Objectives: Antineoplastic drugs (ANPDs) are widely used in the treatment of cancer and some nonneoplastic diseases. However, most if not all of these chemical agents are generally nonselective and, along with tumor cells, normal cells may undergo cytotoxic/genotoxic damage. Italian pharmacists and nurses occupationally exposed to ANPDs during their normal work routines were monitored to evaluate biological effects (i.e., cytogenetic damage) eventually associated with exposure. The subjects were also monitored for primary, oxidative and excision repaired DNA damage as evaluated by comet assay (published data). In the present paper, we present the results obtained with the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) test. Methods: The CBMN test in peripheral blood lymphocytes was applied because of its ability to detect both clastogenic and aneugenic effects, and because it has recently been reported that micronuclei (MNs) are predictive of cancer risk in human populations. In this study, the evaluation of MN frequency was carried out using the CBMN test in the absence or in the presence of the DNA repair inhibitor Ara-C (cytosine arabinoside). Results: No significant difference was observed for MN frequency comparing nurses handling ANPDs (exposed subjects) and controls; no correlations were found between job seniority, age, smoking habits and MN rates. Conclusions: Concerning the aim of this study to evaluate the genotoxic risk arising from occupational exposure to ANPDs, statistically significant differences in MN rates in the subjects under study could not be determined.
Objectives: This was a randomized controlled pilot trial to evaluate the effectiveness of cupping therapy for neck pain in video display terminal (VDT) workers. Methods: Forty VDT workers with moderate to severe neck pain were recruited from May, 2011 to February, 2012. Participants were randomly allocated into one of the two interventions: 6 sessions of wet and dry cupping or heating pad application. The participants were offered an exercise program to perform during the participation period. A 0 to 100 numeric rating scale (NRS) for neck pain, measure yourself medical outcome profile 2 score (MYMOP2 score), cervical spine range of motion (C-spine ROM), neck disability index (NDI), the EuroQol health index (EQ-5D), short form stress response inventory (SRI-SF) and fatigue severity scale (FSS) were assessed at several points during a 7-week period. Results: Compared with a heating pad, cupping was more effective in improving pain (adjusted NRS difference: −1.29 [95% CI −1.61, −0.97] at 3 weeks (p=0.025) and −1.16 [−1.48, −0.84] at 7 weeks (p=0.005)), neck function (adjusted NDI difference: −0.79 [−1.11, −0.47] at 3 (p=0.0039) and 7 weeks (p<0.0001)) and discomfort (adjusted MYMOP2 difference score: −0.72 [−1.04 to −0.40] at 3 weeks and −0.92 [−1.24, −0.60] at 7 weeks). Significant improvement in EQ-5D was observed at 7 weeks (1.0 [0.88, 1.0] with cupping and 0.91 [0.86, 0.91] with heating pad treatment, p=0.0054). Four participants reported mild adverse events of cupping. Conclusion: Two weeks of cupping therapy and an exercise program may be effective in reducing pain and improving neck function in VDT workers.
Objectives: Work stress is an emergent risk in occupational health in China, and its measurement is still a critical issue. The aim of this study was to examine the reliability and validity of a short version of the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) questionnaire in a sample of Chinese workers. Methods: A community-based survey was conducted in 1,916 subjects aged 30–65 years with paid employment (971 men and 945 women). Results: Acceptable internal consistencies of the three scales, effort, reward and overcommitment, were obtained. Confirmatory factor analysis showed a good model fit of the data with the theoretical structure (goodness-of-fit index = 0.95). Evidence of criterion validity was demonstrated, as all three scales were independently associated with elevated odds ratios of both poor physical and mental health. Conclusions: Based on the findings of our study, this short version of the ERI questionnaire is considered to be a reliable and valid tool for measuring psychosocial work environment in Chinese working populations.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to develop an analytical method for the simultaneous determination of inorganic arsenic [As(III) and As(V)] and monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) in urine by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) for the biological monitoring of exposure to inorganic arsenic. Methods: Arsenic compounds (after reduction of arsenic to the trivalent state) were derivatized with 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanol and then analyzed using a GC-MS. The proposed method was validated according to the US Food and Drug Administration guidelines. The accuracy of the proposed method was confirmed by analyzing Standard Reference Material (SRM) 2669 (National Institute of Standards and Technology). Results: Calibration curves showed linearity in the range 1–100 μg/l for each of the arsenic species, with correlation coefficients of >0.999. For each of the arsenic species, the limits of detection and quantification were 0.2 μg/l and 1 μg/l, respectively. The recoveries were 96–100%, 99–102% and 99–112% for As(III), As(V) and MMA, respectively. Intraday accuracy and precision were 82.7–99.8% and 0.9–7.4%, respectively. Interday accuracy and precision were 81.3–100.0% and 0.8–9.9%, respectively. The analytical values of SRM 2669 obtained by the proposed method were sufficiently accurate. Conclusions: The proposed method overcame the disadvantages of high-performance liquid chromatography with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. It was a robust, selective and cost-effective method suitable for routine analyses and could be useful for the biological monitoring of occupational exposure to inorganic arsenic.
Objectives: Changes in employment contracts may impact the quality of working life, job insecurity, health and work-related attitudes. We examined the validity of two partly competing theoretical approaches. Based upon a segmentation approach, we expected no change in scores among stable trajectories, whereas upward trajectories were expected to be for the better and downward trajectories to be for the worse (Hypothesis 1). As turnover theories suggest that this hypothesis may only apply to workers who do not change employer, we also examined these contract trajectories stratified for a change of employer (Hypothesis 2). Methods and Results: Drawing on the 2007 and 2008 waves of the Netherlands Working Conditions Cohort Study (N=9,688), repeated measures analysis of covariance showed little across-time change in the criterion variables, thus largely disconfirming our first hypothesis. These results could (at least partly) be explained by employer change; this was generally associated with improved scores among all contract trajectories (Hypothesis 2). However, workers receiving a less stable contract from the same employer were found to be at risk for health and well-being problems. Conclusions: Segmentation theory-based assumptions on contract trajectories primarily apply to stable and downward contract trajectories at the same employer, whereas assumptions from turnover theories better apply to contract trajectories combined with a change of employer. Future research should focus more closely on factors predicting “involuntary” downward trajectories into precarious temporary employment or unemployment.
Objectives: This study aimed to investigate changes in the smoking rate among Korean adults from 1998–2009 by gender and occupational groups. Methods: Using the data from the first (1998), second (2001), third (2005) and fourth (2009) waves of the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), we examined men and women between 25–64 years old. Occupational groups were classified into 3 groups of non-manual workers, 5 groups of manual workers and other workers groups. The other group included the unemployed, students and housewives. Age-adjusted prevalence rates of cigarette smoking were calculated for 10-year age groups in each wave of the KNHANES. Trends in the smoking rate according to occupational groups were estimated. Results: Among male workers, decreasing trends in smoking rates were observed in non-manual workers, manual workers, and other workers. The odds ratios and prevalence ratios for the smoking rates of the manual workers comparing the non-manual workers increased from 1998 to 2005, whereas decreased to 1.38 and 1.12, respectively, in 2009. Differences in smoking rates between manual and non-manual workers increased from 1998 to 2005 but decreased from 2005 to 2009. Among female workers, the smoking rates decreased between 1998 and 2001 and increased beginning in 2001. Conclusions: The smoking rate of the manual workers group was still higher than that of the non-manual workers group. Anti-smoking programs specific to each occupational group are needed.
Objectives: Monoterpenes can positively or negatively affect human health depending on their concentrations. To assess the atmospheric risk for greenhouse workers, monoterpene concentrations and personal exposure in herb-growing greenhouses were measured. Methods: Monoterpene concentrations in a commercial greenhouse, where rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia L.) were grown in pots, were measured every 4 hours on 11 days spread across a year. In a small experimental greenhouse, typical horticultural tasks were conducted to determine the factors increasing monoterpene concentrations. Results: Concentrations of α-pinene, camphene, β-pinene, limonene and cineole in the farmer's greenhouse were higher in winter than in summer because of longer ventilation periods of the greenhouse in summer. Further, the concentrations of these compounds were high (but <2 parts per billion in volume [ppbv]) when horticultural tasks were conducted inside the greenhouse. In a small experimental greenhouse, moving pots and cutting shoots increased ambient monoterpene concentrations to 10 ppbv. Spraying water also increased monoterpene concentrations but to a lesser extent. When performing tasks, greenhouse workers were exposed to monoterpene concentrations 2–3 times higher than the concentration in the ambient greenhouse air. Conclusions: Our measurement results reveal that monoterpene emissions are stimulated by horticultural tasks, even by spraying water. Our calculation result suggests that if ventilation is limited, the concentrations can reach levels high enough to cause sensory irritation in greenhouse workers. Greenhouse workers should be cautious when performing tasks for hours in tightly closed herb-growing greenhouses.
Objectives: We herein report a case of cervico-brachial disorder (CBD) due to long-term tactile interpreting. Methods: The patient was interviewed to investigate her past history, occupational history, work conditions and clinical course in detail. The case was diagnosed in accordance with the “Diagnostic Criteria for CBD 2007” established by the Research Association for CBD of the Japanese Society for Occupational Health. Results: The patient was a 49-year-old female who has worked as a regular occupational instructor at a welfare work activity center for deaf people since April 22, 2010. Her primary job is to instruct and aid others in learning confectionery manufacturing and coffee shop tasks. She also performs tactile interpreting for two deaf-blind workers during a morning health check and during any meetings. On September 3, 2010, she interpreted by tactile signing for about three hours alone during a meeting, due to the absence of other interpreters. She developed severe pain in her back immediately after carrying out this interpretation, and the pain thereafter continued and developed in the upper extremities. She was diagnosed with a severe and prolonged case of the non-specific type of CBD. Discussion: Interpretation by tactile signing may impose a heavier burden on the upper extremities, shoulders and neck than that imposed by common sign language. A shorter time of interpretation, ensuring the availability of rest time and supporting tools or methods for the upper extremities, are therefore considered to be necessary to prevent the incidence of CBD among interpreters using tactile signing.
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