Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 2333-3561 / 2333-357X
Published by: Scientific Research Publishing, Inc. (10.4236)
Total articles ≅ 107
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Jeffrey Driver, Julie Lichterman, George Lukasik, Shawn Jones, Marie Bourgeois, Raymond Harbison
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 10, pp 49-59; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2022.102004

Previously, we demonstrated the virucidal efficacy of low concentration chlorine dioxide (ClO2) gas in room settings. The purpose of these studies was to evaluate novel ClO2 formats as potential biocidal interventions for real world congregate settings and air systems. Three types of studies were conducted to determine the efficacy of ClO2 in reducing bacteria and mold in various workspaces: hard and soft surfaces (gymnasium & equipment), aerosol (in-room), and within a laboratory environment. The study demonstrated that ClO2 was highly effective against both bacteria and mold with reduction ranging from 85.0% - > 99.4% for bacteria and >99.4% for yeast and mold. Treatments on hard and soft surfaces (gymnasiums and sports equipment), reduced bacteria by an average of 90% - 95%. The following treatments were applied overnight: 1) hard surface spraying with dilute ClO2 solutions, 2) carpet and tumbling treatments with powdered ClO2 releasing impregnates, and 3) HVAC treatment and overall room deodorization with low dose ClO2 gas from controlled releasing sachets. The in-room study treating air with a ClO2 filtration media also indicated significant air and surface room efficacy, with an average of 94% reduction in bacteria after 24-hour, and 99.4% reduction in mold after 24-hours. In a related air study, a biological combination of Raoultella terrigena and Staphylococcus aureus was injected as a bio-aerosol into a 4-inch diameter pipe with air flowing at approximately 1200 ft/min. Dry ClO2 gas was introduced into the air flow to achieve an effective concentration of 5 or 10 ppmv. Air samples were collected at sampling ports downstream from the fan at 10, 22, 55 and 100 ft along the pipe and used to evaluate changes in airborne bacteria and mold. Testing was conducted in a laboratory setting at ambient conditions. The data showed ClO2 gas reduced viable organisms at both gas concentrations, and indicated that reductions were higher for 10 ppmv concentration, and longer pipe runs. In a final study, laboratory application of gaseous chlorine dioxide was tested. Low gas release filter testing demonstrated significant surface reductions of airborne bacteria with an overall average 99.4% reduction in the 24-hour testing period. Higher gas treatments of a class II biological cabinet reduced bacillus spores on steel coupons throughout cabinet by 6 log. ClO2 was effective as a bactericidal and fungicidal treatment providing significant reduction in both surface and air. Novel product delivery forms may be useful for rapidly disinfecting air and solid surfaces in complex congregate settings.
Mênonli Adjobimey, Antoine Vikkey Hinson, Rose Mikponhoué, Eyidi M. Madeleine, Concheta Tchibozo, Esdras Hountohotegbe, Paul Ayélo
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 10, pp 35-47; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2022.101003

Introduction: Noise-induced hearing loss is a preventable health problem worldwide. However, it continues to affect workers especially in the informal sector, due to the lack of medical and environmental monitoring. In Benin, millers are highly exposed. The objective of the study was to assess the hearing health situation of grain millers in the Dantokpa market in 2020. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that included by exhaustive recruitment 57 millers. The data were collected using a standardized questionnaire followed by blood pressure measurements, noise levels and the performance of audiometries. Descriptive and univariate analysis was performed. Results: The sample consisted only of men. The median age was 25 years with extremes of 18 and 50 years. Noise levels at the workstation ≥ 85 dB (A) were obtained for 94.74% of the workers. No worker was wearing hearing protection equipment. The prevalence of hearing loss was 87.72% (95% CI = [76.32%; 94.92%]) and that of occupational deafness was 29.82% (95% CI = [18.43% - 43.40%]) which was associated with age over 28 and high blood pressure. An awareness campaign with donation of hearing pads was carried out. Conclusion: Hearing loss is important among millers who do not benefit from any supervision because they are in the informal sector. A restructuring of this sector is necessary for the hearing health of workers.
Parfait Houngbégnon, Marius Kêdoté, Eloïc Atindégla, Fadel Tanimomon, Alphonse Kpozéhouen, Jérôme Sossa, Joaquin Darboux, Edgard-Marius Ouendo, Julius Fobil
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 10, pp 78-90; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2022.102007

Background: Several studies have demonstrated that e-waste workers had a risk to develop the respiratory disorders but this was not specifically differentiated according to the type of the e-waste activities. The main aim of this study was to evaluate if the risk to develop respiratory disorders was different according to the type of activities carried out by the e-waste workers. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in Abidjan and Cotonou, two big cities in West Africa. The participants were randomly selected based on the list of e-waste workers provided by the census of different sites of e-waste. The spirometry was performed on all the study participants to assess whether they had respiratory disorders. A regression logistic model was performed to estimate the risk of developing respiratory disorders according to the type of activities carried out by the e-waste workers. Results: In total 308 e-waste workers including 149 at Abidjan and 159 at Cotonou were interviewed. Participants of this study ranged in age from 14 years to 69 years and the mean age was 33.71 ± 10.96. The main activities carried out by the study participants were respectively repairing (44.8%), buying or selling (40.3%), dismantling (31.8%). The prevalence of respiratory disorders was 20.1%. The multivariate analysis had not found a significant association between the type of activities and the presence of respiratory disorders. Conclusion: The effect of exposure to e-waste on respiratory health of workers was not different according to the type of activities. So, any policy that aims to reduce the risk of exposure on respiratory health must take into account all the e-waste workers regardless of the type of activities they perform in this sector.
Kevin Guth, Marie Bourgeois, Raymond Harbison
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 10, pp 116-131; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2022.102010

Painting contractors have struggled with implementation and assessment of lead exposure controls leading to persistently elevated blood lead levels in this high-risk group of workers. The objective of this study was to assess the intensity of lead exposures based on commonly used air velocities inside field containment structures during abrasive blasting and vacuuming. Exposures were assessed over 14 days from April to July 2021 at a tainter gate and bridge lead paint removal project. Personal air samples, skin wipes, air velocity readings, and blood lead samples were collected. The geometric mean (GM) lead exposure for abrasive blasters and vacuumers was ≥4 × the OSHA Lead Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 50 μg/m3. There was high variability in the personal lead exposures (Geometric standard deviation (GSD) 4.0 - 5.0). The GM hand wipe exposures exceeded a Dermal PEL of 500 μg/wipe (abrasive blaster 564 μg/wipe and vacuumer 754 μg/wipe). Residual lead was measured on workers’ hands in 67% of the post hand washing samples. Air velocities measured inside of the field containments ranged from 107 feet per minute to 229 feet per minute. The effect of air velocity on the concentration of lead on workers’ hands after work (F = 0.58, p = 0.35) and airborne lead concentration was not significant (F = 0.36, p = 0.48). Six of the eight workers’ blood lead levels increased after exposure to lead. There was a non-statistically significant relationship between lead remaining on workers’ hands after handwashing and an increase in blood lead level. This is the first study that assessed both ventilation flow rates used in the industrial painting industry and measurements of airborne and dermal (hands) lead exposures. For the projects evaluated, the collected exposure data indicate that air velocities frequently used in the industrial painting industry to ventilate field containment structures did not tend to prevent an increase in worker blood lead and were ineffective for adequately controlling elevated concentrations of airborne lead and preventing contact with workers’ hands.
Altansukh Otgonnasan, Gantugs Yundendorj, Oyu Tsogtbayar, Zoljargal Erdenechimeg, Tsatsral Ganbold, Tergel Namsrai, Naransukh Damiran, Erdenechimeg Erdenebayar
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 10, pp 167-179; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2022.103013

Introduction: Prosperity in the mining industry in Mongolia has led to an increase in the number of mining workers, resulting in an increase in occupational exposures and the prevalence of occupational diseases and disabilities. The aim of this study was to assess the personal exposure of workers to respirable dust (RD) and respirable crystalline silica (RCS). Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the Erdenet Copper Ore Mining and included 581 personal samples of RD and 324 samples of RCS, collected in 2018-2020. Results: The study results revealed that the geometric mean (GM) of RD was 0.35 mg/m3 (95% CI 0.32 - 0.39). The RD concentration in 5.9% (n = 34) of all the samples exceeded the permissible exposure level (PEL) (3 mg/mg3). The GM of RCS was 0.012 mg/m3 (95% CI 0.010 - 0.016). In total, 12.0% (n = 39) of all RCS sample concentrations exceeded the PEL (0.1 mg/m3). Conclusion: Steel smelters, blasters, welders, and maintenance laborers were exposed to RD, while crushers, operators, drilling machinists, and maintenance laborers were exposed to RCS. Therefore, regular monitoring of the work environment, risk-based health examinations for dust-exposed workers, efficient support for dust mitigation, reduction measures at the source, and engineering controls are needed.
Karimou Dia Hantchi, Oumarou Zango, Amadou Oumarou, Boubé Morou, Moussa Konaté
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 10, pp 13-34; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2022.101002

The trivialization of empty spaces has long been practiced in the city of Maradi (Niger), particularly in the Zaria 2 (Commune II) and Ali Dan Sofo (Commune III) districts. With stalls in the streets and illegal dumping grounds, empty plots and the surrounding areas are fairly privileged sources of various wastes. This study aims at analyzing the impact of these empty plots on the local population, through several aspects, especially in terms of the modes of occupation, internal and surrounding practices, physical environment and biodiversity, sanitation and elimination of waste. To do so, two methodological approaches were used: a survey on local population and in situ observation of these spaces. The results not only reveal a difficult proximity situation to the unbuilt but also showed that empty plots constitute not only a form of vegetation conservation for the future as well as clean surfaces which would be called upon to characterize the potential recharge of groundwater. The most potentially useful organic waste would be that of Kadro, especially feathers from poultry that could be used as compost in the fields. In addition to the degradation of urban environments (63% of respondents), the unbuilt area also contributes to poverty reduction and increases food security (69% of respondents). To reduce the negative impacts, the rewarding strategies would be awareness-raising and monitoring measures coupled with a policy of protection and environmental remedies.
Imen Jammeli, Asma Aloui, Malek Ben Abdelkader, Zeineb Athimni, Marwa Bouhoula, Chouchene Asma, Imen Kacem, Maher Maoua, Aicha Brahem, Houda Kalboussi, et al.
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 10, pp 71-77; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2022.102006

Buerger’s disease, also called thromboangiitis obliterans (TAO), is an inflammatory disease affecting small and medium size blood vessels of the limbs. Several risk factors are strongly associated with this disease. In fact, heavy smokers represent 99% of patients diagnosed with Buerger’s disease and smoking cessation can slow down the progression of the pathology. Ulcers and gangrene are very common complications and TAO may also cause a vasculitis as well as ischemic damage to the distal part of the limbs that can eventually lead to limb amputation. Here, we report the case of a 43 years old patient, a flight personnel working in a Tunisian airline company who consults for a lesion of the left toe that appeared 2 weeks ago. He is a chronic inveterate smoker with 36 pack-years. The diagnosis of TAO was made based on the clinical presentation and the results of the Doppler Ultrasound of the left toe. This disease has a major impact on the quality of life due to the risk of necrotic ulcers and amputation. Navigation is a profession that requires a high level of physical and mental fitness. According to the international and Tunisian standards, the applicant or the holder of medical certificate must not have a cardiovascular condition that may affect the safety of the exercise.
Amit U. Raysoni
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 10, pp 132-147; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2022.102011

The migrant and seasonal farmworker toiling in the fields and orchards of the United States of America surmounts innumerable problems daily. Some of these problems pertain to the overall health of the farmworker in addition to the various occupational hazards that he or she faces. This research paper focuses on Tuberculosis infection—both latent and active—in the migrant farmworkers in the United States with a special focus on the US-Mexico border. Using the Socio-Ecological Model as a theoretical framework, the TB health issues faced by this group are studied. The various determinants of health at every level of the Socio-Ecological Model are cogitated upon and culturally appropriate interventions are suggested. This research paper corroborates the fact that health issues facing mobile communities like migrant farmworkers require a synergistic approach by various stakeholders spanning the length and breadth of the Americas.
Mênonli Adjobimey, Vikkey Hinson, Serge Ade, Rose Mikponhoue, Ibrahim Mama Cisse, Amélé Adjogou, Véronique Dossougbété, Paul Ayélo
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 10, pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2022.101001

Introduction: The process of extracting oil from cotton seeds can create dusty work atmospheres that can cause respiratory problems. The main objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of respiratory problems among permanent workers in an oil mill in Benin. Methods: This cross-sectional study of 52 workers in an oil mill took place in January 2017 as part of the annual medical check-ups of workers. A questionnaire was administered and spirometry using Spirobank II and chest radiography were performed. The spirometry results were interpreted by an occupational physician and a pulmonologist. Data were entered and analyzed using Epidata software. Results: The mean age was 42.7 ± 6.4 years, and 43 of the 52 workers were men. Of these, 58% were in technical production positions and 42% in administrative positions. Most of them had more than 10 years of seniority. The prevalence of respiratory symptoms among production workers was 4 (13%) versus 2 (9%) among administrative workers. A total of 8 (15.4%) abnormal spirometry was identified with 4 obstructive syndrome, 3 restrictive syndrome, 1 a mixed pattern. There were 5 (16.6%) workers in production versus 3 (13.6%) in administration who had abnormal spirometry. The means 25/75 forced expiratory flow (FEF) value of production workers was significantly lower than that of administration workers. Abnormal chest radiographs were 5 (17%) in production workers compared to 3 (14%) in administration workers. Conclusion: Oil mill workers had few respiratory symptoms. However, production workers had more ventilatory disorders than administrative workers. A spirometric follow-up of this group of workers is therefore necessary.
John Omotola Ogunkoya, Olumide Abiodun, Kolawole John Sodeinde, Emmanuel Fikayo Bamidele, John Sotunsa, Akindele Emmanuel Ladele, Omosivwe Oku, George Ezinwa Emeruwa, Olawale Kehinde Ogunyemi
Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, Volume 10, pp 60-70; https://doi.org/10.4236/odem.2022.102005

Background: Exposure to plastic fumes can lead to severe occupational hazards due to inhalation, ingestion or direct contact wide variety of potentially harmful by-products during the manufacturing and burning of plastics. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of respiratory symptoms in plastic factory workers, evaluate the respiratory function of plastic factory workers and the association between respiratory symptoms and the duration of employment. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study done among plastic factory workers. Using a random sampling technique, 190 individuals (95 subjects and 95 control) above 18 years of age were recruited. Data were obtained with a validated questionnaire and Spirometry was done. Result: The mean age of the study group and control were 30.27 ± 7.38 and 25.92 ± 4.63 respectively (t = 4.877; p < 0.001). There were 27 males and 68 females in the study group and 28 males and 67 females as control. Cough was the most prevalent symptom among study subjects and control with no statistical significance. There was statistically significant difference between mean pre bronchodilator volumes and PEFR between study group and control (p < 0.05). Restrictive pathology was seen more in study group than controls (p < 0.04). Conclusion: Workplace exposure to plastic fumes can lead to development of respiratory symptoms and impaired pulmonary function.
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