Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Archives of environmental & occupational health


The jobs of Latino manual laborers place their mental and physical health at risk. This study evaluates the associations among musculoskeletal pain, mental health, and work organization in Latino manual laborers. Farmworkers and non-farmworkers (n = 189) in North Carolina were interviewed for self-reported musculoskeletal pain, depressive symptoms, stress, work safety climate, and precarious job status. More non-farmworkers than farmworkers had neck and shoulder pain, but they did not differ in other areas of musculoskeletal pain. Depressive symptoms had a significant association with neck and shoulder pain (p<0.05). Precariousness had a significant association with back pain (p<0.05). Farmworker participants had H-2A visas and were afforded some protection compared to non-farmworker manual workers. Research is needed to improve policy that relieves pain and improves mental health for all Latino manual workers.

Concepts: Improve, United States, Symptoms, Occupational health psychology, North Carolina, South Carolina, Laborer, Virginia


A 3-year follow-up study of an occupational cohort was conducted to clarify the effect of the type of shift work on the risk of development of metabolic syndrome (MetS). The subjects were 1,677 Japanese male employees aged 36 to 57. Age, each component of MetS, serum uric acid, serum insulin, lifestyle factors, and occupational position were used for the analyses. The odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of 2-shift work (n = 686) and 3-shift work (n = 99) against daytime work (n = 868) for the development of MetS, as defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program, were 1.43 (1.05, 1.95) and 0.72 (0.37, 1.41), respectively. When Japanese criteria were adopted for defining MetS, the corresponding odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) were 1.88 (1.29, 2.74) and 0.87 (0.39, 1.97), respectively. The results of the analyses suggested that 2-shift work was a risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome.

Concepts: Atherosclerosis, Insulin resistance, Metabolic syndrome, Uric acid


Injury mortality was followed up from 1950 to 2000 in a cohort of 56,576 nickel workers. Injury fatalities were elevated throughout the cohort of never sinter plant workers (SMR = 134, 95% CI: 129-140). Elevations were also observed in injury mortality sub-categories of road, rail, and air (SMR = 137, 95% CI: 127-147); boating and swimming (SMR = 150, 95% CI: 128-176); suicide and possible suicide (SMR = 124, 95% CI: 114-135); and possibly job-related accidents (SMR = 160, 95% CI: 145-175). The results were largely attributed to underground miners with 61.4% of all injury mortality (SMR = 162; 95% CI: 153-171). Occupational etiology could not be ascertained, however, compiled workplace injury fatalities are presented separately. Recommendations include delivery of injury prevention and wellness programs in partnership with the local health unit and other stakeholders.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Actuarial science, Mining, Occupational safety and health, Accident, London Underground


This study assessed the nature, prevalence and risk factors of musculoskeletal symptoms (MS) in dental clinics. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 515 dental students and dentists about nature of work, and prevalence and frequency of MS symptoms. Chi-square and logistic regression were used to determine the association of MS with a number of important variables. Pain in the lower back (64%) and neck (60%) were the most prevalent MS. Working in the dental colleges' clinics was associated with increased risk of MS (adjusted OR 2.30, 95% CI 1.27-4.18). A stronger association was observed for dentists working in the private clinics (adjusted OR 2.58, 95%CI 1.28-5.17). Female dentists were at more risk of MS than male subjects (OR 1.63, 95%CI 1.02-2.59). The higher risk of reported MS symptoms in females and for those working in the dental colleges and private clinics underscores the importance of recognition and prevention of MS symptoms even early in the dental profession.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Dentistry


We sought to measure bicyclists' roadway exposures to particulate matter and assess whether those exposures are associated with reduced pulmonary function. Thirty-one (31) volunteer participants riding bicycles on selected routes were tracked using the Global Positioning System. Personal exposures to particulate matter (PM-10) were measured during the rides and pulmonary function tests were administered at baseline, immediately after the ride, and 2 and 6-24 hours later. Post-ride decrements in pulmonary function were observed for several outcome measures, with the largest differences immediately post-ride. Statistically-significant declines in FEV1 (-38.42, 95% Confidence Interval (CI), -63.79 to -13.05 ml), FVC (-36.89, 95% CI, -62.96, -10.84 ml), and PEFR (-162, 95% CI -316.02 to -9.49 ml/sec) were observed for each increase in decile of peak exposure. PM-10 exposures encountered on roadways may put bicyclists at risk for pulmonary deficits.


This study was undertaken to assess indoor air pollution and potential exposure to particulate matters (PMs-PM1, PM2.5, PM4, PM7, PM10), and total suspended particles [TSP] and total volatile organic compounds [TVOCs] during baking of Ethiopian traditional staple food, Injera using different types of stoves at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The geometric mean (GOM) of PMs pollutant using clean, improved, and traditional stoves were ranged 10.8-235, 23.6-462, and 36.4-591 µg/m3, respectively. The GOM of TVOCs in the wet and dry season using the clean, improved, and traditional stoves were 1,553, 2,234, 4,421, and 845, 1,214, and 2,662 µg/m3, respectively. The health risk of an exposed person to PM2.5, PM10, and TSP during baking of Injera was characterized and the results showed only baking of Injera using any of the stove types does not cause health problems to the baker. However, the percent contribution to the total chronic intake is high up to 38%.


Workers exposed to fuels and paints may present alterations in several parameters. Thus, we assessed potential biomarkers, with the aim of detecting early changes in gasoline station attendants and painters. Blood samples were collected for the analysis of inflammatory and DNA damage markers, besides biochemical, haematological and oxidative stress parameters. Biochemical and haematological parameters, which are assessed with routine exams, showed few changes. However, these findings could mask the workers' real health status. Besides, markers of oxidative damage were not modified. Levels of inflammatory parameters (cytokines and nitric oxide levels) and the DNA damage marker 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine were significantly changed in the workers. Our results suggest that inflammatory and DNA damage parameters can be potential biomarkers for the biological monitoring of workers exposed to fuels and paints and may contribute to the development of occupational protection standards.


Awkward back and neck postures have been recognized as one common problem in bakery workers. This study aimed to evaluation of the biomechanical risk factors on the back and neck of bakers. Twenty bakers of four types of bread- baking systems were randomly selected. Working postures and movements of the back and neck during work were continuously recorded with inclinometry measurements during three hours. Physical workload in bakers was characterized by awkward postures and the percentage of time spent with the neck flexed more than 20°. Besides, low angular velocity and lack of postural variation during baking shows that bakers' back is in the static position and bakers have to work with constrained back for a long time. The current findings have important implications for prioritizing ergonomic interventions and any ergonomic interventions should be focused on reducing neck flexion and constrained postures of the back.


Worldwide, waste pickers are exposed to adverse health effects resulting from hazards at work. This study aimed to identify possible gender disparities among waste pickers. A quantitative cross-sectional epidemiological study, using semi-structured data was conducted in Estrutural’s dumpsite, Brasília, Brazil. It included 1,025 waste pickers, with 67% being female. Most of them lived without partners (73.7%), have 3 to 4 children (47.8%), and have a lower monthly income (62.6%


This study compared the physical and mental health problems of adults with standard and nonstandard employment with those who were unemployed. We used data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to compare adult males and females with standard and nonstandard employment with those who were unemployed. Relative to adults with standard employment, higher proportions of unemployed individuals were women, older, had low monthly incomes, and had mental health problems. Compared to men and women with standard employment, unemployed men and women had greater risk of reporting depressive feelings (OR = 1.683, 95% CI = 1.298-2.183; OR = 1.419, 95% CI = 1.179-1.709) and suicidal ideation (OR = 2.218, 95% CI = 1.682-2.928; OR = 1.250, 95% CI = 1.020-1.530). Among workers with nonstandard employment, there were gender differences in the risk for arthritis. Unemployed individuals also had a higher risk of mental health problems than nonstandard workers. In conclusion, the unemployed were more vulnerable to mental health problems.