Lead exposure in the lead-acid storage battery manufacturing and PVC compounding industries.
This study was conducted as part of the Human Exposure Assessment Location (HEAL) Project which comes under the United Nations Environment Programme/World Health Organisation (UNEP/WHO) Global environmental Monitoring System (GEMS). The objective of the study was to evaluate workers' exposure to lead in industries with the highest exposure. All subjects were interviewed about their occupational and smoking histories, the use of personal protective equipment and personal hygiene. The contribution of a dietary source of lead intake from specified foods known to contain lead locally and personal air sampling for lead were assessed. A total of 61 workers from two PVC compounding and 50 workers from two lead acid battery manufacturing plants were studied together with 111 matched controls. In the PVC compounding plants the mean lead-in-air level was 0.0357 mg/m3, with the highest levels occurring during the pouring and mixing operations. This was lower than the mean lead-in-air level of 0.0886 mg/m3 in the lead battery manufacturing plants where the highest exposure was in the loading of lead ingots into milling machines. Workers in lead battery manufacturing had significantly higher mean blood lead than the PVC workers (means, 32.51 and 23.91 mcg/100 ml respectively), but there was poor correlation with lead-in-air levels. Among the lead workers, the Malays had significantly higher blood lead levels than the Chinese (mean blood levels were 33.03 and 25.35 mcg/100 ml respectively) although there was no significant difference between the two ethnic groups in the control group. There were no significant differences between the exposed and control group in terms of dietary intake of specified local foods known to contain lead. However, Malays consumed significantly more fish than the Chinese did. There were no ethnic differences in the hours of overtime work, number of years of exposure, usage of gloves and respirators and smoking habits. Among the Malays, 94.3% eat with their hands compared with 9.2% of the Chinese. Workers who ate with bare hands at least once a week had higher blood lead levels after adjusting for lead-in-air levels (mean blood lead was 30.2 and 26.4 mcg/100 ml respectively). The study indicated that the higher blood lead levels observed in the Malay workers might have been due to their higher exposure and eating with bare hands. (+info)
Low mortality rates in industrial cohort studies due to selection for work and survival in the industry.
Occupational groups are often described as being relatively healthy because their mortality rates are lower than those of the national average. Although correct this confuses the issue for those who are interested in assessing the effects of exposure to a particular chemical. In a further analysis of data collected in a study of all men ever exposed to vinyl chloride monomer in the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride in Great Britain, three factors have been shown to contribute to the low mortality rates that were observed. The three factors: the selection of a healthy population for employment, the survival in the industry of the healthier men, and the length of time that this population has been pursued, have been quantified. The mortality experience within five years of entering this industry was shown to be as low as 37% of that expected; for circulatory disease and respiratory disease it was as low as 21%. There was a progressive increase in standardized mortality ratio with the length of time since entry so that the effect had almost disappeared 15 years after entry. To avoid confounding the selection effect with the survival effect the latter was measured by separating men who survived 15 years after entering the industry according to whether or not they were still in the industry after this period. Those who had left experienced an overall standardized mortality ratio some 50% higher than those still in the industry. This effect, although consistent in the age groups between 25 and 74 years and for all cause groups studied, was greatest in those aged between 25 and 44 years and for lung cancer and respiratory disease. (+info)
Mortality and cancer morbidity in a group of Swedish VCM and PCV production workers.
The cohort of workers employed in a Swedish vinyl chloride/poly(vinyl chloride) plant since its start in the early 1940's has been followed for mortality and cancer morbidity patterns. Only 21 of the 771 persons could not be traced. Difficulties in establishing exposure levels at different work areas in the past makes an evaluation of dose-effect relationships impossible. A four- to fivefold excess of pancreas/liver tumors was found, including two cases later classified as angiosarcomas of the liver. The number of brain tumors and suicide do not deviate significantly from expected. Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, on the other hand, differ significantly from the expected. The discrepancies between previous reports on VCM/PVC workers and this report are discussed. The possible etiology of the cardiovascular deaths is also discussed. (+info)
Malignant tumors of the liver and lungs in an area with a PVC industry.
The incidence of malignant tumors of the lung and bronchus and of cytologically confirmed primary malignant tumor of the liver was analyzed for a 4-yr period in a city with several factories, including a PVC industry. Prior to the study two cases of angio-sarcoma of the liver were diagnosed in workers employed in PVC production. The total incidence of analyzed tumors was only slightly higher than predicted. The tumors of the liver recorded did not show any dependence on place of work or residence. During the period of observation, malignant tumors of the bronchus (lung) were not recorded in the PVC industry. Their rate in the area in which the PVC industry is situated was approximately the same as that for the entire city area. The study does not indicate that the occurrence of malignant tumors other than angiosarcoma is associated with exposure to vinyl chloride. (+info)
Health hazards in the production and processing of some fibers, resins, and plastics in Bulgaria.
Results of the toxicological studies of working conditions, general and professional morbidity, and complex examinations carried out on workers engaged in the production of polyamides, polyacrylonitrile fibers, polyester fibers and poly (vinyl chloride) resin, urea-formaldehyde glue, glass fibre materials and polyurethane resins are given. An extremely high occupational hazard for workers in the production of poly (vinyl chloride) resin and porous materials from polyurethane resins and urea-formaldehyde glue has been established. Cases of vinyl chloride disease, poisoning from formaldehyde, isocyanates, and styrene were noted. Prophylactic measures were taken in Bulgaria to lessen the occupational hazard in the productions as set forth included limitation of the work day to 6 hr, free food, additional bonus and leave, and annual physical examinations of workers. (+info)
Diffusion of residual monomer in polymer resins.
A simplified mathematical model which made use of Fick's laws of diffusion written in spherical coordinates was developed to describe the rate of diffusion of residual monomers from polymer resins. The properties of the monomer-polymer system which influenced the amount of monomer remaining in the polymer as a function of time were the diffusivity and solubility of the monomer in the polymer, and the particle size of the polymer resin. This model was used to analyze literature data on the diffusion of residual vinyl chloride monomer in polyvinyl chloride resins made by the suspension process. It was concluded that particle size of the resin was a significant parameter which should be taken advantage of in process equipment designed to remove residual monomer from PVC resins. The diffusivity of the monomer in the polymer was a function of the solubility of the monomer in the polymer. Monomer solubility can be determined from Henry's law. It was suggested that this model could be adapted to describe diffusion of monomers from any monomer-polymer system, and would be a useful approach to modeling the transport of nonreactive chemical additives from plastics. (+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)
Liability of laryngeal mask airway devices to thermal damage from KTP and Nd:YAG lasers.
We have compared the liability of four laryngeal mask airway (LMA) devices (standard, flexible, intubating and reusable) and a tracheal tube to thermal damage from KTP and Nd:YAG lasers at two power densities used commonly in airway surgery: 570 W cm-2 and 1140 W cm-2. Eighty-five airway devices were tested: 24 standard LMA (silicone-based), 12 flexible LMA (silicone-based, metal wires), 24 disposable LMA (PVC-based), one intubating LMA (silicone and steel-based) and 24 PVC-based tracheal tubes. Comparisons were made during laser strike to eight different targets: the unmarked and marked part of the airway device tube; the unmarked part of the airway device tube after application of blood; the cuff filled with air or methylene blue dye; the unmarked flexible LMA tube on or between the metal wires; and the epiglottic elevator bar of the intubating LMA. The laser strike was continued for 30 s and each target was tested three times. Three different, but identical, impact sites were used for each target. There was no ignition of any airway device with either power density or laser type. The silicone-based LMA were generally more resistant to flaring and penetration than the PVC-based LMA and tracheal tube, but the intubating LMA tube flared more rapidly with the KTP laser, and the disposable LMA cuff was more resistant to penetration. Print markings, blood and the metal wires of the flexible LMA reduced the thermal resistance of the tube. Filling the cuff with methylene blue dye increased the thermal resistance of all airway devices. We conclude that the silicone-based LMA devices were more thermal resistant to KTP and Nd:YAG laser strike than PVC-based devices with the exception of the disposable LMA cuff and the intubating LMA tube. (+info)