• Dario Consonni1

  1. 1- Clinica del lavoro, Milano

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Ricerca bibliografica periodo dal 16 ottobre 2011 al 27 dicembre 2011

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Stringa: ((((((((("occupational exposure"[MeSH Terms] OR "occupational diseases"[MeSH Terms]) OR "occupational health"[MeSH Terms]) OR "workplace"[MeSH Terms]) OR "accidents, occupational"[MeSH Terms]) OR "employment"[MeSH Terms]) OR occupation[Title/Abstract]) OR occupational[Title/Abstract]) OR worker[Title/Abstract]) OR workers[Title/Abstract]) AND ("italy"[MeSH Terms] OR "italy"[All Fields]) AND ("2011/10/16"[PDAT] : "2011/12/27"[PDAT])
1. Ciarrocca M, Tomei G, Palermo P, Caciari T, Cetica C, Fiaschetti M, Gioffrè PA, Tasciotti Z, Tomei F, Sancini A. Environmental and biological monitoring of arsenic in outdoor workers exposed to urban air pollutants. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2011 Dec 23. [Epub ahead of print].
Department of Occupational Medicine, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena 336, 00161 Rome, Italy.

The aim of this study is to evaluate personal exposure to As in urban air in two groups of outdoor workers (traffic policemen and police drivers) of a big Italian city through: (a) environmental monitoring of As obtained by personal samples and (b) biological monitoring of total urinary As. The possible influence of smoking habit on urinary As was evaluated. We studied 122 male subjects, all Municipal Police employees: 84 traffic policemen and 38 police drivers exposed to urban pollutants. Personal exposure to As in air was significantly higher in traffic policemen than in police drivers (p=0.03). Mean age, length of service, alcohol drinking habit, number of cigarettes smoked/day and BMI were comparable between the groups of subjects studied. All subjects were working in the same urban area where they had lived for at least 5yrs. Dietary habits and consumption of water from the water supply and/or mineral water were similar in traffic policemen and in police drivers. The values of total urinary As were significantly higher in traffic policemen (smokers and non smokers) than in police drivers (smokers and non smokers) (p=0.02). In the subgroup of non-smokers the values of total urinary As were significantly higher in traffic policemen than in police drivers (p=0.03). In traffic policemen and in police drivers total urinary As values were significantly correlated to the values of As in air (respectively r=0.9 and r=0.8, p<0.001). This is the first research in literature studying the exposure to As in outdoor workers occupationally exposed to urban pollutants, such as traffic policemen and police drivers. Personal exposure to As in the air, as well as the urinary excretion of As, is significantly higher in traffic policemen compared to drivers. These results can provide information about exposure to As in streets and in car for other categories of outdoor workers similarly exposed.

2. d'Errico A, Costa G. Socio-demographic and work-related risk factors for medium- and long-term sickness absence among Italian workers. Eur J Public Health. 2011 Dec 6. [Epub ahead of print]
Epidemiology Department, Local Health Unit ASL TO3, Piedmont Region, Grugliasco (TO), Italy.

BACKGROUND: Few studies investigated determinants of sickness absence in representative samples of the general population, none of which in Italy. Aim of this study was to assess influence and relative importance of socio-demographic and work-related characteristics on medium- and long-term sickness absence in a random sample of Italian workers.
METHODS: Approximately 60 000 workers participating in a national survey in 2007 were interviewed regarding sickness absence during the whole previous week, and on socio-demographics, employment characteristics and exposure to a set of physical and psychosocial hazards in the workplace. The association between sickness absence and potential determinants was estimated by multivariable logistic regression models stratified by gender.
RESULTS: From the final multivariate models, in both genders sickness absence was statistically significantly associated with tenure employment, working in larger firms, exposure to risk of injury and to bullying or discrimination and, among employees, with shift work. In males, sickness absence was also associated with lower education, employment in the public administration and with exposure to noise or vibration, whereas among women also with manual work and ergonomic factors. In both genders, the attributable fraction for employment-related characteristics was higher than that for socio-demographic ones.
CONCLUSIONS: The association with tenure or salaried jobs, and with employment in larger firms or in the public sector suggests that, besides illness, job security is the most important determinant of sickness absence, consistently with the results of previous studies. However, our results indicate that a reduction in exposure to workplace hazards may contribute to reduce absenteeism.

3. Bono R, Romanazzi V, Pirro V, Degan R, Pignata C, Suppo E, Pazzi M, Vincenti M. Formaldehyde and tobacco smoke as alkylating agents: The formation of N-methylenvaline in pathologists and in plastic laminate workers. Sci Total Environ. 2011 Nov 18. [Epub ahead of print]
Department of Public Health and Microbiology, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.

OBJECTIVE: Aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between the concentration of formaldehyde in air and the alkylation of hemoglobin to form a terminal N-methylenvaline residue in three occupationally exposed groups: a) technicians of pathology wards, b) workers of the plastic laminates industry, and c) a control group. All subjects recruited in this study were also tested on their smoking habits.
METHODS: Formaldehyde adsorbed on passive air samplers was quantified by HPLC with UV detection (360nm), cotinine was quantified by GC-MS. Terminal hemoglobin N-methylenvaline was determined by treating globine under reducing conditions with pentafluorophenyl isothiocyanate to yield a derivative, subsequently detected by GC-MS. One-way analysis of variance was performed to compare among the three groups the biomarkers considered in this study.
RESULTS: For air-FA and N-methylenvaline a difference between the three groups was detected (p<0.0001) and a significant higher concentration in the two professionally exposed groups was proved. Mean values for FA (μg/m(3)): group a) 188.6, group b) 210.1, and group c) 41.4; mean values for N-methylenvaline (nmol/g of globin): group a) 377.9, group b) 342.8, and group c) 144.8. Conversely, the comparison between the two professionally exposed groups, a) vs b), does not show any significant difference highlighting similar exposition to FA and, consequently, similar biological response. Tobacco smoke proves to have a minor impact on the formation of N-methylenvaline molecular adduct.
CONCLUSIONS: A positive correlation was demonstrated between professional exposition to air-formaldehyde and hemoglobin alkylation to form N-methylenvaline molecular adduct in two occupationally exposed groups of subjects considered in the present study. In comparison with occupational exposition, tobacco smoke proved to have a minor impact on the formation of N-methylenvaline molecular adduct.

4. Laurendi G, Mele S, Centanni S, Donner CF, Falcone F, Frateiacci S, Lazzeri M, Mangiacavallo A, Indinnimeo L, Viegi G, Pisanti P, Filippetti G. Global alliance against chronic respiratory diseases in Italy (GARD-Italy): Strategy and activities. Respir Med. 2012 Jan;106(1):1-8. Epub 2011 Oct 22.
Dipartimento della Prevenzione e Comunicazione, Ministero della Salute, Italy.

The steady increase in incidence of chronic respiratory disease (CRD) now constitutes a serious public health problem. CRDs are often underdiagnosed and many patients are not diagnosed until the CRD is too severe to prevent normal daily activities. The prevention of CRDs and reducing their social and individual impacts means modifying environmental and social factors and improving diagnosis and treatment. Prevention of risk factors (tobacco smoke, allergens, occupational agents, indoor/outdoor air pollution) will significantly impact on morbidity and mortality. The Italian Ministry of Health (MoH) has made respiratory disease prevention a top priority and is implementing a comprehensive strategy with policies against tobacco smoking, indoor/outdoor pollution, obesity, and communicable diseases. Presently these actions are not well coordinated. The Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD), set up by the World Health Organization, envisages national bodies; the GARD initiative in Italy, launched 11/6/2009, represents a great opportunity for the MoH. Its main objective is to promote the development of a coordinated CRD program in Italy. Effective prevention implies setting up a health policy with the support of healthcare professionals and citizen associations at national, regional, and district levels. What is required is a true inter-institutional synergy: respiratory diseases prevention cannot and should not be the responsibility of doctors alone, but must involve politicians/policymakers, as well as the media, local institutions, and schools, etc. GARD could be a significant experience and a great opportunity for Italy to share the GARD vision of a world where all people can breathe freely.

5. Chiavarini M, Bartolucci F, Gili A, Pieroni L, Minelli L. Effects of individual and social factors on preterm birth and low birth weight: empirical evidence from regional data in Italy. Int J Public Health. 2011 Oct 19. [Epub ahead of print]
Department of Medical and Surgery Specialities and Public Health, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.

OBJECTIVES: We examine the effects of mother's characteristics and socioeconomic condition on weight at birth and preterm delivery in an Italian region (Umbria).
METHODS: The study concerns all live-born singleton infants in 2007 with at least a gestational age of 22 weeks. Information derived from the Standard Certificate of Live Birth was linked to information from census statistics, so as to obtain a deprivation index.
RESULTS: On the basis of the fitting of two separate logistic regression models, we conclude that all individual socioeconomic factors are strongly associated with the outcomes at birth, apart from the deprivation index. Older and less educated mothers, and those with lower occupational level, have a higher probability to run into preterm delivery with respect to the other mothers. The relative risk ratios for low birth weight are significantly higher for older mothers, non-European, and not married. Lower weight rates are found in infants from complicated pregnancy and non-spontaneous conception.
CONCLUSIONS: Effects of mother's characteristics on weight at birth and weeks of gestation are confirmed. The deprivation index does not affect these outcomes, showing the proper implementation of the Health System.

6. Basilicata P, Pieri M, Settembre V, Galdiero A, Della Casa E, Acampora A, Miraglia N. Screening of several drugs of abuse in Italian workplace drug testing: performance comparisons of on-site screening tests and a fluorescence polarization immunoassay-based device. Anal Chem. 2011 Nov 15;83(22):8566-74. Epub 2011 Oct 27.
Department of Public Medicine and Social Safety, University of Naples Federico II , Naples, Italy.

According to the Italian laws, some categories of workers entrusted with duties possibly constituting a threat to security, physical safety, and health of third parties have to be screened to exclude the use/abuse of the following drugs of abuse: opiates, cocaine, cannabinoids, amphetamine, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, methadone, and buprenorphine. Toxicological tests can be performed with urinary on-site rapid screening devices, provided that sensitivities up to specified cutoffs are ensured. The present study reports performances, in terms of sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy, of an automatic on-site test and of an FPIA-based device, using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) as a reference methodology. Three levels of concentration were tested, corresponding to the cutoff and to 2 and 3 times the limits, respectively. In terms of sensitivities, neither the on-site nor the benchtop instrumentations gave positive results, since values of zero percentage were obtained for concentrations up to 2-fold the limits. Even if good results were obtained in terms of specificity and accuracy by both devices, none of them seem to be adequate for the current application to the toxicological screening at workplaces. In fact, a rapid screening device can be used for drug tests provided that it ensures sensitivity at the prescribed cutoffs. Data showed that such is completely rejected and a more sensitive instrumentation should be preferred.

7. Gioffrè A, Marramao A, Iannò A. Airborne Microorganisms, Endotoxin, and Dust Concentration in Wood Factories in Italy. Ann Occup Hyg. 2011 Oct 21. [Epub ahead of print]
Istituto Nazionale per l'Assicurazione contro gli Infortuni sul Lavoro (INAIL), Centre of Research, Laboratory Biological Agents, 88046 Zona Industriale Area ex SIR, Lamezia Terme (CZ), Italy.

Exposure to biological agents and dusts occurs in homes and occupational environments and it is known to cause adverse health effects. There is limited information concerning the occupational exposure levels of airborne biohazard during wood processing, but this exposure is associated with a range of adverse health effects. Control of exposure to microbiological hazards and dust in woodworking is not easy. In fact, various types of wood are commonly used and they generate complex mixtures of dusts and biological agents with various health risks. The aim of this study was to investigate the concentration of dust, bacteria, and endotoxins encountered in six different wood factories. These people were exposed to between 0.05 and 12.00 mg inhalable dust m(-3) and between 0.40 and 6.93 ng inhalable endotoxins m(-3). Total bacteria concentrations in the air of the factories examined were within a range of 130-2000 CFU m(-3), the value of Gram negative was within a 0-164 CFU m(-3), and the concentration of Gram positive was within 1-104 CFU m(-3). In conclusion, people working in wood factories may be exposed to high levels of inhalable dust and endotoxins.

8. Papaleo B, Caporossi L, Bernardini F, Cristadoro L, Bastianini L, De Rosa M, Capanna S, Marcellini L, Loi F, Battista G. Exposure to styrene in fiberglass-reinforced plastic manufacture: still a problem. J Occup Environ Med. 2011 Nov;53(11):1273-8.
INAIL, ex ISPESL Department of Occupational Medicine, Monte Porzio Catone, Italy.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the work is to define occupational exposure to styrene in fiberglass manufacture; the phase of stretching styrene resins needs some manual handling and leads workers to be exposed to styrene.
METHODS: We surveyed 20 workers in two companies manufacturing fiberglass, checking environmental levels and urinary concentrations of mandelic acid (MA), and phenylglioxylic acid (PGA). Workers completed a questionnaire collecting their medical history.
RESULTS: Environmental monitoring showed some styrene concentrations higher than the threshold limit value-time-weighted average. Biological monitoring confirmed these findings and four workers had levels of urinary PGA and MA concentrations higher than the Biological Exposure Indices of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.
CONCLUSIONS: This picture confirms that, even though the risk is known and the manufacturing cycle is well-defined, workers nevertheless risk exposure. More research is needed to optimize the work processes and the protection systems to lower this risk.

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