2013-04-01 12:00 - Messages

Occupational exposure to trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene and the risk of lymphoma, liver, and kidney cancer in four Nordic countries

Objectives Trichloroethylene (TCE) and Perchloroethylene (PER) are two chlorinated solvents that are applied widely as degreasers of metal parts, and in dry cleaning and other applications. In 2012, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified TCE as carcinogenic to humans and PER as probably carcinogenic to humans. We explored exposure–response relations for TCE and PER and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), multiple myeloma (MM), and cancers of the kidney and liver in the Nordic Occupational Cancer cohort. Methods The cohort was set up by linking occupational information from censuses to national cancer registry data using personal identity codes in use in all Nordic countries. Country, time period, and job-specific exposure estimates were generated for TCE, PER and potentially confounding occupational exposures with a job-exposure matrix. A conditional logistic regression was conducted for exposure groups as well as for continuous cumulative exposure. Results HRs for liver cancer, NHL and MM but not kidney cancer were slightly elevated in groups with high exposure to PER (compared to occupationally unexposed subjects). HRs for liver cancer and NHL also increased with increasing continuous exposure to PER. We did not observe evidence for an association between exposure to TCE and NHL, MM or liver and kidney cancer. Conclusions Although this study was subject to limitations related to the low prevalence of exposure to PER and TCE in the Nordic population and a limited exposure assessment strategy, we observed some evidence indicative of an excess risk of cancer of the liver and NHL in subjects exposed to PER.

Source : Jelle Vlaanderen, Kurt Straif, Eero Pukkala, Timo Kauppinen, Pentti Kyyrönen, Jan Ivar Martinsen, Kristina Kjaerheim, Laufey Tryggvadottir, Johnni Hansen, Pär Sparén, Elisabete Weiderpass. Occupational exposure to trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene and the risk of lymphoma, liver, and kidney cancer in four Nordic countries. Occup Environ Med, Published Online First: 27 February 2013 http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2012-101188

Comparative Emissions of Random Orbital Sanding between Conventional and Self-Generated Vacuum Systems

Conventional abrasive sanding generates high concentrations of particles. Depending on the substrate being abraded and exposure duration, overexposure to the particles can cause negative health effects ranging from respiratory irritation to cancer. The goal of this study was to understand the differences in particle emissions between a conventional random orbital sanding system and a self-generated vacuum random orbital sanding system with attached particle filtration bag. Particle concentrations were sampled for each system in a controlled test chamber for oak wood, chromate painted (hexavalent chromium) steel panels, and gel-coated (titanium dioxide) fiberglass panels using a Gesamtstaub-Probenahmesystem (GSP) sampler at three different locations adjacent to the sanding. Elevated concentrations were reported for all particles in the samples collected during conventional sanding. The geometric mean concentration ratios for the three substrates ranged from 320 to 4640 times greater for the conventional sanding system than the self-generated vacuum sanding system. The differences in the particle concentration generated by the two sanding systems were statistically significant with the two sample t-test (P < 0.0001) for all three substances. The data suggest that workers using conventional sanding systems could utilize the self-generated vacuum sanding system technology to potentially reduce exposure to particles and mitigate negative health effects.

Source : Liverseed, D.R., Logan, P.W., Johnson, C.E., Morey, S.Z., Raynor, P.C. Comparative Emissions of Random Orbital Sanding between Conventional and Self-Generated Vacuum Systems. Ann Occup Hyg (2013) 57(2): 221-229. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/mes066

Evaluation of Systemic Health Effects Following Dermal Exposure to Chemicals - TR 119

Risk assessment of chemicals, including the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) legislation, also cover assessments of dermal risk arising from exposure to chemicals. The European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) has produced this guidance consisting of a tiered approach for the risk assessment of dermal exposure to a chemical.

The process developed by the Task Force consists of three linked decision trees, i.e.:

  • Derivation of a health-based reference value;
  •  Initial risk characterisation; 
  • Refined risk characterisation.

It is designed to use existing exposure and toxicology data and identify data gaps or data inadequacies to be addressed to complete a risk assessment.  Each component of the decision trees is supported by explanation in the text and, in relevant cases, by an appendix providing additional detailed background information. This allows users with varying amounts of experience in risk assessment to access the guidance at different levels.

Source : http://www.ecetoc.org/index.php?mact=MCSoap,cntnt01,details,0&cntnt01by_category=22&cntnt01order_by=date%20Desc&cntnt01template=display_list_v2&cntnt01display_template=display_details_v2&cntnt01document_id=7081&cntnt01returnid=59

Exposition à l'amiante - Réglementation 2013 en questions-réponses

Le Ministère du Travail a mis en ligne un guide questions-réponses qui apporte des précisions nécessaires à la mise en oeuvre du décret du 4 mai 2012 et de ses arrêtés d'application. Le sujet vous paraîtra moins complexe après consultation du questions-réponses accessible en PDF depuis le site dédié.
Le guide sur le site www.travailler-mieux.gouv.fr

Source : http://www.travailler-mieux.gouv.fr/Amiante-un-Questions-Reponses.html


Amiante : équipements de protection individuelle

Un arrêté du 7 mars 2013 traite du choix des équipements de protection individuelle pour des opérations comportant un risque d'exposition à l'amiante, selon le niveau d'empoussièrement. Il fixe également les règles d'utilisation, d'entretien et de vérification des équipements. Tous les travaux susceptibles de libérer des fibres sont concernés.

Source : http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000027169462


Occupational Exposure Assessment in Carbon Nanotube and Nanofiber Primary and Secondary Manufacturers: Mobile Direct-Reading Sampling

Research Significance: Toxicological evidence suggests the potential for a wide range of health effects from exposure to carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon nanofibers (CNFs). To date, there has been much focus on the use of direct-reading instruments (DRIs) to assess multiple airborne exposure metrics for potential exposures to CNTs and CNFs due to their ease of use and ability to provide instantaneous results. Still, uncertainty exists in the usefulness and interpretation of the data. To address this gap, air-monitoring was conducted at six sites identified as CNT and CNF manufacturers or users and results were compared with filter-based metrics. Results: Differences were not observed among the various sampled processes compared with concurrent indoor or outdoor background samples while examining the different DRI exposure metrics. Such data were also inconsistent with results for filter-based samples collected concurrently at the same sites [Dahm MM, Evans DE, Schubauer-Berigan MK et al. (2012) Occupational exposure assessment in CNT and nanofiber primary and secondary manufacturers. Ann Occup Hyg; 56: 542–56]. Significant variability was seen between these processes as well as the indoor and outdoor backgrounds. However, no clear pattern emerged linking the DRI results to the EC or the microscopy data (CNT and CNF structure counts). Conclusions: Overall, no consistent trends were seen among similar processes at the various sites. The DRI instruments employed were limited in their usefulness in assessing and quantifying potential exposures at the sampled sites but were helpful for hypothesis generation, control technology evaluations, and other air quality issues. The DRIs employed are nonspecific, aerosol monitors, and, therefore, subject to interferences. As such, it is necessary to collect samples for analysis by more selective, time-integrated, laboratory-based methods to confirm and quantify exposures.

Matthew M. Dahm, Douglas E. Evans, Mary K. Schubauer-Berigan, M. Eileen Birch, and James A. Deddens. Occupational Exposure Assessment in Carbon Nanotube and Nanofiber Primary and Secondary Manufacturers: Mobile Direct-Reading Sampling. Ann Occup Hyg (2013) 57(3): 328-344. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/mes079

The effect of prescribed fluid consumption on physiology and work behavior of wildfire fighters

The purpose of this study was to examine 1) wildfire fighters' ability to consume the prescribed fluid volume (1200 mL h−1), 2) the effect of fluid intake on plasma sodium and hydration, and 3) the effect of fluid intake on firefighters' heart rate, core temperature and activity during emergency suppression shifts.
Methods : Thirty-four firefighters were divided into ad libitum (AD, n = 17) and prescribed (PR, n = 17) drinking groups. Results : PR drinkers did not meet the prescribed fluid target, yet consumed over double the volume of AD drinkers. No differences between groups in plasma sodium or hydration were noted. PR drinking resulted in lower core temperature between 2 and 6 h. This did not coincide with reduced cardiovascular strain, greater work activity or larger distances covered when compared to AD drinkers. Conclusion : Extra fluid consumption (above AD) did not improve firefighter activity or physiological function (though PR firefighters core temperature was lower earlier in their shift). Firefighter can self-regulate their fluid consumption behavior and work rate to leave the fireground euhydrated.

Source : Jenni Raines, Rodney Snow, Aaron Petersen, Jack Harvey, David Nichols, Brad Aisbett. The effect of prescribed fluid consumption on physiology and work behavior of wildfire fighters. Applied Ergonomics, Vol. 44, no 3, May 2013, p. 404–413. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003687012001482

Questions-réponses sur le bisphénol A (BPA)

Qu’est-ce que le BPA ? Quels sont ses effets sur la santé ? Comment prévenir les risques d’expositions ?
L'INRS vous propose des réponses à ces questions.

  • Le bisphénol A (BPA)
  • Effets du BPA sur la santé
  • Prévention

Source : http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/header/actualites/questions-reponses-bisphenol-A.html

Les effets du plomb sur la santé associés à des plombémies inférieures à 100 µg/L

 Dans un avis scientifique « Plomb dans l’alimentation » publié en avril 2010, l’Autorité européenne de sécurité des aliments (EFSA) faisait état d’effets neurotoxiques, sur le développement, cardiovasculaires et rénaux associés à des plombémies (1) inférieures à 100 µg/L, valeur de surveillance communément admise au niveau international. Cette valeur de 100µg/L est celle retenue par ailleurs pour la surveillance du dépistage et de la déclaration obligatoire des cas de saturnisme en France. Dans ce contexte, l’Anses avait été saisie le 26 juillet 2011 par les ministères en charge de la santé et de l’environnement d’une demande relative « aux effets du plomb sur la santé associés à des plombémies inférieures à 100 µg/L». 

Source :


AVIS et rapport de l’Anses relatif «aux effets du plomb sur la santé associés à des plombémies inférieures à 100 µg/L

Airborne Emissions of Carcinogens and Respiratory Sensitizers during Thermal Processing of Plastics

Objectives: Thermoplastics may contain a wide range of additives and free monomers, which themselves may be hazardous substances. Laboratory studies have shown that the thermal decomposition products of common plastics can include a number of carcinogens and respiratory sensitizers, but very little information exists on the airborne contaminants generated during actual industrial processing. The aim of this work was to identify airborne emissions during thermal processing of plastics in real-life, practical applications. Methods: Static air sampling was conducted at 10 industrial premises carrying out compounding or a range of processes such as extrusion, blown film manufacture, vacuum thermoforming, injection moulding, blow moulding, and hot wire cutting. Plastics being processed included polyvinyl chloride, polythene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene. At each site, static sampling for a wide range of contaminants was carried out at locations immediately adjacent to the prominent fume-generating processes. Results: The monitoring data indicated the presence of few carcinogens at extremely low concentrations, all less than 1% of their respective WEL (Workplace Exposure Limit). No respiratory sensitizers were detected at any sites. Conclusions: The low levels of process-related fume detected show that the control strategies, which employed mainly forced mechanical general ventilation and good process temperature control, were adequate to control the risks associated with exposure to process-related fume. This substantiates the advice given in the Health and Safety Executive's information sheet No 13, ‘Controlling Fume During Plastics Processing', and its broad applicability in plastics processing in general.

Source : John Unwin, Matthew R. Coldwell, Chris Keen, and John J. McAlinden. Airborne Emissions of Carcinogens and Respiratory Sensitizers during Thermal Processing of Plastics. Ann Occup Hyg (2013) 57(3): 399-406 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/mes078


Redesigned Biomonitoringinfo.org website offers easier navigation and updated

A challenge of any website is how to convey information in a way that is both understandable and useful. It can be particularly difficult to cross the chasm dividing content and communication when the topic of a site is scientific or technical. Finding the right balance can be tough.
When we gave a facelift to Biomonitoringinfo.org — reworking design and content and culminating in a relaunch earlier this year — we wanted to create a site that was easier to navigate and written to be of use to each of the site's readers: researchers, journalists, policy experts and students.
For a deeper dive, “Biomonitoring in Depth” offers summaries of government biomonitoring programs, synopses and links to research, and a glossary of terms. The “Topics” tab is the entry point for reading more about two special areas of biomonitoring, Biomonitoring Equivalents and Cord Blood Biomonitoring.

Source : http://www.biomonitoringinfo.org/


The Future of Exposure Assessment: Perspectives From the X2012 Conference

The British Occupational Hygiene Society, in collaboration with the Institute of Occupational Medicine, the University of Manchester, the UK Health and Safety Executive, and the University of Aberdeen hosted the 7th International Conference on the Science of Exposure Assessment (X2012) on 2 July–5 July 2012 in Edinburgh, UK. The conference ended with a special session at which invited speakers from government, industry, independent research institutes, and academia were asked to reflect on the conference and discuss what may now constitute the important highlights or drivers of future exposure assessment research. This article summarizes these discussions with respect to current and future technical and methodological developments. For the exposure science community to continue to have an impact in protecting public health, additional efforts need to be made to improve partnerships and cross-disciplinary collaborations, although it is equally important to ensure that the traditional occupational exposure themes are still covered as these issues are becoming increasingly important in the developing world. To facilitate this the ‘X' conferences should continue to retain a holistic approach to occupational and non-occupational exposures and should actively pursue collaborations with other disciplines and professional organizations to increase the presence of consumer and environmental exposure scientists.

Source : Frank De Vocht, Christine Northage, Chris Money, John W. Cherrie, Bob Rajan-Sithamparanadarajah, Peter Egeghy, Karen Niven, Paul Demers, and Martie Van Tongeren. The Future of Exposure Assessment: Perspectives From the X2012 Conference. Ann Occup Hyg (2013) 57(3): 280-285 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/met008

New HSE guidance on Nanotechnology and updated website

HSE has produced new guidance aimed at employers, health and safety managers and SMEs who use or manufacture nanomaterials. The guidance is based on the generic principles of COSHH and good control practice and includes information on a range of nanomaterials. The nanotechnology website has also been updated and now includes information on the toxicological properties of nanomaterials.

Source : http://www.hse.gov.uk/nanotechnology/index.htm?eban=rss-


Dustiness of fine and nanoscale powders

"Dustiness may be defined as the propensity of a powder to form airborne dust by a prescribed mechanical stimulus; dustiness testing is typically intended to replicate mechanisms of dust generation encountered in workplaces. A novel dustiness testing device, developed for pharmaceutical application, was evaluated in the dustiness investigation of 27 fine and nanoscale powders. The device efficiently dispersed small (mg) quantities of a wide variety of fine and nanoscale powders, into a small sampling chamber. Measurements consisted of gravimetrically determined total and respirable dustiness. The following materials were studied: single and multiwalled carbon nanotubes, carbon nanofibers, and carbon blacks; fumed oxides of titanium, aluminum, silicon, and cerium; metallic nanoparticles (nickel, cobalt, manganese, and silver) silicon carbide, Arizona road dust; nanoclays; and lithium titanate. Both the total and respirable dustiness spanned two orders of magnitude (0.3-37.9% and 0.1-31.8% of the predispersed test powders, respectively). For many powders, a significant respirable dustiness was observed. For most powders studied, the respirable dustiness accounted for approximately one-third of the total dustiness. It is believed that this relationship holds for many fine and nanoscale test powders (i.e. those primarily selected for this study), but may not hold for coarse powders. Neither total nor respirable dustiness was found to be correlated with BET surface area, therefore dustiness is not determined by primary particle size. For a subset of test powders, aerodynamic particle size distributions by number were measured (with an electrical low-pressure impactor and an aerodynamic particle sizer). Particle size modes ranged from approximately 300nm to several micrometers, but no modes below 100nm, were observed. It is therefore unlikely that these materials would exhibit a substantial sub-100nm particle contribution in a workplace."

Source : Evans, Douglas E. ;  Turkevich, Leonid A. ;  Roettgers, Cynthia T. ;  Deye, Gregory J. ;  Baron, Paul A.  Dustiness of Fine and Nanoscale Powders. Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 2013, p. 261-277. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/mes060


Nouvelles fiches pour repérer et substituer les cancérogènes

3 nouvelles fiches d'aide au repérage ou à la substitution d’agents cancérogènes sont actuellement disponibles. Par ailleurs, 19 fiches existantes viennent d’être mises à jour (dont 3 refondues, notamment celle concernant la substitution du perchloroéthylène).

Source : http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/header/actualites/nouvelles-far-fas.html


Exposition aux champs électromagnétiques

Générées par de multiples applications industrielles, les champs électromagnétiques sont susceptibles d’altérer la santé des travailleurs exposés. Afin d’aider les entreprises à évaluer et à prévenir ces risques, l’INRS publie en coopération avec l'INERIS une nouvelle brochure à visée opérationnelle (de référence ED 6136).

Source : http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/header/actualites/brochure-risque-champ-electromagnetique.html

Metals in the Lungs of Ontario Hardrock Miners

The objective of this study was to determine the concentration of nickel, cadmium, and lead in the autopsied lungs of 29 hardrock miners. It involved chemical analysis of the lungs, where each lung was divided horizontally into 3 sections and analyzed by an atomic absorption spectrophotometer equipped with a graphite furnace. The grand mean levels of nickel, cadmium, and lead were found to be 1.84, 1.74, and 2.75 μg/g of dry tissue, respectively. The effect of smoking was also examined. The ratios using the mean values between smoker and nonsmoker for nickel, cadmium, and lead were found to be 0.7, 5.4, and 1.4, respectively. The level of cadmium in smokers was significantly higher than nonsmokers. This study provides an estimate of retained metals in the lungs of the Ontario hardrock miners as a result of occupational exposure to hardrock mining environment.

Source : Dave K Verma, Metals in the Lungs of Ontario Hardrock Miners. Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health, Volume 68, Issue 3, 2013. Doi : http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19338244.2012.663011


Amiante : un nouvel arrêté précise les modalités de formation des travailleurs

Le Ministère du Travail vient de publier un arrêté réglementant, les modalités de formation des travailleurs potentiellement exposés au risque amiante.

L’arrêté publié le 23 février 2013 par le Ministère du Travail refond et abroge les dispositions de l’arrêté du 22 décembre 2009 sur les modalités de formation des travailleurs à la prévention des risques liés à l’amiante.
Ce nouvel arrêté redéfinit un programme de formation permanent pour tous les travailleurs opérant avec un risque d’exposition à l’amiante, en fonction du niveau d’intervention et de l’encadrement.
Sont ainsi clairement définies les formations que doit assurer obligatoirement l’employeur depuis la formation préalable indispensable avant toute intervention en milieu amianté jusqu’à la formation des personnels d’encadrement technique ou de chantier.
A noter que les personnels formés avant l’entrée en vigueur du présent arrêté devront suivre une formation de mise à niveau ou de recyclage.
Enfin les conditions d’accréditation des organismes certificateurs et de certification obligatoire des organismes de formation intervenant dans le domaine du risque amiante sont reformulées dans le texte entré en vigueur à sa publication.

Source : http://www.preventica.com/actu-enbref-amiante-arrete-modalites-formation-travailleurs-1260313.php

Infographic: The Goal of GHS

Why do we need the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), and how does it work? This new infographic displays the answers in graphic form. Over 5,000 U.S. workplaces employing 43 million workers have environments that could expose workers hazardous chemicals. The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), a system for standardizing the labeling and classification of chemicals around the world, creates a common framework to help reduce confusion surrounding these chemicals.

Source : http://ehstoday.com/osha/infographic-goal-ghs

Exposition des travailleurs de la construction à la silice cristalline – Exploitation d’une banque de données tirée de la littérature

Il n'y a pas que dans les mines où les travailleurs peuvent être exposés à la poussière de silice. Plusieurs études ont démontré des niveaux d'exposition élevés dans le secteur de la construction où l'on retrouve plusieurs matériaux contenant de la silice, tels que le béton, le ciment, et le mortier. Les chercheurs veulent donc dresser un portrait détaillé de l'exposition à la silice en exploitant une banque récemment créée dans le cadre d'un projet financé par l'IRSST et contenant plus de 10 000 données d'exposition chez les travailleurs de la construction. L'activité consiste à utiliser cette banque de données pour établir des profils d'exposition par métiers et tâches, et élucider l'influence des outils, des matériaux utilisés, et des moyens de maîtrise du risque.

Source : http://www.irsst.qc.ca/media/documents/PubIRSST/R-772.pdf

New Findings on Lung Tumor Formation in Laboratory Mice Exposed to Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Earlier today, at the annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology, NIOSH researchers reported preliminary findings from a new laboratory study in which mice were exposed by inhalation to multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT).  The study was designed to investigate whether these tiny particles have potential to initiate or promote cancer.  By “initiate,” we mean the ability of a substance to cause mutations in DNA that can lead to tumors.  By “promote,” we mean the ability of a substance to cause cells that have already sustained such DNA mutations to then become tumors.
 It is very important to have new data that describe the potential health hazards that these materials might represent, so that protective measures can be developed to ensure the safe advancement of nanotechnology in the many industries where it is being applied.

Source : http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2013/03/mwcnt/

La protection respiratoire contre les bioaérosols

Les risques d’exposition à des microorganismes aéroportés ou bioaérosols infectieux suscitent de plus en plus d’intérêt pour quiconque a un rôle à jouer en matière de santé et sécurité au travail (SST). Cet intérêt est encore plus marqué lorsque vient le temps de choisir et d’utiliser une protection respiratoire contre les bioaérosols infectieux. L’objectif de cet article est de permettre de choisir et d’utiliser des appareils de protection respiratoire (APR) pour tous les travailleurs contre tous les bioaérosols, infectieux ou non.

Source : Lavoie, J., Cloutier, Y., Marchand, G., Neesham-Grenon, E., Debia, M. La protection respiratoire contre les bioaérosols. Le Labexpert, février 2013, vol.3, no1, p. 7-17. http://optmq.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/LabExpert-Revue-Fev2013-corrig%C3%A91.pdf


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