Trichloroethylene-induced hypersensitivity dermatitis is one of the serious occupational health events in China, however, little is known about the clinical features and possible mechanism of this disorder. The objective of the present study was to report some typical trichloroethylene-induced dermatitis patients and investigate their occupational exposure as well as the clinical features. We sampled and tested some cleaning agents from the companies where TCE-induced skin disorder occurred, the trichloroethylene concentrations were also monitored in the workplace air. Additionally, the symptoms, signs and laboratory test results of patients were collected. TCE concentrations varied from 10.2% to 91.4% in the cleaning agent by gas chromatography-mass chromatography analysis, and TCE levels in the workplace air ranged between 18mg/m3 and 683mg/m3, at most sampled sites TCE levels were higher than China national health standard for TCE. The trichloroethylene exposure time of the patients was 5-90 days (average 38.2 d), the patients with headache, dizziness, skin itch, fever were 90.5%, 100%, 100%, and 61.9%, respectively. 85.7% patients had skin erythema, 90.5% with rashes, and 38.1% with blisters. In addition, liver enlargement occurred in 3 patients, the abnormal rate of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), total bilirubin (T-Bil) were 90.5%, 85.7% and 76.2%, respectively. 6 out of 15 patients were with abnormal electrocardiogram, and trichloroacetic acid (TCA) elevated in 14 patients (66.7%). Taken together, the major detrimental effect of trichloroethylene was to induce hypersensitivity dermatitis and liver dysfunction, the occurrence of this disorder is likely related to the individual hypersensitivity to trichloroethylene exposure.
Compensation for asbestos-related cancers occurring in occupationally-exposed workers is a global issue; this is also an issue in Korea. To provide basic information regarding compensation for workers exposed to asbestos, 60 cases of asbestos-related occupational lung cancer and mesothelioma that were compensated during 15 yr; from 1993 (the year the first case was compensated) to 2007 by the Korea Labor Welfare Corporation (KLWC) are described. The characteristics of the cases were analyzed using the KLWC electronic data and the epidemiologic investigation data conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute (OSHRI) of the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA). The KLWC approved compensation for 41 cases of lung cancer and 19 cases of mesothelioma. Males accounted for 91.7% (55 cases) of the approved cases. The most common age group was 50-59 yr (45.0%). The mean duration of asbestos exposure for lung cancer and mesothelioma cases was 19.2 and 16.0yr, respectively. The mean latency period for lung cancer and mesothelioma cases was 22.1 and 22.6yr, respectively. The major industries associated with mesothelioma cases were shipbuilding and maintenance (4 cases) and manufacture of asbestos textiles (3 cases). The major industries associated with lung cancer cases were shipbuilding and maintenance (7 cases), construction (6 cases), and manufacture of basic metals (4 cases). The statistics pertaining to asbestos-related occupational cancers in Korea differ from other developed countries in that more cases of mesothelioma were compensated than lung cancer cases. Also, the mean latency period for disease onset was shorter than reported by existing epidemiologic studies; this discrepancy may be related to the short history of occupational asbestos use in Korea. Considering the current Korean use of asbestos, the number of compensated cases in Korea is expected to increase in the future but not as much as developed countires.
In this work, an overview of industrial employees' noise exposure level in five selected processing and manufacturing industries in Ilorin are evaluated and compared. Emphasis is given to noise emitted by individual industrial machinery from the selected industries. Event LAeq and LN cycle were studied to identify the noisy machines and to generate baseline data. Findings show that, hammer mill machine from mineral crushing mills produced the highest average noise (98.4 dB(A), electric generator1 (95.6 dB(A) from soft drink bottling industry, electric generator (97.7 dB(A)) from beer brewing and bottling industry, vacuum pump (93.1 dB(A)) from tobacco making industry and electric generator 2 (94.1dB(A) from mattress making industry. The highest and lowest average noise exposure levels are recorded in mineral crushing mills (93.16 dB(A)) and mattress making industry (84.69 dB(A)) respectively. The study shows that at 95% confidence level, there is significant difference (p<0.05) in noise levels in the industries surveyed. The percentages of machines emit noise above FEPA and OSHA recommendation (90 dB(A)) are: soft drink bottling industry (83.3%), beer brewing and bottling industry (42.9%), tobacco making industry (71.4%), mattress making industry (11.1%) and minerals crushing mills (87.5%). In the past 20 years, the noise levels in soft drink bottling industry reduced by 0.58 dB(A) and that of beer brewing and bottling industry reduced by 9.66 dB(A). But that of mattress making industry increased by 2.69 dB(A). On the average, the noise level in these industries has reduced by 2.52 dB(A). The results of this study show that the noise control measures put in place have significant impact on the noise exposure level in the industries surveyed.
The aim of this study was to examine the rate of fatigue and sleepiness around the shift and non-shift workers and its relation to occupational accidents. This was a cross-sectional study on the workers of Iranian Industrial Mining Group. They included 137 shift workers as the case and 130 non-shift workers as the control. A multi-part questionnaire including demographic characteristics, Piper Fatigue Scale and Epworth Sleepiness Scale were applied. The χ;2 test and t-test were used to measure differences between variables. The mean of PFS scores in the two groups was significantly different (p=0.045), but the difference in the mean of ESS scores was not significant. Shift workers with the reported accident had a higher score on fatigue than shift workers with no accident (p<0.001) whereas the difference in the number of accidents in the two groups was not related significantly to the rate of sleepiness. The rate of fatigue and the number of the work accidents was more in the shift workers. Also, fatigue had a stronger relationship with the occupational accidents as compared to sleepiness. It seems that evaluation of fatigue as compared to sleepiness is a more accurate factor for preventing work accidents.
More than 20% of U.S. paramedics are exposed to blood each year. Little is known about the circumstances that lead to these exposures. The objective of this study was to describe blood exposure events among U.S. paramedics. A mail survey was conducted in 2002-2003 among a nationally representative sample of licensed paramedics. Eighty percent of needle/lancet sticks involved non-safety devices. A third of mucous membrane exposures occurred even though the paramedic was wearing eye or face protection; in half of the events, the exposures were caused by the patient vomiting, spitting, or coughing up blood; in a third of the events, the patient was being uncooperative or combative. In 83% of the non-intact skin exposures, the paramedic was wearing disposable gloves; the non-intact skin was covered before the call in a third of the events, but the cover did not prevent exposure; 40% of the events occurred when the patient was being uncooperative or combative. These results suggest that blood exposure among paramedics could be reduced through increased use of safety devices and personal protective equipment, improved engineering and design, and increased compliance with Universal Precautions, and that paramedics need techniques for avoiding blood exposure while treating uncooperative or combative patients.
Purpose of the study: The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of several types of personal respiratory protection equipment at styrene exposed laminators under real work place conditions. Subjects and method: 99 male styrene exposed workers were examined. During their lamination activities the average styrene concentrations in air ranged between 30 to 60 ppm (maximum: 205 ppm). The laminators were followed during an usual workweek from Monday to Thursday. The external styrene exposure was measured by means of passive active carbon badges. The excretion of mandelic acid (MA) and phenyl glyoxylic acid (PGA) in end-of-shift urine samples was used to quantify the internal styrene load. During the work shift some laminators did not use respiratory protection masks. The majority used either a half face mask with active carbon filter or an air purifying respirator. Results: The respiratory masks were worn during an average between 31% and 72% of the work time. The styrene concentrations of the ambient air were -depending on the activity- in the range of 30 to 60 ppm. The end-of-shift concentrations of MA and PGA in urine samples varied considerably, their means range from 153 to 606 mg/g creatinine. The comparison shows that workers with air purifying respirators experience the lowest internal styrene body burden in spite of high external exposures. Their effectiveness during usual working condition was around 83% whereas the use of half face masks with active carbon filters reduce styrene exposure only of 26% as an average. Conclusions: The use of styrene-containing resins in boatbuilding can be associated with increased external styrene exposure of the laminators. During the use of different types of respiratory protection masks it is shown that only the application of air purifying respirators leads to a significant reduction of the internal styrene body burden of 83% when worn during 72% of the total work time. In this way it is possible to comply with or to stay clearly below the biological limit value of 600 mg MA + PGA/g creatinine (BAT-value).
Perchloroethylene, the most widely used solvent in dry cleaning, is toxic to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system and may be a human carcinogen. An exposure assessment was carried out in 69 dry-cleaning shops using perchloroethylene in Tehran city, Iran. The 8-h time weighted average (TWA) breathing zone air samples and end-exhaled air samples were obtained from 179 workers who worked as the job titles included machine operator (n=71), presser (n=63) and counter area (clerk) (n=45). The mean perchloroethylene concentrations in breathing zone air were 11.5 ppm, 9.6 ppm and 7.2 ppm respectively. The mean perchloroethylene concentrations in end-exhaled air of the same participants in Saturday morning (prior to shift of workweek) were 1.7 ppm, 1.5 ppm and 1.1 ppm, but in Thursday evening (end of shift at end of workweek) were 2.4 ppm, 2.0 ppm and 1.5 ppm respectively. This study found that, the mean perchloroethylene concentrations in breathing zone air and end-exhaled air in the dry-cleaning workers were lower than the TLV (25 ppm) and BEI (5 ppm) recommended by ACGIH. Regression analysis showed that the concentration of perchloroethylene in breathing zone air (TWA) was highly and significantly correlated with the concentration of perchloroethylene in end-exhaled air in Saturday morning with a regression equation Y=0.147X + 0.031 (r=0.99, p<0.001) and also in Thursday evening with a regression equation Y=0.201X + 0.072 (r=0.98, p<0.001) where X is the concentration of perchloroethylene in breathing zone air and Y is that the concentration of perchloroethylene in end-exhaled air. The results also showed the potential utility of measuring the concentration of perchloroethylene in end-exhaled air as a method for assessing relative exposure in dry cleaning shops which use it.
Diesel exhaust (DE) has been accused for various health outcomes including exacerbation of asthma, chronic bronchitis. Exposure to DE has long-term effects on lung development in children and reductions in lung function have been reported. The aim of the study was to evaluate the annual changes in forced expiratory flows among toll collectors in Duzce city from 2002 to 2005. Annual FVC, FEV1 and MMF changes in smoker and nonsmoker 58 toll collectors and 37 controls selected among men who worked in the same company as officer have been followed up. No significant changes were seen in expiratory flows among smoker-nonsmoker toll collectors and controls (p>0.05). Annual FVC, FEV1 and MMF changes were not significantly different between smoker and nonsmoker toll collectors. Twelve toll collectors (20.7%) in the study group and 4 (10.8%) controls were found to have FEV1 and FVC below longitudinal lower limit of normal. The difference between groups did not reach statistically significance (p>0.05). Toll collectors (18/58) and controls (15/37) with spirometric measurements for three times showed no difference according to the rate of annual difference in either FEV1 (-21.3±133.1 ml/yr vs -44.3±166.6 (ml/yr) or FVC (13.2±202.9 ml/yr vs. -16.1±204.2 ml/yr). Further investigations including large groups with long term follow up are needed to observe annual FVC, FEV1 and MMF changes among toll collectors.
A growing number of physicians are leaving their hospitals because of painful working conditions in hospitals throughout Japan. We set out to analyze the interrelationships between working conditions, job satisfaction, burnout and mental health among Japanese physicians. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2007 for hospital physicians throughout Japan. A path analysis based on structural equation modeling was utilized for examining the interrelationships between work control, on-call duty volume, job satisfaction (the Japan Hospital Physicians Satisfaction Scale), burnout (the Japanese version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory) and mental health (the General Health Questionnaire). Of 336 physicians who received a solicitation E-mail, 236 participated in our study (response rate, 70%). Sixty physicians (25.4%) were women with a mean age of 41 yr. In the path analysis, burnout and poor mental health were related directly to job dissatisfaction and short sleeping time, while they were related indirectly to poor work control and heavy on-call duty. In the multi-group path analysis of both genders, sleeping time was related to job satisfaction more likely among female physicians but less among male physicians. Healthcare policy makers need to implement immediate, extensive and decisive measures to improve work condition and to reduce overwork among hospital physicians.
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a stress inoculation training program for civil servants through a non-randomized trial. We divided 140 civil servants into two groups (an intervention group and a waiting list control group), and carried out three sessions with the intervention group at intervals of four weeks. The sessions included lectures on responses to stress and coping skills, problem-solving training, group discussions and self-monitoring. Data from 65 subjects in the intervention group and 63 subjects in the waiting list group were analyzed using two-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The intervention group showed statistically significant development of problem-solving skills and positive cognition, with a significant effect remaining one month after the intervention. The effect sizes in the intervention group showed a small-to-medium change in problem-solving coping and small changes in positive cognitive coping. However, no interventional effects were seen in terms of response to stress and health competence. As the number of existing studies on job stress management for workers is limited, further research in this field is necessary, including examination of the frequency and methods of intervention sessions, the effects of intervention by gender, etc.
This study investigated the relationship between the active cervical range of motion (ROM) and changes in the head and neck posture after continuous visual display terminal (VDT) work. Twenty VDT workers were recruited from laboratories. The active cervical ROM of the participants was measured and videotaped to capture the craniocervical and cervicothoracic angles using a single video camera before and after VDT work. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to quantify the linear relationship between active cervical ROM measurements and the changes in the craniocervical and cervicothoracic angles after continuous VDT work. Active neck extension (r=-0.84, p<0.01) was negatively correlated with the mean craniocervical angle, and active neck flexion (r=-0.82, p<0.01) and left lateral flexion (r=-0.67, p<0.01) were negatively correlated with the mean cervicothoracic angle.
Exposure to polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) has been reported to affect endocrine glands; however, little is known about the precise toxicological properties of individual PCBs. We determined whether prenatal exposure to 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB 153), a di-ortho-substituted non-coplanar congener, affects postnatal development in rat offspring. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were given PCB 153 (0, 1, or 4 mg/kg/d) orally from gestational day (GD) 10 to 16, and somatic parameters and thyroid functions in offspring were examined. We found no dose-dependent changes in body weight, body length, tail length, or weight of liver, kidney, testis, seminal vesicle, prostate, ovary, relative organ weight, anogenital distance (AGD), or AGD index in offspring at 1, 3 or 9 wk of age. We observed no compound-related changes in the plasma concentrations of thyroxine (T4), tri-iodothyronine (T3) or thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), although there was a significant difference in T3 only in 1-wk-old males. In addition, thyroid glands from PCB 153 groups had normal T4 responses to exogenous TSH in vivo. These findings suggest that low doses of PCB 153 given prenatally (GD 10-16, 1-4 mg/kg/d) might have little effect on postnatal somatic growth or thyroid development of male and female rat offspring under the experimental conditions of the present study.