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2007| September-December | Volume 11 | Issue 3
January 7, 2008
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LETTER TO EDITOR
E-waste management in India: An emerging environmental and health issue
September-December 2007, 11(3):116-116
Prevention and control of silicosis: A national challenge
September-December 2007, 11(3):95-96
Vanadium pentoxide inhalation
Ross G Cooper
September-December 2007, 11(3):97-102
This mini-review describes the toxic effects of vanadium pentoxide inhalation principally in the workplace and associated complications with breathing and respiration. Although there are some material safety data sheets available detailing the handling, hazards and toxicity of vanadium pentoxide, there are only two reviews listed in PubMed detailing its toxicity.
To collate information on the consequences of occupational inhalation exposure of vanadium pentoxide on physiological function and wellbeing.
Materials and Methods:
The criteria used in the current mini-review for selecting articles were adopted from proposed criteria in The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Articles were classified from an acute and chronic exposure and toxicity thrust.
The lungs are the principal route through which vanadium pentoxide enters the body. It can injure the lungs and bronchial airways possibly involving acute chemical pneumonotis, pulmonary edema and/or acute tracheobronchitis. It may adversely influence cardiac autonomic function. It stimulates the secretion of cytokines and chemokines by hepatocytes and disrupts mitochondria function. It disrupts the permeability of the epithelium and promotes access of inflammatory mediators to the underlying neuronal tissue causing injury and neuronal death. When renal brush border membrane vesicles are exposed to vanadium pentoxide, there is a time-dependent inhibition of citrate uptake and Na
ATPase in the membrane possibly contributing to nephrotoxicity. Exposure results in necrosis of spermatogonium, spermatocytes and Sertoli cells contributing to male infertility.
Vanadium pentoxide certainly has adverse effects on the health and the well-being and measures need to be taken to prevent hazardous exposure of the like.
Climate change: The challenges for public health preparedness and response- An Indian case study
Rajan R Patil, TM Deepa
September-December 2007, 11(3):113-115
Extremes weather changes surpassing their usual statistical ranges and tumbling records in India could be an early warning bell of global warming. Extreme weather events like the recent record setting in western Indian city of Mumbai or all time high fatalities due to the heat wave in southern Indian states or increasing vulnerability of easten Indian states to flood could all be a manifestation of climate change in the Asian subcontinent. While the skeptics may be inclined to dismiss these events as simple local aberrations, when viewed in an epidemiological paradigm in terms of person, time and space couple with frequency, intensity and fatalities, it could well be an early manifestation of climate change. Global warming poses serious challenge to the health sector and hence warrants emergency health preparedness and response. Climate-sensitive diseases are among the largest global killers, hence major brunt of global climate change in terms of adverse health impact will be mostly borne by poor and developing countries in Asia, given the levels of poverty, nutional levels and poor public health infrastructure.
Occupational injury surveillance: A study in a metal smelting industry
Asim Saha, Sunil Kumar, DM Vasudevan
September-December 2007, 11(3):103-107
An investigation of occupational injury was undertaken in a metal smelting industry to examine the occurrence and nature of occupational accidents where analysis of occupational injury records was carried out. At the same time, all the workers were interviewed to collect data in relation to personal and occupational characteristics. With this information, the study aimed to examine the role of different factors in the causation of occupational accidents. High incidence of superficial injuries of limbs due mostly to stepping / striking against objects and overexertion / wrong movements of the workers and the frequent association of handling of small tools with work injuries, observed in this study indicated the role of human error in these accidents and highlighted the necessity of proper safety training of the workers. This study also highlighted the need of elevated safety status during summer months and in evening and night shifts (more so in the second half). Moreover, this study could categorize some high-risk groups e.g. young workers, less-experienced workers, obese workers, workers having smoking / chewing habits etc, who need special attention so far as workplace safety is concerned.
Do bullae and emphysema increase risk of pneumothorax in silicosis?
Iraj Mohebbi, Ebrahim Hassani, Shaker Salarilak, Abdul Rahman Bahrami
September-December 2007, 11(3):108-112
The occurrence of occupational lung diseases is decreasing due to improvements in occupational health in recent years; however, silicosis and its complications remain important occupational health problems. We have studied the role of emphysema and bullae as predictive factors of secondary spontaneous pneumothorax in acute and accelerated silicosis.
Materials and Methods
: This study was carried out using questionnaire items on occupational history and conventional computed tomography of lungs. Differences between two groups (silicosis with and without secondary spontaneous pneumothorax) in terms of age, interval of exposure-diagnosis and therefore silica exposure duration were assessed by independent
-test. Fisher's exact test was used to determine the association between secondary spontaneous pneumothorax and both emphysema and bullae.
We found a significant association between secondary spontaneous pneumothorax and bullae in acute and accelerated silicosis.
Pneumothorax in silicosis could be attributed to previous bullae.
Obituary - Dr. P. V. Thacker
September-December 2007, 11(3):117-117
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