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, legislation, Occupational diseases, prevention, Skin
The relationship between multiple myeloma and occupational exposure to six chlorinated solvents
Laura S Gold et al. 2011
Evidence from a relatively large case-control study (181 cases (71% response) vs. 481 controls (52% response)) suggests that exposures to certain chlorinated solvents may be associated with increased incidence of multiple myeloma; however, the study is limited by relatively low participation (52%) among controls
What this paper adds:
The aetiology of multiple myeloma is poorly understood.
- The purpose of this research was to examine relationships between occupational exposures to chlorinated solvents and multiple myeloma.
This research provides evidence that certain chlorinated solvents, most notably trichloroethylene, are associated with increased incidence of multiple myeloma.
While results were less clear, exposure to 1,1,1-trichloroethane, methylene chloride, perchloroethylene, carbon tetrachloride and chloroform also conferred increased risk of multiple myeloma in our population. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Chemical agents, Occupational cancer, chlorinated solvents, myeloma
To evaluate the respiratory health of municipal solid waste workers (MSWWs), Greek researchers studied 184 municipal employees of Keratsini (104 MSWWs and 80 controls) with questionnaire and spirometry. Spirometry revealed a reduced mean forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (as a percentage of predicted values) in MSWWs compared with controls. After adjustment for smoking status, only the decline in FVC was statistically significant (P < 0.05).
Prevalence of all respiratory symptoms was higher in MSWWs than in controls. After adjustment for confounding factors, the difference reached statistical significance (P < 0.05) for morning cough, cough on exertion and sore throat. Although this study had some limitations like small sample size, the results indicate a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms and a greater decrease in lung function in MSWWs.
M. Athanasiou, G. Makrynos and G. Dounias, Respiratory health of municipal solid waste workers,
Occup Med (Lond) (2010) 60 (8): 618-623
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Filed under: Asthma, Occupational exposure, Respiratory symptoms, Solid waste
Australian researchers studied the possible persisting effects to color vision of exposure to formulations containing neurotoxins during F-111 fuel tank maintenance. They studied 3 groups: 512 exposed personnel, 458 technical-trade comparisons, and 330 non-technical comparisons. Forty five percent of all participants had blue-yellow color deficient vision (CDV) in at least one eye. Deficiencies of this nature are caused by environmental exposures. There were statistically significant differences in CCI a blue-yellow confusion in the exposed group versus technical group (odds ratio 1.4: 95% CI 1.1–1.7). No differences were observed between the exposed group and the non-technical group. The researchers concluded that the results indicate reduced color discrimination among the exposed subjects compared to one of two control groups. The findings may be due to previous exposure to solvents among the air force personnel
Maya Guest et al. 2010, Impairment of color vision in aircraft maintenance workers
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health (13 November 2010), pp. 1-11 Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Chemical agents, Chemicals, Color vision, Occupational exposure
The mechanisms that produce tinnitus are not fully understood. From anecdotal evidence we know that there may be a link between mobile phone use and tinnitus. Austrian researchers did an individually matched case-control study to study this relation in 100 patients and 100 controls. They found that mobile phone use up to the index date (onset of tinnitus) on the same side as the tinnitus did not have significantly elevated ORs for regular use and intensity or for cumulative hours of use. But the risk estimate was significantly elevated for prolonged use (≥4 years) of a mobile phone (OR 1.95; CI 1.00 to 3.80). They concluded that mobile phone use should be included in future investigations as a potential risk factor for developing tinnitus.
Hans-Peter Hutter et al. 2010, Tinnitus and mobile phone use
Occup Environ Med 2010;67:804-808
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Filed under: Physical agents, Noise-induced occupational hearing loss, Tinnitus
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, Baker, Flour dust, Occupational asthma
At the Netherlands Center of Occupational Diseases earlier this year a question was asked about complaints of back and legs in a construction worker exposed to vibration through his feet. At that time no relevant literature was found in an initial search, now there is this interesting case-report of a 54-year-old miner presented with a chief complaint of blanching and pain in his toes. He had a history of foot-transmitted vibration exposure over 18 years. The complaints at his feet were analogous to complaints of hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) occurring at the hands of workers handling vibrating tools. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Occupational exposure, Physical agents, Vibration, Feet, Vibration