamination of bauxite, the principal source of aluminium. The objective of this study was to characterize beryllium exposure in aluminium smelters and determine the prevalence rate of beryllium sensitization (BeS) among aluminium smelter workers. A population of 3185 workers from nine aluminium smelters owned by four different aluminium-producing companies in Italy, Norway, United States and Canada were determined to have significant beryllium exposure. Of these, 1932 workers participated in medical surveillance programmes that included the serum beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT), confirmation of sensitization by at least two abnormal BeLPT test results and further evaluation for chronic beryllium disease in workers with BeS. Personal beryllium samples obtained from the nine aluminium smelters showed a range of <0.01-13.00 μg/m3 time-weighted average with an arithmetic mean of 0.25 μg/m3 and geometric mean of 0.06 μg/m3. Nine workers were diagnosed with BeS. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Occupational Medicine, Oct. 2010, Vol.60, No.7, p.569-571. 9 ref.
Hoy R.F., Ribeiro M., Anderson J., Tarlo S.M.
Work-associated irritable larynx syndrome
Work-associated respiratory symptoms may be caused by disorders of both the lower and upper respiratory tract. It is hypothesized that occupational exposures may initiate and/or trigger recurrent hyperkinetic laryngeal symptoms, predominantly episodic dyspnoea, dysphonia, cough and sensation of tension in the throat (work-associated irritable larynx syndrome, WILS). The objective of this study was to examine characteristics of individual and work-related factors that are associated with WILS, occupational asthma (OA) and work-exacerbated asthma (WEA). A total of 448 subjects with WILS, OA and WEA were identified from an occupational lung disease clinic: 50 subjects were identified with OA, 40 with WEA and 30 with WILS. Subjects with the diagnosis of WILS were more likely to be female and more frequently reported symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux. The most common triggers of workplace symptoms in the WILS group were odours, fumes, perfumes and cleaning agents. Fourteen patients with WILS identified a specific precipitating event at the workplace at the time of the onset of their symptoms and five of these subjects presented to an emergency department within 24 h of the event. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Occupational Medicine, Oct. 2010, Vol.60, No.7, p.546-551. Illus 20 ref.
Mehta A.J., Malloy E.J., Applebaum K.M., Schwartz J., Christiani D.C., Eisen E.A.
Reduced lung cancer mortality and exposure to synthetic fluids and biocide in the auto manufacturing industry
Water-based soluble and synthetic metalworking fluids (MWFs) used in automotive industry may be contaminated by endotoxin from Gram-negative bacteria, a possible anti-carcinogen. This study investigated whether an inverse relationship between lung cancer and synthetic MWF and biocide persisted in an extended follow-up of autoworkers. A nested case-control analysis was performed within a retrospective cohort study of 46,399 automotive industry workers. Follow-up began in 1941 and was extended from 1985-1995. Mortality rate ratios for lung cancer were estimated in Cox regression models. Results suggest a non-linear inverse exposure-response for lung cancer mortality with increasing endotoxin exposure. Overall, the greatest reduction in mortality was observed among those with the highest exposure. Effect modification by biocides was marginally significant. The protective effect of synthetic MWFs against lung cancer mortality persisted through the extended period of follow-up, although attenuated, and was observed only among workers with co-exposure to biocide and synthetic MWFs.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Nov. 2010, Vol.36, No.6, p.499-508. Illus. 38 ref.
Occupational respiratory allergy to plant protection products
Allergie respiratoire professionnelle aux produits phytosanitaires [in French]
Occupational respiratory diseases due to pesticides have been reported with certain fungicides, herbicides and insecticides. Apart from accidental exposures, documented clinical observations are rare. Some recent epidemiological studies conducted in agricultural regions have, however, reported an association between symptoms of rhinitis, asthma and other signs of respiratory irritation, and the use of certain pesticides. The main occupations are agricultural workers (especially pesticide applicators), workers manufacturing these products and pest control workers. The etiological diagnosis is based on medical history. Prevention techniques include collective protection measures and personal protective equipment to reduce exposure. These conditions can be recognized as being occupational diseases warranting compensation in the French general social security system for certain products, or in the agricultural system.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 4th Quarter 2010, No.124, p.471-482. Illus. 39 ref.
TR_50.pdf [in French]
McHugh M.K., Symanski E., Pompeii L.A., Delclos G.L.
Prevalence of asthma by industry and occupation in the U.S. working population
Workers are potentially exposed to asthmagens daily. This study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of asthma among working adults in the United States by industry and occupation. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2001-2004), multiple logistic regression was used to investigate associations between industry and occupation and current asthma as defined by positive responses to "Has a doctor or other health professional ever told you that you have asthma?" and "Do you still have asthma?" Workers in mining (17.0%), teaching (13.1%) and health-related industries (12.5%) had the highest prevalence of asthma. Compared to construction industry workers, the adjusted odds ratios for workers in mining and health-related activities were 5.2 and 2.3 respectively. Implications of these findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, Vol.53, p.463-475. 45 ref.
Yorifuji T., Kashima S., Tsuda T., Takao S., Suzuki E., Doi H., Sugiyama M., Ishikawa-Takata K., Ohta T.
Long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution and mortality in Shizuoka, Japan
The number of studies investigating the health effects of long-term exposure to air pollution is increasing; however, most studies have been conducted in Western countries. The health status of Asian populations may be different to that of Western populations and may, therefore, respond differently to air pollution exposure. This study was therefore conducted to evaluate the health effects of long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution in Shizuoka, Japan. Individual data were extracted from participants of an ongoing cohort study. A total of 14,001 older residents, who were randomly chosen from all 74 municipalities of Shizuoka, completed questionnaires and were followed from December 1999 to March 2006. Individual nitrogen dioxide exposure data, as an index for traffic-related exposure, were modelled using a land use regression model. Participants were assigned an estimated concentration of nitrogen dioxide exposure during 2000-2006. The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for a 10 μg/m3 increase in exposure to nitrogen dioxide for all-cause or cause-specific mortality was then estimated. The adjusted HR for all-cause mortality was 1.02. Regarding cause-specific mortality, the adjusted HR for cardiopulmonary mortality was 1.16; in particular the adjusted HR was 1.27 for ischaemic heart disease mortality and 1.19 for pulmonary disease mortality. Furthermore, among non-smokers, a 10 μg/m3 increase in nitrogen dioxide was associated with a higher risk for lung cancer mortality (HR 1.30). Long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution, indexed by nitrogen dioxide concentration, increases the risk of cardiopulmonary mortality, even in a population with a relatively low body mass index and increases the risk of lung cancer mortality in non-smokers.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2010, Vol.67, No.2, p.111-117. Illus. 31 ref.
Rolland P., Gramond C., Lacourt A., Astoul P., Chamming's S., Ducamp S., Frenay C., Galateau-Salle F., Ilg A.G., Imbernon E., Le Stang N., Pairon J.C., Goldberg M., Brochard P.
Occupations and industries in France at high risk of pleural mesothelioma: A population-based case-control study (1998-2002)
Occupational exposure to asbestos, widely used in various industries for decades, is the most important risk factor for pleural mesothelioma. The objective of this population-based case-control study was to establish the ranking of occupations and industries in France at high risk for this cancer among men and women. It was conducted from 1998 to 2002, included 462 cases (80.3% men) and 897 controls. Data were collected in face-to-face interviews with a standardized questionnaire. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated for each occupation and industry; subjects never employed in each category were the reference. For men, risks were high for several occupations and industries. Besides the expected high risks for non-metallic mineral product makers and manufacturing asbestos products, occupations such as plumbers (OR=5.57), sheet-metal workers, welders, foundry workers and cabinetmakers were also at high risk. Elevated risks were found in the industries of shipbuilding (OR=9.13) and construction, but also in the manufacturing of metal products, chemicals, and railroad and aircraft equipment. The results for women showed increased but non-significant risks in several occupational activities.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, Vol.53, p.1207-1219. Illus. 38 ref.
Muller C., Mazer B., Salehi F., Audusseau S., Truchon G., Lambert J., L Espérance G., Chevalier G., Philippe S., Cloutier Y., Larivière P., Zayed J.
Evaluation of beryllium toxicity based on the chemical form and particle size
Evaluation de la toxicité du béryllium en fonction de la forme chimique et de la taille des particules [in French]
In recent years, various studies have been questioning the level of protection offered to workers by the threshold value for beryllium (Be) and its salts. The objective of this study was to verify, using an animal model, to what extent pulmonary effects are related to the chemical form of Be and the particle size. The results obtained confirm numerous correlations between tissue concentrations of Be and pulmonary effects similar to those observed in a worker following exposure. The results also reveal an association between particle size, lung concentrations, pulmonary inflammation, the production of certain cytokines, and the expression of certain lymphocytes. The effects also depend on the chemical form of Be. Clearly, the aerodynamic diameter and solubility played a significant role in pulmonary deposition and retention.
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, 2010. viii, 45p. Illus. 51 ref. Price: CAD 8.40. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
Rapport_R-637.pdf [in French]
Mittmann-Frank M., Berger H., Pföhler C., Bücker A., Wilkens H., Arzt E., Schmitt K.P., Wennemuth G., Hannig M., Buchter A.
Exposure to nano particles and new materials - Clinical and diagnostic findings
Klinische und diagnostische Befunde bei Exposition gegenüber Nanopartikeln und neuen Materialien [in German]
Ten individuals whose work involved long-term exposure to certain specific nanoparticles underwent detailed clinical examinations aimed at assessing individual factors and possible interactions caused by exposure to nanomaterials. Half the group showed a relevant obstructive ventilation disorder through particle inhalation before the introduction of protective measures. In three cases, computed tomography showed lung emphysema changes. Half the group showed a positive reaction to zirconium oxide. Analysis of biomarkers showed no evidence of respiratory tract inflammation. Implications of these and other findings are discussed. See also ISN 111203.
Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie, Oct. 2010, Vol.60, No.10. p.328-348. Illus. 41 ref.
Klinische_und_diagnostische_Befunde.pdf [in German]
Vierikko T., Järvenpää R., Toivio P., Uitti J., Oksa P., Lindholm T., Vehmas T.
Clinical and HRCT screening of heavily asbestos-exposed workers
The objective of this study was to clarify the indications for high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) in the surveillance of workers heavily-exposed to asbestos. A group of 627 workers known to have been heavily-exposed to asbestos were screened and HRCT findings were classified and divided in two groups: pulmonary fibrosis (n = 86) and no fibrosis (n = 541). Most of the detected fibrosis cases were mild. The magnitude of asbestos exposure showed an unexpected inverse relation with fibrosis. In multivariate analyses, age, lung function and diffusing capacity were associated with HRCT fibrosis, but asbestos exposure was not. Asbestosis seems to be characterized by mild fibrosis today even in heavily exposed workers. Implications of these and other findings are discussed.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Jan. 2010, Vol.83, No.1, p.47-54. 30 ref.
Clinical_and_HRCT_screening.pdf [in English]
Mauer M.P., Herdt-Losavio M.L., Carlson G.A.
Asthma and lower respiratory symptoms in New York State employees who responded to the World Trade Center disaster
The objective of this study was to investigate whether New York State employees who responded to the World Trade Center disaster were more likely to report asthma or lower respiratory symptoms (LRS), namely cough, wheeze, chest tightness and shortness of breath than non-exposed employees, two years after the terrorist attack. Participants (578 exposed, 702 non-exposed) completed mailed questionnaires in 2003. A specially-developed exposure assessment method was used and exposure scores were subjected to Poisson regression analysis. Findings are discussed. It is concluded that even moderately-exposed responders may experience health impacts from exposures in later stages of a disaster. Exposure to smoke may have had a greater lower respiratory impact than re-suspended dust.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Jan. 2010, Vol.83, No.1, p.21-27. 33 ref.
Asthma_and_lower_respiratory_symptoms.pdf [in English]
Morfeld P., Noll B., Büchte S.F., Derwall R., Schenk V., Bicker H., Lenaerts H., Schrader N., Dahmann D.
Effect of dust exposure and nitrogen oxides on lung function parameters of German coalminers: A longitudinal study applying GEE regression 1974-1998
Workplace limits for dust and nitrogen oxides are under review in Germany and the European Union. This longitudinal cohort study of German coal miners was conducted to determine the effects of exposure on lung function. Miners who began working underground at two coal mines between 1974 and 1979 were followed up until 1998. Data included the number of shifts worked underground, the exposure to coal mine dust, quartz dust and nitrogen oxides, smoking behaviour and lung function parameters. General estimation equation (GEE) models were fitted. The effect of dust exposure on lung function described in older British and American coal miner studies was not confirmed. This can be explained partly by differences in methods but also by lower dust levels. Nitrogen oxide exposures showed no relevant influence on lung function, confirming findings from studies in British coal mining.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr. 2010, Vol.83, No.4, p.357-371. Illus. 67 ref.
Van Houtven G., Reed W.R., Biddle E.A., Volkwein J.C., Clayton L., Finkelstein E.
Rates and costs of respiratory illness in coal mining: A cross-industry comparative analysis
The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence and costs of respiratory illness for workers in coal mining, compared with other industries in the United States. Using 5 years of insurance claims data for an annual average of 96,240 adult males, the probability and costs of respiratory illness was modelled as a function of workers' industry and other factors. Controlling for non-industry factors, workers in coal mining had significantly higher rates of respiratory illness claims (by 2.1% to 3.3% points) compared with other mining, agriculture, construction and manufacturing. For coal mining workers with respiratory illness, annual medical care costs for these claims were also significantly higher (by USD 111 to 289). These findings underscore the continued importance and potential cost effectiveness of measures to protect miners from harmful occupational exposures, particularly to coal dust.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2010, Vol.52, No.6, p.610-617. 12 ref.
Dang B., Chen L., Mueller C., Dunn K.H., Almaguer D., Roberts J.L., Otto C.S.
Ocular and respiratory symptoms among lifeguards at a hotel indoor waterpark resort
The objective of this study was to determine the cause of eye and respiratory irritation symptoms among lifeguards at an indoor waterpark. The investigation involved environmental sampling for chloramine, endotoxin and microorganisms, administering symptom questionnaires, reviewing ventilation system designs and reviewing water chemistry. Airborne trichloramine concentrations were found at levels reported to cause irritation symptoms in other studies. Some endotoxin concentrations were found at levels associated with cough and fever in previous studies. Exposed lifeguards were significantly more likely to report work-related irritation symptoms than unexposed individuals. The ventilation system may not have provided sufficient air movement and distribution to adequately capture and remove air contaminants. No water microbes were detected and water chemistry met state standards.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2010, Vol.52, No.2, p.207-213. 26 ref.
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