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   2010| September-December  | Volume 14 | Issue 3  
    Online since January 15, 2011

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Mental well-being at the workplace
T Rajgopal
September-December 2010, 14(3):63-65
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.75691  PMID:21461156
  18,471 462 20
Brain cancer and pesticide relationship in orchard farmers of Kashmir
Abdul Rashid Bhat, Muhammed Afzal Wani, AR Kirmani
September-December 2010, 14(3):78-86
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.75694  PMID:21461159
Background: The increasing trend in the incidence of primary malignant brain tumors in orchard farmers and their families in Kashmir. Aim: To determine the relationship between the patients of primary malignant brain tumors and their occupation. Materials and Methods: Retrospectively, case files along with death certificates of 432 patients of primary malignant brain tumors and 457 controls (non-tumor neurologic diseases), admitted for treatment simultaneously over a period of 4 years from January 2005 to December 2008, to the Neurosurgery, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Kashmir, were studied. Follow-up and family interaction was established. Results: Analysis revealed that 90.04% (389 out of 432) patients were orchard farm workers, orchard residents and orchard playing children exposed to the high levels of multiple types of neurotoxic and carcinogenic (chlorpyriphos, dimethoate, mancozeb and captan) chemicals for more than 10 years [relative risk (RR) = 10.6; odds ratio (OR) = >10; 95% confidence interval (CI) = >25-40]. The 9.96% (43 out of 432) patients were not exposed to pesticides. On the other hand, only 19 patients out of 457 controls had recorded history of pesticide exposure and 438 were unrelated to pesticides. Out of 389 patients, 71.7% (279 out of 389) were males and 28.3% (110 out of 389), including six members of three families, were females (one male child). Conclusion: All orchard-related 389 patients had high-grade tumors as compared to the non-pesticide tumors. Mortality in pesticide-exposed tumors was 12%. The higher or upper-normal levels of serum cholinesterase (AChE) were observed in 54.7% (213 out of 389) patients and decreased levels were found in only 45.3% (176 out of 389) orchard-related patients (RR = 19.4; OR = >5; 95% CI = >1-10). Although serum AChE levels were a routine investigation in malignant brain tumors, this was not a routine in other neurological conditions (hospitalized controls). The familial gliomas have shown an emerging trend in the orchard residents of valley of Kashmir.
  8,487 163 12
Oxidative stress, melatonin level, and sleep insufficiency among electronic equipment repairers
Mohamed El-Helaly, E Abu-Hashem
September-December 2010, 14(3):66-70
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.75692  PMID:21461157
Background: Exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF), especially among electronic equipment repairers may induce oxidative stress and affect sleep quality. Aims: This study was carried out to (a) investigate the effect of exposure to ELF-EMF on the malondialdehyde (MDA) levels among electronic equipment repairers as an indicator of oxidative stress; and melatonin hormone levels; and (b) to study the prevalence of sleep insufficiency among electronic equipment repairers exposed to ELF-EMF. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out on 50 electronic equipment repairers at high risk of exposure to ELF-EMF, and a matched control group at lower risk of exposure to ELF-EMF. All the participants completed a self-administered questionnaire about medical and occupational histories; and sleep sufficiency. The plasma melatonin and MDA levels of the study subjects were assessed. Results: The mean level of serum melatonin in the electronic equipment repairers was lower than that of the controls (P < 0.01). Moreover, serum MDA mean level of the electronic equipment repairers was higher than that of the controls (P < 0.01). Sleep insufficiency was more frequent among electronic equipment repairers (18.00%) in comparison with the controls (8.70%) (P > 0.05). Conclusion: The electronic equipment repairers, exposed to ELF-EMF, are at a risk of oxidative stress and sleep insufficiency, which could be explained by lower plasma melatonin levels and higher MDA levels. Health education about the hazards of ELF-EMF, shortening of exposure time per day, and taking antioxidant vitamins should be done to ameliorate the oxidative effect of EMF on those workers.
  7,413 194 18
Morbidity patterns among rice mill workers: A cross sectional study
Seema Prakash, Shashikala Manjunatha, C Shashikala
September-December 2010, 14(3):91-93
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.75696  PMID:21461161
Background: India, a land of agriculture, has formed the scaffolding for many agro-based industries. Morbidity is more common among these industrial workers; hence, this study was conducted. Objectives: To study the morbidity pattern among the rice mill workers and the relationship between duration (years) of working and their morbid status. Study Design: A cross-sectional study. Materials and Methods: A pre-structured questionnaire was used to record the necessary information such as clinical history, sociodemographic profile, findings of clinical examination and performance of peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). The study was conducted in three rice mills in an urban area under Urban Health Training Centre (UHTC), Department of Community Medicine, SSMC, Tumkur. A total of 75 workers were recruited for the study. The study was conducted in the month of October. Statistical analysis was done using Chi-square test. Results: Among these 75 workers, 42.66% had respiratory morbidity; among them, 10.66% had PEFR less than 200L/min. 26.66% had low backache and knee joint pain and 20% had generalized / musculo skeleton pain. 6.6% suffered from allergic conjunctivitis and 4% had skin allergy. Conclusion: High Prevalence of respiratory morbidity (42.66%) and 8 (10.66%) workers with decreased PEFR were found. It also showed that there was statistically significant relationship between duration (years) of working and respiratory morbid condition. This condition can be prevented by good health education and appropriate usage of safety devices, and further studies are recommended.
  5,610 220 1
Inhalational exposure to dimethyl sulfate vapor followed by reactive airway dysfunction syndrome
Abbas Aghabiklooei, Nasim Zamani, Hamidreza Shiva, Nader Rezaei
September-December 2010, 14(3):104-106
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.75700  PMID:21461165
Dimethyl sulfate (DMS) is an oily liquid used as a solvent, stabilizer, sulfonation agent, and catalyst. Exposure to DMS primarily happens in the workplace via inhalational contact and damages the upper and lower airways. Our manuscript reports a case of DMS-related reactive airway dysfunction syndrome ( RADS). The patient was a healthy 29-year-old man who was referred to our ER after accidental exposure to the vapor of DMS with the complaint of dyspnea, dry cough, photophobia, and hoarseness. His vital signs were normal except for a low-grade fever. Redness of the pharynx, conjunctivitis, and cholinergic signs and symptoms were present. Conservative management with O 2 and fluid therapy was initiated. Twenty hours later, the patient became drowsy and his respiratory symptoms exacerbated; chest X-ray revealed haziness in the base of the right lung and prominence of the vessels of the lung hillum. After 1 week, the liver transaminases rose and C-reactive protein elevated (2+). The patient got better with conservative treatment and was discharged after 9 days; however, exertional dyspnea, wheezing, and thick white sputum persisted and therefore, reactive airway dysfunction syndrome (RADS) related to DMS vapor was confirmed which was treated by prednisolone. Exertional dyspnea continued up to 10 months. Hoarseness lasted for 6 months. This case shows that DMS vapor inhalation can cause RADS especially in the chemical workers who continue working in the contaminated place despite the relatively good air conditioning.
  5,571 77 4
Comparison of respiratory morbidity between present and ex-workers of quartz crushing units: Healthy workers' effect
Rajnarayan R Tiwari, Raj Narain, YK Sharma, Sunil Kumar
September-December 2010, 14(3):87-90
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.75695  PMID:21461160
Background : Quartz stone grinders are one such group of workers who are exposed to silica and thereby at risk of developing silicosis. However due to increased campaigning against silicosis the scenario has changed. Objectives : To compare the respiratory morbidities among the present quartz stone workers and the ex-quartz stone workers who have left the job. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study included, 134 ex-workers and 182 current workers of quartz grinding units. All these subjects were subjected to chest radiography and pulmonary function tests. Results: For 134 ex-workers, the mean age was 31.77 ± 9.99 years and the mean duration of exposure was found to be 2.74 ± 1.65 years while for the present workers, the mean age was 26.74± 7.12 years while the mean duration of exposure was 1.36 ± 2.68 years. The study revealed silicosis in 24 (17.9%), radiological suspected tuberculosis in 17 (12.7%) and silico-tuberculosis in 33 (24.7%) ex-workers while in present workers, radiological suspected tuberculosis in 10 (5.5%) subjects and silicosis grade 1/1 in one subject were found. Among the ex-workers, 14 (10.4%) had a combined type of pulmonary function impairment while 8 (6.0%) and 28 (20.9%) were having restrictive and obstructive type of pulmonary impairments, respectively. Among the present workers, pulmonary function testing revealed the combined type of functional impairment in 1 (0.5%), restrictive type in 13 (7.1%), and obstructive type of functional impairment in 17 (9.2%) subjects. Conclusion: The high prevalence of respiratory morbidity in ex-workers as compared to current workers can be attributed to the out-of-the-job healthy workers' effect.
  5,263 171 4
Morbidity profile of cotton mill workers
Pravin N Yerpude, Keerti S Jogdand
September-December 2010, 14(3):94-96
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.75697  PMID:21461162
Objective: To study the morbidity pattern among cotton mill workers. Material and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in cotton mills in Guntur District (AP) in January 2009 to May 2009. Total 474 workers were included in the study. Results: All study subjects were male. Most of the study subjects belonged to age group 30−40 years (56.96%) and lower socioeconomic status (36.09%) according to modified Kuppuswamy's classification. The literacy status was varied with 5.70% being illiterate and 37.13% were educated up to primary school. Most of workers were working in Ring frame (41.56%) and majority (58.44%) were working for the last 5−10 years. Mean height of study subjects was 147.42 cm and mean weight was 55.11 kg. The common morbid conditions found were eosinophilia (18.35%), iron deficiency anemia (28.90%), byssinosis grade 1 (7.80%), dental stains (6.54%), refractive errors (7.80%), chronic bronchitis (4.85%), and upper respiratory tract infection (8.64%).
  4,710 212 -
Modeling of hexamethylene diisocyanate and psychrometric parameters and other effective factors in the polyurethane factories
Mirtaghi Mirmohammadi, MH Ibrahim, JN Saraji
September-December 2010, 14(3):71-77
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.75693  PMID:21461158
Background: Diisocyanates are widely used in surface coatings, polyurethane (PUR) foams, adhesives, resins, elastomers, binders, and sealants. Isocyanate exposure is irritative to the skin, mucous membranes, eyes, and respiratory tract. The most common adverse health outcome associated with isocyanate exposure is asthma due to sensitization. Objective: The goal of this study is to find statistical predictive model to determine the relationship between airborne hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) and selective psychrometric variables. Materials and Methods: All air samplers (by midget impinger) were collected by mini personal sampler pump fixed to work stations near the source of pollution. The air samples and psychrometric parameters were separately collected and determined in a working shift for three periods of 2 h, each at a flow rate of 2 l/min in an impinger containing a solution of reagent of dimethyl sulfoxide in tryptamine [US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 1994]. Results: There was a significant correlation between HDI concentration and relative humidity and dry bulb temperature (P < 0.05). No significant correlation was seen between altitude and dimension of PUR factories (P > 0.05). Conclusions: The finding of the study may be a useful initial tool in estimating possible HDI pollution situation in the PUR workplaces, based on simple psychrometric factors (indoor air temperature and relative humidity).
  4,664 76 -
Risk rating in the tea planting industry: The employees' opinion
Bobby Joseph, Christie Minj
September-December 2010, 14(3):97-99
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.75698  PMID:21461163
Background: Workers in the tea planting industry are exposed to a variety of occupational health and safety hazards. Whether the workers perceive the risks involved and to what degree is an interesting point in question. Aims: To identify occupational health and safety risks involved in the tea planting sector and to rate these risks from the workers' perspective. Settings and Design: Permanent workers from four estates belonging to one tea planting company in southern India were enlisted in this descriptive study . Materials and Methods: The sample was randomly and then proportionately selected to give a total number equal to the calculated sample size of 341. Data were collected by reviewing medical records, conducting focus group discussions with field officers and supervisors, worker interviews and key informant interviews with the management in these four estates. Proportions were used to describe occurrence and distribution of work-related injuries. The risks as perceived by the workers were rated on their severity and frequency, using a Risk Rating Matrix. Results and Conclusion: The incidence of injuries was greater among male workers, those working both in the field and factory and those handling multiple tasks. The most common morbidities suffered were "small cuts and abrasions" in about 53%of the workers. Backache and insect bites were assigned the highest risk rating scores. Continued monitoring of the risk assessment by the workers could help in a planned reduction of commonly occurring injuries by agreeing on a specified risk limit.
  4,340 120 1
Sustainable behavioral change related to environmental sanitation in India: Issues and challenges
S Ganesh Kumar, Sitanshu Sekhar Kar
September-December 2010, 14(3):107-108
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.75701  PMID:21461166
  3,910 118 2
Etiological investigation of unintentional solvent exposure among university hospital staffs
Chatchai Ekpanyaskul
September-December 2010, 14(3):100-103
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.75699  PMID:21461164
Aim: This study was done to investigate unintentional solvent exposure in Srinakharinwirot university hospital staffs with unknown etiology. Material and Methods: A multidisciplinary investigation was conducted. Total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) in working environments were measured. Biomarkers of exposure and self-administered questionnaires about clinical symptoms were collected, during and after the incidence, from the affected workers. Results: The reason behind this event was found to be renovation of the 15 th floor. TVOCs contaminated the air hanging unit of the lower 5th floor via space of the pipeline system of the building. The average TVOC value in the complaint area, on the date of notification, was 9.5 ppm. The symptoms and level of hippuric acid, collected during the incidence, were significantly higher than those collected after the problems were solved. Conclusions: The solvent from the renovation site was a potential source of health hazards for hospital staffs. The relevant authorities should be concerned about implementing a policy for the prevention of indoor pollution in the hospital.
  3,741 75 -