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   2008| September-December  | Volume 12 | Issue 3  
    Online since December 25, 2008

 
 
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REVIEW ARTICLES
Occupational health hazards in sewage and sanitary workers
Rajnarayan R Tiwari
September-December 2008, 12(3):112-115
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.44691  PMID:20040968
An estimated 1.2 million scavengers in the country are involved in the sanitation of our surroundings. The working conditions of these sanitary workers have remained virtually unchanged for over a century. Apart from the social atrocities that these workers face, they are exposed to certain health problems by virtue of their occupation. These health hazards include exposure to harmful gases such as methane and hydrogen sulfide, cardiovascular degeneration, musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritic changes and intervertebral disc herniation, infections like hepatitis, leptospirosis and helicobacter, skin problems, respiratory system problems and altered pulmonary function parameters. This can be prevented through engineering, medical and legislative measures. While the engineering measures will help in protecting against exposures, the medical measures will help in early detection of the effects of these exposures. This can be partly achieved by developing an effective occupational health service for this group of workers. Also, regular awareness programs should be conducted to impart education regarding safer work procedures and use of personal protective devices.
  11,796 575 10
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Occupational health risks among the workers employed in leather tanneries at Kanpur
Subodh Kumar Rastogi, Amit Pandey, Sachin Tripathi
September-December 2008, 12(3):132-135
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.44695  PMID:20040972
In a cross-sectional study, a random sample of 197 male workers drawn from different sections of 10 leather tanneries in Kanpur were selected for the assessment of health risks. A control group comprising of 117 male subjects belonging to a similar age group and socioeconomic strata, who never had any occupational exposure in the leather tanneries, were also examined for the comparison purpose. The findings revealed a significantly higher prevalence of morbidity among the exposed workers in contrast to that observed in the controls (40.1% vs. 19.6%). The respiratory diseases (16.7%) were mainly responsible for a higher morbidity among the exposed workers whereas the gastrointestinal tract problems were predominant in the control group. The urinary and blood samples collected from the exposed group showed significantly higher levels of chromium, thereby reflecting the body burden of Cr in the exposed workers as a result of a high concentration of environmental Cr at the work place.
  9,150 443 10
Safety in nuclear power plants in India
R Deolalikar
September-December 2008, 12(3):122-127
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.44693  PMID:20040970
Safety in nuclear power plants (NPPs) in India is a very important topic and it is necessary to dissipate correct information to all the readers and the public at large. In this article, I have briefly described how the safety in our NPPs is maintained. Safety is accorded overriding priority in all the activities. NPPs in India are not only safe but are also well regulated, have proper radiological protection of workers and the public, regular surveillance, dosimetry, approved standard operating and maintenance procedures, a well-defined waste management methodology, proper well documented and periodically rehearsed emergency preparedness and disaster management plans. The NPPs have occupational health policies covering periodic medical examinations, dosimetry and bioassay and are backed-up by fully equipped Personnel Decontamination Centers manned by doctors qualified in Occupational and Industrial Health. All the operating plants are ISO 14001 and IS 18001 certified plants. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited today has 17 operating plants and five plants under construction, and our scientists and engineers are fully geared to take up many more in order to meet the national requirements.
  6,839 482 -
EDITORIAL
Renal effects of environmental and occupational lead exposure
SK Rastogi
September-December 2008, 12(3):103-106
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.44689  PMID:20040966
  5,782 454 14
REVIEW ARTICLES
Neopterin: Biomarker of cell-mediated immunity and potent usage as biomarker in silicosis and other occupational diseases
Shubhangi K Pingle, Rajani G Tumane, Aruna A Jawade
September-December 2008, 12(3):107-111
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.44690  PMID:20040967
Neopterin is regarded as an early biomarker of the cellular immune response. This low molecular mass compound belongs to the class of pteridine and is a metabolite of guanosine triphosphate, which is produced by the activated macrophages and dendritic cells after stimulation with γ-interferon. An international group acknowledges the fact that the levels of serum neopterin can be used as a marker of the effect of exposure to silica and other occupational diseases. The determination of neopterin is an innovative tool for monitoring diseases associated with the activation of cell-mediated immunity.
  5,683 406 8
Minor heavy metal: A review on occupational and environmental intoxication
Viroj Wiwanitkit
September-December 2008, 12(3):116-121
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.44692  PMID:20040969
Heavy metal is widely used in industries and presents as a problematic environmental pollution. Some heavy metals, especially lead and mercury, are well described for their occupational and environmental intoxication whereas the other minor heavy metals are less concerned. In this article, the author will present the details of occupational and environmental minor heavy metal intoxication. This review focuses mainly on aluminum, tin, copper, manganese, chromium, cadmium and nickel.
  5,083 453 4
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Cost-benefit analysis of installing dust control devices in the agate industry, Khambhat (Gujarat)
Lakho J Bhagia, HG Sadhu
September-December 2008, 12(3):128-131
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.44694  PMID:20040971
It is well known that an exposure to crystalline silica gives rise to silicosis and silico-tuberculosis (TB). In the agate industry of Khambhat (Gujarat) not only workers but also people staying in the vicinity of the agate-grinding facilities are exposed to crystalline silica. To reduce their dust exposure, dust control devices were developed. There are approximately 500 grinding machines located in Khambhat. A cost-benefit analysis of installing dust control devices on all agate-grinding machines was carried out by adding all positive factors and benefits and subtracting the negatives and costs. It was concluded that by installing dust control devices not only could the prevalence of silicosis and TB be reduced but also, in the long run, there could be financial benefits.
  4,322 241 6
Poisoning of workers working in small lead-based units
Harsiddha G Sadhu, BK Amin, DJ Parikh, NG Sathawara, Umesh Mishra, BK Virani, BC Lakkad, VK Shivgotra, Shruti Patel
September-December 2008, 12(3):139-141
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.44697  PMID:20040974
Background: No data are available with the labor departments among the workers of small-scale lead-based units with regard to lead poisoning. One hundred and ninety-five workers were investigated for lead exposure and three were found exceeding the limit of 80 mg/dL, which required a treatment for lead poisoning. Aim: To assess the exposure and health risk in workers working in small lead-based units. Setting and Design: Random sampling is selected from the cross-sectional medical study. Methods and Materials: Medical examination cum biochemical/hematological investigations along with blood lead estimation were carried out in these workers. Statistical Analysis: Epi-Info and SPSS 16.0 were used for statistical analysis. Results and Conclusion: Workers' blood lead levels were brought down from 114.4, 110.0 and 120.6 mg/dL with treatment of D-penicillamine to 40 mg/dL. It may be concluded that lead poisoning is a preventable public health problem that particularly affects the industrial workers in small lead-based units.
  3,979 305 -
LETTERS TO EDITOR
India needs a great sanitary awakening
JP Majra, A Gur
September-December 2008, 12(3):143-143
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.44699  PMID:20040976
  3,465 273 3
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Retinal damages in turner workers of a factory exposed to intraocular foreign bodies
S Masoud Shushtarian, MS Mirdehghan, P Valiollahi
September-December 2008, 12(3):136-138
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.44696  PMID:20040973
Damages caused by an intraocular foreign body (IOFB) to the visual system, mainly the retina, mostly occur during certain occupational activities. Turners are among the laborers who are mostly exposed to IOFB. The aim of the present work is to survey the effect of an IOFB on the visual system, mainly the retina. Fifty laborers of a turner factory who were exposed to IOFB were selected. Electroretinography (ERG) was recorded in all the laborers. Beside these workers, 50 laborers with no incidence of IOFB were also selected. They were also tested using ERG. The results obtained in the two groups were compared together to search for the possible changes in the two groups. The ERG patterns of the case groups were found to be changed in comparison to the control group. The changes were observed in the area under the b-wave of the ERG pattern in the early stage of damage and in the late stages, the latency and amplitude of the ERG b-wave were also affected. Finally, from the result of the present study, one can conclude that ERG is a suitable technique to search for the retinal changes in the laborers exposed to IOFB.
  3,212 191 -
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Emerging public health issues due to climate change
Harshal T Pandve
September-December 2008, 12(3):142-142
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.44698  PMID:20040975
  2,841 264 3