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   2007| May-August  | Volume 11 | Issue 2  
 
 
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LETTER TO EDITOR
Global warming: Need to sensitize general population
Harshal Pandve
May-August 2007, 11(2):86-87
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.34536  PMID:21938223
  8 6,140 277
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Tuberculosis among workers exposed to free silica dust
Rajnarayan R Tiwari, Yashwant K Sharma, Habibullah N Saiyed
May-August 2007, 11(2):61-64
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.34530  PMID:21938217
Tuberculosis (TB) is a global emergency. Poverty, increasing migration, homelessness and the compulsions to live and work in high-risk environments are making people increasingly susceptible to the disease. Those working in mines, construction work, stone-crushing and in other similar occupations where there is a greater level of exposure to silica dust are specially vulnerable. Though the association between TB and silicosis has been firmly established by the results of epidemiologic studies no attempts have been made to study the epidemiological features of radiologically active TB among free silica exposed workers. Thus the cross sectional study was carried out among slate pencil workers and quartz stone crushers to assess the prevalence of TB and some associated epidemiological factors. It included 253 quartz workers and 102 slate pencil workers. Clinical history and chest radiographs were used for labeling the subjects as tuberculotic. The pulmonary functions of the subjects were measured using Spirovit SP- 10. Statistical analysis was carried out using statistical software package Epi Info 3.3.2. Among stone crushers the prevalence of TB was found to be 10.7% while among slate pencil workers it was as high as 22.5%. Among the quartz stone-crushers the workers aged ≥35 years, those exposed for ≥3 years and those who were smokers had higher risk TB while among the slate pencil workers, only those exposed for ≥10 years had higher risk. Though the FVC and FEV 1 values of the workers having TB were lower than those having normal radiographs, the differences were found to statistically non-significant.
  6 9,923 379
Visual functions of commercial drivers in relation to road accidents in Nigeria
MK Oladehinde, AO Adeoye, BO Adegbehingbe, AO Onakoya
May-August 2007, 11(2):71-75
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.34532  PMID:21938219
Objective : To determine the effects of the visual functions on the occurrence of road traffic accidents (RTA) amongst commercial drivers in Ife central local government area (LGA) of Osun state of Nigeria. Design : A cross-sectional study. Settings : Four major motor parks located at Ife Central LGA. Materials and Methods : Of the estimated 270 commercial drivers in the four major parks of the LGA, 215 consecutive drivers were interviewed and had their eyes examined. Structured questionnaires were administered by an ophthalmologist. Results: The prevalence of visual impairment (visual acuity < 6/18) in the better eye without correction was 3.3% 2.4 and there was a significant association between uncorrected visual acuity impairment in the better eye and RTA ( P = 0.0152). Refractive error was seen in 8.4% of the drivers, but none of these wear corrective glasses. Visual field defect, abnormal stereopsis and color vision impairment did not have any significant association with RTA. Conclusion : Poor visual acuity is strongly associated with RTA amongst Nigerian commercial drivers as opposed to visual field defect, abnormal color vision and stereopsis. A significant proportion of visual impairment was due to uncorrected refractive errors.
  5 11,503 318
General aspect of pneumoconiosis in Turkey
Arif Cimrin, Zeki Erdut
May-August 2007, 11(2):50-55
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.34528  PMID:21938215
During the past 20 years number of definitive occupational diseases has not increased above 1500 case/year according to official statistics in Turkey. Although pneumoconiosis is the most diagnosed occupational disease, incidence of pneumoconiosis is very low. The present paper aims at reaching conclusions on the true dimension of the pneumoconiosis problem by evaluating whole the studies and case presentations related to coal mine dust and crystalline silica exposure within occupational environment. Regarding the results of the workplace-based studies it could be predicted that 20,000 out of 220,000 workers in mining sector could have pneumoconiosis and approximately 5,000 new pneumoconiosis cases might have occurred each year. Case presentations show high-level dust exposures present at the work places. These working conditions might cause acute pneumoconiosis. Poor working conditions exist especially at small and micro scale establishments. In Turkey, infrastructural and superstructural problems on workplace supervision and follow-up, legal processes on workers' health are complicated. Turkey has to provide healthy working conditions to those small-scale workplaces. Providing relevant assistance with activating people of the developed countries should be on top of the global efforts.
  4 12,344 474
BRIEF COMMUNICATION
Incidence of vitamin B12 / D3 deficiency among company executives
Chaitanya Gulvady, Shyam Pingle, Shrinivas Shanbhag
May-August 2007, 11(2):83-85
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.34535  PMID:21938222
The present cross-sectional and interventional study was carried out to assess the incidence of vitamin B12 / vitamin D deficiency in male office executives in the tropical city of Mumbai, India. A total of 75 senior executives were surveyed and subjected to analysis of blood levels of vitamin D (25 Hydroxy Cholecalciferol) by RIA method and vitamin B12 by CLIA method. The same was performed in a reputed analytical laboratory with NABL accreditation. History of smoking, exposure to sunlight, exercise, dietary habits, consumption of vitamin supplements, medication etc. was obtained. The results revealed 65% executives with vitamin B12 deficiency (less than 193 pg/ml) and 28% executives with vitamin D deficiency (less than 7.6 ng/ml). The prevalence of low levels of vitamin B12 is lower (58%) in those who give history of regular exercise than others. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is lower (25%) in those who give history of regular exercise than in others (46.2%). Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is higher (47%) in those whose workday day started earlier than in those whose workday started later (12%). In the second phase of the survey, 58 executives with low B12/ D3 values, were given vitamin B12/D3 oral supplements for a period of three months along with counseling for lifestyle modification. A modified questionnaire was then circulated and the subjects analyzed for B12/D3 values. Significant improvements in serum B12 and D3 values were seen after the oral therapy, sun exposure and dietary modifications.
  3 15,164 315
Reversible delayed neuropsychiatric syndrome following acute carbon monoxide exposure
R Bhatia, F Chacko, V Lal, BR Mittal
May-August 2007, 11(2):80-82
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.34534  PMID:21938221
A 40-year-old male presented with acutely oncoming neuropsychiatric symptoms in the form of extrapyramidal disturbances, personality change, behavior changes and urinary incontinence. One month prior to this symptomatology, he had been found unconscious in his closed room where a coal fire was burning overnight. He recovered completely in two days with supportive therapy. Magnetic resonance imaging during this presentation showed bilateral white matter changes suggestive of demyelination. Tc99m-ECD SPECT study revealed hypoperfusion in bilateral frontal region. He was managed conservatively and eventually made a nearly complete recovery. Repeat SPECT study revealed marked improvement in tracer uptake correlating with his improvement. Delayed neuropsychiatric syndrome after acute carbonmonoxide poisoning is a rare and distinct entity. This case report discusses the various aspects of this disease entity.
  2 11,389 226
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Biochemical parameters of liver function in artisans occupationally exposed to "vat dyes"
Oluwatosin O Soyinka, Francis A Adeniyi, Olabamiji A Ajose
May-August 2007, 11(2):76-79
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.34533  PMID:21938220
Background: Vat dyes are the class of dyes used in textile dyeing in Abeokuta, South Western Nigeria. While some dyes (including vat dyes intermediates) have been associated with adverse effects on manufacturer's health, there is paucity of data on effects of occupational exposure to vat dyes among end users, such as those involved in textile dyeing and finishing. Aims and Objectives: To investigate the possible effect of occupational exposure to vat dyes on the functions of the liver. Materials and Methods: Using convenience sampling technique, a cohort of dye workers (n=117) with a minimum of one year and a maximum of 60 years duration of exposure (mean =17.03 1.19 years) were recruited in this study. Sixty traders, matched for age and sex and who had no previous exposure to vat dyes were selected as controls. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on demographic, occupational and environmental characteristics of the subjects. Plasma activities of alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and plasma concentrations of total protein, albumin and total bilirubin were measured using standard spectrophotometric methods. Statistical analyses: SPSS version 11.0 was used for statistical analyses. Tests of significance were carried out using Student's t test, and correlation co-efficient. Results and Conclusion : The activity of ALP and the concentrations of total protein and albumin were significantly lower ( P <0.05) in the exposed group. ALT and AST activities were significantly higher ( P <0.05) in the exposed group. Occupational exposure to vat dyes may result in sub-clinical adverse effects on the liver, involving inhibition of its synthetic function.
  2 8,764 301
Methylene chloride exposure and carboxyhemoglobin levels in cabinetmakers
Sunny O Banjoko, KC Sridhar Mynapelli, Isiah O Ogunkola, Olatunde O Masheyi
May-August 2007, 11(2):56-60
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.34529  PMID:21938216
Methylene chloride (MeCl 2) is a clear colorless volatile sweet smelling lipophilic solvent used as a constituent of wood vanishes and paints. Human exposure is mainly due to inhalation and its biotransformation by the hepatic mixed function oxidases (MFO) leads to formation of carbon monoxide (CO). Simultaneous exposure to MeCl 2 and increased ambient CO results in undesirably increased carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) formation, which predisposes to carboxyhemoglobinaemia with the central nervous system as the primary target organ of toxicity. In this study, ambient CO levels were determined using a CO personal monitor in different pasts of Ibadan Nigeria and work place microenvironment of 50 Cabinet makers (test group) and 50 volunteer (control) in non-furniture making occupations. Mann Whitney U and Kruskaal Wallis were the statistical methods of analysis used. Questionnaires were administered to both groups carboxyhaemoglobin levels were determined in venous blood drawn from individuals in the two groups by differential spectrophotometric method. Ambient CO levels in Ibadan were observed to be between 4 and 52 ppm with a mean of 20 ppm. Work environment CO levels were significantly higher in test subjects than controls at 5.2 1.08 ppm and 2.08 0.91 ppm respectively ( P <0.001). COHb in cabinetmakers with mean working hours of 9.48 2.9 per day was 3.95 1.35 (%) while that of controls with mean working hours of 8.0 0.8 per day was 2.08 0.91 ppm ( P <0.001). Smoking however did not significantly affect the COHb levels within the two groups ( P >0.05). It is therefore imperative to substitute MeCl 2 for safer chemicals in wood vanish and paints and the use of protective gas masks and adequate ventilation should be mandatory whenever MeCl 2 is used.
  2 10,217 261
EDITORIAL
Indo-US nuclear deal: A challenge for occupational health
Harshal Pandve, PA Bhuyar, A Banerjee
May-August 2007, 11(2):47-49
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.34527  PMID:21938214
  1 7,661 429
BOOK REVIEW
Occupational and environmental health: A practical manual
GK Kulkarni
May-August 2007, 11(2):87-87
  - 3,408 362
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Biochemical profile of gin women laborers in Tirupur
JV Jannet, GP Jeyanthi
May-August 2007, 11(2):65-70
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.34531  PMID:21938218
Ginning factories discharge large amounts of cotton dusts that lead to decreased pulmonary function in the exposed subjects. An attempt was made to study the biochemical profile of women laborers employed in ginning factory located in Tirupur, a textile based city in Coimbatore district of Tamilnadu, India. The blood parameters that were analyzed were hemoglobin, total and differential count of leucocytes, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), total proteins, immunoglobulins, total and isozymic content of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and histamine. Student's 't' test was carried out to compare the results with the control women. Correlation analysis was done between/within the biochemical parameters and also between the pulmonary function parameters results reported earlier by Jannet and Jeyanthi. Significant changes in the levels of hemoglobin, ESR, immunoglobins and histamine were reported in this study. Correlation studies between the pulmonary function parameters and biochemical parameters revealed significant negative correlation of FVC, FEV 1 and PEF with ESR ( P <0.05). There was also positive correlation between immunoglobin G and histamine. A significant negative correlation was observed between LDH1 and LDH3 and between albumin and γ globulin. The study suggested that the ginning factory women laborers exhibited significant changes in the levels of certain biochemical parameters apart from the pulmonary functional changes.
  - 8,487 288