Fumigation

Health & safety guidance for employers & technicians carrying out fumigation operations
The guidance is primarily for employers and fumigators/fumigation technicians (including the self-employed) to help them comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) when carrying out fumigation activities, both traditional pest control (invertebrate fumigation) and within the laboratory and biosecurity sectors. It will also be useful to their safety representatives.
It outlines the real risks and describes the law that applies to fumigation operations. There is specific advice on procedures common to all fumigation operations, including the use of monitoring equipment, personal protective equipment and respiratory protective equipment, health surveillance and first aid.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg251.htm

Ionising radiation and risk of death from leukaemia and lymphoma in radiation-monitored workers

An international cohort study
Background: There is much uncertainty about the risks of leukaemia and lymphoma after repeated or protracted lowdose radiation exposure typical of occupational, environmental, and diagnostic medical settings. We quantified associations between protracted low-dose radiation exposures and leukaemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma mortality among radiation-monitored adults employed in France, the UK, and the USA.
Methods: We assembled a cohort of 308 297 radiation-monitored workers employed for at least 1 year by the Atomic Energy Commission, AREVA Nuclear Cycle, or the National Electricity Company in France, the Departments of Energy and Defence in the USA, and nuclear industry employers included in the National Registry for Radiation Workers in the UK. The cohort was followed up for a total of 8·22 million person-years. We ascertained deaths caused by leukaemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. We used Poisson regression to quantify associations between estimated red bone marrow absorbed dose and leukaemia and lymphoma mortality.
Findings: Doses were accrued at very low rates (mean 1·1 mGy per year, SD 2·6). The excess relative risk of leukaemia mortality (excluding chronic lymphocytic leukaemia) was 2·96 per Gy (90% CI 1·17–5·21; lagged 2 years), most notably because of an association between radiation dose and mortality from chronic myeloid leukaemia (excess relative risk per Gy 10·45, 90% CI 4·48–19·65).
Interpretation: This study provides strong evidence of positive associations between protracted low-dose radiation
exposure and leukaemia.

Source: Leuraud K. et al. The Lancet Haematology, juin 2015. 
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(15)00094-0

Approche intégrée pour une conception et une manipulation sécuritaires des nanomatériaux

Un programme basé sur une concertation entre l'industrie et des évaluateurs des risques sanitaires
Les nanotechnologies de synthèse se développent à un rythme presque exponentiel. Les estimations anticipées des retombées de cette technologie font miroiter un potentiel économique énorme à la grandeur de la planète. Par conséquent, plusieurs pays investissent massivement dans ce domaine de nouvelles technologies. Cependant, les responsables industriels des nanomatériaux et les spécialistes en évaluation des risques sanitaires ont une compréhension différente des programmes de sécurité devant baliser l'utilisation de cette nouvelle technologie dont on connaît peu les dangers pour la santé et la sécurité des travailleurs.

Source: http://www.irsst.qc.ca/-publication-irsst-conception-manipulation-securitaires-nanomateriaux-r-877.html

Les emplois verts au Québec

Définition et appréciation de leurs risques chimiques ou biologiques potentiels pour la santé des travailleurs
Les emplois générés par les efforts d'écologisation de l'économie sont en pleine croissance. Ces emplois, couramment appelés « emplois verts », étaient estimés en 2010 à plus de 155 000 au Québec et à 682 000 au Canada. Ces chiffres dépendent bien entendu des définitions données aux termes « écologie » et « environnement », mais donnent une idée de l'importance de ce secteur en croissance. Plusieurs nouvelles technologies se développent et il est impératif d'en apprécier les risques potentiels pour la santé des travailleurs.
L'objectif de cette recherche est de tracer le portrait québécois des emplois verts et d'apprécier le risque potentiel pour la santé des travailleurs découlant de leur exposition aux substances chimiques et aux agents biologiques. Il s'agit plus spécifiquement : 1) de définir le secteur économique « vert » au Québec; 2) d'identifier les « emplois verts »; 3) de déterminer les substances chimiques et les agents biologiques auxquels les travailleurs pourraient être exposés; 4) et d'en apprécier qualitativement le risque potentiel pour la santé des travailleurs.

Source: http://www.irsst.qc.ca/-publication-irsst-emplois-verts-risques-chimiques-biologiques-sante-travailleurs-r-875.html

Consultation on monitoring of water-miscible metalworking fluid (MWF) mists

The aim of this research was to examine metal working fluid (MWF) exposure limits and guidance set by other countries, summarise studies and investigations that examined water-miscible MWF mist as well as new techniques to monitor mist.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1044.htm

Incidence of malignant mesothelioma of the pleura in Québec and Canada from 1984 to 2007, and projections from 2008 to 2032

Background: Continuous increase in male incidence of malignant mesothelioma of the pleura (MMP) despite the drop of asbestos production since 1980 in Québec motivated this study aiming to assess when the rates of MMP will decline.
Methods: Age-standardized rates and trends were estimated over the 1984–2007 period by sex for Québec versus “Canada-excluding-Québec” (Can-Qc). An age-cohort regression was used to make projections for 2008–2032.
Results: Average rates of MMP in Québec men and women were significantly higher than in Can-Qc. Projected rates peak between 2003 and 2012 in all four study populations and decline thereafter.
Conclusion: The higher MMP rates and observed/projected time patterns in Québec men are consistent with past asbestos production and occupational exposures. The excess in Québec women may also be explained by domestic and, for some, by neighborhood exposures. To pursue the decrease in MMP rates beyond 2032, efforts to reduce asbestos exposure should be maintained.

Source: Alfreda Krupoves; Michel Camus; Louise De Guire. American journal of industrial medicine, vol. 58, no 5, May 2015, p. 473-482.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22442

Reducing Hazardous Dust Exposure When Cutting Fiber-Cement Siding

Construction workers may be exposed to hazardous dust containing silica when cutting fiber-cement siding. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that workers' exposures could be reduced by attaching a regular shop vacuum to a dust-collecting circular saw providing a simple low-cost solution.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/wp-solutions/2015-185/

Biotox : une base de données modernisée et mise à jour

Véritable outil pratique à destination des médecins du travail, des acteurs en santé au travail et des laboratoires, la base de données Biotox a été totalement refondue. Elle propose des contenus plus riches, un meilleur confort de navigation, un design modernisé et a été mise à jour. L'Objectif est de contribuer à une meilleure surveillance des salariés exposés aux produits chimiques.

Source: http://www.inrs.fr/actualites/Biotox-mise-a-jour.html

Seirich : un nouvel outil d’évaluation du risque chimique en ligne

Seirich (Système d'évaluation et d'information sur les risques chimiques en milieu professionnel) permet aux entreprises de s'informer sur les produits chimiques et de repérer les plus dangereux. Destiné aux chefs d’entreprise, responsables QHSE, médecins, services de santé au travail ainsi qu’aux chimistes, toxicologues, spécialistes des risques chimiques, il leur permet de s’informer sur les produits chimiques et de repérer les plus dangereux.

La démarche comprend 4 étapes : un inventaire, l’analyse de l’utilisation des produits chimiques, l’évaluation des risques et un plan d’action. 3 niveaux d’expertise sont proposés pour s’adapter aux connaissances de l’utilisateur.

Source: http://www.inrs.fr/actualites/seirich-outil-risque-chimique-en-ligne.html

Prevention and treatment of decompression sickness using training and in-water recompression among fisherman divers in Vietnam

INTRODUCTION: Many fisherman divers in Vietnam suffer from decompression sickness (DCS) causing joint pain, severe neurological deficit or even death. The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a training programme to prevent DCS and also treat DCS using the method of in-water recompression (IWR).
METHODS: 63 divers were interviewed and trained over a period of 3 years from 2009. Fifty one per cent of all trained divers were reinterviewed in 2011-2012 to collect mortality and morbidity data as well as information on changes in diving practices.
RESULTS: Since 2009, most fisherman divers have changed their practices by reducing bottom time or depth. Mortality was reduced and the incidence of severe neurological DCS decreased by 75%. Twenty four cases of DCS were treated by IWR. Ten cases of joint pain were treated with IWR using air, affording immediate relief in all cases. Out of 10 cases of neurological DCS, 4/4 recovered completely after IWR with oxygen whereas only 2/6 subjects recovered immediately after IWR with air. In addition, 3/4 further cases of DCS treated with IWR using oxygen immediately recovered.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that IWR is effective for severe neurological DCS in remote fishing communities, especially with oxygen.

Source: Blatteau JE, Pontier JM, Buzzacott P, Lambrechts K, Nguyen VM, Cavenel P, Ruffez J. Inj. Prev. 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2014-041464

Radiofréquences et santé

Avec le développement et le déploiement des nouvelles technologies sans fil depuis une vingtaine d'années, un nombre croissant de systèmes de communication et d'interconnexions entre objets utilisent les ondes électromagnétiques dans le domaine des radiofréquences. Ainsi, il existe de nombreuses sources de radiofréquences dans notre environnement quotidien (téléphone mobile, antennes relais, Wi-Fi, etc.). Parmi celles-ci, le téléphone mobile est de loin la principale source d'exposition. Concernant la question des effets sanitaires des radiofréquences, il n'est pas possible aujourd'hui d'établir un lien de causalité entre les quelques effets biologiques décrits et d'éventuels effets sur la santé qui en résulteraient. Le risque de gliome n'est, quant à lui, pas significativement modifié par l'utilisation des téléphones mobiles en population générale pour des durées d'observation de moins de 15 ans. Cependant, les données disponibles actuellement ne permettent pas d'exclure, parmi les utilisateurs « intensifs », une augmentation d'incidence faible des gliomes ou un risque qui se manifesterait pour des durées d'induction supérieures à 15 ans. Face aux incertitudes qui entourent l'évaluation des risques liés aux radiofréquences, certaines personnes souhaitant réduire leurs expositions se dotent de dispositifs « anti-ondes ». Cependant, l'efficacité des dispositifs dits « anti-ondes » est loin d'être établie, leur usage pourrait même être contre-productif. Afin de maîtriser les niveaux d'exposition aux radiofréquences, l'ANSES recommande aux utilisateurs intensifs de téléphonie mobile de privilégier des téléphones mobiles affichant un faible niveau de DAS et d'utiliser un kit mains-libres.

Source: Fite, J., Doré, J.-F., Hours, M., & Merckel, O. (2015). Archives des Maladies Professionnelles et de l'Environnement.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.admp.2015.03.004

Cleaning products and short-term respiratory effects among female cleaners with asthma

Objective: We evaluated the short-term effects of exposure to cleaning products on lung function and respiratory symptoms among professional cleaning women. Methods: Twenty-one women with current asthma and employed as professional cleaners participated in a 15-day panel study. During 312 person-days of data collection, participants self-reported their use of cleaning products and respiratory symptoms in daily diaries and recorded their forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and peak expiratory flow (PEF) three times per day using a handheld spirometer. We evaluated associations of cleaning product use with upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms using Poisson mixed regression models and with changes in FEV1 and PEF using linear mixed regression analyses. Results: Participants reported using an average of 2.4 cleaning products per day, with exposure to at least one strong irritant (eg, ammonia, bleach, hydrochloric acid) on 56% of person-days. Among participants without atopy, lower respiratory tract symptoms were associated with the use of hydrochloric acid and detergents. Measurements of FEV1 and PEF taken in the evening were 174 mL (95% CI 34 to 314) and 37 L/min (CI 4 to 70), respectively, lower on days when three or more sprays were used. Evening and next morning FEV1 were both lower following the use of hydrochloric acid (−616 and −526 mL, respectively) and solvents (−751 and −1059 mL, respectively). Diurnal variation in FEV1 and PEF increased on days when ammonia and lime-scale removers were used.
Conclusions: The use of specific cleaning products at work, mainly irritants and sprays, may exacerbate asthma.

Source: Vizcaya, David, Mirabelli, Maria C., Gimeno, David, Antó, Josep-Maria, Delclos, George L., Rivera, Marcela, & Zock, Jan-Paul. (2015). Occupational & Environmental Médicine.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2013-102046

Risks to Health Care Workers from Nano-Enabled Medical Products

Nanotechnology is rapidly expanding into the health care industry. However, occupational safety and health risks of nano-enabled medical products have not been thoroughly assessed. This manuscript highlights occupational risk mitigation practices for nano-enabled medical products throughout their life cycle for all major workplace settings including (1) medical research laboratories, (2) pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, (3) clinical dispensing pharmacies, (4) health care delivery facilities, (5) home health care, (6) health care support, and (7) medical waste management. It further identifies critical research needs for ensuring worker protection in the health care industry.

Source: Murashov V., Howard J. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2015 Jun; 12 (6): p. D75-85.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15459624.2015.1006641

Aerosol Transmission of Infectious Disease

Objective: The concept of aerosol transmission is developed to resolve limitations in conventional definitions of airborne and droplet transmission.
Methods: The method was literature review.
Results: An infectious aerosol is a collection of pathogen-laden particles in air. Aerosol particles may deposit onto or be inhaled by a susceptible person. Aerosol transmission is biologically plausible when infectious aerosols are generated by or from an infectious person, the pathogen remains viable in the environment for some period of time, and the target tissues in which the pathogen initiates infection are accessible to the aerosol. Biological plausibility of aerosol transmission is evaluated for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus and norovirus and discussed for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, influenza, and Ebola virus.
Conclusions: Aerosol transmission reflects a modern understanding of aerosol science and allows physically appropriate explanation and intervention selection for infectious diseases.

Source: Jones, Rachael M.; Brosseau, Lisa M. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: May 2015, Volume 57, Issue 5, p. 501–508.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000448

Mesothelioma in Australia

Incidence (1982 to 2013) and Mortality (1997 to 2012)
Mesothelioma is a fatal cancer that typically occurs 20 to 40 years after exposure to asbestos, although exposure does not always result in the disease. Mesothelioma of the pleura (a cancer affecting the protective lining of the lungs and chest cavity) is the most common form of mesothelioma in Australia and has accounted for approximately 93% of cases since 1982. Mesothelioma of the peritoneum (a cancer affecting the abdominal lining) is less common and has accounted for approximately 6% of cases since 1982. The figures in this report include all forms of mesothelioma.

Source: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/mesothelioma-in-australia-2015

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