If you have ever opened a dry-cleaning bag and put on a freshly laundered garment, you know that dry-cleaning can make clothes look and smell almost new. That freshness, however, is created using chemicals that may be potentially harmful to employees who work in the dry-cleaning process. Although today’s dry-cleaners are moving away from using perchloroethylene, a toxic chemical that may cause cancer, the work-related health effects of the chemicals taking its place are unknown.
A physically demanding job or work schedules outside normal office hours may lower a woman's ability to conceive, suggests research published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine. Researchers say women who work nights and irregular shifts have fewer eggs capable of developing into healthy embryos than those who keep regular daytime hours.
In manufacturing and other industries where lifting is part of the job, disorders that affect the muscles and bones are a common problem. In fact, musculoskeletal disorders cause one-third of work-related injuries resulting in missed workdays, costing about $45 to $54 billion annually in lost productivity and treatment, according to estimates from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine.
A recent survey of healthcare workers found that certain surgical procedures often lack ventilation that removes surgical smoke at its source, according to researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Despite the best efforts of the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) efforts to control exposure to respirable coal mine dust, the number of Black Lung cases currently being diagnosed in Appalachia is unprecedented, according to some researchers. In the decades since the passage of the 1977 Mine Act, MSHA has tried everything from new and more stringent regulations, including Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, final rule, the use of Continuous Personal Dust Monitors and compliance assistance initiatives to eliminate the conditions that lead to the disease.
Until recently, underground coal miners and mine operators had little way of knowing—in real time—if miners were being exposed to hazardous levels of respirable coal dust during their shifts. NIOSH collaborated with an instrument manufacturer, government partners, labor representatives, and coal industry leaders to develop the continuous personal dust monitor (CPDM), a technology that offers miners, safety personnel, and operators real-time exposure information to help protect miners’ health.
Engineered nanomaterials are fascinating. Just by making stuff smaller researchers have discovered forms of materials and even completely new materials that can be applied as diversely as better drugs, better paints or faster electronics. Using chemicals in a nanoscale version can completely alter their nature.
It is often said that the U.S. and the U.K. are two nations divided by a common language. For example, Americans name the people who investigate occupational exposure and control methods industrial hygienists, whereas we Brits use occupational hygienists. But where noise is concerned, we definitely have agreement on the causal relationship between exposure and hearing loss, which has been observed anecdotally for centuries.
A plan to offer triage by telephone to veterans suspected of having malignant mesothelioma may enable them to access expert mesothelioma advice faster, potentially improving their long-term outcomes.
In a newly published article in the Journal of Surgical Research, surgeons with VA Boston Healthcare System detail their experience with telephone triage of suspected malignant mesothelioma patients and explain how the system could help veterans around the country with other rare diseases.