The Health Sciences and Human Services Library: "this is one sweet library".
The opening of the Health Sciences and Human Services Library at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, in April, 1998, was a highly anticipated event. With its unique architecture and stunning interior features, it is a signature building for the university in downtown Baltimore. The building is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, but has a warm, inviting atmosphere making it a focal point for the campus community. Its highly functional, flexible design will serve the staff and users well into the twenty-first century. (+info)
Ergonomic strategies for improving working conditions in some developing countries in Asia.
Ergonomic action is growing in Asia in response to increasing local needs. Recent studies in some developing countries in Asia commonly developed and applied widely-applicable measures for assessing local needs in field conditions including small enterprises and agriculture. For this purpose, carefully examining the actual workplace conditions of the local people was essential. Consequently, a number of field studies could contributed to improving the working conditions of the local people in materials handling, workstation design, work organization and work environment by using available local resources. Building on local capacity and practice, action-oriented ergonomics training has also been developing and spreading into many workplaces. Various non-expert human resources including local government units, trade unions, industrial associations and the agricultural sectors have been mobilized to act as participatory trainers in the action-oriented ergonomic training programmes. Training tools such as action checklists, good local examples and group work dynamics have been developed and applied to such training activities. Learning from local achievements and focusing on locally available resources, ergonomists have facilitated these local action processes by developing action-oriented training tools and training local trainers. It was confirmed that a number of ergonomic improvements could be formulated by the self-help initiative of the local people when participatory action tools and training were provided. Developing flexible and dynamic ergonomic research and training methods to meet the diversifying needs of the local people will continuously be important. Ergonomists' efforts to cover the wider population and workplaces need to be strengthened and accelerated. (+info)
Buildings operations and ETS exposure.
Mechanical systems are used in buildings to provide conditioned air, dissipate thermal loads, dilute contaminants, and maintain pressure differences. The characteristics of these systems and their operations h implications for the exposures of workers to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and for the control of these exposures. This review describes the general features of building ventilation systems and the efficacy of ventilation for controlling contaminant concentrations. Ventilation can reduce the concentration of ETS through dilution, but central heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) can also move air throughout a building that has been contaminated by ETS. An understanding of HVAC systems is needed to develop models for exposures of workers to ETS. (+info)
Sitting and low back pain: the positive effect of rotary dynamic stimuli during prolonged sitting.
In this study the effect of dynamic stimuli on low back pain during prolonged sitting was investigated. The pain experience of two groups of 60 subjects with a specific low back pain was recorded. All subjects were investigated on pain behaviour by the Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI) and pain was measured on an open visual analogue scale (VAS). During sitting, one group received dynamic stimuli that were generated by alternating rotations in the horizontal plane of the seat of the chair, with back and arm rests in fixed position. Two different frequencies of rotation were applied in subgroups. The authors concluded that such stimuli, especially of the lower frequency, reduced pain in prolonged sitting. (+info)
Distributed representation of objects in the human ventral visual pathway.
Brain imaging and electrophysiological recording studies in humans have reported discrete cortical regions in posterior ventral temporal cortex that respond preferentially to faces, buildings, and letters. These findings suggest a category-specific anatomically segregated modular organization of the object vision pathway. Here we present data from a functional MRI study in which we found three distinct regions of ventral temporal cortex that responded preferentially to faces and two categories of other objects, namely houses and chairs, and had a highly consistent topological arrangement. Although the data could be interpreted as evidence for separate modules, we found that each category also evoked significant responses in the regions that responded maximally to other stimuli. Moreover, each category was associated with its own differential pattern of response across ventral temporal cortex. These results indicate that the representation of an object is not restricted to a region that responds maximally to that object, but rather is distributed across a broader expanse of cortex. We propose that the functional architecture of the ventral visual pathway is not a mosaic of category-specific modules but instead is a continuous representation of information about object form that has a highly consistent and orderly topological arrangement. (+info)
Feasibility of cohort studies in Estonia.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the methodology and feasibility of follow up for vital status in retrospective cohort studies in Estonia. METHODS: A cohort of 7412 workers who had been employed at two factories in Tallinn between 1946 and 1988 was followed up for vital status from the date of first employment until death, emigration, or the end of the study, 31 December 1995, whichever occurred first. The cohort was electronically linked with the National Population Registry of Estonia that was created in 1992 and includes personal identification numbers of Estonian citizens and residents, and the Mortality Database that contains information from death certificates issued in 1983-95. A manual search was carried out on several non-computerised population data sources and archives. RESULTS: By 31 December 1995, the vital status of 6780 (91.5%) subjects could be traced (4495 (60.6%) subjects were alive, 1993 (26.9%) had died, and 292 (3.9%) had emigrated). Analysis by calendar period of leaving work showed that the proportion of subjects traced was lowest in the group of workers who had left work between 1946 and 1955 (58.4%), especially those whose age at leaving work was < 30 (53.2%) or > 60 years (42.3%). Among subjects who left work in 1956-65, 1966-75, and 1976-88, the follow up rate was 84.7%, 94.6%, and 98.2%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The findings, which are especially important for occupational epidemiology, confirm the feasibility of conducting retrospective cohort studies in Estonia. Most of the issues discussed in the paper apply to other former Soviet countries. (+info)
Health sciences library building projects, 1998 survey.
Twenty-eight health sciences library building projects are briefly described, including twelve new buildings and sixteen additions, remodelings, and renovations. The libraries range in size from 2,144 square feet to 190,000 gross square feet. Twelve libraries are described in detail. These include three hospital libraries, one information center sponsored by ten institutions, and eight academic health sciences libraries. (+info)
Workers' dermal exposure to UV-curable acrylates in the furniture and Parquet industry.
The use of ultraviolet radiation-curable coatings (UV-coatings) has increased rapidly in the parquet and furniture industry. Work with UV-coatings involves risk from skin exposure to chemically reactive, concentrated acrylates that are known skin contact irritants and sensitizers. Yet, the methods and tools for measuring and quantifying dermal exposure from hazardous chemicals directly on the skin are limited and methods to measure skin exposure to UV-coatings in occupational or environmental settings have been lacking. Skin exposure to UV-coatings was measured employing a quantitative tape stripping method that we have developed for this purpose. A pilot study was performed at three workplaces. In the main study, workers' skin exposure to uncured UV-coatings was measured at seven workplaces and on two separate workdays (rounds 1 and 2) within a six-month period to determine exposure variation. Skin exposure was measured at four standardized sites on the hand, 3-4 times per work shift. The forehead was sampled once. A questionnaire was carried out with the workers in both rounds to find out factors that can affect skin exposure to UV-coatings. The pilot study indicated that both skin and surface contamination to TPGDA-containing UV-coatings were common and varied up to 2110 microgram on the sampling area of 10cm(2). In the main study skin contamination due to TPGDA was found on 16 of 23 workers, at 6 out of the 7 workplaces, and from 36 (5. 4%) of the 664 samples. In round one 8.6% (n=383) of the samples contained TPGDA and in round two 1.1 % (n=281). The average TPGDA mass on all the positive samples (n=36) was 30.4+/-77.0 microgram for the first and second rounds alone this mass was 30.6+/-80 (n=33) and 28.3+/-16.5 microgram (n=3), respectively. Despite the limited sampling area and sampling sites, we could find residues of TPGDA at all sampling times, even at the beginning of the work shift. This may be due to transfer of UV-coatings through contaminated equipment, shoes and surfaces. Our study indicates that there is a risk of harmful skin exposure to UV-coatings in the furniture and parquet industry. (+info)