Exposure of farmers to phosmet, a swine insecticide.
OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to measure dermal and inhalation exposures to phosmet during application to animals and to identify what determinants of exposure influence the exposure levels. METHODS: Ten farmers were monitored using dermal patches, gloves, and air sampling media during normal activities of applying phosmet to pigs for insect control. Exposures were measured on the clothing (outer), under the clothing (inner), on the hands, and in the air. Possible exposure determinants were identified, and a questionnaire on work practices was administered. RESULTS: The geometric mean of the outer exposure measurements was 79 microg/h, whereas the geometric mean of the inner exposure measurements was 6 microg/h. The geometric mean for hand exposure was 534 microg/h, and the mean air concentration was 0.2 microg/m3. Glove use was associated with the hand and total dermal exposure levels, but no other determinant was associated with any of the exposure measures. The average penetration through the clothing was 54%, which dropped to 8% when the farmers wearing short sleeves were excluded. The farmers reported an average of 40 hours a year performing insecticide-related tasks. CONCLUSIONS: Farmers who applied phosmet to animals had measurable exposures, but the levels were lower than what has been seen in other pesticide applications. Inhalation exposures were insignificant when compared with dermal exposures, which came primarily from the hands. Clothing, particularly gloves, provided substantial protection from exposures. No other exposure determinant was identified. (+info)
Audit on the degree of application of universal precautions in a haemodialysis unit.
BACKGROUND: The purpose of the study was to investigate the degree of compliance with standard precautions (hand washing and wearing of gloves) by health workers in one haemodialysis unit. METHODS: During 4 months, two observers monitored the activities of the health care staff in the dialysis unit. Thirty five randomly distributed observation periods of 60 min duration covered one haemodialysis session. The observers evaluated (i) the total number of potential opportunities to implement standard precautions and (ii) the number of occasions when these were actually put into practice. RESULTS: A total of 364 opportunities to wear gloves and to wash hands thereafter and 273 opportunities to wash hands before a patient-oriented activity were observed. The proportion of occasions when gloves were actually used was 18.7%. Hand washing after a patient-oriented activity was performed only on 32.4% of occasions. Finally, only on 3% of such occasions was hand washing before the activity. CONCLUSIONS: The degree of compliance with standard precautions by health care personnel is unsatisfactory and this favours nosocomial transmission in haemodialysis units. (+info)
Repeated hand urticaria due to contact with fishfood.
BACKGROUND: The etiology of urticaria is often difficult to determine. However, in case of repeated circumstance-connected urticaria, the reason may be easily clarifyable. CASE: A 51-year-old healthy woman repeatedly experienced occupational hand urticaria when handling fish food. An unexpected reason for the urticaria was found in that the fishfood contained histamine as a "contaminant". CONCLUSIONS: In fishfood batches, biological degradation can produce histamine and possibly other toxic substances that can lead to occupational health problems. (+info)
Is occupational dermatitis being taken seriously by UK industries?
Occupational dermatitis is a considerable burden but little is documented concerning industry response to this. A postal questionnaire survey of 1,100 UK companies was conducted to investigate skin care provision. The response rate was 51%. The person primarily responsible for health and safety had a professional qualification in only 34% of responding companies. In all, 75% of companies responded that they were required to conduct COSHH risk assessments and, of these, 71% mentioned skin hazards. Only 27% of companies had a skin care policy but 71% had procedures requiring glove use. Seventy-seven per cent of companies did not conduct regular skin checks. Twenty-six per cent had either been aware of a skin problem in the workforce in the last 12 months or had had to modify work practices. Improvement of skin care in UK industry could be facilitated by the establishment of a minimum recommended training qualification; assistance with compliance with COSHH legislation; and guidelines to design and implement a skin policy, provide worker protection and detect skin problems. (+info)
In vitro test of nicotine's permeability through human skin. Risk evaluation and safety aspects.
Permeability tests with Franz' diffusion cells and an in vitro test model were made to evaluate the importance of dermal absorption of nicotine as a pathway for intoxication. Studies were carried out to ensure that safety procedures, when spilling nicotine on skin, are sufficient to prevent poisoning. Pure nicotine and nicotine in various concentrations in water or ethanol were applied on human skin or gloves in Franz' cells. Washing was simulated by removing nicotine from skin after 3 or 5 min. Permeation rate (flux) and lag time were calculated and estimated for human skin. Different glove materials were tested for their nicotine breakthrough time. Flux depended on concentration in a non-linear way when nicotine-water solutions were tested. Highest flux was found in 50% w/w nicotine dissolved in water. Solutions with low concentration of nicotine (1% w/w) dissolved in water had a similar permeation rate to 100% nicotine. Flux was found to be low when using ethanol as a vehicle; flux was also pH-dependent. The nicotine-water solution containing acetic acid had the lowest flux. The tests where nicotine was washed away revealed that skin served as a possible nicotine depot, because nicotine concentration in the receptor compartment continued to increase after removing the nicotine from the surface. The length of contact time affected the amount of substance passing the skin, resulting in great difference between 3 and 5 min contact time, 5 min giving higher nicotine concentration and 3 min lower. This emphasizes the importance of washing away nicotine spilled on skin rapidly. Two glove types were tested and they were found to be appropriate in their use with nicotine if changed regularly. (+info)
Biodegradation of cis-1,4-polyisoprene rubbers by distinct actinomycetes: microbial strategies and detailed surface analysis.
Several actinomycetes isolated from nature were able to use both natural rubber (NR) and synthetic cis-1,4-polyisoprene rubber (IR) as a sole source of carbon. According to their degradation behavior, they were divided into two groups. Representatives of the first group grew only in direct contact to the rubber substrate and led to considerable disintegration of the material during cultivation. The second group consisted of weaker rubber decomposers that did not grow adhesively, as indicated by the formation of clear zones (translucent halos) around bacterial colonies after cultivation on NR dispersed in mineral agar. Taxonomic analysis of four selected strains based on 16S rRNA similarity examinations revealed two Gordonia sp. strains, VH2 and Kb2, and one Mycobacterium fortuitum strain, NF4, belonging to the first group as well as one Micromonospora aurantiaca strain, W2b, belonging to the second group. Schiff's reagent staining tests performed for each of the strains indicated colonization of the rubber surface, formation of a bacterial biofilm, and occurrence of compounds containing aldehyde groups during cultivation with NR latex gloves. Detailed analysis by means of scanning electron microscopy yielded further evidence for the two different microbial strategies and clarified the colonization efficiency. Thereby, strains VH2, Kb2, and NF4 directly adhered to and merged into the rubber material, while strain W2b produced mycelial corridors, especially on the surface of IR. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy comprising the attenuated total reflectance technique was applied on NR latex gloves overgrown by cells of the Gordonia strains, which were the strongest rubber decomposers. Spectra demonstrated the decrease in number of cis-1,4 double bonds, the formation of carbonyl groups, and the change of the overall chemical environment, indicating that an oxidative attack at the double bond is the first metabolic step of the biodegradation process. (+info)
A National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Alert sent to hospitals and the intentions of hospital decision makers to advocate for latex allergy control measures.
This study evaluated a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alert concerning the risk and prevention of latex allergy among health care workers. It has been estimated that 8-12% of health care workers are sensitized to latex. NIOSH Alerts are publications that are intended to educate stakeholders about risks in the workplace; this Alert contained four recommendations for administrative control measures that hospital decision makers could adopt to reduce the risk of latex allergy to employees. The Alert was mailed to a random selection of Directors of Infection Control and Directors of Nursing in hospitals in the US. A random sample of these targeted recipients and a control group were surveyed by telephone (N = 298). Although nearly all of the respondents were concerned about latex allergy (96%), those reporting having seen the Alert were significantly more likely to report an intention to advocate for one or more of the control measures. (+info)
Chromosome aberrations in pesticide-exposed greenhouse workers.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of subtoxic exposure to pesticides causing chromosome aberrations in greenhouse workers. METHODS: In a cross-sectional and prospective study design chromosome aberration frequencies in cultured lymphocytes were examined for 116 greenhouse workers exposed to a complex mixture of almost 50 insecticides, fungicides, and growth regulators and also for 29 nonsmoking, nonpesticide-exposed referents. RESULTS: The preseason frequencies of chromosome aberrations were slightly but not statistically significantly elevated for the greenhouse workers when they were compared with the referents. After a summer season of pesticide spraying in the greenhouses, the total frequencies of cells with chromosome aberrations were significantly higher than in the preseason samples (P=0.02) and also higher than for the referents (P=0.05). This finding was especially due to an increased number of cells with chromatid gaps between the first and second samples (P=0.001). The results may reflect an additive genotoxic effect of the spraying season, for which the use of insecticides and growth regulators (but not fungicides) culminates. The highest elevation in the risk of chromatid gaps was observed for persons who did not use gloves during re-entry activities such as nipping, cutting, pricking, and potting (risk ratio 2.88, 95% confidence interval 1.63-5.11). CONCLUSIONS: The present results suggest a genotoxic effect from a complex subtoxic occupational pesticide exposure. In general, the findings indicate the importance of personal protection, during high-exposure re-entry activities, in preventing pesticide uptake and genetic damage. (+info)