2014-02-01 12:00 - Messages

Exposition des travailleurs agricoles aux pesticides

L'Anses publie un rapport bibliographique et lance un appel à contributions
Différentes études épidémiologiques réalisées auprès de populations du secteur agricole mettent en évidence une relation significative entre les expositions à certains pesticides et certaines pathologies. L'Anses s'est donc autosaisie en 2011 afin d'identifier, évaluer et caractériser les expositions des travailleurs agricoles aux pesticides, ceci en vue de proposer des actions permettant de les réduire. L'Agence publie aujourd'hui un rapport bibliographique qui met en évidence le déficit de données sur les expositions aux pesticides des travailleurs agricoles en France. Dans ce contexte, l'Agence lance un appel à contributions complémentaires.

Source: http://www.anses.fr/fr/content/exposition-des-travailleurs-agricoles-aux-pesticides-l%E2%80%99anses-publie-un-rapport

Bioaérosols et emplois verts

Le développement durable et l'adaptation aux changements climatiques impliquent des stratégies qui ont notamment entraîné l'émergence de nouveau emplois, dont les "emplois verts", qui visent la protection de l'environnement et la réduction tant de l'empreinte écologique que des émissions de gaz à effet de serre.
Ainsi, l'entrée en vigueur de la nouvelle version de la Politique québécoise de gestion des matières résiduelles adoptée en 2011, entraîne une réduction du taux moyen d'enfouissement et établit un échéancier pour interdire l'élimination de certaines matières, dont les matières putrescibles au plus tard en 2020. De nouveaux secteurs d'activités ont donc pris forme, notamment le compostage et la biométhanisation, qui présentent toutefois des risques potentiels sur la santé des travailleurs, principalement en ce qui a trait à l'exposition aux bioaérosols et microorganismes.

Source: http://www.irsst.qc.ca/bioaerosols-et-emplois-verts.html

Nanomanufacturing

Emergence and Implications for U.S. Competitiveness, the Environment, and Human Health
Nanotechnology has been defined as the control or restructuring of matter at the atomic and molecular levels in the size range of about 1-100 nanometers (nm); 100 nm is about 1/1000th the width of a hair.
The U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), begun in 2001 and focusing primarily on R&D, represents a cumulative investment of almost $20 billion, including the request for fiscal year 2014. As research continues and other nations increasingly invest in R&D, nanotechnology is moving from the laboratory to commercial markets, mass manufacturing, and the global marketplace--a trend with potential future import that some compare to history's introduction of technologies with major economic and societal impact, such as plastics and even electricity. Today, burgeoning markets, innovation systems, and nanomanufacturing activities are increasingly competitive in a global context--and the potential EHS effects of nanomanufacturing remain largely unknown.
At the July 2013 forum, participants from industry, government, and academia discussed the future of nanomanufacturing; investments in nanotechnology R&D and challenges to U.S. competitiveness; ways to enhance U.S. competitiveness; and EHS concerns. Participants reviewed a summary of forum discussions, and two experts (who did not attend the forum) independently reviewed a draft of this report. Their comments were incorporated in this report as appropriate.

Source: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-181SP

Modelling of liquid hydrogen spills

In the long term the key to the development of a hydrogen economy is a full infrastructure to support it, which includes means for the delivery and storage of hydrogen at the point of use, eg at hydrogen refuelling stations for vehicles. As an interim measure to allow the development of refuelling stations and rapid implementation of hydrogen distribution to them, liquid hydrogen is considered the most efficient and cost effective means for transport and storage.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr985.htm

La résistance à la chaleur des pompiers expérimentés

Le Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene publiait en décembre dernier le résultat d'une étude canadienne sur la capacité d'adaptation à la chaleur des pompiers expérimentés. Elle a été réalisée en collaboration avec les universités d'Ottawa et de Sherbrooke, ainsi que le Service Incendie d'Ottawa et la TM McLellan Research inc.
L'étude tend à démontrer que les pompiers expérimentés développent, dans le cadre de leurs fonctions habituelles, une résistance physiologique plus grande au stress thermique qu'un travailleur non exposé à la chaleur.

Source: http://www.apsam.com/blogue/la-resistance-la-chaleur-des-pompiers-experimentes

White phosphorus burns and arsenic inhalation

A toxic combination
White phosphorus is a common industrial and military compound, which can cause severe thermal and chemical burns beyond what would be predicted from body surface area alone. The authors present a rare case of a 45-year-old male patient who suffered white phosphorus burns combined with arsenic inhalation because of an industrial accident. The presented case is used to review the history and the toxicities of these chemicals as well as current methods of treatment. A literature review was performed to summarize the current knowledge of white phosphorus burns, as well as arsenic poisoning, and no similar case reports of the two combined were found. The patient ultimately recovered and was discharged, though with significant chronic complications. This case highlights the risk of burns and inhalation injury present in industrial manufacturing jobs, as well as the potential severity of these conditions. The systemic effects of chemicals absorbed across burned skin and via inhalation were the main contributors to our patient's severe illness, and required more intensive treatment than the burns themselves. Arsenic toxicity is rare and could easily have been missed without the appropriate patient history.

Source: Berndtson AE, Fagin A, Sen S, Greenhalgh DG, Palmieri TL. J. Burn Care Res. 2014.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BCR.0b013e31828c73dd

Isocyanate paint spraying

Safely managing spray booths and rooms
This guidance is aimed at vehicle bodyshop owners, managers and supervisors, their employees (particularly paint sprayers) and suppliers. It will also be useful to industries other than motor vehicle repair where there is spraying of isocyanate-containing paints and lacquers.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg276.htm

L’absence d’éosinophilie bronchique est-elle un facteur de mauvais pronostic de l’asthme professionnel?

L'asthme est une maladie inflammatoire des bronches qui se traduit par une respiration sifflante, de la toux et de la difficulté à respirer. Ces symptômes s'accompagnent de changements de la fonction respiratoire qui comprennent une obstruction des bronches ainsi qu'une irritabilité anormale de celles-ci. L'inflammation présente dans l'asthme correspond la plupart du temps à la présence de cellules appelées éosinophiles. L'asthme professionnel (AP) est un asthme qui est causé par une allergie à un produit présent sur le lieu de travail. L'exposition à un agent professionnel, auquel un travailleur est allergique induit non seulement une diminution de la fonction respiratoire, mais aussi une augmentation de l'inflammation bronchique éosinophilique dans la majorité des cas. Cependant, une partie des personnes qui souffrent de l'asthme professionnel ne présentent pas d'inflammation éosinophilique lorsqu'elles sont exposées à la substance à laquelle elles sont allergiques. Une étude antérieure suggérait que ces personnes pourraient développer un asthme plus sévère que celles qui présentent une inflammation éosinophilique. L'inflammation bronchique peut être mesurée dans les crachats en pratiquant une méthode qui consiste à faire cracher les sujets après inhalation d'une solution saline. Cette technique se nomme l'expectoration induite.

Source: http://www.irsst.qc.ca/-publication-irsst-asthme-professionnel-r-809.html

Protecting the Nanotechnology Workforce

NIOSH Nanotechnology Research and Guidance - Strategic Plan, 2013–2016
Nanotechnology—the manipulation of matter on a near-atomic scale to produce new materials and devices—has the ability to transform many industries, from medicine to manufacturing, and the products they produce. By 2020, the National Science Foundation estimates, nanotechnology will have a $3 trillion impact on the global economy and employ 6 million workers in the manufacture of nanomaterial-based products, of which 2 million may be manufactured in the United States [NSF 2011]. Nanomaterials may present new challenges to understanding, predicting, and managing potential health risks to workers.
Many knowledge gaps still remain on how to work safely with all of these materials. Through strategic planning, research, partnering with stakeholders, and making information widely available, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is working to continue to provide national and world leadership in providing solutions that will prevent work-related illness and injury.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2014-106/pdfs/2014-106.pdf

Cross-Sectional Study on Respiratory Morbidity in Workers After Exposure to Synthetic Amorphous Silica at Five German Production Plants

Exposure Assessment and Exposure Estimates
Objectives: Synthetic amorphous silicas (SASs) are nanostructured polymorphs of silicon dioxide. We compared two different exposure assessments.
Methods: This study estimated cumulative exposure to inhalable SAS dust in 484 male workers from five German SAS-producing plants. Two procedures (P1 and P2) were applied. P1 was based on an expert assessment. P2 was a multiple exposure assessment (15 scenarios) anchored by a recent measurement series (1375 personal measurements of inhalable SAS dust concentration) and used expert assessments.
Results: Cumulative exposure estimates for P1 averaged 56.9 mg/m3·yrs (range, 0.1 to 419); for a selected P2 scenario, the mean was 31.8 mg/m3·yrs (range, 0.4 to 480), (P < 0.0001). Averages varied between the 15 P2-scenarios from 12.6 to 109.6 mg/m3·yrs. Different time trends for SAS concentrations were observed.
Conclusions: Both approaches suffer from considerable uncertainties that need to be considered in epidemiological studies.

Source : Morfeld, Peter; Taeger, Dirk; Mitura, Heike; Bosch, Axel; Nordone, Adrian; Vormberg, Reinhard; McCunney, Robert; Merget, Rolf. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: January 2014, Volume 56, Issue 1, p. 72–78.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000055

Cognitive Disorders and Tau-Protein Expression Among Retired Aluminum Smelting Workers

Objectives: To analyze cognitive functions and tau-protein expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes of retired aluminum (Al)-exposed workers.
Methods: A total of 66 retired Al potroom workers and 70 unexposed controls were investigated. The cognitive functions were assessed with the Mini-Mental State Examination. The tau-protein expression in peripheral blood lymphocyte was analyzed with Western blot.
Results: The cognitive functions of the exposed group were significantly decreased. Twelve mild cognitive impairment cases in the exposed group and four mild cognitive impairment cases in the control group were diagnosed. Significantly higher p-tau181 and p-tau231 levels were detected in the Al-exposed workers than in the control group.
Conclusions: The study suggests that long-term exposure to Al may cause cognitive disorders and that p-tau181 and p-tau231 might be useful indicators for monitoring cognitive decline in Al-exposed workers.

Source: Lu, Xiaoting PhD; Liang, Ruifeng PhD; Jia, Zhijian; Wang, Hao; Pan, Baolong; Zhang, Qinli PhD; Niu, Qiao MD, PhD. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: February 2014, Volume 56, Issue 2, p. 155–160.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000100

Cross-Sectional Survey of Workers Exposed to Aliphatic Diisocyanates Using Detailed Respiratory Medical History and Questions Regarding Accidental Skin and Respiratory Exposures

Objectives: To identify possible cases of occupational asthma and assess accidental skin and inhalation exposures to aliphatic diisocyanates.
Methods: Seventy-three employees from two plants, manufacturing or producing aliphatic diisocyanates, were surveyed using a detailed respiratory history questionnaire with additional questions on accidental skin and inhalation exposures. Further reviews of medical records and interviews were used to determine whether any of 15 employees with questionable responses had developed occupational asthma.
Results: No cases of occupational asthma were identified. Nevertheless, many employees reported occasional accidental unprotected skin exposures and/or detecting the odor of 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate or isophorone diisocyanate.
Conclusions: Consistent with a previous study, no cases of occupational asthma were identified from exposure to 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate, isophorone diisocyanate, methylene bis(4-cyclohexyl isocyanate), or their polyisocyanates even though many employees reported detection of odors (93%) or skin exposures (53%).

Source : Hathaway, James A. MD, MPH; Molenaar, Donald M. MD, MPH; Cassidy, Laura D. PhD, MS; Feeley, Timothy M. MS; Cummings, Barbara J. MS. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: January 2014, Volume 56, Issue 1, p 52–57.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000019

Mesothelioma in Occupational Cohort Studies

Methodological Considerations
Objective: This article describes effective strategies for the identification and valid assessment of mortality due to mesothelioma.
Methods: We manually reviewed all death certificates for mention of mesothelioma for all International Classification of Diseases (ICD) revisions. We tested the accuracy of our ascertainment method by comparing New Jersey death certificate data from our health status registry with histologically confirmed cases from the New Jersey State Cancer Registry.
Results: We found reasonably good agreement between death certificate diagnoses and histologically confirmed cases, κ coefficient 0.86 (95% confidence interval, 0.76 to 0.95). Most mesothelioma deaths in our test and North American cohorts were coded to unspecified anatomical sites.
Conclusions: Limiting ascertainment to pleura and peritoneum ICD codes underestimates mesothelioma deaths. Reviewing all ICD codes that could contain mesothelioma is the only effective method for complete capture of mesothelioma diagnoses.

Source : Wojcik, Nancy C. MS; Schnatter, A. Robert PhD; Huebner, Wendy W. PhD. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: January 2014, Volume 56, Issue 1, p. 47–51.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000059

Relationship Between Welding Fume Concentration and Systemic Inflammation After Controlled Exposure of Human Subjects With Welding Fumes From Metal Inert Gas Brazing of Zinc-Coated Materials

Objectives: It has been shown that exposure of subjects to emissions from a metal inert gas (MIG) brazing process of zinc-coated material led to an increase of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) in the blood. In this study, the no-observed-effect level (NOEL) for such emissions was assessed.
Methods: Twelve healthy subjects were exposed for 6 hours to different concentrations of MIG brazing fumes under controlled conditions. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein was measured in the blood.
Results: For welding fumes containing 1.20 and 1.50 mg m−3 zinc, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein was increased the day after exposure. For 0.90 mg m−3 zinc, no increase was detected.
Conclusions: These data indicate that the no-observed-effect level for emissions from a MIG brazing process of zinc-coated material in respect to systemic inflammation is found for welding fumes with zinc concentrations between 0.90 and 1.20 mg m−3.

Source : Brand, Peter PhD; Bauer, Marcus MD; Gube, Monika MD; Lenz, Klaus Dipl Ing; Reisgen, Uwe Dr Ing; Spiegel-Ciobanu, Vilia Elena Dr Ing; Kraus, Thomas MD. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: January 2014, Volume 56, Issue 1, p. 1–5.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000061

Pressings

Quelles alternatives au perchloroéthylène ?
Alors que le perchloroéthylène disparaît peu à peu des pressings, la revue Hygiène et sécurité du travail (HST) revient dans son dernier numéro sur les risques associés à ce solvant et les alternatives possibles.

Source : http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/header/actualites/pressing-quelle-alternative-perchloroethylene.html

Fièvre Q

Étude de séroprévalence chez des professionnels d'élevage de petits ruminants dans le sud-est de la France
Une étude de séroprévalence de la fièvre Q chez des professionnels d'élevage de petits ruminants a été menée en 2010 dans les suites d'investigations vétérinaires réalisées dans ces élevages entre 2006 et 2009 dans deux départements du sud-est. Une séroprévalence élevée a été observée chez ces professionnels exposés. Le curage des locaux et les soins aux animaux étaient significativement associés à la séropositivité des sujets. Il n'a pas été observé de concordance entre le statut sérologique des sujets et la typologie d'infection des élevages liée au niveau d'excrétion, établie par une étude vétérinaire précédente. Dans un contexte endémique de fièvre Q, la sérologie ne peut être retenue comme un bon indicateur d'exposition pour ces professionnels d'élevage dont l'exposition est régulière et ancienne.

Source : http://www.rst-sante-travail.fr/rst/pages-article/ArticleRST.html?ref=RST.TF%20213

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