(1/658) Incidence and occupational pattern of leukaemias, lymphomas, and testicular tumours in western Ireland over an 11 year period.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To determine incidence of the following malignancies, testicular tumours, all leukaemias and all lymphomas in the West of Ireland in an 11 year period. Secondly, to examine the relation between disease patterns and available occupational data in male subjects of working age. DESIGN: A census survey of all cases occurring in the three counties in the Western Health Board (WHB) area, Galway, Mayo and Roscommon, for the 11 year period 1980 to 1990 inclusive. Average annual age standardised incidence rates for the period were calculated using the 1986 census data. Rates for the area are compared with rates from the southern region of Ireland, which had a tumour registry. Trends over the time period are evaluated. All male subjects for whom occupational data were available were categorised using the Irish socioeconomic group classification and incidence rates by occupation were compared using the standardised incidence ratio method. In one of the counties, Galway, a detailed occupational history of selected cases and an age matched control group was also elicited through patients' general practitioners. SETTING: All available case records in the West of Ireland. RESULTS: There are no national incidence records for the period. Compared with data from the Southern Tumour Registry, the number of cases of women with myeloid leukaemias was significantly lower. Male leukaemia rates were significantly lower as a group (SIR 84 (95% CI 74, 95) but not when considered as individual categories. Regression analysis revealed an increasing trend in the number of new cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among both men (r = 0.47, p = 0.02) and women (r = 0.90, p = 0.0001) and of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in men (r = 0.77, p = 0.005) and women (r = 0.68 p = 0.02) in the WHB region over the last decade. Four hundred and fifty six male cases over the age of 15 years were identified and adequate occupational information was available for 74% of these. Standardised incidence ratios of testicular tumours 100, 938) and agriworkers other than farmers (SIR 377, 95% CI 103, 967). There were also significantly increased incidence ratios for both non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (SIR 169, 95% CI 124, 266) and three categories of leukaemias among farmers. Hodgkin's disease and acute myeloid leukaemias were significantly increased among semi-skilled people. Interview data with 90 cases and 54 controls of both sexes revealed that among farmers, cases (n = 31) were significantly less likely than controls (n = 20) to use tractor mounted spraying techniques (OR = 0.19 (95% CI 0.04, 0.80)) and less likely to wear protective masks (OR 0.22 (95% CI 0.05, 0.84)). CONCLUSIONS: Trends of increase in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and some leukaemias are consistent with studies elsewhere. The study provides further evidence of the relation between agricultural work and certain lymphoproliferative cancers. The possible carcinogenic role of chemicals used in agricultural industries must be considered as an explanation. (+info)
(2/658) Contact dermatitis in Alstroemeria workers.
Hand dermatitis is common in workers in the horticultural industry. This study determined the prevalence of hand dermatitis in workers of Alstroemeria cultivation, investigated how many workers had been sensitized by tulipalin A (the allergen in Alstroemeria) and took stock of a wide range of determinants of hand dermatitis. The 12-month period prevalence of major hand dermatitis amounted to 29.5% whereas 7.4% had minor dermatitis. Of these workers, 52.1% were sensitized for tulipalin A. Several personal and work-related determinants played a role in the multifactorial aetiology of hand dermatitis. Factors which showed a significant relationship with major hand dermatitis were: female sex, atopic dermatitis, chapped hands and the frequency of washing hands. It may be concluded that the Alstroemeria workers are a population at risk of developing contact dermatitis and it might be useful to carry out an educational campaign to lower the high prevalence. (+info)
(3/658) Mushroom worker's lung resulting from indoor cultivation of Pleurotus osteatus.
Indoor cultivation of oyster mushroom Pleurotus osteatus lead to an outbreak of extrinsic allergic alveolitis in two workers. High titer of indirect fluorescent antibody and positive precipitins against basidiospores of P. osteatus were demonstrated in sera of the patients. Mushroom workers should protect themselves from the basidiospores, being aware of their pathogenicity. (+info)
(4/658) Low rates of ehrlichiosis and Lyme borreliosis in English farmworkers.
To determine the occupational significance of tick-borne zoonoses we sought serological evidence of Lyme borreliosis, human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) in a representative sample of farmworkers. Although around 20% reported ticks on their domestic and companion animals, few (< 2% per year) reported being bitten by ticks. Seroprevalence of Lyme borreliosis (0.2%), HME (0.2%) and HGE (1.5%) was low. Those seropositive for HGE were no more likely to report tick bites nor more likely to report ticks on their animals. This study provides evidence that farmworkers in England are exposed to tick-borne zoonoses but that they are uncommon. Since the severity of these diseases is linked to delays in diagnosis and treatment, clinicians should be aware of these diagnoses in patients from rural communities, with or without a self-reported history of tick bite. (+info)
(5/658) Environmental correlates of impaired lung function in non-smokers with severe alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency (PiZZ).
BACKGROUND: Active smoking is the most important risk factor for pulmonary emphysema in subjects with severe alpha 1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency. The aim of this study was to analyse the effects of environmental risk factors other than active smoking on lung function and on respiratory symptoms in non-smoking PiZZ individuals. METHODS: Lifetime exposure to passive smoking, domiciliary use of a kerosene (paraffin) heater or gas cooker, and all occupations since leaving school were reported by 205 non-smoking PiZZ individuals (95 men and 110 women) included in the Swedish AAT deficiency register. Lung function test results and histories of respiratory symptoms (chronic bronchitis, recurrent wheezing, and exertional dyspnoea) were elicited from the AAT register records. RESULTS: After adjustment for age, agricultural employment and domiciliary kerosene heater usage, but not gas cooker usage or passive smoking, were both associated with significantly decreased lung function. Multiple linear regression analysis showed age, sex, kerosene heater usage, and agricultural employment to be independent determinants of lung function impairment. Age and passive smoking for 10 years or more, both at home and at the work place, were associated with the presence of chronic bronchitis. Age and agricultural employment for > or = 10 years were associated with recurrent wheezing and exertional dyspnoea. CONCLUSIONS: Domiciliary kerosene heater usage and an agricultural occupation therefore appear to be environmental factors associated with decreased lung function in non-smoking PiZZ individuals, and passive smoking is associated with an increased frequency of chronic bronchitis, but not with impaired lung function. (+info)
(6/658) Objectives, designs and populations of the European Asclepios study on occupational hazards to male reproductive capability.
The main objective of the Asclepios program was to examine occupational risk factors for the male reproductive system. The program focused on occupational exposure to fungicides (farmers, greenhouse workers, and vineyard workers), styrene (laminators in the reinforced plastics industry) and inorganic lead (battery workers, foundry workers, and lead smelters). Questionnaire studies of time to pregnancy were combined with longitudinal and cross-sectional studies of semen quality. The 8 data-collecting centers addressed 6553 male workers and contributed time-to-pregnancy values on the 3077 most recent pregnancies. Data collection was by interview or self-collection. The average response rate across all exposures and centers was 69.8%. The Asclepios project is the first international multicenter research project on environmental risks to male reproductive function. A protocol for epidemiologic research on occupational risk factors to the male reproductive system was developed, and links between epidemiologic and experimental units were established. The majority, but not all, of the studies was completed within the given time frame. (+info)
(7/658) Cytogenetic effects from exposure to mixed pesticides and the influence from genetic susceptibility.
Exposure to pesticides remains a major environmental health problem. Health risk from such exposure needs to be more precisely understood. We conducted three different cytogenetic assays to elucidate the biological effects of exposure to mixed pesticides in 20 Costa Rica farmers (all nonsmokers) compared with 20 matched controls. The farmers were also exposed to dibromochloropropane during the early employment years, and most of them experienced sterility/fertility problems. Our data show that the farmers had consistently higher frequencies of chromosome aberrations, as determined by the standard chromosome aberration assay, and significantly abnormal DNA repair responses (p < 0.05), as determined by the challenge assay, but no statistically significant differences in the tandem-probe fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay (p > 0.05). Genotype analysis indicates that farmers with certain "unfavorable" versions of polymorphic metabolizing genes (cytochrome P4502E1, the glutathione S-transferases mu and theta, and the paraoxonase genes) had significantly more biological effects, as determined by all three cytogenetic assays, than both the farmers with the "favorable" alleles and the matched controls. A unique observation is that, in individuals who had inherited any of the mentioned "unfavorable" alleles, farmers were consistently underrepresented. In conclusion, the Costa Rican farmers were exposed to genotoxic agents, most likely pesticides, which expressed the induction of biological and adverse health effects. The farmers who had inherited "unfavorable" metabolizing alleles were more susceptible to genotoxic effects than those with "favorable" alleles. Our genotype data suggest that the well-recognized "healthy worker effect" may be influenced by unrecognized occupational selection pressure against genetically susceptible individuals. (+info)
(8/658) Mortality in a cohort of licensed pesticide applicators in Florida.
OBJECTIVES: Although the primary hazard to humans associated with pesticide exposure is acute poisoning, there has been considerable concern surrounding the possibility of cancer and other chronic health effects in humans. Given the huge volume of pesticides now used throughout the world, as well as environmental and food residue contamination leading to chronic low level exposure, the study of possible chronic human health effects is important. METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study, analysed by general standardised mortality ratio (SMR) of licensed pesticide applicators in Florida compared with the general population of Florida. A cohort of 33,658 (10% female) licensed pesticide applicators assembled through extensive data linkages yielded 1874 deaths with 320,250 person-years from 1 January 1975 to 31 December 1993. RESULTS: The pesticide applicators were consistently and significantly healthier than the general population of Florida. As with many occupational cohorts, the risks of cardiovascular disease and of diseases associated with alcohol and tobacco use were significantly lower, even in the subpopulations--for example, men, women, and licence subcategories. Among male applicators, prostate cancer mortality (SMR 2.38 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.83 to 3.04) was significantly increased. No cases of soft tissue sarcoma were confirmed in this cohort, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was not increased. The number of female applicators was small, as were the numbers of deaths. Mortality from cervical cancer and breast cancer was not increased. Additional subcohort and exposure analyses were performed. CONCLUSIONS: Consistent with previous publications on farmers but at odds with current theories about the protective effects of vitamin D, prostate cancer was increased in these pesticide applicators. Female breast cancer was not increased despite theories linking risk of breast cancer with exposure to oestrogen disruptors--such as the organochlorines. The lack of cases of soft tissue sarcoma is at odds with previous publications associating the use of the phenoxy herbicides with an increased risk of these cancers. (+info)
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