Objectives: Skin is an important exposure route for isocyanate chemicals and contributes to systemic sensitization. Methods for assessing skin exposure are currently limited and generally rely upon removal (e.g. Read More
Considering the increasing use of various asbestos substitutes, asbestos risk management in many industries may require accurate techniques for detecting and distinguishing asbestos from non-asbestos fibers. Using fluorescently labeled asbestos-binding proteins, we previously developed a novel method for detection and counting of asbestos fibers under fluorescence microscopy (FM). This method can provide speedy, on-site detection and identification of the asbestos fibers and has higher sensitivity than phase contrast microscopy (PCM). Read More
Background: Control banding can be used as a first-tier assessment to control worker exposure to nano-objects and their aggregates and agglomerates (NOAA). In a second tier, more advanced modelling approaches are needed to produce quantitative exposure estimates. As currently no general quantitative nano-specific exposure models are available, this study evaluated the validity and applicability of using a generic exposure assessment model (the Advanced REACH Tool-ART) for occupational exposure to NOAA. Read More
The Health and Safety Laboratory has developed a miniature respirable sampler to gain a better understanding of the exposure of workers to hazardous substances when they are wearing respiratory protective equipment (RPE) or helmets with visors in the workplace. The study was in two parts and the first part, described herein, was to develop the sampler and test its collection characteristics. Assessment of the impact of the sampler on RPE safety and its comparability with traditional laboratory-based approaches to measure protection factors was discussed in a second article. Read More
This paper is the second in a series of two describing the performance of a miniature and low-weight respirable sampler designed to fit inside filtering facepiece (FFP) and half-mask type respirators. The first paper described the design of the miniature sampler and evaluated the particle and collection performance of the miniature sampler. This paper assesses its comparability with the traditional inward leakage measurement technique, and its safe use. Read More
Hazard Banding (HB) is a process of allocating chemical substances in bands of increasing health hazard based on their hazard classifications. Recent Control Banding (CB) tools use the classifications of the United Nations Global Harmonized System (UN GHS) or the European Union Classifications, Labelling and Packaging (EU CLP) which are grouped over 5 HBs. The use of CB is growing worldwide for the risk control of substances without an Occupational Exposure Limit Value (OELV). Read More
Assessment of occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is an urgent and important task to prevent workers' illnesses. 1-Hydroxypyrene is one of the most commonly used biomarkers. The presented study assessed exposure to PAHs molecules among 619 individuals, men working in coke plant. Read More
In case of incidental confinement failure, mixed oxide (MOX) fuel preparation may expose workers to plutonium aerosols. Due to its potential toxicity, occupational exposure to plutonium compounds should be kept as low as reasonably achievable. To ensure the absence of significant intake of radionuclides, workers at risk of internal contamination are monitored by periodic bioassay planned in a routine monitoring programme. Read More
Tiered or stepwise approaches to assess occupational exposure to nano-objects, and their agglomerates and aggregates have been proposed, which require decision rules (DRs) to move to a next tier, or terminate the assessment. In a desk study the performance of a number of DRs based on the evaluation of results from direct reading instruments was investigated by both statistical simulations and the application of the DRs to real workplace data sets. A statistical model that accounts for autocorrelation patterns in time-series, i. Read More
Objective: To analyze relationships between occupational exposure and influenza infection and hospitalization during the 2009-2010 pandemic wave and the 2010-2011 influenza seasonal epidemic in Spain.
Methods: Occupations were classified as high, medium, or low risk of influenza exposure. To assess the risk of infection, 588 outpatient cases of influenza confirmed by reverse-transcription polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) were compared with 588 outpatients without influenza symptoms. Read More
Background: Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) have a large economic impact in a range of fields, but the concerns about health and safety of occupational activities involving nanomaterials have not yet been addressed. Monitoring exposure is an important step in risk management. Hence, the interest for reviewing studies that reported a potential for occupational exposure. Read More
Ann Occup Hyg 2016 Oct 14;60(8):977-90. Epub 2016 Jul 14.
2.Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gävle, SE-801 76 Gävle, Sweden; 4.IMM Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.
Objectives: The present study assessed full-shift trunk and upper arm postural exposure amplitudes, frequencies, and durations among Swedish airport baggage handlers and aimed to determine whether exposures differ between workers at the ramp (loading and unloading aircraft) and baggage sorting areas.
Methods: Trunk and upper arm postures were measured using inclinometers during three full work shifts on each of 27 male baggage handlers working at a large Swedish airport. Sixteen of the baggage handlers worked on the ramp and 11 in the sorting area. Read More
Objectives: Exposure to stainless steel (SS) welding aerosol that contain toxic heavy metals, chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), and nickel (Ni), has been associated with numerous adverse health effects. The gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) is commonly applied to SS and produces high number concentration of substantially smaller particles compared with the other welding techniques, although the mass emission rate is low. Here, a field study in a workshop with the GTAW as principal welding technique was conducted to determine the physicochemical properties of the airborne particles and to improve the understanding of the hazard the SS welding aerosols pose to welders. Read More
Many professional truck drivers suffer from low back pain (LBP) which is thought to be associated with exposure to whole-body vibration (WBV). The objectives of this study were to: (i) characterize general health, regional body pain and WBV exposures, (ii) evaluate the associations between different WBV parameters and health outcomes, and (iii) determine whether there were factors which affect a truck driver's WBV exposures. This study analyzed WBV exposures from 96 long-haul truck drivers over their regular work shift (6-15h) per International Standards Organization (ISO) 2631-1 and 2631-5 WBV standards. Read More
Occupational exposure models vary significantly in their complexity, purpose, and the level of expertise required from the user. Different parameters in the same model may lead to different exposure estimates for the same exposure situation. This paper presents a tool developed to deal with this concern-TREXMO or TRanslation of EXposure MOdels. Read More
Objective: The use of measurement data in occupational exposure assessment allows more quantitative analyses of possible exposure-response relations. We describe a quantitative exposure assessment approach for five lung carcinogens (i.e. Read More
Introduction: Outdoor workers are at high risk of exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), a known human carcinogen. In Canada, no objective measures of UVR exposure are available for occupational settings.
Methods: The Outdoor Workers Project collected UVR exposure data among outdoor workers in Vancouver, Canada during the summer of 2013. Read More
Patients with airway symptoms working in metal working industries are increasing, despite efforts to improve the environmental air surrounding the machines. Our aim was to analyse the amount of endotoxin in size-separated airborne particles of metal working fluid (MWF) aerosol, by using the personal sampler Sioutas cascade impactor, to compare filter types, and to compare the concentration of airborne endotoxin to that of the corresponding MWFs. In a pilot field study, aerosols were collected in two separate machine halls on totally 10 occasions, using glass fibre and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) filters in parallel at each station. Read More
Ann Occup Hyg 2016 Aug 2;60(7):860-74. Epub 2016 Jun 2.
1.Department of Occupational Medicine, St. Olav's Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital, Harald Hardrådes gt 14, 7030 Trondheim, Norway; 4.Department of Geology and Mineral Resources Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway.
Introduction: Electrosurgery is a method based on a high frequency current used to cut tissue and coagulate small blood vessels during surgery. Surgical smoke is generated due to the heat created by electrosurgery. The carcinogenic potential of this smoke was assumed already in the 1980's and there has been a growing interest in the potential adverse health effects of exposure to the particles in surgical smoke. Read More
Objective: In community-based epidemiological studies, job- and industry-specific 'modules' are often used to systematically obtain details about the subject's work tasks. The module assignment is often made by the interviewer, who may have insufficient occupational hygiene knowledge to assign the correct module. We evaluated, in the context of a case-control study of lymphoid neoplasms in Asia ('AsiaLymph'), the performance of an algorithm that provided automatic, real-time module assignment during a computer-assisted personal interview. Read More
Ann Occup Hyg 2016 Aug 31;60(7):812-24. Epub 2016 May 31.
1.Department of Public Health, Section for Environment, Occupation and Health, Danish Ramazzini Center, Aarhus University, Bartholins Allé 2, bg 1260, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark; 5.National Research Center for the Working Environment, Lersø Parkallé 105, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark.
Background: The high burden of exposure to organic dust among livestock farmers warrants the establishment of effective preventive and exposure control strategies for these workers. The number of intervention studies exploring the effectiveness of exposure reduction strategies through the use of objective measurements has been limited.
Objective: To examine whether dust exposure can be reduced by providing feedback to the farmers concerning measurements of the exposure to dust in their farm. Read More
Ann Occup Hyg 2016 Aug 28;60(7):781-94. Epub 2016 May 28.
1.Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital North Norway, Sykehusvegen 38, 9019 Tromsø, Norway; 6.Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Medical Biology, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway.
Increasing production and applications of manufactured nano objects (MNOs) have become a source for human exposure and therefore raise concerns and questions about the possible health effects. In this study, the potential release of nano objects, their agglomerates, and aggregates (NOAA) as a result of sanding of hardwood treated with MNOs-containing coating was examined. Two types of MNO-containing coating were compared with untreated hardwood that allowed the evaluation of the influence of the chemical composition on the release of particles. Read More
Asbestos and non-asbestos containing brake products are currently used in low- and middle-income countries like Colombia. Because brake products are distributed detached from their supports, they require manipulation before installation, which release fibers and expose workers. Previous studies of our research group have documented exposures in excess of the widely accepted 0. Read More
Ann Occup Hyg 2016 Aug 26;60(7):845-59. Epub 2016 May 26.
Department of Allergology, Center of Allergology/Immunology, Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine, German Social Accident Insurance, Ruhr University Bochum (IPA), Bürkle-de-la-Camp-Platz 1, D-44789 Bochum, Germany.
Sampling of endotoxin, beta-glucan, or allergens on electrostatic dust collectors (EDCs) is a convenient method for exposure assessment. However, especially for allergens few experiments on validation of this method concerning deployment time or storage and extraction procedure have been performed. The aim of study was to optimize the EDC procedure for sampling of allergens in indoor environments. Read More
Occupational exposures during iron and steel founding have been classified as carcinogenic to humans, and the exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in this industrial setting may contribute to cancer risk. The occupational exposure to PAHs was assessed in 93 male workers at an electric steel foundry in Tunisia by biomonitoring, with the aims of characterizing the excretion profile and investigating the influence of job title and personal characteristics on the biomarkers. Sixteen 2-6 ring unmetabolized PAHs (U-PAHs) and eight hydroxylated PAH metabolites (OHPAHs) were analyzed by gas chromatography-triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry, respectively. Read More
Diesel engines have been a mainstay within many industries since the early 1900s. Exposure to diesel particulate matter (DPM) is a major issue in many industrial workplaces given the potential for serious health impacts to exposed workers; including the potential for lung cancer and adverse irritant and cardiovascular effects. Personal respiratory protective devices are an accepted safety measure to mitigate worker exposure against the potentially damaging health impacts of DPM. Read More
Ann Occup Hyg 2016 Jul 13;60(6):717-30. Epub 2016 May 13.
1.Center for Environment, Health and Welfare Research, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, 5, Hwarang-ro 14-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02792, Republic of Korea; 2.Green School (Graduate School of Energy and Environment), Korea University, 145 Anam-ro Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02841, Republic of Korea;
Objectives: Black carbon (BC) originating from various combustion sources has been extensively surveyed to characterize the effects of BC on global warming and human health, and many online monitors are available. In this study, BC was considered as a surrogate for carbon-based nanomaterials in an occupational health study.
Methods: Specifically, BC concentrations were monitored continuously with an aethalometer for 24h at four carbon nanotube (CNT) workplaces located in rural, urban, and industrial areas, which had different background air pollution levels. Read More
Ann Occup Hyg 2016 Jul 3;60(6):684-99. Epub 2016 May 3.
1.Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Örebro University, 70185 Örebro, Sweden; 3.Department of Science Man-Technology-Environment Research Center (MTM), Örebro University, 70182 Örebro, Sweden.
Exposure to cobalt in the hard metal industry entails severe adverse health effects, including lung cancer and hard metal fibrosis. The main aim of this study was to determine exposure air concentration levels of cobalt and tungsten for risk assessment and dose-response analysis in our medical investigations in a Swedish hard metal plant. We also present mass-based, particle surface area, and particle number air concentrations from stationary sampling and investigate the possibility of using these data as proxies for exposure measures in our study. Read More
Objective: To develop an inexpensive and easily adaptable semi-quantitative exposure assessment method to characterize exposure to pesticide in applicators and re-entry farmers and farm workers in Ethiopia.
Methods: Two specific semi-quantitative exposure algorithms for pesticides applicators and re-entry workers were developed and applied to 601 farm workers employed in 3 distinctly different farming systems [small-scale irrigated, large-scale greenhouses (LSGH), and large-scale open (LSO)] in Ethiopia. The algorithm for applicators was based on exposure-modifying factors including application methods, farm layout (open or closed), pesticide mixing conditions, cleaning of spraying equipment, intensity of pesticide application per day, utilization of personal protective equipment (PPE), personal hygienic behavior, annual frequency of application, and duration of employment at the farm. Read More
A large number of people work with garbage collection, and exposure to microorganisms is considered an occupational health problem. However, knowledge on microbial exposure at species level is limited. The aim of the study was to achieve knowledge on waste collectors' exposure to airborne inhalable fungal and bacterial species during waste collection with focus on the transport of airborne microorganisms into the truck cab. Read More
Safety climate measurements can be used to proactively assess an organization's effectiveness in identifying and remediating work-related hazards, thereby reducing or preventing work-related ill health and injury. This review article focuses on construction-specific articles that developed and/or measured safety climate, assessed safety climate's relationship with other safety and health performance indicators, and/or used safety climate measures to evaluate interventions targeting one or more indicators of safety climate. Fifty-six articles met our inclusion criteria, 80% of which were published after 2008. Read More
Objectives: The first objective of this study was to evaluate the penetration of particles generated from combustion of plastic through National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-certified N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) using a manikin-based protocol and compare the data to the penetration of NaCl particles. The second objective was to investigate the effect of relative humidity (RH) on the filtration performance of N95 FFRs.
Methods: Two NIOSH-certified N95 FFRs (A and B) were fully sealed on a manikin headform and challenged with particles generated by combustion of plastic and NaCl particles. Read More
Welding fume is a complex mixture containing ultra-fine particles in the nanometer range. Rather than being in the form of a singular sphere, due to the high particle concentration, welding fume particles agglomerate into long straight chains, branches, or other forms of compact shapes. Understanding the transport and deposition of these nano-agglomerates in human respiratory systems is of great interest as welding fumes are a known health hazard. Read More
Welding fumes are classified as Group 2B 'possibly carcinogenic' and this prompts to the implementation of local exhaust ventilation (LEV). The fume extraction torch with LEV integrated into the tool is the most attractive solution but its capture efficiency is often disappointing in practice. This study assesses the main parameters affecting fume capture efficiency namely the extraction flow rate, the positioning of the suction openings on the torch, the angle of inclination of the torch to the workpiece during welding, the metal transfer modes, and the welding deposition rate. Read More
Objectives: Changes in the modern economy have affected the financial sector. Time pressures, excessive work demands, and job stress are frequent concerns among bank employees, which might predispose them to burnout symptoms. The objective of the present study was to investigate the association between burnout symptoms and exposure to psychosocial work conditions in bank employees. Read More
Employees who are exposed to high concentrations of microorganisms in bioaerosols frequently suffer from respiratory disorders. However, etiology and in particular potential roles of microorganisms in pathogenesis still need to be elucidated. Thus, determination of employees' antibody titers against specific occupational microbial antigens may lead to identification of potentially harmful species. Read More
Background: Masks are often worn in healthcare settings to prevent the spread of infection from healthcare workers (HCWs) to patients. Masks are also used to protect the employee from patient-generated infectious organisms but poor compliance can reduce efficacy. The aim of this study was to examine the factors influencing compliance with the use of medical and cloth masks amongst hospital HCWs. Read More
Ann Occup Hyg 2016 May 10;60(4):533-5. Epub 2016 Mar 10.
1.Occupational Respiratory Epidemiology, School of Population Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia; 6.Department of Respiratory Medicine, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Australia.
Exposure to dust is a known occupational hazard in the swine industry, although efforts to measure exposures are labor intensive and costly. In this study, we evaluated a Dylos DC1100 as a low-cost (~$200) alternative to assess respirable dust concentrations in a swine building in winter. Dust concentrations were measured with collocated monitors (Dylos DC1100; an aerosol photometer, the pDR-1200; and a respirable sampler analyzed gravimetrically) placed in two locations within a swine farrowing building in winter for 18-24-h periods. Read More
Objective: Surgical smoke generated during electrocautery contains toxins which may cause adverse health effects to operating room (OR) personnel. The objective of this study was to investigate the performance of surgical masks (SMs), which are routinely used in ORs, more efficient N95 surgical mask respirator (SMRs) and N100 filtering facepiece respirator (FFRs), against surgical smoke.
Methods: Ten subjects were recruited to perform surgical dissections on animal tissue in a simulated OR chamber, using a standard electrocautery device, generating surgical smoke. Read More
Background: Noise exposures are associated with a host of adverse health effects, yet these exposures remain inadequately characterized in many industrial operations, including paper mills. We assessed noise at four paper mills using three measures: (i) personal noise dosimetry, (ii) area noise measurements, and (iii) questionnaire items addressing several different aspects of perceived noise exposure.
Methods: We assessed exposures to noise characterized using the three measures and compared the relationships between them. Read More
Background: Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) is a biologically active dust that can accumulate in the lung and induce silicosis and lung cancer. Despite occupational exposure being the predominant source, no study has described current occupational RCS exposure on a national scale in Australia. The aim of this study is to estimate the characteristics of those exposed and the circumstances of RCS exposure in Australian workplaces. Read More