Ramazzini; Blog on work and health by Annet Lenderink


Exposure to neurotoxic solvents may influence blue-yellow color vision in aircraft maintenance workers

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, , ,

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, ,

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 5 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 24 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 208 posts. There were 9 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 237kb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 22nd with 163 views. The most popular post that day was Smoking ban good for your health.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were wellsphere.com, stanford.wellsphere.com, safetyatworkblog.wordpress.com, search.aol.com, and en.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for no smoking, skin cancer, smoking, cyclist, and women cyclists.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Smoking ban good for your health September 2008


Genital problems in competitive women cyclists October 2009


How to influence health behaviour to prevent skin cancer? January 2010


Vibration induced white fingers September 2008


Top 10 of most hazardous jobs, at least in the USA May 2008

Filed under: No category

Elevated suicide risk among veterinary surgeons

An accumulating body of research demonstrates that risk of suicide varies between occupational groups. There is preliminary evidence to suggest that veterinary surgeons are a group at risk. A systematic review of studies of rates and methods of suicide in the veterinary profession shows that there appears to be an elevated risk of suicide for veterinary surgeons in several countries.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Job well being, Psychosocial disorders, Psychosocial exposure, Stress, Well-being, , ,

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, , ,

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, ,

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, , ,

Gas from freight containers risk to harbour employees

Residues of pesticide fumigants and toxic industrial chemicals in freight containers represent a health hazard to employees and consumers, especially since freight containers are sealed for transport and distributed widely throughout the importing countries before being opened for unloading.

We investigated 2113 freight containers arriving at the second largest container terminal in Europe, Hamburg, Germany, over a 10-week period in 2006. The countries of origin, type of contents and the pesticide fumigation history declared on labels attached to the container were recorded.

We determined that 1478 (70%) containers were contaminated with toxic chemicals above chronic reference exposure levels; 761 (36%) even exceeded the higher acute reference exposure level thresholds. Benzene and/or formaldehyde contamination was 4-times greater than for fumigants.

Our findings indicate a health risk for dockworkers, container unloaders and even end-consumers, especially as many of the cancerogenic or toxic gases elude subjective detection.

High frequency of fumigants and other toxic gases in imported freight containers—an underestimated occupational and community health risk
Xaver Baur, Bernd Poschadel, Lygia Therese Budnik
Occup Environ Med 2010;67:207-212

Filed under: Accidents, Chemical agents, Occupational exposure, ,

Mining, teaching and health care high risk occupations for asthma

US researchers found that workers in mining (17.0%), health-related industries (12.5%), teaching (13.1%), or in health-related occupations (12.6%) had the highest prevalence of asthma. When these occupations are compared to construction industry workers, workers in mining (aOR = 5.2, 95% CI: 1.1-24.2) or health-related (aOR = 2.3, 95% CI: 1.1-4.8) industries had significantly higher odds of asthma. This study adds to the increasing evidence that miners, healthcare workers and teachers remain high-risk working populations

Prevalence of asthma by industry and occupation in the U.S. working population
Michelle K. McHugh, Elaine Symanski, Lisa A. Pompeii, George L. Delclos
American Journal of Industrial Medicine Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Asthma, Occupational exposure, ,


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Annet Lenderink

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Diepenveen, Netherlands

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