Chemical industry - 1,986 entries found
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Wang W., Qiu Y.L., Jiao J., Liu J., Ji F., Miao W.B., Zhu Y., Xia Z.L.
Genotoxicity in vinyl chloride-exposed workers and its implication for occupational exposure limit
In this case-control study, genetic damage in vinyl chloride monomer (VCM workers was evaluated in relation to their occupational cumulative exposure to VCM. Cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay was conducted in 229 VCM workers and 138 controls to detect chromosome damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes. The cumulative exposure dose (CED) of VCM was calculated based on the job type and duration of each worker and the workplace VCM concentration. Dose-response relationships between VCM CED and micronucleus frequency or chromosomal damage were evaluated, and benchmark doses (BMDs) estimated. Dose-response relationships between VCM CED and chromosomal damage were obtained. It is concluded that VCM exposure may induce chromosomal damage at occupational exposure levels below the Chinese national occupational health standard. Implications of these findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.800-810. 55 ref.
Genotoxicity.pdf [in English]
Guide to inspecting workplace
This guide consists of a series of checklists for workplace inspections involving the following activities and exposures: chemicals and harmful substances; electricity; manual tasks; slips and trips; working at heights; forklifts; new and young workers; machinery and plant; machinery guarding; noise; emergency procedures; violence and aggression; working alone.
Commission for occupational safety and health, 1260 Hay Street, PO Box 294, West Perth, WA 6872, Australia, no date. PDF document, 21p.
http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/WorkSafe/PDF/Hazard_identification/priority_area_checklist.pdf [in English]
Cave M., Falkner K.C., Henry L., Costello B., Gregory B., McClain C.J
Serum cytokeratin 18 and cytokine elevations suggest a high prevalence of occupational liver disease in highly exposed elastomer/polymer workers
Cytokeratin 18 (CK18) is a novel serologic biomarker for occupational liver disease. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of CK18 elevation in elastomer/polymer workers exposed to acrylonitrile, 1,3-butadiene, and styrene. A total of 82 chemical workers were evaluated. Cytokeratin 18 was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and proinflammatory cytokines were measured by multi-analyte chemiluminescent detection. Thirty-nine percent (32 of 82) had elevated CK18 levels. The pattern of CK18 elevation was consistent with toxicant-associated steatohepatitis (TASH) in the majority of cases (78%). Tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin-6, interleukin-8, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 were increased in these workers compared with those with normal CK18 levels. These results suggest a high prevalence of occupational liver disease and TASH in elastomer/polymer workers with elevated proinflammatory cytokines.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2011, Vol.53, No.10, p.1128-1133. 42 ref.
Serum_cytokeratin_18_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
ILO_LABORDOC_[INTRANET_ACCESS] [in English]
Bernstein J.A., Ghosh D., Sublett W.J., Wells H., Levin L.
Is trimellitic anhydride skin testing a sufficient screening tool for selectively identifying TMA-exposed workers with TMA-specific serum IgE antibodies?
Trimellitic anhydride (TMA) can elicit specific IgE-mediated immune responses leading to asthma. This single-blinded study investigated the ability of TMA skin testing to identify workers with TMA-serum specific IgE antibodies. Forty TMA-exposed workers who were previously screened for the presence of TMA-IgG and/or IgE serum specific antibodies were skin tested to a TMA-human serum albumin reagent by nurses blinded to their antibody responses. Findings from skin-prick tests were positive in 8 of 11 workers with TMA-serum specific IgE antibodies. Intracutaneous testing, performed only on skin prick testing-negative workers, was positive in two additional workers with TMA-serum specific IgE antibodies. A significant correlation was found between serum and skin test dilutions eliciting positive responses. It is concluded that TMA skin testing provides an alternative and potentially more practical method for monitoring TMA-exposed workers at risk of developing IgE sensitization.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2011, Vol.53, No.10, p.1122-1127. Illus. 20 ref.
Is_trimellitic_anhydride_skin_testing_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
ILO_LABORDOC_[INTRANET_ACCESS] [in English]
Gaudin R., Marsan P., Ndaw S., Robert A., Ducos P.
Biological monitoring of exposure to di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in six French factories: A field study
The aim of this study was to assess workers' exposure to di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) in the flexible-PVC industry in France by means of biological monitoring. Over five days of pre-and post-shift sampling, three urinary metabolites of DEHP, mono (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), mono (5-carboxy-2-ethylpentyl) phthalate (5cx-MEPP) and 2-ethylhexanoic acid (2-EHA) were quantified in 62 workers and 29 controls from six factories. Analyses were performed by high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry after on-line extraction. There is clear evidence of occupational exposure of workers in these factories. Values of 250 and 500 ¿g/l (100 and 280 ¿/g creatinine) for MEHP and 5cx-MEPP, respectively, are proposed as guidance values which should prevent high exposures in the flexible-PVC industry, particularly in factories where DEHP compounds or plastisols are employed.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, June 2011, Vol.84, No.5, p.523-531. Illus. 54 ref.
Biological_monitoring_of_exposure_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Reference guide - Chemical hazards
Aide-mémoire - Risque chimique [in French]
The third edition of this reference guide brings together all useful information required for initiating a chemical hazards prevention programme. Contents: basic aspects; basic understanding of hazards; regulations; chemical hazards; risk of poisoning; dangerous reactions and fire and explosion hazards; prevention of chemical hazards; hazard identification and evaluation; prevention of occupational hazards; environmental chemical hazards.
Dunod, 5 rue Laromiguière, 75005 Paris,France 3rd ed., 2011, vii, 302p. Illus. Approx. 130 ref. Index. Price: EUR 34.20.
Neghab M., Soltanzadeh A., Choobineh A.
Respiratory morbidity induced by occupational inhalation exposure to formaldehyde
The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the respiratory effects, if any, of long term occupational exposure to formaldehyde. The study population consisted of 70 exposed and 24 non-exposed employees of a melamine-formaldehyde resin producing plant in Iran. Data on respiratory symptoms were gathered by means of questionnaires. Atmospheric concentrations of formaldehyde were measured at different contaminated areas of the plant. Pulmonary function parameters were measured pre-shift and post-shift of the first working day of the week. Findings showed that airborne concentrations of formaldehyde exceeded current permissible levels. Additionally, significant decrements in some pre-shift and post-shift parameters of pulmonary function of exposed workers were noted. However, a relative recovery in lung functional capacity was observed following temporary cessation of exposure. Exposed workers had higher prevalence rates of regular cough, wheezing, phlegm, shortness of breath, chest tightness and episodes of chest illness associated with cold. Findings collectively indicate that exposure to formaldehyde may induce respiratory symptoms, partially reversible in the case of acute symptoms, together with irreversible lung function impairments.
Industrial Health, Jan. 2011, Vol.49, No.1, p.89-94. 19 ref.
Respiratory_morbidity.pdf [in English]
Widner T.E., Gaffney S.H., Panko J.M., Unice K.M., Burns A.M., Kreider M., Marshall J.R., Booher L.E., Gelat R.H., Paustenbach D.J.
Airborne concentrations of benzene for dock workers at the ExxonMobil refinery and chemical plant, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA (1977-2005)
Benzene is a natural constituent of crude oil and natural gas (0.1-3.0% by volume). Materials that are refined from crude oil and natural gas contain some residual benzene. In this study, historical samples of airborne benzene collected from 1977-2005 at the docks of a large refinery and petrochemical plant in the United States were evaluated. Workers were categorized into 11 job titles for which benzene concentrations were assessed. Approximately 800 personal air samples were analyzed. Findings are discussed. Samples for specific job categories showed that concentrations have decreased over the past 30 years. Recognizing the potential for benzene exposure, this facility has required workers to use respiratory protective equipment during selected tasks and activities; thus, the concentrations measured were likely to be greater than those that the employees actually experienced.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Mar. 2011, Vol.37, No.2, p.147-158. Illus. 43 ref.
Airborne_concentrations.pdf [in English]
The implementation of REACH: Initial perspectives from government, industry, and civil society
The European Union's 2006 Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation represents a new wave in regulating chemicals and has set far-reaching goals for protecting and enhancing public health, the environment and markets. Despite substantial public debate during the development and passage of the REACH legislation, in interviews conducted from 2009-2010, respondents from government, industry, and civil society expressed general agreement on some key issues in the implementation of REACH, which are addressed in this study. At the same time, respondents expressed nuanced differences in how some of the outstanding implementation issues should be addressed. Industry respondents' main concern was their ability to comply with REACH; while government respondents reported wanting to ensure they can implement and enforce it; and civil society respondents wanted to ensure that REACH accomplishes its ambitious goals.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1st quarter 2011, Vol. 17, No.1, p.57-62. 10 ref.
Ott M.G., Yong M., Zober A., Nasterlack M., Messerer P., Pluto R.P., Lang S., Oberlinner C.
Impact of an occupational health promotion program on subsequent illness and mortality experience
A cohort of 24,586 employees of a large German chemical company aged 35 or more with 15 or more years' of experience was established to assess morbidity and mortality outcomes relative to participation in an on-going health initiative instituted in 1983. Outcomes were evaluated for employees who attended the programme (attendees), those who had been admitted to the programme but had opted to not participate (withdrawals) and those who had not or not yet been selected to participate (non-participants). At entry to follow-up, the prevalence of chronic illnesses including diabetes, obesity, and diseases of the circulatory system was lowest among non-participants and highest among withdrawals. During the follow-up period, the incidence of new disease conditions was similar between attendees and non-participants; however, overall mortality was significantly reduced among attendees after adjustment for explanatory factors including age, job grade, smoking history, alcohol intake, and body-mass-index (relative risk 0.83) and was still marginally decreased when withdrawals were combined with attendees. Although self-selection cannot be ruled out as a contributing factor to the reduction in mortality risk among attendees, findings indicate that offering health promotion activities in the context of an existing occupational health programme may benefit overall employee health.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Dec. 2010, Vol.83, No.8, p.887-894. Illus. 11 ref.
Impact_of_an_occupational_health.pdf [in English]
Use of ceramic fibres at BASF
L'utilisation de fibres céramiques chez BASF [in French]
In 1997, European regulations classified ceramic fibres as being "probably carcinogenic". This required enterprises operating ovens to totally review their procedures. This article presents the methods and prevention methods adopted by a Belgian chemical company operating a large number of ovens lined with refractory materials based on ceramic fibres.
Prevent Focus, Sep. 2010, p.12-15. Illus.
Sato M., Yoshiki H., Horie M., Yano E.
A case report of acute dermatitis that developed during an experiment examining the bromination of 3-hexylthiophene
This article presents a case of acute allergic dermatitis that was likely to have been induced by 3-hexylthiophene, an aromatic compound often contained in fragrance substances. The case, who was a 27-year male researcher engaged in organic chemical synthesis for six years, was exposed to 3-hexylthiophene and its product (2-bromo-3-hexylthiophene) through an experiment in May 2004 and itching, swelling and eczema immediately developed from face to back. This case of sensitization to 3-hexylthiophene suggests that it be a possible allergen for fragrance allergy.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 2010, No.5:3. 4p. Illus. 16 ref.
A_case_report.pdf [in English]
Aldrich T.E., Seidu D., Bahr D., Freitas S., Brion G.M., Tollerud D.
Time-period mortality patterns in a gaseous diffusion plant workforce
The objective of this study was to assess the mortality risks in a sub-group of workers employed solely during the refit period of a gas diffusion plant in the United States, a time of suspected higher exposure to metal dusts (nickel, arsenic, chromium and uranium) and trichloroethylene. The exposures and causes of death for 754 workers employed exclusively during the period of 1975-1979, with 1554 workers who worked in this period as well as other years are compared. This interval was when the gaseous diffusion cascade facilities were re-fitted. The elevated mortality observed for this subgroup concerned social factors (suicide, homicide) related to their ethnicity, skill level and employment conditions, and appears unrelated to exposures to metal dusts or trichloroethylene.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 2010, Vol.23, No.2, p.145-151. Illus. 25 ref.
Time-period_mortality.pdf [in English]
Bushnell P.T., Colombi A., Caruso C.C., Tak S.
Work schedules and health behavior outcomes at a large manufacturer
Health Risk Assessment (HRA) survey responses were collected during 2000-2008 in a multinational chemical and coatings manufacturer. Responses of 26,442 employees were sufficiently complete for analysis. Rates of smoking, lack of exercise, moderate to high alcohol use, obesity and short sleep duration were compared by work schedule type (day, night, or rotating shift) and daily work hours (8, 10, or 12 h). Prevalence rate ratios (RRs) were calculated, adjusting for age group, sex, marital status, job tenure, and occupational group. The reference group was 8-h day shift employees. Findings are discussed.
Industrial Health, July 2010, Vol.48, No.4, p.395-405. 50 ref.
Work_schedules.pdf [in English]
Shibata E., Zhou Z., Ichihara S., Wang H., Wang Q., Li J., Zhang L, Wakai K., Takeuchi Y., Ding X., Ichihara G.
Dose-dependent neurologic abnormalities in workers exposed to 1-bromopropane
The objective of this study was to investigate the health effects of 1-bromopropane (1-BP) and its dose-dependency in 1-BP production factories in China. Data of 60 female and 26 male workers in three 1-BP factories and the same number of age-, sex- and region-matched controls were collected by means of interviews and medical examinations. The time-weighted average exposure levels of individual workers were estimated. Regression analysis on exposure level showed dose-dependent increase in the distal latency of tibial nerve, threshold for vibration sense in toes, lactate dehydrogenase, thyroid stimulating hormone, and follicle stimulating hormone in female workers. The analysis also showed dose-dependent decrease in sensory nerve conduction velocity of the sural nerve, red blood cell, and hematocrit in female workers. It is concluded that exposure to 1-BP induces dose-dependent neurotoxicity in female workers.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2010, Vol.52, No.8, p.769-777. 30 ref.
Ellis E.D., Watkins J., Tankersley W., Phillips J., Girardi D.
Mortality among titanium dioxide workers at three DuPont plants
The aim of this study was to evaluate the mortality among workers employed at three titanium dioxide plants in the United States. A cohort of 5054 workers employed at titanium dioxide plants was followed. Cause-specific standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated, combined and stratified by plant for workers employed at least six months between 1935 and 2005. No indications of excess mortality from any cause were found. All causes SMR increased with length of plant operation as did most cause-specific SMRs. With lung, the target organ of interest, no increases in malignant or nonmalignant respiratory disease were observed. The mortality rates are comparable with the general US population. Increasing SMRs with length of plant operation is indicative of waning healthy worker effect with time since first employment. The results are comparable with other titanium dioxide cohort studies.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2010, Vol.52, No.3, p.303-309. 20 ref.
Denoncin R., De Parscau L., Djaouti C., Léandre E., Rougeron D., Rol V., Sutra C., Titon N.
The INRS MSD questionnaire: Use in perfumery packaging enterprises
Questionnaire TMS de l'INRS: utilisation dans les entreprises de conditionnement du secteur de la parfumerie [in French]
In the perfumery and cosmetics industry, packaging involves a high risk of musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs). The INRS questionnaire was administered to 426 workers of four enterprises in this sector. The study population consisted mostly of women, of average age 43.4 years. Two-thirds of the complaints concerned the spinal column, particularly neck disorders and low back pain. One third of the workers declared having taken leave from work due to MSDs in the 12 previous months. Less than half of the employees felt that their work was valued and 40% feared that their tasks would be automated. One third regularly practiced a sport. Other findings are discussed.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 3rd Quarter 2010, No.123, p.287-295. Illus. 10 ref.
TF_187.pdf [in French]
Zepf K.I., Voelter-Mahlknecht S., Wriede U., Husemann B., Escobar Pinzón L.C.
Commuting accidents in the German chemical industry
Due to accident severity and the extent of claim payments, commuting accidents are a significant expense factor in German industry. The aim of this study was to identify the risk factors for commuting accidents. A retrospective analysis of commuting accidents recorded between 1990 and 2003 was conducted in a major chemical company in Germany. A logistic regression-model was calculated in order to determine factors influencing the duration of work inability as a result of commuting accidents. The analysed data included 5,484 employees with commuting accidents. Findings are discussed. The study identifies specific groups at risk for commuting accidents and underlines the need for developing group-specific prevention strategies.
Industrial Health, Mar. 2010, Vol.48, No.2, p.164-170. 14 ref.
Commuting_accidents_in_the_German_chemical_industry.pdf [in English]
Honnert B., Grzebyk M.
Usage of amides in France
Utilisation des amides en France [in French]
This article presents an INRS industry study of 28 sectors comprising 10,117 industrial facilities surveyed by a self-declaration questionnaire. The level of response was approximately 45%. Around 20,000 employees are potentially exposed to amides and are mainly distributed amongst research laboratories and the industrial chemical sector. Concerning amide quantities involved, there is a clear split between those with industrial uses (dimethylformamide and N,N-dimethylacetamide), involving quantities greater than 1000 tons, those only used for laboratory applications (formamide and acetamide), involving quantities less than 10 tons, and those with mixed applications (N-methylacetamide and N-methylformamide), involving quantities ranging from 50 to 150 tons.
Cahiers de notes documentaires - Hygiène et sécurité du travail, June 2010, No.219, p.49-56. Illus. 8 ref.
http://www.hst.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/ND%202329/$File/ND2329.pdf [in French]
Le Coze J.C.
Accident in a French dynamite company: An example of an organizational investigation
In 2003, an explosion caused the death of four employees in an explosives plant in the north of France. This article describes the approach that was adopted for the investigation of the accident, focusing not only on the technical causes but also on the organizational and human factors.
Safety Science, Jan. 2010, Vol.48, No.1, p.80-90. Illus. 17 ref.
Moore P., Wintle J.
Health and Safety Executive
Establishing the requirements for internal examination of high hazard process plant
The objective of this study was to develop guidelines for internal examination for high hazard process plants. A series of visits was made to United Kingdom companies to establish their approach to drawing up written schemes of examination. Discussions were held with three oil refineries, two sites manufacturing ethylene, a leading engineering consultancy, a large pharmaceutical company, and an engineering insurer that acts as a third party inspectorate for a wide range of companies not limited to petrochemicals and pressure plant. Findings are discussed and recommendations are proposed.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2009. vi, 35p. Illus. 21 ref.
Establishing_the_requirements_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Véchot L., Cusco L., Hare J.
Health and Safety Executive
Development of fire protection measures for vessels containing reactive chemicals
The objective of this research was to develop a better understanding of the phenomena that occur when a vessel containing reactive chemicals is exposed to an external fire and to assess possible preventive and mitigation measures. An experimental calorimetric system for the simulating the effects on chemicals in vessels under fire loading was developed. The validities of theoretical models for the correction of adiabatic data were tested experimentally and dynamic simulations of large-scale vessels containing reactive chemicals exposed to a pool fire were carried out in order to study the effect of the presence of an insulation layer. This research forms a useful basis for HSE to assess the adequacy of the safety systems on a range of process reactors containing reactive chemicals and on storage vessels for reactive monomers. These installations vary in size from small reactors common in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries to the large, several hundred tonne capacity storage vessels used in the petrochemical industry.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2009. viii, 55p. Illus. 13 ref.
RR_682.pdf [in English]
van Rooy F.G.B.G.J., Houba R., Palmen N., Zengeni M.M., Sander I., Spithoven J., Rooyackers J.M., Heederik D.J.J.
A cross-sectional study among detergent workers exposed to liquid detergent enzymes
The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate sensitisation and respiratory health among workers who produce liquid detergent products and handle liquid detergent enzymes. It involved 109 workers of a detergent products plant, who were interviewed for respiratory and allergic symptoms and who provided blood samples to examine sensitisation to enzymes. Those sensitised to ≥1 enzymes were referred for clinical evaluation. Workers and representatives were interviewed to characterise exposure qualitatively and estimate exposure semi-quantitatively. Workers were classified into three exposure groups with varying exposure profiles to enzymes, based on frequency, duration and level of exposure. Workers were exposed to proteases, alpha-amylases, lipase and cellulases. The highest exposures occurred in the mixing area. Liquid spills with concentrated enzyme preparations and leakage of enzymes during weighing, transportation and filling were causing workplace contaminations and subsequently leading to both dermal and inhalation exposure for workers. Workers with the highest exposures reported significantly more work-related symptoms of itching nose (prevalence ratio PR 4.2) and sneezing (PR 4.0) and marginally significant more symptoms of wheezing (PR 2.9) compared with the least exposed group. Fifteen workers (14.2%) were sensitised to ≥1 enzymes. A marginally-statistically significant gradient in sensitisation across the exposure categories was found. There was a clinical case of occupational asthma and two others with probable occupational rhinitis. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Nov. 2009, Vol.66, No.11, p.759-765. 30 ref.
Carradori E., Cutaia L., Mastino G.
Industrial waste management: Environmental and economic impact of waste produced by major accident hazard industries
Impatto ambientale ed economico della gestione dei rifiuti industriali prodotti da aziende a rischio di incidente rilevante [in Italian]
This paper presents a research project on the cost-benefits analysis of industrial waste storage and/or disposal in Italy, with particular emphasis on the industries regulated by Decree No. 334/99 (Implementation of Council Directive 96/82/EC on the control of major accident hazards involving dangerous substances) and its socioeconomic impact. The objective of the project was to provide indications and assessments for the optimization of reusing/recycling industrial waste to reduce the financial and environmental costs of its management and disposal.
Prevenzione oggi, July-Dec 2009, Vol.5, No.3/4, p.53-72. Illus. 24 ref.
Impatto_ambientale.pdf [in Italian]
Industrial_waste_management.pdf [in English]
Hsiao P.K., Lin Y.C., Shih T.S., Chiung Y.M.
Effects of occupational exposure to 1,4-dichlorobenzene on hematologic, kidney, and liver functions
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of 1,4-dichlorobenzene (1,4-DCB) on kidney, liver and haematological functions of workers in insect repellent factories in Taiwan. It involved 46 exposed workers and 29 non-exposed workers. Health information was collected using questionnaires and biochemical tests. The concentration of urinary 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP), the major metabolite of 1,4-DCB, was analyzed by gas chromatography with electron-capture detection. Exposed workers had higher urinary 2,5-DCP concentrations (105.38µg/L) than controls (1.08µg/L). Exposure to 1,4-DCB also increased the white blood cell count and serum alanine aminotransferase level. Other findings are discussed.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Oct. 2009, Vol.82, No.9, p.1077-1085. Illus. 34 ref.
Nasterlack M., Messerer P., Pallapies D., Ott M.G., Zober A.
Cancer incidence in the wastewater treatment plant of a large chemical company
To evaluate cancer incidence among employees assigned to the wastewater treatment plant of a large German chemical company, a retrospective cohort study was carried out involving 477 male employees who had worked in the facility for at least one year since the start of operations in 1974. Cancers were identified by review of occupational medical records, with information being completed with a standardized questionnaire returned by the participants or, in case of death, by their next of kin. Standardized incidence ratios were computed using comparison data provided by the regional cancer registry. The overall cancer experience among employees of the wastewater treatment plant was similar to that of the general population. However, there was an excess of bladder cancer in one subgroup of workers, which is currently unexplained.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, July 2009, Vol.82, No.7, p.851-856. 16 ref.
Cancer risks in chemical production workers exposed to 2-mercaptobenzothiazole
This cohort study investigated cancer risks among workers of a chemical factory in north Wales exposed to 2-mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT). The mortality (1955-2005) and cancer morbidity experience (1971-2005) of 363 male production workers exposed to MBT were compared to those of the population of the United Kingdom. Data were subjected to statistical analyses. Significant excesses were found for mortality by cancers of the large intestine and bladder, while non-significant excesses were found for lung cancer and multiple myeloma. Significant morbidity excesses were found for bladder cancer and multiple myeloma, with non-significant excesses for cancers of the large intestine and lung.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2009, Vol.66, No.4, p.269-273. 10 ref.
Jones D.R., Sutton A.J., Abrams K.R., Fenty J., Warren F., Rushton L.
Systematic review and meta-analysis of mortality in crop protection product manufacturing workers
The potential health effects of the manufacture of crop protection chemicals were investigated through systematic review and meta-analysis of studies of cohorts of workers in this industry. The standardized mortality rate for all cause mortality of 38 cohorts was 0.94. However, significantly raised mortality was found for cancers of the buccal cavity, pharynx, oesophagus, rectum, larynx, lung, and lymphatic and haematopoietic system. There was evidence of excesses in subgroups exposed to phenoxy herbicides contaminated with dioxins.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2009, Vol.66, No.1, p.7-15. Illus. 23 ref.
Costa G., Sartori S., Consonni D.
Thirty years of medical surveillance in perfluorooctanoic acid production workers
To study health outcomes of 30 years (1978-2007) of exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), data concerning the annual medical examinations, which included determinations of PFOA in serum, of 53 male PFOA production workers (20 to 63 years) were reviewed. PFOA serum levels ranged from 0.20 to 47.04µg/mL among currently exposed workers, and from 0.53 to 18.66µg/mL among those formerly exposed. No clinical evidence of any specific trouble or disease has been recorded over the 30 years, and all the biochemical parameters, including liver, kidney and hormonal functions were normal. However a significant association of total cholesterol and uric acid with serum PFOA was found. A probable interference of PFOA on the intermediary metabolism deserves further investigation.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2009, Vol.51, No.3, p.364-372. Illus. 53 ref.
Lee M.S., Paek D., Eum K.D., Siegrist J., Li J., Lee H.E., Cho S.I.
Paternal work stress and prolonged time to pregnancy
The aim of this study was to explore an association between psychosocial stress at work in married men and their spouses' prolonged time to pregnancy (TTP). All married male workers of a large Korean petrochemical enterprise and their wives fulfilling the selection criteria were included. Data were available from 322 couples. Psychosocial stress at work was measured by the effort-reward imbalance questionnaire. In the chronically stressed group, delayed TTP was associated with an elevated imbalance between effort and reward (OR 0.47). A similar but somewhat weaker effect was found for the overall group (OR 0.67).
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Jan. 2009, Vol.82, No.2, p.209-216. Illus. 53 ref.
Haidar S., Burns C., Birdsong K., Bodner K., Salazar E., Collins J.J.
Mortality among chemical workers at Texas City plant: 1940-2001
The objective of this study was to evaluate the mortality of workers at a major chemical manufacturing site and to examine in greater detail the brain and liver cancers excesses reported for workers at this site in previous studies. This study included 9,730 employees at the Texas City location who worked between 1940 and 2001. Standardized mortality ratios and confidence intervals were calculated. There were less than expected deaths due to all cause mortality and no increase in all cancer mortality. Brain tumor mortality, which did exceed expected rates in earlier years, was at expected levels in recent years, suggesting that the cause of the brain tumors may have been eliminated. Mortality due to liver cancer was higher than expected but only among men hired before 1950. Other findings are discussed.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Jan. 2009, Vol.82, No.2, p.145-151. 24 ref.
This article comments the findings of a HSE report on the causes of 100 serious accidents in process industries in the United Kingdom. Among the issues discussed are electronic guards, emergency stop devices, maintenance, inspection and the importance of safety culture.
Plant Engineer, May-June 2009, p.23. Illus.
Ott M.G., Oberlinner C., Lang S., Hoffmann G., Nasterlack M., Pluto R.P., Trauth B., Messerer P., Zober A.
Health and safety protection for chemical industry employees in a rotating shift system: Program design and acute injury and illness experience at work
This article describes a comprehensive health protection programme for rotating shift employees adopted by a large German chemical enterprise, and evaluates its effectiveness in injury and illness prevention. For 14,128 shift and 17,218 day workers, occupational medical records were linked to job assignment records and studied over an 11-year period. Between 1995 and 2005, initiatives aimed at shift workers contributed to their greater participation in medical examinations and health seminar days by 59% and 100%, respectively, compared to day workers. Injury rates declined over time and with increasing employee age and were not elevated among shift workers compared to day workers. Clinic visit rates for acute illnesses were generally higher for day workers. Other findings are discussed.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2009, Vol.51, No.2, p.221-231. Illus. 15 ref.
Goetzel R.Z., Baker K.M., Short M.E., Pei X., Ozminkowski R.J., Wang S., Bowen J.D., Roemer E.C., Craun B.A., Tully K.J., Baase C.M., DeJoy D.M., Wilson M.G.
First-year results of an obesity prevention program at the Dow Chemical Company
This article presents the first-year results from a workplace obesity prevention programme at a large chemical company in the United States. A study was conducted among 8013 employees at nine treatment worksites who received weight management interventions and 8013 controls based at three other worksites who did not receive the interventions. Data concerning changes in employees' weight, body mass index (BMI), and other health risks were subjected to statistical analyses. After one year, a modest treatment effect was observed for weight and BMI largely because the control group subjects gained weight; however, no effect was observed for overweight and obesity prevalence. With the exception of blood glucose, other risk factors (tobacco use, high blood pressure, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure values) decreased significantly.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2009, Vol.51, No.2, p.125-138. Illus. 72 ref.
Schubert U., Dijkstra J.J.
Working safety with foreign contractors and personnel
In autumn of 2004 an exploratory study was conducted into working with foreign contractors and personnel in process industries in Northern Netherlands. Ten qualitative interviews were held with safety experts working at multinational companies. The study resulted in the identification of five problematic areas: communication, level of education, cultural differences, specific employment situations and cooperation between principal and contractor. The results of the interviews are described for each problem area individually and are linked to state of the art scientific theory and models. Examples of best practices are included.
Safety Science, July 2009, Vol.47, No.6, p.786-793. Illus. 9 ref.
Caubet A., Lopez I., Baert A.
Cétones [in French]
Ketones are mainly used as chemical intermediates and as solvents, often mixed or together with other solvents, which makes it difficult for industrial hygienists or occupational physicians to evaluate exposures. The most commonly-used ketones are acetone, methyl ethyl ketone and cyclohexanone. They are generally considered to be of low toxicity. Acute exposure to vapours causes nasal and ocular membrane irritation and migraine, followed by reduced vigilance and finally coma. Ingestion always carries the risk of vomiting and inhalation pmeumopathy, although the latter is rare. Chronic exposure can give rise to irritative dermatitis. Central nervous system disorders are occasionally reported with one or another ketone.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 1st Quarter 2009, No.162, 10p. 42 ref.
van Rooy F.G.B.G.J., Smit L.A.M., Houba R., Zaat V.A.C., Rooyackers J.M., Heederik D.J.
A cross-sectional study of lung function and respiratory symptoms among chemical workers producing diacetyl for food flavourings
Four workers of a diacetyl (also known as 2,3-butanedione) plant in the Netherlands were diagnosed with a bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. This lead to an investigation of exposures, respiratory symptoms, lung function and exposure-response relationships in a cohort of 175 workers having worked at the plant between 1960 and 2003. Lung function and questionnaire data on respiratory symptoms were compared to a general population sample and to an unexposed internal reference group. Compared to the two reference groups, diacetyl exposed workers reported significantly more respiratory symptoms, daily cough and asthma. A relationship between exposure and FEV1 was also observed. The excess of respiratory symptoms in this retrospective cohort suggests that diacetyl production poses an occupational hazard.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2009, Vol.66, No.2, p.105-110. Illus. 16 ref.
Martyny J.W., Van Dyke M.V., Arbuckle S., Towle M., Rose C.S.
Diacetyl exposures in the flavor manufacturing industry
Diacetyl is used in the food industry as a flavour. Exposure to diacetyl has been linked to bronchiolitis obliterans. In this study, exposures were monitored at 16 small-to medium-sized flavour facilities, during which 181 personal and area samples were collected in various processing areas. Diacetyl concentrations ranged from non-detectable to 60ppm. Half of the samples were below the limit of detection, and the mean diacetyl concentration for all processes was 1.80ppm. Mean diacetyl levels during powder operations were generally higher (4.24ppm) than during operations involving liquids (2.02ppm). Peak exposures may be considerably higher and warrant further research.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Nov. 2008, Vol.5, No.11, p.679-688. Illus. 16 ref.
Williams P.R.D., Panko J.M., Unice K., Brown J.L., Paustenbach D.J.
Occupational exposures associated with petroleum-derived products containing trace levels of benzene
Benzene may be present as a trace impurity in many petroleum-derived products. In this article, the historical benzene content of various petroleum-derived products is reviewed and the airborne concentrations of benzene associated with the typical handling or use of these products in the United States are characterized, based on indoor exposure modeling and industrial hygiene air monitoring data collected since the late 1970s. Overall findings indicate that the vast majority of products manufactured in the United States after 1978 contained less than 0.1% benzene by volume, and 8-hr TWA airborne concentrations of benzene in the workplace during the use of these products would not have been expected to exceed 0.5ppm under most product use scenarios.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Sep. 2008, Vol.5, No.9, p.565-574. Illus. 97 ref.
Japan Chemical Industry Ecology-Toxicology and Information Center
JETOC information sheet: Laws, regulations and related matters
Changes in laws and regulations concerning industrial chemicals: lists of new chemical substances notified in Japan under the Chemical Substance Control Law and the Industrial Safety and Health Law; amendments and revisions; MSDS in preparation; new regulations in the United States, the EU, Canada, Australia and Asian countries.
JETOC Information Sheet, Apr.-Sep. 2008, No.60, p.1-74.
Management of dangerous substances: Practical example of a chemical company
La gestion des produits dangereux: cas pratique d'une entreprise chimique [in French]
Most chemical industry manufacturing sites use and stock large quantities of dangerous substances. It is therefore of prime importance for these sites to formulate an effective safety policy based on the full understanding of the substances used and their harmfulness. This article presents the dangerous substance hazard management plan of a Belgian chemical company.
Prevent Focus, Nov. 2008, No.9, p.10-13. Illus.
Oberlinner C., Neumann S.M., Ott M.G., Zober A.
Screening for pre-diabetes and diabetes in the workplace
The objective of this study was to integrate diabetes screening and prevention into the existing occupational medical programme of a large German chemicals manufacturer. Screening to detect potential cases of pre-diabetes and diabetes was conducted using differing criteria to define risk groups over a 2-year period. Classification of new cases was based on fasting plasma glucose, random plasma glucose or oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Among 13,086 employees screened via fasting or random glucose, there were 96 diabetes and 650 pre-diabetes cases detected. Among high-risk employees, 20 new cases of pre-diabetes and eight cases of diabetes were detected in 84 employees assessed by OGTT. The percentage of employees with new findings increased with increasing age (2.3%, under age 40 compared to 11.4% for age 50 years and above) and body mass index (2.6, 6.1 and 11.4% among normal weight, overweight and obese employees, respectively). Implications of these findings are discussed.
Occupational Medicine, Jan. 2008, Vol.58, No.1, p.41-45. Illus. 19 ref.
http://occmed.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/58/1/41 [in English]
de Fex R.L.
Green chemistry, what prospects for Colombia?
Química verde, ¿alguna esperanza en Colombia? [in Spanish]
Green chemistry, a philosophy only recently introduced to the chemicals industry, promotes the careful design of chemicals manufacturing processes to reduce the use of toxic components and minimize waste and energy use. The sustainable and more benign practices that follow green chemistry's principles have found support in industry and government and are being researched more and more by universities and government agencies around the world. This article discusses the prospects for introducing the concept of green chemistry in Colombia.
Protección Integral y Contra Incendios, 4th quarter 2008, Vol.20, No.80, p.17-19. Illus. 1 ref.
REACH - A turning point for the chemical industry
Reach - Un tournant pour l'industrie chimique [in French]
This article presents the approach adopted by a French company specialized in the storage and distribution of chemicals in view of complying with the requirements of the REACH (registration, evaluation and authorization of chemicals) regulations. The company developed a computer-based tool for tracking the implementation process. This tool can accommodate possible future classification and labelling criteria for chemicals. Boxes summarize the efforts undertaken by regional public authorities and industry associations to inform, generate awareness and assist small enterprises concerning these regulations.
Travail et sécurité, Oct. 2008, No.688, p.14-17. Illus.
http://www.travail-et-securite.fr/ArchivesTS/archivests.nsf/(allDocParRef)/TS688page14_1/$File/TS688page14.pdf?OpenElement [in French]
Saha A., Kumar S., Vasudevan D.M.
Factors of occupational injury: A survey in a chemical company
This occupational injury surveillance study involved 307 permanent and 419 temporary workers in a chemical company in India to understand the contribution of different possible factors on injury causation. Risks were calculated using univariate and multivariate analysis techniques. Workers of lower age were found to be more susceptible to accidents, though non-significantly. Lower job duration had a significant impact on injury causation. Alcohol consumption did not show any significant effect on accident occurrence, but the effect of smoking and chewing tobacco was significant (odds ratio OR 7.29). Finally job nature had no significant impact on injuries, but that of the nature of employment was considerable, with temporary workers being at far greater risk (OR 2.51) in comparison to permanent workers.
Industrial Health, Mar. 2008, Vol.46, No.2, p.152-157. 38 ref.
Nasterlack M., Zober A., Oberlinner C.
Considerations on occupational medical surveillance in employees handling nanoparticles
This study compared established concepts for the development of occupational medical surveillance programmes with existing knowledge on exposures in workplaces and on health effects of nanomaterials. A variety of potential effect parameters have been proposed for medical surveillance of exposed personnel, such as heart rate variability, blood-clotting and pro-inflammatory cytokines. However, none of these parameters are specific, most are not validated as individual health risk indicators and some require sophisticated equipment not routinely available. Against this background, a large German chemical company currently emphasizes the control of workplace exposure. Particle emissions are primarily avoided by manufacturing in closed systems or using effective extraction systems. Appropriate personal protective equipment is specified for such operations where potential exposure cannot be excluded.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, May 2008, Vol.81, No.6, p.721-726. 32 ref.
Symons J.M., Kreckmann K.H., Sakr C.J., Kaplan A.M., Leonard R.C.
Mortality among workers exposed to acrylonitrile in fiber production: An update
This study updates the mortality experience through 2002 for a cohort of workers of a large United States chemical company exposed to acrylonitrile (AN). Standardized mortality ratios were estimated based on two reference populations: the United States population and an employee population from the same regions as the plants. Exposure-response analyses were conducted using Cox regression models for cumulative and mean intensity exposure measures. In the cohort of 2548 workers, 839 deaths have occurred with 91 deaths due to respiratory system cancer. Most standardized mortality ratios were at or near no-effects levels. Hazard ratios (HR) indicated no increased mortality risk for respiratory system cancer (adjusted HR = 0.96).
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, May 2008, Vol.50, No.5, p.550-560. Illus. 56 ref.
Japan Chemical Industry Ecology-Toxicology and Information Center (JETOC)
Laws, regulations and related matters
Contents of this chapter on laws, regulations and related matters: changes in Japanese regulations for specific chemicals; list of notified new chemical substances with strong mutagenic effect; notification of new substances in Japan, the United States, the EU, Canada, Australia and several Asian countries.
JETOC Information Sheet, Oct. 2007 - Mar. 2008, No.59, p.1-75.
Rivière S., Schwoebel V., Lapierre-Duval K., Warret G., Saturnin M., Avan P., Job A., Lang T.
Hearing status after an industrial explosion: Experience of the AZF explosion, 21 September 2001, France
Following the explosion of a chemical plant in France, a study was conducted to analyse the relationship between hearing thresholds and distance from the explosion based on post- and pre-blast audiometric data, and to describe the functional symptoms and visits for hearing problems. Audiometric tests of 511 workers of a company located near the explosion site were conducted after the explosion. Past occupational noise exposure, past medical history of ear problems, distance from the explosion, functional symptoms and visits for hearing problems following explosion and results of past audiometric tests if available were collected. Of a total of 425 (83%) of the firm's workers who participated in the study, 49% had received an audiometric test before the explosion. Hearing shift between pre- and post-explosion audiograms was significantly greater for the exposed group of workers than for the less exposed group at 2,000 and 4,000 Hz. Other findings are discussed.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Feb. 2008, Vol.81, No.4, p.409-414. 16 ref.
Marwitz S., Maxson N., Koch B., Aukerman T., Cassidy J., Belonger D.
Corporate crisis management - Managing a major crisis in a chemical facility
Chemical industry sites should have well-trained and organized emergency response plans to manage an incident within the plant or during transport. The implementation of an incident command system using either internal resources or external response through mutual aid agreements is generally sufficient to address the direct impact of an event on the site. However, management should also be able to address issues such as press releases, medical advice, employees and family support, and agency notifications. This article proposes an outline for corporate management in the event of a major incident at a chemical industry site or during transportation.
Journal of Hazardous Materials, Nov. 2008, Vol.159, No.1, p.92-104. Illus. 5 ref.
Van Scyoc K.
Process safety improvement - Quality and target zero
This article examines various quality management methods and explores how they can be additionally applied to continual improvement of process safety. Process safety practitioners have adopted quality management principles in design of process safety management systems with positive effect. Companies regularly apply tools and methods which have roots in quality and productivity improvement. The "plan, do, check, act" continuous improvement loop, statistical analysis of incidents and performance trending are now commonly used in the context of process safety. Significant advancements in safety performance are reported after applying these methods which are viewed as fundamental for quality management.
Journal of Hazardous Materials, Nov. 2008, Vol.159, No.1, p.42-48. Illus. 9 ref.
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