Industrial Health
Online ISSN : 1880-8026
Print ISSN : 0019-8366
ISSN-L : 0019-8366
Volume 49 , Issue 2
Showing 1-17 articles out of 17 articles from the selected issue
Editorial
Original Articles
  • Tuula LEINO, Risto SELIN, Heikki SUMMALA, Marianna VIRTANEN
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 143-150
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Studies on violence in the work of security guards are largely lacking. This study is unique in that it focuses on security guards (n=1,010) in Finland, and assesses the different forms, prevalence, and risk factors of the work-related violence they often face. Information to a survey instrument was obtained by first interviewing 30 volunteers. Then we made a cross-sectional mailed survey that was sent to a randomized group of 2,000 security guards. The response rate was 52. We found the prevalence of verbal aggression, threats of assault, and physical acts against security guards at least once a month to be 39%, 19%, and 15% respectively. As regards risk factors and who is most at risk, our results show that male gender, young age, low work experience, late working hours, and time pressure were associated with all three forms of work-related violence. Unlike other forms of violence, verbal aggression was highly prevalent outside the metropolitan area and directed towards both more and less experienced security guards. In prevention policies for violence, it is important to identify high-risk groups such as those who have less work experience.
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  • Fengyuan PIAO, Sheng LI, Qiujuan LI, Jianxin YE, Shuang LIU
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 151-157
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    To provide molecular toxicological evidences for exploring the mechanism of arsenic-induced neurotoxicity the accumulation of arsenic (As), the formation of 8-nitroguanine (8-NO2-G) were examined in brain tissue of mice exposed to arsenic. And the gene expressions of inducible NOS (iNOS), superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and peroxiredoxin 2 (Prdx2) were also analyzed by GeneChip. In the result, the concentration of As in the brain tissue of mice was 4.00, 13.70, 21.48 and 29.88 ng/g in the controls and experimental groups exposed to 1, 2 and 4 mg/l As2O3, respectively and increased in dose-response manner. Nervous cells in the brain of mice exposed to As showed disappearances of axons, vacuolar degeneration in cytoplasm and karyolysis, whereas no such pathological changes were observed in the control group. Weak immunoreactivity against 8-NO2-G was observed in the brain tissue of mice given 1 or 2 ppm arsenic trioxide. More intensive immunoreactivity was found in cells at 4 ppm and it was mainly distributed in cytoplasm. The expressions of SOD1 and Prdx2 were down-regulated in the brain of mice exposed to As, but iNOS expression was not disturbed by As exposure. No the 8-NO2-G immunoreactivity or abnormal expressions of these genes in brain tissue were observed in controls. These results indicate that As induces high expression of 8-NO2-G in brain tissues of mice and that RNA in the cells may be modified by overproduced reactive nitrogen species.
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  • Si-Ying WU, Huang-Yuan LI, Jun TIAN, Wei ZHU, Jian LI, Xiao-Rong WANG
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 158-165
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The present study is to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and analyze the effect of occupational stress, job burnout and coping resource on the HRQOL among nurses in China. A total of 1,012 nurses were recruited from eight hospitals of two provinces in 2008. The Chinese version of Short Form-36 Health Survey and Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey were used to measure the HRQOL and burnout respectively, the Occupation Stress Inventory-Revised Edition was used to evaluate occupational stressor, personal strain and coping resources. Other potential influencing factors for HRQOL were collected using a structured questionnaire. HRQOL in the nurses was lower than that in the general population. Occupational stressor, personal strain and job burnout correlated negatively with the HRQOL (p<0.05) while coping resources was positively related to the HRQOL (p<0.05). Among the predictive factors for HRQOL, occupational stressor (indicated by role insufficiency and physical environment), personal strain (indicated by physical strain and psychological strain), job burnout (indicated by emotional exhaustion and professional efficacy), length of work hours (≥10 h per day), diet irregularity and age were the main risk factors for HRQOL, while recreation and self-care were the main protective factors for HRQOL. The findings suggest occupational stress, job burnout and coping resources play important roles in HRQOL in the Chinese nurses.
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  • Steven E. HABER, Jason M. HABER
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 166-172
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Malignant mesothelioma is a diffuse tumor arising in the pleura, peritoneum, or other serosal surface and is closely associated with asbestos exposure. An estimated 2,500 to 3,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. Although there are individual case reports and small series detailing the clinical aspects of mesothelioma, few studies examine a large series of patients with malignant mesothelioma from the clinical perspective. This study reports on the findings of 238 cases of malignant mesothelioma from a private consultative medical practice. Most cases had a history of occupational asbestos exposure. The mean latency was 48.5 yr, with women having a longer latency than men. The mean age at diagnosis was 70. Survival overall was poor (mean 8.8 months), but treatment was beneficial (mean 11.3 versus 6.4 months). Epithelioid histology conferred a survival advantage over sarcomatoid and responded better to treatment. Our data support an inverse relationship between asbestos dose and latency.
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  • Liang-Jen WANG, Chih-Ken CHEN, Shih-Chieh HSU, Sheng-Yu LEE, Chin-Shen ...
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 173-184
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    This study assessed the levels and association of occupational stress and depression rate among physicians, and to compare physicians’ occupational stress with that of Taiwanese employees in other occupations. The subjects were physicians employed at 14 participating regional hospitals in the Around Taiwan Health Care Alliance. Self-administered questionnaires capturing data on demographics, occupational characteristics, occupational stress measured using Job Content Questionnaire (C-JCQ), and health status measured using Taiwanese Depression Questionnaire (TDQ) were sent to eligible physicians. Results revealed that the depression rate (13.3%) was higher than that found in the general population (3.7%) of Taiwan. The mean scores of the JCQ dimensions “work demands” and “job control” were both much higher than those in most occupations in Taiwan. Higher depression scores were found in subjects with higher work demands, 8-10 d of being on duty per month, and more frequent alcohol consumption, while lower depression scores were found in subjects working in the east Taiwan area, with higher job control and with greater workplace social support. On the other hand, gender, smoking, and working hour were not independently correlated with depression, but the interaction of gender and job control also had an independent effect on depression. This study suggests that job stress plays an important role in depression in physicians; it is necessary to pay attention to physicians at high risk of depression, as well as their work environments, for early detection and intervention.
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  • Chinmei CHOU, Yutaka TOCHIHARA, Mohamed Saat ISMAIL, Joo-Young LEE
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 185-194
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    This study examined the influences of aluminized (Type A) and non-aluminized firefighters’ protective clothing (Type B, C, D and CON) on physiological and subjective responses in radiant heat. Total clothing weight was 6.24, 6.38, 6.06, 5.76 and 3.82 kg for Type A, B, C, D and CON, respectively. Eight firefighters performed exercise at an air temperature of 30℃ with 50%RH. Three bouts of 10 min-bicycle exercise in radiant heat (a globe temperature of 70℃) was spaced by a 10 min rest with no radiant heat. Results showed that rectal temperature, mean skin temperature, heart rate, and body weight loss were significantly greater in Type A than in other types (p<0.05). For Type A, thermal gradient of the body reached 0.0 ± 0.7℃, heart rate showed a maximum level of 183 ± 11 bpm and 1.9% of body weight was lost due to sweat secretion. Firefighters felt the hottest and most discomfort in Type A. It appeared that firefighters’ thermoregulatory mechanism was severely challenged by wearing aluminized protective clothing during exercise in strong radiant heat. Therefore, it is suggested that the safe upper limits while wearing aluminized firefighters’ clothing should be distinguished from those for typical firefighters’ protective clothing.
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  • Masanori OGAWA, Yoshihiro SUZUKI, Yoko ENDO, Toshihiro KAWAMOTO, Fujio ...
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 195-202
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Intake of foods and drinks containing benzoic acid influences the urinary hippuric acid (HA) concentration, which is used to monitor toluene exposure in Japan. Therefore, it is necessary to control the intake of benzoic acid before urine collection. Recently, some reports have suggested that components of coffee, such as chlorogenic, caffeic, and quinic acids are metabolized to HA. In this study, we evaluated the influence of coffee intake on the urinary HA concentration in toluene-nonexposed workers who had controlled their benzoic acid intake, and investigated which components of coffee influenced the urinary HA concentration. We collected urine from 15 healthy men who did not handle toluene during working hours, after they had consumed coffee, and we measured their urinary HA concentrations; the benzoic acid intake was controlled in these participants during the study period. The levels of chlorogenic, caffeic, and quinic acids in coffee were analyzed by LC-MS/MS. Urinary HA concentration increased significantly with increasing coffee consumption. Spectrophotometric LC-MS/MS analysis of coffee indicated that it contained chlorogenic and quinic acids at relatively high concentrations but did not contain benzoic acid. Our findings suggest that toluene exposure in coffee-consuming workers may be overestimated.
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  • Ko MATSUDAIRA, Nobuhiro HARA, Mayumi ARISAKA, Tatsuya ISOMURA
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 203-208
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    To assess the effects of physician’s advice on non-specific acute low back pain (ALBP) in Japanese workers, existing data from a prospective, epidemiological study of Japanese workers were analyzed. Among workers who had had low back strain during the past year at baseline and responded to the 1-yr follow-up survey (n=475), those who obtained medical care (n=255) and received advice either to rest (n=68 for the rest group) or to stay active (n=32 for the active group) were examined. The rest group seemed to have a higher risk of ALBP than the active group after adjusting for age, gender, history of low back strain, type of physical activity at work, and severity of LBP during the past month at baseline (adjusted OR for the rest group vs. the active group: 3.65, 95%CI: 0.96-13.8). Compared to the active group, low back strain was more likely to occur repeatedly and to become chronic in the rest group. These findings suggest that advice to rest may not be better than advice to stay active for preventing future episodes of ALBP in Japanese workers, which is consistent with previous studies or guidelines for the management of ALBP in Western countries.
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  • Omid KALATPOOR, Kambiz GOSHTASP, Solieman KHAVAJI
    Type: Original Article
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 209-214
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The purpose of this study was assessing health, safety and environmental risk of a gas transfer pipeline in an oily area of Gachsaran. In this method, we used the Kent’s pipeline risk assessment method except that to facilitate using the method more practically some changes were exerted into Kent’s method. A pipeline with 16 kilometers length was selected considering surrounding nature of the pipeline. It was divided into two sections. Analogous to Kent’s method, in this method, parameters included: interested party’s injuries, corrosion, design factor, incorrect operation index and consequence scoring. The difference here was that for consequence scoring we used ALOHA 5.6 software instead of Kent’s pattern. Results showed that health, safety and environmental risks of section 2 (the next 13 kilometers of outgoing pipeline from gas station after the first 3 kilometers) were greater. It seems the main cause of gaining a bigger risk number was related to more activities of interested parties around section 2. Because all figures gathered from indexes are almost close to gather except third parties activity.
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Short Communication
  • Shigetoshi AISO, Hisayo KUBOTA, Yumi UMEDA, Tatsuya KASAI, Mitsutoshi ...
    Type: Short Communication
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 215-220
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    In order to assess the extrapulmonary effects of multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), deposition of MWCNT and histopathologic changes in lung-associated lymph nodes (LALN) were examined in MWCNT-administered rats. At the age of 13 wk, male F344 rats were intratracheally instilled with MWCNT at a dose of 0 (vehicle), 40 or 160 μg/rat. The rats were sacrificed on Day 1, 7, 28 or 91 after instillation and light microscopic examinations were performed on LALN tissues. MWCNT was translocated to right and left posterior mediastinal lymph nodes and parathymic lymph nodes. Deposition of MWCNT was greater in the posterior mediastinal lymph node than in the parathymic lymph node, and the amount of MWCNT deposited in these two lymph nodes increased gradually and dose-dependently with time. MWCNT was phagocytosed by nodal macrophages, and some of the MWCNT-laden macrophages were aggregated. Transmission electron microscopic (TEM) observation confirmed the presence of MWCNT fibers with a characteristic multi-walled cylindrical structure.
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Field Reports
  • Krishnendu MUKHOPADHYAY, Ayyappan RAMALINGAM, Raghunathan RAMANI, Venk ...
    Type: Field Report
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 221-227
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Stone crushing unit workers suffer from particulate matters and respirable silica at work and in their residents nearby. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the area and personal exposure concentration of respirable particulate matters and silica in workplaces and in surrounding villages. PM10, PM4 and PM2.5 were considered for unit area measurement and PM4 and PM2.5 were considered for personal exposure measurements. The ambient PM10 and indoor respirable particulate sampling and analyses were carried out in two neighboring villages adjacent to a cluster of 100 stone crushing units in central India. The study was conducted in two years with varied seasons to provide baseline data on the existing particulate concentration with and without control intervention. Monitoring and analytical criteria were fulfilled according to the National Institute for Occupational safety and Health (NIOSH), USA protocol. The study reports the higher particulates and respirable silica with respect to the national and international guidelines in and around the study units. However, in nearby villages, the particulate concentrations and silica were comparatively less. An innovative dust abatement dry engineering control system was installed as a pilot work to reduce dust emission from the unit and the results afterward were found to be encouraging.
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  • Michiko NOHARA, Mikio MOMOEDA, Toshiro KUBOTA, Masao NAKABAYASHI
    Type: Field Report
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 228-234
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Women’s employment in Japan has increased substantially in recent decades, however little large scale research has been done on the impact of various types of working conditions on women’s health. The aim of this study was to assess the menstrual cycle and menstrual pain problems of female workers and to investigate the factors that relate to them. The questionnaire was distributed to 8,150 women and 2,166 responded (26.6%). An anonymous self-administered questionnaire was used to get information about demographics, menstrual cycle status, the degree of menstrual pain, and employment and environmental factors. Irregular cycle menstruation was experienced in 17.1% of responded workers. We discovered the relationship between irregular menstrual cycles and stress, smell of cigarettes, age and smoking habits. Some degree of menstrual pain was experienced in 77.6% of responded workers. This study showed the relationship between menstrual pain and stress, high temperature and humidity, age, BMI, and number of births. In conclusion, we found that stress is thought to be an important factor related with menstrual cycle irregularities and menstrual pain among Japanese female workers.
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  • Nam-Soo KIM, Byung-Kook LEE
    Type: Field Report
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 235-241
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    We compared the blood lead and other lead biomarkers between migrant and native workers with a focus on the impact of the legal employment permit system that was effective from 2003, which required employers to provide mandatory annual health examinations for migrant workers on lead biomarkers in 1997 and 2005. The mean blood lead level of migrant workers was 59.5 ± 19.4 μg/dl, yielding 47% of lead poisoning cases, which was significantly higher than that of native workers (36.8 ± 14.5 μg/dl; 11% of lead poisoning cases) in 1997 before enactment of the act. The overall mean blood ZPP levels and ALAU of migrant workers were significantly higher than those of native workers. In 2005, after new migrant worker regulations were instituted, the mean value of above lead biomarkers workers was still significantly higher than that of native workers, but the magnitude of the differences was smaller compared with the difference in 1997. We confirmed that the 2003 regulations played an important role in improving the health of migrant workers in the lead industry in terms of their blood lead levels and other lead biomarkers.
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  • Ki Youn KIM, Yoon Shin KIM, Daekeun KIM, Hyeon Tae KIM
    Type: Field Report
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 242-248
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The exposure level and distribution characteristics of airborne bacteria and fungi were assessed in the workers’ activity areas (station office, bedroom, ticket office and driver’s seat) and passengers’ activity areas (station precinct, inside the passenger carriage, and platform) of the Seoul metropolitan subway. Among investigated areas, the levels of airborne bacteria and fungi in the workers’ bedroom and station precincts were relatively high. No significant difference was found in the concentration of airborne bacteria and fungi between the underground and above ground activity areas of the subway. The genera identified in all subway activity areas with a 5% or greater detection rate were Staphylococcus, Micrococcus, Bacillus and Corynebacterium for airborne bacteria and Penicillium, Cladosporium, Chrysosporium, Aspergillus for airborne fungi. Staphylococcus and Micrococcus comprised over 50% of the total airborne bacteria and Penicillium and Cladosporium comprised over 60% of the total airborne fungi, thus these four genera are the predominant genera in the subway station.
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  • Masoud NEGHAB, Alireza CHOOBINEH, Jafar HASSAN ZADEH, Ebrahim GHADERI
    Type: Field Report
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 249-254
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The present study examined the effects of occupational exposure of a group of dentists to low levels of mercury. The study population consisted of 106 dentists and 94 general practitioners (referent group), from private and public clinics in Shiraz city. Subjects were requested to complete a questionnaire on demographic variables, suspicious symptoms of intoxication and work practices. Additionally, atmospheric and urinary concentrations of mercury were measured by Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy technique. The data were analysed by χ2 test, independent sample t-test and multivariate logistic regression analysis, where applicable. Both groups were similar as far as most demographic and socioeconomic variables, but age and number of personal amalgam fillings, were concerned. Median of atmospheric concentration of mercury was found to be 3.35 μg/m3. Likewise, the urinary concentration of mercury in dentists was estimated to be 3.16 μg/g creatinine. This value was significantly higher than that of the referent group. Similarly, analysis of the data revealed that neuropsychological, muscular, respiratory, cardiovascular and dermal symptoms were more prevalent in dentists. Our findings indicate that occupational exposure of dentists to mercury, even at low levels, is associated with a significant increase in the prevalence of symptoms of intoxication.
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Research Strategy
  • Mohsen VIGEH, Hiroyuki SAITO, Shin-ichi SAWADA
    Type: Research Strategy
    2011 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 255-261
    Published: 2011
    Released: April 14, 2011
    [Advance publication] Released: December 16, 2010
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    In adults, high-level lead exposure often occurs in the lead-related industries. Acute lead poisoning has become rare, but chronic exposure to low-level lead remains a public health issue. With recent advances in our understanding of lead toxicity at low-levels, researchers have shifted their focus to studying lead at concentrations below those currently recommended as ‘acceptable’ in worker protection. As gender plays an important role in the storage, biokinetics, and toxicity of lead, it seems inappropriate to extrapolate findings of lead exposure in men to women. Women’s bones release lead more slowly to the bloodstream, so blood levels remain increased for a long time after cessation of high exposure, reflecting the endogenous source of the lead. Particularly in pregnant women, bone lead release could influence health in pregnancy and be extremely harmful to the rapidly growing and developing fetus. Accordingly, female workers of childbearing age should avoid excessive lead exposure. However, because studies of pregnant workers encounter many difficulties and inconveniences, sufficient research has not been conducted in this area. As an alternative, a group of non-occupationally exposed women, matched as well as possible for anthropometric and reproductive variables and with almost the same levels of blood lead, could be recruited for survey.
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