This study investigated whether chronic airflow limitation and rapid decline in pulmonary function were associated with peak exposures to ozone and other irritant gases in pulp mills. Bleachery workers potentially exposed to irritant gassings (n = 178) from three Swedish pulp mills, and a comparison group of workers not exposed to irritant gassings (n = 54) from two paper mills, were studied. Baseline surveys occurred in 1995-1996, with follow-up surveys in 1998-1999. Participants performed spirometry and answered questions regarding ozone, chlorine dioxide (ClO2), and sulphur dioxide (SO2) gassings. From regression models controlling for potential confounders, declines in both the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) (-24 mL x yr(-1)) and the forced vital capacity (FVC) (-19 mL x yr(-1)) were associated with ClO2/SO2 gassings. At follow-up, the prevalence of chronic airflow limitation (i.e. FEV1/FVC less than the lower limit of normal) was elevated for participants with only pre-baseline ozone gassings and with both pre-baseline and interval ozone gassings, after controlling for potential confounders. These findings suggest that obstructive effects among bleachery workers are associated with ozone gassings, and that adverse effects on spirometry might also accompany chlorine dioxide/sulphur dioxide gassings. Peak exposures to irritant gases in pulp mills should be prevented.
Paper mill workers are exposed to culturable microorganisms (MOs). We hypothesized that inflammatory airway response could be detected in sputum of nonsymptomatic workers. From four paper mills, we included 29 healthy nonsmoking men. Workers exposed to high levels of MOs (HMOE, n = 17) were compared with workers exposed to low levels of MO (LMOE, n = 12). A reference group of 22 healthy, nonsmoking, nonexposed (NE) men were also included. We performed differential cell counts of induced sputum, studied gene expressions of isolated sputum macrophages and analyzed inflammatory parameters, including matrix metalloproteinases. Sputum from HMOE workers had a significantly higher percentage of neutrophils than that from LMOE workers (P
Since the 1980s, the pulp and paper industry in Finland has resulted in the accumulation of fibres in lake sediments. One such site in Lake Näsijärvi contains approximately 1.5 million m3 sedimented fibres. In this study, the methane production potential of the sedimented fibres (on average 13% total solids (TS)) was determined in batch assays. Furthermore, the methane production from solid (on average 20% TS) and liquid fractions of sedimented fibres after solid-liquid separation was studied. The sedimented fibres resulted in fast methane production and high methane yields of 250?±?80?L CH4/kg volatile solids (VS). The main part (ca. 90%) of the methane potential was obtained from the solid fraction of the sedimented fibres. In addition, the VS removal from the total and solid sedimented fibres was high, 61-65% and 63-78%, respectively. The liquid fraction also contained a large amount of organics (on average 8.8?g COD/L), treatment of which also has to be considered. The estimations of the methane production potentials in the case area showed potential up to 40 million m3 of methane from sedimented fibres.
The Arctic Studies Center conducts research on northern lands, environments, cultures, and people using Smithsonian collections and field studies to learn about the history and contemporary peoples of the circumpolar region. The Center works closely with indigenous groups, universities, organizations and government agencies to promote the welfare of northern people and to educate the public about the history, arts, and languages of the North. Its scholars publish papers, monographs, and catalogs and prepare exhibitions and educational programs.
The aim of the study was to assess occupational exposure to bisphenol A in Finland. Five companies took part in the research project: two paint factories (liquid and powder paints), a composite product factory, a thermal paper factory, and a tractor factory. Exposure was assessed by measuring total bisphenol A excretion (free and conjugated) from urine samples, and its concentrations in the air. The results revealed the specific work tasks in two of five companies in which significant occupational exposure to bisphenol A may occur. In the manufacturing of liquid paint hardener, urine samples collected after the working day showed bisphenol A levels of up to 100-170 µg l-1. Workers in thermal paper manufacturing were also exposed to bisphenol A, especially those working in the manufacture of coating material and operating coating machines. Median concentrations of the post-shift urine samples of coating machine workers were in the range of 130-250 µg l-1. The highest bisphenol A concentrations were in the range of 1000-1500 µg l-1. Recommendations for more effective personal protection resulted in decreased exposure, particularly among coating machine operators. In the rest of the companies, urinary bisphenol A levels were typically in the range of those of the general population. Bisphenol A concentrations in air samples were typically low (
There was made the characterization of the health risk for workers' of pulp and paper industry, under the simultaneous effects of chemicals in the residential and working area. The main adverse effect of chemicals that pollute the air and work environment is related with the impact on the respiratory system. Under the successive exposure (ambient air--air in the workplace) in the adult population working at the Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill, the risk of occurrence of respiratory diseases (HI = 18.5) and individual carcinogenic risk (CR = 9.7 x 10(-3)) have been rated as high and constitute 86-99% of the total risk.
At a public office with a staff of 129, twenty people work for short periods with large amounts of self-copying paper. A controlled study has shown a significantly higher incidence of pruritus and nasal congestion amongst staff exposed to large amounts of self-copying paper or its components, no drying of the skin after working with the paper and no increased degree of irritation of the skin were found in the study group at dermatological examination. No differences were found between the study group and the control group with respect to allergy or skin status or working conditions apart from the contact with self-copying paper. The study confirms that contact with fresh self-copying paper may result in pruritus and skin irritation, but allergy to the paper or microcapsule contents could not be demonstrated in this study.