Mortality experience among employees at a hydrometallurgical nickel refinery and fertiliser complex in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta (1954-95). (49/621)

OBJECTIVE: To study the mortality experience of workers at a hydrometallurgical nickel refinery and fertiliser complex in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada. METHODS: A total of 1649 male employees of Sherritt International who worked for at least 12 continuous months during the years 1954 to 1978 at the Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta hydrometallurgical nickel refinery and fertiliser complex were followed up for an additional 17 years. Mortality was ascertained from the Canadian mortality data base maintained by Statistics Canada and covered the years 1954-95. Statistics were analysed with Monson's computer program. RESULTS: Total mortality, when compared with the Canadian population, was significantly below expectation. Fewer deaths were found for circulatory disease, ischaemic heart disease, respiratory disease, neoplasms, digestive cancer, and accidents, poisonings, and violence. Among the 718 men in the group exposed to nickel, there were no deaths due to nasal cavity or paranasal sinus cancer. Fewer deaths were found for all causes, circulatory disease, ischaemic heart disease, neoplasms and digestive cancer. Lower death rates were observed than expected for respiratory malignancies and cancer of the bronchus and lung. CONCLUSION: No association was found in this study between exposure to nickel concentrate or metallic nickel in the hydrometallurgical refining process and the subsequent development of respiratory cancer.  (+info)

Urinary 1-hydroxypyrene in coke oven workers relative to exposure, alcohol consumption, and metabolic enzymes. (50/621)

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the influence of personal lifestyle--such as smoking and alcohol consumption-on urinary 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) concentrations in coke oven workers exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and to evaluate the association of 1-OHP concentrations with the genetic polymorphism of several metabolic enzymes including cytochrome P-450 (CYP) 1A1 and glutathione S-tranferases (GSTs). METHODS: The study population contained 162 coke oven workers and 58 controls employed at the largest iron and steel factory in China. Personal data were collected at the interview. 1-OHP in urine was measured with high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. Genetic polymorphisms were identified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. RESULTS: A positive association between excretion of urinary 1-OHP and the levels of exposure to PAHs was confirmed. Those people who consumed >or=50 g/day ethanol had significantly higher 1-OHP excretion than did other coke oven workers (p<0.01). No significant difference in urinary 1-OHP was found between smokers and non-smokers, in both controls and exposed subjects. The variant homozygotes at exon 7 of the CYP1A1 gene had significantly higher urinary 1-OHP concentrations than other CYP1A1 genotypes among the exposed workers (p=0.03). There was less association between the concentrations of 1-OHP and the GSTM1, GSTP1, or GSTT1 polymorphism. CONCLUSIONS: The present study confirmed that urinary 1-OHP is a good biomarker for exposure to PAHs. Alcohol consumption affected urinary 1-OHP excretion. The variant genotypes of the CYP1A1 gene may result in the enhancement of PAH metabolites. It is helpful to understand the role of individual susceptibility on metabolism of carcinogens. These findings suggest that the modulating effect of individual lifestyle factors or genetic nature should be considered in future studies on occupational exposure to PAHs and in evaluating the health risk from harmful chemicals.  (+info)

Sperm morphological defects related to environment, lifestyle and medical history of 1001 male partners of pregnant women from four European cities. (51/621)

BACKGROUND: Recently, differences in semen quality have been found among the partners of pregnant women from four European cities: Turku, Copenhagen, Edinburgh and Paris. METHODS: During this study, slides from the four centres were subjected to a centralized assessment of sperm morphology. The percentages of sperm defects were recorded using a multiple-entry classification enabling the calculation of the multiple anomalies index (MAI), which is the mean number of anomalies per abnormal sperm. The relationships between various sperm abnormalities and self-reported data on medical history, lifestyle and occupational factors were examined. RESULTS: Significant differences in the MAI and most of the sperm defects were found between the four cities, and more abnormalities were found in spring than in winter. An increase in some sperm abnormalities was related to medical treatment of the mother during pregnancy, higher birthweight and previous treatment for cryptorchidism. Significant variations of several sperm defects were related to stress, weekly working time, occupational posture and metal welding, suggesting directions for further exposure studies. CONCLUSION: The present study indicated that the detailed assessment of sperm abnormalities is a useful biomarker of the effect of various external factors which may qualitatively affect human spermatogenesis.  (+info)

Association of plasma antibodies against the inducible Hsp70 with hypertension and harsh working conditions. (52/621)

Autoantibodies against certain stress or heat shock proteins (Hsps) may play a role in the pathogenesis and/ or prognosis of some diseases. Using immunoblotting with human recombinant Hsps and univariate and multivariate logistic regression models, we have investigated the presence of antibodies against Hsp70, the inducible member of the 70-kDa family of heat shock proteins, and analyzed its possible association with hypertension and working conditions. Plasma and serum were collected from 764 steel mill workers from 6 work sites exposed to (1) severe noise; (2) severe noise and dust; (3) noise, dust, and heat; (4) noise and heat; (5) severe noise and heat; and (6) office conditions (control). Workers with prolonged exposure to stresses such as noise, dust, and high temperature and a combination of these in the workplace had a high incidence (26.6% to 40.2%) of antibodies to Hsp70 compared to the lowest incidence (18.6%) of antibodies to Hsp70 in the control group of office workers. Moreover, there was a statistical association of antibodies against Hsp70 with hypertension. The statistical correlation between the presence of antibodies to Hsp70 and hypertension is higher in the group of workers with blood pressure of 160/95 mmHg than in the 140/90-mmHg group after excluding possible effects of the workplace stresses. These results suggest that harsh workplace conditions can increase the production of antibodies against Hsp70 and that the presence of antibodies to this stress protein may be associated with hypertension. The precise mechanism for the elevation of antibodies against Hsps by environmental and workplace stresses and their relation to hypertension remains to be established.  (+info)

An association between smoking habits and blood pressure in normotensive Japanese men. (53/621)

We conducted a cross-sectional study to clarify the dose-effect relationship of smoking habits with blood pressure in Japanese men. The subjects were 2781 normotensive male steelworkers ranging in age from 40 to 54 years. They were classified into five categories according to their smoking habits: non-smokers, ex-smokers, light smokers, moderate smokers and heavy smokers. Age, body mass index, salt intake, physical activity, drinking habits, and levels of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, total serum cholesterol, uric acid, creatinine and plasma glucose were analysed as covariates. The association between smoking habits and blood pressure was evaluated using analysis of covariance. Our results showed that there was no significant difference in the adjusted systolic and diastolic blood pressure between non-smokers and ex-smokers. The adjusted systolic and diastolic blood pressures in light, moderate and heavy smokers were significantly lower than in non- and ex-smokers. However, among smokers, no significant difference was observed in correlation with smoking amount. In conclusion, blood pressure of smokers was lower than that of non- and ex-smokers. However, there were no significant dose-effect relationships between smoking amount and blood pressure when lifestyle and other confounding factors were considered.  (+info)

Dust emission and efficiency of local exhaust ventilation during cast iron grinding. (54/621)

A method of determining dust emission and efficiency of its removal by means of local exhaust ventilation from machinery has been described. It complies with Standard No. EN 1093-3:1996 (European Committee for Standardization, 1996) and consists in determining air pollution concentrations in the measurement duct used for air removal from the chamber incorporating devices to be tested. The air volume stream that is pumped is measured at the same time. Test results are presented for dust emission and the efficiency of local exhaust ventilation for cast iron grinding by means of manual power tools and a bench-sander. It has been found that application of local exhaust ventilation contributes to a significant reduction of dust emission with efficiency greater than 90%.  (+info)

Suggestion of an inverse relationship between perception of occupational risks and work-related injuries. (55/621)

Worker perception of risk influences worker behavior and consequently exposure to risks. However, an inverse relationship between perception of occupational risks and work-related injuries has not yet been clearly established. A matched case-control was performed aiming to investigate possible differences in perception of occupational risks between workers who had suffered occupational injuries and those who had not. Cases were defined as all 93 workers from a large metallurgical factory in southeastern Brazil, who had suffered occupational injuries during the year 1996. Controls were 372 workers who had not suffered occupational injuries, matched on the basis of the factory sector and jobs performed. Assessment of occupational risk perception was performed by asking the workers to fill out a questionnaire consisting of questions on specific risks related to problems in work relations, work per se, and mode of production. The findings suggest that the degree of perception that workers with occupational injuries have of some occupational risks is lower than that of their non-injured coworkers.  (+info)

Effects of Sn, Ga, and In additives on properties of Ag-Pd-Au-Cu alloy for ultra-low fusing ceramics. (56/621)

Nine 35% Ag-30% Pd-20% Au-15% Cu alloys containing 2, 4 and 6 mass% of Sn, Ga or In as an additive metal were experimentally prepared to investigate the effects of different additives and their content on the physical and mechanical properties as well as the bond with a ultra-low fusing ceramic. Both the different additives and their content or either of these two factors significantly influenced most of the evaluated properties except for the area fraction of the retained ceramic. Based on the evaluated properties three experimental alloys (2% Sn-added alloy, 4% Ga-added alloy and 2% In-added alloy) can be recommended as a suitable alloy for ceramic-metal restorations using ultra-low fusing ceramics.  (+info)