In a cross-sectional study, 96 welders were compared with 96 control subjects. Also 27 former welders, all diagnosed as having manganism, were examined. Exposure to welding fumes was determined in the 96 welders, while the concentration of elements in whole blood and urine was determined in all subjects. The geometric mean (GM) concentrations of manganese (Mn) and iron in the workroom air were 97 microg m(-3) (range 3-4620 microg m(-3); n=188) and 894 microg m(-3) (range 106-20 300 microg m(-3); n=188), respectively. Thus the Mn concentration in the workroom air was on average 10.6% (GM) of that of the Fe concentration. No substantial difference was observed in the air Mn concentrations when welding mild steel as compared to welding stainless steel. The arithmetic mean (AM) concentration of Mn in whole blood (B-Mn) was about 25% higher in the welders compared to the controls (8.6 vs. 6.9 microg l(-1); p
Vanadium, Cr, and Ni accumulating in a Swiss peat bog since 12 370 14C yr B.P. have been measured using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) after acid dissolution in a microwave autoclave. Strict quality control schemes were applied to guarantee the accuracy of the applied analytical methodology. The concentration gradients in the peat column and comparison with Pb indicate that V, Cr, and Ni are effectively immobile in the ombrotrophic section of the peat profile but that Ni is added to the minerotrophic peat layers by chemical weathering of the underlying sediments. The lowest metal concentrations were found during the Holocene climate optimum (5320-8230 14C yr B.P.) when "natural background" values averaged 0.55 +/- 0.13 microg g(-1) V, 0.76 +/- 0.17 microg g(-1) Cr, and 0.46 +/- 0.09 microg g(-1) Ni (n = 18); given the average bulk density (0.05 g/cm3) and accumulation rate (0.05 cm/ yr) of peat in this zone, the corresponding atmospheric fluxes are approximately 14, 19, and 12 microg m(-2) yr(-1) for V, Cr, and Ni, respectively. The highest concentrations of V, Cr, and Ni were found during the Younger Dryas cold climate event (centered at 10 590 14C yr B.P.) when background values were exceeded by about 40 times. Elevated concentrations and accumulation rates were also found at 8230 and 5320 14C yr B.P., which are consistent with the elevated dust fluxes recorded by Greenland ice cores. By far the greatest contribution of the three elements to the peat inventory is atmospheric soil dust, and the metal fluxes vary not only with climate change but also land-use history (especially the beginning of forest clearing for agriculture ca. 6 millennia ago). The V/Sc, Cr/Sc, and Ni/ Sc ratios were remarkably similar to their corresponding ratios in the earth's crust until the onset of the Industrial Revolution (240 14C yr B.P.), which largely validates the use of crustal concentrations for calculating enrichment factors (EF) for these elements. In modern samples, the EFs of V, Cr, and Ni reach maximum values between 2.4 and 4.1, relative to background; anthropogenic emissions are a more likely explanation of the elevated EFs than either plant uptake or chemical diagenesis. This study demonstrates the usefulness of peat bogs as archives of atmospheric metal deposition and underpins the potential of peat cores to help distinguish between lithogenic and anthropogenic metal sources.
A biosurvey in the Danish metal industry measured the genotoxic exposure from stainless steel welding. The study comprised measurements of chromosomal aberrations (CA), sister-chromatid exchanges (SCE), unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) in peripheral lymphocytes and serum immunoglobulin G. Environmental monitoring of welding fumes and selected metal oxides, biomonitoring of chromium and nickel in serum and urine and mutagenic activity in urine, and evaluation of semen quality were also done. Manual metal arc (MMA) welding and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding were the dominant welding processes. A higher frequency of chromosomal aberrations, classified as translocations, double minutes, exchanges and rings, was observed in stainless steel welders than in non-welders. SCE was lower in welders working with both MMA and TIG welding than in reference persons. N-Acetoxy-N-acetylaminofluorene (NA-AAF)-induced UDS was lower in 23 never-smoking welders than in 19 unexposed never-smokers. Smoking was a confounding factor resulting in significantly higher CA, SCE, NA-AAF binding to DNA and mutagenic activity in urine. Age was also a confounder: CA, SCE, NA-AAF binding to DNA and UDS increased significantly with age. No significant correlation between SCE and CA or between CA and UDS was found. UDS decreased significantly with increasing lymphocyte count and a higher lymphocyte count was seen in MMA welders than in reference persons and in smokers than in non-smokers. Differences in the composition among lymphocytes in exposed persons compared with non-exposed are suggested. MMA welding gave the highest exposure to chromium, an increased number of chromosomal aberrations and a decrease in SCE when compared with TIG welding. Consequently improvements in the occupational practice of stainless steel welding with MMA is recommended.
The cancer incidence in a historical cohort of 10,059 metal workers employed during the period 1964-1984 was investigated. Standardized incidence ratios (SIR) were calculated based on registry extracts from the Danish Cancer registry. Lifetime exposure data (occupational and other) were obtained by a postal questionnaire in living cohort members and interviews by proxy for deceased and emigrated subjects. The incidence of lung cancer was increased among workers ever "employed as welders" (SIR = 1.38, 95% C.I. 1.03-1.81). There was a significant excess risk of lung cancer among "mild steel (MS) only welders" (SIR = 1.61, 95% C.I. 1.07-2.33) and "nonwelders" (SIR = 1.69, 95% C.I. 1.23-2.26) (indicating carcinogenic exposures other than welding), a borderline significant lung cancer excess among "MS ever welders" (SIR = 1.32, 95% C.I. 0.97-1.76), and a nonsignificant excess risk of lung cancer among "stainless steel (SS) only welders" (SIR = 2.38, 95% C.I. 0.77-5.55). In spite of signs of inconsistency in the risk estimation by duration and latency, we find the results support the conclusions of other studies: employment as a welder is associated with an increased lung cancer risk.
The mortality pattern among 86 men was determined to investigate the possible hazards of polishing steel. The men had polished steel with polishing paste for at least five years. The polishing pastes had contained tallow, beeswax, carnauba wax, alundum, carborundum, ferric oxide, and chalk. A total of 18 men had died compared with 13.3 expected. Four had died of stomach cancer compared with 0.44 expected (p less than 0.005). The mortality for other causes of death was not increased. The study does not permit any definite conclusion but indicates a possible cancer hazard among polishers.
The concentration of carbon monoxide in the air of 67 iron, steel, or copper alloy foundries using sand molding was measured. About 1,100 carbon monoxide determinations were made. High concentrations of carbon monoxide were found in the area around the cupolas and the casting sites in iron foundries. The blood carboxyhemoglobin levels of 145 workers from iron foundries were measured. The carboxyhemoglobin level of 6% was exceeded in 26% of the nonsmokers and in 71% of the smokers.
Although stainless steel has been produced for more than a hundred years, exposure-related mortality data for production workers are limited.
To describe cause-specific mortality in Finnish ferrochromium and stainless steel workers.
We studied Finnish stainless steel production chain workers employed between 1967 and 2004, from chromite mining to cold rolling of stainless steel, divided into sub-cohorts by production units with specific exposure patterns. We obtained causes of death for the years 1971-2012 from Statistics Finland. We calculated standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) as ratios of observed and expected numbers of deaths based on population mortality rates of the same region.
Among 8088 workers studied, overall mortality was significantly decreased (SMR 0.77; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.70-0.84), largely due to low mortality from diseases of the circulatory system (SMR 0.71; 95% CI 0.61-0.81). In chromite mine, stainless steel melting shop and metallurgical laboratory workers, the SMR for circulatory disease was below 0.4 (SMR 0.33; 95% CI 0.07-0.95, SMR 0.22; 95% CI 0.05-0.65 and SMR 0.16; 95% CI 0.00-0.90, respectively). Mortality from accidents (SMR 0.84; 95% CI 0.67-1.04) and suicides (SMR 0.72; 95% CI 0.56-0.91) was also lower than in the reference population.
Working in the Finnish ferrochromium and stainless steel industry appears not to be associated with increased mortality.
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Clinical investigation have been done in adult patients with broken mandible during 3 weeks of conservative treatment with aluminum splints (1st group, n = 17) or steel splints (2nd group, n = 16) in comparison with health adults (control group, n = 18). The neutrophil emigration into alterative locus and their degranulation as well as phagocytic activity of peripheral blood neutrophils were tested. It was found that aluminum splint application caused the intensive inflammation and then the depression of local host defense reactions. Treatment with steel splints did not lead to neutrophil function depletion or to hyper-intensification of inflammatory reaction in patients. The increased values of neutrophil reactions were normalized in this group at the final period of the treatment. The examined trial ensures our accurate method in treatment of patients with broken mandible. The determination of local host defense state may be proposed as preferable simple express-method of evaluation of immune status, treatment efficiency and prognosis in these patients.
This study describes workers' exposure to fine and ultrafine particles in the production chain of ferrochromium and stainless steel during sintering, ferrochromium smelting, stainless steel melting, and hot and cold rolling operations. Workers' personal exposure to inhalable dust was assessed using IOM sampler with a cellulose acetate filter (AAWP, diameter 25 mm; Millipore, Bedford, MA). Filter sampling methods were used to measure particle mass concentrations in fixed locations. Particle number concentrations and size distributions were examined using an SMPS+C sequential mobile particle sizer and counter (series 5.400, Grimm Aerosol Technik, Ainring, Germany), and a hand-held condensation particle counter (CPC, model 3007, TSI Incorporated, MN). The structure and elemental composition of particles were analyzed using TEM-EDXA (TEM: JEM-1220, JEOL, Tokyo, Japan; EDXA: Noran System Six, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Madison,WI). Workers' personal exposure to inhalable dust averaged 1.87, 1.40, 2.34, 0.30, and 0.17 mg m(-3) in sintering plant, ferrochromium smelter, stainless steel melting shop, hot rolling mill, and the cold rolling mill, respectively. Particle number concentrations measured using SMPS+C varied from 58 × 10(3) to 662 × 10(3) cm(-3) in the production areas, whereas concentrations measured using SMPS+C and CPC3007 in control rooms ranged from 24 × 10(3) to 243 × 10(3) cm(-3) and 5.1 × 10(3) to 97 × 10(3) cm(-3), respectively. The elemental composition and the structure of particles in different production phases varied. In the cold-rolling mill non-process particles were abundant. In other sites, chromium and iron originating from ore and recycled steel scrap were the most common elements in the particles studied. Particle mass concentrations were at the same level as that reported earlier. However, particle number measurements showed a high amount of ultrafine particles, especially in sintering, alloy smelting and melting, and tapping operations. Particle number concentration and size distribution measurements provide important information regarding exposure to ultrafine particles, which cannot be seen in particle mass measurements.