(1/245) Needlestick injury in clothing industry workers and the risks of blood-borne infection.

This paper identifies the hazard of a hollow needle device used extensively in the clothing industry and assesses the risk of transmission for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. A substantial risk of transmission is suggested and measures have been advised for its control. Occupational Health Physicians are advised to be aware of hollow needles in other industrial processes and where risks of cross-infection exist, the same safety considerations should be applied as in clinical medicine and veterinary work to avoid needlestick injuries. Needle sharing must be avoided.  (+info)

(2/245) Follow up investigation of workers in synthetic fibre plants with humidifier disease and work related asthma.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the clinical and sociomedical outcome in patients with various clinical manifestations of humidifier disease and work related asthma after removal from further exposure. METHODS: Follow up investigation (range 1-13 years) of respiratory symptoms, spirometry, airway responsiveness, sickness absence, and working situation in patients with (I) humidifier fever (n = 12), (II) obstructive type of humidifier lung (n = 8), (III) restrictive type of humidifier lung (n = 4), and (IV) work related asthma (n = 22). All patients were working at departments in synthetic fibre plants with microbiological exposure from contaminated humidification systems or exposure to small particles (< 1 micron) of oil mist. RESULTS: At follow up patients with work related asthma were less often symptom free (37%, 7/19) than patients with humidifier disease (I, II, III) (67%, 16/24). Mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) of patients with obstructive impairment had been increased significantly at follow up but still remained below the predicted value. Mean forced vital capacity (FVC) of patients with initially restrictive impairment had returned to normal values at follow up. Airway hyperresponsiveness at diagnosis persisted in patients with obstructive impairment (II + IV 14/17, but disappeared in patients with humidifier fever (3/3) and restrictive type of humidifier lung (2/2). In patients with obstructive impairment (II + IV), FVC and FEV1 at diagnosis were negatively associated with the duration between onset of symptoms and diagnosis and the number of years of exposure. Those with positive pre-employment history of respiratory disease had a lower FEV1 at diagnosis. Sickness absence due to respiratory symptoms decreased in all groups of patients after removal from further exposure, but this was most impressive in patients with the humidifier lung (II, III) and patients with work related asthma (IV). At follow up 83% of the patients were still at work at the same production site, whereas 11% received a disability pension because of respiratory disease. CONCLUSION: In patients with work related respiratory disease caused by exposure from contaminated humidification systems or oil mist, removal from further exposure resulted in clinical improvement, although, especially in those with obstructive impairment, signs persisted. Because of the possibility of transferring patients to exposure-free departments most patients could be kept at work.  (+info)

(3/245) Work related risk factors for musculoskeletal complaints in the spinning industry in Lithuania.

OBJECTIVES: To describe the prevalence of self reported musculoskeletal complaints in the back, arms or neck, and legs among workers in the spinning industry, and to investigate the relations between these complaints and work related variables. METHODS: An interview based questionnaire survey was carried out in two spinning industry factories in Lithuania. RESULTS: The study group consisted of all workers in production (n = 363). Symptoms of the legs were the musculoskeletal symptom reported most often (61%). Many subjects had arms or neck (55%) or back problems (28%). 20% had experienced pain from all three sites. Almost 25% had had musculoskeletal pain every day and 16% had experienced constant pain during previous year. Packers had the highest risk of arms or neck problems whereas spinners had the highest risk of back or leg problems. Working in a strained posture (bending, work with arms raised up above shoulder level, and repetitive movements of the fingers) was associated with all three complaints. Only arms or neck complaints were associated with age. CONCLUSIONS: Musculoskeletal disorders are a common problem among workers producing gobelin or synthetic thread in Lithuania and working in a strained posture is a risk factor for developing musculoskeletal disorders in three body sites: legs, arms or neck, and back. To better understand the different aspects of physical load as risk factors, a more detailed study of the frequency of postural changes as well as an observation of individually adopted postures would be necessary. This applies to intervention studies in factories of the spinning industry to prevent complaints of the legs and shoulders.  (+info)

(4/245) Respiratory symptoms in Lancashire textile weavers.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate a large population of cotton textile weavers for reported respiratory symptoms relative to occupational factors, smoking, and exposure to dust. Cotton processing is known to produce a respiratory disease known as byssinosis particularly in the early processes of cotton spinning. Relatively little is known about the respiratory health of the cotton weavers who produce cloth from spun cotton. By the time cotton is woven many of the original contaminants have been removed. METHODS: 1295 operatives from a target population of 1428 were given an interviewer led respiratory questionnaire. The presence of upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms were sought and the work relatedness of these symptoms determined by a stem questionnaire design. Also occupational and demographic details were obtained and spirometry and personal dust sampling performed. RESULTS: Byssinosis was present in only four people (0.3%). Chronic bronchitis had a moderate overall prevalence of about 6% and was related predominantly to smoking. There were several other work related respiratory symptoms (persistent cough 3.9%, chronic production of phlegm 3.6%, chest tightness 4.8%, wheezing 5.4%, and breathlessness 2.3%). All of these were predicted predominantly by smoking (either past or present), with no consistent independent effect of exposure to dust. Work related eye and nasal symptoms were more common (10.4% and 16.9% respectively). CONCLUSION: Byssinosis is a rare respiratory symptom in cotton weaving. Other work related respiratory symptoms were reported but their presence was predominantly related to smoking with no consistent effects of exposure to dust.  (+info)

(5/245) Ventilatory function and personal breathing zone dust concentrations in Lancashire textile weavers.

BACKGROUND: To report findings on ventilatory function and estimations of concentrations of personal breathing zone dust in Lancashire textile weavers. Weaving room dust is considered to be less harmful than that encountered in the cardroom or spinning room and weavers are generally thought to have less respiratory disability than carders or spinners. However, this occupational group has not been extensively studied. METHODS: Each person was given a respiratory symptom questionnaire (modified Medical Research Council, UK, questionnaire on respiratory diseases). Ventilatory function tests, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) were performed on each person. A representative sample of workers from each occupational group underwent dust sampling in their personal breathing zone. Dust concentrations and ventilatory tests were analysed statistically with the Student's t test, Pearson's correlation coefficient, and forward step regression for relations with symptoms and environmental factors. Significance was p > or = 0.05. RESULTS: The FEV1 and FVC were reduced in workers with respiratory symptoms (non-specific chest tightness, shortness of breath, persistent cough, and wheezing) as well as in preparation room workers, current and former smokers, Asians, those working with predominantly cotton fibre (> 50% cotton) and starch size. Mean total dust concentration (pd1) in the personal breathing zone was 1.98 mg/m3. The corresponding value for total dust with large fibres lifted off the filter paper (pd2) was 1.55 mg/m3. There was a strong correlation (r = 0.94, p < 0.0001) between pd1 and pd2. Non-specific chest tightness was predicted by low dust concentrations and persistent cough by high dust concentrations. On regression analysis, impairment of ventilatory function (FEV1, FVC) was predicted by smoking, male sex, age, not working in the weaving shed, not being white, and personal dust concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: The FEV1 and FVC were impaired in smokers and those exposed to high dust concentrations in the personal breathing zone. Symptoms were inconsistently related to dust concentrations in the personal breathing zone.  (+info)

(6/245) In vitro cytotoxicity of textile paint components linked to the "Ardystil syndrome".

The spraying of a paint formula (Acramin F system) had led to severe pulmonary disease in textile printing sprayers in Spain and Algeria (Ardystil syndrome). In order to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of the toxicity of this paint and its main polymeric components, Acramin FWR, Acramin FWN, Acrafix FHN, and Acramoll W, we have undertaken studies using a battery of different cell-types and assessing in vitro cytotoxicity by measuring LDH leakage. This study shows that, as in in vivo studies, the three polycationic paint components, Acramin FWR (a polyurea), Acramin FWN (a polyamide-amine), and Acrafix FHN (a polyamine) exhibited considerable cytotoxicity (LC50 generally below 100 microg/ml for an incubation of 20-24 h) in vitro, while Acramoll W, which is not a polycation, was almost non-toxic (in the concentration range tested). The cytotoxicity was comparable in primary cultures of rat and human type II pneumocytes and alveolar macrophages as well as in the pulmonary cell line A549 and the hepatic cell line HepG2. In human erythrocytes, the toxicity was less pronounced. We speculate that the multiple positive charges play an important role in the toxic mechanism. It is concluded that Acramin FWR and Acramin FWN have similar intrinsic toxicity and that these polymeric compounds, which have no irritant properties or systemic toxicity when given orally, exert a high, unexpected, degree of cytotoxicity.  (+info)

(7/245) Musculoskeletal disorders of the neck and shoulders in female sewing machine operators: prevalence, incidence, and prognosis.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the occurrence and persistence of two restrictively defined neck-shoulder disorders among sewing machine operators. To assess factors associated with the development of neck-shoulder disorder and prognostic factors for remaining a case, when disorders were already present. METHODS: In an initial group of 243 sewing machine operators, 178 were followed up for 2 years. At baseline and at 1 and 2 years follow up the participants underwent a clinical examination of the neck and arms and filled in a questionnaire about current musculoskeletal complaints. Clinical criteria for two main neck-shoulder disorders were defined: rotator cuff tendinitis and myofascial pain syndrome. A baseline control group consisted of 357 women with varied non-repetitive work. RESULTS: At baseline the overall prevalence of myofascial pain syndrome and rotator cuff tendinitis was 15.2% and 5.8% among sewing machine operators compared with 9.0% and 2.2%, respectively, among controls. The presence of the disorders was strongly associated with a self perception of poor general health. Although myofascial pain syndrome showed a U shaped association with years as a sewing machine operator, rotator cuff tendinitis was absent among the newest recruits and present among 15% of the women with more than 20 years as a sewing machine operator. Besides years as a sewing machine operator, the risk of having a neck-shoulder disorder at baseline was significantly associated with high stress (prevalence ratio (PR)=2.54; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.28 to 5.05) when adjusted for age, body mass index, smoking, living alone with children, job strain, and social support from colleagues and supervisors. Only one of 13 participants with rotator cuff tendinitis at baseline recovered during follow up. Myofascial pain syndrome showed a much more fluctuating tendency. Low social support (RR 3.72; 95% CI 1.22 to 11.30) and smoking (RR 3.93; 95% CI 1.33 to 11.58) were associated with the development of neck-shoulder disorders, which was also associated with neck-shoulder pain score and living alone with children. CONCLUSION: Rotator cuff tendinitis showed a higher degree of persistence than myofascial pain syndrome. Both disorders highly influenced the perception of general health. Women who lived alone with children, were smokers, or experienced low support from colleagues and supervisors had a higher risk of contracting a neck-shoulder disorder.  (+info)

(8/245) Recent progress in the study of occupational lung diseases in Romania.

This paper reviews studies of occupational lung diseases in Romania in the last two decades. Work concerned with the effects of exposure to textile fibres, irritant gases and fumes in the chemical industry, welding fumes, asbestos, cadmium oxide, and the relation between dust exposure, pneumoconiosis, and chronic bronchitis is briefly presented.  (+info)