Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine   Official publication of Indian Association of  0ccupational  Health  
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   2010| May-August  | Volume 14 | Issue 2  
    Online since October 30, 2010

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Low back pain predict sickness absence among power plant workers
Ardiana Murtezani, Hajrije Hundozi, Nikola Orovcanec, Merita Berisha, Vjollca Meka
May-August 2010, 14(2):49-53
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.72241  PMID:21120081
Background: Low back pain (LBP) remains the predominant occupational health problem in most industrialized countries and low-income countries. Both work characteristics and individual factors have been identified as risk factors. More knowledge about the predictors of sickness absence from LBP in the industry will be valuable in determining strategies for prevention. Objectives: The aim of this longitudinal study was to investigate whether individual, work-related physical risk factors were involved in the occurrence of LBP sickness absence. Methods: A follow-up study was conducted among 489 workers, aged 18-65 years, at Kosovo Energetic Corporation in Kosovo. This cross-sectional study used a self-administered questionnaire to collect data on individual and work-related risk factors and the occurrence of LBP sickness absence. Logistic regression models were used to determine associations between risk factors and the occurrence of sickness absence due to LBP. Results: Individual factors did not influence sickness absence, whereas work-related physical factors showed strong associations with sickness absence. The main risk factors for sickness absence due to LBP among production workers were extreme trunk flexion (OR = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.05-2.78) as well as very extreme trunk flexion (OR = 6.04, 95% CI = 1.12-32.49) and exposure to whole-body vibration (OR = 1.75, 95% CI = 1.04-2.95). Conclusion: Reducing sickness absence from LBP among power plant workers requires focusing on the working conditions of blue-collar workers and risk factors for LBP. Increasing social support in the work environment may have effects in reducing sickness absence from LBP.
  8 4,683 139
A study of neurologic symptoms on exposure to organophosphate pesticides in the children of agricultural workers
SK Rastogi, S Tripathi, D Ravishanker
May-August 2010, 14(2):54-57
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.72242  PMID:21120082
Pesticides are used extensively throughout the world in agriculture and in pest control as well as for community health purposes. Organophosphate (OP) pesticide self-poisoning is an important clinical problem in rural regions of the developing world that kills an estimated 200,000 people every year. Unintentional poisoning kills far fewer people but is an apparent problem in places where highly toxic OP pesticides are available. Neurologic dysfunction is the best documented health effect of pesticide exposure. High-level exposure has both acute and long-term neurologic signs and symptoms, and adverse effects have been reported in most type of pesticides, including organophosphate (OP), carbamate, organochlorine, and pyrethroid insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fumigants. Acute OP pesticide exposure can involve in wide range of both central and peripheral neurologic symptoms. Increased neurologic symptom prevalence may provide early evidence of neurologic dysfunctions, before clinically measurable signs are evident. In this study, we analyzed the cross-sectional data on neurologic signs and symptoms from 225 rural children, both males (n = 132) and females (n = 93) who were occupationally and paraoccupationally exposed to methyl OPs (dichlorvos, fenthion, malathion, methyl parathion) and ethyl OPs (chlorpyrifos, diazinon, ethyl parathion) as they belonged to agricultural families handling, mixing, and spraying the OP pesticides. The children completed a specially designed questionnaire (Q16) on neurologic symptoms associated with pesticide exposure with their parental help. A suitable reference group consisting of rural children (n = 50) never involved in pesticide handling (neither outdoor nor indoor) belonging to similar socioeconomic strata included in the study to compare the prevalence of various neurologic symptoms between the two groups. Among all the neurologic self-reported symptoms, headache, watering in eyes, and burning sensation in eye/face were the most important clinical manifestations attributed to OP pesticide exposure. These symptoms could probably be the consequence of chronic effects of most pesticides on the central nervous system. The muscarinic symptoms reported the maximum prevalence of salivation (18.22%), whereas lacrimation was observed in 17.33% cases, followed by diarrhea in 9.33% cases. The nicotinic clinical manifestations of acute OP poisoning revealed excessive sweating in 13.78% cases and tremors in 9.3% cases followed by mydriasis in 8.4% exposed children. The characteristic cholinergic symptoms, such as insomnia, headache, muscle cramps, weakness, and anorexia were also reported by both male and female exposed children. The high frequency of neurologic symptoms observed in the study may be due to parasympathetic hyperactivity due to the accumulated ACh resulting from AChE inhibition.
  5 4,899 177
An overview of caspase: Apoptotic protein for silicosis
Rajani G Tumane, Shubhangi K Pingle, Aruna A Jawade, Nirmalendu N Nath
May-August 2010, 14(2):31-38
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.72237  PMID:21120077
Silicosis is a chronic lung disease characterized by granulomatous and fibrotic lesions, which occurs due to accumulation of respirable silica mineral particles. Apoptosis is an important phenomenon of cell death in silicosis. The relationship between silica dust and its exposure is well established. But, the complex chain of cellular responses, which leads to caspase activation in silicosis, has not been fully discovered. Caspase activation plays a central role in the execution of apoptosis. Silica-induced apoptosis of the alveolar macrophages could potentially favor a proinflammatory state, occurring in the lungs of silicotic patients, resulting in the activation of caspase prior to induction of the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathways. Recent studies indicated that apoptosis may involve in pulmonary disorders. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the underling mechanism of biochemical pathways in caspase activation that have been ignored so far in silicosis. In addition, caspase could be a key apoptotic protein that can be used as an effective biomarker for the study of occupational diseases. It may provide an important link in understanding the molecular mechanisms of silica-induced lung pathogenesis.
  4 6,586 144
Multinomial logistic regression model to assess the levels in trans, trans-muconic acid and inferential-risk age group among benzene-exposed group
A Mala, B Ravichandran, S Raghavan, HR Rajmohan
May-August 2010, 14(2):39-41
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.72238  PMID:21120078
There are only a few studies performed on multinomial logistic regression on the benzene-exposed occupational group. A study was carried out to assess the relationship between the benzene concentration and trans-trans-muconic acid (t,t-MA), biomarkers in urine samples from petrol filling workers. A total of 117 workers involved in this occupation were selected for this current study. Generally, logistic regression analysis (LR) is a common statistical technique that could be used to predict the likelihood of categorical or binary or dichotomous outcome variables. The multinomial logistic regression equations were used to predict the relationship between benzene concentration and t,t-MA. The results showed a significant correlation between benzene and t,t-MA among the petrol fillers. Prediction equations were estimated by adopting the physical characteristic viz., age, experience in years and job categories of petrol filling station workers. Interestingly, there was no significant difference observed among experience in years. Petrol fillers and cashiers having a higher occupational risk were in the age group of ≤24 and between 25 and 34 years. Among the petrol fillers, the t,t-MA levels with exceeding ACGIH TWA-TLV level was showing to be more significant. This study demonstrated that multinomial logistic regression is an effective model for profiling the greatest risk of the benzene-exposed group caused by different explanatory variables.
  2 5,755 125
The healthy workplace initiative
SM Shanbhag
May-August 2010, 14(2):29-30
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.72236  PMID:21120076
  1 2,668 140
Mercury and health care
Neeti Rustagi, Ritesh Singh
May-August 2010, 14(2):45-48
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.72240  PMID:21120080
Mercury is toxic heavy metal. It has many characteristic features. Health care organizations have used mercury in many forms since time immemorial. The main uses of mercury are in dental amalgam, sphygmomanometers, and thermometers. The mercury once released into the environment can remain for a longer period. Both acute and chronic poisoning can be caused by it. Half of the mercury found in the atmosphere is human generated and health care contributes the substantial part to it. The world has awakened to the harmful effects of mercury. The World Health Organization and United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) have issued guidelines for the countries' health care sector to become mercury free. UNEP has formed mercury partnerships between governments and other stakeholders as one approach to reducing risks to human health and the environment from the release of mercury and its compounds to the environment. Many hospitals are mercury free now.
  1 5,819 182
Study of lead exposure to children residing near a lead-zinc mine
Ranjana Choudhari, NG Sathwara, VK Shivgotra, Shruti Patel, RA Rathod, Shagufta Shaikh, M Idrish Shaikh, Shaswat Dodia, DJ Parikh, HN Saiyed
May-August 2010, 14(2):58-62
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.72243  PMID:21120083
This lead exposure study was conducted in a total of 452 school children in the age group of 9-14 years. Two hundred and ninety-eight exposed children came from the villages situated within a 2.5 km radius of the lead-zinc mine whereas the comparative group children were selected from the villages at least 10 km away from mine. Environmental monitoring study suggested that lead levels in air and water samples near the mining areas were within the Central Pollution Control Board prescribed standards. Lead levels in about 80% of the children were less than 10 μg/dl. Medical examination of all children did not show any signs related to lead toxicity but central nervous system-related symptoms, as reported by the subjects during medical examination, were found to be higher in the exposed group when compared with the comparative group. The values of physical growth parameters of the exposed group were comparable with that of the comparative group for both girls and boys. Hence, the physical growth of children was found to be unaffected by the observed level of lead exposure. To safeguard the health of the children residing near the mining area, various preventive and control measures were suggested.
  - 4,893 130
Climate change and health: Research challenges for health in the developing countries
Harshal T Pandve
May-August 2010, 14(2):42-44
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.72239  PMID:21120079
Climate change has emerged as one of the most important environmental issues ever to confront humanity. Recent events have emphatically demonstrated our growing vulnerability to climate change, and health hazards are a major concern. Research pertaining to the effects of climate change on human health is the need of the hour. This paper discusses the broad challenges in health research in developing countries with specific reference to climate change.
  - 3,827 172