2010-06-01 12:00 - Messages

NIOSH's Role in the Deepwater Horizon Response

Following the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon and the resulting and ongoing oil spill, occupational health specialists from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) arrived on site in the Gulf on May 2, 2010, as part of the federal interagency effort to anticipate and address occupational and environmental health and safety needs in the Gulf Coast. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) requested NIOSH's on-site technical assistance including input on worker health hazard risk assessment tools and personal protective equipment (PPE) selection tools used to train workers.

Source : http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/blog/nsb062910_oilspill.html

L'exposition au chlordécone augmente le risque de cancer de la prostate

L'exposition au chlordécone, un insecticide perturbateur endocrinien employé aux Antilles françaises de 1973 jusqu'en 1993 pour lutter contre le charançon du bananier, est associée à une augmentation du risque de survenue du cancer de la prostate. Telle est la conclusion d'un travail des chercheurs de l'Inserm, du CHU de Pointe-à-Pitre et du Center for Analytical Research and Technology (université de Liège, Belgique) publié dans le Journal of Clinical Oncology daté du 21 juin. Ce fameux chlordécone, classé cancérogène possible pour l'homme par l'Organisation mondiale de la santé, persiste dans les sols, les eaux de rivières ainsi que les sédiments et il contamine certaines denrées alimentaires.

Source : http://hesa.etui-rehs.org/fr/newsevents/newsfiche.asp?pk=1443

Article du Journal of Clinical Oncology : http://jco.ascopubs.org/cgi/content/abstract/JCO.2009.27.2153v1

Cancers professionnels, des clés pour agir

En France, 1 cancer sur 10 aurait une origine professionnelle. Face à cet enjeu de santé publique, l'ARC et la FNATH publient une brochure gratuite inédite pour faire connaître et reconnaître ces cancers.
Selon l'Institut de veille sanitaire et le Ministère du travail, on estime que 13,5 % des salariés sont exposés à un ou plusieurs facteurs cancérigènes, soit près de 2,37 millions de personnes. Dans 70 % des cas, ces cancers touchent des ouvriers. Selon l'Institut National de Recherche et Sécurité (INRS), les secteurs où le risque professionnel est le plus élevé sont :l'industrie du bois ; la métallurgie ; la chimie et la plasturgie ; le BTP ou encore les carrières. Résultat en France, 1 cancer sur 10 aurait une origine professionnelle, soit entre 13 000 et 30 000 personnes par an suivant les sources.

Source : http://www.industrie.com/it/sante/cancers-professionnels-une-brochure-pour-tout-savoir.9992?xtor=EPR-25

Research suggests professional drivers more at risk of Legionnaires disease

Windscreen wiper water may be the cause of 20% of cases of Legionnaires' Disease in England and Wales, the UK Health Protection Agency says. Yet adding screenwash kills the Legionella bacterium and could save lives, the Agency advised
It was seen that people who spend a long time driving were at higher risk of infection: professional drivers are five times more likely to be infected. A research team of the HPA carried out a questionnaire of people infected. They found that those most at risk were those who drove or travelled in a van, those who drove through industrial areas, and those who spent a lot of time in the car or who often had the car window open.

Source : http://osha.europa.eu/en/news/bbc-uk-research-suggests-professional-drivers-more-at-risk-of-legionnaires-disease

Beryllium Disease in BC Workers

A Pilot Surveillance Project Using Linked Administrative Data
Beryllium – a strong, light-weight metal used in several industries – can cause a serious lung disease called Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD), even at low exposure levels. Although beryllium is used in B.C., no cases of CBD have been diagnosed in the province to date. This could be because CBD can be easily confused with sarcoidosis, another lung disease which can only be distinguished from CBD with a specific diagnostic test.  To explore whether unrecognized cases of CBD may have occurred in B.C., the study examined the incidence of sarcoidosis in B.C. industries from 1991 to 2006.

Source : http://www.worksafebc.com/contact_us/research/research_results/res_60_10_790.asp

Developing Workplace Detection and Measurement Techniques for Carbon Nanotubes

The pathways through which carbon nanotubes (CNT) can enter the human body are currently the subject of intensive studies nationally and internationally, as are investigations for determining levels of exposure in the workplace and developing guidelines for the safe use of nanomaterials in the workplace.
This report investigates possible approaches for detecting nano-objects that are formed from airborne carbon nanotubes (CNT), while placing special emphasis on the very fine multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) that are used for the manufacture of optically transparent CNT sheet electrodes or CNT yarns.

Source : http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/swa/AboutUs/Publications/DevelopingWorkplaceDetectionandMeasurementTechniquesforCarbonNanotubes.htm

Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs for Veterinary Healthcare Workers

Veterinary healthcare employees working where hazardous drugs are handled may face health risks. Many of these workers treat small companion animals (primarily cats and dogs), but also larger animals such as horses, with antineoplastic and other drugs that may be hazardous to humans. NIOSH recommends establishing a program to provide appropriate protective measures for veterinary healthcare workers exposed to hazardous drugs.

Source : http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/wp-solutions/2010-150/

An Evaluation of MSDS and Labels associated with the use of Engineered Nanomaterials

This review reports an evaluation of 50 Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and 15 labels for products containing Engineered Nanomaterials (ENM). The evaluation considers how information on current ENM MSDS and labels reflects the state-of knowledge in regard to the hazards, risks and controls. The report provides an assessment of the relevance, accuracy and context of the information presented on the evaluated MSDS & labels for the protection of health and safety in the workplace. In addition the evaluations consider how the ENM MSDS and labels comply with the Australian National Codes of Practice for MSDS & Labelling [NOHSC:2011(2003)] and [NOHSC:2012(1994)] respectively.

Source : http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/swa/AboutUs/Publications/AnEvaluationofMSDSandLabelsassociatedwiththeuseofEngineeredNanomaterials.htm

Recommendations for a New Rock Dusting Standard to Prevent Coal Dust Explosions in Intake Airways

The workings of a bituminous coal mine produce explosive coal dust for which adding rock dust can reduce the potential for explosions. Accordingly, guidelines have been established by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) about the relative proportion of rock dust that must be present in a mine´s intake and return airways. Current MSHA regulations require that intake airways contain at least 65% incombustible content and return airways contain at least 80% incombustible content. The higher limit for return airways was set in large part because finer coal dust tends to collect in these airways. Based on extensive in-mine coal dust particle size surveys and large-scale explosion tests, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends a new standard of 80% total incombustible content (TIC) be required in the intake airways of bituminous coal mines in the absence of methane. MSHA inspectors routinely monitor rock dust inerting efforts by collecting dust samples and measuring the percentage of TIC, which includes measurements of the moisture in the samples, the ash in the coal, and the rock dust. These regulations were based on two important findings: a survey of coal dust particle size that was performed in the 1920s, and large-scale explosion tests conducted in the U.S. Bureau of Mines´ Bruceton Experimental Mine (BEM) using dust particles of that survey´s size range to determine the amount of inerting material required to prevent explosion propagation. Mining technology and practices have changed considerably since the 1920s, when the original coal dust particle survey was performed. Also, it has been conclusively shown that as the size of coal dust particles decreases, the explosion hazard increases. Given these factors, NIOSH and MSHA conducted a joint survey to determine the range of coal particle sizes found in dust samples collected from intake and return airways of U.S. coal mines.

Source : http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/pubs/pubreference/outputid2825.htm

Acute Antimicrobial Pesticide-Related Illnesses Among Workers in Health-Care Facilities

Antimicrobial pesticides (e.g., sterilizers, disinfectants, and sanitizers) are chemicals used to destroy or suppress the growth of harmful microorganisms on inanimate objects and surfaces (1). Health-care facilities use antimicrobial pesticides to prevent pathogen transmission from contaminated environmental surfaces (2). Occupational exposures to antimicrobial pesticides are known to cause adverse health effects. To assess the nature and frequency of such exposures in health-care settings, CDC analyzed data from pesticide poisoning surveillance programs in California, Louisiana, Michigan, and Texas (the only four states that regularly collect data on antimicrobial pesticide-related illness) for the period 2002--2007. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which identified 401 cases of work-related illness associated with antimicrobial pesticide exposures in health-care facilities. Most cases were identified through workers compensation systems (61%) and occurred among females (82%) and persons aged 25--54 years (73%). The most frequent occupations reported were janitors/housekeepers (24%) and nursing/medical assistants (16%). The reported mechanism of injury usually was splashes/spills (51%). The eyes were the most common organ/system affected (55%); only 15% of the 265 persons who had exposures while handling antimicrobial pesticides reported using eye protection. Reported symptoms were mostly mild and temporary. One fatality due to acute asthma and subsequent cardiopulmonary collapse was identified. Health-care facilities should educate workers about antimicrobial pesticide hazards, promote the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) as appropriate, and implement effective risk communication strategies for antimicrobial pesticide use to prevent bystander exposure. Improved design of handling equipment might prevent handler and bystander exposure.

Source : http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5918a2.htm

Revue des études épidémiologiques sur les maladies reliées à l'exposition à l'amiante ajouté aux enrobés bitumineux

L'Institut national de santé publique du Québec a reçu du ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux le mandat de rédiger un avis sanitaire portant sur les enrobés bitumineux contenant de l'amiante chrysotile.
Pour aider à préparer cet avis, le présent document résume la littérature épidémiologique publiée sur les maladies reliées à l'exposition à l'amiante survenues chez les travailleurs exposés à l'amiante ajouté au bitume pour le recouvrement des chaussées. Les maladies ici retenues sont les cancers du poumon et du larynx, les mésothéliomes de la plèvre et du péritoine et l'amiantose. Nous avons aussi présenté les résultats sur les cancers de la plèvre, car la majorité d'entre eux sont des mésothéliomes.

Source : http://www.inspq.qc.ca/publications/notice.asp?E=p&NumPublication=1086

Comparison of dust released from sanding conventional and nanoparticle-doped wall and wood coatings

Introduction of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) into traditional surface coatings (e.g., paints, lacquers, fillers) may result in new exposures to both workers and consumers and possibly also a new risk to their health. During finishing and renovation, such products may also be a substantial source of exposure to ENPs or aggregates thereof. This study investigates the particle size distributions (5.6 nm–19.8 μm) and the total number of dust particles generated during sanding of ENP-doped paints, lacquers, and fillers as compared to their conventional counterparts. In all products, the dust emissions from sanding were found to consist of five size modes: three modes under 1 μm and two modes around 1 and 2 μm. Corrected for the emission from the sanding machine, the sanding dust, was dominated by 100–300 nm size particles, whereas the mass and surface area spectra were dominated by the micrometer modes. Adding ENPs to the studied products only vaguely affected the geometric mean diameters of the particle modes in the sanding dust when compared to their reference products. However, we observed considerable differences in the number concentrations in the different size modes, but still without revealing a clear effect of ENPs on dust emissions from sanding.

Source : http://www.nature.com/jes/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/jes201032a.html

Investigation of potential exposure to carcinogens and respiratory sensitisers during thermal processing of plastics

This work was carried out in support of HSE's FIT3 Disease Reduction Programme Cancer Project's aim to develop a strategy to reduce the incidence of occupational cancer in Great Britain. As part of this strategy, HSE has initiated research that aims to deliver evidence that will help to identify carcinogens of concern, improve control of exposure to carcinogens at work and provide a baseline for evaluating strategies for intervention.
Earlier, in 2005-7, HSL characterised the exposure profiles of a selected group of occupational carcinogens and determined baseline exposures with which to compare future levels. The project identified the potential for exposure to carcinogens in the thermoplastic processing and finishing industries however there was a scarcity of published quantitative exposure data. A number of laboratory and other studies had shown that carcinogens could be generated from the processing of thermoplastics in some situations but further investigation was required to establish the levels of exposure that may originate in the industrial setting.

Source : http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr797.htm

Skin...Exposed!

Take a postage stamp. Stick it to your arm. You've just covered 16 million cells, 55 hairs, 8 meters of nerves, 17,000 nerve endings, 5 meters of blood vessels, 500 sweat glands, and 83 oil glands. You've also just wasted 44 cents. Your skin is marvelously complex. It is your largest organ, accounting for 10% of your body's mass. It is also the site of 15 to 20 percent of all reported work-related illnesses according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Skin can suffer direct, sensitizing, or systemic effects when exposed to hazardous chemicals. Direct exposure can corrode, irritate, bleach, or stain skin. Dermal exposure to chemicals such as nickel, glutaraldehyde, and chromium may sensitize the skin, causing or contributing to the onset of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) or other immune-mediated responses, such as airway hyper reactivity (asthma). Many commonly used chemicals in the workplace—pesticides, organic solvents—can be absorbed through the skin and potentially result in systemic toxicity. These agents enter the blood stream and cause health problems away from the site of entry. While our skin is marvelous, clearly it's no suit of armor.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/blog/nsb052010_dermal.html

Occupational Disease Indicators

One of the functions of Safe Work Australia is to collect, analyse and publish data and other information in order to inform the development and evaluation of work health and safety policies. As part of this function, Safe Work Australia seeks to establish and monitor credible baseline indicators of occupational disease. Occupational disease usually results from repeated or long-term exposure to an agent or event, for example, loss of hearing as a result of long-term exposure to noise, or from a single exposure to an infectious agent.
On 24 May 2002, the Workplace Relations Ministers' Council endorsed the release of the National OHS Strategy 2002–2012. Five national priority action areas were identified within the strategy. The Occupational Disease Indicators project supports the third priority area, to ‘prevent occupational disease more effectively'. This report is the third in a series of biennial reports, the first of which was published in April 2006.

Source: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/14D876A8-B0EA-4005-BC61-D3F5F5A2683C/0/OccupationalDiseaseIndicatorsApril2010.pdf

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