2011-10-01 12:00 - Messages

Health assessment for trichloroethylene

Ce document de l’Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) des États-Unis annonce l'achèvement de l'évaluation d’impact sur la santé du polluant chimique trichloréthylène (TCE) et l’incorporation de l'évaluation dans l'Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). La base de données IRIS fournit de l'information scientifique pour les décideurs de tous les niveaux. Le trichloréthylène est un solvant chloré largement utilisé et maintenant officiellement classé comme un cancérigène.


Source : http://www.epa.gov/IRIS/subst/0199.htm

Opinions, attitudes et pratiques des médecins du travail vis-à-vis de la prévention, du dépistage et de la déclaration des cancers professionnels

Les cancers représentent la première cause de décès en France, devant les maladies cardio-vasculaires. De 4 à 8,5 % d'entre eux seraient d'origine professionnelle. Deux enquêtes régionales ont été réalisées afin de mieux connaître les opinions, attitudes et pratiques des médecins du travail vis-à-vis de la prévention, du dépistage et de la déclaration des cancers professionnels.

Source : Verger, P., Fontaine, B., Falcy, M. Opinions, attitudes et pratiques des médecins du travail vis-à-vis de la prévention, du dépistage et de la déclaration des cancers professionnels dans deux régions françaises. Documents pour le Médecin du Travail, no 127, 3e trimestre 2011, p. 409-419.
http://www.dmt-prevention.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/DMT_TF%20195/$File/TF195.pdf

The Continuing Persistence of Silicosis-NIOSH Science Blog

Crystalline silica (silicon dioxide) has long been recognized as an occupational hazard. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimated in 2003 that over 2 million workers were potentially exposed to crystalline silica dust in general industry, construction and maritime industries. Based on OSHA compliance inspection data, Yassin et al estimated that about 119,000 of such workers were exposed. Inhalation of crystalline silica can cause silicosis, a preventable but incurable type of lung fibrosis. At current U.S. levels of exposure, chronic inhalation generally takes a decade or longer to cause disease. However, high levels of exposure can cause disease more quickly. Severe cases can be disabling or even fatal. Breathing silica dust is also associated with tuberculosis, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Exposure to silica dust may also cause various autoimmune diseases and chronic renal (kidney) disease.

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

Introducing the SINLIST

ChemSec, The International Chemical Secretariat, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to working towards a toxic free environment. Based in Göteborg, Sweden, ChemSec was founded in 2002 by four Swedish environmental organisations: Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, WWF Sweden, Nature and Youth and Friends of the Earth Sweden. These NGOs are the ChemSec member organisations and are represented on the ChemSec board. ChemSec operates through support from a broad spectrum of society. A main contributor is the Swedish Government, but ChemSec also receives financial support from charitable foundations and other NGOs.

What is the SIN LIST? The SIN (Substitute It Now!) List is an NGO driven project to speed up the transition to a toxic free world. The List 2.0 consists of 378 chemicals that ChemSec has identified as Substances of Very High Concern based on the criteria established by the EU chemical regulation, REACH. The SIN List is an important tool for speeding up the REACH legislative process, and is based on a straightforward concept: substitute hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives. 

Here is the complete SIN List 2.0 of 378 (updated in May 2011) substances - all of which fulfil the criteria for Substances of Very High Concern as defined in the REACH regulation. The database contains 311 substances that are Carcinogenic, Mutagenic and toxic to Reproduction (CMRs), 17 substances that are Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic or very Persistent and very Bioaccumulative (PBTs and vPvBs) and 50 Substances of Equivalent Concern.
Source : http://www.sinlist.org

Amiante - accréditation des organismes de mesure (France)

Un arrêté du 19 août 2011 précise les conditions d'accréditation devant être remplies par les organismes procédant aux mesures d'empoussièrement en fibres d'amiante dans les immeubles bâtis. Il supprime l'obligation d'agrément de ces organismes et entrera en vigueur le 1er janvier 2013.

Source : Arrêté du 19 août 2011 relatif aux conditions d'accréditation des organismes procédant aux mesures d'empoussièrement en fibres d'amiante dans les immeubles bâtis:
http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/jopdf/common/jo_pdf.jsp?numJO=0&dateJO=20110901&numTexte=39&pageDebut=14825&pageFin=14826

eChemPortal: Global Portal to Information on Chemical Substances

Users of eChemPortal are now able to search specific endpoint properties for substances contained in The Ecological Categorization Results from Canada Database. This Database contains the ecological categorization results for substances on the Canadian Domestic substance list and the supporting data on: Inherent toxicity, Persistency and Bioaccumulation.

Source : http://www.oecd.org/document/9/0,3343,en_2649_34379_35211849_1_1_1_1,00.html

cancer-environnement.fr

Ce site d'information sur le cancer propose notamment une synthèse des connaissances sur les agents cancérogènes - avérés ou suspectés - présents en milieux professionnels. L'information est présentée sous les onglets: informations générales, les cancers, expositions environnementales,  expositions professionnelles; cancer et nutrition. Le site dispose également d'un index thématique et d'un lexique.

Source : http://www.cancer-environnement.fr/

SOLUB : démarche de substitution des solvants en milieu de travail

Plus de 300 000 travailleurs québécois seraient exposés souvent ou tout le temps à des vapeurs de solvants. Ces composés chimiques, seuls ou en mélanges, peuvent causer, selon leur nature, des problèmes de santé tels l'irritation de la peau et des voies respiratoires, de la neurotoxicité, et même le cancer, sans compter les risques d'incendie et d'explosion. Une façon très efficace de prévenir ces lésions professionnelles est de remplacer les solvants dangereux par des produits ou des procédés qui le sont moins. Pour soutenir les intervenants, des chercheurs de l'Université de Montréal, financés par l'Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) depuis 20 ans, ont synthétisé leurs résultats de recherche afin de présenter, dans un site Web, une démarche systématique de substitution des solvants en milieu de travail.

Disponible sur le site de l'IRSST, Solub propose pour chacune des étapes des outils pratiques, des ressources et des références pertinentes, en plus de présenter des exemples de substitution.

Source : http://www.irsst.qc.ca/solub/

 

Parkinson’s Disease: Workplace Risk Factors

Parkinson's disease is thought to be the second most common neurological disease (after Alzheimer's), affecting an estimated 34,000 to 60,000 Canadians and 4,500 to 8,000 British Columbians. Previous studies have examined associations between Parkinson's disease and genetic factors, environmental exposures (e.g. pesticides, heavy metals, solvents), and major head trauma. In an earlier study, the research team explored the distribution of Parkinson's disease within occupational groups. That work lead to the development of ideas about potential relationships between the disease and workplace exposure to respiratory infections and body vibration caused by heavy machinery. This study is an investigation of the potential links between occupational exposures and Parkinson's disease. It is the largest case-control study of Parkinson's disease conducted in Canada to date.

Source : http://www.worksafebc.com/contact_us/research/research_results/res_60_10_1060.asp

http://www.worksafebc.com/contact_us/research/funding_decisions/assets/pdf/2007/RS200001-010andRS2007-OG05.pdf

Acute Illness and Injury from Swimming Pool Disinfectants and Other Chemicals

Swimming pools require disinfectants and other chemicals to maintain water quality and prevent swimmers from acquiring infections (1). When these chemicals are stored or used improperly or when they are handled or applied by persons not using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), illness or injury can result (2). To assess the frequency of illness and injury related to pool chemicals, CDC analyzed data for the period 2002–2008 from six states participating in the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risk (SENSOR)–Pesticides surveillance program and from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). This report describes the results of that analysis.

Source : Acute illness and injury from swimming pool disinfectants and other chemicals — United States, 2002–2008. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, October 7, 2011, Vol. 60, No. 39, p. 1343-1347. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm6039.pdf

Study links erionite in road gravel to associated pleural changes

Erionite in Road Gravel Associated With Interstitial and Pleural Changes—An Occupational Hazard in Western United States was published in the August 2011 edition of the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. The article provides the results of a study to determine the rate of chest radiographic abnormalities among residents of North Dakota potentially exposed to road gravel containing the fibrous mineral erionite. The study found that interstitial, pleural, or both changes typically associated with asbestos exposure were observed in seven (21 per cent) individuals. The primary exposure pathway for six of these was from gravel pits, road maintenance, or both. Three participants (8.8%) demonstrated bilateral localized pleural changes with calcification; two of these also had accompanying interstitial changes. According to the study's authors, these results indicate that occupational exposure to erionite contained within road gravel represents a potential health hazard and that precautionary measures should be taken to limit occupational exposures. 

Source : Erionite in road gravel associated with interstitial and pleural changes : an occupational hazard in western United States
Ryan, PH ; Dihle, M; Griffin, S; Partridge, C; Hilbert, T J.; Taylor, R; Adjei, S; Lockey, J E .  Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, August 2011, Vol 53, no 8, p 892–898.
http://journals.lww.com/joem/Abstract/2011/08000/Erionite_in_Road_Gravel_Associated_With.11.aspx

Web-based First Responders Tool for Chemical Hazards

Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) is a web-based resource developed to help first responders and other healthcare providers and planners to plan for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of mass-casualty incidents involving unintentional or terrorist chemical releases. CHEMM was produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, in cooperation with NIOSH and other partners. CHEMM is available on the Web or downloadable in advance if the internet becomes inaccessible during an event.

Source : http://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/download.htm

Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease: a policy overview

The report ‘Legionella and legionnaires’ disease: a policy overview’ presents the Europeans regulatory framework and policies related to Legionella, including guidelines and recommendations of international organisations. Legionnaires’ disease is seen primarily a public health issue rather than an occupational health matter, even though it often affects workers. The report also points out the occupational aspects of exposure to Legionella.
Source :
http://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/literature_reviews/legionella-policy-overview.pdf

Factsheet 100 - Legionella and legionnaires’ disease: European policies and good practices
http://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/factsheets/100

Heat stress and strain evaluation among aluminum potroom employees

HHE Program investigators evaluated hot working conditions in the potroom at an aluminum smelter. The company had a comprehensive heat stress management program, but investigators found that it was not being followed at all times. Most of the tasks that were monitored exceeded the limits for working in a hot environment and most employees who were monitored had signs of heat strain. Investigators recommended that managers reduce the physical demands on employees working in the potrooms and install cooling recovery areas. Employees were encouraged to use heat reflective personal protective equipment and take the time to work safely. In addition, 8-hour overtime shifts should be stopped during extremely hot weather.


Source : http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2006-0307-3139.pdf

EPA publishing IRIS review of Amphibole Asbestos

The US Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA) published in the Federal Register, August 25, 2011, Draft Toxicological Review of Libby Amphibole Asbestos: In Support of the Summary Information on the Integrated Risk Information System. The deadline for comments is October 24, 2011. EPA is conducting a peer review of the scientific basis supporting the human health hazard of a specific type of asbestos resulting from the processing of vermiculite in Libby, Montana.
Access the Federal Register notice:


Source : http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-08-25/pdf/2011-21722.pdf 

Access related EPA website for additional document downloads and information:
http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/iris_drafts/recordisplay.cfm?deid=235092

Effects of Skin Contact with Chemicals: Guidance for Occupational Health Professionals and Employers

Chemical exposure in the workplace is a significant problem in the United States. More than 13 million workers in the United States are potentially exposed to chemicals via the skin. Skin disorders are among the most frequently reported occupational illnesses, resulting in an estimated annual cost in the United States of over $1 billion. While the rates of most other occupational diseases are decreasing, skin disease rates are actually increasing.


Source : http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2011-200/pdfs/2011-200.pdf

 

Endotoxins - Nordic expert group and Dutch DECOS publish criteria document

The document on endotoxins is an update of a report published by the Dutch Health Council in 1998 and has been reviewed by DECOS as well as by NEG. The members of both committees are listed in Appendix 1. Endotoxins are components of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria and have been recognised as an important biologically active component in most organic dusts. Such bacteria-containing dust particles originate mainly from animal faeces and contaminated plant materials. Occupational exposure to endotoxins therefore occurs primarily in the agriculture industry and related sectors, and sectors handling mould contaminated materials and materials from plant and animal origin, such as the textile industry, spinning, food production, saw milling, wood processing and construction occupations handling biological materials, but also in waste handling. Numerous studies have been published concerning the health effects of occupational exposure to endotoxins. Most of these studies deal with the adverse respiratory health consequences. Acute effects in humans after endotoxin inhalation are dry cough and shortness of breath accompanied by decreased lung function, fever reactions and malaise, and sometimes dyspnoea, headache and joint aches occurring a few hours after exposure. Chronic endotoxin exposure may lead to chronic bronchitis and reduced lung function. The document considers the respiratory effects, and, based on the available information, the committees are of the opinion that no adverse health effects are expected after chronic occupational exposure up to 90 EU/m3.

Source : http://gupea.ub.gu.se/bitstream/2077/26596/2/gupea_2077_26596_2.pdf

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