Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine   Official publication of Indian Association of  0ccupational  Health  
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   2008| May-August  | Volume 12 | Issue 2  
    Online since October 4, 2008

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E-waste hazard: The impending challenge
Violet N Pinto
May-August 2008, 12(2):65-70
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.43263  PMID:20040981
Electronic waste or e-waste is one of the rapidly growing problems of the world. E-waste comprises of a multitude of components, some containing toxic substances that can have an adverse impact on human health and the environment if not handled properly. In India, e-waste management assumes greater significance not only due to the generation of its own e-waste but also because of the dumping of e-waste from developed countries. This is coupled with India's lack of appropriate infrastructure and procedures for its disposal and recycling. This review article provides a concise overview of India's current e-waste scenario, namely magnitude of the problem, environmental and health hazards, current disposal and recycling operations, existing legal framework, organizations working on this issue and recommendations for action.
  13 13,761 609
Occupational noise-induced hearing loss in India
Subroto S Nandi, Sarang V Dhatrak
May-August 2008, 12(2):53-56
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.43260  PMID:20040978
Noise is the insidious of all industrial pollutants, involving every industry and causing severe hearing loss in every country in the world. Exposure to excessive noise is the major avoidable cause of permanent hearing impairment. Worldwide, 16% of the disabling hearing loss in adults is attributed to occupational noise, ranging from 7 to 21% in the various subregions. The estimated cost of noise to developed countries ranges from 0.2 to 2% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is bilateral and symmetrical, usually affecting the higher frequencies (3k, 4k or 6k Hz) and then spreading to the lower frequencies (0.5k, 1k or 2k Hz). Other major health effects are lack of concentration, irritation, fatigue, headache, sleep disturbances, etc. The major industries responsible for excessive noise and exposing workers to hazardous levels of noise are textile, printing, saw mills, mining, etc. Hearing protectors should be used when engineering controls and work practices are not feasible for reducing noise exposure to safe levels. Earmuffs, ear plugs and ear canal caps are the main types of hearing protectors. In India, NIHL has been a compensable disease since 1948. It is only in 1996 that the first case got compensation. Awareness should be created among workers about the harmful effects of noise on hearing and other body systems by implementing compulsory education and training programs. There are very few published studies of NIHL in India. More extensive studies are needed to know the exact prevalence of NIHL among the various industries in India.
  12 8,480 691
Global initiatives to prevent climate change
Harshal T Pandve
May-August 2008, 12(2):96-97
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.43270  PMID:20040988
  6 3,717 205
Susceptibility and resistance in the genesis of asbestos-related mesothelioma
Claudio Bianchi, Tommaso Bianchi
May-August 2008, 12(2):57-60
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.43261  PMID:20040979
Asbestos is the principal agent in the etiology of malignant mesothelioma. However, a small proportion of people exposed to asbestos develop mesothelioma. This suggests the role of host factors in the genesis of the tumor. A genetic susceptibility is suggested by the occurrence of more mesothelioma cases among blood-related members of a single family. Such an occurrence reached about 4% in a large mesothelioma series. In some studies, mesothelioma patients showed higher prevalences of additional malignancies when compared with controls. This indicates a particular vulnerability to cancer in people with mesothelioma. Not rarely, very old persons heavily exposed to asbestos remain free from asbestos-related cancer, a fact indicating an absolute resistance to the oncogenic effects of asbestos. A relative resistance may be recognized in people severely exposed to asbestos who develop mesothelioma only after 60 years or more since the onset of the exposure. The long survivals, rarely observed among mesothelioma patients, have been attributed to a high efficiency of immune mechanisms. Mesotheliomas have been reported among people with severe immune impairment, such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients or organ transplant recipients. The natural history of mesothelioma shows that a resistance to the oncogenic effects of asbestos does exist. Probably, such a resistance is due to the efficient immune mechanisms. To strengthen the defence mechanisms may represent a way for preventing mesothelioma among people exposed to asbestos.
  6 3,495 207
The sick building syndrome
Sumedha M Joshi
May-August 2008, 12(2):61-64
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.43262  PMID:20040980
The sick building syndrome comprises of various nonspecific symptoms that occur in the occupants of a building. This feeling of ill health increases sickness absenteeism and causes a decrease in productivity of the workers. As this syndrome is increasingly becoming a major occupational hazard, the cause, management and prevention of this condition have been discussed in this article.
  5 10,068 441
The Asian brown cloud
Harshal T Pandve
May-August 2008, 12(2):93-95
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.43269  PMID:20040987
  4 5,382 193
The role of exhaust ventilation systems in reducing occupational exposure to organic solvents in a paint manufacturing factory
Mohammad Javad Jafari, Ali Karimi, Mansoor Rezazadeh Azari
May-August 2008, 12(2):82-87
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.43266  PMID:20040984
This paper presents the successful design and implementation of several exhaust ventilation systems in a paint manufacturing factory. The ventilation systems were designed based on American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists recommendations. The duct works, fans, and other parts were made and mounted by local manufacturers. The concentrations of toluene and xylene as the common solvents used in paint mixing factories were measured to evaluate the role of ventilation systems in controlling the organic solvents. Occupational exposure to toluene and xylene as the major pollutants was assessed with and without applying ventilation systems. For this purpose, samples were taken from breathing zone of exposed workers using personal samples. The samples were analyzed using Occupational Safety and Health Administration analytical method No.12. The samples were quantified using gas chromatography. The results showed that the ventilation systems successfully controlled toluene and xylene vapors in workplace, air well below the recommended threshold limit value of Iran (44.49 and 97.73 ppm, respectively). It was also discovered that benzene concentration in workplace air was higher than its allowable concentrations. This could be from solvents impurities that require more investigations.
  3 6,454 264
Morbidity profile of steel pipe production workers
Kirti Pandit, Rajnarayan R Tiwari
May-August 2008, 12(2):88-90
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.43267  PMID:20040985
Objective: To study the different morbid conditions among steel pipe producing workers. Methods: The present cross-sectional study has been carried out among the workers of one of the steel pipes and tubes manufacturing factory of Gujarat. Hundred workers from the four major departments of the steel pipe production plant, namely welding, pressing machine, X-ray welding and loading/transportation department were covered. The information regarding demographic, occupational, clinical characteristics and diagnosis were recorded on a pre-designed proforma. Statistical analysis included calculation of percentages and proportions and was carried out using the statistical software Epi Info Version 3.3.2. Results: The mean age of the study subjects was found to be 38.77.1 years. The mean duration of exposure was found to be 9.03.4 years. Forty-four percent of the subjects had an upper respiratory tract infection, as evidenced by symptoms like dry cough, cough with rhinitis and cough with fever. Symptoms suggestive of allergic bronchitis were observed in 12% of the subjects while symptoms suggestive of heat stress such as prickly heat, dehydration, perspiration and pyrexia were observed in 13% of the subjects.
  1 3,609 256
Investigation of respirable particulate matter pollutants on air-breathing zone workers in the Beam Rolling Mills Factory (Iran National Steel Industrial Group), Ahvaz, Iran
Masoud Rafiei, Alaka S Gadgil, Vikram S Ghole, Neemat Jaafarzadeh, Sharad D Gore, Mohammad Aberomand, Mitra Shabab
May-August 2008, 12(2):71-75
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.43264  PMID:20040982
Workers of iron and steel factories are exposed to a wide range of pollutants depending on the particular process, the materials involved, the effectiveness of monitoring and the control measures. Adverse effects are determined by the physical state and propensities of the pollutant involved, the intensity and duration of the exposure, the extent of pollutant accumulation in the body and the sensitivity of the individual to its effects. The main aim of this study is to assess the levels of the indoor respirable particulate matter (RPM) and to compare the health condition of exposed workers, with nonexposed employees group. Line 630 has only one furnace of 40 tons and line 650 has two furnaces of 20 and 40 tons capacity due to which the mean of the RPM concentrations in the breathing zone was significantly different ( P < 0.05) in line 650 but not in line 630 as compared with National Institute for Occupational Safety and Hygiene's (3 mg/m 3 ). The average of the RPM concentrations in production line 650 is higher than that of production line 630, with the 95% confidence interval in saw cabin station number 1 of production line 650.
  1 4,561 255
Implementation of occupational health legislation at work place, issues and concerns
GK Kulkarni
May-August 2008, 12(2):51-52
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.43259  PMID:20040977
  - 3,983 460
Indian Association of Occupational Health denies industry influence
SM Shanbhag
May-August 2008, 12(2):91-92
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.43268  PMID:20040986
  - 2,558 159
Solid-waste management in Jalandhar city and its impact on community health
Avinash Puri, Manoj Kumar, Eonkar Johal
May-August 2008, 12(2):76-81
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.43265  PMID:20040983
In this study, solid-waste management practices were evaluated in order to find out its link with occurrence of vector-borne disease. Strategies for solid-waste management were employed as practical model to solve the problems regarding pollution which is originated by solid-waste.
  - 10,163 411