Ramazzini; Blog on work and health by Annet Lenderink


Occupational diseases surveillance in France

The French national occupational disease surveillance and prevention network (RNV3P) includes the 30 occupational disease consultation centres in university hospitals to which patients are referred for potentially work-related diseases, and an occupational health service.

Analysis of  data from 2001 to 2007 (58 777 occupational health reports) showed that referrals increased significantly for asbestos-related diseases, mood disorders and adjustment disorders related to psychological and organisational demands, and for elbow and shoulder disorders related to manual handling.

Referrals significantly decreased for asthma and for rhinitis related to exposure to organic dusts (vegetable or animal) or chemicals, except for cosmetics and cleaning products.

Programmed health surveillance and detection of emerging diseases in occupational health: contribution of the French national occupational disease surveillance and prevention network (RNV3P)
Vincent Bonneterre et al. Occup Environ Med 2010;67:178-186 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: New occupational risks, Occupational diseases, Occupational medicine, Reporting OD's, , ,

Which low molecular weight chemicals potentially cause allergy?

Until now there is no agreed protocol for the prediction of low molecular weight (LMW) respiratory sensitizers. To assess the validaty of a previously published quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) model for the prediction of novel chemical respiratory sensitizers research was done on already known asthmagenic (28) and control chemicals (129). 

The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for the model’s ability to distinguish asthmagens from controls was 0.87 (95% CI 0.76–0.97). With a cut-off hazard index of 0.5 resulting in sensitivity of 79% and specificity of 93%.  The ROC curve for this QSAR demonstrates good global predictive power for distinguishing asthmagenic from non-asthmagenic LMW organic compounds. This makes QSAT potentially useful for occupational and respiratory physicians.

Further validation of computer-based prediction of chemical asthma hazard
 Seed, M., Agius, R. Occupational Medicine 2010 60(2):115-120 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Asthma, Chemical agents, New occupational risks, , ,

New and emerging risks in occupational safety and health

Interesting and very recent report on the occupational safety and health status of the EU workforce. It is affected by many factors, not least its changing demographic structure, the spread of new technologies and a reduction in the importance of economic sectors that previously dominated, such as industry and mining. This is bringing about changes not only in the numbers of jobs in each sector, but also the types of jobs that are available.

The age profile of the workforce is changing. New technologies are creating new categories of employment. Globalisation means that health threats that were once distant easily spread around the world in a short period of time. If the EU is to preserve the health of its workforce and maintain its economic strength and its competitiveness, it needs to meet these challenges proactively. This Outlook offers an overview of the present and future trends of relevance to occupational health, the main workplace risks and their prevention.

You can download the short version in 20 languages and the full report in English New and emerging risks in occupational safety and health

Filed under: New occupational risks, Occupational exposure, , ,

“New” occupational health risk in singers, wind players and glass blowers

Interesting study from Hungary:

Professional opera choristers, professional wind players and glassblowers have a higher prevalence of reflux symptoms compared with control subjects. Gastroesophageal reflux in these professions should be considered as a work-related disorder that may have an impact on quality of life and may negatively interfere with professional performance.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Work-Related Disease?
István Preguna, Tamás Bakucza, János Banaib, László Molnárc, Gábor Pavlikd, István Altorjaye, Péter Oroszf, László Csernayg, Zsolt Tulassaya, László Herszényia. Dig Dis 2009;27:38-44 (DOI: 10.1159/000210102) Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: New occupational risks, Occupational exposure, , ,

Introducing MODERNET

This year I have been working on and off on a proposal to get funding for the network we would like to develop. It is called Modernet (Monitoring trends in Occupational Diseases and tracing new and Emerging Risks in a NETwork). It was initiated through the cooperation of the Netherlands Center for Occupational Diseases in Amsterdam and the Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group of the University of Manchester (UK). On invitation people and institutes from Finland, France, Italy and the Czech Republic joined. Last weeks meeting in Paris was the 3rd meeting since 2007. logo-modernet

Underneath you will find a revised abstract of our proposal for funding

Modernet, a network for development of new techniques for discovering trends in occupational and work-related diseases and tracing new and emerging risks

Occupational diseases (ODs) impose a heavy burden on both workers and employers and represent enormous economic costs. In general the information on incidence and prevalence of occupational diseases is rather poor and fragmented, but in particular, there is an urgent need for new methods and instruments to trace new and emerging occupational health (OH) risks. We want to develop a network for exchange of knowledge on, and setting the basis for comparative evaluation and development of new techniques to enhance the information on trends in ODs, on discovering and validating new OH risks more quickly (data mining, workers’ and physicians’ reporting coupled with novel statistical techniques) and use of modern techniques to discuss and disseminate information (platforms, social media). The network started with centres of excellence in OH in 6 European countries and has the interest of at least 5 more European and other countries. It will organize meetings, initiate collaborative activities and innovation projects, exchange and disseminate information.

We hope to let you know more about us as soon as we aquire some funding to be more present on the web.

Filed under: New occupational risks, Occupational diseases, Reporting OD's, , ,

Chengal wood dust and Occupational Asthma

chengal hardwoodExposure to chengal wood dust can lead to Occupational Asthma and possibly rhinitis. Chengal is a resistant rainforest hardwood that is commonly used in South-East Asia for the construction of boats, bridges, house structures and furniture. It contains oligostilbenoids, phenolics, quinones and resins.

Lee, L. T., Tan, K. L.  Occupational asthma due to exposure to chengal wood dust Occupational Medicine 2009 59(5):357-359

Filed under: Asthma, New occupational risks, Occupational exposure, , ,

Allergic to chlorhexidine?

Chlorhexidine is an effective antimicrobial agent commonly used, but it has been widely reported to cause IgE-mediated allergic reactions (from urticaria and angioedema to anaphylaxis) among patients undergoing surgery/invasive procedures. Until now there were no reports of clinically confirmed occupational IgE-mediated chlorhexidine allergy, but researchers identified 4 cases of occupational IgE-mediated allergy to chlorhexidine were  in the UK. They suggest that chlorhexidine allergy be included in the differential diagnosis of HCWs presenting with work-related allergic symptoms.

IgE-mediated chlorhexidine allergy: a new occupational hazard?
Nagendran, V., Wicking, J., Ekbote, A., Onyekwe, T., Heise Garvey, L. Occupational Medicine 2009 59(4):270-272 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Allergies, Chemical agents, New occupational risks,

Work-related asthma in paper recycling

Occupational disease linked to the paper recycling industry has not been well documented. The researchers assessed and performed occupational assessment of eight workers involved in this industry. Two of these were later diagnosed with Occupational Asthma (OA). Both workers developed their respiratory symptoms within 2 years of the first use of the chemical hydroxylamine as part of the ‘de-inking’ process. These may be the first two confirmed cases of OA caused by hydroxylamine in the paper recycling industry

Occupational asthma and the paper recycling industry
 Tran, S., Francis, H., Hoyle, J., Niven, R. Occupational Medicine 2009 59(4):277-279

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Asthma, Chemical agents, New occupational risks,

HSE: Legionella in aqueous tunnel washers

Today (May 6th 2009) HSE published a SIM (Sector Information Minutes: Manufacturing Sector) on the risk of exposure to Legionella from a previously unidentified source, namely aqueous tunnel washers. It details the type of equipment involved in the first known outbreak and outlines key issues that are likely to be applicable in similar plant.

In 2008 two employees at a large engineering firm were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease; the only common factor was their employment at the company. After investigation and sampling, the source of their infection was found to be an aqueous tunnel washer (pre-treatment plant) of the type that is typically found at motor vehicle and ‘white goods’ manufacturing facilities.

View SIM 030906 – Legionella in aqueous tunnel washers

Filed under: Biological agents, Infectious diseases, New occupational risks, ,

Possible health risks of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

From the NIOSH Science blog an update on nanomaterial health risks

Multi-walled carbon nanotubes, known as MWCNTs for short, are a type of engineered nanomaterial that shows promise for various applications, like creating stronger, more durable building materials; improving cancer therapies; creating more efficient means of energy generation etc.  However, the potential occupational health implications of MWNCTs are not well understood at this emergent stage of the technology.

At the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology, a team of NIOSH researchers reported new, preliminary scientific findings that add significantly to the data that scientists and policymakers need in ongoing risk assessment. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: New occupational risks, Occupational exposure,


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Annet Lenderink

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