The exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) was measured in a Finnish coking plant over a 7-year period (1988-1994), since the beginning of production. Hygienic measurements including dust and vapour sampling were performed and the correlations between the concentrations of airborne pyrene with the levels of pyrene metabolite 1-pyrenol in urine were calculated. The profile of measured 12 or 15 PAHs was very similar between mean concentrations of personal samples, which suggests that it is possible to calculate the concentrations of total PAH by using e.g. pyrene as a marker compound. Measurements suggest that the progress of working conditions has been very favourable because the mean exposure level of shift workers to benzo[a]pyrene has decreased from 2.5 micrograms/m3 to 0.3 micrograms/m3. This points to successful measures of technical prevention. The mean concentration of 1-pyrenol in urine has been 0.2-0.6 mumol/mol creatinine. The concentration increases slightly towards the end of the working day, but the correlation urinary pyrenol and air pyrene was weak. Therefore the usefulness of pyrenol level for predicting the pyrene concentration at low exposure level in the ambient air is very limited.
Coke oven workers are exposed to high concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Only recently have methods been developed to try to assess the individual, biologically significant exposure. The only coke oven plant in Finland started to function in 1987, in Raahe, enabling the implementation of a cohort study among the workers to determine the usefulness of some currently available biomonitoring methods, e.g. methods of measuring PAH-DNA adducts. Urine and blood samples were taken several times from a sample of workers starting from before they worked at the plant. A questionnaire (smoking, diet, former and current occupations) was filled in by the workers at every sampling, and air samples (personal and stationary) were collected at the same time. The mean values of both benzo(a)pyrene diolepoxide (BPDE)-DNA adducts were measured by synchronous fluorescence spectrophotometry (SFS) and the antibodies to these adducts increased somewhat after the work at the plant started. However, all the adduct values were low, and no differences between the smokers and non-smokers at any time point were detected. Battery workers had slightly increased means of BPDE-DNA adducts compared to non-battery workers. Also, coke oven workers had slightly higher adduct values than age, sex and smoking matched controls.
The purpose of this study was to quantify and identify the airborne contamination in eastern Canadian sawmills. Seventeen sawmills were chosen to cover a wide range of size, geographic distribution, and wood species processed. Within each sawmill different work sites (debarking, sawing, sorting, or planing) were studied separately. Area sampling was performed for exposure assessment. Microbial contaminants were assessed with all-glass impingers 30 and six-stage Andersen microbial samplers; appropriate selective media and culture conditions for bacteria, thermophilic actinomycetes, molds, and yeasts were used. Inhalable dust, endotoxins, temperature, and humidity also were measured. Penicillium species were the most predominant molds with up to 40 different Penicillium species identified. Debarking was the working site most highly contaminated by molds, bacteria, and endotoxins (p=0.0001). At this working site mold levels reached a maximum of 1.5 x 10(6) CFU/m3, whereas the median values for culturable bacteria and endotoxin were 21,620 CFU/m3 and 1,081 endotoxin units/m3, respectively. Planing sites were the most highly dust contaminated (median: 3.0 mg/m3) (p
One of objective methods of early and differential diagnosis of occupational pulmonary diseases in miners (pneumoconiosis, silicotuberculosis, dust bronchitis) is bronchoscopy with a cytologic examination of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAF). BAF-examination was carried out in a total of 88 patients with incipient and advanced forms of dust bronchitis, pneumoconiosis and silicotuberculosis. A direct relationship has been revealed between a decline in local cell-bound immunity caused by a dust-inducted affection mononuclear phagocytes and advancing of stages of dust-related diseases.
It is well known that exposure to organic dust can cause adverse respiratory effect. The pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPS) in the organic dust, such as endotoxin from Gram-negative bacteria cell wall and fungal components, can trigger the release of cytokine (e.g. Interleukin 1ß (IL-1ß)) and chemokine (e.g. Interleukin 8 (IL-8)) from the immune cells in the airways.
To evaluate the potential inflammatory effects of organic dust exposure in energy plants in Denmark.
Nasal lavage (NAL) and exhaled breath condensate (EBC) were sampled at Monday morning (referred to as before work) and again at Thursday afternoon (referred to as after work). NAL IL-8, EBC pH, IL-1ß concentration were measured. Personal exposure to endotoxin and dust was calculated from time spent on different tasks and measured average work area exposures.
Before work, workers from biofuel plants had a higher IL-1ß and IL-8 concentration compared to conventional fuel plants (control group). Specifically, the IL-1ß level of moderately and most exposed group, and IL-8 level of the least exposed group were higher compared to the control group. The changes of IL-1ß, pH and IL-8 during a work week were not significant. Workers with rhinitis had a lower percentage change of IL-8 compared to healthy workers.
An increased level of EBC IL-1ß in biofuel energy plant workers before work indicated a chronic or sub-chronic inflammation. The percentage change of IL-8 was lower in workers with rhinitis compared to healthy workers.
Bakery workers are at risk of developing respiratory symptoms, such as asthma and rhinitis. Exposure to inhalable flour dust in 12 Swedish bakeries was therefore determined: concentrations of airborne inhalable flour dust were measured with the IOM personal inspirable dust sampler and the particle size distribution assessed using the IOM personal inspirable aerosol spectrometer, and the fractions of alpha-amylase, water-soluble protein and total protein in flour dust were determined. A total of 129 measurements were performed of which 77 were repeated measurements. There was a clear hierarchy in geometric mean exposure among bakery workers, with in descending order doughmakers (5.46 mg m-3), bread-formers (2.69 mg m-3), oven workers (1.17 mg m-3), and packers and confectionery workers (0.53 mg m-3). The repeated measurements revealed that within each task group there were considerable differences in mean exposure among the workers: this was demonstrated by geometric standard deviations of between-worker variance of 1.63-1.77. Partitioning of the total variability of inhalable flour dust exposure showed that the task group was the principal source of variance, accounting for 61-69% of the total variability. The optimum grouping strategy was independent of whether the oven workers and the packers were assigned to the same or to different task groups. The doughmakers and the bread-formers are two clearly distinguishable exposure groups with largely overlapping exposure distributions. On average, the flour dust contained 9% total protein, 2.3% water-soluble protein and 0.03% alpha-amylase. The inhalable flour dust was characterized by a substantial proportion of particles with a d(ac) above 10 microns. It was estimated that the thoracic subfraction contributed 39% to the total mass of inhalable dust, and the respirable subfraction 19%.
This paper investigates determinants of wood dust exposure and trends in dust level in the furniture industry of Viborg County, Denmark, using data from two cross-sectional studies 6 years apart.
During the winter 1997/1998, 54 factories were visited (hereafter study 1). In the winter 2003/2004, 27 factories were revisited, and personal dust measurements were repeated. In addition, 14 new factories were included (hereafter study 2). A total of 2303 woodworkers participated in study 1, and 2358 measurements from 1702 workers were available. From study 2, 1581 woodworkers participated and 1355 measurements from 1044 workers were available. Information on occupational variables describing potential determinants of exposures like work task, exhaust ventilation, enclosure and cleaning procedures were collected. A total of 2627 measurements and 1907 persons were included in the final mixed model in order to explore determinants of exposure and trends in dust level.
The overall inhalable wood dust concentration (geometric means (geometric standard deviation)) has decreased from 0.95 mg/m(3) (2.05) in study 1 to 0.60 mg/m(3) (1.63) in study 2, representing a 7% annual decrease in dust concentration, which was confirmed in the mixed model. From study 1 to study 2 there has been a change towards less manual work and more efficient cleaning methods, but on the contrary also more inadequate exhaust ventilation systems. The following determinants were found to 'increase' dust concentration: sanding; use of compressed air; use of full-automatic machines; manual work; cleaning of work pieces with compressed air; kitchen producing factories and small factories (
Cites: Occup Environ Med. 2000 Apr;57(4):268-7310810114
Cites: J Occup Med. 1973 Jul;15(7):580-54711650
Cites: Ann Occup Hyg. 2000 Aug;44(5):325-710930496
Cites: Ann Occup Hyg. 2001 Mar;45(2):157-6411182430
Cites: Am J Ind Med. 2001 Jun;39(6):608-1511385645
Cites: Ann Occup Hyg. 2001 Oct;45(7):603-811583662
Cites: Am J Ind Med. 2002 Jan;41(1):54-6111757055
Cites: J Occup Environ Med. 2002 Jan;44(1):82-9811802471
Cites: Occup Environ Med. 2002 Jan;59(1):23-911836465
Cites: Ann Occup Hyg. 2002 Mar;46(2):187-9512074028
Cites: Ann Occup Hyg. 2002 Nov;46(8):673-8512406861
Autopsied lungs from 29 hard rock miners were investigated to determine the relationship of the dust content to pathology, radiology, and occupational exposure.
Each lung was divided horizontally into three sections. Pathological and radiological studies and chemical analyses were carried out on samples from each section. The hilar lymph nodes were also studied chemically. The work history and smoking history were assessed. The occupational exposure to silica and total dust were estimated. The effect of smoking was examined, and the relationship between dust content of the lungs to that of the lymph nodes were also investigated.
There was a good agreement between radiologic and pathologic findings. Positive correlations were seen between hydroxyproline (as an index of fibrosis), silica dust, non-silica inorganic dust, radiographic category of pneumoconiosis and pathologic grade of silicosis. Smokers lost on average 7 years of life compared to non-smokers, but numbers were small and no adjustment was made. Silica appeared to be concentrated in lungs and lymph nodes compared to the estimates of silica concentration in the mining environment. Silica in the lymph nodes on average is 2.4-fold higher than in the lungs.
This study of autopsied hard rock miners lungs shows positive relationships between lung dust and hydroxyproline content, radiological and pathological findings.
To validate exposure estimates used to investigate correlations between exposure and cancer risk, 1678 personal measurements were collected for 46 job titles during 73 day shifts at a bleached-kraft pulp mill. Measurements included shift-long average and short-term exposures to carbon monoxide, chlorine dioxide (ClO2), and hydrogen sulfide; and shift-long average exposures to calcium oxide and wood dust (WD). Overall results indicate low levels of exposure with a few noteworthy exceptions. Although ClO2 was the exclusive bleaching agent, 77 area samples indicated that chlorine (Cl2), not ClO2 was present in all areas apart from the chemical preparation area (chem-prep) and during a pulp spill. The highest shift-long exposures to Cl2 were measured in the chip yard and are attributed to uncontrolled stack emissions. Finally, WD samples collected from several laborers significantly exceeded regulatory limits, with the highest exposures measured in the steam and recovery area. For short-term exposures to ClO2 in chem-prep, 12 of 17 data-logging electro-chemical sensor sample results showed at least one peak that exceeded the short-term exposure limit of 0.3 ppm. The use of data-logging equipment quantified short-term exposures that previously had been characterized only anecdotally. The peaks were correlated with tasks and upset conditions and, given their transient nature, these exceedances could not have been detected using shift-long average-based sampling devices. Since the respiratory effects of significant short-term exposures to irritant gases such as Cl2 and ClO2 are well-documented, data-logging instruments are necessary to characterize exposures in the pulp and paper industry.
A special feature of waste management in Finland has been the emphasis on the source separation of kitchen biowaste (catering waste); more than two-thirds of the Finnish population participates in this separation. Source-separated biowaste is usually treated by composting. The biowaste of about 5% of the population is handled by mechanical-biological treatment. A waste treatment plant at Mustasaari is the only plant in Finland using digestion for kitchen biowaste. For the protection of their employees, the plant owners commissioned a study on environmental factors and occupational hygiene in the plant area. During 1998-2000 the concentrations of dust, microbes and endotoxins and noise levels were investigated to identify possible problems at the plant. Three different work areas were investigated: the pre-processing and crushing hall, the bioreactor hall and the drying hall. Employees were asked about work-related health problems. Some problems with occupational hygiene were identified: concentrations of microbes and endotoxins may increase to levels harmful to health during waste crushing and in the bioreactor hall. Because employees complained of symptoms such as dry cough and rash or itching appearing once or twice a month, it is advisable to use respirator masks (class P3) during dusty working phases. The noise level in the drying hall exceeded the Finnish threshold value of 85 dBA. Qualitatively harmful factors for the health of employees are similar in all closed waste treatment plants in Finland. Quantitatively, however, the situation at the Mustasaari treatment plant is better than at some Finnish dry waste treatment plants. Therefore is reasonable to conclude that mechanical sorting, which produces a dry waste fraction for combustion and a biowaste fraction for anaerobic treatment, is in terms of occupational hygiene better for employees than combined aerobic treatment and dry waste treatment.