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The Flowers That Bloom In The Spring - Tra-la! At last the crocuses have bloomed.There is something about the first flower of spring that changes everything. It signals, to me at least, the beginning of the gardening season.I've been pulling up weeds from the rose beds for a few weeks now. For the most part, the roses themselves seem to have handled the winter well. Rosa multiflora already has leaves. Rosa akransana and Rosa woodsii ultramontana are budding out; the latter of which (which normally do <br /><a href="http://www.wunderground.com/blog/fa/comment.html?entrynum=4">Read More</a>...
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The Annals, v2.0 - <span class="paragraphSection">With this issue, I am excited to introduce the ?<span style="font-style:italic;">Annals of Work Exposures and Health</span>?. After publishing 60 volumes of the <span style="font-style:italic;">Annals of Occupational Hygiene</span>, and through a lengthy process of consultation, surveys, and analysis, the editors determined that the future would be best served by a change in the role of the journal and that this could be best accomplished through a name change and a widening of its scope.</span>...
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Managing Asbestos-Containing Materials in the Built Environment: Report of a Health and Safety Executive and Government Office for Science Workshop - <span class="paragraphSection"><div class="boxTitle">Abstract</div>The duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises is described in <a href="#CIT0013" class="reflinks">the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012</a>. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) policy and guidance on asbestos in the built environment in Great Britain is that asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) that are in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed can be managed in place. Where ACMs are in poor condition or likely to be disturbed they should be repaired, encapsulated or, if necessary, removed. HSE and Government Office for Science hosted a stakeholder workshop to consider evidence on the management of ACMs in public buildings. Invitees attended from a range of backgrounds (including regulatory, government, academic, medical, public interest groups, and professional service providers). Participants considered the evidence, suggested nine evidence gap areas and ranked these accordin...
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Indoor Air Quality in Photocopy Centers, Nanoparticle Exposures at Photocopy Workstations, and the Need for Exposure Controls - <span class="paragraphSection"><div class="boxTitle">Abstract</div><div class="boxTitle">Background:</div>Photocopiers emit large amounts of nanoparticles (NP) and are a significant source of indoor air pollution. These emissions induce airway inflammation, irritation, and systemic oxidative stress in humans, lung injury and inflammation in animals, and cytotoxicity and epigenetic modifications <span style="font-style:italic;">in vitro</span>. However, little is known regarding NP exposures at the workstation in the photocopy work environment, or the extent and use of emission controls.<div class="boxTitle">Objective:</div>To survey the photocopy work environment with regards to emissions controls and to evaluate IAQ with emphasis on NP exposure at the operator?s workstation.<div class="boxTitle">Methods:</div>Work process, physical characteristics of the centers, and use of controls were recorded. Particle total number ...
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Exploring Manganese Fractionation Using a Sequential Extraction Method to Evaluate Welders? Gas Metal Arc Welding Exposures during Heavy Equipment Manufacturing - <span class="paragraphSection"><div class="boxTitle">Abstract</div>The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has conducted an occupational exposure assessment study of manganese (Mn) in welding fume at three factories where heavy equipment was manufactured. The objective of this study was to evaluate exposures to different Mn fractions using a sequential extraction procedure. One hundred nine worker-days were monitored for either total or respirable Mn during gas metal arc welding. The samples were analyzed using an experimental method to separate different Mn fractions based on selective chemical solubility. The full-shift total particle size Mn time-weighted average (TWA) breathing zone concentrations ranged 0.38?26 for soluble Mn in a mild ammonium acetate solution; 3.2?170 for Mn<sup>0,2+</sup> in acetic acid; 3.1?290 for Mn<sup>3+,4+</sup> in hydroxylamine-hydrochloride; and non-detectable (ND)?130 g m<sup>?3...
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Evaluation of a Training Program to Reduce Stressful Trunk Postures in the Nursing Professions: A Pilot Study - <span class="paragraphSection"><div class="boxTitle">Abstract</div><div class="boxTitle">Objectives:</div>The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate metrologically the effectiveness of a training program on the reduction of stressful trunk postures in geriatric nursing professions.<div class="boxTitle">Methods:</div>A training program, consisting of instruction on body postures in nursing, practical ergonomic work methods at the bedside or in the bathroom, reorganization of work equipment, and physical exercises, was conducted in 12 wards of 6 nursing homes in Germany. The Computer-Assisted Recording and Long-Term Analysis of Musculoskeletal Loads (CUELA) measurement system was used to evaluate all movements and trunk postures adopted during work before and 6 months after the training program. In total, 23 shifts were measured. All measurements were supported by video recordings. A specific software program (WIDAAN 2.75) was used to synchroniz...
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National Estimates of Exposure to Formaldehyde in Italian Workplaces - <span class="paragraphSection"><div class="boxTitle">Abstract</div><div class="boxTitle">Purpose:</div>Formaldehyde is classified as human carcinogen and the association with nasopharyngeal cancer has been observed in many epidemiological studies. The aim of this study is to evaluate data about occupational exposure levels to formaldehyde in the Italian working force.<div class="boxTitle">Methods:</div>Airborne concentrations of formaldehyde were extracted from the Italian database on occupational exposure to carcinogens and refer to the period 1996?2014. Descriptive statistics were calculated for exposure-related variables. The number of workers potentially exposed was estimated for the activity sectors better characterized in the database. An analysis through linear mixed models was performed to determine factors influencing the exposure level.<div class="boxTitle">Results:</div>A total of 1610 formaldehyde exposure measurements w...
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Assessment of Occupational Exposure to Bisphenol A in Five Different Production Companies in Finland - <span class="paragraphSection"><div class="boxTitle">Abstract</div>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 g l<sup>?1</sup>. 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 u...
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Evaluating Exposure?Response Associations for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma with Varying Methods of Assigning Cumulative Benzene Exposure in the Shanghai Women?s Health Study - <span class="paragraphSection"><div class="boxTitle">Abstract</div><div class="boxTitle">Objectives:</div>To provide insight into the contributions of exposure measurements to job exposure matrices (JEMs), we examined the robustness of an association between occupational benzene exposure and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) to varying exposure assessment methods.<div class="boxTitle">Methods:</div>NHL risk was examined in a prospective population-based cohort of 73087 women in Shanghai. A mixed-effects model that combined a benzene JEM with >60000 short-term, area benzene inspection measurements was used to derive two sets of measurement-based benzene estimates: ?job/industry-specific? estimates (our presumed best approach) were derived from the model?s fixed effects (year, JEM intensity rating) and random effects (occupation, industry); ?calibrated JEM? estimates were derived using only the fixed effects. ?Uncalibrated JEM? (using the ordinal JEM...
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A Method for Constructing Informative Priors for Bayesian Modeling of Occupational Hygiene Data - <span class="paragraphSection"><div class="boxTitle">Abstract</div>In many occupational hygiene settings, the demand for more accurate, more precise results is at odds with limited resources. To combat this, practitioners have begun using Bayesian methods to incorporate prior information into their statistical models in order to obtain more refined inference from their data. This is not without risk, however, as incorporating prior information that disagrees with the information contained in data can lead to spurious conclusions, particularly if the prior is <span style="font-style:italic;">too</span> informative. In this article, we propose a method for constructing informative prior distributions for normal and lognormal data that are intuitive to specify and robust to bias. To demonstrate the use of these priors, we walk practitioners through a step-by-step implementation of our priors using an illustrative example. We then conclude with recommendations...
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Bivariate Left-Censored Bayesian Model for Predicting Exposure: Preliminary Analysis of Worker Exposure during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill - <span class="paragraphSection"><div class="boxTitle">Abstract</div>In April 2010, the <span style="font-style:italic;">Deepwater Horizon</span> oil rig caught fire and exploded, releasing almost 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over the ensuing 3 months. Thousands of oil spill workers participated in the spill response and clean-up efforts. The GuLF STUDY being conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is an epidemiological study to investigate potential adverse health effects among these oil spill clean-up workers. Many volatile chemicals were released from the oil into the air, including total hydrocarbons (THC), which is a composite of the volatile components of oil including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and hexane (BTEXH). Our goal is to estimate exposure levels to these toxic chemicals for groups of oil spill workers in the study (hereafter called exposure groups, EGs) with likely comparable exposu...
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Qualitative and Semiquantitative Assessment of Exposure to Engineered Nanomaterials within the French EpiNano Program: Inter- and Intramethod Reliability Study - <span class="paragraphSection"><div class="boxTitle">Abstract</div>The relatively recent development of industries working with nanomaterials has created challenges for exposure assessment. In this article, we propose a relatively simple approach to assessing nanomaterial exposures for the purposes of epidemiological studies of workers in these industries. This method consists of an onsite industrial hygiene visit of facilities carried out individually and a description of workstations where nano-objects and their agglomerates and aggregates (NOAA) are present using a standardized tool, the Onsite technical logbook. To assess its reliability, we implemented this approach for assessing exposure to NOAA in workplaces at seven workstations which synthesize and functionalize carbon nanotubes. The prediction of exposure to NOAA using this method exhibited substantial agreement with that of the reference method, the latter being based on an onsite group visit, an expert?s r...
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Assessment of Determinants of Emission Potentially Affecting the Concentration of Airborne Nano-Objects and Their Agglomerates and Aggregates - <span class="paragraphSection"><div class="boxTitle">Abstract</div><div class="boxTitle">Background:</div>Nano-specific inhalation exposure models could potentially be effective tools to assess and control worker exposure to nano-objects, and their aggregates and agglomerates (NOAA). However, due to the lack of reliable and consistent collected NOAA exposure data, the scientific basis for validation of the existing NOAA exposure models is missing or limited. The main objective of this study was to gain more insight into the effect of various determinants underlying the potential on the concentration of airborne NOAA close to the source with the purpose of providing a scientific basis for existing and future exposure inhalation models.<div class="boxTitle">Method:</div>Four experimental studies were conducted to investigate the effect of 11 determinants of emission on the concentration airborne NOAA close to the source during dumping of ~100% na...
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Creating a Future for Occupational Health - <span class="paragraphSection"><div class="boxTitle">Abstract</div><div class="boxTitle">Objectives:</div>Economic, social, technical, and political drivers are fundamentally changing the nature of work and work environments, with profound implications for the field of occupational health. Nevertheless, researchers and practitioners entering the field are largely being trained to assess and control exposures using approaches developed under old models of work and risks.<div class="boxTitle">Methods:</div>A speaker series and symposium were organized to broadly explore current challenges and future directions for the occupational health field. Broad themes identified throughout these discussions are characterized and discussed to highlight important future directions of occupational health.<div class="boxTitle">Findings:</div>Despite the relatively diverse group of presenters and topics addressed, some important cross-cutting themes ...
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