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Biological hazards - 589 entries found

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CIS 06-202 Rusnak J.M., Kortepeter M.G., Hawley R.J., Boudreau E., Aldis J., Pittman P.R.
Management guidelines for laboratory exposures to agents of bioterrorism
This article examines measures for preventing exposure to potential bioterrorism agents in biodefence research laboratories. Guidelines issued by the Special Immunizations Program at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) are described. These include general safety measures and policies for vaccination and exposure evaluation. Results of evaluations of exposure to bacterial agents, viral agents and toxins are also analysed. It is concluded that a multifaceted policy of safety training, laboratory practices and procedures, personal protective measures, vaccination and early assessment of potential exposure with initiation of postexposure prophylaxis has been successful in minimizing the risk of disease in laboratory workers. Algorithms for evaluating and managing potential exposure are presented to provide guidance to other agencies.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2004, Vol.46, No.8, p.791-800. Illus. 42 ref.

CIS 06-90 Goldstein D.A., Shelton P.E., Cullen M.R., Easterday P.A., Eppard P.J., Cabanilla B.R.
Responding to the challenge of novel technology: An industrial hygiene and safety program for antibody production in maize
This article examines the challenges to occupational hygiene and safety posed by biotechnology, in particular the production of pharmaceutical proteins in plants. These challenges include: the widely varying potential for hazard depending on the activity of the protein and the nature and location of the target organ; limited data relating to industrial routes of exposure; and the inability to obtain relevant animal data because of high species-specificity. An approach to industrial hygiene and safety in this area is proposed based on the systematic assessment of employee risk using conservative assumptions and on the management of exposure. The method is described with reference to the production of monoclonal antibodies in maize.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2004, Vol.46, No.8, p.784-790. Illus. 32ref.

CIS 05-465 Heldal K.K., Eduard W.
Associations between acute symptoms and bioaerosol exposure during the collection of household waste
Associations between work-related symptoms and bioaerosol exposure were investigated in 22 household waste workers. Full-shift exposures to bacteria, fungal spores, endotoxins and total dust were measured. Data on symptoms experienced during work were obtained by means of a questionnaire. The median exposure levels of spherical bacteria and fungal spores were 0.4 and 0.1 x 106/m3, respectively, while exposures to rod-shaped bacteria, endotoxins and dust were low. The symptoms most often reported were unusual tiredness (24%), headache (22%), cough (15%), and irritation in eyes and nose (10 and 17%). The results suggest that acute work-related nose irritation is associated with exposure to bacteria. Exposure to rod-shaped bacteria is also associated with nose irritation and unusual tiredness. Finally, it is likely that cough is associated with fungal spores.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Sep. 2004, Vol.46, No.3, p.253-260. Illus. 23 ref.

CIS 05-467 Dement J.M., Epling C., Østbye T., Pompeii L.A., Hunt D.L.
Blood and body fluid exposure risks among health care workers: Results of the Duke health and safety surveillance system
The objective of this research was to better define the blood and body fluids (BBF) exposure risk and risk factors among a cohort of health care workers. 24,425 health care workers were followed for BBF exposure events from 1998 to 2002. 2,730 BBF exposures were reported during the study period, corresponding to a total annual rate of 5.5 events per 100 full-time equivalents and a percutaneous exposure rate of 3.9. Higher rates were observed for males, persons employed less than four years, Hispanic employees, and persons less than 45 years of age. Even higher rates were observed for house staff, nurse anaesthetists, inpatient nurses, phlebotomists and operating room technicians. Rates of percutaneous exposures from hollow needles were found to decrease over the study period; however, exposure rates from suture needles appear to be increasing.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Dec. 2004, Vol.46, No.6, p.637-648. Illus. 38 ref.

CIS 05-166 Auffarth J., Hebisch R., Johnen A., Linsel G.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Occupational exposure to hazardous substances during plastics recycling
Stoffbelastungen bei der werkstofflichen Verwertung von Kunststoffen [in German]
Workers' exposure to hazardous substances and biological agents during the recycling of plastics was evaluated in twelve enterprises. Findings indicate that workers are mainly exposed to inhalable dust, with exposure levels in most cases being within occupational exposure limits for inhalable dust and heavy metals in this dust fraction. Exposure to respirable dust is low. Forklift trucks with diesel engines not equipped with particle filters and used in closed shops yield a significant exposure to diesel particulate matter. The concentration found was up to twice the short term exposure limit for diesel exhaust emissions. During the recycling of biologically-contaminated plastics, the mean exposure to endotoxins was found to be approximately 30 times higher than their normal ambient air concentration levels, with peak values of up to a factor of a thousand.
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 2004. 89p. Illus. 39 ref. Price: EUR 11.50.

CIS 05-231 David C.
Infectious wastes - Disposal of health care sector and similar wastes involving infection hazards
Déchets infectieux - Elimination des DASRI et assimilés [in French]
Many occupational groups are involved with the management of infectious wastes. This guide presents the various regulations concerning the disposal of infectious health care waste and body parts. It describes the sectors of activity that are involved, measures concerning the packing, storage, transport, pre-treatment, incineration or cremation and traceability of the waste, as well as the training and information of persons at risk of exposure.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, June 2004. 50p. Illus. 24 ref. Price: EUR 7.30. Downloadable version free.$FILE/ed918.pdf [in French]

CIS 05-225 Balty L., Bayeux-Dunglas M.C.
Legionella in occupational settings
Légionelles et milieu de travail [in French]
The bacteria responsible for legionellosis, Legionella pneumophila, was identified in 1997. Propagation of the disease in humans occurs through the inhalation of micro-droplets of contaminated water. Despite the lack of data on contamination in occupational settings, it is generally accepted that certain occupational groups are at risk of exposure. The prevention of hazards related to Legionella is based on the sound design of equipment, followed by appropriate management and maintenance. Occupational physicians and persons responsible for occupational hygiene in enterprises where equipment that may present a hazard is present frequently question the INRS on the means of prevention against Legionella and on the surveillance systems to be implemented. The objective of this review article is to present the current state of knowledge in this area and to describe the appropriate prevention measures.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 2nd Quarter 2004, No.98, p.173-199. Illus. 67 ref.$File/TC98.pdf [in French]

CIS 05-228 Salico de Sosa S.H.
Biological safety in blood banks
Bioseguridad en bancos de sangre [in Spanish]
Blood banks are responsible for collecting and preparing blood formulations for transfusion. These operations need to be carried out with care to avoid the exposure of personnel, donors and patients. This article describes the hazards that are inherent in the activities of blood banks (chemical, physical, psychological and social hazards, but primarily biological hazards related to blood exposure), the biological safety measures to be adopted, prophylaxis (vaccination against HBV, possibly with injection of IgG) and the procedure to adopt in the event of an accident, in particular when involving exposure to contaminated blood. Current Argentinean biological safety standards and regulations are also cited.
Salud Ocupacional, Jan.-Mar. 2004, Vol.XXII, No.88, p.7-14. Illus. 13 ref.

CIS 05-22 Parreira Cano M.M.
Potential workplace exposure to microorganisms
Exposição potencial a microorganismos no local de trabalho [in Portuguese]
This information booklet, which is primarily intended for employers and employees of small enterprises, describes the risks of potential workplace exposure to microorganisms. Contents: general aspects of workplace contamination and contagion; classification of microorganisms; evaluation of exposure hazard (hazard identification, epidemiological chain of events); measures aimed at preventing or reducing the risk (hygiene end personal protection measures, medical supervision, safety and health training); potential exposure of workers (contamination of ventilation systems, facade cleaning or building preservation work, work on archive documents, contamination of workplace air); workplace air quality control, occupations at risk of exposure to microorganisms or other biological agents; current legislation.
Instituto de Desenvolvimento e Inspecção das Condições de Trabalho (IDICT), Lisboa, Portugal, March 2004. 56p. Illus.

CIS 04-632 Hartemann P.
Contamination of water in occupational settings
Contamination des eaux en milieu professionnel [in French]
Water has many different uses in the enterprise. Depending on the source of water, its chemical and bacteriological quality can vary. Microbiological hazards may be bacterial, viral or parasitical. They are characterized by their virulence, their toxicogenesis and their possible resistance to antibiotics. Depending on whether the chemical hazards are carcinogenic or non-carcinogenic, different approaches are used for defining the maximum admissible concentrations for exposed persons. Modes of occupational exposure include ingestion, inhalation of airborne humidity and contact, and involve a wide diversity of occupations including office workers (air conditioning systems), waste water treatment workers, miners and swimming lifeguards. Prevention is based on technical and sanitary measures to ensure that the water is of a good quality, the implementation of suitable technical procedures and epidemiological surveillance.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 2nd Quarter 2004, No.143, 10p. 29 ref.

CIS 04-637 Duchaine C., Cormier Y., Mériaux A., Pageau P., Chabot M., Israël-Assayag E., Goyer N., Cloutier Y., Lazure L.
Air quality and respiratory health of workers in Quebec peat processing plants equipped with dust control systems
Santé respiratoire des travailleurs et qualité de l'air des tourbières du Québec possédant des systèmes de dépoussiérage [in French]
Although peat bogs are one of Quebec's important natural resources, few scientific data exist on these workplaces which employ approximately 700 workers. These workers are exposed to high concentrations of microorganisms that could affect their respiratory health. In this study, the biological contaminants contained in the peat moss and their effects on health are identified and the air quality in processing and packaging plants equipped with dust control systems is evaluated, together with the health status of the workers. The results show that the levels of exposure to various contaminants often exceed the permissible limits. For various reasons, the control systems at source do not maintain the dust emissions at acceptable levels. The report concludes with a series of recommendations to improve the working conditions in peat bogs.
Institut de recherche en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2004. v, 132p. Illus. 49 ref. Price: CAD 10.70. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge. [in French]

CIS 04-713 Ravallec C.
Health care wastes that present infectious hazards - Waste disposal system
Déchets d'activités de soins à risque infectieux - La filière d'élimination [in French]
Health care wastes that present infectious hazards are an important public health issue. These potentially contaminated wastes are generated during medical or veterinary activities, and may expose persons handling or otherwise coming into contact with them to biological hazards such as HIV, HBV or HCV. Approximately 155,000 tons of these wastes are generated each year in France. Their disposal requires the involvement of specialized waste disposal enterprises, which apply strict traceability controls at each step. Precautions need to be taken starting from the time the wastes are generated. They need to be placed in suitable packaging according to the type of waste and the hazard it involves. Separation should be carried out at the source. Intermediate storage of these packages should be in containers placed in a suitable area that satisfies precise criteria. Waste collection should be carried out by persons specially trained with respect to biological hazards. Important precautionary measures should be taken during the incineration of these wastes. Empty containers should be washed and disinfected before being re-introduced into the collection cycle.
Travail et sécurité, July-Aug. 2004, No.642, p.28-39. Illus.$File/TS642page29.pdf?OpenElement [in French]

CIS 04-601 Balty I.
Proctective gloves in the health care sector
Gants de protection pour les métiers de santé [in French]
In health care settings, using gloves that are suited to the task contributes to the safety of both health care staff and their patients. Consequently, one needs to understand the advantages and limitations of the various types of gloves and their constituent materials. This practical safety information sheet presents the regulations and standards that apply to protective gloves, together with good practices for their use. Contents: types of gloves; efficiency of gloves with respect to protecting against biological hazards; good practices in the use of gloves. In boxes: materials used in glove manufacture; prevention of allergies; regulations and standards.
Travail et sécurité, May 2004, No.640, insert 4p. Illus. 5 ref.$FILE/visu.html?OpenElement [in French]

CIS 04-716 Denis M.A., Ecochard R., Bernadet A., Forissier M.F., Porst J.M., Robert O., Volckmann C., Bergeret A.
Blood exposure incidents: Importance of an early warning system
Accidents d'exposition au sang: intérêt d'un "système sentinelle" [in French]
This study highlights the importance of an early warning system for blood exposure incidents for determining case-by-case preventive actions when it is observed that a specific health care action presents a higher-than-expected frequency of incident occurrence (warning threshold). It presents the results of a database compilation of incidents having occurred in public hospitals in Lyon, France, between 1996 and 2003, together with their analysis. This analysis led to the evaluation and selection of safety equipment and enabled the introduction of specific and sustainable preventive and collaborative measures.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 3rd Quarter 2004, No.99, p.383-387. 8 ref.

CIS 04-470 Biagini R.E., Sammons D.L., Smith J.P., Page E.H., Snawder J.E., Striley C.A.F., MacKenzie B.A.
Determination of serum IgG antibodies to Bacillus anthracis protective antigen in environmental sampling workers using a fluorescent covalent microsphere immunoassay
To evaluate potential exposure to Bacillis anthracis (Ba) spores in 28 sampling and decontamination workers in the aftermath of an anthrax terror attack in October 2001, serum Ba anti-protective antigen (PA) specific IgG antibodies were determined using a newly developed fluorescent covalent microsphere immunoassay (FCMIA). Four serum samples gave positive anti-PA IgG results, from the pre-entry and follow up samples of two workers who had received their last dose of anthrax vaccine in 2000. It appears that the workers either had insufficient exposure to Ba spores to cause the production of anti-PA IgG antibodies or they were exposed to anthrax spores without producing antibody. The FCMIA appears to be a fast, sensitive, accurate and precise method for the measurement of anti-PA IgG antibodies.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2004, Vol.61, No.8, p.703-708. Illus. 28 ref.

CIS 03-1912 Herr C.E.W., zur Nieden A., Stilianakis N.I., Gieler U., Eikmann T.F.
Health effects associated with indoor storage of organic waste
This cross-sectional study examines health effects associated with the storage of organic waste at home for more than two days. 384 subjects completed a medical questionnaire on prevalence of airway, skin and general health complaints during the past year and home hygiene (storage of garbage, pet contact, indoor mould growth). With logistic regression analysis, odds ratios (OR) adjusted for sex, age, education level and frequent contact with pets were determined for indoor storage of waste for more than two days. Long indoor storage of organic waste was associated with skin rash (OR 2.05), itching skin rash for more than 2 month in the past 12 month (OR 3.58) or ever (OR 2.77) as well as lifetime diagnoses of skin diseases by a doctor (OR 3.16) or allergies other than hay fever (OR 2.74). Atopic subjects were higher at risk. These skin-related complaints and diseases probably result from microbial contamination, e.g. endotoxins due to waste.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Feb. 2004, Vol.77, No.2, p.90-96. 22 ref.

CIS 03-1922 Setbon M.
Hazards, public health and decision processes
Risques, sécurité sanitaire et processus de décision [in French]
The evaluation of major public health hazards is a central aspect of national health-care planning. Decision processes represent a key step determining whether these hazards and risks justify or not the launching of public intervention programmes. Resulting decisions are nationwide in scope. These hazards or risks can be relevant to three areas: the health care system, food and the environment. This publication presents the results of a retrospective research project aimed at making it easier to understand sanitary safety decisions taken in response to hazards or risks. Eight cases are studied, which then form the basis of a comparative overview.
Elsevier SAS, 23 rue Limois, 75725 Paris cedex 15, France, 2004. 170p. Bibl.ref. Price: EUR 30.00.

CIS 03-1928 David C.
Biological agents
Les agents biologiques [in French]
Occupational exposure to biological agents may give rise to hazards in cases where these agents are pathogenic. Some workers are exposed to biological agents under controlled conditions, for example in biotechnology research laboratories or in the pharmaceutical industry, while others may be exposed without fully understanding the hazards, as may be the case in waste water treatment, solid waste disposal or health care settings. In either case, the evaluation and prevention of biological hazards require a proper understanding of these pathological biological agents and their hazards. This document describes the various types of biological agents (viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and helminths), their form of life, their industrial relevance and their potential pathogenic effects.
Travail et sécurité, Apr. 2004, No.639, 4p. Insert. Illus. 1 ref.

CIS 03-1927 Constans Aubert A., Alonso Espadalé R.M., Solans Lampurlanés X.
Safety data sheet for biological agents
Ficha de datos de seguridad para agentes biológicos [in Spanish]
This information note proposes a model of safety data sheet for biological agents based on the model of safety data sheet for chemical substances. Contents: applicable legislation; characteristics of the biological agent; effects on heath (pathogenicity, epidemiology, type of host, toxin production, allergic effects, routes of exposure, incubation period); propagation (reservoirs, zoonoses, vectors); viability (sensitivity to antibiotics and to disinfectants, inactivation by physical means, viability independently of host); first aid and prophylaxis measures (first aid in cases of accidental exposure, immunisation or vaccination, prophylaxis); hazards to which the persons handling biological agents are exposed; limitation of exposure (confinement level, PPEs); spills; waste disposal; storage; transport; other important information.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2004. 5p. 9 ref. [in Spanish]

CIS 03-1932 Guardino Solá X., Sabater Sales G.
Biological hazards during the use, maintenance or repair of laboratory instruments
Riesgos biológicos en la utilización, mantenimiento y reparación de instrumentos de laboratorio [in Spanish]
This information note covers the main aspects that need to be considered during the use, maintenance and repair of laboratory equipment that present biological hazards. Contents: measures aimed at preventing all exposures to biological agents; basic precautions (vaccination, personal hygiene, protection using barriers (PPEs), limiting as much as possible contact with cutting or sharp instruments, disinfection and sterilization of equipments and surfaces); precautions to be taken when using laboratory equipment; precautions to be taken during the maintenance or repair of laboratory equipment.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2004. 7p. 5 ref. [in Spanish]

CIS 03-1930 Guardino Solá X., Susanna Nadal X., Cusó Terolló M.E.
Biological hazards during the transport of infectious samples and substances
Riesgo biológico en el transporte de muestras y materiales infecciosos [in Spanish]
This information note assembles together the information from various directives that apply to the transport of infectious samples and substances that present biological hazards. Contents: risk groups of biological agents; classification (infectious substances, diagnosis samples; biological products); requirements with respect to documentation and labelling of infectious substances; provisions concerning the type of packaging, labelling and shipping procedures; procedures to follow in the event of incidents, accidents or emergencies; storage.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2004. 10p. Illus. 8 ref. [in Spanish]

CIS 03-1929 González Rodríguez M.M., García Puente N.E.
Biological hazards in ocean fishing
Riesgos biológicos en la pesca marítima [in Spanish]
This information note describes the biological hazards to which ocean fishermen are exposed, together with the preventive measures aimed at reducing these risks. Contents: general aspects; handling of the catch; specific diseases affecting fishermen (furuncles due to salt water, pruritus or eruptions due to algae, urticaria from cod, conjunctivitis, dermatomycosis, asthma, bacterial infections, injuries from stings, contact with or bites by marine animals); preventive measures; infectious diseases; vaccination and prophylaxis.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2004. 8p. 15 ref. [in Spanish]

CIS 03-1933 SARS - Practical and administrative responses to an infectious disease in the workplace
This working paper consists of a set of informal guidelines developed by the ILO on responses to the threat of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) at the workplace. Contents: history of SARS; overview of current knowledge on SARS; practical workplace strategies; administrative actions to ensure preparedness in the event of a SARS outbreak (at national and workplace levels); ethical and psychological considerations concerning SARS.
ILO Publications, International Labour Office, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 2004. vi, 46p. 42 ref. [in English]


CIS 05-468 Percaz Arrayago M.A., Ruiz Cirauqui A.M., Esquiroz Ayesa I.
Evaluation of hepatitis B serology among workers exposed to biological hazards
Valoración de serologías de hepatitis B en trabajadores con riesgo biológico [in Spanish]
The vaccination protocol in effect in Spain for workers exposed to hepatitis B virus calls for revaccination every five years. Since some recent studies suggest that the immunological memory may persist for at least twelve years, the serology of a group of 163 workers vaccinated since 1996-1997 was examined to establish their immunological state and to determine whether it would be possible to increase the revaccination intervals. Results indicated that more than 85% of the vaccinated workers still had protective antibody levels above 20UI/ml after five years and that it would be possible to extend the period between revaccination.
Medicina y seguridad del trabajo, Aug. 2003, Vol.XLX, No.192, p.1-7. Illus. 8 ref.

CIS 05-230 Balty I.
Respirators and health care services
Appareils de protection respiratoire et métiers de la santé [in French]
In order to protect the respiratory tract of health care workers exposed to infectious agents, one needs to select appropriate personal protective equipment. However, there is often confusion as to whether surgical masks or respirators are best suited. The purpose of this information sheet is to clarify the issue. Written in the form of answers to frequently-asked questions, it explains the selection and use of respiratory protective equipment under the specific conditions that prevail in the health care environment.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, 2003. 4p. Illus. 3 ref. Price: EUR 1.50. Downloadable version free of charge.$FILE/ed105.pdf [in French]

CIS 05-21 Rodrigues A., Oliveira A., Oliveira B., Telo E., Franco H.
Exposure to biological agents
Exposição a agentes biológicos [in Portuguese]
This information booklet, which is primarily intended for employers and employees of small enterprises, explains how to avoid or reduce the risks related to exposure to biological agents. Contents: definition of biological agent; classification of biological agents; occupations that present biological hazards; various types of exposure (direct contact through the handling of biological agents, indirect contact, contagion); measures to be adopted for workers' protection (technical prevention, medical supervision, safety and health training); consequences of exposure to biological agents; current legislation.
Instituto de Desenvolvimento e Inspecção das Condições de Trabalho (IDICT), Lisboa, Portugal, March 2003. 48p. Illus.

CIS 04-714 Fau-Prudhomot P., Fabin C., Montéléon P.Y.
Follow-up study organized by the Association of Medical and Social Centres of the Ile-de-France region on accidents involving exposure to blood (IEBs): Analysis of the initial results
Observatoire ACMS des accidents avec exposition au sang (AES): mise en place des premiers résultats [in French]
Accidents involving exposure to blood (AEBs) have been regularly recorded and analysed for several years in large public hospitals in France. However, this has not always been the case in private health care institutions and in other sectors of activity that present a potential hazard. The objective of this study was to record and describe AEBs occurring in small-to-medium-sized institutions as well as in non-health-care settings in the Ile-de-France region. Between July 2001 and January 2003, 196 cases of AEBs were recorded, of which 15 occurred outside health care settings during waste collection, cleaning or supervision of the premises. In health care settings, the victims were predominantly women (90.4%), persons with less than two years of tenure (60.3%) and persons vaccinated against hepatitis B (95.7%). More than half the cases of AEB occurred during the disposal of contaminated material (58%), in particular because containers were often not easily accessible (40%). Gloves were not worn in 40% of AEB cases.
Cahiers de médecine interprofessionnelle, 2003, Vol.43, No.2, p.125-140. 18 ref.

CIS 04-636 Frenette Y.
Surgical smoke: Are you aware of the risks?
Les fumées chirurgicales, connaissez-vous les risques? [in French]
The use of lasers in surgery is growing rapidly. However, when used on human tissues, these lasers vaporize cells and give rise to what is known as surgical smoke. The presence of viruses and bacteria in this smoke has been confirmed in several studies; furthermore, during the treatment of cancers using lasers, viable cancer cells were also detected. More than 80 chemicals have been found in surgical smoke, many of them harmful. Surgical smoke particles are respirable and can cause emphysema, bronchitis and pneumonia. The article describes a study on the decomposition products detected during laser treatment of pig skin, used for simulating human skin. Finally, the importance of proper ventilation and the use of masks are emphasised.
Travail et santé, Dec. 2003, Vol.19, No.4, p.34-39. Illus. 8 ref.

CIS 04-718 Biological agents
Biologické materiály [in Czech]
Biologiska agenser [in Swedish]
Biologische Arbeitsstoffe [in German]
Biologikoí parágontes [in Greek]
Agentes biológicos [in Spanish]
Bioloogilised ohutegurid [in Estonian]
Biologiset tekijät [in Finnish]
Agents biologiques [in French]
Biológiai hatóanyagok [in Hungarian]
Agenti biologici [in Italian]
Biologinės medžiagos [in Lithuanian]
Bioloģiskie aģenti [in Latvian]
Biologische agentia [in Dutch]
Czynniki biologiczne [in Polish]
Agentes biológicos [in Portuguese]
Biologické látky [in Slovak]
Biološki dejavniki [in Slovenian]
Biologiske agenser [in Danish]
The theme for the European Week for Safety and Health at Work 2003 is the prevention of risks from dangerous substances. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work is producing a series of fact sheets focusing on the communication of occupational safety and health-related information on dangerous substances, including biological agents. Biological agents are found in many sectors. As they are rarely visible, the risks they pose are not always appreciated. They include bacteria, viruses, fungi (yeasts and moulds) and parasites. Contents of this fact sheet on biological hazards: legislation; occupational exposure limits; risk assessment, prevention and control; persons at risk; health effects; hazard evaluation, risk reduction and control; record keeping.
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work,, 2003. 2p. Illus. 2 ref. [in Dutch] [in Danish] [in Portuguese] [in Slovak] [in Slovenian] [in Finnish] [in Swedish] [in German] [in Estonian] [in Greek] [in Italian] [in Latvian] [in Latvian] [in Hungarian] [in Lithuanian] [in English] [in Spanish] [in French] [in Czech] [in Polish]

CIS 04-467 Desai M.R., Ghosh S.K.
Occupational exposure to airborne fungi among rice mill workers with special reference to aflatoxin producing A. flavus strains
This study was undertaken to evaluate workers' exposure to mycoflora in rice mills in an Indian region. The airborne fungal communities were isolated and identified quantitatively. Of all the isolates, genus Aspergillus was predominant and among the Aspergillus species, A. flavus was the common isolate, irrespective of the method applied for sample collection. The number of isolates recovered from exposed workplaces was significantly greater than in control areas. The percentage of aflatoxin positive strains of A. flavus was 8%. Surface morphology of aflatoxin positive strains was studied by scanning electron microscopy. High concentrations of total and respirable dust concentrations were found in the exposed workplaces, whereas in the stores only the total dust concentration was significantly higher than in control areas. The study indicates that rice mill workers are occupationally exposed to airborne aflatoxin producing strains of A. flavus and should be equipped with protective masks.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2003, Vol.10, No.2, p.159-162. Illus. 19 ref. [in English]

CIS 04-468 Prażmo Z., Dutkiewicz J., Skórska C., Sitkowska J., Cholewa G.
Exposure to airborne Gram-negative bacteria, dust and endotoxin in paper factories
Air samples for determination of the concentration of Gram-negative bacteria, dust and endotoxin were collected at ten sites in two large pulp and paper mills in Poland. Plant "A" was an older facility while the plant "B" was a modern, fully automated factory with an effective ventilation system. The concentrations of Gram-negative bacteria in the air of examined factories were within a range of 11.0-310.0 cfu/m3, being the highest in plant A at the initial stages of the production cycle consisting of wood chip handling and pulp production. Although Gram-negative bacteria were present in the air of paper mills at relatively low concentrations which never exceeded the value of 1000 cfu/m3 proposed as a safe level, they may have adverse effects on exposed workers, as evidenced by high concentrations of airborne endotoxin and the presence of numerous potentially pathogenic species. Thus, these microorganisms pose a potential risk of respiratory disease for the workers of pulp and paper mills, in particular for those engaged in the handling of wood chips and pulp production.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2003, Vol.10, No.1, p.93-100. Illus. 54 ref. [in English]

CIS 04-361 Hoffmann H.J., Iversen M., Brandslund I., Sigsgaard T., Omland Ø., Oxvig C., Holmskov U., Bjermer L., Jensenius J.C., Dahl R.
Plasma C3d levels of young farmers correlate with respirable dust exposure levels during normal work in swine confinement buildings
Work in swine confinement buildings may lead to an inflammatory response and may be associated with increased levels of acute phase proteins. This study compared the inflammatory response of former farm workers who had previously developed respiratory symptoms of wheeze, cough, tightness of the chest during work in swine confinement buildings and had stopped work because of these symptoms, with that of age-matched former farm workers who were known not to have developed such symptoms. Both groups were subjected to an experimental exposure in a swine confinement building for three hours. Complement activation and acute phase proteins were measured in blood samples and broncho-alveolar lavage. Plasma C3d levels correlated significantly with respirable dust. There was complement activation in response to respirable dust, more so among cases than in the control group. It is concluded that acute occupational exposure to organic dust containing endotoxin leads to a weak systemic inflammatory response.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2003, Vol.10, No.1, p.53-60. Illus. 48 ref. [in English]

CIS 04-465 Niścigorska J., Skotarczak B., Wodecka B.
Borrelia burgdorferi infection among forestry workers - Assessed with an immunoenzymatic method (ELISA), PCR, and correlated with the clinical state of the patients
Borreliosis or Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the introduction of one of a class of spirochetes (the most common being Borrelia burgdorferi) into the blood stream. It is spread through the bite of the common European tick Ixodes ricinus. The most frequent occurrence is found among forestry workers and inhabitants of wooded areas. Diagnosis is based on immunoserologic tests. This study involved 52 forestry workers in Poland who responded to a questionnaire and were subjected to medical examinations. 61% were found to be seropositive. Possible correlations between the results of serological and polymerase chain reaction tests with the clinical state of the patients were investigated. Despite finding IgM antibodies in 10 persons tested, which would indicate recent infection, no DNA of B. burgdorferi was detected in their blood. Also, no DNA of this bacteria was present in 8 persons with IgM and IgG antibodies. The clinical data suggested past symptomatic infection, or even more often, asymptomatic infection with B. burgdorferi
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2003, Vol.10, No.1, p.15-19. 41 ref. [in English]

CIS 04-469 Vaidya S.R., Tilekar B.N., Walimbe A.M., Arankalle V.A.
Increased risk of hepatitis E in sewage workers from India
Considering faeco-oral transmission of hepatitis E virus (HEV), the risk of infection was assessed among sewage workers. The study involved 147 sewage workers and age-matched controls without exposure to sewage. IgG-anti-HEV positivity in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was significantly higher among sewage workers (56.5%) than among controls (19%). Furthermore, a significant rise in anti-HEV positivity was observed among sewage workers working for over five years. Multivariate regression analysis identified contact with sewage as the independent variable associated with anti-HEV positivity. Strict adherence to good working practices must take the top priority for the protection of these workers from sewage pathogens.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Nov. 2003, Vol.45, No.11, p.1167-1170. 20 ref.

CIS 04-402 Van-Wendel-de-Joode B., Brouwer D.H., Vermeulen R., Van Hemmen J.J., Heederik D., Kromhout H.
DREAM: A method for semi-quantitative dermal exposure assessment
This paper describes a new method of structured, semi-quantitative dermal exposure assessment for chemical or biological agents (DREAM). Two examples of dermal exposure of workers of a truck manufacturer show how the method allows a characterization of the tasks and provides insight into exposure mechanisms. It supplies estimates for exposure levels on the external clothing layer and on the skin, as well as for the distribution of dermal exposure over the body. Together with the ranking of tasks and persons, it provides information for sampling strategies and helps to determine who, where and what to measure. In addition to dermal exposure assessment, the systematic description of dermal exposure pathways helps to prioritize and determine most adequate measurement strategies and methods.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Jan. 2003, Vol.47, No.1, p.71-87. Illus. 42 ref.

CIS 04-466 Thorne P.S., Bartlett K.H., Phipps J., Kulhankova K.
Evaluation of five extraction protocols for quantification of endotoxin in metalworking fluid aerosol
Occupational exposures to endotoxin-contaminated, water-based metalworking fluids (MWFs) are thought to contribute to cases of respiratory illness. The method most commonly used to quantify endotoxin is the Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) assay and this is the basis for the ASTM method E2144-01. In this study, multiple samples with similar mass and endotoxin loading were generated in order to compare four alternative extraction methods with the ASTM method. Aerosols with three concentrations of endotoxins (4.5, 350 and 1141EU/m3) were collected simultaneously on multiple filter samples using an exposure chamber system that provides a uniform distribution of MWF mist. It was found that the ASTM method yielded comparable estimations of MWF endotoxin aerosol concentrations but with higher variability than the four other extraction methods. In particular, extraction into pyrogen-free water at 25°C was more precise and simpler than the ASTM method.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Jan. 2003, Vol.47, No.1, p.31-36. Illus. 29 ref.

CIS 04-416 Simpson A.T., Stear M., Groves J.A., Piney M., Bradley S.D., Stagg S., Crook B.
Occupational exposure to metalworking fluid mist and sump fluid contaminants
This paper summarizes the analytical and occupational hygiene findings from a recent survey of occupational exposure to metalworking fluids (MWFs) in the metalworking industry in the United Kingdom. In general, occupational exposure to mineral oil MWF mist was controlled to under 3mg/m3 (8h time-weighted average) and to under 1mg/m3 for water-mix MWF mist. Fluid management was found to be poor, with most sites failing to meet industry good practice or Health and Safety Executive (HSE) standards. High levels of bacteria and endotoxins were found in sumps, and control of other factors, such as water-mix fluid concentration, was often poor. These findings will be used to develop guidance from the HSE on good practices, including indicative limits for MWF mist and sump fluid contaminants, with significant emphasis on sump fluid management (maintenance and monitoring), as well as control issues.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Jan. 2003, Vol.47, No.1, p.17-30. Illus. 30 ref.

CIS 04-229
Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Biological matter in the health and social care sector
Biologische Arbeitsstoffe im Gesundheitswesen und in der Wohlfahrtspflege [in German]
Contents of these guidelines of the German Mutual Occupational Accident Insurance concerning activities that imply contact with biological matter in the health and social care sector: scope; hazard evaluation; protective measures as a function of the degree of hazard of the activity; training of personnel; obligation to notify level 3 and 4 activities; additional protective measures that apply to specific activities (cleaning, disinfection, sterilization, handling of soiled linen, elimination of medical waste, endoscopy, protection against methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococci aurei); preventive medical examinations and vaccinations. In appendices: useful addresses for persons in contact with highly-contagious or fatal diseases, protective plans against life-threatening imported diseases; classification of human and animal medical waste; examples of instructions for work falling under the provisions of the biological substances ordinance; constituents of a hygiene plan; related directives, rules and standards.
Carl Heymanns Verlag KG, Luxemburgerstrasse 449, 50939 Köln, Germany, Oct. 2003. 59p. Illus.

CIS 03-1923 Wirtanen G., Salo S.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
34th R3-Nordic contamination control symposium
Proceedings of a conference on contamination control held in Turku, Finland, 2-4 June 2003. Papers are grouped according to the sessions in which they were presented: plenary session on contamination control; contamination control in food processing and biotechnology; contamination control in pharmaceutical processes; contamination control in microelectronics and clean room technology.
VTT Information Service, P.O.Box 2000, 02044 VTT, Finland, 2003. 418p. Illus. Bibl.ref. Price: EUR 85.00 (+ 8% VAT). [in English]

CIS 03-1917 Charbotel B., Forissier M.F., Hours M., Bergeret A.
Review of occupational hazards from waste disposal in the health care sector
Revue sur les risques professionnels liés à l'élimination des déchets d'activité de soins [in French]
This literature survey reports on the current situation with respect to occupational hazards among workers involved in waste disposal in the health care sector. Biological hazards are the most important. In the early stages of waste disposal, blood exposure accidents are associated with the risk of infection with hepatitis or human immunodeficiency viruses. Other infectious diseases such as tuberculosis have been reported among workers involved in medical laboratory waste disposal. In health care establishments, chemical and radioactive wastes need to be managed by specialized and well-identified waste disposal systems. However, it appears that these systems are not always operational. Risks related to handling are important and are not always well controlled. Road transport risks have received little attention, but should not be overlooked given their potential seriousness.
Archives des maladies professionnelles et de médecine du travail, Apr. 2003, Vol.64, No.2, p.100-105. 32 ref.

CIS 03-1911 Le Bâcle C.
Current situation with respect to zoonoses: 30th National Symposium of Agricultural Medicine
L'actualité des zoonoses - XXXe symposium national de médecine agricole [in French]
The objective of this symposium on zoonoses held on 25 April 2003 in Tours, France, was to discuss the current situation of known zoonoses and to shed light on emerging pathologies. The wide range of participants included medical practitioners from the farmers' cooperative insurance company, occupational physicians, infectologists, veterinarians and biologists. Topics presented and reviewed in this article include: main zoonoses transmitted by farm animals; main zoonoses transmitted by domestic animals; zoonoses from wild animals; current advances in human medicine; Q fever in France and recent epidemics; psittacosis and poultry farming; toxocariasis among humans.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 4th Quarter 2003, No.96, p.459-473.

CIS 03-1916 Abiteboul D., Lolom I., Lamontagne F., Pellissier G., Tarantola A., Descamps J.M., Bouvet E.
Risk of blood exposure among hospital workers - Trends 1990-2000
Risque d'exposition au sang parmi le personnel hospitalier - Evolution 1990-2000 [in French]
A survey had been conducted among health care workers in 1990 to quantify the frequency and risk factors of blood exposure accidents (BEAs). 502 nurses from 17 hospitals had volunteered to participate. It was the first study that yielded data not only on the frequencies by nurse, but also by risk-involving task (injection, sample collection, installing and removing intravenous perfusions, work involving pacemakers). The most hazardous tasks were identified and ranked. The objective of the present study was to analyse the trends in BEA risks ten years later. Participants included 1506 volunteers among nurses in 36 hospitals. There were significant improvements from 1990 to 2000, the frequency of BEAs having decreased from approximately 0.35 to 0.12 per nurse per year, and needlestick injuries, which are the leading cause, from 0.26 to 0.07 respectively, per nurse per year.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 4th Quarter 2003, No.96, p.447-457. Illus. 25 ref.

CIS 03-1924 Bricaire F., Bossi P.
Bioterrorisme [in French]
The events that occurred in the United States during October 2001, with the sending of letters containing spores of anthrax, led many countries to reconsider the bioterrorism as a possible threat. Numerous infectious agents could be used as biological weapons, some of which are little known. Following a definition of bioterrorism, this publication describes the following biological agents that could be used with terrorist intent, together with their related clinical symptoms: anthrax, smallpox, plague, tularaemia, botulism, haemorrhagic fever, glanders, Q fever, viral encephalitis, bruccelosis, toxins. It also explains how to recognize these pathologies and confirm the diagnosis, the actions to follow, the therapy and the prophylaxis. Finally, it presents the French emergency plans in the event of a biological attack.
Elsevier SAS, 23 rue Limois, 75725 Paris cedex 15, France, 2003. 115p. Illus. Bibl.ref. Price: EUR 25.00.

CIS 03-1914 Tabbot P.N., Robson M.G., Breen K.P.
Foodborne pathogens: The risk to the health of merchant seafarers
Patógenos en los alimentos: un riesgo para la salud de los marinos mercantes [in Spanish]
Foodborne illness is a global problem posing new risks to human health. Emerging pathogens, globalization of the food supply, changes in human behaviour, international travel, microbial adaptation and a breakdown of the pubic health system are factors which contribute to the threat of new and dangerous disease agents. Merchant seafarers, because of their unique occupational setting, may be particularly vulnerable to potentially debilitating foodborne illnesses. Factors like close living quarters, communal meal eating, contact with labourers in ports and access to potentially-contaminated food represent special hazards for these workers. These hazards are discussed in this article, together with the appropriate prevention measures.
Medicina Marítima, June 2003, Vol.3, No.1, p.47-71. Illus. 91 ref.

CIS 03-1919 Swan J.R.M., Kelsey A., Crook B., Gilbert E.J.
Health and Safety Executive
Occupational and environmental exposure to bioaerosols from composts and potential health effects - A critical review of published data
The primary objective of this study was to critically review published literature related to airborne microorganisms or their constituent parts (bioaerosols) associated with organic waste composting facilities, and to establish whether there is a risk to worker health from the inhalation of these bioaerosols. The review aimed to identify the personnel at risk on compost sites, identify the circumstances, which increased the risk and indicate suitable control measures to limit the risk. A further aspect consisted of evaluating whether the airborne dispersal of bioaerosols from compost facilities could affect neighbouring facilities or residents, leading to health concerns. The review also looked at evidence of bioaerosol dissemination from sites, potential exposures and reported ill health.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2003. viii, 106p. Illus. 214 ref. Price: GBP 20.00. [in English]

CIS 03-1437 Marchand G., Lalonde M., Pépin C., Beaudet Y., Boivin G., Villeneuve S.
Documenting the endotoxins that are present in the ambient air of textile plants handling cotton fibre in Quebec
Documentation des endotoxines présentes dans l'air ambiant des usines textiles du Québec traitant la fibre de coton [in French]
Approximately 13,000 textile industry workers in Quebec are exposed to cotton fibres. Now, it is known that the endotoxins contained in cotton can give rise to lung diseases. This report presents a research project aimed at examining the levels of these toxins at each of the various steps involved in cotton manufacturing, or as a function of raw cotton quality. Endotoxin concentrations in ambient air were determined at five textile plants using the chromogenic LAL (Limulus amoeabacyte lysate) method coupled with kinetic detection. It was thus possible to relate these concentrations to the processing steps and raw cotton quality, and to identify the conditions and techniques that needed modification to enable a better control of endotoxin concentrations at the workplace.
Institut de recherche en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal, Quebec H3A 3C2, Canada, 2003. 35p. Illus. 25 ref. Price: CAD 5.35. [in French]

CIS 03-1435
Health and Safety Executive
Evaluation of HSC's ACOP and Guidance "Legionnaires disease: Control of legionella bacteria in water systems" (L8)
This report presents the findings of a research study of industry's views of the Health and Safety Commission's Approved Code of Practice and Guidance entitled "Legionnaires' disease: Control of legionella bacteria in water systems", which was published in 2000. Questionnaires were sent to approximately 6000 individuals and enterprises resulting in 979 responses. Most respondents found the guidance to be easy to understand, although 18% of enforcement officers found the document difficult to understand. The layout was found to be easy to follow with only 6% of respondents rating the document either "difficult" or "very difficult" to read.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2003. viii, 104p. Price: GBP 20.00. [in English]

CIS 03-1430 Vaquero Abellán M., Gómez Caballero P., Garrido Martín M.T., Casal Román M.
Occupational hygiene survey on biological hazards in mycobacterial laboratories: A multicentric study
Encuesta higiénica sobre riesgo biológico en laboratorios de micobacterias: estudio multicéntrico [in Spanish]
This article presents the results of a cross-sectional epidemiological study involving 26 hospitals in 10 autonomous regions. The aim of the survey was to determine whether laboratories where biological samples containing mycobacteria were handled complied with occupational safety and hygiene regulations, and if workers were sufficiently protected against risks from exposure to biological agents. Factors evaluated in the study included categories of workers, type of work, training in biological hazards and preventive measures. Findings show that laboratories do not fully comply with existing regulations and that the recommended preventive measures are not always followed.
Prevención, trabajo y salud, 2003, No.25, p.18-24; 41. Illus. 15 ref.

CIS 03-1436 Duchaine C., Veillette M., Cormier Y., Lavoie J., Desjardins F., Bouzid H.
Microbiological analysis of metal cutting fluids - Exploratory study
Analyse microbiologique des fluides de coupe de métaux - Etude exploratoire [in French]
The objective of this study was to establish the physical and chemical properties of soluble cutting fluids used in three metalworking enterprises in Quebec, and to evaluate their levels of microbial contamination. The respiratory health of the workers at one of the three enterprises was also determined. Novel analytical methods were employed, including colouring techniques involving fluorescent molecules as well as molecular biology techniques allowing the detection of specifically-targeted mycobacteria. High levels of bacterial contamination were found in these fluids. However, the majority of the strains identified are unlikely to account for the respiratory symptoms observed among the workers (allergic alveolitis).
Institut de recherche en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, Aug. 2003. iii, 33p. Illus. 22 ref. Price: CAD 5.35. [in French]

CIS 03-1428 Cristóbal Cañadas D., Parrón Carreño T., Carreño Alonso F.J.
Analysis of biological exposure hazards in health care institutions
Análisis de los riegos de exposición biológica en centros de salud [in Spanish]
In Spain, there are 12 percutaneous exposure accidents per 100,000 hours worked in hospitals. Biological hazards are the most frequent hazards in health care institutions, and the workers that are at greatest risk of exposure are those in contact with patients or who handle contaminated samples. A questionnaire survey on working conditions and biological exposure hazards was carried out among 48 nurses in a health care institution. Needlestick injuries were the most frequent. 41.7% of the respondents were of the opinion that the institutions where they worked showed deficiencies with respect to the protection of workers against biological hazards.
Prevención, trabajo y salud, 2003, No.24, p.18-24. Illus. 7 ref.

CIS 03-1433 Villanueva Íñiguez Y., Laborda Grima R.
Legionellosis - A public health problem with occupational repercussions
Legionelosis - Un problema de salud pública con repercusiones en el ámbito laboral [in Spanish]
This article presents Spanish regulations on the prevention of legionellosis. Contents: legislation; various types of equipment that are subject to the current national regulations; notification of hazardous installations to the competent authority; log of installation maintenance operations; general prevention measures; prevention measures applicable to health care institutions; interventions by sanitary authorities; steps to be undertaken in cases of single outbreaks or epidemics; preventive measures that are referred to in legal texts adopted by the autonomous region of Valencia.
Prevención, Apr.-June 2003, No.164, p.28-38. Illus. 7 ref.

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