The primary objectives of this study were (a) to measure potential exposures of applicators and assistants to airborne methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), (b) to measure airborne concentrations of MDI at various distances from the spray foam application, and (c) to measure airborne MDI concentrations as a function of time elapsed since application. Other study objectives were, (a) to compare the results from filter and impinger samples; (b) to determine the particle size distribution in the spray foam aerosol; (c) to determine potential exposures to dichlorofluoroethane; and (d) to measure any off-gassing of MDI after the foam had fully cured. This study was conducted during application of spray polyurethane foam inside five single-family homes under construction in the United States and Canada. Spray foam applicators and assistants may be exposed to airborne MDI concentrations above the OSHA permissible exposure limit. At these concentrations, OSHA recommends appropriate respiratory protection during spray foam application to prevent airborne MDI exposures above established limits and to protect against exposure to dichlorofluoroethane (HCFC-141b). Airborne MDI concentrations decrease rapidly after foam application ceases. The highest airborne concentrations measured after 15 min and 45 min were 0.019 mg/m3 and 0.003 mg/m3, respectively. After 45 min, airborne concentrations were below the limit of quantitation (LOQ) of 0.036-microg per sample. For samples taken 24 hours after completion of foaming, results were also below the LOQ. Approximately two-thirds of the total mass of the airborne particles in the spray foam aerosol was greater than 3.5 microns in diameter. Airborne MDI concentrations determined by filter sampling methods were 6% to 40% lower than those determined by impinger methods.
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.
The purpose of occupational exposure limits values (OELs) is to regulate exposure to chemicals and minimize the risk of health effects at work. National authorities are responsible for the setting and updating of national OELs. In addition, the EU sets indicative occupational exposure limit values (IOELVs), which have to be considered by the Member States. Under the new European legislation on chemicals (REACH), manufacturers and importers are obliged to establish derived no-effect levels (DNELs) for chemicals that are manufactured or imported in quantities >10 tonnes per year. Chemical safety data sheets must report both OELs and the DNEL values, if such have been set. This may cause confusion at workplaces, especially if the values differ from each other. In this study, we explored how EU IOELVs and Finnish national OELs [Haitallisiksi tunnetut pitoisuudet (HTP) values] correlate with worker inhalation DNELs for substances registered under REACH. The long-term DNEL value for workers (inhalation) was identical to the corresponding IOELV for the majority of the substances (64/87 cases). Comparison of DNELs with HTP values revealed that the values were identical or close to each other in 159 cases (49%), whereas the DNEL was considerably higher in 69 cases, and considerably lower in 87 cases. Examples of cases with high differences between Finnish national OELs and DNELs are given. However, as the DNELs were not systematically lower than the OELs, the default assessment factors suggested by REACH technical guidance had obviously not been used in many of the REACH registrations.
The authors proved relationship between congenital abnormalities in children and influence of chemical factors (methanol and formaldehyde production) on the parents. Higher risk of congenital abnormalities was seen: PR = 5.6 (chi2 = 3.54; p = 0.00001), EF = 0.95. These disorders could be connected with work conditions--exceeded MAC for methanol 3.9-fold, that for formaldehyde--2.4-fold.
Influenza poses concerns about epidemic respiratory infection. Interventions designed to prevent the spread of respiratory infection within family physician (FP) offices could potentially have a significant positive influence on the health of Canadians. The main purpose of this paper is to estimate the explicit costs of such an intervention.
A cost analysis of a respiratory infection control was conducted. The costs were estimated from the perspective of provincial government. In addition, a threshold analysis was conducted to estimate a threshold value of the intervention's effectiveness that could generate potential savings in terms of averted health-care costs by the intervention that exceed the explicit costs. The informational requirements for these implicit costs savings are high, however. Some of these elements, such as the cost of hospitalization in the event of contacting influenza, and the number of patients passing through the physicians' office, were readily available. Other pertinent points of information, such as the proportion of infected people who require hospitalization, could be imported from the existing literature. We take an indirect approach to calculate a threshold value for the most uncertain piece of information, namely the reduction in the probability of the infection spreading as a direct result of the intervention, at which the intervention becomes worthwhile.
The 5-week intervention costs amounted to a total of $52,810.71, or $131,094.73 prorated according to the length of the flu season, or $512,729.30 prorated for the entire calendar year. The variable costs that were incurred for this 5-week project amounted to approximately $923.16 per participating medical practice. The (fixed) training costs per practice were equivalent to $73.27 for the 5-week intervention, or $28.14 for 13-week flu season, or $7.05 for an entire one-year period.
Based on our conservative estimates for the direct cost savings, there are indications that the outreach facilitation intervention program would be cost effective if it can achieve a reduction in the probability of infection on the order of 0.83 (0.77, 1.05) percentage points. A facilitation intervention initiative tailored to the environment and needs of the family medical practice and walk-in clinics is of promise for improving respiratory infection control in the physicians' offices.
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A field study was done to evaluate different seat designs in the aspect of minimizing vibration transmission and reducing the level of discomfort experienced by drivers subjected to transient vibration. Two seat designs (sliding or fixed in the horizontal direction) were compared in an experiment based on variation of sitting posture, speed, and type of obstacle. The comparison was done by assessing discomfort and perceived motion and by vibration measurement. Ten professional drivers were used as participants. Maximum Transient Vibration Value and Vibration Dose Value were used in the evaluation. The results showed that a sliding seat is superior in attenuating vibration containing transient vibration in the horizontal direction. It was also perceived as giving less overall and low back discomfort compared to a fixed seat.
In this study the data of multiyear investigations of occupational and environmental hazards at different enterprises of the Russian aluminum industry are presented. Basing on these data, we have been elaborated the algorithm and methodological approaches on management of the occupational and ecology-related risks using hygienic safety criteria, risk evaluation technique, epidemiological and economic analysis.
Swedish foundries have a long tradition of legally required surveys in the workplace that, from the late 1960s onwards, included measurements of quartz. The availability of exposure data spanning almost 40 years presents a unique opportunity to study trends over that time and to evaluate the validity of exposure models based on data from shorter time spans. The aims of this study were (i) to investigate long-term trends in quartz exposure over time, (ii) using routinely collected quartz exposure measurements to develop a mathematical model that could predict both historical and current exposure patterns, and (iii) to validate this exposure model with up-to-date measurements from a targeted survey of the industry.
Eleven foundries, representative of the Swedish iron foundry industry, were divided into three groups based on the size of the companies, i.e. the number of employees. A database containing 2333 quartz exposure measurements for 11 different job descriptions was used to create three models that covered time periods which reflected different work conditions and production processes: a historical model (1968-1989), a development model (1990-2004), and a validation model (2005-2006). A linear mixed model for repeated measurements was used to investigate trends over time. In all mixed models, time period, company size, and job title were included as fixed (categorical) determinants of exposure. The within- and between-worker variances were considered to be random effects. A linear regression analysis was performed to investigate agreement between the models. The average exposure was estimated for each combination of job title and company size.
A large reduction in exposure (51%) was seen between 1968 and 1974 and between 1975 and 1979 (28%). In later periods, quartz exposure was reduced by 8% per 5 years at best. In the first period, employees at smaller companies experienced ~50% higher exposure levels than those at large companies, but these differences became much smaller in later years. The furnace and ladle repair job were associated with the highest exposure, with 3.9-8.0 times the average exposure compared to the lowest exposed group. Without adjusting for this autonomous trend over time, predicting early historical exposures using our development model resulted in a statistically significant regression coefficient of 2.42 (R(2) = 0.81), indicating an underestimation of historical exposure levels. Similar patterns were seen for other historical time periods. Comparing our development model with our validation model resulted in a statistically significant regression coefficient of 0.31, indicating an overestimation of current exposure levels.
To investigate long-term trends in quartz exposure over time, overall linear trends can be determined by using mixed model analysis. To create individual exposure measures to predict historical exposures, it is necessary to consider factors such as the time period, type of job, type of company, and company size. The mixed model analysis showed systematic changes in concentration levels, implying that extrapolation of exposure estimates outside the range of years covered by measurements may result in underestimation or overestimation of exposure.
This study was initiated to determine and compare daily occupational exposure (OE) and non-occupational exposure (NOE) of three employee groups of teachers, maintenance workers and secretarial staff in a Canadian school district. The time-weighted average (TWA) individual OE for subjects ranged from 0.4-3.8 milligauss (mG), and the TWA NOE ranged from 0.2-7.1 mG. TWA OE and NOE were 1.2 mG and 1.5 mG for teachers, 1.8 mG and 1.2 mG for maintenance workers, and 2.9 mG and 2.1 mG for secretarial staff. The differences between TWA OE and NOE of each group and also among the three groups were not statistically significant. OE and NOE of secretarial staff exceeded 10 mG 9.0% and 6.4% of the time--significantly (p