Ramazzini; Blog on work and health by Annet Lenderink

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Legislation helps prevention

One of the most difficult things in Occupational Health is show that preventive measures really have impact on the incidence of work-related disease. In an interesting study by Jill Stocks et al. data of the registries for occupational diseases in the UK are used to study the influence of European legislation on reducing chromate exposure in cement. They found a steeper decline in allergic contact dermatitis attributed to chromate than for other types of allergic contact dermatitis after introduction of the legislation.

S J Stocks, R McNamee, S Turner, M Carder, R M Agius Has European Union legislation to reduce exposure to chromate in cement been effective in reducing the incidence of allergic contact dermatitis attributed to chromate in the UK? Occup Environ Med2012;69:150-152 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Allergies, Chemical agents, Skin, , , ,

Bakery employees at risk for work-related allergies

NIOSH study confirms that despite all the knowledge on the risks of exposure to flour, employees of large commercial bakeries are still at risk of sensitization and respiratory symptoms from exposure to high levels of bakery associatied antiges (BAA). Higher exposure comes with more work-related symptoms. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Allergies, Asthma, Chemical agents, , ,

What to expect after latex allergy in health care?

Although their quality of life gets much better after removal of latex exposure, nearly half had to change jobs….

In this study 29 HCW with a type 1 allergy to latex participated in follow-up research. All individuals reported a significant improvement of symptoms once latex was removed from their working environment.

Of those that reported skin complaints, 83% reported that their skin no longer had an impact on their quality of life (QOL) once latex was removed. Over 90% (n = 26) of all participants stated that their eye/nose symptoms had no longer an impact on their QOL and 86% (n = 25) of all participants stated that their respiratory symptoms had no impact on their QOL following the removal of latex from their working environment.

Overall, 45% of the respondents had changed jobs: 61% of this group changed to a completely nonclinical post.

Quality of life in health care workers with latex allergy
Power, S., Gallagher, J., Meaney, S.
Occupational Medicine 2010 60(1):62-65; doi:10.1093/occmed/kqp156 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Allergies, Chemical agents, , ,

Case report on allergic reaction to rhodium salts

Whereas platinum salts are well known occupational allergens, rhodium salts have not been identified as inhalative sensitizing substances. A 27-year-old atopic operator of an electroplating plant developed work-related shortness of breath and runny nose with sneezing after exposure to rhodium salts. The patient showed positive skin prick test reactions and positive bronchial immediate-type reactions with rhodium and platinum salts. Sensitivity to rhodium salt was much higher than to platinum salt. Rhodium salts should be considered as occupational immediate-type allergens.

Occupational immediate-type asthma and rhinitis due to rhodium salts
Rolf Merget, MD, Ingrid Sander, PhD, Vera van Kampen, PhD , Monika Raulf-Heimsoth, PhD , Hans-Martin Ulmer, MD, Rupprecht Kulzer, MD , Thomas Bruening, MD  Am. J. Ind. Med. 2009, Accepted: 9 October 2009 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Allergies, Chemical agents, lung, Nose, ,

Less flour dust not easy reached in bakeries

The effect of an intervention aimed at reducing exposure to flour dust and other allergy producing particles in bakers was evaluated. This intervention focused on risk education and providing information on good work practices in the Dutch flour processing industry. Exposure measures were executed pre and post intervention.

Changes in exposure over time varied substantially between sectors and jobs. For bakeries a modest downward annual trend of –2% was found for flour dust and –8% for amylase. For flour mills the annual trend for flour dust was –12%; no significant trend was observed for amylase.

The magnitude of the observed reductions in exposure levels indicates that the sector-wide intervention strategy implemented during the covenant period had a limited overall effect.

Meijster T, Tielemans E, Heederik D
Effect of an intervention aimed at reducing the risk of allergic respiratory disease in bakers: change in flour dust and fungal alpha-amylase levels Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Allergies, Asthma, Chemical agents, lung, , ,

Not only in HCWs; latex allergy by rubber trees

hevea brasiliensisPotential health effects related to wood dust from the rubber tree, which produces natural rubber latex, have not been previously investigated. The main aim of this study was to investigate the relations of rubber tree dust exposure to respiratory and skin symptoms, asthma and lung function among employess of 4 rubber tree furniture factories in Thailand.

The study provides new evidence that workers exposed to wood dust from the rubber tree experience increased risk of nasal symptoms, wheeze, asthma and skin symptoms and have reduced spirometric lung function.

Respiratory and skin effects of exposure to wood dust from the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis
Sripaiboonkij, P, Phanprasit, W, Jaakkola, M S
Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2009;66:442-447 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Allergies, lung, ,

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,

New Evidence Based guideline on work-related latex allergy

Latex allergyIn the UK, on the website on Health at Work, the NHS Plus (a network of NHS occupational health (OH) departments across England, supplying quality services to non-NHS employers in the industry, commerce and public sector, with a focus on small and medium sized enterprises), has published a series of evidence based guidelines on occupational health subjects:

  • Anxiety
  • Back Pain
  • Chicken pox in pregnancy
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Common mental health problems
  • Depression
  • Dermatitis
  • Diving
  • Occupational Asthma
  • Return to work
  • Workplace smoking.

The most recent one is on latex: Latex allergy: occupational aspects of management

The full document and leaflets for employees, employers and healthcare professionals are now available as a pdf files. Hard copies will also be available soon.

Filed under: Allergies, Occupational exposure, ,

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Annet Lenderink

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