Industrial Health
Online ISSN : 1880-8026
Print ISSN : 0019-8366
ISSN-L : 0019-8366
Volume 49 , Issue 1
Showing 1-18 articles out of 18 articles from the selected issue
Editorial
Review Article
  • Jungsun PARK, Yangho KIM, Naomi HISANAGA
    Type: Review Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 3-7
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The effects of work on the heart are mediated by chemical, physical, and psychological stressors. It is standard clinical practice to assess personal risk factors such as cigarette smoking, hypertension, and cholesterol. Evaluation of a patient’s acute symptoms and activity level at the time of presentation is also standard practice. However, clinicians typically do not assess workplace risk factors; nor do they usually identify the location and its possible exposures that may have contributed to the patient’s symptoms. In Korea, work-related cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases (WR-CVDs) are among the most compensated cases, second only to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WR-MSDs). The average accumulated insurance benefit per injured worker is an estimated USD 75,000, which is thought to have a major impact on the financial stability of insurers. Therefore, the present study was performed to 1) review the physicochemical agents of cardiovascular diseases in Korea, 2) review the effects of psychosocial factors such as work-related stress on WR-CVDs in Korea, and 3) discuss the concepts and perspectives of WR-CVDs in Korea by comparing with those in Japan.
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Original Articles
  • Jin Hee KIM, Jae Yong MOON, Eun-Young PARK, Kwan-Hee LEE, Yun-Chul HON ...
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 8-14
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) was known to result in immunologic, respiratory, carcinogenic, reproductive, neurologic, and cardiovascular effects. However, the mechanisms by which VOCs induce these adverse health effects are not well understood. To evaluate the change of oxidative stress biomarker and gene expression levels in workers exposed to VOCs, we obtained urine and blood samples from 21 subjects before and after occupational exposure to VOCs. We measured levels of muconic acid (MuA), hippuric acid (HA), mandelic acid (MaA), and methyl hippuric acid (MHA) as urinary exposure biomarkers for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (collectively BTEX), and malondialdehyde (MDA) and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanine (8-OHdG) as oxidative stress biomarkers in all subjects. We also evaluated BTEX-mediated RNA expression using cDNA microarray in 14 subjects. HA and MHA levels were higher following occupational exposure to VOCs (p<0.01). In the linear regression analysis, HA ratios of after- and before-exposure were found to be significantly associated with increase of MDA ratios of after- and before-exposure after controlling for age, body mass index, and smoking (β=0.06, p=0.031). Evaluation of the gene expressions by HA showed that 23 gene expressions were found to be significantly associated with HA levels after adjusting for age, body mass index, and smoking (p<0.001). In particular, expressions of ENO3 and CDNA FLJ39461 fis among the 23 genes were significantly associated with the change in MDA level (p<0.05). Our study results suggest that exposure to VOCs, specifically toluene, induces oxidative stress and various gene expression change of which some may be responsible for oxidative stress.
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  • Elisa ALBINI, Silvia ZONI, Giovanni PARRINELLO, Laura BENEDETTI, Rober ...
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 15-23
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    To assess the risk from exposure to occupational stress and burnout in health care workers (HCW), a cross-sectional study was planned to compare objective data that can represent potential job stressors in hospital wards and subjective symptoms reported by the workers. Medical doctors, nurses and ancillary workers of the Internal Medicine Wards of a large public hospital in Northern Italy participated in the study. Three subjective questionnaires were administered: the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). In addition, seven objective parameters were collected as average during the 3 months period prior to the study: a) working understaffed; b) ratio number of patients/HCW on service; c) ratio number of HCW on sick leave/ HCW on service; d) number of skipped days off after night shifts; e) days of sick leave; f) number of deceased patients; g) number of accidents at work. A total group of 230 HCW were examined, employed in six different sub-units of the Medical wards. The female workers were 67.8% and the male workers 32.2%, the mean age was 37.4 yr (SD 9.3) in the total group of HCW, 35.1 yr (SD 7.9) in females and 42.3 yr (SD 10.3) in males. The average scores of subjective and objective parameters resulted significantly higher in the same sub-units. The correlation analysis showed that the subjective questionnaires were highly inter-related. The multivariate analysis showed that the days of sick leave were significantly related to the subjective questionnaires, and the subjective subscales of emotional exhaustion (from MBI), job demand and decision latitude (from JCQ) and STAIt were significantly related to some of the objective parameters. These results support the integrated use of multiple subjective and objective assessment as the most appropriate approach for the evaluation of occupational stress.
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  • Toshio KAWAI, Kimiaki SUMINO, Fumiko OHASHI, Masayuki IKEDA
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 24-29
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    To facilitate urine sample preparation prior to head-space gas-chromatographic (HS-GC) analysis. Urine samples containing one of the five solvents (acetone, methanol, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone and toluene) at the levels of biological exposure limits were aspirated into a vacuum tube via holder, a device commercially available for venous blood collection (the vacuum tube method). The urine sample, 5 ml, was quantitatively transferred to a 20-ml head-space vial prior to HS-GC analysis. The loaded tubes were stored at +4℃ in dark for up to 3 d. The vacuum tube method facilitated on-site procedures of urine sample preparation for HS-GC with no significant loss of solvents in the sample and no need of skilled hands, whereas on-site sample preparation time was significantly reduced. Furthermore, no loss of solvents was detected during the 3-d storage, irrespective of hydrophilic (acetone) or lipophilic solvent (toluene). In a pilot application, high performance of the vacuum tube method in sealing a sample in an air-tight space succeeded to confirm that no solvent will be lost when sealing is completed within 5 min after urine voiding, and that the allowance time is as long as 30 min in case of toluene in urine. The use of the holder-vacuum tube device not only saves hands for transfer of the sample to air-tight space, but facilitates sample storage prior to HS-GC analysis.
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  • Hsien-Yu TSENG, Bor-Shong LIU
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 30-36
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of load carrying methods, stair slopes and walking speeds on heart rate and walking postures. Nine participants climbed up and down stairs with various stair slopes (24°, 30° and 36°), walking speeds (72, 96, and 132 steps per minute), and using different load carrying methods (empty loads, backpack, and hand-held). The effects of these factors on heart rate, Borg-RPE and flexion angles of knee joints, hip joints and trunk angles were investigated. This study demonstrated that increased stair slopes and walking speed were associated with increased heart rate and RPE. The heart rate for empty loads subjects was lowest, followed by backpack load and hand-held load. Climbing stairs with larger inclination was associated with smaller knee joint flexion angle and larger trunk and hip joint flexion angle. In conclusion, it is easier for subjects to carry a load of the same weight up stairs by backpack than by hand. However, the stair slope should be less than 30°. Thus, the standard fixed stair slope (30° of stair slope) on recommended for riser height and tread depth are 160 mm (6.5 inches) and tread depth 280 mm (11 inches).
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  • Orrapan UNTIMANON, Alan GEATER, Virasakdi CHONGSUVIVATWONG, Wiyada SAE ...
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 37-46
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Powdered lead oxide (Pb3O4) is used in the wooden-boat repair industry as a constituent of the caulking material. This study compared skin lead of household members of caulkers’ and control homes, and examined the relationship of household member’s skin lead with household floor lead loading (FLL) and dust lead content (DLC). FLL and DLC were measured in 67 caulkers’ houses and 46 nearby houses with no known lead exposure. In each household, wipe specimens of skin lead were obtained from one selected family member. Hand lead loading (HdLL) and foot lead loading (FtLL) were significantly higher in family members of caulkers than controls (geometric mean 64.4 vs. 36.2 μg m-2; p=0.002 and 77.8 vs 43.8 μg m-2; p=0.002, respectively). This pattern mirrored FLL and DLC, which were also higher in caulkers’ than in control houses (geometric mean 109.9 vs. 40.1 μg m-2; p<0.001 and 434.8 vs 80.8 μg g-1; p<0.001, respectively). Multiple linear regression modelling revealed FLL to be a better predictor than DLC for HdLL in all age groups and for FtLL in adult family members. In conclusion, skin lead levels are elevated in family members living in a lead-exposed worker’s house and are related to the levels of household lead contamination.
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  • Yuichiro KUDO, Yoshiharu AIZAWA
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 47-55
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Asbestos is reported to cause pulmonary fibrosis, and its use has been banned. We examined the biopersistence and histopathological effect of rock wool (RW) fibers in rat lungs by a nose-only inhalation exposure study. Twenty-four rats were exposed to RW fibers for 6 h daily for 5 consecutive days. Six rats each were sacrificed shortly and 1, 2, and 4 wk after exposure, and the fiber numbers and sizes in lungs were determined. The fiber number in the lungs 4 wk after exposure significantly decreased. The clearance half time was 28 d for fibers with L>20 μm and 50 d for World Health Organization fibers. The reasons for the decrease in number and size of fibers include: 1) discharge outside of the body by mucociliary movement, 2) dissolution by body fluid, and 3) phagocytosis and digestion by alveolar macrophages. Twelve rats were used for histopathological examination, and the pathological changes were classified by Wagner’s criteria. As a result, changes up to only Grade 2 were observed. The reason for the increase in macrophage number was considered to be a transient reaction of body defense. These results suggest that RW has low biopersistence and only a limited pathological effect.
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  • Tae-gu KIM, Young-sig KANG, Hyung-won LEE
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 56-62
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    To begin a zero accident campaign for industry, the first thing is to estimate the industrial accident rate and the zero accident time systematically. This paper considers the social and technical change of the business environment after beginning the zero accident campaign through quantitative time series analysis methods. These methods include sum of squared errors (SSE), regression analysis method (RAM), exponential smoothing method (ESM), double exponential smoothing method (DESM), auto-regressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model, and the proposed analytic function method (AFM). The program is developed to estimate the accident rate, zero accident time and achievement probability of an efficient industrial environment. In this paper, MFC (Microsoft Foundation Class) software of Visual Studio 2008 was used to develop a zero accident program. The results of this paper will provide major information for industrial accident prevention and be an important part of stimulating the zero accident campaign within all industrial environments.
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  • Todd SCHOONOVER, Lorraine CONROY, Steven LACEY, Julie PLAVKA
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 63-72
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The objective of this study was to characterize personal exposures to welding-related metals and gases for production welders and non-welders in a large manufacturing facility. Welding fume metals and irritant gases nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3) were sampled for thirty-eight workers. Personal exposure air samples for welding fume metals were collected on 37 mm open face cassettes and nitrogen dioxide and ozone exposure samples were collected with diffusive passive samplers. Samples were analyzed for metals using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and welding fume metal exposure concentrations were defined as the sum of welding-related metals mass per volume of air sampled. Welding fume metal exposures were highly variable among similar types of welding while NO2 and O3 exposure were less variable. Welding fume metal exposures were significantly higher 474 μg/m3 for welders than non-welders 60 μg/m3 (p=0.001). Welders were exposed to higher concentrations of NO2 and O3 than non-welders but the differences were not statistically significant. Welding fume metal exposure concentrations for welders performing gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) were higher than welders performing gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). Non-welders experienced exposures similar to GTAW welders despite a curtain wall barrier separating welding and non-welding work areas.
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  • Guy NOTELAERS, Jeroen K. VERMUNT, Elfi BAILLIEN, Ståle EINARSEN, ...
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 73-88
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    In this study, we first explore whether different exposure groups of workplace bullying exist, employing a large, heterogeneous sample. The results show six different exposure groups: almost 30.5% is not bullied since they report hardly any negative act at work at all, 27.2% face some limited work criticism, 20.8% face limited negative encounters, 8.3% is occasionally bullied, 9.5% are predominately work related bullied, and a total of 3.6% can be seen victims of severe workplace bullying. In a second step, the relationship between the identified target groups and social demographics were investigated using multinomial logistic regression to indentify risk groups of workplace bullying. Employees between the age of 35 and 54, public servants, blue-collar workers, as well as employees working in the food and manufacturing industries have a significantly elevated risk to be victims of workplace bullying. In contrast, employees younger than 25, employees with a temporary contract, teachers, nurses and assistant nurses are those least likely at risk. These findings are important for policymakers at the national and organisational level as they assist in focussing towards possible avenues to prevent workplace bullying.
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  • Masoud NEGHAB, Ahmad SOLTANZADEH, Alireza CHOOBINEH
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 89-94
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The potential of formaldehyde to produce chronic respiratory tract disease remains a controversial issue. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the respiratory effects, if any, of long term occupational exposure to formaldehyde. This cross-sectional study was carried out at a local melamine-formaldehyde resin producing plant. The study population consisted of seventy exposed and 24 non-exposed (referent) employees. Using respiratory questionnaire, data on respiratory symptoms were gathered. Atmospheric concentrations of formaldehyde were measured at different contaminated areas of the plant. Similarly, the parameters of pulmonary function were measured at the beginning (preshift) and at the end (postshift) of the first working day of the week. The results showed that airborne concentrations of formaldehyde exceeded current permissible levels. Additionally, significant decrements in some preshift and postshift parameters of pulmonary function of exposed workers were noted. However, a relative recovery in lung functional capacity observed following temporary cessation of exposure (preshift values). Furthermore, exposed workers had higher prevalence rates of regular cough, wheezing, phlegm, shortness of breath, chest tightness and episodes of chest illness associated with cold. The findings of this study collectively indicate that exposure to formaldehyde may induce respiratory symptoms, acute partially reversible and chronic irreversible functional impairments of the lungs.
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  • Francesca Romana d’AMBROSIO ALFANO, Boris Igor PALELLA, Giuseppe ...
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 95-106
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    A reliable assessment of the thermal environment should take into account the whole of the six parameters affecting the thermal sensation (air temperature, air velocity, humidity, mean radiant temperature, metabolic rate and thermo-physical properties of clothing). Anyway, the need of a quick evaluation based on few measurements and calculations has leaded to like best temperature-humidity indices instead of rational methods based on the heat balance on the human body. Among these, Canadian Humidex, preliminarily used only for weather forecasts, is becoming more and more widespread for a generalized assessment of both outdoor and indoor thermal environments. This custom arouses great controversies since using an index validated in outdoor conditions does not assure its indoor reliability. Moreover is it really possible to carry out the thermal environment assessment ignoring some of variables involved in the physiological response of the human body? Aiming to give a clear answer to these questions, this paper deals with a comparison between the assessment carried out according to the rational methods suggested by International Standards in force and the Humidex index. This combined analysis under hot stress situations (indoor and outdoor) has been preliminarily carried out; in a second phase the study deals with the indoor comfort prediction. Obtained results show that Humidex index very often leads to the underestimation of the workplace dangerousness and a poor reliability of comfort prediction when it is used in indoor situations.
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  • Myeong-Deok HAN, Keun-Young KIM, Seung-Cheol HONG
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 107-115
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    This study was performed to examine the potential health effects of copiers on their users and relevant workers by evaluating the charged aerosol current generation characteristics and indoor air quality (IAQ) in the copy center. In the 10 copy centers and one control site that were investigated in this study, the charged aerosol generation characteristics (effective levels, charged aerosol current, and charged aerosol concentration) and air pollutants (fine particles, ozone, and nitrogen oxide) were measured indoors and outdoors, and compared. In addition, a six-day continuous measurement was performed in a copy center to assess the charged aerosol generation characteristics according to the copying volume and the copier operation, and their correlation with indoor air pollutants. The indoor and outdoor charged aerosol effective levels in the 10 copy centers were 93.4% and 82.4%, respectively, and they were about 1.4 times higher than the charged aerosol effective level in the indoor control site (66.2%). The comparison of the negative and positive ion currents by space showed that the positive ion current was about 4.2 times higher indoors than outdoors, and about 2.5 times higher during the operation time than during the non-operation time. The indoor charged aerosol concentration (1,512.3 ions/cm3) was about 4.6 times higher than the outdoor concentration (325.8 ions/cm3), and 19.5 times higher than the indoor charged aerosol concentration in the control site (77.3 ions/cm3). Based on these results, it was found that the operation of the copier was an important influential factor of the charged aerosol generation level in the copy center, and that the positive ions were dominant. In the analysis of the correlation between the indoor charged aerosol generation and the air pollutants, the effective level had high positive correlations with the charged aerosol concentration (r=0.938, p<0.01) and O3 (r=0.870, p<0.05). The charged aerosol concentration had positive correlations with O3 (r=0.700) and PM10 (r=0.479), although the correlations were not statistically significant. In conclusion, it seems that the ultra-fine particles (UFPs, d < 0.1 um ≤ 100 nm) may affect the human respiratory and circulatory systems because they have charged aerosol characteristics. Based on these results, it was found that the operation of the copier was an important influential factor of the charged aerosol generation level in the copy center, and that the positive ions were dominant.
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Short Communication
  • Akinori NAKATA, Masaya TAKAHASHI, Masahiro IRIE, Tapas RAY, Naomi G. S ...
    Type: Short Communication
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 116-121
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The purpose of this study is to examine the independent association of job satisfaction with common cold and sickness absence among Japanese workers. A total of 307 apparently healthy white-collar employees (165 men and 142 women), aged 22-69 (mean 36) yr, completed a questionnaire survey during April to June, 2002. Global job satisfaction was measured by a 4-item scale from the Japanese version of a generic job stress questionnaire with higher scores indicating greater satisfaction. Information about whether the employees had a common cold (within the past 6 months) and sickness absence (within the past 12 months) was self-reported. Hierarchical log-linear Poisson regression analysis controlling for confounders revealed that greater job satisfaction was inversely correlated with days (B=-0.116; p<0.001) and times (B=-0.058; p=0.067) of common cold and days (B=-0.160; p<0.001) and times (B=-0.141; p<0.001) of sickness absence. Our findings suggested that poor job satisfaction is associated with both common cold and sickness absence.
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Case Reports
  • Iraj MOHEBBI, Aboulfath LAMEEI, Behzad BOOSHEHRI, Naser ASLANABADI, Re ...
    Type: Case Report
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 122-125
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The heart and the respiratory system are closely connected in such a way that disorders of one system would influence the function of the other. This unique case of silicosis complicated by corpulmonale associated with pericardial plaque formation in a young adult male is reported here due to an unknown complication of silicosis.
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  • Irena RUTKIEWICZ, Natalia JAKUBOWSKA, Żaneta POLKOWSKA, Jacek NAM ...
    Type: Case Report
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 126-132
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents are often used for dry-cleaning clothes in the laundry industry. The object of this study was to monitor the occupational exposure of dry-clean employees coming into contact with VOXs. Twenty five workers collected their urine samples before the work shift, after 4 h of work and after the work shift. The analyses of urine samples and solvents used in dry-cleaning were performed using TLHS-DAI-GC-ECD. Chloroform was detected in all urine samples, and dichloromethane and tetrachloroethene in nearly all urine samples collected before and after the work shift. The concentrations of the compounds determined in urine samples were higher at the end of the workday in directly exposed individuals. Concentrations of the compounds determined in urine samples depended mainly on the type of activities carried out at the dry-cleaning establishments.
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Field Report
  • Yuko YAMANO, Tomoko TOKUTAKE, Sumiko ISHIZU, Toshio NAKADATE
    Type: Field Report
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 1 Pages 133-138
    Published: 2011
    Released: February 10, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    To elucidate the circumstances of their occupational exposure to methyl bromide (MeBr), we conducted a 17-yr study on 124 workers employed by a MeBr manufacturer. Subjects were classified into three groups according to the nature of their work: synthesis group, filling group, and other group. Urinary concentrations of bromide ion (Br-) were assessed, and data attained via MeBr-health examinations were analyzed. The highest Br- concentrations were seen in the synthesis group, with a median value of 13.0 μg/mg CRE (2.5-51.8), followed by the filling group, with a concentration of 11.9 μg/mg CRE (3.1-34.8). Both values were significantly higher than the levels noted in the other group (p<0.001). Three major opportunities for exposure were identified: during exchange of reaction equipment for maintenance or cleaning, during operations to adjust for weight variations after filling canisters, or when canisters were recycled. Overall, however, the workplace environment concentration remained largely below the administrative control level throughout the study period. Therefore, while this was a relatively well-controlled workplace, exposure opportunities still arose when performing certain tasks, indicating the need for ongoing improvement in workplace procedures and underscoring the importance of biological monitoring.
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