Comparative personal exposures to organic dusts and endotoxin.
The aims of the study were to provide valid comparative data for personal exposures to dust and endotoxins for different occupations and to calculate comparative data for the contamination of organic dusts with endotoxin. Nine different occupational settings were studied, drawn from the textile, agricultural and animal handling industries. Samples were collected by personal sampling techniques, using the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) sampling head, glass fibre filters and rechargeable sampling pumps. The dust exposures were calculated by gravimetric analysis and using the calculated volume of air sampled were expressed as mg/m3. Endotoxin exposures were measured using a simple water extraction from the collected dusts, followed by a quantitative turbidimetric assay. Results were expressed as ng/m3, using the calculated volume of air sampled. In addition, the levels of the contamination of dusts with endotoxin for individual industries were expressed as ng/mg of collected dust. Two hundred and fifty-nine samples, collected from 9 different industries and across 36 different sites were analysed. This represented a sampling rate of 25% for the total work force. The average sampling time was 4.62 h. For all the dusts collected, a significant correlation between the collected dust and endotoxin was seen (r = 0.7 and p < 0.001). The highest dust exposures occurred during cleaning activities (grain handling: 72.5 mg/m3). The individuals exposed to the highest median level of dust and endotoxin were the animal handlers (poultry handlers, dust: 11.53 mg/m3, endotoxin: 71,995 ng/m3). Weaving and mushroom cultivation had the lowest exposures for dust and endotoxins. The mostly highly contaminated dusts (median values expressed as ng of endotoxin per mg of collected dust) were found in the animal handling (poultry: 1,030 ng/mg, swine: 152 ng/mg) and cotton spinning (522 ng/mg) industries. Processing of cotton and wool fibres was found to reduce the levels of contamination of dusts with endotoxin. In the study, valid comparative data for personal exposures to organic dusts and endotoxins have been presented. The highest exposures were found amongst animal handlers and during cleaning activities. The results highlight that dust exposures are greater in a number of industries than the set exposure standards. In addition, endotoxin exposures are found to be greater than levels at which harmful effects have been demonstrated. (+info)
Determination of hydroquinone in air by high performance liquid chromatography.
A method for measuring hydroquinone in air was evaluated, both in the laboratory and in the workplace. The method involved sampling the inhalable fraction onto a filter contained in a multi-holed sampler with a back-up of Tenax TA, followed by desorption into acetonitrile and analysis by High Performance Liquid Chromatography. It was shown to be effective at measuring hydroquinone over the range 0.1 to 2 times a concentration of 0.5 mg/m3 for 8 h. (+info)
Recent achievements and research initiated in the Swedish plastics and rubber industry.
The improvement in exposure conditions in the Swedish vinyl chloride producing industry is reported. The article comments on the technology and control methods by which the vinyl chloride concentration has been lowered to less than 1 ppm vinyl chloride. Two epidemiological retrospective cohort studies are presently under way on workers in PVC-utilizing industries and in the rubber industry. (+info)
Criteria for the health evaluation of polymeric materials building.
Various polymer-based synthetic materials have become increasingly ubiquitous in manufactured materials in the U.S.S.R. These release various chemical compounds to the ambient air. The maximum permissible concentrations that have been established for various hazardous chemicals in ambient air must be adjusted to account for the conditions of apartment life. Studies have been conducted to determine exactly what compounds are released and at what rate. Toxicological studies and studies of various physical and chemical properties are required to determine the health effects of these chemicals at concentrations at which they are expected to occur in apartments. More research has to be carried out in this field to further expand our knowledge, and we must beware of any introduction of new polymeric materials without first studying their contribution to possible detrimental health effects. (+info)
Occupational cancer in France: epidemiology, toxicology, prevention, and compensation.
This article is a description of the current situation in France with regard to occupational cancer: research, prevention, and occupation. Toxicologic experiments are carried out using (italic)in vitro(/italic) and (italic)in vivo(/italic) tests, particularly using transgenic mice. Several epidemiologic studies have been conducted over the last decades: population-based case-control studies; mortality studies and cancer incidence studies carried out in historical cohorts of workers employed in the industry; and case-control studies nested in occupational cohorts. French ethical aspects of toxicologic and epidemiologic studies are described. The results thus obtained are used to establish regulations for the prevention and the compensation of cancers attributable to occupational exposure. This French regulation for prevention of occupational cancer involves several partners: (italic)a(/italic)) the states authorities, including labor inspectors, responsible for preparing and implementing the labor legislation and for supervising its application, particularly in the fields of occupational health and safety and working conditions; (italic)b(/italic)) the Social Security Organisation for the analysis of present or potential occupational risks based on tests, visits in plants, complaints or requests from various sources, and statistics. These activities are performed within the framework of the general French policy for the prevention of occupational cancer. This organization includes the National Institute for Research and Safety, particularly involved in research in the various fields of occupational risks--animal toxicology, biologic monitoring, exposure measurements epidemiology, psychology, ergonomy, electronic systems and machineries, exposure to chemicals, noise, heat, vibration, and lighting; and (italic)c(/italic)) companies where the regulation defines the role of the plant manager, the occupational physician, and the Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committee (comprising the manager, employees' representatives, the occupational physician, and the safety department) in dealing with any problem regarding safety, occupational hygiene, and working conditions. These organizations along with medical practitioners are involved with the compensation of occupational cancers. The regulation for compensation includes the tables of occupational cancer, the possibility of recognition of a cancer case when the requirements of the tables are not met, and the postprofessional follow-up of workers exposed to a carcinogenic agent. (+info)
Occupational exposure to lead--granulometric distribution of airborne lead in relation to risk assessment.
The amount of airborne lead absorbed by the body during occupational exposure depends not only on lead concentration in workplace air, but also on the granulometric distribution of the aerosol. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) set the lead Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) at 50 micrograms/m3 on the basis of Bernard's model and a number of assumptions, including assumption "C", which predicts that the first 12.5 micrograms/m3 are made up of fine particles (aerodynamic diameter < 1 micron) whereas the remaining 12.5 micrograms/m3 consist of particles > 1 micron. Occupational exposure to airborne lead at a concentration of 50 micrograms/m3 and a granulometric distribution calculated according to the above mentioned assumption, leads, in the model, to a mean blood level of 40 micrograms/dl. In the present study, we tested the validity of assumption "C" in the environmental air of a factory that manufactured crystal glassware containing 24% lead oxide. An 8-stage impactor was used to measure the particle size of airborne dust collected from personal and area samplings. Results indicate that, on the whole, assumption "C" cannot be considered valid in the work environment investigated in this study. As a result, lead absorption levels in exposed workers may be noticeably different from those predicted by the OSHA model. We therefore suggest that in order to make a correct evaluation of the risk of occupational exposure to lead, it is essential to integrate total airborne lead concentration with a measurement of the granulometric distribution of the aerosol. (+info)
Heat stress and protective clothing: an emerging approach from the United States.
There is little doubt that heat stress affects many workers adversely and that protective clothing generally adds to the burden. The ACGIH threshold limit value for heat stress is the guiding document for evaluation of heat stress in the United States. Adjustment factors have been used to reflect the change in heat stress imposed by different clothing ensembles. While the first proposed factors started with limited experimental data and professional judgment, heat balance methods in the laboratory have yielded better estimates of adjustment factors and for a wider selection of ensembles. These same experiments have provided the starting point to accounting for nonporous clothing in heat balance evaluation schemes such as required sweat rate. Proposed changes to the ACGIH TLV have been mentioned and a framework for thinking about controls presented. (+info)
Mesothelioma: cases associated with non-occupational and low dose exposures.
OBJECTIVES: To estimate the importance of low dose exposure to asbestos on the risk of mesothelioma. METHODS: A review of the literature. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: There is no evidence of a threshold level below which there is no risk of mesothelioma. Low level exposure more often than not contains peak concentrations which can be very high for short periods. There might exist a background level of mesothelioma occurring in the absence of exposure ot asbestos, but there is no proof of this and this "natural level" is probably much lower than the 1-2/million/year which has been often cited. (+info)