Journal of Occupational Health
Online ISSN : 1348-9585
Print ISSN : 1341-9145
Volume 59 , Issue 5
Showing 1-9 articles out of 9 articles from the selected issue
Special Article
  • Expert Division of Occupational Hygiene & Ergonomics, the Japan Societ ...
    2017 Volume 59 Issue 5 Pages 367-373
    Published: September 20, 2017
    Released: September 28, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: August 31, 2017
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    This Document, "Guidelines for personal exposure monitoring of chemicals" ("this Guideline"), has been prepared by "The Committee for Personal Exposure Monitoring" ("the Committee") of the Expert Division of Occupational Hygiene & Ergonomics, Japan Society for Occupational Health. Considering the background of the growing importance of personal exposure monitoring in risk assessment and the need to prepare for the introduction of monitoring using personal samplers from an administrative perspective in recent years, the Committee was organized in November 2012. The Committee has prepared this Guideline as a "practical guideline" for personal exposure monitoring, so as to offer proposals and recommendations to the members of the Japan Society for Occupational Health and to society in general. The scope of this Guideline covers all chemical substances and all related workplaces regarded as targets for general assessment and the management of risk. It thus is not to be considered to comment on legal regulations and methodology. The main text provides the basic methods and concepts of personal exposure monitoring, while 31 "Appendices" are provided later in this Guideline throughout the series; technical descriptions, statistical bases, and actual workplace examples are provided in these appendices, to assist better understanding. The personal exposure monitoring described as per this Guideline is equivalent to an "expert-centered basic method to reasonably proceed with the assessment and management of risk at workplaces." It is considered that practicing and expanding on this method will significantly contribute in reforming the overall framework of occupational hygiene management in Japan.

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Reviews
  • Sandra Moreira, Lia Vasconcelos, Carlos Silva Santos
    2017 Volume 59 Issue 5 Pages 374-384
    Published: September 20, 2017
    Released: September 28, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: August 08, 2017
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    Objective: This study aimed to develop a methodological tool to analyze and monitor the green jobs in the context of Occupational Health and Safety. Methods: A literature review in combination with an investigation of Occupational Health Indicators was performed. The resulting tool of Occupational Health Indicators was based on the existing information of "Single Report" and was validated by national's experts. Results: The tool brings together 40 Occupational Health Indicators in four key fields established by World Health Organization in their conceptual framework "Health indicators of sustainable jobs." The tool proposed allows for assessing if the green jobs enabled to follow the principles and requirements of Occupational Health Indicators and if these jobs are as good for the environment as for the workers' health, so if they can be considered quality jobs. Conclusions: This shows that Occupational Health Indicators are indispensable for the assessment of the sustainability of green jobs and should be taken into account in the definition and evaluation of policies and strategies of the sustainable development.

  • Areeya Jirathananuwat, Krit Pongpirul
    2017 Volume 59 Issue 5 Pages 385-393
    Published: September 20, 2017
    Released: September 28, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: July 21, 2017
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    Introduction: Physically active (PA) people have a lower risk of various diseases, compared to those with sedentary lifestyles. Evidence on the effects of PA promoting programs in the workplace is large, and several systematic reviews (SR) and/or meta-analyses (MA) have been published. However, they have failed to consider factors that could influence interventions. This paper aimed to classify and describe interventions to promote PA in the workplace based on evidence from SR/MA. Method: A literature search for SR/MA was done using PubMed, Web of Science, and Science Direct (January 2006-February 2015). Quality assessment of SR/MA was performed using AMSTAR. The PRECEDE-PROCEED model was used for classifying the interventions into predisposing, enabling, reinforcing, environment, and policy domains of focus. Results: Eleven SR/MA included 220 primary studies, of which 139 (63%) were randomized controlled trials. Of 48 interventions identified, 22 (46%) and 17 (35%) focused on predisposing or enabling employees to have more PA, respectively. Of the 22 predisposing factors, 6 were information delivery, 5 were self-motivation, and 11 were program training. The enabling approaches were 12 instrument resources and 5 health service facilities. The reinforcing approaches were 4 incentive and 3 social support. The remaining interventions focused on the environmental development and policy regulation. Conclusions: This systematic meta-review classified interventions using appropriate framework and described the intervention pattern.

  • Norihiro Kobayashi, Hiroto Izumi, Yasuo Morimoto
    2017 Volume 59 Issue 5 Pages 394-407
    Published: September 20, 2017
    Released: September 28, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: August 08, 2017
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    Objective: We reviewed studies on pulmonary, reproductive, and developmental toxicity caused by carbon nanotubes (CNTs). In paricular, we analyzed how CNT exposure affects the several processes of pulmonary toxicity, including inflammation, injury, fibrosis, and pulmonary tumors. Methods: In pulmonary toxicity, there are various processes, including inflammation, injury, fibrosis, respiratory tumor in the lungs, and biopersistence of CNTs and genotoxicity as tumor-related factors, to develop the respiratory tumor. We evaluated the evidence for the carcinogenicity of CNTs in each process. In the fields of reproductive and developmental toxicity, studies of CNTs have been conducted mainly with mice. We summarized the findings of reproductive and developmental toxicity studies of CNTs. Results: In animal studies, exposure to CNTs induced sustained inflammation, fibrosis, lung cancer following long-term inhalation, and gene damage in the lung. CNTs also showed high biopersistence in animal studies. Fetal malformations after intravenous and intraperitoneal injections and intratracheal instillation, fetal loss after intravenous injection, behavioral changes in offsprings after intraperitoneal injection, and a delay in the delivery of the first litter after intratracheal instillation were reported in mice-administered multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) appeared to be embryolethal and teratogenic in mice when given by intravenous injection; moreover, the tubes induced death and growth retardation in chicken embryos. Conclusion: CNTs are considered to have carcinogenicity and can cause lung tumors. However, the carcinogenicity of CNTs may attenuate if the fiber length is shorter. The available data provide initial information on the potential reproductive and developmental toxicity of CNTs.

Originals
  • Ping Yeap Loh, Wen Liang Yeoh, Hiroki Nakashima, Satoshi Muraki
    2017 Volume 59 Issue 5 Pages 408-417
    Published: September 20, 2017
    Released: September 28, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: July 13, 2017
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    Objectives: The primary objective was to investigate the effects of continuous typing on median nerve changes at the carpal tunnel region at two different keyboard slopes (0° and 20°). The secondary objective was to investigate the differences in wrist kinematics and the changes in wrist anthropometric measurements when typing at the two different keyboard slopes. Methods: Fifteen healthy right-handed young men were recruited. A randomized sequence of the conditions (control, typing I, and typing II) was assigned to each participant. Wrist anthropometric measurements, wrist kinematics data collection and ultrasound examination to the median nerve was performed at designated time block. Results: Typing activity and time block do not cause significant changes to the wrist anthropometric measurements. The wrist measurements remained similar across all the time blocks in the three conditions. Subsequently, the wrist extensions and ulnar deviations were significantly higher in both the typing I and typing II conditions than in the control condition for both wrists (p<0.05). Additionally, the median nerve cross-sectional area (MNCSA) significantly increased in both the typing I and typing II conditions after the typing task than before the typing task. The MNCSA significantly decreased in the recovery phase after the typing task. Conclusions: This study demonstrated the immediate changes in the median nerve after continuous keyboard typing. Changes in the median nerve were greater during typing using a keyboard tilted at 20° than during typing using a keyboard tilted at 0°. The main findings suggest wrist posture near to neutral position caused lower changes of the median nerve.

  • Liying Pei, Satoshi Toyokawa, Yasuki Kobayashi
    2017 Volume 59 Issue 5 Pages 418-427
    Published: September 20, 2017
    Released: September 28, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: August 08, 2017
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    Objectives: There is limited evidence on the relationship between labor factors and the decision to refrain from seeking medical services. This study aimed to examine how labor factors are related to medical service access among male and female workers in Tokyo and surrounding areas. Methods: We used data from 4,385 respondents to the survey in the Japanese Study on Stratification, Health, Income, and Neighborhood (J-SHINE), an ongoing epidemiologic household panel study. Surveys from 2010 to 2011 were analyzed. The outcome variable was whether or not an individual refrained from seeking medical services. Labor factors included employment type (permanent, temporary, or self-employed), company size (<100, 100-1,000, or >1,000 employees) and occupation type (white-collar, blue-collar). Results: We included a total of 2,013 people after excluding those with missing data (analysis utilization: 45.9%). After adjusting covariates, we found that men working in small companies were more likely to refrain from seeking medical services than were those in medium or large companies (adjusted prevalence ratio [PR]: 1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04-1.37). Among women, however, those in self-employment (PR: 1.38, 95% CI: 1.08-1.77) and blue-collar employment (PR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.04-1.47) were more likely to refrain than were those classified as permanent or white-collar workers. Conclusions: The relationship between labor factors and refraining from seeking medical services differed among men by company size, and among women by employment type and occupation type.

  • Shota Endo, Takeyasu Kakamu, Sei Sato, Tomoo Hidaka, Tomohiro Kumagai, ...
    2017 Volume 59 Issue 5 Pages 428-432
    Published: September 20, 2017
    Released: September 28, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: August 08, 2017
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    Objectives: The aim of this study was to reveal the current state of preventive measures and lifestyle habits against heat illness in radiation decontamination workers and to examine whether young radiation decontamination workers take less preventive measures and have worse lifestyle habits than the elder workers. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. Self-administered questionnaires were sent to 1,505 radiation decontamination workers in Fukushima, Japan. Five hundred fifty-eight men who replied and answered all questions were included in the statistical analysis. The questionnaire included age, duration of decontamination work, previous occupation, lifestyle habit, and preventive measures for heat illness. We classified age of the respondents into five groups: <30, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and ≥60 years and defined the workers under 30 years of age as young workers. Logistic regression analysis was used to reveal the factors associated with each lifestyle habit and preventive measures. Results: In comparison with young workers, 50-59-year-old workers were significantly associated with refraining from drinking alcohol. Workers 40 years of age or older were significantly associated with cooling their bodies with refrigerant. Furthermore, 30-39-year-old workers and 40-49-year-old workers were significantly associated with adequate consumption of water compared to young workers. Conclusion: The results of our study suggests that young decontamination workers are more likely to have worse lifestyle habits and take insufficient preventive measures for heat illness. This may be the cause of higher incidence of heat illness among young workers.

Opinion/Recommendation
  • Francesco Chirico
    2017 Volume 59 Issue 5 Pages 433-435
    Published: September 20, 2017
    Released: September 28, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: August 17, 2017
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    In Europe, employers of all private and public enterprises have a legal obligation to protect their employers by all the different types of workplace hazards to the safety and health of workers. The most important methods developed for the work-related stress risk assessment are based on the Cox's research commissioned by European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) and are the Management Standard HSE for work-related stress in United Kingdom, the START method in Germany, the Screening, Observation, Analysis, Expertise (SOBANE) in Belgium, and the National Institute for Prevention and Safety at Work (INAIL-ISPESL) model in Italy, the latter based on the British Management Standard. Unfortunately, the definition of "work-related stress" elaborated by EU-OSHA was criticized, because it is not completely equal to the broader "psychosocial risk," which includes new and emerging psychosocial risk factors, such as the combined exposure to physical and psychosocial risks, job insecurity, work intensification and high demands at work, high emotional load related to burnout, work-life balance problems, and violence and harassment at work. All these new emerging psychosocial hazards could require different and additional methodologies to save workers' health and safety. For this reason, the concept that stakeholders and policy makers should keep in mind in order to develop better national regulations and strategies is that work-related stress risk and psychosocial risk factors are not the same.

Recommendation of Occupational Exposure Limits (2017-2018)
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