Diseases of the respiratory system (except for pneumoconiosis & similar) - 2,965 entries found
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- Diseases of the respiratory system (except for pneumoconiosis & similar)
Henneberger P.K., Derk S.J., Sama S.R., Boylstein R.J., Hoffman C.D., Preusse P.A., Rosiello R.A., Milton D.K.
The frequency of workplace exacerbation among health maintenance organisation members with asthma
The objective of this investigation was to determine the prevalence of workplace exacerbation of asthma (WEA). Members of a health maintenance organization with asthma aged 18-44 were enrolled into the baseline survey of a longitudinal study. Diagnosis and treatment were confirmed by a review of medical records. A work related symptom score was assigned to each participant based on responses to questions about work-related asthma symptoms, medication use and symptom triggers. Blinded to participants' answers to these questions, two researchers independently reviewed the self-reported work histories and assigned exposure ratings. A final exposure score was then calculated. Participants with sufficient evidence for work related symptoms and exposure were classified as having WEA. Of the 598 participants with complete data, 557 were working, and 136 fulfilled the criteria for WEA. Those with WEA were more likely to be male and to report that they had been bothered by asthma symptoms during the past seven days.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2006, Vol.63, No.8, p.551-557. Illus. 33 ref.
Reid A., de Klerk N.H., Ambrosini G.L., Berry G., Musk A.W.
The risk of lung cancer with increasing time since ceasing exposure to asbestos and quitting smoking
The objective of this study was to examine whether the risk of lung cancer declines with increasing time since ceasing exposure to asbestos and quitting smoking, and to determine the relative asbestos effect between non-smokers and current smokers. It was conducted in the form of a cohort study of 2935 former workers of an Australian asbestos mine and mill who responded to a questionnaire on smoking first issued in 1979 and for whom quantitative estimates of asbestos exposure were known. Conditional logistic regression was used to relate asbestos exposure, smoking category and risk of lung cancer. Findings are discussed. Persons exposed to asbestos and tobacco but who subsequently quit remain at an increased risk for lung cancer up to 20 years later. This study emphasizes the importance of smoking prevention programmes among these workers at high risk of lung cancer.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2006, Vol.63, No.8, p.509-512. 23 ref.
Preventing asthma and death from MDI exposure during spray-on truck bed liner and related applications
Contents of these recommendations for preventing asthma and other respiratory diseases during polyurethane spray-on applications: description of the polyurethane spray-on truck bed lining process; spray applications other than truck bed lining; health effects of isocyanates (lung injury, respiratory sensitization, cancer); current exposure limits; workplace exposure assessments; case reports of isocyanate-induced asthma and other respiratory diseases investigated by NIOSH; recommendations aimed at shop owners and suppliers of chemicals; future research. These recommendations are also summarized on a detachable sheet for display on a notice board. Appendices include: properties and chemical structure of isocyanates; spray enclosure and ventilation design considerations; supplied-air respirators and elements of a respiratory protection programme; surveillance guidelines for work-related asthma.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2001, USA, Sep. 2006. 35p. Illus. 57 ref.
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2006-149/pdfs/2006-149.pdf [in English]
Orriols R., Costa R., Albanell M., Alberti C., Castejon J., Monso E., Panades R., Rubira N., Zock J.P.
Reported occupational respiratory diseases in Catalonia
Occupational physicians, chest physicians and other specialists in the Spanish Province of Catalonia were invited to report newly-diagnosed cases of occupational respiratory diseases during the year 2002. These data were then compared with official statistics supplied by occupational accident and disease insurance funds. It was found that the official scheme for reporting occupational lung diseases is seriously underreporting in Catalonia. A surveillance programme based on voluntary reporting by physicians may provide better understanding of the incidence and characteristics of these diseases. Persulfates, cleaning products and isocyanates were the most reported causes of occupational asthma, with metal industries and cleaning services being the most frequently involved sectors.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2006, Vol.63, No.4, p.255-260. 26 ref.
http://oem.bmj.com/cgi/reprint/63/4/255.pdf [in English]
Nakadate T., Yamano Y., Adachi C., Kikuchi Y., Nishiwaki Y., Nohara M., Satoh T., Omae K.
A cross sectional study of the respiratory health of workers handling printing toner dust
The objective of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the association between the biological indices of lung fibrosis and toner dust exposure in an occupational cohort handling printing toner dust. A total of 600 male toner workers and 212 male control subjects were surveyed in terms of their subjective respiratory symptoms, pulmonary functions, chest radiography findings, occupational exposure history to toner dust and working conditions. Although subjects handling toner for more than 20 years tended to show a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms and chest X-ray abnormalities, there was no consistent relation between the exposure to toner dust and the biological responses of the respiratory system. Nonetheless, it is important to collect further epidemiological evidence on the biological effects of toner dust inhalation, preferably using a longitudinal study design.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2006, Vol.63, No.4, p.244-249. Illus. 12 ref.
Vernez D., Bruzzi R., Kupferschmidt H., De-Batz A., Droz P., Lazor R.
Acute respiratory syndrome after inhalation of waterproofing sprays: A posteriori exposure-response assessment in 102 cases
Waterproofing agents are widely used to protect leather and textiles in both domestic and occupational activities. An outbreak of acute respiratory syndrome following exposure to waterproofing sprays occurred during the winter 2002-2003 in Switzerland. Results of a retrospective analysis found no dose-response relationship between exposure indicators and health effects indicators. There was also a large variation in individual response. It is suggested that improvements in exposure conditions may not be sufficient to prevent adverse health effects and that more efficient prevention measures are required before product marketing and distribution, taking into account the range of particle sizes that could be generated during spraying.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, May 2006, Vol.3, No.5, p.250-261. Illus. 26 ref.
McDuffie H.H., et al.
Tumor necrosis factor alpha and pulmonary function in Saskatchewan grain handlers
This study investigated the potential relationship to pulmonary function of factors related to lifestyle (smoking) and inherited susceptibility/resistance (TNF-308 alpha genotype) among grain handlers in the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada. 157 male grain handlers provided occupational and respiratory symptom information, pulmonary function measurements and DNA for genotyping. Findings highlight the complexity of determining which workers will develop acute and chronic adverse pulmonary conditions in response to exposure to grain dust and toxins in cigarette smoke.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, May 2006, Vol.48, No.5, p.505-511. 50 ref.
Mortality of workers employed in shoe manufacturing: An update
This study investigated the mortality of a cohort 7828 workers employed one month or more between 1940 and 1979 at one of two shoe manufacturing plants where a 1982 study revealed increased lung cancer mortality. Vital status was ascertained through December 31, 1999. An excess of lung cancer deaths persisted with additional years of follow-up (standardized mortality ratio SMR=1.36). There was no indication of a positive trend between lung cancer risk and duration of employment. Mortality from leukaemia was not significantly elevated in the updated analysis. It is concluded that there is a possible association between lung cancer mortality and exposure to chronic, low-levels of toluene.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2006, Vol.49, p.535-546. 60 ref.
Baccarelli A., et al.
Risk of lung cancer from exposure to dusts and fibers in Leningrad Province, Russia
Exposures to several dusts and fibres (DFs) have been established or suggested as aetiologic factors for lung cancer. This study was undertaken to investigate lung cancer risk in relation to exposure to DFs. 540 lung cancer cases and 582 controls were identified from the 1993-1998 autopsy records of the 88 hospitals of Leningrad Province, Russia. Lifetime job-specific exposure measurements were available for 15 organic, 15 man-made and 28 natural-inorganic agents. In male workers, increased risks were found for linen dust (odds ratio OR=3.68) and unspecified DFs (OR=1.44), after adjustment for age, smoking and place of residence. Small non-significant excess risks were observed for quartz dust (OR=1.27) and man-made vitreous fibres (OR=1.82). In female subjects, risks were non-significantly associated with paper dust (OR=1.77), and unspecified DFs (OR=1.52).
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2006, Vol.49, p.460-467. 22 ref.
Luo J.C.J., Hsu K.H., Shen W.S.
Pulmonary function abnormalities and airway irritation symptoms of metal fumes exposure on automobile spot welders
This study investigated the pulmonary function of automobile welders exposed to metal fumes in Taiwan. The all-male cohort consisted of 41 spot welders, 76 arc welders, 71 office workers and 59 assemblers without welding exposure. Inductivity-coupled plasma mass spectrophotometry (ICP-MS) was used to detect zinc, copper and nickel levels in the post-shift urine samples. Demographic data, work history, smoking status and respiratory tract irritation symptoms were gathered by a standard self-administered questionnaire. Pulmonary function tests were also performed. Compared to non-exposed workers, there were significantly higher instances of abnormal forced vital capacity, abnormal peak expiratory flow and restrictive airway abnormalities among spot welders. There was also a significant dose-response relationship of airway irritation symptoms (cough, phlegm, chronic bronchitis) among the spot welders.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2006, Vol.49, p.407-416. 38 ref.
Checkoway H., et al.
Occupational risk factors for nasopharyngeal cancer among female textile workers in Shanghai, China
This study investigated whether occupational exposure to dusts and chemicals in the Chinese textile industry was associated with risk of nasopharyngeal cancer. 67 nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cases identified during 1989-98 and a random sample of 3188 women were included in a case cohort study nested in a cohort of 267,400 women textile workers in Shanghai, China. A job exposure matrix developed by experienced industrial hygienists was used to assess exposures to specific dusts and chemicals. It was found that the risk of NPC was associated with cumulative exposure to cotton dust, with a hazard ratio of 3.6 compared with unexposed women. Trends of increasing risk were also found with increasing duration of exposure to acids and caustics, and with years worked in the dyehouse. Women who worked at least ten years in the dyehouse had a 3.6-fold excess risk of NPC.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2006, Vol.63, No.1, p.39-44. 37 ref.
Lung cancer risk and talc not containing asbestiform fibres: A review of epidemiological evidence
This literature survey involved all epidemiological cancer studies mentioning talc as a risk factor. No excess lung cancer mortality was found for talc millers exposed to high levels of talc but without any other potential carcinogen (standardized mortality ratio SMR=0.92, 42 cases) while the mortality of talc miners exposed to quartz and/or radon was in excess (fixed effect, SMR=1.20; random effect, relative risk RR=1.85, 40 cases). Six studies in other industrial settings were identified. All reported increased lung cancer mortality among talc exposed workers but the talc exposure was confounded with other carcinogens and only one study was able to adjust for them. In conclusion, no increased lung cancer mortality was observed among talc millers despite their high exposure experience. In populations in which talc was associated with other potential carcinogens, some lung cancer excesses were observed.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2006, Vol.63, No.1, p.4-9. 36 ref.
Occupational non-infectious respiratory diseases due to biological agents - Farming sector and the food industry
Affections respiratoires professionnelles non infectieuses dues aux agents biologiques - Secteurs agricole et agroalimentaire [in French]
The farming sector and the food industry are the main sectors affected by respiratory diseases caused by biological agents. Since the work requires contact with soil, plants, animal-based products, food or organic dust, many tasks involve exposure to moulds, yeasts and bacteria. Diseases encountered include extrinsic allergic alveolitis, organic dust toxic syndrome, asthma and asthma-like syndromes, chronic bronchitis symptoms and obstructive chronic bronchitis. This review article discusses current understanding with respect to medical prevention, technical prevention and compensation.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 2nd Quarter 2006, No.106, p.225-238. Illus. 77 ref.
http://www.dmt-prevention.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/TR%2037/$File/TR37.pdf [in French]
Taiwo O.A., Sircar K.D., Slade M.D., Cantley L.F., Vegso S.J., Rabinowitz P.M., Fiellin M.G., Cullen M.R.
Incidence of asthma among aluminum workers
Exposures to respiratory irritants encountered in the aluminium industry in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand have been suggested as the cause of "potroom asthma". This study was designed to assess whether asthma occurs excessively among potroom workers in the USA and if so, to identify possible risk factors. It was based on data for the years 1996 to 2002 from a large aluminium producer with multiple production sites. The asthma incidence ratio between potroom and non-potroom workers after adjusting for smoking was 1.40. Although bivariate analyses showed a relationship between asthma incidence and exposure to total fluoride, gaseous fluoride, particulate fluoride, sulfur dioxide and smoking, only the effects of gaseous fluoride (relative risk, RR=5.1) and smoking (RR=7.7) remained significant in the multivariate model. Potroom asthma appears to occur at the studied U.S. aluminium smelters at doses within regulatory guidelines.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2006, Vol.48, No.3, p.275-282. Illus. 34 ref.
Hayati F., Maghsoodloo S., DeVivo M.J., Carnahan B.J.
Control chart for monitoring occupational asthma
The purpose of this research was to investigate whether the Shewhart control chart method is effective in the detection of occupational asthma. It involved 45 workers who were subjected to lung function testing while at work and away from work. Control charts were developed using Shewhart's method. Findings are discussed. The control chart method was found to be effective, simple and inexpensive for early intervention in workers suspected of occupational asthma.
Journal of Safety Research, 2006, Vol.37, No.1, p.17-26. Illus. 31 ref.
Chen P.C., Doyle P.E., Wang J.D.
Respirable dust exposure and respiratory health in male Taiwanese steelworkers
This cross-sectional study investigated the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and the determinants of lung function and examined their association with occupational dust exposure in Taiwanese steelworkers. Participants included 1,339 male workers. Data on respiratory symptoms were collected by means of questionnaires, and their lung function was assessed using spirometry. Dust exposure was measured using personal air sampling. Prevalences of frequent cough, chronic cough, frequent phlegm, chronic phlegm, wheezing and breathlessness were 11.4%, 9.3%, 14.6%, 11.9%, 2.6%, and 6.5%, respectively. Duration of employment, smoking, dustiness and past respiratory illnesses could predict these respiratory symptoms. Average respirable dust exposure significantly decreased the forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second among smokers, while a lesser effect was also observed for non-smokers.
Industrial Health, Jan. 2006, Vol.44, No.1, p.190-199.32 ref.
http://www.h.jniosh.go.jp/en/indu_hel/2006/pdf/indhealth_44_1_190.pdf [in English]
Kanwal R., Kullman G., Piacitelli C., Boylstein R., Sahakian N., Martin S., Fedan K., Kreiss K.
Evaluation of flavorings-related lung disease risk at six microwave popcorn plants
After investigating airway obstruction in workers exposed to butter flavouring at a popcorn plant, this study sought to further characterize lung disease risk from airborne butter flavouring chemicals. Data from medical and environmental surveys were analysed at six microwave popcorn plants. Respiratory symptom and airway obstruction prevalences were higher among oil and flavourings mixers with longer work histories and in packaging-area workers near non-isolated tanks of oil and flavourings. Workers were affected at five of the six plants, one with mixing-area exposure to diacetyl (a butter-flavouring chemical with known respiratory toxicity potential) as low as 0.02ppm. It is concluded that microwave popcorn workers at many plants are at risk of flavouring-related lung disease. Peak exposures may be hazardous even when ventilation maintains low average exposures. Respiratory protection and engineering controls are therefore necessary.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2006, Vol.48, No.2, p.149-157. Illus. 14 ref.
Talini D., Monteverdi A., Lastrucci L., Buonocore C., Carrara M., Di Pede F., Paggiaro P.
One-year longitudinal study of young apprentices exposed to airway occupational sensitizers
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of occupational exposure to irritants and sensitizers on the incidence of respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function impairment in a group of young apprentices. It involved 448 apprentices in various jobs with exposure to irritants and sensitizers, who were evaluated at pre-employment with a standardized questionnaire, spirometry and prick tests. The tests were repeated after one year of exposure to respiratory irritants or sensitizers among 244 subjects of the baseline group. At the first examination, males had a higher prevalence of shortness of breath with wheeze, asthma, smoking habit and atopy than females. At the second examination there was no significant increase in the prevalence of respiratory symptoms. However, incident cases for cough, phlegm, wheezing, shortness of breath with wheeze and asthma were all higher than remittent cases. Incidence of respiratory symptoms was associated with atopy and smoking. A possible healthy worker effect could underestimate the effect of occupational exposure in apprentices.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Mar. 2006, Vol.79, No.3, p.237-243. 29 ref.
Birk T., Mundt K.A., Dell L.D., Luippold R.S., Miksche L., Steinmann-Steiner-Haldenstaett W., Mundt D.J.
Lung cancer mortality in the German chromate industry, 1958 to 1998
This mortality study of workers at two German chromate production facilities evaluated possible dose-response relationships between hexavalent chromium exposure and lung cancer. Mortality was followed-up through 1998 and limited to those employed since each plant converted to a production process involving less chromate dust production. More than 12,000 results of urinary chromium analyses were available, as was smoking information. All-cause mortality indicated a healthy worker effect (standardized mortality ratio (SMR)=0.80); however, lung cancers appeared to be increased (SMR=1.48). No clear dose-response was found in stratified analyses by duration of employment and time since hire. On the basis of urinary chromium data, lung cancer risk was elevated only in the highest exposure group (SMR=2.09). These data suggest a possible threshold effect of occupational hexavalent chromium exposure on lung cancer.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2006, Vol.48, No.4, p.426-433. Illus. 35 ref.
Sama S.R., Milton D.K., Hunt P.R., Houseman E.A., Henneberger P.K., Rosiello R.A.
Case-by-case assessment of adult-onset asthma attributable to occupational exposures among members of a health maintenance organization
A two-year prospective study was conducted to identify adult-onset asthma among health maintenance organization (HMO) members. Telephone interviews regarding occupational exposures, symptoms, medication use and triggers were used to assess the likelihood of work-related asthma for each case. Weighted estimating equations were used to adjust the proportion of asthma attributable to workplace exposures. Overall, 29% of adult onset asthma was found to be attributable to workplace exposures, with 26% and 22% of cases attributable to irritants and sensitizers, respectively.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2006, Vol.48, No.4, p.400-407. 30 ref.
Lundström N.G., Englyst V., Gerhardsson L., Jin T., Nordberg G.
Lung cancer development in primary smelter workers: A nested case-referent study
The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of work-related exposure to arsenic and lead versus smoking among lead smelter workers who had developed lung cancer. In a cohort of 3979 lead smelter workers, 46 male subjects had contracted respiratory malignancies. They were compared with 141 age-matched male referents by conditional logistic regression analysis. Cases showed a fourfold higher smoking rate compared with referents. When restricted to smokers, the cumulative air arsenic exposure index, but not the lead exposure indices, was also significantly higher among the cases. It is concluded that cumulative arsenic exposure and smoking were the main risk factors for the development of lung cancer, but not lead exposure.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2006, Vol.48, No.4, p.376-380. 30 ref.
Mwaiselage J., Moen B., Brĺtveit M.
Acute respiratory health effects among cement factory workers in Tanzania: An evaluation of a simple health surveillance tool
The effects of cement dust exposure on acute respiratory health were assessed among 51 male workers of a cement plant in Tanzania with high exposure and 33 with low exposure. Data on respiratory symptoms were collected during interviews using a structured questionnaire. Peak expiratory flow (PEF) was measured pre-shift and post-shift for each worker. Exposures to respirable and total dust levels were determined from personal sampling. Compared to low exposed workers, high exposed workers had more acute cough, shortness of breath and stuffy nose, and their mean percentage cross-shift decrease in PEF was significantly more pronounced. An exposure-response relationship was found between respirable dust and percentage cross-shift decrease in PEF. Respirable dust exposure ≥2.0mg/m3 versus <2.0mg/m3 was associated with increased prevalence ratio for cough (7.9) and shortness of breath (4.2).
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Jan. 2006, Vol.79, No.1, p.49-56. 31 ref.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/ur01w15333667n83/fulltext.pdf [in English]
Boulet L.P., Prince P., Desmeules M.
Analysis of induced expectoration in silicosis and asbestosis: Correlation with pulmonary function
Analyse de l'expectoration induite dans la silicose et l'amiantose: corrélation avec la fonction pulmonaire [in French]
Asbestosis and silicosis are the most common types of pneumoconiosis in Quebec and are often associated with a gradual deterioration in pulmonary function. In this report, the possible role of induced expectoration (IE), a non-invasive technique for analyzing bronchial inflammation, was studied as a means of evaluating the severity of pneumoconiosis and the decline in pulmonary function. The study involved 15 patients diagnosed with asbestosis, 17 with silicosis and 15 controls. Their lung function test data for the previous ten years were analysed, and they were subjected to an additional lung function test and an IE analysis. Findings are discussed. It is concluded that IE could be a useful method to evaluate workers and to follow subjects at risk.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2006. iii, 31p. Illus. 50 ref. Price: CAD 5.35. Downloadable version (pdf format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-450.pdf [in French]
Banning asbestos in Asia: Campaigns and strategies by the Asian network for the rights of occupational accident victims (ANROAV)
China, India, Indonesia and Thailand are among the largest consumers of asbestos. Because markets in the West are dwindling, asbestos is heavily promoted in Asia. In spite of widespread usage, asbestos-related diseases are surprisingly few and reported cases of mesothelioma are rare in Asia except in Japan, Korea, and Singapore. The problem lies in diagnosis. Most of the asbestos-related diseases are not diagnosed in Asia and thus do not appear in government statistics. This deadly substance is killing workers. Unless drastic action is taken to stop its use, Asian workers as well as the general population will pay a heavy price. The activities of ANROAV (the Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational Accident Victims) are described. [Abstract supplied by the journal]
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, July-Sep. 2006, Vol.12, No.3, p.248-253. 14 ref.
http://www.ijoeh.com/pfds/IJOEH_1203_Pandita.pdf [in English]
Zhao T., Li D., Zou C.
National Organizing Committee for 10th ICORD (NOC), Ministry of Health of China
Occupational respiratory hazards in the 21st century: Best practices for prevention and control
Proceedings (in print and on CD-ROM) of the 10th International Conference on Occupational Respiratory Diseases (10th ICORD) held in Beijing, China, from 19 to 22 April 2005. Papers are grouped under the following headings: epidemiology; pathogenesis and experimental studies; diagnosis and treatment; imaging diagnosis of pneumoconiosis; asbestos-related diseases and man-made fibres; occupational asthma and allergy; occupational health surveillance; prevention and control of pneumoconiosis; intervention effectiveness of occupational hazards; studies on pneumoconiosis.
ILO Publications, International Labour Office, 1211 Genčve 22, Switzerland, 2005. 793p. Illus. Bibl.ref. + CD-ROM.
Occupational contribution to the burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
This literature review on the occupational causes of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) finds evidence that the relationship between occupational exposures to irritating dusts, gases and fumes and the occurrence of COPD is significant. Epidemiological evidence from both worker cohort and community studies supports an increased risk of COPD associated with such exposures. The occupational contribution to the burden of COPD is sufficiently important to warrant preventive interventions.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2005, Vol.47, No.2, p.154-160. 66 ref.
Yassi A., Moore D., FitzGerald J.M., Bigelow P., Hon C.Y., Bryce E.
Research gaps in protecting healthcare workers from SARS and other respiratory pathogens: An interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder, evidence-based approach
The objective of this literature survey was to identify priorities for further research in protecting healthcare workers from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and other respiratory pathogens. Factors examined included the basic science of infectious bioaerosols and the efficacy of facial protective equipment, as well as the organizational, environmental and individual factors that influence the success of infection control and occupational health programmes. Focus groups were also held with health care workers in Toronto, Canada. Critical gaps in knowledge were identified and prioritized. Highest priority was given to organizational factors that create a climate of safety. Other priority areas included practical measures to control bioaerosols at the source.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2005, Vol.47, No.1, p.41-50. Illus. 57 ref.
Chia S.E., et al.
Appropriate use of personal protective equipment among healthcare workers in public sector hospitals and primary healthcare clinics during the SARS outbreak in Singapore
Singapore was affected by an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003, with 238 probable cases and 33 deaths. The objective of this study was to survey health care workers (HCWs) on the use of personal protective equipment in relation to the risk of SARS. A self-administered questionnaire survey of 14,554 HCWs in nine healthcare settings was carried out in May-July 2003. A total of 10,236 valid questionnaires were returned (70.3% response); of these, 73 doctors, 4404 nurses, and 921 clerical staff were studied. Factors that determine appropriate use of personal protective equipment by HCWs in the face of a major SARS outbreak are discussed.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2005, Vol.62, p.473-477. 16 ref.
Lenz M., Groneberg D.A., Schäcke G.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome - SARS - in occupational and environmental medicine
Schweres akutes respiratorisches Syndrom - SARS - in der Arbeits- und Umweltmedizin [in German]
This article presents the chronology of the SARS epidemic and sums up current understanding concerning this disease (diagnosis, treatment and prevention). It covers more specifically the aspects related to occupational medicine. Results of studies on the rate of infection among health care personnel who cared for SARS patients are presented. Persons working in research laboratories handling the SARS coronavirus are also at an increased risk, together with airline crews (contamination by passengers) and persons handling livestock (contamination by infected animals).
Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie, Aug. 2005, Vol.55, No.8, p.254-262. 61 ref.
Koh D., et al.
Risk perception and impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) on work and personal lives of healthcare workers in Singapore - What can we learn?
This study measured risk perception and impact on personal and work life of health care workers (HCWs) from nine major healthcare institutions during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in Singapore using a self-administered questionnaire. Based on 10,511 valid questionnaires (response rate 70%), it was found that although the majority (76%) perceived a great personal risk of falling ill with SARS, most (69.5%) also accepted the risk as part of their job. Clinical staff (doctors and nurses), staff in daily contact with SARS patients and staff from SARS-affected institutions expressed significantly higher levels of anxiety. More than half reported increased work stress (56%) and work load (53%). Many experienced social stigmatization (49%) and ostracism by family members (31%). Most felt that the personal protective measures implemented were effective (96%) and that the policies and protocols were clear (93%) and timely (90%).
Medical Care, July 2005, Vol.43, No.7, p.1-7. 24 ref.
Bianchi C., Bianchi T., Nicotra M., Grandi G.
Asbestos-related pleural mesothelioma among workers of the port of Trieste, Italy
Mesotelioma pleurico da asbesto in lavoratori del porto di Trieste [in Italian]
Twenty-three cases of pleural mesothelioma observed among dockworkers in Trieste between 1968 and 2004 were reviewed. Necropsy findings were available in 18 cases. The patients, all males, aged between 39 and 80 years (mean 61 years), had been generally employed in loading and unloading of a variety of goods, including asbestos. Of the 18 cases, 12 had begun their activity after 1950. Most had worked for more than 20 years. Latency periods between the start of exposure and tumour diagnosis ranged between 25 and 60 years (mean 38 years). Asbestos bodies were found in histological sections of lung tissue of 15 of the 17 cases examined. When compared with other occupational groups investigated in the Trieste area, port workers showed shorter latency periods and higher prevalence of asbestos bodies in routine lung sections. Findings indicate heavy exposure to asbestos.
European Journal of Oncology, Dec. 2005, Vol.10, No.4, p.287-290. Illus. 13 ref.
Future advances in work-related asthma and the impact on occupational health
This review article discusses work related asthma (WRA) and occupational asthma (OA). WRA refers to situations in which asthma symptoms occur or worsen in the workplace. This occurs in approximately 10% of all adult onset asthma subjects. OA is a specific type of WRA that is caused by the workplace, being mediated either by an allergic process with a latency period or by a non allergic irritant-induced mechanism. Various aspects of WRA are reviewed, with an emphasis on OA and on key issues that need to be further studied and applied at workplaces that present risks.
Occupational Medicine, Dec. 2005, Vol.55, No.8, p.606-611. Illus. 55 ref.
Gannon P.F.G., Berg A.S., Gayosso R., Henderson B., Sax S.E., Willems H.M.J.
Occupational asthma prevention and management in industry - An example of a global programme
A global supplier of isocyanate-based automotive coatings developed a programme to address the known potential effects of isocyanates on its workers. The goals of the programme are the prevention, early detection and mitigation of asthma and dermatitis among workers exposed or potentially exposed to isocyanates and products containing isocyanates. The programme includes assessment of exposure, pre-placement questionnaires, spirometry, training of employees, regularly administered questionnaires, medical assessment for abnormal questionnaire responses, process for early reporting and investigation of symptomatic employees and incidents, data review and management reporting. These control measures are relatively inexpensive and can be applied even in small businesses. It is recommended that all employers who manufacture, handle or use isocyanate-containing products consider such a strategy.
Occupational Medicine, Dec. 2005, Vol.55, No.8, p.600-605. Illus. 11 ref.
Concerns for asthma at pre-placement assessment and health surveillance in platinum refining - A personal approach
The platinum refining process involves exposure to various irritants and allergens, which can induce asthma or aggravate pre-existing asthma. Prospective employees for platinum refining need to be assessed carefully to establish their respiratory health status. Routine medical surveillance has shown a reduction in the persistence of asthma among sensitized workers who cease exposure to platinum salts upon diagnosis. Skin prick tests using dilute platinum salt solutions can detect sensitization at an early stage and this has become the mainstay of all surveillance programmes, as it is objective, reproducible and predictive for the development of symptoms when exposure is allowed to continue. Smoking also constitutes a significant risk factor.
Occupational Medicine, Dec. 2005, Vol.55, No.8, p.595-599. 16 ref.
Tarlo S.M., Liss G.M.
Prevention of occupational asthma - Practical implications for occupational physicians
This literature survey was carried out to identify measures that are effective in the prevention of occupational asthma (OA). It was found that primary prevention was effective for OA related to natural rubber latex, and may have reduced the incidence of diisocyanate-induced asthma. Medical health surveillance has been effective in the detergent enzyme industry and among workers exposed to platinum salts and likely for diisocyanate workers. However until primary and secondary prevention is better understood and implemented, there will also remain a need for tertiary preventive measures.
Occupational Medicine, Dec. 2005, Vol.55, No.8, p.588-594. 65 ref.
Myers J.R., Hendricks K.J., Goldcamp E.M., Layne L.A.
Injury and asthma among youth less than 20 years of age on minority farm operations in the United States, 2000 - Volume I: Racial minority national data
This document presents national US data on non-fatal injuries and asthma among youth on farms operated by Hispanic minorities for the year 2000. These data, drawn from a special survey of minority farm operators across the country, indicate that 366 youth were injured during 2000. The causes of these injuries included falls, animals and vehicles such as ATVs. The overall prevalence of asthma was of 87.7 asthmatics per 1000 household youth. This information will serve as a resource to federal, state and local agencies, health and safety professionals and farm safety advocates in their efforts to develop focused and coordinated strategies to prevent youth injuries and asthma on farms.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2002, USA, July 2005. xv, 273p. 66 ref.
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2006-109/pdfs/2006-109.pdf [in English]
Leira H.L., Bratt U., Slĺstad S.
Notified cases of occupational asthma in Norway: Exposure and consequences for health and income
Norwegian physicians are required to report cases of occupational diseases among their patients to the Labor Inspection Authority. The registry of these notifications was used to study the incidence of occupational asthma (OA) for the period 1995-1999. A postal questionnaire inquiring into the nature of their work, respiratory symptoms, smoking and socio-economic consequences of the disease was addressed to 1,239 workers with a physician's diagnosis of obstructive respiratory disease. The response rate was 81% (1,000 workers of whom 723 had occupational asthma). The highest incidence of notifications was found in the primary aluminium industry and in bakers, car painters, and welders. At the time of notification, more than half of the workers had left their original jobs. At the time of the study in 2001, approximately the same proportion of workers had experienced a reduction in income and had received financial compensation. A majority were still on anti-asthmatic medication. Most of the notified cases seemed to become chronic despite medical treatment.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Nov. 2005, Vol.48, No.5, p.359-364. 25 ref.
McDonald J.C., Chen Y., Zekveld C., Cherry N.M.
Incidence by occupation and industry of acute work related respiratory diseases in the UK, 1992-2001
Cases of work related respiratory disease reported 1992-2001 to national surveillance schemes in the United Kingdom were analysed by age, sex, cause, occupation and industry, with incidence rates calculated against appropriate denominators. Occupational asthma was responsible for about 25% of cases overall, affecting mainly craft related occupations and machinists, and most often attributed to isocyanates, metals, grains, wood dusts, solders and welding fume. These same occupations were those at highest risk from inhalation injuries, most frequently caused by irritant gases, vapours and fumes. Among medical technicians and nurses, however, glutaraldehyde and latex were the main causes of occupational asthma. Allergic alveolitis was seldom reported, with almost all cases in agriculture, forestry, and fishing.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 2005, Vol.62, No.12, p.836-842. 13 ref.
Sułkowski W., Kowalska S.
Occupational voice disorders: An analysis of diagnoses made and certificates issued in 1999-2004
This study involved an analysis of 1261 cases (1042 women and 219 men) of vocal organ disorders referred to the ENT Unit of a Polish institute of occupational medicine during 1999-2004. The majority of the patients (65.7%) were primary school teachers, 54.8% were aged 51-60 years. Laryngological, phoniatric and videostroboscopic examinations and other testing procedures (paranasal sinus imaging, allergenic tests) were used to assess the clinical state of the patients. Videostroboscopic tests proved to be a very helpful tool for discriminating between the functional and organic disorders of the vocal organ.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 2005, Vol.18, No.4, p.341-349. Illus. 12 ref.
Zhang Y., Chen J., Chen Y., Dong J., Wei Q.
Environmental mycological study and allergic respiratory disease among tobacco processing workers
This study presents the results of an investigation of respiratory symptoms, lung function, chest x-ray examinations, analysis of specific IgE antibodies and skin prick tests to fungi on 130 tobacco-processing workers and 112 controls. Industrial hygiene and environmental mycological studies were also performed. The average dust concentrations ranged from 13.76 to 29.55 mg/m3 in the tobacco processing workshops; the numbers of fungi colonies in the processing environments were much higher than those in the control environments. The prevalence of chronic respiratory or nasal symptoms and lung function abnormalities was significantly higher in the exposed workers than in the controls. The positive prevalence of specific IgE reactions to fungi was also higher in exposed workers. Results suggest that tobacco processing workers may develop respiratory diseases related to tobacco dust and that fungi might be one of the allergens causing allergic respiratory or nasal diseases.
Journal of Occupational Health, 2005, Vol.47, p.181-187. 9 ref.
http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/joh/47/2/181/_pdf [in English]
Vollmer W.M., Heumann M.A., Breen V.R., Henneberger P.K., O'Connor E.A., Villnave J.M., Frazier E.A., Buist A.S.
Incidence of work-related asthma in members of a health maintenance organization
The objective of this study was to evaluate the incidence of work-related asthma among health maintenance organization (HMO) members. Using the HMO's electronic medical records, 1747 persons with evidence of new or recurrent asthma were identified. Interviews elicited information about workplace exposures, symptoms and home environment. Industrial hygienists rated the respondents' work environments according to their potential to cause asthma. Based on the industrial hygienist ratings and on self-reported work-relatedness of asthma symptoms, 33% of those interviewed were classified as having potentially work-related asthma, yielding an overall work-related asthma incidence/recurrence rate of 28 cases per 10,000. The contribution of occupation to the occurrence of adult onset asthma may be much higher than is typically suggested in the literature.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 2005, Vol.47, No.12, p.1292-1297. 26 ref.
Driscoll T., Nelson D.I., Steenland K., Leigh J., Concha-Barrientos M., Fingerhut M., Prüss-Ustün A.
The global burden of non-malignant respiratory disease due to occupational airborne exposures
This paper assesses worldwide mortality and morbidity from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pneumoconioses arising from occupational exposure to airborne particulates and dusts, focusing on cases reported in the year 2000. The proportions of workers exposed and their levels of exposure were estimated using workforce data and the CAREX (CARcinogen EXposure) database. These were combined with relative or absolute risk measures to develop estimates of deaths, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and attributable fraction (for asthma and COPD). There were an estimated 386,000 deaths (asthma 38,000, COPD 318,000, pneumoconioses 30,000) and nearly 6.6 million DALYs (asthma 1,621,000, COPD 3,733,000, pneumoconioses 1,288,000) due to exposure to occupational airborne particulates. It is concluded that occupational airborne particulates are an important cause of death and disability worldwide.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Dec. 2005, Vol.48, No.6, p.432-445. 38 ref.
Lacasse Y., Martin S., Simard S., Desmeules M.
Meta-analysis of silicosis and lung cancer
This study examined the association between silicosis and lung cancer in 31 studies (27 cohort studies and four case-control studies) that reported a measure of association (standardized mortality ratio, relative risk or odds ratio) relating lung cancer to silicosis. Without adjustment for smoking, the analysis indicated that the common standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was 2.45. When the results of the cohorts for which mortality data were adjusted for smoking were pooled, the common SMR was 1.60. In a dose-response analysis, the profusion of small and large opacities found in chest X-rays correlated with the risk of death from lung cancer. Because of biases inherent to observational studies, it is likely that the risk of lung cancer among silicosis patients is overestimated in current literature. There is nevertheless evidence that silicosis and lung cancer are associated.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Dec. 2005, Vol.31, No.6, p.450-458. Illus. 66 ref.
Barcenas C.H., Delclos G.L., El-Zein R., Tortolero-Luna G., Whitehead L.W., Spitz M.R.
Wood dust exposure and the association with lung cancer risk
Wood dust was designated as a human carcinogen based on increased sinus and nasal cancer rates among exposed workers. However, data on an association with lung cancer have so far been inconclusive. In this study, self-reported wood dust exposure was compared among 1,368 lung cancer patients and 1,192 cancer free adults. Epidemiological information was collected through a detailed personal interview. Significantly elevated adjusted risk estimates were consistently observed. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for combined wood dust related occupations and industries was 3.15 and for an overall summary exposure measure it was 1.60. The association was maintained when stratified by histopathological type. It is concluded that wood dust exposure is a potential risk factor for lung cancer.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Apr. 2005, Vol.47, No.4, p.349-357. 31 ref.
Campbell M., Thomas H., Hodges N., Paul A., Williams J.
A 24 year cohort study of mortality in slate workers in North Wales
The mortality of a cohort of slate mining and quarrying workers in North Wales was studied, together with that of a contemporaneous control group, with follow-up from 1975 to 1998. The survey involved 726 slate workers and 529 age matched controls. A clear excess of death rate was found among slate workers compared with controls, after adjusting for age and smoking habits. Hazard ratio for all deaths was 1.24. The excess was mainly due to respiratory disease and pneumoconiosis. The hazard ratio for respiratory deaths was 1.85. It is likely that the excess of deaths in the exposed group was due to exposure to slate dust. The accuracy of pneumoconiosis as a cause of death is questionable due to the lack of confirmation from radiographic data.
Occupational Medicine, Sep. 2005, Vol.55, No.6, p.448-453. 10 ref.
Mwaiselage J., Brĺveit M., Moen B.E., Mashalla Y.
Respiratory symptoms and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among cement factory workers
This case-control study assessed chronic respiratory symptoms and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among workers exposed to cement dust at a Tanzanian cement factory. Subjects included 120 exposed workers and 107 controls. Information on demographics, occupational history, chronic respiratory symptoms, smoking habits and use of respiratory protection equipment was collected by questionnaire. Ventilatory function testing and measurement of personal total dust exposure were also carried out. Exposed workers had more chronic cough, chronic sputum production, dyspnoea, shortness of breath and chronic bronchitis than the controls. These symptoms were significantly related to cumulative dust exposure. The prevalence of COPD was higher for the exposed group (18.8%) than for the controls (4.8%). The odds ratio for COPD was significantly related to cumulative dust exposure.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Aug. 2005, Vol.31, No.4, p.316-323. 37 ref.
Medina-Ramón M., Zock J.P., Kogevinas M., Sunyer J., Torralba Y., Borrell A., Burgos F., Antó J.M.
Asthma, chronic bronchitis, and exposure to irritant agents in occupational domestic cleaning: A nested case-control study
This case-control investigated the relationship between common tasks and products used in domestic cleaning and respiratory morbidity. Subjects included 160 cleaning women with symptoms of asthma and/or chronic bronchitis and 386 without a history of respiratory symptoms. Data on exposures and symptoms were obtained by interview. Lung function, methacholine challenge and serum IgE testing were performed and personal exposure measurements of airborne chlorine and ammonia were performed in a subsample. Results indicated that workers with respiratory symptoms used bleach more frequently than controls. Other independent associations included accidental inhalation of vapours and gases from cleaning agents and washing dishes. It was concluded that asthma symptoms in domestic cleaners are related to the regular use of bleach and possibly other irritant products.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2005, Vol.62, No.9, p.598-606. Illus. 36 ref.
Wallace G.M.F., Brown P.H.
Horse rug lung: Toxic pneumonitis due to fluorocarbon inhalation
Fluorocarbons are widely used in industry, and manifestations of inhalation toxicity include polymer fume fever, reactive airways dysfunction and bronchospasm. Only seven cases of alveolitis occurring acutely after inhalation have been reported. This paper presents four cases of toxic pneumonitis due to direct inhalation of industrial fluorocarbon used as a waterproofing spray for horse rugs. These cases differ from previous reports and show that chronic as well as acute alveolitis can result from fluorocarbon inhalation. Corticosteroid treatment may be beneficial. The need for stricter control in the workplace is emphasized.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2005, Vol.62, No.6, p.414-416. Illus. 10 ref.
Brant A., Nightingale S., Berriman J., Sharp C., Welch J., Newman Taylor A.J., Cullinan P.
Supermarket baker's asthma: How accurate is routine health surveillance?
A supermarket chain with 324 in-store bakeries producing bread from raw ingredients conducted a three-stage health programme involving around 3000 bakery employees. The first stage involved a respiratory symptoms questionnaire. If symptoms were present, a second questionnaire focusing on workplace exposures was administered. If employees were considered exposed, specific IgE to flour and fungal α-amylase were determined in blood. Results were compared to those of an independent cross-sectional survey of employees in 20 of the company's stores. Surveillance estimated that 1% of bakery employees had work-related symptoms with specific IgE. This compared with 4% in the cross-sectional survey, suggesting that that routine surveillance can underestimate the workplace burden of disease. The reasons are unclear and additional research needs to be done into the design and efficacy of surveillance in occupational asthma.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2005, Vol.62, No.6, p.395-399. Illus. 13 ref.
Bagatin E., et al.
Non-malignant consequences of decreasing asbestos exposure in the Brazil chrysotile mines and mills
This study investigated the consequences of improvements in the workplace environment over six decades (1940-1996) among 3634 asbestos miners and millers with at least one year's exposure. Workers completed a respiratory symptoms questionnaire and were subjected to chest radiography and a spirometric evaluation. The study population was separated into three groups according to the period in which they worked between 1940 and 1996, during which time occupational hygiene was progressively improved and exposures controlled. Improvements were generally observed for lung symptoms, pleural anomalies and lung function among the more recently exposed groups, after correcting for smoking and latency.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2005, Vol.62, No.6, p.381-389. Illus. 32 ref.
The toiling breath
This article describes the nature of asthma, focusing on the two main types of occupational asthma, namely allergic asthma and irritant asthma, together with their main causal agents. Preventive measures are proposed, including substitution, engineering controls, personal protective equipment and removal from the source of exposure by change of work. Methods of diagnosing occupational asthma are briefly outlined (anamnesis, respiratory function tests, metacholine challenge tests). Occupations at risk are listed, along with potential asthma triggers, and preventive measures for employers and workers are summarized.
Accident Prevention, Sep. 2005, Vol.52, No.4, p.20-25, 31. Illus. 7 ref.
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