Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 2333-3561 / 2333-357X
Published by: Scientific Research Publishing, Inc. (10.4236)
Total articles ≅ 91
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Erdenetsetseg Chuluun, Ganbayar Ganzorig, Bayartsetseg Ankhbayar, Ganbayar Luuzan, Davaalkham Dambadarjaa, Zorig Dungerdorj, Puntsag Chimedtseye
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 09, pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2021.91001

Introduction: Acute appendicitis (AA) in children is the primary cause of urgent surgery in pediatric patients. Diagnosis of AA continues to be a challenge, especially in the youngest children, who often present with abdominal pain accompanied by nonspecific signs. As epidemiological data on the relationship between acute appendicitis and environmental factors are relatively few and the issue is still controversial, we conducted this study which compared two groups of patients with complicated and noncomplicated appendicitis in a sample of patients admitted to a MNCMCH. The aim of this study was to determine the risk factors for complications in acute appendicitis in the paediatric population. Methods: Our study was performed on 1003 children admitted for suspected acute appendicitis and underwent appendectomy at the MNCMCH, Ulaanbaatar Mongolia, between January 2019 and December 2019. The diagnosis was based on the results of pathological examination. The two groups of complicated (gangrenous and perforated) and noncomplicated (catarrhal and phlegmonous) acute appendicitis were compared. Results: 1003 pediatric patients (≤18 years old) were suspected of having acute appendicitis and subsequently underwent surgery. From a total of 967 patients, 56% (n = 542) were male, 44% (n = 425) were female (gender ratio was 1.3:1). The histological examination noted that 33.1% were uncomplicated, 66.9% were complicated. While the incidence of acute appendicitis was higher during winter, the highest incidence of complicated appendicitis was observed equally in winter and autumn without significant association (p = 0.541). The months of December and March were marked by the highest incidence of AA. The highest incidence of complicated appendicitis was observed during the month of December (45%) with statistically significant difference (p < 0.001). Our study of the incidence of family history, allergy and family members was noted in complicated and noncomplicated group with statistically significant difference (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Pediatric acute appendicitis incidence is increased in winter months in Mongolia. Preventive measures to decrease morbidity and mortality associated with this disease can be taken during the winter seasons from December to March. However, further large-scale studies are needed to support this conclusion.
Huda Al Naemi, Kingsley Izuka, Catherine Edquibal, Noof Al-Korbi, Noora Al Kuwari, Maryam Al Homaid
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 09, pp 112-126; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2021.93009

A proper waste management system is very important in healthcare facilities because the overall benefit outweighs the cost. In the healthcare sector, hazardous health care waste (HHCW) consists of wastes that are potentially contaminated by dangerous agents. Identification and segregation of HHCW is harbinger for its proper management. The quantitative analysis study on HHCW had not been done in Qatar government hospitals. This study quantitatively analyzed the current practice for HHCW management in Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Qatar. The objective of this study is to provide a first comprehensive assessment of hazardous healthcare waste managements in Qatar and offers an opportunity to improve existing practice. This is a retrospective survey study carried out on secondary data collected from the department of occupational health and safety (OHS), HMC. OHS department collects and keeps records of hazardous wastes produced by HMC. Data on the HMC hospitals’ characteristics from 2017 to 2019 were retrieved from Planning and Statistics Authority’s website. World Health Organization (WHO) formula for calculating HHCW generation rate was used to calculate the rate for HMC. Data analysis results show a steady increase in HHCW generation rate in HMC, the generation rate was 2.6 Kg/patient bed/day, 2.8 Kg/patient bed/day and 3.1 Kg/patient bed/day for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively. There were also significant variations in HHCW generation rates between hospitals. The highest generation rate was 4.64 Kg/patient bed/day recorded for AWH and the lowest was 0.2 Kg/patient bed/day recorded for mental health and both hospitals contributing 23.18% and 0.29% respectively of HHCW in HMC.
Jeffrey Driver, George Lukasik, Marie Bourgeois, Patricia Tam, Raymond Harbison
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 09, pp 13-19; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2021.91002

A coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a global pandemic and associated morbidity and mortality resultant from COVID-19. As a result of efforts to control direct (person to person) and indirect (contaminated objects, surfaces, indoor air) transmission of the virus, various interventions have been evaluated. Studies were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of commercially available chlorine dioxide (CD) products to reduce viral loads on PPE (face masks) and surfaces using a novel dry gas release intervention. The efficacy of CD slow release 30-day sachets was tested on N95 face masks inoculated with human coronavirus OC43 in suspension. One sachet was placed with an inoculated mask in plastic resealable bags. Three trials were completed using the original sachet where a mask and sachet were placed into a plastic bag for 13 hours per sachet age of 1 day, 14 days, and 30 days. The amount of CD generated during a 13-hour treatment period was 0.30 mg. The nominal concentration of CD was estimated to be 317 mg/m3. All three tests demonstrated at least a 99.91% reduction of viral loading in the mask versus a non-treated control. Efficacy of CD dry gas fast releasing pods (Ultrashok) for fumigation was also tested in a 1344 ft3 closed room. Two pods were placed in the space and CD surface virucidal efficacy was tested in three locations of the room after 1 hour and 2 hours of dwell time. The estimated nominal peak concentration was 15 ppmv in the room. The one-hour exposure saw a >99.91% OC43 reduction on surfaces and the two-hour exposure resulted in a >99.997% OC43 reduction on surfaces versus a non-treated control. These results indicate dry CD is highly effective against human coronavirus. CD was 99.91% effective for eliminating human coronavirus OC43 in both sachet and capsule fumigant form using both fast and slow release mechanisms. Rapid fumigant application is suitable for contaminated rooms, ambulances, emergency vehicles, and many types of PPE, most particularly porous PPE materials. The gaseous state of CD allows for rapid diffusion and transfer of the virucidal stable free radical to all surfaces of PPE and indoor areas that would favor virus survival. Additionally, this work suggests CD can be effective at levels with significant margins of safety (little to no exposure and rapid degradation of residuals) providing minimal public health risks associated with the use of CD.
Datonye Dennis Alasia, Omosivie Maduka
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 09, pp 20-32; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2021.91003

Introduction: The evaluation of COVID-19 prevalence among healthcare workers (HCW) within the general population of COVID-19 cases is an important epidemiologic variable. The objective of this study is to describe the prevalence and patterns of COVID-19 infection in HCWs amongst a group of patients receiving care for COVID-19 in Rivers state, Nigeria. Methods: This study was a prospective descriptive study of all consenting patients who received care through hospitals, designated for COVID-19 treatment in Rivers state either as in-patient or out-patient following a laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 based on a positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR from April to September 2020. Results: A total number of 646 COVID-19 patients were enrolled over the study period with 98 (15.2%) HCWs in the patient population. The HCWs with COVID-19 consisted largely of Doctors 47 (47.9%), Nurses 30 (30.6%), and socio-sanitary and hygiene workers 10 (10.2%). There were 46 (46.9%) female HCWs, compared to Non-HCWs with 112 (21.1%), females, p = 0.000. Sixty-eight (69.4%) HCWs had a source of contact for infection established compared to Non-HCWs with an established source of contact in 181 (34.2%), p = 0.000. Eight (8.2%) HCWs had Severe disease compared to 52 (9.8%) Non-HCWs with severe disease, p = 0.670. The case fatality in HCWs was 1% compared to 1.9% in Non-HCWs, p = 0.554. Conclusion: The prevalence of COVID-19 among HCWs in the study location is high with clinical and clinical support staff particularly, doctors and nurses are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection. This calls for action to improve and prevent HCWs infections in hospital settings in addition to improving HCW infection prevention behaviour in the community. The intensification of risk communication, provision of protective equipment (PPE), and training on the appropriate use of PPE; in addition to routine surveillance for infection is recommended.
Dalia M. Amin, Shimaa H. Ameen, Marwa T. Abaza
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 09, pp 139-164; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2021.93011

Introduction: There are extensive people exposures to paraquat (PQ) herbicide resulting in human health hazards. Aim of the Work: To compare the beneficial neuroprotective effects of hesperidin and benfotiamine on paraquat (PQ)-induced spinal cord neurotoxic effects in rats. Materials and Methods: Rats were divided into 4 groups as following: control, paraquat (PQ 20.8 mg/kg, oral gavage (e.g.)), paraquat + benfotiamine (50 mg/kg, oral gavage (e.g.)) and paraquat + hesperidin (40 mg/kg, oral gavage (e.g.)). PQ is given as the previous dose. Rats are treated 6 days per week. Results: There was a significant increased mean value of malondialdehyde associated with a significant reduction in the content of reduced glutathione and antioxidant enzymes activities associated with a significant increase in Serum phosphorylated neurofilament-H, neurospecific enolase and s100 levels were recorded and significant spinal cord histopathological changes in paraquat treated group as compared to their corresponding values in the control group and immunohistochemical examination confirmed these results. Upon supplementation with benfotiamine and hesperidin to paraquat treated rats, there was a significant decrease in the mean values of malondialdehyde associated with a marked increase in the content of reduced glutathione and antioxidant enzymes activities associated with a significant decrease in Serum phosphorylated neurofilament-H, neurospecific enolase and s100 levels were also recorded with significant improvement of spinal cord architecture when compared with the paraquat treated group. Conclusion: The use of benfotiamine and hesperidin produced a significant protection against all of the above-mentioned changes.
Giffe T. Johnson, Craig Loehle, Sifang S. Zhou, Cory Chiossone, James Palumbo, Paul Wiegand
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 09, pp 63-73; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2021.92006

Objective: To 1) characterize the decay curve of infective SARS-CoV-2 over time on the surface of cardboard packaging and plastic mailer packaging; 2) characterize the transferability over time of virus-inoculated cardboard packaging and plastic mailer packaging to skin. Methods: We inoculated samples of plastic and cardboard packaging with a titer of SARS-CoV-2 > 106 TCID50/ mL to evaluate the survivability and transferability to the skin (pig skin) over time. A cell culture-based infectivity assay (TCID50) was used to determine viral titers. Regression analysis was used to characterize decay curves. Results: The time that SARS-CoV-2 remained transferable to skin was reduced on both packaging substrates compared to the total time of survivability, though cardboard demonstrated a substantially larger reduction. Virus inoculated plastic substrates continued to transfer the virus to the skin after 7 hours of holding time and regression analysis predicts this transferability would remain detectable up to 9.5 hours of holding time. Inoculated cardboard substrates demonstrated detectable transfer at 15 minutes of holding time, but no viable virus could be detected on the skin after 30 minutes of holding time. Conclusions: The type of material used as a packaging substrate substantially modifies the potential for SARS-CoV-2 fomite transmission. The use of materials that limit fomite transmission from packaging should be considered among strategies to reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Future research should investigate the generalizability of these findings for other viral pathogens that potentially transmit via fomite.
Maria Teófila Vicente-Herrero, Maria Victoria Ramírez-Iñiguez de la Torre, Luisa Capdevila García
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 09, pp 74-91; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2021.92007

Nowadays, cancer is one of the main worldwide causes of death and an increasing issue in public health. In the European Union, it is the first work-related cause of death. Studies about occupational risk exposure are a useful field of investigation to determine cancerous elements; special attention is paid to the relationship between cancer and work in women, who must constantly adapt to the working market and the new working fields, with their diverse degrees of exposure to risks. This revision has reviewed the bibliography gathered in Medline related to breast cancer, cervix cancer, uterus cancer, and ovarian cancer, along with their relationship with different work-related risks and types of working roles. The results have shown enough scientific evidence to suspect that work related exposition could be a plausible cause of these gynaecological cancers. Therefore, we want to stress the need of enhancing the coordinated investigation between all the medical specialties involved, and to encourage the spread of the necessary knowledge to manage and prevent them.
Desirae Sutherland, Alex Le Beau, Marie Bourgeois, Raymond Harbison
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 09, pp 93-111; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2021.93008

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are found in some consumer products due to their heat resistance and durability. However, there is potential for these substances to bioaccumulate in humans. It is relevant to investigate biological effects of these chemicals, as studies have suggested early life exposure may impact human developmental outcomes such as infant birth weight and youth adiposity. The objective of the current study was to determine if a relationship exists between increasing levels of certain PFAS and anthropometrics in adolescents ages 12 - 18. The three PFAS examined were: perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDeA), 2-(N-methyl-perfluoroctane sulfonamido) acetic acid (Me-PFOSA-AcOH), and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUA). The data was obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from the years 2011-2012 (N = 287) and 2013-2014 (N = 344). An additional analysis combined data from 3 NHANES survey cycles using sampling weights for the years 2011-2016 (N = 875) to generate a larger sample size of detectable PFAS. PFAS concentrations were classified as above or below the lower limit of detection (LLOD) to evaluate differences in weight, waist circumference, BMI (body mass index), and height using Student’s t-tests. These same anthropometric outcomes were examined as continuous variables in linear regression models and were stratified by sex. In the 2013-2014 dataset, there were significant inverse associations between female concentrations of PFUA and PFDeA with waist circumference (PFUA β = −0.056; 95% CI, −0.106, −0.005; PFDeA β = −0.06; 95% CI, −0.10, −0.02), weight-for-age z-score (PFUA β = −0.40; 95% CI, −0.74, −0.05; PFDeA β = −0.38; 95% CI, −0.64, −0.12), and BMI-for-age z-score (PFUA β = −0.48; 95% CI, −0.86, −0.10; PFDeA β = −0.45; 95% CI, −0.73, −0.16). In the 2011-2012 dataset, males displayed a significant inverse relationship between PFDeA and waist circumference (β = −0.08; 95% CI, −0.14, −0.02), weight-for-age z-score (β = −0.49; 95% CI, −0.88, −0.11), and BMI-for-age z-score (β = −0.44; 95% CI, −0.84, −0.05). In the combined analysis of NHANES years 2011-2016, there were significant inverse associations with PFUA and PFDeA and weight-for-age z-score, waist circumference, and BMI-for-age z-score. In the given sample years, there was no compelling evidence for a relationship between any of the perfluoroalkyl chemicals and height, nor between Me-PFOSA-AcOH and any of the body measures after adjusting for age, sex, and race/ethnicity. This suggests that PFUA and PFDeA exposure in adolescents may be related to smaller waist circumference, weight, and BMI, but longitudinal studies are recommended to confirm these findings.
M. G. Karel Houessionon, Niladri Basu, Catherine Bouland, N. Marius Kedote, Benjamin Fayomi, N. Julius Fobil, Edgard-Marius Ouendo
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 09, pp 33-48; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2021.92004

Objective: The e-waste recycling is increasing worldwide, yet there remain outstanding environmental and occupational health concerns. Most research conducted on e-waste recycling has focused on only few countries (e.g., China, Ghana), thus there is a need to increase understanding of e-waste workers’ (recyclers’) knowledge and practices in other locations, that is purpose of this study. Methods: In a cross-sectional study conducted in Cotonou, Benin, 45 e-waste recyclers were interviewed from September to November 2018. Survey data was collected concerning their demographics, professional practices, and knowledge of occupational and environmental risks associated with e-waste recycling. Results: Most participants reported the following methods of material recovery of electronic items in declining orders: dismantling (97.8%) > sorting (91.1%) > incinerating (88.9%). Only 44.2% of the recyclers reported wearing ≥ 1 piece of personal protective equipment (PPE). More than 90% of e-waste workers noted that they disposed the e-waste in natural sites. About half, 46.7% believed that e-waste can pollute water and 71.1% considered that it can pollute air and soil. Recyclers reported several diseases including respiratory (67.4%), heart (62.8%), eye (65.1%), kidney (41.9%) and cancers (30.2%) could be linked to their work, respectively. Interestingly, we also found associations between the number of electronic items dismantled per month and self-report symptoms from the e-waste recyclers such as finding blood in urine and stool, wounds, dizziness, and itchy skin. Our results also indicated associations between the number of hours worked per day and blood in urine, dizziness, itchy skin and airway obstruction. Conclusion: To our knowledge this is the first study to interview e-waste workers in Benin. Doing this increase understanding of their work practices and knowledge to help inform intervention and prevention activities.
Rose Mikponhoue, Antoine Hinson, Mênonli Adjobimey, Patrick Sembeya, Ibrahim Mama Cisse, Fabien Gounongbe, Paul Ayelo
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 09, pp 49-62; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2021.92005

Introduction: Burnout syndrome is one of the many forms of suffering at work that affects healthcare professionals. It is still little diagnosed in Benin. Objectives: the objective was to assess the prevalence of burnout among the nursing staff of a Zone Hospital (HZ) in Cotonou. Study Methods: This was a descriptive and analytical cross-sectional study, which took place from September to October 2019 and included all personnel assigned to care. This has been submitted to the Malasch Burnout Inventory (MBI). The data collected was analyzed using STATA software version 15. A logistic regression made it possible to identify those associated with burnout. The significance level was 5%. Result: A total of 173 caregivers were included, including 118 women, for a sex ratio of 0.47. The mean age was 39 ± 10.1 years. The study population consisted of 33.5% nursing assistants, 24.3% nurses, 24.2% physicians, 7.5% midwives, and 8.6% other health professionals. The prevalence of burnout was 30.6% of which 2.3% were severe cases. As a result of burnout, 33% of officers and 19.08% experienced depersonalization and 10.4% experienced a sense of low personal achievement. The associated factors identified were female sex (p < 0.0001), lack of time devoted to her family (p = 0.04), receiving negative remarks on this lack of availability towards her family (p = 0.04), and work in a poor professional climate (p = 0.03). Conclusion: the prevalence of burnout among caregivers is high. Improving the professional climate and family relations are avenues for prevention.
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