Researchers and investigators from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health offer an insider's glimpse into a health hazard evaluation of a workplace where metal furniture such as beds and cabinets are manufactured. Employees of a metal furniture manufacturer asked the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to evaluate health hazards at their workplace. They were concerned about exposures to welding fumes and dust from powder painting and grinding operations. Some employees reported breathing problems, excessive tiredness and dust in their noses at the end of their work shifts.
Source : http://ehstoday.com/health/niosh-puts-health-hazards-bed-metal-furniture-manufacturer
Background Prior research shows that work in agriculture and construction/extraction occupations increases the risk of environmental heat-associated death. Purpose To assess the risk of environmental heat-associated death by occupation. Methods This was a case-control study. Cases were heat-caused and heat-related deaths occurring from May-October during the period 2002–2009 in Maricopa County, Arizona. Controls were selected at random from non-heat-associated deaths during the same period in Maricopa County. Information on occupation, age, sex, and race-ethnicity was obtained from death certificates. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate odds ratios for heat-associated death. Results There were 444 cases of heat-associated deaths in adults (18+ years) and 925 adult controls. Of heat-associated deaths, 332 (75%) occurred in men; a construction/extraction or agriculture occupation was described on the death certificate in 115 (35%) of these men. In men, the age-adjusted odds ratios for heat-associated death were 2.32 (95% confidence interval 1.55, 3.48) in association with construction/extraction and 3.50 (95% confidence interval 1.94, 6.32) in association with agriculture occupations. The odds ratio for heat-associated death was 10.17 (95% confidence interval 5.38, 19.23) in men with unknown occupation. In women, the age-adjusted odds ratio for heat-associated death was 6.32 (95% confidence interval 1.48, 27.08) in association with unknown occupation. Men age 65 years and older in agriculture occupations were at especially high risk of heat-associated death. Conclusion The occurrence of environmental heat-associated death in men in agriculture and construction/extraction occupations in a setting with predictable periods of high summer temperatures presents opportunities for prevention.
Source : Petitti DB, Harlan SL, Chowell-Puente G, Ruddell D (2013). PLoS ONE 8(5): e62596. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0062596
Évolution du dispositif réglementaire
Un arrêté du 8 avril 2013 vient préciser les règles techniques, les mesures de prévention et les moyens de protection à mettre en œuvre par les entreprises lors d'opérations comportant un risque d'exposition à l'amiante.
Source : http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/header/actualites/nouvel-arrete-amiante-8-avril-2013.html
The Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) methodology is an approach which provides a framework to collect, organise and evaluate relevant information on chemical, biological and toxicological effect of chemicals. This approach supports the use of a mode (and/or mechanism) of action basis for understanding adverse effects of chemicals. This guidance document intends to provide an insight into which pieces of information are necessary to identify and document an AOP and how to present them. It also provides initial assistance on how to undertake the assessment of an AOP in terms of its relevance and adequacy. A template has been included allowing authors to develop thorough AOPs and to improve consistency in AOPs developed by different stakeholders. The document also briefly outlines the potential use for regulatory purposes of AOP. Detailed guidance on how to use AOPs for integrated testing strategies and risk assessment will be developed in the future.
Mold is one of the most widespread hazards that hurricane and disaster clean-up workers are likely to encounter. This guidance was developed by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) as a health and safety resource for workers, volunteers, and homeowners who will participate in hurricane and disaster response and clean-up activities to help them understand how to identify and control hazards from mold. Trainers may use this guidance to aid in the development of a mold remediation awareness level course or other awareness level materials such as fact sheets and table-top activities.
Source : https://tools.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/public/hasl_get_blob.cfm?ID=9795
The Second Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada, published by Health Canada, summarizes the results of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) Cycle 2 (2009-2011). The CHMS is a joint initiative of Statistics Canada, Health Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada to collect information from Canadians about their general health. In addition, the CHMS collects blood and urine samples to test for chronic and infectious diseases, nutrition and environment markers. The report presents data on concentrations of 91 environmental chemicals in Canadians. Many chemicals that Canadians may be exposed to in the environment are also important occupational exposures, including some occupational carcinogens. The Second Report on Human Biomonitoring includes data on a number of workplace exposures. These include metals such as antimony, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, uranium, and vanadium; benzene; chlorophenols; pesticides including atrazine, carbamates, 2,4-D, organophosphates, and pyrethroids; and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Le personnel travaillant en station d'épuration des eaux usées est exposé à des micro-organismes, leurs toxines et composants (en particulier les endotoxines) présents dans les eaux usées, les boues, sur les surfaces et dans l'air. Après un rappel sur les micro-organismes et la façon dont le personnel peut être exposé, ce document décrit les différentes mesures de prévention des risques biologiques à chaque étape du procédé d'épuration. Ces mesures touchent la conception des ouvrages, la protection collective et individuelle (hors surveillance médicale), les mesures d'hygiène, la formation et l'information des personnes intervenant sur le site.
Source : http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/dms/inrs/CataloguePapier/ED/TI-ED-6152/ed6152.pdf
"L'ETUI mène depuis plusieurs années un travail d'information sur les nanotechnologies. Une contribution supplémentaire est apportée avec cette brochure qui traite de la production et de l’utilisation de nanomatériaux sur les lieux de travail. La mise sur le marché et la diversification des usages des nanomatériaux se font à un rythme effréné, alors que l’impact sociétal est loin d’avoir été suffisamment débattu et que le cadre réglementaire européen paraît peu adapté à ces matériaux de taille microscopique. Les données actuelles quant aux risques qu'ils impliquent pour ceux qui les fabriquent ou les utilisent sont éparses et peu systématiques. Des études sur l'animal nous envoient des signaux d’alarme quant à la toxicité de certains d'entre eux."
Source : http://www.labourline.org/dyn/portal/index.seam;jsessionid=c2b7d16834bbba69560c3f4bca3e?binaryFileId=14038&page=listalo&aloId=0&actionMethod=dyn%2Fportal%2Findex.xhtml%3AdownloadAttachment.download&cid=1780
This exploratory study describes the experiences arising from exposure to extreme summer heat, and the related health protection and promotion issues for working people in Australia. Twenty key informants representing different industry types and occupational groups or activities in Australia provided semi-structured interviews concerning: (i) perceptions of workplace heat exposure in the industry they represented, (ii) reported impacts on health and productivity, as well as (iii) actions taken to reduce exposure or effects of environmental heat exposure. All interviewees reported that excessive heat exposure presents a significant challenge for their industry or activity. People working in physically demanding jobs in temperatures>35°C frequently develop symptoms, and working beyond heat tolerance is common. To avoid potentially dangerous health impacts they must either slow down or change their work habits. Such health-preserving actions result in lost work capacity. Approximately one-third of baseline work productivity can be lost in physically demanding jobs when working at 40°C. Employers and workers consider that heat exposure is a ‘natural hazard’ in Australia that cannot easily be avoided and so must be accommodated or managed. Among participants in this study, the locus of responsibility for coping with heat lay with the individual, rather than the employer. Heat exposure during Australian summers commonly results in adverse health effects and productivity losses, although quantification studies are lacking. Lack of understanding of the hazardous nature of heat exposure exacerbates the serious risk of heat stress, as entrenched attitudinal barriers hamper amelioration or effective management of this increasing occupational health threat. Educational programmes and workplace heat guidelines are required. Without intervention, climate change in hot countries, such as Australia, can be expected to further exacerbate heat-related burden of disease and loss of productivity in many jobs. In light of projected continued global warming, and associated increase in heat waves, more attention needs to be given to environmental heat as a human health hazard in the Occupational Health and Safety arena. Without adoption of effective heat protective strategies economic output and fitness levels will diminish. Health protection and promotion activities should include strategies to reduce heat exposure, limit exposure duration, ensure access to hydration, and promote acclimatization and fitness programmes, and reorientate attitudes towards working in the heat.
Source : Sudhvir Singh, Elizabeth G. Hanna, and Tord Kjellstrom. Health Promot. Int. dat027 first published online May 19, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dat027
Objectives Trichloroethylene (TCE) and Perchloroethylene (PER) are two chlorinated solvents that are applied widely as degreasers of metal parts, and in dry cleaning and other applications. In 2012, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified TCE as carcinogenic to humans and PER as probably carcinogenic to humans. We explored exposure–response relations for TCE and PER and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), multiple myeloma (MM), and cancers of the kidney and liver in the Nordic Occupational Cancer cohort. Methods The cohort was set up by linking occupational information from censuses to national cancer registry data using personal identity codes in use in all Nordic countries. Country, time period, and job-specific exposure estimates were generated for TCE, PER and potentially confounding occupational exposures with a job-exposure matrix. A conditional logistic regression was conducted for exposure groups as well as for continuous cumulative exposure. Results HRs for liver cancer, NHL and MM but not kidney cancer were slightly elevated in groups with high exposure to PER (compared to occupationally unexposed subjects). HRs for liver cancer and NHL also increased with increasing continuous exposure to PER. We did not observe evidence for an association between exposure to TCE and NHL, MM or liver and kidney cancer. Conclusions Although this study was subject to limitations related to the low prevalence of exposure to PER and TCE in the Nordic population and a limited exposure assessment strategy, we observed some evidence indicative of an excess risk of cancer of the liver and NHL in subjects exposed to PER.
Jelle Vlaanderen, Kurt Straif, Eero Pukkala, Timo Kauppinen, Pentti Kyyrönen, Jan Ivar Martinsen, Kristina Kjaerheim, Laufey Tryggvadottir, Johnni Hansen, Pär Sparén, Elisabete Weiderpass, Occup Environ Med 2013;70:6 393-401 Published Online First: 27 February 2013
Véritable outil pratique à destination des médecins du travail et des laboratoires, la base de données Biotox vient d’être actualisée. Objectif : contribuer à une meilleure surveillance des salariés exposés aux produits chimiques. Utilisée par les médecins du travail et les laboratoires pour la surveillance biologique des salariés exposés à certains produits chimiques, la base de données Biotox(http://www.inrs.fr/biotox) se renouvelle. Chaque année, les informations sont mises à jour dans le cadre, entre autre, d’une revue de la littérature internationale. Les connaissances relatives à la surveillance biologique des expositions aux produits chimiques évoluent vite et il est donc nécessaire de faire évoluer Biotox régulièrement. Lancé en 1992 en version papier, le projet Biotox a évolué en 2003 vers une base de données en accès libre sur le site Internet de l’INRS. Cette base propose notamment des fiches classées par substances chimiques. Celles-ci précisent le numéro CAS du produit concerné, sa famille chimique d’appartenance, les données toxicocinétiques et les valeurs biologiques de référence.
Source : http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/header/actualites/nouvelle-mise-a-jour-base-biotox.html
This research was conducted by HSE in partnership with the Surface Engineering Association (SEA). The aim was to investigate whether repeat Biological Monitoring (BM) over a period of time could be used to help drive sustainable improvements in exposure control. Fifty-three companies engaged in nickel, hexavalent chromium and/or cadmium electroplating were visited. An occupational hygiene assessment of relevant tasks and exposure controls was conducted at each visit. BM (post shift urine sampling) was used to quantitatively assess nickel, chromium and (where used) cadmium exposures. Other measurements, such as levels of contamination of worker’s hands and workplace surfaces with nickel and/or chrome, were also made to provide further information on exposure paths. A detailed insight is provided into nickel, hexavalent chromium and cadmium exposures in electroplating. The extensive measurement programme employed allows identification of a number of tasks and worker groups with potential for exposure and provides a clear picture of the standard of exposure control achieved. This provides an improved understanding of exposure routes and allows exposure control to be better targeted. Sustainable statistically significant reductions in exposure were achieved at the companies with the highest initial levels of urinary nickel and/or chromium. This was as a direct result of developing a better understanding of exposure pathways and implementing repeat Biological Monitoring (BM) over the lifetime of the project to provide evidence of exposure control. Reductions were in the range 30 to 40% for nickel, and 20 to 30% for chromium.
Source : http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr963.pdf
This document provides guidance for performing an exposure assessment – for humans and the environment – based on environmental monitoring data. It covers topics such as environmental levels and distribution of contaminants, ways of using monitoring data in exposure assessments for differing purposes, the collection of data, quality of monitoring activities, as well as several examples of data compilation in member countries and their use in exposure assessment.
Source : http://search.oecd.org/officialdocuments/displaydocumentpdf/?cote=env/jm/mono(2013)7&doclanguage=en
Ce programme constitue un cadre de référence accessible à partir du site Internet de l'ASSTSAS. Il offre un programme divisé en six catégorie et de nombreux outils qui peuvent être adaptés au contexte particulier et à la taille de chaque établissement. Le contenu de ce programme est basé sur l'expérience accumulée par l'ASSTSAS et sur les données probantes recueillies auprès d'organismes comparables et d'organismes publics, principalement en Amérique du Nord. Les principales publications consultées figurent dans la bibliographie.
Source : http://www.asstsas.qc.ca/dossiers-thematiques/risques-biologiques-infections/prevention-des-expositions-au-sang-anciennement-piqures-daiguille/programme-de-prevention-expositions-au-sang-chez-les-travailleurs-de-la-sante.html
Background: Biomonitoring data reported in the National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals [NER; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012)] provide information on the presence and concentrations of > 400 chemicals in human blood and urine. Biomonitoring Equivalents (BEs) and other risk assessment–based values now allow interpretation of these biomonitoring data in a public health risk context. Objectives: We compared the measured biomarker concentrations in the NER with BEs and similar risk assessment values to provide an across-chemical risk assessment perspective on the measured levels for approximately 130 analytes in the NER. Methods: We identified available risk assessment–based biomarker screening values, including BEs and Human Biomonitoring-I (HBM-I) values from the German Human Biomonitoring Commission. Geometric mean and 95th percentile population biomarker concentrations from the NER were compared to the available screening values to generate chemical-specific hazard quotients (HQs) or cancer risk estimates.
Conclusions: Most analytes in the NER show HQ values of < 1; however, some (including acrylamide, dioxin-like chemicals, benzene, xylene, several metals, di-2(ethylhexyl)phthalate, and some legacy organochlorine pesticides) approach or exceed HQ values of 1 or cancer risks of > 1 × 10–4 at the geometric mean or 95th percentile, suggesting exposure levels may exceed published human health benchmarks. This analysis provides for the first time a means for examining population biomonitoring data for multiple environmental chemicals in the context of the risk assessments for those chemicals. The results of these comparisons can be used to focus more detailed chemical-specific examination of the data and inform priorities for chemical risk management and research.
Source : Environ Health Perspect 121:287–294 (2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1205740
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