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Lee E.G.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | Pang T.W.S.,Ryerson University | Nelson J.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | Andrew M.,Biostatistics and Epidemiology Branch | Harper M.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Annals of Occupational Hygiene | Year: 2011

The objectives of this study were to evaluate mounting methods for fiber examination of air sample filters by phase contrast microscopy (PCM) and to evaluate differences in fiber counts that might be due to fiber movement. Acetone/triacetin (AT) with various amounts of triacetin and acetone/Euparal (AE) where the mounting medium was placed between the cleared filter wedge and the coverslip were tested as a function of time. Field sample slides collected from a taconite iron-ore processing mill, a tremolitic talc-ore processing mill, and from around a crusher in a meta-basalt stone quarry were prepared with relocatable coverslips to revisit the same field areas on the slides. For each slide, three or four field areas were randomly selected and pictures were taken every 2 weeks to determine any sign of fiber movement over time. For 11 AT slides (named as AT-3.5) prepared with 3.5 μl of the mounting medium according to the NIOSH 7400 method, no fiber movements were detected over 59 weeks. On the other hand, AT slides prepared with larger quantities (10, 15, and 20 μl) of the mounting medium (named as AT-10) and AE slides prepared with ∼10 μl mounting medium showed fiber movement from the eighth day at the earliest. Fiber movement began earlier for the slides mounted with excess triacetin than for those mounted with Euparal. The sample slide storage method, either vertically or horizontally, did not seem to accelerate fiber movement. Additionally, two other modified methods, dimethylformamide solution/Euparal (mDE) and dimethylformamide solution/triacetin (mDT), were also prepared where the mounting medium was placed between the cleared filter wedge and the glass slide. The findings of fiber movements were similar; when 3.5 μl of triacetin was used for the mDT slides, fiber movements were not detected, while fibers on slides prepared with 10 μl triacetin (mDT-10) moved around. No fiber movements were observed for the mDE slides at any time during 59 weeks. Once fiber movement started, fibers moved over distances measured from 4 μm and up to >1000 μm within 22 weeks. However, since then, no further fiber movements have been observed in any field sample slides. Additional sample slides, two Amosite and two chrysotile, were prepared from Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) samples using the AT method with 5 μl triacetin mounting medium. Fiber movements were also observed in these samples; chrysotile fibers began to migrate in 3 weeks, while Amosite fiber movement started after 3 months. Although fiber movement was observed for the AT-10, AE, and mDT-10 sample slides, fiber counts were not significantly different from AT-3.5 and mDE samples that exhibited no fiber movement. Although fiber counts would not be significantly changed by fiber movement, the type and amount of mounting medium for sample slide preparation remains critical for issues such as quality assurance and training of analysts by revisiting the same fibers. © The Author 2011. Source

Lee E.G.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | Slaven J.,Biostatistics and Epidemiology Branch | Bowen R.B.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Bowen R.B.,Bowen EHS Inc. | Harper M.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Annals of Occupational Hygiene | Year: 2011

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Essentials model was evaluated using full-shift exposure measurements of five chemical components in a mixture [acetone, ethylbenzene, methyl ethyl ketone, toluene, and xylenes] at a medium-sized plant producing paint materials. Two tasks, batch-making and bucket-washing, were examined. Varying levels of control were already established in both tasks and the average exposures of individual chemicals were considerably lower than the regulatory and advisory 8-h standards. The average exposure fractions using the additive mixture formula were also less than unity (batch-making: 0.25, bucket-washing: 0.56) indicating the mixture of chemicals did not exceed the combined occupational exposure limit (OEL). The paper version of the COSHH Essentials model was used to calculate a predicted exposure range (PER) for each chemical according to different levels of control. The estimated PERs of the tested chemicals for both tasks did not show consistent agreement with exposure measurements when the comparison was made for each control method and this is believed to be because of the considerably different volatilities of the chemicals. Given the combination of health hazard and exposure potential components, the COSHH Essentials model recommended a control approach 'special advice' for both tasks, based on the potential reproductive hazard ascribed to toluene. This would not have been the same conclusion if some other chemical had been substituted (for example styrene, which has the same threshold limit value as toluene). Nevertheless, it was special advice, which had led to the combination of hygienic procedures in place at this plant. The probability of the combined exposure fractions exceeding unity was 0.0002 for the batch-making task indicating that the employees performing this task were most likely well protected below the OELs. Although the employees involved in the bucket-washing task had greater potential to exceed the threshold limit value of the mixture (P > 1 = 0.2375), the expected personal exposure after adjusting for the assigned protection factor for the respirators in use would be considerably lower (P > 1 = 0.0161). Thus, our findings suggested that the COSHH essentials model worked reasonably well for the volatile organic chemicals at the plant. However, it was difficult to override the reproductive hazard even though it was meant to be possible in principle. Further, it became apparent that an input of existing controls, which is not possible in the web-based model, may have allowed the model be more widely applicable. The experience of using the web-based COSHH Essentials model generated some suggestions to provide a more user-friendly tool to the model users who do not have expertise in occupational hygiene. Source

Lin M.-I.,National Cheng Kung University | Groves W.A.,Pennsylvania State University | Freivalds A.,Pennsylvania State University | Lee L.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Monitoring | Year: 2010

Recently, physiologic sampling pumps (PSPs), which can adjust their sampling rates in proportion to wearers' minute ventilation (VE), have been proposed to better estimate exposure to airborne contaminants in the workplace. A laboratory evaluation was conducted to compare the performance of a new PSP with a traditional sampling pump (TSP) in an exposure chamber. Fifteen subjects (aged 19-36 years) performed two replicate sessions of step-tests for correlated and uncorrelated exposure scenarios on four separate days. When exposed to a scenario in which subject VE is highly correlated with m-xylene concentration over the sampling period (r = 0.93), the PSP-measured time-weighted average (TWA) concentrations are higher than TSP-measured concentrations (average ratio of PSP to TSP = 1.18). The ratio of PSP- and TSP-measured TWA concentrations for the uncorrelated scenario (r = 0.02) is closer to one, as expected, with an average value of 0.94. The test results of the linear mixed model further indicate that the performance of the PSP is unaffected by the anthropometric and physiological characteristics of the wearer. Potential differences in exposure estimates resulting from the use of the two instruments were examined in light of various schemes which can potentially occur in the field. With the capability of estimating the total volume of air inhaled over the sampling period with improved accuracy, PSPs show promise in reducing the inherent uncertainty in current risk assessment approaches that entail constant-flow (TSP) sampling approaches. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

Wirth M.D.,University of South Carolina | Burch J.,University of South Carolina | Burch J.,Dorn Medical Center | Shivappa N.,University of South Carolina | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2014

Objectives: To determine whether the dietary inflammatory index (DII) is associated with inflammatory or metabolic biomarkers and metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) among police officers. Methods: Cross-sectional data from the Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress study were derived from saliva and fasting blood samples, anthropometric measurements, long-term shiftwork histories, and demographic, stress/depression, and food frequency questionnaires (FFQs). Metabolic syndrome was defined using standard criteria. Results: Officers in DII quartiles 2 to 4 were more likely to exceed a threshold of 3.0 mg/L forC-reactive protein (odds ratio [OR]=1.88; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.02 to 3.45; OR = 2.17; 95% CI = 1.19 to 3.95; OR=1.57; 95% CI=0.85 to 2.88, respectively) compared with quartile 1. The glucose intolerance component of MetSyn was more prevalent among officers in DII quartile 4 than among those in quartile 1 (OR = 2.03; 95% CI = 1.08 to 3.82). Conclusions: A pro-inflammatory diet was associated with elevated CRP and with the glucose intolerance component of MetSyn. Copyright © 2014 by American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Source

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