Industrial Health
Online ISSN : 1880-8026
Print ISSN : 0019-8366
ISSN-L : 0019-8366
Volume 42 , Issue 2
Showing 1-27 articles out of 27 articles from the selected issue
  • Naomi HISANAGA, Shunichi ARAKI
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 89
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
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  • Seong-Kyu KANG, Yeon-Soon AHN, Kwang-Jong KIM
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 91-98
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Korea has a short history in research on occupational health like as short history of industrialization. During last four decades, however, Korea has experienced what developed countries have experienced for more than a hundred year. Research on occupational health in Korea has also drastically developed. Since industrialization in 1970s, many workers were exposed to hazardous working environment and suffered from occupational accidents and diseases. The main research topics were pneumoconiosis, noise-induced hearing loss and some chemical poisoning. However, improving working condition was not the top priority until the late 1980s. Carbon disulfide poisoning gave a big impact to the society. It made the government take many actions to improve working condition through regulation, enforcement, supporting academia, raising research fund, and establishing a research institute. Recently, classical occupational diseases have decreased and the interest from researchers has also reduced. Many claims for stress-related cardio-cerebro vascular diseases brought much concern and research on job stress. Work-related musculoskeletal disease became a major issue. Many workers are interested in quality of life, such as health promotion. Therefore, research on health promotion, job stress, and psychological problem from work organization would be the main research topics in the future, although research on occupational diseases, such as asthma, cancer and various diseases caused by chemicals are still attractive to researchers.
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  • Dae-Won LEE, Ju Hyeon CHO, Young Gyu PHEE, Il Je YU
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 99-110
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    In response to new information about the health risk of chemical and concern expressed by academia, labor, and industry, chemical regulatory framework under Industrial Safety and Health Act was completely restructured in Year 2003 to be more systematic and to meet the particular needs in Korea. The history and the current status of chemical regulatory framework in the Republic of Korea are reviewed.
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  • Yangho KIM
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 111-115
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Increased signal in T1-weighted images was observed in the experimental manganese (Mn) poisoning of the non-human primate and a patient with Mn neurointoxication. However, our study showed that the increased signals in magnetic resonance images (MRI) were highly prevalent (41.6%) in Mn-exposed workers. Especially 73.5% of the welders showed increased signal intensities. Blood Mn concentration correlated with pallidal index. These changes in MRI tend to disappear following the withdrawal from the source of Mn accumulation, despite permanent neurological damage. Thus increased signal intensities on a T1-weighted image reflect exposure to Mn, but not necessarily manganism. Our study also showed that the concentration of Mn required to produce increased signal intensities on MRI is much lower than the threshold necessary to result in overt clinical signs of manganism. Increased signal intensities in the globus pallidus were determined by Mn accumulation in the animal experiment. All these results strongly suggest that signal intensities in T1-weighted MRI reflect a target site dose in a biologically-based dose-response model. At which increase of signal intensity, the progression of manganism from Mn exposure occurs, however, remains to be solved.
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  • Xing GAO, Li SUN
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 116-123
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    This paper describes the current status of occupational health and safety countermeasures in Beijing, China. It includes the network and organization of occupational health, occupational health personnel, the refitting of industrial structures, hazardous agents at workplaces, the classification and incident rates of occupational diseases. The management of occupational health and safety, new challenges and opportunities for occupational health and safety are also discussed. Countermeasures for occupational health and safety have been formulated by the government of Beijing. At present, they are being implemented and enforced by: (1) strengthening the management of occupational hygiene; (2) encouraging and supporting employment units establishing the occupational health quality management system; (3) promoting research on the prevention and treatment of occupational diseases; (4) improving the transparency in occupational health and safety; (5) motivating the government to improve regulation and standards and (6) developing external occupational health and safety aid programs.
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  • Tung-Sheng SHIH, Ho-Yuan CHANG, Wen-Yu YEH, Teh-Sheng SU, Yi-Shiao HUA ...
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 124-134
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    This article gave a brief introduction of population, labor force, general status of occupational safety and health in Taiwan. Statistics of occupational injuries and health disorders, laws and regulations relevant to occupational health were also covered. Research activities driven by universities, research institutes, society/association were provided. Two multi-lateral collaborative research examples were presented: an intoxication outbreak-initiated CS2 study and an informationdemand-motivated 2-methoxy-ethanol study. Industrial hygienists, engineers, epidemiologists, and occupational physicians from both universities and research institutes, governmental agencies, and from non-profit R&D organizations and academic associations were involved in these researches, presenting a promise that integrated collaboration of inter-disciplinary specialty cooperated with governmental participation could benefit not only academic achievement, governmental policymakeup, but also to the employees themselves.
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  • Somkiat SIRIRUTTANAPRUK, Pensri ANANTAGULNATHI
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 135-140
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The aims of this article are to review the situation of occupational health and safety and to describe research priority in this field in Thailand. Thailand is one of newly industrialized countries in Southeast Asia. Approximately half of the working population is still in agriculture. The data from Thai Workmen's Compensation Fund showed that incidence rate of occupational injuries and diseases was 3?4% each year. Almost were occupational injuries from various accidents in workplaces. At least 3 relevant governmental agencies, including Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Public Health, and Ministry of Industry, are responsible in occupational health and safety in the country. Nowadays, those agencies collaborate and develop projects and activities to prevent and control of the problems. Because of lack of staff and other resources, research priority is needed and has been developed recently. The framework of research needed focuses on research and development such as how to improve occupational health and safety management at all levels, setting up and development of standard guidelines for health and environmental assessment, and implementation of suitable control measures in workplaces. Finally, improvement of research system in the country is essential to cope with new occupational health problems in the near future.
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  • Habibullah N SAIYED, Rajnarayan R TIWARI
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 141-148
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    India being a developing nation is faced with traditional public health problems like communicable diseases, malnutrition, poor environmental sanitation and inadequate medical care. However, globalization and rapid industrial growth in the last few years has resulted in emergence of occupational health related issues. Agriculture (cultivators i.e. land owners+ agriculture labourers) is the main occupation in India giving employment to about 58% of the people. The major occupational diseases/morbidity of concern in India are silicosis, musculo-skeletal injuries, coal workers' pneumoconiosis, chronic obstructive lung diseases, asbestosis, byssinosis, pesticide poisoning and noise induced hearing loss. There are many agencies like National Institute of Occupational Health, Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Central Labour Institute, etc. are working on researchable issues like Asbestos and asbestos related diseases, Pesticide poisoning, Silica related diseases other than silicosis and Musculoskeletal disorders. Still much more is to be done for improving the occupational health research. The measures such as creation of advanced research facilities, human resources development, creation of environmental and occupational health cells and development of database and information system should be taken.
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  • Pranab Kumar NAG, Anjali NAG
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 149-162
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The Indian farming employs 225 million workforce to cover 140 million hectares of total cultivated land. In spite of rapid farm mechanization (e.g., 149 million farm machinery), the vast resource-poor family farming has primary dependence on traditional methods (e.g., 520 million hand tools and 37 million animal-drawn implements are in operation). The work drudgery, the traumatic accidents and injuries are the major concerns to examine options for ergonomics intervention and betterment of work in crop production activities. This review summarizes human energy expenditure in crop production activities, to assess the job severity, tools and machinery, and formulate the basis to reorganize work and work methods. While the farm mechanization is more in the northern India, the accidents were more in the villages in southern India. On average of the four regions, the tractor incidents (overturning, falling from the tractor, etc.) were highest (27.7%), followed by thresher (14.6%), sprayer/duster (12.2%), sugarcane crusher (8.1%) and chaff cutter (7.8%) accidents. Most of the fatal accidents resulted from the powered machinery, with the annual fatality rate estimated as 22 per 100, 000 farmers. The hand tools related injuries (8% of the total accidents) were non-fatal in nature. In spite of the enactment of legislation, the shortcomings in production and monitoring of the machinery in field use may be responsible for the high rate of accidents (e.g., 42 thresher accidents/1, 000 mechanical threshers/year in southern India). Due to the lack of technical capability of the local artisans, adhering to safety and design standards is impractical to the implements fabricated in the rural areas. The analysis emphasizes that the effective safety and health management may be possible through legislative enabling of the local infra-structure, such as block development authority and primary health services, to permeate occupational health and safe work practices in the farming sector.
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  • Hyun-Sul LIM, Ji Yong KIM, Kiyoshi SAKAI, Naomi HISANAGA
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 163-170
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    To establish reference values for pulmonary asbestos and non-asbestos fiber concentrations in rural Korean residents, and their comparison with those of urban Korean residents and the Japanese, autopsied lung samples from 22 subjects (20 males and 2 females), in Pohang, without known occupational asbestos exposure histories, were analyzed for asbestos and non-asbestos fibers, using transmission electron microscope equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray analyzer. Chrysotile was the major fiber type found in the lungs of the subjects. The residents in Pohang had significantly lower asbestos and non-asbestos fiber concentrations than the Korean urban residents. The Koreans had significantly lower asbestos and non-asbestos fiber concentrations than the Japanese.
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  • Hyun-Sul LIM, Ji Yong KIM, Kiyoshi SAKAI, Naomi HISANAGA
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 171-178
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Both airborne asbestos and non-asbestos fiber concentrations were evaluated in Korean non-occupational environments. The airborne fiber concentrations were analyzed in 96 air samples, from 48 different points, by transmission electron microscopy, with energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. The geometric means of the airborne asbestos and non-asbestos fiber concentrations were 0.62 and 67.86, and 0.30 and 17.47 fibers/liter in urban and rural areas, respectively. There were significant differences in both the airborne asbestos and non-asbestos fiber concentrations between the urban and rural areas (p<0.05). The geometric means of airborne asbestos and non-asbestos fiber concentrations were 0.67 and 37.93, and 0.27 and 30.67 fibers/liter at the points less than 10 m and more than 30 m away from highways, respectively. The airborne asbestos concentrations were significantly higher at the points less than 10 m away than at the points more than 30 m away from highways (p<0.01).
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  • Hae-Kwan CHEONG, Dae Seob CHOI, Keon Uk PARK, Jung Ran KIM, Kyung-Im H ...
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 179-188
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    This study was conducted to develop a noninvasive method of bone marrow cellularity evaluation in solvent-exposed painters. Six painters with hypocellular marrow and 132 referents were examined using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Full examination of the peripheral blood and bone marrow biopsy was done on each patient. Signal indices were calculated from the signal intensities measured at the vertebral bodies from T12 to S1 and on the paraspinal muscles on both the T1- and the T2-weighted image (T1WI and T2WI). Bone marrow cellularities of the painters were between 20.3% and 33.6%. Signal indices at T1WI were greater in the hypocellular marrow cases compared to those of the referents (p<0.05, p<0.01) and were significantly higher in older women compared with men (p<0.05). After adjusting for age and gender, the signal index of cases at S1 of T1WI was higher than that of the referents by 0.364. Five of the six cases had signal index at S1 of T1WI higher than the mean + 1 standard deviation for the same age group and gender. MRI signal indices can be used as a useful indicator of bone marrow cellularity in a high-risk population after adequate adjustment.
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  • Roshada DAUD, Setsuo MAEDA, Nur Nazmin Mustafa KAMEEL, Muhamad Yunus R ...
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 189-195
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The purpose of this paper is to clarify the reference vibrotactile perception thresholds (VPT) for healthy people in Malaysia. The measurement equipment standard, ISO 13091-1, of the vibrotactile perception thresholds for the assessment of nerve dysfunction and the analysis and interpretation of measurements at the fingertips standard, ISO 13091-2, were published in ISO/TC108/SC4/WG8 on 2001 and 2003 individually. In the ISO 13091-2 standard, the reference VPT data were obtained from few research papers. Malaysian people's VPT data don't include to this standard. In Malaysia, when the VPT is using to diagnose of the hand-arm vibration syndrome, the reference VPT data need to compare with the worker's ones. But, Malaysia does not have the reference VPT data yet. So, in this paper, the VPT was measured by using ISO 13091-1 standard equipment to obtain the reference data for Malaysian people. And these data were compared with the ISO reference data on the ISO 13091-2 standard. From the comparison of these data, it was clear that the Malaysian healthy people's VPT data were consistent with the reference data of the ISO 13091-2 standard.
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  • Tsuyoshi KAWAKAMI, Kazutaka KOGI, Naoki TOYAMA, Toru YOSHIKAWA
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 196-206
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The participatory, action-oriented training program in occupational safety and health named POSITIVE (Participation-Oriented Safety Improvements by Trade Union InitiatiVE) was established in Pakistan and extended to other countries in Asia. The steps taken in the development of the POSITIVE program included collecting local good examples in safety and health, developing an action-checklist, testing a participatory training program, and conducting follow-up activities to examine local achievements. Training manuals were compiled to provide workers with the practical, easy-to-understand information on safety and health improvements and on the positive roles of trade unions. Trade union trainers trained in the methodology conducted serial POSITIVE training workshops in Pakistan and then in Bangladesh, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines and Thailand and recently in China. These workshops resulted in many low-cost improvements at the workplace level. These improvements were carried out in the technical areas of materials handling, workstations, machine safety, physical environment, and welfare facilities. The trade union networks have been vital in reaching an increasing number of grass-root workplaces and in expanding the program to other countries. This included the visits to Mongolia and Thailand of Pakistani trade union trainers to demonstrate the POSITIVE training. The participatory training tools used in the POSITIVE program such as the action checklist and group discussion methods were commonly applied in different local situations. Participatory approaches adopted in the POSITIVE program have proven useful for providing practical problem-solving measures based on the local trade union initiative.
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  • Peter A. LEGGAT, Ureporn KEDJARUNE, Derek Richard SMITH
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 207-211
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Cyanoacrylate (CA) and its homologues have a variety of medical, dental and commercial applications as adhesives. The increasing use of CA in dentistry, particularly as an adhesive and sealing glue, has raised concerns regarding its potential toxicity in humans. Reported toxicity of CA is uncommon in the dental workplace, but may manifest as conditions such as urticaria, contact dermatitis and other dermatoses. Dental staff using CA adhesives should avoid direct contact with CA and use appropriate personal protective measures. Maintaining higher levels of humidity, optimizing room ventilation and using special air conditioning filters in the working environment may be useful in minimising the toxicity of volatile CA adhesives.
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  • Kaori IMAI, Takehiro KADOWAKI, Yoshiharu AIZAWA
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 213-218
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    We conducted this study to compare survival rates and morbidity of persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) versus general population, and to clarify the risk of SCI persons. The subjects of this study were 960 men with SCI who had been accommodated in the eight Labor Accident Rehabilitation Centers in Japan during the period of 1965-1995. The surveyed items were the year of birth, the year of injury, level of spinal cord injury and survival status. The classification of cause of death was taken from ICD-10. The cumulative survival rate by life table method was calculated. In order to compare the risks of each cause of death in SCI persons with general population, causespecific standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was examined. The leading cause of death was malignant neoplasms at 28 persons, and SMR (general population=100) was 184, followed by the circulatory system disease, external cause (including suicide) and the genitourinary system disease. In the subgroups of malignant neoplasms, the SMR was 6, 619 for cutaneous carcinomas and 1, 482 for bladder carcinomas (p<0.01). Thus aging-related diseases which had close correlation with lifestyle and environment were the major cause of deaths in SCI persons.
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  • Katsumi OHTANI, Shigeru YAMAZAKI, Hisayo KUBOTA, Muneyuki MIYAGAWA, Ju ...
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 219-225
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Reproductive toxicity of 2-bromopropane (2BP), a substitute for ozone layer-depleting chloro-fluorocarbon, was found among the workers in an electronics factory in Korea in 1995. Furthermore the importance of testicular toxicity has been realized since the problem of endocrine disruptors arose all over the world, but manual methods must rely on subjective assessment. Recently, computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) was proposed but this system requires vast investment. We then investigated the applicability of the MTT method with a microplate and sperm quality analyzer (SQA) as simple, rapid, and economic instrumental methods for the examination of sperm quality in rats, comparing it with the manual microscopic method and CASA. Epididymal fluid derived from male F344/N Slc (Fischer) rats intraperitoneally injected with 2BP in the dose range of 125-1, 000 mg/kg/d twice a week (total 8 times) were examined by these methods as a model experiment. Sperm count measured by the manual method and CASA in the epididymal fluid, absorbance by the MTT method and sperm motility index value by the SQA method were significantly lower in the 2BP 1, 000 mg/kg administered group than in the control group. This result suggests that the MTT method can detect oligospermia. With the microplate and microplate reader, the efficiency of detection becomes much better. Sperm analyses by the MTT method with the microplate reader and the SQA method are available for reproductive toxicity study in rats.
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  • Sergio GHITTORI, Alberto ALESSIO, Sara NEGRI, Luciano MAESTRI, Paola Z ...
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 226-234
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    A sensitive and rapid method for the determination of toluene in exhaled air is described. We have developed a device for direct breath sampling consisting of a sampler inserted into an empty 58 mL glass vial closed by a Teflon rubber septum. The sorbent cartridge functions as a diffusive sampler and employs a Tenax® resin (300 mg, 35/50 mesh) to trap volatile organic compounds from the exhaled air. End-exhaled air is collected “in field” by removing the septum from the vial, by forcibly exhaling into the device through a suitable Teflon tube, and then by sealing the bottle quickly. Environmental toluene levels ranged from 13 to 191 mg/m3, while the concentrations of the solvent in alveolar air, in blood and urine ranged from 159 to 3354 ng/L, from 3.6 to 53.5 μg/L, and from 8.7 to 142.4 μg/L respectively. The correlation coefficients (r) of biological measurements towards environmental toluene levels were 0.822, 0.850 and 0.846 for alveolar air, blood and urine samples, respectively. The breath sampler allowed the rapid and non-invasive collection of data on elimination of toluene.
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  • Claudio BIANCHI, Alessandro BROLLO, Lucia RAMANI, Tommaso BIANCHI, Lui ...
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 235-239
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    A survey of 610 pleural mesotheliomas disclosed 40 familial cases. The diagnosis was histologically based in 39 cases, and confirmed by necropsy in 30. Occupational data were collected from the patients or from their relatives by personal interviews. Routine lung sections were examined for asbestos bodies in 32 cases. In 15 cases asbestos bodies were isolated after chemical digestion of lung tissue. Familial mesotheliomas included 31 men and 9 women (age range 44-93 yr, mean 70.7, median 71.0). In 15 families there were blood relations between (or among) the members involved. All the patients had been exposed to asbestos, mostly in the shipyards. Asbestos bodies were found on routine lung sections in 27 cases. Asbestos bodies after isolation ranged from 70 bodies to about 900, 000/g dried lung tissue. Latency periods (time intervals between first exposure to asbestos and diagnosis) ranged between 25 and 70 yr (mean 52.0, median 54.0). The occurrence of mesothelioma among subjects with blood relations suggests that genetic factors might play a role in determining the susceptibility to asbestos-related cancer. Familial cases among persons without blood relations raise the question if environmental factors that members of a family share, may act as co-factors in asbestos-related mesothelioma.
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  • Asim SAHA, Takiar RAMNATH, Ramendra Narayan CHAUDHURI, Habibullah Nasr ...
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 240-245
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    An occupational injury surveillance study (record study of five years duration) was conducted involving the workers of a fertilizer producing industry in eastern India to assess whether the risk of occupational accidents in temporary piece rated workers was higher in comparison to the permanent time rated workers. At the same time, to collect the personal details of the workers who have worked in the industry in the study period, an interview was also conducted. Mean age of temporary piece rated workers and permanent time rated workers were (35.9 ± 12.5) and (35.3 ± 11.4) respectively. Distribution of other variables like nature of work, level of education, experience, habits were also very similar between the two worker groups. Accident incidence rate, accident frequency rate and accident severity rate were found to be significantly higher in temporary piece rated workers. This difference was more prominent in case of time-loss accidents than in no timeloss accidents. Relative risk has varied from 2.3 to 18.0 in case of time-loss accidents. In case of no time-loss accidents, it has varied from 1.1 to 2.6. When relative risk is considered after taking both types of accidents together, it has ranged from 1.2 to 3.5. This study concluded that the temporary piece rated workers are more vulnerable to occupational accidents.
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  • Francesco TOMEI, Manuela CIARROCCA, Maria Valeria ROSATI, Tiziana Paol ...
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 246-251
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Objectives) The aim of the present study is to investigate whether traffic policemen of a big city exposed to urban pollutants may be at risk of alterations on plasma vasopressin (VP) concentrations compared with a control group. Material and Methods) Out of a population of 395 Municipal Police employees, the subjects with the principal confounding factors were excluded from the study. Traffic policemen and control subjects were matched by sex, age and working life. Plasma VP levels were determined in 82 subjects: 41 traffic policemen (18 men, 23 women) and 41 control subjects (18 men, 23 women). Results) Mean of VP values were found significantly lower in traffic policemen than in the control group both in men (P=0.010) and in women (P=0.015). We found high correlation between VP values and working life in traffic policemen of male and female sex (r=0.7; r=0.6). Discussion) The authors hypothesise an effect on plasma VP levels in traffic policemen exposed to chemical and physical stressors, according to plasma VP levels modifications found by other authors in studies on animals and human subjects.
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  • Hirohiko UKAI, Satoru OKAMOTO, Shiro TAKADA, Chikahisa YAMADA, Masayuk ...
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 252-259
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between environmental vapor concentrations in organic solvent workplaces and size of enterprises, and to examine if occupational hygiene conditions were better in larger-scale enterprises. For this purpose, a total of 3, 567 solvent workplaces were surveyed for environmental solvent vapor concentrations in 1999 to 2002. The results were classified by the size of enterprises (taking the number of employees as an indicator) and by the type of solvent work. It was observed that the vapor concentration in a typical small-scale enterprise was approximately three times as high as that in the large-scale enterprise, although the administrative control levels were not exceeded in general. The proportion of testing and research work (with less use of organic solvents and thus low vapor concentrations) among all solvent workplaces was higher in large-scale enterprises than in small-scale enterprises. The vapor concentrations in this type of workplace did not differ however irrespective of the enterprise size. Further comparison in various types of solvent workplaces disclosed similar size-dependent difference in workplaces for degreasing, cleaning, wiping, printing, and surface coating. In painting and solventdrying work, in contrast, there was no difference in environmental concentration regardless of the size of enterprises, possibly because environmental improvement of this type of workplaces was technically more difficult than others. Thus, it was concluded that large-scale enterprises generally had better control of work environments than small-scale enterprises, with possible exceptions of painting work and solvent-drying work.
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  • Jian LI, Wenjie YANG, Ping LIU, Zhefeng XU, Sung-Il CHO
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 260-267
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    To evaluate the psychometric properties of the Chinese (mainland) version of Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ), this validation study was conducted in university hospitals among 193 men and 581 women health care workers. The Cronbach's alpha coefficients for decision latitude, psychological job demands and social support ranged from 0.56 to 0.82, which indicated that psychological job demands had lower internal consistency. The decision latitude displayed a negative correlation with psychological job demands and a positive correlation with social support. Exploratory factor analysis showed 3 meaningful factors that could explain the 3 theoretical dimensions of job strain model. Apart from some uncertainty over psychological job demands particularly, it is concluded that the Chinese (mainland) version of JCQ is a reliable and valid instrument for measuring job stressors, and is applicable to Chinese working population.
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  • Hazuki YAMAUCHI
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 268-276
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    It has been suggested that shift work, night work in particular, affects worker's psychophysical health. However, the effects of night work on the health of pregnant women are not physiologically well elucidated. The effects of night work on the biological function of pregnant women were studied in the present study. Three pregnant and six non-pregnant nurses that engaged in fastrotating shift system cooperated for the study. The 24-h urine samples were collected in two time frames, daytime (07:00 to 23:00) and nighttime (23:00 to 07:00) on the day shift, the night shift and the days off. Urinary concentrations of 6-sulfatoxymelatonin and norepinephrine were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and estriol by radioimmunoassay. The excretion profiles of urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin in the pregnant and the non-pregnant women were altered on the night shift, which might relate the derangement of circadian rhythm of melatonin secretion. The urinary norepinephrine level during the night work was considerably higher in the pregnant women, which indicated the presence of higher physical burden in them due to the night work. The urinary estriol level was not significantly affected by shift, day/night and individual factors, and the effect of night work on urinary estriol level of the pregnant women remained uncertain. The results of the present study suggested that the night work of the pregnant shift workers should be much more relieved.
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  • Yasushi SHINOHARA, Norihiko KOHYAMA
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 277-285
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The quantities of two forms of crystalline silica, tridymite and cristobalite, in heated rice husk ash (RHA) samples were determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and chemical methods. Two RHA samples, containing 93% SiO2 and 2-3% K2O, were prepared from charcoaled rice husk products and heated to above 900°C. The crystalline silica made up over 60-80% of the total silica in the heated RHA samples based on the XRD analysis. The crystalline phases in the two samples were somewhat different: The sample heated in the temperature range of 900 to 1, 200°C contained 52-62% cristobalite and 10-17% tridymite, but the other sample heated at a comparable temperature, above 1, 100°C, contained 46-66% tridymite and 37-16% cristobalite. Based on a correlation of lower tridymite crystallization temperature with higher potassium content, it was concluded that higher potassium levels were responsible for this difference. The pyrophosphoric acid analysis did not give exact results in the evaluation of total crystalline silica content in these RHA samples. As the combustion of rice husk was considered to cover the demands for energy and silica resource in Asian countries, cristobalite and tridymite crystallized in RHA by burning of rice husk should be assessed precisely by XRD analysis and the airborne dust in relevant workplace be controlled.
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  • Masaiwa INOUE, Shinji YAMAMOTO, Hirohiko KAN, Hajime TATEISHI, Noriaki ...
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 287-291
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    This survey was conducted to know the present conditions of occupational health nurses (OHNs) activity related to health committees (HCs) in Japan. Questionnaires that included items related to duties of the OH physician (OHP), those of the OHN, and their mutual duties within the HC, were mailed to 41 companies employing OHNs and questionnaires from 18 companies were analyzed. Comparison of the frequency of OHN attendance at Health Committee Meetings (HCMs) revealed that 33.3% of OHNs attended the HCs when their companies employed full-time OHPs and 83.3% attended when their companies employed part-time OHPs. In a question about the OHN's opportunity to deliver a speech, give a report or make a presentation at their HCMs, 16.7% of OHNs in companies with full-time OHPs and 66.7% of OHNs in companies with part-time OHPs reported they had such opportunity. In companies with part-time OHPs, 50.0% of the OHNs reported that they were asked for their opinions at the HCMs, but OHNs at companies employing full-time OHPs were not asked for their opinions. It was considered that in the future, OHNs, particularly those working with a part-time OHP, will have an important role in the HC and developing OH services for their companies.
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  • Kazuyuki IWAKIRI, Ippei MORI, Midori SOTOYAMA, Kaori HORIGUCHI, Takano ...
    2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 292-301
    Published: 2004
    Released: March 29, 2007
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    We developed a manual including a checklist format for undertaking measures to prevent fatigue in visual display terminals (VDT) workers. With this manual, problems related to VDT work can be recognized by using checklists which allow for self-evaluation by the workers. The manual helps the workers to consider measures for improvement by themselves and will contribute to better occupational health education.
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