Annals of Occupational Hygiene (Ann Occup Hyg)

Publisher: British Occupational Hygiene Society, Oxford University Press (OUP)

Journal description

The Annals of Occupational Hygiene aims to promote a healthy working environment by publishing research papers and reviews on health hazards and risks resulting from work, especially their recognition, quantification, management and control. The journal is interested in basic mechanisms, but also human aspects and technology. It includes papers on broader environmental risks to humans where these risks are closely related to work.Topics covered include (but are not limited) to the following:chemical, physical and biological agents; their mechanisms of formation, emission, exposure, absorption and effectmeasurement, control, process design, ergonomics and protectionoccupational toxicology and epidemiologyassessment and management of risk, education and trainingThe journal includes papers, short communications and letters to the editor. For further details of these, see Instructions to Authors, near the end of each issue.The Annals of Occupational Hygiene is the official journal of the British Occupational Hygiene Society It was founded in 1958 and is edited by Trevor Ogden (Editor in Chief) and Stephen Rappaport (North American Editor).ANNOUNCEMENT: For the second year in succession, the Impact Factor of the Annals of Occupational Hygiene has reached an all-time high. The current Impact Factor (1999) is 1.577.

Current impact factor: 2.07

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2013 / 2014 Impact Factor 2.068
2012 Impact Factor 2.157
2011 Impact Factor 1.949
2010 Impact Factor 2.014
2009 Impact Factor 1.914
2008 Impact Factor 1.787

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 2.25
Cited half-life 8.30
Immediacy index 0.46
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.65
Website Annals of Occupational Hygiene website
Other titles Annals of occupational hygiene (Online)
ISSN 1475-3162
OCLC 39263378
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Oxford University Press (OUP)

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    • The publisher will deposit in PubMed Central on behalf of NIH authors
    • Publisher last contacted on 19/02/2015
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Oxford University Press (OUP)'
  • Classification
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Given the results of experimental studies, occupational or environmental exposures to manufactured nanoparticles or to unintentionally produced ultrafine particles may result in health effects or diseases in humans. In this review, we synthesize published data of experimental studies on the distribution of inhaled nanoparticles and the first case reports to discuss the potential usefulness of their biological monitoring for clinical purposes. Toxicokinetic studies suggest that nanoparticles may be absorbed predominantly by respiratory and oral routes with possible systemic translocation, leading to accumulation in the peripheral organs or excretion in feces or urine. Some methods used in these studies may be applied successfully in retrospective evaluation of exposure or in follow-up of occupational exposure in the workplace. Biological monitoring of nanoparticles should be based on imaging methods that are essential to confirm their presence and to characterize them in tissue associated with analytical quantitative methods. The first case reports reviewed emphasize the urgent need for the development of standardized procedures for the preparation and analysis of biological samples with a view to characterizing and quantifying nanoparticles. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 03/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/mev015
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    ABSTRACT: Evaluation of expert assessment of exposure depends, in the absence of a validation measurement, upon measures of agreement among the expert raters. Agreement is typically measured using Cohen's Kappa statistic, however, there are some well-known limitations to this approach. We demonstrate an alternate method that uses log-linear models designed to model agreement. These models contain parameters that distinguish between exact agreement (diagonals of agreement matrix) and non-exact associations (off-diagonals). In addition, they can incorporate covariates to examine whether agreement differs across strata. We applied these models to evaluate agreement among expert ratings of exposure to sensitizers (none, likely, high) in a study of occupational asthma. Traditional analyses using weighted kappa suggested potential differences in agreement by blue/white collar jobs and office/non-office jobs, but not case/control status. However, the evaluation of the covariates and their interaction terms in log-linear models found no differences in agreement with these covariates and provided evidence that the differences observed using kappa were the result of marginal differences in the distribution of ratings rather than differences in agreement. Differences in agreement were predicted across the exposure scale, with the likely moderately exposed category more difficult for the experts to differentiate from the highly exposed category than from the unexposed category. The log-linear models provided valuable information about patterns of agreement and the structure of the data that were not revealed in analyses using kappa. The models' lack of dependence on marginal distributions and the ease of evaluating covariates allow reliable detection of observational bias in exposure data. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 03/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/mev011
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    ABSTRACT: The grain and compound feed industry entails inevitable risks of exposure to grain dust and its microbial content. The objective of this study was therefore to investigate task-dependent exposure differences in order to create knowledge basis for awareness and exposure reducing measures in the Norwegian grain and compound feed industry. A total of 166 samples of airborne dust were collected by full-shift personal sampling during work in 20 grain elevators and compound feed mills during one autumn season and two winter seasons. The personal exposure to grain dust, endotoxins, β-1→3-glucans, bacteria, and fungal spores was quantified and used as individual outcomes in mixed models with worker nested in company as random effect and different departments and tasks as fixed effects. The exposure levels were highest in grain elevator departments. Exposure to endotoxins was particularly high. Tasks that represented the highest and lowest exposures varied depending on the bioaerosol component. The most important determinants for elevated dust exposure were cleaning and process controlling. Cleaning increased the dust exposure level by a factor of 2.44 of the reference, from 0.65 to 1.58mg m(-3), whereas process controlling increased the dust exposure level by a factor of 2.97, from 0.65 to 1.93mg m(-3). Process controlling was associated with significantly less grain dust exposure in compound feed mills and the combined grain elevators and compound feed mills, than in grain elevators. The exposure was reduced by a factor of 0.18 and 0.22, from 1.93 to 0.34mg m(-3) and to 0.42mg m(-3), respectively, compared with the grain elevators. Inspection/maintenance, cleaning, and grain rotation and emptying were determinants of higher exposure to both endotoxin and β-1→3-glucans. Seed winnowing was in addition a strong determinant for endotoxin, whereas mixing of animal feed implied higher β-1→3-glucan exposure. Cleaning was the only task that contributed significantly to higher exposure to bacteria and fungal spores. Cleaning in all companies and process controlling in grain elevators were the strongest determinants for overall exposure, whereas seed winnowing was a particular strong determinant of endotoxin exposure. Exposure reduction by technical intervention or personal protective equipment should therefore be considered at work places with identified high exposure tasks. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 03/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/mev012
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    ABSTRACT: It is necessary to investigate the efficiencies of filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) exposed to ultrafine particles (UFPs) for long periods of time, since the particle loading time may potentially affect the efficiency of FFRs. This article aims to investigate the filtration efficiency for a model of electrostatic N95 FFRs with constant and 'inhalation-only' cyclic flows, in terms of particle loading time effect, using different humidity conditions. Filters were exposed to generated polydisperse NaCl particles. Experiments were performed mimicking an 'inhalation-only' scenario with a cyclic flow of 85 l min(-1) as the minute volume [or 170 l min(-1) as mean inhalation flow (MIF)] and for two constant flows of 85 and 170 l min(-1), under three relative humidity (RH) levels of 10, 50, and 80%. Each test was performed for loading time periods of 6h and the particle penetration (10-205.4nm in electrical mobility diameter) was measured once every 2h. For a 10% RH, the penetration of smaller size particles (<80nm), including the most penetrating particle size (MPPS), decreased over time for both constant and cyclic flows. For 50 and 80% RH levels, the changes in penetration were typically observed in an opposite direction with less magnitude. The penetrations at MPPS increased with respect to loading time under constant flow conditions (85 and 170 l min(-1)): it did not substantially increase under cyclic flows. The comparison of the cyclic flow (85 l min(-1) as minute volume) and constant flow equal to the cyclic flow minute volume indicated that, for all conditions the penetration was significantly less for the constant flow than that of cyclic flow. The comparison between the cyclic (170 l min(-1) as MIF) and constant flow equal to cyclic flow MIF indicated that, for the initial stage of loading, the penetrations were almost equal, but they were different for the final stages of the loading time. For a 10% RH, the penetration of a wide range of sizes was observed to be higher with the cyclic flow (170 as MIF) than with the equivalent constant flow (170 l min(-1)). For 50 and 80% RH levels, the penetrations were usually greater with a constant flow (170 l min(-1)) than with a cyclic flow (170 l min(-1) as MIF). It is concluded that, for the tested electrostatic N95 filters, the change in penetration as a function of the loading time does not necessarily take place with the same rate under constant (MIF) and cyclic flow. Moreover, for all tested flow rates, the penetration is not only affected by the loading time but also by the RH level. Lower RH levels (10%) have decreasing penetration rates in terms of loading time, while higher RH levels (50 and 80%) have increasing penetration rates. Also, the loading of the filter is normally accompanied with a shift of MPPS towards larger sizes. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 03/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/mev005
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    ABSTRACT: Assessment of retrospective exposures based on expert judgment in case-control studies is usually of unknown validity because of the difficulty in finding gold standards for comparison. We investigated the relationship between expert-assigned retrospective occupational polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure estimates and serum PCB concentrations. Analyses were conducted on a subset of cases (n = 94) and controls (n = 96) in the multi-center National Cancer Institute, Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Case-Control Study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Based on the subjects' lifetime work histories, an industrial hygienist assigned each job a probability of PCB exposure [<5% (unexposed), 5-<50% (possibly exposed), ≥50% (probably exposed)]. Ordinary least squares regression was used to investigate associations between the probability rating and log-transformed lipid-adjusted serum levels of 14 PCB congeners and total PCBs (ΓPCBs). Compared to unexposed participants (n = 163), those with a probably exposed job (n = 7) had serum levels that were 87% higher for ΓPCBs (95% confidence interval: 1.33-2.62) and 38% of serum level variability was explained by the probability rating. Statistically significant associations between probability ratings and serum levels for 12 of 14 individual congeners were also observed. In summary, the observed contrast in PCB serum levels by probability rating provides support for the occupational PCB exposure assessment. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society 2015.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 03/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/mev001
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    ABSTRACT: A Japanese round-robin study revealed that analysts who used a dark-medium (DM) objective lens reported higher fiber counts from American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Proficiency Analytical Testing (PAT) chrysotile samples than those using a standard objective lens, but the cause of this difference was not investigated at that time. The purpose of this study is to determine any major source of this difference by performing two sets of round-robin studies. For the first round-robin study, 15 AIHA PAT samples (five each of chrysotile and amosite generated by water-suspended method, and five chrysotile generated by aerosolization method) were prepared with relocatable cover slips and examined by nine laboratories. A second round-robin study was then performed with six chrysotile field sample slides by six out of nine laboratories who participated in the first round-robin study. In addition, two phase-shift test slides to check analysts' visibility and an eight-form diatom test plate to compare resolution between the two objectives were examined. For the AIHA PAT chrysotile reference slides, use of the DM objective resulted in consistently higher fiber counts (1.45 times for all data) than the standard objective (P-value < 0.05), regardless of the filter generation (water-suspension or aerosol) method. For the AIHA PAT amosite reference and chrysotile field sample slides, the fiber counts between the two objectives were not significantly different. No statistically significant differences were observed in the visibility of blocks of the test slides between the two objectives. Also, the DM and standard objectives showed no pattern of differences in viewing the fine lines and/or dots of each species images on the eight-form diatom test plate. Among various potential factors that might affect the analysts' performance of fiber counts, this study supports the greater contrast caused by the different phase plate absorptions as the main cause of high counts for the AIHA PAT chrysotile slides using the DM objective. The comparison of fiber count ratios (DM/standard) between the AIHA PAT chrysotile samples and chrysotile field samples indicates that there is a fraction of fibers in the PAT samples approaching the theoretical limit of visibility of the phase-contrast microscope with 3-degree phase-shift. These fibers become more clearly visible through the greater contrast from the phase plate absorption of the DM objective. However, as such fibers are not present in field samples, no difference in counts between the two objectives was observed in this study. The DM objective, therefore, could be allowed for routine fiber counting as it will maintain continuity with risk assessments based on earlier phase-contrast microscopy fiber counts from field samples. Published standard methods would need to be modified to allow a higher aperture specification for the objective. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society 2015.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 03/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/mev007
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to estimate the incidence of chronic and other knee pain (KP) in relation to occupational and personal risk factors among workers representative of a general working population. Of 3710 workers in a French region included in a surveillance network for musculoskeletal disorders (2002-2005), 2332 completed a follow-up questionnaire in 2007-2009 (Cosali cohort). The questionnaires included questions on musculoskeletal symptoms, and personal and occupational exposure. Incident cases of KP in 2007-2009 (i.e. with KP at follow-up but not at baseline) were dichotomized into chronic KP (>30 days in the previous year) and other KP. Associations between incident KP and personal and occupational factors at baseline were studied separately according to sex using multinomial logistic regression. Of the 1616 respondents without KP at baseline, 122 (7.5%) reported chronic KP and 243 (15.0%) reported other KP. The incidence rate of chronic KP was estimated at 19.6 per 1000 worker-years (95% CI: 16.3-23.5). After adjustment for age and body mass index, significant associations were found between incident chronic KP and handling loads >4kg [odds ratio (OR) 2.1 (1.2-3.6) for men, OR 2.3 (1.1-5.0) for women] and kneeling >2h a day for men [OR 1.8 (1.0-3.0)]. This study highlights the high frequency of chronic KP in the working population and the role of occupational factors in its incidence, in particular those kneeling and handling loads. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 02/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/mev010
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    ABSTRACT: Diesel engines are widely used in occupational settings. Diesel exhaust has been classified as a lung carcinogen, but data on number of workers exposed to different levels of diesel exhaust are not available in Australia. The aim of this study was to estimate the current prevalence of exposure to diesel engine exhaust in Australian workplaces. A cross-sectional survey of Australian males and females (18-65 years old) in current paid employment was undertaken. Information about the respondents' current job and various demographic factors was collected in a telephone interview using the web-based tool OccIDEAS. Semi-quantitative occupational exposure levels to diesel exhaust were assigned using programmed decision rules and numbers of workers exposed in Australia in 2011 were estimated. We defined substantial exposure as exposed at a medium or high level, for at least 5h per week. Substantial occupational exposure to diesel exhaust was experienced by 13.4% of the respondents in their current job. Exposure prevalence varied across states, ranging from 6.4% in the Australian Capital Territory to 17.0% in Western Australia. Exposures occurred mainly in the agricultural, mining, transport and construction industries, and among mechanics. Men (20.4%) were more often exposed than women (4.7%). Extrapolation to the total working population indicated that 13.8% (95% confidence interval 10.0-20.4) of the 2011 Australian workforce were estimated to be substantially exposed to diesel exhaust, and 1.8% of the workers were estimated to experience high levels of exposures in their current job. About 1.2 million Australian workers were estimated to have been exposed to diesel exhaust in their workplace in 2011. This is the first study to describe the prevalence of occupational diesel exhaust exposure in Australia and will enable estimation of the number of lung cancers attributable to diesel exhaust exposure in the workplace. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 02/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/mev006
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    ABSTRACT: To analyse the asbestos exposure characteristics and mesothelioma trend in textile workers operating in the larger Tuscan textile industrial province of Prato between 1988 and 2012. All cases of textile workers recorded by the Tuscan mesothelioma register are considered. The demographic and clinical characteristics and asbestos exposure of cases working in the province of Prato are examined. Crude incidence rates between 1988 and 2012 and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) are calculated in rag sorters and other textile workers. The trends of standardized rates are also evaluated, as well as the sources of occupational asbestos exposure from occupational histories of cases affected by other asbestos-related diseases in rag sorters. One hundred and seventy-two malignant mesotheliomas (MMs) have been diagnosed in textile workers in Tuscany. Among these, 46.5% were residents in the province of Prato at the time of diagnosis, half of whom working as rag sorters. All rag sorters with MM are classified as occupationally asbestos exposed, while 71.7% are other textile workers exposed to asbestos. The estimated crude incidence rate in rag sorters in Prato ranges from 74.1×100000 (95% CI: 52.5-101.8) to 166.8×100000 (95% CI: 118.1-229.0). The standardized rates in Prato rag sorters appeared higher throughout the 1990s while in other Prato textile workers the rates increased later on, at the very end of the 1990s. Another 40 cases of asbestos-related diseases in rag sorters were also collected. A very high incidence of MMs was observed in textile workers in Prato, especially among rag sorters. This result, together with the high number of other asbestos-related diseases in rag sorters, strongly supports the hypothesis of diffuse asbestos exposure in rag sorting, in the absence of any other relevant aetiological factor for malignant mesothelioma. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 02/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/meu114
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    ABSTRACT: An inclined air-curtain (IAC) fume hood was developed and characterized using the laser-assisted smoke flow visualization technique and tracer-gas (sulphur hexafluoride) concentration detection method. The IAC fume hood features four innovative design elements: (i) an elongated suction slot installed at the hood roof with an offset towards the rear wall, (ii) an elongated up-blowing planar jet issued from the work surface near the hood inlet, (iii) two deflection plates installed at the left and right side walls, and (iv) a boundary-layer separation controller installed at the sash bottom. Baffles employed in conventional hoods were not used. The suction slot and the up-blowing planar jet formed a rearward-inclined push-pull air curtain. The deflection plates worked with the inclined air curtain to induce four rearward-inclined counter-rotating 'tornados.' The fumes generated in the hood were isolated behind the rearward-inclined air curtain, entrained by the low pressure within the vortical flows, moved up spirally, and finally exhausted through the suction slot. The risk of containment leakage due to the large recirculation vortex that usually exists behind the sash of conventional hoods was reduced by the boundary-layer separation controller. The results of the tracer-gas concentration detection method based on the EN-14175 method showed that the flow field created by the geometric configurations of the IAC hood presented characteristics of low leakage and high resistance to dynamic disturbances at low face velocities. The leakage levels measured by the static, sash movement, and walk-by tests were negligible at a face velocity of 0.26 m s(-1). © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 02/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/mev004
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    ABSTRACT: (i) To evaluate firefighters' pre- and post-shift hydration status across two shifts of wildfire suppression work in hot weather conditions. (ii) To document firefighters' fluid intake during and between two shifts of wildfire suppression work. (iii) To compare firefighters' heart rate, activity, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and core temperature across the two consecutive shifts of wildfire suppression work. Across two consecutive days, 12 salaried firefighters' hydration status was measured immediately pre- and post-shift. Hydration status was also measured 2h post-shift. RPE was also measured immediately post-shift on each day. Work activity, heart rate, and core temperature were logged continuously during each shift. Ten firefighters also manually recorded their food and fluid intake before, during, and after both fireground shifts. Firefighters were not euhydrated at all measurement points on Day one (292±1 mOsm l(-1)) and euhydrated across these same time points on Day two (289±0.5 mOsm l(-1)). Fluid consumption following firefighters' shift on Day one (1792±1134ml) trended (P = 0.08) higher than Day two (1108±1142ml). Daily total fluid intake was not different (P = 0.27), averaging 6443±1941ml across both days. Core temperature and the time spent ≥ 70%HRmax were both elevated on Day one (when firefighters were not euhydrated). Firefighters' work activity profile was not different between both days of work. There was no difference in firefighters' pre- to post-shift hydration within each shift, suggesting ad libitum drinking was at least sufficient to maintain pre-shift hydration status, even in hot conditions. Firefighters' relative hypohydration on Day one (despite a slightly lower ambient temperature) may have been associated with elevations in core temperature, more time in the higher heart rate zones, and 'post-shift' RPE. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 02/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/meu113
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    ABSTRACT: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at a high risk for exposure to pathogens in the workplace. The objective of this study was to evaluate HCW adherence to follow-up after occupational exposure to blood and body fluids at a tertiary care university hospital in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Data were collected from 2102 occupational exposures to blood and body fluids reports, obtained from the Infection Control Division of the Universidade Federal de São Paulo/Escola Paulista de Medicina/Hospital São Paulo, in São Paulo, Brazil, occurring between January of 2005 and December of 2011. To evaluate adherence to post-exposure follow-up among the affected HCWs, we took into consideration follow-up visits for serological testing. For HCWs exposed to materials from source patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), or hepatitis C virus (HCV), as well as from source patients of unknown serological status, follow-up serological testing was scheduled for 3 and 6 months after the accident. For those exposed to materials from source patients co-infected with HIV and HCV, follow-up evaluations were scheduled for 3, 6, and 12 months after the accident. During the study period, there were 2056 accidental exposures for which data regarding the serology of the source patient were available. Follow-up evaluation of the affected HCW was recommended in 612 (29.8%) of those incidents. After the implementation of a post-exposure protocol involving telephone calls and official letters mailed to the affected HCW, adherence to follow-up increased significantly, from 30.5 to 54.0% (P = 0.028). Adherence was correlated positively with being female (P = 0.009), with the source of the exposure being known (P = 0.026), with the source patient being HIV positive (P = 0.029), and with the HCW having no history of such accidents (P = 0.047). Adherence to the recommended serological testing was better at the evaluation scheduled for 3 months after the exposure (the initial evaluation) than at those scheduled for 6 and 12 months after the exposure (P = 0.004). During the study period, there was one confirmed case of HCW seroconversion to HCV positivity. The establishment of a protocol that involves the immediate supervisor of the affected HCWs, in the formal summoning of those HCWs is necessary in order to increase the rate of adherence to post-exposure follow-up. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 01/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/meu117
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    ABSTRACT: This article focuses on prevention of possible exposure to chemical agents, when opening, entering, and stripping freight containers. The container purging process is investigated using tracer gas measurements and numerical airflow simulations. Three different container ventilation conditions are studied, namely natural, mixed mode, and forced ventilation. The tests conducted allow purging time variations to be quantified in relation to various factors such as container size, degree of filling, or type of load. Natural ventilation performance characteristics prove to be highly variable, depending on environmental conditions. Use of a mechanically supplied or extracted airflow under mixed mode and forced ventilation conditions enables purging to be significantly accelerated. Under mixed mode ventilation, extracting air from the end of the container furthest from the door ensures quicker purging than supplying fresh air to this area. Under forced ventilation, purging rate is proportional to the applied ventilation flow. Moreover, purging rate depends mainly on the location at which air is introduced: the most favourable position being above the container loading level. Many of the results obtained during this study can be generalized to other cases of purging air in a confined space by general ventilation, e.g. the significance of air inlet positioning or the advantage of generating high air velocities to maximize stirring within the volume. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 01/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/meu116
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of occupational exposure limits values (OELs) is to regulate exposure to chemicals and minimize the risk of health effects at work. National authorities are responsible for the setting and updating of national OELs. In addition, the EU sets indicative occupational exposure limit values (IOELVs), which have to be considered by the Member States. Under the new European legislation on chemicals (REACH), manufacturers and importers are obliged to establish derived no-effect levels (DNELs) for chemicals that are manufactured or imported in quantities >10 tonnes per year. Chemical safety data sheets must report both OELs and the DNEL values, if such have been set. This may cause confusion at workplaces, especially if the values differ from each other. In this study, we explored how EU IOELVs and Finnish national OELs [Haitallisiksi tunnetut pitoisuudet (HTP) values] correlate with worker inhalation DNELs for substances registered under REACH. The long-term DNEL value for workers (inhalation) was identical to the corresponding IOELV for the majority of the substances (64/87 cases). Comparison of DNELs with HTP values revealed that the values were identical or close to each other in 159 cases (49%), whereas the DNEL was considerably higher in 69 cases, and considerably lower in 87 cases. Examples of cases with high differences between Finnish national OELs and DNELs are given. However, as the DNELs were not systematically lower than the OELs, the default assessment factors suggested by REACH technical guidance had obviously not been used in many of the REACH registrations. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 01/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/meu112
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated nanomaterial release associated with the contamination of protective clothing during manipulation of clothing fabrics contaminated with nanoparticles. Nanomaterials, when released as airborne nanoparticles, can cause inhalation exposure which is the route of exposure of most concern to cause adverse health effects. Measurement of such nanparticle re-suspension has not yet been conducted. Protective clothing can be contaminated with airborne nanoparticles during handling and operating processes, typically on the arms and front of the body. The contaminated clothing could release nanoparticles in the general room while performing other activities and manipulating the clothing after work. The exposures associated with three different fabric materials of contaminated laboratory coats (cotton, polyester, and Tyvek), including the magnitude of contamination and particle release, were investigated in this study by measuring the number concentration increase and the weight change on fabric pieces. This study simulated real life occupational exposure scenarios and was performed in both regular and clean room environments to investigate the effect of background aerosols on the measurements. Concentration were measured using particle spectrometers for diameters from 10nm to 10 µm. Collected aerosol particles and contaminated fabric surfaces were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and elemental composition analysis. The magnitude of particle release from contaminated lab coat fabric was found to vary by the type of fabric material; cotton fabric showed the highest level of contamination and particle release, followed by Tyvek and polyester fabrics. The polyester lab coat material was found to have the lowest particle release to deposition (R/D) ratio. The particle release number concentrations were in a range of 768-119 particles cm(-3) and 586-187 particles cm(-3) in regular and clean rooms, respectively. Multiple peaks were observed in the number concentration distribution data, with particle diameters peaking at 40-50 and 100-300nm. The SEM analysis of the contaminated fabric surface found test particles and other environmental particles. The elemental composition analysis presented detectable response to the studied alumina oxide particles. The laboratory coat primarily made of cotton woven material is not recommended for worker protection against nanoparticle exposure because of the highest particle contamination and release ability. In addition, the result demonstrated that a well-controlled (cleanroom) environment is critical to investigate the factors affecting nanoparticle interaction with protective clothing. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 01/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/meu111
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    ABSTRACT: Prior investigation on medical laser interaction with tissue has suggested device operational parameter settings influence laser generated air contaminant emission, but this has not been systematically explored. A laboratory-based simulated medical laser procedure was designed and pilot tested to determine the effect of laser operational parameters on the size-specific mass emission rate of laser generated particulate matter. Porcine tissue was lased in an emission chamber using two medical laser systems (CO2, λ = 10600nm; Ho:YAG, λ = 2100nm) in a fractional factorial study design by varying three operational parameters (beam diameter, pulse repetition frequency, and power) between two levels (high and low) and the resultant plume was measured using two real-time size-selective particle counters. Particle count concentrations were converted to mass emission rates before an analysis of variance was used to determine the influence of operational parameter settings on size-specific mass emission rate. Particle shape and diameter were described for a limited number of samples by collecting particles on polycarbonate filters, and photographed using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to examine method of particle formation. An increase in power and decrease in beam diameter led to an increase in mass emission for the Ho:YAG laser at all size ranges. For the CO2 laser, emission rates were dependent on particle size and were not statistically significant for particle ranges between 5 and 10 µm. When any parameter level was increased, emission rate of the smallest particle size range also increased. Beam diameter was the most influential variable for both lasers, and the operational parameters tested explained the most variability at the smallest particle size range. Particle shape was variable and some particles observed by SEM were likely created from mechanical methods. This study provides a foundation for future investigations to better estimate size-specific mass emission rates and particle characteristics for additional laser operational parameters in order to estimate occupational exposure, and to inform control strategies. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 01/2015; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/meu115
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    ABSTRACT: Aerosols formed during shooting events were studied with various techniques including the wide range size resolving sampling system Nano-ID® Select, followed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry chemical analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and fast mobility particle sizing. The total lead mass aerosol concentration ranged from 2.2 to 72 µg m−3. It was shown that the mass concentration of the most toxic compound lead is much lower than the total mass concentration. The deposition fraction in various compartments of the respiratory system was calculated using the ICRP lung deposition model. It was found that the deposition fraction in the alveolar range varies by a factor >3 for the various aerosols collected, depending on the aerosol size distribution and total aerosol concentration, demonstrating the importance of size resolved sampling in health risk evaluation. The proportion of the total mass of airborne particles deposited in the respiratory tract varies from 34 to 70%, with a median of 55.9%, suggesting the health risk based upon total mass significantly overestimates the accumulated dose and therefore the health risk. A comparison between conventional and so called ‘green’ ammunition confirmed significant lowering of concentrations of lead and other toxic metals like antimony in the atmosphere of indoor shooting ranges using ‘green’ ammunition, although higher concentrations of manganese and boron were measured. These metals are likely to be the constituents of new types of primers. They occur predominantly in the size fraction <250nm of aerosols.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 12/2014; DOI:10.1093/annhyg/meu097