Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health

South Korea

Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health

South Korea
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Cha E.S.,Korea University | Lee Y.K.,Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health | Moon E.K.,Korea University | Kim Y.B.,Soonchunhyang University | And 8 more authors.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2012

Objectives: Paraquat is commonly used worldwide as major herbicide. The objective of this study was to investigate the association among farmers between occupational paraquat exposure and respiratory health effects. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of health effects related to an oil spill was conducted in South Korea from 2008 to 2009. For this analysis, a total of 2882 full-time farmers were selected from the overall sample. Data collection included an interviewer-administered questionnaire and spirometry testing. Logistic regression analysis and linear regression analysis were performed to evaluate the relationship between paraquat exposure and respiratory health outcomes after adjustment for potential confounders. Results: The risks of self-reported physician-diagnosed asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and allergic rhinitis were non-significantly increased among paraquat-applying farmers compared with non-paraquat-applying farmers. Although the results of a pulmonary function test fell within normal limits, a decline in forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second was apparent among paraquatapplying farmers compared with non-paraquat-applying farmers. Forced vital capacity (β=-5.20, p<0.001) and forced expiratory volume in one second (β=-1.89, p=0.010) significantly decreased with each unit increase in years of paraquat application. Paraquat-applying farmers showed a significant exposure - response relationship between restrictive ventilatory defects and paraquat application years (p trend=0.015) or lifetime days of application (p trend=0.007). Conclusions: Our findings suggest a possible association between paraquat application and adverse respiratory health effects among farmers.


Hwang S.H.,Ajou University | Lee I.M.,Inha University | Lee Y.K.,Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health | Park J.I.,Soonchunhyang University | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2013

We characterize the monthly variation in (1 → 3)-β-d-glucan concentration measured over the course of 1 year, and we evaluate the characteristics of size selection using a two-stage cyclone sampler. The (1 → 3)-β-d-glucan concentrations were measured in four bio-related laboratories. A total of 156 samples were collected using a new two-stage cyclone sampler. Analysis of (1 → 3)-β-d-glucan was performed using the kinetic Limulus amebocyte lysate assay. The study showed that airborne (1 → 3)-β-d-glucan concentrations were significantly higher in laboratory D (mean ± SD 1,105 ± 1,893 pg/m3) and in the spring (5,458 pg/m3). The highest concentration of (1 → 3)-β-d-glucan occurred in the spring, particularly in May. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Lee Y.-H.,Korea University | Cha E.S.,Korea University | Moon E.K.,Korea University | Kong K.A.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health | Year: 2010

Objectives: Exposure assessment is a major challenge faced by studies that evaluate the association between pesticide exposure and adverse health outcomes. The objective of this study was to investigate the reliability of information that farmers self-report regarding their pesticide use. Methods: Twenty five items based upon existing questionnaires were designed to focus on pesticide exposure. In 2009, a self-administrated survey was conducted on two occasions four weeks apart among 205 farmers residing in Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces. For a reliability measure, we calculated the percentage agreement, the kappa statistics and the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) between the two reports according to the characteristics of the subjects. Results: Agreement for ever-never use of any pesticide was 96.4% (kappa 0.61). For both 'years used' and 'age at the first use' of overall pesticides, high agreement was obtained (ICC: 0.88 and, 0.78, respectively), whereas those of 'days used' and 'hours used' were relatively low (ICC: 0.42 and, 0.66, respectively). The kappa value for the use of personal protective equipment ranged from 0.46 to 0.59, and hygiene activities came out at 0.19 to 0.37. The agreement for individual pesticide use ranged widely and there was relatively low agreement due to the low response rates. The reliability scores did not significantly vary according to gender, age, the education level, the types of crop or the years of farming. Conclusions: Our results support mat carefully designed, self-reported information on ever-never pesticide use among farmers is reliable. However, the reliability of data on individual pesticide exposure may be unstable due to low response rates and needs to be refined.


Park D.,Korea University | Lee K.,Occupational Lung Diseases Institute | Ryu S.,Korea University | Kim S.,Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Occupational Health | Year: 2013

Objectives: This study was conducted to assess the size characteristics of particulate matter (PM) generated during waste collection and sorting, and to assess the effect of the type of waste-handling activity on levels of coarse and fine PM. Methods: A portable aerosol spectrometer calibrated to 1.2 l/min was used to monitor PM generated during four types of waste-handling activities. The types of PM measured included inhalable particulate matter (IPM), PM10, respirable particulate matter (RPM), PM2.5 and PM1. Twenty-eight data sets with 3,071 subsets recorded every 6 sec were categorized according to occupational and environmental classifications, including type of waste-handling activity. An ANOVA was used to compare PM levels characterized by size. Significant variables with p-values <0.25 were included in a multiple regression model for predicting levels of each PM. Results: The average levels of PM10 and PM2.5 greatly exceeded the air-quality levels enforced by the Korean Ministry of the Environment. The highest PM2.5 fine-particle levels monitored were during waste-transfer work, while the highest IPM and PM10 coarse-particle levels monitored were during waste-sorting work. The type of waste-collection activity was the only factor that significantly affected both PM2.5 and IPM, accounting for 36% (p=0.0034) and 40% (p=0.0049), respectively, of the observed variations. None of the factors affected PM10 or RPM levels. Conclusions: Waste-collection and Waste-transfer work may be associated with the generation of high levels of fine PM, which can be influenced by environmental conditions such as traffic levels and the type of waste transport vehicle.


Park D.,Korea University | Ryu S.,Korea University | Kim S.,Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health | Byun H.,Seoul National University | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health | Year: 2013

Background: Municipal workers handling household waste are potentially exposed to a variety of toxic and pathogenic substances, in particular airborne bacteria, gram-negative bacteria (GNB), and fungi. However, relatively little is known about the conditions under which exposure is facilitated. Methods: This study assessed levels of airborne bacteria, GNB, and fungi, and examined these in relation to the type of waste-handling activity (collection, transfer, transport, and sorting at the waste preprocessing plant), as well as a variety of other environmental and occupational factors. Airborne microorganisms were sampled using an Andersen single-stage sampler equipped with agar plates containing the appropriate nutritional medium and then cultured to determine airborne levels. Samples were taken during collection, transfer, transport, and sorting of household waste. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify environmental and occupational factors that significantly affect airborne microorganism levels during waste-handling activities. Results: The "type of waste-handling activity" was the only factor that significantly affected airborne levels of bacteria and GNB, accounting for 38% (P50.029) and 50% (P50.0002) of the variation observed in bacteria and GNB levels, respectively. In terms of fungi, the type of waste-handling activity (R250.76) and whether collection had also occurred on the day prior to sampling (P<0.0001, R250.78) explained most of the observed variation. Given that the type of waste-handling activity was significantly correlated with levels of bacteria, GNB, and fungi, we suggest that various engineering, administrative, and regulatory measures should be considered to reduce the occupational exposure to airborne microorganisms in the waste- handling industry. © W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2013.


Chae H.,South Korean National Institute of Animal Science | Min K.,South Korean National Institute of Animal Science | Youn K.,Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health | Park J.,University of Suwon | And 3 more authors.
Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2014

Objectives: This study estimated the rate of agricultural injury using a nationwide survey and identified factors associated with these injuries.Methods: The first Korean Farmers' Occupational Disease and Injury Survey (KFODIS) was conducted by the Rural Development Administration in 2009. Data from 9,630 adults were collected through a household survey about agricultural injuries suffered in 2008. We estimated the injury rates among those whose injury required an absence of more than 4 days. Logistic regression was performed to identify the relationship between the prevalence of agricultural injuries and the general characteristics of the study population.Results: We estimated that 3.2% (±0.00) of Korean farmers suffered agricultural injuries that required an absence of more than 4 days. The injury rates among orchard farmers (5.4 ± 0.00) were higher those of all non-orchard farmers. The odds ratio (OR) for agricultural injuries was significantly lower in females (OR: 0.45, 95% CI = 0.45-0.45) compared to males. However, the odds of injury among farmers aged 50-59 (OR: 1.53, 95% CI = 1.46-1.60), 60-69 (OR: 1.45, 95% CI = 1.39-1.51), and ≥70 (OR: 1.94, 95% CI = 1.86-2.02) were significantly higher compared to those younger than 50. In addition, the total number of years farmed, average number of months per year of farming, and average hours per day of farming were significantly associated with agricultural injuries.Conclusions: Agricultural injury rates in this study were higher than rates reported by the existing compensation insurance data. Males and older farmers were at a greater risk of agriculture injuries; therefore, the prevention and management of agricultural injuries in this population is required. © 2014 Chae et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Park D.-U.,Korea University | Ryu S.-H.,Korea University | Kim S.-B.,Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health | Yoon C.-S.,Seoul National University
Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association | Year: 2011

This study was conducted to assess inhalation exposure to dust, endotoxin, and microorganisms (including viable bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria [GNB], and fungi) during waste collection and sorting; to identify factors affecting this exposure; and to estimate the gastrointestinal exposure to microorganisms. A total of 48 or 49 workers involved in collecting and sorting waste from households or the street were studied. Each worker carried two personal samplers in which filters were placed in the breathing zone for estimation of inhalation exposure. To assess the possibility of gastrointestinal exposure, microorganisms on the workers' faces were collected before and after work and compared with those collected from office workers. Inhalation exposure levels were categorized according to job title, waste type handled, and working conditions and were compared using analysis of variance. Multiple regression models were developed to identify those factors that substantially affected inhalation exposure. The average exposure level to total dust was 0.9 mg/m3 (range = 0.05 to 4.51 mg/m3), and the average exposure to endotoxin was 1123 EU/m3. The average respective exposure levels to bacteria, GNB, and fungi each exceeded 104 colony forming units (CFU)/m3. The multiple regression models found several factors that significantly explained the variation in levels of inhalation exposure to endotoxin and microorganisms; namely, sex (dust, bacteria, and GNB), job title (GNB and fungi), collection day (dust, bacteria, and GNB), temperature (endotoxin and GNB), humidity (endotoxin and fungi), and region (endotoxin) were significantly associated with exposure to these agents. In addition, the workers' faces were highly contaminated with microorganisms. In conclusion, inhalation exposure to endotoxin and microorganisms was high during waste collection and sorting, which may place workers at risk of developing various health problems, including respiratory complaints.


Kim S.-B.,Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health | Yoon C.-S.,Seoul National University | Park D.,Korea University
Safety and Health at Work | Year: 2010

Objectives: This study examined how ethanolamines (EAs) with the same functional alcohol group (HOCH2CH2), such as mono-EA (MEA), di-EA (DEA), and tri-EA (TEA), in water-based metalworking fluids (wbMWFs) are vaporized, condensed, and transformed by heat generated during metalworking. Methods: Two types of experimental apparatus were manufactured to achieve these objectives. Results: Vaporization tests using a water bath showed that the vaporization rate increased markedly from 0.19 mg/m2· min at 23.5 °C to 8.04 mg/m2·min at 60 °C. Chamber tests with a heat bulb revealed that "spiked" MEA was fully recovered, while only 13.32% of DEA and no TEA were recovered. Interestingly, non-spiked types of EAs were detected, indicating that heat could convert EAs with more alcohol groups (TEA or DEA) into other EAs with fewer group(s) (DEA or MEA). The EA composition in fresh fluid was 4% DEA, 66% TEA, and 30% MEA, and in used fluids (n = 5) was 12.4% DEA, 68% TEA, and 23% MEA. Conversion from TEA into DEA may therefore contribute to the DEA increment. Airborne TEA was not detected in 13 samples taken from the central coolant system and near a conveyor belt where no machining work was performed. The DEA concentration was 0.45 mg/m 3 in the only two samples from those locations. In contrast, airborne MEA was found in all samples (n = 53) regardless of the operation type. Conclusion: MEAs easily evaporated even when MWFs were applied, cleaned, refilled, and when they were in fluid storage tanks without any metalworking being performed. The conversion of TEA to DEA and MEA was found in the machining operations. Copyright © 2010 by Safety and Health at Work (SH@W).


Park D.,Korea University | Kim S.,Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health | Ha K.,Changwon National University
Aerosol and Air Quality Research | Year: 2012

Alkanolamines or ethanolamines - triEA (TEA), di-EA (DEA), and mono-EA (MEA) - may be used in water-soluble metalworking fluids to stabilize pH or inhibit corrosion. The objectives of this study were to compare EAs levels from air and used fluid bulk among the various metalworking operations, and to examine the relationship not only between aerosol concentration and total airborne EA levels, but also between aerosol levels and the proportion of each type of EA in the total EA in air and fluid bulk. The EA from air and fluid bulk collected from machining operations were quantified by ion chromatography. Airborne EA were taken into de-ionized water (DI) using an impinger. Average aerosol levels were 1.15 mg/m3 for machining and 0.84 mg/m3 for grinding operations. The highest aerosol and total EA levels were for (i) washing operations (4.06 mg/m3 and 1.33 mg/m3, respectively), where compressed air was frequently used to clean metal machine parts, and (ii) individual tanks (1.83 mg/m3 and 2.31 mg/m3, respectively). Airborne MEA was detected in all samples (n = 53), while TEA was not detected in any air samples (n = 13) taken from areas without machining operations. Machining operations showed a significant relationship between aerosol and total EA levels (n = 21, R2 = 0.74). The EA content ratio (EAR: level of each EA in air as a% of total EA in air)/(level of each EA in bulk fluid as a% of total EA in bulk fluid) showed a significant association with the aerosol level, but showed a different pattern according to the EA type. A negative exponential relationship was observed for MEAR (n = 9, R2 = 0.64), with MEAR being greater than "1" at low aerosol concentrations (< 1 mg/m3). In contrast, TEAR increased linearly with increasing aerosol levels, reaching almost "1" when the aerosol concentration was higher than 2.0 mg/m3. The relationship between fluid EA formulation, airborne EA levels, and aerosol levels in machining operations was found to be quite different according to the type of EA. © Taiwan Association for Aerosol Research.


PubMed | Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Safety and health at work | Year: 2012

This study examined how ethanolamines (EAs) with the same functional alcohol group (HOCH(2)CH(2)), such as mono-EA (MEA), di-EA (DEA), and tri-EA (TEA), in water-based metalworking fluids (wbMWFs) are vaporized, condensed, and transformed by heat generated during metalworking.Two types of experimental apparatus were manufactured to achieve these objectives.Vaporization tests using a water bath showed that the vaporization rate increased markedly from 0.19 mg/m(2)min at 23.5 to 8.04 mg/m(2)min at 60. Chamber tests with a heat bulb revealed that spiked MEA was fully recovered, while only 13.32% of DEA and no TEA were recovered. Interestingly, non-spiked types of EAs were detected, indicating that heat could convert EAs with more alcohol groups (TEA or DEA) into other EAs with fewer group(s) (DEA or MEA). The EA composition in fresh fluid was 4% DEA, 66% TEA, and 30% MEA, and in used fluids (n = 5) was 12.4% DEA, 68% TEA, and 23% MEA. Conversion from TEA into DEA may therefore contribute to the DEA increment. Airborne TEA was not detected in 13 samples taken from the central coolant system and near a conveyor belt where no machining work was performed. The DEA concentration was 0.45 mg/m(3) in the only two samples from those locations. In contrast, airborne MEA was found in all samples (n = 53) regardless of the operation type.MEAs easily evaporated even when MWFs were applied, cleaned, refilled, and when they were in fluid storage tanks without any metalworking being performed. The conversion of TEA to DEA and MEA was found in the machining operations.

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