2016-05-01 12:00 - Messages

Pulmonary illness as a consequence of occupational exposure to shrimp shell powder

OBJECTIVES: An employee with no prior history of allergy or asthma, experienced respiratory and flu-like symptoms during production of shrimp shell powder in a seafood savory factory in Norway. We aimed to clarify the diagnosis and to identify the cause of the symptoms by specific inhalation challenge (SIC) and by characterizing the powder's biocontaminants, particle size fractions and inflammatory potential. METHODS: Respiratory and immunological responses were measured the day before and after each of four challenges with 20-150g shrimp shell powder during three consecutive days. The powder was analyzed for endotoxin, microorganisms and particle size fractions by standardized laboratory methods. Total inflammatory potential was quantified by reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in a granulocyte assay. RESULTS: The patient had elevated IgG, but not IgE, towards shrimp shell powder. 20min challenge with 150g shrimp shell powder induced 15% decrease in FVC, 23% decrease in FEV1 and increased unspecific bronchial reactivity by methacholine. Neutrophils and monocytes increased 84% and 59%, respectively, and the patient experienced temperature increase and flu-like symptoms. The shrimp shell powder contained 1118 endotoxin units/g and bacteria including Bacillus cereus, and 57% respirable size fraction when aerosolized. The ROS production was higher for shrimp shell powder than for endotoxin alone. CONCLUSIONS: Endotoxin and other bacterial components combined with a high fraction of respirable dust might be the cause of the symptoms. The patient's characteristics and response to SIC were best compatible with occupational asthma and organic dust toxic syndrome, while hypersensitivity pneumonitis could not be excluded.

Source: Bertelsen RJ, Svanes O, Madsen AM, et al. Environmental research, July 2016; 148: p. 491-499.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2016.04.033

Evaluation of Acute Nonlymphocytic Leukemia and Its Subtypes With Updated Benzene Exposure and Mortality Estimates

A Lifetable Analysis of the Pliofilm Cohort
Objective: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based its benzene carcinogenicity assessment on the Pliofilm cohort. We evaluated associations between benzene exposure and acute nonlymphocytic leukemia (ANLL) and acute myelocytic leukemia (AML) risks using this cohort's updated exposure estimates and mortality data.
Methods: We calculated standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for ANLL/AML using lifetable analyses, with various exposure quantile categories and lag times.
Results: Workers in the highest exposure categories had significantly elevated risks of ANLL and AML; no leukemia cases occurred in lower exposure categories. Exposure within 10 years of cancer onset appears most relevant for leukemia induction.
Conclusions: Our results confirmed the association between high-level benzene exposures and leukemia risks, and provided further evidence of a threshold effect and relevant exposure window. Our findings call for an updated risk assessment for benzene carcinogenicity using updated exposure estimates and mortality data.

Source: Rhomberg, Lorenz; Goodman, Julie; Tao, Ge; Zu, Ke; Chandalia, Juhi; Williams, Pamela; Allen, Bruce. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: April 2016, Volume 58, Issue 4, p. 414-420.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000689

Brain Anatomy in Latino Farmworkers Exposed to Pesticides and Nicotine

Objective: Migrant tobacco farmworkers experience regular occupational exposure to pesticides and nicotine. The present study was designed to determine whether there are differences in brain anatomy between Latino farmworkers and non-farmworkers.
Methods: Magnetic resonance brain images were compared between farmworkers and non-farmworkers. In addition, blood cholinesterase activity and urinary cotinine levels were also used to identify associations with pesticide and nicotine exposure.
Results: Farmworkers had greater gray matter signal in putamen and cerebellum, and lower gray matter signal in frontal and temporal lobes. Urinary cotinine was associated with the observed differences in brain anatomy, but blood cholinesterase activity was not.
Conclusions: Nicotine exposure was associated with neuroanatomical differences between Latino farmworkers and non-farmworkers. Future studies are needed to differentiate iron deposition from brain atrophy and to further assess the potential role of nicotine and pesticide exposure.

Source: Laurienti, Paul J.; Burdette, Jonathan H.; Talton, Jennifer; Pope, Carey N.; Summers, Phillip; Walker, Francis O.; Quandt, Sara A.; Lyday, Robert G.; Chen, Haiying; Howard, Timothy D.; Arcury, Thomas A. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: May 2016, Volume 58, Issue 5, p. 436-443.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000712

Control banding tools for occupational exposure assessment of nanomaterials

Ready for use in a regulatory context?
The development, production and application of engineered nanomaterials are becoming more and more widespread. Because researchers, developers and industrial workers are the first in line to be exposed to potentially hazardous nanomaterials, appropriate occupational exposure assessment is a key area of concern. Therefore, a number of Control Banding (CB)-based tools have been developed in order to assess and manage the potential risks associated with occupational exposure to nanomaterials.In this paper we provide a comparative analysis of different nanomaterial-specific types of control-banding/risk prioritization tools (the Control Banding Nanotool, IVAM Technical Guidance, Stoffenmanager Nano, ANSES CB Tool, NanoSafer, and the Precautionary Matrix) in order to evaluate their use-domains; types, extent, use and availability of input parameters; their output format; and finally their potential use and maturity in regard to meeting the minimum requirements for occupational exposure assessment under REACH and the conceptual source-transmission-receptor model by Schneider et al.(2011). This was done through an analysis including a literature review and use of the tools.It was found that the tools were developed for different purposes, with different application domains and inclusion criteria. The exposure assessments and derived risk levels are based on different concepts and assumptions and outputs in different formats. The use of requested input parameters for exposure assessment differ greatly among the tools, Therefore, direct inter-comparison and combination of the different models into a larger holistic framework is not immediately possible.Harmonization of input parameters and output could allow establishment of an exposure assessment framework with different level of information requirements.

Source: Liguori B, Hansen SF, Baun A, et al. NanoImpact, 2016.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.impact.2016.04.002

Australian Work Exposure Study (AWES) - Carcinogen Exposures Construction Industry

A random, population-based sample of 5528 Australian workers participated in the Australian Work Exposure Study (AWES). Workers answered questions about the tasks they completed and the controls used at work. Based on their responses to those questions, the likelihood of exposure to 38 known or suspected carcinogens was estimated.
The AWES focused on the most common tasks performed at work. Workers were not asked directly about their exposures to carcinogens and exposure levels were not measured in the workplace.
This report describes the responses provided by 459 AWES participants categorised as working in the construction industry. It also outlines existing materials that provide information about health effects, common exposure scenarios and options for preventing or minimising potential exposures to carcinogens.

Source: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/awes-carcinogen-exposures-construction-industry

Waste Workers’ Exposure to Airborne Fungal and Bacterial Species in the Truck Cab and During Waste Collection

A large number of people work with garbage collection, and exposure to microorganisms is considered an occupational health problem. However, knowledge on microbial exposure at species level is limited. The aim of the study was to achieve knowledge on waste collectors' exposure to airborne inhalable fungal and bacterial species during waste collection with focus on the transport of airborne microorganisms into the truck cab. Airborne microorganisms were collected with samplers mounted in the truck cab, on the workers' clothes, and outdoors. Fungal and bacterial species were quantified and identified. The study showed that the workers were exposed to between 112 and 4.8×104 bacteria m−3 air and 326 and 4.6×104 fungi m−3 air. The personal exposures to bacteria and fungi were significantly higher than the concentrations measured in the truck cabs and in the outdoor references. On average, the fungal and bacterial concentrations in truck cabs were 111 and 7.7 times higher than outdoor reference measurements. In total, 23 fungal and 38 bacterial species were found and identified. Most fungal species belonged to the genus Penicillium and in total 11 Penicillium species were found. Identical fungal species were often found both in a personal sample and in the same person's truck cab, but concentrations were on average 27 times higher in personal samples. Concentrations of fungal and bacterial species found only in the personal samples were lower than concentrations of species also found in truck cabs. Skin-related bacteria constituted a large fraction of bacterial isolates found in personal and truck cab samples. In total, six Staphylococcus species were found. In outdoor samples, no skin-related bacteria were found. On average, concentrations of bacterial species found both in the truck cab and personal samples were 77 times higher in personal samples than in truck cab samples. In conclusion, high concentrations of fungi were found in truck cabs, but the highest concentrations were found in personal samples; fungal and bacterial species found in high concentrations in personal samples were also found in truck cabs, but in lower concentrations indicating that both fungi and bacteria are transported by the workers into the truck cab, and are subsequently aerosolized in the truck cab.

Source: Madsen AM, Alwan T, Ørberg A, et al. Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 2016.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/mew021

Occupational Exposure to Pesticides With Occupational Sun Exposure Increases the Risk for Cutaneous Melanoma

Objective: The objective of the study was to examine the association between occupational exposure to pesticides and cutaneous melanoma, controlling for all possible confounders.
Methods: A pooled analysis of two case–control studies was conducted in two different geographic areas (Italy and Brazil). Detailed pesticides exposure histories were obtained.
Results: Ever use of any pesticide was associated with a high risk of cutaneous melanoma (odds ratio 2.58; 95% confidence interval 1.18–5.65) in particular exposure to herbicides (glyphosate) and fungicides (mancozeb, maneb), after controlling for confounding factors. When subjects were exposed to both pesticides and occupational sun exposure, the risk increased even more (odds ratio 4.68; 95% confidence interval 1.29–17.0).
Conclusions: The study suggests an augmented risk of cutaneous melanoma among subjects with exposure to pesticides, in particular among those exposed to occupational sun exposure.

Source: Fortes, Cristina; Mastroeni, Simona; Segatto M, Marjorie; Hohmann, Clarissa; Miligi, Lucia; Bakos, Lucio; Bonamigo, Renan. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: April 2016, Volume 58, Issue 4, p. 370-375.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000665

Measured Pulmonary and Systemic Markers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress Following Wildland Firefighter Simulations

Objective: A controlled human exposure study was conducted to investigate the impact of inhalational exposures to wood smoke PM2.5 on measured concentrations of airway and systemic inflammatory biomarkers.
Methods: Mimicking wildland firefighter activities, 10 participants were exposed to three doses of wood smoke PM2.5 (filtered-air, 250?μg/m3, and 500?μg/m3) while exercising on a treadmill. Exhaled breath condensate (EBC) and blood plasma samples were obtained pre-, immediately post-, and 1-hour postexposure. 8-isoprostane, pH, and myeloperoxidase were measured in EBC, while H2O2, surfactant protein D, and pentraxin-3 (PTX3) were measured in both EBC and plasma.
Results: Only pH, 8-isoprostane, and PTX3 displayed significant changes when comparing pre- and postexposures.
Conclusions: Markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, including PTX3, pH, and 8-isoprostane in EBC and/or plasma, are sensitive to wood smoke inhalation, with further investigations warranted.

Source: Ferguson, Matthew D.; Semmens, Erin O.; Dumke, Charles; Quindry, John C.; Ward, Tony J. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: April 2016, Volume 58, Issue 4, p. 407-413.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000688

Australian Work Exposures Study (AWES) - Carcinogen Exposures Manufacturing Industry

A random, population-based sample of 5528 Australian workers participated in the Australian Work Exposure Study (AWES). Workers answered questions about the tasks they completed and the controls used at work. Based on their responses to those questions, the likelihood of exposure to 38 known or suspected carcinogens was estimated.
The AWES focused on the most common tasks performed at work. Workers were not asked directly about their exposures to carcinogens and exposure levels were not measured in the workplace.
This report describes the responses provided by 281 AWES participants categorised as working in the manufacturing industry. It also outlines existing materials that provide information about health effects, common exposure scenarios and options for preventing or minimising potential exposures to carcinogens.

Source: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/awes-carcinogen-exposures-manufacturing-industry

Interim Guidance for Protecting Workers from Occupational Exposure to Zika Virus

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are monitoring the Zika virus outbreak spreading through Central and South America, Mexico, and parts of the Caribbean, including U.S. territories. For the most up-to-date information, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Zika website frequently. Some U.S. states have mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika virus, and travel-associated Zika virus infections in U.S. states may result in local spread of the virus. Visit the CDC Areas with Zika website to learn where there is current transmission. Workers who are exposed on the job to mosquitoes or the blood or other body fluids of infected individuals may be at risk for occupationally acquired Zika virus infection. This interim guidance provides employers and workers with information and guidance on preventing occupational exposure to the Zika virus. The guidance may be updated as additional information becomes available.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/outdoor/mosquito-borne/pdfs/osha-niosh_fs-3855_zika_virus_04-2016.pdf#page=1

Australian Work Exposures Study (AWES) - Carcinogen Exposures Agricultural Industry

A random, population-based sample of 5528 Australian workers participated in the Australian Work Exposure Study (AWES). Workers answered questions about the tasks they completed and the controls used at work. Based on their responses to those questions, the likelihood of exposure to 38 known or suspected carcinogens was estimated.
The AWES focused on the most common tasks performed at work. Workers were not asked directly about their exposures to carcinogens and exposure levels were not measured in the workplace.
This report describes the responses provided by 156 AWES participants categorised as working in the agriculture industry. It also outlines existing materials that provide information about health effects, common exposure scenarios and options for preventing or minimising potential exposures to carcinogens.

Source: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/awes-carcinogen-exposures-agricultural-industry

Are the Associations of Cardiac Acceleration and Deceleration Capacities With Fine Metal Particulate in Welders Mediated by Inflammation?

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether associations of acceleration capacity (AC) and deceleration capacity (DC) with metal-PM2.5 are mediated by inflammation.
Methods: We obtained PM2.5, C-reactive protein, interleukin (IL)-6, 8, and 10, and electrocardiograms to compute AC and DC, from 45 male welders. Mediation analyses were performed using linear mixed models to assess associations between PM2.5 exposure, inflammatory mediator, and AC or DC, controlling for covariates.
Results: The proportion of total effect of PM2.5 on AC or DC (indirect effect) mediated through IL-6 on AC was 4% at most. Controlling for IL-6 (direct effect), a 1?mg/m3 increase of PM2.5 was associated with a decrease of 2.16 (95% confidence interval −0.36 to 4.69) msec in AC and a decrease of 2.51 (95% confidence interval −0.90 to 5.93) msec in DC.
Conclusion: IL-6 may be mediating the effect of metal particulates on AC.

Source: Umukoro, Peter E.; Wong, Jason Y.Y.; Cavallari, Jennifer M.; Fang, Shona C.; Lu, Chensheng; Lin, Xihong; Mittleman, Murray A.; Schmidt, Georg; Christiani, David C. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: March 2016, Volume 58, Issue 3, p. 232-237.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000674

Pilot study of biological monitoring of four antineoplastic drugs among Canadian healthcare workers

Purpose There are health risks to workers occupationally exposed to antineoplastic drugs. We hypothesized that implementing a biological monitoring program would be feasible. The goal was to present the results of our pilot cross-sectional study of biological monitoring of four antineoplastic drugs.
Methods We recruited workers from the hematology–oncology department and control workers in a mother–child university health center. This study was preceded by an information period during which we aimed at enhancing the workers' awareness and knowledge of the risks of occupational exposure. Participants filled out a journal containing activities performed and personal protective equipment worn. One urine sample was collected at the end of their shift. Samples were analyzed by UPLC/MS-MS for the presence of cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, methotrexate, and alpha-fluoro-beta-alanine (5-fluorouracile's main urinary metabolite).
Results The participation rate was 85.7% (102/119). No urine sample had detectable concentrations of any of the four drugs evaluated (0/101; 0/74 nurses, 0/11 pharmacists, 0/9 pharmacy technicians, and 0/7 doctors). In the 5 days before sampling, 67/92 (72.8%) hematology–oncology participants performed at least one activity with antineoplastic drugs. Nurses wore all of the recommended protection for technical activities (86.2%), but rarely for non-technical activities (14.9%). Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians wore all of the recommended protection for all activities (100.0%).
Conclusions This pilot study had a good participation rate. The absence of positive samples was a good indication that the measures in place ensured workers' safety, even though we found areas where the worker protection can be enhanced.

Source: Poupeau, Céline, Tanguay, Cynthia, Plante, Caroline, Gagné, Sébastien, Caron, Nicolas, & Bussières, Jean-François. (2016). Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1078155216643860

NIOSH Releases 5th Edition of Manual of Analytical Methods

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has released the 5th edition of the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM). This latest edition of NMAM is the first electronic-only edition. The new electronic only format will still allow users to print copies of the methods as PDFs, but also allows for updates as new methods and guidance chapters are added.
NMAM is a compilation of sampling and analytical methods for air, biological, surface and bulk samples that are evaluated according to established experimental protocols and performance criteria for use in workplace exposure monitoring. Workers may be at risk for inhalation or dermal exposures to chemicals or biological agents while on the job. These methods describe how to collect samples and analyze them against known standards. The results can indicate whether action is needed to reduce exposure. At the launch, the 5th edition will include 57 methods and 10 new or updated guidance chapters (covering topics such as sampling workplace aerosols, monitoring diesel exhaust, and measurement of fibers). This edition also adds six new biomonitoring methods.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-05-02-16.html

Épidémiologie des maladies reliées à l’exposition à l’amiante de 1981 à 2012

Incidence et mortalité
Cette étude dresse le portrait épidémiologique descriptif des principales maladies reliées à l'exposition à l'amiante, soit l'amiantose, les cancers et les mésothéliomes de la plèvre et du péritoine, à l'exception du cancer du poumon. Elle met à jour les analyses antérieures de l'Institut national de santé publique du Québec sur ces maladies et elle ajoute une description des maladies nouvellement reconnues reliées à une exposition à l'amiante, à savoir les cancers du larynx et de l'ovaire. Elle explore également les plaques pleurales, des anomalies visibles à la radiographie pulmonaire, reconnues en tant qu'indicateur de l'exposition passée à l'amiante.

Source: https://www.inspq.qc.ca/pdf/publications/2127_epidemiologie_maladies_amiante.pdf

Détection des microorganismes par fluorescence/RAMAN UV dans des aérosols, des suspensions ou sur des surfaces

Étude exploratoire
Les microorganismes et leurs sous-produits sont présents dans tous les milieux de travail. Ils se retrouvent en suspension dans l'air, dans un liquide ou déposés sur des surfaces. Ils peuvent avoir des impacts importants sur les entreprises et la santé des travailleurs. Leur détection, à l'aide d'approches classiques faisant appel au dénombrement sur milieux gélosés, exige du temps et des ressources considérables. Cette étude vise à explorer une approche alternative et novatrice soit l'utilisation des signaux de fluorescence émis à différentes longueurs d'onde pour la détection et la différenciation de microorganismes en milieu de travail.

Source: http://www.irsst.qc.ca/publications-et-outils/publication/i/100866/n/detection-microorganismes-fluorescence-raman-uv-aerosols-surfaces

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