2010-01-01 12:00 - Messages

A small survey of exposure to stainless steel welding fume

Specific aims and objectives for the project were to visit a representative group of workplaces carrying out welding of stainless steel, scoping the various control strategies proposed in COSHH Essentials for welding, hot work and allied processes.

Source : http://news.hse.gov.uk/2010/01/26/rr770-a-small-survey-of-exposure-to-stainless-steel-welding-fume/?rss=Research

The development of a web-enabled framework for probabilistic exposure assessments

This report describes the development of a web-based probabilistic model (PROWESE) for predicting the statistical distribution of systemic exposure (dose) to chemicals following occupational use.

Source : http://news.hse.gov.uk/2010/01/27/rr763-the-development-of-a-web-enabled-framework-for-probabilistic-exposure-assessments/?rss=Research

Combined exposure to Noise and Ototoxic Substances

Noise-induced hearing loss remains one of the most prominent occupational diseases in Europe. However, noise is no longer perceived as the only source of work-related hearing damage and increasing attention is being paid to the risks of combined exposure to high-level noise and ototoxic substances, that is, those which can affect the structures and/or the function of the inner ear and the associated signal transmission pathways in the nervous system. This publication aims to provide an up-to-date picture of our knowledge in this field. It includes: a description of the basic features of the physiological mechanisms leading to hearing impairment, current diagnostic tools, and an overview of the chemicals that may be deleterious to the inner ear, ranking the certainty of their ototoxic properties in a defined weight-of-evidence approach. The review also identifies the health effects resulting from exposure to multiple ototoxic substances and also from the interaction of ototoxic substances and noise, pointing out the work areas where exposure to ototoxic substances is likely. Finally, the report highlights gaps in our current knowledge for proposed future action and research.

Source : http://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/literature_reviews/combined-exposure-to-noise-and-ototoxic-substances

Bangladesh : Pesticide poisoning takes its toll

An annual government survey of Bangladesh's health situation has found that pesticide-related poisoning is a leading cause of death, underscoring a major health concern. The 2009 Health Bulletin, which compiles health statistics from 2008, recorded 7,438 pesticide-related poisoning deaths at more than 400 hospitals nationwide amongst men and women aged 15-49. Of the deaths, direct pesticide poisoning accounted for 8 percent of the fatalities, preceded only by respiratory failure at 11 percent, said the bulletin.

Source : http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?Reportid=87773

Potential for Occupational Exposure to Engineered Carbon-Based Nanomaterials in Environmental Laboratory Studies

Background: The potential exists for laboratory personnel to be exposed to engineered carbon-based nanomaterials (CNMs) in studies aimed at producing conditions similar to those found in natural surface waters [e.g., presence of natural organic matter (NOM)].
Objective: The goal of this preliminary investigation was to assess the release of CNMs into the laboratory atmosphere during handling and sonication into environmentally relevant matrices.
Methods: We measured fullerenes (C60), underivatized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (raw MWCNT), hydroxylated MWCNT (MWCNT-OH), and carbon black (CB) in air as the nanomaterials were weighed, transferred to beakers filled with reconstituted freshwater, and sonicated in deionized water and reconstituted freshwater with and without NOM. Airborne nanomaterials emitted during processing were quantified using two hand-held particle counters that measure total particle number concentration per volume of air within the nanometer range (10–1,000 nm) and six specific size ranges (300–10,000 nm). Particle size and morphology were determined by transmission electron microscopy of air sample filters.
Discussion: After correcting for background particle number concentrations, it was evident that increases in airborne particle number concentrations occurred for each nanomaterial except CB during weighing, with airborne particle number concentrations inversely related to particle size. Sonicating nanomaterial-spiked water resulted in increased airborne nanomaterials, most notably for MWCNT-OH in water with NOM and for CB.
Conclusion: Engineered nanomaterials can become airborne when mixed in solution by sonication, especially when nanomaterials are functionalized or in water containing NOM. This finding indicates that laboratory workers may be at increased risk of exposure to engineered nanomaterials.

Source : http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.0901076


REACH : les données sur les premières substances enregistrées sont disponibles

L'Agence européenne des substances chimiques (ECHA) a rendu publiques les données sur quelques 200 substances déjà enregistrées dans le cadre du règlement REACH. Entré en vigueur en juin 2007, le règlement vise à combler les lacunes de connaissances sur les dangers pour l'homme et l'environnement d'environ 30.000 substances chimiques présentes sur le marché européen. Les données fournies par les fabricants seront progressivement mises à la disposition du public sur le site de l'ECHA au fur et à mesure de l'arrivée des dossiers d'enregistrement.

Source : http://hesa.etui-rehs.org/fr/newsevents/newsfiche.asp?pk=1348

Potential Occupational Health Risk from Exposure to Nano-Scale Particles from Photocopiers

A Pilot Study
This work aimed to characterize and quantify the nanoscale particles emitted by a typical heavy duty industrial photocopier and printer to assess the long term effect of these particles on occupational health. The measured data showed that the nanoscale particle count in the room increased by about 5 times when the photocopier was in use as compared to when there was no activity in the room. The size distribution showed a correlation with the size distribution of the photocopier toner, suggesting the photocopier as the probable main source for the increased nanoparticle count in the room. This study also identified the settling time for the nanoscale aerosol in the work environment as twelve hours with the existing ventilation system. The potential health risk related to toner particles is also explored.

Soruce : http://www.etsmtl.ca/zone2/recherche/JIIRI/Article_Adetunji_V2N1-02.pdf

Évaluation du risque à la santé lié à l'exposition des travailleurs aux poussières d'épices

Les épices, très prisées dans le domaine agroalimentaire, sont cependant à l'origine de problèmes de santé chez les travailleurs, notamment certaines maladies immuno-allergiques et irritatives
dont l'asthme, la bronchite, la bronchiolite, les sinusites, les rhinoconjonctivites et les dermatites. Au Québec la norme utilisée est une norme générique de 10 mg/m3 sur 8 h couvrant les poussières non classifiées autrement (PNCA). Ce travail visait à documenter les effets des épices, les valeurs limites d'exposition retrouvées dans la littérature, et à colliger les concentrations mesurées dans les établissements visités par l'équipe du CSSS. La littérature documente les effets irritants et allergisants, respiratoires et cutanés de diverses épices. La norme PNCA est jugée inadéquate. Les évaluations environnementales du CSSS font ressortir plusieurs situations de surexposition, même par rapport à cette norme. Des efforts importants devraient être entrepris pour réduire l'exposition dans les entreprises agroalimentaires, au minimum en conformité avec des recommandations britanniques tenant mieux compte des effets respiratoires.

Source : http://www.etsmtl.ca/zone2/recherche/JIIRI/Article_Chirane_V2N1-03.pdf

Radon in British Columbia Work Places

Radon has been recognized as a significant health risk to workers in underground mining (notably uranium and fluorspar mines) for several decades. More recently, the risk from radon in residential settings was identified and confirmed through European and North American studies. Growing interest in protecting members of the public in residential facilities from radon is also leading to concerns over the exposure of workers in workplace settings. In order to examine the implications for B.C. workplaces and occupational health and safety policy, this study reviewed relevant literature and radon measurement data, and conducted new radon level surveys in a small number of B.C. workplaces.

Source : http://www.worksafebc.com/contact_us/research/research_results/res_60_10_660.asp

Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis-Related Years of Potential Life Lost Before Age 65 Years

United States, 1968--2006
Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) is a preventable, slowly progressive parenchymal lung disease caused by inhalation and deposition of coal mine dust in the lungs. The incidence and rate of CWP progression is related to the amount of respirable coal dust to which miners were exposed during their working lifetime (1). Early pneumoconiosis can be asymptomatic, but advanced disease often leads to disability and premature death (1,2). To characterize the impact of premature mortality attributed to CWP in the United States, CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) analyzed annual underlying cause of death data from 1968--2006, the most recent years for which complete data were available. Years of potential life lost before age 65 years (YPLL), and mean YPLL were calculated using standard methodology. This report describes the results of that analysis, which indicate that during 1968--2006, a total of 22,625 YPLL were attributed to CWP (mean per decedent: 5.7). Annual YPLL attributed to CWP decreased 91.2%, from an average of 1,484 YPLL per year during 1968--1972 to 154 per year during 2002--2006. However, annual YPLL from CWP have been increasing since 2002, from 135 in that year to 169 YPLL in 2006, suggesting a need for strengthening CWP prevention measures. CDC intends to maintain surveillance of CWP deaths to determine future trends and promote safer work environments.

Source : http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5850a4.htm

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