- Neurological risk assessment of co-exposure to heavy metals (chromium and nickel) in chromium-electroplating workers. [Journal Article]
- WORKWork 2019 Jun 18
- CONCLUSIONS: The chromium-matched electroplaters have no significant difference in AChE activity. It can be concluded that cholinergic inhibition with chromium (VI) is higher than nickel (II) exposure.
- DNA effects of low level occupational exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (50/60 Hz). [Journal Article]
- TIToxicol Ind Health 2019 May 28; :748233719851697
- CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to ELF-MF at levels less than the ACGIH exposure limit can produce DNA strand breaks.
- Effectiveness of engineering interventions in decreasing worker exposure to metalworking fluid aerosols. [Journal Article]
- STSci Total Environ 2019 Apr 01; 659:923-927
- Machine industry accounts for the highest proportion of primary industry in Taiwan. Long-term exposure to metalworking fluid aerosols may pose significant threats to the health of workers. The aims o…
Machine industry accounts for the highest proportion of primary industry in Taiwan. Long-term exposure to metalworking fluid aerosols may pose significant threats to the health of workers. The aims of this study were to verify the efficacy of intervention methods in reducing airborne bacterial concentrations as well as effects on aerosol particle size distribution. This study evaluated airborne bacterial concentrations in a large precision machinery factory in Taichung, Taiwan, before and after the implementation of intervention methods. The installation of local exhaust systems and improvement of the operation mode were used as intervention methods. Concentration and size distribution of bacteria in the metal working environment were assessed using Andersen one-stage and six-stage viable impactors, respectively. The analytical results indicate that most bacterial concentrations were less than the recommended concentrations in the indoor air quality standards (500 CFU/m3) proposed by the United States Association of Advancing Occupational and Environmental Health (US ACGIH) before the installation of local exhaust systems. There was no significant difference in bacterial concentrations before and after the installation of the local exhaust and the intervention effect on reducing bacterial exposure was not as expected. The bacterial concentrations were significantly lowered in the Z region after improving the operation mode. The particle size of bioaerosols <7.0 μm was also substantially reduced. Improper operation modes are likely to expose employees to higher concentrations of bacteria within a short time period. It recommends adjusting the metal processing methods and proper use of air spray guns for decreasing high airborne bacterial concentrations exposure.
- The accuracy of a 2D video-based lifting monitor. [Journal Article]
- EErgonomics 2019 May 28; :1-12
- A widely used risk prediction tool, the revised NIOSH lifting equation (RNLE), provides the recommended weight limit (RWL), but is limited by analyst subjectivity, experience, and resources. This pap…
A widely used risk prediction tool, the revised NIOSH lifting equation (RNLE), provides the recommended weight limit (RWL), but is limited by analyst subjectivity, experience, and resources. This paper describes a robust, non-intrusive, straightforward approach to automatically extract spatial and temporal factors necessary for the RNLE using a single video camera in the sagittal plane. The participant's silhouette is segmented by motion information and the novel use of a ghosting effect provides accurate detection of lifting instances, and hand and feet location prediction. Laboratory tests using 6 participants, each performing 36 lifts, showed that a nominal 640 pixel × 480 pixel 2D video, in comparison to 3D motion capture, provided RWL estimations within 0.2 kg (SD = 1.0 kg). The linear regression between the video and 3D tracking RWL was R2 = 0.96 (slope = 1.0, intercept = 0.2 kg). Since low definition video was used in order to synchronise with motion capture, better performance is anticipated using high definition video. Practitioner's summary: An algorithm for automatically calculating the revised NIOSH lifting equation using a single video camera was evaluated in comparison to laboratory 3D motion capture. The results indicate that this method has suitable accuracy for practical use and may be, particularly, useful when multiple lifts are evaluated. Abbreviations: 2D: Two-dimensional; 3D: Three-dimensional; ACGIH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists; AM: asymmetric multiplier; BOL: beginning of lift; CM: coupling multiplier; DM: distance multiplier; EOL: end of lift; FIRWL: frequency independent recommended weight limit; FM: frequency multiplier; H: horizontal distance; HM: horizontal multiplier; IMU: inertial measurement unit; ISO: International Organization for Standardization; LC: load constant; NIOSH: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; RGB: red, green, blue; RGB-D: red, green, blue - depth; RNLE: revised NIOSH lifting equation; RWL: recommended weight limit; SD: standard deviation; TLV: threshold limit value; VM: vertical multiplier; V: vertical distance.
- The Impact of Heat on Health and Productivity among Maize Farmers in a Tropical Climate Area. [Journal Article]
- JEJ Environ Public Health 2019; 2019:9896410
- CONCLUSIONS: The farmers were frequently experiencing heat exhaustion which decreased their productivity.
- Assessment of Heat Stress Exposure among Construction Workers in the Hot Desert Climate of Saudi Arabia. [Journal Article]
- AWAnn Work Expo Health 2019 May 21; 63(5):505-520
- CONCLUSIONS: The extreme heat exposure represents a serious risk. The severity of heat stress and its impact are projected to increase due to climate change, emphasizing the need for immediate improvement of the current required protective measures and the development of occupational heat stress exposure guidelines in SA.
- Effect of hollow bit local exhaust ventilation on respirable quartz dust concentrations during concrete drilling. [Journal Article]
- JOJ Occup Environ Hyg 2019; 16(5):336-340
- Drilling large holes (e.g., 10-20 mm diameter) into concrete for structural upgrades to buildings, highways, bridges, and airport runways can produce concentrations of respirable silica dust well abo…
Drilling large holes (e.g., 10-20 mm diameter) into concrete for structural upgrades to buildings, highways, bridges, and airport runways can produce concentrations of respirable silica dust well above the ACGIH® Threshold Limit Value (TLV® = 0.025 mg/m3). The aim of this study was to evaluate a new method of local exhaust ventilation, hollow bit dust extraction, and compare it to a standard shroud local exhaust ventilation and to no local exhaust ventilation. A test bench system was used to drill 19 mm diameter x 100 mm depth holes every minute for one hour under three test conditions: no local exhaust ventilation, shroud local exhaust ventilation, and hollow bit local exhaust ventilation. There were two trials for each condition. Respirable dust sampling equipment was placed on a "sampling" mannequin fixed behind the drill and analysis followed ISO and NIOSH methods. Without local exhaust ventilation, mean respirable dust concentration was 3.32 (± 0.65) mg/m3 with a quartz concentration of 16.8% by weight and respirable quartz dust concentration was 0.55 (± 0.05) mg/m3; 22 times the ACGIH TLV. For both LEV conditions, respirable dust concentrations were below the limits of detection. Applying the 16.8% quartz value, respirable quartz concentrations for both local exhaust ventilation conditions were below 0.007 mg/m3. There was no difference in respirable quartz dust concentrations between the hollow bit and the shroud local exhaust ventilation systems; both were below the limits of detection and well below the ACGIH TLV. Contractors should consider using either local exhaust ventilation method for controlling respirable silica dust while drilling into concrete.
- Will worker DNELs derived under the European REACH regulation extend the landscape of occupational exposure guidance values? [Review]
- ATArch Toxicol 2019; 93(5):1187-1200
- Derived no-effect levels for workers (wDNELs) under the European REACH legislation have many aspects in common with occupational exposure limits (OELs). In an attempt to examine under which circumsta…
Derived no-effect levels for workers (wDNELs) under the European REACH legislation have many aspects in common with occupational exposure limits (OELs). In an attempt to examine under which circumstances wDNELs might be used as exposure guidance outside their intended application, we compared derivation methods, coverage of substances and numerical values of wDNELs against two regulatory OEL lists (European Commission and Sweden) and three sets of recommendations (European SCOEL, German MAK and US ACGIH). Finally, we looked closer at wDNELs where SCOEL concluded that data were insufficient to derive an OEL. Major differences between wDNELs and OELs include regulatory background, intended use, actors involved, substance selection criteria, transparency and procedure of derivation, and operationalisation in terms of risk management measures. As of summer 2018, approximately five times more substances were covered by wDNELs than by the five sets of OELs examined herein. Meanwhile, many occupationally relevant pollutants were not covered by wDNELs, e.g. one-third of Swedish OELs lack corresponding wDNELs. We also note that wDNELs and OELs for the same substance may vary considerably, up to several orders of magnitude. In conclusion, with extensive substance coverage, wDNELs extend the landscape beyond the OELs. That said, important limitations are (1) that many air pollutants relevant for workers' health are not covered by REACH, and (2) concerns for inconsistencies in the derivation of wDNELs and in their level of protection. In particular, that route-to-route extrapolation is a common practice that may be grossly misleading when the effect of concern is local, e.g. sensitisation.
- Estimating Occupational Heat Exposure From Personal Sampling of Public Works Employees in Birmingham, Alabama. [Journal Article]
- JOJ Occup Environ Med 2019; 61(6):518-524
- CONCLUSIONS: Temperatures from wearable thermometers, together with meteorological data, can serve as an additional method to identify occupational heat stress exposure and recommend work-rest schedules.
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- Noise characterization of "effective quiet" areas on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. [Journal Article]
- JOJ Occup Environ Hyg 2019; 16(5):329-335
- The purpose of this investigation was to characterize noise levels in spaces designated as "effective quiet" areas on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. Noise dosimetry samples were collected in 15 design…
The purpose of this investigation was to characterize noise levels in spaces designated as "effective quiet" areas on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. Noise dosimetry samples were collected in 15 designated spaces, representing 15 noise measurements, while at-sea during airwing carrier qualifications. Equivalent sound level (Leq) measurements were collected during flight operations (Leq (flt ops)), non-flight operations (Leq (non-flt ops)), and over 24-hr periods (Leq (24-hr)). These data were compared to the 70 dBA American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH®) Threshold Limit Value (TLV®) for "effective quiet" areas intended for temporary threshold shift recovery when personnel live and work in a potentially noise hazardous environment for periods greater than 24 hr. The monitored areas were selected based on personnel occupancy/use during off-duty time periods. Areas were classified by either (1) leisure areas that included mess (eating areas), gyms, lounges, an internet cafe, and the fantail social area or (2) berthing (sleeping) areas. The Leq measurements in decibels "A" weighted (dBA) were compared to determine significant differences between Leq (flt ops), Leq (non-flt ops), and Leq (24-hr) and were compared between leisure area and berthing area. Measured noise levels according to time period ranged as follows: (1) Leq (24-hr): 70.8-105.4 dBA; (2) Leq (flt ops): 70-101.2 dBA; and (3) Leq (non-flt ops): 39.4-104.6 dBA. All area measurements over the 24-hr period and during flight operations and 46.7% of the areas during the non-flight operation time period exceeded the "effective quiet" 70 dBA ACGIH TLV. Mean Leqs were 15 dBA higher during flight operations compared to non-flight operations in "effective quiet" areas (p = 0.001). The Leqs in leisure areas were significantly higher than berthing areas by approximately 21 dBA during non-flight operation periods (p = 0.001). Results suggest noise levels in "effective quiet" areas frequented by aircraft carrier personnel during off-duty hours when at-sea may inhibit auditory recovery from occupational noise exposures that occur on-duty.