Exposure to organic solvents has been suggested to cause or exacerbate renal disease, but methodologic concerns regarding previous studies preclude firm conclusions. We examined the role of organic solvents in a population-based case-control study of early-stage chronic renal failure (CRF). All native Swedish residents aged 18 to 74 yr, living in Sweden between May 1996 and May 1998, formed the source population. Incident cases of CRF in a pre-uremic stage (n = 926) and control subjects (n = 998), randomly selected from the study base, underwent personal interviews that included a detailed occupational history. Expert rating by a certified occupational hygienist was used to assess organic solvent exposure intensity and duration. Relative risks were estimated by odds ratios (OR) in logistic regression models, with adjustment for potentially important covariates. The overall risk for CRF among subjects ever exposed to organic solvents was virtually identical to that among never-exposed (OR, 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81 to 1.25). No dose-response relationships were observed for lifetime cumulative solvent exposure, average dose, or exposure frequency or duration. The absence of association pertained to all subgroups of CRF: glomerulonephritis (OR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.68 to 1.34), diabetic nephropathy (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.74 to 1.41), renal vascular disease (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 0.76 to 1.75), and other renal CRF (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.66 to 1.27). The results from a nationwide, population-based study do not support the hypothesis of an adverse effect of organic solvents on CRF development, in general. Detrimental effects from subclasses of solvents or on specific renal diseases cannot be ruled out.
An increasing number of plants for re-use of refuse have been constructed in Denmark in recent years. The Kaastrup Plant near Skive was opened in spring 1986. The plant accepts household rubbish and industrial refuse separately. The refuse is sorted by machine (industrial refuse is sorted partially manually) and in a large partially open machine plant, refuse is converted into fuel pellets. During a period of eight months, eight out of 15 employees developed respiratory symptoms. In seven, bronchial asthma was diagnosed and chronic bronchitis in one person. Four had initial symptoms of the organic dust toxic syndrome. After further six months, another case of occupationally-conditioned asthma occurred in the plant. Only two out of nine had previously had asthma or atopic disease. The investigation did not reveal any evidence of type-I allergy. Six out of nine had specific precipitating antibodies to refuse while all had negative RAST tests to this. In spring 1989, from six to eighteen months after the onset of the symptoms, six had still dyspnoea on exertion and three had positive histamine-provocation tests and seven out of nine had left the plant. Occupational medical measurements revealed dust concentrations of 8.1 mg/cubic millimeter in September 1986 and total germs of up to 3 x 10(9) cfu/cubic meter. Construction of the plant involved considerable contact with the refuse on account of the cleansing processes and open systems and it was reconstructed in the course of 1987/1988 so that the hygienic conditions are now acceptable.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
BACKGROUND: Stress, strain, and fatigue at the workplace have previously not been studied in relation to acoustic conditions. AIMS: To examine the influence of different acoustic conditions on the work environment and the staff in a coronary critical care unit (CCU). METHOD: Psychosocial work environment data from start and end of each individual shift were obtained from three shifts (morning, afternoon, and night) for a one-week baseline period and for two four-week periods during which either sound reflecting or sound absorbing tiles were installed. RESULTS: Reverberation times and speech intelligibility improved during the study period when the ceiling tiles were changed from sound reflecting tiles to sound absorbing ones of identical appearance. Improved acoustics positively affected the work environment; the afternoon shift staff experienced significantly lower work demands and reported less pressure and strain. CONCLUSIONS: Important gains in the psychosocial work environment of healthcare can be achieved by improving room acoustics. The study points to the importance of further research on possible effects of acoustics in healthcare on staff turnover, quality of patient care, and medical errors.
Prolonged occupational standing has previously been associated with low back pain (LBP) development. The immediate effects of a bout of prolonged standing on subsequent functional movement performance have not been investigated. It is possible that including a period of prolonged standing may have acute, detrimental effects. The purpose of the study is to investigate the impact of a prolonged standing exposure on biomechanical profiles (trunk muscle activation, joint stiffness and kinematics) during three functional movements. A total of 23 volunteers without history of LBP performed lumbar flexion, single-leg stance and unloaded squat movements pre- and post 2 h of standing exposure. It was found that 40% of the participants developed LBP during the standing exposure. There was a decrease in vertebral joint rotation stiffness in lateral bending and increased centre of pressure excursion during unilateral stance following standing exposure. There may be adverse effects to prolonged standing if followed by activities requiring precise balance or resistance of side loads. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: Prolonged standing may result in decreases in balance reactions during narrow base conditions as well as in the capacity to effectively resist side-loads at the trunk. Consideration should be given when prolonged standing is included in the workplace.
To evaluate the importance of exposure to ambient air pollution for lung cancer risk, we conducted a case-control study in the vicinity of a nonferrous metal smelter. The smelter started operations in 1930 and had very high emissions during the early decades, particularly of arsenic and SO(2). Among subjects deceased 1961-1990 in the municipality where the smelter is located and who had not worked at the smelter, 209 male and 107 female lung cancer cases were identified and matched by sex and year of birth to 518 and 209 controls, respectively. Information on smoking habits, occupations and residences was collected by questionnaire to next-of-kin and from registry data. Living close to the smelter was associated with a relative risk (RR) for lung cancer of 1.38 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.89-2.14] among men, adjusted for smoking and occupational exposures. No clear difference in risk was detected for men deceased 1961-1979 compared to men deceased 1980-1990 (RR point estimates 1.42 and 1.29, respectively). There appeared to be an increased risk especially for men exposed in the beginning of the operations (RR = 1.51, 95% CI 0.90-2.54), in particular combined with exposure duration shorter than 20 years (RR = 2.52, 95% CI 0.89-7.11). For women, however, no overall increased risk for lung cancer was observed. Although not significant, our findings thus indicated an increased risk of lung cancer among men living close to the nonferrous smelter. This increase appeared to concern primarily men exposed during the early years of operations, when emissions were very high.
A case-control study of 374 patients with primary epithelial cancers of the oral cavity, oro- and hypopharynx, and larynx is reported, the controls being patients with selected other cancers, matched for age and sex. Of all eligible patients, 93% were interviewed. Increased risks were seen with alcohol consumption and, less strongly, with smoking, which for all sites could be adequately fitted by either a multiplicative or an additive model. However, the site-specific relationships were different, alcohol consumption being significantly associated only with oral cavity, pharyngeal and extrinsic laryngeal tumours, and smoking only with intrinsic laryngeal tumours. Increased risks were associated with low socio-economic status, the unmarried state, and poor dental care. No significant associations were seen with specific occupational exposures.
Occupational and residential noise exposure has been related to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Alteration of serum lipid levels has been proposed as a possible causal pathway. The objective of this study was to investigate the relation between ambient and at-the-ear occupational noise exposure and serum levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and triglycerides when accounting for well-established predictors of lipid levels.
This cross-sectional study included 424 industrial workers and 84 financial workers to obtain contrast in noise exposure levels. They provided a serum sample and wore portable dosimeters that every 5-s recorded ambient noise exposure levels during a 24-h period. We extracted measurements obtained during work and calculated the full-shift mean ambient noise level. For 331 workers who kept a diary on the use of a hearing protection device (HPD), we subtracted 10 dB from every noise recording obtained during HPD use and estimated the mean full-shift noise exposure level at the ear.
Mean ambient noise level was 79.9 dB (A) [range 55.0-98.9] and the mean estimated level at the ear 77.8 dB (A) [range 55.0-94.2]. Ambient and at-the-ear noise levels were strongly associated with increasing levels of triglycerides, cholesterol-HDL ratio, and decreasing levels of HDL-cholesterol, but only in unadjusted analyses that did not account for HPD use and other risk factors.
No associations between ambient or at-the-ear occupational noise exposure and serum lipid levels were observed. This indicates that a causal pathway between occupational and residential noise exposure and cardiovascular disease does not include alteration of lipid levels.
Aluminum potroom exposure is associated with increased mortality of COPD but the association between potroom exposure and annual decline in lung function is unknown. We have measured lung volumes annually using spirometry from 1986 to 1996. The objective was to compare annual decline in forced expiratory volume in 1?s (dFEV1) and forced vital capacity (dFVC).
The number of aluminum potroom workers was 4,546 (81% males) and the number of workers in the reference group was 651 (76% males). The number of spirometries in the index group and the references were 24,060 and 2,243, respectively.
After adjustment for confounders, the difference in dFEV1 and dFVC between the index and reference groups were 13.5 (P?
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