Using a modified National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) definition of the metabolic syndrome (MS) with body mass index instead of waist circumference, we examined the associations of the MS with the risk of developing ST-T abnormalities in 3,405 Japanese men aged 35-59 yr who did not have a history of cardiovascular disease or ST-T abnormalities. Of 3,405 participants, 3,166 men without type 2 diabetes (as diagnosed with the revised criteria of American Diabetes Association) also constituted a non-diabetic cohort. Examinations including electrocardiogram and fasting plasma glucose were repeated annually for 7 subsequent years. The subjects were classified as having ST-T abnormalities or type 2 diabetes when evidence of either of these disorders was found during at least 2 consecutive annual examinations. After adjustment for potential risk factors, the relative risks of ST-T abnormalities were 1.0 (referent), 2.66, 3.07, 4.27, and 8.40 for the presence of 0,1,2,3, and ≥4 components of the MS, respectively (P for trend <0.001). The corresponding results for the risk of type 2 diabetes were 1.0 (referent), 3.49, 7.45, 15.00, and 24.04 (P for trend <0.001). The estimated incident rates for men in the low-WBC count (<7.3 × 109 cells/L)/no MS, high-WBC count (≥7.3 × 109 cells/L)/no MS, low-WBC count/yes MS, and high-WBC count/yes MS were 3.4%, 4.6%, 7.4%, and 13.1% for ST-T abnormalities, respectively and were 3.6%, 7.1%, 18.0%, and 27.2% for type 2 diabetes, respectively. The respective multivariate-adjusted relative risks were 1.0 (referent), 1.26, 2.07, and 3.45 for ST-T abnormalities and were 1.0 (referent), 1.75, 5.14, and 6.90 for type 2 diabetes. A modified NCEP MS definition predicts ST-T abnormalities and type 2 diabetes. WBC count adds clinically important information to new-onset ST-T abnormalities and type 2 diabetes.
Assessment of respirable dust, personal exposures of miners and free silica contents in dust were undertaken to find out the associated risk of coal workers' pneumoconiosis in 9 coal mines of Eastern India during 1988-91. Mine Research Establishment (MRE), 113A Gravimetric Dust Sampler (GDS) and personal samplers (AFC 123), Cassella, London, approved by Director General of Mines Safety (DGMS) were used respectively for monitoring of mine air dust and personal exposures of miners. Fourier Transform Infra-red (FTIR) Spectroscopy determined free silica in respirable dusts. Thermal Conditions like Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) index, humidity and wind velocity were also recorded during monitoring. The dust levels in the face return air of both, Board & Pillar (B&P) and Long Wall (LW) mining were found above the permissible level recommended by DGMS, Govt. of India. The drilling, blasting and loading are the major dusty operations in B&P method. Exposures of driller and loader were varied between, 0.81-9.48 mg/m3 and 0.05-9.84 mg/m3 respectively in B&P mining, whereas exposures of DOSCO loader, Shearer operator and Power Support Face Worker were varied between 2.65-9.11 mg/m3, 0.22-10.00 mg/m3 and 0.12-9.32 mg/m3 respectively in LW mining. In open cast mining, compressor and driller operators are the major exposed groups. The percentage silica in respirable dusts found below 5% in all most all the workers except among query loaders and drillers of open cast mines.
We examined the effects of pesticides on the central and peripheral nervous system in the setting of a tobacco farm at a developing country. Maximal motor and sensory nerve conduction velocities (MCV and SCV, respectively) in the median, sural and tibial nerves, postural sway, and brain-evoked potentials (auditory event-related and visual-evoked potentials) were measured in 80 male tobacco farmers and age- and sex-matched 40 controls in Kelantan, Malaysia. Median SCV (finger-wrist) in farmers using Delsen (mancozeb, dithiocarbamate fungicide), who showed significant decrease of serum cholinesterase activities, were significantly lower compared with the controls. Sural SCV in farmers using Fastac (α-cypermethrin, pyrethroid insecticide) and median MCV (elbowwrist) in farmers using Tamex (butralin, dinitroaniline herbicide) were significantly slowed compared with their respective controls. In Delsen (mancozeb, dithiocarbamate) users, the power of postural sway of 0-1 Hz was significantly larger than that in the controls both in the anterior-posterior direction with eyes open and in the right-left direction with eyes closed. The former type of sway was also significantly increased in Tamaron (methamidophos, organophosphorus insecticide) users. In conclusion, nerve conduction velocities and postural sway seem to be sensitive indicators of the effects of pesticides on the central and peripheral nervous system.
To examine the association between cigarette smoking and the risk of the metabolic syndrome (MS), 3,649 Japanese male office workers aged 35-59 yr who did not have a history of cardiovascular disease were enrolled in this study. 2,994 men without the MS at entry were followed up over a 7-yr period. A modified National Cholesterol Education Program definition with body mass index instead of waist circumference was used for the MS. With adjustment for age, family history of diabetes, alcohol intake, and regular physical activity, the odds ratios of the MS were 1.0 (referent), 1.30 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.00-1.68), 1.07 (95% CI, 0.82-1.39), 1.17 (95% CI, 0.88-1.56), and 1.66 (95% CI, 1.24-2.20) for never smokers, ex-smokers, and those who smoked 1-20 cigarettes/d, 21-30 cigarettes/d, and ≥31 cigarettes/d, respectively (P for trend for current smokers only =0.006). As for the risk of developing the MS, the respective multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios of developing the MS were 1.0 (referent), 1.43 (95% CI, 1.14-1.79), 1.14 (95% CI, 0.91-1.44), 1.45 (95% CI, 1.14-1.84), and 1.59 (95% CI, 1.24-2.05) (P for trend for current smokers only =0.001). Among men without the MS at entry, body weight gain over 7 yr, compared with never smokers, was significantly higher in smokers who quit smoking. It is important for the prevention of the MS not only to quit smoking but also to prevent weight gain after smoking cessation.
Glassblowers are exposed to numerous physical and chemical noxious factors at their workplace. Mucosal layer of upper aerodigestive tract (nose, oral cavity, pharynx and larynx) is particularly vulnerable to the influence of these factors. Inhalation of hot gases, dust particles, and oral contact with glassblower's pipe are the most important factors that can cause chronic inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of chronic laryngitis in the group of glassblowers and control group of workers and to examine whether the observed differences depend on the membership in these two groups, on the duration of exposure, or on both factors. The results of the study show significantly higher prevalence of chronic laryngitis among glassblowers than among control group of workers employed in the same plant. On the other hand, the duration of exposure was not statistically significant factor for chronic laryngitis. The exposure to risk factors on the working place represents an independent risk factor for the occurrence of chronic laryngitis among glassblowers, when adjusted for other possible confounders, such as age, years of service, smoking habits and alcohol consumption.
Subacute toxicity of 1,4-dichloro-2-nitrobenzene (DCNB) was examined by feeding F344 rats and BDF1 mice of both sexes a diet containing DCNB at 625, 1,250, 2,500, 5,000 or 10,000 ppm (w/w) for 2 weeks. All DCNB-fed rats survived to the end of the 2-week administration period, but 2 male and 6 female mice fed 10,000 ppm died during this period. The subacute toxicity was characterized by lesions affecting the liver, kidney, testis and hematopoietic system. The liver was the most responsive to DCNB, as evidenced by a dose-related increase in relative liver weight in rats and mice and centrilobular hypertrophy of hepatocytes in mice. An alteration in liver-associated lipid metabolism was suggested from the concomitant increases in serum concentrations of total cholesterol and phospholipid. A lower confidence limit of the benchmark dose yielding the response with 10% extra risk (BMDL10) for the relative liver weight indicated that rats were more responsive to DCNB than mice. The kidney lesion was characterized by α2υ-globulin-accumulated hyaline droplets in the renal tubular epithelial cells only in male rats, as indicated by positive anti-α2υ-globulin immunohistochemical staining. Testicular and hematopoietic lesions appeared at higher dose levels than did the liver and kidney lesions.
This study was conducted to evaluate neurobehavioral changes arising from occupational exposure to organic solvents among shipyard painters and to establish whether a dose-effect relation existed where there was any observed impairment of neurobehavioral performance by running the test of Simple Reaction Time (SRT), Symbol Digit Substitution (SD), and Finger Tapping Speed (FT) with a computer-assisted neurobehavioral test battery. The study group consisted of 180 shipyard painters and 60 reference workers. The workers answered a self-administered questionnaire on occupational, medical history, and demographic characteristics including age, work duration, education level, and quantity and frequency of alcohol and smoking, and performed three psychometric tests on the Korean Computerized Neurobehavioral tests. To estimate cumulative exposure level, samples of ambient air on 61 painters were analyzed using a gas chromatograph. Shipyard painters and the reference group showed significant differences in the results of test of SD, FT of dominant hand, and FT of non-dominant hand. The test results of SD of shipyard painters also showed significant difference by duration of work. This suggests that occupational exposure of organic solvent could induce neurobehavioral changes in the shipyard painters. Therefore an objective neurobehavioral test is recommended on evaluating neurobehavioral performance of longterm solvent-exposed shipyard workers.
Occupational accidents cause serious consequences. Providing first aid (FA) in the workplace can reverse unpleasant results. Aim of our study was to evaluate the knowledge on FA of industry workers through a questionnaire. Our sample constituted of 236 workers, 40 (Group A) were trained on FA by a team of doctors authorised by the Hellenic National Centre of Emergency Help, while 196 had never have a formal training on FA (Group B). In Group A the mean value of correct answers (performance score) was higher than Group B (62.7 and 50.4 respectively), while the total sample of workers ranged from 21.1 to 84.2. Group A replied correctly about normal values (NVs) of pulse, arterial blood pressure (BP) and breaths at 67.5%, 35% and 47.5% respectively. Group B replied at 32.8%, 18.4% and 30.6% on the corresponding NVs. In Group A, 95% answered properly about the definition of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation (CPR) but only 25% were acquaint with the necessary number of chest compressions and 32.5% with the number of necessary mouth-to-mouth ventilations to practice in case of CPR. In Group B, the corresponding percentages were 72.4%, 26% and 36.7%. Only 5% from Group A and 1% from Group B answer correctly and simultaneously about estimation of vital signs and CPR practice. In conclusion, the vast majority of workers are unable to provide efficient FA as long as they can't estimate vital signs and provide satisfactory CPR.
Recently, H. Kasai reported an automatic, precise method of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG) analysis in urine by high performance liquid chromatography coupled to an electrochemical detector (HPLC-ECD). It is based on a cleaning-up step by anion-exchange chromatography and a further purification step using reverse phase chromatography before detection by the ECD. In this communication, we report a method for the simultaneous determination of 8-OH-dG and creatinine, an internal standard for normalizing the excretion of 8-OH-dG in urine.
Ten young male participants were tested their psychophysically determined 4-h maximum acceptable weight of lifting (MAWL) of 90-degree asymmetric lifting for three lifting frequencies (1 lift/min, 2 lifts/min, 4 lifts/min) and three lifting containers (50 × 35 × 15 cm, 70 × 35 × 15 cm, 50 × 50 × 15 cm). The results showed that the MAWL decreased with increasing frequency and container width or length dimension, while the interaction effect of frequency and container on MAWL was not significant. The MAWL ranged from 13.7 kg to 18 kg for the nine (3 frequencies × 3 containers) lifting conditions. When averaged across the levels of the other independent variable, the MAWL decreased by 7.4% and 16.1% for 2 lifts/min and 4 lifts/min as compared with the MAWL of 1 lift/min, respectively, and decreased by 1.6% and 9.4% for 70 × 35 × 15 cm and 50 × 50 × 15 cm as compared with the MAWL of 50 × 35 × 15 cm, respectively. Additionally, the discrepancies between the MAWL data and the recommended weight limits derived from the revised NIOSH equation were discussed.
The adverse health effects caused by indoor air pollution are termed “sick building syndrome”. We report such a patient whose symptoms appeared in the workplace. A 36-year-old female office worker developed nausea and headache during working hours in a refurbished office. After eight months of seeking help at other clinics or hospitals without improvement, she was referred to our hospital. At that time she reacted to the smells of various chemicals outside of the office building. Biochemical findings were all within normal ranges. Specific IgE antibody to cedar pollen was positive and the ratio of TH1/TH2 was 4.5. In the Eye Tracking Test (ETT), vertical eye movement was saccadic. Her anxiety level was very high according to the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) questionnaire. Subjective symptoms, ETT findings and anxiety levels on STAI gradually improved during two years of follow-up. One year after the onset of her illness, the formaldehyde concentrations in the building air ranged from 0.017-0.053 ppm. Even though relatively low, chemical exposure from building materials such as formaldehyde induced a range of symptoms. Also, lack of recognition by superiors and doctors that sick building syndrome might have been the source of her illness coupled with her high state of anxiety may have exacerbated her symptoms and led to the onset of multiple chemical sensitivity. Thus psychosocial factors may contribute to sick building syndrome in the workplace.
An autopsy case of a primary pericardial mesothelioma in a 53-year-old arc cutter is reported. He had often had the chance to inhale dust generated by sharpening the slate pencils composed of talc. He was admitted for heart failure due to pericardial tumor, but later died. The tumor was mainly located on the pericardium with a thickness of about 2.5 cm. Small nodular disseminations were observed in the left parietal pleura. Microscopically, tumor cells were epitheliallike and rich in histochemical demonstrable hyaluronic acid. Findings of immunohistochemical markers revealed keratin (+), EMA (+), calretinin (+), and CEA (-), which were characteristics of mesothelioma of epithelial type. The number of asbestos bodies (AB) in the lung parenchyma was increased (2,026 AB/gram dry lung tissue). Subsequent transmission electron microscopic examination equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray analyzer revealed that the fibers identified in the lungs were fibrous talc and actinolite. These findings suggested that this patient had been occupationally exposed to asbestos contaminated in the talc pencils, which induced the development of primary pericardial mesothelioma.
Recently, open-type push-pull ventilation systems have been widely employed as effective substitutes for the conventional local exhaust ventilation system, and have prevailed at many welding workshops in Japan. In this study, the effect of the uniform velocity on carbon dioxide (CO2) shielding arc welding was examined by laboratory experiments. The ventilation system examined in the experiments successfully fulfilled the requirement for open-type push-pull ventilators prescribed in Japanese regulations (ordinances). It was proved that the velocity at any points in the capture zone fell in the range of 50 to 150% of the average capture zone velocity. Welding defects could be avoided by controlling the flow rate of shielding gas. Unless the capture velocity exceeded a 0.8 m/s, the formation of blow-holes in the welded metal could be prevented at the shielding gas flow rate of 20 L/min. If the flow rate was provided at 30 L/min and 40 L/min, blow-holes didn't form at the capture velocity of 1.2 m/s and 1.6 m/s, respectively. At a capture velocity of faster than 0.3 m/s, the fume concentration at welder's breathing zone was reduced to a level below the limit values: ACGIH (TLV) and Japan Welding Engineering Society (CLV#). These data are important for designing open-type push-pull ventilation in the welding workshop. The other engineering countermeasures currently employed in the welding work in Japan, such as fume collecting torch and general ventilation, are also concerned in this report. #: Control Limit Value