Ramazzini; Blog on work and health by Annet Lenderink


Daily exposure measures prevent further hearing loss

Interesting study on a preventive intervention for occupational noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Workers who could daily monitor their noise exposure “at-ear” experienced no further worsening of high frequency hearing 4 years after the intervention. This might be a promising approach to enhance the situation of this frequent occupational disease.

Effect of daily noise exposure monitoring on annual rates of hearing loss in industrial workers
Peter M Rabinowitz, Deron Galusha, Sharon R Kirsche, Mark R Cullen, Martin D Slade, Christine Dixon-Ernst
Occup Environ Med 2011;68:414-418 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Hearing loss, Noise, Physical agents, ,

Mobile phone use may influence tinnitis

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Physical agents, ,

HAVS at your feet? Vibration-white foot

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, ,

Mold and damp work spaces may cause new-onset adult asthma

Damp and moldy indoor environments aggravate pre-existing asthma, but may also induce new-onset asthma. Finnish researchers assessed the probability of molds being the cause of asthma in a series  of 694 patients examined because of respiratory symptoms in relation to workplace dampness and molds between 1995 and 2004. They had all been exposed to molds at work and had suffered from work-related lower respiratory symptoms.  

Using internationally recommended diagnostic criteria for occupational asthma (OA), they categorized the patients into three groups: probable, possible, and unlikely OA (156, 45, and 475 patients, respectively). In the group of probable OA, mold sensitization was found in 20%. The level of exposure and sensitization to molds was associated with probable OA. Exposure to damp and moldy workplaces can induce new-onset adult asthma. IgE mediation is a rare mechanism, whereas other mechanisms are unknown.

New-onset adult asthma in relation to damp and moldy workplaces
Kirsi Karvala1 et al. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 0340-0131 (Print) 1432-1246 (Online) February 02, 2010 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Asthma, Biological agents, No category, Physical agents, ,

How to survive working in the cold?

In the Netherlands it is winter, like in the rest of Europe too. For this weekend there is a forecast of snow, low temperatures and a strong wind, which will make it feel much colder. If you need to work outside or go there to skate, you should prepare yourself  to prevent health problems.

NIOSH has a comprehensive overview of coldstress with symptoms of hypothermia, frostbite, trench foot and chilblains, their first aid and recommendations for workers and employers. including a lot of interesting additional sources of information.

Stay warm, stay healthy!

Filed under: Health, Internet resources, Physical agents, ,

Short video explaining carpal tunnel syndrome

Always wanted to know what Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is?
Watch this short film by WorkSafe BC

or this simple, but clear one

Filed under: Musculoskeletal problems, Occupational injury, Physical load, Vibration,

Genital problems in competitive women cyclists

competitive cyclistA few months back I wrote about bike saddles and male genital problems. NIOSH gave advice on no-nose bike saddles. Today I found some articles on problems in women as well:

Decreased Genital Sensation In Competitive Women Cyclists
(Armen Hareyan on Nov 26th, 2006):

“Women who participated in prolonged, frequent bicycling had decreased genital sensation and were more likely to have a history of genital pain than women runners, researchers in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine and The Albert Einstein College of Medicine report in the current issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: neurological diseases, Physical agents, ,

Delayed return to work in carpenters with back pain

From a case-control analysis of union carpenters in Washington Stae it turned out that delayed return t0 work (DRTW) after back injury was associated with
– being female (2.7, 95% CI: 1.3-5.5),
– age 30-44 (1.2, 95% CI: 0.9-1.7), 
– age over 45 (1.6, 95% CI: 1.1-2.3),
– four or more years union experience (1.4, 95% CI: 1.1-1.8),
– previous paid time loss back claim (1.8, 95% CI: 1.3-2.5),
– more than 30-day delay to medical care (3.6, 95% CI: 2.1, 6.1).
Evidence of more acute trauma was also associated with DRTW.

Predictors of delayed return to work after back injury: A case-control analysis of union carpenters in Washington State

Kristen L. Kucera, PhD, ATC, Hester J. Lipscomb, PhD , Barbara Silverstein, PhD, MPH 2, Wilfred Cameron, MS, CIH

American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View (Articles online in advance of print) Published Online: 3 Sep 2009 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Compensation, Physical agents, Sickness absence

Loud noise exposure related to acoustic neuroma

To investigate possible associations between risk of acoustic neuroma and exposure to loud noise in leisure and occupational settings a case-control study was conducted 108 subjects diagnosed with acoustic neuroma between 1 June 2000 and 31 August 2003. Two controls per case were selected from the electoral rolls and individually matched for gender, age (5 years) and area (local authority district) of residence at the time of the case diagnosis.noiseatwork

Acoustic neuroma was found to be associated with loud noise exposure (odds ratio (OR) = 2.55; 95% CI 1.35 to 4.82), both in leisure settings, particularly when listening to loud music (OR = 3.88; 95% CI 1.48 to 10.17) and at work (OR = 2.26; 95% CI 1.08 to 4.72).

This risk increased with exposure duration (>6 years’ leisure exposure: OR = 3.15; 95% CI 1.07 to 9.24). Risk varied according to the type of noise (continuous or explosive vs intermittent).

Can loud noise cause acoustic neuroma? Analysis of the INTERPHONE study in France
Hours, M, Bernard, M, Arslan, M, Montestrucq, L, Richardson, L, Deltour, I, Cardis, E. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2009;66:480-486 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Noise, Occupational cancer, Physical agents, ,

New HSE review on HAVS

HSE published an extensive review on Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) recently. They introduce it like this:

“Health surveillance for those exposed to hand-arm vibration, and the diagnosis of hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is heavily dependent upon self-reporting of symptoms. However, this self-reporting may not be accurate for a number of reasons including the ability of individuals to recall symptoms, misunderstanding or misidentification of symptoms and fears regarding an individual’s job, or ongoing litigation. Therefore techniques that could be used to obtain better information, or tests that could be applied to obtain a more accurate diagnosis may be useful in this area.”

Click here to download the review

Filed under: Musculoskeletal problems, Physical agents, Vibration, ,


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Annet Lenderink

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Diepenveen, Netherlands

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