Substitution for a harmful chemical implies that the desired function is maintained without using the harmful chemical in question. Improvement can be achieved if a less harmful chemical can be used or the same function obtained by changing the process and eliminating the harmful chemical agent. In 1982, Denmark introduced an authority regulation requiring substitution if functional and economical alternatives exist. This paper summarizes the results of 162 examples of substitution investigated by the Danish Occupational Health Services. The identification and implementation of substitution alternatives is described as an iterative process with seven distinct steps. Several tools that are useful in evaluating alternatives are described, including Hansen solubility parameters and vapor hazard ratios. In addition to the technical issues surrounding substitution, this paper describes the social interactions necessary to include all affected individuals, along with those having the proper expertise in the decision-making process. The use of the described methods may result in a safer work-place by eliminating certain hazardous chemicals or practices that have historically been used in specific industries.
The county of Värmland, Sweden, has shown a high frequency of multiple sclerosis in several investigations. It has been presented in three studies; a period prevalence study in 1925-1934, a mortality study during 1952-1992 and a prevalence investigation in 2002. The aim of this study was to investigate the pattern of industry in this high-risk area for multiple sclerosis. The three investigations were correlated with industry in 1913 and in the 1950s, all analyzed by the Kruskall-Wallis test. Select industries from wood-pulp, paper and iron/mechanical sectors were tested also in whole Sweden. The Spearman rank correlation was used for these data and forestry data in Värmland. In Värmland, industrial data from 1913 revealed that large sawmills were associated with the period prevalence in 1925-1934 and there was a possible correlation with the prevalence for 2002. Wood-pulp factories showed a possible association with the prevalence 1925-1934 and the mortality 1952-1992. Some industries in the 1950s were correlated with the prevalence 2002. Wood and paper industries in Sweden 1913 showed an association with the MS mortality 1952-1992. In summary, data on MS prevalence in Värmland and mortality both in Värmland and all Sweden from the past 100 years suggest an association with wood-related industries in 1913 and in the 1950s, whereas no consistent association was found for other industries.
Distinguishing between effects of natural and anthropogenic environmental factors on ecosystems is a fundamental problem in environmental science. In river systems the longitudinal gradient of environmental factors is one of the most relevant sources of dissimilarity between communities that could be confounded with anthropogenic disturbances. To test the hypothesis that in macroinvertebrate communities the distribution of species' sensitivity to organic toxicants is independent of natural longitudinal factors, but depends on contamination with organic toxicants, we analysed the relationship between community sensitivity SPEAR(organic) (average community sensitivity to organic toxicants) and natural and anthropogenic environmental factors in a large-scale river system, from alpine streams to a lowland river. The results show that SPEAR(organic) is largely independent of natural longitudinal factors, but strongly dependent on contamination with organic toxicants (petrochemicals and synthetic surfactants). Usage of SPEAR(organic) as a stressor-specific longitude-independent measure will facilitate detection of community disturbance by organic toxicants.
Comparative research of environmental attitudes has concentrated on adults of Western countries, whereas knowledge of environmental consciousness of East European people is modest. This article compares anxiety that teenagers in Helsinki, Moscow and Tallinn express about environmental hazards and their health effects. The data (Helsinki, N = 1396; Moscow, N = 618; Tallinn, N = 1268) were collected in schools by questionnaires from pupils between 13 and 18 years in 1994-1995. Air pollution, water pollution and survival of plant and animal species were considered most worrying environmental threats in every city. Environmental concern was usually highest in Moscow, but the effects of pollution on an individual's health worried Estonian teenagers most. The worry was most consistent in Moscow, where sex, class level or opinion of the state of one's own living environment did not usually have an effect on attitudes. Finnish girls and pupils in higher school classes were environmentally more conscious than boys or younger teenagers. In Tallinn, the sex and age differences in worry were smaller. Environmental worry seemed to have connections to a general sense of responsibility and risk behaviour such as heavy drinking and smoking. For all sites those pupils who often throw empty packages onto the street or into the nature expressed lower environmental concern than their more responsible peers. The differences of worry between the cities were difficult to interpret, but the greater total concern of young Muscovites may be part of their general social anxiety, which is associated with the instability of the Russian society.
In this article there are presented the current views on the technology for the assessment of the exposure to chemical pollutants with the use of the methodology of human biomonitoring and the main advantages of the latter are highlighted. There are presented main problems of the implementation of biomonitoring studies in Russia such as: beginning with the lack of the national system of the biomonitoring, and accomplishing with the inconsistency in the data within the country, the inability to assess the trend according to levels of exposure in the regional or national context. Due to the inconvenience of the Russian regulatory basis on human biomonitoring, there is persisted technological backwardness in terms of the delivery of the design, presentation and evaluation of research results, which results in the decline of the significance of biomonitoring for public health in the country. There is preserved a need for standardization and harmonization of methods and procedures of human biomonitoring (HBM) in Russia with international requirements. A serious concern is the lack of Russian programs on standardization of procedures and interlaboratcy comparison of results according to biomarkers of the exposure, the insufficient involvement of national laboratories in international programs of the comparison, the difficulties with the acquisition of standard samples of the compositionfor different environmental pollutants in biological tissues. The restraint ofthe development of HBM in the Russian Federation is caused by a complex of reasons. The most urgent task is the development of the national concept of the system with subsequent formation of technological, institutional and organizational framework of biomonitoring, as well as the improvement of Russian normative-methodical base.
The authors suggested criteria of translocated pollution: scale, intensity, jeopardy, with consideration of dissemination mechanism--aerodynamic, water migration, terminal. The article covers classification of translocated pollution. Using methodology of risk evaluation, the authors assessed additional morbidity cases due to translocated pollution.
Cleaning products are considered less hazardous than those used in other sectors. Suppliers and distributors are less conscientious when it comes to informing users on health risks. The aim of the study was to elaborate on the usefulness and clarity of information in the safety data sheets (SDS) for cleaning products, and considering if the use of these SDSs can be seen as a risk factor towards occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in the sector.
Safety data sheets were selected based on the risk level of the product assigned in an industrial sector scheme. 320 SDSs for cleaning products were reviewed. Constituent components found in the products over a given threshold were listed and available information thereof used to assess the perceived non-hazard consideration of the chemicals.
The contents of the SDSs was generic and mostly incomplete. Safety measures and health information lacked sufficient specificity despite varying compositions and concentrations of components. There is generally incompatibility between mentioned sections on the suggested non-hazardous nature of the products and health effects. Not all substances used in these products have harmonized classifications, which makes them open to various classification of the products and the suggested safety measures. This results in different companies classifying similar products differently. Risk management measures and suggested personal protective equipment (PPEs) are given haphazardly. Physical properties relevant to risk assessment are not included.
The safety data sheets are ambiguous, and they lack relevant and important information. Inadequate information and risk assessment concerning the products can lead to workers being exposed to hazardous chemicals. Underestimation of the hazard contribution of the components of the products and the insufficient, non-objective mention of appropriate control and protective measures are the major contributing elements. There is a need to test the products in order to establish health effects and product specific safety measures.
In response to the intention of the Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia (WCB of BC) to eliminate made-in-BC occupational exposure limits (OELs) and adopt threshold limit values (TLVs), this study assessed the potential health impacts on healthcare workers (HCWs) of the proposed change, by (1) reviewing the processes used to establish the OELs and TLVs, (2) selecting of substances of health concern for HCWs, (3) identifying chemicals with discordances between existing OELs and the 2002 TLVs, and 4) reviewing the discordances and assessing the potential health implications. Differences in philosophies, policies and processes that influenced the setting of OELs and TLVs were substantial. The TLV process involves U.S. and international priorities; in BC, a tripartite committee determined OELs taking into consideration how OELs should be interpreted in the local context. 47 chemicals of concern to BC HCWs were discordant, with significant discordances totalling 57; 15 compounds had BC 8-hour OELs lower than their respective TLVs and three TLVs were lower than the 8-hour BC OELs. Review of six chemicals with discordances suggested a potential for increased risks of adverse health effects. Eliminating the local capacity and authority to set OELs is unlikely to cause major health problems in the short run, but as chemicals in use locally may not have up-to-date TLVs, eliminating the capacity for local considerations should be undertaken with great caution. While the WCB of BC did implement the change, the present report resulted in procedural changes that will provide better protection for the workforce.