2015-08-01 12:00 - Messages

Assessment of the Biological Effects of Welding Fumes Emitted From Metal Active Gas and Manual Metal Arc Welding in Humans

Objective: Emissions from a particular welding process, metal inert gas brazing of zinc-coated steel, induce an increase in C-reactive protein. In this study, it was investigated whether inflammatory effects could also be observed for other welding procedures.
Methods: Twelve male subjects were separately exposed to (1) manual metal arc welding fumes, (2) filtered air, and (3) metal active gas welding fumes for 6 hours. Inflammatory markers were measured in serum before, and directly, 1 and 7 days after exposure.
Results: Although C-reactive protein concentrations remained unchanged, neutrophil concentrations increased directly after exposure to manual metal arc welding fumes, and endothelin-1 concentrations increased directly and 24 hours after exposure. After exposure to metal active gas and filtered air, endothelin-1 concentrations decreased.
Conclusions: The increase in the concentrations of neutrophils and endothelin-1 may characterize a subclinical inflammatory reaction, whereas the decrease of endothelin-1 may indicate stress reduction.

Source: Dewald, Eva; Gube, Monika; Baumann, Ralf; Bertram, Jens; Kossack, Veronika; Lenz, Klaus.; Reisgen, Uwe; Kraus, Thomas; Brand, Peter. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: August 2015, Volume 57, Issue 8, p. 845-850.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000495

Risque chimique - Une page dédiée sur LinkedIn

L'INRS a créé une page vitrine pour le risque chimique sur le réseau social professionnel LinkedIn.
Cette page a pour objectifs de communiquer sur l'offre globale Risques chimiques de l'INRS : publications, outils, formations, événements, visuels, études en cours et terminées vers les professionnels sensibilisés ou intéressés par cette problématique.
Elle servira également à recueillir des retours d'expérience d'utilisateurs d'outils et méthodes, d'identifier d'éventuels besoins en prévention par le biais de sondages, questionnaire, appels à témoins et favoriser la recherche de terrains d'étude lors de campagnes ou projets INRS.

Source: http://www.rst-sante-travail.fr/rst/header/actualites/une-page-dediee-LinkedIn.html

Occupational-Related Chemical Injuries

A Review of the Literature
Although few occupational chemical injuries are reported each year, the severity of these injuries increases their importance to occupational health nurses who intervene to prevent these injuries by understanding their nature and etiology. This article is a review of the literature detailing specific occupational chemical injuries as well as a review of common occupational chemical injuries in the United States focusing on pulmonary, ocular, and burn injuries.

Source: Lurati A. Workplace Health Saf. 2015; 63(7): 284-287.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2165079915576924

Longitudinal Assessment of Blood Cholinesterase Activities Over 2 Consecutive Years Among Latino Nonfarmworkers and Pesticide-Exposed Farmworkers in North Carolina

Objective: This study (1) describes patterns of whole blood total cholinesterase, acetylcholinesterase, and butyrylcholinesterase activities across the agricultural season, comparing farmworkers and nonfarmworkers; and (2) explores differences between farmworkers' and non-farmworkers' likelihood of cholinesterase depression.
Methods: Blood samples from 210 Latino male farmworkers and 163 Latino workers with no occupational pesticide exposure collected 8 times across 2 agricultural seasons were analyzed. Mean cholinesterase activity levels and depressions 15% or more were compared by month.
Results: Farmworkers had significantly lower total cholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase activities in July and August and lower acetylcholinesterase activity in August. Farmworkers had significantly greater likelihood of cholinesterase depression for each cholinesterase measure across the agricultural season.
Significance: A repeated-measures design across 2 years with a nonexposed control group demonstrated anticholinesterase effects in farmworkers. Current regulations designed to prevent pesticide exposure are not effective.

Source: Quandt, Sara A.; Pope, Carey N.; Chen, Haiying; Summers, Phillip; Arcury, Thomas A. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: August 2015, Volume 57, Issue 8, p. 851-857.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000496

Occupational Exposure to Aluminum and Alzheimer Disease

A Meta-Analysis
Objective: We conducted a meta-analysis to systematically quantify the association between occupational exposure to aluminum and risk of Alzheimer disease (AD).
Methods: Electronic database searches were conducted up to March 2015 for controlled studies. Study quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.
Results: Three retrospective case-control studies, involving 1056 participants, met the criteria for inclusion. All studies used surrogate informants to ascertain exposure. Occupational aluminum exposure was not associated with AD (odds ratio, 1.00; 95% confidence interval, 0.59 to 1.68), even in sensitivity analysis excluding studies with low-quality assessment scores (odds ratio, 1.06; 95% confidence interval, 0.36 to 3.10).
Conclusions: The findings of the present meta-analysis do not support a causative role of aluminum in the pathogenesis of AD. Nevertheless, in the absence of prospective studies with more precise ascertainment of exposure, a role for aluminum cannot be definitively excluded.

Source: Virk, Sohaib A.; Eslick, Guy D. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: August 2015, Volume 57, Issue 8, p. 893-896.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000487 

Mise au point sur les risques toxiques lors de l’utilisation professionnelle des photocopieurs

Les photocopieurs sont considérés comme des outils essentiels dans les entreprises. De plus en plus de salariés se plaignent auprès de leur service de santé au travail de symptômes qu'ils attribuent à leur exposition au photocopieur. Il s'agit donc de connaître les risques liés à cette exposition. Le fonctionnement d'un photocopieur est basé sur l'électrophotographie, c'est-à-dire le transfert électrostatique de la poudre de toner vers une surface photoconductrice chargée électriquement. Lors du processus d'impression, des poussières de toner, des composés organiques volatils, des gaz comme l'ozone, des particules ultrafines sont émis. Les émissions sont variées et variables suivant le type et le mode de fonctionnement du photocopieur. Les niveaux d'exposition sont mal connus mais se situent sous les valeurs limites d'exposition en vigueur lors des différentes études. Les études animales permettent de démontrer qu'il faut des niveaux d'exposition importants pour développer une pathologie respiratoire. Aucune étude n'est en mesure de certifier la relation entre l'exposition aux photocopieurs et les pathologies respiratoires chroniques et cancéreuses. Des études supplémentaires doivent donc être menées. Enfin, il n'existe à ce jour aucune réglementation et recommandation spécifiques sur l'utilisation des photocopieurs.

Source: Desmond, C., Verdun-Esquer, C., Rinaldo, M., Courtois, A., & Labadie, M. (2015). Archives des Maladies Professionnelles et de l'Environnement. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.admp.2015.04.045

New models for prediction of micronuclei formation in nuclear medicine department workers

Background : Ionizing radiation causes detrimental health effects such as cancer and genetic damage. The study aim was to determine predictors for micronuclei (MN) occurrence and frequency in peripheral blood lymphocytes of health workers professionally exposed to radiation.
Methods : Health workers, age matched, selected for the study on regular check-ups, were divided according to the radiation exposure. The exposed group involved nuclear medicine department employees (54) and the control group comprised workers from other departments (36). Data about workers characteristics and habits, received annual doses (AD), total years of service (TYS) and exposed years of service (EYS) were taken from each subject. Blood samples were taken and micronuclei (MN) number in peripheral blood lymphocytes was calculated using CBMN assay according to standard protocols.
Results : Most workers were female, technicians, with mean age of 45.67 years and EYS about 15 years. Health workers exposed to radiation had significantly more MN than controls (p = 0.001). Female gender, older age, higher received annual doses, longer EYS and TYS increased the MN number. Technicians and laboratory workers have higher risk for MN occurrence. Significant predictors of MN formation according to constructed model were workers age, sex, AD and EYS. One EYS year increases MN frequency 1.017 times, while receiving 0.1 mSy raises MN frequency by 26 %. EYS accurately predicts 86.30 % of MN frequencies and AD 64.60 %.
Conclusions : The model, developed for the first time in this study, showed that received annual doses and duration of exposure to radiation can be used for prediction of MN numbers.

Source: Terzic, Sanja, Milovanovic, Aleksandar, Dotlic, Jelena, Rakic, Boban, & Terzic, Milan. (2015). Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology.
http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1186/s12995-015-0066-5

Individualized prediction of heat stress in firefighters

A data-driven approach using classification and regression trees
The purpose of this study was to explore data driven models, based on decision trees, to develop practical and easy to use predictive models for early identification of firefighters who are likely to cross the threshold of hyperthermia during live-fire training. Predictive models were created for three consecutive live-fire training scenarios. The final predicted outcome was a categorical variable: will a firefighter cross the upper threshold of hyperthermia - Yes/No. Two tiers of models were built, one with and one without taking into account the outcome (whether a firefighter crossed hyperthermia or not) from the previous training scenario. First tier of models included age, baseline heart rate and core body temperature, body mass index, and duration of training scenario as predictors. The second tier of models included the outcome of the previous scenario in the prediction space, in addition to all the predictors from the first tier of models. Classification and regression trees were used independently for prediction. The response variable for the regression tree was the quantitative variable: core body temperature at the end of each scenario. The predicted quantitative variable from regression trees was compared to the upper threshold of hyperthermia (38 °C) to predict whether a firefighter would enter hyperthermia. The performance of classification and regression tree models was satisfactory for the second (success rate = 79%) and third (success rate = 89%) training scenarios but not for the first (success rate = 43%). Data driven models based on decision trees can be a useful tool for predicting physiological response without modeling the underlying physiological systems. Early prediction of heat stress coupled with proactive interventions, such as pre-cooling, can help reduce heat stress in firefighters.

Source: Mani A, Rao M, James K, Bhattacharya A. J. Occup. Env. Hyg. 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15459624.2015.1069298

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