Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine   Official publication of Indian Association of  0ccupational  Health  
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   2008| January-April  | Volume 12 | Issue 1  
    Online since May 16, 2008

 
 
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REVIEW ARTICLES
Zinc toxicology following particulate inhalation
Ross G Cooper
January-April 2008, 12(1):10-13
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40809  PMID:20040991
The current mini-review describes the toxic effects of zinc inhalation principally in the workplace and associated complications with breathing and respiration. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health Criteria were used to specifically select articles. Most of the commercial production of zinc involves the galvanizing of iron and the manufacture of brass. The recommended daily allowance for adults is 15 mg zinc/day. Metal fume fever associated with inhalation of fumes of ZnO is characterized by fatigue, chills, fever, myalgias, cough, dyspnea, leukocytosis, thirst, metallic taste and salivation. ZnCl 2 inhalation results in edema in the alveolar surface and the protein therein the lavage fluid is elevated. Particular pathological changes associated with zinc intoxication include: pale mucous membranes; jaundice; numerous Heinz bodies; and marked anemia. Adequate ambient air monitors for permissible exposure limits, excellent ventilation and extraction systems, and approved respirators are all important in providing adequate protection.
  15 11,344 309
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Monitoring of plasma butyrylcholinesterase activity and hematological parameters in pesticide sprayers
SK Rastogi, Vipul K Singh, C Kesavachandran, Jyoti , M.K.J Siddiqui, N Mathur, RS Bharti
January-April 2008, 12(1):29-32
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40813  PMID:20040995
To evaluate the health impact of spraying organophosphorus insecticides (OPs), 34 male sprayers in the mango belt of Malihabad, a small town located 27 km from Lucknow in North India was selected. Plasma butyryl cholinesterase (PBChE) and complete blood count were assessed among sprayers after spraying pesticides and the findings obtained were compared with those determined in a reference group ( n = 18). The most common symptoms observed were burning sensation in the eyes (8.82%), itching/skin irritation (23.52%) and chest symptoms (32.35%) in the exposed workers. Plasma butyrylcholinesterase (PBChE) was significantly decreased in workers. The results indicated significant decrease in the mean value of hemoglobin, hematocrit and platelets count; however, significantly higher count of leukocytes was also observed in the exposed group (sprayers) compared to that observed in the control group (P < 0.05). Monitoring of PBChE in pesticide sprayers could be useful to predict and prevent health hazards of OPs.
  11 7,970 324
Noise exposure in oil mills
GV Prasanna Kumar, KN Dewangan, Amaresh Sarkar
January-April 2008, 12(1):23-28
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40812  PMID:20040994
Context: Noise of machines in various agro-based industries was found to be the major occupational hazard for the workers of industries. The predominant noise sources need to be identified and the causes of high noise need to be studied to undertake the appropriate measures to reduce the noise level in one of the major agro-based industries, oil mills. Aims: To identify the predominant noise sources in the workrooms of oil mills. To study the causes of noise in oil mills. To measure the extent of noise exposure of oil mill workers. To examine the response of workers towards noise, so that appropriate measures can be undertaken to minimize the noise exposure. Settings and Design: A noise survey was conducted in the three renowned oil mills of north-eastern region of India. Materials and Methods: Information like output capacity, size of power source, maintenance condition of the machines and workroom configurations of the oil mills was collected by personal observations and enquiry with the owner of the mill. Using a Sound Level Meter (SLM) (Model-824, Larson and Davis, USA), equivalent SPL was measured at operator's ear level in the working zone of the workers near each machine of the mills. In order to study the variation of SPL in the workrooms of the oil mill throughout its operation, equivalent SPL was measured at two appropriate locations of working zone of the workers in each mill. For conducting the noise survey, the guidelines of Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) were followed. Grid points were marked on the floor of the workroom of the oil mill at a spacing of 1 m x 1 m. SPL at grid points were measured at about 1.5 m above the floor. The direction of the SLM was towards the nearby noisy source. To increase accuracy, two replications were taken at each grid point. All the data were recorded for 30 sec. At the end of the experiment, data were downloaded to a personal computer. With the help of utility software of Larson and Davis, USA, equivalent SPL and noise spectrum at each reading was obtained. Noise survey map of equivalent SPL was drawn for each oil mill by drawing contour lines on the sketch of the oil mill between the points of equal SPL. The floor area in the oil mill where SPL exceeded 85 dBA was identified from the noise survey map of each oil mill to determine the causes of high level of noise. Subjective assessment was done during the rest period of workers and it was assessed with personal interview with each worker separately. Demographic information, nature of work, working hours, rest period, experience of working in the mill, degree of noise annoyance, activity interference, and psychological and physiological effects of machine noise on the worker were asked during the interview. These details were noted in a structured form. Statistical Analysis Used: Nil. Results: The noise survey conducted in three renowned oil mills of north-eastern region of India revealed that about 26% of the total workers were exposed to noise level of more than 85 dBA. Further, 10% to 30% floor areas of workrooms, where oil expellers are provided have the SPL of more than 85 dBA. The noise in the oil mills was dominated by low frequency noise. The predominant noise sources in the oil mills were seed cleaner and power transmission system to oil expellers. Poor maintenance of machines and use of bamboo stick to prevent the fall of belt from misaligned pulleys were the main reason of high noise. Noise emitted by the electric motor, table ghani and oil expellers in all the oil mills was well within 85 dBA. Subjective response indicated that about 63% of the total workers felt that noise interfered with their conversation. About 16% each were of the opinion that noise interfered in their work and harmed their hearing. About 5% of workers stated that the workroom noise gave them headaches. Conclusions: The workers engaged in the workrooms of the oil mills are exposed to high noise, which will have detrimental effect on their health. The poor maintenance of drive system was found to be the main reason for high noise level.
  5 15,605 361
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Environmental sanitation: An ignored issue in India
Harshal T Pandve
January-April 2008, 12(1):40-40
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40816  PMID:20040998
  4 4,438 256
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Ocular myasis and associated mucopurulent conjuctivitis acquired occupationally: A case study
K Jayaprakash, A Karthikeyan
January-April 2008, 12(1):20-22
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40811  PMID:20040993
Ocular myasis and associated mucopurulent conjunctivitis in human eyes is a rare phenomenon. However, if the sheep bot fly abounds and poor hygienic environment prevails, the Oestrous ovis deposits its larvae in the conjunctival eye sac of human. The present paper reports a case study of ocular myasis among sheep farm workers caused by Oestrous ovis . The ocular myasis and the associated mucopurulent conjunctivitis are occupationally acquired in these cases. This study also suggests the treatment of patients and the recovery of the larvae.
  2 5,814 265
REVIEW ARTICLES
An ergonomic study of women workers in a woolen textile factory for identification of health-related problems
DC Metgud, Subhash Khatri, MG Mokashi, PN Saha
January-April 2008, 12(1):14-19
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40810  PMID:20040992
The observational cross-sectional study conducted on a sample of 100 women workers who volunteered, outlines their cardio-respiratory and musculo-skeletal profile before, during and at end of work. In addition, information on their health status in general was collected in advance. Contrary to expectation, there was no significant change in respiratory function. However, the musculo-skeletal problems were found to be abundantly present with pain in 91% of the subjects. Region-wise mapping of pain revealed that postural pain in low back was present in 47% while in neck was 19%. Scapular muscles on the right side were involved in stabilizing shoulder, which never went overhead. On the contrary, left shoulder was raised as high (>90 degrees) in spinning action, while pulling thread. This muscle work involved trapezius, deltoid and triceps action concentrically in lifting and while coming to starting position slowly, eccentrically. There was no pause since the wheel continued to spin the thread continuously, unless a worker opted to stop the work. Accordingly, left wrist and hand were in holding contraction while the right wrist and hand holding the handle were also in a fixed position with wrist in flexion with supinated forearm. Though the overall job was light as per peak HR, there was pain due to fatigue and grip strength weakened by around 10%, at the end of the day's work. In conclusion, pain and fatigue were found to be the main problems for women in the spinning section of the small-scale industry under this study. Women have to take up dual responsibility of a full-time job as well as the domestic work. It was considered that ergonomic factors such as provision of a backrest and frequent rest periods could remediate the musculo-skeletal symptoms.
  2 12,573 485
GUEST EDITORIAL
Counseling at work place: A proactive human resource initiative
Smita Navare
January-April 2008, 12(1):1-2
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40807  PMID:20040989
  1 18,647 490
INAUGURAL ADDRESS
Safety and occupational health: Challenges and opportunities in emerging economies
Hital R Meswani
January-April 2008, 12(1):3-9
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40808  PMID:20040990
  1 8,740 598
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
A study on health status of women engaged in a home-based "Papad-making" industry in a slum area of Kolkata
Sima Roy, Aparajita Dasgupta
January-April 2008, 12(1):33-36
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40814  PMID:20040996
Background: The 'papad-making' industries of India have provided ample opportunity of employment for the women workers of low socio-economic class although their problems are not much explored. In this study an attempt had been made for the same. Aims: 1.To find out the health status of the women. 2. To find out the factors, in the working conditions, influencing their health status. 3. To assess their felt needs. Settings: A slum area of Kolkata. Design: A cross-sectional, descriptive type of observational study. Methods and Materials: The slum was chosen by random sampling method. Following this, complete enumeration method was adopted. Data were collected by interview and clinical examination of the women engaged in this occupation with a pre-designed and pretested schedule. Statistical Analysis: Proportions and Chi-square test. Results: 77.5% were in the reproductive age group and none were below 14 years. Most of them belonged to poor socioeconomic status. Sixty per cent were in this occupation for more than 10 years and they spent 5 hours for this work daily over and above their household job. Musculoskeletal problem was their commonest health problem. Pallor, angular stomatitis, pedal edema, chronic energy deficiency were found on examination. Personal hygienic measures taken were far from satisfactory. A focus group discussion revealed their health and family problems, dissatisfaction about their working conditions and wage. Other needs identified were home visits for their health care, free medicines and health education. Conclusion: Need exists for a participatory occupational health programme for this working population.
  1 9,318 362
Mental stress in the workers exposed to humidity in a cheese processing factory
SM Shushtarian, AH Hajipour, Y Rastegari
January-April 2008, 12(1):37-39
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40815  PMID:20040997
Certain inevitable physical factors in working environment can damage the workers in related fields. Sea sickness and white finger due to ship movement and vibration respectively are two examples in this regard. Humidity in working area can also bring discomfort of the workers in humid area. Cheese processing factories are such places where there is high humidity in the working space. Mental stress is a psychological complication which can arise due to some physical factors in certain occupational activities, therefore an attempt was made to have a search on mental stress in the laborers working in a cheese factory in Orumieheh, a city in north of Iran, with a cold climate throughout the year. For the purpose of the present study, a cheese processing factory with 100 workers was selected. The workers were divided in to two groups. One group was exposed to high humidity and the other exposed to normal humidity level. A standard questionnaire was given to two groups to check the mental stress. The results obtained from both groups were compared.. The result showed severe mental stress in workers exposed to high humidity whereas moderate stress level in other workers. The conclusion of the present work is a proof of the adverse effect of humidity in working environments which reflect in mental stress in workers which will be discussed in detail in full paper.
  1 4,486 265
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Awareness regarding global warming: Popular media like films need to contribute
Harshal T Pandve
January-April 2008, 12(1):41-41
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40817  PMID:20040999
  - 3,862 181
Industry influence on IAOH
Tushar Kant Joshi
January-April 2008, 12(1):42-42
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40818  PMID:20041000
  - 3,426 174
Debate on industry influence on OH organizations/T.K. Joshi's tantrums!
Ramnik Parekh
January-April 2008, 12(1):43-43
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40819  PMID:20041002
  - 2,517 153
A government under an asbestos roof
Gopal Krishna
January-April 2008, 12(1):43-44
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40820  PMID:20041001
  - 3,591 161
Editor's response
GK Kulkarni
January-April 2008, 12(1):44-44
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.40821  PMID:20041003
  - 2,424 149