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Job Type May Raise Risk of Respiratory Disease

Posted Feb 01 2013 10:09pm
Posted on Feb. 1, 2013, 6 a.m. in Environment Respiratory

Previously, a number of studies have suggested that occupational exposures to chemicals may raise the risk of certain diseases. Rebecca Ghosh, from Imperial College London (United Kingdom), and colleagues studied 7,406 British adults born in 1958, for whom job histories up to the age of 42 were examined their team also compiled information on the subjects’ symptoms of asthma or wheezy bronchitis at various ages, as well as assessed sensitivity to allergens and lung power. The researchers then calculated the participants’ exposure to compounds with a known link to asthma, including respiratory irritants and high-risk agents such as flour, enzymes, cleaning or disinfectant products, metal and metal fumes, and textile production. After taking other factors into account, the investigators found 16% of adult-onset asthma cases among the participants could be explained by their jobs. While the study found an association, it did not prove that the nature of their occupations caused the onset of asthma.  The study showed those exposed to low-risk agents were 20%  more likely to develop asthma as an adult. The people exposed to high-risk agents were 53% more likely to be diagnosed with the respiratory condition. The participants exposed to both types of agents had a 34% greater risk of developing asthma. The findings suggest jobs involving cleaning or cleaning agents showed the strongest link to adult asthma. Meanwhile, farming more than quadrupled the risk for the condition, hairdressing doubled the risk and printing work tripled the risk. The study authors report that: “This study suggests that about 16% of adult onset asthma in British adults born in the late 1950s could be due to occupational exposures, mainly recognised high-risk exposures.”

Rebecca Elisabeth Ghosh, Paul Cullinan, David Fishwick, Jennifer Hoyle, Chris J Warburton, David P Strachan, Barbara K Butland, Debbie Jarvis. “f Asthma and occupation in the 1958 birth cohort.”  Thorax  2013; 21 January 2013.

  
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#115 - Emergency Water Disinfection
In the event of a natural disaster, which may compromise your access to water from your tap or bottle source, follow these techniques to purify water for drinking:

  Boiling - vigorously, for 10 minutes

  Bleaching - add 10-20 drops of household bleach per gallon of water, mix well, and let stand for 30 minutes. A slight smell or taste of chlorine indicates water is good to drink. (Note: do not use scented bleaches, colorsafe bleaches, or bleaches with added cleaners.)

  Tablets - commercially available purification tablets

  Solar disinfection, known as SODIS - a new technique developed by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology. Clear plastic bottles are filled with water and left in the sun. The heat warms the water and the combination of warm water and ultraviolet radiation kills most microorganisms. The Institute’s tests showed that 99.9% of the E. coli in a sample of contaminated water were killed when the sun heated the water beyond 122F (50C). At that temperature, disinfection takes about an hour, but placing a corrugated metal sheet under the bottle can shorten the time. Additional tests demonstrate SODIS as an effective approach for killing the cholera bacteria, Vibrio cholerae, and that it could inactivate parasites including the diarrhea-causing Cryptosporidium.
 
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