2014-09-01 12:00 - Messages

List of MAK and BAT Values 2014

Maximum Concentrations and Biological Tolerance Values at the Workplace
MAK values (Maximum Concentrations at the Workplace) and BAT values (Biological Tolerance Values) promote the protection of health at the workplace. They are an efficient indicator for the toxic potential of chemical compounds. This book contains a list of scientifically recommended threshold limit values for more than 1000 chemical compounds. Carcinogens, germ cell mutagens, embryotoxicants, sensitizing substances and those potentially bearing a risk to pregnancy are treated separately. Of particular value are the lists of substances which were reviewed in the past 12 months, including substances being examined for the establishment of MAK and BAT values in coming years.

Source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/9783527682027

Heat-related illness among Oregon farmworkers

Farmworkers are particularly vulnerable to climate-sensitive health outcomes such as heat-related illness (HRI) given their tasks involve heavy exertion in an outdoor setting. The objectives of the study were to: (1) describe symptoms of HRI experienced by farmworkers and (2) explore factors associated with heat knowledge, level of concern regarding HRI, and comfort level taking breaks at work. Bilingual research staff conducted personal interviews of 100 farmworkers during July and August 2013. Data collected included demographics, work history and current work practices, trainings received, HRI symptoms experienced, health status, and health behaviors. Nearly 30% of participants reported experiencing ≥2 HRI symptoms during the previous work. Few participants had high level of heat knowledge (21.0%) and 15.6% of participants reported being "very concerned" about the health effects of working in hot conditions. Participants who were paid by the piece were more likely to have a high heat knowledge score and be "very concerned" about HRI but less likely to be "very comfortable" taking a break compared to workers paid by the hour than those who had not received HRI training.
Results suggest several areas in which employers and agencies conducting outreach and education to the workers about HRI can change their practices including providing cooling measures and HRI training about risk factors for HRI.

Source: Bethel JW, Harger R. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 2014; 11: 9273-9285.

Cancer burden of diesel exhaust steep for exposed workers

Almost five per cent of all lung cancers diagnosed in Canadian males each year are attributable to occupational exposure to diesel engine exhaust (DEE).
This burden was uncovered by Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) researchers as part of a wider project to estimate the current overall burden of occupational cancers suffered by Canadian workers.
The OCRC released preliminary data recently estimating the proportion of new DEE-related diagnosed lung cancers to be 4.92% for males, 0.29% for females and 2.70% overall. Considering it can take years, even decades, from initial exposure to carcinogens, including DEE and the development of cancer, these researchers looked at data for the risk exposure period between 1961 and 2001.
“Historically, workers exposed to diesel exhaust were mostly male—it makes sense then to see the attributable male fraction to be higher than for women,” says OCRC researcher Joanne Kim.
Specifically, this relates to male-dominated industries such as mining, trucking and the operation of other heavy equipment.

Source: https://www.whsc.on.ca/What-s-new/News-Archive/Cancer-burden-of-diesel-exhaust-steep-for-exposed

Report of the questionnaire on regulatory regimes for manufactured nanomaterials 2010-2011

One of the objectives of the WPMN project on Co-operation on Voluntary Schemes and Regulatory Programmes is to gather information on the nanomaterials notified under the various regulatory regimes in OECD jurisdictions to provide an indication of regulatory activity and trends over time.

Source: http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=env/jm/mono(2014)28&doclanguage=en

Reproductive Health Risks Associated With Occupational Exposures to Antineoplastic Drugs in Health Care Settings

A Review of the Evidence
Objectives: Antineoplastic drugs are known reproductive and developmental toxicants. Our objective was to review the existing literature of reproductive health risks to workers who handle antineoplastic drugs.
Methods: A structured literature review of 18 peer-reviewed, English language publications of occupational exposure and reproductive outcomes was performed.
Results: Although effect sizes varied with study size and population, occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs seems to raise the risk of both congenital malformations and miscarriage. Studies of infertility and time to pregnancy also suggested an increased risk for subfertility.
Conclusions: Antineoplastic drugs are highly toxic in patients receiving treatment, and adverse reproductive effects have been well documented in these patients. Health care workers with long-term, low-level occupational exposure to these drugs also seem to have an increased risk of adverse reproductive outcomes. Additional precautions to prevent exposure should be considered.

Source: Connor, Thomas H.; Lawson, Christina C.; Polovich, Martha; McDiarmid, Melissa A. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: September 2014, Volume 56, Issue 9, p 901–910.

Expositions professionnelles à des contaminants chimiques et physiques

Analyse différenciée selon le sexe
Des chercheurs viennent de réaliser une des premières analyses de l'exposition professionnelle à des substances chimiques entre hommes et femmes en utilisant des données épidémiologiques issues de deux études – l'une sur le cancer du poumon et l'autre sur le cancer du sein, qui documentaient de façon détaillée les histoires de travail de 1 657 hommes et de 2 073 femmes de la région de Montréal vers la fin des années 1990. À l'aide des données recueillies et analysées par des experts – chimistes et hygiénistes du travail, les chercheurs ont pu ainsi estimer et comparer la proportion et les niveaux d'exposition entre hommes et femmes par profession en tenant compte ou non de l'activité économique pour 243 substances toxiques qui avaient été codées dans chacune des deux études.

Source: http://www.irsst.qc.ca/-publication-irsst-expositions-contaminants-chimiques-r-842.html

Diisocyanate and Non-Diisocyanate Sensitizer-Induced Occupational Asthma Frequency During 2003 to 2007 in Ontario, Canada

Objective: To investigate proportions and outcomes of isocyanate and other causes of occupational asthma (OA) claims in Ontario, Canada, 2003 to 2007.
Methods: New accepted workers' compensation claims for OA compensated by the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board were retrospectively reviewed.
Results: There were 112 allowed claims for OA—30 (26.8%) from diisocyanates (ISO) and 82 (73.2%) from other causes (non-diisocyanates [N-ISO]). The most common occupations for ISO OA were production workers (50%). The most common agents in the N-ISO group were flour (13%) and metal dusts/fumes (10%). At a median time of 8 months postdiagnosis, 55% of ISO and 56.4% of N-ISO workers, respectively, were unemployed.
Conclusions: Diisocyanates OA compensation claims in Ontario are recognized at a lower absolute number and proportion of all OA claims than those in earlier periods. More than half from all causes were unemployed at a median of 8 months postdiagnosis.

Source: Ribeiro, Marcos; Tarlo, Susan M.; Czyrka, Andréa; Vernich, Lee; Luce, Carol E.; Liss, Gary M. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: September 2014, Volume 56, Issue 9, p. 1001–1007

Research to determine the incidence, prevalence and relative risk of ill health due to chemical exposure in the chemical and downstream oil industry sector

This project identified seven data sources from which to assess ill health problems potentially associated with exposure to harmful chemicals in the chemical and downstream oil industry. Interrogation of these sources allowed insight into the range and type of ill health previously, and currently, associated with certain exposures. A bespoke definition of the chemical and downstream oil industry sector, based on SIC codes, was developed as part of this project in order to assist this process.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1013.htm

NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings, 2014

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Alert: Preventing Occupational Exposures to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings was published in September 2004. In Appendix A of the Alert, NIOSH identified a sample list of major hazardous drugs. The list was compiled from information provided by four institutions that had generated lists of hazardous drugs for their respective institutions, as well as a list from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). The 2004 list was updated in 2010 and 2012. The current update (2014) adds 27 drugs and includes a review of the 2004 list and the consequent removal of 12 drugs that did not meet the NIOSH criteria for hazardous drugs. In addition, a new format has been developed for the list of hazardous drugs, as described below.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2014-138/

Standardisation of the measurement of capture efficiency of on-gun extraction for welding

The inhalation of welding fume is recognised as being a real threat to workers' health due to the development of occupational illnesses such as welding fume fever and asthma. Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) is an effective method to control worker exposure to welding fume and previous work has indicated the merit of the use of on-gun extraction systems.
The aim of the present study was to improve and refine the existing on-gun extraction methodology and has resulted in the development of two alternative methods for measuring the efficiency of on-gun fume extraction systems. There are distinct advantages and drawbacks to both methods of measuring on-gun capture efficiency, but a preferred method has been identified.
At the time of drafting this report, working group 4 of Standards committee CEN/TC 121/SC 9 has adopted this preferred method and is currently drafting a new standard for measuring the capture efficiency of on-gun fume extraction systems.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1010.htm

MiXie France

Nouvel outil INRS de prise en compte des multi-expositions dans la prévention du risque chimique
En milieu professionnel, rares sont les situations où les travailleurs ne sont exposés qu'à une seule substance chimique. Pour permettre une évaluation des effets possibles liés aux multi-expositions, l'Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité (INRS), en partenariat avec l'Université de Montréal et l'IRSST, a mis au point MiXie France, un outil en ligne gratuit et simple à utiliser qui permet d'évaluer le potentiel additif des substances chimiques.

Source: http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/footer/presse/cp-mixie.html

Nanomatériaux – Guide de bonnes pratiques favorisant la gestion des risques en milieu de travail

2e édition
Dans l’intention de soutenir le développement sécuritaire des nanotechnologies au Québec, le présent guide souhaite rassembler les connaissances scientifiques actuelles sur l’identification des dangers, les stratégies d’évaluation du niveau de nanomatériaux retrouvés dans différents milieux de travail, l’évaluation des risques et finalement l’application de différentes approches à la gestion des risques. Ce guide, dont l’utilisation optimale requiert un minimum de connaissances en hygiène du travail,  est destiné à soutenir l’ensemble des milieux de travail qui fabriquent ou utilisent des nanomatériaux et à fournir des informations pratiques et des outils de prévention permettant leur manipulation sécuritaire aussi bien dans les laboratoires et les usines pilotes que dans les industries de production ou d’intégration de ces produits.

Source: http://www.irsst.qc.ca/-publication-irsst-manomat%C3%A9riaux-guide-r-840.html

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